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Post Eleven Years as Editor
Created by John Eipper on 08/28/17 4:04 PM

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Eleven Years as Editor (John Eipper, USA, 08/28/17 4:04 pm)

How many of you knew that #11 is the Steel Anniversary?  I didn't either, until ten minutes ago, as I searched for a clever opening for my Eleventh Anniversary post as WAIS editor.

I now sit at the same table in Adrian where I composed my introduction to this splendid group, on August 28th, 2006.  The date of the post is the 29th, but it was distributed to the WAISitudes the night before:


Everything I wrote then still rings true.  Our website is now much streamlined, and the world has taken many a turn since '06.  We have had to say goodbye to some (too many) of our dear friends, but the Hiltonian spirit of WAIS lives on.  I am grateful that you are part of my life every day, and have made me part of yours.

Thank you for giving me your trust.

On this Day of Steel, pax, lux, and Keep Thinking.

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  • Greetings from Mary Hilton Huyck (Mary Hilton Huyck, USA 08/29/17 4:24 AM)
    I know how delighted my father would be by the sterling job you are doing as editor-in-chief of WAIS. I enjoy reading the postings--WAIS members are extremely perceptive and well informed. My father, eleven years after the fact, would be delighted to know that the organization he founded is thriving and continues to engage in discussion of issues near at hand as well as global in nature.

    Congratulations to you and all the others who keep WAIS topical and energetic!

    Warmly, Mary Hilton Huyck

    JE comments:  I am blushing, Mary!  Thank you.  The outpouring of congratulatory messages has warmed my heart.  Modesty of course is a WAISly virtue, but I won't be able to resist posting more of them throughout the day.  (Worry not:  I'll keep up with the regular content, too.)

    Mary:  Our family is sending one of its finest to Connecticut to start his engineering career.  Next week, Nephew Eric Simmons will begin working at Pratt & Whitney in Middletown/East Hartford.  A Texas boy transforms into a Connecticut Yankee--only in America!

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    • Congrats from Boris Volodarsky (Boris Volodarsky, Austria 08/30/17 5:22 AM)
      Please accept my warmest congratulations on your 11th anniversary as our clever, knowledgeable and ingenious editor. It has been my great pleasure to communicate with you all those eleven years and through you with all WAISdom.

      There's still a lot to be done to turn our discussion Forum into a formidable intellectual force whose opinion will be listened to and waited for in many parts of the world. I hope that will happen one day.

      You have certainly become a (good) part of my daily life.

      Peace, love and creative inspiration to you and all WAISers.

      Kind regards,


      JE comments: I'll go for Day Two of blushing and self-congratulation, but Boris Volodarsky reminds us of the work ahead of us.  Why isn't WAIS "bigger" (i.e., more influential in world opinion)?  Why aren't we quoted more often as the authorities we already are?  Do we want to become a bigger deal--or are there advantages to remaining lean, mean, and intimate?  And not to mention, advertising-free and indebted to no one?

      Please discuss.  But in the meantime, bolshoe spasibo, Boris.  You are one of the most intriguing persons I've ever met.  I trust our paths will cross again, and soon.

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  • Congrats from Henry Levin (Henry Levin, USA 08/29/17 4:57 AM)
    Your introductory oration from 2006 was overly modest. You have demonstrated splendid leadership and extraordinary balance and even restraint and good humor when a number of us would show annoyance or anger. Thanks.

    You have earned the right to be more deliberately irritating and provocative. You can call it the devil's advocacy or whatever. Please keep it up.

    Abrazos, Hank

    JE comments: Thank you, Hank, for your support and encouragement over the years.  And not just with WAIS:  your expertise in education and economics has helped me time and again in my "day job" at the College.  Above all, I am grateful for getting to know you as a friend. May our paths cross again soon, in Michigan or NYC.

    What do WAISers think?  Should I crank up the provocation factor?  My gut feeling is that irritation can be found everywhere on the 'Net, and WAISers appreciate the serenity and civility of the way we (usually) do things.  Granted, some of our polemics have turned into real humdingers.  Spanish Civil War, anyone?  EU/Brexit?  Anytime there's an election in these United States?  Iran, one of our former hot-button topics, has become rather quiescent.

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  • Congrats from Tim Ashby (Timothy Ashby, South Africa 08/29/17 7:57 AM)
    I am sure that I share the sentiments of all fellow WAISers (WAISonians?) in expressing my deepest appreciation for your balanced and witty editorship.

    I suspect that, given your busy academic and travel schedule, this can be more of a duty (a labour of love?) than a mere pastime. I daily look forward to the fascinating postings and hope that you will continue as our editor to a ripe old age in the footsteps of Ronald Hilton (whose larger than life shoes you have ably filled).

    Warmest regards from Villefranche sur Mer.

    JE comments: I am touched, Tim! You are on my short list of WAISers I most want to meet in person. (I have already met most of you, but not Tim...yet.)

    Prof. Hilton headed WAIS for 41 years. So if the membership will have me (and Deo volente) I'll keep at this for 30 more.  Perhaps someday, by plugging along at the keyboard, I will be remembered as the Carl Yastrzemski to Ronald Hilton's Ted Williams.

    Isn't there a baseball analogy for everything?

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    • My Favorite Baseball Analogy (Francisco Ramirez, USA 08/31/17 5:07 AM)
      On the matter of John's anniversary as editor, Timothy Ashby and I are in complete agreement.

      My favorite baseball analogy is from Boys of Summer (I think), and one I have repeatedly told my advisees. Life is like baseball:  you work really hard and take a lot of practice swings and hope for a hanging curve ball. (I paraphrase.)

      For non-Americans, you work really hard and take a lot of practice headers and hope for a corner kick from Beckham.

      Effort and luck!

      JE comments:  In Michigan, it's about hockey:  Life is an endless series of shots-on-goal.  Eventually one will go in.

      Historians teach us that sports arose as practice, or a substitute, for war.  So sport had its origins as a metaphor.  Now it in turn provides metaphors for life.

      What are some of the more obscure sports analogies/metaphors/figures of speech?  Can WAISers think of anything from curling?  Badminton?  Caber-tossing?  Squash?

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      • Golf: The Ultimate Test of Honesty (John Heelan, UK 08/31/17 7:42 AM)
        Although golf is not obscure (in JE's terminology), it is the ultimate test of honesty.

        Somebody suggested to me once that if I ever needed to trust somebody with something important, play golf with him/her first. P.G. Wodehouse summed it up with his succinct "Golf... is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well."

        Once a golfer is suspected of cheating (and I have know a couple even though they already played off low handicaps!) he/she is ejected from the golfing fellowship!

        I also like Larry Wall's advice, "Don't wear roller-skates to a tug-of-war!") and Sylvester Stallone's "Playing polo is like trying to play golf in an earthquake."

        JE comments: Why do people cheat when there's nothing but ego and bragging rights at stake (i.e., no personal gain)?  This is an interesting psychological question. 

        To John Heelan's aphorisms from polo and tug-of-war, I would add Robert Putnam's 2000 metaphor for the decline of American community life:  Bowling Alone.

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  • Congrats from Salvatore Bizzarro (Salvatore Bizzarro, USA 08/29/17 6:57 PM)

    Congratulations on your anniversary as editor. As one who worked with Professor Hilton for 4 years plus during my PhD years at Stanford, I wanted to say that you are a worthy successor and I often wonder where you get your energy to deal with so many of us. I enjoy your brilliant comments on what WAISers write and always look at what you say about the myriad contributions you receive on a daily basis. Felicitaciones and viva the excellent job you do as WAIS editor!

    JE comments:  I've been on a high all day with the many kind wishes.  I have a few more in my inbox, but they can wait until tomorrow.

    Thank you, Salvatore, and thank you, WAISers!

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  • Congrats from Deborah Dupire-Nelson (Deborah Dupire-Nelson , USA 08/30/17 1:49 PM)
    You are indeed the Man of Steel, John Eipper! Happy Steel 11th Anniversary as WAIS editor.

    With the exception of our illustrious Professor Hilton, it is almost unthinkable to imagine another person leading WAIS World. Such is the masterful job that you have done for us all through the years, day in and day out, as you strike that delicate balance between passion and reason while moderating our varied views on global topics with steel-like precision.

    You are also quite adept at leaping the tall and complex building blocks of our ideas in a single bound, while urging us to soar on to new heights! Yes, John, you are indeed our Man of Steel!

    With warm regards, congratulation, and felicitations,

    Always your friend,


    JE comments:  I have class in one hour, Debbie.  Will I be able to get my head out the office door?  As for Man of Steel, I hope you mean Clark Kent and not Iosef Jughashvili...

    Either way, thank you.  I do hope we meet someday in the non-virtual world.  (Haven't I said that several times before?)

    OK, I'll give the attaboys a rest until tomorrow.  But I am flattered.

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  • Worked Up with WAIS (Sasha Pack, USA 08/31/17 8:12 AM)
    Congratulations on 11 years, JE, and thanks.

    I don't have a comment to post to the Forum right now, but wanted to check in to let you know I am still learning, thinking, and getting worked up, thanks to WAIS and the work you do.


    JE comments:  Thank you, Sasha!  It's hard to believe that our meeting at U Buffalo was already 2 and 1/2 years ago.  What's new in your scholarly life?

    "Worked up" is a precious English idiom.  It has little to do with up, and nothing at all with work.  Is there an equivalent phrase in other languages?  Spanish has "estremecido/a," which also does duty as shivery/quivery, and also "alterado/a," which is plain old upset.  But these are specific words.  "Worked up" is something slightly different.

    We're Worked up With WAISWorld:  WWUWW!

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  • An Attaboy from Enrique Torner (Enrique Torner, USA 09/01/17 8:39 AM)
    I would like to congratulate you on your 11th anniversary as WAIS editor.

    John, you are really gifted with Solomonic wisdom! With all the controversial and "encarnizados" (how do you translate this into English?) discussions we have in this Forum, I am always amazed and impressed at how you are able to handle them so calmly and wisely. Chapeau to you! Don't change anything to your great style!

    JE comments:  Encarnizado:  heated, almost violent?  Not WAIS!  We squabble about Mussolini and occasionally rekindle the Spanish Civil War, but other than that, the Goodship WAIS has had smooth sailing of late.

    Enrique Torner is one of the most informed and prolific contributors among the newer WAISers.  Thank you for your kind words, Enrique!  So good to have you aboard.

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  • One Last Attaboy (Tor Guimaraes, USA 09/03/17 4:13 AM)
    John Eipper has already so many accolades from WAIS members regarding his abilities as the editor for this Forum. His job sounds simple, but the variety of talents required is amazing: mastery of the English language, arbiter of personal and professional disputes, etc.

    I live in a marvelous world of ideas, questions about everything, deep faith in God the Universe and its increasingly fascinating sentient nature. I would like to compliment John for his performance as our editor in a unique way. But no matter how hard I try, my final choice are the words of the famous and universal song:

    For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow

    For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us

    And so say all of us, and so say all of us

    For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow

    For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us!

    Congratulations, John!

    JE comments: Obrigado, Tor! This will be the final chapter of "JE Week" on WAIS. I've been flattered beyond words, but it's time to move on.  Thank you all again for placing your trust in me.  I look forward every day to interacting with this brilliant, diverse, and caring virtual community. 

    Non-virtually speaking, Tor:  when are we finally going to meet?  We are not that far distant in the real-world sense (Tennessee and Michigan).  There are only two states in the way!

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