How to disagree

Paul Graham‘s writing is hit-or-miss for me. His most recent posting, called “How to Disagree,” definitely hit home. Everyone involved in a community should read it. It describes a hierarchy of disagreement types from irrelevant insults to arguments that actually refute to the main point. After you read it, you will recognize which responses are baseless claims and which ones deserve consideration. This will also help in understanding debates of all sorts that you aren’t involved in but just observe.

4 thoughts on “How to disagree

  1. The thing is, that article is pretty much expressly written to counter a well written, informative article that disagreed with a ridiculous theory that painting and writing software were the same skills. This is why you see things like “I don’t like the tone” in Graham’s hierarchy, when you almost never see that sort of “disagreement”.

    Worse is, the article secretly disobeys every rule he lays out. Since he never mentions the article in question, the reader never realizes he’s not aspiring to the top end of his own hierarchy.

  2. Interesting to know. What he said has the same meaning to me, even if his reasons for saying it may not have been the best.

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