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5 hours ago, anthony said:

but can anyone say for sure there wasn't any or every kind of jealousy generally aimed at Brandon re: his special relations with Rand?

Curious, I typed the word “jealousy” into my archive and all I had was this tiny thread. Peter

From: Walter Foddis To: ATL <atlantis> Subject: ATL: Romantic Love and Attachment Theory Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 04:27:56 -0600. Attachment theory is an influential model of relationships in the field of psychology. A prominent researcher in the field is Kim Barthomolew of Simon Fraser University. She and her colleagues have proposed 4 peer attachment prototypes that have implications for romantic relationships. The attachment prototypes are labelled as secure, fearful, preoccupied, and dismissing. Here are brief descriptions for each:

1. SECURE: Positive self-model, positive other-model

Key Features: high coherence, high self-confidence, positive approach to others, high intimacy in relationships

Their romantic relationships are also characterized by intimacy, closeness, mutual respect and involvement, disclosure, etc. They do not necessarily have perfect relationships, but they can make realistic appraisals of their partners and the issues in their relationships. When asked about the ideal relationship, one secure person responded: "Is there an ideal relationship? I think that you can strive for the best that you can offer each other." They are able to resolve conflicts constructively. If secure individuals are not currently involved in romantic relationships, they are likely to have been previously involved, or to have a reasonable explanation for their current lack of involvement.

2. FEARFUL: Negative self-model, negative other-model

Key Features: low self-confidence and avoidance of intimacy due to fear of rejection, conflicting motives of both wanting and fearing intimacy, high self-consciousness

Fearful individuals find it difficult to become involved in romantic relationships. For example, when asked why they didn't date, one fearful person said "I don't want to be rejected or seen in a negative light." When involved in a romantic relationship, they assume a passive role, are very dependent, and tend to be more invested in the relationship than their partner. They are very insecure within the relationship and tend to blame themselves for problems (e.g., "Every argument we've had has been my fault because I'm an idiot.") They have difficultly openly communicating and showing feelings to their partners. One person said: "I'm incapable of vocalizing my emotions. I'm afraid that I'll say something that will ruin the relationship." They avoid conflict in relationships, and have a hard time breaking off relationships because of their fear of ever finding another relationship).

3. PREOCCUPIED: Negative self-model; positive other-model

Key features: preoccupied with relationships, incoherent and idealizing in discussing relationships, highly dependent on others for self-esteem, approach oriented in relationships

To preoccupied individuals, romantic relationships are of critical importance (e.g., "When I have a boyfriend, he becomes my everything. He takes up all my extra time and my energy and my thought. For me to half way like someone just doesn't work. I just can't do that .... I wouldn't date someone that I wouldn't consider  marrying.") They may worry about never finding someone to share their life with (e.g., "I'm just a total worry-wart. I worry that I'll never meet somebody and then, on the other hand, I worry that I've already met her."), but are likely to have been constantly involved in romantic relationships....

Their relationships are punctuated by emotional extremes, including anger, passion, jealousy, and possessiveness. They tend to initiate conflict (e.g., "I love to argue but it's hard to argue by yourself"), and they openly express their feelings and insecurities in relationships. They are more invested in the relationship than their partners and more dominant. They are clingy or dependent in their relationships, and very demanding of their partners. The dominance and intrusiveness of the preoccupied is often reflected in an extreme desire to be needed, to look after, or to "fix" romantic partners.

4. DISMISSING: Positive self-model, negative other-model

Key Features: low elaboration and coherence, downplays importance of relationships, high self-confidence, avoidance of intimacy & compulsive self-reliance

The romantic relationships of dismissing individuals are characterized by a lack of intimacy or closeness and low self-disclosure and emotional expressiveness. These individuals are less involved in the relationship than their partners. They tend to be low in affection in relationships and prefer to avoid conflict or other emotional displays. In addition to not relying on their partners for support, they are uncomfortable with requests for support or indications of dependence in their partners. They often shy from commitment and are quick to feel trapped or bored in relationships.

