Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
teh prlem of not edittng
Published on July 21, 2004 By Draginol In Internet

I offend people. Often. Daily. It's not that I'm a jerk.  Well, I might be a jerk but I don't think of myself as a jerk. Not a big jerk anyway. The problem is within my fingers. They move fast. Very fast.

You see, I type 120 words per minute. Busy hands. And I have a lot of opinions on a lot of things. Many things I don't worry too much about but I like writing about them anyway. I care. I just don't care care. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about Dashboard vs. Konfabulator. It's not that I care that much on that issue.  But I do find it interesting enough to write about. And people who read it couldn't figure out why I was so "pissed off" about this issue.  I wasn't. I just find that sort of thing really interesting.  I also wrote about the shareware industry awards. I got emails accusing me of having "sour grapes" syndrome because we didn't win. I failed in their cases to communicate my point which wasn't about us winning or losing but rather the nature of these kinds of "awards" (if I was going to be ticked off, I would have been ticked off every year for the past several years where we didn't even get nominated despite having millions of users of our "shareware").

The problem comes in that I don't always (okay, I don't usually) read over what I've typed.  I just whip it out and post it. And because written communication requires some precision, the wrong choice of wording can really alter the entire thrust of your conversation. Being too direct or too candid can come across as obnoxious, offensive, whiney, etc. 

The second problem is length.  If the average decent typer can go at 40 words per minute and I can type 120 words per minute that means that my articles will be 3 times longer given the same amount of time.  And if you don't go back and edit what you've written, your article can sound like a long whiney rant. Why? Because most people attribute length of an article to how much they "care" about the subject matter.  So if my article is twice or three times the length of what is expected, one might assume that this is a very serious issue that I've spent a lot of time thinking about.  In reality, longer articles often are the ones that I've just written as fast as I can based on what springs to mind. 

The combination of rushed writing and lengthy articles leads to disaster. It used to be worse when I hadn't written as much.  In my OS/2 days, my writing could manage to offend even sympathetic readers. Diplomatic writing takes time (and experience). When I was younger I didn't spend the time nor have the experience.  Now, I just lack the time usually.

At the end of the day, I'm just a guy on the net writing about stuff.  Stuff that I find interesting.  Those who know me would tell you that I'm pretty light hearted.  I don't get mad often and have a lot more similarities to Chandler than Darth Vader.  But the written word...ah the trickiness of communicating on-line. That I haven't quite got the handle on yet.


Comments
on Jul 21, 2004
I hear you, I am exactly the same way
on Jul 21, 2004
Now, see, if I wrote this kind of thing the first post would have been "The two don't necessarily effect one another, you're a jerk AND you type too fast..."

A long time ago I swore that if I ever got into an extended online arguement with anyone I would start answering attacks in the form of Haiku. I have an insane impulse to reiterate within posts. I seem to think that people just aren't getting what I am saying and if I state what I am saying in just the perfect way that no one would be able to disagree. So I restate it and re-pose it over and over and over.

If JoeUser has taught me anything it is that I could say what I believe in the most biblically definite, unbeatable way and people will still disagree. This stuff just doesn't come down to logic and reason for many people.

I still want to do the Haiku thing if I can ever conquer my sad need to change people's minds...
on Jul 21, 2004
Don't underestimate yourself, you can be a jerk and type too fast. I have complete confidence in you!
on Jul 21, 2004
Bakerstreet: You and I probably have the same profile when it comes to on-line debates.  "If I could just communicate more effectively they would see the logic in my argument." But that only works on people who are operating on logic rather than emotion.  It also only works on those who are operating on the same information as you are and hence haven't come to an alternative logical conclusion.
on Jul 22, 2004
That's intresting. I always noticed that you have a very long articles. I tought it meant that as a owner, You had more time to type artices.

I'm at appoximately 20 WPM. If I didn't have ieSpell plugin for IE, My spelling would be very much worse.

Brad, I'm sure you remember my typing circa 1992-3 or so.
on Jul 22, 2004
Interesting post. I usually find that I'll give people the benefit of the doubt in at least one reply before I judge them on an article. People often put more thought into answering a reply than into the article. I also find that it's important not to shoot an entire article due to disagreement on certain points.

Logic does not mean right. You should try going to a sceintific conference sometime, when you can have people who spend their entire lives analyhsis and evaluating something, being totally unable to reach the same conclusion from the same data. They are both logical, just reaching different conclusions. It's important to realise that there are many logical steps and assumptions that can be made from a single piece of information. Therefore repeating the same logic again and again is not going to convince someone, who can just repeat their logic as well.

Paul.
on Jul 22, 2004
*cough* *cough I was about 6 years too early. I discovered skinnable programs at 1992-3 but I joined Skinz at approx 1998-9.

Sorry about confusion.
on Jul 22, 2004
We are lucky there is a seasoned "guy on the net writing about stuff" who decided to share the experience!

I have learnt a lot from you! We are all learning together!

We are all Jerks!!!

BAM!!!

on Jul 22, 2004
I could type rather quickly, but I'm so anal-retentive that I might as well be typing 5 WPM. It's hard to let my hands do what they need to do without my brain wanting to find a better way to say it. It does prevent some very vicious fights though.
on Jul 23, 2004
I'm a 105 wpm typer, and as the entry you linked to on my journal the other day can attest, I do get lengthy. If I'd known how many people were going to be seeing that little bit of what I wrote, I would have edited it for typos better, though! My journal is full of entries that just scroll on page after page (though not visible to most but friends). Unfortunately, when you spend that much time writing something, most people end up skimming and your communication has lost its effectiveness. So, I try to learn to be succint.
on Jul 23, 2004
My typing is usually emotionally charged and scatterbrained due to lengthy interruptions in between paragraphs. Stinkin interruptions!

Yes, the internet makes it very hard to communicate your intentions simply due to a lack of audio and visionry inflections. You can be laughing and joking as you type yet come out cold, ruthless, and hate-filled. I think that is why emoticons have flourished so..they help the reader have some insight to the intentions of the writier.