"tyranny of email"

Note: This is an old post in a blog with a lot of posts. The world has changed, technologies have changed, and I've changed. It's likely this is out of date and not representative. Let me know if you think this is something that needs updating.

I was skimming jkOnTheRun 1 and he linked to an article called The Tyranny of Email. The article isn't very exciting, but there were a couple points that caught my eye because they're crappy things that I keep doing but shouldn't be. For example:

"First, never, ever, criticize someone in email. For reasons which I have never fully grasped, any negative emotion is always amplified by communication through email. Sometimes you intend to be critical - someone has done something foolish, or said something silly, or emailed something ridiculous. Resist the urge to reply. Sometimes you don't mean to be critical - you're just making an observation, or engaging in technical debate, or adding facts to a discussion. But as soon as you sense that the recipient has taken your email as criticism, you must immediately switch media - a face-to-face meeting is best, but a 'phone call is also okay."

Also this one (less so):

"Second, don't get into prolonged technical debates in email."

Usually, the "technical debates" I get into over email are less "technical" and more hyperbole. All hyperbole is bad! 2

1

Every time I look at "jk", I think he's just kidding. It's confusing.

2

j/k

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