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Diana is right and it was wrong of me to offer that as an option. I withdraw my offer and suggestion.

Betsy's proposal was hasty and ill-conceived, but I commend her for this prompt retraction.

I know little of Betsy except through this discussion thread, but this action demonstrates that she will positively respond to a cogent, rational argument -- even in the heat of defending something of great value to her. I think this is a valuable quality in a person.

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According to the fully unanimous opinion of me expressed on Betsy's Forum, I'm a vicious, nasty, horrid nobody of a non-intellectual who has never accomplished any good whatsoever.
This is a blatantly false statement. What prompts Ms. Hsieh to make such fantastical accusations? Edited by RadCap
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There is one question that comes to mind above all else: Why is this thread even here?! Betsy Speicher not only has a place to post, she has _her own forum_ that she can control as she sees fit. Isn't that more than enough?

If someone wants to see who said what at Betsy's forum, then they can and should go _there_.

I want a place where I can engage with fellow Objectivists in serious conversation. Do I really need to explain why?

At any rate, I know from past experience that a web site or forum can be sent on an endless tangent (via flame war) or it can even be hijacked (via trolling.)

To the moderators: please close this thread and prevent similar threads from growing to the best of your ability. Thank you for your efforts!!!

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This is a blatantly false statement.
I've been contemplating this thread for nearly 2 days, wondering whether its existence should be further tolerated, or should it be terminated as a destructive waste of time. I concluded that maybe there are some intellectual issues that need to be discussed, so it is in that vein, and that vein only, and adamantly not in the vein of prolonging the slap-fest, that I ask you, in what sense is the statement "blatantly false". You did not just say "false", you said "blatantly false". Since I know you grasp the distinction between the true, false and the arbitrary, would you please explain to me how the statement is "blatantly false"? What I'm hoping is that you can persuade me that there is a rational value to be gained here, in the form of intellectual trade.

[second before posting, I see tps_fan basically making this point, though with less toleration of the baika that has been posted here. An alternative "neutral" venue for discussing the reputed sins of The Forum would be here.]

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There is one question that comes to mind above all else: Why is this thread even here?! Betsy Speicher not only has a place to post, she has _her own forum_ that she can control as she sees fit. Isn't that more than enough?
Are you suggesting Betsy not be allowed to express any idea outside her own forum? Are you suggesting that she should not be allowed to address accusations which are made against her here? Are you suggesting such attacks are appropriate but a defense against them is inappropriate? And why no similar 'outrage' at Ms. Hsieh expressing her ideas here when she too has her own site on which to post and which she too can control as she sees fit?

Why are you so eager to silence Betsy Speicher?

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Are you suggesting Betsy not be allowed to express any idea outside her own forum?
Are you suggesting that you have a reason to think that is what tps_fan was suggesting?
Why are you so eager to silence Betsy Speicher?
Where is your evidence that tps_fan is "eager"? What privileged information do you have about his psychology that justifies that claim? What makes you believe that he wants to "silence" anyone?

Where is your response to my post? What value do you claim is being offered by continuing to tolerate this discussion? Read my question very literally -- I want you to actually show that there is a rational value. I have indicated to you where you made a false statement, and this is an opportunity for you to try to move your statement out of the category "false statements".

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I concluded that maybe there are some intellectual issues that need to be discussed, so it is in that vein, and that vein only, and adamantly not in the vein of prolonging the slap-fest, that I ask you, in what sense is the statement "blatantly false". You did not just say "false", you said "blatantly false".
Given your emphasis on my use of the term "blatantly" I am a bit unclear as to the nature of your question. Are you asking me to identify why Ms. Hsieh's statement is false? Or are you asking me to identify why a statement - any statement - can be "blatantly false" as opposed to merely "false"?

What I'm hoping is that you can persuade me that there is a rational value to be gained here, in the form of intellectual trade.
Since you allowed Ms. Hsieh's accusation against other persons to stand here, the "rational value" to be gained is the identification of whether such accusations are true or not. And this can only be done through the identification of the facts which lead to the conclusion Ms. Hseih continues to promulgate on this site. Some in this thread have attempted to do this.

In other words, the rational values to be gained here are the identification of reality [knowledge] and, consequently, the ability to act justly towards those who post to this site [ethical behavior].

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Given your emphasis on my use of the term "blatantly" I am a bit unclear as to the nature of your question. Are you asking me to identify why Ms. Hsieh's statement is false? Or are you asking me to identify why a statement - any statement - can be "blatantly false" as opposed to merely "false"?
As you know, a blatantly false statement is not only false, it is self-evidently false. Her accusation is not self-evidently false. It is obvious that her accusation is unsupported, therefore arbitrary -- this why I mentioned the word "arbitrary", in the hopes that you would understand the error you made. If you can provide evidence that the statement is false, please go for the gusto.
Since you allowed Ms. Hsieh's accusation against other persons to stand here
Yeah, yeah, you are evading the issue. She has been amply responded to, now I am asking you, is there any further value to be gained in tolerating this disruption? For example, do we learn anything about the value of responding to arbitrary claims using arbitrary counter-claims? I'm suggesting that you have in front of you a golden opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, to actually demonstrate that her claim is false, as you charged. I mean demonstrate, not postulate. Point to the concrete existents that support your accusation of falseness, blatant or otherwise.

Or, get a towel for your shoes. You don't even have to admit publically that you stepped into something, if you would prefer not to.

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There is one question that comes to mind above all else: Why is this thread even here?! Betsy Speicher not only has a place to post, she has _her own forum_ that she can control as she sees fit. Isn't that more than enough?

No, because Diana is not a member of THE FORUM. Also, Diana told me I was not welcome to post on Noodlefood.

Therefore, if Diana and I are to engage each other in a debate, what better place than the "Debate Forums" on OO.net? It is as close a neutral battleground as I can imagine. That way both of us can be confronted by our accusers and have an opportunity to reply.

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Therefore, if Diana and I are to engage each other in a debate, what better place than the "Debate Forums" on OO.net?
Betsy, you have pointed to something valid, but this needs to change from a hypothetical "what-if" to a fact. As you know, a debate is not an unstructured free-for-all, it is a structured exchange of arguments between two opponents. This means an exchange of arguments between you and Diana, until there is a resolution, stalemate, or withdrawal. This does not mean that this forum is now the battleground for every person with an interest in / against The Forum to weigh in. It is therefore only appropriate for you and Diana to engage in this debate. Brian, I withdraw my request for amplification though if you get my underlying epistemological point and disagree I'd be happy to pursue the matter in a separate thread (because I am right).

This is a debate. Between Betsy and Diana.

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As you know, a blatantly false statement is not only false, it is self-evidently false. Her accusation is not self-evidently false. It is obvious that her accusation is unsupported, therefore arbitrary -- this why I mentioned the word "arbitrary", in the hopes that you would understand the error you made. If you can provide evidence that the statement is false, please go for the gusto....

I'm suggesting that you have in front of you a golden opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, to actually demonstrate that her claim is false, as you charged. I mean demonstrate, not postulate. Point to the concrete existents that support your accusation of falseness, blatant or otherwise.

I can point to a concrete existent that supports his accusation of falseness *Cogito points at Cogito's self. Only one example is needed to disprove a statement of "full unanimity". I think I posted something to that effect on this very thread.

Edit: I should take my own implicit advice and read the whole thread before responding. I'll leave this to Diana and Betsy.

Edited by Cogito
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As you know, a blatantly false statement is not only false, it is self-evidently false.
Actually this is not true. Blatant means "without any attempt at concealment; completely obvious; "blatant disregard of the law"; "a blatant appeal to vanity"; "a blazing indiscretion." " In other words, at least in my dictionary, self-evidence is not a synonym of blatant. Thus my statement "blatantly false" means it is obviously false. To be self-evidently false, the falsehood would have to be evident in the statement itself. And it is not. The evidence is on The Forum. As prior posters stated, no such claims were made against Ms. Hsieh and she had supporters on The Forum. None of this could be known, of course, without visiting the forum however.

It is obvious that her accusation is unsupported, therefore arbitrary -- this why I mentioned the word "arbitrary", in the hopes that you would understand the error you made.
You provide no support that her accusation is unsupported. Instead you claim it is obvious. Does that mean your statement is therefore arbitrary?

I say this simply to point out that lack of support alone does not make a statement arbitrary (as AR herself pointed out). Context is everything. In this case, the context is that this is a discussion forum. And in a discussion, one can make statements without providing the logical support for them. If, however, one is questioned about that support, one must indeed provide it. If one cannot, then one can say the statement is arbitrary. Until then, it is simply unsupported.

There is a BIG difference between the two.

Yeah, yeah, you are evading the issue.
No. I am identifying exactly what you asked. The values to be gained are knowledge and ethical behavior.

She has been amply responded to, now I am asking you, is there any further value to be gained in tolerating this disruption?
Disruption? On what basis do you claim the values of knowledge and ethical behavior are a disruption?

For example, do we learn anything about the value of responding to arbitrary claims using arbitrary counter-claims?
Actually, I hope "we" have learned the difference between an arbitrary claim and an unsupported claim.

