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paul wheaton is impossible to work with

 
paul wheaton
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Yesterday I learned "everybody thinks paul wheaton is impossible to work with".

It took some digging, but I found out that this is rooted in two things:

1) about a hundred people have come to the forums at permies.com and posted something like "you, bob smith, are obviously stupid" and then I would delete that. And the poster would then attempt to engage me in a conversation about "how is bob smith going to learn that he is stupid if somebody doesn't say something? Plus, you are violating my rights to free speech." I would then point out that this freedom of the press and I choose to not publish hate speech. The poster then goes on a censorship rant and then I hear bits back over the years about how this person is telling the world about what an asshole I am. Fair enough.

2) Several years ago I was involved in trying to help the washington state permaculture group transition into being a northwest permacutlure group. So I bought a couple of domain names: nwpermaculture.com and nwpermacutlure.org. I didn't have the time to do the full blown web page, but I set up something to tide us over until the real web folks showed up. Then I pointed the domain to their stuff. Two minutes. That was 2010. In 2011, it was, again, about two minutes of pointing the domain to their stuff. 2012: they want me to point the domain to my my registrar's stuff and then fiddle with the registrar's stuff. i explain why that won't work ... "just DO it!" okayfine. See, it doesn't work. After three more attempts to do weird things it has consumed four hours of my life and it is still broken as I predicted for each one. I hear through the grapevine that I am impossible to work with.

Why do I post this in a thread? Because I keep finding myself trying to help folks with this and similar stuff, and I keep finding all new people that are certain that I am an asshole or "impossible to work with" or whatever after some small experience with me. I intended to direct them to this thread before we start working together, and then direct them to this thread again after they have come to the conclusion that I am difficult.

I guess the formula is always the same "do as I say" "I'm not comfortable with that" "then you are impossible to work with".

I now choose to not help with most of these projects. I just don't need the hate.



 
P Thickens
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Hey, Paul. Seems you do a lot of extraordinarily cool stuff. How many posts about that stuff have you put up VS how many negative-themed posts? "Our minds are velcro to bad thoughts, and teflon to positive ones".
 
paul wheaton
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Dunno.

I think a lot of it is the "hate in the name of love" crowd. The people I ban for bashing other people tend to be big advocates of "why can't we all just love each other?"

I think this smells a lot like "no good deed goes unpunished." And I suspect that people that have accomplished a lot have a lot of detractors. While people that have accomplished nothing have zero detractors. I suspect that there are people that have accomplished a lot and have zero detractors - mighty admirable. But I guess my personality doesn't get that package. So I am "impossible to work with" and, frankly, I am 100% okay with that.

And now I have a thread for those people that ask me to help with some project.
 
Amedean Messan
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I rather enjoy the reasonable moderation because there can be some polarized individuals out there.
 
Jami McBride
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As another person who takes issue with 'Don't give me any guff just do as I say' - I can completely understand, your in the public eye and so your going to get more of this kind of thing.

I like that you have standards for posts here at Permies, and that you do what you can when you can. I'm in the same boat. I don't want that to ever change.
As you know I don't see eye to eye with you on everything, but here at permies that's okay too. There is no censorship as long as a person is not slamming other people.

Funny how people choose to not see the freedom in this place. If they can't do whatever is right in their own eyes they scream censorship.... I just don't see it that way.
 
paul sanass
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Jami McBride wrote:
Funny how people choose to not see the freedom in this place.


No offence intended, but there's an old saying... 'Non so blind as those that can't see'
 
Tyler Ludens
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I find Paul Wheaton extremely easy to work with in this format, though have had rather little direct communication with him. His rule is easy to follow, in my personal experience on this board.

 
Susan Noyes
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I don't post often as I am inexperienced in the permaculture realm and will be reading posts (and more books) for sometime to come. It interferes with my gardening but I'm always trying to balance my activities so I just do it.
I learn so much and am SO happy to have found this forum.
I think the one rule that we "be nice" makes it relatively easy to decide what to post.
Which is this:
I find Paul hugely entertaining and full of information that I want to learn, and send his stuff to family and friends at a rate that hopefully isn't overkill.
So thank you!
 
