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Leonard Peikoff, Podcaster

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By Diana from NoodleFood,cross-posted by MetaBlog

Dr. Peikoff's first podcast has just been posted to <A HREF="http://peikoff.com">his web site</a>.

I was able to listen to the podcast, and it was interesting, as usual for Dr.Peikoff, but I had some technical problems that I don't know are due to my machine of the setting on the mp3 files themselves.

When I clicked on the link on his website, a file of about 12M began to download into a temporary Internet folder -- which on dial-up took about 40 minutes. No problem, I thought, I'll just let it download and then listen to it. Well, even after the entire file downloaded, my RealPlayer software went out to the server and downloaded it again before playing it! It was annoying having to listen to a few minutes and then have to wait a few minutes for the next few minutes to download. It was worth it, but I hope Dr. Peikoff either reformats his downloader or someone can tell me how I have a setting that is wrong in RealPlayer.

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It was worth it, but I hope Dr. Peikoff either reformats his downloader or someone can tell me how I have a setting that is wrong in RealPlayer.
I suggest the problem is your browser configuration. It's a simple "click and do" link, and it's the job of your browser to maps the mp3 to the application. I hate RealPlayer for the problem that you mentioned, and lots of other programs can play mp3 files (like Media Player). I recommend Media Player as the least problematic audio handler (damning with faint praise, I know).

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This should be interesting. Thanks for the heads up!

A 6th one is up, but I don't have time to listen to it right now. I think that in the #5 one, I can understand even more the relationship between a candidate and the party in which they belong. I think Peikoff highlighted that well in the time he spent on it. I think it could be applied to some of the resopnses in that Ron Paul thread here on the forum.

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A 6th one is up, but I don't have time to listen to it right now.

Now that I have time to listen:

#6: question topics: writing, mideast, emotions, o'ist clubs/groups/internet forums(Yaron Brook talks in this question too, judging by his voice and that Peikoff is at the ARI doing the podcast)

I still want to direct attention to #5, to the party politics he talks about a few minutes in, for a few minutes. Oh, and when Peikoff talks about Ron Paul in this one, he is quoting something that Brook wrote to him on the subject.

Edited by intellectualammo

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mideast

Specifically, Dr. Peikoff's discussion on the Middle East is answering questions such as:

"Should the United States adopt a policy of non-interventionism?"

"Would the United States be safe if we removed all military presence from the Middle East and stopped supporting Israel?"

"Can't we just walk away from these [islamic] Totalitarians and let them wallow in their own misery?"

Edited by DarkWaters

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#6: question topics: writing, mideast, emotions, o'ist clubs/groups/internet forums(Yaron Brook talks in this question too, judging by his voice and that Peikoff is at the ARI doing the podcast)

There were two different voices aside from Dr. Peikoff in this podcast. I did not recognize the first voice, but the voice talking about Objectivist clubs and forums was definitely Yaron.

I agree with Dr. Peikoff's stance in general, that if one is going to write (especially in a forum dedicated to Objectivism) that one needs to be focused and not just blurt things out. And that if one is going to jump from topic to topic, it does tend to get one's mind moving in an unfocused manner, unless one has a very good focus on the Objectivist position related to the topic. And I also agree that there needs to be a great deal of selectivity of who gets to be involved in the discussions or the groups, otherwise it's not really an Objectivist organization or forum. And it can certainly be of harm to Objectivism qua movement for people to be claiming to speak for Objectivism, instead of their understanding of Objectivism, or to make the implied assumption (in some cases) that if you are involved then you must be an Objectivist. If there isn't somebody there who is knowledgeable about Objectivism to moderate the discussions, they go all over the place, and somebody reading the thread will not know what is and what is not the Objectivist stance. And sometimes people come out and say things that are thoroughly not the Objectivist stance, and it takes a great deal of effort to correct those views; but if they are on the forum and someone knowledgeable about Objectivism reads it, then he will have to decide if he wants to respond or leave the forum, because leaving it up there unchallenged gives the implication at least (if not replied to or taken down) that because the forum focuses on Objectivism, then this God awful post is an aspect of Objectivism. That is, without serious editing of what is posted either before the fact or after the fact, the signal to noise ratio is rather low -- and the discussion becomes not worth following or participating in.

