June 2, 2009
Emrah Diril recently asked me this via email:
Steve Yegge mentioned in the comments of his last post that he gets quite a bit of hate directed his way.
Fake51: you underestimate the ability of people to get mad. Some people start mad and just take it out on you. The hating has gradually become a little too much for me.
I read the guy's blog too, but don't understand where this is coming from. Some people just have this tendency I suppose.
Do you have a similar experience? I don't see you wanting to quit blogging, so how do you deal with this? Is it just a matter of personality? Are you better able to ignore this stuff?
I answered with one of my favorite quotes from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture:
And when it was all over, one of the other assistant coaches came over and said, yeah, Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he? I said, yeah. He said, that's a good thing. He said, when you're screwing up and nobody's saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up. And that's a lesson that stuck with me my whole life: when you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care.
Welcoming and appreciating reasonable criticism is the right attitude to have, but it's not the full story. Do I love criticism? Do I seek it out? No. I have many personality deficiencies, but masochism isn't one of them. I don't have fantasies of waking up every day to an R. Lee Ermey browbeating from commenters. Or, maybe I do. I should blog about that.
Criticism, painful though it may be, is still a conversation. It means your readers and listeners are engaging with you, and there's something to learn from following that conversation. Those messages you're broadcasting out into the world are being received, in some form, by someone on the planet. Even if that person is, well .. this guy:
I stopped reading the blog a while a go. Joel explains my reasoning nicely in his latest post.
The mystery of the non-reading Coding Horror reader. Another NP-complete problem, I guess.
If you think something sucks to the extent that it's actively harming the world and you want it to go away, leaving comments to that effect is not the way. I know, because I bear the psychic scars of a million online flamewars, dating all the way back to 300 baud dualup modems and BBSes. I've been doing this a very long time. I've seen what works, and what doesn't.
I'm here to tell you that there is something much more powerful than criticism that you can bring to bear in these situations. Something almost unimaginably powerful in its ability to shape human behavior.
The "just don't look" strategy [is] effective in any situation where someone or something runs on attention. On the web attention comes in the form of links and pageviews so "just don't look" translates roughly into "just don't link or read". If you don't like who's on the cover of Wired, just don't look. If no one talks about her, she'll go away. Think media gossip sites are ruining the web? Don't read them. Leggy blonde conservative got your knickers in a knot? Just don't look. Commenters ruining the internet? Moderate your comments or close them up. If some Web 2.0 blowhard says something stupid, just don't look. Hate blonde socialites? Just. Don't. Look.
I am absolutely sick to death of hearing about Susan Boyle, both in the traditional media and online. Nothing personal, you understand, I'm sure she's a perfectly lovely person. But I don't talk about Susan Boyle, because talking about her gives Susan Boyle power and currency. I just ignore Susan Boyle. I wish I had two brains so I could ignore her twice as hard. I. Just. Don't. Look. And if we could convince enough people to ignore her, she .. disappears. Poof. Like magic.
One of my favorite books as a child was the Great Brain series, the story of a family in rural Utah, set in the late 1800s. In these books, there was a strange punishment the parents doled out to their children when they seriously misbehaved. For a period of a week, or longer -- depending on the severity of the misbehavior -- nobody in the family would talk to, acknowledge, or address in any way, that particular boy. It was called "The Silent Treatment". This didn't seem like much of a punishment to me. In fact, as an introverted kid who loved solitary activities like computers and reading more than anything, it seemed kind of like a .. reward. I couldn't reconcile this feeling with the semi-biographical reality depicted in the books. To the Fitzgerald boys, the silent treatment was the worst possible punishment, far worse than a physical beating. They would go to incredible lengths to avoid getting the silent treatment. As punishments go, it must have been a doozy, though I couldn't quite wrap my geeky, socially maladjusted young head around exactly why.
The silent treatment was a punishment I didn't fully understand until years later in life. That's how you change the world. Not by arguing with people. Certainly not by screaming at them. You do it by ignoring them.
