william.scherk

Members
  • Content Count

    7,813
  • Joined

  • Days Won

    60

Everything posted by william.scherk

  1. Me, I like Phil. No doubt if we both ended up at some O-ist conclave, he and I would spend much time yammering at each other and dancing a mad tarantella . . . However, I wish Phil was my friend and not just a voice/face on the screen. If he was my friend, he might pay attention when I twit his style . . . or when I suggested he take control of his own life and behaviour, rather than teach teach teach as if all whom he encountered were enclosed within the four walls of his lecture theatre . . . Galt love the man, here is what I wrote in a long ago thread on SOLO & R0R: Phil, Galt love you, I admire your stance and your persistence and the essential wisdom of all your posts (which I read carefully), but a prideful lecturing tone gets in the way sometimes, brother. You can be mistaken for a huffy, angry and arrogant teacher with little human touch on some rare occasions. If I was your student, and was treated that way, I would write "Wonderful, wonderful educator, my favourite lecturer. Would attend his seminar even if held in a Bombay meat market's offal depot during communal rioting. Hat too tight. Needs to get laid. More than once." -- I will read you as I find you, Phil, wherever your taste for discussion leads you. Please don't take my mild critique to heart. Knowing how to amend one's own behaviour is not common. WSS
  2. Right. Thanks, Rich. For more on this edge-of-altruism research, there is an interview with the lead author published at Science Daily: Interview: Why we help others -- and here's an old drawing of mine that illustrates what I feel about altruism.
  3. I posted this on SOLO a couple of days ago. I imagine some are cogitating deeply on it, but none so far have commented. The study authors quoted in the science reporting are generally agnostic as to what their findings reveal -- but the findings do offer interesting sidelights on the Objectivist notion of emotions. Here 'altruism' (seemingly well-defined in the work, if not in its methodology) meets all the speculation by Ramachandran and others (wth reference to empathy/mirror neurons). +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ A study out of Duke University is making world media rounds today, with some outlets going for the gusto: "Belief in People Presages Altruism," blurts PsychCentral (link repaired); "Are you a giver? Brain scan finds the truth," exults Scientific American; "Why Do Good? Brain Study Offers Clues," says the Washington Post. I'm sure this study will garner some reaction from the Objectivist world (me, I'm hoping for Diana Mertz Hsieh). Here's the abstract of the 'Brief Communication' "Altruism is associated with an increased neural response to agency" as it appears in Nature Neuroscience. Here's the full text of the Duke press release (link), with a google newslist link down below for the absolute junkies. WSS Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered that activation of a particular brain region predicts whether people tend to be selfish or altruistic. "Although understanding the function of this brain region may not necessarily identify what drives people like Mother Theresa, it may give clues to the origins of important social behaviors like altruism," said study investigator Scott A. Huettel, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center. Results of the study appear Sunday, Jan. 21, in the advance online edition of Nature Neuroscience and will be published in the February 2007 print issue of the journal. The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Altruism describes the tendency of people to act in ways that put the welfare of others ahead of their own. Why some people choose to act altruistically is unclear, says lead study investigator Dharol Tankersley, a graduate student in Huettel's laboratory. In the study, researchers scanned the brains of 45 people while they either played a computer game or watched the computer play the game on its own. In both cases, successful playing of the game earned money for a charity of the study participant's choice. The researchers scanned the participants' brains using a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which uses harmless magnetic pulses to measure changes in oxygen levels that indicate nerve cell activity. The scans revealed that a region of the brain called the posterior superior temporal sulcus was activated to a greater degree when people perceived an action -- that is, when they watched the computer play the game -- than when they acted themselves, Tankersley said. This region, which lies in the top and back portion of the brain, is generally activated when the mind is trying to figure out social relationships. The researchers then characterized the participants as more or less altruistic, based on their responses to questions about how often they engaged in different helping behaviors, and compared the participants' brain scans with their estimated level of altruistic behavior. The fMRI scans showed that increased activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus strongly predicted a person's likelihood for altruistic behavior. According to the researchers, the results suggest that altruistic behavior may originate from how people view the world rather than how they act in it. "We believe that the ability to perceive other people's actions as meaningful is critical for altruism," Tankersley said. The scientists suggest that studying the brain systems that allow people to see the world as a series of meaningful interactions may ultimately help further understanding of disorders, such as autism or antisocial behavior, that are characterized by deficits in interpersonal interactions. The researchers are now exploring ways to study the development of this brain region early in life, Tankersley said, adding that such information may help determine how the tendencies toward altruism are established. C. Jill Stowe, a decision scientist in Duke's Fuqua School of Business, also participated in the research. More and more media blurts on the study.
