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Betsy Speicher

Arguing in other internet venues

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For those interested, this subject has been continued here.

The subject has been heroically continued by THE FORUM's own ewv and Paul's Here (writing as "A is A").

I say "heroically" because ewv and Paul have patiently and clearly made their points and explained and defended Ayn Rand's theory of concepts politely and with great dignity in the face of some clueless objections by wannabe know-it-alls and attacks by intellectual thugs spewing false, nasty, and sarcastic personal attacks on them and on my late husband Stephen.

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I say "heroically" because ewv and Paul have patiently and clearly made their points and explained and defended Ayn Rand's theory of concepts politely and with great dignity in the face of some clueless objections by wannabe know-it-alls and attacks by intellectual thugs spewing false, nasty, and sarcastic personal attacks on them and on my late husband Stephen.

Personally I wish better individuals such as Paul and ewv would stop posting on OO. There is little to be gained by fishing in cesspools.

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Personally I wish better individuals such as Paul and ewv would stop posting on OO. There is little to be gained by fishing in cesspools.

I disagree. While they don't have the standards, quality, or as many knowledgeable posters as we do, they are not the cesspools that some other forums that try to attract Objectivists are. There are some good people on OO so I occasionally post there and go "fishing" with a link to THE FORUM in my sig. I've picked up some great new FORUM members that way. :D

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I say "heroically" because ewv and Paul have patiently and clearly made their points and explained and defended Ayn Rand's theory of concepts politely and with great dignity in the face of some clueless objections by wannabe know-it-alls and attacks by intellectual thugs spewing false, nasty, and sarcastic personal attacks on them and on my late husband Stephen.

Personally I wish better individuals such as Paul and ewv would stop posting on OO. There is little to be gained by fishing in cesspools.

I disagree also. I have learned to clarify my thinking about the epistemological issues in this thread. I have also learned to observe my own thinking about concept formation more than I've ever grasped before in this particular thread. So I am getting something out of it. I am very selective in which threads I comment on, which have been very few. It is indeed unfortunate how little people understand about Objectivist epistemology, especially by people who claim to understand it to some extent. I've reached a stage in my life where I completely slough off emotional attacks and ignore them without comments. I argue to clarify my own thinking on OO about very particular issues. I'm amazed how many people on OO don't understand anything at all about Objectivism, people who haven't even read the philosophy but somehow argue about its ideas.

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I say "heroically" because ewv and Paul have patiently and clearly made their points and explained and defended Ayn Rand's theory of concepts politely and with great dignity in the face of some clueless objections by wannabe know-it-alls and attacks by intellectual thugs spewing false, nasty, and sarcastic personal attacks on them and on my late husband Stephen.

Personally I wish better individuals such as Paul and ewv would stop posting on OO. There is little to be gained by fishing in cesspools.

I disagree also. I have learned to clarify my thinking about the epistemological issues in this thread. I have also learned to observe my own thinking about concept formation more than I've ever grasped before in this particular thread. So I am getting something out of it. I am very selective in which threads I comment on, which have been very few. It is indeed unfortunate how little people understand about Objectivist epistemology, especially by people who claim to understand it to some extent. I've reached a stage in my life where I completely slough off emotional attacks and ignore them without comments. I argue to clarify my own thinking on OO about very particular issues. I'm amazed how many people on OO don't understand anything at all about Objectivism, people who haven't even read the philosophy but somehow argue about its ideas.

A truly selfish man. Thank you, Paul.

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I disagree also. I have learned to clarify my thinking about the epistemological issues in this thread. I have also learned to observe my own thinking about concept formation more than I've ever grasped before in this particular thread. So I am getting something out of it. I am very selective in which threads I comment on, which have been very few. It is indeed unfortunate how little people understand about Objectivist epistemology, especially by people who claim to understand it to some extent. I've reached a stage in my life where I completely slough off emotional attacks and ignore them without comments. I argue to clarify my own thinking on OO about very particular issues. I'm amazed how many people on OO don't understand anything at all about Objectivism, people who haven't even read the philosophy but somehow argue about its ideas.

Well more power to you, Paul. I've read threads there occasionally and it's just one personal attack after another, and frankly a lot of the snide remarks come from the moderators, which is a disgrace. If you can sharpen your skills there and not take notice of the environment you're in, I think that's great. I used to debate on forums where ad hominem was the norm, and it just made me more aggressive and defensive. It took a while here to "reform" those tendencies.

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A bit off subject.

