Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vanity. . . Definitely My Favorite Sin

While there's still no trackback on the Citizendium Blog for my previous XODP Blog post entitled Larry Sanger Gets It Totally Wrong, Larry has condescended to comment on my more recent post entitled Dealing with Jackasses at Wikipedia and Citizendium:
"What argument or evidence can you offer to support this silly claim that I wish to establish 'centralized content control'?"
That's a good question. But I have a much better question: If it's such a silly claim, why are you bothering to respond to it? Seriously.

Larry continues:
"I'm surprised that you have jumped on the bandwagon of those who say, 'Oh my gosh, if there are experts involved, it must be Nupedia all over again!'"
Hardly a bandwagon, although I would have to agree that many other people worthy of note believe that Citizendium qualifies as a recapitulation of Nupedia. However, I have no problem with having experts involved in wiki projects, and my position on Wikipedia's unfair bias against experts would have been quite apparent to you if you'd carefully read the post to which you responded.

Larry continues:
"The Citizendium has editors who can weigh in as "resident experts" as necessary. . . . To suggest . . . that they simply insist on their views without argument--is in essence to malign a whole bunch of people you don't know at all."
I can't tell you what a joy it is to have you put words in my mouth that I never said. To wit, I did not say that "Citizendium editors simply insist on their views without argument," and suggesting that this was my position is what logicians refer to as a fallacious "straw man" argument. For future reference, if I mean to say that Citizendium editors simply insist on their view without argument, I won't have to suggest it; I'll just say it.

Larry continues:
"[C]redentials are necessary for being an editor. Not for being an author, of course, and most of our registered contributors are authors. But, yes, you have to prove that you're actually an expert."
The need to have a distinction between expert editors and other contributors is somewhat lost on me, but you have answered your own question regarding my characterization of your position on centralized content control.

Larry continues:
"Frankly, we put out on their ear far faster than Wikipedia ever did anyone who actually acts like a jackass. Your own intemperate post, for instance, is the sort of mean-spirited, vicious personal attack that would get you excluded."
Hardly an intemperate post by me, but definitely an intemperate response on your part wherein you stop holding court just long enough to step outside and challenge me to to mutual combat.


Blogger Mike said...


If you have something to say about my blog, say it, or cut the insinuations.

Myself, I enjoyed your back catalogue of posts and links re: Wikipedia and the semantic web- it's a really interesting concept that I hope more people pick up. I think your latest set exemplifies the worst of the blogosphere and would prefer to see the personal attacks cut short.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger Internet Esquire said...

Hello, Mike:

My comments about your blog were limited to your one rather lengthy post about Citizendium, and I already said what I had to say about it in my earlier blog post -- i.e., that you were making extraordinary demands upon your blogging audience with such a lengthy blog post. I can see how a thin-skinned individual might interpret such criticism as a cheap shot, but it really wasn't meant that way. To wit, while I wasn't as enamored with your post as Larry Sanger was, I found it interesting enough to take the time to read through it and comment on it, something that I would not have done if so many other people had not already done so. If someone said that about something that I had written, I would take it as a compliment.

As for your dissatisfaction with my latest set of posts, you are clearly missing the point. To wit, when I enage someone who engages in gratuitous personal attacks, I usually respond with sarcasm and carefully measured criticism. However, I am also very quick to bury the hatchet and play nice when the opportunity presents itself. In game theory, this is known as a "tit-for-tat" strategy, and it has always served me quite well. As such, while I'm very sorry that you don't like my personal style, I have no intention of changing it to please you.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Hi David,

Thanks for the clarification. I think, for whatever reason, we're both coming at this 'hackles raised'. I'll try to give you the benefit of the doubt and steer away from anything that could be considered passive aggressive, and will expect the same courtesy.

I did interpret your latest post as a personal attack on Larry Sanger. I understand that maybe it wasn't meant that way, but written communication is often imperfect and can come across differently than intended. As you offered that perhaps I should make future blog posts shorter, I'll suggest that you make it clearer when criticizing that it's not meant as a personal attack.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Internet Esquire said...

Reasonable minds may differ as to whether my response to Larry Sanger was a personal attack or a proportional response to Larry's self-righteous posturing. I might add that prior to reading your post about Citizendium, I refrained from writing anything about the project because I didn't really take it all that seriously. As it now stands, I take the project much more seriously than I do Larry Sanger. IMHO, Larry is becoming a serious liability to Citizendium by going on the offensive whenever anybody says anything even slightly critical of him or said project. Even his conciliatory remarks to the "jackals" at the ARS Forum created more problems than they solved.

As for my remarks regarding the length of your blog post in re Citizendium: It's an interesting read, comprehensive, and very informative, but it's the sort of extensive treatment that I seldom see in the blogosphere. I would normally expect an article of that quality and length to be paginated into several URLs.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Re: my blog post, that's quite constructive. And thanks for the nice remarks.

Re: Citizendium, I'm sure we agree on some things and disagree on others (nothing wrong with that). If your past posts on Wikipedia are indicative I'll look forward to some interesting/thoughtful posts on the subject.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:44:00 PM  

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