Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> At some point, I decided that it might be better for all of our well-being, not to have all the "incorrect" people in my life always annoyed with me.

The only problem with that is it's the same excuse a lot of Germans used to justify not speaking up against the Nazis.

While it may make your life better, it's very much a local maximum.

Did I really need to explicitly, preemptively disclaim that the approach I was describing is more appropriate to daily life type interpersonal stuff, than it is to fucking Nazis?

No, of course not.

That's the thing about local maxima - when you're in one, it isn't obvious.

Instead, the burden is on others to notice and speak up.

You may not like the Nazi comparison, but it's apt...

Especially with the things Trump says and does as president, there's a real danger that staying quiet about "daily life type interpersonal stuff" could have disastrous consequences a few years down the line.

After all, just like with the Nazis, you'll never be put in a position where you're asked to ignore much more than you already ignore.

Fine, since people seem to feel the need to read whatever shallow interpretation of my point they want, let me be "See Spot run. Run, Spot, run." clear:

I'm talking about not going all aspy-monologue, "well, actually..." at people about ultimately inconsequential things like using their turn signals or not, or misusing a word, or whatever — precisely so they aren't pre-disposed to eye-roll at me, and then tune me out, when I do take the time, because this time it's a subject that matters.

For a recent example, let's suppose I might have taken the effort to expound upon what "words actually mean" in a discussion of the definitions, laws, and treaties relevant to the notion of "asylum", who is or isn't eligible, whether or not criminal liability might attach for illegally crossing a border, and so on, because that is a place where the fight is more likely to be worth it.

Simply: pick your battles. More often than you think, they probably aren't worth the cost. If you save your "well actually" points for the places where they are, you'll get significantly better return on spending them.

I am just gobsmacked that I'm arguing in favor of doing something judiciously, so that when you do it, it matters, and I'm being told I'm somehow excusing the very kinds of shit I'm talking about saving your energy for fighting...

When I read your original comment, I commented because the point I wanted to make seemed interesting (to me at least) and worth making.

On re-reading, I understand how it may have come across as less of an "interesting observation" for others reading and more like nitpicking or point scoring. I apologise for that. It wasn't my intention.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact