Simple Exercise

James S. Valliant's picture
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Sun, 2009-05-10 18:08

This is a paragraph from the ethics section of Wikipedia's article "Objectivism."

It's so very bad that it provides beginning students of Rand's thought with a (simple) exercise: how many misstatements of Rand's ideas can you detect?

"In The Virtue of Selfishness [Rand] attempted to derive ethical egoism from first principles. Value is relative: something can only be valuable for a particular being, and it can only be valuable if that being has a choice. Only living things are able to choose, therefore values only exist for living things, and whatever a living thing acts to gain or keep is a value for that thing. Every living thing maintains its life for its own sake, and - according to Rand - for any living thing, only its own life is valuable for its own sake. On the assumption that every living thing should do or ought to do whatever is valuable for itself, it follows that it should do whatever promotes its own life. But people can only live if they are rational. Since reason is man's means of knowledge, it is also his greatest value, and its exercise his greatest virtue. 'Man's mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive he must act and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch––or build a cyclotron––without a knowledge of his aim and the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think.' Therefore everyone ought to be rational."

My list.

1. Values require choice? Not according to Rand, who said that only conceptual consciousness is volitional. Or, is it that values require an "alternative" according to Rand? (For example, a living organism can adapt [either modifying its behavior within its own life-span or through mutation and natural selection]. Such adaptation is a kind of value pursuit that does not necessarily imply a volitional choice.)

2. Values are "relative"? Does this mean that values imply "of value to whom and for what?" That's certainly true, but it also here seems to require a state of consciousness.

3. Values are that which are pursued, sure, but, are values then subjective, i.e., "whatever" happens to be pursued?

4. Get this: "Every living thing maintains its life for its own sake"? IF ONLY!

5. Does Rand "assume" that "every living thing" should do "what is valuable for itself"? Is this idea any part of Rand's case? Isn't this precisely a circle Rand avoids -- and answers? (Talk about upside down and inside out.)

6. "People can only live if they are rational"? Say what?! As Rand knew and dramatically depicted, irrational people survive all the time -- but even for them, reason is their basic tool of survival, of course.

7. Finally, my favorite, the last "therefore" -- as if Rand's argument had just been recounted!

I've said it before and will say it again: Criticism, rational criticism, is a good thing. It sharpens that tool of survival to its finest edge. But the two sorts of criticisms which have unfortunately marred most of Rand scholarship are: 1. ad hominem, i.e., the Branden and Rothbard based lies and distractions about Rand herself, and 2. gross misstatements of what Objectivism says, i.e., the Nyquist, Whittaker Chambers, Robert Nozick, and, now, the Wikipedia, stuff.


( categories: )

Mr. Readings ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... has posted here on this very thread. Curiouser and curiouser.

Update

Duncan Bayne's picture

My apologies to Mr. Sherk: it turns out that he had his reasons for claiming your page is flagged for deletion, although I dispute his conclusion.

It turns out that someone called J Reading was agitating for your deletion for notability reasons here (to which I've added my own comment). However, your page doesn't show up on this automatically generated list of articles subject to proposed deletion, so it looks like no action has been taken by anyone on this.

Oh ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I think Mr. Scherk is spouting crap.

Oh, surely not?! Eye

These are the Wikipedia

Duncan Bayne's picture

These are the Wikipedia Notability Guidelines; not only do you clearly qualify under a number of criteria, but there is no discussion of deletion on your talk page either.

I think Mr. Scherk is spouting crap.

Mr. Scherk ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... who is of course creaming his pants over these goings-on, tells me Peikoff has accused BB of being behind the Wiki thing in a letter to Jimmy Wales.

And that my own Wiki entry is to be deleted for "notability" reasons, whatever they are. Perhaps he means "notoriety." Eye

The technology for sending

Duncan Bayne's picture

The technology for sending digitally signed emails has been around for years.

It beggars belief that a public figure who might well be harmed by tampered or outright fabricated emails wouldn't use something like GPG, so that people can trivially verify that an email purporting to be from him is in fact from him, and hasn't been tampered in any way.

I think I might write a HOWTO on email signing & blog it.

Rare Point of Agreement

Robert Campbell's picture

Who knows what dezinformatsiya Mr. Perigo is spreading?

But I actually agree with him about one thing.

I don't know, off-hand, why Leonard Peikoff would cc me on an email.

I did get an email that purported to be from Leonard Peikoff. I am not finished authenticating it.

Robert Campbell

No, Ellen ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It wasn't Peikoff. Nice try, but don't think you're going to get it out of me by a process of elimination. Eye

One of the names astonished me—not necessarily the author of the "B Branden" line.

Did Campbell get an e-mail from Peikoff? I can't imagine Leonard bothering.

PS

Ellen Stuttle's picture

It just occurred to me that maybe Leonard Peikoff himself was the author of the covering line re "B. Branden," that maybe he was sent Barbara's email by someone on Barbara's list and then forwarded it to James. Linz said the source of the line would astonish folks. Eye

Ellen

Note to all: Peikoff (?) email/ "reliable" per Wikipedia

Ellen Stuttle's picture

Re the email Robert Campbell received, purportedly from Leonard Peikoff -- see the OL thread for details:

My bet is that whoever forwarded Barbara's group email of May 16 to James Valliant with the prefacing line about a complaint from "B. Branden" ALSO forwarded the email to Leonard Peikoff, and that he actually is the author of the email Robert C. received.

But, folks, all (or at least almost all of you) on both sides of this dispute keep overlooking the meaning of "reliable" in Wikipediaese. It does not mean "valid." The Wikipedia dispute does not pertain to whether or not what's said in PARC is true, only to the status of the book as a "reliable" source according to Wikipedia's standards. The standards pertain to what kind of publishing company publishes a source and to the extent to which the source is referenced in academic (and I think mainstream journalism) venues. No amount of arguing about whether or not what's said in PARC is true is relevant to Wikipedia's criteria of "reliable."

Ellen

Well, Jeremy...The Prof. has

Jeremy's picture

Well, Jeremy...The Prof. has provided a bit of evidence for me to go over. Some worthwhile too.

Evidence of what? Who fucking cares about things that may have happened between three consenting adults 30-50 years ago? 50 years! Let's not kid ourselves. All this bickering is over personal matters from long ago that having nothing to do with the world at-large or Objectivism.

Matters that have been argued over for decades, and created far more schisms among us--current thread case-in-point--than any single idea within the philosophy we all try to adhere to. How fucked up and religion-esque is that? Not arguing about A = A, but about the color of the hem of Jesus' robe. Fer fook's sake.

The only clear evidence I've seen from Bob is the fact that he can't let anything go. Guess what happens if two or three people here are convinced by Bob's 'evidence'? They go over to OL and talk about Lindsay Perigo. With much gnashing-of-teeth. People that actually participate on SOLOP don't think about Perigo as much as those people at OL do.

So what's the point? Who cares?

Don't depend on Valliant when researching Rand if you doubt his honesty. Don't come to SOLO if you think Perigo is a liar, or don't interact with him if he makes your blood boil. Don't attempt to read Campbell if you wanna stay awake. Go watch soap operas if you want to learn about Rand's life. It certainly seemed to be one. Problem solved. Go home. Grow up.

For the record...

Jmaurone's picture

Since my name is being brought up on past matters in this context:

Linz: "Mr. Valliant has evidence of Ms. Branden's involvement in the Wiki matter. I have it too. I've already made that clear. The source would astonish you. It did me. No way are we going to reveal it, and you'll just have to trust me there's good reason for that."

Moral of the story? Perigo's call to faith is no better than Sciabarra's on this count, if not worse.

No one claiming to be an Objectivist should ever, EVER, call on blind faith in an argument, even if the argument is against their enemy. Trust...and verify.

Valliant Bobs and Weaves; Perigo Demands Obedience

Robert Campbell's picture

I wouldn't call "Valliant isn't incorrect here" a ringing endorsement.

But Gregster is still being far too generous to Jim Valliant.

The charges of "airbrushing" pertained to such matters as:

• Quotations or citations of articles by Nathaniel Branden being edited out of articles by Ayn Rand.

• Nathaniel and Barbara Branden's voices being edited out of tapes of lectures.

• Articles by Nathaniel Branden, written before July 1968 and therefore still canonical as per Ayn Rand's public statement, being pointedly excluded from such works as The Ayn Rand Lexicon.

• The commissioning of "replacement articles," first by Allan Blumenthal to replace Nathaniel Branden, then by Edith Packer and Edwin Locke to replace both Dr. Blumenthal and Dr. Branden.

Mr. Valliant was playing dumb, and pretending that the charges pertain to chapters by Nathaniel Branden being deleted from edited volumes such as Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

Duh!

No such chapters were deleted. It's been disputed whether they were retained by express agreement between Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden at the time of their split, or because Nathaniel Branden would have sued Ayn Rand over any such deletions had she attempted them. Whichever, the chapters were not deleted, and the Estate of Ayn Rand has grinned and borne it and left them as they were.

The reference to Tara Smith's book Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics is more bobbing and weaving from Mr. Valliant.

I was the one who publicly charged Tara Smith with intellectual dishonesty in her citations. (Barbara Branden got the details from me. I do not know whether she has subsequently read Dr. Smith's book or not.)

Dr. Smith wrote about self-esteem in her book (as was unavoidable in a treatise on the Objectivist ethics) but failed to cite any of Nathaniel Branden's publications on the subject—not even the pre-break, supposedly still canonical articles.

Meanwhile, Dr. Smith did cite Leonard Peikoff, in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, as an authority on self-esteem.

Mr. Valliant's dismissal is a classic instance of the smarm and sleaze for which he has become so widely reviled.

