Daily Archives: July 17, 2012

Bad Reviews: I Can Handle Them, and So Should You

On Twitter, a hopeful request:

Oh, well, okay. Since you asked.

For those who don’t know, “Stop the GR Bullies” relates to a Web site created by some folks to go after people on Goodreads who write reviews that the people who founded the GR Bullies site find to be “bullying” in some way or another. It appears that the plan the GR Bullies folks have to deal with this issue is to be bullies themselves to the people they’ve decided they don’t like. This is the sort of recursive stupidity that makes you wonder how self-aware people actually are on a day-to-day basis.

I could go further into detail about it, but instead, let me commend to you Foz Meadow’s observations on the matter, author Stacia Kane’s rather appalled post from a writer’s point of view, and SB Sarah’s general comments about criticism and reviews online. These are all rather sensible points of view, and in a general sense I find myself in agreement with them.

However, because it wouldn’t be any fun if I just pointed you at other people’s thoughts and said “yeah, that,” some brief thoughts on the matter, in handy numbered form. First, for those folks who are fans of a particular writer and his or her work:

1. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the things they read (or watch, or listen to, or taste, or whatever). They’re also entitled to express them online.

2. Sometimes those opinions will be ones you don’t like.

3. Sometimes those opinions won’t be very nice.

4. The people expressing those may be (but are not always) assholes.

5. However, if your solution to this “problem” is to vex, annoy, threaten or harrass them, you are almost certainly a bigger asshole.

6. You may also be twelve.

7. You are not responsible for anyone else’s actions or karma, but you are responsible for your own.

8. So leave them alone and go about your own life.

Speaking for myself as an author, I am a big boy and can handle criticism just fine. I can’t imagine most people I know going frothy on someone who doesn’t like my writing, because I’m not the sort of people who inspires Justin Bieber-like foamyness in my fans, and anyway I assume most people who read my work are emotionally developed to the point of recognizing inappropriate behavior. But just in case some of you aren’t one of those people, a handy guide:

When I need your help with a negative review, I will ask for it.

If I don’t ask for it, I don’t need your help.

If I do ask for it, you should consider me temporarily out of my head and ignore me.

If you decide to attack someone in my name without consulting me, you make me look bad. That will annoy me, and I may take it out on you, possibly publicly. It will also make me wonder what the deal is that kept you from learning impulse control.

Consider the above in effect for all eternity.

Finally, if you’re an author who thinks it’s peachy for folks who post negative reviews of your work to be harassed by vengeful mental infants for the dubious crime of expressing an opinion, please grow the fuck up and stop embarrassing the rest of us. Thank you.

I trust this makes my position on this matter sufficiently clear.

The New Desktop, Completed

It is thus.

As noted before, the new desktop is a Mac Mini, which I got for a number of reasons. This first is, simply, it’s relatively cheap; the other computers I was looking at were a couple of multiples more expensive, and I decided for this round of computer acquisition that I just didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money. Losing an expensive MacBook Air kind of took it out of me for this round, you know?

The second is, hey, this thing is tiny. And that’s not a bad thing because I have a small desk and I kind of don’t want it cluttered up. And not just the desk; with the last tower I had there were wires snaking all over the place. This time things are a bit less snakey. Third, I decided that I want this computer to be primarily a work computer rather than a game computer I also worked on. One advantage to this is that the Mac Mini is almost entirely silent while my tower always had fans chugging along. Maybe I’m just getting old or something, but I don’t miss the fan noise.

I’ve also realized, damn, I forgot how big a 24-inch screen is. Some of the other computers I was looking at had 27-inch screens; aside from the fact I’m not sure they would fit on my desk, that’s just a massive amount of real estate to scan across. Working on a 13-inch screen for a better part of a year and then going back to the 24-inch screen is kind of overwhelming. It may take me a few days to get used to it.

One major difference this time around is that I’m (at least temporarily) ditching a mouse for the Apple trackpad, in part because I got so used to using it on the Air and in part because Apple’s trackpad technology is sufficiently advanced to make it easier to use than a mouse. I may change my mind (and I will probably plug in my Logitech mouse when I am playing games in any event), but for now I’m trying it out and liking it.

There, now you are all caught up on my tech. Aren’t you happy.

 

 

Things to Do Today

In no particular order:

Pick up the dog from the boarders

Set up the new desktop computer I have ordered (it’s a Mac Mini) which will arrive today

Write on the video game I am working on

Write more on The Human Division

Polish up the president’s quarterly report

Clean up my office so I will not be found under a collapsed pile of books

Send out books and money I have promised to people

Restart my diet because I am now ten pounds above my ideal weight (I blame six weeks of more or less constant tour/travel, plus sloth)

And, oh, I don’t know, write something else here besides a list of things I need to do.

That last one will probably come much later in the day.

Also: Uh, it’s Tuesday, right?