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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
 >>>>>
 >>>>>
 >>>
 >>>
 >>
 >
 >

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