The all-too-aptly-named "Solopassion"


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Phil, except for one point I want to make, I won't argue with you further, since you appear to agree with Perigo that I am giving you orders. (Please correct me if this is not so.) I will only say that your thread on Solo has resulted in almost as many insults being thrown at Chris as appeared in Hseih's original diatribe.

Barbara

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Ellen,

I can't judge Valliant's competence as a trial lawyer on his job. I am not familiar with it. However, there is an area I can judge. I can look at the big picture (let's call it dialectical thinking). I can judge his performance on general basic standards. I really don't like lawyers as a rule and I don't like arguing by example, but in this case, let me give you an idea of what I mean in a medical example, then move on to him.

A brain surgeon may not know all that much about childbirth, but if he has an emergency in front of him, with a woman going into labor, you would expect him to take the minimum measures any doctor would and deliver the baby. You would think of him as a monster (or incompetent at the least) if he gave the mother a couple of aspirins, told her that if the pain didn't go away, make an appointment to see a GP later that week, and left.

Now, getting back to lawyers, the minimum you expect them to do is advise their friends and associates to obey the law. At least get legal advisement before acting if the intended act is dubious.

When I see a lawyer like him telling his friends - and the whole world - that publication of private e-mails without author consent is justified, I relate him to that brain surgeon giving the woman in labor some aspirin and a pat on the head and leaving. Either he does not know basic copyright law, which should have been part of his college education, or he is purposely inciting people to break the law.

On a "big picture" (dialectical) view, he is either incompetent, does not take his profession seriously outside his 9-to-5 job, or is acting in bad faith with his friends. In either case, he is not a good lawyer. But he might be a good prosecutor within the confines of a specific government job.

Since his own book ends with blatant libel (that "soul of a rapist" thing for a world-famous therapist, psychologist, and author of many books on psychology - who holds many honors), I am inclined to go back and forth in my evaluations. None of them are very good, though.

It's the dialectics that must have addled my thinking. I used to be happy and didn't know it. Now I have all that context to worry about when I analyze things...

Damn Chris!

:D

Michael

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Jenna,

You are both a quick and critical thinker. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is a pleasure reading you and, well, you're quite the spice.

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The reader does need to be seriously valiant to make a constant effort to detect each and every error, to deal with the seriously depressing experiences I listed above, and to resist the first-time impulse to become a book burner, despite being a life-long book lover.

Excellent analysis, Charles.

There is, though, one enlightening conclusion which can be drawn from Rand's own journal entries, provided the effort is made to concentrate on what Rand in fact wrote while setting aside what Valliant tells you she's saying: that Nathaniel's intuition was on target in his belief that there's no way it could have worked out for him to have both a sexual relationship with Patrecia and a continuing relationship (even "formal," for business only) with Rand. I always wondered if he was right in this intutition. (I suspected he was.) I feel that now I know.

Ellen

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> you appear to agree with Perigo that I am giving you orders. (Please correct me if this is not so.)

Barbara, I was just trying to rebut Linz's idea that I would take orders by turning it into a humorous response: I didn't intend to say you were giving me orders - Sorry for that misunderstanding.

I respect your viewpoint and fully understand that you are giving me heartfelt advice. I hope we're still friends and feel free to continue to give your opinions or advice or argue strongly against my actions.

Even though I am a fairly headstrong individual ...and may not always take the advice.

Phil

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My day is made. It is 2 AM and I am sure this whole day is going to be just wonderful.

Ellen, so bright, so valiant, so spirited, and such a sound thinker, has praised a note!

Charles pauses. He waits to slowly settle back into his seat after floating for awhile.

Seriously, I seriously and happily admire you. Thanks for your note, but still more thanks for the pleasure reading many other of your notes has given me.

I agree that Ayn Rand was not going to knowingly work professionally with Nathaniel Branden while he had a sexual relationship with Patrecia. The journal entries are quite revealing in other ways also, but Valliant's analysis is thoroughly misdirecting and annoying everywhere.

By the way, the desire to burn the book is strong when I am in the immediate process of unraveling a Valliant argument. It does not last long after I put the argument aside. A life of loving books would actually make burning a book a very real sacrilege. Besides, I might need a reminder someday about Ayn Rand's journal entries.

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Charles pauses. He waits to slowly settle back into his seat after floating for awhile.

Charles, thanks so much for the compliments. I assure you, the pleasure is mutual. I read all of your posts and am always interested by them. I just have so little available time for response, I rarely say anything in reply.

