"One reason is that I have better things to do with my time. Another is that I don’t think my instant reactions to things are especially interesting. But I have to admit that I’ve also been aware for some time how many people end up destroying themselves by tweeting something really offensive.
Why do people do this? Well, it turns out that many prominent people have inner demons of one kind or another — often homophobia, but also racism, sexism, or just some kind of generalized contempt for large numbers of other people. And social media make it all too easy for those demons to slip out in front of a large audience.
I don’t think I have any demons like that, but who knows? And if I do make uncomfortable discoveries about myself, I’d like to do it in private, thank you."
— Paul Krugman’s excellent Twitter strategy
"Overall, I am for betting because I am against bullshit. Bullshit is polluting our discourse and drowning the facts. A bet costs the bullshitter more than the non-bullshitter so the willingness to bet signals honest belief. A bet is a tax on bullshit; and it is a just tax, tribute paid by the bullshitters to those with genuine knowledge."
— A Bet is a Tax on Bullshit
"the idea that Silver would suffer some professional setback if he got the election “wrong.” There are no penalties in American punditry for being disastrously wrong. You can be wrong all day long, on matters as minor as running mate choices or matters as consequential as whether or not it is a good idea to invade and occupy a nation that poses no threat to the United States, and even if you end up ousted from your current position, there is always another network, another newspaper, another magazine, or, if you’re in truly dire straits, a prominent think tank, that will cheerfully take you in."
Why Conservatives and Pundits Are Petrified of Math Wiz Nate Silver | Alternet
Pareene would be on my Dream Team.
I just opened “The Tyranny of Cliches” to a random page. It is the start of Chapter 9, “Slippery Slope,” and it begins with quotations from Hume, Lincoln and T.S. Eliot. Then we’re treated to the prose of Mr. Jonah Goldberg, who is here to share his presentation on “slippery slopes.” It reads very much like a high school student’s essay assignment:
Ultimately slippery slope arguments are a mixed bag. They are useful as a way to reinforce good dogma, but they are also used to reinforce bad dogma. Similarly they can scare us away from bad policies and good policies alike. There are good slippery slope arguments and bad ones for good ends and bad ends.
What insight! What a masterful grasp of nuance! Let’s try one of our own: Airplanes can be used for good things and bad things. Some airplanes carry medicine or ice cream, but other airplanes carry bombs or bad people. But an airplane with bombs might be good because the bombs are for using on bad guys, and on the other airplane maybe the ice cream has melted.