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Thread: Human Terrain & Anthropology (merged thread)

  1. #201
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shivan View Post
    I find it quite amusing that a mediocre professor at a mediocre university writing mediocre academic work and languishing there as a non-tenured professor for 13 years <http://homepages.stmartin.edu/fac_staff/dprice/> should chose to attack a COIN manual prepared by Petraeus (West Point and Princeton); McFate (Yale); Kilcullen (U. New South Wales) and Nagl (West Point and Oxford). All of the COIN contributors (as far as I am aware), have excellent academic records from fine schools, and moreover, they have put forth scholarship that is saving American lives and winning wars. Like many other commentators here, I hate giving Price his 15 mins., but it needs to be said. Maybe this is his attempt at finally getting tenure, not by way of fine scholarship, but by attacking better scholars.
    Con Crane, who was actually the primary writer, is USMA and Stanford (Ph.D)

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shivan View Post
    I find it quite amusing that a mediocre professor at a mediocre university writing mediocre academic work and languishing there as a non-tenured professor for 13 years ...... Maybe this is his attempt at finally getting tenure, not by way of fine scholarship, but by attacking better scholars.

    Sorry I don't see where he doesn't have tenure. It looks like he's tenured to me which means as long as he's on topic in his discipline he's untouchable (the way it should be like it or not). He's an associate professor and that usually is a tenured rank.

    We talk about academic freedom and such but this is the actual document that explains it http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/pol...0statement.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hanley View Post
    You could request also that Nagl be allowed to have his response printed in the same academic journals that Price frequents.
    No no noooOOOO!!

    Too much risk that the "equal time" argument might get Price onto the Daily Show.

    Think of the backlash it might have on Colbert's campaign.

  4. #204
    Council Member Shivan's Avatar
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    Default David Price

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Sorry I don't see where he doesn't have tenure. It looks like he's tenured to me which means as long as he's on topic in his discipline he's untouchable (the way it should be like it or not). He's an associate professor and that usually is a tenured rank.
    All professors at the universities I have attended bearing "Assistant" or "Associate" rank are not tenured.
    Last edited by SWJED; 11-02-2007 at 05:28 AM. Reason: Fix quote box

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    Default Wait!!

    I have something to say on this, but I am too tired to do it now. I'll write it in the morning.

    Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shivan View Post
    All professors at the universities I have attended bearing "Assistant" or "Associate" rank are not tenured.
    It varies. At some schools, promotion to associate also brings tenure. At other places, the two are separate. But normally a tenure decision is at about the five year mark. If the guy has been there 13 years, chances are he's tenured.

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    Did we lose the point of this thread? Why do Dr. Price's credentials (or apparent lack there of) discredit (or lessen) his opinions?

    The point is that an FM is not a piece of scholarly hokum but a document meant to be useful. I have validated SOPs for the units I have served in. One of the keys for me is the "Napoleon's Corporal" standard. If I hand the unit SOP to a 19 year old private, can he read the document and understand it?

    Dr. Price obviously missed the point. The Army is not worried about plagiarism and providing credit to source material. Not only do we (Army Officers) liberally borrow material from our peers, we are actively encouraged to do so. (The CALL website (http://call.army.mil) being a great information source and prime example of this). Soldiering is not rocket science (although we do have rocket scientists on the payroll ), and our Field Manuals should not be (and thank god that they aren't) written for academia. FMs are written for soldiers.

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    BTW Selil, "what you talking about Willis?"

    The obvious grammatical effluvia of academic discourse wrapped in the absent specter of Pericles pen shows the dishonesty of the academician. There is only shame for the academic hiding behind bellicose diatribes in obfuscation of honest discourse. An attack on grammar is the last gasp held in an attempt to impoverish intellectual discourse while toiling in the dung heap of “ad hominem” sophistry. In a culture of his vanity and imperiled ideas the social order of the academician is challenged by those who he can only engage in fallacious name calling with because his homilies will not withstand the test of daylight and logic. The academician mistakenly imperils his science while in a stupor of ill-considered ideas he lashes out with the sword of injustice only to be bitten by the poison of his politics.

    Attacks on grammar and people is but one thread in the unraveling tapestry of scholarship. There is a presumptive arrogance in hiding behind imprecise and obfuscated language of academia. In attempting to be use $3 words for $1 concepts there is not much to be said other than they have ceded the high ground. English is a living language of emotion and ideas and those are what we should be talking about. Attempting to foil politics while holding up singularly ideas of scholarship baked in the ovens of Popper, Kuhn, Newton ignores that even science is a political process and subject to the scrutiny of the public. Hiding behind large words and citation is a travesty and failure of the academy in its primary role as service to society. It shows an ultimate hubris in the rampant paternalism found in the attacking of other peoples work.
    Talk about using $3 words. (Or was that your point?)

