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I'm afraid I have to agree with Steve on this one. We all harbor
suspicions about the competence of one group or another (recall someone's
oft-repeated jibe about marginally significant correlations, "Of course
r=0.5 would get you tenure in social psychology"). On reflection we know
that while such smearing with broad brush strokes may even make a valid
point about the desirability of some sort of scientific practice or
other... that none of us ought to be pitching such stones, they tend to
come back as boulders.
Steven Carter, (law prof at Yale) wrote an interesting short piece on
the difference between honesty ("I said they were all fools because I
really thought so!") and integrity ("I took enough time to reason through
the ethical consequences of the assertion and decided, on balance, that it
was certainly wrong to say it...and probably inconsistent with the facts
of the matter as well.") It is worth a read. [Atlantic Monthly, 277,
This is not to be interpreted as opposition to vigorous debate. For
example, we hear a lot in U.S. academic circles about the virtues of
"qualitative research" and other such post-modern perversions... we are
certainly not all cut from positivistic cloth. But there is a great
difference between voicing disagreements with theories, philosophies, or
methodologies and attacking their sources. 'Ad national' attacks are only
slightly removed from ad hominum ones, and have even less place in
On Tue, 24 Mar 1998, Stephen McAdams wrote:
> >>From Edward M. Burns, firstname.lastname@example.org:
> >It is yet more evidence for my theory that, in France, the
> >real scientists are put on one track, and the other ones are put into
> >hearing research.
> Try being a little bit less demeaning to your colleagues Ed.
> This kind of bullshit has no place on this list (unfortunately it's not
> the first time).
> French hearing science is alive and well and very productive, and
> those that take the time to verify their data before making idiotic
> statements (like Tomatis and his acolytes!) will be able to attest
> to the contrary.
> P.S. Sorry for the strong words, but virulent maladies often
> require strong medicine and I personally refuse to let such
> cancerous attitudes be spread without counter-attack. And shame
> on Richard Parncutt for being a vector for such nonsense.
> Stephen McAdams
> IRCAM, 1 place Igor-Stravinsky, F-75004 Paris, France
> email@example.com http://www.ircam.fr/
> tel: (33 1) 4478-4838, fax (33 1) 4478-1540