Eric Thompson
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I'm with you Paul in being frustrated by this approach and attitude! Some of it is a sense of creeping "entitlement" that is like 'you've been helping me with this for years -- you OWE it to me to keep helping'. And there is a similar kind of entitlement of scope for the help - that is the one where I picture someone's attitude as 'Ok, I can accept your help, but only on MY TERMS' Kind of like lining up at the soup kitchen and saying 'I demand an organi-vegan alternative!'

Obviously people like this are stupid! Err, insane.. wait, wait - don't censor this yet.... umm... people like this....may benefit from social cues on collaborative expectations where working toward common goals!
 
Josiah Wallingford
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I am currently working with Paul. I have spoken with Paul about many different projects, have spent many hours on the phone with him and have a very long chain of email correspondence with him. I like to think I have a pretty good idea of what it is like to work with Paul Wheaton. Here is my conclusion so far:

1. Paul is very intelligent.
2. Paul is very patient as long as you are a person who listens to what he is saying, registers what he is telling you and then thinks about what he said. If you are the type of person that is not open minded, can't see things from another point of view, cannot listen to reason and honestly comprehend that what you are saying may be wrong than Paul does not have the time to waste talking with you.
3. Paul understands that people may know more than him and does listen if you make you point followed by an explanation as to why you have come to that conclusion. If after you have stated your reasons and they make sense he will listen. If you blatantly just tell someone the way it is or that what you are saying is the "end all be all", Paul does not have time to waste listening to you.
4. You must understand that Paul's time is precious to him and to this community. Please do not squander his time, other people need it and he is giving it to us without charge the best he can.
5. Don't be afraid to state you opinion or "facts" but please back them up with clear and concise reasons why you have come to that conclusion. This will benefit us all.
6. I think Paul understands that most people do have something we can all learn from. There is some bit of knowledge in each person that we can all benefit from. The problem is that some people do not know how to communicate this in a way that is not judgmental or childish.

This is all my personal opinion. It may be incorrect. I do however think that if you simply think out and fully explain your point you will do very well in this community. Paul is not "impossible to work with" if you are someone that contributes and is worth working with.
 
John Polk
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Freedom of the press belongs to anybody that owns a press.

My press; my rules. Your press; your rules. Actually quite a simple concept.

 
wayne stephen
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I am glad someone is keeping it civil. I may be new to permaculture design , but I am not new to gardening , herbology , wildcrafting , alternative energy and on and on. I have learned so much from you people and Paul. Pauls videos of Skeeter have really helped me to visualize permaculture. I am happy to be able to ask a beginners question about berms and swales , and then share my knowledge of raising chickens to another . If Paul is refereeing this site it seems to stay positive and scholarly. Good Job . I am glad you all are here. The song attached to the Montana Buffalo video expresses how I feel about you all.
 
Lloyd George
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spoken as a fellow asshole...I can certainly commiserate! I really get a kick out people who expect free speech when standing on a soapbox that someone else paid for.

I asked a junior grade LT a couple years ago if he could figure out how to violate the laws of physics...after he demanded that I do just that. (long story..but he wanted me to save a half million bucks by making five volts jump across an air gap and miraculously be 50 volts on the other side...) It is always something.
 
Joe Braxton
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A really smart man once told me (about newspapers) "you can't win an argument with people who buy their ink in 55 gal. drums".
Kind'a applies here too.
 
Fred Morgan
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Joe Braxton wrote:

A really smart man once told me (about newspapers) "you can't win an argument with people who buy their ink in 55 gal. drums".
Kind'a applies here too.


The truth is, no one wins in arguments. Even if you cause the person to agree with you, they haven't changed their opinion. Only by helping people arrive at the truth themselves can you change things, winning arguments is only about pride. It takes a very mature person to accept correction from someone who is arguing with them.
 
Tim Flaus
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I've never really worked with Paul to any extent. I've read and watched plenty of his stuff and think he offers something really valuable. However, and I think he would agree, the fact that he runs this forum does not make him above any other or make what he has to say or his opinions any more valuable than any others. However the content of that opinion may be. Owning the means of production does not mean that you have a right to those providing the production. It may be that those with the ink have the means but should they have the right. Is that what free communication is.
What I like is that Paul seems to remove hate but leaves stupidity and contrary opinion. That way freedom and civility are preserved.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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Disclaimer: I've never worked, talked to or communicated directly with Paul.