I understand about the book-burning image. Confronted with really setting fire to a book....holy of holies desecrated, even if it's a book you hate, the very idea of book-burning....... <horrors>.

Ellen

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Charles:"the disappointment in seeing many Objectivists who are rather intelligent being taken in"

There's a line from Arthur Koestler (The God That Failed) that's relevant here:

"Faith is a wondrous thing. It is not only capable of moving mountains, but also of making you believe that a herring is a race horse."

Barbara

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Phil: "I respect your viewpoint and fully understand that you are giving me heartfelt advice. I hope we're still friends and feel free to continue to give your opinions or advice or argue strongly against my actions."

The problem is resolved. Of course we're still friends. Although I think you're making a mistake, I hold the heretical position that it is just possible for a person to make mistakes without being a monster.

Barbara

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Yes, I understand very well how much time goes into responses. Yours are always so well written that it is clear you write with care and precision. This takes time.

All the more reason for me to treasure your responses. And I do. So, if you can factor in the pleasure of giving me so much pleasure and send the occasional extra response along, well, I hope you will know it is appreciated.

It is a great pleasure in itself to have a compliment accepted so graciously. It confirms that you are fully the self-confident and proud woman it gives me the pleasure to think you are.

You would think that more people would be Objectivists so they would feel free to tell people who have earned their admiration that they admire them. This is one of life's greatest pleasures.

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Barbara,

Believing is very powerful, whether it be from faith or from knowledge. Believing in the power of reason has the critical advantage that our belief is consistent with reality, so I hope most people will one day adhere to it.

Now, speaking of people I admire, as I am shamelessly wont to do, you have been a wonderful revelation. I do find myself wishing that the many burdens of history were lifted from your shoulders so your spirit could really soar. Of course you are fascinating in part for the history and you learned much in your years with Ayn Rand. You really cannot yank such things out of a person and be sure to leave the person essentially intact and functional. But, those years were both wonderful and burdensome in ways no one else can imagine. I find myself trying to picture you with the wonderful and without the burdens. I wish it could be so, since you deserved to have had better.

You have admirably carried those burdens for a very long time. You are an incredibly strong woman and very wise as well.

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Phil,

You might be wrong or you might be a little wrong, but you are no monster. Without question, you are one of the good guys. You have my best wishes, but pay close attention to whether anyone actually cares when you deliver a rational argument. At some point, you have to draw the line, if only because your own time is valuable.

Barbara has made some very good points on why your effort may be counterproductive, however.

You win points for the courage of your convictions, which may come with a dose of stubborness! I have some understanding of just plain old stubborness myself.

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Charles is right, Phil.

You know I was around at SOLO to watch some of that treatment bestowed upon you. It was ridiculous, it was mean, it was stupid. It was such a lynch mob mentality.

Virtually always, you would simply be going in as the voice of reason, civility. Reward? Boring Old Fart of the Month Award.

Immediately, it turned into a sicko, skewed attack, with Linz acting as the ringmaster. Way to reward someone for being a nice guy!

To my knowledge, I never saw you go off on the attack, and that drew attacks, and that was just shitty.

Best,

rde

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> but pay close attention to whether anyone actually cares when you deliver a rational argument. At some point, you have to draw the line

I will try to do both, Charles. Often I've posted things which cause an angry furor in which my original point was missed, but I had a sense that the less vocal, less immediately responding people were thinking about it. So the -posted- uncomprehending or disagreeing by a very tiny minority may be only the surface effect.

> Boring Old Fart of the Month Award.

That one I actually got a laugh out of, Rich. And it was useful because I -was- repeating over and over and over my call for civility at that time*...and anyone who was going to "get it" probably already had. As for if someone personally attacks my motives or character, so what?

*and I do tend to fart long and loud and in several languages so there was a flatulence of truth to the charge.

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*and I do tend to fart long and loud and in several languages so there was a flatulence of truth to the charge.

Well, thanks for sharing that, Phil!

Just try to keep it under the covers, OK? [-X

rde

Knows who to not share a hotel room with, ever.

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To clarify, I wish to revise one sentence as follows:

Years ago, I came across a website devoted to accusations of false statements and contradictions in and between the Brandens' books; on that site, I saw the same shortcomings in the thinking behind the accusations I see now on all those threads. Now I gather that was the website that served as some sort of germ of the anti-Branden book.
--to dispel the impression that I was talking about shortcomings in the Branden books (which in my opinion do exist, but which do not have the significances being alleged).
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