Be Careful of Arrogance

Hi everyone! For the writers who emailed me a while back I have not forgotten about you. Ken’s working on getting through the proxy server and the accounts will eventually be updated when he logs in from China.

Tonight I wanted to talk a little bit about arrogance in blogging. What you need to know about arrogance is that it is unhealthy and that it does more harm than good at the end of an argument, no matter who’s right. Instead of going through the scientific and psychological process of arrogance, I will tell you two stories. One is from someone I know and one comes directly from the blogosphere.

When I was younger I had an old acquaintance once, a very smart man.  We would get into philosophical debates over dorky things like computers, operating systems and life…our dorky lives. He was a very strong mined individual, who in most cases, would turn out to be right about most of his claims. Macintosh being better than Windows, right vs. wrong and hand-coding vs dreamweaver.

He lived alone. He had a few friends among his colleagues but I doubt that he knew any of them very well. To this day I sit back in my chair and wonder if he was truly happy. Because the issue in this case isn’t necessarily whether one is right or wrong but rather if one is living life in a healthy manner. Arrogant people don’t necessarily need to enjoy arguments but they do try to fill the void in their lives by feeding off of them.

The second story comes from a post I saw a couple of weeks back while reading through 9rules. Paul Stamatious, a blogger who is part of the Network, wrote a post in which he refers to this other well known blogger named Robert Scoble.

  • Stamatious is a blogger (with quite a following) who, for the past year and a half has been blogging about technology from his college apartment.
  • Scoble is a former Microsoft employee who is also a blogger.

In Stamatious’ post, he calls out Scoble for making factual errors and “erroneously [accusing] *blank* of spamming and got Google to temporarily cancel his AdSense account the same day. Only after looking like a fool did Scoble find out that he was blaming the wrong person…”.

Scoble responded to the criticism shortly thereafter: “I’m glad none of you have ever made a mistake. Sorry I made one.”

Wow okay, that’s all for tonight. I’m sorry that the team hasn’t posted anything in a while but I hope that these posts are useful to those of you who are new to blogging! Once we get the new guys on board we should be back to our usual schedule. Good night and make smart choices.

11 Responses to “Be Careful of Arrogance”

  1. 1 anisa hadzami 12 November, 2006 at 12:37 am

    this is good essay… I love it.

  2. 2 CoCo 12 November, 2006 at 4:32 am

    That blog really does show you that people who attempt to always be right (even if they are) don’t necessarily ever get any happness out of it. And, also that if you think your right and you accuse people. You shouldn’t because you may just be wrong. Smart lesson. ::shakes hand with teacher::

  3. 3 ANAND RAMAMURTHY 13 November, 2006 at 9:49 pm


  4. 4 Michael 14 November, 2006 at 12:39 am

    Hey welcome back everyone! I just played around with the template and added two new authors to the site!

    Back to the post. It is tough…in the end I guess it’s all about maintaining a healthy balance. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t say what you want, but you should be aware of when you’re saying those things to an empty room or an empty chat room on the Internet.

    I guess it’s a bit like being emo…Nah that’s being too harsh, I know a couple of emo people and they’re still nice folks! 🙂

  5. 5 Michael 14 November, 2006 at 3:38 am

    Oh hi Anand, I’m glad I could help!

  6. 6 Blogger 14 November, 2006 at 11:51 pm

    Not sure what the point you are trying to make with the Scoble story…

  7. 7 JLB 15 November, 2006 at 1:08 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I don’t blog about topics which tend to inspire much debate, but I do give careful thought to what goes into each post, and every comment that I publish. Sometimes I wish others might employ a modicum of prudence in their own choice of words.

    I find it interesting to observe the different ways that individuals make use of the “instant publishing” available with blogs, forums, and other online communication tools. Some folks display a vulgar lack of common sense and courtesy, while others find whole new worlds of social and personal development through online interaction.

    I suppose it will be even more interesting to see how the little changes we see in society today with the growing technologies will influence much larger changes in social norms over the next few decades.

  8. 8 JLB 15 November, 2006 at 1:16 am

    PS – Michael, I’m digging the new design! 🙂

  9. 9 paxrock 21 November, 2006 at 10:58 am

    So when do we get to hear about the new guys on the editors page? 😉

  10. 10 Marsha J. O'Brien 23 November, 2006 at 4:09 am

    I agree that arrogance (any time, not just in blogging,) is not necessary. One definition of arrogance is “overloaded with pride”. My mama always reiterated to me, “Pride goeth before a fall.”

    Great subject and stories. Thanks!

  11. 11 engtech 1 December, 2006 at 3:36 am

    When you’re blogging you can sometimes completely forget it’s public. You’re ranting about something and you get a good froth going… and you hit publish.

    Nothing puts that arrogance in check like having the subject of your rant drop by.

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