Recommended Posts

Thanks, Ethan. That's exactly how I interpreted these words from Joe's announcement on RoR:

"The goal is to keep this site as a haven for Objectivists to come together and promote our own ideals. Those who find benefit in engaging anti-Objectivists are free to do so without having to worry about cluttering up the rest of the forums."

Sounds fine to me.

Edited by Bidinotto
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 53
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Ethan,

You can stay as long as you like.

Given the long list of personal insults you printed about me, both online and off, and the fact that you asked to be removed from the OL member list before when you were a member, if I had any fundamental objection to you being here now, I would not have allowed your first post to stand - nor your new membership - and I would have been more than fully within my rights. You declared to Kat that you intended to be my bitter enemy.

So I understand you coming here as a sign of peace, regardless of your other reasons. At the very least, I understand that you know you will not be able to insult me on my own forum and took this into account before signing on.

Now, on to the ideas. As a new forum owner, I am encountering problems I was not familiar with as a mere member. This covers a broad range and went so far as being maliciously hacked. How to deal with disruptive members is a real headache and I am attempting the measures I find the most rational and effective. This is based on my experience in managing groups as a symphonic conductor and artistic events producer. Often I have had to deal with very temperamental people and induce them to produce works of beauty.

I mentioned above that I am curious as to the results of the new policies on RoR. It is Rowlands's forum, so he is perfectly within his rights to set whatever posting privileges he desires. I also mentioned some of the objections I see with the new policies. This was not meant in the spirit of destructive criticism, but a discussion of the ideas behind the measures instead. It seems obvious that I would comment, given that RoR and OL share a few of the newly affected members. (And it seems obvious that the affected members, caught by surprise, would be resentful. btw - The behavior I have observed on RoR of taking people by surprise with restrictive measures is public relations poison. You may use that observation any way you wish, or just ignore it, but it is true.)

I think I have a notion of what Rowlands (and the core group) is trying to achieve. I think it is an admirable goal. I don't believe these new measures will help you all get there, but that is my informed opinion from the training I have received. My comments were offered to OL members and readers for our own study. We have our own problems and we are working hard to get it right. Observing the successes and failures of other sites is a part of the study process.

In terms of my own sentiments, I actually root for the success of RoR. I want you guys to realize your dreams and I would love to be proven wrong - especially as I would then learn something. Objectivism has all too few good places in the world and RoR has wonderful potential. I am still in awe of the software program.

But to be brief, RoR and OL have differences in concept. The main stated purpose of RoR is activism - spreading Objectivism (in the form of the philosophy envisioned by the core people). The purpose of OL is to critically examine Objectivist ideas - positively and negatively, discuss the history of Rand's life and the Objectivist movement, especially from the viewpoint of those who knew her and/or participated, study and interact with the Brandens, and foster new works. We are not engaged in activism, but in interaction instead. If people gravitate toward us, it is because they want to, not because we seek them out to persuade them to become Objectivists.

We have different goals, thus it is only natural that we would have different views on how to deal with posters who do not fit our profiles.

Personally I think we could complement each other because of the differences, but all attempts I have offered in this direction have met with hostility and derision. So I stopped offering.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites
Given the long list of personal insults you printed about me, both online and off, and the fact that you asked to be removed from the OL member list before when you were a member, if I had any fundamental objection to you being here now, I would not have allowed your first post to stand - nor your new membership - and I would have been more than fully within my rights. You declared to Kat that you intended to be my bitter enemy.

Michael,

If you can find one "personal insult" I've ever made against you that was not a justified reaction to something you have said, I will gladly retract it publically. We don't need to cover old ground do we? Perhaps we do. Your choice. My statements are there to be seen alongside yours, and I beleive, any negative comment I have made regarding you has been framed with a reference to what you said and where you said it, as well as stating that readers should make up their own minds. Both you and Kat have had some nasty public things to say about me as I recall. In fact I think I pointed that out to her.

I'm going for now. I'll return, if you wish, should you find those unjustified quotes to offer my apologies. You should know that I took time recently to reread some threads on RoR, and related ones here to check back on my previous statements, but I'll gladly do it again if you think I missed anything you said.

Yes, you would be fully within your rightd to remove me from OL. You don't think I'd disagree with you, or even call foul about it do you? You'll find my morals rather consistent.