For more information, please see Bartholomew's Lab page:

http://www.sfu.ca/psychology/groups/faculty/barth/research/index.htm

From: "Mary-Ann A." Subject: Re: [Starship_Forum] I have no such bitterness--rep to Monart Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2002 18:57:27 -0600. Just a quick note to respond to the following statement with a clarification: >I think Rand promoted that kind of divisiveness by her rancorous words about people who did not agree with her ideas. I wish she had come from a more loving and accepting frame of mind. In fact, I wonder if, with all her emphasis about trading relationships, if she really understood the limits of trading in friendship or love, when it is a holistic commitment to the relationship that makes or breaks it, not an "I'll give you only if you give me.">

Gently, I wish to tell you that you have misunderstood AR's "trader principle," to the extent you think it is comprised of what you say here.

The "trader principle" (which I am bitterly, very aware of, having had it used against me) is one of an association of co-equals, particularly in the "spiritual" sense, as Objectivism defines spiritual.  (Although an Atheist, AR does use the word at times, in her particular sense.)  If you think of types of relationships as a pyramid, with the 'pinnacle' being the one you have chosen for your life/sexual partner, and acquaintances at the base, the trader principle requires that, as you move up the pyramid toward the top, your important associations should (MUST!) only be with those who are your spiritual equal.  The "trading" is in the sense of -- in characteristic grandiosity -- the spiritual "food" you get/give each other by virtue of your virtues;  the vindication, if you will -- though that's not accurate, it's the word I can come up with as I'm rushing here -- of finding another or other human beings who are "like you."  ("Like you," of course, being perfectly rational and efficacious human beings with no excuses in their lives.  Like you, of course.)  (Forgive me if I sound bitter; but don't bother to ask, this is all I have to say about that subject.) Love to say more, but have to run THIS MINUTE! (to a class).  Please let me know if you want any other clarification, or references. Regards, Mary-Ann

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2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I'm not going to hit someone for speculating about a deceptive womanizer's psychology or motive, even if for some reason I cared about the deceptive womanizer.

MS,

There's that myopia I was talking about. I think there's something in Objectivism that lead people in this direction. (I'm not attacking, but speaking of a form of perception.)

I was not talking about only womanizers. I was talking about loved ones. I merely mentioned NB's womanizing as a way to show that I see the negative in him, also.

So let me rephrase it.

Suppose Valliant said in public--and meant--that your father had the "soul of a rapist." And he went on a crusade about it. Would you say he was making a "strong claim" that "doesn't seem fair"?

If you didn't want to pop him in the nose as that would be an "exaggeration," at least wouldn't you feel like calling him a liar or an idiot or boneheaded or something?

:) 

But there's more.

2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Which relevant parts of Branden's life did Valliant fail to consider? You can only look at the parts that are revealed, and of those you only need to consider the ones that are relevant to your thesis. The "soul of a rapist" charge pertains to his sexual relationships.

I fear you didn't read the "soul of a rapist" passage correctly in the Valliant book. Valliant was not referring ONLY to sex. He was referring to the need to control all rapists, in his professional consideration, have. An immoral need to control. He claimed that Branden exerted that over Rand in all his dealings with her. That was the case he made. Go back and read it if you don't believe me. It's right there.

As to the relevant part of NB's life, here's just one. How about most of his life? NB had a long and loving relationship with too many patients to mention. "Loving" is the word his patients use. Empathetic. Caring. Wise. And so on.

A person with a rapist's level of immoral need to control does not develop anything near this. After all, NB was a psychotherapist--and a brilliant one--for far longer (decades and decades) than he was Rand's paramour. (His entire personal relationship with Rand, including the non-sexual part, lasted only 17 years.) NB invented things like the sentence-completion technique that are staples in the field and so on.

If you don't want to look at his life, I'm fine with that. But to refuse to look and then pretend that his life was other than it was--even to the point of insinuating it is irrelevant to judging him with having a "soul of a rapist"--is a misidentification based on someone else's judgment.

That's the epistemological error I refer to. Judging without identifying correctly because someone else judged and you feel like agreeing with that person. Feel like agreeing is not the same thing as independent thinking with reason.

But people do that with Rand (and others) all the time in O-Land. What she loved, they proclaim to love. What she hated, they bash. Yet when you probe them to find out what exactly they know for real about the thing or person they are judging, more often than not, they are not familiar with it.

A good example is Kant. Many people who agree that he was the most evil man in history have only read a sentence here or there by him quoted by someone else, if that. Many of those (I have seen it) are surprised when they learn that, government-wise, Kant was more libertarian than anything else. That's just one example. And I speak as one who is just as guiltily of doing this as anyone I criticize. Only I stopped after I realized what I was doing.

 

While I'm on it, there's another epistemological error. Notice that in your discussion with Valliant, neither you nor Scott were able to complete your statements or questions if they involved treating the Brandens with a more reasonable approach than he does. He did not listen. He simply talked over you--and not just once. And he repeated himself a lot (for example, the Brandens were liars liars liars liars liars liars liars liars... :) ). That is not a syllogism. That is not even rhetoric. That is an irrational "need to control" being put forth as discussion. :)

Michael

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MS,

And even more while I'm on it, nobody talks about the lies James Valliant presents. Neil Parille did a pretty good job of identifying and presenting a ton of them.

Here's just one example. We used to call it VallianQuoteTM back in the day.

Valliant would take a passage from either of the Branden books, paraphrase the passage with negative spin, then treat the passage as an exact quote so he could bash the spin.

That's pure sleaze. It's dishonest and a form of lying.

But it's there. Over and over and over. (See Neil's thing for concrete examples.)

I could go on and on about this stuff. And none of it is about defending or attacking the Brandens.

It's about epistemology.

That's not how Objectivism is supposed to be used. That's not reason. But it is how Objectivism can be used.

Michael

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20 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

But for a colorful case, there was one lady, Diana Hsieh, who, during her ARI friendly days, tried to teach people how to live an Objectivist life with Q&As and community organizing and everything.

Diana Brickell is what she prefers now. It's almost as if she dropped Objectivist pursuits entirely.

brickell.com.jpg

 

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I looked for something not quoted frequently from Diana Hsieh. Hey Beevis. Her blog was called “noodlefood.” But, now she goes by Diana Brickell. 

From: Diana M Hsieh To: OWL Subject: OWL: honesty and social construction and personal questions Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2002 11:29:12 -0600 (MDT) A few notes on three different posts: Eyal Moses wrote: >I think the Objectivist analysis of honesty makes it clear that the answer is yes, people in general should act absolutely honestly. There is no room for personal differences on this.

I agree with Eyal that the virtue of honesty is contextually absolute. If a long-range perspective is taken, faking reality is never in our self-interest in the normal course of life. But there are very difficult personal judgments to be made about honesty, particularly when the question is: How much of this information should I reveal to this particular person at this time?  People committed to honesty struggle with these questions all the time.

For example: Is a father being dishonest in telling his friends that his daughter is "in the hospital" when she is more precisely at the drug rehab center?  When those friends start reasonably inquiring after her illness or injury, then what should the father say?

For example: If your spouse asks you whether you ever fantasize about other women, is it acceptable to refuse to answer the question?  As your spouse, doesn't he/she deserve a truthful answer?  And won't refusing to answer be tantamount to answering "yes"?

For example: If you meet a co-worker/friend on her way to the conference room to give an important presentation to some clients and she asks you how she looks, should you tell her that she looks like she hasn't slept in a week?  Is telling her that she looks "fine" dishonest?  Should you deflect the question by saying "Go get 'em!" or some such?

In other words, is it acceptable to tell possibly misleading technical truths?  Must we tell the whole truth to some or all people?  Does honesty require is to sacrifice privacy or kindness or other important values?

The failure of traditional accounts of honesty to deal with these questions has opened the door in recent years for defenders of dishonesty (like the very slick David Nyberg).  They argue that full honesty isn't even possible, let alone morally praiseworthy.

In my recent lecture "White Lies, Black Lies" to the TOC Summer Seminar, I addressed these questions in arguing that the standard here ought to be that we tell the contextually-relevant truth.  I gave some primary and secondary criteria for determining that relevant truth, although I'm sure my list is not exhaustive.  That lecture should be available through TOC Live! at some point soon, and my slides from the lecture are available from this page:

http://www.dianahsieh.com/philosophy/ethics/honesty/white_lies_black_lies.html

BTW, the best in-print discussion of honesty in the Objectivist literature is Tara Smith's _Viable Values_ pages 164-174.

Robert Campbell wrote: >Conclusion: Socially constituted phenomena exist, and we need to take them seriously. Social constructionism, however, isn't needed to explain them.  Which is just as well, because it is untenable.

I agree with Robert that social constructionism is false, but that we do need to understand socially constituted phenomena.

To self-promote just a bit more, I attempted to do that with respect to norms of masculinity and femininity in my essay "Sex and Gender Through an Egoist Lens: Masculinity and Femininity in the Philosophy of Ayn Rand" in _Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand_.  There I argued that gender norms take on symbolic meaning in a culture (or subculture) and thereby serve as methods of communicating information about our inner selves to others. As egoists, we want to be sure that the norms we adopt are authentic and not harmful to our lives and happiness.

(If I were writing that paper again today, I would probably alter and expand upon a number of points, but I think that my basic thesis stands.)

Amy Hayden wrote: >At last year's summer seminar, where I was lecturing about sexual ethics, I was constantly approached by men.  While I had hoped they would want to discuss ethics and philosophy, the majority of the  things they had to ask me had to do with my sexual preferences, behavior, and experience.

Having attended the talk, I suspect that Amy got this reaction because her conclusions seemed to rely very heavily upon her own personal experience. That wasn't how she presented her ideas, but the lack of any substantial philosophical justification or citation of relevant psychological research left myself and others with the strong impression that her ideas were basically her own personal opinions.  So it doesn't surprise me that people asked her about her personal experience, as that seemed to be the primary data on which the talk was based.  (I have no doubt that some men were boorish and rude, however.  But that is surely not the explanation for all or likely even most of the inquiries.) diana.

*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*

|          diana mertz hsieh *--* diana@dianahsieh.com      |

|               web *--* http://www.dianahsieh.com          |

|               blog *--* http://www.noodlefood.org         |

*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*--*

 

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MS,

Where did you get the photo of Valliant, the one with his hands in front of him?  It looks like something by Don Martin in MAD Magazine back in the day.

The interview is valuable at least for some of Valliant's recoollections, for example about Rotherbard telling him he made up up stories about Rand.

 

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On 6/6/2021 at 12:37 PM, Mark said:

Where did you get the photo of Valliant, the one with his hands in front of him?

Valliant provided the photo for the thumbnail.

I'll answer other posts when I have more time.

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We have a new episode where we interview Stephen Hicks on postmodernism and the leftist manifestations of it. If you're into the use of language, I ask him about the postmodern tactic of weaponized rhetoric near the end.

 

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On 6/6/2021 at 9:48 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Suppose Valliant said in public--and meant--that your father had the "soul of a rapist." And he went on a crusade about it. Would you say he was making a "strong claim" that "doesn't seem fair"?

I would have a different evaluation of the claim and the claimant, because my father is not Nathaniel Branden, nor is my father a deceptive womanizer. To say the same thing about my father would be ridiculous, because there isn't a shred of evidence for it. Whereas with Branden there is some evidence, but, again, I think there is reasonable doubt.

On 6/6/2021 at 9:48 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

If you didn't want to pop him in the nose as that would be an "exaggeration," at least wouldn't you feel like calling him a liar or an idiot or boneheaded or something?

Yes, if someone said that of my father, I'd have no trouble calling him a liar or idiot.

