META/POLL: The Purpose of Criticism

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Mon Feb 18 23:04:55 PST 2008

On Feb 19, 1:47 am, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at> wrote:
> On Feb 19, 4:45 am, Tom Russell <milos_par... at> wrote:
> > On Feb 17, 8:34 pm, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at>
> > >  And, yes, Tom, the negative comments you make can easily be
> > > made about your own writing.
> > Because I somehow have trouble accepting valid negative criticism?
> I don't have a problem with valid criticism.  I have a problem with
> criticism which is more focused on its own style and wit than
> validity.

I don't think I'm guilty of that, but you didn't really answer the
question.  The implication, at least as I see it, is that I can't
accept negative criticism.  I'd like to think that I can.  I try to
explain myself as best I can, and sometimes I'm wrong and sometimes
I'm right and sometimes I'll just agree to disagree.  But.

I don't think I've ever thrown a fit or cried foul when my work has
been criticized-- at least not in the past three or four years.  I'll
gladly cop to being an idiot when I a teenager, but I think I've
matured past that.

And I'm not implying that you've thrown a fit, and I'm not trying to
escalate this into a full-blown flame war-- I'm just asking you to
clarify your statements here and elsewhere.  The general drift that
I'm getting is that:

1. I am a hypocrite.  If this is something you meant to say, I'd
appreciate it if you clarified it with some examples so that I can
respond to them.  If this is a case of me misreading one of your
statements, please tell me so that I can drop it.

2. I accept negative criticism poorly.  If this is something you meant
to say, I would also appreciate some examples; if this is me
misreading it, then tell me and I'll think no more on it.


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