When They Don’t Know What They’re Talking About…

from Seth’s Blog

People tend to do one of two things:

    1. not talk
    2. talk

Both are a problem.

If we’re facing an important issue at work, at school or in our community, our instinct is to let others who are better informed speak up. Which prevents people from voting on a school budget or even volunteering to speak in class. We need their input and their solutions, but without insight and understanding, folks understandably hold back.

More here.

Posted in Ideas and tagged , , .


  1. In Seth’s blog, he mentions how during a time of discussion some people talk and others do not. I have been part of both of these groups as I am sure that most people have. From personal experience, if find in group discussions some days I feel like I can go on talking for hours whereas other days, I want to remain silent as I believe my input would not be of any value. As the article points out though, this is simply not true. In order for myself and my peers to succeed, there must be a good balance between talking too much and not talking enough. There is, however, not enough emphasis put on this issue. Many people suffer from nervousness when being asked to perform in front of people one simply cannot manage. As Seth also mentions it is also counterproductive when one person decides to talk all the time despite not knowing the information being discussed. In a group discussion if one singular person talks all the time it would never give the other people in the group a chance to relay their input to the others. That is why group building exercises help a company become productive. Many of these exercises allow shy and introverted people to open up to their colleagues whereas the extroverted can learn to listen carefully to what is being said. they also allow a bond to be formed between the group of people which in turn always increases productivity amongst them. It is also crucial for a group discussion to make it mandatory for everyone to speak and not repeat the same material. This in turn will force everyone to speak their mind and come up with different topics to add value to the discussion. If more awareness is brought to light about the value of letting everybody talk, then it will be apparent that productivity will rise among the people.

    • I also feel that having these discussions can be difficult in this day and age, but they have to be had, and I find myself sometimes immersing myself 100% into it. I feel like I have encountered situations where the information is false and it’s a conversation coming from credible people, or someone most people would believe, and it continues to spread with no correction whatsoever. I try to keep myself super informed, so I don’t give false information.

  2. Seth brings up a good point about the actions of people. In certain scenarios, there will be people who stay silent, and those who speak up. Each action can be very harmful. If a community sets up a public meeting to discuss implementing new rules, then almost every participant should take a moment to say their opinion. Seth mentioned that it is an instinct to let other members speak if they are more informed. This may not sound right, but many people tend to do this simply because they are scared to be seen as uninformed or unprepared. There are times when we don’t know much about the subject or issue. In a discussion, it is our lack of knowledge that causes us to feel insecure. We tend to let others speak for us or for the group. As much as we want this to happen, this should not occur. People should take a moment to think about the consequences of not stating their own opinion. What were to happen if a new law passes in a community, and it greatly effects oneself? We would feel cheated, but we can only blame ourselves for not showing any concern when the issue was brought up. But sometimes it is not our fault that we are quiet. In class we briefly talked about gun rights and how there are times when people feel threatened or intimidated when a certain group has deadly weapons. It is a right to obtain these weapons, but we tend to not think about how these weapons can prevent groups from speaking up. Nonetheless, more individuals should attempt to start speaking up for themselves, even when they don’t know much about the subject. When people don’t know about the subject, they should take a moment to listen to others, then try to speak up if they hear a point that they don’t like.

    Speaking too often can be just as bad. Speaking too much about a certain topic can make others feel insecure about their knowledge on the subject, thus preventing them from having a say. Another downside about speaking too much is that people tend to not learn as much because they think that they know a lot about the subject. In most cases, these same people are ignorant because they hate it when others challenge their way of thinking. That is why they are not as bright as much as they think they are.

    So, we as individuals should find a balance between these two to contribute as much as possible. Everyone must try to convey their own thoughts because that is how society advances. When people talk about their opinion, it tends to lead to more arguments, ideas, and solutions. Society has advanced rapidly because of the contribution it receives from every person. That is why speech is important. So next time when we feel like not talking, we should consider whether our own action will affect our lives in some way.

