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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      New upgrade with simpler interface   05/13/2016

      Once again, the fine folks at IPB made a new upgrade and things might not be where you started to learn they were. However, this is one time where I think they actually improved things for navigation. There are only a few big buttons: When you click on one of those buttons, some other stuff opens up, depending on which button you click. (Later Note: These only appear when zoomed in or in the mode for smartphones/tablets.) I'm learning this as you are, so I suggest you do what I am doing: click on these big buttons, see what they open and fiddle with the software some. Ironically, you will find there is a lot that is intuitive. That's what I'm discovering. (Later note: I just discovered that I was viewing the site zoomed in too far to see the normal view. The menus are still there with the old buttons, but when I zoom in too much, they disappear and the new buttons appear. I believe this zoomed in way is what the site looks like on mobile devices. I'm going to mess with it some more, then maybe make some explanations.) Sorry for the inconvenience. Still, over time, I hope you end up liking these changes. Michael

Ellen Stuttle

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  1. The Ways and Means of Painting

    Minor correction to the post of mine Stephen quoted above: I was mistaken in saying that the "evil" story told by Childs isn't in the Walker book. Walker did quote that story, but it isn't indexed under the entries for the respective participants other than the one for Childs himself. It's on page 261. I came across it while looking for something else. Also: I suppose that Heller picked up the (incorrect) date from Barbara's biography. The year the Blumenthals split with Rand was 1977. They then moved to Palm Springs for a time but found that they didn't like living there (they enjoyed vacationing there). By the summer of 1978 they'd returned to New York City. Ellen
  2. Peikoff's Personal Esthetics Authority

    Thanks. However, the quote button doesn't appear on my tablet. Ellen
  3. Peikoff's Personal Esthetics Authority

    I don't trust Walker interpretively, but he is accurate in reporting quotes that come from print sources, and the statement he attributes to Allan appears to come from a videotaped interview which was used on a BBC program and could presumably be checked. I have to correct my statement in the post at the top of this thread that the "evil" story told by Childs isn't in the Walker book. Walker did quote that story, but it isn't indexed under the entries for the respective participants other than the one for Childs himself. It's on page 261. I came across it while looking for something else. Ellen
  4. Peikoff's Personal Esthetics Authority

    You continue to display your muck-up over "Objectivist Esthetic appraisal," just as I described earlier: Contra you, Peikoff wasn't proceeding in a way contra Rand. She didn't say that one is to make an aesthetic appraisal first, before evaluating morally and reacting emotionally - or even that one should necessarily make a "purely esthetic appraisal" at all. She was merely cautioning that the two types of evaluation aren't the same. You also continue to display your ignorance of chemistry. Ellen
  5. Peikoff's Personal Esthetics Authority

