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Roger Hicks
10-11-2009, 23:51
...is something most of us need to work on sometimes, especially when someone says something really stupid. It's always tempting to point out how stupid they are, except that they may not be: there can be a big difference between being stupid, and saying something stupid.

It's also tempting to say, "Gosh, I'm an awful lot cleverer than you because..." when in fact we may be conflating experience (I've tried this, you haven't) and native intelligence. Or, for that matter, we may be failing to distinguish between their goals and our own.

Of course it's also possible to be misunderstood. Not only may we express ourselves imperfectly: there are always those who read what they want to read, not what we've actually said.

It is vexing when there are people who sometimes produce good and helpful replies, and almost equally often are boorish and arrogant. Increasingly, I suspect that the 'ignore' control is my friend. Formerly I regarded 'ignore' as weakness on my part. Now, I'm not so sure, though there are still only two or three people on my 'ignore' list. How do others treat 'ignore'? (Of course, I'll not hear from those who have placed me on their 'ignore' lists).

Cheers,

R.

Leigh Youdale
10-12-2009, 00:06
Not wanting to derail the thread, but could it be that "ignore" is similar to "selective hearing" in marriage (or other relationship), or simply biting one's tongue rather than utter the sharp response that instantly springs to mind?
I find that "Hmmmm" is often all the response I need to give and it neither confirms nor commits to anything.

Roger Hicks
10-12-2009, 00:09
Not wanting to derail the thread, but could it be that "ignore" is similar to "selective hearing" in marriage (or other relationship), or simply biting one's tongue rather than utter the sharp response that instantly springs to mind?
I find that "Hmmmm" is often all the response I need to give and it neither confirms nor commits to anything.
Dear Leigh,

Your observations certainly do not constitute a derailment.

In fact, your reply brings up exactly why I regarded 'ignore' as a weakness in myself: why can't I just read something and ignore it, instead of feeling an urge to reply? But I just find 'ignore' easier, and as I get older, I find myself more and more in favour of that which makes life easier.

Cheers,

R.

Keith
10-12-2009, 00:16
I think sometimes we have to remember also that a lot of RFF contributors are not native english speakers. Sometimes dialogue that comes across as slightly boorish or arrogant is not so intentionally!

We Australians struggle with this you know! :p

dee
10-12-2009, 00:29
I think that just as often it is others who are tactful with ME !
Knowing that I don't do small talk or joining in , they allow me to remain on the periphery .
I am also slow in some ways , and get lost with the normal banter and chat , so am seen as odd / wierd / eccentric [ hopefully ] Maybe here too , I am tolerated by some . But that's jhow it works .

As a listener , it's often important to recogise why someone seems agressive / slow [ I won't use ' stupid ' heard that too often ] distanced , irritating . Often there is a reason - she may become calmer if this isn't made AN ISSUE , because it has in her past .

When presenting to clients an Interior Design Scheme , I would ask that they treat me as a 5 year old when explaining their business - 'cos they might know it all , but I know nothing .
This has a dual effect , in that the poor harresed Project Manager feels free to ask what some of my colleagues call ' stupid ' - obvious . basic questions .

This is my approach generallyand it seems to work with young designers , children etc .

However ,I will try and tolerate so much , however then HAVE to switch off / tune out .
It feels like familiar bullying to me and that I can longer take .
I think that this is a necessary survival tactic - to prevent overload .

If someone withdraws from [ ignores ] me , then that's OK too - why not ? I am a pain in b... all too often .

I don't think that there is a pat answer - but not feeling guilty of turning inward and protecting one's sense of self / being is essential [ in the old sense of the term ]
This is quite otherwise from before I was given permission to be me , and taught how real people think / resolve / communicate LOL .

emraphoto
10-12-2009, 02:50
Let's hear it for "ignore"!

Leigh Youdale
10-12-2009, 03:17
Now here's a fine (or not) distinction which might exercise Roger's fertile mind, or that of an expert in semantics - say, Bill Bryson.
What is the distinction in meaning and use of the words "ignore" and "ignorant"?

Leigh Youdale
10-12-2009, 03:20
I think sometimes we have to remember also that a lot of RFF contributors are not native english speakers. Sometimes dialogue that comes across as slightly boorish or arrogant is not so intentionally!

We Australians struggle with this you know! :p

Keith, you know full well that we Australians are not lacking in tact - we just believe we are "blunt" and "honest". Also somewhat lacking in feeling at times.
Reminds me of the old story that to the Upper Class in England a ***** is not a *****, but and "agricultural implement". To Australians it's just a "bloody shovel".

Leigh Youdale
10-12-2009, 03:22
Oh dear! It seems that somewhere in the world a sp-de is not allowed to be called a sp-de! Not PC, it seems.

Juan Valdenebro
10-12-2009, 03:27
About tact:

Tact doesn't make better photographers.

Tact posts don't make photography forums better.

Ignoring arrogance don't make arrogant people better.

Just my opinion, and just because you're asking for it... Of course your opinion, if different, has exactly the same value as mine, or any other person's opinion.

By the way, I think this thread didn't start with tact, but for sure it gave you something... I mean, you were in the need of something not related to photography.

Honestly I don't understand what, and that curiosity made me get involved... If you allow me to make another statement lacking tact, I have often had the sensation, when reading you, that you don't get enough from your photography, and not even from your photographic coments, so you talk about other things... But I can be wrong, and as Keith said, could be just my little understanding of english what doesn't allow me to enjoy your humor, even when I know you are trying to be humoristic... I just perceive some agression and unsatisfaction, although by now I know you're not a bad person. Maybe you're just the king of tact, and as I lack it completely, I envy you... Only God knows!

Cheers,

Juan

Leigh Youdale
10-12-2009, 03:45
About tact:

... Only God knows!

Juan

And she's not saying!

Juan Valdenebro
10-12-2009, 03:55
And she's not saying!

Leigh, what does that mean?

Thanks

rxmd
10-12-2009, 03:56
Tact posts don't make photography forums better.

However, lack of tact arguably makes them worse ;)

Ignoring arrogance don't make arrogant people better.

Then again, not ignoring arrogance costs you a lot of time spent in futile discussions with arrogant people on the Internet (http://xkcd.com/386/). :angel:

Roger Hicks
10-12-2009, 04:10
About tact:

Tact doesn't make better photographers.

Tact posts don't make photography forums better.

Ignoring arrogance don't make arrogant people better.

Just my opinion, and just because you're asking for it... Of course your opinion, if different, has exactly the same value as mine, or any other person's opinion.

By the way, I think this thread didn't start with tact, but for sure it gave you something... I mean, you were in the need of something not related to photography.

Honestly I don't understand what, and that curiosity made me get involved... If you allow me to make another statement lacking tact, I have often had the sensation, when reading you, that you don't get enough from your photography, and not even from your photographic coments, so you talk about other things... But I can be wrong, and as Keith said, could be just my little understanding of english what doesn't allow me to enjoy your humor, even when I know you are trying to be humoristic... I just perceive some agression and unsatisfaction, although by now I know you're not a bad person. Maybe you're just the king of tact, and as I lack it completely, I envy you... Only God knows!

Cheers,

Juan

Dear Juan,

The part I have highlighted is an entirely fair point, and one that I have thought about myself. I suspect (if I may be permitted to be even more self-centred than usual) that I like RFF because it is related to photography, but it is not necessarily limited to photography.

Bear in mind that the majority of my income comes from writing for the photographic press, and that a great deal of that is necessarily 'hard' technical stuff: not 'hard' as in 'difficult' but 'hard' as in 'unadulterated'. That's quite apart from the web-site. In other words, I have to shoot a lot, and to write a lot about photography. Against that, I like some relaxation, and RFF provides it. I try to help people where I can, but often, I find the 'off topic' stuff more interesting because I'm not so immersed in it.

I even try to help sometimes with the 'should I buy A or B' threads, because although I know that nine times out of ten my advice is at least as worthless as most of the rest, the tenth time, it may be that I have tried the kit (or something very like it) in the last 40+ years and can be of some use.

Aggressive? I try not to be, though I have not unjustly been described as irascible. The 'tact' thread involves principally quite a small number of people on RFF, including myself, and that is why I am especially grateful for such responses as yours.

Finally, I very strongly suspect that tact does in fact make better photographers, and one reason for starting this thread was try to to learn to be more tactful myself -- and again, I'd suggest that tact does, indeed, make for a much better (more agreeable, more informative, more thoughtful) forum.

Cheers,

Roger

Roger Hicks
10-12-2009, 04:19
I think sometimes we have to remember also that a lot of RFF contributors are not native english speakers. Sometimes dialogue that comes across as slightly boorish or arrogant is not so intentionally!

