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6 minutes ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

 

I don't want to see it.  I get a smattering of email from them.  I'm still on some mailing list or other from days past.   I promptly redirect most of their emails to the trash bin, but occasionally I glance at an item and wonder "What happened?"

Do you gave any idea what did happen?  (I mean how did Jennifer Grossman end up CEO of TAS?  More generally, how did the standards take such a nosedive?  Not that I was ever that gung-ho, but at least there was the goal of producing quality intellectual work.)

Ellen

I don’t believe they are working for what they say they are working for.

A handful of big donors are dictating direction and methods.

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Jonathan, Do you see this as either-or? Does one negate the other? In other words, will the part of human nature that likes celebrities stop existing--in level-headed people and idiots

You mean the voices in your head? (That was too well set up to resist.  ) Michael

Ellen, LOL... You definitely are not the target audience for this TAS project. But think about presenting Rand to social justice snowflakes. Like it or not, these people vote and

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“CEO” is incorrect. A CEO is chief of all the other executives, but I am not aware of any other named executives at Atlas. Same as if Michael started calling himself CEO of OL. Ok. But why not President and Commander-in-Chief? Cosplay, ya’ll!!! Woohoo!!

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8 minutes ago, Jon Letendre said:

I don’t believe they are working for what they say they are working for,

Jon, um, should I interpret that as, no, you don't have any information on what happened?

Ellen

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3 minutes ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

Jon, um, should I interpret that as, no, you don't have any information on what happened?

Ellen

I added to that post.

Judging by the constant pushing, and I mean everyday for weeks now, of Rand Paul’s new book, (and of Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon and nearly a god doncha know,) I gather that they stay afloat by taking donations to do specific things. After all,  Dinesh D’Souza also has a great new book out about the perils of socialism yet Atlas has not once mentioned it, compared to many dozen praisings of Paul’s book.

I have no inside grounded knowledge or even rumors about anything going on inside.

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

In other words, will the part of human nature that likes celebrities stop existing--in level-headed people and idiots alike--just because pro-Rand people ignore it?

No, human nature won't change.

I just think that Rand's celebrity is done. Over. And it's not going to be brought back.

To me, it's similar to Pigero obsessing over Lanza and trying to revive his celebrity. It's like a Tigerbeat fanboy/girl thing, which is fine on the average person's Facebook page. It's weird coming from anyone who is hoping to have actual grownup, realworld  influence. 

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This trait comes from evolution, not from any moral failing.

Sure, and I don't think of it as a moral failing. 

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So I see no problem in letting all different kinds of approaches to persuasion fly. The best ones will work. The poor ones will fail on their own. We don't have to take the extra time and effort to go around stomping out approaches that we dislike. Leave that to the Shiite Objectivists who seek obedience and conformity out of others.

I agree. I didn't mean to give the impression of "stomping out" approaches that I don't like.

I once expressed a similar opinion about a friend making a speaking appearance, and his deciding to do so in the character of Abraham Lincoln. My view was that it wasn't thought through, and that it would flop. My reasoning wasn't a moral judgment, but an aesthetic one. And I could see that the friend was in the Pygmalion Mode, where he had fallen in love with his idea, and wasn't bringing any critical judgment to it at all. No sense of how it might fail, how to avoid that, how to craft it better.

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I'm curious, though. What is so wrong about letting someone like Jennifer Grossman role play Rand on college campuses or in videos?

She's free to express herself anyway she wishes. And I am free to express my aesthetic cringing in response.

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Jennifer is not the bad guy to me.

Nor to me. My friend who did the embarrassing Abe Lincoln routine also wasn't a bad guy.

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So I don't get the hatred and contempt...

No hatred or contempt here. Just aesthetic criticism.

J

 

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22 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

I just think that Rand's celebrity is done. Over. And it's not going to be brought back.

Jonathan,

Tell that to the fan clubs.

:)

In fact, that's kinda where I put Jennifer's shindig. A fan club approach.

And I don't mean that in a derogatory manner. It's a perspective. (And there are fan clubs galore in schools, including in institutions of higher education.)

Kat is a huge Beatles fan. I've always been on the artist side of the stage during a huge chunk of my professional life, so I had to learn the fan perspective over time. Observing Kat do her Beatles thing among her Beatles friends has helped me understand it. (She's quite active where her Beatles are concerned. :) )

The fan perspective is not a great fit for me, so I'm kind of a buzzkill with she and her friends want me to participate. I'm even that way with Rand stuff (remember all that play-acting at activism over on RoR?--I never resonated with it because, to me, this was the wrong side of the stage although I didn't have the words for it back then.). But at least now I can see what is going on when I'm with a fan of someone and we talk past each other.

And, of course, there is quite a lot of bands that role play the Beatles in their shows. This corresponds nicely with what Jennifer is doing.

Groking this perspective is probably why I am not down on Jennifer. I see where she is coming from. At least, based on her actions, I think I do. (I bet she's a good person, too, but that's another issue.)

22 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

She's free to express herself anyway she wishes. And I am free to express my aesthetic cringing in response.

I'm more than fine with that.

22 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

No hatred or contempt here. Just aesthetic criticism.

Cool.

It's all good.

Michael

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Just now they took down their noontime posting because it said, ‘hey learn something for once — a billion is a lot. A billion days ago there were no plants or animals.’ Well, that was only about three million years ago. The dinosaurs went extinct over sixty million years ago, so there certainly were plants and animals 2.7 million years ago. Everyone had a field day laughing at them.

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They reposted, it’s fixed now.

They used months instead, and got it right: “A BILLION (their all-caps, they do it a lot) months ago, the dinosaurs still roamed.” Eighty something million years ago, they still roamed, that’s correct.

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11 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

I have no inside grounded knowledge or even rumors about anything going on insidide.

I have no inside information either, and I'm not willing to presume on old but many-years-dormant friendships and try to do some inquiring.  I just find the change in character from the founding intent of the organization "odd," and I wouldn't be surprised if you're right in suspecting that behind-the-scenes major donors are involved.

Ellen

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They do a lot of “motivational” and “inspiration.” The tone is always to stop complaining. Just stop bitching and for once do something productive with your life. This morning’s posting is typical of this genre they like. I guess this is some motivational speaker/writer, but why does it sound like the last warning before being fired? It doesn’t ring motivational to me at all. But it fits their operational tone, so they love it.

”Doing the bare minimum?” Why do they presume that their 30k+ little Atlases are doing the bare minimum?

”Expect there bare minimum.” This must mean to expect “their minimum,” as in no raises, no more free Friday morning coffees. Cute that the superior clowns at Atlas can’t get there/their right.

”Get off your throne, princess, and GRIND IT OUT. #youdoyou”

Maybe it’s just me and my lousy attitude, but the whole thing makes me want to answer: “#youdoyou alright, Go Fuck Your Self, Princess, you “work” off charity at a small non-profit.” Motivation to do better is the last thing on my mind when I consume their motivational memes. Is it just me?

 

 

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2 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

Motivation to do better is the last thing on my mind when I consume their motivational memes. Is it just me?

Jon,

It is not just you. Their memes are lame. Take the one you just posted. Where is the emotion? Any emotion? A meme needs a gut-level emotion to work (and thus spread), but if that is not present, any emotion will do to keep from being skimmed over.

What the hell is emotional about an office wall, desk, laptop, lamp and potted plant?

:) 

Dayaamm!

Talk about clueless. (It's like listening to Germans trying to play Samba. :) )

Showing is better then explaining. Let me use the same text the TAS people did and keep the laptop theme.

This is a meme:

image.png

It's not a great meme, but it's a meme made by a human, not by corporate-babble. It touches the viewer emotionally to pursue one's dream (and that's the point of inspiration, right?) rather than tries to impress the office boss.

