Alice in Objectivist Land, part ten

NickOtani's picture
Submitted by NickOtani on Fri, 2007-07-13 15:11

“What’s all this stuff about ‘nothingness’ that Dr. P went on about awhile ago?” asked Dr. K.

“Ayn Rand also talked about nothingness, but in a different way,” said Alice. “She talked about how matter changes form but never ceases to exist, but life does cease to exist. It goes out of existence. It is the only fundamental alternative she knows. That’s why value can be understood in regard to life. That which promotes and protects it is good, and that which threatens and destroys it is evil. An indestructible robot can have nothing good or bad for it. It would have nothing to lose.”

“So, are you saying death is the non-existence of life, the nothingness to the somethingness of life?” asked Dr. K.

“Yes,” said Alice. “life is being, and death is non-being. It’s not such a profound concept that only philosophers can understand. It is a kind of something which makes being, existence, more substantial, more meaningful, more intrinsically valuable. And, by intrinsically valuable, I mean valuable as an end in itself, not instrumental to any further end. Sartre says it’s the hole that makes the doughnut possible.

“But also, Dr. P mixed in some stuff about how Sartre said he is what he is not and is not what he is. He put this in just to make Sartre look like he is violating the law of identity, which he is, but what he means is that man is in the process of becoming. It’s like when you asked the potential juror who he was. The correct answer should have been that he was who he was not and was not who he was. He was in a process of becoming, like the river into which one cannot step twice.”

“But you are not entirely an Existentialist, as you say, you are a NickOtani’sNeo-Objectivist. Can you explain that?” asked Dr. K

“Yes,” said Alice, “there are valuable things in both Existentialism and Objectivism, but both have problems in their pure forms. Pure Objectivism has a problem with freedom, but Existentialism has a problem with facts, with laws of nature which do pre-exist us and are external to us. There is an essence to humanness such that an Asian in Asia is no more or less human than an American in Spokane. Rand would recognize this and realize, as did Locke and Jefferson, that it follows from this that all men have natural rights to pursue life and happiness. However, reason does not reach all situations, so man must have some freedom to forge his own paths. The parameters in which he is free to do this, are generalizable, objective. Thus, NickOtani'sNeo-Objectivism combines Existentialism and Objectivism such that the strengths of both philosophies are augmented and the weaknesses of each are off-set.

“I realize that Rand would disapprove of me,” continued Alice, “but I admire Ayn Rand for her creativity and independence. I just can’t develop those virtues in myself if I am her complete follower.”

“Okay,” said Dr. K. “I have no further questions.”

Dr. K finally sat down, and Dr. P stood up to ask his questions.

“What do you mean that reason doesn’t reach all situations?” asked Dr. P.

“I mean that there are some situations where one cannot weigh all possible consequences of potential actions.” answered Alice. “Perhaps one may not know what will happen, or perhaps the consequences will be equal. One must still make a choice, and even not choosing is a choice. That’s what Sartre means when he says we are forced into freedom. It is paradoxical but true.”

“Can you give me examples of such choices?” asked Dr. P.

“Yes,” said Alice. “most easy choices are positive-negative choices. It wouldn’t be rational to choose the negative when one has the option to choose the positive. However, there can be positive-positive choices or negative-negative choices. If you are up to your neck in a pile of $hit and someone is dumping a bucket of rotting garbage on your head, would you duck? Sometimes, no amount of logic will help one make a decision. One just has to choose. And, sometimes, one doesn’t even paths to choose. One may be in the middle of a field and must forge his or her own path, and the choices one makes will impact one’s life. Some people may lean on a supernatural god. Some people look for support from others. Some people look to a dogma or something like logic and reason. Others, like me, just have to stand on our own two feet.”

“Do you know this Nick Otani you talk about is a loser?” asked Dr. P. “he got himself kicked off two Objectivist boards, not even allowed on some, and he was rejected when he applied for a graduate scholarship from the Atlas Society’s Graduate Scholarship Committee?”

“I would say that reflects poor judgment on the part of those other board administrators and the scholarship committee.” said Alice.

“People don’t like him,” said Dr. P. “He makes enemies all the time with people he debates.”

“I’d say that’s their problem,” said Alice, “not his.”

