Would Ayn Rand have voted for Trump?


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In depressing Syria news ...

On 7/23/2018 at 3:55 PM, william.scherk said:

There is a titanic struggle cough going on in some hard-ass corners of The Left blob.  The Glenn Greenwald Party and the slightly less cynical but equally as woke Other Guys who don't follow the Line.

The White Helmets are propaganda assets, so it is just a hop, skip, and a jump to call them Terror Toys, Imperialist Thugs, and other lovely loaded barges full of bullshit from Syria Sarin Hoax False-Flag Putin-toady wing.

The Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, Jimmy Dore, Rania Khalek, Ben Norton wing of the 'authoritarian, complacent Left' has found itself in a weird place -- supporting The System and denigrating the White Helmets.  Sign.

So, what does this mean on the ground for those who were not teleported?  Well, not to put to fine a point on it, Summary Execution.  Normally, killing unarmed rescue workers might raise the ire of Glenn-Max-Jimmy-Rania-Ben, but no.  These are not normal times for that sorry league:

Firemen, surrender!  Ambulance drivers, surrender!

 

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Korben, And I say yes. More importantly, though, I think I said it better above: "...  I sincerely believe Rand would have gushed over Trump, not as a Randian hero, but as a Mr. Produc

It would depend on Rand's mood at the time. She could go either way. She always sided with the one against the many, whenever she viewed a situation in that light, so, if she focused on the left going

It's been implied several times and sometimes overt.  Trump builds honestly/his businesses are honest---so he doesn't sacrifice others.  Trump's character is such that he isn't a self-sacrificer.  Tru

I read that two rockets from Syria had been fired into Israel today.

In 2006, Kinkie Freidman was on, "Scarborough Country." He was campaigning for governor of Texas and he had a strategy for solving the immigration problem. His strategy for border security was called Five Mexican Generals. He said five Mexican generals would divide the border into five pieces and they would be paid to protect the border. Each would have $1,000,000.00 put into a bank account in America. But if an immigrant crossed the border illegally, they would lose $5,000 from their account. At the end of the year they can collect the remaining amount form the original million dollars. This was not putting the security of America in the hands of foreigners. We would continue to have border security on our side.

To all you senors and sinoritas who are thinking about coming here illegally. If El Presidente Trump enacts this policy you will be detained by your own army. Families will be broken up and children may be missing temporarily. You have been warned!    

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On 7/26/2018 at 1:07 PM, william.scherk said:

Firemen, surrender!  Ambulance drivers, surrender!

This is sad and weird.  The red-brown alliance is on board agitating about the 'warning.' 

If OL's  resident Fake News analysts weren't so choosy, they could give this propaganda a thorough cleaning ...

 

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If Ayn Rand had voted for Trump, would she now regret it? I think she would be exasperated at times, but the bigger, not personality driven approach, would be her perspective. More freedom and the economy are a big deal. Paying to keep someone quiet is no big deal, but using campaign funds or someone else’s funds is a slightly bigger deal. Unless the Demoncrats get a huge majority in The House I don’t think impeachment will be put on the table. And fortunately for the good guys, the black hat wackos seem to be dominating the European Socialist, for the “downtrodden and the puppies elements” of the Democrats.

Another gripe I have is the “left wing press” keeps shouting that Trump only has a 44 percent approval rating, then they shift the evidence it to a few issues wherein Trump is disapproved of by a 60 percent margin. If a true poll were done I think it would be 44 percent for Trump, 30 percent hating Trump, and the rest unsure or don’t know squat. He will win the next election, though Old Hickory Clinton may have slimmed down a bit in anticipation of the fight to come.

She will run in my opinion and destroy any democrat who dares to defy her. I think there is enough evidence to greatly tarnish if not indict Hillary, but Mueller is oblivious to the whole picture.         

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Glenn Greenwald was worth a splash topmost at Memeorandum.com ... 

On 7/26/2018 at 1:07 PM, william.scherk said:
On 7/23/2018 at 3:55 PM, william.scherk said:

The Glenn Greenwald Party and the slightly less cynical but equally as woke Other Guys who don't follow the Line.

The White Helmets are propaganda assets, so it is just a hop, skip, and a jump to call them Terror Toys, Imperialist Thugs, and other lovely loaded barges full of bullshit from Syria Sarin Hoax False-Flag Putin-toady wing.

The Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, Jimmy Dore, Rania Khalek, Ben Norton wing of the 'authoritarian, complacent Left' has found itself in a weird place -- supporting The System and denigrating the White Helmets.

Process crimes ...