We Australians struggle with this you know! :p

Dear Keith,

I think I've more often had problems with the ones who do think of themselves as native English speakers, especially if they do not appear ro have much of a sense of humour or (which is at least equally likely) if they have a sense of humour I do not understand. From all I've seen and heard, I rather like the Australian sense of humour. But is Barry Humphries seen as being as funny in Australia as he is in the UK?

Cheers,

R.

Juan Valdenebro
10-12-2009, 04:36
Thanks, Roger, I certainly feel warmth in your words, even to a totally unknown as me...

I also try to have more tact generally speaking, because it helps our living. I don't succeed, as you see...

As you know, I started a thread on music sharing (am a collector and before photography studied piano and composition for six years) so I share your opinion on RFF being wide and a source of relax too. And I know you're very respected for your writings and your equipment knowledge, and from the love that lots of people express you around here, as much as for the kind answers you've given me, I know as I told you before, that you must be a very kind one to treat personally...

I apologize formally and in public if my words seemed rude, I really wondered why you needed to say "some people got no tact, let's ignore them", but... Maybe you're right, and maybe there's no cure in some cases...

I agree with you, and I'll try to consider these kind words from you and make this a better forum starting with myself, so you got that point about maybe tact can really make any forum better as a more respectful one...

I see you're definitely a special person, and maybe there really is a limit in my english, so I'll try to keep cool. Thanks for the advice and the tact...

By the way, I'm glad to see you're around here again and hope you're fully recovering.

All the best,

Juan

Merkin
10-12-2009, 04:57
Is everyone on RFF polite to everyone else 100 percent of the time? No. Do a majority of RFF'ers read a post from time to time that really pushes their buttons? I don't know, but I would imagine so. Is it likely from the wide range of opinions, philosophies, likes, dislikes, pet peeves, and beliefs here on RFF that people are inevitably going to have disagreements, some of which may seem quasi-religious in scope to those engaging in them? Certainly. Do things get said from time to time that seem more like personal attack than intellectual debate? Sure, it is the internet, such things are inevitable. Does RFF, as a whole, do a pretty good job at keeping things reasonably civil and tactful compared to the internet as a whole? I think so, for I wouldn't be here otherwise.

None of us are perfect, and some of us, myself included, are less perfect than others :), but I think we can look at the example set by the majority of internet message boards and give ourselves a pat on the back. The simple fact that we are having this discussion shows that we actually care about maintaining a quasi-civil environment for discussing the things about which we are passionate. Sure, we might all fall down occasionally, but we all seem reasonably capable of picking ourselves back up when we do, and then we all collectively seem to go back to the business of at least attempting to elevate the discourse.

Roger Hicks
10-12-2009, 05:40
Dear Juan,

Thank you for the kind words, and there is absolutely no need for any apology: your words did not seem rude for an instant, and although the point about what I get from my photography and from the forum was tangential, it was far from irrelevant.

I fear I may not have made myself clear in the original, though. My basic point is this:

1 How do others deal with other posters who are tactless to the point of boorish?

2 How do others respond when they are accused of being tactless/boorish, etc?

Is 'ignore' the safest bet? Or is there any other way to raise the (already extremely high) standards of civility of the forum?

Cheers.

R.

Roger Hicks
10-12-2009, 05:42
Is everyone on RFF polite to everyone else 100 percent of the time? No. Do a majority of RFF'ers read a post from time to time that really pushes their buttons? I don't know, but I would imagine so. Is it likely from the wide range of opinions, philosophies, likes, dislikes, pet peeves, and beliefs here on RFF that people are inevitably going to have disagreements, some of which may seem quasi-religious in scope to those engaging in them? Certainly. Do things get said from time to time that seem more like personal attack than intellectual debate? Sure, it is the internet, such things are inevitable. Does RFF, as a whole, do a pretty good job at keeping things reasonably civil and tactful compared to the internet as a whole? I think so, for I wouldn't be here otherwise.

None of us are perfect, and some of us, myself included, are less perfect than others :), but I think we can look at the example set by the majority of internet message boards and give ourselves a pat on the back. The simple fact that we are having this discussion shows that we actually care about maintaining a quasi-civil environment for discussing the things about which we are passionate. Sure, we might all fall down occasionally, but we all seem reasonably capable of picking ourselves back up when we do, and then we all collectively seem to go back to the business of at least attempting to elevate the discourse.

Seconded, without hesitation, especially the highlighted part.