On 6/6/2021 at 9:48 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I fear you didn't read the "soul of a rapist" passage correctly in the Valliant book. Valliant was not referring ONLY to sex. He was referring to the need to control all rapists, in his professional consideration, have. An immoral need to control. He claimed that Branden exerted that over Rand in all his dealings with her. That was the case he made. Go back and read it if you don't believe me. It's right there.

I believe I read it correctly. Valliant brings up the psychology of a rapist in the context of Branden's sexual relation with Rand on page 382-3.

Quote

While Branden's behavior does not compare, his motive--like that of the "Power-seeking" social metaphysician--in his romantic conduct toward Rand was control and physical gain, not a sincere passion at all.

So Valliant is addressing Branden's motive for his romantic behavior. And he reinforces this point by also discussing Branden's other "romantic choices," Barbara and Patrecia. If Branden's alleged pathology affected other relations, that wouldn't be evidence for "the soul of a rapist," but perhaps the soul of a thief, brute, etc.

On 6/6/2021 at 9:48 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

A person with a rapist's level of immoral need to control does not develop anything near this.

Yes, they do. If you read or watch true crime stories, rapists (and even murderers) can be different sorts of people. Some are charming, some even have families and friends who never suspected a thing.

On 6/6/2021 at 9:48 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

If you don't want to look at his life, I'm fine with that. But to refuse to look and then pretend that his life was other than it was--even to the point of insinuating it is irrelevant to judging him with having a "soul of a rapist"--is a misidentification based on someone else's judgment.

Character witness testimony can be important, and Valliant certainly looks at a large chunk of it in his book. The most relevant testimony would be from his sexual partners, and that's where Valliant concentrates his focus.

On 6/6/2021 at 9:48 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Notice that in your discussion with Valliant, neither you nor Scott were able to complete your statements or questions if they involved treating the Brandens with a more reasonable approach than he does.

I tried to interject a few times but gave up because James and Scott were pretty heated over the Branden topic and it wasn't really my kind of battle. It's hard to avoid epistemological mistakes in the heat of a debate. You have to check your emotions and think at the same time under time constraints and social pressure. That's why I prefer forum posting and some pre-planned, pre-recorded, edited podcasting rather than livestreaming whatever spontaneous nonsense falls out of my mouth sometimes.

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On 6/4/2021 at 2:02 PM, william.scherk said:

In the absence of formal physical contests between Objectivist blocs or institutes, a general lashing-about is O-land's most popular sport.

I'd pay good money to watch Brook and Barney fight in the Octagon.

On 6/4/2021 at 2:02 PM, william.scherk said:

As an operating assumption -- Both Sides R Bad2 -- it's far afield from an operating assumption that Both Sides/All Sides should be heard from, depending on the dispute, case or issue under discussion, or milepost on the road to Judgement.

I pretty much stopped listening to the left, unless they have a sense of humor. I can't stand the humorless left that's only interested in destroying things, including jokes.

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53 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

Valliant brings up the psychology of a rapist in the context of Branden's sexual relation with Rand on page 382-3.

MS,

And power. Control.

I won't mention this again since you are resistant to the idea.

But it's there.

Besides, I'm tired of talking about Valliant. He's irrelevant and boneheaded. Why on earth am I wasting time on this?

I have to complement you, though. I never thought Valliant's leap into the face of Branden glory would be a topic of discussion on OL again. Ever. You proved me wrong...

:) 

Michael

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On 6/10/2021 at 2:04 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

And power. Control.

I won't mention this again since you are resistant to the idea.

But it's there.

This post is addressed to the reader since I believe I owe it to OL readers to back up my claims.

Here are exact quotes by the boneheaded Valliant from The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.

p. 382:

Quote

... a degree of psychological explanation is required here.

In his sexual behavior toward Rand, Branden, by his own admission, was motivated not by lust, but by power and position.

As a professional prosecutor with over 15 years of experience with this category of criminals, this author is able to identify at least one aspect of Branden's character clearly: Branden's psychology shows a striking similarity to the psychology of a rapist

I have interviewed dozens of individuals who have been victims of actual rape. Many physically injured, many threatened with death, some drugged, all brutally wounded. I have seen the terror and the life-enduring trauma distinctive to this crime in its various forms. I have seen the face of rape.

