wsscherk's blog

The New Philosophy of Chatons and J-thons

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Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-12 14:06

Oops, don't have one, just a musing, and a mental image of kittens (chatons, Fr., kittens):

-- doesn't it seem to some of you, oh chin-on-fist, palm-on-mouse, angina-tablets-at-hand readers who have yet to post, that the chatbox is a different form of forum? a more kittenish place, as opposed to the "Gladiators and the Lions" main SOLO battle arenas?

Recent Comments:
No, I won't, Will, and it is — by JoeM on Sat, 2006-05-13 14:23
"I met Chris Sciabarra" — by wsscherk on Sat, 2006-05-13 07:56
"ps did it strike you at all — by JoeM on Sat, 2006-05-13 00:25

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What if Ayn Rand had been a man?

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Submitted by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-05-08 13:39

None of her ideas and philosophy would be different, since her philosophy was not and is not gender-bound.

But what of her personal life and the facts of the Break?

-- Mr Ayn Rand
-- Mrs (Frankina O'Connor) Rand
-- Mr Robert 'Bob-Ra' Branden
-- Mrs (Nathania Blumenthal) Robert Branden
-- Mr Patricio Gullison

Recent Comments:
Ayn Rand -- parent, novelist — by wsscherk on Sat, 2006-05-13 08:12
Mother — by eg on Sat, 2006-05-13 06:20
"Unspeakably disgusting" vs "Woman Worshipper" — by wsscherk on Thu, 2006-05-11 04:04

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Fiendish Brain Researchers [was Theoretical Neuroscience]

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Submitted by wsscherk on Sun, 2006-05-07 07:00

(the last slide of 30, from The Oregon Health and Science University) -- for those interested in Computational/Theoretical Neuroscience, some very intriguing depictions . . . for those not interested, inanity.


Recent Comments:
To be fair to Rick — by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-12 13:35
Marching orders from Emperor Norton II — by wsscherk on Sun, 2006-05-07 15:08
Hey! — by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-05-07 07:41

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Denunciasaurus Rex

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Submitted by wsscherk on Sat, 2006-05-06 21:56

Denunciasaurs (and toadies and flunkies and lapdogs and anonymous pitbulls, hyenas, vultures and friends) are hypocrites.

Not evul immoral folk, and thus irredeemable, no -- the common Denunciasaurus-Rex is a simple, bumbling hypocrite, all too human, alas1 . . . all too human to be roasted on a spit, shredded, marinated in blog-spit, pounded to paste, spread on white toast, chewed, spat out, ground in the sidewalk, napalmed, hosed off with bleach, and finally cast off into the hideous punishing darkness of the inner 0-ring of Heck (Ottawa)2.

No, we must pity them for their un-remarked and un-corrected mistakes. We must be tolerant. We must obey our stern internal moral injunctions (e.g., do NOT act like Miss Nasty while pretending to be Miss Nice: "But she started it, the poo-poo head!! She's a fucking immoral piece of shit."3).

The plangent whinging and whining and high dudgeon are unseemly of any pretender to the throne of scholarship or the throne of Micronesia (which the SOLO archipelago brings to mind for all its truck and trade with the world, being the crossroads of reason and passion and all). The revelation of La Perigo backstage activities4 put all of this posturing and fervour in perspective: hypocrisy comes in varied delicious flavours.

Cringing hypocrisy
('I was forced to be nasty by Events. It's not my fault -- I didn't know I would be caught')

Amnesiac hypocrisy
('I disremember. I can explain the discrepancy. How can I remember everything I say in private?')

Towering hyocrisy
('Yes, I publish private correspondence. But I have a Higher Purpose!!! I am never immoral myself, in any way: all my errors are undertandable and explicable! I am King [Queen|Empress\Flying Spaghetti Monster creator] of the only moral planet in the universe, cur . . . stupid undergrad, manipulative liar, evul poo-poo head, TOC-infected sub-optimal and unfortunate Jenna Wong-wannabe. I will not engage with the uncivil (except in cases when I am busy or distracted. Don't imagine that I disagree or agree with any comment on my blog. I am strictly neutral and objective. You are banned, cretin.')

