Phil Coates and His Hateful No-Win Judgmentalism


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On the "my job" thread, Phil once again accused me of being malicious, and implied that I am a "bad person."

And that got me wondering. Phil, I'd like know what I'd have to do to be a good person in your eyes.

You spend a lot of time complaining that people don't properly state their views, or back them up with well-reasoned arguments, evidence, quotes and examples, etc. Yet, when I meet your expectations, and even go above and beyond all of your rules and requirements, you still judge me as evil.

When I try to get you and others to focus on substance, you lie that I'm only pretending to "suddenly want to be scholarly." Then, when presented with proof of my long history of bringing substantive arguments to discussions and of trying to get others to focus on the same, you disregard the proof as "gotchaism," "nitpicking" and "context-dropping."

When I behave exactly as you demand, you lie that I haven't behaved as you demand, and you refuse to even look at the overwhelming evidence of my virtuous behavior.

So, what I'd like to know, Phil, is why have you decided to judge me as evil no matter what I do? Why are you so irrationally hateful toward me?

J

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Subject: Educating the Educator in how to Educate--The Power of Story I was going to post this on the "my job" thread, but since a new thread opened up specifically about Phil, I'll do it here. When

It was unjust for Philip to accuse you out of context like that. Justice demands that he at least point to the reasons for his accusation, as it stands there is no way to evaluate his comment but that he is full of ...

(Yes I overuse that Carlin video, but it's just so damn apt...)

Shayne

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Why do you give a crap what Phil thinks of you?

I second that

The motion being properly moved before the body and properly seconded, I move for a vote...

Adam

a lover of Robert's Rules of Order and I carry it to every public meeting which terrifies the agents of oppression meaning the elected vermin

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I have nothing to say about Mr Coates, but I just love the title of this thread!

Why do you give a crap what Phil thinks of you?

I second that

The motion being properly moved before the body and properly seconded, I move for a vote...

Adam

a lover of Robert's Rules of Order and I carry it to every public meeting which terrifies the agents of oppression meaning the elected vermin

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he seems to have abandoned the my job thread :P

OH NO ...you didn't do this ...agh!!!

th_raising-the-dead.jpg th_raisingthedead.jpg

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Phil has been having bad hair days ever since he came off hiatus. Even by Phil standards.

Swollen prostate, painful rectal itch--something. Something has made his snot turn green.

rde

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Subject: Educating the Educator in how to Educate--The Power of Story

I was going to post this on the "my job" thread, but since a new thread opened up specifically about Phil, I'll do it here.

When I saw the following post from over there, I cringed. I kinda knew what was coming. After all, I'm no stranger to this stuff.

> I'd ask how you think you know that our mental processes are lazy and slovenly, and how you think you know that we make little effort. [sjw]

First let me say that being lazy is something we all are from time to time and doesn't mean one is evil, a monster, dishonest, etc.

(Even I - perfect phil the schoolmarm - was lazy once for about fifteen minutes in the fall of the year 2000.)

Second, I get my evidence of laziness and slovenliness by actually having read the posts of each of you for quite a long period of time. (I would not have such evidence if there were not a pretty consistent pattern.)

1. In your case, the mental laziness is lashing out at people and calling them 'dishonest' (or psychotic or some other similarly inaccurate adjective) as sort of a general purpose accusation without evidence. And because you are unwilling to take the time to state more precisely and factually the exact nature of the disagreement or to think through the mental flaw in what your opponent seems to be doing. Also you have rage issues when someone insults you, you time after time jump to a character attack. This displays a certain lack of *psychological and emotional* control --- which would take significant(non-lazy) effort to monitor for this and catch it before you hit 'send'. It's emotional self-indulgence (a trait shared by others...see below.)

2. In the case on ND, he has a good mind (as do you), but is prone to fire off a humorous video clip or a one-liner rather than take the time to think something through precisely. He also resorts to the lazy tactic of dealing in personalities too much.