I get the impression that at least on the site, new-comers are under the impression that you can do/say whatever they want because that's just how the rest of the net works. When people get a little push-back from Paul or a Moderator it can be a bit of a gut-check. People aren't used to the " it's MY site and IF you can't get along... FUCK OFF. And if you don't leave, I'll kick you out." I'm pretty sure I saw something like that somewhere from Paul.

I've only been on here a little while and at first I wasn't sure how I felt about it. It had a very "dictatorial" feel but once I spent some time I realized that the reason Permies is such a great resource is because of the "NO BS" attitude of Paul and the moderators. I've come to appreciate the fact that I don't have to wade through tons of spam, trolls and junk to find what I'm looking for. And If there isn't an answer here, I know I can ask question without being bullied for being a "noob". I think that's why I've stuck around. I'm not a confrontational person but I'll hold my ground with civility as long as I can. If things get "ugly" I'll just walk away. "don't feed trolls or bullies" it's not worth it.

Some people are put off by that kind of "my way or the highway" attitude and they try to fight it. Paul has made it clear that no matter who you are or how long you've been around, that just ain't gunna fly.

I know that Paul has a " dirty mouth" and a booming voice backed up with physical size to match it. For some, that can be seen as intimidating. I wonder how much of that would change if he were a 5 foot tall, 100 pound woman? I wonder if he'd get the same "puch-back".

It may not be a case of " Paul is impossible to work with". It may be more of " I can't make Paul work the way I want him to."

I get the impression Paul knows what his time is worth and he doesn't mind telling people off if need be. I'm sure there is no shortage of work for him so he can set his own rules.

As I become more self sufficient I find myself leaning towards a similar attitude, simply because I don't need to stand there and take other people's shit. My next meal isn't dependent on kissing asses or maintaining a reputation. I can be me and I can be honest. If others don't like it... too damn bad.

Is that the same for you Paul?
Have you always been that way or has your attitude evolved over time as you've built the empire?
 
paul wheaton
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Have you always been that way or has your attitude evolved over time as you've built the empire?


Well,

I suppose "that way" is relative and subjective.

Further, I've built several empires. So I'm getting better at empire building each time.

My childhood was .... different from the norm. So that probably contributes.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about podcast 111 and how that applies to me: was I born this way, or am I made this way?

And then I spent a LOT of time with Sepp. And visited a lot with the interpreters that are part of "team sepp". And then get pounded with a whole bunch more stuff that this thread is about. And then watch the movie farmageddon. And I think: if there are 100 people capable of doing this stuff, there is a high probability that all 100 will go silent after suffering all the fools, haters, detractors and trolls. So this would suggest that the few that we hear from were born "that way." But I think there is also a lot to be said that they might have started off only a little "that way" and the ongoing hate parade shaped them to be much more "that way".

Here is my friend Kathy:



(source)

A very active blogger and speaker. A woman of strong character. A woman who was changing the world in a big way. But the hate and death threats got to be too much and she stopped. You can read a bit more about it here.

This video helps clarify a bit:




Back to the question:

Have you always been that way or has your attitude evolved over time as you've built the empire?


The short answer is: yes.

And for the topic that this thread is about: many of you have now made some really excellent points. Good stuff! One time, a few years ago I visiting some kin, and an uncle of mine asked me to pull out some old fence posts and move some wood around for him. No problem. Done. Anything else? He then wanted me to spray some weeds in a pasture. Well, I would be glad to smother them with hay, or do some chop and drop, or even pull some - but I won't spray. He got pissed and told me to leave. I think he would agree with other sentiment that I am impossible to work with. I embrace that most people will find me "impossible to work with" and that line is not persuasive to me to compromise my standards.


