Re: Flames and personal attacks

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Tue May 18 2004 - 13:05:53 EDT

>I would like to add my voice to the growing consensus.

Well, first, David Laibman, this is obnoxious. I hope you can see
this.  Do you know what consensus means? I am obviously not
agreement. So I don't count?

There are 80 plus people on this list; so far more people have not
spoken up in favor of Levy's tenth year of moderation than left
because of it. So how you derive a "growing consensus" from what has
happened is beyond me. Moreover, Simon Mohun did not speak against
rotation. Only Michael Lebowitz, David Yaffe and Michael Williams
have. Moreover, none has reiterated his point in face of my
criticisms. So they don't seem too strongly attached to what you are
calling the growing consensus.  You want to join that group such that
it is. That's fine. Again it does not make for more people than have
already left the group. There are certainly some people who think
it's a good idea to rotate but are not saying so because they don't
want that preference to be understood as a criticism of Levy per se.

We should follow Ian's suggestion. Give people say two weeks to cast
a vote for rotation or not. This way you don't have to divine the
will of 80 plus people on the basis of what four or five people have
said.  Then if people are in favor we will cast votes for different
methods of rotation. If no method can be agreed on, then we stay at
the status quo.

>  Jerry has done a fine job running the list, and deserves our gratitude.

Isn't nine years of moderation enough gratitude?

>   Of course, the current list members are a self-selected group,


>  and likely to feel this way; but the implication that everyone who
>left the list did so because of anything Jerry did is gratuitous.

this is simply a bizarre statement. Who has ever implied that
everyone who left did so because of anything Jerry said?

>   I left for a while, simply because I didn't have the time to participate.

OK. I guess that's interesting.

>   Any list member will most likely differ with one or another
>decision, and anyone can make mistakes.

So are you admitting that Jerry made mistakes in (a) not admitting a
person whose work was the center of OPE-L attention in a time of
global crisis (the person was only and immediately admitted after it
became possible to  appeal directly to the newly constituted advisory
committee, i.e. someone other than Levy), (b) in threatening to
silence me for replying to insidious insinuations against me, (c) in
lying about whether he had threatened to cut me off, and (d) in
several times putting the focus on insubstantive criticisms of Kliman
and TSS rather than substantive, albeit in my opinion unpersuasive,
ones such as your own efforts (in particular the different rates of
growth you set for inputs and outputs are given no justification, and
seem totally arbitrary, and your contrived example does not speak
against the basic point that there are in fact different ways of
calculating which can yield very different results). So there is some
substance, and if you want to stick this point henceforth, I would be
happy to do so.

And I am sure that you aren't in favor of the status quo because that
keeps off this list TSS people who could raise in my opinion very
strong counter-criticism of your work. Work that other reputed
scholars take more seriously and find more convincing than you do

At any rate,  is it really too much to ask that someone actually
reply to what is being said?

>  But the overall effect of Jerry's work over the years has been to
>make OPE a valuable and serious vehicle for discussion of political


>  (I say this even though I have not been able to participate as
>fully as I would like to.)  Personal attacks should not be
>encouraged, and I would be wary of proposals for mechanical rotation
>of AC members or the list coordinator job.

OK so you are for a non mechanical rotation of AC members and the
list coordinator job. Fine I can live with that. By the way, there is
no real AC at the time.


>In solidarity,
>David Laibman

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