william.scherk

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Everything posted by william.scherk

  1. Kick Ass Guidelines for Kick Ass Posters Anyone who signs up to [link] is free to post here, unmoderated. (except for a list which we do not publish or comment on, which includes Michael Stuart Kelly, Kat, and whoever the hell else Perigo feels like banning) Anyone who is gratuitously rude or abusive, will, however, be moderated in the �play pen� for children, after reasonable warning. (except for, well, anybody except those Perigo currently has no problems with, and, well, whatever . . . we haven't read or thought about the 'play pen' idea -- let alone implement it -- since we got drunk and updated the kick ass guidelines way back a few months or whatever) When posting, remember the "Three Gs" -- good faith, good will and good humour. If the second two are rendered impossible, the first is still a minimum requirement. (and only Lindsay Perigo can sniff it out, dontcha know . . . with regard to good faith, Perigo is a truffle hog) As a sign of good faith, please sign on and post under your real name with photograph, which you can upload when you register an account. (um, don't worry about the name part, we aren't consistent . . . and we don't make provision for folks who have honestly and forthrightly posted under their real name since SOLOpassion's inception, but who are too vain, ugly or stupid to get a picture together, because, um, maybe we don't know what good faith means in this instance and so are both arbitrary AND inconsistent. Whatever, this rule is just for show, so fuck off. Victor Pross has not fooled us again with his impersonations recently, so we have acheived the bare minimum. Fuck off if you don't like it.) In dealing with non- or anti-Objectivists, remember the objective is to persuade rather than intimidate, bully or disgust. (unless you feel like it. Like I say, KASS, whoo hoo. In effect, this guideline is kinda like the fences that slugs leave on sidewalks. If you are a prissyholic, you actually try to obey. If you are a lazy mind, you disregard the rules you find personally constricting, but hoot bizarrely at those who do exactly the same thing as you just did. But in any case, if I tell you to fuck off, I expect you to do it. If you tell me to fuck off, I will ban you. Now, fuck off. Unless you are someone like Ed Hudgins whom half the list considers non-O, you can come back if no one talks about 'the incident' ever. It would embarrass everyone and show this rule to be a fucking sham. The corollary is the if we ARE dealing with an avowed O big O OBJECTIVIST then you sorta can kick the shit out of them verbally. It's okay. They are used to it. How do you think they got to the top of the small hill of O? By Kicking Ass and, well, whatever, next rule please. You bore me.) Remember you are guests in Linz�s house, enjoying his hospitality for free. Do not presume to tell him how to run this site or SOLO. If you don�t enjoy being in his house � well, there is no one forcing you to stay. (Agreed. 100 %. And if you like the metaphor of host/house/hospitality/freedom, remember what would happen in real life if your host occasionally turned into a raging buffoon. You would throw your drink in his face, get your fur, and fuck off until he begged you to return for another shindig. This is the one rule that is honest about its arbitrariness -- and one that I support. Red button those who offend. Never explain, never apologize. Be a legend. If you can't have integrity, fuck it, Be a Legend) Respect the privacy of others here -- and your own. (except under circumstances of moral depravity, which should be decided in a spirit of fear and loathing for best and most rational decisions. With a smidge of gossip and girltalk and a wee touch of moral hysteria, your own depravity will never become apparent to your own self. About the second part: "[Respect] your own [Privacy]. I don't have a fucking clue what that means. It was the committee. I fired them They flounced off. Fuckbags. Traitors. Ingrates. Colleagues. Whatever. What are you looking at? Are you denying we are at war with, um, um, Oceania? Fuck off.) If you�re a self-important grandstander, poseur, attention-seeker or blowhard monologuer who knows it all, contemplate the possibility that this might not be the place for you. (though it could be argued that Perigo has occasionally played his part in the shames listed above, I more or less agree. If you grandstand (only), if you pose (lie or misrepresent yourself), if you seek attention (solely), if you are a blowhard monologuer (if, by example, you do not credit your opponent with humanity or reason) or if you are a Know it all (if you are arrogant without having earned it), then . . . free inquiry is blocked. Since we are not about free inquiry, you should have figured out that the only rule is: if you are on the right side of me, I will not shit on you. And I have a temper, and I might shoot you by mistake. Sorry, but you probably deserved it anyhow. Fuck off if you can't take a joke, but don't cross me or make a joke of me, your host. I don't have to take it. If you're a rationally passionate romantic, seeking the stars and looking for other pilgrims in your quest, contemplate the certainty that this is definitely the place for you! (or not. If you are a fan of purple prose and creaky cliches, this rule is definitely up your alley. Fill your boots. A stitch in time. Reach for the heights. Gird em up, Girda) Enjoy! (or fuck off and like it) Copyright SOLO 2001-2006. All Rights Reserved, (which is why WSS is free to spoof them in full. We were too sloppy to update our copyright notices. Opinions expressed are those of the contributors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial staff, and if the staff do not reflect Lindsay Perigo's opinions, he doesn't fire them, he just slags them until they 'flounce off.' For any enquiries, or to report problems with the site, please email: [name withheld to protect the randteous] but don't expect anything but silence or sneers if you are not of the inner circle. Enjoy!
