Re: [aynrand-8] A suggestion

From: Michael R.
Sent on: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 10:13 AM
Hello all,

Please don't scoff at me or tell me to "go watch Jerry Springer". I just wanted to share my thoughts after observing your 3-day discourse.

Consider what value a sharp intellect has if used to harm and annoy as felt by many of us in observing this debate. Many of us joined this group in search of a community that chooses reason over emotion or chest-thumping intellect. I haven't removed myself from this list as I've continued to hope this is truly a group that values reason over emotional/intellectual skirmish. If it is just a forum to prove oneself "right" I think it does a disservice to Rand's ideal. An intellect is just as well dead if does no service to reason.

Michael
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

From: David <[address removed]>
Sender: [address removed]
Date: Tue, 14 Aug[masked]:28:30 -0400
To: <[address removed]>
ReplyTo: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] A suggestion

My personal comportment is always as if we were siting across from one another. Hence my offer to do so. But let us not grow too effete in our willingness to engage in Jefferson's vigorous debate of ideas that we sanitize them right out of existence. 
 
The wonderful irony is that even this current discussion applies to Jim's initial post about Rand's rhetorical style. 

Anti concepts ( god ) forbid if she had possessed an iPhone!

Best regards 

David
Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 14, 2012, at 10:57 PM, Jeff G <[address removed]> wrote:

This board is clearly filled with exceptionally intelligent individuals who are well versed on Ayn Rand's world view and philosophies, but there is no reason the forum shouldn't be treated as if we were all in a room together.  

I suspect if we were all face to face, the level of respect would increase, and those who chose to continue a personal and somewhat emotional disagreement wouldn't do so on a stage so that all must listen.   I feel it's worth considering which words are worth sharing with 100+ people whom the only thing we know of is that they appreciate Ayn Rand.


On Aug 14, 2012, at 10:15 PM, David wrote:

Then why so parsimonious? 

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 14, 2012, at 9:34 PM, Jeff G <[address removed]> wrote:

words are cheap


On Aug 14, 2012, at 9:24 PM, Michael Olsen wrote:

Depends in the preferences of each individual; surely we're not about to glorify consensus at the expense of customization. Personally, this email account (where I receive less important mail) is more trivial than texting, but much easier to access than logging into an online forum, and still I find it a welcome diversion from my day-to-day to have all the awesomeness that is objectivist banter right next to my daily e-mailers.
I lead myself, if anyone cares to follow then it had--sure as gravity--better be on their own terms, for I accept only the consequences of my own volition. My congrats to whoever wins the popularity poll, notwithstanding.

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 14, 2012, at 5:01 PM, Adam Spunberg <[address removed]> wrote:

Who is John Galt? Clearly, it's Jim! (Sorry, I know I just did the opposite of what Jim asked, but just had to say it. Agree wholeheartedly with what he said)

-Adam

On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM, sonali <[address removed]> wrote:

Jim:
Below was one of the most polite and diplomatic email, I've read in a while ;). You would make a good leader (if you're not one already)

Subject: [aynrand-8] A suggestion
To: [address removed]
From: [address removed]
Date: Mon, 13 Aug[masked]:40:15 -0400

Perhaps, out of respect for the more than 100 people on this list, those who send many "1 liners" and "zinger after zinger" could simply exchange emails and carry on that deeply meaningful but more personal and subjective correspondence "on the side".
For those who want fewer emails filling up their attention, however small such emails may be, there is a weekly option. Here, emails come in a condensed form.
Good luck to us all,
Din of the crowd is loud
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

From: Marc Gerstein <[address removed]>
Sender: [address removed]
Date: Mon, 13 Aug[masked]:19:27 -0400
To: <[address removed]>
ReplyTo: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

Sorry folks but i do need one more post . . . I see my last one crossed with another from David which I didn't see before I hit "send."

He now indicates he has a copy of the book. I don't know if he picked it up today or had it all along and was deliberately jerking everyone around. Either way, and given his ongoing hesitation to engage the text makes it clear he is still more committed to a cat-and-mouse game as opposed to a serious discussion of the topic at hand. I'll therefore stick with my decision to let this way-too-drawn-out thing drop.

David, I presume I'll see you on the 26th. All you have asked of me will be made clear as part and parcel of an overall presentation I'm planning for that meetup (a promise I made at the last meetup when a question posed to me required an answer that was more organized than I felt able to deliver off the cuff).


From: Marc Gerstein <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, August 13,[masked]:00 PM
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

Matt, I hear ya, and I think it's reasonable to assume you speak for many others.

This is quite irritating and I'm amazed David is pushing a very simple matter as far as he has without having added anything new. Sadly, though, this sort of thing is a fact of life in internet discussion venues; it has been from the start of the open internet and even before that, when people went on-line via old proprietary services like Compuserve, Delphi and the original AOL. And even today, I see much worse on stock-market bulletin boards, which are populated not only by garden-variety whackos but also by real-life crooks (pump-and-dump scammers).

I've of mixed thought regarding whether to continue to engage David or just ignore him and let it drop. The let-it-drop option is supported by the fact that this is getting quite boring and repetitious. But based on some private communications I received, there does seem to be something for the keep-it-going option. Given the sad reality of what internet discussion boards attract, there is probably no way any serious discussion of any topic can ever occur unless participants learn to recognize the techniques whackos use to bait them and how to brush them aside.

I think Matt's e-mail is a much-appreciated reminder that the balance seems to have tilted too far toward the latter. Point taken. Everybody in this forum has had more than enough opportunity to assess both sides of the controversy and would seem unlikely to benefit from it being further extended.

Accordingly, I'll end my participation in that jousting match, will ignore David and Michael, and henceforth participate only in discussions with other people on other topics where I feel I have something to contribute.






From: Matt <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, August 13,[masked]:26 PM
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

Haha you guys remind me of kids on wrestling message boards arguing over what the greatest wrestling match of all time is and then getting your nose out of joint if the other disagrees. 

If thinking you guys are a bunch of morons makes me a dead intellect than I guess I am. 

And I prefer Montell

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 13, 2012, at 7:19 PM, David <[address removed]> wrote:


I for one Matt wish to prove - "what's right" at the expense of being right myself.  

If you do not care, then you're right to bow out.  

I'll take disingenuous Marc, tough talking Steve and perhaps too personal attacking Michael over a dead intellect.

Now go watch Jerry Springer.




On Aug 13, 2012, at 7:13 PM, Matt wrote:

Wow. Why don't you guys all rent a hall together and hash it out in person. I'm a huge Rand fan and subscribed to the group but can anyone tell me how to unsubscribe to these emails filling up my mailbox? Don't know what you guys are trying to prove. Who's right? Who cares?

Matt

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 13, 2012, at 6:13 PM, stevegam <[address removed]> wrote:


"You've admitted you're willing to initiate force, but you won't give us your very own opinion as to how you infer the right to do so. 

I can explain my actions, can't you? "

Hey, David try using that line the next time you're in a bar and some guy is kicking your ass for "insulting" his girl friend.

Let's forget about page 119 too, who gives a crap.
 
Objectivism is a philosophy that is unproven in the real world. Since it's based strictly on reason, specifically the reason of one person, it is subject to the law of unintended consequences.

One of the problems of using reason in determining truth is that it assumes that all the important facts necessary to make a reasonable decision are known. This may be true in areas of science and engineering where an engineer writing a computer program or building a bridge can know all that needs to be known. He is omnipotent, a god, in his little closed system so his endeavor using reason will work provided, his reason is sound.

The real world is too complex to rely on reason alone to make choices on how we should live (should i marry? have children?) Often it is not possible to have all the facts necessary to make successful decisions without consulting other sources based on the collective experience of others, such as consensus, religion, etc. When we ignore the collective experience of others the law of unintended consequences kicks in, ouch.

I think a group of people trying to implement objectivism in the real world would make a good reality tv show. It wouldn't be much different than a bunch of hippies in a commune trying to rebel against the establishment but instead the law of unintended consequences re-teaches, them amongst other things, the value of good hygiene by inflicting them with long  eradicated  medieval deceases such as the rot and the grunge. This really happened in the Haight Ashbury section of San Francisco in the 1960s.


