Apologies and Ammends

Mark D. Pesce (mpesce@butterfly.net)
Sat, 10 Sep 1994 18:37:33 -0400 (EDT)

VRML List Members

I wish to apologize to any of you whom I may have offended with my response
to Linas yesterday. Although I believe that I held my anger back quite
well, some of you do feel differently, and have not hesitated to tell me
this. I can only say, in my defense, that I have tried to be as honest
and above-board as possible through this entire process, and that in no way
do I feel as though I could be accused of duplicity or underhandedness. I
have done everything to ensure that *all* of us start out on a level playing
field (even to the point of LG having to junk all previous VRML parser
development when a standard is adopted), so that no one company or person
starts off with any advantage, save their own intellect, cunning, and
business sense.

At the same time, I've been out "shilling" VRML like it's going out of
style, as you'll see in my next posting, not to generate business for LG
(just ask any of the organizations or people whom I've contacted), but to
create an impressive body of *content*, so that on 17 October, the entire
Web community can look at *our* work and say, "this is good."

The list is not generating content, at least not yet, and *you* don't need to
be sold on the value of VRML, so my input to the list of late has been
minimal, mostly unnecessary. Brian feels that the list moderators should
take a more agressive approach to moderation; I believe this is necessary
only if there are people who consistently violate protocol. These
individuals (and there are a number of them) have received correction
*privately* from either myself or Brian, and have ammended their ways. The
first rule of list moderation is, "Carry a big stick and use it a lot."
Public embarassment is not required, just correction.

Conversely, to paraphrase Shakespear, "If a man steals my purse, he has
stolen ought but money, but if a man steals my good name, he has stolen all."

I consider the accusations of duplicity that Linas made yesterday to be
libelous, and unsupportable. Libelous statements *must* be answered
publicly, within the forum where the original assertions were made. I
therefore addressed my response directly to the community, rather than
privately to Linas.

Those of you who know me need no proof of my integrity; those who do not
must draw your impressions from the information available to you. I have done
my best to provide this, and I believe that any examination of my work as
moderator on list demonstrates this conclusively.

Finally, it has been suggested publicly that my behavior is not suitable for
a list moderator, and that, due to some assumed conflicts of interest, I
should step down as list moderator. I am *absolutely* willing to do this,
if there is a consensus in the community that it would be appropriate. It's a
lot of work moderating this forum (although most of that work is invisible
to the list members), and I could use that time to continue working on VRML.
I would also feel more free to comment on issues that I'm supposed to be
"above" as a list moderator. (Which is one reason why you don't hear from
me all that frequently; my opinion, as list moderator, implicitly carries
more weight, and therefore must be exercised judiciously.) However, I would
like to continue as a list moderator, so that I may continue to keep us, as
a group, focused on our goals. I will abide by the wishes of the community
in any case.

In closing, I want to say a few words about my motivations. They are decidedly
complex; at times *I* have trouble figuring out what I want, but I can tell
you that the number of times that David Levine or Tony Parisi (whom I do
business with) have exasperatedly asked me, "How do you make money from your
work?" tells me, beyond any doubt, that financial motivations are somewhere
in the background for me, and that my goals with VRML haven't got a focus
which is primarily (or even mostly) business-oriented. At the same time,
a solution that isn't commercially acceptable is no good to *anyone*,
so ignoring the needs of the marketplace shows the same lack of foresight
as being in thrall to the market. The truth, as always, lies somewhere
between the extremes, and that's where I find myself, most of the time.

I guess I believe that if I deal with this process honestly, I won't get
screwed for sharing my ideas and time with the rest of you.

I look forward to hearing from you (I would suggest that messages be sent
privately to mpesce@netcom.com to avoid clogging the list) about this.


Mark Pesce
VRML List Moderator

|| * That's AL * http://www.hyperreal.com/~mpesce/