Bill Bucko

Bill Bucko, Diana Hsieh, and ARI

84 posts in this topic

It won't do you much good! If you read the comments, we are pretty much all condemned across the board for this statement, and in their minds we all believe this. The way noodlefooders imagine members of THE Forum is like the way the Clintons regard Republicans as "the vast, Right-wing conspiracy"... ^_^

In all likelihood, we are brainwashed mind slaves of Barbara West who were created to undermine the Objectivist movement's fight against the Religious Right, paving the way for Karl Rove and Bush to create a theocracy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In all likelihood, we are brainwashed mind slaves of Barbara West who were created to undermine the Objectivist movement's fight against the Religious Right, paving the way for Karl Rove and Bush to create a theocracy.

Cool! I've always wanted to be part of something bigger than my selfish ego!

banghead.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mrs. Hsieh has a habit of using innuendo and snide comments in place of rational arguments, especially when aimed at members of this forum.

Her approach reminds me of those early smearographies of Miss Rand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I enjoy the posts of some select members on here, I've become increasingly bothered by what Diana has said, along with what seems to be an apologetic support for members of the religious right. So, I do not believe I will be posting here anymore.

The attacks on Diana are, as far as I know (As a regular reader of NoodleFood and her essays), totally unwarranted. The only thing I find perverse and hard to stomach is the intellectual and personal dishonesty.

Betsy's Law #2! ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I enjoy the posts of some select members on here, I've become increasingly bothered by what Diana has said, along with what seems to be an apologetic support for members of the religious right.

Some might say, by similar reasoning, there "seems to be an apologetic support" for members of the socialist left, as in this post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The attacks on Diana are, as far as I know (As a regular reader of NoodleFood and her essays), totally unwarranted. The only thing I find perverse and hard to stomach is the intellectual and personal dishonesty.

Perhaps you should inform yourself of the actual facts, such as investigating her deep support of Nathaniel Branden for many years, meaning that she shared and actively aided the efforts of a man who viciously betrayed Ayn Rand and Objectivism (Branden is an active enemy of Objectivism.) She'll shrillly tell you that she's "reformed", but it takes more than mere statements. Search the Usenet archives for her past posts and you'll see that very little has actually changed except her supposed "allegiance" - an "allegiance" based on personalities and the desire to be accepted into the group that's "winning".

This is not intended to dissuade you from your intention to permanently stop posting here, I hope you mean it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I enjoy the posts of some select members on here, I've become increasingly bothered by what Diana has said, along with what seems to be an apologetic support for members of the religious right. So, I do not believe I will be posting here anymore.

The attacks on Diana are, as far as I know (As a regular reader of NoodleFood and her essays), totally unwarranted. The only thing I find perverse and hard to stomach is the intellectual and personal dishonesty.

Feel free to delete this post if you are so inclined, I just wanted to make myself known and have an official "auf Wiedersehen".

With All Due Respect

-Ryan.

OK then, moving on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DH's style and comments regarding the Forum bring to mind Comrad Sonia

confronting Kira in "We The Living".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DH's style and comments regarding the Forum bring to mind Comrad Sonia

confronting Kira in "We The Living".

Care to defend your point of view?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DH's style and comments regarding the Forum bring to mind Comrad Sonia

confronting Kira in "We The Living".

Care to defend your point of view?

From "We The Living" Chapter VII Pg. 76 Random House Hardcover

At the Institute Kira has asked Comrade Sonia "What kind of man is ComradeTaganov?"

[Direct quote follows]

Comrade Sonia scratched the back of her head, without a smile. "A perfect revolutionary, I suppose.

Some call him that. However, it's not my idea of a good proletarian if a man doesn't unbend and

be a little sociable with his fellow comrades once in a while. . . . And if you have any intentions in a bedroom direction, Comrade Argounova--well, not a chance. He's the kind of saint that sleeps with red flags. Take it from one who knows."

She laughed aloud at the expression on Kira's face and waddled away, throwing over her shoulder: "Oh , a little

proletarian vulgarity won't hurt you!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stumbled upon this... jewel of a thread tonight. I then read the thread through as well as her Noodlefood blog and comments, and came to my own conclusion (just in case there was any doubt of my lack of integrity).

That Mrs. Hsieh sometimes tends toward the vulgar is not a big problem with me within certain contexts. I've so far never seen her be vulgar in such contexts that would warrant my attention. However, I find that the most telling thing I've found about her character is the fact that she has routinely made blanket assertions about those on this forum. It seems to me that this is indeed an occurrence of Betsy's 2nd law. To which I ultimately have to say,

OK then, moving on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I stumbled upon this... jewel of a thread tonight. I then read the thread through as well as her Noodlefood blog and comments, and came to my own conclusion (just in case there was any doubt of my lack of integrity).

That Mrs. Hsieh sometimes tends toward the vulgar is not a big problem with me within certain contexts. I've so far never seen her be vulgar in such contexts that would warrant my attention. However, I find that the most telling thing I've found about her character is the fact that she has routinely made blanket assertions about those on this forum. It seems to me that this is indeed an occurrence of Betsy's 2nd law. To which I ultimately have to say,

OK then, moving on...

My chief beef with her is the way in which all members of THE Forum are categorically denounced, her hostile treatment of the Speichers (that even if justified is still out of proportion to anything wrong they could have done), and in general her incoherence in explaining her complaints about THE Forum. She had said something to the effect that she could no longer participate on the forum because of the way we have attacked Leonard Peikoff (yet plainly no attacks have been made, just appropriate and sharp criticisms), yet she is a regular participant at OismOnline where individuals have said things very offensive towards Peikoff :angry2:

Is this part of a larger issue that individuals who tend towards rationalism will become hostile towards those who disagree with them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is this part of a larger issue that individuals who tend towards rationalism will become hostile towards those who disagree with them?

Those who crave having followers or who make indefensible assertions in any way, not just rationalism, can be expected to be defensive and obnoxious under different fronts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My chief beef with her is the way in which all members of THE Forum are categorically denounced, her hostile treatment of the Speichers (that even if justified is still out of proportion to anything wrong they could have done), and in general her incoherence in explaining her complaints about THE Forum. She had said something to the effect that she could no longer participate on the forum because of the way we have attacked Leonard Peikoff (yet plainly no attacks have been made, just appropriate and sharp criticisms), yet she is a regular participant at OismOnline where individuals have said things very offensive towards Peikoff :angry2:

I have been staying out of this, but I now find it necessary to get involved. Diana has recently posted vicious and false slanders against me on Noodlefood, a venue frequented by Objectivists many of whom don't know me and my 40+ year track record as an honest and dedicated Objectivist, and in which those who do know the facts about me are not allowed to post.

What is worse, she has unjustly and dishonestly attacked and threatened, publicly and privately, this FORUM, members of this FORUM, and other good and decent Objectivists. Therefore, I must state my opinion of Diana Hsieh, and the reasons for it, for the record.

Two weeks ago Diana wrote:

In short, Betsy is a false friend of Objectivism because (1) she advocates views blatantly contrary to Objectivism on moral judgment, on the role of philosophy in the culture and history, and on logic. (I don't have time to look up the links, but she has advocated those views on The Forum and ObjectivismOnline in the past two to three years -- at great length and against much opposition.) And (2) she has seen fit to provide a platform for inexcusable attacks on Objectivist intellectuals, most notably Leonard Peikoff and Robert Mayhew. (Again, you'll have to look up the links yourself.) [Emphasis mine.]

(Link to Diana's full comment)

Observe that although she claims I advocate "views blatantly contrary to Objectivism ... at great length and against much opposition" and alludes to "inexcusable attacks on Objectivist intellectuals" on THE FORUM, she doesn't cite a single post.

In the same comment, she attacks all members of THE FORUM because:

Notably, I am a target of their attacks -- my honesty and integrity questioned, likened to Comrade Sonia (!!) yet again -- because I defended Leonard Peikoff in 2006. [Emphasis mine.]

That is flat-out false. The actual reason for the comparison was given by the one poster who made the comparison here.

So if the terrible deeds she condemns us for cannot be cited or didn't happen as she claims they did, why is Diana so hostile to me and to THE FORUM? I don't know and I don't care. Instead of speculating on her motives, I will explain why I choose not to associate with her. Unlike Diana, I will provide links to the evidence on which I base my judgment, so that honest people can check the facts and decide for themselves.

I once thought Diana might have chosen ARI, after her ten-year association with Kelley and Branden, because she saw the truth and value of the ARI position. If she proved to be the kind of person who put reality and her own first-hand understanding of it above all else, she would be an asset to Objectivism and a value to me, so I defended and encouraged her ... until the 2006 election debates.

During those debates, although I have always respected Dr. Peikoff, I disagreed with his analysis and recommendations. I cited historical facts and other data that led to different conclusions and so did other Objectivist commentators citing additional facts and data. Of those who took Peikoff's side, Diana was the only one who actually attempted to make a reasoned argument in support of it, and I had tremendous respect for her on that account.

My view of Diana changed dramatically when she wrote a post titled "Why I'm Voting for the Democrats." I would have respected her for disagreeing with me if she had tried to show why the facts I presented were not true or why the facts were not relevant or if she presented facts that led to a different conclusion, but that's not what she did. Instead, she dismissed the objections BECAUSE they were based on concrete, observable facts.

She wrote:

An honest Objectivist could be confused by the flood of irrelevant concretes and misleading analyses, particularly if attentive to the seemingly Objectivist defenses of the Bush Administration published in almost every TIA Daily and commonly posted on HBL (based on what I saw during my trial membership this spring). However, I think such confusion is possible only to a person without anything like a firm grasp of the relevant philosophic principles. That's why I agree with Dr. Peikoff's claim that "anyone who votes Republican or abstains from voting in this election has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man's actual life--which means that he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism, except perhaps as a rationalistic system detached from the world." Sadly, that assessment has been confirmed by the flurry of concrete-bound objections to Dr. Peikoff's statement posted on various Objectivist forums. [Emphasis mine.]

(Link to Diana's full article)

Just to make sure Diana was aware of what a blatant, shameless rejection of reality that was, I posted this comment in response:

We shouldn't be so quick to dismiss valid objections by labeling them "concrete-bound." Concrete observations are a REALITY-CHECK. If observation contradicts an intellectual authority, theory, hypothesis, or conclusion, it means that something is WRONG and it is time for premise-checking and question-asking.

1. Is the authority being correctly understood or taken on faith? What reasons would he give in answer to the objection?

2. Is the authority correct? Can objections be reconciled with the reasons the authority gives?

3. Is the hypothesis or theory correct? Can objections be reconciled with the reasons supporting it?

4. Is the hypothesis or theory being applied out of context? Is the objection relevant or irrelevant and why?

5. Does the objection really contradict the authority, hypothesis, or theory? If it does, where is the error?

---

If one understands the philosophy of Objectivism and the practical role of philosophy in man's actual life, then one upholds the Primacy of Existence and, as a corollary, OBSERVATION of reality as the STANDARD for validating any product of consciousness. An Objectivist should NEVER accept or dismiss contradictions in his thinking.

That means that he should take concrete reality-based -- not "concrete-bound" -- objections very seriously.

(Link to my full comment)

Did that make a difference to Diana? Did she wake up to what she was doing? Did she finally acknowldge the importance of concrete, observable facts?

In a later response to another of my comments she wrote:

Betsy Speicher replied: "Ayn Rand didn't think so. She wrote about how to select a candidate (but not a party) and, over the years, she wrote about why we should vote for or against particular candidates in particular elections. Sometimes she endorsed a Democrat, sometimes she condemned a Republican, but where did she ever write about voting for or against a PARTY?"

That's bizarrely concrete-bound reasoning. Ayn Rand has been dead for over 20 years ...

