We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Have a room with a large number of people with one political opinion, and they may mistake that for objectivity

– Perry Metzger, remarked in a samizdata chat channel relating to this post.

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7 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Bulldog Drumond

    The technical term is a “circle jerk”, the eventual default formation into which every professional organization eventually arranges itself

  • Paul Marks

    Agreed – the “mainstream media” and “academia” may really think they are objective, because they share the same basic opinions.

    They treat opposition to their opinions as a form of mental illness – as being “paranoid”, or having an “authoritarian personality”.

  • A group of people in a room with the same political opinion has no concern about objectivity; it is typically unimportant to them. There is a psychological feeling that builds up that emphasizes the political opinion. I don’t know what to call it, ‘induced enthusiasm’ perhaps, but it is a possibly unreported phenomenon which is responsible for the political divisions we see.

  • Jacob

    For people to not be able to learn and understand the opposite opinion they need to be dumb.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Don’t tell this to Objectivists! They’ll be shattered by it.

  • Thailover

    Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray,
    Nope, we Objectivists are too busy arguing with each other to really think that OTHER Objectivists are actually being Objective. Rand had many personal flaws. Among them, IMO, is the presumption that the general public and even her devotees are “smart enough” to get her philosophy in toto. I’ve met very, very few people who didn’t get her philosophy entirely wrong, if they’re even aware of it at all. But then again, Objectivists are very, very few people, so…

  • Thailover

    By the way, a great way of telling if someone’s position is, at least presumably objective, is to offer a dissenting view. If they respond as if you’ve attacked them personally, you know that they’ve emotionally invested themselves in their chosen position. One of my long time personal rules of thumb is to never marry your position. You should be able to discuss the matter as if it has nothing to do with you. Another rule of thumb is to never “believe” anything. Knowing beyond a reasonable doubt is best. Speculation is fine, call it that. Assumptions are fine, call it that. Guesses are fine, call them that. But to believe is to personally subscribe to a position. It’s to interject yourself personally into the problem you’re considering. Since truth has nothing to do with belief, then belief merely gets in the way.