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Intellectualizing

 

Techniques > Resisting persuasion >  Intellectualizing

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Turn the argument away from something practical and into a theoretical and abstract discussion. Use lines like ‘Mmm. How interesting!’ Reference models, use metaphors and generally compare their arguments with other things, focusing on their words more than the intended result (which you can also chew up and spit out).

Draw them in with interesting arguments. Ask their opinion. If they join in, just keep digging deeper holes for them to explore.

Example

You know that's a good example of Johnson's variant of the Hellaby maneuver. He wrote a very interesting paper on it in 1966 (or was it 1965?)...

What is the specification? ... I'm always impressed with Moore's Law. I wonder if it will continue. What do you think?

Discussion

Making things abstract moves the discussion away from something that will end in substantive agreement and towards something that will just be a nice conversation.

See also

 

 

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