Saturday, May 28, 2005

Interesting piece: Why smart people defend bad ideas -
I can speak from a certain perspective when I look at this. It's not just cleverness that sometimes carries the argument. Just speaking with apparent certainty goes along way. I know this from having knowingly spouted non-sensical foolishness and having people believe me.

Part of where clever people get you is that you don't want to seem less clever than they are, and there is the biggest trap of all. Even when I am convinced I am much more clever than the person trying to convince me of something questionable, if I have any doubts at all about where they are going, I just tell them I am just not up to their level, and need some things broken down further before we can proceed. Stroking their ego to begin with. Unfortunately, this is usually the set up, because this is where I point out the big hole in the logic, usually. The point, though, is that if you are not trying to defend your image as a smart person, you are less susceptible to clever, yet flawed, reasoning.

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