You Are Not So Smart 009: The Psychology of Arguing


So David, what you are telling me is…

Editing for additional commentary:

David is charismatic and funny. The last guest, Mercier had interesting information to convey, but the monotone, dry as a bone delivery was more difficult to get through. At the time, I wished that I had been reading his interview instead of listening to it. I think I had some problems with the sound level (being lower for his part), and perhaps his accent, in combination with the aforementioned speaking style. This probably says more about me, than him, as I have no idea if anyone else had similar issues.

The problem with learning how to argue well is that unless your opponents are just plain stupid (in which case why are you even bothering?), they eventually realize that you are manipulating the very structure of the argument underneath them. This tends to make them feel “toyed with”, and resentful.

Logical abilities are not binary.

I concede the point that their resentment is probably proportional to how forensically skilled they are.

But you aren’t. Learning to argue well means accepting that you may be wrong and your opponent may be right.

No, sometimes your opponent realised you just successfully argued black is white, but because they know black isn’t white they realise you’re just being a dick.

In general I have a hard time listening to podcasts and usually wish there was a transcript. I would up giving up and looking for articles Mercier wrote since it was interesting content, but hard to get through the medium.


Thanks for sharing that. I thought it was just me.

You are by no means alone, friend…

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I do that a lot. One of the reasons is, indubitably, that I am a bit of a dick, but it’s also useful as it allows you to recognise those tricks and be aware of how they’re being used. But mainly I’m just being a dick.

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Im really enjoying this but finding the sound quality very poor .
Please please release your casts at a higher bitrate.

Reframing the debate is cheap and fairly easy to catch.

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