Carl's Saga
Carl's public response to Dave Winer

By: Carl

I plan on making no more responses publicly, and ending the exchange. I wanted to be detailed, to tie up most of the loose ends, and so that I can be more clear in what I am trying to say. So this response is quite long.

I wrote an email to Dave Winer that has become quite a public thing. I visited Macintouch, which had a news item that said something to the effect of MacKiDo's complaint and Dave Winer's response. I read both articles and several other articles that were related as well as several of Mr. Winer's Opinions and then I wrote an email to Mr. Winer. Of course, I am just me. No one told me to write. If I wrote a horrible, flaming, religious letter, then I am a lone, independent Inquisitor.

I would like to apologize for the miscommunication and to clarify my point. I am not changing my email, back peddling, or backing down, but clarifying what I was trying to say originally in the email.

You may find it hard to believe but, in simple terms, my original email was composed of 2 encouragements! My intent was not to flame or attack Mr. Winer or start any kind of war. I should have written the email better and I implicitly said some things that I should have said explicitly.

The email started with -

I noticed that you corrected Mackido on some time issues, but it seems like, you don't disagree with the general point of the Mackido article

It appears to be a true statement, to me. He corrected a timing point or two but ignored what I personally saw as the main points of the article. Since DaveW DID do some corrections and since he did NOT correct the main points of the article it seems like he doesn't disagree with the general point of the MacKiDo article. My point in that sentence is to say that from one observer's point of view (mine), correcting a few chronological events while not correcting the point of the article does not look that good. The implied encouragement was... If it is not true, maybe you could consider at least saying, "My opinions about Apple are not based on anger about how Apple treated me personally."

I see 2 things going on here.

1) I should have been more explicit about the encouragement to tell his side of the story.

2) Miscommunication in email seems to happen a lot. The fact is that Mr. Winer has nothing to judge what I was trying to say other than my words. There is no chance for me to immediately clarify if I saw that he was not understanding what I was trying to communicate. Add that to the fact there are lots of people that are personally attacking him, and that the on the Internet, flames and personal attacks are not rare. With that mind set, I can understand how he could misunderstand my point. He does not know me. If he met me or got other emails from me, I think the chance of this misunderstanding happening would be more rare.

*If* Mr. Winer is not a bitter person about Apple not paying him lots of money for his Software?, or if it is not strongly affecting his articles, then there is nothing else to say. [You could stop reading here].

I go on to describe my personal feeling and perspective, IF Mr. Winer is letting his bitterness and hatred towards Apple determine much of what he writes. I think that IF that is the case then he is hurting the Mac community. (Actually, it is also my opinion, that he is hurting the Mac community regardless of motivation.) I wanted to remind him that 'the Mac community' is not a big faceless mass by using myself as a personal example.

The note ends with...

Personally, I would like it if you just went back to building good software and control your emotions and your hate. You also are one of the victims of your hate. Bitterness will eat your soul alive Dave.

Did I end with, "I wish you would just go to Hell!" or "Die Dave Die!!"? No. I said, "I would like it if you just went back to building good software.." Don't you think that is a strange way to end a flame?

IF he is filled with hate, I reminded him that he will suffer for not letting go and not forgiving because bitterness will eat a person's soul alive. Another strange way to end a flame -- expressing an honest concern for the person.

The two encouragements were -

  1. Consider defending yourself publicly if what is being said is not true.
  2. IF you are filled with hate and bitterness then you are attacking your own soul and I recommend that you let go of it, to free yourself.

I did not intend to flame him or tell him what to do. I only planned on quietly, privately giving my perception of the situation. Did I do wrong? I thought that when a person publicly expresses their opinion, that it was reasonable for people to voice agreement or disagreement to them even if their feelings are strong. It may have been worded strongly, but I still think, I am entitled to my opinion. [Without such vicious counter-attacks]

I know, that for myself, if I often made commentaries on the Computer Industry to a large audience, that I would expect some response: negative as well as positive. With some of my views being what they are, I would not be surprised if people questioned my motivation at times. Some people might even say that I am acting irrationally and religiously, instead of logically looking at reality. Some might see me as being hateful. I know that I would need to be prepared for that. I believe that talk should be based on the arguments at hand, but I also believe that an Author can be held responsible for their words. Words and communication are an action and I believe in personal responsibility as well. Mr. Winer has held me responsible for my words, which is fine. The reason I am writing again is because I want to clarify what I was trying to say.

Let me be clear --

I do not have ill will toward Mr. Winer. Quite the opposite. I want for him to have an emotionally peaceful and healthy life, which he may already have! I do not have anger towards him for the things that he has said about me or done to me. I believe that he is expressing his opinions and there is nothing wrong with that.

