President Emeritus Oakley as a preface to his further replies of Friday included observations on the tenor of the ‘comment’ stream under the original post.

His observations are instructive:

Perhaps I might be permitted a few observations concerning the recent lively exchanges on EPHBLOG.

First, the three things that have surprised me as someone admittedly not familiar with the culture of bloggery.

(i) How little of the discussion has focused on the topic advertised and how much on the procedural micropolitics of the blog itself—disagreements about editorial practice etc.

(ii) the amount of vituperative, or, at least, dyspeptic energy evident in some of the comments. The energy is admirable; the vituperative/dyspeptic dimension is another story of which you yourselves must properly be the judges.

(iii) The perhaps concomitant lack of attention paid by some participants to what has actually been written or said. There is evident a certain amount of projection or imputation to one person or another of positions that that person had not in fact stated or obviously embraced in his/her written comments at least.

The 26th of January was Burns Day, not too far past for his words to shine light on those of President Oakley’s:

O would some Power the gift to give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion.

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