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Philip Coates

Latest Installment of Garbage from Phil

35 posts in this topic

(Note from MSK: I peeled this pearl of wisdom off from another thread.)

Subject: Character Assassination

I don't think the regulars here really get the concept of smearing and would honestly be shocked to think they could -ever- be guilty of it.

Here's another example of smearing: You and ND on this list (and one other who I forget) have often expressed admiration for stream of consciousness or postmodern fiction writers (and in your case deconstructionist thinkers, philosophers). Suppose I wanted to attack you or ND and lessen other readers' opinion of you and I was unscrupulous in my methods: I would quote some of Rand's devastating passages or other thinkers' rebuttals of Foucault or James Joyce or some other 'bad guy'.

The reason trying to hang their worst ideas around your neck is because you didn't necessarily express agreement with -those- ideas. Almost every thinker who has written a lot has good points and a benevolent or charitable view is that -those- are the views you might like.

Again, there is a parallel to modern sleazy politics. The politics of personal destruction (often done by the Left against conservatives, but I'm sure the opposite is true) is: i) find some thinker your opponent expressed some liking for. ii) find some outrageous statement by that thinker - or rip one out of context. iii) lynch your opponent with that.

"So you admire Columbus and Aristotle and Rand? Well, the first was a genocidal monster, the second believed in slavery, and the third advocated rape and admired a serial killer. -- So what does that tells about whether we should listen to you?"

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I do want to point out that I don't think that the regulars here are usually -deliberately- trying to smear their opponents, whether it be me or Peikoff or Diana H or David Kelley or whoever.

It's not that they are saying "let's see, what can I come up with that's a deliberate distortion or that I know to be a distraction from the issues". It's that they sometimes tend to be I'm gonna let my hair down range-of-the-moment impulsive "emotionalists": "aha! this will be funny. I can get his goat or humiliate her with this caricature."***

They don't believe that rationality requires them to think through carefully the appropriateness, fairness, precise accuracy of a "slam". That's why I find so much of what they post to be disgusting. I try** (except when I'm responding to an insult in kin) to bend over backwards to be scrupulously fair, not to distort someone's record.

**I would not be at all surprised if one of our resident sleazesters will now try to dredge through everything I've ever posted to find a time when I was unfair.

***In fact, the welcoming atmosphere for this sort of thing is what -attracts- them in some cases to this list.

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I do want to point out that I don't think that the regulars here are usually -deliberately- trying to smear their opponents, whether it be me or Peikoff or Diana H or David Kelley or whoever.

It's not that they are saying "let's see, what can I come up with that's a deliberate distortion or that I know to be a distraction from the issues". It's that they sometimes tend to be I'm gonna let my hair down range-of-the-moment impulsive "emotionalists": "aha! this will be funny. I can get his goat or humiliate her with this caricature."***

They don't believe that rationality requires them to think through carefully the appropriateness, fairness, precise accuracy of a "slam". That's why I find so much of what they post to be disgusting. I try** (except when I'm responding to an insult in kin) to bend over backwards to be scrupulously fair, not to distort someone's record.

**I would not be at all surprised if one of our resident sleazesters will now try to dredge through everything I've ever posted to find a time when I was unfair.

***In fact, the welcoming atmosphere for this sort of thing is what -attracts- them in some cases to this list.

Ghs

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George,

Phil is mostly a destructive person, not a producer.

Rather than build something, he goes and tries to destroy stuff someone else built if there is an audience to be had.

But it's not like Roark blowing up the building Roark designed. It's just an underachiever trying to blow up a building someone else designed and built.

I have to be fair. There is a small producer part in him. Not nearly as big as the stupid destructive part (not by a long, long, long shot), but it's there.

btw - I have a specific meaning for stupid in this usage. See here: Human stupidity by Professor Carlo Cipolla. ("A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.")

If, one day, he could ever reconcile his small productive side with his supersized neurotic audience cravings and insecurities, he might do some useful work.

I'm an optimist and I believe in the logn-term power of reason, so I have high hopes...

But I also have a Garbage Pile. :)

Michael

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Michael,

Phil thinks he has been treated unfairly. Well, every active poster on OL has felt this from time to time, but we don't obsess about it. I have been called names on OL that Phil can only dream about, but I regard this liability as part of the normal give and take of a public forum. If Phil knows of a forum in which he would be treated more fairly, then let him post there.

