A good rule of thumb is that diversity of opinion is essential anytime you don’t know anything about something important.

The Top Idea in Your Mind

I’ve found there are two types of thoughts especially worth avoiding—thoughts like the Nile Perch in the way they push out more interesting ideas. One I’ve already mentioned: thoughts about money. Getting money is almost by definition an attention sink. The other is disputes. These too are engaging in the wrong way: they have the same velcro-like shape as genuinely interesting ideas, but without the substance. So avoid disputes if you want to get real work done. Corollary: Avoid becoming an administrator, or your job will consist of dealing with money and disputes.

The Top Idea in Your Mind

The single worst argument Siskel and I ever had came after a coin flip, when we were unable to decide what we had been flipping for. We eventually had a two-out-of-three flip to settle the question of the original flip.

It’s hard to beat the entertainment value of people who deliberately misunderstand the world, people dying to be insulted, running around looking for a bullet to get in front of.

Odds are good that you primarily know one sort of person: highly educated, high-achieving, extremely cerebral, etc. Odds are also good that you give too much weight to feedback and ideas from this sort of person, while discounting arguments and complaints from people who don’t know the right way to persuade you. Try to keep that in mind.

Ezra Klein – Common mistakes made by economists. (via) I’ve come across a lot of good posts about arguments and opinions.