“I have no more questions,” said Dr. P.

“You may take your seat,” said the judge to Alice. “Do you have any more witnesses?” the judge asked Dr. K.

“Yes,” said Dr. K. “I’d like to call on Ms. Red Queen.”

The Red Queen got up as Alice passed her and sat down, and the Red Queen took her oath and took her seat near the judge.

“What are your views?” asked Dr. K.

“I still consider myself an Objectivist,” said the Red Queen, “although I am not an orthodox Objectivist like Leonard Peikoff and the later Rand. I am heterodox.”

“How exactly do you differ with orthodox Objectivists?” asked Dr. K.

“For one thing,” explained the Red Queen, “I’m much more tolerant of non-Objectivists like my colleagues here than are ARI type Objectivists. I am not threatened by them. I think I could live in harmony with them. I enjoy discussing issues with them, and, even when we disagree, it’s no big deal.”

“Are you the kind of relativist who thinks everybody is equally right?” asked Dr. K. “Would you be as equally cordial to Hitler as you would be to Gandhi?”

“Not at all!” said the Red Queen. “I begin having tolerance problems when people do not accept the equality of humans as humans and when people try to quash opposing views with non-persuasive force, like kicking people off of messageboards, sentencing them to death for not fitting in, like people did with Socrates, like burning them at the stake, like Christians did during the dark ages, like putting them in gas chambers, like Hitler did.”

“But orthodox Objectivists hate those people too,” said Dr. K. “That’s why they dislike irrational people. They think irrationality leads to people like Hitler.”

“Yes,” said the Red Queen, “but their conspiracy theory is a little off. They think Plato was a monument to the Witch Doctor and brought back by Descartes and Kant and Hegel to usher in Marx and Lenin and Stalin and Hitler, fighting off Aristotle and all his healthy influence through Aquinas and the American businessman and intellectual.”

“How do you see it?” asked Dr. K.

“I think if there had been someone around like Plato’s portrayal of Socrates to challenge Hitler, before he had the power to eliminate all his opponents, we wouldn’t have had a holocaust,” said the Red Queen. “Also, let’s not blame Stalin’s version of Marxism on Marx. He would not have approved of it. Let’s blame it on the people who forced fascism on people in the name of Marx.”

“All philosophers made mistakes,” said the Red Queen, “but they also had worthwhile things to say. It’s our job to sift through the good and bad and make up our minds about it, not just avoid anything which provokes thought. That’s what bigots and cowards do.”

“No more questions,” said Dr. K.

“I have just a few questions,” said Dr. P. “Ms. Red Queen, do you believe we here in Objectivist Land are all bigots and cowards?”

“I don’t know,” said the Red Queen.

“Would we be letting you tell your views here openly if we were really bigots and cowards?” asked Dr. P.

“No,” said the Red Queen, “but you are prosecuting us just for having thoughts which may be different than the permitted thoughts in orthodox Objectivism. If you punish us for that, you are doing the same thing intolerant Greeks did to Socrates, intolerant Christians did to heretics during the dark ages, and the same thing Stalin and Hitler did to dissidents.”

“How would you have us run our government?” asked Dr. P.

“I’d encourage open debate,” said the Red Queen. “Let people hear the issues and come to their own conclusions. Fight views with persuasion, not with physical force or threat of physical force. Don’t drive criticism underground. Bring it out in the open and deal with it. That’s the courageous thing to do.”

“No more questions,” said Dr. P.

“Your honor, the defense rests,” said Dr. K.

“Lawyers will now make closing statements,” said the judge. “Dr. K, please make your closing statement to the jury.”

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” began Dr. K, “we thank you for hearing our case today. We thank the court for allowing our views to be spoken. We hope you will see that our views are not a threat to Objectivism but, rather, different perspectives that might help Objectivism grow and get stronger. It is true that reason does not reach all situations, and sometimes we must just choose. We may depend too much on axioms and omnibus terms like reason, making it a god to replace the one we rejected. Still, we are not trying to undermine the basic principles that all men are equal and deserving of equal rights. We are not opposed to rational egoism, trying to argue for the initiation of force or for dishonesty of any kind. We are not dishonest and immoral people. We are individuals. We wish to pursue happiness and respect the rights of others to do the same. Our different views only make us interesting and perhaps welcomed additions to this otherwise static community, not threats to rooted out. Let’s not be like Hitler or intolerant fundamentalist religious people. Let’s show that we are better than that. Let’s have debates where people are not afraid to speak their minds, where people will not be prosecuted or persecuted for wondering and doubting and thinking.”

