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> the name, "Branden," is not listed in any footnote or reference in his several published books on psychology. [Jerry]

Relevant Questions: What would you say are the top three contributions made by Branden in psychology? The ones which Kenner, Locke, etc. should have known and should have given credit. Was Branden a popularizer or an innovator?

Were Locke's books on 'psychology' or organizational psychology and goal-setting (the area for which he is known)? In the latter case, Branden wasn't working in those fields as opposed to general psych, was he? Do you have those Locke books and what are the titles?

I'm not saying you have to provide or recall all these. I am saying that making a negative moral judgment about someone, saying they are engaged in a cover-up, is a very serious matter and you have to make sure you have all your ducks in a row.

,,,,

I would also note that, in some cases, even if someone is a popularizer or 'applier' or clinician, but in a serious and/or influential way, he should get credit or a citation for that, in scholarly works and sometimes in popular.

For example: Branden is claimed by some to be the 'founder of the self-esteem movement'. I suspect that that may be a somewhat inflated or grandiose claim, as self-esteem has long been viewed as important. But IF it were true, that would merit attribution or mention by anyone writing a book or doing a whole series that dealt with the issue of self-esteem.

,,,,,

One final thought. I have not read Branden systematically or recently. I read his Oist Nwsltter stuff. I have a very vague recollection wrt a lot of his psychology writing of thinking yeah, yeah, I already know that. Or: he's over-moralizing and introducing the concept of 'evil' too much. I'm told he lessened that a lot in some of this post-68 books and falls more now within the field of psychology known as 'humanistic / self-actualization' broadly speaking.

...I remember reading Maslow a bit, and Aaron Beck (would perhaps be classified more as cognitive psych than humanistic) and thinking they had a lot to say and were saying some of the same things as NB in some cases.

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I would go a step further. I am more upset that the works (the better or more important works) of people Oists have fallen out with are not available in Oist books services:

For example, Branden's books (or at least the best one or two) and Reisman's magnum opus, "Capitalism", should certainly be sold by the Ayn Rand Bookstore! And reviewed.

(I have more recent and less vague knowledge of the latter and I know for a fact that the author has made innovative and brilliant first-hand insights: "Capitalism" is one of the great books, a powerful synthesis of austrian and classical economics in many ways with the clarifying addition of Objectivist insights. I'm even told that he saw some things that Mises and others didn't see.)

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Dennis,

But in the absence of evidence, I will have to say that Rand "anticipated" the concept of psychological visibility through descriptions of interactions between her fictional characters in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and that Branden named the concept and described it more detail, as well as emphasizing its importance in human relationships, especially romantic love. (By the way, academics often use the term, "anticipated," but I think it is epistemologically incorrect as it implies that somehow the originator of the earlier, immature version of a theory "knew" it would later be elaborated upon by someone else. How? By clairvoyance?).

I think Rand's references to visibility in Atlas Shrugged were somewhat more explicit than in The Fountainhead, and that this was due to Branden's articulation of what was occurring on a psychological level. The description of Roark looking at Dominique and seeing himself could be seen as a restatement of Aristotle's idea that a friend is a "second self." Rand's understanding prior to NB was comparable to the preconceptual level of awareness--i.e., primarily emotional, as in sense-of-life. Branden identified the nature of the psychological mirroring involved and made the principle explicit. He turned a vague impression into a profound insight into the fundamental nature of human interaction. That's why Branden deserves credit for originating the principle.

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> I think Rand's references to visibility in Atlas Shrugged were somewhat more explicit than in The Fountainhead, and that this was due to Branden's articulation of what was occurring on a psychological level. [DH]

You have any actual evidence, or are you speculating?

Could it be that Rand herself grew intellectually and -taught- Branden these things?

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To clarify: I refer to audio books, even lectures, as "books" because I spend a lot of time with "a book on my head" (ear phones).

