A cheatsheet on Discourse.

The three gates of speech

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates.

Rogerian rhetoric

  1. You should attempt to re-express your target's position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, "Thanks, I wish I'd thought of putting it that way."

  2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

  3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Dennett's version of Rapoport's Rules

Argument Ranking

"How to apologize: Quickly, specifically, sincerely."

— Kevin Kelly




"A leader is best when people barely know they exists, when their work is done, their aim fulfilled, people will say: we did it ourselves."

— 老子(Lao Tse), 道德經(Dao De Jing)

The first principle of Wikipedia etiquette has been said to be Assume Good Faith, also they Be Bold, but not Reckless.

Wrong discourse

Good discourse

Social rules are expected to be broken from time to time, in that regard they are different from a code of conduct.

Response Ranking

Interaction Ranking



Emotional Reaction


"Kings speak for the realm, governors for the state, popes for the church. Indeed, the titled, as titled, cannot speak with annyone."

— James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games

"Instead of trying to prove your opponent wrong, try to see in what sense he might be right." — Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia

"I don't argue: I just say what I know or what I believe, as the case may be." — John W. Cohan

"You should mention anything you have learned from your target."


The whole page is licensed under cc-by-nc-sa; it is slightly adapted from https://wiki.xxiivv.com/site/discourse.html to be able to support the static site generator used on https://scheme.rs and to avoid the words "bad" (replaced with "wrong") and "faith" (replaced with "discourse"), a few other changes, see history for complete log.