Reader Feedback on Mad Dog 21/21: Blowing Up Buddha
Published: November 27, 2006
As a subscriber to your newsletters, I always look forward to checking my email for the next edition of The Linux Beacon and Four Hundred Guru. They contain information that is relevant to the technology I use every day.
With this in mind, I was shocked and surprised by your decision to include the article entitled Mad Dog 21/21: Blowing Up Buddha.
Not only does this writing have nothing in common with the theme of your newsletters, but it is such a blatant slap in the face to Arabs/Muslims. I know the Internet and other forms of media are littered with such sentiments, but your newsletter was the last place I expected to find it.
In the future, I hope you will consider how diverse your readership is and realize that articles like this detract from the one thing that transcends all walks of life, technology.
Thanks for reading our newsletters. From reading them, you probably already know what I am going to say, but I will explain my point of view as editor in chief.
First of all, I always consider everything that goes into my newsletters. That's my job, and I take it very seriously. I also give my authors the right to speak their minds. I do not always agree with everything any of my writers say--and I do not expect all of my readers to, either. That's what happens when you have a diverse audience and real problems that need to get addressed. I will not shirk from topics because I get letters like this from you or anyone else. I read plenty of things in the world that I find uncomfortable, but they make me stop to think, to reconsider, and I value that.
The author of this article, Hesh Wiener, spoke his mind, and I thought he brought some valid historical points together into a relevant story. I particularly like the idea that the Silk Road was a kind of proto-Internet, or that the Internet is a kind of upgrade to the Silk Road.
Obviously, you found the story offensive, and I am not stupid enough or insensitive enough to tell you what to feel or how to interpret what was written. But I can assure you that no offense was intended. Rather, Hesh wanted to explain to our readers a bit of history, how we are becoming less tolerant and more rigid in our thinking, and more virtualized thanks to the Internet--and that this has consequences in the IT field in particular and in our lives at large.
I stand by his story and my decision to run it.
Thank you for taking the time to review and respond to my concern. The fact that you did this exemplifies the dedication you have to your position and your readers.
Thanks, Mohamed. And have a good day. We all could use a few of those.