Batten down the hatches!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2008-01-04 05:24

I've accepted an invitation to speak at The KASSless Society's 2008 Summer Seminar. Will Thomas, the organiser, wants an outbreak of peace, and I've no objection, as long as it's understood this is not appeasement. As I've said to him:

OK, that's a yes. Provided it's understood this is without prejudice.

Last time, the Valliant/Branden debate was raging, and you let me know that
I ought to bite my tongue when it came to criticising TAS in that debate
since I was scheduled to speak at the upcoming SS. I pulled out of the SS
rather than bite my tongue, as you surely knew I would. I don't foresee any
internecine war this year, but you know what this movement is like. And the
Valliant/Branden matter is apt to flare up again at any time (indeed, it
just has on SOLO): I remain resoundingly on Valliant's side in the matter of
the Rand-diminishers.

In any event, any demand that I bite my tongue this time would have the same
result. I shall be true to myself under all circumstances. I alienated TOC
over Valliant; I alienated Hsiekovians over Peikoff's voting fatwa. I stand
by everything I said in both disputes. I shan't be picking fights (other
than with altruists, statists and mystics, of course) but I won't shrink from
one either.

If all of this is understood and accepted, then yes, let's do it. And thank
you for asking me. I'll knock the socks off everyone.

I'm doing two presentations: "Why Romantic Music Is Objectively Superior (and anyone who doesn't get it is a moron)"; and "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists." (This will be about the pan-factional error of intrinsicism and religiosity generally.)

I'm encouraged by two things: that they asked me, and that they accepted my topics as submitted. Things are looking up. KASSless is KASSing up!!


( categories: )

Stinking Hypocrisy

James S. Valliant's picture

You were right.

"The Branden Society."

"real olive branch."

Robert's picture

I have my fingers crossed. But I'm expecting TAS to cave in. How can they not? Inviting Linz may hurt their bottom line.

Thanks for the Link

James S. Valliant's picture

Well, it is certainly a positive sign that Mr. Bidinotto is willing to admit his own past incivility -- and that serious incivility exists at OL, as he describes it, the "personal insults, the obscene language, the gratuitous psychologizing, the He-threw-the-first-punch finger-pointing" -- where, it should be remembered, this was posted.

I wouldn't accuse TAS of "cowardly capitulation" if it would clearly take a side -- that sort of thing would be seen, however, in an evasive effort to avoid any decision.

To boldly dis-invite Linz now would not be "cowardly," at all -- in the long run, it would be suicidal. TAS might just as well then rename itself (again) "TBS." At the end of the day, it is simply a losing proposition to have an Objectivist organization standing so fiercely against Ayn Rand herself.

But "cowardly"? Anything but -- and this starting to look like a real olive branch.

Scherk,

Casey's picture

Bidinotto's right in many ways.

Bidinotto bow out . . .

William Scott Scherk's picture

Robert Bidinotto chimes in on Objectivist Living with a finger-wagging for the crew:

While the recent posts on this thread have strayed -- mercifully -- off-topic, there is a lot posted earlier, and on a related thread, that prompts me to break my silence.

Let me emphasize that this is my personal viewpoint, and it should not be taken as representing the views of my employer or anyone other than myself.

I am saddened and depressed by what is transpiring on this site and elsewhere concerning the matter of the TAS Summer Seminar speaking invitation to Lindsay Perigo.

It didn't have to come to this, and frankly, participants on all sides of these contentious issues are deliberately making any positive resolution impossible -- by pouring more gasoline on the fire and then finding "moral" reasons to rationalize their gleeful pyromania. If there is a market for civility, it is not easy to find on many online Objectivist discussion groups -- and sadly, that observation is not meant to apply exclusively to the SOLO-Passion site.

Let me admit that my own past record on this score has hardly been unblemished; but -- seeing too clearly the dead end of this acrimony -- I have been trying to set a better example more recently, in the interests of better promoting the philosophy that we all claim to value.

However, the continuing competition in vituperative, intramural one-upsmanship is putting Ed Hudgins (and TAS) in an impossible position, when his only aim all along was to heal wounds within the Objectivist movement by encouraging greater civility. Put yourself in his shoes: At this point, any decision he makes, either to affirm or rescind that invitation, will merely be seized upon by partisans to score points and to smugly assert their sanctimonious I-told-you-sos. Any decision he renders will be damned by one side as a "cowardly capitulation" to the other side -- and all of you know it. I could write all the talking points for both sides in advance. Even five seconds of reflection will tell you that this double-bind interpretation of Ed's motives is illogical and completely unjust.

Since I realize that all the combatants on all the competing websites furtively follow all the threads devoted to this food fight, let me address you collectively:

Can any of you honestly imagine a Howard Roark sinking to this sort of mud-wrestling?

Could you imagine his posts on any of these threads?

Then, ask yourself why.

So please stop rationalizing the all personal insults, the obscene language, the gratuitous psychologizing, the He-threw-the-first-punch finger-pointing. This behavior is undignified and unseemly, and nobody involved seems to realize that it is only providing Objectivism's real enemies with an abundance of footnotes.
[from OL thread "The Atlas Society Policy and the Summer Seminar"]

WSS

Is Scherk civil or not? Cathcart can't tell.

William Scott Scherk's picture

Chris Cathcart asks, "Is he hostile? Friendly? Asshole? Opinionated? Satirist? Nutter?"

Hostile to sluggish and sloppy thinking, in my heart, yes. Friendly enough to have friends in the real and online worlds, yes. Asshole enough to say things that surprise, shock and offend, yes. Opinionated, yes. Satirist, no . . . my comic excursions are more spoofs and cartoons than satire.

Nutter? Of course. Or so it is convenient for some to think.

Speaking of assholes, don't you miss Fred Weiss? What is he up to, list-wise, since he refused to pony up a photo and departed these environs?

WSS

Maybe this will help

Chris Cathcart's picture

Is Scherk being civil, or not? I can't tell.

Chris Cathcart's picture

Everything's a non-sequitur with him. Is he hostile? Friendly? Asshole? Opinionated? Satirist? Nutter?

Scherk is whatever Scherk is. What that is, I haven't the faintest.

I have a plausible hypothesis: he models his online persona after a David Lynch film, and leaves it up to your interpretation.

LOL

Chris Cathcart's picture

I saw a couple of posts by La Scherkette, from memory on one of the scientology nutter's threads, which were outstanding in their clarity and perspicacity. I tried to make contact to congratulate him in the hope this would encourage more of the same, but immediately encountered the flake/freak we're all familiar with, so didn't pursue the matter. It's rather like chatting to an Alzheimer's patient on a lucid day. It gives you hope—which is then dashed at the next conversation. I fear Scherk has no intention of raising himself from schism-junkie, muck-wader and pot-stirrer status, which is a shame, given his ability. Of course, I say this partly as a challenge to him to prove me wrong. But as it is, he's a mere MSK with a brain.

Laughing out loud

"Schism-junkie." Never heard that one before. Laughing out loud

Er...?

James S. Valliant's picture

Then is that a "yes," Mr. Scherk?

Whatever next comes up is fine... can't wait!

Linz

James S. Valliant's picture

I'm not pissed off at all.

And, it's very enlightening, indeed, but I believe that a refusal to be civil reveals bad faith. You always give civility a chance.

But, you're right, it can be most illuminating.

James

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Note to Linz: he has no intention of ever being civil with anyone here. Does he belong here if his sole aim is pollution? In the name of civility, Ed Hudgins' cause, what's appropriate at this point?

Well, I don't champion Ed Hudgins' cause, which is indiscriminate, unconditional civility. I've no objection to name-calling, if it can be substantiated. In fact, in such instances, name-calling is desirable. I note Mr. Bidinotto recently called someone a "scumbag." It was someone in the Ron Paul camp, I believe, so I assume it was justified, but I wonder how Ed Hudgins squares it with his own admonitions.

Me, I'm with Bidinotto. Call a scumbag a scumbag, or, as I said to Hudgins, a stinker a stinker. Justice is a virtue at all times; civility only when it is an extension of justice.

My problem with Scherk is not incivility; it's the bad faith behind it. He is simply, as I've already said, a schism-junkie who gets his jollies off on all the internecine stuff and trying to stir it up. That's grounds for booting, for sure, but I'm not ready to do it just yet. The more he posts the more he reveals. I'm finding it all, selfishly, enlightening. So, for now anyway, if he's off-pissing you, just ignore him.

And he gives me the impetus to point out the following: that the expression, being one's own worst enemy, refers usually to inadvertent, good-faith shoot-oneself-in-the-foot behaviour. That's certainly the sense in which my topic subject, "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists" is meant. I was never intending a diatribe against individuals I dislike. Only have an hour, after all.

Linz

Take Him At His Word

James S. Valliant's picture

Scherk writes:

"JSV: I know that he's capable of a friendly reply over at OL, so one can only conclude that he has no interest in civil discourse -- at least, not at SOLO. (Emperor Linz, please take note.)
"Yow. A friendly reply to whom?"

Then, are there no civil, no "friendly" comments, anywhere, that he would credit himself with at least?

"Does he belong here if his sole aim is pollution?"

William Scott Scherk's picture

I revisit James Valliant's comments in light of Lindsay's precision:

JSV: How 'bout you and I start right now -- no more name-calling or ridicule? Deal?

Emperor: I fear Scherk has no intention of raising himself from schism-junkie, muck-wader and pot-stirrer status, which is a shame, given his ability. Of course, I say this partly as a challenge to him to prove me wrong. But as it is, he's a mere MSK with a brain.

JSV: C'mon, Mr. Scherk, let's get Linz on board by proving him wrong with a civil engagement of our own, okay?

In "No Interest, Then?" James S. Valliant had noted, Since I made my "truce" offer to Mr. Scherk, there has been no reply -- although he has been around here, according to the Online Guest list.

Yikes. I feel like we are already sitting at the same table, James. Alhough usually plugged-in to my 'obsession' with O-worlds online, I may not always be active. Our posting ratio is probably something like JCV/WSS 42/1, ferheavensake.

I emailed him the same request, too.

You did. I apologize for my tardiness. I have yet to open that mail.

Emperor: I saw a couple of posts by La Scherkette, from memory on one of the scientology nutter's threads, which were outstanding in their clarity and perspicacity. I tried to make contact to congratulate him in the hope this would encourage more of the same, but immediately encountered the flake/freak we're all familiar with, so didn't pursue the matter. It's rather like chatting to an Alzheimer's patient on a lucid day. It gives you hope—which is then dashed at the next conversation.

Yikes again.

JSV: I know that he's capable of a friendly reply over at OL, so one can only conclude that he has no interest in civil discourse -- at least, not at SOLO. (Emperor Linz, please take note.)

Yow. A friendly reply to whom?

JSV: Perhaps his only goal here is to add to the incivility and to make this site appear to be the "freak show" he claims it to be. In all seriousness, how else can we explain his obsession with that "freak show"?

Calling my interest in the 'Ick Factor' of Objectivism an obsession is one way of looking at things. I mostly bowed out of the OL and RoR and SOLO threads discussing Lindsay's acceptance note. I posted a twit of Emperor Michael for jumping down JHN's throat and I posted twice in this thread. Why am I important enough to be notable in this instance, James?

JSV: [P.S. I'm still willing, Mr. Scherk. I'll bet that we can get others on board, too -- and I'd only have to whistle to get "lapdog" eager -- right?]

Oh, for land sakes, yes. I will set aside any heartache I suffer at Lindsay's "flake/freak" Alzheimer's patient characterization.

What is your topic? I've made my opinion sort of clear: Lindsay will not name names or name-call in his Summer Seminar appearances. He will not follow Hudgins' presciptions for SOLO, nor follow your suggestion I be pushed off into the moat. Things will roll along and be what they become. I don't have influence with Lindsay and his decisions and behaviours and I don't believe TAS will rescind their invitation.

James, I'm getting the impression that just for a moment there you wanted to have me red-buttoned.

WSS

Good grief

Casey's picture

Scherk, I don't believe you are capable of discussing substance -- take away Hopalong/Emperor/Church Lady/Lapdog and the rest of your foul-smelling gaseous emissions and nothing is left under the cloud, just as I suspected two years ago in that quote of mine you have emblazoned in your memory forever and ever, enough even to email me with a desperate plea to take it back. You have not earned better, I'm afraid. For the life of me I can't understand why you or Parille are even interested in haunting Objectivist sites. What is the point, Scherk? Just to wax arch and pose Wilde? Dear god.

Thank You

James S. Valliant's picture

No, sir, if you cannot do it here, I suspect that you cannot do it at all.

Why not try? Afraid let the world see how wrong your bluster is?

And, no evidence of "abutting" whatever, I see, since you can't "cite and point and quote" -- but surely even you are able to i.d. your name-calling all by yourself? No one else has missed it, I assure you.

Well, don't expect any more replies from me in the future, then -- just links back to this discussion.

Note to Linz: he has no intention of ever being civil with anyone here. Does he belong here if his sole aim is pollution? In the name of civility, Ed Hudgins' cause, what's appropriate at this point?

Chat about a ceasefire in the Chatbox

William Scott Scherk's picture

In my "Moral Putrefaction" post, I asked about Lindsay's intent and behaviour: "While exfoliating the enemy in "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists" will Lindsay name the enemies of Objectivism? Will he name not only the avowed (Peikoff), but also the not-quites (Scumbarra, Bitch Whore of Evul, Insane Weasel Girly-Man, Pomo-arselicker, Deviant Scumbag, etc)?."

I answered my own question: I doubt it. I still doubt it. I don't think Lindsay has planned any denunciations by name in his talks.

James Valliant responded: "Lovely. A Dazzling example of how Linz is the only name-caller and worthy of singling out. Thanks, Scherk.."

I then suggested that he found my questions incomprehensible except as such as example. The irony was, of course, that I was twitting James for his slagging off of the 'Ugly Trolls' who 'stalked' him at the RichardDawkins.net! Not to mention his casual diagnosis of Robert Campbell as suffering from psychotic delusions and other unnamed mental torments! This is funny, this is why I laugh at James Valliant and his erstwhile sidekick, Hopalong Fahy.

In any case, James comes back with "No, I understood the post quite well this time, but note that my point remains unanswered." So I go look at his preceding posts -- Lovely, Ethics and Objectivity, Neil, And..., Neil, Neil, Jim, Right, Neil, Editor at JARS, Eh?, Judgment and Conclusions?, Neil, Rand's "Evil" Is the Premise, Crazed Monster!, Robert, Jim, Of Course, Let's Fix That, Jim, btw, He Makes It For Us, Oh, Dear, Right, Jim, Jim, Jim, Welcome to the Bizarro World of Robert Capmbel, Jim, Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts..., Linz, Mr. Scherk . . . and I found, I think, several points . . . and await Valliant's precision on this note.

James gets a bit testy when his questions aren't answered so I will give a try:

But, really, more empty name-calling [ . . . ] because...?

. . . James, with me you got to cite and point and quote, brother. As ever, context.

May we see your evidence about rule-abutting?

Refer to the Guidelines, or my spoof. Apply the stiff brush of self-criticism to your and Fahy's self-expression and you will agree that you go to the line. Abut means abut.

How 'bout you and I start right now -- no more name-calling or ridicule? Deal?

That wouldn't work for you, James. Calling things by their rightful names cannot be discarded so easily. Considering you don't take back things like "soul of a rapist" and the like . . . why would you give up your right to name names as you see fit?

Likewise with ridicule. The bite of ridicule is occasionally necessary.

I'd be happy to hear you make a stronger, realtime case for a 'ceasefire.' Howzabout we chat sometime in the SOLO chatbox? Something about the chatbox makes for instant cordiality.

WSS

Mr. Scherk

James S. Valliant's picture

C'mon, Mr. Scherk, let's get Linz on board by proving him wrong with a civil engagement of our own, okay?

[P.S. We might make both Neil and Casey happy with a thread detailing both Rand's virtues and her faults. Maybe test Kelley's evaluation. How 'bout it?]

James

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I know that he's capable of a friendly reply over at OL, so one can only conclude that he has no interest in civil discourse -- at least, not at SOLO. (Emperor Linz, please take note.)

I saw a couple of posts by La Scherkette, from memory on one of the scientology nutter's threads, which were outstanding in their clarity and perspicacity. I tried to make contact to congratulate him in the hope this would encourage more of the same, but immediately encountered the flake/freak we're all familiar with, so didn't pursue the matter. It's rather like chatting to an Alzheimer's patient on a lucid day. It gives you hope—which is then dashed at the next conversation. I fear Scherk has no intention of raising himself from schism-junkie, muck-wader and pot-stirrer status, which is a shame, given his ability. Of course, I say this partly as a challenge to him to prove me wrong. But as it is, he's a mere MSK with a brain.

Emperor Linz

Sure,

Casey's picture

I'd be happy to discuss things of substance with Scherk as opposed to the other stuff, and I'm happy to do so in a civil manner. What say you, William?

No Interest, Then?

James S. Valliant's picture

Since I made my "truce" offer to Mr. Scherk, there has been no reply -- although he has been around here, according to the Online Guest list. I emailed him the same request, too. I know that he's capable of a friendly reply over at OL, so one can only conclude that he has no interest in civil discourse -- at least, not at SOLO. (Emperor Linz, please take note.) Perhaps his only goal here is to add to the incivility and to make this site appear to be the "freak show" he claims it to be. In all seriousness, how else can we explain his obsession with that "freak show"?

[P.S. I'm still willing, Mr. Scherk. I'll bet that we can get others on board, too -- and I'd only have to whistle to get "lapdog" eager -- right?]

Precisely, Casey

Michael Moeller's picture

One would think that these people should have an outpouring of admiration for Ayn Rand. After all, she escaped the horrors of Soviet Russia and came her with nothing but the shirt on her back. While putting forth a radical philosophy, she had to overcome a hostile culture. Yet, she succeeded. She created works of genius that continue to grow in sales. She lived an incredibly heroic life struggling for and succeeding in reaching her values.

Yet, what do the Rand diminishers do? The obsess over her flaws!! They pick and pick and pick--attempting to turn any flaw, real or imagined, into a mortal wound on her character. All under the banner of "benevolence" and "understanding" and "civility" and "toleration".

Rand jumped to unwarranted psychological conclusions, Rand had unwarranted anger, Rand had a quickness to moral judgment, Rand flaw this and Rand flaw that. All of this replete with psychological diagnoses of Rand. No wonder they hate her article admonishing psychologizing--it perfectly encapsulates their method!!

Granted, there are those in the civility sect that do not obsess over her flaws and give Rand her due--to their credit. However, they turn a blind eye to those in their ranks who do obsess over her flaws, then proceed to whitewash it as mere "personality issues".

What was Rand, a brain in a vat? A philosophical oracle where her character can be thrown to the wolves? Or a real person who deserves justice as much as anybody else? Who deserves to have her flaws put in full perspective, in full context of the type of person she was and the life she lead?

The Rand diminishers truly are sickening.

Thanks, Richard

Casey's picture

We know where you stand.

Salacious vs. fallacious

Richard Goode's picture

In your opinion, did Rand have any faults other than her temper?

Neil, do you mean aside from her philosophy?

Rand's Faults

Casey's picture

Neil,

Back to the well one more time, eh? You just need to hear him say it one more time, don't you, even though, unlike you, he actually published a book with that statement in print for the world to read? What is this obsession of yours? You seem to have a deep psychological need to essentialize Rand via her faults. THAT is what I find disgusting about your whole approach, and your whole agenda. You look at a woman like Ayn Rand, who took on a whole culture flinging everything it could at her, high and low, and you come away with a profound need to focus on... her faults? What is UP with that, dude? I know you won't answer, because you never do, but just ask yourself why. An answer would be nice so everyone can see exactly what point you are trying to make -- and don't give me that b.s. about anyone worshipping Ayn Rand as infallible -- no one, including Rand herself, has ever claimed her infallibility. You and Campbell and others over there continue to conflate immorality with fallibility -- two things which only the most man-hating medievalist would do in the first place and which Rand and most sensible people never do. Not even the LAW does that. So what is it? What are you trying to prove by pointing out that Ayn Rand stubbed her toe or overcooked dinner or misjudged someone and got angry when she shouldn't have or missed a button or didn't part her hair straight? What?! What are you about, man? Why is THAT important? Why is the given essential and the exceptional nonessential to you? Really? I have never read a single good word from you about Rand -- not one, ever. All of it is resentful ax-grinding against Rand.

So let me turn this around: Have you anything good to say about Ayn Rand? If so, what is it?

Neil

James S. Valliant's picture

A reader of PARC could do better. I won't pretend otherwise for you.

A reader of this site still better.

Having consistently failed to respond to my replies, to this very same question, and so many others, why should I respond to yours now?

So, first, why do you ask?

In the context of Campbell's assertion and my response, let me ask you: what impact would my answer have on you?

Rand's Faults

Neil Parille's picture

Jim,

You said yesterday that Rand had "faults." In your book, the only fault I detect is that Rand had a temper.

In your opinion, did Rand have any faults other than her temper? If so, what were they?

WSS

I followed your link and see no evidence of MSK retracting the statement. In fact, I only see a humorous additional accusation of 'taking pot shots at [O-Lying]'. I used our Google enabled search found at the top of the page (shameless plug) to find that the last time I gave any thought to O-Lying however indirectly was when I attacked MSK's evil ideas regarding islamofacisim on 10-09-2006! These folks have long memories and quite an obsession with the inner workings of SOLO. I frankly hadn't given MSK's Royal Court of Speculation and LOL a single processor cycle (a little computer nerd lingo) since late 2006.

Wm

Google analytics

It is no secret that we use Google Analytics. The JavaScript is visible (if you know how to view the page source for a web page). That is what we have used since summertime, but we didn't have it working reliably until September. Search engine traffic typically accounts for 35% of our 'raw' total hits, however both Drupal (our web page software) and Google take this in to account for the statistics. If a search engine visits an article, the article read count is not incremented, for example. Indeed, if it was, at the rate our site is re-indexed our stats would be incredibly inflated.

Wm

Mr. Scherk

James S. Valliant's picture

No, I understood the post quite well this time, but note that my point remains unanswered.

My desire and capacity to engage in civil debate has been demonstrated many times on internet sites, sir, and has been appreciated by a number of my opponents.

But, really, more empty name-calling is required because...?

May we see your evidence about rule-abutting?

How 'bout you and I start right now -- no more name-calling or ridicule? Deal?

"They" manipulate ratings . . .

William Scott Scherk's picture

William Green notes, "In all my years on SOLOHQ and SoloPassion I have never been accused of professional misconduct."

With regard to MSK's speculations about what goes on under the hood by SOLO Webmasters, I reject any insinuation about William's integrity and asked for any evidence.

Emperor Michael has noted he had no evidence. He also noted he had no one in particular in mind when he wrote about "they" who manipulate SOLO ratings via encouraging garbage traffic.

It needn't be argued that MSK is missing the point that anything "they" do to manipulate ratings passes under William's remit, and so would implicate him.

I hate the "they" talk whither it comes. I expect the Emperor will apologize for any unintended implications.

I suggest that both both Emperors (and Emperor Joe) could easily publish a sample of statistics on site traffice that can be compared objectively -- if they were interested.

William, can you let the other sides know how you collect your stats, and give a rough breakdown of members/non-members/spiders on daily average basis?

Alexa provides a poor ruler, in any case. Anyone from outside or in the SOLO membership can help manipulate the Alexa ratings themselves, which expands "they" to most of the human race . . .

WSS

Cordiality vs Civility

William Scott Scherk's picture

JHN asks if I will be attending June 28-July 5

I must make every effort to attend. Arranging leave from work might make my visit short.

Bearing that in mind, at the very least I don`t see any obstacle to chatting cordially at the lavish banquet, and buying bootleg video downloads of Lindsay`s sessions. Depending on my workload, I may be able to attend the entire jamboree.

James Valliant indicates he finds my previous post incomprehensible save as "example of how Linz is the only name-caller and worthy of singling out."

I am a name-caller, having called James Church Lady of Objectivism. I did catch an earlier allusion to health and travel issues -- I hope that all goes well on those counts for the man. You will find a cohort, James, and semi-cordial questions, even if none from your gang-banging Ugly Trolls. It is unknown if the Psychotic Dr Campbell will rub shoulders with you or the poodle.

Mark Hubbard weighs in with a "final barb, the extent to which many of the posters on OL are detaching themselves from the facts of reality to perform character assassinations (Jonathan) [ . . . ] should trouble the rational posters to the OL site, given that such fantastic postings, on that thread, at least, are never taken to task."

No, I take Emperor Michael to task as ofter as I take to task the Emperor Perigo. Jonathan is a comic, jester of the lame and false-ferocious. Hardly an assasin. If you don't read OL save through the lens of terror and disgust, you won't even know the players, Mark.

As for the implication of several posters here that Ed has crossed some line, no. No, given the agreement by Lindsay to obey the guidelines of TAS Summer Seminar, there is nothing to be kerfuffled about.

That James and poodle regularly abut the SOLO Guidelines is noted, but irrelevant.

Lindsay is not going to choose the "I am outraged by the weasels at Kassless" route. I had asked, "Will he name not only the avowed (Peikoff), but also the not-quites (Scumbarra, Bitch Whore of Evul, Insane Weasel Girly-Man, Pomo-arselicker, Deviant Scumbag, etc)? I doubt it."

Why would he names names? My point was that this is not done at Atlas Society seminars. If he doesn't actually put the verbal torch to Scumbarra Hsiehkovia Bitch Whore and Co he is well within his rights.

And why should he withdraw because of Hudgins commentary? The invitation is not conditional on anything that Lindsay has not agreed to. How he chooses to re-enter these threads and excerise his imperial powers is up to him. Not Winefield, not Valliant, not Fahy, not Hubbard, not Hudgins or Scherk.

Those who think Lindsay will play his hand now don't understand Lindsay very well.

WSS

MSK

In all my years on SOLOHQ and SoloPassion I have never been accused of professional misconduct. SoloPassion is not the first or only website I work on. Accusing someone of manipulating website statistics is like accusing someone of manipulating TV ratings -- professional fraud of the highest order. I would demand the statement be retracted, but what recourse do I have when it is the moderator of the site making the accusations? I would ask for evidence but that has proven unsuccessful when the accusation was dwindling traffic and users (which was demonstrated to be false). I thought I shouldn't even really respond to it considering the source of the accusation. However, my professional interests are being challenged without any evidence and I can not let it stand here on this site without response.

Wm

WSS

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

What about you, William? Will you be attending? Portland is not too far from BC. It should be a really good time.

Jim

I would answer you, Scherk,

Casey's picture

But Mr. Hudgins would scold me.

Lapdog

Lovely

James S. Valliant's picture

A dazzling example of how Linz is the only name-caller and worthy of singling out.

Thanks, Scherk.

(And, for those who might not know, a harsh thing or two has been said about TAS over at OL recently, too.)

[btw: my only hesitation about attending was due to my health, as I explained to Jim H-N privately. And my wife, witness to only some of my many knock-down-drag-outs with Casey, is still having a good laugh at your expense, though.]

Moral Putrefaction

William Scott Scherk's picture

Lindsay accepts an invitation to speak at the "KASSless [Atlas] Society's 2008 Summer Seminar." He proposed two topics, each of which was accepted: "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists" & "Why Romantic Music Is Objectively Superior (and anyone who doesn't get it is a moron)."

He gives a thumbs up to an appearance, "[p]rovided it's understood this is without prejudice." With reference to an earlier such summer session speaking arrangement, "I pulled out [ . . . ] rather than bite my tongue."

And as for his allegiances, "I remain resoundingly on Valliant's side in the matter of the Rand-diminishers." (JHN asks of Valliant if he and lapdog will attend the presentation. Valliant utters a 'let's have my people call your people, mumble mumble' mumble and lapdog has not yet uttered a squeak on the matter of his attendance.)

As a matter of fact statement of intent: "In any event, any demand that I bite my tongue this time would have the same result." He notes he won't be picking, but will not shrink from, "fights."

If, and so, as Will Thomas (and presumably Kelley and Hudgins) understands and accepts the conditions laid down by the speaker, Emperor of SOLO Lindsay assents.

One sad part is that the Beacon of Lindsay will shine at low wattage and rather out of focus.

While exfoliating the enemy in "Objectivism's Worst Enemy: Objectivists" will Lindsay name the enemies of Objectivism? Will he name not only the avowed (Peikoff), but also the not-quites (Scumbarra, Bitch Whore of Evul, Insane Weasel Girly-Man, Pomo-arselicker, Deviant Scumbag, etc)? I doubt it. He will only speak in large terms, not in specifics. He will not denounce anyone but a generic "other."

Simple attention to the niceties of slander suits and so on.

Though he jests with the notion of a secured hustle in and a secured hustle out of his lectures, I assume he will take questions, either informally or in a Q&A. E.g. "Sir, you characterized Barbara Branden as 'Blind sow hog' and 'slatternly devotee of Lies' and 'Evil She Bitch of Hell's Lowest Horror.' You have also called Sciabarra "arch-fiend of bloodsucking,' 'Count Scumbarra,' 'He-whore of Babylon,' 'depraved sink of pestilence.' Care to expand these remarks before the attendees?"

WSS

Ethics and Objectivity

James S. Valliant's picture

Apart from all of the wild conspiracy theories, looney and sad instances of psychological projection, name calling, and the like, Professor Campbell has claimed that -- although PARC concedes that Rand made mistakes and that she was not without "fault or flaw," if I recall correctly -- its objectivity is to be questioned because I will not concede significant immorality on Rand's part (on these internet sites). I drew the issue out in just this way (as you can read below) -- and Campbell responded, in effect, "Damn right." It seems, that an objective take on Rand must admit major ethical lapses -- "or else."

However, my overall assessment of Rand on this score is really not unlike that of scholars Campbell himself recommends.

David Kelley and I criticize Rand for different things, but I would agree with this assessment of Rand (which he gave as part of a discussion of Ms. Branden's biography): "It is clear to me that Ayn Rand was a woman of remarkable integrity, who largely embodied the virtues she espoused." Like me, he concedes faults on her part, but, on balance, he considers them "of minor significance in themselves." He also believes that Ms. Branden's claims are "arguable" and he apparently believes that her biography has certain "shortcomings." (Truth and Toleration, p. 75) (From my own correspondence with her, I know that Anne Heller does not regard such a belief in Rand's morality as being one that is fatal to a biographer's objectivity, either.)

I am much more critical of Ms. B. than Kelley is, but my overall assessment of Rand's "perfection" is not unlike his own -- and, like him, I believe that the Brandens' claims can and should be argued.

What is perhaps the most disturbing thing about this thread, apart from the pathetic personal cry for help it represents for Campbell, is the thought that such a rabid, mouth-foaming Rand-hater is also an editor at The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

Consider: Campbell believes that objectivity about Rand must include the belief in her seemingly self-evident immorality. One can only speculate as to how this affects the editorial policies of JARS, the unwritten policies he may have alluded to earlier. None of the editors there regards himself as an "Objectivist," and, on this thread, Campbell seems to have ridiculed the very possibility of such a thing as a consistent Objectivist.

Campbell's hatred and bigotry extends to a whole class of serious writers and rigorous scholars because of their opinions and affiliations.

And, as he has shown right here, any sign of any sort of "olive branch" between these villains and those he thinks are his own friends must be met with fierce denunciation.

If those at JARS have any hope of ever including some of the most important scholars on the subject of their journal, as one of its editors has asserted to me, then they should consider the impact of having the name of such a disturbed religious zealot of hatred emblazoned on its pages.

OL has sponsered links on myspace

Landon Erp's picture

Every time I log in there, it comes up in my google ads (along with comic stuff and things like "John Galt Gifts"). I'd really hate to imagine for how many people OL their first introduction to Objectivism for that reason.

But I bet the traffic from that alone probably raises their numbers significantly.

---Landon

The price of liberty is eternal VIGILANCE.

http://www.myspace.com/wickedlakes

Would I...

Robert's picture

... make such a suggestion??? Moi?

Um ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

SOLOPassions Alexa rank is in the 260,000s. PC.blogspot is in the 360,000s so I guess he's in on the conspriacy too. Can't trust those bloody Irishmen.
OL's is in the 500,000s and RoR's is in the 600,000s.

Robt, you're not seriously suggesting MSK's frenzied fantasies and fabrications are fuelled by vinegary grapes, are you?

Anyway, whoever this Alexa broad is, she's one dame I like. Smiling

Interesting:

Robert's picture

Solopassion.com users come from these countries:

United States 34.1%
New Zealand 31.7%
United Kingdom 7.3%
Germany 3.7%
Bulgaria 2.4%

Bulgaria? Linz, have you been ordering Ricin-Umbrellas for the special action group you're forming to take over TAS? For shame! You know the CIA could do you a deal on exploding cigars!

More solopassion.com traffic rank...

New Zealand 1,582
United States 98,934
Australia 155,470
United Kingdom 213,386

Penetration in the Hometown market. Excellent!

What a lot of nonsense!

Robert's picture

I mean really! The number of reads a thread gets is shown at the bottom of the posting that heads up that thread.

How in the hell does the serrupticious manipulation of an obscure rating statistic benefit the site when even a mentally retarded Three-toed Sloth can see how many times the post has been opened and read?

MSK is a space cadet.

PS: I note that according to the plugin I just downloaded, SOLOPassions Alexa rank is in the 260,000s. PC.blogspot is in the 360,000s so I guess he's in on the conspriacy too. Can't trust those bloody Irishmen.

OL's is in the 500,000s and RoR's is in the 600,000s. OL more popular than RoR? Say it ain't so!

Noodlefood at 800,000???!??

Obviously this statistic is about as much use for judging the merit of a site (the only thing that matters as SOLO isn't making mad money advertising) as tits are on a bull.

What a lot of nonsense!

Dagnammit! Linz never lets

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Dagnammit! Linz never lets me in on these plots and schemes!

We figure when they come for you it's best you know nothing.

Speechless!

Lance's picture

Apparently they are pursuing garbage traffic to get a high Alexa rating. However, they shot themselves in the foot by blowing out their band width. This drastically slowed down their site (see here for an indication that something is wrong).
What this means is that they are trying to increase site "hits," irrespective of where these hits come from. (A "hit" is a browser visiting a site-SOLOP in this case. Technically the visitor's browser sends the URL address to a big honking computer out there somewhere in cyberland called a server and downloads SOLOP's site from that server. There is a lot more to it, but this is how a hit can be measured.)
There are many sources of what is called garbage traffic, which can be bought, come from robot programs, etc. The point is that they are not "hits" by people reading the site (much less interested in Objectivism), but "hits" mostly coming from automated procedures. The idea is usually used to increase visibility in Search Engine Optimization for a variety of commercial reasons. It is a black-hat technique that is a cousin to spam.
In the case of SOLOP, I think the idea is to brag about the traffic the site gets. But for that level of traffic, there is a woeful lack of posts and participation. Those who mess with these numbers will know what I mean (SOLOP's Alexa rating is about 14,500 or so). As a visual, the equivalent would be a local run-down hamburger joint presenting itself as a fast-food multinational corporation with operations in 35 countries.
But the funny part to me is that they are choking on their own garbage traffic (by gumming up their site's performance) and there is not a single tangible benefit other than being able to brag a little.

Dagnammit! Linz never lets me in on these plots and schemes! Sad Eye

OL - Obviously Loopy

Mark ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Mmmm. unless I need to examine my own premises: Linz, are we on the righteous path of global domination? And is the plan to do this somehow mystically by Internet page hits? If so, I think we need a 'little' discussion on strategy. William, that plate they put in your head 'after the crash' (yeah right) ... Jesus, I've just clicked, the bionic superman in the machine scenario; excellent. Nothing can stop SOLO now!

Are they still at it? Seriously? I'd leave them to their vendettas, conspiracy theories and attempted lynchings if I were you. This "garbage traffic" crap has the same relationship to reality as Campbell's TAS coup nuttery—none.

They're not only ignoble, they're crazed with ignobleness. They're absolutely fucking mad! Smiling

But yes, we're looking good for global domination. Just a shame William's metal implant causes my hearing aid to screech.

For Michael Stuart Kelly (OL)

Mark Hubbard's picture

I have to post this here (again), as, despite having joined OL approximately two weeks ago, I still am not 'authorised' to post to the Your TAS Dollars at Work thread on OL. This in itself is an interesting aspect of the current debate between the two forums, given any poster from OL is free to post in SOLO, yet I am unable to put even an initial post to OL. Note I have tried activating and re-validating my account several times, but to no avail.

Further, whether or not I can post to OL is quite rightly at the discretion of OL's owners, however, now I see this similar disregard for ‘freedom to speak’ being carried over to a campaign on OL to influence TAS against Linz speaking, this being by the threat to withdraw member funding of that organisation. Again, this withholding of funding is rightly the choice of every individual member of OL, but I would ask those members to think seriously about their premises for doing so, and that they are not in fact being led by minds which are blackened by personal vendettas, rather than a thirst for ideas through passionate, reasoned, debate. TAS has quite rightly picked that Linz's speeches will draw crowds, and will spark debate; these two threads themselves witness that fact - why is OL’s membership so scared of such debate?

At the risk of incurring Godwit's condemnation, there is a feeling of fascism in this whole OL thread crusade: a movement which is anti-idea, anti-freedom, and certainly irrational.

 

Worse, albeit deviating from the above topic.

Robert Campbell posts on SOLO (note, he's allowed to post here) that Linz, et al, are plotting to take over TAS, which they have refuted laughingly (I mean, really?). But now to add the 'in' to 'credulity', I find your following post this morning, Michael, in which you refer to what was only an incidental thread of my own on SOLO:

Apparently they are pursuing garbage traffic to get a high Alexa rating. However, they shot themselves in the foot by blowing out their band width. This drastically slowed down their site (see here for an indication that something is wrong).
What this means is that they are trying to increase site "hits," irrespective of where these hits come from. (A "hit" is a browser visiting a site-SOLOP in this case. Technically the visitor's browser sends the URL address to a big honking computer out there somewhere in cyberland called a server and downloads SOLOP's site from that server. There is a lot more to it, but this is how a hit can be measured.)
There are many sources of what is called garbage traffic, which can be bought, come from robot programs, etc. The point is that they are not "hits" by people reading the site (much less interested in Objectivism), but "hits" mostly coming from automated procedures. The idea is usually used to increase visibility in Search Engine Optimization for a variety of commercial reasons. It is a black-hat technique that is a cousin to spam.
In the case of SOLOP, I think the idea is to brag about the traffic the site gets. But for that level of traffic, there is a woeful lack of posts and participation. Those who mess with these numbers will know what I mean (SOLOP's Alexa rating is about 14,500 or so). As a visual, the equivalent would be a local run-down hamburger joint presenting itself as a fast-food multinational corporation with operations in 35 countries.
But the funny part to me is that they are choking on their own garbage traffic (by gumming up their site's performance) and there is not a single tangible benefit other than being able to brag a little.

 

Let me see if I've got this right. You seriously believe that the owners of SOLO are concerned with manipulating Internet traffic as part of a program, (to follow on from Campbell's assertions), of world domination or some such? Might I suggest this is nonsensical, at best, quite seriously deluded, at worst. Speaking for myself, I find SOLO simply to be a good meeting place for a diverse range of people who have some aspect of Objectivism in common (for and against), and I suspect you will find that is why almost all forum members are there. As someone earlier in your thread said, there are a lot of very interesting threads on SOLO. SOLO’s techie, William, saw to the issues I was having in the thread I started, and I would also suggest, being busy in his own right, does very well keeping the site going: the thought he is spending his time trying to do as you say is, to use a word that is always on my mind in this post, laughable.

As a final barb, the extent to which many of the posters on OL are detaching themselves from the facts of reality to perform character assassinations (Jonathan), and to extract such ludicrous, childish, conspiracy theories and the like above, troubles me, and should trouble the rational posters to the OL site, given that such fantastic postings, on that thread, at least, are never taken to task. Perhaps it's time to re-examine some of your premises. In the meantime, if some of your members want passionate debate across a wide spectrum of topics, where absurdities will most always be taken to task, as they should, then I would suggest they start reading SOLO's lively boards. At least they will always be given the respect of an initial post.

Mmmm. unless I need to examine my own premises: Linz, are we on the righteous path of global domination? And is the plan to do this somehow mystically by Internet page hits? If so, I think we need a 'little' discussion on strategy. William, that plate they put in your head 'after the crash' (yeah right) ... Jesus, I've just clicked, the bionic superman in the machine scenario; excellent. Nothing can stop SOLO now!

Perhaps Michael you would be so kind as to upload this post to the thread in OL, given that I, for whatever reason, cannot.

Jim

Mark Hubbard's picture

I'm going to take about a year break, which may last longer, from all online forums to review my views of moral judgment and how to make judgments. I'm not satified that I fully understand it and some of what I do understand is not integrated. I ask forbearance from those I may have judged in haste.

 

Oh for Heavens sake. Yes, it does involve engagement of the rational mind, but be warned, Jim, at the seat of it is a backbone Smiling

Views on Moral Judgment in Flux

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

I'm going to take about a year break, which may last longer, from all online forums to review my views of moral judgment and how to make judgments. I'm not satified that I fully understand it and some of what I do understand is not integrated. I ask forbearance from those I may have judged in haste.I will check my online inboxes occasionally and wish everyone well in the meantime.

Jim

Neil

James S. Valliant's picture

I got that when you said it the first time. But when you said it the first time you said:

"You told me you don't dispute the account of the Blumenthals as related in PAR. They state... [a list follows and your evaluation] What the Blumenthals says [sic] of Rand is more critical than BB and perhaps more critical than NB."

Then and only then did you follow with saying that he is "even quoted in TARC..."

Of course, I took this to mean that the first comparison you offered was of what they say in PAR. Recall that you were saying something about how PARC seems to accept what was said by the Blumenthals in PAR... the subject of PARC.

Funny me.

Also, are you now relying on TARC or something? Is it to be trusted over PAR in certain aspects?

So, just for clarity sake, you are conceding, then, that what the Blumenthals say in PAR is not nearly so harsh as what Ms. B. says there?

(At this pont, could someone get the slime remover?)

Can we also take it, then, that Dr. Blumenthal believes that comparisons of Rand to an Inquistor using "fire and the rack" constitute a "whitewash" of Rand? Are you confident that that is what he meant? At this point, even what he said?

If so, could Ms. B. have possibly presented a warped view of their opinion, then?

Can we take it that you accept such opinions and evaluations whole without any need for supporting details or evidence?

Now -- from the evidence you possess -- was PAR a "whitewash"? Was the Inquistor comparison insufficient to meet the case (and please explain using the evidence we are given)?

Take all the time you need...

And, then there's Campbell still to address.

Neil

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Mr. Perigo:
There are thousands of books on Amazon.com that the user may search (the entire text). PAR is one of them. This is very easy to check.

I just did, and you are right. I withdraw and apologise for all allegations that you're a direct conduit for Babs.

Linz

Mr. Perigo

Neil Parille's picture

Mr. Perigo:

There are thousands of books on Amazon.com that the user may search (the entire text). PAR is one of them. This is very easy to check.

In addition, you made the allegation at least twice prior to this most recent time.

Jim:

Dr. Blumenthal is quoted in TARC as saying that PAR constitutes a "white wash" of Rand's bad side.

And...

James S. Valliant's picture

A word, btw, PARC never claims that she used.

Neil

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Would you please provide evidence to support your claim that I am acting as a "conduit" or "middle man" for Barbara Branden. If you have no evidence, you should apologize.

At some point on this or some other thread you said you'd done an amazon search and discovered a certain word (I forget what) claimed by James to have been used by Babs in PAR was not actually in the book at all. It struck me that an amazon search would yield no such thing unless the whole book were reprinted there. Who would yield such a thing is someone with an intimate knowledge of the book's content and a mission to restore its tattered reputation—namely its author, well-known "operator" (as in "we're all operators now," the line deleted by Babs from JD) and conduit-user, Queen of the Backstage Whisper.

Neil

James S. Valliant's picture

If you need an apology from Mr. Perigo, what do you suppose should be required of someone who writes the following:

"[Valliant] found that he could not sweet-talk Chris Sciabarra, or any of the other editors at JARS, into endorsing his book. Even publishing a reply to a negative review in JARS was crossed off his agenda once he discovered that Mr. Perigo didn't want him to and such support as he enjoyed from ARI could be at risk."

I know how JARS works, and know that whatever the nature of my interaction with Sciabarra, such things wouldn't affect the outcome of any review. Or... AM I WRONG? Does "sweet talking" editors like Campbell himself alter the substance of what comes out on the pages of JARS?

Well, he should know.

Wow -- live and learn, I guess.

If Mr. Campbell is not simply a pathetically unskilled liar, then he must live in an alternate reality of his own manufacture. I am right here discussing whether I will attend a TAS conference myself -- and if the public assertion that I might doesn't already give him reason to question the whole of his bizarre assertion, you might want to consider just the obvious logical inconsistencies within Mr. Campbell's far more elaborate delusions for yourself.

JARS having an editor like him will never be factored into his own analysis of my nefarious motives -- and his psychotic break with reality now only evokes the same uncomfortable embarrassment which results from watching Brittany Spears perform at an awards show.

No exaggeration or hyperbole is involved in saying that nearly everything he has written here is pure fiction, paranoid delusion or an overt lie.

Just taking a recent example, and there are so many, you will never concede that your comparative evaluation of what the Blumenthals said versus what Ms. B. said about Rand was obviously wrong (and where, then, do you get such distortions?) You have evaded every issue once its refutation was made clear to one and all. Yet, perfecting his uniquely stylish form of projection, Campbell writes:

"People who refuse to admit errors when caught red-handed in them, preferring to go after the purported motives of their critics, are lying. Lying is dishonest, dishonesty is irrational... again if [you?] know anything about the Objectivist ethics you can follow the chain of implications."

So, what are we to do with Campbell's looney conspiracy theories so clearly driven by blinding hatred, paranoia and humiliation?

In all seriousness, the poster who recommended professional help was on target.

In any event, do you agree with Campbell, that acknowledging serious moral lapses on Rand's part is a necessary precondition to objectivity?

Amazing!

Robert's picture

Campbell actually acknowledges that I have standards! I was under the impression that as an acolyte for Linz, I'd be part of the evil conspiracy to destroy TAS.

Actually I've no need to question James V. about PARC for the simple reason that I've no interest of reading PAR and therefore have no need of PARC.

I really couldn't care less about who Ayn screwed metaphorically or physically. And stated so at the time.

My interest in her springs from the philosophy she gave birth to. As it is for Ayn, so it is for Thomas Jefferson. I've no interest in learning about his sexual conquests. The grand political experiment he spent his life working holds far more interest. And it is apparent that like Rand, his life's work was insulated from his sexual desires.

And in any case, after seeing most of the TV version of PAR, I'm of the impression that I'll learn nothing useful about Rand in PAR.

That train-wreck of a production was probably the worst porn movie I've ever seen. And given that Barbara had a hand in it, I've all the evidence that I personally need to dismiss PAR as a waste of my time. A situation that, with all due respect to James, appears to make PARC - and Neil's objections to it - redundant.

Why should I put to him a question whose answer holds no interest to me?

>WRT the "persistent critic of Mr. Valliant's"

I'd be less inclined to term Neil's efforts as stalking were he not so damned persistent about hijacking a thread which had absolutely nothing to do with PARC. Especially given the fact that he is able, nay encouraged, to begin such threads as he sees fit on this site.

Sticking to the thread is a common internet courtesy that, I'm betting, is even observed at OL.

So what have you to complain about next I wonder? Don't like the way I part my hair?

>Why should anyone take me or my standards seriously?

I wasn't aware that I was demanding that anyone did.

For instance I have not submitted and have no plans to submit a seminar to an objectivist conference. I have no plans to start a blog or publish my views any further than this and one other site.

I've long recognized and publicly acknowledged that my understanding of objectivist in particular and philosophy in general is weak. I have never claimed to be an objectivist precisely because I believe that you require a sound understanding of both before you can justly do so. Rectifying this is a slow and on going process given my other responsibilities.

That leaves me in the position of being someone with a big mouth and strong opinions in need of somewhere to chew ideas. And that being the case, I appreciate the forums Linz has provided as much as I do his first alerting me to Atlas Shrugged via his radio program.

As to whether you take me seriously or not: to dine with me or not is your choice, I don't care one way or another because I fully intend to eat regardless.

And frankly, if the likes of you took me seriously I'd be worried! Anyone who can seriously suggest that Perigo, or anyone else for that matter, is aiming to take over TAS is a paranoid Looney Tunes -- objectivism's Daffy Duck.

What for instance is to be gained from such an adventure? Fame? Fortune? Sex? Ha! You over exaggerate the current pulling power of Objectivism.

You've also accused him of finding fame in Ayn's creation. But you cannot account for the fact that by embracing it, and denouncing the statism rife in NZ, he lost the fame and fortune he'd previously acquired as a broadcaster in his native land.

But I wouldn't expect you to know that, it would require you to stop interviewing your keyboard (the likely origin of your paranoid proclamation) and check your facts.

Casey

Neil Parille's picture

It isn't true, so he should apologize.

Neil,

Casey's picture

"If"?

Mr. Perigo

Neil Parille's picture

Mr. Perigo,

Would you please provide evidence to support your claim that I am acting as a "conduit" or "middle man" for Barbara Branden.

If you have no evidence, you should apologize.

Principles

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

This whole discussion has been like a big game of what Andy Grove used to call: Go Get the Rock. Someone tells you to go down to a river and pick up a rock. You come back and they say not that rock. This should have been a straightforward discussion of free and open inquiry. It should have been about principles. There is an active attempt to disqualify a speaker. That's not what TAS should be about.

Instead there's wrangling, acrimony (some of it mine), clarity problems(some of it mine)and other problems.

I understand Robert Campbell feels strongly about this, but there's a core principle to be upheld. Lindsay is giving two talks for crying out loud. I'll go to your talk next year or the year after.

Jim

Thanks, Jim

Casey's picture

Now I know my target. (Just kidding, Roger.)

For complete Accuracy

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

For complete accuracy as a poster on another forum asked. Irfan did not specify who the author/authors of the abusive emails were. I most definitely should have been more clear.

Jim

Roger Donway

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

The old editor of the Navigator and now a writer for The New Individualist. Not sure what current title he holds.

Jim

Jim,

Casey's picture

Who's Roger Donway, the guy I'm replacing in Robert Campbell's hypothesis? Just curious.

Robert C

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

Thanks for the apology.That was important to me. We'll talk about positive psychology or someting else down the road when this topic has died down.

Jim

Not funny, guys ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I have had to go out on the deck several times when reading Mr. Campbell's "hypotheses" just to get oxygen. This has been life-threatening stuff. "To die laughing" is not just an empty cliche. If you ask me, this was a joint plot by Diana Hsieh and Chris Sciabarra, whose enmity of course is just a facade, to kill me off, take over SOLO and replace me with Hillary Clinton.

I'm wondering

Casey's picture

If paramedics are in order. (I'm half-serious, but the other half is laughing up a lung.)

Mr. Cathcart,

Casey's picture

Your loyalty has been duly noted and shall not go unrewarded. Bwa-ha-haaaa!

What should we call this occasion?

