An apology to those on UBC whom I may have offended.

Discussion in 'Araceae' started by photopro, May 31, 2008.

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  1. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    To everyone on UBC,

    If any apology for some of my comments or questions on UBC is in order, I gladly offer it. If I have offended you with my attempts to accurately answer questions regarding aroids, I am truly sorry.

    I received a very disturbing message tonight with a direct copy (slightly edited) of a recent post I posted on this forum about my construction of an epiphyte tree. The message came from a person whose name I have removed. I do not know this person who's first name is Holly but she has posted a similar message once before on the GardenWeb. In that case, another individual had requested a photo of Anthurium cubense. I had taken a photo of a plant which was tagged Anthurium cubense with my friend Leland Miyano standing with it at the 2007 IAS Aroid Show. As it turned out, Leland later pointed out the vein count on that plant did not match Dr. Croat's scientific description so we learned later that plant was not a full species and likely a hybrid. The moderators of the GardenWeb forum took down her post since it referred to me by a strong term.

    If I have irritated any of you with my constant comments and questions, I sincerely apologize. I am only a student of aroid botany and constantly ask questions of people who are eperts in order to learn. I don't believe anyone can find any place on my website or on the net where I have ever claimed to be an expert in any plant genera. I just study aroids, ask a lot of questions of Dr. Croat, Leland Miyano, Julius Boos and at least 5 other aroid botanists and I probably read too much scientific material. The only aroid experts I know are the ones I try to accurately quote in my internet articles and posts.

    This is what I received from the individual. I have purposely removed her name and email address:


    Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.pompousasswords.com/www/index.htm

    YOU ARE SUCH AN IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people you so religiously quote are ashamed to be associated with you. Yes! It's true! Emails are flying behind your back! You are the absolute shame of the UBC horticultural site. NO ONE wants to be associated with you but out of pity they endure your presence. STOP GRANDSTANDING. CAN YOU NOT HEAR THE LAUGHTER??????????????????


    Added June 1: I came back this morning feeling I needed to explain my approach to my posts for those who may not understand. I am a writer and have worked as a professional writer since 1979. I was fortunate during my working career (I'm now retired) to be able to publish well over 350 articles in national and international publications on a large variety of subjects including plants. Editors expect a writer to do research and document what they write. As a result, I do almost daily research into aroid botany when a question enters my head. If I am going to write something the public will read I want it to be as accurate within science as possible.

    I am now painfully aware there are people out there who would prefer such forums as UBC be simply garden chat. But UBC is a botanical garden so my goal has been to present scientific fact, not my opinion. To do that I often quote my sources, either scientific journals or direct email I receive from the aroid botanists who have been gracious enough to me for the past three years to continue to answer my incessant list of questions.

    Of late I've become interested in a few cacti species, especially Epiphyllum, and have added Dr. Leo Martin of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America (CSSA) to my list of sources. Dr. Martin has kindly answered a number of questions and I have included his responses in several of my UBC posts as well as on my personal website. I do this because I know I am not an expert! But the people I know as sources are noted experts. I doubt a lot of you care what I think, but if you are truly looking for answers to your plant questions the opinions and knowledge of these educated experts is important. And that is the reason I write in the style I use.

    Again, my apologies if I have offended anyone on UBC or Aroid l. It was certainly not intended. And Holly, since I can only assume you are reading this on UBC, I apologize to you as well for whatever i posted that offended you.

    Steve Lucas
    www.ExoticRainforest.com
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I don't think I've ever gotten anything that strong e-mailed to me but I have been told on the site itself (GardenWeb) that I was "full of crap". More recently it was posted that people were e-mailing someone else who didn't like my comments wondering what my problem was and so on. So, in a different fashion I have gotten the same letter you did.

    Before joining GardenWeb and later coming here as well I checked out multiple unmoderated gardening discussion sites that were up at that time. It seemed just about all the threads quickly degenerated into bickering of the tone of this e-mail and worse, with the same abundant exclamation marks and also name-calling.

    Nuts do grow on trees. Good thing what someone else says about plants and gardening on the internet is the worst that we have to worry about during these times, so that our anger and energies can be focused on things like sending them e-mails calling them names.
     
  3. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Steve, I have always found your comments helpful and informative. You haven't offended me!
    As you know know I have only been into aroids for 18 months or so, and what I have learned in that period has been phenominal! Thanks to you and knowledgeble aroid others.
    Although it can be frustrating at times (I know I have been guilty of being frustrated) with a broad range of personalities who are passionate about the same thing, plants, and there is bound to be clashes. Typed text can be so unemotional.
    But anyway, we soldier on in the name of plants LOL!!

