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What MSK *meant* is one thing, what he *wrote* is easily construed another way.

Now I guess Marion is Jesus Christ. 

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52 minutes ago, Mark said:

What MSK *meant* is one thing, what he *wrote* is easily construed another way.

Mark,

Bullshit again. You know what you were doing.

52 minutes ago, Mark said:

Now I guess Marion is Jesus Christ. 

Who is Marion?

And what does that have to do with you misrepresenting other people on purpose in a fake news manner?

Michael

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You know, this bullshit with Mark is one of the reasons there is friction between us at times.

I don't trust him.

He does a good job of taking apart some of the sleaze going on in O-Land. I not only agree with that, I am glad he does it competently.

But he lives and works in the service of taking others down. Going by his online efforts, that is his passion in life. Destruction of others. And that makes him sloppy--attacking first and then seeing if there is an actual target.

He doesn't build anything, or, if he does, he certainly doesn't point to it. Destruction is the face he presents to the public as his life's work.

This guy is a good example of the adage: the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

Lots of distance with sporadic, mostly cordial, contact on common interests. That's as close as I am interested in letting this guy get. And even then, I still don't trust him.

I intend to keep it that way unless things go south. And I can do that, too, if called on.

Based on what I have seen up to now, I don't see them ever going north.

Michael

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17 hours ago, Mark said:

 

TAS is off my radar but I’m curious: was Jennifer Grossman living in  the Houston area in the early 1980s?  ZoomInfo has her in Kingwood, Texas today, which is near Houston and looks like a suburb of it.

 

Mark,

TAS is off my radar, too.  

Kingwood is a suburb of Houston and to my knowledge she's lived in Texas for a while.  She wouldn't have had to be there in the 1980s to have heard about Dick Minns.

Robert

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16 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Hello Robert.

Hello Michael.

Robert

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MSK flatters himself.

He makes this place, then makes it an unpleasant place.

I came here to (1) advertise my new article, (2) have it criticized by intelligent people, such as Ellen and some others.  I'll ignore MSK the rest of this thread.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Mark said:

He makes this place, then makes it an unpleasant place.

Mark,

Being attracted to OL does not grant you any rights to say extremely stupid shit without being called out on it.

3 minutes ago, Mark said:

I'll ignore MSK the rest of this thread.

That's the wisest thing you have ever said about me.

Make sure you keep to it after that bullshit you just dumped on this thread and we will be fine.

Michael

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On 10/26/2019 at 2:28 PM, Ellen Stuttle said:

Re "trash" - I haven't heard of another time besides the Maxfield Parrish time when Rand said that, but you might know of an incident I've never heard of.

Ellen,

This sparked my interest because, going on memory and a lifetime or reading and listening to Rand, I only recall her rarely using the word "trash." So I took a look.

In Ayn Rand Answers, "trash" is used only twice and one of those times was at the Q&A of the 1977 Ford Hall Forum lecture "Global Balkinazation" where she was asked about Parrish and gave her famous one-word answer.

I own the Objectivism Research CD-ROM, so I searched it for the word "trash." This word is only used a half a dozen times or so in Atlas Shrugged. Imagine that... (There, you can add that to your bank of useless knowledge. :) ) Also, in her nonfiction, Rand only used the term once per article, that is, when she used it, which was infrequently.

In all of the instances I have come across. Maxfield Parrish was the only named person Rand used the word "trash" on. Mostly she called certain ideas as a whole trash or poor quality work trash and things like that--categories, not specific things. She mentioned "white trash" once that I came across. (I didn't note down where and I don't feel like going back again to see. If you like, though, I will find it for you.)

For the reader, if you want to read other discussions about Maxfield Parrish (and this incident) on OL, type...

Parrish

... into the search field and enjoy. If you type "Maxfield Parrish", you will miss the entries on "Max Parrish" and vice-versa.

Michael

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23 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

She mentioned "white trash" once that I came across. (I didn't note down where and I don't feel like going back again to see. If you like, though, I will find it for you.)
 

“Observe the hysterical intensity of the Southern racists; observe also that racism is much more prevalent among the poor white trash than among their intellectual betters.”

Ayn Rand; Nathaniel Branden. The virtue of selfishness: a new concept of egoism (Kindle Location 2287). Signet/New American Library.

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I looked to see if I had any quotes with Rand using the word trash but I could not find any. Still I found these two interesting, consecutive letters and one used the word trash. Peter.

