Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The POV pusher's lexicon

To a POV pusher:

  • Impartial: anyone who hasn't said no yet.
  • Fair: anyone who agrees.
  • Biased: anyone who's said no.
  • Corrupt: anyone who's said no and made it stick.


bernielomax said...

The very word "POV pusher" is to me another proof of the existence of relative subjectivity. While it's worth noting that it isn't something to be "for" it is a good exercise to think that arguing against POV-pushers might by mechanism make oneself into a POV-pusher as well.

Durova said...

POV pushers often make an argument like that: you disagreed with me, therefore you are pushing from the opposite direction. It's hilarious to get accused of that by extremists from both sides.

Many years ago I interned on the staff of a comedy television show. One of my duties was to process the incoming viewer mail. Our Halloween episode that year was a little edgy; the writers wondered if they'd gone too far. Three Christian fundamentalists wrote to complain. Then a Druid also wrote to tell us we were unfair to druids.

That's when show's producers laughed and agreed we'd found the right balance.

Joshua said...

I've also had the problem of being told off on Wikipedia by people on both sides of an issue. At one point I was keeping track of everything I've been called. I lost track about when I could attach somehting like "hellbound atheist", "communist pig", "capitalist corporate lackey" and "Creationist idiot" in front of my name.

That said, making everyone made isn't necessarily a good sign. Sometimes NPOV really will annoy one group much more than it will annoy the other. One good example is the article on Kent Hovind. I've been looking for years for positive stuff about the guy in reliable sources. And it is close to impossible to find. But his supporters are still terribly annoyed and we do get people also saying the article isn't negative enough.

Also, sometimes one has irritated everyone simply due to sloppiness. I've seen this happen for example on some of the more delicate Israeli-Palestinian conflict related articles where someone comes through and makes edits that just show a complete lack of basic background knowledge. Of course editors on both sides of that conflict conclude that the new editor is on the other side. Hanlon's Razor might apply a bit here.

Having irritated everyone can be a sign that one is doing well. But it isn't a guarantee.