Re: necessity of mental memes

Date: Fri Feb 01 2002 - 19:01:06 GMT

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    Subject: Re: necessity of mental memes
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    In a message dated 1/31/2002 11:58:40 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

    > In a message dated 1/31/2002 7:42:06 AM Central Standard Time, Wade T.
    > Smith
    > <> writes:
    > > Hi -
    > >
    > > >"Dr Tony Baloney".
    > >
    > > I'm the one who questioned the identity of what I thought was an
    > > joke, and from all evidence now received (that is, no follow up), it is
    > > blatant pseudonym.
    > >
    > > And I'm sorry, but, when I see something like 'Tony Baloney'- that's
    > > precisely what I think it is- baloney.
    > >
    > > In this case, I appear to be right, but, I'll certainly declare my
    > > questioning the validity of a name like that is not only correct, but
    > > just and ethical.
    > >
    > > - Wade
    > Hi Wade.
    > Because Dr. Baloney was essentially inviting us to consider the name
    > you were able to question his identity without making an allegation and
    > without provoking an angry, ugly argument. But if the same person had been
    > acting more deceptively, he would have chosen some name other than
    > In that case, there would have been a real problem to you calling his name
    > and identity into question. If you knew who was really making the posts,
    > also could not make an allegation against the person posting under their
    > legal name without causing major problems. In a sense, deception has a
    > hand while authenticity has its hands tied.
    > Now all of this is not to say that pseudonyms, pen names, and screen names
    > do not have their legitimate uses. Consider "Mark Twain," for instance.
    > Baloney, for instance, was probably using that pseudonym to call honest
    > attention to things he considered phony. The reasons that people use
    > pseudonyms range from benign exposition to extreme treachery.
    > --Aaron Lynch

    The above paragraphs do not refer to any journal articles, or to the author
    names given in journal articles. If it's not clear from the above two
    paragraphs, then it is also indicated by my earlier statement that "I don't,
    however, know of cases where papers were published by non-existent authors."
    (By which I meant that I was unaware of pseudonymously published papers in
    peer-reviewed journals.) In regard to my own papers, I have long ago
    admonished readers to check what it is that I have really said in my
    published articles by reading those articles directly. And while the point
    may bear repeating, the above two paragraphs were not an attempt to repeat
    that previously stated message.

    There are many scientific communications that do not take place in the form
    of published articles. When billions of dollars, personal reputations,
    careers, endowments, etc. are at stake, one can expect some weird things to
    happen. I do not wish to have the kind of angry, pointless argument that this
    list's policies are designed to prevent. I do, however, recommend that people
    keep their eyes open.

    --Aaron Lynch

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