  2. [2 minor search and replace operations later, the original posting from our sibling site speaks the same meaning]I find the OL site to be very impressive, with so many tools for communication. Props to the team.I am coming to the faith that a truly free site (which OL now mostly is due to the light touch that is Michael and Kat's genius) may be like a map of the world.Looking out through the OL window on my monitor, I do believe that the varied strands of Rand-influenced thinkers and actors and scholars can build whatever communications they wish, here, through the window.A rather clownish person like me can retire to a blog -- a small, blue-ish pink, flickering window -- post occasional image-laden observations, experiment with different tones and tonics, accept essay commissions from my best critics, spend more time listening to music and working in the real world.Another person can inhabit the chatbox**, or pepper popular threads with machine-gun one-liners. Yet another person can diligently apply her labour to expanding analysis in one of the less-read threads . . . and so on.It is a bit like a map, an index, a window on the world, this box on my table, this OL box: yes, there are great continents, one dark, one light . . . but there are also smaller homelands, high mountain passes, navigable seas of long sweeping sands and intricate fjords and more; island redoubts, outposts and entrepots; vast archipelagos of opinion spattered like light across the surface of the globe . . .Thank you all my backstage acquaintances, those who have said, "don't f**k up, Scherk," or "don't f**k up again, Scherk," or "you know what'll happen if you f**k it up again, Scherk?" -- and thank you to my glee club of Guignolards. See y'all at the Jennathon! [obscure reference to Jennifer Iannolo, Jenna Wong, and a Jen yet to be heard from -- a nod to the chatbox at the sister-in-randteousness site.WSS** '-uc-'** there likely is a plug-in for OL's underlying forum software.
  3. With respect, Michael, no. There is much better wisdom elsewhere on this list. If an ethical matter, consult Ellen Stuttle, if a scientific matter, consult Dragon Fly, Our Danielyanna, RCR and so on, if logic, consult our resident experts, if manners, Phil, if Objectivism beyong 101, ask Barbara, if relationships, I charge 350 bucks an hour for counselling, if a list issue, ask Robert Campbell or Ellen Stuttle. If art, ask anyone but me, if politics, ask Ellen Stuttle. If it concerns a mistake you may have made, ask the entire list, as there is hidden wisdom that you may not be aware of. In any case, I don't trust the software, as the blobs in the standard forum database are not encrypted. None of the so-called private messages are thus completely private, when a database key shows real text. Considering its readership, the most private place to put a question to me is in the comments of Scherk Blog, to which I have now finally retired for good with this post. Thank you again for the wonderful hosting. See you elsewhere.
  4. My worst, in no particular order, as noted in passing: Unintelligible Incomprehensible Mannered Arrogant Indisciplined Uncaring Cold Mean Aggressive Unforgiving Hateful Selfish
  5. One of Daniel's qualities that is good for me is his intelligence.
  6. In a forum thread somewhere upstream, Emperor asked me if I wanted to discuss Daniel Barnes's good qualities. I do! The comment thread is open. If you are amusing enough, I might enable anonymous comments. If you are a poo poo head, you get deleted. . . . in other regions, discussions I would pay good money to have engraved on gold plates. Or not:
  7. I'm wondering if by 'pass' you mean make public, or if by pass you mean make. I have asked you why it seems you are contemptuous of Daniel Barnes. You asked me not to mistake an elbow nudge for a blow. Yet I read: Yada yada yada full of sound and fury signifying nothing I beg you to consider that Daniel is a wholesome and good critic, not a bad bad boogeyman out to getcha or wreck yer barn. Okay, I understand. Can you provide a reference to the thread where Daniel was proven wrong? It is true that most of us feel discomfort when called upon to correct our premise/argument, or to 'capitulate.' I am talking about being wrong, correcting mistakes, goals of discussion, the appropriateness of moral judgements -- things like that. This fits with my metatheme, the ick factor. Refer to my online profiles and my stated aims and my repeated avowals that I am a critic [ . . . ] William, Before the day grows older, allow me to disagree up to a point. If that were the only message—or even the point of the message, which it was not—I would have no problem with it. My problem is in constantly being told what I think and various "rhetorical questions" that somehow constantly end up landing on negative connotations about Rand. Okay, I understand. The other discussion was in my favourite reading thread, The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy, still going strong with 525 posts to date! I removed my scatological reference two days ago. I apologize for riling you, Emperor. Smiley.gif I gained a lot of free entertainment. Smiley.gif. I gained an e-friend in Daniel Barnes . . . I answered all your questions to the best of my ability. I raised a couple of points. I got lashings of fan mail. I got respect from two people whom I thought thought me a pigignoramus. I got to sharpen my intellectual tools against a formidable argumentator. I got to integrate lessons and experiments from my work world in the Oish world. I got to play in your garden without causing you harm or alarm. I got to think. I got to read and re-read these two threads. I got to parse statements for sense using a voice synthesizer. I got to read more about Hillary Putnam. I got to read some Popper. I got to re-read ARCHN.com or whatever it's called. I got to admit mistakes and be glad about it. I got to ask a couple of difficult questions. I got to . . . well, yeah, I gained a lot, and I thank you for hosting me. Here's another non-orthographic metaphor, I hope not as fraught as my scat reference: What if "Sunny Days Ahead for SOLO" was re-written as "Sunny Days Ahead for OL"? Do I want to discuss Daniel's good qualities? I would love to. I will post to the Scherk Blog. Good idea. Do I want to discuss my own good qualities? Well, not discuss them, no. I would rather sorta beat my breast about them and kinda bask in the reflected glory of gushing acolytes and devotees of my virtue. If we have to discuss my qualities, I would rather discuss my bad ones. I may be unaware of a few of them or unaware that they are getting out of my control. Like a ballerina, I accept critiques from my peers with professional attention. I can only prosper by integrating the help and guidance of my fellows.
