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Post 40

Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 8:05pmSanction this postReply
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David Elmore's post above was written prior to several of the posts that have just appeared on this thread.

The editing was of a remark that compounded Mr. Elmore's original offence. He agreed to let me remove it.

Right now I'm at work trying to do my day job. I shall be responding to all this much later today New Zealand time.

Linz




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Post 41

Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 8:10pmSanction this postReply
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David Elmore wrote:
One more point on being the proprietor of a web forum. You absolutely cannot expect special treatment as the proprietor – especially if you are posting weekly articles and making regular comments on others’ ideas in other threads! That is a double-standard. Even when I was working 90-hour weeks as a publisher/editor and spending all my money on my magazine, I tried to err on the side of allowing more caustic remarks in my regard to ensure open conversation. I did not hold up my financial position as a sword of Damocles to turn my readers and writers and critics into threatened dependents upon my fickle pride. I did not wish to be king.
I disagree with this point.  I enjoy being lord and master of my own property and expect no less of any other property owner.  If you wish to finance your own destroyers, that is your business.  I want no part of it.  I do not see this as a "double standard," but simply as the earned assertiveness of a property owner.




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Post 42

Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 9:09pmSanction this postReply
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Jennifer,

Just a brief comment. On the link you posted, Joe didn't outright call someone an asshole. He made a full explanation of the person's behavior during several posts (of misunderstanding, disliking and saying bad things about his article) and stated that in that case, he was just being an asshole, with instead of making rational arguments being implied.

Besides, Joe was talking about Shayne, not David, which to me was more an exercise in the Law of Identity than innuendo.   //;-)

(I do wish Shayne would come back, though. Despite all our clashes, I sort of miss him.)

About the flare-up between Joe and David, I followed practically all of it while it was going on. I have no wish to go through all of that again right now - it was way too long. I do remember that there was no attempt by either to agree on a common definition of terms - each just talked his own language and interpreted the other's comments from the perspective of his own definitions - including the remarks that the other one's definitions were erroneous. I kept getting the feeling that more a war over semantics was developing than over issues.

Nonetheless, I imagine they both agree about what "wank" means.

About manners, I have already addressed that in my previous post. I, in David's position, would apologize for the personal insults and state that my disagreement on the issues most emphatically continues. Like it or not, agree with it or not, Joe's article is well written and well argued. It is not shit and masturbation.

Michael



Post 43

Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 9:19pmSanction this postReply
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David,

to boil this down for clarity, you're saying:-


No regrets, said what I said. It fits. Fits pretty well actually - quite pleased with it. Shame most missed my sense of humour though.
But really, Rowlands should just suck it in & go study some Objectivism. Still I won't do it again to Joe, cos it upsets the management who seem a bit over-sensitive.

Young Solo Jedi have much to learn, they do.




(My vote: release him from moderation! Now! Free Nelson Elmore!)

(Ok, I know my vote counts for squat under this monstrously repressive regime!)






Post 44

Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 9:21pmSanction this postReply
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On the link you posted, Joe didn't outright call someone an asshole.
"You're just being an asshole."

That's pretty 'outright' to me.




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Post 45

Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 9:52pmSanction this postReply
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Jennifer,

My understanding of the way it was said ("outright"):

Ad hoc: "You are being an asshole on this issue."

As opposed to:

Generic: "You are an asshole as a person."

Sorry about the lack of precision.

(Er... yea gods! Did I just apologize?...)

Michael




Post 46

Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 10:07pmSanction this postReply
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Yes, you did.

Muahahahahaha....

::::::lightning::::::




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Post 47

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 12:50amSanction this postReply
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It seems to me that we have a case here of two parties shooting themselves in the foot.

I thought Joseph Rowland's article was excellent and I said why in posts discussing the article.  I thought that David's arguments were flawed in a number of ways.  One was that while honesty has a meaning given by Ayn Rand, the old meaning has not disappeared and was not misused by Joseph.  I was appalled that David, who has generally been civil and interesting, in many other posts I have read, started off his comments with some very strong name-calling.  Perhaps this is the danger of generally playing around with too much name calling on this site in the name of passion for ideas.  We all are very passionate about our ideas and it might be wise to put some guards on how we express that passion.  David was way over the top in this case, but I have seen the occasional other case where people were at least over the top.

Of course, Joseph Rowland has the right to exercise his property rights and expel David Elmore.  However, we all have the right to do many things it would be unwise to do.  In view of Kelly Elmore's remark that David did not know the site was owned by Joseph, it would appear that David was not really doing the equivalent of abusing his host.  There is obviously some bad blood between David and Joseph which apparently has a history in prior disagreements.  The passions have certainly been stirred here.  Nonetheless, it might be wise for the owner of the site to weigh whether David has a long history of uncivil behavior and has contributed little of value or whether this breakdown was an uncharacteristic event.  Perhaps the discussions above have made a point about the need for considerable civility.  I would be surprised if everyone did not respond to this example by working a little harder to be civil, including David.

Now David, you have made your points about how you think the site should be run and about how you think your argument is right and as yet unanswered.  But if every point you made were true, you were still too far over the top, assuming that many people, like myself, missed your strange sense of humor.  Be a man and say you are sorry for an excess.  Then get back to arguing your points, though I think they were largely wrongheaded as applied to the Rowland article in question.




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Post 48

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 1:58amSanction this postReply
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This matter is a no-brainer, and it doesn't require a lengthy dissertation. A co-owner of this site, the one who also finances it, was insulted by a poster, a guest on the site. The insulter, Mr. Elmore, was asked to apologise, and placed under moderation pending such an apology. He has refused to apologise, and instead explained why he insulted his host.

As it happens, I don't think his explanation stacks up. But that isn't the point. The point is not who was right and who was wrong in the Rowlands/Elmore clashes that led to the insults. The point is, contrary to what some here seem to think ("think" is too flattering a term): Joe is under no obligation to put up with insults on a site he funds—and has every right not to put up with them. He has every right to say, "You're welcome onto my turf, but not if you're going to sling dung at me. If you do sling dung at me, at minimum you'll be expected to apologise."

That is what he's done, and if the dung-slinger wishes to stick around, he should apologise.

End of story.

Or it should be, on a site where folk supposedly understand the prerogatives of private ownership.

But I've been agog and aghast to see just who doesn'tunderstand them.

"If Joe can call someone an asshole, then everyone has the right to call him an asshole," is one pathetic, egalitarian catch-cry that has gone up. Well, guess what? Everyone does have that right—if Joe says so. That's how private ownership works. If Joe says no, then as things stand no one has that right except me. Terrible, isn't it? Monstrously unfair, isn't it? Should be a law against it, shouldn't there? The Equal Right For All Whining Losers To Call Joe Rowlands An Asshole Law. Quick, someone, bring in the FCC, that it may impose some fairness here!

All of this is quite apart from whether Joe was right to call someone an asshole and whether anyone is right to call him an asshole. In my view he was, and anyone isn't. But that's beside the point. Here's some free advice to all the whining losers: "Get used to it." Here's some more: "This is the way the prerogatives of private ownership work—the owner sets the terms." Get used to that, too.

The whiners continue: "Waaaa, but the guests are allowed to insult each other ... why can't they insult their hosts as well? Waaa, waaaaa!!!!!!"

1) See above.

2) I can just imagine the screaming that would go on if we were to exercise the degree of moderation necessary to ensure that guests didn't insult each other ... quite apart from the endless gnashing of teeth that would go on about what constituted an insult and all the rest of it.

But the whiners are not done yet. "Waaaaaaa! But we didn't know we weren't allowed to insult Joe. Waaaa! Waaa!" This one truly beggars belief. Where I come from, one of the most elementary rules of etiquette is that, when enjoying someone's hospitality, you don't insult him. You show him respect. It's an admirable, rational, benevolent rule. I can't imagine, and don't care to contemplate, the depth of philistinism necessary for an adult to be able to say, "I didn't know that," or what lack of breeding could bring such an atrocity about.

Now let's cut to the chase here. In the preceding remarks, I have rubbed the noses of the infantile prats who clearly need educating about the rudiments of the free market in a principle that is clearly foreign to them: if the owners of this site choose to be utterly arbitrary, capricious, cruel and "unfair" in the rules they impose and the way they impose them, that is entirely their prerogative. Anyone who doesn't like it is free to fuck off. No one is here under duress. But in actual fact, of course, the owners of this site don't make that choice, notwithstanding the idiotic charges levelled at them by some on this thread. All that has happened is that one of the owners, the one shelling out the dosh, has taken justifiable exception to being insulted, and has demanded an apology. I'm still assuming and hoping the insulter will have the decency and sense of perspective to proffer it and we can all get on with more important matters.

