Family is always different but when friends treat you with such disrespect, and you are calm and wait for them to come around, always associated with them afterwards is the knowledge that they may turn on you at a whim. They may wonder where the distance comes from and time, I suppose, heals all wounds but you would be remiss to quickly forget such behaviour without some effort on their part to heal the divide.
As for drive-by trolls, your suggestion to completely ignore them is probably best. I can see some instances when engaging might be preferable but this usually when both parties enjoy a degree of anonymity.
The occasional good-faith detractor, offering constructive criticism, can seem like a god-send in comparison.
Would be interesting to read the two pieces mentioned.
Anyone got links?
Maybe he got a bit too controversial on some things if a good friend of 20 years and his own sister stop talking to him.
He let us it after we asked nicely.
I think you a word.
I’m not sure if this was the specific article mentioned, but I did find this one: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/05/name-me-a-single-war-that-was-worth-it/
My only comment on that is where he flippantly mentions that by the time we entered the war, 6 million Jews plus more minorities and other civilians were already dead, implying that the US added no value to the war.
We didn’t save a single Jew by going into WW II
I had a relative amongst the thousands rescued when one of the concentration camps were liberated by the US armed forces. Without even the belated US action in the war, the total killed could have been significantly worse, and the repercussions felt for decades.
I’m all about ignoring haters… But if you’re writing things that are inflammatory enough (or so easily misconstrued) that a best friend of 20 years, and your own sister (who by your own admission had been your best friend for your entire life) no longer want to associate with you, perhaps you might want to think a bit more about the things that you write. I mean, if your own closest people choose to completely cut all ties with you? That seems a bit strange. I, too, would like to see the two pieces mentioned that were so divisive.
The whole glossing over the Japanese atrocities in China, and whistling past the graveyard vis a vis postwar life in Soviet-occupied countries vs. US-occupied ones might have ruffled some feathers as well:
[We] kept a bunch of Japanese locked up while we killed millions of their citizens and reduced their culture to making matchbox cars and faulty watches for generations. For what? Because they were trying to take over China? Heck, what difference to us would it have made? I really ask – would it have made a single difference? Are Chinese citizens, 50% in poverty, better because we nuked Japan?
There is a principled and compelling argument to made for pacifism, but it requires a better understanding of the historical context.
Also, he published it on Memorial Day, not the 4th of July, so he was fairly directly poking families of people who lost relatives in the aforementioned wars. Not a classy piece.
EDIT to add: Also, the comments, at least as far as I read, seem pretty substantive and not frothing hate mail. They bag on the author for ignorance of history, and try to bridge the gap in a war-is-bad-but-monsters-exist kind of way.
If you follow the link to his blog, there’s a link to the July 4 piece on his home page.
Or maybe people react to him this way because he’s a blithering idiot who thinks he’s clever because he has extreme reactions to minor things? I went and read a few of his posts, including the July 4 one, and his basic model is 1) spot flaw or problem, often minor 2) declare said problem renders worthless the entire concept or system that has the flaw.
Seriously, books, art and happiness are scams? Money is a scam? (try living without it, genius). In one piece he warns that stocks are a scam and that you can’t benefit from them unless you’re one of 300 people who control the markets, then in another tells you that you ought to invest in the stock market instead of buying a house (which is also a scam, according to him). He says college is a scam and claims he never benefited from it, but he never would have undertaken his current venture without that grounding in history, philosophy and literature that he received (though he should have studied harder)
Sounds like the real daily scam is this character’s blog.
I had a behavior-changing event happen in college when I stumbled on some secret writings by a classmate that I considered a friend, who apparently thought I was pretentious and domineering. I could have taken that as an insult and written him off, but instead I took a good hard look at how I was presenting myself and realized that even though I didn’t see myself as pretentious or domineering, it was others’ perceptions of me that were really important if I wanted to be heard. So I changed my behavior, and I think it made me a better person.
I’m not saying the OP is in the same situation, but I kinda agree with you that when good friends and relatives decide to never speak again, it should cause people more introspection than dismissal; the OP may be thinking “I’m writing what I believe and that’s important” but unless the author is also asking himself whether what he believes is right, how what he believes may affect others, and whether the way he’s presenting it is really the best way to approach the issue, then he’s just being self-centered. Otherwise it starts to approach that sociopathic “I didn’t come here to make friends” complex.
You run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. You run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole,
Based on the title, I thought this was going to be pearls of wisdom about how to handle having people believing the worst about you either because of their own prejudices or because of slanderous gossip. And his list has a lot of wisdom in it about how to react to unearned “bad opinions” by strangers or acquaintances who don’t really know you. But I agree with the other posters above: at the point where the people who have known and loved you the longest are breaking off all ties with you, why not focus on what YOU can do to fix the broken relationships? Why is it everyone else’s fault?
I thought it would be about having a boss or professor who doesn’t care for you. That’s different than a best friend and a sister shutting you out of their lives. The former is part of life. The latter is something that should make one look inward to see if they are the pattern there.
The writing here makes it sound like he wrote some innocuous peace and love article. The article I found was full of froth and spite.
Maybe those loved ones were just tired of putting up with his angry spittle and then the minimizing afterward.
Agreed! Asshole-ism is definitely contagious! Not much you can do if you get ‘infected’…sometimes just banging your head against the wall for an hour helps a bit…
I don’t know enough to have a real opinion.
I pretty much stopped reading here.
Wow, yes. The adolescent-grade naïvete there is breathtaking.
Funny that he would have posted that on a Memorial Day, which was originally established to commemorate the Union Civil War dead. It’s the day I remember my great-great-grandfather, a first-generation Irish-American in a Pennsylvania regiment who was killed a week before the war ended that saved the Union and freed the slaves.
Perhaps he’s the sort of person who is always spouting half-baked opinions that are not only poorly-informed but plonkingly devoid of historical or cultural context–and does so as if they are received truths. I’ve had friends and acquaintances like that, and after a while I just can’t deal with that sort of pompous, willful ignorance anymore and they gradually stop being my friends and acquaintances, without ever really understanding why.
And it’s one thing to confront ordinary, everyday dysfunction in one’s childhood family; it’s another to broadcast it, particularly without the consent of one’s siblings. That’s a violation of their privacy. For his sister, it may have been the last straw, but he presents it as if her attack on him came out of nowhere.
The sad thing is that people like this never really become aware of their limitations or the effects they have on others and recast them as unenlightened and “living inside their fears”…and then they write crap posts titled, “How do I handle people who have a bad opinion of me?”
The older I get, the more I realize that sometimes it’s better to be kind than to be right.
In the last couple of years, a friend of mine who was once a pentecostal Christian and then became a pentecostal Atheist has started celebrating Easter and Christmas by posting as many anti-christian articles and links as he can on his wall and the walls of his christian friends and family members. He’s alienating everybody he ever knew, even his “new atheist friends” are telling him to tone it down, and he thinks he’s doing the right thing by waking up the sheeple.
Ah, the zeal of a new convert.
That seems to be the overarching theme to everything I’ve read by Altucher.