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"why we ALL need to listen to the other side" Topic

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doc mcb08 Jan 2022 3:27 p.m. PST


I think it is human to prefer to listen mostly or only to those who agree with you. It takes effort, sustained over time, to keep up with what the other side is arguing. Right now that is easier for the right to do, because so much of media and academia is of the left. Conservatives can hardly avoid liberal views; the reverse is not as true.

This case illustrates the danger. This Egyptologist made a rookie mistake that not only she but her editors should have caught -- but didn't, probably because they live in a bubble.

doc mcb08 Jan 2022 3:37 p.m. PST

Interestingly, she also got the Rosa Parks story wrong, which would seem to indicate just simple sloppiness, rather than ideological blindness. And her editors should have caught that one, too.

She also got the Rosa Parks story wrong in the same book. She said Rosa Parks sat down in the whites only part of the bus. This is false. Rosa Parks was sitting in the blacks only part of the bus when the white section filled up and a white person demanded she give up her seat. She refused and that resulted in her arrest and in becoming a part of the Civil Rights Movement.

doc mcb08 Jan 2022 3:44 p.m. PST

Some may well ask, why is an Egyptologist talking about modern Americans in a book about ancient history? I'm more sympathetic to such attempts to connect old stuff with new; it is a temptation I feel, and yield to, often. But it makes it doubly important to get the facts correct.

OSCS7408 Jan 2022 3:46 p.m. PST

I do not trust what any journalist or author writes anymore. If UCLA professor Kara Cooney gets a recent fact wrong. It makes me wonder what else did she get wrong.

doc mcb08 Jan 2022 4:13 p.m. PST

Yes. But the question of WHY she got it wrong is interesting. She seems to have been a reputable professional historian. And editors have jobs because writers make mistakes. Why so wrong on this?

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2022 4:37 p.m. PST

This shouldn't be too surprising.

Just look at ALL the stuff a USSC justice got wrong in the last 24 hours.

It IS shocking.

doc mcb08 Jan 2022 5:36 p.m. PST

Two justices, yes. Experts aren't.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Jan 2022 7:32 p.m. PST

What no one wants to recognize any longer is that "FACTS" and "SCIENCE" can also have "OPONIONS" involved in determinations.

When only one "SCIENCTIFIC" thought or only one set of "FACTS" is allowed to be heard then we have real problems.
learning is gone.

Russ Dunaway

Augustus08 Jan 2022 8:16 p.m. PST

Democracies fall from within.

Zephyr108 Jan 2022 8:44 p.m. PST

" But the question of WHY she got it wrong is interesting. "

Because she probably never saw the news coverage (they usually show pics of who was shot) and just went with what somebody else said (who also probably did not see the news, but heard somewhere that "Two BLM supporters shot" aaand… you can guess where that train of thought went to.)
I mainly watch the news these days just for the weather segments (and they're usually wrong, too! LOL)

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2022 10:54 p.m. PST

As for her editors not catching her obvious mistakes… I've noticed in recent years that many new books and articles are, for want of a better term, sloppy. Poor grammar, spelling mistakes, factual errors, etc. My understanding is that with everything being done by computer now most publishers rely on the program it's written with to catch the errors, and editors do very little editing any more.

As for the factual errors on Rittenhouse; 1) it has no place in a book on ancient Egypt and will limit the scholarly use of her book. After all, in 20 years few readers will get the reference. 2) it's a form of confirmation bias, he was an evil white supremist because that's what the news she watches/reads/gets from social media said so he must have killed black men. 3) it shows what a respected scholar in a field that has nothing to do with modern politics is willing to say because, for her, politics is part of every aspect of modern life. It should damage her reputation as a scholar, but probably won't.

There's a conservative talk show host that says the difference between leftists and conservatives is that, "We think they have bad ideas, they think we're bad people," When you think your opposition is made up of bad people then everything must be done to destroy them, including putting political screeds in a book on ancient Egypt.

Just my thoughts.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2022 2:16 a.m. PST

People are writing of "editors" here as though someone paid by the publisher is charged with ensuring books are factually accurate and free of spelling and grammatical errors. That's SO 20th Century. What happens now is that they engage in a little light censorship--"leave out the anti-abortion character"--and call it a day. (I picked up a Regency last month whose hero had a revolver in his saddlebags.)

I notice Dr Cooney spent less time acknowledging her error than on attacking those who pointed it out--which, as noted, makes one wonder how reliable she is in Egyptology. Would she acknowledge a fact which undermined her political point or simply omit it? Would she make a distinction between confirmed fact and plausible interpretation of the evidence? This isn't new. It was said of Schlesinger's book on the election of Andrew Jackson that "every page votes for Roosevelt." But it does not make for trustworthy history. And if you can't be confident the historian is trying to get the facts right, why bother?

arthur181509 Jan 2022 3:05 a.m. PST

"I picked up a Regency last month whose hero had a revolver in his saddlebags."

I recall reading a novel set in the Lake District at the time of William Wordsworth by Melvyn Bragg in which a character was described as 'avoiding the flak' – and that was thirty years ago!

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2022 4:48 a.m. PST

Such a gross lie, either through blind doctrinal parroting or sheer stpidity, puts a whole discredit on her work.
If facts and truth do not matter for today, do they for the past?
This kind of narrow minded religious vision of the world is helas widspread in academia, or what now passes for it.
While the Chinese are laughing (being serious about learning) effective learning in schools up to superior studies is sapped by a bunch of self satisfied coopted deconnected from realities "teachers".
As our interests are almost wholly out of thei spere of attention, our part of history remeins unharmed afaik.. for hoepw long?
All that has only a very tenuous connection with wargames btzw.

