Enough is enough ! (Re: A question concerning the proposal to shut down the previous thread

Birgit Kellner (univie) birgit.kellner at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Thu Jan 11 17:31:51 UTC 2007

Roland Steiner schrieb:
> It is instructive to see how the attempt is choked to conduct a 
> scholarly discussion here. The arguments for shutting down the thread 
> are as follows:
> 1. The subject has been sufficiently explored. [Actually, the 
> discussion has not even started.]
> 2. A topic dealing with the history of Indology (entitled "aspects of the
> history of the Third Reich") has nothing to do with issues and ideas 
> pertaining
> to classical Indian studies.
> 3a. It is not possible to discuss this topic simultaneously with the 
> topic: "HOW TO SALVAGE SANSKRIT IN BERLIN?" in two different threads 
> on the same list.
> 3b. List-members are kept away from devoting energy to the 
> "Berlin-crisis".
> 4. One should only deal with questions whose clarifications cannot 
> wait for a few new years.
> Or, to put it summarily in simple words: Enough is enough!
> With kind regards,
> Roland Steimer
With all due respect - nothing is choked here.

But discussions sometimes develop in such a way that one side insists on 
certain points whereas the other side, not necessarily for bad reasons, 
but perhaps simply due to lack of time and access to materials (in this 
case: R. Grünendahl's article that was just published), does not 
continue any longer. Especially when it comes to internet discussions, 
one cannot conclude from one party's reluctance to continue a discussion 
to their being wrong or unable to produce good arguments, or, for that 
matter, to their "choking" the debate.  One has to accept that people 
devote their energy to a debate when they can (i.e. have no further 
pressing obligations), and when they are willing to do so.

In my humble opinion, the main reason why many of us (including myself) 
feel that "enough is enough" is that Reinhold Grünendahl's paper is not 
available to us so that we can read it and make up our own mind. Without 
us doing so, this discussion has little merit at the present point, 
which is of course not to say that is is of no interest in principle! I 
myself would warmly welcome a more nuanced exchange on the topic at some 
later point in time, when the audience and the debate participants are 
better informed.

What I really don't get is the angry and aggressive undertone (overtone? 
"Unterton" in German) both in Roland Steiner's and, to a larger extent, 
in Reinhold Grünendahl's messages. I just don't understand why they are 
so angry (but perhaps I am misreading their contributions; moods often 
get misunderstood in e-mail communication); certainly, more nuanced, 
neutral and less emotional messages have a better chance to contribute 
to whatever discussion one might want to lead.

Best regards,

Birgit Kellner

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