[Harp-L] re: history
Dave Payne writes:
It's Jon, as I mentioned previously.
"You wrote about a Mr. "Bauschman"
I want to know who that is. So I asked you who he was.
You dismiss it as: "A misspelling of Buschmann.""
Exactly, you asked, I answered. Honestly and directly: I made a
mistake, I spelled the name wrong because I didn't bother to look it up.
What you did was make a factual claim here:
"I've heard folks say he invented the Richter, but it was probably
his brother Joseph."
Which you have since recanted claiming to have never actually
believed what you wrote. The difference in terms of honest and
accurate study of history couldn't be greater. Your actions have at
least two explanations. First, if your claim to have not believed in
the Richter invention hypothesis is true, then you were making a
false statement in the sentence I quoted above, perpetuating a myth
which you know to be at best questionable in accuracy. That is not
something an historian should do, at least not without pointing out
the mythical nature of the claim. If, as I think is far more likely
the case based on your actions in this thread (continually dismissing
me for even deigning to point out the problems with this factual
claim), you honestly believed that a Joseph Richter invented the form
when you wrote that, then now that you see that this position is
questionable at best you are lying to try and save face. That is the
exact opposite of what I did. An historian who does that has no
The difference between our actions in this matter really couldn't be
more stark a contrast.
And for the now probably bored harp-l audience, these differences do
matter. They go to the heart of honesty in academic and intellectual
studies. If the history of the harmonica is important, than the
practice of how it is presented and how it is studied is equally
important. And it must be done with the highest standards, nothing
less. That doesn't mean pedantically footnoting everything one
writes on harp-l--this isn't a scholarly journal and those standards
don't apply. But rather, it means being willing to be challenged on
statements and to deal with these on their face when they come up,
either by giving sources, reasons for suppositions or the like.
Perhaps most importantly, it means being able and willing to freely
and easily admit to being wrong when one makes a mistake.
As for the stuff on nationalism and it's impact on the study of
history, I am simply shocked that you didn't deal with these issues
in classes on historiography when in school. These aren't esoteric
concepts at all.
()() JR "Bulldogge" Ross
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