Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How To: Criticize


You probably don't want to read a bunch of extraneous text, so let's get right to the point.  I think criticism is a good thing -- criticism of people, practices, products, companies, you name it. However, there are good & constructive ways to criticize and there are bad & inexcusable ways to criticize.  Here are some analogous examples from each side of the fence. Backstory for this article is shoved down at the end, if you're interested!

GOOD Criticism:
  • I don't like this at all -- to me, the old version was way, way better.  This seems much too simplified & it doesn't have any character anymore. A step in the wrong direction.
BAD Criticism:
  • This sucks. It's just unforgivable rubbish compared to the old version. It's like they sucked all of the character out & remade the whole thing just for babies. How stupid & lame.
The same honest sentiment is shared in each case, but one form is respectable and the other is just plain nasty & immature. 

GOOD Criticism:
  • Seems seriously overpriced.  It's just too small for what they're charging & lacks any "must have" features.  I'll pass.
BAD Criticism:
  • Corporate greed at its finest!  Such a tiny little nothing, does nothing. Total garbage being force-fed down consumers' throats. All this company cares about anymore is money.
For-profit companies exist to make money. It's a concept that's not new since the last cheaper product they made. Part of corporate profits go towards salaries for employees, some of whom are parents, who use that money to pay for young critics' food, home, shelter, Internet access, etc.  Call a spade a spade, but skip the sensationalism, lest it be turned back against you.

GOOD Criticism:
  • Hey nice video, but the glare from the sun was really distracting.
BAD Criticism:
  • How much of an idiot can you be? Surely I'm not the only person on the planet capable of seeing, oh I don't know, the SUN, blaring straight into the flippin' camera lens.  You are a total failure at life itself.
I don't need to break this one down. Just don't be "that guy." Be somebody people should actually listen to.

GOOD Criticism:
  • Gotta tell ya, I have a bunch of problems with this.  First of all, you're using the wrong side -- have a look at the illustration in the manual.  Next, the dogs barking in the background drowned out your voice half the time, so it was really tough to follow.  At 4:35 in the video, you want to use the green switch, not the blue one, then it'll work.  Lastly, I think you overpaid -- retail price is about 30% less. 
BAD Criticism:
  • Idiot! You got the whole entire thing backwards! How could you be so stupid?  Have you never heard of a manual?  Read it! Or do you not know how to read? And what, were you filming this at a dog shelter or something?  What on earth were you thinking in that empty shell of a skull of yours?  4:35??? Uh, hello?  Green, not blue, moron.  And guess what?  I got this for 30% less just this morning.  Wanna cry now?
Again, the "that guy" effect.  Same points made each time. A solid paragraph of criticism each time.  The first form might be a little humbling to read, but it's completely valid feedback.  The second form shouldn't ever even exist.

One last one, relating to MOC feedback in particular...

GOOD Criticism:
  • I don't like how you shaped the nose.  It looks pretty flat and lacks detail.  I'd suggest using two 1x2x2/3 slatted slopes instead.
BAD Criticism:
  • The front is awful! Take all that off right NOW and use two 1x2x2/3 slatted slopes instead.

Backstory:

There's a cardinal rule for maintaining sanity on the Internet:  If you see something that's wrong and it bothers you, just ignore it.  I like that rule.  I think it's a good rule.  I support anyone who chooses to adhere to that rule.

Sometimes, though, I personally choose not to adhere to that rule.  I look at another side of things:  To see something that's wrong and to ignore it is to be complicit.  Well, I see a lot of kids criticizing other kids (and adults, since anonymity generates courage).  That in & of itself, though, isn't wrong. In fact, it's often a very healthy thing that can lead to constructive discussion or personal growth for the people involved.  What's wrong is how a lot of kids criticize others. Really, really, really wrong.  To avoid complicity, when I see criticism delivered in a toxic, hostile, completely destructive way, I say something about it.  While this intervention is able to cease the direct offense against innocent victims, the perpetrators rarely take it the right way, spinning it around with even more of their own toxic thought processes.

I've written this post up so that I can offer a handy link that explains a lot more of where I'm coming from than any single comment on YouTube can.  I will continue intervening when I see nasty, destructive, vitriolic criticism in comments on my videos, no matter who or what it's directed towards.   I will also continue going out of my way to publicly acknowledge and thank folks who understand and freely and eloquently share mature, constructive, intelligent criticism, also no matter or what it's directed towards!

