Link: Stop Playing Devil’s Advocate, and Other Advice for Better Decision Making

I think the idea is, they know the devil’s advocate is a game, so they don’t take it seriously enough to be useful:

“When someone truly believes something different than you do, it has a stimulating quality for your own thinking. When you’re roleplaying, you can’t argue with the person who’s pretending, if you will. People are under the illusion that since the information is the same, the two conversations should be equivalent. They put a devil’s advocate in because they think you’re going to get somebody who gets you to think about the alternative, and you’re not going to get mad at each other. What they underestimate is that devil’s advocates don’t make you think about the alternative decision. Playing devil’s advocate does not have the stimulating quality [one] hopes for. I don’t think it has to do with the information that devil’s advocates state. I think it has to do with the fact that they believe something very differently than you do, and that challenge is sort of like a smack on the head, if you will, that gets you to start to rethink the issue. And so there’s power in that.”
Original source: Stop Playing Devil’s Advocate, and Other Advice for Better Decision Making

Link: Stop Playing Devil’s Advocate, and Other Advice for Better Decision Making

I think the idea is, they know the devil’s advocate is a game, so they don’t take it seriously enough to be useful:

“When someone truly believes something different than you do, it has a stimulating quality for your own thinking. When you’re roleplaying, you can’t argue with the person who’s pretending, if you will. People are under the illusion that since the information is the same, the two conversations should be equivalent. They put a devil’s advocate in because they think you’re going to get somebody who gets you to think about the alternative, and you’re not going to get mad at each other. What they underestimate is that devil’s advocates don’t make you think about the alternative decision. Playing devil’s advocate does not have the stimulating quality [one] hopes for. I don’t think it has to do with the information that devil’s advocates state. I think it has to do with the fact that they believe something very differently than you do, and that challenge is sort of like a smack on the head, if you will, that gets you to start to rethink the issue. And so there’s power in that.”
Original source: Stop Playing Devil’s Advocate, and Other Advice for Better Decision Making

Link: Mad Magazine’s clout may have faded, but its ethos matters more than ever before

“As strange as it sounds, I believe the “usual gang of idiots” that produced Mad was performing a vital public service, teaching American adolescents that they shouldn’t believe everything they read in their textbooks or saw on TV.”
Original source: Mad Magazine’s clout may have faded, but its ethos matters more than ever before

Distracting people is a better way to “win” arguments

Distraction is a clever and useful strategy in information control in that an argument in almost any human discussion is rarely an effective way to put an end to an opposing argument. Letting an argument die, or changing the subject, usually works much better than picking an argument and getting someone’s back up…

From a summary of a study that looked into how China tries to control news flow on the web.

Link