Thursday, April 26, 2007
Afarensis, Entertaining Research, Evolution Blog, Galactic Interactions, Jim River Report, John Hawks Weblog, Rebecca Hartong, Mike the Mad Biologist, Sharp Blue, Synthesis of Thought, The Panda's Thumb, Thought Capital, and Thoughts in a Haystack are all writing about John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience attempted takedown of Retrospectacle's critical article on their "alcohol is good for you piece. These articles, joined by A Blog Around the Clock, Abnormal Interests, Adventures in Ethics and Science, Evolving Thoughts, Kitchen Table Math, Mixing Memory, Parentalcation,
Notes from Dr. RW, Open Reading Frame, Pith and Substance, and Sandwalk, point out that Wiley Interscience / John Wiley & Sons is attempting to censor a blogger in retaliation for a critical look at data. While JL Kirk used the cover of defamation, Wiley Interscience is using copyright.
Of course, I wish the very best to Retrospectacle and her "fair use piling on," I am skeptical on whether or not it can work. And the reason is obvious: Retrospectacle has already caved.
Retrospectacle complied with Wiley Interscience's demands. You can view the original critique yourself, and see that this isn't exactly a "profiles in courage" case. It's nice and fine for Retrospectacle to curse John Wiley & Sons, after submitting to them, but it's hard to get worked up about it. Unlike Kat Coble v. JL Kirk, unlike (modesty aside) tdaxp v. Nationmaster -- unlike even King Leonides v. Persia -- Retrospectacle calmly submits and then complains about the unfair treatment.
If Retrospectacle is serious about defending her rights, criticizing John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience, she will restore her post to how it was before the threatening letter. Otherwise, don't expect a kirking.
Otherwise, as Larry Moren points out, this bruhaha is just another reason to use
Monday, April 23, 2007
Two link classes today, those that linked to tdaxp and those that did not.
Hidden Unities mentioned the kirking in brief, while South Dakota Politics goes into some detail. Curtis (of D5GW fame) will be happy that his criticism of RipOffReport's page on JL Kirk and Associates is mentioned on Liberal Utopia.
Meanwhile, Say Uncle wonders what is actionable, Fark's headline reads J. L. Kirk & Associates sues blogger over stray comment about them being a scam, assuring 10,000 times more bad publicity for their scamming ways than if they had ignored it, the Jawa Report reports facts that do not involve any actual jawas, Q&O looks like its preparing to write a "Kirking for Dummies" book, and Salem's Lots notes that nobody likes a bully.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
JL Kirk has still not gotten the message. Instead of actually addressing the issues raised by Katherine Coble, they are now shifting to the time-honored tactic of "discussing the matter privately" with the Cobles.
JL Kirk is still denying the charges made by Coble, so I'm not buying the idea that the private discussion is anything other than a way to keep the pressure on the Cobles without having the blogosphere listening in.
I sincerely hope that Katherine and her husband are accompanied by a Media Bloggers Association attorney during any discussion with JL Kirk. If not in person, at least on a conference call.
If you sincerely believe that JL Kirk has had a change of heart, you are very trusting soul. You might be interested in handling some Nigerian emails which I will be happy to forward to you...
Certainly I hope that the media reports are correct, and J.L. Kirk & Associates truly did fold. However, I'm worried for my fellow blogger, and hope that St. Lawrence's (and my) concerns are wrong.
Related: Patterico's Pontifications, QandO, and The Homeless Guy have also joined the discussion, even though I did not note them at the time.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Allen, J. 2007. Blogger dispute resolved without suit, attorney says. The City Paper. April 18, 2007. Available online: http://nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?section_id=9&screen=news&news_id=55726. (from BillHobbs).
The mainstream media discovers legal hooliganism against a blogger. The mainstream media reports on the blogger's victory:
After Coble posted an entry on her blog detailing her and her job-seeking husband’s “irritating” and “discouraging” visit with a company representative, a local attorney representing J. L. Kirk sent Coble a letter threatening legal action if Coble did not remove her “libelous” and “defamatory” posting and the numerous comments from blog readers that followed.
