Hyperbole is the enemy of effective communication

If our goal is to achieve peace and prosperity for all humans, to eliminate poverty and advance science and health for all, advancing our species to higher plains of understanding...

One of our greatest enemies is our own tendency towards hyperbole. "Cheney is Satan" is equally as unhelpful as "Obama is Hitler" to the cause of either the "left" or the "right".

I need to avoid it myself, I tend to make idiotic, emotionally charged statements like "religious people love to eat jesus" and "religious people are insane" etc. Neither of those statements encourage tolerance and compassion for my fellow human beings, and I need to realize whatever ideology I embrace, a mutual respect for others and a measured, compassionate, well thought out approach to speaking is far more effective at fighting religious extremism and fundamentalist dogma.

My two cents for today anyway.

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Comment by Prog Rock Girl on November 30, 2009 at 3:54pm
Hyperbole is so over-the-top anymore, with everyone comparing people and things they don't like to Hitler and the Holocaust. This is insulting to Holocaust victims and others who have been through atrocities, to be equated with some drama queens' pet cause (sure, trying to publicize health care is the same as gassing people to death). Is it me or have people gotten more melodramatic over the past few years? Instead of researching whatever they're angry about, they just shout about it instead, and this keeps them from hearing anyone who might contradict them, too.
Comment by ryan cameron on November 30, 2009 at 3:49pm
this is more self-admonishment than anything. I am hoping if I write it down enough it will stick, and I'll be more effective at fighting ignorance as a result.
Comment by Sentient Biped on November 30, 2009 at 3:27pm
"Hyperbole is the enemy of effective communication" -what, are you crazy? That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in my entire life!

Oh - never mind.

(What? Cheney isn't Satan?)

For what it's worth, I agree. I usually look at hyperbole as an effort to obscure lack of evidence. And sometimes, hyperbole looks like evidence that no agreement can be reached, so why bother.

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