Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Naked personal ambition

I'm a long way from being Malcolm's biggest admirer, but I did enjoy this.


I mean - how many events in Nigel's career haven't been about his own naked personal ambition?

2 comments:

Chris G said...

http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html

adamponting said...

Is posting that a form of disagreeing, Chris? I was starting to miss your....love/hate relationship with this blog. :-)

I don't know how easy it is to place actual comments/disagreements in PG's hierarchy. So I'll try a few. (Please excuse the following selection, thanks Chris G! )

"Man's Candidacy For Office Endorsed By Man's Friend In Suspected Conspiracy" seems, to be generous, closest to DH4 Counterargument. Counterargument is contradiction plus reasoning and/or evidence. When aimed squarely at the original argument, it can be convincing. The comment was I suppose satire, aimed at a knockdown or at least convincing "This is not news because not surprising in the slightest." (DH5 [partial] Refutation) For me, that was a useful comment, making a point, though not much affecting the main thrust of the post.

The "Have you learned nothing from Donald Trump?" one was an apparently tongue-in-cheek accusation of trolling, of manipulation, of pretending to criticize Short to advance his career. What seems some kind of satire, in place of the "Stop criticizing Short so savagely! You will only help him" one might expect from someone who cared to make a serious point. Hmm I can't think where to put that on the scale.

Hmm then there's the somewhat troubling "Is that actually the REASON why it might be worth supporting, though?" one about the feminist chess club.. which seems to ride off in a strange direction. Graham again: When aimed squarely at the original argument, [counterargument] can be convincing. But unfortunately it's common for counterarguments to be aimed at something slightly different. Rather low-quality DH4 I think. There seems some personal resentment with aspects of feminism driving things. Ejh put his finger on the crux of the problem with his splendid deadpan "Imagine my concern"---which seems closest to DH6 I think---Truly refuting something requires one to refute its central point, or at least one of them. And that means one has to commit explicitly to what the central point is. Well, yes, ejh quoted your central point and, if not refuted it, pointed out in 3 words that it had absolutely no clothes on. Maybe a "Satirical Disagreement Hierarchy" is also needed.

Anyway, I'm a huge fan of Paul Graham's essays; that Disagreement Hierarchy is good to keep in mind I suppose, although, as I just found out, very difficult to apply most of the time in the real world. Or maybe this blog is unusually difficult terrain.

Briefly on-topic part: The rhetorical question at the end of this post seems....ineffective, in various ways that I won't think about further because I don't like going anywhere near sentences with the words "Nigel" and "naked" both in them. But the answer seems Uh I can think of a few..uh what do you mean, "his career", exactly? etc and not the None apparently in your mind. And "naked personal ambition" isn't really the right name for Nigel's problem, is it?