The organ grinder

[From Bill Powers (2003.02.17.1208 MST)]

Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 12:30 PM CST]--

>What happens now is that I get emails off the net that attack me in
personal terms, >so you don't see the first hit. Bill Powers has the
meglomanic idea that he is >compentent to pass upon peoples sanity. So, I
feel justified in pointing out a >familial pattern of parnoid delususions.

Bill, if you're going to do that, please include examples (fully quoted in
context) of the personal attacks and references to your sanity. In fairness
to me, others should be allowed to decide whether they consider my remarks
to be a justification for your extreme reactions. I do not.

There is very little that anyone can say at this point, I fear, that will
not just make matters worse.

Bill P.

[From Bill Powers (2003.02.17.1441 MST)]

Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 2:00 PM CST--

>>Bill, if you're going to do that, please include examples

OK. I can't reproduce the document because ...economic terms had been
increasing for a long as good records had been kept. I got back from you
this post which included ranting of the sort I'd just experienced at the U
from this Green that I was crazy.

Here is my reply, which includes your comment about the "Green" economist.
This is in a batch of posts archived on Feb. 14, 2003 and probably
exchanged that same day. The CSG archives will bear out that this is the
entire exchange.

···

=============================================================================
Williams:

We had a "Green" economist giving a talk here
recently. And, he <br>
<blockquote type=cite class=cite cite>started in on the exaustion of
&quot;natural resources.&quot;&nbsp; The difficulty, as I <br>
pointed out, with this conception was that resources as an economic matter
are <br>
defined by the technological state of the art _of a particular time._&nbsp;
So, as a <br>
rough matter we've consumed something like four times the volume of copper
<br>
estimated as a &quot;natural resource&quot; availible in 1950 and after havng
consumed <br>
four times what was thought to exist now have copper resources of 4 times
that <br>
thought to exist in 1950. The guy attacked me as being
&quot;crazy.&quot;</font></blockquote><br>

Here is my reply, which followed the above immediately (nothing added or
omitted):

Well, if you think that's going to apply to everything we're short of, I'd
say you're a little bent, at least. Of course control systems find another
way when they're blocked, but there's no magic: if we really use up all the
copper, the next-best conductor is a pretty poor substitute. The Earth is
only 8000 miles across, man. To an astronomer, that's not much of a
rock.<br><br>

That, the totality of my "rant", is what comes out, in your complaint, as
"questioning your sanity". In my opinion, you are reacting with
inexplicable fury to what was nothing worse than a mild joshing. but here
is what you say about it:

> THen I get this post from you saying that I'm "bent" along with a bunch
of other >ranting. Did you ask what the evidence was? Noooo. Did you seek
to determine if there >was some reason that I'd come to this, to you,
unfamiliar opinion? Nooo. I'm sure you >didn't think anything about it.
JBut, Saying that I'm "bent" is an attack upon my >integrity. It is like
someone, which I've never done, calling your dad a
"crank." Its >unneccesary. And, what it generates is a situation in which
people hate each others >guts. I regard what you did as a totally
unprovoked attack upon my character. Is there >any excuse for what you did?
None. It is indefensible. If you think differently, then >we have different
schemes of valuation.

I rest my case, not that I want to win anything.

>Worse for who? You are perfectly happy with the situation when you can go
around making ?causal attacks upon people character and their sanity. I'm
confident that until I >mentioned it, you'd altogether forgotten what you'd
said.

I remembered it completely and accurately, which is more than you did.
But I will say no more about it. Any other incidents?

Bill P.

[From Bill Powers (2003.02.17.1441 MST)]

Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 2:00 PM CST--

That archive was _January_ 14, 2003.

Bill P.

[From Bill Powers (2003.02.17.16563 MSDT)]

  Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 2:00 PM CST

>It is like someone, which I've never done, calling your dad a "crank."

