05 March 2008

Overly Stupid?

I don't mind being quoted, but I prefer to be quoted correctly. In a recent exchange with Toby, a reference was made to me by one of the Orbit Trap authors stating that I called them "overly stupid". Well, that's not quite correct.

The comment being referred to was made in response the the post, "Damien, Inc". In my comment, I made the following statement. The bold is the text from the post that I quoted.

But it's another thing to buy up 40% (or more?) of the web space used to present fractal art galleries, software, and contests.

Are you really serious? This is overly stupid, even for you. Last I could tell, anyone can get web space to put up galleries, offer software, host contests, blog, etc.

The complete context of what I was commenting on was this,

It's one thing to suck up 40% of the wall space for an exhibition -- as the judges for this year's BMFAC did lately. But it's another thing to buy up 40% (or more?) of the web space used to present fractal art galleries, software, and contests.

And, yet, that is exactly what Damien M. Jones has done.

I think it obvious to most who understand the English language that my "overly stupid" references the quoted statement by the author. The comment was overly stupid. I don't know the authors, so I can't make any personal assessment of their intelligence.

Even the most intelligent of people can make stupid statements. In fact, I'm pretty sure that everyone has made stupid statements at one time or another. I know I sure have. My kids make stupid statements from time to time, but I don't consider them stupid.

What do I care? Well, I care because in most cases I choose my words carefully. If I had intended to make a personal statement, I would have worded it so that it was a personal statement. In this case I didn't, I made a comment about the statement I was quoting. Since my "overly stupid" comment has been referred to multiple times by the Orbit Trap authors giving the impression that I called them "overly stupid" and this was just one more personal attack they have endured, I wanted to set the record straight. I called the comment "overly stupid", not the author.

It is common in written exchanges to make this sort of mistake, that is taking comments about something that someone wrote and assessing it as a personal comment. I'll assume that it was simply an error. A comment made about something someone said is not the same thing as making a comment about that person. IOW, I'm saying what you said was stupid, not that you are stupid. I hope people understand the difference.

Now that I have cleared this up, I assume the Orbit Trap authors will cease complaining that they were called "overly stupid".


kymarto said...

I wonder if being overly stupid is like being overly pregnant.


Ken said...


Well, I'm not sure there are degrees of being pregnant. I do believe there are degrees of stupidity.

I'll admit that comment was not my most eloquent comment. I was just so stunned by the original statement and the absurdity of it, that this was just what popped into my mind at the time.