Selected Feedback on My Writings
Positive Feedback From Ideological Opponents
- Bob Norsworthy is a Christian apologist
who tries vainly
to answer some of my arguments but says
(2003-06) "you have a great website".
- Derek Pierson is a tektonics.org contributor
who initially had viciously negative
but later (2003-05) had a change of heart: "When I first read your
to me, they struck me as being condescending towards me, but having
the e-mails over again, and observing some of your exchanges with other
people, I'm pretty well convinced that you're mainly interested in
arguments, and not going out of your way to intimidate or denigrate
[..] I've also decided to submit a payment for your book. I've
enough out of it to where I think it's warranted."
- Timothy Wilken (of synearth.net)
with my ecological optimism but said
(2003-02) he "found that your [futurology]
article made interesting reading, and the scope of your thinking is to
be much admired".
- ASA Jones (of ex-atheist.com) wrote
(2003-01): "I must say, I am astounded at the quality of debate that
put forth. I did say that I would never link to atheist sites, and I
continue to maintain that policy, however, I would like your permission
to publish our current conversation to my site." She later changed
- Danielle, a fellow libertarian who disagrees with my criticism of
writes (2002-05) "Your Web Site is fabulous!!!"
Other Positive Feedback
- Linked here
under "Big Thinkers/Big Thoughts".
- Eric wrote (2003-06) "I came across your website and I was
by the vast compilation of knowledge."
- Kurt wrote (2003-05) "I have to say... I am not easily
I'm impressed! I regularly find interesting pages online... only to
ultimately... that something inevitably reeks of crackpotism, and
invalidates the integral totality of the worldview expressed. You are
exempt from that assessment... although I should perhaps read
more carefully the second time. :-) Sharp thinker, you!
with your worldview: +>99%"
- Thomas wrote (2003-05) "Your website on human knowledge is
daunting. I plan to return to it many times. For now I stand in awe,
only of the content, not the web design.[..]"
- Lesley wrote (2003-05) "I am a Belgian student in my last year of
school (Latin-mathematics programme). I am currently reading your text
on human knowledge and find it most interesting. [..] Thank you for
this amazingly interesting document available for everyone."
- http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Tirade/TiradesLinks.html (2003-04):
sites of 2003"
- Jeff Hirsch blogged
(2003-04): "one man is trying to at least define what the limits of our
knowledge are. That is to say "what do we know?" And more importantly,
"what DON'T we know?" Software engineer Brian Holtz has taken a crack
not only systematically organizing the systems and boundaries of our
but he has also gone on to defend which systems of knowledge or
are the most useful. [..] I've never organized the big ideas like this
guy has. It's really helpful in the whole "figuring it all out" project
that has been on my mind since sometime late in college when I first
to wonder about the universe and my place in it. Download a copy and
your consciousness in real and tangible ways."
- FirstScience.com is
Internet Science site" that describes
(2003-03) HK:F&L thus: "Life, the Universe, and Everything...as
summarised for you by a chap called Brian Holtz. Thanks Brian."
- Edimilson writes (2003-01) from Brazil: "Your book and the
radically changed my life and the way I think. Will your book have
versions to foreign languages? I would like to buy it in my own
(portuguese) to give to friends who do not know English."
- The San Diego Union-Tribune (21st in US circulation at 350K)
extensively quoted some of my futurology predictions in a
article: "In his book, 'Human Knowledge: Foundations and Limits,' Brian
Holtz isn't afraid to ask the Big Questions, such as why is there
rather than nothing. Nor is he afraid to use really big words."
writes (2002-12): "I was doing a search on 'axiology evolution' and
your stuff, which impressed me immensely. I hope this impresses you at
least a bit, because I'm a doctoral student in the philosophy of
with an M.A. in philosophy already under my belt."
- Adrian writes (2002-11) "Thank you for your text - I am finding
interesting and informative. I am a student at Oxford University,
and have sent copies and links to the text to several of my friends in
accordance with the 'Memeware' stipulation. It's even making me
consider a degree course in Physics."
- JR Mooneyham writes
"I must say it is an impressive work, almost staggering in its
and real accomplishment. Especially if the rest of your life and work
taken into account, from examining your bio (i.e.: how could you
the time and energy to create this densely packed behemoth?)."
- Randau writes
"I've visited your http://humanknowledge.net web site and was a bit
back by the extensiveness of its scope. It sounds as though it
all the knowledge of the world obtained since the beginning of
i.e., and encyclopedia of human knowledge. Is this the result of
some kind of organization or collaboration or did you do it yourself?"
- Paul Filseth writes
(2001-07) "Terrific book. I'm bowled over by the sheer ambition
it. What are you doing in this century? You belong in the
Paul later accused me of incivility.
Negative Feedback From Ideological Opponents
- Derek Pierson is a tektonics.org contributor
who ended up (2003-03) retracting his
- Given how ultra-sensitive you are to anything typed your way,
how egotistical you (most likely) are [..]
- Learn some patience old man. [..]
- Now that I have slapped you around again, [..]
- I guess I just assumed that if you were able to secure a
would. The fact that you haven’t leads me to believe no one envisions
text] worthy of print.
- I don't need to waste my time looking at [your text] anymore
- You’re probably just afraid to admit that almost no one (and
intentionally generous) has gotten anything out of your book – or sent
you any amount of money.
- [A]fter I pasted that asinine proposal of yours to some of my
all of whom are non-believers – they absolutely laughed at
They think you’re a joke, Brian. Even non-believers. How’s
that ego now big shot?
- I stand by any insults I've directed your way [..]
- Robert Turkel is the creator (under the pseudonym J.P.
of the Christian apologetics site tektonics.org,
whose childish insults to me in our discussions (*,
are too numerous to repeat here. A sample from his latest effort
- Check out his pic on his site, where he looks like he's sitting
large porcupine [..]
- I admit I left out the time he burped.
- I recommend Daffy minimize his own embarrassment by using a
- Beating on Daffy is like eating popcorn. Pass the salt and
butter-flavored grease that used to be his integrity and self-esteem,
- These replies will also still be up long after Daffy has taken
- [Holtz's] main purpose is to verify his own beliefs, prop up
and bother people. He got frustrated when he was forced to take his own
medication, something I happen to be good at making people do.
- [..] it's the only fun he gets these days, once he's through
dog, watching paint dry, and stealing old ladies' canes.
- [..] bark by bark, burp by burp, scratch and sniff by scratch
- I too might be an egomaniacal ignoramus with misplaced
- ASA Jones (at ex-atheist.com)
was originally complimentary, but changed
her mind about posting our conversation
on her site and ran away saying
"you still may be willing to waste your time with one whom you consider
to be an inferior thinker, however, I am not."
- Gary Amirault (at
sent me an initial email saying "prepare yourself for the Truth", but
so unprepared for our subsequent discussion
that he soon was saying things like:
Later he got
upset that I dared post my responses that quoted his reckless
"[you] snip out just enough words from someone to misrepresent what
say [..] How dishonest. And you say you speak truth. What a lie."
I remind him of himself 19 years ago: "arrogant, vain, conceited and
- You're full of yourself and nothing else.
- You just plain old wreak of pride, dude.
- Oh, Lord, sic em! Get this dude.
- Brian, you should dry up, really!
- Now only are you utterly proud, but you appear not to have a
either.You must have had an awful childhood.
- Come on, Brian, please. I'm beginning to think you're not
your website and emails are all a big joke.
Negative Feedback From Ideological Allies
- Paul Filseth is a fellow libertarian atheist who was
but I incurred his wrath by questioning an analogy he used and citing
philosophical literature on a definitional issue. Filseth then charged:
I thoroughly rebutted
his charges, and our correspondence ended with me noting
our agreement "that you [Filseth] neither agree with my relevant
nor offer any substantive argument against them". Paul Holbach
is a philosophical German who challenged my
of 'world' and 'nothingness', but after asking him for alternative
a dozen times over two months, I called
his evasions "tiresome". This prompted him to vent:
- You call people's sincerity into question without good cause.
- You argue from authority.
- You make invalid inferences about what people mean by what they
challenge them to defend claims they never made.
it´s your  unsportsmanlike  Mr big ego,  son of
kind of conduct that does repel ME! In your many posts you have shown
you´re a bright man indeed, but your  obstinate and sometimes
 incomprehensibly antagonistic complacency doesn´t become your
intellectual complexion. You appear as if you were much more keen on
self-opinionatedness than on any reasonable willingness to compromise!
Holbach never responded to my request
for substantiation of the six accusations I counted above. Douglas
aka Skeptic11@aol.com is a Christ-myth atheist who mistook
me for someone interested in debating the thesis that Jesus was
despite me repeatedly telling him I don't bother debating the settled
of mainstream scholarship. When I therefore said I was throttling back
the tempo of our discussion from daily to weekly by withholding an
response, he wrote:
Your bizarre letter has tripped my Weirdo Alarm System so I'm going
to quietly and in as non-threatening a manner as possible back away
Ignore the voices and take your meds.
His comment about imagined voices was ironic, since he was arguing
positions I either do not hold or explicitly said I was not interested