    Ed
     
  4. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    People who attack the author rather than logically address the essence of the subject matter are acting similar to uneducated children or many politicians. Usually, I avoid such like people. Many relatively good forums are destroyed by such people.

    There are facts which are usually not subject to debate. If a person agrees that 2 plus 2 equals 4, then disputes that 3 plus 1 does not. It is time to pass on.
     
  5. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    There are people that deliberatly start up flame wars on lists. Take no notice Steve, there is always the skip option if anyone is tired of your "GRANDSTANDING". Please feel free to grandstand all you like. I am learning big time even if I don't understand it all. Madam Holly needs a life.

    Liz
     
  6. rareplantlover

    rareplantlover Member

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    steve, we think your great!! and your knowledge has been so helpful! we enjoy your posts!! there is always one bad apple out there!! dont let her spoil it for the rest!! she is unmannered and doesnt care to educate herself!
     
  7. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    You've not offended me! In fact you're responsible for much of my intense interest in Aroids. If the threatened or uninformed choose to make ad-hominem attacks on you, ignore them. You bring a wealth of knowledge and scientific connections to the board and it would be a real shame to lose you because of one rude commentor.
     
  8. hermine

    hermine Member

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    I am so NOT offended that I can hardly type! Or, what i really mean is I am COMFORTED that you too, are the target of this sort of mindless beeswax as has plagued myself and others, who are full of questions, have an occasional answer, and write with both clarity, good will and fascinating subject matter. I always thought your questions are as interesting as your answers. I am not sure what you did wrong in the mind of the person who wrote that thing to you. did you miscount the number of veins on the leaf of a plant? For Surely that is a killing offense. Did you confuse one plant with another one of similar appearance? The penalty for that is deportation to a bad neighborhood in the Dry Tortugas. I would give this no more thought to this, than to a passing gnat, passing wind. ......a tiny poof in the maelstrom of our HIGHLY FASCINATING lives!
     
  9. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    Woah. For the whole time I've spoken to Steve, even maybe only 6 months, he's only been informative and helpful. As annoying as some of my beginer question probably were, he had no problem or hostility answering them. He's even asked if I wanted some plants to take off his hands for a small price - the sign of a great gardener. I remember Steve posting something a few weeks ago about how people should not go about being 100% sure about an ID, I definitly agree, but he was just trying to help. Steve is, without a doubt, the most knowledgable person in my book on UBC about aroids.
     
  10. nic

    nic Active Member 10 Years

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    This kind of rudeness is so childish. If she doesn't like Mr. Lucas's posts, she shouldn't read them. I'm sorry he has had to put up with this, when his only "offence" is his enthusiasm for his subject.
     
  11. natureman

    natureman Active Member

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    Couldn't have said it better.
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes: While it is a good idea to wonder what you yourself might have done to bring it on when someone first gets on your case it doesn't automatically follow that the offended party does in fact have a case. And when they become the offensive party themselves it is time to let them shout by themselves.
     
  13. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    When I posted this it was simply my intent in to honestly apologize to any who find my answers and or questions offensive. I study botany simply because I am curious and enjoy attempting to share what I learn. I became interested in Aroid botany only about 10 years ago and as a result it has become the focus of my plant collecting passion. I suppose wanting to share what you learn is just a part of the nature of a professional writer. But your responses are most appreciated and encouraging.

    Still, obviously at least the writer of the original note and those with whom she says she is sharing email about me were offended by something I said. And for that, I still freely apologize.

    And Ron, especially to you. I know we don't always see eye to eye on our approaches to answering questions. But I find your answers extremely interesting, especially in subject matter I have zero knowledge. As for Lorax not always agreeing with me, that is how I learn. I make subtle changes to my webpages almost every single day. And many of those changes are a result of something I read on UBC. More than once I have included information Beth (Lorax) has provided.

    Thanks for you kind words.


    Thanks!
     
  14. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes photopro, I don't think any apology is necessary on your part. All questions and discussion of plants and plant related topics are welcome on the UBCBG Forums and scientific queries and discussion (supported by peer reviewed research) are most encouraged. The website is based in an educational institution.

    Posts containing personal insults like those in the quoted text (or even just that much excessive punctuation) are likely to be removed from these forums. People will always have disagreements, but name calling does nothing to resolve those differences. In my view, comments including insulting language totally taint the one making them. Such comments indicate a lack of confidence in one's own argument.
     
