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Monday message board

September 4th, 2006

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. As usual, civilised discussion and absolutely no coarse language, please.

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  1. taust
    September 4th, 2006 at 08:02 | #1

    The options open to the electors of Queensland appear dire.
    An incumbent mob that appears incapable of any policy initiative except respond to a crisis. An opposition mob that is incapable.

    Is this just a passing phase as the party system based on (now) stacked branches and hereditary positions until someone develops a new way of organising political groups?

    Now that public funding of political parties is becoming increasingly important to the parties what are the predictions of welfare economists on the changes in behaviour of the political parties? Will they become welfare dependant, lose all hope of improving their lot and if so what does this mean for their behaviour?

  2. observa
    September 4th, 2006 at 09:07 | #2

    As far as I know in SA members can now use their electoral allowance for printing how to vote cards at elections. IMO public funding of election campaigns has been a democratic disaster. Who needs prickly, nuisance party members much these days?

  3. September 4th, 2006 at 09:12 | #3

    Has there been any economic analysis on the so called GST windfalls that the states are receiving?

    Isn’t GST income increasing at a similar rate to real inflation? Isn’t the “windfalls” actually just the minimum amount required by state governments to cover increased costs brought about by real inflation (in for instance construction and medical which has been approaching 20%) as opposed to the misleading consumer inflation figure of 3%.

    Is there such a thing as a GST windfall or is it just political spin by the liberal party to make the states look bad? How can so many journalists and shock jocks in our papers and on the airwaves not bother to ask this question – instead printing verbatin the liberal parties spin?

    Springbord will wind back stamp duty in queensland, and expects the extra GST to cover the loss of income, i can’t see how this is possible, and his policies will surely result in a massive blackhole!

  4. econwit
    September 4th, 2006 at 12:07 | #4

    “WHAT would happen to the world economy if every worker on earth was able to take a job in whatever country they pleased?”


    “At the moment we have globalisation of everything but labour – it’s the elephant in the room”

  5. econwit
    September 4th, 2006 at 12:10 | #5

    This issue has been around since Herbert Hoover imported Italian slaves to die in the goldfields of Western Australia.

  6. taust
    September 4th, 2006 at 12:35 | #6

    Free movement of labour look as though it is an idea whose time has come.

    It would be good though if we developed an internal scheme that provided remote area people with chances to move into mainstream jobs.

    One suspected effect in the USA is that the free but illegal movement of labour across the land borders has depressed the average earnings of the lowest sections of labour. This makes appear as if the wages of USA citizens have fallen when in fact the USA citizens have moved up the feeding chain.

  7. econwit
    September 4th, 2006 at 12:48 | #7

    My personal (radical) view is there should be a total liberalisation of labour movement.

    It is inequitable that 1st world hoards and exploits the great percentage of the worlds resources/wealth to the detriment/ expense of the 3rd world.

  8. FDB
    September 4th, 2006 at 13:36 | #8

    Sick of the rich having all the money?

    Radical indeed.

  9. September 4th, 2006 at 15:33 | #9

    Steve Irwin has been killed by a stingray, according to The Australian’s website.

  10. Kriss
    September 4th, 2006 at 16:16 | #10

    As the word about Steve Irwin passed around access to the SMH and other online news services suddenly disappeared (presumably because of high demand). It took about 10 minutes for normal service to be resumed.

  11. jquiggin
    September 4th, 2006 at 17:28 | #11

    My wife told me and we contributed to the crash of the ABC news site. It’s starting news – I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone being killed by a stingray before.

    Our thoughts should be with his wife and children.

  12. chris shannon
    September 4th, 2006 at 18:40 | #12

    It is apparently only the third death in Australia from a stingray. Most people avoid getting too close to them but that was not the Steve Irwin way, I guess.

  13. Christophe Bureau
    September 4th, 2006 at 18:58 | #13

    Well, among the two people who give Australians a good reputation on the other side of the planet, one is gone (Please don’t mess with stingrays, Mr Quiggin).

