Walter Olson

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Walter Olson is a writer at Cato. I liked some of his writing and many of my friends were friends of his, so I friended him and followed him. And we had quite a few exchanges. Then he linked a silly article about Russian collusion, and I made a comment that if it was the Russians, and they leaked the truth about Hillary, then seems like they did what journalists should have, and they did a service. Walter Straw-manned me thrice, ignored my actual points (argued with me about what I said and meant), then unfriended me. He did nothing to refute the perception that intellectual are arrogant douchebags, more interested in self-aggrandizement than any real truth.

Details

I pointed out that it wasn't a computer hack but spearphishing, which is more a social hack than a technological one. And anyone with basic security operations in place wouldn't fall for. So there was incompetence on the DNC, and a net benefit by getting the truth out there. Walter retorted that I was "defending the use of such methods", and thus he wouldn't listen to anything I wrote/linked to him again.

WTF? I had not defended the behavior. I tried to clarify by repeating that the incompetence and lack of security by Hillary/DNC is NOT the same as defending the means of how they did it. But leaking the truth about Hillary was still a net win for society.

He persisted by misrepresenting me a second time, that I was defending the use of such methods. False. This isn't that hard. There's means and ends. We can condemn the means and go after the perpetrators, and believe that the ends of getting the truth out there was a net win for society. Those are not mutually exclusive. I clarified that gain.

He claimed that was supporting espionage against my own country.

I pointed out that he was using a false dichotomy, strawman, and other fallacies, to misrepresent my points. And this wasn't espionage against the country, it was against the Hillary campaign. There's a huge difference. As a writer he should know that people taking things out-of-context and misrepresenting what they said, is uncool.

So he unfriended me.

And I removed him from my list of authors that can put facts above their agendas. (As he probably did back). If he can't admit points, and has to strawman, that told me all I needed to know about his depth of character. I may link to occasional articles for sub-facts, but his general ability to reason will always have a taint of an exchange where he acted like a child.

References