Cheers,

R.

david.elliott
10-12-2009, 05:47
I will just add this thought --

RFF has always felt, for me, more like a classroom seminar than an internet forum.

wgerrard
10-12-2009, 05:49
The nature of the medium encourages us to slip into broadcast mode, rather than engaging in a conversation. The only feedback is written and it's delayed. There's none of the subtle and immediate feedback that channel and guide in-the-flesh conversations and allow us to make mid-course corrections. The non-verbal components of conversation, which are so important in conveying emotion, are completely absent online.

slm
10-12-2009, 05:52
Dear Juan,
1 How do others deal with other posters who are tactless to the point of boorish?

2 How do others respond when they are accused of being tactless/boorish, etc?

Is 'ignore' the safest bet? Or is there any other way to raise the (already extremely high) standards of civility of the forum?

Cheers.

R.

I don't use the ignore feature of the forum software, I just ignore.
Unfortunately, there has been a lot of threads that degraded in the past, maybe less so recently. I guess 'ignore' is a good policy (but not ignore list), cause someone could just be having a bad day. If you experience reoccurring boorish or rude posts from someone, then I would imagine the best policy would be to advise the moderators and a warning be issued to the person. After n warnings, account suspension, kicked off, tar and feathers....

Cheers
Steven

Roger Hicks
10-12-2009, 05:57
The nature of the medium encourages us to slip into broadcast mode, rather than engaging in a conversation. The only feedback is written and it's delayed. There's none of the subtle and immediate feedback that channel and guide in-the-flesh conversations and allow us to make mid-course corrections. The non-verbal components of conversation, which are so important in conveying emotion, are completely absent online.

Dear Bill,

Very true. This is made worse by the fact that I can't stand smilies and am not keen on emoticons. Both seem too self-consciously ironic when I use them, though I cheerfully accept that others can use them easily.

But it does sometimes seem -- and once again I do not exclude myself -- that not-so-subtle feedback is sometimes missed or even sometimes deliberately ignored.

Perhaps the geek poll from a few weeks ago is relevant here. Some people are permanent geeks, but I think most of us can slip into geek mode if the right buttons are pressed.

Cheers,

R.

MCTuomey
10-12-2009, 06:07
I will endeavor to practice greater tact while posting, not because it could have a difference on photographic efforts, but because tact leads to more deliberate reflection, rather than emotional outbursts.

If I'm wrong, then at the very least greater tact will result in a more pleasant environment by my standards, of course. I prefer civility over its various alternatives.

Merkin
10-12-2009, 06:10
Dear Bill,

Very true. This is made worse by the fact that I can't stand smilies and am not keen on emoticons. Both seem too self-consciously ironic when I use them, though I cheerfully accept that others can use them easily.

But it does sometimes seem -- and once again I do not exclude myself -- that not-so-subtle feedback is sometimes missed or even sometimes deliberately ignored.

Perhaps the geek poll from a few weeks ago is relevant here. Some people are permanent geeks, but I think most of us can slip into geek mode if the right buttons are pressed.

Cheers,

R.

I find emoticons to be a necessary evil, mainly as seriousness (well, lack thereof) and sarcasm indicators. It isn't just body language we are missing here, it is tone of voice. In the largely context-less environment that is the internet- informal conversations using a more formal form of communicaton, the written word- it is all too easy sometimes to mistake sarcasm or humor for seriousness, and this leads to too many internet conversations going horribly wrong. Unfortunately, the most elegant, but far from perfect (and rather idiotic looking) method I have found for conveying the informalities we are intending are emoticons, a couple of simple smilies in my case.

slm
10-12-2009, 06:12
I will endeavor to practice greater tact while posting, not because it could have a difference on photographic efforts, but because tact leads to more deliberate reflection, rather than emotional outbursts.

If I'm wrong, then at the very least greater tact will result in a more pleasant environment by my standards, of course. I prefer civility over its various alternatives.

Well said!

bmattock
10-12-2009, 06:22
...is something most of us need to work on sometimes, especially when someone says something really stupid. It's always tempting to point out how stupid they are, except that they may not be: there can be a big difference between being stupid, and saying something stupid.


Agreed.


It's also tempting to say, "Gosh, I'm an awful lot cleverer than you because..." when in fact we may be conflating experience (I've tried this, you haven't) and native intelligence. Or, for that matter, we may be failing to distinguish between their goals and our own.


Also true.


Of course it's also possible to be misunderstood. Not only may we express ourselves imperfectly: there are always those who read what they want to read, not what we've actually said.


Truer words was never spoke.