Quote

memeorandum

 TOP ITEMS: 
i89.jpgshare.png Greenwald:
My Resignation From The Intercept  —  The same trends of repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity plaguing the national press generally have engulfed the media outlet I co-founded, culminating in censorship of my own articles.  —  Today I sent my intention to resign from The Intercept …
Discussion:
RELATED:
i113.jpgshare.png Greenwald:
Emails With Intercept Editors Showing Censorship of My Joe Biden Article  —  Given The Intercept's vehement denials, readers are entitled to see for themselves what the truth is: transparency journalism with integrity requires.  —  Following are the communications I had over the last week …
i104.jpgshare.png The Intercept:
Glenn Greenwald Resigns From The Intercept … Glenn Greenwald's decision to resign from The Intercept stems from a fundamental disagreement over the role of editors in the production of journalism and the nature of censorship.  Glenn demands the absolute right to determine what he will publish.

 

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On 7/11/2018 at 1:26 PM, Peter said:

Ayn in 2015: I vould advise sitting out the election in 2016.  

 

Ayn in 2019: I vould advise voting for the Best President, my adopted country America, has ever had! Vee are freer. Vee are better off. Vee are safer with President Trump. And I am happier too. Aren’t you? Even Leonard is voting for Trump.

Here are a few old letters that talk about psychology and objectivism and more about Doctor Strangelove. BB, Ghs, etc., and Leonard needing to adjust his pants, are mentioned.

Below Sandra (who seems a bit . . . odd) wrote: “I went on a date with Leonard ONCE. Towards the end, he asked me what I would do if offered the job of dictator of the US. I had not read any part of ATLAS SHRUGGED. He had. I immediately thought of what laws I would change. For starters, abolish the 16th amendment which would get rid of the IRS.  Wrong answer. The right answer was to refuse. Who knew? end quote

She dated Leonard Peikoff? Yikes. Peter

From: "M. Shane DeVault" To: <atlantis >, <BBfromM Subject: A personal story... (was: Re: ATL: Re: Barbara's "Humanoids") Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 10:17:38 -0500

When I was 16, my high school English teacher handed me a flier about an essay contest. The prize was $1000 for an essay about some woman named "Ayn Rand" I'd never heard of (and mispronounced Ann Rand). But hey, it was a short book (_Anthem_), and a thousand bucks is a thousand bucks. So I went home and started to think about if I'd do it or not.

At this point in the story, I must digress.  My younger brother had been diagnosed with Leukemia a year or so before this, forcing my mother to virtually move to Memphis TN and St. Jude's Hospital. (Send them money! Great group. A cancer cure will probably come from there. But anyway....) This left me, at 16, living alone in the big house. Enter Woody, my next door neighbor. Older man and his wife, had raised two kids, typical White Urban Professional family. Woody and his wife had practically adopted me over the last two years.

I asked Woody if he knew anything about a writer called "Ann Rand". "You mean INE Rand?" I said "I dunno...maybe." He asked me why I'd ask and I passed him the flier from school. He could barely contain his excitement, running down the hall to the study and grabbing a little green book off the shelf. "Here. Read this," he said. It was _Anthem_.

I went home at about 9:00PM and sat down to start reading. An hour later, I got up, having finished the book, and then went back to Woody's house, woke him up, and said "I want more." The next day, I finished _We The Living_.

Interestingly enough, though, Woody didn't exactly encourage my pursuit of Ayn Rand--more discouraged it than anything, precisely because of the reasons Barbara states. He noticed in me the typical teenager desire to "belong" to a group and "fit in" somewhere, coupled with a fairly dangerous desire to be outside of the norm. Objectivism might not be the best thing to introduce to me at that time, and he constantly reminded me (and even still does today) that that one was "all you kid. I had nothing to do with it."

Barbara is right. The power of Objectivism is an intoxicating and dangerous thing, something that can cause serious "blind followship" (my word) rather than genuine 'discipleship'. (I use this term not because of the religious connotations but because of it's meaning: A disciple is a student--a lifelong student--who learns with the expectation of eventually becoming a teacher/master. In other words: those who study Objectivism long enough will begin to teach it. If not in word, in deed.) Too many times in discussions, I've heard "Well Rand said..." (this is true even here) and that is the end of the discussion. While in a limited conversation about her writings or beliefs specifically this would be an adequate response, in a deeper philosophical discussion it does not answer the necessary "Why" questions.

Eg. Party A: "Is the death penalty a moral/ethical/just/good thing?"

Party B: "No."

Party A: "Why?"

Party B: "Rand says...<insert apropos Rand quote here>."

 Then the discussion ends. That should never ever, ever be the end of the argument since it does not answer the WHY it is morally/ethically unjust or not a good thing. It simply says that Rand said it wasn't. While that might be good enough for some, I still want to know how she arrived at her conclusions because I might disagree with her or (God forbid!) she might be wrong!

 nyway...that's my two cents--which puts me at about $.98. (Only another two cents and I got a buck!)

 M. Shane DeVault ****** "To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion."  --Ayn Rand

 "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." -- Thomas Paine

 ----- Original Message -----

From: <BBfromM > To: <atlantis> Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2001 6:21 AM Subject: Re: ATL: Re: Barbara's "Humanoids"

 > Ellen Moore wrote: Your persistent description of "true believers" among students of Objectivism is a disservice to all.  I object to your  characterization, and I speak from experience.  The only "true believers" are mystics of "mind and muscle", and these are the antithesis of objectivity. . . . I have associated with hundreds of students interested in Objectivism in Canada and US since early in 1964.  I have never yet met anyone serious about Objectivism who fits your characterization. >

 > I wish I could agree with you. But I have met too many true believers, especially among young Objectivists -- including a young person who attended Peikoff's taped lectures in Winnipeg under your auspices -- to be able to do so. But as I said, I believe that attitude on the way out, although it certainly is taught by Peikoff (not in so many words, of course, but by implication). Nor do I think it a hanging offense; it is to some extent understandable -- so long as it is not permanent -- in young people who are overwhelmed by their first encounter with Objectivism. It is especially unfortunate because such people give an impression of Objectivism to those who are not familiar with it, that is totally unwarranted.  Barbara Branden

 From: SANDRAMEND To: AKathleen76atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: 1959: *Nathan and Barbara are...most likely to be irrational in an e... Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 11:26:06 EDT. In a message dated 10/14/01 6:16:58 AM, AKathleen76@aol.com writes: << Perhaps I'm missing something but why do you think it's relevant to bring this to the list?  It proves nothing.  >>

Nathaniel Branden did me more harm than any individual I've ever met. In those days, in order to attend the lectures at Ayn's Saturday nights, and Greenspan's lectures, and Leonard's and Barbara's and Nathan's, all generously offered free by the way, we HAD to see Nathaniel as a psychologist, all of us, even, Frank O'Connor.

Nathan weighed in on the Israel debate with disdain for the debate so far on this list. And much as I like Barbara on the one issue of Israel she reverts to accusations that someone is *evading* or *understands nothing about Objectivism* I've seen a lot of that kind of thing on another list and somewhat on this list.

It was Barbara who told me about this list. She suggested I read the archives and lurk for a while. I read her posts because I didn't know anyone else and knew she had a good epistemology.  She asserted in one post that Ayn Rand had been a Zionist but gave no evidence or proof.

On October 5, I sent her a post asking when Ayn had become a Zionist and expressing my growing doubts about Israel. The post was never answered. As I reluctantly got into the debate on Israel, she finally responded that she hadn't had a chance to read past posts but did ask me questions about how I found time to post so much. Where, in other words, was I getting my money. I replied: You first.  She then told me and I was amazed at the similarities and told her my situation.

Barbara's hot button issue is Israel. My hot button issue is Nathaniel. After I saw Barbara again in the mid-1970's and was amazed at how much she'd mellowed, I called Nathaniel. Brrrrrrrr!   I had to call an Objectivist psychologist friend, the only session we ever had, and she helped me get past it.

She had been in groups with Nathaniel. That was the '70's.  In the mid 80's, I advertised in The Intelligencer that I was starting a book discussion group and the first book we would discuss would be THE FOUNTAINHEAD. One of the people who called had also attended seminars with Nathaniel and he had the same impression as my friend. Nathaniel would go after people in the seminars and almost try to break them.  These were the impressions of only two people, but it bore out my experience with Nathaniel. There was a passive-aggressive wimp of a girl whose appointment with Nathaniel preceded mine and he would yell his head off at her.  Nathaniel never yelled at me, yet I developed a stutter. I'd never stuttered in my life.

I had had some difficult years after I ran away from home. I had survived a mother who also had tried her mightiest to break me so she could remake me more to her liking.  She had failed.  Nathaniel came closest.

Those years were exhilarating and terrifying. I also bought the complete works of Aristotle and read them to get a sense of a stable, orderly, rational sense of the universe, unlike the terrifying, taut world of Objectivism in which everyone was afraid of being deemed *irrational* *out of focus* or an *evader.

