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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  February 2007

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE February 2007

Subject:

Re: The 9/11 conspiracy virus

From:

Larry Romsted <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 19 Feb 2007 12:48:56 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (251 lines)

Eric:

Not sure what you are responding to in what I wrote.

I was writing about the upcoming possibility of having a discussion online
by the "two sides". I do not remember the words Campbell and Cohen used,
but they could have been name calling as well. Not helpful. I was hoping
that type of thing could be tamped down a bit in a online discussion/debate.

I will let Cohen and Campbell speak about their science backgrounds and
their views on leftist scientists.

I still distrust the science establishment, although I would probably be
labeled a member. Not sure what to do about that.

Larry







On 2/19/07 12:16 PM, "Eric Entemann" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I have to assume that Cohen and Campbell have little science background,
> given some of their remarks. What is most disturbing is their lack of
> respect, not for scientists in general, but leftist scientists. After all,
> Science for the People was all about the justifiable distrust that leftist
> scientists had toward the science establishment.
>
> And, if memory serves, it was Campbell that started the name-calling, not
> that that justifies others doing the same.
>
> ----Original Message Follows----
> From: Larry Romsted <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: The 9/11 conspiracy virus
> Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 11:27:01 -0500
>
> Michael:
>
> The last sentence is a bunch of pejorative labels, not analysis of anything.
> They can be used by anyone from any political position attacking another
> (except maybe infantile leftism). You wrote:
>
> ³But do I think their HIV denialism is a sign of clueless, knee-jerk,
> stereotypical, infantile leftism on their part? Yes I do. That is a
> political statement, or a political attack if you like.²
>
> As you wrote, they are feelings; to me feelings expressed as pejorative
> labels. They are not political analysis or evidence. If you feel that way,
> then what is the point of discussion?
>
> If I was in a discussion/debate with you and you made one or more of those
> statements about me, I would know that all discussion was over.
>
> Personally, I recommend that you not participate in any such online
> discussion/debate.
>
> Me, I am not so concerned about the number of posts.
>
> Larry
>
>
>
>
>
> On 2/19/07 5:14 AM, "Michael Balter" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Larry, since this is my second and last post of the day, I will use it to
>> respond briefly to yours.
>>
>> I am not asking to reserve my right to make personal attacks on people,
> but to
>> engage in sharp political responses to folks such as Cohen and Campbell.
> This
>> may be interpreted by some as personal attacks, but I don't think they
> are.
>> For example, I would like to be able to argue not just the detailed
> points
>> about 9/11 conspiracies and HIV and HPV denial, which we have seen plenty
> of
>> recently on this list, but about the broader issues that concern me most:
> The
>> damage that this kind of flaky nonsense does to the left, its
> credibility, and
>> its ability to be persuasive to others. This might even extend to doing
>> something you probably would not appreciate, which would be to criticize
> WBAI
>> and other Pacifica stations that spend a lot of air time on this kind of
>> nonsense (especially 9/11) and thus limit their audiences to a fairly
> small
>> number of true believers in many cases (the audience for these stations
> has
>> not grown, and I think the wrong side won in the Pacifica wars. That is
> not
>> going to be popular with some people here, such as yourself, and it may
> be
>> taken as a personal attack, but it's not.)
>>
>> So while requests to keep the number of posts down seem reasonable to me,
>> attempts to censor, inhibit, restrict, or otherwise limit political
> expression
>> seem unhealthy and unwise. I never said that Mitchel Cohen or Jonathan
>> Campbell were ugly or stupid or had bad breath, because I have never met
> them.
>> Those would be personal attacks. But do I think their HIV denialism is a
> sign
>> of clueless, knee-jerk, stereotypical, infantile leftism on their part?
> Yes I
>> do. That is a political statement, or a political attack if you like.
>> Perfectly legitimate.
>>
>> best, Michael
>>