3. In the case of Brant, I sometimes get the feeling he is posting drunk. If so, it would not be so much mental laziness but lack of self-control as regarding when one exchanges ideas with others. If not, he simply can't be bothered very often to go beyond the cryptic, the subjective, the unexplained, and the perennial one-liner. Or he launches into an unedited, stream-of-consciousness and bitter diatribe against the harm done by Objectivism.

4. In the case of Jonathan, I have repeatedly seen a great deal of malice - toward myself, toward Newberry, toward Rand, toward others. (I wouldn't call him lazy or a 'slothful poster' though.)

Each of the above people is capable of good insights and is intelligent.

And (with the exception of one of them), despite my bitter exchanges and personal animosities with them, I don't have reason or evidence to suspect any of them are "bad people" or unsavory or of poor character: The lazy, slovenly habit among the intelligent and well-read simply is something that personally *irritates the hell* out of me.

I am going to presume that this was not presented with malice, but with an intent to bring truth (as Phil sees it) to the eyes of the people he cited. I do not agree with these observations as stated, and I definitely know that Jonathan is not malicious (he apparently has a carbon-copy of my own BS meter and even more intolerance for hypocrisy than I have), but I don't want to discuss defending or attacking right now.

I want to discuss persuasion.

Agree or disagree, the Truth According to Coates is in his post. I think it is reasonable to assume that he believes it as he said it and he wanted to convey this truth--with good intent--to those he mentioned.

That given, and with the reader's permission, I will tell a story (my version) from ancient Jewish culture.

There was a beautiful maiden named Truth who wandered throughout a city greeting all people she passed. No one greeted her back and few looked at her for more than an instant. As she walked on, she became lonely and frustrated, so she tried to speak louder, but to no avail. People would not listen. She stood right in front of them and they walked around her.

In a moment of inspiration, she thought, "I know what will make people notice me." So she disrobed and walked the entire city nude.

She was stunning to look at. What a sight!

But not only did people act as before, they started to shy away from her with intent. Some folks crossed the street to avoid walking on the same side she was on. Those in houses closed their windows so they would not have to gaze upon her. She was shunned.

As Truth walked along dejectedly, a stranger came up and told her he had been observing her plight and could make people notice her. She asked what he wanted, and he replied, "Nothing. Merely that you cover your nakedness with this cloak. It is called Story."

So Truth vested the cloak of Story and forged on. The very first person she encountered said, "How beautiful you are!" Others started gathering and praising her. Soon there was a crowd of people following her footsteps. Those in houses opened their windows and doors and invited her in.

Truth was finally welcome in the city.

This ties in well with the purpose of this forum (people thinking for themselves). Story is one of the main keys.

Nobody likes to be ordered what to think, even if it is right, but especially if it is wrong. Each person needs to decide for himself. Story is the most effective manner to get into a person's thoughts during the choosing. A good story will not necessarily convince a person of anything, but it echoes unbidden in the person's mind whenever he ponders the problem it addresses. Story is a context that thrusts itself into a person's thinking as an alternative way of looking at something. Story is an influential handmaiden of volition.

People have a choice about what they decide. But most of the time, they do not have a choice about remembering a story they heard when it is walking right alongside that choice.

If you force a person to agree with you, say through intimidation or ridicule, he might say he agrees but he will not. If the person chooses to agree with you because of a story you told, you left the choice up to him. He will mull the issue over in the light of the story and come to his own conclusion. Thus, when he agrees, you will have no stronger advocate than him.

Now look what Phil did. Instead of getting agreement from the very people he apparently wanted to "command to rise" (to use Rand's term), he pissed them off. Even should they agree with something he said, they will tend to close their minds to the message, simply because of his presentation.

People call Phil a "schoolmarm"? Marm, maybe, but I don't see the school part. I say a good educator educates by getting through to the student. He tells stories and talks about the meaning of them. He guides a student to a choice. He doesn't ram ideas and agreement down where they are unwelcome.

I want to tell another story, because this one is so appropriate to the present situation. I got it from an author named Annette Simmons, but it is my paraphrase.

A person came upon a construction site. He walked up to a worker who was obviously toiling very hard and asked, "What are you doing?" The worker replied, "I am laying bricks."

He went to another worker, one who looked busier, and asked the same thing. The other worker said, "I am building a wall."

