Such recreation to be had at OL. We have on one side the rapier of PDS, uniting the theme of the OT and unknotting pretensions in one sweep.
On the other hand, the same game but played with polishers, grinders, rivets.
I have noticed Phil's incredible use of pronouns. Phil's favourite pronoun of course is I, but strangely he uses They more often. In most heated exchanges, if you look, you will see that Phil rarely gets a sentence going without Them and They. This I might call Otherizing
Otherizing is an odd thing, and a bit tough to explain (as all neologisms should be, I think). We all use constructions like I think
or I believe
. This usually introduces that we are 'winging it,' and are ready for discussion. Discussants are invited to probe our thoughts or beliefs for reality.
In contrast, an assertion drops the "I believe" or "I think."
Frankly, I add back in the "I believe" and "I think" in my mind when I re-read an assertion. It doesn't make much difference in my probing questions, but, it makes me more prone to be kind to the person behind the assertion.
How does this relate to Otherizing? Well, this is a case in which several things are dropped entirely beyond "I think" and "I believe". No longer do we have a thought, summary, conclusion, assertion presented plainly. No longer do we have a statement like "(I think) most people are stupid and/or degenerate," which is a good start to a discussion. We don't get "(I think) Evil people always do evil to themselves first." Instead we get things like "The bad things about Them are listed in the following List." If the word "I" comes in, it is just to introduce a bill of charges againsts Them.
So, what was all that blather for?
Well, I am going to de-Otherize Phil's post in which he goes on and on about Them.
I have had a lot of conversations with Objectivists and students of Objectivism and the Objectivish over the years, ever since I went to New York in the fateful year 19XX (the same year in which I met Miss X)
I have had conversations in college and in grad school. I have had conversations on the east coast and the west coast, in the fly-over states, I have spoken at conferences and attended a dozen and have had conversations at each.
I have also had conversations in clubs I have started (these were mainly Objectivish clubs), and finally I have had conversations while I have been an Officer in clubs. I should also mention that I have had conversations when I have been just a member of a club.
So, what I am stressing is that I Have Had Conversations With Objective-ish Folks. Lots of them, lots and lots and lots.
Am I about to tell you about those folks' sides of the conversations? No -- why should I? This is a thread about me. I want to tell you what I discovered in those conversations (In fact, my Next Book will be called "Conversations with O"). I want to tell you about myself, mostly, my wisdom, my acuity of vision, my prophecy and so on.
I'm often highly critical of them or of the 'movement' -- whether ortho, conservative, or reform, but I realize that I am sometimes guilty of that which I critique. I feel Oists are often too smug, too proud of reading and accepting the system of ideas, and then I note that I can be too,.
I am restrained in criticizing Peikoff compared to most folks here on OL, but at the same time I am often unwilling to see virtue in people who disagree with me. I have a hard time reconciling this in my mind. Once I put someone on a 'side' of me, I am often unrestrained in criticizing anyone of that side. Viz maggots, cunts ... (but I have a hard time keeping consistent on this point, I think).
I am not reluctant to strongly criticize prominent thinkers or tendencies, but I do not actually understand why this angers anyone. I seem to have a side, but everyone else is on the wrong side, somehow. I criticize everyone but myself, mostly, maybe.
When folks get tired of my posts they often use the term " "schoomarm." I still don't quite get this. What is wrong with a Schoolmarm, after all? I am a teacher by profession, and that is what Schoolmarms do, so what is the freaking problem?!
Sometimes the owner of a website on which I post tries to prove that I am an "attention-seeker," playing the same Me Me Me game over and over with the same dire results. I do not accept this, or even, really, understand it. Some listers point out that I have called people names and stormed off this site several times never to return, as if it meant anything to me. I ignore this kind of thing, usually. I evade the implications of my own actions and statements, sometimes. But isn't that what self-preservation and amour-propre does for everyone? Am I like everyone I criticize? I would be hard pressed to accept that in my heart. That would be devastating. I cannot be a hypocrite. That would puncture my self-esteem, I think.
But, I soldier on. I ask myself questions, the same questions I put to others. I test my own premises, do I not?
Do I use proportion in all my criticisms?
Well, the largely Objectivish folk I have met over the years -- whether ARI-leaning or TAS-leaning or pre "schism" or regardless of what side they take on the earlier Rand/Branden issues, have usually been morally and intellectually admirable people -- highly intelligent, honest, resourceful, clear-sighted. In all these conversations across the years, the Objectivish have largely reflected what I think about myself. I think of myself as possessing, on the whole, a good moral character. I think I have a high degree of idealism. I am not nihilistic or cynical. I could be wrong, but I strongly identify with these qualities and I want to be like my heros.
I think these folk are courageous, because they accept and practice a worldview that might make them pariahs (like Mr X) , might kill or hamper some personal (Miss Y) or professional relationships (Dr J).
[The variously named people such as Misses X, Y, Z and Mssrs P, R, U, X, W, Z and Y and Drs P, L and P were some of the most wonderful people I've met.
I want to be like them, accomplished, caring, wise, fully human. I sometimes fall short, but I hope I learn. I hope I learn to trust criticism of myself as much as I trust my criticism of others, even if only in a small way. It would help me be more satisfied in life, less lonely, less thwarted and less frustrated. I am sorry for all the terrible things I have done and said over the years.
Thanks, everyone who has cared enough about Reason and Reality (and little old me!) to critique me. I wouldn't be the man I am without it. I realize that I myself gain when I criticize myself first, and hold myself to the same standard I hold to others, that I gain respect and credibility as a thoughtful participant in debate, that I display integrity. I think I am not just a crank, after all -- and I can give you evidence that people on this very list, people like Michael who harshly criticize me, and people like WSS and Ghs -- they LIKE me still, and so does Carol and so do several others who said so out loud here! If I fix mistakes in presentation, I can still make a Large Mark On The World, and be more like my heroes.
Edited by william.scherk, 13 January 2012 - 06:49 PM.