Practical business ethics: when is it appropriate to disclose one's vested interests?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Seattle, Nov 18, 2022.

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  1. Bells Staff Member

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    Given he has also discussed the risks and how people can lose everything... For example:
    How well do you think his sales pitch is going?

    Nothing he has posted on this site would be subject to such a query.
    And if he did have a vested interest, he would declare it, as most organisations would have a set of procedures and ethical conduct requirements that employees have to abide by.
    Or perhaps he is refusing to tell you about what investments he may, etc, have because it is a very personal question and you are just some dude on the internet. How would you feel if someone asked you where you worked?
    Do you ask people who spruik whatever political ideology or party they belong to if they have a vested interest or are members of that party? How about in the various vaccine threads that have existed on this site where people have encouraged others to get vaccines? Have you demanded if they have a vested interest in the pharmaceutical companies that make vaccines? How about the religious posters who keep referring to the bible? Asked them if they have a vested interest in the sites or companies that publish bibles? I could go on, but you get my drift..
    Or perhaps, you are reading way too much into what they are posting and you have created wild hypotheticals and expect them to answer for it, and it has become personal for all concerned.
    Okay...?

    I think that's kind of going both ways at the moment. You enjoy butting heads with him as he enjoys butting heads with you. You kind of sought this out. They don't have to agree with your assessment of their ethical standards and vice-versa. At the end of the day, their investments, employment, personal details is kind of their business. I have seen nothing whatsoever in any of the threads this has been concerned with (and believe me, this hasn't been enjoyable reading) that would suggest a vested interest. A mild obsession? Sure. But a vested interest? No.

    Please do!
    This is not moving on!

    I'll be blunt. He is under absolutely no expectation to disclose anything personal about himself. Pressuring him to and coming up with hypotheticals about why he isn't answering such personal questions is what exactly?
    You have spent quite a few pages guessing about what he does..

    And why should he convince you about something so personal? Do you want him to send you a screenshot of his investment portfolio so you can be convinced that he does not have a vested interest? You are literally asking him to disclose something very personal, James. He's told you that he does not believe that he should answer that and you keep asking him to. Boundaries, dude. Boundaries! Whether he owns Bitcoins or shares or whatever, has absolutely no bearing on this discussion or his posts about Bitcoins or any cryptocurrency. Having a personal interest in a subject does not always mean having a vested interest and if he owns Bitcoins, then good for him and good luck to him and let's hope it doesn't crash. That should be the end of it. If you do not like Bitcoins or do not see a value in it, then that is your opinion and you are free to it, just as his opinion is different to yours and he is free to that opinion as well. That does not mean he has a vested interest in it and it does not give you or anyone else the right to question him repeatedly about what his vested interests may be and what his investments may or may not be.

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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    "Others" means me, I take it.

    I just think you have got this out of proportion, as I have explained. I find it significant that I am far from alone in my estimation of the situation. As you know, you and I generally see eye to eye on matters of both science and moderation policy, so I find it oddly out of character for you to have (as I see it) misjudged this issue and to be pursuing it to rather unreasonable lengths. By the way I'm not a mate of any of the people involved in this and nobody has made private contact with me about it.
    Quite. I really think “moving on” is the way to go on this.
     
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  5. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Unfortunately you didn't.
    If you did you would have assumed he would have disclosed any vested interests, as you believe ethical people would disclose vested interests etc.
    He didn't disclose anything.
    So you pushed him to do so.
    That is not assuming he would act ethically.
    That is starting from the outset under the assumption that he is not acting ethically.
    I have no doubt that there is an interest in discussing the thread topic: i.e. when is it appropriate to disclose one's vested interest.
    Unfortunately that is not what you have been doing, rather using it to hound Sarkus, and to a degree Seattle.
    Setting up a thread seemingly just to do that would, I imagine, be against forum rules, yet that is all you have really done here.
    Pretty much every post of yours contains insults, slights, derogatory comments about Sarkus.
    That's not the position of someone who isn't here to "win", as you have accused Sarkus of needing to do.
    You are effectively announcing that you need to have the last word, not someone willing to conclude the discussion.
    Right of reply should be allowed to anything you post.
    This really just confirms that you are as bad as you claim Sarkus to be in the need to win an argument.
    Of course you can disagree.
    What I think is too much is harassing, and it is harassment, of Sarkus to abide by your standard, a standard which noone seems to share.
    Which does raise the question of whether you truly believe in the standard you have set, or whether you have inadvertently found yourself defending something just to try to save face.
    But whatever it is, disagreeing on the standard is no excuse for you to push yours upon other people.
    Discuss the difference, by all means (is that not the purpose of this thread?).
    To quote you: I am confident you're telling me what you actually think.
    In this matter, though, you are not being reasonable.
    Crtypocurrency thread:
    Are you in the crypto industry? Got any vested interests you'd like to declare? (#156)
    Are you in the crypto industry? Got any vested interests in crypto? (#162)

    This thread:
    So far, Sarkus is unwilling to join you in that disclosure. (#4)
    Full disclosure, please! (#17)
    But, like I said, I'm not a paid promoter of any currency. And you? And Sarkus? (#23)
    Still spruiking for bitcoin, I see. What are you guys? Do you work for crypto exchanges, or something? (#30)
    Bought any good cryptocurrencies lately, Sarkus? (#43)
    Do you have a vested interest in promoting Bitcoin? (#60)

    And in between, and after, there is plethora of insults aimed at him as being unethical because he won't, out of principle, disclose to you according to your standard for the need to disclose.

    So, yes, the record speaks for itself in this regard: it is a clear record of harassment, by you.

    The rest of your post, well, it's a shame.
    You are not discussing the issue at all.
    You are not addressing the criticisms raised against you, but instead seeking to evade them, through deflection etc.
    Throughout you try to paint Sarkus as unethical for not abiding by a standard you have come up with that is, frankly, unreasonable.
    It's okay to have different standards, and from the thread title I'd have thought those differences might have been discussed, why you have a standard everyone else considers unreasonable etc, but at no point have you really done so, instead just asserting that since he has not disclosed according to your standard he must therefore be acting unethically.
    I.e. this thread is all about you and your view of Sarkus.
    You're doing nothing but trying to paint him as unethical, painting him in a bad light, so as to be able to ignore his arguments.
    You've even brushed aside some of my criticisms of what you've said simply by claiming that it sounds like something Sarkus might say.
    Yet you think you're reasonable?

