Arguments vs. Discussions
I try very hard not to get involved in arguments, only discussions.
Discussions are with people who are of the same broad ideological background and reach conclusions with the same methodology. In a discussion, I might start off by disagreeing with the other person, but by having the discussion, one of us might be able to convince the other.
Arguments are with people who are from a different ideological background and reach conclusions with a different methodology. In such arguments, it almost never happens that one side convinces the other. They are generally a waste of time; the only benefits can be if (a) they are public and there is value to teaching the observers, or (b) if one wants to sharpen one's own thoughts.
I sometimes succumb to temptation, but I try my best to only get involved in discussions, not arguments.
(This post is in preparation for future posts.)