I’ve exchanged 10 emails over the past two days with David Jilk, CEO of Xaffire. Our topic was Ayn Rand and objectivism, and it started from a detailed comment he left on my post.
At the end, he asked if I was going to update my post to note that I actually did believe in "objective reality" with restrictions. Unfortunately I’m not quite sure what I believe at the moment. It was a fun philosophical exchange that got me thinking in a new way (although admittedly once you start putting quotes around "is" I’m pretty lost!). I figured Dave would be knowledable, but I would have appreciated a heads up beforehand from my friends in Colorado that I was dealing with an extremely well written guy who would start quoting thinkers buried deep in the esoteric domain of philosophy!!
One thing that’s still rattling around in my head is the notion of selflessness – a very bizarre concept if you consider it in terms of our genetic mandate.
Every couple weeks I’ll have a big back and forth via email with someone based on a blog post and it almost always happens in private email. I buy into a lot of the hype around blogs, but I’ve never understood the supposed "conversation" that happens. In my view, trackbacks and comments are a clumsy way to faciliate an e-conversation. Blogs start conversations, but they’re not good enough yet to sustain them. Email is still better. And that’s a shame – because when more voices are heard, we all benefit.
2 comments on “Objectivism Continued: Dave Jilk Weighs In”
Oops – sorry – I forgot to warn you.
Of course the bulletin board system is the way that public conversations have taken place in the past on the Internet, but there are more fundamental problems with public conversations: (1) they are public, so you have to be more careful what you say – not only for legal and reputational reasons, but also because if you don’t write and think through everything carefully then someone will take you to task for it. All this makes a public conversation much more time consuming; (2) Because there are multiple people involved, the most important points, which are usually the most difficult to address, are ignored by the other posters and so you have a “debate” where everyone is essentially talking past each other.
I can envision a software application that might help with #2, but I don’t know how you address #1.