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dianahsieh

New Blog on Activism for Objectivism

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What's bad form about it. I cross-posted Diana's post here because I saw it as a friendly invitation to fellow Objectivists. It would be no different if I were to post here in the "activism sub-forum", saying that I want to work on an activism project, but I'd like to keep the details private, so PM me if you want to help. What would be rude about that? (Still, of course, if Diana wants this thread pulled, I'd be glad to oblige, seeing the turn it has taken.)

To my mind what is really rude is not taking a benevolent attitude toward someone making an effort like this. Instead, take ownership -- join up, find out what it is like, help, then if you think removing passwords will help, advocate it.

Hi Snerd, I wasn't trying to imply that it shouldnt' have been posted. Only that the only basis on which I'd even consent to argue it might be on the level of etiquette. I think the general arguments that this is antithetical to O'ist principles is really at the wrong level.

I wholeheartedly agree with the benevolence issue. This thread stuns me in a way.

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By the way, I don't see this really as MY blog. I'm kicking off most of the conversations, but the real value is the interaction between Objectivists of varying experience. Older Objectivists know much more about spreading Objectivists than I. Grad students like Diana bring expertise from their fields. Leaders of clubs can give advice on running a good organization. Members know what attracted them. Etc. That's why at every point I have been encouraging comments and criticism.

But I want the comments and criticism to be informed and constructive.

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To my mind what is really rude is not taking a benevolent attitude toward someone making an effort like this.

Amen.

Fellow Objectivists should welcome the effort. Nothing wrong with asking questions but if we are serious about exploring ways to spread the philosophy, we should encourage Atlas and save the ridicule for those who preach explicitly irrational ideas.

Dan

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I am not attacking anybody; this is just a discussion.

I agree with Rand that properly we should not be after other's votes or support but rather their minds, their true understanding. This is done through education and the more transparency the better when it comes to trully reaching someone's mind. Why? Because it is very important to show trust/conviction in your message. It is only when you advocate ideas in conflict to reality when you have to worry about running into trouble when addressing your critics; it is only then that you have to watch your words carefully, or make sure to go about it the right way, or brainstorm in private about how to answer.

This is why I think ARI tactics (from what I see for the most part) have been made so transparent. It sends a message that we have nothing to worry about. Go take a look at what we are doing. Our message stands on its own. It will prevail - we just need time to educate others about it. That is how you reach individualists out there. That is how I have been reached.

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But Sophia, ARI staff probably brainstorm about how to get into more newspapers, how to get books into schools, what areas of advocacy have the best bang for the buck, and so on. They probably do a lot of it in person, but some of it via email. Instead of email, should they simply start a public forum and post everything there, keeping it read-only for non-employees? Perhaps there is some merit to that, but surely you see that it has drawbacks too. It's not about some type of conspiracy, or some secret that will destroy them if revealed, it's just that some things are ready for publishing and some things are not. There are even personal tastes involved. For instance, some intellectuals are willing to give a verbal opinion or even a lecture on some topic, and willing to give a quick email response on a topic, but not willing to have the same words transcribed and published on a public forum.

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Perhaps this was merely an unfortunate choice of words, but the idea of a private “playbook" suggests that there is some manipulative strategy to promote Objectivism. For the promotion of a philosophy based on reality and reason in a country where we have the freedom of expression, I think the idea of private “playbook” efforts is untoward.

Hello, Todd. I just noticed that the purpose statement has been changed and said "unfortunate choice of words" part is no longer there. There is a note at the bottom of the statement that says that due to feedback, it's been edited. Good.

The main thing for the privacy is the ability to screen using whatever the criteria that must be met:

Most of the posts will be password protected. This effort is for and by Objectivists, and since there are now a number of web sites and forums dedicated to fighting Objectivism, I don’t want comments people may make to become fodder for those types.

I see nothing wrong with setting such parameters and even find it quite enticing knowing this.

I remember a forum I used to belong to when I was a Satanist. When you sent your "red card" to the administration (the card is one way to help identify whether or not you are an actual member of the CoS) you were then given privileges, like access to areas on the forum that were not open to members of the forum itself. You had to have proof you are a CoS member.

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It's funny you give the Satanism example, IntellectualAmmo. I suspect that is part of what Todd is arguing against: the danger of projecting an image of being some type of odd-ball secret cult. I don't see that as being the case here though, since this is just one among a number of "forums" of Objectivists, some of which are fully open to the public, some of which are by invitation only, and some of which are pretty closed.

