Why Nobody Takes PARC Seriously Anymore


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**clarity in thinking about one's own topics for and manner of discussion**

Winding up my comments on this topic, in reply to MSK, Robert, and others who have used this in lieu of point-by-point analysis, you can't argue by metaphor, like "taking out the garbage": You actually have to answer and fully address the original nine points I made - every one of them.

If you actually do that (not in a long-winded, vague, fuzzy, or rambling way, but with intellectual precision and tight definitions), even if it might take you an hour or so to step back think through, you will find I'm right and stop participating in these threads and find "higher-minded" - and more philosophical - topics to discuss.

In a world that is perishing for lack of philosophy.

---------

PS, note that my condemnation---of obsessive focusing on Personalities, Negatives, Enemies, Gossip---applies equally to all the pro-Valliant group on SP, as well as the anti-V group here. And it usually applies to BOTH SIDES in all the *historical* squabbles in the Objectivist movement which have focused too much on who-did-what-to-whom and who is 'dishonest' or a 'hero'.

It takes two to have an endless and pointless back-and-forth slandering feces-hurling contest.

PPS, note also that it is NOT an argument that one shouldn't study how people apply ideas in their lives, as Ellen over-simplifies and "strawmans" my view. It's about:

i) how it's done,

ii) how much time is spent,

iii) the level,

iv) what issues are -excluded- since time is not unlimited for intellectual writing and posting.

PPS, MSK, Am I going to 'name names' or cite specific posts? Or make my long posts even longer and provide "footnotes". No, my level of detail was already clear . . . you and every other reader already know exactly what I'm talking about and when the shoe fits yourself or when the shoe fits Mr. V or Peikoff or whoever.

.......

Michael, let me explain something: You are **already** wasting too much time and detail on this. And you were over a year and about a gazillion posts ago. As is Valliant, Parille, Ellen, Perigo . . . and all the others down the decades of endless squabbling. Asking me to join you in obsessive-compulsiveness is even sillier.

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"What has been needed is a balance to the smears and trolling about PARC so people can make up their own minds."

Michael, people can make up their own minds without your help. :angry:

"In fact, I am tired of seeing Nathaniel called a scumbag."

By your definition, he wasn't a scumbag because he didn't continue to deny everything AFTER he got caught? Like Gov. McGreevey or Elliot Spitzer? Not scumbags? I'm not questioning that you've known worse scumbags, but that's not the point.

The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if you and Linz are in cahoots to increase traffic on your sites with this topic. :ermm:

*edit* Phil, please stop me, I can't help myself, Someone is Wrong on the Internet!

Edited by Laure
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> Phil, please stop me, I can't help myself, Someone is Wrong on the Internet! [Laure]

WHAAAT ??!!

Where?

Let me at him!!!!

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Phil,

Sorry, dude. Please feel free to sound off on this forum, even about me, but I am not going to take you very seriously for a variety of reasons—the main one being that it does not serve my values.

But the other is that I do not agree with your evaluations and method. You asked for precise definitions. Hell, they are all over the forum. Just read. But for the record, my main concern is about definitions and to call attention to when people use evaluations or emotions as the cognitive premises of their concepts. People mouth the phrase cognitive and normative and say they know the difference, but I see this error constantly committed by the same people. This has gone on in Objectivism for far too long and it causes people to get all kinds of facts wrong. I have cited several instances with various people.

If you are willing to engage in some of those analyses, like, specifically, the criticism of your position I gave in my last post, I will be more than glad to answer your issues point by point and highlight exactly where I think your premise is an evaluation and not a simple observation as it should be (with evaluation coming later). And I will be more than glad to be corrected if I am wrong.

Otherwise, do carry on. I have other stuff to do.

Michael, people can make up their own minds without your help. :angry:

Laure,

My help? I said I offer balance, not help. People can read it if they want to. My thing ain't mind-control, but instead tearing the covers off of mind-control and letting people see it. A devastating body of content is growing about PARC and I fully intend to see that it grows more.

People come here. I don't go there. If they come here, it is because, hmmm... do you think it's maybe they want the balance I and others provide? Nobody forces them to come. Sorry if you don't like their exercise of free will.

