Natives vs Innovators, Closet Ludditism, and Petulant Frenzies (Or how the Peanut Gallery improves your Readership)

Natives vs Innovators, Closet Ludditism, and Petulant Frenzies (Or how the Peanut Gallery improves your Readership)

Seems that some clever folk puzzled their way through the obfuscation efforts pairing my comments with the observed original incidents in my recent posts.

Then they decided to show us further how clever they are by deciding it was a an high act of their clever genius to act as spoilers explaining their dismay to the world – not in a personal blog but in an active community forum – appealing to some sort of guiding parental body to make me do something or be punished somehow.

They somehow feel justified to start name calling, making comments not in the abstract but specifically directed by name. Sort of the next step up from what they appear to have been complaining about.

Many of the complaining natives are excuse making sorts, rather than solution orientated.  Often they may not even being setup/running on software they poo-poo, and as a result they lose the good ideas they sometimes have in a cesspool of negativism.

Having strong opinions is not the issue.

It is who rather than putting their best ideas out letting a community of intellects help support their ideas, they spend much energy deriding anyone who doesn’t blindly believe what these characters tell them to believe.

Most of these naysayers are having difficulties not accepting that we all have unique opinions – opinions that very likely are not of a “one size fits all” nature. Their difficulties mostly are why doesn’t the world think like I want everyone to think?

This are the native villagers in our hobby community.

Not happy until they are unhappy.

Willing to demand more from others than they are willing to give themselves.

And very indignant when their reframing of a situation is not accepted as universal.

I must apologize as commenting on  this phenomena borders on becoming one of them in the process.  At the end I hope the suggestions to find an inclusive way to benefit the hobby by embracing these characters will help excuse the brief wander into their playground of loath & complaints.  If it doesn’t you probably haven’t read even this far, and perhaps you might consider skipping the rest of this post.

It’s actually good that they haven’t started with the software upgrades they complain about, as they have no drive to see it through.  Plus they don’t want to find success, are early to throw in the towel, and elevate any molehill nit they find into a glorious mountain of self pity.

A South African blogger I respect recently observed “If you install a water purification system in a tribal village, you’ll soon find that it stops working within a matter of weeks, because those charged with maintaining it simply don’t bother to do so. It’s some sort of voodoo or magic to them, not something they can control or do anything about. If it breaks, they can always go back to drawing polluted water out of the river, just as their ancestors did for generations. It’s your problem, as the donor, to fix it – never theirs; and if you don’t fix it, you’ve cheated them by giving them a defective product. I speak from long and bitter experience!”

Boy does this sound like some of the naysayers!

In some ways we all are Luddites when it suites us. Particularly when we are comfortable with a known level of technology we tend to avoid innovation unless we see something that personally benefits us. Often our research ends with only exploring – for better or for worse – those limited personal interests.

Truly it can be hard to grasp why some things are pushed to innovate when we were already perfectly happy with the technology we had.

These natives also are enraged if innovation doesn’t follow just exactly the path they personally want.

Like some sort of tribal panorama captured on a film documentary, they play for the camera, huffing and puffing – perhaps waving a spear or two in the process.

Unlike real natives our hobby natives want mementos of their demonstrations – internet postings, official responses to nebulous complaints, and may even form new fan clubs of fellow complainers.

Truly their vanity is boundless, as if they are fed with such reinforcement they will circle around and around the idea pitching it as if anew just to gather more attention.

If they lose traction they usually start into the timeline and administrative challenges – claims like “even though I was given the information six months that wasn’t enough time” sort of thing, or a who knew what when sort of nitpicking game.

Like real world natives these ham natives perhaps know the “win” isn’t in their scope – the world simply won’t change to match their desire to substitute an alternate reality.  But they sure can rile things up and get a lot of “strokes” playing the part.


In addition to those I’ve labeled natives there is the anti-change Luddites who for slightly different reasons also challenge anything that is a change.

You usually can identify these folk by their comparisons to long defunct radios now only seen in collections or some distant moment if time usually pre-internet or older.

I’m sure they would play us a recording of their original pontifications from back in the day, except they can’t find a new needle for their Edison Wax Roll player much less complete the simple interfacing to get their diatribes into a media form they cane share.

Interestingly they do excel at new-fangled technology when it comes time to spreading their current complaints about change.  You would expect they would through their Ludditism fade away, but they must hold their Luddite noses as they wade in the stink of new technology as they seem to post in most every forum.


When our natives, Luddites, or rouge innovators get upset some go away, but it seems the fad to enter into a public Petulant Frenzy.  These range from toddler style public spout, shout and pout explosions, to what almost amounts as political platform white papers of complaint – usually housed on their own websites or distributed as PDFs apparently out of a worry that their words might be diluted otherwise.

It is easy to understand the “look at me” needs driving a Petulant Frenzy.

What gets lost in this sort of demonstration is rationality, logic and usually any real message the upset ham has gets lost in the emotive response as an observer.

The energy someone puts into a Petulant Frenzy often is greatly out of proportion to the much smaller energy to solve their issue.

