I did not intend to start out this blog in this fashion. Life is not perfect and you use what you're given.
What prompted this incipience was a convergence of themes in media that I frequent. Chief amongst these is the often vicious nature of comment and opinion on the internet. Everyone can blog. Heck even I can blog. Everyone can comment. Sometimes anonymously.
The first writ that caught my eye was a real life a news site closed it's pages to comments and one of its authors argued that turning off comments protects writers from abuse.
Along similar lines and more pertinent to EVE FearlessLittleToaster featured in defence of CCP Fozzie. Rixx Javix chipped in with the eloquent and propitious post titled the great divide.
There is one golden thread connecting all these sources, and that seems to be that they all got sick of the negativity, hate and criticism. To a varying degree all of them want "some" people to disappear, welcome contributions from "the right kind" of people.
It is a very melancholic moment for me. Are they wrong or are they right? I would argue yes. And I would argue no. Situations of this nature always makes me think of this skit of Steve Jobs answering a very antagonistic question from a gruff and denigrate person. Steve Jobs had his faults, but I thought he handled that quite well.
There was every opportunity and justification to put the uncouth inquisitor down, but he chooses to rise above that. There's a lesson there somewhere.
Along the lines he reiterated some important truths.
- You can please some of the people some of the time.
- Even the uncouth inquisitor was right in some respects
- You've got to start with the customer experience, figure out what they want and deliver that, NOT what the engineers want.
- Mistakes will be made, but they will be fixed, and he will support his team.
- Despite everything some people will still not like it.
If I was CCP I would circulate that skit internally everyday. But heck, CCP does not need me to tell them that. They probably do it anyway. As an aside, I would paste that skit in answer to every irrational critique I got if I were them... Heck, I should paste that skit in answer to every irrational critique I get...
Which brings me full circle to comments, censure and contributions from "the right" people.
All the referenced sources at the top have a point. Comments and criticism can be toxic and destructive. I suspect that this is what broke Jester's tank in the end. Hate and insult certainly cannot be condoned and should not be endured.
But there is a flip side. You see fundamentally we all have our biases and if Jonathan Haidt is to believed, we are all self righteous hypocrites. If this is indeed true, and nobody was allowed to point it out to us, how would we ever know?