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Friday, November 10, 2006

A comment on Bill's blog

I have expended my budgeted Blogging Energy Units for this morning leaving a comment on this post on Bill's IndustrialBlog. (I'd really like to leave a comment on this post, but Bill's argument is wrong in so many ways that it would take me too much time to take it apart, piece by piece, only to see my comment edited or deleted after I posted it. So I'm not going to bother.*)

Here is my comment - which I suppose also serves as a standalone post:

I have seen one episode of "The Apprentice" in my life. Well, not really. I was helping my cousin make and decorate sugar cookies for her niece's birthday, so I was more sort of listening, only because my cousin is one of those people who likes to have a TV on at all times, "just for noise." So I heard one episode. But that was enough.

There was an exercise where the five male contestants (I think there were five, maybe six) had to create a car commercial. One of them - the charismatic leader type - came up with an obviously dumb idea, which three others - the yes-men enthusiastic follower types - ran with. The other guy, a thoughtful, introspective type, knew that the idea was bad, explained why it was bad, and presented a much better alternative, which no one listened to.

In the end they did it the bad way. It was a disaster. The leader-type immediately blamed the three followers, but particularly the guy with the other idea. If only he had supported me, he said, we would have succeeded.

In the end, who did Trump fire?

He fired the bad leader. He had a bad idea, didn't think it through, refused to listen to good advice, and failed to take responsibility for his own failure. I was shocked: this would never happen in the real world.

Then Trump turned and ALSO fired the guy who couldn't convince anyone to listen to him. Good ideas don't mean crap unless you can persuade others that they are good ideas, and get them to follow them.

I think there's an allegory for American politics there.

Of course, in the end all that were left were the yes-men who followed the leader because of his force of personality, not because he had a good idea. I think that helps to clarify the whole concept of "The Apprentice."

*I haven't been commenting there lately because Bill has some policies that I find, well, just plain wrong. He reserves the right to edit his posts at any time for any reason. Well, OK, fine. I have only edited a post substantially for content once. I like to think through my posts before I put them up, and then I think of them as being pretty much set in stone - except for typos, or sometimes grammar. (For example, in the above piece I use the phrase "in the end" three times. That's something I would normally fix. But since I've already posted this comment to Bill's blog, I will not violate the integrity of the comment by modifying it after-the-fact.) But that's just me.

He also has a policy of deleting comments at any time for any reason. OK, sure, so does everybody else, but usually there is some reason there - I have had comments deleted because they thoroughly undermined points he was trying to make, not for any reason anyone would normally think to delete a comment.

But he has another policy. He reserves the right to edit comments, too. Cut out just pieces of them. I've had that done, too, again, not due to content, but because the point I made was particularly damaging to a point he had made. Combine this with the first policy, and you see that Bill reserves the right to modify both sides of any argument - and that's the part I find wrong. But Bill is an editor by profession. It's what he does. And it's his blog, he can do what he wants.

UPDATE: Bill has posted an explanation of his comment editing policy, along with some history and background, here.

1 comment:

betz said...

i'm afraid to go and read bills blog.....