And, obviously, Nathaniel Branden did not commit the crime of rape. He never used physical violence or threats of force against Rand in any way, and he could never have been prosecuted for a sex-crime of any kind for his behavior in this context. Of that violent felony, he was innocent.

However, it is now common-knowledge that rape is not motivated by sexual lust but by the psycho-pathological need to control, to dominate, i.e., a kind of power-lust. My own experience confirms this, for on two separate occasions, it has been my responsibility to prosecute. (successfully through jury-trial)  men who had raped quite elderly women.  However, even in the cases of younger victims, genuine lust or infatuation appears not to have been the motive, despite the obvious (and twisted) gratification the rapist experiences.

The rapist is merely using sex as his chosen instrument of coercion and terror. It is an effective one... (blah blah blah blah blah...)

p. 283:

Quote

While his behavior was not, technically, rape, Branden's was nothing less than the soul of a rapist.

Now compare this to my own remark when I first started commenting  about Valliant in this thread:

On 5/20/2021 at 5:17 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

My favorite adjective for Valliant back in the day was "boneheaded." That opinion has not improved with age.

This dork openly stated that Nathaniel Branden raped Ayn Rand for years and she, poor thing, kept coming back for more. She, being blinded by true love and all,  just didn't have the capacity to discern that he had the "soul of a rapist."

I'm not exaggerating, either. That rape thing was the climax of his book. Go read it if you don't believe me. It's there in all its glory and emphasized openly--with Valliant instructing everyone on how he can say that because he's an expert on rapists, having been a public prosecutor and all.

There is nothing more boneheaded that I have come across in O-Land, and I have some across some pretty boneheaded things in our subculture.

All the rest is parsing words. I'm sure someone will say somewhere about my comment that he meant "intellectually raped Ayn Rand for years," as if that is somehow better for an intellectual giant. 

Actually, I was being charitable when I said "intellectually raped Ayn Rand for years." Here is the exact quote by Valliant on p. 283.

Quote

Branden was not only able to exploit Rand--intellectually, psychologically, emotionally, professionally and financially--he could do so with an erection.

And what in this context, pray tell, does "exploiting" someone in all those areas "with an erection" mean other than rape?

One has to be really compartmentalized with a severe case of hardening of the categories to miss it. 

(I don't bash people morally for that because I used to be that way, myself. But I am prone to mentioning it when I see it.)

Well, there's that.

No one can ever judge something correctly until such person has identified it correctly. And here I have identified it correctly. Valliant's own words are quoted, not mine. Let anyone who doubts check me on them.

Moreover, now you, kind reader, can come to your own conclusion without smoke and ambiguity blurring your sight.

(And hopefully, I will not need to talk about that dork anymore for a good long while.)

Michael

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Yes, the intrinsicism that's still around Objectivism. The intimate knowledge about their intimacy 'came to me'. Ayn Rand must be no less than perfect, as woman, and in every which way. To maintain the image, Branden must be the swine who manipulated her.

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On 6/10/2021 at 12:04 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I have to complement you, though. I never thought Valliant's leap into the face of Branden glory would be a topic of discussion on OL again. Ever. You proved me wrong...

Thanks, I think.

We can switch gears, if you like. The latest episode is an interview with Andrew Bernstein on his campaign against the left and his book on heroes.

 

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We talked with Ibis and Kudwy from the Aporia Institute on Tiktok and YouTube. They are part of a group of young capitalists who debate online and experiment with methods of spreading Rand's ideas. Check it out!

 

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14 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

We talked with Ibis and Kudwy from the Aporia Institute on Tiktok and YouTube. They are part of a group of young capitalists who debate online and experiment with methods of spreading Rand's ideas. Check it out!

 

MS,

I just listened to this and loved it.

Dayaamm!

I wish this spirit had been around when I got into Objectivism (back in the 1970's).

