Seems to be around the idea that people who are otherwise really smart, seem to be colossally stupid when it comes time to understand opposing points of view. Having cited Friedman II supporting my position, I now note that Falkenstein does as well. After a discussion of Socrates's famous dictum (I know only that I know nothing), the Money quote:
"In contrast, I note many of today's full-time intellectuals, those writing about ideas, have no such humility. They think everything they believe is simply true; there is no legitimate argument against their beliefs, in the way no one can argue for child porn."
Aretae's opinion. Since there are at least 3 distinct opinions (Progressive, Conservative, Libertarian), none of whom can agree with one another for much more than 10 minutes at a stretch, and all of whom (in general) emulate the position Falkenstein is writing about.
AnomalyUK's depressingness from earlier includes the insightful note:
"One of the most depressing aspects of activism is that on the very few occasions when you get someone onto your side, either by persuading them or just finding them, more often than not they're still wrong. They're persuaded by bad arguments rather than good arguments. Activism would appeal to me on the idea that I will win out in the end because my arguments are good, but in fact not only do my good arguments not win against my opponents' bad arguments, my good arguments do not even win against my allies' bad arguments. The idea that truth is a secret weapon that is destined to win out once assorted exceptional obstacles have been overcome is an utter fantasy."
Between Hanson's Bayesian updating, the fact that most arguments for all positions are highly lacking, and the "...where angels fear to tread" level of discussion of standard (and elite) political discourse, I think there is room for actually trying to understand where the very real differences between very smart people come from.
Not, mind you, that I buy the efficacy of democracy at all....just that I believe that understanding the positions is better than not.