Tuesday, October 13, 2009

on spite and apologies

Anonymous commenters on my second post on Light Blue Optics have suggested that I should apologize for my posts about LBO. One accused me of "spiteful and unfounded insinuations". I haven't yet read the latest links that have been left for me to peruse, but given the quality of the previous links, I'm not expecting much. Still, I will read them eventually and if I decide that they answer my questions, then I will write another post acknowledging the new information and update my previous posts accordingly.

However, it is hard to imagine a circumstance that would make me feel that I had to apologize for what I have written about LBO. There is an argument to be made that people are entitled to the benefit of the doubt, and that you don't post suspicions about random people without some sort of evidence. I am more sympathetic to this view than not. For example, I think the ridiculous speculations about Gov. Palin's child not really being hers would never have been published by a responsible person.

But LBO is not an individual; it is a company that goes out to investors and asks them for money (large amounts of money) based on their own reports of their own achievements and potential as a company. When they do this, they give up the presumption of innocence. They have to be ready, willing and able to confront criticism openly and effectively. If the best that they can do is to post anonymous links and outraged comments then they need to grow a thicker skin. I'm a pussycat compared to an angry investor.

In addition to my criticisms and suspicions of the company, I did question the credentials of two individuals who work for the company. However, these two individuals are high-level employees (one is a VP and the other is the CTO) who have lent their prestige to the company, so their credentials are also open to criticism on the same grounds as is the company itself. Furthermore, none of my published comments would do them any harm at all if I am wrong and if I am right the only harm it would do them is to make it more difficult for them to deceive people. In fact, if I am wrong, I imagine that they would find my suspicions more amusing than troublesome.

And finally, I would like to say (again) that there is no spite or ill-will in any of my remarks. Those who see spite here are just projecting their own anger and spite onto the person who is making them angry and spiteful.

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