Subject: Re: Open Source in E-Commerce
From: Ben_Tilly@trepp.com
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 09:51:52 -0500


Bill Cheng wrote:
>  Crispin Cowan <crispin@wirex.com> wrote:
>  | >   Ben_Tilly@trepp.com wrote:
>  | >   | You will have to
>  | >   | trust me when I say that lack of ability is not among those
reasons...
>  | >
>  | > >From the nonsense you've been saying, why should anyone "have to
>  | > trust you"?  Because you said so?  I have heard from too many
>  | > people with dismo ability using that as a reason why people should
>  | > believe them.

Because I doubt that many here are capable of tracking down and reading
"Derivations whose iterates are zero or invertible on a left ideal"
from the Canadian Math Bulletin?  (Vol 37 (1), 1994.  I wrote it as an
undergrad.)  I have another paper, a Math Monthly problem, another
Monthly problem accepted but I didn't finish the paperwork to get it
published, and enough material for several other publications as well.
The bulk of this was, of course, done before I became disillusioned.

Continuing this pissing match, I went to graduate school and twice was
funded by Canada with an NSERC, and twice got honorable mentions from
the NSF.  (Not easy for someone who went to a no-name Canadian school.)

For some of my online discussions you could go to deja and look for
posts in sci.math authored by benjamin.j.tilly@dartmouth.edu.  Of
course those are not publications, but the quality of my discussions
there indicate how well I know mathematics.  (Be warned - my most
interesting discussions there predated dejanews.)

Still I think I have shown that there is some evidence of my being
sufficiently capable.  Now with that established, would you please
defend your claim that I was saying nonsense?

>  | > Bill Cheng // william@cs.umd.edu <URL:http://www.cs.umd.edu/~william/>
>  |
>  | Hang on now; this personal attack seems uncalled for.
>
>And categorically attack a whole group is called for?

How is it an attack?  Academia, like any type of human behaviour, has
a reward system.  Whether the feedback of that reward system works by
the participants being aware of what is going on, or whether (as with
evolution) the participants are unaware but there is a natural
selection process matters little.  (My experience is that the people
involved are very aware of how the system works.)

The result is that being willing to act as a reviewer is a fundamental
part of how the academic process works, and one of the benefits of
doing so is that your opinions of what is interesting have more
impact.  In math decisions about what is interesting are critical to
determining how the subject moves...

>  | And with your
>  | home page claiming that you have had 5 publications in 11 years, I
>  | don't see that you have that much standing to be so critical.
>
>Um... I was busy doing a start up.  I'm trying to get my academic
>career started these days...

What happened with the start-up?

>I have good standing to be critical of what he said (regardless of
>my publication record).  I found what he said was nonsensical.  The
>way he said it reminded me of this story about a frog that lives at
>the bottom of a well and thinks that he's the king of the world.

Prounouncements of opinion do not facts make.

FWIW my opinions of how the academic process works are based on
discussions with academics at stages from graduate student to
retired, and the basic point of how peer review works and why it
is important is hardly original.

>  | Tilly's characterizations of math academia seem entirely credible
>  | to me:  they are quite consistent with my experience in CS
>  | academia.
>
>Why don't you too just have a private party celebrating the fact
>that you share the same point of view?  Speak for yourself and keep
>it to yourself if you want to degrade a whole category of people.

In what way have academics been degraded here?  Please be specific
about exactly what this degredation consists of.

>  | Lets try and stay civilized here.
>
>Even if you find his nonsense agreeable, why do you have to publically
>degrade people in academia?  Please be civilized yourself.

I believe the first serious lack of civility was on your part when
you decided to imply that I have "dismo ability".  An implication
that is apparently based on no evidence.  Just pronouncements.

You may pronounce me a moron.  That doesn't make it so.

Regards,
Ben