Derb – Yeah, I thought Jacobs’ post was great, as elastic as that word might be given the context. It was not great in the way Churchill was a great man, nor was it great the way the moon landing was a great endeavor. But it was great as far as blog posts go late in the day on a Friday. I thought Jacobs made a strong case providing quotes to back it up. I thought it was well written and on point. I think it compares favorably to posts offered by yourself and myself in similar contexts. If “smart-aleckiness” of this sort were a disqualification for great blogging, then I’m afraid many a post of yours — and mine — would have to be demoted from greatness.
Your response, however, I think is a bit wanting in tone and argumentation. The bulk of your argument seems simply to be that Jacobs is a whippersnapper or interloper or “snot-faced” child who should know his place when it comes to Pinker, a great authority whose authority you make lengthy appeals to to make your case. I concede Pinker has written some great books (I’ve read a couple and was greatly impressed by them). But I don’t see how that rebuts Jacobs’ criticism or makes my assessment of his post any less valid.