Today I saw my first example of something that appears to be new in academia: a professor assigns to his students not some author’s book to read but someone’s website to look at. In the first case, the author does not know about this, because, for example, he might be long dead, like Aristotle or Karl Marx. But a website proprietor is a still-living person who can quickly become aware that students are being told to visit his site. Moreover, the blogger whom students have been instructed to read can respond if he thinks he is being treated unfairly (rather effectively, in this case).

Maybe some day some college professor will assign your website as the object of an assignment. (Or has this already happened to you?)

Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

P.S. The contra-Spencer article (which Professor Ernst has pedagogically included as a good illustration of “judge by the source, not by the arguments” ad-hominem rhetoric), refers to “the review of blind refereed evaluation practiced by university presses.” I understand that articles in scientific journals are refereed “blind” in two senses: (1) the author does not know who the referee is, and (2) the referee does not know who the author is. This blinding seems like a good way to avoid personal animosities. But are most books by university presses really published “blind” in this way?