Your TAS Dollars at Work


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 323
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Is this what it really boils down to for everybody? TAS's magazine is garnering awards and the best I've seen from them in years. They held a hugely successful Atlas Conference. In the past eight years their Summer Seminars and Scholarly programs have been uneven, some terrific and some not so good.

That's always been my main concern and not whether the Brandens are invited to this conference or Linz is invited to that. My approach has always been to attend the talks on their merits. That was the whole point of TAS from the beginning. I think TAS has always been consistent with their open Objectivism policy. This time you don't like it because your ox is being gored. Many people on this board have viewed Linz as some kind of cat to be belled and disappointment that TAS hasn't signed up for that role. People on his boards have shown themselves quite capable of standing up for themselves.

They've invited Linz to speak before and never had a problem when he got there, why should that be different now? Linz's talk at the 2004 conference got the highest rating from participants at the conference.

I think this group might not attend a conference or talk by Ayn Rand today until she justified what she said in To Whom It May Concern and made nice with everybody. TAS will publish the rest of the Summer Seminar schedule soon. I'm sure there will be some worthy talks.

I'll say that all of the people on this thread are people I like, especially Jeffrey Small, Robert Campbell, Roger Bissell and Fran. I sincerely wish that TAS had chosen Roger's talk and Robert's as well. I hope to see them speak at future TAS seminars.

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll say that all of the people on this thread are people I like, especially Jeffrey Small, Robert Campbell, Roger Bissell and Fran. I sincerely wish that TAS had chosen Roger's talk and Robert's as well. I hope to see them speak at future TAS seminars.

Jim

Aww, thanks Jim. I'm touched. [You know what, I like you too.]

Will I be seeing you at Rand Camp?

Link to post
Share on other sites

As I understand it, TAS doesn't invite speakers, but they accept proposals. It's not a small point. If TAS actively called Lindsay that would be worse in my book.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim,

Putting Mr. Perigo on the program in 2008 is hardly in the spirit of the Atlas Shrugged commemoration last October. None of the speeches that I heard (I didn't attend for the whole day) featured the denunciatory bloviation for which Mr. Perigo is now exclusively known.

Meanwhile, I wasn't in Vancouver in 2004, so I can't comment on Mr. Perigo's appearance then.

But there's a big difference between having Mr. Perigo on the Summer Seminar program in 2004 and putting him on the program in 2008.

In 2004, Mr. Perigo had yet to

-- split with Mr. Rowlands, accusing him of fraud

-- decide that Barbara Branden was the author of all significant evil in the universe

-- team up with Mr. Valliant (now one of his few remaining allies)

-- participate in the public denunciation of Chris Sciabarra (Diana Hsieh, the primary author of that denunciation, is long gone from SOLOP, but Mr. Perigo is still fuming at "Scumbarra")

-- renege on giving a talk at the 2006 Summer Seminar, while trashing TAS in public

-- lose most of his organization (no SOLO conferences have taken place since the split with Mr. Rowlands) and alienate most of his remaining following

And what is the difference between sponsoring a speech by Ayn Rand, despite her bad behavior, and sponsoring a speech by Lindsay Perigo, despite his?

Umm, a few books and articles that are still worth reading.

All of which are by Ayn Rand.

Robert Campbell

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jordan,

Although the usual route at TAS does consist of submitting a proposal, Will Thomas and others in the leadership will actively solicit proposals if they really want a certain speaker.

Robert Campbell

Link to post
Share on other sites
Is this what it really boils down to for everybody? [...] I think TAS has always been consistent with their open Objectivism policy. This time you don't like it because your ox is being gored.

Jim:

For me it's not an issue of having "my ox gored". It's more a matter of completely losing respect for TAS. Consider what Perigo has said about TAS in the past. Or just look at this link at SOLO titled Batten down the hatches! where he announces that he will be giving two talks at the summer seminars. Even here he refers to TAS as "The KASSless Society". This is like Lillian Rearden inviting people to her party that were actively trying to destroy Hank. Sure, let Lindsey do and say as he likes, but there is no excuse for inviting him into your house so that he can insult you.

Regards,

--

Jeff

P.S. And if anyone thought that Linz would "play nice" after having received the invitation to speak, then they must really have their head in a dark place. :-)

Edited by Jeffery Small
Link to post
Share on other sites
I keep thinking Objectivism - Ayn Rand = Zero

Certainly, that's true in my case. I know I'm a second-hander philosophically, however gratefully. I also think it's true that breakthrough ideas belong to the 30-somethings. In Rand's case, it was The Fountainhead (arguably). Where would Perigo or TAS or REB be without Rand? Just asking.

