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  1. Today
  2. What kind of young, single person, and what are they trying to save money for? If they're an aspiring musician, whose band will need to be practicing regularly (and probably loudly) then roommates would be an objective downgrade. For the past few months my roommates have been united in one long, sustained effort to make me doubt the validity of my own mind (for purposes I can't fathom) and SL's idea sounds incredibly good to me, right now. You're not me, though; you may never have been in such a situation and your roommates might be of a very different caliber than mine. I'm not denying the existence of objective, universal principles, but "young and single" just doesn't cut it.
  3. We were born into a crippled economy (which we're forbidden even to try to fix without the permission of our local slave-drivers), equipped with nothing except whatever we may or may not have gleaned from John Dewey's educational system, commanded to go out and start producing more than $9.50 an hour "somehow" (and to pay for any of our elders' false teeth or Viagra or organ transplants, while we're at it) and if we complain about any of it we're told to shut up, take it and like it. Yes, gentlemen, our elders have screwed us over quite thoroughly. They've made it much harder for us to "launch" than it ever was for them. That's not a comfortable subject for many of them, though, so they don't want to know that anything has changed at all. It's much easier to say that we're all just helpless, snivelling infants, who can't live up to their standards. That's not to deny the existence (nor even the prevalence) of millenials who are, in fact, helpless and spineless weaklings. I'm not saying there isn't a grain of truth in that depiction, but it's only a half-truth; the other half is that, with each passing year, our society makes it even harder to "launch". And if we can't stop it then our kids will take an even harder beating than we have. Firstly, there's nothing wrong with it being a personal issue (as it is for me and should be for any person it affects) as long as we can still reason about it clearly and coherently. Secondly, I'm sorry you had to do business with a landlord who was such a scumbag; I know what that must've felt like. But one lying bastard does not mean that all landlords are liars, any more than one welfare-mooching millennial proves us all to be moochers. Direct your wrath towards the individual who's actually earned it. Not necessarily. If you have a steady and reliable source of income then spending some monthly portion of it on a temporary shelter shouldn't be the end of the world. It sounds like you might want to rethink your personal living arrangements (maybe) but rent, as such, is not destroying our civilization. Only a Hippy or a Commie would turn his nose up at ad hominem arguments! P.S: To be clear, it's not impossible to "launch" today; the obstacles in our way are not a blank check to blame all of one's problems on society and give up on solving them. I am not trying to advocate any form or variety whatsoever of fatalism. What I'm sanctioning is the outrage which, as grievously misdirected as it is, seems to be a response to actual wrongs.
  4. Pyramid of ability you get a bit wrong - it's just to say that greater intellectual effort has an incalculable value. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/pyramid_of_ability.html The other thing is lifeboat scenarios so to speak. It's not really agreed upon in Objectivist thought. There are a few threads, and I've made arguments as to how that there is context to moral principles, yet moral principles are binding. Others would say the context is being alive at all. Either way, rational self-interest is the point, which is difficult to figure out. It at least involves figuring out one's identity as a whole which includes psychology, not just a desirable material outcome. Lastly, Rand didn't arrive at her ideas deduced from the law of identity. That's just the logical structure. She arrived at her ideas by slowly studying history and philosophy, and more. Robert Nozick wrote one paper on Rand, but took her as -deducing- ethics, which is an error. Good idea on the podcast - thinking out loud is a good way for some to learn.
  5. I want to expand on this a bit, to counter an implication. I’m not saying religion is here to stay since a dispassionate examination of all cultures points to its presence and influence everywhere and at all times. There’s another institution that featured in (probably) all cultures until just over a hundred years ago: slavery. If four hundred years ago one had argued that slavery should be abolished, or even could be abolished, there was a real uphill climb facing anyone making the case. It was only four hundred years ago that the first Christian sect (Quakers) arose that consistently opposed slavery, this flying in the face of a few New Testament lines from St. Paul and Jesus. And now it’s gone. There were philosophical arguments in its favor, and they’re in history’s trash can. It took a couple hundred years or so. It may turn out the same for religion; not in my lifetime so I’ll never know. And myth is actually another matter, even though it subsumes religion. Why? Look to the functions of myth, ask whether they’re essential, and if so, how else they can be served.
  6. welcome to OO! i agree it would be great to see links to the podcast episodes and summaries of the objections discussed on them posted here! that would help us keep track and not forget and miss something interesting. there have been all kinds of arguments against Objectivist positions made over the years, more and less successfully. i imagine you have plenty to get you started. whenever you run short on material and need ideas, bump the thread again and let us know which branch of philosophy you're interested in getting into, and i'm sure we can suggest some sources.
