1. 10
  1.  

  2. 2

    I think the author seems more interested in contrarian articles rather than skepticism. Something counter to a mainstream view is listed as his first property, but skepticism isn’t really about being against mainstream. A lot of skepticism is about supporting the consensus position (medicine is good, climate change is real). I’m having a hard time agreeing that something is skeptical based on the relative cultural popularity of the idea at the time. For example, if one wrote an article in 1890’s about how cars weren’t going to be a thing and if one wrote an article now about the environmental issues of cars, I think they’d both be considered skeptical articles.

    For example, the Slack PHP article has nothing skeptical about it. It’s a bunch of assertions from someone at Slack. For example, after listing a bunch of reasons people don’t like PHP the author says “It should be possible to build a PHP that limits these downsides while preserving the good parts.”. Ok? What does that even mean? Does that mean PHP does limit those downsides or is the author just handwaving those issues away? Because it’s possible to build a PHP that doesn’t have those downsides that means PHP doesn’t have those downsides…despite…PHP having those downsides? The author ends with “And the advantages of that environment (reduced cost of bugs through fault isolation; safe concurrency; and high developer throughput) are more valuable than the problems that the language’s flaws create.” which is quite subjective perspective. And subjectivity is fine if you know the limits of that subjective view but there is nothing skeptical about someone saying “A lot of people think X sucks. I disagree. The end”.

    On the flip side, the article on PHP the author says is not skeptical is very thorough, providing clear examples for each of the author’s claims. These articles are at completely different classes of quality.

    Other listed articles like the C++ one don’t seem to have anything to do with skepticism. They are just a description of something in C++.

    The COST paper, though, I think is a great example of skepticism in IT and I’m glad the author included it. This takes a common path the industry is on and provides clear counter examples with evidence supporting the counter argument.

    1. 1

      I think the author

      Dude I’m right here, no need for third person :P

      seems more interested in contrarian articles rather than skepticism

      Goddamn yes ‘contrarian’ was the word I was looking for but couldn’t recall

      1. 2

        It’s common to use third person language in comments.

      2. 1

        but skepticism isn’t really about being against mainstream. A lot of skepticism is about supporting the consensus position (medicine is good, climate change is real).

        “Zave compares two specification tools and shows how their claimed benefits are often very different from their actual benefits. “

        What about this one? Seems to fit your definition as the author invest time thinking there’s some benefit, puts them to the test to assess actual benefit, and finds differences from claims of some proponents. The author that is @hwayne is probably finding that aspect skeptical and productive in result. I agree with you fully on COST paper, though, as it’s the kind of work one might throw in paper form at a person preaching stuff like Apache SPARK as solution to all data analysis problems. “Come back when you’ve read it and have some sense!!” (much heckling by audience)