>> On 2/19/07, Larry Romsted <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Michael:
>>>
>>> I doubt that the two sides in this potential debate will convince each
>>> other‹at least immediately. The people you want to reach are those of
> us who
>>> are just reading (the email equivalent of listening quietly because we
> may do
>>> not know much).
>>>
>>> So, if you want to reach me, for example, appeals to authority will not
> help
>>> because I will probably not know who they are. Likewise, personal
> attacks
>>> will not help because I will not get the reasons for the personal
> attack. In
>>> that sense a personal attack is like raising your voice in an argument
> to try
>>> to convince the other person when they are not convinced by your more
>>> measured presentation.
>>>
>>> However, I will understand discussion about a critique of the basic
>>> assumptions behind the referenced paper, especially if I have time to
> read
>>> it. A critique of basic assumptions gets at the politics. Politics may
> be
>>> in part about polemics, but I will not be convince by polemics that are
>>> without substance. It is, again, like raising your voice.
>>>
>>> I also know that sometimes words I write that I think are descriptive
> others
>>> feel are personal attacks. Tough to express feelings in a written
> messages
>>> to a diverse audience.
>>>
>>> Do not know if I am typical of the readers of this list, but that is my
>>> perspective.
>>>
>>> I have participated in fierce email exchanges and I know how useless
> they are
>>> because the rest of the list appears to be using their delete keys. (If
> they
>>> do not participate, one is never quite sure.)
>>>
>>> Larry Romsted
>>>
>>>
>>> On 2/19/07 12:36 AM, "Michael Balter" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> "that all comments regarding this particular discussion (the so-called
>>>> "anti-science left") be restricted to valid critiques of the articles
>>>> (scientific analysis) rather than broad-based attacks on the authors or
>>>> their supporters."
>>>>
>>>> For the reasons I outlined in my post yesterday, I think that this
>>>> particular restriction would basically take the politics out of
> political
>>>> discussions of science. In the example of 9/11 conspiracy theories, it
> would
>>>> require posters to disprove the theory point by point and could
> disallow
>>>> comment on the politics and psychology behind these theories; same with
> HIV
>>>> denialism. Politics is about polemics and analysis, and sometimes
> broader
>>>> interpretations--some would call them attacks--are necessary.
>>>>
>>>> Michael
>>>>
>>>> On 2/19/07, Jonathan Campbell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>> George,
>>>>>
>>>>> I didn't pay enough attention to that aspect of Jose's proposal;
> I
>>>>> interpreted it as the people who comment would be doing so with the
> intent
>>>>> of critique of the article rather than the person who wrote it. That
> is,
>>>>> comments like "xxx is a known quack" would be disallowed as part of
> the
>>>>> discussion because it does not relate to the article at hand. But now
> that
>>>>> I look at the wording more carefully I agree with you, and I would
> propose,
>>>>> in substitution, that all comments regarding this particular
> discussion
>>>>> (the so-called "anti-science left") be restricted to valid critiques
> of the
>>>>> articles (scientific analysis) rather than broad-based attacks on the
>>>>> authors or their supporters.
>>>>>
>>>>> Kind Regards
>>>>> Jonathan
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>>
>>>>>> From: George Salzman <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2007 9:01 PM
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Subject: Re: The 9/11 conspiracy virus
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Hi José,
>>>>>> I realize you proposed some rules in an attempt to resolve
>>>>>> disagreements. A priori not a bad idea, if the rules are not rigid.
> One
>>>>>> of the things you wrote is: " I say that we agree up front that the
>>>>>> people who choose to participate speak for the whole list. Anyone
> who
>>>>>> disagrees, say so up front. No second guessers."
>>>>>> To me that's unacceptable. Only I can speak for myself. And
> whether
>>>>>> or not others on the listserv answer you is irrelevant, because no
> mature
>>>>>> person can willingly surrender the right to speak for him/herself.
>>>>>> Sincerely,
>>>>>> George
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
> _________________________________________________________________
> Find a local pizza place, movie theater, and more….then map the best route!
> http://maps.live.com/?icid=hmtag1&FORM=MGAC01

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