Recommended Posts

I just went to Rebirth of Reason for the first time in a long time: eight posts in the last week and none so far today.

There aren't many active posters here on OL, but there is a fair amount of posting.

Could this model here be giving away to the Facebook model? Maybe so, but not by the likes of me.

--Brant

will I become a reactionary?

~shudder~

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brant, I have the impression that on Facebook there are a number of individuals known in Objectivist or libertarian circles who have cultivated participation, concerning political issues, on their own individual FB page. And it seems some have a larger number of posters than at OL, RoR, or OO. One advantage of these remaining posting sites over Facebook is that posts here can be sorted by author, at least for a year, and at RoR all the posts an author ever made can be accessed at their profile page. Writing is only an aid to memory and vista if it can be retrieved.

Some posters formerly active at these sites, now post almost daily (mostly political) on their own FB page instead. One big advantage for them is that they can carry on their political publicity and dialogues with complete control over what will be allowed to appear there on their page. I've heard of abusiveness on FB, but I've never seen such a thing, presumably because it won't be left standing. I've never seen any nastiness between participants.

I have used my FB page to create an archive, with photos, recording my story, with my families and my two loves over the decades. And photos and stories of travels. And link to my Corner here and to the one at OO, which have much of my online extended compositions. These forum sites may not last much beyond our lives, if that long; I just don't know. But it seems likely FB will, and the life-archive might be available a long time beyond my life for anyone who might be curious. (The archive might also be nice for me or Walter if we lose too much memory when even older and someone can show us the photo stories.) I created those stories, as you know, in the photos section of my FB page called Albums. (They are all done now.) I don't have philosophic discussions, or for that matter public-affairs stuff or opinions, on anything on my page.

I know one guy, James Peron, who has a way of posting his essays on FB linked from his personal FB page, which essays he writes regularly. So far as I know, however, nothing on FB is searchable through engines such as Google. Whereas, material in these posting forums is searchable from those outside engines. By now he has lots of readers within FB.

One neat thing about FB is how much control one has over what sort of page one will make for oneself.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Facebook is great, but forums like OL are not going anywhere soon.

We have a nice intellectually elite club here.

:)

However, I am thinking of changing a lot of things to get more participation later, but only after a project I am working on turns into a cash cow and I can invest big bucks in coders and some other Internet experts. (This will happen.)

I especially want to enhance the search function, but also integration with social media and some other goodies.

On the content side, as we have a lot of material archived from a lot of great people, I have been mulling over several ideas of how to turn some of it into cool works (with all due agreements and authorizations, of course). But I want to see if we can do some projects with this that actually make money, not just collectaneas on Amazon Kindle, which never sell well.

Also, there is an independent spirit here on OL I want to preserve. If a tweak or change means destroying that, the tweak or change will have to go.

(As an aside, there are some OL members who hate Trump so much, they no longer post because I am unapologetically enthusiastic about him. But I am unapologetically crazy, too, so I suspect they will be back after the election whether he wins or loses. :) )

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

.

Political remarks at these public posting sites (these quasi-Objectivist or libertarian ones) is to me and perhaps to others largely an ick factor, with which I'd rather not be associated, but which surely I am associated in a quick look at the site. And it's always been a downside that my writings in nonpolitical philosophy might lend gravity to political views not mine and significantly repulsive to me. It is visitors who dig deeper, however, for whom my compositions are made. Still, a public, searchable forum with serious interest in Rand's philosophy, and one in which real politic, junk medical views, and so forth are excluded, would be more attractive for me and would attain its own selection of following. There are apparently a hundred to two hundred different nonposting readers of my Corner material, which contains no work on political philosophy or politics. (Blog sites [# $] might have a future in that niche.) Such a politics-free posting site has not so far emerged, and I don't expect it ever will, although OO comes close. How that came about at OO does not seem to have been by design or control, but simply by who has shown up and their much lower political interest. That seems to be a generally younger set there, and I've begun to wonder if the few old-timer people such as me (and James Lennox [no pretension of such academic importance attained by me is intended]) for whom interest in Randian politics was secondary to other parts of her philosophy were with what would become a larger wave these decades later and beyond us.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But your own political views are not repulsive to you. You simply see no need for any explication on them? I get the impression it's a lot to do with contemporary politics too. I mean, it starts repulsive and stays there.

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites

.

Yes, as Peirce famously remarked, everyone takes their own beliefs for true. There was a bit of a joke as well as truth in that remark.

