20 Answers

  1. At the last big gatherings I took part in, the following topics were covered in particular detail::

    • What is a “rhizome” in botany proper, and why Deleuze and Guatari go nuts.

    • How did it happen that most mid-West punk bands in the ' 90s were re-qualified along the lines of white supremacy and right-wing radicalism?

    * Who had the most tin at school (spoiler alert: in Naples, with barricades and special forces).

    * On the homogeneity of culture in Norway with a sufficient number of immigrants.

    • How Sholokhov still likes to show death slowly, so that everyone, including the victim, witnessed it well and felt it (“PUT TO DEATH, BROTHERS, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT-TE-E-E-E”).

    • * * We also had a brief tour of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, but it was too late, and I don't remember why.

    At the same time, the range of people in terms of purely formal education covered the entire range, from post-docks to at least one person who was expelled from school for poor academic performance.

    It is easy to see that these points have almost nothing in common – at least not thematically. The only similarity between all these conversations, including the point about the tough guy at school, lay in the love of complexity, complexity, and nuances-but not because of the bare fact, but because the audience themselves strive for things that have complexity, complexity, and nuances.

    This is what makes up good conversations-people who are engaged in a systematic study of something. Which are basically interesting. Who like to talk and like to listen, who spends time looking for the most accurate questions, and pays full attention to the interlocutor.

    And what exactly this conversation will be about is most often decided along the way.

  2. I remember Rockefeller saying: “If your goal is to become rich, you won't become rich.” To become an interesting person in general means to create an appearance, behind which there is a void. The void will definitely be discovered, standing people will turn away from you, and sooner or later there will be only extremely boring posers around. Do you need it? I don't think.
    Be yourself, and if you are something, you will attract people who share your true interests. You and they will benefit and enjoy communication. Close friends, colleagues and like-minded people will definitely stand out from them. Well, bingo, you are in chocolate, and not in a bad-smelling product of its processing:)

  3. You don't have to be a polymath and understand a lot of things, the best conversationalist is the one who is interested in what you are telling, who knows how to listen and “hear” and the one who knows how to ask the right question.

  4. For me, this “interlocutor” was Sergey Smolitsky. We have repeatedly encountered him in verbal battles and it was interesting to watch the turns of this extraordinary man's thoughts, who has “great intelligence,” solid erudition and serious life experience. Here is a sample of one of our polemics with him.�

    “110 years of Arkady Petrovich Gaidar

    Sergey Smolitsky:
    Today (22-01-2014) is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Arkady Petrovich Gaidar, the author of books that almost all of us grew up on. Bright, kind and sincere. “Chook and Huck”, “The Blue Cup”, “The Fate of the drummer”, books, as it became clear much later, not fully read. And “Timur and his team” is the same work that gave rise to a long-term mass movement. And although there was a lot of formal and bureaucratic stuff in it later,it was also real.
    When it was read 60 years ago, it was clearly perceived as a Soviet writer, almost a singer of the regime. However, there is no mode, and the books remain. Because the main thing in them is honesty, loyalty, friendship. And faith in people.
    That, by the way, which is now so much missing.
    I think it makes no sense to retell the content of his works, as well as the terrible details of his biography that have been revealed, they are known to everyone who cares about literature in general and native literature in particular. If someone doesn't know something, you don't need to search, and the information is available in one click.

    If we talk about the “Blue Cup”, “Chook and Gek” and “Hot Stone”, then everything is simple, clear and understandable. But already “School” or “The Fate of a drummer” made you suffer. It's not that simple. And the main characters are far from saintly. Yes, and the most textbook thing – “The Tale of Malchish-Kibalchish” – is it possible to say about it that good triumphs and evil is punished? In a broad sense, it certainly triumphs, but Malchish is dead. This is the price for the universal good – a life voluntarily sacrificed, I remember it was a very strong impression.
    And Gaidar's road to truth and justice is not at all simple and easy. He almost everywhere (except that only not in the “Blue Cup”), the hero is faced with the problem of moral choice. So all together and together, yes, but everyone has to take a difficult step at some point when they are alone and no one is around.

    Vladimir Medvedkov :
    It seems to me, Sergey, that the high matters you are talking about hardly affected young readers of Gaidar's books.

    Sergey Smolitsky: � �
    Of course, at the age of 5-8, when this is supposed to be read, very few people come up with such considerations.

    Vladimir Medvedkov : �
    That's just because the mentioned considerations do not come to the minds of the kids yet, then faith comes instead. And it gets so comfortable that the considerations that come at a more mature age can no longer interfere with it in any way.