    Do you not see the real issue here?

    You asked if I see anything objectionable in post #74 / #77.
    In Sarkus' post, sure, he's a little heavy handed, and has some choice word selection, but his points are clearly argued, and, well, they stand up.
    The tone clearly stems from your harassment, hounding, whatever you want to call it.
    The most objectionable thing is actually your response to him (#77) when you simply dismiss his post in its entirety with a further insult.
    That is objectionable, and will do nothing but antagonise the situation further.

    I'm sorry, James R, but in this matter you were, are, and continue to be unreasonable.
    And that will be the last I say on the matter.
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    You mean, a possible perception by any reader? That means that it is always unethical to not disclose, since there are a large number of readers here that range from most (who don't care) to you (who obviously care very much.)

    Hmm. I have long been an advocate of EV's. I have four patents on them, and might stand to benefit more from them if they become more popular. I also have investments in Tesla, Ford, BYD and Quantumscape, all of whom are working on EVs. Three of these I had to look up since they were in mutual funds that I have and I didn't know. Might change tomorrow, since mutual fund managers do change their portfolios on occasion. I (and my family) will also, of course, benefit from reduced emissions caused by wider implementation of EVs.

    I have long advocated for solar energy. I have two patents in that field, and again might benefit if more people use solar. I have stock in Enphase and Solaredge directly, and in Sunrun, Sunpower and Maxeon indirectly. And I have a solar power system that supplies all my power. There is no longer as much _direct_ benefit for me for implementing more solar since California has closed all its coal power plants, but there's some marginal personal benefit from reducing emissions worldwide and from increasing grid reliability.

    BESS (battery energy storage systems) - eight patents filed, only two issued. And I have nonpublic shares in a BESS company. More benefit for me personally there since storage will improve our local power grid reliability.

    I think UAV's are a good tool for many purposes. Six patents there, and I hold nonpublic shares in Shield, an AI company that uses quadrotor and fixed wing drones.

    Wireless charging has long been a good solution for phones, and is now making inroads into EV charging. I have 55 patents on those technologies, and my stock in Qualcomm, Maxim (now Analog Devices) and/or Witricity might rise if more people use that.

    I don't know if I have any stock in companies that do blockchain currency, and don't feel like looking up all the 60+ investments my 401K fund has made.

    And I am not being explicitly paid to promote any of them.

    Still, all that seems a bit longwinded to put after any post I make on any of those topics - and I have made a lot of posts on them. I guess I will just have to live with some people here thinking me unethical.
     
  8. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Full Disclosure to not brake a rule at Sciforums:::

    I have talked about the OFJ company befor an just now discovered it was in my mutual funds

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  9. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Sinse i have disclosed about OFJ i feel the need to be fully ethical an give the details of why i chose it::

    It was explaned to me that i coud easily lose all of my investment... but after i was shown the cool label on the package it seemed like a sure winer to me.!!!

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    An then after i saw the choise of cool T-shirts that comes wit the initial investment i was sold.!!!

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    ........................................................I chose pink

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  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Bells:
    You and I don't know what he stands to gain by promoting Bitcoin, here or anywhere else.

    Yes, he did talk about some of the risks. My assessment at the time was that his focus was more on the positives of Bitcoin than the negatives. At once stage he was making excuses for Bitcoin's high energy usage.
    You and I don't know who he might be trying to make money from.
    You and I don't know whether he benefits or not. He refuses to declare whether he has a vested interest and, if so, what the potential is for conflict of interest.
    Who knows? We don't know whether he is employed to promote or sell Bitcoin.
    You and I don't know.
    Right now? Nothing. He seems to have stopped talking up Bitcoin for now. He could come clean, however, on whatever it is he has been trying to hide.
    Promoting an asset he is employed to sell, or which he has invested in, means that he potentially stands to gain if other people invest as a consequence of what he says.
    I think I covered this one, previously, in some depth. I don't intend to repeat myself yet again, on this.
    If, hypothetically, Sarkus is paid to promote Bitcoin, and he is promoting it here as if he is an unbiased commentator, then I, for one, do really care what he does for a living. This would be a clear case of a perceived conflict of interest, which ought to be declared.

    If you'd personally prefer not to know what's in it for the salesman who is trying to get you to buy his product, that's up to you, of course.
    Or, we could just ask him whether he has any vested interest at all in crypto, and he could tell us yes or no. We wouldn't have to presume things.
    Why? The perception of potential for conflict of interest. That's why.
    No. He's plugging Bitcoin. At least, that was my perception of what he wrote.
    If you have invested in an Nvidia GPU in preference to an AMD one because you think that Nvidia is superior, and you're advising other people to buy Nvidia, then I think it would be helpful for you to inform your readers that you're not exactly unbiased.

    However, the specific vested interest I have been most concerned with in this thread is a financial interest. If you don't work for Nvidia and don't stand to benefit financially from promoting it, then it's probably safe to assume you're giving your opinion as an ordinary consumer and therefore that you have no vested interest beyond that of the run-of-the-mill consumer of computer graphics hardware. Nevertheless, if it doubt, it wouldn't be wrong to ask you whether were employed by Nvidia to promote its product, or similar. It's not hard to say "No."
    I asked Sarkus specifically whether he is employed to promote crypto, or to sell it, or to trade in it. More generally, I asked if he had any relevant vested interest he wanted to declare. His interest in the topic/subject matter is obvious. Any vested financial interest he might have is not.
    For the benefit of readers, who might otherwise be under the impression that he has no conflict of interest. It's not hard to say "I have no vested interest", if that's the case. It's hardly giving away a great secret about yourself. On the other hand, if one does have a relevant vested interest, one really ought to declare it when promoting a product or service or investment.
    His promotion of the virtues of Bitcoin might lead people to invest in Bitcoin, thus driving the price up and leading to a financial benefit to him, in that case. Also, he wouldn't be giving an unbiased opinion, considering both the good and bad sides of Bitcoin investment. In such circumstances, it would be ethical to disclose his interest.
    Or, you could just ask, rather than having to make assumptions that might be wrong.
    You and I don't know that, in Sarkus's case. We have no way of assessing whether he is gaining financially or not. Remember, he refuses to tell us anything at all.
    It would depend on the "something", of course. Certainly, if I had a relevant conflict of interest of some kind, I would probably disclose it before being asked.
    It would depend on whether the question was relevant to my promotion of those investments, I suppose.
    So you're saying that asking the question "Are you paid to promote Bitcoin?" is off limits, under all circumstances, on sciforums, in your opinion?

