The Best Email Flame I Ever Received

When you are subjected to public scrutiny as closely as I am, you have to develop a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like – or agree with – what I do. I’m okay with that. I welcome differing opinions, and even encourage people regularly to post rebuttals to something I’ve said. I’ve received my share of complaints, put-downs, and outright hostile messages over the years. Most of the time, I simply hit the reply button and add nothing other than a smiley face in the response.

I do actually pay attention to these critiques. Some of them, over the years, have helped me to strengthen myself and make changes to the way I do things. I don’t ignore criticism. When someone takes the time to write to (or about) you to suggest you what you did wrong, you should always try to turn that into a positive for yourself. How can you use what they’ve written to make yourself a better person / tech / geek / whatever-you-may-be? How can it enrich what you’re already doing?

Today, I received what has to be the best flame of all time (via email). I’m not going to take the time to respond to each of the points made, because I honestly feel I don’t have anything to prove. This person obviously doesn’t like me. That’s okay. I’m fine with that. The world will not end. Some days I don’t always like me, either! He believes I know absolutely nothing about computers. I believe the work I’ve done over the years speaks for itself.

I do find it humorous that I am apparently single-handedly responsible for nearly everything that is wrong with the entire technology industry today! Who knew I had that kind of power? Go me!

Here is the email, unedited (other than to add proper paragraph breaks and random punctuation marks). I didn’t even correct his incorrect spelling of my name.

Mr. Parillo:

I have seen you a few times, on television and online, and have come to the conclusion that you should find alternative employment. Perhaps re-stocking straws and napkins at McDonald’s… or something else that does not require you to come into contact with sharp objects… or anything more technical than Play-Doh.

I have seen your trite review of the original iPhone, which seems to be nothing more than regurgitating the exact same complaints that everybody else had, weeks before your lame video came out. I have also seen the video of you on TechTV laughing at a man for seeming to have Parkinson’s, when his condition led him to accidentally break a priceless, and irreplaceable, antique wax recording. I have reviewed the video a few times, and found your behaviour and actions to be not just improper, but completely reprehensible and unforgivable. I, fortunately, have never felt the desire to watch TechTV, nor its successor, G4, and have been spared from the bulk of your asinine antics.

The few videos I have seen of you, seem to show you to be less computer-literate than my great-uncle. Granted, my great-uncle was one of pioneers in the advent of the personal computer. My mother herself worked in the Research and Development division of IBM when I was young. Those of us who are old enough to remember punch-card programming, and have been fortunate enough to have started our learning on such machines, have the privilege of calling ourselves true computer “geeks”.

Lame, talentless hacks who seem to know little more about computers than to figure out how to adjust print settings, such as yourself, really have no place at the big-kid’s table. There are, unfortunately, too many of you walking around and trying to pass yourselves off as being knowledgeable, and as sources to trust. It is people like you that hold the industry back and make it seem as if someone who does not posses your startlingly limited understanding of computers are somehow novel, and pitiful.

You are the reason that three years after the launch of the PlayStation 3 all of its games are just tired remakes of older games, with absolutely no innovation, or creativity. You are the sequel-set, dumbing-down the market to make it easier for people to accept cheap imitations of games they played a decade ago.

You, and your ilk, are the reason that so many people have become so complacent with technology, demanding nothing more from the creators of their operating-systems than margin ally better graphics, and a few new sounds. Since the advent of a “graphical user interface” was first developed by Xerox in 1973, and refined by Apple beginning in 1979, there have been no real advances in the personal computer operating-system. The mouse alone has remained largely unchanged since Douglas Engelbart invented it at Stanford Research Institute in 1963 (in addition to his inventing the first GUI at roughly the same time), despite the fact the prototype was invented in 1959, as a track-ball, by Kenyon Taylor, Tom Cranston and Fred Longstaff at the Royal Canadian Navy’s DATAR project. Both the OS and mouse have only seen slight refinements in the almost fifty years the respective technologies have been around.

It is people like you who just bitch and moan, and make insipid and lame attempts at sarcasm, about modern consumer technology, that hold it back. You are not intelligent, nor knowledgeable, enough to offer true criticism of the respective industries. You, instead, rely heavily on their advertising, and other bribes, and offer people nothing more than their own gripes sold right back to them. What this does is support a false sense of empowerment for the average user, and gives them no incentive to become better educated, or demand more from from the companies that sell them this out-dated schlock as though it was something new.

The plasma display alone was invented in 1964, but everyone believed the hype that it was something new, and exotic, when they were re-introduced a few years ago. LCD technology alone is over a hundred years old, with the first, viable, displays being created in 1964 at RCA. The simple fact that you don’t offer serious critiques of out-dated technology being constantly re-packaged and regurgitated on an unsuspecting public, the fact that you have nothing serious or meaningful, the fact that you offer nothing insightful is just further proof you are, at best, completely pointless, and at worst are actively working to aid companies to continue this kind of nonsense.

This says nothing of my earlier example of your being a hateful, callous, spiteful, and selfish person. I suppose there might be something to be said for karma, since it is fortunate you are not on television anymore, and that nobody of any import considers you an expert on anything. Why don’t you do yourself, and your misguided viewers, a favour and be honest about your limited knowledge, that fact that you offer nothing new to anyone. Why don’t you just come out and admit that you are nothing more than an enabler of the bland and senseless discussions in which you engage. Get honest, or give it up and go home. Turn off your computer and try something more your speed, like a Lite-Brite. Maybe you could hone your skills enough to “programme” a smiley-face or something.

Wow! It’s all my fault that PlayStation games suck, that there have supposedly been no “real” advancement in computers since the GUI was introduced, AND that large companies are making their products better and then selling them as something “new.” Cool.