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Another quote from Edmund Burke, relevant to much of life today and especially to postings on blog threads like this one:
“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength”
In our own minds, it’s not me; it’s only other people who are rude. Nevertheless, from now on I shall try harder to ensure that nobody can call me rude, lest all those other people think like Burke, and dismiss not only me but also my arguments as “weak”.
What is it about this comment which you think readers of Patently-O would find offensive? Thanks for your report!
I like my “sharps words” quote better.
It is FAR more rude to effect a false patina of politeness while ignoring the views that do not coincide with one one’s desired narrative.
Actually engaging on the merits — even with at times sharp words — is infinitely less rude. Back in the DISQUS days, when it was easier to post with associated pictures and GIFs, I had posted one that was particularly apt: two genteel business men, each with a fake “pleasant” face, and each holding a large dagger behind their back.
I much prefer the direct and in your face approach. You know exactly where I stand and what my views are. There is no artificiality or pretense of ‘politeness’ that obscures the message. Don’t like the sharpness? Get a spine, grow some balls, or get out of the way.
I will note that there may be some level of US Sovereign influence in this view, given how our Sovereign has had a more powerful “right to offend” imbued in our First Amendment protection.
“and especially to postings on blog threads like this one:”
This part of the comment made me think of another quote that I like: Speak softly and carry a big stick.
Of course, any quote has limits if applicability, and in particular, blog exchanges very much limit the size of a stick that may be wielded. It only holds then, when the size of the stick is limited, that the ‘softness’ is likewise (necessarily) constrained.
In other words, forum effects are very real, and one cannot merely ‘wish away’ the fact that different fora will carry with them different conditions and constraints.
“if applicability” ==> “of applicability”
For these troubling times, how about this:
“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little”
From an English Parliamentarian, name of Burke, hundreds of years ago. Even more true today than it was back then, eh?
Never have I denied the fact that NOT all people are good, nor have I claimed that all people know and heed good advice when they hear it.
I by no means am urging “Let no good advice fall on deaf ears” since such would be implausible… I am merely entreating:
“Let no good advice be prevented for want of enough good ears to hear it.”
But as usual, we speak and think past one another, and I have no doubt what you receive will not be what I had intended.
Cordially, I leave the last word(s) to you… but in the spirit of that good advice which is the subject of our “discussion”, I bid you good health, in body and mind, during these … most unusual of circumstances.
Apologies, this was supposed o have been posted in reply to anon at 18.104.22.168.1.1.1
No prob – reply is down below.
Bill and Ted said it better:
link to youtu.be
Small point: it is Totenberg not Totenburg. Rather than Castle of the Dead it is more Mountain of the Dead.
A bit of a stretch to invoke nominative determinism, I realise, but Judge Amy is surely not the only judge to crave more civility and decency in her District.
Kum by yah…
But then again, the reason why we have courts is because human nature overcomes a willingness to ‘just get along’ that may come from the glad-handling advice of Judge Totenburg.
In other words, sentiment is all fine and good, but the real world must be more pragmatic.
Just self serving shxt from J. Totenburg. She is living off the dole for life.
I agree that it is self-serving. I cannot make the jump to “living off the dole.”
Although perhaps inappropriate to be included in the context of an order, and so a bit cringe-worthy, I think the main idea behind the advice generally is valid. (Here I take her reference to being “kind” to mean something more akin to “civility” and “respect” rather than meaning something like self-sacrificial altruism.)
Being “kind” and “maintaining perspective” are in fact not in any way inconsistent with rational human action… nor in any way imprudent, or inimical to flourishing… nor are they contrary to pragmatic action for a person of integrity.
A person with full integrity has no breach between emotion, thinking, and action, and she has no inconsistencies between the sentiment surrounding an action and a pragmatic evaluation of that action’s consequence(s) to her individual flourishing. Throughout her life, she has expended the effort of rational and introspective contemplation such that positive action accompanies its requisite positive sentiment and she is able to act with certitude and guiltless joy.
To a person of integrity, being kind, and maintaining perspective, are not in contradiction with pragmatic action directed to that person’s interests. Indeed, maintaining perspective, is a requirement for being able to evaluate and take rational pragmatic action. Being kind, at most generally has good psychological consequences, in the individual and on their relationships, and at the least, does not have the very negative effects of stress and anger which can fester in its absence.
So a call to being “kind” and a separate call to “maintaining perspective” would seem to be only an appeal to a person’s integrity and a wider and wiser faculty of rationality… which more colloquially is referred to a person’s humanity… in a time of stress and difficulty.
So not so much Kum by yah… as a bit of good advice to weather the storm on the horizon.
On a side note, I take cynicism and negativity, resulting from assessment of the world or society which is out of proportion with reality, to be inimical to life and flourishing and as equally dangerous (and incorrect) as seeing the world through distorted rose colored “Kum by yah” glasses.
On a further side note, no one can have any rational justification with attributing any sinister motive to her including this in the order. There is no evidence whatsoever of that, and making such judgments are no more than the product of negative prejudice and negative emotionalism, which in the end have the most hurtful effects only on the person in whose mind they fester.
She may have been moved by the gravity of the circumstances of our time and the times to come, and seeing that she had an “outlet” for something she thought she must express, she simply expressed it… again perhaps an inappropriate conduit for that expression, the subject matter thereof is in no way invalid, IMHO.
Not to get all preachy, but your “full integrity” is full of sh t. It is an ideal (even a noble ideal), but we HAVE a court system BECAUSE that noble ideal is not pragmatic.
Clearly, to claim all people have full integrity would be a B S claim. I have not claimed that. But, I do wonder what your reasons are for claiming that “full integrity” is essentially B S. Is it that you think it is rare or that it is humanly impossible? Why? Or is it that you believe I simply have missed the mark re. what integrity IS, and that a person of full integrity in reality does not exhibit what I describe above?
Also, I did not say that different people would not interpret the law or any particular contract in the exact same way… a difference of opinion or interpretation does not amount to a flaw in integrity. Yes, we have a court system to resolve those differences in as objective a manner as possible, but my point was not about the court system.
I simply to advocate that the advice regarding “kindness” and “maintaining perspective” as given, is not in opposition to pragmatic action, but on the contrary (and especially for a person of integrity), very much consistent with it.(I make no claim that I personally have full integrity but not having it in no way invalidates my identifying it as something to aspire toward)
B S – or full of S – is a pretty strong position. It’s like saying the ideas in question are 95% incorrect. Do you have some evidence or a counter example to back up such a repudiation for my description of what a person of full integrity is like?
It is not possible. The human condition is one of imperfection.
I do not think that your ideal goals or aim is anyway ‘bad’ in and of themselves. They just smack of a unrealistic Pollyannaism that misses the primary reason why we even have governments (and laws, and punishment) in the first place. There certainly ARE individuals that come close to full integrity, most of the time.
As well, I do not take issue that disagreement may be distinguished from a notion of lack of integrity. Courts may exist — in part — to amicably settle such disagreements, but they are NEEDED because the human condition IS one of imperfection and that imperfection simply does include the lack of full integrity.
Aspiring is nice.
It is NOT pragmatic.
As to your last paragraph, the ‘pretty strong position’ is NOT that there are NO persons of full integrity (or even merely striving for such). The ‘pretty strong position’ is simply that people do NOT have full integrity. The evidence is the very existence of government, laws, and punishment.
Aspiring to any ideal in personal improvement is not “nice”. Without any direction or any standard toward which one can improve one stagnates, wanders aimlessly, or goes backwards. One cannot improve if one does not know what would constitute an improvement. Ideals are not “destinations” as such, but directions towards which one can and properly should direct oneself.
Aspiring to be as effective as possible in one’s pursuit of one’s own happiness and one’s ultimate value, one’s own life, is the most ideal, pragmatic, and proper of aspirations any individual can have.
Again, I take it that we disagree, and with civility, I accept and respect that.
I don’t have a problem with you understanding how you can be better.
Your understanding of how you can be better (however) ignores the human condition.
It is simply NOT pragmatic to so ignore the human condition.
… the human condition that what you understand is simply NOT understood by many humans who DO wander, stagnate, and yes, even go backward.
It’s called the real world.
… by the way, I am not disagreeing that civility is an excellent tool — but you would be badly mistaken to think that a LACK of civility is necessarily an inferior tool.
There are times when sharp words simply are the better path.
Civility is not evasion, nor the distortion of reality to appease… proper civility is fair (objective) and firm.
As for sharp words, to the extent they properly identify facts of reality, to the extent they validly admonish fault in another based on truth, they of course are effective… to the extent they are puffery, theatrics, and are inconsistent with reality, i.e. are false, they miss the mark as a glancing blow.
‘proper’ is nothing more than another Pollyannaism in the same flavor of ‘full.’
I will take your “to the extent” as an admission that my position is correct. I will also state that effectiveness MAY WELL be disassociated with propriety.
To the extent you imagine any “admission” that you “take”, you in fact get nothing, and profit nothing thereby.
As for “effectiveness” versus “propriety”, if one is mindful to define “proper” as MEANING being effective in the broad long range sense of that which works towards the individual’s flourishing, then a person’s aiming to conduct oneself “properly”, far from Pollyannaism, is simply engaging effectively in the rational pursuit of happiness and one’s ultimate value, life. In other words, an individual’s life and happiness IS the proper goal of the individual, and action towards it IS therefore efficacious.
As for me, I will simply “take” this exchange as evidence of a fundamental disagreement, which in all civility, I acknowledge respectfully.
Again, the real world intrudes.
Trying not to see that real world won’t make it go away.
You are more than welcome to have an opinion. You are not welcome to change the nature of humanity just because you want your opinion to be a universal truth of enlightenment.
So while we may entirely ‘agree to disagree,’ I am not so certain that you understand what it is that you want to disagree with. Note that nowhere in my position have I contradicted the basic worth of what you deem as ‘good.’ But you just don’t get to close your eyes to the fact that humanity is NOT all good.
“To the extent you imagine any “admission” that you “take”, you in fact get nothing, and profit nothing thereby.”
“I am merely entreating: “Let no good advice be prevented for want of enough good ears to hear it.”
Choose one. You cannot have both.
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