  4. Good news, Michael and Kat -- togetherness is a bliss and a boon. Long may you two bloom. WSS
  5. Fanks! For me, my favourite Jenna W pic is the B&W one on R0R where you have tipped your head back, looking very smart and very groooovy. Luv yer blog, by the way . . . it probably does your studying good, having a 'notebook' open to record your progress and notions -- I am picturing you and your lady bugs!
  6. I'm forty-nine come January. The earlier vanity shot was from the 'old days' when I was a singer for a band called Los Popularos . . .
  7. Nice one, Jerry . . . Still on this topic, and granting the few answers given here already, I understand why the courses from yesteryear shall be preserved and distributed in this manner . . . but does anyone think they may change their delivery systems? -- once the hoped-for Objectivist Academic Center accreditation arrives (this was, I thought, the best use of ARI money by far, see "Is the OAC accredited?" at aynrand.org )? Will it soon be time for ARI to produce more texts? On the matter of money and budgets, La Mertz has lately bragged that ARI's budget will soon be ten million big ones a year, up from six million right now. That's pretty good, I'd say. Is all the moolah coming in from the donations of benevolent Randites? As for Jerry's observation that ARI's oral tradition is awkward, surely this is acknowledged in the ruptious bowels of the Institute? -- what are their long-term plans? It seems that the press attached to ARI is quite weak these days, few titles, few projects. I like the idea of a fully accredited OAC, but can't see how this will happen without a textual rendering of its corpus. Will the present LP and CD/Internet Pay Per View model work as weill for the future fully-accredited University of Ayn Rand?
  8. I'd not wanted to reveal my staggering ignorance, but Jerry has asked and answered a question that has been nagging my rear brain for a while: why haven't the aural materials been made into articles, collections and books? I had thought it was most likely a kind of tradition, growing out of the vinyl recordings made at the time of NBI. At the time, if not revolutionary or fresh, the recording and distribution of lectures passed on the value of those lectures widely, in a form that reflected the original. These days, it just seems a bit odd that such a wealth of material is only available on tape or CD. I don't quite get it. If the Estate of Ayn Rand receives the royalties for the half-million Rand books sold each year, then what happens to that money? Where is it? What is it doing? I imagine that the idea of putting the best of the thousands of hours of material into printed/book form has been discussed by the ARI . . . has there ever been some discussion that OLers are familiar with? Hoping someone can give a quote from an ARI-inflected type on this issue.
  9. Marsha sent me a PDF a couple months ago, but has since made it available on her website.: http://www.fountainheadinstitute.com/Emotions.pdf
  10. Thanks for the expansive post, Michael. I look forward to the whole package in the next JARS. In the meantime, have you already requested the PDF of listmember Marsha Enright's earlier article in JARS. It is a good grounding in Rand's view and opinions. I have been studying it and its references for over a month.
  11. Jeepers, Rich -- that is flattering! You are right. I am busy lately at my work and in some independent study -- too busy to give my best to OL (or RoR) . . . but I have been following several issues. (Sometimes I find my posts to be too reactive and too hasty -- as with my snarky note to Victor. Sometimes I have the frame of my opinion ready set, and once I hit the keyboard the post writes itself. Other times I must labour at the piece, and those times lead to what I consider my better online work. The last couple months I have mostly spectated on the O-lists. Spectated because I am not quite sure what to conclude) For example, the dissent at RoR issue. Once I had some of my practical questions answered -- it seemed clear to me that there are no clear criteria for this banning but that which annoys Joe Rowlands. But I am not quite sure about this. We can give thanks to Ethan for attempting (with marginal success so far) to clear up the criteria -- but objectively, we can know nothing but what has come from Rowlands' pen: -- People who are here to argue against Objectivism will be marked in that category and that will leave them only able to post in the Dissent Forum. -- I will be making the final decision on who gets to join that select group. -- the marked person finds out when they try to post on another forum, and it doesn't work. They get a message telling them that this site is for Objectivists, but they're free to use the dissent board. -- Non-marked members find out who's marked because they always post somewhere at what a horrible atrocity this all is comparing my acts to Hitler. -- As for who's been promoted, I don't really feel like dwelling on it. Making that kind of announcement is like asking for feedback, and it's not up for discussion or debate. -- They just have to restrict their comments to a well- defined area instead of polluting the site. The most revealing part of Rowlands' remarks is also the explanation of why Ethan Dawe is here for the moment: "it's not up for discussion or debate" at Rebirth of Reason. Regarding your notes about 'good faith' in relation to La Perigo -- it is in the eye of the beholder. Easily as subjective and arbitrary a criteria as Rowlands'. I had thought that the best part of SOLO was the relatively 'light touch' (noted in my April 26 post "Sunny Days ahead for SOLO." My opinions were, of course, ill-considered -- the 'red button' criteria at SOLO is not much different than the two types of banning at RoR: when you piss off the owner). Here's where I first pissed off La Perigo, by posting the cartoon 'Mrs Parson's Finishing School for Squirrels' in the this thread. Rich, until I get a bit more free time, you perhaps will settle for a couple of other 'piss off the owner' posts? 'What if Ayn Rand had been a Man?' 'By the better angels of our nature' William Scott Scherk ++++++++++++++++++++ For bonus points, my inestimable esteem to the first person here who can not only identify the author of the passage below, but also speculate to good effect on why the passage made La Perigo flip out . . . "Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country can not do this. They can not but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you." . . . "I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
  12. I like Robert Campbell's irruptions at SOLO. They engender discussion and extend my understanding. I appreciate your need to chide Campbell as a 'troublemaker,' and I appreciate your winky-winky 'put a foot on the brakes old pal old chum old troublemaker . . . ' So, how about this, Vic, old pal, old Banned-from-SOLO-for-imposture, old buddy? -- Put a sock in the nil-content sniping once in a while, wouldya? Thanks.
  13. william.scherk

    Dissenter

    How does this work in practice, Ethan? By this I mean how does moderation to the RoR Dissent Board happen and how is it announced/implemented (Joe Rowlands introduction of this new feature is a bit opaque)? -- does a 'dissenter' receive notice? -- will a RoR dissenter's profile show that they are dissenters when viewd by other RoR members? -- does the 'dissenter' remain a member of RoR? -- does the 'promotion' to RoR's Dissent Forum mean that a person so promoted is no longer able to read any other Forum save Dissent?
  14. -- I wish you would have fleshed this part out, Rich. I agree that he must smart still over the wrenched association with Barbara Branden. He must smart too over the breach with Joe Rowlands and gang. He got the boot. It's gotta sting (and sure enough, since Joe is evul, he hasn't a single word read at RoR, relying instead on 'as told by' from his coterie. Such intellectual range!). Oh, the goings-on. In any case the speech is said to be momentarily appearing in the fabulous new magazine from his majestic publishing house. It's too bad that we don't have bugs at these things, these book-signing talks and schmoozings. I would loooove to have been a fly on the wall at the boozy gettings-on after the bookstore, buzzed around the offstage chatter at both Orange County shindigs. Thing is, the melodious ranting was out of proportion -- delivered like a stump speech, but before an audience of polite kaffee-klatschers. I am sure that the rest of the place was puzzled. Why is Senor L so lonely? Why is he giving a speech in a bookstore? There are