By the way, I haven't noticed anyone changing their political (or religious) views by exchanges on these posting sites. Information on political and other current affairs can be gained here, including awareness of divergent views present and sympathetic views present. Beyond information conveyed, our talk about politics at these sites is venting and conversational and cuddling and spitting, and places for that too is OK. Many of us have only seconds (and links) for our political posts. Much other demands for the hours.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PS - Going back to your original post for this thread, Brant, I forgot to mention that RoR has suffered from the fact that it does not show the number of reads. Showing by the posts only a small number of posters and few posts gives an extremely cramped view of activity at the site. Knowing the number of reads is a reward denied to posters there, and I suspect it would be good for RoR to put than number on display.

Link to post
Share on other sites

However, I am thinking of changing a lot of things to get more participation later, but only after a project I am working on turns into a cash cow and I can invest big bucks in coders and some other Internet experts. (This will happen.)

This is an area where I might be interested to help. I know a bit about writing code and other related issues.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephen writes:
By the way, I haven't noticed anyone changing their political (or religious) views by exchanges on these posting sites.


I've noted the same... and no one ever will, because for better or for worse, each individual takes to their grave all the consequences of what they chose.


Greg
Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael writes:

(As an aside, there are some OL members who hate Trump so much, they no longer post because I am unapologetically enthusiastic about him. But I am unapologetically crazy, too, so I suspect they will be back after the election whether he wins or loses. :) )

It doesn't bother me in the least that Donald Trump might lack political experience. It's not a President's job to know everything, but to wisely delegate responsibility to the people he chooses to be in his cabinet, who do know something.

What outshines his faults is the fact that he is his own man who is not owned by anyone.

I really like that quality. :smile:

Greg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephen writes:

By the way, I haven't noticed anyone changing their political (or religious) views by exchanges on these posting sites.

I've noted the same... and no one ever will, because for better or for worse, each individual takes to their grave all the consequences of what they chose.

Greg

I've decided to scatter my ashes.

To make sure it's done right, I'll do it myself.

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, as Peirce famously remarked, everyone takes their own beliefs for true. There was a bit of a joke as well as truth in that remark.

I like reading Peirce's popular works -- despite the gulf in years, his language is not clotted with jargon or occluded by metaphysical legerdemain. He speaks clearly and to the point.

I haven't come across that exact remark on beliefs. Does it come from his 1877 The Fixation of Belief? (I also wonder, Stephen, if you have read any Susan Haack?)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, William, the quotation is as follows, and it is from C. S. Peirce’s “The Fixation of Belief” (1877): “We think each one of our beliefs to be true, and, indeed, it is mere tautology to say so.” The line was included in Merlin Jetton’s Objectivity essay “Theories of Truth” Part 3 (1993). Susan Haack’s Philosophy of Logics (1978) was used by Merlin in his treatment of Pragmatist and Logical Positivist theories of truth and in his treatment of Alfred Tarski’s semantic conception of truth.

From “Vulgar Rortyism” a review by Prof. Haack of Pragmatism: A Reader (1997):

How quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of intellectuals. 
—Saul Bellow

Perhaps you know the old joke about the soldiers passing a message down the line—first man to second, “send reinforcements, we’re going to advance”; next-to-last man to last, “send three-and-fourpence, we’re going to a dance.” Well, the history of pragmatism is like that—only more so.

C. S. Peirce, working scientist, pioneer of modern logic, and founder of pragmatism, envisaged a reformed, scientific philosophy which would use “the most rational methods it can devise, for finding out the little that can as yet be found out about the universe of mind and matter from those observations which every person can make in every hour of his waking life.” His philosophy was informed by the pragmatic maxim, identifying the meaning of a concept with “the conceivable practical consequences,—that is, the consequences for deliberate, self-controlled conduct,—of the affirmation or denial of the concept.” Peircean pragmatism is “prope-positivism,” but, unlike the narrower positivism of Auguste Comte, “instead of merely jeering at metaphysics, … extracts from it a precious essence.”

Richard Rorty, most influential of contemporary self-styled neo-pragmatists, proposes a revolutionary shift in which the metaphysical and epistemological territory at the traditional center of philosophy is abandoned and not re-occupied; the old preoccupation with method and argument is given up as we acknowledge that “there are no constraints on inquiry save conversational ones”; and philosophy disassociates itself from science and remakes itself as a genre of literature.