After I started running a forum, but a while back, I got tired of all the bickering in O-Land and concluded that Objectivism is one of the best self-help body of ideas, better even than as a formal full-fledged philosophy (although I do believe that Objectivism has a lot right as a philosophy). That's one of the reasons I changed the direction of OL from preaching (or instructing about) Objectivism to using interest in Rand's ideas as a starting point for working through ideas, no matter what direction they lead to in a person's mind.

Based on that, let each person do his or her best thinking and I'm fine with it, even when I disagree. This is not equivalency. This is respect for the minds of others when they are sincere and doing their best. However, I don't like sloppy thinking presented as fact (especially not in myself), but that is another discussion.

My point is that I believe most people are good and want to do good and be good. So even if they conclude--in god faith--that a toxic idea is good and they have used sincere best thinking to arrive at that conclusion, I know that truth will emerge in their minds over time. 

The proof about Objectivism and self-help came to me when I looked at all those famous producers in the world (and I can list a slew of them) who speak well of Ayn Rand's ideas when asked, but who don't belong to any Objectivist movement. They used Rand's ideas to better themselves, not to tell others how everybody in the world should live (which, to me, is a dead end and descent into a more cult-like approach, at least for what I personally pursue in life). 

If ARI is putting out young people like you and Scott and Ibis and Kudwy, my opinion of ARI just improved.

 

I disagree with a few things I heard but I don't want to list them right now. I don't want to detract from my praise. I almost jumped for joy on seeing how the focus on epistemological method was thought through and applied. You already know my thing is you have to identify something correctly in order to to evaluate it correctly. And identify to me means making the abstractions correspond to reality. 

That's why I loved it when you or Scott asked Ibis some question or other about his approach in framing when talking to non-Objectivists (you didn't use that term, but that's what I understood to be the concept when I heard it), and he said he doesn't do what you implied, but instead bases his ideas on reality. I hope I didn't botch what you said. If I am totally out to lunch, let me know and I'll look it up and quote the correct terms. 

But what Ibis said is exactly the way I think about framing.

I also love it that you all agreed that you have to express the ideas in your own language rather than just quote Rand (or Peikoff for you ARIan dudes :) ) or use technical jargon. That's the best way to know you've understood something and it serves as a powerful springboard for communicating about it.

 

Here's just one idea (to throw in a couple of cents of my own) to add to what I heard, especially the part about going to a Marxist site to debate. Rand herself is not the best role model for that ("judge and prepare to be judged"--often in take no prisoners style denunciations).

On the persuasion level (or outreach or whatever term you guys want to call it), I've been keeping my eye open for how to walk into the lion's mouth and walk right back out in a way that diminishes the lion's intimidation of everyone else in the jungle.

The appeal to reason is definitely involved, but when a core story is set in the minds of people in a crowd, when I go before them, I already know their understanding of reason is different than mine based on their different premises.

One person recently showed the way how to do this right and did so brilliantly: Mike Lindell.

When he went on the Jimmy Kimmel show and stayed upbeat as Kimmel poured a bucket of verbal shit on him, that was one of the most brilliant persuasion tactics I have ever seen. The secret was he showed clearly that he approved of everyone there as good people (as "Americans"), that he believed in good faith that he and they can use their reason to look at things right in front of them and agree on what they see, but he did not budge one instant from his message that he has the goods proving the 2020 election fraud and China's involvement in it.

He opened a lot of closed minds in that interview.

Since nobody but bullies likes bullies, Mike let Kimmel be the bully while he was the bullied good guy brushing aside the bullying in a way that anyone would want to spend time with him. (He's such a nice guy, people thought.)

Kimmel fans who were not bullies (at least not most of the time) didn't like Kimmel's behavior, but did like what they saw out of Mike. That allowed them to lower their guns and wonder what else they might have judged incorrectly.

(As the sales and marketing adage goes, sell with emotion, then justify with reason. :) )

This was a huge win for getting the message of election fraud out in front of people predisposed (and indoctrinated) to dismiss it as nonsense.

The impact was so grave to the bubble-makers, I doubt the oligarchy will allow Mike in front of top establishment leftie celebrities again.

