He tried the nice way first...

This would seem to further weaken the quote in as much as it is evidence that the tactic doesn't work.

Just because your enemies will not always be your friends does not mean it is useless to TRY to convert them to be one's friends. It is, as most things, a bet. One must know, beforehand, if it is WORTH it to try.

I would say it's a useful quote because it provides an alternative to the usual "smash them as soon as they oppose you" deal going on.

0TobyBartels7yI don't know in what context Lincoln said this (if he really said it), but the tactic worked very well for him at the convention in the summer of 1860. (In those days, the conventions would start without people knowing who would be nominated. But often you had an idea, and Lincoln was a long shot.) All of the other candidates then joined Lincoln's cabinet (his ‘Team of Rivals’).
0Luke_A_Somers7yDId not work in one notable case, to which the quote may or may not have originally been applied. Of course it doesn't apply all the time.

Rationality Quotes June 2013

by Thomas 1 min read3rd Jun 2013791 comments


Another month has passed and here is a new rationality quotes thread. The usual rules are:

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted 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  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, Overcoming Bias, or HPMoR.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.