September 25, 2007

My New Stalker: Colin McGinn

Just at the moment when I am ready to be done with Colin McGinn, he begins wooing me in earnest. I got an email just this morning that said:

Sometimes people have to be called by their proper name and put in their place. You never know, you might even benefit from it. Stupidity is never harmless.

You'll note that this not a response in the traditional sense to the last note that I sent him. It's like he's just sitting there trying to think of degrading things to say to me. It's kind of sad, really.

So, of course, I responded to him.

I've named you a liar and a coward publicly. I've given the reasons why I came to my conclusions.

You, again, are asserting a position without any supporting argumentation. You hide by deleting comments from your blog and sending private emails. And now you're simply spews insulting emails over the internet. This isn't even a proper conversation. I'm asking you questions and providing you with arguments and you're just hitting reply and banging out insulting non sequiturs.

Not only are you dishonest, cowardly, irrational, and churlish, you're behaving now like a juvenile with a bruised ego

You should note that I have been publishing our exchanges to my own blog so that others might also benefit.

I'd like to discontinue this exchange, so please do not email me again.

His insults are so boring, too!

They're utterly devoid of any content that can be addressed. If he said, "I think you're a pompous fool because yadda yadda yadda," then I could say, "As usual, you seem to have misplaced your dictionary because blah blah blah. Further, you're a liar because you said X when you know that Y is the case." And, of course, we could lace these notes with all sorts of colorful invectives.

That might be entertaining for a little bit. But nooooo... His emails are the email equivalent of "LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU! YOU ARE STUPID! LA! LA! LA! LA!"

I guess I have an unreasonable expectation that even exchanges of insults will progress as with any other conversation. I've spent a little too much time reading British literature, too, I think, because my expectations of their insults is quite a bit higher than anything he's managed to deliver so far. Like I said, boring.

Maybe he's in love with me and he's been driven insane with jealousy because I have a boyfriend already.

Update 1: McGinn responded to my last email. He wrote, "Excellent!"

I won't reply to this one because I am taking that to mean that he is going to stop emailing me, although if he hadn't responded I would have understood the same thing.

Given how petty he has behaved over the duration, I take this email to be one of those I-have-to-have-the-last-word things.

Update 2: In rapid succession, McGinn wrote again to say:

And perhaps you would be so kind as not to contribute further to my blog.

I responded with this:

Sorry. I can't commit to that.

You're more than welcome to comment on my blog for as long as I don't block you, though.

I've been debating whether or not I should post links to my blog with our exchanges on his site. I'm not sure if it's worthwhile since it might invite his trolls over here. Of course, I do love getting lots of comments and traffic, so I'm kind of conflicted over that.

Update 3: If I were to post links to my posts on his blog, it would look something like this:

Hey, McGinn!

I've been publishing our email exchanges on my blog. Perhaps your other readers might be interested in how you conduct yourself when no one is looking.

This is about you deleting comments: It's Like Picking a Scab

And here are some that include our email exchanges in which you bombard me with insults as apparent retribution for your bruise ego.

I'm Through

My New Stalker: Colin McGinn

I really doubt I will, though, because at this point I doubt anyone really cares. McGinn's conduct speaks for itself and his toady commenters lack an ability to be objective.

But I'll keep that handy just in case I see some sudden inspiration to expose McGinn on his own blog for the rotten little weasel he is.

Update 4: McGinn declined my invitation to comment on my blog saying, "No thanks" and I explained to him:

Well, it's a forum that is open to a majority of the public including you (for the moment), should you feel the need to unburden your conscience or engage me in someway. I don't invite the sort of foolishness you've demonstrated here or on your blog, but it is presently at your disposal. Otherwise, you have your own blog which may be used to issue statements to or about me.

I don't want to engage you in private discussions, however, because you've demonstrated that you are too cowardly and dishonest to be trusted to maintain any sort of rational standard of discourse even casually and at least in public others can see you for what you are and judge for themselves.

So, those are the only two channels through which I care to engage you or be engaged by you -- if at all.

Update 5: McGinn replied, "I, for my part, simply want you to go away."

So I said, "Then go away. What's stopping you?"