    We should just guess and assume, instead?
    You and I don't know whether or not he is doing anything more than that. We don't know, because he refuses to say anything at all on the matter.

    What you're telling me is that you're willing to put your trust in him and therefore you don't need him to disclose any conflict of interest he might have. You're just going to assume - on the basis of nothing in particular - that he is well intentioned, with no vested interests that are relevant.

    That's your decision. If that's what works for you, fine. I think it's a little naive, and I'm not obliged to make the same assumptions you want to make.
    There is a potential conflict of interest that remains unresolved.

    My advice to readers is: be very careful about taking advice from Sarkus regarding Bitcoin. He might have a vested interest he is not telling us about. If that's the case, self-interest might cloud whatever advice he gives.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2023
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    39,426
    You're assuming he would act ethically. You ought to be aware that you're making an assumption, there. After all, he has refused point blank to declare that he has no vested interest, which seems very strange indeed. It suggests there are relevant things he probably should be telling us, but isn't.
    There is a particular circumstance we are discussing here. You keep asking general questions, as if the asking where I worked was a question out of the blue or something. I have been very specific in discussing the appropriateness of asking the question in the particular circumstance where there is a perception of a possible conflict of interest.
    I might well ask somebody spruiking for a political party or cause whether they were a member of that party, or employed by the cause, or whatever.

    There's a reason why, by law, political advertisements usually require identification of the party paying for the ad (at least in Australia). It's so that people don't get a false impression that the political message comes from an unbiased source or (maybe worse) that it comes from a different political source than the one they might otherwise think it comes from.

    This is type of declaration of a vested interest.
    I don't demand such things. However, I might well ask, if I was worried about a possible conflict of interest.

    In general, when it comes to vaccine advice - for example during the Covid-19 pandemic (which isn't over yet) - it has usually been reasonably clear to me which organisations people have been representing, if any, when giving vaccination advice. So, I haven't really needed to ask. Also, I have noticed that many people giving such advice declare their affiliations up front, as they should.
    The bible is out of copyright. There are many editions. Sure, there are companies that sell bibles. But there are lots of places to get bibles - including for free online.

    If somebody were to come here spruiking a particular version of the bible, naming the publisher and giving a sales pitch, then I would probably (if they weren't an obvious spammer) ask them if they had a relevant vested interest.
    Certainly I plead guilty to asking the question of Sarkus and Seattle, initially. It seemed to me that they were saying lots of very positive things about Bitcoin, to the extent where their posts almost read like a sales pitch to me. So, I asked the question. Guilty as charged. I sought this out.

    As for the butting heads thing, I am willing to answer arrogance with arrogance, to some extent. I don't think it hurts for people to occasionally get a taste of what it's like to be on the receiving end of their usual behaviours, for a change. We could argue the toss as to who started what. What is clear is that somebody doesn't know when to stop. Maybe that's me, in this case. But if I stop now, who will argue my side of this ethical issue against the horde? I'm willing to hang in there a bit longer and to fight the good fight, for now.
    I have seen several things that made me wonder whether there might be a relevant vested interest in play. Hence, I asked the question. Given the angry response, I think I might have hit a nerve by asking it. It's not hard to say "no, I don't have a vested interest", after all - when you don't have one.
    Speculation. It's what we're left with when somebody refuses to answer a reasonable question. We wonder why they are refusing. We wonder if they have something to hide.
    I'm not really concerned for myself, in this instance. I am more concerned about readers who might otherwise consider him to be an unbiased commentator, if he really isn't.

    I know I'll be taking anything he says about Bitcoin and bearing in mind that he could have an undeclared vested interest in its promotion. As an investment advisor, he doesn't seem like the sort of person I could trust, based on his performance here.
    I would have been content to settle for a simple "No, I don't have a vested interest" or a "Well, I own some Bitcoin, but I'm not a paid promoter of it", or something. I would probably have taken his word for it. That was then. Now, the best practical course of action would seem to be simply to ignore whatever he writes about Bitcoin, or to read it and be appropriately skeptical and careful.
    It is true that a vested interest can be very personal. That doesn't absolve somebody of the duty to disclose that interest, if circumstances demand appropriate disclosure.

    If Sarkus actually is employed to sell Bitcoin, for instance, then his telling us all that might be a very personal disclosure for him. But, if he was worried about disclosing that, probably he shouldn't have been trying to promote Bitcoin on sciforums. If he did want to promote it, he should have been happy to declare the relevant vested interest up front. Start with "I work for a company that sells Bitcoin. Here's why I think it is a great investment...", maybe.

    It's the hiding the relevant vested interest while simultaneously trying to accrue a benefit to oneself or one's employer that is the unethical thing to do.
    I have stopped asking him to. He has been very clear that he will not answer.

    That does not change his ethical duty.
    I disagree.
    A financial interest in Bitcoin is a little more than an interest in a subject or other intangible idea.

    I'm talking about an actual financial interest here, not some vague intellectual curiosity in something. Don't confuse the two.
    Okay, but our good luck wishes are not relevant to this discussion.
    He is free to whatever opinions he wants to have, about whatever. Here, I am concerned about his actions and a potential conflict of interest regarding financial matters, as I have explained many times.
     
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    exchemist:
    I think Sarkus has got this out of proportion.

    There are a few others who keep kicking the can down the road.
    I respect your opinions in most things, exchemist.

    On this particular matter, we apparently differ on what is reasonable.

    It does take two (or one against seven, or whatever it currently is) to tango. It seems to me that, among those who are arguing against my position, there is some misunderstanding, some conflation of different issues and some bad blood. In other words, there is more going on here than a simple difference of opinion about the ethics of the matter. A few people have separate agendas they want to prosecute, using this as the latest excuse.

    I do have some sympathy with your view, reading between the lines, that it can become "unreasonable" to continue to argue one's position after a certain point in a discussion - e.g. where it seems clear that there is little hope of changing anybody's mind. Or maybe that's more a matter of just wasting time and effort.

