this may be a shocker

Tue, 12 Apr 1994 21:14:35 CDT

This morning, I got a note from High Jarvis asking me to cool it. I replied
yes, I would. He then asked in another note what had happened. So I began
going back through my on-line and off-line notes. I read them and reread them
and reread them again. The more I read, the less I liked what I saw. One of
the people commenting on my flaming Stephanie Nelson characterized it as Rush
Limbaugh tactics. I have to agree with that point. It is that bad. What I
saw was the worst that academia has to offer, and I'm the one that offered it.
And for what? Because I don't think people should call each other names like
racist or fascist? So what did I do? I took an already nasty situation and
made it a lot nastier. And to what end? Will anyone refrain from an ad
hominem argument because I might get mad? No. Will people stop calling each
other names when they get frustrated? No. So what was the point? An
expression of righteous indignation? Boy, I'll tell her! What a crock.
Not only was my post to Stephanie Nelson nasty, hurtful, and pointless, but it
was also dumb. First it was dumb because it was unnecessary. Danny Yee
doesn't need me or anyone else to defend him. Any of you who compared his
reasoned, careful, and gentle argument to my self-righteous drivel can see how
unecessary it was to have said anything, even a mild rebuke. I don't know how
many of you picked up on it, but as I look at this garbage, I also see a really
patronizing implication, like Danny Yee or Dan Foss needed me to come to their
aid. Another crock I fed myself.

So now it's time for a different meal. A large helping of crow--not the first
I've ever had to consume, mind you. Stephanie Nelson feels she is owed an
apology. She is right. Stephanie Nelson, I sincerely apologize for the hurt
I've inflicted on you. To the others that I have offended by my boorishness--
Doug, Christy, Nancy, and Monty that I know of--my deepest apologies. To
Danny Yee and Dan Foss, I apologize for my self-serving patronizing manner.
The Net doesn't need this crap, and it won't be getting any again from me.
You can take that to the bank. This doesn't mean that I'm going to agree with
anything that anyone says, but only that disagreement is no more than that.

Having eaten crow, I feel no need to leave the net over it. I hope that
Stephanie Nelson reconsiders her decision to leave the net as well. She has
gotten the she asked for and that she deserved. I have to go mark papers.

Mike Lieber