    Sergey Smolitsky : �
    Well, first of all, if a person in his development is limited to ideas learned in 5 – 8 years, and after that no considerations can break through in his head, then this is not the case that people who are interested in literature discuss.
    Secondly, Gaidar's faith is not so bad: in short, the fundamental ideas of his books are that you need to be kind to people who are ready to lay down their lives for their friends, and that you need to love your homeland. What's wrong with such a belief?
    And third, a writer as unlike Gaidar as Exupery wrote:: “They die only for what they should live for,” and Gaidar shows this with the example of Malchish.

    Vladimir Medvedkov: � �
    It seemed to me, Sergey, that our thread of dialogue was not about Gaidar's faith, but about the faith of the kids who read his books. Once again, I want to clearly repeat that neither considerations nor ideas are assimilated by people who are still only 5-8 years old. But faith quite confidently finds its place in the minds of children. In the future, even if faith is strengthened in people, they are certainly able to perceive different ideas, but, as a rule, these ideas can no longer displace faith.
    Further. You, in fact, equate Gaidar's faith with “the fundamental ideas of his books.” I think that these “fundamental ideas” are at best derived from his faith, but they are not faith itself.
    Now about the meaning of the Baby's death. To make it more convincing, you quote from Exupery. I also want to give you a quote. From Evgeny Zamyatin: “Forget that you are a gram, but remember that you are a millionth of a ton!” I.e. the main thing is not that you are a person-person, but that you are a person-function. It was the conviction that the main purpose of a person is to serve some higher goal – an idea for which it is worth giving your life-that was the main link in the faith of Gaidar and those like Gaidar. The death of a Baby both declares this idea and shows it in all its glory. At the same time calling on the other Boys to make a similar sacrifice.

    Sergey Smolitsky: � �
    In my opinion, you attribute to Gaidar ideas that he did not have in sight, but were in abundance among those who intensely introduced him into consciousness. But infiltrators are always perverts.
    Nor do I find that the ideas of Gaidar's books strongly diverged from his own faith. The fact is that no matter how sophisticated a writer is, it is not so difficult to see from his texts that he writes “at the behest of his heart and soul”, or translates ideas that he considers necessary and useful (this is called the word “conjuncture”). Gaidar is a very sincere writer. When you read it, you can feel it on your skin.
    By the way, he doesn't have anything about cogs anywhere. On the contrary, in all his works, the hero is always faced with a difficult moral choice and makes it consciously. And to consciously give your life for a great goal-an idea – no one has ever argued with the greatness of such a choice. This choice was considered great and honorable in ancient times, and Christians and Russian literature have many examples of this – from “there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends…” to “there are no ties holier than comradeship.”
    Gaidar is a humanist writer who lived in the totalitarian era.

    Vladimir Medvedkov: � �
    I don't quite understand why you contrast creation “at the behest of the soul and heart” with “broadcasting ideas that the writer considers necessary and useful.” Moreover, you call this “broadcasting” a conjuncture. Now, if a writer replicates ideas that he is completely indifferent to, then you can try on a conjuncturist's dress for him. And if the” soul and heart ” of the writer is in solidarity with the ideas, then the creation of books that contain these ideas will be this very broadcast.
    I will not argue with the fact that Gaidar is a “sincere writer”. But what does its quality contradict in my reasoning?
    Gaidar has nothing to say about the cogs. Although, however, I was not talking about cogs, but about a person-function. But still, I will try to give a quote that, in my opinion, speaks about the possibility of drawing such conclusions. “Pilots fly high paths. Captains sail the blue seas. Carpenters are hammering in strong nails, and Sergei has a revolver hanging from his belt at the side. But she (Natka) didn't envy anyone now. She now understood differently Vladik's cold look, Ioska's hot actions, and the brave non-Russian eyes of the deceased Alka. And she knew that everything was in its place, and she was in her place, too. This immediately made her feel calm and happy.” This is from the “Military Secret”.
    I looked through this story for the sake of interest, not really hoping for my memory.
    You say:”in his (Gaidar's) works, the hero is always confronted with a difficult moral choice and makes it consciously.” Tell me in this case, which of the heroes of “Military Secrets” is facing this very “moral choice”? And what is this choice? In this story, almost every character, including the youngest, has a very clear idea of the world around them. A world of friends and a world of enemies. And the program of actions is again clear – to help friends, and to destroy enemies (often in the literal sense). And enemies, by the way, are everywhere – in the memory, around the pioneer camp, in fairy tales, in the future… And in order to hate our enemies more and love our Soviet Homeland more, we need more deaths. So that the enemies kill the people that we, the readers, are most sympathetic to. Yes, Gaidar himself says so. “Well, I'll tell you frankly that when I was writing, I was so sorry for myself that sometimes my hand refused to finish the last chapters. Still, it's a good thing that it's a pity. This means that you, together with me, and I, together with you, will love even more deeply both the Soviet country in which Alka lived, and the foreign comrades who were thrown into hard labor and prisons. And we will hate even more all our enemies: our own, at home, and foreign, all those who stand across our path, and in the fight against which our best big and often small comrades are dying.” Where is the humanism you mentioned here?
    I'm even afraid to talk about giving my life for a great idea. This will require a separate big conversation.

