It’s difficult to believe that Scott Greenfield didn’t have this post in mind when he published this post this morning, though of course it’s possible.

But in the event Occam’s razor applies and Scott is referring to what I wrote here the other day, I’ll just make a couple of observations in response:

1.  Derogatory references to “tin foil hats” and calling people you don’t know  “insane” or “irrational” with no basis whatsoever is easily as common, facile and stupid as the knee-jerk resort to Nazi and Hitler references.  That said, some people are insane or irrational and some Nazi and Hitler references are valid, or at least colorable.  It really depends in each case on things like context.

2.  To the extent that the implication of your post is that I am “irrational” or “insane”, if you’re serious about that come over here and make your case; or, since you are an attorney in New York, if you’re really serious bring your fitness concerns about me to the Attorney Grievance Committee.   If you’re not serious it is, at a minimum, very bad judgment to imply that about another attorney in a blog post, and if that’s what you were doing you should correct or retract the implication.

3.  The truth or falsehood of propositions does not depend upon how many people assent to them or who those people are, or how many people read your blog, although those things are all significant socially and commercially and perhaps other ways.  You may be a relativist that doesn’t believe there is any such thing as good and evil, right and wrong, truth and falsehood, guilt and innocence and so on.  A lot of people, particularly of your generation, hold these views.  I think this is ultimately an irrational view of the world, though not in the sense that it’s “insane”, and it’s perfectly reasonable that you would think the same thing in reverse.  But having more people on your side, if in fact that’s the case, doesn’t make you right and me wrong, or vice versa.  Then again, if there’s no such thing as right and wrong, soliciting support from others is perhaps all that remains.  In any case, this appears to be precisely and fundamentally what we disagree about.  If you would like to explore this disagreement, feel free to come over here.  I’ll publish your comments.  But oblique or cryptic  references to me on your own blog strike me as being at odds with your usual practice, and a disservice to your readers, and to me.

4.  In 2012, a goal at Simple Justice is to elevate the tenor of discussion and thought.

That’s a nice way to wrap up your post and a good goal.  I suggest you begin by setting an example yourself.




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3 responses to “Potshot

  1. These are all valid general criticisms of Greenfield and of the particular post of his to which you link, although I doubt the post had yours in mind. Your reference to the Nazis in your post was quite incidental and natural, so unless you tried to comment on his blog and were rebuffed, I suspect he was referring to someone who tried to comment on his blog. Have you been banned at his blog, as I have been?


    • Well, the timing and content strongly suggest he was thinking of my earlier post, though of course it is also possible it is coincidental. If the latter, then this post is pretty much meaningless; if the former, Scott is of course free to respond or not as the case may be.

      As for me being “banned”, I don’t know one way or the other. A long time ago I put up a comment over there and he didn’t post it and I haven’t tried since. But there’s never been any explicit edict. I generally find his stuff interesting and helpful, so he’s on the blogroll. How he regards what I do is of course up to him, if indeed he notices at all. But if he does notice and refers to me or this blog in one of his posts, I think as a general rule he should do that explicitly, though there might be exceptions to that.

      In any case, he isn’t banned over here, if that matters. 🙂


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