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Objectivism Reference Center status

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(sorry if this is the wrong forum for this)

Does anyone know what happened to the Objectivism Reference Center at www.noblesoul.com/orc? I visited the site today, and its some generic cybersquater site. I checked google to see if its been moved. No info that it has.

I found this a great reference site on Objectivism. Lot of great info on Rand and other objectivist writers (whoever did it was obviously not in the ARI camp, so covered everyone).

I hope its back. It would be a lost not to have this info available.

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The site's main page is available here, in its last revision of 7 February 2006, at the Wayback Machine. Links here will go to other archived pages. Text from the site is still present in Google's cache, as well.

I would like to second Michael Brown's concerns. This useful site is listed many times at OL, especially in the Lists of Links, and unless there's reliable word of its imminent return elsewhere, such links do need to be revised. At least to use the main-page version linked above.

It may be that Richard Lawrence's domain registration simply expired, and he may not have had the money to renew it or his hosting contract. He's no longer listed as the domain owner at Whois.

Lawrence is an old "sparring partner" of mine, but he had been scrupulous in documenting every faction and prominent Objectivist, not just the ones (ARI, et al.) with whom he agreed. And I have to respect that.

He's too ... I'll be less snarky and say "persistent" ... to leave this site off line for very long, if he has the money and attention to devote to it.

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Steve and Michael,

I have long been an admirer of Richard Lawrence (see here, for example), but his latest posts on another forum suggest that he has turned into a Branden-hater. See this post in particular (from Wed, 2006-09-06 03:45, called "The Good Break"). Unfortunately you have to scroll to the post and locate it by date and time. Richard's user-name is "RL0919." As of this time, it is on Page 2 of the comments. Here is a quote from that post:

I think their split was one of the best things that ever happened to Objectivism, because Nathaniel Branden was one of the worst things that ever happened to it. The institutionalization of Objectivism as a "movement" (via NBI), the impression of cultism, the prominent association of Objectivism with Branden's "Objectivist psychotherapy" -- the list of ills resulting from Branden's association with Rand is long and depressing.

In a later post on that thread, Richard made it clear that he was taken in by PARC (stating the Hamel's obscure book on Rand bashing the Brandens and Rothbard, In Defense of Ayn Rand, was a precursor of PARC and could be replaced by it). Apparently the siren call of setting up Rand as a goddess by setting up Branden as a devil was too great to resist. He later made an extremely uncharacteristic comment (scroll in the same threat to "RL0919," Fri, 2006-09-08 08:16, "James"). This was one of the last public comments by him as of date that I am aware of, and this was in September of last year (he made a few comments on SOLOP after this one).

Of course O'Connor was a drunk. To this day, gin reclamation teams pump 50 barrels a day from his grave. I have this on good authority from Jeff Walker, who heard the story from Roy Childs, who got it from Rand's dry cleaner.

When my paranoia kicks in, I imagine 1 of 2 scenarios:

1. Richard decided that the negative parts concerning Rand and Objectivism he provided on his site, especially things like the Rand-Branden timeline, were not good for his newly found perspective, so he took the entire site down; or

2. Since SOLOP was overrun with ARI people back then, he received an offer to take the site down (and I have no idea of what he could have been offered other than money or opportunity).

Speculation, I know, but I can't help thinking it is good speculation. I grieve for the loss of objectivity with the removal of the site and for the loss of a serious and valuable independent Rand/Objectivism scholar and promoter if Richard has turned into a true-believer.

Michael

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I have long been an admirer of Richard Lawrence (see here, for example), but his latest posts on another forum suggest that he has turned into a Branden-hater.

He's been that acerbic-to-vicious for at least a dozen years, in h.p.o and elsewhere. It's no "newly found perspective." Many ARIans just don't bother talking about the Brandens very often, period. Not every forum indulges in routine personal sniping, as SOLO and progeny do.

In any event, is this particularly germane to the fact of his domain name having expired? I would still suggest that the links to his root page on OL be replaced by the Wayback Machine link, until the site returns (if ever), so that others here could benefit from his relatively non-partisan Web efforts.

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Sad, sad.

I really liked the ORC, and found it a great source of data. For this site to be lost would be tragic. For instance, having just recently obtained the hardbound reprints of the Objectivist Newsletter, Objectivist, and the Ayn Rand Letter, I was looking forward to using the site to figure out what articles got reprinted in her books and what ones didn't.

And I thought I had heard any the possible 'evils' of Branden... So now all the cult-like behavior of the NBI-era (as if it didn't continue afterwards), etc. etc. is all Branden's fault. Riiight.

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It appears that ORC is back, but no explaination of what happened.

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I just discovered this discussion and wanted to clear up some of the issues mentioned here.

The Objectivism Reference Center did go offline for some time (I'm not sure of the exact amount of time, but I believe it was several weeks) because I neglected to renew the domain registration. This was simple oversight on my part. It went unnoticed for a while because I busy and not actively visiting or updating the site. (I recently made the first significant updates in six months.) I had to "rescue" the URL from a domain-sitter, but fortunately the site doesn't drive quite so much traffic as to demand an outrageous price.

As someone who dislikes "link rot," I am and should be ashamed of letting the situation occur, but it was absolutely unintentional and unrelated to any other issues mentioned earlier in the thread. I didn't decide to abandon the site. I wasn't offered anything to take it down. I didn't run out of money. I wasn't kidnapped by aliens. I wasn't drugged and tossed into a swimming pool. Etc. I do not care to discuss my opinion of Nathaniel Branden or any other individual at this time, other than to say that it had nothing to do with the outage, either directly or indirectly. Ditto for my views on PARC, SOLO, ARI, or any other letters of the alphabet.

I hope the explanations above help put to rest any speculations regarding this situation.

I'm glad that people find the site useful and hope that the restored version continues to perform a valuable function.

--

Richard Lawrence

Webmaster, Objectivism Reference Center

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7 hours ago, lei.talk said:

unhappily,

the objectivism reference center is down, again.

is richard in good health?

LT,

I took a look and the site is definitely offline.

I imagine Richard Lawrence forgot to pay his domain or hosting since that was the problem the first time around. He could also be revamping his site (making it mobile-friendly, etc.).

I don't know him personally, so I can't tell you about his health. I haven't heard anything, either.

Unless someone else knows something, we just have to wait for him to appear somewhere.

(Maybe an alien gobbled him up. :) )

Michael

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