Not Nice Enough

I propose this page to be a DeletionCandidate. It contains little or no useful technical information, and scarcely adds value to this wiki. If you can find value in the mess, please, feel free to extract it and delete the remainder. Yes, your examples clearly show that you think that being nice means leaving things alone, not complaining, not criticising, and not trying to make things better. Your examples clearly show that you think only people who are not nice ever get things done. Well, you're wrong.
http://edutainmenteng.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/why-nice-guys-are-often-such-losers/


A lot of people are offended by anyone who has a critical nature, anyone who writes articles (of any sort), anyone who criticizes.

These critical thinkers are just are NotNiceEnough for society. Oh poo poo. We made someone feel bad.

The irony is that criticizing a person for being NotNiceEnough is not really nice itself - because criticizing the criticizer is criticism too. CriticismIsRecursive??

People who are NotNiceEnough are often the ones who find bugs, find flaws, fix problems, etc.


Ranter: I'm not happy with this software! It sucks. Let's fix the bugs, right now.

Nice Person: Nah, be nice - just be easy going, relax. Stop being so anxious. The software works fine, it just has a few nice buggy features.

Ranter: I'm not happy with SQL - it is bastardized! It sucks. Let's fix and improve it, or else!

Nice Person: Nah, SQL is nice - just like me. Just be easy going, and relax. Stop being so anxious. Be nice. SQL works fine.

Ranter: StandardPascal?'s limitations and syntax blows, it is too verbose and restrictive! It sucks. Let's fix and improve it.

Nice Person: Nah, StandardPascal? is great and will live on forever. It is perfect.

Ranter: Pure Functionalism sucks - nothing is purely functional.

Nice Person: Nah, pure functionalism is great. It is perfect. Don't bother with Monads or Imperative languages: they have bad side effects. Those are not nice. We must remain nice.

This seems to be about accepting potential imperfections more than communication. The nice person could ask, "How would it benefit this business to use X instead of SQL?" or the like and still be "nice".


For example why do some seem to write rudely, or why are some often accused of ranting?

Oh, all right; I think I will. It's because they are young, brash, arrogant, and lacks the humility and wisdom that only (sometimes) comes with age.

[He should just shut down all his critical spewing and go to sleep. It's all worthless. --DevilsAdvocate]

Define: humble: low or inferior in station or quality

Everyone should become low and inferior! That is something to aspire to, isn't it? Low quality, crappiness, inferior.. something really to aim and strive for. Aim low! Do not aim high. Do not aim for perfection. Just be nice, and let things slide. Let the poo flow in the stream. Buy high, sell low.

http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/ewd10xx/EWD1055A.PDF

Aims for a young scientist... wow.

"Humble" has several definitions. In encouraging people to show more humility we are not asking them to become low in station - that would be ridiculous. Taking "humility" to imply that you are striving for low standards is ludicrous. Assuming there is meaning in the exhortation, another meaning of "humble" must be relevant. Here is a definition from the Concise Oxford Dictionary:
"Having, or showing, a low estimate of one's own importance."
That sounds more likely. The exhortation is that everyone should show due recognition that others may genuinely be better. That is what it means to have a degree of humility. Accept that others may know more, and be smarter, and strive to convince them. In doing so you gain credence and reputation. To do otherwise, to criticize others and simply state things as if they are self-evident truths for lesser mortals to accept without question is to start by alienating them, and then either you're wrong, thus losing status, or you're right, fostering resentment. I strongly recommend you read HowToWinFriendsAndInfluencePeople. Although now very dated, if you read it to find information, and not simply to mock, there is much there about learning how to get along with people, and how to convey information in a way that makes them want to accept things that are right.

The quoted paper from EWD implicitly exhorts people to have a degree of humility. It says:
Never tackle a problem ... that ... will be tackled by others who are ... at least as competent ... as you are.
This shows a healthy regard for the abilities of others.