“Dr. P,” said the judge, “please make your closing statement.”

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” said Dr. P, “your role is easy. It is not to determine guilt or innocence, since these defendants already pleaded guilty. They are not orthodox Objectivists, and they proved that with their testimony. They have criticized Objectivism. They have arrogantly repudiated the fundamental principles of our theory of knowledge. They reject that existence exists, that A is A, that reason is our only means of knowledge. Listen to Ayn Rand, not the later Ayn Rand but the early one, the one before Peikoff. She said it in For the New Intellectual; “There is no way to turn morality into a weapon of enslavement except by divorcing it from man’s reason and from the goals of his existence. …There is no way to make him reject his own consciousness except by convincing him of its impotence.” Ladies and gentlemen, do not be taken in by these Attilas and witch doctors. They are threats to our very lives. Your own fate is in your hands. Thank you.”

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” said the judge, “you may now depart for the jury room to discuss your verdict, not on the guilt or innocence of the defendants, but on their sentence, whether they deserve death, banishment, or freedom to continue as they will in Objectivist Land.”

Bis bald,

Nick


( categories: )

BTW, was anybody offended by Alice?

NickOtani's picture

Did anybody think I was being unfair or ungraceful in some way? Feel free not to answer. I'll take it as a "No."

bis bald,

Nick

Thanks, Reed...

NickOtani's picture

When you posted the first part I did a search and found some of your other discussions on other sites. While I found that your opinions differed from mine I found your discussions to be logical and honest. I also thought your replies were concise and not evasive.

Thanks, Reed, I find your discussions and replies exactly the same.

bis bald,

Nick

long as I'm not accused of calling others assholes

NickOtani's picture

Well, Nick, it could be that you misunderstood her, prejudged her, and had no graceful way of saying, "I understand, Jenna -- I didn't know enough about you
to judge you so harshly. Reading more about you and your opinions, you are
really an interesting thinker." You blew it. You didn't listen for the message
she was putting forth. You were argumentative and tendentious and prickly -- and
you used tools of derision, exaggeration and willful misinterpretation. You
actually accused her of threatening you . . . for heaven sake.

I was charged with judging Jenna without having read all her other material. However, it doesn’t matter what she said in other places if she made a relativistic statement in the quote I posted. It’s really unfair to require me to read everything another person has ever said before I comment on one particular statement. Yes, I could have been more condescending to her and treated her less like an equal and more like some fragile little girl, but I didn’t. So, now I stand charged with not being graceful, with being argumentative and tendentious and prickly. Well, that’s your point of view, I guess. I think some people would not have gotten that impression. If I had behaved like Jenna, some may have charged me with being overly sensitive. We just can’t please everybody.

I only have the evidence of your voluminous internet writings
and your biography online. If I 'project' onto you some things, they are merely
common social deficits that we all share to one degree or another. These include
an inability to absorb criticism and challenge. We all have that. We all
struggle with that, as we struggle to behave with integrity, to be at one with
our values.

But, like I said, you select the writings which support your contention and ignore those writings which contradict it. Perhaps you missed the posts where I admitted to being wrong and apologized. They would not support my inability to absorb criticism.

I apologize to you, sincerely, if you only grasp that I am lecturing you. And
if it is true that you sense my critique/dialogue as a lecture, perhaps you
might grant me a point or two. One point being that you are thwarted. Second
point being that every place that has rejected you has rejected your for the
same stated reasons: you don't listen, you are prejudiced and quick to take
offence. You expect the worst of other people.

I’ll grant you a point or two if I think they are warranted. I won’t do it just to meet your standards of gracefulness or socially acceptable behavior. And, yes, I’ve been rejected on some boards, but I won’t concede that it was my fault. I was unjustly kicked off boards by people who were prejudiced and quick to take offense. If I really expected the worst of people all the time, I’d never be thwarted.

Like Joe Maurone?

