Part Five. On Blaise Pascal. Or Opine in Conversation: How to prolong a conversation with friends and family....

Intro. Note

Blaise Pascal wrote a paper on conversation (The Art of Persuasion), so I thought, myself being a imitator of Blaise Pascal, that I would add something to the art of conversation. Now if anyone wants to be good at public speaking then I would send him off to purchase Aristotle's The Art of Rhetoric and Cicero's De Oratore. However, if anyone wants to be good at debate and conflict I would say just to use one's normal acumen. For I agree with Benjamin Franklin's advice when he says that immediate contradiction and proud argumentation creates more discord than union in society--and that it should be avoided--but not in every instance.

[Some may say that public speaking is fine for them (if only they had a platform) and debate should rightly be reserved for college students and lawyers--but they just want to be able to hold an opinion when needed, especially when talking to family and friends. So the following short outline should help a person out in holding an opinion. The following is the best I can do since I am no expert at speaking myself although I am an educated person.]

Opine in Conversation....

I. Using normal acumen, listen and speak until your mind becomes blank from boredom or carelessness or perversion.


1. Label the topic. (or)

2. Agree with another person's label. (or)

3. Call their label by another name. (or)

4. Amplify or diminish their label.

II. The following approach will better make manifest this method. The exact words of these labels have been underlined.


1. That's a good job. (or) That's good.

2. I agree that is wrong. (or) I agree.

3. That's not stupid but crazy. (or) He is good not bad.

4. I believe that is a lot better. (or) I think that is way worse.

--Normal use of acumen now resumes.


These 'topic labels' need to be practiced in the memory before they are put into everyday use. One of the first freaky things you'll notice when conversing with other people is that in everyday conversation everybody uses these topic labels! They don't really come up in speeches or debates but rather in everyday conversation. However, like I said, use your normal wits first when talking with your family or friends. These topic labels are really just guides when one is stuck.


In addition, I have decided to add what I felt was missing to this paper on opining. Some may say that conversation is not totally based on topic labels. They would be right. Half of casual conversation is based on topic labels and the other half is based on facts. E.g. facts such as if something is true or false, possible or impossible, is happening or is not happening, has happened or hasn't happened, will happen or will not happen, is the same or different; and do not forget the classics of questioning that seek out facts: who, what, where, when, how, and why. To categorize such facts would be too cumbersome. Average acumen should be able to discern what is a fact and what is a topic label.


To be friendly:

1) Be an attentive listener.

2) Agree as much as possible.

3) Let them have the last word.

--To be an enemy do the exact opposite of #'s 1-3.

The End.

[All Texts Copyrighted Michael Llenos 2000-2017]