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  1. 2 likes
    Welcome back, Ilya It's always refreshing to view your multi-faceted concise and to-the-point interlocutions.
  2. 2 likes
    This is a good point (though perhaps not applicable to the OP)... it's really pathological to question whether something is rational *just because you are interested in it*. If you like something, that is positive evidence that it *is* rational, all other things being equal. Pleasure is not the result of sin, it is a result of virtue. It's not a cost, it's an end in itself. If you like something, that is not a signal that you should stop and carefully think about it. The natural inclinations and innate desires in human nature are not rigged against your rational self-interest. There is no original sin in Objectivism. If you have some reason to question whether something is rational or right, then by all means stop and be careful. But *just being interested in something*, just *liking* something, is *not* a reason to question whether it's rational or right.
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    It can be, sure. It's the history of how you, as an individual, came to exist. It only becomes tribalism if you assign significance to the tribal or ethnic background of your ancestors. But, if you are simply interested in who they were as individuals, it's a selfish, individualistic pursuit.
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    Racism is a hot topic right now. There is an article on it in The Virtue of Selfishness. But I'd tailor suggestions to personal preference, no matter what race a person is. If they like reading fiction, set them up with one of Rand's novels instead.
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    A recent visit to the office supply cabinet revealed the fact that various refills to the paper-based Franklin Planner still exists in the corporate world. After being somewhat chided about carrying 4 different colored pens and a notepad of paper to a recent product meeting to a roomful of individuals, mostly sporting laptops, highlighted the fact that differing approaches to processing information where afoot. Electronic vs. hard-copy. As a hard-copy advocate, it is astonishing to me how I can advocate such an antiquated approach, and still be the individual that puts together an Excel file that "automates" an electronic, integrated approach to identifying quantitative differences along a stack path that distinguishes between three industry standards of tolerance comparisons. Equally impressive, to me, is the ability to automate in VBA, a systematic approach to automating various functionality to generating and modifying routine tasks that most immediate users take for granted due to having it. Where is the world going to be in another decade? Will the successors to my generation be equipped with the epistemological know-how needed to persist?
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    Or maybe run this theory by his parents, I bet they would have some input
  9. 1 like
    Why collectivists grow rice and individualists grow wheat “Growing rice requires far greater cooperation: it is labour-intensive and requires complex irrigation systems spanning many different farms. Wheat farming, by contrast, takes about half the workforce and depends on rainfall rather than irrigation, meaning that farmers don’t need to collaborate with their neighbours and can focus on tending their own crops. My gut reaction is this is a red-herring. The automotive industry, as well, the fairly well documented "I, Pencil" shows that many industries are interconnected in the specialization of specific functions and tasks required to bring together the "simple" writing implement, or the more complex assembly of an individual transportation unit. From the standpoint of farming, one aspect disregarded is the implementations of the protection of property rights that make possible the reaping of the harvest after the other safeguards have been implemented to protect the crops from wildebeests that do not recognize the concept of individual rights. While it is interesting that rice developed as an eastern crop while wheat thrived to the west, the interactivity between those growing rice is still a form of voluntary mutual consent. In the case of pencils and automotive parts, the reliance on the particular suppliers is less prone to the 'accidental' geographic provision of irrigation. If this is the case and point of the more "collectivized" approach in growing rice, I can willingly cede it. The fact that the activity of irrigation for such a crop requires long-range planning bodes well for the need of thinkers to orchestrate it. The fact that where rice has been demonstrated to be reared in areas where a more individualistic approach has been found t be conducive to profitable farming of the commodity and that collectivized communities have restricted its importation on this basis is telling. It is here that the genealogy of rice-growing reaches an impasse. Where the conditions required for growing rice were not naturally occurring, the reward for the effort of understanding the causal relationships to a bountiful harvest was amply rewarded. Where the conditions required for growing rice occurred naturally, the more efficient method of production is viewed as an affront to the tribal traditions.
