[OPE-L] What can I conclude from my wikipedia dispute with Dr Kliman?

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 18:33:51 EDT

(I thought I would post my comment on the wikipedia article on TSSI, in case anyone is interested)

Has the TSSI article improved? Towards solving the dispute
  As the author of the original wiki article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_single-system_interpretation, I have reread the current version and I read through the comments. I agreed with Andrew Kliman that my pilot article wasn't much good yet, and I think it has vastly improved from what it was, including many references. I think it is clearer now what TSSI is about, to wiki readers. For this I am thankful, and I thank all those who contributed much work to making it so. 
  I think I am partly to blame for the sometimes vociferous debate on this talk page, which I now regret, and I hope not to repeat my error. The reason was that when I pioneered the wiki article, I did make some fairly provocative statements about the TSSI school of thought, without proper referencing, which Andrew Kliman evidently felt insulted about. It was like waving a red rag to a bull. At the same time though, I communicated to Dr Kliman explicitly that I was happy for him to improve the article and that I would read his book. And by the very fact of my provocative statements, an intensive effort went into that improvement. I credit myself modestly with initiating an article that did not exist before, even if it wasn't very good, which was subsequently worked upon and improved. In that sense, the bull was caught. 
  I am not entirely convinced that my claim that TSSI supporters reject neo-classical economics wholesale is wrong, because Dr Guglielmo Carchedi, a founder of the TSSI school in Amsterdam, indicated this to me personally, and states the same in his book For another Europe. Dr Kliman provided no arguments against that. Nor am I convinced that my description of TSSI supporters as an "international faction" is entirely wrong, though obviously supporters of this school are entitled to object, if they think the word is badly chosen (not very much hinges on it). 
  But I think there are two remaining issues. Firstly, are the critics of TSSI fairly presented in the article? All that the article requires is that critics are named, and a fair indication is given of the nature of the main criticisms (as possible replies), irrespective of whether they are correct or not. I personally think that there is a real problem here insofar as Kliman frames these criticisms in a certain way, believing they are misguided, which may not fairly represent what the critic's real objections are. The other problem is that when I "pressed Kliman's button" by questioning some ideas close to his heart, he overreacted very badly, and started editorialising the David Laibman article and the Paul Bairoch article, in ways incompatible with wiki norms or good ethics. A controversy is still ongoing about the Marxian economics article. 
  Mixed up in this was a discussion on OPE-L list and a very angry personal communication of mine to Dr Kliman that I wanted to have nothing to do with him, prompted especially by his objectionable edits of the David Laibman article, but also by my knowledge of his modus operandi. Dr Kliman then decided to broadcast my personal communication to the world via wikipedia. This added fuel to the fire. It has been proved that Dr Kliman is highly sensitive to any misrepresentation of his views, but this sensitivity also leads him, as I have said, to overreact and misrepresent/discredit others, in a sort of "war of righteousness" which Kliman then aims to win "by any means necessary". Some of those means are just not helpful. Plus, his academic ostentations can be a "cover" for insisting that his own view is the only permissible one. I personally have described this as Dr Kliman's sectarian "who is not for me, is against me" mode of thinking, which tries to force people to take a position on his interpretation, but he denies the evidence of his sectarianism, and talking about it further is not probably helpful. It is evident however that Dr Kliman has a very aggressive and provocative style of discussion himself. 
  The general purpose of my original article was to describe TSSI without judging whether it was correct or not, and in fact the interpretation is still being debated about; therefore it is an open-ended question. It may be (as I think) that TSSI is correct on some points and not in others. I would invite contributors however to keep firmly in mind the purpose of a wikipedia article: to bring people together in learning, and write good introductory articles on a topic. I do not think this is the place to fight out the debate about whether the TSSI approach is indeed the correct interpretation of Marx, only whether it is fairly represented in the article and that relevant criticisms are fairly represented, conforming to wiki standards. There are other forums for purely academic controversy. 
User:Jurriaan 23:38 14 June 2007 (UTC)

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