Ethan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ethan,

To be absolutely frank, I am busy reconstructing my board and I have spent way too much time on this already. I could search and produce links, but all this is too much food-fighting. You know what you said and how you said it. That type of thing (calling people dishonest for their ideas and so forth) is not done on OL, whether you (or anybody) feel it is justified or not. That has been a clear policy from the start of OL. (I let one series of posts develop into that without nipping it in the bud and it turned into a problem.) In my first post to you, I gave a link to our guidelines, so please give it a read if you have any doubts.

The nasty things said about you were in retaliation, not in provocation, but if I remember correctly, there was factual basis, not just nastiness. Anyway, in my mind, one kind of evens the other out. All this is registered, so no one is pretending it did not exist. It is just not very important.

And yes, you are welcome to return anytime you wish.

Let's move on. I, for one, have a lot of work to do. I think you do too.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably most of you have seen my post on RoR objecting to Cal's (Dragonfly's) banishment to "Siberia." When I tried to post a follow-up, I discovered that I've been placed on Moderation. Since I'm headed for the airport tomorrow, and must get off the computer and go to sleep, and won't have time in the morning to see if my post made it past moderation, I'm posting here what I wrote. I wanted to be sure Cal sees it.

=====

[RoR] Post New Monday, August 7 - 11:14pm

Joe assures me that "[my] opinion really doesn't interest [him]."

I didn't imagine that it did, Joe. But I expect it does interest Cal. As best I recall, I haven't before told Cal in so straight-out a way how high an opinion I have of his knowledge of physics and of the history and methods of science. He is the poster for whose posts I always look first any time I check RoR proceedings, and I believe that he's the poster from whom people here interested in scientific issues would stand to learn the most. I have my own disagreements with Cal on various issues -- actually, including the analytic-synthetic dichotomy, though I agree with his assessment of Peikoff's presentation on that as poor. But I think it's a shame for Cal to be segregated as "an enemy of Objectivism," or whatever he's being classified as. I also think that if Objectivism really is "a philosophy of reason," it only stands to be improved by heeding the critiques of "worthy opponents" -- and that as an "opponent," one couldn't find a worthier one than Cal.

Au revoir,

Ellen

___

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think Joe made the right decision with Dragonfly, but its not my call. His house, his rules.

The fact that he has put Dragonfly, Jonathan and others in the doghouse with no warning, moderated Ellen and Michael and has banned Barbara says a lot. I'm sure he's dying to put me in the doghouse too. I am also guilty by association regardless of if I post there or not (and I generally don't). I should probably give up my staff positions there, but I don't feel like getting banned for quitting like I was at SLOP.

There are also other sites where you have to play the party line. I am a member of another objectivist site (I think I joined before I knew they were Ortho-O'ists) and I have rarely visited and never posted on the board. I recently received a terse message from the owner that the link in my profile had been removed by management because they did not want to promote my site. I wonder if OL is too much competition or he thinks I am just EVIL? I think its because I'm running with the wrong crowd again. They hate Barbara at the Forum.

Anyway, I am proud of what we are building here at OL. I am glad I set up our little home and part of the reason I did so is because Joe blamed Michael for the SoloHQ breakup. At that moment, I lost a lot of respect for him. Yes, many of us are renegade Objectivists and some don't even call themselves Objectivists because they do not wish to be likened to the nasty, vicious people with big pointy teeth who call themselves Objectivists.

Our brand of a kinder gentler Objectivism does not sit well with many Objectivists, and I can accept that. We have our rules too, and they are extremely fair. Yes, we have had to exercise some discipline, but the key difference is that when we remove a post or use moderation it is based on actions, not thoughts. Barbara said in her rage speech that ideas are not moral agents and cannot be evil. People can disagree and debate ideas, but we just don't want the acrimony and personal insults here, period.

Kat

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ellen, thanks for your kind words, you really made me blush with so much praise.

