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 Post subject: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:09 am 
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Hi All,

I'd like to clearify recent events. I honestly don't understand why you've thought that I wasn't calm and what made you think that my posts were heated in any way.
I agree zaval's post was inappropriate, he've used inproper language, personal attacks and red texts suggesting anger and hatered. On the the other hand I haven't.

I had anticipated such attacks given the current circumstances, so I was polite and helpful all along. I've linked the source, qouted the doc, explained the quote strictly focusing on the topic. I haven't flooded either (1 post per day max.), and I haven't used any anger emojis or visual (like full uppercase), anything at all that would suggest heat. I've made one typo only, for which I'm terribly sorry, the keys [G] and [T] are very close on my keyboard.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning the moderators. I'd like to know the reason, to understand and learn from that to avoid similar misunderstandings in the future.

Have a nice day,
bzt


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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:21 pm 
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It looks like a classic case of a simple disagreement escalating in small tit-for-tat steps where both people end up being blamed by different people depending on who they think is right. I don't know which of you is right in this case as I don't have time to look up the manual and analyse the facts of that issue carefully - this is something you need to police for yourself.

The problem comes out of the tone, or the perceived tone - each person involved in such a conflict reads the other as being unnecessarily aggressive. Indeed, just by stating what you believe to be a fact can lead you to being seen as aggressive and arrogant by people who disagree with it, which makes it hard to discuss anything without someone taking offence. As soon as you detect the beginnings of hostility, you need to take measures to defuse the bomb rather than adding more of them, and that means stating things in careful language where you pretend that you doubt your own facts and that you are open to the possibility of the other person being right. This is something that everyone should be taught to do at school, but no one's ever recognised that need - we're just left to learn to do this for ourselves through our own experience of conflicts. Some people try to reduce conflict by sticking in IMHO, but that can be misread too and taken as insulting, so it's hard to win this game.

Most importantly though, there's nothing to lose by making it look as if you're open to the idea that you're wrong and that the other person is right - the case will be proved at some point, and every time you're proved to be right having shown yourself to be open to the possibility that you weren't right, that boosts your status, showing you to be a reasonable person who's a pleasure to work with. We all need to learn from this and try to become that reasonable person that everyone enjoys discussing things with.

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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:44 pm 
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I agree with DavidCooper, I think that each of you saw the other one as the unreasonable party, and acted according to that assumption.

To be fair, you both seem to be very intensely opinionated individuals, even by this group's standards (everyone here is to some degree, we wouldn't be trying to do this sort of thing if we weren't). My biggest concern about it was that, well, the OP hadn't been back yet, so we didn't know what they had to say about the outcome of the earlier advice, and finding a brewing argument in their thread might well have driven them away.

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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:01 pm 
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Both of you were wrong. Your posts were not helping the OP and it was quickly escalating into a fight. Just because you didn't use a dirty word doesn't mean you were not insulting and condescending. This has nothing to do with how you actually felt (we can't tell), it has to do with how you are perceived through your words.

Intention doesn't count for much when writing text in an Internet forum. Be clear and precise in what you want to say and mean, otherwise it can and will be perceived differently.

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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:41 am 
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Thank you for you posts!

I'd like to point out it's not about winning and I'm not talking about who's right or what intentions we had. Let's focus on the "perceived tone" of my posts which you have mentioned.

I'm absolutely sure that I haven't used any inappropriate words, what's more I've used phrases supposed to be polite, I haven't made any personal insults, I haven't used red text etc., yet you seem to think that my posts were offensive. There's a misunderstanding here obviously, that's why I asking. I'm not a native speaker you know, and I want to avoid the phrases you may think to be aggressive, but no matter how many times I read my post before submitting, I don't know which one they are. It seems to me it doesn't really matter what I write, anything is read as "offensinve" or "aggressive", and not beause they really are, but because some want to read them that way. You know what I mean?

