Comments from NoodleFood


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Comment #1

Monday, April 3, 2006 at 11:21:39 mdt
Name: Adam

Another great post, Diana! What great evidence (in palpable truck-like fashion) of the Objectivist principle that the moral is the successful. Kelley chose the route of Peter Keating, sacrificing his ideals for the immediate, short-term acceptance of sundry academics and public intellectuals. The ARI chose the route of principled commitment to Objectivism, similar to Howard Roark's commitment to his own principles early in his career (when he accepted being kicked out of school and turned down commissions). Thus, we face today the equivalent of the courtroom scene at the climax of The Fountainhead--when everyone discovers the fraud that Peter Keating is, and how Howard Roark's integrity was the only key to his long-term success and happiness. Hooray for the ARI and the Objectivist intellectuals who have remained true to their principles!



Comment #2

Monday, April 3, 2006 at 11:56:17 mdt
Name: Diana Hsieh
URL: http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

That great post was actually written by Greg Perkins. I can claim credit for transmogrifying him into a NoodleFoodler, but that's all!



Comment #3

Monday, April 3, 2006 at 14:56:19 mdt
Name: Kurt Colville

With the increasing regularity that Dr. Brook appears on TV news discussions and ARI's promotion of free speech discussions at universities nationwide, I really feel like I'm seeing this strategy take off. I'll bet 2006 is a landmark year for ARI and Ayn Rand's legacy.



Comment #4

Monday, April 3, 2006 at 19:19:56 mdt
Name: David Rehm
URL: http://davidrehm.com

> Thus, we face today the equivalent of the courtroom scene at the climax of The Fountainhead--when everyone discovers the fraud that Peter Keating is, and how Howard Roark's integrity was the only key to his long-term success and happiness.

Just as with the novel, those who were paying attention all along knew that 'Keating' was a fraud and what the necessary outcome of his choices and actions would be long before the 'courtroom scene'.

;->

(Sorry, I just couldn't resist.)



Comment #5

Tuesday, April 4, 2006 at 11:30:39 mdt
Name: Diana Hsieh
URL: http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

Thank you for that post, Greg.

So many critics of ARI (whether dishonest or just ignorant) dismiss ARI's amazing success in recent years as the product of its friendly relationship with the Estate of Ayn Rand and other such accidents. (The claim is that ARI has such a great advantage due to those information cards in the novels.) In fact, as with natural resources, the human mind -- in the form of rational thought, creative foresight, and careful planning -- is required to take advantage of such advantages. Yaron Brook has done that at ARI -- and the results have been astonishing.

Moreover, such good management would be wasted without a principled understanding of and committment to Objectivism. Even the best of managers could not save TOC from its own corrupt philosophy. It's philosophic principles -- particularly the demands for tolerance and openness -- preclude practical success in the promotion of Objectivism.

I first attended OCON in 2003, while struggling with my great unhappiness at TOC. Despite all my reservations and doubts about ARI, I was completely blown away by Yaron's "State of ARI" talk. It was a real "time to check my premises!" moment. Here's what I wrote about it in a previous blog post:

***

Perhaps more than anything else at the conference, Yaron Brook's "The State of ARI" presentation made me rethink my generally negative view of ARI. It was clear to me that ARI had done more in a single year than TOC did in ten. Multiple books were in the process of being written by ARI scholars, in substantial part due to the grants from the Anthem Foundation. Students were offered systematic training in the principles and methods of Objectivism in the Academic Center. Op-eds were frequently published and media appearances were common. Their plan to get Ayn Rand's fiction more widely read by high school students was brilliant on so many levels. In my years at TOC, I simply accepted the idea that academic programs must compete with cultural activism programs for time and resources. In sharp contrast, Yaron Brook presented a single vision for changing the culture which integrated their high school book programs and essay contests, undergraduate and graduate education, book grants and fellowships for professors, op-ed programs, media appearances, and business training. With such a single, integrated vision, priority of programs could be determined objectively on the basis of the necessary order for success in the basic goal, rather than haphazardly or on the basis of the demands of big donors. It was quite a lesson in what is possible to an Objectivist organization when it knows what it's doing and does it well.