My email was intended to be a quiet, Personal email to Mr. Winer for him to read and then either think about what I said or throw it away. I wrote it on my lunch break and I thought what I did was OK.

What happened next took me by complete surprise!

Maybe he saw that I said that "I liked my job." I left the company I work for out of the personal email, my address did have the company name in it. Dave Winer responded by forwarding my email to the CEO of a software company that has thousands employees and has more important things to do with his time.

Mr. Winer cc'd me when he redirected my email to the CEO. I started to doubt myself and wonder if what I did was wrong. I wondered if Mr. Winer was using his influence (It seems that Mr. Winer and the CEO have dealt with each other in the past) to get me in trouble or fired. I had written a personal email to Mr. Winer, that I thought would be ignored completely or read and thought about. I did not think that an hour later, I would be worrying about my job - "Will I get fired because I expressed my opinion during lunch?", "What kind of trouble will I get into for writing an email to Dave Winer?"

Mr. Winer has since mentioned a couple of things that he has said to the CEO which were not in the email that he cc'd me on, so evidently he has contacted the CEO at least one more time.

What my CEO has said to me was... "you are entitled to your opinions. In this case I do not agree with you" and that he has "too many more important things to worry about."

Unbeknownst to me, Mr. Winer took my email, and sent it out to his mailing list along with a couple paragraphs responding to my email. Since I am not on his mailing list and he did not email me a copy of it or inform me at all about his response, I only learned about it when I started getting emails from all over the world responding to the situation. Some said they agreed with me completely; several others let me know that they thought I had wronged Mr. Winer. All were polite.

I was confused at first, because they would make reference to how Dave responded to my email, but I knew of no response other than to redirect my letter to my CEO. Someone forwarded what was said (this was before the web page went up), so that I could read what Mr. Winer had to say. I never imagined that so much publicity would happen because of my email. This is the first email that I have sent where I responded to a public debate. (Not exactly the pattern of a serial flamer.) A very public person expressed his opinion in an open, public forum and I responded to him with my perspective and opinion - once.

Response to Mr. Winers post -

He says how I seem to him, and then responds to that image.

That is a fair statement. I was responding to what you seem to me. If you are not what you seem to me, then my response is not relevant to you because you do not fit that image. I should have been more clear on that point.

I sent [CEO name], the CEO of [company name], an email saying that I know that Carl doesn't speak for him or for [company name].

I do not understand why you felt that was necessary, but I can promise everyone that I will not track anyone's boss and send emails to them, as if a boss is responsible for the opinions of its workers. Emails to me will be that, emails to me. I responded to you [Dave Winer] by writing to you! I wish you had responded to me, by writing me; instead of writing to my boss, to the Internet, and to your entire mailing list (and not writing to me).

Apology offered

I apologize to Mr. Winer for the miscommunication of my email as it was not intended as a flame. Certainly my writing skills (or lack there of) have helped to create some of this mess.

I ask that the company I work for, and the CEO of that company, to be left out of this discussion. PLEASE. The CEO has much more important things to do with his time.

Please do not send any email to Mr. Winer unless it is to support him, agree with him or to criticize me. Sending negative mail to Dave regarding this 'thing' could help it to continue, which I do NOT want.

I just want to be able to clarify to the Internet community what it was that I was trying to say. If you have something to say, please send it to me, regardless of whether you want to flame, criticize, disagree, discuss, agree or compliment.


Original Letter

From: Carl
To: Dave Winer
Subject: Hurting 50 million people to get back at 4

Here was a link to a web page that I was responding to. Mr. Winer has since deleted the page, so, although I have the text of the page, I will not mention it here because evidently he doesn't want it public, and I will respect his wishes. Without that page, the title of my email does not make as much sense.

I noticed that you corrected MacKiDo on some time issues, but it seems like, you don't disagree with the general point of the Mackido article which is that you are a petty and bitter man that unjustly screams as much negativity towards Apple as possible because they did not buy your software.

You seem to be presenting yourself as an Apple lover, when in reality you are an Apple hater, and have been for years, because of a personal issue. You try to hurt not only the Apple company but also, indirectly the entire Mac community even though most or all of the people that personally hurt you no longer even work for Apple.

Speaking as a person in the Mac community, I find this to be extremely offensive.

I love the Mac and I am making my career in the Mac right now, so your inaccurate, wild, baseless, personal hate towards Apple is an indirect attack on me and my job. You are not alone, of course. There are thousands if not millions that are spreading half truths or even lies about the Mac, but I must tell you that I am a person (one of millions) that is being hurt by your hate.

Personally, I would like it if you just went back to building good software and control your emotions and your hate. You also are one of the victims of your hate.

Bitterness will eat your soul alive Dave.


Created: 07/25/97
Updated: Saturday, 09-Nov-2002 04:39:44 PST

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