  10. 1 like
    " Family and the reality of it CAN have deep personal meaning and value " This IS moral weight. " Also in large part, what you are is by Nurture, who you are, what you think, has been formed and shaped by who they are, what they think and feel. " This too. Who you are is a moral issue. " Objectivism is NOT antithetical to Family or the idea that Family can have and provide special Meaning in one's life. " Special meaning is moral weight. Your posts show that genealogy is part of your concept of family and that genealogy matters to some people. That means some people -should- value their genealogy. But no person at all -should- find meaning in it is my claim. " Consider now a family rich in civility and tradition who provided great educational and philosophical instruction, inspired and demanded of their children high standing and achievement and the pattern repeated generation after generation for a statistically significant offspring " This is not genealogy anyway. Each generation has to establish values anew. You can only observe a continuation based on a person believing the people they know personally and culture. That a great grand parent taught your grandparent taught your parent egoism is not to be judged differently than Rand's great grand parent that perhaps taught egoistic ideas. If someone learned to be a racist and lynch black people, that's on them, and only brought on by accepting their culture, not linked to ancestors qua ancestors. The causative link is no different if there is also a genealogical link. Thus, no special meaning exists. " These to families did not become EXACTLY the same after ONE generation. " Each generation is wildly different than the last. No family will be the same. So we judge people as individuals or their values, with no consideration on lineage. If it does affect who I am, even a little (say, 5% of who I choose to be), if you had particularly admirable ancestors, then I can judge some of your moral worth based on your ancestry. But I say 0%. " It's almost as if you take my sense of family and meaning personally? Does it threaten you somehow? " I think you're wrong is all (weird to ask, I'm practically zen about it).
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    Rand put at least six partial genealogies in Atlas Shrugged. Consider the insights derived from providing genealogical tidbits about the Starnes heirs and the quite detailed background of Wesley Mouch provided on page 498. Ragnar had a briefly summarized past, as did Cherryl Brooks-Taggart. John Galt was even identified as the son of a gas-station mechanic. These are coming from someone who stated in The Art of Fiction: I can give the reason for every word and every punctuation mark in Atlas Shrugged—and there are 645,000 words in it by the printer's count. I did not have to calculate it all consciously when I was writing. But what I did was follow a conscious intention in relation to the novel's theme and to every element involved in that theme. I was conscious of my purpose throughout the job—the general purpose of the novel and the particular purpose of every chapter, paragraph, and sentence.
  12. 1 like
    Eiuol, I applaud your effort to grasp Nietzsche, especially in D, GS, Z, BGE, and GM. I am delighted to report that the number of reads of my series Nietzsche v. Rand has now passed 14,000. I want to direct you to the Appendix (scroll down) to this essay in that series. This Appendix traces the transition in Nietzsche from “feeling of power” to “will to power” and elaborates just what was his mature conception “will to power.” Nietzsche’s conception of life in terms of will to power includes domination of organism by organism in all the forms of life. He foisted his favored conceptions of human social relations onto the nature of all life (defining life differently than Rand would do seventy years later for mainstay of an objective morality [and differently than had Guyau 1885, also for purport of an objective morality]), then pointed to that supposed way of all organisms as rationale for his often nasty views of human nature, particularly focused on social relationships. Never forget Nietzsche’s BGE 265, which is antithetical to Rand’s ideal in Anthem (1937) and to her mature ideal of Atlas Shrugged. “At the risk of annoying innocent ears I will propose this: egoism belongs to the essence of the noble soul. I mean that firm belief that other beings will, by nature, have to be subordinate to a being “like us” and will have to sacrifice themselves.”
  13. 1 like
    Lester Hunt, a philosopher anthologized in the book mentioned in #9, once said that N. is important to a biographical or developmental understanding of Rand but useless for understanding the positions she arrived at.
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    Eioul, If you have access to the Modern Philosophy: Kant to the Present, Lecture 5 starting at 30:45, Peikoff devotes almost 48 minutes in a much more charitable view than Rand's in the interview shared in your OP. Knowing that Rand deals with broad ideas, she is speaking of Nietzsche as a general overview of his overall philosophy. Peikoff examines examples of his writings as you have used in outlining the issues you've identified. In one passage from the lecture, LP makes the statement: In general, all you can say is the irrational element dominates progressively as Nietzsche grows older. Another statement, paraphrased, likens Nietzsche's writings to the Bible, as he is supposed to be all things to all men. In LP's summary he says: Nietzsche shares a kinship with Objectivism only in isolated, unsystematic passages.
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    I have read a little bit of Nietzche's work, and I've found his to be rather amoral. He rejected free will entirely, and believed as a result that someone who was truly wise would recognize that there was no distinction between good and bad, and that everyone's actions were just the predetermined result of their nature -- thus, someone like Hitler would not really be responsible for the atrocities he committed, and it is foolish to condemn him or to see creators of value as superior to Nazi oppressors. He also had a contemptuous attitude toward morality, and my understanding is that he did, in fact, want to see the "masters" trample on the slaves as punishment for the slaves' choice to believe in a moral code, and as a reward for the masters' ruthless pursuit of (What Nietzche would consider) their own self-interest. He also regarded all morality as socially prescribed, and nothing more than the will of the strong imposed on the weak, and did not recognize any possibility of an objective morality based on the value of human life. I believe that Nietzche preferred masters because he saw them as strong due to their willingness to coerce the slaves into obedience. I haven't found much of value in Nietzche's works. I suppose he deserves some credit for his recognition that altruism was wrong. But his response, like Rand's, should have been to construct a new moral code based on self-interest which recognized the right to life of all human beings. What he created instead was a blank check to trample on human life, in order to satisfy one's own whims at the expense of others.
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    One of the lecture from ARI that I have makes the analogy of integration to a puzzle. As the various pieces are put together, a picture begins to emerge. If random pieces from another puzzle are present, it doesn't really matter because one you have the puzzle fully assembled, the errant pieces are easily discarded as irrelevant to the completion of the now completed puzzle. If I were to extrapolate that analogy to DIM, the example given would be applicable to the (I) method or approach. The (M) approach would be to start assembling the various pieces on some preconceived notion of what the picture ought to look like while ignoring that the two edges of some of the adjoining pieces do not fit correctly together, in essence, forcing the pieces together to create the preconceived picture. When the puzzle is finally completed, any extra pieces are discarded as before, whether or not the discarded pieces were part of the (I) puzzle or not. Mixing the (M) approach with elements of the (I) method, the disagreements come down to a combination of "these edges don't appear to align properly" against "this is how I imagined the picture should be". The (D) approach prefers to leave the pieces unassembled. Even if you could put all the pieces together, they counter, you can't know if that is what the picture actually looks like and even so, each puzzle piece is a picture within itself. Mixing the (D) approach with aspects of the (M) method, a few pieces that fit together are discovered here and there, Once you've put these 2 or three pieces together, they are no longer individual pieces. If these groups of pieces happen to fit with another group of pieces, you're no longer trying to assemble a puzzle, you're just trying to assemble groups of pieces. You may be able to determine how two adjoining edges fit together, but once they're together, those adjoining edges are no longer available for adjoining with other edges. Rationalization, from this standpoint, is so much easier to grasp and in many ways see the errors therein. The "floaters", as Peikoff refers to them in DIM, miss reality. The empiricists miss understanding.
  17. 1 like
    I thought you haven't read the book yet? I can't tell if Nicky has read it either. In any case, I was hoping for more substantive discussion on the book itself so I can evaluate if it's worth my time. I would be surprised, too, if Peikoff was showing a malevolent universe premise, but I'd have to read the book to say if he is. Although the quotes mentioned from DIM don't support that idea at all so far.
  18. 1 like
    That is what I assumed. Pessimism is the great term for what I sense when I listen to and read his work, though I hate to focus on it. His work is amazing.
  19. 1 like
    Let's see, DIM is an acronym broken into 5 subdivisions under which the destination of each subdivision was explored. A Totalitarian state lies at the end of one path. The road to freedom lie down another. Observation identifies which path the most people trod. Do most people even know what path they are on? The solution is to illuminate why the destination is so dark, and the same time indicate the power source that resides at the alternative direction that can keep the lights on. Objectivism, like Aristotelianism has already been discovered.
  20. 1 like
    As opposed to which book, the DIM Hypothesis? You're implying that Peikoff's goal is to help totalitarianism triumph with this book? Peikoff recognizes that American intellectuals hold the wrong ideas, that those ideas cause them to view the Universe as malevolent, and that these ideas and view inevitably lead to a dark future for those who hold them. He also recognizes the fact that these intellectuals aren't willing to listen to anyone with better ideas. The Benevolent Universe Premise has nothing to do with what you expect of him: pretend that the statements above are not true. The Benevolent Universe Premise is the reason why an old man put all the effort he has left into finishing a book identifying those facts: it's because he believes it will make a difference, sometime, somewhere. Not here and now, obviously, because here and now, American intellectuals won't even read it (or Atlas Shrugged for that matter, except maybe to jeer at it). So, you made it clear what you're arguing against here, but what exactly are you arguing for? That any day now, America's leadership is gonna see the light and turn the country around? What are you basing this on (other than the Benevolent Universe Premise, which you are misinterpreting to mean something it doesn't and cannot mean: that evil can turn into good all by itself).