Funny you should mention that. While, technically speaking, what you say is
true, in a post a couple of years ago (still looking for it) you cited
someone, pointing out that he had a PhD, who did call my father a "crank."
Of course that's not _you_ calling him a crank, but since you cited a
person with a PhD who did call him that, is there really very much
difference? I presume you mentioned the PhD to indicate that this person's
opinion was to be respected.

How about a list of the things you have called me? We could start with
"megalomaniac" and descend from there. Where does "megalomaniac" stand on
the scale of pejoratives, in relation to "a little bent?"

Bill P.

[From Bruce Nevin (2003.02.17.1202 EST)]

Personal attack has been a very ordinary mode of expression on this net.

I thought we were doing very well at getting out of that.

Language norms cannot be set by any individual, insofar as they are constituted in a public by each individual setting references unconsciously to reflect their perception of a norm in that public. And conflict with such a norm requires conscious effort to reset or maintain a value of a reference which is typically maintained unconsciously.

We can consciously agree to norms of appropriate discourse, but it takes effortful attention to maintain them as the reference values out of which actual norms arise.

         /Bruce Nevin

···

At 11:32 AM 2/17/2003, Williams, William D. wrote:

Bill --

>It doesn't make any difference whether you say Y is a rate, or say Y
is a
magnitude and >then write it Y/t.

You're right, after I used Y/t to designate a time rate I should have
said, Y/t/dt, and adhered to a consistent notion thereafter. But, the
way you are treating what is an easily correctable mistake, is in bad
faith. As you will remember I found mathematical errors in BCP. Did I
conclude because you'd made some mistakes in deriving relationships,
that you were mathematically incompetent? After all isn't there some
greater responsiblity to see that as you say below, "WHy not get it
right the first time?" in a manuscript that is going to be published? I
would think so. But, regardless of the mistakes I went on and read the
rest of your book. I suppose that it is possible that the
VEblen/Duessenberry model may contain a mistake, or mistakes. But, I'm
not sure its worth attempting to work with you if you're determined to
approach a collaboration in the way you have behaved recently. For
example, you ask recently about the meaning of the variables in a
control loop. What you !
ask is the meaing of "e." Well, "e" is obviously a part of the standard
Euler feedback control loop. What do you suppose "e" could possiblely
mean when it appears on the top left hand portion of the code for the
loop? Profound mystery. I wonder if anyone else has ever used an "e" in
that particular spot? Whatever could it possibly standfor?

And if you do use Y as a finite amount, then for heaven's sake don't
speak
of it as a person's income. That's not what anyone else means by income.

You'd be surprized at the sort of mistakes people can make! See the book
_the Darwin awards_ And, while we're at it how about, yet once again,
your dad's confusing payments to a sinking fund with investments. We
didn't get this right the first time so we get to do it over and over
until we get it right!
For heaven's sake indeed. HOw many times have I pointed this out over
how many years? What was your recent response? "THis subject is closed."
is what you said. Reminds me of "SHut up, he explained." Or, what about
the paean to your dad's economics that was for years the leadin to an
economics thread in the "Best of the CSGnet" And then it disappeared?
Nobody seems to know how, but suddenly it was gone. Fortunately, I
printed it out before it vanished. How would you like to debate the
merits of the arguments that _were_ in the economics thread.

>Look at the way Samuelson handles time in the case of either the
multiplier or the 45 >degree digram. Both contain inconsistencies
regarding
the treatment of time. If the >variables were consistently treated as
rates
that would be an improvement. So, >attaching a subscript 't' might make
an
improvement in the situation by reminding >people that the variable in
question is a timerate.

Why not just do it right the first time?

Why indeed? Why don't we consider the economics thread when it was
devoted to the Leakages model? Evidently there's a human capacity to
get stuff screwed-up, or hadn't you noticed? ANd, Who am I supposed to
emulate when I attempt as best I can to "get it right the first time?"
Why don't we take a moment and think about Tom Bourbon. Now, there I
guess is a fine example of "Getting it right the first time." Yes,
"heavan sakes" indeed. ANd, "Jesus wept."

Arguments containing inconsistencies do not commonly lead to correct
conclusions.

