Autocracy (was "Fuzziness")

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 30 14:53:42 CDT 2001


Peter,
      Me autocratic??  LOL!!  I wish I had the power to be autocratic.  An
autocrat is one who has the power to enforce his ideas on others.  I am not
an Editor, NSF decision-maker, Biology Dept. chairman, etc.,  who might have
some measure of control over other scientists (being able to modify or
reject manuscripts, deny funding or employment, and so on).
     Many cladists in particular probably find some of my posts annoying,
misguided, idiotic, or other choice adjectives.  But I certainly don't have
the power to be autocratic---far from it.
     However, I have heard over the years about a number of instances of
strict cladists trying to autocratically enforce their views, even
threatening others with the prospect of non-funding, non-employment, or
rejection of manuscripts.  That is real autocracy (whether it is blatant or
subtle) and it has had real repercussions, although it is rarely discussed
in a public forum like this one.
     It should come as no big surprise to anyone that I put off publication
of The Kinman System for over a decade, and had to publish it myself in
order to avoid having it water-downed into worthlessness.  I just finally
got fed up with the whole cladisto-eclectic war and decided to just speak my
mind whether it does any good or not.  My biggest regret is that I didn't
start speaking out a long time ago, and probably would have if the Internet
had materialized a lot earlier.
              -------Ken

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