[From Mike Acree (980217.1540 PST)]

Mary Powers (980214/16)

A poignant note.

Reading the whole thing at once was a depressing experience.


everyone was complaining about something or somebody.

I share your dismay (I almost resisted saying, "I feel your pain"), and
we are obviously not alone. And you can see the delicacy of either of
us complaining about the situation without making another complaint.

I was trying in a previous post (980126.1115) to acknowledge the
difficulties I saw on both "sides." The history you recount is just the
sort of thing I had in mind when I spoke about watching your baby being
mangled. (Locke is an interesting case; I've never met him, but I've
had the impression of him for the last 30 years as one of the most
rigidly doctrinaire of Ayn Rand's followers. His behavior toward you
and PCT sounds perfectly typical.) On the other hand, I continue to see
what looks like unrealistic expectations about the speed of conversion
to PCT. In my first conversation with Bill, on the phone, he agreed
with my guess that it would take a couple of years to assimilate such a
radical theory. It will actually take much longer, in my case, just
because I have not been working actively all the time at thrashing out
(I think the word I want is "threshing," but "thrashing" fits better in
some ways) all the implications. I haven't seen anything which leads me
to question PCT, but I also haven't followed the technical details of
all the exchanges on the Net. But it looks to me as though some of the
principal "antagonists" on the Net--I'm thinking specifically of Bruce
Abbott, Martin Taylor, possibly Tim Perper, whom we appear to have lost
already--are doing just that, trying to think through what PCT means for
their ideas about everything else; and in my year and a half on the Net
I haven't seen any evidence whatever that what they are doing is
anything other than an honest and diligent effort at constructing a
coherent understanding of the world, to which they believe PCT is
fundamental. Perhaps I misread them; and perhaps you didn't mean to be
lumping them with Locke; but it looks to me as though they often come in
for similar treatment. I can well imagine that it would be a
frustrating task trying to answer all the objections and questions of
every new person who expresses an interest in the theory. On the other
hand, I don't see that anyone incurs any particular obligation to do
that, either. Reorganization at that level takes time (my views on
politics and sex have been in flux all of my life, and are still pretty
tentative in some ways), and it's a trying process under optimal
conditions. I just wish the Lockean experiences weren't evidently so
hard to discriminate from such efforts, and didn't make it so difficult
to support them.

A retroactive Happy V.D. to you, too.

[from Jeff Vancouver 980218.10:10 EST]

[From Mike Acree (980217.1540 PST)]

Well said.