And if you feel strongly enough about me and what I do here, you can begin by ignoring this.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
You do realize that by Mentioning "The Susan whom shall remain Nameless" you have strengthened the presence that she has on the web. You may have even linked her to programming. Imagine looking for something on C# and her name pops up \.
I honestly don't know who Susan Boyle is. I win!
But I kinda like this blog, so I will leave a comment so as not to be ignoring it. :)
What's wrong with Paris Hilton?
I have been running a blog since the end of 2007 on my personal situation, mostly involving a rather complex medical condition I'm suffering from. What I have noticed is that instead of receiving mostly comments wishing me well or showing some kind of warmth and intelligence, I have mostly had to deal with criticisms from people who absolutely didn't seem to have properly read anything but a few posts, drawn their own conclusions and posted a comment or two spewing their venom on how much they thought I was wrong and stupid and such. I think those kinds of posts would fit in at the top of the diagram in the article, at point #9.
Don't get me wrong, there are people who read my blog who aren't complete asshats, it's just that they're the least vocal, preferring to read but not comment until they see a very good reason to do so.
Now, I must say that the silence treatment is indeed my preferred way of dealing with such negative comments as well, and it seems to work quite well. I do not remove the comments as I feel that there's no reason to not display their ignorance to the world, but I won't comment on them either.
So does the silent treatment work? On my blog it does apparently, unless the trolls in question are just moving on after spewing their nonsense once or twice. It's hard to tell sometimes.
I miss 300 baud modems. I worked in a computer lab in high school that was connected to the mainframe through 300 baud modems with acoustic couplers. Being the jerk sysadmin-wannabe that I was, I would walk into the lab from time to time and whistle -- you know, the loud kind with your fingers -- and everyone's screen was go berserk!
Ah I miss those analog da*)*V
@Dennis Forbes. Pure awesome. Not because what you wrote was true, but for the simple fact that you state you aren't a fan of this blog...even to the point that it causes you "deep personal distress," and keeps you awake at night.
I must ask a few followup questions. Do you have a 2x4 that you hit yourself with every night? Do you constantly poke cuts or bruises and exclaim, "ow!"?
@Dennis Forbes, great comment.
First of all, guys stop going on about the fact that Jeff "said" the English woman's name while saying he ignores her. That's really not interesting at all.
Second of all, I agree that it is a bit contradictory to on the one hand say how great criticism is and on the other ask those who offer criticism to just ignore you. It's one thing if someone is attacking personally with ad hominem but quite another to attack the content.
It is such a cop out to say "If you don't like and don't have somene nice to say then please go away." Also, people who are saying "If you don't like it then why do you waste your time, you little dorks, arguing against Jeff. Haha You are just putting more money in Jeff's pockets." First, that is just irrelevant and childish. If you only want cheerleader posts then either disable comments, moderate comments, or if nothing else just put a clear message saying "If you don't agree then please don't comment. We want an echo chamber."
Part of the thing is that that the dismissiveness and blatant anti-intellectual that emanates from the blog adds to the vitriol of some comments, which is unfortunate. Then posts like "Well, it's all just smackdown learning" and this one that goes like "Oh, bah, please just go away" just tend to annoy people. Commenters are here for many different. Most of them probably don't care if showing the flaws of posts also serve to add more money into Jeff's pocket in the form of ad revenue. It's worth it to many people to visit and explain how something is wrong even if that by posting something totally wrong and getting you to post about it put 0.002 cents into Jeff's pocket because of your visit.
The ironic thing is that the people who only want to see Cheerleader posts and want those not-cheerleading to just ignore Jeff and go away--these people could just ignore the comments and go away themselves. Nothing is stopping you from just reading the original post and writing a comment without engaging in the discussion.
Ignoring is way too cruel! There are very little people that I know of that deserve being ignored.
Not everything you have written about is a hit Jeff, but this was by far one of your best posts of all time. If I want precise details, I read a spec. Thanks for defining the baseline - I'd imagine a lot of people in the future will raise the bar but someone has to put that bar there in the first place.
