[Citizendium-l] Editorial Dispute Resolution

Jon Awbrey jawbrey at att.net
Mon Oct 16 09:56:58 EDT 2006


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Re: https://lists.purdue.edu/pipermail/citizendium-l/2006-October/000537.html

Dramatis Personae:
DG = David Goodman
JA = Jon Awbrey
Larry = Larry

JA: We should not have to make up new rules for resolving disputes,
    as the norms that seasoned researchers and responsible scholars
    already observe in practice will serve us as well as any maxims.

Larry: Well, I'm wondering what norms, in particular, you're referring to.
       We do have a practical problem to solve, namely, what to do when two
       or more editors (I mean people with Editor privileges, as opposed to
       Author privileges) disagree and can't be reconciled.  It doesn't help
       to say "follow the old norms".  Well, what are the old norms, and what
       process would those norms have us follow?  And notice that it's not a
       matter of making up new *rules* but instead making up a *procedure*.
       The *rules or norms* might be in various ways the same as old ones;
       but we still need a clear decisionmaking *process* in any case.
       So what's the procedure (new *or* old)?

JA: To extract the more general rule:  When there is a situation in the literature or
    in society where several "populations of interpreters" (POI's) have differences
    of interpretation or opinion that appear to be irreconcilable at a given
    moment in time, then we describe the situation in so many words, and we
    say that POI_1 has interpretation 1, POI_2 has interpretation 2, etc.

JA: You don't have to be a philosophical pluralist, much less a relativist,
    to see the sense of doing this.  It is simply a matter of describing
    the current state of dissensus accurately.

JA: It's not really our job to fashion the consensus, much less fake it.
    Though a certain amount of fresh analysis may help to clarify the
    situation and maybe even point the way forward, there's no sense
    expecting that kind of luck all the time.

DG: This more modes approach might be right, even though it will
    amount to parallel articlesfrom different points of view.
    In some cases one person can write up both sides fairly,
    but I doubt that this will usually be the case.

DG: But in some cases this too will need splitting:
    the Intelligent Design people do not agree with
    one another, and neither really do the evolutionary
    biologists.  I don't think synthesis is avoidable.

DG: And it would take a year or so to all understand
    the formal and informal material in Jon's previous
    letter, and I very much doubt we woud agree on the
    interpretation.

Larry, David, & All --

Easy answer first -- If we fork the current state of WikioPopulism,
then we're already stuck with a vast complex of parallel ubiverses
of widening gyres where the sinner cannot hold betwen Evilusionists
and IDeists.  So let's all think about that before we dream our cache
is abetted with a congregation of safe sects in Switzerland somewhere.

For my part, I was not proposing that we need to have parallel or serial articles
written from diverse perspectives.  Nor do I have a hard and fast rule against it.
What we do have to do is present a reasonably accurate description of the current
intellectual situation as it exists.

Jon Awbrey

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