Even though the Founding Fathers were missing the moral foundation that is required to properly defend capitalism they were still incredible men, heroic men. Along with their great intellects, one of the other items that made them so heroic to me is that they were willing to take action against a king that had the strongest military in the world during that time. For the most part, when the Founding Fathers spoke or wrote things they meant what they said. For example Jefferson's original last paragraph to The Declaration of Independence; "And for the support of this declaration, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." This is not hyperbole on his part nor their's, they meant it and were willing to take the actions to back up that pledge. They also understood that "if not now, then when?"

I am quite certain most people are growing tired of me stating that "one has to engage the enemy" if they are going to win in war. But it is true, one must put themselves in areas where the fight is taking place even when it causes short-term discomfort. I enjoy this forum and most of it's members very much and for many reasons. One of those reasons is that most of the members are very intelligent in a lot of different areas which I benefit from. But, for the most part on this forum when one is discussing a subject with an Objectivist perspective they are talking to the choir. In a certain context this forum is like a group of Marines sitting in their office or tent discussing what they have learned about war, but without any intentions of applying those skills by engaging in battle. If Marines are going to win wars they will have to accept the discomforts of war. And in like manner, Objectivist will have to accept the short-term discomforts of engaging our enemies if we are ever going to win this war which in the long-term will make our lifes better. It is in our best long-term interest to do so and unlike the Founding Fathers we have that moral foundation that will allow us to engage the enemy and win. "If not now, then when?"

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It is in our best long-term interest to do so and unlike the Founding Fathers we have that moral foundation that will allow us to engage the enemy and win. "If not now, then when?"

As an "intellectual war", there are a choice of battlefields, since in reality it's the biggest World War that's ever been fought. Expending energy arguing in a forum such as OO which is already stacked and pre-filtered with enemies of Objectivism and just plain basic civility is simply a waste in my view. It is not addressing honest minds interested in truth, it is catering to an unusually malevolent subset of the world that is not only *not* representative of the most productive men, but probably those of sub-average productivity. Feeding them with discussion grants them a sanction they do not merit. As an analogy to a physical battle, I think it's comparable to choosing an enemy's offer to follow them off the real battlefield, into a cave that they control.

This intellectual war isn't even going to have a battle finished in our lifetimes much less the entire war, so if one is interested in engaging in it, despite the fact that it will be time and energy spent with little-to-no practical return to one's current life, it might as well be fought where it will count the most - not the least. And those with the most actual power are those of the greatest productivity and wealth. Francisco and Galt did not waste their time arguing with the likes of an OO, or even with average honest people. They knew who moved the world and acted accordingly. And this is a principle that is relevant outside of the context of a strike.

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Phil, I would offer that the intellectual battle is never going to end whether we win this one or not. I also offer that Vigilance will always be needed, just like a police and military force will always be needed. And I would also offer that I (and others) am not actually trying to change the evil but be a beacon to those that are decent to a life that uses a rational philosophy to guide their thoughts and actions which I think is what intellectuals can and should do.

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And I would also offer that I (and others) am not actually trying to change the evil but be a beacon to those that are decent to a life that uses a rational philosophy to guide their thoughts and actions which I think is what intellectuals can and should do.

Many do see it as their task to effect large scale change, which I consider impractical in my lifetime. I think the approach of being a beacon, implying in a way selective association with those who have already decided to use their minds, is practical and good.

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But, for the most part on this forum when one is discussing a subject with an Objectivist perspective they are talking to the choir. In a certain context this forum is like a group of Marines sitting in their office or tent discussing what they have learned about war, but without any intentions of applying those skills by engaging in battle.

I don't wish to get back into the topic of who we should engage in the battle of ideas, but I did want to respond to this. I come here because I like talking to rational people, not because I think I'm fighting a battle on the FORUM. I'm not "preaching to the choir", I am talking about ideas with people who value them as much as I do. I learn a lot from other FORUM members, and this is one of the only places where I can share my thoughts with people who actually understand and appreciate them. This is the kind of intellectual environment I wish I could have had in school, and besides that I've made friends here. It's never occurred to me to think that any minute I spend here reading and posting is a distraction from anything, not so long as I am getting value from it.

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bborg, I did not mean that one is in battle with other members of this forum. What I meant was that for the most part the people on this forum agree with Objectivist principles (or at least are friendly to them). So, not a lot of people here need to be convinced that Ayn Rand's philosophy is for living. I also did not state nor mean that one's time spent here is wasted as it is not. But to win a war still requires that one engage the enemy and since the enemy is not here on this forum then one must engage them in other areas. Do as you see fit, but it does not make sense to me that one complains about a situation in which they take no action to change.

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There are some good people on OO so I occasionally post there and go "fishing" with a link to THE FORUM in my sig. I've picked up some great new FORUM members that way.

I got here by following the trail of breadcrumbs left by you and Stephen on OO -- I'm glad that's still possible to newcomers thanks to the few of you who still post there!

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