Meanwhile, I'm sorry to see Gregster getting cursed out in public for daring to review evidence presented on a prohibited website.

But it's all in character.

Mr. Perigo isn't about freedom and reason.

He's all about obedience to Lindsay Perigo.

Robert Campbell

A Profoundly Stupid Liar

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Perigo seems to have forgotten on whom he has graciously conferred the special right to publish private emails.

First he, er, vaguely recollected that it was just Diana Hsieh.

Then it, well, occurred to him that the special right might also have been conferred on Joe Maurone:

Which one was that, then, Prof? Perhaps you mean the mendacious, back-stabbing e-mail about me that Sciabarra sent to Maurone?

But, of course, Mr. Perigo did further award the special right to Jim Valliant... and to himself.

Because posts on the interminable "Dialectical Dishonesty" thread are hard to link correctly, I'm reproducing one of several relevant items from that neck of the woods. It succinctly claimed this special right for both Mr. Perigo and his partner in sleaze, Mr. Valliant:

*****

Evidence
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Thu, 2006-04-27 17:56.

The text of the email from Chris to Joe in which he called Diana "Comrade Sonia" -- and accused Linz of a "set up" of Barbara Branden in the "Drooling Beast" episode -- should be sufficient evidence. (Chris had to know this accusation was bogus: how could Linz know BB would even POST on the thread? And are we to believe that this was only ever said to Joe? In any event, it could only have come straight from BB.) There is also the text of Chris' email to Linz in which he urges Linz to stop the PARC debate on behalf of Ms. Branden -- when he was telling me that he wanted the debate to on. Then, there are the baseless smears of ARI scholars being privately circulated...

******

I said that Mr. Perigo seems to have forgotten, because I do not believe for one minute that he is having a senior moment.

I see no evidence that he is suffering from incipient Alzheimer's.

I have no reason to suppose that his cumulative intake of ethanol has marinated his hippocampi.

Mr. Perigo is just pretending to have forgotten.

Pretending to have forgotten stuff that he knows. Stuff that everyone knows that he knows.

Pretending to have forgotten stuff that is sitting right here on his own site.

In other words, Mr. Perigo is lying.

And he is not being a crafty liar. He is telling lies that everyone in his audience is in a position to know are lies.

Yet this profoundly stupid liar insists on being admired as a champion of freedom and reason.

Robert Campbell

Cut the crap.

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I expected better of you. Giving Campbell a blow-job? Please!

Oftentimes

gregster's picture

some shit must be waded through to get to the truth. I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree over my wallowing in the sewer of falsehood.

As I say ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Enjoy yourself wallowing in the sewer of falsehood. You deserve it.

Of course

gregster's picture

her exaggerated lowlife smears and falsities I've read.

The credibility is not to the Prof. but to some of the information he pointed to.

Greg

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You've seen what Babs wrote about me, no? You know me well enough to know it's crap, no? You know Campbell supports Babs's smears, no? So why do you ascribe an ounce of credibility to him about anything?

Airbrushing nonsense

gregster's picture

I've read all of the PARC threads and SOLO, and some SOLOHQ, from recent years only. Prior to that I was overseas and unaware of the site. (Linz - That's pleasing to hear your opposition to the airbrushing. Marry him? - I hardly know him)

The post below is the one I referred to earlier as an example for the Prof.

Submitted by gregster on Tue, 2008-01-22 02:57.
I'm not surprised this has happened at all and agree with Branden that it is a bad look for ARI.

BB: "Do you know about the ARI “air-brushing” of Nathaniel’s work? Do you know that in some of her published writings, Ayn Rand’s credit to Nathaniel for one or another concept has been removed? Do you know that Tara Smith, an ARI writer, in a chapter on Rand’s concept of self-esteem, gives credit to Leonard Peikoff for developing the concept, and that Nathaniel’s name is not so much as mentioned? – despite the fact that Rand had said that his work on self-esteem, as published in The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist, consisted of his own identifications and was an integral part of Objectivism? I think you can imagine the disgust all of this – and I’m only scratching the surface -- would cause among scholars and writers were it to become known."

Still have the old paperbacks to prove it.

To which James replied:

Nonsense

Submitted by James S. Valliant on Tue, 2008-01-22 03:19.

The new books, like "the old paperbacks," of Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal still have Branden's essays in them. If they had wanted to "airbrush"...

And Smith is hardly crediting Peikoff with Branden's work, as Ms. B. implies.
But this is off-topic.

By proving it I meant that I could go and compare them to the new versions, not that I had on hand examples of the removals of NB. So Valliant isn't incorrect here.

Oh Gawd!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

If you've followed these debates, you'll know no one has been a greater opponent of airbrushing by Randroids than I. On that matter I am opposed to and have been opposed by James Valliant, Casey Fahy, Diana Hsieh and Galt knows who else. They march in lock-step to emotionally repressed, Randroid commands. But that doesn't validate the Brandroids. For fuck's sake, Greg, just look at the Brandroids' conduct re my invitation to speak at TAS!! Brandroids put Randroids to shame in the fascism stakes! What more do you need??!!

You already know the answer. So again I say, sign up with O-Lying, marry Robert Skankbell. You deserve each other.

I wouldn't go that far

gregster's picture

It's interesting that reprints have left references to the Brandens out, edit: though understandable .

No betrayal, just independent investigation. Come on Linz, less paranoia.

Oh Jesus Gregster

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You too?

What evidence is "worthwhile"? How could you think that?

Hope you're happy in your betrayal of all things decent.

Sign up with O-Lying. It's made for you.

Ugh!

Well, Jeremy

gregster's picture

The Prof. has provided a bit of evidence for me to go over. Some worthwhile too.

Ha, Jeremy!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

He has LDS too. There's a lot of it about. Eye

After all these posts from

Jeremy's picture

After all these posts from Robert Campbell, I'm still not clear on what exactly he's trying to accomplish.

What's your goal here, Bob? Meaning, set aside the apparent mouth-frothing that Lindsay Perigo's existence causes you, and tell us what you're trying to do. Are you defending something (or someone), or attacking something (or someone)?

Oh?

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Really? Not even the email from Chris Sciabarra to Mr. Perigo that Mr. Perigo published on this site during the "Dialectical Dishonesty" slime-fest? Was that email somehow addressed to Diana Hsieh?

Which one was that, then, Prof? Perhaps you mean the mendacious, back-stabbing e-mail about me that Sciabarra sent to Maurone?

Meanwhile, I didn't ask Mr. Perigo to publish an email—just to reveal the identity of his source for an off-the-wall accusation against Barbara Branden that Mr. Perigo had already been compelled to admit was meritless.

And I told you to mind your own fucking business. The suspicion was meritful because it was of conduct entirely consistent with Babs's already-known propensity to lie and smear and blacklist, conduct for which you, skanky professor, are an apologist and co-partner in slime. For all I know it might still be true—Babs could be working with one of those characters on Wiki—but I doubt it.

So until Mr. Perigo provides information to the contrary, we may proceed on the highly plausible assumption that the reference to "B. Branden" was either the work of Jim Valliant—or the whole damn thing was fabricated by Lindsay Perigo himself.

You may proceed on whatever assumption you like. Those who recall your Valliant/Perigo conspiracy theories know just how "highly plausible" your assumptions are.

I see no point in responding to the appallingly stupid repetitive drivel that makes up the rest of Mr. Perigo's latest post. No more thought should be put into answering it than Mr. Perigo put into emitting it.

The bit about promoting reason and freedom for a change? Yeah, I figured you'd prefer to ignore that.

Humanity-diminishers. Gotta despise 'em.

Honor Remains Foreign to Mr. Perigo

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Perigo never knows how to quit.

Honor truly is a foreign concept, so far as he is concerned.

I don't publish folks' private e-mails,

Really? Not even the email from Chris Sciabarra to Mr. Perigo that Mr. Perigo published on this site during the "Dialectical Dishonesty" slime-fest? Was that email somehow addressed to Diana Hsieh?

but supported Diana's right to do so

Now there's a right to publish private e-mails...

since it was the only way to expose Sciabarra's mendacity and back-stabbing.

Well, if exposing mendacity and back-stabbing licenses the public release of private emails, virtually anyone who has ever had the misfortune to correspond with Mr. Perigo will be morally entitled to publish emails from him.

And virtually anyone who has had the misfortune to correspond with Mr. Perigo's partner in smarm, sleaze, and manipulation, Jim Valliant, will be morally entitled to publish emails from him.

Yet somehow I doubt that Messrs. Perigo and Valliant will appreciate the airing of their private emails.

Meanwhile, I didn't ask Mr. Perigo to publish an email—just to reveal the identity of his source for an off-the-wall accusation against Barbara Branden that Mr. Perigo had already been compelled to admit was meritless.

If Mr. Perigo could have made himself look better by naming his source, he'd have done it as soon as the accusation was exposed as complete bullshit.

So until Mr. Perigo provides information to the contrary, we may proceed on the highly plausible assumption that the reference to "B. Branden" was either the work of Jim Valliant—or the whole damn thing was fabricated by Lindsay Perigo himself.

I see no point in responding to the appallingly stupid repetitive drivel that makes up the rest of Mr. Perigo's latest post. No more thought should be put into answering it than Mr. Perigo put into emitting it.

I will say that I enjoy some of the video clips of classical and jazz artists that have been posted on this site. For instance, I've been a fan of Jacqueline du Pré for years. I haven't posted about any of them because I have no further desire to discuss music with a malice-fueled esthetic incompetent like Lindsay Perigo. Neither do I care for exchanges with his bigoted acolytes who seemed mainly interested in social confirmation of their allegedly superior discernment.

Robert Campbell

Time to Go Forth and Ascertain

Robert Campbell's picture

Gregster expresses incredulity about reports of ham-handed editing by persons affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute.

Campbell: (This is in addition to the fact that concerns have often been raised over the years about the accuracy of material released by the ARI archives.)

Gregster: This is not a mere statement that editors have made the odd small error – it implies a whole lot more, though, of course, I'm not sure you'd agree.

Campbell: The book titled Ayn Rand Answers is noticeably at variance with her recorded statements in two places where these could be compared.

Gregster: I'll look into whether these were in any way significant – though not by using the infinitesimal threshold employed by the likes of Parille.

OK, let's look into one.

Here's an example from Ayn Rand Answers:

http://www.objectivistliving.c...

Transcribed version (Ford Hall Forum 1971, courtesy of Roger Bissell).

Edited version (Robert Mayhew)

I don't read those letters. My office has certain instructions and are carrying them out. My staff and my attorneys are

I don't read those letters, but my office has instructions and carries them out. I don't cancel subscriptions if

taking care of that. Yes, I most certainly cancel subscribers for the following reason: Not if they disagree with me. If

someone disagrees with me--that's his loss. But I do when the letters are rude and crude. It's not an issue of ideology, but of

they write a lot of nonsense, fine, if they want to express themselves, I don't have to read it. It's when they are rude

manners. I reject the modern concept of manners; I don't have to engage in conversation with, or offer a service to,

and crude and begin a letter something like, "Well, you know you are wrong" and go on from there.

anyone who doesn't know how to disagree with me politely. Those letters...it's an issue of manners.

Gregster: It is normal for editing methods to be stated in the Foreword. The odd error may indeed have crept in. I too wouldn’t be impressed if it had. But Neil infers that ARI is peddling revisionism. I doubt that very much as it would be stupid and counter-productive.

Perhaps Gregster would like to explain how introducing three sentences that Ayn Rand didn't say on this occasion (for all we know, didn't say on any occasion) is "the odd error."

Gregster: It has been stated by BBranden that references to Nathaniel’s contribution to Rand's work were excised for recent editions and otherwise airbrushed (my words). This was called “nonsense” by Valliant here. So who’s reliable here? It will be easy to ascertain.

Sure will be. There's an entire thread on Objectivist Living dedicated to the topic:

http://www.objectivistliving.c...

By all means. Go forth, Gregster, and ascertain.

Gregster: And for all of Neil's time spent railing against PARC, he has only 3 or 4 minor 'scores' that Valliant has thanked him for. None of which affect the premise of the book.

I'm not trying to sound like Jim Valliant or Casey Fahy here, but has Gregster read The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics?

Has he read even a fraction of the exchanges between Mr. Valliant and Mr. Parille?

If he hasn't, Gregster would be well advised to temper his judgments and tone down his invective until he's done his homework.

Robert Campbell

No embarrassment, Skanky Professor ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

.... just honor. I don't publish folks' private e-mails, but supported Diana's right to do so since it was the only way to expose Sciabarra's mendacity and back-stabbing.

Your mistress and pin-up smears, lies and blackballs, with your active support. Don't you talk about honor. You're scum.

Here you demand that I publish private e-mails ... and then say I'm hiding something when I don't.

Do you ever focus on anything other than defending the Babs-wretch? Do other matters, like ... er, I don't know ... freedom and Obama's attacks on it ever register on your radar? The danger posed by the ethics of altruism and politics of collectivism? The epistemology of scepticism/mysticism and its resultant nihilism? The threat from Islamo-Fascism? Oh, but I forget: you O-Liars endorse all of those.

Ever thought of savouring one of the KASS Music Gems of the Day? Oh, but I forget: you endorse headbanging caterwauling.

How interesting that you ignore the following part of my post:

... that Neil the self-confessed humanity-diminisher is the arbitrary on steroids. And his focus is numbingly prosaic: did Valliant say Rand had breakfast at 10 past 8? Aha, gotcha! It was *5* after 8. This shows that Valliant can't be trusted on *anything*.

The diary segments show Rand struggling to comprehend Branden's rotten deception, because she just couldn't comprehend anyone being that low. Hell, she should have stuck around for O-Lying where they're *all* like that!

The physical resemblance between you and Khalid, Prof Skankbell, while remarkable, doesn't begin to capture your spiritual twinship.

That'll Be the Day

Robert Campbell's picture

Airily, Mr. Perigo announces

Oh, and as I understand it the archives *are* going to be opened up for all and sundry, once the various pending biographers have had their fill of them.

Yeah, sure.

The Ayn Rand Archives will be opened to independent scholars when Leonard Peikoff's book on induction has been published, sold, and remaindered.

Robert Campbell

Lindsay Perigo, Honor Bound?

Robert Campbell's picture

Jeffrey Smith says:

There is nothing to connect Mr. Valliant with the email beyond Dr. Campbell's assertions; but my main point still stands: that it is highly probable Mr. Perigo is honoring the wishes of the email's senders when he refuses to disclose their identity--and he has every right, and even obligation, to do so.

A quick review of Mr. Perigo’s claims is in order.

When asked for evidence that Barbara Branden got James Valliant’s book declared an unreliable source at Wikipedia, Mr. Perigo initially said

James got it in the first instance, and showed it to me. Over to him whether he reveals his source or not.

Mr. Perigo rapidly amplified that to

As far as the evidence of its being Babs who tried to get all mention of PARC removed, I've seen it and would post it in a heartbeat if it were over to me. Frankly I don't know why James doesn't, except that he has a source to respect.

Then, getting cagier and more grandiose, he proclaimed

Mr. Valliant has evidence of Ms. Branden's involvement in the Wiki matter. I have it too. I've already made that clear. The source would astonish you. It did me. No way are we going to reveal it, and you'll just have to trust me there's good reason for that.

Well, we were all less than astonished to find out that the item Mr. Perigo was referring to Barbara Branden’s email of May 16.

So attention was then directed to the matter of who made the comment, “This, from a complaint by a 'B. Branden.'”?

It couldn’t have been a guy with a known case of reading disorder, could it?

It couldn’t have been a guy with a known history of sockpuppetry, could it? (The 2 posts by “Pelagius1” that I quoted downthread are both vintage Jim Valliant.)

It couldn’t have been the guy who allegedly obtained that email from an astonishing source, could it?

It couldn’t have been a guy whom Mr. Perigo is still trying to protect, could it?

Mr. Smith hasn’t been around this site long enough to know that Mr. Perigo respects the wishes of an email’s sender only when it suits him. He selectively published private emails from Chris Sciabarra when he felt like denouncing Dr. Sciabarra. He’s selectively published other private emails when he fell out with their senders. Only a fool would send anything to Mr. Perigo and expect him to keep it confidential.

“Honor bound” is not a phrase that Mr. Perigo understands. If he is sitting on the identity of the sender in this case, it is because revealing it would embarrass Mr. Perigo, or a person whose support Mr. Perigo presently finds advantageous.

Robert Campbell

Except ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... that Neil the self-confessed humanity-diminisher is the arbitrary on steroids. And his focus is numbingly prosaic: did Valliant say Rand had breakfast at 10 past 8? Aha, gotcha! It was *5* after 8. This shows that Valliant can't be trusted on *anything*.

The diary segments show Rand struggling to comprehend Branden's rotten deception, because she just couldn't comprehend anyone being that low. Hell, she should have stuck around for O-Lying where they're *all* like that!

Oh, and as I understand it the archives *are* going to be opened up for all and sundry, once the various pending biographers have had their fill of them.

PARC and Rand's Diaries

Ellen Stuttle's picture

Greg, all:

James Valliant time and again miswrote quotes and in other ways distorted material from his sources throughout Part I of PARC -- as anyone who would bother to check his quotes and interpretations against the original sources could verify. Therefore, the suspicion naturally arises that he took liberties with Rand's diaries as well -- that he re-worded and/or deleted to suit his purposes.

Personally, I feel confident on literary grounds that what Valliant provides from the diaries is what Rand wrote. The style is hers, in the methods both of writing (including grammar and punctuation, down to a characteristic comma error she made) and of thinking, and I don't believe that either Valliant or Fahy could plausibly imitate her style. Whether her words say what Valliant tells the reader they say is another question, but I think that the words which are reported are words she wrote.

Even supposing that what's quoted from Rand is accurately rendered, however, justifiable suspicion remains as to what was deleted. (Among the material deleted is "some brief entries dated from mid-July to mid-August" [pg. 214, PARC] -- i.e., the whole last month's worth of entries -- which Valliant doesn't include, on the grounds, he says, of their being "highly repetitive of the material to be found here" [pg. 215].)

Until and unless the estate lets independent scholars into the archives to see the originals, we don't have a reliable public record of Rand's diaries -- and given Valliant's demonstrable inaccuracies using sources in the first part of his book, there's nothing "arbitrary" in Neil's having doubts about the accuracy of the diary segments Valliant provides.

Ellen

I think,

Brant Gaede's picture

Lindsay, you enjoy this too much. If hypocrisy is involved, yours is by far the most profound. Don't ever stop fulminating; you know the consequence of that.

--Brant

Brant ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Then Lindsay shouldn't have brought it up the way he did, putting the cart before the horse. He should simply stop using any pale excuse to attack Barbara Branden. It was gratuitous.

Bollocks. I said *apparently* at Babs's instigation, and *if* it be true, etc.. It was entirely feasible given her propensity for lying, smearing and demanding the removal of speakers she doesn't like. *You* should stop using any pale excuse to defend that piece of crap.

Anyway, it's a sideshow.

