Responding to Helen, Conor fails to acknowledge the distinction between “critiquing an argument” and “writing a hit piece”, or at the very least implies that the two phrases may be used interchangeably.
It’s funny, I thought Helen’s post made it pretty clear that she was not objecting to changing one’s mind, or to writing about how one has changed one’s mind, but rather to writing about it in a certain scummy, sniveling, skulking, yet sanctimonious way. In other words, I read Helen’s post as making a partially aesthetic claim rather than a purely positive one, with the positive subclaim restricted in scope. Then again the two are frequently combined in Helen’s writing, so who knows?
In any case, I think Conor is being rather unfair in broadening what was a narrowly-argued point, but my undying loyalty to Helen may be clouding my judgment.