Jo Freeman writes, re her post responding to Wm. Mandel, "Since Michael Rossman thought my attempt at humor was an 'unseemly taunt' let me stick to facts," and goes on at delicious length. Jeepers, Jo, I do apologize, not least because I can hear my scold as not only casual but sanctimonious. What you wrote was funny indeed, but I had not grasped it as intentional humor. I am likely over-sensitive and -reactive to nuances of (projected?) nastiness, since the last substantive online conference I attended was a dysfunctional carnage despite its austere topic, the physics of consciousness. As Mandel is so concerned about his place in history,on reading what seemed in context an unnecessary reminder that his role in the FSM is debateable, I winced from a sense of how it might strike him, as well as from apprehension of the roughening of a conversation that had been settling to determined civility. Which my scold hardly helped. Meanwhile, separately, I have found myself responding to Mandel on another point for which he may claim credit excessively (prophesy of the New Left), and so risking the same dynamics. Perhaps my scold was a try to stand on the other side before striking him myself. Whatever, I hope you will hear "goes on at delicious length" not as a jab but as sincere tribute, with a chuckle; for every word was valuable to me, particularly the last paragraph. If a scold on any other topic related to the FSM can prompt such substantive response, I trust you'll forgive me. With that said, I observe that your recent posts, though informative, do not fully account Mandel's place in the FSM. As I haven't yet read his memoirs, my own recollection and assessment are neither contaminated nor corrected by contact with his -- save by my digestion of his recent brief post about ExCom, and his various reminders at public gatherings over the years.
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