Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




RIP Ask Joel

I'll be sorry to see the Ask Joel forum disappear, as it had the occassional interesting insight from Joel, and others.

I can understand Joel's feeling that people are jumping down his throat whenever he says something, no matter how well-meaning.

The same thing has happened to me at least twice recently.

Steve Jones (UK)
Thursday, May 13, 2004

>The same thing has happened to me at least twice recently.

Cheer up, Steve. I am certain, like I thought one didn't need eyes to see what was coming of the argument, everyone else reading your comments also must've empathized with you, and held that you had a point. It just didn't have to be dragged, which I am sure you didn't do. You see, it's not that Joel is a super-hero or something and that we subscribe unconditionally to what he says. Nothing of that sort. As a matter of fact, it's quite the contrary. Why don't you discount him as another human being as equally prone to creating an embarrassing moment, like we all sometimes tend to inadvertantly do. Anyone can make wrong statement at times. Anyone can be rude sometimes. It could be because they had a bad day. Anyone can cover up their lies later, even if it is Joel. Especially if it is Joel, because he's not an obscured figure, like say I am. He's got the personal responsibility of maintaining his own public image. And then, anyone can apologize like a gentleman. What would you have done if you had, by chance uncontrollable, done the same thing?

You did have a point all along. It was just that there were arguments from both sides and they added oil to the flame.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Thursday, May 13, 2004

> The same thing has happened to me at least twice recently.

Lucky you! It happens to me all the time - especially online.

Martin A. Bøgelund
Thursday, May 13, 2004

> It happens to me all the time - especially online.

Pre*c*isely! To tell you the truth, Joel has seldom answered any of my questions, but on two occassions, that I put up on Ask Joel, but that does not change my liking for him one bit. Why? Because I like him for what he says or writes about software development. I revere him, but then at the end of it, he's also another human being. He's the same bag of <BUDDHIST>dirt</BUDDHIST> that we all are individually.

So, he has his own fears, his confirmations, his perceptions, and dilemmas. Don't you do nothing but ignore them, lest you entangle them with yours. In a nutshell, Joel is another person, and he's got a life. Let him live it. If he comes out sounding rude, just ignore it. He's probably worrying over something else.

And don't take stuff too personally.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Thursday, May 13, 2004

I'm afraid if you type in the URL or click on the froums home page you will find the corpse in very good health. There are four new threads since yesterday and people are posting to them.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

AskJoel is dead. Long live AskJoel!

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Joel is very knowlegable.  It's too bad he's a thin-skinned celebrity wannabe who can't take constructive criticism and can't ignore meaningless flames.

My Cousin Vinniwashtharam
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Did I miss something?

Aahhh.. I see, you trying to say that you'd be missing the forum if it disappeared. Or do you know something about it no one else does?

I havn't read or heard Joel himself saying anything and that decision is completely up to him.

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Vlad - see Joel's answer in this thread:-  http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=140789&ixReplies=53

R1ch
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Thank you, I did miss it indeed.

Well, thanks, Joel, for your answers, its been a pleasure. Looking forward now for your old style long articles. Whatever smart people like you do they do it well.

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, May 13, 2004

A group is its own worst enemy.

http://www.shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html

Interaction Architect
Thursday, May 13, 2004

> I revere him, but then at the end of it, he's also another human being. He's the same bag of <BUDDHIST>dirt</BUDDHIST> that we all are individually.

I prefer the term "sentient being", if you don't mind: the man has feelings.

Christopher Wells
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Er, some believe he is a spiritual being, made in the image of God, and thus has intrinsic value.

ok
Thursday, May 13, 2004

From my understanding of classical Buddhism, spirituality is moot ('deprived of practical significance : made abstract or purely academic '); but it's axiomatic that Joel for example is sentient like you or I (meaning that he has feelings that may be hurt, and that it's better to avoid causing him to experience hurt feelings).

The word "dirt", colloquially, can be derogatory (e.g., "he treated her like dirt").

I do understand what Sathyaish was saying; but that phrase can risk being interpreted as not a 'nice' (or kind) thing to say, about someone else. To my mind, if it isn't kind or affectionate (compassionate) towards sentient beings, then it isn't Buddhist.

Christopher Wells
Thursday, May 13, 2004

"The word "dirt", colloquially, can be derogatory (e.g., "he treated her like dirt")"

Yes, but "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" isn't that far from dirt, is it?

Paulo Caetano
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Yes, Paulo, and it's in just that context that Buddhism might suggest that I'd be better off viewing my self as dirt: to try to avoid my becoming overly attached to it, and then experiencing suffering as a consequence of that attachment.

Still perhaps there's a difference between my calling my self 'dirt' or 'an illusion', and my calling you 'dirt' or 'an illusion': because the intent of the former would be to help me, whereas the effect of the latter might be to hurt you.