Wheedling hypocrisy
('But she hurt my feelings. And my feelings matter. And people are Nasty to me, and I NEVER almost ever except for sometimes am Nasty myself. And I was provoked by secret whispers and she hurt my feelings and none of the other kids will like me if she keeps lying about me. Boo hoo, sniffle, grizzle, snort hiccup sob screech . . . She was supposed to be my frie-eeeeeeend! She was never supposed to tell on ME! She was supposed to support ME! Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo, O woe is me, I hurt so much . . . why doesn't anybody understand?! Now I have to find a new best friend and that's HARD!!! Boo hoo whinge, wheedle, cry, snuffle, cough, load aim KABOOM!!! Hi, wasn't it fun to blow Chrissy's brains out? Wanna be my besssssst frie-eeeeend?! That's a pretty anonymous name you have. I won't ban you if you're nice to me . . . ')

Shameful hypocrisy

('all of the charges of hypocrisy are themselves hypocrisy, and bad and evul and I won't tolerate them in my comments and send me your secret emails too, huh, please? and all the charges of nastiness are themselves nasty, and you are banned from here, mister, and that's not what I said, you're banned from commenting, and you and you and you and even you if you look at me the wrong way. I'm tired. I write over 5000 words every day of top-flight philosphy. It is tiring. You tire me. You are banned. I'm going away on tour and if you are Nasty while I am gone I might have to spank everybody. I might have to pre-spank you all unless you are very very nice while Auntie is gone. I heard that. You are banned too, mister. I warned you. I don't tolerate stuff around here. And no, NOBODY GETS PIE except ME. Got it? If you don't GET IT, consider yourself pre-spanked, pre-banned, and pre-deleted.')

When an author writes "I . . . [he] . . . me . . . digusting lies,"5 we enter a new rhetorical universe. We leave the universe of 'my esteeemed colleague'6 and the planet of, 'my friend and former associate'7 and plunge into the dense atmosphere of 'immoral, contemptible, scum-sucking poo-poo head.'8 There we stagger about deprived of oxygen and cordiality, barking harsh communications at all others we can perceive.

Mertz's routine invocations of her fairness and even-handed objectivity (on her blog here, and here, and here*) are revealed to be a sham. As if a raging Borderline patient9, she turns on her closest bosom buddies, she dares not give real love for fear of melting, she feels anguish at real and imagined betrayals, she denounces what once engendered comradely devotion . . . unbeknownst to her, her ability to navigate the social landscape is significantly impaired10.

What kind of friendship did she imagine she was performing in her mentor/mentee relationship with Sciabarra? How many confidences did she extract from him? How many has she betrayed in public? How much is she holding back in the mountain of archived communications? How much is she not telling? Who opened this Box of Nasty Emails?

Her 400 email trove is then as neutral an object as is Sciabarra's opposing trove (in these two camps, a thumping historical record of their mutual communications; in the massive engorged Inboxes of both, a mountain of material for a future objective historian) -- Mertz's +/-400 vs Sciabarra's +/-400.

What can we see of these troves? Not much more than what is squoze out by one of the interlocutors.

I will reserve judgement on these matters until that future day when the material is open to view. Until then, I consider this a messy internal affair of Rand-followers which is really none of my business . . .

This leaves me with the impression of the world as it is: imperfect, full of imperfect people performing imperfect behaviours. I no more indict Diana Mertz Hsieh for her denunciation of Chris Matthew Sciabarra than I do Sciabarra for his stately, scholarly silence in the aftermath11. The are both human, imperfect and yet valuable.

With my sense of life (in which it is I, Me, Mine own universe, My precious self doing the living among a lot of imperfect Them) there is no option -- I cannot see round every corner, down every rathole or sewer, nor can I see into the hearts of all the men and women who stagger about the earth -- I can only be staggered myself by the rank hypocrisy which stinks up the public sphere from time to time.

To subvert a Fahyism, when one farts in public, the only seemly behaviour for other riders on the train is to ignore it (British and French people will allow a moue of distaste to appear on their granite faces, London/Paris often stinking in other ways12; Americans will open a window with a great irrelavant clatter12A; Scots will be stinking drunk and think it their own crepitation -- and giggle13; Brazilians will hardly notice another sewer smell on their grossly-overcrowded Metro14; Russians will imagine that someone has a trove of home-raised mushrooms in a bag somewhere between their legs and will sniff deeply in an attempt to detect its origin15; Chinese will pull up their face-masks and sign inwardly as they watch the stock ticker on the train car -- installed by the Communist Party16; Swedes will not smell the fart, as the train unit has already detected and removed the methane to a collector-tank where it is fed back into the bio-fuel engine17; Norwegians, Icelanders, Faroe Islanders will all think that the party has started and fart themselves. Accordians will appear. Foot-stomping dances will be performed, babies will be conceived18; Canadians will entertain suspicions that it is a secret Yankee** riding the train whose rectal-blurt so befouled the public sphere, and will ask their government to install fart-detector buzzers on every transit seat at an expense of $850 million tax-funded dollars19).



1. [Diana Mertz Hsieh:] "Generally speaking, although I do not take a casual approach to my writings, my basic attitude is that I am perfectly willing to err, even in a spectacular and public fashion. Of course, I would prefer not to do so. Of course, I strive to avoid it. But when it happens, I take it as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a blow to my self-image. In contrast, when I joined Toastmasters back in 2001, I rather disliked being told pretty much anything other than that my speech was wonderful. Although I understood its theoretical function, I was generally averse to criticism. But in that friendly and supportive environment, I quickly realized that improvement required strong and direct criticism. Of course, some forms of criticism are genuinely destructive. Good criticism aims at correcting errors by noting and encouraging some change for next time. My attitude towards the possibility of error and the value of criticism changed for the better, I think."

Recent Comments:
Disinterested parties — by wsscherk on Wed, 2006-05-17 20:41
By now... — by Jody Gomez on Tue, 2006-05-16 03:32
Stopping Short — by Mark Dow on Tue, 2006-05-16 02:50

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. . . star-spangled darkness

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Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-05 04:56

Another dang post responding to pleasant murmurs when I announced Blog 46 and Concordance on the Objectivist Living list. Excerpt for los guignolardos chicos:

It is telling to me that those who are tone-deaf to other people's emotions and motivations oft try to belittle those they do not comprehend. They do not recall the salient warning of their grandmas: "Don't be small, Missy. Puttin' other people down don't put you up, you is acting nasty. Now you go out on the porch with no pie and you think about it.'

Me, I sat in the star-spangled darkness with no pie, and tried with all my little might to understand what she meant about being small.

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O-blogs & O-lists

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Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-05 00:04

Image sourced from the fabulous Perfectly Imperfect blog . . .

I copied the source from the current Wikipedia entry for
'Objectivism, online groups, and blogs' -- seems a little out of date. I also checked out the listing at SOLO and RoR. What's missing?

Recent Comments:
The're HERE...and more COMING! — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-05-08 02:52
Spot on, Mark — by Kenny on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:46
Understatement — by Mark on Fri, 2006-05-05 03:17

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wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-05-01 12:41

Here's a link to a post that I dithered on putting on SOLO or RoR. Since I was intruding on a conversation in a thread initiated there, but in reference to events here in the SOLO archipelago, I thought it best to post a note. Lest I be thought of as being silly and not worthwhile . . . sample scrapbook below.

What is 'dialectical dishonesty? -- essay? Personal blog entry? Part-scholarly document?


Look into this face Shudder  Tremble  Gasp

Recent Comments:
We are none of us as smart as we think we are . . . — by wsscherk on Wed, 2006-05-03 13:40
William — by Jody Gomez on Wed, 2006-05-03 03:06
Cresswell: 'Save us the bother of reading your nonsense" — by wsscherk on Tue, 2006-05-02 14:34

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Hong Zhang, Jenna Wong and Mrs Parson's Finishing School for Squirrels [Dr Fun/David Farley]

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Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-04-28 13:34

Full disclosure: while I empathize with Diana Mertz Hsieh upon the publication of her essay "Dialectical Dishonesty," I enjoy reading and engaging with Jenna Wong. I will happily assert that Jenna Wong deserves reading, not arrogant dismissal as a malicious, morally-occluded worm.