    JP

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    Default Size 12s In the Ivory Tower

    Powerful, powerful words here that are putting the finishing touches on the myths and polemics that military folks and military thinkers are dullards, robotic, non-critical thinkers. A large boot is leaving its heavy print in and on the ivory tower without tooth enamel being scattered nor blood splattered, just some mud and fecal matter being kicked onto some deserving faces.

    "The obvious grammatical effluvia of academic discourse wrapped in the absent specter of Pericles pen shows the dishonesty of the academician. There is only shame for the academic hiding behind bellicose diatribes in obfuscation of honest discourse. " (Selil)

    That's a 3-fingers-of-top-shelf-bourbon phrase if I've ever seen one. Pour it on 'em, by God! don't stop!

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    Default Agreed

    I agree that his credentials shouldn't be called into question. We shouldn't poison the well here. We should stick to the man's ideas lest we try to assert our points through logical fallacies.

    I agree with the last post, and I think that Dr. Price's flaw is that he equates manuals with academic writing. There is a place for both, but rarely should they find themselves on the same playing field. They are apples and oranges; Dr. Price is, apparently, not aware of the necessity of ease of language in manuals. Because he is used to high-fluted language he assumes anything less is a reflection of ability. His assumptions are false.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SabreXray View Post
    Did we lose the point of this thread? Why do Dr. Price's credentials (or apparent lack there of) discredit (or lessen) his opinions?
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by SabreXray View Post
    Dr. Price obviously missed the point. The Army is not worried about plagiarism and providing credit to source material.
    Actually, FM 3-24 DOES provide notes to source material (pp. 373-377 of the U Chicago version), even to the point of noting date-of-access for webpages (p. 373, which is an over-the top, academic standard), but doesn't source the borrowings from anthropological sources. The "we don't do source notes" defence doesn't make much sense in a FM with source notes, IMHO.

    Moreover, there are two other issues here. First, why not simply rewrite basic concepts in the authors' own words? This is the normal practice in every policy, diplomatic, and analytical shop that I've ever worked in, and frankly my bosses and team leaders would have had my a** had I ever used direct, verbatim quotes from published sources without attribution.

    Indeed, the inclusion of these is a policy advisor's nightmare, since it puts your bosses in the vulnerable position of accidental, public plagiarism should they quote product not knowing that the product isn't original. The very wide play that this story is getting would seem to me to be confirmation of why one doesn't do it. It was apparent that a new COIN FM would be subject to intense scrutiny from the start. Given that a core lesson on FM 3-24 is that almost everything is political, there's a little irony in failing to predict the political consequences of non-sourced quotations.

    Second, it is of dubious legality. In intellectual property law, ownership of the specific formulation and expression of an idea typically resides with the creator. Of course, in this case it would be hard to prove substantial damages, but there are one or two unsourced near verbatim borrowings that could be problematic in the case of a civil suit. (Steve earlier noted "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" ...yes, but don't Render unto Caesar what is Milton Rokeach's...)



    Just to be clear: I'm a FM 3-24 fan (indeed, I've used it in classes), and I accept that there was absolutely no malicous intent to deceive by the authors. I think its a shame that the "plagiarism" issue has distracted from the real issues. I don't buy into Price's broader critique. However, I do still believe that the "oops, sorry, we'll fix it" defence is the best one to take.

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    I think you miss the point too. I want a good manual. I don't care where the authors get their material from or if they credit ALL of their source material. Call me myopic if you want to.

    I don't expect nor even care if I am given credit for MY work (as long as my Rater and Senior Rater know where it came from). If a lesson I and my men learned the hard way and that I openly share with my peers helps them from having to also pay the price for the knowledge (the currency on the battlefield is blood), good. Do I want to see my name in lights in Time Square? (Or in the citations of a future FM?) NO.

    I suppose I should restate my argument that the Soldiers / Marines who are benefiting from FM 3-24 don't care if the intellectual property of the original authors is protected. Should our FMs be subject to academic review? NO. Should we (the service members at the sharp end of the stick) care? IMHO no. (It’s been my experience that soldiers are more interested in having regular chow and an occasional letter / phone call from home or even a hot shower than the academic merits of any Army manual).
    Last edited by SabreXray; 11-02-2007 at 12:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    Agreed.