On that we're agreed. Doesn't stop you harping on and on, though does it, you hypocrite.

The O-Lying humanity-diminishers. Gotta despise 'em.

Jeffrey

Brant Gaede's picture

Then Lindsay shouldn't have brought it up the way he did, putting the cart before the horse. He should simply stop using any pale excuse to attack Barbara Branden. It was gratuitous.

Anyway, it's a sideshow. It seems the Valliants got carried away with their Rand/Objectivism editing. It's like a tug of war going on between various factions over the public explication of Ayn Rand and her life. In something like this, Wikipedia falls way short. We should all read the new Rand bio coming out at the end of the year.

--Brant

Dr. Campbell

jeffrey smith's picture

Obviously you've missed out the third possible reason: that the person who sent the email does not want to be named publicly, because they know that they would be dragged through the mud by one side or the other, and probably both. This over a dispute that's as important in the larger scheme of things as the dispute over the small end and little end of the egg which forced the Kingdom of Lilliput into long hostilities. (The larger scheme of things being the validity of Objectivism as a philosophy, which has to stand on its own, and to which the question of which is the bitch, Ayn Rand or Barbara Branden, is irrelevant.)

Besides which, the email itself, unless backed up by other evidence, is useless. The only real question is whether some of the Wikipedian editors were acting on behalf of Barbara Branden; and since for the most part the use of pseudonyms at that site renders it impossible to tell who among them might have connections to Ms. Branden (or, for that matter, to Mr. Perigo), there is no real evidence available publicly to decide the matter. Even Mr. Perigo is actually claiming no more than he was told Ms. Branden sparked the excision of PARC and the banning of Mr. Valliant, and that from personal experience he believes this to be true, and that the source is someone whose identity he does not feel compelled to disclose. In fact, if I am right, he is honor bound at the moment not to disclose that identity, and that the decision to disclose the identity of the person in question is not his, but belongs either to Mr. Valliant or to the unknown person themselves. And since Mr. Valliant is in the hospital, he presumably has more important things on his mind at the moment, and not in contact with whomever sent the email until he gets out of the hospital and back to his email.

But (turning to face Mr. Perigo) this argument is essentially about the credibility of Mr. Valliant, and only secondarily about the credibility of Ms. Branden and her allies: so to bring as evidence that Mr. Valliant is credible what boils down to a mere assertion on the part of Mr. Valliant (and now also on the part of yourself) is not the best way of proving your point.

Edit: going back, I realize that Dr. Campbell's assertions stood out too prominently in my mind. There is nothing to connect Mr. Valliant with the email beyond Dr. Campbell's assertions; but my main point still stands: that it is highly probable Mr. Perigo is honoring the wishes of the email's senders when he refuses to disclose their identity--and he has every right, and even obligation, to do so.

The Prof's Heliocentric World

gregster's picture

Mr Campbell,

I haven’t noticed anything near infamy, in reports about Pelagius1’s activities (or IP 160). It does look that he, as well as that IP 160 address, was responsible for many edits favourable to PARC, Valliant, and related. WSS was instrumental there in comparing Valliant's IP. I have no problems with it and this overzealous user may have overstepped the bounds in regard to Wiki’s attempting balance, or weighting, of the significance between sources.

Arbitrary? In this case for Neil, the burden of proof lies with the accuser. He makes the assertion, that the diaries have been misinterpreted in PARC and even casts doubt wider to ARI’s integrity. (I will read Sciabarra’s example later.)

”There have been several published discussions of unreliable editing of Ayn Rand's previously unpublished work done by persons connected with the Ayn Rand Institute. “ Published discussions? Him to his typewriter? But seriously, yes, there will have been. But just how unreliable are we talking here? Not at all. It's his tactic and yours to magnify out of all proportion, small errors.

If though, the error is in fact a lie, then this would indicate the standards of such person. To my knowledge Valliant has not lied.

”(This is in addition to the fact that concerns have often been raised over the years about the accuracy of material released by the ARI archives.)“ This is not a mere statement that editors have made the odd small error – it implies a whole lot more, though, of course, I'm not sure you'd agree.

”The book titled Ayn Rand Answers is noticeably at variance with her recorded statements in two places where these could be compared.“ I'll look into whether these were in any way significant – though not by using the infinitesimal threshold employed by the likes of Parille.

It is normal for editing methods to be stated in the Foreword. The odd error may indeed have crept in. I too wouldn’t be impressed if it had. But Neil infers that ARI is peddling revisionism. I doubt that very much as it would be stupid and counter-productive.

Why do I think this in the absence of proof? Because of related instances. It has been stated by BBranden that references to Nathaniel’s contribution to Rand's work were excised for recent editions and otherwise airbrushed (my words). This was called “nonsense” by Valliant here. So who’s reliable here? It will be easy to ascertain.

And for all of Neil's time spent railing against PARC, he has only 3 or 4 minor 'scores' that Valliant has thanked him for. None of which affect the premise of the book.

”That Valliant often makes his sources say the opposite of what they say means that skepticism is in order about the care Valliant took “ Again, what I mean Prof. is that Neil is simply asserting that and that only a few errors have so far been unearthed.

One difficulty for Neil, and myself, is that we cannot verify the book against the diaries held. Until that is cleared up, I admit to simply weighing up, without prejudice, the probabilities as to which parties would be correct.

Your willingness to remain in that tired orthodoxy suggests you may be a little long in the tooth for fresh facts that have an effect on one's vested interests or profound hero-diminution.

What Is Mr. Perigo Hiding?

Robert Campbell's picture

I do not make remarks about Mr. Perigo's personal appearance.

He must imagine that if he makes remarks about mine, no one will remember what the exchange was about.

Such pathetic dodges do nothing for Mr. Perigo's credibility.

Mr. Perigo is hiding something.

What is it?

Mr. Valliant's authorship of the forwarding comment, "This, from a complaint by a 'B. Branden.'"?

Or Mr. Perigo's invention of the comment out of whole cloth?

Robert Campbell

Spot the Diiference

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Prof. Campbell whines:

I asked Mr. Perigo a simple question.
Who forwarded Barbara Branden's email of May 16 to him, with the appended comment, "This, from a complaint by a 'B. Branden.'"?

To which I say, mind your own fucking business.

I have a question of my own: on the left is the skanky professor, who wages Jihad against Ayn Rand and heroism. On the right is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who wages Jihad against America. Were they by any chance separated at birth?

No Shortage of Chutzpah

Robert Campbell's picture

Since Gregster has been quoting from the Wikipedia editorial discussions at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

I want to draw attention to a couple of statements by the now-infamous "Pelagius1."

Pelagius1 was Jim Valliant's "sock puppet." Authorship of Pelagius1's comments has not been publicly acknowledged, but on stylistic grounds they appear to me to be the work of James and Holly Valliant.

On a couple of occasions, "Pelagius" claims that Jim Valliant still has an open offer to publish an article or commentary about PARC in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, which helps to prove how seriously his book is taken.

Here is one of the statements:

In all seriousness, there do not appear to be "independent" or neutral sources in the sense you seem to be requiring here. 'The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies' is a hostile source per the ARI scholars who will not participate in publishing there. That's why the JARS invite (still open) to one from the opposing camp -- Valliant -- is itself significant. Valliant did get a very positive Kirkus Review - as the jacket and Kirkus site indicate - and this is as "neutral", independent and 3rd Party as it comes. The "independence" of the positive reviews of Brandens themselves is less clear. Pelagius1 (talk) 03:34, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

In point of fact, the invite stopped being open when Mr. Valliant participated in the group takedown of Chris Sciabarra. "Dialectical Dishonesty" appeared on this very site three years ago.

At another point, "Pelagius" is desperate to prove "impact" for Mr. Valliant's opus:

Here and here for strongly positive views of Valliant's book, and here for some impact. Pelagius1 (talk) 03:08, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

The first "here" links to ... Cass Hewitt's review in the Autonomist:

http://theautonomist.com/auton...

The second "here" links to Mr. Valliant's ally, Mr. Perigo:

http://solohq.solopassion.com/...

And the third one links to Mr. Valliant's faithful publicity monkey, Casey Fahy:

http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

The second and third links are, of course, no evidence of impact outside Lindsay Perigo's dwindling band of acolytes.

Now for the first link. Yes, Ms. Hewitt gave Mr. Valliant's book a favorable review. In fact, a one-sentence blurb from The Autonomist was included on the back jacket.

But Cass Hewitt is a long-time associate of Regi Firehammer, who runs The Autonomist. And Mr. Firehammer was the target of a coordinated denunciation in which Mr. Valliant participated—back in April 2006.

The following comment from Mr. Valliant makes for especially interesting reading:

http://www.dianahsieh.com/cgi-...

I am just sick that The Autonomist is quoted on my book jacket.

Pheel phree to burn the jacket and put PARC in one of those brown paper-bag covers that we used to make for school textbooks. You can draw nice art of your own on it, too.

Any wretched excuse for even contemplating the "upside" of MASS-EXTINCTION with an obvious smile is too sickening for words.

What vile phreaks!

There is no shortage of chutzpah in the Valliant household, that is for sure.

Robert Campbell

Willfully Ignorant Assertions

Robert Campbell's picture

Gregster quotes Neil Parille from a Wikipedia editorial thread:

"As far as the diaries transcribed in Valliant's book, no one disputes that Rand made diaries. I am not aware, however, that anyone has been able to check Valliant's transcriptions with the originals. That Valliant often makes his sources say the opposite of what they say means that skepticism is in order about the care Valliant took. (This is in addition to the fact that concerns have often been raised over the years about the accuracy of material released by the ARI archives.) --Neil Parille (talk) 15:23, 20 May 2009"

To which Gregster's sole response is:

Arbitrary assertions abound as always.

Where are the arbitrary assertions?

In fact, no participants in any of these discussions except Mr. Valliant and Casey Fahy have seen Ayn Rand's original journal entries from 1967 and 1968.

Mr. Fahy declared right here on this site that he personally transcribed and edited the journal entries as they appear in Mr. Valliant's book.

Mr. Valliant has been repeatedly caught misquoting Barbara Branden's book. He has been caught repeatedly attaching weird, tendentious interpretations to actions others would consider innocuous (e.g., Nathaniel and Barbara Branden helped to organize a surprise party for Ayn Rand, which she turned out not to like, not because they mistakenly believed she would enjoy it but because they wanted to "control her context through deception"). He has been repeatedly caught Valliantciting and Valliantquoating. He reproduces segments of Ayn Rand's journals that anyone else would consider to be expressions of jealousy directed at Patrecia Scott and piously proclaims that no jealousy is present--and Ayn Rand was never jealous of anyone anyway. Just recently, he claimed that Durban House had done extensive editing and fact-checking on his manuscript, when an informed reader of his book would suspect neither.

Why, then, should anyone accept Mr. Valliant's word that he and Mr. Fahy didn't tamper with the text of Ayn Rand's journal entries?

There have been several published discussions of unreliable editing of Ayn Rand's previously unpublished work done by persons connected with the Ayn Rand Institute. For instance, Chris Sciabarra showed that incompatible versions of the same journal entry were published in The Objectivist Forum and in the book titled Journals of Ayn Rand:

http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sc...

Both volumes drawn from Ayn Rand's lectures on writing were ruthlessly cut and severely bowdlerized.

The book titled Ayn Rand Answers is noticeably at variance with her recorded statements in two places where these could be compared. Clearly, there has been much more editorial intervention than Robert Mayhew acknowledged in his preface to the book.

In other word, Mr. Parille can back up every claim he made—and he has frequently done so in the past.

So much for arbitrariness.

I think the term "arbitrary" has been overused in Rand-land.

So I won't call Gregster's assertions arbitrary.

I think "willfully ignorant" will do the job.

Robert Campbell

Mr. Perigo Hasn't Named His Alleged Source

Robert Campbell's picture

I asked Mr. Perigo a simple question.

Who forwarded Barbara Branden's email of May 16 to him, with the appended comment, "This, from a complaint by a 'B. Branden.'"?

Instead of an answer, I got a cascade of drivel.

If Mr. Perigo won't name his source, his readers are entitled to regard either of the following as plausible:

(1) This particular forwarded email never existed. Mr. Perigo invented it.

In which case, Mr. Perigo is a shameless liar.

(2) This particular email did exist, and did contain the comment as reported. It was forwarded to Mr. Perigo by James Valliant.

In which case, Mr. Perigo is a complete idiot.

It's Mr. Valliant who is the shameless liar.

If the email did in fact exist, and was in fact forwarded by someone other than Mr. Valliant, Mr. Perigo can establish that rather easily—by naming the sender.

Robert Campbell

Careful, you don't want to grow up too fast ...

Howard's picture

The assertion that Hero-worship is not really appropriate to adults is true (often, not always). However I would refrain from making this statement as an absolute, and instead say, Hero-worship is not really appropriate for "many" adults (as opposed to inferring all of them). Furthermore, to use as an analogy, the tendency of a child for hero-worship, is astonishingly appropriate for this discussion - and in far more ways than may first meet the eye. Whatever the case, I am suddenly reminded of some quotes from long ago.

“Whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential.”

“The best of mankind’s youth start life with an undefined sense of enormous expectation, the sense that one’s life is important, that great achievements are within one’s capacity, and that great things lie ahead. It is not in the nature of man—nor of any living entity—to start out by giving up, by spitting in one’s own face and damning existence; that requires a process of corruption whose rapidity differs from man to man. Some give up at the first touch of pressure; some sell out; some run down by imperceptible degrees and lose their fire, never knowing when or how they lose it.”

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”

As for me, I am unabashedly a Hero-Worshipper; always have been, and always will be. I can’t really say why I’m like this, but maybe - it’s just the kid in me. Eye

Howard

I've never read

Brant Gaede's picture

any Rand stuff of any consequence on Wikipedia because of the nature of Wikipedia editing. An objective statement about Rand's life and Objectivism would properly have a (very) few references to PARC, much as I dislike the idea. But please consider that the basic problem with PARC is it was written like a prosecutor's brief. Qua scholarship, it's crap.

As for JV being in the hospital, I wish him a speedy recovery. I don't wish ill health on anybody except certain politicians and outright criminals.

And as for hero worship, I consider that to be a child/adolescent stage of personal development and growth not really appropriate to an adult. An adult appreciates a hero and heroic acts, but if he hero worships the way I do, it's in the abstract. I admire true heroes; I don't worship them. I do remember those feelings apropos certain people. I'd want a child to have those feelings too and understand them over time. It reflects well on a child, imo.

--Brant

Thing is ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... if James's book were the crap they say it is, the Brandroids wouldn't waste so much energy trying to discredit it. It would discredit itself. Why do they, since James's thesis is amply backed up by Rand's journals? Nathaniel stated the reason himself in a TV interview: "People are uncomfortable with heroes." He would know. Campbell has stated it here: hero-worship is not appropriate for human beings. Parille was even more explicit on SOLO Chat: Rand the Hero didn't fit with his world view. He was not just a "Rand-diminisher," he was a "humanity-diminisher." That's the nub of it. Note the Brandroids' dishonest equation all along of Rand the Hero with Rand the Perfect. The spectacle of a person of integrity is a reproach to them, so, like Wynand, they have to prove that such a person doesn't exist. But they don't have the excuse of Wynand's naivete. This crowd is pure, self-conscious, conscientious evil. Babs, Campbell, Parille, Sciabarra, the Kelly drone ... the one constant is their anti-heroism and their lack of scruple. Sociopaths. Sickos and psychos. Steven Mallory's "drooling beast." Just look at their fucking faces! Of course they have friends on Wiki, like Mr. Readings—it's that kind of world—and I say again, James is wasting his time there. At the moment he's in hospital. If he's now banned from Wiki I suspect that will help his recovery, even if he doesn't realise it.

Lisa

gregster's picture

Yes, this issue of "let's use Rand's journals" is also something that needs discussion, but let's face it: that's an entirely separate matter divorced from Valliant's work. I also respect KD and TallNapoleon's opinion, but if we get involved with lumping Valliant in with Rand's journals, one has to ask a few somber questions: (1) Why are we using these Rand journals? (2) Is it either original research or original synthesis to use them in a Wikipedia article? (3) If we are using them from quotes in Valliant's book, how do we know they reliably state the facts they purport to represent without publicly verifiable records to cross-check the journals? All of these issues lead to serious question marks about what the goal is in citing them in the first place. J Readings (talk) 22:11, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

It's dishonest to say you didn't mention Holocaust revisionism when you used David Irving as an example. Furthermore, it was a bad example on your part. Irving purports to use primary sources to dispute something which was eyewitnessed by a very large number of people. What he's done would be considered original research here. Valliant is using Rand's own journals as a source for what Rand said was going on at the time. There's no original research in that. Where he draws conclusions from that, he draws conclusions.

You're right. Prior to Valliant's book, the majority of Objectivists took the Brandens' accounts as being beyond dispute. But that position, unlike the position that the Holocaust happened, was based on the personal accounts of a grand total of two people. Since their accounts were based on things that could not be confirmed or disputed by any other parties (since the only four parties involved were the Brandens, Rand, and her husband, and the latter two were dead by the time the Brandens made their accusations), you can point to reviews of their books or mentions of their books in scholarly sources all you like. It doesn't make their accounts any more reliable than a blog posting.

There is an inertia that exists in the case of a widely told story. You were the one who raised Irving, so I imagine you've heard of Julius Streicher's concept of the Big Lie. I'm not accusing the Brandens of lying. They told their stories from their points of view. But like a Big Lie, it being told without vocal opposition for a long time led to their accounts being accepted uncritically.

Now Valliant has produced the only other information in the entire world that says yea or nay to the claims of the Brandens. And that's Rand's written accounts of what she saw happening at the time the events were transpiring. And for some reason, you want to put the Brandens' accounts on a pedestal, like heliocentrism, and treat Rand's account as fringe information, like geocentrism. But you have yet to establish that either is the case. You keep claiming it, but that doesn't constitute an argument. You keep claiming that Valliant's book is fringe, but you haven't established that, either. It's a book that was published by a publisher and sold in major bookstore chains. No one has brought any evidence that the book was vanity published, so that's a red herring. It's a book that contains journal entries written by Ayn Rand, along with conclusions by the author.