@Dennis Forbes: my thoughts exactly.
I loved the Great Brain and his money-grubbing heart.
Jeff, I know you like to read Steve's blog as you've referenced it and responded to various posts right here. Are your thoughts on his decision to stop blogging and the reasons behind it indirectly summed up in this particular post?
I still enjoy reading your blog, though I skip past the comments most of the time unless you've also made a comment. The signal to noise in the comments isn't of a good ratio anymore. You get a lot more flak than you deserve IMO, yet you have a much better attitude towards it than Yegge. Props!
"I am absolutely sick to death of hearing about Susan Boyle, both in the traditional media and online." YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I was the only one! Her singing isn't that good and she's fat and ugly. Somewhere in North Korea, "The Dear Leader" is planning his nuclear strike capabilities but instead I'm subjected to nothing but gossip about Susan Boyle???????? WTF man WTF...
I do have to agree with the spirit of this one. I carry the same scars as Jeff, and it took me a long time to learn these lessons.
Walking away isn't the easy thing to do sometimes, but it's always for the best. Just walk away, leave it alone, and move along. No matter how provocative, no matter what numskull is spewing what inflammatory drivel, just hit the close button instead of the send button, and forget it.
Even, as it happens, when Jeff himself spews inflammatory drivel.
So you are saying that if we, the readers of this blog, collectively ignore the next Susan Boyle that some TV exec is coming up with the next week, she will vanish in a puff of smoke and leave us alone? Is it that easy?
Welcome to Susan Boyle. The first rule of Susan Boyle is: you do not talk about Susan Boyle.
I guess the other readers disliked your Simpsons reference and decided to ignore it.
I thought it was well played.
That's it!! I'm putting my Coding Horror sticker up on eBay!!!
People only read Jeff's blog to see how much more of an idiot he can make himself look with each new entry.
It's been a few years since Jeff posted something worth reading.
Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.
@Philip, same here. Its actually mildly entertaining to watch someone you don't work with talk like Jeff Atwood. I suppose at the end of the day Jeff does not care why we come here to read his blog, as long as we do it and don't point out why his is an idiot or wrong and give him praise and click the advertising links.
@Jeff, grow a back bone. Criticism is part of life, if you don't at least make an attempt to understand it you are a complete fool even if some of it is unfounded or unjustified. The key is to figure out what is valid criticism that you should take on board and what is unjustified criticism from people that just don't like you. Also I have read this blog post three times over and I still don't understand why you bothered as it makes bugger all sense to me.
@Nick Harris: "What's wrong with Paris Hilton?" Nothing!
lol. I, and I'm sure many others, had no idea who Susan Boyle was and now I do because of you. Good post.
Please ignore this comment.
Yeah, Susan Boyle, I am sick of her too. Why does Susan Boyle get so much attention? Is it because she's ugly but talented? Did you hear Susan Boyle collapsed from exhaustion? Also, Susan Boyle did not win Britain's Got Talent despite being the odds-on favorite! Susan Boyle must not be too happy about that. But I agree, we should all ignore Susan Boyle.
This Susan Boyle person sounds interesting. I'm going to have to check into who she is and what she does.
Don't talk about her! The irony!
you just jealous you can sing
I tend to agree though not necessarily on the Susan Boyle point :)
It seems to me she has been completely exploited by a television programme. She has learning difficulties and started out in life with a disability due to oxygen starvation. She now is in a mental institution. This doesn't mean that we should pillary her or pity her. It means that the concept of "Just. Look. Away." should be used on the programmes that promote this culture of the freak show.
"But I don't talk about Susan Boyle, because talking about her gives Susan Boyle power and currency."
Um... I'm not sure how to break this to you Jeff, but yes, yes you do. On your extremely popular read-by-thousands-of-people blog. Today, in fact.
"That's how you change the world. Not by arguing with people. Certainly not by screaming at them. You do it by ignoring them."