W.

Careful, Wolf, this is not the meaning of "second-hander" you find in "The Fountainhead."

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites
Is this what it really boils down to for everybody? [...] I think TAS has always been consistent with their open Objectivism policy. This time you don't like it because your ox is being gored.

Jim:

For me it's not an issue of having "my ox gored". It's more a matter of completely losing respect for TAS. Consider what Perigo has said about TAS in the past. Or just look at this link at SOLO titled Batten down the hatches! where he announces that he will be giving two talks at the summer seminars. Even here he refers to TAS as "The KASSless Society". This is like Lillian Rearden inviting people to her party that were actively trying to destroy Hank. Sure, let Lindsey do and say as he likes, but there is no excuse for inviting him into your house so that he can insult you.

Regards,

--

Jeff

Jeff, thanks for your eloquent reply. Knowing David Kelley, this is not just about Lindsay Perigo. Suppose Robert Tracinski or George Reisman decided they wanted to speak at a TAS Seminar. Would they have to retract all of the nasty things they've said about Kelley in the past to get on the podium? Also, they are not inviting Linz to the Summer Seminar to insult. They are inviting him to give 2 speeches.

Should George Reisman not have had dinner with Linz the last time he was in California because he wasn't able to account for Linz's actions on electronic boards and be sure he wasn't giving sanction? I think David Kelley sees this as a Howard Roark/Gail Wynand situation and think in his own way Lindsay sees it as the same.

Objectivism needs to get over the sanction/saving face/grudge-holding paradigm. There will be disagreements and there will be friction. People should put a statute of limitations on it though.

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim,

Knowing David Kelley, this is not just about Lindsay Perigo. Suppose Robert Tracinski or George Reisman decided they wanted to speak at a TAS Seminar. Would they have to retract all of the nasty things they've said about Kelley in the past to get on the podium?

Either Reisman or Tracinski would be a much better candidate for a Truth and Reconciliation effort.

For one thing, each has some constructive things to say.

For another, each could presumably be counted on not to keep insulting everyone at TAS after their proposals were accepted.

When I went to get my name tag at the Atlasfest in October, I spotted one for Robert Tracinski on the table along with the others not yet collected. I don't know whether he actually attended, however. He did not comment on the event in his newsletter.

Also, they are not inviting Linz to the Summer Seminar to insult. They are inviting him to give 2 speeches.

If you note the topics, and you note Mr. Perigo's recent standard of public discourse about each, what do you suppose he is going to do in either talk, except issue insults?

Directed, in one case, against anyone who doesn't share Mr. Perigo's precise array of musical tastes, and, in the other, at everyone in Rand-land who isn't named Lindsay Perigo.

Objectivism needs to get over the sanction/saving face/grudge-holding paradigm. There will be disagreements and there will be friction. People should put a statute of limitations on it though.

I have no problem with your sentiments here, as long as there is some reasonable prospect of reciprocation.

Is Mr. Perigo going to get over sanctions, face-saving, and grudge-holding?

Robert Campbell

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim,

Putting Mr. Perigo on the program in 2008 is hardly in the spirit of the Atlas Shrugged commemoration last October. None of the speeches that I heard (I didn't attend for the whole day) featured the denunciatory bloviation for which Mr. Perigo is now exclusively known.

Meanwhile, I wasn't in Vancouver in 2004, so I can't comment on Mr. Perigo's appearance then.

But there's a big difference between having Mr. Perigo on the Summer Seminar program in 2004 and putting him on the program in 2008.

In 2004, Mr. Perigo had yet to

-- split with Mr. Rowlands, accusing him of fraud

-- decide that Barbara Branden was the author of all significant evil in the universe

-- team up with Mr. Valliant (now one of his few remaining allies)

-- participate in the public denunciation of Chris Sciabarra (Diana Hsieh, the primary author of that denunciation, is long gone from SOLOP, but Mr. Perigo is still fuming at "Scumbarra")

-- renege on giving a talk at the 2006 Summer Seminar, while trashing TAS in public

-- lose most of his organization (no SOLO conferences have taken place since the split with Mr. Rowlands) and alienate most of his remaining following

And what is the difference between sponsoring a speech by Ayn Rand, despite her bad behavior, and sponsoring a speech by Lindsay Perigo, despite his?

Umm, a few books and articles that are still worth reading.

All of which are by Ayn Rand.