That set in motion discussions over how to remove select portions of Coble’s original entry that J. L. Kirk took particular issue with, Coleman said. Coble confirmed the discussions on her blog — hosted by the URL www.mycropht.blogspot.com .
Coleman on Tuesday said the episode should serve as an important reminder to all bloggers about their rights, and also about their responsibilities.
Additionally, there are some bloggers who wrote about the scandal who I did not get a chance to link to until now. High-ranking posts never mentioend by tdaxp include:
- Suing a Blogger
- JL Kirk & Associates
- Beware of J.L. Kirk
- Katherine Coble v. JL Kirk: The Blogosphere is Alive!
- J. L. Kirk & Associates
- The Easter Thursday Knucklehead Festival Part Four
- An Ill-Conceived Demand Letter
- Off Topic: Don’t Bully the Bloggers
- Doubling Down On Sleaze
- The latest PR mess ends with a whimper
- It's Not The Crime It's The Coverup
- Threatening to Sue...
Lastly, I also wrote on the JL Kirk saga in two posts, Is Kirking a Tool in all Generations of War? and Kinetics and Violence, over at Dreaming 5GW.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Coble, K. 2007. JL Kirk Resolution. Just Another Pretty Farce. April 17, 2007. Available online: http://mycropht.wordpress.com/2007/04/17/jl-kirk-resolution/.
Katherine Coble declares victory, but J.L. Kirk may not be telling the whole truth.
JL Kirk’s main concern at the outset was that we communicate their position - which is different from the information originally told to me by a JL Kirk employee - that JL Kirk is not a continuation of the defunct Bernard Haldane company, either in terms of corporate identity or stock ownership, and that JL Kirk’s principal, Kirk Leipzig, is only a former Bernard Haldane employee but did not buy any assets or stock of Bernard Haldane.
American Pundit, Captain's Quarters, Likelihood of Confusion, Nashville is Talking, and Newscoma are among the first to congratulate a blogger for surving legal hooliganism.
First, props to ZenPundit and Soob for adding their thoughts to the JL Kirk Discussion. ZenPundit pens a new word, autoborking, that is a synonym for kirking. And Soob ties his thoughts to the discussion on Dreaming 5GW.
Several new JL Kirk pages are now in the Google Top 30.
- Bill Hobbs uses a new word -- "net lag"
- Instapundit pens his second post on JL Kirk. His first is also available.
- Mother Tongue Annoyances, after giving his personal account of bad treatment by JL Kirk, does some investigating. Very interesting!
- Salem's Lots' early post on the story is becoming popular
- SmallTalk Tidbits, Industry Rants notes that "IT gets worse for JL Kirk," and splashes the story across the podcastosphere.
Neutral Misfires becomes the third blogger to come forward with a personal experience on JL Kirk.
Additionally, while no blog pages occur in the Live Top 30 for JL Kirk (my writing be reduced to slots 33 and 34), several bloggers do appear in the Microsoft search engine's result after that. They are, among others, Bob Krumm, Growing Up, Just Another Pretty Farce, KnoxNews, and Ripples.
Ask.com's JL Kirk results are odd, and tend heavily to scientifc/ "other" kirks. The best of these false results, returning neither the company nor critics, is to 'Shadow of the Beast' ANalayzed by Margaret Carter, which includes the following line: "JL: Kirk's original humiliation at being called to protect a grain shipment, compounded by an official order to do so, is now exacerbated by his losing the fight to keep the Klingons off the station. THE PLOT THICKENS." If only it were so!
Last: the Urban Dictionary gives a pre-scandal definition of "kirk" which fits the new one: To go crazy, to flip out, to wig out.. Indeed.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Allen, J. 2007. Nashville woman, local headhunting firm squaring off over comments woman made on her blog; libel suit threatened. The City Paper. April 16, 2007. Available online: http://nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?section=9&screen=news&news_id=55677.
