Ellen Stuttle

beyond ayn rand blog

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I came across a blog called beyondaynrand.

It was linked to by someone at ARCHN (*).

Here's the description on the "About" page:

I am

a graduate student writing a thesis on the Objectivist rhetoric. I have read many Objectivist and non-Objectivist works, of course including Atlas Shrugged and Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (two of my favorites). I am a very creative, idea-oriented individual, but my ideas are usually concrete. I am a dual-citizen of the Russian Federation and the United States, and being experienced with Russian and English and with literature and cultures related to these two languages helps me be an open- and active-minded individual and also understand the topics covered in my blog from an insider's and outsider's perspectives. Although you may consider me a neo-Objectivist, I specify my philosophy as epistemological physicalism.

Why this blog?

My unique approach is that I want to expand the Objectivist philosophy and use it as a launching pad to a complete re-understanding of philosophy and life in general. I want my blog to be a hub where all Objectivists, non/neo-Objectivists, and anti-Objectivists can meet and perhaps understand each other.

Ellen

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Ellen, I'm glad that you found my blog "interesting." I have much planned for it, especially a series of posts on aesthetics. Unfortunately, I am a little (that's an understatement) teed off by a commenter on my blog who leaves acerbic cricicisms. I would have been fine if he were an Objectivist, but he is not. In fact, he is a Kantian, an anti-Objectivist, and I've had much trouble with him, considering that I haven't overcome my anti-Kantian tendencies after reading so much Rand. My year-long argument with him has spanned over 50 essay-long responses, and it is seemingly never-ending. If you want me to keep the blog alive, I ask you to help out.

Your help would be in overcoming this commenter named Bill Harris. His comments are on the top two blog posts: "The cycle of the great chain of being" and "Beyond fear and powerlessness: meditation on the nature of emotions." A little background: Bill Harris is a pseudonim for an individual who frequented Objectivism Online Forum (and was banned from it). He has a PhD in anthropology and two masters degrees: in biochecmistry and philosophy (with a thesis on Kant's third critique -- of judgement). He had also visited the Marxist revolutionary forum (revleft) per my request and had been (correctly) labeled there as a positivist bourgeoisie and was banned from there as well (ironically, I think).

I don't ask you to agree with anything I wrote in replies to him, since those are my personal views, but please show at least that his ideas are not welcome. I am sure you would find some of them quite distressing. Also, I do not want to ban him, since that would mean that he would have achieved victory. He needs to be overcome by more than only my views.

Thank you for your time,

Ilya

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Ilya,

I just now noticed your post above.

I'm in a stretch where I'm hardly getting time to look at OL, and I expect the current situation to continue for another couple weeks or so.

I don't have time for responding to Mr. Harris. However, I warn you that he (or she as the case may be) is a troll poster who has in the past infested at least three Objectivism-related sites with a series of pseudo-identities.

One of the pseudo-identities was "Eva Matthews." See this thread (Brant misspelled the fake name in the title).

Since the "Eva" poster has been banned, you can't find "her" posts by a search on the name in the members forum, but you can find some of "her" content by clicking on the name icon in the linked thread.

The poster has also posted here as "andie holland."

"Bill Harris" is one of the names the poster used on Objectivism Online - search link for "his" posts. I don't see an indication that the poster was banned on OO, but I think the posting address was blocked. The last "Harris" post on OO is dated March 26, 1914.

(Edit: Oops, I missed in hasty reading that you already know about "Harris's" stint on OO. I think the supposed background is fake, along with the name.)

My recommendation is to ban "Bill Harris" as a fraudulent poster.

Ellen

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Ellen,

From what I gather about these individuals, they have different identities. If we can hypothetically trust him, Bill Harris told me that Eve is his daughter, and Andie is her best friend. They came to the forums to prove to themselves that Ayn Rand and her proponents are crazy.

Thank you for the recommendation, but I want to use a different method. I am currently writing up a long response to him, in hopes of shooing him off from my blog. If this won't work, I don't know what will. But banning him is a bit too strict, unless he would call me names worse than "schizophrenic."

Currently, I don't see him as a "fraudulent poster" but merely as an irritating critic who doesn't read what he criticizes. There are plenty of those, you know, even among professionals.

Regards,

Ilya

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A liar and a troll and you don't pull the plug?

Two facts you already know.

Eve, the daughter who doesn't exist.

Maybe you are right. I am reading Eve on this forum right now, and she sounds just like Andie on OO and Harris on my blog. They use the same language, such as "Amerika", the same small caps run-on sentences or small capped words such as "i", the same headers such as "Re" or abbreviations such as "OTH." There are many similarities indeed.

I guess what I am expecting from this (multi)person is for him/her to learn new tricks. I've learned a few things from him, such as the existence of alternative interpretations of quantum mechanics, Griffiths' consistent histories approach, and also that Marx researched Democritus and Epicurus in his dissertation. Those are facts, and they make me think that potentially I could learn something new from him, other than his lackluster criticisms of Rand and myself.

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Try Wikipedia.

There are lots of positivists like Bill/Andie/Eva writing articles on Wikipedia as well.

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But why would he lie? It just doesn't make sense. It's like we are running away from a problem we can't solve.

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He's a he?

You can solve the "problem" anytime you want to--that is, if you don't want to have your cake and eat it too.

--Have it or eat it

could it be lies all the way down?

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[...nothing about sharing a cake with others, or lending me a helping hand in this matter...]

could it be lies all the way down?

Well, one thing Bill told me about himself is confirmed on the thread on Marxist forum, in which he basically mentions being against Rand ("the horrid type") and for unorthodox Marxism ("we're all Marxists"). I am reading Bill's posts on the Marxist forum right now, and he writes there that his "own PhD was on how changing conditions of production among the Tuareg (Am'zert) effect their nomenclature of kinship." This is a PhD in anthropology (which does involve studying Marxism) as he told me this on my blog as well.

In contrast, Eva said in the linked thread that her "intellectual extras do include philo, but also lit and, now, anthropology." This is strange because it seems that anthropology is most recent, whereas Bill mentioned his degrees in the opposite order, with anthropology being the first and highest degree and no literature among them. I would presume one would get a PhD first and then additional master's degrees later. So does it mean that Bill is a he and Eva is a she, and they are different individuals?

Of course, there is something that complicates all these matters. When Bill posted on my blog, he once logged in and posted as Andie Holland. He apologized for it, meaning it was an accident that he logged in under Andie's name. What's going on here? Do they have one computer where they live? I highly doubt that. Or why would they all use one computer? Is Bill and Andie the same person? I've talked to Andie before on OO, and they do seem very similar with lots of knowledge on physics, Kantianism, and Marxism.

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Ilya:

Welcome to OL...what are you studying in grad school?

A...

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Ilya:

Welcome to OL...what are you studying in grad school?

A...

Thanks. I am studying rhetoric. Although I like Aristotelian and Ciceronian rhetoric, I am currently applying George Lakoff's conceptual metaphors to Russian Marxist rhetoric.

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Ilya:

Welcome to OL...what are you studying in grad school?

A...

Thanks. I am studying rhetoric. Although I like Aristotelian and Ciceronian rhetoric, I am currently applying George Lakoff's conceptual metaphors to Russian Marxist rhetoric.

Interesting, I taught Rhetoric at Queens College in the CUNY System when it used to be called Speech, lol.

This was 1966...

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Ilya:

Welcome to OL...what are you studying in grad school?

A...

Thanks. I am studying rhetoric. Although I like Aristotelian and Ciceronian rhetoric, I am currently applying George Lakoff's conceptual metaphors to Russian Marxist rhetoric.

Interesting, I taught Rhetoric at Queens College in the CUNY System when it used to be called Speech, lol.

This was 1966...

Ahh, the 60s - the golden era of Objectivism. ;-)

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Ilya:

Welcome to OL...what are you studying in grad school?

A...

Thanks. I am studying rhetoric. Although I like Aristotelian and Ciceronian rhetoric, I am currently applying George Lakoff's conceptual metaphors to Russian Marxist rhetoric.

Interesting, I taught Rhetoric at Queens College in the CUNY System when it used to be called Speech, lol.

This was 1966...

Ahh, the 60s - the golden era of Objectivism. ;-)

Yes, I used to go into NBI regularly.

My first day at Queens College undergrad was 1963 and we had a Randian group that met in the back cafe...ten (10) of us four (4) women, six (6) men. One YAFer and we were extremely aggressive in pushing Ayn's ideas.

SDS hated our guts because we took their best weapon away from them...the draft and other "personal freedom issues."

A...

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Yes, I used to go into NBI regularly.

My first day at Queens College undergrad was 1963 and we had a Randian group that met in the back cafe...ten (10) of us four (4) women, six (6) men. One YAFer and we were extremely aggressive in pushing Ayn's ideas.

SDS hated our guts because we took their best weapon away from them...the draft and other "personal freedom issues."

A...

I assume you want me to continue your last statement as ... is A. However, it does not change. And without change we can never defeat the likes of Bill Harris.

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Yes, I used to go into NBI regularly.

My first day at Queens College undergrad was 1963 and we had a Randian group that met in the back cafe...ten (10) of us four (4) women, six (6) men. One YAFer and we were extremely aggressive in pushing Ayn's ideas.

SDS hated our guts because we took their best weapon away from them...the draft and other "personal freedom issues."

A...

I assume you want me to continue your last statement as ... is A. However, it does not change. And without change we can never defeat the likes of Bill Harris.

I assume you should never assume because that is the way I sign posts here ...

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Ilya, are you familiar with Toulman argumentation structures?

Debate?

Persuasion?

Oral interpretation?

Adam

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Ilya, are you familiar with Toulman argumentation structures?

Debate?

Persuasion?

Oral interpretation?

Adam

No. I am also not a big fan of Wittgenstein.

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Ilya, are you familiar with Toulman argumentation structures?

Debate?

Persuasion?

Oral interpretation?

Adam

On the other hand, I start remembering his warrant and backing idea that expanded the traditional syllogism. We didn't cover him extensively in my class, though.

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