I guess not. But, I think I've heard this somewhere before? Is it an
echo of an off-net post from me to you a week ago or so? Should we
check? Wasn't it me ranting on about how the Marxist's in cammoflauge
had decided that as long as the conclusions turned out to be correct, it
really didn't matter how one arrived at the proper answer. Yes, I think
it was me saying that. But, then we know that the good that one does
returns in manyfold blessings-- and I can hear the rockets coming in
now.

Why should I be impressed by Samuelson or anyone else, like Keynes, if
they make known
errors in their attempts, and I emphasize _attempts_, to model the
economy?

Why indeed, and this if anything ever did deserves all the _emphasis_ we
can manage. So, I promise to never again to attempt to force you into
being impreseed with anyone or anything ever again. And, I'll sign a
pledge in blue ink if neccesary. And, someday I'll eventually get
around to stopping-- beating my wife that is. But, then I'm not
married. So, how can I stop?
  But, there's a difference between being mistakenly impressed by a
scholar or a tradition, and approaching issues in a way that prohibits a
sympathetic understanding of a body of work or a person's efforts for
that matter. The difference between us is that while our assessements of
Keynes aren't that far apart in someways, I'm amused by Keynes, and you
as best I can tell are angered. Angered in a way that prevents you from
appreciating what he genuinely managed to acomplish. But, there I go
again, ....

If Samuelson did it wrong, who did it right?

If you mean who's put together a model which treats time properly,
attaches a properly constructed simulation, and uses an adaquate model
of human behavior, it hasn't been done yet. NOt anyplace that I know of
in print. I don't count the occassional uses of control theory in
economics, the sort that drops from sight seemingly leaving no citation
trail, let alone a pattern of cummulative development in this.

Not that all of the economists have been fools. Last time that I know of
that people looked economists and physicists ( phD's ) were on the
average very close in ability as measured? by I.Q.'s. It would be
interesting to compare the IQ of people who get the Nobel's. But,
Before criticizing economists, psychologists should be required to
undergo forty or so lashes for their collective guilt as a result of
their responsiblity for the IQ tests. Now there's a really good
example of why its important to get it right the first time.

If Keynes did it wrong, who did it right?

See the above and read carefully.

Generations of economists have convinced themselves to accept
the conclusions of these famous people for little reason other than
their
being famous.

Heavan sakes Yes, the sins of the father's are passed on to the sons and
daughters. But, what have you got against "fame" anyway?

Why should we do the same?

Well, there is the profound Japanese proverb that says, "The nail that
sticks up gets pounded down." While from time to time I've gotten
"pounded down" I still have the feeling that I'm somehow still sticking
up. From time to time you've charged me with being "overly defferential
to authority." Sturgeon got a big laugh out of that one.

>Why don't you and the other guy in this thread get stuff sorted out
and
I'll watch?

Why don't you just go on trying to achieve agreement and understanding
like
a grown-up, as you usually do? I didn't deserve that diatribe and you
know it.

Maybe the reason is that I'm not dealing with a grown-up. The way you
treat peopls can at times be careless and cruel. Like a bored boy of a
certain age with cats. When you say things that a reasonable person
would expect to wound, you ought to expect a reply in kind. (At least
from people with some self-respect.) Don't begin to think I'm going to
fall for your whining "I don't deserve that..." Right! You certainly
do, and much, much, more. ANd, it seems I have the capacity inflict some
pain and believe me I plan to do so if you go on this fashion. You
richly deserve it. It may even be good for you. You might shape-up and
behave like a reasonable human being.

Some time ago I pointed out that it seemed to me that people sometimes
beatup on Rick because they were angry at you. At the time, you were in
enuthusiasic agrement with my insight. But, you didn't go on to ask why
would people be angry with you. Maybe the reason for people's anger
never occurred to you. One among others that I can point out is that
there are ways in which you sometimes treat people that are similiar to
the way your father treated you. Your father was a brutal man who
inflicted a deep wound upon a child who wasn't in a position to defend
himself. So, what are people around you now supposed to do? SHould we
cringe and fawn while you abuse us without protest, while you blunder
about in some demented re-creation of your past. A re-creation in which
you play the bullying father and we get the roles of helpless victims?
You ought to ask yourself, with your record of achievement, why haven't
you been able to convert an impressive body of work into funding, inst!
itutional support, and a larger contingent of capable scholars and
researchers who understand and apply control theory to human behavior.
Do you suppose it could have anything to do with the way that you
interact with people? REflect on this, maybe you will experience an
epiphany.

best

Bill Williams

You can send the osciloscope now. I'm sure it will mystify the econ dept
secretary.

···

From: David M. Goldstein
Subject: The economics thread
Date: 02/17/2003
To: Bill Williams, Richard Marken, & Bill Powers

I have been a lurker in the economics thread. I have been enjoying it,
up to very recently. I just don't feel qualified as either an economist
or a control system modeler to actively participate. The discussion was
good. Everyone was doing fine. I thought you were all enjoying it and
guess that other lurkers were also following it, like me.

Then something happened, big disturbances obviously. The comments we are
seeing now remind me of the operation of the Reorganization System. As a
therapist who tries to apply PCT, I would urge you all to not withdraw,
tough it out and see it through. You have all come through periods like
this in the past. In fact, I seem to recall that the present discussion
started out in a similar way.

As a lurker, I see you all as having different but important roles in
the discussion. Bill Williams is the obvious expert in economics. Rick
Marken is the amateur economist who is also a control system modeler.
Bill Powers is the master control system modeler.

I am not going to try to identify what the big disturbances were; I will
leave that to others. It would be a shame if the economics thread
discussion ended forever. I just wanted you all to know that I was
following it and enjoying it.

Best regards,
David

-----Original Message-----
From: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
[mailto:CSGNET@listserv.uiuc.edu] On Behalf Of Williams, William D.
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 1:39 AM
To: CSGNET@listserv.uiuc.edu
Subject: Re: The organ grinder

-----Original Message-----
From: Williams, William D.
Sent: Mon 2/17/2003 12:29 AM
To: Bill Powers
Cc:
Subject: RE: The organ grinder

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Powers [mailto:powers_w@earthlink.net]
Sent: Sun 2/16/2003 6:03 PM
To: Williams, William D.
Cc:
Subject: RE: Who's confused?

I.Kurtzer (2003.02.17.1240 EST)

I second Bruce Nevin's point.

i.

···

[From Bruce Nevin (2003.02.17.1202 EST)]

At 11:32 AM 2/17/2003, Williams, William D. wrote:
>Personal attack has been a very ordinary mode of expression on this net.

I thought we were doing very well at getting out of that.

Language norms cannot be set by any individual, insofar as they are
constituted in a public by each individual setting references unconsciously
to reflect their perception of a norm in that public. And conflict with
such a norm requires conscious effort to reset or maintain a value of a
reference which is typically maintained unconsciously.

We can consciously agree to norms of appropriate discourse, but it takes
effortful attention to maintain them as the reference values out of which
actual norms arise.

         /Bruce Nevin

[From Rick Marken (2003.02.17.1000)]

Bill Williams (UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 10:30 AM CST) --

Alice,

Good to meet you too. For your information in the past this net has been conducted as an open discussion without restrictions. And, I have supported that policy for others, especially Rick Markent, who holds many opinions with which I am not in agreement and expresses them in scatological terms.

Scatological terms? I think that's bullshit :wink:

Best

Rick

···

---
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

[From Rick Marken (2003.02.17.1330)]

"David M. Goldstein" wrote:

I have been a lurker in the economics thread. I have been enjoying it,
up to very recently. I just don't feel qualified as either an economist
or a control system modeler to actively participate. The discussion was
good. Everyone was doing fine. I thought you were all enjoying it and
guess that other lurkers were also following it, like me.

Hi David. I agree. I thought it was going fine, too. I'm still working on a
spreadsheet version of Bill's model. I hope to have something by next weekend.

I didn't even realize that there was anything going wrong with the discussion
until this morning.

It would be a shame if the economics thread
discussion ended forever. I just wanted you all to know that I was
following it and enjoying it.

That's great. I'm just going along as though nothing happened. I know that this is
a hot medium (I've felt the heat plenty!) and people's feelings can get hurt by
any affront, real or imagined. I think the best approach is to assume that people
are not trying to be hurtful and to let bygones be bygones -- as soon as
possible. That, a loving spouse and an occasional cigar, are my recommendations
for mental health on the net.

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

Bill --

>It doesn't make any difference whether you say Y is a rate, or say Y is a
magnitude and >then write it Y/t.

You're right, after I used Y/t to designate a time rate I should have said, Y/t/dt, and adhered to a consistent notion thereafter. But, the way you are treating what is an easily correctable mistake, is in bad faith. As you will remember I found mathematical errors in BCP. Did I conclude because you'd made some mistakes in deriving relationships, that you were mathematically incompetent? After all isn't there some greater responsiblity to see that as you say below, "WHy not get it right the first time?" in a manuscript that is going to be published? I would think so. But, regardless of the mistakes I went on and read the rest of your book. I suppose that it is possible that the VEblen/Duessenberry model may contain a mistake, or mistakes. But, I'm not sure its worth attempting to work with you if you're determined to approach a collaboration in the way you have behaved recently. For example, you ask recently about the meaning of the variables in a control loop. What you !
ask is the meaing of "e." Well, "e" is obviously a part of the standard Euler feedback control loop. What do you suppose "e" could possiblely mean when it appears on the top left hand portion of the code for the loop? Profound mystery. I wonder if anyone else has ever used an "e" in that particular spot? Whatever could it possibly standfor?

And if you do use Y as a finite amount, then for heaven's sake don't speak
of it as a person's income. That's not what anyone else means by income.

You'd be surprized at the sort of mistakes people can make! See the book _the Darwin awards_ And, while we're at it how about, yet once again, your dad's confusing payments to a sinking fund with investments. We didn't get this right the first time so we get to do it over and over until we get it right!
For heaven's sake indeed. HOw many times have I pointed this out over how many years? What was your recent response? "THis subject is closed." is what you said. Reminds me of "SHut up, he explained." Or, what about the paean to your dad's economics that was for years the leadin to an economics thread in the "Best of the CSGnet" And then it disappeared? Nobody seems to know how, but suddenly it was gone. Fortunately, I printed it out before it vanished. How would you like to debate the merits of the arguments that _were_ in the economics thread.

>Look at the way Samuelson handles time in the case of either the
multiplier or the 45 >degree digram. Both contain inconsistencies regarding
the treatment of time. If the >variables were consistently treated as rates
that would be an improvement. So, >attaching a subscript 't' might make an
improvement in the situation by reminding >people that the variable in
question is a timerate.

Why not just do it right the first time?

Why indeed? Why don't we consider the economics thread when it was devoted to the Leakages model? Evidently there's a human capacity to get stuff screwed-up, or hadn't you noticed? ANd, Who am I supposed to emulate when I attempt as best I can to "get it right the first time?" Why don't we take a moment and think about Tom Bourbon. Now, there I guess is a fine example of "Getting it right the first time." Yes, "heavan sakes" indeed. ANd, "Jesus wept."

Arguments containing inconsistencies do not commonly lead to correct conclusions.

I guess not. But, I think I've heard this somewhere before? Is it an echo of an off-net post from me to you a week ago or so? Should we check? Wasn't it me ranting on about how the Marxist's in cammoflauge had decided that as long as the conclusions turned out to be correct, it really didn't matter how one arrived at the proper answer. Yes, I think it was me saying that. But, then we know that the good that one does returns in manyfold blessings-- and I can hear the rockets coming in now.

Why should I be impressed by Samuelson or anyone else, like Keynes, if they make known
errors in their attempts, and I emphasize _attempts_, to model the economy?

Why indeed, and this if anything ever did deserves all the _emphasis_ we can manage. So, I promise to never again to attempt to force you into being impreseed with anyone or anything ever again. And, I'll sign a pledge in blue ink if neccesary. And, someday I'll eventually get around to stopping-- beating my wife that is. But, then I'm not married. So, how can I stop?
  But, there's a difference between being mistakenly impressed by a scholar or a tradition, and approaching issues in a way that prohibits a sympathetic understanding of a body of work or a person's efforts for that matter. The difference between us is that while our assessements of Keynes aren't that far apart in someways, I'm amused by Keynes, and you as best I can tell are angered. Angered in a way that prevents you from appreciating what he genuinely managed to acomplish. But, there I go again, ....

If Samuelson did it wrong, who did it right?

If you mean who's put together a model which treats time properly, attaches a properly constructed simulation, and uses an adaquate model of human behavior, it hasn't been done yet. NOt anyplace that I know of in print. I don't count the occassional uses of control theory in economics, the sort that drops from sight seemingly leaving no citation trail, let alone a pattern of cummulative development in this.

Not that all of the economists have been fools. Last time that I know of that people looked economists and physicists ( phD's ) were on the average very close in ability as measured? by I.Q.'s. It would be interesting to compare the IQ of people who get the Nobel's. But, Before criticizing economists, psychologists should be required to undergo forty or so lashes for their collective guilt as a result of their responsiblity for the IQ tests. Now there's a really good example of why its important to get it right the first time.

If Keynes did it wrong, who did it right?

See the above and read carefully.

Generations of economists have convinced themselves to accept
the conclusions of these famous people for little reason other than their
being famous.

Heavan sakes Yes, the sins of the father's are passed on to the sons and daughters. But, what have you got against "fame" anyway?

Why should we do the same?

Well, there is the profound Japanese proverb that says, "The nail that sticks up gets pounded down." While from time to time I've gotten "pounded down" I still have the feeling that I'm somehow still sticking up. From time to time you've charged me with being "overly defferential to authority." Sturgeon got a big laugh out of that one.

>Why don't you and the other guy in this thread get stuff sorted out and
I'll watch?

Why don't you just go on trying to achieve agreement and understanding like
a grown-up, as you usually do? I didn't deserve that diatribe and you know it.

Maybe the reason is that I'm not dealing with a grown-up. The way you treat peopls can at times be careless and cruel. Like a bored boy of a certain age with cats. When you say things that a reasonable person would expect to wound, you ought to expect a reply in kind. (At least from people with some self-respect.) Don't begin to think I'm going to fall for your whining "I don't deserve that..." Right! You certainly do, and much, much, more. ANd, it seems I have the capacity inflict some pain and believe me I plan to do so if you go on this fashion. You richly deserve it. It may even be good for you. You might shape-up and behave like a reasonable human being.

Some time ago I pointed out that it seemed to me that people sometimes beatup on Rick because they were angry at you. At the time, you were in enuthusiasic agrement with my insight. But, you didn't go on to ask why would people be angry with you. Maybe the reason for people's anger never occurred to you. One among others that I can point out is that there are ways in which you sometimes treat people that are similiar to the way your father treated you. Your father was a brutal man who inflicted a deep wound upon a child who wasn't in a position to defend himself. So, what are people around you now supposed to do? SHould we cringe and fawn while you abuse us without protest, while you blunder about in some demented re-creation of your past. A re-creation in which you play the bullying father and we get the roles of helpless victims? You ought to ask yourself, with your record of achievement, why haven't you been able to convert an impressive body of work into funding, inst!
itutional support, and a larger contingent of capable scholars and researchers who understand and apply control theory to human behavior. Do you suppose it could have anything to do with the way that you interact with people? REflect on this, maybe you will experience an epiphany.

best

Bill Williams

You can send the osciloscope now. I'm sure it will mystify the econ dept secretary.

···

-----Original Message-----
From: Williams, William D.
Sent: Mon 2/17/2003 12:29 AM
To: Bill Powers
Cc:
Subject: RE: The organ grinder

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Powers [mailto:powers_w@earthlink.net]
Sent: Sun 2/16/2003 6:03 PM
To: Williams, William D.
Cc:
Subject: RE: Who's confused?

[From Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 10:30 AM CST]

Alice,

Good to meet you too. For your information in the past this net has been conducted as an open discussion without restrictions. And, I have supported that policy for others, especially Rick Markent, who holds many opinions with which I am not in agreement and expresses them in scatological terms. So while you are welcome to have and express an opinion, I do not see that there is any reason to conform to your preferences in this or any other way.

Personal attack has been a very ordinary mode of expression on this net.

Cordidally yours

   Bill Williams

···

-----Original Message-----
From: APMcE@aol.com [mailto:APMcE@aol.com]
Sent: Mon 2/17/2003 8:04 AM
To: Williams, William D.
Cc: Powers_w@earthlink.net
Subject: Re: The organ grinder

Excuse me for stepping in here, but does this have anything to do with

PCT...or economics for that matter? I suddenly find myself caught in the
fallout of an extremely personal attack. I'm sure there are others on the
list who are hurt and embarassed by it, and they're not even related to this
allegedly "brutal man" or his "bored boy" of a son. Enough! Or take it off
line, please.

Alice Powers McElhone

In a message dated 2/17/2003 1:40:03 AM Eastern Standard Time,
williamswd@UMKC.EDU writes:

Maybe the reason is that I'm not dealing with a grown-up. The way you

treat peopls can at times be careless and cruel. Like a bored boy of a
certain age with cats. When you say things that a reasonable person would
expect to wound, you ought to expect a reply in kind. (At least from people
with some self-respect.) Don't begin to think I'm going to fall for your
whining "I don't deserve that..." Right! You certainly do, and much, much,
more. ANd, it seems I have the capacity inflict some pain and believe me I
plan to do so if you go on this fashion. You richly deserve it. It may even
be good for you. You might shape-up and behave like a reasonable human being.

But, you didn't go on to ask why would people be angry with you.

Maybe the reason for people's anger never occurred to you. One among others
that I can point out is that there are ways in which you sometimes treat
people that are similiar to the way your father treated you. Your father was
a brutal man who inflicted a deep wound upon a child who wasn't in a position
to defend himself. So, what are people around you now supposed to do? SHould
we cringe and fawn while you abuse us without protest, while you blunder
about in some demented re-creation of your past. A re-creation in which you
play the bullying father and we get the roles of helpless victims? You
ought to ask yourself, with your record of achievement, why haven't you been
able to convert an impressive body of work into funding, institutional
support, and a larger contingent of capable scholars and researchers who
understand and apply control theory to human behavior. Do you suppose it
could have anything to do with the way that you interact with people?
REflect on this, maybe you will experience an epiphany.

BENCHMARK PUBLICATIONS INC.
New Canaan, Connecticut 06840-1594
203-966-6653 (v) � 203-972-7129 (f)

[From Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 12:30 PM CST]

I.Kurtzer (2003.02.17.1240 EST)

I second Bruce Nevin's point.
i.

[From Bruce Nevin (2003.02.17.1202 EST)]

>Personal attack has been a very ordinary mode of expression on this net.

I thought we were doing very well at getting out of that.

What happens now is that I get emails off the net that attack me in personal terms, so you don't see the first hit. Bill Powers has the meglomanic idea that he is compentent to pass upon peoples sanity. So, I feel justified in pointing out a familial pattern of parnoid delususions.

best

Bill Williams

···

At 11:32 AM 2/17/2003, Williams, William D. wrote:

Language norms cannot be set by any individual, insofar as they are
constituted in a public by each individual setting references unconsciously
to reflect their perception of a norm in that public. And conflict with
such a norm requires conscious effort to reset or maintain a value of a
reference which is typically maintained unconsciously.

We can consciously agree to norms of appropriate discourse, but it takes
effortful attention to maintain them as the reference values out of which
actual norms arise.

         /Bruce Nevin

[From Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 2:00 PM CST]

[From Bill Powers (2003.02.17.1208 MST)]

Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 12:30 PM CST]--

>What happens now is that I get emails off the net that attack me in
personal terms, >so you don't see the first hit. Bill Powers has the
meglomanic idea that he is >compentent to pass upon peoples sanity. So, I
feel justified in pointing out a >familial pattern of parnoid delususions.

Bill, if you're going to do that, please include examples (fully quoted in
context) of the personal attacks and references to your sanity. In fairness
to me, others should be allowed to decide whether they consider my remarks
to be a justification for your extreme reactions. I do not.

OK. I can't reproduce the document because the email service which I was using at the time died. I suppose you are maintaining records of your emails so you can confirm or not what I remember.

I pointed out in an off net post that when you got your model running you might include an analysis of the way in which improvements in technology generate an increase in the economic resource base. I mentioned that we had a nasty dispute here at the U when a Green economist was arguing that capitalism was exhausting our natural resources in a way that was unfair to future generations. In rebuttal I cited the literature in which as a result of improvements in extractive technologies the resource based calculated in economic terms had been increasing for a long as good records had been kept. I got back from you this post which included ranting of the sort I'd just experienced at the U from this Green that I was crazy. Now the Green had the novel at least to me idea that it didn't matter what the evidence or logic was as long as his argument came out in the right place. I couldn't belive he meant what he said, he didn't say it in public, but I looked it up and found it in the literature. Lies are OK. I find it really difficult to argue with people who think fraud is OK. THen I get this post from you saying that I'm "bent" along with a bunch of other ranting. Did you ask what the evidence was? Noooo. Did you seek to determine if there was some reason that I'd come to this, to you, unfamiliar opinion? Nooo. I'm sure you didn't think anything about it. JBut, Saying that I'm "bent" is an attack upon my integrity. It is like someone, which I've never done, calling your dad a "crank." Its unneccesary. And, what it generates is a situation in which people hate each others guts. I regard what you did as a totally unprovoked attack upon my character. Is there any excuse for what you did? None. It is indefensible. If you think differently, then we have different schemes of valuation.

There is very little that anyone can say at this point, I fear, that will
not just make matters worse.

Worse for who? You are perfectly happy with the situation when you can go around making causal attacks upon people character and their sanity. I'm confident that until I mentioned it, you'd altogether forgotten what you'd said.

Bill P.

[From Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 2:40 PM CST]

David, ( a fellow prolog programer )

Thanks for your comment. You might be amused to know that within the economics department here I'm called a "pscyhologist." I suspect that it is meant as a term of abuse.

best

Bill Williams

[From Bill Williams UMKC 17 Febuary 2003 7:00PM CST]

So, you want to argue about it, fine. I'm gone.

bye Bill

···

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Powers [mailto:powers_w@EARTHLINK.NET]
Sent: Mon 2/17/2003 6:01 PM
To: CSGNET@listserv.uiuc.edu
Cc:
Subject: Re: The organ grinder

[From Bill Powers (2003.02.17.16563 MSDT)]

  Bill Williams UMKC 17 Feburary 2003 2:00 PM CST

>It is like someone, which I've never done, calling your dad a "crank."

Funny you should mention that. While, technically speaking, what you say is
true, in a post a couple of years ago (still looking for it) you cited
someone, pointing out that he had a PhD, who did call my father a "crank."
Of course that's not _you_ calling him a crank, but since you cited a
person with a PhD who did call him that, is there really very much
difference? I presume you mentioned the PhD to indicate that this person's
opinion was to be respected.

How about a list of the things you have called me? We could start with
"megalomaniac" and descend from there. Where does "megalomaniac" stand on
the scale of pejoratives, in relation to "a little bent?"

Bill P.