    Actually, FM 3-24 DOES provide notes to source material (pp. 373-377 of the U Chicago version), even to the point of noting date-of-access for webpages (p. 373, which is an over-the top, academic standard), but doesn't source the borrowings from anthropological sources. The "we don't do source notes" defence doesn't make much sense in a FM with source notes, IMHO.

    Moreover, there are two other issues here. First, why not simply rewrite basic concepts in the authors' own words? This is the normal practice in every policy, diplomatic, and analytical shop that I've ever worked in, and frankly my bosses and team leaders would have had my a** had I ever used direct, verbatim quotes from published sources without attribution.

    Indeed, the inclusion of these is a policy advisor's nightmare, since it puts your bosses in the vulnerable position of accidental, public plagiarism should they quote product not knowing that the product isn't original. The very wide play that this story is getting would seem to me to be confirmation of why one doesn't do it. It was apparent that a new COIN FM would be subject to intense scrutiny from the start. Given that a core lesson on FM 3-24 is that almost everything is political, there's a little irony in failing to predict the political consequences of non-sourced quotations.

    Second, it is of dubious legality. In intellectual property law, ownership of the specific formulation and expression of an idea typically resides with the creator. Of course, in this case it would be hard to prove substantial damages, but there are one or two unsourced near verbatim borrowings that could be problematic in the case of a civil suit. (Steve earlier noted "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" ...yes, but don't Render unto Caesar what is Milton Rokeach's...)



    Just to be clear: I'm a FM 3-24 fan (indeed, I've used it in classes), and I accept that there was absolutely no malicous intent to deceive by the authors. I think its a shame that the "plagiarism" issue has distracted from the real issues. I don't buy into Price's broader critique. However, I do still believe that the "oops, sorry, we'll fix it" defence is the best one to take.
    I guess I didn't explain my point well--the concept of plagiarism simply does not apply to military doctrine. So, in my opinion at least, the whole question of whether the manual did or did not represent plagiarism in the scholarly sense is meaningless.

    I also don't think plagiarism per se is grounds for a civil suit unless a work substantially replicates a copyrighted work. No court would hold that using a phrase here and paragraph there replicated a copyrighted work.

    Personally I think the lesson learned for the Army is don't put any citations in a doctrine manual unless you're going to fully cite all of it. That simply creates the false expectation that it is going to adhere to scholarly standards. And don't, for the love of pete, publish it with a university press.

    Ironically, there are a few paragraphs of the manual which are lifted verbatim from my publications. I don't plan to sue.
    Last edited by SteveMetz; 11-02-2007 at 12:59 PM.

  14. #214
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    The only reason I would question Dr. Price and his credentials is that he questioned the credentials of the manuals authors. Within academia unfortunately that is the second most serious attack possible. The most serious attack is plagarism. Personally I think Dr. Metz is likely correct in that fair use, and replication levels are likely not suit worthy.
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    Hello folks,

    First off, let me start by saying that attacking Price's credentials and other forms of ad hominen commentary in a public forum is using a tactic that I really "dislike". It is the intellectual equivalent of terrorist tactics designed to destroy the reputation of the person involved and, as a result, to smear their work with the same emotional connotations of "immorality". I will freely admit that such commentary has a cathartic effect when done in private, usually over a few beers, but doing it in public is just not good form; it detracts from the substantive issue of disagreements over the content while, at the same time, reducing the general discussion to something reminiscent of a school yard brawl amongst 5 year olds.

    It is also a tactic that I would hope most people who have been in Iraq and Afghanistan would recognize, at least by analogy. In academic terms, David just set up an intellectual IED aimed at the CoG of most academics - their employability in universities and their ability to get research funding. Again, by analogy (which I will admit is always suspect ), engaging in public ad hominem counter-attacks is as productive of the general good as coalition forces placing IEDs in Taliban strongholds or insurgent held areas of Iraq.

    The ultimate question, at least regarding the use of public ad hominem attacks, is whether or not "we" are better than "them".

    On the copyright issue, the standard for fair use I have been given by my university is 250 words with citation. Higher amounts require permission of the copyright holder, which is frequently not the author. Citation of some type is mandatory, otherwise this constitutes theft of intellectual property. There are, as far as I know, two exceptions to that. The first exception is the "common knowledge" exception where something, such as a generic definition similar to many of those in first year text books, is held "in common" within the discipline. The second exception is parallel evolution of thought where the author reaches a conclusion (or concept or definition) from a different starting point and using different logic than that of the person whose work they supposedly plagiarized. A third, possible exception (I'm not a copyright lawyer by any means!), would be the use of eminent domain over intellectual property.

