What has been your most pleasant surprise on Quora?

That BNBR works. And allied with that: that I can learn from people with quite different views on life.

Far be it from me to praise Quora for how they police it: that is Kafkaesque.

Far be it also from me to think that BNBR reflects a superior stage of human evolution. Quite unlike David Stewart’s answer to What has been your worst surprise on Quora?, I’m relieved that Quorans let their hair down in other fora. (And there are plenty of prominent Quorans here who I don’t find nice or respectful anyway.)

But the pleasant surprise is that, if you hold your fire instead of attacking someone for some perceived slight or folly, you find that (a) they may well actually have been agreeing with you, (b) even if they don’t agree with you, their reasons why may be interesting, and (c) you can learn things from them either way.

One of the tuthree Quorans I’ve bonded most with is Dimitra Triantafyllidou. We did not start on a promising note. And because we assumed good faith from each other, we’ve ended up with a quite satisfactory distribution of labour over Greek topics. 🙂

There’s been several other exchanges that could have soured and didn’t, because we assumed good faith of each other. (Or at least, I think so.) Bing Sanchez, for instance. Shane Dhury. Jens Stengaard Larsen.

And there’s been several people who I’m learning from, even if they’re not my ideological default buddies. Dan Holliday. Jay Liu. Irene Colthurst. Beth Briony. Edward Conway. Sam Morningstar. Elke Weiss.

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