Monday, April 14, 2008

Setting the lines

I went out for a run right after my previous post, and I was feeling uneasy about it. Essentially, as part of an observation about workplace environment and business practices, a post I had been working on for a while, I weaved in a response to the chap who runs 37signals.

It is a measure of the difference between well-considered writing and the quick response of the blog format that the first half came off better than the second. I happened across the Signal vs. Noise blog and felt that the current topic fit mine, so used it to illustrate my point.

But I did so poorly, using a term to describe this gentleman that was inappropriate, and it bothered me as I thought subsequently about it. I am passionate about the issues I care about, and I certainly have strong opinions, but I have always tried to maintain a sense of decorum and respect, what I would want applied to me. Most definitely, I have grave concerns about the things George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have done to this country, but name-calling doesn't help, and isn't my style. I can speak strongly, and have on this issue, without resorting to cheap slurs.

So I have edited that post to remove the term, but that's a bit of a cheat. I have also posted a comment (repeated below) on the original thread. This brave new world of instant publishing is a challenge to get right, but, if I'm having problems with it, I must extend the same understanding to others. (And, you know, Signal vs. Noise is a pretty good blog.)
I recently posted a comment on my own blog which included a response to this thread. Without getting deeply into the matter, I violated my own rules as to proper debate. I have some disagreements with some of what Jason has posted here, and I stand by those; I think his perspective may be a bit skewed by his own experiences - that may change as he is buffeted by change in the future.

However, I went farther than I wished, and, instead of commenting on the substance of his remarks, I used a term that was intemperate. I should not comment on his tone unless I can handle my own. So I apologize to Jason, and hope that his view of the workplace spreads, because, unlikely as it sounds, it matches my view far more than I expressed.

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