    Digressing further to (1) correct the first statement (it was Allan not Joan) and provide the context, and (2) quote Barbara's account of her reconciliation with Joan and Allan. The following material comes from a 2008 discussion. I've provided it not using the quote feature, since if someone responds to a post which has material in a quote box, that material gets deleted in the response. (I hate the awkwardness of the blinking new software.) =============================== ==== Part of Post by JERRY BIGGERS, January 24, 2008 at 1:11 am - link: Well, David Kelley's invitation for Nathaniel to speak at TOC events was viewed as an endorsement by TOC Board member Allan Blumenthal, who promptly resigned and has not spoken at TOC events since. An interesting aside is that Allan Blumenthal is a relative of Nathaniel, and a member of Rand's Inner Circle until, finally, he was told by Ayn that his presnce was no longer welcome. Subsequently, he told Barbara Branden in her biography of Rand, that he had come to the conclusion that Rand may have been evil from the start and that that aspect of her personality was a causative element in her creation of Objectivism. It is curious that such a statement did not detract from his acceptance on the IOS/TOC board. ==== end ==== Reply by ELLEN STUTTLE, January 24, 2008 at 3:15 AM - link: Oh, dear, the way things get mixed-up and false stories get spread... You might be right about Allan's viewing Nathaniel's invitation [should have read "being invited"] as an "endorsement," or at least a "sanction," but that isn't quite how David described the issue to my husband and me back at the time when it was decided to invite Nathaniel. Instead the sound of it was more that Allan just didn't want to be part of an organization where Nathaniel was speaking. That Allan is a relative of Nathaniel's is true; he's Nathaniel's first cousin. They grew up together and never got along well. You have it backward about the split between Ayn and Allan. The Blumenthals split with Ayn, not the reverse. She made things unpleasant enough for them with her nagging about their musical and artistic tastes (and some other issues), Joan says it almost seemed as if she was trying to drive them away. But the break originated from their side. You can find this in Barbara's biography (pp. 386-87). (I also know the story in more detail than Barbara provides, having heard further details from Allan himself not long after he and Joan had broken with Ayn.) What you write about Allan's opining on Ayn's evil is NOT in Barbara's biography. Instead it's a further gloss on something Roy Childs reports in his final interview, conducted by Jeff Walker. It goes significantly farther than what Allan is reported as saying in Jeff Walker's book -- which in turn goes farther than what Allan was saying in 77-80 (after which I lost touch with him). Back then (the late '70s) he said, "I thought the ideas were great and the woman was crazy." He clearly didn't mean "crazy" as in certifiable, instead colloquially. He was negative but not as negative as it sounds as if he became later on. I question the accuracy of the story Roy Childs tells -- about Allan and Joan arguing that Ayn was evil (on an evening when Roy visited the Blumenthals along with Barbara, who counter-argued, said Roy, that, no Ayn wasn't evil). Maybe, if Barbara reads this, she could say how accurate the report is. Something I know for a fact is that Roy could elaborate stories and even get them thoroughly wrong. For instance, he tells a story in the same interview about a good personal friend of mine and gets every detail wrong -- and I know that the friend wasn't the source of any of the errors because I was there the night Roy met her, at a private dinner party attended by only four people, my friend and I, her then-current boyfriend, and Roy. I wasn't even out of earshot of any of the conversation, so I know what he was told, and how wrong he got it (though he makes a good story of what he reports). Also in the same interview he describes AR as high on speed from her diet pills plus caffeine. As I mentioned on another thread (see), possibly Roy himself was the source through which, on the West Coast (Roy's homebase), Ayn's use of diet pills became magnified. Long and short: I don't know if Allan really did eventually come to the opinion that Ayn was evil, or if that's a Childs-style exaggeration. But it is not in Barbara's biography. Ellen PS: Barbara gives the date of the split between Ayn and the Blumenthals as 1978; that's off by a year -- it was 1977. ==== end reply by Ellen Stuttle ==== Part of Follow-up Post by JERRY BIGGERS, January 24, 2008 at 9:39 am - link: Thanks. I stand corrected on the details that you provided. The story that Allan Blumenthal later described Rand and her philosophy as "evil" does not appear in Barbara's book (at least, I could not find it after reading your post). In which case, as you said, that story probably originated from Jeff Walker's interview with Roy Childs and subsequently, in Walker's book, The Ayn Rand Cult. === end ==== Second Reply by ELLEN STUTTLE, January 25, 2008 at 0:27 am - link: I'm afraid I have to correct further. Please note, I didn't say that the "evil" story appeared subsequently in Walker's book. It isn't in Walker's book either. Here is what Allan is reported as saying in Walker's book The Ayn Rand Cult: Walker quoting Allan B. said: pg. 247 According to Allan Blumenthal, Rand "created an entire system, including her philosophical system, to deal with her own psychological problems." To which this interviewer stammered, "All of Objectivism was to deal with her own psychological problems?" Blumenthal insisted, "That's my view." Though surely an exaggeration, this perspective reframes the statement she once made: "Objectivism is me..." [ellipsis in original] {end} ==== end second reply by Ellen Stuttle BARBARA BRANDEN had meanwhile posted scotching the "AB said that AR is 'evil'" story and telling about her reconciliation with Joan and Allan Blumenthal. ==== Post by BARBARA BRANDEN, January 24, 2008 at 9:46 am - link: Ellen, you are right in your post correcting Jerry Biggers' description of Allan Blumenthal's break with Rand and his estimate of her. Jerry, this is not in any way a criticism of you. I have an idea of the sort of stories that float aroumd, and it's impossible for someone who wasn't directly involved to know what is true and what isn't. But it was Joan and Allan who ended their relationship with Rand, it was not Rand's decision. Further, I never heard Allan state that Rand was evil -- it's not the way he talks or thinks. Chris, you asked when the Blumenthals and I reconciled. It was in 1976. I had returned to New York in 1975, where I remained for two years, and Joan and I -- after not seeing each other for more than seven years -- almost literally bumped into each other on Fifth Avenue one day. We had been close friends in Winnipeg from the time we were twelve or thirteen; we had taken an apartment together when we attended UCLA; I had introduced her to Ayn and Objectivism; and we had married cousins. Our rupture in 1968, after Rand published "To Whom It May Concern," was very painful for both of us. We began talking, and over the next few weeks I told Joan -- and then Allan -- a great deal that she had not known about "the break' and my part in it, and we began picking up the pieces of our friendship. It was a development that made me very happy, and still does; my friendship with Joan has always been one of the most importamt relationships of my life. Barbara ==== end post by Barbara NOTE: I'm completely surprised at Allan's having said something so overwrought and indefensible as the statement Walker quoted, if the quote is accurate. The context makes it look as if it is accurate. Ellen
  6. Peikoff's Personal Esthetics Authority

    Duh, I know that. However, there are anatomical traces. I don't know specifically what Mary Ann meant, just making a guess. Ellen
  7. Peikoff's Personal Esthetics Authority