I went on a date with Leonard ONCE. Towards the end, he asked me what I would do if offered the job of dictator of the US. I had not read any part of ATLAS SHRUGGED. He had. I immediately thought of what laws I would change. For starters, abolish the 16th amendment which would get rid of the IRS.  Wrong  answer. The right answer was to refuse. Who knew?

But there was worse to come. I had during the course of the evening asked him about something that was troubling me. A brassy, social metaphysician I worked with had become Nathaniel's patient and was paying for private tutorials with Leonard. She was a middle-aged woman, self-deluded about her attractiveness to men.  She smugly had told me that in one session with Leonard, he'd had to adjust his trousers. Her implication was that it was because he was sexually aroused by her.  I was horrified that Leonard would find her attractive. But I did a reality check. I asked.

I get to the Brandens a few days later and Barbara stiffly calls me into Nathaniel's office. She was in a white rage. Her eyes had become tiny, and her cheeks swelled like a chipmunk and she was ready to take my head off.

How dare I ask such a question of a man like Leonard??? I didn't accuse Leonard of anything, All I did was ask a question. All I did was a reality check. That was the world of Objectivism. That was the world I had to leave even though it was exciting and exhilarating.

In a message dated 10/14/01 5:42:27 AM, AKathleen76 << I had that same question as I've been disturbed with the interpretation of "tolerance" that has seemed to pervade Objectivist circles influenced by David Kelley (who I do not have a basic argument with on that point).  What I've found is that it has been interpreted to mean that one speaks with anybody, regardless of indications of rationality, about anything (including the merits of pedophilia, for example), and all standards are lost...I'm sure this is not what Kelley meant and I've found it disturbing to come across. >>

I have not yet read David Kelley, but I think there is a powerful connection between his urging *tolerance* if that is what he in fact does, and the fact that he has written a highly lauded book on the Art of Reasoning. As I said in a private email, it's not for the sake of David or Greg that I debate their views. It's for my own, to strengthen my own arguments, to be able to persuade others of the wrongness of those views. I talked to a longtime friend after 9/11 who opposes the war. And I wasn't able to persuade him he was wrong. I was mortified. Sending people to Coventry (shunning them) won't persuade people that they're wrong. It didn't work with Galileo. Yes, he recanted. But then he murmured to himself, *but I still believe the earth circles the sun.*

You can shut down debate on certain subjects. And to my horror I've discovered that it's done not only in the black ghetto where you win an argument by shouting longer and louder, the argumentum ad baculum, but to our universities where free speech is not given to both sides of issues.

David Horowitz went through horrific experiences you associate with the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany on his lecture tour at universities discussing his book HATING WHITEY.

I was reviled, and circled and threatened for holding unpopular views about films. I knew I would love GOOD WILL HUNTING, and DirecTV offers all day pay per view. I watched the film at 8am and watched it all day till 8pm. Especially the therapy sessions with Robin Williams which did me more good than all my visits to therapists put together. For one thing, Williams gave feedback, which makes him different than too many therapists. And many people told Williams how much good he'd done them.

I then went online to a film newsgroup and said in the subject heading: GOOD WILL HUNTING is a terrific movie.!!!!!  What a storm!!! How dare I? The thread went up to 60 posts.  I said I had not like DOCTOR STRANGELOVE. More of a storm. Who do you think you are not to like the great Kubrick. Luckily, I had Pauline Kael's very perceptive review of the type of people who liked Strangelove. But, what a brouhaha.

In today's intellectual climate,  you are not allowed to disagree with political correctness. You are not allowed to observe that there's a lot of reverse racism out there. You are not allowed to love a movie unless Roger Ebert has given it his imprimatur. Roger Ebert, screenwriter for a sequel to VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, who spent a whole year dissing another film I liked: DEAD POET'S SOCIETY.

Let's not shrink from racism or even pedophilia. Let's sharpen our arguments so we can persuade others what is wrong with racism and pedophilia. Another 3rd rail topic.  The only individual brave enough to defend children's sexuality is Anne Rice. She remembers herself as being sexual as a child. We've had a teacher go to jail for having sex with a young teenager. Crazy? A 15 year old black boy was almost imprisoned for getting his 14 year old girlfriend pregnant in a case of statutory rape. As it turned out, he was gainfully employed in a job that led somewhere. That's a crazy law that has to be changed.

There was a similar case in France years ago. When a journalist went to interview the 25 year old teacher, he found a waif. When he went to see the teenager, he found a young man mature beyond his years. Yet, the subject doesn't get discussed rationally and people's lives are ruined.

