On Being pedantic

I am often (rightly) accused of being pedantic. It’s something I try to twist into humour with varying degrees of success. However, it is something I will talk about.

Taken too far, Technicality Club can become hyper-skecpicism:

This is a paralytic form of skepticism that prevents a person from acting because the person cannot know what the results of his actions will be. He cannot deal with the fact that the best that he can come up with on a given evidence is a conclusion that is the best possible conclusion on the basis of available evidence – that this is what one must act on, even if there is a possibility of error.

Granted, this form of skepticism is typically used as a rhetorical claim by somebody who wants to obstruct the actions of others. Somebody proposes a particular course of action that the agent, in this case, does not like. One of the tactics that this agent can adopt is that of skepticism. “We do not know what the results of these actions will be. Therefore, we must do nothing. We cannot act without certainty. We cannot act until the evidence is in.”…
This type of skepticism is no virtue. It’s a form of manipulation, much like lying. Those who employ this technique seek to hijack the will of others and to take the products of their efforts for one’s own, by manipulating them into acting in ways that are not in their benefit.

This form of skeptic needs to be met with the claim that, “We have information enough on which to make a decision. Unless you can come up with positive reason to believe that we should not commit the act, then it is perfectly reasonable for us to act.”

Hyper-skepticism is also used as a technique to push an agenda, such as forms of privilege such as white, straight, cis, male and others.  It is often used by those who deny that climate change exists or if it does, it is not the result of human influence. Conspiracy theorists are also guilty of this as they demand impossible levels of evidence to prove that the towers were the result of airplanes, that Obama was not born in the US, or that aliens are among us.

A healthy balance is important in many things, including pedantry and technicalities

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