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Discussion > Unpalatable feedback

Shub, I haven't done what you say. I have expressed some opinions but I've also laid out a framework that I wanted you to comment on, suggest alterations, add greater precision or whatever. Rather than run before we can walk can I return to my first question:

Is all unpalatable feedback good?

It was your phrase. Isn't that a fair place to start?

Nov 23, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Shub, I just came back to this thread. I hadn't seen your earlier comment of 11:50 when I posted mine of 11:58 or of 4:28, which refers to yours of 12:13. I've got to do some other things for a bit but I will return to this and give it some attention. Bye for now.

Nov 23, 2012 at 4:35 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

If you want to imply that some unpalatable feedback is not good because the motives of those who may be offering them could be less than pristine, then I am not biting. It is your pseudonymity argument by proxy.

Nov 23, 2012 at 6:07 PM | Registered Commentershub

There are quite a few things I would have liked people at BH to have taken seriously and commented on but they did neither hehe. I am serious about humans making sure they have self supporting colonies on other worlds so that a catastrophic event does not wipe us out. However most people think I read too much science fiction and either ignored my discussion or commented briefly that I was a little short of marbles. Very sad but that is how a free and open discussion forum works, you can not force people to be interested.

Nov 24, 2012 at 3:49 AM | Registered CommenterDung

But never mind, because on my humble and sensitive suggestion of 9th Novermber, that kicked this episode off, I did receive unpalatable feedback and lots of it - that I was not in fact proposing what I thought I was proposing but that I was proposing the banning of pseudonymity. This feedback was unpalatable to me, because I knew it not to be true and that it would damage my reputation. Once I had pointed this out I felt that those continuing to accuse me were lying. And the lying continued for quite a while. This did not seem good to me. But I now think I was being taught an important lesson about unpalatable feedback and how it is treated by the denizens of Bishop Hill. (Most stay well clear. I thoroughly sympathize.)

That all happened a bit later. Shub's first words in response were:

Nah. That is not going to be good.

Hence my interest in what Shub meant by good. And by unpalatable feedback, which were his final words of that response and seemed to me a crucial part of it. I took good to mean (above) good for the whole blog but I was completely open to correction on that. To not want to deal with it because I "have an agenda" seems strange because my initial agenda was open. But perhaps it's because this thread is not couched as or intended to be unpalatable feedback, because it is a genuine attempt (or was - I think we probably just ran out of time, from my point of view) at reaching greater understanding of where we differ. Is that bad? Is unpalatable feedback in fact the only good around here?

Shub wrote this very interesting account yesterday (which turned into a busier day for me than expected, in some remarkable and good ways, all springing from my birthday a week ago):

When mac was pestering Betts, I felt sympathy for Betts. Betts was obviously not in a position to speak for the Met Office. But I saw Betts give quasi-officialese, carrying-the-water-for-the-IPCC, 'communicator'-ey sort of answers over a good length of time and expected kudos in return, but instead got to feel the wrath of commenters who have a traditional old-school understanding of what science means and how it ought to function. Good then. Where do you think the burden of introspection lies? I think Betts should think: 'huh, so that is how a cross-section of British taxpayers think about science 'communicators'?'. The commenters should go: 'huh, maybe I shouldn't have bitten the head off of someone who reached out (so he can keep doing more of his 'communication')'.

This perspective is not unpalatable to me but very to the point. Best for me to leave it here. This one paragraph shows that there is much more agreement on the underlying issues than for a while it seemed. And that, for me, at least, is good.

Nov 24, 2012 at 7:56 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake