Stephen Speicher

THE FORUM Rules and Guidelines

2 posts in this topic

The main purpose of THE FORUM for Ayn Rand Fans is to discuss and trade knowledge and values -- particularly about Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism -- in an atmosphere of benevolence and mutual respect. To make sure this happens, please observe the following rules and guidelines.

1. You do not have to have knowledge of, or agree with, all of Objectivism, but you should be here because you value Ayn Rand's ideas and want to learn more about them. If your goal is to argue with, "convert," exploit, or insult Ayn Rand, her ideas, her admirers, and/or the Ayn Rand Institute, this is definitely not the place for you. Trolling[*], proselytizing, and flaming posts will be deleted, and those who post them may be permanently banned.

2. The main focus is on Objectivism and its applications, but posts that convey other interesting information or discuss personal values are welcome too. Ayn Rand fans have a wide variety of personal interests and accomplishments and almost anything might be important to at least some of us. The only thing really off-topic is crusading for, or trolling with, ideas that are opposed to Objectivism. If you are not sure what those might be, ask.

3. Be sure that your posts are well-grounded in facts and logic because, if they're not, other members of THE FORUM will call you on it. You might find that educational, but it can also be very embarrassing. If you're not really sure about something, ask a question instead of making an ill-informed assertion.

4. Honesty is an important Objectivist virtue, so we don't tolerate fraudulent activities like pretending to be someone else or otherwise misrepresenting who you are or what your ideas and values really are.

5. After a while, many important and basic issues will have been discussed at least once and those who originally posted about it do not want to repeat themselves. You can save yourself and all of us a lot of trouble by checking previous posts with the search feature to see if what you are interested in has already been discussed.

6. You might do something, quite innocently, that gets FORUM members so annoyed that they hit the REPORT! button and complain to the moderators who might delete[**] your otherwise terrific post. Don't let this happen to you.


a. Bad grammar and spelling. Most people make the effort to properly spell, capitalize, and punctuate when they are writing something important. When they do not make the effort, it gives the impression that their writing is not important, their readers are not important, and/or the posters are lazy. Two sentences into a sloppy post, many readers will give up on both the post and the poster.

If you need help with grammar, we recommend a wonderful book called Writing and Thinking by Foerster and Steadman available from The Paper Tiger Reference Library and Leonard Peikoff's Principles of Grammar Course from the Ayn Rand Book Store. There is also a very easy to use free spell-checker plug-in for Internet Explorer at

If English is not your first language, let us know and we'll take that into consideration.

b. Profanity. There are definitely occasions for what Ayn Rand called "the kind of language I do not like to see in print" -- but not on THE FORUM. If you want to express profound and extreme evaluations, be clever and create your own alternatives to the usual overused and offensive curse words.

c. Poor online writing style. This includes excessive quoting, big paragraphs, overuse of abbreviations and other things that make a posting hard to read. There's a 10-minute guide to good online style at

d. Spelling Objectivism or Objectivist with a small "o". Objectivism is a proper noun denoting the philosophy of Ayn Rand and Objectivist, in some contexts, is a registered trademark of the Estate of Ayn Rand. With a small "o" it could be one of many philosophies that take different positions from Ayn Rand on philosophical issues. On THE FORUM we always use the capital "O" for accuracy and to show respect for Ayn Rand's philosophy.

e. Referring to Ayn Rand as "Ayn." If you were not on a first name basis with Miss Rand while she was alive, this is very disrespectful. Use "Ayn Rand" or "Miss Rand" (not "Ms. Rand") instead.

f. Mind reading -- inferring what someone is thinking or wants or feels when the person hasn't said so and then treating that inference as a fact. This is poor reasoning, presumptuous, derails discussions, leads to flame wars, and is usually wrong.


"Mr. X doesn't really mean what he wrote. He's just trying to fool us."

"Ms. Y hates Mr. Z."

If you suspect someone's honesty, motives, etc., express the reasons for your doubts -- "I have a hard time trusting you when you say ...." Instead of making assumptions about motives, ask -- "Well, Ms. Y, what's your opinion of Mr. Z?"

g. Spamming and posts that are really advertisements. Please don't use THE FORUM and it's resources to promote other web sites or commercial enterprises without the consent of the Administrators.

7. Regarding selection of a username: We do not allow FORUM usernames that might infringe on the Estate of Ayn Rand's intellectual property or mislead people about a member's association with Objectivism. That means a member can't use Ayn Rand's name, names of her books and characters, "Objectivist" (a registered trademark of the Estate), or variations of them. When applying this rule, I intend to err on the side of caution.


[*]"Trolling" means deliberately posting something just to annoy the members and generate angry replies. Don't even think about doing that around here.

[**] If it is necessary to delete your post, it will be returned to you in a Private Message (PM) with an explanation of the reason for deletion.

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FORUM Policy on Quoting Other Sources

Any written or otherwise authored material, in print or on the internet, is assumed to be the property of the author, whether or not it bears a copyright notice. In order to respect intellectual property rights please observe the following guidelines:

1. Do not quote an entire article, etc. unless you have explicit, written consent to do so.

2. When quoting from another source, you should be well within "fair use" if you quote no more than a couple of paragraphs, no more than 300 words, and no more than one-third of a work. If the work you are citing is on the internet, provide a link to the entire work for those who might want it.

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