[KS] Re-revised posting "Revoking a Recommendation"

Balazs Szalontai aoverl at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Sep 20 00:50:06 EDT 2016

Dear Frank,
let me ask you a direct and brief question. Which specific examples hitherto listed by the participants of the dispute do you consider "less convincing" or "just completely off," and for which specific reasons? If you can provide us specific arguments about why the problems hitherto enumerated do not need investigation, and why our concerns are not justified, we will certainly listen to your arguments. If we find your arguments convincing, we will remove them from our list. This I can promise as the person most directly affected by this problem. If, however, you are of the opinion that the matter should not be discussed in public even if our concerns are legitimate and justified, please say so. Let me also ask you to provide some specific examples when my posts violated the written or unwritten rules of academic decency, either against Professor Armstrong or any other person. 
With many thanks in advance,Dr. Balazs Szalontai  

      From: Frank Hoffmann <hoffmann at koreanstudies.com>
 To: koreanstudies at koreanstudies.com 
 Sent: Tuesday, 20 September 2016, 12:01
 Subject: Re: [KS] Re-revised posting "Revoking a Recommendation"
No balls, no decency, no academic conduct, and swarm mentality?
Is this really were we are now? Is this were we really want to go? Is 
this what you teach your students? 

If you want to slice someone's work up, you can do so all by yourself, 
all alone, by writing a book review, and you can even do that online, 
even post that here on this list. Look me in the eye, baby! A book 
review, or better yet, a review article would have to get into the core 
arguments of a publication, would need to state why those maybe 
convincing or less convincing or just completely off (in which case you 
may reconsider writing anything about that publication at all). That is 
then where the appropriate place is to list all the shortcomings of a 
publications, and where you connect those to the book's arguments and 
evaluate the book. 

Is this happening here? Most obviously not. Looks to me more like a 
shit storm and swarm-bashing action on Facebook or Twitter. But it does 
not come from your students or sons and daughters, it comes from you 
guys with your full academic positions. So, you lean back in your 
armchairs and sit comfortable next to your monthly pay or retirement 
check and your free flight tickets to conferences around the world and 
then still feel you need to hide behind the swarm? Is that the new 
style now? Be aware that this is far more than just a shabby and 
tasteless style. You help changing essential rules of conduct and guide 
us into very muddy waters, and that is scary, in my view. I understand 
you did not invent that style, you saw and copied that on Facebook and 
Twitter, but still ... you are the ones in the armchairs supposed to 
analyze this, to see through this crap, and to act differently -- not 
to copy the generation that follows you.

My two cents' worth.


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