 
Anna Spangle
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Everyone benefits from people with strong ideas. I always appreciate Paul's ingenuity, humor and terrier-like persistence. Making change seems to require individualists who stand outside the system.
On the other hand I dearly hope that this Self vs. Others picture is a false dichotomy, or a story that could be told another way. But those of us who are original often HAVE TO CHOOSE between truth and friendship, a la "Do you want to be right or do you want this relationship?" That's a real and valid question--- it may really come down to that, in the end. But the question is also situational--- not about WHO YOU ARE in your core self, not about your integrity, loyalty and identity, but about specifics. The trick to getting out of this type of dilemma is to pick apart each difference as it arises and if possible, keep the problem within the realm of knowable things so it never becomes a question of trust, loyalty or allegiance. Most of us are out of their depth there.
The lesson I got from Diamond's book "Collapse" was that cultures rise and fall NOT on the basis of resources or even technology, but on ideas and relationships. The Vikings starved to death on Greenland because they wouldn't eat fish. The Easter Islanders because wood was their cultural identity. Ideas are like the engine that drives human activity. Its all in your head.
If Permaculture saves the human race from extinction, we can still be lost by the failure of HEART that comes from loneliness and solipsism. The "cultural technology" of Non- Violent CommunicationTM has helped me connect fruitfully with people I couldn't stand. It really is a viable solution to an ENERGY CRISIS of the psychological/sociological kind.
We need Paul to be Paul--- Tall Tinkerer Paul, Profanity Paul and All!
Luv Ya Man!
--- Anna from Olympia
 
Fred Morgan
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Spanglefeathe Hatfield wrote:
The lesson I got from Diamond's book "Collapse" was that cultures rise and fall NOT on the basis of resources or even technology, but on ideas and relationships. The Vikings starved to death on Greenland because they wouldn't eat fish. The Easter Islanders because wood was their cultural identity. Ideas are like the engine that drives human activity. Its all in your head.
If Permaculture saves the human race from extinction, we can still be lost by the failure of HEART that comes from loneliness and solipsism. The "cultural technology" of Non- Violent CommunicationTM has helped me connect fruitfully with people I couldn't stand. It really is a viable solution to an ENERGY CRISIS of the psychological/sociological kind.


I agree with you in principle, but Diamond did make a point that it being over extended on resources is the nail in the coffin. Sometimes this is due to everyone working together, to build monuments to ego, instead of living simply, so all can live - and also not controlling growth after capacity is reached.

An example, I can have the nicest group of sheep you ever saw, but I still can't get 100 on an acre. But you can't get two aggressive rams on one acre, either.

What is interesting to me is that people find Paul impossible to work with. Paul seems to me (and I am a Steward) to be very easy to work with - even seems to bend over backwards to try to work with people. But he isn't going to change his direction because people "disapprove". One has to have a clear vision going forward, and though you are open to input, that doesn't mean you are open to people who have nothing better to do with their time than critique what others are doing while doing nothing themselves.
 
Louise Knight
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Paul you rock!

We own 10 acres (ok bank lets us thing we own it) in New Zealand. We can't afford to buy every book out there to learn how to care for our property and planet. Your generosity in sharing information has been invaluable for us. And we thank you.

I bet you come under fire everyday for what you say and do... Big business I bet hates it when you talk.... I love it!

Keep up the good work please. We appreciate you and your dedication....

Just watching Permaculture Keynote S. California Great.

Again you rock!

L
 
Lyvia Dequincey
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My grandmother had the personality of a steamroller. She was driven by internal vision. She only took input in very limited doses, on very limited subjects, on days when she was ill. It is because of women like her that I am able to work and vote and own property instead of being the property of some man.

Pioneers are always pulled in all directions, some forwards, some sideways, some backwards.

Paul's vision is a step away from poisoning the Earth, and a step towards health and good food. He must be obstinately passionate rather than meekly compliant or else his creativity would have been uselessly buried. The planet will be better for his contributions.

So I would totally expect that some people would find him impossible to work with. Comes with the territory. It's a compliment; it means you are out front past other people's comfort zone.

The other thing to remember is that some people's best response is delayed or even cumulative. For example, your refusal to spray may bear fruit years later, in addition to other comments, in ways you never learn. Keep the Faith. All our base are belong to you. Grok.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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paul wheaton wrote:Yesterday I learned "everybody thinks paul wheaton is impossible to work with".