In an objectivism "commune" or gulch who would have the character, and the wisdom to decide what was reasonable? How would they choose such a person? I wouldn't even trust Michael to do that.

Is the redistribution of wealth always wrong? What could be some of the unintended consequences if we forbid, in a dogmatic, objectivist way, the redistribution of wealth in all it's forms?

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 13, 2012, at 5:44 PM, Marc Gerstein <[address removed]> wrote:

"But I want to know what YOU say."

I fully endorse what Ayn Rand and the Libertarian Party say on the topic, and to satisfy an understandable quest for specificity, I continue to refer you to page 119 of "The Virtue of Selfishness."

I absolutely positively could repeat that material to you, but I choose not to do so because I'm having way too much fun watching you squeal like a stuck pig as you continue to try to cover up your ignorance Objectivism and Libertariansim and get increasingly frustrated as I continue to refuse to let you off the hook.

"If are pointing a gun at someone and taking them off to jail and they asked you  "by what right do you do this " how would you reply?"

I'd whip out my Kindle, access page 119 of "The Virtue of Selfishness," point to the relevant text, and say "You violated this principal." Then I'd go further. I'd add: "I know it's customary for law-enforcement officers to recite the charges out loud and if you'd like, I'll be glad to do that. But I'm having a lot of fun watching this phony Objectivist-Libertarian named David Wallace twist in the wind trying to pretend he knows this stuff when he really doesn't. So if you'll consent to waiving the out-loud reading and accept my just pointing the text out to you and waiting thirty seconds while you read it for yourself, I'll get the judge to come down with a suspension of jail time and just a week of probation and we can then all sit down together and laugh at David Wallance as he continues to squeal."


From: David <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, August 13,[masked]:55 PM
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

But I want to know what YOU say. 

You've admitted you're willing to initiate force, but you won't give us your very own opinion as to how you infer the right to do so. 

I can explain my actions, can't you? 

If are pointing a gun at someone and taking them off to jail and they asked you  "by what right do you do this " how would you reply? 

Would you reply " I cannot answer, but go to the library and read some books"?. 

Keep in mind that language is not essential only for social interaction but also for the organization of your own thoughts. If you cannot explain to me, quite simply, by what right you get to initiate force on others then  you can of explain it to yourself.

 And that means you literally don't know what you're talking about.  



Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 13, 2012, at 2:38 PM, Marc Gerstein <[address removed]> wrote:

My prior response: " As to debate, that would be quite dull since we're dealing with just a few sentences and about 30 seconds worth of time, but if that's what it will take to get you to consider what Rand says, so be it."

What part of that don't you understand?

It really is a shame -- for you -- that the U.S.S.R. collapsed. I really can see where you'd have been a great editorial writer fro Pravda!





From: David Wallace <[address removed]>
To: Marc Gerstein <[address removed]>
Sent: Monday, August 13,[masked]:10 PM
Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

So yes, to a debate? Is that a yes? 

On your obvious evasion: citing a page from the works of another is a response, but not an answer. In fact, not only is it an evasion but a puerile one at that! 

After all, I am asking you of your own convictions. You endorse the initiation of force. YOU! Now by Wendy right do you do so? 

Don't you know the contents of your own mind? 

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 13, 2012, at 1:16 PM, Marc Gerstein <[address removed]> wrote:

I evaded nothing. I answered you very specifically with a specific cite to Ayn Rand, which is quite valid in a Rand discussion forum. And I've been on line way too long to fall into the trap of trying to cope with someone who pretends to not recognize an answer and keeps repeating fictitious claims of non response-- that's so 1990s!

If you want to come to the next meetup to explain your refusal to consider Rand a legitimate source, I look forward to hearing what you want to say. As to debate, that would be quite dull since we're dealing with just a few sentences and about 30 seconds worth of time, but if that's what it will take to get you to consider what Rand says, so be it.

I am, however, preparing material that will, I hope, generate more interesting discussion interpreting ways Rand's principals might be applied in the real world. So I would expect to move beyond the boring part very quickly.

