Business

Dear Mr. Schultz, While I have expressed my doubts about the wisdom of encouraging any potentially controversial conversations while in the time-sensitive position of serving customers, I appreciate that your heart is in the right place. People across the country already engage in conversations about life's many challenges and controversies as they develop relationships with baristas, clerks, barbers and mechanics across multiple interactions as those interactions lead to a greater feeling of familiarity and friendship. Sometimes it leads to greater understanding and/or tolerance of different points of view. Sometimes it leads to lawsuits (ask the owner of Arlene's flowers), but I for one appreciate the role the free market has in bringing people together in a diverse society and...
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Dear Super-gassed up entrepreneur that has millions in the bank, Forgive my naivete when it comes to starting a startup, for I am a fledgling entrepreneur learning to fly. But I challenge you to DO BETTER. Your past success is a golden ticket to Silicon Valley capital -- capital that the likes of us first time CEOs can only dream of. Please use this power more wisely. Please execute on an idea that provides value. The writings of Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Vinod Khosla and countless other gurus of the startup world highlight that the best ideas Pay attention to users and solve their pain points So how is it that you are able to get capital even though you aren't doing this? With your next startup product, please solve a real problem in the world. Do we really need...
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Dear Mr. Campbell, On August 31, Vedomosti, one of Russia's leading newspapers, published an article referring to a special study by IDC entitled "Total cost of ownership of IT infrastructure in Russian schools", which had been ordered by Moscow municipal center of information technology and educational equipment (http://www.vedomosti.ru/newspaper/article/244690/idc_sela_za_partu). The article targets the comparison of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of free and non-free software in schools. The conclusions set forward in such a study are of major significance in Russia now, as by the end of the year 2010, all of the 55,000 secondary schools in the country must decide whether to migrate to free software or to purchase Microsoft products and other proprietary software instead....
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Dear Jim at the Oregon Department of Revenue, When I filed my taxes in February last year I just assumed that I would be receiving my refund. When I got a letter that I needed to prove the identity of my five dependent children, I forked over the hundred bucks for birth certificates, without calling you a fucktard like I wanted to because I understood audits happen and am glad to be a citizen of this fine state. When I got the notice that the birth certificates weren’t enough and that our dependents wouldn’t be considered exemptions and we now had a large tax bill, I didn’t send back an envelope full of dog shit because this sort of mix up does happen. I wrote to request an appeal and waited. And waited. And waited. This January you called and assured me it was all a paperwork...
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Dear Job Market, I don’t want to be a designer, a marketer, an illustrator, a brander, a social media consultant, a multi-platform guru, an interface wizard, a writer of copy, a technological assistant, a personal assistant, most any kind of assistant, a data calculator, an aesthetic king, a profit-maximizer, a bottom-line analyzer, a meme generator, a hit tracker, a re-poster, a sponsored blogger, a starred commentator, an online retailer, a viral relayer, a handle, a font or a page. I don’t want to be linked-in, tuned-in, “liked,” incorporated, listed, or programmed. I don’t want to be a brand, a representative, or an ambassador. I don’t want to be your special candidate, your human resource, or a coin in your bank of human capital. I don’t want to be an entrepreneur of myself....
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Dear Targeted Online Advertisers, I hesitate to write this, because honestly, much of what you do for me is still spot-on. Sometimes, when I go to read my ‘recommended’ articles on the Washington Post online and I see a sidebar ad showing the exact model and color Mazda CX-5 I have been salivating over during the last several months, I feel so unconditionally loved and understood that it brings tears to my eyes. In those moments, it still seems as though you know me better than I know myself.

 But lately I’ve noticed a growing disconnect between the types of purchases I’m interested in making, and the ads you’ve been showing me based on the sites I visit, and the key-words you’ve pulled from the text of my personal emails. In short, despite the ample evidence I give you every day...
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Dear Craigslist Sellers of Sofas, Please learn to rotate your photos so they’re right side up. I shouldn’t have to visit the chiropractor after looking at your delightful purple sofa. I would also appreciate it if you could stand back a few feet when you photograph your couch so that I can see more than a part of one arm or a one-foot-wide section of the back. You’re not Annie Leibovitz, I presume (because why would she be in Binghamton trying to sell a sofa?), so a single photo that consists of an artistic close-up of your late grandmother’s “vintage Victorian” couch doesn’t do me any good. If you live in a home that is approximately the width of a tractor-trailer, standing diagonally across and back from the sofa to take the photo might work. When you don’t include a full-sized...
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Dear Mr. Assange, Reporters Without Borders, an international press freedom organisation, regrets the incredible irresponsibility you showed when posting your article “Afghan War Diary 2004 - 2010” on the Wikileaks website on 25 July together with 92,000 leaked documents disclosing the names of Afghans who have provided information to the international military coalition that has been in Afghanistan since 2001. Wikileaks has in the past played a useful role by making information available to the US and international public that exposed serious violations of human rights and civil liberties which the Bush administration committed in the name of its war against terror. Last April’s publication of a video of the killing of two employees of the Reuters news agency and other civilians by...
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Dear Joe: Like you, I came to my position in Washington from the cloisters of a tenured position at a top-ranking American University. Like you, I came because I care. Unlike you, I am humbled by the World Bank and IMF staff I meet each day. I meet people who are deeply committed to bringing growth to the developing world and to alleviating poverty. I meet superb professionals who regularly work 80-hour weeks, who endure long separations from their families. Fund staff have been shot at in Bosnia, slaved for weeks without heat in the brutal Tajikistan winter, and have contracted deadly tropical diseases in Africa. These people are bright, energetic, and imaginative. Their dedication humbles me, but in your speeches, in your book, you feel free to carelessly slander them.2 Joe, you...
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Dear Sirs and Mesdames: Over the last several months, our company has been caught up in litigation between your unions and the federal government related to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. There are strongly held views on all sides, and the matter has received a great deal of media attention. But the dispute has not created a single job and it is causing considerable strain on our proposed Murray River Project. On the strength of government approvals, we have spent millions of dollars and hired or contracted many from the Tumbler Ridge community and have made a real contribution to the local economy. While the federal government is doing a policy review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, we do not believe the goal posts should be changed or that our plans should be...
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