    Sergey Smolitsky: � �
    Unlike you, I haven't read” Military Secret ” for a long time (a very long time). But I think that the main moral choice in it is that of the hero of the fairy tale about Malchish. This is the central episode for me.
    In general, I don't really understand what exactly causes your disagreement with Gaidar. That his humanism is based on the Soviet idea? So what? The good and good world of one's own and the evil and terrible world of others is an artistic setting that is not unique to the Soviet literary tradition. That for heroic, romantic works enemies and someone's death are obligatory, well, yes, without this there are no such works.

    Vladimir Medvedkov: � �
    It seems to me that moral choice presupposes at least two possible behaviors that are preceded by reflection. And they are based precisely on morality. That is, the hero tries in this case to choose a behavior option that will not constantly disturb his conscience in the future. But none of the heroes of “Military Secret”, including the legendary Malchish, had either long or short thoughts about whether to fight the enemy or not to fight. It was the ONLY option. Non-alternative. If we speak of morality at all, it assumed, by the standards of the time, that which served the interests and cause of the working class. With the categories of Good and Evil in their traditional understanding, such morality is practically not connected. Therefore, we should not talk about humanism in its traditional sense in this case.

    Sergey Smolitsky: � �
    The choice of the heroes of the “Tale of Malchish-Kibalchish” is obvious: go to war with the bourgeoisie or go to the bourgeoisie, like a Bad Boy. The fact that the characters make a choice without much thought, can not deny its presence. Just some artistic characters (like Prince Hamlet) this choice is extended over 5 acts, in fact, this choice is the subject of the action; for others, it is made instantly. But it still exists. And if a person makes a choice without hesitation, he still makes it.
    A work of fiction should be judged not in terms of “the traditional understanding of good and evil”, but according to” the laws recognized by him [the writer] above himself ” (A. S. Pushkin). Do you also suggest that the heroes of the Illiad be judged in the categories of “Good and Evil in their traditional sense”? Or Stenka Razin from the song “Because of the island on the string”?
    Finally, I would not say that the “cause of the working class” has nothing to do with moral categories. For many of its adherents at the beginning of the twentieth century, this “cause” was directly related to the concepts of justice that go back almost to the first Christians, although they themselves might not have considered it so. And the desire to establish justice by force, unfortunately, is in the blood of many homosapiens. The Bolsheviks are not the first and, alas, not the last. And the socialist idea, by the way, turned out to be quite fruitful – in those countries that introduced socialism partially and without bloodshed.