I raise "perspective" here intentionally. One thing on this thread that has left me boggle-eyed with incredulity is that some posters are saying their whole opinion of SOLO, and their decision whether to stick around, hinges on the outcome of this dispute. Seriously! An owner exercises his prerogative ... and this is suddenly something akin to Rand/Branden or Kelley/Peikoff. SOLO is suddenly guilty of the worst excesses of the ARI. For fuck's sake you guys!! We have sweated blood to bring you an Objectivist culture that is the sunlit, open field that it should always have been. And you know bloody well we have succeeded! For the first time, apart from the deliciously heady early days of NBI, it has actually happened! "It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours." And, if the truth be known, the freedom to dissent and question is much greater here than there. This, without falling into the feeble-minded, limp-wristed, mealy-mouthed ecumenical nothingness that became TOC (hopefully about to be corrected). Yet you're prepared to walk off this field just because one of its owners demands an apology of someone who wronged him? If you are really so lacking in perspective then you clearly never belonged here and you should walk off. Preferably, run, in order that my vomit doesn't reach you. But is this really you? Have I been so wrong about some of you?!

Here's something new I hadn't planned on saying, but this last consideration has prompted it ... to anyone whom the cap fits: If you truly itch to insult the principals here just because they're principals, then insult me. I've been in public life for many years, and insulted by experts. I don't give a damn. I especially won't give a damn about insults coming from you because I have no regard for you. None whatsoever. You are free to post here, and you are free to insult me. This is not altruism or betrayal—I shall enjoy the spectacle of your showing your colours, and we shall all benefit from knowing them. But Joe and Jeff, the creators of this mighty site, are off limits. Disagree with them by all means; insult them, & you'll have me to deal with. Live with that. Get over it.

Mr. Elmore remains moderated.

Linz







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Post 49

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 3:28amSanction this postReply
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Linz,

You are right in that SOLO has created Objectivism's open sunlit field and no we aren't about to walk off over this. Many of us are, however, amused at the spectacle of you starting a thread about Minding One's Manners  :-).

Jim




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Post 50

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 3:38amSanction this postReply
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Jim—I only ever yell at folk who deserve it (well, most of the time :-)). That includes your pin-up organisation, TOC, who became a travesty. I believe my yelling has had something to do with the momentum to put things right—note the references by both Bidinotto & Hudgins to "kicking butt" here recently, along with my article, "TOC, SOLO ... and KASS [Kick-Ass]," written after my appearance at TOC-Vancouver.

But this is a tangent. Urge your boy Elmore to apologise so we can leave this nonsense behind us. He has much to contribute if he but forsakes his itch to be an asshole. He owes Joe an apology. Period.

Linz



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Post 51

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 4:30amSanction this postReply
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The rules are pretty clear. Unless you have the clout to muster a sufficient poster boycott against SOLO (like Newberry, Adam Reed, Hong Zhang, or Bidinotto would), don't bother assaulting or insulting the sensibilities of SOLO's proprietors.

I think that making this a public issue has had both a good and a bad effect.

The bad: David Elmore will be far more unwilling to apologize. Why was the nature of the conflict escalated so quickly by making it public?  Was private communication ever attempted?

The good: It is now pretty clear that no one is allowed to insult the sensibilities of SOLO's proprietors (and sometimes, those who they hold in high favor).   Everyone else, however, can be the subject of objectively deserved ridicule based on empirically verifiable evidence.

The sad: when I read David Elmore's "caustic remarks", I knew exactly what motivated them, because I had followed the previous exchange between David and Joe.  I had a feeling it would soon come to this -Joe's target was way too obvious.

David's insult was blatant (even if intended as humor), and that is the problem.  He should have hidden behind innuendo (though that won't save you all the time either).  By raising the level of incivility, David opened himself to an empirically verifiable charge.

David,  I think that the rules on how property ownership works are pretty clear in Objectivism.  These rules only get bent when there are other tangible interests to consider,and I don't think your appeal to common sense notions of justice will get you anywhere. Good luck.

Laj.




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Post 52

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 5:09amSanction this postReply
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Linz,

You are the only person I've met who would, himself, be an invited guest, crap on the hosts (your words), take credit for any positive result that might have ensued therefrom and then complain about others doing the same :-).

Jim




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Post 53

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 6:07amSanction this postReply
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There’s often little to add when Linz feels the need to go on a all-out assault, but there has been one thing that has been bothering me in particular about previous arguments because it touches on something that means a lot to me.

I’ve seen a number of boards where the principals never (or virtually never) make an appearance. Such places tend not to be very interesting. One is drawn there because of the name recognition, but then find quickly that it was just advertising. Personally, I would have been very happy if they made an appearance even if it was understood that they were not going to engage in a lot of give & take, etc.

Here it has been said that Joe (and by extension, Linz, Barb, Robert, et al) should be attacked just like anyone else precisely because he hung around and wrote articles and posted just like anyone else.

What?

I think it is wonderful that Joe (even if he doesn’t have the name recognition of a Barbara Branden!) et al. are here engaging everyone. To have access to Barbara, Linz, et al., is a privilege! It is ridiculous (to me) to think that I should be treated the same as someone who has earned a great deal more respect than I have.





Post 54

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 6:09amSanction this postReply
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Linz writes...
This, without falling into the feeble-minded, limp-wristed, mealy-mouthed ecumenical nothingness that became TOC (hopefully about to be corrected).  
"Ecumenical"??  Who's "ecumenical"???

Sir, now you go too far!

;^)




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Post 55

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 7:16amSanction this postReply
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Kernon,

I find this argument to be little more convincing than Tom Rowland's argument on this board that Peikoff had the right to cut off George Reisman because he didn't have the standing to exercise fiduciary responsibility at ARI. After all, Reisman should have been honored just to be allowed to be in the presence of someone with the lofty stature of Leonard Peikoff. Nathaniel Branden said something roughly like this: There is no authority to whom it is safe to cede one's own judgment.

Jim

(Edited by James Heaps-Nelson on 6/13, 7:34am)




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Post 56

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 7:35amSanction this postReply
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Kernon,

I think that your last post missed the thrust of the arguments by others.  Achievements do not place a person above the law in a just system. Bush doesn't gain the right to be a murderer or even a rude boor who cannot be criticized because he is now the President.

Even if the analogy has limitations, all those who say that Joe should make it clear that arguing with him can result in certain kinds of penalties are saying is that let's know in advance, because we assumed that you were an average Joe like us.

Even owning the piece of property upon which an event takes place doesn't give you carte blanche to do as you as you very well please - is murder now permitted on private property?  If David owned SOLO and insulted Joe, would we be praising David because David owned SOLO?

Most people I know build such tests into their notions of justice and fairness.  No one is disputing Joe's rights.

Cheers,

Laj.




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Post 57

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 8:32amSanction this postReply
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As I was reflecting on this thread, I was struck by a new realization of many of the sources of friction in Objectivism. There are many people, it seems, who want to be "taught" Objectivism. These people often succumb to one of two errors:

1. Upon realizing that their former mentors have their limitations and failings turn against them and proclaim that they knew little or nothing all along or were seriously flawed in some irreparable way.

2. Spend their lives in docile, intellectual subservience grasping for any crumbs of wisdom their betters might impart.

This is a second-handed approach to Objectivism. We should assert an equality of stature as our birthright in human interactions and work hard to earn that stature if we have not yet earned it and expect it from others if they have not yet earned it.

Jim

(Edited by James Heaps-Nelson on 6/13, 8:45am)

(Edited by James Heaps-Nelson on 6/13, 8:50am)




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Post 58

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 8:47amSanction this postReply
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Linz,

I (and the other posters, I assume) am not saying that Joe Rowlands doesn't have the right to do anything he wants to with his site. I am only saying that what he has done (and you as well) is unfair. The rules of SOLO (unwritten but known to all none the less) allow insulting, yelling, and general misbehavior. For Joe to want to be exempt from the rules of his own site is unfair. If name calling and shouting is ok, it should be ok for all. I personally think David's post was trailer trash, but so are about 40 million other posts on this site, and he is the one moderated. Unfair. Joe has the right to do as he pleases, but that doesn't make it sensible, fair, or healthy for the site.

Kelly



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Post 59

Monday, June 13, 2005 - 9:33amSanction this postReply
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I have rubbed the noses of the infantile prats who clearly need educating about the rudiments of the free market in a principle that is clearly foreign to them: if the owners of this site choose to be utterly arbitrary, capricious, cruel and "unfair" in the rules they impose and the way they impose them, that is entirely their prerogative. Anyone who doesn't like it is free to fuck off.

Well, I'm glad that's been cleared up.  Just don't be surprised when there is no demand for your supply.

It's been fun, folks.




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