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paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14187
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
This thread is for the people that contact me and say "you need to change."

I have people that want me to shake the camera less. Or speak more clearly. Or get a better camera. I've even had people suggest that I need a sound crew or video crew and to hire professional editors. Some people insist that I speak a certain way in videos or podcasts. Some people think I should leave myself out of videos. Or I should speak less in podcasts and focus on interviewing others. Some people think I am too arrogant, too fat, too obnoxious, not as funny as I think I am or too rude.

I will sometimes get several dozen demands in one day.

I'll get a demand from one person that says that i should stop using profanity in my podcasts. And one minute later I will get a note from somebody else that says they giggle every time I say "fuck" and they want me to say it more.

Before I started making the podcasts, I received several notes from people saying they loved the sound of my voice and would gladly buy a CD with me just talking. And I've received notes on my videos that my voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard and I have to stop recording my voice on any medium.

So if you have sent me a note demanding that I change; suggesting I change; begging me to change; etc. .... I want you to know that you are not alone. I would estimate that there are over a thousand people that have expressed to me that ..... my behavior, my goals .... who I am .... has room for improvement.

I have two important responses:

1) Rather than me changing, should you not be the change you want to see? I support you in telling the world about permaculture using your voice your way. Create your hugelkultur bed and tell the world about it in what you see as "best". I will support you. I encourage people on the forums at permies to make lots of links to their own stuff.

2) For every note that I get requesting me to change ("do more xxx" "do less xxx") I get a note from another person that says my path is spot on. These people are saying that my path is exactly correct and they want me to keep doing everything I do exactly the same way I am currently doing it. Lets call them "Paul Is Excellent Supporter" or PIE Supporter. So I respect that there are people that want me to be different. It's good to want things. Want away. While you're at it, you might as well want to win the lottery. And, the work I do is for the PIE Supporters. If I were to change to appease one person, I would be letting down a lot of other people - mostly myself.

I think it is reasonable that somebody could think I'm just making this up. So I would like to ask the PIE supporters to give a shout out - people that prefer that I stay on my current path rather than try to appease other people.

Thanks!


sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
brett watson


Joined: Apr 18, 2011
Posts: 100
Location: Northern California Zone 7-8ish
There have been times, in my head, that I have thought "Man, he's xxxxx" and yet I still listen because, in the end, what you say, present, and provide makes sense to me in making a better world. I really believe YOUR valuable and wonderful information will reach more people if you do it YOUR way. So keep it up, please.

BUT I do think you should amend your tagline to "If you like this sort of thing come on out to the forums at permies.com, where brett watson is right, alllll the time."

peace


practice peace
Monte Hines


Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 190
Location: Andalusia, IL. Zone 5a
    
    3


We like you the way you are...

No time to waste on ego and friction...

Together permies people's ideas,
building blocks,
and community wisdom
can help make
the world a better place...

My opinion... I'm sticking to it...

Keep on Keepn' On!


Monte Hines-Hines Farm Blog- http://hines.blogspot.com
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
The video quality crowd should be sent a link showing them how they can donate to a camera equipment fund.

We would quickly see an outbreak of "Little Red Hen Syndrome."


QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
Ernie Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Posts: 788
Location: Tonasket washington
    
  23
PIE is good!

Paul from a totally selfish point of view, from a dumb hick in the hills, Keep up the good work just the way you are doing it. you dont require a full commercial set. your little camera does fine. and if you didn't speak in the pod casts there would be lots of dead air with Erica and I. Un like some folks we dont really talk much unless we have someone to talk to.

Keep it up, Keep it real.


Need more info?
Ernie and Erica
Wood burning stoves, Rocket Mass Heaters, DIY,
Stove plans, Boat plans, General permiculture information, Arts and crafts, Fire science, Find it at www.ernieanderica.info


Susan Noyes


Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 50
Location: Dallas TX
I Am Spartacus! PIE!
Jesse Chastain


Joined: Jun 27, 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Eugene/Roseburg
Hello,
I really appreciate all that you do. Only change if YOU want to. It should never be up to someone else. Thank you
Faith Smith


Joined: Dec 27, 2011
Posts: 10
PIE is always good =) Keep on keepin' on! Fai
Julie Helms


Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 110
Location: SC Pennsylvania, Zone 6b
Paul, Thank you for all the hours you have put into what you do. Permies.com has educated me on a number of fronts AND allowed me to ask my sometimes really ignorant questions safely. I enjoy reading through a variety of opinions. I have watched many videos linked from the forums and I have bought (and read) books recommended by the folks here. I have radically altered my plans for gardening this spring because of what I learned here.

Please don't become 'perfect' because then I won't fit in.


http://woolyacres.wordpress.com/
Nicola Marchi


Joined: Sep 20, 2011
Posts: 66
    
    2
I listen to the podcast because I respect and want to hear what Paul Wheaton has to say. While him ranting in a car after an event isn't as awesome as when he had a question and answer session with Geoff Lawton I still listen because what he's saying is valid. I respect the content, and the format, as long as the message gets across, is irrelevant.

Keep doing what you're doing, if people complain about how you do things, they can stop watching and listening to the content that 1 person is producing on his own dime and in his free time.

Michael Skowronski


Joined: Jan 29, 2012
Posts: 18
Paul, it would be real nice if you did change, over and over and over and over again...but on your terms and as you wish.

I love that quote Monte posted, "Be yourself, everyone else is taken." LOVE IT!

Shaky camera work does suck, but it sucks even worse to have NO VIDEO AT ALL! So keep on shooting video, and if you decide to get a stabilizer you'll also get a bit more exercise. My kid got a Flycam Nano DSLR stabilizer, it works great but takes some practice and patience to get it right. The first time you try it you'll probably think it sucks and want to send it back. But if you work with it, like anything else, you gain skill. So if you decide to get one, know there is a learning/skill-gaining curve in it.

I don't encourage that you curse any more than is natural and normal, but don't stop either. I do get a laugh every time I see one of your tame videos and you say at the end in such a calm and peaceful voice, "If you like this sort of thing..." I laugh my ass of because if the person watches enough they will see what emotional fires burn within you and what intellectual strength you have.

In short Paul, keep it up. You are doing a great job!!!

Sincerely,
Michael Skowronski
Charles Anacker


Joined: Jun 29, 2011
Posts: 17
Paul,
I love you the way you are, "warts and all". I agree with you that the Great They "should be the change that they wish to see in the world." I come to permits.com and listen to your podcast because I like what you say and how you say it. No one forces me and I recommend you and permits.com to all of my friends who are interested in Permaculture. You are real, funny, and honest. How many people can we say all three to these things about? Am I always real or funny or honest? Not always, but your example has helped me follow the path of most resistance and have fun doing it. It is always easier to go down hill, but you'll never get to the summit and have the awesome view by taking the easier path. Keep doing what you are doing an evolve as you will according to your own time and inclinations. Thanks for being such an awesome dictator in your pursuit for "world domination"!
john muckleroy jr


Joined: Feb 10, 2012
Posts: 35
Location: nacogdoches,texas
Dress like Roy Rogers and ride a large white mule.Just kidding.


"Imagination is more valuable than knowledge".Einstein
Diane Emerson


Joined: Jan 27, 2012
Posts: 17
Thank you Paul for sharing your feelings of frustration and surprise at all the critics which are popping up. Thank you also for allowing me the opportunity to give you support and encouragement and to tell you that your work matters greatly to me. Remember, dear Paul: If you weren't out there doing your best to help the world, there would be nothing for folks to criticize. I love the gift you are giving to the world, and to me. I love knowing there is a wealth of information, advice, guidance, and practitioners here to to learn from, whenever I have some time to learn more. You are not doing your work for the critics. You are doing it for the people like me who are longing to learn, and are happy to absorb the sharing you offer despite the shaky camera, background noise, and whatever else makes your work less than "perfect". Diane

The transformation of society must begin with the transformation of the individual. C. Key Chapple
john muckleroy jr


