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May 31, 2005

why smart people defend bad ideas

Speaking of smart things other people have said, I just read this article on why smart people defend bad ideas. Very interesting to those who are plagued by the intelligentia whose fast talk and condescending arguments win arguments more frequently than reason and clarity of thought. I have dealt with many of these people in my day and believe deeply that many of us in society have been taught that might makes right, that the person with the best sounding words and the most confidence is right. This goes hand in hand with my belief that people often mistake curmudgeonliness and condescension with intelligence and discernment. After all, doesn't it sound like you know what you are talking about when you pooh-pooh someone else's obviously flawed logic? Yes, I am being snarky there.

Illegitimi non corborundum, after all.

Other People's Words 11:53 AM | Permalink


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Sounds like my brother. I'm afraid I'm probably too easily cowed when people like him have outmuscled me in that condescending and agressive way, so I used to think I just didn't have the ability to argue my points. However, I've never been persuaded by someone who argues that way - they've simply "won" by shutting me up.

Posted by: leslee at Jun 2, 2005 11:43:55 AM

I grew up in a similar family. My father still thinks that his loud voice makes him right. Actually, he raises his voice because he is so sure he is right, and he stops listening to what the other side has to say. I picked it up from him and still fight the urge sometimes. It is funny as I have grown and learned some debating tactics to see how he uses and abuses them to win arguments. He will tell me that my facts are made up, that I don't know what I am talking about, and that the places I get my information are suspect (the "liberal media" and all that crap). Now, he's not a bad guy at all, really. Just stubborn. It's a family trait. :S

Posted by: Alicia at Jun 3, 2005 9:51:04 AM

Hey, I just hope that my fast talk and condescending tone continues to win arguments... It's been going pretty well so far ;) But in all seriousness, it's fascinating how at times the most intelligent concepts come from those less adept with words.

Posted by: Aurorealis at Jun 3, 2005 4:59:49 PM