"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Advice to a Friend


.... 

Now issue XYZ is an entirely different issue. Your addressing this different issue is tangential and distracting from your main point, and addressing it in this fashion (in a cursory footnote) will only buy you immense bad will—among those who disagree with your conclusion. Issue XYZ is an interesting and important point, and it is entitled to full-length development, if not an entire free-standing paper. ABC and DEF wrote such papers, albeit I disagree with their conclusions. By burying such an issue in a mere footnote, it will appear to (some) readers that you are sticking a finger in their eye by indicating that an important point about which they have thought long and hard is one which you can casually write off in a footnote, OR, they will think you just don’t understand the importance or complexity of the issue and that’s why you can dispose of it in a mere footnote. I speak from experience here: having caused myself needless aggravation in the past by writing just such (lengthy) footnotes in my own publications.


Seth

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SethBTillman ( @SethBTillman )

My prior post: Seth Barrett Tillman, An American Brexit Referendum: Should the United States continue to participate in NATO?The New Reform Club (Sept. 15, 2016, 12:27 PM


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