[OPE-L:5540] Re: archives

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@classic.msn.com)
Sat, 27 Sep 1997 14:05:54 -0700 (PDT)

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In reply to Paul Zarembka's ope-l 5537.

Well, I'm sorry if I did anything to raise Jerry's blood pressure, though I'm
not sure I did. I was just trying to make sure he noticed the warning. I
think the best thing would be for Jerry to let us know the kind of notices he

Paul: "Are you playing a game? Publish something, cite a 'closed e-mail
discussion list', when that gets criticized, you say, 'ha, ha, I told you all
along the list should be open.'"

I'm hurt that Paul would think I'm so conniving and devious. What was my
grand scheme? Cite in the manner I did back in November or December when I
wrote the paper, in the hope, first, that it would get published, and in the
hope, second, that if it did get published, someone on the list would read it,
and in the hope, third, that this someone would be moved to criticize the
citation, and in the hope, fourth, that this would all occur right in the
midst of a discussion about a partial opening of the ope-l archives. And
what's the big payoff to this master plot? I can say, "ha, ha, I told you all
along the list should be open" (his words, not mine). Please.

Paul: "Nobody has told you you could not ask an individual for permission to
cite an opinion and you don't need to cite the list. For example, if you want
to cite XYZ from Ajit Sinha, you write Ajit Sinha, "may I, in my article to be
published in ABC, cite you as having written on e-mail 'XYZ'"."

Well, I guess I could have tried to do things that way, but what if I hadn't
received permission? Cite "Joe Blow and an individual who wishes to remain
anonymous"? That really wouldn't improve matters any, would it? How does
Ajit know that this mysterious anonymous individual really exists, or that
I've cited his opinion accurately?

Anyway, why should writers on this list be able to slant the public's
perception of the debate by controlling which aspects of the debate get made
public and which do not? (This is a major problem with Jerry's proposal,
IMHO. The control over what gets made public is a key device that government
officials use to manipulate the press, and therefore we, the public: you get
access if but only if you play by our rules.)

I don't see that citing a name without citing the list is really any better
than the opposite, citing "a closed e-mail discussion list" without citing
names, which is what I've done. In one case, you get a name, and it may or
may not mean something to you. You may or may not know how to contact the
individual in question. In the other case, you get more of a feel for the
context in which things have been said.

There seems to be more concern for writers' privacy here, in the whole
secrecy/permission thing, than there is for the public's right to know. I
think the latter is the real value of citation. What would the public really
have gained had I gotten permission to say that so-and-so said this or that?
The public would gain a lot more by being able to read what the arguments are
and how they transpired, and especially by being privy to the debate because
it would take place in the open.

Instead of having an open debate, such as occurred in the value theory debate
of about 20 years ago, the new one has taken place mostly behind closed doors,
and even getting that debate has taken a lot of pushing. The fact that the
"proofs" of the "internal inconsistency" of Marx's value theory have been
refuted has been and continues to be suppressed in many ways. This is the
real tragedy and the rectifying it by correcting the historical record is the
real thing we should be discussing, IMHO.

Isn't that more important than the mere *form* of my citation? I note that no
one has actually dared to challenge the accuracy of its content.

Andrew Kliman