  8. Mitsou, a nationalist Quebecoise. Ne plus des chocolots pour moi . . .parce que je n'ai accaparé que 37 hits (and 30 of those are probably me).
  9. If you look closely at the bottom border of the picture, you will see the Atlas symbol from RoR.
  10. I was a punk-rocking country boy in 1978, and remember that Waterloo was the only song that had rocked in the desert of late seventies pop. Then I learned that they recorded on a 108 tracks on a private island. I agree, nothing comes close. Thanks for Sinead. I had no idea of her cover, infidel as I am re: music since 1986, when I retired from performing. I am afraid to look at the Cobain link, gawd . . . PS -- hey, who have I prossed with my "Love March," would you know?
  11. Chocolates and liquor to the first person or entity™ who correctly identifies the politics of the artist. Clue: c'est si dur de tomber si bas, quand t'as était si haut. A love song in the Abba Love March genre, suitable for O™-ish tweaking. What the O™ world needs is some pop success. A Lilith Fair for the selfish™, rational, capitalist O™-hole in all of us . . .
  12. I am talking about being wrong, correcting mistakes, goals of discussion, the appropriateness of moral judgements -- things like that. This fits with my metatheme, the ick factor. Refer to my online profiles and my stated aims and my repeated avowals that I am a critic (such as here, in my first post to this forum, May 6, 2006): "Just make sure you observe every civility here (always) that you demand of others anywhere on earth. Never exceed your own speed limit. : )." In my second post here, I stated, "As court jester, Your Majesty, I may once in a long while tweak your nose over a royal misstep or misrule in matters of State. I ask for credit on this account at this time, payable in cold hard laughter to the Bank of Charitable Humour." My posts often added concerns about linguistic charity, and I recently invited interlocutors to offer it to Daniel. I had uncertain results, Michael: "If I understand Daniel . . . he is trying to show that we may sometimes reduce an analysis too far, to a level which obscures our mutual goals. Once we reduce discussion of words and their meaning to their indivisible units, we lose the means to understand each other, and discussion stalls and dies." On June 19th I answered a question about moral judgements. I used one aspect of moral judgement to press the point that such judgements need never be expressed publicly. I then urged you to examine your unstated moral judgements (your good/bad matrix of utterances re: Daniel and his stance and psychology). I don't post that often here or anywhere. I put my positions as clearly as I am able, and strive for integrity in my utterances. I fail, which was the other point (drilled through my many evocations of tools and goals and self-awareness). I fail, I am wrong, I am prolix, I am diffuse, I am proud, too proud, of myself and my scrabbling after knowledge and understanding. Michael, please take the time to read my last four posts to your forum, using the Principle of Charity**. They are of a piece, a critical piece. Here I begin to answer your other questions to me: . . . [s.13] With Daniel's preceding arguments, I learned nothing except that he doesn't seem to like Rand very much. [ . . . ] [O.1] Read his posts during that exchange starting with his question to me—look at the content [refers to the thread, "Objectivist Living Forum > Outer Limits > Chewing on Ideas > 'The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy,'" particularly posts 453 and later] [ . . . ] [O.2]See if you can find any idea he presented other than a negative opinion of Rand (or her followers by insinuation). On Jun 18 2007, @ 9:03 PM, Barnes the Critic wrote: Etcetera. To answer the implied suggestion/query at O.1, I must reiterate first: "I am confused by what I sense is a contempt for Daniel and his positions." That said, I find that Daniel offered a humourous statement bound in a rhetorical question**, in essence reading "Ayn Rand addressed her epistemological statements to a contemporary audience, but she addressed issues (such as 'universals/concepts') that had troubled philosophy for the ages. Do you disagree, MSK, smiley.gif?" And so, the following statement/query to you is a tool of inquiry: "It appears you trust Rand on mathematical/epistemological/ontological answers, but you are yet unfamiliar with the questions." Michael, you are bound by your own strictures, no? One of your most interesting and apt informal strictures, I have noted before, is one I strive to live by also: "I have observed that even after I consciously chose to always be honest with myself (decades ago), I still did a lot of bad stuff. Even today, I catch myself sometimes leaning toward a self-flattering interpretation of events that does not always correspond to reality." -- I shall approach the subsequent and preceding questions as the day grows old. Michael: often I disagree with Daniel. I have perceived that he does not like to be proven wrong and when he is proven wrong, he gets really uncomfortable. [ . . . ] Using the principle of charity†, I would say, Okay, I understand. Can you provide a reference to the thread where Daniel was proven