David <[address removed]> wrote:

Marc, 

I would be happy to meet in person at the next Ayn Rand meet-up. 

We can even schedule an open debate replete with facilitation if the others are willing. 

Would you like to do that? 

Also, 

By your evasion of my simple question you make my point regarding the disingenuous left. You said that I don't know you. But the point is that YOU don't know you. For you endorsed the initiation of force and yet refuse to elucidate the moral system from which you infer that right. 

Everyone else sees this evasion, which is all the more transparent since I am asking what YOU think. Not what you are, or are not. Not what you've read or for that matter what you had for breakfast. But rather the simple verdict of your own mind. 

By what right do you initiate force? 

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 13, 2012, at 10:01 AM, Marc Gerstein <[address removed]> wrote:

Steve,

I'm still somewhat new to the NYC Meetup and have only been to two of them (the last two). I can't recall the names of everyone (it looks to be a well-attended group, so that will take time) and the attendee lists on meetup.com aren't always 100% accurate.  So i can't say for sure if Michael was there.

What I can tell you, at least from the two meetups I attended, is that it looks to be a good group, one in which there is disagreement but in which the tone is respectful and in which challenges appear not as in invitation to yell and curse but as an invitation to review and sharpen one's position . . . which is as positive as it can get. Obviously, nobody can know who will show up in the future and how they'll act, but generally, the demeanor of the NY group seems like it would be quite inhibiting to anyone (even Michael  if he was or will be there) from resorting to "eat shit and die," "suck on a tailpipe," etc.

Is Michael doing a pre-dynamite Howard Roark thing? I'm not so sure. We have one thing going on here that was outside Rand's experience: internet conversation. I've seen in many contexts how people will act on line in ways they wouldn't dream of acting if face to face. I suspect we've all encountered that. It would seem that anonymous forums are more conducive to this sort of thing than those in which people use real names. But it does happen in the latter instances, too. For all we know, Michael might be a nice guy in real life. All we can do here is react to the identity he chooses to reveal in this setting. (BTW anyone interested in internet behavior may find it interesting to check out "The Face of Another" by Kobo Abe. The writing style isn't my favorite . . . quite heavy on the first-person musings. But it is an interesting meditation on matchups between appearances and identity.)


From: stevegam <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, August 13,[masked]:52 AM
Subject: RE: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context

Michael,
 
I don't think I can have a meaningful dialogue with you.
 
Marc,
 
You were at the last meetup, did you see Michael there?
 
If so, is he typical of the group? I'm guessing that he isn't, but if he is then he must be in the state of mind of Howard Roark, right before he blew up his building, watch out guys.
 
