May. 4th, 2013

pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
On a message board that does not allow inbound links:

Back in the day growing up in SoHo there was an artist named Rene would paint on a number of walls these murals that said "I am the Best Artist!" and it would be signed Rene. Now people would deface these murals with messages calling rene an ass and other things for having deigned to call himself the best artist.

I had a loverly conversation with him one saturday morning as he went to fix one of the murals and asked him what was his meaning and he simply said he paints the words "I am the Best Artist!" and how people react to it is the key to the art. Did he believe or was he claiming he was the best artist? no not at all but thats what people read into the murals if they just assumed


You see, when someone says a thing with negative implications, it is your job to come up with every possible reason why they didn't mean that. Believing what they say is a violation of their personhood.

This is why I am annoyed when I say someone was creeping on me and my friend asks "but did you try X?" It is not my job to try every possible way to make them stop touching me before we declare that they are bad at not touching people who don't want to be touched.

Or take this reddit threadon Phil Fish, noted asshole and creator of the video game Fez. It is possible Phil Fish is not at asshole. It is possible he is an asshole at work but super nice to the seniors he volunteers with on weekends, and it's his bad luck that his work is so public. But given his public statements, the Bayesian probability I would walk away from an in person interaction with him thinking "wow, that was mean and uncalled for" seems unacceptably high.

It is good for individuals and society to assume good intentions when plausible. That does not mean anyone has an affirmative right to have everyone ignore evidence to the contrary.

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