I think I commented three times on the original thread, and never really insulted anyone, and so I hope Michael will give me an extra inch here to summarize what I was thinking about this morning while I was walking the dog. The essential problem with Mark's post was that he created a line of reasoning which not only was demonstrably flawed, and that either intentionally or unintentionally insulted a lot of readers along the way, but that it led to an unpalatable, unreasonable and simply wrong conclusion: and he got there when he shifted from an objective assessment of MF qualities to a subjective assessment, and pronounced MF "the best." It is demonstrably the best by certain technical parameters -- but if you're trailing behind a Marine combat platoon in Afghanistan (to take an extreme example) would you really want to carry your IQ180, a tripod, a lightmeter, a five-pound ball head, etc.? Of course not, not unless you were also suicidal. For that kind of photography, MF is not the best.
The same thing holds in less extreme conditions. Not to put too fine a point on it, I can afford any kind of photographic equipment I want. I shoot M4/3, for my own good reasons. And they are good reasons. In my kind of shooting, MF is totally inappropriate.
If Mark had simply said, MF images can provide the most detailed large prints available from commercial photo equipment, I doubt that there would have been any comment at all, or perhaps a little controversy about how large you could push other formats, or how important difference between MF and m4/3 are when viewed on a monitor.
Again, the problem is in the shift between technical analysis and value assessment. I don't doubt for a moment that Mark is a very smart guy and a good photographer, but he has to be more careful about making that shift. Much of his post, and the subsequent thread, was a waste of time, but then, a lot of it was pretty interesting, too. I am actually quite interested in the concept of hyper-realism, and despite a certain amount of flak about Mark's use of the term, I understand what he's getting at and find it interesting.
Finally, I'd like to add that Carl Weese, who is basically a large and ultra-large format photographer, recently shot some m4/3 landscapes just to see how far he could push the format, and his subsequent article, on The Online Photographer, addresses many of the issues that Mark touched on, and does so in quite a congenial and interesting way, here:http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2012/01/raised-expectations.html