[Indo-Eurasia] **The Farmer-Sproat-Witzel Model

gruenendahl gruenen at MAIL.SUB.UNI-GOETTINGEN.DE
Thu Feb 8 09:11:43 UTC 2007

Dear colleague,
I regret to say that your recent comment has not made your earlier posting more 
plausible to me.

For a very profane reason (time), I'm not a member of the Indo-Eurasia list, and 
follow the debate there only sporadically. But from all I've seen I never got the 
impression of any unfair dealings. Do you seriously accuse Steve Farmer of biased 
moderation, and if so, could you please give an example where he had "the last 
word" in his capacity as moderator, and not because the other side may have run 
out of counter arguments?

On 8 Feb 2007 at 4:16, George Thompson wrote:

> The Farmer list is in fact not a typical academic research list. It is
> a list devoted to one person's research interests, encouraged by friends
> and research money from exploitable ideologues. Look at at his
> excessive talk of prize money, offered to those that please him and his
> money-sources. This is not scholarship. It is a game of money-gathering.

Most lists, I think, start with "one person's research interests", and therefore I can 
see nothing untypical or suspicious in that. It is only natural that a list will primarily 
attract like-minded people, but any reasonable founder/owner/moderator must have 
a vital interest in getting dissenting voices on board, too. Otherwise there would be 
little to discuss, and the whole thing would soon deteriorate into small talk or a 
Mutual Admiration Society. Do you really think that the Indo-Eurasia list belongs to 
that category, that it was in fact designed for no other purpose? If so, what evidence 
do you have for such a serious charge, and for "exploitable ideologues", "money-
sources" and all that? 

You speak of a "poisoned invitation", indicating that Mahadevan may not have the 
chance "to be listened to, in his own words". All I know of the debate suggests to me 
that Farmer et al. have indeed been listening to Mahadevan's arguments very 
closely for years, and have given it detailed and serious consideration in various 
publications. On the other hand, there is little indication that Mahadevan has done 
likewise. As I see it, here is his chance to do so, and he should welcome it if he is 
convinced that he has the better arguments.

One last thing:

> Look at at his excessive talk of prize money, offered to those that
> please him and his money-sources. This is not scholarship ...

Indeed, this is a bizarre distortion! Obviously, the prize is not offered to those who 
can best "please" Farmer et al., but to anyone who can FALSIFY their model by 
turning up "just one Indus inscription that contains at least 50 symbols ...".
(For details see: http://www.safarmer.com/indus/prize.html)

These are just some of your views on which I beg to differ. May I ask you to provide 
some evidence to support them?

Thanks in advance
and greetings
Reinhold Grünendahl


Dr. Reinhold Gruenendahl
Niedersaechsische Staats- und Universitaetsbibliothek
Fachreferat sued- und suedostasiatische Philologien
(Dept. of Indology)

37070 Goettingen, Germany
Tel (+49) (0)5 51 / 39 52 83
Fax (+49) (0)5 51 / 39 23 61
gruenen at mail.sub.uni-goettingen.de

In English:

GRETIL - Goettingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages

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