    It is very sad. Sincerely sorry for this loss.

  14. September 4th, 2006 at 19:28 | #14

    Pretty unlucky to get killed by a stingray, it must have got him right in the heart.

    Loss of a great Australian, a passionate conservationist and one of John’s fellow Queenslanders

  15. John G
    September 4th, 2006 at 19:33 | #15

    What do you think of Nouriel Roubini’s latest blogs and his eeyore view on the world economy.

  16. James Farrell
    September 5th, 2006 at 09:04 | #16

    The Wikipedia entry on Steve Irwin had already been updated by 2pm yesterday.

  17. September 5th, 2006 at 11:57 | #17

    A new website for anybody interested in Supply Side economics:-


  18. Smiley
    September 5th, 2006 at 12:07 | #18

    I’m no expert, but…

    The only time I’ve ever seen stingrays (at Wellington Point in Moreton Bay) they seemed very timid creatures. I was trying to learn windsurfing on a board that was way too small for me, so I kept falling off.

    I’ve heard that if you shuffle your feet while walking in the shallow sandy waters that stingrays tend to inhabit, they can sense your prescience and move off fairly quickly. This seemed to be the case to me. I think that Steve was unlucky, but probably shouldn’t have been snorkelling in shallow sandy water.

  19. Smiley
    September 5th, 2006 at 12:17 | #19

    Sorry about the terrible spelling, I meant presence.

  20. Smiley
    September 5th, 2006 at 16:11 | #20

    “total liberalisation of labour movement”

    Would that include all forms of labour, including intellectual labour? What about politicians? They are voted into government on the basis of their intellectual labour. Why should they be protected by a nationalistic ideology?

    What happens to the Australian Made Campaign? Please, whoever is suggesting this, tell me what industry you are working in so that I can ensure my dollar goes to the cheapest foreign bidder.

  21. Smiley
    September 5th, 2006 at 16:57 | #21

    “total liberalisation of labour movement”

    And one other thing… What about standards? As was pointed out in the Australian Parliament last week… Who is going to ensures that the foreign labour knows about and works to the various national and local standards? Australian Building Standards, Medical Standards,… when should I stop.

    This is a big factor in the cost of labour. Maybe we should liberalise the standards… Do you fancy a kidney transplant performed by Dr Death?

  22. taust
    September 5th, 2006 at 17:35 | #22


    How effective are standards as a form of non-tariff protection as compared to their effectiveness in preventing adverse outcomes for people?

    Many years ago the standard for white oil had maximum allowable levels for some esoteric minor components. The reason was not that these minor components were that dangerous but that the methods of local manufacture were different from those used by foreign manufacturers. The standard effectively prevented foreign competition and the use of cheaper manufacturing methods.

    Regulatory failure occurs as often as market failure.

    Regulatory costs are often very high. If the regulation does increase profit it pays the company to spend to defend the increase in profit. The regulator spends to reduce the increase in profit and competitors spend to influence the regulator to change the regulations to give themselves the profit. The poor old consumer pays three times.

    Regulations develop a belief that Governments can do something. When the next failure occurs no one asks did the existing regulations do anything to prevent the failure ie do regulations control human behaviour, but rather how do we change the regulations.

    Every downturn in the economy reveals bad and normally unethical practice in the financial sector. This is addressed by tightening up the financial regulation scene.

    I predict that the next downturn in the economy will throw up examples of bad and unethical practices. So why do we have to pay the cost of the regulation?

  23. econwit
    September 5th, 2006 at 17:42 | #23

    “Would that include all forms of labour�?
    Yes and all forms of people.

    “total liberalisation of labour movement�
    Would effectively be; The relaxation of border control to the point where, only people with a criminal record would be refused entry.

    As I said above it is radical. This is far left, much further than the “envious socialists� that frequent this blog are prepared to go. One can only conclude they are primarily concern with protecting their self interest.