    I will also be the first to admit that people get very touchy when their personal ethics are brought into question. Since there are often "only" opinions in matters of ethics, there's only so far one can push ethical arguments. Arguably, arguing about something where there is admittedly no "absolute" right or wrong could be construed as "unreasonable". Everybody tends to believe his or her own version of ethics is superior to (or at least as good as) everyone else's. Hence, people who hold different ethical opinions can be thought of as "unreasonable".
    Rather than coming to a conclusion, this seems to be ballooning out, dragging more and more contributors in. Again, maybe it's the ethics topic. Everybody has an opinion.
     
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Baldeee:
    Initially, I just asked him a question. After he refused, point blank, to answer it, I pushed a little, I admit. After all, if there was no relevant vested interest, it shouldn't be hard to say so.

    I didn't ask out of the blue, obviously. I was prompted to ask based on what he had written previously.
    Okay. You may be right. Maybe I didn't start with the assumption that he would act ethically, in general. I did, however, initially think that he might act ethically in regards to this matter.
    On this matter, of appropriate disclosure of vested financial issues, I have no ongoing concerns about Seattle.

    At this point in this discussion, Sarkus's choices are the centre of the ongoing debate. Essentially, he has made an example of himself, providing a specific case to which we can apply the more general principles.
    Give it time. Let's see what happens.
    In general, yes, of course. (Not quite true regarding certain posts made in my capacity as an administrator, but this isn't relevant here.)
    It confirms it for you, apparently.
    I think you're giving Sarkus a free pass on his behaviour here, because you're biased.

    Sarkus will do what Sarkus does. I do not expect him to abide by my moral standards.

    You appear to be correct in that nobody much is lining up to back my point of view on this. That, however, does not automatically mean I'm wrong. Maybe we can all talk it out, until somebody is convinced to change their mind.
    I assure you, I really believe that one has a moral duty to disclose one's vested financial interests, in circumstances where a reasonable person would reasonably suspect the potential for conflict of interest.

    I also really believe that in the circumstance where one is asked whether one has a vested interest one should declare, it is easy for one to reply "No, I don't", in the circumstance in which one actually lacks any relevant vested interest.
    I should just shut up, then, and leave you all to it? Is that what you're saying? You'd rather I didn't post my views here, because I'm somehow forcing you to read this thread, even though you'd rather not? I'm holding your head to a grindstone here?

    If you don't want my opinion on this pushed onto you, there's a simple solution, Baldeee. Try not reading what I write. You don't have to read this thread, you know - or anything else I write.
    It's a fair cop. I concede that I have, previously, "continually" asked Sarkus to disclose any relevant vested interest he might have in crypto".

    I undertake that I will not ask him again, unless he starts promoting cryptocurrencies again.
    Refusing to say anything at all on the matter is bad form - rude and unnecessary. Taken by itself, that behaviour might be considered "unethical" for different reasons than the ones under discussion here.

    On the particular matter of the duty to disclose vested financial interests, the most any of us can currently say is that we can't tell that Sarkus is acting ethically here, regarding Bitcoin. That leaves open the possibility that he is acting unethically. It is entirely his choice to leave that question open.
    Please be specific. What are your specific criticisms of my position on the ethics of financial disclosure? Feel free to refer to what I have written in this post about what I believe on that topic.

    I don't know why you concluded that I am "not discussing the issue at all". That seems an obvious falsehood.
    Tell me why you think my "standard" is unreasonable. Be specific. Make an argument.
    I have explained to four or five people in at least four or five different ways. I have given examples. I have referred to the facts at hand. People have replied to me; I have replied back to them. If this isn't a discussion, I'm not sure what you would consider to be a discussion.
    It isn't supposed to be about that.
    Which of his arguments have I ignored? Be specific.
    I brushed aside that silly question of yours about whether I want to live in a police state and interrogate people. The answers are: no and no, for the record. I was hoping you weren't serious.
    In post #74, Sarkus lost his shit. He described my position as "nonsense"; clearly it is not. He called me stupid; clearly I am not. He called me paranoid; I am not (well, not any more than is warranted). He called me dishonest; I am not. And so on and so forth - lots of character assassination, not much rationality, no civility.

    And you think the "most objectionable thing" about this is my response. Sure you do.

    I think this says something about you, and your relationship to Sarkus.
    You have an absolute right to reply to this post, if you wish.
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    billvon:
    No. I mean a reasonable perception of a potential conflict of interest. Think man on the Clapham omnibus, or the "pub test".
    Okay. Good to know, I suppose, but hardly necessary disclosure.

    Have you been promoting any of these things on sciforums? If not, there's no moral duty to disclose - at least, not any of the kind I have been describing here.
    I think I could help you to reduce it to something manageable, if you see yourself as likely to be promoting or selling any of these things on sciforums in future.
     
  15. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,226
    Which was what?
    A relatively positive view of Bitcoin?
    How would his disclosure or otherwise alter any of what he had actually written?
    Was that not the point he was making, which you chose to ignore?
    In other words, if it wasn't relevant, why should he disclose one way or the other?
    Is that the way you want others to behave on this site, to assume everyone won't be acting ethically?
    That certainly speaks to the "I don't think we need to wait to catch a criminal 'red handed' before enquiring as to whether a crime might have occurred" approach you seem to want to take.
    Sure, there's baggage between you two, and it's quite clear here that you brought it with you.
    Where did you expect things to go from there?
    Why, if you didn't assume he was ethical enough to disclose initially?
    Why do you think he should then choose to act ethically, or why would you choose to believe he was doing so if he did disclose?
    Would you have believed what he said?
    What difference would his disclosure have on what he had previously said?

    It seems you want to believe someone acts ethically or not only when it suits you.
    But you did harass initially.
    He has, but not in the way you seem to want to pursue it, which is to continually paint him as unethical.
    There are two things: one is the standard to which you are wanting to hold people for disclosure of whether or not they have vested interests.
    That is the example that Sarkus has effectively offered for debate: has he written anything that warrants consideration of that disclosure.
    On one side is you saying that he has.
    On the other side is, it appears, everyone else.
    Of course, appeals to popularity and all that fallaciousness.
    But that should be the discussion: what is the standard regarding what one says that should warrant one to ethically disclose?