What does Phil hope to accomplish by discussing his OL woes in one thread after another? Does he think his detractors will suddenly see the light and recant and/or desist? In fact, his whining will probably elicit reactions that are even more hostile. I sometimes get the feeling that this is exactly what Phil is hoping for, but I cannot imagine why.

Ghs.

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Phil,

The title of this thread is an unjustified insult.

I do want to take issue with the following:

Almost every thinker who has written a lot has good points ... a benevolent or charitable view is that *those* are the views you [that is, the person advocating the thinker] might like.

If the thinker has a lot of bad baggage then those who promote him ought to be explicit in delimiting their promotion.

Naturally I have in mind the thinkers at the "Ayn Rand Institute" – the object of what some people wrongly call smearing on ARI Watch.

ARI donating free copies of Atlas Shrugged to high schools doesn’t make up for saying the Mideast military invasions don’t harm the U.S. economy (Yaron Brook), defending government institutionalized torture (Binswanger, Peikoff, Brook, Epstein), silence in the face of the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, TSA, National Defense Authorization Act, and other gross violations of individual rights -- the silence of the so-called "Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights"!

If someone says something positive about ARI without an explicit caveat they don’t deserve charity.

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In fact, his whining will probably elicit reactions that are even more hostile. I sometimes get the feeling that this is exactly what Phil is hoping for, but I cannot imagine why.

George,

I can.

I've built things all my life and watched people who do things like he does destroy them.

That's why I do what I do sometimes. I may not always be right, but OL always stays healthy. Ain't nobody destroying this baby.

You are totally correct in your feeling that Phil knows and seeks the fuss. Here's one of the reasons why--and I base this on decades of observing people who do to my projects what he's now trying to do. (It's not always on purpose, but the effect is always toxic if left unchecked.)

There's a bottomless hole inside his soul and he is convinced that other people have to fill it. But the more from others he shovels in, the more the hole stays the same.

That would frustrate anyone. Hell, that would frustrate me.

The idea of filling it himself is not an option. For example, how many times has he been offered a blog, a Corner, information on how to set up his own site, and suggestions that he do so? It's one after another and it's like water off a duck's back. This is blank-out in classic Randian terms.

But there's a cost. You don't get to ignore something that fundamental and not pay a price. Human nature won't let you. Underneath you know you can't fill that hole with other people and you know it's wrong to seek to destroy stuff that isn't yours, so you feel guilty and feel the need to be punished.

I could go on and on. The point is I know these kinds of people and I've tried everything under the sun to compromise with their neuroses. But it's wackadoodle stuff. And wackadoodle alwyas trumps reason in the mind of the wackadoodler. So words and suggestions simply bounce off.

Anyway, you're a high-level producer. I don't imagine you internalize plumbing the depths of the psyches of neurotic blame-others underachievers very much. :smile:

Michael

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The title of this thread is an unjustified insult.

Mark,

The hell it is.

Open interactive discussions on your own site and let people post at will. You will understand in short order exactly why it is justified.

Michael

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Subject: The Reason for MY Hammering Away at my Opponents

> What does Phil hope to accomplish by discussing his OL woes in one thread after another? [GHS]

You're missing the fact that my last couple posts were defending seymour blogger from the same kinds of attacks that I've been getting. And also when Oists attack the others - like members of the opposing "faction" unfairly, like Sciabarra or Peikoff, or whoever.

And you're rhetorical question "why do you futilely keep defending yourself on thread after thread?" is equally foolish: Well, it's because I'm -attacked- on thread after thread. There is nothing wrong with repeatedly defending yourself when you are repeatedly attacked.

As to your other point: "do you really hope to change minds?" Let me explain it to you this way (something I think you already know but are glossing over):

The point of responding to a smear is -not- that you will convince the attacker. He is too far gone or too corrupt or too blinded by rage ...or whatever the "hole in his soul" might be. It is done for the sake of justice. And "for the record". As a side aspect, not the main reason, other people years later even may read it and take the trouble to trace the whole thing and see "Geez, those guys really treated Coates unfairly. He answered their points but all they did is more ridicule. And notice how they did the same kind of smearing and 'opposition research' the politicos do when someone new like seymour blogger had the temerity to defend him."

