Monday, November 20, 2006

Omega-Chloride-Redford on my "Plagiarism"

Over on the Mises blog, my post Don't worry--you don't exist: Or, why long-range planning is really impossible drew some comments from one James Redford. Now years ago he had written some good things about my theory of rights on some boards or groups. So we had some exchanges. I confess I had forgotten most of this.

In any event. On the Mises blog post he wrote in a comment that he was glad "that some of my teachings have had an effect on you." I had no idea what he was jabbering about but had a vague recollection that he was some kind of loon or nut. He was insinuating, I thought, that I was using in my arguments something he taught me... and vaguely implying I should have given him credit. I thought this ridiculous and said so; he escalated with attempts at "proving" how I had plagiarized him and was a liar.

So I have refreshed my memory. First, as to who this dude is. I remember now: he has gone in the past, on various boards, as Count Lithium von Chloride, Tetrachordine Omega, and Tetrahedron Omega. He has written before about his various experiences with drugs, and how this has given him insight into the universe, and the "omega point," some nonsense like this. See, e.g., my discussion of this stuff in this post and in this anti-state thread, where he talks about his "god-trips". In his article Jesus is an Anarchist, he signs off thus:
Born in Austin, Texas and raised in the Leander, Texas hill country, the native-born Augustinian James Redford is a young born again Christian who was converted from atheism by a direct revelation from Jesus Christ. He is a scientific rationalist who considers that the Omega Point (i.e., the physicists' technical term for God) is an unavoidable result of the known laws of physics. His personal website can be found here: http://geocities.com/vonchloride
Uh, yeah--the Omega Point... direct revelation of Christ via drugs which incude various so-called Levels of so-called God-Trips. Like, wow, man. I think he actually believes this stuff. Another funny comment: in our email conversation in 2000, I jokingly used the term "jelly head" to refer to stoners or those who do drugs, after he started going on about all the revelations he'd gotten from doing drugs. He didn't know the term "jelly-head," so I explained:
Jelly head--slang for junkie, drug head, stoner. I guess the term implies that you do so many terms it turns the brain to sludge, jelly.
His humble reply? "Well, my brain is still quite intact and functioning on an I.Q. level higher than almost all people." Uhhh, HOkay.

And in His website shows he's a 9/11 conspiracy nut, too. And let's not forget his various handles: Count Lithium von Chloride, Tetrachordine Omega, and Tetrahedron Omega. He reminds me a bit of Per Malloch, another smart young libertarian who also liked my estoppel theory and Hoppe's argumentation ethics, and who also liked drugs, unfortunately a bit too much--he OD'd in college a few years ago. I wonder how long Redford will be with us. Oh well, at least he's a "Christian," so if he OD's he'll just ascend to the Jesus Omega Point, I guess, where drugs will be free and plentiful.

Anyway, he wrote in the recent Mises thread:
I'm glad that some of my teachings have had an effect on you. Ergo, your somewhat recent statement of "an ought from an ought." (Your September 8, 2006 11:19 AM reply under "How We Come to Own Ourselves.")
He was referring to my comment there to someone: "I agree you cannot get an ought from an is. I am not. I am getting an ought from an ought."

Redford is implying I got this from him. Why? Here is something he wrote me long ago (which I had of course forgotten). During one of those conversations he agreed with my Humean point that you can't derive an an ought from an is; and he said he liked my own theory because in it I derive an ought from an ought. He wrote (back in February of 2000):
One remarkable thing about your rights argument is that it seems to totally by-pass the is/ought dichotomy. Rather than simply derive an "ought" from an "is" (which alone is impossible), it derives an "ought" from an "ought": an "ought" which any objector to libertarian punishment necessarily already holds.
Note that he here was simply agreeing with what my own theory did: that it derived an ought from an ought. Therefore avoiding the ought from an is problem, which I was of course already aware of. (It permeates my arguments; and see also p. 1432 of my 1994 review essay on one of Hoppe's books (discussing how Hoppe's argumentation ethics overcomes the Humean is-ought dichotomy; and p. 136 (text at n. 13) of Hoppe's 1989 book TSC, which I had of course devoured by the time I wrote my estoppel theory: "In fact, one can readily subscribe to the almost generally accepted view that the gulf between “ought” and “is” is logically unbridgeable. .... On the problem of the deriveability of “ought” from “is” statements cf. W. D. Hudson (ed.), The Is-Ought Question, London, 1969; for the view that the fact-value dichotomy is an ill-conceived idea cf. the natural rights literature cited in note 4 above.")

Now. I have used "ought from an ought" on occasion, at least in the last couple of years, as I have explained and defended my views on rights, and the problem with the is-ought dichotomy. Did I get the phrase from Redmond? I have no idea. I suppose it is possible that a phrase he used to describe my own theory stuck in my head and bubbled to the surface years later. If so, I woudl have no problem "admitting" it, as he charges; why not? After all, it's just a natural way to describe what my own theory does, as he admitted way back in 2000. And although he seems proud that if you google the phrase "ought from an ought" in usenet groups his is the first one mentioned, as if he had some great achievement (in just finding a way to describe why my own "remarkable" rights argument!), as I showed him, if you google the phrase on the web, several uses of it show up, e.g. one in 1973. (Redford's emphasis on the fact that he has the first use of the phrase on usenet, and that there are only 13 or so in a web-wide google search, is also odd: there are no doubt various ways to word the idea that you can only get an ought from an ought, other than the literal phrase "ought from an ought", which his and my google search espicked out, so the basic insight or idea or way of putting it is probably out there many more times than that simple one search would show. Not to mention that there are tons of publications not yet searchable.)

