[Martin Taylor 991226 09:19]
[from Mary Powers (9912.26)]
I hope everyone interested in the topic had a very happy Xmas.
This is a public note of apology to Bill. I wrote what was supposed to
have been a private message to Bill Gregory, which would have been
ill-considered even as a private note. I won't repeat it here. Mary,
to her credit, has taken me to task for it.
I cannot disavow the sentiments I expressed in my frustration at
seeing yet another often valuable contributor to the science of PCT
leaving CSGnet, but I should never have expressed those feelings in
the way I did, which undoubtedly would have hurt someone for whom I
(usually) feel great admiration.
And an explanation...
apparently you have chosen to ignore (or
have not bothered to read) the months of belittling, sarcastic comments
from Bruce G. that people on this net have endured, in favor of taking
offense at Bill P's single sharp remark.
I don't get it.
I have not ignored those remarks, and have often wished Bruce would not
have made them. Just like some of Rick's remarks, they were not conducive
to furthering the science. However, Bruce's remarks did not, and do not,
have the weight, on CSGnet, of anything Bill says. What Bill says, matters.
It's rather like a Royal Court. If anyone other than Henry II had said
in a fit of pique: "Will no-one rid me of this troublesome priest",
his good friend Thomas-a-Becket might have lived to a ripe old age.
Bruce is no Thomas-a-Becket, but, as Thomas would have been valuable
to the King, no matter how "troublesome", so would Bruce have been to Bill.
Sometimes it is hard to remember that Bill, too, is human. My message was
intended not as a comment on Bill's remark, but--in its intended form as
a private message to Bruce G--to try to get Bruce to stay on CSGnet. He
is one of an unfortunately small number of people who really do seem to
understand PCT, and are able to see the issues clearly. That he is among
the number who are known to make their points in a personal manner is
also unfortunately true.
So many people who have or seemed to be beginning to have an understanding
of PCT have left CSGnet because of personal attacks that I was very
frustrated to find Bruce had decided to join them. I myself have often
had considerable reluctance to read messages that might follow proposals
I have posted that might be construed as deviating in any way from the
"classic" model of PCT--which, along with experimentation, is one of the
only two ways to advance the science of PCT.
That is where the term "proprietary" came from in by ill-considered
message; there are many aspects of the interactions among complexes of
elementary control units that I have learned not to mention on CSGnet
because I am aware that to do so is unlikely to lead to constructive
analysis, but will result in streams of messages, nevertheless. And so
those ideas are no longer subjected to the kind of cogent criticism
that really advances any science.
I think PCT is too important to the real world for us to tolerate anyone
leaving the single forum where it is (occasionally seriously) discussed.
Personal remarks by Rick, Bruce G., me, or anyone else, may be hurtful,
but they are usually not damaging. Personal remarks by Bill can seriously
damage the advancement of PCT, especially if they result in someone
leaving CSGnet. The King has to be careful, no matter that he may not
want to be King.
I don't expect any words of mine can undo any hurt I may have caused Bill,
but I do apologise for them.