And my wife always tells me that ignoring problems doesn't make them go away! I'm going to tell her that Jeff Atwood says she's wrong!
ah, so, we comment on the important stuff of life. And here I go, ignoring the comments too
I find the idiotic, unhelpful comments the most annoying, but it's the price of having a relatively popular blog (ie, more than just my friends and family read it)
So, I just sigh and remove the post.
Some people just have bad days when they visit your blog. Others just live life that way.
Must be depressing.
I was wondering if there was some kind of script or something that you had running here that keeps the dissenters coming back for more. They complain but keep reading. I do not get it.
Can you code a heroin equivalent in C#?
This is the same concept as "controversial" television programming. If you do not like it, change the channel, and never watch again!
I for one follow that advice on this blog. I do not read it. I will not comment on it. Sure I know what is going on, but that is because I pay a small Guatemalan child a dollar to read it every morning and paraphrase it to me so I know specifically what I am ignoring. In fact, this comment is being dictated to that Guatemalan child right now rather than my leaving a comment (help, el gringo es loco!!)
I wish they would republish all the Great Brain books.
Also, the Just Don't Look strategy works on giant advertisements come to life, a common problem in this work-a-day world.
This only works online, and only sometimes. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Do you know why Wikipedia is so successful, even though any idiot can add to it? It's because other people can remove spam. Ignoring spam is simply not enough - you must be active in removing it. This is even more true in meatspace, where resources are more limited and there is less to waste on stupidity.
I definitely find that silence is the most irritating response from readers. At least with polite, but negative criticism you have some type of a chance for dialog and possibly learning something interesting. The nasty comments are just sad.
The problem with blogging, is that like Joel, everybody wants 'the real stuff' not the manufactured version. But (and it's a huge but), the real stuff is messy, incomplete, badly written and hard to understand, so instead the readers get drawn towards the pretty, shiny, fancy writing. That stuff inevitably turns out to be shallow, mostly because the writers spend a great deal of time learning to write, and not digging into their topics. If you're going to focus on building software, you're not going to focus on writing. It's a trade-off that everyone has to make, every time.
In the end, people prefer entertainment to knowledge. The most popular blogs are the best written ones ...
On the "Susan Boyle" point: No one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle, even, and I want to make this absolutely clear, even if they do say "Susan Boyle".
Did you see what I did there?
I have fond memories of the Great Brain books. I'd love to find copies for my kids...
Your brain's shallow logic is using a boolean where an int or double would work better.
A lot of ideas in the world, and perceptions of solutions are not bad/good. They are like 0.1 bad, and 0.3 good, and so on. What you perceive as a good choice, may not be what I would perceive as a good choice. You have lived with different input data.
I suggest that you expand your mind and experiences, and recognize that many of your conclusions are shallow, just as most of the world is. Find the root of the problems. Most problems have several causes that lead to an effect, and those causes may be deep. Your mind is like a tree, and your roots may benefit from some reshaping, if you can learn where they are, and what made them.
Learn from the mistakes, if you can. Learn from the constructive criticism. Learn from your tears, or pains, or happiness, or whatever it may be. Live and learn. Avoid the blame, and hurt, if you can. If you reach a certain depth of thought, you may understand why.
She's some stuff, is Susan Boyle.
George Bush changed the world by ignoring everyone telling him there were no WMDs in IRAQ.
@Jeff: Your post seems kinda contradictory to me; on the one hand, you argue that criticism of a blog doesn't work. On the other hand, you claim that ignoring something does work.
But as you proved with your own example, it doesn't. Susan Boyle is still "everywhere", and "everyone" is still talking about her. So it seems to me that your silent treatment of her did absolutely nothing.
That leaves you with criticism, which doesn't work, and ignoring, which (on a personal level) doesn't work. But that misses one of the central reasons why people critique: to try and get others to do some ignoring as well.
Now, in general that doesn't work particularly well either (as you pointed out). But it doesn't work any worse than ignoring the blog and arguably, if you can convince even one other person to do some ignoring, it's actually more effective.
