Thursday 17 October 2013

The Opposite of Buddhism (Article)

My relatively old article ("The Opposite of Buddhism") ended up posted on another blog as a series of installments (this breaks up the text with some illustrations and, perhaps, makes it a bit more enjoyable to read).

Unfortunately, that other blog now has quite a lot of advertising cluttering it up.  This was not the case when I signed up for the service.

So, I have transferred the article to Medium (an internet-publishing service associated with Twitter) so that you can read the article without too much advertising.

The Opposite of Buddhism, Section 1
• … Section 2
• … Section 3
• … Section 4
• … Section 5
• … Section 6 & 7
• … Section 8
• … Section 9
• … Section 10
• … Section 11
• … Section 12, final.

There's a rather sad story behind the non-publication of this lecture, involving years (not months, but years) of lies told to me by the French editor of a Cambodian journal that is neither prestigious nor has high editorial standards (to be frank, they publish some very casually-written junk).  The editor was aware that the reviewers were rejecting the article for spurious reasons, simply because it was politically challenging to them (rightly or wrongly, I was told that the draft caused a lot of discussion within E.F.E.O. circles… that could be a lie, but even if true, keep in mind that you're talking about "circles" of about five people).  He responded to this scenario by discarding the negative reviews, and sending it out for new reviews, again and again (entailing another set of ethical questions), not telling me what was going on, and refusing to show me the reviews (that I presume were, as he indicated, lacking integrity).

Empirically, peer review is a process that has worked well in some disciplines, in some cultures, and in some periods of time, but not in others; in the entire mess of disciplines involved in Theravāda Buddhism (including Anthropology) it is a failure.

After wasting years in the peer-review process (that not even the editor, evidently, believed in) this article then instantly reached a much larger audience than that journal ever could have by its promotion through the website that is L'Enfant Terrible of Cambodian politics, KI-Media.