The problem is, I beleive both of them are responsible for the fight... but from what little I've heard, I suspect each feels they are in the right. Both acted unprofessionally, and yet each points the finger at the other. What's more, I suspect other of my co-workers have their own biases, as people have been gossiping about the fight behind the backs of the participants, usually pointing fingers and saying insulting things about one of the other, whomever they blame as being in the wrong.
All in all, it seems like an exercise in stupidity. Both of the people involved in the original fight made assumptions and acted foolishly, and everyone that's getting drawn into the affair because of the aftershocks is doing the same thing. Nobody stops to think that maybe, just maybe, their assumptions are wrong, that their perceptions are incorrect. Particularly since I think most of the people gossiping about the affair know very little about it, and many probably have their information from only one of their participants, after the fact. Hardly reliable sources. Even I only saw part of the fight, although what I did see didn't impress me.
Things might just get worse from here, as the vitriol continues to seep through my workplace. I doubt it's going to get better anytime soon, as some of the people involved I know can carry grudges a long, long ways.
But then on top of that, I'm finding some of my friends doing the same thing. People acting up, saying whatever they like without stopping to think about the assumptions they're making. They act upon their own biases, without considering that maybe those biases are wrong. Now, I'm probably a hypocrite for saying this. I know depression can warp my worldview, and even when I'm not depressed, some of my own assumptions don't really match what others see... and I'm often quite stubborn in refusing to change them. But why... why is humanity this way? Why does concession or compromise seem so foreign to people? Everyone seems so caught up in themselves, they don't stop to consider other people. They rarely seem to stop and think, "Hey, why am I doing this? Why am I thinking this? What if what I beleive or think is wrong? What alternatives are there?"
I still suspect it's what I call "the myopic principle". People are short-sighted, focusing on the immediate and the simplistic. It makes some sense... the human brain has to handle an incredible amount of information, and Occam's razor favors the simpler solutions. It's not surprising people want to simplify their beliefs, to think less, so they can free up more of their brainpower for other tasks. But still... can't people be a little more gnostic, at least?
Maybe modern culture discourages that. Independent thought doesn't seem to be too favored, these days.
Ah well. In the end, it's not a situation I can do much about. I can wish people were different, but I don't think that'll change anytime soon.