the voice of reason

It's a really damned scary place, where I'm the one speaking calmly and acting as the voice of reason. It's happened rather more frequently than I'm comfortable with lately, both online and off.

I don't know if it's "the economy", or the shorter days, or something else, but some people seem to have collectively lost their sense of rationality and humour.

Halloween 2007 - 7If you read a post by someone online, don't jump immediately to paint them as EVIL! if they're saying something you don't like or agree with. Take some time. Maybe only a few seconds. Breathe. Try to imagine what's going on from the other person's perspective. Do they have valid reasons for saying what they're saying? Could they really be doing the right thing, but you perceive it as EVIL! because you don't have all of the facts? Could they really be intending to say something else, but are being misinterpreted due to a language or context gap?

The first step toward effective communication isn't kneejerk reactionism. It isn't polarizing pigeonholing. It's trying to figure out what the other person (or people) are REALLY saying, and why. Then, and ONLY then, is a productive response even possible.

I've seen this kind of reactionary kneejerk evilcasting so many times. Usually, it's Apple (and Jobs) cast as EVIL! because of DRM or something else (but, seriously, HDCP in the new MacBooks? WTF? It's really tempting to cast THAT as EVIL! but again, I don't have all of the facts...)

But now it seems as though the kneejerkism is spreading, and it's not productive. It's harmful. It's corrosive.

We all just need to chill the hell out. Breathe. Think before reacting.

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