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Kira Peikoff Is a Bad Writer

I read 5 chapters (17%) of No Time to Die by Kira Peikoff (KLP). Her father is Leonard Peikoff the Objectivist philosopher. She was named for Kira from Ayn Rand's novel We The Living.

The novel is unreadably bad. I'm not going to read further. And it has nothing to do with Objectivism. The acknowledgments (accurately, I guess) don't mention Ayn Rand, Objectivism, or Leonard Peikoff. They don't mention her mother either. I looked at KLP's website and also didn't see anything about Rand, Objectivism or her father.

KLP was homeschooled initially but then went to high school and university.

KLP did not read Atlas Shrugged until she was at college. Source:

Book that changed your life:

Atlas Shrugged. I read it in college, when I was living away from home for the first time and deciding whether to embrace the philosophy I was raised with. It was always important to me--and to my parents--that I come to my own independent conclusions. After I finished the book, I finally knew the answer.

How can you be "raised with" Objectivism but not read Atlas Shrugged until age 18+? And I see no signs of Objectivist thought in her novel. And in the same interview, the book she wants to be an evangelist for is Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson, a thriller involving amnesia and trust (and a bunch of sex fantasies, according to a negative Amazon review). She apparently doesn't want to be an evangelist for Objectivism.

What about the book, No Time to Die? The unlikeable main character wants to be normal and fit in, quit university over teasing, has mean parents, has a nice grandfather, and gets stressed or fearful easily. She's second-handed and nothing like Roark. She routinely tells social lies. She has a medical condition which turns out to be she stopped physically aging at age 14 (she's now 20, and the book has some sort of plot about anti-aging science). The scientific rigor level of the book appears to be that if you say that genes did it, that's intelligent science instead of fantasy magic. Meanwhile there is a criminal conspiracy to kidnap scientists for some reason.

The foreshadowing and setting up where the book is going are awful. I can't tell why most of the material in the book is relevant. It seems there will be some anti-aging science stuff but then we get a bunch of seemingly-pointless stuff about the main character personally.

On finding out she's physically (but not mentally) 14, the protagonist starts thinking of herself as 14 in ways that don't make sense. She just wants to grow up normally. Even the genius doctor makes a comment about getting parental consent because she's under 18. My takeaway is that the author of the book is unintelligent. Contrast it with David Deutsch's intelligent comments on a similar scenario in The Final Prejudice.

This post could use some book quotes to illustrate what it's like, but the book is unimportant and bad and I don't want to do that. What interested me most was that KLP was allegedly raised with Objectivist philosophy, but actually didn't read Atlas Shrugged until college ... at which point she claimed to embrace it, but didn't. I looked into it because of reversion to the mean. Leonoard Peikoff (LP) is far worse than his teacher, Ayn Rand, but still exceptional in many ways. And KLP is far worse than LP, she's normal, there are no signs of greatness.


Elliot Temple on October 27, 2019

Comments (16)

> I looked into it because of reversion to the mean. Leonoard Peikoff (LP) is far worse than his teacher, Ayn Rand, but still exceptional in many ways. And KLP is far worse than LP, she's normal, there are no signs of greatness.

Why do you think this happens? That in many cases greatness more and more regresses to the mean by each new generation. This is seen with great industrialists and businessmen as well. For the latter I am guessing that thinking methods are not necessarily thought to the children by the parent in many cases, but AR tried to teach LP good methods. Did LP in turn not try to teach KLP good thinking methods? The below quote from KLP doesn't really tell much about her upbringing and I have not bothered to look it up further before writing this.

My emphasis added.

> Atlas Shrugged. I read it in college, when I was living away from home for the first time and **deciding whether to embrace the philosophy I was raised with. It was always important to me--and to my parents--that I come to my own independent conclusions**. After I finished the book, I finally knew the answer.


N at 1:36 AM on October 28, 2019 | #13985 | reply | quote

> My takeaway is that the author of the book is unintelligent.

What is intelligence according to you?


Anonymous at 8:46 AM on October 28, 2019 | #13986 | reply | quote

#13986

> What is intelligence according to you?

Elliot talks about intelligence here:

https://curi.us/podcast/intelligence


N at 8:51 AM on October 28, 2019 | #13987 | reply | quote

Anything in writing? I can't use sound atm.


Anonymous at 9:21 AM on October 28, 2019 | #13988 | reply | quote

> The novel is unreadably bad.

Assertion without an explanation.

> And it has nothing to do with Objectivism.

Did the author claim otherwise?

> How can you be "raised with" Objectivism but not read Atlas Shrugged until age 18+?

This is explained in the quote you presented.

> She apparently doesn't want to be an evangelist for Objectivism.

Good. Nobody should.

This is a terrible way to review a book. Calling the author unintelligent is an ad-hom and it is based on personal opinion.

The only way this ad-hom review makes any sense is if the Author claims to be presenting Objectivism in novel format.

My takeaway, curi is unintelligent.


