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TheWorldOfParmenides Reddit Conversation

TheWorldOfParmenides is a reddit user who liked and posted some of my material. His name is a Karl Popper book title. He was talking with people hostile to Popper. I talked with him briefly, suggesting he might like to discuss on the Fallible Ideas (FI) forum and expose his ideas to criticism. Two weeks later he got back to me about the FI forum. Here is the conversation:

TheWorldOfParmenides: I saw the email discussion group. Decided against participating. Looks like what is discussed is not of interest to me at this time. I appreciate the invitation but grammar, Rand, Apple and image analysis are not interesting to me.

Your email group is not what I am looking for at this time. Good luck to you.

curi: You can start topics.

TheWorldOfParmenides: Looks like you also violate people's privacy and post their emails publicly if they ever leave your little group.

You also attacked David Deutsch in defense of a shoddy Philosopher like Rand.

Lot of downsides, no real upsides. Thanks again but no thanks.

curi: Well, let me know if you develop any counter-arguments to anything I said, or to Objectivism, instead of just ad hominems.

Also I didn't violate anyone's privacy. When you email to a public email group, your email is publicly available to anyone. There are archives of all the emails, whether someone left or not, which include the email addresses that sent every email. People can use an email address that isn't attached to your real name (many people do).

TheWorldOfParmenides: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

You should read what an ad-hominem is before you talk about things you don't understand.

Better yet, spend 2 years as intellectual historian and read actual philosophers and realize that Objectivism stole from some of the best and Rand added her own poorly thought out ideas.

There is a reason that Rand is not taken seriously by professional Philosophers.

The fact that you thought what I said was ad-hom. Typically, (don't feel too bad this is very common) Randians have a very hard time separating ideas from people. If you do embark in an intellectual journey you'll quickly realize this.

Good luck!


I posted this to document what people are like. I want to be able to refer to it as an example later. This kind of stuff is pretty typical. It's a major problem with the world. It's hard to find any halfway rational thinkers. Also I suggest that people try analyzing the discussion in comments.


Update: He messaged me again after I posted this:

You immediately proved my point by you posting a private conversation on your website.

You Randians are so predictable. I say jump and you ask how high.

I don't know why he thinks messaging strangers on Reddit is private conversation. It's not.


Elliot Temple on September 13, 2019

Comments (12)

Attempt at analysis of above discussion (TheWorldOfParmenides parts).

> TheWorldOfParmenides: I saw the email discussion group. Decided against participating. Looks like what is discussed is not of interest to me at this time. I appreciate the invitation but grammar, Rand, Apple and image analysis are not interesting to me.

TheWorldOfParmenides chose some topics that do not interest him and used that as rationalization to not post to FI. There are plenty of threads that discuss ideas of Popper and DD, if that is what interests TheWorldOfParmenides.

> curi: You can start topics.

Curi also criticizes TheWorldOfParmenides's argument for not wanting to participate to FI.

TheWorldOfParmenides drops the "no interesting topics on FI" argument.

> TheWorldOfParmenides: Looks like you also violate people's privacy and post their emails publicly if they ever leave your little group.

TheWorldOfParmenides changes from arguing for "no interesting topics on FI" to a misinformed argument of privacy violation, which Curi explains (FI is an *public email group*).

"Looks like you also violate people's privacy" is referring to Curi's intentions (according to TheWorldOfParmenides). It implies that Curi has bad intentions. This is ad homimen (from TheWorldOfParmenides's link, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem):

"... argumentum ad hominem, typically *refers to a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character*, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself."

> [TheWorldOfParmenides] You also attacked David Deutsch in defense of a shoddy Philosopher like Rand.

TheWorldOfParmenides calls Rand "a shoddy Philosopher" and gives no arguments for why he considers Rand "a shoddy Philosopher". This is ad hominem.

> [TheWorldOfParmenides] Lot of downsides, no real upsides. Thanks again but no thanks.

Not sure what downsides TheWorldOfParmenides is referring to as Curi told him about availability to start own topics and addressed the privacy issue. (See below or OP.)

> curi: Well, let me know if you develop any counter-arguments to anything I said, or to Objectivism, instead of just ad hominems.

> [curi] Also I didn't violate anyone's privacy. When you email to a public email group, your email is publicly available to anyone. There are archives of all the emails, whether someone left or not, which include the email addresses that sent every email. People can use an email address that isn't attached to your real name (many people do).

> TheWorldOfParmenides: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

> [TheWorldOfParmenides] You should read what an ad-hominem is before you talk about things you don't understand.

Calling Rand "a shoddy Philosopher" and leaving out an argument as to why he consider her to be this, is ad hominem, as far as I can tell.

Appeal to Curi's intentions (posting e-mail address), is ad hominem.

If I am wrong on these two, please explain why.