From: Barbara Branden  To: objectivism Subject: Re: OWL: The Selfish Virtue of Charity Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 01:55:24 EDT

Eric Nolte wrote (4/20):  I will argue that charity amounts to a bow before the recognition that there go I, but for the grace of our great good luck in the cosmic sweepstakes for the time and place of birth. . . We do not enjoy the tiniest bit of control over being born healthy free, white, rich, American, and male (which gender matters only because cultures have always tended to deny opportunities to girls.) Neither do we have any control over arriving as a sickly girl, born into an illiterate family that is all dying of AIDS, living in a vermin infested thatch hut with a dirt floor, in some god-forsaken, blistering hole in sub-Saharan Africa. >>

I am inclined to agree with much of what Eric Nolte has to say about charity. I know that sometimes I receive a phone call asking me to give money for some purpose, and my first inclination is to refuse -- and then I look around my house, I see how I live, and I agree. owever, I strongly disagree with the following statement by Eric: In this essay I seek to add to our list of objectivist virtues, charity, when it is properly defined to exclude approval of any collectivist, government orchestrated and coercive system of welfare. >>

The list of Objectivist virtues is intended to include only those virtues that are necessary to human life. Whatever value charity might have, it is not essential to human life, and cannot, therefore, be included as a specifically Objectivist virtue.

Eric wrote: I do not mean by charity anything that exudes even the faintest whiff of an obligation>>

However, the Objectivists virtues ARE obligations. They tell us what we MUST do, what we MUST practice, if we choose to live and to be rational. If charity is not an obligation, it does not belong in the list of Objectivist virtues. There are many other problems with Eric's defense of charity. To whom should we give--to the girl in Somalia or to an American who has suffered misfortune through no fault of his own? How much should we give? Ought we to give up to or past the point of depriving ourselves? Should we give to cancer, heart, Aids, or Alzheimer research, or to the undeserved suffering of people in Africa or China? If I want to go on a trip, simply for pleasure, is it wrong? -- am I irrationally depriving someone somewhere of the money that could change his or her life? These and endless other questions need to be answered before one can defend the idea of charitable giving, much less make it a virtue in the Objectivist sense. Barbara Branden

From: Ellen Lewit To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: HELP!  A QUESTION ON ETHICAL EGOISM Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 02:04:37 -0500. Antonio, How about the fact that ethical egoism recognizes that the evaluator is the actor?  Each individual has both the authority and responsibility for his own actions. He is the actor and has sole final decision on how he behaves and he is the ultimate recipient of the consequences. This is a difference imposed by nature - the nature of the fact of individuation - and can hardly be arbitrary.

When Ayn Rand talked about value there was always the statement of value for what purpose and for whom. The fact that someone was making the decision wasn't always explicit but it is implied and obvious.  The principle of individualism was built into her method of talking about values and I believe it can be treated as a kind of axiom of human nature that is part of the premises behind ethics.

That is my opinion - I haven't seen it elsewhere, explicitly that I recall.  One reason I came to that conclusion is that I noticed that some people began with a metaphysics that included religion and yet reached the same conclusion that capitalism is the best system philosophical and economically. The principle those persons share with me is a respect for the individual human being.  They even say "God don't make no trash" and wonder how I can reach similar conclusions without God.

By the way, it is also built into the concept of human action I read by Murray Rothbard which I suspect came from Ludwig von Mises. That is that the axiom underlying economics (sister science to ethics) is that people (human beings) act - we do things to achieve ends.

Now, there are those that would say that since the idea of egoism is to maximize your own interests, then the needs of others are of no consequence to you that is you can ignore the interests of others. But I am talking about what is sometimes called enlightened self-interest or rational self-interest. If you take the former attitude your teacher’s argument is justified. However, what I am suggesting is not that you, Antonio, are the center of the whole universe, only that you are the center of *your* universe.  Just as I, Ellen, am the center of mine. Other persons are of value to us and so we consider what is good for them as well as for ourselves.  We just aren't either responsible for them nor do we have authority over them.

The principle of each person being treated the same is kept. Each actor acts for him/her self.  Each recognizes the rights of all the others to do so.  We act as traders of value with one another.  Who can better judge your needs than you? Is it surprising then that where each person acts to meet his/her own needs, the economy runs more smoothly and more needs are met?  Is it surprising that when people respect the right of each individual to follow his own happiness, you have a more polite, happier, more productive culture?

I mentioned Ayn Rand in passing but put ideas in a more common sense approach that I hope you can put in your own style and words and that will not offend or intimidate your teacher or class. The idea is to seek truth, not to beat each other up in debates. Good luck, you might let us know how the discussion turns out whether on paper or in class. Ellen Lewit

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8 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Mark,

Bullshit again. You know what you were doing.

Who is Marion?

And what does that have to do with you misrepresenting other people on purpose in a fake news manner?

Michael

Marion was the little girl Hickman murdered.

--Brant

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Rand lacked many common sensibilities. That's why her two great novels need to be deconstructed and reconstructed for the human world we all live in. Such was completely beyond her and why she never transitioned Atlas Shrugged. She created that world and never left it. The terrible and great power of her Magnum Opus is tremendously seductive.

What's fascinating esthetically about Atlas is how it's painting by the numbers, but that only makes it even greater. Qua painting that's impossible; it's less than mediocre.

In conclusion, Atlas is incomplete. However, iIt's not any kind of dead end except to dead brains.

--Brant

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1 hour ago, Brant Gaede said:

Marion was the little girl Hickman murdered.

Brant,

Thank you. It's been a while since I have read that part of Rand's journals.

(And, of course, Marion had nothing to do with Jesus except both were victims of torture and murder, especially for what I was writing about. I mean, come on. Jeeeezus... :) )

btw - People who know me personally know I have a problem with names. I just can't get them to stick like other people seem to. I need a lot of repetitions, situations, and emotion and then I remember. It's hell when reading certain novels. Often I need to make character lists as I go along. Especially if the names are not well presented. (Thank God for the Internet. Man does it help with people like me who have a problem remembering names.)

As a tangent, about a month ago, I read Elegy For a Soprano by Kay Nolte Smith because it was supposed to be a roman à clef about Ayn Rand. (This was a form of writing very popular back then, especially in the potboilers of Harold Robbins.) I didn't find Rand present in Smith's book except in some overly broad outlines of the deceased opera soprano, Vardis Wolf, and a small group of insiders around her called the Wolf Pack. I did find the 1982 Chicago Tylenol potassium cyanide poisonings clearly depicted, though, without mention of the brand. (Elegy was published in 1985.) This was when several people bought Tylenol off the shelf and died from taking it because potassium cyanide had been added to the capsules. (Guess how the soprano died in the beginning of the book? If you guessed taking a pain pill laced with cyanide, you win the cigar. :) )

It's not a bad book, but the way Smith writes, it's hell to keep up with the names. She likes to write two or three pages of backstory or story without saying who the main person of the scene is, then throw in the name in an offhand manner after you, the reader, have gone in a coma after giving up on trying to keep up. :) I definitely used a character sheet for that one. I had to reread several passages just to know who was doing or saying what. 

People at the time seemed to like Kay Nolte Smith's books. She won several awards if I'm not mistaken. Nobody mentions her much anymore. She had a clever plot line in Elegy for a Soprano. The soprano croaked in the beginning from a poison pill and the four main members of the Wolf Pack all turned themselves in as the sole killer. Added to this, a young woman discovered she was the illegitimate child of the soprano who had abandoned her soon after she was born, so she went on a hunt to figure out first if this was true (it was) and second, why her mother gave her up. That led her to dig into the Wolf Pack and help the detective solve the murder. Oddly enough, there is no elegy in the book (unless I missed it when trying to keep up with the names :) ).

Michael

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1 hour ago, Brant Gaede said:

She created that world and never left it. The terrible and great power of her Magnum Opus is tremendously seductive.

What's fascinating esthetically about Atlas is how it's painting by the numbers, but that only makes it even greater. Qua painting that's impossible; it's less than mediocre.

In conclusion, Atlas is incomplete. However, iIt's not any kind of dead end except to dead brains.

Brant,

You just described the great mythologies of the world: seductive, painting by the numbers, and alive in people's souls.

Ayn Rand wrote another great mythology. (Actually two.)

Michael

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10 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Brant,

Thank you. It's been a while since I have read that part of Rand's journals.

(And, of course, Marion had nothing to do with Jesus except both were victims of torture and murder, especially for what I was writing about. I mean, come on. Jeeeezus... :) )

btw - People who know me personally know I have a problem with names. I just can't get them to stick like other people seem to. I need a lot of repetitions, situations, and emotion and then I remember. It's hell when reading certain novels. Often I need to make character lists as I go along. Especially if the names are not well presented. (Thank God for the Internet. Man does it help with people like me who have a problem remembering names.)

As a tangent, about a month ago, I read Elegy For a Soprano by Kay Nolte Smith because it was supposed to be a roman à clef about Ayn Rand. (This was a form of writing very popular back then, especially in the potboilers of Harold Robbins.) I didn't find Rand present in Smith's book except in some overly broad outlines of the deceased opera soprano, Vardis Wolf, and a small group of insiders around her called the Wolf Pack. I did find the 1982 Chicago Tylenol potassium cyanide poisonings clearly depicted, though, without mention of the brand. (Elegy was published in 1985.) This was when several people bought Tylenol off the shelf and died from taking it because potassium cyanide had been added to the capsules. (Guess how the soprano died in the beginning of the book? If you guessed taking a pain pill laced with cyanide, you win the cigar. :) )

It's not a bad book, but the way Smith writes, it's hell to keep up with the names. She likes to write two or three pages of backstory or story without saying who the main person of the scene is, then throw in the name in an offhand manner after you, the reader, have gone in a coma after giving up on trying to keep up. :) I definitely used a character sheet for that one. I had to reread several passages just to know who was doing or saying what. 

People at the time seemed to like Kay Nolte Smith's books. She won several awards if I'm not mistaken. Nobody mentions her much anymore. She had a clever plot line in Elegy for a Soprano. The soprano croaked in the beginning from a poison pill and the four main members of the Wolf Pack all turned themselves in as the sole killer. Added to this, a young woman discovered she was the illegitimate child of the soprano who had abandoned her soon after she was born, so she went on a hunt to figure out first if this was true (it was) and second, why her mother gave her up. That led her to dig into the Wolf Pack and help the detective solve the murder. Oddly enough, there is no elegy in the book (unless I missed it when trying to keep up with the names :) ).

Michael

Kay died in 1993 from lung cancer. Her husband Phillip was my acting teacher and, if still alive, which I doubt, would be in his early 90s.

They did Night of January 16 as Penthouse Legend in 1973 using the original script. She played the protagonist. As a production it was under-financed, but I liked it. They made a theater for it on top of the McAlpin hotel.

Kay wrote quite a few novels and the next to last one set in France in the early to mid-1800s was by far the best. Sorry, but I forget the title.

They were not method actors so they really had to act and they were really very good.

--Brant

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On 10/25/2019 at 6:54 PM, Ellen Stuttle said:

This note is just a detail correction, a minor side-issue in regard to the Minns story.  You wrote:

The artist about whose work Rand made the "Trash" dismissal was Maxfield Parrish.  Parrish was a deservedly famous and beloved-by-many artist who was by no means a Rand exploiter.  I don't know if he ever even heard of Rand.  His dates were 1870-1966, so he might have heard of her late in his long life, but he was a roaring success already by the time Rand was 5 years old:

A number of New York Objectivists thought that Parrish's work had the right sort of "sense of life" and they featured Parrish prints on their apartment walls.  In The Ayn Rand Cult, someone - I think it was Henry Scoutegazza (sp? and I'm unsure of the first name) - was quoted by Walker as saying that after Rand's "Trash" remark "You could hear the bonfires being lit across the country."

There's stuff on OL about Parrish and Rand's opinion of him.

Ellen

Um, who came up with the bullshit that the question about Parrish was about an artist trying to cash in on Rand's popularity? Was it Mark, or was he linking to someone else's site? Heh. Anyway, WTF? Slop. Never heard of Parrish? Um, okay, but even then, how hard is it to look up? And, seriously, how in the hell did the story get twisted so that Parrish, who preceded Rand, and enjoyed much more fame than she had, and still does, followed after her and was cashing in on her lesser fame?

Is the rest of the article as sloppy?

As for Minn's art -- eeesh.

J

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21 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

They did Night of January 16 as Penthouse Legend in 1973 using the original script. She played the protagonist. As a production it was under-financed, but I liked it. They made a theater for it on top of the McAlpin hotel.

Brant,

I came down from Boston (where I was studying at BU) at the time and saw it. Rand advertised it in the Ayn Rand Letter, which I subscribed to, so I went.

I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I noticed that the audience was as uptight as all hell. I had already done many concerts by then, so I had a pattern in my mind for how people normally acted going in and coming out of a presentation in a theater. Average crowd noise, some laughter, people yapping at each other and so on.

The crowd for the theater the night I went reminded more of a funeral service gathering. People looking at the ground, they didn't talk, or when they did, it was very close to a companion and in a really low voice, and they walked much slower than normal. I tried to make eye contact a few times to see if I could strike up a conversation, but people looked away as soon as our eyes locked. All this caused me quite a bit of cognitive dissonance back then because I had only been into Rand for a couple of years and I had presumed these folks would be my people. I kept thinking, why wasn't anyone smiling

Incidentally, I liked Kay Nolte Smith as an actress. I was still a bit hippyish at the time and she was Miss Prim and Rigor in the play, albeit defiant, but I thought she was hot.

:) 

37 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

Kay wrote quite a few novels and the next to last one set in France in the early to mid-1880s was by far the best. Sorry, but I forget the title.

I looked it up, A Tale of the Wind. Based on your recommendation, it's now on my reading list.