At the time, my basic thought was that the moral is the practical -- and thus I began to search for the deeper roots of ARI's success and TOC's failure. That led me to re-read the primary documents of the split and ultimately to disassociate myself from TOC. For that and so much more, I owe Yaron Brook a deep debt of gratitude.

***

The full post, including the comparison to the "State of TOC" at the time is here:

<http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/2004/09/state-of-ari.html>



Comment #7

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 10:10:28 mdt
Name: Diana Hsieh
URL: http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

I have deleted Reginald Firehammer's post about his article, since it is beyond vile. Under the banner of Objectivism, it advocates the mass extinction of humanity as a method of "saving the world" for the self-sufficient individualists.

I'm including the link, and the quotes below, simply to indicate just how revolting the article is -- and to show why Mr. Firehammer is no longer welcome to post on NoodleFood. I absolutely will not sanction this kind of atrocity in any way, shape, or form. I would not wish to ever give anyone the impression that he advocate anything like Objectivism.

***

<http://theautonomist.com/autonomist/articles13/save.html>

"The most ironic aspect of the strange juxtaposition of methods for, "saving the world," is that the one despised by the Objectivists just might work. ...

"The world-wide catastrophe such a collapse would bring is impossible to fully comprehend. Not only would the economies of every country in the world collapse, world-wide famine would be inevitable, crime and violence would prevail as the last resort of the parasites who have been living on the productive efforts of others, plague and epidemics would wipe out huge numbers of people as sanitation, medical care, and drugs became non-existent.

"The survivors of such a catastrophe would be the independent individualists, the competent and self-sufficient, the only kind of men to whom the kind of society the Objectivists envision is possible and the only kind of men who deserve it. ...

"The world, that is, human society, in its present state, is probably not worth saving, and neither the Objectivist's or Dr. Pianka's method can save it. Dr. Pianka's method, which very well may occur, does have one advantage--while it cannot save the world, it would eliminate all that is not worth saving, leaving it for the independent individualists to rebuild."

***

Regi, do not post here again. Ever.



Comment #8

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 13:26:26 mdt
Name: Cass

Dear Ms. Hsieh,

I've read your response above referring to Regi Firehammer with mounting bewilderment, which I'm hoping you can perhaps help me with.

Your opening statement seemed to refer to a post at this blog unavailable for assessment by the reader. This seemed odd, but on further reading I deduced it was, presumably, not the post but Regi Firehammers' article, which you found "beyond vile."

I was certainly astounded by your statement that it advocates "the mass extinction of humanity as a method of "saving the world" for the self-sufficient individualists". I would like to emphasis the word "advocates". This shocked me, as I have read at Mr. Firehammers site, and nowhere has he ever expressed such an unbelievable idea. Indeed, I have read him frequently point out to readers that no disvalue, no evil or misfortune to another can ever be a value to anyone else. I found it hard to believe he could make such a contradictory statement. Thus I did read and analyse the article you provide a link to. This is my summary.

In my analysis of his article I made the following points:

(1). The article is an intelligent discussion concerning the self proclaimed "activism" of many "Objectivist groups", and asks the question, "given Ayn Rands' own statements regarding the individualism her philosophy promotes and addresses, her own statement that is not any individuals "job" to convince or convert others, are these so-called Objectivists truly living within and to the tenets of the philsophy they profess to espouse?" Regi Firehammer shows that in this regard they are not.

(2). At the conclusion of his writing, Regi draws attention to the writings by a "greenie" published at his site, by one of his contributors
<http://story.seguingazette.com/drudge.html> of the writings at his own blog of some disgusting University Professor who wishes to see 90% of humanity dead. (with the posters ironic aside - "nice**)

(3). Regi then refers to the state of Western Civilization as witnessed by more instances than we need to refer to, to claim that this outcome might well in fact occur, not from any infection but from "the growing collectivist statist hedonist destruction of Western culture and society". Ref: <http://theautonomist.com/autonomist/articles13/save.html>

Further, Regi writes, "While no benevolent human being could wish this on mankind, even from natural causes, the possibility and its consequences must not be ignored.
The possibility of world-wide pandemic is always a fact, but something much more likely to bring the kind of world-wide devastation envisioned by Dr. Pianka is the continuation of the way things are already going; in fact, just the kind of oppression of industry and individual liberty that Dr. Pianka would wish imposed to save the environment. If the accelerating collectivist-welfare-statism in this country, and the near demise of European welfare states is not halted (and there is no reason to suppose it will be), the economic and social collapse of Western civilization is inevitable".