It is vexing when there are people who sometimes produce good and helpful replies, and almost equally often are boorish and arrogant. Increasingly, I suspect that the 'ignore' control is my friend. Formerly I regarded 'ignore' as weakness on my part. Now, I'm not so sure, though there are still only two or three people on my 'ignore' list. How do others treat 'ignore'? (Of course, I'll not hear from those who have placed me on their 'ignore' lists).


I have never placed anyone on 'ignore' on RFF. Came close to it once or twice, but in the end, I'd rather see something that infuriates me and disregard it than not see it.

When it comes to 'tact', I am not sure what it is I do online that is different from what I do in personal face-to-face communications that causes people online to find me 'tactless'. I do not get such a response in person; indeed, a good portion of my job depends upon my being able to communicate effectively with my clients and if I were in fact tactless, I believe it would have a deleterious effect.

I'd joked about not using enough emoticons, but that may not be so far from the truth. There is something missing in my online communications that includes the nod and the wink. For that, I apologize; the fault is clearly mine.

I can't help being hyper-intelligent and an audodidact. It's a curse, but I try to bear up under it. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D (see, that's me joking).

wgerrard
10-12-2009, 06:58
I find emoticons to be a necessary evil...

I'll toss in a smilie when I write in jest, not so much to avoid offense but to cover my failures as a humorist.

Writing -- what we do here -- is simply much more difficult than speaking. It is not merely transcribing our spoken words. Unless the purpose of writing is only to convey sterile information, we write to prompt some kind of response in readers. Sometimes we want to persuade, sometimes to refute, sometimes to tell jokes. Success at writing means success at manipulating words to produce a desired reaction in readers. Often, I suspect, perceived errors of tact are down to writing fumbles.

PhotoMat
10-12-2009, 07:13
As Merkin pointed out, the nuances of interpersonal communication are sorely lacking among the electrons of cyberspace. I often think that our estimation of some people, who we may find irksome because of perceived lack of tact, would be completely different if we were chatting over a beer. Of course, there will always be exceptions!

All and all, I have to commend my fellow RFF members on the quality of this forum. This has always seemed like a tight knit bunch and I often think that it's a shame that we can't meet in person ... over a beer!

Matt

Al Kaplan
10-12-2009, 07:37
wgerrard, not everybody finds writing a difficult chore. Some of us feel that it can be a useful and precise means of communicating, and it can still have some humor thrown in. Many people freeze up when talking but don't have the problem while writing.

rxmd
10-12-2009, 07:41
wgerrard, not everybody finds writing a difficult chore.

I don't find it a difficult chore (at least when I don't have to crank out hundreds of pages at a time). However, I still use emoticons every now and then as safeguards, in order to overcome the inherent insecurity and limited expressiveness that stem from my use of a foreign language.

Al Kaplan
10-12-2009, 07:47
What do you call using a button rewind M2 that I bought second hand in 1972, and it still has the accessory rewind crank on it (which I can't stand) because the screw is rusted in place? Ostentatious or laziness?

wgerrard
10-12-2009, 07:50
wgerrard, not everybody finds writing a difficult chore. Some of us feel that it can be a useful and precise means of communicating, and it can still have some humor thrown in. Many people freeze up when talking but don't have the problem while writing.

Agreed, Al. I'm often more comfortable writing than speaking. I stand by my assertion, though, that it is more difficult to elicit and control reactions when writing than when speaking. That is why, I suppose, so few people earn livings as fiction writers. When we write, and then toss the words out among strangers (as, to all intents and purposes, we do here) we lose all control of what those words might do or might be taken to mean.

oldoc
10-12-2009, 07:53
Since I have much more to learn about photography than I know, Roger, I am glad there are those like yourself around here. I do know a bit about other things, and sometimes it is amazing how little knowledge about the world others may have, although they are quite certain they know all required to post about things from a point of authority. Oh, well, such as life. I am determined to endeavor to be helpful but not authoritative, and to avoid other areas, most certainly like religion and politics. Regardless of my thoughts about leadership....maybe we should all focus on photography.
Thanks for raising an important issue.

Al Kaplan
10-12-2009, 08:04
A lot of the skill in writing is choosing words that will get across the intended meaning to the target readership. Here on the forum we have to consider that we have readers whose native language isn't English, that the British don't speak exactly the same language as North Americans, and I get the impression that Keith has to deal with both variants as slightly foreign in Oz.

