Numberwatch fires back December 7, 2000 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Whoah. It looks like someone that was linked to on MetaFilter wrote a comeback. Fight! Fight!
posted by mathowie (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 7:39 PM (5 comments total)

I just wish I didn't forget to put quotes on that post. Since his name also happens to be John.

I am not surprised he doesn't recognize "meme" even a linguist friend of mine says the whole theory is a bit of a crock.

It seems funny to me that a handful of comments is such an accolade. I've seen much more savage attacks in debates about whether camping was considered cheating in Quake.

Is it really such a mystery who posts here?
posted by john at 2:44 PM on December 8, 2000

what I thought was weird was his assumption that we're all anonymous. Most posters have their first and last names in their profile, along with their URL and email.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:47 PM on December 8, 2000

That may be the first time anyone has quoted me on anything. I'm pleased as punch. ;-)
posted by Optamystic at 11:47 PM on December 8, 2000

Heavens, I should read metatalk more often. (A brief Yahoo or Google search would have been enough to yield an explanation of the term "meme," but perhaps he didn't feel my post deserved the effort.)

And, by God, I stand by my assertion that "the idea of using DDT in countries were malaria is a significant threat to public health" may be a good one! Ha! Take that, John of Number Watch!

(And as an aside, I don't feel that criticising what I feel is an unnecessarily inflammatory tone on his site and saying that I don't think much of his prose style counts as an ad hominem attack, as I didn't mean it as a refutation of his argument. Maybe it seemed as though I were attempting to refute his argument by criticising him personally; someone who wrote a review of Al Gore's book entitled "A Mind Out of Balance" and referred to California as "...that State of Insanity [whose inhabitants] have lived with fantasy for so long that they are incapable of recognising reality when it hits them in the face" might know more about such rhetorical techniques, however.)

The shame of it is, I agree with him about the importance of ensuring that the public understands how statistics can be manipulated. I even agree that there's a shocking amount of junk science being tossed around by people who ought to know better. I just don't think that the political tendancy that I perceive -- rightly or wrongly -- in Number-Watch-John's writing has a monopoly on the truth.
posted by snarkout at 5:32 PM on December 15, 2000

I was going to send my response to Number-Watch-John directly, but on reading some more of his site, I decided that he was a pompous ass and I wouldn't bother.

Now that's an ad hominem attack!
posted by snarkout at 5:38 PM on December 15, 2000

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