Regarding my citing of the 1973 use of the phrase, of course I did not list that to imply that I got the phrase from that source rather than from Redford; but to show that it's probably a natural way for people to describe this, that many people can either independently come to, or that is floating around out there and occasionally used. I think it's likely I either read this phraseology in various places, or maybe independently came up with it myself. I mean if you say that an ought can't come from an is, so you have to start with a presupposed ought (as Hoppe and I both argue, in a sense; even Rand, as I noted before, with her hypothetical ethics), it's, um, natural to say that you can't get an ought from an is, but only from an ought. Redford's attempt grab fame for such an obvious insight is frankly bizarre. If the thought of using that simple phrase to describe my very own rights theory was put in my head by Redford's email to me back in 2000, whoop de doo. Fine. Who cares?

So, he lists part of our email conversation from 2000 (he, um, saved it, you see), to prove I'm a plagiarist and liar. Okay, so let's recap. I think his "ought from an ought" phrase is a kind of obvious way of stating one good thing about my own rights theory. That, er, I came up with. I think it's good Omega, er Redford, came up with it. I think many people have. I may have too; or may have remembered it from Redford's email to me, um, 6 years ago, or maybe from seeing others' writings on related subjects. I'm even grateful Redford was friendly to my rights theory, but I think it's frankly bizarre of him to keep score of such minute things and to try to take credit for such a thing, or to accuse me of plagiarism, or lying. On the other hand, I guess there are worse things than being insulted by a self-admitted drug-using conspiracy-theorizing born-again Chloride-Omega Christian with Direct Revelation to God.

***

Our exchange since then:

REDFORD:

Stephan Kinsella, you wrote:

""
I think it's likely I either read this phraseology in various places, or maybe independently came up with it myself.
""

It is certain that you read the phrase in various places: namely, in my emails to you (which you initiated from having read my public postings) and in my public writings. Nor did you independently come up with it yourself. You got the phrase from me.

In order for you to credibly say that you independently came up with the phrase yourself would have to mean that you never heard the phrase from me before you first used it. Yet we know that is not the case: you heard the phrase from me multiple times well before you ever used it. Hence, you saying the above is more of your disingenuousness.

Repeatedly you have been mendacious in this thread in a myriad of ways, e.g., with your ad hominem attacks upon me (of which is a logical fallacy, and which began even when I was going out of my way to be polite to you and give you the benefit of the doubt that your memory was merely faulty on this matter), with your changing the subject to irrelevant matters (i.e., the logical fallacy known as a red herring, or ignoratio elenchi), with you misconstruing the nature of our contacts and acting as if you never took notice of my public writings, with your acting as if you didn't find my considerations of value (when you are the one who initiated contact with me and asked me for my considerations on a number of issues), with your acting as if the use of fanciful handles on the internet is not a very common practice and thereby implying that I am crazy (i.e., another form of ad hominem attack, as well as a non sequitur even on its own terms), etc., ad nauseam.

That is not the behavior of someone who feels himself to be in the right, but rather the actions of someone who is attempting to shut down honest discussion and figuratively sweep the issue under the rug. Particularly deceitful on your part was your misconstruing the nature of our contacts and acting as if you never took notice of my public writings.

But to answer you on some of your latest irrelevant ad hominem, red herring, and non sequitur charges:

- I didn't save our email exchanges: Yahoo! saved them. I merely looked them up quite easily with the search function within Yahoo! Email. This is a red herring and also an ad hominem attack, as you're attempting to imply with this that I must be crazy to have saved these emails. Of which is not only a mistatement of fact (since I didn't take any measures to save the emails), but also a statement that is a non sequitur (since it doesn't follow that because I am able to produce some of our email exhanges that it means that I took measures to save these emails, as Yahoo! does that automatically). This is more of your disingenuous argumentation tactics.

Although I can see why you would be displeased that I can produce these emails, since they prove that you were being mendacious by misconstruing the nature of our contacts and acting as if you never took notice of my public writings, and with your acting as if you didn't find my considerations of value (when you are the one who initiated contact with me and asked me for my considerations on a number of issues, as demonstrated by the emails).

- Concerning my entheogenic experiences and my direct revelation from Jesus Christ, by bringing this up here you again are implying that I am crazy, of which is a red herring, ad hominem attack, and a non sequitur; hence further implying that what I have to say is not true, of which is a non sequitur.

It is you who has made numerous mistatements of facts within this thread, and have stated that some of this is possibly due to your faulty memory on this issue. Thus, if any one of us has evidenced any form of dementia here, it is you. It is you who has been non-veridical within this thread on numerous occasions, not me.

On the matter of entheogens--not that it has any relevance to this issue, but in an effort to educate you--the following is a very short list of famous, publicaly known psychedelic psychonauts (since your mentality is so peppered with notions and concerns of loserhood): Bill Gates, Cary Grant, Richard Feynman, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Steve Jobs. And that's just a very short list of famous people who are known about publicly; one could only wonder about the number of famous people who have chosen to keep their use of entheogens private.

Concerning the matter of the authentic spiritual experence and insights gained via the archetype entheogens, see the follow-up to Walter Pahnke's "Good Friday Experiment": "A Long-Term Follow-Up and Methodological Critique," Rick Doblin, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Vol. 23, No.1, 1991 ( http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/doblin.htm ). See also the recent John Hopkins University experiment, which separately confirmed the findings of the "Good Friday Experiment": "Magic Mushroom Study - 2006," http://www.yoism.org/?q=node/219 .

- Regarding my "conspiracy-theorizing," by bringing this up here you again are implying that I am crazy, of which is a red herring, ad hominem attack, and a non sequitur; hence further implying that what I have to say is not true, of which is a non sequitur.

So far as conspiracies go, they are ubiquitous. Everyone is in agreement that the 9/11 attacks were the result of a conspiracy. But those who are genuinely knowledgeable and care about the truth reject fallacious conspiracy theories, such as the U.S. government's lying, self-serving, anti-historical, anti-factual, and provably false official fairy tale conspiracy theory concerning the 9/11 attacks.

More than four times the amount of non-combatants have been systematically murdered for purely ideological reasons by their own governments within the past century than were killed in that same time-span from wars. From 1900 to 1923, various Turkish regimes killed from 3,500,000 to over 4,300,000 of its own Armenians, Greeks, Nestorians, and other Christians. Communist governments have murdered over 110 million of their own subjects since 1917. And Germany murdered some 16 million of it own subjects in the past century. (The preceding figures are from Prof. Rudolph Joseph Rummel's website at http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/ .)

All totaled, neither the private-sector crime which government is largely responsible for promoting and causing or even the wars committed by governments upon the subjects of other governments come anywhere close to the crimes government is directly responsible for committing against its own citizens--certainly not in amount of numbers. Without a doubt, the most dangerous presence to ever exist throughout history has always been the people's very own government.

Needless to say, all of these government mass-slaughters were conspiracies--massive conspiracies, at that.

As well, the term "conspiracy theorist" as you are here using it is simply nothing more than a logically self-contradictory ad hominem attack.

The reason the charge of "conspiracy theorist" is logically self-contradictory is because everyone with an I.Q. high enough to tie their shoes is a believer in conspiracies. Governments are the biggest promulgators of belief in conspiracies--witness all the laws against "conspiracy" and all the criminal charges of "conspiracy" brought against people. The offical U.S. government story regarding such events as, e.g., the Pearl Harbor attack, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and the 9/11 attacks, etc., are charges by the U.S. government of conspiracy having been conducted against it by other governments or by non-government terrorist groups.

Thus, those making the charge of "conspiracy theorist" are also believers and/or promulgators of notions regarding conspiracies--often far more so than the person being accused as being a "conspiracy theorist."

A conspiracy is simply when two or more people formulate a plan which involves doing something untoward to another person or other people (of which plan may or may not be kept secret, i.e., secrecy is not a necessary component for actions to be a conspiracy).

It certainly says something regarding the intellectual blinders one making the charge of "conspiracy theorist" is wearing that they don't even stop to realize the logically self-contradictory nature of this charge, as going by the literal meaning of the two words in the phrase "conspiracy theorist." For the one making this charge is himself a believer in conspiracies.

And so it is here where we come to the real meaning of the term "conspiracy theorist" as it is used by those making the charge. What they mean by this charge is that the accused believes in and/or promotes ideas regarding conspiracies which have not been offically sanctioned by the accuser's government--whereas the accuser making this charge believes in and/or promotes ideas regarding conspiracies which his government has deemed appropriate for the public to believe in. The difference between the two is that the accuser believes in and/or promotes ideas regarding conspiracies which are statist in their implications, in that they merely reiterate the offical government line--whereas the accused believes in and/or promotes ideas regarding conspiracies which are anti-statist in their implications, in that they go against what the accuser's government would have the public believe. (And being a libertarian or anarchist doesn't change that fact, since it's quite possible to desire no state to exist while still believing in the conspiracies that the government promotes.)

Also, the term "theory" as it is used in this logically self-contradictory ad hominem attack is misapplied and inappropriate. The term "theory" suggests a principle or law of operation. Thus you have the General Theory of Relativity and the Theory of Evolution. Yet almost always the logically self-contradictory ad hominem charge of "conspiracy theorist" is against those who are making specific claims regarding historical events. To illustrate this point, if someone says that it rained over the Bahamas on September 2, 2004 are they then a "theorist" for saying so?

As Prof. Murray N. Rothbard wrote:

""
It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any "conspiracy theory of history"; for a search for "conspiracies" means a search for motives and an attribution of responsibility for historical misdeeds. If, however, any tyranny imposed by the State, or venality, or aggressive war, was caused not by the State rulers but by mysterious and arcane "social forces," or by the imperfect state of the world or, if in some way, everyone was responsible ('We Are All Murderers," proclaims one slogan), then there is no point to the people becoming indignant or rising up against such misdeeds. Furthermore, an attack on "conspiracy theories" means that the subjects will become more gullible in believing the "general welfare" reasons that are always put forth by the State for engaging in any of its despotic actions. A "conspiracy theory" can unsettle the system by causing the public to doubt the State's ideological propaganda.
""

(From the article "The Anatomy of the State" by Prof. Murray N. Rothbard, Rampart Journal of Individualist Thought, Summer 1965, pp. 1-24. Reprinted in a collection of some of Rothbard's articles, Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays (Washington, D.C.: Libertarian Review Press, 1974): http://www.mises.org/easaran/chap3.asp .)