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I suspect that is part of what Todd is arguing against: the danger of projecting an image of being some type of odd-ball secret cult.

It doesn't even need to be a cult to carry with it a negative connotation. Take for example the closed nature of many federal reserve board meetings. It implies an elitist attitude, for example, they know better what is in our best interests then we do. Or, at the very least, what they discuss would not be received well by the general public. If the discussions were entirely benevolent then there would seem to be no need for secrecy.

That said, I understand the value of strategies being kept secret in certain contexts and support the idea generally. I would suggest only that publishing the fact that you are creating a secret organization is somewhat counterproductive. Perhaps membership by private invitation would work better.

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Maybe you aren't familiar with blogs like this. They are dedicated to scouring the internet for comments made by Objectivists, mocking anything related to Ayn Rand.

Hi,

I co-run www.aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com linked to above and I just thought I'd correct Atlas51184. I think he's got our blog confused with the sporadic, anonymous blog www.randzapper.blogspot.com, which indeed has its sole mission to scour the internets as he describes above. The ARCHNblog however is based around the Greg Nyquist book "Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature" which provides a comprehensive criticism of Rand's various theories on logical, scientific, economic, historical, aesthetic and of course philosophical grounds. This is the bulk of the blog, tho we do keep up with various Objectivist items of interest in the internet as well. The blog is only around 18 months old, and updated occasionally each week. While it's not necessary to read "ARCHN" to get a handle on where the blog's coming from, it does help.

Thanks

Daniel

Edited by Daniel Barnes

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Hi Atlas51184,

Privacy and secrets can serve a wide variety of legitimate purposes for individuals, for businesses, for governmental entities, even for social clubs. In some cases, however, this can cause confusion or harm, even unintentionally.

In one sense of the word, “privacy” is the quality of being secluded from the presence or view of others. In this sense, it refers to a person’s (or group’s) preference for isolation or reclusiveness from others.

In another sense of the word, “privacy” is the condition of being concealed or hidden from others. In this sense, it is a synonym for “secrecy.” Private information or a “secret” is the subject matter held in privacy or secrecy.

There is often a sense of special status for being invited into the privacy of another person or group or given access to a secret. In some cases, the status of belonging and knowing what others know can be important, including for competition and survival. In other cases, exclusivity may be enticing, like Intellectualammo mentioned, for other reasons. Depending on the circumstances, however, the privacy may cause those who are not invited to feel slighted and the secrecy may create suspicions regarding the purpose for the secrecy.

A person invited to join a private entity and have access to its secrets should be able to answer basic questions before agreeing to join and to keep its secrets: What is the purpose of the entity? Is it a legitimate purpose? What is the basis for who is invited and who is excluded? What is the general nature of its secrets? Do these promote the purpose of the entity? What value would he be likely to gain by joining and having access to such secrets? What terms, costs, responsibilities, and potential liabilities (moral and even legal) will be required in exchange for joining and having access to the secrets?

In promoting Objectivism, the philosophy of reality and reason, I think we should have nothing to fear in the intellectual realm. Of course, there are still legitimate grounds for privacy. For example, I prefer not to publish my rough drafts of this post – which are terrible and would be embarrassing to me if separated from the context that they are rough drafts. But if something is ready for publication (e.g., a blog) to anyone except those “hostile to Objectivism” (though I not sure about the intended scope of this), I would think it should ready for publication to anyone – period (on otherwise equal terms, of course). If I publish something that is mistaken, i.e., contrary to reality or reason, it is subject to rational criticism from anyone – period. Even though Objectivists are the harshest critics, I think that trying to divide who can see a publication on such a basis itself may give fodder for criticism.

Who may post comments or otherwise contribute is a separate matter to be considered, too, of course. For example, controlling spam is an understandable interest.

Respectfully, in reviewing the statement of purpose (even as recently edited) and the other publicly-available information I see there, I continue to have questions. In particular, I think the particular format and explanation is likely to create untoward suspicions about who you don’t want criticism from and the stated purpose.

There may be better ways of explaining your desire for privacy on your website. For example, you may want constructive criticism on drafts. It would be expected that people constructively interested in Objectivism or whom you personally trust would be more likely to give constructive criticism rather than spewing insanities. There may be other reasons that we could come up with to explain better.

