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Post 60

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 12:38amSanction this postReply
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This, Mr. Kilbourne, is a moral outrage! Have you no decency?

The mantra "mind your own business" comes to mind.

I am too mad for words...never have I come closer to leaving this wonderful site than this very moment. Someone had better but the brakes on this BULLSHIT! fast, or there is going to be some serious hell to pay.



Post 61

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 1:02amSanction this postReply
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The article should have been a private communication if it was motivated by benevolence.



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Post 62

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 1:21amSanction this postReply
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Allow me, then, to make my position a little more detailed and eloquent, although not any less passionate than my above comments. This article really is beyond the pale, Kilbourne. You really need to evaluate yourself.

First of all, the primary idea behind our views is letting one lives ones own life, and, unless that person is a very important value to you, kindly shutting the hell up about their personal life. I think that plastering M. Perigo's alleged (and, no, Kilbourne, you are neither doctor, therapist, nor a good friend) all over the masthead page is despicable and at very best, entirely counterproductive to the webpage, to M. Perigo's "recovery" (if he even needs one, which is not for anyone to decide and for what it's worth, Linz, if alcohol is what makes you go, then go man go, because you have a lot of good stuff to say) and to the general ideas of SOLO. What you have written, in short, goes against Objectivism to its core.

It's anti-life, because you have made yourself a moral busybody that is taking shots in the dark.

It's anti-reason, because you jumped to some shit conclusion based on NOTHING at all. Not to start tossing out the Objectivist clichés here, but you made a conclusion based on a whim, a whim you worshipped. You wrote a statement based on your subjective feelings rather than reason and logic.

Not only should this article never have been published because of its trashy nature and its attempt at public humiliation, but it should be roundly condemned because of it's thoroughly anti-Objectivist stature.

To sum it up: don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, Kilbourne. This is sickening.

Follow-up questions that demand answering:
1. M. Bissell, front and center! You have some splainin' to do, Lucy.
2. Why is this titled Drooling Beast? It's disgusting.
3. Why is this under the category of war?
4. If anyone who sanctioned this article has the cajones to explain why, well, then defend yourselves. Don't remain anonymous cowards.
(Edited by Steven Druckenmiller
on 8/01, 1:26am)




Post 63

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 1:40amSanction this postReply
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I have spoken to dry alcoholics, that have told me, that without the unwanted help of friends, they would most likely have been dead today. Intervention can be good, an orchestrated attempt by family and friends to get a family member to "get help" for addiction or other similar problems may be a life saver.

SOLO may feel like a closed circle of buddies, friends even family, but anything said here, is said in front of 6,446,131,400 potential readers.

If i had a drinking problem, i think i would need a bottle or two to swallow a public world-wide intervention like this. As i don't have a drinking problem i would just be extremely annoyed if someone stigmatized me like this. Especially if i led a somewhat public life, prone to be on the receiving end of criticism as it was, however deserving of that criticism i might be - this is uncalled for.

Some have suggested that this thread, be its allegations true or false, has created insight and value... Bull! Whatever meager knowledge anyone might have gained, the price has been way to high, the only reason it might seem a reasonable deal is because someone else was forced to pay for this party.

MSK and a few others did their best to split the bill, i applaud them for that, let's not make the tab run any higher.



Post 64

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 3:28amSanction this postReply
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James,

From lesson learned, lesson forgotten post #62.

Over the last year I have tried to address it through mild public posts, private emails, and even three extended articles which were not published.

If that it the case, why the hell didn't you have it out with Linz when he stayed with you in April?

I assume you didn't because (a) you would have mentioned it and (b) it would have been completely irresponsible and dishonest of you to have carried on afterwards as if nothing happened and SOLOC4 was a wonderful success.

You are not making sense to me.

(Edited by Marcus Bachler on 8/01, 4:02am)




Post 65

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 4:24amSanction this postReply
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"3. Why is this under the category of war?"
That is exactly what I want to know!



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Post 66

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 6:32amSanction this postReply
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I have explained the reasons for publishing this in Post 48. Those who disagree may post as to which justifications they find inadequate, and why.



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Post 67

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 7:10amSanction this postReply
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Andrew,

I don't blame you for publishing this. Considering who was involved and the often repeated accusations about SOLO censorship you had no other choice other to publish or suffer the consequences of any whispering campaign.

Personally I just wish you had posted this on the Dissent Forum. That way it would still be visible to the people who matter (SOLO members) but not every Tom, Dick and Harry who navigates to SOLO on a whim. Posting it on SOLO's front page was a mistake IMHO. If at all possible I'd like to see the whole thread - article included - moved to the Dissent forum. Why the else was it created if not to deal with turds like this one?

OK so you have chosen to be transparent. Fine, give Linz's and SOLO's detractors a microphone, but I don't believe you have any obligation to give them your biggest and best microphone! Of course my position on providing your opponents with the opportunity to attack you is that they should pay for their own fucking microphone and then use it to put up evidence in support of their smear or shut-the-fuck-up.

(Edited by Robert Winefield on 8/01, 7:18am)




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Post 68

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 7:30amSanction this postReply
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I have enjoyed James' offerings here in the past, but not this one. It is an excruciating piece of psychologizing, and allowing it to be made public was a horrible mistake, all The Management's reasons notwithstanding.

This thread constitutes the dead end of an accelerating trend on this site that many of us have been warning about for months. Some weeks ago, I urged those managing this forum to impose on participants a few simple standards of civility: to screen out posts laden with foul language, ad hominems, psychologizing and personal insults. I suggested that we apply the same rules of conduct for participation here that we'd insist upon from any guest in our own homes.

That was apparently too much to ask. The Management refused, opting for de facto anarchism. And so we've since witnessed an ugly escalation in the vituperation, pettiness and blood-letting. Character assassination has reached a level where the din of the crossfire is drowning out the sane voices still struggling to be heard. We're also seeing an increasing exodus from the battlefield of the walking wounded and other refugees seeking peace and sanity.

Why do some Objectivists, of all people, continue to equate simple rules of civility with repression and authoritarianism? If someone needs to behave like a tantrum-tossing infant in order to "express himself," then he jolly well deserves "repression."

The informal motto of this site has been "the total passion for the total height." But in the absence of rational standards, the expression of "total passion" will arrive at the opposite destination: the darkest depths.

Reading this thread, I'd say that we have arrived.



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Post 69

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 8:01amSanction this postReply
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   I second the motion (ducks in this anarchic situation) that this thread be moved to the Dissent Forum. As an 'article' it really seems to have no place here. The longer it stays, methinks the worse consequences (reputation-wise of the whole site) will come from other places.

IDIC

J-D




Post 70

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 8:48amSanction this postReply
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Well said, Bidinotto.




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Post 71

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 8:55amSanction this postReply
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Several of you have expressed concern for the effect this discussion will have on prospective members.

I'm posting to say that I am impressed. Things that would turn into hopeless flamewars in other groups are addressed constructively here.

So your founder has a temper problem, and your members air dirty laundry in public. That is IMO far outweighed by your willingness and ability to grapple constructively with difficult issues and difficult people.

I probably won't spend much time here, due to lack of time more than anything else. But if I weren't busy with my own organization (see profile for link), I'd stick around.

With regard to Robert's post 68, I'll advance this tentative definition of civility: Civility is following a set of mutually-agreed rules designed to reduce petty negative-sum behavior.

For example, aggressive driving is uncivil, because its benefit to one driver is probably outweighed by its cost to the others, and the increased danger definitely tips the balance against it. Using cuss words in public may or may not be uncivil; they will offend some people, but if used well (as they seem to be here) they can provide a richer palette of expression. In American commerce, lying is uncivil. In other markets, it is an expected part of doing business, and since everyone expects it, it takes on a role perhaps comparable to concealment (trade secret) in American commerce.

So there are some things that appear uncivil from first principles, but many other things that are uncivil only by convention. That is not to make light of them! Once a convention is established, unilaterally breaking it will probably do more harm than good. But to choose to allow cuss words and some forms of public personal criticism is to choose an unusual convention of civility--which is not the same as opening the door to incivility and anarchy.

Some unusual prohibitions may be appropriate as well. In a group that values reason above emotion as a means of decision-making, it may be more useful to ban certain forms of argument (those designed to tweak the emotions counter-rationally, such as ad hominem attacks) than certain forms of expression (those designed to inform the reader of the writer's mental state, such as well-chosen profanity).

One final thought: In a group that is developing and testing a new way of life, setting yourselves hard tests may be a net positive, even if each test appears negative. Having your founder publicly accused of alcoholism, and being institutionally willing to publish that accusation and debate it publicy, is certainly a hard test. But you're not only taking the test, you're getting pretty high marks from this observer.

Chris




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Post 72

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 9:15amSanction this postReply
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This wasn't an intervention, and even if it was, there have been a lot of shitty interventions done in this world. I guess you could view it as some kind of "outing", and there are all different kinds of those, and many different reasons why people do them.

What I find significant about it are two things. The first is that it leads me into thinking about what it does, what it says when you come into something a man built, particularly something like this, and disrespect it. I believe it disrespects because this place was built for people to do other things, and those other things are reasonably important.

The second thing is this: I just got here awhile ago. I write here because of the level of ideas, the philosophy, and so on. I determined that SOLO represents one of only a couple of viable fronts for me to work in within the Objectivist web-world.  For me to write here was different than what I normally do. Another person, who I respect very much, told me about this place. I enjoy it. I was just talking about it to someone this morning.

Now, if I build it up a little bit, and invite someone over here, they are going to be seeing this thing here, pretty much point blank, and I think that's bullshit. What they get to see is another dysfunctional web family airing out their family laundry. That should really be a shot in the arm as far as SOLO being considered what, from all other indications, the people here want it to be.

I am sorry for Linz if he has a drinking problem. Now, I am equally sorry for him if he does not. He let this article go in, for reasons of his own; he let it in his own house, and whatever his course of action after this is something else he owns.

Writing the article was either one of the more misguided acts of love I have ever seen from an intelligent man, or else it was something that was very lacking in grace for some other reason.

The forum suffers for it, either way.

(Edited by Rich Engle on 8/01, 9:15am)




Post 73

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 9:57amSanction this postReply
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Maybe sometime in the distant future we'll get back to talking about Objectivism.

Jim




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Post 74

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 10:11amSanction this postReply
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I want to clarify my endorsement for Bidinotto's post. There is one thing that I disagree with Robert in that I don't think James article to make his deduction of Linz's problem public a "horrible mistake". I think James is well-intentioned, more so than many of the people here, and that's what really counts.

I've never thought it such a big deal whether a problem is made public or not. What difference does it make? Why suddenly so sensitive and need such shielding? This is basically equivalent of asking Linz to direct his outbursts or criticisms privately at his targets. Well, if Linz really does that, that'll be another matter.  

Let's not to loose sight what had started all this - that Linz in his Dreadful mode made some dreadful remarks about James, Barbara, and MSK on the other thread, which he regretted, deleted it, and apologized for it. It was bad, period. Its periodic occurrence does indicate a problem. There is no denying of it.

Michael SK,
While I have said that I have not seen ill will toward Linz from anyone, I can't unfortunately say the same about ill will toward others, whether it is intentional or not. 

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 8/01, 11:18am)




Post 75

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 10:19amSanction this postReply
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"I urged those managing this forum to impose on participants a few simple standards of civility: to screen out posts laden with foul language, ad hominems, psychologizing and personal insults." [Robert Bidinotto]

Exactly. Why this was not done a long time ago before acrimony had spread and personal bad feelings had escalated is hard to understand.

SOLO is very rapidly becoming less and less of a value.

This is because of the ill-will and the escalating mean-spiritedness and the consequent drowning out and alienating of a positive sense of life and of the more thoughtful people.

"We've since witnessed an ugly escalation in the vituperation, pettiness and blood-letting." [Robert]

As surely as the fact that a thrown rock will quite soon strike the earth, it is utterly predictable that this sort of thing is the result of not consistently enforcing civility. One learns these principles of human nature in junior high school.

"Why do some Objectivists, of all people, continue to equate simple rules of civility with repression and authoritarianism?" [Robert]

Because, whether consciously or unconsciously, they subscribe on some level or to some degree to a premise of psuedo-individualism. A kind of Nietzschean 'authenticity' and 'being candid' and 'real' in which you get to say whatever you feel like with insufficient regard to context, fairness, or a sense of proportion. You judge other people harshly, but you get a pass to be self-indulgent.

"I'm angry, dammit and I'm tired of holding my tongue."

"So and so insulted my friend or my deeply held value so I am going to go after him. I'll use whatever heated rhetoric pops into my head and I won't wait until tomorrow to edit out any parts that might be somewhat overstated, unfair, or unjust."

"Is this going to damage the forum or my relationships? Whatever. It's what I'm feeling very, very strongly at this exact instant. And I'm going to post it before the feeling wears off."

They allow themselves to be irrational in the area of emotions, thereby discrediting a philosophy of reason by implying by their own actions that it does not seem to apply in the more difficult and complex (and heated) areas of life.

There is a quote from Francisco to the effect that it is exactly in the most difficult circumstances that you need your manners the most. [I'd appreciate it if someone has the exact quote.]

Philip Coates



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Post 76

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 10:48amSanction this postReply
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I came here to read, write, and discuss.

Thinking back on a recent post that James made about his partner, and his success with dealing with addiction helps me to understand his response. A lot of times, committment to sobriety (or a relationship with someone who is committed to it) involves decisions to not interact the same way with others whose drinking now bothers you a lot more than maybe it used to. Your negative response to alcohol in general can be very strong, because of how it was involved in your life. It involves laying things on the table, and being brutally honest all the time. Issues involving alcohol can very easily get you into fight/flight mode, given what you've been through.

I understand all that, because I have lived it. What I don't agree with, for several reasons, is writing an "article" here about it. I believe that was poor judgment, and overreactive on your part, James. Perhaps it would've been better to simply retire from the scene. Even if the article somehow "helps" what you have identified as an issue, it does so by also producing a lot of unnecessary collateral damage to the writing forum itself. And, even if you think it is worth that risk, you made some decisions for the others here in the form of altering the writing environment. I don't think that had to happen, but I think I understand.

rde




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Post 77

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 3:33pmSanction this postReply
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To whom it may be concern:

I don’t think any sane person would wake up one day and calls a close friend, and a person like Mr. Perigo, an Alcoholic.

I think that Mr. Kilbourn, and Ms. Branden, are aware of something very serious about Mr. Perigo, and they know, that the man really needs help.

Now have they made it public, or not, it's not the issue , the issue is, that if the man needs help he needs f…..  help.

Let’s stop to try to just look good with your posts, do something about it.

If I had been  in charge of this forum,  I would have flown to NZ already and see what it was all about.

In Italy the first thing is taught to children, is the value of family.

If  you call this forum a family, you are wrong, this is not the way you run a family. 

CD

 


 PS,
As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.

Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)









(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 8/01, 5:36pm)

(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 8/01, 6:32pm)




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Post 78

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 7:07pmSanction this postReply
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Insulting someone in the name of benevolence is the real "Drooling Beast".

I can find no good reason for James writing this and posting it up on the equivalent of a billboard on a busy expressway, or for Andrew allowing it in. Slanderous on both your parts. And, I say this with sadness because James, I have admired your writing and your sensibility. But this is *not worthy of public display.

John
(Edited by John Newnham
on 8/01, 7:10pm)




Post 79

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 8:26pmSanction this postReply
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John,

Andrew posted this *after* consulting with Lindsay.



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