|Come for the quick hacks, stay for the epiphanies.
Question Your Opinionsby Guildenstern (Deacon)
|on May 01, 2001 at 20:28 UTC
Recently, I responded to another of merlyn's "find the personality downvoter" nodes. In the ensuing dialog, I told him that I had developed an unfavorable impression of him. I also said that since the only interaction I've had with him is through PerlMonks, that impression must have been gained through his postings. Now, this argument seems to pop up quite often. Merlyn is accused of being a heartless clod who thinks only of himself. I admitted that I shared similar feelings, and was challenged by merlyn to point out to him what it was that made me think that way. So, off I ran to sift through merlyn's posts, thinking it would be quick work to find several representative samples of what I had been talking about. After looking through a hundred or so posts at random (sorted by date, mind you, not rep), I was still looking for the silver bullet that I could hold up and exclaim "aha!".
By this point I was beginning to question why exactly I had developed my opinion of merlyn. Reading through more posts I came to the conclusion that at my personal stage in Perl knowledge, most of his answers were perfectly fine. Sure it's annoying to click through to a Web Techniques column, but the information is there. Upon more examination, I decided that merlyn had never done anything to me to cause me to feel the way I do. Most of what I felt was based on how I thought others would respond to merlyn's answers. I didn't see very many times when someone said "Hey wait. How about a better/more in-depth answer?" It was just my perception that the answer was wrong for whomever asked the question. As KM stated: "If you don't like someone short, terse answer.. noone is stopping you from expounding on it".
I'm not saying that I'm going to be posting everything from now on as merlyn lovers anonymou, but I have been forced to take out one of my opinions from its shelf and notice that it's a bit dusty and could use some refurbishing. In the dealings I have had with merlyn, he has not hesitated to answer my questions and has been surprisingly civil even when I'm insulting him. My opinions were incorrectly formed, which is dangerous no matter what the subject is. I guess this is what I'm really trying to get across.
*sigh* I'm looking back at this and wishing I could write better. I don't seem to have captured the essence of what I'm trying to say as well as I should have. I tried not to write a "Yay merlyn!" piece, but rather use the PM community's perception of him as an example of the dangers of not knowing your self and making poorly thought out assumptions and opinions.
Negaterd character class uber alles!