One reviewer on Amazon really disliked this book. For one of her several complaints, she wrote: "... everything was so melodramatic it was almost embarrasing. The sun couldn't just rise, it had to bleed onto the horizon. The cat couldn't just jump off the windowsill, he had to alight on the floor with the agility and grace of a ballerina."

Damn, to me that's an advertisement. That's just what I'm looking for...

:) 

Michael

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3 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Is the rest of the article as sloppy?

Very definitely not - and you could read excerpts and remarks posted on this thread and find out what the article is about.

3 hours ago, Jonathan said:

As for Minn's art -- eeesh.

Glad you think so.

Ellen

PS:  Other things I want to say about posts up the thread, but I haven't time now.

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5 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Kay died in 1993 from lung cancer. Her husband Phillip was my acting teacher and, if still alive, which I doubt, would be in his early 90s.

They did Night of January 16 as Penthouse Legend in 1973 using the original script. She played the protagonist. As a production it was under-financed, but I liked it. They made a theater for it on top of the McAlpin hotel.

Kay wrote quite a few novels and the next to last one set in France in the early to mid-1800s was by far the best. Sorry, but I forget the title.

They were not method actors so they really had to act and they were really very good.

--Brant

I think I showed these before but it’s still fun to word search to dig up some old dirt on Brant. Scroll to the bottom where he criticizes Saint Ayn. Peter

From: BrantUSASF To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Evolution & Crit Think Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 23:42:54 EST. In a message dated 2/23/00 6:33:09 PM US Mountain Standard Time, jwales@aristotle.bomis.com writes: Well, let's think together on this.  What we want to think about is:  can we conceptually distinguish between the physical concept "space" versus the philosophical concept "nonexistence" or "nothingness"?

I think we can.  I think we must.   Let's imagine that in a top quality lab, you create a perfect vacuum. Or, near perfect, anyway.  You've got a big glass jar and you've sucked out all the atoms of air, etc., from inside the jar.   Now, you shine a light through it.  Does it take time to pass through it?  Yes.  Can we use this to measure different size vacuums?  Yes. Therefore, we can have _more_ or _less_ space. Space has attributes (size, for one!)  You can't have an attribute without an existent of some kind.

 Another way to think about it.  Would you say that, once you have a perfect vacuum, the "inside of the jar" has ceased to exist.  No!  What exists there is space.   Heat the jar, slowly, carefully, until the glass loses rigidity and begins to ooooooze.  Due to the vacuum, it is going to scrunch in, no problem.  Has anything changed inside the jar?  Yes!  There is less space inside.

Nonexistence, in the philosophical concept, does not change.  Nonexistence has no attributes.  Nonexistence can't be measured in any way, because it doesn't exist!

On Wed, 23 Feb 2000 BrantUSASF@aol.com wrote:  Space does not exist. Brant

Ha! A scientist named Gaede invented many decades ago a great vacuum system! However, space is not a physical concept, it is a negative concept in positive concept's clothing. In the example above you do not have more or less space but more or less of something else.  The inside of the jar is merely a measurement of distance between its walls.  What size does space have? You are talking about distance, not space.  Read my original post again.  I tried to word it very carefully.

SPACE DOES NOT EXIST !  The jar with the perfect vacuum is filled with nothing--i.e., space.  Why are we arguing? :) Brant Gaede

From: BrantUSASF To: Atlantis Subject: ATL: rights and emergencies Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 16:56:25 EST If in an emergency you violate someone else's property rights to get you through that emergency then having to make restitution and exposure to judicial redress is part of the price paid to meet that emergency. Such a context creates extenuating circumstances that might help you and the property owner might forgive you in whole or part--perhaps by not pressing charges. But if the law is not fair then it itself can constitute a gross violation of rights, yours and others. Rights violations, theoretical and real, exist along a continuum and all have contexts. I think it is insane to state that any violation of property rights is absolutely wrong and you should not do it ever. You won't believe it when I refuse to break into a truck to retrieve a fire extinguisher to put out your car fire with your babies trapped inside the car. Would that maintain my moral purity and integrity and make me feel good the next morning, shaving, looking at myself in the mirror? --Brant Gaede

From: BrantUSASF To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Re: Moral Rights and Individual Rights Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 16:00:16 EST

In a message dated 1/31/01 12:46:56 PM US Mountain Standard Time, wdwyer writes: I asked how one would define "a right" that imposes no obligations on others.

 

> Victor Levis replied, "You can't.  Your error comes from defining the right incorrectly.   The  obligation is to compensate for any damages."

I and you have rights. My obligation to you is not to violate your rights and vice versa. Compensation for violations is purely derivative. I don't have the right to violate your rights because of my intent to compensate. If I violate your rights to deal with an emergency that's what I did. I may be applauded and sanctioned for my actions in spite of the violation, but that could not gainsay the fact of the violation as such. --Brant Gaede

From: <BrantUSASF To: atlantis Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2000 3:20 PM Subject: Re: ATL: Re: Rights‑Bearing . . .Billy D. and infant rights. In a message dated 8/2/00 11:00:40 AM US Mountain Standard Time, wdwyer@california.net writes: So my question remains:  How is a child's right to FREEDOM OF ACTION violated by the parents' failure to support him? (Moreover, why ISN'T it violated by their coercive intervention into his activities?) >>

>There is an implicit contract that if you bring a baby into the world you are going to take care of him. If you don't, that's abuse. If there is an implicit contract here, it's certainly not one between the parent and their baby.  In order for a contract to arise, the parties to it must at least pre‑exist it, let alone be capable of giving informed consent to it.  According to the thinking of many on Atlantis, a baby doesn't even exist prior to birth.

What seems to come closer to what you have in mind might be promissory estoppel.  I used the concept in one of my articles, "Why Abortion Violates Rights".  (It is not yet readable on www.L4L.org.)  It was suggested to me  by Richard Stevens, a lawyer.  It might be that nobody but other lawyers can grasp the idea, but let's give it a try.  I wrote in part,

I'm going to make an aside that is a bit technical, but some lawyers find the parental‑obligation argument I'm making to be someone analogous to the legal concept of "promissory estoppel".  Relevant conditions to promissory estoppel are (1) one party makes a promise to a second, (2) the person who makes the promise reasonable expects it to induce reliance on it by the other party; (3) the second party actually changes position in reliance; and (4) the second party's detriment caused by his reliance on the promise makes it necessary to enforce the promise to avoid injustice.  The promissory‑estoppel idea holds people responsible for the damage they cause by making promises they don't keep, when others depend upon the promises, even if there is no formal contract.

I raise the point of promissory estoppel to note specifically that this is not what I mean.  The right of the child has a far stronger foundation than the claim of someone who has acted on another's promise.  The child's role is completely non‑voluntary, unlike that of the person acting on a promise; The child's role is completely non‑voluntary, unlike that of the person acting on a promise; and the parents have *caused* the dependency, not merely encouraged it.

>If a very young child heads into the street and I grab him, that's  taking care of him too, even if I am only a passerby. The idea that the use of force is only either its initiation (rights' violation) or in  > retaliation is a fallacy, maybe Ayn Rand's fallacy(?).

Don't blame Rand about this.  She was perfectly clear and correct in distinguishing between physical force used to aggress (which is an injustice, a violation of someone else's rights) and physical force used to defend the innocent (which is a just use of force).  That's basic  Randianism.

 > If you are staggering drunk down the railroad tracks and a train is coming and I tackle you and save your life, I have not initiated force  against you nor have I violated your rights, and that's assuming you have a right to be there, which you would not, not even if you  owned the railroad, for that crew in the locomotive didn't take the job with the understanding that they would be running people down  when they couldn't stop in time. The psychological trauma would just be tremendous. ‑‑Brant Gaede

From: "Peter Taylor" To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Determinists do it Better Date: Thu, 03 Aug 2000 02:24:22 GMT

Brant wrote, thinking I meant him and taking exception to me calling some list-writers, hate-filled monsters: "This is a generalized, collectivistic slander. I reject it completely. --Brant Gaede"

Following is an anything-goes homage to a brilliant man, Dennis May. It may be inappropriate for younger children. Enjoy it, you Running Dog Capitalist Lackey. Just try and reject this, Brant!

Headline from DC's premier newspaper, The Washington Times: Day of the Triffods? Today, the Mega Corporation, ProAgra Incorporated, announced a new line of corn seed guaranteed to thrive, no matter what a farmer's insect problems may be. When a mere three inches tall, the genetically engineered corn plants develop a "beak" that quickly hardens into a horny, polysaccharide "chitinous" material. Renowned scientist, and former crooner on the old Jack Benny Program, Dennis (The Menace) Day said, "I developed this wonderful new plant using Deterministic Epistemology. Don't ask me to explain that, because it is just too complicated. What I have done is to develop a plant that not only, does not need insecticides, it would not grow as quickly if insects were not available for the plant to catch and eat."

"Mr. Day demonstrated the corn plant's abilities, and gave us a running commentary as we filmed," said the lovely correspondent, Monica Submissive.

Voices transcribed from the film: "Remember what you promised me, Babe?"

"Sure, Dennis. You know I want you. Ssshh! The tape is rolling."

"OK," said Dennis pointing to the cameraman, "Keep it focused on the beak."

 A butterfly hovered near the corn silk, partially hiding the beak. Suddenly with a snap, the butterfly is bitten and swallowed.

"Did you get that," said a gleeful Mr. May, "Stockholm, here I come!"

"You want it now," said Monica?

"No, you idiot!" snapped Dennis. He turns to the camera. "This new variety of corn will eat any insects that come near it. I can see that there may be some confusion among the world's scientists that since I support determinism and a neural network theory of knowledge that the neural network of my corn model fails, if determinism fails at some level. Crap! That is not the case at all. The neural network consists of very large elements (cells) which can be seen with the aided eye and studied individually in the lab, in theoretical models, and duplicated in function with computers, large pots of water, and microwave ovens. It is best if eaten with salt and butter.

My corn is designed to be able to defend itself one day after sprouting. Of course, as the plant grows you will need to keep household pets out of the corn fields. When it is one foot high, it should be able to deter any wild animals such as raccoons, and at six feet high, even deer are fair game. And the corn is delicious as food for humans or livestock," said Mr. Day. "Harvesting can be accomplished with a International Harvester tractor and a high caliber rifle."

Mr. Day is reported to be on the short list of Nobel Prize candidates. Peter Taylor

From: RogerEBissell To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Rational Animal Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 11:23:05 EST

Brant Gaede wrote: >I don't think man is the rational animal.  I think man is the would be, could be, should be rational animal and that if rational his rationality exists along a continuum of less to more rational.  And thinking rationally is only one step. He (she, pardon me) then must act rationally (morally) to actually be rational.

Brant, this is not what Aristotle and Rand meant by "the rational animal." Rand clearly explained this in her writings, particularly in her chapter on definitions in "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology." She meant ~not~ that humans differ from animals by invariably ~using~ reason, but by having the ~capacity~ (which animals do not have) to use reason.

As an aside: I have noticed a tendency in stating definitions to stray from the Aristotelian-Randian formula of genus-and-differentia. The order is quite important, and not at all a formalistic irrelevance. If you say man is "the rational animal" -- which is differentia first, then genus -- it is all to easy to draw the false implication that active use of reason is an invariable trait of humans. At least, that is what I see, time and time again, in discussion of Rand's/Aristotle's definition of man. Instead, do the extra mental step and put the definition in "standard" (genus-then-differentia) form, and you'll see the meaning with greater clarity. Man is the animal (genus) with rationality (the capacity to engage in reason) -- not man is the animal (genus) with invariably rational behavior. (Another aside: this approach can be used with benefit on ~other~ definitions, too -- e.g., government.)

I am not trying to pick on Brant here. It's just that, like others, he interprets "rational" and "rationality" in the sense of ~actual~ behavior, rather than the ~potential~, the ~capacity~, which is the fundamental attribute from which rational actions can (but do not always) flow. Hope this helps. More later, especially in response to Ellen Moore's helpful post. Roger

From: "William Dwyer" To: <atlantis Subject: ATL: RE: torture Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 08:10:14 -0800

Brant Gaede writes, "I can't agree with Barbara Branden about how torture under certain circumstances might be appropriate.  However, I imagine most countries have used it, including the USA. Morally repugnant it is a poor excuse for competent interrogation."

Another problem with torture, which we haven’t focused on, is the fact that you have to set limits on it, otherwise it becomes too horrible to contemplate, even for those who favor some form of it.  But precisely what are those limits?  And who decides what they will be? I think that the founding fathers may have been addressing this issue when the prohibited "cruel and unusual" punishment.  They were setting limits on what you can do to another human being.

Question:  Is the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment?  I think George Smith raised this point awhile back, suggesting that if you can kill someone, then (since life is the ultimate value), anything else is permissible, including torture.  He used this as an argument against capital punishment.

And I think that I objected that death is not the most extreme form of punishment. In any case, however, the death penalty is still extreme, and could perhaps qualify as cruel, if not unusual! 😕 Bill

Brant Gaede wrote about ARI's support of smoking: "Sure one's total context determines whether it is rational to smoke or not, but maybe the context itself is not rational. I think the ARI is just trying to justify Ayn Rand's smoking. I think Ayn Rand was irrational about her smoking and rationalized it."

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Jonathan,

I corrected the trash business two days ago.  I’m grateful to Ellen for pointing out my error.

Just now I emailed someone about having to refresh a browser:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When your browser opens a webpage it has recently opened before, it will open a "cached" copy on your computer  instead of the real webpage on the Internet.  To force it to open the real webpage after that, press the "refresh key," typically  F5  or  Ctrl-R.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark

 

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5 hours ago, Mark said:

Jonathan,

I corrected the trash business two days ago.  I’m grateful to Ellen for pointing out my error.

