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There is a psychological label which is useful here: "Naïve Realism"[0].

Basically, everybody assumes that they are correct and that all fair rational people would draw the same conclusions as them given the same information.

When that doesn't happen, it can't be because the person is wrong; their interlocutor must be wrong. If the interlocutor continues to deny that they're wrong, they must be intellectually or morally defective.

That's what's happening here: people are assuming that since Broder doesn't agree with them, he must be deliberately deceitful. You can search any Tesla thread on the net and find the word "liar" or "lies".

Personally I think that Broder made some factual errors but that the big picture -- the battery ran flat in spite of the advice given -- is what matters. Maybe there's an RTFM problem here, maybe there isn't. I don't really care at this point because I happen to know that all new technologies ever have had embarrassing teething problems. When Musk's rockets blow up nobody seems to blame the journalists.

Musk overreacted because it's his baby and because surely anyone who disagrees with the wonderfulness of Tesla must, by the reasoning of Naïve Realism, be intellectually and morally defective.

Sprinkle in the way that humans love to form themselves into tribes, the "hostile media effect" and attitude polarisation and basically we're just hearing the same tunes that are hummed about Microsoft / Google / Obama / Bush / Rails / node.js / whatever.

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Na%C3%AFve_realism_(psychology)

I was afraid to read yet another depressing shouting match about the Tesla/NYT debacle. Instead I find your comment, which I actually learned something valuable and insightful from.

Thank you for keeping HN great. I am in your debt.

Here, let me ruin that fuzzy feeling for you with a filename meme:


If Broder made factual errors, then Musk was right to call him on it. It's really as simple as that. Stop fudging and hemming and hawing about psychology and take responsibility.

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