only 21 people listening to him. Thing is, El Furioso did not quite actually get angry in the speech, didn't use ugly, intemperate language, didn't rage. Didn't let out the Inner Linds of pusballs wankeros yadda yadda. Used his voice to its radio limits, orotundo only. Yes, the speech was well-performed, however tendentious and stupidly exaggerated in parts. My favourite comes early on, as he builds the Witching Stool for his enemies: "Now, for two decades, inexplicably to my mind, Ayn Rand's defenders made no comment." He's talking about the Two Evul Books and their aftermath, when he was fooled, fooled, fooled. It is not inexplicable once we realize that the air-conducting and speechifying leave little time to read for the darling. The baloney is similarly cut thick in the rest of the speech. It is so dumb to pretend that two books lied and fooled him. Did he not get out to bookstores or librairies before this present encounter at Chapters? What makes his unreason congenial for some -- rousing, but wrong? "Ayn Rand was a passionate valuer, as every Objectivist must be. The two are inseparable. To campaign against anger is to campaign against passion. To campaign against passion is to campaign against values. To campaign against values is to campaign against the Mind. To campaign against the Mind is ultimately, of course, to campaign against Human Life Itself . . ." Um . . . no, not quite, but nice try. Maybe we could hear "to campaign against Human Life Itself . . ." again, this time in your Boris Karloff voice, please? Could it be, as El Fabuloso himself wrote, and read into the mic, "they are wrong, and they are not wrong innocently!"? [ . . . ] But, he's so good! If a nasty extremist buffoon is what Objectivism needs in one little corner of its online expression, he is genius. Having been defamed as a drunken raging maniac, he turns it around on air -- and gets a (smallish) crowd of claqueurs. This I don't quite get. I see him as a thwarted leader, thwarted by his own hubris. Tragic in a minor boozy one-eyed pathetic way. But that isn't what you meant. He doesn't have a healthy sociality, to my reckoning. All normal human beings take great notice of their reception by important others -- he just does it in a stupid, self-aggrandizing manner. I never quite got what evul thang was social metaphysics anyhow. At one point he smugly notes that "Serpent with two tongues" Barbara has likely just given a talk on Objectivist Rage! and then lets us know "for some obscure reason I wasn't invited." No, you dope. You bitched and bickered and bitched and got turfed. Then you backed out in dudgeon, and cast the die. Over the road you are dismissed as a drunken belligerent extremist. You had your stage set to deliver whatever the fuck you wanted to say, but you backed out. Now in the smallish company of the similarly belligerent and one-eyed, you recede to just above the level of El Firehammer. Yeah, verily, the speech by comrade Linz caught the world on fire!
  15. I apologize to Victor Pross for allowing a hint of snarkiness to enter my last post. He detected it, the devil! And now I must say I am sorry. Argh. May he forgive me the histrionics that follow. The Hatred of Objectivism is the Hatred of objectivity? Nah . . . more like The Occasional Demented Anger of Unreason Is Icky and Wrong and Makes Me Mad and Sick Inside When It Happens. I'll go with that. Or, A Whole Lot of People are Nasty and Stupid, Dontcha Think? That one makes me go too. So, no -- call me quirky, but I think reason has a relatively large role in our affairs as peoples and nations up here in Norteamericanuckistan -- compared to the vast hordes outside. Even the fully-evul-by-any-objective-standard Scandinavians get long, productive happy lives out of their deal in their hellish statist holes. . . on balance, we could be doing way way worse. On balance, the old West has won, the die has been struck, the world knits together on all the West has on offer (science and technology, liberal democracy, secularism, trade, western 'liberal' values, western languages and ethics). Any third-worlder can see which societies and national blocs have cut a good deal for their citizens . . . has reason not had a part in this creation? Who wishes to enter the magical world of industrialized democracies? I'd say the rest of the world (luckily most will first attempt this on their own soil, viz S Korea, Singapore, Taiwan -- even the fully evul whore of statist Babylon Europe is doing great compared to the luckless countries from which it draws its millions of immigrants. And the utmost statist hellhole of all, France, still sucks in the biggest hordes of tourists to view its hideous decay and its blasted countryside and its cowed, feckless people . . . ). And still, whatever the horrid backdrop of drooling stooges in the Academy and deranged writers at large . . . I still seek out and find good sharp reason from the likes of, well, Haack, Pinker, Dawkins, Pharyngula, etc . . . all, strangely perhaps, from the, um, Academy. Even against a full-on rage-fest against reason that happens every day on the bloodstained streets of this my city, I still feel hopeful. I don't expect anything more of the great hordes than what the great hordes are historically apt to do, them billions of humans who loom on all sides . . . which