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Big draining nothing of an argument…

See here and here for the history on this.

Gene Steinberg finally emailed me, repeating much of what he’s been saying here. Here’s the reply email I sent him, minus the parts that were quoted from his email to me:

This is 50% of my problem with you, Gene. The tone and stance you adopt is instructive, and not in a helpful way.


Where is my ad hominem attack against you? My reply critiques your site for not having trackbacks or readily available permalinks, and notes that you have a double negative in one of your sentences. I don’t say anything about you specifically.

Now, on the other hand, despite this…
“While I seldom criticize other writers in public, I’m going to use one specific article strictly as a typical example of the “my problem is really your problem” syndrome. Please don’t take this as a personal attack. It’s just a sample case history.”
…disclaimer from the beginning of your original reply to my Apple Matters piece, your article *is* criticizing the other writer in public, and the statements made by you in the article, and the tone of the article, indicate rather clearly that you don’t think I know what I am talking about. This line for example:
“Now I’m not even going to suggest for a moment that Tiger is free of maladies of one sort or another, but when you complain about something in an article intended for public distribution, it helps to check your facts first.”
…is accusing me of not checking my facts, and in the same overly instructive pedantic tone that I mention above.

You didn’t reply to the Apple Matters piece and bother to ask me if I took any of these steps. Instead, you just assumed that I didn’t and then you launched into an instructive treatise “case history” of my article as a piece of writing that has gone wrong. This, I think, is a very valid critique of your piece. A conscientious professional wouldn’t make a “case study” of a fellow author’s article without first checking *his* facts by going to the source and asking some questions. You didn’t do any of this.

Then… and this is what really bugs me. When I notice your article and comment on my blog about it, you hypocritically decry me for “hiding” my critique of your article on my website (which is exactly what your Mac Night Owl piece does with my Apple Matters piece). Then you complain that I haven’t emailed you, but rather taken this discussion out in the public and demand that I email you. Again, hypocrite, you didn’t ever email me until now.

Now, back to what I think you are looking for: my legitimate arguments with the points your article raises:

Under the Dashboard memory hog section, you write: “Sample wants to be able to turn Dashboard off, which is an absurd request, for obvious reasons. If your Mac is suddenly beginning to slow down, you can use Activity Viewer (in the Utilities folder) to check which applications might be memory and/or CPU hogs. That’s a crucial step in finding out what’s wrong. I don’t know if Sample, who considers himself a Mac guru, did that, since it’s not mentioned in the article.” Now, I did these steps, but you assume that I didn’t because I didn’t mention it. But if I am saying I know what I am doing, wouldn’t you assume that I did take these steps. My problem with the Dashboard is that it is tied into the Dock’s processes and in my installation of Tiger, as well as a few other user’s installations that I maintain, the Dock and Dashboard occasionally have memory swells and crash. Other people I know with seemingly identical set ups aren’t having this problem at all; that’s my problem with Tiger. You reach a wall after troubleshooting where you are forced to wipe everything clean, reinstall, and hope that the next time it magically works.

Also, you never mention why you think my request that the Dashboard turn off is absurd. There are lots of users who disagree with you, as is evidenced by the multiple tools out there that will let you do just this: switch it off. It’s OS code bloat. Why add it in? It’s not a necessary component of the System, so it should really be a separate piece of code sitting in the Applications folder that users can use or not use, as they choose.

Now, on your point about my asking for Spotlight to be disabled, you dismiss my complaint summarily by saying “If this is an issue that concerns you, and it’s not one I’ve encountered so far, you can use Tiger Cache Cleaner to disable Spotlight. But, as I said, I’ve not seen this as an issue beyond this lone complaint, though I suppose Spotlight’s indexing process may be far more noticeable on a slower Mac.” If you’ve not seen this issue, then you clearly haven’t bothered to look. Check out some of the various Mac forums online and you will see lots of complaints, especially among people using large external drives to work with video, who are having trouble with Spotlight continually indexing these volumes each time the drive is connected.

I’m not going to continue going through each of these points, but the main problem with your rebuttal to my original article is that you fault me for the same thing you are actively doing in your piece. You say that I am complaining about things that are specific to my experiences, and your rebuttal for each of those complaints is “I have never experienced this.” To quote you, “Unfortunately, when you write an article complaining about a problem without verifying that it exists outside of your tiny corner of the world, you are harming, not helping the situation. We have enough real problems to deal with as it is.”

Yes, we do. And, so, if you still feel that I haven’t addressed the issues you keep demanding that I address, I suggest that we drop this entire tug-of-war. I’m a little too busy to be bothered with it, and I really do not enjoy what has to this point been an entirely unproductive exchange.

C.K. Sample, III

ps–since you didn’t seem to receive the last email I sent you (perhaps you should look into that), I’m going to post this email (sans your email) to my site as well.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Gene Steinberg 7/31/2005, 2:45 pm

    I see the same problem in your response as in your letters. You expect me to read your mind and imagine you made points that were not contained in your original article. Then you gloss over the issues all over again in your alleged rebuttal.

    To respond to your statements above, shorn of the emotional nonsense:

    1. Dashboard: You are confused about the amount of memory the Dock is using and the individual Dashboard widgets are using. You provide no information on the installations you “maintain” so one might determine if your problems might be specific to those installations. There are reasons for the Dock and/or Dashboard to freeze that may have nothing to do with poor programming on the part of Apple.

    2. Spotlight: You refer to “various Mac forums” but do not state which ones they are. This is the problem I have had all along with your material. You are unable to provide specifics and somehow assume I’m going to read your mind to know what they are. In any case, as I said, you can disable Spotlight with third party tools, if that’s what you want to do. You do understand that, right?

    Yes, I do feel that you haven’t addressed the issues I’ve asked you to address. You made a half-hearted attempt with Dashboard and Spotlight, but you still fail to grasp the point of the original article. That point is: Don’t assume that because you have a problem that it affects everyone else and that it’s something Apple must fix. Nothing more, nothing less.

    If there’s a tug-of-war, it is one of your creation. This exchange can be resolved in two ways. One, that you apologize for your personal attacks, and, two, that you try to be a little more thorough in your research next time before you put the blame for your individual problems on Apple’s doorstep.

    Gene Steinberg

  • c.k. 7/31/2005, 2:46 pm


  • c.k. 7/31/2005, 2:49 pm

    Option 3. The way it will actually be resolved: I’ll ignore you from now on, like the rest of the Internet tends to do. If you start trollishly spamming my comments, I will block you and if you start spamming my email, I will block that too. END OF COMMUNICATION.

  • Gene 7/31/2005, 3:11 pm

    Lest we forget, it is you who invited me to respond via email. When I attempted to do so, I confronted the same ill-mannered character who inhabits this blog. Clearly you aren’t interested in talking about the issues. My article somehow hurt your ego, because I dared to point out that the bugs you allegedly encountered are not necessarily those for Apple to fix.

    You have my sympathy.

    Gene Steinberg

  • c.k. 7/31/2005, 3:13 pm

    Actually, when you did, you confronted me with the same rudeness that you have exhibited here as well. So it’s a double fault, I suppose.