Image from Deviantart.com

This article is co-authored with Nate Coffman.

This is a half-joking play on Hanzi Freinacht’s “5 things that make you metamodern.” “Meta-Ideological Chad” will be abbreviated with MIC. You can read more about meta-ideological politics and Chad centrists in this article.

1. You practice memetic infiltration

Stoic podcaster Peter Limberg coined the term “memetic mediation,” which is the practice of mediating, communicating, and translating between various “memetic tribes” or ideological camps. …


Actually, we ain’t ideological enough…

image from quora

“You’re an ideologue!” shouts just about everybody these days. Social justice adherents criticize the non-woke for upholding an ideology of white supremacy. Conspiracy theorists accuse “normies” of being sheep, blindly following conventional facts and narratives. Atheists criticize religious believers for falling prey to religious dogmas, while both sides of the political aisle criticize each other for being hacky, partisan ideologues. Welcome to the culture wars.

But if we dig a little deeper into this accusation, we unearth some interesting assumptions. The underlying premise of the “ideologue” is that one’s ideological filters prevent them from seeing…


(This essay is the third in my “man” series — the other two being the Titanium and Polarity Man).

“Vajra” is a sanskrit word meaning “thunderbolt” and is also the mystical weapon of the Vedic God of Thunder, Indra. It also refers to Vajrayana Buddhism, where it means “diamond cutter” — the diamond that cuts through delusion.

The Vajra man involves:
1. Taking an argument, meme, or idea and re-expressing it from a different state of consciousness, mood, or feeling, ideally from a deeper or higher one.

2. Taking an argument, meme, or idea and remixing it with a new


image from Jenniferdubowski.com

“Polarity Man” has a couple meanings. It could be a short hand for Polarity Management, a technique developed by conflict expert Barry Johnson (which this technique is largely derived from). Or it could be a play on the theme of “straw man,” “steel man,” or my concept of the “titanium man” as a technique to (re)frame arguments.

The polarity man (or “polarity manning”) contains a few steps.

  1. See that all conflicts or debates involve a polarity — two opposite but interdependent value-poles. A simple example is inhalation/exhalation.
  2. In order to see the whole picture, both sides of the polarity must…


Image from Iron Man Wiki — Fandom

Let’s start with a definition of terms.

Straw man: A distorted misrepresentation of one’s argument or position, which often involves oversimplifying it. When one attacks a strawman instead of one’s actual argument, this is called the “strawman fallacy.”

Steel man: The strongest, most accurate representation of one’s argument. This involves reinforcing one’s position as they have articulated it.

Titanium man: Taking the core of one’s argument and rearticulating it at a higher level of nuance, sophistication, abstraction, and complexity. The argument is buttressed with more perspectives, contexts, and variables.

In our hyper polarized political climate, it is all too easy…


Image from NPR.org

This essay builds on my previous articles on transformative dialogue, and provides more tools to navigate charged political discussions.

In short, TD uses conversations to help participants gain new insights, deeper understandings, and increased perspectives by highlighting nuances, subtleties, grey areas and complexities around any given topic. It also inspires critical reflection on one’s viewpoints, engendering an increase in self-awareness along multiple axes.

  1. Biographical questions

I love starting with biographical questions when dialoguing with people with “fringe” beliefs, such as flat earthers or hardcore conspiracy theorists. Asking people about their personal journey with an ideology opens the door to subjective…


photo from growinglifetherapy.com

Part one of the Transformative Dialogue Series outlined how to explore your conversation partner’s beliefs by asking questions to generate more self-awareness, nuance, and complexity. So, how do we advocate for our own views?

The key to effectively sharing our opinions is to display as much meta-awareness in conversation as possible. In other words, you’re aware of how your belief was constructed and how it came into existence. This involves demonstrating to your partner that you’re aware of the all background factors that shaped your belief, including salient life experiences, knowledge/data sources, reasoning processes, core values, moral principles, as well…


(This essay will demonstrate how to explore the beliefs and perspective of others. Part 2 will explain how to advocate for your own positions).

What does it mean to “change someone’s mind?” Here I offer three definitions.

1.The first is to change the content of what one believes, e.g. believing climate change is a hoax to believing it’s real. This is the conventional understanding of changing one’s mind — to replace content X with content Y. Here beliefs are seen to be mutually exclusive, as one believes one fact over another. …


“Bildung” is my favorite word in the…German language. In their book The Nordic Secret: A European story of beauty and freedom, authors Lene Rachel Andersen and Thomas Bjorkman describe Bildung as instrumental in building the moral, cultural, and political foundation of several Nordic countries, largely contributing to their current day success. They describe Bildung as such:

“Bildung is the way that the individual matures and takes upon him or herself ever bigger personal responsibility towards family, friends, fellow citizens, society, humanity, our globe, and the global heritage of our species, while enjoying ever bigger personal, moral and existential freedoms. It…


The issue of race is deeply polarized. On one hand lies camp of “color-blindness” that seeks to move beyond racial categories towards a universal humanity, where people are judged not by the color of their skin but by other factors, such as the content of their character (also known as seeing one as an “individual” and not as a group stereotype). On the other hand lies the “woke” or “race conscious” school that explicitly highlights race, grounded in societal impacts that unevenly influence the lived realities of different groups, leading to various forms of identity politics. Popular advocates of this…

Ryan Nakade

Depolarization, mediation, dialogue. Integrative solutions to cultural conflict. And diaphanous goat whisperer.

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