Shunning persuades no one -- and makes me wonder if the one who shuns and disdains COULD put up a persuasive argument for the opposite side. Sandra

From: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: 1959: *Nathan and Barbara are...most likely to be irrational in an e... Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 11:39:48 -0500

Sandra wrote: "My hot button issue is Nathaniel.  After I saw Barbara again in the mid-1970's and was amazed at how much she'd mellowed, I called Nathaniel. Brrrrrrrr!   I had to call an Objectivist  psychologist friend, the only session we ever had, and she helped me get past it.

"She had been in groups with Nathaniel. That was the '70's.  In the mid 80's, I advertised in The Intelligencer that I was starting a book discussion group and the first book we would discuss would be THE FOUNTAINHEAD. One of the people who called had also attended seminars with Nathaniel and he had the same impression as my friend. Nathaniel would go after people in the seminars and almost try to break them.  These were the impressions of only two people, but it bore out my experience with Nathaniel. There was a passive-aggressive wimp of a girl whose appointment with Nathaniel preceded mine and he would yell his head off at her.  Nathaniel never yelled at me, yet I developed a stutter. I'd never stuttered in my life."

From 1971-4, I attended Nathaniel's group sessions on a regular basis, and I must say that your friend has given a very distorted account of what went on there. She may have had her own issues with Nathaniel, which is not unusual in that kind of relationship, but it is manifestly unfair to blame Nathaniel for everything. And to say that Nathaniel tried to "break" people in his therapy sessions is simply absurd.

As for your remarks about Nathaniel from the NBI days, I didn't know him then -- but I do know that he would often express sincere and spontaneous regret for some of his actions during that time. Indeed, in a therapy group I once heard him say that he had "harmed" some people with his earlier approach to therapy, which is a remarkable statement for any professional to make.

I think it's time to move on and forget about what happened 35 years ago. People change, and the environment of the early "inner circle," with the extraordinarily charismatic figure of Ayn Rand at its head, generated a lot of peculiar behavior among teachers and students alike. But it also did a lot of good.

If, as you claim, "Nathaniel Branden did me more harm than any individual I've ever met," then you must have lived a very sheltered life. And the kind of "harm" you refer to is impossible unless the "victim" willingly participates in the undesirable relationship in question. If we must assign blame in such circumstances, then it should be applied evenly to both sides. Indeed, more often than not, we are the architects of our own problems; and if those problems had not manifested themselves in one situation, they would have arisen somewhere else.

Perhaps you expected Nathaniel to be something more than a human being, complete with the foibles and flaws that we all have. This was a common expectation among early students of Objectivism, who sometimes had trouble distinguishing real people from the characters in *Atlas Shrugged.*

From: SANDRAMEND Subject: Re: ATL: Re: 1959: *Nathan and Barbara are...most likely to be irrational in an e... Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 14:29:43 EDT In a message dated 10/14/01 9:40:44 AM, smikro@earthlink.net writes: George:<< If, as you claim, "Nathaniel Branden did me more harm than any individual I've ever met," then you must have lived a very sheltered life. And the kind of "harm" you refer to is impossible unless the "victim" willingly participates in the undesirable relationship in question.>>

Sandra: My choice was to forego lectures with Ayn on writing, Nathaniel on psychology and the psychology of sex (listeners to the original Psychology of Sex  tapes told me it sounded like a dialogue. i was the other part of that dialogue) Leonard on History of Philosophy and Logic, Barbara on Psycho-epistemology, Alan Greenspan on Economics and Mary Ann Rukavina on aesthetics if I chose not to see Nathaniel as a psychologist.

George: If we must assign blame in such circumstances, then it should be applied evenly to both sides. Indeed, more often than not, we are the architects of our own problems; and if those problems had not manifested themselves in one situation, they would have arisen somewhere else. Perhaps you expected Nathaniel to be something more than a human being, complete with the foibles and flaws that we all have. This was a common expectation among early students of Objectivism, who sometimes had trouble distinguishing real people from the characters in *Atlas Shrugged.*

Sandra: No, actually it was the reverse. I was never a *hero-worshipper where he was concerned. I thought his persona weird: a combination of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and a much more interesting Austrian psychiatrist, complete with accent. It was the bounce between the two that first baffled and then amused me. Of course, since you were SUPPOSED to find such a great hero terribly sexy, Nathaniel thought less of me for not being attracted to him. Reread his Psychology of Self- Esteem and you'll get why.

Nathaniel in Ayn had a *my heir, the genius* relationship. His mother had a *my son, the genius* attitude. Years later, I saw Nathaniel on TV say something and wait for applause which didn't come.