    Unfortunately there is then the other thing: you taking Sarkus' non-disclosure and trying to paint him as unethical, you harassing him to respond, and you going on and on about Sarkus' lack of ethics.
    The result and implication of Sarkus' non-disclosure is NOT the issue here, that is not the discussion.
    Or at least it shouldn't be.
    You are too obsessed with him, that every post you make seems to be an excuse to imply that Sarkus is unethical, and a bad person.
    He has his faults, but your line of attack here is unwarranted, out of order, and worthy of an apology from you.
    But I'll leave that to you and your moral compass.
    Again, always thinking the worst of people.
    I am not biased.
    I may know Sarkus, but I am able to compartmentalise.
    If anyone is blinkered here it would seem to be you, as did you not admit that you did not initially assume he would act ethically?
    That is not the admission of an unbiased person.
    But, again, and it's getting tiresome, you are looking for excuses not to have to face up to things, excuses to be able to dismiss what people say, based on who they are, not what they have said.
    Why does anyone need to change their minds?
    I do expect you to abide by the standard you are setting out for yourself, however.
    Any positive opinion about something going forward and you'll have to disclose whether or not you have a vested interest.
    If you don't, if someone has to ask, then that will be a failure by you.
    That's the principle, which I don't think anyone disagrees with.
    However, reasonable people are telling you that Sarkus' posts had nothing that warranted such disclosure.
    On the other side is you.
    I know you believe yourself reasonable, which would therefore make everyone else unreasonable, right?
    Therefore your standard of reasonableness would appear to be much lower than everyone else's.
    If you honestly hold it, that is, which I doubt, but that's neither here nor there for now.
    It is easy: it's just a matter of typing letters.
    However, that doesn't mean one should have to, that one should feel obligated to, especially when they feel that it is not a warranted disclosure, and not relevant to what they have been saying.
    If one wishes to make a point of not disclosing on those grounds, that's not a problem.
    You have failed to show that it is warranted, or that it is relevant, in the case of what Sarkus has written.
    You really do like to misrepresent, don't you.
    Do you not see a difference between discussing the different standards people may hold, and harassing someone to abide by your standard.
    You should feel free to do the former, and even use Sarkus' posts as an example (for what one thinks might constitute "promotion", "advertising" etc), but not conduct the latter, which is to imply that your standard should apply to everyone.
    That is what you are doing when you push your standard upon people.
    I don't mind your opinion, James R.
    Maybe having something "pushed on one" means something different in Australia than it does here?
    To have opinions "pushed on me" means that I am being forced to accept them as the way things are.
    When you tell people that Sarkus is unethical, that is you pushing your opinion on everyone else.
    Harassing Sarkus to disclose is pushing your standard of when he should disclose upon him.
    It's also a fair cop that you didn't assume he would be ethical to do that himself, without being asked.
    Had you done so at the beginning, do you accept that you would have had your answer?
    You have yet to convince anyone that he has yet to "promote" cryptocurrencies to an extent that warrants disclosure.
    No, it's not rude, but of course it's unnecessay (few things are ever necessary).
    It is not rude to not answer a question that he felt was irrelevant, and for which you have yet to show is relevant?
    The rudeness was in you harassing him.
    And to an extent it is rude to ask irrelevant questions.
    It's only open if you don't assume from the outset that he would act ethically and disclose if he did.
    That was your choice not to.
    He was under no obligation to respond to your unwarranted demands.
    Noone else thinks he has acted unethically by not disclosing, either initially or subsequently.
    That is all on you.
    And it speaks to the bias you have against him, the baggage that you're carrying.
    The overriding criticisms are two fold:
    Firstly, you have failed to address any criticism about why you think what Sarkus said was actually anything that warranted the disclosure you sought.
    Secondly, given the first, and the standard for disclosure that requires: your failure to abide by your own standard in every other thread where you have given a positive opinion.
     
  16. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,226
    (Apologies for lengthy reply... must try harder to break out of habit)
    Cont'd...
    Because you're not.
    You're really just repeating the basic principle, which noone disagrees with.
    You're not discussing the actual standard.
    Your only post that did was the one you exampled from Seattle's and Sarkus' posts.
    Sarkus responded to those, and you have yet to respond to those criticisms.
    You then responded to Sarkus' next post with "You're foaming at the mouth" and then a dismissal.
    That's not discussing.
    At no point since have you actually gone through what Sarkus wrote that warrants the disclosure you seek.
    Because it would require anyone making a positive view of something be required to state whether or not they have a vested interest.
    That is all Sarkus had done, and yet that is what you have repeatedly required from him.
    That is what reasonable people are telling you.
    See, you haven't yet supported that you think what Sarkus did should reasonably be seen as warranting discslosure.
    Until you do, your standard will be seen as unreasonable, to the extent stated.
    It's a discussion, just not of the pertinent points.
    You have strawmanned your way through the questions by discussing the general principle (disclosure is ethical if you have a vested interest) but not the actual standard that you are applying.
    You don't say!
    Then please try to stop making it all about your views of him.
    Stop trying to state/imply every other sentence that he's unethical for this or for that, that he's angry, that you guess he has alterior motives etc.
    You've made this thread all about you so far, and your view of him.
    It has done you no favours at all.
    Let's start with:
    #69
    #74
    I was serious.
    It is the implication of what you wrote.
    You want to be able to interrogate people to somehow prove their innocence.
    That is what you're doing with Sarkus.
    The point stands, and was very serious.
    Or do you not quite appreciate the implications of your statement about not having to wait for a crime?
    "Nonsense" as in "not something a reasonable person should adhere to" then I think it is nonsense.
    I think everyone else here would as well.
    Clearly it is "nonsense" in that sense.
    And I don't think he "lost his shit" at all.
    It seems to be just your excuse to avoid what he has said.
    You expect civility from someone you've harassed and continually called unethical?
    I think he has also offered support for his accusations, but that's for you to take up with him.
    You do seem to want everyone to treat you, though, in a way that you're not willing to treat others.
    Maybe if he's calling you dishonest you should look at why.
    Is it because you are saying one thing and doing another?
    Is it because you deliberately avoid addressing criticisms, or continually misrepresent things, seemingly intentionally (which if not might speak to his accusations of stupidity).
    Basically, I don't think you help yourself.
    But I will leave you two to butt heads as you see fit on those matters.
    Yes, that's why I said it.
    Again, trying to find ways to dismiss things rather than assume good faith does you no favours.

    So, obviously, my last post wasn't the last on the matter, because, well, reasons.
     
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Baldeee:

    Has Sarkus appointed you as his proxy now? Strange that he disappears and suddenly you're here fighting his battle. Coincidence, I hope.

