Many of us are concerned about disagreements so prevalent in all aspects of society today. How can two rational people disagree given the same facts? Dealing this problem is difficult for everyone. Long ago I stopped trying to "help" everyone "see the light". Seemed no matter what the facts, teaching something a person does not want to learn is nearly impossible. Truthfully, I found it increasingly distressing and sought a way to eliminate the distraction. How did I resolve the matter?

I decided that experience is the only teacher and just let these teachable moments pass by, knowing that eventually experience will teach the lesson. But this did not explain my compulsion to correct facts or beliefs. Why did I have this compulsion? Turns out, upon introspection, I realized that I associate gaining knowledge with some level of pain which I wished to spare others from feeling. I suppose this is somewhat empathetic, but correcting someone is actually more painful than letting them learn it from experience. Once I took this to heart, my compulsion and stress in these situations diminished tremendously.

Another lesson I learned is regarding irrational behaviour. Why people do some things can't be explained. It's like the sound of one hand clapping. It just makes no sense, don't try to make sense of it. Period. Move on.

These are lesson I've learned. What does scientific research say? Given the high level of irrational behavior recently, I decided to look into the causes and (hopefully) solutions. I found a full page ad in Scientific American within a short while for this eBook:

Return to Reason: The Science of Thought
Why do facts fail to change people’s minds? In this eBook, we examine how we form our beliefs and maintain them with a host of cognitive biases, the difference between intelligence and thinking rationally and some solutions for how to overcome these obstacles both in reasoning with others and …

Obviously my concerns are shared, otherwise Scientific American wouldn't put a full page ad for a book from 2017 on page 2 (basically forgoing the revenue the page could generate otherwise). True, the book cost $6.99, but I'm sure it is a net loss regardless.

The book is a rather dense read, but the subjects shed light on some lessons I've learned. It also describes how to handle a conversation where irrational thought and behavior enters the stream. For me, it was $6.99 well spent.