[2008-03-27] Dependability?

I recently had someone tell me: "Not many people care if others are depending on what they say. I admire that you do."

For some reason, that made me think. It wasn't clear to me why, at first. I just thought it was odd.

And then it hit me: I didn't think it was something I should be admired for. Why? Because caring if others are depending on me isn't about integrity (though that is the end result, it's only a bonus), it's about responsibility.

The way I see it, I'm responsible for everything I say. If someone asks me what the best way to fix their computer is, and I give them bad advice that trashes it, they're going to come to me and be pissed off that I trashed their computer. And they'd be right.

So the statements I make are carefully researched to be truthful, or close enough that nobody's going to be coming to punch me in the face for trashing their computer. This extends to non-professional statements I make because it's a habit I've taught myself, and so the result is integrity -- I'm reliable -- but it's not because I'm actively trying to be reliable, it's because I just don't want to be punched in the face.

Originally published 2008-03-27 00:52 UTC +0200.

Why did I rescue this?

This one's a purely-historical rescue, I haven't edited it in the slightest. I should look at this again sometime and figure out how my thoughts on the matter have changed in the last four years (and they have).

Rescued and republished 2012-10-17 16:48 UTC +0300.