It took some digging, but I found out that this is rooted in two things:

1) about a hundred people have come to the forums at permies.com and posted something like "you, bob smith, are obviously stupid" and then I would delete that. And the poster would then attempt to engage me in a conversation about "how is bob smith going to learn that he is stupid if somebody doesn't say something? Plus, you are violating my rights to free speech." I would then point out that this freedom of the press and I choose to not publish hate speech. The poster then goes on a censorship rant and then I hear bits back over the years about how this person is telling the world about what an asshole I am. Fair enough.

<snip>

At the risk of bringing up a topic best left alone, this xkcd comic explains the "free speech" issue perfectly (IMHO).
 
paul wheaton
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Today I came across something from two months ago. And it is delicious. A perfect example.

Somebody had asked the question about coming to my place. And one of the responses came from somebody that calls herself "SuperGirl"

I have never visited Paul Wheaton's place, and after meeting him at a Sepp Holzer event, I never will. Paul is overbearing, self righteous and thinks that he is right 110% of the time, even when confronted with fundamentals of physics that contradict his views and opinions. At the Sepp Holzer event, I challenged Paul's claims that rocket mass heaters are much, much more efficient than wood stoves. The more I explained physics concepts that supported my position, the more belligerent and angry he got. We had an audience of about 20-30 people, 5 of whom found me later, and quietly thanked me for standing up to him. Most of these people were shy women.
I still participate in forums over there from time to time, as there is more active discussion over there - but sometimes it makes me sick. While there are some people with good questions, information and advice, there are others with poor information who will argue with you for days, attack your credibility and derail the conversation.


I remember this girl. And, yes, she is a girl. Although I suspect she might be 18 or older, she had all the arrogance that comes with being 15 years old and all knowing. So maybe she is of a technical adult age but has not yet learned that she is not all knowing.

My favorite part is "The more I explained physics concepts that supported my position, the more belligerent and angry he got." Her position was that no matter how efficient a wood stove gets, a home will be warmer if it is sealed and insulated. That was the only point she presented. I attempted to give a quick overview of the radiant heat story that I heard many years ago - where people were cozy warm despite sub-zero temps and a three inch gap to the outside all along the roof line. http://permies.com/t/1450#8689 - but I wasn't allowed to relay this story.

The odd thing was that I didn't want to be there. Zach was giving a tour of his greenhouse. Zach asked me to come and give feedback. I told Zach that this is the time for the Zach show and not the Paul show - I'm not a fan of greenhouses so I would only be raining on the parade. Zach pushed, so I went. Zach did his thing and then stopped and asked me for my feedback. This nasty girl got hung up on my comments about the rocket mass heater and wanted to debate: apparantly pitting her ignorance of a topic against my experience. Her intent was to win the debate by constant interruption and presenting false information as fact. Fallacies galore.

In the above thread, the point appears to be something else. Apparently my "claims" to the efficiency of the rocket mass heater. I stick to my position that rocket mass heaters will heat a space with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove. Which is easy to do when talking to a girl who has never used one, let alone built one. Or studied one. Or really done any research on them.

I think that the reason I appeared "belligerent" to this girl is because she needed me to bow to her command. And I didn't. So, therefore, I appeared "belligerent". But, this is not the only time it has happened to me. I suppose that if I sat at home and did nothing and avoided all human contact, then I could save the world from being so "belligerent". On the other hand, there is an enormous pile of misinformation out there, so I have elected to travel a more "belligerent" path. So there have been .... thousands of people that would agree with her analysis? Mostly adults.

I think the same could be said for "overbearing, self righteous and thinks that he is right 110% of the time, even when confronted with fundamentals of physics that contradict his views and opinions."

I still participate in forums over there from time to time, as there is more active discussion over there - but sometimes it makes me sick. While there are some people with good questions, information and advice, there are others with poor information who will argue with you for days, attack your credibility and derail the conversation.


So, apparently I am not the only one that is not doing what she tells them to do.

