|Sent on:||Monday, March 18, 2013 8:34 AM|
I was agreeing with your last e-mail and added my thoughts on the list bullying. When I said people on this list is cruel I know you didn't say that I know what you said. You read my e-mail wrong.Sent via BlackBerry from T-MobileFrom: Klaus Sonnenleiter <[address removed]>Sender: [address removed]Date: Mon, 18 Mar[masked]:02:35 -0400To: <[address removed]>ReplyTo: [address removed]Subject: Re: [newtech-1] Lean InMac,I don't think that's what I said, not even close.KlausOn Mar 17, 2013, at 10:12 PM, mac shaw wrote:Klaus you are right people on this list are cruel but thats what make this list so good. Why would you want everyone being nice to each other people are assholes let them be who they are.On Mar 17, 2013, at 9:45 PM, Carrie wrote:
Klaus, you make an interesting point on the number of emails, but what about the number of participants in those threads (not to mention the quality of them)? This is a list of 30,000 people from what I understand, but active participants seem to number in the dozens. Often those super active threads are merely a few people engaged in name-calling.
Most organizations adopt a code of civility so that those beyond the most aggressive feel comfortable contributing (I know a whole lot of shy people who don’t like being attacked but have pretty awesome perspectives to bring to conversations). I will grant you that I don’t have definitive data (although I’m sure someone has studied this), but I have heard enough anecdotes about people’s trepidation in posting here to corroborate what I think is common sense (and listing their names as proof would be a pretty horrific betrayal of confidence).
I think most members of the tech community would benefit from civil discourse that encouraged participation, but I leave that up to everyone to decide individually.
You bring up an interesting point. In the time I've been a member of this list, it appears that the threads commanding by far the highest participation rates were actually the ones where the wording had gotten ... shall we say, somewhat out of hand? Based on past history, this thread is remarkably benign. I remember waking up to more than a hundred posts in a single thread and every single one was either filled with insults or admonishments to refrain from insults.
So I'd have to say even in the absence of hard data (nobody has classified the various threads as inflammatory or not and then counted posts, as far as I know), it appears to me that throwing the occasional juicy flame one way or another hasn't discouraged participation yet ;-)
On Mar 17, 2013, at 9:10 PM, Victor Shamanovsky wrote:
"they are counter-productive, and they deter people from actively participating."
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On Mar 17, 2013, at 6:12 PM, Carrie <[address removed]> wrote:
Richard, honestly, that level of discourse is beneath this group. My comment was not “sneaky,” but assumed you were intelligent enough to understand an indirect point. Let me make that point more clearly: the personal attacks you continuously make on this board are uncalled for. They degrade professional conversations, they are counter-productive, and they deter people from actively participating. Since there appears be some confusion over what a personal attack is, let me clarify it for you: ad hominem arguments attack someone’s traits rather than their argument. They are not only a logical fallacy, they are professionally inappropriate. Feel free to read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
I chose to post this rather than email you privately because I would like that point to be heard by others who engage in the same type of behavior. I am constantly surprised that intelligent people resort to personal cattiness- the more absurd you find someone’s argument, the more easily you should be able to dismantle it intellectually. As for my original concluding comment, I hoped a gentle ribbing about the snarkiness on this email list might improve things. Clearly that was a mistake, and I hope this direct approach is more effective.
I must say, it’s ironic that you think I didn’t read your emails and assumed your position when you directly admitted that you did exactly that. Further ironic that you wrote, “People will read what's written up until the point their mind has triggered an emotional respond [sic] to what they believe is being said, stop reading and insist on something that's not true.” If you had not stopped reading you would see that I responded- directly and unemotionally- to each of your points (after having read and considered them carefully). And no, my emails are not the length of tweets because I think serious topics deserve the respect of complete, developed arguments. I actually enjoy thoughtful, intellectual debate- with both men and women- and I appreciate Dean starting this conversation.
I cannot imagine what gave you the impression I am angry, particularly with men. I believe I stated that I have enjoyed career success in male-dominated fields, and I have been able to start and fund my own company in part because of the opportunities I was given by male superiors (on top of that, I am a Southern, football-loving newlywed and spend far too much money on my bras to ever consider burning them). The only thing I am emotional about is the fact that there can’t be a thoughtful, intelligent conversation about the gender-specific delta in corporate leadership without women being accused of being angry, bitter, and unsuccessful- that makes me sad. It makes far too many women hesitate to participate in the conversation (including me prior to this email chain) and prevents us from improving things for women in the future.
I’ve been fortunate (or not, depending on your view I suppose) to have the personality and circumstances that allowed me to avoid the set-backs other women have faced. That doesn’t mean I can’t comment on issues I see that could be addressed. The only dog I have in this fight is a beautiful four year old niece who just told me she plans to build an app that will allow her to run the world (wisely, she’s keeping the details close to her vest). I hope it’s a very long time before someone calls her a control freak and discourages her from speaking up.