Style of interchanges (Al Bregman )

Subject: Style of interchanges
From:    Al Bregman  <bregman(at)HEBB.PSYCH.MCGILL.CA>
Date:    Tue, 20 Oct 1998 17:56:26 -0400

Hi all, Some recent interchanges on the list have suggested that if we want to run a list in which interesting ideas can be explored without fear of reprisal, we have to be very careful to treat all postings with respect. One may not agree with something or with the style in which it is presented, and still grant people the right to say things in their own ways. One can find flaws with ideas, and still present these criticisms in a respectful way. My model of a scientist and academic is the late J.J. Gibson, whom I had the privilege of knowing. Jimmy could disagree with your argument profoundly, all the time with a twinkle in his eye that said he was still enjoying the conversation and the opportunity to debate with someone who cared as much as he did about ideas and explanations. He always debated the ideas themselves while taking pleasure in the other person as a person. I don't think this hurt him or the success of his ideas in the forum of science in any way. The opportunity to hear points of view from many different perspectives and backgrounds is one of the things that a list like this can offer. It goes without saying that the contributions of specialists exchanging information on technical matters is very valuable. At the same time we should listen to people whose areas of training are different from our own, because they haven't been trapped in the assumptions that have created our own specialty, assumptions that can be brought into question by interesting phenomena that they can contribute whether they be from the areas of music, speech, medicine, audio engineering, computer science, communications, or whatever. Here's hoping that people will continue to participate fully and not have to be inhibited by fear of criticism. Sorry to be sounding like an admonishing "papa", but this is something I feel strongly about. - Al Email to AUDITORY should now be sent to AUDITORY(at) LISTSERV commands should be sent to listserv(at) Information is available on the WEB at

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