  15. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    well, i agree with everyone else here! there is absolutely NO NEED for you to apologize for your posts.

    you have a passion and you have the ability to indulge it (the wonderful tropical paradise attached to your house) as well as the intelligence to know that you don't know everything there is to know so you do the logical thing by going to those who ARE the experts to double-check yourself before putting any info out here on the forum or on the website that you maintain.

    i wish everyone was as thorough about it as you are, steve!! point of fact, someone here followed info from somewhere (i don't know where) and is at risk of losing the plants they just got because the info on the site was incorrect. that's truly a shame.

    i've learned SO MUCH from your posts here as well as your website. you're an absolute font of knowledge about aroids! as i said on that other thread, you are as close to being an expert as can be without having the degree.

    your enthusiasm and knowledge has gotten me interested in these plants. i really love the way you explain things...so easy for the layman to understand!

    please ignore the idiot that sent you that nasty email. and, please, PLEASE continue sharing your knowledge and passion about aroids with us!!!

    i want to learn more!!
     
  16. et2007

    et2007 Active Member

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    No offended here and everyone here said it all.
     
  17. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    The only one I'm offended by is people like that! These types are on EVERY forum it seems, plant, or other. They love pointing a finger and calling out people they disagree with, although they are most likely the only one on the bandwagon!
     
  18. Creeping Jenny

    Creeping Jenny Active Member

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    Some people are so rude! I wouldn't take a second thought about that silly email. You are great, some people just need to grow up!
     
  19. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I may have a possible cause for the original email I received as a result of a private mail I received yesterday afternoon. The sender at least claims to know the sender of that mail. If that is factual, I have no way of knowing.

    As I suspected, and from the note, it appears I greatly offended one of her friends and as a result she was defending the friend by saying I am an idiot in hopes I would cease to post anything. I am going to attempt to explain the course of events, all of which I recall, but do so as to not make it overly easy to track down the sources. It is not my desire to inflame this again. I am deliberately leaving out some things pointed out in hopes the trail is not too evident.

    Some time ago on a forum an individual posted a note saying a rare and beautiful Anthurium should be grown in water. That immediately caught my attention because I knew I had never read of any aquatic Anthurium species. I sent a note to Dr. Tom Croat at the Missouri Botanical Garden and asked if Anthurium species could be grown aquatically and he responded quite emphatically that there was no such thing as an aquatic Anthurium species. To do so would eventually kill the plant. So, rather than leave that information as it was, I responded. I simply did not want people trying to put their Anthurium species in water and kill them. I believe I actually quoted Dr. Croat although this morning I did not go back and check.

    That information made the original poster quite angry since they had been advised by the seller of the plant to grow it in water. I was told in a post the individual who actually germinated the seeds had been growing them in water from seed. That amazed me, but as it would happen that exact grower had called me a few weeks earlier to discuss the same exact Anthurium species. During that phone call I had asked about the claim on the sellers website, which has since been removed, this species could and should be grown in water. His explanation was quite simple, but immediately cleared up the misunderstanding.

    This grower was using sphagnum moss "wicks" with a single seed placed inside. The wick was in a pot with a hole in the bottom sitting in a tray of very shallow water. The moss simply wicked the water up so the seed could germinate and grow. He never said to grow the species in water. The seller had simply misunderstood and as a result a lot of people were given bad information. But the affect from my post to the individual who had offered that advice was to only make them angry and also make them feel I was attempting to establish myself an an Anthurium expert. My only attempt was to not have a lot of people loose a beautiful and often expensive plant!

    In another question asked by a different reader the person asking the question asked about A. titanum. Well, that could be Amorphophallus titanum, the enormous plant that stinks, or possibly Anthurium titanium with an "i". The tone of the question made me believe it was the former since they were asking about dormancy. Anthurium do not go dormant. I responded with a quote from a botanist in Sinpagore which said the species does in fact go dormant. But the friend responded thinking the questions was about Anthurium titanium which does not go dormant. The friend simply did not completely grasp the question and figure out the species being asked about and the cause was the original use of simply "A. titanum" which could lead anyone to either species. That too caused a conflict, especially when I corrected the spelling on Anthurium titanium by indicating it needed the 'i". I was pointedly told not to correct any spelling. Regrettably, the spellings of the two species are slightly different as well as the genera being different. An easy point to miss. My correction was never meant to embarrass, only to make it clear to the readers what was being asked and answered.

    And in a third case, last summer when the Indonesians were constantly paying high prices for every birds nest Anthurium they could find there was a plant being sold with one species name that was likely actually a different species. An email was forwarded to me which originated with Dr. Tom Croat. Dr. Croat is America's top aroid expert. In his note Tom explained he felt the plant being sold by one name was actually a very different species due to the color of a newly emerging leaf blade and the shape of the leaf. In his explanation, and in further conversations as recently as this past week, he and Joep Moonen in French Guiana indicated the species being sought by name did not produce the colored leaf while the second species does. That explanation also apparently made the "friend" angry. Several posts were made accusing me of showboating while all I was hoping to do was make people reading the thread aware of the differences in species.

