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Re. "5 Years of Campus Watch" Column

Reader comment on item: Five Years of Campus Watch

Submitted by Bryan Taplits (United States), Sep 20, 2007 at 21:08

Dr. Pipes,

I respect your analytical ability tremendously, but don't you think part of your column was more than a bit elitist and innacurate.

You write, viz:, "...Who would judge them [academics]? Students suppress their views to protect their careers; peers are reluctant to criticize each other, lest they in turn suffer attacks; and laymen lack the competence to judge arcane scholarship. "

Using your logic, then, I (who am a layman), who has judged your analytical ability as-really-a delight to behold, would be to inept to judge your opinions-and to hold them as worthy of my time to read them.

Additionally, "...if laymen lack competence to judge [academics]", then any academic who writes a column read by a loyal following is really "whistling past the graveyard" because the loyal reader is unable to understand the columnist's views in order to judge them as superior.

I guess you could reply that if readers have reached a conclusion on "arcane scholarship" it is no longer "arcane". But I had to respond, if only to support-in solidarity-we "layman".

Laymen unite. We have only to lose our ineptitude!

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

I was not so much passing judgment on laymen as noting a general deference that non-specialists give to specialists.

Further, when a couple of activist institutions years ago tried to do something like what Campus Watch is now doing, they were immediately overwhelmed by the Middle East studies specialists' scorn. Their one-time efforts died on the vine.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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