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Re: [OT] aggressiveness on our mailing lists.

On Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 08:40:50PM +0300, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> la, 2009-07-25 kello 09:16 -0500, Manoj Srivastava kirjoitti:
> >         You are making the assumption that the authors reaction to "Bad"
> >  is less negative than the reaction to "Silly". While this is
> >  subjective, I do not think it is without contention:
> My hasty re-wording has now given the wrong impression, sorry. My main
> point is that it is often possible to express misgivings about things
> other people propose without exiting the realm of the polite. I hope I
> can claim that is true even though I failed to completely do so myself.

I'm afraid you can't. I'm willing to go on record as saying that stating
something negative about someone's ideas in such a manner that it will
not offend them, regardless of their current emotions, state of mind, or
whatever, is plain impossible.

It's possible to make an attempt, of course; and I do not think that
stating 'this is silly' without explaining why that is the case should
be appropriate in any case; but just stating that an idea is silly /with
full explanation/ should always be acceptable, even if it rubs people
the wrong way.

The biometric identification system at the gates of the CIA headquarters
works because there's a guard with a large gun making sure no one is
trying to fool the system.

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