How to disagree better

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Arthur Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute, one of Washington’s most respected and powerful conservative think tanks. He’s also launching a new podcast, The Arthur Brooks Show, with Vox Media on the art and practice of disagreement.

I’ve known Brooks for a while. And I disagree with him on, well, a lot — at least when it comes to American politics. And yet, those disagreements haven’t ended a years-long conversation between us on everything from management to spirituality to policy. I can say from experience: Brooks really is good at disagreeing.

In this podcast, Brooks — a Seattle native with a liberal family and a background as a traveling musician — reveals what he’s learned on how to disagree better, why civility shouldn’t be the goal in conversation, and why it’s healthy to have a lot of arguments. We talk about why he’s stepping down from his position at AEI, why I stepped down from management at Vox, and why anger is a healthy emotion and contempt isn’t.

This is one of those conversations I’ve thought about daily since having it. The anger versus contempt rubric has been particularly useful for me, and I think it will be for you. Enjoy!

Recommended books:

Zen and the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel

The Unpersuadables by Will Storr

The Consolations of Mortality by Andrew Stark

154 episodes available. A new episode about every 5 days averaging 74 mins duration .