If she's a non-entity and worm, why bother with a simulcast against her from the highest pulpit? That sense of proportion is disturbing to my sense of life.

As I noted in an earlier entry, my blog is off to a rather sad start here. Besides Linz's neutral one-liner, not a single opinion expressed whatso-ever, despite 151 181 reads. I don't get that part.

Anyhow, I did note at the evul RoR that I had opened a blog at SOLO. This was greeted by a fair bit of ho-hum, that's nice, you maniac you . . . but since Miss Mertz has linked to a thread at the dreadful place, I thought I would point my readers to Hong and Jenna's further commentary.

Hong Zhang
Jenna Wong

That's right: [Miss Wong:] "The other posts that I have read in the last 3 months, which have disturbed me but I tried to ignore my gut feelings -- RoR as "trailer park"? Oh, no, I hang out there. OL as "the worst"? Well, crap, I pop in there too!"

Not: [Miss Mertz:] "(3) I "insinuated" that Jenna is "the worst" because I made derogatory comments about Objectivist Living that I won't bother to look up, another forum on which she posts.

Jenna's inferences are quite bizarre, to say the least."

This is icky. The commentary leaves the impression that Miss Wong has accused Miss Mertz of calling her trailer trash. She did not. She does feel that Miss Mertz is nuts, but that is another story.


Recent Comments:
Just plain silly so I've moved it. Not worthwhile — by wsscherk on Sat, 2006-04-29 14:37
Just plain silly ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-04-28 23:20
Mr. Scherk, — by Casey on Fri, 2006-04-28 21:08

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Sunny Days ahead for SOLO

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Submitted by wsscherk on Wed, 2006-04-26 03:29

I find the SOLO site to be very impressive, with so many tools for communication. Props to the team.

I am coming to the faith that a truly free site (which SOLO now mostly is due to the light touch that is Linz's genius) may be like a map of the world.

Looking out through the SOLO window on my monitor, I do believe that the varied strands of Rand-influenced thinkers and actors and scholars can build whatever communications they wish, here, through the window.

A rather clownish person like me can retire to a blog -- a small, blue-ish pink, flickering window -- post occasional image-laden observations, experiment with different tones and tonics, accept essay commissions from my best critics, spend more time listening to music and working in the real world.

Another person can inhabit the chatbox, or pepper popular threads with machine-gun one-liners. Yet another person can diligently apply her labour to expanding analysis in one of the less-read threads . . . and so on.

It is a bit like a map, an index, a window on the world, this box on my table, this SOLO box: yes, there are great continents, one dark, one light . . . but there are also smaller homelands, high mountain passes, navigable seas of long sweeping sands and intricate fjords and more; island redoubts, outposts and entrepots; vast archipelagos of opinion spattered like light across the surface of the globe . . .

Recent Comments:
Come on, William — by James Heaps-Nelson on Tue, 2008-01-22 03:37
"The Punch and Judy allure." — by William Scott Scherk on Mon, 2008-01-21 03:45
Confesso Vobis — by Ted Keer on Sun, 2007-01-21 06:08

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Jennathon April chat dates on SOLO

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Submitted by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-04-24 00:59

Sr Gomez, Sr Scherk and Sr Edge invite fans, colleagues and online friends of Senoritas Jen and Jenna to a fireside chat this coming weekend. Stay tuned to this space for details. Marriage proposals are expected, marriages not.


Guignolatry: while you are waiting, here's some eyewash . . .


Recent Comments:
Wes! ... — by Ed on Tue, 2006-05-16 05:35
Sorry! ... — by Ed on Tue, 2006-05-16 05:33
"Man is a hero and worthy of — by Ed on Tue, 2006-05-16 05:29

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