What is more valuable than gold? Light.
What is more precious than light? Conversation.
J. W. von Goethe
We talk a lot about the conversational internet these times, but we seldom ask what this really means.
In my opinion a conversation needs a common ground: an agreement between the interlocutors to treat each other equally before the conversation even starts.
If this equality between the interlocutors as an interlocutor is not continually reassured, the conversation stops and two monologues face each other. Otherwise said, if the situation is asymetric for any of the interlocutors, there is no common ground and there can’t be a conversation.
To keep the common ground as an interlocutor, each interlocutor has constantly to screen the other’s interlocutors signals to be reassured that there is still a common ground.
This doesn’t mean at all that there can’t be highly differing arguments exchanged between the interlocutors, on the contrary, it even only permits them. The wonderful thing about a conversation is its double nature: to agree to not agree. This incredible space of freedom which is created during the conversation has the power to transform, to synthesize the two interlocutors views.
Why do I blog this?
In the aborted conversation on an earlier post, this common ground has never been established as my signal for the other interlocutor to come out of anonymity wasn’t accepted. As I already had entered the conversation without an established common ground – I agreed to not agree -, I was truly frustrated the moment I understood by my interlocutors behaviour that he wouldn’t agree on the first step to this conversation.
So what’s my personal conclusion? Probably to have an argument, to open up to a real conversation I will not accept an anonymous interlocutor, especially if I sense that this interlocutor seems to gain an advantage by staying anonymous. If one does not want to reach a common ground, to open up himself, the conversation will be worthless anyway.
PS: If anybody knows people or texts which treat the question of the conversation more thoroughfully, I’am more than happy, if you leave a comment. If you also want to have a conversation with me, please respect the above respectively my blog’s rules.