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response to demands that I change

 
paul wheaton
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In the last week, I have had a lot of people demand that I stop doing things my way, and, instead, live my life the way that they tell me.

This recent one was especially delicious:

People don't subscribe to you for your fucking communication skills, Paul. They subscribe to you because you find interesting, cool stuff and record it. It sure as hell ain't your voice that keeps them coming back.

Anyways, your character in your videos is entirely different from your character online. In your videos you seem perfectly amicable. Online, at least for the past couple days on reddit, you have been a fucking asshole, and an idiot to boot. Acting like this takes away your credibility on this site, but more importantly it hurts the community as a whole. Reddit and sites like it are only going to get more relevant in this whole change the world effort - if you want to help that along, keep a civil tongue in the future.


The point is, here is yet another person telling me how to live my life. Apparently, once I created something interesting, people feel the need to tell me how I need to behave: my life is no longer my own, but the property of others.

(the delicious part of this is his example of what a "civil tongue" looks like)

This is pretty typical of the stuff I get throughout the day, every day.

My response is always the same: "fuck off, I'm not your personal bitch." Sometimes I tell them that if they want something different to go make something different.

However, I am considering a different response.

I see these images that are .... what .... "memes"? An image with a short bumper sticker phrase on it.

I'm thinking that the odd thing is that if I sit at home and do nothing, people will not line up to tell me how to live my life. But if I create something interesting, that seems to create this parade of people that demand that I change the way I live my life. Suddenly my current life becomes unacceptable because I am making good things.

I suspect that if I told each of these people how to live their lives, they would find that unacceptable. Yet they are perfectly comfortable telling me how to live mine.

So my idea is: rather than tell them to fuck off, I would like to supply them with a link to something here on permies that might convert a nitwit to a fan. Maybe one of those "meme" image things. Or a collection of meme image things. Maybe I should just send these people to the "state of the jungle" thread.

Looking for some creative ideas. Anybody?

 
Fred Morgan
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it is hopeless Paul. By being interesting, you have a following, if you start modifying yourself to be more polished, you will lose it.

The only thing I would caution you on is not to make the idiots and malcriados cause you to be a maleducato, (poorly raised, rude)

just as one shouldn't stop being themselves because of pressure (i.e. stop saying interesting things), you shouldn't become someone else either. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
 
tel jetson
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it's not just that you're doing good things (which I think you are), it's the nature of the good things you're doing. their nature is public. you are trying to spread ideas, and the methods you've chosen to spread those ideas involve a lot of public exposure. it just comes with the territory of celebrity, no matter the scale. sure it's valuable, but you've chosen it. keep up your work or don't, but don't expect folks to stop telling you how to act.

there are also plenty of people doing good things that don't involve that exposure to the public eye, and they generally get left alone. it's much harder to criticize folks we don't know exist.
 
paul wheaton
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I guess what I am fishing for is that when I encounter someobody being stupid - like in the quote above. I would like to give them a link to something on permies. Preferably something with one or more images that are somehow persuasive at .... not so much point out that they are dipshits, but at un-dipshitting them.

 
tel jetson
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paul wheaton wrote:I guess what I am fishing for is that when I encounter someobody being stupid - like in the quote above. I would like to give them a link to something on permies. Preferably something with one or more images that are somehow persuasive at .... not so much point out that they are dipshits, but at un-dipshitting them.


a noble venture, but way beyond my limited expertise. for what it's worth, I'm pretty sure they're attempting to un-dipshit you, as well. same old story of people talking past each other.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Like children having a tantrum, these people are demanding personal attention from you. They have figured out how to push your buttons. It might be best to simply delete unwanted commentary without response. If you feel you must complain or scold, do it in a general way without singling out the offender. By quoting the guilty party, you give their words new life and you have given them a little one on one time.

Any response should be obviously from a cheat sheet so as to demonstrate just how much time you have for this sort of behavior.

Let's practice. Paul, although I have only a vague idea of how the internet or forums run, I'd prefer that you do everything my way from now on.

