“The great outline of research comes to light best in dialog.” ~Otto Toeplitz, mathematician (1 Aug 1881 – 15 Feb 1940)
Muhammad Rasheed - Otto is saying that, similar to the debate, people reveal just how prepared they are on a topic once they begin discussing it. You find out a lot about the person you are dialoging with, such as:
- Have they researched the topic at all or just repeating what they heard?
- What is the level of that research?
- Are they merely regurgitating what they read in a book?
- Are they providing their own insight into the topic based on a study of relevant data and critical thinking of what the material reveals in a bigger picture?
- Do they practice a blind faith acceptance, reciting a popular ideological viewpoint on a topic (passionately!), and yet are ignorant of the actual historical facts behind it, and can't explain why theirs is the popular view on the topic?
- Do they think that their passionate, non-factual stance of a historical viewpoint is equal to your research, and dismiss your research-based insight for no other reason than because it is different than what they heard repeated in their circles?
- Do they attempt to misdirect from the topic in an effort to hide their ignorance of something they spent the exchange pretending they were expert in?
- Do they get flustered easily when you attempt to corner them on even basic levels of understanding about the topic, that require more than the cocktail party recitation of popular sound bites that make up the sum total of their actual knowledge?
- Do they believe that the demonstrated large numbers of people who act the way they do about the topic are sufficient proof that their stance is the true one?
- Do they believe that because they have a degree in a topic it means you shouldn't question them at all in it, and even for topics outside their expertise you should listen to them because they have a degree?
See Also: Artifacts of the Black Superheroes