Do you see what I'm getting at? Or are you just going to ignore my criticism of your argument ;-)
(NOTE: I'm just being a smart ass for rhetorical flair there; I'm not actually trying to call you out flame war-style.)
I think you meant Dialup modem and not dualup.
Just a little advice it sounds like you probably don't need... Take this to heart when raising your new little one. Coupled with telling my two-year old what behavior I expect of him and what will happen when he does not meet that expecation has made the terrible-two's not quites so terrible.
You know I think you're right about some people just wake up hating the world, and they happen upon your blog or something and leave a nasty comment. I try to ignore those. I post a lot of fun and informative videos on Youtube, and I don't think there is a single one where nobody has left a nasty comment - and it's usually completely irrelevant, like I'll be showing how to use a power meter and someone will comment on my fashion choices. I just ignore those, but I do approve them, so that others can see what an ass they are. I'm a big fan of the "give a person a shovel and let them dig their own grave" concept. I occasionally get into flame wars just for sport though :)
Don't talk about not talking about someone you don't want to be talked about... Cos then you join the ranks of those talking about her and she doesn't disappear.
Write some code which prints to screen "I must think before I blog" 1000000 times and then read it out loud to yourself.
"I am absolutely sick to death of hearing about Susan Boyle, both in the traditional media and online. [...]I just ignore Susan Boyle. [...] And if we could convince enough people to ignore her, she .. disappears."
unfortunately, convincing other people to ignore Susan Boyle involves talking about Susan Boyle.
This is old, old, old. Remember kill-files? Without an audience, trolls die... It's a shame there is no kill-file equivalent for comments.
This is one of the best blog posts I've read in a while !
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Ghandi
Well. The knowledge of "the silent treatment" is somewhat old... English has a word for it, in fact: Ostracism, derived from a 510 BCE Greek law.
And if it was LAW in 510 BCE, you can bet it had been informally used before that.
You're blogging about blogging Jeff.
Better strap on your water skis, there's a shark ahead.
Indeed. The opposite of love is not hate but apathy.
Yea, but if I don't let you know that I think reading your blog is more painful then getting my eyes plucked out, how will I make myself feel better about myself?
I loved the Great Brain series. Thanks for the nostalgia.
It's a shame, of course, that people feel the need to say "LOL fuckwit, you can't program worth a cock" instead of "Hey Jeff, I've noticed a problem", but, if nobody had criticised your recent encryption code sample, you'd still be happily encrypting your data (and conceivably ours too, at some point) in an insecure manner.
If only this were true. I've tried to ignore certain people, in person, but for some crazy reason they just keep coming back. Sometimes, people think that if you don't say anything at all then it is better than saying something bad; so you are automatically considered the silent friend.
interestingly you given a already many links/refs to susan boyle and thats exactly what happened, when we try to ignore some one we come at them as aggressive which is again another form of linking them. I understand how the ignoring a kid works but to counter the stuff on the web its quite difficult because if you dont counter what happens that mis-perception keep spreading over and over. For example, if i start annoying someone on twitter along with my followers , now if he kept silence the word keep spreading and the reality is messed up. Thats exactly one of the reason companies have provided many slots to cater twitter like services. so its really N = NP lolz
I absolutely LOVED the Great Brain series growing up.
My fondest series to read when I was a kid, even outdoing the Encyclopedia Brown series.
The stick magnet is one of my favorite grifts, but I also loved the Great Brain At the Academy.
That's where I learned how to make a key from a soap imprint. It hasn't come in handy, but it's a vivid memory from that book.
The problem with your thesis is that you assume everyone seeks attention. Not everyone seeks attention... many do, but not everyone does. Sometimes things don't go away if you ignore them. Sometimes they get worse. Think of politics. There are politicians you hate and there are laws you hate - ignoring both will make neither one go away. In politics silence means agreement. If the government makes a horrible law, but nobody protests against it, they'll say "Looks like everyone is fine with it". Politicians prefer to not get attention (unless its election time).
And remember: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight, and then you win.
So initial ignorance is the way to final success. Or see it the other way round: If they strongly argue with you, they are already fighting you and you are only one step away from winning :-)
err, wow. Longer comment just eaten by crappy captcha system?
Bleh. Please disregard if this is a browser cache issue, but otherwise I am filled with nerd rage.
Who's this Susan Boyle I keep hearing about?
Why did you changed the 'Orange' CAPTCHA?
Did you have any problems of spam?
Personally I think humor is a better approach than just ignoring what you don't like. That, or a good deflection!
"I wish you'd give more attention to best coding practices in your blog, and by the way, my cat can eat a whole watermelon!"
There was a great "New Twilight Zone" (the refit from the 80s) where in a man was sentenced to a year of "not being" (or some such).. Got a bizarre wart thingy put on his head, and everyone ignored him.
You're still in my RSS feed! Keep up the good work!
Ah, I was waiting for the Susan Boyle comments to some burning through.......
And finally I am right...
IGNORANCE IS BLISS!!!!
While I understand the concept you're trying to articulate here I think you need to spend a bit more time thinking it through so you can express it in less casually cruel manner.
Ignoring a human being is never the correct solution to any problem or situation. And, while I honestly don't think that's what you meant, it is what you wrote.
Of course you're trying to articulate a process which is the cornerstone of several major philosophies and religions, so it's probably not a huge shock it's hard to clarify in a single blog post :)
I just want the Orange back…
"And if WE COULD CONVINCE enough people to ignore her, she .. disappears. Poof. Like magic."
A call to ACTION, then. That's the thing, the perverse thing about this things. How can you act while ignoring the very things your action implies?
Ignoring people to disappearance works a treat, indeed, there's only one thing (intermittently) flawed about it: it assumes enough people spontaneously (i.e. without exchanging "please ignore this very thing I'm pointing out here" messages) have/develop enough strength to do so.
Strange how that actually happens when you try to promote, say, a brilliant, yet very dull scientist, including by putting his geek-ish mug on a notorious magazine cover.
Also funny how this mass-ignoring thing fails to occur when we deal with facile, trivial, often "dirty" things, such as pop stars, footballers, socialites etc.
Seems the art of ignoring is either a by-product of intelligence and/or elevation, and it's a defense mechanism, or an innate capacity of the more, shall we say, humble human, where it's also a defense mechanism: against knowledge, preserving ignorance, promoting that proverbial simple happiness.
I ignore the bugs in my code to deprive them of their importance.
for the past 5 years i've been searching my memory for the title of the great brain series...finally at christmas i remembered and ordered it from amazon. i re-read it cover to cover and loved it. my wife more than once reminded me i'm 40 yrs old reading a kids book. i've never run into anyone who's even heard of the book.
see how I skipped right to the ennui
I had no freaking idea who Susan Boyle is until today.
But thanks to your blog, I learnt something today! Thanks Jeff!
captcha: $1.20 channel.
Thank you for triggering some memory neurons to fire again - I read The Great Brain as kid too but all memories of it had completely evaporated. They're not well-known books over here in the UK, and I can't think now how I ever got hold of it.
Well I will do the philosophical disagreeing part:
I think that ignoring is actually taking the easy way out. Its like saying "Doing something about is too much work therefore I will ignore it", so in the end a semi-defeatist option.
Sure we need to do it - o/w our brains will explode. But there are too many examples of bad things that happen because people who were not directly affected by it (but had the power to change it) ignored it (all of us can think of examples). So its important to evaluate what you choose to ignore, philosophically speaking.
Jeff, I've got to say that I love your blog. I don't always agree with you, but it's always worth reading.
Also, the Great Brain series is one of my all-time favorites as well.
I won't ignore our elected officials, although I loathe most of them and would love to not give them one brain cell's concern. But it's dangerous to ignore the dangerous.
Frankly, I would have gone with obsessing about one or other other flavor of "leggy blonde". But that's probably only because I'm superficial, shallow, and otherwise emotionally stunted.
So if you want to give Susan some extra attention, I can't see how the universe will be too bent out of shape by it.
Jeff you are now blogging about blogging and reality TV ...
... shall I come back when you are better?
Kudos on mentioning the Great Brain series. Those are great books for young adults.
One place this really works: politicians.
With the European elections coming up in a couple of days, party pollsters really don't like it if you say you're deliberately not voting as everybody sounds the same. And the best thing? It's true!
Nope. Not going to ignore you. I like this site too much. While I don't always agree with all you say, I find it incredibly helpful to digest what you say so I can understand you, even when I don't agree.
So feel free to ignore me, but I'll not stop reading as long as you keep posting.
"If you don't like who's on the cover of Wired, just don't look. If no one talks about her, she'll go away."
I ask again, wanting enlightenment on English usage: why "her" and "she"?
There is a fascinating book called 'Ostracism: The Power of Silence' that discusses why the silent treatment is so effective. I stumbled across it randomly on Google Books and ended up reading it for hours it was so interesting. In particular, it recounts a story of a husband who stopped talking to his wife for a reason she couldn't even remember, and never said another word to her for 40 years until his death.
You can take a look at it here: http://books.google.com/books?id=2_C_d7IBOqQC.
Hah, I remember the silent treatment. My parents tried a minor form of it on my and my brothers when we were younger. All of us *liked* it - I was an introvert, and it gave my brothers a reason not to tell them where they were going when they left the house.
Do you think blogging about Susan Boyle is an adequate way of ignoring Susan Boyle?
"I wish I had two brains so I could ignore her twice as hard."
Well said! Thank you. :-) I'd love to see more ignoring and less flaming going on in a lot of places on the Internet, and even sometimes in real life!
I'd like to Boyle *that* Susan... wait that doesn't work...
Groan. This is like saying if you have a big cancerous mole, just try not to look at it and it'll all be good.
I'm not a fan of your blog, Jeff. The continued existence of it causes me deep personal distress, keeping me awake at night as I howl at the moon, praying that you decide to call an end to your Blogging Oligopoly.
It's nothing personal, and I'm sure you're a great guy and all, but I'm just not among your cheerleaders.
Which is good, because I really don't want to shave my legs.
To be frank, I find most of your posts vacuous and formulaic: Take a couple of meaningless and often contradictory statements, pad them with Other People's Content that you often blatantly rip off (even injecting your own links but parading it as a quote) and call it a day.
This post, for instance, is so logically unsustainable that I find it hard to believe that you actually thought "Yes, I'll write about how people should ignore me! Or, at least that those who disagree or dislike what I have to say should ignore me. Genius!" Really?
It's blogging to a schedule. Vomit up something, slam in some ripped off quotes, and a bunch of bottom-feeders looking for some way to distract themselves from the grind will hurrah at being tossed a morsel, sure it lets them into the inner-sanctum.
Worse than the vacuous posts (the four sentences with the predictable filler images) are the often depressingly wrong posts. The one about the heap and the stack and C and .NET, as just one of many exmaples...so much wrongness in one post that it left me wondering if it was one giant hilarious bait to expose the morons among your readership.
It was extraordinary seeing such a lack of grasp of the heap and the stack from a guy who called his site StackOverflow.
Trying to dispel criticism by just asking your detractors to pay attention elsewhere is suspect and quite ridiculous.
You have unquestionably seen a lot of success from your blog -- I think I saw it on a major magazines "Must Read Blogs" lists -- and with your web properties you have done more than the vast majority of your detractors have ever done and probably will ever do. Yet that in no way allows you to present yourself as an authority on anything without being questioned where you are wrong. In the aforementioned article on memory, for instance, you were and probably still are stunningly clueless about C, yet that didn't hold you back from giving your ignorant opinion about it.
And yes, the moment you decide that you are in a position to write authoritatively about anything, you are holding yourself up as an authority with something of relevance to say, and it is unreasonable to play the "Who me? But I'm just the humble blogger who don't know nuttin'." the moment someone calls you on.