In the context of this heated discussion, it bears repeating that I think you should have the freedom to establish whatever terms for participation in your blog project that you think are appropriate.

I appreciate your efforts, my questions and comments are intended to be constructive, and I would be glad to discuss this with you in more detail, if you like.

Edited by Old Toad

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Old Toad,

I think you're misunderstanding what the blog is trying to accomplish.

You wrote, "In promoting Objectivism, the philosophy of reality and reason, I think we should have nothing to fear in the intellectual realm."

The blog does not a will not contain articles advocating Objectivism. There will not be a post about why life is the standard of value, or about how Rand's epistemology compares to Kants.

There will be posts on how to best organize an Objectivist club. There will be posts on what types of topics your LTE is most likely to be published. There will be posts on how to get your blog post picked up by major media.

So consider my club organization example. Imagine you are having a meeting with some members of the North Texas Objectivist Society. You are planning out some future meetings and discussing ways to attract new members. Your front door is wide open and a dozen strangers come in and listen to everything you say while taking notes. Are you comfortable with that? Nothing sinister is happening at your meeting, and no one would be suspicious of your desire to keep it private.

And that's exactly how it is with a blog. If it's not private anyone can come and read it or link to it. Understandably, some people are more comfortable sharing their experiences in private, without any random person listening in. Further, some people would like to participate, but what to do so anonymously. Keeping it private allows them to do so.

It is no different from starting an email list for an Objectivist club, and keeping membership restricted to members. The only difference is the format. I like the blog format for my purposes, and dislike the email group format. That is why I made a private blog, rather than a private yahoo group.

To be honest with you, I don't understand why anyone would worry one iota about the semi-private nature of the blog. If the fact that it is private is stopping you from even reading it, then I'm disapointed selfishly because I think you would have valuable advice to contribute. And I don't understand what is stopping you from even reading what little there is so far. All you need to do is send me a message asking for the password. You don't need to sign up for anything. Or even participate. If you look at it and decide it is of no actual or potential value, all you'd have to do is close the window and never think of it again. You've taken the time to get involved in a lengthy discussion about the blog. So why not spend 30 seconds sending me a one sentence email, and then 10 minutes to read what is there so far? Every criticism you offer after the quoted sentence simply does not apply, so I'm not interested in any more conversation until you've actually seen what is there.

Another note: I will be changing the opening page quite a bit. It seems the page gives just enough for to speculate, but not enough to make an informed judgment. So I'm going to cut it down quite a bit.

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Hi Atlas51184,

There will be posts on how to best organize an Objectivist club. There will be posts on what types of topics your LTE is most likely to be published. There will be posts on how to get your blog post picked up by major media.

I understand this, but not why this subject matter should be kept private.

… Imagine you are having a meeting with some members of the North Texas Objectivist Society. You are planning out some future meetings and discussing ways to attract new members. Your front door is wide open and a dozen strangers come in and listen to everything you say while taking notes. Are you comfortable with that? Nothing sinister is happening at your meeting, and no one would be suspicious of your desire to keep it private.

In my club I have elected to make discussions on such topics public (viewable by anyone online) seeing no benefit to privacy on such topics and even disadvantages. On the contrary, I think there is benefit it making them public – an indirect opportunity to promote our activities and for people to look in as they may consider joining and participating based on what they can see.

Changing the context to a dozen strangers coming into my house or to sit next to us at a coffee shop and silently take notes introduces the threat of physical intimidation and even violence.

To be honest with you, I don't understand why anyone would worry one iota about the semi-private nature of the blog.

Because I am primarily interested in spreading Objectivism, which to my mind is the overall objective, I don’t see how it helps to make these topics semi-private, and I think doing so may be counterproductive.

If the fact that it is private is stopping you from even reading it, then I'm disapointed selfishly because I think you would have valuable advice to contribute.

My questions and comments here are what I am offering to contribute, for whatever they may be worth.

And I don't understand what is stopping you from even reading what little there is so far.

Because I don’t agree with the reasons for the privacy as offered thus far.

… I'm not interested in any more conversation until you've actually seen what is there.

OK. I am sorry I annoyed you or anyone else.

Edited by Old Toad

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Since we seem to not be making headway here, I'd like to suggest we put this thread into the area that was developed per forum rules for criticism of local organizations.

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Old Toad,

"Because I am primarily interested in spreading Objectivism, which to my mind is the overall objective, I don’t see how it helps to make these topics semi-private, and I think doing so may be counterproductive."