Joined: Feb 10, 2012
Posts: 35
Location: nacogdoches,texas
I just found this site and I love it.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
My very first visit to permies.com was prompted by watching a couple of your videos on youtube. I looked around the website read a bunch of your articles and lots of discussions on the forums. I think it was my third or forth visit when I became a member. Since then through email communication and being a guest on your podcasts I have gotten to know more about you. You obviously "march to the beat of your own drummer" and that is something that I wholeheartedly endorse. I don't agree with some of your views but suggesting that your chosen path should be changed to conform to someone else's concept or philosophy regarding permaculture is anathema to what I believe this agricultural/social movement represents. There might be wrong ways of approaching an agricultural problem but in my opinion there isn't necessarily one "right way." You have demonstrated a multitude of valid ideas proven by example. I might not agree with your "been there done that" attitude when it comes to defending sustainable agricultural practices against the onslaught of Big Agra but have never "argued" with you about it. That is your choice and it is not any of my business nor is it anyone else's either. I think you are doing just fine and would suggest to those that think you should change to "mind theirr own business."


"When there is no life in the soil it is just dirt."
"MagicDave"
Lightly Burdwood-Porter


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Posts: 11
You are giving out great info. For free. On your own time. Sure, the quality could be better, (as in EVERY thing can ALWAYS be better...) so, someone should buy you a new camera if it bugs them that much! Or, volunteer to help with editing, or shooting, or make one themselves...

Someone asking: " if you could hold the camera a bit more steady, so I could see the plants better?" is fairly reasonable, and constructive. Demanding 'better quality', that you edit what you say, that you DON'T talk at all! is not.
By and large, if they don't like them, they should not watch them. Or, listen to them.

Don't change the essential you-ness of these... they make the videos great! PIE!
Sure, things can always be improved, but, if that improvement takes time away from the making of the video, or makes you more stilted, or makes you feel uncomfy, don't do it. You don't have to. They are YOUR videos.

I've volunteered among a community of artists and makers for over 10 years now. We have a list like this one and it is unstated policy that if someone negatively criticizes another's work or ideas, then, they are 'voluntold' to do it better themselves. This cuts down on the number of "you should do it THIS way.." posts, and oddly, has led to some folks actually DOING stuff!


Best!
Lightly.

Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 961
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  11
As I have accomplished more in my life, I have become less and less willing to comment about what others are doing. I have some very accomplished friends, I haven't done so badly myself. We almost never will offer criticism of each other - but we tend to ask each other for opinion when in doubt, and we are often in doubt.

There is a person who is afraid of being the doer, but still wants to share credit - they will shoot out "help" like a shotgun, perhaps hoping someone will use something they suggest, and then they can share credit.

Ideas are a dime a dozen, and so is advice. Building a plan, following through no matter what - these are the things that separate those who are successful and those who aren't.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
lil hodgins


Joined: Feb 06, 2012
Posts: 31
Location: s w france
I have listened to most of your podcasts and watched your videos because they are made by you !!! no one else but down to earth you who talks in an everyday fashion, ,like we all do! your'e so good at this stuff, and i have learned so much from you.....with thanks !
lil


lil
mike mclellan


Joined: Nov 13, 2011
Posts: 72
Location: Helena, MT zone 4
    
    3
Paul,
I have lurked at permies.com for over two years and only recently began postiing or responding if I thought I might be able to add to the discussion. Your service in setting up this forum, recording so many useful videos, taking the time to edit them, interviewing interesting, committed permaculture practitiioners, and promoting a system that makes more sense in changing our messed up world for the better, is MOST appreciated by me and I am quite certain MANY other people seeking to improve our knowledge. Do I always agree with everything you say or do? Nope. But guess what, it is always the doer who is most heavily criticized. I've been in nearly exactly the same position in another context and it does sting when people are nasty, insensitive, or just plain know-it-all. As a high school coach once told me about his critics "I hope they lose sleep over it because I'm not". Great advice. Please hang in there. You are doing well as is. I doubt any of us will ever be perfect and I may not always agree with whatever you say BUT you are doing too much good to be derailed by this silliness. Hang tough and thanks a ton for all that you have done for promoting permaculture. Keep being Paul Wheaton. There's only one and that's good enough for all of us. I look forward to meeting you up in Dayton in April.
Mike McLellan
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2231
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  38
These replies are golden. Fred, you are eloquent as always. Lightly, I think the "voluntold" is priceless, too.

Coincidentally, just this morning, someone called me, again, about Paul's swearing and communication style. While this time it was raised as a “concern” several people have asked me (me!) to tell Paul to be more careful when he speaks.

