|laziness, impatience, and hubris|
Re^6: What is "aggressive" argument?by BrowserUk (Pope)
|on Nov 02, 2010 at 22:25 UTC||Need Help??|
There's probably some truth in many of those explanations.
I don't think the first one holds up, because we have the same types of exchanges on other subjects. The thread you reference at the bottom of your post is a very good example of a non-perl, non-technical subject, with many of the usual suspects showing up.
There is no doubt that I enjoy debate--I make no pretence otherwise. And I happen to think that without open, vigorous, invested debate, this site would be nothing more than a static reference work. And a far less interesting and stimulating place than it is. And I don't think heat--passion, investment--is bad in a debate.
I don't even mind there being a little name-calling, ribbing, verbal-sparring. Even a little direct sarcasm is fine by me. But I have a strong distaste for that insidious, under-the-breath, oh-so-polite by snarky, implied sarcasm that some here lace their posts with. It always smacks of plausible deniability to me.
Strong personalities have always clashed over technical subjects. If you know your history of the build-up to the Copenhagen interpretation. If not, and you have an hour to spare this is interesting. Especially the personality clashes.
(Not that the debate here has anything like that level of significance, but the clashes are as constant as Planck's at all levels.)
But this is a code site. And at the end of the debate, there is only one way to resolve things. Code! And people who are unwilling to back up their theories, assertions (and FUD) with code, are pointless to debate with.
On the cultural differences thing. I worked for many years at various IBM sites around the UK, and worked with people from all over the world--but especially the USA, Middle-East & Japan, and got to see some it first hand.
I remember one Japanese woman came to liaise with me for a few weeks. She arrived at my office, started to do the whole deferential, bowing thing; and stand-and-inspect-each-others-business-card-for-5-minutes-for-no-apparent-reason. I interrupted her and told her that I was painfully aware that I didn't know their customs and so was quite likely to offend her through my lack of understanding. Her response was: "Thank goodness! we can drop all that and just get on with the job". We got on famously after that. She could hold her ground in any argument, and was one of the best analysts I ever met. (And boy could she ever hold her liquor!).
As for Americans, I rarely knew where people were from in detail. I do remember that you always knew where you stood with most of the guys from PooKipsy; but had to be real careful around some of those from Boca Raton. Or maybe that's just the way I remember it. For me the "Mid_West" is just a label--much like the phrase "Middle-America". (Perhaps the latter would have been more appropriate?) I really don't know what actually constitutes either term. As for New Yorker, I'm probably thinking more about My Cousin Vinnie, or that "fugedabowtit" movie with Hugh Grant, than anything real.
I also worked in several countries in North West Europe--Benelux, Netherlands, Germany,Scandinavia. And there I found they thrive on directness. And mostly, there is no animosity attached to it. You go into a meeting, stand either side of the conference table arguing strongly for an hour; break for coffee and have a laugh about the sport, the weather TV or whatever, before going back in and laying into each other(s points of view). Then a manager calls time; makes a decision; and everyone abides by it. Then lunch together.
Bottom line is, I'm more than happy to accept half the "blame"--though I'm not sure that anyone should be blaming anyone; no one is forced to read long or heated threads, much less take part in them--but I do object to having all of the blame thrown in my direction.
As I said. It takes two to tango.
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.