    I can certainly understand the requirement that a field manual be easily readable (which most academic writing isn't). I would be horrified if field manuals were held to academic standards. At the same time, a second publication of the manual by an academic press places the audience focus of the document in question. As Rex notes, there are some citations in the U of C published version, which I applaud, but I believe that the rest of the citations should have been included even if they were stripped out by the original publication committee. The audience for the U of C version is not the military in the field, although I am certain that a significant number of military personelle have purchased it, it is the general public. As Price notes:

    "Some view the Manual as containing plans for a new intellectually fueled "smart bomb," and it is being sold to the public as a scholarly based strategic guide to victory in Iraq. In July, this contrivance was bolstered as the University of Chicago Press republished the Manual in a stylish, olive drab, faux-field ready edition, designed to slip into flack jackets or Urban Outfitter accessory bags." (1)
    Despite his snide innuendo that it is only of interest to the military and survivalists, he is quite correct that this is a document that is being published for the general public by an academic press. The defense that the University of Chicago press appears to offer as noted by Price (1) is, in many ways valid - it is an historical document and should be published "as released" - to modify the text of an historical document, as Price suggests should have been done, would, in and of itself, constitute an academic abuse that, if any of my students did it, would call for their expulsion.

    Given the importance of FM 3-24, I would, however, strongly urge that the authors consider the production of a "critical version" of the FM for publication by the University of Chicago.

    Marc

    Endnotes:
    1. David Price, Pilfered Scholarship Devastates General Petraeus's Counterinsurgency Manual, Counterpunch, October 30th, 20007, available at http://www.counterpunch.com/price10302007.html dl:Nov 2, 2007
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    As I suggest in my blog response, what they could have done (or could do now) is release the notes as a downloadable supplement. Of course, which citation format would be used? I know that the social sciences model (author last name and date: page number) is considered crap in many historical circles, so I'd suggest they use the full-blown versions (or barring that at least use a parenthetical citation model ["cited text..." author last name date: page number] presented as endnotes). I seriously doubt that there's much preventing this, and it would certainly help derail Price's claims.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
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    Hi Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    As I suggest in my blog response, what they could have done (or could do now) is release the notes as a downloadable supplement. Of course, which citation format would be used? I know that the social sciences model (author last name and date: page number) is considered crap in many historical circles, so I'd suggest they use the full-blown versions (or barring that at least use a parenthetical citation model ["cited text..." author last name date: page number] presented as endnotes). I seriously doubt that there's much preventing this, and it would certainly help derail Price's claims.
    Personally, I think that is an excellent suggestion and one I would really like to see. Much as it pains me, I would have to agree with an endnote/footnote citation version (footnotes by preference, I hate endnotes ).

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
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  18. #218
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Hi Steve,



    Personally, I think that is an excellent suggestion and one I would really like to see. Much as it pains me, I would have to agree with an endnote/footnote citation version (footnotes by preference, I hate endnotes ).

    Marc
    Agreed. I'm not a big endnote fan, but I prefer either to the parenthetical crap that gets foisted on the reading public at times.

    At the VERY LEAST they could have put in a "citations available upon request" notice in the introduction of the UC version. That's not unheard of, either, though these days the download would be much preferred.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Hello folks,

    First off, let me start by saying that attacking Price's credentials and other forms of ad hominen commentary in a public forum is using a tactic that I really "dislike". It is the intellectual equivalent of terrorist tactics designed to destroy the reputation of the person involved and, as a result, to smear their work with the same emotional connotations of "immorality". I will freely admit that such commentary has a cathartic effect when done in private, usually over a few beers, but doing it in public is just not good form; it detracts from the substantive issue of disagreements over the content while, at the same time, reducing the general discussion to something reminiscent of a school yard brawl amongst 5 year olds.

    It is also a tactic that I would hope most people who have been in Iraq and Afghanistan would recognize, at least by analogy. In academic terms, David just set up an intellectual IED aimed at the CoG of most academics - their employability in universities and their ability to get research funding. Again, by analogy (which I will admit is always suspect ), engaging in public ad hominem counter-attacks is as productive of the general good as coalition forces placing IEDs in Taliban strongholds or insurgent held areas of Iraq.

    The ultimate question, at least regarding the use of public ad hominem attacks, is whether or not "we" are better than "them".

