Can EAs use heated topics, in part, as learning opportunities?

Given that we're going through this anyway, maybe we could at least learn from it.

Note: I'm part of this discussion, and this is a lesson I repeatedly tell myself. Please don't take this as me talking down to anyone. I know some people hate to be told that some struggle is also a "learning opportunity". But I think this frame is genuinely useful to certain people.

Note: I made an EA Forum post asking for potential improvements here. Ideas and votes are highly welcome!

Link to original Facebook Post, which has some good comments.

There's been a lot of controversies and heated debates on the EA Forum in the last few months.

Many community members find this exhausting (me definitely included). I get the sense that a lot of people want this all to go away, and for discussion to go back to less heated topics.

I really like avoiding heated arguments.

But now that we're in them anyway, it could be good to reflect on some upsides and learning opportunities. (This is my default strategy when facing hard times)

My guess is that as bad as things might be now, we should be prepared for much worse. The best way to prepare for awful situations is often by practicing and learning from smaller situations.

If community members (myself included) can quickly use this in part as an opportunity to test and debug strategies for heated discussions, that could wind up being very productive.

If your community is successfully able to handle discussion on heated topics without a long thread of broken hearts, tears, and disappointment, that's a sign that your epistemic and social norms might be fairly robust.

Or, if you think your community has really great epistemics and social norms, but you can't begin to talk about heated topics without tears and chaos, you might have some more to learn.

Thanks to Nics Olayres for the image, using DALL-E 2