Monday, December 22, 2014

Open thread

As per Lloyd's suggestion. Comment away.

200 comments:

Neil Parille said...

Quant,

I don't dispute that Perkins and Dr. Diana have a negative view of ARCHN. (I think Perkins said he read it, I'm not positive about Dr. Diana.)

My experience with Orthodox Objectivists such as Biddle, Armstrong, Perkins and Dr. Diana is that they will find some article that makes a caricature of Objectivism, e.g. Rand advocates selfishness, ergo she advocates machine gunning babies in maternity wards, and, ergo, all criticisms of Objectivism are bad.

A much better approach would be for Dr. Diana to take a good critique of Objectivism (such as E. Mack's discussion of Rand's ethics in JARS some years ago) and respond to it. Dr. Diana won't do that.

One person who seems to interact with criticisms of Objectivism is John McCaskey, and look where that got him.

Lloyd Flack said...

As I said it's a long time since I read Atlas Shrugged. So to quickly refresh my memory of why she thought Stadler was so bad I looked up an article on Rebirth of Reason.
That pointed out that Rand saw him as an example of mind body dualism. He was interested in knowledge for its own sake and disdained any practical use for that knowledge.
This is a case where Rand has a point but gets everything way out of proportion. Yes there are snobs who revel in the purity of their studies. This is of pretty minor importance. But people do value knowledge and understanding for their own sake and Rand in looking at science without immediate applications this way misses the point.
And she claims that Stadler is the one who knew better, that was knowingly serving evil. I would say that scientists in general don not necessarilly have a better understanding of moral issues and moral implications than other people. She assumed that intelligence and logic were enough to know the truth with certainty and hence was very harsh in her judgment of any intellectual who disagreed with her. She tended to beieve that for them it had to be bad intentions.
The same article regarded Alan Greenspan as a Robert Stadler, Aman who knew the truth and rejected it. Since most people here are either apostates or others whe rejected objectivism arter contact with it doesn't it make you feel good to be the ultimate in depravity. Even though I only provisionally and patially accepted Rand's ideeas it still feels good to be in their denounced group.

Gordon Burkowski said...

"A man who knew the truth and rejected it."

This kind of thinking goes back to the most persistent - and usually wrongheaded - tendency in Objectivism: the reduction of all questions to two mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive answers.

Thus, ALL art must be classed as either Naturalist or Romantic.

The world is either perfectly knowable or totally unknowable.

You can either choose to think, in which case you will inevitably agree with Ayn Rand; or "evade", in which case you will be the victim of all manner of conceptual horrors.

If you're an Objectivist, you will base your ethics on the life of man qua man; so every other ethic must have a death premise.

And on and on and on.

If you buy into this kind of thing - if you're not into what Objectivist contemptuously describe as "complexity worship" - you certainly go through life with a feeling of total certainty. Unfortunately, it's achieved by ignoring quite a lot of those "facts of reality" that Ayn Rand constantly appeals to.

Jzero said...

"If you're an Objectivist, you will base your ethics on the life of man qua man; so every other ethic must have a death premise."

Ironically, life itself is premised on death.

Lloyd Flack said...

I just saw an interesting article about mutual interference in the brain between our analytical abilities and our empathic abilities.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121030161416.htm
I claims that normaly we cycle between empathic and anaytic modes but on some tasks will use only one of these most of the time. If the article is correct then Objectivism's extreme emphasis could encourage people to get stuck in an analytic mode and sideline their empathy. I think this is consistent with observation. Of course the article cannot be regarded as proof of the claimed phenomena.

Gordon Burkowski said...


@Lloyd:

You may want to check out Michael Prescott's essay "Shrugging Off Ayn Rand." Just google the title. It's important reading for recovering Objectivists, along with Branden's "Benefits and Hazards" piece.

It includes the observation of one of Prescott's friends who said: "Ayn Rand was the ultimate spokesman for the left hemisphere of the brain."

Very true - although her right brain does show up in her novels. It's not always a pleasant place to be - as evidenced, for example, by the rape scene in The Fountainhead.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

So far, we can see that Nyquist has completely failed to refute or at least impugn the Objectivist view of perception which is a form of direct realism.

You need to understand, or educate yourself further, that our senses are our direct contact with reality, so if we cannot trust our senses, then that throws all our knowledge into doubt and skepticism. It leaves the door open to dictatorial, tyrannical, arbitrary clams about reality that are divorced from empirical confirmation.

But to say the senses are valid, is simply to say that they provide valid(justified to rely on said veracity) material/information about the outside world.

It is the task of reason and experiment and thought to make sure the material provided by the senses are being interpreted or understood correctly.

And that looks to be what you and Nyquist don't understand.

You say well the senses deceive us. No, they don't deceive us. They are providing accurate information about the external environment as long as the senses are functioning properly.

Whether that information or material provided by the senses is being correctly understood is the task of the mind/reason and investigation to determine.

So if Nyquist is so badly wrong in his attack on Objectivism's philosophy of perception, that opens the door to him being wrong about so much else.

Jzero said...

"You say well the senses deceive us. No, they don't deceive us. They are providing accurate information about the external environment as long as the senses are functioning properly."

Well, no. They don't, not always, and that is scientific fact. Optical and auditory illusions are well-documented phenomena. Sensations such as phantom limb occur when the senses are functioning properly.

You might argue semantics and say that the senses (that is, the organic machines that make up our eyes and ears and such) are functioning properly, only that it is the brain that fails to interpret things correctly, but this is splitting hairs, since what constitutes our senses includes how those senses hook up to the brain. A camera lens may pass and focus light, but unless there is something there to receive that light and utilize it, whether the lens is doing a perfect job or not is somewhat immaterial.

Such things as illusions are not a result of some kind of flawed thinking, they are hard-wired into the human sensory system, and cannot be simply corrected by better thinking. You may be able to understand that an illusion is not what it seems, and you may use other observations to get there. But the illusion does not necessarily go away because of that understanding.

And then there's the issue of things that happen outside of our ability to sense them. Sound and light both extend beyond human senses. Electromagnetic radiation of many types goes unnoticed to the senses. So we may rely on our senses to interact with the world, but we must remember that those senses are not perfect, and thus, if we simply accept them as "valid" we run the risk of relying on erroneous or incomplete data.

"You need to understand, or educate yourself further, that our senses are our direct contact with reality, so if we cannot trust our senses, then that throws all our knowledge into doubt and skepticism. It leaves the door open to dictatorial, tyrannical, arbitrary clams about reality that are divorced from empirical confirmation."

You mean like Objectivism?

I mean, you left that door wide open. But seriously, does not Objectivism make such claims about reality? And as far as it goes, doesn't Objectivism stray away from real empirical confirmation of its claims? Certainly you don't find a lot of it in prominent Objectivist writings. "Man qua man" has little actual evidence to support it.

There's a difference between "not trusting our senses" and "abandoning all belief in anything our senses tell us", and one of the problems with debating with Objectivists is that it's all or nothing with them. You can't allow for doubt of any kind or else you're just chucking all of man's achievements into the trash, or some other just as ridiculous binary unrealistic choice.

I say - and what I've read of real science seems to bear this out - that far from being a sign of irrationality, a certain amount of doubt is healthy and a necessary ingredient if one wants to get closer to the truth of things. Otherwise, you simply accept what some trusted source tells you - be that Rand or your senses - never question it, assume you're always right, and live your life being quite possibly wrong until the end of your days.

Jzero said...

Well, I hadn't noticed that QH left comments on the previous thread after the open comments thread was started. Once again, trying to join the party after everyone else left. Let me quickly address a couple things:

I said: "But he still hasn't really sorted out the issue of how one knows when his perceptions are accurate or when they are mistaken"

QH replied: "Yeah he has. It's called using reason and logic."

Shut up.

I say that because this is a really idiotic non-answer. "Use reason and logic", fine. Based on what facts? What evidence? What empirical observation? It's telling when someone urges you to "use logic" but then cannot satisfactorily demonstrate that logic. And that's Piekoff's flaw (well, at least one): he doesn't (as far as I can tell) actually walk one through step by step and show how the logic works. In fact, you could say that's a more general problem with Objectivists and their statements - for all the urging of logical thinking, when it comes time to actually put it into practice, they come up lacking. Rand herself famously muffed connecting life itself and her morality, and then crowed "so much for the is/ought question".

Then, in regards to QH's theoretical "if someone said" statement, I said:

"it's an example only of someone's fantasy"

To which QH said:

"Are you really so obtuse, you didn't understand I was using that as an example to show how attacks on the senses lead to self contradiction?

Not ascribing that to any specific person."

The problem is, it's a piss-poor example, because it starts with an implausible premise. Since nobody says this, ever, it's easy to just build a sentence that contains a supposed "stolen concept" fallacy. That might work for Wikipedia, as a walk-through for people who just don't get the concept.

The problem is, we've moved past that to the issue of the validity of the senses, and so we're aiming for something that relates. Or we should be. Which is what I said originally, but you've conveniently ignored. Your example did not address anything anyone actually said, so in and of itself it does nothing to advance the idea of the senses being valid.

Gordon Burkowski said...

@Jzero:

Actually, I think that debates on the “validity of the senses” are a bit of a red herring. In spite of all the huffing and puffing among Objectivists, this isn’t a serious issue among most philosophers – or among the overwhelming majority of other people.

The far more interesting question is: the relation between what we perceive and the concepts/theories we use to understand what we perceive.

Objectivism works on a sharp distinction between what we perceive and the concepts/theories we apply to those perceptions. Trouble is, no such distinction can be drawn. All perceptions are conceptually laden and there is no escaping that fact.

To give just one example: consider the letter “A”. Look at it carefully. Try to imagine what it looks like to someone who doesn’t know the alphabet. If you say you can, my reply is: no, you can’t.

All of us inevitably use concepts and theories to understand the world. Objectivism holds that its conceptual maps are not only right, but the only ones that can possibly be right; and that anyone who denies this is not only wrong, but evading reality.

This is not empiricism; it’s not science. It’s a rationalistic system pretending – unsuccessfully – to be based on facts.

Michael Prescott said...

I hadn't noticed that QH had commented on the last thread.

On that thread he'd replied to me (earlier): "To the best of my recollection I never said Galt's speech cannot be taken as an authoritative statement of Objectivism because it appears in a novel."

In response, I quoted from one of QH's comments in the Atlas Shrugged movie thread (bold emphases added):

"And I could be wrong, but I don't think you can say Rand said this and said that, when it wasn't her that said it directly, but it was one of her bloody characters in her fictional novels.

"I could be wrong, but I don't think fiction works that way.

"I've never heard anyone, at least with me, say Stephen King said this and that, when it was actually his character Jack Torrance that said it.

"The author is writing for a character, so you cant, as far as I know, say it was the author saying this. It's the character since it's fiction.

"For example, say Stephen King writes for one of his characters to say homosexuality is evil.

"You cant necessarily say that is what Stephen King is saying or rather believes since it's bloody fiction. Stephen King the person could actually think homosexuality is fine and moral.

"That's why it's best to refer to the nonfictional statements of the person to make sure there is no misunderstanding about their position or beliefs.

"This might be why you clowns have such a problem with Objectivism. You are going off of fictional novels. Not sure."

Pretty definitive, isn't it? Obviously QH's claim that he "never said Galt's speech cannot be taken as an authoritative statement of Objectivism because it appears in a novel" is incorrect. The intelligent thing to do would be to concede the point and move on.

Will he do so? Keep reading for the exciting conclusion!

Michael Prescott said...

QuantumHaecceity, Part Two: A Is Not A

To the surprise of no one, QH does not do the intelligent thing. Instead he launches this sad little salvo in reply to the stuff I cited:

"And none of those quotes have me saying Galt's speech cannot be taken as an authoritative statement of Objectivism because it appears in a novel."

They don't?

"So yeah, just as I thought, you screwed up there."

Really? I screwed up? Interesting.

"Indeed, what I did say, even has me using several qualifiers/caveats to denote that I am not sure about that and am making statements that I do not intend to be presented as fact or conclusive."

This is like saying, "As far as I know, the moon is made of green cheese, though I could be wrong" - and when informed of the truth, replying, "I never said the moon was made of green cheese; I was making a statement that I did not intend to be presented as fact."

Good luck with that.

QH continues: "If Objectivists consider Galt's speech to be an authoritative statement of Objectivism, that's their business, and I wouldn't dispute that in and of itself, but only say I think it's a bad idea to get ones understanding of a philosophy from fictional novels."

But this is not what he said before. And note that he still doesn't seem to actually *know* that "Objectivists consider Galt's speech to be an authoritative statement of Objectivism." He only says that "if" they think so, he would disagree. How familiar can a person be with Objectivist literature if he is still unaware of this kindergarten-level fact?

QH goes on to say that there are problems with presenting a philosophy in a fictional context, which may well be true. But this doesn't change the fact that Rand *did* present what she considered to be authoritative and definitive statements of Objectivism in her mature novels. She did not see it as a problem, and neither do her top-level supporters (Peikoff, et al.) who quote from Atlas every bit as reverently as Rand herself did.

Someone who twists himself into such pretzel-like contortions to avoid acknowledging a simple (and easily proven) mistake is impossible to take seriously.

Really, QH ought to go away and read *all* of Rand's writings, including her "fictional novels" (as opposed to her nonfiction novels?), then return to us when he has a fuller grasp of the material.

In the meantime, Happy New Year to all! I will blow a noisemaker for each of you ...

Well, maybe a raspberry for Quan.

;-)

Gordon Burkowski said...

"Someone who twists himself into such pretzel-like contortions to avoid acknowledging a simple (and easily proven) mistake is impossible to take seriously."

Well, yes. When it comes to Q, this is part of his/her Standard Operating Procedure.

As one example among others, check out the discussion we had @ "A Little Ancient History" from November 12 to 18 regarding Rand's diktat that one should judge - and be prepared to be judged.

On the positive side, I note in fairness that Q's recent posts, while ill-tempered, have not been particularly abusive or slanderous. No sliming, in short. Perhaps, Michael, you have succeed in embarrassing him/her into displaying a modicum of common decency in debate. It's a new year, and I am hopeful.

And yes - a Happy New Year, of course.

Lloyd Flack said...

QH made a big mistake about Rand regarding Galt's speech as an authoritative exposition of objectivism. She did and said things to the effect that "This is objectivism.". Her essays were mostly footmotes and expositions. Galt's speech was the core. She never did an academic treatse or monograph with the exception of "An Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.". And that only dealt with one aspect of her philosophy.
QH is trying to force Objectivism into a mould that it doesn't fit in. He has expectations that would be reasonable of another philosophy. But It does not and does not try to meet those expectations.
His mistake was a reasonable one. His persistence in and failure to admit it are not. People would have more respect for him if he admitted that he was wrong.

Lloyd Flack said...

QH, she did turn some of her characters into mouthpieces for her philosophy, especially in Atlas Shrugged. And this weakened her novels as stories again especially Atlas Shrugged. You are looking for and expecting to find something that is not there, an acatemic exposition of her philosophy. Yes it should be there but she didn't do it.

Jzero said...

I'll just leave this here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8m8cQI4DgM

Lloyd Flack said...

Why are people talking about her more now than they were a few years back? I think that should be the question. Note that it's only in the US that people are talking about her more. In other countries including other English speaking countries even neo liberals do not give her as a source of inspiration even when they advocate the same things as her supports in the US.
Even in the US there is little support for her philosophy as an integrated whole. There is support for her ethics and her politics but not many take her epistemology or metaphysics or aesthetics seriously. Her novels seem to have more influence than her non-fiction.
Her influence seems to have risen with the Tea Party. She has been their inspirational myth maker. The question becomes, why has the influence of the Tea party risen, and what is her appeal to them?

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Gordon

"Objectivism works on a sharp distinction between what we perceive and the concepts/theories we apply to those perceptions"

Can you specifically cite and quote some Objectivist literature proving your claim that Objectivism works on a sharp distinction between what we perceive and the concepts we apply to those perceptions?



"but the only ones that can possibly be right"

Can you specifically cite and quote some Objectivist literature proving your claim that Objectivism thinks its conceptual maps are not only right, but the only ones that could possibly be right?

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

Why am I not surprised you would support through promotion, such a dreadfully biased and juvenile attack piece as that "Last week tonight" video?

Let's go through it piece by piece.

First the video wastes our time on a childish meandering about how to pronounce her name. Why they did this, who knows. That is no different a situation than how to pronounce Dostoevsky or Nietzsche.

Then the video and its authors completely lose all credibility when they say that Objectivism is a nice way of saying being a selfish asshole.

Which is totally false since being a selfish asshole is directly denounced by Objectivism via its denouncement of hedonism, its espousal of the trader principle, its espousal of honesty and justice and of course its advocacy of rational, I repeat rational, self interest. Not simply naked, brute self-interest.

Then the video drops some well timed Goebbelsesque propaganda with the My super sweet sixteen footage, which again exposes that the video is just a propagandist attack piece, since what the girl is displaying is hedonistic behavior, which Objectivism is explicitly against.

That again, for any informed and sophisticated viewer, should rob the video and its makers of any intellectual credibility.

Then it says that Ayn Rand is something you are supposed to grow out of, but this is just an ignorant bare assertion, since it doesnt explain why one must grow out of believing in objective reality, reason, limited government, rule of law, justice, independent behavior, striving for success, the trader principle, capitalism, individual rights or things like the truth of the Law of Identity and the non-aggression principle.

A Yacht isn't enough to warn people you're a douchebag, is just naked bias. A 287 foot Yacht could just as easily warn people that you are a success in life.

The video is so silly, it even answers its own question. How is Ayn Rand still a thing? She is still a thing because she inspires people and because they enjoy her novels and she stands for ideals that some people believe are right

Supporting such a dreadful attack piece is about what I would expect from a person who supports a website where the main writer has such a middle school level difficulty understanding what the word (is) means in Existence is Identity.

Which again, is just laughable to the max.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"You are looking for and expecting to find something that is not there, an acatemic exposition of her philosophy."

What in the world are you talking about Flack. There are academic expositions of her philosophy.

In JARS, OPAR, Understanding Objectivism, How we Know, The Objectivist ethics, etc.

Lloyd Flack said...

QH, if you were to say that left wing criticisms of Objectivism and Rand often miss the point you would not find any disagreement here. If you were to complain about the pettiness of mocking her name you would not find much disagreement either. If you were to complain about the claim that Objectivism encourages people to be selfish arseholes then you would find a lot of disagreement here.
You talk about the trader principle. Apply that in any friendship or close emotional relationship and you have a disaster. Especially apply that to a parent child relationship and you would have a disaster. Close relationships are about giving not trading. And if you tell a generous person that they are engaged in trading then you are insulting them terribly. And they will see it that way.
I think objectivists can probably only rear children properly to the extent that they engage in hypocrisy and abandon the trader principle.
Ostentatious display of wealth deserves scorn. Ostentations display of morality deserves even more scorn. Rand seems to have had conflicting attitudes to the display of wealth. She talked about not living to impress others which would be an argument against displays of wealth which had that purpose such as a huge yacht. On the other hand she wanted to admire accomplishment and saw conspicuous consumption and display as signs of accomplishment

Lloyd Flack said...

I said she did not do any such thing. The novels are the core. Her novels, not any treatises by Peikoff and others. Tell them that it is otherwise, that you can fully understand objectivism without reading The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged and you will not not get a good reaction from them. She referred to her novels as if theyt were holy writ. So do her accolytes

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

"Optical and auditory illusions are well-documented phenomena."

You don't understand what's going on here. If the senses deceived us, then when you should see an optical or auditory illusion, you wouldn't, if the senses deceived us.

In the context of the situation, under the right conditions, you will perceive some given percept. Whether it is an illusion or not, is up to the mind and reason to determine, but the senses are giving you accurate information about the situation.

Same with Phantom limb sensation. Recent research is leading to the notion that the sensation comes from maladaptive changes in the cortex.



"if we simply accept them as "valid" we run the risk of relying on erroneous or incomplete data."

You dont seem to want to get what the word valid means there.



"But seriously, does not Objectivism make such claims about reality?"

No.



"Man qua man" has little actual evidence to support it."

You appear not to understand then what man qua man even means.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

"Once again, trying to join the party after everyone else left."

The above is so stupid. How am I joining the part after(with emphasis) everyone else left, when I was a part of the "party" when they were there.


"What evidence?"

The evidence provided by the senses.



"What empirical observation?"

Empirical observations provided by the senses.



"he doesn't (as far as I can tell) actually walk one through step by step and show how the logic works."

He writes a whole chapter or maybe more in OPAR on this issue, but the situation is variable. So it would be unreasonable and probably not workable to do what you want, since the logic that is used to find out the pencil is not bent, is not the same logic or process or steps used to know that the water you think you see, is not really water.


But the step by step might be covered in Dr. Binswanger's How we Know, or in Dr. Kelley's Evidence of the Senses. I'm not sure.











QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"Close relationships are about giving not trading"

The above is rather silly. Close relationships are about or should be about giving and receiving. Which is trading.

That which is an exchange of value.


"I think objectivists can probably only rear children properly to the extent that they engage in hypocrisy and abandon the trader principle."

I don't think the trader principle is a principle used to rear children. It's primarily used as a principle to espouse that one should deal with others through mutual gain rather than force, fraud, or parasitism.


"I said she did not do any such thing"

Looks like she did through essays like the Objectivist ethics.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Prescott

LOL! You actually intellectually hung yourself with your own explanation.

When you attempted to explain the situation, you showed how you screwed up.

In your explanation you say "This is like saying, As far as I know, the moon is made of green cheese, though I could be wrong" - and when informed of the truth, replying, "I never said the moon was made of green cheese; I was making a statement that I did not intend to be presented as fact."

Notice, in your explanatory example, the person actually did say those exact words, then denies saying those exact words.

I never said the exact words of Galt's speech cannot be taken as an authoritative statement of Objectivism because it appears in a novel. Which is why you screwed up. Because you attributed a statement to me that I did not actually say.

What you did was dishonesty interpret or assume that's what I meant, by what I did actually say.

But if you wanted to be honest, you would simply have asked me to clarify if I am actually saying Galt's speech cannot be taken as an authoritative statement of Objectivism because it appears in a novel, because that seems to be what you are saying.

At which point I would have clarified so there is no misunderstanding by saying this:

If Objectivists consider Galt's speech to be an authoritative statement of Objectivism, that's their business, and I wouldn't dispute that in and of itself, but only say I think it's a bad idea to get ones understanding of a philosophy from fictional novels.



"How familiar can a person be with Objectivist literature if he is still unaware of this kindergarten-level fact?"


How familiar can a person be with Objectivist philosophy when they dont even know how denial of the senses leads to a stolen concept fallacy.

How familiar can a person be with Objectivist philosophy or literature when they dont even know what the word is means in Existence is Identity. And instead has to struggle to come up with like 7 retarded ways or however many it was, to parse and analyze the word is, like they have yet to graduate middle school.

Hell, Jzero just promoted and thus supported, a video by John Oliver, that doesn't know the kindergarten fact that Objectivism is against being a selfish "asshole" since it opposes hedonism and promotes a rational, repeat, rational self interest. A video that acts like it doesnt even know the kindergarten fact of how to pronounce the name Ayn.

Gordon Burkowski said...

Q: “Can you specifically cite and quote some Objectivist literature proving your claim that Objectivism works on a sharp distinction between what we perceive and the concepts we apply to those perceptions?"

“[T]he day when [a child] grasps that his senses cannot deceive him, that physical objects cannot act without causes, that his organs of perception are physical and have no volition, no power to invent or distort, that the evidence they give him is an absolute, but his mind must learn to understand it, his mind must discover the nature, the causes, the full context of his sensory material, his mind must identify the things he perceives – that is the day of his birth as a thinker and a scientist.”

Q: “Can you specifically cite and quote some Objectivist literature proving your claim that Objectivism thinks its conceptual maps are not only right, but the only ones that could possibly be right?”

“The extreme that you have always struggled to avoid is the recognition that reality is final, that A is A and that truth is true.”

Noteworthy in this regard is the fact that the three parts of Atlas Shrugged are named after Aristotle’s three primary metaphysical axioms – with the clearly stated implication that anyone who does not see things Rand's way is simply evading reality.

The two quotes are from Galt’s speech. And of course, anyone familiar with Objectivism must be familiar with Galt’s speech and with the whole of Atlas Shrugged. Anyone who wasn’t familiar with them and claimed to be an expert on Objectivism would likely not know what he/she was talking about. Oh, wait.

Jzero said...

QH, your critique of the video does more to denigrate Objectivism than the video ever could, since it demonstrates what a shrill, touchy, and humorless individual the philosophy has made of you.


As for the rest, you're still offering vague non-answers and circular run-arounds as answers to questions, and there's nothing there of substance to deal with. If I'm wrong, you are inept at demonstrating it. Though certainly I expect you to state otherwise.

Gordon Burkowski said...

Well, Michael, what does one say? Between the troll discussion and the Galt speech discussion, you have penned two of the most devastating critiques I’ve ever seen on the net. And both of them went off Uno Q like the proverbial urine off a duck’s back. Rather disturbing, really.

You’re the latest person to see how thin this person’s knowledge of Objectivism actually is. The moment the discussion gets into anything beyond the standard slogans, he/she is completely out of his/her depth. The latest example came up in a response to Flack:

“I don't think the trader principle is a principle used to rear children. It's primarily used as a principle to espouse that one should deal with others through mutual gain rather than force, fraud, or parasitism.”

Now anyone familiar with Atlas Shrugged would never make such a mistake. Rand believes the Trader Principles applies to ALL rational exchanges between rational beings: and that includes childrearing, sexual relationships, artistic appreciation/creation - and charity.

Rand boasted - correctly - that every philosophic claim advanced in Galt’s speech was illustrated by the events of the novel. She was justifiably proud of this. It’s the most impressive thing about the book.

By the way, note that restricting the application of the Trader Principle also strips it of all interest. Sermons against force and fraud are just bromides. As usual with Rand, half of what she says is true but unoriginal; and the other half is sometimes original but usually false.

Michael Prescott said...

"Well, Michael, what does one say? Between the troll discussion and the Galt speech discussion, you have penned two of the most devastating critiques I’ve ever seen on the net."

Thanks, Gordon! I'll stop paying attention to Q now. He reminds me of an episode of the TV show Firefly, where the hero is challenged to a duel (with swords). Never having used a sword in his life, he spends the night practicing. As the duel starts, he executes some of his newly learned moves against an experienced opponent, and smiles. A knowledgeable observer shakes his head and mutters, "He thinks he's doing well, doesn't he?"

Thanks for sharing the video, Jzero. But I have to say, it's pretty weak. Most of the celebs used as examples of Rand's ideals would have disgusted her. She would have seen them as whim-worshipers, social metaphysicians - in short, as Peter Keatings.

And the video is dishonestly edited. At one point Rand is quoted as saying, "Why is it good for other people to be happy?" But I remember the interview, and what she actually said was, "Why is it good for other people to be happy, but not for you to be happy?" She was objecting to the double standard found in at least some versions of the Christian ethics, such as Kant's deontological ethic. By clipping the last part of the quote, the editor changed the meaning and made her sound merely peevish.

Lloyd asks, "The question becomes, why has the influence of the Tea Party risen, and what is her appeal to them?"

From InfoPlease:

"CNBC's Rick Santelli is widely credited with launching the grassroots movement. While standing on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009, he unleashed what can only be called a rant against the Obama Administration's proposal to help homeowners facing foreclosure refinance their mortgages.

"'Do we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages?' he asked. 'This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills?' He went on to suggest that he would organize a Chicago Tea Party in July, where capitalists would dump 'some derivative securities into Lake Michigan.' The video of his tirade became a YouTube hit, and thus the movement was born. Within weeks, Tea Party protests were sprouting up all over the country. The Tea Party name, a clear reference to the American colonists' dumping of tea into Boston Harbor to protest taxes imposed by King George, stands as an acronym as well: Taxed Enough Already."

http://www.infoplease.com/us/government/tea-party-history.html

Rand's appeal is mostly symbolic, IMO. I doubt most Tea Partiers have read much of her work, and I would assume many would disagree with her on specific issues. She appeals to them, I think, as someone who mythologized the lone individualist standing up to both intrusive government and crony capitalism.

In saying "mythologized," I don't mean to insult her. Mythmaking is crucial to any community. One of the reason for modern malaise is the absence of myths that we can believe in - stories that give meaning and a larger purpose to our lives.

Gordon Burkowski said...

@ Michael:

Liked the Firefly story. I am myself reminded of the guy who showed a picture of the Earth from space to a member of the Flat Earth Society. He studied the picture for some minutes, then looked up and said: "Well it's easy to see how this could fool the untrained eye." :)

Jzero said...

"Most of the celebs used as examples of Rand's ideals would have disgusted her."

Oh, no doubt. But I think that's one of the big problems Rand was wrestling with in trying to codify Objectivism - how to encourage a maximum level of self-worth and self interest without carrying it "too far" in Rand's view and sailing into "whim-worship". It's a tricky line to walk, and I'd say she didn't exactly succeed.

Moreover, she runs into the risk that every philosophy that claims to have "the answer" faces: having people take only the parts they like of the philosophy, discarding the rest, and using what they like to justify whatever it is they want to do...

Lloyd Flack said...

Jzero, she tried to solve this problem by claiming that behaviour that she disapproved of was not truly in someone's self-interest. She seemed to be appealing to pride claiming that predatory behaviour was beneath the dignity of a rational person. But people can take pride in predatory behaviour thinking it puts them above others. She gave no reason why someone should not think this way.

Lloyd Flack said...

QH, she elaborated points but she never did a treatise bringing everything together. She treated Galt's speech in some ways as if it was that treatise and referred to it almost in the same way that a Christian would refer to the Sermon on the Mount, only making the speech even more central than the sermon is.

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QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

If that is the case, then why did you post the video to begin with? I figured, like a lot of people, though couched in a satirical vehicle, you took it seriously.

Apparently, based on your post, you don't take the video seriously at all, didn't think the points it made were to be taken seriously, and that it was just a joke meant for laughs.

If so, good. When you posted the link, and then when you gave that pithy "I'll just leave this here", that gave the impression you took the video non-trivially and that it was some sort of credibility bomb and destruction of Objectivism.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Gordon

Dude, seriously, based on what you gave to back up your statements, you appear to not know what you're talking about, and are doing what Nyquist seems to have done on this website, which is strawman up the yahoo or misunderstand badly, and use that misunderstanding as a refutation of Objectivism.

Dude, you're going to have to break down how that first thing you posted, at all shows Objectivism works on a sharp distinction between what we perceive and the concepts we apply to those perceptions?. Because I don't see anything there that helps you out of what looks like more foolishness on your part.

And that second one was just straight trash. This...

“The extreme that you have always struggled to avoid is the recognition that reality is final, that A is A and that truth is true.”

...does not at all allow you to honestly say Objectivism thinks its conceptual maps are not only right, but the only ones that could possibly be right?”

You are essentially deploying the screw-up that Michael Prescott did. In order to not be screwing up like Prescott, you need to be showing where Objectivism is explicitly stating or explicitly thinks that its conceptual maps are not only right, but the only ones that could possibly be right.

Otherwise, you are screwing up like Prescott and dishonestly misrepresenting. Which, unless you show otherwise, is the case, as you yourself have said:

"with the clearly stated implication that anyone who does not see things Rand's way is simply evading reality."

Clearly stated implication is no good. Since the word implication is just another way of saying your own subjective interpretation.

But just to be fair, I'll give you a chance to explain yourself further rather than just conclude you screwed up like Prescott.


"you have penned two of the most devastating critiques I’ve ever seen on the net."

You have to be playing around here because the above is laughably over the top. If I understand what you mean by the troll discussion, all Prescott did was act like a fool by engaging in hypocrisy, and being a troll himself.

And on the so called Galt speech discussion, all Prescott did was screw up by dishonestly misrepresenting, then screwed up some-more when he tried to exonerate himself. Then when I blasted him clean on it, he copped out, quit and ran talking about
"I'll stop paying attention to Q now". Which, at least to me, is simply another way of saying, yes I was shown to be embarrassingly wrong and am running like a coward.

Gordon Burkowski said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Gordon

Do you really not see how childish and trollish that is?

It would be more mature and adult to simply not say anything if you have nothing constructive or substantive to say.

The zzzzz just comes off as petulant, immature and petty.

Gordon Burkowski said...

zzzzzzzzzzz

Michael Prescott said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Lloyd Flack said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

QuantumHaecceity said...

Hahaha! Collective childishness, collective intellectual surrender.

Spin said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Lloyd Flack said...

QH, shall I spell things out to you? There is no point to engaging in any discussion with you because you refuse to admit that you are wrong no matter what the demonstration of your errors. You allways look for some argument to prove that you were right right rather than seriously considering the points made. You have no intellectul integrity or honesty. The main point to any dealings with you now is to use you as an an example of what objectivism can encourage. At the moment other reasons have got boring.

Gordon Burkowski said...

@ All But 1:

:)

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

Let me spell things out for you Flack.

The last comment you made to me was nothing but bluster and hot air.

There have been no errors on my part. There have only been imagined errors that I have fully confronted and addressed. There's a difference. If you would like to show otherwise, you may.

However you guys have made tons of errors/blunders that can't be addressed because they genuinely were blunders.

Do you want me to itemize them for you? Here's a few.

Parille blundered when he claimed quote "Orthodox Objectivists do not interact with criticisms of Objectivism or engage with anti-Objectivist blogs".

That was a straight blunder by Parille that cannot be ameliorated since he made an explicit, definitive statement that was definitively wrong.

Burkowski blundered on that Pinocchio junk he concocted. And he was roundly "sliced up" on it.

You blundered badly when you tried to Whiteknight on behalf of Burkowski.

Barnes blundered when he ignorantly claimed I was an Objectivist when I said I wasn't. And then he dishonestly kept claiming it after the fact.

Prescott blundered twice. On his dishonest misrepresentation, and then when he tried to exonerate himself from that.

And those are just a few of the errors you guys have made.

And don't get me started on Jzero, who has messed up so much, he needs to be dunce-capped.

To be frank, you guys have gotten roundly defeated. Just to spell things out for you.

That is not a statement of bluster, that is a statement of fact. If you would like to challenge me on its veracity, I am more than willing and able to back it up, as I've already done to some extent on this post itself.

What is even more extraordinary is that not only have you guys gotten routed, but you have done so while being numerically superior as far as me having to go in to the fray by myself, with no help from anyone, and being attacked often one on three or four or five. And you guys still failed miserably on all fronts.

This is not a statement of bluster, it is a statement of fact. If you would like me to substantiate that, I am more than willing to do so.

Hate to be so frank, but as you say, "shall I spell things out to you".

Lloyd Flack said...

Oh dear! Your lack of self awareness is amazing. Once again you miss the point. We cannot prove anything to you because you are unwilling to recognize any error on your own part. There is of course no way to show that to you because you will refuse to accept any argument that makes you look bad. All this is obvious to any reasonable person. Really, claiming that you have made no errors does say it all about you.

Gordon Burkowski said...

"Oh dear! Your lack of self awareness is amazing."

Yeah, it really is. Particularly the claim that she/he bested Prescott in those exchanges on trolling and the Galt speech.

Disturbing. This guy/gal must have a loose wire somewhere.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Gordon

"This guy/gal must have a loose wire somewhere"

Hahaha! Where is Prescott to catalog the above insult to me and whine and cry about it?

Oh, that only applies when its in the favor of the people he likes and supports. Similar to open carry in Ohio only applies to a certain race.

Oh bias and hypocrisy. A sight to behold. LOL!

QuantumHaecceity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gordon Burkowski said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

Your lack of self-examination makes you unable to understand what a genuine error is. A genuine error or mistake is that which cannot be validly explained or accounted for.

For example, again, when Neil Parille claimed... "Orthodox Objectivists do not interact with criticisms of Objectivism or engage with anti-Objectivist blogs".

...that was an actual blunder, because as I already explained and am now having to repeat myself, he made an explicit, definitive statement that was definitively wrong.

Flack, your bias and stupidity are stunting your cognitive faculties.

All you're doing is spewing hot air. Stop wasting my time. If you guys have nothing more to say of worth, stop referring to me so I don't have to keep responding in defense.

You've been routed(shrugs shoulders), you've been routed. Accept it, shut up, and move on.

Lloyd Flack said...

QuantumHaecceity, the stupid is strong in you, so strong that you cannot recognize how stupid you are. Why should anyone do anything that you want? You are the intruder here, presumptuously trying to upbraid people here. You are the one who can just go away. Every attempt that you make to defend yourself just makes you look more foolish.
Please note one thing. People here have not until recently been calling you a liar though many things that you have said give the rest of us strong reason to believe that you have lied. You have been given the benefit of the doubt. Something thay you don't do.
Everytime that you say you are going away in triumph someone willblow a rasberry. Such pretentiousness is too good a target to pass up.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"People here have not until recently been calling you a liar"

Who the hell are these "people" you're referring to?

It has been one person so far that I can recall, the clown and troll Burkowski, and his claim was identified as not only being false, but one of the dumbest posts any of you lot have rendered.

And that very post that identified that, has not been addressed or refuted by either one of you two, and thus it can be justifiably understood you're simply running and evading it.

Shut up Flack. Your posts are getting more asinine and pathetic, and are a waste of time.

Lloyd Flack said...

Why on Earth should I shut up? Because you don't like what I say? Hardly a good reason is it? After all I have very little respect for your judgment. And it is a very presumptuous thing for you to demand.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"Why on Earth should I shut up?"

Because your posts are asinine and pathetic so it would be wise for you to stop making a fool of yourself

Because you have nothing worthwhile to say and are just whining about junk.

You are evading posts you should be responding to like my shredding of your pathetic white-knighting for Burkowski.

That's why sparky.

Sometimes it's wise to surrender and run like Daniel Barnes did, rather than continue to get eaten up.

Hell, you even just evaded again. I asked you who these "people" are you referenced, since that is clearly plural. You evaded that too and droned on whining some-more. LOL! Stop embarrassing yourself Flack.

QuantumHaecceity said...

"the stupid is strong in you, so strong that you cannot recognize how stupid you are."

Well look what we have here. Another insult spewed at me. Heavens to Murgatroyd! I don't suppose ol Prescott will be cataloging that one as well will he?

LOL! This is hilarious.

Lloyd Flack said...

Barnes decided that he didn't want to bother with you. Any claim of yours otherwise is pretentios breast beating and self deception on your part. People here aren't interested in playing your games.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"Any claim of yours otherwise is pretentios breast beating and self deception"

That's one interpretation of it. My interpretation of it is that he is a coward and ran.

We all have our interpretations. Like one of the anonymous dudes claimed I was evading. Which was a ludicrous interpretation because I directly addressed and answered the things he claimed I evaded on. He still interpreted it as evading! LOL!

So we all have our own interpretations. The question is whether those interpretations are justified by evidence or argument, and then after that, such argument or evidence can be analyzed to see if it stands up to scrutiny, or is plausible or reasonable.

Jzero said...

"When you posted the link, and then when you gave that pithy "I'll just leave this here", that gave the impression you took the video non-trivially and that it was some sort of credibility bomb and destruction of Objectivism."

It would be more accurate to say that such was the impression you chose to take away from it, not necessarily the impression any average rational person would come away with.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

Well I disagree. It was a rational impression, which is why I was able to give a rational explanation of the derivation of said impression.

Lloyd Flack said...

People here had been discussing objectivism. The discussion involved exploring possibilities. It was not about trying to win and all the posters and regular commenters often conceded that one of the others was right on soomething and they were wrong. But you were tying to win, to prove others wrong. which meant that you had nothing to contribute to a discussion abd since you were trying to refute rather than understand you regularly misinterpreted what others said.
There is no point trying to convince you of anything because you will never admit error. All I and others can do is get you to ecpose yourself for the benefit of any newcomers. We/ve been quite successful.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"But you were tying to win,"

Not really. Certainly one does not want to lose, but that is not, nor was not, my main intention.


"you regularly misinterpreted what others said."

I need some examples to assess the merit of this claim. You all too often make bluffy, blustery, bare assertions.



"because you will never admit error."

I don't know of any errors I've committed, to admit to. If you know of one or some, produce it so that I can assess the merit of your claim. You all too often make bluffy, blustery, bare assertions. That is fallacious on your part.

Lloyd Flack said...

Shall we start with a recent and blatant error. Your claiming that Rand's fiction cannot be taken as an accurate statement of her beliefs. To anyone who has read both her fiction and her non fiction this is an obviously false statement. Making such a claim demonstrates how little you understand objectivism.
You claimed that you did not make this claim but Prescott quoted you doing so. You then proceed to try to argue that black is white and weasel out of this. In doing so you demonstrated that there is no point to trying to convince you of anything because you are completely unwilling to admit error. This will of course not convince you but you are not who my explanation is meant for.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"Your claiming that Rand's fiction cannot be taken as an accurate statement of her beliefs."

LOL! That wasn't an error. I've also already addressed this with Prescott.

It wasn't an error because throughout those statements I qualified them with circumspection and non-"definitiveness", since I wasn't sure about the situation.

I even said at the end of his quotes of me...not sure!!

Which is me reiterating or making explicit that I'm not sure this is the case and so I am not presenting these statements as conclusive or categorical.

So again, there is no errors for me to admit to, since as far as I know, I haven't made a single one.

If you have some others you think are, let me know so I can assess the merit of your claim.

Jzero said...

"It was a rational impression, which is why I was able to give a rational explanation of the derivation of said impression."

No, it was not a rational impression. Your explanation was not "rational", it was an assertion. There was no underlying logic given as to why some combination of words should give the impression you claimed.

Your impression was your own idiosyncratic interpretation. You chose to take my post as if I thought I was somehow delivering the ultimate take-down of Rand. I did not, and it was not, and I doubt anyone but you ever thought it was.

You seem to have a habit of determining that you know what people think or intend better than the persons themselves.

Jzero said...

"So again, there is no errors for me to admit to, since as far as I know, I haven't made a single one."

Which conveniently sets the escape hatches up! For if an error should be shown, why, QH can just

1. Deny it categorically; or

2. Claim "as far as I know" means he left the possibility open, so he wasn't actually claiming he was error-free, just that he thought he was, so he can weasel around and say it doesn't matter if he's ever caught making a mistake.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

"There was no underlying logic given as to why some combination of words should give the impression you claimed."

Sure, the underlying logic was, like I already said, your pithy response. It was so terse and sober, and since it had no accompanying LOL or something like "check out this funny joke on Objectivism", that gave the impression you were presenting it as if it were serious and maybe as a satirical bomb against Objectivism's credibility.

To explain further, your terse words came off as, here, watch this, "nuff said". You know, like the video was so powerful and took Objectivism to the woodshed so much, all you had to do was post the link and say "I'll just leave this here".


"so he can weasel around and say"

LOL! You have it wrong in your cynicism. The proper thing to do, to maintain intellectual integrity and be forthright and honest is, when you know something definitively, make a definitive statement. If you don't, qualify your statement accordingly.

As far as I'm concerned or am aware, I have made no errors, but he feels otherwise, so you qualify your statement by making that manifest, and leave the ball in your opponents court to show otherwise.

The person may enlighten you to the contrary, and you go from not knowing you made an error, to knowing. Hence, why "As far as I know" is used.

Lloyd Flack said...

QH, there are degrees of certainty. You felt certain enough that Rand's fiction was unimportant to avoid reading it. That is you felt certainty sufficient for action. You beleived that with a high degree of probability and you were wrong.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

"Your impression was your own idiosyncratic interpretation"

"and it was not, and I doubt anyone but you ever thought it was."

As usual you are wrong. You have made a habit of being wrong at this point.

A quick browsing of the video's comment section shows how many people took the video seriously, and as some sort of definitive, ultimate take down or humiliation of Objectivism, couched in a satirical vehicle.

Here is just a sampling(pardon the profane language):

"This bitch is in hell"(Taw Seef)

"Let me know when she writes non-fiction. All the rest of her books are as phony as she was in real life"(Stuart Neiman)

"Amateurish pseudo philosopher, third rate fiction writer trying to revive "classical rape" in art, with clearly genocidal feelings toward the indigenous. What a lady! What a thinker!"(Kyle Reaves)


"What a fantastic segment. Ayn Rand is by definition selfish psychopath. It appears that those who claim to embrace her "philosophy" really just needs to feed off something that the average person has no clue of.."(Beth Abzun)


"Ayn Rand is a philosopher in the same way Cheetos are food, or your three year old's finger painting is art, or Donald Trump's hair piece is hair."(XZDrake)


"Boy if more of our cells behaved like her we'd all have cancer."(Ryan Johnson)

"Probably not the best of idols - unless you're a socio/psychopath."(Bman Chu)

"This video is fucking great, but the comments are better."( Jeremy Peterson)


"That woman is evil"(Samuel Henson)

"Ayn Rand almost as evil as Thatcher"(Hector Haddow)


"What a cunt!"(Mrthatguysmusic)

"What the fuck! That lady is dumb! I bet she isn't even pro choice, I bet she just has that to defend her racism."(joey mckinnon)

And there's plenty, and I mean plenty more such comments from people who clearly took the video genuinely, and as a serious satirical take down of Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and thus it consequently inspired them to make so many venomous, nasty comments.

That video is the perfect example of the power and impact of Goebbels like propaganda when it is given from a popular figure that is trusted and liked.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"You felt certain enough that Rand's fiction was unimportant to avoid reading it."

(Irritated and bored) You are wrong here too. I never said Rand's fiction was unimportant to avoid reading it.

Indeed, I even said "It's a great way to inspire people to believe it and like it and learn more", which of course is clearly not someone thinking the fiction is unimportant.

This is again why I said you should shut up Flack. You keep making mistakes and digging a deeper hole for your credibility to get buried in.


"and you were wrong."

I haven't been wrong on anything, and that remains the case under scrutiny. If you have anything else that you feel substantiates your claim, let me know so I can assess the merit of it.

The one thing you've brought up thus far, I have fully addressed, and is a woeful failure.

Lloyd Flack said...

And then there is the big one. Describing this blog as a hate site. That demonstrates a complete unwilingness and possibly inability to understand the motives of anyone wwho disagrees with you. A lack of imagination and empathy. People have described their motivations but without any good reason you ascribe malign motivations to them.
You say you are defending a noble philosophy but do you have any idea why someone might see objectivism as something not so noble?

Gordon Burkowski said...

Lloyd, I think the point was made was well as it's ever going to be made by the five-way chorus of snores.

It's easy to forget that Barnes is the site moderator and could shut down this person at any time.

QH is being allowed to speak to provide an illustration of Objectivism at its worst - and to be a laughingstock.

Now apparently Q believes that in doing so, Barnes is making a terrible mistake. Barnes is allowing the world to watch Q "rout" all his/her ineffectual opponents and emerge triumphant to the wonder of all.

The problem is that the only person who is convinced of this - is Q.

That's the thing about solipsism: it's irrefutable. Crazy too, but what does that matter?

Lloyd Flack said...

As I said what I am saying is primarilly for the benefit of passers by. Most of the time I can ignore him. But sometimes his pretentiousness becomes a target that is hard to resist. This especially happens when he is crowing in triumph,

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"And then there is the big one. Describing this blog as a hate site"

That's not something that should be included as an example of someone's error, as that is a position of personal judgement or outlook.

It would be like saying someone made an error in describing an adult cabaret as being offensive and tawdry. Yeah, a person could make a case that it is, but it's not the "wrong" one is looking for in this context.

The error we're looking for is one of a factual error that is an either or type. Maybe the word to use is, categorical. Like the error made by Jzero or the error made by Parille, or someone saying the Earth's orbit is a perfect spherical orbit, when it is actually elliptical. That type of "wrong/error".

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Burkowski

"Lloyd, I think the point was made was well as it's ever going to be made by the five-way chorus of snores."

You lack the self awareness to realize that such a chorus only caused those people who did so to look foolish, childish, and confirms they have engaged in trollish behavior.



"That's the thing about solipsism: it's irrefutable. Crazy too, but what does that matter?"

Your stupidity continues to impress me, Burk. It has been at times, a sight to behold.

Lloyd Flack said...

No, it is a matter of what you believe others motives to be. They are whatever they are irrespective of your values. You appear to want to believe that this is a hate site. You demonstrate little understanding of others motives. In particular you don't understand why people might think objectivism is a bad idea.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"In particular you don't understand why people might think objectivism is a bad idea."


What about the philosophy of Objectivism is a bad idea?

Lloyd Flack said...

What to you think people's objections to it are? In particulatr what do you think the objections of people here are?

Lloyd Flack said...

I want you to nail your colours to the wall. No "I didn't mean that." evasions afterwards. This is about your understanding.

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Michael Prescott said...

"What about the philosophy of Objectivism is a bad idea?"

Gosh, if only there were a website devoted to providing detailed criticisms of Objectivism that QH could read for himself.

Oh, wait ...

Lloyd, I appreciate the effort, but you'll never nail QH's colors to the wall, any more than you can nail Jell-O to the wall, and for the same reasons.

Lloyd Flack said...

Michael, I'm trying to get him to put down exactly how he thinks. IHe has been more than a little bit evasive in the past,

Lloyd Flack said...

And of course I am giving him an opportunity to display his evasiveness,

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

I don't know about all this nail colors to the wall nonsense.

Just give your reasons why people might think Objectivism is a bad idea. It is a simple and straightforward request.

Playing such games is unnecessary. Just explain your conjecture so I can assess the merit of it.

Simple as.

Lloyd Flack said...

The question is how you understand those who disagree with you. My supplying you with possibilities would not help me understand you. It has been very hard to get you to explain what your beliefs are.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Prescott

"Gosh, if only there were a website devoted to providing detailed criticisms of Objectivism that QH could read for himself"

First of all, at least as far as I'm concerned, I've shown the criticisms of this website are a bunch of junk.

That has been shown when I addressed the innate ideas misunderstanding, Nyquist's critique of Objectivism's philosophy of perception, and of course when I pointed out the laughable struggle Nyquist had with what the word (is) means in Existence is Identity.

So this website is low grade criticism that misses the mark badly and arguably strawman's a lot, like Mr. Bramwell has stated.

Mr. Bramwell says "The Straw Man Fallacy is ARCHN's Supreme Tool". On top of that, this is a hate site in my view, so we shouldn't really be using this site too much for one's critique of Objectivism.

On top of that, I recall the dunce Jzero, when I referenced Peikoff in helping to explain the situation on perception, whining about "then you rely on Peikoff to do your heavy lifting for you".

And this was presented, as least as far as I ascertained, as a pejorative situation akin to some failing at not being able to think for yourself or do your own argumenting.

So if you Prescott, insinuate by your statement that Flack should refer to this site as his "mouthpiece" for articulating why people might think Objectivism is a bad idea, how is that any different from Jzero's whiny complaint about me relying on Peikoff to do my heavy lifting?

In other words, in this case, Flack would be relying on this site to do his heavy lifting, by having me consult it, to answer the question I put to him, rather than him answering it himself. Of course, Jzero is a dunce, so what he said was wrong and to be disregarded, but still.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

Nevermind then Flack.(Rolls eyes)

Gordon Burkowski said...

@ Lloyd & Michael:

As I noted in a previous post:

"It's easy to forget that Barnes is the site moderator and could shut down this person at any time.

QH is being allowed by Barnes to speak in order to provide a continuing illustration of Objectivism at its worst - and to be a laughingstock.

Now apparently Q believes that in doing so, Barnes is making a terrible mistake. Barnes is allowing the world to watch Q 'rout' all his/her ineffectual opponents and emerge triumphant to the wonder of all.

The problem is that the only person who is convinced of this - is Q."

In short, throwing a few stones from the bridge can be fun - but going under the bridge and feeding the troll is a waste of time.

Lloyd Flack said...

Evasive as ever. When you said that you weren't an objectivist you did not give details of what your positions actually were despite being asked. Didn't you say something like you were concerned with denouncing Barnes and Nyquist and didn't have to explain yourself.
I'll tell you what this looks like. I think you like denouncing and condemning. You see youself as an avenger and a defender of objectivism. But if you explained what you believed you would have to defend it and you don't like the idea of facing criticism from those that you you wish to denounce.

Jzero said...

"A quick browsing of the video's comment section shows how many people took the video seriously, and as some sort of definitive, ultimate take down or humiliation of Objectivism, couched in a satirical vehicle."

My mistake for not being clearer: Nobody HERE thought I was providing the ultimate takedown of Rand, or really intended to. Except you.

Michael Prescott said...

QH wrote, "Just give your reasons why people might think Objectivism is a bad idea. It is a simple and straightforward request."

Eh, I'll play along. I've got a little time to kill.

Here's one specific issue: the social safety net. Objectivism argues for pure laissez-faire capitalism, with no redistribution of income. In fact, Objectivism is morally opposed to mandatory taxation (though "voluntary taxation," whatever that is, would be okay).

In an Objectivist society, there would be no welfare, no food stamps, no Aid to Families with Dependent Children, no Social Security, no governmental unemployment insurance, etc.

In practice, this means that if you lose your job, you're on your own. You can beg for help from a private charity or from friends or family members, or you can rely on your personal savings (if any), but there is no safety net.

We know how this would work, because it has been tried. In the 19th century, and in the early years of the 20th century, there was no social safety net. The result was that unemployed people, in some cases, literally starved. Charities could not accommodate them; all their friends and relatives were as poor as they were; and because they were at the bottom of the economic ladder, they had never been able to save much.

The hobos who went riding the rails and begging door to door for food in the Great Depression were living that way because they had no resources to fall back on. Ditto the Oakies who migrated from the Dust Bowl. (Read, or watch, The Grapes of Wrath.)

All of this is okay with Objectivism, because A is A, or something.

Actually I think the real reason it's okay with Objectivism is that these people just don't count. They are not geniuses or superhuman creators, so their travails are unimportant. But this is my interpretation, and Objectivists would no doubt disagree. In any case, whatever the reason, Objectivism endorses this kind of policy.

Now, as a conservative myself, I have some reservations about letting the safety net become a hammock - turning short-term aid into a lifelong crutch. I think welfare reform as implemented in the '90s was an excellent idea. (Sadly, it's been undone by Obama.) There should be limits on how much help people can get.

But no help at all? I don't think that's a) realistic or b) moral. Objectivists, on the other hand, believe that it is both practical and moral.

Objectivism also says there should be no food and safety regulations, no workplace inspections, no regulation of financial transactions, no government insurance of bank accounts, and not even any government minting of money! And all roads should be privately owned, so if you want to drive across town, you'll have to pay a series of tolls at different streets.

None of this makes sense or will work in the real world, as opposed to the Galt's Gulch of Rand's utopian fantasy. For one thing, ending food and workplace regs would put us back in the condition of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, which recounted real-life horror stories (thinly disguised as fiction) from Chicago meat-packing plants. So if you like finding people's thumbs in your food, it'll work out great. Otherwise, not so much.

I have other disagreements with Objectivism, but this one area is enough, I think.

Gordon Burkowski said...

@Michael:

In fairness, I should note that at one point Q said that he/she wasn't sure that laissez-faire was workable - because no one had tried it.

