> Two of our recent encounters on mushroomobserver have been unpleasant. On
> the first occasion back in May you approached me as if you were an
> authority when objecting to my use of the name “yellow morel”.
> I knew the name would be controversial, and I was expecting objections,
> but the way you objected was really annoying. You talked down to me as if
> you were my superior telling me how it is. I’m 38 years old. I wrote
> my master’s thesis on the species problem, and I teach logic and
> ethics at Ohio University. I’m also a military veteran with service
> in two wars, and I’ve been hunting and photographing mushrooms since
> 1998. I’ve earned the respect that I demand. I’m not asking
> that you look up to me, but I do not tolerate anybody talking down to me.
> The second unpleasant encounter was a few days ago when you offered your
> critique of my photography. The criticism was annoying not only because it
> was unsolicited and condescending, but also because it was totally off the
> mark. Your suggestions demonstrated a total lack of understanding about
> the scientific goals of the observation and the photographic challenges
> presented by that tiny black mushroom. I would have happily answered a
> request for more detail, but instead you spoke down to me as if you were
> some kind of authority. I was posting beautiful mushroom photos years
> before you rolled up on mushroomobserver with your early crappy snap
> shots. If you compare your portfolio to mine you will see that you are not
> in a position to instruct me on photographic technique. On this occasion I
> got angry and responded poorly – for that I apologize.
> You spend a lot of time on mushroomobserver myxomop, and I appreciate it
> when you put a name on one of my observations. However, I do not
> appreciate the disrespect and the drama. There are plenty of places on the
> internet where can go to engage in drama. Please keep it off
> mushroomobserver, or at least keep it out of my observations.
> I hope my point here is clear, and I hope that we can have more civil
> interactions in the future.
> Dan Molter
> Dear Dan,
> Thank you for your embarrassing letter. I will take your mediocre
> lifetime achievements and middle-age into greater consideration when
> entering into future debates or trying to kindly and conscientiously offer
> up constructive criticisms. Of course, if your arguments stood on their
> merits and their merits alone, perhaps you wouldn't feel the need to
> remind us of the sublime gift to the world that is The Dan Molter to
> bolster them.
> I have no regrets about how I've carried myself in your company. I have
> consistently dealt with the content of the debate, not the character of
> the debater, free from patronization and condescension, not once having
> been afforded the same courtesy from you.
> Had you come to me truly as an adult, not smuggling schoolyard put-downs
> and smug self-promotion into a letter of supposed reconciliation between
> feuding parties, I might be ever-so-slightly more inclined to entertain
> your requests for self-censorship, but I don't find myself in the habit
> rewarding arrogance, especially arrogance masquerading as congeniality.
> Shots fired across a bow with tongue-in-cheek pleasantries and apologies
> etched into the casings draw no less blood, but I thank you for the empty
> sentiment all the same. It does not go unnoticed.
> The truth is, Danny, you would like nothing more than to be looked up to.
> The fact that I have offered commentary which runs contrary to your
> personal opinion, stood my ground without compromising the argument to
> cater to your ego, and then been chastised for essentially neglecting to
> salute you when I entered the room, makes this unflatteringly clear. This
> is a personality campaign you've pursued against more users than one, and
> we all find it unprofessional and, as previously mentioned, embarrassing.
> As a side note, a minute's worth of homework might have caused you to
> notice that there are no less than three other photographers credited in
> the copyrights of images used in my observations. Consequently, images
> from Bolivian observations from 2006, 2007 and much of 2008 are not my
> own. I've offered up apologies for the worst of them on several
> occasions. A poorly documented record being better than no record, they
> live on in the background, unlikely to ever be confidently identified to
> I also couldn't help but notice that after destroying the original
> observation in question, then creating a new one, there appeared a new
> image adhering to the very principles outlined in my recommendations,
> exposing for the shadows and showing much-needed, diagnostic detail. I
> heartily commend you on taking this genuine step toward overcoming your
> objection to outside input and sincerely hope it will be a continuing
> Yours truly,