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The Problem With Objectivism is That it's Not Sexy Enough

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She didn't write a novel for that dialogue. That's what I thought. Philanthropy was never that prescient an issue for her, back then especially. However, she might have been able to give the line to Toohey. I was very fixated on AS and possible hero dialogue, not that Boyle was one of her heroes. He was one of the scumiest. He used the state to rob Rearden. So naturally Ragnar blew up his mills. (What's funny is Rand never had much problem moving things around geographically to make them work. Steel mills on the oceanside, a train diverted north from Flagstaff, AZ, and the biggy of biggies: New York City so the heroes could fly over it when the lights went out.)

--Brant

"Don't look!"

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I have listened to many lectures by major members of Ayn Rand institute and I too think that some of them lack that communicative and persuasive skills. One has to be interested enough in Objectivism by reading AR's works to focus on those lectures; otherwise a newcomer whose first contact with O'ism is the lectures of these speaks will most probably withdraw himself. But that is not a problem with the philosophy as such, it is with the speakers today. Ayn Rand herself was interesting enough to listen to, though her accent was more or less of a flat kind.

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I have listened to many lectures by major members of Ayn Rand institute and I too think that some of them lack that communicative and persuasive skills. One has to be interested enough in Objectivism by reading AR's works to focus on those lectures; otherwise a newcomer whose first contact with O'ism is the lectures of these speaks will most probably withdraw himself. But that is not a problem with the philosophy as such, it is with the speakers today. Ayn Rand herself was interesting enough to listen to, though her accent was more or less of a flat kind.

Listening to Nathaniel Branden's Basic Principles of Objectivism in the late 1960s was something of a religious experience. I first heard it by tape transcription in a private home here in Tucson with maybe ten others. The reel to reel tape machine was on a drapped in a white sheet makeshift altar front and center. Half way through I dropped out because I moved to New Jersey and continued the course given live at NBI in the Empire State Building. Rand gave a guest lecture. This made it even more intense. If it wasn't religious it was theatrical in the sense of the mental energy traded between the lecturer and the lectured. This is why actors--usually--prefer the live performance over film.

--Brant

"mental (intellectual) theater" pretty much nails it and I'll never experience anything like it again--nor do I want to

it might have had something to do with wanting to be big--like that Tom Hanks movie Big--and Rand was big, Objectivism was big and NBI was big and it wasn't all perception

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Listening to Nathaniel Branden's Basic Principles of Objectivism in the late 1960s was something of a religious experience. I first heard it by tape transcription in a private home here in Tucson with maybe ten others. The reel to reel tape machine was on a drapped in a white sheet makeshift altar front and center. Half way through I dropped out because I moved to New Jersey and continued the course given live at NBI in the Empire State Building. Rand gave a guest lecture. This made it even more intense. If it wasn't religious it was theatrical in the sense of the mental energy traded between the lecturer and the lectured. This is why actors--usually--prefer the live performance over film.

--Brant

"mental (intellectual) theater" pretty much nails it and I'll never experience anything like it again--nor do I want to

it might have had something to do with wanting to be big--like that Tom Hanks movie Big--and Rand was big, Objectivism was big and NBI was big and it wasn't all perception

What year Brant because I am almost sure that we were in the same room in the Empire State Building...

I tried to go to the opening of each session because I was writing my Master's Thesis on the movement...

A...

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Earlier on this thread I wrote:

Rand's official little helpers don't have talent or originality. So they do what mediocrities do. They pretend and pose. They wholly depend on the subsidy of Rand's success and reputation. They hide from potent criticism rather than heroically seek it out. They pretty much stick to the boundaries of their own turf and ban dissent on it. They don't engage the culture, but act as if they're above it. They pose as if they're winning when they haven't even entered the arena.


And now wimpy Roger Bissell has just provided a real-time example of the above. On the "How to Improve Objectivism (2002)" thread, which is in the "Roger Bissell Corner," wimpy Roger deleted my latest post rather than answer its substance, and he also took the added precaution of locking the thread. Hahahaha! That's right, Roger, go ahead and airbrush reality, erase it, and blank it out! That'll make it go away!

As I said above, it's standard behavior of Objectivish intellectual poseurs. Afraid to enter the arena. Heh. Chickenshit losers.


Here's the post that wimpy Roger censored:

If definitions are not meant to be literal, or taken literally, how are they definitions? Are we now admitting figurative or metaphorical definitions into our thought processes? Good luck with that.


You should make up your mind, Roger.

When attempting to apply Rand's and your definition of art to music, you forget all about taking the definition literally and you become very metaphorical. The same is true of your treatment of the definitions of "representational" vs "abstract" in art. You do lots of bending and twisting and stretching in your attempts to force music to become "representational."

You haven't had much luck with that.

Also, "Take it any way that works for you" sounds a bit too pragmatic and subjective for my comfort.


Is your comfort supposed to be our concern? Do you imagine that your comfort has any relevance whatsoever to anyone's attempting to identify and define the nature of art in general or of the various art forms in specific?

After 2000 years, we still have philosophers making big bucks arguing that the Law of Contradiction and the Law of Excluded Middle are not unvarying, axiomatic truths, so I suppose it's not realistic to hope that less fundamental principles and definitions will be spared from such fudging.


And we still have Rand-followers embracing her errors and cart-before-the-horse methods, and trying to pretend that subjective experiences in the arts are "objective." We still have her followers posing as aesthetic experts and gurus despite having glaring holes in their knowledge of the various art forms, and despite being pig-ignorant of many of the standard and historical terms that are used. We still see them inventing their own convoluted meanings of terms so as to force art forms to fit Rand's definition.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from my 2004 JARS article, in which I cite Peikoff and the Blumenthals and give my opinion that Rand would have endorsed this interpretation of her definition of art:

...there is a criterion that provides a sound basis for differentiating certain “fine art” objects from all other man-made objects. This criterion, based on a nuanced understanding of Rand’s definition of “art,” interprets the phrase, “selective re-creation of reality,” as referring to a certain kind of microcosm usually experienced as a kind of imaginary world. Rand does not use the word herself, but what she is clearly speaking of is the setting up within reality, using materials from reality, of a microcosm, an artist’s conception of reality.Peikoff (1991, 417) states this idea explicitly:

Guided by his own metaphysical value-judgments (explicit or otherwise), an artist selects, out of the bewildering chaos of human experience, those aspects he regards as indicative of the nature of the universe. Then he embodies them in a sensory-perceptual concrete. . . . The result is a universe in microcosm.


Yes, there are indeed "CERTAIN 'fine art'" objects [my capitalizing and bolding] which could be described as creating a microcosm, but it doesn't follow that therefore ALL fine art objects do.

Some works of art don't do so, but instead SIMULATE only aspects or characteristics, and don't re-create or suggest or imply an imaginary world. (Some present only an imaginary entity or characteristic rather than an entire world, and others either don't suggest or evoke any sense of their being imaginary at all.)

All art doesn't become a "microcosm" just because SOME art presents microcosms.

Among Rand’s own associates, Blumenthal and Blumenthal (1974a) note in a lecture available only in audiotape form that the ancient Greeks regarded music as a microcosm.


Then they (the Greeks) were playing fast and loose with definitions, and admitting metaphorical definitions. Music doesn't create anything but abstract arrangements which induce subjective states and varying interpretations in different individuals. Music doesn't "re-create" anything, but rather vaguely simulates some aspect of reality to some people, while simulating other aspects of reality to other people, and sometimes failing to simulate anything to others.

In a work praised by Rand shortly before her death, Peikoff (1982, 169) explains how the work of most artists in a culture “becomes a microcosm” that embodies the basic ideas of some consensus within the culture.


The work of "most" artists? Perhaps. All works of art? No.

As noted above, he later states in passing that art in general presents a “microcosm” (1991, 417).


"In general"? Perhaps. As a rule that applies to all art? No.

Both the timing of the remarks by Peikoff and the Blumenthals, and the closeness of their association to Rand, makes it reasonable to assume that they were representing Rand’s own view of art as “microcosm,” even though she never publicly used the term herself.


That's reasonable. You, however, take it farther than they did. It doesn't follow that because Rand saw art as being capable of being a microcosm that therefore it must me one in all instances.

My own use of this term in reference to Rand’s concept of “art” dates back to 1972 and is drawn from other sources, noted in the text. An earlier version of this essay was rejected for journal publication in 1974, when an anonymous pre-publication reviewer claimed that the concept of a “microcosm” did not provide significant clarification of Rand’s view of art.


He was right to reject your essay. The concept "microcosm" indeed does not provide significant clarification, since it does not apply to all art.

By the way, Roger, did you cry about the essay's being rejected? Did you pout that the reviewer who rejected your essay was a big meanie who called you bad names, and you therefore refused to ever talk to him again? You tender, precious darling!

J

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I need my own Corner. I want to delete and lock too.

--Brant

drooling for the power (how about it Michael, huh, huh?)

I want to play the villain--it's so much fun--and who cares what lives I'll ruin?! (I don't know if I'm a sociopath or a psychopath and want to find out)

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I need my own Corner. I want to delete and lock too.

--Brant

drooling for the power (how about it Michael, huh, huh?)

I want to play the villain--it's so much fun--and who cares what lives I'll ruin?! (I don't know if I'm a sociopath or a psychopath and want to find out)

I don't think you're enough of a pussy to have a Corner, and to delete and lock.

J

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I need my own Corner. I want to delete and lock too.

