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Re: [XTalk] Re recent Damato email concerning Jeffery Gibson and X-talk.

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  • Larry Swain
    Very well said! ... -- _______________________________________________ Surf the Web in a faster, safer and easier way: Download Opera 8 at http://www.opera.com
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 12, 2005
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      Very well said!



      >
      > Dear All,
      >
      > I am a moderator on X-talk and have been for a number of years. In view of
      > the recent posting by Prof. Anthony Damata impugning X-talk and Jeffery I
      > think it my duty to register a strong protest. If you feel this doesn't
      > concern you, please feel free to delete.
      >
      > The issue here, contra the good prof, is not a love of free discourse,
      > independence of thought, nor honest posting, all of which are characteristic
      > of X-talk. It does concern, as Prof Damato notes, a basic academic
      > sensibility, which on this list entails the requirement that contributors
      > meet some basic scholarly standards, including some understanding of the
      > subject matter. The aim is to prevent X-talk from descending into a circus
      > of ill-informed and free-for-all speculation; if one wants this kind of
      > thing there are lots of such sites available. I should expect this is also
      > Anthony's view when it comes to an informed discussion of points of law.
      >
      > Unfortunately Prof Damato has failed to adhere to our and presumably his own
      > standards. E.g., for those of you who have been following the thread, his
      > pronouncement that "he who saves his life will lose it" is "pure lunacy"
      > betrays both a lamentably impoverished understanding of the Jewish world in
      > which Jesus lived and an intemperateness unbecoming to genuine scholarship,
      > and hence X-talk. It is customary to seek to understand a culture before
      > leaping to a judgment. His later response to Jeffrey's essay is no
      > different. If Prof Damato would not tolerate this kind of thing in
      > professional discussions in his own field, then I should have expected him
      > to have understood that the same standards would apply to postings on
      > X-talk.
      >
      > Even more unhelpfully, he does this in an argumentative manner. Surely
      > someone of his education must know that the wise approach when speaking
      > outside one's field is to ask lots of questions and to at least show a
      > little humility and tentativeness when making assertions. If I know my own
      > field is complex then why should I think others' fields are any less so? To
      > come into a branch of study about which one obviously understands so little
      > and yet to make such bold assertions betrays, to put it mildly, a
      > particularly well-developed self-importance which has no place on this list.
      >
      > His charges that Jeffery does not allow posts that contradict his own views
      > and that Jeffery is engaged in tyrannical behavior are utterly untrue, as a
      > quick perusal of the X-talk files will demonstrate and which files the
      > learned prof has clearly not consulted, and I take considerable exception to
      > them. While Jeffery might have stopped a couple of the good Prof's posts ‹
      > as is customary when an individual continues to flout list protocols ‹ since
      > when does that specific translate into a general? Once again we have an
      > example of a leap to judgment, which I suspect is not altogether unrelated
      > to that afore mentioned healthy self-importance. After that I am very sorry
      > to say Prof Damato descends into argumentative supposition regarding
      > Jeffery's motives and personal attack neither of which either flatter the
      > professor or strengthen his credibility.
      >
      > So no, this is not tyranny or anything like it. It is simply the recognition
      > that the good prof, regardless of his facility in Law and our shared
      > appreciation of independence of thought, all too often simply does not know
      > what he is talking about, yet proceeds to offer opinions with a confidence
      > to which he can only pretend, and is remarkably resistant to correction.
      > Fortunately, the vast majority of posters to X-talk happily play by the
      > rules and have found Jeffery's "game" both stimulating and enlightening, and
      > thereby give the lie to what can only be characterized as a particularly
      > misleading and self-serving post.
      >
      > Sincerely
      > Dr. R. Watts (PhD, Cambridge).
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >


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