    But those same hypocritical left wing bloggers forget that their consumption already makes them exploiters of 3rd world labour. From a third world perspective, they look like right wing extremists.

  24. Smiley
    September 5th, 2006 at 18:09 | #24


    Sorry, but not all standards are based on “esoteric” measures. Just because some have been in the past, doesn’t mean we should throw them all away. Building standards in FNQ are in place to ensure houses are not blown away in cyclones. This protects the homeowners and the insurance companies. Should we throw that standard away because it adds some cost to home ownership? I don’t think so.

    Sure, get rid of the regulations that have been put in place to protect an industry from competition.

    I would also say that the unethical financial practices that you are referring to, have probably been regulated for in the past. But under the mantra of “liberalisation”, those regulations have been rolled back. Short-term gain is what the political game is all about.

    It is not such a clear-cut argument in my mind.

    And I would not agree that Globalization has been a run-away success. You just have to look at the price of petrol to realise this. I’m sure that this is a big part of the inflation problem that we now face. It’s not just labour costs.

  25. chris shannon
    September 5th, 2006 at 20:01 | #25

    The media coverage of Steve Irwin’s death seems to be getting out of control. People who live in Beerwah say the place is inundated with media crews and there are television crews camped outside the Zoo. From the channel 9 news and current affairs tonight, it looks like they’ve been there all day. I see Ray Martin is hosting a tribute show tomorrow night. Is this a pattern which has emerged from having 24 news channels? Aside from the Tasmanian mine collapse, which one could understand since there was a prolonged rescue operation to conduct, I cannot recall this sort of media activity in Australia before. Maybe the Port Arthur massacre?

  26. chris shannon
    September 5th, 2006 at 20:02 | #26

    24 HOUR news channels, not 24 channels to choose from

  27. taust
    September 5th, 2006 at 20:14 | #27

    It would be good to have an economic analysis of why the western world has adopted what one could call the Princess Di behaviour.

    The effect has got to be related to why people watch so called realism TV.

    How will sanity return to mourning?

  28. taust
    September 5th, 2006 at 20:19 | #28

    the price of crude oil upon which the price of petrol and LPG depend to a large extent is ultimately set by an inefficient cartel. Do not blame petrol prices on globalisation.
    If you check you will find that there has never been any rolling back of behaviour controlling regulation in the financial markets.

  29. Smiley
    September 5th, 2006 at 20:53 | #29


    An inefficient cartel!! It’s got nothing to do with supply and demand? Maybe there’s an abiotic theory here. Do you think we can pump faster? Will that solve the problem?

    While there might be price gouging in the Australian market, (and the global oil companies are doing very well thank you), investors have always taken advantage of supply/demand economics. Maybe people should use less, instead of acting like drug addicts.

    Stop complaining, use less. How’s that for a libertarian outlook?

  30. Smiley
    September 5th, 2006 at 21:14 | #30


    “never any rolling back of behaviour of controlling regulation in the financial markets”

    So would you call the reduction in the reserve requirements for lending, a winding back? I call it a “making money out of thin air/inflationary policy.”

    Maybe you should read what the libertarian Republican senator Ron Paul (in the US obviousely) has to say about this. In fact Ron Paul states that the US currency should still be backed by gold (to stop inflation, and war mongering). Now that’s what I call libertarian.

    Here’s a link:


  31. taust
    September 5th, 2006 at 22:51 | #31

    Liberty – to restrain a creation of the human intellect to a physical form?

    To go back to the gold standard would stifle the development of the social infra-structure of trust that is essential to the concept of money.

    You are not in favour of going back to living in caves as a way of adapting to climate change as well?

  32. taust
    September 5th, 2006 at 23:11 | #32

    If the cartel was not in action there would be more supply and thus the price ,other things staying constant, would be lower.

    Do you not remember when the Arabs opened the valves fully and the price of oil fell to $10/bbl.