Nathaniel Branden and Barbara and others are the heroes of Objectivism as they immersed themselves in Ayn Rand's thinking and came out with remarkably creative applications of the philosophy to their own areas of expertise. They are "the original Objectivists" and I would just like to see their contributions acknowledged. Maybe it isn't all that important to those who were capable of those accomplishments "way back then". But, it was important to me as I read them "way back then" largely because I was not able to produce them, but was able to recognize their worth and was willing and able to consume and use them.

The reason I have not looked into this horse's mouth myself yet is that I have a finite amount of time and intellectual energy available this summer and had hoped to get a quick answer from someone who had listened to the book. Once I bring my other projects to closure, I will give it a looksee and report back.

Thank you all for your histories on the presentations of psychological visibility. I appreciate your wide knowledge of the subject. My first major acquaintance with it was "The Psychology of Romantic Love" so that is the work that I referenced for this topic. Rand's use of the concepts therein are structured within the context of her works of fiction and not as fully clarified as in Branden's work. You are a lively group of thinkers and I'm glad you are here and are willing to speak your minds so clearly and so comprehensively.

Mary Lee

The basic definition of the problem:

Captitalism + Egoism versus Collectivism + Altruism

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> I think Rand's references to visibility in Atlas Shrugged were somewhat more explicit than in The Fountainhead, and that this was due to Branden's articulation of what was occurring on a psychological level. [DH]

You have any actual evidence, or are you speculating?

Could it be that Rand herself grew intellectually and -taught- Branden these things?

Phil,

It was speculation, and probably not all that well-founded. I looked for evidence in My Years With Ayn Rand, and discovered that, by his own statement, Branden had not worked out this principle while Rand was writing Atlas Shrugged. Based on his discussion of the evolution of the visibility principle, he did not fully articulate it until 1959, years after Atlas was published.

On the other hand, Branden has often stated that Rand told him she knew “nothing about psychology” (see his “Benefits and Hazards” article), and that she owed such understanding as she did possess to him. In view of that, her many discussions with him may or may not have helped her as she was writing those passages.

If Ellen Kenner limits her discussion to Rand’s use of psychological visibility in Atlas, she might validly claim to be ignorant of Branden’s work in that area. However, since she is using Branden’s terminology instead of something like ‘psychological mirroring,’ I seriously doubt that she is ignorant. In fact, I would be willing to bet that she stole a peek or two at Branden’s writings on the topic. And if that’s the case, I still think it’s inexcusable not to give credit where it’s due.

In light of all this, and because I have not personally listened to her talk (or audiobook or whatever), I am inclined to temper my earlier denunciation of Kenner, but not my generalized contempt for the policy of pretending that such important contributions to human knowledge do not exist because we are not happy with the author.

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Subject: Facts First, Gossip or Accusation Second

> she's fully endorsed by ARI, as is her book. That means that the odds that the book contains a positive reference to Nathaniel Branden are small

How do you know this? Just because some -past- writers/lecturers sold by the Ayn Rand Bookstore have not even mentioned Branden?

Have -all- of those intellectuals done this?

Have you actually researched this?

The first thing you would need to do research is a pretty clear list of the principles that Peikoff, Binswanger, Schwartz, and decades later Ellen Kenner et al acknowledge as major contributions to which credit is *due morally and in terms of simple honesty* and which Branden or somebody they detest clearly originated, not Rand. I certainly -hope- it's not true that they will ban anyone who does and so no one has. But I don't know whether or not it's true. It's just that you can't simply claim this, urban legend style.

Phil, this is such nonsense that I can't believe you really mean it.

You want a major contribution for which credit is owed but not given? See Tara Smith on self-esteem, and her crediting Leonard Peikoff with much of Nathaniel's early work on self-esteem.

Barbara

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Subject: Full Details

> You want a major contribution for which credit is owed but not given? See Tara Smith on self-esteem, and her crediting Leonard Peikoff with much of Nathaniel's early work on self-esteem. [barbara]

I find it hard to believe that she or anyone else would do this! Seriously?? Was it a misstatement? It's just too easy to check up on, and TS is trying to build a scholarly reputation.