I agree with all of that, BUT, I enjoy discussing Objectivism and philosophical issues from an Objectivist's position. And I don't get the chance to do that much in my daily life. Even when I was involved in local Objectivists groups over the years, they would only meet maybe once a month or so. And issues come up that I just have to talk about with other Objectivists or even other students of Objectivism; instead of exploding in frustration.

I guess one frustration I have with some of these open forums is that I cut my teeth on forums like Bob Stubblefield's OSG (Objectivist Study Group) [no longer actively posted to] and Harry Binswanger's HBL (Harry Binswanger's List), both of which were not only very focused on Objectivism, but both were run by editors who ran professional publications dedicated to Objectivism; The Intellectual Activist for Bob Stubblefield and The Objectivist Forum for Harry Binswanger -- and they insisted upon a professional level of writing fit to be published in a professional periodical. And, of course, one could turn to those publications to discover the Objectivist position on the topics they chose to publish. Their forums are a bit different, in that they are not as polished and not professionally written, but they tended to be well edited for content -- especially in regards to the presentation of Objectivism or applications of Objectivism -- i.e. they wouldn't let someone run on and on with a position that was against Objectivism, even if the poster was only mistaken, as happens a lot on objectivismonline.net.

I do enjoy discussing my views and my understanding of Objectivism as it relates to various topics, and I try to keep my post well polished (as do many people who post here).

I would say that oo.net is not a place I would send people to in order to learn about Objectivism (primarily because it is neither pre-edited for that content nor post edited for that content), but I think it is a good place to discuss Objectivism and how it relates to many topics. And I think that so long as that is clear, then it is an OK forum to do that on. And I think the Objectivist position is made clear by at least several people on this forum; which, at times, makes the forum self-edited in the sense that those continuously arguing against Objectivism get frustrated and leave of their own accord. But maybe the moderators shouldn't wait so long for that to happen? In other words, perhaps the moderators can curtail people posting here that present non-Objectivist material too often. I don't know exactly how that would be done, but it might be something to think about.

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I agree with all of that, BUT, I enjoy discussing Objectivism and philosophical issues from an Objectivist's position. And I don't get the chance to do that much in my daily life.

Neither do I. That's why I'm here. I personally have learned a hell of a lot here on the application of Objectivism, understanding more broadly and in depth Ayn Rand's novels, and have been exposed to fields, subjects, websites, information, artists, music, literature, that I probably never would have discovered on my own. I value this forum greatly for that.

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The key to using forums well is understanding what they are and what one can get from them. I use all sorts of forums for work: forums on various computer topics. They all contain their share of garbage and their own local flame-wars. Sometimes one can even be sucked in to arguing whether JSP is better than JSF, or clarifying that Orion is being misrepresented, etc,; but, as long one is mostly non-neurotic about it, and as long as one understands what one wants from them and what one can and cannot get from them, they can be really useful.

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but, as long one is mostly non-neurotic about it, and as long as one understands what one wants from them and what one can and cannot get from them, they can be really useful.

Well, I'm not saying shut them down, but keep them more focused. Dr. Peikoff made a lot of good points in his assessment of free-for-all forums and having open discussions about a very technical topic; Objectivism. And one has to understand that Objectivism isn't whatever the heck is on one's mind when one has read something by Ayn Rand. One does not integrate a new philosophy over night, and yet there is the desire to talk about it with someone once it has been discovered. The halt leading the blind, as Dr. Peikoff put it, is certainly not the way to insure that one is focused the right way; but, then again, we don't have Ayn Rand to come on these boards and straighten us out. So, we are on our own.

He would definitely prefer there to be focused study groups, such as the Plano (Texas) OPAR Study Group, where we use the writings of Ayn Rand, Dr. Peikoff, and other well established knowledgeable Objectivists as a strict guide to our study and discussions. We read an article or a chapter, and then discuss it in a very focused manner. This helps to insure that we are focused on Objectivism, and not becoming "free thinkers" not guided by anything except what is on our mind at the time. There are typically about four to six of us doing that.

