Phil Plait’s posted the infamous Don’t Be a Dick speech from TAM 8 over at his blog (though hopefully the cross-posting won’t bother everyone’s favorite Bad Astronomer). I’m amused that people watched this and thought he’s talking about PZ specifically. He talks a lot of sense. I do take issue with a few quibbling points, but as I’ve gotten a chance to preview an upcoming blog post by Our Lady, I wouldn’t want to step on her toes.
So what do you think? And more importantly, are my tactics in the never-ending astrology thread dickish at all?
Update: Stephanie’s posted the above-teased piece right here.
What’s the difference between someone who engages in an argument in bad faith in an attempt to spread their views and someone who has internalized the views of such a person but is willing to find out what might be wrong with them? What’s the difference between the willfully ignorant and the miseducated? What’s the difference between someone who is out to demolish our credibility and someone who doesn’t know yet whether they can trust us? What’s the difference between someone who’s setting out to obfuscate and someone who hasn’t been trained to argue through a proposition to find the truth?
There are a few clear answers to that, but none of them are going to be clear to me in the course of an online discussion with someone I haven’t encountered before. They all involve motives and history that I’m not privy to. If I’m playing to an audience, that audience isn’t privy either.