Jimmy Wales on Criticism

 Posted by on 7 November 2012 at 2:00 pm  Communication, Criticism, WTFuffles
Nov 072012

I loved this Quora Q&A with Jimmy Wales. Here’s the question:

How does Jimmy Wales feel about his detractors?

I’ve noticed that there is a possy [sic] of Jimmy Wales detractors on Quora and elsewhere. There’s even a ‘news’ site which seems to specialise in negative stories about him.

Obviously, in business you can’t make friends of everyone, and no-one in business is a saint. So, I’m sure there’s always going to be a few disgruntled individuals, but some people in particular seem to be obsessed with doing him down.

What’s the best strategy for dealing with these kinds of difficult interactions?

Here’s Jimmy’s reply:

I’m always open to valid criticism. This is particularly true when it is offered in a constructive way and especially in a way that is actionable by me to make some improvement. “Jimmy Wales is stupid” – nothing I can do about that. “Jimmy Wales should do X” – ok, maybe I should, let’s talk about it.

Some people are just lunatics, though. I find it best to simply ignore them. For some of them, I feel bemusement that they spend – as far as I can tell – most of their spare time obsessing about me. What better way to deal with a nutcase, than to let him waste his life?

Clearly, I need to adopt that perspective on the Premise Peckers! They richly deserve it.

  • Trini

    It’s posse, not possy.

    • https://philosophyinaction.com/ Diana Hsieh

      The misspelling is in the question, so I’ll add a [sic].

  • William E. Perry

    Jimmy’s response about the lunatics reminds me of my favorite quote from Taleb, “The characteristic feature of the loser is to bemoan, in general terms, mankind’s flaws, biases, contradictions and irrationality–without exploiting them for fun and profit.”

  • SteveD

    The Premise Peckers link just goes back to this post. Intentional?

    • https://philosophyinaction.com/ Diana Hsieh

      It goes back to the category page, the top post of which is this post. Scroll down to see the other posts with that category.

  • http://www.GregoryKohs.com Gregory Kohs

    Sometime, ask Jimmy Wales to name his 10 best friends from before he launched the Wikimedia Foundation. Then track down each of those 10 people and ask them their opinion of Jimmy now. Count how many of those 10 now despise him. “Open to valid criticism” is a meaningful stance for someone who is willing to change themselves. It’s a meaningless platitude for someone who adheres to a radically-strong objectivist libertarian philosophy.

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