Just now I emailed someone about having to refresh a browser:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When your browser opens a webpage it has recently opened before, it will open a "cached" copy on your computer  instead of the real webpage on the Internet.  To force it to open the real webpage after that, press the "refresh key," typically  F5  or  Ctrl-R.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark

 

Mark,

I use the Brave browser and I just cleaned my cookies, closed the browser, etc. etc. etc.

Here is an exact quote from the article I now see (your words), which is not a cached version:

Quote

Even when Rand was alive there were artists trying to cash in on her popularity by selling art ostensibly related to her novels. Once at a Ford Hall Forum Q&A she was asked about the work of one such artist. She replied in so many words that it was trash.

That "one such artist" is Parrish.

Leave the error up or correct it. That's your choice since it is your article. But the people on this thread will not be the only ones to notice the error.

Michael

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15 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Is the rest of the article as sloppy?

Jonathan,

Not really.

However, there is another passage I find troublesome.

Quote

The title of a copyrighted novel is not subject to the copyright by itself, but using it for your own product while associating the product with the novel requires permission.

It is true that one cannot copyright the title of a novel. It's been a while since I've mucked around copyright law and the US Code, but I am almost certain the legal permission he presents as fact is not a legal requirement. I believe he believes it should be a requirement, but that is different than what's on the books.

From what I remember, the artist as a person cannot be used on a product without permission, nor can the title be used for a product it the title is trademarked. And even then, the title would need to be trademarked for the type of product in order for a claimant to have a case.

In other words, if someone came up with Atlas Shrugged ice cream and served it in a bowl called Galt's Gulch, I'm practically certain no claim could be made by Peikoff unless the name Atlas Shrugged was protected by a trademark for food. In terms of copyright, this would have no bearing at all.

I'm also a bit fuzzy on what would be the case for licensing agreements and character copyrights. But in the case of the sculpture, there are no characters from the novel. Anyway, all this bears checking if one wants to present it as fact. But I feel pretty certain based on previous study and translation (I translated a crapload of copyright and trademark stuff in my past).

As to the rest of the article, it mostly deals with the true crime story regarding Minns and, on the surface, it appears to be accurate. Mark is even careful to say there are minor discrepancies when he presents extracts from court documents.

At the end, he presents some fictitious strawmen quotes from ARI people and knocks them down with debunking comments. I cannot imagine ARI folks saying some of them although I can others. I find a string of fictional quotes with comments like that weird. Why make that up when the facts and simple evaluations of them are so devastating? To me, that's a negative, but it's his article.

I was harsh with Mark for twisting my own words to mean what they didn't and posturing about it, but I don't want that to imply his article is bad. It is not. In fact, it is so effective, it made me quite angry at official Objectivismdom.

But here's the main negative. Mark has a habit of making unwarranted assumptions, then passing them off as facts. (This is a habit that goes way back.) But believe it or not, I am not totally against this. It comes with the territory of blunt instruments like his writing to take down others.

For another example, I like Alex Jones and he does this all the time. Mark does it much less, but the pattern he uses is the same. So I take this into account when I consume their content. They raise a whole lot of stuff that powerful people prefer to keep hidden and I value that. It takes a lot of emotion (generally hatred) to do that kind of work to be accurate enough to be effective. And to keep going. Frankly, Mark did a hell of a good job in this article. But I realize blunt instruments need to be constantly checked on details if you want to use their stuff as a source. Or it should be used with a disclaimer that the reader should do his or her own checking of facts.

As a tangent going nowhere, he has a bug up his rear end about Jews for some reason. But he has tended to keep that part down when he has posted on OL in the last couple of years or so. (Maybe a bit longer or shorter. I'm going on memory and this has been a minor issue for me. So I don't have good precision on the timeline of this.)

As another tangent going nowhere, he left Froggy in the pond for this article.

Despite my friction with him above in this thread, I highly recommend you read his article. Knowing you, it will probably make you about as mad as I am. And not at him. At official Objectivist organizations.

Michael

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Peter, Ellen, everyone:

The main text about “trash” stays as is but I added this footnote:

Quote

4.  The artist was not Maxfield Parrish (1870 – 1966), long retired or deceased at the time and there is no record of him associating his work with Rand.

However so there is no confusion, on another occasion Rand was asked what she thought of the work of Parrish, simply by itself, and she replied with one word, “Trash,” a rather crude view I think. We mention this in  Ayn Rand on Immigration and its footnote 7 to illustrate that one must think for oneself rather than parrot Rand.

 

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