I am going to guess that "people with good questions, information and advice" would include herself and a collection of other people suffering from the same level of ignorance. And "others with poor information who will argue with you for days, attack your credibility and derail the conversation" are people that are desperately trying to gently guide her to other knowledge sets - but those other knowledge sets violate her limited idea of what "science" means.

I wish that she would click on "report to moderator" so we can find out who she is and then escort her to the door - thus saving her from the suffering she seems to be experiencing.

- - - -

I remember this nasty girl. I remember thinking that she is around level 1 or level 2 - therefore anybody at level 5 will be labeled as crazy by her. I remember she demonstrated her ignorant arrogance repeatedly. But it is much worse because she is an example of the poisoning of permaculture: she will attack anybody that does not do things her (rather limited) way. Maybe in the name of "permaculture." Maybe in the name of "science."

When I talk about somebody like Sepp or Ianto and they eventually hear from 20,000 people saying "that's stupid" they stop trying to teach and become hostile. She is a perfect example of a flavor of "that's stupid."

And note that she named herself "SuperGirl". Yup, no arrogance there.

- - - -

Paul is overbearing, self righteous and thinks that he is right 110% of the time, even when confronted with fundamentals of physics that contradict his views and opinions.


I want to revisit the exact topic of rocket mass heaters.

A lot of dumbfucks are stuck on on a conventional wood stove is lab tested and listed as 80% efficient. Therefore the most you can gain is 20%. The "fundamentals of physics" state that you cannot have more than 100% efficiency. (of course, the comedy here is her mention of "110%")

However, what these so-called-scientists seem to be ignoring is the details of the testing. 80% was achieved in the lab using a massive collection of cheats: kiln dried wood cut very small. It might have even been possible that the air pressure in the lab was made very high - so that excess air was blown into the stove. 80% was the best value that was achieved after many, many burns under optimal conditions. And don't forget that when it says 80%, it is really 67% - because 16% is allowed to go up the chimney. And, of course, it is entirely possible for an at-home-user to get 3% efficiency with the same stove. But "SuperGirl" apparently is not familiar with all of this.

So we have lots of examples of people replacing a conventional wood stove with a rocket mass heater and being just as comfortable with a tenth of the wood. This is called "anecdotal evidence" and is a big part of science. Dumbfucks that like to call themselves "scientists" find this data inconvenient and will typically ignore it. Good scientists seek and explanation that explains the anecdotal evidence.

But let's take a look at this issue from another angle: the system exhaust. On a conventional wood stove, there is a lot of exhaust that is 300 to 600 degrees F. On a rocket mass heater, the exhaust is typically around 80 to 120 degrees F.

But, of course ...

Paul is overbearing, self righteous and thinks that he is right 110% of the time, even when confronted with fundamentals of physics that contradict his views and opinions.


So I heard and understood every word you said, "SuperGirl." I appear "overbearing, self righteous" and think that I am right 110% of the time because I've done my homework and you have not.

Just to be clear, I think I am right about 99% of the time. And I think it is very easy to be right ALL of the time - just by qualifying my statements with things like "I think". Using qualified statements is, I think, a very important part of science and critical thought.

- - - -

There are billions of people more charming than I am. But my mission is not to charm, but to save the world. And the world cannot be saved if we (or I) choose to be a servant to being charming by the standards of icky people.

There are oodles of permaculture experts more charming that I am. So, there is a clearly a way to move forward and be more charming. I have no defense. In the worlds of the philosopher Popeye "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." I will do what I think is right. And if there are thousands of people screaming that I am a horrible person, then it would seem that all of those people have a set of standards that is much different than mine - and it would seem that they did, indeed, notice my standards.

I always expect the bad guys to express anger at the good guys.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I still participate in forums over there from time to time, as there is more active discussion over there - but sometimes it makes me sick. While there are some people with good questions, information and advice, there are others with poor information who will argue with you for days, attack your credibility and derail the conversation.


Either I totally miss this stuff or I am one of the arumentative people with poor information who derail conversations.
 
paul wheaton
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Tyler Ludens wrote:
I still participate in forums over there from time to time, as there is more active discussion over there - but sometimes it makes me sick. While there are some people with good questions, information and advice, there are others with poor information who will argue with you for days, attack your credibility and derail the conversation.


Either I totally miss this stuff or I am one of the arumentative people with poor information who derail conversations.


I think the crime here is that there are people that will not think the thoughts that she tells you to think.
 
Julia Winter
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I learned a new term about people like SuperGirl!

The Dunning-Kruger Effect.

These guys published a paper back in 1999 on the phenomena of folks who don't know what they don't know. They don't know much, but they think they know more than average. They failed the test, but they think they aced it!

"If you're incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.… [T]he skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is."


They interviewed one of the two authors recently on NPR, so this term is floating through the zeitgeist again. In some circles it has become a fancy way of calling someone stupid. What I find fascinating is that Paul has recognized that the medicine he's been taking recently for his horrible cervical pain has interfered with his cognition, and on the hugelkultur questions podcast he said "I can't tell if that's the stupid or the arrogance talking," about some such. That's a pretty large amount of self awareness, there.

To me, the scariest doctor is the one who seems utterly confident in his every decision and diagnosis. There's just no way to know for sure what the right answer is all the time.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Julia Winter wrote:
To me, the scariest doctor is the one who seems utterly confident in his every decision and diagnosis.


That's what's called a Mad Doctor.

 
John Weiland
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@Paul W: "And I think it is very easy to be right ALL of the time - just by qualifying my statements with things like "I think". Using qualified statements is, I think, a very important part of science and critical thought."

Personally, I think it even goes beyond "important part"---it is the "uncertainty bedrock" on which good science stands. We are human, we have perceptions and observations all of which, as George Lakoff and others have observed, are noted by an "embodied mind" [ http://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Flesh-Embodied-Challenge-Western/dp/0465056741/ref=la_B000APCCII_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462291184&sr=1-8 ]

@Julia W.; RE: Dunning-Kruger effect.

Q: How many narcissists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: One....to hold the bulb in place while the world revolves around them.

When I looked at the Dunning-Kruger Wiki entry, I was surprised not to find mention of pathological narcissism except in some of the references supporting the entry. Even thought the classic definition of pathological narcissism is the boisterous, entitled, know-it-all, there are gradations of the condition and "Supergirl" sounds like a rather classic case of this. Given that, broadly speaking, American culture (in which I was raised) is noted to be a bit more narcissistic than many others,... AND adding to this the entitlement that younger members of the culture tend to express more than older members....this problem is going to exist for the foreseeable future. We all have elements of this to a greater or lesser extent. One good way of dealing with such cases comes from "clicker training"....Skinner's "Operant Conditioning": Reward the behavior you wish to see. Works great with dogs ..... as well as douche-bags and department heads.
 
Tyler Ludens
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John Weiland wrote: adding to this the entitlement that younger members of the culture tend to express more than older members


Considering the bag of flaming dog turds we're handing off to coming generations, maybe they should feel damn entitled to a few scraps like maybe some clean air, water, and food.

 
Julia Winter
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John Weiland wrote:One good way of dealing with such cases comes from "clicker training"....Skinner's "Operant Conditioning": Reward the behavior you wish to see. Works great with dogs ..... as well as douche-bags and department heads.


True! Operant conditioning works on anything with a brainstem, a famous trainer used to say. If anyone is curious, I highly recommend Karen Pryor's book "Don't Shoot the Dog." It's not actually a dog training book. It's got a lot more about modifying the behavior of people in your life, quietly and pretty much without their awareness.

She's got a funny story about how a group of college students "trained" their professor to spend more time on the right side of the stage (when lecturing to a hall full of students). Whenever he was past the middle, they would look more interested and busily take notes, which he found rewarding.
 
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View their opinions as praise that you are doing it YOUR way, which generally pisses all the bossy pants off. The independant thinker and doer is one of the rarer and more precious items in our society.
 
John Weiland
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@Julia W: " I highly recommend Karen Pryor's book "Don't Shoot the Dog." It's not actually a dog training book. It's got a lot more about modifying the behavior of people in your life, quietly and pretty much without their awareness. "

Yup....that's the book my wife used with the dogs. And somehow, she's claiming that my own behavior is even a bit better since she got the book!.......Hmmmmmm
 
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