• I’m not us­ing cre­ation­ists as an ex­am­ple be­cause it’s cen­tral; I’m us­ing it as an ex­am­ple be­cause it’s un­am­bigu­ous. It’s re­ally hard to side­track the ar­gu­ment by sug­gest­ing that maybe the cre­ation­ists are right af­ter all, or that I’m be­ing ar­ro­gant by think­ing the cre­ation­ists are mis­taken, etc. so cre­ation­ists work well as an ex­am­ple.

(And an idea that works for cen­tral ex­am­ples but fails for edge cases is an idea that fails.)

The part of the rea­son I put the caveat ‘peo­ple about as rea­son­able as you’ in the first place was to ex­clude that cat­e­gory of peo­ple from what I was talk­ing about.

But if you add that ex­cep­tion, it swal­lows the rule. Most peo­ple think their op­po­nents are more un­rea­son­able than them­selves.

• (Sorry for the long de­lay)

Ah, I see why you’re ar­gu­ing now.

(And an idea that works for cen­tral ex­am­ples but fails for edge cases is an idea that fails.)

Iron­i­cally, this is not a uni­ver­sal crite­ria for the suc­cess of ideas. Some­times its a very use­ful crite­ria (think math­e­mat­i­cal proofs). Other times, its not a very use­ful idea (think ‘choos­ing friends’ or ‘math­e­mat­i­cal in­tu­itions’).

For ex­am­ple the idea of ‘cat’ fails for edge cases. Is this a cat? Sort of. Sort of not. But ‘cat’ is still a use­ful con­cept.

Con­cepts are clusters in thing space, and the con­cept that I am point­ing at is also a cluster.

• This com­ment on that post is es­pe­cially rele­vant.