Porthos09 Jan 2022 6:24 a.m. PST

To my utter surprise my, quite seriously meant and certainly not insulting, text was deleted ! I can only conclude that the worries I mentioned having have become certainties.

HMS Exeter09 Jan 2022 7:18 a.m. PST


I read and appreciate the sentiments included in your post. It stayed up about as long as I figured it would. Given the polarization over here the Moderators are obliged to modify or remove any post that specifically references any particular political subgroup.

There is an old, and well proven, saying about how to have a peaceful family get-together. "Nobody bring up sex, politics or religion."

I really only look in on threads like this to see whether they burn out or blow up.

doc mcb09 Jan 2022 7:19 a.m. PST

WEll, the two books I co-authored for Encounter Books were rigorously proofed: each of the authors re-read the whole thing, and so did two of the publisher's people. And caught some mistakes. And my daughter has published books for Oxford and for Fortress Press, and I know directly how rigorously they were edited. But I daresay you are correct that sloppiness is spreading across the culture.

HMS Exeter09 Jan 2022 7:22 a.m. PST

It is really amazing how often you'll see the title of an internet news article from a well regarded publisher with a glaring spelling or contextual error.

Not a real example, but…

Pennsylvania Gouvernor Declares Emergency

doc mcb09 Jan 2022 7:24 a.m. PST

Interesting point about Schlesinger and his AGE OF JACKSON -- which won the Pulitzer Prize for history and the National Book Award. And which is, yes, the epitome of the "Progressive synthesis" of American history (alternating periods of reform and reaction). That Progressive Synthesis was in process of being torn down, slowly, when I was in college in the late 60s. Schlesinger, remember, was one of JFK's speech writers while a professor at Harvard, so he was a political player as well as scholar. As, of course, was Woodrow Wilson, and Teddy Roosevelt, and a bunch of others.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2022 9:38 a.m. PST

Pleased to hear of your experience, doc mcb. I hit a really good Regency lately by an author I respect who had persons planning to remove Bonaparte from St Helena and overthrow Charles X. Understand it must have been a "brain cramp"--not at all necessary to the plot. But no one caught it. And I've had magazine editors ADD errors certainly not in the copy I sent them. (Good editors, too. Ones I wish were still at work.)

But in a case like out starting example--where the author is using Pharaonic Egypt to make a point in modern American politics, and can't be bothered to get current events right--how far can we trust her on Pharaonic Egypt? Because the closer one gets to original, the less use even good editors can be.

doc mcb09 Jan 2022 10:49 a.m. PST

Because the closer one gets to original, the less use even good editors can be.

Yes, that is a great point. When I was getting ready to defend my dissertation, my director (who was also a long-time editor of the WILLIAM AND MARY QUARTERLY and then the GEORGE WASHINGTON PAPERS at UVa) encouraged me thusly: "Remember that you know way more about your subject than anyone else does!" (Dissertations are required to be on a topic no one else has done before, an original contribution that expands our knowledge). My committee that read and approved it made sure I had followed the procedures of historical scholarship, and had a GENERAL understanding of the period (Revolution) greater than my own, but they could not really debate things that I knew far more about than they did, because I had studied sources (e.g. militia court martial records) that they had not. That would be DOUBLY true of editors.

witteridderludo09 Jan 2022 12:42 p.m. PST

Why would I listen to the side who can publish complete BS about things that were captured extensively on video? I saw the whole Rittenhouse incident from several angles within hours of it happening… The fact that up to the trial, and even beyond, people claim he killed black men is just blows my mind.
As a European, this case pissed me off big time. I hope Kyle becomes a very very rich guy after he sues the living daylights of people like this author.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2022 3:07 p.m. PST

Did they not accomplish their agenda? Even though the truth comes out later. The initial stories allowed the damage to be done. Most who believed the story given in the beginning, will disregard the later corrections ( if they even heard a correction). This author either disregarded it, chose to believe only what she first heard, or worse is trying to propagate the agenda further.

Is that not what the Nazis so successfully did with things like the Reichstag fire and their accusations against the Jews and others?

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2022 3:51 p.m. PST

I just hope China allows us to continue painting and playing with miniatures!!!

doc mcb09 Jan 2022 5:44 p.m. PST

I want one rule for everyone, and I want it to be maximum freedom of expression.

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2022 6:38 p.m. PST

Am I the only person who, upon reading doc mcb saying "I want one rule for everyone…" wondered what his ring size was and who were the guys standing behind him? :)

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian10 Jan 2022 4:50 a.m. PST

To my utter surprise my, quite seriously meant and certainly not insulting, text was deleted ! I can only conclude that the worries I mentioned having have become certainties.

Don't break forum rules, and you'll be fine. I did explain it to you in a PM, did you read it?

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2022 6:49 a.m. PST

"That's SO 20th Century."


Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jan 2022 5:17 a.m. PST

I just hope China allows us to continue painting and playing with miniatures!!!

In an act of premature obedience I felt obliged to create a 15mm Ming army. As a beginner to DBMM I have yet to win a battle, so perhaps this will not be sufficient to save the hobby once the Chinese take over :-(

Absurdity aside, Cooneys statement has no place in a historical work about Egypt, even if it had been true. Egyptology would probably profit if Rittenhouse would force her publisher to remove that book from the market for slender.

Col Durnford12 Jan 2022 1:24 p.m. PST

As has been said before, you are allowed your own opinion but not your own facts. It is not a matter of listening to the other side, it's just a case of getting the facts straight.

I too would like to see the author and publisher sued and all copies of the book pulled just as an example to others.

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2022 3:23 a.m. PST

Puster, it would be impossible to punish her for slander because what she wrote wasn't slander.

Slander is verbal, when it's written it's libel. :-)

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