wrong? It is true that most of us feel discomfort when called upon to correct our premise/argument, or to 'capitulate.' Not using it, I might immediately seize on "he gets really uncomfortable." I might muse about psychological insight, etc. [s.3-4] He mentioned‡ that I was contradicting‡ the definition of a word‡ (as if there were only one meaning‡), then gave a link‡ to an online dictionary. When I went there, I encountered 27 definitions and my understanding‡ was included in several‡. [ . . . ] [s.5] Sometimes during an attempt to understand (or clarify), I perceive that he gets into a sort of semantic maze‡ where he [barnes] criticizes a topic or a person‡ (with Rand usually being the final target), then the terms or arguments he uses morph into other meanings‡ during a discussion. [ . . . ] [s.10-12] Not only was I told what I think and how much I know (which are bad habits with anyone, and I even admitted several times that I needed to learn more about the traditional stuff before I could answer any more than I did), I was dismissed for both§ [ . . . ] [s.13] With Daniel's preceding arguments°, I learned nothing except that he doesn't seem to like Rand very much. [ . . . ] [Char.1,S.14] a gratuitous belittlement of Rand come out of the blue for the gazillionth time [ . . . ] [Char.2,S.15,16] and engaging in one more bout of verbal spar[r]ing that doesn't seem to go anywhere except to play verbal morph games [ . . . ] [Char.3,Psy.1,S.14] to try—in the end—to show what a fool Rand was, that gets boring. [ . . . ] [Epith.1,S.15] Yada yada yada full of sound and fury signifying nothing [ . . ] [E.1]QUOTE(Daniel Barnes @ Jun 19 2007, 1:03 AM) Do you seriously think the various problems of epistemology were just there when Ayn Rand woke up in the morning? [Q.2] What do you think it° means? [ . . . ] It means, more or less, in context, "these problems have been around a long long time. Are you familiar with this stuff? Are we on the same page, here? Did you want to pecksniff and pettifog or get some larnin' done, pawdner?" [s.17-19 (PsyM.1), ~S.14bis] I find that stuff sooooooooooo tedious. I want a real discussion. Daniel has a good mind and he is better than that. !!! EDIT: ADD [(PsyM.2),S.20, Q.3-4,S.21,R1] I know you like Daniel (and so do I), but how do you miss this kind of stuff and misinterpret my call to get on topic as "shitting on someone"? [ . . . ] [s.22-24] I don't know what you mean about the other discussion with Daniel (as in "the last two"), but I have spent far too much time on this one. I only did it because I like you (a lot). [ . . . ] [Q.5] But honestly, did you gain anything with this? [ . . . ] [Q.6-7,S.25] do you want to discuss some of Daniel's good qualities? Or your own? I'm more than game. +++++++++++++++ ** rhetorical in the sense that the generally-accepted answer is unstated and agreed † see "Charity, Self-Interpretation, and Belief" Henry Jackman [PDF] Journal of Philosophical Research Source: Papers on Line ‡ percepts as building blocks of houses, er, concepts ° "it" and "the argument" are bound together. Are the percepts accurate in light of new information? § Daniel, to MSK: "lack of both knowledge and interest, however, does not seem to stop you holding some strong and even highly dismissive opinions on the subject [mathematical epistemology]"
  13. Actually, not. I lied in the subject line. This is actually another dumb test -- a video. With regard to my lies about ABBA's greatest hits, I regard all of the big sellers as love marches, and have imagined these marches as great propaganda tools for occupying armies. Love love love. March march march. Just think "Voulez Vous" as the slow march of stern objectivish love, with lyrics to help the conquered understand that the new regime took over out of benevolence towards the suffering people of, say, Venezuela or the adjoining Lusitanians . . . Try to imagine an ABBA quartet uniformed, with peaked caps and braid, striding off of a military transport, bringing joy to all Central America with "Chiquiquita" . . . When Abba take London, imagine: "Knowing Me, Knowing You." France: "Waterloo." European Union: "S.O.S." North America Union: "Money, Money, Money." To the sad, failed states of the Middle East: "The Name of the Game." India, and the asian Tigers, "Take a Chance on Me." Etcetera
  14. I am testing a notation scheme in my text-aloud program. Please excuse the clutter. I will delete this later. For an aural treat, listen to the forthcoming mp3 test. I will award a gold disc version to the person who can tell me about Mitsou`s big hit and the city it dominated. [Q.1]What are you talking about? [ . . . ] [s.1-2] often I disagree with Daniel. I have perceived that he does not like to be proven wrong and when he is proven wrong, he gets really uncomfortable. [ . . . ] [s.3-4] He mentioned that I was contradicting the definition of a word (as if there were only one meaning), then gave a link to an online dictionary. When I went there, I encountered 27 definitions and my understanding was included in several. [ . . . ] [s.5] Sometimes during an attempt to understand (or clarify), I perceive that he gets into a sort of semantic maze where he [barnes] criticizes a topic or a person (with Rand usually