Al Kaplan
10-12-2009, 08:11
I've met several in my "limited" travels and since Miami is both a destination and waypoint to other destinations I've met up with several who were from elsewhere. There are also a few who live nearby that I've met. They're always different in person.

oldoc
10-12-2009, 08:15
Wonder no more...zero.
I just know how they seem, and that's your point.
However, Memphis and I have been threatening to meet up for quite a while, and I plan to have dinner with xray...do those count?

oldoc
10-12-2009, 08:50
Let you know how they go...

dee
10-12-2009, 09:13
You wanna correspond with a few Aspergers guys if you can think that people around here are tactless ... and they really don't get it , and it does not bother me in the slightest . And I can ' ignore ' with impunity - 'cos we just pick up from last time .
This is so much easier for me than playing games I can't make sense of with NTs [ neurotypicals ] LOL

Al Kaplan
10-12-2009, 09:59
Well Dee, it's been suggested on occasion that I'm one of those Aspergers guys. I've even been tested for it, inconclusive of course, because the medical establishment can't agree on a good definition, or even whether or not it really exists. About the only obvious indication of it these days is my writing style. I don't think that I'm tactless though.

Merkin
10-12-2009, 10:53
Once upon a time, I was a road warrior, and I was also a frequent poster on a discussion forum for horologists (watch collectors) known as 'TimeZone'. Great place, by the way. I used to make it a habit to try to meet up with members in many of the cities I visited. With only one exception I can recall, I truly enjoyed meeting everyone, and they were very much as I had imagined them to be.



Yes, I suppose that is true. I don't like false modesty, and I have trouble with acquiescing to things I strongly believe are incorrect for the sake of politeness.

All opinions are not equal on every subject. Some opinions are right and some are wrong. I've never subscribed to the theory that everybody's opinion is equally valid. If someone has an opinion that the earth is flat, they're wrong. I suppose I could nod and pretend their opinion is valid, just to be polite. I believe that would be hypocritical of me. Everyone's opinion matters, but not every opinion is valid.

And we're discussing each other's opinions here. Shall I cloak mine in the sackcloth of false praise and acceptance for the sake of getting along and not hurting feelings? I guess I could do that, but it feels...icky. It's like posting 'great shot' on someone's photo when I hate it. I don't post that I hate it, I leave it alone. If someone asks me if I like it, however...

I do try to make distinctions between subjects which I believe I am right about and those on which I merely have an opinion. But on the rare occasion I have met with an objection to my point of view that is intellectually compelling, I have acknowledged it and rethought my position - even changed my mind a few times. I'm brilliant, but there are brighter lights than mine in the firmament.

The problem is that a lot of the discussions in places like this are about things that cannot be demonstrably proven one way or another. Sure, if someone claimed that 35mm film out-resolved 8x10 sheet film, there is no reason to be afraid to tell the person that their opinion is completely wrong. When you get to discussions like "What is the best 75mm lens" or "Which is the best 100 speed color film," that is the place where more leeway is needed, where you need to consider everyones opinion at least quasi-valid (within reason, if someone sincerely claimed the best 75mm lens was a rubber chicken, I think I would certainly join in with the laughing mercilessly), because people's definitions of and criteria regarding what qualifies as "the best" vary. Take any given "which lens" discussion. Some people think the best lens is the sharpest regardless of speed, some think it is the fastest regardless of sharpness, some think it is the lens that has the best OOF rendering regardless of sharpness or speed, some think it is the smallest lens regardless of all three, etc, etc, ad nauseam...
All of those people would quite likely be correct based on their own sets of criteria and value judgements, and those sets of criteria and value judgements are quite likely different from the next twenty people. If person A, who believes that sharpness is king, tries to argue with person B (who believes that speed is king) that Person B's lens of choice is worse because it isn't as sharp as Person A's, that probably doesn't matter one bit to person B, but if Person C comes along and points out that Lens C is just as fast as Person B's choice but is also sharper, that might lead to a more constructive discussion. Until the day that someone invents a series of lenses that cover every prime focal length and all zoom ranges that feature an f stop range of 0.75 to 64, causes no diffraction, can focus down to 0mm, has sublime bokeh, is sharper at f/0.75 than any lens has ever been at 5.6 or 8, and has extremely small size and extremely low weight while being made entirely of metal at a price point of 25 bucks each, people will continue expressing their opinions on what is best for them, and try to persuade others that their opinion is the most correct (and even then, people would probably still stump for something else).

dee
10-12-2009, 11:56
Some with ASD can be direct - don't suffer fools gladly . I have no probs with this but others do take offence . Me ? I keep quiet , which is hiding really , which isn't so good .
But I know what it is like to be bullied and put down .

wgerrard
10-12-2009, 11:57
... I don't think that I'm tactless though.

