"My interest here is constructive debate and a welcoming tone, not winning a pissing match."
I call bullshit. If you were interested in anything other than a pissing match you wouldn't be in every Microsoft thread about Metro pissing up a wall against the overwhelming tide of dissenters. But you are there, like clockwork.
"For reference, the parts that I disliked in your post were two - firstly, online threats to people are silly and remain silly. "
My comment was thus:
h4rm0ny: the internet champion of "fuck democracy, choice, or anyone else but me. The rest of the world should be forced to used things the way I like them, and given no alternative option!"
But other than that, he's really a great guy.
You then proceeded to lose your shit. I told you that you're a poopie head and I want to kick you in the shins. I see no threats.
"The second thing, and the reason you got such a strong response is because you stated I had said the Start Screen was better "because I said so"."
It doesn't matter what your reasons are to say the start menu shouldn't return. You could have a million reasons why it's better. There's a overwhelming response from more than just "commenters on the internet" calling for the return of the Start Menu.
If the powers that be said "Red, Amber, Green" needed to be replaced by "Orange, Green, Violet", the people rebelled en masse and you stood on the corner with charts in your hand screaming into the void at anyone who would listen, you would still be basically saying "because I said so".
The point is that by standing there with your charts in the face of the mob you are quite obviously ignoring and/or invalidating the feelings and opinions of others. One might even accuse you of cheery picking to support your preconcieved ideas. The end result either way is the same.
When there is a binary option "this or that", by all means have a grand old debate as to why. When there is zero need to constrain the option to "or", choose "and" and move the fuck on. Everyone can be happy, and we can all make our own choices about what's "better", and why.
In case you hadn't noticed, the furor over Metro had as much - or more - to do with its imposition by fiat.. You are standing on the corner, charts in hand saying "why does anyone care about emotions, I have graphs!" A doesn't come without B in these sorts of scenarios, and demanding that everyone abandon their feelings on the topic in order to talk about your graphs is going to make them want to kick you in the shins.
"You didn't do that. You went from my saying "I could do without the Start Menu back, I wish MS would stick to their vision for once" to calling me the "Champion of Fuck Everyone Else" and issuing threats. "
No, I didn't. I called you the champion of fuck everyone else, and said that otherwise you're a really nice guy. A single, snide one-liner. You rose to the bait and told me to let the hate flow. So I told you I would dearly love to kick you in the shins.
In case you aren't aware, shin kicking is an actual thing. The expression "I want to kick you in the shins" is an expression of disgust with the individual, typically with very childish overtones. Think "you, me, by the bike racks after school," but with more of an apathetic "I don't actually want to fight that person, I just want them to stop being stupid and go away."
If you feel that's a threat, that's your boo-hoo. A desire to kick you in the shins isn't a threat any more than sticking out my tongue and saying "neener neener". With about as much serious involved and about the right level of childish tone.
"What response did you expect if not a rebuttal?"
Well, if you had been anyone other than a crazy person on the internet I would have expected you to say "no you're a stupid poopie head", probably with a wry smile, and followed by "and your mother smelt like eldeberries!"
At the very least, that is exactly how most people I spend any time with would respond. They would take my commend as a mostly good-natured ribbing, poke me right back in my eye and move on. You're the one that took a throw-away snark to heart and decided it needed a serious response. I simply responded to you in kind.
"All I wrote in my initial response was a criticism of your aggressive turning of things personal. Which I think is reasonable enough."
This isn't debate club. This isn't drawn charts at dawn. This is a forum. There's logic. There's humour. There's emotion. There's snark and sarcasm and wit (both failed and actual). There are personal remarks - both small and large - and when you write a commented filled with your personal opinion and your personal feelings aimed at invalidating the opinions and feelings of others, you shouldn't be shocked is someone snarks your way.
There was nothing aggressive whatsoever about what I said in my first comment. I have no idea how you even read aggression into that. Dismissal? Sure. Exasperation? Maybe a twinge. But we're not even up to antipathy, let alone aggression in that comment.
"But making things personal and threatening is absurdly hostile "
Making things "personal" to the tune of "a small snark" is not remotely hostile. (Unless you have some sort of bizzare social anxiety, in which case any social conflict that is directed at you would cause your adrenaline to spike.)
In addition, saying "I want to kick you in the shins" is not threatening. Having a desire and seeing it fulfilled are totally different things, especially when the "desire" is a matter of common parlance or "slang".
For example: I desire to have a gigantic rock from space hurtle down upon the Microsoft Licensing building, with all the little worker bees still inside. I would laugh, and cheer, and roast marshmallows upon the fire. That doesn't mean I am going to cause a rock from space to fall on them.
Similarly, I'd love to kick you in the shins. That doesn't mean I will, or would if we were face to face. (Though in all honesty that is only because it is illegal.) It does, however, mean that in my minds eye, I am absolutely kicking you in the shins. Mental catharsis.
And I really do think that you should know that. Why? Because if you are aware of the antipathy you generate - as well as the how and the why - you are more fully equipped to make choices about language, tone, and other forms of social engagement. It informs my future interactions with you.
As for me, well, I'm perfectly aware of the antipathy my comments generate. (Most of the time, anyways.) That's sort of the point in making them. To illicit a result.
The purpose of the first "snarky" comment was to inform you that your comments had been interpreted as devaluing all those of us who still want the street lights to be "red, amber, green". It was to inform you that I, personally, don't appreciate that...and to give others a vehicle to demonstrate agreement - or disagreement - with that viewpoint by up/downvoting.
The purpose of the rest of the comments was to attempt to drive home that A) you don't seem to be getting it and B) There is no room for "drawn charts at dawn" debate about this topic. None. The issue moved on well past any technical merit and is one of powers and principalities; of the rights of the customer versus those of the corporation. It is an issue of choice, politics, philosophy and individual relevance.
Even if we were all robots, able to discuss such an emotive topic with nothing but charts and statistics, you won't win your point. You place different levels of value on different things. You are highly dismissive of items that matter to others, but not to you. (For example, I do remember a previous thread where you were quite dismissive of the fact that I need to see the underlying windows while I select my applications, hence why a non-full-screen application selector was important.)
That's why this isn't a charts-at-dawn topic. It is about individual needs and preference. And about the fact that humans are diverse; our cognition is not universal. We think differently, interpret the world differently, have different skills and strengths and flaws.
If you really want a truth here: I loathe the charts-at-dawn mentality of Microsoft. The concept that everything can be quantified by looking at data. The idea that we are, all of us, best served by designing software that fits a statistics curve.
Everyone is different...and we are all of us on the edges of quite a few curves. You can't design software - especially interfaces - by looking at numbers. Emotions matter. Convention, upbringing, social constructs, disabilities, cognitive variation, lapses in memory, consistency, repetition, exposure therapy...all of it matters.
We're talking about something as fundamental, as ingrained, as cultural and embedded in our childhoods and muscle memory as "red, amber, green"...and you are dismissive and derisory towards the feelings, opinions and desires of the overwhelming majority.
...just like Microsoft.
Now, given that people aren't robots, and that the overwhelming majority of our species doesn't have aspergers, I want you to contemplate the depth and impact of saying "I wish Microsoft didn't bring back the Start Menu, grew some balls, and stood up to the majority of our species who use computers and wanted the old interface back." Please, try to understand the arrogance of statement, the casual dismissal of virtually everyone reading these forums and the blatant consignment to irrelevance of the essential humanity of all us people...in the face of your interpretation of which charts where most important.
Perhaps, now that I've blown 1700+ words on this, you'll understand why a single snarky comment about your is far from "hostile".
Cheers, and beers.