How to know you’re winning an argument

When people arguing the other side retreat into irony, desperate and irrelevant worst-case scenarios or a combination of the two, you’ve got to be on the right track. Here’s Scott Edelman in his column at SciFi Weekly, talking about the print/digital reading debate:

But—how can you predict the future of publishing and have nothing to say about the aftereffects of a possible nuclear war?


Whether you think such an event might occur this decade, this century or this millennium, you should ask the next question, which is—how will we be able to read electronic stories once there’s no electricity? We won’t be able to read e-books on our computers by candlelight. A disaster of that magnitude might take us back to the basics of paper and ink. In fact, we may arrive at a time when it will be as if anything that had existed only in electronic form—such as this editorial—never existed at all.

OK, I’m pretty positive he’s doing a slightly ironic overstatement thing here. But even that is a bit lame, really – is that all a columninst and editor-in-chief of a major online magazine can come up with as the end for a piece of the rise of digital media? Bit of a red herring argument, really – it’s almost as if he wants to completely avoid having a serious opinion on the issue, which is a weird stance for an editorial column to take. 

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