The following is a guest post by Alan Forrester. It summarizes the Paths Forward idea. These concepts are really important and people have a hard time with them, so summarizing is valuable. Here's another summary I wrote.
People say you should be willing to open minded. You should be willing to consider new ideas because they might be better than your current ideas. But people don’t give substantive advice on how to do this.
This is a difficult problem because you only have a limited amount of time in the day, and you may have stuff to do.
What you need is a path forward: a way to advance a discussion or disagreement (including discussions and disagreements in your own mind).
A bad path forward impedes progress by rejecting ideas without answering them, regardless of your reason for doing that. Examples include authority, social status, curation, moderation or gatekeepers.
A good path forward lets you get ideas from anyone. A good path forward always involves discussion because only rational discussion can solve problems.
This may sound like it’ll take a lot of time. But you need not write a fresh answer to every question. You can direct people to stuff that was written before the question was asked. And the answer could also have been written by somebody else. What matters is whether it answers the question, not who wrote it or when it was written.
If you refer somebody to a pre-written answer, you should give specific references where possible, e.g. - a page or chapter of a book instead of a whole book. You should also be willing to fix flaws in those answers.
Good answers will be public so lots of people can read them. They should also be written since written material is easier to quote, edit and analyse in detail.
You should also take responsibility for your paths forward. If you recommend stuff written by somebody else, you should be willing to answer questions about it and address flaws.
Good paths forward make general claims. General claims solve more problems and are easier to criticise than more limited claims. So if they are right they are very useful, and if they are wrong it is easier to find the flaw.