  7. Yesterday
  8. You don't have to thank me for telling the truth. What I mean about a 'philosophy of information', though, is this. An old-fashioned, physical book contains "information" in a very real and valid sense. We can learn new skills and knowledge from them or use them to safeguard what we already have against the frailties of our own memories. However, all of these benefits depend on actions that we must initiate, ourselves. A book without a reader is only so much paper, without any purpose or meaning, and can't be said to have any "information" at all. Think of all the inscriptions we've found, written in dead languages; as long as we can't read them, they inform us of nothing. "Information" is an attribute of consciousness. Language, writing and computer programs are conceptual tools which can augment our own mental abilities (and possess "information" only in this derivative sense) but without a mind to use them they mean nothing whatsoever. Now, I think we might be able to create an artificial mind someday, but not if we keep attributing some undefined form of knowledge to our mental tools (or, worse still, to any rock or star that strikes our fancy). I don't know what more than that really needs to be said.
  9. Welcome to the forum, and thank-you for identifying this issue.
  10. While these books are excellent works of fictional literature, only TVoS, (The Virtue of Selfishness), is a non-fiction book, which mainly addresses morality and politics. It was my first choice when I decided to learn more about Ayn Rand and her philosophy, in fact, and I still consider it the best introduction to Objectivism. For a more complete and orderly view of Objectivism, I would recommend Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, by Leonard Peikoff. Now, perhaps you could share your "problems with Objectivism," or as StrictlyLogic suggested, start a new thread. I will take a look at your query on other preexisting threads, and see if there is anything I could contribute.
  11. Care to start a thread of your own here? 1. Podcasts can be time consuming and not easy to listen to or quote 2. Writing is succinct and accessible 3. You learn faster, get more of a reaction and be more engaged if you write a post here with your various "problems" or queries I am curious about your "objections"... as an Objectivist if anything about my philosophy is in error and contradicts reality, I need to correct it immediately.
  12. Good thoughts. > Does it concern you at all that you might [be wrong about something]? It does not concern me--in fact, I look forward to it, as it is just a small-time podcast and a way (and motivation) to learn and explore these topics. I hope you decide to have a listen and then tell me all the points that I misunderstood! In fact, I made an error in episode 2 that I addressed in episode 3. > How is it possible to know what problems there are with something before you know it completely? It isn't possible to fully completely know anything of sufficient breadth, and more than just experts are allowed to comment on something. Podcasts can be somewhat conversational and relational, so that's what I'm going for here. I don't think it is imprudent to try something out without being an expert.
  13. How is it possible to know what problems there are with something before you know it completely? Does it concern you at all that you might accidentally allege some problem with Objectivism only to find out that what you alleged was not Objectivism, or that only upon proper and complete understanding you actually would determine that it was an advantage or virtue of Objectivism? I fear you have purposefully or negligently decided not to be prudent but first I want to give you the benefit of a doubt and the chance to dispel any false suspicions.
  14. It would be an error to assume taking a position on science (pro or anti) logically entails a particular position on government funding. It's an unfortunate culture that causes the myriad errors which encourage us to assume we have to choose to be "for" or "against" any peaceful voluntary human exercise of anyone else, whether it is baking pies, writing music, or doing science. I value (and pay for) books, documentaries, education, and gadgets, which require in part the work of scientists ... if others also value the things I value.. great... if others don't they don't. Who am I to force them? Conflation and error abounds.
  15. Here is a good article to get you started: https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2011-fall/ayn-rand-theory-rights/
  16. Yes, I've read Atlas, Fountainhead, TVoS, Anthem, and many articles online, and listened to lots of Peikoff. Need to read lots more, though; I just started We The Living. Thanks for that concern!
  17. Have you considered reading some of the many volumes written by Ayn Rand and Dr Leonard Peikoff? If you have, what are your opinions of Objectivism? Trying to piece together a comprehensive philosophy from online posts would only leave you with gaping deficiencies. Otherwise, welcome to the forum; I look forward to constructive exchanges.
  18. On this page: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/forum/58-the-objectivism-meta-blog-discussion/ "Want to join the Meta-Blog? Contact us!" doesn't seem to work. Anyone know how to fix it?
  19. There seems to be an assumption that those who are pro-science would favor more government funding of science, and those who are against government funding of science are simply anti-science. This conflation and lack of nuance is breathtakingly frustrating.
