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This is a neuroscience newsgroup!!!

Nick Medford nick at hermit0.demon.co.uk
Fri Feb 19 10:36:47 EST 1999

In article <7ahndt$790$1 at fremont.ohsu.edu>, Matt Jones
<jonesmat at ohsu.edu> writes

>I think this should be an open forum, and practically any subject with
>even a passing relation to "neuroscience" (whatever that is) should be
Absolutely. The whole fascination of neuroscience surely lies in the
fact that it relates to psychological, behavioural and philosophical
issues- in fact it has relevance for just about any aspect of human or
animal life. In psychiatry (which, happily, is becoming increasingly
neuroscientific) almost everything can be a source of philosophical
debate- e.g. at the most basic level- the whole concept of "mental
illness" can produce endless discussion and controversy. Neuroscience
helps to delineate and clarify such areas. Is there anyone interested in
neural sciences who can honestly say they have no interest in e.g. the
mind/brain debate, free will vs. determinism, the concept of insight,
etc etc? 

So we should not be surprised if the discussion wanders off the beaten
track at times. The real problem comes when the ng is hijacked by those
with a particular axe to grind or obsession to share. And it has been
shown that simply ignoring such people is the most effective way to deal
with them.

>Finally, I think the responsibility for all these off topic annoyances
>lies squarely at the feet of those who should know better, but respond to
>the nonsensical or inflammatory posts anyway.  Mr. Modestino responds
>over and over again to someone he obviously thinks is a crackpot
>("psychotic" is the word I believe he uses). Five out of fourteen posts
>in the "dabbles in genetics" thread are his so far. He has also posted
>queries about aspartame (a subject which many of us remember clogging
>this group almost to the point of extinction a while back). And now, he
>tells us all in a rather pushy tone what is acceptable and not acceptable
>for discussion on a Usenet group. This kind of behaviour does not help to
>reduce bandwidth, or to keep us focused (if that is in fact what we
>Matt Jones

Agree completely. At one point in Mr Modestino's dreary and pointless
spat with Carol T he announces "I bet you don't have the will power to
refrain from responding to me". A finer example of projection would be
hard to find- in fact I plan to use it to illustrate same to students.

Incidentally, Mr Modestino, if you really are a counsellor with some
knowledge of mental illness, what the hell are you doing using the word
"psychotic" as a playground, name-calling, term of abuse? Think about

Nick Medford

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