(Link to Diana's full comment):

It is ironic that while dismissing me as "concrete-bound" Diana also dismissed Ayn Rand's views because Ayn Rand was dead.

In response to that, I replied that Ayn Rand acted on principles that were relevant (link) in what proved to be one of my lasts posts on Noodlefood. Soon after, Diana banned me, declared me "a false friend of Objectivism," and put everyone on notice that:

If you choose to continue posting on The Forum, then however honest and nice you are, please do not post comments on NoodleFood. Do not e-mail me with or for information -- or for any other purpose. Do not talk to me at conferences or elsewhere. Just stay away from me. I want nothing whatsoever to do with the fleas who attack me on that forum -- or the people who sanction such attacks by participating in the pointless bull sessions with the fleas on that forum.

(Link to Diana's full statement)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess her mindset is that any serious criticism necessarily equals vicious ad hominem attacks, and that we even discuss this issue on THE Forum is evidence enough to them that we are obsessed with meeting together to spread vicious things about them.

It's really sad that seemingly rational people can get so twisted up, incoherent, and disconnected from reality. I mean jesus christ, if you were to read only the things Diana writes about Betsy and this webforum you would conclude that this mysterious "Betsy Speicher" is like the Emperor Palpatine of Objectivism: a nefarious, deceitful, shadowy and evil being bent on "befriending", using, and eventually destroying people around her.

If you had confronted me five years ago and asked me to name off the top of my head the most important things that immediately come to mind about Objectivism, it would have been "selfishness, individual rights, reason".

A year or two ago and it would have been "happiness, values, hard work"

Ask me now and it would be... Objectivity. I have encountered quite a few people in my life who were fundamentally good people and meant well, but in the end they were individuals who could not recognize things for what they were, they could not stay honest with reality, and it led to their complete downfall... :angry2:

It's sad really... You can't use reality to convince these people otherwise, because they just know it to be true in a resolute way that doesn't even need to trivialize itself with facts; they are so enlightened with their understanding of abstract thinking that they have elevated themselves to an astral plane where comprehension of truth is automatic and they are beyond dealing with the muddy concretes of reality.

You can't argue with them, because anytime you disagree or criticize their reasoning it is only comprehended on their part as a personal attack.

You can't even discuss it with other people (as we are doing here), because then you are just "part of a conspiracy" that is against them.

Like I said, what I get out of this is that regardless of anything that you are or profess to be, your honesty towards reality will either make or destroy you :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ask me now and it would be... Objectivity. I have encountered quite a few people in my life who were fundamentally good people and meant well, but in the end they were individuals who could not recognize things for what they were, they could not stay honest with reality, and it led to their complete downfall... :angry2:

Correction, that should read would. What I meant to communicate is not that they were unable to recognize reality, but that they were able to see things as they really are, but deep down inside somewhere they refused to recognize things as they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ask me now and it would be... Objectivity. I have encountered quite a few people in my life who were fundamentally good people and meant well, but in the end they were individuals who would not recognize things for what they were, they would not stay honest with reality, and it led to their complete downfall... :angry2:

If you understand the causal connection between principled loyalty to reality -- in all its concrete, observable glory -- and succeeding in life, then you'll be a winner. Betsy's Law #1!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ask me now and it would be... Objectivity. I have encountered quite a few people in my life who were fundamentally good people and meant well, but in the end they were individuals who would not recognize things for what they were, they would not stay honest with reality, and it led to their complete downfall... :angry2:

If you understand the causal connection between principled loyalty to reality -- in all its concrete, observable glory -- and succeeding in life, then you'll be a winner. Betsy's Law #1!

Did you ever hear tell of sweet Betsy from life? :)

Thank you for your honesty and love of truth, Betsy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is one thing to question the basic principles of Objectivism, and another to question interpretations and applications of the philosophy. I feel for those poor souls who admire this philosophy and are crucified, not because they had the wrong idea, but because they misapplied it. In the end there is the pressure to conform to the accepted application for fear of censure.

