Jonathan

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I just visited The Atlas Society's website for the purpose of copying and pasting elements from the comments that followed Stephen Hicks' "Why Art Became Ugly" article, only to discover that the comments have all been deleted, and commenting on the article, and others as well, no longer appears to be an option. Heh.

In today's world of interactivity and openness, TAS is moving in the ARIan direction of isolating itself from criticism and uninviting the public from participating?

Dumb move.

With all of the intelligent criticism from a variety of individuals that the "Why Art Became Ugly" article received, it's understandable that TAS would want to rid itself of the embarrassment of one of its most-viewed articles being revealed to be a study in blundering ignorance and emotionalist subjectivity, but removing the criticism -- wishing it out of existence -- wasn't an Objectivist solution. It's more like a Jim Taggart or Wesley Mouch solution.

J

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The "solution" of a structural bureaucracy which will atrophy.

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Jonathan,

I can't speak for TAS, but from what I have observed over the years, I would attribute this to possible changes in tech personnel or changes in policy on a technical level.

TAS, the organization, is run like a hardcore bureaucracy and sometimes this gets reflected in inefficiencies typical of these structures.

For example, it's website has had all kinds of odd changes over the years. Lot's of observers and critics have complained. (I just went there and now they are using a popup for their newsletter. I hate popups, but it's about time they got with it. Popups work.)

I, myself, don't mind. If I ever need anything specific from over there, I will write to Ed or David or Will or someone else.

In fact, the last thing I wished for involved art--Rand's writing techniques. It's a compilation of essays by Will Thomas called The Literary Art of Ayn Rand. It's out of print and the damn thing now sells for over 100 smackaroonies. (I got it for a lot less back when I bought it.)

You can actually get all of the essays for free at Scribd (back when I bought it, at least), except for two by Susan McCloskey, "Odysseus, Jesus, and Dagny: Ayn Rand's Reconception of the Hero" and "Work and Love in The Fountainhead."

It seems like at some point she distanced herself from TAS, cut all ties, and now runs a business and legal writing consultancy. Actually, though, I don't know her or know much about her. I just did some digging and verifying.

You used to be able to read her essays (and a lot of others) on the TAS site, but no longer. That's why I bought the book. But if I had not come across a sale, I would have written to Ed (first, since he posts here).

I don't attribute those changes to pettiness, malice, cowardice, unfairness, compromised principles, original sin, stomp down evil, or an uncontrollable urge to do some chain saw massacring of women and children before eating them. :smile:

I attribute them to the nature of bureaucratic culture.

Michael

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Don't ask where I heard this, but they say that a new and much-improved version of The Literary Art of Ayn Rand is coming out this year. If you have the coveted first edition, now is the time to sell it and collect your $109.

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Memory hoie for critical comments? It may be inevitable when they did the ugly, pointless makeover for the website, adopting a no-comment style. It could be that nobody noticed that the changeover would disappear comments. It could be that somebody decided they would go to a no-comment formal ...

It's the effect of disappearing comments during the refit -- whether chosen or missed -- that is the downside. What does it say about the Atlas Society's general policies for a web presence?

From the point of view of an occasional consumer of their products, the removal of comment function rubs me the wrong way, gives the optics of an austere foundation rather than an active, engaging personality.

Oh well. Hope someone can drill some comment out of TAS worthies. Or we can wait for Ed Hudgins to give us a report. Kind of a "tell us what you think" option that TAS skipped over in its online downshift.

[added] -- the site has crannies where comments can be lodged, as with the articles under Ed's byline. I haven't seen any that kept comments from the changeover. I also notice a cranny with a youth outreach and a new Twitter presence.

Edited by william.scherk

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I could not find this thread under "New Content." I found it by accident. Then I posted "test." Then it was under New Content until Michael deleted it and it once again disappeared. I corrected this by signing out then re-connecting to OL under New Content and there it was! I used to come here first under My Content then changed to New Content and somehow the New Content is now only My Content if I'm signed in. I post so much I didn't know what was really going on.

