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"I don't know why I write science fiction. The voices in my head told me to!"
- Charles Stross

Diabological Armory  
  A set of verbal tools based on a higher form of reasoning.  

In this classic story by Eric Frank Russell, Wayne Hillder is a space scout; he travels to distance star systems in search of intelligent life. He lands, alone, on planets teeming with space-faring lifeforms. Is he scared? No, because he knows that once a lifeform is intelligent enough to develop space travel, it is a lifeform that can be reached by the right sort of reasoning.

What might be awaiting him at ground level did not bother him at all. The Terrans of today ... had become space-sophisticated. They had learned to lounge around with a carefree smile and let the other life forms do the worrying. It lent an air of authority and always worked. Nothing is no more intimidating than an idiotic grin worn by a manifest non-idiot.

Quite a useful weapon in the diabological armory was the knowing smirk.

From Diabologic, by Eric Frank Russell.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1955
Additional resources -

If you are looking for more information on specific diabological tools, consider deflatory gesture twenty-two.

Four hundred pairs of eyes examined the stranger, some curiously, some doubtfully, some challengingly, many with unconcealed antagonism. Sitting down, Hillder looked them over much as one looks into one of the more odorous cages at the zoo. That is to say, with faint distaste. Gently he rubbed the side of his nose with a forefinger and sniffed. Deflatory gesture twenty-two, suitable for use in the presence of massed authority. It brought its carefully calculated reward. Half a dozen of the most bellicose characters glared at him.
Those who wish to reject diabological reasoning in favor of heavy-duty mathematical logic should take a look at Mathematical Logic around the world.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Diabologic
  More Ideas and Technology by Eric Frank Russell
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  Tech news articles related to works by Eric Frank Russell

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