being the final target), then the terms or arguments he uses morph into other meanings during a discussion. Look: [E.1]QUOTE(Daniel Barnes @ Jun 19 2007, 05:06 AM) * Mike: [sug.1,S.6]>Let's talk about an actual idea. That other stuff is boring. [P.1,S.7,S.8,P.2,S.8-9,A.1,Pol.1]]If you were really interested in the actual ideas behind mathematical epistemology, Mike, I think you would have read or genuinely tried to learn at least something about the subject at some stage in your life. But it's quite clear you haven't, so I can only assume that at bottom you aren't all that interested. This lack of both knowledge and interest, however, does not seem to stop you holding some strong and even highly dismissive opinions on the subject. Who knows why you do, but you do. So given all that, I'll sit this one out, thanks anyway. [s.10-12]Not only was I told what I think and how much I know (which are bad habits with anyone, and I even admitted several times that I needed to learn more about the traditional stuff before I could answer any more than I did), I was dismissed for both. [ . . . ] [s.13] With Daniel's preceding arguments, I learned nothing except that he doesn't seem to like Rand very much. [ . . . ] [O.1] Read his posts during that exchange starting with his question to me—look at the content [ . . . ] [O.2] See if you can find any idea he presented other than a negative opinion of Rand (or her followers by insinuation). [ . . . ] [Char.1,S.14] "a gratuitous belittlement of Rand come out of the blue for the gazillionth time" [ . . . ] [Char.2,S.15,16]"and engaging in one more bout of verbal spar[r]ing that doesn't seem to go anywhere except to play verbal morph games" [ . . . ] [Char.3,Psy.1,S.14]"to try—in the end—to show what a fool Rand was, that gets boring." [ . . . ] [Epith.1,S.15]"Yada yada yada full of sound and fury signifying nothing" [ . . ] [E.1]QUOTE(Daniel Barnes @ Jun 19 2007, 1:03 AM) Do you seriously think the various problems of epistemology were just there when Ayn Rand woke up in the morning? [Q.2]What do you think it means? [ . . . ] [s.17-19 (PsyM.1), ~S.14bis] I find that stuff sooooooooooo tedious. I want a real discussion. Daniel has a good mind and he is better than that. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I will post some responses to these plainly stated questions later tonight. In the meantime, I will see if I can practice what I preach, oh mealy-mouthed William: I note that in your continuing discussion with Daniel, a problem of linguistic charity rears its head again. In an earlier exchange you suggested, with humour, that your and Daniel's mutual goal was 'Free Entertainment," whereas Daniel answered, "We are both trying to correct some underlying historical mistakes." Would you please leave off the smileys and give us a sincere answer? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ [(PsyM.2),S.20, Q.3-4,S.21,R1] I know you like Daniel (and so do I), but how do you miss this kind of stuff and misinterpret my call to get on topic as "shitting on someone"? [ . . . ] [s.22-24] I don't know what you mean about the other discussion with Daniel (as in "the last two"), but I have spent far too much time on this one. I only did it because I like you (a lot). [ . . . ] [Q.5] But honestly, did you gain anything with this? [ . . . ] [Q.6-7,S.25] do you want to discuss some of Daniel's good qualities? Or your own? I'm more than game. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ As usual, Michael is one-up on me. I am merely game.
  15. I'm wondering if by 'pass' you mean make public, or if by pass you mean make. If the latter, I think that moral judgements are a constant, from the moment we make contact with the day "Rain. Bad rain," or "Rain. Good rain,' to when we end our contact with the day, "Good Night," or "Bad noisy neighbours." It could be profitably argued that we pass thousands of moral judgements during REM. To take another, reductive angle, the infant must make moral judgements to survive the first few days and months and years (Mother. Good) (Cold. Hunger. Shit in pants. Bad). Not a word of a lie, the ability to make such constant judgements is utterly necessary to effortless, successful function, as with proprioception or the feedback loops of our balance system. We need look no farther than Damasio for the malfunction of the Good/Bad organs and what that entails: generally, and according to the deformation, the person can no longer navigate ordinary reality. All judgements can be rationally made, but without the affective import of the organs that are deformed or have died, the wheels of the will spin and nothing actually is ever decided or moved or wisely chosen, and without care, the person will die of misadventure. If, Michael, my Host and Emperor, you mean 'pass' in the first instance, let me share you some wisdom of my latter years. You never ever need to make your constant judgements known to others. They are for your survival, not theirs. To put that in a properly reductive frame, you will never know what my judgement of you actually is. And I can only guess what yours is of I, me and mine. By illustration, in another thread I have asked you why it seems you are contemptuous of Daniel Barnes. You