For example: zaval freaked out on the word "read" when I've said "read the document". What verb should have been used? I know no other. I seriously think "RTFM" or "comprehend" would have been a far worse and more condescending, am I right? So if using "read" is offensive, what to use instead?
Another example: I wrote "also note" by which I meant not implied from the previous premissas rather another independent thing that also backs up the claim. Is really there an aggressive or negative tone in using "note" (without any emojis)? If you read "also note" not in my posts, but in a book for example, would you think that's emotionally heated in any way?

"I think that each of you saw the other one as the unreasonable party"
That's exactly one of the misunderstanding I want to clearify. Why do you think that? If I were to think zaval is unreasonable, then I wouldn't try to explain anything to him in the first place. What did I do to make you think that I think zaval is unreasonable? (And please, please don't take this question as offensive in any way, it's not.)

Please tell me what are those phrases so that I can avoid them. I'd really appreciate if you tell me what I should use instead of them in the future. Right now it seems to me that the real problem is you're victims of your own negative biases and not my language skill, but I want to be proven wrong.

bzt


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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:50 am 
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bzt wrote:
Schol-R-LEA wrote:
I think that each of you saw the other one as the unreasonable party

That's exactly one of the misunderstanding I want to clearify. Why do you think that? If I were to think zaval is unreasonable, then I wouldn't try to explain anything to him in the first place. What did I do to make you think that I think zaval is unreasonable? (And please, please don't take this question as offensive in any way, it's not.)


Your initial posts did seem calm and reasonable to me personally; indeed, you didn't even address Zaval at all in the first post, and they were the ones to start things off by their "you are wrong" statement.

it was only your later posts that seemed a bit aggressive, though honestly they were as much defensive as anything. I will say that it was Zaval who seemed to go on the offense first, but I am pretty sure that Zaval - who also isn't a native English speaker - did see your words as an attack for some reason.

TBH, Zaval has always seemed a bit quick to take offense, and at times appears to take any sort of disagreement as a personal attack. That could simply be my impression of Zaval, though.

Certainly, Zaval has very strong and somewhat eccentric opinions, which they are quick to share to all and sundry, but the same is true to some degree of everyone here, I think. I am not sure what else to say about that.

I should add that the fact that the subject was the Raspberry Pi 3 was part of it; Zaval's disdain of that particular SBC is well known here. They are unlikely to consider anything that is specifically about the Pi as valid, despite their commitment to the ARM as a platform in general (Zaval's opinion of the x86 is equally harsh, almost as much as my own), they would rather avoid the RPi in favor of more powerful SBCs with less restrictive firmware (the use of VideoCore 4, and the other proprietary Broadcom hardware, seems to be part of their problem with it). At least, that is my read of their opinions.

Thus, I think that Zaval was predisposed to a negative tone just based on the fact that it was the RPi 3. I may be wrong, though.

bzt wrote:
Please tell me what are those phrases so that I can avoid them. I'd really appreciate if you tell me what I should use instead of them in the future. Right now it seems to me that the real problem is you're victims of your own negative biases and not my language skill, but I want to be proven wrong.


It isn't so much specific words or phrases, but the way in which they are used. Part of the problem is simply in the medium - plain text is notoriously problematic for expressing tone or nuance. There is, in my experience, a tendency to assume hostility even when there is none, simply due to how unaffected and flat plain-text messages often are.

The fact that neither of you are native English speakers also plays a role, but less than you'd think, as you are both fairly fluent in your writing (far more so than many who are native English speakers, really).

I would be hard-pressed to point to a specific point in the conversation and say, 'this is where it goes wrong', but there are some specifics I can mention.

For example,

bzt wrote:
zaval wrote:
Emmm, you are wrong.
Am I? Read the doc more carefully,

While it is not particularly offensive, especially compared to the 'you're wrong' it replies to, it would seem curt and dismissive to many. The wording is fine, as such, but it lacks any 'give' to it - it reads as if you were facing Zaval down for the previous line. A lighter touch - 'I think I am correct, allow me to explain' or something like that - might not have set Zaval off.