Geez, no!

I once worked at a place with employees in many locations, inside and outside the U.S. It wasn't unusual to converse with someone via email or chat or IM for months and months before meeting them in person. Sometimes we meshed with our imagined conceptions of each other, sometimes not. But, meeting a person did impact our future online conversations, once they went home.

Roger Hicks
10-12-2009, 12:21
I don't like false modesty, and I have trouble with acquiescing to things I strongly believe are incorrect for the sake of politeness.


Dear Bill,

But there can also be a problem with false immodesty. I used to think I was pretty smart. I still do. But I also know that I can misread people, misunderstand them, and try to answer questions they aren't asking. I've also met a reasonable number of people who are smarter than I. An iota of modesty -- even if false -- is often more attractive than its opposite. I'd rather be liked than disliked.

For that matter, there's a big difference between things you strongly believe to be incorrect, and things you know to be incorrect. Thus I believe your views on Obama to be wrong, but I know that someone is wrong if they say that a 50/2 is faster (i.e. lets more light through) than a 50/1.4. In between there are questions of definition: for example, is it possible to be a good photographer, and to care about photography, without using a light meter (at least some of the time)?

For the most part, too, I have found that the cleverest and most knowledgeable people I know are often the ones who are the most modest, and who are most willing to say "I could be wrong." Geoffrey Crawley springs to mind. Dr. Hubert Nasse at Zeiss is another. Or Sir Kenneth Corfield.

Perhaps it is an unworthy wish to be thought cleverer than I am, but I generally find it a good idea to emulate the approach of these very clever people, and to let the other person form an opinion of my intelligence, knowledge, rectitude and the like, rather than to tell them stridently how clever, knowledgeable, brave and upright I am. I'll tell 'em what I know, but I try to let them form an opinion about its (and my) worth.

Hence, in large measure, this thread: about how each of us responds to challenges to his (or occasionally her) amour propre, and to those we find bombastic.

Cheers,

R.

BillP
10-12-2009, 12:46
Roger you make your points well, and I for one find them trenchant and accurate. I spend very little time on RFF because of the inordinately high signal to noise ratio, and the bombastic approach of some regular posters who, like tomcats, seem to feel the urge to make their mark on every thread even - or especially - when they have little or nothing to add beyond the repetition of their own self-aggrandising mantra. There is no pleasure to be had in trawling through the ego parade day after day so I simply don't bother. I suspect that I am not alone in this view.

Regards,

Bill

Leigh Youdale
10-12-2009, 22:21
Leigh, what does that mean?

Thanks

Hi Juan. Apologies for the late reply but I was heading for the pit (bed) when I spotted your question last night and I've only just got to my computer again.
I guess this is a very good example of how the use of words can obscure a meaning or result in a miscommunication. Something others in this thread have mentioned.
Firstly, it was a rather poor attempt at humour. Secondly it relied on a fairly common white anglo saxon protestant jibe which the "in group" might find slightly amusing but which others may not. It refers to the patriarchal image of God as a male figure presented by orthodox judeo-christian religion, and which is often refuted by feminists who say there is no proof of that and in fact "He" might be a "She".
Thirdly, your final remark that "God only knows" or words to that effect prompted the basis of my response in that God, in whatever form you may or may not believe, does not speak and therefore we'll never know what God knows.
Which all goes to show that I was a bit silly to post the remark in the first place and that it really has nothing to do with photography in the second place.
Sorry!

Leigh Youdale
10-12-2009, 22:26
Dear Keith,
But is Barry Humphries seen as being as funny in Australia as he is in the UK?
R.

Dame Edna is the nearest thing to Royalty that we've got! If we get a Republic she's the ONE!

I think Barry as Dame Edna is a bit passe now but can still be amusing. Barry as himself is an extremely talented man in some surprising areas and originally as "The Dame" he had us in stitches as he sent up so many aspects of Australian culture and sacrificed sacred cows, but there's not a lot new these days. And Sir Les Patterson still makes us cringe!

Ronald_H
10-13-2009, 05:15
This just got its author relegated into my ignore list:

"There's nothing wrong with the M6TTL. It is not built to a lower standard. It's the people who want their gear to provide them with a sense of validation who are the ones who rave about the MP, as if it is Leica's film version of the Holy Grail. There has yet to be any proven evidence that their photography has improved as a result of paying more for the MP model."