Here on OL, according to Objectivism, I can do whatever I like. Or do you have a different view of property rights? When I started, those PARC boneheads were trolling the entire Internet wherever the name Branden was mentioned and I said there would be one place the trolls would not be allowed to troll. Well, the entire Internet has dried up for them and this one little place continues to be one little place. Except it grew. Big bad us, huh?

As to the Nathaniel issue, I refuse to be taught the hatred of anybody. The guy screwed up big time and atoned for it. Then he lived an honorable life of high achievment and productivity. That's more than good enough in my book. Others want me to hate that. I won't. In fact, I denounce such hatred as the evil it is.

Nathaniel's example is something to aspire to if you ever screw up in life. It is an inspiration of what could and should be. I think Nathaniel Branden is good people and I am more than honored to know him.

Finally, on the charge that I am in cahoots with Perigo about anything, for once you leave me speechless (almost). Your hypothesis wouldn't be possible even in Kant's noumenal dimension. That's probably the funniest thing I have heard in a long time.

:)

(btw - This kind of traffic increase is known as garbage traffic. People don't buy anything or contribute anything and the surges go away after the dust settles. I place very little value on it.)

Michael

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Ellen has some excellent points. An example from history: The "Great Schism" which separated the Christian church into the Latin and Orthodox branches in 1054 persists to this day - and not that many can articulate with a straight face what the theological issues were about (the filioque clause, indeed!), but there were real issues of authority (authority of the "bishop of Rome").

That "authority" issue was also "theological", in that Roman Catholics hold as a matter of religious dogma that God intended one bishop to have authority over all Christians. And it's also a substantial political issue. So there's no problem articulating the theological issue that was also a political issue. -- Mike Hardy

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**mission accomplished!! - total victory across the internet!!**

The pro-Jim V people constantly say they have won, no one listens to MSK or his side.

Now in a tit-for-tat, with no appreciation for the irony, MSK and others here -- in pure imitation -- sink to that *identical rhetorical level*: "NOBODY takes PARC /Jim V/ Linz seriously".

We have proven everything? Answered all questions? REAALLLY??

This is simple hyperbole, shameful rhetorical exaggeration by MSK etc. with the "taking out the garbage - we're winning - no one takes XXX seriously" ploy.

But lots of people agree with the other side and dismiss every single argument. SP is full of them and so is NoodleFood. So you seem to be simply in denial on this point.

Nor will you guys stop. On either side. Even though you have both essentially declared the victory of complete discrediting. Even -after- your supposed complete victory, I predict you, Jim Valliant, Lindsay Perigo, Casey Fahy and others, will fall silent for a few months. Then somehow still "fire up the cannons" about the latest tidbit or claim. And make dozens or hundreds more posts across a span of years. And even create NEW THREADS for the purpose, as has been done here..)

The last few years have proved that no one is about to let anyone else have the last word, the last bit of venom, the last bitter denunciation in the tank.

Each accusation of cultism or spinelessness or dishonesty will be trumped by a counter-blast.

"And you're another!!"

At the ARRH Ayn Rand Retirement Home in Boca Raton thirty years from now, you will be ramming your wheelchairs into and caning each other and saying,

"And one final point, you scumbag....."

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**clarity in thinking about one's own topics for and manner of discussion**

Winding up my comments on this topic, in reply to MSK, Robert, and others who have used this in lieu of point-by-point analysis, you can't argue by metaphor, like "taking out the garbage": You actually have to answer and fully address the original nine points I made - every one of them.

Phil,

No, we don't have to. We don't have to reply to you at all. Frankly, I consider your nine points poorly presented -- a sort of grab-bag which for one thing doesn't indicate that you've bothered to read the discussions you criticize. (You've said that you haven't read any of the sources being talked about; I see no clear sign that you've even read the discussions.) For another thing, I see your complaints in toto as yet another instance of a typical theme-song complaint of yours: people spending time on subjects you don't want them to be spending time on. OK, you disapprove. Noted.

PPS, note also that it is NOT an argument that one shouldn't study how people apply ideas in their lives, as Ellen over-simplifies and "strawmans" my view.

As to that charge, something which I feel would indeed be a waste of my time is arguing with you about exactly what your view is and whether or not I strawmaningly over-simplified it. I addressed the few details of it I found interesting enough to address. As to the rest, I'm not interested, Phil.

