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> Ayn Rand and cults generally, In which I have a bet with Jimbo
Peter Damian
post Sun 15th March 2009, 9:53am
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Arbcom decision just out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Req...ration/Ayn_Rand

Well at least they made a decision. Some of the Rand nutcases got topic-banned. But (presumably so as to appear even-handed) two of the neutrally-minded editors got banned too (Snowded and Idaq).

Would any of the arbitrators like to defend this absurd decision? As far as I could see, Snowded had been very careful not to edit war and always discussed edits on the talk page. He is a capable editor and applies thought and logic always - unlike some of the fanatics who frequent that page.

This is typical of the 'Sir Fozzie' approach to arbitration. Treat every dispute as though it were like Northern Ireland or Palestine.

Imagine applying the same approach, to say Cantor's Theorem. Or, indeed to Ayn Rand.

[edit] Interesting that I wasn't topic-banned at all, despite having a 24-hour block from Connelly for edit-warring (and calling one of the objectivist editors a 'wakner'). Could there possibly be a political bias here? Arbcom knowing well that I have given the Rand issue a high profile as I could within the profession.

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sun 15th March 2009, 10:03am
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Peter Damian
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 5:48pm
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On the Ayn Rand talk page right now:

QUOTE
As academic philosophers take little interest in our topic, it follows that, in general, they are not a good source for it. We may thus dispense with the The Oxford Companion to Philosophy which does not address the topic directly. Are we done with this section now? Colonel Warden (talk) 17:38, 22 March 2009 (UTC)


(Part of an ongoing discussion about why the Oxford Companion to Philosophy is not a reliable source http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...able_source.3F).

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sun 22nd March 2009, 5:49pm
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 5:56pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 1:48pm) *

On the Ayn Rand talk page right now:

QUOTE

As academic philosophers take little interest in our topic, it follows that, in general, they are not a good source for it. We may thus dispense with the The Oxford Companion to Philosophy which does not address the topic directly. Are we done with this section now? Colonel Warden (talk) 17:38, 22 March 2009 (UTC)


(Part of an ongoing discussion about why the Oxford Companion to Philosophy is not a reliable source Talk:Ayn Rand…#Why is The Oxford Companion to Philosophy not considered a reliable source?)


That's Wikipediot Logich for you — Who's Who doesn't mention X, so Who's Who is not a good source for the notability of X.

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snowded
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 7:28pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sun 15th March 2009, 9:53am) *

Arbcom decision just out.

Well at least they made a decision. Some of the Rand nutcases got topic-banned. But (presumably so as to appear even-handed) two of the neutrally-minded editors got banned too (Snowded and Idaq).

Would any of the arbitrators like to defend this absurd decision? As far as I could see, Snowded had been very careful not to edit war and always discussed edits on the talk page. He is a capable editor and applies thought and logic always - unlike some of the fanatics who frequent that page.



Thanks Peter, I think they wanted to hit people on both sides. The "evidence" against me on edit warring was two examples of 2RR and one of 1RR which in three months is not a bad record. Asking questions about this just resulted in a repetition of the accusation without any explanation. Hence my conclusion! In effect they ran away from dealing with the issues of evidence on pages that attract a cult like following. There also seems to be a pool of Randists, three go, three new ones enter taking the same line, which means the net effect of the Arbcom decision is the balance the "consensus" towards the Rand activists and a few Libertarians.
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GlassBeadGame
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 7:34pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 11:56am) *

QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 1:48pm) *

On the Ayn Rand talk page right now:

QUOTE

As academic philosophers take little interest in our topic, it follows that, in general, they are not a good source for it. We may thus dispense with the The Oxford Companion to Philosophy which does not address the topic directly. Are we done with this section now? Colonel Warden (talk) 17:38, 22 March 2009 (UTC)


(Part of an ongoing discussion about why the Oxford Companion to Philosophy is not a reliable source Talk:Ayn Rand…#Why is The Oxford Companion to Philosophy not considered a reliable source?)


That's Wikipediot Logich for you — Who's Who doesn't mention X, so Who's Who is not a good source for the notability of X.

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Yes, Jon, and that is just amazing. If that applied to other areas of "cranks" it would get very interesting very quickly.
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 7:36pm
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One of the things I don't understand is why all these amateur-lovers have a problem with Rand being called an amateur philosopher, as if there need be any shame in that.