I fail to see how privacy is counterproductive. Who will benefit from the blog? Objectivists, only. Those are the people I have invited. How will it be counterproductive to keep it private? Is HBL counter productive as well? Or OAC? I've already had three people tell me they want to offer advice on the blog they would not be comfortable giving in public. They have their reasons, and I'm respecting them. I recognized before I started it that MANY Objectivists, myself included, wish to remain semi or totally anonymous. Anonymity is a big concern for graduate students, for instance. The contents of those posts may reveal information that could be used to identify them, so they prefer anonymity.

"OK. I am sorry I annoyed you or anyone else."

No one's annoyed. It's just useless to argue about the merits of the blog if you aren't going to even look at it, so I won't. I'm fine with discussing the privacy issue, but not if the arguments depend on speculation about what might be on the blog.

Edited by Atlas51184

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Hi Atlas51184,

I am glad you are not annoyed. I will try to confine my response here as you request.

Initially, fee-for-subscription services, such as the HBL list, The Objective Standard, and the New York Times, are private. My understanding is that you are not charging a fee for subscribing to your blog.

Regarding the HBL list and OAC, those are not the subject here. My understanding that at least at one time the HBL required a loyalty oath. (I don’t know if it still does.) I do not see the benefit of that. I don’t think The Objective Standard requires a loyalty oath. The New York Times could require a pledge of allegiance to the United States to read it. I would not see the benefit of that, either. Regarding the OAC, I know almost nothing about it, what it does, who it invites, what values it offers, why it may be private, etc. But none of these are the subject of this discussion, and without more details (which would be a major rabbit trail from this discussion) mere reference to the HBL and OAC appears to be an appeal to authority, which could be countered by a reference to The Objective Standard.

I've already had three people tell me they want to offer advice on the blog they would not be comfortable giving in public. They have their reasons, and I'm respecting them.

I would want to know the reasons, at least the general nature of the value being offered, and other options before committing my project, club, business, or whatever to accommodate such offers.

I recognized before I started it that MANY Objectivists, myself included, wish to remain semi or totally anonymous. Anonymity is a big concern for graduate students, for instance. The contents of those posts may reveal information that could be used to identify them, so they prefer anonymity.

Anonymity is generally manageable with other personal devices and avoiding personal details, as many use here on ObjectivismOnline.Net. I am not persuaded this is sufficient reason to close an entire discussion group.

Whether privacy is productive or counterproductive depends a great deal on the publicly-stated reasons for the privacy. (Unless the mere existence of the private group is also private, in which case it only needs to be justified to the specific invitees.) For example, it can be harmful if not properly justified in terms that those who are not welcome can respect as good reasons. Several people, including aequalsa, gave examples of how privacy can be suspect.

In general, I think privacy must be justified or be suspect, whereas transparency may expose warts but does not generate suspicion.

Edited by Old Toad

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The contents of those posts may reveal information that could be used to identify them, so they prefer anonymity.

I think that one can be recognized based on content so this is a legitimate reason for privacy for some.

Given our goals transparency is of importance, as explained. I think it would be valuable to think of ways that can accomplish/manage both, perhaps by public, after the fact, updates of progress made (when possible and not hindering other activities) or similar.

Edited by ~Sophia~

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Old Toad,

"But none of these are the subject of this discussion, and without more details (which would be a major rabbit trail from this discussion) mere reference to the HBL and OAC appears to be an appeal to authority, which could be countered by a reference to The Objective Standard."

My referenc to HBL and OAC were meant as an analogy, not an appeal to authority. HBL and OAC are inreach efforts; they offer a value specificly targeted at Objectivists, and do not want that value to be available to people who may be hostile to the goals of those groups.

Why do you think TOS is relevant? It makes me think you still don't "get" what my blog is all about. TOS is an outreach effort; it's purpose is to reach as many people as possible. My purpose is to reach a defined and delimited group, without giving value to anyone outside that group, especially those who may be hostile to my goals. In this respect, HBL/OAC/my blog are importantly dissimilar than TOS (or the NYT).

"Anonymity is generally manageable with other personal devices and avoiding personal details, as many use here on ObjectivismOnline.Net."

