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  1. (Could someone point me to a tutorial for replying? I'd have edited down the quote, but I saw no obvious way to do it.) Back in the 90's, I was very active on the Usenet, and one of my time-wasters was arguing for Objectivism. After enough experience, I concluded that my motivation for doing so was not healthy. I had got it into my head that if I just said the right words, my opponents would "get it". Of course, they almost never did, and never if they were truly committed to their opposing view. This, I decided, was codependence, and I basically just walked away from such activity. On later thought, I decided that I needed to decide who my intended audience was if I was going to talk about Objectivism in a public forum. I would not foolishly try to change the minds of those who were committed to their views. However, there could be people who I might want to speak to, as prompted by whatever drivel had caught my attention. If I had something useful to say to them I might do so by means of replying to some idiot. So, for example, if someone were to write "Objectivism is nonsense", I'd first ask: Is there likely to be anyone out there who would be influenced by such a statement? If not, I'd ignore the statement. If, however, I was in a place where there were many people of various degrees of knowledge and open-mindedness, I might reply. My next question would be: What do I want to convey to those people? Do I just want to let them know that there is an opposing opinion? Do I want to show them that Objectivism is not nonsense? Am I just in a bad mood and want to let off some steam? In most places, I'd merely want to point out that there is an opposing opinion, and I'd probably just say something to the effect that I didn't see it as nonsense. That, most likely, would elicit one of the many canards about Objectivism. I'd probably just reply with something to the effect that whatever it is they said was not an accurate representation of Objectivism. If appropriate, I'd then include a link to something that is reasonably accurate. The bottom line, I think, is that one cannot win an argument that begins with sweeping generalizations that degenerate into absurdity. Trying makes one look foolish and consumes energies probably better spent elsewhere. So don't even try. Write, if you must, to whatever rational minds might be present.