asked me not to mistake an elbow nudge for a blow. You must understand that I don't know what judgement you have made of Daniel save by your actions, or, more reductively, your behaviour. I may use a bit of inductive reasoning to guess that as in the last two preceding discussions with Daniel you tend to sneer and a dismissal . . . indicating by most objective measures of discourse that you find him an annoyance and a digression and not worth your best effort at understanding. But I would be wrong in such a guess, as you have made clear. And so, we will never know if you think he is good or bad, only that your reaction to his contributions to discussion has seemed as if you were to say, 'Daniel thought. Bad." But that surely can't be good, and since you are usually always good, and because you usually mostly self-enforce your sermons, I must be wrong. I must also be wrong to imagine that you don't know what I mean when I speak of linguistic charity, or to reduce it to concept: The Principle of Charity. I love inductive reasoning. And I love OL. Or do I? Consider knowledge a barn. It could be argued that you most enjoy a little hammer to the head of your more critical fellow barn-raisers, rather than the pleasure of concerted effort and striving. You appear to much better love conducting the workforce rather than finding out what barn form they have in their mind. I beg you to consider that Daniel is a wholesome and good critic, not a bad bad boogeyman out to getcha or wreck yer barn. Perhaps the analogy is forced and inappropriate, but since we speak of barns, it appears that you consider Barnes a most unfortunate and perhaps inapt tool, and not that by using his diamond-rough critical surface, you may hone the very edge of your own thinking. I will always read OL when appropriate, but your recent behaviour, Michael, has made me much less likely to feel welcome in discussion. I do not understand why you domineer all threads. Is there no other function for you on OL? EDIT: Please excuse the double post. I misposted the Bacon Screaming Pope and pushed the wrong dang button. Good. Night. Bad. William. EDIT: removed offensive sentence,
  16. One further question, if you will: what is your position on Critical Rationalism, 'standing on one foot'? Is Critical Rationalism useful or not, as a practical guide to knowledge? I note that in your continuing discussion with Daniel, a problem of linguistic charity rears its head again. In an earlier exchange you suggested, with humour, that your and Daniel's mutual goal was 'Free Entertainment," whereas Daniel answered, "We are both trying to correct some underlying historical mistakes." Would you please leave off the smileys and give us a sincere answer? ********************** I am confused by what I sense is a contempt for Daniel and his positions. I get the impression that you are annoyed with Daniel, and because you are annoyed, you don't have to play fair. I know this is not the impression you wish to leave, so I am puzzled . . . One notion I would ask you to consider again, Michael, is that of mutual goals. Although you acknowledged a certain 'technical correctness'** in my critique of your thoughts on letters/words, I am not sure you grant my point. If you don't actually grant the point, and do not absorb its usefulness, I don't see any productive point to this thread. Free entertainment? Sure. Good faith discussion aimed at mutual comprehension? There I am not sure at all. ******************************* Forgive me if I read all of this completely wrongly. Lately I am struggling with integrity in the workplace. I struggle to find solutions to 'people problems.' In a nutshell, some folks agree to be bound by professional behaviour. The same folks fail at times, but will not admit the failure. Ensuing disdain, contempt, belligerent outbursts all seem to be designed to put the offender 'one up' on the target. But, of course, if the goal is to do the job most efficiently and with least heartache, being one up on the target simply poisons the work environment and leads to terminations, tears, rage-filled arguments, etcetera. My challenge is to get everyone to the mutual goal. I don't yet know how to manage a couple of incorrigibles. Because all error emanates from the 'other,' their sole goal appears to be altering the other person's behaviour. This is all well and good, but to alter the unwanted behaviour one must use good psychological tools. Lately I am struck over and over again by a scene from the movie "The Wizard of Oz." This is when one of the Wicked Witches is splashed with water by Dorothy. Of course, being wicked, the witch dissolves into the floor and dies. Some people seem to hold that admitting error will lead them to melt on the spot . . . and so, of course they resist. It is getting to the point where I consider the incorrigibles as wicked, and could not give a shit if they did melt and die. _______________________________ ** one can read your note on 'technical correctness' as a form of, 'You may be correct, but I am still right.' Another reading is, 'I don't care about being correct, I care about ending up on top in the wrassling.' I know these readings are quite likely inaccurate/wrong, but the impression remains . . .
