Blogs

 

Don't be Small

Nine pages, 2.2k views, 165 replies. I can't even remember if I have been on this lake before, what fish are biting, what the Lead Topic is ranting about. My gawd, I would ask for a summary, but I think I have to do some homework first. Rough notes taken from the thread, a first copy, quotes from the thread. Fuck giving a reference for the quote. Either you recognize your own voice and your sentence or you don't; in any case it is the Statements that interest: Source: Smallness of Mind ______

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

From: A Necronomicon for Emotion, Or, The Emotonomicon

Over on the main OL forum, under Psychology, I started this poll or quiz or whatchamacallit. I think I might only issue instructions to the pupils prisoners respondents on the main forum as the Lesson Plan unfolds. Here is perhaps where I will react. Ha! And patrol the comments like a mongoose. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ This comes with rolling quiz questions, and also clues and hints and helping information. My Name is Mrs Grundy. This is my classroom. Please fasten your harnesses and we wi

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Liturgy? Objectivity? Marketing?

I offer you a religion, a religion called Objectivism, with a suggested all-purpose liturgy for all maner of Objectivist meetings, celebrations, memorials and endeavors, from arrivals through unions to departures. This is off the top of my head, having no idea of a liturgy more awful or more stirring. Weigh in, Phil, summarize the thesis, squeeze the wine from your press, deliver us a hopeful liturgy for the church founded this day in Greater Sun Center. Objectivists believe in Objectivism. I

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

How (and How ~Not~) to Spread Objectivism

To Phil and whomever else it may concern: Isn't there something deeply contradictory about the mission of trying to "fix the world" by converting it to a philosophy whose founder celebrated one's prime focus being not on saving others from their folly, but on pursuing one's own self-development and self-fulfillment? When Rand was told she was obligated to write a new novel, she rebelled against the altruism of it -- then wondered: What if all the creative, productive people in the world went o

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

I am a nitpicker ... please forgive me ...

Phil Coates did answer some of my points on list in an reasonably civil manner. In one point, though, I beg to differ with his opinion. Re FRENCH CAPITALIZATION CONVENTIONS. It is odd that you say "I am correct," when you are incorrect. I am bilingual and this particular 'convention' stumped me at first. As with naming 'The Lawrences' as 'les Lawrence,' French has many pitfalls ... I did actually Google "Place Maubert." In fact, I linked to the French wikipedia entry on "Place Maubert." Indee

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

From: Some Effective Opening Paragraphs

I very much enjoyed the opening sentence from the new English edition of Il cimitero di Praga. I note that Wikipedia touts its sales "The book is a worldwide bestseller ... that sold millions of copies as of 2010." **Amazon gives a blurb that perhaps explains its appeal: Nineteenth-century Europe—from Turin to Prague to Paris—abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Conspiracies rule history. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestine

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Man, do I ever know how to procrastinate.

With five or so pressing projects, engagements and intellectual chores awaiting, how interesting that I cannot stay on task. I jump in to an OL thread with a dorky translation for George H Smith, I pat myself on the back, gain an interesting insight into liberty of minds, and then look back at my trail in dismay ... I blame Carol Jane, not because she caused it, but because she is so nice, she can take it. My last four posts to OL made zero impression anyway, except for a comment on Roger's

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Just Who is a "Degenerate Objectivist"--and Who the Frack Cares!

An Open Letter to Phil Coates and the Other Denizens of Objectivist Living: For the past couple of days, I've been reading and re-reading the latest iteration over in the Living Room section of: "let's show our asses by bashing Phil for preaching to us about how to be better Objectivists." (Oh, I'm sorry -- it's not bashing, since it's all true, Phil deserves it, blah-blah-blah.) I've managed to get a lot done in the past two days, just by "biting my tongue" each time I've had the impulse to j

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

Secular Spirituality

I think most of us are realistic and level-headed enough to acknowledge that the great world religions are not completely devoid of worth for guiding one’s actions in life. Like any other body of ideas, a religion must be carefully examined and weighed, keeping the pro-life elements and discarding the rest. For a person to do otherwise, living in a significantly religious culture as we do, is to risk throwing out the baby with the bathwater. That is why I found two essays in the most recent is

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

The Significance of Tibor Machan's book on Ayn Rand

In 1999, Peter Lang Publishing Group put out Tibor Machan's fine little book on Ayn Rand, and it was my privilege and pleasure not only to get to preview the book and offer pre-publication comments, but also to write a blurb for the event of the book's publication. Here is the text of that blurb: The designation of me as being anything more than a musician was not my idea, but I kind of liked it. :-) REB

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

From: My AmazonReview of "The Reasonable Woman," allegedly by Wendy McElroy

Some time ago on this labyrinthine thread, I mentioned that I would be selling xerox copies of my original FOR transcript for $40. I printed up 10 copies and have sold 8 so far. Frankly, this was more trouble than it was worth, but since I still have two copies left, I am willing to sell those. After those are gone, I doubt if I will sell any more printed versions, given the hassles involved; instead, I will probably confine myself to selling and emailing the original Wordstar files from 1988.