:)

Your mileage may vary, but I know for sure this is a decent meme. I have no doubt it would get shared around on Instagram or Pinterest.

On another point:

On 3/4/2020 at 1:19 PM, Jon Letendre said:

Go get him, then.

OK, I will.

The following is what I'm talking about if you are interested in spreading Rand's ideas and striking out at the bad guys. I just posted it. Especially see the second post in that thread.

The 2020 Election - Capitalism vs Collectivism Rand Style

Rather than focus your fire and the precious unrepeatable minutes and hours of your valuable life on attacking people who are spreading Rand's ideas and not doing a great job of it, find people who are.

I was going to post that thread here, but RazorFist is not attacking Rand and this thread we are on right now is for weird interpretations of her.

RazorFist uses Rand in a way she should be used.

And he's got audience.

And he's getting the job done by bringing massive value to an audience that doesn't even know Rand that much. Hell, I believe he will provide value even to the elites in O-Land--about Rand--if they will get off their high horses and look.

That kind of approach excites me. This other stuff is, well, other stuff...

Michael

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See? It’s the Rand Paul Society. Every single day they push his book.

To my knowledge they have never.

I will break it up

So that

it hits.

They have never.

Never.

They have never mentioned Ayn Rand’s Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. Nor George Reisman’s

https://cdn.mises.org/Capitalism A Treatise on Economics_3.pdf

I wish I was criticizing people for the way they promote Ayn Rand’s ideas, even if poorly. I wish I could agree that that is even what they try to do.

 

 

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Here is another motivational one.

Stop asking for free shit! (Priceless from a non-profit. Was Branden’s Institute non-profit, did he ask for donations? Was Galt’s motor non-profit, or did residents pay him? Did he ask for donations?)

But anyway, Get off your ass!

Who feels motivated?

Who is wondering why they blast this annoyed-parent-to-lazy-17-year-old tone at their thirty thousand plus member “Atlases” who presumably want to learn about ideas and philosophy?

Everything should be hard! Or you are a lazy fuck! #MOTIVATIONALQUOTES #Objectivism

 

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On 3/4/2020 at 2:51 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jonathan,

Tell that to the fan clubs.

:)

In fact, that's kinda where I put Jennifer's shindig. A fan club approach.

And I don't mean that in a derogatory manner. It's a perspective. (And there are fan clubs galore in schools, including in institutions of higher education.)

Kat is a huge Beatles fan. I've always been on the artist side of the stage during a huge chunk of my professional life, so I had to learn the fan perspective over time. Observing Kat do her Beatles thing among her Beatles friends has helped me understand it. (She's quite active where her Beatles are concerned. :) )

The fan perspective is not a great fit for me, so I'm kind of a buzzkill with she and her friends want me to participate. I'm even that way with Rand stuff (remember all that play-acting at activism over on RoR?--I never resonated with it because, to me, this was the wrong side of the stage although I didn't have the words for it back then.). But at least now I can see what is going on when I'm with a fan of someone and we talk past each other.

And, of course, there is quite a lot of bands that role play the Beatles in their shows. This corresponds nicely with what Jennifer is doing.

Groking this perspective is probably why I am not down on Jennifer. I see where she is coming from. At least, based on her actions, I think I do. (I bet she's a good person, too, but that's another issue.)

I'm more than fine with that.

Cool.

It's all good.

Michael

Yeah, I get it. It's fanboy/fangirl stuff. Firing up the choir.

I'm probably as big of a Beatles fan as Kat is, or close to being. If someone did an interview paying homage to John Lennon by doing a sincere, heartfelt imitation of him in a bad wig for a few minutes, heh, cute. 42 minutes? Enough already. Youtube? Overkill. History tour? Milking a dead cow.

It looks like aesthetic vanity, absence of aesthetic self-awareness.

And, again, nothing against Grossman. Generally she seems much cooler as a person than the past generation at TAS. I'm just offering up the honesty of an aesthetic cringe, not a judgment of her and everything she's ever done.

J

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To get this thread back on target, which is to present weird versions and misrepresentations of Rand in the mainstream, I found this beauty from March 2018 in The Washington Examiner by one Ethan Epstein:

How Hillary Clinton Is Like Ayn Rand

It's a short article, so here it is in the most part. It's so muddled, it's hard to take an excerpt and make it stand alone.

Quote

The Hillary Unplugged tour made it to India this week, where the former presidential candidate modified her theory as to why she lost the 2016 election. This time, it wasn’t James Comey, or even “the Russians" that did her in. In fact, it was the Americans. Here is what she said:

Forget the untoward spectacle of Clinton casting all of her opponents as people opposing “black people getting rights.” (There is a staff editorial about that on this website.) What I find particularly interesting is the bizarre strand of Ayn Rand-ism in Clinton’s sentiments.

She boasts, after all, that the areas she won represent “two thirds of America’s gross domestic product.” That’s true: The Democrats have in many respects become the party of America’s economic winners. But what’s odd is that Clinton’s economic analysis quickly becomes a moral judgment. Those Americans stuck in the parts of the country with flagging GDP (those “forgotten Americans,” as Donald Trump called them) aren’t just economically struggling. They are “backwards,” and opposed to civil and women’s rights.

In other words, Clinton’s remarks represent nothing so much as a bizarre strand of Ayn Randism. Clinton, like Rand, seems to be suggesting that “high GDP” people—a.k.a. America’s “producers”—people don’t just have more money than the rest of us. She’s saying they’re better people, too. And as for the Trumpian masses out in low GDP America? What a bunch of “takers!”

I've seen Rand misrepresented a lot and in a lot of ways.

But this...

But this...

I stand in awe.

:)

Michael

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Here's a howler by Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor, also in March 2018.

It's odd that Reich got the Rand-Trump connection right, but he did it for the wrong reasons. Still, it's interesting that the things he hates about Trump are the same things he hates about Rand (individualism, anti-collectivism, etc.), so in a backwards way, he shows some valid links between the two.

Now here's the howler part. His text is milk-toast BS that says very little except he doesn't like Rand or Trump, but the figures he uses to illustrate his points are so off, you can't help but laugh.

For instance, Reich present Bernie Madoff in a manner that insinuates Madoff is a Randian hero.

:)

It's like that throughout the entire video.

Pure garbage. You have to see this one to believe it.

Michael

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31 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

To get this thread back on target, which is to present weird versions and misrepresentations of Rand in the mainstream, I found this beauty from March 2018 in The Washington Examiner by one Ethan Epstein:

How Hillary Clinton Is Like Ayn Rand

It's a short article, so here it is in the most part. It's so muddled, it's hard to take an excerpt and make it stand alone.

I've seen Rand misrepresented a lot and in a lot of ways.

But this...

But this...

I stand in awe.

:)

Michael

Mises saw many of the same things that writer sees, even using the same words, e.g., “better people” ... “better than you”

My bolds

January 23, 1958
Mrs. Ayn Rand 36 East 36 Street New York, N.Y.
Dear Mrs. Rand:
I AM NOT A professional critic and I feel no call to judge the merits of a novel. So I do not want to detain you with the information that I enjoyed very much reading Atlas Shrugged and that I am full of admi- ration for your masterful construction of the plot.
But “Atlas Shrugged” is not merely a novel. It is also—or may I say: first of all—a cogent analysis of the evils that plague our society, a substantiated rejection of the ideology of our self-styled “intellec- tuals” and a pitiless unmasking of the insincerity of the policies adopted by governments and political parties. It is a devastating exposure of the “moral cannibals,” the “gigolos of science” and of the “academic prattle” of the makers of the “anti-industrial revolu- tion.” You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you.
If this be arrogance, as some of your critics observed, it still is the truth that had to be said in this age of the Welfare State.

