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Principle versus Personalities

by scottstef (Curate)
on Jul 14, 2001 at 06:41 UTC ( #96658=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

start sermon
I have been a member of the monestary for a few months now, and have for the most part enjoyed my experience here. I arrived not knowing the first thing about perl, and now, well I can print "hello world" Before I started playing with computers, I did some work with people undergoing treatment for alcohol. These people would attend AA meetings where the idea of"principles versus personalities" was the theme for getting such a large/diverse group of people to work for their own common good. The idea behind this was for these people to put aside all of their petty conflicts and deal with the issues they need to help themselves recover. Why don't we do that here? The people at those meetings have lost almost everything, here, we as a community trying to promote perl, are here under much better terms.

I guess I am a little distraught at some of the things I have seen: personality voting, accusations and perhaps the worst thing I have seen is the post about another member's identity. We are an online community, we are supposed to be friends, we all offer as much about ourselves as we want each other to know about us (another similarity with AA). Why in the world do we create a huge discussion about the identity of a member, or any issues they may be dealing with? Is it any of our business? While I often get rubbed the wrong way by the tone in some of another member's posts, the monk in question like some other monks here, probably honestly doesn't remember what it feels like to not understand some of the simpler functions of perl, and is probably a little abrasive with replies. I am sure we all can be accused of that at some point, how many of us have gotten frustrated with a child that took 10 minutes to tie a shoe? For the child, tieing the shoe was a major accomplishment, for most of us, we don't even think about it anymore.

Perhaps we should get back to what most of us came here for, let's promote perl. If a member contributes positively, whether it is through provoking questions, or another "correct" way to do things, why don't we let them be? Why are there knowledgeable monks here, that have to defend their personalities rather than defend their knowledge?
/end sermon

"The social dynamics of the net are a direct consequence of the fact that nobody has yet developed a Remote Strangulation Protocol." -- Larry Wall

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Principle versus Personalities
by footpad (Abbot) on Jul 14, 2001 at 07:30 UTC

    Thank you for posting something that crystalizes a point I've been trying to make for many posts now. We all have something in common...we want to learn Perl. Let's focus on that, instead of the petty little differences.

    As the parent of a 2-1/2 year old, I understand about tying shoes. And Baby Perl, if only obliquely. However, I don't upbraid my daughter when she pokes about, I don't scream at her when she's kneed me in the unmentionables *again*. It hurts, oh yeah. I want to scream at her. Oh, *yeah*. But, I don't. Why? Because she's going through a learning curve, too. I refuse to subject her to the same training I had.

    My point is, you are very correct. We have a goal and a mission. Let's get the job done and foster a spirit of cooperation and acceptance unseen in any other community. Let's stop playing games with each other and start teaching how to write good ones, or secure ones, or whatever.

    To paraphrase a certain election slogan, "It's the code, stupid."


Re: Principle versus Personalities
by runrig (Abbot) on Jul 14, 2001 at 08:47 UTC
    Here, here. We at Perlmonks 'R Us® strive for a polite and courteous environment. And to that end, there are certain things you do not do in polite company. They are:
    • You don't tug on Superman's cape.
    • You don't spit into the wind.
    • You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger,
    • And you don't ask a Scotsman what's under his kilt.

    I may have missed a couple, but you get the general idea.

    And Remember, FOAD stands for Feed Our Adorable Dolphins.

    Thank you for your time. We now return you to your regularly scheduled perl nodes.

      And you never, ever, ever upset The Bat.
Re: Principle versus Personalities
by xphase_work (Pilgrim) on Jul 14, 2001 at 19:26 UTC
    I agree with the feelings and ideas that you have stated above, but I don't see it happening in the near future. This may be a negative opinion, but I have seen this behaviour in most things and it is pretty much unavoidable.

    In everyday 'real'(not on-line) life people get angry with others, they find fault with others, they let personality and identity stop them from learning from others. Most people don't show these feelings, because they are not anonymous, because others can put a face and name to others comments and negative behaviours.

    The internet changes the way most people behave. Whether it be a small amount, or a large amount, we are all changed by the internet. It is because we are anonymous while on-line, and no matter what we do on-line, once we are off-line, no-one can identify us by our comments. In forums where more anonynimity is allowed more of this behavour is seen. Look at Slashdot and the AC behaviour. With perlmonks we have the ability to ++ and --. We can also join up with a different nick, and become a whole new person, we are not held as tightly to our actions as we are in everyday life.

    We can't stop this behaviour unless we take away they ability to be anonymous, and that is not an option. Even if we did, people would find ways around any fixes we could make.

    I don't mean to make this sound hopeless, it's not. We have one of the best signal to noise ration I've seen on-line. Most members respect everyone else here, and even when things do get somewhat ugly, they tend to get worked out quickly. I hope that things stay this way, and really think they will.

    I think that the best thing that we can do is just pay attention to the positive and thought provoking questions and comments, and ignore the negative ones. The more responses and -- or ++'s a node gets, the more visable it is. If we were just to ignore the node, then it would just fall by the wayside.

    Remember, just pay attention to the good things, have fun with it, and try not to let the negative bring you down.


          It is because we are anonymous while on-line.

      Just an aside.  It is also because others are anonymous to us on-line.  We seem to lack any perspective on them.  Its similar to the importance we give (at least emotionally) to downvotes compared to critical comments where we might even say "Oh yeah, I was wrong" (though not often, of course).  Anonymous downvotes and pseudononymous others are not the same thing, but it all seems related.


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