*****

The above are some rebuttals to some of your latest ad hominem, red herring, and non sequitur charges against me, Stephan Kinsella, i.e., your disingenuous argumentation tactics. Being a lawyer, I would have thought you might have known about such logically fallacious arguments. Yet you copiously spew them out and and wallow in them as if you find them to be one of the greatest things ever devised. Or are these yet more failures of your memory?

But as I said previously, it's not that I cared that you used this phrase and its concept without crediting me (as you most certainly did get it from me). Indeed, I was glad that you did use it and hence I said so! What incited me was that you acted as if I had a second head growing out my neck when I simply made an innocent and friendly comment to you on the matter (in which you even managed to misconstrue what I was referring to with an irrelevant red herring). I then went out of my way to give you the benefit of the doubt, that this was due to some form of mental laspe on your part, while at the same time refreshing your memory as to when and where exactly you got the phrase and its concept from me. You then replied with personal insults upon me (i.e., ad hominem attacks), and with more irrelevant red herrings.

None of your behavior in this matter has been that of an honest person who simply made an honest mistake. You even went out of your way to misconstrue the nature of our contacts and imply that it was crazy to think that my public writings have caught your attention. Your responses in this thead have been a sustained exercise in ignominious and underhanded insults and fallacious debating tactics.

Even though you've treated me like crud just to avoid having to admit that I imparted something of value to you (i.e., to save your ego from having to admit that you obtained something intellectually valuable from a "loser" like me), being that I am a true Christian, I still love you. But I also call a spade a spade.

Posted by: James Redford at November 18, 2006 6:01 PM

***

KINSELLA:

A few final comments to this ridiculous thread.

Redford's original comment may have been friendly, as he now claims, although I did not construe it that way. He wrote, "By the way, Stephan Kinsella, I'm glad that some of my teachings have had an effect on you. Ergo, your somewhat recent statement of "an ought from an ought.""

Calling me by my full name; insinuating that I learned from his "teachings" (which he now admits is at most just a way of *wording* one positive aspect of *my own rights theory*). If I had thought he was just being friendly, I would have replied something like,

Redford, I don't remember what you are talking about, but if you are insinuating that you came up with the wording "ought from an ought" as a way to explicate my own rights theory, I don't remember getting it from you. If I did, er, thanks, I guess, although I suspect this is not unique to you.

The problem is Redford called me a liar, which is false and insulting; and a plagiarizer, which is also false, and bizarre to boot in this context. He also implies I would not want to "admit" I got anything from him. But why? I would of course freely acknowledge anything like this.

And I of course do not "resent" him dredging up his old emails; it proves nothing whatsoever that bothers me. All his email shows is that he used "ought from an ought" to describe what my own estoppel theory does. It does not establish that I am lying when I deny being certain that I "got the phrase from him." I honestly do not remember, even in reading this email. Redford insists that I must be lying now if I don't admit I got the phrase that I have recently used, from his original email.

First, I might have already been using it before Redford used it in an email with me. Why does he assume he gave this expression to me? After all I have shown that others at least occasionally use this phrase--one back in 1973. Second, even if his usage was the first time I'd heard it, it's possible I forgot and then either heard it again years later and thus used it, or just came up with it again myself. It is also possible that I forgot about Redford's phrase and it stuck in my mind, and I used it again later without explicitly remembering its origin in some email back in 2000 with Redford.

But all this is obvious to anyone sane and normal. I guess it's not to "psychadelic psychonauts." As for the relevance of Redford's being crazy, I leave it to the readers to judge. It is at the very least interesting.

Posted by: Stephan Kinsella at November 20, 2006 10:09 AM


REDFORD:

Mr. Kinsella, it's spelled "psychedelic," which is how I spelled it--not "psychadelic." Not that I'm much of a spelling Nazi, but you put your mispelling in quotes of me.

Nor was I aware that using your middle and last name in sequential order is a problem with you--all the more so since that is how you sign off on your posts here.

And the fact that you are even going on about notions of sanity here further demonstrates your underhanded debating tactics. That is called an ad hominem attack, which is a logical fallacy. Even if it were quite true it would still be quite irrelevant, since if I had made a factual error here then you would simply tell people how I am factually wrong. Yet I have made no error: it is you who has repeatedly misconstrued and mistated the facts in this thread. Such as with your misconstruing the nature of our contacts and implying that it is crazy to think that my public writings have caught your attention, to name one among many such examples. As I preciously said, your responses in this thead have been a sustained exercise in mendacity, as well as ignominious and underhanded insults and fallacious debating tactics.

Your behavior in this thread has not been that of someone who simply made an honest mistake. If that were the case then there would be no reason for you continously misconstruing the facts on the matter, such as with the nature of our contacts. And if it were the case that you are being an honest person on this issue then you wouldn't have such an impossible time coming to terms with the fact that you got the phrase and its concept from me even after I refreshed your memory as to exactly when and where you got it from me. An honest person, if their memory had actually failed them to that extent, would have reviewed the facts in the case and said something to the effect of "You know what, upon reviewing our contacts and the dates on this, it quite probably is the case that I got it from you. Thanks."

There also is a thing called "intellectual dishonesty." It's not the same as outright, deliberately lying. Rather, it's when a person deliberately avoids certain lines of thought or lines of investigation for fear of what it might reveal. But it's the worst lie of all, because it's lying to oneself. Perhaps that is your problem.

