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Thoughts on Charles Tew

Charles Tew (CT) is an Objectivist philosopher. I watched more of his YouTube videos and looked around his web presence. I have some comments. This is not a review. This is not a complete evaluation. It's some particular things I noticed, many of which are tangential to his main points.

This post will make more sense if you've already read my Open Letter to Charles Tew, and perhaps seen some of CT's videos. Also if you're familiar with Objectivism.

Some things CT said were really good. He has at least a sliver of greatness, which is rare. And I appreciate that he's a content creator, that he's trying to make stuff, share ideas, do something.

CT aims to be a firebrand. I appreciate that. There were sections of his videos which fit this and which I particularly liked. I think he's correct in his claim that aspects of his style are similar to Ayn Rand, and that ARI's style is dissimilar to Rand.

I surveyed the comments on several videos. The discussion quality in comments is terrible. I wondered how and why he attracted those people to comment, and if he values a higher view count without concern for who is watching and why. That's the kind of thing he's criticized others for. I wonder if CT thinks low quality comments are just inevitably part of how YouTube works, rather than depending on the audience you attract. Or perhaps he's concerned about it and wishes to improve the situation. Or didn't think of the issue and just took some normal social interaction stuff for granted.

CT replied "thank you" to two YouTube commenters who wrote generic praise. I didn't read that many comments, so there's presumably many more similar comments. That is not what Howard Roark would have done. It's sucking up get a larger audience of boring or bad people. It helps bring in more of the kind of people who write low quality comments. It signals not being a firebrand. There were other relevant signs too, like he said something about doing off-topic bits at the start of a video because Sam Harris structured videos that way – which suggests he's trying to copy what's popular instead of thinking about what, in his own opinion, makes the best format intellectually. (I just jump into the content in my videos. People don't or shouldn't care about my issues with audio equipment. That's far from the most important thing I have to talk about.)

CT said the only active intellectual today that he respects much is Harry Binswanger. I hope he'll reply to my Binswanger criticism, which I included in my letter to CT.

CT said he is not a member of HBL. He didn't explain why. I find that really strange. If I only admired one living intellectual, and they had a forum, I'd join it! I'd want to read their stuff and talk with them.

CT focuses many videos on popular non-Objectivists who are actively creating content today, like Stephan Molyneux, Sam Harris, Sargon of Akkad, or Jordan Peterson. I don't know why, but I don't agree with that emphasis. I spend a larger portion of my own time talking about ideas in general, or about ideas in relation to people who are important to philosophy (that's mostly dead people like Socrates, Aristotle, Godwin, Burke, Popper, Rand), or talking about ideas in relation to people I find notable and interesting in some way (who often happen to be obscure, like CT). Maybe CT is attracted to current social popularity. Why doesn't CT do more commentary and analysis regarding Binswanger (his favorite living content creator other than himself) or Ayn Rand (there is a shortage of quality material explaining Rand's books and helping people understand them correctly – who else makes stuff like my Atlas Shrugged Close Reading?).

People like Harris, Molyneux, Akkad and Peterson are not very important in the big picture. Responding to them won't change the world. (I'm responding to CT right now, but the primary purpose is to organize my own thoughts, and the secondary purpose is to share stuff about how I think and view the world which I think is important, valuable content. And I only do this kind of response as the minority of what I make.) If CT is actually important and right about almost everything – as he claims to believe – then he should find something better to do (like his books – except see my comments on that below). He should make really important material that's great for people who don't care at all about Harris/Peterson/etc. He should make timeless material about what really matters and what will actually potentially persuade many people and change the world. He should be trying to make improved versions of some of Ayn Rand's work – since Ayn Rand's work, great as it was, was inadequate to fix things and set the tone of the world. If that's too hard for him today, he should try to improve his philosophy so he can do that. He should aim for something that would make a big difference, not work to build up a bit more audience of people with little if anything to contribute. If his videos are just him practicing, that'd be OK but I don't think they are presented that way and they don't strike me as optimized for practicing and self-learning.

CT has videos about addiction. I didn't watch those. I focused on clicking video titles I thought I'd agree with or like for two reasons. One, those are more enjoyable in the straightforward way: I like things I like. There's plenty of things I dislike in the world and I don't seek them out without a specific reason. Two, I don't know if CT is open to discussion. This comes up with lots of content. I think it's wrong, and there's no way to fix that problem, no way to correct the author (or get corrected myself). Formulating my criticisms seems a bit pointless, if there's no discussion, when it's standard stuff I've already thought and written about a dozen times. And if I wanted to cover it again, I'd typically be better off doing it my own way – thinking about how I want to approach the material this time and why – instead of responding to a particular person. If CT is open to discussion and to engaging with important literature like Szasz (which he's either already read or ought to be happy to fill in the gap in his knowledge enough to have some opinion of Szasz's ideas), I'd be more interested in his views that I expect to disagree with in ways I've been over repeatedly in the past.

I didn't see CT learning much of anything from non-Objectivists, which concerns me because there are good ideas which Rand didn't know, which other people figured out. That includes plenty which don't contradict Objectivism, and also, IMO, a few which do correct Objectivism in some way (usually fairly minor in terms of how much it changes Objectivism – the one big correction I'm aware of is about induction, but even that is mostly a correction of Rand's followers like Peikoff – Rand herself wrote little about induction, said she wasn't an expert on it, and didn't claim to have a solution to the problem of induction. And Popper's solution, despite rejecting induction itself, solves the important problem and offers everything I think Rand would have wanted in an epistemology – in particular, that people can and do create legitimate knowledge).

I don't think CT should use Patreon. That site hates his values and kicks people off who they disagree with politically, e.g. Lauren Southern. CT could easily be kicked off Patreon if he gets enough income/fans/attention to be noticed. Even relying on YouTube much is risky – YouTube kicks some people off for having right wing political views, they're very biased. (I don't know if iTunes kicks off podcasts for political reasons.)


CT says he doesn't like reading that much. That's bizarre for someone saying they are a philosopher. Actually it's totally normal, but it's a mistake that seems weird to me because I know better. Part of a philosopher's job is to read a lot (and listen and watch material too). That involves developing skills including being great at (and, ideally, liking):

  • reading pretty fast
  • reading slowly and carefully
  • speed reading, preferably with multiple techniques so you can match the technique to the content
  • skimming
  • targeted, selective reading, including by using an index or a software feature to search for words
  • watching videos and listening to audio at high speed
  • using text to speech software, and broadly being good at converting things into other formats so you have a lot of control of how you go through content so you can choose the best options each time
  • reading Amazon reviews, using amazon's preview of the book, finding it on google books, googling the author, etc, to quickly get some info about a book
  • using the library
  • knowing how to quickly survey many books on a topic (some never getting past the online research phase, others you actually read parts of) and figuring out which are good or bad and why, and which to read (and which parts of them, or the whole thing) and which not to read

(I also think it's a philosopher's job to learn to write and to learn to like writing. Video and audio are only secondary formats. They have some good things about them but they aren't the primary way to communicate ideas with serious people. I have some more comments related to this below.)

Sanctuaries for the Best of the Human Species

Another thing I was wondering is whether CT wants to be alone in the world, to be special. He says things like that others don't criticize Objectivism like he does. Is he bragging, or would he be thrilled to find out I exist and eager to discuss with me? He hasn't replied to my letter yet, but it's only been a day. Maybe he's reading through the many links or he happens to be busy this weekend. Who knows. I will wait and see. This is not a criticism, it's just a potential issue I thought of, a way he could be. I'm not accusing him, just considering the possibilities. It's interesting to me because I consider myself to be in a similar position to what CT thinks his situation is. I think I'm pretty alone in a world of dumb people. This is a common belief. I have various reasons to think it which are not common. CT has some legitimate reasons to think this kinda thing, too. But anyway, I don't like it. I want better people to talk with, to get criticism from, to get suggestions from, to have more articles worth reading and videos worth watching, etc. But lots of people actually don't want that. It's intuitive to me to want it, and I kinda assumed CT would want it when I wrote my letter, but it occurred to me that my perspective is unusual, so maybe he's not interested in finding someone reasonably like-minded who he can talk with as perhaps an equal or even someone who is anywhere near equal. (Related, why wouldn't he be on HBL talking with Binswanger? Binswanger is actually pretty responsive to people who post on his HBL forum. So CT could be talking more with someone he admires, if he wanted to.) I think one should want to find, meet and talk with great people. One should care enough to pursue leads on that, and definitely not feel threatened by it. One of my favorite passages from Atlas Shrugged:

“Miss Taggart, do you know the hallmark of the second-rater? It’s resentment of another man’s achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone’s work prove greater than their own—they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness for an equal—for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire. They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes, thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them—while you’d give a year of your life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don’t know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear. They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors—hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom—the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don’t respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?”

“I’ve felt it all my life,” she said. It was an answer she could not refuse him.

Also there's one of my favorite Rand quotes that I've never seen any other Objectivists take notice of, from The “Inexplicable Personal Alchemy” in The Return of the Primitive:

Where are America’s young fighters for ideas, the rebels against conformity to the gutter—the young men of “inexplicable personal alchemy,” the independent minds dedicated to the supremacy of truth?

With very rare exceptions, they are perishing in silence, unknown and unnoticed. Consciously or subconsciously, philosophically and psychologically, it is against them that the cult of irrationality—i.e., our entire academic and cultural Establishment—is directed.

They perish gradually, giving up, extinguishing their minds before they have a chance to grasp the nature of the evil they are facing. In lonely agony, they go from confident eagerness to bewilderment to indignation to resignation—to obscurity. And while their elders putter about, conserving redwood forests and building sanctuaries for mallard ducks, nobody notices those youths as they drop out of sight one by one, like sparks vanishing in limitless black space; nobody builds sanctuaries for the best of the human species.

I have a discussion forum (plus websites, articles, videos, open blog comments, and a public email address) that attempts to offer some sanctuary for the best of the human species, especially fighters for ideas. I am unaware of any serious attempt by anyone else to build such a sanctuary (and I've looked quite a lot, both for sanctuaries and for people to invite to mine or discuss with). I hope CT will appreciate and join my sanctuary, or at least care enough to say what he thinks is wrong with it – or, in the alternative (or additionally) I hope he'll care to build his own sanctuary and try to offer sanctuary to me (or tell me why I'm not worthy of such a sanctuary – what am I so wrong or dumb about, that I'm not at all the person I think I am, and is there any way to fix it?). If CT is the person he thinks he is and claims to be, he ought to know this quote and have thought about it, and be taking action accordingly, right? Or if he missed it, perhaps he'll thank me for pointing him to it and start living by it. I know he's trying to be a fighter for ideas, and I respect that, and I am too, and I hope that can lead to some mutually beneficial interaction – but I've had similar hopes with many people and routinely been disappointed by how bad and unreasonable they turn out to be. And unlike most people who say that, I have much of it publicly documented and anyone is welcome to point out how I'm mistaken in my evaluations of what happened. But I haven't given up and have e.g. contacted CT!

Also related to my own view of the world: when I wrote my letter to CT, at the end I suggested discussion. I had in mind asychronous text discussion, particularly on a forum with support for nested quoting and permalinks. He may have thought I wanted a verbal discussion, perhaps to go on YouTube. He seems to favor that kinda format. But I don't think verbal discussion is very good compared to text, especially when it's done in real time so people are rushed. Text with proper quoting is the most serious format which is best for making intellectual progress. It's easier to clear up miscommunications with text, easier to avoid talking past each other, easier to double check things (rereading is much easier than asking people to repeat things), it's easier to be calm and unemotional, it's easier to edit, it's easier for other people to skim or engage with, and so on.

