Mark

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  1. Newton didn’t find Aristotle completely worthless. Sir Isaac Newton’s Note-Book, 1661-65 by A. R. Hall, (Cambridge Historical Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1948) Footnote 14 on page 242: “At the top of the page [of Newton Fol. 88] in a fainter ink is written the tag ‘Amicus Plato amicus Aristotelis sed magis arnica veritas’.” Translation: “Plato is my buddy, Aristotle is my pal, but my best amigo is truth.”
  2. Mark

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    After reading over what I last wrote I was surprised at how ambiguous it is. It could be taken to mean that ARI promulgates the best in Objectivism, and nothing could be further from the truth. For the most part ARI either perverts Rand’s ideas or repeats her errors. Leonard Peikoff lets ARI use the “Ayn Rand” trademark. Because of that, and the added financial backing of Barney (since dried up), Koch, Allison and a few others, its Internet presence has become huge. Those interested in spreading Rand’s better ideas need to counter it.
  3. Mark

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    I wonder if “internecine” is quite the right word. I’m completely outside the orbit of ARI. If you are interested in promulgating the best in Objectivism you will be interested in ARI. Their Internet presence is huge and they claim to present Rand's philosophy and it’s application to current events.
  4. Mark

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    Robert, I’m hardly in a position to extend a welcome because the administrator of OL periodically bans me for promoting ideas found at Vdare.com. If you want to know anything about the Ayn Rand Institute, I’m behind ARIwatch.com – a critical review of it. The latest article was introduced in the thread here. A “closed system” is OK as long as the enclosure surrounds Rand’s Metaphysics, Ethics and (most of anyway) Epistemology. Changing what’s inside that enclosure would only traduce her philosophy. As for certain of her applications, evaluations, opinions, etc. Rand was wrong.
  5. You can see the shadows of the other people in the same parade, and the shadows move along with them. The shadows are lower than their height so a shadow is sometimes hidden by the torso. I can’t see what the point would be of adding extra people and consequently risking being exposed as a hoax. Ginsburg is in the picture, that would be enough to show that she’s alive.
  6. The reasons given for the video being fake aren't convincing. There's room between the coffin and the people standing behind it for people to walk through, and the rope barrier doesn't extend all the way back to prevent them from entering. As for where the people came from, the camera angle doesn't include the entire room so they could have come from off camera. Also, something that moves transversely to a camera that doesn't tilt to follow it always appears blurred in a single frame. It's worth pointing out these erroneous allegations of fakeness because there really are some fakes out there and we don't want the waters muddied by cranks. A certainly fake video is the one of the alleged New Zealand Christchurch mosque shooting, the video the government made it a crime to distribute.
  7. There is reason to think it exceeds 90%. In 2012, maybe a little before, the Education Department said they were going to impose a new requirement on for-profit schools that receive government aid. At least 10% of a schools revenue must come from sources other than government backed loans and Pell Grants. I gather they didn’t put a date on the implementation, just a vague soon. In 2012 Barney took control of a non-profit foundation – the Center for Excellence in Higher Education – and transferred all his schools to the foundation, making them, nominally, non-profit schools. When accused of trying to avoid the upcoming requirement he said his timing was just a coincidence. The transformation in name only didn’t do him any good. The Education Department said that because he was in complete control of CEHE they would not recognize the schools as non-profit. Then in 2017 the Education Department said they were delaying implementation of the requirement indefinitely. ADDED: The main point, as Ellen says in her last post, is that Barney/CEHE are ripping off their students. Where and how or if they borrowed to pay Barney matters only to this extent: the availability of the very easy to get government loans (1) enables Barney to take in more students than he would otherwise, and/or (2) enables him to charge them more than he would otherwise. It drives up the demand and/or the price.
  8. 9thdoctor would know better than that if he read some of the many allegations of fraud against Barney and his CEHE. The allegations have the ring of truth, especially since Barney's manner reeks of phoniness. The fact that the taxpayer would be paying for the fraud makes it worse but it would be bad even without government involvement. 9thdoctor is “Respondent A” in Response to Barney Revelations
  9. I shouldn’t have put the “Dr” title in quotes or even mentioned the title. Hurd didn’t use any title in his comment on Biddle’s article, just “Michael Hurd.” What I was thinking is that psychotherapists shouldn't be called doctors. For one thing the course of study takes a fraction of the time and effort it takes to get an M.D. For another, "doctor" suggests physician and that type of doctor deals with the physical aspect of people not the mental. Anyway, scratch that part of my post. Hurd's comment on Biddle's article isn’t the first time he’s sung the praises of Carl Barney. In 2015 he wrote The Massively Underappreciated Virtue of Egoism in Business which quotes Barney then comments on what he says. I discovered it soon after “Who Is Carl Barney?” went online in 2017. At the time, I wrote Hurd about my article using his website’s “Contact Me” page but he never replied. The Objective Standard denies that his colleges are doing anything wrong and they’re quite self-righteous about it. (They're self-righteous about everything.) The Times Smiles and Sneers at Carl Barney, Ayn Rand, and Private Colleges defends Barney against the accusations reported at the end of Patricia Cohen’s first New York Times article on Barney. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Biddle collaborated on writing this, which gives no author: The Colorado Attorney General’s Assault on CollegeAmerica The URL seems to indicate it was uploaded in 2015 but it looks like it was 2017 because David Halperin’s review (search for “unhinged” in “Who Is Carl Barney?”), which came out in 2017, calls it “a new document that has surfaced online... .”
  10. Since last I wrote “Dr.” Hurd – the psychotherapist who a few years back was favorably mentioned by ARI – has commented on the Biddle article. It’s more of the usual with an added twist: the fact that Barney left ARI is further evidence of Barney’s integrity. His last paragraph in full: “I respect Carl’s support for the ideas he agrees with, even if the organizations charged with advancing those ideas are not doing their job. Case in point is his recent withdrawal of support from the Ayn Rand Institute. I view that as even further evidence of integrity and character. As I said, Carl’s the real deal, and he truly wants Ayn Rand’s ideas – unfettered by petty politics or irrelevant agendas – to become part of the world.” Hurd insinuates that ARI is not doing its job and is fettered by petty politics and/or irrelevant agendas. It’s surprising Biddle allowed that remark given the renewed cooperation between ARI and TOS. It could be that the renewed cooperation has become renewed dissociation. On the other hand he might have been willing to allow it as a trade for agreeing with his "youthful transgression" argument in the previous paragraph.
  11. Ellen, No, not one – in public anyway -- and I keep an eye on them, and not even after it was published. The whole affair is quite amazing. And telling. Thanks for catching the Biddle/Barney error, fixed now. (You might need to press your browser's refresh key, typically F5 or Ctrl-R, to see the change.) Mark
  12. MSK, About Barney going quietly when Hubbard put his missions in receivership (meaning taken from him by court order and at least temporarily put in the custody of someone else), there is another – and I think more likely – explanation than that he was an obedient drone in thrall to the cult. According to Cheryl Sola, a clerk in the central management office of SCS at the time – see “Who Is Carl Barney?” for details – she was told that Barney’s missions had been put into receivership because: “...Carl Barney had been ... doing unlawful things such as having the non-profit corporation pay for his Lincoln Town Car, a cabin at Big Bear, and his pension, using NAC as a money pool for loans, and such.” If Hubbard “had the goods” on Barney he would have been in no position to fight. About the possibility that Barney truly believed in Co$ from the age of 19 to 40: Biddle is probably correct about Barney starting off being sincere but after he saw the leaders and began working with them and getting money for it, no, it’s not believable that he was a naive innocent. We’re in the realm of psychopathology now. Hubbard may well have sincerely believed that the souls of dead space aliens are the cause of people’s problems, and that he could cure them if only they gave him all their money. What of it? There’s not much distinction between willful self-deception and a lie.
  13. Jon, Biddle is mistaken. It’s true Barney was ARI’s largest donor from it’s very first year. Biddle is mistaken about when he was put on the board of directors. During OCON 2015 Brook said that Barney “has been a board member for 20 years now.” Assuming Brook spoke precisely and didn’t mean about 20 years, you get 1995 for the starting year. I tried the Internet Wayback Machine – archive.org – for aynrand.org. It goes back to 1996. ARI’s website for that year doesn’t have a staff or board of directors page, ditto for 1998. The archive for the year 1999 doesn’t work. The one for 2000 has such a page and Barney is listed on the board with this blurb: “Carl Barney is a businessman who, among other business activities, owns and manages several private business colleges.” I only have access to ARI’s 990 tax form back to 2002 so that’s no help either. For now I changed “In 1995” to “In 1995 or thereabouts” in case Brook was imprecise.
  14. The editor of The Objective Standard, a magazine affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute, has finally responded to the revelations in ARI Watch’s exposé “Who is Carl Barney?" about ARI’s largest donor. ARI Watch reviews that response in a new article Barney Tells His Story. You can understand it by itself because it quotes the TOS article.