    The last time people were deciding the end of oil was nigh they use to quote CIA estimates of supply and reserves. I wonder why they do not quote CIA assessments this time round?

    The reason the caffe latte elite and the farming elite complain about petrol prices is that they have come to expect government to look after them. The great LPG reverse Robin Hood game. Take from on average the poor and pay a subsidy to the on average rich at least it is a little more equitable than the subsidies to solar cells that exclusively go to the caffe latte elites. No mention of equity when these little rorts are imposed on us.

    The rest of us know its just life and get on with it. (with a smile as the 4wheel drive go off to the school).

    As you drink your bottled water think how much more price gouging goes on in that industry than in big oil.

    Think about servicing a sunk investment of several billion dollars that can only be made one in ten times after the expenditure (the ten times) of $100 millions. You should think about why oil companies are a few very large and a flock of minnows most of which die.

    Read the APPEA website to see how hard it is being a petroleum company in Australia. (just do not believe the security of supply argument).

    Become a libertarian and let people make their choices and let the market strive to make a profit by meeting more of the choices.

  33. Smiley
    September 6th, 2006 at 13:52 | #33


    I would not classify the invention of paper money as a “great creation” of human intellect.

    Using your arguments, the creation of our civil infrastructure has been based on the availability of “easy money” and has nothing to do with the availability of “easy energy” (cheap oil). Sounds a bit dubious to me. I’m still waiting for that abiotic theory.

    No… “The last time people were deciding the end of oil was nigh” was in the 70’s. And what was actually being predicted was the end of cheap oil production in the US. Since then the US has become more reliant on the importation of oil from other countries. Do you deny that?

    Worldwide oil production has in fact increased since the last time it was $10 a barrel. Are you denying this fact also? If so, please provide figures. As far as I know, the reason why production is at its limit is that no new large discoveries have been made in the last 20-30 years. Why should any oil company build further infrastructure if there are no guarantees of ongoing supply?

    The problem with believing the estimates of reserves from the Arabs is that many of the states (especially Saudi Arabia) are backed by the US government (despite being autocratic and non-democratic). Their continued survival is reliant on the continued backing of the US military and arms industry.

    If you want the Arabs to increase their production rate, you can go and ask them. But I would suggest doing so nicely. There is nothing “libertarian” about demanding something. When I look up libertarian in various dictionaries terms like “free willâ€? are used.

    Sorry mate, I don’t:

    1. Drink bottled water
    2. Drive a 4WD
    3. Drink caffe lattes.

    So your attempted insults just blow right past me.

    I find it funny how you claim to be a libertarian, but you insist on forcing people to adhere to your ideology. As far as ideologies go, I like to sum it up with a statement that I read a few years ago. I cannot recall the exact phrasing, but it went something like this:

    A conservative is someone who has been mugged.
    A liberal is someone who has been incarcerated.
    A libertarian is someone who has been mugged and incarcerated.


  34. taust
    September 6th, 2006 at 15:34 | #34

    My apologies for the perceived insults that were meant to be perceived as a gentle tweaking of your conscience
    ; .
    You think the concept of money is not a great creation of the human mind. Surely the concept of money underlies the most of the economic activity of the world and is still being developed.

    My memory of the last time of easy oil was in the early 1980’s. The argument then was that the Arabs had reached the end of their reserves courtesy of a publicly available assessment by the CIA.

    I never really claim to be a libertarian. To do so would mean I understand what one is. I would claim in my defence that I had never run across your USA Senator before tho’ he does seem an interesting character. I think I’d prefer him in parliament to Barnaby.

    Now on petroleum reserves (I hope you have shares in Chevron who may just have significantly increased the reserves of the continental USA).

    Yes I do believe there is a capacity to increase production world wide (even in the Arabian Peninsular). If the price was right I would guess a doubling of production rate could be achieved in about five years

    We will both have to wait say two years and see where the crude price is then. Time scale is a bit short given good economic times, but I would be prepared to bet a glass of reasonable red (my choice) that the Tapis crude price would be at or below US $50/bbl in two years time. What’s your counter bet?

