Diana Hsieh

I'm a philosopher, radio host, blogger, paleo foodie, gardener, skier & boarder, horse rider, farm gal, entrepreneur, GTD'er, Objectivist, and lover of life!

Preventing Horror

 Posted by on 4 March 2002 at 4:22 pm  Communism, Compromise, Ethics, Literature
Mar 042002
 

After a lengthy discussion on Saturday with Paul on whether the horrors of the Soviet Union could have been prevented, he recommended the quick World War II alternate history Triumph in which Churchill assassinates Stalin during the war. Although competently written, the possible changes in the timeline precipitated by Stalin’s early death are merely hinted at rather than explored in depth.

If we must make common cause with an evil regime (like the Soviet Union) in order to defeat a even more evil regime (like Hitler’s Germany), the least we can do is be honest about the compromise being made. To sell a ruthless dictator as “Uncle Joe Stalin” is an unpardonable sin. But given FDR’s politics, perhaps Stalin really was an ideological uncle of sorts.

Intellectual Fraud

 Posted by on 4 March 2002 at 4:08 pm  Academia, Ethics, Honesty
Mar 042002
 

The fraudulent scholarship of Menchu, Bellesiles, and company is a rather interesting case study in the importance of honesty in professional life.

As Nathaniel Branden points out in his discussion of honesty in The Basic Principles of Objectivism, fraudulent scholarship brings about the very opposite of the desired ends. Intellectual frauds want their work to be noticed. Without notice, they will neither advance their cause nor become famous. Of course, by attempting to achieve these ends dishonestly, they risk damaging their cause and reputation. But actual detection is not their only problem.

The mere possibility of detection frustrates the lying scholar’s goals because popularity of his work engenders scrutiny. The very same attention to the ideas which motivated the original deception becomes a threat. The attention of other scholars must be avoided, because such attention risks exposure. Who doesn’t pose a threat? People too dumb to understand the ideas. People who are too lazy to investigate them. People who are too dishonesty to care whether they are true or not. What a pathetic crowd of admirers that would be!

The Lying Left

 Posted by on 4 March 2002 at 3:51 pm  Academia, Ethics, Honesty
Mar 042002
 

Yesterday, I stumbled upon this 1999 article “I, Rigoberta Menchu, Liar” by David Horowitz summarizing the lies and deceptions multicultural darling and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Rigoberta Menchu. I wonder whether her book is still being taught at universities. I hope not but suspect so, given the left’s lack of concern for truth. The Amazon reviews are worth reading in and of themselves, as a case study in opposing views on the importance of truth. Those who like the book gloss over the lies, using bland words like “inconsistencies” and “a composite version.” Critics of the book, meanwhile, are merely “nitpicking” and “hairsplitting.”

David Stoll’s book Rigoberta Menchu and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans apparently originally exposed the book as dishonest. Don’t read one without the other!

The First

 Posted by on 4 March 2002 at 3:11 pm  Personal
Mar 042002
 

My first post to my blog ought to be something particularly exciting. But alas, it is rather mundane. Let me at least introduce myself:

I am an active writer and lecturer on philosophy, particularly on issues of practical ethics. My major philosophical influences include Ayn Rand, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill. I earned my B.A. in philosophy from Washington University in 1997 and will be pursuing graduate study in philosophy this fall. I live on a small farm in Sedalia, Colorado with my husband Paul, as well as two horses, two dogs, and three cats. I can be reached via e-mail to diana@dianahsieh.com.

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