Monday, November 12, 2007

I Know More Than You Do....becuase I have a Masters Degree

I was really gung-ho about the recent DDN op-ed & blog on historic preservation, and posted this comment to their blog, prefacing it with a remark that “Building 26 is water under the bridge”:

Suprisingly I received this arrogant reply from one of the Building 26 activists:

Mary Ann Olding, architectural historian, Cincinnati,OH

November 11, 2007 2:39 PM | Link to this
Thanks to the DDN editorial board for Sunday’s stand on Building 26. My question to Jeffrey and Jimmie is: “What has been your contribution to historic preservation in Dayton or the state of Ohio during the past 30 years? Can it match up to the credentials and hard work of members of the Building 26 Defense Council? Or do you represent those bystanders who have not searched for the facts and now think expressing opposition and exasperation is a brave move?

I think this is a really good example of a professional attempting to play gatekeeper by credentialing potential participants in a discussion (note how she makes a point of listing her job—architectural historian-in her sig line). Also, the snide rhetorical question putting words in peoples’ mouths, imputing movtives (“brave move”).

Though I found the tone offensive in that particular reply, it does bring up a good question. How valid or informative are online discussions or blogs? I know I post a lot on things I have no professional training or credentials in. Blogs are opinion, but one wonders how worthwhile is an opinion if there is no education or training or insider knowlege to back it up? How valid is blogging about activism or politcs if the blogger does not have a track record of involvement?


kevin said...

Since I have no political experience, I therefore shouldn't show up at a city commission meeting? Is this any different from commenting on something you feel is important to the community? Freedom gives you and her the right to say what you want. But I guess validity belongs to those with money.

Admin said...

Maybe we should all post our bios on-line as Mary has so we are given the credibility we deserve :)

I'm sure Mary is telling the truth but who monitors the accuracy of the posts in these bio? Anybody?

Jefferey said...

I guess my comment is more about credibility not about freedom of speech.

That's one of the complaints about the internet and blogs and such, that there are pretentions to expertise by people who are out of their field.

I am certainly "out of my field" when I post that economic stuff I do, but I try to say were I got my numbers from so anyone can run the numbers, too.

Also, much of my historic stuff is speculation, but hopefully try to I frame my narrative that way.:.."this is what I think"..."maybe this is what's going on"...etc.

As for Mary Olding, I thought the arrogance and presumption was sort of entertaining, like that "Ask Dr. Science" quote I used in the thread title.

Anonymous said...

I can honestly say, that wow if i had that big of a head (ego), I dont think I could fit in through any type of door which is why she is wasting time writing these stupid remarks, and all just "cause I have a Master's Degree" ... she may have age, but she needs to grow up.

Greg Hunter said...


You are as valid as the people who support you, think you are; no more, no less. George Bush has an MBA from Harvard; does that piece of paper make him a valid business man?

Dayton had a Harvard grad run the airport for awhile and he stunk. But my opinion (he stunk) means absolutely nothing to you, the public and the powers that be because I have no credibility in the public service arena.

I think you sell yourself short in the blogging world as you have published, for all to see, very detailed posts that are backed up by credible sources. I wish I was as detailed and dedicated as you. All of our life experience should count toward the credibility of the poster, unfortunately, the people with degrees want some barrier to entry so their livelihood and agenda can be maintained.

Mary and the DDN are recognizing that their worth has declined because the internet as allowed voices that make sense to obtain an audience for solid ideas.

PS - I will continue to disagree about moving the fairgrounds, because my feeling is that a place that promotes local agriculture and racing that does not use gasoline are endeavors that should not be thrown away. The smell of horse poop is the smell of transportation fuel. This belief is founded on my life experiences as well as the data that is presented to me, but I have not credentials or money; therefore, my opinion is dismissed.