Think of it as 'politeness judo' - you don't want to seem as if you are being forcibly polite, but you still want to use just enough politesse to defuse any potential situations. It is a difficult balance, and Eris knows I've messed up on it often enough.

This advice applies to everyone, not just you, by the bye. I hope that Zaval is reading this themself, as I think they could benefit from it.

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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:08 am 
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@Schol-R-LEA: thank you very much! I couldn't agree more. You are absolutely right, plain text lacking meta-communication has a big part in it, and not only in English. If I recall it correctly, there's a section about it in the NETIQUETTE as well.
I'll take your advice, I'll try to put some 'give' in my wordings. Thanks for your advice!

In retrospect I'd like to emphase to Zaval that there was nothing offensive or personal in my posts. If they seemed hostile, I'm sorry, that wasn't intentional nor meant.

Thanks again!
bzt


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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:47 am 
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OK I'll have a go. This is all in friendship and taking your reasons for asking intto account.

Firstly, I did not follow this topic at the time as it was not of interest to me. Secondly, of course, I am not able to comment on the final two posts that were removed. Thirdly, I am only considering what you said and how that might be misread. I am not assessing Zaval's comments because neither he nor you have asked for that.

Quote:
And what does ID_AA64MMFR0_EL1 tell you about PA size on an RPi3? See?


This is slightly provocative. You haven't actually presented your argument - leaving the work to Zaval. The final See? in this situation looks like saying "see, you're wrong!" With implication "I'm right. I'm better than you".

Quote:
Is that so?


Unnecessary and could be interpreted as mocking. However, it was softened by a smiley.

Quote:
Btw, have you ever tried to implement paging on RPi3?


Sentences like this can easily be interpreted as a direct attack on someone's competence. Again, unnecessary, so why else say it except to annoy?

Quote:
Some people are just beyond hope
.

That was rude.

Quote:
Good bye


And you're '"leaving in a huff" (ie walking away angry and making that clear)

As I said at the start - I'm only commenting on what you said, and you did receive comments back that might well have annoyed you too. As internet flames go these exchanges, up to this point, were quite mild - I don't know what happened in the removed posts. Nevertheless, while you could argue no offence was meant and the comments should be taken at face value, I did not feel that when reading them as an outsider and trying to be objective.

It's dead easy to annoy in a forum and it takes a conscious effort not only to avoid doing so but also to actively try to repair when things are going wrong. If you don't know why you've annoyed you still need to apologise that you have (though making it clear that it was unintentional).


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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:55 pm 
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Respectful interaction transformations:-

(1) Emmm, you are wrong --> I'm not sure you're right. (The original version sparks the conflict off because telling someone they're wrong is impolite. The wording "I'm not sure you're right" should be used even if you know that the person's wrong.)

(2) Read the doc more carefully --> I'm not sure about the meaning of this part of the document.

(3) what does x tell you --> x suggests ... but I may be misunderstanding it

(4) see? --> I lean towards it meaning y, but I'm open to the possibility that I'm wrong.

(5) Yes you are (wrong) --> I wonder if I'm misunderstanding this

(6) You have confused "physical" addresses with "virtual" ones --> I wonder if there might be some confusion here between...

(7) And this line of you ... proves the confusion --> I may be wrong, but this line ... makes me wonder if ...

(8) I think you are the one who confused x86 and ARM --> Some confusion may be creeping in because of differences between x86 and ARM

(9) have you ever tried to implement paging on RPi3? --> I wonder if anyone else here who has tried to implement paging on RPi3 can help us with this point?

(10) dude, seriously, RTFM --> I'm having another look at the manual to see if I've got this right. It looks as if...

(11) It has nothing to do with VA space paramteres --> I think it's about ... rather than VA space parameters

(12) (as their names suggest) --> the names appear to confirm that

(13) doesn't mean --> appears not to mean

(14) The way you misunderstood --> If it means ...