Chris Cathcart's picture

I'm thinking something like "The Campbell Meltdown of January '08."
Smiling

You're welcome, BTW

Chris Cathcart's picture

I was only happy to do the work reeling in Prof. Campbell to provide us with his latest and best round of entertainment. Please remember my work when deciding how to staff TAS upon the imminent takeover. Is there currently a Director of Objectively Comedic Affairs there, and if not (and why not?????), can we be sure to establish one?

Why do I think that Mr.

Chris Cathcart's picture

Why do I think that Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant want to take over The Atlas Society?

I don't *know* this. It is a hypothesis, and I present it as such.

Here's why I think it's plausible.

[followed by the plausible scenario]

Again, don't forget to forward your plausible insights to the potentially affected staff and directors at TAS; surely they will want plausible input on matters where their positions may be affected. Hurry, Mr. Campbell! The future direction of TAS may well turn on what insights you may offer them.

The jig's up

Casey's picture

And we would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids.

I haven't had such a laugh in some time. Thanks!

Oh, and, uh, here's a scenario, Professor:

Scenario 1. The family dog gets into the cookie jar. Mom comes home and blames junior, unjustly. She finds out the dog ate the cookies and junior is innocent. She says she's sorry to junior. No one has done anything immoral.

Scenario 2. The family dog gets into the cookie jar. Mom comes home and blames junior, unjustly. She finds out the dog ate the cookies and junior is innocent. She does not apologize and punishes junior anyway. Mom's just done something immoral, kids.

Can't you understand that? Please. If your misunderstanding of morality and justice indicates the general quality of your reasoning, what's the point of reading all that (or typing it!)?

whoppers

Chris Cathcart's picture

Mr. Cathcart,

It's unwise to take statements about events that you've previously admitted knowing little or nothing about, put pieces of them in bold print, and declare the phrases and sentences in bold to be whoppers. You are much more likely to put your own ignorance on display than to mount any effective criticism.

Where ever did I "previously admit to knowing little or nothing about" the things in question?

Same ol' same ol', with each passing post . . .

Oh no, please don't go ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Mr. Campbell, I'll miss you. The entertainment has been priceless, the insights invaluable, albeit flabbergasting. Had you lingered, I would have made you foremost among my disciples, perhaps supplanting even Valliant (yes, all of TAS would have been yours), given his obvious untrustworthiness with blueprints.

But since you insist on spurning the Swami's embrace, let me point out a couple of things. You say I never answered you on Rowlands. I did, in March 2006. You never answered my answer. He said, with respect to our joint property, that he was going to do one thing—close it down—and did another—rolled it over. Simple as that.

You say I'm alleging something new re Sciabarra: initiation of force. I'm sure I don't really have to explain to you that attacking a person's or an organisation's reputation behind his/its back with falsehoods (in a manner designed to prevent their finding out) is an initiation of force.

That's all, Campbell. Except to say I'm genuinely sorry to see you so intractably unhinged, and I shall decline your invitation to attend Cockroach Corner. Swami's minders insist on a very strict hygiene regime.

Still, to you and your kin at CC, the SOLO ashram remains open as ever.

Perigonanda

WTF

Landon Erp's picture

I've seen trufers and illuminatti conspiracy theorists who make more sense than Campbell.

Did Linz and Valliant also cause 9/11?

---Landon

The price of liberty is eternal VIGILANCE.

http://www.myspace.com/wickedlakes

Heads will roll ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

If Mr. Perigo could get hired at the TAS office (not on the face of it a crazy idea; he did get hired once, then decided not to take the job after picking a fight with Roger Donway), he could go to work on pushing out his enemy Mr. Bidinotto. He could prepare the skids for hiring of Mr. Valliant and even Mr. Fahy. Why not replace Bidinotto with Valliant, and Donway with Fahy? He would maneuver day and night to kick Barbara and Nathaniel Branden to the curb.
Since Mr. Valliant believes in the truth of "Fact and Value," he could give David Kelley, Will Thomas, and Ed Hudgins a brief sabbatical during which to meditate and reread the scripture, in the hope that they would see the light. And if they didn't ... then out with the lot of them.

Valliant, who leaked the blueprint to Campbell? Can't I trust you with anything?

Fronting up and bowing out

Robert Campbell's picture

My abbreviated return to this board hasn't settled a whole lot.

But one thing is now clear.

Mr. Perigo's repeated demands that his critics "front up" and address him here on SOLOPassion aren't for real.

They're a bluff.

I think they're a cover for cowardice.

They're a bluff because Swami Perigonanda and his acolytes have shown absolutely no genuine interest in responding to criticism. Mr. Valliant's near-immediate response to my reappearance here was a grand sniff about my "presumption." He let slip what the Swami and his fervent adepts really think. They don't really want anyone coming over to challenge them.

The Swami failed to answer some of my questions, responded to others with familiar bursts of abuse, and romped out with a couple of new inventions (such as accusing Chris Sciabarra of committing a crime).

He feebly insisted that his romantic music title, with its name-calling about morons, was just a joke. He declared that he would draw all of his examples for the other talk from what the "O-Lying" crowd had the temerity to say about him, but now he has switched course and says that all of his examples of self-defeating conduct will focus on himself.

The schoolyard adage still holds. All bullies are cowards. Verbal bullies, too.

If the Swami had any guts, he'd take his case to Rebirth of Reason, or Objectivist Living, or some other online forum not controlled by himself.

The same goes for Mr. Valliant, Mr. Fahy, and the rest of the adepts.

Judging from Mr. Valliant's recent disastrous performance on the Richard Dawkins forum, he is not prepared to defend either his book or Objectivist philosophy in an open environment. He has to fall back on Mr. Fahy and the Swami. By and large, they don't even try to answer their critics' arguments; they team up to drive the critics away with their sustained dim obnoxiousness, providing Mr. Valliant with the illusion that he can hold his own end up.

I doubt that Swami Perigonanda would do any better.

But if he thinks he can, the Swami needs to get out and show what he can do when he is not relying on his presumptive status as an Objectivist spiritual leader.

If he can't hold his end up in an online forum that he doesn't control, the Swami has no business peddling his wares to TAS or any other such organization.

With that, I'm out of here. If Mr. Perigo or Mr. Valliant want to answer me they know where to find me. Let's see how they handle the horrid rigors of Cockroach Corner.

Robert Campbell

Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant's plans

Robert Campbell's picture

Why do I think that Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant want to take over The Atlas Society?

I don't *know* this. It is a hypothesis, and I present it as such.

Here's why I think it's plausible.

1. Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant have no genuine positive regard for The Atlas Society. For the last two and a half years, they have more often than not expressed withering contempt for it.

2. Mr. Valliant's personal loyalty and ideological allegiance, despite his periodic denials, are to the Ayn Rand Institute. He is a long-time associate of Leonard Peikoff's who claims to believe that "Fact and Value" is true.

But Mr. Valliant has not experienced the career boost that he expected when he published The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.

Outside of Rand-land, the book has not sold a lick, or occasioned any comment.

ARI is selling the book, and its acolytes sometimes invoke it (not always after reading it).

But within ARI, Mr. Valliant is experiencing what the late Lawrence Peter called Final Placement Syndrome. No position of prominence is open to him.

Mr. Valliant wants to be seen as a scholar, but anyone who has read his book carefully, or engaged him in debate about Objectivism, can quickly discern that he is no such animal. At the Estate of Ayn Rand and ARI, the real scholars have not accepted him. He wouldn't place high on the totem pole in any event, because he did a black-bag job for Leonard Peikoff, using a low-rent publisher.

Mr. Valliant lost interest in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies pretty quickly. He found that he could not sweet-talk Chris Sciabarra, or any of the other editors at JARS, into endorsing his book. Even publishing a reply to a negative review in JARS was crossed off his agenda once he discovered that Mr. Perigo didn't want him to and such support as he enjoyed from ARI could be at risk.

A couple of years after Mr. Valliant realized that JARS wouldn't supply him with what he wanted, SOLOPassion is not exactly thriving. It is certainly not performing up to his ambitions.

So he needs a platform. If Mr. Perigo can re-establish himself with TAS, after the debacle of 2006, Mr. Valliant hopes to sweep in on his coattails.

3. Mr. Perigo's market share of movement Objectivism has been on the wane since 2005. Two years ago, while sidling toward a rapprochement with ARI, he couldn't be bothered with TAS. Now it's beginning to look like a lifeline to him.

4. As the organization is presently constituted, TAS poses major obstacles to Mr. Perigo's ambitions. Robert Bidinotto, the editor of The New Individualist, has clashed with both Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant in public. Nathaniel and, more recently, Barbara Branden have often been featured at TAS events (both of them, in October 2007).

5. Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant are grandiose personalities. Neither has any compunctions about resorting to underhanded methods; both are equipped with vast reserves of chutzpah.

If Mr. Perigo could get hired at the TAS office (not on the face of it a crazy idea; he did get hired once, then decided not to take the job after picking a fight with Roger Donway), he could go to work on pushing out his enemy Mr. Bidinotto. He could prepare the skids for hiring of Mr. Valliant and even Mr. Fahy. Why not replace Bidinotto with Valliant, and Donway with Fahy? He would maneuver day and night to kick Barbara and Nathaniel Branden to the curb.

Since Mr. Valliant believes in the truth of "Fact and Value," he could give David Kelley, Will Thomas, and Ed Hudgins a brief sabbatical during which to meditate and reread the scripture, in the hope that they would see the light. And if they didn't ... then out with the lot of them.

Now, this is a hypothesis. It is consistent with evidence available to me about the ambitions of Messrs. Valliant and Perigo, and with evidence about the openness of paths to fulfilling those ambitions within that little corner called Rand-land. It is consistent with evidence about character. Each sees in himself capabilities that neutral observers cannot discern; each is tremendously self-absorbed and suffused with a sense of entitlement; each rejects any and all criticism as disinformation thrown up by the dishonest and the mean-spirited.

The hypothesis seems so wild because a sensible odds-maker would bet heavily against the success of such a takeover attempt.

But people with a pronounced sense of entitlement, and a dizzyingly inflated estimate of their own abilities, will underestimate the obstacles. I suspect that in their own minds Messrs. Valliant and Perigo are firmly convinced that they can correct every deficiency and solve every problem at TAS while rallying behind them all but a few stinkingly rotten, disposable malcontents.

It could be, of course, that Messrs. Perigo and Valliant are merely looking for a boost to their legitimacy, and will not try to reach further.

But why should TAS have to find out the hard way just how far they aim to go?

Why should anyone?

