Meant to do this awhile back, but since my two readers haven’t been especially active in the comments, the delay wound up not mattering.
These are the rules. An excerpt:
Declaring yourself to be operating by “Crocker’s Rules” means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you.
Crocker’s Rules means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind – if you’re offended, it’s your fault. Anyone is allowed to call you a moron and claim to be doing you a favor. (Which, in point of fact, they would be. One of the big problems with this culture is that everyone’s afraid to tell you you’re wrong, or they think they have to dance around it.)
When I gave the first draft of this post to a friend—at which point it was a long essay—he respected the Rules and gave me a frank review.
“Why is this so long?” he said. “Who is supposed to care about this?”
It hurt to hear those words. But it hurt him even more to say them. Giving feedback is hard. Giving unsolicited feedback is really, really hard. So from now on, all feedback anyone chooses to give me is officially solicited feedback.
Thanks to my friend’s honesty, that’s the end of this post. Much appreciated, Leandro!
You might still want people to ask “Crocker’s Rules?” if they think their feedback might be unpleasant. Otherwise, someone might give you some harsh feedback when you’re not ready for it (more tired than usual, on edge because of an unrelated event) and you might not react the way you want. I don’ think you can completely eliminate that defensive feeling, it’s hard-coded into our brains.
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I really enjoyed reading this haha!