1. Always write with absolute conviction; the internet is no place for doubt or uncertainty. The idiots on the other side may think you’re wrong, but your list of cherry-picked authorities verify your brilliance by their agreement with you.

2. Everything is a team issue. Ev–ree–thang. For example, 90% of conservatives who are not Indianapolis Colts fans think Tom Brady got a raw deal, and liberals are all pussies who don’t like sports anyway. Also, only liberals understand the pervasiveness of patriarchy, while 99% of conservatives think rape is a myth and have probably raped someone themselves.

3. Simplify. No issue is actually complex or hard to understand if you just leave out the inconvenient details and give it a meaningful structure like “3 Simple Tips for Being a Successful Internet Writer.”


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10 Responses to 3 Simple Tips for Being a Successful Internet Writer

  1. Tod Kelly says:

    Oh, James.

    Why do you insist on writing things that make me miss you?

  2. aaron david says:

    James, you made me think of this:

    “The whole modern world has divided itself into
    Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

    G.K. Chesterton:

  3. How much of those three rules is tribal and ideological posturing and how much is good expository style, in which one adopts a thesis, defends it, maybe makes a nod to counterarguments, and tries to do it all simply and within a word limit that people will actually read?

    Too much nuance, too much self-doubt, and a plethera of caveats and qualifying statements can more obfuscate one’s real point and create so much plausible deniability that the author then doesn’t really take responsibility for what he/she says.

    • ….which isn’t to say the OP is wrong, just that the line between writing clearly and passionately and being a tribalistic ideologue is not always easy to see.

      I know on some issues, I veer very quickly to the “ideologue” side of the spectrum. On other issues, I take a simple misunderstanding of what I’ve said and interpret it as an attack against me (especially when the misunderstanding is expressed by a certain person Over There). Neither of those is a good quality to have.

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