  17. Thanks, Michael. I feel so stoopid. I wonder if you have followed up on your discovery of Susan Haack. If so, you may have come across her writings on Popper. (If I had to choose between Popper, Haack and Rand, I would choose Haack. Not because she is a better philosopher that Rand, or has deeper and more effulgent insights than does Popper, but because she is alive and writing and actually responds to fan mail from the pig-ignorant like me. I will pass by this thread to the gorgeous and wise Ophelia Benson, another of my faves. I wonder if she will come down on the side of Michael Stuart Kelly, or on that of Daniel Barnes.) In my blessed ignorance, I thought that all Objectivists were Popperians in Rand's clothing. Thanks for enlightening me. Here is a couple snippets from Haack's extremely interesting "Trial and Error: The Supreme Court's Philosophy of Science." Oh how I would love to have her on this list for an afternoon of rigour. Unfortunately, she plays in a different leaque and we can only sit in the stands and cheer her on. Popper also describes his philosophy of science as "Deductivist," by contrast with "Inductivism," whether in the strong, Baconian form that posits an inductive logic for arriving at hypotheses or in the weaker, Logical Positivist form that posits an inductive logic of confirmation. According to Popper, Hume showed long ago that induction is unjustifiable. But science doesn't need induction; the method of conjecture and refutation requires only deductive logic -- specifically, modus tollens, the rule invoked when an observational result predicted by a theory fails. [ . . . ] The pejorative tone of the phrase "pseudo-science," which presumably refers to activities which purport to be science but aren't really, derives in part from its imputation of false pretenses, generally, and in part from the favorable connotations of "scientific," specifically. But rather than sneering unhelpfully that this or that work is "pseudo-scientific," it is always better to get down to those "brass tacks" Bridgman talks about, and specify what, exactly, is wrong with it: that it is not honestly or seriously conducted; that it rests on flimsy or vague assumptions -- assumptions for which there is no good evidence, or assumptions which aren't even susceptible to evidential check; that it seeks to impress with decorative or distracting mathematical symbolism or elaborate-looking apparatus; that it fails to take essential precautions against experimental error; or whatever. PS -- this is my favourite thread by far of all the Randt-ish threads I have read in the past month. I think I have learned more about Objectivist thought here than in all my other reading. Bear in mind, though, that a close second favourite is the demented screed now unfolding at our Sisters-in-Rand site, where He Who Knows Opera is currently posturing and preening. [edited for sloppy spelling, syntax and general crimes against humanity]
  18. I am having another attack of pig-ignorance. What is referred to by C R, please?
  19. James Heaps-Nelson responds to Robert Campbell's post regarding sessions between Nathaniel Branden & Ayn Rand: "An unfortunate aspect of the early Objectivist movement was engagement in amateur therapy. This was an abdication of responsibility both on the part of the therapists and the clients." [ . . . ] I am close to pig-ignorant on details of this interlude, and don't know of the broader milieu at that time (e.g., I don't know if there was an inchoate habit of chatting each other up psychologically, or rather a developing plan for formal therapeutics to be associated with Rand, or what). Ignorance established, I still would caution Robert and James to be chary of anachronisms -- I can't judge these talks between her and Branden through 2007 ethics. I know neither the detail or the contract: this was not a client and a professional, neither was it a cult elder and a transfixed victim. Lots of wild, dangerous and all round crappy psychotherapeutic notions were in the air in America at the time she had these sad meetings with the lying two-faced bastard . . . let's not blame her for doing exactly what we would have done: meet one on one with the lover to reason out the heartache and misunderstanding. That neither one could make love come again is neither our business nor very pertinent. Is it sad? I dunno. Some Randian folk won't leave the minor personal tragedy off the table. Valliant's book, whether it sells 1500 or 4000, is prurient and unhelpful, to my pig-ignorant eyes. Let forgiveness draw a veil over these giants (Valliant's embarrassing persistence in flacking his own vanity press hitjob? Oi, go on a frigging TV talk show, James . . . promote your book less in the special-purpose cellars and punishment chambers of the inbred online world . . . ). Or not, if the aim is to loudly and relentlessly re-wash dirty laundry on the front lawn, as at the cousin-in-Rand site Solo. Soon the actors will all three be dead. What then? Will there be solemnity and a reckoning, or will there be the usual hyena calls to lunch? James sees "a number of problems with the Rand/Branden situation" and lists them as, 'conflicts of interest and lack of detachment, no professional training, and mutual irresponsibility.' I am just not sure it should be cast in the creepy light of the 80s/90s therapy wave or our present theory and nomenclature. It was sad enough by its fated ending. It's not in the least creepy on its plain face, however, unless all romantic deaths are creepy. I forgive all of this stuff as human, all too human and understandable and a bit over-ripe by now. Turn the page and take the veil with regard to The Affair, I say. Let it rest for a while while we all give it a big long think. If only Vallant and his toadies would go on a lengthy golf tour or go raise Objectivism high hell in Dubai or something less smutty, less nose-in-crotch righteous. Yes, James Valliant, you smelled evil and you want us all to thank you for pointing out the lingering stench and making us queasy all over again. Thank you for the nose-rubbing. Point taken. Shut the f**k up. I will happily accept a few links or tips to rectify my present bestial state of knowledge.
  20. With respect, Michael, no. This analogy doesn't work for me, as it does not seem to correspond to the matter at hand. I see very few ways in which a lump of knowledge is like a house. So, since there are many ways in which knowledge is not like a house, I don't grant your premise. Put another way, my mind strains and stalls while parsing the entailments, so I must take another route or reboot. The quote from ITOE is clear: Rand believed that her description was accurate, that the process of concept-formation in a pre-verbal child was this and such.** I find her description interesting and a tool for further thought. I seem stalled at the outset and hear the victory celebrations from the next valley. Is this over? - From Disheartened at the starting line, BC ** will add further ayes and nays later today.
