RE: What's the purpose of this list?

Subject: RE: What's the purpose of this list?
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- Users -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 11:20:51 -0500

Indeed, there is a subtle but important distinction between on the one
hand saying you have a problem with someone's viewpoint, and on the
other hand saying that they had no business expressing their viewpoint
because it makes no sense. I read a book on arguing -- alas I can't
remember the author -- that made a good point. Whatever position
someone takes, no mater how strange it may seem, is the result of an
orderly process of reasoning, and you owe it to that person to recognize
and understand that reasoning process.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jones, Donna [mailto:DJones -at- zebra -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 1:44 PM
Subject: RE: What's the purpose of this list?

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
> There are lots of times in my life when a whack on the side of the
> head from someone who knows better is the best kind of support and
> friendly advice there is.

Yes, a whack on the side of the head can be good, but not when the whack
is delivered with an axe. Not many people want their heads taken off for
offering their opinions or for telling about difficult situations that
they have encountered. Disagree with others, be sarcastic, be sweet, be
whatever. But don't make people regret that they spoke up, or they won't
speak up the next time. Then we all lose from having scared people into
silence or into oblivion through unsubscribing.

Mike O. wrote:
> I value the bullies, the wimps, the quitters, and everybody in
> between. At this point, there is probably not a single contributor to
> this list I haven't learned something useful from.

> Maybe instead of slamming people for "negativity," ask them - what
> were their experiences that led them to that world view?

If someone had just humiliated me with a response, I would not be likely
to ask that person what made him negative. I either would be
unsubscribing from said list, or I would be thinking of my own scathing
reply to try to spread the humiliation back around his way (not the best
way to handle it, I know, but I'm only human). However, if that same
person presented his viewpoint and why he they felt that way without
making me feel like an idiot in the process, I could look at his reply
objectively and maybe learn something from his experience. Dignity
intact, I could even thank that person for his differing viewpoint.

On that note, I would like to thank Gene, Mike, Michele, and even Andrew
for their postings today on this topic, even though we don't all
necessarily agree. :-)


Donna Jones
Technical Writer II
Zebra Technologies Corp.
Vernon Hills, IL

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