You like analogies, so I'll give you one. For many years, the claims of Ramses II to have won the Battle of Kadesh were accepted, because no other information existed outside of Ramses II's own records. When Hittite inscriptions were found that disputed the Egyptian account, no one suggested that it be considered fringe just because the Egyptian claims had been known for longer. For all we know, Hattusilis lied, and Ramses II did win that battle. But it's the information available to us. Likewise, there are only three accounts in all the world that discuss the issues that lay behind the break between Rand and the Brandens. You want to argue that two of those accounts are "mainstream" by virtue of having been accepted in the absence of other accounts. Now that Rand's account has been published, it changes the facts. -Lisa (talk) 22:14, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

J Readings' Wiki editing bias

gregster's picture

"Assuming that one could argue he should be included at all, Valliant and his book increasingly remind me of the research methods of David Irving -- another author who proudly unearthed original documents from the archives to let the documents "speak for themselves" in order to argue a certain novel re-interpretation of history and whose ultimate reception on the fringes of the profession today needs no reminding. Is PARC a fringe book? I think so. J Readings (talk) 20:00, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Okay, now seriously. How am I supposed to assume good faith with this kind of thing? Comparing a book based on Rand's own journals to Holocaust revisionism? Sorry, J Readings, but your agenda is showing. -Lisa (talk) 20:52, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

David Irving also tried to show original documents (selectively) that the mainstream did not accept. That is the point. Forget about Holocaust revisionism, Lisa -- that's irrelevant. I never mentioned it. The point is unearthing original documents to argue novel interpretations about history that are not accepted in the mainstream. And as for agendas, I have yet to see you try to produce any constructive verifiable information in this discussion. So if you want to talk about agendas, let's talk about yours shall we? J Readings (talk) 20:58, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

"From WP:RS: An individual extremist or fringe source may be entirely excluded if there is no independent evidence that it is prominent enough for mention. Fringe and extremist sources must not be used to obscure or describe the mainstream view, nor used to indicate a fringe theory's level of acceptance. Hmmm.....J Readings (talk) 01:54, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, I bought the book at Borders. Or possibly Barnes & Noble. Unlike Amazon.com, they don't tend to go in for vanity press offerings. You're basically using a rule that's meant to exclude crank theories, like fringe pseudo-science. This is a guy who wrote a book using journals written by Ayn Rand. In what conceivable universe can that possibly be considered "not prominent enough for mention"? -Lisa (talk) 03:24, 21 May 2009 (UTC)"

He also disqualifies certain authors' citations and allows others eg Sciabarra even when it's pointed out that he is a friend of Branden.

Pariah has a go over at Wiki

gregster's picture

and offers his customary sweet nothings:

"As far as the diaries transcribed in Valliant's book, no one disputes that Rand made diaries. I am not aware, however, that anyone has been able to check Valliant's transcriptions with the originals. That Valliant often makes his sources say the opposite of what they say means that skepticism is in order about the care Valliant took. (This is in addition to the fact that concerns have often been raised over the years about the accuracy of material released by the ARI archives.) --Neil Parille (talk) 15:23, 20 May 2009"

Arbitrary assertions abound as always.

[...]

"Lisa, Nathaniel and Barbara Branden knew Rand. In addition, Barbara Branden interviewed over 200 people for her biography. Valliant didn't know Rand and didn't interview anyone, so far as I can tell. No one is saying the Brandens' books are the last word on the split, but Valliant's book is not a source on their level, with the exception of the diaries. Incidentally, the current issue of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has an essay by Rand scholar Robert Campbell (The Peikovian Doctrine of the Arbitrary Assertion) which discusses Valliant's book and the discussion is quite negative. This is the only print discussion of the book that I'm aware of (with the exception of the Kirkus review, which I haven't seen).--Neil Parille (talk) 14:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)"

RC

Kasper's picture

The only readers intelligence being insulted here are those that read your gloating and sensationalizing of LP's retraction and self admitted self correction on an issue he thought was instigated by B. Branden.

Unlike yourself he is man enough and honest enough to do so.

No hiding behind the 8 ball has taken place here. He clearly has said that he retracts his accusation for insufficient evidence.

The Branden's and LP used to have a friendship and for whatever reason it closed. LP stated clearly that his position is that he has suffered personally from vehement and scandalous acts of smear against him. Including ones that lost him his position to speak at one of the seminars over there.

I for one am neutral on the LP vs Branden issue. Let me make it clear I have no reason to like or dislike B. Branden. This is due to, as previously stated, the fact that I don't know her from a bar of soap nor have I ever read her book or PARC for that matter.

It is most ironic that you would be fighting for the truth in this matter. Your on a witch hunt in reaction to an accusation which has been retracted. The floor is no longer under you. You are totally exposing yourself for the lying piece of scum that you are. Why don't you just politely clear off?

Mr. Perigo, Quit Insulting the Intelligence of Your Readers

Robert Campbell's picture

Still feeling uncomfortably cramped behind that 8 ball, Mr. Perigo whines:

There was nothing in Babs's e-mail to indicate she was quoting Michael Sewer Kelly.

So what?

Who, in the first place, would interpret Ms. Branden's email as indicating that its sender had personally arranged for Mr. Valliant's book to be declared an unreliable source?

No reasonable person would.

Mr. Perigo didn't either.

Otherwise, on finding out that Barbara Branden was actually copying a post by Michael Stuart Kelly, Mr. Perigo would have concluded... that it was Mr. Kelly who got Mr. Valliant's book written off as unreliable.

Somehow he managed to suppress this inference.

The text of Mr. Kelly's item in no way, shape, or form implicates either him or Barbara Branden in getting Jim Valliant's book declared an unreliable source. As "J. Readings" reminded us, Mr. Kelly's item quotes directly from an editing thread on Wikipedia, replete with local jargon and editors' pseudonyms. Neither Barbara Branden nor Michael Stuart Kelly was a participant in that thread. Nothing in the email suggested that either of them was.

It got to three others before reaching me. None of those folk pollutes himself by going to O-Lying, so none recognised her report as being a cut-and-paste of Kelly. We all thought it was exactly what it looked like: an e-mail from Babs.

Utterly irrelevant whining, for the reasons already given.

Also bullshit. Mr. Perigo visits Objectivist Living when it suits him. He might as well admit it.

Are any of Mr. Perigo's alleged sources more punctilious than their wayward spiritual adviser?

One of the three others said, "This [meaning the deletion of Valliant from Wiki], from a complaint by a 'B. Branden.'" I've not been able to ascertain why he said that, but don't believe it was his intention to mislead me.

This unnamed individual offered an interpretation completely unsupported by Barbara Branden's actual email.

So, is Mr. Perigo a complete idiot? A complete idiot might believe the completely unsupported interpretation.

Or is he a shameless liar? How do we know that he actually received a forwarded email with the alleged phrase added?

Mr. Perigo needs to quit insulting the intelligence of his readers.

He needs to name the one who said, "This, from a complaint by a 'B. Branden.'"

Robert Campbell

All this is all there was?

Brant Gaede's picture

Even if Barbara had written those words they just report what was going on on Wikipedia concerning Valliant and PARC. While Barbara does forward some information to me in emails from time to time, she doesn't on these types of subjects so I never got this one from her, but the format is similar: it's information distribution, not necessarily a call to action.

Well, at least Lindsay got a chance to call several people a lot of names. He's turned Barbara into a pinata of evil he keeps in a special room with a handy bat. He oughta take off the blindfold for more satisfactory if not effective results.

--Brant

Robert Campbell: Complete Idiot AND Shameless Liar

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Prof Campbell, who gave us the Perigo/Valliant conspiracy to take over TAS and other delectable fantasies, is scarcely in a position to question anyone's honesty or intelligence.

There was nothing in Babs's e-mail to indicate she was quoting Michael Sewer Kelly. It got to three others before reaching me. None of those folk pollutes himself by going to O-Lying, so none recognised her report as being a cut-and-paste of Kelly. We all thought it was exactly what it looked like: an e-mail from Babs. One of the three others said, "This [meaning the deletion of Valliant from Wiki], from a complaint by a 'B. Branden.'" I've not been able to ascertain why he said that, but don't believe it was his intention to mislead me.

Bottom line—having initially had what appeared to be good reason not to, I now believe Babs that she had nothing to do with Valliant's removal from Wiki. If Babs could similarly admit she's been wrong on matters where she has been, it would be easier for us all to focus on the important stuff.

Moral of the Story

Jmaurone's picture

"Mr. Valliant has evidence of Ms. Branden's involvement in the Wiki matter. I have it too. I've already made that clear. The source would astonish you. It did me. No way are we going to reveal it, and you'll just have to trust me there's good reason for that."

Moral of the story?

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Lindsay Perigo: Complete Idiot or Shameless Liar?

Robert Campbell's picture

So Mr. Perigo's alleged evidence against "Babs" consists of ... Barbara Branden's email of May 16?

Good God amighty.

Either Mr. Perigo is a complete idiot or he is a shameless liar.

I also received that email. I expect it went to a bunch of people. Its contents were not news to me, as I'd already heard from Neil Parille that Mr. Valliant had been banned from editing Rand-related articles at Wikipedia.

From behind the 8 ball, Mr. Perigo can be heard blustering:

I'm contemplating the possibility that I've been quite intentionally misled that it was she who laid the complaint. If I find this to have been the case, believe me, I shall shout it from the rooftops. And I intend to find out.

What if it was Mr. Perigo who "quite intentionally misled" himself?

Is he going to shout that from the rooftops?

Is he going to ban himself from SOLOPassion?

Robert Campbell

Ellen

Lindsay Perigo's picture

As I've already indicated, I'm prepared to believe "forgetfulness and lack of expertise with web use" is all I can pin on her in this case. And I'm contemplating the possibility that I've been quite intentionally misled that it was she who laid the complaint. If I find this to have been the case, believe me, I shall shout it from the rooftops. And I intend to find out.

I am not out to "pin" anything on anyone, particularly. I don't understand why James should have been removed from Wiki and find it unpleasantly amusing, though not surprising, that the champions of "openness" are cheerleading this move.

Linz

Ellen Stuttle's picture

You haven't duplicated the appearance of the post. It was in html with obvious pickings-up of stuff which had been embedded links in the original. Plus the "Quote" style is OL's -- which of course maybe not everyone receiving the email would have known.

If you're now going to try to change the charge against Barbara to passing off someone else's post as hers, that's flimsy stuff. Barbara emails hastily, often, and doesn't fill in little details. Forgetfulness and lack of expertise with web use is the most you'll find which you can pin on her with this one. Eye

Ellen

Kasper

gregster's picture

"It is characteristic of any developing country to not be what it was 20 years ago." That part Brant gets right. America will resemble a country in need of re-development once the Oba-shyster has had his wicked way.

It's not hard to imagine America losing an arms race in the near future. Where's Ronnie when we need him?

Ellen

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Here is what I got (I've removed Babs's e-mail address and those of the recipients). I think you'll agree that it's not at all clear Babs is quoting anyone; rather, the comment appears to be hers:

____________________________________________

From: BBranden1 [mailto:BBranden1]
Sent: Saturday, May 16, 2009 11:33 PM
To:
Subject: Wikipedia removing references to "The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics"

All references to James Valliant's book, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, are now being cut from Wikipedia because the book is not a "reliable source." See the following in "Cross-Talk for Ayn Rand and Objectivism Articles" on the Wikipedia site:

QUOTE (Wikipedia editors)
Proposed removal of references to James Valliant and The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics

Following several discussions calling into question the work of James Valliant as a reliable source (e.g. 1, 2.., 3), I propose that all references to it be removed from Wikipedia until such time as it is shown to satisfy the criteria for reliable sources. If there is consensus to do so, I will begin in one week's time. Skomorokh 15:15, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I'm in favor of removing them. J Readings (talk) 18:12, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Please do.KD Tries Again (talk) 18:32, 11 May 2009 (UTC)KD Tries Again

By fire be purged. TallNapoleon (talk) 22:17, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Barbara's email

Ellen Stuttle's picture

That email of Barbara's which JV and Linz have gotten hold of was sent by her to (I suppose) several people -- the list of recipients isn't given. However, I was one of the recipients, so I have the full text of the email.

As J. Readings has already indicated, the email is an EXACT COPY of part of a post made earlier that day on OL by Michael Stuart Kelly. (MSK's post is time-stamped May 16 2009, 06:14 AM [Central Standard]; BB's email is time-stamped 5/16/2009 11:33:19 pm [Eastern Standard].)

Here is a link to the OL post.

Barbara found out about the Wikipedia discussion of and decision concerning PARC ~from MSK~. She didn't identify the source of the post she was quoting, but I think it would have been clear to recipients from the appearance of the email that she was quoting from a website. (I'd already seen MSK's post on OL, hence knew what she was quoting.)

Ellen

PS to Greg: You didn't look with any care at current goings-on on OL. There are many, many active threads having nothing whatsoever to do with SOLO. I've been skimming only a fraction of the threads, so I can't swear to it that SOLO isn't mentioned on any other thread besides the particular one on which Wikipedia and Valliant and PARC are being discussed, but I haven't seen any mention of SOLO on any of the threads I've glanced through recently.

Edit: PPS: Greg and I cross-posted.

Good Soldier

gregster's picture

What you say in fact could be the case. I should have qualified my comment by saying "anything on of interest (to me)."

Mr. Readings

Lindsay Perigo's picture

All fine and dandy, and I can certainly believe that Michael Sewer Kelly made that comment originally. But why then did Babs send it out to certain people as her own? Do you suppose the information I received has been manipulated to make it appear that way?

I am levelling no accusations against Wiki—at least at this point. I've not even been to the page in question. If what Mr. Valliant cites here as Wiki's description of Objectivism is any indication, that would be a total waste of my time. I believe it a waste of time on his part to have tried to ensure an accurate presentation of the philosophy. Wiki's leftist tilt (OK, *there's* an accusation) is a guarantee no such presentation will ever be allowed. I note that you were one of the folk who spoke in favour of Mr. Valliant's removal—I do thoroughly disapprove of that.

I know from direct experience that Babs is a liar and a smearer. She has lied about and smeared me. That's how I know. Nonetheless, I'm inclined on reflection to believe that, contrary to what I've been told, she did not personally instigate a complaint against Valliant since I know she's not particularly Internet-savvy and probably has little clue as to what Wiki is. That said, I've learned what a dirty fighter she is, as Mr. Gaede once observed in an outbreak of honesty, and wouldn't put anything past her.

Gregster

Brant Gaede's picture

OL has comparatively very little on about this, which you know.

--Brant

This

Brant Gaede's picture

has gone completely diversionary weird.

No reference, but LP et al are laying down smoke.

--Brant

Bizarre theories

J Readings's picture

I normally dislike participating in these types of chat fora topics because they attract all kinds of cyber-lunatics and unproductive netizens. It's not worth my time.

Unfortunately, Mr. Perigo's constant leveling of accusations against Barbara Branden and (more importantly) Wikipedia in defense of James Valliant's opus are so bizarre that I thought -- as the filing editor against anon IP 160 a few weeks ago -- that it would be appropriate to mention two pertitent facts.

First, Mr. Perigo insists that "Babs" (I assume he means Barbara Branden) "reported" on May 16 the following quote:

"All references to James Valliant's book, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, are now being cut from Wikipedia because the book is not a 'reliable source.' See the following in 'Cross-Talk for Ayn Rand and Objectivism Articles' on the Wikipedia site:"

Anyone following the discussion on the Objectivist Living portal at even a cursory level (and I admit that I rarely follow to even that extent) would only have to check the quote and the date to learn that Michael Stuart Kelly was the author of that comment. See post #49:

As for "B. Branden" and her alleged involvement in this unpleasant episode, let me state for the record that at no time did I speak with, contact, exchange e-mails with, or discuss with anyone affiliated with "B. Branden" the topic banning of anon IP 160 or the eventual consensus to remove the shameless self-promotion of the book, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, throughout Wikipedia.

Best regards,
J Readings

Very interesting

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Brant quotes Babs on O-Lying:

"I do go to Wikipedia occasionally, but not very often, and I have not been reading references to Rand and Objectivism, so I was not aware of what I now understand to be the many references to PARC and Valliant. Thus I have not been in any way, shape or manner involved, either directly or indirectly, in the banning of Valliant by Wikipedia."

Yet I have seen evidence of Babs on May 16 reporting:

"All references to James Valliant's book, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, are now being cut from Wikipedia because the book is not a 'reliable source.' See the following in 'Cross-Talk for Ayn Rand and Objectivism Articles' on the Wikipedia site:"

Etc.

Correct

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Beck virtually challenged me to boot him and I obliged. But I don't expect honesty from Brant. As you say, he's caught the O-Lying virus.

Yes

gregster's picture

But as I remember, he wasn't so much ejected as he asked to be given the boot, after two chances to return and not throw his toys from the cot.

That's funny!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I tolerated the ultra-abusive Beck way longer than I should have. Brant pretends to be upset by abusiveness. My booting of Beck had nothing to do with Amy Peikoff and everything to do with his foulmouthed abusing of everyone in sight, Amy included. "Focused incisive mind"? Screw loose, more like it. Rather like Brant.

God!

Kasper's picture

"In 10-20 years the US we know today may hardly even exist."

Don't these dramatic little comments just rub you the wrong way? The US of the 70's is nothing like it is today either... Nor is NZ, OZ or Europe. It is characteristic of any developing country to not be what it was 20 years ago. Hell if it is then then you ain't going nowhere.

Brant's bullshit -he's caught the O-lying virus

gregster's picture

Just hopped over to OL and they don't have anything on except talk of SOLO.

Brant bullshits here:

"He must be lonely.

He kicked out the most lucid, properly focused, incisive mind there--Billy Beck--in order to keep in Amy Peikoff's good graces, but she's disappeared along with a lot of others. I think they have, but don't know for sure, for I've stopped reading most of the SOLOP threads. SOLOP and OL share one important commonality, however: too many posters seem purblind to what's going on in the world and how bad it's going to be. Our own government is acting for the destruction of this country and our enemies will soon be able to do an incredible amount of damage with a small amount of effort. In 10-20 years the US we know today may hardly even exist.

--Brant"

Link to Barbara Branden's 2nd statement

Robert Campbell's picture

Those less phobic or priggish than Linsday Perigo can read Barbara Branden's second statement here:

http://www.objectivistliving.c...

Jim Valliant needs to produce his alleged evidence.

And it can't come from one of his imaginary friends.

If he continues to withhold it, any sensible person will conclude that Mr. Valliant and Mr. Perigo are both liars.

Robert Campbell

Barbara says (complete) on OL today,

Brant Gaede's picture

"I do go to Wikipedia occasionally, but not very often, and I have not been reading references to Rand and Objectivism, so I was not aware of what I now understand to be the many references to PARC and Valliant. Thus I have not been in any way, shape or manner involved, either directly or indirectly, in the banning of Valliant by Wikipedia."

--Brant
waiting to be astonished, but not holding my breath

I just noticed

Brant Gaede's picture

LP: Mr. Valliant has evidence of Ms. Branden's involvement in the Wiki matter. I have it too. .... The source would astonish you. .... No way are we going to reveal it, and you'll just have to trust me there's good reason for that.

Sorry. The issue has become too trite vitiating "the source." You see, it's not Barbara's involvement, it's the Valliants'.

It's interesting that you have now achieved communication with James on this and it's gone to him revealing it or not to you both not revealing it.

I would only be "astonished" if it were me.

--Brant

x

Brant Gaede's picture

duplicate deleted

No thank you ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Already had a shower today.

Barbara Branden's statement

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Perigo needs to get some control over his phobic tendencies.

If he follows this link:

http://www.objectivistliving.c...

he will find that the rest of Ms. Branden's post consisted of a quotation from one of Michael Stuart Kelly's posts.

Robert Campbell

Brant

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Was that the entirety of her statement?