He saw a third worker whistling and apparently having a great time. He asked, "Why are you so happy?" This guy looked at him and smiled. He said, "Because I am building a cathedral."

Taking this to Phil, I now ask him, which approach and vision do you think will make people change to suit your idea? Inviting them to build a cathedral with you or fussing at them for pissing on the bricks?

You are an educator, Phil. So educate, if that is your heart's desire. May I suggest a good story once in a while?

(After all, if it was good enough for Ayn Rand...)

Michael

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Excellent story Michael, however, as Ayn Rand also pointed out, fiction is far more difficult than non-fiction. Some of us aren't up to that task.

Shayne

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Michael,

Thanks for the stories. They go a long way to condensing a point with great clarity. Good for mulling over, too.

~ Shane

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May I suggest a good story once in a while?

Michael, that's an excellent idea, and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

My observation on OL, unfortunately, has been that when people try to illustrate their points by analogy or by references to stories, films, or the like, others refuse to get the point and waste time nitpicking on details of whether the comparison is apt, whether the originator of the story used is a trustworthy source, etc. :(

Judith

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Subject: Shape Up and I'll Stop Kicking

> which approach and vision do you think will make people change to suit your idea? Inviting them to build a cathedral with you or fussing at them for pissing on the bricks?

Michael, I think that depends entirely on your evaluation of the people. For reasons including what Judith mentions ---> "My observation on OL, unfortunately, has been that when people try to illustrate their points by analogy or by references to stories, films, or the like, others refuse to get the point and waste time nitpicking on details.."

I'm actually involved elsewhere in building a cathedral.

Builders and volunteers vary in quality and you have to assess the quality of who you are dealing with. Sometimes they are *so* bad, all you can do is take a rhetorical two-by-four to their butts.

Will that make you unpopular with and actively disliked by the union majority...or widely on some website? Or have your points evaded or misstated?

Absolutely. But I'm kicking butts. "Making an example" out of the frequent posters here -- and have no interest in how furious or disgusted it makes them.

Shape up, dudes and dudettes, and I'll stop kicking: Benevolent respect has to be earned sometimes by reasonable and responsible and serious behavior.

MORAL: YOU CAN ONLY TELL A STORY TO PEOPLE WHO ARE LISTENING. And don't have their fingers in their ears, yelling "Nyah, nyah, nyah!"

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I'm actually involved elsewhere in building a cathedral.

Phil,

So you come here to piss on bricks?

Nice.

MORAL: YOU CAN ONLY TELL A STORY TO PEOPLE WHO ARE LISTENING. And don't have their fingers in their ears, yelling "Nyah, nyah, nyah!"

You just did that yourself, didn't you? You didn't want to listen to my stories, did you?

(I bet you heard them anyway, though...)

Michael

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Subject: Phil Thinks He is "Kicking Butts":

(plays around with items on desk)

(brief discussion of Arabic music with associate)

(coffee). . .hopeless despair, humorlessness. . .considers pasting several pages of William S. Burroughs "Naked Lunch." Phil would not like it, no, he would not.

*sigh*

. . .considers putting out unauthorized Phil Swag on Cafe' Press: coffee cups?

How about asking MSK to start a Phil Coates Corner? It would be fun to watch. But would Phil be Pleased? Questions. . .many questions. . .

(I found a clear ballpoint pen that has a neat LED light in it that turns colors. . .it is like my lava lamp only smaller. . .I like playing with this). . .

I switched from third person to first person. Phil will not Like this. But, idea: use more 3rd person observer when working Phil riffs--safer, artsier than catapulting giant shit sandwiches at him.

Meditation: Phil is not kicking butt, but he feels like he is kicking butt. Perception is not reality, but reality can be overrated. If Phil feels like he is kicking butt, he feels right, virtuous. But at what expense? Any? It is adorable fun to vaporize him. And, he is very durable. Truly, he is a Sporty Pants kind of guy. When Phil is in Florida, does he wear the white shoes with matching belt? Why do I picture him this way? And now he says he is building a cathedral. I built him such a nice one, and he has rejected it. Sob.

rde

*sob*

Edited by Rich Engle
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Subject: Shape Up and I'll Stop Kicking

But you won't. That's the entire point of this thread. When I show that I've behaved exactly as you demand, you "kick" anyway. You impede discussions with your "kicking," and then "kick" some more when people complain about your intrusions, and then "kick" even more when they try to get back to substance. It seems as if when you have nothing of substance to add to a discussion, you like to "kick" to get attention.

