A reply to Ian Dent

Ian Dent, whom I heavily criticised in my last post (or the automated cut’n’paste bot that claims to be him, it’s hard to tell) took the trouble to leave a reply. It’s long, and it’s largely irrelevant, like his report, you can read the full reply here

I’m mostly concerned with this bit, since the rest was utter cockwaffle, so much so that it would barely pass a Turing Test :

This document, produced by Ian Dent, has been orchestrated so as to stimulate the beginnings of a much needed public debate – to raise questions about decisions currently being made over our future, solely by ICT experts and the European Commission with NO active public debate in a common language.

Bollocks. The way it is framed, and the absolutely appalling way in which it is referenced, your busy swapping between UK and US styles of quotation that makes most of it look like ‘scare quotes’, and your complete misunderstanding of computer science terms of art contribute nothing to any such debate other than confusion.

Take IanPJ for instance, who claims to be trying to track down the EU document that he erroneously believes your quoted text “An ‘object’ in this [computing] context … ” to be drawn from.

The poor sod is convinced that because it’s a quote in a report about the EU that the relevant, sinister documentation must be buried deep within the EU. Had you referenced it, you could have saved him the ghastly heartache of this fruitless search, because it is taken directly from the Wikipedia article on Object Oriented Computing.

That part is double quoted, though unreferenced, and the rest of the time you seem to be using single quotes almost at random.

The phrase ‘Biological Economic Device’ appears to be your coinage, but you’ve put it in single quotes and bold for emphasis. Writing like this encourages the unwary to believe that everything you say is attributable to the EU, when in fact most of it is not.

As an academic is simply impossible that you are not aware of the proper conventions for quoting, referencing and footnoting, so one can only assume that your failure to use them properly here is a purposeful distortion.

We can see the results of that distortion, fielded with the weight of your academic credentials in IanPJ’s behaviour. He has run off completely confused in some paranoid never was fantasy panic.

So no Ian, your report contributes only confusion to any such debate, and I would also point out that the privacy and social implications of technology are being widely debated every single day. You managed to use Google to do most of your research, so how did you miss that ?

And last but not least, Ian

These are technical, complex and largely ‘un-soundbite-able’ issues. So a few references may help readers to investigate for themselves in a more measured and balanced way:

Well yes, Indeed they would, so why have you provided so few in your report ?

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