I mean like this Joe who is throwing flames at me. I don’t think they are called for. I think it is childish, rude behavior. However, I get admonished for my gracelessness, for bitching out Objectivists, and he gets praised. I’d like to see him write something that requires half the talent of Alice in Objectivist Land.

You were, and perhaps are still a bit too arrogant to take those kinds of positions. You were seeking a collegial position when you were not showing you understood collegiality. In brief, you rejected a good critique, and took not one single bit of criticism to heart. This is what I see in all your posts. You have, on evidence, no means to incorporate cogent criticism and alter your behaviour. If I was cruel, I would say you fear annihilation if you accept criticism. You don't seem able to self-evaluate without damning everyone else but you.

Again, you didn’t read about how I did manage several education sites, supervised several teachers and office personnel, and worked with American military, college, and German prison bureaucracies to do a job successfully for several years. You didn’t read where I admitted to mistakes and apologized. A really arrogant person wouldn’t do that. I don’t bend and apologize, however, if I don’t think I am wrong, and some people think that makes me ridged. Well, in the end, I have to live for myself, not others.

Bis bald,

Nick

Hi Nick, I wasn't going to

reed's picture

Hi Nick,

I wasn't going to vote as I can't imagine being selected for jury duty in objectivist land. Eye I don't agree with all Ologic.

From my perspective the trial was irrelevant and Alice shouldn't be punished. Also if I agreed with Ologic I would consider it a contradiction to have a punishment ie.
A. Objectivism opposes ideas that are forced on to others.
B. One objectivist idea is that some objectivist ideas be enforced on to others.

If A and B then objectivism opposes objectivism. So I would still oppose any punishment.

Much like a real trial it was hard not to sleep through parts - I have a preference for concise information. I didn't read everything and I don't have the background knowledge to understand a lot of the dialog without spending a lot of time doing research (and I'm still figuring out what objectivism is).

When you posted the first part I did a search and found some of your other discussions on other sites. While I found that your opinions differed from mine I found your discussions to be logical and honest. I also thought your replies were concise and not evasive.

Confronting orthodox objectivism as your intro is an unusual approach, I'm guessing that you want to see how people respond.

I hope you hang around.

Reed

"I am the asshole, here, Nick, & don't you forget it.

William Scott Scherk's picture

If I couldn't connect with Jenna Wong, does that mean the problem is mine
or hers?

Well, Nick, it could be that you misunderstood her, prejudged her, and had no
graceful way of saying, "I understand, Jenna -- I didn't know enough about you
to judge you so harshly. Reading more about you and your opinions, you are
really an interesting thinker." You blew it. You didn't listen for the message
she was putting forth. You were argumentative and tendentious and prickly -- and
you used tools of derision, exaggeration and willful misinterpretation. You
actually accused her of threatening you . . . for heaven sake.

You keep projecting things onto me that aren't there.

How so, Nick? I only have the evidence of your voluminous internet writings
and your biography online. If I 'project' onto you some things, they are merely
common social deficits that we all share to one degree or another. These include
an inability to absorb criticism and challenge. We all have that. We all
struggle with that, as we struggle to behave with integrity, to be at one with
our values.

And, it seems ironic that I am being lectured to about connecting with
people

I apologize to you, sincerely, if you only grasp that I am lecturing you. And
if it is true that you sense my critique/dialogue as a lecture, perhaps you
might grant me a point or two. One point being that you are thwarted. Second
point being that every place that has rejected you has rejected your for the
same stated reasons: you don't listen, you are prejudiced and quick to take
offence. You expect the worst of other people.

 [You are] someone Bill Tingley says is inauthentic. Is this
your problem or his?

Neither. Tingley is full of shit. He is unable to engage me, as he is a
martinet, and unused to being challenged on his fallacious reasoning. He is
something to behold, a person who understand nothing about the kind of
non-believer who simply has no faith in gods. He is one of those people who is
NEVER WRONG. And he tends to call bad faith on anyone who challenges his
dogmatic, unsupported assertions. In other words, he is over his head and
flailing. He is irrelevant to you, in any case. I would take nine Nick Otani's
over one Tingler.

You keep telling me I'm such a rude person.