Robert Campbell

Point by Point:

1. I certainly don't think Joe Rowlands committed fraud.

2. Barbara Branden and James Kilbourne embarked on some weird alcoholic intervention where it was not wanted.

3. There is an ongoing debate about PARC which I will let sort itself out.

4. The Sciabarra episode was inexcusable and I said so at the time.

5. Will Thomas issued an ultimatum of sorts for Lindsay to stop criticizing TAS. Lindsay did not accept the terms of the ultimatum and bowed out.

6. Most of his old organization exists in bits and pieces all over the internet. In the early 2000's virtually no one else from nonorthodox Objectivism was doing high visibility business on the internet besides Joe Rowlands and Lindsay Perigo.

What does all of this have to do with TAS inviting Linz as a speaker?

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have no problem with your sentiments here, as long as there is some reasonable prospect of reciprocation.

Is Mr. Perigo going to get over sanctions, face-saving, and grudge-holding?

Robert Campbell

That's a fair question. I think the answer is open. I'm OK with the fact that you think it is not.

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have no problem with your sentiments here, as long as there is some reasonable prospect of reciprocation.

Is Mr. Perigo going to get over sanctions, face-saving, and grudge-holding?

Robert Campbell

That's a fair question. I think the answer is open. I'm OK with the fact that you think it is not.

Jim

I don't get it. Linz is "incredibly, intricably, insanely interested in sex and homosexuality" -- correct? Who the heck would want to listen to him, and what would Rand have said about a bombastic fruitcake as an exponent of Objectivism?

W.

Link to post
Share on other sites
For me it's not an issue of having "my ox gored". It's more a matter of completely losing respect for TAS. Consider what Perigo has said about TAS in the past. Or just look at this link at SOLO titled Batten down the hatches! where he announces that he will be giving two talks at the summer seminars. Even here he refers to TAS as "The KASSless Society". This is like Lillian Rearden inviting people to her party that were actively trying to destroy Hank. Sure, let Lindsey do and say as he likes, but there is no excuse for inviting him into your house so that he can insult you.

Regards,

--

Jeff

Strong DITTO. Unfortunately, my husband, who doesn't follow list personalities, won't understand the issues from the perspective I have on them and probably won't be amenable to my desire to forthwith quit providing any financial support to TAS. But if I had my way, we would now cease our (for years, at the $250/year level) support of TAS. I wouldn't object to continuing subscribing to the magazine, though I do think the last cover was an offense. But except for the magazine, at minimum I'll request to have my name taken off this household's membership.

[....] Also, they are not inviting Linz to the Summer Seminar to insult. They are inviting him to give 2 speeches.

The first of which, the music thesis talk, no invited speaker should be giving. The thesis is one which TAS, officially, should be arguing against not supporting. (If someone wanted to propose it in a participant-sponsored session, that would be one thing, but as an invited-participant talk.... I'm seething with disgust.)

The second topic of which, proposed by Perigo of all people, is an insult to standards of civil discourse. They might as well invite Victor Pross to give a talk on how to write; same difference.

More to say when I have time...

Ellen

___

Edited by Ellen Stuttle
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wolf,

Given her strong prejudice against homosexuality, Ayn Rand wouldn't have wanted a gay spokesman.

But Rand's prejudice embarrasses even the Leonard Peikoff Institute these days, to the point that they kept her most notorious condemnation of homosexuality out of Ayn Rand Answers.

I've never had a problem with Mr. Perigo on account of his being gay, and I don't see why anyone else ought to. His sponsorship of Chris Sciabarra's monograph on Rand and homosexuality was one of the genuinely good things he did.

I do have a problem with Mr. Perigo on account of his anti-intellectualism, his self-dramatizing, his treachery, his underhandedness, his cultivation of servile flattery, his inability to distinguish between deep moral commitment and out-of-control anger, and his unending recourse to insults where arguments ought to go.

All of them bad traits, none of them gay traits.

Robert Campbell

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pigero has gone from being a minor voice within the Objectivist movement to being a vindictive prick, and, finally, to being a largely irrelevant blowhard who barely continues to attract a few loopy or naive souls. I've seen nothing of original philosophical substance come from him. He's basically become a self-destructive loudmouth who provides minor schadenfreude entertainment value, yet TAS has invited the twit to speak while rejecting a serious thinker like Roger Bissell "name"? Amazing.

Questions:

1) Is Pigero a professional philosopher?

2) Has he been published on any philosophical subject?

3) Are any of his theses insightful versus being blathering rants and hyper-judgmental tantrums?

