What is interesting about that particular post are the kinds of reactions taken against what I wrote: some were relatively calm and collected and were more interested in debating the issue, some were vehemently opposed, so much so as to make personal attacks, and then there were some who seemed to be unclear on how they wanted to react, deleting posts or generally making rude comments and then attempting more rational discussions elsewhere (and these are general observations, not hints at particular individuals)
There is only one individual who has had any useful impact on me in this discussion. This person has acted in a way that I think should be a model for people in that particular industry (with some minor exceptions, which are mostly irrelevant). Instead of attacking me personally for my criticisms of an industry s/he ardently supports, s/he debated me on it, seemingly attempting to get at the crux of the issue. To be fair, I find myself agreeing very much with this individual on many points, and disagreeing with her/him on others, and s/he seems more like the kind of person that could change my mind on the issue of self-publishing than many of the others that have been a part of the discussion. Why? The mostly level-headed approach and the ability to tackle the issue without resorting to reducing discussions to the I'm-high-and-mighty form, or feeling the need to make unsubstantiated claims of validation, etc.
And this is interesting, because it says a lot about how this individual was able to take the criticism, and how writers should take criticism in general. The reality is that no matter what kind of writer you are, you are going to get criticized. Even great writers get hit with negative comments. They either shrug them off, get irritated and blast the critic, or let it consume them from the inside out. And published, successful writers have exhibited all of those reactions; some of them get away with the more nasty comments, and others don't.
Those that react negatively, who attack or let criticism consume them, are those who probably shouldn't be attempting to write publicly in the first place. It hints at an insecurity, a deep fissure within the self that suggests how mutable an individual can be in the face of a negative comment. And reactions do have weight on how one is perceived. I think, here, of the Cole A. Adams story, in which an author got so upset about being criticized that he basically goaded the critic into committing suicide. Obviously that hasn't happened here, but there certainly have been some bitter, angry individuals who have seen fit to make personal attacks instead of either ignoring the criticism or tackling it in a more level-headed manner. And like Mr. Adams, these aren't people I could see myself ever working with, even if I were more interested in the industry they support.
But I don't suspect most of them care about that, much like Mr. Adams probably doesn't care that a lot of people no longer want to work with him (or maybe he does). The point is that criticism doesn't go away because you get upset about it; it remains, always. But if you can't take the criticism, why be in a particular industry at all, whether it be music, acting, or writing? You can't avoid it unless you keep yourself private and never let your work be viewed by people who may potentially criticize you for it.
But maybe it's just me. Maybe it's okay to react in the way that some authors have in the past. What do you all think? Where do you draw the line between acceptable behavior and acting childishly?