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Post 240

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 12:59pmSanction this postReply
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Casey,

I don't know if I mentioned it, but I ain't playing the game that courtroom way. No judge. No jury. Just fact-finding. Period. (On further consideration, I did mention it. In the preceding post, in fact. Please pay attention.)

Gonna think for myself and no amount of hairsplitting is going to dissuade that. (Neither is love.) Then I intend to present my independently formed conclusions.

I will leave kangaroos and such to others.

btw - Your little list of complaints gives the "impression" that I endorse and/or presented all of them and that there were no facts whatsoever presented in any of them - but for the record, both such impressions are patently false.

You especially harp on about the fact that people haven't read Valliant's book, with the insinuation that I haven't either, yet if you check through the posts, you will probably find that I have been the one single poster who has made more direct quotes from that book than any other - by far.

I'm glad you liked Adam's extra research, though.

Michael




Post 241

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 1:07pmSanction this postReply
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BORING is an opinion, not a fact. At best, it's an honest statement of someone's personal evaluation, at worst, it's a worn tactic used to discourage real debate.



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Post 242

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 1:09pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Allen,

I really wouldn't worry about any "Big Brother" editing your posts. I believe that to be an entirely groundless worry. On SOLO, someone from admin might come onto a thread and caution one or more folks to tone down. Or, if there is a chronic problem, the person will be placed under moderation.

I'd be very interested in hearing about this possible personality disorder you mention. From the various experiences I had working with NB (which were, granted, business ones, and long distance, but still pretty in-depth ones), I am finding this very hard to swallow. If anything, he was the steadying force in some instances that got very tense for me. Dr. Branden can be pretty, er, brief, but it's more along the line of how a driving business leader sort of thing- he values his time very intensely, as well he should. He was always positive, encouraging, and walked his talk, with interest.

best,
rde




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Post 243

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 1:16pmSanction this postReply
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Rich,

My few personal encounters with Dr. Branden have also been quite positive. I think this game on both sides is quite ridiculous.

Jim




Post 244

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 1:23pmSanction this postReply
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James-

Yuppers- it's definitely got some weird stuck on it.




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Post 245

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 1:38pmSanction this postReply
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I forgot one more: even though the Brandens wrote their books and critics have latched onto their portrait of Rand like rabid badgers, answering their books with a critical assessment of their claims is taking it one step too far -- a pox on both their houses! Let's put an end to this squabbling! (That's how that "criticism" of PARC seems to go...)

Joe -- agreed.

Michael -- if you floated a large number of these trial balloons, that's not my fault. I have yet to see a single criticism of yours that resembled an understanding of or familiarity with the arguments, evidence, or thesis of PARC -- or the intentions of its author. Typically, you have snatched some snippet from a random page and launched on some sweeping and contextless generalization. If you can provide me with one example of a criticism you have made that is grounded in the substance of the book, please do refresh my memory. And I will (happily) stand corrected.




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Post 246

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 1:51pmSanction this postReply
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I was using the courtroom analogy to make the point that Casey made explicit:
"We are all the judge and jury. But we must examine the evidence before passing judgement."


Michael, you wrote:
"Frankly I do not want to play that courtroom game. I don't like that approach to finding truth because the focus is not on truth. I have long stopped expecting lawyers to be interested in things like justice and truth - they usually are interested in just in winning cases."

Michael, I disagree about your description of the courtroom approach. Sure, in the worst case scenario, the focus is not on truth. But in it's working form, yes, both sides want to Win, which is why a judge is needed to weigh the evidence and test it against reality. The jury is the reader, the judge is the reality. And was it not Rand herself who claimed that everyone is required to make judgements?

It's unavoidable.

Michael: "I prefer the approach of deciding truth for myself and expending efforts to ensure that the the truth is present for others to see. I would love to hear from more old-timers who knew Ayn Rand, for example."

Which is what Casey said. As for "expending efforts to endure that the truth is present," isn't that placing you in the role of the defense and/or prosecutor?

As for hearing from more "old timers" who knew Ayn Rand, are they not character witnesses? Shouldn't the introduction of new accusations or defenses be subject to scutiny by both sides?









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Post 247

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 1:57pmSanction this postReply
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Casey,

As far as PARC goes, I've expressed no opinion. As far as the Branden biography and memoir go, I think they stink. One general guideline I follow and it puzzles me that neither Rand nor Peikoff saw fit to follow it is that when I accuse someone of impropriety in public, I name the exact nature of the offense so that it is not left to implication.

Jim

(Edited by James Heaps-Nelson on 10/21, 1:58pm)




Post 248

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 2:03pmSanction this postReply
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Jim,

Fair enough. I thought I detected one of the other shopworn techniques in turning people away from reading PARC. My apologies.

Casey




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Post 249

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 2:29pmSanction this postReply
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Well, being that James is a prosecutor, I can't imagine why he would choose any other format than he did; it's a natural on a number of fronts, and it made decent marketing sense.

I just don't completely buy into the idea that the Branden books did all this heinous damage, at least anywhere that counts. With the critics? Fuck them, to a large extent. AR books and the system/movement itself have never really fared well in their hands anyway. About the strongest thing I've seen of late was when there was a writeup on CEO's turning to Atlas Shrugged again (USA Today).  So, in a sense, why worry? It's hard for people like us who are so close to this to remember that AR and the system are still relatively tiny blips on the radar screen. The only thing I see that happens by some kind of osmosis or whatever out there in the populus is the same thing it's always been- young kids reading AS , TF, Anthem, WTL.

I take all that and weigh it against a movement that (seems to me) already has growth problems in the first place. I don't think AR needed to be shored up. I don't really think that's what the problem is, if you call sluggish growth a problem.

But I don't fault the guy for putting out a book. I just don't entirely buy the purpose he claims. I think that his main self-interest was about putting out a hot, successful book, not unsmearing the memory of AR.

It will be interesting to see what happens with your next scheduled effort, James- that's a way bigger pond to swim in! From how you talk on the subject I'm guessing I won't be 100% with it, but if you piss off some Fundamentalists, you the man in my book.

r

(Edited by Rich Engle on 10/21, 2:32pm)




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Post 250

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 2:32pmSanction this postReply
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Joe,

Did we get to the "debate" phase?  I really couldn't tell, from beneath all this mud and hazing "product."  I thought we were still in the "let's ganng up on the new guy, get him to leave, so we won't have to exert any effort on original thought.  That way, we can just continue basking in the warm sunshine of our shared "sense of life."

See what you make of my next post, but if you have bothered to obtain a copy of Mr. Valliant's book, first please look at pages 210 thru 215.  That's where the cat REALLY starts to get out of the bag.

As for sociopaths, Mr. Reed, does the DSM mention that they are dis-armingly smooth and seem to be perfectly normal?  I don't remember.  I do, however, remember that it was a quality which Ted Bundy had in spades, which enabled him to gain the trust of his victims in seconds.
Valiant does say that Branden was a con-man.  And that is one of the points upon which we
are in full agreement.




Post 251

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 2:34pmSanction this postReply
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Valiant does say that Branden was a con-man.  And that is one of the points upon which we
are in full agreement.

Pretty serious statement. How come?

Edit- and, is that was, or was and isn't, or always was?

(Edited by Rich Engle on 10/21, 2:39pm)




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Post 252

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 2:43pmSanction this postReply
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Valliant didn't say Branden was a con-man. He was quoting Edith Ephron.



Post 253

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 2:52pmSanction this postReply
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Valliant didn't say Branden was a con-man. He was quoting Edith Ephron.
 
I thought that was haenky. Good. I'm still trying to get past the rapist thing.

rde
Poring over shopping.com to find NB a cheap pair of felony sneakers for holiday gift.






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Post 254

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 2:58pmSanction this postReply
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Rich,

You might ask Brant if he felt any of the "weird" when he was in New York just before, during, and after "The Break."  Everyone I encountered among the "regular students" sure did, but most attributed it to their own problems, not to any attitudes belonging to the "Inner Circle."

In the case of Lonnie Leonard, though, I was certain that he was bent, well before the Break.  And Lonnie Leonard (as well as Roger Callahan) had been recruited by Mr. Branden.  Truly rational people do not make those kinds of errors in judgment about the character of professionals in their own field, and then refer patients to them.  Doesn't happen in innocence.

JA




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Post 255

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 3:02pmSanction this postReply
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John,

I would take it as a given that the vibe had to be horrible. This was everyone at their absolute worst. NB himself talks about the state he was in. Who wouldn't be? None of it should have ever happened.




Post 256

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 3:45pmSanction this postReply
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John-
I for one have been very interested in what you are going to say.  I don't think anyone here is trying to silence you.  The problem is, that you came out swinging, but since you have fizzled, despite repeated comments such as this one:

See what you make of my next post, but if you have bothered to obtain a copy of Mr. Valliant's book, first please look at pages 210 thru 215.  That's where the cat REALLY starts to get out of the bag.
I've been waiting for this cats freedom, in the hopes that you would have some substantial critique.  If you do then state it now, quit making idle promises.




Post 257

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 3:45pmSanction this postReply
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Actually, he was quoting Edith Efron.

I thought you were the "Mr. Exact English Guy."  What happened?




Post 258

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 4:00pmSanction this postReply
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It seems to me that even after so much talking and arguing, the Brandens have decided not to talk about Mr.Valliant's book.
I guess Mr Valliant must learn to live with that!
Ciro

(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 10/21, 4:06pm)




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Post 259

Friday, October 21, 2005 - 4:10pmSanction this postReply
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Rich and Jody,


Gimme a break.  I can't answer your each and every post AND discuss Vallient's book.  And I can't do justice to either in 2 to 3-liners.

Would somebody PLEASE read pages 210 thru 215?????


You bet Branden was at his worst.  And, he WAS in therapy for a year - he had been given an ultimatum -- to change inside of one year or face expulsion and the destruction of NBI.  I had always thought that the therapy had been with Allan Blumenthal, because I heard it first as I was sitting in his office.  At some later time, Allan said to me, "Miss Rand is the real therapist," which did not make any sense to me at the time.  He also said (prior to my admission into the non-fiction writing course, Spring 1969) that, "you would be shocked to learn about some of the things that go on during gatherings at Miss Rand's ... you would not be able to understand them."  It wasn't until Barbara's book that I learned what he had meant.

Now, if I can import a Word document into one of these message blanks, which I have tried three times.......

But, listen, all you folks who keep demanding that I say something "right now!"  Neither my mind nor my computer nor my time are yours to command.  If you believe that you have the RIGHT to know, on YOUR schedule, then I suggest you have another crack at Objectivism 101.

JA




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