Academic Insults: CCSM Edition

13 December 2006 at 7:22 am 7 comments

| Peter Klein |

Time to begin a new thread on academic insults (1, 2, 3). Overhead at the CCSM:

Session chair to audience: “Thank you, [Presenter], for your excellent time management.” [But not your paper.]

Discussant to presenter: “Your paper is beautifully written. When I got to the end I realized that I totally disagree with it, but I couldn’t remember where in the paper you started to go wrong.”

Audience member to presenter: “Your paper reminds me of my lecture on fallacies of strategic management research. You committed every one of them.”

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

CCSM: Reflections on Day One Is Entrepreneurship a Factor of Production?

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Hakan  |  13 December 2006 at 7:50 am

    Yeah, I witnessed item number 1 frequently, where a session chair seemed not to care about anything about the papers other than how long it took to present them. Even a few words about the papers would help the presenter to feel the feedback and be rewarded.

  • 2. Joseph Mahoney  |  13 December 2006 at 10:47 am

    Comment concerning Session Chair: In all walks of life, people typically focus their attention on their job description responsibilities. My interpretation of the Session Chair’s comment is that he/she genuinely appreciated not having to exercise his/her time keeping enforcement role. This role may actually cause anxiety among some Session Chairs. I infer no academic insult from the Session Chair’s comment (perhaps because the inference is my choice to make).

    The comment by the discussant reflects far more poorly on the discussant than on the paper, which I assume at least attempted to be constuctive.

    The audience member would be more helpful by focusing on a perceived fallacy and providing a suggested correction of error to faciliate conversation and learning. The comment as stated criticizes everything and contributes nothing.

    I hope I hear of some better conversations. Putdowns are meant to be verbal violence to end conversations. Very unimpressive in my book (and in D. McCloskey’s book THE RHETORIC OF ECONOMICS, as well).

  • 3. David Gordon  |  13 December 2006 at 11:09 am

    Hugh Gaitskell, who became leader of the British Labour Party, visited Mises’s seminar in the 1930s. After he gave a paper critical of Mises’s socialist calculation argument, Mises complimented him on his ability to speak German.

  • 4. teppo  |  13 December 2006 at 11:56 am

    “The comment as stated criticizes everything and contributes nothing.”

    I agree with Joe Mahoney’s comments above – focus on the arguments, not general put-downs (well, unless delivered with a friendly smile). I think academic conversation needs to be contentious, heated and vigorous, but, focused on the issues/arguments rather than on personalities and general rhetoric.

  • 5. Lasse  |  14 December 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Ok, I admit I was the one to make the comment. And it was made to Nicolai (with a smile). But note also the context of the comment. It was made after Peter, the previous speaker had talked considerably longer than his 15 minutes. And given that he did have Jay Barney and Thorbjørn Knudsen as discussants on the paper, I feel like making Edith Piaf ‘s word my own:: “Non, je ne regrette rien”

  • 6. Peter G. Klein  |  14 December 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Fifteen minutes? Oh, I thought it was _fifty_!

  • 7. Lasse  |  14 December 2006 at 6:46 pm

    Right! I’m gonna deduct every second you went over from your slot the next time I’m chairing a session with you in it (unless it’s joint work, of course :-)

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