Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
Funny thing Rob. This is the only financial site I know right now that doesn’t allow HONEST (which I define as truthful) posting.
The words “honest” and “truthful” are not precise synonyms, Anonymous.
You are honest when you say what you believe.
You are truthful when you say what is.
You and I believe different things about investing. You follow the approach rooted in Fama’s research. I follow the approach rooted in Shiller’s research.
It is a logical impossibility that any site could permit us both to post honestly while also permitting only truthful posts. One of us is wrong.
The way it works under the published rules of every site and under the laws of the United States is that sites are to encourage HONEST posting so that the TRUTH may over time be discovered by the readers of the sites.
I have never put forward a single death threat. I have never demanded a single unjustified board banning. I have never advanced a single act of defamation, much less thousands of them. I have never threatened to get a single academic researcher fired from a single job.
Under the system required by U.S. law and by the published rules of every board and blog, ALL posters are permitted to post honestly and all readers are thereby permitted to hear both sides of the story and thereby to discover truth. Some of the posts advanced say things that in a metaphysical sense are untrue. That’s the magic of the system. Since humans are flawed creatures, they must permit the expression of untruths in order to gain the capacity to discover mistakes and correct them. If we permitted only ideas we thought of as truths at one point in time to be given expression, we would never advance as a society. If we followed in other areas of human endeavor the practices that the Buy-and-Hold Mafia insists that we follow in the investing realm, we would not be the people we are.
I could be wrong, Anonymous.
I don’t think I am. I sure am not going to say that I am until I am persuaded that I am. But it could be that I am wrong despite all my efforts to get it right.
That’s why I respect the rules of the boards and blogs and the laws of the United States. Those rules and laws say that I must tolerate the free expression of views held by people who disagree with me. I don’t just tolerate the expression of those views. I celebrate it. I encourage it. I insist on it (as much as I insist on recognition of my right to express my sincerely held views).
Your expression of your contrary views (put forward in a civil and reasoned manner) keeps me honest. Your expression of your contrary views (put forward in a civil and reasoned manner) exposes me to thoughts that I could never come up with on my own. Your expression of your contrary views (put forward in a civil and reasoned manner) spices up our conversations in a delightful and liberating (for both of us!) way.
Keep up the good work!
And knock off the funny business!
Please be sure to do that by the close of business today!