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Suppose that 50% of the time you think someone said something dumb, actually you misunderstood them. This is a good rough guess because it supposes each party is equally likely to make a mistake, rather than the common supposition that other people are idiots and make all the mistakes. Of course if you're a super genius that could tilt the odds, but let's neglect that.

So, half the time you insult someone here's what happened: he said something reasonable, you got the wrong end of the stick, you blamed him for this, and then you lashed out at him. How embarrassing!

I think any kind person aware of this logic must swear off insults.

Elliot Temple on July 3, 2009

Comments (1)

I recently had an exchange online which could have inspired a post like this.

Wise words.

Lee Kelly at 11:18 AM on July 5, 2009 | #1793

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)