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Why Being Morally Denounced by Objectivists May Be a ~Good~ Thing

I thought I would share some thoughts about the intense, personal nature of the condemnations that Objectivists dish out, especially toward certain prominent people “in and around” the Movement. First of all, who are the two people most roundly denounced by Objectivists, and what do they have in common? As to the first question, my best guess is: Immanuel Kant, who supposedly stands for the opposite of everything essential to Objectivism, and, of course, Nathaniel Branden, the co-founder, with

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

Who Qualifies as an Objectivist?

[An earlier version of the following material was published sometime about 2005 on the Rebirth of Reason web site.] Who qualifies as being an Objectivist? I think that’s a legitimate question, but I also think that it’s too easy to pick one’s own pet list of views that can qualify one as being or not being an Objectivist. (E.g., Rand’s views on a woman President, on homosexuality, on anarchism vs. limited government in politics, on survival vs. flourishing in ethics, etc.) Nathaniel Branden h

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

Kleenex and Objectivism--the Ominous Parallels

There has been much debate over whether the label "Objectivism" is legitimately applied only to those writings by Rand and those she authorized by others, or more broadly to any thinker whose philosophy is more similar to Rand's viewpoint than to that of any other philosopher. In other words, some claim that there is an ambiguity in how "Objectivism" is used, while others deny this claim, of course. Unfortunately for those who subscribe to the Purist Proper Name Theory, there is an ambiguity i

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

The Virtue of ~For the New Intellectual~

It is often derisively stated that the survey of Western civilization that Ayn Rand presents in her title essay of her book For the New Intellectual is seriously flawed and disrespectable because of her sweeping use of two quite negative metaphors to characterize the views she opposes. I'm speaking, of course, of Attila and the Witch Doctor, or what she also calls "the mystics of the muscle" and the "mystics of the mind." Because of the simplicity of this model, it is viewed not as elegant and

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

To Whom Do I Pledge Allegiance, as an Objectivist?

Without suggesting that a preference for one group or the other would in any way compromise my own intellectual independence and honesty, some might reasonably wonder which, if either, of the two main Objectivist organizations I am more comfortable with. Am I more “at home” with The Ayn Rand Society (ARI) or The Objectivist Center (TOC—now The Atlas Society/TAS)? Does either of these groups, more than the other, provide an outlet for my work or an encouraging forum for my ideas? Well, over the

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

Just What Kind of Objectivist Do You Think You Are, Anyway?!

Given my standing disagreements with some of the views traditionally attached to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, why do I continue to regard myself and refer to myself as an Objectivist? Isn’t this a bit sycophantic and cultish of me, to cling to the label, when it is obvious that I’m off on some tangents that neither of the two main Objectivist organizations approves of? Isn’t it unreasonable for me to regard my ideas as Objectivist, even though some of them have gained little or no tract

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

Kant and Rand: an Ominous Parallel regarding Morality and Free Will

One of my views that frequently raising eyebrows among Objectivists, and raising questions as to my bone fides as an Objectivist, is my view on free will or “volitional consciousness.” Some have gone so far as to accuse me of campaigning against free will. This is not accurate. I just don’t hold the same view of free will that they do (or think they do). What I argue for is conditional free will—the view that you could have done otherwise than you did in a given situation, IF you had WANTED to

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

How Can Objectivists Help to Better the Human Race?

In my opinion, the best thing an intellectual can do to better the human race is to figure out what he or she really, really, really wants to accomplish in life–then figure out how to do it–then do it! Repeat, as needed. Then you will be truly happy, and your genuine happiness is the very best thing you can do to further mankind. This is my advice not only philosophers, but also to normal people. :-) Similarly, my favorite psychologist and the first systematic presenter of Objectivism told a g

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell

 

Objectivist Punctuation -- Two Schools, One Method

There are many ways of distinguishing between the two main factions in the Objectivist movement, which are, of course, the pro-Brandenians and the anti-Brandenians. For instance, you can look at who gravitates to the two main institutions that promote Objectivism: TOC tends to attract pro-Brandenians, while ARI seems to be totally comprised of anti-Brandenians. (This is not the official stance of either organization, but the Brandens have appeared at a number of functions of the former, while be

Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell