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I’m an Occasional Jerk


Occasional? Some would argue I’m a jerk all the time or just a jerk. That’s a matter of opinion.

What I do know is that from time-to-time I do and say stupid stuff. REAL stupid stuff. It seems I’ve always been this way. I continue to try and understand the why behind the stupidity. A friend once told me, after he was a target of my irrational thinking, rage and stupidity, that he’s come to understand that it is part of “Thomas being Thomas” and an area where Thomas needs to work on. Continual work. It is a true friend indeed that has stuck with me through these cesspools of stupidity.

What Is He Talking About?

If you are late coming into the story, I’m referring to some of the actions and online conversations that took place here and online at other platforms. I am not going to rehash them. I will let you know that I’ve reached out privately to the parties involved and offered a sincere apology along with a plan for moving forward. And I recognize that my apology may not be accepted and I fully understand and respect such a decision.

I also want to apologize to them publicly here in this space which I know is the right thing to do. I’m not using their names because I shouldn’t have dragged them into this in the first place. And who needs all that exposure on the Internet, right? I’m sorry that I was a jerk. (Feel free to substitute a variety of descriptors – they all apply). I had no right to take a conversation online and manipulate it for my own agenda.

Why I’m Sometimes Stupid

I’m not going to make excuses. I own my actions and I take responsibility for them and the consequences that result. These qualities are part of my trying to be the most honest person I can be. If it wasn’t so true and sad, I’d be laughing at the article How Your Biased Brain Makes You A Jerk Online because I see myself clearly in the article. So now I need to learn more about the Halo Effect and Confirmation Bias and the challenges involved in overcoming them.

One Request: A Moratorium

Finally, I want to ask the genealogy bloggers and others interested in issues that divide the genealogy community for a temporary moratorium on chatter and discussion. Over the weekend, various discussions about issues of elitism in genealogy and polarization of communities have popped up on social media. I believe the issues are important but since many genealogists are attending FGS 2013 this week, it would be unfair to have a complete conversation without all interested parties being available.

Next week, starting Wednesday 28 August 2013, I’ll be facilitating a discussion here at GeneaBloggers on the issues that seem to divide us and how to conquer that divide.

Thank you for your time and for hearing me out.

[Note: Comments are closed for this post. I don’t want there to be a discussion of the “issues” to be discussed next week. It is a way of trying to maintain a true moratorium.]

©2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee

4 thoughts on “I’m an Occasional Jerk

  1. Hi Thomas,

    Hope this will help get things back to normal proportions. I noticed that your post about your income from this year is gone. Is that part of the fall-out of this whole thing? I replied and wondered if you had responded but now cannot find the article.

    (and if you read this, comments aren’t closed 😉 )

  2. Thomas ~ Thank you for being you. Your honesty about yourself and the world as you see it alongside your outstanding talent to bring others together with your humor is appreciated by this genealogy hobbyist aka family historian aka sometimes jerk. Hugs!

  3. Hi Thomas, do I think you over reacted? Yes, but I am not about to throw any stones. We have all been guilty of that very human response. Am I concerned about the divide that is happening between the family researcher and the new push on “proper” ways for us to keep our records? You betcha. I have been researching for almost 40 years. The families I worked on in the beginning would never pass the strict test of “evidence explained” sources but I know I have good material. Do my towns, counties and states match? No, I put down what they were at the time an event happened abd so be it – it is what it was. I am happy with what I have done and I hope , I hope, I hope, that one of my grandchildren or great grandchildren will give a damn.

Comments are closed.