J

Edited by Jonathan
Link to post
Share on other sites
Rand embarrasses Leonard Peikoff

I know, it's context dropping, but I couldn't resist. Ain't it the truth, way down deep. I feel the same way about Hegelian interpretations of Ayn Rand. There's something that needs to be said in this discussion about speakers, societies, grudges, and whatnot. I don't mind whatever scholarship people publish or debate. Maybe there's a case for convening or public speaking -- esp. in hostile venues like Ford Hall Forum or Jay Leno "Tonight" (Rand did both). Where Objectivism went off the rails, irreparably, was NBI. Latter day orgs ARI and TAS are better because what?

Okay, I'm an outsider, straight, not gay. I'd still like to know how Linz or anyone else gets to stand on Rand's shoulders and pee on her.

W.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim,

1. I certainly don't think Joe Rowlands committed fraud.

2. Barbara Branden and James Kilbourne embarked on some weird alcoholic intervention where it was not wanted.

3. There is an ongoing debate about PARC which I will let sort itself out.

4. The Sciabarra episode was inexcusable and I said so at the time.

5. Will Thomas issued an ultimatum of sorts for Lindsay to stop criticizing TAS. Lindsay did not accept the terms of the ultimatum and bowed out.

6. Most of his old organization exists in bits and pieces all over the internet. In the early 2000's virtually no one else from nonorthodox Objectivism was doing high visibility business on the internet besides Joe Rowlands and Lindsay Perigo.

What does all of this have to do with TAS inviting Linz as a speaker?

1. If Joe Rowlands didn't commit fraud, and Lindsay Perigo can't back his accusations with evidence, isn't Mr. Perigo doing wrong by persisting in false charges against Mr. Rowlands?

2. I can see without too much trouble how weird, unwanted alcoholic interventions might lead to personal enmity. But not how they ought to lead to demands that every being in every sector of the cosmos denounce the would-be interveners as the source of all evil.

3. The debate about PARC has already sorted itself out, thanks in part to Mr. Valliant's tirelessly incompetent efforts at defending his opus. Mr. Valliant and his claqueurs can't even respond to a point about misquoting sources without showering their critics with abuse, then fervently changing the subject. They have actually succeeded in casting doubt on their editing of Ayn Rand's journal entries, which used to be the one thing they were widely assumed to have done correctly.

4. Mr. Perigo is still proud of the very behavior that you and I deem inexcusable.

5. Do we even know that there was an ultimatum from Will Thomas? I sure wouldn't accept such a claim on Mr. Perigo's say-so. Keep in mind that both Barbara Branden and Joe Rowlands were scheduled to speak at the 2006 Summer Seminar, and that Mr. Perigo was at the time cultivating an alliance with Ms. Hsieh.

6. Mr. Perigo is squarely and primarily responsible for the breakup and scatter of the organization that he and Mr. Rowlands built up a few years ago.

Combine all of these with a browse through Mr. Perigo's online pronouncements concerning (1) music and (2) Objectivists during the past couple of years, and the weight of evidence ought to militate against putting him on the Summer Seminar program.

Robert Campbell

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny that people are making TAS up to be composed of these personality issues. Having been at many TAS Summer Seminars, the experiences I've had have been tremendous. I was shown the World Wide Web for the first time by Jimmy Wales in 1994, I've attended math lectures by David Ross, I attended the Benevolence talk given by David Kelley that gave rise to Unrugged Individualism. I've seen a piano concert by Allan Blumenthal. I've listened to Aristotle lectures by Jim Lennox.

I've made many wonderful friends that I look forward to seeing year after year. It's funny, I had my own moment where then TOC tripped my anger trigger (and Ellen was arguing that I was offbase that time and she was probably right) and I didn't attend for awhile. But when I came back, I met many wonderful people: Walter Donway, Marty Lewinter and many others who have helped me see new intellectual vistas. Every time I get frustrated with some of the academic-style stagnation and some of the other things TAS has fought through, I'm surprised by something new and wonderful.

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites
Combine all of these with a browse through Mr. Perigo's online pronouncements concerning (a) music and (B) Objectivists during the past couple of years, and the weight of evidence ought to militate against putting him on the Summer Seminar program.

Robert Campbell

I'll have to see what he says about my Irish fiddling :devil:. I have to laugh about what made me go over the edge in 1999, a year with an awesome seminar by the way: a lecture by an ether theorist.

I like the first topic and not the second, but I'd be interested to hear what he has to say.

Jim

Edited by James Heaps-Nelson
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now