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Alex Epstein's Pinnacle

Alex Epstein sent out a Center for Industrial Progress newsletter today. Unfortunately there's no web version of the newsletter to link to. When trying to spread ideas online and market them, it's important to have links people can share. I consider this careless and/or incompetent.

One reason this sucks is I can't quote part of the newsletter and give a link for anyone who wants to read the rest. If I just quote the important parts, most of my audience won't have access to the rest.

Epstein says, in full:

I’m testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Wednesday at 9:30 am ET. You can view it live here.

Here’s more info about the hearing, which is called Examining the Role of Environmental Policies on Access to Energy and Economic Opportunity.

I will have five minutes to speak, followed by questions from Senators. Note that several of the Senators expected to be present, including Senators Whitehouse and Markey, are not only anti-fossil fuel but anti-free speech, calling for the criminal prosecution of those who challenge climate catastrophism.

I can promise you I will bring a case for energy freedom, including fossil fuel freedom, that has never been heard in a Congressional hearing. I very much hope that the Senators do their best--or their worst--to see how it holds up to scrutiny.

Please spread the word. And if you watch it, let me know what you think.

The anti-free speech link goes to an article which does not mention Whitehouse or Markey by name (it does name and discuss lots of other people). That's really bad and unreasonable of Epstein. He's making a major accusation, and giving a source, except the source doesn't say anything about the accused.

Big picture, Epstein is happy and sharing his success with his newsletter audience. He's reached a pinnacle. This is a high point for him. He wants to be influential. He wants to do activities like testify to the senate. No doubt he hopes in retrospect this will look small, and that he'll surpass it, but today it's big for him. He's achieving his goals!

And Epstein is, for those who don't know, an Objectivist. He used to work for the Ayn Rand Institute. Objectivist organizations write puff pieces for Epstein.

So: Epstein's big achievement consists of the privilege of speaking for five minutes to people who think he should be in jail for speaking his message.

(Or at least Epstein believes the jail thing. I didn't research it beyond seeing that his source was bogus.)

I think Ayn Rand would have mocked Epstein for this. Epstein is proud to participate in (what he himself believes is) a farce where anti-free speech people pretend to discuss and think. He's helping them pretend to be rational while knowing they aren't really listening (and, worse, they'll sit there wanting to use force against him, rather than merely tuning him out).


Elliot Temple on April 12, 2016

Comments (6)

Legitimacy

Atlas Shrugged:

>According to the procedure established by directives, cases of this kind were not tried by a jury, but by a panel of three judges appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources; the procedure, the directives had stated, was to be informal and democratic.
>The judge's bench had been removed from the old Philadelphia courtroom for this occasion, and replaced by a table on a wooden platform; it gave the room an atmosphere suggesting the kind of meeting where a presiding body puts something over on a mentally retarded membership.
>One of the judges, acting as prosecutor, had read the charges. "You may now offer whatever plea you wish to make in your own defense," he announced.
>Facing the platform, his voice inflectionless and peculiarly clear, Hank Rearden answered: "I have no defense."
>"Do you—" The judge stumbled; he had not expected it to be that easy. "Do you throw yourself upon the mercy of this court?"
>"I do not recognize this court's right to try me."
>"What?"
>"I do not recognize this court's right to try me."
>"But, Mr. Rearden, this is the legally appointed court to try this particular category of crime."
>"I do not recognize my action as a crime,"
>"But you have admitted that you have broken our regulations controlling the sale of your Metal."
>"I do not recognize your right to control the sale of my Metal."
>"Is it necessary for me to point out that your recognition was not required?"
>"No. I am fully aware of it and I am acting accordingly."
>He noted the stillness of the room. By the rules of the complicated pretense which all those people played for one another's benefit, they should have considered his stand as incomprehensible folly; there should have been rustles of astonishment and derision; there were none; they sat still; they understood.


I think that by treating this hearing as a big accomplishment, Alex is giving the guys who want people with his values criminalized a legitimacy that Rearden would deny them

Mysterious J at 4:27 PM on April 12, 2016 | #5110
These ppl should come to Alex. Not vice versa

He's going to them at their base of power. As an underling there to help the important senators

He's pretending what he says to them matters when he knows it doesn't

He's pretending they deserve the respect of senators, while knowing they don't

He's pretending this is how to change the world. Or maybe he's mistaken. It isn't

He's seeking legitimacy

He can say he testified at senate so he's big time

He is playing on their prestige and helping prop it up too. He's invested in their reputation or he gained nothing

Mysterious C at 5:02 PM on April 12, 2016 | #5111
> I think that by treating this hearing as a big accomplishment, Alex is giving the guys who want people with his values criminalized a legitimacy that Rearden would deny them

ur sentence is a mess bro.

try:

Alex treats attending this hearing as a big accomplishment. This gives legitimacy to people who want his values criminalized. Rearden would deny them that legitimacy.

Mysterious E at 5:05 PM on April 12, 2016 | #5112
alex talked.

http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=275284A1-D49D-4349-A317-F7D0532492F4&inf_contact_key=1c05efa9235195a061aa7d1cde302efe46126531588ee404f002c9fb8d993d4f

some notes:

alex starts talking at 50min
so far alex keeps calling solar "unreliable"
he doesn't explain
he's too abstract
in some sense he knows he's talking to idiots
but he doesn't take it seriously
he doesn't tell them that energy powers fans, heaters, AC
the BASICS
alex talks again at 74min
sen boxer insults him for being a philosopher not a scientist
she's really mean
talks at 85min
alex calls disagreeing with him a "crime, a moral crime"
after bitching in newsletter about ppl who want to prosecute climate deniers
.....
fucking hell
at 87min
he then immediately attacks guy who is anti free speech
100min alex talks
talks at 110min
alex: boxer thinks we don't need philosophy to evaluate science, but we do need religion to do it, which he doesn't get
well that was lame
alex explained bad and got insulted
unsurprising

Anonymous at 3:16 PM on April 13, 2016 | #5113
really pathetic how Alex calls it a "crime" to take the opposite view from him, while getting so mad at ppl who want to criminalize his speech. why would you pick that word? so incompetent and stupid.

Alex said he's a philosopher not a scientist. He's giving philosophers a bad name (though, admittedly, not as bad a name as others like Kant, Wittgenstein, Hegel, and many more).

Anonymous at 3:19 PM on April 13, 2016 | #5114

for those who missed the pinnacle reference

“That’s what I’ve been doing. Which is considerate of me—since you’re not ready to talk. Not yet, for a while. Well, let’s talk—in a purely contemplative manner—about how interesting it is to see people welcoming you into their midst so eagerly, accepting you, flocking to you. Why is it, do you suppose? They do plenty of snubbing on their own, but just let someone who’s snubbed them all her life suddenly break down and turn gregarious—and they all come rolling on their backs with their paws folded, for you to rub their bellies. Why? There could be two explanations, I think. The nice one would be that they are generous and wish to honor you with their friendship. Only the nice explanations are never the true ones. The other one is that they know you’re degrading yourself by needing them, you’re coming down off a pinnacle—every loneliness is a pinnacle—and they’re delighted to drag you down through their friendship. Though, of course, none of them knows it consciously, except yourself. That’s why you go through agonies, doing it, and you’d never do it for a noble cause, you’d never do it except for the end you’ve chosen, an end viler than the means and making the means endurable.”

“You know, Ellsworth, you’ve said a sentence there you’d never use in your column.”

“Did I? Undoubtedly. I can say a great many things to you that I’d never use in my column. Which one?”

“Every loneliness is a pinnacle.”

Ayn Rand in The Fountainhead at 11:19 AM on November 12, 2016 | #7558

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)