Duncan K. Foley (dkf2@columbia.edu)
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 09:55:47 -0700 (PDT)

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I thought Michael Williams' comments on using OPE-L conversations in papers
were on the mark. I doubt that we can count on any permission system
working for long.

In my mind the dilemma is the following: scholarly debate sometimes gets
rough. People challenge other people to defend precise formulations of
ideas to the last dotted i and crossed t.When I participate in OPE-L
discussions, I'm often doing it off the top of my head, late at night, and
with an incomplete sense of exactly what the other person is getting at.
That's fine for the coffeehouse, but not so fine for the academic journal.
I suspect that a lot of people are not willing to participate in OPE-L-type
discussions at all precisely because they feel they can't keep careful
control over the opinions that might be attributed to them.

I'd prefer a kind of "Bourbaki" arrangement, where OPE-L can be quoted, but
not the individual contributors of individual posts (though the
participants in an exchange ought to be identified.)


Duncan K. Foley
Department of Economics
Barnard College
New York, NY 10027
fax: (212)-854-8947
e-mail: dkf2@columbia.edu