A faith in dialogue pervades the academy, sometimes knowingly framed in terms of the potential of dialogue if only we could get it right. This seems obviously misplaced to me and I’d suggest two examples to justify this:
- Online dialogue often gets worse with time rather than improving. Misunderstandings multiply, sides get taken and participants polarise. Some dialogues need to be cut short and others shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
- Specialised dialogues often get exclusionary with time, trading a collective focus for public marginality. An arcane vocabulary develops to manage interaction, enabling epistem gains while undermining attempts to translate insights into public action.