    I'm not sure whether you're better than Sarkus at knowing when to stop badgering. I have been tossing up as to whether to bother responding to your latest posts, because there doesn't seem to be a lot of stuff there I haven't already responded to more than once in one form or other. But, in the end, I have decided to respond again.
    There's no way to know. No disclosure has occurred. You could ask him, I guess.
    I'll leave others to decide how they want to behave on this site, as long as it does not breach our posting guidelines. People will watch how other people behave. They will make their own judgments about the person based on the behaviour they observe.
    I expected Sarkus would either settle down or continue to lose his shit. It appears he opted for the latter course.
    Do my assumptions or guesses before the fact really matter at this point? The facts we now have before us are: Sarkus hasn't acted ethically, in numerous ways. The proof is in the pudding.
    That's a bizarre thing for you to say. Whatever made you conclude that?
    No. Initially, I asked a question. Initially, Seattle, like Sarkus, refused to answer it. Later, Seattle reconsidered. Sarkus, meanwhile, glued himself to the floor.
    I have suggested circumstances where a moral duty would arise to declare one's vested interest, several times. Why are you asking for this again?
    I take it, then, that you agree with me that Sarkus ought to disclose whether he has a relevant vested interest and - if he does - that he ought to disclose it?

    I thought this was your point of disagreement?

    What do you want to discuss, then?
    Hardly. This is just the "pile on James" issue of the moment. Clearly, Sarkus has managed to convince you that this is about his "principles". I don't for a second think that his "principles" are what are driving him to keep flogging this dead horse.
    People are complex. Few things in life are black and white. People can do good or evil. People can be inconsistent. People can have double standards. People can act one way towards one person and another way towards another person.

    Maybe this vested interest thing is just a moral blind spot Sarkus has. If he also gives to charity, say, that makes him bad in one way, good in another. Both things can be simultaneously true.
    After his foaming-the-mouth post, I'll wait for him to go first.
    ???
     
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    (continued...)
    My deductions about Sarkus's morality, or lack thereof, in the matter of the duty to declare a vested interest, follows directly from what he has refused to say. My observations of his behaviours in other respects lead me to draw other conclusions about him.
    I thought you were urging me to change my mind on this, and come around to your point of view. If not, why are you still posting about it to me?

    If you're content for you and I to agree to disagree on this, we can stop the discussion any time you like. In fact, I previously suggested that. Remember?
    It would be hypocritical of me to do anything less.
    Why? This is a new standard you're proposing. Please explain. Also, while you're at it, tell me why Sarkus is exempt from this new standard of yours.
    Great! Then my work here is done.
    They are wrong, for reasons I have explained at some length. Reasonable people can be wrong, from time to time.
    Not necessarily. There are other possibilities. For instance, maybe they just haven't understood the argument I put to them, yet.
    Another bizarre comment. What do you mean by "lower"? And why do you think this?
    Now you're accusing me of telling lies, essentially. What makes you think I don't really believe what I've written? Why wouldn't I actually hold the moral views I espouse?

    What's in it for me to lie to you, on this?
    I have explained at some length why one "should have to". The moral duty means that one should have to. That's how moral duties work.
    If one makes a point of not disclosing, on faulty grounds, that's a problem.
    I don't know what more I can say to you, if you really can't see the relevance of Sarkus's interests in Bitcoin, when he appears to be promoting Bitcoin. Seems like you're got some Sarkus-shaped blinkers on.
    No. In fact, I try not to. That's why I ask so many questions - t0 try my best to understand the other person's actual position. Apart from anything else, arguing against a straw man is a waste of everybody's time.

    Whatever made you think I would really like to misrepresent somebody? Why?
    I understand that difference.
    Did I not say, in my previous reply to you, that I will not ask Sarkus again unless he makes it an issue again by promoting Bitcoin? Do you not believe I will do what I told you I will do?
    Am I forcing anybody here to accept my opinion on this? Am I holding a gun to somebody's head or - less dramatically - threatening to get out my moderator's baton and thwack them over the head if they don't abide by my moral standards on this? You know the answers.
    Okay. I'm confused. Do you consider any expression of my opinion as me pushing it onto other people?

    What would you have me do? Just shut up and keep my opinions to myself? Will you do the same with yours? Will Sarkus do the same with his? Or are we all going to push onto one another?

    What is a discussion forum for?
    I would put it somewhat differently. I would hope that my expressing my moral view might give Sarkus a gentle prod, which might prompt him to reconsider whether his behaviour is appropriately ethical.

    Nobody likes being called out for their unethical behaviour. I understand. One can react by doubling down and losing one's shit, or one can take the feedback on board and try to do better in future. Best case scenario: one can take responsibility for one's poor behaviour and pledge to try to do better in future; if appropriate, one can try to make amends with any wronged parties.
    It's a pity that so many people have been unable to connect the dots, so far. Surprising, in fact.
    It's rude. If you're asked a simple and relevant "yes/no" question and your response is, essentially, "How dare you ask that! I refuse to answer you, you scoundrel!", that's rude.
    You make too many assumptions in that question. Try rephrasing it in a neutral way; try not to beg the question.
    You keep giving him a free pass. It's obvious where your loyalties lie. I'm sure he will approve of you when he reads your posts, as you clearly wish. Don't worry. You've done your bit - gone above and beyond to defend your mate; he surely can't be disappointed in you.
    Might as well shut down the forum now. Baldeee has spoken!
    You're really going out on a limb for him with this kind of tortured rationalisation.
    I don't know whether beliefs are a choice; personally, I doubt they are something we choose. But that's another discussion.
    How many repeats is that, now? Look, you've made your opinion on this clear, I think, and I've made mine clear. What are we gaining by continuing this?
    You've polled everyone now, have you? Come on. This is getting ridiculous.
    I have my opinions about Sarkus. He has his about me. I have my opinions about you. You have yours about me. Call them all "biases" or "baggage" if you like; they are unavoidable. Human beings judge each other based on past interactions and behaviours, inevitably. You're not ever going to change that.
    I believe I have addressed several "criticisms" on that. More importantly, I explained why I think Sarkus ought to answer the simple question I asked him.

    The shrill reply "How dare you ask me that?!!" isn't very believable, in this instance. It has become less so over the course of this thread.
    That's not any standard I have put forward. You're strawmanning. Bad form, Baldeee!
     
