If he don't like it, or me, then why the hell is he here exactly?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/11/18 10:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/11/18/9103899.aspx

This blog is as off topic as you can get without a prescription from your doctor....

Sometimes when one doesn't get the answer one wants, one can feel somewhat bitter about that fact.

Technical problems with computers can cause a person to be particularly susceptible to that kind of reaction, actually.

Though there can also be more to it, sometimes.

Case in point: a response to a blog from almost two years ago Vista turns on everything, which explains how you can't turn of the Text Services Framework anymore, like you could in the old days of prior versions.

Admittedly not great news for people who wanted to turn it off for application compatibility reasons.

Anyway, the response that Luke sent on (with no return address):

Useless as ever. You are nothing but a fool. This post is less useful than a broken key. I come here wanting to learn how to turn off advanced text services, and you take up several paragraphs to say "You can't". Don't ever attempt at helping anyone you useless 9 year old.

There is something particularly hateful about these words that really gives me pause.

It could be simple frustration leading to an emotional over-reaction, one that the seemingly anonymous nature of the Internet only encourages.

And some of the words such as "I come here wanting to learn how to turn off advanced text services" though clearly the title doesn't even suggest that the blog is about Advanced Text Services at all. tend to clearly suggest a man who found Vista turns on everything via a Google search (as I have to admit so many do).

And someone who found the blog by searching specifically for how to turn off TSF in Vista who read the whole post might get very frustrated about the "waste of time" and all.

And the conclusion of the comment (Don't ever attempt at helping anyone you useless 9 year old) certainly does display a certain amount of impatience and frustration. The kind that makes people lash out in perhaps strange ways that seem vaguely inappropriate.

Though there is something else in those words and others like "you are nothing but a fool", something that does not fit the picture -- it is not just the one blog that has Luke so unhappy with me. There really is something more going on here, running much deeper than a momentary frustration at not solving one single problem.

And then the initial bit of the comment (i.e. useless as ever) really doesn't seem to match here either, and makes no sense in the context of someone who had never been here before and (after the mistake of visiting the one time) would never visit again.

This is someone who doesn't like me, or maybe my online "persona", or maybe after having met me in person. Someone who just really finds no use for me whatsoever.

It's funny, I think that some of the people who hate me the most spend more time dissecting my words for inappropriate meanings to prove their beliefs than the people who are actually fans. This Luke may be one of them, one of the people who just really doesn't care for the taste of my brand of chai.

I used to talk with my friend Liz about this, and I have talked about it with Andrea too - in fact I've had this conversation with both of them long before I even had a Blog, nay before Blog was even a word. And both of them have pointed out that if I wanted to reverse everything I could, but that I speak with a very distinctive voice and would probably have a very hard time changing that since it mirrors the way I think about things.

I gave up three decades ago (in the third grade) trying to please everybody, and have never had cause to think I made the wrong decision back then.

The Blog is perhaps a megaphone, but not one that is changing what I say or how I say it all that much. I use it (and occasionally even abuse it!) in the same way that I would have done in any book or website or email or newsgroup post or presentation or conversation. I can name both people I have maddeningly frustrated and people I have ecstatically delighted. And I think I do serve a "net positive" purpose with what I do -- for myself, for my group, for Windows, for Microsoft, etc.

And of course you do have a choice here -- you could just not read me if you don't like me, or what I say, or both.

So Luke (or whatever your name actually is), if you want to come out from where you are hiding and tell me what your actual concerns with me are then I'd be happy to hear them or even discuss them. Or if you'd rather hide grudges or hatreds behind anonymous venomous messages then I suppose that is okay too.

Though the likelihood of having either influence or impact is much greater in the former approach than the latter. A friendly suggestion. :-)


This blog no sponsor, just as this sentence no verb.

Etiquette 101 on 18 Nov 2008 2:31 PM:

Some people are just rude & enjoy bashing others who make them feel intellectually inferior.   The internet's cloak of anonymity empowers this behavior in many circumstances.  Sometimes the basher was just having a random bad day & decided to vent his or her frustrations on anyone or anything sorta like a rabid animal attacking for no apparent reason.  

Some rude people are repeat offenders and are wired this way..with no tact, respect and/or etiquette, could be how they were raised, or that they are a product of a dysfunctional environment so they are basically oblivious & don't know enough to be considerate of others.

I wonder what inspired this blog entry.  The example you chose to use was from almost 2 years ago...perhaps that one stood out the most to you in the stack of trolls?

Good food for thought.  Cool blog.  :)

Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Nov 2008 4:41 PM:

The comment was not from two years ago, just the post was.

But this one did stand out, for its incongruencies if nothing else...

Maurits [MSFT] on 18 Nov 2008 8:41 PM:

Nitpicker's corner: "blog", "sponsor", and "sentence" are all verbs ;-)

Michael S. Kaplan on 19 Nov 2008 1:14 AM:

Well, to nitpick the nitpicking -- none of them are verbs in THAT sentence. :-)

Igor Levicki on 19 Nov 2008 6:45 AM:

I think that he is not frustrated with you but with Vista "default on without a switch" behavior for many things. Perhaps he has to use it (policy at work or something) and it really inconveniences him in some way so he is just seeing you as a representation of "Microsoft" and takes it out on you in revenge.

Michael S. Kaplan on 19 Nov 2008 9:00 AM:

Except the whole "Useless as ever" and other pieces part, which implies we have a past. He perceives I have hurt him before....

Dale on 20 Nov 2008 4:57 AM:

"... one can feel somewhat bitter about that fact."

Eh, so now you're poaching commenters from Raymond Chen


Michiel on 21 Nov 2008 9:06 AM:

I'm not even sure if the first sentence is aimed at you specifically. Don't forget that there are people around who assume "the Internet" is a magical thing, similar to a helpdesk. And Michael is just another unhelpful Internet Helpdesk person.

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