I gave up reading his books when my friend, a psychology major, ordinarily very non-judgmental, picked up a book of Nathaniel's and went through it naming psychologist after psychologist (I remember only the name Piaget coming up) whose ideas he'd reframed for Objectivists. I never saw the great leap forward psychologically in changing the term *secondhander* to *social objectivist*

Obviously, on the subject of Nathaniel Branden, I have very negative views, and, other than an angry defense from a very good friend and former wife of his, have seen little reason to change my mind.  Subject closed. Unless reopened by others.

However, I think that given what Nathaniel Branden did to spread Objectivism, I think it was spiteful of Ayn Rand not to leave him a large chunk of her fortune in her will. She owed him. Big time. Sandra

From: "George H. Smith" To: "*Atlantis" Subject: Re: LOGIC:  The Straw Man Fallacy (Was: Re: ATL: Re: Shooting  and Looting: It's what warriors do. Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 22:39:31 -0600 Sandra wrote: "What I learned from Barbara's principles of efficient thinking was not to deal in floating abstractions -- a lesson not always learned by members of this group -- and to *think outside the square* which panics the orthodox in this group because sometimes they can't find what Ayn Rand thought on an issue and that seems to make them feel anxious. Once they find something in the Ayn Rand literature they can connect my principle to, they relax and then attack me for daring to disagree with Rand.  It does get boring."

Who has attacked you for "daring to disagree with Rand"?

I think you are being unfair to the vast majority of Atlantis list members, who do not adhere to the Eastern Orthodox Church of Objectivism, but to the Western Reformed branch of heretics.

I, for one, have never even called myself an "Objectivist," primarily because I think my anarchism puts me too fundamentally at odds with Rand's perspective. Moreover, my disagreements with certain features of Rand's philosophy, such as the criticism of her contextual theory of knowledge that appeared in my last book (*Why Atheism?*), are a matter of public record.

Over the years I have subscribed to a number of philosophy e-groups, and I regard Atlantis as the best by far. There have been very detailed, thoughtful, and sometimes heated debates over philosophical issues like free will, rights, and egoism. A number of the more prominent posters, such as Bill Dwyer, are "soft determinists" who have no trouble expressing serious disagreements with Rand. Such cases are the rule rather than the exception.

Atlantis is not a haven for Randroids, as you seem to think. Believe me, no one around here (with a few possible exceptions) cares in the least whether you disagree with Rand. What unites Atlanteans is not an orthodox credo, but the conviction that Ayn Rand was a serious thinker whose ideas are worthy of serious consideration. Even Kirez Korgan, the founder and owner of Atlantis, has recently said that he does not regard himself as an "Objectivist," however sympathetic he is to many of Rand's ideas.

In fairness, I think you should give your critics the benefit of the doubt and not assume that their disagreements with you have anything intrinsically to do with your disagreements with Rand. It is not a matter of thinking "outside the square." Around here we construct our own squares. Meanwhile, our high regard for Ayn Rand, whether we agree with her or not, gives us a common basis for discussion -- a shared community of ideas, so to speak, that serves as a foundation for dialogue and debate. Ghs

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I think I published this before but here it is again, closed up for brevity. Where should I place it? Michael might be interested of course since he is the world’s premier moderator.

This is an old letter from wetheliving from the guy who founded atlantis and wetheliving! Kirez Korgan. And then Jimmy *Jimbo* Wales took over as moderator. I like that Kirez says, ‘That community rocks!”

Below, our own Ellen Stuttle, has even more history. Peter

From: Kirez Korgan To: aynrandSubject: Re: AYN: Selfish ethics and moderatorship. Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 18:19:52 -0600 (MDT) Please excuse the terseness of this message... What I love most in life is being with people who are good, intelligent people that I can respect. For me this is the best qualifier for any work I do: I want to work with good people. I seem to be motivated most by participating in projects that I believe in, which reflect my view of what's most valuable in life, and which are joined by other people who feel a similar passion.

When I got involved in Objectivism, the knowledge and insights of the philosophy eclipsed all other concerns in my life. But soon enough, my concern for social values bore more weight in my mind. I wanted to spend my life interacting with the best people out there.

What if there were a pursuit that offered me both? Both the pursuit of knowledge and the development of philosophy... AND interacting with the best people out there, particularly minds who were bent on the same pursuit that I was?

I'd rather make this argument elsewhere, but my conclusion will have to suffice: I think 'communication' is essential to science and the development of human knowledge and civilization. One of the distinctive characteristics of the Enlightenment was the development of communication between scholars in different regions, and the innovations and discoveries that resulted of these men who 'stood upon the shoulders of giants...' i.e., who achieved what they did because they had available to them the work of other great thinkers.

