Another Else: Volume I
Reminding and Restating Revised

Being mean enough

Right now, if you were to look at my most recent articles you would notice they mostly deal with the recent ordeal of blogger relations. In some cases it seems like a war between anonymous bloggers and those who let their identities known. It especially seems this way when some people call for an end to anonymous blogs and comments.
With every fight, you have to look at want makes the two sides different from each other. This part was easy and yet hard at the same time. The obvious answer is that we don’t let people know who we are and you do. The next part of analyzing this rift is to ask, “so what’s the big deal?”
Apparently, being anonymous makes us more likely to start fights or just plain ol be mean.
Now, isn’t that sad?
For somebody to be mean, they feel they have to be anonymous? This explains a lot.
Look at society. In truth, we aren’t mean enough.
People complain about others so often but never do anything about.

High School
Did you have somebody who you didn’t like? I’m sure you did. I know there was somebody who a lot of people didn’t like at my school. Unfortunately for me, due to the fact that I was able to stand this person’s presence, everyone felt they should confide in me their feelings.
In the end, I flat out told people I didn’t care.
“If you have a problem with him, tell him. Not me.”
But Heaven forbid they hurt his feelings. Actually, I figured when somebody finally snapped and beat him up he might get the point. Nobody did.
Imagine how much easier things would have been for everybody if somebody punched him in the face. Even for him.
I recognize the fact that he was thick, but a fist carries an undeniable point.
What happened instead? People put up with him as he was and they were miserable when they dealt with him.
Nobody was mean enough.

I’ve already written about college. I’m very unhappy with the entire system.
There is a key difference between high school and college though. You are paying for it.
Need it to be clearer? You are the boss. You just have to remind the college of that fact every once in a while.
For my first year, I had to meet with advisers before I could pick my classes. Each semester I had to set up an appointment with an adviser and then I could submit my class requests.
Unfortunately, my adviser hated her job and didn’t hide it well. I replaced her.
I probably should have been meaner and addressed it during the session.

Once again I find myself in a high school story. I took a class with one of the craziest teachers I have ever met. She was oblivious and daft. She was also extremely mean-hearted and unfair. The final project of the year was a team debate. I led one team and another girl my age led the other.
The teacher popped between the two teams to make sure things were going well and to tell me I was a horrible leader. You know, the essentials. I came to find out that the teacher had leaked our entire argument to the other team. (It’s good to have connections.) What did we do? Did I just say, “Well team, we lose then.” Hell no.
I’m proud to say, we got mean. We got that increase of cunning that comes with it, too.
That’s the trick when you get mean. You can’t lose it like the other team did when their argument was picked apart.
You have to sit back and relax…maybe even laugh when you see the weak points look back at you in fear.
We should have won. Another teacher who liked me even less admitted that. We ended up tied with a hint from the teacher that we were close to victory.
We were mean enough.

And finally, blogging
The true difference it seems from those proclaiming against anonymity and those who were anonymous was that we who were anonymous fought back. Kathy Sierra didn’t fight back. She got scared and hid in her house. Scoble halted posting for a week. O’Reilly called for a block on anonymous posting. Did anybody get mean? Did anyone call out the specific people who did this. Even if they were only known by a username and IP? No.
That’s something a lot of anonymous bloggers did. They fought back when Godin said that anonymous bloggers were no good. People who don’t write anonymously called about asking why they weren’t defended when it was them on the chopping block. I’m not saying that you need to be anonymous to be forthcoming. I’m saying that those who said we were wrong for being anonymous turned around and started a fight with those who had nothing to do with it.
And unlike many of you, we are mean enough to fight back and protect ourselves.
Think about that when you call for a way to improving the blogosphere.
Protect your rights, be mean, be cunning, be smart.

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One Response to “Being mean enough”

  1. […] blah, blah,blah… If you need regurgitated commentary about this one go here, or here, or here, or here. It is everywhere. Now, I wouldn’t be Leaf Counting if I jumped into that fray, it just ain’t […]

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