As a mature person, I fully expect to be ignored and to not be taken seriously.
 
Monte Hines
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Wisdom of trying to change people... Not wise...!!!
"Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of The Way"
Contribute! Don't Waste Enveryone's Energy... Complaining...
 
Ernie Wisner
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Hell paul these are the same folks who wouldn't even think if saying this stuff to your face. on the one hand you have an obligation like me to be gracious and have done just that for a large part of your life.
On the other hand like me you have do e so despite your natural inclination to twist the heads off folks who act like asses around you. I dont see any real difference in your personality on line or off but that may be that we are both large men that can relax around each other and not worry about accidentally knocking a small person over or insulting them or intimidating them without doing anything.

On line actions that would result in some dude carrying his teeth home in a hat are considered normal; if you dont like it you cant do anything about it. Well as an admin you can and do ban folks who are acting like assholes thats as much insistence as you can do in this venue. I do think a thread that pretty much says dont ask me to have your personality; is a really constructive way to do things.

personally i wish i could go hunt the little pricks addresses down and pay them a visit for about an hour. I cant so i figure out other ways to deal with the stress.
 
paul wheaton
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I'm not feeling stess.

It's more like ..... a waste.

I think there is just 10% "this guy doesn't know how stupid he is being, so I will fix everything by telling him" and 90% just wanting to talk to me, or somebody like me, or anybody or whatever.

And I think that telling them to "fuck off" just gets them to dig their heels in.

It's a bit like the stuff where somebody has plagiarized my stuff. How do I persuade them to convert that page to being a paragraph or two and a link to my empire?

What are the magic words for somebody who has made a silly error for the sake of striking up a conversation, to be somebody that have all the talk they want, but in a reasonable and decent space?

I think any time somebody tells me that I have to do as they say, it is reasonable for me to tell them to fuck off. And, at the same time, I'm thinking that I wan't to harvest this, and somehow end up with a supporter.

Monte, I like the "be yourself, everyone else is taken" the best so far.

So I think we need a thread. Something that states this sort of thing. Maybe I should just start a thread, see how it sucks, and then later I might try making a better thread.

 
Ernie Wisner
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Well collect all of the " be yourself" type pics and vids, put them all on one thread and point to it.

The wast thing to me is stress. but thats me. I am a bit more keyed up then you.
I think go bugger yourself with a hedge hog would work better.
 
Fred Morgan
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Well, if you want to try to be helpful... you might point out the obvious, if you were the type who listened to others and did what they said, why would you be involved in something that only a few people seem to be interested in (percentage wise)?

Now, my technique is to start burying them in information and experience, which rapidly shows them, if they don't have similar background, that they were being foolish offering opinions without knowledge to someone who has given what they are doing a lot of thought. Sometimes I do run across someone who has spent their time thinking about it, and they I will listen too.

 
Sam Surman
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IMHO and not meaning to offend anyone, I find that some folks are good at researching and bringing things together in an interesting way, but they then get their own personal buzz from putting their own opinions and personality on it which spoils what they had achieved ... perhaps its something along these lines that the OP means or feels is the problem.

Cheers

;-~)
 
peter mukunda
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"Some people try to make themselves feel taller by cutting off the heads of others." There is often little recourse but to scan their negative comments for any grains of truth we might use to improve and ignore the rest. But giving them a link to good info relevant to the topic can be good, too, yes. "Fools argue, wise people discuss."
 
paul wheaton
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Good stuff.

This gives me an idea. I'm gonna start a new thread. These people write to me and demand that I change. I could point out that there are other people that are also demanding that I change, but they want the opposite change ("no profanity" vs. "more profanity"). But I think what would be better is a thread that is a long list of people saying "don't change - the way you are now is just right."




 
peter mukunda
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strains of Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are"...
 
