Colin's farewell letter

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Colin's farewell letter

Post by a_k »

Dear Friends and Holographers:

It is with much regret that I announce the closing of the Holography Forum. We created more than 46,000 posts and helped many new holographers get over the steep part of the learning curve. We also created new research and made the processes of creating and diagnosing DCG holography available to the public for the first time. For every active participant we had about 50 people that would lurk and read the information. Often I would be contacted by them to thank us even though they were to shy to post.

In the beginning of the forum I had an idealistic idea and a need to have a way to communicate with holographers in order to grow as a holographer. I started the forum with a sense of hope that it would grow to a lively community. The premise was intentionally simple. “This is a forum to share experiences and ideas about holography.” The idea was to have a blank sheet of paper we could all see and comment on freely. We would allow the community to judge whose advice was trustworthy and whose was suspect and proceed at our own accord. All posts were un-edited and except for removing SPAM un-moderated.

This idealistic goal worked very well to rapidly grow an avid community of holographers that would help each other selflessly but it also caused some problems. In the beginning when there was a question I would go through my library of books and personally research answers. As I did not have much experience with holography it was the best I could do. When there were practical questions I could not answer I would send emails to my contacts and get them to read and post. Eventually we had some great holographers from every era of holography posting and sharing their expertise.

Over the last 8 years I have sent 1000s of emails and spent 100s of hours on the phone resolving conflicts. This has caused a great deal of stress in my life but it was a service I was happy to provide for the community. In the last 9 months I have been trying to resolve a conflict for Selwyn Lissack. HoloDisk aka Jon Dark who has now been identified as Mark Slater had posted a story about Selwyn all over the internet. One of the places it had appeared was in the old Network 54 forum and when we copied over the posts it was contained in the new forum. There were also references to other places on the web where the story still exists.

The way internet law is evolving is odd and out of the scope of this letter. However, if I were to start editing posts then I would be governed under the laws of Journalism and be responsible for every post on the forum personally. I chose the other path of leaving all posts unedited. Setting the precedence of editing another’s words without permission was a liability I was not willing to take. I edited all the posts that I could get permission from the authors to edit. This was a very long process. As of the end of April I was convinced I had satisfied Selwyn’s demands.

At the end of August Selwyn contacted me saying he was unhappy with the placement of the thread Bob Hess started supporting Selwyn in Google’s search engine and that he was still finding “trash” in the forum. He was trying to hold me personally responsible. I asked him to provide links which he declined to do. After a couple of emails and many phone calls to my work he hired:

Tony Bhullar & Company,
Barrister and Solcitors,
5820 Ontario Street,
City of Vancouver, British Columbia,
TELEPHONE: 778 316 4921

In speaking with Tony I was informed that Selwyn intended to start litigation in any or every country that had the internet against the forum and there was no way to stop it. I sent Selwyn the following message:
Hi Selwyn,

I had a long talk with your barrister or at least that is how he represented himself. While he and I disagree about the laws that apply I think we all agree on what we want.

The way I see it we have three options.

1. You can provide me links to threads and we can edit them together.

2. I can write a script that deletes all threads with the term Selwyn or Lissack

3. I can close the form and leave a page behind saying that I don't have the man power to edit the forum to Selwyn's satisfaction and thank everyone for their 8 years of participation.

Let me know if any of these options is acceptable to you. If you are hell bent to get into court we can settle it there. If you would prefer to talk on the phone please email me for a good time as the lunch rush at my work is a really bad time.

Colin Kaminski

The reply I received was:
'Yes he is a barrister and you can verify, that for yourself in a minute, on the web.

I choose option number 3.

As far as I can tell, you have done what I have asked of you, just keep that trash off the web
and we will be fine.

Do not write or try to contact me in anyway from now on, address all correspondence to
my barrister.'
This marked the end of the forum. While I could have decided to fight or ignore Selwyn’s option I decided that I need to spend my time on other projects. Getting off the computer will give me more time to make holograms, finish my Spectro-Helioscope and publish my book on Brewing Water Chemistry. I also got married in April and am expecting another child this March.

I have created a script that removed all threads that referenced Selwyn. I am packaging the contents of the forum for storage on another server. The condition is that the threads stay locked. While this will leave a short term gap in the community I am sure the resourcefulness of the members will quickly move to fill the gap.

Thank you every one for all of the effort put into the forum. I have learned a great deal and made many friends.


Colin Kaminski