Well, Nick, I am sorry about that. You are wrong. I don't think you are such
a rude person. I think you are thwarted and prone to making repeated social
errors that thwart your goals. It is not the same thing.

I'd like to have some feedback on this series I posted.

Okay, fair enough. I dislike allegorical writings. Yours is simply not to my
taste. I would rather you had put it into plain form. I don't deny the
creativity, but the lard of the allegorial detail makes it unsavoury to me.

 I don't want to attract people the way you seem to think I do.

Again, fair enough. What I should have emphasized that I believed, rightly or
wrongly, that you wanted to attract people to discussion with you, fruitful
discussion, with an end point of greater understanding, if only a basic
understanding of what the other person is attempting to communicate. Of course,
I bear responsibility for leaving the impression that you want something that
you cannot achieve, given the tools you have used.

Should I be more like Joe?

Like Joe Maurone? Good golly, yes, but only in those aspects of Joe that you
may lack (or that lack in your internet persona). Joe is a lovely, lovely man,
with many friends and a career plan that will give him great rewards and take
him where he wants to go in this world. He is not thwarted and alone, He is
creative and he is beloved and valued by many people on this list. He is
passionate about his Objectivism and his ethics, and he acts for the betterment
of this world, not only his own self. Joe is also corrigible, with a big heart
and big capacity for empathy, if not love. Joe is in demand in his world. People
are attracted to Joe, and they want to hang out with him and do things with
him.

That HR report you keep refering to was a statement by someone who
interviewed me but knew nothing else about me. I completely refuted that
statement on the same site where you found it.

No, Nick, with respect. You ignored the plain evaluation, and did not apply
its lessons to your struggle to gain employment. You simply did not show,
in the interview,  the skills and aplomb and social awareness necessary to
form alliances with people, to build and maintain a team. You were, and perhaps
are still a bit too arrogant to take those kinds of positions. You were seeking
a collegial position when you were not showing you understood collegiality. In
brief, you rejected a good critique, and took not one single bit of criticism to
heart. This is what I see in all your posts. You have, on evidence, no means to
incorporate cogent criticism and alter your behaviour. If I was cruel, I would
say you fear annihilation if you accept criticism. You don't seem able to
self-evaluate without damning everyone else but you.

I don't read French.

Well, there are multiple translation engines to help you out. If you like, I
can give you a translation of the coda.

Did I say assholes, or did you?

NickOtani's picture

You keep projecting things onto me that aren't there.

And, it seems ironic that I am being lectured to about connecting with people by someone Bill Tingley says is inauthentic. Is this your problem or his? If I couldn't connect with Jenna Wong, does that mean the problem is mine or hers? If she really didn't care what people think, why should she be concerned with what I think? Why did she allow herself to be alienated by me?

You keep telling me I'm such a rude person. Should I be more like Joe?

That HR report you keep refering to was a statement by someone who interviewed me but knew nothing else about me. I completely refuted that statement on the same site where you found it. I alluded to this in my last post to you. You aren't refering to that part.

I don't want to attract people the way you seem to think I do. I'd like to have some feedback on this series I posted, but I'll live if it doesn't happen. It's not because I seek company. I think there is some important stuff in there for Objectivism, but I'm not going to beg people to consider it. They can do what they want.

I don't read French, but I do read German. I identify myself with Moliere's Misanthrope, also with the main character in Rand's Anthem, also with the persona of William Ernest Henley in Invictus.

bis bald,

Nick

`Hey, aren`t you assholes finished yet?

William Scott Scherk's picture

Nick Otani writes:

I checked your reference and now recall the confrontation.

Okay, I wonder if you can grant me the point that you might have played it wrong (wrong in the sense only of not contributing to your goals).

I may be wrong, but the impression you left there wasn't of an honourable man seeking understanding, but a one-man branding iron.

Our lovely and brilliant Jenna Wong could have made a great interlocutor with you. She actually has a great, generous spirit. I think, perhaps wrongly, that you wrote her off -- and were not objective in your assessments.

I will give an analogy, imperfect and superficial as it may be:

Let us say you want to get to goal A, across the room. Really want to get there. Let's say you have tried to get to the goal at Objectivist Living, at Rebirth of Reason, and now at SOLO.

Something has thwarted you in reaching the goal, Nick. The question is, what or whom has done the thwarting.