Nor do I think this phrase and its concept is such a small matter. Mises never expressed the concept of deriving "an ought from an ought" (whether in those exact words or something equivalent), neither did Rand, Rothbard, or Hoppe. Had Mises known that such a concept was possible then possibly he would not have been a utilitarian (since he avoided objective ethics due to his concerns on the is-ought dichotomy). Hoppe developed his argumentation ethics, but he never expressed it in those terms or equivalent terms. Nor did you, until well after our contacts where I used the phrase in my emails to you and also in my public writings.

Often the most profound of concepts are also the most "simple." Yes, "an ought from an ought" is quite simple and so obvious--yet it is not at all obvious for most, as evidenced by the fact that it doesn't show up in the writings of some of our greatest thinkers in this movement (and indeed is virtually unknown anywhere). It only becomes "obvious" after the concept has been put out there and adequately explained and understood. Rothbard's arguments for liberty are so simple and obvious. I find Austrian economics to be rather simple and obvious. Now. Now it's so simple and so obvious. The great political, economic, moral, and spiritual truths are so simple and so obvious only after they have been put out, adequately explained, and understood.

Nor did you get the phrase from any source other than me. Back in February 23, 2000, most of those Google hits (via the World Wide Web search) for the phrase would not even have existed; probably none of them would have existed. Nor does 13 Google hits (via the World Wide Web, of which one of those pages was by you when you first used the phrase, so 12 Google hits to be more exact) demonstrate that there are "Tons of references" for the phrase (as you formerly said above). Nor did you get the phrase from one of the rare and obscure journal articles that contains it, of which you haven't even bothered to state which one of them you have read which possibly contained the phrase.

Yet we do know with certainty that you got the phrase from me circa early 2000, as well as other times later from me. So why is it that you have such an impossible time admitting that you quite probably got the phrase and its concept from me? That is, assuming your memory actually failed you, then based upon the evidence on this matter an honest person would at least admit as much once it had been brought to his attention in order to refresh his memory. An honest person would at least admit that, based upon the evidence, I am likely correct. Yet even acknowledging that much seems to be an impossibility for you, lest your ego has to take the blow that you obtained something of intellectual value from a "loser" like me.

And I will here restate again that it's not that I cared that you used this phrase and its concept without crediting me (as you most certainly did get it from me). Indeed, I was glad that you did use it and hence I said so! What incited me was that you acted as if I had a second head growing out my neck when I simply made an innocent and friendly comment to you on the matter (in which you even managed to misconstrue what I was referring to with an irrelevant red herring). I then went out of my way to give you the benefit of the doubt, that this was due to some form of mental laspe on your part, while at the same time refreshing your memory as to when and where exactly you got the phrase and its concept from me. You then replied with personal insults upon me (i.e., ad hominem attacks), and with more irrelevant red herrings.

As I also said before, even though you've treated me like crud with your continuous insults and underhanded debating tactics, being that I am a true Christian, I still love you, Mr. Kinsella. But I will rebuke your present opprobrious behavior, even though I still value you as a child of God, and hence as family.

Posted by: James Redford at November 20, 2006 3:04 PM


KINSELLA:

Redford:

Nor was I aware that using your middle and last name in sequential order is a problem with you--all the more so since that is how you sign off on your posts here.

If you are not aware how odd and idiosyncratic it is to refer to someone as "Stephan Kinsella" then you must be on drugs. Ahem.

And the fact that you are even going on about notions of sanity here further demonstrates your underhanded debating tactics.

It's not underhanded. You vilely and wrongly referred to me as a liar. It's natural for me to explain to any remaining lurkers what a loon you are. You do not seem stupid, so I assume you are the nutjob equivalent of a functioning alcoholic.

That is called an ad hominem attack, which is a logical fallacy.

Whatever. It helps explain to lurkers why you would engage in such a bizarre, extended harangue over such a petty issue.

Even if it were quite true it would still be quite irrelevant, since if I had made a factual error here then you would simply tell people how I am factually wrong. Yet I have made no error: it is you who has repeatedly misconstrued and mistated the facts in this thread.

Your factual error is in assuming that it is established that I got that phrase from you--just b/c you used it in an email to me does not mean I got it from you, as I noted. I could have already had it, or forgot it and re-learned it from another or independently came up with it myself. These are all possible. Your factual error is in calling me a liar, and a plagiarizer.

Such as with your misconstruing the nature of our contacts and implying that it is crazy to think that my public writings have caught your attention,

Not at all; I have never denied that I noticed your promoting my estoppel theory and email you about it and discussed some aspects of it and other things, like your drug use and bizarre religious views, a while back. So what?

...underhanded insults

Hey, you admit your wacko-ness in public, so don't blame me for pointing it out. I only mentioned things on websites. You, as a matter of fact, first replied publicly, here, with a quote from a private email I sent you. Very inappropriate.

Your behavior in this thread has not been that of someone who simply made an honest mistake.

I didn't make a single mistake at all, except perhaps in not realizing that your bizarrely worded and toned intitial comment here was friendly instead of hostile. My interpretation of your initial comment was not unreasonable; it reads like a snide accusation of me, as if you caught me at something. No one accuses my integrity, Redmond. You have no grounds for that. I am scrupulous at intellectual honesty, crediting sources, etc. I have articles where I have cited people who have insulted me and reviled me; intellectual honesty compels me to. I would never not acknowledge something like this. The entire idea is just ridiculous.

But had I realized you were just being friendly, my response would be basically the same, in substance.

If that were the case then there would be no reason for you continously misconstruing the facts on the matter, such as with the nature of our contacts.

I've not misconstrued that at all. I never even commented on it. I believe your summary of our contacts was basically right. When did I ever say otherwise?