    Vladimir Medvedkov: � �
    You say that our heroes make choices without “much thought”. But this is, to put it mildly, a clear stretch. In fact, they go into battle without thinking at all. A Bad guy doesn't go into battle without thinking, either. The only thing he thinks about is how to deal the most damage to the robots. So that the bourgeoisie would be happy to accept and thank him later. You remembered the need to judge a work of fiction according to the laws of the writer. But to begin with, I will say that it is rare for a writer to clearly articulate these laws. The reader himself is forced to get to the bottom of them. It is quite possible, and erring in reasoning along the way. Here, for example, are your conclusions, Sergey, that in every work of Gaidar the characters face a moral choice – what are they based on? In my opinion, the writer did not set such a task for his characters. Six-year-old boys and girls are already focused on the feat in the name of the idea. Without any reasoning. Moreover, it seems to me that such reasoning in the characters could well be drawn to cowardice, or even betrayal.
    On the possibility of a “trial” over the heroes of the Iliad. Here, Sergey, there is a funny thing. You throw me a certain reproach that I would suggest that the ancient Greek heroes should also be measured by traditional standards. I clearly state that I would not suggest such a thing. And I also don't want to measure the Soviet Gaidar heroes by such standards. The paradox is that this is essentially what you are doing. The morality of the 30s is a special morality, as, indeed, the morality of the Greeks during the Trojan War. Today's humanism extends to EVERYONE. Even a hardened criminal is not executed in our country. The presence of a criminal in places of detention implies not only his punishment, but also the possibility of correction. Soviet humanism, on the other hand, extended its influence to its OWN people, but not to its enemies. It was the same with humanism among the ancient Greeks. Therefore, when discussing in particular the Soviet literature of the 30s of the last century, it is necessary to remember not only the laws by which a writer creates his work, but also the laws and moral norms of that time.
    On the morality of the”working class”. Yes, this case has to do with morality. But, based on Lenin's postulate, it is precisely what serves the cause and interests of the working class that is moral. Justice, I believe, should also have been appropriate to this case. In fact, the Bolsheviks created a new morality, guided by which it was possible to commit not only great achievements, but also great crimes. And at the same time feel right and not guilty of anything. And if some Bolsheviks cried at night, it did not particularly affect the situation in the country. Remember the famous expression of Beria : “Moral pillars are cut down..”.
    On the socialist idea. Yes, it was really fruitful. But this idea is quite broad and deep. And everyone who tried to put it into practice understood it in their own way. Even in the camp of the Russian Bolsheviks. What can we say about foreign socialists? Then it is extremely important not only the idea, but also the tools that are used in its implementation. And the attitude to the person. Just in a number of foreign countries, humanism as such was professed, and in our country, as already mentioned, humanism was of a special nature. Therefore, the results came out, to put it mildly, different.

    Sergey Smolitsky: � �
    Vladimir, we write the same words, putting different meanings in them. The point of the dispute is just that.
    1. I'm talking about CHOOSING, and you're talking about thinking about choosing. They may exist, but they may not exist at all, if the person made a choice long ago, in advance. The work offers a choice-Kibalchish or Bad Boy. Each of them chose their own path. We are not shown the selection PROCESS (what you call “thinking”), but the choice is made. One has one, the other has another.
    2. A writer never (almost never) declares the laws of his work. They must be understood by the reader, whether they accept them or not.
    3. I have mentioned the ancient Greeks not in order to say that there was a different morality in Hellas, but in order to say that in the HEROIC EPIC morality is not constructed in the same way as in a realistic or romantic work. The genre is different.
    You watch Westerns and empathize with their characters. Moreover, in American Westerns, Indians are insidious villains, and in East German ones, white people are already playing the role of villains. But judging the behavior of Western characters from the point of view of historical morality is stupid. The work is done well if you believe what you see on the screen (or read on paper), empathize, and support “our people”. And who these people are in historical terms is not so important. It is necessary to judge a work of art in its own framework. These will be the “laws set by the author”.
    The world of Gaidar's heroes is tangible and alive for me. I empathize when I read, with those he wanted me to empathize with. I BELIEVE in this world. This is an artistic truth.
    And how much it coincides or not with the historical truth is a completely different question.

    Vladimir Medvedkov: � �
    1.About the choice. I, Sergey, rather speak not about thinking about the choice, but about the LACK of choice as such. What Gaidar offers and you follow him is a CHOICE WITHOUT a CHOICE. Boys do what their fathers did first, and then their older brothers did. This is a stereotype of behavior, a tribute to tradition. Everyone does what they are supposed to do, i.e., as mentioned earlier, they perform their own function.
    2.About the laws of the work. Yes, we readers need to understand these laws. It is advisable not to make a mistake.
    3. About the “construction of morality” in the work. I don't think we have the right to talk about such construction. Only large communities of people can create morality. And this process is quite long. And it is clearly beyond the capacity of an individual, including a writer. At the same time, the author may well make the reader fall in love with some characters and experience negative feelings towards other characters. You say, however, that “it is foolish to judge heroes from the point of view of historical morality.” I am not sure that the term “historical morality” has a right to exist, but I agree that morality is nevertheless historical in the sense that it changes over time. And we “judge” literary characters regardless of genre on the basis of morality. Either today's or the one that was at the time when the work was created.
    4. About historical truth. I don't think I've talked about it yet. I was talking about morality at one time or another and the fact that the author is almost always tied to morality in his works. Regardless of his, the author's, personal writing laws.”