This sounds like we are discussing not being arrogant. Who are the arrogant people who assume I am arrogant - which is an arrogant act itself, hence RecursiveArrogance?. For example, how can you, as an arrogant person, say that I am arrogant - when I am catching you in the act of arrogance (AnonomousDonor?, DaveVoorhis, and all the other wimps who call me arrogant - yet I never call them arrogant, even though I've found several instances on this wiki which prove they are arrogant (I remain humble and do not say a thing, as I don't prefer to insult as much as I prefer to engage in technical conversations (this is not one of them, so please shut your trap hole)).
Don't strive for recognition (in whatever form): recognition should not be a goal, but a symptom that your work has been worthwhile.
This requires that you actually do something useful, for which you will be recognised.

No - you will not be recognized by default. But you may, as a side effect.

You appear to be confusing "necessary" and "sufficient". I never said it was sufficient, I only said it was necessary.
For example why does FabianPascal write rudely, or why is he often accused of ranting?

Are we seeing a pattern here?
For example why does LinusTorvalds write rudely, or why is he often accused of ranting?

Are we seeing a pattern here?
For example why does Anyone write rudely, or why is she often accused of ranting?

Are we seeing a pattern here?
The fact is - lots of people are NotNiceEnough, lots of people rant, lots of people appear to be rude. Maybe they are falsely being categorized and labeled. Maybe the person criticizing the criticism is also NotNiceEnough, hence hypocrisy or CriticismIsRecursive?.

Everyone on this wiki, is rude - to some extent - especially the italics people who come in and ruin a perfectly good non italic wiki page. But ItalicsAreHilarious.

UgLyPeople aren't nice either. Let's get rid of them. Oh wait, getting rid of them wouldn't be nice. CriticismIsRecursive?.

A lot of people are offended by certain people's critical nature.. the way certain people write articles, the way certain people rant and criticize.

Word of warning: all intelligent people in history were ranters, complainers, critically minded people, etc.

http://z505.com/cgi-bin/qkcont/qkcont.cgi?p=There-Are-Ranters-or-There-Are-Ranters

I have strong bull shit detectors and I outright admit to having an ego and I outright admit to being extremely critical (yet I selflessly release thousands of source code snippets to the public, and participate in open source projects, so don't get the wrong idea that I am somehow selfishly egotistical).

A lot of easy going programmers go with the flow, listening to whatever they hear - agreeing with mainstream. I am not like that. So someone may appear mean, rude, critical at times.

All intelligent people are like this. People that are too easy going are not as intelligent. People that don't critically analyze and nitpick are simply not intelligent - they are just followers. They aren't leaders.

There are several quotes that prove this.


NotNiceEnough because you're a bastard.. you're critical, and I'm even correct at times. So what? It's better than being nice.


Quotes to back up why anyone intelligent rants and criticizes.

Consider quote:

"...a philosopher who did not hurt anybody's feelings was not doing his job." --Plato (source: Wikipedia)

Consider quote:

"..one of the men who brings legal charges against Socrates, Anytus, warns him about the trouble he may get into if he does not stop criticizing important people." --Wikipedia

Consider quote:

"The ancient Greeks first identified the essence of critical consciousness when philosophers encouraged their students to develop an "impulse and willingness to stand back from humanity and nature... (and) to make them objects of thought and criticism, and to search for their meaning and significance." --Wikipedia

Consider quote:

"Critical nature: OCP says philosophy is critical thinking. PTB says that philosophy examines the beliefs we take for granted." --Wikipedia

Consider quote:

"I do realize that others disagree. And I'm not your Mom." ..."I won't give you the cold shoulder because you have "sullied" yourself."... "I won't shed a tear over it."... "Because I'm a bastard, and proud of it!" --LinusTorvalds


It's not a question of writing nicely or rudely, it's a question of being worth listening to. Linus and Pascal have both proven that they are worth listening to, and if they won't tolerate fools, then at least they've earned the right. You've created a lot of straw men here, and knocked them over, but you haven't made your case. You have said nothing that makes me believe you're worth listening to, and many things that appear to be a waste of time. You've compared yourself with Socrates, Plato, FabianPascal and LinusTorvalds, and it seems to me that the comparison is not especially in your favor. So by all means continue to rant, but don't expect people to be bothered to read it. If you don't care enough to attract a reader, I'm not going to care enough to wade through your self-congratulatory raving. Perhaps history will show that you were right, but if no one listens, no one will know.