Jon Awbrey
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Peter Damian
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 8:32pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 7:36pm) *

One of the things I don't understand is why all these amateur-lovers have a problem with Rand being called an amateur philosopher, as if there need be any shame in that.

Jon Awbrey


There is no shame in it at all. The article in the OCP makes it clear that until the slow revival of universities in the 18th and 19th centuries most notable philosophers were amateurs, including Descartes, Hume, Spinoza and others.

If the Randiots would stop their mindless 'Randing' for just one second, it would be possible to express this in the article - including the view put forward by a number of academic philosophers that she was a person of considerable native talent and ability who lacked the discipline that would have allowed that genuinely to shine."

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sun 22nd March 2009, 8:34pm
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 8:42pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 4:32pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 7:36pm) *

One of the things I don't understand is why all these amateur-lovers have a problem with Rand being called an amateur philosopher, as if there need be any shame in that.

Jon Awbrey


There is no shame in it at all. The article in the OCP makes it clear that until the slow revival of universities in the 18th and 19th centuries most notable philosophers were amateurs, including Descartes, Hume, Spinoza and others.

If the Randiots would stop their mindless 'Randing' for just one second, it would be possible to express this in the article — including the view put forward by a number of academic philosophers that she was a person of considerable native talent and ability who lacked the discipline that would have allowed that genuinely to shine."


Exactly.

I think the real issue here has to do with the extent to which crypto-Randian doctrines infuse the Wikipedia POV, a POV so lacking in self-awareness that it has the Galt to think it's Neutral.

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GlassBeadGame
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 8:59pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 2:42pm) *

QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 4:32pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 7:36pm) *

One of the things I don't understand is why all these amateur-lovers have a problem with Rand being called an amateur philosopher, as if there need be any shame in that.

Jon Awbrey


There is no shame in it at all. The article in the OCP makes it clear that until the slow revival of universities in the 18th and 19th centuries most notable philosophers were amateurs, including Descartes, Hume, Spinoza and others.

If the Randiots would stop their mindless 'Randing' for just one second, it would be possible to express this in the article — including the view put forward by a number of academic philosophers that she was a person of considerable native talent and ability who lacked the discipline that would have allowed that genuinely to shine."


Exactly.

I think the real issue here has to do with the extent to which crypto-Randian doctrines infuse the Wikipedia POV, a POV so lacking in self-awareness that it has the Galt to think it's Neutral.

Jon Awbrey


The difference of course is that Descartes, Hume and Spinoza have been embraced by academic philosophy while Rand has been rejected.
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 9:04pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 4:59pm) *

The difference of course is that Descartes, Hume, and Spinoza have been embraced by academic philosophy while Rand has been rejected.


The important thing would be why most folks who critically reflect on philosophical issues, including academic philosophers, find her teachings so inadequate.

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GlassBeadGame
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 9:05pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 3:04pm) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 4:59pm) *

The difference of course is that Descartes, Hume, and Spinoza have been embraced by academic philosophy while Rand has been rejected.


The important thing would be why most folks who critically reflect on philosophical issues, including academic philosophers, find her teachings so inadequate, if not indeed immature.

Jon Awbrey


I like yours better. One possible component: "Why am I so much better than everyone else" turned out not to be a very productive avenue of inquiry.

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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 22nd March 2009, 10:44pm
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QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 5:05pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 3:04pm) *

QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 4:59pm) *

The difference of course is that Descartes, Hume, and Spinoza have been embraced by academic philosophy while Rand has been rejected.


The important thing would be why most folks who critically reflect on philosophical issues, including academic philosophers, find her teachings so inadequate, if not indeed immature.

Jon Awbrey


I like yours better. One possible component: "Why am I so much better than everyone else" turned out not to be a very productive avenue of inquiry.


Yep — Perfection Is The Enemy Of Improvement (PITEOI)

There is a constant risk that our current knowledge will become, not the stepping stone but the tombstone of further growth in knowledge. This reminds me of Bacon's Idols — maybe what you get when you cross the Cave Idol with the Theatre Idol.

