What is 'dialectical dishonesty? -- essay? Personal blog entry? Part-scholarly document?
If essay, what is an essay?
What is scholarship and what is its relationship to normal inquiry?
Is it to normal inquiry as science is to normal inquiry?
-- objectivist high opera -- soon on dvd and ppv!
-- is there such a thing as a sense of proportion?
-- revenge fantasies: tools for scholars? tools for bloggers? tools for all?
Masque of the Red Death
Starring Diana Mertz Hsieh, Chris Sciabara, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Betty Page
. . . featuring the Three Stooges [ARI] -Fahy, Valliant and Valliant
and the Three Stooges [TOC] -Branden and Branden, Mr VRQABB666
'Under terms of the strictest confidence' is a lovely term . . . (I shall perhaps use it, with a link to the perhaps-pseudonymous Evelyn Z Pickering's piece, as a title at Blog 46)
We are faced with the unpleasant option of participating in an O-world Soap Opera in which we were not willingly cast. By making herself and Chris Matthew Sciabarra the central actors in a modern-day Masque she has expressly cast every other putative actor onto the playlist -- including the more-than-several un-named thems and theys and hims and hers in her denunciation.
This is perhaps a blunder.
'In terms of the strictest confidence' -- this is the interesting situation which La Mertz's internet-only essay in question has removed us. On the other hand, La Sciabarra may not wish to discuss anything given in strictest confidence by La Mertz via phone or email. Indeed, it is Miss Mertz who has opened up the Nasty Box. Who is responsible for its contents and keeping now?
Which leaves us with La Stuttle's alternatives.
I would add a third: question the authority and interpretation of La Mertz's contentions point by point.
If hers is but a diffuse, little-warranted rant -- a plodding critique, such as that initiated by La Coates -- is the better tonic. La Sciabarra sits serene and silent in the far, celestial planes of scholarship, La Mertz continues her public mud-wrasslin' in the open spotlight.
The best of both worlds requires an effort of Sciabarra supporters: perhaps for Phil or Ellen or Chris Cathcart to establish a Concordance for Dialectical Dishonesty, and beginning at the top, number the paragraphs, provide missing references (and original citations, etcetera), clarifications, analysis, counter-evidence, missing and unredacted documents, missing documents, missing evidence, missing testimony, missing witnesses, escaped witnesses, witnesses in federal Witness Protection, witnessess and evidence buried deep in DMH's vault, evidence, evidence, evidence . . .
Then the work of critique can be parcelled out.
So, I plan on doing Paragraph 1++ (although will back off if this is forthcoming).
I suggest the parcels be registered in a single place. Perhaps a blog could be set up for this purpose. The blog could be wide open.
What makes this project doable is that Diana Mertz Hsieh will accept any polite email inquiry within reason and remit of her project. Another advantage is that the work required does not need commentary on every last paragraph, because it is incumbent upon Diana to respond to questions regarding her references and interpretations and possible counter-evidence in her possession not yet entered into the public record.
She holds the decks (insofar as the infamous 400 emails back and forth, the entire corpus from which she draws her selected quotations), all the cards, but is forced into a role as Dealer.
So, she can be politely requested to deal. She might understand that by publishing select excerpts from her archive she has opened the door to justifiable requests that she publish the full context, the entire 400 emails.
As I say, I will start with Paragraph 1**. Anyone want to join me in requesting Full Disclosure of Mrs Hsieh?
[Jenna, slept through the chat tonight -- too many treeplanters in town . . . apologies to you and the Guignolards] So sorry, what a dope.
I've added a sub section to Ellen Stuttle's alternatives:
(1) to say nothing, in which case some of those disposed to think the best of him (but, IMO, people who aren't recognizing the realities of Chris's options) will conclude that the charges must be true;
**(1)(a) to analyse and critique each paragraph of a standardized, referenced version of the Mertz Hsieh essay. Sciabarra: stately silence.
(1)(b) to request full context, release of the 400 emails from Diana Mertz Hsieh.
(2) to quote at length from further personal correspondence -- his own *and other people's* -- a method he'd think badly of himself for using, and a method which would commit him to near-endless back-and-forth, back-and-forth, charge/countercharge ad infinitum (all of this consuming precious time and health resources).
If he simply says that a couple of the remarks he made weren't fair (I have candidates in mind but would prefer not to be specific), and lets it go with nothing else in response, this wouldn't be enough to satisfy those wanting him to offer a defense. It would likely just lead to further attempts at pushing him into talking.
Chris Matthew Sciabarra is best known as the
"dialectical libertarian" [BY WHOM -- THE
QUOTATION MARKS INDICATE A QUOTE. WHO SAYS THIS
AND WHERE?] scholar of Ayn Rand's philosophy. He is
the editor of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 
(JARS), the author of Ayn Rand: The Russian
Radical , and the co-editor of Feminist
Interpretations of Ayn Rand . For many
years, Chris was also a friend of mine*** WHEN DID
YOU FIRST CONSIDER CHRIS A FRIEND?, a rare source
of support and encouragement.***HOW DID OTHERS
TREAT YOU? WAS HE YOUR ONLY FRIEND? WHAT DID YOU
FIND OUT WAS SAID OF YOU BY OTHERS AT THE TIME?
He particularly invited me to submit a proposal
for Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand, an essay
that ultimately became my first professional
publication. He wrote a letter of recommendation
for my application to CU Boulder's graduate
program in philosophy. He enthusiastically
supported my work. He generously offered me
professional advice. We spoke repeatedly on the
phone about my overwhelming unhappiness with The
Objectivist Center (TOC), often at great length.
*** DID YOU EVER GIVE CHRIS THE IMPRESSION THAT
YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH HIM
SHOULD BE TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL? WERE YOU OPEN
AT THE TIME WITH YOUR DISSATISFACTION OTHER THAN TO CHRIS? WITH
WHOM? WHAT WERE YOU SAYING PUBLICLY, OUTSIDE OF PHONE AND
EMAIL CONVERSATIONS WITH CHRIS?
YOU HAVE QUOTED FROM SEVERAL EMAILS. WILL YOU
PROVIDE FULL CONTEXT FOR THE EMAILS YOU HAVE
At least in private, he supported my eventual
disassociation  from that organization, albeit
with some reservations*** WHAT WERE THE
RESERVATIONS? about my so thoroughly burning my
bridges.*** WHY "BURNING BRIDGES"? All in all, I
have well over 400 personal e-mails between us in
my archive. HOW MANY WERE INITIATED BY YOU, AND
HOW MANY WERE INITIATED BY HIM?
We spoke on the phone probably around 15 times but
never managed to meet in person.*** WHY NOT? DID
YOU MEET OTHERS OF TOC OF THIS ERA? ARE YOU CORDIAL WITH
DID YOU ATTEMPT TO CONTACT OR ALERT CHRIS TO THE PUBLICATION OF YOUR ESSAY? DID YOU SEND A PERSONAL COPY TO CHRIS, OR A LINK TO YOUR POSTING ON SOLO AND ON YOUR BLOG?
After my February 2004 disassociation from TOC,
however, Chris and I became increasingly
estranged. We formally parted ways in August 2005
on apparently cordial terms. PLEASE PROVIDE QUOTE
FROM EMAIL OR LETTER OR ANNOTED PHONE CALL At that
time, I told him I would not publicly attack him
or his work out of consideration for our past
friendship. PLEASE QUOTE FROM ANY DOCUMENT THAT
PROVIDES CONTEXT FOR THIS CRUCIAL ASSERTION.
YOU HAVE TOLD US THAT YOU HAVE NEVER MET CHRIS FACE TO FACE, DESPITE 400 EMAILS AND 15 PHONE CONVERSATIONS. WOULD YOU MEET CHRIS FACE TO FACE? WOULD YOU REFUSE TO MEET CHRIS SCIABARRA IN OPEN FORUM? IN ANY FORUM? IN PRIVATE SESSION? IN A LUXURY CONFERENCE HOTEL FOR THREE FUN-FILLED DAYS, ALL EXPENSES PAID, MAUI, TOPEKA, ST TROPEZ?
666. Mr Very Really Quite Awful, Bannable and Bad