TheWorldOfParmenides does not explain what was wrong with any of these two issues.

> [TheWorldOfParmenides] Better yet, spend 2 years as intellectual historian and read actual philosophers and realize that Objectivism stole from some of the best and Rand added her own poorly thought out ideas.

TheWorldOfParmenides gives no arguments.

Appeals to authority ("read actual philosophers") yet gives no information to who he considers a "real philosopher" or why.

"... realize that Objectivism stole from some of the best ..."

What did it (Oism) steal, and who are "the best"?

Philosophers build on previous ideas. Is TheWorldOfParmenides saying that this is stealing? Is it only stealing if Rand does it?

"... Rand added her own poorly thought out ideas."

What "poorly thought out ideas"? TheWorldOfParmenides gives no examples, so how can we know?

> [TheWorldOfParmenides] There is a reason that Rand is not taken seriously by professional Philosophers.

What is that reason? TheWorldOfParmenides does not say.

> [TheWorldOfParmenides] The fact that you thought what I said was ad-hom. Typically, (don't feel too bad this is very common) Randians have a very hard time separating ideas from people. If you do embark in an intellectual journey you'll quickly realize this.

Not one single example was given of the many stated statements throughout TheWorldOfParmenides communication.

TheWorldOfParmenides leaves with yet another ad homimen: "Randians have a very hard time separating ideas from people. If you do embark in an intellectual journey you'll quickly realize this."

Not a single argument against Oism or Rand where presented by TheWorldOfParmenides.

> [TheWorldOfParmenides] Good luck!

This is dishonest. Based on what TheWorldOfParmenides has written above, he is not wishing Curi good luck.


N at 1:21 AM on September 14, 2019 | #13511 | reply | quote

#13511 Yeah, I think you mostly understood it. Regarding this:

>> Looks like you also violate people's privacy and post their emails publicly if they ever leave your little group.

and

> "Looks like you also violate people's privacy" is referring to Curi's intentions (according to TheWorldOfParmenides). It implies that Curi has bad intentions.

I don't think whether or not I violate people's privacy is about my intentions. I think that's about the facts of my actions.

However, he's suggesting I do it for *revenge* to *punish* people who leave my group. That's about my bad intentions. It's also factually inaccurate (not that he brought up facts).

And he's calling me a privacy violator, which is a typical ad hominem like calling someone a bastard or rapist. It's something that could be considered in a truth-seeking manner (just like one can genuinely seek the truth about someone's parentage or what crimes they've committed), but he isn't doing it that way, he's dealing with it like it's an insult/flame.


curi at 10:00 AM on September 14, 2019 | #13516 | reply | quote

I've updated the post with a followup comment from TheWorldOfParmenides. In it he calls me predictable. Ironically, I checked reddit for the specific purpose of checking for a new message of that nature from him, which makes him predictable.


curi at 10:04 AM on September 14, 2019 | #13517 | reply | quote

> I don't think whether or not I violate people's privacy is about my intentions. I think that's about the facts of my actions.

I agree. I made an error skipping this step in my thought process, jumping to the below step directly.

> However, he's suggesting I do it for *revenge* to *punish* people who leave my group. That's about my bad intentions. It's also factually inaccurate (not that he brought up facts).


N at 3:59 AM on September 15, 2019 | #13519 | reply | quote

>TheWorldOfParmenides: I saw the email discussion group. Decided against participating. Looks like what is discussed is not of interest to me at this time. I appreciate the invitation but grammar, Rand, Apple and image analysis are not interesting to me.

>curi: You can start topics.

so curi refuted his "Looks like what is discussed is not of interest to me" point, and then he never responded to that refutation.

>TheWorldOfParmenides: Looks like you also violate people's privacy and post their emails publicly if they ever leave **your little group**.

so hes dissing FI cuz of the popularity of it.

>You also attacked David Deutsch...

criticism as violence.

>spend 2 years as intellectual historian and read actual philosophers and realize that **Objectivism** stole from some of the best...

>**Randians** have a very hard time separating ideas from people.

>You **Randians** are so predictable.

so he says "Objectivism" instead of "Randism", but he calls its followers "Randians" instead of "Objectivists", i wonder why.

>Better yet, spend 2 years as intellectual historian and read actual philosophers and realize that **Objectivism stole from some of the best** and Rand added her own poorly thought out ideas.

this sentence is hard for me to reply to for some reason so im gonna move along, i was trying to reply specifically to the bolded part.

>Typically, (don't feel too bad this is very common) Randians have a very hard time separating ideas from people.

why is he mentioning specifically "Randians" having "a very hard time separating ideas from people.", when he said that it is very common? i think its to make it seem like a criticism of a specific group, when its actually a criticism that applies to most groups, but hes just trying to target that specific group.

>You should read what an ad-hominem is before you talk about things you don't understand.