maybe makes me cynical rather than optimistic (or, in an ugly way, realistic) to some eyes, no? Perhaps. But anyhow . . . From Victor's rejoinder to Kevin: Good stuff! "Hysterical hatred," yeah. Just like in the movies. I googled Rand essentially argued that her philosophy was a complete guide to life and found what might be its provenance. Did you find this snippet here? If so, this fella 'Gary Gunnels' is quite a blog big mouth. Is he 'today's intellectual'? : ) (Gunnels posts repeatedly in a loooooong comment thread on the Hit and Run blog in January 2005. Kee-razy Rand ratbrain ranting in parts). I'm maybe more optimistic, on balance, whatever the odds . . . I see lots of allies in the intellectual world, the names I mentioned in posts above and many more, and I feel good. A great touchstone book (besides Haack's Science within Reason) is Sokal and Bricmont's Intellectual Impostures (zinging it to the danged Frenchie pomos! Great cover.) -- I maybe get more encouragement from the forces that thrust back against unreason. Those who seek a reduction in postmodern hoohah like me and most others here at OL cheer you on, El Victor, when you take on the bad former Objectivist playwright Sky Gilbert (who got yer 25 bucks, bless his capitalist soul) and his nasty former Objectivist melodrama . . . Take heart, Victor -- no one here takes away your deeper point that fully-reasoning people are a minority, that the vast expanses of the intellectual landscape are not an untrammeled prairie wild and free, fit for Objectivists to trade and mate and craft a world of reason. We are more or less with you on that, I figure. I've thought of some kind of grand Summit of Objectivism, a sombre conclave of the top echelons of all the factions. At a secret (but lavish) conference on some sunny isle. A thousand flowers could bloom. Well, who doesn't, you know? I mean, what if we have to wait a hundred years before the twaddle about Rand subsides? What if it takes that long? Who will care by then who did what to whom? Are contemporary followers of Kant or Nietzsche (or Haack or Dennett or Rorty or even Northop frigging Frye) bickering over beddings and betrayals of their lessers and their underlings? No, Victor. But no in the sense I am not wanting lists, just more good cites and illustrations and examples . . . "Oh yeah?" as they say it in Fargo. Seriously, I didn't figure you are all that riled about criticism. It's good for the work. It moves one on and makes one better. Turn it on, Victor. Light them danged afterburners . . . ! : )
  16. I read the original piece "The Hatred of Objectivism is the Hatred of objectivity." Its argument is plain: 'Modern intellectuals' are awful creatures (and they hate Objectivism by virtue of their hatred for objectivity)." The piece asserts "They become a creature that does not want to live, a hater of man and of life" and "Needless to say, it is no wonder these creatures hate Ayn Rand and Objectivism." I read its plain meaning: these creatures, 'the worse of today's intellectuals,' accept all the muck from schools/society/bad thought (which muck denies objectivity) -- thus mucked with, they hate life. Thus they hate Ayn Rand. The argument notes "omewhere Ayn Rand wrote that all evil philosophies are systems of rationalization. The behavior of today’s intellectuals is proof." -- now, as with Kevin, Saul and Robert, I want flesh on these bones. All these creatures, all this evul, I want a face, faces, names, identities on which we may fasten proper o-istic loathing. Here's an example of a similarly-diffuse denunciation, by Diana Mertz Hsieh on her SOLO blog today; in this argument a lot of charges are flung about, but the charges are applied to a class of ThemFolk -- or more precisely, to smearing "'critics'" -- here's how it goes: the common smears of principled, committed Objectivists as hysterical, moralizing, unthinking, cultish Randroids typically offered by many supporters of Nathaniel Branden, David Kelley, Chris Sciabarra, and the like. Here the argument takes a full-on plunge into THEY territory (emphasis added): Based upon stories I've heard over the years, I suspect more than a little projection -- and shame -- at work. Many such people once swallowed Objectivism whole in a rather dogmatic way, then later puked it up when it didn't sit so well with them. They probably engaged in a great deal of "me-too" moralizing along the way. They are deeply ashamed of this "Randroid" phase, so much so that they cannot bear to examine it in the bright and honest light of reason. Instead, like Nathaniel and Barbara Branden, they blame Objectivism for that unpleasant time in their lives. They never consider whether they ought to have chewed the philosophy a bit rather than swallowing it whole. They never imagine that anyone might accept Objectivist principles except by their own dogmatic methods. Or rather, they refuse to consider and refuse to imagine that, since doing so would require them to take responsibility for their past dogmatism and moralizing, even if it was no more than an innocent error. The post paraphrases the actual 'smears' from THEM (redacted/paragraphed for ease of reading): I have something of a personal stake in exposing the nature of these kinds of smears, since I'm now a routine target of them. I don't mind that much: mere insults don't