I was wrong on the internet the other day. As the flurry of angry, disparaging comments came in I was reminded of this xkcd comic:
Last week, that “someone” was me. Back in December I wrote this post: “Skill Doesn’t Matter if you Lack Taste.” In the post I have a couple of examples where incredible skill still has a mediocre outcome because of a lack of taste. One of the examples I used was the corny transitions in the more recent Star Wars movies (hint: never criticize Star Wars). You can judge for yourself thanks to this video.
The post made it to the home page of Hacker News (a site known for quality discussion) and the traffic started flooding in. First the comments pointing out that the wipes were a homage to earlier sci-fi movies. Something I didn’t know, so thanks for pointing that out.
Then the comments turned negative. Really bad. First just off topic and insulting, but then really offensive. Some so bad I just deleted them and would not reprint them here.
All this over a conversation about Star Wars? Seriously?
Normally I would say “Welcome to the internet. That’s just how things are.” except that this came from Hacker News which is a community I really respect and care about.
Don’t be a dick, just be nice. It’s that easy. Point out when someone is wrong, but do it in a helpful way. Insulting their family won’t help anyone.
Luke Beard has a beautiful poster (shown above) that inspired the title. You should purchase it here: Art prints & posters from Luke Beard. Then hang it near your computer to be reminded while commenting on the internet.