flaming vs accuracy [was Re: Performance of int/long in Python 3]
steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Thu Mar 28 08:48:30 CET 2013
On Wed, 27 Mar 2013 22:42:18 -0700, rusi wrote:
> More seriously Ive never seen anyone -- cause or person -- aided by
> the use of excessively strong language.
Of course not. By definition, if it helps, it wasn't *excessively* strong
> IOW I repeat my support for Ned's request: Ad hominiem attacks are not
> welcome, irrespective of the context/provocation.
Insults are not ad hominem attacks.
"You sir, are a bounder and a cad. Furthermore, your
argument is wrong, because of reasons."
may very well be an insult, but it also may be correct, and the reasons
"Your argument is wrong, because you are a bounder
and a cad."
is an ad hominem fallacy, because even bounders and cads may tell the
truth occasionally, or be correct by accident.
I find it interesting that nobody has yet felt the need to defend JMF,
and tell me I was factually incorrect about him (as opposed to merely
impolite or mean-spirited).
In any case, I don't want this to be specifically about any one person,
so let's move away from JMF. I disagree that hostile language is *always*
inappropriate, although I agree that it is *usually* inappropriate.
Although even that depends on what you define as "hostile" -- I would
much prefer that people confronted me for being (supposedly) dishonest
than silently shunning me without giving me any way to respond or correct
either my behaviour or their (mis)apprehensions. Quite frankly, I think
that the passive-aggressive silent treatment (kill-filing) is MUCH more
hostile and mean-spirited than honest, respectful, direct criticism,
even when that criticism is about character ("you sir are a lying
I treat people the way I hope to be treated. As galling as it would be to
be accused of lying, I would rather that you called me a liar to my face
and gave me the opportunity to respond, than for you to ignore everything
I hope that we all agree that we want a nice, friendly, productive
community where everyone is welcome. But some people simply cannot or
will not behave in ways that are compatible with those community values.
There are some people whom we *do not want here* -- spoilers and messers,
vandals and spammers and cheats and liars and trolls and crackpots of all
sorts. We only disagree as to the best way to make it clear to them that
they are not welcome so long as they continue their behaviour.
 Although sadly, given the reality of communication on the Internet,
sometimes kill-filing is the least-worst option.
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