Thursday, December 23, 2004

"Well, my broker is P.J. Eby, and P.J. Eby says..."

Wow. I'm not sure if I like this new fame thing; it seems to lead mostly to being misquoted. It seems like every few days lately that I run into a blog post or blog comment somewhere, where somebody says, "Well Phillip Eby says such and such..." and it's something I don't remember saying, is the complete opposite of what I actually said, or that I just wonder, "Where the heck did they get that idea?"

Am I really that bad at communicating? Or, maybe I should just take it as a compliment that people are dropping my name in support of things that they think are good ideas.

Or perhaps I'm just too sensitive about being misquoted, misattributed, or misunderstood. I still vividly recall an incident in grade school where someone said something to me that got both of us in serious trouble, because a third person who overheard the comments attributed them to us collectively, despite the fact that I had said nothing. I was barely able to convince my parents that I'd not actually said what that person said I said, and there was no convincing the teachers. The experience was horribly embarassing, and tremendously frustrating. Since then, I suppose I've probably been a bit more sensitive than most, to the possibility of being misinterpreted or misunderstood. I've been a bit more careful in phrasing, a bit more literal in language, and a lot more likely to respond when I see that my name is being associated with something I don't agree with.

Yet, strangely enough, the more I fret about it, the more it seems to happen, in one of those "the thing I feared most has come upon me" paradoxes. I guess I shouldn't even think about writing a book; I'd probably go absolutely nuts correcting every "PJE says you shouldn't do X" taken out of context on somebody's blog. :) I suppose I'll need to learn to let such things go, or at least learn to sort out which ones really need responses, and which ones aren't worth the trouble.

In the meantime, I suggest that you take "Eby says" posts by other people with a *huge* grain of salt, unless they're actually quoting me, preferably with a link to the original source. Then again, that's probably a good policy to follow on the Internet in general!