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For those who give a royal flyin' flip...

Pardon my dust. I believe I have removed all offending material I contributed. Contrary to obvious appearance, I have not gathered up my toys and gone home in a huff. I have concluded that it was error on my part to have presumed to contribute serious articles here.

My article on sanity (later, the problem of defining sanity) was objected to on the grounds, chiefly, that I did not title it to reflect that it was not authoritative, but rather was merely my views. It was also criticized, in spite of acknowledging the only widely recognized definition of "sanity" for failing to mention what the 'received view' on the subject was. (I have solicited reference to materials I lack, to see what authortitative position on sanity I have failed to consider.) It was indicated, nay insisted, that I should remove my article to some title such as "Ayespy on Sanity." The implication was that to do otherwise was dishonest, in that it would pretend authority or scholarship which did not exist. The main defect in the article would appear to be that it was propounded by one who was not by formal academic certification a serious scholar, but rather, a crank. I replaced the article with a quote from a presumed authority on the subject.

I bridled at posting the article with a title indicating peculiarity to myself rather than a more general title, and I had to reflect on what bothered me about that. I concluded that what irked me was I had written the piece in hopes folks might read it and reflect. If it was introduced with my name rather than the subject matter, the effect would be (as I am a nobody) that it would be bypassed more than read. As this would defeat my purpose in writing it, I preferred to take it down. There is no point in bulking up wikipedia with useless content for the sake of content.

On reflection, I realized that all of my articles and most of my comments here suffered from the same defect complained of re: the Sanity article. In the absence of credentials, I contributed thoughts and posted them under general headings, without clearly labeling them as being of no particular consequence (to quote Larry, "why should we care...?". Well, you probably shouldn't. However, I suffer from the peculiar conceit that I will not bother to write something down unless I wish it to receive serious consideration. This is my problem, and no one else's. Writing, to me, is like a kind of art. The wikipedia context, contrary to my initial impression, is intended to reflect serious scholarship unless clearly labeled otherwise, (while avoiding academic elitism, a balance to be achieved in a manner unclear to me). And I don't like writing "second chair." Absent a degree, 33 years of study (reduced by a tounge-in-cheek comment to: I read a few books) in a field which I love like life itself fails to confer the stamp of serious scholarship on my writings. I should, instead, "admit that I don't know very much about it" and go do some real study. I would prefer not to contribute rather than have contributions dismissed or labeled as idiosyncratic background chatter. I try not to waste time in small talk or light chat. Especially not in writing. I hope y'all (if anyone reads this) don't take offense.

Larry is probably right. Without a degree in my field of study I should not try to get people to take me seriously. He has indicated privately to me that it is fine him if I step back and make no further contributions.

No hard feelings. I will check in from time to time.

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Last edited February 13, 2001 11:24 am by AyeSpy (diff)