I’d like to express that:

a) I do not want to be in a relationship where I tell the other person how to live their life (or that they tell me how to live mine)

in other words: I will NOT tell/suggest/encourage/imply/coerce/cajole Paul to change his behavior

please. stop. asking.

b) I think Paul’s love for the “full beauty of the English language”, i.e., swear words, comes from his HUGE passion for honesty and integrity. The way I view it, Paul’s swear words can be much more honest than speaking styles which cloak daggers and insults in their politeness.

Admittedly, swearing can imply a certain class or culture. But is it really wrong for any reasons other than cultural bias (and control)? I’m really asking that.

I’d also like to comment that Paul used a rather caustic style and language on reddit, because that is commonly how they act on reddit. It’s pretty much encouraged and appreciated there (as are trolling, creating all kinds of fake, aka “sock puppet” accounts, and otherwise gaming the system to “win” by putting other people down). So I found it particularly ironic that his comments were used to skewer him, while so many, many other redditors were using similar or worse styles and not being criticized.

As for the other qualities of the videos, etc., that people complain about, there are a multitude of reasons why Paul does what he does in such a DIY style. I've witnessed Paul delighting in thumbing his nose at convention, but I don't think that's the only reason why he does what he does, how he does it. There are practical, logical, logistical and a multitude of other factors behind it all. Until someone creates their own work along these lines, it is mind-boggling what is involved; including money, though especially time.

Paul used to calculate the estimated tons - yes, tons - of weed and feed his lawn care article has prevented from being poured on the ground. He's moved so far beyond that in terms of promoting healthier living that I think he's stopped calculating.

That's what I call awesomeness!


Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14187
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Coincidentally, just this morning, someone called me, again, about Paul's swearing and communication style. While this time it was raised as a “concern” several people have asked me (me!) to tell Paul to be more careful when he speaks.


This is too funny!

So people are thinking "Hmmmm, if I tell Paul how to live his life, he will bit my head off. I'll tell Jocelyn to go tell Paul how to live his life so that he'll bite her head off instead of mine!"

I think we just learned that these people are willing to sacrifice your head!

Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 961
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  11
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:These replies are golden. Fred, you are eloquent as always.



Thanks Jocelyn, much of my replies come from experience, of which I have the scars to prove. Like right now, I am typing slowly due to a rather gnarly cut across the palm of my right hand from a fall with a machete - 10 stitches, just missed cutting tendons. Freak accident.

I have a saying that I remind myself at times, "I would prefer to die while living, than be dead while alive". I don't know if it is original with me, though the idea is not uncommon. Of course, when deep inside a jungle away from anyone watching blood spurting out from a rather ugly wound, you do wondering about the wisdom of your decision...

Sort of freaked out our caretakers when I showed up covered in blood. As I told them, I am big, don't worry, I have lots of blood to spare...

When someone wants to give me advise, I respect scars... I don't respect soft hands. Paul has scars - he might not be as pretty as some - but to someone who has been in the trenches, that is a positive thing.

I can imagine Paul having some wounds like this, and some of them are a bit sore now - the very fact he would like to work with them is to his credit.





[Thumbnail for slicedhand.jpg]

Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1238
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  14
paul wheaton wrote:This thread is for the people that contact me and say "you need to change."

Some people think I am too arrogant, too fat, too obnoxious, not as funny as I think I am or too rude.



So? Lots of servers out there, they are welcome to start their own site. Spend their own money on server space and bandwidth.... video equipment, production people. It's a free anarchy on the web (for the time being)... as the saying goes "Fill yer boots."

You are probably ALL of those things and a list of others... so what? Its getting the job done, if I thought I could do better I would, and I'm not the only one with enough knowledge to set it up if'n I wanted to. I have a list of not nice things people can say about me too (and have... I have an x after all).

Quite honestly, you shouldn't need this thread... 's your site, do what you want. If people keep coming, that says something too.
Melba Corbett


Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Posts: 160
Location: North Carolina
Just being who you are is why I admire and respect you so much and the main reason I read this forum. "You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." Wasn't that one of our presidents who said that? So in other words, "DON'T CHANGE,"
unless of course, you want to.

Blessings.