    Did you hear the Labor Party outline of an energy policy stressing the need for energy security? Protection against the world price of energy by taking money out of my pocket and investing it in projects even private equity funds will not invest in.

    How long before the Future Fund is invested in schemes that demonstrate a lack of risk capital in the Australian economy.

    I predict the Labor Finances will show a steady increase in the amount donated by entrepreneurs who cannot raise the capital on the free market.

  35. Smiley
    September 6th, 2006 at 23:14 | #35


    Ok. I do actually agree with you about money. I don’t think that a gold standard is necessarily a good thing. With larger populations, fiat currencies provide a good mechanism for spreading wealth. I’ve actually made that comment in private before. But, currency can be distorted via monetary policy and inflation can become a very real danger. And who wants to suffer South American hyper inflation!

    Besides, wealth via fiat currencies is relative. A higher unit value (in relation to other things) is not necessarily a bad thing. Your dollars and cents are worth more, and you are not forced to do things like remove the 1, 2, 5 and 10 cent pieces. Inflation to me, seems like arguing for change for change’s sake.

    Inflation is a sign of one group within society trying to keep up with/or overtake another. An eternal game of leap frog. I’m sure you’ll probably agree. Proper monetary policy can act as a big stick to inflation, and help prevent herd mentality (fancy life as a locust!). You don’t necessarily need a gold standard to keep inflation under control (or measure it as others have suggested).

    And here’s a ripper of a question. How do you deflate a high value currency? That’s right, you can’t (and you don’t need to). By-by 1929 style deflation. That is the perfect argument for low, “real” inflation… Whoa, slow down boy.

    As for the Chevron news… I’ll believe it when the oil is flowing at the expected rate. I seem to remember claims of potential oil reserves in Bass Straight that turned out to be nothing. This news could be a ploy to temporarily lower the spot price… I don’t know enough (and those mid-term elections are looming in the U.S.). Even if this find has been accurately quantified, demand from China and India may still keep prices relatively high. Preparing for most outcomes is the best bet.

    I’ll have to do a bit more research myself, based on what you have said.

    Hey, I’ve just had a thought. How do I know you’re not JQ (or one of his representatives), just trying to throw a bit of spice into the blog. You just don’t know with some of these tricky university types… 🙂

    Some good points made though.

  36. taust
    September 7th, 2006 at 08:45 | #36

    I know I tweaked your tail with a latte drinking elite tag, but an academic! I nearly choked on my short black (coffee).

    In another thread JQ lumped in with the greenhouse denialists.

    I’m having a bad hair day today.

    Human beings are by nature rational so why is so hard to be rational?

    The power of the priestly class (in the sense of those who tell us we must believe in {take your pick}) is tremendous. What evolutionary advantage does such a susceptibility give to human beings?

  37. jquiggin
    September 7th, 2006 at 10:49 | #37

    taust, I didn’t lump you in with the deniers. I said that in calling for rational debate, you appeared to imply that the IPCC/Kyoto process thus far didn’t constitute rational debate. But I accept that you didn’t intend that implication.

  38. taust
    September 7th, 2006 at 11:21 | #38

    thanks john

  39. Smiley
    September 8th, 2006 at 18:56 | #39


    I agree, it’s not hard to be rational. We all try to rationalise ourselves. That doesn’t make it right.

    I bet Hitler could still rationalise his thoughts just as he fired that bullet into his head. John Ralston Saul’s book “Voltaire’s Bastards” makes this point in so many ways (the age of reason).

    I hope you weren’t suggesting that I was being irrational. I was just trying to make the point that you cannot believe everything you read or hear (or even see). The human mind is a strange and wonderful thing (I could give you numerous examples).

