Thursday, May 26, 2005

Orwell in Berkeley

Unbelievable, me and one other person post on Brad DeLong's site simply pointing out out, in a completely polite manner, that it is unprofessional to delete and alter people's posts merely because they disagree with you, and what happens, he deletes those posts, along with several posts refuting his and Krugman's argument, and bans me from the site! It is downright Orwellian. All dissidence will be eliminated, it never existed. I feel sorry for anyone in DeLong's class who takes a view in opposition to the teacher, he had better pack up and transfer to Stanford or something.

Well here at The Chief Brief, we don't just mouth the words of democracy, dissent, openmindness and freedom, we practice it. I have not, and will not delete anyone's post for any reason other than profanity or obscenity. I welcome dissent and criticism. Tell me I am wrong, tell me HOW I am wrong, make me work for every argument I make. Make well thought out counter arguments and post facts that prove I am an idiot. You learn nothing from people just telling you how great you are all day.

It is his website, he can do anything he wants, but how insecure do you have to be to allow posts only from people who agree with you?


Berkeley sycophant watch

This is one post that will never get deleted from Brad DeLong's site. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if he put it on his resume.

Please do not be insulting to Brad. This is always uncalled for and makes a mockery of any argument you care to use. I thank Brad every day for the wonderful teacher he has been and is. Please, no more rudeness.

I replied, commenting that I was not being rude, had not called him any names or made any personal comments, my only sin was that I disagreed with him, and it was in fact DeLong who had called Steven Antler a "dork" and his work "intellectual garbage". Of course my post was deleted.

UPDATE: Thinking about the ridiculousness of this whole thing got me thinking about the importance of being able to speak your mind and contradict and debate with others in academia. When I was getting my Russian Studies degree I had a class with Professor Christopher Jones, where through a mistake in posting the course I ended up being the only one in it. So I would go to the professor's office twice a week get some instruction from him, hand in some reports from the reading assignments, and then spend the rest of the time debating the issues with him. To a certain extent it was intimidating, going one on one with with a Harvard PhD, with me as a little undergrad, but it was also one of the best academic experiences of my life. Despite the fact that we didn't agree on many issues, he respected my viewpoint and forced me to organize, research and defend my opinions in a stringent manner. Whether I learned anything about the role of the Soviet military in Eastern Europe is irrelevant, the skills I learned from being able to express myself and defend my views were invaluable.


Roland Patrick said...

Paraphrasing Orwell:

People blog peaceably in their Berkeley offices by day only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Not that J Bradford will reflect on that this three day week-end.

Dustin Ridgeway said...

What post of his did this occur under? Exactly which arguments were you trying to refute?

Anonymous said...

The chief's arguments have no basis in facts when put up against the oil-based world economy.

James B. said...

OK, I said make well thought out arguments, make me work for arguments, post facts that prove I am wrong, etc. That post meets none of those criteria.

Brian Holtz said...

Here's a link to a well-documented case of DeLong unreasonably censoring dissent on his blog.