Just in case you blinked and missed it, John Quiggin and I have been having a little stoush over the past few days. It goes back to a post at his site
I thought a bit silly. When his site stopped accepting my comments, I became annoyed and posted about it here
John Quiggin has now deigned to comment
This is what I sent JF Beck on about the third try to get through to him,
I think the professor is trying to say I'm thick but his meaning isn't clear. He could be trying to say that, because of his email problems, he's had trouble getting an email through to me. Either he's imprecise or I'm a pedant. He's an academic, I'm not.
His comment then quotes from an email he sent me a day or so back:
I did not block any of your comments. I've been travelling and had intermittent email access which has increased my difficulties in dealing with spam and false positives. If you choose not to believe me that's your problem.
That's an odd answer to this question:
Do you stand by your contention – stated in behind-the-scenes emails – that it was your spam-filtering software, acting without input from you, that blocked my comments, removed a number of my comments and later replaced one of my comments?
In fact, the disappearing and reappearing comments were by now the issue, not blocked comments. It seems to me he's still dodging the issue. And, you need to bear in mind that in his emails he never explicity blames
his anti-spam software for removing and replacing comments. He continues:
This seems too have been too hard to understand. Beck now says " All he had to do was go to my site and type Y-E-S and that's where that matter would have ended." OK, I didn't realise that was the magic word, and that I had to get a Blogger ID instead of emailing him. But now we're all set. Here goes!
Which requires more effort, getting a blogger ID or sending four emails? Why not just come here and answer the question in the first place?
Yes isn't a magic word, it's an adequate answer to a "yes" or "no" question. Sarcasm apparently isn't his thing either.
To be satisfied with Quiggin's answer I'll specify that the Y-E-S answer he gave confirms that it was his anti-spam software that removed some of my comments and later replaced one of them. He might want to consider replacing some of the software in his HAL 9000
There is also the matter of my second, as yet unanswered question:
Do you stand by your contention that the article Tim Blair linked to, which is based on a Eurochambers study deriving from the research of Pavle Sicherl, Professor of Economics at the Lubljana University and Founder of SICENTER, was intended to scare?
I'm not expecting an answer to this one, it looks pretty hard. Stay tuned.Update:
"Do you stand by your contention ..."
I've already answered this one several times as well, but to spell it out as requested:
Is that clear enough for you?
No, he hasn't answered the question several times. Here's the full text of his last email, which he claims clarified all:
1. I did not block any of your comments. I've been travelling and had intermittent email access which has increased my difficulties in dealing with spam and false positives. If you choose not to believe me that's your problem.
2. If I make a statement, and don't retract it, you can assume I stand by it.
3. I'm not obliged to respond to anything, and it is not a matter of common courtesy to demand answers (to your own satisfaction!) to rhetorical questions - very much the opposite. Despite this, I have responded several times to to you.
4. If in the light of this email, you decide to post a retraction, I would appreciate it. Otherwise, I don't intend to pursue this discussion any further.
As previously noted, Quiggin doesn't specifically address the disappearing and reappearing comments. He also fails to specifically address whether or not the article was meant to "scare". It had become obvious as this situation developed that he had not read the report the article referred to. In posing my question about the alleged scare qualities of the article, I specifically pointed out that the report referred to in the article was based on the work of a reputable economist, Dr Pavle Sicherl.
Quiggin was thus placed in the unenviable position of having to choose one of two damning options. In answering "Yes", he would be, in effect, accusing a high-profile economist colleague of scare-mongering. In answering 'No', he would be admitting that his scare-mongering accusation was wrong. This is probably why he avoided answering for as long as he could.
Regardless, Quiggin has now gone on record claiming that the euobserver.com article entitled EU economy 'at least 20 years' behind US
was meant to scare. It follows that Quiggin thinks the Eurochambers report, US economy ahead of EU by at least 20 years!
and Pavle Sicherl's Time for a fresh start But time is not on our side
are meant to scare; all have essentially the same tone and content.
Exactly how scary is the subject matter? Here's the introduction to the Eurochambers report
, you be the judge:
A Comparison of European and US Economies Based on Time Distances
While it is advisable to put behind us the hubris of the initial Lisbon targets – “to become the most dynamic, most competitive economy by 2010 etc...”, it remains prudent to continue to compare the development of the European economy with the most vibrant economy in the world. At present, that means the US. In economic terms, there is no better international benchmark for the European Union.
This document compares the EU to the US in terms of GDP, R&D, productivity and employment figures, but does so in terms of the time distances between the two regions. It addresses questions such as “When, in its development, did the US already achieve the current EU levels?” and “When, given recent trends, could the EU catch up with the US, and under what conditions of growth?” The results provide food for thought to all those concerned with European growth and employment.
If Dr Sicherl wants to be scary he needs to try a bit harder.
On the other hand, if Quiggin wants to point out the scare-mongering in the article or reports ...