>Better yet, **spend 2 years as intellectual historian** and read actual philosophers and realize that Objectivism stole from some of the best and Rand added her own poorly thought out ideas.

>The fact that you thought what I said was ad-hom. Typically, (don't feel too bad this is very common) Randians have a very hard time separating ideas from people. If you do embark in an intellectual journey **you'll quickly realize this.**

so it will take *2 years* as an intellectual historian to realize that Objectivism "stole from some of the best", but if you embark in an intellectual journey you will *quickly* realize that "Randians" have a very hard time separating ideas from people. whats with the time differential?


Anonymous at 12:55 AM on September 17, 2019 | #13525 | reply | quote

> TheWorldOfParmenides: I saw the email discussion group. Decided against participating. Looks like what is discussed is not of interest to me at this time. I appreciate the invitation but grammar, Rand, Apple and image analysis are not interesting to me.

> Your email group is not what I am looking for at this time. Good luck to you.

BTW, throughout the conversation (even here at the beginning) TheWorldOfParmenides (WOP) includes social signals indicating that he wants the conversation to be wrapped up, e.g. “Good luck” and “Thanks again but no thanks”.

He’s not approaching the conversation with an attitude of trying to figure out if he should post to FI. He's not trying to do error correction on that question. Instead, the problem he’s trying to solve is more like “How can I end this conversation in a way where I can act on my desire to not post to FI while still convincing myself that I’m rational and smart?”.

> curi: You can start topics.

WOP didn’t address this refutation by curi of WOP’s concern. Maybe because WOP’s idea that the current FI topics are uninteresting to him was only an excuse he made up to rationalize his desire to not post. This concern about uninteresting topics wasn’t the *actual* issue keeping him from posting. So, when curi addressed this (fake) concern, it didn’t matter. It was only an excuse he made up, a decoy. And when that excuse didn’t work, WOP moved onto other excuses. Such as:

> TheWorldOfParmenides: Looks like you also violate people's privacy and post their emails publicly if they ever leave your little group.

“your little group” is mean; it indicates hostility.

> You also attacked David Deutsch in defense of a shoddy Philosopher like Rand.

Here WOP engages in name-calling instead of giving any arguments against Rand. Also, the tone here is people-orientation. WOP is saying you attacked person A while defending shoddy person B. What about focusing on ideas? WOP tries to come off as wanting to focus on ideas (he attacks Oists for judging people). Ok, so then why isn’t he doing it?

(Now, perhaps WOP does have written arguments to back up what he wrote here. But then why not link them?)

> Lot of downsides, no real upsides. Thanks again but no thanks.

> curi: Well, let me know if you develop any counter-arguments to anything I said, or to Objectivism, instead of just ad hominems.

> Also I didn't violate anyone's privacy. When you email to a public email group, your email is publicly available to anyone. There are archives of all the emails, whether someone left or not, which include the email addresses that sent every email. People can use an email address that isn't attached to your real name (many people do).

WOP doesn’t address curi’s explanation regarding privacy. Again, one reason could be that WOP’s privacy concern was a rationalization he made up so that he could act on his desire to not post.

> TheWorldOfParmenides: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

> You should read what an ad-hominem is before you talk about things you don't understand.

Does anyone know where he’s coming from here? Isn’t calling someone “shoddy” in place of giving arguments ad hominem?

> Better yet, spend 2 years as intellectual historian and read actual philosophers and realize that Objectivism stole from some of the best and Rand added her own poorly thought out ideas.

BTW, my understanding is that Rand gives Aristotle tons of credit.

Also, what WOP is doing here seems like ad hominem. Instead of criticizing the content of curi’s ideas with arguments, he’s trying to discredit curi’s character by implying that he has not read enough intellectual history. He’s trying to attack the characteristics of the source instead of criticizing the content of ideas.

If curi actually does need to read more intellectual history, then there will be flaws in curi’s ideas. These flaws can be criticized. There’s no good reason to try to discredit the source as WOP is trying to do. Instead, WOP can focus on criticizing ideas, which he doesn’t do.

> There is a reason that Rand is not taken seriously by professional Philosophers.

Of course, there’s a reason she isn’t taken seriously. No one is saying there is no reason and the situation has happened arbitrarily.

However, you aren’t supposed to read his statement literally in this way. You are supposed to read it through a social lens. When you do that, you see that WOP again is flaming Rand by implying that the reason she isn’t taken seriously is because she’s bad. But, as usual for WOP, there are no arguments, no criticisms of ideas. Instead, we just get attacks on people.

> The fact that you thought what I said was ad-hom.

This is a sentence fragment.

> Typically, (don't feel too bad this is very common) Randians have a very hard time separating ideas from people. If you do embark in an intellectual journey you'll quickly realize this.

More condescending flame of curi.

