A disclaimer first, I'm generally a fan of your work and I'm sorry you got harassed by the cryptocurrency crowd. I'm not an expert on cryptocurrency or mathematics, so I'm inclined to assume your analysis is essentially correct and the cryptocrowd is wrong.

However, as somebody with a degree in communication theory and a lot of experience in competitive debating (including debate moderation and judging, which very much involves problems of informal logic like fallacies), I don't think your conception of ad hominem and "crude therefore honest" is the best communication strategy online.

Politeness isn't inherently dishonest. Or, to be more precise, it is healthy to aspire to be a person who can be honestly polite. One who genuinely isn't angered by people being idiots (because some people always are going to be idiots). One who holds genuine compassion and humility, without losing clarity or resolve, or, well, spine.

In terms of practical strategic considerations, if what you want is respectful debate, projecting respect is likely to get you more respect, while calling your intellectual opponents "total imbeciles" and other names, being crude as you put it, is likely to attract more trolling and crudeness.

It's true that nothing you do will dissuade trolls who just want to troll, but being crude is likely to intensify opposition and deter potential allies. For example, I was naturally inclined to be on your side, but the seething bias that this article is full of is making me disinclined.

As you say, it is fine to analyze valid attributes of a speaker. Calling Snowden a "total imbecile" is not that. That's just a personal attack, ad hominem as the logical fallacy, not an argument. After reading the whole article, I don't even get a good idea of what exactly Snowden did to you, only that it pissed you off.

Snowden being 100% wrong about you bullying someone doesn't mean he has no credibility and has to be an imbecile traitor witch. He could just happen to be wrong about this one thing.

Especially weak is your point about Snowden's location in Moscow being some kind of incontrovertible proof of his disloyalty. Well, he would be in the U.S., if it wasn't conducting a witch hunt on him. Or in South America, if his initial escape plan worked. Or literally anywhere but in Moscow, if he had a choice. Besides, correlation doesn't equal causation. I know you can do much better than that.

I personally don't mind people saying harsh truths, but when they do so, their logic has to be impeccable. They have to make sure it's not their personal bias talking. I hope I didn't piss you off too much, but I am being honest.



An independent Czech thinker, speaker, writer, and creator.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store