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    (continued...)
    You keep flip-flopping between agreeing with me and saying that there's something you don't agree with. Which is it?
    Please be clear. What is the "basic principle" and what is the "actual standard"? What are you talking about? What are these two things and how are they different from one another?
    I read Sarkus's excuses, and the accompanying bile and insults. There was nothing there that deserved or required any substantive response from me.
    What's to discuss? His uncouth personal insults? No thanks.
    On the contrary, I posted a few excerpts from the posts that led me to ask my question.
    No. You keep saying this, but it's not a position I have taken in this thread. Maybe go back and find out what my actual position is. I was quite clear in at least one post: look for the statements starting with the words "I really believe..."
    "Disclosure is ethical if you have a vested interest."
    What follows from this?
    If somebody asks you "Do you have a vested interest?" and you do have a vested interest, what does the general principle suggest would be the ethical course of action? Answer: disclose your vested interest.

    If somebody asks you "Do you have a vested interest?" and you do not have a vested interest, what does the general principle suggest would be the ethical course of action? Answer: say "No, I do not have a vested interest I need to disclose."

    Simple, in principle. However, how this actually went with Sarkus was like this (I'm paraphrasing):
    "Do you have a vested interest?"
    "I refuse to say! I won't ever tell you, you scoundrel! How dare you even ask the question! It's nonsense. It's not fair. You're crazy. You're an idiot!"

    There are three consequences of this "third way" response:
    1. The interlocutor does not know whether Sarkus has a vested interest or not.
    2. The interlocutor is left wondering whether Sarkus would disclose any vested interest he had.
    3. More generally, the interlocutor is invited to speculate more broadly on Sarkus's trustworthiness in matters of morality.
    4. The interlocutor is left with the impression that Sarkus is a rude, defensive and belligerent man.
    I wonder, Baldeee, how you will respond, if anybody ever puts this kind of question to you. Will you follow Sarkus down his "third way" path? Or will you leave your interlocutor with (a) information about whether or not you have a vested interest, (b) the confidence that you will likely be honest about any vested interest you have, (c) the take-away impression that you are open and trustworthy, and (d) the positive impression that you're polite, open and friendly?
    He is angry, clearly; or, at least, was. It's been a while now; maybe he has simmered down and will be more rational the next time he posts.

    As for my take-aways from this particular exchange with him, see points 1 to 4, above. You reap what you sow.
    The implication of what I wrote about the duty to disclose a vested interest leads you to the conclusion that I want to live in a police state and interrogate people. I'm finding that very hard to believe. Want to walk me through the faulty reasoning that led you to those faulty conclusions?

    Are you going to double down on the obviously stupid, on this? Or what?
    "Nonsense" typically means something makes literally "no sense", or has no meaning. Grab a dictionary.
    You're still giving your emotional, angry friend a free pass. I hope it's worth it for you; you're on public display, after all. You're putting your own reputation on the line, now.
    The incivility from Sarkys started long before any of that, even if I were to concede the existence of the "harassment" of which you speak (which I do not).
    I have no desire to engage with Sarkus any more on this matter.

    I'm rapidly approaching my limits for engaging with you any more on it, too.
    How so? Examples?
    That's the first thing I looked at.
    What are you talking about? Be specific.
    I believe I have been forthright in addressing criticisms. I have continually asked questions, as usual, to try to avoid misunderstandings. I am still talking about this with you, despite an almost total lack of interest in repeating my position for the umpteenth time.
    I'll keep coming to sciforums and participating in discussions until it's no longer fun for me to do that.

    This conversation isn't fun. But this isn't the be all and end all. While this might be your focus of attention here right now, it's just one more thing for me.

    I don't need to prove anything to anybody in this thread. I have said my piece. My position and reasoning is all there for anybody who wants to read through it all with an open mind. I have a clear conscience.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2023
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,874
    James, there are two aspects of this long thread that still make no sense to me. I throw them out just for the sake of discussion.

    The idea that discussing Bitcoin is "promoting it", the idea that the price would go up if people on this forum suddenly went out and bought Bitcoin, and the idea that biases are really what we are discussing here.

    You were flippant about suggesting that I go to Sarkus to ask him to explain supply and demand to me. That's not a discussion, that's just refusing to address the fact that Bitcoin's price isn't going to move regardless of what h appens on this forum.

    Regarding a concern for "biases", the real bias going on in this discussion is when you throw out dismissively comments like Bitcoin is bad for the environment due to its energy usage and that it's used by criminals.

    That might not be disingenuous on your part but the people putting out those comments are disingenuous. Meaning that governments, bankers, politicians who get campaign contributions from banking, those people aren't making these comments because they are worried about the environment or about criminals.

    Bitcoin is a threat to those groups and they are the only groups putting out these comments about Bitcoin. The energy usage is similar to the energy usage used playing video games. No one is worried about that. The energy usage gives Bitcoin its value and Bitcoin, just due to market forces, is using cheaper and underutilized energy sources.

    Criminals, by far, use much more dollars than Bitcoin in the commission of crimes and criminals aren't a large statistical factor in Bitcoin in the first place.

    Regarding someone having a favorable view of Bitcoin and then finding out they own some Bitcoin and then concluding that they are biased is odd. If someone has a favorable opinion about something it's not odd at all that they have put their money where their mouth is.

    The cons of Bitcoin, as I've mentioned elsewhere, IMO, is not energy usage (that's what gives it value) or criminals but rather things like possible weakness due to hacking or a lack of demand in the future.

    So, IMO, it makes no sense to make this Bitcoin discussion about biases and then display a bias in the comments made about energy usage and being used by criminals. The elephant in the room where bias is concerned are comments by those threatened by Bitcoin (banking and government).

    If bias is really your concern, it should bother you that biased arguments against Bitcoin are being unquestioned while spending all this time trying to make up a case about a member being a paid Bitcoin promoter which doesn't even make sense on the face of it.

    Do you feel that what I have brought up here has no merit and should just be dismissed by telling me I must be a mate of Sarkus, or a promoter of Bitcoin or that I just don't understand supply and demand?
     
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Seattle:

    This thread is not about the merits or otherwise of Bitcoin. I'm really not interested in rehashing that discussion, anyway.
    I have nowhere said that discussing Bitcoin is promoting it. Nor have I claimed that the price would go up if people on this forum discuss it. These are strawmen.
    Having the price of Bitcoin move is just one example of a potential vested interest.

    Bear in mind that we don't know anything about what Sarkus's vested interests in Bitcoin are. None of them.

