Personal commentary: There’s been a lot of contentious opinions thrown around on threads recently, and the discussion has sidelined into a non-productive brawl.
This morning, I came across a pretty good article by Tim Keller, as well as a video commentary & discussion on the article by Robert Barron.
Though focused on discussions of Christian theology, the principles apply to FIRST as well. Adapting the verbiage of 6:
- Take full responsibility for even unwitting misrepresentation of others’ views.
- Never attribute an opinion to your opponents that they themselves do not own.
- Take your opponents’ views in their entirety, not selectively.
- Represent and engage your opponents’ position in its very strongest form, not in a weak “straw man” form.
- Seek to persuade, not antagonize—but watch your motives!
- Remember the [core values of FIRST], and stick to criticizing the [core idea, not the person]
Keeping in mind that every person here is a volunteer, every person has something to share, and every person has something to learn… High value knowledge, when shared, is an extremely valuable asset to the FIRST Community. I think it’s highly prudent to ensure disagreements are handled well - it keeps the topics productive, and ultimately keeps the value of these forum posts high.
This is especially important for questions of opinion or which are grounded in personal experience, rather than independently verifiable facts.
Maybe I’m just shouting into the void. Maybe I’m preaching to the choir. I don’t care. These are good things I know, and I want to share them.