Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Crossing boundaries, math people invade

I mentioned that I had a blog called mathforprofit which I deleted a few months ago, and some person took it over, and started posting as me. They also named a city and copied a photo from the web and put it up.

They also put links on the blog to some various website that attack me or my work, including Crank.net, which is a website put up by Erik Max Francis, a former regular on the sci.math newsgroup, who used to argue with me, years ago.

They cross boundaries and invade in ways that most people would find sick.

That's the real math world, and it's not something you can easily just look away from, as it's behavior that could happen to you if you post a lot on Usenet.

They are mapping out a way to stalk and harass a Usenet poster who doesn't do what some group wants.

And what do they want?

The posters on sci.math have made it very clear that they want me to stop posting on the newsgroup.

Over the years they have gotten more and more creative in finding ways to push me to not post.

Some of them claim that I'm the one who crosses boundaries, but mostly I criticize the math community, pointing out that math people, including mathematicians are not who you think they are.

Often they'll put up the case of David Ullrich, where I contacted Oklahoma State University in response to some of his posts, to claim that I am the one crossing boundaries.

But David Ullrich introduced race in a post claiming he'd been angry at a post of mine and had thought a racial slur was the "perfectly appropriate reply" but been talked out of it.

So what if I tell you that I think a racial slur is an appropriate reply to a post of yours but someone talked me out of it?

Come on, adults aren't taken in by such childish games.

But the sci.math people have argued about it for YEARS, defending the math professor, and at times hurling the case out of the blue against me.

Introducing race in Usenet discussions as a tactic is crossing boundaries.

And remember, the problem here for these people is my posting.

So what if they say it's not that I post but what I post?

Usenet is about being able to speak your mind. I talk math, and math people come after me for it, in ever more creative ways.

If you are naive then you will believe that they are just doing this for no reason, but people do not invade for no reason.

They do not go after one person year after year after year just because that person is mouthing off and criticizing mathematicians.

I think some of you are fatalistic on the subject, believing that I may be another case of some "genius" who is hounded while he is alive, maybe only to be known for the reality of the importance of his work when he is dead.

Yes, it's a sad world. Here Usenet is a place where groups of people congregate to work out their strategy and hound one particular person, both on Usenet and off, and somehow no one will do anything about it.

I was really surprised when Google replied to me that they would do nothing about someone posting as me.

But that's the world we live in.

[A reply to someone who wrote that nobody has had any success in talking sense or even common decency into James.]

I post on math newsgroups and in response people from those newsgroups go on the web to put up flame websites, sci.math'ers have emailed a journal that was publishing a paper of mine, posters from sci.math have tracked me to other forums to harass my postings with their replies, and now some person has taken over a blog name to post as me.

It's a war.

So you put up the "bad things" from your view that I've done.

And I put up the invasive tactics that sci.math'ers are currently engaging in and both sides say they're right.

What's the difference between any other war?

You say I'm wrong and your tactics are justified.

I say I'm right and my tactics are justified.

The problem I see though is that math people are escalating the war, and given human nature, it's problematic where they might go.

And remember, the main problem here is that I post on math newsgroups and certain regulars on those newsgroups think they can manage them.

I refuse to be managed and they've escalated over the years in their tactics meant to stop me from posting.

Yup, the big war over the math really is about my posting despite repeated requests from certain newsgroup regulars for me to stop posting in what they see as their newsgroup, where sci.math is the hotspot.

It goes to what I say about math people making up their own rules.

So to them, it makes sense that they can control Usenet, and decide who can post or not. If you refuse to follow their rules they get creative in coming after you.

I'm just increasingly worried about how creative the math people will get in their quest.

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