But here is the deepest reason: I have zero expectation that anything I say will be listened to, will "win" or get serious attention from the current "in crowd" here. Ultimately the points I'm making have much wider applicability. My points have enromous importance and have applicability to much that is wrong in the world and the lack of thought, respect, benevolence with which people treat other people and the ideas they offer. There is an issue of thinking and debating and criticizing rationally and responsiblity vs.irrationality and with psychologizing, smears, ad hominems, side issues, demagoguery, etc. And demonizing as Michael laughably just did with me a couple posts ago.

That's a wider topic I will write on. I've taken lots of notes from these OL and SoloP and Noodlefood "food fights" starting with Sciabarra and "factionalism' and so on and this material (with the names changed) will work its way in.

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By the way, I made a lot of very good points today in my posts. I'm very aware that no one here is going to commend them for being excellent or well thought out. They will -all- be swept aside** and dismissed as "garbage"***.

But, as I just pointed out that's not a reason to avoid making them.

**I would almost enjoy it if someone could argue against them in a thoughtful, non-ad hominem way.

***what was it Jack Nicholson said? You can't handle the truth? :cool:

.

.

.

(Ok, I've had enuff of you guys. I'm going to go and read some Shakespeare to prepare for my upcoming seminar.)

((If I were going to be nasty, I'd make a remark about the irony of some of -you guys- calling -me- an "underachiever".... :D ))

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Here's an idea, Phil.

Why don't you "defend justice" on your own site?

That's what I did when SoloHQ blew up.

Nah... you ain't gonna do that.

See how full of BS your argument is? "Defending justice" ain't your purpose at all.

An unearned spotlight is.

Michael

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> Ayn destroyed herself. Whenever I would look into her eyes, even from twenty or thirty feet away, behind the raw intelligence was real pain, little girl type pain. [Adam]

Oh, what cultist nonsense. You're getting an ego boost by pretending you're superior because you can see the "hole in her soul".

And that's leaving aside the arrant psychologizing and the fact that you can't see something that subtle from twenty feet away. Yikes.

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I just peeled this last post off from the same place.

And I'll keep doing it until the crap stops.

I want all this on record.

(I am flattered, though, because of Phil's recent imitation of my rhetoric in his posting style.)

Michael

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Gee, if I was Saul on my way to Demascus, God (Phil) would drop a bomb on me.

--Brant

understandably

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I don't think Ayn Rand destroyed herself, or was destroyed by others.

--Brant

one tough lady

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Subject: The Reason for MY Hammering Away at my Opponents > What does Phil hope to accomplish by discussing his OL woes in one thread after another? [GHS] You're missing the fact that my last couple posts were defending seymour blogger from the same kinds of attacks that I've been getting.

If you want to defend yourself against attacks, then reply to them as they occur.. Devoting entire threads to the subject is whining, pure and simple.

And also when Oists attack the others - like members of the opposing "faction" unfairly, like Sciabarra or Peikoff, or whoever.

You are not an OL referee. Moreover, I don't recall anyone attacking Chris on OL.

And you're rhetorical question "why do you futilely keep defending yourself on thread after thread?" is equally foolish: Well, it's because I'm -attacked- on thread after thread. There is nothing wrong with repeatedly defending yourself when you are repeatedly attacked. As to your other point: "do you really hope to change minds?"

If you refuse to use the quote function, at least quote me accurately. Neither of the above passages in quotation marks is what I wrote.

As for the repeated attacks -- maybe you brought a lot of them on yourself. But you refuse to consider this possibility, much less make an effort to correct the problems, and that's why few OLers give a shit about your problems. .

Ghs

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I don't think Ayn Rand destroyed herself, or was destroyed by others.

--Brant

one tough lady

She shortened her life with that smoking habit of hers. For many years she regarded smoking as a kind of Objectivist sacrement. Fire at man's fingertips and all that. How about filthy smoke in man's lungs?

P.S. this year I celebrate 50 years (count them) without a cigarette and 12 years without even a cigar (not inhaled of course). Tobacco and I are truly quits.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I don't think Ayn Rand destroyed herself, or was destroyed by others.

--Brant

one tough lady

She shortened her life with that smoking habit of hers. For many years she regarded smoking as a kind of Objectivist sacrement. Fire at man's fingertips and all that. How about filthy smoke in man's lungs?