My previous post was about Ellen Kenner, and have not read Tara Smith. Specifics: I'm leery of paraphrase, so if someone can give me TS's exact quote(s) and page number(s) crediting Peikoff... And in what -specific- form or manner or published material or conversations or lectures did TS claim Peikoff did work on self-esteem?

When did Peikoff -ever- do work on or have substantive discussion on self-esteem? (Let alone before Branden.)

Is TS just making a single sloppy remark or does she have systematic points in this regard? Does anyone actually have Tara Smith's books with this underlined or easy to find...so that it's not just gossip or third hand from 'people you trust'?

Note: If in fact there has been systematic misrepresentation (as opposed to honest error) about Nathaniel Branden's contributions and an and an ongoing or pervasive attempt to attribute them to others, many people would find that astonishing and would be initially reluctant to believe this.

So what is necessary is for someone to publish this in a systematic, scholarly way - giving citations and actual, rather detailed quotes - both from the offenders and from Branden and an indication that the ideas were not 'in the air' -- or in the (professional or other) literature prior to that time.

Let's stop just making general claims on blogs or discussion websites and expecting them to be persuasive. It's too easy for (especially outside) readers just to attribute this to general enmity.

Edited by Philip Coates
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> to publish this in a systematic, scholarly way - giving citations and actual, rather detailed quotes [me]

A model for how to to do this is Robert Campbell's thread in which he posts side-by-side Rand's words and how they appear in "Ayn Rand Answers". He even notes the time and place of the q & a.

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As I mentioned on the Rewrite Squad thread (#469 et seq), Onkar Ghate, another ARI stalwart, has more recently credited Branden accurately (if dismissively). This reminds me of the Cold War, when Kremlinologists and Sinologists used to such auguries as the lineup of reviewers at official parades to predict political and military moves.

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Subject: Full Details

> You want a major contribution for which credit is owed but not given? See Tara Smith on self-esteem, and her crediting Leonard Peikoff with much of Nathaniel's early work on self-esteem. [barbara]

I find it hard to believe that she or anyone else would do this! Seriously?? Was it a misstatement? It's just too easy to check up on, and TS is trying to build a scholarly reputation.

My previous post was about Ellen Kenner, and have not read Tara Smith. Specifics: I'm leery of paraphrase, so if someone can give me TS's exact quote(s) and page number(s) crediting Peikoff... And in what -specific- form or manner or published material or conversations or lectures did TS claim Peikoff did work on self-esteem?

When did Peikoff -ever- do work on or have substantive discussion on self-esteem? (Let alone before Branden.)

Is TS just making a single sloppy remark or does she have systematic points in this regard? Does anyone actually have Tara Smith's books with this underlined or easy to find...so that it's not just gossip or third hand from 'people you trust'?

Note: If in fact there has been systematic misrepresentation (as opposed to honest error) about Nathaniel Branden's contributions and an and an ongoing or pervasive attempt to attribute them to others, many people would find that astonishing and would be initially reluctant to believe this.

So what is necessary is for someone to publish this in a systematic, scholarly way - giving citations and actual, rather detailed quotes - both from the offenders and from Branden and an indication that the ideas were not 'in the air' -- or in the (professional or other) literature prior to that time.

Let's stop just making general claims on blogs or discussion websites and expecting them to be persuasive. It's too easy for (especially outside) readers just to attribute this to general enmity.

Ask and you shall receive.

In Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist, Tara Smith discusses self-esteem on pages 229-232. Nathaniel Branden is nowhere mentioned. Instead, we find five footnotes that cite Peikoff's OPAR. Even in a lengthy footnote that discusses some controversies about self-esteem, Branden is conspicuous by his absence.

You can verify all this for yourself by going here .

