May 2, 2018

The Mark of a Charlatan

“The mark of a charlatan ... is to defend his position or attack a critic by focusing on some specific statement ('look at what he said') rather than blasting his exact position ('look at what he means' or, more broadly, 'look at what he stands for') — for the latter requires an extensive grasp of the proposed idea ...

“It is impossible for anyone to write a perfectly rationally argued document without a segment that, out of context, can be transformed by some dishonest copywriter to appear totally absurd and lend itself to sensationalization, so politicians, charlatans, and, more disturbingly, journalists hunt for these segments.”

- NN Taleb, Skin in the Game

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