  20. Where it isn't clear for me: suppose I accept that A is A; A thing is itself; Existence is Identity; Consciousness is Identification. From there, how does it follow that each individual has a right to pursue and attempt the natural actions that enhance that life and cause that life to flourish? How does it follow that each individual has an obligation not to impede or prevent others attempting such efforts? I have not seen Rand or anyone else explain this step in logic. I intuitively can accept that it seems fair, but I don't have a firm grasp on the reason behind such a claim.
  21. Today
  22. Great to find this forum, I'll browse around and hopefully have some time to jump in. I have made "Objections to Objectivism", a podcast that examines problems with Objectivism, as a way myself to learn it. Would love feedback.This podcast is intended for those with a bit of familiarity with Objectivism, but even those who have never looked into Objectivism or Rand, this podcast is still for them, as I try to explain the basics before examining them. I'm guessing many members here know more about the topics than I do and you will find much to comment on, object to, or agree with. Let me know what you think! I'll read every reply here, or just e-mail the address I give in the podcast. Here's the main podcast feed and the podcast website. Also you can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, and PodcastAddict as well as any podcast app you might have. Just look for "Objections to Objectivism" using your app's podcast search/add feature.
  23. Yesterday
  24. I'm late to this party, but there remains something to be said, so I'll say it here. (The first I'd heard of this was a question from my wife about it on the day.) I am one of many scientists who did not "march for science" last weekend. An editorialfrom STAT (HT: Derek Lowe) features the beginning of a good case for why people who care about science would boycott or counter-protest the event, but it does not go far enough: And there's no denying this march is political. It is a mistake to position the scientific method against the Trump administration or any other one, for that matter. That would serve only to undermine a central premise of the march: that scientific knowledge is apolitical. Organizers argue that the march is "nonpartisan." While this may be the official line, I'm skeptical of whether anything approaching it can actually be achieved, especially on the heels of a divisive election. For example, I recently spoke with a colleague who was organizing a poster-making session for the march. She proudly described her design as an "I'm With Her" arrow pointing toward planet Earth.I wasn't "with" anyone in the last presidential election. Furthermore, I am of a very small minority of scientists who go so far as to oppose even the current model of scientific funding that writer Arthur Lambert correctly notes (1) isn't even remotely under threat, and (2) is inherently political:Ultimately, the problem with the March for Science is its scope. To be sure, it can be reasonable and helpful to rally for scientific funding, which is appropriated by Congress and therefore inherently political. A bright spot is that there is fairly strong bipartisan backing for funding the National Institutes of Health and other organizations that support science. Like many of those who will march, I believe in the power of objective, evidence-based scientific knowledge -- knowledge that I would like to see inform public policy. But a march for the very idea of science is counterproductive, unnecessarily pushing scientific research directly into one of the most tense and polarized political climates in recent years. Rather than forcing politicians to accept science, it is entirely possible that the march will do nothing more than provide them with an escape hatch, a justification for the idea that science is in some way biased. [bold added] Government funding of scientific research, because it is inherently political, has and is endangeringthe independenceof science, which is at the root of its ability to search for and reach unbiased conclusions. For this reason, those of us who care about science must consider how we can sunset government funding of science, while counteracting government influence on science as much as possible in the meantime. Science needs to run away from the control of government purse-strings, and not march any further into that morass. -- CAV Link to Original
  25. You will often hear that, as opposed to providing or attempting to provide "the answers", a good psychologist is often nothing but a facilitator and a mirror.
  26. [M]yths are as revealing as a running transcript of a patient's sessions with a psychologist. How poetically apropos! As to my allusions utilizing metaphor; keep in mind, metaphor is much easier to encode than it is to decipher. When it comes to an entire transcript, you cited essentially, that the patient is man (stating: nothing is more interesting or complex) while taking a step toward (an infinite regress) employing the psychologist (which is not an exception of/to man) to provide the revelations. This little excursion, thus far, has had its moments ranging from—Rearden's expression to his secretary Gwen: "I think I'm discovering a new continent" to the more melodramatic description of Cherryl's "spot of a distant headlight advancing upon her down an invisible track." What the next moments will unveil remains yet to be seen.
  27. There's a really interesting discussion of this in A Companion to Ayn Rand, Chapter 12, footnote 68. (TL;DR version: Ryan's view of the problem is parochial, and his criticism that Rand presupposes realism is question begging).
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