Hmm, this makes me worry in how many people's ignore list I am. Really. Yes, I know I am often (unintentionally) tac tless IRL, people never cease to point this out to me :D

I also agree it is very difficult to get a bit of tongue in cheek or sarcasm across on the 'net and emoticons can be helpful.

But back to the statement that got somebody ignored. I don't find it offensive in any way really. The point is made a bit strongly but so what? I know for a fact that I have been saying things like that. Oops?

Even if someone makes his point or feels strongly about something, it doesn't mean they don't respect your feelings or opinions. I have to admit I can't get my head around the fact that Leicas are so unbelieveably expensive, yet a number of people must have the latest and greatest, or let's put it more tactfully, feel the (small?) gains they get by buying an MP or the next gen lens are worth it. You can fall in love with the optical performance of the lenses, the build quality, legacy and all that. I understand that. I own a M2 + a handful of lenses. But to me the amount of money you have to pay for most Leica gear cannot be justified. Ever. Sorry.

But still, I always have a very good time with my best photographic friend. He literally spends tens of thousands on Leica, Hasselblad and Linhof gear + some fancy computers, scanners, printers and digitals. He loves his stuff, I love it. I can even afford it. But I don't. I respect his choices, he respects mine.

This is turning into a rant... I hope I made myself clear and didn't offend anybody.

JohnTF
10-13-2009, 08:13
Dear Bill,


For the most part, too, I have found that the cleverest and most knowledgeable people I know are often the ones who are the most modest, and who are most willing to say "I could be wrong." Geoffrey Crawley springs to mind. Dr. Hubert Nasse at Zeiss is another. Or Sir Kenneth Corfield.

Perhaps it is an unworthy wish to be thought cleverer than I am, but I generally find it a good idea to emulate the approach of these very clever people, and to let the other person form an opinion of my intelligence, knowledge, rectitude and the like, rather than to tell them stridently how clever, knowledgeable, brave and upright I am.


Cheers,

R.

I agree, but I just hate it when they miss the trail of subtle bread crumbs I have left them, and they fail to comprehend this. ;-)

I now know how much you love emoticons, but I have to give some clues as to my intent, as you well know the written word is just not as clear as the spoken. However, you know that I am agreeing with you, but I suppose an explained joke is not much of a joke?

I have to add that this is the most tactful thread I have read.

I find it necessary enough to commonly re-read and edit my posts when I see my failure to clearly convey my intention, or in fact somehow imply something totally unintended.

I also seem to recall a quote attributed to Tennessee Williams (paraphrased from long ago in my memory, so if I totally muck it up, let me know and I will edit it ;-))

"I can forgive many things save a deliberate unkindness",

I think a reasonable reader also might give some time to consider an interpreted untactful post to consider if it is a simple error leading to understanding or miss communication, or indeed something else.

Perhaps the instance I see most occurs with newer posters.

I do not like to see a newer poster ignored, or treated in a cavalier manner, especially when the problem may well be due to inexperience or a language problem. Is a curt, impolite, response meant to elucidate the subject, or exclude the less experienced?

I would like to think that newer folks do contribute to a reasonable forum, and RFF a great opportunity to chat up serious photo folks like you Roger, along with others of serious expertise.

You know me from years back on old forums, and I probably have jumped in perhaps rather too quickly in conversations with the more venerable, and I have my share of stepping on my electronic tongue, and yes I post too long.

The ultimate "put down" of a poster may well be their posting of a "put down".

Regards, John

ps-- I caught up with Jorge on Skype in Uruapan, and he sends warmest regards for a speedy recovery. He does say Roger rather oddly, sort of loses the "g" a bit. ;-)

John Camp
10-13-2009, 15:55
Dear Bill,

But there can also be a problem with false immodesty. I used to think I was pretty smart. I still do. But I also know that I can misread people, misunderstand them, and try to answer questions they aren't asking. I've also met a reasonable number of people who are smarter than I. An iota of modesty -- even if false -- is often more attractive than its opposite. I'd rather be liked than disliked.

R.

I agree. I have become quite skilled at faking modesty. It's hard, though, because very few subjects are as interesting as I am.

<--- [irony alert]

Roger Hicks
10-14-2009, 00:31
I agree. I have become quite skilled at faking modesty. It's hard, though, because very few subjects are as interesting as I am.

<--- [irony alert]

Or as my mother once said to someone who was unusually serious and pompous about the subject of bringing up children, "I always reckon that the most important thing in life is sincerity. Once you've learned how to fake that, you can fake anything."

Cheers,

R.