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blackhorse

The Gilded Fork & Food Philosophy

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Blackhorse,

The old SoloHQ was an experiment in making an online Objectivist utopia that presumably would engulf and absorb both ARI and TAS. At least I believe it was intended that way by the leaders, and since I was an insider, I say that with some very good reasons.

Externally, Solo was touted as a third Objectivist path, a place for homeless Objectivists, and that kind of thing.

There were two guru wannabes--Perigo and Rowlands, and they loved being the guru. They pranced and posed all the time. When trouble happened, Perigo played bad cop and Rowlands played good cop. That worked for a while, too. But there were some serious differences between them--between their approach to philosophy and life. There came a time when it was not apparent who was the more guru and which dogma of the two should be adopted.

In short, they conflicted. They split.

Jennifer was the sassy darling flirting with everyone back then. She had quite a fan club. Things eventually got ugly, the bullying and crowd control got way out of hand, so she got disgusted and left right before the split.

It was quite a show, those times. One person after another would leave, but make long melodramatic posts about why. I believe they basked in the attention of people saying, "Please don't leave," (both backstage and in the threads).

I was one of the main monkey-wrenches in the machinations of these guru-wannabes. I literally started my writing career (if you can call it that, although it will be) on SoloHQ. Before then, I did other things in life. I didn't know how you were supposed to do forum writing, or book writing, or any writing other than songwriting and translating, so I just started pouring my heart out online and witnessing life as I saw it. This approach made me popular in my own right, to the point where my "sanction" counts exceeded those of both Perigo and Rowlands.

The problem was that I did not sing either of the party lines. This bothered and embarrassed them, so when the split came, they both informed me that I could post on their respective forums, but I would not be able to post certain things like I posted before. Rowlands wanted no "fluff" and Perigo wanted no defense against his smearing of Barbara, albeit he tolerated a bit of my calling him out before finally banning me.

There were a lot of other issues and it is a long, ugly story.

Kat thought all this crap was ridiculous, so without saying anything to anyone (me included), she bought a URL, set up some forum software on it and told me to make it work. Her idea was for me to have a place to present my writing.

To my delight, OL has since grown into a discussion community of highly intelligent independent thinkers of goodwill. But I have not produced any masterworks of writing on it (as per Kat's original intent). I have only pursued serious book writing recently with some drafts I am working on. But we have a good thing going here, so we both are happy. With a sour note. There's no money in it to speak of. Well, income from donations and ads piddle in, but that essentially goes to help pay the online utilities.

But there is satisfaction.

During the first year, I encouraged the people who joined to not engage in name-calling or talk bad about the other forums. But I and OL were called every name in the book for months, mostly on SLOP. There's a thread here where I started collecting some of these gems of elocution (see here). At this point, the attempt at ignoring all the childishness was getting too much for many people on OL, so the civility policy gradually started coming unglued. Rather than get nasty, we started having fun with it.

Eventually the gloves came all the way off and we started hitting back. There were several wickedly nasty affairs involving Chris Sciabarra, PARC, etc. In my view, we won all of them. The bad guys did not trash and damage the good people they so desperately wanted to. Oh... they barked, but we kept them from biting.

Now all that has died down, but you still see some people (me included) lampooning those folks at times. Mostly Perigo and a few minions of his these days. Rowlands, to his credit, has basically faded into the background rather than keep up hostilities. But that's in character, too. He fights like Obama does--by backstabbing and blindsiding rather than by confronting. So who knows what the future holds with him.

I wish Jennifer well, but she sure got involved--actively involved--in a lot of vicious gossip back then. I'm no saint to say that, though. I did, too. I think she did the best thing for her life to get out and pursue her first love--food.

I believe SoloHQ ultimately was an attempt--a half-assed one to be sure--at mind control and founding a cult. Not on purpose, but simply as a result of some petty little guru-wannabes trying to scratch their vanity. I believe the way things have settled down since has been far more valuable than if a small society of "community activists" following some boneheaded leader or other had grown in the manner it was doing for a while.

Michael

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The old SoloHQ was an experiment in making an online Objectivist utopia that presumably would engulf and absorb both ARI and TAS. At least I believe it was intended that way by the leaders, and since I was an insider, I say that with some very good reasons.

Externally, Solo was touted as a third Objectivist path, a place for homeless Objectivists, and that kind of thing.

There were two guru wannabes--Perigo and Rowlands, and they loved being the guru. They pranced and posed all the time. When trouble happened, Perigo played bad cop and Rowlands played good cop...

There were also two other guru-wannabes associated with Pigero and Rowlands, going all the way back to the SoloYahoo days: Peter Cresswell and Michael Newberry. I think the four of them saw themselves as the 4 United Objectivist Super Giants of their generation, and believed that they were not only bound to overtake ARI and TAS, but to inspire the whole world to convert to Objectivism with their sheer magnetism as Super Giants. I think they actually bought into their own fantasy views of themselves and of their levels of talent, intelligence and importance, but eventually they came face to face with reality, and, as always, reality won.

J

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