This and That

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2005-12-04 21:40

[Listen to this announcement]

A few reflections after the first few days of SOLO's new incarnation here at

There was some debate prior to the rebirth as to the legitimacy of "entertainment" as a value on a site like this. For me there is no debate. If SOLOPassion is not entertaining, it is falling down on part of its job—to educate and inform in an entertaining way. There is no entertainment/education dichotomy here. "Entertaining" doesn't necessarily mean "creating a laugh a minute," though humour is decidedly a value here also—it does mean educating and informing in a way that is stimulating and arresting, rather than in a cold monotone more suited to academia or people who have no sense of life-and-death urgency about the material they are purveying. The writers we have assembled here are all skilled in telling their story in a captivating way because they are passionate about it, and that's the way it'll stay. So yes, this is, unashamedly, an entertainment site—but of course, it's not just an entertainment site. Sassy, saucy, sizzling ... and salutary. That's SOLO.

There was debate also about the desirability of running articles that are intimately autobiographical, such as MSK's account of falling into, and then overcoming, alcohol and cocaine addiction. Now, clearly, if there's no point to such personal revelations, then they fall under the category of "more information than we need, thank you very much." They amount to indecent exposure, unseemly attention-seeking, a lack of respect for one's own privacy and by implication, that of others. But where the point is to illustrate real-life triumphs over one's own (or anyone else's) follies and flaws by the application of one's mind to facts, then I for one have no objection to one's story being told—not as a sop to the dreadful Culture of Therapy, which cultivates follies and flaws just so one can talk about them, endlessly, to Oprah and Jerry, but as a demonstration that follies and flaws can be conquered by the application of Objectivist principles. (The problem in MSK's case was that he told the story over and over, when most of us got it the first time—but I rather think he realised that eventually! Smiling) Objectivism is about ideas, yes—but the whole point of ideas, according to Objectivism, is that they be derived from, applicable to and efficacious in, reality. In that sense even the most abstract-seeming articles are inescapably intimately personal, since they convey something that is going to be useful to us in our daily lives, if it isn't already. Ideas are not platonic disembodiments, militantly divorced from everyday life here on earth, and Objectivists are not rationalists who treat them as such.

Speaking of articles, we're wanting them! Possibly you're unsure how to submit one under the new set-up—Duncan or Julian will be posting a step-by-step guide shortly, as well as making it clearer how you can post news items, jokes and the like which do not require editorial scrutiny. To those who've already submitted articles—thank you, and they'll be posted soon. For myself, I'll be resuming my Fundamental Stuff series imminently, as well as posting audio of the series thus far.

A word about staff. Derek McGovern has stepped down as SOLO Homo Leader and stepped up as SOLO Film leader, a new group for the discussion of ... duh! ... movies. That means there's a vacancy for SOLO Homo Leader. Volunteers? Ashley?

Marcus Bachler has agreed to continue as SOLO Science Leader, but has yet to sign on. Hurry up, Marcus, rattle your dags! Smiling The Poms and Kiwi-Poms generally are being a bit backward in coming forward. Come on guys, rouse yourselves, don't be Pommie Plonkers! Smiling

I'm also looking for an American-based Director of Operations who'll master-mind and delegate specific SOLO projects such as SOLOC 5. This needs to be someone with a flair and liking for organising stuff, and a passion to see SOLO become the premier Objectivist organisation. If you think that's you, e-mail me at

Please note there is now a Paypal facility on the front page whereby you can help make such projects become a reality. You can be acknowledged publicly as a donor if you wish.

That's it for now, SOLOists—so far, so excellent. KASS on!


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Full set of dags accounted for

Marcus's picture

Here I am. Just finding my way around the site.

Will put up photo shortly - unless of course you can't just pop in the old one.

Looks good, and I see all the fun people are still here Smiling

Whoever he is?!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That's curmudgeonly hunk Scott, of course! Where's your mug-shot, Scott?

Bravo, who ever you are!

Ciro D Agostino's picture

Bravo, who ever you are!

Objectivism for real people

atlascott's picture

ARI-types try to emulate Rand and the chacters in her fiction.

TOC is for Objectivist scholars.

SOLO is for the rest of human civilization--the rest of us who enjoy life, and want to live it to the fullest, rationally, passionately, and successfully!

Do Dichotomies Exist?

milesian's picture

Thank you, Linz, for observing: "There is no entertainment/education dichotomy here." However, you fall into the entertainment/education dichotomy when you write of "a cold monotone more suited to academia". I pride myself on empassioned delivery of cold hard facts, rationally consistent and empirically verified. Furthermore, considering how Objectivists define morality, it is hard for me to not have a "sense of life-and-death urgency" about any of the subjects I study.

I do not relate well to "mindless entertainment." Whatever that might be to some people, nothing mindless can be entertaining. I sit here with my morning coffee, wondering if contemplating an empty cup could be considered "mindless entertainment" -- and I realize that a coffee cup expresses a lot of mind -- not its own, certainly, but that of its creators.

For me, there is no entertainment/education dichotomy.
"I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings."

Audio added! :) You too can

JulianP's picture

Audio added! Smiling

You too can add an MP3 of yourself speaking. Just add an attachment to your story or comment.

Nothing too big please! You're limited to 3MB per file, and 30MB total files uploaded. 48Kbps for the bitrate of speech MP3s should be plenty.

Stay tuned for real podcasts coming soon! Smiling


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