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Association Of Objectivist Businessmen

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I always have seen mention that they existed and saw reference of where Kelly was asked to leave but other than that, I never really heard anything about them. I know that people in business, speaking from 1st hand experience here tend to be more "practical" and are the ones who need philosophy the most.

It seems logical that businessmen, especially Objectivists at that would have some sort of formal or informal for that matter organization that allows us to get together and discuss matters relating directly to each other and to network. Maybe sites such as OO.net and atlasphere subvert such a need but I don't know, I just get the feeling of a vaccum being there.

I've met a few other Objectivists in business but the majority do seem to be in fields other than business. Which all jokes aside, is surprising to me. Though I do seem to remember in college the Students of Objectivism, I was the only business major. The rest were art, philosophy, poli sci, etc majors.

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I know that people in business, speaking from 1st hand experience here tend to be more "practical" and are the ones who need philosophy the most. 

I am unsure of what you are saying. Are you saying that Objectivists who choose business need more study of philosophy than Objectivists who choose other fields?

Or are you saying that the Objectivist business people you have met have not studied philosophy as much as you think they should?

I would say all individuals need philosophy. How much depth of study each person needs depends more on his goals (and problems with his current, actual philosophy), doesn't it? "Philosophy for Rearden" is all that might be needed for some individuals, but others might need "philosophy for Ragnar" to reach their goals.

Even within a field, one individual might choose much deeper study of philosophy than another individual purely because of personal goals. An example is a businessman who sets as part of his central purpose in life becoming a well-informed, philosophically trained advocate for capitalism. Other individuals in business might prefer to devote full time to their businesses -- and donate a big part of their profits to The Ayn Rand Institute, for example, in effect hiring them to be intellectual activists for him.

For another example, perhaps you could (1) state your central purpose in life, and (2) explain how much philosophical knowledge you are seeking.

Edited by BurgessLau
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I am unsure of what you are saying. Are you saying that Objectivists who choose business need more study of philosophy than Objectivists who choose other fields?   

Or are you saying that the Objectivist business people you have met have not studied philosophy as much as you think they should?

No, it is just that in my experience in college there were no business majors other than myself in the UH Students of Objectivism. It's ironic that the people that people who are defending business (ostensibly and on a simplistic level) seem to have the least interest in defining a philosophy . We both know that Objectivism is more than defending business. It's a comprehensive philosophy but of all things and people that should be attracted to it you'd think business people would.

As Peikoff pointed out in Why Businessmen Need Philosophy, business people tend to be pragmatists which is inherently counterproductive and indeed self destructive. I've had more success discussing concepts with people that are outside of the business field. People in business tend to be overly focused on numbers and ignore the inherent moral questions in what we do and why we do it. Even Marx said that he was sure that when he hung the last businessman, he'd be happy having made one last sale.

It's this reason I've gone out of my way to give gifts of Atlas Shrugged, Capitalism:The Unknown Ideal, and the Virtue of Selfishness out to co-workers and my staff as gifts.

 

   

I would say all individuals need philosophy. How much depth of study each person needs depends more on his goals (and problems with his current, actual philosophy), doesn't it?

I absolutely agree. Some people are content going through life with little if any philosophy much less having a central purpose in life. They are happy to "make their quarterlies" and be done with it. I would venture to guess that if you grabbed say a writer versus a stockbroker, the writer would be more, and I really hate using this term but I cant think of a better one right now, "actualized". Which is ironic because being a successful stockbroker takes an amazing talent for not only numbers but for understanding people and what motivates them. My point is many business people will spend umpteen dollars learning the latest sales technique but won't spend a dime of their time to understand the basic ideas of metaphysics or epistemology.

 

Even within a field, one individual might choose much deeper study of philosophy than another individual purely because of personal goals. An example is a businessman who sets as part of his central purpose in life becoming a well-informed, philosophically trained advocate for capitalism. Other individuals in business might prefer to devote full time to their businesses -- and donate a big part of their profits to The Ayn Rand Institute, for example, in effect hiring them to be intellectual activists for him. 

 

For another example, perhaps you could (1) state your central purpose in life, and (2) explain how much philosophical knowledge you are seeking. 

 

ARI put out the so called "Business Survival Kits" with Atlas Shrugged, Why Businessmen Need Philosophy, etc. a few years ago and I thought they were great. I really like the current management training systems that Hutchinson Technology is offering. It is unlike any other that I have ever seen. Instead of teaching managers how to do things like reflective listening, they start with lectures on why A is A, why existence exists, and goes on to explain to show to technology and now other industry managers why if they don't grasp that reality is real then everything else they believe has no foundation. Actually, Yaron Brook is one of the instructors. It's an intense program from what I understand since they actually take people from business and start from A is A and work from there.

My specific request was if there were any specific groups of people in business that are also Objectivists. There is a certain stereotype, which is actually generally quite the opposite, that most people in the financial markets especially but business in general are not capitalists. My intent was to find a more suitable forum for discussing things like the day to day things that retail managers do to motivate their staffs etc..

I remember someone discussing the AOB actually discussed things such as directly applying Objectivist principles to management like Edwin Locke's Rational Principals of Management.

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Maybe I should rephrase. The purpose of my request is my interest in spreading Objectivism, as mentioned in the above post, specifically amongst people in business and especially in the securities industry. Hence my gifts of Rand to co-workers and associates.

This is what prompted my question about the previous existence of the Association of Objectivist Businessmen. I hope you did not take any inference by my mention of Mr K that I was in any was a supporter of his or his organization, which I am not. I was just surprised that one of the only mentions was that an organization founded by someone of the likes of Andrew Bernstein, I can find almost nothing on even via google with the exception of Mr K's usual whining.

As much as I enjoy the company of other Objectivists in general, there is a special "kinship" that people with a common bond like being Objectivists that also enjoy law or medicine etc.

As to my comment about the lack of businessmen involved in discussion of Objectivism, as I also pointed out, people in business tend to be self destructively pragmatistic. It's a horrible comparison I know but I like the idea of focusing on spreading the idea of Objectivism to business people specifically for the same reason people spread safe sex messages amongst high risk groups. Actually, that is a horrible analogy but it is the one I have on the top of my head right now.

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...people in business tend to be self destructively pragmatistic. 

 

Self destructive pragmatists are apparently at the helm of a lot of major businesses. Have you seen the suicidal commercials by GE? Ecomagination? And BP? If you go to their web site the "Environment and Society" tab comes before their "Products and Services" tab. From these companies are some of the worst "Sanction of the Victims" examples that I have seen to date. What are these executives thinking (or not thinking)?

I think the biomedical industry and the plastics industry have taken the correct path in their advertising. It is defensive advertising and it is a shame that they have to waste money telling people that they are good for human survival and making our lives better but at least they are taking the correct path towards combating irrationality.

I can't help you in the area of finding an Objectivist business association. If there is one, I would be interested in joining it.

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Hello, any update on this, it seems "The Association of Objectivists in Business," @ http://www.aob.biz/ is not very active....

Cheers,

-Cory

Here's the latest information I have:

Yes, they're getting ready to re-launch their online presence (on or before July 4th, 2009). They are soliciting input as to desired features, and will, of course, focus primarily on the "Directory of Members" functionality as that is the reason people want to join. Articles are being requested from leading Objectivist authors and will be used during a rather massive ad campaign to launch the AOB.

The name has been tweaked a little... The Association of Objectivist Business Professionals. The new slogan is "Do Business With People You Trust"

Interested parties are being asked to sign up on the mailing list form that is on the current front page.

NOTE: The current folks who are launching AOB have no connection to the former organization of a similar name.

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NOTE: The current folks who are launching AOB have no connection to the former organization of a similar name.

If that is the case, then they need to list their founding members and they also need to post some sort of position paper as to the reason one ought to sign up -- that is, what are they offering besides a social network and who are the primary members?

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  • 3 months later...
Here's the latest information I have:

Yes, they're getting ready to re-launch their online presence (on or before July 4th, 2009). They are soliciting input as to desired features, and will, of course, focus primarily on the "Directory of Members" functionality as that is the reason people want to join. Articles are being requested from leading Objectivist authors and will be used during a rather massive ad campaign to launch the AOB.

The name has been tweaked a little... The Association of Objectivist Business Professionals. The new slogan is "Do Business With People You Trust"

Interested parties are being asked to sign up on the mailing list form that is on the current front page.

NOTE: The current folks who are launching AOB have no connection to the former organization of a similar name.

Thank you,

Cheers,

-Cory

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Here's the latest information I have:

Yes, they're getting ready to re-launch their online presence (on or before July 4th, 2009)...Interested parties are being asked to sign up on the mailing list form that is on the current front page.

I posted the following in the Productivity section, Aug 20 2009. I just checked again, and it is still not possible to send an email to the owner of this site, and I have been enrolled for email updates this entire year, but have received nothing. I for one will not send US$125 to someone who cannot be identified, contacted, or held responsible.

===========

Since my original contact (January 2009) with the owner of the AOBP site, asking him to restart the database, the site was "launched".

Unfortunately, I can no longer endorse joining a site which has no actual means to contact the owner of the database because the contact page only produces a 404 message. Believe me, I have tried at least a half dozen times. I've even done a whois and tracked down the owner, and sent him several emails informing him of this problem, and have yet to receive any reply. Apparently he's a website developer. Subscribing to the mailing list has also never produced any mail. Since the owner is asking for $125 to join his database for objectivist business owners, I think that transparency would be a minimum prerequisite.

This is a shame. I wish there was someone who could both consistently live up to the objectivist virtues and who could also organize a network of objectivist business owners.

I mean John Galt did it, in an era without computers.

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

============

Mmm, upon reflection, maybe this is JG's way to troll for suitable candidates for his valley? Don't call us, we'll abduct you...:P

Edited by aristotlejones
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While I can understand complaining about a broken link on a site (which appears to have been fixed), I am curious why it matters who the "key members" of an organization are when the organization's primary function is to be connecting people for the purpose of doing business? Shouldn't folks be more concerned with judging the individuals with whom they are considering doing business instead of worrying about who happens to have forked over a membership fee to the organization?

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While I can understand complaining about a broken link on a site (which appears to have been fixed), I am curious why it matters who the "key members" of an organization are when the organization's primary function is to be connecting people for the purpose of doing business? Shouldn't folks be more concerned with judging the individuals with whom they are considering doing business instead of worrying about who happens to have forked over a membership fee to the organization?

Domain Name: AOB.BIZ

Domain ID: D3758687-BIZ

Sponsoring Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS INC.

Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 2

Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited

Registrant ID: 33946952

Registrant Name: R. Eriks Goodwin

Registrant Organization: R. Eriks Goodwin

Registrant Address1: 400 Southlake Blvd, Bldg D

Registrant City: Richmond

Registrant State/Province: VA

Registrant Postal Code: 23236

Registrant Country: United States

1. It is disingenuous of 'Izrunas' to claim to not know if the email link has been fixed since aob.biz is his domain. (Izrunas' Real Name = R. Eriks Goodwin)

2. If I were to "fork over" confidential information about my business to any organization, for a fee or not, I would be legitimately concerned about how that information was protected, and how legally accountable that organization was for any breaches of confidentiality, misuses of disclosures or other improprieties.

3. Since I have had to whois the site owner's information twice already, just to find out who he is, and he is still playing coy about posting his identity on his site, I personally would not trust him with my or my client's data.

4. Since it took a good portion of a year to fix a simple contact issue with his site, after ample notification, I cannot help but wonder how much actual effort and focus the site's owner will dedicate to the currency, accuracy and improvement of this database.

5. I just spent about a month rewriting my own site on intellectual property issues, and I take responsibility for the claims and information and mistakes therein. I identify myself to the world, and welcome and encourage and respond promptly to any criticism or confusion on my site, and I expect others to do the same.

6. I really want to trust aob.biz, but given the owner's behaviour over the past year, and in spite of my encouragement of his database's resurrection, I won't be joining it until I can see that it is actually what it is claimed to be, and not just what the owner claims it to be.

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

A generation that ignores history has no past and no future.

Robert Anson Heinlein

I don't trust a man who talks about ethics when he is picking my pocket. But if he is acting in his own self-interest and says so, I have usually been able to work out some way to do business with him.

Lazarus Long in Time Enough For Love

Edited by aristotlejones
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For the past year, there have been a number of uncertainties regarding the AOBP. While my company has been responsible for hosting the aob.biz web site, I was only recently asked to serve as the association's executive director and take the lead on the development of AOBP into a healthy, vibrant association that is a net asset to its members.

I did not intend to come off as disingenuous about the email link--I answered as I did because I am not the lead developer of the site and I had only the assumption that it had been fixed. Your point is taken that I should have been more clear in how I answered.

As for the confidentiality of member information, the AOBP explicitly requires that information not be divulged to non-members and the association itself uses the data solely for the operation of the association and does not grant access nor sell its master database to any third party.

Your point is well taken as to the length of time that had been required to fix a seemingly simple issue-- but that's why I have spent a large amount of my work time recently assuring that the project moved forward.

I appreciate your desire to trust the association--and it is my goal to assure that all members will have excellent cause to trust it moving forward. In an effort to engender more accessibility, the contact information has been expanded to include a working contact form, mailing address and telephone.

I invite you to continue to watch us as we grow the AOBP.

As for me, I am Eriks Goodwin-Pfister, and as of very recently, I am the Executive Director of the Association of Objectivist Business Professionals. I may be reached at (202) 380-3190, ext. 444.

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I invite you to continue to watch us as we grow the AOBP.

As for me, I am Eriks Goodwin-Pfister, and as of very recently, I am the Executive Director of the Association of Objectivist Business Professionals. I may be reached at (202) 380-3190, ext. 444.

Thank you for your reply Eriks. This is the level of transparency that I and other business owners have come to expect when considering joining any proposed venture. I really do hope your service works out as planned, as it is sorely needed. However, as your tagline implies, trust is everything.

Regards,

Brian Dubberley

Inventive Solutions

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