This very wise crystallization of experience was shared by “Pointman” over five years ago. For you who have only experienced the exasperating arguments of Alarmists for a short while, it will be a balm. For those of us who have put up with their abuse for over a decade, it is a reminder of how tenacious an insurance salesman can be, even if their insurance is worthless. Alarmist’s vindicate the Englishman who came up with the doggeral: “No one’s got endurance like the bloke who sells insurance.”
I’ve always liked Churchill’s definition of a fanatic. “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” Once you get past the witty aspect of the definition, there’s a deep truth in it too. They simply can’t change their mind.
I’ve seen a lot of debates in the blogosphere, where earnest attempts to show a fanatic not just a line of reasoning but the publicly documented facts about something, have failed utterly. They were never going to listen or be persuaded; they can’t change their minds. It’s as simple as that. Rational dialogue with them aimed at somehow converting them to your viewpoint is a losing strategy because it’s a waste of your time and does absolutely nothing to stop them anyway
There is also an insidious danger to this sort of interaction with them; you start to get imprinted by them. If you’re not…
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