Jason Scott rips into Joe Clark. I have learned a number of things from Joe Clark, and I still find reason to link someone to i let u b u at least once per quarter. But I can’t find much fault with this assessment of his words and his worldview.
A sizable slice of technology experts are the caustic sort — Clark, Mark Pilgrim, and Jason Scott himself come to mind. They get away with being assholes because they’re also funny and correct, for the most part.
But Scott makes a useful distinction: who receives your snark? Is it the swath of the world that should Know Better? Or is it the sliver of the world that knows already, tries, and comes very close? The former is inclusive, because it implies that anyone clueful enough to be reading your work in the first place is not the subject of your wrath. The latter is alienating, because the reader senses she could find herself under the magnifying glass at any moment.
Curmudgeons are often useful, because the chips on their shoulders give them drive and purpose. But blanket misanthropy isn’t a virtue.