Warnock's Dilemma

I just stumbled on something, which I find puts words to something I think most bloggers experience. It's called Warnock's dilemma. It describes, basically, the different reasons possible for there not being comments or replies to something you post (this can, if one valued or put some effort into whatever it was, be a source of insecurity).

The problem with no response is that there are five possible interpretations:

1) The post is correct, well-written information that needs no
follow-up commentary. There's nothing more to say except "Yeah, what he said."

2) The post is complete and utter nonsense, and no one wants to waste the energy or bandwidth to even point this out.

3) No one read the post, for whatever reason.

4) No one understood the post, but won't ask for clarification, for whatever reason.

5) No one cares about the post, for whatever reason.

I'd also like to add a 6th possible explanation, which is that sometimes a post delves into emotionally (or politically) very dangerous territory, and it is seen as too dangerous to reply. A common thing I've seen is that someone will confess to suffering major depression, or describe that their mother just died or something of that type. and noone will reply. This might be because of a sense of embarassment (the blogger got too personal), or it might be out of respect (I don't know you, so I have no right to comment on something of this magnitude).

Another side of this (the political/economic side) is that sometimes replying to a post means voicing opinions in public, and could get you in trouble, if you say the wrong thing. Maybe you won't get that job, or that promotion, or whatever the power currency is in your line.

Good to have words for stuff you didn't have words for.


Blogger Gratts said...

Interesting post. Really.

August 08, 2005 6:14 pm  
Anonymous adam said...


August 08, 2005 9:13 pm  
Blogger MGL said...

No dilemma here. Thanks.

August 08, 2005 11:11 pm  
Blogger Gaute said...

If I hadn't already gone and spoiled it all by replying to this post, I would definitely have pleaded the first.

August 09, 2005 1:40 pm  

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