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North Texas Objectivist Society

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Old Toad

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Regarding the North Texas Objectivist Society ("NTOS").

To all,

I am pleased to announce a milestone in our growth: We have reached 100 members! Over the past year of our activity, we have been adding about 5 – 7 members every month! We are working to build a critical mass of core membership to help us define and build our local society centered on Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and reason.

Think of all the good people we have met! Think of how much we are inspiring each other to do! Just for the highlights:

We have continued to add and information to our group’s “About” page at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/about/ In particular, we are working on clarifying our “Community Standards.” Any comments or suggestions you may have would be sincerely appreciated. You can always contact me to make suggestions via meetup.com at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/suggestion/

We have hosted more than 20 social events, including a Thanksgiving Feast and a celebration of Ayn Rand’s birthday! You can always look for new events at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/events/ Remember, our next big social gathering is Saturday, April 1, 2006 at the Ranch!

Yours truly has learned to cook on the grill for our social events without burning everything. For those who miss the original “charred flavor” of our cookouts, I am a slow learner! Greg Lucas has volunteered to cook for us again when he can be certain he will be in town. He and Paul put on quite a spread for us last summer. (I think Greg personally prefers medium-rare.)

We have a very active message board for our group. It seems we are enjoying posting with people that we may be able to meet in person. See our message board at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/boards/

Dean Cook has started the Plano “OPAR” study group. It’s probably not too late to join and catch up! For more information, you can contact Dean via meetup.com at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/member/2137140/

Nikki Allen has started a group in Grapevine listening to Nathaniel Branden’s original audio course on the philosophy of Objectivism. It’s probably not too late to join this one, either! For more information, you can contact Nikki via meetup.com at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/member/1623018/

Chad has started the Central Oklahoma Objectivist Group. We are honored that Chad and Ahmad Hassan have made the effort to drive several hours – each way – to visit with us. For more information about Chad’s group, see http://aynrand.meetup.com/153/about/

Dean Cook is also spearheading a group of us who are interested in recreational pistol shooting at a local gun range. See our message board at: http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/boards/view/v...?thread=1735280 You can also contact Dean via meetup.com at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/message/?recipientId=2137140

Our next social event is April 1, 2006 at the Ranch! Please mark your calendar and take a moment to RSVP at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/events/ Let’s warmly welcome our newest members and their friends & families!

-- Todd

Your Organizer


North Texas Objectivist Society


Of course, the postings, other public statements, or actions of any of our members, friends, or families do not necessarily express the ideas of Objectivism or our social society, its organizers, or any of its other members. Our group is not affiliated with any other organization whatsoever.

See all information and DISCLAIMERS at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/about/

Edited by Old Toad
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  • 1 month later...

As someone seriously studying Objectivism, I have found NTOS, coupled with the local OPAR study group to be extremely helpful.

(I was really pleased to have had the opportunity to meet a few more people that post on this board at the past meeting as well.)

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As someone seriously studying Objectivism, I have found NTOS, coupled with the local OPAR study group to be extremely helpful.

(I was really pleased to have had the opportunity to meet a few more people that post on this board at the past meeting as well.)

I was at that meeting - it was the first that I managed to remember the date AND be able to make it. Sherry - did we meet? I am horrible at learning people's names - though if we met, I would definitely remember your face. There were actually a number of people at the meeting that I never ended up getting a chance to meet or talk to.

I had a great time at the meeting. It was neat to finally meet David/GreedyCapitalist - and to see Dean and Tom again for the first time in a good number of months. And I got to meet Lathanar.

I think we should all be very grateful and thankful to Old Toad and Mrs. Old Toad for being the "Atlases" who make such meetings possible. I used to run the local Objectivist group for a while back in the 1990s - and it never really did get off the ground very much for any length of time. Eventually it got to the point that trying to organize meetings was starting to feel like a "duty" - and that is when I said "enough." I know first hand the amount of hard work, time and energy that it takes to make something like that happen. And the success that Old Toad has had with the group in terms of turnout is incredible. I think his format for the meetings - as opposed to everyone gathering around a restaurant table to watch a video and then rushing to leave before the restaurant threw everybody out at closing time - is a definite winner. Who knows - perhaps the D/FW area may yet end up being one of the local "hotspots" of Objectivism along the lines of what Objectivists in the Austin area were able to enjoy back in the early 1990s.

I have read about the concerns that some of the people who show up at the local meetings might not be all that knowledgeable about Objectivism. But that was also certainly the case with the former Objectivist groups we had here in the '90s whenever we would advertise our meetings in the calendar sections of the local newspapers. In fact, I could tell some really funny stories about some of the crazy KOOKS we had show up. My view has always been that, so long as a person is well behaved and does not attack Objectivism or Objectivists or use the meetings as a recruiting ground for other causes or organizations, the more people in attendance at a strictly social event the better. I don't necessarily base who I end up socializing with at such events on how well they understand Objectivism. Obviously, it is necessary for there to be certain standards - but everyone I met at that last meeting was very upbeat and friendly and several struck me as being quite knowledgeable and serious about the philosophy.

Anyhow, I had a lot of fun. I am not sure how frequently I will be able to attend future meetings, but I most definitely look forward to the ones I will be able to make it to.

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  • 2 months later...