Michael, I think that depends entirely on your evaluation of the people.

I think that's probably a big part of the problem here. Phil apparently "evaluates" people rather than actions and ideas, and he does so very emotionally and permanently. I've been critical of Phil's hero, Rand, and of those among her followers who try to rationalize her errors, so therefore I'm a "bad person" to Phil, and then anything I do will be judged as further proof of my badness -- all of the intellectual material that I bring to a discussion is to be immediately dismissed as irrelevant because it comes from a "bad person"?

Absolutely. But I'm kicking butts. "Making an example" out of the frequent posters here -- and have no interest in how furious or disgusted it makes them.

No, you're really not "kicking butts," Phil. More like just making an ass of yourself. It is interesting, though, that you think you're making people "furious" with you heroic "kicking." Is that how you like to imagine it? You're going to drag us "bad people" into the light and teach us how to be good, and we're absolutely furious about having to give up our evil ways? Heh.

Shape up, dudes and dudettes, and I'll stop kicking: Benevolent respect has to be earned sometimes by reasonable and responsible and serious behavior.

But, Phil, you haven't answered my initial question on this thread. I demonstrated "reasonable and responsible and serious behavior" for years in my discussions on aesthetics with Newberry and others, I hit the books and brought tons of substance to the discussions, I challenged others to expand their visions and consider larger contexts of information, and what did you do? You intruded after years of these discussions and accused me of dishonestly pretending to suddenly want to discuss substance. You've put me in a no-win situation. You've decided to judge me as evil no matter what I do. When I behave "reasonably and responsibly and seriously," my reward is to still have my discussions impeded with your ridiculous hectoring.

Why? Is it because my criticisms of Rand and her defenders are so potent? Is it because you can't defeat my arguments so you feel that you need to smear me as a "bad person"?

J

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Absolutely. But I'm kicking butts. "Making an example" out of the frequent posters here -- and have no interest in how furious or disgusted it makes them.

Shape up, dudes and dudettes, and I'll stop kicking: Benevolent respect has to be earned sometimes by reasonable and responsible and serious behavior.

Phil,

Who are you trying to kid?

Robert Campbell

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Subject: Phil Thinks He is "Kicking Butts":

(plays around with items on desk)

(brief discussion of Arabic music with associate)

(coffee). . .hopeless despair, humorlessness. . .considers pasting several pages of William S. Burroughs "Naked Lunch." Phil would not like it, no, he would not.

*sigh*

. . .considers putting out unauthorized Phil Swag on Cafe' Press: coffee cups?

How about asking MSK to start a Phil Coates Corner? It would be fun to watch. But would Phil be Pleased? Questions. . .many questions. . .

(I found a clear ballpoint pen that has a neat LED light in it that turns colors. . .it is like my lava lamp only smaller. . .I like playing with this). . .

I switched from third person to first person. Phil will not Like this. But, idea: use more 3rd person observer when working Phil riffs--safer, artsier than catapulting giant shit sandwiches at him.

Meditation: Phil is not kicking butt, but he feels like he is kicking butt. Perception is not reality, but reality can be overrated. If Phil feels like he is kicking butt, he feels right, virtuous. But at what expense? Any? It is adorable fun to vaporize him. And, he is very durable. Truly, he is a Sporty Pants kind of guy. When Phil is in Florida, does he wear the white shoes with matching belt? Why do I picture him this way? And now he says he is building a cathedral. I built him such a nice one, and he has rejected it. Sob.

rde

*sob*

That was hysterical! Thank you! :lol:

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> You didn't want to listen to my stories, did you?

Michael, yes I did:

I thought they were very good stories - and useful in many areas of life.

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