If you think Tara Smith's failure to mention NB, even in passing, is a mere oversight or an "honest error," then you are living in a fantasy world. This is "systematic misrepresentation" via the Orwellian Memory Hole.

Ghs

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Subject: The History of Self-Esteem

There are two claims involved in condemning TS for not crediting Nathaniel Branden on self-esteem in her book: 1. Branden originated the concept or is most responsible for it. 2. Her mention of people who wrote about self-esteem should give credit to those who did the most work or the most original work in this field.

Here is what I found today when I did some research:

A. Objectivists did not originate the concept of self-esteem and were not the first to make major contributions: "Given its long and varied history, the term has had no less than three major types of definition, each of which has generated its own tradition." [wikipedia]

In particular, Abraham Maslow in the 1940's and 50's anticipates the Objectivist sense in some respects. He also breaks it down into several important components.

B. There is a specifically Objectivist sense of "self-esteem". And it is Ayn Rand who originated that and first discussed it in detail, not Nathaniel Branden. It is discussed in Galt's Speech (publ. 1957), and the concept is used throughout. As well as in other essays.

C. Branden is credited in wikipedia with a unique definition of "self-esteem". But each of the three parts (insofar as they differ from Maslow, and other predecessors) comes from Rand. All three are identified in Galt's Speech, for example.

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So what is necessary is for someone to publish this in a systematic, scholarly way - giving citations and actual, rather detailed quotes - both from the offenders and from Branden and an indication that the ideas were not 'in the air' -- or in the (professional or other) literature prior to that time.

Let's stop just making general claims on blogs or discussion websites and expecting them to be persuasive. It's too easy for (especially outside) readers just to attribute this to general enmity.

Barbara can be first in line. The rest of us can line up behind her.

Ghs

<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYiv76qRCkA&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYiv76qRCkA&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYiv76qRCkA&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

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I'm ready for a beating. Just don't call me "Shirley". :)

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Subject: The History of Self-Esteem

There are two claims involved in condemning TS for not crediting Nathaniel Branden on self-esteem in her book: 1. Branden originated the concept or is most responsible for it. 2. Her mention of people who wrote about self-esteem should give credit to those who did the most work or the most original work in this field.

So why do you suppose Tara Smith cited Peikoff five times and NB not at all?

Even if Tara Smith really believes that Ayn Rand originated every basic idea about self-esteem that NB later elaborated upon, the normal thing for her to have done would have been to write: "For a systematic and more complete presentation of Rand's ideas on self-esteem, see Nathaniel Branden's article...." etc., etc.

But she cites Peikoff instead! -- five times! -- and you still express doubts about what is going on here? Give me an f'ing break!

Here is what I found today when I did some research:

A. Objectivists did not originate the concept of self-esteem and were not the first to make major contributions: "Given its long and varied history, the term has had no less than three major types of definition, each of which has generated its own tradition." [wikipedia]...."

You actually had to do research to find out that Objectivists did not originate the concept of self-esteem? I'm very unimpressed.

Ghs

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The baritone sax line in this evokes my reaction to Phil’s latest. The low note, that sounds like a raspberry, that’s when palm meets forehead, followed by a shake, move hand away to read another line, repeat.

But she cites Peikoff instead! -- five times! -- and you still express doubts about what is going on here? Give me an f'ing break!

It’s not like Tara Smith could cite Edith Packer! Soon, once she's published, Dr. Kenner will be the Comrade Ogilvy of Objectivist psychological theorizing. And there's doubt whether she cites Branden? Oh yeah, well we'll see...

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> You actually had to do research to find out that Objectivists did not originate the concept of self-esteem? I'm very unimpressed. [GHS]

No, to find out who did.

That you couldn't figure that out leaves -me- very unimpressed.

Edited by Philip Coates
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> You actually had to do research to find out that Objectivists did not originate the concept of self-esteem? I'm very unimpressed. [GHS]

No, to find out who did.

That you couldn't figure that out leaves -me- very unimpressed.