even register with me these days, except as a source of amusement. I'm more worried by the various fabrications about me circulating in dank corners. For example, that I must have some mysterious personal reasons for breaking with David Kelley and Nathaniel Branden since I've never bothered to explain any substantial philosophic reasons for doing so; that all my writings on the various false friends of Objectivism are nothing more than frantic attempts to ingratiate myself with ARI; that ARI and/or its associates demanded that I publicly denounce Chris Sciabarra; that I decided to live off the fat of the ARI hog TOC refused my demands for money and a job (!!); that I embraced the Objectivist orthodoxy because I couldn't handle my own disturbing doubts about Objectivism raised in graduate school; that I baited Chris Sciabarra into giving me the name of the particular ARI scholar (about whom he lied for years) for the first time just recently; that I left TOC due to petty sulking over cuts to my favorite programs; that I'm seething with hatred for homosexuals despite my clear statements in "Dialectical Dishonesty"; that I'm unwilling to consider any philosophic issue unless discussed by Ayn Rand since I accept Objectivism as a "closed system"; that I'm the obedient slave of Linz Perigo (or vice versa); and so on. Yes, those are all real-life examples. No, these are not real-life examples, far from it -- these are all paraphrases, with no hope for the reader to actually examine the supposed smeary ugliness that poor Diana must suffer from THEM. (She doesn't give one single reference to a real-life example from her rollcall of horror. This is weak, weak and unconvincing. Why not link to and expose the perfidy? Why take the time to summarize -- and likely consult the actual internet postings she is thinking of -- but not reference the reality of such bad behaviour?) Victor, in regard to your piece, I don't say it has zero value. I say it would have greater value with names and quotes. Mine is a criticism, but a constructive one. I don't mean to take away anything from your argument. I merely hope you will add to it, add depth, add examples, add identities and behaviours and so on. The same increased value would apply to the The Horrible Evul Them and Their LIES! argument of DMH above.
  17. I too encourage you to put some flesh on the frame that you have developed. I also agree with Robert on 'lumping.' I would point out that "today's intellectuals" and "the tenets of skepticism" are phrases that fairly engender questions like: "who? which intellectuals? where are they? what did they write?' and "which tenets? who wrote them? where did you find them?" (all of these are perhaps elaborations of the very Missouran "how do you know? Show me, please."). There's plenty good thoughtful takedowns out there on the big rink. For a single danged "today's intellectual" (like a Bruno Latour, who spouts book-length social constructivist twaddle) I figure there are a crowd of other "today's intellectuals" also in the ring or nearby (there to put the twaddle to the mat). Similarly, the "skepticism" of a CSICOP or Skeptic or Skeptical Inquirer is not quite what I think you mean -- but you can probably find an exemplar of the kind that gets up your nose, no? -- and then we help dig up several coherent critical analyses that take them down a peghold or two -- via the hard cold knife of reason(!) . . . Me, I consider some a them danged 'tenets of skepticism' to be fine tools of reason. I consider the modern intellectual Susan Haack a mighty tonic for the excesses of oft-twaddling modern intellectuals like Judith Butler (for a Latour, a Leavitt, for a Freudian pseudopsychologist, a Crews, for a Judith Butler, a Martha Nussbaum. For each twaddler, there is usually a chorus of critics on hand. If you haven't already discovered the great "Butterflies and Wheels" site, become acquainted with reason's allies, including the sharp and critical Ophelia Benson. -- in a later note, Victor, you sense that no one here is "really listening" and figure some folks' takeaway was "bla bla bla." Maybe. Rather, I just like when an argument fully engages a target. I like your further comments in which you give examples, and grapple with the argument and implications of those "modern intellectuals." Thanks for the phrase about the McGill professor quoted in a news article re: a Rand chair. How about we eschew the "They" rhetoric if we can't name and quote the danged "Thems" who deserve a takedown?
  18. -- I should have looked this up first -- I was wrong in thinking this was Joe Rowlands. In fact it was two folks, in October of 2005, Joe Maurone and Andrew Bissell. -- and then the next day, in another thread, Lindsay Perigo advances his reasonable take on dogpiling . . . (from Perigo's recap of his "Slime on SOLO") Yes, Lindsay, your words bear repeating: "PUSBALLS! CREATURES! UNUTTERABLE SCUM!" Ick. Double Ick.
  19. Howzabout a Greatest Hits of Summer summary to welcome her back, listmates? There's bound to be some goings-on while she's on hiatus. Anglosphere conquers France? -- (Henry IV heraldry from The Fleur-de-lis) I figure Ellen's gonna have a big easy on the eyes and mind for a spell. Good on her, sez this western Canuck . . . elle a des perçus bien aigus, ansi je la lis en pur délice d'argument.