However, anyone who understands Objectivism will also understand that its rationalistic structure makes it an all-or-nothing system. The central arguments are grounded in intertwined philosophical premises, not in an appeal to facts - in spite of all the talk about "facts of reality" (as opposed to the other kind of facts?)

For an Objectivist, any factual discoveries must inevitably confirm their philosophy; facts which seem to contradict it are either denied or explained away. Just look at the climate change debate.

In short, reject one part of Objectivism and the rest falls to the ground - as many, many people have learned for themselves. Of course, this is something not clearly understood by a lot of addled right-wingers who walk around with Atlas in one hand and a Bible in the other. . . :)

Michael Prescott said...

"In fairness, I should note that at one point Q said that he/she wasn't sure that laissez-faire was workable - because no one had tried it."

Okay, fair enough - although we came pretty close to laissez-faire in the 19th century.

In any event, laissez-faire is a key principle of Objectivism, whether QH agrees with it or not. Criticizing laissez-faire as unworkable and immoral definitely constitutes a major criticism of Objectivism, even if it is not a criticism of QH's personal philosophy (whatever that may be).

Gordon Burkowski said...

@ Michael:

I suppose I have a double reaction here.

1) It's certainly true that you can't buy into Objectivism without buying into laissez-faire. And if you think you can, you're probably not thinking things through at a very deep level.

2) On the other hand, it's a positive thing to look at Objectivist positions (such as the view that laissez-faire capitalism is the only moral political/economic system) and ask: is this true in fact?

"Is this true in fact?" Asking that over and over again: about Rand's views on art, politics, psychology, on and on. Doing that inevitably led me to reject Objectivism.

So it's good to be asking that question. On the other hand, if you're asking that question consistently and unflinchingly, you won't be an Objectivist for long.

Michael Prescott said...

"'Is this true in fact?' Asking that over and over again: about Rand's views on art, politics, psychology, on and on. Doing that inevitably led me to reject Objectivism."

Yes, I think that's usually how it works. There's also the question: Is this philosophy helping me to be a better person?

The biggest turning point in my relationship with Objectivism came when I read Thomas Sowell's A Conflict of Visions. Sowell discusses two views of human nature: a) that human nature is highly malleable and even perfectible, and b) that human nature is largely fixed and cannot be perfected. He sees "a" as the underpinning of liberal politics and "b" as the underpinning of conservative politics. He never talks about Rand, but when I read the book, I realized that I was mostly in the "b" camp, while Rand (like all utopians) has both feet squarely in the "a" camp.

Later I came across Greg Nyquist's book. As the title indicates, it expands on the basic idea that Rand's viewpoint runs contrary to the known facts about human nature - facts that Rand seems uninterested in learning, inasmuch as she prefers to create a fantasy of the "ideal man" and then assume that this fictional construct can be brought into reality by sheer willpower coupled with the "right" ideas.

Michael Prescott said...

I don't want to jinx it, but it's possible that we've finally scared our beloved troll away. Or maybe he's just frantically Googling "laissez-faire capitalism" in order to come up with an answer to the rather obvious objection I posted.

Michael Prescott said...

I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this, but it occurred to me today that in addition to displaying the fallacies of circular reasoning and equivocation, Rand's meta-ethical argument suffers from the No True Scotsman fallacy.

Rand argues that productivity is essential for life, because no human being can survive as a parasite. Confronted with the obvious objection that some people do survive as parasites, she responds that no true human being can (or would choose to) survive that way. Only a subhuman could do so.

The same kind of argument is implied for her other virtues. Honesty is essential, because no true human would want to live dishonestly. Integrity is essential, because no true human would compromise his principles. Rationality is essential, because no true human is irrational. And so forth.

Perhaps this approach explains Rand's tendency to portray those who disagree with her as something less than human. No true human could fail to see the merits of Objectivism!

Lloyd Flack said...

Ramd seems to be appealing tompride, telling people that parasitic behaviour is beneath you But what if they see it as predatory behaviour and the rest of the human race as beneath them and their prey. People can snd do take pride in this. Rand has no good reason why they should not.
She tries to eriggle out by saying this is not in their true self interest and this is not true self esteem. But again she does not come up with any good reasons. She sys that existence as a rational productive being is the only propper existence for man but why?

Lloyd Flack said...

What she did was try to get pride to perform the role that in most people is performed by empathy. But infocussing on pride so much she creates an environment whic can abd does foster narcissism.
Interestingly she could noth see the narcissism in the moral disply of her opponentds. You can see it in a lot of left-wing altruistic excesses. Perhaps being driven by an inflated self image herself she was not eilling to recognie the similarity of her opponents motives to her own. I don't know. But this is whatI believe is behind the altruistic excessses that she recognied rater than hating the good or being anti-life. Those claims were self serving giving her reason to dismiss and look down on opponents.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

"My mistake for not being clearer"

Yeah, you've been really good at that. Making mistakes.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Gordon

"It's easy to forget that Barnes is the site moderator"

What does this mean? Does it mean Barnes is the moderator of Blogger itself, or just the "site" moderator of this particular blog that is piggybacking off of Blogger?


"but going under the bridge and feeding the troll is a waste of time."

How exactly do you, who has acted like a troll many times at this point, call someone else a troll?

Are you really that lacking in self examination and self awareness?


"in order to provide a continuing illustration of Objectivism at its worst"

How does this work when I'm not an Objectivist?


"could shut down this person at any time"

I'm not so sure you can do much on Blogger in that fashion. From what I understand, which could be misinformed, but from what I understand, Blogger has not outfitted its interface with many censoring/moderation functionality.

The only one I know it offers is putting comments on pending approval, which then would censor/moderate everyone.

Lloyd Flack said...

Barnes could delete your comments any time he wanted to. You are here only because he allows your comments to stay up.
And that is done partially for the amusement value and partiall because of the example that you provide.
You are here to attack people That by definition makes you a troll. Any claims by you to the contrary are lies. Other people have responded to your obtuseness and nastiness with exasperated replies. Responses to your troll are not trolling. For you to make that claim is to lie.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"Barnes could delete your comments any time he wanted to."

Which of course would be dishonest and a repression of free speech.

Also I'm not sure if he can do so, based on my witness of some other situation that occurred on blogger as well.

Dawson Bethrick had some interlocutors that were giving him heat, and he couldnt take it or deal with it after awhile, so he turned to censorship. But the only thing he could do as far as I can tell, is put comments on pending approval, as it appears Blogger has not provided much in the way of moderation/censorship functionality.


"You are here to attack people That by definition makes you a troll"

Nah. I've made pretty manifest why I'm here. To comment on blog postings like others have done for years. To defend Objectivism to a certain extent, and defend others who have been unfairly attacked on here like Dr. Yaron Brook, and given Barnes and Nyquist's attacks against Objectivism and bad behavior, to take them to task for such behavior. Which does deserve and need to be called out.

And of course to see if Objectivism holds up to scrutiny as far as criticisms against it.


Deflating my presence here to simply "you are here to attack people" is not only dishonest, but a pathetic display of bias. Not that you have the capability to do any better.

As I assure you, knowing human nature like I do, despite the fact that I have again, explicitly stated my reasons for being here(which I don't have to anyway since it's a publicly open forum), you will almost certainly continue to label me a troll, categorize my presence here as to attack people, and after I stop responding on this blog at some point, that will likely be how you define me. Even though it would be a lie. You can't do any better most likely.

Since by and large, human beings see what they want to see, and believe what they want to believe, as long as it accords with their selfishness, emotions and biases.



"Responses to your troll are not trolling. For you to make that claim is to lie"

Wait, let me get this straight, are you saying I'm calling people a troll, simply because they responded to my trolling? You're not that dense or dishonest are you? LOL!


I would say, not just for the sake of peace, and that you are a waste of time, but also from the standpoint that your behavior is getting a bit out of control, I think it would be best for you to stop making responses to me Flack. I think I already told you this, but it needs to be reiterated and urged upon you.

Your comments are stupid, they have no worth whatsoever, they contain falsities way too often, and you are developing a disturbing desire to try to paint me as a liar. Which of course is annoying and pathetic. Although I understand and am fully aware that is one of the prices you pay for being on enemy territory, and again, why it takes courage to do so. As I said from the beginning, or for awhile.

I'm asking you to stop responding to me, which I think that is the mature thing for you to do, to head off trouble and aggravation. I don't see any value in your responses and you are increasingly getting more nasty and annoying. Your comments are little more than troll comments and harping on personal garbage similar to Burkowski. And once you get to the point where you are trying to paint a person as a liar, when they have not done so, communication and interaction needs to stop immediately, as that means your feelings towards the person have degenerated to a point where serous trouble or dishonesty will start manifesting, or doing so regularly.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Prescott

"though voluntary taxation, whatever that is"

That should be obvious to anyone with moderate intelligence, what voluntary taxation means. It simply means people paying taxes of their own free will, rather than because they were force to via coercion or the threat of punishment.



"In an Objectivist society, there would be no welfare, no food stamps, no Aid to Families with Dependent Children, no Social Security, no governmental unemployment insurance, etc."

None of that is at all, a good reason to think Objectivism is a bad idea.

Those are actually excellent reasons to think Objectivism is a great idea

Objectivism advocates freedom and individual rights. Objectivism advocates, like separation of church and state, separation of economy and state. It would be against Objectivism's political philosophy to advocate food stamps, welfare and the like, since that would violate its minarchist view of government being limited to simply protection of individual rights and defense of the state from external and internal threats or attack.

Aid to families with dependent children would be provided in an Objectivist society, by voluntary charity or voluntarily set up organizations that are provided by the private sector, or run for profit.

If people feel it's valuable to provide those things to others, then they are free to do so under and Objectivist society. Objectivism is simply against the Government doing that because it is for separation of economy and state, and it is against the Government providing such things via forced or mandatory taxation. Which contradicts freedom.

Lloyd Flack said...

Notice that spam comments get deleted here. Barnes could quite easily de;ete your comments as well. Once again you don't know what you're talking about.

Lloyd Flack said...

And yes you are calling people trolls because they comment unfavourably on your trolling. You are just too willfully blind and full of yourself to see that.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"Notice that spam comments get deleted here"

It's a question if that is the case. I would classify andrea chiu's comment as spam, and Ahmed Hassan's comment is clearly spam, but has not been deleted.

I saw some other spam comments as well, but not sure if they got deleted. I think it may be not the ability to delete, but the ability to deploy a spam filter. Not sure.


"Once again you don't know what you're talking about."

The above is false again from you, since I qualified my statement by saying "I'm not sure".


"And yes you are calling people trolls because they comment unfavourably on your trolling"

The above would be a lie on your part since it is flat false, yet you are presenting it as truth. I.E. a falsehood/fabrication.

For clarification:

Barnes trolled when he used the Randroid insult repeatedly, even though he already knew I wasn't an Objectivist. Also some of his comments before he quit were of a trollish manner. As in silly, goofy, baiting and abusive with little to no worthwhile merit, and not necessary for him to have done so.

Burkowski has trolled with inflammatory comments, the (zzzzz) thing and of course by his comments that are meant simply to talk crap, stir up trouble, or provoke. That is the same with Dragonfly(talking crap and doing so unnecessarily. which is simply being a troll).

And Prescott is a troll because he tried to bait me and provoke me into insulting him. Prescott's behavior of course, being the very spirit of what a troll is.

So again, with more comments from you that are stupid, worthless, filled with falsity and/or lies, I refer you back to this and ask you for, what(?), the third time:

"I would say, not just for the sake of peace, and that you are a waste of time, but also from the standpoint that your behavior is getting a bit out of control, I think it would be best for you to stop making responses to me Flack. I think I already told you this, but it needs to be reiterated and urged upon you.

Your comments are stupid, they have no worth whatsoever, they contain falsities way too often, and you are developing a disturbing desire to try to paint me as a liar. Which of course is annoying and pathetic. Although I understand and am fully aware that is one of the prices you pay for being on enemy territory, and again, why it takes courage to do so. As I said from the beginning, or for awhile.

I'm asking you to stop responding to me, which I think that is the mature thing for you to do, to head off trouble and aggravation. I don't see any value in your responses and you are increasingly getting more nasty and annoying. Your comments are little more than troll comments and harping on personal garbage similar to Burkowski. And once you get to the point where you are trying to paint a person as a liar, when they have not done so, communication and interaction needs to stop immediately, as that means your feelings towards the person have degenerated to a point where serous trouble or dishonesty will start manifesting, or doing so regularly."

QuantumHaecceity said...

I've answered one of Prescott's reasons why Objectivism is a bad idea, and I think my answer was strong enough to put that to rest. And I feel his reason was a very weak one.

Anyone else have any reasons why they think Objectivism is a bad idea, or that you think are flaws in Objectivism's philosophy, let me know so I can assess the merit of your claims.

I already addressed the attack by Nyquist on Objectivism's philosophy of perception, and showed Nyquist's claims on that are weak or erroneous.

Lloyd Flack said...

The only person that my comments upset is you. You are also the only person here that I have no respect for. Actually no one has any respect for you. You will continue to be obnoxious whether I respond to your comments or not. So there is no point to doing as you request. It is insolence and effrontery on your part. You do not run this blog. You do not get to say who can respond to your comments. You are not a civil constructive commenters whose requests I should consider. You are a troll whose demands can and should be ignored.

Lloyd Flack said...

Your answers to Prescott's objections reveal your capacity for wishful thinkig and your lack of empathy and sense of proportion.
Voluntary taxation is an extremely obvious invitation to freeloading.
Your apparent lack of concern about the unfortunate demonstrates callousness. Most people have empathy as a major part of their ethics. Objectivism tries to do without. Most people regard that as immoral.

Jzero said...

"I'm asking you to stop responding to me, which I think that is the mature thing for you to do, to head off trouble and aggravation."

Get real, if you were really concerned about trouble and aggravation you would not have posted anything at all here in the first place. Obviously your little vendetta against people here trumps any notion of you being somehow the mature one in the room.


"I've answered one of Prescott's reasons why Objectivism is a bad idea, and I think my answer was strong enough to put that to rest. And I feel his reason was a very weak one.

Anyone else have any reasons why they think Objectivism is a bad idea, or that you think are flaws in Objectivism's philosophy, let me know so I can assess the merit of your claims.

I already addressed the attack by Nyquist on Objectivism's philosophy of perception, and showed Nyquist's claims on that are weak or erroneous."

To be more precise: you claim to have done these things. You have not actually done these things. Your analysis, such as it was, of Nyquist's points was disjointed at best, and there was no train of logical thought to bring one from one idea to the next.

Then, to say that the absence of a social safety net would actually be a good thing is not an effective rebuttal, it is merely a difference of opinion. Which you are certainly allowed to have, but having it does not in any way mean you have established it as fact. All you have is a scenario in which disadvantaged people might be helped, if other people so choose - of course, neglecting to add that the obvious flip side to that is that the disadvantaged might simply be cast out to starve, too. Would Objectivism then be good for those who starve? It seems unlikely anyone starving would think so. Just because all this would be in keeping with Objectivism's ideals does not prove that Objectivism's ideals, taken as an entire philosophy, would be more good than bad.

So you really haven't done what you claimed. And just claiming it over and over isn't going to make it so.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"You are a troll whose demands can and should be ignored."

It's not a demand. It's a matter of a request based on what I think is the best thing to do.

Like I already said explicitly, and am now having to repeat myself, among other things I said was this:

"I'm asking you to stop responding to me, which I think that is the mature thing for you to do, to head off trouble and aggravation."

Notice the situation there, where I clearly, and I mean clearly said, I'm asking, and yet you dishonestly wrote, and misrepresented what I said as a demand.

Which goes back to what I said, which I know only too well, has a big time amount of sagaciousness, prudence and judiciousness. And since I already said it, I will simply quote myself:

"where serious trouble or dishonesty will start manifesting, or doing so regularly"

My request is very reasonable and doable. Your refusal to take it up speaks volumes about your lack of integrity and nasty manner.

What you are essentially saying by implication is that no, I'm not going to discontinue an acrimonious interaction, but keep it going just to be a prick.

The fact that the interaction is acrimonious is not so bad and I'm not that concerned with, it's the other stuff you are doing that goes with it that moves me to request such an exceedingly reasonable thing. Your refusal to go along with that, speaks volumes about your character.

Which was already on display from the beginning when you butted into a situation that had nothing to do with you.


"Your apparent lack of concern about the unfortunate demonstrates callousness"

The above is the second time, just in your last two comments alone, that not only has your dishonesty been on display, but shows again, as usual, that I am utterly correct.

Your claim of my apparent lack of concern about the unfortunate demonstrates callousness, is a howling misrepresentation of what I explicitly wrote, where I explicitly explicated how those in need can be provided for in an Objectivist society.

That you would ignore or misrepresent to that extent, is rather disturbing. Again, to head off trouble, and to put a rein on your bad behavior, I urge you to take my advice.

QuantumHaecceity said...


@Jzero

"and there was no train of logical thought to bring one from one idea to the next."

This is a bare assertion. You need to demonstrate its truth with argument or evidence, otherwise you are fallaciously begging the question.


"Then, to say that the absence of a social safety net would actually be a good thing is not an effective rebuttal"

You appear to have completely misunderstood or misrepresented my post to Prescott.

If you didn't misrepresent or misunderstand, directly quote me saying "the absence of a social safety net would actually be a good thing".

Lloyd Flack said...

What are you staying around here for? You contribute very little exept to be a bad example and a joke.
You have been quite evasive about what you actually believe. You seem to be more iterested in attacking others ideas than in presenting and arguing for your own.
This is a discussion blog. There is no such thing as none of your business especially when you are denouncing someone. Anyone who feels like doing so may interject except perhaps when both parties request that there be no interjections. I only hear you complaining about interjections not the other party.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"What are you staying around here for?"

I already answered this.


"You contribute very little exept to be a bad example and a joke"

From a person who was just exposed as lying and being dishonest in three of his recent posts.

Your lack of self-awareness is impressive. Not to mention your lack of shame or any exhibition of remorse. You didn't even make an attempt to exonerate yourself from seriously well founded charges of lying, dishonesty, and lacking integrity.


"You have been quite evasive about what you actually believe"

I already answered this in the past.

Just as a heads up, I'm probably about to ignore you at this point. I cant take you seriously, and your lack of integrity and honesty and lack of remorse and inability to show self examination and self discipline has moved me to lose all respect for you and deem you a waste of my time.

Lloyd Flack said...

Good! Good!
And more vasion. All good!

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

I nearly fell out of my chair when I read your last response.

Dude, are you serious? Evasion? From the same man that has evaded time and again when he has messed up.

Who has just recently evaded giving an account of seriously well-founded charges of lying and dishonestly.

Dude, you are still evading my shredding of your white-knighting of Burkowski. LOL!

Dude, at this point, you are hereby dunce-capped, and sent to the corner with Jzero.

Jzero said...

"If you didn't misrepresent or misunderstand, directly quote me saying "the absence of a social safety net would actually be a good thing"."

Um:

"(Prescott): "In an Objectivist society, there would be no welfare, no food stamps, no Aid to Families with Dependent Children, no Social Security, no governmental unemployment insurance, etc."

(QH): "None of that is at all, a good reason to think Objectivism is a bad idea.

Those are actually excellent reasons to think Objectivism is a great idea"

All those things listed by Prescott is, in fact, the social safety net. His main thrust was that the Objectivist system would abandon the social safety net. At best, Objectivism proposes that people can help others - if they wish. But that is not a safety net, i.e., a failsafe that is there to catch people at any moment, regardless of whether some Objectivists have decided or not to pitch in. So you are in effect saying, yes, that it would be good to get rid of that safety net. The only way you could not be saying that is if you were obliviously unaware of what the very concept of a safety net IS.

Like, what would a tightrope walker have to face under Objectivist "safety nets"? "Well, if he falls, there might be two or three guys trying to stretch the mesh out. You know, if they feel like it."


"You need to demonstrate its truth with argument or evidence"

Why? You never do.

Lloyd Flack said...

QH, you are someone who is completely blind to his own obnoxiousness. I wonder what the rest of your interactions with people are like. Granted, the annonymity of the Internat does make it easy to act like you do.
If you were simply defending Objectivist ideas that would be fine. Granted you don't understand them as well as you think you do. People here find the display of your ignorance ridiculous.
You are also here to denounce and upbraid and mock. And in trying to do that you succeed in making a fool of yourself. You are too blind to see that.
You try so hard to prove that you are right that you don't understand other's points and end up usually contributing nothing. You spot so much rubbish and bile thand are so unwillinf to admit error that it is not worth trying to have a serious conversation with you about the occasional worthwhile point that you bring up.
You have very little ability to understand other people. You attribute to the the motives that will help make you a hero in your own mind for denouncing them.
No one thinks there is any point to trying to reason with you. And no one is concerned about your respect.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

"Why? You never do."

No, I always do. It's just your biased opinion that I don't. There's a difference.



"All those things listed by Prescott is, in fact, the social safety net"

No, you misunderstood by not realizing the context of the situation.

In this context, when Prescott presented all those things, like social security and welfare, he was presenting them in the context of Government mandated and Government funded social programs.

This is shown by Prescott also mentioning governmental unemployment insurance.

And it is in that context that I was saying those are actually excellent reasons to think Objectivism is a great idea

This is because it consistently applies the ideals of freedom and individual rights throughout its philosophical system. It would be inconsistent with freedom and rights to advocate or have a political system that forces people to provide for the welfare of others whether they want to or not, and to use arguably stolen funds(taxes) to do so.

It's good to provide a social safety net out of benevolence, but the issue here is that the social safety net should not be provided by forcing others to provide for it. They should provide for it out of their own free will and because they value such a thing. Not because they have no choice in the matter, and if they don't, they will be punished.

That is antithetical to freedom and individual rights.

Lloyd Flack said...

QH, most people believe that caring for others and prevention of harm is an important aspect of morality. They believe that we have an obligation to care for the less fortunate that comes with being human and being a member of a society. They think that since this is an obligation that the government has the right to compulsorily collect the means by which it is carried out. How far the obligation goes is a matter of judment and negotiation. But we all have to remember that under other circumstances it could have been us needing welfare. And all but the most fortunate of us will need it at some time.
If you want to avoid paying for welfare then withdraw from society altogether. OH wait, if you do that you won't have any wealth becausenthere will be no one for you to learn off, no infrastructure, no law enforcement and no one to trade with. You can only produce wealth because you are part of an organized society. Of you partake of a society's benefits then you have an obligation to help maintain that society. Looking after those less fortunate is part of that oblgation.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"most people believe that caring for others and prevention of harm is an important aspect of morality"

Good; Then in a totally free society, that has separation of state and economy, and that allows people to freely choose to fund social welfare programs(charity) or not, there should be no problem generating privately owned or free market charity organizations to provide social safety nets.

Instead of Government mandated social welfare programs, financed by what some consider to be stolen funds(taxes), and where if you dont want to contribute, you will be forced to do so or else.

Which of course, is antithetical to freedom.

Lloyd Flack said...

You don't get it. Caring for others and maintaining society are obligations. Obligations are enfo5rcable.
And most people think a mixed economy will outperform a pure laisse-faire system. Some regulation is necessary, especially in the financial system.
And in a pure free enterprise system, would people be willing to help others enough. Such a society is likely to overvalue property and look for reasons to hang on to it rather than give.
Also I think most people would prefer to pay for welfare through their taxes rather thay give to charity. It is likely to be more efficient and it becomes the discharge of a social obligation rather than an optional private act.

Jzero said...

"No, you misunderstood by not realizing the context of the situation."

No, I realize the context just fine. Yes, of course Prescott was talking about government-mandated services. That's still the safety net he was referring to.

It's you who does not understand the concept of a safety net. If it depends on people who can say, "no, I don't want to actually put up a safety net today,", then it really isn't safe. Again, your ideology blinds you to what a phrase actually means.

And, regardless of whether you think it's proper or not in regards to personal liberty, you are still advocating for dismantling the safety net we have and replacing it with something not so safe. So I was right, you were wrong, but we all know you'll weasel around and never admit it.

"Context" is the Objectivists' magic "I didn't mean what I said" card.

Jzero said...

In addition, my earlier point still stands: that you, QH, have not in any way refuted Prescott, only offered your own opinion. If Prescott says that the Objectivist wish to dismantle the social safety net is bad, you simply saying, "no, but that's good!" isn't really proving him wrong. In fairness, him saying it's bad is itself an opinion, and neither of your points is really borne out by a lot of empirical evidence.

The only real difference is that we know how things have been in times when there was no such net, and for many people it was pretty bad. Any claim that an Objectivist society would inherently be better for all is not based on any hard data, but on ideological conjecture. There is no graph or projection of how much the oxymoron of the "voluntary safety net" would benefit those who currently receive aid from the government, and there is not likely to be.

Michael Prescott said...

QH, thanks for addressing my points.

I know that the Objectivist view is that the government safety net could be replaced by private charity. Similarly, Objectivism claims that government health and safety regulations could be replaced by a private system of inspections. Publicly owned roads could be replaced by privately owned roads. Coercive taxation could be replaced by voluntary contributions to the government. Etc.

The question is, how practical is this scheme? I would say, not very. I'd also say that it's up to the advocates of such policies to demonstrate how (in detail) they would work. For instance, exactly how would people be persuaded to fork over tax money voluntarily, when human nature is such that most people will shrug and say, "Let some other sucker pay"? How would you get across town if every street has a different owner charging a different toll and enforcing different rules, and when some streets might be closed altogether at the whim of the owners? Where will the out-of-work, impoverished person go if he or she can't find a charity willing or able to provide help?

We do have some historical experience with all this. Eminent domain laws were established to prevent private owners from blocking projects aimed at the public good. It would have been impossible to build railroads or freeways without such laws. Throughout most of history, people have had to rely on charity rather than a government safety net; the results were not good, as even a casual survey of the plight of the poor in London's East End (19th century) or India's Calcutta (20th century) will demonstrate.

Objectivism is a utopian, pie-in-the-sky philosophy that impatiently brushes aside practical questions by asserting that if people are simply "rational," they will work everything out. Five thousand years of recorded history suggest otherwise. Why, it's almost as if there's something in Ayn Rand that runs contra to human nature.

Michael Prescott said...

Oh, BTW, it's very easy for the site admin (Daniel) to remove unwanted comments. And he has done so in the past, especially in the case of spam.

I used to use Blogger myself. It has the same capabilities as any other blog platform.

Michael Prescott said...

From Blogger help:

"You can delete any comment that you create on anyone else's blog, as long as you signed in to your Google Account when you left the comment. You can also delete any comments (registered or anonymous) that are left on your own blog, or on another blog for which you have admin privileges.

"To delete a comment, first make sure that you're signed in to the correct Google Account (administrator of the blog or author of the comment). Then go to the blog and find the page where the comment is listed. Next to the comment, you should see a link to delete the comment."

https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/42398?hl=en

Daniel Barnes said...

@Michael,
Of course I can delete any and all comments as I see fit. Usually I delete spam though I will miss a few, and sometimes the spam filter catches legit comments. C'est la guerre.

Naturally I could delete or block QH in a heartbeat - if he doubts it I can cheerfully demonstrate it for him on his own comments.

But obviously I choose not to. As I say, Quan and his ilk are living, breathing examples Randian doctrine, so let us see these self-proclaimed New Intellectuals in action. This particular specimen is as dull-witted as he is persistent. That he is obsessed with comment-meta is just because he can't hold a sustained conversation on Objectivism. When he does venture forth an opinion it's either flat wrong or an absolute beginner-level foray into already widely discussed topics (e.g. "voluntary tax", lol, does he know what an oxymoron is?). But when you try to correct him he doesn't seem to want to learn. He clearly prefers to stay an ignoramus.

If other commenters want manipulate electrons endlessly to wise his dumb, ingrate ass up, I applaud their sense of charity. But I doubt you will receive much thanks for it.

Michael Prescott said...

" ... so let us see these self-proclaimed New Intellectuals in action."

Ouch!

"When he does venture forth an opinion it's either flat wrong or an absolute beginner-level foray into already widely discussed topics."

Too true.

"I applaud their sense of charity."

In my case, you should hold the applause, since I confess I'm motivated by the same kind of charity that a cat exhibits while toying with a mouse.

Another confession: I enjoy reading Q's posts. I find them entertaining, in the same way that it would be entertaining to hear a four-year-old pontificate on relativity theory. He is in so far over his head he can't see daylight, yet he's utterly unaware of it and seems to believe he's performing brilliantly.

Typical ARCHN commenter: Quan, your argument commits several fallacies, including straw man, equivocation, and question-begging.

Quan: I'm not, but what are you?!

Commenter: How does that address my point?

Quan: I just DESTROYED you, but your to dumb to see it, clown!!

Daniel Barnes said...

@Michael,
That's our boy!

Lloyd Flack said...

I asmit to a mixture of motive for redponding to QH's comments.
One is hoping against hope that I might get through to him. I don't relly have much hope though. QH's self image is too inflated for him ever to be willing to asmit that he is wrong or thathe has done something impropper. He starts with the assumption that he is never wrong and looks for arguments to prove this skimming others arguments to find something that he thinks he can refute rather that trying to understand them.
I also write for the lurkers to encourge him to demonstrate the lunacies that objectivism can encourage.
And finally there is the cat and mouse bit. I do it only when he does something stupid in a way thatbcan be entertaining. It's not something that I would normally do but his maliciousness releases me from the obligations of civility. And his inflated self image is such a beautiful target.

Gordon Burkowski said...

Re Safety Nets:

If you want to see what the absence of any kind of safety net means, take a look at the Irish Famine of 1845-52.

During those years, the failure of the potato crop resulted in the death of over one million human beings from disease or starvation – in a population of just 6.5 million. Incredibly, Ireland was exporting large quantities of food during this period - from estates owned by British absentee landlords.

All this happened during the golden age of Laissez-Faire. Historian Cecil Woodham-Smith writes: “The influence of laissez-faire on the treatment of Ireland during the famine is impossible to exaggerate. . . [The] behaviour of the British authorities only becomes explicable when their fanatical belief in private enterprise and their suspicions of any action which might be considered Government intervention are borne in mind.” Sound familiar?

In any discussion of Objectivism and “safety nets”, it’s important to remember that for Ayn Rand the whole question is essentially a side issue. For her, the central point is: a person’s need, no matter how desperate, does not constitute a moral claim. Need is not a claim, whether the claim is made by one person or by one million. As Kira Argounova memorably says in We the Living, one million zeroes still add up to nothing.

However, even Objectivists are not unaware that most people would feel disgust and contempt at someone whose only response to a humanitarian catastrophe was to announce loftily: “Need is not a moral claim!” So instead, many of her supporters try to shift the subject to a future Never-Never Land, where private enterprise would do everything that governments do but with no coercion and with infinitely greater efficiency.

That’s where history comes in handy. The Irish Famine is an instructive – and horrific – example of the response to a humanitarian catastrophe under Laissez-Faire. This is an example of what happened – in fact. It gives the lie to all the toxic fairy tales about voluntary safety nets.

Gordon Burkowski said...

"Of course I can delete any and all comments as I see fit."

Thanks for confirming that, Daniel. It will be entertaining to watch Q try to demonstrate that his/her understanding of blogs was correct just the same. Maybe you're just imagining that you can delete his/her posts and can't really do it!

And yes, Q: You are indeed being allowed to post here so that you can be laughed at. That would be more than my own pride could stand. But you plainly march to a different drummer. . .

Michael Prescott said...

Gordon, he'll simply say what he's said before:

"The above is false again from you, since I qualified my statement by saying 'I'm not sure'."

He seems to believe that "I'm not sure" is a get-out-of-jail-free card. Though he's gone on and on about the blog admin's alleged inability to delete comments at will, he can always rescue himself by saying, "I never said I knew for sure."

But what do I know? Here's QH's opinion of me:

"And Prescott is a troll because he tried to bait me and provoke me into insulting him. Prescott's behavior of course, being the very spirit of what a troll is."

I'm a very spirited troll!

Gordon Burkowski said...

My favourite Q lunacies are the abusive remarks accompanied by stage directions:

"You've been routed(shrugs shoulders), you've been routed. Accept it, shut up, and move on."

He/she must read out this stuff aloud while standing admiringly in front of a mirror. Truly bizarre.

Jzero said...

With the Charlie Hebdo attacks in the news, I'm surprised that QH hasn't piped up with his old canard about why ARCHN hasn't been better using its time criticizing Islam. And in thinking that, it occurred to me that there are some startling (well, somewhat startling) similarities in rationale between QH and the attackers in France.

Of course, the subject of how Objectivism as practiced resembles cult behavior has been touched on before. But consider this:

The Charlie Hebdo shooters' motive was ostensibly to punish the magazine for publishing material offensive to Islam. One of the things the terrorists shouted as they finished their attack was "We have avenged Mohammed", or something French to that effect.

QH, by comparison, has often stated his reasons for his antagonism here being to defend Objectivism and Objectivists he feels have been insulted. Which boils down to punishing people for saying things that offend him.

Now, by no means am I saying that QH is at anything near the same scale of horribleness as a terrorist. Making clumsy rants in comments is a far cry from actually putting bullets in people. But there is one principle in common that they share: Being offended justifies retaliation.

Each sees themselves as warriors for justice, and this is common in cults, along with declaring the outsiders to be not only enemies, but sub-human.

So just remember this if he pops up again: for QH, this is his own personal Jihad, one he has outlined himself.

Lloyd Flack said...

I would think that a true objectivistshould be serenely indifferent to the ill will of others. It is what Rand held up as an ideal.. In her novel the heroes could not be bothered hating the villains. Actually not a bad ideal to aspire to in many ways and in line with the general ethos of Western civilization. Develop a thick skin and become uninsultable.It's too much to expect anyone to completely succed. QH doesn't even try nor do a lot of objectivists.

Michael Prescott said...

This letter from Ayn Rand to her niece in 1949 is showing up on the Internet:

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/ayn_rand_worst_aunt

We're supposed to be horrified by it, but I didn't think it was that bad. It concerns the niece's request for a $25 loan - which was a lot more money in '49 than it is now. Rand replies that she will provide the loan only on strict conditions of reimbursement, because she wants to teach the girl the virtue of independence.

The only negative thing, other than Rand's somewhat strident tone, is that she seems to have forgotten all the help she received from her relatives in Russia and Chicago when she was her niece's age.

Michael Prescott said...

Since I'm posting stuff from the Internet, here's part of a column by National Review writer Kevin D. Williamson that appeared a few months back:

===
A few years ago, I attended an event that caused me to spend an hour in an enclosed space with a few dozen very enthusiastic evangelists from the Church of Ayn Rand; one of them, upon learning that I worked at National Review, asked whether we might be interested in some articles on subjects of mutual interest. I lied politely that we would, and he said that he’d send over some story pitches — as soon as we published an apology for Whittaker Chambers’s review of Atlas Shrugged and purged — “purged” was his actual word — the article from our website and archives. Chambers published his review in the December 28, 1957, issue of National Review, some years before either I or the gentleman making these lunatic demands were born. But there is no statute of limitations on fanaticism.
=====

Imagine the grandiosity and narcissistic self-delusion of a writer seeking to pitch stories to a major publication, who thinks the publication is obliged to "purge" stories he finds objectionable before he will condescend to send over his scribblings.

Nothing irrational about that!

Michael Prescott said...

Forgot to include the link to Williamson's piece:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/391645/twilight-froot-loops-kevin-d-williamson/page/0/1

Jzero said...

"It is what Rand held up as an ideal.. In her novel the heroes could not be bothered hating the villains."

I dunno, there was that scene where Dagny frightened the woman who was the socialist supervisor of that plant, because Dagny was having trouble controlling her rage.

I think what Rand and Objectivism valued was the appearance of cool indifference in the face of villainy, while at the same time delivering withering little bon mots to display contempt. As example, her remarks about Reagan in that video I posted. That may be less about philosophy and more an issue of style or "coolness" - who doesn't want to be the one to deliver that classic insult that leaves your enemies speechless, trembling with rage and embarrassment? But while Rand may have had the mental agility to pull it off now and again (and of course, a character in a book has the luxury of the author having plenty of time to set things up in advance), many of her Objectivist acolytes seem, in my experience, to either have to just steal Rand's quotes wholesale or resort to much less witty and clever verbiage.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"Caring for others and maintaining society are obligations."

This is antithetical to freedom.


"most people would prefer to pay for welfare through their taxes rather thay give to charity"

As much as I've known people to complain about having to pay taxes, and having to support welfare, and crying about moochers and freeloaders, that looks to not be the case.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

"So I was right, you were wrong,"

No, you were wrong again, as usual. You claimed or implied I said:

"the absence of a social safety net would actually be a good thing"

Which I didn't say.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Presoott

"when human nature is such that most people will shrug and say, Let some other sucker pay"?

Consult Wikipedia's long standing donation drives, and that they meet there goals whole or very close to it from what I understand, and we see that obviously people can be counted on to not say, let some other sucker pay.

Same thing with all kinds of charity including Kickstarter crowdfunding. If what you say about human nature were correct, then none of those people would get a dime, since everyone, or most people would simply say, nah, why should I bother to fund this person's project, when I can just let some other sucker pay.

Obviously your view of human nature is faulty and contradicted by mountains of empirical evidence.


"Oh, BTW, it's very easy for the site admin (Daniel) to remove unwanted comments"

Then I don't know what Dawson Bethrick's problem was. I gathered that he had no other recourse to deal with interlocutors that were overwhelming him other than to put his entire blog on comments pending approval.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Prescott

From Barnes:

"This particular specimen is as dull-witted as he is persistent."

"He clearly prefers to stay an ignoramus."

"endlessly to wise his dumb, ingrate ass up,"

Prescott, are you cataloging all this abuse I'm getting? You were so gung-ho to waste your time and venture into a pathetically biased foray of cataloging my insults; are you going to catalog the above and the others I've pointed out?

Prejudice and animalistic behavior taken into account, I won't be holding my breath that you will be doing so. LOL!

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Daniel

"That's our boy!"

Kiss my behind sir.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"I asmit to a mixture of motive for redponding to QH's comments."

Good lord boy. The post you rendered full of stupid hot air that starts with the above, can you freaking proof read your whiny, delusional, childish crap before you submit it.

Damn I wish you would shut the hell up Flack. You suck so hard. Geez!

Tired of having to read your garbage. Then you can't spell. That post was horrendous as far as grammar.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Burkowski

"You are indeed being allowed to post here so that you can be laughed at"

As much as I've laughed at you guys, I think it only fair you can get the same entertainment in return, if you can.


"That would be more than my own pride could stand"

No problem for me. I don't recall doing anything to be laughed at, and since I think you're a clown, I don't take your delusional, biased filled boasts seriously.

It's just a bunch of hot air and bluster. I know the score on this situation to date. And you guys are not to the good, to put it mildly. At least not in my book.

And I've already spelled that out in detail.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Prescott

"is a get-out-of-jail-free card."

You seem to be having some trouble understanding or at least appreciating the importance of qualifying one's statements when necessary.

Did you need me to hold your hand and explain to you the importance of qualifying one's statements?

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Burkowski

Hey Burkey, I got something interesting for you:

"If other commenters want manipulate electrons endlessly to wise his dumb, ingrate ass up, I applaud their sense of charity. But I doubt you will receive much thanks for it."

The above is from Daniel Barnes. It's abuse followed by a prediction.

Quite similar to abuse followed by stage directions.

Are you going to point out that this is an example of Barney's lunacies, or are you going to be a good little monkey and do what I think you're going to do?

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Burkowski

"He/she must read out this stuff aloud while standing admiringly in front of a mirror. Truly bizarre."


No. What is bizarre is that you are apparently too stupid to either realize I am a male, or that when a gender is not known, one can simply refer to the person as he, known as a "generic he".

You're the only person struggling with this and looks such the fool by constantly saying he/she.

Another thing you idiots have done that I have had a good time laughing at.

Flack:

"One is hoping against hope that I might get through to him"

Prescott:

"He seems to believe that "I'm not sure" is a get-out-of-jail-free card"

Barnes:

"if he doubts it I can cheerfully demonstrate it for him on his own comments."

Jzero:

"QH, by comparison, has often stated his reasons for his"

The only one doing that is you Gordon, and no one else seems to have a problem realizing I'm male or at least know about the "generic he".

You're an amusing little troll Gordon.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Jzero

"So just remember this if he pops up again: for QH, this is his own personal Jihad, one he has outlined himself"

You're a straight idiot Jzero. Seriously. Something that has been established repeatedly at this point, and that like Burkowski, doesn't phase your pride one bit, and you keep squawking and impressing with your remarkably obtuse intellect.

Gordon Burkowski said...

Dear Sir/Madam:

I note that your most recent post still does not unambiguously state your gender. Apparently, you have some difficulty in making yourself clear on even the most straightforward issues.

I am well aware that most people assume you must be male. However, they seem to be assuming that you must be so simply because you are such a proctologist's delight. On the whole, I think this is somewhat unfair to my gender.

@ Michael:

Enjoy. What a feast!

Lloyd Flack said...

The shrill! The shrill! We love it.

Jzero said...

""(Me)So just remember this if he pops up again: for QH, this is his own personal Jihad, one he has outlined himself"

"(QH)You're a straight idiot Jzero"

You know what has not happened, QH, with this? You have not shown that my statement was untrue. You have not somehow disproved that your time here has not been, in effect, a jihad, has not been in principle the same kind of action, retaliation for your offended sensibilities.

You talk about my intellect, but yours boils down to namecalling, so it's not surprising I don't let your BS shake me. Wow, a mostly anonymous Internet personality called me an idiot, I'm so heartbroken. Imagine the hugest shrug.

"No, you were wrong again, as usual. You claimed or implied I said:

"the absence of a social safety net would actually be a good thing"

Which I didn't say."

That statement is only true in the most literal way, that is, you did not use those exact words in that specific order. But - as already detailed - you advocate for the actual meaning of that sentence. You can't endorse tearing down the social safety net without implying that it is good to do so. You can't suggest a theoretical substitute which does not qualify as a safety net and pretend that you've made some sort of equivalent exchange, especially when you can't guarantee your substitute will function to the same degree. If you say that removing the social safety net would be good for freedom, that means you value that particular bit of freedom over the social safety net, thereby implying that it is overall good to have it gone. You can't weasel out of that. You can't make up some BS "context" and pretend that's not what you're saying.

Gordon Burkowski said...

"You can't make up some BS 'context' and pretend that's not what you're saying."

Sure she/he can. And has done so - for hundreds of posts.

Lloyd Flack said...

Notice how he has evases Gordon's example of what happened when there was no safety net.Yhe Irish Famine is an horrific example.

Gordon Burkowski said...

Re: ". . . when a gender is not known, one can simply refer to the person as he, known as a 'generic he'."

This was certainly true - about half a century ago. Since then, the whole idea has come under attack in many countries, using many languages. See the dozen or so articles in wiki on language and gender neutrality.

Check on facts now and then. some of them are quite interesting.

Daniel Barnes said...

@Michael,
I agree that that letter wasn't too bad. Sure, it's a bit heavy handed, and I chuckled a bit that Rand might find it particularly "capitalistic" to borrow money to buy a dress and then pay it back. But then she always was loose with her language.

Leftists tend to overblow Rand's personal foibles like this a lot, which doesn't help.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Gordon

"I note that your most recent post still does not unambiguously state your gender"

(Facepalming) I did you clown, when I said "to either realize I am a male". Notice the I am a male, part?


"simply because you are such a proctologist's delight"

Dude, you can't be this unintelligent, wow. Dude, a proctologist deals with both males and females, so your reference is just ignorant, and was unnecessarily tacky and vulgar.


QuantumHaecceity said...

@Flack

"Notice how he has evases"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsrK6P9QvI


"Yhe Irish Famine"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsrK6P9QvI

Gordon Burkowski said...

1) Actually, you said EITHER you were male OR you were using "a generic he". However, you do seem now to be finally, unambiguously confirming that you are indeed male. Women everywhere should breathe a sigh of relief.

2) In Canada, I can't access the link you supplied to Lloyd Flack in response to his point about your evading any discussion of the Irish Famine. I have a feeling it doesn't display a lot of interest in the death of one million people by starvation.

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Gordon

"Actually, you said EITHER you were male OR you were using "a generic he"."

The above is a mistake on your part. I didnt specifically say there that (I) was using a generic he. Can you not read properly?

I used the word (one), which is a way to refer to people in general. Not specifically or necessarily oneself.

Good lord Burkowski.



"In Canada, I can't access the link you supplied to Lloyd Flack"

Wait, you're Canadian. We get Justin Bieber, and now you. Shame on Canada for doing that to us. (TIC)(LOL)

Gordon Burkowski said...

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Gordon

ZZzzzz = trolling and intellectual surrender

Gordon Burkowski said...

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Gordon

Why can't you at least have the intellectual integrity and honesty to admit you are wrong?

I've shown you to be wrong several times at this point, and when you apparently realize that, you either fall silent and evade, or just fall back and retreat to chimping out with the Zzzzz thing, in lieu of being able to intellectually defend yourself or exonerate your constant blunders.

Lloyd Flack said...

Interesting how QH is copying the things that others say about him. Not much originality in his insults is there?

Gordon Burkowski said...

Yeah, the most recent exchange pretty much features Q at his worst:

1) First of all, we got into a tussle where it became clear that he didn't grasp the logic of either/or statements. Very strange. Rather like conceptual dyslexia.

2) But the real gem was how he didn't deal with the Irish Famine issue.

First, he wrote a posting affirming resoundingly that a
voluntary safety net was a perfectly good idea - three days after I had written about the Irish Famine, which occurred during the golden age of laissez-faire and ended in one million people dying of starvation or disease.

Then, when you pointed out that he'd evaded this historical example, his only response was to post a stupid video clip from Youtube.

When I pressed him further on the same issue, he made some asshole remark about Justin Bieber, based on the fact that I am Canadian.

So much for QH on the death of one million people. That's when I took my leave.

Gordon Burkowski said...


@ Daniel:

What's this new timing-out feature? I had to verify myself five times in a row.

I don't see why you need this. But if you do, could you allow a little more time to write a post?

Lloyd Flack said...

Grandiose self image which will not let him ever admit that he was wrong even when he had simply made an excusable error.

Daniel Barnes said...

@Gordon,
Nothing to do with me. Blogger just changes things sometimes as it sees fit.

Gordon Burkowski said...


"Grandiose self image which will not let him ever admit that he was wrong."

The clearest example of this was the discussion over whether Daniel could delete Q's posts.

Daniel affirmed that this was indeed the case. And Prescott even quoted from Blogger Help, which confirmed the same thing.

Any rational person would simply say: "Thanks, I stand corrected." But instead we got this diversionary babble:

"Then I don't know what Dawson Bethrick's problem was. I gathered that he had no other recourse to deal with interlocutors that were overwhelming him other than to put his entire blog on comments pending approval."

Lloyd Flack said...

I just did what I should done a long time ago. I did an Google search for QuantumHaecceity. And found that he had been trolling a couple of other sites as well. What a surprise. All of us should be embarrassed for not having done this. What I found was that he was even more hypocritical and more into trolling for the sake of trolling than I thought.
The two sites that I found were both on Blogger. One is called The Court of Reality. The other is called Incinerating Presuppositionalism. The interesting thing is the latter is an Objectivist's site and QH was there saying that Greg Nyquist had destroyed Objectivism ant why didn't the blogger come over here to defend his beliefs.
I've only skimmed these blogs so far. I haven't had the time to do more yet.But it looks like our estimation of his character was much too high.

Lloyd Flack said...

Well QH, now we know just what you are. And that is a lying little piece of shit.

Gordon Burkowski said...

Thanks Glenn.

I checked the sites you mentioned. Wow.

Lloyd Flack said...

Glenn's my brother.

Gordon Burkowski said...

oops!

Spin said...

Interesting... something similar happened with our "M Hardesty" who wrote on Amazon that "I would advise readers, in the doubtful event that any are still following this tiresome, tedious, repetitive thread to check out the Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature site which has literally hundreds, if not thousands of pages, debunking every aspect of her work and cult." Not quite the same what he wrote here...

Dragonfly

Michael Prescott said...

Great catch, Lloyd!

From the Presuppositionalism site:

"Dawson, willfully or unintentionally, you are doing exactly what Objectivism teaches not to do. You are evading reality.

"And the reality of the situation, is that it looks like Gregory S. Nyquist has utterly destroyed Objectivism. Taken it a part intellectually, piece by piece, and left it in ruins, with 8 years of refutations and attacks.

"It looks like you have become exactly what you despise in Christians and Presuppositionalists. A person who is being shown the errors of their worldview, but are too dogmatic and dishonest to admit the truth and discard it.

"Don't do this to yourself Dawson. Face reality and don't evade it. You either need to man up, and take on the Ayn Rand contra human nature blog in full, or admit that Objectivism has been put to ruins and discard it. I'm not saying you HAVE to deal with them intellectually. I'm saying if you want to stay honest and true to your tenets, and not be what you despise in Christians, either show how they are wrong, or man up and admit Objectivism is false and leave it."

Yes, that's our QH!

Gordon Burkowski said...


@ Michael & Lloyd:

Yes, it's easy to recognize the voice, isn't it?

By the way, Michael, I can't help feeling that you may be busy building a character for a new novel. If so, you've just hit a treasure trove. . . :)

Jzero said...

Well.

That explains much.

Daniel Barnes said...

Thanks for that Lloyd.

I had my suspicions that this was a wind-up, so hadn't been bothering with the guy.

Hey, it was fun while it lasted. Unless anyone has any objection, I'll now delete any comments he makes.

Gordon Burkowski said...

Thanks, Daniel.

I was hoping you'd say that.

Michael Prescott said...

Delete away!

QuantumHaecceity said...

@Barnes

Awwww Daniel, don't be a little coward and delete like a Fascist.

If you feel this is something that is significant, why would you resort to such cowardice now?

That's just evading and repressing free speech like the Objectivists you imply or claim, do that, that you despise so much.

If this is something that is so strong, why would you not give the person a chance to defend themselves? You're just being the little punk it's obvious you are.

It's incredible, despite having the advantage of numbers, and being on your own territory, you still failed miserably, and now, in order to do anything, you have to resort to repression of free speech.

Pathetic. Are you really going to evade and run like that Barnes?

You have every advantage and you still can't deal with me straight up and have to resort to such an underhanded tactic of deletion when you have an interlocutor who is giving as good as he gets.

If you can't stand the heat, you shouldn't have boiled in the kitchen.

All this abuse on this site, and all the years of attack, and essentially it looks like you can dish it, but you can't take it. You get attacked back, and you cave and start censoring. And in short order at that.

All that crap you guys talked, and the first time you get someone strong enough to stand up to your garbage and ganging up and foolishness, and you have to resort to deletion. So weak and cowardly.

So now it can be said you guys dishonestly censor like I think you claim Objectivists do.

LOL!

Daniel Barnes said...

No, it's because you've been cold busted, sucker. Props to Lloyd once again for confirming the obvious.

This has been your last comment here, loser…;-) Everything else will be deleted. Please refer to our comments policy here:

Comments policy
This is a privately owned blog. It will be moderated occassionally due to a pesky troll or comments spam. While the discussion policy is liberal, I reserve the right to moderate or ban at my discretion. If you don't like being moderated, get over it. It's a big internets, with many other sites where you can express the earth-shaking messages you bear.

Daniel Barnes said...

See? I'm a man of my word.
I'll let Little Richard explain how this works.

Daniel Barnes said...

Incidentally, as I'm on vacation right now with only intermittent internet access, I'm going to switch comment moderation on for a while. I'll try to post comments daily however.

Lloyd Flack said...

Amazing. He tried to bluster his way out after being caught in flagrante delicto.

Gordon Burkowski said...

"He tried to bluster his way out after being caught in flagrante delicto."

I'd actually suspected that that might happen. There are obviously some serious compulsions at work here.

I'm sorry to say it, but I don't think we've seen the last of this guy. I'm sure that Daniel will shut off comment moderation when he gets back from vacation - at which point he'll try to slide back in again.

If this happens, I would suggest ignoring him until his comments can be deleted.

Lloyd Flack said...

Oh, I intend to. There is no pint engaging someone who lies about what his beliefs and intentions are.

Jzero said...

After digesting this for a while, I have to say that it seems one of my earlier theories was more correct than I'd thought. When QH was trying to get people to go over to that O-ist forum, it seemed like he was obviously trying to bait folks to go over there so that (presumably) any Rand critics would get destroyed by the O-ists over there. And now it appears he was using the same tactics to try to get people to come over here and start arguments.

He can't (well, at least not sanely) be pro-Rand and anti-Rand at the same time, so we have to assume that either:

1) He was actually pro-Rand, and pretended to be anti-Rand elsewhere to try to get people to fight ARCHN; or
2) He was actually anti-Rand, and pretended to be pro-Rand to get people from ARCHN to go fight the O-ists in their forums; or
3) He wasn't actually for or against Rand, and all along he was just trolling people for the sake of "the lulz", trying to play the two sides against each other to start some kind of cross-forum flamewar.

I'm leaning towards 3), myself, but in any case, it seems that trying to mastermind a big forum fight was the primary goal.

It's a little heartening to note that apparently nobody really took him up on his offer. As far as I know, nobody here went to engage the O-ists elsewhere, and aside from the Hardesty appearance, nobody really came here to bust chops. So maybe there's some hope for civility in the world after all.

Lloyd Flack said...

One wonders what he has been up to elsewhere under other names.
Both ARCHN and Incinerating Presuppositionalism are discussion blogs which attract people not interested in flame wars. Despite being owned by an Objectivist, Incinerating Presuppositionalism is not really about Objectivism. It is a critique of religious apologetics and the poster and commenters there did not want to be distracted by something irrelevant to their focus.
Their narrower focus made his trolling more obvious and so they were on to him earlier than we were. It's still embarrassing how long it took us to see fully what he was.
He has not appeared on the other blogs for a year. I don't know whether he was banned or gave up when it was plain that they would not go along. Whichever way I think after his exposure he won't try to come back, at least not for long. He'll troll elsewhere under another name.

Lloyd Flack said...

Also since he tried to get them to come here to argue some of them looked here and looked at his comments here. Unsurprisingly they were not impressed with those comments.

Jzero said...

"It's still embarrassing how long it took us to see fully what he was."

Eh.

If you give someone the benefit of the doubt that they are who they say they are, it's not really on you if they turn out to be some kind of liar. Any one of us could have Googled him up, I suppose, but at least for my part I really didn't care all that much. I took him more-or-less at face value, because that was the image he was projecting, and now that it turns out it wasn't the entire picture, well, all that means is that QH was abusing peoples' trust and good faith, and that's his own sin, not any of ours.

It's not like we were completely bamboozled by him, either - I didn't bother writing about "the flaws of Objectivism" because I was both: fairly certain he wasn't sincere about giving it any real consideration, and: wasn't particularly impressed with what analysis he did offer elsewhere.

(And now I wonder if he hadn't intended to take any such writings we might have provided and thrown them at the other blogs to try to stir things up...)

Gordon Burkowski said...


@Daniel:

How about starting an Open Thread 2015?

As the Romans might say: Quantum non ave - atque vale.