[FoRK] what the hell, facebook

Noon Silk noonslists at gmail.com
Wed Jun 19 03:05:06 PDT 2013

On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 7:50 PM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

>  On 6/19/13 2:06 AM, Noon Silk wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 6:57 PM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>  [...]
>   Or, I'm just obviously and hopelessly arrogant.  You know what I always
> say at this point: Don't confuse arrogance with chronic correctness.  Of
> course, you only get to that point by trying many incorrect paths, at which
> point you then are an authority on how not to do things.  Probably more
> valuable than immediate success. Just a recapitulation of Edison's 5%
> inspiration maxim.  But, you know, all those long nights knocking my head
> against the keyboard to solve often dumb problems that I created have just
> made me arrogant.  Is it arrogant to have confidence that, given enough
> time, I can plow through most problems to success, having done it a few
> times?  I don't think that word means what you think it means.  Am I going
> to keep razzing Google about these two questionable calls (one of them
> illegal) until they some-day give me an offer I can't refuse?  Probably;
> I'm unrequited.  They're big boys and girls, they can take it.
>  [...]
> IMO, this is immediately identifiable as arrogance in that it doesn't allow
> for the position that the person assuming you are arrogant knows this,
> instead the tone assumes you are the only one too know and is condescending
> in its presentation.
> But this isn't what I presented to whoever thought I was arrogant.  His
> apparent insistence that I was too arrogant to hire makes his understanding
> of the above point less likely, assuming that I don't lack self-awareness
> of some other type of projected arrogance, always a distinct possibility.
> My recursively arrogant statement is Colbertesque (Colberisque?), authored
> in the one case where a client ever stated that a team I was on, and
> happened to be leading, was arrogant.  We were brought in because the
> methods they were pursuing were not working or scaling, so that was
> understandable but still surprising.
> I don't think that people around me feel that I'm condescending or
> arrogant in the vast majority of cases, except perhaps when someone is
> being condescending and arrogant to me, at which point I may, if needed,
> directly show their error in the most expedient fashion.  I am always aware
> of my past and much of my present ignorance and when and how I learned
> things (which is mostly in non-traditional and not authoritative or tested
> ways), so generally I helpfully teach others constantly.  There are few
> times I don't exhaustively bore people with precise detail of what I think
> the limits of my knowledge and experience are.  I have misspoken a few
> times, once during a key interview, and always remember that.  I have
> friends who always introduce me with a cringe-worthy summary that I have to
> correct.  I have at least one LinkedIn endorsement that is so over the top
> that I repeatedly debate hiding it.
> I'm often overly understanding of others to a fault, assuming many
> possible reasons that something wasn't handled or whatever.  A problem when
> managing.  I get impatient if people aren't interested in learning;
> otherwise, I assume I haven't found the right way to teach something yet or
> lead them to learn it themselves.
> It is fine to be self-deprecating, but if you are always self-deprecating,
> that's just being passive / aggressive or otherwise lying to others or
> yourself.
> Generally, if you want to be efficient about things, you should state what
> you believe, stand by your conclusions until they've been knocked down,
> adopt the best new conclusion, and continue on.  Admit mistakes right away,
> give credit to the source(s) of new ideas as best you can, and try to get
> to the best result.
> Consider what people are good at, interested in, and experienced for.
> Treat yourself like you treat other people in evaluating capability and
> performance, to the extent you can.
> Where's the line of arrogance in there?

I can't find any, it all seems suspiciously un-arrogant :) Indeed, the 3rd
last paragraph I agree with a lot, and probably should do more often!

>  Which is not to say that I have a major problem with people who are
> arrogant, or am not arrogant myself, at times.
> Perhaps I don't have a good working definition.
>  It's noticable, though, because I work with at least two very smart people,
> one who is arrogant, and one who isn't, and the one who isn't is much nicer
> to be around (indeed, I'd like to be more like that guy.)
> I've worked with one or two offensively arrogant people.  Maybe they were
> the only people more arrogant than I was?
>  -- (somewhat arrogantly,)
> Noon Silk
> sdw
> (more arrogantly than thou?)
Noon Silk

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