Peirce urged that philosophy be undertaken with the “scientific attitude,” from the “Will to Learn,” a genuine desire to discover the truth—which “is SO … whether you or I or anybody thinks it is so or not.” But Rorty tells us he does “not have much use for notions like … ‘objective truth’”; to call a statement true “is just to give it a rhetorical pat on the back.” It would take serious inquiry to discover what is conducive to the interests of society, Peirce points out, declaring himself one of “that class of scalawags who purpose … to look the truth in the face, whether doing so be conducive to the interests of society or not.” But Rorty tells us that pragmatists see philosophy as “in the service of democratic politics.” Peirce wanted to “rescue the good ship Philosophy for the service of Science from the hands of the lawless rovers of the sea of literature.” But Rorty tells us that “philosophy is best seen as a kind of writing.”

Does Louis Menand, editor of the new anthology Pragmatism: A Reader, try to help us understand how this extraordinary transmutation of pragmatism came about, or attempt a sober assessment of the old message and the new? Hardly. His purpose is to promote a Rortyesque neo-pragmatism.

(Continued)

From her Faculty description at University of Miami: "Her work ranges from philosophy of logic and language, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, Pragmatism—both philosophical and legal—and the law of evidence, especially scientific evidence, to social philosophy, feminism, and philosophy of literature."

To be issued in December: Susan Haack: Reintegrating Philosophy, J. F. Göhner and E-M Jung, editors.

There is much yet for me to learn from Susan Haack, starting with a chapter she contributed to a book in my home library. The book is Truth Studies of a Robust Presence (2010). Hers is the final chapter, and its title is "Truth and Progress in the Sciences: An Innocent Realist Perspective."

s%20lib_zpsfi5otckf.jpg

s%20at%20work_zpsyqoj67tv.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

True. Not so warm as your area, but so much milder than Chicago, where we lived until retirement.

Some of our back woods, viewed from a window:

9c629cb3-1932-4dae-872f-1740fb082241_zps

Snow here remains on the ground usually only a day or two. And anyway somebody needs to step up and use the firewood in cozy quarters. We have some trees to cut down soon in the back woods, as they were hit by lightning, and they were killed by the borers, once made vulnerable by the lightening damage. The four trees coming down are hickory, and I'll cut them for firewood (probably a 3-year supply). Fortunately, they're behind that giant magnolia in our view from the house. My morning hours are for study and writing; afternoons are for physical work on the grounds or on our refinishing in the house. Walter and I will be married in the living room (shown with me at work above) this coming January on the date completing our twentieth orbit of the sun "two hearts beating each to each."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I thought you two already were married. Living in sin is going into the bin?

There is something special being snow bound in a small home and a fireplace and the rest of the winter chill goodies.

--Brant

the only thing I miss about the Northeast qua living

Link to post
Share on other sites

I sincerely hope that sites such as this survive. As Stephen noted above, sites like this are searchable. Facebook really isn't. Many of the discussions on here have been pretty informal and probably aren't worth saving, but there have been some serious discussions of philosophical topics with a lot of high quality contributions that should be preserved.

Sites like this are conducive to ongoing conversations. Facebook, in particular, has a way of ignoring contributions to old threads -- at least that is what I sense that it is doing. In my experience, if I write a reply to an old thread, no one ever responds to my post. That makes me think that they never see it. It could be that the typical Facebook user thinks that the conversation is dead and doesn't want to continue the discussion, but one way or the other, it makes it difficult to have a serious discussion on such a forum. Serious replies sometimes take several days or weeks, especially for people with busy schedules involving work and family.

Sites like this are accessible at work. Although people are posting links to increasing numbers of videos that are difficult to watch at work, the basic thread of a serious conversation can be followed. Sites like Facebook are swamped with ads and other high bandwidth media that are frowned upon at a place of work. Being accessible at work is a big plus for me because my wife wants my attention when I'm at home and doesn't understand my penchant for philosophizing. At the office, I can take a little break from what I'm doing and read an interesting discussion on a site like this.

Anyway, I appreciate people like Michael Stuart Kelly who take time to run "Objectivist Living" and sites like it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brant,

A price like that probably means it's a textbook, that is, a trickle-down form of crony capitalism.

High textbook prices are held in place by the books being mandatory for courses and their cost not being felt (until later) because of student loans--which are held in place by the government, which is why universities also can be so expensive.

On the unencumbered free market, that particular book at that price wouldn't sell more than 100 copies or so, not because of the quality of the material, but by the nature of it. And 13 grand would basically cover the cost of a vanity printing with not much more left over.

At a lower price, it would sell a lot more. But the unencumbered free market is not the target customer for that book. The coerced student is. So the price can go through the roof.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now