It’s easy for automatic habits to take over even when doing things that seem like ‘original thinking (like writing an essay about original thinking). This manifests often as logical gaps obvious to attentive readers but totally invisible to the author. (Peterson is a good example of somebody who has a lot of these gaps & seems unable to think about them directly, even when they are pointed out.) One way to make sure that you’re really thinking when making arguments is to construct your argument as a response to the strongest possible counterargument to it — in other words, to debate yourself, and be as aggressive against your own argument as your strongest and most clever enemy could be. If you are tempted to go easy on your own position, that means that your argument is flawed and your position needs to be seriously reconsidered.

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Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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