[Air-l] Doctorow on Dealing With Trolls

Heidelberg, Chris Chris.Heidelberg at ssa.gov
Thu May 17 12:09:47 PDT 2007


I respect your work and your intellect, but I actually took you up on
your challenge and found Cornwell to be quite reasonable and
fascinating. I had found some of his points to be valid in the past but
I had never talked to him, and I think that it would be prudent for a
person as gifted as you are intellectually to keep and open mind and be
receptive to ideas from those who may differ in approach from you. Even
Larry Flynt and Jerry Falwell found that they actually liked one another
once they reasoned together despite their two polar opposite views on
morality and politics. I believe that the guest list from his conference
is impressive, and I spoke with some colleagues on Capital Hill about
this conference and they are planning on coming. 

For example, Barbara McCombs is one of the foremost experts in the area
of learner centered education and she has actually created guidelines
for APA's National Headquarters in Washington. This is why there is a
buzz going on about this conference in Washington because she has a
following in the DC metro area, and so do many of the other speakers.
There are others who are equally well-known individuals who will be
participating at this conference and I do not agree with you that it
will make their vita suspect. In fact, I think that it may be benefit
those who participate because of the number of other great minds who
will be presenting. One could call this guilt by association in a
positive sense rather than the negative one that has been suggested.
Many of the presenters are in high demand and they are usually
compensated because they are the best. I know that you are not
suggesting that the leading scholars in academia should not be
compensated well because that is an idea that led academia to lose their
best minds to the business world because of financial reasons like the
dying of tenure. 

Academia can learn one thing from business: the customer, or the
student, is the reason that the institutions of higher learning exists.
Therefore, it is imperative that each of us as scholars dedicate
ourselves to increasing graduation rates, embracing low-cost digital and
open-sourced publishing and developing our human capital especially with
lower-social economic groups and minorities. These students are
competing in a global economy and this will require new approaches that
may differ from traditional education as your colleague in Madison Dr.
J.P. Gee has been suggesting for several years. The fact that any
academic conference may be profit driven is not disturbing to me as long
as the conference is learner centered and geared towards assisting
scholars in becoming better communicators and learner centered. All
education begins with communications, and unfortunately as a
communications professional and a scholar, I find that this is the
problem in education in general: too many of us did not embrace, perfect
or even study communications and therefore we talk at our students and
one another and not to our students and one another.

At the end of the day its your choice, but you are brilliant, do not
major in minors because frankly it is beneath you and you are capable of
so much more based on your vita and your talks on this board alone. Name
calling is one of the tenets of propaganda that each of us should try to
avoid because it usually has a boomerang effect. Keep up your great


-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
[mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of James Whyte
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2007 12:51 PM
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: Re: [Air-l] Doctorow on Dealing With Trolls

Has anyone in this organization actually made the attempt to get to know
Reid Cornwell. His telephone number is on his emails. If so, what did
that produce. Is he a jerk devoid of valuable qualities? What?
  Is everyone willing to accept the assertions unquestioned? From a
scholarly point of view, one would think this malevolent character would
be the object of curiosity as the poster child for Internet
deviancy.IMHO true scholarship demands that one interrogate the accusers
and the accused and determine for oneself what is the truth.
  Is it possible that WRC has been labeled a troll and the accusers are
reifiying the label so that they don't have to be accountable?
  I'd be willing to bet Reid Cornwell would be willing to talk to anyone
that called (friend or foe). It seems he is too up front to do
  E.G. Boring nailed this whole drama 79 years ago.

Jeremy Hunsinger <jhuns at vt.edu> wrote:
  Yes, I think we should be very wary of getting involved with dr. reid
cornwell. his empire is expanding of course. if you google him you will
see that he has at least 3 different institutes/centers/ foundations all
related to his corporate entity, he has several conferences, which he
seems intent on leveraging academic expertise to promote. To me, it
sounds very much like a profit from conferences system, leveraging
academic expertise, which I find distasteful. I also find it distasteful
that he has appropriated the emails from the list and is spamming
members. It is spam in as much as it was unrequested and there is one
profit making entity involved. If you received his personal invitations,
i suggest you think twice, because it is likely that everyone on the
list received very much the same invitation. I personally wouldn't want
to have one of his conferences on my vita, i think it would have
negative mojo to some people who have been bothered by him before.

Jeremy Hunsinger
Information Ethics Fellow, Center for Information Policy Research,
School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Words are things; and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a
thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.

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