Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tidying up: apologizing, politeness, useful hard numbers about the Hugos

In the first version of An Apology to Mary Robinette Kowal, I included a little context that, a couple of minutes after making the post, I realized weakened the apology, so I deleted it. Apologies in public are hard, because you know they're in public and you know that not everyone will know the context.

But that's part of the price of doing something that needs an apology.

One thing I deleted I still want to share, an example of something Mary knows and I forgot: How to Be Polite.

I turned off the comments on my apology because I hate the way people chip in on whether or not an apology is necessary or adequate or sincere. People apologize because they want to apologize, and they apologize as best they can, and the whole thing is between them and the person they're apologizing to, even though public offenses require public apologies.

Which is a long-winded way of saying I know my apology will be scrutinized elsewhere, but please don't do it here. If it's inadequate, I'm sorry it's not better. If I didn't think it was necessary, I wouldn't offer it.

That said, feel free to offer general thoughts about politeness, apologies, or just about anything you'd like. Except for identitarianism in fandom, of course.

I'm not planning to ignore fandom and its controversies entirely—for example, I highly recommend this look at hard numbers and the Hugos: Some Sad Puppy Data Analysis. The writer is a Sad Puppy supporter, so you, like me, may not agree with all of his conclusions, but the data's great to have.