    On the copyright issue, the standard for fair use I have been given by my university is 250 words with citation. Higher amounts require permission of the copyright holder, which is frequently not the author. Citation of some type is mandatory, otherwise this constitutes theft of intellectual property. There are, as far as I know, two exceptions to that. The first exception is the "common knowledge" exception where something, such as a generic definition similar to many of those in first year text books, is held "in common" within the discipline. The second exception is parallel evolution of thought where the author reaches a conclusion (or concept or definition) from a different starting point and using different logic than that of the person whose work they supposedly plagiarized. A third, possible exception (I'm not a copyright lawyer by any means!), would be the use of eminent domain over intellectual property.

    I can certainly understand the requirement that a field manual be easily readable (which most academic writing isn't). I would be horrified if field manuals were held to academic standards. At the same time, a second publication of the manual by an academic press places the audience focus of the document in question. As Rex notes, there are some citations in the U of C published version, which I applaud, but I believe that the rest of the citations should have been included even if they were stripped out by the original publication committee. The audience for the U of C version is not the military in the field, although I am certain that a significant number of military personelle have purchased it, it is the general public. As Price notes:



    Despite his snide innuendo that it is only of interest to the military and survivalists, he is quite correct that this is a document that is being published for the general public by an academic press. The defense that the University of Chicago press appears to offer as noted by Price (1) is, in many ways valid - it is an historical document and should be published "as released" - to modify the text of an historical document, as Price suggests should have been done, would, in and of itself, constitute an academic abuse that, if any of my students did it, would call for their expulsion.

    Given the importance of FM 3-24, I would, however, strongly urge that the authors consider the production of a "critical version" of the FM for publication by the University of Chicago.

    Marc

    Endnotes:
    1. David Price, Pilfered Scholarship Devastates General Petraeus's Counterinsurgency Manual, Counterpunch, October 30th, 20007, available at http://www.counterpunch.com/price10302007.html dl:Nov 2, 2007

    In that case, the culpability lies with the University of Chicago Press, not the authors of the manual. The concern of the authors was saving the lives of soldiers and attaining U.S. national security interests, not meeting scholarly standards.

    As I've mentioned, in my opinion it was a mistake to publish something that was never intended as a scholarly work with a university press. Knowing most of the authors of the manual, I myself think there are probably better uses of their time than trying to address the complaints of Dr. Price, et. al. As others have noted in this thread, though, his issue was not really the absence of citations. He was just using that as a trojan horse for his personal ideology.

  20. #220
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    Hi Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    In that case, the culpability lies with the University of Chicago Press, not the authors of the manual. The concern of the authors was saving the lives of soldiers and attaining U.S. national security interests, not meeting scholarly standards.
    I've got to show you how to edit long quotes ! I agree totally that the "flaw", if there is one, does not lie with the authors. I'm not even sure if it lies with U of C press either - an historical document shouldn't be "corrected", so it is, IMO, open to honest debate. I do like the idea of either a "critical edition" or a fully referenced version being made available.

    In some ways, it boils down to intended audience. Field manuals are aimed at soldiers - they are written in a specific genre and language style that has to be neat, clean, logically laid out and, above all else, easily translatable into do's and don'ts in the field.

    The genres of academic writing don't really fit this bill. In some circles, "applicability" of an article in the non-academic world is a hindrance, and not only in Anthropology! (references provided on request!). One of the (many) conflations I see in the Price article (op. cit) is that he applies scholarly standards from one discipline to a multi-disciplinary work that was not targeted at a scholarly audience. I could as easily criticize his writing for not being accessible to the internet audiences he is writing for because he did not use the culturally appropriate symbolic form of communications - i.e. emoticons - and that would be an equally "valid" critique.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    As I've mentioned, in my opinion it was a mistake to publish something that was never intended as a scholarly work with a university press. Knowing most of the authors of the manual, I myself think there are probably better uses of their time than trying to address the complaints of Dr. Price, et. al. As others have noted in this thread, though, his issue was not really the absence of citations. He was just using that as a trojan horse for his personal ideology.
    Agreed. Then again, I would like to point out that he is also providing me with invaluable, open source (with full references made ), data for an article I am thinking of writing on the similarities in rhetorical strategies between the current extremist anti-military Anthropologists and Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Spenger (see here). The pattern of social interaction has so many similarities at the rhetorical level that I believe it would be an important piece of research drawing in, as it does, the confluence of rhetoric, professional knowledge and new technologies .

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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