I Am Apparently “So Desperate for [Ann Bartow’s] Attention,”

according to Prof. Bartow herself. Her evidence: (1) I posted to respond to her criticism of the UCLA Law Review symposium (which I helped organize), and again to her “coincidence” post. (2) “[T]he flurry of private e-mails [I] instigated” — that refers to an e-mail I sent her to mention the post in item 1 above, followed by her e-mail response, my reaction, and so on for several more e-mails. (I can’t say much more about that exchange because she was unwilling to agree to my posting the arguments she made in her messages, and my view is that private e-mail generally shouldn’t be quoted over the author’s objection absent something egregious in that e-mail.) (3) My comment on her blog, responding to her post (the one I criticize here).

Now I would think that there’s a simple explanation for each of the items: (1) Prof. Bartow’s arguments struck me as unsound, and unsound in a way that is generally worth exposing — plus, as to her first post, I felt a particular reason to defend the symposium she criticized, since I helped invite the participants. (2) I thought that e-mailing Prof. Bartow about my criticism would be seen as a welcome or at least acceptable heads-up, plus I thought she might say something interesting in response. (3) I thought Prof. Bartow’s later post was wrong or at least misleading, and I wanted to alert readers of her post to that error.

And yet this sort of behavior — which I would have thought was perfectly normal, and quite acceptable in scholarly society — strikes Prof. Bartow as “very odd,” and a sign that I am “so desperate for [her] attention.” OK, then.

UPDATE: Oops, fixed a typo of mine (“Desparate”) in the post title.

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