Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.


Author:Tim O'Reilly
Posted:9/4/2000; 10:33:25 AM
Topic:Personality, Dave's
Msg #:20809 (In response to 20804)
Prev/Next:20808 / 20810

It's certainly true that I responded to this message out of context. But I stand by my comment.

In your mail to me, you said:

"You respond as if when I'm talking about "open source leaders" I'm always talking about you. Sometimes I am, and other times not. You're not the only one Tim. An important thing to appreciate. Unless I clearly say I'm talking about you, it's not reasonable to respond as if I were. Thanks for considering this alternate point of view."
A flame that's directed at a group of people is still a flame. In fact, in some ways, it's worse, since it's a flame hiding behind the facade of generality. No one can respond, because it can always be disclaimed--"I wasn't talking about you." In other contexts, this argument can be used to cover racism and prejudice of all kinds. It's at the root of attack politics and smear campaigns.

I'm not a big fan of political correctness or shilly-shallying around when there's something to say. But inflammatory generalities are just that.

I don't want to continue this discussion; I like the information in scripting news and davenet, so I won't unsubscribe, but I will just ignore your off-color comments from now on, unless they are directed specifically at me or at situations I know something about, in which case I will respond with specifics.

If you want to keep flaming, but hide behind generalities, you can do so, but you won't get me to bless it as anything but a flame.

BTW, this isn't about you or your personality. It's about rules of politeness in internet forums.

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