But the point of my effort is to get Objectivists to share personal details. If I wish to remain 100% anonymous, I can not tell you about the time I set up speaking engagement x at university y. I can not tell you about how I handled Professor Jones' hostile attitude towards me. I cannot tell you about the news paper that frequently prints my letters, and I certainly can't show you a copy. All of those things can easily reveal a person's identity with a quick google search. Yet sharing those things can help other Objectivists learn from my experience. Hence the desire by many for privacy.

Your final comments suggest that you think privacy is inherently suspect. I disagree, strongly. But before I say anything more I want to make sure that is your view.

Sophia,

"Given our goals transparency is of importance, as explained."

What exactly are OUR goals? I have my goals, and the blog is an extension of them.

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"Given our goals transparency is of importance, as explained."

What exactly are OUR goals? I have my goals, and the blog is an extension of them.

Cultural change, reaching minds.

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Why even make an announcement about this new Oist blog at all? If a password is needed, and then screened to be approved, then why don't the blog creator(s) just invite those that they know personally, to join? I agree with Old Toad...

Edited by Erik Christensen

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I have to say that I think this is a rather bizarre thread. I mean, if the guy wants to set up a private discussion group, on whatever topic, why is he getting the third degree? The very first web based discussion group (to my knowledge) was The Objectivist Internet Conference, which was private and run very well. That was back when the Internet was still new and there were not a lot of free discussion groups out there, and the page loads were rather slow, as most people back then had 24K modems (56k was just coming out, and there was no high speed Internet). I think it wound up shutting down because of the early slowness of the Internet, which made it cumbersome to move around within.

As to HBL and OSG (Objectivist Study Group) being private, a large part of that is to keep the quality high, which is why they do not let pseudo-Objectivist and anti-Objectivists participate. I know that Harry Binswanger considers HBL to be aiming towards a more or less professional level of posts, written by people who know what they are talking about, especially regarding Objectivism. And neither he nor Bob Stubblefield (OSG) wanted those antagonistic towards Objectivism to receive the benefit of their work, unless they wanted to subscribe to their actual professional level periodicals, which were more expensive than their email discussion groups. In short, some people have high standards of what they consider to be permissible for them to publish.

If I ever put together a discussion group, web based or otherwise, it will probably be private for the sake of quality and me making money from it. At least I haven't figured out yet how to have a well run discussion group free on the Internet, and yet making me money somehow.

And there are a lot of people who prefer to write in a private setting, where everything they say will not be blasted out to any onlookers. Some reasons for that have already been given, but when Bob Stubblefield decided that he might want to make OSG public (in the sense of making it web based and readable by all), many people on that list decided against it. There is, at least to some degree, a context that is there when one knows one is dealing with people who are seriously interested in Objectivism, and one can assume a context to what is being said that may not be understood by any random onlooker. To some people, this is important; in a more modern context, certainly those writing on oo.net don't mind being public in their positions, though many people do use pseudonyms.

The bottom line is that running a discussion group does not always have to involve public advocacy; which means there is nothing whatsoever wrong with making such a discussion group private. Is it only meaningful if everyone and their brothers can read it for nothing?

EDITED to add this quote that timed just perfect for me logging out:

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.--Ayn Rand

Edited by Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

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Hi Atlas51184,

But the point of my effort is to get Objectivists to share personal details. …

OK. If this purpose is specifically desired, then privacy would be necessary. I think this could be explained to outsiders without creating negative impressions.

What got this discussion going was that your blog was originally introduced to us on this thread in quite different terms.

I don’t understand the distinction you are referring to between “inreach” and “outreach” efforts. In any event, in light of this newer explanation of your purpose, I don’t see any relevance whatsoever of HBL, OAC, TOS, or NYT.

My final comment in my last post was way overbroad.

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Why make even make an announcement about the this new Oist blog at all? If a password is needed, and then screened to be approved, why not just invite those they know personally, to join?

Oh, for goodness sakes! (That exasperation is directed at this whole discussion, not at Erik in particular.)

As Atlas has said -- more than once -- the decision to post the announcement about the new blog was entirely my own. I did not consult Atlas about it. I did it because I wanted to alert interested Objectivists to the existence of the blog. However, (1) I don't keep an extensive address book, (2) I wanted to alert more than just the mostly academic-type people I happen to know, and (3) tons of Objectivists read my blog.

Many Objectivists that I don't know have been kind enough to introduce themselves in the course of asking for the password. They've been given it. So as a result of my public blog post, I've been able to inform many more Objectivists (and grant them access) than I would have if I'd just e-mailed my friends. That's GOOD. That's particularly good because the blog is MOST DEFINITELY NOT a secret elitist club for well-connected Objectivists. That's the impression that passing around a password in secret would give. It would also mean that few people would hear about the blog at all. How would that have been good?