And if it were the case that you are being an honest person on this issue then you wouldn't have such an impossible time coming to terms with the fact that you got the phrase and its concept from me even after I refreshed your memory as to exactly when and where you got it from me. An honest person, if their memory had actually failed them to that extent, would have reviewed the facts in the case and said something to the effect of "You know what, upon reviewing our contacts and the dates on this, it quite probably is the case that I got it from you. Thanks."

But I did review this and then I admitted:

I have used "ought from an ought" on occasion, at least in the last couple of years, as I have explained and defended my views on rights, and the problem with the is-ought dichotomy. Did I get the phrase from Redmond? I have no idea. I suppose it is possible that a phrase he used to describe my own theory stuck in my head and bubbled to the surface years later. If so, I woudl have no problem "admitting" it, as he charges...

I did say that I may have gotten it from you. I really don't remember. I may have already used such a wording before you emailed me in 2000. Why do you assume I didn't? I may have forgotten it and re-coined it, or read someone else use it. I really don't know. Why are you so certain that you do?

There also is a thing called "intellectual dishonesty." It's not the same as outright, deliberately lying. Rather, it's when a person deliberately avoids certain lines of thought or lines of investigation for fear of what it might reveal. But it's the worst lie of all, because it's lying to oneself. Perhaps that is your problem.

Maybe if I just snorted some weed I would be a self-honest jellyhead.

Nor do I think this phrase and its concept is such a small matter. Mises never expressed the concept of deriving "an ought from an ought" (whether in those exact words or something equivalent), neither did Rand, Rothbard, or Hoppe.

It is implicit in me, Rand, and Hoppe; and arguably Rothbard. You should write something on this if you think you have something to add.

Hoppe developed his argumentation ethics, but he never expressed it in those terms or equivalent terms.

Maybe. Dunno. He was of course aware of the is-ought problem and how his argument sidestepped that.

Nor did you, until well after our contacts where I used the phrase in my emails to you and also in my public writings.

How do you know this? I have not yet used that phrase in any public writings, that I recall, but have used it in emails and discussion lists and internet boards etc., from time to time, and have no idea when I started doing this--before or after you wrote me.

Often the most profound of concepts are also the most "simple." Yes, "an ought from an ought" is quite simple and so obvious--yet it is not at all obvious for most, as evidenced by the fact that it doesn't show up in the writings of some of our greatest thinkers in this movement (and indeed is virtually unknown anywhere).

Well, but most of them are not transcendentalists. Those who are are using this basic idea. Even Rand and her followers have pointed out that her entire ethics is hypothetical.

Nor did you get the phrase from any source other than me. Back in February 23, 2000, most of those Google hits (via the World Wide Web search) for the phrase would not even have existed; probably none of them would have existed. Nor does 13 Google hits (via the World Wide Web, of which one of those pages was by you when you first used the phrase, so 12 Google hits to be more exact) demonstrate that there are "Tons of references" for the phrase (as you formerly said above). Nor did you get the phrase from one of the rare and obscure journal articles that contains it, of which you haven't even bothered to state which one of them you have read which possibly contained the phrase.

Redford--how do you know? Did your LSD trips give you some omniscient, infallible insight into the list of phrases "out there"?

Yet we do know with certainty that you got the phrase from me circa early 2000, as well as other times later from me.

How do you konw this? How do you know I had not alreayd used it that way myself?

So why is it that you have such an impossible time admitting that you quite probably got the phrase and its concept from me?

Oh, I do think it is likely, now that you refreshed my memory on our correspondence. If so, it's quite useful. Thanks. Let's say, there's a 65% chance. That's my best guess and final offer. Do we have a deal?

That is, assuming your memory actually failed you,

and I'm not a LIAR, right? Wow, such charity. Only a drug-addled loon would think that I would have any motive to lie about this. I never even claimed I have come up originally with most of my own stuff; just presented and synthesized it. As you can see from my writings I am generous to a fault with citing sources and giving credit wherever possible. It would never even occur to me to deny this. What, do you think I want all the "glory" or "credit" to myself? There is none of note. And what there is, is for the substance of my views, not for a subtle way of expressing an aspect of it that you helped me come up with. Do you think I'm in line for the Nobel Peace Prize and want to keep all the award for myself? Your entire suspicion here is utterly bizarre.

then based upon the evidence on this matter an honest person would at least admit as much once it had been brought to his attention in order to refresh his memory. An honest person would at least admit that, based upon the evidence, I am likely correct.

I think it is probable; I even said early on, after you pointed out our original correspondence to me, that it was possible. What I was initially objecting to was your immediate attack on me and assumption that I was lying. for me to be lying, (a) it had to be 100% true that I got the phrase from you; and (b) that I remembered this.

I was showing that your lying charge was outrageous and unjustified by showing that neither (a) nor (b) is true. For that purpose it was not relevant for me to "admit" that it was "likely" or even "probable"--that is just irrelevant.

What happened, is that you and I corresponded long ago. I probably dimly remembered your oddities (drug use, personal revelation, freaky email handles) and thus associated you somewhat with the category "loose cannon/nutjob". So your bizarrely toned/worded initial comment here drew a curt response from me, in a private EMAIL to you:

It may be news to you that if I post something it does not mean I agree with it. Of course I don't agree w/ this article. It's utterly stupid. Duhhh. ... Thanks for figuring out the is-ought dichotomy for me. And Hume.