And guys, this isn't just about CT. If you're reading this, and you think you're a fighter for ideas, or want to be, say something. Type a comment below.

Book Writing

CT is writing multiple books but doesn't seem to have any (public) essays. He should build up to books. Writing is hard. People should start small, e.g. tweets.

Master writing tweets. Then 250 word essays, then 500 word essays. Write dozens or hundreds. Work your way up to long essays (like 3000 words). Get really experienced with that. Find out all kinds of ways it's hard, what problems come up, etc, and make progress as a writer. Get fast and comfortable at writing and editing, so it's natural and intuitive and partly automated.

And try dozens of writing styles and see what works well for you, what you like, etc. Experiment.

And read stuff about how to write. Look for tips. Look for in-depth guides. See what ideas are out there and start forming opinions of them and trying most of them out at least a little.

Try to figure out what types of editing and polishing produce a lot of value, and what's unnecessary except for your most polished material, and what's unnecessary in all cases. How can you best spend your writing time to efficiently create a lot of value? What is less efficient but worth doing in special cases? What is common stuff people do that you shouldn't do at all?

After long essays, don't just keep making slightly longer things until you get to books. That won't work well. Long essays can be written with certain kinds of organizational techniques (and, indeed, with limited knowledge of organizing writing at all) and books need other, different ones. To work towards books, the next step after long essays is to try different ways of organizing what you write.

Try different methods of outlining. Try different approaches without an outline. Try different ways of writing notes about the essay in advance to see what helps or not. (Some of this will have been learned while writing essays in the first place, but focus on it more now.) Try dividing essays into named or unnamed sections more. Try writing strictly or loosely to an outline. Try more or less detailed outlining. Try various methods of brainstorming about what to write. Try writing by inspiration for topic and content. Try writing in a more methodical way or more casually and off-hand like speaking in real time or like stream of consciousness writing. Try writing test essays about a topic and seeing how they come out, then a separate real one. Try writing a really-quick, super-rough draft, then editing the hell out of it. Try approaches with more or less editing. Try developing the skill of writing good material the first time that doesn't need much editing – quickly, without a high effort – and see if you can do that effectively. And so on.

And then try putting together longer stuff in various ways, e.g. by writing a 15k word piece that involves 5 long essays glued together, and try different ways of gluing smaller pieces into bigger works. Try making bigger works with fairly independent parts, and with more interconnections, and compare the results and the difficulty of creating them. And think about whether tight coupling of sections of writing is good or bad and why. Tight coupling is the programmer term for having lots of dependencies between parts of a program and, spoiler alert, it's broadly considered bad. Find out issues like that exist – there are many others worth knowing about – and learn about them.

Books are hard – especially some types more than others – and many people spend a ton of time on writing a book and get a bad result. It's better to spend a ton of time on practicing and learning and get to the point you're more reasonably confident you know how to do a good book, and you have the skills so that it won't cost so much time and energy to make. Also, before books, one needs to debate hundreds of people, if not thousands (not as video taped social performances, but mostly as asynchronous text discussion). One really needs to do his best to get criticism from all comers, to find out every reason anyone knows that the ideas you plan to put in the book may be mistaken, and address that. One needs to subject all the book ideas to Paths Forward. One should normally only write books about ideas that one already has public essays about (to allow people to reply to the ideas before you put all the work into making a book version). (BTW, I'm not picky about publication mediums. Blog posts are a type of essay. It doesn't have to be prestigious. You can self-publish on your own website, no problem. You do need to visit other people's forums to seek out more discussion and feedback though, especially if you're obscure.)

Book writing is normally overreaching. People make an overwhelmingly large amount of errors while writing books – which overwhelms their ability to correct errors, and so the books end up with tons of errors in them – because they don't have the massive amount of background knowledge one needs to properly prepare.

In general, people should mostly do fairly easy things. If something isn't easy for you, that means it has a high resource cost (time, energy, etc) for you to do it. If you built up your skills more first – if you focused on self-improvement and self-education more for a while – then you could do the same thing for a cheaper resource cost. If you keep becoming more powerful and practicing and learning, things get easier and easier, so you can do them at a lower resource cost and have way more resources left over to keep learning even more. It's important for life to be a virtuous cycle with a big focus on making progress, and you keep getting better at doing things so you can do more and more stuff more easily. But what people usually do is they focus so much on doing things (like writing books) way too early on, and it's really expensive and takes all their time and energy away from making progress, and so they are always resource-starved (too busy) to learn as much as they should, and so they never get very far in life. And they think they can't take time out to do a bunch more learning and practicing because they don't have time for it, but such activities save time in the long run!

I don't know if CT is making these mistakes but I suspect it (not an accusation, just my initial guess that I will readily change my mind about if I get more information indicating otherwise) and I wanted to write about them again, and some of my comments about how to build up towards writing a book are new.

Elliot Temple on July 1, 2018

Messages (20)

> Book writing is normally overreaching. People make and overwhelmingly large amount of errors while writing books – which overwhelms there ability to correct errors, and so the books end up with tons of errors in them – because they don't have the massive amount of background knowledge one needs to properly prepare.

I noticed two errors in the paragraph above.

I think:

> People make and overwhelmingly large

should be "People make an overwhelmingly large". And:

> which overwhelms there ability

should be "which overwhelms their ability"

PAS at 2:48 PM on July 1, 2018 | #9966 | reply | quote

In another video, Tew says he basically can't write essays without an editor, but fortunately he's found one. He says he can't edit an essay himself without waiting weeks to get a fresh perspective.

He puts up videos where he talks, in real time, without a script. Why can't he put up any writing where he writes at his own pace (more time to think than the talking) without significant editing after? Like this blog post, above. Two typos got through the lack of editing, but they're fixed now, no big deal. Is it perfectly structured, my best work? No but it's fine and says some good things, just like unscripted videos can be fine.

When I edit more, I often do it the next day – intentionally looking at things from other perspectives is a skill you can develop, you don't just have to wait weeks to forget your original perspective.

curi at 8:59 PM on July 1, 2018 | #9967 | reply | quote

>Another thing I was wondering is whether CT wants to be alone in the world, to be special.

In this video (https://youtu.be/UNC5UQ6vT8Y) he says:

2:28:13 > I don't think people are good enough to recognize value[…] I don't think that any good person will get what he deserves

2:30:31 >there don't seem to be any good people

he clarify this saying that good people are rare.

2:45:36 > I do look for people that I like. it's hard to find those people...

He doesn't say what he is doing to find those people though. So maybe he doesn't put much effort into it and don't care much about finding others.

He also says that he doesn't think that most people that listen to him are good (at 2:21:28).

guilherme at 7:15 AM on July 2, 2018 | #9968 | reply | quote

Thanks for the quotes, guilherme.

> > I don't think that any good person will get what he deserves

Like fame and riches? Perhaps I won't get those, but *so what?* I still prefer to be a philosopher over e.g. a programmer at Apple making $500,000/yr. Roark didn't build to make money. He just wanted to do it. Money was secondary.


I just got an email saying this:

> After 70 essays, 150,000 words published for free, 20,000 insightful and hysterical tweets - I’ve finally released my first book, #DemocratToDeplorable.

Nice to hear an author practicing writing – along the lines of what I just said people should do – on the way to creating a book.

His book:


The description sounds less good than when I signed up to be notified when it was done:

> Based on a national survey, in-depth interviews, and a personal narrative

I was expecting the personal narrative – I wanted to read why he changed his mind – not the national survey or the interviews with other people. I was hoping he had a lot to say (a whole book) about his old views and, in detail, how and why he changed his mind, issue by issue. Something like that. I don't know if I'll try reading this book now.

curi at 10:24 AM on July 2, 2018 | #9969 | reply | quote

> He doesn't say what he is doing to find those people though. So maybe he doesn't put much effort into it and don't care much about finding others.

He found me, thought I was wrong about something, and ridiculed me (instead of quoting and arguing, or giving any reference that argues the point for him). He didn't name or notify me.

Details: http://curi.us/2119-open-letter-to-charles-tew#c9970

I fear that's a recurring pattern for him – think someone is wrong, proceed as if he's right with no debate and no way to potentially be corrected (e.g. by ignoring them). It's a common way people live. People normally debate those they partly agree with, and find more reasonable, but won't consider or discuss ideas that are more different than their own.

I praise Ayn Rand. Jordan Peterson thinks Ayn Rand is second rate. Tew spent over 100 hours watching Peterson's videos. But for me, he apparently just assumed someone as wrong as me couldn't have a real connection to Objectivism – apparently without even reading anything I say about Objectivism. Why does Jordan Peterson, who Tew rightly considers badly mistaken about tons of stuff, get so much more interest and attention? Because Peterson didn't challenge the cherished belief of induction? Because Peterson has more fans? Because Peterson isn't available to discuss what Tew says about him? One might claim that it's because Peterson has some interesting parts to him, setting aside the errors – but don't I at least have that? Tew only accused me of one thing – having a Popperian view regarding induction – and that was the end. It seems to have alienated Tew so much that he won't respond to my letter which brings up some things Tew and I have in common.

If Tew really wanted to find good thinkers, he wouldn't give up so easily. He'd give me one chance to be corrected and change my mind, and see how I handle criticism. Or, alternatively, he'd try engaging with me about something where we agree way more.

curi at 11:50 AM on July 2, 2018 | #9971 | reply | quote

I do agree with some of the criticism you laid and enjoy your writing advice.

I just don't think CT is a philosopher or that he has a book coming out. If he will publish a book, I expect it to be on a similar level to Stefan Molyneux's books.

You can speculate all you want about this person to act according to your expectations. He doesn't owe you a thing. He has every right to ignore you and not provide an excuse. You are just obsessing over him. If he decided for his own reason not to reply, I don't see how these extra posts changing his mind if he is rational. If someone doesn't answer your message, that's it.

Everyone has its own reasons to do or not to do things. You can't know if his decisions are right or wrong just by watching his videos. Always assume that the person in front of you knows something you don't. He may have plenty of reasons not to be a member of HBL or to use petreon and he doesn't owe you explanations. He didn't answer my email as well so it might not be a personal thing. I am afraid you are just psychologizing him.

Also I don't get your focus on grammar. I find using right terms more important.

Nadav at 6:44 AM on July 3, 2018 | #9995 | reply | quote

> I am afraid you are just psychologizing him.

This is an interesting claim, considering that you accuse curi of "obsessing over" CT, which *is* actually psychologizing. You seem unclear on what psychologizing is and unable to identify it

Anonymous at 7:08 AM on July 3, 2018 | #9996 | reply | quote

> He doesn't owe you a thing. He has every right to ignore you and not provide an excuse.

Agreed. Tew is not obligated to respond.

> If he decided for his own reason not to reply, I don't see how these extra posts changing his mind if he is rational.

Extra posts might include new information. It is rational to take new information into account and sometimes change one's mind based on that new information.

Anne B at 8:33 AM on July 3, 2018 | #9999 | reply | quote

>> He doesn't owe you a thing. He has every right to ignore you and not provide an excuse.

>Agreed. Tew is not obligated to respond.

Tew doesn't owe ET anything. But he does owe it to *himself* and whatever good is in him to try to do the right thing. He should *want* to do what's right; it's not a matter of being obligated.

How Tew responds isn't really about Tew and ET. ET isn't one of the prime actors here. It's about Tew and himself.

Kate at 8:46 AM on July 3, 2018 | #10000 | reply | quote

>He doesn't owe you a thing. He has every right to ignore you and not provide an excuse.

That's fine but then he shouldn't hold himself out as a philosopher and intellectual. To hold oneself out as such and then refuse to have any means by which one can have one's mistakes corrected by critics is to commit a kind of fraud.

Anonymous at 8:51 AM on July 3, 2018 | #10001 | reply | quote

Some reasons people are interested in grammar (Nadav bizarrely and incorrectly attributes this interest to ET personally):

- They are trying not to make mistakes because they are trying not to overreach ( http://fallibleideas.com/overreach ). Trying to fix any mistake one can is a good place to begin and see how it goes and broadly learn about what kinds of mistakes are important, hard/easy to fix, etc, etc.

- They are or aspire to be a writer. Or they care about clear communication.

- They find it interesting.

- They think they can help ET with grammar and typos, but find it more difficult to help in other ways.

This is compatible with also caring about using the right terms.

Of course CT has a right not to answer emails. And ET has a right to send a reasonable, non-harrassing number of messages to public contact info. ET could send two dozen messages, rather than merely consider a third, without violating CT's rights.

Nadav is dishonest when he claims he doesn't see how *offering to pay someone* could change their mind about whether to respond to a matter. And dishonest when he said he liked Paths Forward but didn't follow up about that.

Nadav is dishonest when he says:

> Everyone has its own reasons to do or not to do things. You can't know if his decisions are right or wrong just by [his public materials]

But Nadav doesn't apply this anti-Objectivist, generic, anything-goes mentality to ET. Nadav attacks ET instead of using this defense for ET. This very statement, quoted, is *at the same time* an attack on ET which implies Nadav knows ET is making wrong decisions, and a claim that Nadav can't know such a thing.

Dagny at 9:59 AM on July 3, 2018 | #10002 | reply | quote

Unlike Nadav, Charles Tew stands out positively in some significant ways. But he's also in pain and failing to cope with the irrational society he lives in. E.g.:


> I hope these morons eventually succeed in getting the government to regulate the internet even more than it already does. When all communication is controlled, at least I won't constantly be wasting my time acting as if there's anyone worth communicating anything to.


> I get so angry when I'm stuck in traffic, because I know it was caused by immoral people endorsing government control of infrastructure. Murder and wasting someone's time differ only in degree.


> Reaction videos make me malevolent universe.

What to do about this, if anything, is a question worth thinking about. How could he be helped? What sort of sanctuary would help him? What marketing would the sanctuary need for him to recognize it? These questions have broader interest than just regarding Tew personally. Similar questions come up with other people. Tew is just one example of an important aspect of the world situation that Rand wrote about:

> nobody notices those youths as they drop out of sight one by one, like sparks vanishing in limitless black space; nobody builds sanctuaries for the best of the human species.

ET noticed Tew's spark, and that it's vanishing. Nadav spit on ET for it.

Dagny at 10:19 AM on July 3, 2018 | #10004 | reply | quote

Both ET and CT spent far more time taking an interest in Jordan Peterson than ET has spent taking an interest in CT.

Nadav accuses ET of obsession with CT, but accuses no one of obsession with Jordan Peterson. For another parallel, note Peterson's non-responsiveness to both ET and CT.

Why is Nadav biased in this way?

Social status. Paying attention to high social status people is presumed reasonable and normal. Spending time on a low social status person like CT is presumed to be unreasonable.

Some of the assumptions here are: CT is low social status, so if he doesn't reply to ET, that means ET's attention is unwanted. CT isn't busy because social media follower count is a proxy for having good things to do. But Peterson is busy and important, so Peterson's non-response has a totally different meaning – nothing personal, just busy. These assumptions are poor.

In reality, thinking or writing about CT or Peterson are *both* perfectly reasonable things for ET and others to do. CT and Peterson are *both* public intellectuals with hours and hours of video. CT's lesser popularity doesn't determine how much time one should spend on his content.