It is fair enough to claim someone has not applied Objectivism correctly, but quite another to to thereby accuse them of being unfriendly to it. This is a suffocating attitude, because it makes no allowance for questioning accepted interpretations, without subjecting oneself to being a heretic.

I have deliberately avoided specifics and personalities lest that be used as leverage for a claim of attack or bias. That said, I must add that I like and respect Betsy, and think her genuineness is beyond question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ask me now and it would be... Objectivity. I have encountered quite a few people in my life who were fundamentally good people and meant well, but in the end they were individuals who could not recognize things for what they were, they could not stay honest with reality, and it led to their complete downfall... :angry2:

It's sad really... You can't use reality to convince these people otherwise, because they just know it to be true in a resolute way that doesn't even need to trivialize itself with facts; they are so enlightened with their understanding of abstract thinking that they have elevated themselves to an astral plane where comprehension of truth is automatic and they are beyond dealing with the muddy concretes of reality.

After all these years, I still go back to Roark vs. Keating: is someone's primary orientation to reality or to others? Among Objectivists it can be particularly hard to tell because the Keatings will echo the right catchphrases and arguments and views, praise a lot of the same art and historical figures, etc. But one clue I've found is: do they spend a lot of time focused on who is "in" or "out" of their circle of acceptable people? By this I mean they go beyond obvious, clear-cut cases and delve into witch hunts. They go looking for people who aren't "true Objectivists" and are "not to be trusted" scoundrels. The secondhanded motivation is obvious: earning brownie points as someone who can be trusted by rooting out those who allegedly don't belong. There are clear cases like Branden or Kelley, and after seeing the facts their dishonesty is obvious. But if it isn't obvious in some other case, why obsess about it? When it isn't obvious, this Keating type has to dig in to some minor thing, blow it out of proportion (i.e., drop context), and go through rationalistic acrobatics to explain how this minor thing indicates a deep-seated ethical violation so bad that even the appearance of associating with this person would tar another person's reputation.

Even worse is when a disagreement over concrete facts is used as a justification for moral condemnation. What it says is that there can't be honest mistakes in thinking; one either is correct and moral, or incorrect and immoral. To disagree over philosophical principles (freedom vs tyranny) is one thing; disagreeing about strategy (how to best fight for freedom) is another; about which side, the socialist left or religious right, poses the biggest immediate or long term threat is another. And, to top it all off by blatantly lying -- such as claiming disagreements with Peikoff are really personal attacks on him -- is really low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admire Betsy, not only for sticking to what she can prove and using reasoned arguments rather than emotional grandstanding, but for not forcing her own evaluation on others. I’m sure this conflict has been a source of stress for her, but she has never allowed herself to become vindictive or petty. I don’t know if I would have handled things nearly as well in her place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to admire Betsy, not only for sticking to what she can prove and using reasoned arguments rather than emotional grandstanding, but for not forcing her own evaluation on others. I’m sure this conflict has been a source of stress for her, but she has never allowed herself to become vindictive or petty.

That's because it isn't a source for stress, and never has been. When I first encountered hostility for stating what I thought was true, way back in the NBI days when I noticed seemingly dishonest actions on the part of Branden and questioned them, the reaction I got from some other students was "That's Nathaniel Branden. Who are you to question him?" I was very shocked by that but even then, I wasn't stressed out about it, just puzzled. When I asked them why they reacted that way, they couldn't give me an answer that made sense.

Since then, being the outspoken "judgemental" person that I am, I have run into plenty more hostility along the way, but I am no longer puzzled and I realize it comes with the territory. When I am attacked by those who find themselves backed into a corner because something I said or did exposes their pretenses, or threatens to, I tend to be amused. I know they can't touch me because I'm right and I think, "There they go again!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to laugh at Miss Hsieh writing that FORUM members are "so-called Ayn Rand fans." Apparently, actual Ayn Rand fans don't question authority and they can't see through Branden's pathetic act.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites