The Clean Code Blog

by Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob)

On the Diminished Capacity to Discuss Things Rationally

10 August 2017

I can divide the negative responses to my previous blog into the following categories:

  1. The Outraged Haters. “You F-ing Clown.”
  2. The Condescending Elitists. “Oh, Bob, I’m so dissapointed.”
  3. The Unprepared True Believers. “Subduction can’t be tolerated.”
  4. The Rational Disagreers. “But in this particular context…“

I appreciate the last group. They engaged in a reasonable discussion. They added to the conversation. They made a difference. Thank you.

Unfortunately the last group was vanishingly small. There were only half a dozen, or less, out of the hundreds of responses overall.

Group 2 was also very small. Three or four at most. I’m encouraged by those numbers. The fewer elitists the better.

The biggest group was number 3. They had read something about what someone else had written about what someone else had said… They had formulated their conclusions. They knew the truth! And they stepped forward to assert their superior knowledge with statements that, whether true or false, were irrelevant to the topic.

Group 1. was also quite large. The number of Fs was impressive. It’s a word they seem to know so well, and use so frequently that one wonders if they know many others. They offered no reason or rationale for their Fs. They simply dumped their truckload of hate and moved on. I suppose that’s typical; but I find it discouraging.

Then, of course, there was the group of positive responses. Of these, there were quite a few, and I appreciate them all. Thank you.