How Should We Respond to Cade Metz?

The Cade Metz article on Slate Star Codex is out.

It seems valuable for us to have a discussion about our reactions to it. Also what we want to do about it. Here are my questions:

  • The article pulls quotes out of context, looking for the problematizing angle, distorting the implications of word choice. It’s also large. And the context is deep, because Scott’s a deep thinker. Having a post explaining these problems that I could send to friends and family members for context, and for my own sanity, would be really nice. Edit: Scott wrote one.

  • Is the article a fair and much-needed outside piece of criticism that we should take seriously? We talk a bigger game about accepting and integrating outside criticism than many communities. Maybe this is our chance to really put that into practice?

  • Scott was told that the way to get ahead of damaging journalism is to reveal everything they might want to find out. For those of us writing under a pseudonym, should we all just be revealing our real names, and letting friends, family members, and colleagues (where appropriate) know about our connection with SSC and this community?


I’ve learned a lot about media today just by reading comment threads in SCC-associated communities. My intuitive takeaway is that it’s time for a reckoning, and I need to build a model of how this stuff works on a systemic level.

I understand why some people criticized this post (and a longer article that I moved to drafts), for giving prominence. Personally, I agree with Dentin that it’s best to shrug it off as crappy journalism and ignore it. I’d delete this post, except that I don’t want to delete his and a few other comments along with it.