  3. Today’s society values the idea of speaking your mind and not being afraid of expressing your opinions at any time and any place. The origin of this idea is good as it is used more to allow typically suppressed groups the ability to feel more confident in expressing their beliefs and ideas about the world. Often these beliefs from suppressed groups would be vastly different then that of the popular group so many would feel uncomfortable or even unsafe in expressing their views. This is largely shown in America where we have spent centuries trying to hold back the speech based on not being the perceived better race, gender, or ethnicity. We, as Americans, have always valued the traditional white, male, rich and Christian viewpoint, which is why it is important for us to hear these other viewpoints and allow them to feel comfortable expressing themselves. However, in recent years people have confused this idea of feeling confident to always express your mind, which is back by our first amendment rights, with the idea that we should be able to say whatever we feel. There is a lot of disagreement over what is right and wrong in the world, and often these issues are backed by very strong opinions and belief. This is what most people think gives them the right to give their opinions and advice on topics that they have little to no knowledge over. This is a growing problem due to the advent of social media and how easily misinformation can spread and be created. It only takes one person to make a false claim because it is technically a constitutional right, however in the interest of discourse in America, we should do better in ensuring that our citizens are all informed on most topics. Citizens should at the very least be informed on any topics that they are developing opinions or making arguments for. Otherwise, the entire nation will be confused at some point or another as another incredibly decision comes up which appears to happen more and more in today’s world.

  4. The principle of having an opinion and not being hesitant to express your views at any location or time is considered valuable in today’s society. The idea’s origination is noteworthy since it is increasingly used to give traditionally minority populations the ability to communicate their viewpoints with more conviction. Because the beliefs of oppressed groups are typically very distinct from those held by the dominant group, many people find it challenging or even dangerous to express their viewpoints. This is especially apparent in America, where we have sought to restrict speech for generations due to our perceived inferiority as a race, gender, or nationality. Because the traditional white, man, privileged, and Christian perspective has been respected in America, it is essential that we hear about these diverse points of view and provide them with the opportunity to express themselves. Unfortunately, some have recently misinterpreted the concept that we need to be able to express anything we feel with the concept that we should feel assured to always convey our thoughts, which is reinforced by the first amendment rights. There is a significant amount of debate about what is acceptable and wrong about the world, and frequently these arguments are supported by extremely firm beliefs and ideas. The majority of people believe that this gives them the authority to offer suggestions and opinions on topics about which they know almost nothing. Due to the rise of social networks and how quickly incorrect information can be circulated and generated, this issue is getting worse. Since it is essentially a constitutionally protected right, it only requires one individual to claim that it is not. Nevertheless, in the spirit of American discourse, we ought to do better to guarantee that all of our citizens are educated on the majority of topics. Citizens should, at the very least, be acquainted about any issues on which they are formulating opinions or endorsing arguments. Otherwise, another amazing decision—which seems to arise more frequently these days—will at some point confuse the entire country.

  5. Despite the ever-growing interconnected world we currently live in, many of us still lack the proper tools and or confidence to voice our opinions. This is especially surprising as we live in a democratic society that relies on our opinions and the background that our opinions come from. Our diverse demographics and stories make our opinions of utmost importance for representation in government, schools, or even the workplace. I know for myself, I am often too shy or fear im wrong, which always prohibits me from participating in class, or voicing my opinions out in the real world. However, as Seth notes, not voicing my opinion is plaguing our society more than we may realize, beginning at the small scale of classrooms, and expanding to the larger scale of our civic participation. In fact, during the last decade, a little over half of the US population voted in the presidential election, which is concerning. I imagine these percentages are far lower for localized seats such as local laws, town council, senators, and representatives. Which, if I am being honest, I did not participate in the past midterm which I honestly now regret, as I witness how the election unfolded, depicting a government I do not think fairly represents me or my community. By not expressing our opinions and beliefs our representatives solely represent a small or focused demographic which will not account for the needs of all. Beyond civil participation or the vocalization of our opinions, it is just as important for society to stay informed and educated. We don’t have to be experts, but by keeping up with the judicial, political, and international landscapes, which inherently and heavily affect us all, we can strengthen our society. Seth provides a tool we can use, The Carbon Almanac: It’s Not Too Late. This tool seems excellent for all of society to stay informed on basic information relevant to climate change to help us to form our own opinions, and gain new ideas and sources to understand not only the phenomena but also how to address and combat its effects. I think all of these ideas that Seth brings up highlight that we must stay informed and remain active participants in all spaces we enter, all of which combined, further the success of our society.

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