What is funny, though, is that I can claim the same about you. Why should anyone listen to your babbling about my babbling? You are ranting about my ranting. You are here, replying to my article, wasting your time - and you continue to do so - yet above you claim that I am not worth your time. Yet you are here wasting your time with me, over and over again. It seems, that I am worth your time. PeopleArgueToFindOut and etc.

I am not comparing myself to Linus as if I am as great as Linus, Fabian, etc. I am just using them as popular examples of critical folks who also rant. I have critical articles which show (rant or not) that I am very unlike Linus and Fabian. Linus does not respect Dijkstra, for example. I do. Fabian is not a programmer, and I am. By you changing the subject and making it seem as though I am claiming to be as high as Linus, you are looking to put up a straw men and change the subject. Without using popular celebrities as examples, who would I use that the common reader would know as cited references in this article? They are just references - not direct comparisons that state that Joe Blow = Dijkstra. Where did I once state that? That is your conjecture, not mine. I'm flattered that you think I'm as great as them - but I don't think so myself. Sorry. (and you were just proven wrong: I admitted I am not at their level).

I am not here to claim I am at the level of Linus or Dijkstra. That is changing the subject, and is a straw man. I just use them as examples since they are popular people you recognize and know, who rant and criticize. By the way, I have many articles which prove my own ignorance, and I openly admit to being ignorant on many subjects (such as not being a C++ or C expert). So drop that idea right now, that I am comparing myself to others - I am simply referencing others, like how we cite sources.

What I am pointing out on this page is that all humans who are critical and intelligent, will question current practices. As soon as I question what Google is doing, that must be terrible! Google is the industry! They can't be wrong. The relational model is wrong. Must be. Oh poo poo. Your claim that people won't read me but they will read Dijkstra, is also straw man. The sad thing is, many people do not read Dijkstra, or Fabian, or Darwen and Date, or many other writings from intelligent people. (Linus hates Dijkstra, according to what he has said on newsgroups - and probably doesn't read his material.. so your claim that sensible ranters are read but insensible ones (me) are not read, is false..). Dijkstra, Fabian, or any other ranter are not read by vast populations of people (otherwise Fabian would be rich, for example) - which is exactly what this page is about. Most of the industry hates ranters, because they are NotNiceEnough. Smart people are not good at marketing their reading material - the industry is better at that (Microsoft documentation is more read than a Dijkstra article is).

Looking through Dijkstra's articles, many of them are pessimistic titles (rant style). Oh poo poo. Don't read those then. I've earned consulting projects because of being a ranter, BTW - people respect it, those who are in the know. Those who pass by my rants and consider me a lunatic, can pass by. I'm okay with that. Confident people don't give a damn what other non intelligent people think. I give a damn to reply to you, because you are not one of those non intelligent people. If I didn't give a damn, I wouldn't reply.

Why am I spending time here replying to your rant, about my rant? Obviously - because I feel you are worth my time. Does that mean, that now I am comparing myself to you - because I am replying to you - I must magically be implying that I am at your level? No. I'm just referencing you, citing you, etc. But I can't really cite you because you didn't sign your name - and I could throw up a straw man argument about how real men sign names, etc.

Leslie Lamport said, quoting T.S.Eliot:
"The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless."
It has also been said:
"Critics are like eunuchs in a harem—they know how it is done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they are unable to do it themselves."
I look forward to the day you do or say something genuinely constructive.

Do you realize the irony here? You are de-constructing me and criticizing me. You are recursively ranting about me ranting. Did you not read my articles? How many times do I have to repeat myself? Obviously, you just skimmed my comments, skimmed my wiki, and forgot to look at the entire picture. You forgot to do some self reflection - look in the mirror. This is an infinite loop with you. My constructive criticism was that you are worth my time, which your sponge failed to absorb. You are being the critic - negatively bashing me for being a critic. Do some functional recursion for a minute and find a mirror to look into. You are a fool. I was wrong. You are not worth my time until you look at the entire picture, and until you look in a mirror. Then you are worth my time.

  fun times: int;
  c done = false;
  b
	res = 0;
	rep inc(res) til done;
  e;
So how many times do I have to repeat myself? I'll not continue. Sorry.

  fun times: int;
  c done = false;
  b
	res = 0;
	rep
	inc(res);
	if res = 3 do break;
	til done;
  e;