OL Posters' postings

Brant Gaede's picture

WSS has not posted anything on OL for the last seven months.

Campbell, Neil P., Jonathan only post occasionally.

Barbara Branden has cut back her postings considerably.

MSK ...

Of these only MSK holds forth with considerable force on OL. Sometimes he pisses me off and I tell him so. MSK has an extreme disliking for LP and, obviously, vice versa. I think MSK overcooks it somewhat.

I don't go there to hang out with people who aren't there much regardless. I don't hangout with MSK. I go there for intelligent give and take without the name-calling. I left here once out of twice because I didn't like being verbally abused by LP. Now I'm to a stage where no one's name calling bothers me in the least for it's not a self esteem issue for me any more.

I'm addicted to posting on OL, but have to cut it back somewhat--I also have to cut back on coffee--to have more time for other things, like Jack Wheeler's Web site, To The Point (tothepointnews.com), investing and lots of personal business. I also read everything Billy Beck is writing on his own blog.

--Brant

What Barbara Branden said on OL May 21 (her latest post)

Brant Gaede's picture

"For the record, I have not communicated with Wikipedia or with anyone there at any time for any reason, nor have I ever posted there or filed a complaint."

--Brant

Lindsay

Brant Gaede's picture

You seem intent on beating the anti-Barbara Branden drum you keep next to your computer. I guess it's a diversion from the fact that the Valliants were abusive editors of Ayn Rand material on Wikipedia. If Barbara had alerted anyone to that, which I doubt, it would have been right and proper assuming they too weren't being abusive. That's what I wanted to know.

1300 plus edits? People having their properly referenced material deleted or altered without the courtesy of the slightest explanation? Those people, not BB, would have been angry enough to complain. That'd be all that was necessary.

All I wanted was a reference for your claim so I could evaluate it. Instead you have turned me into a soapbox for your anti-BB harangues.

I guess you and I have gone about as far as there is to go with this. Maybe James will come on board with some kind of explanation or give us the reference you won't for a reason I can't quite figure out.

--Brant

And some people, Brant ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... get dirty by turning the other way when their pin-ups fight dirty. That's you. You know she's exactly what I've called her: a lying, smearing bitch, and a champion of a champion of Namblaphilia. This latter is of more significance than anyone yet realises, given that Brandroid Sciabarra's backstage back-stabbing of me on Babs's behalf was in part an attempt to downgrade the Namlaphile's evil to mere "issues." Said Namblaphile's mentors at ISIL treated it the same way, and spirited him out of NZ. Sciabarra told me he understood what this meant.

Mr. Valliant has evidence of Ms. Branden's involvement in the Wiki matter. I have it too. I've already made that clear. The source would astonish you. It did me. No way are we going to reveal it, and you'll just have to trust me there's good reason for that.

As a matter of interest, does Babs deny it? I don't follow O-Lying, so I'm reliant on sycophants like you for such information.

Mind you, in the scheme of things, instigating moves to have James hauled off Wiki wouldn't be the worst thing Babs ever did. I'm told that sort of thing goes on all the time on Wiki. I'm just wondering where the much-vaunted commitment to open honest debate is? The point is, it's Babs, not Ayn, who's the intolerant, embittered wannabe autocrat intent on suppressing dissent. Babs! With a nano-fraction of Ayn's talent. Babs, of whose connivings Nathan wrote, "My, we're all operators now." Babs, who excised that line from the next edition of Nathan's memoirs.

She is the woman with serpent's tongue who blackens goodness not just in its grave but in its live headquarters.

Question: just where do you, Brant, get off on this? We know Mr. Parille is a "humanity-diminisher." He told us. We know Prof. Campbell thinks hero-worship is inappropriate for human beings. He told us. We know the Prof is a compulsive liar prone to the most bizarre conspiracy theories. He presented them here. We know Mr. Scherk is a pauper's Dracula for whom the concept of good faith is a stake through the heart he doesn't have. He's made it clear every time I've misguidedly given him the opportunity to demonstrate a modicum of sincerity. We know he and Jonathan have Linz Derangement Syndrome, along with most others on O-Lying, since they make no effort to conceal it. We know the highly unintelligent Michael Sewer Kelly undulated his way into Babs's approximations to affections, by the most shameless genuflection—that all happened on SOLO. So ... this is the kind of company you keep. Why?

All I wanted LP

Brant Gaede's picture

was your evidence--you don't have any but Valliant does?--for your statement about what Barbara has supposedly done behind the scenes to get Valliant shut out of Rand-Wikipedia. Such evidence would probably not reflect favorably on Barbara.

I didn't include a denunciation of you for endorsing PARC or other Internet activity your enemies might label "smears" against prominent people associated with Objectivism. That doesn't stop you from going after me.

Some people get dirty fighting people who fight dirty and some people fight dirty fighting people who fight dirty. Who fits what, where, when and why was not part of my inquiry although I wanted to see where your answer would take us. It's not coming out in the wash insofar as I'm concerned. Not here. Not now.

--Brant

Yes, You Brant ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I merely asked for evidence of Barbara's Wikipedia "evil." You don't supply any and then segue to calling me her accomplice (in getting the Valliant household frozen out of Wikipedia Rand/Objectivism stuff?).

"Evil" referred not to the Wiki episode but the lying and smearing of which I have direct experience. You know that's what I was referring to. Any moron who understands English knows it from what I said. Here it is again:

James got it in the first instance, and showed it to me. Over to him whether he reveals his source or not. But remember, Brant, I have an advantage over everyone else currently alive in the world when it comes to her—first-hand experience of being smeared by her. I *know* beyond reasonable doubt the depths to which she'll stoop in her effort to blacken and silence anyone who disagrees with her. You yourself once said she fought dirty. She sure does. She is a creature without conscience and without scruple. Some kind of sociopathic freak. Maybe she caught it from Nathan.

And I further commented:

You know this is true, yet evade it. Which makes you an accomplice to her evil.

And so you are, you dirty rotten bastard. Time was when you acknowledged that Michael Sewer Kelly and his gaggle were beyond contemptible. Now you're one of them. You should all stick to defending publishers of pedo-porn.

Editing Wikipedia

Richard Goode's picture

The exercise you suggest is a futile one, precisely because it's so easy for anyone to change the text.

At what stage did you realise the futility of the exercise? After the 1300th edit?

Like

Brant Gaede's picture

Like the tide, let it recede. Like the tide, it's coming back!

--Brant

Me?

Brant Gaede's picture

I merely asked for evidence of Barbara's Wikipedia "evil." You don't supply any and then segue to calling me her accomplice (in getting the Valliant household frozen out of Wikipedia Rand/Objectivism stuff?).

Look, it's becoming increasingly obvious James and Holly, not Casey, have engaged in excessive, even abusive, editing of Rand material on Wikipedia. It caught up with them. After 1300 edits in, what, less than two years--one year?--their victims apparently complained enough to put a stop to it. Barbara Branden and her "evil" not required.

Now as her friend I am not going to discuss with you her moral stature, or at any time in the future. And while I am not Nathaniel Branden's friend I am quite friendly with him and his wife and it goes ditto for them.

--Brant

Brant

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I note, Brant, you don't respond to my post directly. I said:

James got it in the first instance, and showed it to me. Over to him whether he reveals his source or not. But remember, Brant, I have an advantage over everyone else currently alive in the world when it comes to her—first-hand experience of being smeared by her. I *know* beyond reasonable doubt the depths to which she'll stoop in her effort to blacken and silence anyone who disagrees with her. You yourself once said she fought dirty. She sure does. She is a creature without conscience and without scruple. Some kind of sociopathic freak. Maybe she caught it from Nathan.

You know this is true, yet evade it. Which makes you an accomplice to her evil. You said, in "response":

does this mean Barbara has corrupted your means? Look, there is not one produced yet drop of evidence she did anything to James Valliant's PARC on Wikipedia or complained directly or through any third parties respecting him there. There is considerable evidence someone in the Valliant household has made 1300 additions and changes to articles on Rand and Objectivism there and that person has been shut down for now for that and various related particulars. That it was someone in his household is not in dispute and acknowledged by someone using the same IP address. This means it was probably Casey Fahy, James or most likely his wife, his natural champion considering how much she loves him.

What on earth does that have to do with anything? I don't follow Wiki, but as I understand it, folk are at liberty to amend entries on any topic as long as they can back their amendments up. Given what James posts above about Wiki's page on Objectivism, it would need about 1300 changes at least to put it right. If he has that kind of dedication—and he does—then bless him. But wotta red herring!

As far as the evidence of its being Babs who tried to get all mention of PARC removed, I've seen it and would post it in a heartbeat if it were over to me. Frankly I don't know why James doesn't, except that he has a source to respect.

How Babs's subterranean gaggle of humanity-diminishers must be in e-mail overdrive right now. Ugh.

Zero credibility

Robert Campbell's picture

Mr. Perigo makes an assertion entirely unsupported by any of the voluminous Wikipedia discussions of Jim Valliant's book, Jim Valliant's willful and repeated violations of Wikipedia editorial procedure, or Jim Valliant's sockpuppetry:

Apparently as a result of a complaint by one "B. Branden," all references to James Valliant's PARC are being removed from the Wiki Objectivism entry on the grounds that it's not reliable.

When Brant Gaede asked him for evidence, all Mr. Perigo could come up with was

James got it in the first instance, and showed it to me. Over to him whether he reveals his source or not.

At this point, appeals to alleged evidence in the hands of Jim Valliant have the exact same credibility as appeals to alleged evidence in the hands of "Pelagius1" or "Anon IP 160."

In all cases, it's zero.

Robert Campbell

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