That's something I think you guys should think about in your outreach. I don't think this approach is universally effective, but in situations where there is a captive audience, you identify them as good people who don't like bullies (irrespective of what they otherwise think and believe), but the host is a bully, this tactic can't be beat. It's an instant Overton Window shifter. One caveat, though. You gotta be good, focused and well-centered to pull it off. This is not for the faint of heart. :)

Food for thought.

As to the rest, I cannot recommend your video highly enough. 

Bravo to all of you.

Michael

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9 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

One person recently showed the way how to do this right and did so brilliantly: Mike Lindell.

When he went on the Jimmy Kimmel show and stayed upbeat as Kimmel poured a bucket of verbal shit on him, that was one of the most brilliant persuasion tactics I have ever seen. The secret was he showed clearly that he approved of everyone there as good people (as "Americans"), that he believed in good faith that he and they can use their reason to look at things right in front of them and agree on what they see, but he did not budge one instant from his message that he has the goods proving the 2020 election fraud and China's involvement in it.

He opened a lot of closed minds in that interview.

Lindell had "grace under fire", for sure. But when it comes to "savoir faire", you can't beat Oliver Reed keeping his stride after Shelley Winters (literally) poured a glass of whisky on him on JOHNNY CARSON... :)

(The cause for offense: "women in the kitchen"...)
 

:

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I just watched a two hour debate between Michael Saylor and Frank Giustra about which is better, bitcoin or gold (see here). 

Michael Saylor used the same tactic Mike Lindell used, staying upbeat, respectful and lethal in his reason while ignoring insults. Frank Giustra came off as a bully (which is not so odd since bullying is what he was tying to do :) ).

To quote from my comments:

4 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

As to the arguments themselves, Michael Saylor came super-prepared in his facts, history, logic, principles and so on. Most of Frank Giustra's arguments boiled down to two points: (1) The governments and central banks in the world will never allow bitcoin to become a greater store of value than gold, they will take out bitcoin by force. Full stop. And by the way, (2) Michael Saylor is an idiot. Granted, he didn't say so directly, but that subtext was as clear as an old time train whistle. 

Guess which person opened closed minds and which one irritated even his supporters?

:) 

Michael

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On 6/28/2021 at 12:15 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I disagree with a few things I heard but I don't want to list them right now.

I hope you list them or PM me about them eventually, especially if they relate to something I said. One reason I post on forums is to hear the disagreements, and sometimes a critic has evidence that changes my mind.

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We have another interview up, this time we spoke to Mark Pellegrino about his acting in Hollywood (Lost, Supernatural) and dealing with the woke left. He agrees that the left is a bigger threat than the right but we couldn't convince him to side with the right. Check it out! Thanks.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We had a nice chat with David Kelley about his history in the Objectivist movement, creating TAS, ARI trying to buy him out, his view of open Objectivism, and some other things. Check it out!

 

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MS,

I watched this and the one with Mark Pellegrino in the middle of the night. Comments coming.

For now, here's a bit of insignificant information. I recently found that I like to do online jigsaw puzzles. Here is where I find them: Jigsaw Explorer.

So last night I fired up a puzzle and set it to about 400 pieces. In a different tab I put the David Kelley interview on. Then I had a grand old time listening. I hadn't finished the puzzle when the interview ended, and, even though I had seen Mark Pellegrino on Lost and the trailers for Lucifer, I didn't know who he was, so I put that one on to find out. Fascinating. I stayed for the full interview. 

I used to do solitaire (the old version of Freecell) for interviews and  audiobooks and so on when I am at the computer, and sometimes still do, but jigsaw puzzles now have my heart. They are very good for blasting through a lot of audio.

:) 

One comment for now: congratulations to both you and Scott on holding good solid interviews.

Michael

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Thanks, Michael. I like jigsaw puzzles and do them occasionally with my girlfriend. Recently I took up chess and play online at Chess.com. I also play Words With Friends (Scrabble) via Facebook. Someone wants me to learn Backgammon but there's only so much time I can spend playing games.

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