  21. Heh. (I'm biting my tongue...) Michael Why" Why are you biting your tongue? What were you about to say? I am wondering if it is something like this: "Funny thing about this article is that Klein purports to be a semi-'liberal' himself. And when you read a bit more about the exchange he is whingeing about, you see that Klein's m.o. is to whine about bad people without naming them or providing links to their perfidy, as seen here. In this case, he was caught in a sloppy bit of reporting, and properly castigated for it. What Klein does not mention is that he was caught being a slophound journalist -- that the criticism was deserved and on target, whatever its tone. What Klein also doesn't mention is that he uses the same technique he whinges about -- I am thoroughly sick of arguments about 'THEM" in which THEY are not named. I am also sick to death of Klein's brand of hypocrisy. But that's just me. If you all want to score cheap rhetorical points by smirking little asides, have at 'er . . ." Me, I find Joe Klein vastly entertaining, in a creepy kind of way. See David Corn's piece in Salon for an idea of who Joe Klein is too craven to name. The subtitle is worth the entrance fee -- "Joe Klein is not only a disgrace to his profession, he may be nuts, too." Klein would prefer that bloggers not exist, because then his errors and omissions and generally upchuckish self-regard would be given a pass . . . For those unfamiliar with the issue regarding Harman, see "Joe Klein's Big Lie," in which his inordinate fondness for himself and his faux victimhood are put into perspective.
  22. NB - my comments are transcribed into speech here I too found Daniel's analogy appropriate, but I get stuck on the paragraph above, for to my mind letters are not at all as tangible and clear as we think they are -- as building blocks of written words. As some wag might put it, "Whutchoogaheezuptaenniwhey?" and "Kivessum?" and "Eyedoanhavvakloowutchyergittinat" or even ! If I understand Daniel correctly in this exchange, he is trying to show that we may sometimes reduce an analysis too far, to a level which obscures our mutual goals. Once we reduce discussion of words and their meaning to their indivisible units, we lose the means to understand each other, and discussion stalls and dies. By analogy, he is trying to illuminate the goal, and steer up and back towards it. 'Without letters there are not words'? I don't think it is quite just so. I spoke out loud a moment ago. There were and are no unique and necessary letters to correspond to my utterance, only several score established sets of conventions with which to represent it . . . so how about: 'without phonemes' there are no words? And since we OLers seek broader and deeper understanding, how about striving to consider the mutual aim, rather than striving for rhetorical victory? An infant mind grasps the meaning of utterance through patterns of phonemes which engage a posited 'deep grammar' -- nothing to do with words nor with alphabets. Only later can we teach the child what such tools are for, and which conventions exist to transcribe the underlying utterance for posterity. Further, we surely have written 'words' without letters as building blocks (as in Chinese and a score of other written languages). But we do not have intelligible speech without the actual smallest meaningful units of language, all language - phonemes. Letters and alphabets are an invention, a most wonderful invention, an invention that succeeded in approximating and representing the incessant flow of phonemes. (a minor quibble . . . to illustrate what my quibble means, see the International Phonetic Alphabet, which goal is "to devise a system for transcribing the sounds of speech [ . . . ] independent of any particular language and applicable to all languages."* See (or rather hear) also this MP3 of a string of words from OL. Recall too that it dsoent raelly mettar wihch ltteer in wahetevr lcatooin ltteers are fnoud . . . the meaning is beneath and beyond the representation . . . * from Omniglot, 'writing systems and alphabets of the world.' Weeliyum PS -- Michael, Daniel, a puzzle: what goal do you believe you share with your interlocutors in this thread?
  23. Oceania is kinda of a spoof. I am experimenting with podcasts and new communication software at work. Leave a comment if you want the test links. Raw at the moment. It is sort of a riff on Orwell with reallly cheesy organ. I record a wav on a handheld, then IBM voice-recognition puts it into a .txt, then I paste that into TextAloud and record. Then I mix in sound effects and music for our online training web. But I think I should skip the mixing part. Did anyone listen to the first one, I wonder. Comments? Hep me out here folks . . . I though we had a few geeks on board.
  24. [ . . .] Why that qualifier? I enjoyed Touchstone's essay, as a 'let's close our eyes and have some fun with our imaginations" exercise, but I kept knocking up against failure to conjure: I can't imagine it. I feel so dang bound by pedestrian, practical questions: How is it indestructible, please? I can take flight with an idea of an entity with an open-ended life-span, but like Matus, I wonder "what the hell happens if it gets hit by a bus?" No matter how hard I squeeze my eyes shut and pretend, Robby the Robot keeps getting slammed by a renegage Greyhound. That was the point in the essay that I had to stop and slap myself. Again, shoddy imagination. A naggy voice, a nasty, skeptical voice intrudes: "Why do you want me to suppose that, lady? Will I be paid? How, exactly is this non-eating entity practical? How does this entity operate without energy, some kind of combustion? What gives it motive power if not some kind of 'food'?" I frankly find it a bit easier to imagine Gawd hisself. Perhaps because the cavity of my imagination has been filled with the background noise of believers busily believing in all kinds of things. "Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Now, Matus, you wonder: "Why so much time is spent discussing a metaphysically impossible scenario is beyond me." Perhaps it is because, like me, you are a dolt. I do thank you for offering me faint hope that I am not defective.