This is yet another example where you edited my original post to serve your own purpose. Here is the passage by you that I quoted:

Here is what I found today when I did some research:

A. Objectivists did not originate the concept of self-esteem and were not the first to make major contributions: "Given its long and varied history, the term has had no less than three major types of definition, each of which has generated its own tradition." [wikipedia]

I assumed, perhaps mistakenly, that you meant what you said. We don't normally say that we "found" something by researching something we already knew.

Ghs

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But she cites Peikoff instead! -- five times! -- and you still express doubts about what is going on here? Give me an f'ing break!

It’s not like Tara Smith could cite Edith Packer! Soon, once she's published, Dr. Kenner will be the Comrade Ogilvy of Objectivist psychological theorizing. And there's doubt whether she cites Branden? Oh yeah, well we'll see...

I need to find definitive evidence that will convince Phil, so I am looking for a footnote by Tara Smith that says something like the following:

"I have not cited a certain evil psychologist in my discussion of self-esteem because to do so would mean that Dr. Leonard Peikoff and the virtuous egoists at ARI would never talk to me again, and I don't want to be booted off that gravy train."

Do you think this would do the trick, or would Phil argue that since the "evil psychologist" was not named, we cannot be absolutely certain who he or she is? Why, Phil might even research the subject and discover that there have been "evil psychologists" other than Nathaniel Branden.

Ghs

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The baritone sax line in this evokes my reaction to Phil’s latest. The low note, that sounds like a raspberry, that’s when palm meets forehead, followed by a shake, move hand away to read another line, repeat.

Thanks for posting this video. I'm a big fan of Mingus, or at least a fan of much of his stuff. He had a wonderful ability to combine humor with jazz.

I have "Moanin'" on the album "Blues and Roots," but that file got corrupted during the downloading process; it cuts off after the first minute, so I have never heard his version of the entire number.

Ghs

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> We don't normally say that we "found" something by researching something we already knew. [GHS]

Read the rest of what I found====>

Here is what I found today when I did some research:

A. Objectivists did not originate the concept of self-esteem and were not the first to make major contributions: "Given its long and varied history, the term has had no less than three major types of definition, each of which has generated its own tradition." [wikipedia]

In particular, Abraham Maslow in the 1940's and 50's anticipates the Objectivist sense in some respects. He also breaks it down into several important components.

B. There is a specifically Objectivist sense of "self-esteem". And it is Ayn Rand who originated that and first discussed it in detail, not Nathaniel Branden. It is discussed in Galt's Speech (publ. 1957), and the concept is used throughout. As well as in other essays.

C. Branden is credited in wikipedia with a unique definition of "self-esteem". But each of the three parts (insofar as they differ from Maslow, and other predecessors) comes from Rand. All three are identified in Galt's Speech, for example.

,,,,,,,,,

Emphasis added. As George said: "This is yet another example where you edited my original post to serve your own purpose."

Also: When I make important points like this, breaking down three separate sub-points carefully and logically, one needs to address them in the same spirit. Instead of trying to deflect them humorously ("there have been "evil psychologists" other than Nathaniel Branden").

Or quibble about the use of the word 'found' and then snip away two-thirds of what I found.

Edited by Philip Coates
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> We don't normally say that we "found" something by researching something we already knew. [GHS]

Read the rest of what I found====>

Here is what I found today when I did some research:

A. Objectivists did not originate the concept of self-esteem and were not the first to make major contributions: "Given its long and varied history, the term has had no less than three major types of definition, each of which has generated its own tradition." [wikipedia]

In particular, Abraham Maslow in the 1940's and 50's anticipates the Objectivist sense in some respects. He also breaks it down into several important components.

B. There is a specifically Objectivist sense of "self-esteem". And it is Ayn Rand who originated that and first discussed it in detail, not Nathaniel Branden. It is discussed in Galt's Speech (publ. 1957), and the concept is used throughout. As well as in other essays.

