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modes of argument (Re: Debian needs more buildds. It has offers. They aren't being accepted.)

AJ wrote, in a rather nice little essay:
>Normally, not listening isn't the problem. Normally the problem is that
>people listen fine, but just disagree with the conclusions.
Which is
* great if they give good reasons
* frustrating if they give unconvincing reasons
* terrible if they give no reasons

> That's no
>big deal; Debian's not a one person project, and despite all we have in
>common, people can disagree, whether because we're not all geniuses and
>sometimes make mistakes or aren't fully informed, or because we might make
>different tradeoffs. Sometimes you can't resolve these disagreements,
>and just have to accept it, and put the issue off for a while until
>there's more information and one of you have cause to change your mind.

>If waiting isn't good enough, then you pretty much have to prove that
>you can make sure that whatever flaws the other guy's worried about
>don't actually happen in practice:
Which means, *for starters*, finding out what flaws the other guy's worried 
about.  Which has apparently been a recurring problem with some "other guys".

> which means setting up your own copy
>of whatever it is you want changed, making the changes yourself and
>making sure it keeps working, and making sure it stays running long
>enough to be a realistic demo. If you don't know what the flaws are,
>you might have to guess.
In many cases, that's really not reasonable -- it's asking for mind-reading.  
But I guess you qualified that by the next sentence.  :-)

> Fix the problems you can think of, ask friends
>or random people what problems they can think of, and fix them too,
>and when you're done, ask whoever you're trying to convince if they can
>think of anymore problems, and fix those, too.
The most difficult part is when you get no answer.

>If someone's really not listening to you, you need to do all of the above,
>and aim to convince one or more people who will be listened to that your
>ideas are so great they're worth advocating.
See, I wouldn't have started this thread if I wasn't quite certain that I'd 
get at least three supporters with more thorough arguments and evidence than 
mine immediately (and I did).  I expected that that would convince one or 
more people who would be listened to, although I wasn't sure what people 
precisely.  As far as I can tell, I was right.  *shrug*

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