The Dim-Post

September 30, 2010

Oh, nobody in particular

Filed under: blogging — danylmc @ 5:36 am

Via Marginal Revolution, “Signs that your opinions function more to signal loyalty and ability than to estimate truth:”

  1. You find it hard to be enthusiastic for something until you know that others oppose it.
  2. You have little interest in getting clear on what exactly is the position being argued.
  3. Realizing that a topic is important and neglected doesn’t make you much interested.
  4. You have little interest in digging to bigger topics behind commonly argued topics.
  5. You are less interested in a topic when you don’t foresee being able to talk about it.
  6. You are uncomfortable taking a position near the middle of the opinion distribution.
  7. You are uncomfortable taking a position of high uncertainty about who is right.
  8. You care far more about current nearby events than similar distant or past/future events.
  9. You find it easy to conclude that those who disagree with you are insincere or stupid.
  10. You are reluctant to change your publicly stated positions in response to new info.
  11. You are reluctant to agree a rival’s claim, even if you had no prior opinion on the topic.


  1. Where is that guy? I haven’t seen him for ages. Maybe he made a girlfriend.

    Comment by Aztec — September 30, 2010 @ 7:53 am

  2. Since he was apparently replaced with James, I kind of miss him.

    12. You have your response ready before there is anything to respond to.

    Comment by Helenalex — September 30, 2010 @ 8:27 am

  3. I thought that was the defining criteria for the majority of Kiwiblog commentors and Standard writers… No?

    Comment by Sam — September 30, 2010 @ 8:49 am

  4. From the actual, updated list:

    12. You are reluctant to take a position that raises the status of rivals.
    13. You care more about consistency between your beliefs than about belief accuracy.
    14. You go easy on sloppy arguments by folks on “your side.”
    15. You have little interest in practical concrete implications of commonly argued topics.
    16. Your opinion doesn’t much change after talking with smart folks who know more.
    17. You are especially eager to drop names when explaining positions and arguments.
    18. You find it hard to list weak points and counter-arguments on your positions.
    19. You feel passionately about a topic, but haven’t sought out much evidence.
    20. You are reluctant to not have an opinion on commonly discussed topics.

    And 8 has been stricken.

    Do ol/ul/li tags work in WordPress? I am reluctant to experiment.

    Comment by derp de derp — September 30, 2010 @ 8:53 am

  5. An interesting list, and pretty accurate when you consider the current Hobbit debate. It seems to be that as soon as the word “Union” is involved, everyone retreats to their entrenched default positions. The truth usually lies in the large grey area in between, which becomes a no-mans-land where most fear to tread (lest you get shot in the back by your own side). Kudos to Russell Brown for venturing into the minefield.

    This class war meme is so stupid, and seems to have no basis in reality outside the blogosphere, where it is elevated to WW3 status.

    Comment by Pat — September 30, 2010 @ 10:59 am

  6. 21. You won’t let the bastards get you down
    22. Yes, what’s more important than loyalty and ability

    Comment by Uno — October 2, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

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