The axis period of Greece -- the birth of western philosophy -- was such because of the Lyceum. We would know nothing of Aristotle's thoughts, except that he had an audience to whom he communicated them, and for this purpose, he wrote notes. The Enlightenment scholars emerged as bright lights spotting the continent of Europe. But civilization had progressed -- movable type, patterns of trade and thus of communication -- so that they could now share their

thoughts with each other and be aware of the work of other like-minded scholars. Like-minded pioneers, visionaries, rebels. This new development -- a burgeoning community for the trade of ideas – was like it's own aristocracy; a new culture that arose as a super stratum of western civilization upon the wealth of the industrial revolution. Across national boundaries, across language barriers, eventually across the seas --- it has been called "The Republic of Letters."

I think I know the excitement that Enlightenment intellectuals must have felt, to have the opportunity and privilege to interact with other intellectuals in spite of disperse geographic origins. I grew up in rural

Arizona, and spent most of my youth longing for intellectual rapport, longing to find *someone*, *anyone* who could share their thoughts and knowledge with me. (This eventually led me to pack up and go out searching as soon as I was barely old enough... 15, in my case.)

And communication has come a long way. Television, radio, the telephone, the economics of publication... each successive development has enabled less expensive means to express oneself to others and to sample, search or consume what others had to express. You know where this is building to, right? Is it clear that 7 years after the availability of Mosaic, the first web browser, that the internet has even begun to be taken for granted? Much of the excitement that surrounded its origin seems to have faded.

Sadly. I remember the initial excitement, though. WHAT, we screamed, could be possible with this amazing new infrastructure for communication? I think in the years that I've been involved with wetheliving I've seen plenty of people feel this excitement, and they're 100% right. Amazing things are possible -- for the development of knowledge, for the expression of ideas and the cross-pollination of philosophies -- because of the internet.

At any rate, my grandiosity about the place of the internet in the history of science and civilization -- is sincere. I think the internet is powerful stuff. I feel amazingly grateful, not simply to have experienced this new means for self-education and communication --- but to experience it as an Objectivist. In the space of a few years, I acquired two powers, two technologies perhaps, that seem to me to dwarf every other power previously developed by mankind: the philosophic tools of Objectivism, and the internet.

I suppose I should come down from the clouds, and back to the matter of whether it could be selfish to be a moderator. "Those who fight for the future, live in it today." --- this is approximately a popular quote among us, right?

Wetheliving started because I wanted a list to attract the best minds in Objectivism and gather them into a single channel to communicate with each other. That was Objectivism-L@cornell.edu. Because of wetheliving, I have lived in a community unlike any other that has ever existed in the history of the world... for years. It has been a wonderful blessing to get to watch people come around, sharing the excitement I had felt to find the philosophy of Objectivism and to be able to talk with tons of other people about it, including people smarter than I could find anywhere around me in school.

I've had the benefit of a special position, as a moderator. I've gotten to help a lot of people, and that has always been fun. I've gotten to see the conflicts from behind the scenes, and that has been educational and... well, fun. I've also gotten to have a positive impact on many of those conflicts. I've received a lot of respect and gratitude, and yes, I've loved it. The position of moderator forces you to see things differently – more broadly. This has been a powerful educational tool for me. Frequently it acted as a pressure to be more objective.

In all cases... did I ever get an education in Objectivism! And... the Objectivist movement. When I was a moderator, I was immersed in wealth on a daily basis. I swam in it. Glory! Up close and personal, I tasted the fine texture of the development of an ideological community. I *watched* people transform themselves and their understanding of the world.

I've met my best friends through wetheliving. They've changed my life for the better. I've created a community in Boston, because of wetheliving. That community rocks!

Because of being a moderator, I've had a great social circle at any Objectivist event. I already know most of the people. When I travel, I always have people I can stop and visit. Because I care about valuable discussions, I've been very concerned to see how I could improve them -- and as a moderator I've had that power and the means to exercise it. (I learned a lot and changed my ideas about social organizations, and discussions, as a result of my experience.) I've been in the position of seeing that I had improved other people's lives.

I feel like I'm leaving several things out, but this was supposed to be brief. I've never had to think twice about whether it was a 'sacrifice' to be a moderator for wetheliving. Sure it's been rough, time-consuming, demanding. And I certainly got burned out, several times, although I think this has less to do with being a moderator, or wetheliving, or Objectivism, and it's almost entirely due to my own personality and personal development.