The public relations nightmare that J.L. Kirk Associates created by threatening a blogger who complained about their treatment of her husband continues to snowball. Both Newscoma and This is La Vergne, TN link to an article from Nashville's The City Paper.
Add to that the televised report about JL Kirk Associates from Nashville is Talking. One wonders how far away the Associated Press can be.
At the same time, another former customer of JL Kirk Associates steps forward to tell his story (h/t to NiT.)
Meanwhile, the kirking continues. There are now only two Kirk pages in the first 3 Google pages for J.L. Kirk. New additions include Katherine Coble's "JL Kirk Update" post and Enclave's "Blogger Jujitsu: JL Kirk Lands in 10th Spot on Net Indexer's Top Searches List After Trying to Throw Its Weight Around in Nashville."
Lastly, Live Search remains generally immune to the blogosphere's immunodeficience, with only one relevant non-corporate site in the top 30: you guess it, tdaxp.
tdaxp, D. 2007. Why is it that if I refer to Irish as provo coal-crackers.... Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog. April 14, 2007. Available online: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2007/04/the_best_analysis_on_imus.html#comment-18335.
Weeks, C.G. 2007. I've been pondering the differences between the two approaches. tdaxp. April 16, 2007. Available online: http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2007/04/12/j-l-kirk-associates-not-a-better-business.html#c1539569
Weeks, C.G. 2007. I wonder if the garish offense is not JLK's business practices in general.... tdaxp. April 16, 2007. Available online: http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2007/04/13/the-real-time-consequences-of-the-jl-kirk-associates-kirking.html#c1539382.
Recently, my blogging energies have been consumed by two scandals, Don Imus's "nappy headed hos" remark and JL Kirk Associates' threat of a lawsuit. Both cases show visceral reactions against relatively week targets (an MSNBC/radio host and a Tennessean employment agency) by groups known for political activism -- blacks and bloggers. Yet Jews were silent when Don Imus called guests pointed-headed Jews, and most of the thousands of companies involved in lawsuits don't raise a hue and cry. So what's going on here?
Simple: outrage is a product of perceived group powerlessness and a perceived attack on the group. In the case of Don Imus, "blacks" correctly perceived their political weakness and then perceived an attack on black-ness. In the case of JL Kirk, "bloggers" correctly perceived their political weakness and then perceived an attack on blogger-ness. As Curtis says:
Not only might this describe Coble's sense of outrage at what she perceived to be a hostile interview; but more to the point, it may explain the blogger response to the threatened lawsuit. To the degree that many bloggers may feel generally powerless in their lives -- and, perhaps, also before the law of the land as adjudicated within the courts -- such a lawsuit as threatened by JLK creates a backlash and outrage.
And likewise, Don Imus and JL Kirk were targets of outrage, instead of evildoers who actually mattered, because blacks and bloggers are too weak to cause substantive change. So instead, they go after symbolic targets like a cranky radio host and a litigious company:
Again, as Curtis says:
Her one post may have had more effect against JLK than a single post might have against a Microsoft or Google or Ford Motor Company that operates globally.
Both bloggers are blacks are in weak political positions. Bloggers are subject to violent, litigious assaults by corporations and do not have the resources to strike back. At best,
they can go bankrupt defending themselves from rich predators or swarm their opponents.
Likewise, widely visible black culture has transitioned from slavery to serfdom to female-farming society (arguably a lateral transmigration).
As I wrote on Tom Barnett's blog:
Outrage is not a function of validity of argument. Outrage is a function of powerlessness, a function of Olive Treeism, a function of life in the Gap.
Because of many factors for blacks, and because of our judicial system for bloggers, too many blacks and too many bloggers experience Gap-like conditions even within the United States.
