I am back at my desk after a magnificent trip to Manhattan, where it was my distinction and delight to address the New York City Junto gathering as the featured speaker for the month of May.
The title of my address was “Natural Rights in ‘Into the Cannibal’s Pot’: Abstractions or Facts of Life?”
For his generous and gracious hospitality I must thank the formidable force behind the NYC Junto forum, Victor Niederhoffer, Ph.D. Dr. Niederhoffer, with whom I enjoyed a late night snack after the lively event, is a well-known “professional investor,” trader and speculator. In other words, a man of the free, glorious, financial markets. He founded Junto in 1985, as a discussion group for people who treasure liberty (and, yes, the great Gene Epstein was present).
The turnout was good and the interactions most enjoyable.
The courteous organizers (Rudolf Hauser, Iris Bell and Linda Peterson) had prepared an introduction to this scribe and her work. It was posted at Junto.org, here. Not being a man who is easily scripted, Dr. Niederhoffer made a valiant attempt to stick to it. But after a few sentences, he gave up and said something to this effect:
“All I can tell you is that you can’t win an argument with this woman. I’ve tried and failed.”
As we say in Hebrew, “Dayenu.” Coming from Victor Niederhoffer, that’s more than enough for this woman.
At the time, when Dr. Niederhoffer and I had had the exchange to which he conceded defeat, I replied thus: “It takes a man and a gentleman to know and say what you’ve said. There are too few of those these days.”
More materially, the quality of recognizing, respecting and heeding intelligence speaks to who a man is. You cannot learn this quality. It is rare, as it demands—and coexists with—a healthy and happy ego.
Other than Dr. Niederhoffer, I have met one other man very recently who has this quality. Otherwise, not a day goes by when one is not saddled with the enormous opportunity costs, personal and professional, that accompany dealing with an ego-driven Idiocracy.
For idiots are invariably malevolent. Oscar Wilde said it best in one of his plays: “She thought that because he was stupid he would be kindly, when of course, kindliness requires imagination and intellect.”
UPDATE I: Here is a very blurred image. I have a few more, also blurred, that I will upload to the Facebook photo album, eventually.
May, 2012, Ilana @ NYC Junto:
UPDATE II: When the punishing publication process of Into the Cannibal’s Pot culminated in a book on Amazon—also The Only Shop in Town—hundreds of my readers wrote in private to share their impressions with me. I say again to all new readers and friends made what I’ve said to the aforementioned readers over the year. The conversation must take place in public, on the forums that exist for the purpose of spreading the word about—and discussing—these ideas.
Of these, Amazon is the most vital to The Cannibal’s cause. Please post your reviews to Amazon. Those who’ve done so over the last year have heard from me (and have my deepest appreciation).
Otherwise, all topics are discussed on BAB (Barely a Blog), which I personally moderate and maintain, on Facebook (ditto), Twitter, and in the Comments Sections appended to the WND and RT weekly articles.