Knowledge is power. Information is key.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Distilled Wisdom #1: How to Sound Intelligent
Note: I'm putting off the second part of "Why Skepticism?" as it's rather heavy and even includes... *dramatic pause* a mathematical proof. Don't want to weigh down people who are just reading this all at once with too much heavy material in a row. (Not to mention, I'm still ironing out a few kinks in it.)
Welcome to the inaugural post of Distilled Wisdom. This is where I'll be trying to filter through all the crap I've learned (or distill it out, if you want to avoid mixed metaphors) and present you with some pearls of wisdom (crap, another mixed metaphor).
The first few posts of this series will deal with some presentational and argumentative tactics you can use in order to get people to take you more seriously. The first is how to sound intelligent.
There are three simple rules to help you here:
4. Don't make stupid mistakes like this
Given the overlap between rules 1-3, I'll cover them all at once.
When many people are writing an entry in their blog or a comment in another's, they don't take the time to go back and correct typos and punctuation errors. Sometimes it's because they don't know that what they're doing is an error. In this case, it's intellectual laziness. They aren't bothering to learn from what others are doing right. Other times, it's just more general laziness in that they can't see the point in going back and correcting something.
But just because you don't see the point doesn't mean that the point doesn't exist. Let's say it takes you an average of two seconds to go back and correct a typo. Now, every person reading your entry will pause momentarily at every typo, and lose focus for a moment. Let's say they're decent readers, and it only breaks their concentration for half a second per typo.
So, how many people do you expect to read your...