  20. I think I see what you mean. From my first days observing (and then posting to) O-lists I was struck by a nastiness that seemed out of proportion to what it was nastifying. I should probably look it up (from the old SOLOHQ), but I remember Joe Rowlands explaining to a puzzled poster why it was that newcomers who took a mild poke at O-ismatics were dogpiled. Rowlands said something to the order that it was a reaction of an unjustly attacked minority. I more or less accepted that. "Ah, yet another ignorant attack from an outsider, one who does not understand." Seemed a reasonable explanation. Another thing I noted over the first few months was Lindsay Perigo: his namecalling. It was not necessary, I thought, unnecessary and not to the point. One exchange in particular exemplified the diffuse denunciation -- instead of engaging with a poster with whom he disagreed (Laj), he un-artfully flung off insults directed obliquely -- the standard pomo-wanker, blah, pusball, blah blah blah . . . -- and then later, I noted that when challenged, Perigo would underline than he did apologize when he had unjustly raged. And then would come another round of pusball, pomodinkie, wah blah blah . . . It seemed to me that he never actually did apologize for his real excesses. In fact, he expected pats on the back for his supposed passionate passionateness. And then indeed the whales (thinking of Cresswell the Magnificent and Robert "yeah pusball, that's the ticket" Weinhead) would surface in the oily stinking pool, wave about their fore-flippers, and blow out a huge gust of nasty in turn -- exemplified by the truly demented threads that cast Joe Rowlands to the innermost circle of Heck. Pusball, pomo-weenie, Saddamonger . . . smearer-in-chief . . . all this seemed so weak and unfocussed as to be worthless as a tool of rhetoric. Comic opera, whale ballet, mexican wrasslin', Objectivist Keyboard Olympics . . . all of which made me feel like I would never actually want to spend time in a pool with these sorts of whales. As with my banning from the front yard and precincts of Perigo's blowhole, I was bemused. Nothing in my actual online oeuvre would he quite grapple with. No, just 'jerk,' blah blah pusball, blah blah . . . at his worst I was reminded of Wilhelm Reich at his most paranoid and monomaniacal . . . Total passion for the total heights? Total heights of just exactly what?
  21. Yeah, Victor, I think it's clear -- you jumped from SOLO after the hungry SOLO Coyotes turned on you. It only took two weeks. Gee, there you were, driving calmly in traffic, and suddenly the other drivers leapt down from their Humvees with verbal tire-irons swinging (though Quintana flung his tire iron back in the trunk and pretended to have been in a mere authoritarian snit) . . . ________________________________ -- I note that you had asked about this thing, this rage thing, over at SOLO only a short week or so ago . . . I note also that nobody bothered to give you any facts in response, just a lot of titanic blurts from their blowholes . . . other readers here may not have seen it: "Questions about Objectivist Rage" is a since-deleted post on SOLO, from June 16th. -- from the Atlas Society site: July 4 (Tuesday) Program Barbara Branden, M.A. – Rage and Objectivism -- from NoodleFood blog: The Downward Spiral -- from the RoR forum, a report on a Barbara Branden talk "Libertarianism, Objectivism, and Rage" written by Roger Bissell:
  22. Can we please see the original original original photo? I'd like to see what Barbara looked like at the time, and whether or not she had Objectivist Hair (total passion for the total height and volume -- was she wearing a bouffant?) . . . (from D P Johnson's Beehive!) [Edit: added "total passion . . . volume"]
  23. David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Marshall 'Bo' Applewhite . . . Ka - reepy.
  24. My postings have been few, true . . . but have been lurking happily in the O-zone. It's a busy time at work (I am an HR manager for a silviculture company) and I have also been taking a step back for analysis . . . I appreciate your greeting. -- I am taking Jenna's advice and cooking up a blog to replace my ersatz New Blog 46, which is already stale and a chore to maintain. I scored an 8 on the adult autism quotient, dang. I am wondering (not concluding) if there is any relation between the autism quotient and the emotional deafness/malevolence found in the occasional ravings of certain O-ists . . .
  25. So says the result of a personality test at Personal DNA Not entirely surprising . . . you can see the full results here. Thanks to Jenna Wong, who posted her own profile at her marvelous blog, Cyberspace Rendezvous.