The first part was in response to what I took to be your implication that I was agreeing with the article I had posted. My response there is irrelevant to our current debate. The second part was quite reasonable and not "mendacious" since I had not remembered what you were talking about.

So far, you had NO grounds for accusing me of anything improper: even if you knew we had emailed me in the past, you had no reason to know that I was aware of this in what I wrote. So you had no charge to reply that

So I find it scandalous that you are here attempting to pretend that you didn't derive this phrase and the concept expressed by it from me. This is one of my babies that I'm quite proud of, and for you to here affect that you didn't get it from me is opprobrious.

I hope your words above are the result of some form of mental lapse. But I here ask you to never again act as if you didn't get this phrase and the concept expressed by it from me.

You are here already saying I was lying (pretending) and saying not only that it was probable that I got the phrase from you: you were asserting that I DID, as a matter of FACT, get the phrase from you; and that I KNEW it.

This was all--and still is--utterly false and a lie. Your response should have been (you know, how normal people--no offense--do things), something like: "Sorry for my abrupt, contextless interjection and presumptions. Maybe you don't remember, or maybe we have a different view of things, but if you recall, we discussed this 6 years ago--I can find the emails for you, if you like--where I introduced the expression "ought from an ought" to you--or at least, I thought I had introduced it to you, but you seem to have forgotten."

See, that would be an appropriate reply. But, in your monomaniacal obsession, in instantly leaped to accusing me of pretending, lying, plagiarizing, etc. Everything that happened after is solely a result of your wickedness in this respect.

Yet even acknowledging that much seems to be an impossibility for you, lest your ego has to take the blow that you obtained something of intellectual value from a "loser" like me.

But you are just wrong. You are simply factually mistaken. Your psychologizing is just preposterous.

And I will here restate again that it's not that I cared that you used this phrase and its concept without crediting me (as you most certainly did get it from me).

Ah. Back to "certainly". I thought we were on probably?

Posted by: Stephan Kinsella at November 20, 2006 3:55 PM

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am i nuts, or has not the "is from an ought" concept and question been debated over the Hoppe thesis since at least the 1980's?

How can the "ought from an ought" be original in 2000 when it has been all over libertarian literature since before this article:

http://www.hanshoppe.com/publications/liberty_symposium.pdf

which appeared in 1988?

- Paul Edwards

5:22 PM  
Blogger Stephan Kinsella said...

Good point, Edwards. But then, I take it you are stone cold sober as you write this? Then your opinions don't matter.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous James Redford said...

No offense to Paul Edwards, but he doesn't demonstrate that he's familiar with the coversation that took place at mises.org, of which has been deleted by (apparently) Mr. Stephan Kinsella--and done so after he admitted that I was in the right.

Now Mr. Kinsella gets to bash me here, while conveniently rewriting history by deleting our conversation on the mises.org blog and moving them over to here where they are less likely to be read and where he gets to introduce them--and having given his spin in his introduction, who is likely to read over them all? Hence, I can see how Paul Edwards would be in the dark on this matter--although the fact of the delations should have been a huge tip-off to him that something is not "kosher" here, and that Mr. Kinsella is playing with a figuratively stacked deck. But you know what?: it doesn't matter. Mr. Kinsella already admitted that he got the phrase and concept of "an ought from and ought" from me.

I didn't even bother to respond to Mr. Kinsella's last post on the mises.org blog, since in that post he conceded my claim on this matter. So I was satisfied that he acknowledged that he had gotten the phrase and concept of "an ought from an ought" from me, and I didn't think it would be that big of me to rub his concession in his face. Hence, at that point I was more than happy to let our posts on said blog tell the story to anyone who might read over them.

But assuming that Mr. Kinsella did delete said postings--and I assume that is indeed the case based upon Mr. Kinsella's note on that forum at November 17, 2006 4:38 PM* (of which was not the original posting contained at said date and time)--then obviously something about said posts remaining for people at the mises.org site to read (i.e., without his introductory spin) displeased Mr. Kinsella.

Odd that said postings for people to read and examine would displease him, especially since he got the last word in. But therein lies the rub, since in his last post to me on said blog-page he conceded my claim on this matter. But apprently after awhile, he realized that there was no need for me to respond, since I got the admittance out of him that I was looking for when our dispute started. And apparently upon said realization, Mr. Kinsella concluded that said postings could not be allowed to remain at mises.org, as they didn't contain the introductory spin he wanted to put on them.

I would call this additional behavior on Mr. Kinsella's part further demonstration of mendacity by him, but I had better refrain from doing that, as that seems to upset him for some reason--even though the label fits him so well.

And to answer your question, Paul Edwards, no, the phrase and the concept of "an ought from an ought" does not appear in http://www.hanshoppe.com/publications/liberty_symposium.pdf .

Concerning Mr. Kinsella's comment "Good point, Edwards. But then, I take it you are stone cold sober as you write this? Then your opinions don't matter.," this is, once again, a logically fallacious comment on Mr. Kinsella's part, as he is thereby falsely implying that I believe that sober people's opinions don't matter (all the more odd, since I am myself sober far more than not). Another weird attribute regarding the concept expressed in Mr. Kinsella's comment it is that almost all people have imbibed psychotropic drugs (e.g., ethanol), yet maintaining that because someone had an alcoholic drink a week ago that they are drunk in the here in now would be rather bizarre. Mr. Kinsella's comment's here are a logically fallacious argument known as an ad hominem attack.