P.S. this year I celebrate 50 years (count them) without a cigarette and 12 years without even a cigar (not inhaled of course). Tobacco and I are truly quits.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Nicotine enables one to focus on the task at hand in spite of ancillary noise which is why writers love to smoke, especially in old fashioned pre-computer newsrooms. 60 years ago smoking was culturally celebrated and it took decades to work that off. When I was in 7th or 8th grade my music teacher took a cigarette and some facial tissue, lit it up in front of the class and without inhaling blew the smoke through the tissue leaving a residue. Can't do that today; the busybodies are in the way. In the army I had a one pack a day habit and the claim by my childhood doctor after a skin test that I was allergic to cigarette smoke. In a training run in San Antonio I started wheezing. Maybe it was the humidity that triggered it. I thought the smoking might be playing a role. It gradually went away so when I got back to Ft. Bragg that was gone. Almost everybody smoked in the army then. "Take five" meant take a five minute smoking break. By this time I got it into my mind to stop smoking, but since I figured I might get killed in Vietnam I thought I'd stop smoking after I didn't get killed. I was discharged in Sept, 1967 and finally quit 18 months later when President Eisenhower died on my 25th birthday, March 28, 1969. I had spent 13 nights with him at Ft. Gordon's army hospital in 1965 after he had a heart attack and I knew a lot of his health problems were from smoking.

So I had a lot of real and practical knowledge--a lot of medical training--Rand didn't have respecting health and smoking. When I stopped I was more afraid of emphysema than lung cancer. I asked myself at the time if I wanted to wake up in 25 more years of living with wrecked health or--or not? If I smoked more than a pack a day my coughing got worse. If less, the same. So I didn't taper off. I just stopped. For two months I puffed on cigarette sized cigars without inhaling to get over the put-something-in-your-mouth habit. I discovered I had had no addiction to smoking. I had had a habit. That I stopped 43 years ago has been a source of feeling good about myself ever since.

--Brant

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> If you refuse to use the quote function, at least quote me accurately. Neither of the above passages in quotation marks is what I wrote. [GHS]

Accurate paraphrase, though. I didn't misrepresent you so you're being picky over a minor point. I was in a hurry so I used quote marks for paraphrasing informally - probably better to use italics. And I did respond to the essence of your viewpoints.

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> If you refuse to use the quote function, at least quote me accurately. Neither of the above passages in quotation marks is what I wrote. [GHS]

Accurate paraphrase, though. I didn't misrepresent you so you're being picky over a minor point. I was in a hurry so I used quote marks for paraphrasing informally - probably better to use italics. And I did respond to the essence of your viewpoints.

This is truly outright garbage. There is no proper use of quotation marks for a paraphrase unless you are quoting someone paraphrasing.

--Brant

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> If you refuse to use the quote function, at least quote me accurately. Neither of the above passages in quotation marks is what I wrote. [GHS]

Accurate paraphrase, though. I didn't misrepresent you so you're being picky over a minor point. I was in a hurry so I used quote marks for paraphrasing informally - probably better to use italics. And I did respond to the essence of your viewpoints.

This is truly outright garbage. There is no proper use of quotation marks for a paraphrase unless you are quoting someone paraphrasing.

Then how do you explain James Valliant?

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Suppose I wanted to attack you or ND and lessen other readers' opinion of you and I was unscrupulous in my methods: I would quote some of Rand's devastating passages or other thinkers' rebuttals of Foucault or James Joyce or some other 'bad guy'.

You’re worried that quoting Rand is unscrupulous? That it will lessen other’s opinions of your targets? I say fire away, it can only improve your discourse. Here’s a plum example of you making one of your ignorant attacks, then not following through when challenged.

http://www.objectivi...ndpost&p=146988

C’mon Phil, either admit you didn’t know what you were talking about, or finish your exposé of Eco qua “pretentious ‘postmodern’ lit crit gobbledygook” peddler.

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> If you refuse to use the quote function, at least quote me accurately. Neither of the above passages in quotation marks is what I wrote. [GHS]

Accurate paraphrase, though. I didn't misrepresent you so you're being picky over a minor point. I was in a hurry so I used quote marks for paraphrasing informally - probably better to use italics. And I did respond to the essence of your viewpoints.

This is truly outright garbage. There is no proper use of quotation marks for a paraphrase unless you are quoting someone paraphrasing.

Then how do you explain James Valliant?

I can't even explain how he passed the California Bar.

--Brant

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