Okay, this is it, I really must start putting my thoughts down. I'm having them too fast to wait til I'm done my TAM Diary - which I'm still only about half finished!
This past week alone I've had three or four small independent ideas relating to Asshole Skepticism; partook in a small case of Asshole Skepticism; and read an article that I could break down into at least seven different parts and do a post on each one and how it relates to Asshole Skepticism. So I cannot wait.
Furthermore I know that I should just get the small thoughts posted so they accumulate and make for more easily digested reading in the long run.
On that note...
I have definitely noticed a propensity for the people who are the least correct to be the most forceful with their opinions. If you take the word "reasonable" and exercise it in both of its' primary definitions and apply it to the phenomenon I just related, I think you go a long way to finding some deeper truth to it. The people who are the least intellectually reasonable are more often the least emotionally reasonable as well.
While this often has a tendency to allow them to hoist themselves by their own petard and/or make themselves look ridiculous (see previous post on Orly Taitz), it is not always the case, and that only works when the outside audience is willing to listen long enough for that to happen. Additionally, if anything its even harder to get people to continue listening to the long-winded explanation of what is rationally correct - which only compounds the problem.
The challenge to Asshole Skepticism is to fight fire with fire - or perhaps fight fire with searing hot plasma. Getting the full detail of the truth out is not always necessary. However meeting an emotionally charged fallacy-soaked declaration with a to the point kernel of vociferous wit... that is the trick - or at least one of them. When the token skeptic is fed to the hounds on cable news talk-shows they are too often cowed by the irrational vehemence of the opposition. This isn't simple to address. I have no illusions. But it is a necessary purpose for Asshole Skepticism. Is it necessary to be an asshole? Not at all. It's merely necessary to be effective, and to be effective one must practice.