  5. There is a good series of books- “50 ideas you need to know about”. Individual books are devoted to specific topics-psychology, philosophy, art, economics, architecture, biology, etc. You can start with the ones that seem most interesting. Well, then you'll get involved… These books will provide a certain basis on which your own unique thoughts of interest can already arise.

  6. It all depends on the topic of the conversation))
    Maybe you'll be talking exclusively about the booze. they also have their own nuances, you know.

    In the end, you can interest a person in different ways. not just with your knowledge

  7. Erudition is just some knowledge. For example: is Wasserman an interesting conversationalist for you? After all, apart from deep erudition, he has no qualities: he is not a scientist or a philosopher.

    If you want to become an 'interesting conversationalist', then first you need to answer the questions: “For whom do you want to be one?” and “What is your temperament, character”(in fact, there are quite a lot of questions, but these are the main ones). Charisma and a subtle sense of humor are also important. In general, without a deep study of personal qualities, this will be useless. You need to get to know yourself and be interesting to yourself. And do not forget about literature, because it is the details that will help you understand people

  8. First, learn how to listen to the other person. Listen sincerely, without “running” your eyes in different directions, keep eye contact. And, of course, learn not to interrupt. Even if you really want to.

  9. Read more, and first of all, type informative literature related to something interesting to others. Something that may intrigue many. Well, watch movies so that you can discuss them.

  10. This issue needs to be considered from different angles. The situation in which you may not be interested depends not only on you, but also on the interlocutor. There is no reference book in our world that will list the topics you need for an interesting conversation.�

    Evolve and shape your environment. And in any case, do not get annoyed if you are bored with someone, all people have common ground.

  11. What I find interesting about people is their own point of view, which they are not afraid to express. I consider interesting people to be versatile, who do not stand still and always move forward in their development

  12. Read books/articles on various subjects that interest you.
    Communicate with knowledgeable people who will tell you something new.
    Watch various science pop channels.

  13. An interesting interlocutor is distinguished by a general level of erudition and a broad outlook. A very valuable skill is the ability to maintain a conversation on a topic of interest without imposing your opinion on another person, as well as calmly listen to someone else's point of view. A person who knows a lot, but does not know how to listen at all, creates an unpleasant impression about himself. Bottom line: to be an interesting conversationalist, you need to constantly develop, learn something new, be able to listen to other people, and not impose your opinion.

  14. The easiest way to do this is to always be interested in the other person's personality. And not “feign interest”, but really show it, and be attentive to the interlocutor and with the interlocutor. Be interested not in what they have or what surrounds them, but in what they love and why. In general, people are strikingly uninteresting to each other. Against this background, it is easy to profitably and strikingly differ from the rest.

  15. As in all other ages-listen, ask clarifying questions “in the circle of interests” of the person who is talking to you… Sometimes, if you keep quiet correctly, you will be considered a very interesting conversationalist in the end 🙂

  16. It seems to me that it is important to be interested in what is happening, to show interest in people, in phenomena, this attracts the interest of others.�

    There are several vulnerable topics that can work in the opposite way-politics, religion, sexual preferences – all the rest can be discussed, you can ask other people's opinions.�

    Interest begets interest.

  17. It seems to me that the term “interesting interlocutor” means a person who has a lot of new or unusual information. It doesn't depend on any specific topics.

  18. First of all, to become one, you need to be erudite. It is not necessary to have all the knowledge of the world, but the more you read books, watch movies, visit museums, the more commonplace it may sound, you gain more knowledge in different areas. Having knowledge is not enough, the main thing is to be able to present them in an interesting way in any conversation. In order to learn this , try to communicate more with interesting and outstanding people yourself. No need to copy them, their behavior, manners. You need to absorb it, observe it. And so, having communicated and made friends, you will most likely subconsciously also transfer this experience, how interesting it is to submit information. I had this on a personal example. Plus, don't forget to smile as much as possible. When a person is positive and open, they automatically become the “interesting conversationalist” that people are drawn to. It is also very important to be able to listen and, most importantly, to hear what you are being told. Never interrupt other people. Always listen to everyone carefully, so you will win people over to you.

  19. The only real working trick is to talk not about yourself, but about the other person: show concern, ask about what they are interested in, what they have read, seen, traveled somewhere, what they think about this or that event, and so on. Even if I were Hans Christian Andersen, if I only talk about myself, everyone will get bored.

  20. To begin with, become an interesting person, because topics for conversation arise from the intellectual baggage that you previously acquired, and the vocabulary for an interesting conversation is also necessary.

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