    And there were apparently other points which made the friend angry but I am not using those since they would be too easy to track.

    Regardless, it appears without even trying, I did in fact offend the "friend". Apparently quite deeply. So the writer of the note to me posted in the first post was intending to try to knock me down a few steps by saying my contributors were talking about me behind my back. The end goal was apparently to frustrate me into totally stop posting anything.

    I assure you, it will make me consider how I respond to threads in the future. Especially if I detect anger in any response.

    If this writer is correct, those are at least in part some of what caused this response. That and the fact I had just posted a thread about our new epiphyte tree which we constructed in our ExoticRainforest atrium. The friend has a beautiful aroid and tropical garden and once had a website which showed pictures of that garden. I checked today and the website no longer appears to be on the net. Apparently, at least from the note, my attempt to beautify my own atrium for my own research purposes did not sit well.

    Again, I apologize. I only attempt to offer accurate information, especially about aroids. If my explanations read as though I think I am an expert, please understand, I am only student of aroid botany. I just enjoy learning and sharing. I don't enjoy offending. And I have never considered myself an expert!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  20. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    I remember all the instances well, I even commented on a few of them and copped the same reaponse. It appears to me, and this is only my personal opinion, that that person took it the wrong way, as you stated above, and proceeded to attack you, and anyone who agreed with you.
    As I stated earlier, text is so unemotional...

    Ed
     
  21. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    steve, seriously, now! you have absolutely NO NEED to be apologizing!! it's not your fault that someone mistook any (or even all) of what you've posted...in any thread or all of them, collectively.

    you write in a manner that makes your thoughts extremely clear. if someone takes something incorrectly - either from their own obstinance and/or over-inflated ego or because they just didn't take the time to read things thoroughly - it's completely on them. if they're not adult enough to conceded they made a mistake, that, also, is on them.

    you've done nothing wrong. in all the years i've been reading your posts here as well as what i've read on your website (found long before i found ubc) i've never been offended by anything that you've written.

    you do the research before posting and clearly supply those research references (iow, you post accurate info). further, you explain things in a manner that's easily understood by the majority of people.

    anyone who has a problem with any of that has some serious issues that they need to deal with. and that's not something you need to concern yourself with!

    you've done nothing wrong by being accurate about what you post. there's also nothing wrong with clarifying something like what you describe about the a. titanum
    reference which actually was closer to a. titanium when described.

    i, too, would have made a post to clarify exactly which species was being discussed...since they are two such disparate species, it definitely needed to be clarified! and i know you, i know you put the info out in a way that was non-offensive!! if the other person was upset, sheesh! it's on them!! and for what? one letter missing?! my goodness!! ANYONE can make a mistake like that...i'd have been thankful someone corrected me! the friend jumping to defend...commendable action to be so supportive of your friend...more than a bit overboard though (and quite uncalled for since that person could have contacted you if they were truly all that upset about the correction! and they didn't, did they? musta realized they'd messed up and didn't have the decency to admit it!)

    anyhoo. 'nuf said, now!! go out to your personal paradise and relax and listen to the frogs for a bit!! wish i could join ya!
     
  22. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I wonder if the "friend " might not have English as a first language. If they do then anger management might be in order. If they don't then they need to read replies carefully to make sure there is not need to flame.

    Liz
     
  23. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    good point, liz!! if english is not the first language and the first language is something where the structure of the sentence is reversed, then confusion in translating CAN result...i've seen that happen many times on my game forums (which also has numerous countries/languages represented even though the forums are in english).
     
  24. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    Steve. Ditto to all of the above. People from around the world who are still in the early stages of learning about aroids and those with knowledge enough to debate issues do not see any need for you to apologise. Unfortunately abusive mail is one of the downsides of the net as it is all too easy sent. I cannot comment on the aroid issue as my knowledge on the subject is very sketchy. I would like to comment on your input into this site though as I really appreciate your well written and thoughtful posts. You give credit when quoting other researchers and have stressed on numerous occasions that you do not consider yourself an expert. Please do not take this rude person's comments to heart.
    Margaret
     
  25. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    My sincere thanks to all of you! I never intended this to become anything but an apology if I offended any of you. But you all have reinforced exactly what I always hope to do. I just want to learn and to share. Now, for the sake of much better subjects, I'd very much like to ask the moderators to close this thread. Enough said!

    Steve
     
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