It's quite revealing that you have been placed on moderation for your post. I wonder whether all those RoR-ers will keep silent about that, that would be really a shame. To be placed on moderation just for stating a different opinion! And at the same time Joe writes: 'Ellen, your opinion really doesn't interest me.' Hmm, I suppose he wouldn't have written that if you'd agreed with him, don't you think? He could have written: 'Ellen, I don't agree with you', but by saying that he is not interested in your opinion (and even placing you on moderation!) he indicates that he is not interested in hearing contrary opinions at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with others here that Joe has the right to do whatever he wants with his own site. Personally, with me all he had to do was ask that I not post on RoR with the type of questions or comments that challenge his beliefs and upset him, or that I no longer post at all. He apparently wants RoR to be something of an Objectivist church, a place where O'ists can congregate and praise the good Word of Rand. That's fine with me. He can do whatever he wants with his site. Since he's saying that he was considering moderation or banishment for those of us whom he classifies as dirty dog dissenters, I'll comply with his wishes and refrain from posting on RoR.

Having said that, I did think that Ethan's comment here was ridiculous. In fact, if he'd like to return, I'd love it if he would point out in which ways I've been "immune to the arguments of others" (I'd like him to offer an actual argument to support that assertion). I'd seriously like him to explain which devastatingly rational points I've missed in my many conversations on the SOLOHQ/RoR site over the years. Was it my views on Vermeer, the intelligibility of music and architecture, or the meaning of AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long which revealed that I was immune to the arguments of others? Was it my comments on The Cremaster Cycle, Goya's rebelliousness or the meaning of Marc Quinn's work? Or what? Please explain, Ethan. I'd like to become a better thinker.

Btw, MSK and Kat, if my presence here ever upsets you, please don't go to the trouble of writing or buying new software which routes me into a different category without warning. If the rules change, or if I've somehow overstepped the old ones, please just say so. If at some point you feel that you need to ask me to leave, I'll leave.

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonathan,

As I wasn't someone who recommended you for moderation to the Dissent board, I can't answer your question. I recommended one person who isn't on OL as far as I can tell and who hasn't said anything about it yet as far as I can tell. I can look into it for you if you like.

As for this:

He apparently wants RoR to be something of an Objectivist church, a place where O'ists can congregate and praise the good Word of Rand.

This is nothing more than a baseless insult. There are plenty of people who argue issues on RoR who aren't in the new Dissent moderation category. RoR is often accused of being too tolerant of non-Objectivists. As usual, you can't please everyone, nor should you try to.

Ethan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ethan:

I can look into it for you if you like.

Yes, please do. Either that or retract your statement that I am "immune to the arguments of others."

As for this:

QUOTE

He apparently wants RoR to be something of an Objectivist church, a place where O'ists can congregate and praise the good Word of Rand.

This is nothing more than a baseless insult.

You should worry about your own baseless insults. Without evidence, you've accused me of being immune to the arguments of others. Once you've either retracted and apologized for the statement or demonstrated its truth, we can discuss whether or not my speculation about Joe wanting RoR to be something of an Objectivist church is a baseless insult.

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonathan,

I was simply filling you in on the rationale behind the Dissent moderation. It was not I who labelled you as being immune to the arguments of others and that was only one of the criteria. I've already said that I did not nominate you and don't yet know who did. Therefore I have nothing to apologize for. You on the other hand do, but I'm not holding my breath.

Ethan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ethan,

You want Jonathan to apologize on OL to Joe Rowlands? What for?

Rowlands referred to those he restricted as "polluting the site," and studied giving them an icon like a "like a troll or dunce cap" and compared them to dogs who dirty up a clean house. Meaning Jonathan, for one.

Jonathan owes nothing to Rowlands on OL for expressing his opinion here about his vision of RoR. Does Rowlands owe him anything on RoR for those (IMHO) unwarranted characterizations of him?

I still believe Rowlands has every right on earth to dictate posting privileges on his own site. I even agree with the need to do something about not having to explain generally accepted fundamentals to the same people over and over again on every issue.

But making those kinds of statements above after a surprise restrictive move comes off as a taunt - as insults. And those kinds of actions come with reactions.

Anyway, OL is not the place for RoR policy (and vice-versa).

Let's try to get through this thing without OL posters insulting each other.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ethan:

I was simply filling you in on the rationale behind the Dissent moderation. It was not I who labelled you as being immune to the arguments of others and that was only one of the criteria.

It was the only criterion that you mentioned, at least as far as I've seen. Now you're saying that there were other criteria as well?

Ethan:

I've already said that I did not nominate you and don't yet know who did.