However, I have been at the serious study of Objectivism for thirty years now, and for the first seven to ten years I couldn't find other people interested in Objectivism or Ayn Rand, aside from one or two local friends or associates, and sometimes not even that. I realize that Objectivism is there so that one can be more in tuned with reality -- to be able to live one's life more selfishly and be more one on one with existence -- but I have always thought it was rather exciting that there are now many more people willing to learn about Objectivism and to discuss it. And the Internet makes it possible to find others like that without them having to be strictly local. But I agree with Dr. Peikoff that one ought to be focused, and not just rambling.

So, let's try to keep the board more focused on Objectivism and it's applications.

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However, I have been at the serious study of Objectivism for thirty years now, and for the first seven to ten years I couldn't find other people interested in Objectivism or Ayn Rand, aside from one or two local friends or associates, and sometimes not even that.
Yes, for some members the social purposes of a board can often be of much more value than anything didactic.

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So, let's try to keep the board more focused on Objectivism and it's applications.

I'm not sure what the complaint is here...

This is not a focused study group, but you adimt there are reasons why something less strucutred as a community for fellowship might be warranted. By what standard then are you saying that the focus of this particular board is too lax or too tight?

The freethinkers are over on SOLO, The Atlasphere and the various other boards including the Kelleyite boards.

The more "focused" forum is The Forum, and it is a result of single handed moderation.

I believe this board is pretty balanced for what it is, a group-moderated forum. All of the "core" posters are known for being long-time studied Objectivists with an understanding of the application of the philosophy in many (but admittedly not all) areas. When one goes astray, they actively check each other. Less experienced members are encouraged to voice opinions but are actively challenged when their opinions run far afeild of the philosophy. Kelleyites and the like are usually short lived here because of it. Frankly for my money it's the best of all worlds short of a moderated forum like HBL, which I also belong to.

What are you looking for exactly?

I would submit that there is plenty of choice on other forums and if it a different level of moderation you're looking for that one need simply excercise their freedom of choice. It's not that I don't think the board can be improved, I'm just not sure what you're asking for.

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I think perhaps the issue can be put succinctly by rephrasing something Aristotle said: Dear is Plato, but dearer still is truth. Plato taught Aristotle how to have an integrated mind, which was definitely valuable to him, but he became more interested in how one checks one's ideas against existence -- something that Objectivism excels at, if one understands it correctly. Yes, socializing can be good, if one socializes with the right kind of people, but independence -- the ability to come to one's own conclusions based on reason -- is more important than getting together with friends. One's friend's have to have the right character, which in Objectivism, means that they have to be rational. Sometimes I have seen Aristotle's quote as something like, "Dear are friends, but dearer still is truth." In other words, the socializing aspects of oo.net or any other forum cannot be permitted to outweigh one's knowledge of Objectivism, reason and reality. I suppose that sometimes I come across as a "hard nose" because I am that way, and I think we need more of that on these boards.

The Kelleyites and other gripers against Objectivism are a danger to the widespread acceptance of Objectivism, primarily because they want to water it down in their assessment that benevolence is a virtue. While there is nothing wrong with being friendly and happily greeting those new to Objectivism -- I mean, we were all there at one time or another -- it is important to take the stance that Objectivism is something in particular that is very "hard nosed" about what it is, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. It's a very exciting discovery, and I still have great enthusiasm for it, so I certainly understand wanting to get together with others interested in it and wanting to discus it. I want to make friends and find a lover, that's certainly one reason I associate with those enthusiastic about Objectivism. But if we are going to call ourselves Objectivists, then the truth of that philosophy must outweigh any friendships, loves, or socializing.In other words, the issue is one that is wider than just Kelleyites. If one takes reason and Objectivism seriously, then Aristotle's quotes ought to be taken seriously.