Also, for the record, I did not post the announcement here, although I'm glad that it was posted, despite this thread. That was the decision of the OO.net administration.

Finally, I should note that I run two mailing lists: one for Objectivist bloggers and one for Objectivist academics. Both restrict membership, and both are publicly advertised. They're restricted because profitable discussion requires people with genuine knowledge, experience, and interest in the subject. I don't want either of them to turn into general discussion lists. They're publicly advertised because I don't personally know all the Objectivist bloggers and academics in the world, but I'd like them to learn about the lists somehow.

Notably, both of those lists have been advertised on NoodleFood and OO.net. No one has ever raised anything like these kinds of complaints about those lists. Yet they aren't really different than this new blog. Nor are my two lists and the blog any different from the thousands of Yahoo Groups that are publicly listed yet require moderator approval for membership. It's standard fare.

Frankly, this whole discussion is a waste of time. Personally, I ought to have spent this time writing a letter to the editor or something. Instead, here I am, arguing with Objectivists yet again. Didn't Yaron have something to say about that waste of time lately? He's so damn right.

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Hello Diana,

My question was not about restricting membership to contribute to this blog. It was about privacy, that is, why this blog should not be viewable by non-members.

To my understanding, usually anyone on an e-mail list can contribute, which requires restricting membership for the reasons you gave. And an e-mail list format is inherently private.

But restricting access to see a blog or forum would seem unnecessary, and I don’t know that this is standard fare except for paid subscriptions and other special circumstances. For example, your Noodlefood blog is publicly viewable and so is OO.Net without membership. I was asking about why this one was not publicly viewable and why the requirement to promise to maintain secrecy about its content.

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My question was not about restricting membership to contribute to this blog. It was about privacy, that is, why this blog should not be viewable by non-members.

To my understanding, usually anyone on an e-mail list can contribute, which requires restricting membership for the reasons you gave. And an e-mail list format is inherently private.

But restricting access to see a blog or forum would seem unnecessary, and I don’t know that this is standard fare except for paid subscriptions and other special circumstances. For example, your Noodlefood blog is publicly viewable and so is OO.Net without membership. I was asking about why this one was not publicly viewable and why the requirement to promise to maintain secrecy about its content.

You've already been given plenty of reasons why privacy would be desired by contributors to the blog by Atlas.

As for my own lists, I could allow lurkers or make the list archives public, but I wouldn't do it in a million years. It would destroy the value of the lists, precisely because those lurkers wouldn't have the context necessary to understand or appreciate the discussions. (That's particularly true of the academics list. Many Objectivists are clueless about academia.) So to prevent being seriously misunderstood, posters would either have to (1) explain themselves more than necessary for the core list members or (2) just forgo posting altogether. The second would be most likely, and that would kill the list.

Notably, that presumes benevolent lurkers, but that's definitely not a safe assumption on the internet at large. The folks at various anti-ARI message boards would love to twist any innocuous comment from an ARI supporter into something that sounds nasty and cultish. Both Atlas and I have seen that -- in spades.

NoodleFood is totally public because its goals are totally different. That should be pretty darn obvious -- and if its not, then you don't understand the purpose of the new blog.

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In general, I think privacy must be justified or be suspect, whereas transparency may expose warts but does not generate suspicion.

I think this is the root of the problem of those who would say that on the surface this blog "seems untoward". The obvious question that arises is to whom must it be justified, and by whom does it deserve suspicion or in whom is it reasonably generated? Unjustified, i.e. unexplained, privacy is suspect only to those who give in to the idea of the arbitrary. It may generate suspicion but only in the type of person who, not having any data at all, creates hobgoblins out of thin air. The idea that one might need to justify their privacy to someone like this puts anyone in this position in the place of proving a negative.

It may be true that sometimes one wishes to manage even the unfounded perceptions of other, but not as a general rule, and not for general audiences.

I would take the exact opposite approach, and it is that principle that is in line with Objectivist principles. My (and anyone else's) privacy is mine by right, and I need not justify it to ANYONE. Those who would suggest it might be a good idea in specific circumstances need to be the ones to assert and justify their position (assuming they are even an involved party). Not by providing general assertions, but specific contextual evidence.

Edited by KendallJ

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