OK, Ethan, I apologize for shooting the messenger. Sorry for the confusion. I now understand that you were relaying the information that the "immune to argument" comment may or may not have applied to me, and that I may or may not have been placed in Dissent for other, yet to be named criteria. Please get back to me when you can relay some solid information, and then maybe we'll chat about my Objectivist church comment.

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dragonfly and Jonathan,

Yes, board owners have the right to set board policy.

But I don't think RoR is going to become a better board because you've been roped off into the Dissent section.

Quite the contrary.

I've been gradually losing interest in RoR. With these latest developments, my rate of posting will drop even further.

Robert Campbell

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm out of the loop and behind on the scoop.

I hadn't even realized that Calopteryx/ROR = dragonfly/OL! (Alas I have revealed my ignorance of latinate insect nomenclature.)

But I did want to say that if I see a post by Ellen, my eyes go right to it.

John

Link to post
Share on other sites
But I did want to say that if I see a post by Ellen, my eyes go right to it.

John

From my little corner of the universe I see Ellen as the best of Objectivism personified. She appears to live the principles rather than follow the rules of Objectivism. Consciousness should find order and flow through the structure of Objectivist principles, not be restricted and confined by the rigidity of Objectivist commandments. We should be egos striving for integration and self-actualization, not egos choosing a new program for our superego so we can release previously contained id impulses in Objectivist rage. I think it speaks volumes about the character of the Objectivist movement that Ellen does not call herself an Objectivist. How have Objectivists traditionally treated people with highly integrated and self-actualized egos? How have traditional Objectivists treated Ellen, Dragonfly, and Michael? How did they treat Nathaniel. Barbara, and many others? What type of ego development would we say now stands at the core of Objectivist orthodoxy? I can understand why Ellen and Dragonfly would not call themselves Objectivists no matter how in alignment their principles might be with Objectivist foundations. In some ways, Objectivism demands too little of them.

Paul

Edited by Paul Mawdsley
Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul:

"Consciousness should find order and flow through the structure of Objectivist principles, not be restricted and confined by the rigidity of Objectivist commandments. We should be ego's striving for integration and self-actualization, not ego's choosing a new program for our superego so we can release previously contained id impulses in Objectivist rage. "

It is the same when you look at covenant-based (as in the first part of your first sentence) vs. creed-based spiritual practices.

The second part of what you say (integration, etc.) is a very good observation of what goes on, I think. The simple Freudian terms are apt, here.

One thing that seems so to me, though, is that on the whole, most of these "pro-rage" folks aren't really practicing what they preach- meaning, I am sure actual rage is often there inside of them, but I don't see whatever the causes of said rage inside them normally being related to whatever (or, let's be honest, "whoever") is being "raged" at . For that matter, I don't see rage coming out; nothing that intense. Usually, I'm not even seeing anger , other than occasionally the inward-turned variety.

Real rage is, I think, something that is reserved for far more serious situations than where I see this "pseudo-rage" being directed on a day-to-day basis.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Rich, for your positive assessment.

Paul:

One thing that seems so to me, though, is that on the whole, most of these "pro-rage" folks aren't really practicing what they preach- meaning, I am sure actual rage is often there inside of them, but I don't see whatever the causes of said rage inside them normally being related to whatever (or, let's be honest, "whoever") is being "raged" at . For that matter, I don't see rage coming out; nothing that intense. Usually, I'm not even seeing anger , other than occasionally the inward-turned variety.

Real rage is, I think, something that is reserved for far more serious situations than where I see this "pseudo-rage" being directed on a day-to-day basis.

You're probably right about the rage. More to the point would be traditional Objectivist arrogance and ignorance as manifested in Objectivist self-righteousness. Doesn't defensive self-righteousness come across as "pseudo-rage?"

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there are those who fancy themselves as raging... it's very dramatic. Usually what I see is just standard-issue snarkiness. :blink: That, or the "superior" kind of tone- and with that one for sure, I suspect self-esteem issues, particularly in the self-worth component.

But that's just me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahem... Your attention please.

Listen up, I have an announcement to make!

(keep scrolling)

All posts from dissenters (and I mean that in a completely non-objective sense) will have all their posts removed and relocated to the humor OL LOLOLOL section effective immediately!