    It’s our ability to test someone else’s (and our own) rationality that makes us different. Our ability to put ourselves in someone else’s place. Does a lion think this way about a beast it’s hunting? I would suggest not.

    Maybe that’s the advantage.

    Maybe it’s your ability to give a counter argument (to any rational thought) that makes you a better human being. Your ability to question the “priestly class(es)”. That’s exactly why I like giving counter arguments (to conservatives, liberals, libertarians and even scientists). Though I find science difficult to argue against given it’s (mostly) empirical and rigorous nature.

  40. Smiley
    September 8th, 2006 at 20:04 | #40


    Let me rephrase that. I wasn’t trying to be irrational. I was just testing yours. You had the right to ask me, like I had the right to ask you.

  41. taust
    September 8th, 2006 at 21:02 | #41

    I suspect we are both people who like a good discusiion between oposing views. I do not get upset by much except out and out rude personal attacks. I enjoy cheap shots and tweaking of tails even if I should not.

  42. Smiley
    September 10th, 2006 at 20:26 | #42


    I apologise if you feel that I made a cheap shot. I guess that I did not appreciate some of your views about liberals and libertarians. I’ll admit, I felt these comments were either simplistic, naive or not well researched (that’s why I like to provide links to back-up my comments).

    You did (at one stage) seem to be suggesting that you knew exactly what a libertarian was, though I concede that it is difficult to classify any political persuasion in this day and age, and this was a key point I was trying to make. A “wide church” as some politicians like to say.

    If you need a few links to others that claim to be libertarians, here are some that I occasionally reference (you might be surprised):


    Maybe I should have been making some comments about conservatives (you know red-neck, beer swilling, lard ar… ), but then again, that’s not my style. Any sort of classification based on such labels I find tedious (my mistake, I thought you were actually being serious).

    Don’t worry, that square smile (and a thought of “oh really”) was on my mind some time ago.

    Keep smiling

  43. taust
    September 11th, 2006 at 07:47 | #43


    I’m influenced by Popper and Hayek. It is an amatuer interest rather than structured study.

    i am also influenced both by the positives and the damaged wrought by utopian ideas of making the world better for children and grandchildren.

    Thanks for the posts. The anti war one I had not previously run across.

    Nothing you have posted has come near to upsetting me.

  44. Ernestine Gross
    September 11th, 2006 at 08:45 | #44


    Thanks for the web-sites. I had a look at http://www.dailyreckoning.com/

    I found several articles and I have some questions. I’ll deal with one article (space and time constraint):

    D.W. MacKenzie: The Economics of Groundhog Day, http://www.dailyreckoning.com/Featured/MacKenzie083106.html

    First I thought D.W. MacKenzie is a film critique with a sense of humour. But D.W. MacKenzie ends his missive with “Groundhog Day is an entertaining movie, and it illustrates an important concept: one that we can never observe in real life. Because perfect competition is completely unreal we need other concepts that enable us to understand how the world really works. Fortunately, such concepts already exist in the writings of Ludwig von Mises and FA Hayek.�

    I am not at all sure that Ludwig von Mises and possibly even van Hayek would agree with D.W. MacKenzie’s writings. They are no longer able to tell us. Moreover, we don’t know, and we can’t know, what von Mises and van Hayek would say about the state of knowledge in economics about 60 years after they published their work which is still cited in its proper historical context.

    So, who is D.W. MacKenzie, if he is not a film critique?

    The article contains a note by the editor which reads: “D.W. MacKenzie teaches economics at SUNY Plattsburgh.�

    Smiley, what do you get when you search SUNY Plattsburg university for D.W. MacKenzie?

    I get “no matching records were found�,

    There is a mathematical economist by the name of McKenzie. But this respected mathematical economist should not be confused with the author of ‘The Economics of Groundhog Day’. The mathematical economist is G. McKenzie and not D.W. MacKenzie.