Monte Hines
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Peter That's great!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ounJsqomcv8
Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are"
 
Suzy Bean
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Paul talks about integrity and the need to tell people to fuck off in this podcast.
 
ben north
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oscar wilde once said "if you are going to tell people the truth, you should atleast make them laugh, or else they will kill you"
i hear you brother!
i get shit all the time for being a little rough around the edge if they have a problem they do not need to read or have anything to do with it!
the first thing i tell people i have never met before is that if they take offense to anything i say or do it is there fault for hanging around

cheers!
 
paul wheaton
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ben north wrote:oscar wilde once said "if you are going to tell people the truth, you should atleast make them laugh, or else they will kill you"


That is so good! That's going into a podcast!





 
Monte Hines
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Paul Wheaton talks about holding true to your value set or having friends. Paul’s started communities and left and they’ve fallen apart. He talks about when he feels it’s appropriate to say, “Fuck off” versus when he is encouraging spreading the hugelkultur article to 50 million people. He talks about independent thought, and consensus models that “hold a gun to your head.” He talks about being alone. He talks about the aloneness people like Sepp Holzer, Bill Mollison, and Ianto Evans have had to live. He talks about the man from the movie, The Man Who Stopped the Desert‘s own community burning down his forest when he was away. Paul wants to build good things rather than participate in drama, ... He asks, “Am I not making the world a better place by pissing off icky people?”


One of your better podcasts for some of us!

Could not agree with you more...
I have been down a similar rode in my 65 years...
Live your life with your "own personal integrity"...
You only get one life (my opinion), make it count...
Accomplish all you can during that life...
Don't waste too much time on 2nd guessers...
Some people will never figure what is important out...
No time to waste... Save the world...
In the end you will have few regrets and accomplish much...

Paul - Keep Inspiring - Keep on Keepin' On!

 
Brad Davies
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Ernie Wisner wrote:Hell paul these are the same folks who wouldn't even think if saying this stuff to your face. on the one hand you have an obligation like me to be gracious and have done just that for a large part of your life.
On the other hand like me you have do e so despite your natural inclination to twist the heads off folks who act like asses around you. I dont see any real difference in your personality on line or off but that may be that we are both large men that can relax around each other and not worry about accidentally knocking a small person over or insulting them or intimidating them without doing anything.

On line actions that would result in some dude carrying his teeth home in a hat are considered normal; if you dont like it you cant do anything about it. Well as an admin you can and do ban folks who are acting like assholes thats as much insistence as you can do in this venue. I do think a thread that pretty much says dont ask me to have your personality; is a really constructive way to do things.

personally i wish i could go hunt the little pricks addresses down and pay them a visit for about an hour. I cant so i figure out other ways to deal with the stress.


I 100% agree with everything that you said Ernie.
paulw.jpg
[Thumbnail for paulw.jpg]
 
paul wheaton
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Duncan Dalby
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Personally I think you are doing a grate job Paul! You seem like a perfectly reasonable chap. Keep up the good work.
 
Nemo Lhamo
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The fools trying to change you into a more salable brand are part of the problem. Competing with corporate culture on their level without millions of dollars and a PR firm of pro bloggers would be a recipe for bland failure.

Our strength is our ability to be honest regular people. The one thing they can't fake is sincerity. Try to be a community minded selfless person. Our damaged society has no way of dealing with that kind of radicalism. All they can do is try to offer you the falseness and speed of consumerism. Where do you think compromising leads?
 
Albert Johnston
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I've not really been following your drama online with forums. I find there is so much useful and entertaining information that taking any time out to post my opinions, which are always subject to change, is not very productive. But my first thought when reading your post was that there are people that feel like they have figured this whole life thing out, and now are on a campaign to change everyone they can with their own gospel of whatever. I suppose if the day comes that I am living off my own land and being a vital part of the community I too can go forth and preach my own gospel and perhaps bring in a few disciples in the process. But until that day happens I am going to just enjoy the process and enjoy who I am today. But I do have a vision of the future that fascinated with life and it's may prospects.

I love your podcasts, your hosts, and your opinions. I am a loyal listener.
 
I agree, here's the link: http://permies.com/pdc
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