(15) But it's not true! You just keep confusing things --> I think that may be mistaken, but I'm open to persuasion

(16) You really confused things. Instead of arguing, try to clear it up by reading --> We need to look at this carefully and try to clear it up.

(17) You should consider your own advice --> Let's have another look at the docs

(18) I'm afraid I cannot help you more. Some people are just beyond hope --> We may need input from other people to resolve this

(19) #facepalm --> Well, I'm at a loss as to how we can resolve this

(20) You better acknowledge that you finally got it you were wrong instead of playing the fool --> Can anyone else help resolve this for us?

(21) You failed to acknowledge you messed it up. it speaks about you and you know, I don't care about your unwillingness to listen, you have proven your inability to discuss normally before, not to mention - take the fact you are mistaken. my intention was to point out to your mistakes, so that you won't confuse the topic starter with your wrong claims --> We need to resolve this to avoid confusing the topic starter, but I'm still leaning towards ... meaning ...


All this beating around the bush makes things long-winded and it's a pain to have to write in what is actually a dishonest way, but it's in the rules of politeness that you must misrepresent your position a little by pretending to have doubts - this is done to avoid implying that you are more competent than the other person. As soon as you detect hostility coming in, you need to try to damp down the flames, and you can do that by questioning your own abilities instead of the other person's. It's all about not hurting the other person's feelings my making them look small.

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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:06 pm 
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Thank you for your reply.

MichaelFarthing wrote:
You haven't actually presented your argument - leaving the work to Zaval. The final See? in this situation looks like saying "see, you're wrong!" With implication "I'm right. I'm better than you".

Exactly. I thought telling him directly he's mistaken would been an insult. Instead I've suggested a simple test which anybody can check. Your implication btw is a pure speculation, I never wanted to imply "I'm better than you". As a matter of fact, I was never thinking about things you (in plural) are keep saying, like "who's right" and "who's winning". That makes abosultely no sense to me. All I was thinking about was "which one is working" and "not to mislead the OP". I've had a private conversation which made me clear this is rooted in the difference of cultures. And I'm glad we can clearify this.

Quote:
Unnecessary and could be interpreted as mocking. However, it was softened by a smiley.

I give you that there were a little mockery in it, because it was a response to a personal insult. Telling an old experienced developer (who was a UNIX and programdevelopment teacher at a university btw) that he cannot distinguish virtual and physical address space is a very harsh insult if I were to take him seriously. And yes, the smilely was there to express that I'm not angry or anyhting and to tell that I can't take his insult seriously.

Quote:
Quote:
Btw, have you ever tried to implement paging on RPi3?

Sentences like this can easily be interpreted as a direct attack on someone's competence. Again, unnecessary, so why else say it except to annoy?

Okay, this is a perfect example. Absolutely no attack was meant in that. That was just a simple question, wether he has practical experience on the topic. This was pure curiousity, and I believe it can only be interpeted as an attack if you're aware that you have none, and therefore you can't answer to that question. IMHO. I'm glad you picked this example.

Quote:
Quote:
Some people are just beyond hope
.
That was rude.

Okay, I can see how you think that is rude when you get it out of context. Again, rudeness wasn't intended, all I wanted to say I tried to help by linking the document, writing the page number to check, and since Zaval refused to read that one single page, I was hopeless, don't know what else to do. But in this case I see now clearly that my wording was not right. I'll avoid this wording. Thanks.

Quote:
Quote:
Good bye

And you're '"leaving in a huff" (ie walking away angry and making that clear)

Nothing like that. No offense, but you're imaging that. There was no "leaving in a huff", nothing "walking away angry", nothing like that. That's just a simple farewell, which I used to indicate I'm not going to continue that conversation (and indeed I haven't). I made only one post after that, and just because I accidentaly had a typo in that post. If it weren't for the typo, I wouldn't post, and I've apologized in my - now deleted - post for that.

