What a foul up
(this is posted here because I can't post over 2000 characters to HN and I wanted a bit more space)
So, I made a dick move yesterday. I misunderstood someone's comment (or I misunderstood their intention) and ... well @dang accused me of racewar and something about stone tablets and science.
I was of course outraged and reacted. Then a minute later I took a deep breath and reacted better.
We all value our reputation and having a judgement so clearly divergent from my own self perception has caused some internal reflection.
You see, there is an old joke about the definition of a liberal - a conservative who just got arrested.
Looking at my self in the mirror, I still see a sensible well balanced person, with strong liberal tendencies (who has worked at the UK version of ACLU, organised anti-intimidation watchdogs at voting booths in racially charge elections in London, and so on - things which while true when repeated here they still sound hollowly like "some of my best friends are")
I am sure dang and the other hard working moderators see a lot of crap in their job. I am of course certain that that was not what I meant - who me?
Except that one thing middle age teaches you is that, quite often, it is you.
So yes, when someone arrives with a Vote Trump T shirt they probably do not find HN an easy place to discuss things in the terms they usually use. And they will I am sure always protest "but it was not me, but what I said was perfectly sensible debate / free speech, how dare you accuse me like that, gosh you should treat people better around here, I am off to Breightbart"
But just like the recently arrested conservative I want to say just that (well not the breightbart bit obviously, but I certainly felt ill-used. Especially the bit about "other breaches of the guidelines in my previous history". Yeah gulp. I have asked for a list - in my case because I want to analyse and improve. Clearly those other cases where people ask they are just indignant)
But no matter what, I have been sorted into the basket of deplorables.
- Did I make a mistake and step down the slippery slope thinking I had good grips on my shoes?
- Did I not notice the slope?
- Am I actually deplorable?
- Or is it all the fault of those evil moderators ?
Actually this last point is not fair. I have reread the post and - I really failed to convey my thoughts. What is posted there is ... a horrific comment. (I can remember what I meant. I can see where I missed out indicative punctuation. But thats not the point is it.) Totally not what I meant and hopefully would never ever think. But someone I respect has come back with "well thats not actually out of character for you Paul. We were thinking of banning your account for some of the stuff you have said". That has shaken me deeply and I would like to know what has lead them there. And how can I adjust my public statements to better reflect me.
So I herewith apologise to everyone on HN or elsewhere for posting text that reads so horrifically. Even if I did not mean it, I still wrote it.
I also need to think about why I post stuff too quickly, why I chose such am inflammatory subject to post on anyway, and why I did not review.
Fewer words. More thought.
I am going to take a bit of a break.
I have spent many years on HN (and am probably a little too anxious to be this close to 10,000).
Apart from satirical news shows on radio 4, it's my main source of information on the world. (This may of course not be a great thing.)
So a break is called for - I check too often, and while Facebook is often criticised by us for its addictive-like properties, I still obsessively check HN morning and night and am sooo close to 10k and my last couple of submissions did feel more like testing the reactions for points, not sharing something.
(Actually re-re-re-reading my offending post I can see I meant to put a question mark (or more ??!!) at the end of the first paragraph - so a challenge to the poster looks a lot like a statement of .. oh fuck me what a disaster. I was remembering what I meant, not reading what I actually wrote. It really does read like a trolling post - I can quite see what happened there. But the "other posts violating our guidelines" indicates its a good time to take a break till I have processed things.)
I am sure cold turkey will last a day, maybe a couple of weeks. Please don't discover working fusion power while I am away. I really want to comment on that.