Wild Edible & Medicinal Plant classes, & DVDs
Live in peace, walk in beauty, love one another.
Benjamin Burchall


Joined: Sep 11, 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Atlanta, GA
I don't really care for it when Paul gets all negative nelly on the show. For a few podcasts he seemed to be on a ranting kick, but not once did I email him to tell him to change what he was doing. I don't pay jack-shit for the privilege of hearing the podcast. So, if I don't like how Paul is doing HIS podcast, I can...shall we say...stuff it. I have this wonderful ability to not listen to any podcast I don't want to hear.

There's something I like to tell people. I like to remind myself of it when I feel the need to complain about something - especially something I'm not putting my time or money into:

"Never complain about that which you do not have to be subject to." Fair enough?
samiam kephart


Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 39
your an inspitation just as you are don worry boud it
jacque greenleaf
volunteer

Joined: Jan 21, 2009
Posts: 458
Location: Underwood, WA (USDA zone 7, Sunset zone 3) - in the Columbia Gorge highlands
Paul, your videos have improved so much since the first one, it is evident that you are the only critic whose opinion you need to take to heart. Nothing obligates you to take anyone's suggestions. If someone wants to do it better, well it's a (mostly) free internet.

And please, *don't* stop throwing in colorful words when you want to! English is a wonderfully expressive language, I enjoy your use of the full range of its capabilities.

My guess is that you are getting this pressure because you are dominating the permie internet universe. Success!
Michael Grant


Joined: May 19, 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Northwest Missouri
I've had an opportunity to exchange a couple of kudos with you privately, and have always found you gracious. An old friend of mine, a "normal" suburbanite sort, who had worked with you on an IT project years ago noticed me cross posting one of your articles and spoke well of you. But as Feynman titled his book, "What do you care what other people think?"

At the risk of appearing to have a marginally creepy, highly nonsexual mancrush, your articles have helped to crystallize a lot of my thinking, not least of which is the idea that liberty and profit are not at all unsustainable. Too many in the green movement left me conflicted, as I thought of Leopold and Jefferson and running in the creekbed as a boy and then read shrieking on boards demanding that my life be lived the "eco" way with dreadlocks and the aroma of weed and patchouli.

So, yeah, PIE.


"It's an odd quirk of human nature that once a man has made up his mind to be a farmer, he wants to get into action quickly, irrespective of the dozen and one factors involved."--Haydn S. Pearson, "Success on the Small Farm"
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
I never even gave Paul's use of "colorful adjectives" a passing thought. "Swear words" can be an effective tool when used strategically. Sometimes frustration can foment the use of those " no no words" but to me it sometimes helps get people to pay attention which makes them an effective communication tool.
Raven Sutherland


Joined: Nov 09, 2010
Posts: 128
Location: Massachusetts
Paul Change is inevitable... so while i'll agree with the Gang's response to tell you don't change....
or not to change... everyone needs to think and "tweak" themselves to be even better.

although i LOVE the idea of permaculture and everything it implies i'm not going to totally abandon
everything i have learned over the years because of ONE single philosophy but i shall incorporate it,
blend it, to suit my needs.

That being said... i want to raise one Point that hit me on the no more irrigation required
point you raised. I was reading today about a couple in southern Oregon who purchased a farm
and in his writings he was saying something about if you don't irrigate every five years you loose
your farm status....so there is some friggan rule in there........ to be careful of.

One thing i have noticed in all the magazines like Mother Earth ,Organic Gardening is that they
are always talking about getting back to the land or to the garden but offer little in the actual nuts and bolts
area of how to do just that... and especially where it comes to financing a farm .

America was founded around farming and now we are down to around just 1% of the population that is into
farming and the big corporations are turning it into a conveyor belt technology forcing the little guy
into oblivion. I think your smart enough to help reverse that trend with your world domination theory.

continue to be the voice. Lead by example and not by just words alone . although they are powerful being able
to see an idea in action is rather important. I loved: the the pig is eating my boot line .....

GO PAUL


Digging around on a piece of ground in my home town
waiting for someone or something to show me the way.
Kyle Williams


Joined: Jul 09, 2009
Posts: 35
Location: Portland, OR
More PIE for me please.

I think that Paul and his thoughts are so excellent, that if he decided to take the time to record a narrative of his morning constitutional, I would listen to it and feel confident that I would glean some "nugget" of wisdom in there somewhere. Keep doing what you're doing Paul, and do it however you like.

