Tuesday, August 30, 2011

i-TFTD #336: Laugh Then Think

While most i-TFTD posts have a positive and inevitably prescriptive tone, humor and contrarian statements can be usefully thought-provoking, too. Past i-TFTDs in a slightly different tone (see here, here and here) have been popular with readers so here is another set.

#336-1. Being vague is as much fun as doing that other thing.

#336-2. I don't necessarily agree with everything I say.
-Marshall McLuhan, Canadian educator, philosopher and communication theorist (1911–1980)

#336-3. Ther! e's an old proverb that says pretty much whatever you want it to.

(Thanks to AP Srikanth for sharing this.)

Clarity in communication is often a result of clear and logical thinking. With logic one can win arguments and alienate multitudes (as Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein say in their hilarious book, ‘Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes’). There are many situations where one requires the skill of being vague—to avoid hurting someone, to hedge our bets or to have fun.

When discussing complex matters or pursuing a favorite topic thread spread over time, people tend to quote something we said earlier that appears inconsistent with the current statement. It is healthy to revise our views and reverse our opinion in light of ! new facts rather than protect a rigid consistency.

Catchy statements are available to make any point and its opposite—the context and intended application should be the guide.

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