  45. Ernestine Gross
    September 11th, 2006 at 09:29 | #45

    Critique should read critic. Sorry.

  46. Smiley
    September 12th, 2006 at 19:31 | #46


    Not really interested in this conversation, but I did say that I just reference these sites occasionally. I don’t believe everything I read… it’s more about taking concepts on board without really ever accepting them as gospel.

    Thats funny, I just tried the same thing you did and look what I got.


    Seems like that D stands for Douglas… maybe you should have clicked on that link to Mises.org… hhmmm

    …But anyhow, to continue the argument…

    Economy is after all, called the dismal science. A lot of theory and not much substance. I guess that’s why we call economic rationalists, pointy heads (as if only the economy matters).

    Plus I think you missed the point of my other posts. I don’t necessarily agree with the “libertarian” economics represented here. It (like the whole libertarian outlook) seems to be a twisted version of conservatism.

    I probably wouldn’t have read this article if you hadn’t pointed it out. I think the title was a hint. But, the following line from the article says it all:

    All theory is abstract.

    And the final paragraph seems to make a very good point. By disagreeing with the author, are you suggesting that capitalism could be perfect? It is after all a human endeavour.

    As you can probably tell from my posture, I don’t hold economist in high esteem. Claiming to know anything about economics does not impress me in the least. In fact I don’t think you can really call it a science. Plus some economist don’t seem to be able to do their research very well… what do you reckon?

    Also, you seem to be suggesting that posthumous interpretation of scholarly works should be discredited no matter what… hhmm… not sure about that!

  47. Smiley
    September 12th, 2006 at 19:45 | #47

    Sorry that should have read:

    Economics is after all called the dismal science

  48. Ernestine Gross
    September 13th, 2006 at 17:27 | #48


    My comment did not imply any assumption on my part regarding your previous posts or any other hypothesis. I thanked for the web-site because they provided a further clue as to the origin of some of the anachronistic and rhetorical stuff one hears about these days.


    1. No, you did not try the same thing as I did. You tried the name MacKenzie, I tried the referenced name D.W. MacKenzie. The ‘Mises.org’ link, you referred me to, has three names on it. I join you in the “hhmm�.
    2. “Also, you seem to be suggesting that posthumous interpretation of scholarly works should be discredited no matter what… hhmm… not sure about that! “

    I did not suggest that posthumous interpretations of scholarly works should be discredited unconditionally. However, I do suggest that not all posthumous interpretations of scholarly works are scholarly.

  49. Smiley
    September 14th, 2006 at 20:53 | #49


    That was my exact point. It appeared that you attempted to use a search to discredit a site, but you did not check properly (sorry I am formally trained in IT so I do know the limitations of such systems)… So yes I did try the same thing as you (in a more intelligent way), but then again, I wasn’t trying to cynically discredit something that I did not like. In a court of law you would be liable for such a slack effort (I hope you don’t ever plan to have a career in journalism).

    I think my annoyance was obvious. Points taken though….

    I think that what this guy was trying to get at is similar to the famous statement from Mark Twain:

    The past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.

    Maybe you don’t think Mark Twain was scholarly, but that is a mater of conjecture that I’m not really prepared to argue.


  50. Ernestine Gross
    September 15th, 2006 at 00:17 | #50


    “That was my exact point.” Really? What exactly was your point?

    As for ‘formal training in IT’, I did hear about people getting certificates for demonstrating that they can operate a key board but most people can work this out all by themselves.

    “Thanks”. You are welcome.

  51. Smiley
    September 15th, 2006 at 09:01 | #51


    The exact point was that you did not do your search properly. An argument based on laziness does not win. Also, laziness and incompetence are not an excuse in a court of law, as I stated above. Your “theory” was debunked, and you looked silly.

    And what was your formal training in. How not to use a keyboard.

    You’re welcome too.

  52. jquiggin
    September 15th, 2006 at 09:05 | #52

    I think it might be time to call a halt on this one, or take it offline.

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