I write because I want to change minds. I don’t need everybody to agree with me, but I write because I want people to be aware of the stuff that I’m writing about.
People are often irrational, often to the extent that important advice is ignored. Using facts and ideas to open people up to different ideas is an uphill task. But I’ve heard on occasion that this site has sometimes changed minds — or at least exposed people to new ideas. Stories like that are encouraging, and prevent me from stopping.
If you’re trying to reach people who disagree with you, then minds need to stay open. Bombast, indignation and overgeneralization generate readership but they also tend to close minds.
When dealing ideas that are weighed with cultural baggage, then it’s really easy to do or say something that makes people stop listening.
Which is why I avoid using the p-word.