It means that it was a true statement, but that reading the statement still tickles the "irony" feeling in your brain.

I think part of the reason that this is so is that some people sympathize with this mathematician's motives. An analogy:

"He donated $1,000 to charity, instead of donating his entire discretionary income."

"How utterly selfish of him."

It's true that it's selfish, but it's a lot less selfish than what most people do, so it feels ironic and sarcastic that we are calling him selfish.

Rationality Quotes November 2009

by Eliezer Yudkowsky 1 min read29th Nov 2009281 comments

8


A monthly thread for posting rationality-related quotes you've seen recently (or had stored in your quotesfile for ages).

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be voted up/down separately.  (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments.  If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote comments/posts on LW/OB.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.