Ellen

PS: On some issues, Phil, I consider you no better than a troll.

___

Edited by Ellen Stuttle
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Oh, I don't know Phil. It will all probably die down after Valliant stops putting up chapters of PARC on SOLOP.

I've never seen anyone on the Internet who gets so peeved at others not doing it his way. Seriously, you might emulate Harry Binswanger and his HBL with your own and make some money too boot.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede
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Frankly, I consider your nine points poorly presented -- a sort of grab-bag which for one thing doesn't indicate that you've bothered to read the discussions you criticize. (You've said that you haven't read any of the sources being talked about; I see no clear sign that you've even read the discussions.)

Ellen,

I have the same impression. (Not just with that list, either.) And, to keep beating this poor horse of mine, it is symptomatic of one who builds a logical structure (like a concept, but also a set of arguments) over an emotional or normative premise. Who needs facts when the core concept is an evaluation? Once you have your premise, you can deduce everything else. But this is backwards. You need to know what something is before judging it. Many Objectivists (including Phil here) think you don't. And I could not disagree more.

In Phil's case, his normative conclusion (something to the effect that it is bad to discuss PARC and schism-stuff and all people do so are engaged in meaningless hostilities) is placed at the beginning as some kind of absolute (similar to a fundamental axiom). Then he deduces a bunch of stuff based on some pick-here-pick-there observations. After that, if he sees a mere signal of acrimony and PARC is in the vicinity, he has a logical structure in place as grounds for elaborating some objections.

So who needs to read the material? That's called getting facts. But getting facts is boring, especially to a world-class Objectivist who already got all his answers from Rand years ago. Those facts don't compute with his normative premise anyway. So to hell facts. To hell with reading the material.

Everybody knows that it is a lot more fun to criticize when you don't know a bloody thing about what you are criticizing if you can pull it off and make it sound halfway decent. (On this last point, Phil fizzles often, but I admire his tenacity.)

I don't think Phil is a troll. Phil is just being Phil. This attitude of "I can scold others, but I am proud because I don't know jack and I don't need to know jack" thing seems to be the only dog and pony show he's got. The pattern I have seen is that he waits until there is enough audience somewhere, then trots out the same old dogs and ponies one more time before taking a bow.

Those poor critters are not aging well, are they? They just don't get much applause any more. Maybe that's what's making Phil grumpy.

:)

Michael

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Ironically, however, PARC itself would lead most academics to think that the O'ist world truly is a crazy-cult enclave and that AR was a dimwit.

Quote Of The Week.

(Of course Valliant wouldn't describe what's been happening as his being shredded.)

"He doesn't know when he's beaten, that boy...he doesn't know when he's winning either...He has no form of sensory apparatus known to man..." -

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A post for the record, since a particular comment that I made, and a similar comment by MSK, followed by one by Dragonfly, have been made inaccurate much of by Linz.

In Philian style, I might title this:

***Much Ado over Misreporting***

Here is Linz's most recent misreport of the comments to which I refer:

[...] when a lynch-mob on O-Lying calls me Arafat and Hitler and the like and demands my removal from the speaker list [...].

I don't for a minute believe that Linz himself cares a damn about the accuracy of his reporting. If he did care, why would he keep reiterating his description of those here who objected to his being invited to talk at TAS as a "lynch-mob" acting under Barbara's direction? However, there might be those SOLOists reading this thread who genuinely care about accuracy.

I'll preface by stating what my own objection -- note, my particular objection, which might have overlapped but was not identical to anyone else's objection -- to the Linz invited talks was and was not.

I did NOT object to the very idea of Linz's being invited to talk at TAS, depending on the subject. For instance, suppose he'd been asked to present an invited talk on New Zealand politics. I wouldn't have objected. Nor would I have objected to his giving a contributed talk on either of the topics he chose.

Reminding people, the topics he chose were:

1) "Why Romantic Music Is Objectively Superior (and anyone who doesn't get it is a moron)";

(2) "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists."

(He subsequently presented on SOLO a version of what he inteded to sayabout music: see. I'd expect leading persons at TAS who know something about music to feel relieved they were spared endorsing something along those lines as an invited talk.)

I objected to ANYONE whomsoever being invited to talk on the music topic -- on bases quite similar to those on which James Heaps-Nelson, and I, and others, objected to George Marklin's being invited in 1999 to give a talk arguing for ether theory. This was a stated subject which I and others -- very much including James Heaps-Nelson, who stomped loudly out of the room soon after Marklin began speaking -- thought shouldn't have been given with official endorsement. I nevertheless wouldn't have objected to its being given as a contributed talk, just as I wouldn't have objected to Linz's music talk being given as a contributed talk.

Nor would I have objected to Linz in particular giving a contributed talk on the second subject. However, it was in regard to Linz's being asked to give an invited talk on this subject that I made the Arafat comparison which Linz chronically repeats sans context. Incidentally, I sort of set Linz up by making the comparison, since I figured he'd do just what he's done with repeating the description eliminating the context and the exact wording.

Here is the exact wording of the particular paragraph, which was the last paragraph in a fairly long post. (I repeat the entire post separately as a reference.):

(Re Perigo's second talk, I repeat, that's analogous to sponsoring Victor Pross giving a presentation on how to write; the sheer idea of Lindsay Perigo of all people discoursing on "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists"...reminds me of Arafat being awarded the Peace Prize; admittedly, it's not that degree of offense, but I think it is the same type of offense.)

The Hitler reference is likewise being misrepresented. The way that came up was through none other than Phil Coates' having hypothesized that :

[Linz] was selected, I strongly suspect, more like a motivational speaker, to be "a draw" and rally the troops.

Giving Phil his full just due, the post in which he made this suggestion was one of his which I considered thoughtful and worth a better reply than a quip in return. Nonetheless, the Hitler reference subsequently made by MSK was no more than a comparison objecting to the motivational-speaker basis for inviting someone:

Phil,

I appreciate your effort, but I agree with Wolf. Rallying the troops is not enough. I don't see this as a good stand-alone reason.

For example, Adolf Hitler gave good motivational speeches. Hugo Chaves gives good motivational speeches. Should TAS invite Chaves? He certainly would be a draw. Guaranteed sell-out.

(Hey! This last was a great unintended double entendre: sell-out ticket-wise and sell-out intellectually.)

:)

Michael

To which Dragonfly added:

For example, Adolf Hitler gave good motivational speeches.

And don't forget Goebbels, who was also a master orator.

In other words, NO ONE was saying that Linz is a "Hitler" or a "Goebbels"? Linz??? Get real; he doesn't begin to have the access to power of either of those two. The comparison being made was to considering oratory skill alone a plus.

Ellen

(See the next post for the full original Arafat reference.)

___

Edited by Ellen Stuttle
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Original source, addendum to #214:

Full text of the post which contains my Arafat comparison:

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.

Jim,

Let's be clear on what I told you:

(1) Rather amusedly, I told you that you'd stomped out of the lecture too soon. (Your exit was noticeable, hence the "stomped"; it was toward the beginning.) Had you stuck around, you'd have heard David Ross's blistering summing up, and then Larry's quiet-toned commentary (;-)), also Larry's own talk that evening (which I think you missed).

(2) I believe I indicated that I thought you'd written TOC off too soon, with your decision not to attend for a few subsequent years.

However, I think you were right in objecting to TOC's having put that lecture on their formal agenda to begin with. Their having done so was symptomatic of lack of knowledge of "what's what" in physics and of beguilement, on the part of people without the expertise to assess, by the "20th-century physics must be corrupt" attitude (now coming to full fruition with Harriman's offerings).

It's funny that people are making TAS up to be composed of these personality issues.

I think that that is so imprecise a view of what's involved here as to be ludicrous.

I notice your saying in a further comment that you're looking forward to Perigo's aesthetics talk. Do you have any idea what his attitude on aesthetics is? Have you ever read his...harrangues, how else can one describe them?...on the subject? For TAS to sponsor a presentation by him on issues of art is a reversion to the bad old days when people were raked over the coals for discrepant tastes from "approved" art; it's reversion to all that was worst in the Objectivist scene when AR was alive. And Ed Hudgins at least ought to know better.

(Re Perigo's second talk, I repeat, that's analogous to sponsoring Victor Pross giving a presentation on how to write; the sheer idea of Lindsay Perigo of all people discoursing on "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists"...reminds me of Arafat being awarded the Peace Prize; admittedly, it's not that degree of offense, but I think it is the same type of offense.)

Ellen

___

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Ellen has some excellent points. An example from history: The "Great Schism" which separated the Christian church into the Latin and Orthodox branches in 1054 persists to this day - and not that many can articulate with a straight face what the theological issues were about (the filioque clause, indeed!), but there were real issues of authority (authority of the "bishop of Rome").

That "authority" issue was also "theological", in that Roman Catholics hold as a matter of religious dogma that God intended one bishop to have authority over all Christians. And it's also a substantial political issue. So there's no problem articulating the theological issue that was also a political issue. -- Mike Hardy

Well, the authority of the BIshop of Rome (to which I did allude above) was reallyh a political/power/authority issue. The "theological argument" which emanated from Rome on the subject was just a flimsy pretext for a power grab. That issue was really not about theology - it was about who was in charge.

Bill P (Alfonso)

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~ After reading these 11 pages of a single thread covering the same 'personality' (Rand, Branden, Perigno, Peikoff, and any and all 'supporters' of whichever) issues (called 'garbage-detail'...here) which have been gossiply over-covered in this forum's other threads (as well as within SOLO-P) and other fora, I think there should be a sequel thread called:

"REPLYING TO WHY NO ONE TAKES 'OBJECTIVISM' SERIOUSLY...AT ALL." --- and link back to this thread's beginning.

~ Anyone who's read AS or FH and pops into these threads will see the predominantly discussed subjects being a chronic E!-oriented personality dissecting, pro-and-con, (starting with, though clearly not limited to, Rand) and find relatively quite less re her philosophy's 'gaps', nothing about 'where to go from here', and depending on the fora, lots about where her philosophy's lacking (with no pointing to how to 'improve' it.)

LLAP

J:D

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~ For those familiar with my past posts on all this, obviously I'm with Phil and Laure on this whole thing. It's all interesting 'reading' for us National Enquirer readers but, the content's as substantial as emptying out ash trays with 1 butt in them. --- In short, at this point, most criticizers (most especially those who criticize our criticism of them) are wasting their time, and especially intellectual energies and foci, anal-yzing every little comment by disagreers, just because they posted a disagreement.

~ There are more worthwhile things to learn from others about on O'ism...besides trying to out-Randroid Randroids.

LLAP

J:D

Edited by John Dailey
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"REPLYING TO WHY NO ONE TAKES 'OBJECTIVISM' SERIOUSLY...AT ALL." --- and link back to this thread's beginning.

~ Anyone who's read AS or FH and pops into these threads will see the predominantly discussed subjects being a chronic E!-oriented personality dissecting, pro-and-con, (starting with, though clearly not limited to, Rand) and find relatively quite less re her philosophy's 'gaps', nothing about 'where to go from here', and depending on the fora, lots about where her philosophy's lacking (with no pointing to how to 'improve' it.)

LLAP

J:D

John, the underscored points in your comments above, are precisely where I have put 95+% of my effort over the years. My JARS essays -- including my Fall 2007 and Fall 2008 (forthcoming) essays on "the objective" and philosophy of mind-body, as well as my big essays on art and music several years ago -- are where I'm presenting my case. I have tried to share some of that thinking here, but interest inevitably gets diverted over to the very kinds of lurid tabloid stuff and pointless griping and personal attacks (mostly hurled in this direction) you are rightly fed up with.

We do what we can -- or, apparently, merely what we can't not do, in some cases. Since it probably isn't going to change, despite your well-intentioned pleas, my advice is that you take what you like, and leave the rest....

REB

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"Why Romantic Music Is Objectively Superior (and anyone who doesn't get it is a moron)"

Oh please, please...someone figure out a way to kill it.

Anyhoo... (fights backwash of cheap Paisano mixed with O-Music horse-hockey taco)...

There are major, pressing issues in the world. Oh, I dunno...globalists? Fake water/food/fuel shortages? Freakazoid power elites? Internment camps in N. America? All kinds of fun.

And so, you take a bunch of supposedly sentient, drop-deadly persistent, accurate, research-hearty monsters like around hyeah, all we do is nitpick a book by a (deleted) about (eff it) for YEARS.

I'm an idiot. The only reasons I stay on threads like these are when they involve people that are clearly a-wipes. The smarmy ones. The bloated, self-righteous ones. Why oh why oh why do I allow myself to reverse spiral into the dark, sick goo that only a, say, Valliant can provide? I sicken myself, arghhhh!

When I'm sane, I think about fiercer insanities. Like the footage of a BBC newsperson saying Building Seven had been hit ~29~ minutes before it actually happened (that wasn't green screen, folks, oops!).

Let me weigh it: Fight whack jobs going back thousands of years trying to destroy eighty percent of the population, or Valliant saying the Brandens were bad monkeys? Yeah, we're real ASS KICKERS around here. Ponderous, man. Ponderous.

Yeah, way to swing the firestick. I sicken myself because I participate. Blinders, folks. Blinders and pleasant intellectual distractions. We call this purposeful? Valliant? The Affair<tm>?. Whatever happened to "I don't think of you."? What the eff?

rde

Next up: Barbara Branden's choice of manicurists: Volition, or Evil?

Edited by Rich Engle
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I know pointing out Valliant's boneheadedness bothers some people, but there it is. So long as this bonehead has an audience of people for his smears, and so long as good people in that audience have doubts, I will keep pointing to where he is a bonehead.

I won't refute this time, though. I will merely ask.

Can anyone read through this linked post, which would have done Kant proud on one of his convoluted days, without his eyes glazing over? Valliant is even claiming that the meeting between Rand and Barbara near the end of Rand's life is not corroborated by that pesky little letter that blew him out of the water.

Gimme a break!

Metldown time again.

Michael

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Maestro...

You and I got sicked up on the first whiff of PARC. It was...icky.

I do not dispute that it should have been speared at. I went for lampooning because that's about all it deserved--he's a smarmy, equivocal, uh...government lawyer and he doesn't even write very well. Nathaniel has much better flow. So does Barbara. Let's just say he ain't no John Irving or whatever. He did the authority thing, the prosecutor's view, which had been done, as I said early on off the rip, much better elsewhere. You can be a coroner or a DA and still be a shitty writer if you're dealing with a Big Subject (Manson, say). You can even use a ghost writer. Valliant doesn't have no juju, no kung fu, no flair, no flow. He went for the rat-a-tat-tat thing and even that fell short. People buy books to read them, and that is no airport book (even). Forget the Beloved Facts (which he, well, uh...I get sick forget that part). It's just a crappy read. It's authoritative, bossy, self-engorged. He's boring.

I'm just saying he's an insect, an insect picking over a tomb. Not even a tomb. More like writing about something that you can barely pick up and work with if you use a vacuum cleaner.

Now he goes for the Old Testament (at least he said that, I haven't checked for updates). He's a lightweight writer, and it shows. No flash, no nothing.

Edited by Rich Engle
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As my daughter and her friends would write,

OMG!!!

No question, I would rather read Immanuel Kant. His writing wasn't ... (gasp) quite... (choke) this...(wheeze) bad...

And his stuff has had a lot more impact than Mr. Valliant's is ever going to.

The shame of it is that there is a little bitty mystery hanging around, and Mr. Valliant could have contributed to solving it.

Instead, he's tying himself in knots trying to prove that this typewriter story was some kind of Satanic invention. And because it was Satanic... well, only two people could have invented it. He was so sure he'd already traced all things Satanic to their source, he didn't bother to do any further research.

Robert Campbell

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Look at it this way, Robert... Life wouldn't be worth living without that itty-bitty mystery. There's the drama, there's the finish on a good wine.

Or, for the analytical types, the fact is that no one will ever know what happened in real time. At least not completely.

Human doings exceed raw facts, the he said she said they said then (happened).

People's hearts were involved in that thing. That's why I find Valliant to be a parasite. Consider the pains, the joys; what they all felt. Isn't that enough without someone tearing it up tabloid-style? Casting THEIR judgment on these hearts? Who the eff is he to do so? And to do so digging down into a grave, one that was already a bit unsettled.

AR paid, NB paid, BB paid. Everyone. Who the heck is he to dogpile? Show me your papers, a-hole.

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