For my involvement as a whole... it's been a wonderful time. It has been among the most worthwhile things I have done with my life. In retrospect... if I had to choose between going to college, and getting involved with Objectivism on the internet -- I would choose being a moderator every time. Kirez

From Ellen Stuttle on Objectivist living, July 3, 2013. Kyle, Re #5: I'm pretty sure that Jimbo was the moderator or one of the moderators of an Objectivist list which operated long before Atlantis. MDOP, I think it was called, Moderated Discussion of Objectivist Philosophy. That was back when you had to print stuff out on barred computer graph paper. My husband subscribed for awhile, but then got tired of the mass of print-outs.

Jimbo was not the originator or owner of Atlantis. That was Kirez Korgan, who poreviously had run a different list operating from the Cornell University server. Kirez was a student at Cornell. (He's subsequently changed his name, btw; I don't know to what.). Joshua Zader became Kirez' co-moderator. They took turns.

In 1999, Kirez and Joshua set up a family of lists called the WTL family - We The Living. The two biggest of those lists were OWL - Objectivism at We (The) Living - and ATL - Atlantis. There were also a PSYCH list, an art list, a parenting list, and some others.

OWL had the biggest subscribership. It was moderated, by rotating moderators, and there was a per/day posting limit for each poster.

ATL was unmoderated; it had an "anything goes" policy and no per-poster posting limit. For some years it was a free-wheeling place with enormous posting traffic, although never more than 250 subscribers at its peak membership. Arguments there could and non-infrequently did desert "civility."

How Jimbo came into it with Atlantis is that the WTL family of lists was hosted through a server he provided via his business. In 2002, during a discussion which I think pertained to US policy on Iraq, Jimbo was active in a dispute in which he was disagreeing, strongly, with the intensely held opinions of some of the most-prolific posters. Jeff Riggenbach started a thread addressed to Jimbo's arguments and using the words "functional illiterate," a favorite epithet of JR's, in the thread title.

Kirez at that point was pretty much an absentee overseer. He was busy with other things and wasn't following list content. When problems needing executive action arose, people had to email Kirez to get his attention. (There had been one circumstance, I think the only one on the original ATL, when members called for a banning. The object of the request was a particular poster who exceeded the prevailing reluctance to ban with his posting, most every night, streams of drunken and obscenity-laced diatribes.)

When JR started the thread with the insult to Jimbo in the subject line, Jimbo promptly decreed, as an either/or deal - either accept or find a different server - a civility policy with himself as overseer.

One regular promptly started a Yahoo list called Atlantis_II which objectors could use as refuge and retreat. Some persons argued for awhile with Jimbo on the original list. He was adamant. So a large percentage of members, I estimate more than 3/4 of the members, left.

(Edit: By "left" I mean stopped posting on Old Atlantis. Many members stayed subscribed in order to get the posts and keep tabs on what was happening. Sometimes posts from Old ATL were copied onto ATL_II and discussed there.)

I think that Jimbo did not understand the dynamics of the list, and didn't realize that he was wrecking those dynamics. For instance, I happened to be on-line when Jimbo made the announcement. I immediately sent Jimbo an off-list note saying that I for one would not continue posting if he put the policy into effect.

Jimbo was also on-line. He sent back a surprised note. Why would I object?, he didn't understand, I wasn't one of those whom he thought needed moderating. Dense, dense, dense, I thought - and said, not quite using that exact word, at first, to Jimbo himself.

Jimbo's policy destroyed the "alchemy" of the original ATL.

Some posters supported him, including two who were then astonished to find posts of theirs subjected to moderation. Those two were Ellen Moore and Jason Alexander. Ellen Moore stayed, and argued with Jimbo - I imagine causing him to want to tear out his hair (te-he). Jason left.

A few years later, I forget if it was in late 2004 or in 2005, bothering with ATL became more of a nuisance than Jimbo was willing to deal with. Plus the whole WTL family of lists was using server space which he wanted freed for other purposes. Thus he announced that in X months the whole operation would be shut down and the archives would be wiped out. The archives of all the lists were available to be downloaded by members during that lag time.

Atlantis_II had meanwhile become the place where the main action was, although with a missing "edge" of verve because of the missing antagonists who irritated most everyone else. Instead A_2 members had to fight amongst ourselves.

Membership and traffic gradually waned. Today only a handful of "old friends" still chat on A_2. (I still get the posts myself, but I read few of them and almost never blip in with a comment. If I recall right, late 2011 was the last time I said anything on A_2.) Ellen

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