Joined: Sep. 2004
What an excellent concept - here's the quote from the link:
| Fractal Wrongness:|
The state of being wrong at every conceivable scale of resolution. That is, from a distance, a fractally wrong person's worldview is incorrect; and furthermore, if you zoom in on any small part of that person's worldview, that part is just as wrong as the whole worldview.
Debating with a person who is fractally wrong leads to infinite regress, as every refutation you make of that person's opinions will lead to a rejoinder, full of half-truths, leaps of logic, and outright lies, that requires just as much refutation to debunk as the first one. It is as impossible to convince a fractally wrong person of anything as it is to walk around the edge of the Mandelbrot set in finite time.
If you ever get embroiled in a discussion with a fractally wrong person on the Internet — in mailing lists, newsgroups, or website forums — your best bet is to say your piece once and ignore any replies, thus saving yourself time.
We've all seen, and argued with, these people. (Salvador comes first to mind, but there have been quite a few others.) In fact, I'll confess that in at times I've been perversely and somewhat obsessively attracted to such arguments. In my partial defense, I think my goal was to try to push the wrongness to more and more specific levels in order to see where the core issues were, and to hone the specificity of my own arguments. But at times I've just been fascinated, in a train wreck sort of way, to watch the contortions the fractally wrong person will go through to avoid any admission of error or any change of mind.