As we move into the medium a generation or two, we can expect less outrages from bloggers but probably an equiavelent number from "African-Americans." The reason is that "African-Americans" -- those blacks who are descendents from slavery in the southern United States -- are considered wards of the state. So like the Lakota Indians before them, the federal government contiually makes their lot worse while trying to make it better. Bloggers, on the other hands, are ignored by the government. They exist in a state of benight neglect.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Comparing Kirking on Ask, Google, and Live
Brittney over at Nashville is Talking gave a good timeline of how the JL Kirk & Associates scandal started:
1. Katherine Coble writes opinionated blog entry about her bad service at an employment agency, JL Kirk & Associates.
2. Subject of initial blog entry leaves long comment on said post defending herself and her company.
3. Coble reposts the comment as a post of its own, with a refutation responding.
4. Coble receives certified letter from King & Ballow on behalf of JL Kirk & Associates insisting that she remove any blog entries about the employment agency. She has two days to comply or they say they will sue for “tortuous interference and other damages.”
Early on, I noted how most of the first three pages of Google Results for J. L. Kirk were by bloggers critical of the company's practice of threatening lawsuits against critics. I wanted to see how the past few days had treated JL Kirk Associates on google, and how the company is standing on Google and Ask as well. So I searched, and this is what I found:
|Category / Engine||Ask||Live|
|JL Kirk Associates||15||3||28|
|Critical of Kirk||3||27||1|
The first 2 criticisms on Ask.com appeared to be from two years ago. Only was was relevant to the recent bruhaha. The last is to a TV station (WKRN 2 Nashville) report on the issue. Ask also had 12 irrelevant search results, that had nothing to do with JL Kirk and Associates.
- JL Kirk & Associates Dodged a $6000 bullet from JL Associates Brookfield Wisconsin
- JL Kirk formerly Bernard Haldane Stay away from this company Brentwood Tennessee
- "Local Blogger's Post Generates National Firestorm"
LIve.com was even worse, with 28 of the first 30 results being for JL Kirk Associates (generally somedomain.jlkirkassociates.com). The only result critical of the company in the first three pages was this blog (tdaxp.blogspirit.com)!. (The irrelevent page was to an R.J. Roda Kirk, sculptor.)
Google's search results were most representative of the blogosphere. Only three pages (two at www.jlkirkassociates.com, one ad www.bestofiowa.com) pushed Kirk's message. There were no irrelevent links, and 27 negative pages. Additionally, several pages critical of J.L. Kirk are new since the last time I checked:
- Abusive scare letters: JL Kirk & Associates
- Anger: JL Kirk
- JL Kirk & Associate Employee? Just Asking.
- The Right To Say What We Want To Say
My conclusion? Google is most reflective of user opinions, Live.com is unable to realize that all domains with jlkirkassociates.com in them are owned by JL Kirk Associates, and Ask somehow thinks that scientific articles written years ago that just-so-happen to have "J," "L," and "Kirk" in them are more relevant than user reviews of the company, and almost as important as the corporation's own webpages.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
The story is mythic. A wife pens a negative review of how a company treated her husband. The company sends out the lawyers. The story lands on instapundit. A new verb is born.
But while JL Kirk insane public relations strategy of suing bloggers sparks general discussion and even military theorizing, we shouldn't forget that there are other JL Kirks who may be unfairly tarred. So the rest of this post examines perhaps three, perhaps more, JL Kirks who have gone before...
One J.L. Kirk seems to have been a Victorian lover of knowledge and generally good-doer.
Mrs Norah Kirk, wife of Dr J.L. Kirk (founder of the Castle Museum in York) is seen with hat and coat, sitting in the middle of a group of wounded soldiers during the First World War, at One Oak, Hallgarth.
While another unearths the past:
I assume this is the same John L. Kirk, who along with Philip Corder wrote "The Roman Villa at Langton, Near Malton, E. Yorkshire" in 1932. was cited in (pdf download).
(This Victorian-in-spirit JL Kirk would, I imagine, have loved the Coming Anarchy blog.)