Robert Campbell

Shark repellent

Robert Campbell's picture

"Oh the shark has pretty teeth, dear
And he shows 'em, pearly white"
--Brecht/ Weill/ Blitzstein, Mack the Knife

Jim,

I apologize for suggesting that you may have shaded any of your judgments to suit the audience at either SOLOPassion or ObjectivistLiving.

I believe you really do call 'em as you see 'em, and I'm sorry I doubted you.

But I don't think you have any idea how far outside the candor zone Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant customarily operate.

Do you realize how starkly Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant loathe Barbara Branden's 2006 talk on Objectivist rage?

Have you listened to the audio of Mr. Perigo's 2006 counter-talk at the Borders bookstore in Orange? The one that was supposed to slay the serpent by discrediting Ms. Branden's talk, and proving the enduring excellence of raging Randianism?

Have you noted how Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant make no reference to the October 2007 Atlas Shrugged commemoration in Washington, DC? What a lineup of speakers: Charles Murray, Rob Bradley, Anne Heller, Mimi Gladstein, Doug Rasmussen, Tibor Machan, John Fund, John Stossel, John Aglialoro, Ed Younkins, Howard Baldwin... I was impressed and uplifted by it, and I've heard glowing reviews from many others who attended. Many regard it as the best event TAS has ever put on. Go back through this board and see how many good words it got over here.

Now ask yourself who didn't speak there: Lindsay Perigo and Jim Valliant. Ask yourself who might have spoiled their fun by speaking there. We all know who did: Nathaniel and Barbara Branden.

Right now Messrs. Perigo and Valliant are uncomfortably aware of attention from The Atlas Society, so they are trying to maintain a semblance of good behavior.

But their silence about that event, one of very best things that organization has done, is a clear indicator of their deep despisal for TAS.

If they were not so desperately in need of your support, they would have lit into you mercilessly for praising Barbara Branden's talk.

They will light into you, as soon as the spotlight is off them. It may just take a little while.

Another example. You apparently accepted at face value Mr. Perigo's somewhat novel defense of his role in trashing Chris Sciabarra:

"Re the "inexcusable" publishing of Sciabarra's e-mails in Diana's article—we've been through this, have we not? All things being equal, of course one should not publish private e-mails. But the man was using confidentiality as a cloak for dishonest smearing and backstabbing. That was what was truly inexcusable. In the circumstances publication was entirely justified in my view. ... As I saw it, Sciabarra was clandestinely initiating force; exposing what he was up to was self-defence."

The novel part is the assertion that Chris Sciabarra was initiating force against Lindsay Perigo.

Remarkably, though a raucous public controversy that ran for something like 3 weeks and consumed hundreds of posts, Mr. Perigo never charged Dr. Sciabarra with initiating force against him.

Mr. Perigo has just discovered this initiation of force, nearly two years later.

Of what crime does he suppose Dr. Sciabarra to have been guilty?

You must have noticed that he doesn't say.

If Mr. Perigo has evidence for this criminal charge, let him supply it.

Otherwise, the appropriate inference must be that if anyone sufficiently displeases Mr. Perigo, he will go after that person using every underhanded means at his disposal. What happened to Chris Sciabarra can and will happen to others.

For I've yet to encounter any serious criticism of Mr. Perigo's behavior that he does not dismiss as a dishonest smear.

They're going to be lighting into you soon enough about this issue, too.

Keep your shark repellent close at hand, Jim. You're swimming with the triangular fin boys now.

Robert Campbell

Arbitrary assertions

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Cathcart,

It's unwise to take statements about events that you've previously admitted knowing little or nothing about, put pieces of them in bold print, and declare the phrases and sentences in bold to be whoppers. You are much more likely to put your own ignorance on display than to mount any effective criticism.

And before ridiculing anyone for criticizing the doctrine of the arbitrary assertion, you might benefit from a close reading of the relevant sections of Dr. Peikoff's OPAR.

I challenge you to identify clearly what makes an assertion arbitrary, then to provide evidence for all of the dire attributes that Dr. Peikoff tells us must belong to such an assertion. For instance, how an arbitrary assertion gets to be neither true nor false, or wronger than wrong and worse than bad. Or how anyone who produces such an assertion becomes (temporarily?) dumber than a parrot.

A close comparison between the doctrine as propounded by Nathaniel Branden in the early 1960s and Leonard Peikoff during the mid 1960s and in subsequent years might also prove informative.

Unless, of course, you still hold to a position you enunciated during our last round of exchanges on this board. Do you still think that expecting people who are honestly crediting published work on Objectivism to cite the early work of Nathaniel Branden is asking them to "suck [NB's] cock"?

But, OK, let's suppose that the doctrine is legit, in the formulation we know from OPAR.

Surely, then, Mr. Perigo's assertion that Neil Parille criticizes Mr. Valliant's book on orders from Barbara Branden is arbitrary. He has provided no evidence or reasons for it.

From which it apparently follows that Mr. Perigo has made a claim that "cannot be cognitively processed," that it is sheerly contextless and impossible to locate in an epistemological hierarchy, and that indulgence in such claims is entrenching his inner chaos for life.

All of that, just from making one wild guess or unsubstantiated assertion?

Wow!

Robert Campbell

PS. Before I put the quietus to my entertaining visit to this site, I will explain why I put forward a certain hypothesis about Mr. Perigo and Mr. Valliant's current projects. If you want to argue against it, be my guest. But I will tell you exactly why I think it might be true. So calling it arbitrary will get you nowhere.

Outreach and inreach

Robert Campbell's picture

Jim (H-N),

I'd like to amend what I said about The New Individualist publishing a review of Mr. Valliant's book.

I understand that Robert Bidinotto considers his magazine an outreach publication that purposely does not focus on matters of interest only within Rand-land. And he is precisely right that the book has gotten no attention and made no waves outside of Rand-land.

I still think, however, that the TAS leadership needs to respond in some way to a book that covertly but insistently seeks to reject the message of Truth and Toleration by linking the enduring value of Objectivism to the moral perfection of Ayn Rand. For starters, the entire leadership ought to read the book.

Robert Campbell

Moral lapses: Ayn Rand's and other people's

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Valliant is pretending, as he so often does, that we've never discussed this subject before.

Good God amighty, we've nearly worried it to death.

Those who want details should consult the archives of SOLOHQ (either here or at Rebirth of Reason) as well as the archives of SOLOPassion (from the spring of 2006).

But I'm going to net it out, one last time, for those who are inclined to accept Mr. Valliant's statements at face value. Only example 5 below is new.

First, I judge Ayn Rand's moral perfection against *her* announced standards, not my personal standards, Christian standards, Buddhist standards, Stoic standards, Kantian standards, or what have you.

Second, the evidence that Mr. Valliant and his claque absolutely cannot impeach comes from Ayn Rand's published statements. (Mr. Valliant, you see, adamantly refuses to accept any negative judgments about Ms. Rand's character or actions from persons who knew her, unless their last name is Peikoff.)

1. Ayn Rand considered arguments from intimidation to be deliberate instances of irrationality and dishonesty. Her slam at Bertrand Russell ("Observe what Bertrand Russell was able to perpetrate") in ITOE condemns Russell and anyone who might be inclined to accept his position ("because people 'kinda knew' the concept of number"), without saying how he committed errors or fallacies, or establishing that he committed them on purpose. Classic argument from intimidation. Therefore, Ayn Rand committed a breach of rationality, therefore, by her definition of moral perfection as unbreached rationality, she had a moral lapse.

2. Ayn Rand claimed, in the preface to the 2nd edition of We the Living, that her editorial changes had no effect on the philosophical meaning of anything in the book. In fact, she deleted statements by Kira Argounova condemning the ideal of justice for all and acclaiming the mass coercion employed by the Communists ("I loathe your ideals; I admire your methods"). Obviously, Ms. Rand was right to take these statements out, but wrong to say that they did not affect the philosophical meaning of the book. Hence she lied, hence committed a breach of rationality, etc. etc. (You could get her off the hook for lying, but only on the assumption that she honestly believed that the changes made no philosophical difference. I doubt, however, that Mr. Valliant would be content with the conclusion that she wasn't lying because she was delusional instead.)

3. Ayn Rand wrote an article about "psychologizing," in which she presented a loaded concept; indeed, in the text of her own article repeatedly indulged in the very practices that she claimed to oppose. In other words, she made inferences about other people's motives that by her own stated criteria were improper. Apparently they did not qualify as "psychologizing" for subjective reasons--because she was making the inferences and not someone else. By Rand's own criteria, she was hatching and promoting an anti-concept, which according to her is always irrational... I think you know the rest of the chain of reasoning.

4. In 1968, Ayn Rand published an article titled "To Whom It May Concern," on a subject dear to Mr. Valliant's heart. In it she withheld some little pieces of relevant information, such as her affair with Nathaniel Branden, her anger at him for jilting her, and so on. According to one of her answers after a lecture (now in Ayn Rand Answers) half truths are a particularly vicious form of lying. She concluded the article with a demand that everyone in earshot condemn Nathaniel Branden for unspecified moral infractions, for which she had provided no evidence. Demanding the acceptance of a statement on faith is one of the worst kinds of irrationality in the Randian canon. (The meticulously fair-minded Mr. Valliant condemns the half-truths in Nathaniel and Barbara Branden's answer to Ayn Rand, while completely ignoring the half-truths in her article.)

5. In her last Ford Hall Forum speech, in 1981, Ayn Rand declared that the theory of evolution is the only scientific theory in its field and that a lot of "valid" evidence supports it. But she still refused to take a stand on evolution, though she ripped anybody who didn't want it taught in schools! By Peikovian standards, if you believe what Ms. Rand believed about evolution, you should conclude that some form of evolutionary theory is probable. Not taking a stand, when in possession of relevant evidence, is agnosticism, which in turn Dr. Peikoff condemns as one of the worst forms of irrationality. Hence Rand's position was plainly irrational, according to standards elaborated by Dr. Peikoff and endorsed by herself.

These are all facts in the public record. No new biography is likely to revise them or change their import in any significant way.

So, yes, objectivity requires acknowledging that Ayn Rand committed moral lapses. Over and out.

(I should add that Ms. Rand's own stated standards, as in "And I mean it," implied that she was a living, breathing equivalent of Howard Roark, or John Galt. Hence, the mere fact that she became depressed in 1958 was an indication of moral failure. But this kind of halfway Stoicism is so far removed from real human possibilities that I'm not going to address it further here.)

Now, have I committed moral lapses, by Rand's standards in 1 through 5?

Sure.

I've lied to people.

I've tried to convince myself of stuff that I could easily have known was bullshit.

I've done mean-spirited things.

I've treated people unfairly when I knew better than to do that.

And so on.

Am I proud of having done any of this? No. Am I planning on doing this stuff in the future? No. Does that mean I'll never do any of it? I can't give anyone, including myself, a 100% money-back guarantee on that. I'll just have to try my best.

On to Mr. Valliant now.

Mr. Valliant can't even admit (in a recent exchange with Neil Parille) that his book misquotes a key passage in Barbara Branden's biography--a passage that pertains to one of the most incendiary issues under discussion, namely Frank O'Connor's drinking. Nor can he admit that he substituted an unattributed statement from Jeff Walker's book The Ayn Rand Cult in its place, although anyone who compares the sources can see exactly what happened. Instead, he blasts Mr. Parille over irrelevancies and (for the nth time) impugns his motives.

People who refuse to admit errors when caught red-handed in them, preferring to go after the purported motives of their critics, are lying. Lying is dishonest, dishonesty is irrational... again if know anything about the Objectivist ethics you can follow the chain of implications.

If you care to follow the exchanges between Mr. Valliant and his critics, you will find manifold other examples of this type.

Oh, and since Mr. Valliant is once again denying his allegiance to the Leonard Peikoff, er, Ayn Rand Institute, I direct readers to his statement, up-thread, of essential agreement with "Fact and Value." Since one of the theses of "Fact and Value" is that everyone in Rand-land must heed and obey Ms. Rand's designated vicar on earth, Pope Leonard I, and only the Ayn Rand Institute exhibits what Dr. Peikoff would consider adequate deference to his papal authority, Mr. Valliant is insulting his audience's intelligence with these denials. Those who wish to study the archives of this site and of SOLOHQ will, in fact, discover that Mr. Valliant has yet to find fault with a single decision by the leadership of the Ayn Rand Institute or by the Estate of Ayn Rand. Walks like a..., swims like a... , quacks like a...

Such smarmy denials of the obvious--and Mr. Valliant has indulged in many others that I won't mention, for fear of stretching this post out to insufferable length--are all moral breaches, according to the Objectivist ethics.

Finally, to Mr. Fahy.

Everything that applies to Mr. Valliant applies with equal force to his sidekick, Mr. Fahy. The only noticeable difference is that Mr. Fahy does less slipping and sliding than Mr. Valliant, and goes completely off-argument into extravagant verbal abuse faster than Mr. Valliant does.

Might be a few moral lapses in there...

True, there are some Fahyan gems that I would not chalk up to any intent to intimidate, or to deceive. In the present thread: "Unjust anger is only immoral if intentional." Well, gee, what is unjust is contrary to the virtue of justice, and virtuous and vicious action are understood by Objectivism to be intentional .... So how could there be unintentionally unjust anger?

To explain these, mere incompetence will suffice.

Robert Campbell

Mr. Winefield's disparate standards

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Winefield,

Your admonitions to me on this thread have now included:

"By all means discuss Nathaniel and Ayn over your favorite brew, but stop blowing the bloody thing and her legendary temper out of all possible proportion."

Have you ever said anything like that to Mr. Valliant? Writing a 400-page back on Nathaniel and Ayn might be construed as blowing a lot of things out of all possible proportion.

Have you ever said anything like that to Mr. Perigo? Since "Drooling Beast," he can't seem to quit blowing the Nathaniel and Ayn thing out of all possible proportion.

Your admonitions to Neil Parille have included:

"Please Neil, can you take this to another thread so I can continue reading this one and ignoring your morbid fascination with what James thinks. The man is married OK, he's off the market. Go stalk another author."

So a persistent critic of Mr. Valliant's book is stalking Mr. Valliant.

Since Mr. Perigo can't stop publicly frothing about a bunch of people--Chris Sciabarra, Barbara Branden, Michael Stuart Kelley come to mind--is he stalking each of them?

It seems to me that you have one set of standards for Mr. Perigo and his allies, and a completely different set of standards for anyone you deem an enemy of Mr. Perigo and his allies.

So why should anyone take your disparate standards seriously?

Robert Campbell

Not here at Mr. Rowlands' request

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Dawe,

You've said a couple of things that are worthy of note:

"If Joe [Rowlands] needed a defense, which I don't think he does, you would be the last person I'd pick to do it."

Mr. Rowlands didn't ask me to defend him. I barely know him. Nor have I ever imagined that he is in need of my help.

My point was simply that Mr. Perigo keeps charging Mr. Rowlands with a crime, and failing to provide evidence of such. If Mr. Perigo can't substantiate his charges, his continuing to make them is proof of irresponsibility.

And TAS needs to invite a speaker with such a record of public irresponsibility... why?

I kinda wonder whether you brought this up because Mr. Perigo has so much trouble understanding how anyone could defend one of his innumerable enemies, unless that enemy was personally behind it.

You know, like Neil Parille allegedly criticizing Mr. Valliant's book only because Barbara Branden told him to do it. Mr. Perigo has repeatedly alleged that this is going on, when in fact it is not, and as a consequence Mr. Perigo can produce no evidence for his assertion.

I asked Mr. Perigo to substantiate his assertion about Mr. Parille. He hasn't. He can't.

Of course, he hasn't retracted it, either. And I suspect he won't.

You also said:

"I wanted to chime in here and point out that Robert Campbell's whole tone and attitude in his posts here are rotten."

Well, thank you for the constructive criticism. It just brims with helpful content.

Mr. Perigo told me that my rottenness was stinking, cackling, and conscientious. Mr. Valliant added old and boring to the stew.

Can't you at least come up with a descriptor of your own?

Robert Campbell

Chris

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The main problem with too much of the critiquing and insulting in either direction is the tedious sermonizing, lack of humor, lack of wit, lack of focused passion and . . . well, dull sense of life.

I fear that's entirely an American thing, brought about by the California Crybaby Counselling Culture. The Art of the Insult stands no chance in the wasteland of wowserism. This is as true of Objectivism as it is of the culture at large. It is said that Peikoff was witty before he gave up smoking (Rand, of course, died after she gave up smoking). Kelley could be witty if only he stopped trying to give up smoking, and Barbara remains witty on occasion because she merely pretends to have given up smoking. Binswanker and Warts, of course, need to take up serious drinking.

Jonathan again

Chris Cathcart's picture

names for OL

Chris Cathcart's picture

I'm reading the related OL thread and just got to the post where MSK re-lists all the nicknames and phrases LP has had for OL. Seems someone's been tirelessly watching and archiving, and someone's been successfully yanking someone's chains. Laughing out loud Some examples:

The Fearlessly Independent Thinker's Shrine to Barbara Branden
(Said about OL): "I'm willing to wrestle in mud, but not in shit"
Objectivist Not Living
Objectivist Dying
Objectivist Undead
Jellyfishness and mounds of spineless goo
Contaminating themselves with the squirtings of a total skunk like MSK (said of OL members)
Where culthood is alive and ill
The most anti-Rand site I've ever seen that won't just come out and admit it
A menopausal Therapy Culture New Age site like O-Lying

Oh come on, whatever else you think, these are just funny! Smiling

In the other direction, I'm getting a kick out of one Jonathan's witty and hilariously-worded insults about "Pigero." As LP himself might say, "That's the spirit! Less therapying, more intelligent raging!" The main problem with too much of the critiquing and insulting in either direction is the tedious sermonizing, lack of humor, lack of wit, lack of focused passion and . . . well, dull sense of life.

Chris

Lindsay Perigo's picture

My position is explained in my acceptance note to Will Thomas quoted at the top of this thread. My acceptance (and theirs) is "without prejudice"—without detriment to any existing right or claim. Nothing ought to be read into it as to the status of previous disagreements between the parties. I have accepted in good faith an invitation I deem to have been made in good faith. So now we'll suck it and see.

I'm sure the great bulk of TASians are genuine in their commitment to free and open inquiry and debate. It's the Brandroid wing at O-Lying who are implacably opposed thereto, as their hysterical, crucify-him reaction to my proposed participation attests. If that wing were to set TAS's agenda, as it seemed to in 2006, that would be a terminal disaster for TAS in my view.

My talk on Objectivists will be pan-factional. And the only directly personal criticisms will be of myself. Smiling What I've learned from seven years of SOLO.

"Free and open inquiry"

Chris Cathcart's picture

Alright, time to take this one head on. First, let's be clear: free and open inquiry is a good thing, and there can't be too much of a good thing. But the rub is: what is meant by free and open inquiry? Does it mean engaging any and all comers, or are there standards? A longstanding criticism of IOS/TOC/TAS is that their stated policy of free and open inquiry has meant, in practice, a lowering or flouting of standards. It's no secret that Linz has a history of lambasting people at IOS/TOC/TAS sometimes in seriousness, sometimes in half-jest, sometimes in plain old jest, often leaving it up to everyone to figure out which. In any case, On OL, sometime-supporters of IOS/TOC/TAS have said that it has now gone too far. I'm just not clear on when it hadn't "gone too far" already; you could make the very same case that IOS/TOC/TAS's cozying with the Brandens had already spelled the end of standards and that this is just their Brandenist chickens coming home to roost.

(The supposed "peace feelers" going out between ARI and TAS seems startling if too, if only that not one or two years ago TAS had invited the Brandens as speakers. I could only imagine there being peace feelers going out if TAS dropped whatever associations with the Brandens.)

I dunno, am I the only one who sees the apparent newfound amity between Linz and TAS as something out of bizarro world? Actually I don't see inviting Linz to go half-jestingly lambaste (1) people's music tastes and (2) "Objectivists" as, per se, a lowering of standards, but let's consider the context: what are TAS's standards for "free and open inquiry"? And why, in the case of Nathaniel Branden in particular, is his personal treatment of Ayn Rand not considered relevant and something that can be divorced in practice from engaging ideas? Is TAS's cozying with the Brandens something Linz doesn't mind so much when accepting a speaking invitation there? (I guess I can see his likely angle: he's perfectly happy to go there and lambaste them for cozying with the Brandens and urge their not cozying them in the future, but won't take their cozying them as an issue of his sanctioning evil when speaking there himself. But that only raises the next question: where does he draw the line on matters of sanction? A good question, as I'm not so clear myself on where these lines need to get drawn.)

Robert C

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

By the way, what's your thought about the behind the back sleaziness that Sciabarra was engaged in? Was it blameless?

Jim

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