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dtobias
post Mon 23rd March 2009, 12:04am
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I remember back when I had just read Atlas Shrugged and was in a burst of enthusiasm about it, being frustrated at the extreme scarcity of mentions of Rand in the references I consulted in the school and public libraries. For an author whose books sold millions of copies, had spawned a large movement, and were (to my teenage mind) irrefutably true, it was astounding that almost nobody who wrote for the various bound volumes on philosophy and literary criticism in the libraries (the main sources I had to work with in that primitive era when I couldn't just google or wikipedia something) scarcely mentioned Rand at all, and on the rare occasions they did, it was with brief dismissive sneers. Obviously the altruist/collectivists had a pretty powerful conspiracy going.
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 23rd March 2009, 2:35am
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QUOTE(dtobias @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 8:04pm) *

I remember back when I had just read Atlas Shrugged and was in a burst of enthusiasm about it, being frustrated at the extreme scarcity of mentions of Rand in the references I consulted in the school and public libraries. For an author whose books sold millions of copies, had spawned a large movement, and were (to my teenage mind) irrefutably true, it was astounding that almost nobody who wrote for the various bound volumes on philosophy and literary criticism in the libraries (the main sources I had to work with in that primitive era when I couldn't just google or wikipedia something) scarcely mentioned Rand at all, and on the rare occasions they did, it was with brief dismissive sneers. Obviously the altruist/collectivists had a pretty powerful conspiracy going.


I don't doubt it for a second. The Altruists probably considered it a Rand-um Act Of Kindness to remove her books from library shelves — and the Collectivists, well, naturally they'll collect anything.

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Somey
post Mon 23rd March 2009, 3:57am
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QUOTE(dtobias @ Sun 22nd March 2009, 7:04pm) *
I remember back when I had just read Atlas Shrugged and was in a burst of enthusiasm about it, being frustrated at the extreme scarcity of mentions of Rand in the references I consulted in the school and public libraries. For an author whose books sold millions of copies, had spawned a large movement, and were (to my teenage mind) irrefutably true, it was astounding that almost nobody who wrote for the various bound volumes on philosophy and literary criticism in the libraries (the main sources I had to work with in that primitive era when I couldn't just google or wikipedia something) scarcely mentioned Rand at all, and on the rare occasions they did, it was with brief dismissive sneers. Obviously the altruist/collectivists had a pretty powerful conspiracy going.

When I was in college, back in the early 80's, I dated a girl who was something of an Ayn Rand cultist. Which is to say, every once in a while she would say something like, "Ayn Rand wrote that..." or "in Objectivist philosophy..." followed by some nonsensical statement or other. Since I didn't think it would be "gentlemanly" to break up with her over a mere ideological disagreement, I mostly played along, pretending to respect whatever views she was espousing, no matter how dumb they seemed. Occasionally I would ask, "So... do you think I should read some of this Ayn Rand stuff? And if so, what should I read first?" And the answer was always, "naaah, you wouldn't like it."

For a while, I wondered if this was some sort of reverse-psychology recruitment strategy, i.e., tell the guy "it's not for you" as a means of getting him more interested. Luckily for me at the time, she didn't realize that I'm one of those rare persons for whom reverse psychology almost never works. If someone (and not necessarily a female I'm dating at the time, though that certainly helped in this case) tells me not to bother with something, I generally don't. ermm.gif

So it wasn't until about 10 years later that I first became exposed to Ayn Rand in print, at a rented beach house where the owner had left several books for people to read if they got bored (a common practice, apparently). I got through about 80 pages of "The Fountainhead," slowly realizing the whole time that the girl had been right all along. Later I read some excerpts from "Atlas Shrugged" too, but at that point I was already a committed "anti-Randian."

I'm not sure any of this is germane, but I just wanted to get it off my chest.
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Peter Damian
post Sat 28th March 2009, 1:14pm
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The barbarian at the gate
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=...oldid=280011039
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CharlotteWebb
post Sat 28th March 2009, 5:52pm
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QUOTE(Somey @ Mon 23rd March 2009, 3:57am) *

Occasionally I would ask, "So... do you think I should read some of this Ayn Rand stuff? And if so, what should I read first?" And the answer was always, "naaah, you wouldn't like it."

Well, a true objectivist wouldn't expect you to read anything for her sake, and she certainly wouldn't read anything for yours. wink.gif
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