Anonymous at 11:07 AM on October 28, 2019 | #13990 | reply | quote

#13988

> Anything in writing? I can't use sound atm.

Try with these posts on IQ:

http://curi.us/2056-iq

http://curi.us/2057-iq-2

http://curi.us/2058-iq-3


N at 11:26 AM on October 28, 2019 | #13991 | reply | quote

#13991

I guess I'll check it out but I don't really believe IQ measures intelligence. I think IQ is largely pseudoscience.

https://medium.com/incerto/iq-is-largely-a-pseudoscientific-swindle-f131c101ba39

-

http://bactra.org/weblog/523.html


Anonymous at 12:05 PM on October 28, 2019 | #13993 | reply | quote

#13993 Taleb is a bad source. See e.g. http://curi.us/2114-nassim-nicholas-taleb-sucks

Cosma Shalizi is good on this stuff though, IMO.

I think you'd benefit from skimming links before forming negative opinions of them based on their titles. You'll find curi argues *against* IQ and links Shalizi.

Re your question: Intelligence, commonly and informally, refers to skill at understanding stuff, problem solving, figuring things out, learning, using ideas you learned, etc. It's a fairly broad genre of mental skills which are fairly generic. What's included or not is culturally defined but it's not arbitrary, it makes sense to have a term that loosely covers generic thinking skill but not special case thinking skill.


Dagny at 12:18 PM on October 28, 2019 | #13994 | reply | quote

#13994 Blocking curi on Twitter doesn't make Taleb a bad source. What kind of nonsense argument is that? (Didn't DD block curi too?) He seems to get blocked by the best people.

I am okay with your definition of intelligence.


Anonymous at 12:21 PM on October 28, 2019 | #13995 | reply | quote

#13985 Reversion to the mean happens because children are raised partly by their parents and partly by their culture. The culture part of their upbringing, education, etc., is good at creating normal, average, typical people.

The parenting part of one's upbringing is usually like 80% from the mother and it's more often (and in this case) the father, not the mother, who is exceptional.

And even to the extent Leonard Peikoff raised Kira Peikoff – which is maybe 10% as a very rough estimate (50% culture, 40% mother, 10% father) – he doesn't know how to share his ideas very fully or effectively. It's just like how he goes and gives a lecture, or writes a book, and then his audience learns 1% of what he tried to communicate. It's hard to share ideas. It's hard to help others learn exceptional stuff. (It's easier to share ideas with lots of cultural support, really normal ideas that people can pick up from many places, which get reinforced all throughout their lives. It's much harder with ideas they are only getting from your book/lecture. And you need a ton of time and attention to build from normal stuff they know to really advanced stuff, that takes a million steps, or otherwise if you try to explain some great ideas they are missing a lot of things between normal default thinking and the great ideas, missing lots of stuff in the middle.)


Dagny at 12:24 PM on October 28, 2019 | #13996 | reply | quote

#13995 Did you read the blog post and consider the substantive issues involved? Did you read the comments for additional info? Seems like you just jumped to very hostile conclusions while choosing to remain ignorant of the issues. Am I wrong?


Dagny at 12:26 PM on October 28, 2019 | #13997 | reply | quote

All that link showed was curi's social incompetence. It is not a convincing argument for Taleb being a bad source.

Why do you think Taleb blocking curi somehow invalidate the arguments presented in my link?

It seems rather irrational behavior, perhaps you can explain yourself.


Anonymous at 12:29 PM on October 28, 2019 | #13998 | reply | quote

#13998 Taleb responded *to substantive corrections of his errors* by blocking. He's done and said other bad things, which you can investigate yourself. Good day.


Dagny at 12:35 PM on October 28, 2019 | #13999 | reply | quote

Didn't think so.

This is why the best people block you. There is nothing of value here. Too irrational. (eg Taleb blocked my friend curi thus anything Taleb says is invalid is probably the dumbest thing I ever read.)

I'm out too.

Good day to you too.


Anonymous at 12:41 PM on October 28, 2019 | #14000 | reply | quote

If KLP's parents were so pressuring and oppressive that she couldn't read Rand and judge for herself while living with them, then delaying reading Rand until college is no solution. It doesn't solve the core problem (her lack of freedom) and also it takes away from Kira the opportunity to identify contradictions between their oppressive behavior (or their claims about rationality, politics, etc.) and Rand's writings. Detailed evidence of what Rand actually said would put KLP in a better position to potentially stand up to or question her parents.


Anonymous at 12:42 PM on October 28, 2019 | #14001 | reply | quote

> she couldn't read Rand and judge for herself while living with them

Probably did her a favor. If *this* blog is the culmination of Rand's ideas. A terrible end result.

I'm assuming Dagnny is a long time follower of curi (or curi himself pretending to be someone else as he often likes to do).

His response to anon in Taleb is utterly irrational.

Also apparently they ban people who criticize curi, so by Dagny (curi?)own argument, curi is a bad source.


Anonymous at 12:49 PM on October 28, 2019 | #14002 | reply | quote

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