(keep scrolling)

(not) :D

Kat

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

~ I have no prob with the idea of O'ist-tenet DISAGREERS, in any given "O'ist"-oriented forum, with being segregated, sub-forum-wise, (or, for that matter, even 'outlawed', and requiring a 'test' to enter the whole forum!) away from other sub-forums that prefer to discuss within the framework of O'ism. -- Too often I found myself starting off in a discussion expecting to advance forward (re 'gaps' or derivative implications of O'ism), assuming a mutual base of 'premises', only to find myself in a debate about one tenet or another (volition, actualized infinity, 'child'-adult definition-criterion, etc)

~ Of course, apart from the forums which find O'ist-disagreement anathema, such 'looser' forums really should also have a special 'segregated' sub-forum set for threads involving ONLY concerns by O'ist accepters about the derivative implications perceived and presumed 'gaps' mentioned of O'ism.

~ The sensible purpose for the above would be for clarity in a poster's knowing what they're getting into. Other sub-forums like 'science', 'art', TV, etc, should be considered open to all, regardless of the above, unlike as happened with Dragonfly: automatically off-limits to O'ist-irrelevent sub-forums. (Maybe a change in the software could change that?)

~ Ergo, I agree overall with Bidinotto re the purpose of having a separate sub-forum for "O'ist-disagreers", in most forums. There, and ONLY there, should there properly be 'debate' about one tenet or another. --- However, as to 'moving' (ergo, high sub-forum restrictions placed upon) a poster to such, I think are not worthwhile tactical-procedures in handling a situation, especially if criteria for doing so is not specified. Such 'out-of-the-blue' restrictions (whether high or not) are too similar to being moderated or banned with argueable 'reasons' re any policy specifics that had been given.

~ An aside: re 'banning' of perceived 'trolls', I have no idea which is better: ban them, and get chronic flak; or let'em rant and leave other posters to learn the worth of 'ignoring' them...whilst they (and the non-ignorers) use up server space. I envy neither you, Mike, nor Perigno [much less other 'moderator'/owners] this decision problem; though, he does have an apparently simple criterion to go by in his decisions thereby: a disagreer is a troll, ergo, 'get lost, cowardly moron'. Ntl, to each their own 'rights'-exercise, of course, however myopic.

~ That's another thing: an apparent high-resolution radar to mis-identify very-quickly-conceived-as-immoral 'heretics' with knee-jerk Anti-Answer-Insults automatically firing. 'Course, there's innuended 'insults', and there's big-time INSULTS; but, I guess that's really a whole other subject, however related, so, nm.

~ Re how you're doing your site here, Mike, without my above prefs, it's still pretty good. Just thought I'd point out that disagreeing with the worth of the idea having separate O'ist-discussion subforums re 'debaters' and 'accepters' is not an inherently bad idea. Any prob related to it really has to do with a sub-forum restriction applied 'out-of-the-blue' to those love-to-debate posters.

LLAP

J:D

Edited by John Dailey
Link to post
Share on other sites

If someone is fluent and confident in an area, there shouldn't be any problem in handling replies, be it with 180-degree dissenters, or novices who might not have all their math done-- it just requires grace, manners, patience. Is it at times inconvenient, cumbersome, taxing? Surely so. I suppose there is a way to handle it kindly.

I remember one logistical problem that Nathaniel Branden confronted (and probably will continue to confront) on his Yahoo forum; it is that often people come on there and ask questions that he has already answered many times over, and usually first in his books. I notice that he often refers people to where he has written about it elsewhere.

What else to do? I suppose Joe could beef up his site description for potential entrants. You know... "If you do not have a reasonably fluent understanding of the works of Ayn Rand and her philosophy, you need to hop on the short bus and proceed to the developmental re-grooving area, click <here>. If you are coming here because you've got a tres hard-on about Objectivism and wish to engage in metaphysical combat, let it be known you are going over <here>, which is sort of a place we let people get jailed in and occasionally take long poles and poke through the bars at them. NOTE: there are some people that enjoy this, they just stay there of their own free will--if you are not one of those people and significantly disagree with management, you'll end up there anyway, so relax and try to enjoy it! Our policy is to immediately go for low-hanging fruit when it comes to rabble-rousers, consider yerself warned.

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