--Brant

drooling for the power (how about it Michael, huh, huh?)

I want to play the villain--it's so much fun--and who cares what lives I'll ruin?! (I don't know if I'm a sociopath or a psychopath and want to find out)

I don't think you're enough of a pussy to have a Corner, and to delete and lock.

J

There are four active Corners. Three do the delete and George H. Smith doesn't give a damn.

--Brant

I've never before seen a locked thread except when MSK does it

I'd only want a Corner to pre-publish serious work as for a book and I wanted feedback--and I wouldn't otherwise give a damn, just like George

(my object will be to objectify esthetics so all artists blow down to me and turn out decent and representational work good enough for rationally growing up rational children whose lives are presently being interrupted and diverted and perverted by swill, abstract and otherwise [sex, drugs and rock and roll])

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I need my own Corner. I want to delete and lock too.

--Brant

drooling for the power (how about it Michael, huh, huh?)

I want to play the villain--it's so much fun--and who cares what lives I'll ruin?! (I don't know if I'm a sociopath or a psychopath and want to find out)

I don't think you're enough of a pussy to have a Corner, and to delete and lock.

J

There are four active Corners. Three do the delete and George H. Smith doesn't give a damn.

--Brant

I've never before seen a locked thread except when MSK does it

I'd only want a Corner to pre-publish serious work as for a book and I wanted feedback--and I wouldn't otherwise give a damn, just like George

(my object will be to objectify esthetics so all artists blow down to me and turn out decent and representational work good enough for rationally growing up rational children whose lives are presently being interrupted and diverted and perverted by swill, abstract and otherwise [sex, drugs and rock and roll])

Yeah, George isn't a pussy. I can't see him deleting others' posts, or being unable to address piles and piles of substance, especially in his area of self-stated expertise.

J

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Earlier on this thread I wrote:

Rand's official little helpers don't have talent or originality. So they do what mediocrities do. They pretend and pose. They wholly depend on the subsidy of Rand's success and reputation. They hide from potent criticism rather than heroically seek it out. They pretty much stick to the boundaries of their own turf and ban dissent on it. They don't engage the culture, but act as if they're above it. They pose as if they're winning when they haven't even entered the arena.

And now wimpy Roger Bissell has just provided a real-time example of the above. On the "How to Improve Objectivism (2002)" thread, which is in the "Roger Bissell Corner," wimpy Roger deleted my latest post rather than answer its substance, and he also took the added precaution of locking the thread. Hahahaha! That's right, Roger, go ahead and airbrush reality, erase it, and blank it out! That'll make it go away!

As I said above, it's standard behavior of Objectivish intellectual poseurs. Afraid to enter the arena. Heh. Chickenshit losers.

Here's the post that wimpy Roger censored:

LOL, you seem to try your best to emulate the actual south park character. You are the "method actor" of trolls at OL. It is mildly amusing and funny I admit.

Where was that "reality" guy taken from? An villain from a 1920's vaudeville act?

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Where was that "reality" guy taken from? An villain from a 1920's vaudeville act?

I would guess that Parker and Stone were influenced mostly by Snidely Whiplash and Dick Dastardly. The Handicar episode featured a tribute to the Wacky Races, which P and S probably watched in their pajamas while eating cereal as kids.

J

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The Problem With Objectivism is That it's Not Sexy Enough

Are you kidding? -- see rationalRN (birthday today). Zowie!

You notice how long she lasted on OL?

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When she owned Laissez Faire Books, I visited with Andrea Millen Rich. She said 95% of LFB customers were male.

It's a problem for us, to do a better job with women. We need to be bilingual, learn how to talk chick.

 

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Queers Gays know how to talk to women. We need more queers gays to get more women. Objectivism for queers gays--and women!

We want and need our women--just like the Martians in Mars Attacks!

--Brant

Objectivism is presently like Nascar--not doing too well (Nascar needs more queers gays too)

or: Objectivists need to learn how to talk to women: "Just be friendly." (Nathaniel Branden)

Queers gays know how to be friendly--to women

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Actually, it is really simple, you need to listen.

A...

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I need my own Corner. I want to delete and lock too.

--Brant

drooling for the power (how about it Michael, huh, huh?)

I want to play the villain--it's so much fun--and who cares what lives I'll ruin?! (I don't know if I'm a sociopath or a psychopath and want to find out)

Now it appears that angry, wimpy Roger has deleted the entire thread. Stephen did the same thing in his "corner" once. No announcement or explanation. No courtesy of warning anyone who had posted that their posts would be tossed. Heh.

J

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I need my own Corner. I want to delete and lock too.

--Brant

drooling for the power (how about it Michael, huh, huh?)