While in a Petulant Frenzy hams vow to sell all of Brand-X’s gear – usually on a conditional basis demanding someone kiss their backside in any attempt of mitigation.  That talking down the gear they would like to sell diminishes price and demand if the market listens to their petulance, essentially costing them resale potential & return is largely ignored, as they are mad and frantic – having their Petulant Frenzy by gosh – so if all other rational thought is suspended why rationally consider their own economic good.  Even if they do think of the economic equation they feel their felt benefits worth the economic loss.


It is a simply fact of internet life that readership has been trained to read what titillates the reader.  Perhaps the ideal that readers read for quality was always a fiction, but in in the short attention span and highly conflicted present day perhaps quality has dropped off the radar for 90% of readers.

It is as if we’ve been trained to consume – and consume pulp content both fiction and faux-non-fiction.

And like Pavlov’s dogs drooling at the sound they been trained to associate with their feed, we too salivate nearing uncontrollably at the next hobby crisis that goes on line.

As one (now unfortunately SK) friend told me when a suggested he fact check some of the titillating internet accounts he was championing “Damn it Steve, I really don’t care if the claims are true or not, they work for me and that’s good enough…”  Titillation triumphed over facts & common sense because it felt good and was “fun.”

On the flip-side if your published or net writings attract the disdain of the “Peanut Gallery”  of Natives, Rogue Innovators, Luddities, or the Petulantly Frenzied, your readership is going up.  It is unfortunate that some writers look to gain from this sort of shock-reaction readership.

But again if quality is not much of a factor is the author’s blame greater or lesser than an audience craving raw titillation over substance?


I’ve dragged you the reader through the gutters of the characters who are party of our hobby, and may have spoken to issues we see but chose to ignore. Several earlier drafts failed to layout enough of the issues to provide the correct build to allow a presentation of solutions.  For this I offer the meager excuse that sometimes things need to get worse before they can get better.  We need a shared idea of the difficult people we’d like to work with.

And a second apology if reading you discovered that any aspect of the naysayers described you.  While I can assure you that no example is based on single unique individual, I can also be 100% certain that any of us will see at least one aspect from my descriptions that fit ourselves – especially if somebody other than our self were to do the comparison.

I can share that if you see yourself having issues YOU CAN CHANGE YOURSELF to mitigate the situation.  I know I have.

That self-change takes awareness, a plan and discipline.

I’ve gotten a lot of good applying to myself the Golden Rule ideal, and modifying my actions until the fit the Golden Rule.

I may be prescribing harsh medicine in the process, though be certain it is only medicine I’ve been willing to take myself.


I’ve also found reworking my ideas in something that I could share with other hams was an important part of how I could reduce things to a lesson on what worked for me or what I saw.  Your mileage may vary (YMMV) as they say, but even if we take longer or burn more energy by sharing I’m hoping we albeit briefly share the same intellectual path.

This is somewhere around my fifteen-hundred and seventieth (1570+) post to this blog in a twelve year run, so I’m trying to share!


Then what are the strategies to deal with one of these characters?

First avoid engaging them in public.  Just like a pet’s mistake on your carpeting, there is no “clean end” to grab the problem.

Engaging them will reward them without motivating anything constructive.

In the case of internet trolls your avoidance must be absolute.

In my case I often reach out by direct communication to see if I can strike up a dialogue that ideally would lead to fixing the issue, though minimally would help me understand where they are coming from.  If I rebuffed – usually a rude reply or something so self-righteous as to remove any chance of an understanding I don’t spend any more time on the person or the issue.  My influence is zero if we are at loggerheads without any mechanism to move forward.

If you must respond be factual and non-emotive – I often coach a response into a question form.

Be prepared for unwarranted backlash.  Remember a lot of this is not rational so don’t be surprised if facts get brushed away.

And use time as your tool.

Remember you are not on a crusade, so there is no reason to be bloodied even figuratively for something where there truly is no real winners and there are only losers if things end up in a fight.

Some years back speaking with Jack Stack form the Great Game of Business fame, I’d asked Jack what was the one item – the one special ingredient in the secret sauce – the made the most difference.  Jack told our group it was about attitude – that the people intended to make a difference “Gotta Wanna” or the rest doesn’t much matter.

Creating that eagerness to work together that “Gotta Wanna” (they got to want to work together in a positive way) is our goal.


I’m hoping this long discussion is helpful and encouraging.

If you are like minded and want some helpful ideas I can share my reading list – though again YMMV as what resonated for me might not resonate for you.

GL and 73


2 thoughts on “Natives vs Innovators, Closet Ludditism, and Petulant Frenzies (Or how the Peanut Gallery improves your Readership)

  1. n9io says:

    Steve thank you for this post.
    I can identify as I found myself caught up in it briefly. Had to take a step back as my anger was pushing me to become part of the issue. “Time” as you say helps tremendously as a result I believe I have a better understanding of the narrative(s) at hand, I believe you explained it well.
    Clay N9IO

  2. K3FU says:

    The tribal example seems dangerously close to “White Man’s Burden”, but the general point that many people want quality for free, want to orate rather than listen, believe their clique’s myths over challenging facts, and want to find scapegoats when things don’t go their way, still holds.

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