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Post 1

Martin Harper

Dear Playboy.

I do not know if you are still reading your home space, or still visiting h2g2 in any form. I would imagine not, and I can sympathise with that. So it goes.

However, I'd like to apologise to you for my behaviour, and this is the only way that stands any chance of contacting you. So it'll have to do.

There are so many things that I wish I had done differently. I wish I had been more positive, and more clear about those parts of the entry which really were brilliant - and there were many such. I wish that when explaining how to deal with controversial entries I had highlighted that many of the very best entries in h2g2 are those that deal with controversial topics - yet manage to be balanced and fair. Indeed, it is entries like those which I often hold up as examples of what h2g2 can produce when everything goes well.

I wish I had posted to your home space BEFORE you left - trying to encourage you and perhaps bolster your spirits. Perhaps you could have withdrawn from that thread in Peer Review, but stayed a happy member of h2g2 - which is so much bigger than the Edited Guide. Or at least convinced you to throw a farewell party before leaving forever.

I wish I had made clearer that if you don't want to be criticised on a certain aspect of your entry - you need only say. "No Spellings" or perhaps "No New Content". Equally, I should have mentioned the other options open to you - to ask for more time - to get a second opinion - to flat out disagree. Instead, I stupidly focused on what the peers could do - which wasn't what you needed answering at all!

I made a large post containing seven major points - and how idiotic to call them major - they were all tiny. Dumb post, made by dumb person, with no redeeming value at all. I wish I had simply not made it - it wasn't helping - it wasn't what you needed to hear. Even if I did make it - I could have managed without the odd words and phrases that, in retrospect, could have been misinterpreted. "if my mind wants to run away"; "you don't appear"; "perfection". And the rest.

I wish many things. My genii, it appears, is not being accomodating.

You've had three Edited entries for the guide - and they are all good. I remember reading the Mars ones - though I can't remember when - and I remember then what a cool entry I thought it was. Yeah well - I've always had a weak spot for space. I don't know anything else about you beside that - I vaguely remember analysing your name once - or maybe that was Magnolia? I don't know what interests you had, on h2g2 and in what we laughingly refer to as Real Life. And yet I helped drive you away - hurt someone whose first name I don't even know.

This has been a sad time for me. I can only imagine how it must have felt like to be in your position - alone, and facing a hostile barrage that sprung up from nowhere. It is far, far too late for this - but I am truly sorry, and I hope that such a thing never happens on h2g2 ever again.

Thank you for hearing me out,

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