I want to play the villain--it's so much fun--and who cares what lives I'll ruin?! (I don't know if I'm a sociopath or a psychopath and want to find out)

Now it appears that angry, wimpy Roger has deleted the entire thread. Stephen did the same thing in his "corner" once. No announcement or explanation. No courtesy of warning anyone who had posted that their posts would be tossed. Heh.

J

I guess he could have unlocked it.

Nobody seems more sensitive than Tibor Machan who, as far as I know, only posts on Rebirth of Reason. I may have one of his books but have generally avoided them as too expensive. The prices implied they were for college students. I've despised the costs of college texts since I first had to pay for them in 1962. Now I just despise college and with good reasons. Those poor kids; their stupid, ignorant parents; that horrible debt in exchange for crap.

If I had substantial complimentary interests with Roger and Stephen, I would not make substantial posts on any of their threads out of their Corners. I don't. I doubt, but don't remember, having made any on this last one. After I write them I mostly forget them until someone reacts to them. That's the only reason for a personal Corner for me: so I could easily find my ~important~ stuff. I don't even know what to look for over nine years now and nearly 21,000 posts, much less how to.

I've never had any urge to delete and lock anyone, not even the genocidalists (but if I ran this joint it could be another matter). I just point out they're genocidalists. I might leave OL if they landed and stayed here. One shut up and one flew away--to SLOP (which I left in 2006 to get away from).

These Internet sites are for men plus a few women. Like the military. No need to analyze that out if you're a man for you aren't going to get more women to participate. They're too smart and you're too dumb.

--Brant

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Despite appearances, I have not deleted any threads from my Corner, not even those containing material which deserved deletion. The "missing" threads have just been hidden/disappeared, not deleted. They will be restored once I am satisfied that they will not be subjected to vandalism by those whose comments are unwanted and abusive. (Translation: don't hold your breath.)

Notwithstanding claims from those who ought to know better (and probably do), I posted this as a general warning over 4 years ago as a topic in my Corner. It is still there, with an updated comment.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=11294

As for other Corners (other than John Hospers's Corner, which Michael let me set up), I no longer have any power over them, so the paranoid whiners will have to find something else to complain about.

REB

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Despite appearances, I have not deleted any threads from my Corner, not even those containing material which deserved deletion. The "missing" threads have just been hidden/disappeared, not deleted. They will be restored once I am satisfied that they will not be subjected to vandalism by those whose comments are unwanted and abusive. (Translation: don't hold your breath.)

Notwithstanding claims from those who ought to know better (and probably do), I posted this as a general warning over 4 years ago as a topic in my Corner. It is still there, with an updated comment.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=11294

As for other Corners (other than John Hospers's Corner, which Michael let me set up), I no longer have any power over them, so the paranoid whiners will have to find something else to complain about.

REB

So you deleted a thread that wasn't in any Corner--including yours? Or, you have the power to do so?

--Brant

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Despite appearances, I have not deleted any threads from my Corner, not even those containing material which deserved deletion. The "missing" threads have just been hidden/disappeared, not deleted. They will be restored once I am satisfied that they will not be subjected to vandalism by those whose comments are unwanted and abusive. (Translation: don't hold your breath.)

Notwithstanding claims from those who ought to know better (and probably do), I posted this as a general warning over 4 years ago as a topic in my Corner. It is still there, with an updated comment.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=11294

As for other Corners (other than John Hospers's Corner, which Michael let me set up), I no longer have any power over them, so the paranoid whiners will have to find something else to complain about.

REB

Roger, you have no qualifications to be a moderator on OL but you are. You come and go too much and while that's the least of it it's enough. Please ask Michael to take you off "The Moderating Team" for "All Forums." Thank you.

--Brant

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Despite appearances, I have not deleted any threads from my Corner, not even those containing material which deserved deletion. The "missing" threads have just been hidden/disappeared, not deleted. They will be restored once I am satisfied that they will not be subjected to vandalism by those whose comments are unwanted and abusive. (Translation: don't hold your breath.)

Are these missing threads from your Corner? If so, do what you want.

--Brant

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Roger, you have no qualifications to be a moderator on OL but you are. You come and go too much and while that's the least of it it's enough. Please ask Michael to take you off "The Moderating Team" for "All Forums." Thank you.

Brant,

Roger was extremely helpful when OL started and we were under attack from several places in O-Land. Extremely. He's drifted, sure, but he's not destructive toward OL. So it's a legacy thing, an OL history thing, where a warm space is in my heart.

I had not revised his moderating capacity before out of pure lethargy. Now I just did. Now he moderates his own forum (which is as it should be) and a couple of others he set up and mostly did all the posting to (Veatch and Hospers).

I seek wisdom at times like this. Let's see if I have been wise.

:)

Michael

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I'd like to suggest that Roger's "corner" be renamed "Roger Bissell's Safe Space," since that's what he's turned it into.

And Stephen's "corner" too.



J

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