Confronting unavoidable gadflies

In my earlier gadfly-related post, I tried to describe an idea that had been buzzing around in my head for some time (pun intended? I'm not sure) which helps to describe how I view certain types of disagreements and bad arguments. I think it turned out to be one of my better-written entries for this blog and by some measures seems to have been the most popular. And yet, when I look back on it, I feel like I was mostly pointing out something already obvious to everyone (despite my repeated hedging of "I don't mean only to point out the obvious here...") and didn't manage to really capture of the essence of the common role of "gadfly speculations" as I see it. Read more...