This is a bit different; some thoughts about how we *listen* to people. I'm putting it here because it may, as I'll try to explain, have political resonance. THREAD 1/15
We listen (and read) for lots of different reasons, and in lots of different contexts.

I think that, fundamentally, we can listen in 2 ways, and that those 2 ways are markedly different. 2/
We can listen either from our perspective, with our own frame of reference in place, seeking to work out how what is being said interacts with our own world view. 3/
Or, we can listen from a different place, trying to make sense of what is being said, and trying to understand things not so much from our own perspective, but from the perspective of the speaker. 4/
My sense - and this may be wrong - is that most people (myself included) tend to, and have been trained to, listen mainly from our own perspective.

And I think that there is value (though also danger) in the second sort of listening. 5/
This is therefore calling for people not to *abandon* their critical frame, but to *suspend* it. To take time to understand the speaker before subjecting the speaker to criticism. 6/
It is not easy to suspend one's critical frame, and there are dangers and risks inherent in seeking to do so. One may, for example, be more easily seduced by the speaker, and buy into their narrative. 7/
And yet, there are also big advantages in understanding the speaker and the speaker's perspective (this point is particularly obvious in the context of any relationship). 8/
In the academic context, we know how frustrating the comments of the infamous reviewer 2 are, whose comments explain how this isn't the article they would have written on the topic before rejecting it for that reason. 9/
In the political context, there is obvious merit in understanding rival perspectives, and obvious value in seeking to understand the perspective, or world view, of various rival parties. 10/
If you understand another's perspective, you might be able to predict what they will do next. You might be able to see internal contradictions within a speech or argument. 11/
There's a lot more I could say about listening, but I'll leave it there for now. Would be very interested in others' thoughts.

I'll just end with a comment on what these thoughts might mean not for the listener but for the speaker. 12/
One's ability or willingness to suspend one's analytical depends on how the message is framed and presented. One can get 'lost' in a good book, film, or speech. 13/
Skilled writers and speech-makers aim to create a narrative which displaces listeners' world views, and manages to get listeners to change their minds, or to persuade them to act or think in certain ways. 14/
I'm not sure if there is a conclusion to all this.

I guess I am trying to say that it is important that we take time to understand others' arguments and frames of reference, and that we are able to suspend (and interrogate), but not abandon, our perspective. 15/15

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More from @syrpis

28 May
A quick thread on the Cummings evidence - and what it tells us about Brexit. 1/10

(This is very much a preliminary view; all thoughts very welcome).
The bit I want to focus on is the bit where he rails against the chaos and incompetence at the heart of Govt and the dangers of group-think. If he had hair, he would have been tearing it out. 2/10
His response was to seek to bring in 'talent' from outside. To create a plan and to operationalise it. To galvanise the state into action. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
26 May
What is twitter for if not (yet another) hot take on the Cummings Committee evidence?

I'll try to keep it short. 1/6
It is, on its face, a damning indictment of chaos and dysfunction at the heart of Government, which in March, and again in the autumn, cost many thousands of lives. 2/6
But Cummings is an unreliable narrator, full of contradictions. His errors, lies and missteps are excusable. Others': not so much.

His comments on groupthink, playing by the rules, openness and transparency will rightly raise eyebrows. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
21 May
A BBC journalist used 'deceitful' methods to secure 1995 interview. Wow.

Have the 'outraged' press forgotten about phone hacking?

Has the 'outraged' government forgotten about its relationship with the truth?
Read 6 tweets
16 May
Seeing lots of reaction to proposals for a progressive alliance, and have been struck by one thing.

Members and activists tend to reject it; while 'mere' supporters of opposition parties tend to embrace it. 1/7
Obviously, there are a lot more 'mere' supporters than members and activists.

But, I don't think that there can be any chance that a progressive alliance will happen without the strong support of members and activists.

So, why might the two groups think as they do? 2/7
Members/activists might oppose a progressive alliance because:
a) they are familiar with the party rules (which make it much more difficult);
b) they are likely to think their party can win; 3/7
Read 7 tweets
13 May
The Higher Education (Free Speech) Bill is more than a little incoherent - as @michelledonelan seems intent on demonstrating.

The Bill is here:… 1/8
It aims to secure free speech 'within the law', so... there will be debates about what the limits of the law are (see eg Prevent; IHRA anti-semitism definition etc). 2/8
It aims to stop discrimination based on an individual's 'ideas, beliefs or views' (for academics, 'within their field of expertise'), so... there will be debates about what each of those means. 3/8
Read 8 tweets
11 May
I have commented before on the hypocrisy and double standards which characterise the actions of this Govt. From that perspective, the debate about Scottish independence is going to be... an interesting watch. 1/8

The Govt, once the champion of 'sovereignty' and 'taking back control' now finds itself... defending the Union.

The contortions Ministers are going through are quite something. 2/8
So, for example, we are hearing...

1. That absent a clear majority in the popular vote, the SNP, which received 48% of the vote, lacks the mandate to have a referendum.

Remind me what % of the popular vote David Cameron won in 2015? [Answer: 37%] 3/8
Read 8 tweets

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