The questions in my title are not rhetorical and not intended to be sarcastic in any way; I seriously want to know the answers.
I want to ask all here to ask themselves this question:
What possible harm could come from me doing that?
'That', of course, means the experiment I outlined in the thread 'A Request for Examples of Awful Formal Writing'.
DO NOT post your answer here! That would be walking in front of a firing squad! Please just ask yourself and answer as honestly as you can.
I calculated the posts made on that thread. After deleting everything I'd written, system links, etc., they came to almost 3,000 words.
I struggle to find any positive motivation for a single word of them. A lot of people have spent a lot of time being destructive, but none is willing to spend any time on something that may produce a valuable positive outcome. Why?
Motivation is an extremely ill-defined concept in everyday language. There are always some positive outcomes people tell themselves to justify their decisions to act. Many times those conscious motivations are the entirety of why they act. But many other times, there are unconscious motivations. Ones driven by their egos – the most creative, plausible, and convincing liars all of us ever encounter in our lives!
To ALL who posted on that thread
I ask you to ask yourself, "What really motivated your decision to act?"
I could not have been more clear about my intentions. I have a hypothesis. I think a good enough writer can make any piece of technical writing clear enough for non-experts to comprehend, and pleasant enough to read. I am not sure that is correct, I am not sure I am good enough to prove it, but I want to try!
I am confident at least some here are very interested in seeing the results of my test. But it was foolish of me to think that could be enough for them to put their names forward – not here – not when they know precisely what this pack of hyenas does to anyone who sides with the Devil, and implies any belief in the possibility an accepted orthodoxy here might not be totally true.
My problem is I cannot test this theory all on my own. To be a valid test, others must select the samples of poor formal writing which I will then attempt to fix.
I know there will be vicious objections once I present my "fixes", that they're still awful. I am okay with that. But what harm can come to anyone while I am still just trying to produce some results? Who needs to be protected from that? What do they need to be protected from?
Why does anybody here need any protection BEFORE the results are even produced?
How could I have been so naïve to not know another flame war would erupt when I just stated simply how limited my intentions were?
If those who posted there cannot answer those questions, then whatever conscious reasons they told themselves to justify their decision to act were nothing more than convincing lies, told to them by their egos, which they just swallowed.
There were no possible positive outcomes from the posts they made. The inevitable and only possible outcomes were destructive, discouraging others who may have been interested and making it virtually impossible any results could ever be produced. I have a word for what was motivating those egos and the lies they told. It's not a pretty word, but it's the logical explanation that fits these facts: sabotage.
To ALL who DID NOT post on that thread
Perhaps you were interested but unwilling to face the backlash you knew to expect if you put your name forward? I get that.
Are you willing to work with me privately? I need a few people to select the right types of samples for me. The results would prove nothing if I selected the samples. You only really need the ability to tell me if my fix means precisely the same thing as the original.
Please contact me via the SOL mailing system if you are willing to make a small effort just to help us get some results that would be, if my theory is correct, significant for us here to ensure the advice newer authors are getting is actually right.
I really cannot think of a reason I should bother with anyone here if nobody is willing to lift a finger to help me get this done.
Haven't I established some credibility here? – at least for questions directly related to how to construct one good sentence and then form a few good sentences into one good paragraph. Can you at least the accept the possibility I might be right?
Doesn't it terrify anybody here that I am saying I believe advice being given to new authors on learning those skills – not anything else authors of fiction must learn – is very wrong and harmful to their development?
Doesn't anybody here at least believe that I believe all this? Even if they're convinced I'm wrong, don't they see some value in helping me fall flat on my face?
Doesn't anybody here care enough about the quality of advice being given to newer authors to devote a little time just be sure what I fear is not the case?
Why should I care about anybody here if nobody gives a damn about the real quality of advice being given to newer authors here?
If I cannot get THIS done, I see no benefit coming from my remaining here. There's nothing here for me I can't find elsewhere and nobody wants the help I could give them.