Thursday, November 11, 2010

Armchair Psychiatrists

There are so many personality types on the Internet that it is hardly worth trying to classify them. Yet there are a few behaviors that are so common as to have become a stereotype.

The behavior that really “chaps my butt” is often played out by armchair psychiatrists who are acting out in a patronizing fit of anger after having been critiqued. The latest was said to a fellow who I feel has actually become quite reserved – even passive – in his style of critique, remaining neutral in the face of some pretty bad imagery. Yet he is in the process right now of being dressed down for having the temerity to agree with someone else who was having a chuckle at Threatens-A-Lawsuit.
Sidebar: Today, Threatens-A-Lawsuit arrogantly asked someone for a link to his images and got back a link to images that are two orders of magnitude better than anything he has shot in years … When I followed the link myself I almost howled with laughter at what was obviously a most spectacular backfire:-)
Anyway … apparently you cannot acknowledge such things in some peoples’ threads or they attack you.
And what is the armchair psychiatrists’ favorite tactic? Well, let me illustrate with a direct quotation:
Last but not least I have seen a fair amount of anger in your posts to other's leading me to think that you have been quite unhappy about whatever is going on in your life? But then again I see it as your problem.
Now …. I ask you … whose eff-ing business is it to make such an arrogant assessment of someone that they do not even know?

That’s right … it’s no one’s business …

Update: A followup comment contained this gem:
FYI I stand by my earlier suggestions of a few having severe low self esteem problems.
Now how does one say it? Pot calling kettle black?
That behavior too is as common as borscht on these forums …

Update (why not :-) …

Another personality type that is deeply irritating on the forums is the person who constantly signals how much smarter he is than anyone else. By the way, I’m often accused of exactly this behavior, but in fact my own enjoyment of a good argument based upon solid facts and backed by references has nothing to do with the orrogant gits I am talking about ….

No … these guys swear that they understand exactly what an author meant when he wrote a puff piece about this or that topic. There are many photographers who like to regale us all with long diatribes about the evils of technology and to remind us all that the great photographers of yesteryear were shooting with a box with a pinhole in it … all this presumably suck all the fun out of the technical side of photography :-)
A recent post from someone who drifts into and out of the forums, leaving behind a trail of arrogance and obtuseness (yes, they often go together) posted this as a reply to someone he had already insulted several times by implying that he (and in fact many others) simply did not “get it” … here, he says it quite directly:
Everything ever said can be (mis)interpreted in many different ways but there is only one way it was really meant, which is whatever writer meant when he wrote it. Comprehension is only one, it means understanding what he meant when he said it.
That, of course, is a load of bollucks … no one can get into the mind of an author and even highly precise and complete specifications can be misinterpreted easily, which is why there are bake-offs in the technical world to allow vendors to come together and work out compatibility issues between products … so this guy is just blowing smoke to satisfy his own ego … another common trait on the forums …

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