    Are you sure you can't think of any way that somebody could have a conflict of interest when promoting Bitcoin on a discussion forum?
    I don't think I said anything about its usage by criminals. But yes, it's bad for the environment, unless it uses entirely renewable forms of energy. As far as I am aware, it does not.
    You're suggesting that people might have vested interests that they aren't declaring. That would be a bad thing, wouldn't it? It would be unethical of them not to declare their vested interests, in speaking against Bitcoin. Right? Now apply that argument to the people who are arguing for Bitcoin. See how this works?
    Not at all. Clearly, since they own Bitcoin, they regard it as a good investment. If they did not have a favorable view of it, they would not have spent their money on it. If they already have a favorable view of it, they are biased, by definition. Not having a neutral point of view is what being biased means.
    I have nowhere claimed that is odd.
    Those two things aren't related to one another. I can be concerned about bias, whichever way it goes. If it only concerns you on one side, that suggests to me that you're biased. But we've already established that anyway.
    You mean "here" to mean in this post I'm responding to? Or "here" on sciforums? Or what?

    I have nowhere claimed that what you have said about Bitcoin has no merit, or that it should be "dismissed".

    You have told me that you are not a paid promoter of Bitcoin. For now, I am happy to take you at your word on that.
     
  22. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,226
    James R.

    I once again read through your posts, and there is just too much wrong in what you have written, too much deliberate misrepresentation, too much blatant and deliberate misunderstanding on your part, for me to go through line by line and pick it to pieces.

    Just a few pointers:

    - You still don’t understand the difference between the principle, that no one disagrees with, and the standard you are applying to it, which only you consider to be reasonable, so therefore you consider all other reasonable people to be wrong.

    - You deliberately and repeatedly misrepresent what Sarkus has said, and clearly don’t know the difference between “paraphrase” and making stuff up to suit your narrative.
    There was no “Shrill response”, and nothing that could be paraphrased as "I refuse to say! I won't ever tell you, you scoundrel! How dare you even ask the question! It's nonsense. It's not fair. You're crazy. You're an idiot!".
    That is simply you trying to tarnish what he did say, poison the well, dress it up with emotion and language that just was not present.
    You should be ashamed of yourself for being so blatant in your dishonesty.


    - You still don’t comprehend the difference between someone being ethical and positively disclosing that they have a vested interest, and that person being asked to disclose either positively or negatively whether they have a vested interest.

    - You continue to paint yourself as the victim, which is risible.

    - You continue to dismiss criticisms that people have raised, on matters of the person and not what they have said – i.e. ad hominems.

    - You fail to comprehend the standard that you have tried to push on Sarkus, despite numerous people explaining what your standard would require of people and when, such that you don’t even recognise it when they do explain it, nor the consequences of it.
    Maybe this is because you have failed to articulate the standard you did mean, but rather than take everyone understanding it differently to mean that you should try to rephrase, or clarify, you simply revert to arguing about the principle.


    - You dismiss my support of elements of Sarkus’ position, try to excuse it away, due to being “loyal”, whereas maybe it really is because I disagree with your position, as others have done.
    It may help to assume that people do not disagree with you out of bad faith, not because of who they are, but that they disagree with you for actual the reasons they have stated.

    - As has been said, you spend quite a while trying to guess motives, whereas maybe you should concentrate on what they have actually said.

    - You once again use these posts to take shots at Sarkus, rather than take the opportunity to discuss why he, and others, have such a different opinion of your standard than you do.


    Ultimately your lengthy reply was, on the whole, a waste of time, James R, because you’re simply not addressing the issues, you are continuing to make excuses, misrepresenting arguments and positions, and digging a bigger hole for yourself.


    Now, if you want, I can go through line by line and let you know why you're wrong, where you're misrepresenting, where you're simply not understanding, where you're being fallacious, and so on, but you won't enjoy that, and it would honestly take quite a long time to go through it all.
    Your 3 posts would likely become 5 or more in my response, then your response to that would be 7, and so on.
    Up to you.
    Or you could take what has been written by everyone thus far in good faith, and learn from it.
    You could try to understand why everyone else seems to have a different opinion of your standard than you do, and there is enough in what has been written for you to do that if you honestly wanted to.
    The fact they all seem to have the same view of your standard should be some indication that it is possibly not aberration on their part, not something that can be simply excused away as you are want to do.
    Or you could keep your head in the sand.
    Again, up to you.

    As you say: “People will watch how other people behave.” – James R (#94)
     
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Baldeee:

    Nothing is really new in your latest post. You've essentially just repeated the same points again, while ignoring my detailed response to you.

    It's fine. I think this conversation has more than run its course, anyway. I'm confident you're not going to change your mind, or come up with any valid criticism. You're just going to continue to act as Sarkus's mouthpiece. (Did he put you up to this?)

    In response to what you wrote:
    I exaggerated slightly for effect, but I got the gist of his response completely right: the emotional tone, the stubborn refusal, the foaming at the mouth, the rude insults, etc. I invite any reader who isn't asleep by now to review Sarkus's actual posts and decide for themselves, of course.
    Clearly, I understand. In fact, I directly addressed this in my most recent reply to you (see post #96, for instance).
    Bizarre. What on earth are you talking about?
    You're just making stuff up now.
    I addressed these concerns of yours in depth in my previous reply to you. It's not my fault if you didn't read or understand what I wrote, or if you simply decided to ignore it all, only to repeat your false claims again.

    You ought to stop talking about what I do and don't understand. Either you have no idea and you're just wrong, or else you're deliberately trying to insult me by saying things you know are not true. Either way, it reflect poorly on you, so just stop it, please.

    Don't join Sarkus in his ad hominem attacks. You've always been better than that in the past. Why sink to his level now?
    I'm sure it's both. He has your ear. No doubt he's badgered you behind the scenes. Now you're completely onside with him. I'm not at all surprised about that. The only thing that somewhat surprises me is that he is using you as a shield, apparently, and you're fine with that.
    I can do both. Even multitask it. It's a skill I have.
    Don't tell lies now! I have discussed this at length - far longer than it ever warranted.
    I expected it would be. Your reply to my reply is, similarly, a waste of time.

    Want to stop now? Or are you going to keep going?
    Please save yourself the time and effort. Save all of us the chore of having to wade through more of this bullshit.
    I have certainly learned some things about you. You can be sure that I will keep them in mind in future interactions with you.
    I understood from the start.

    Nice try with "everyone", again. Subtle misdirection.
    Word from the wise!
     
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