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Peace breaks out in Ozblogistan

March 17th, 2013

Following our recent blowup, I’ve had a discussion with Sinclair Davidson at Catallaxy and we’ve agreed not to engage in personal attacks on each other[1]. I’m going to apply this to Catallaxy in general and the agreement includes comments as well as posts. I’ll leave Sinclair to implement this policy at Catallaxy, and I’m doing so here

The rules are
(1) No personal references to Catallaxy bloggers, except identifying them as the author of some piece I (or commenters) might want to respond to
(2) No general statements about Catallaxy as a blog.

I’d be willing to extend a similar non-aggression pact to Andrew Bolt and the anonymous producer of Cut-and-Paste, but without personal attacks, these blogs would have very little to publish.

I’m leaving comments open, but please remember that the policy applies as of now, so I’ll delete any discussion of Catallaxy.

fn1. I’d be willing to extend a similar agreement to Andrew Bolt but, without personal attacks, he would pretty much have to close his blog, so I can’t see that happening.

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  1. Doug
    March 17th, 2013 at 13:05 | #1

    Delighted at this initiative. It offers a model of managing conflict that displays a degree of maturity not much evident in public life in Australia at the moment.

  2. Jim
    March 17th, 2013 at 13:46 | #2

    John. Great initiative.

  3. Jim Rose
    March 17th, 2013 at 14:08 | #3

    Good idea. Karl Popper argued that who made an argument is of little value. What matters is critical discussion of what they said. Knowledge grows through critical discussion.

    Peter Drucker made similar points about people with great strengths also come with great flaws. (Biography sales would be 1/10th of its size if the great were not flawed).

    Peter Drucker suggests that the effective executive looks to make strengths productive. Do not try to change people. Make the most of what they are.

  4. Sancho
    March 17th, 2013 at 14:21 | #4

    Amusing, but in breach of policy – deleted by JQ

  5. March 17th, 2013 at 15:20 | #5

    This “live-and-let-live” policy is a step backward for this blog in particular and for Ozblogistan in general. I can’t believe that the author of Zombie Economics has now decided to sheath his sword on home ground.

    Blogging is not a sport for the intellectually faint-hearted. The whole point of blogging is search & destroy tactics: to identify a target by links, use available ordinance in the archives and concentrate fire until the target is destroyed. Victory is defined as unconditional surrender by the opponent.

    In fact this new peace initiative threatens to feminize the entire blogosphere, saturating it with the cloying atmosphere of a Tupperware party where everyone makes nice in order smooth traffic and coddle the sob sisters. This does not reduce net aggression, merely channels it into unhealthy forms.

    The notion that personal attacks are somehow demeaning for professionals has some validity. But the life of the mind is a special profession where sharp criticism is inherent in the proper provision of service.

    I speak as a blogger/commenter who has been subject to non-stop and vicious attacks and bans from both hosts and commenters pretty much from the word go. With nary a nasty comeback, I cop it sweet & crack hardy.

    If the matter is serious and someones feeliings are hurt in the process then so much the better. Harden the f**k up, sunshine!

  6. rog
    March 17th, 2013 at 17:44 | #6

    @Jack Strocchi I disagree, “tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”

  7. March 17th, 2013 at 18:48 | #7

    The whole point of blogging is to publish & be damned. The usual niceties of professional discourse can safely be dispensed with. And surely we can zone off one digital domain from the stupidity, disingenuity and oppressiveness of political correctness?

    I am all for banning purely personal criticism – gossip based on an individuals private alleged) flaws or failings. But cui bono critiques attacking a disputants professional funding and partisan biases seems fair game.

    More generally the post-modern liberal world is evolving very much into a Who-Whom-Hot/Not form of status hierarchy where most civic transactions are part of a general jostle for social position. Someone needs to stand above the fray and fearlessly call the shots wherever they land (think Orwells behind the lines guerillas versus brass in the Big Batallions).

    History shows that the best way to take the nasty edge off criticism is to co-opt it. The more genteel establishment Ozblogistan becomes the likely that robust commentary will migrate to fringe areas, go anonymous and become virulent.

    What ever happened to good old Aussie manliness?

  8. March 17th, 2013 at 22:17 | #8

    “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” – George Bernard Shaw

  9. Neil
    March 18th, 2013 at 02:49 | #9

    @Jack Strocchi
    “What ever happened to good old Aussie manliness?”

    I suppose it is too much to hope it went out with good old Aussie misogyny and racism?

  10. Gab
    March 18th, 2013 at 12:19 | #10

    John has emailed apologising for his OTT reaction and the incorrect statements he has made regarding my publication output. That is a very decent thing to do and I thank him for his email.

  11. MartinK
    March 18th, 2013 at 16:05 | #11

    @Gab
    What are you quoting? (I’m guessng Catalaxy but I don’t see any reason to assume readers here are familiar with that site. You don’t provide a link.) Did you confirm whether John would describe the incident as a “reaction” or as OTT? More importantly, did you confirm that John actually apologised? I don’t see any reference to anyting but an agreement, as such if the above quote was posted on Catalaxy then it violates the agreement.

  12. John Quiggin
    March 18th, 2013 at 16:54 | #12

    @MartinK

    I emailed Sinclair and apologised for the fact that some statements I made (corrected above) were inaccurate. And, on general principle, a policy of escalation, such as that I announced, is OTT. As far as I’m concerned, the central outcome has been that Catallaxy has agreed not to engage in further personal attacks, something I’m happy to reciprocate.

  13. John Quiggin
    March 18th, 2013 at 16:55 | #13

    I’m going to close off comments at this point. I think we can all move on to more valuable uses of our time.

Comments are closed.