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PHD-DESIGN  March 2013

PHD-DESIGN March 2013

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Subject:

This is shameful, Terry

From:

Ken Friedman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 15 Mar 2013 20:10:58 +0000

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text/plain

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Terry,

You wrote to the list, "Ken has informed me for the maintenance of the phd-design list culture it is essential to be respectful to those with higher levels of status."

This is untruthful. I did not state this at all. I have been writing to you off-list suggesting that it would help to provide evidence for your assertions about neuroscience.

You repeatedly introduce the notion of status when I argue  as I believe  that you are unqualified to make the kinds of assertions you make about neuroscience because you do no research in the field, other than what you publish here on the premise that PhD-Design is now your major venue of publication.

In one letter, you stated that you are as well qualified to write on neuroscience as others on the list are to write about design research. You concluded by asking whether accurate analysis depends on status, claiming that this is a path toward elitism and privilege. You concluded by stating that reasoning alone is sufficient. These are your words, so I paraphrase them

These are my words of reply. I copy and paste them without change:

--snip--

Terry, this is a self-serving justification. I'm tempted to call it nonsense  with the exception of a few occasional doctoral students who poke their heads up, most of the people who engage in on-list debates are people with a PhD in some area of design research who publish in peer reviewed journals. Many do books with outstanding university presses. Many also serve on the editorial boards of serious journals, or at least journals among the top 14 we identified in our journal study  as you also do. Whatever you think of their areas or their research, they do engage in design research.

In contrast, you do not engage in neuroscience research. This means, to my way of thinking, that you may not actually be as well qualified as you believe yourself to be to judge the issues. And it means that your views may not be as well founded as you believe. The accuracy of your reasoning depends on logical argument and it does not depend on your status  in contrast, the accuracy of your analysis with respect to your choice of premises does indeed depend on your knowledge and expertise, and this, in turn, does depend on whether or not you engage in research in the field.

Once again, you have shifted the meaning of what I wrote by reading something quite different; I'm not arguing about your qualifications to do research in neuroscience. I am saying you do no research in neuroscience.

What I wrote is: "This is especially problematic when you are dealing in research in a field where you do no research. No matter what you say, if you have never published in neuroscience or working in neuroscience, you are not qualified to make the kinds of claims and judgements you make. I've got a big shelf full of books on physics  I remain an interested observer, not a physicist, and while I may occasionally draw on physics for examples in discussions that can make use of the history of science or the philosophy of science, I am not qualified to make actual judgements on physics or how physics applies to any other field, including design."

The issue of qualifications only arises because you do no research. Because of this, I argue that you are not qualified to make the kinds of claims you make. I don't care whether you have a PhD in neuroscience. I care that you don't use your time or your mind to do any serious work in the field  instead, your publish your opinions ABOUT neuroscience on a discussion list in another field.

And I suppose I wouldn't even worry so much about that if you would ever actually say how this ought to affect design research or design theory. But you don't.

--snip--

In the exchange of ideas over the past few days, I have asked that you show some sensitivity and respect to the list and list culture. The endless and repeated posts on neuroscience, the continual claims that this changes everything without stating how this change is to take place, and your ad hominem attacks when challenged ("doing a Ken") are causing people to regret their participation in the list. After I got half a dozen such notes off-list notes, I challenged you to put some evidence forward on your latest round of neuroscience claims. You did not. I am aware that others on the list have also been hearing similar complaints.

At that point, I decided to write you privately to request that you show greater respect for list culture. I did not state that "it is essential to be respectful to those with higher levels of status," and I said nothing like it.

After Tim posted, I thought it wise to bring the issue of list culture forward here  I observe that people have been trying to stick to issues rather than persons, and I've left it at that myself, while writing privately to you. Because you copied some of our correspondence to Keith Russell, I then copied him in my last reply to you, so Keith is aware that I did not say nor intimate anything like the words you falsely attribute to me: "it is essential to be respectful to those with higher levels of status." I am happy to make the correspondence available should anyone wish it.

Terry, to falsely attribute this statement to me on a list of researchers where we treat each other as equals is an action calculated to prejudice people and to damage my reputation. This is libel in its original meaning: "a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavourable impression." Since I did not write this nor anything like it, you are attempting to "[convey] an unjustly unfavourable impression" of me to the other list members.

It's nonsense to blame me for something I did not say, then to add "emphasising respect for those of status above reasoning and argument doesn't feel good." You don't like my reasoning and argumentation  you've often criticised me with the claim that I am engaging in literary rhetoric while you are publishing research here. It is not clear to me that making repeated claims without evidence is research, and it remains the case that logically valid inferences drawn from mistaken premises remain false. I've built my arguments on reasoning as I see it, not on stories or games in which I tell a story about a guy who won't answer a question as the real answer to the question. I certainly have indulged in the kinds of sharp ad hominem attacks that have typified your behaviour when you become irritable.

This goes further  it is not merely an ad hominem attack demonstrating that you disagree with me ("doing a Ken"). It is false. To make such a claim when I said nothing of the sort is reprehensible.

It is shameful to attribute words of this kind to someone who did not write them.

Ken

Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | University Distinguished Professor | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia | [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> | Mobile +61 404 830 462 | Home Page http://www.swinburne.edu.au/design/people/Professor-Ken-Friedman-ID22.html<http://www.swinburne.edu.au/design>  Academia Page http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman About Me Page http://about.me/ken_friedman

Guest Professor | College of Design and Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China



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