Now, it can be argued that you tend to use the exact same route each time, and each time you end up banned or dismissed, each time you get tarred with the reputation as a solopsist or worse.

So, I suggested that you try a different set of behaviours.

Please bear in mind that I did not say you were 'defective.' In fact, I wrote a possible 'social deficit."

One telling bit of evidence to support this is contained in the very note you put forward on your website, the written reasons you were unable to land that particular job in question; you were not as good as the other candidates in "team building, effective communication and interpersonal skills."

Rightly or wrongly, Nick, that is the impression. Now, whether you are a prickly, argmentative asshole or not . . . something in your social actions repels those whom you want to attract. Each time you set out for Goal A you slam into the same old obstacles.

Who can do anything about that? Not me. If I was the HR guy and I found you had no idea how to deal with difficult people or situations, I simply would not hire you.

You have a lot to be proud of, Nick. You are an American, for one, an educated and thoughtful American for two, and a man at home in the English Language, for three. You have maintained your independence and your amour propre. Many people would pay transplant surgeons and immigration specialists big money for that.

I would suggest that you work on loosening up your rigidities, and tuning up your social antennae. Without turning into a sluttish, low-rent version of Madonka, you can still alter your stance, tactics and tone . . . and adapt your performance to your desired audience.

Anyhow, disregard all this is you find it odious. No problem for me. I wonder, do you read literature? If so, have you ever found a character in literature who found himself in the same situation as you find yourself in?

À tantôt, tant pis. Tant fier.

Les gens de bonne foi en vous offrent beaucoup -- la chance à vous récupérer -- sans horreur, sans pitié, sans dégradation -- une partie de votre âme que vous ayez bien cachée de vous-même. Bien tôt, mais pas trop tôt, bon homme. Il faut vous récupérer la foi et la joie en même temps que vous ayez tort. Avoir tort, ce ne signifie pas la mort.

WSS

Um, Nick, how long did you

NickOtani's picture

Um, Nick, how long did you want 'the jury' to deliberate? Four minutes, or a full four and a half?
With respect, if you made me a juror (I don't remember being empaneled, let alone called to jury selection), I need more than 600 heartbeats to read over and digest the many parts of your 'trial.'
In any case, a jury generally meets in secret conclave, and its deliberations are not usually leavened by someone poking their heads into the room and saying, "aren't you assholes finished yet?"

First, I mentioned after part eight, when Joe was complaining about how the series was going on and on, how many more installments there would be and what I planned after the last installment. I mentioned then, three days ago, that I’d like members here to consider themselves members of the jury and deliberate and vote etc. I also made this announcement after the tenth part, just yesterday. There has been more than four minutes. And, on the jury I served on, someone did come in periodically to ask us if we were going to be longer. They needed to know if they would need to arrange lunch for us. And, since each of my installments was posted one day apart from the previous installment, readers should have had time to read over and digest things if they wanted to. If, however, they didn’t read any of it to begin with, they may need more time.

I was hoping for some interaction. I didn’t get any immediately. I thought I’d say something to try to coax a few shy people to act. However, I also said that nobody is obligated to respond here. I’d just appreciate it if they did. Do you call that “bitching out O-people?”

But . . . since you insist, I would have voted to have the fictional Nick Otani -- and the fictional Alice -- released without penalty. Their main offence was using their big mouths. In the world I live in, that is a good constitutionally-protected thing.
A bientôt
WSS

Good. I accept that.
See? I’m not so hard to get along with.
+++++++++++++++++++++=
Postscript: this leapt from the screen in the tenth installment:
Do you know this Nick Otani you talk about is a loser? [ . . . ]
he got himself kicked off two Objectivist boards, not even allowed
on some, and he was rejected when he applied for a graduate
scholarship from the Atlas Society’s Graduate Scholarship
Committee?
[ . . . ]
People don’t like him [ . . . ] He makes enemies all the time with
people he debates.'
My question to the defendant: is any of this reflective of events in real life?

Yes, it is. You seem to know that, but your theories are a little off.

