Small Talk - 2016-05-25
In my post about the television I mentioned very briefly the issue of 'small talk'. First, I would like to make it clear that I am not talking about SmallTalk language, but rather the social phenomenon where two or more people begin a conversation on some of the most pointless and dull topics ever. It's always a topic that for the most part everyone can agree with and is therefore a pointless conversation. It's always about the weather, who won the latest sports event, what popular events are coming up, and (if you're Spanish) the most recent corruption scandal. Never any analysis, never any discussion, and most of all there should never be disagreement! Because for some reason disagreeing on something with someone else is 'a bad thing'. I disagree with people all the time, these people mostly being my friends! So how are you going to tell me that disagreeing with someone on something will make a relationship between two people go downhill? I'd rather discuss and disagree with someone on an in-depth topic than constantly agree with someone that it's a rainy day outside and that the forecast is looking better for next week.
Of course, I do understand that you can't just go up to someone and start talking about Keynesian economics, you have to find out if they have any interest in economics first. What I hate is when people start using small talk for all their conversations with another individual. By the second time we meet we should already be able to get started with the deeper stuff. We don't need to keep rescratching the surface, it's time to get the shovel and dig deep.
But for some reason people are afraid of disagreement, they don't want to march into uncharted waters where their opinions are at stake of being disproven by reason and evidence (in which case your opinions are most likely either wrong, incomplete, or unfounded to begin with).