Some of them are not grammatically correct, because I like to start sentences with the word "but".

Computation is not free.

Internal consistency is necessary, but not sufficient, for a thing to be true. However, it is neither sufficient nor necessary for a thing to be the best working hypothesis.

Some exhort, "think for yourself," by which they mean that, after one has gathered evidence, one should put stock only in one's own judgements of the value of arguments, ignoring the valuations of others. I do not believe this is wise.

Even if the evidence is plain, do not commit to a conclusion before seeking counterarguments.

The opinion of "the experts" should not always be believed, but it should always be considered.

In negotiations, a person who asks that the law of the land be disregarded assumes the burden of persuasion.

In court, the requirements that proper procedures must be followed, valid arguments be answered, laws must be understood, and precedents must be known, discriminate against the poor because computation is not free.

Just because you cannot think of an alternative explanation does not mean that none exists.

Conclusive arguments are rare (except in the realm of formal abstraction).

If no one has presented a counterargument, it cannot be concluded that no one can, because perhaps the opposition is not motivated to do so.

It is easier to refute an argument than to establish it. Therefore it is easier for the skeptic to appear clever. However, do not infer from this that skepticism is unwise.

Because computation is not free, the ones who spend the most time thinking about an issue can often discover better arguments than their opposition. Therefore, do not form your opinions solely by the outcome of debate.

The rules of rational debate prohibit forms of inference which cannot persuade the opposition. But such forms may legitimately be used for the formation of one's own opinion.

Corollary: Someone who does not change their opinions after losing a debate is not necessarily unwise.

Examples of factors which may legitimately influence one's own opinion, even though they may not be used in debate:

It is easy to distinguish people who make rational arguments from people who do not. It is hard to distinguish people who are unwise from people who hold unpopular points of view.

Correct arguments which can persuade you to change your mind are valuable, hence value wise people who disagree with you are valuable. A person whom you think is unwise may in reality be a wise person who holds an unpopular point of view. So do not completely disregard what such a person says. But, although such assessments of value are unreliable, still they should be put to some use. In forming your own opinions, you should give less consideration to the arguments of people whom you think unwise than to the arguments of others. It is a balance.

Conciseness, but not at the expense of clarity.

In small group conversation, imprecise speech with implicit meaning is an efficient protocol for the transmission of new ideas between minds who already share other ideas. This parts in part because speakers actively assess the understanding of listeners and modulate their speech; listeners actively ask questions. Only when there is confusion must one fall back to the less efficient protocol of explicit, precise speech. But in writing, or other times when there is less opportunity for back-and-forth, it is easy for the speaker to think s/he has been understood correctly when in fact s/he has not. In these situations explicit, precise speech is called for.

In a time of information overload, often different groups call the same thing by different name and do not know it; hence, knowledge about a thing is fragmented. It is a valuable service merely to tell the different groups what names the other groups use. Such an activity requires, on the individual level, merely understanding, not independent thought -- but still it substantial time due to the proliferation of knowledge. If the community is considered as a cognitive system, however, this activity may be considered as a crude form of active thought on the part of the community, although it is merely passive thought on the individual level. Such an era may be called an "Age of Binding".

An important attribute of a good contract is that it is likely that if it is broken, both parties will, at least in their own minds, agree that it has been broken. The concept of a thing which holds this attribute but not the other attributes of a contract merits its own word.

In rational discussion, a person is permitted to advocate any hypothesis about facts, that is, about what was, is, or will be the case. When there is a forum in which the advocation of certain hypotheses are prohibited or discouraged, then this forum must be considered, at least in part, irrational. (see also: Self:opinions-essays-onRationalDiscussion)