Just a bump to the post....my family and I are going to the next NTOS meeting this coming Saturday. For those in the area that are interested in attending for the first time, or who have in the past we would love to see you there!

The details are here:


There an OPAR group discussion before the social event for those interested. We are still in the early part of the book. (There is a discussion thread on the meetup board regarding the time, etc.)

There is a good number of people that attend these, and I have met some truly wonderful people here that have really helped me and my husband in our study of Objectivism. If you are single, married, have kids or don't, if you have an interest in Objectivism it is well worth the visit.

Edited by Sherry
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  • 8 months later...

I have decided to go on intellectual strike regarding giving intellectual guidance to Todd ********, the owner / operator of NTOS.

For my reasons, you can read the thread Floating Abstractions and Stolen Concepts on the NTOS message board.

My further explanation for taking such action is given in my latest post on that thread

I suppose that I ought to explain myself a bit more.

I am not going on intellectual strike due to the fact that Todd said that I am uncivil, impolite, engaging in pseudo-ad hominem, engaging in pseudo argument from intimidation, and engaging in pseudo argument from authority.

I can defend myself against those accusations.

But that would require me giving a "lecture" on what the differences is between me taking a moral stance -- i.e. you ought to be proud that I am on your team -- versus an argument from intimidation; and giving a "lecture" on what the difference is between citing 30 years of experience in learning Objectivism and developing the ability to explain it to people versus saying that because I've done that therefore one ought to take me at my word without thinking about it (argument from authority).

He doesn't want such a "lecture" so I won't give him one.

It is the utter resentment that he has towards my intellectual abilities that is the reason I am going on strike. NTOS is his baby, and I have decided not to burden him any longer with my suggestions.

Am I defending Objectivism? Absolutely, since it is worthy of being defended.

I was also giving intellectual guidance to and defending NTOS, but I won't be doing that any longer.

You mentioned Andy Bernstein.

He wrote a novel called Heart of a Pagan, which I recommend reading. His main character and hero, Swoop, was definitely dominating.

So, while you are reading it, ask yourself if you would resent Swoop being on your team.

Edited by softwareNerd
Removed Todd's last name, since he choose to go by "Todd" on this board. (PS: Nobody asked for this change.)
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To whom it may concern:

I've just been kicked out of NTOS

Draw your own conclusions.

Well I briefly checked this out. It reminds me why have a natural aversion to groups. In fact I do not call myself an Objectivist, nor do I care to take on any label. It's all just about getting the right answers.

Anyway, I did not read all the posts, or check into your history of posting. If they (your positions) were matter of fact - correct, then there should be no problem and people should not whine about their feelings.

I will dissect the following because there is some disconcerting bits:

"Let us not get lost in the details of each particular past incident. Let us even assume for the sake of discussion that in the vast majority of these incidents you may have been in the right. Still, it does not appear that you were persuasive,"

Truth is not a matter of persuation, it is a matter of facts. You can point them (the facts) out, but is up to the other individual to integrate them for their own understanding.

"and in fact, in numerous cases the incidents devolved into people being very angry with you. Assuming your intent was to try to be persuasive and not to inflame, at some point the sheer number of such responses should raise a question mark in your mind -- as the question once occurred to you during the matter between you and Ahmad (and yes, again, that particular matter is closed -- the point is your question about the sheer number of these situations in your life)."

Again, if in fact you were correct in the debates / arguments, then the real question is why are people so insecure.

More important is that this individual is trying to infer that the number of "situations" (people) is an important factor. The numbers in this case is are being used to infer something in an invalid way. I.E. you could be living in a society of cannibals and disagree with everyone about the fact that it (cannibalism) is a violation of individual property rights. Would the fact that you are one against many, change the fact that cannibalism is a violation of individual rights? Obviously not.

"on what the difference is between citing 30 years of experience"

This is a useless claim. It does not account for efficiency. A mediocre person putting in 30 years is not comparable to an exceptional person.

A lot of rhetoric builds up in social situations. If correct answers are the goal, then all insecurities that result in offensive and defensive behavior become a severe liability. What ever the real facts are here (again I did not check into all of it), rationality will prevail ... or not.

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Does NTOS deserve to have its introductory thread marred in this way?

I read through that thread Tom, and at first glance I agree with Todd: your communications skills could use some work.

--Dan Edge

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To whom it may concern:

I've just been kicked out of NTOS

Draw your own conclusions.


After reading your stream of lecturing that had all the trappings of a finger-waggling school marm, I conclude:

You have the character of an overbearing, domineering, pompous ass.

You asked.

As someone who runs several Ayn Rand Meetups, I can understand completely why Todd expelled you. I would have done the same. Running such an organization offers enough challenges without having to deal with such unduly self-important snobs.

Todd has already explained himself and I see no point in further elaboration as I would simply beat a dead horse in repeating his sentiments.

Granted, I have never met any of you, but you did ask us to draw conclusions based solely on that thread.

Edited by LutherSetzer
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I think that it is of interest to OO.net members that there is such a group in Texas, and I suppose it's also of interest that there is some conflict as to the nature of the group, who should be included/excluded and so on. Thanks to Tom's post, members have a pointer to the NTOS forum where they can get more info.

For a little while, I'm going to close this thread unless someone can provide a reason (PM any moderator) why it would be of general interest to members on this forum to keep it open.

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