Notice that throughout all of this, WOP doesn’t tell us *why* what he said wasn’t ad hominem. Instead of giving actual explanations (note: if he had them, why wouldn’t he share them?), he wants to convey that he’s right and the problem is that Oists are too people-oriented and wrong to see it for themselves.

This reminds me of the Argument from Intimidation. VoS:

> The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: “Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea.”

WOP wants the reader to think that only those who are dumb Oists can’t see that what WOP said wasn’t ad hominem. Instead of just giving an explanation as to why it wasn't ad hominem, he's trying to psychologically pressure the reader into agreeing with him.

Ppl rely on these tactics when they *lack* arguments. WOP is admitting his own intellectual bankruptcy.

> Good luck!

This seems dishonest considering this guy is hostile.


Kate at 10:13 AM on September 17, 2019 | #13528 | reply | quote

#13525 #13528 Some good analysis IMO.

> >Better yet, spend 2 years as intellectual historian and read actual philosophers and realize that **Objectivism stole from some of the best** and Rand added her own poorly thought out ideas.

> this sentence is hard for me to reply to for some reason so im gonna move along, i was trying to reply specifically to the bolded part.

For this, I think the main thing to say is he did not argue or explain his claim. He didn't give examples, details or evidence. He just *asserted* a *conclusion* (stole ideas) with no reasoning. He did the same thing with the conclusion that Rand's ideas were poorly thought out.


curi at 10:32 AM on September 17, 2019 | #13530 | reply | quote

TheWorldOfParmenides is now attempting to publicly harm my reputation and dishonestly defaming me. I think it's an attempt to seek revenge because I made a fool of him by quoting exactly what he said without significant commentary or analysis.

https://www.reddit.com/r/IntellectualDarkWeb/comments/cq0ex8/scholarly_criticism_jordan_petersons_sloppy_cite/f0m0yd8/?context=3


curi at 1:20 PM on September 17, 2019 | #13533 | reply | quote

It's a weird complaint, btw. Mises was a big Rand fan. DD used to be a pretty big Rand fan and still agrees with her about most stuff.

Also, TheWorldOfParmenides won't give any anti-Rand arguments...

Also, I take it he found my blog posts criticizing Sowell and Hayek. That's where that's coming from, I think. Those posts give reasons and arguments. But TheWorldOfParmenides doesn't engage in debate about the issues.


curi at 1:22 PM on September 17, 2019 | #13534 | reply | quote

>> There is a reason that Rand is not taken seriously by professional Philosophers.

>Of course, there’s a reason she isn’t taken seriously. No one is saying there is no reason and the situation has happened arbitrarily.

i read that thru a social lens and didnt even realize what the actual meaning of those words together is, until i read your response. i only thought of it as being a diss.


Anonymous at 5:07 PM on September 17, 2019 | #13536 | reply | quote

>> There is a reason that Rand is not taken seriously by professional Philosophers.

> Of course, there’s a reason she isn’t taken seriously. No one is saying there is no reason and the situation has happened arbitrarily.

I think the comma after the word "course" should be omitted.

https://www.dailywritingtips.com/how-to-punctuate-introductory-phrases/

> Emphasis: “Of course, she’ll be there, too.”

> (An exception can be made for this particular phrase: There’s a subtle but distinct difference between “Of course, you’ll want to do it your way” and “Of course you’ll want to do it your way.” In the first sentence, your is stressed; in the second, course, perhaps accompanied by a sneer, is emphasized, with a secondary stress on your — and likely an exclamation point to signal emotion.)

In my sentence above, the word "course" is what I'm stressing.

Here's more discussion on this point: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/348666/comma-usage-with-of-course

> Using 'of course' without commas can imply a refutation of prior skepticism. In these cases, the speaker emphasizes 'course.'

When read literally, WOP's statement conveys skepticism or the idea that he's answering some sort of controversial question as to whether there is a reason that Rand is not taken seriously by professional philosophers.

My statement implies a refutation of this prior skepticism. So, I think omitting the comma is better. I'm emphasizing the word "course", and there would be no pause in speech.


Kate at 8:02 PM on September 17, 2019 | #13540 | reply | quote

#13534

Is there a way to search on a particular persons posts on Reddit? I tried to look for any criticism of Rand by TheWorldOfParmenides on Reddit but I couldn't find any.

After that I tried to ask him in the very thread that Curi links to what his (TheWorldOfParmenides) criticism of Rand is, but my post got deleted because I only have 1 karma on Reddit. To post in that thread one needs at least 10 karma apparently. That stopped me from trying harder.

If anyone does find out what TheWorldOfParmenides's criticism of Rand is, please post the link and / or the reasons here.


Anonymous at 6:24 AM on September 18, 2019 | #13545 | reply | quote

(This is an unmoderated discussion forum. Discussion info.)