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Eliezer - this is an interesting list, but perhaps it has more to do with you than with the people you're talking to.

For instance, when I was younger I had many arguments that ended in debates over definitions. (apparently the source of three of your above examples), but that's because I wanted (and was hanging out with people who wanted) to win for winnings sake. It was how that group determined status.

This is a list of symptoms -- what are the things you're doing in conversation that reduce people to saying things like this to escape? (or, alternatively, why are you talking to people who care more about proving to you that they're not listening than they do about learning from you? [and you learning from them])

Quick point lest ye overgeneralize: Buffet, Bill Gates, and [insert Fortune 500 CEO here] read excellence porn on the way to the top. [from Buffet's wikipedia: "Buffett took a Dale Carnegie public speaking course."]

I think business porn doesn't make you excellent, but it will expand your thinking, and shave years off your learning curve.

Charlie Munger (Buffett's business partner) on this topic: "In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn't read all the time-none, zero. You'd be amazed at how much Warren reads-and at how much I read. My children laugh at me, they think I'm a book with a couple of legs sticking out"