    Yes, that's what I said!!!!!!! I said that Peikoff ignored the Objectivist method of Esthetic Judgment, and opted instead to state his own subjective interpretation. You again miss the point. Repeat: Peikoff wasn't making an esthetic appraisal at all. He was talking about his personal reaction. He wasn't assessing the work's technical merit, which is the only issue to which that passage you dub "the Objectivist method of Esthetic Judgment" applies. You've elevated that passage into worse than the tail wagging the dog. You've turned it into the tail replacing the dog. (Besides which, there's nothing uniquely Objectivist about it. The idea that one sets aside one's reaction to the "what" while judging the degree of skill displayed by the "how" is common.) I do wonder how long it's been since you read the whole set of three essays. Sounds like you've forgotten what Rand's theory of art says and how she says artistic response operates. She does not preface the final cautionary addendum about confusing personal response with appraisal of technical skill by saying words to the effect, "And now, reader, you're supposed to ignore everything I've written in this set of essays up to here and turn it all backward, so as to start with a technical appraisal and then respond." Ellen
  8. Peikoff's Personal Esthetics Authority

    Notice the scare quotes. Ellen
  9. Peikoff's Personal Esthetics Authority

    Heh. I neither represented nor misrepresented what the Objectivist method of Esthetic Judgment is! I simply mentioned the term without defining it or explaining what it is. You both represented and misrepresented "the Objectivist method of Esthetic Judgment" in writing: Peikoff wasn't making what Rand called "a purely esthetic appraisal" at all. He was talking about his personal reaction. And your understanding of the prescribed method, as briefly summarized by you on another thread, is incorrect: ~~~ Jonathan wrote: link [Rand's] followers [...] don't observe the work of art and carefully, dispassionately add up its elements to identify a thematic subject and meaning, and then later come to a moral appraisal and appropriate emotional response. Instead, they immediately emote, long before they've had a chance to consider all that the art might contain and mean. ~~~ end quote The point of Rand's cautionary addendum about "purely esthetic appraisal" is that such appraisal on the one hand and a person's emotional response and moral evaluation on the other are different issues. She wasn't saying that first you make a "purely esthetic appraisal" and then you evaluate morally and react emotionally based on the results of your "purely esthetic appraisal." She was saying that you put your emotional and moral appraisals aside in judging the technical quality of a work. The O'ists (and O'vishes) you decry who react immediately emotionally are doing what she said is the nature of immediate response - response coming from the degree of perceived congruence with how the responder sees life. --- Your stuff about Peikoff's phrase "which muscle means what" is so far-fetched a reading, as if Mary Ann was providing a lexicography of muscle "meanings." She was explaining to him that his interpretation didn't square anatomically with some detail(s) of the statue. Maybe she was right. I can't see the detail well enough to tell in the images I found. Ellen
  10. Peikoff's Personal Esthetics Authority

    Yeah, Joan Blumenthal didn't care at all about Art. Jonathan, as usual,misrepresents what "the Objectivist method of Esthetic Judgment" is. Was Mary Ann Rand's "personal secretary" at some point? She helped with the typing of the manuscript of Atlas Shrugged. As to the "muscle," I'll guess that Mary Ann was referring to the state of the penis. Ellen
  11. My Cato Essays

    I've queried the logical possibility. I'm not going to try to guess what illogical leap(s) you're making. Ellen PS: Tony, I did know a little aboutKant's ethics before reading Rand. I reacted with a shudder to the duty mentality. I still react the same emotionally. Plus, today, having the advantage of considerable hindsight knowledge which I didn't have at 18, I think that Kant was not merely mistaken in fundamentals but disastrously so because of the major influence his views have had onsubsequent thinkers in many areas.
  12. Donald Trump

    As I've said, I'mmixed on how I imagine Rand would have responded to Trump. I tend to think she'd have been negative on balance though liking some of his characteristics.The idea of her having the hots for him sounds stylistically wrong to me, not a jibe with her "type." Ellen
  13. Donald Trump

    Phil's last post, dated January 31, 2012 - link-ends simply with "Sayonara." If what you're thinking of is the photoshopped image of Phil in front of a blackboard, the addition of"you cunts" inthe "quoted"farewellis a contribution from Ninth's doctoring. Ellen
  14. My Cato Essays

    Where is Tony being "Obedient to Rand and her mistaken opinions" in writing the following? link On April 2, 2016 at 0:51 PM, anthony said: ~~~ Duty to a "universal" moral law is still "duty". It is top-down of an identitification of collective "humanity", not of the nature of man's consciousness. ~~~ If you don't think that that statement is reflective of Rand's "mistaken opinions," why did you quote it in charging Tony with being Obedient to Rand and "willfully refusing to know" (as if you could know that someone is doing that). Ellen
  15. My Cato Essays

    So, according to you, Rand was mistaken in objecting to a duty ethics? A duty ethics is just fine? Only someone "Obedient to Rand and her mistaken opinions" would think that a duty ethics is a bad idea? Ellen