I'm suggesting that you have in front of you a golden opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, to actually demonstrate that her claim is false, as you charged.
You have a problem here. You have shifted the burden of proof. It is up to Ms. Hsieh to provide the proof of her accusations - that the posters of The Forum unanimously consider her to be all the things she listed. And evidence against such a claim was provided by others before I even posted. However, the statement is easy enough to refute. I am a poster at The Forum, and I have not ever made any of those claims against Ms. Hsieh. Nor do I hold to them.

So much for her claim.

Or, get a towel for your shoes. You don't even have to admit publically that you stepped into something, if you would prefer not to.
It is just this type of offensiveness which drove myself and others from this site and to The Forum in the first place. I am sorry to see things have not changed.

--

Edit:

[i had not seen DO's change of the focus of the thread (nor his subsequent deletion of my refutation of his 12:24pm post) until after I made this post. I will thus no longer post in the thread as he requests. However, I have not removed my response since the questions and accusations it addresses have not been removed.]

Edited by RadCap
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As you know, a debate is not an unstructured free-for-all, it is a structured exchange of arguments between two opponents.

I agree.

If possible, the issue(s) to be resolved should be succinctly stated.

Dan

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I will only delete posts attacking people personally and that applies across the board. So far I have deleted seven posts that personally attacked or psychologized Diana, rather than addressing her ideas and actions, and I will continue to do so.

Make that 12 posts.

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An alternative "neutral" venue for discussing the reputed sins of The Forum would be here.]

Objectivist Living?!? That pro-Branden, anti-ARI board? You gotta be kidding. I parted ways with NB prior to 1968.

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Betsy, you have pointed to something valid, but this needs to change from a hypothetical "what-if" to a fact. As you know, a debate is not an unstructured free-for-all, it is a structured exchange of arguments between two opponents. This means an exchange of arguments between you and Diana, until there is a resolution, stalemate, or withdrawal. This does not mean that this forum is now the battleground for every person with an interest in / against The Forum to weigh in. It is therefore only appropriate for you and Diana to engage in this debate. Brian, I withdraw my request for amplification though if you get my underlying epistemological point and disagree I'd be happy to pursue the matter in a separate thread (because I am right).

This is a debate. Between Betsy and Diana.

It has also been a debate between FORUM supporters and detractors and there have already been many posters on both sides. I see a value in engaging anyone who has facts and arguments to bring to bear and not just Diana and me.

I can understand if you, as moderator, might wish a more formal, structured debate, but is that really necessary or desirable here? While there may be excesses and inappropriate postings on this thread, we have also aired out some issues of concern to all the posters here and most of the readers of this thread.

If you do have problems with how this is going, perhaps we can find a way to deal with those problems while keeping the good parts going.

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I can understand if you, as moderator, might wish a more formal, structured debate, but is that really necessary or desirable here?
Nevertheless, Betsy, even if it is not a structured debate, how would you describe the proposition you are defending? Most of the posts in this thread have maintained a reasonable tone, but re-stating a clear proposition would help people focus.

For instance, from your first post in the thread, I'd say the proposition is something along the lines of: "The FORUM is not a prime source of attacks against Dr. Peikoff", or something along those lines.

If you can state something that is:

  • of general interest to Objectivists; and,
  • that you would like to defend (of course)

it would help to keep the discussion from straying too far.

On a separate note, if any [added: self-described] known "non-Objectivist" member posts any opinion or advice (as opposed to simple pointing out of facts) to this thread, I suggest that moderators should remove it. [Also, an FYI, any posts that are deleted from threads can be found in the "Trash" sub-forum].

Edited by softwareNerd
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I have to ask, what good purpose can this thread serve for OO.net? It may be a nice neutral battle ground for Betsy and Diana, but when did this board become a battleground host for other people to settle their beefs?

The consequences I see arising from this thread are even further divisions between all of the Objectivist parties and boards involved. Pretty soon Objectivism as a whole will be like Christianity in having as many different denominations, each claiming they are the "true" Objectivists. The problem is, the poplulation of Objectivists is so much smaller that such division will invariable hurt the progress of "spreading it to the masses." These so called logical and reasonable pepole can't even get along with themselves.* Yea, I know its fallacious to judge the philosophy by its members, but many people do that.

If I have a vote as a moderator, I say end this thread now and let them settle their beef in some other fashion.

* I should clarify, I mean that sentence in the context of what an outsider might think looking in.

Edited by RationalBiker
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Whoa... I never said that.

You had said:

I think his method has resulted in some higher quality posters.

By dishonesty, I meant to say, the method which he used with me to make the environment he wanted.

Perhaps I misunderstood your meaning.

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At the beginning of this post, you imply that Mr. Speicher deleted only posts that disagreed with his position, making the argument one sided.

No, at the beginning of the post I explained that this is what he had done to me. And I assumed that if he had done so with me, he probably had done so on other occasions.

But then you admit that most people on the forum report having their posts deleted for a number of reasons--i.e., people on all sides of the debate.

The people who remain on the forum have had their posts deleted for other more benign reasons. Which is probably why they remain on the forum.

It was my experience in posting on that forum when Stephen ran it that he would delete posts which he believed to violate the stated forum rules regardless of whether he agreed with the overall intended position or not.

My experience was otherwise in that I did not break any forum rules.

I don't understand the reason for boycotting an entire forum because of the controversial threads, while continuing to support other forums with just as many if not more controversial threads.

Controversy does not bother me one bit. Removing threads as a way of supporting one's own arguments does. It causes me to not trust the content which is left over after he has edited the discussion. Here on OO.net I have witnessed no such dishonesty and think the moderators do a fine job of remaining impartial, which is a large reason why I choose to participate. Further, I have not so far been told by anyone else that they have had threads deleted under such circumstances here.

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Nevertheless, Betsy, even if it is not a structured debate, how would you describe the proposition you are defending? Most of the posts in this thread have maintained a reasonable tone, but re-stating a clear proposition would help people focus.

Fair enough.

How about:

Some serious public charges* made on OO.net against THE FORUM for Ayn Rand Fans have no basis in fact and condemnation of THE FORUM and its participants based on those charges is unjust.

* These charges include, but are not limited to

  • THE FORUM is "the prime source of vicious attacks on Dr. Peikoff and other Objectivist intellectuals over the past year"
  • Phil Oliver made "claims of irrationality, ludditism, and so on on the part of Leonard Peikoff" on THE FORUM
  • THE FORUM admins delete posts they disagree with and endorse all ideas expressed in the remaining FORUM posts

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I have to ask, what good purpose can this thread serve for OO.net? It may be a nice neutral battle ground for Betsy and Diana, but when did this board become a battleground host for other people to settle their beefs?

I think it is a matter of justice.

Diana began this dispute here on OO.net by posting false and unjust charges against THE FORUM and Phil Oliver on the CDROM thread (here and here and here). I tried to correct the factual errors, but was informed that discussion of the matter was off-topic for that thread. That's why I started another thread here.

Don't you think that if OO.net allows Diana to personally attack my FORUM and its members and call us "supposed Objectivists" (here) based on things we never said or did, that it should either delete Diana's posts or allow us an opportunity to challenge her charges somewhere on OO.net?

Edited by Betsy
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This is a debate. Between Betsy and Diana.

No, it's not. I've made my request -- and neither it, nor my view of Betsy's Forum, are debateable points for me.

Many of the objectionable comments posted on The Forum about me are available for those who care to look. Some of the worst offenders about me have been pruned since my original reading. That doesn't make what remains acceptable. The same applies to last year's election debates in which numerous still-available posts attacked the rationality, scholarship, psychology, and character of admirable Objectivist intellectuals.

I regard those points as beyond all reasonable debate. So I ask: If you agree with those posts, then please leave me alone. I also ask: If you're willing to lend your name and credibility to a supposedly Objectivist moderated forum that permits and encourages those posts, then please leave me alone. Such a forum -- including its periodic outbursts of venom -- is kept alive by those better people who stand on the sidelines, thinking that they can remain aloof from that mess while discussing other matters.

Some of those people might be honestly confused about the applicable Objectivist principles of justice and sanction. Yet that does not oblige me to overlook the damage that they are doing to me and those I value, both personally and professionally. It also does not oblige me to explain the application of the relevant principles of sanction to this particular case, as I've already done in great detail regarding David Kelley's departure from Objectivism. I have no obligation whatsoever to bestow benefits of any kind of those who choose to participate on a forum that plays welcome host to nasty attacks on me. Period.

So I've got nothing to debate. I've made my request for clearly stated reasons -- and that's that. Whatever others wish to do is up to them.

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At least [stephen] was taking issue with Dr. Peikoff's statements and not attacking Dr. Peikoff personally.

To separate Dr. Peikoff from his statements is to further disrespect him. His statements represent his beliefs. What purpose does it serve to say that you think his beliefs are foolish, but he himself is not foolish? Dr. Peikoff's election statement represents the lifetime of knowledge and thinking that went into making that statement. To call it foolish and embarrassing is to call Dr. Peikoff foolish and embarrassing.

You'll notice that GreedyCapitalist and Moose, in their initial criticism of the election statement, did not separate Dr. Peikoff from his beliefs. They judged his statement to be obviously wrong, and since they knew that Dr. Peikoff was no fool, they arrived at the, in my view, unfounded yet logically consistent notion that he was losing his mind in his old age. For this reason, I think the general criticism on OO.net was much more respectful of Dr. Peikoff than what we witnessed on The Forum for Ayn Rand Fans.

Edited by MisterSwig
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