My purpose here at Linux Advocates is not to be a 'yes Man' or 'back slapper' who writes the party line. No I live in search of finding what is hidden away, just under the surface exterior of things.
You get so you realize that instinctively things are not quite the way they seem. You see, people only tell you what they want you to know and you see only what they want you to see. Suffice it to say, I've been around the corner more than once and have a knack for seeing through the layers of facade that are presented to the uninitiated.
You can add your own adjectives for that--you know what it is when you see it--BS.
I decided to test one of my colleagues to see his reaction would be to my short comment. It's an example of what is the worst kind of exchange one can have in written form. Writing is one of those things that really requires practice to avoid clashing, conflicting exchanges of any kind, be it in Chat, Email, SMS Text, Forums, you are only one short comment away from finding another person's limits in polite exchange. Then it get's personal in varying degrees and can quickly escalate to the point of downright mean-spiritedness.
My exchange is here. You may draw your own conclusions from it. I submit that this is an example of a mindset that is 'poisonous'. A close Developer friend of mine wrote his opinion of it:
"I'm quite sick of these poisonous few making us all look like unapproachable nerds who live at the bottom of the gene pool."The problem is that people build up around themselves complex layers of abstraction which artificially give them some level of comfort in justifying their personal belief system and also justifying their behavior.
It's human nature, but I think that it is demonstrative of an ongoing problem with written communication that takes place in various venues used by Developers and users alike. It only results in a breakdown and loss of continuity exchanging differing points of view. The cause may be accidental or intentional. I have found often it was not accidental and it happens moreso when one challenges another's core belief system.
So, when you are in a Forum or Chat or IRC channel and suddenly find yourself a target of someone else's venom, be mindful of who is targeting you and do not respond in kind; it won't help your cause. If an attempt to smooth the conversation doesn't work, go an alternate route if possible to having your communication; using email might be a better option. Ad hoc replies won't necessarily allow one to refine a thought before a flame war ignites. It becomes practically impossible to quench the fire once begun.
My exchange wasn't so much a surprise to me. I expected my colleague to react in one way or another. Take my comment seriously and go postal or just laugh it off. I had hoped for the latter. Yet, it draws you the picture of what can happen when poisonous behavior taints a thread of communication of any kind.
Keep your powder dry.