Good point here. Humility is the cornerstone of trust.
I, for one, am extremely
proud of my humility.
Yeah... we have had to eat quite a few...
And it takes a strong character to do so. It is those who refuse
to eat their own words, in spite of irrefutable evidence to the contrary, that are the most unpleasant.
More to the point of the OP above, there are several categories of having to eat one's words, including:
- Fools: Those who pontificate on what they do not understand, especially experts opinioneering outside their fields of expertise.
- Liars: Those who want something to fail and work actively to undermine it.
- Luddites: Those who cling to outdated dogma, refusing to acknowledge innovation.
- Skeptics: Those who are unfamiliar with what one is doing, and naively heed the words of fools, liars, or luddites.
Engaging well-meaning fools
can be very productive sometimes. Anti-Bitcoin goldbugs might be an example here, when they correctly identify shortcomings of fiat currency, and then resort to appeals to tradition, popular sentiment, and authority, as well as proving a negative, to make their cases.
A somewhat more adversarial approach is called for with liars
, who are actively attacking one, whether directly or indirectly. One need not be belligerent about it, but one is not going to convince a rival to embrace one's position by seeking common ground. One should either ignore or confront a liar's charges—as gently or harshly as fits one's personality and the image that one wants to project—and seek to make him or her an ally only
after one believes that this person has ripened into a fool.
When it comes to luddites
, just let it go. You're asking them to repudiate beliefs that have defined their personhood for longer than you have been alive. To expect anyone to do that is asking too much. Warren Buffett is not going to start hanging out on this forum and sleeping over at the homes of BitShares developers, no matter how eloquently any of us makes the case for peer-to-peer, distributed, self-governing service providers that exist only in software.
If one finds common ground with skeptics
, one often can convert them to one's point of view.
So... I would hesitate to quote Peter Schiff in the context of this thread, but Paul Krugman is fair game, as is Professor Bitcorn.