HBL   The Harry Binswanger List

1. Schedule

Roughly daily. (The former schedule no longer is in effect.)

2. Virus and malware protection

We NEVER send any attachments with HBL posts. So, for your protection, NEVER open any attachment that claims to be coming from HBL—it isn't, and it is probably malware.

3. Your privacy

We do not give out, rent, or sell your email address or your contact information. By the same token, HBL members are not permitted to cull email addresses from posts for their own group-mailings.

4. Rules on sharing or forwarding messages

Since I am charging for membership, I have to put limits on the forwarding of HBL posts.

1) Forwarding to individuals: You can forward up to 3 individual posts, or digests, to 3 individuals per month.

If you want to forward more than three posts one month (not counting those you wrote) simply send the post to me at: info@hblist.com and ask me to forward it to so-and-so at such-and-such email address. Within reason, I'll do that.

2) Forwarding to a blog or website: Since that implies mass distribution, you need to get my permission (unless it is a post your wrote): info@hblist.com

3) Forwarding a post you wrote: it's your intellectual property (but not any HB comments, which must be excised). I would appreciate it if you would add a link to our main site (hblist.com): I could get a customer out of it.


I allow shared subscriptions, but only among members of the same household, including roommates. You may even have, upon request, up to three different email addresses for the shared account, so that each spouse or roommate can get his/her own individual email.

Onscreen reading: You may let anyone read posts on your computer screen as often as you like.

6. Etiquette

It is a widely recognized danger of email lists that they easily degenerate into "flames "--i.e., inflammatory back-and-forth arguments, often with personal attacks, among participants.

This is bad on any number of counts, and becomes tedious for the vast majority who are not involved in the dispute. Since I have to terminate threads eventually, the person who doesn't get "the last word" always feels he has been left defenseless.

So let me urge you to maintain a collegial, 19th-century-style attitude toward other posts and other posters. And please minimize the quoting of sections of other people's posts and instead just name the subject. Here's a contrived example:

First post:

From Immanuel Kant

There has been too much emphasis by HBLers on reason and values. Reason can deal only with the phenomenal world, not with things as they really are in themselves, and values introduce a subjective element into morality, because they depend on a lone individual's personal choices (though these "choices" are deterministic responses, considered phenomenally).

Sample reply,  illustrating proper etiquette:

From John Doe

On the subject of whether there has been too much emphasis here on reason and values, the truth is exactly the opposite: only by reference to reason and values can we grasp reality and remain in reality. I reject any alleged distinction between a "phenomenal" realm and "things as they really are"--"'Things as they are' are things as perceived by your mind'" (Galt's Speech). Values are not subjective (or intrinsic) but *objective* . . . [etc.]

6. Re-publishing HBL material

You may not re-publish elsewhere any HBL post, in whole or in part, unless you obtain the explicit permission of the post's author; if the material you wish to re-publish includes quotes from another HBL member's earlier post, you must also get that member's explicit permission. The purpose of this policy is to assure those posting here that their words will not be thrown into the public arena where they would appear out of the context of our ongoing discussion and not be subject to our standards of civility and respect.

By the same token, posts on HBL should not import parts of discussion going on elsewhere or comment on them. HBL should be a self-contained world, with no cross-conversations.

7. Refunds

If you cancel your subscription, we will refund the unused portion of your payment. The used portion will be calculated at the monthly rate.

8. Philosophic and moral issues

The HBL is primarily for Objectivists. Full agreement with Objectivism is not required, but respect for the philosophy and for Ayn Rand is. I exclude from membership anarchists, moral agnostics, and anyone sanctioning the Rand-bashing practices by notorious ex-Objectivist "apostates" (if you are unfamiliar with any or all of these groups, so much the better).

It is understood that Objectivism is limited to the philosophic principles expounded by Ayn Rand in the writings published during her lifetime plus those articles by other authors that she published (e.g., in The Objectivist). Applications, implications, developments, and extensions of Objectivism— though they are encouraged and occur regularly on HBL— are not, even if entirely valid, part of Objectivism. (Objectivism does not exhaust the field of rational philosophic identifications.)