I realize that oo.net is more of a meeting place than a study group. But if one is going to participate here or be a moderator of the forum, then one ought to be very stringent about Objectivism and its applications. I think there is an attempt to do that, which is why I post here. If I thought it was thoroughly non-Objectivism oriented, I'd go somewhere else or create my own forum; as Kendall pointed out, there are other choices.

So, what I am suggesting is that those participating become even more hard nosed about Objectivism. That ought not to scare away those seriously interested in Objectivism, even if they are new to Objectivism. I know, I took some hard knocks when I first became involved in other forums dedicated to Objectivism many years ago (starting in about 1989), but there is a long learning curve to Objectivism and reason and reality are more important than being liked; and I learned to better formulate my posts. In other words, a good focus on Objectivism is better than having large numbers of participants. Quality is more important than quantity, especially when it comes to a new philosophy and those wanting to understand it.

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He would definitely prefer there to be focused study groups, such as the Plano (Texas) OPAR Study Group, where we use the writings of Ayn Rand, Dr. Peikoff, and other well established knowledgeable Objectivists as a strict guide to our study and discussions. We read an article or a chapter, and then discuss it in a very focused manner. This helps to insure that we are focused on Objectivism, and not becoming "free thinkers" not guided by anything except what is on our mind at the time. There are typically about four to six of us doing that.

This might be a good point to plug Greg Perkins' recently set up Objectivism Seminar, which does essentially this over the Internet using a free net-based IP telephony tool called Gizmo. We're currently working our way through Tara Smith's Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics, and plan to follow-up with OPAR and then ITOE. We're still feeling our way in terms of discussion protocol, but I think things are gelling nicely -- particularly in the last three sessions. Participation costs are quite reasonable, just $15 per book.

I encourage interested parties to check it out.

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This might be a good point to plug Greg Perkins' recently set up Objectivism Seminar, which does essentially this over the Internet using a free net-based IP telephony tool called Gizmo.

No offense to Greg, but I don't know who he is. What are his credentials that I ought to pay him to be involved in his discussions? Does he have a website that has information about his knowledge of Objectivism? The link just takes one to a sign-in page, with no information and no links to information. And is this a voice discussion using some type of web telephone? Does one need a high speed connection for it to work well? How many people are involved (too many would make the discussion cumbersome over a telephone device). How does he moderate the group? Is there a set of questions based on the books that he follows? Dean Cook, who runs the Plano OPAR Study group here in Texas comes up with good questions as a guide for what we are discussing, which helps to keep us from going all over the place.

It does sound interesting, however.

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No offense to Greg, but I don't know who he is. What are his credentials that I ought to pay him to be involved in his discussions? Does he have a website that has information about his knowledge of Objectivism? The link just takes one to a sign-in page, with no information and no links to information. And is this a voice discussion using some type of web telephone? Does one need a high speed connection for it to work well? How many people are involved (too many would make the discussion cumbersome over a telephone device). How does he moderate the group? Is there a set of questions based on the books that he follows? Dean Cook, who runs the Plano OPAR Study group here in Texas comes up with good questions as a guide for what we are discussing, which helps to keep us from going all over the place.

It does sound interesting, however.

The sign-in page is a web community much like this forum. YOu can get an account there for free. All details are inside.

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No offense to Greg, but I don't know who he is. What are his credentials that I ought to pay him to be involved in his discussions? Does he have a website that has information about his knowledge of Objectivism?

Hi, Thomas! The payment isn't so much for the pleasure of my company, excellent as that is, but for the work behind the scenes to do the administration/production, and for the psychological effect it has on peoples' seriousness and commitment (the cost works out to around 50 cents per session).

I am one of the co-bloggers on Diana Hsieh's Noodlefood, and I originally announced and explained The Objectivism Seminar there: Invitation to The Objectivism Seminar. And if you're curious, you can see some of the other things I've written over at www.gregperkins.net.

Please feel free to join the site and poke around!

Thanks,

Greg

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To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of his podcasts. With my hearing-impairment, I find him difficult to understand and even barely audible at full volume plus headphones.

Though the content is enough to make it a satisfactory experience.

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