And speaking of PIE, many of the comments in this thread (as well as countless episodes of the podcast) gave me enough of a chuckle that I've decided to put my money where my mouth is. Paul, I like what you're doing so much that I want to buy you a slice of pie to say thanks. I'm sending $5 via Tip the Web. And I'm going to try to encourage those than can afford to do so to do the same thing. In that spirit, my sign-off is...

If you like this sort of thing, send Paul a few bucks via Tip the Web, so we can enjoy PIE, and he can eat pie... ALL the time.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
I think that the point is that Paul should makes changes when it suits him and because some people think he should do or say what they perceive as the correct path to travel. We all change it is a part of growth but it happens over time and many times the "alterations" aren't at first discernible.
Cory Arsenault


Joined: Mar 03, 2011
Posts: 55
Location: Ottawa, Canada
    
  10
when somebody gives me something for free, it's impolite to complain about it.
Eddie Rabon


Joined: Feb 12, 2012
Posts: 1
Apples v/s oranges, po-tat-oes or po-tot-oes, like many you tube video's I've watched the first thing everyone complains about is the wind. I guess people think another person making said video thinks you can turn on god like powers and make it stop for the duration of their videos.Eh? Oh that sorry about the wind.

Point is "why"? "Why" would you even want to care to change the person you were meant to grow up to be?People have or was born with free choice, if they don't like something especially with a tv or internet they can always close a tab and look for something else to view,watch, listen to ect.

I really don't care what people think about me, One kid thought I was a wrestler and wanted my autograph a few other thought I was an ax murderer until they got to know me.. Now their my best friends.
I've enjoyed your cast whenever they have been sent to my email and I try to learn something in the process so from one who was blind now he sees I thank you.

No I don't mean Paul can cure blindness as that would be taken wrong...

Well any way "Don't change a thing". If it got you this many people coming to the forums to learn something new and put it to practical use then you should consider it a victory.

Take care and again "don't change a thing".
Ed.
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2231
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  38
Fred Morgan wrote:
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:These replies are golden. Fred, you are eloquent as always.


<snip> a rather gnarly cut across the palm of my right hand from a fall with a machete - 10 stitches <snip> I have a saying that I remind myself at times, "I would prefer to die while living, than be dead while alive"<snip>
I can imagine Paul having some wounds like this, and some of them are a bit sore now - the very fact he would like to work with them is to his credit.


Great metaphor, Fred. And yes, I think you and Paul both are what I call "living large" in more ways than one!

Kyle Williams wrote:More PIE for me please.
<snip>
If you like this sort of thing, send Paul a few bucks via Tip the Web, so we can enjoy PIE, and he can eat pie... ALL the time.


Kyle, simply beautiful!
Erica Wisner
volunteer

Joined: Feb 10, 2009
Posts: 688
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
    
  79
Fred Morgan wrote:As I have accomplished more in my life, I have become less and less willing to comment about what others are doing. I have some very accomplished friends, I haven't done so badly myself. We almost never will offer criticism of each other - but we tend to ask each other for opinion when in doubt, and we are often in doubt.

There is a person who is afraid of being the doer, but still wants to share credit - they will shoot out "help" like a shotgun, perhaps hoping someone will use something they suggest, and then they can share credit.

Ideas are a dime a dozen, and so is advice. Building a plan, following through no matter what - these are the things that separate those who are successful and those who aren't.


I agree, though I'm still struggling to practice it.
My mother is still, gently, occasionally, letting me know that talking at people and trying to 'fix' them is a waste of breath.
Telling other people how to do their business is a fool's game, it wastes both people's time, and only the wiser person learns much from it anyway. But there are a lot of follies in the world.

I tend to tell people how to do things a lot. My ideas are beautiful in my head, and I type fast and have a quick tongue.
And I tend to notice that it sometimes feels like talking to a brick wall. The more words, the less people listen. Sometimes I get the feeling I've offended them and I can't remember how.

The only people who seem to appreciate it are the ones who asked for my opinion, on a subject that I have some actual experience in.

Which leads to the older-and-wiser approach, like Fred describes. Asking questions instead of pontificating. Offering perspective instead of advice. Sharing the 'curiosity' rather than the 'solution,' and see if someone else feeds back a useful missing piece to make a leap. Waiting for a direct question. As a teacher, I also try to be very sensitive to the difference between questions that indicate something missing in the perspective, vs. just missing information or experience. If the perspective includes a bunch of unworkable assumptions, like "Large men in overalls exist to cater to my whims," there is limited benefit to continuing the dialogue. A discrepant event is needed, or a gradual maturation; something that shakes loose the accretions so they can open their eyes. Even if I am stuck in the teacher role, I can hang back, or suggest an experiment, so they can wrestle with reality a little more before asking again. To be a lifelong learner is to be satisfied with not having all the answers, just progress toward slightly more accurate questions.

I think Paul's "be nice" policy has a beautiful effect, besides keeping down the squabbles. Squabbles often indicate a swine-pen of busy ignorance. Wiser elders and almost-elders, who are one step away from the 'nirvana' of never talking at all, are understandably reluctant to drop a pearl into the mix. They may not even care about finding peers to exchange useful information, just about whether anyone is listening at all. The "be nice" atmosphere here encourages courtesy and helpfulness, and entices those elders (and experts, and experienced younger people) who are still willing to take time away from their own lives to visit the Internet, not to give up on us.
When an experienced person does offer advice, in response to a direct question, the feedback from this site is that people appreciate this. Elders know they are not wasting their time here, because anyone who is rude to them gets shushed by the community's own stewards.

So I hope my elders would back me up on this, because I'm still making mouthy assertions :

Wise people rarely offer unsolicited advice.

Therefore, people who offer Paul unsolicited advice on how to improve his (unpaid!) business are being foolish, possibly downright rude, and it's not surprising that their advice contradicts each other.

It would be counterproductive for Paul to cater to these suggestions, just like it is counterproductive for the old man, the boy, and the donkey to try to please every circle of village aunties who are sure they are treating each other unfairly.

If Paul wants to open a straw poll on how to improve his podcasts or videos, he can ask.

If Paul does feel so appreciated by all the PIE encouragement and wants to please and flatter his fans ... and someone wants to be the person who gets to pick what Paul's benevolent gesture will be ...
- as a human being he is MUCH more likely to respond well to compliments and polite requests ("I loved your BoomSquish podcast, Caleb's right, the only time I ever have a problem is if I can't hear you") than to direct commands ("Make the sound better. [Or I will go away and leave you to waste your words on the easily satisfied people]").

And I think some of the most productive comments are along the lines of, "I love that, I would love to see more," or "Do you know anyone who could share X with us?" These inquiries get Paul thinking, without derailing the conversation into who is making smacky sounds at the dinner table.

I know Paul uses little tricks to get the most out of his equipment, I've never had a problem with sound quality (this is just an example), and I know he takes pains to get decent sound or omit the worst material that is unlistenable. He has good reasons to limit the technology in order to better capture those excellent moments, and get them out to us, in real time. I like his sense of humor, too, and I know mine comes across pretty flat on camera and email though it sounds good in my head.

I think most of his fans are fans because they like seeing and hearing about real people. No make-up crew to drive the old Norwegian bachelor farmers running for the woods. Ever tried to fit a camera crew in a chicken coop? Even getting a tiny video camera around Ianto is like an obstacle course of unpredictable fury.

and I LOVE that Paul has turned PIE into a personal mantra of self-affirmation.

I justify this wordy advice to Paul's critics because Paul did ask a direct question.

As far as advice for Paul:
Keep it up. And thanks.

-Erica


Play with nature, make nifty stuff:
www.ErnieAndErica.info
Deborah Thompson


Joined: Feb 05, 2012
Posts: 8
Follow your bliss, Paul. I like you just the way you are. I'm new here - watch and try to read everything posted. Am impressed with your dissemination of information. // deb
Deedles Johnson


Joined: Mar 08, 2011
Posts: 13
One of my favorite phrases:

"Opinions are like ********: everyone has one".

Love your stuff, Love the delivery of your stuff. I think you're darn cute especially in that lab coat and glasses picture and you're pretty much as funny as you think you are!

PIE.

Maybe there is a t-shirt in this somewhere?
 
 
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