So silly.

Update 6: McGinn answered my rhetorical question saying, "The fact that you insist on contributing to my blog, obviously."

That isn't really all that obvious to me, but I responded:

Ah. So, you're emailing me because I commented on your website? That comment really didn't require a response, but you did speak your mind on that, I think. I haven't commented on your website since yesterday, so why do you keep emailing me now?

What's to stop you from just ignoring me anyway?

Also, may I suggest a change in your blogging software? Many packages do offer IP banning which allows you to block people from commenting on your site if they really annoy you or something. Word Press and Movable Type both offer this. I use MT and I would ban you if you started being "obnoxious junk" on my website.

Now, do stop harassing me by email. Be a propper blogger and write snotty things about me on your blog or something.

Update 7: McGinn's webmater has posted a new policy about posting comments on McGinn's blog.

I have to laugh because much of this new policy is inspired by McGinn's frustrations in dealing with me. But the part that really tickles me is the introduction which describes him as "an eminent philosopher [...], who has generously agreed to write and participate in this public forum."

What a pompous jackass he is!

The new rules for his blog are:

1) Comments are welcome but will be deleted if they are disrespectful or intentionally antagonistic towards either Professor McGinn or other participants. And just like in baseball, an IP address will be blocked after the deletion of three comments.

Again, nothing is mentioned about the standard they will use to make this determination. I submit that McGinn's own standards are inconsistent and capricious. He and those arguing on his behalf both engaged in antagonistic, disrespectful commentary toward the opposition, but their comments remained.

Also, although I'm not a sports buff, the last time I heard no one was punished in baseball by having their IP address blocked.

2) E-mail inquiries sent through the Contact Me window are also welcome but if the e-mail is a personal attack or deemed inappropriate by Professor McGinn or myself, the IP address will be automatically blocked.

I'm not sure if this is an accurate statement. If you use Yahoo! or Google mail, will they blog Yahoo! and Google's IP addresses? Strange. But again we're confronted with McGinn's double standards here.

3) One instance of defamatory, injurious, or slanderous comments posted on another site will automatically result in a blocked IP address.

This I know is directed toward me because I've documented every exchange (minus one comment that he deleted before I could save it) he and I have had.

I should state for the record that all of these rules are perfectly within his rights. McGinn's blog is McGinn's blog and in spite of what he says, it is not my property to manage.

I can, however, criticize the way he does manage his property. But I am pleased to see that he is taking my advice and making use of IP blocking instead of harassing people via email. I think his poor little ego will avoid much bruising with this policy in place.

Well, I think this whole silly thing is winding down. I hope not to hear from McGinn again and I dare say he hopes not to hear from me.

Update 8: One last thing! I was poking around on McGinn's blog to see what else he was saying on other topics really quick before I let him go completely and I spotted another instance of him being sneaky.

In his post on Utilitarianism, he comments on his own post saying:

The texts I'm using in my class are: Ethics: The Fundamentals, by Julia Driver; The Dimensions of Ethics, by Wilfrid Waluchow; Ethical Theory: A Concise Anthology, eds. Geirsson and Holmgren. You will find everything I've said about relativism, divine command theory, egoism and utilitarianism amply and perspicuously discussed in these books. Nothing I have said here has been original. My usage of key terms is entirely in conformity with the usage in these texts, e.g. "altruism". I invite you to have a look and see. Generally speaking, I find it boring to repeat arguments and points that can be found in any undergraduate text on the subject in question. On the question of altruism, in particular, be very careful about distinguishing the obligatory from the supererogatory, and bear in mind that altruism comes in degrees.

NOW he presents his sources. And that doesn't change the fact that his formulations in the discussion do not agree with other sources relevant to the topic.

Further, his focus on altruism in this comment seem to be clearly directed to much of the fuss made in the egoism discussion about his use of the term, which makes us wonder why he hid the remark under a post about Utilitarianism instead of just coming right out with it.

Further, he's moving the goalposts again. In his post on egoism, he acts as if he has thoroughly debunked the philosophy. Here he says that he don't care to address certain arguments that he deems beneath him.

The man is a weasel.

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