Another thing going on is: I think ET only watched a fraction of CT's video content, perhaps 10%. ET could have spent dozens of additional hours watching CT's videos and Nadav wouldn't have attacked ET for it. Passively watching stuff doesn't get you attacked, and spending far more time in that way wouldn't have looked like *obsession* to Nadav. It's active commentary and showing interest publicly that get you attacked and viewed as low social status (so much so for the psychiatric attacks to come out). But that speaks to ET's merit. It's good to have a high writing-to-watching ratio.

Dagny at 10:41 AM on July 3, 2018 | #10005 | reply | quote

>you accuse curi of "obsessing over" CT, which *is* actually psychologizing. You seem unclear on what psychologizing is and unable to identify it

I stand by my point about terms being important, and thank you for directing my attention. I should have thought more about my usage of this word. By psychologizing I mean attributing motives or generally assuming certain things about what goes on in another person's mind without him expressing it directly. So saying he is miserable without him stating that himself belongs. Your persistent attitude towards this person is apparent in your and comments. I think that my use of the word *obsessed* is my mistake really.

>Extra posts might include new information.

True. I accept that. Him paying money may be a good idea if both sided adopted a more friendly, less hostile attitude. Right Now I think it might fail.

>But Nadav doesn't apply this anti-Objectivist, generic, anything-goes mentality to ET.

I think that it's an intrinsicist (a concept CT doesn't understand) things to say. Of course circumstances matter for decisions. Can't you see how lots of complicated reasons can affect the decision to subscribe to HBL or use Patreon?

I'm not judging ET. I'm just saying that his demands of Tew are wrong. the difference is that ET lays his motives in his posts and he asks for feedback.

>Some reasons people are interested in grammar

OK I accept this

Nadav at 10:45 AM on July 3, 2018 | #10006 | reply | quote


Jordan Peterson has actually responded to me more than CT has. Peterson thanked me, from his personal email address, for finding some typos in his book. I guess he cares about that kind of thing more than Nadav ;)

I think Peterson's choice not to respond about other matters reflects on Peterson's values.


> I'm just saying that [Elliot's] demands of Tew are wrong.

What *demands*?

curi at 10:48 AM on July 3, 2018 | #10007 | reply | quote

Despite being autistic ET is a social dynamics grandmaster. He always thinks 10 steps ahead so don't be fooled.

If it looks like this guy looked at ET and thought "This guy is a creep I better run" that's all part of ET's plan.

I trust ET who's the world's greatest philosopher.

Anonymous at 8:04 PM on July 7, 2018 | #10024 | reply | quote

>I fear that's a recurring pattern for him – think someone is wrong, proceed as if he's right with no debate and no way to potentially be corrected (e.g. by ignoring them). It's a common way people live. People normally debate those they partly agree with, and find more reasonable, but won't consider or discuss ideas that are more different than their own.

Tell me bro, what information do you think you have provided him with that should have struck his interest in you and what you have to say?

Anonymous at 8:14 PM on July 7, 2018 | #10025 | reply | quote

a lengthy criticism of Charles Tew from Reddit (heavily focused on Rucka stuff) https://www.reddit.com/r/Objectivism/comments/cgybay/charles_tew_critique/

Anonymous at 6:03 PM on February 27, 2020 | #15658 | reply | quote


> Tew associates moral sanction with finding his kind of people. But since his people aren't out there, he sees little reason to bother with moral sanction. And herein lies a deeper evasion. He fails to appreciate the fact that his kind of people do indeed exist. They are those who tolerate evil. They are those who blame others for their own shortcomings. They are those who evade reality.

Anonymous at 7:57 PM on February 27, 2020 | #15659 | reply | quote

#15658 Sad that it got zero replies on Reddit. He put effort into it and had some good points (a few bad and mean ones, too). The matter was worthy of discussion and this guy had stuff to say but others didn't.

curi at 10:00 PM on February 27, 2020 | #15660 | reply | quote

Want to discuss this? Join my forum.

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