Quote: In order to prove that humility is good, you have to make a strong case for humility - which, is not humble itself - since you are making a strong case for it, and a strong case is not humble (hence recursion again). By the way - do you think Linus, Dijkstra, and Fabian are humble (rhetorical question). People need to speak up, and speaking up is not about humility or meekness or quietness. I will now write some articles about why intelligent people should not be humble. Thanks for helping me verify that humility is wrong for intelligent people. However, fools should remain humble - so that their foolishness does not propagate, i.e. through the industry as we know it. Unfortunately, this is not the case - everyone does indeed pay attention to fools. And I am speaking about the foolish world - not referencing you in this particular paragraph.

In contrast to what you claim above I've actually read quite a lot of what you've been writing here, and I've read a number of your "articles" on the wiki which you've referenced. I didn't know it was "your" wiki, but thanks for that information. It did seem clear that most of what I read was written by you, I just didn't know if that's because I only found "your" bits, or whether it was all yours.

Anyway, I've been reading your strong opinions when they are on topics that interest me, and I've formed my opinion of the value of your comments. I also looked at the impression your writings leave, and wondered if it was intentional, or if you simply wrote without considering the form, as well as the content.

I believe you are wrong when you accuse me of not looking at the entire picture, but of course I would believe that. Perhaps I'm wrong in my opinions of you, your writing, your knowledge and your way of expressing it, and so I've been trying to help you see yourself as others see you. Clearly either I've failed, or you don't care.

In short, I think much of your ranting on technical issues is misguided, unhelpful, or simply wrong. Some of it is genuinely insightful, but usually that is in criticisms of other people's work, and rarely is it accompanied by any useful alternative suggestions or options. I think this is a shame, because I see ability misapplied, and that's a waste.

I appreciate the feedback you've given me. I've considered carefully your comments and assessments. You seem not to understand the meaning of the word "humble", certainly your usage does not match the meaning given in my dictionary. Yes, I've used the dictionary, because clearly you think that's the right place to look for a definition. Your dictionary must differ from mine in this particular case.

Specifically, you said:
... a strong case is not humble ...
This is clearly not the case. One can be humble, and yet make a strong case - the two are largely independent. I know many, many high-powered people in computing, mathematics, physics and other fields, some of whom are genuinely humble, and yet they can make compelling cases/arguments. As one example, I knew Dijkstra, and he was humble, even though his writing suggests otherwise to those who didn't know him.

Your argument that those who are not fools should not be humble is flawed. You are right that
... speaking up is not about humility or meekness or quietness ...
It is independent. Finally, you cast aspersions on me because I don't sign my contributions. This is because you don't know even the relatively recent history of this wiki, and you have paraded your ignorance for all to see. That seems symptomatic of much of your writing. You don't care to be or appear insightful or knowledgeable, you seem only to care about appearing opinionated and prolific, even when those opinions are contrary to others who may yet turn out to be right. That's the impression you're giving, and the search engines (and way-back machine) have long memories. I've taken into account what you've said about me, and I thought I'd give you the opportunity of seeing yourself as others see you. What you do with that is your choice.

Whatever. You don't care what I think, I no longer care what you think. Your technical "contributions" both here and on your wiki appear to say nothing new or interesting, so now I know how much attention to give them. I've left to code and do other useful things. Thank you for playing.

Very arrogant and humble of you to say such things. I've taken into account what you think, and will adjust my writing - even if it means pain for me. Thanks for following my pattern by the way, that I created, called: IveLeftToCode. And, you are welcome. Very welcome. And thank you.

See also: Of course I know I used "your pattern". Clearly you have an irony-detection problem. Oh well, whatever. GetOverIt and RightBackAtYou. Oh, and I love the way you twisted the entire exchange on your wiki page. Well done. Good way to make people trust your judgement. I'm pretty sure I know exactly how much "respect" or "confidence" I have in you. I'm pretty sure I haven't subconsciously absorbed your philosophies.

You know what - you just are NotNiceEnough. I wish you were nicer to me. And I do admit to ignorance and pargence.
See also: RudenessFails
AprilZeroEight

EditText of this page (last edited July 9, 2010) or FindPage with title or text search