Things I Like Over Things I Don’t

It was another typical day on the internet: somebody did something, it felt like a big deal to me, and I wanted to blog about why I didn’t like it.

To vent, I sent Dave a private message — well a couple of them — detailing my frustrations.

Looking back, I don’t remember what I was worked up about (there’s a lesson there) but I do remember Dave’s response.

The gist was: “Yeah, I hear you. I feel the same way quite often. But I’ve found there’s value in celebrating good stuff instead of trashing bad stuff.”

Then, in master blogger style, he linked me to one of his own posts explaining why he thinks the way he does:

I realized that the people I admire most don’t only criticize technology they dislike. Rather, they amplify the things they enjoy.

For reasons I’ve noted elsewhere, there’s value in critique. But perhaps there’s a rule of thumb here, like a ratio of posts detailing Good Things to posts detailing bad things of, say, 10 to 1.

Or, perhaps I can cast this sentiment into a principle. Per Jeremy’s advice on making good principles, it needs a sense of priority. Favor X over Y. Here’s mine:

Tend towards blogging about things I like over things I don’t like.

There’s so much good stuff out there I could spend my time focusing on — such as folks like Dave, who take the time to A) blog their thoughts, and B) listen and respond to people like me they’ve never met in person. Thanks Dave. And thanks to you people like Dave: your time, attention, and wisdom is very much appreciated.