The Importance of Being Earnest

Posted: 30th July 2011 by onyxhawke in Uncategorized
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Most of the people who know me are familiar with the fact that I’m not equipped with the "fight or flight" instinct. I’ve been afflicted with the blissfully less common "fight or fight harder" version. One of the few upsides of it is that I tend not to have to curb-stomp anyone more than once. The other one is that I tend to avoid engaging in the first place. Not because I dislike a good fight, on the contrary, but simply because it rarely does me any good to get drawn into something where I know I’ll end up A: fighting all the way past the dagger and into the realm of scrambling for bone shards and the heartstrings and B: if the fight isn’t over something that needs to be fought it just isn’t worth the energy.

Elsewhere on the internet there is a kurfluffle involving people on both sides that I know and respect. The conflict revolves around two sides who each believe the others words mean something other than what the primaries insist they believe. Both sides have their points. I’ve read through the main statements of each, and can see where things can be interpreted at each party feels without any torturous twists of logic.

Regardless of your standing on what FaceBook or Google have done with their privacy or name policies, or whatever the fact that they say X = 14*2 x (184/94) + 0.7 and the public, including other companies with similar policies have arrived at entirely different conclusions just illustrates how easily people, and businesses can communicate poorly. Whenever I present, or am presented with a contract I make damn sure that I understand what the otherside thinks it means, and make sure any disagreements are ironed out before they go into affect.

Once the djinn is out of the bottle and conflict arises, there will be lines drawn, there will be wounds left.Worse, once there are shirts bloodied it becomes a matter of who’s left not who’s right when the dust settles. I can point out racefail as a fantastic (and utterly revolting) example of how people will let slip the hounds at anything that even looks like an enemy. The various camps in this particular dustup are all smart, professional, tough minded and unused to being wrong or seen as wrong. As I stated above, I like people on both sides. The enmity they are generating for each other, and themselves serves no one.

My less than humble opinion on the matter (while freely admitting I probably wouldn’t follow my own advice) is that both sides take down their public statements, delete the tweets from their timelines and agree to table the discussion until they can sit down in the quiet corner of an eatery over a good drink or six and clear it up in person. Speaking is hardly a perfect communication medium, but it sure as hell beat social media by light years.