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Bush, Neyoka

06, February, 2020


Composition II U102-05
What about the “Other Side”? Summary & Analysis
Sean Blanda, author and Editor-in-Chief of GrowthLab and I Will Teach You to Be Rich,
emphasized in his essay, The “Other Side” is Not Dumb, clear concise conviction that in order to
engage in an argument you must first consider the stance of your opponent. Of course, you
should want to gain true understanding by analyzing the words of others in a way to examine
their interpretation of views. More often than once our initial reaction to an opposing opinion is
“Wow, you’re one of those people?!”. When you come across an opposing view your initially
reaction is “Who thinks like this?”, but we have to consider the ideas that a person may have to
have the stance they have. “I’m instead referencing those who actually believe in an opposing
viewpoint… for genuine, considered reasons.” (250). Blanda describes how we must analyze the
viewpoints of others for their stance may have a genuine reason rather than being based off of
pure assumptions and opinions. Throughout his article, Blanda used the act of sharing, via social
media, to address how we connect to likeminded people. According to Blanda, “Sharing links
that mock a caricature of the other side isn’t signaling that we’re somehow more informed. It
signals that…we’d much rather show our friends that we’re like them, than try to understand
those who are not.”(251). In other words he is saying we share only to prove that to our friends
that we are on the same page rather than considering the other side of things.
Sean Blanda uses the world of opposition to help opposing sides empathize with each
other to understand there conflicting views. Blanda himself writes, “It’s a fundamental rejection
of the possibility to consider that the people who don’t feel the same way you do might be right.”
(250). The essence of Blanda’s argument is that we rather not put into consideration that the
person of opposing views may be right by their accusations, and we are the ones that seem
“dumb”. In order to say with sentiment that someone’s position is invalid you have to ask
yourself “What makes this person feel this way?”. As a debate club veteran Blanda put it as, “We
won’t truly progress as individuals until we make an honest effort to understand those that are
not like us.” (253). In making this comment, Blanda urges us to consider acknowledging and
contemplating on the judgement of others. We should evaluate whether cultural, economic, or
social differences influenced their perception.
To review, the best way to gain true understanding is by asking questions that provoke
the claims in question. When you are considering the view points of others you want to insert
yourself in the position they may be in. Don’t let your initially thought be “Oh my gosh” but,
“I’m surprised you feel this way, why is that?”. You should be willing to take put your
disposition to the back burner and have the ability to translate the viewpoint someone has back to
them.