Monday, May 18, 2009

My emails with John Baez

With quotes of the best parts.

Before I get to the email, and further details of our phone call, let me take a couple of paragraphs to review the history, and to collect the relevant links together in case readers want context.

My last communication with John had been five weeks earlier in emails in which, as my readers may recall, he asked me to take down the n-category cafe archive, because if I'm going to stick someone's neck out it should be mine, and not his.

My readers and I discussed what's the right thing to do. The possibility of taking it down, having wikileaks host it, and linking to it, was suggested by a reader. Wikileaks didn't answer my one inquiry about doing that, and I didn't persue it. Another reader strongly felt the material should stay here on El Naschie Watch. I didn't reach a firm conclusion about what to do, but I really, really didn't want to pull the material.

That's the backstory. Now on to the recent communications.

On May 14 he emailed to ask again, saying

...taking material I have written and putting me in legal jeopardy by publicizing it is not fair, especially since I have requested you to take it down.

I wrote back, asking doubtfully whether he would be satisfied with my rehosting the material on, say, Wikileaks, and linking to it.

No, he would not. He was becoming miffed at this point, because he responded, in part,


(His allcaps.) I had some small hope we could come to an agreement that would satisfy both him and me when he wrote

I will make it publicly available again if and when I feel I'm not under threat of a lawsuit.

After all, if he would put the stuff back up, I'd be perfectly happy to take it down from this blog.

But he went on to say

I am appalled that you put them up there in the first place, and more appalled that you ignored my requests to take them down. If you are refusing to do, at least have the courage to say you're refusing.

I then called him on the phone. I said It's a shame we're in conflict on this when we agree on El Naschie. He assented, but was clearly annoyed and wasn't going to be placated in that manner. Also I opined that El Naschie's lawyers could hardly sue him for material that's no longer on his blog and over which he had no control. I said that everyone knows the usual sequence of events when legal bullies see something they don't like on the Internet is that their lawyers tell you to take it down, and if you do that's the end of the story. He had already done so. Hence no need to fear El Naschie's lawyers.

He wanted to know whether I was "refusing" to take the stuff down.

Let me try again, I thought. I reminded him that in his email he had said he would re-host the stuff at n-category cafe when and if it seemed safe to do so. So, I asked, what would have to happen for him to feel safe in doing that? Perhaps I could help in some way to effect what was necessary.

He went ballistic. Well, that's a slight exaggeration, but not much of one; his voice was trembling with rage. That was no business of mine. Only he had the right to decide when and whether it was safe.

The last sentence of the conversation was mine: "Well then of course I'm refusing to take the material down."

He then hung up on me.

I did my quick post on the call practically the moment I hung up. Between that post and this one, the substance of my communications with John are pretty well covered.
Translate English to Arabic

محمد النشائي El Naschie Watch محمد النشائي El Naschie News محمد النشائي
محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائي


  1. > He went ballistic.

    Your anonymous shrink has argued he's not confused, but he appears to have anger management issues. And for someone who has maintained a series of useful postings in mathematical physics since 1992, he is remarkably naive about how public posting is treated on the internet.

    Perhaps the above description of the phone call is exaggerated, or perhaps he is gaming for plausible deniability, since in actuality your hosting here ostensibly against his will gives him complete legal immunity, while simultaneously furthering the good deed he set out to realize in the first place, helping to expose the manifest fraud of MSElN.

  2. Well, anonymous Anonymous, maybe Baez is naive and even has anger management problems but certainly is not confused, since his reasons for blog removal are clear and haven't changed in the mean time.


  3. > Well, anonymous Anonymous, maybe Baez is naive and even has anger > management problems but certainly is not confused, since his reasons
    > for blog removal are clear and haven't changed in the mean time.

    I am not a native English speaker: what is the correct terminology for someone who is systematically ignorant over an extended period of time?

  4. You should ask a native speaker; I'm certainly not one of them.


  5. > You should ask a native speaker; I'm certainly not one of them.

    According to an unsystematic survey of native speakers, and an on-line english dictionary, the answer is: "confused"

    (also suggested were "persistently confused", "continually confused", "permanently confused", "pathologically confused", "persistently confused", "pathetically confused", "egregiously confused", "determinedly confused", etc.)

  6. See what you did. Now I feel confused :)

  7. Personally, I see no confusion.


  8. Here's someone else eager to be sued

  9. Hmmm.. he is just stating the facts. Don't think that he can sued for this. In fact, it is a rather boring but nevertheless useful recapitulation.
    Remember that we are here and watching you Mohamed El-Naschie. You can think of us like stars in the sky. You may not see us these days, but be sure that we are still here.

    Martin Klicken

  10. Another stupid sockpuppet of El naschie who sent his comments five times on

    28. anonymous on June 30, 2009 2:25 PM writes...

    Of course you do not expect from blog readers to be so critical about the sources of the information which they are commenting on. Did you ever think that the whole thing is a set up and a vendetta against Prof. Mohamed El Naschie? If his work is so bad why did the right hand of a Nobel laureate plagiarise his idea and publish it in Scientific American and simultaneously in Classical and Quantum Gravity and Physics Review Letters? The person in question is a professor in Utretch, Holland. When students and colleagues of El Naschie protested, John Baez was called in. He defines himself as a one man internet army. It was John Baes who started it all. I cannot count the lies which he has filled the blogs sphere with. You should check Nature on line. You will see that Nature has withdrawn its article. In Nature they are more level headed. They realised they have been taken for a ride by John Baez and his friend Quirin Schiermeier, a Nature journalist who is based in Munich, Germany. As long as you do not check the sources of your information, the internet will always be the source of infinite defamation and consequently no one will take these blogs ramblings more seriously than the gossip of a boulevard men's magazine.