I warmly congratulate you and I am looking forward with great expectations to your future work.
Sincerely,
Ludwig Mises LM/ms

https://cdn.mises.org/21_4_3.pdf

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6 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

Mises saw many of the same things that writer sees, even using the same words, e.g., “better people” ... “better than you”

My bolds

Jon,

That Mises quote is disgusting.

:)

Seriously. It implies that superiority in some specialized productive area is the same as being a superior life form, including innate moral superiority.

The elites and the livestock of humanity. 

I rant about this attitude constantly.

Rand showed signs of being on board with this in that sense, too, in her earlier Nietzschean days. But later she developed a nice healthy respect for average working people. See her essay on Woodstock, for instance ("Apollo and Dionysus"). Hell, even in The Fountainhead, there was Mike the construction worker who was Roark's friend.

Still, would Mises have confused Hillary Clinton with Ayn Rand?

:) 

Michael

 

EDIT: Come to think of it, my repulsion about the Mises quote is that he treated this as a class issue (the masses), not an individual issue (people within the masses). The implication in his quote is that if you are in "the masses" you are automatically an inferior human being. Not an inferior industrialist or scientist or whatever. An inferior human being.

That's about as collectivist on an epistemological level as it gets. Thank God Mises was inconsistent on this point.

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On 3/6/2020 at 11:43 AM, Jonathan said:

I'm probably as big of a Beatles fan as Kat is, or close to being.

Jonathan,

I am going to bring this to her attention.

I have no doubt she will love it.

And here is a treat for you that I just found.

John Lennon says things here that reflect my own views on many different things. He tickled me when he said about half the music of the Beatles could be done easily in a 1920s style. This comment came from something I didn't quite think about before. John said the Beatles didn't innovate anything. They merely took what was there and presented it (after putting their own personalities on it, of course). This went for music and for fashion. Come to think of it, this went for the drugs and the Indian religious stuff as well. I love that he said he caught himself becoming a musical snob and backed out of it.

I was surprised by Howard Cosell. He sounded sleepy, but he was one hell of an interviewer. Also, I think Cosell was a bit anti-authoritarian. I remember he had a skit he kept of with Mohammed Ali and I always got the feeling he knew he was sticking a thumb in the eye of the authoritarians, and he liked doing it.

I didn't know about this interview before today. I might listen to this one several times. I'm pretty sure I would have liked the guy in this interview--liked as in the way one likes a personal friend--and this is the first time I ever felt that about John. 

Michael

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20 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jon,

That Mises quote is disgusting.

:)

Seriously. It implies that superiority in some specialized productive area is the same as being a superior life form, including innate moral superiority.

The elites and the livestock of humanity. 

I rant about this attitude constantly.

Rand showed signs of being on board with this in that sense, too, in her earlier Nietzschean days. But later she developed a nice healthy respect for average working people. See her essay on Woodstock, for instance ("Apollo and Dionysus"). Hell, even in The Fountainhead, there was Mike the construction worker who was Roark's friend.

Still, would Mises have confused Hillary Clinton with Ayn Rand?

:) 

Michael

 

EDIT: Come to think of it, my repulsion about the Mises quote is that he treated this as a class issue (the masses), not an individual issue (people within the masses). The implication in his quote is that if you are in "the masses" you are automatically an inferior human being. Not an inferior industrialist or scientist or whatever. An inferior human being.

That's about as collectivist on an epistemological level as it gets. Thank God Mises was inconsistent on this point.

English wasn't Mises' first language. All his books were written in German, I do believe. I'm giving him a pass on this.

--Brant

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A pass like an excuse? Excused from what? Do you mean that the messages which that author and Mises identify in Rand’s work are not there? And further, that it only sounds like he says they are there — due to his inept English?

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10 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

A pass like an excuse? Excused from what? Do you mean that the messages which that author and Mises identify in Rand’s work are not there? And further, that it only sounds like he says they are there — due to his inept English?

I excuse him for saying what I don't excuse. Similarly I excuse Rand for certain things in the original We the Living she edited out for the second edition, but not for lying about it. 

--Brant

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