25 comments:

  1. I'm really glad Jang is taking a stand against all this stuff! As he's shown here, you can bring the same issue to light without insulting people. Derogatory and negative criticism doesn't fix the problem, it just makes people mad.

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  2. Thank you for posting this Jang i really appreciate how much time and effort you put into everything to make us viewers satisfied. It really bothers me when people write nasty horrible criticizing comments. I know it hurts you and it even hurts me to see how mean some people can be. So thank you for teaching us this lesson.

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  3. Very eloquently put, Jang.
    It shows that you care about the professional appearance of this blog.
    With all of the editing you have to sift through: it must be tough to keep a cool and level head, sometimes.
    As with most things a person can create; more work means a more neat appearance for the presentation.
    I'm grateful you clean up the replies before we (the fans) have to muddle through the juvenile and mean-spirited background noise (that's what I call it).
    Many of the other blogs out there should take their creative and professional cues from your examples.

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  4. Keep up the great work Jang! Don't let the career complainers get to you.
    John - BL, All The World's A Brick.

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  5. I like this post. People are just a little to harsh. They have to remember, those are people and people have feelings. People out there that's comments are mean and harsh, try saying to someone at there face. A little risky and difficult isn't. With the internet the only thing that's stopping face to face contact is a screen. So thanks Jang I learned a good lesson and so should people out there.

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    Replies
    1. Internet due to impersonality, usually a valve to agression. It is like a collective dairy of humanity, we write it from moment to moment, trying to deal with our frustration of finding the meaning of life...

      Apart form philosophical aspects, Jang has right. Criticism has its importance in life. But it needs as far objectiveness as possible. Journalism's goal is that, but even the professionals got into big mistaces in that topic. I studied media on univeristy, so I see clearly.

      It is a hard task, 'couse for right judgement IQ is not enough. As Jang pointed it out, You can have a really complex review of something. Even in really sarcastic, sensational way. And for more you will find yourself the king of critics in this way, as you hit the button. I know, I also had this mistake, when I was learning to write articles. But lack of EQ it is like writing on the water: waste of time and energy. So many human has the task to learn that. I wish them good lessons, and it is nice to have an appropriet person in example! Thx Jang :)

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  6. Jang, you do what you do well. You are a person who truly tires to understand life deeper than the surface and the good people who come across you can feel that. Few people in the LEGO world can compare to you, and VERY few can compete. Stay who you are, and keep on building.

    Happy Building!,
    Lionon

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  7. Omg this guide is so stupid and you are advertising on it too smh greed at its finest. Honestly trying to tell em how to live my life? I was also very offended by how you kept referring to "that guy". Why not refer to "that woman"? This is extremely sexist, as it implies that only males make stupid, obnoxious comments. In fact, you probably think I am a male. So sexist smh. Anyway in sum (because you probably can't follow) 1. Very greedy having monetized ads 2. Very sexist and offensive to males 3. Just kidding bu seriously you should make this an example of how not to criticize (-:

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  8. What are you talking about and listen to me! You can't say that because I am just kidding:)

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  9. I recently saw you review the Lego Mars mission sets. Because those came out around the same time as the Lego Aqua raiders sets do you think you could review those sets as well?

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  10. Hi Jang, just wondering can you do a review of the Lego VW T1 camper van? I think it is a great display/playable model and it have some cool building techniques I wan to see. Congratulations for 400.000 subscribers!

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  11. Hey Jang can you reveiew the lego pictures for 2016 in early 2016 so i mean in December.

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  12. Can you do more reviews on lego Technic set i love them and i hope that you can post what i LOVE (Thx for reviewing lego better than all those other people)

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  13. Jang, I really love you and what you do, your way of thinking and making videos is very unique, you do what a lot of Content Producers on YT wouldn't do.. You're a good person, keep doing what you do. ; )

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  14. Great article, as always Jang. B.T.W, Can you please try to do a custom model of the nativity scene? Since it is close to Christmas I think it would be super cool. P.S: To anyone who is offended by my beliefs, isn't freedom of religion in the U.S. Constitution?

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  15. Hi sir, im a medical laboratory scientisy in a hospital and a lego fanatic.ill just want to say that ur hospital moc is great but seens it was a hospital can u set up just a small space for the laboratory section..thanks ill appreciate it more...thanks again

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  16. I love your videos! Keep up the beautiful work, but could you please do some more comparrisons? With a-wing, at-te All slave1 etc? Would be awesome!

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  17. I was watching your video on the mega bloks apache set and in answer to your question the character in the beret is general shepard from modern warfare 2

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