This is another perfect example. I never have though that saying "Good bye" could suggest anger in any way (in contrast to "f*ck off" or "get lost" etc.), but I'll keep this in mind.

Quote:
As I said at the start - I'm only commenting on what you said, and you did receive comments back that might well have annoyed you too.

Thanks for your concern, but I assure you, I wasn't annoyed at all, not by you, nor by Zaval. I'm writing this perfectly calm, and I'm very happy actually that we are having an intelligent conversation!

Quote:
As internet flames go these exchanges, up to this point, were quite mild - I don't know what happened in the removed posts. Nevertheless, while you could argue no offence was meant and the comments should be taken at face value, I did not feel that when reading them as an outsider and trying to be objective.

It's dead easy to annoy in a forum and it takes a conscious effort not only to avoid doing so but also to actively try to repair when things are going wrong. If you don't know why you've annoyed you still need to apologise that you have (though making it clear that it was unintentional).

Yeah, you're right, I can see that.

Thank you for your comments, I've learned new things!
bzt


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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:23 pm 
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Thank you too DavidCooper. Most of those are Zaval's words, not mine, aren't they?

There's only one I'd like to reflect to if you don't mind.
Quote:
Read the doc more carefully --> I'm not sure about the meaning of this part of the document.

That would been a lie, because I was 100% sure what the "52 bits" means in the document on the referenced page. What I meant by "Read the doc more carefully" was that he clearly missed the last row in the table beneath the "48 bits" line. But again, there was nothing personal like "I'm better", "you're wrong" etc. etc. etc. meaning in that, just a pure, plain, simple fact about the documentation.

If you're suggesting that I should have used that form (even though I knew it wasn't true) to be polite, that's a different question. I haven't thought of that, I'm not sure I ever will :-( Writing something that I know is not true just to be polite is so extreme to me, like putting spicy red hot paprika in milk for you. But I try to keep that in mind, I promise. I learned so much in these posts, for which I'm thankful.

Cheers,
bzt


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 Post subject: Re: About attacks on this forum
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:48 pm 
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bzt wrote:
Thank you too DavidCooper. Most of those are Zaval's words, not mine, aren't they?

It's best to leave it to other people to count things up for themselves, but I can confirm that they are not all your words. It doesn't really matter whose words they are though, because there are many people who argue in the same manner. Even my alternative wordings could be taken as aggressive if they're overdone, so there's no simple answer.

Quote:
There's only one I'd like to reflect to if you don't mind.
Quote:
Read the doc more carefully --> I'm not sure about the meaning of this part of the document.

That would been a lie, because I was 100% sure what the "52 bits" means in the document on the referenced page.

Yes, but if someone starts a conversation with "how are you", you may be required to lie and say "fine" even if you're racked with pain.

Quote:
If you're suggesting that I should have used that form (even though I knew it wasn't true) to be polite, that's a different question. I haven't thought of that, I'm not sure I ever will :-( Writing something that I know is not true just to be polite is so extreme to me, like putting spicy red hot pepper in milk for you.

I haven't taken the time to debug my transformations carefully, but they give you an idea of the way you have to think when replying in an argument that might be getting heated. Clearly you will still want to avoid lying if possible, but perhaps you could go for something along the lines of, "It says ... on page n that ... , and I've always taken that to mean ... , but it wouldn't be the first time I've misunderstood something. What do you make of it?" The key thing is to keep looking for ways to criticise yourself instead of criticising the other person, although it's still easy to get that wrong and for it to come across the wrong way, as with, "I must be an idiot because I think ... means ..." - if it is obvious that it does mean that, then the implication is that the other person is an idiot. There's no easy solution, but at least once we've learned to recognise our own contributions to the problem (note that I include myself in this rather than using the word "you" so that I criticise myself too), we have some hope of avoiding doing further damage. I'm no expert in getting this to work though - I'm still trying to work out the rules better. It would be nice to understand why some people are automatically liked by everyone while others spark off hostility with every line they type. It must be an art, and that kind of thing takes effort to master.

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