(4) Thus, in my analysis of his article, I concude that Regi is drawing a parrallel (an ominous one?) between the kind of "wish" of this Dr. Pianka, and a trend he sees as becoming inevitable given Western Civilizations' own behaviour.

(5) Finally, Regi then draws a further parralel to the activism wishes of Objectivists, and states that, given that they wish to "change the world (into an "Objectivist" one, whatever that is), the only way this desire might just happenbe acheived is if/when the Drs. desire does eventuate, since maybe Individualists who live by Objectivist principles might be able to build "a new world" from the ashes.

However, no-where do I read him "advocating" this. Simply pointing out a possible (or maybe probable) result of Western social/political trends, and that, undesirable tho this would be, its "ironic" consequences to Objectivists.

Finally, I understood the article to be calling for discussion of the points raised, nothing more.

I do appreciate that the article has depth, is multilayered, and subtle. Of course, in such an instance, misunderstandings often occur.
However, I did not find it difficult to analyse, and I fail to see any evidence of the "beyond vile" advocacy you claimed. I repeat Regi's own words, "[no] benevolent human being could wish this on mankind"
So you see, Ms. Hsieh, I am increasingly baffled. I don't understand, I truly dont, where and how you made this deduction.
I really would appreciate your response.

Regards.

* Regi has written often of his view that the environmentalists are, in his opinion, the most viscious and human hating people around, and he publishes articles written by others to substantiate the view that more than anyone, these are the people who wish "mass extinction" on human kind. See: <http://theautonomist.com/autonomist/articles13/toad.html>
<http://usabig.com/autonomist/articles6/plague.html>

I presume he publishes these because he supports and agrees with them to a large extent.
Because his view is well known at the the site, a member published a tract from such an environmentalist who actually does wish 90% of humans dead, with the ironic comment - "nice". (this was intended as irony, not a commendation. Irony, along with subtlety is not always easily comprehended)





Comment #9

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 13:38:03 mdt
Name: Diana Hsieh
URL: http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

Cass: People are more than welcome to read Regi's article for themselves, to judge for themselves. That's why I posted the link.

In my judgment, Regi's article is too vile for any kind of discussion. It is beyond the pale. I will not play host to anyone who regards the extinction of the majority of humanity as any kind of positive good, as Regi clearly stated. Nor will I play host to anyone who praises such an article -- as you have done.

Do not post any more comments here. Anything else you write will be deleted.



Comment #10

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 16:02:29 mdt
Name: Brant Gaede

I read Regi's article. I almost puked. We're supposed to sit about the fire and discuss it?

--Brant



Comment #11

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 19:04:58 mdt
Name: Joe Maurone

Cass and Regi are guilty of what Lindsay Perigo would call "weasel-words": Couching their argument in wishy washy terms to hide their real intent. "Oh, but that's not what Regi meant!". Then why go through the trouble of entertaining the idea of genocide as valid why putting down others for attempting to spread positive changes in the world?



Comment #12

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 20:04:23 mdt
Name: Mark C.

Diana, Brant, Joe,

I've read many articles by Regi on his site and have found no problem with them. Additionally, I've been a member of the forums on that site since around December, and Regi is possibly one of the nicest people I know. In none of his articles does he advocate genocide or mass extinction. I encourage anyone disgusted by his article currently being discussed to visit the site and see for themselves if he is indeed a disgusting person--and to reread this article and understand it for what it actually says. What he was doing in this article here was pointing out a scenario that may well occur, and stating that the aftermath would present a prime opportunity for independent individualists to rebuild society. Is it true? Yes, that opportunity would be there. Does it count as advocacy, does it mean he wants that state of humanity to come about? Absolutely not. It's like saying this: "I can afford to have only one pet. My dog is getting old. When it dies, it will present me with an opportunity to get a parrot, an animal which I have always wanted." Certainly that isn't advocating the death of the dog, nor does it state the will of the owner for the dog to die. It simply doesn't say it. Same for Regi's article.

Joe,

You may not wish to give such respect to Perigo. He and some others on his site are guilty of running others off on petty offenses, which shouldn't even be considered offenses. Also, he is trying to make Objectivism into something it isn't. Finally, Regi is correct that spreading a philosophy, without people willing to accept it, is fruitless. Better that superior character traits be spread. A philosophy is a philosophy. None is to be worshipped. And I can assure you that Cass and Regi are not weaseling around their thesis. Regi has spoken what he means, and he does not mean what you think he does. Words count for something. Read them. Not words you want to be there, so that you may despise the person. The words that are there.

Why not allow Regi and Cass to post here again, Diana? Don't you think misconceptions could be swept away by doing so?



Comment #13

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 20:13:01 mdt
Name: Diana Hsieh
URL: http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

Mark, you can go away too. I don't wish to hear any further from any defenders of Regi. None are welcome to post comments on this blog. I will not sit around the fire and discuss the supposed benefits of mass extinction of humans as if it were a reasonable, legitimate topic of debate. It's not. Period.

All further posts in praise of Regi, his site, and/or his article will be deleted.



Comment #14

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 20:30:46 mdt
Name: Diana Hsieh
URL: http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

Mark just posted three further comments in defense of Regi's article. They have been deleted. Apparently, he doesn't quite understand that property rights are to be respected -- and that using another person's property contrary to her wishes is a violation of rights.



Comment #15

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 20:31:56 mdt
Name: Mark C.

Nice damage control. Are any of us "defenders of Regi" welcome to post here concerning other topics?



Comment #16

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 20:34:22 mdt
Name: Diana Hsieh
URL: http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

Mark, you certainly are not welcome to post on any topic, not after posting those three comments contrary to my explicit request. Regi is not welcome, nor is Cass. Others will be banned if they behave as badly as you have.

Go away -- now.



Comment #17

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 21:15:18 mdt
Name: James S. Valliant

I am just sick that The Autonomist is quoted on my book jacket.

Pheel phree to burn the jacket and put PARC in one of those brown paper-bag covers that we used to make for school textbooks. You can draw nice art of your own on it, too.

Any wretched excuse for even contemplating the "upside" of MASS-EXTINCTION with an obvious smile is too sickening for words.

What vile phreaks!



Comment #18

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 21:22:42 mdt
Name: Casey Fahy

I regard Firehammer's statement to be simply outside the realm of civilized discussion. I shall never pay attention to his site ever again.



Comment #19

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 21:25:47 mdt
Name: Boaz Simovici

Agreed. And thanks, Diana, for your "intolerance."



Comment #20

Thursday, April 6, 2006 at 23:12:13 mdt
Name: Mike
URL: http://passingthoughts.blogsome.com

Totally sickening. I hope those clowns stay in their ghetto.

Hey Jim. I think I read somewhere that you are updating PARC for a new edition. I hope you'll be able to update the jacket as well.



Comment #21

Friday, April 7, 2006 at 13:01:37 mdt
Name: Diana Hsieh
URL: http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

I have just banned the IP address of the cretin busy vandalizing my property by posting his idiotic comments in defense of Regi here, against my express wishes. (I've been deleting these posts, so folks might not have seen them. He's posted over a half a dozen since last night. It's all just so very mature.)



Comment #22

Friday, April 7, 2006 at 15:39:05 mdt
Name: Diana Hsieh
URL: http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

The vandal with the maturity of an eight year old is still posting. I will continue to delete the messages and ban IPs. In the meantime, I apologize to anyone who has had to gaze upon even one of those incredibly stupid messages.