Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Semantic ramblings on the meaning of "accept"

Comments to a 17 March 2008 post on californiastemcellreport included:

Lawrence B. Ebert said [19 March at 10:31am]
Do you consider text in a 31 Jan 08 post --Yamanaka accepted a state grant in August 2007-- accurate?

California Stem Cell Report said...[19 March at 2:09pm]
The statement concerning Yamanaka was contained in a direct quote from a piece by another writer. That writer is the one to ask about whether that is an accurate statement.

Nonetheless, our understanding is that Gladstone is using funds from CIRM to support Yamanaka. As far as we know, he has not declined to accept that support. Does that amount to "acceptance?" He could have declined the support. Some fine legal and semantic points there. Regardless, it is clear that CIRM's huge resources have made California attractive to Yamanaka and others.

IPBiz considers the discussion of "acceptance" as "failure to reject" reminiscent of Bill Clinton's ramblings on the meaning of the word "is."

Of the factual accuracy, IPBiz has previously posted:

Deepak Srivastava, GICD's director, said in a press release that
“Gladstone will provide Shinya with the resources and facilities to
apply his research to human cells.”
Yamanaka's work will not be funded by grants from Proposition 71 --
at least not inititally, according to Gladstone spokesperson Valerie Tucker --
allowing it to move forward without concern of whatever revenue-sharing
agreement is finally reached.

Leaving aside the question of whether the statement on californiastemcellreport was accurate (IPBiz
does NOT think it was accurate), one is left with the ethical implications of the statement:

The statement concerning Yamanaka was contained in a direct quote from a piece by another writer. That writer is the one to ask about whether that is an accurate statement.

If a writer relies on the accuracy of a statement that becomes challenged, the writer is responsible for checking it
out (or retracting).

Live by the slider, die by the slider.

Here, the folks in California ought to be concerned. If Yamanaka isn't being "directly" funded by CIRM, no cut of his patent royalties will be channeled back to California. If California taxpayers are content to bask in the glow that "CIRM's huge resources" helped Yamanaka get patents, royalties for which won't be going to them, that's fine.

See also

Did Yamanaka "accept a grant" from CIRM in August 2007?

On the absence of evidence that Yamanaka accepted a CIRM grant

Who are the embryonic [stem cell] cheerleaders?

Note Dick Morris on Obama and (Bill) Clinton:

If he [Obama] had not risen to the top of Chicago black politics, we would never have heard of him. But obviously, he can't say that. So what should he say?

He needs to get out of this mess with subtlety, the kind Bill Clinton should have used to escape the Monica Lewinsky scandal -- but didn't. As the controversy continues, Americans will gradually realize that Obama stuck by Wright as part of a need to get ahead. They will chalk up to pragmatism why he was so close to such a preacher. As they come to realize that Obama doesn't agree with Wright but used him to get started, they will be more forgiving.


What Obama needs not to do is to resort to the kind of Clintonian fudging that animated his interview with Keith Olbermann. By saying "I wasn't there" and "I didn't know" and "I didn't hear him say it," he will invite contempt and derision. If he were to continue in that vein, he would buy himself a controversy akin to that which drowned John Kerry in the facts and allegations of his service in Vietnam. People will surface to say, "I sat next to him, and Wright said such and such," and Obama will be hostage to everybody's subjective memory.

IPBiz notes that Obama's Philly speech already showed Obama was NOT going to engage in Clintonian fudging.

On the subject of semantic ramblings, note this from Orlando's Channel 6:

"From what I'm hearing, Universal is going to be one of the number 1 places to go," tourist Bill Koeing said.


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