Dogmatism, with Chris Coyier - Relative Paths Podcast
We decided to wade into this topic after reading a blog post Chris Coyier wrote about his increasing weariness of dogmatism. The internet is brimming with opinions and cat pictures. While looking at cat pictures can improve our mood, hoovering up all the opinion out there can have quite the opposite effect.
For a variety of reasons, opinions expressed on the internet, even on seemingly benign matters, can rapidly escalate to unpleasantness. Tabs vs spaces anyone? Most people who use the web feel the effects of this, but those of us whose workplace is the web are particularly affected.
So what to do? There's a limit to how much influence we can wield to counter this. We can't control others, but we can manage our own reaction to it. I think accepting that we'll be exposed to dogmatism goes a long way to not being exasperated by it. As we discussed with Chris in the episode, dogmatism is not automatically malicious. It can be a product of trying to tackle complex subjects within the constraints of 140 characters, frustration with the fast pace of web development, or could just be someone having a bad day/week/year/life.
In the podcast, Chris talked about his approach of letting people be wrong. Sometimes we just have to walk away when a nice talk goes bad. Ben quotes some wisdom from his grandmother, "stick with the happy ones". Try to seek out comrades that help us feel positive about our lives and the challenges we face, rather than filling it with dogmatic blowhards. I had a folksy tale of a lesson in patience learned from a day putting up a fence. It's very moving.
Have a listen to the episode by going to the Relative Paths site, or use the player up top.