I mention this because you interest me, psychologically. On your yahoo website you write, "As a teenager, I spent most of my time alone in my room." You also write of your Army days, "I was constantly in trouble and the recipient of administrative punishment three times before I made Private First Class."
There is more: "During my college days, from 1969 to 1973, I was known as a fanatical Ayn Rand freak [ . . .] I carried her books around with me like the Jesus freaks carried their Bibles."
And later, in the third installments, tales of a failed marriage, and repeated rejections in employment. Indeed, you let your readers know the stated reasons for rejection: "other candidates demonstrated characteristics more suitable to the goals of the program in areas of team building, effective communication and interpersonal skills."

Of course, if you would have gone on from there, you would have seen where I described how I did demonstrated characteristics of effective communication and interpersonal skills by being a teacher working with several bureaucracies on an international level.

On the whole, having studied your output here, on OL and on RoR, I believe (though I may be wrong) that you have social deficits.
Haranguing -- even if ever-so-gently as in your Alice series -- has never got you what you want.
I ask you, what efforts have you made to change your own behaviours? When Behaviour X hasn't worked any time you have chosen it (haranguing, baiting and bitching-out the Objective-ish), why don't you try Behaviour Y? It might get you closer to your goals.

I don’t think I do harangue, bait, and bitch-out. I debate, challenge, and condemn when something warrants condemnation. Not to do so would be dishonorable. I won’t be dishonorable just to be liked.

Heck, you might make a friend or at least a trusted ally.
PPS -- I recall, surprise, surprise, that you tried Behaviour X on a Ms Jenna Wong. You weren't able to accuse her of Anti-Asian racism because, well, she appears to be Asian herself . . . but you did accuse her of a whole lot of nasty stuff.

I checked your reference and now recall the confrontation. Jenna Wong said something that seemed to be an endorsement of relativism. She said she didn’t care what others thought; it was their problem, she only concerned herself with what she thought. I asked her if she was a relativist, and she seemed to get offended, thinking I was judging her, and you seemed to jump to her defense. I think it does matter what people think at least to praise what I like and condemn what I don’t like. If someone has racist views and I say “I don’t care,” that would be bad. It doesn’t really matter what other things she said elsewhere, she did say something that seemed relativist to me, and I was merely asking her about it and letting her know my point of view. If she couldn’t handle that, I don’t see how it is my fault.

Here is what I wrote back then. It stands.
Nick, all joking about Madame Jenna aside, have you any idea
how you appear in the exchange above? Do you ever give your
interlocutors the benefit of the doubt, allow yourself a
charitable interpretation of their remarks? It does appear to me
that there is something wrong in your pattern of responses, a
not-very-fetching ability to turn Otani-nasty without reason or
provocation. Your fusebox needs looking at.
I don't think that hanging around bitching out people on O-lists
is making you happy or adding to your life's pleasure or adding
to the sum total of knowledge and grace in the world.
Mind you, you could probably write a new version of "How to lose
friends and squander influence on people by being a prickly,
argumentative jerk."

Sorry I didn’t kiss ass enough for you. No, actually, I’m not. I’m a lot happier about sticking up for what I think is right, even if it costs me friends and gets me kicked off messageboards, than I would be if I didn’t, just to make friends. How do you think Ayn Rand or Howard Roark would act?

Anyway, I do appreciate your feedback and interest in me, even if you do think I'm defective. It could be that I am. Being perfect is kind'a boring. As I say in the Film Forum, flaws sometimes give character more depth.

Bis bald,

Nick

Now, now , now, NOW, I say . . . in the jury room

William Scott Scherk's picture

Um, Nick, how long did you want 'the jury' to deliberate? Four minutes, or a full four and a half?

With respect, if you made me a juror (I don't remember being empaneled, let alone called to jury selection), I need more than 600 heartbeats to read over and digest the many parts of your 'trial.'

In any case, a jury generally meets in secret conclave, and its deliberations are not usually leavened by someone poking their heads into the room and saying, "aren't you assholes finished yet?"

But . . . since you insist, I would have voted to have the fictional Nick Otani -- and the fictional Alice -- released without penalty. Their main offence was using their big mouths. In the world I live in, that is a good constitutionally-protected thing.

A bientôt

WSS

+++++++++++++++++++++=

Postscript: this leapt from the screen in the tenth installment:

   Do you know this Nick Otani you talk about is a loser? [ . . . ]
   he got himself kicked off two Objectivist boards, not even allowed
   on some, and he was rejected when he applied for a graduate
   scholarship from the Atlas Society’s Graduate Scholarship
   Committee?

   [ . . . ]

   People don’t like him [ . . . ] He makes enemies all the time with
   people he debates.'

My question to the defendant: is any of this reflective of events in real life?

I mention this because you interest me, psychologically. On your yahoo website you write, "As a teenager, I spent most of my time alone in my room." You also write of your Army days, "I was constantly in trouble and the recipient of administrative punishment three times before I made Private First Class."

There is more: "During my college days, from 1969 to 1973, I was known as a fanatical Ayn Rand freak [ . . .] I carried her books around with me like the Jesus freaks carried their Bibles."

And later, in the third installments, tales of a failed marriage, and repeated rejections in employment. Indeed, you let your readers know the stated reasons for rejection: "other candidates demonstrated characteristics more suitable to the goals of the program in areas of team building, effective communication and interpersonal skills."

On the whole, having studied your output here, on OL and on RoR, I believe (though I may be wrong) that you have social deficits.

Haranguing -- even if ever-so-gently as in your Alice series -- has never got you what you want.

I ask you, what efforts have you made to change your own behaviours? When Behaviour X hasn't worked any time you have chosen it (haranguing, baiting and bitching-out the Objective-ish), why don't you try Behaviour Y? It might get you closer to your goals.

Heck, you might make a friend or at least a trusted ally.

PPS -- I recall, surprise, surprise, that you tried Behaviour X on a Ms Jenna Wong. You weren't able to accuse her of Anti-Asian racism because, well, she appears to be Asian herself . . . but you did accuse her of a whole lot of nasty stuff.

Here is what I wrote back then. It stands.

Nick, all joking about Madame Jenna aside, have you any idea
how you appear in the exchange above? Do you ever give your
interlocutors the benefit of the doubt, allow yourself a
charitable interpretation of their remarks? It does appear to me
that there is something wrong in your pattern of responses, a
not-very-fetching ability to turn Otani-nasty without reason or
provocation. Your fusebox needs looking at.

I don't think that hanging around bitching out people on O-lists
is making you happy or adding to your life's pleasure or adding
to the sum total of knowledge and grace in the world.

Mind you, you could probably write a new version of "How to lose
friends and squander influence on people by being a prickly,
argumentative jerk."

[from Post 59 in "Reading Epistemology Intro - now I'm really piste" -- ]

Bis Bald

JoeM's picture

No, you just WRITE it.

************************************************

Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

I'm sorry. Did you say something?

NickOtani's picture

I don't pay much attention to untalented graffiti.

bis bald,

Nick

Strike that, reverse it...

JoeM's picture

More like an exercise in good judgement...and on an open forum like this, where any mad hatter can post, it's a much needed exercise anymore...

************************************************

Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Indifference?

NickOtani's picture

Would this be like Swine being indifferent to pearls?

bis bald,

Nick

Indifference.

JoeM's picture

The natural way to lose unwanted weight.

************************************************

Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Still no feedback

NickOtani's picture

Is this how you think of my series? Nobody is going to say, "Good job!" "Well, written." Is nobody going to render a verdict on whether the defendents deserve death, banishment, or freedom? Did anyone actually read this series all the way through, or did you all just look it over and go somewhere else? There are lots of issues in each post. We couild talk about them if anyone cares. I came to an Objectivist board because I thought people would know what I was talking about and have comments. Was I wrong?

You are not obligated to comment on the series, but I'd appreciate it if you would. There are lots of other boards I can post on if I want to be ignored.

bis bald,

Nick

Now, in the jury room...

NickOtani's picture

This is the end of the series, for now. I'd like to turn it over to the readers who have followed it from the beginning. It should be read in sequence, from part one. Now, I'd like some feedback. Please be a juror and discuss your opinion. If there is a poll feature I can use, I'd like to see how many of you think the defendents deserve death, how many of you think they deserve banishment, and how many of you think the defendents deserve no punishment. Please give me you verdict and why, and please support your statements. Feel free to copy and paste those sections from the series which lead you to certain conclusions. If you think I am inaccurate about something, please make a case.

Thank you,

Nick

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