But then, in our recent discussions, Mr. Kinsella has been strongly wedded to logically fallacious arguments. It's time for him to get a divorce.

Nor is my name "Redmond," Mr. Kinsella.

Below can be read the entirety of the discussion between Mr. Kinsella and myself which occured at http://blog.mises.org/archives/005851.asp , of which our latter discussions therein have apprently been deleted by Mr. Kinsella from the mises.org website (which included his last post, wherein he he conceded my claim on this matter):

http://www.geocities.com/vonchloride/blog_mises_org-archives-005851-asp.html

Note:

* "I posted a reply to Redford on Daily Apology; all subsequent comments that originally appeared here have been moved there as inappropriate to this forum. Any further comments should be made there, not here."--Posted by: Stephan Kinsella at November 17, 2006 4:38 (of which was not the original posting contained at said date and time)

7:15 PM  
Blogger Stephan Kinsella said...

REdford: hey, dude, I moved it b/c requested to by higher ups there who did not like our squabbling. You should be grateful I didn't delete your stuff. I moved it here, and it's linked from there. So lighten up on the dark, ominous charges.

Nothing was deleted: it's all here--see above, dude.

I admitted you were in the right? Are you mad? No, wait, that's a rhetorical question.

"Now Mr. Kinsella gets to bash me here, while conveniently rewriting history by deleting our conversation on the mises.org blog and moving them over to here where they are less likely to be read and where he gets to introduce them--and having given his spin in his introduction, who is likely to read over them all?"

What a whiner. It was going to be deleted at Mises. Not my choice. Instead of allowing that to happen, I at least moved them here first. You're welcome.

"Hence, I can see how Paul Edwards would be in the dark on this matter--although the fact of the delations should have been a huge tip-off to him that something is not "kosher" here, and that Mr. Kinsella is playing with a figuratively stacked deck."

Psycho: EVERYTHING we wrote before IS HERE. It's not deleted; just moved.

"But you know what?: it doesn't matter. Mr. Kinsella already admitted that he got the phrase and concept of "an ought from and ought" from me."

No, I didn't.

"I didn't even bother to respond to Mr. Kinsella's last post on the mises.org blog, since in that post he conceded my claim on this matter. So I was satisfied that he acknowledged that he had gotten the phrase and concept of "an ought from an ought" from me, and I didn't think it would be that big of me to rub his concession in his face."

but I never changed my tune. I'm not embarrassed by whatever the truth is. there is nothing to rub my face in.

"obviously something about said posts remaining for people at the mises.org site to read (i.e., without his introductory spin) displeased Mr. Kinsella."

Actually: it was going to be all deleted, period. I was informed of this as a courtesy. So I saved the stuff first.

"Odd that said postings for people to read and examine would displease him, especially since he got the last word in. But therein lies the rub, since in his last post to me on said blog-page he conceded my claim on this matter. But apprently after awhile, he realized that there was no need for me to respond, since I got the admittance out of him that I was looking for when our dispute started. And apparently upon said realization, Mr. Kinsella concluded that said postings could not be allowed to remain at mises.org, as they didn't contain the introductory spin he wanted to put on them."

No; I see your nutty ramblings lead you to all manner of nutty leaps and conspiracy theories. It's simpler than that. Our sniping was viewed as inappropriate there (and in retrospect I disagree) so I was requested to delete it; so I moved it here first to preserve it. Wooo, yeah, I'm trying to hide it. PSYCHO.

"I would call this additional behavior on Mr. Kinsella's part further demonstration of mendacity by him, but I had better refrain from doing that, as that seems to upset him for some reason--even though the label fits him so well."

Uh, yeah. (Psycho alert!)

"Concerning Mr. Kinsella's comment "Good point, Edwards. But then, I take it you are stone cold sober as you write this? Then your opinions don't matter.," this is, once again, a logically fallacious comment on Mr. Kinsella's part, as he is thereby falsely implying that I believe that sober people's opinions don't matter (all the more odd, since I am myself sober far more than not). Another weird attribute regarding the concept expressed in Mr. Kinsella's comment it is that almost all people have imbibed psychotropic drugs (e.g., ethanol), yet maintaining that because someone had an alcoholic drink a week ago that they are drunk in the here in now would be rather bizarre. Mr. Kinsella's comment's here are a logically fallacious argument known as an ad hominem attack."

Lighten up, Mr. Serious. First, making fun of your bizarre habits is not purely ad hominem (and believe me, I could have focused on others, of a trans-different nature). Second, I was not criticizing your habit of drug use, but rather your bizarre notion that drug use is a means to achieving higher truths. So I was joking around that Edwards can't be right here as he is sober. See?

"Nor is my name "Redmond," Mr. Kinsella."

Sorry. My mistake.

"Below can be read the entirety of the discussion between Mr. Kinsella and myself which occured at http://blog.mises.org/archives/005851.asp , of which our latter discussions therein have apprently been deleted by Mr. Kinsella from the mises.org website (which included his last post, wherein he he conceded my claim on this matter):

http://www.geocities.com/vonchloride/blog_mises_org-archives-005851-asp.html"

Good! But are you implying that part of this is not present above? Did I miss something?

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redford is a bore; a pedant with nothing interesting to say, and someone very eager to involve people in such discussions.

-John W.

5:07 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

I have had so much FUN reading this whole discussion. But I appologize for losing one hour of my life doin' it. That's the whole point of this blog, isn't it? Appologize.

Best Regards.

5:49 AM  

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