Christopher Wells
Thursday, May 13, 2004

So long as none of you are dirty......

.
Thursday, May 13, 2004

My advice to all of you is to drink heavily.

He's in pre-med
Thursday, May 13, 2004

My feet are made of clay.

Clayfeet
Thursday, May 13, 2004

And my brain, rocks.

Jimmy Jojo
Thursday, May 13, 2004

>I can understand Joel's feeling that people are jumping down his throat whenever he says something, no matter how well-meaning.

Joel needn't feel too bad, my understanding is that all the regulars on this board are feeling that alot of 'jump-down-your-throat' type of people have came out of the wood work to vomit all over this board.

It's a shame.

Aussie Chick
Friday, May 14, 2004

welcome back aussie chick!  where did you go?  ...we were starting to worry...

FullNameRequired
Friday, May 14, 2004

I was lost in the world of fluid flow dynamics...hours upon hours of studying physics textbooks, and bossing team members around. Oh the joys of it all.

Aussie Chick
Friday, May 14, 2004

> my understanding is that all the regulars on this board are feeling that alot of 'jump-down-your-throat' type of people have came out of the wood work to vomit all over this board

Hey, I resemble that remark! The problem is that the rest of us have to put up with it whilst Joel can pick up his ball and take it home.


Friday, May 14, 2004

"my understanding is that all the regulars on this board are feeling that alot of 'jump-down-your-throat' type of people have came out of the wood work to vomit all over this board"

Indeed. Now is there a solution? Really, give it a shot. AFAIK this is an unsolved problem. What normally happens is the place just deteriorates, people disperse and go elsewhere. Some find nice new places, where the cycle starts all over again.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, May 14, 2004

"Still perhaps there's a difference between my calling my self 'dirt' or 'an illusion', and my calling you 'dirt' or 'an illusion': because the intent of the former would be to help me, whereas the effect of the latter might be to hurt you"

Hadn't considered that. Good point!

Paulo Caetano
Friday, May 14, 2004

> Now is there a solution? Really, give it a shot.

A few canonical solutions, none of them perfect.

A person must login before posting (and may lose their login priviledge); an un-logged-in person's post goes into limbo, and must be approved by a Wizop before being displayed; create the board privately, and don't let Google index it (so that few learn of its existence); increase the number of Wizops who can delete posts; grow thicker skin; use a protocol like NNTP that supports client-side filtering; have a well-known and well-respected moderator, whom posters don't want to disappoint; leave, when the place no longer fills your need; write a FAQ to explain what makes a post acceptable/unacceptable.

If I owned the board I would consider "increase the number of Wizops who can delete posts", if it were technically feasible, with a definition or guideline of "acceptable/unacceptable": make the group self-moderating.

Christopher Wells
Friday, May 14, 2004

The Ask Joel forum was already pretty much like that, in that all posts were created as deleted and only got to be undeleted if Joel decided that they were appropriate.

I guess that this only applied to the initial question though, so maybe it could be extended to all posts (i.e. subsequent posts too, not just the original post).

Part of Joel's problem must be manpower, as I believe he suggested earlier. As it's really just him and Michael at Fog Creek, I can see that it'd be too big a hit on their productivity to read every post and consider if it was appropriate.

It's not really a job you can give to an intern, nor would you want to hire someone just to do that (economics wouldn't work, I'm guessing).

That leaves volunteers I suppose. If Joel could recruit a number of volunteer moderators, then it would work.

I'd certainly be happy to volunteer my time, as I do like this site, but I suspect that Joel would rule me out as I have critisised him in the past. You never know though, at least I was attempting to be constructive, rather than some of the more blatant personal attacks that various other people have launched.

Steve Jones (UK)
Friday, May 14, 2004

Steve, you did have a good go at him. However I think of all the arguments yours was the most intersting (although the name calling went a bit far).

>grow thicker skin
I don't think this is a solution, I don't have a sking problem, I have a problem trying to follow any interesting topic when the first twenty posts are all condeming the topic, and then this 'lets condem the topic' sub-topic runs through the whole thread.

Aussie Chick
Friday, May 14, 2004

Hi Aussie Chick, wb btw.

You're correct, I did have a go at Joel, as you put it, but it wasn't meant as a personal attack. Rather, it was intended to highlight a different point of view and an apparent inconsistency in approach.

I admit I got a bit carried away with my "Colloquial English" post, but I was mad that Joel would publicly make fun of my innocent query and made me out to be some kind of OCD sufferrer, just because I thought something should be correct, rather than obviously incorrect.

Steve Jones (UK)
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Steve,

Yes I completely understand. Society does tend to appreciate wit more when it comes from those higher up in the ranks. ie the cool person says something we all laugh first and think later. Very few people can claim innocence on this count, at least I for one am very guilty of it on many occasions.

Aussie Chick
Saturday, May 15, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home