I wonder how many threads I've missed or if is this an anomaly for the place of this thread on OL that may or may not involve other rooms? I do see threads under New Content I have not posted on. I suspect I'm too worrying about too little.

--Brant

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LOL, Jonathan. Objectivism, even in the open form has lost its innovation. People keep huddling around the dying embers of things done in the 50's, 60's, 80's and 90's. Time to pour cold water on the campfire and start off in new directions.

Jim

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LOL, Jonathan. Objectivism, even in the open form has lost its innovation. People keep huddling around the dying embers of things done in the 50's, 60's, 80's and 90's. Time to pour cold water on the campfire and start off in new directions.

Jim

Objectivism never did anything. It's always been people. If millions of people have read the gigantically long Atlas Shrugged millions have been affected by it, most, I suspect, to a great degree, and most of them go on with or start productive lives, usually off the common radar.

--Brant

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On further consideration, I think you guys are probably right. I had forgotten who we were talking about. I had forgotten how shortsighted and generally unaware the TAS crew can be. After looking over the new website more closely, it's clear that the old folks have decided to focus their efforts on trying to appeal to youngsters, and I think that any thought of keeping anything from the old site which may have been of value to their visitors was lost in their doddering excitement.

The new site gives off the vibe of grandpa trying to speak the kids' lingo. They're highlighting Judd Weiss' photos because he's a "hep cat" who's "in" with the "popular crowd," "foshizzle," and he takes "fab" "pix" and "selfies" of "the cool kids." It's a bit of a clashing message, though: we're fun and free and energetic, but we're also not, so sit down and shut up because we are the authorities and you are the "students." Listen. Don't speak. Hey, aren't we having a bunch of wild and zany youthful fun?!

J

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Btw, is anyone here friends with Weiss? If so, you might want to suggest to him that he visit his doctor and get his vestibular system checked out. In his photos during the past couple of years he's been pretty consistently listing to port.

J

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I have to give TAS kudos for trying. They aren't doing any harm and I don't see how they can.

They should adopt that as their motto. "We're not doing any harm!" It's definitely more than the ARI can say.

J

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ARI is for sheeple wearing Ayn Rand clothing? The same Ayn Rand who didn't want her name on clubs and foundations or what have you and used her lawyer to enforce that sort of thing? It's like Roark died and Keating took over? Or Dagny died and Eddie did? (This last is as benevolent as I can get after decades of Peikoff telling almost everyone else to shove it.)

--Brant

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ARI is for sheeple wearing Ayn Rand clothing? The same Ayn Rand who didn't want her name on clubs and foundations or what have you and used her lawyer to enforce that sort of thing? It's like Roark died and Keating took over? Or Dagny died and Eddie did? (This last is as benevolent as I can get after decades of Peikoff telling almost everyone else to shove it.)

--Brant

Ah the Peter Keating Principle ...we took the Peter Principle into philosophy...the life and times of souring cream...

Bureaucracy at Work

The Peter Principle concept was introduced by Canadian sociologist Dr. Laurence Johnston Peter in his humoristic book of the same title. In his book, he describes the pitfalls of the bureaucracy in organizations witnessed during his extensive research into business organization and its management.

The Peter Principle book has attained such renown that The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "The theory that employees within an organization will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted to and remain at a level at which they are incompetent." ... "In a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their level of incompetence," or, as Dr. Peters Principal explained more simply, "The cream rises until it sours."

The Peter Principle is so appropriate and meaningful a lesson for business, that it has found its way into Masters Degree (MBA) curriculae as a foundation for the next generation to protect itself. But it seems that this hierarchy within companies continues to be the organizational structure of choice for government and big business. http://www.envisionsoftware.com/articles/peter_principle.html

geez sour cream without blintzes!!

A..

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