Flowchart: “You’re Wrong”

Inspired by a recent comment, I made this flowchart. Expect more of these on occasion — I even made a category and everything.

Something to think about when you’re posting on a blog, forum, whatever.

Thanks to Rob Donoghue for pointing me to Gliffy.com for the web-based flowchart software, and Matthew Gandy for proofing it.

(Edit: redone with arrows and cleaned up with a little splash of style.)

– Ryan


27 Responses to Flowchart: “You’re Wrong”

  1. Alden says:

    Much like the Talmud consists of a small amount of scripture surrounded by many passages of explanations and extrapolations, so this flow chart should accompany Wheaton’s law. “Don’t be a dick” isn’t hard to understand, but to help people actually live by it, it is often necessary to show people exactly what steps they should take in particular situations. :)

  2. Naomi Tripi says:

    With deep respect and intellectual fortitude I postulate that you sir, are wrong. I mean on a fundamental level here, deep down where mental health is supposed to reside. It’s part of what is awesome about you. Okay, it’s most of what is awesome about you. Does this comment make me a cockbite?

    • Ryan Macklin says:


      *snort* If you are a cockbite, you’re certainly one of the loveliest cockbites I’ve yet to meet. So, the jury’s still out. ;)

      – Ryan

    • Naomi Tripi says:

      Well! I’ve successfully been argumentative with Ryan F’ing Macklin From The Internet, and got the moniker (though some might argue misnomer) “lovely” as a result! You realize of course that this in no way discourages me from leaving prattling little comments after I read your blog posts? ;^)

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      It’s almost like I know what I’m doing…


      – Ryan

  3. misuba says:

    The trouble I have with this is how it assumes that “wrong” is one of the worst things you can call someone.

    …then again, it is blogs and forums we’re talking about here.

  4. Paul Tevis says:

    The flip side of this is an exercise I learned the Applied Improvisation Network Bay Area conference last week called “What I Like About Your Idea Is…” Basically, it’s possible to accept someone’s idea without agreeing with it.

    On further reflection, I should probably blog about this.

  5. Trip says:

    Hmm, it’s not every day that one unwittingly inspires a flowchart. For those who are interested in context, my comment is at http://ryanmacklin.com/2010/12/adventure-games-and-the-myth-of-arcs/#comments, dated 10/14 at 10:21a.

    For the record, I don’t think, “Interesting discussion — although my reaction to your post is to think that you’ve got it all wrong. *smiley*”, followed by a reasonably thoughtful comment rises anywhere near to the level of vile language, let alone cockbite behavior, but I guess everyone has their own threshold.

    • Ryan Macklin says:


      In my line of work, “you’re wrong” has never resulted in fruit. And emoticons are often used to say vicious things that you can then hide from by saying “but there was a smiley!” (or, as auto-correct wanted to say, a skillet) So when someone i haven’t yet met says something like that and then follows it with an emoticon, experience has lead me to in fact become even more irritated.

      I’m assuming charitably that *you* don’t hit the cockbite parts of the flowchart. :) But when you deal with cockbites on the Internet weekly if not daily, this is what happens. Hence the flowchart for something I have been talking about using regular text for years.

      Incidentally, this is my second such flowchart. I just havent published the first yet. More flowchart mayhem to be had!

      – Ryan

  6. John Powell says:

    Wait, are you saying there is something wrong with cockbiters? Leave those cockbiters alone!

    • Ryan Macklin says:


      I don’t know about cockbiters, but cockbites, man, fuck those guys.

      Wait, what’s the relationship between cockbiters and cockbites? Is it like Vampire, where the cockbiters are the antediluvian brood from whence cockbites have spawned? Because, if so, double-fuck those guys. I’mma get me my stakes.

      – Ryan

  7. Jason M says:

    There’s a small error. If someone says “no” to “Hang on, I’m confused. Are you a cockbite?” that should lead to a box labeled “LIAR”, with an arrow that joins the “yes” response from the same question. Because they totally are, as demonstrated by previous responses to get to that point.

    So, in short, you are wrong.


    • Ryan Macklin says:



      In any case, “you’re wrong” is totally placed correctly there. It should be how ones signs off of every conversation. It’s the Internet equivalent of “mic drop!”

      – Ryan

    • JDCorley says:

      At the beginning of a conversation it’s “record scratch”, at the end, it’s “mic drop”.

  8. Vernon Lingley says:


    • Ryan Macklin says:


      Check the link. It’s online flowchart/diagraming software.

      – Ryan

    • Vernon Lingley says:

      Oh I know it well. I am just surprised to see it used outside of our internal software. It is a pretty solid app, lack of good swimlanes aside.

  9. Burrowowl says:

    Couldn’t this flowchart be simplified to a single step of “I cannot bear the thought of open disagreement; the comment section is here exclusively to allow my supporters to fluff my fragile ego?”

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      Sure. As with everything on the Internet, it is totally open to being misread and misunderstood.

      In any case, your attempt to bait me has been noted for future generations. Enjoy! ;)

      – Ryan

  10. Doug Daulton says:

    Gaming context aside, this flowchart is brilliant and much needed. With that said, I must agree with Ms. Tripi, that you are wrong, but in ways that make you very right.

    Oh, by the way, the pig hat is still safe. For not delivering it sooner, I am, most assuredly, a cockbite.


    • Ryan Macklin says:


      Thanks! And I’m looking forward to getting my pig hat back. I’m going to be in some VERY cold places in a couple weeks.

      – Ryan

  11. Brand Robins says:

    I can’t believe you’ve had this many posts and no one has done the obvious one liner…

    You’re Wrong.

    (Sue me, I’m only on the net for cheap thrills.)

    • Ryan Macklin says:

      The Internet was waiting for you, Brand.

      – Ryan

    • Brand Robins says:

      Seriously though, part of my job is spending all day long explaining to people how they are wrong.

      Its amazing how much easier it gets if you never actually say “You’re wrong.”