|>Um, Joe, go back and read what you wrote and what you were responding to.
>It might be a case of two people divided by a common language, but it
>seemed to me that Paul was being civilized and you were being
>condescending. And I actually think Paul is generally a, er, well Paul
>can be hard to take sometimes.
Let me be as clear as I can be about this: I don't have a problem with anyone's
opinion about my work. The stark reality is that whatever you do, a certain
minority at one end of the bell-curve will love it uncritically, at the other
end there's a certain minority that will hate it uncritically, and most people
will be somewhere in the middle of that bell-curve. The key is to make as sure
as you can that more people lean toward liking it than not.
So with that assumption, there is absolutely no point to arguing with someone's
opinion of something. There are some here who have said that, because I got
into this, I "can't take criticism." (The irony of this, of course, is that
the more factual statement would seem to be that those who criticize cannot
themselves take being criticized, that the street only goes one way...but I
digres.) Point is, I've been online and taking criticism about my
work...positive and negative, with some of the negatives absolutely
breathtaking...since 1986, before there WAS an internet as we know it today.
If I had a problem with the negative stuff I'd have split years ago.
So no, I don't have a problem with criticism or opinions.
I *do* have a problem with fuzzy thinking and debating tactics that, however
civilized or politely spoken, are intellectually dishonest.
As you say, there is the division of a common language, and that is *enhanced*
by attempts to redefine the discussion in ways that unfairly favor the other
I was very, very clear in my original statement. Paul then came along and
totally rewrote that statement so that he could then say, "You're wrong." I
can't be wrong about something that I never said, don't believe, now can I? So
then, whence cometh "you're wrong?"
The argument, "Well, that's my interpretation, so that makes my
reinterpretation valid" is also intellectually dishonest. One cay say, "Hello,
my name is Paul," and I can say that I interpret that statement as "Hello, I am
a big blue bunny from the planet Venus," and that may in fact be what I
believe...but that does not make my interpretation valid. Far from it.
I've been on these boards for a freaking long time, longer than most people
have had computers, I've seen it all before...and the only thing I ask is that
if you (generic you, not you-you) are going to get into a conversation with me,
do it honestly...debate fairly what I do or don't, did or didn't say, don't
paraphrase to make your job easier. Because I don't care how nicely you said
it, I don't care if you're well liked, if you're being intellectually dishonest
I'm going to go all Puckish. Because then it's no longer a real
conversation...then it's just pixels, pointlessness, and somebody on the
sidelines who just yelled "Pull!"
I enjoy a really good conversation...but it has to take place on a level
playing field where we all play by the same rules.
And THAT is my reply on this whole subject. I would've posted this earlier,
but I've been on four international flights in the last six days, and I'm
hashed beyond belief.
(all message content (c) 2004 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)