> Subject: Re: [aynrand-8] Some say Ayn Rand was not so "nice": That is out of context
> From: [address removed]
> To: [address removed]
> Date: Sun, 12 Aug[masked]:30:26 -0400
>
> Do you scrub your sphincter?
> How about asking me why I prefer to mock you? You're complacence toward any meaningful dialogue is apparent to every free mind as the epitome of cowardice. Buck up, old sport (for I suspect you are as old as you are decrepit).
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Aug 12, 2012, at 6:00 PM, stevegam <[address removed]> wrote:
>
> > I'm trying to determine if you are an objectivist, that's why I asked.
> >
> > Do you attend the meetups regularly?
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> > On Aug 12, 2012, at 5:21 PM, Michael Olsen <[address removed]> wrote:
> >
> >> That for you to determine. You're a statist; care to know why?
> >>
> >> Sent from my iPhone
> >>
> >> On Aug 12, 2012, at 5:15 PM, stevegam <[address removed]> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Michael,
> >>>
> >>> Are you an objectivist?
> >>>
> >>> Sent from my iPhone
> >>>
> >>> On Aug 12, 2012, at 2:06 AM, Michael Olsen <[address removed]> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Lol. This is some great righteous vitriol.
> >>>> I mean, why even try with fuck face shit chuggers like tweedle Steve and tweedle Marc? I hope they each write a whole goddam paragraph breaking my nasty letters into tiny little bite sized verdicts of tolerant condemnation.
> >>>> Salute/honor @ David & Jim.
> >>>>
> >>>> Sent from my iPhone
> >>>>
> >>>> On Aug 12, 2012, at 1:56 AM, David <[address removed]> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> Ah, now you're running off my little friend. And I was having such fun.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Perhaps this completes my point regarding Rand's rhetorical style in the face of disingenuous hacks who lick the blood of martyrs from the knuckles of tyrants.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Sent from my iPhone
> >>>>>
> >>>>> On Aug 12, 2012, at 1:46 AM, Michael Olsen <[address removed]> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>> Marc, eat shit and die.
> >>>>>> "For starters, nobody forces you to live in civilized society..." Unlike you, supreme shit chugger, I was forced into the USA at the behest o my mother contractions. This is a forum & group of thinkers. I suggest you stick to YouTube trolling.
> >>>>>> Ps. Die. Please. Fast. No jokes, suck a tail pipe you base communist ;)
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> On Aug 12, 2012, at 12:56 AM, Marc Gerstein <[address removed]> wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> For starters, nobody forces you to live in civilized society
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> --
> >>>>>> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
> >>>>>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/
> >>>>>> This message was sent by Michael Olsen ([address removed]) from The New York City Ayn Rand Group.
> >>>>>> To learn more about Michael Olsen, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/members/9722183/
> >>>>>> Set my mailing list to email me
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> As they are sent
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> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> In one daily email
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> >>>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> --
> >>>>> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
> >>>>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/
> >>>>> This message was sent by David ([address removed]) from The New York City Ayn Rand Group.
> >>>>> To learn more about David, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/members/12420483/
> >>>>> Set my mailing list to email me
> >>>>>
> >>>>> As they are sent
> >>>>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=1
> >>>>>
> >>>>> In one daily email
> >>>>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=2
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Don't send me mailing list messages
> >>>>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=0
> >>>>> Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] | [address removed]
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> --
> >>>> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
> >>>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/
> >>>> This message was sent by Michael Olsen ([address removed]) from The New York City Ayn Rand Group.
> >>>> To learn more about Michael Olsen, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/members/9722183/
> >>>> Set my mailing list to email me
> >>>>
> >>>> As they are sent
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> >>>>
> >>>> In one daily email
> >>>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=2
> >>>>
> >>>> Don't send me mailing list messages
> >>>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=0
> >>>> Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] | [address removed]
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
> >>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/
> >>> This message was sent by stevegam ([address removed]) from The New York City Ayn Rand Group.
> >>> To learn more about stevegam, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/members/2817568/
> >>> Set my mailing list to email me
> >>>
> >>> As they are sent
> >>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=1
> >>>
> >>> In one daily email
> >>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=2
> >>>
> >>> Don't send me mailing list messages
> >>> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=0
> >>> Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] | [address removed]
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
> >> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/
> >> This message was sent by Michael Olsen ([address removed]) from The New York City Ayn Rand Group.
> >> To learn more about Michael Olsen, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/members/9722183/
> >> Set my mailing list to email me
> >>
> >> As they are sent
> >> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=1
> >>
> >> In one daily email
> >> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=2
> >>
> >> Don't send me mailing list messages
> >> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=0
> >> Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] | [address removed]
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
> > http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/
> > This message was sent by stevegam ([address removed]) from The New York City Ayn Rand Group.
> > To learn more about stevegam, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/members/2817568/
> > Set my mailing list to email me
> >
> > As they are sent
> > http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=1
> >
> > In one daily email
> > http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=2
> >
> > Don't send me mailing list messages
> > http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=0
> > Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] | [address removed]
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/
> This message was sent by Michael Olsen ([address removed]) from The New York City Ayn Rand Group.
> To learn more about Michael Olsen, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/members/9722183/
> Set my mailing list to email me
>
> As they are sent
> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=1
>
> In one daily email
> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=2
>
> Don't send me mailing list messages
> http://www.meetup.com/aynrand-8/list_prefs/?pref=0
> Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] | [address removed]
>




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