C. Branden is credited in wikipedia with a unique definition of "self-esteem". But each of the three parts (insofar as they differ from Maslow, and other predecessors) comes from Rand. All three are identified in Galt's Speech, for example.

,,,,,,,,,

Emphasis added. As George said: "This is yet another example where you edited my original post to serve your own purpose."

Also: When I make important points like this, breaking down three separate sub-points carefully and logically, one needs to address them in the same spirit. Instead of trying to deflect them humorously ("there have been "evil psychologists" other than Nathaniel Branden").

Or quibble about the use of the word 'found' and then snip away two-thirds of what I found.

You are unbelievable. First you make a pedantic demand for rigorous evidence about Tara Smith and NB. Fine -- I gave you that; I even provided a link to the original source.

So what did you do then? You ignored the documentation and went off on an irrelevant tangent about the history of the idea of self-esteem. Then you ignored my follow-up question, "So why do you suppose Tara Smith cited Peikoff five times and NB not at all?" and focused instead on a passing jab I made about your research.

At the very least a reasonable person would have said, in effect: "Okay, that looks pretty bad for Tara Smith; she was obviously ignoring NB deliberately."

But did you do the reasonable thing? No, for to have done that would have been to admit that you might be wrong about the ARI crowd. And would you ever admit this, regardless of the evidence? No, of course not.

What you "need" to do is stop the condescending advice about what other people should and shouldn't do. You won't deal honestly with this issue, so you are in no position to lecture anyone else.

Ghs

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I need to find definitive evidence that will convince Phil,

While I don’t really regard Phil as one, the advice “don’t overfeed the trolls” comes to mind here.

Do you think this would do the trick, or would Phil argue that since the "evil psychologist" was not named, we cannot be absolutely certain who he or she is? Why, Phil might even research the subject and discover that there have been "evil psychologists" other than Nathaniel Branden.

The positions he’s taken remind me of the view assigned to Hume, that you can’t be sure the sun’s going to come up tomorrow (did he ever actually say that?). There have been multiple threads devoted to “airbrushing” etc., the Rewrite Squad being the best one. Does someone have to regurgitate it all for him? I say let Phil forage for his own food.

Edited by Ninth Doctor
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In reviewing the long list of assertions, responses, counter-responses, jumping-off to other topics either with a "Yes, but...",or simply ignoring evidence offered.....I'm wondering, what exactly is going-on here? :huh:

Phil, You have had a long history of involvement with many aspects of Objectivism: its literature, its concepts, its personalities, its relationship with other similar, related, or even contrasting philosophies. You are a prolific poster on this forum and on some others related to these ideas. Many of your past posts show that you are well-acquainted with the issues involved. You are hardly a neophyte or "newbie."

Again, looking back over the responses and counter-responses on this thread - and considering your past evidence of familiarity or even command of the subjects being discussed, I have a simple question,.... Are you just jerkin' us around? Just being playful, mischievous, seeing how long you can draw us in to this game? :unsure:

We have been taking your inquiries seriously, but I think you are just messin' with us.

But, to give you the "benefit of the doubt" (and bending over backwards), perhaps you are just trying to stoke our interests and get us to re-examine our beliefs. Maybe this is your version of applying the "Socratic method?"

Or are you just,... jerkin' us around?

Yours in sincere inquiry,

Jerry

Edited by Jerry Biggers
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We have been taking your inquiries seriously, but I think you are just playing with us.

But, to give you the "benefit of the doubt" (and bending over backwards), perhaps you are just trying to stoke our interests and get us to re-examine our beliefs. Maybe this is your version of applying the "Socratic method?"

Or are you just,... jerkin' us around?

Yours in sincere inquiry,

Jerry

You realize, I trust, that you have just provided Phil with another opportunity to pontificate about his educational mission on OL. <_<

Frankly, I would rather be jerked around than be victimized by Phil's notion of the Socratic method. Indeed, in this case there is no substantial difference between the two possibilities.

Ghs

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