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    Objectivism Is The Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"
  • Objectivism Online Chat

    Do we have a "primitive mind"?

    By Nicky,
    I'll keep this simple, to start out with. Could it be that parts of the human brain are remnants of evolution (vestigial, like the appendix, the tailbone on an embryo, pseudo genes, etc.), and that they produce chemicals (such as serotonin) in reaction to outside stimuli, that affect our state of mind, entirely independent of our conscious mind (our values and knowledge)? (what I'm getting at is that this notion is fairly widely accepted in Psychology, and it does not gel with "tabula rasa"...that's the subject I'm ultimately hoping to revisit)

    Animals and Unit Identification

    By Veritas,
    How can we be certain to any level that an animal can not identify units? Is this just an underlying assumption or has there been a test run to verify this claim? I am asking because I am reading OPAR and Leonard Peikoff mention this with a pretty good level of certainty.  Just curious about the justification.

    Reblogged:The Value of Being Good at Something Else

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Heather Havrilesky, who writes the Ask Polly advice column at The Cut, answers a reader who is dissatisfied with her job and wants to be a writer. She makes quite a few good points in her answer, although some might take some time to understand.1 One point I thought particularly good was what she said about day jobs, both for what she said and some further implications she touches on a bit later:
    The bold point is the really important take-home. The last bit is also true, but not quite so important. Crucially, Polly is getting ready to tell this writer to quit her day job, but not quit having a day job altogether. Why?
    A day job can provide more than just money. (Image via Pixabay.) Polly elaborates further, but does not get around to naming a very important truth, which is that the day job can provide perspective in several ways. (I think this is her overall point: She makes a big effort to tell this writer she has time to do what she hopes to do.) But the very important truth is this: There are many intensely frustrating things about writing, and a day job one is good at gives several kinds of relief or perspective beyond the obvious financial one: such a job gives one's mind a chance to back off when frustrated (or leave one wanting more otherwise), and it provides a regular chance to experience efficacy. Both of these things are very important, particularly for inexperienced writers, and yet won't necessarily always be supplied by the activity itself. A broader lesson might be that a writer should seek out alternative mental outlets that can fulfill similar needs, be they jobs or not. Introspecting for a moment, I think that's one of the things I get from futzing around with computers from time to time. Perhaps my title should have been more like, "Give Your Mind and Occasional 'Efficacy Snack'."

    -- CAV

    1. This is a writer with a wealth of life experience and implicitly the right approach to many of the issues she tackles, but whose explicit philosophy seems to mirror that of the general culture. I often find that I have to let things percolate a little before I feel like I really understand what such writers say, and what about it I (dis)agree with, and why. [back] Link to Original

    Reblogged:Venezuela: Closing in on Socialism

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    The latest horror story of life under socialism -- a Guardian piece on the transformation of Caracas to Starnesville -- jogged my memory. Some time ago, I ran into a comment some leftist had made about a presentation or seminar (I no longer recall) at a conservative event. Whatever it was, it was about Venezuela and it was aimed at millennials. I recall being floored by the incredulity on the part of the leftist: He really seemed baffled by what Venezuela had to do with socialism or the left.

    The memory caused me to look for leftist commentary about Venezuela, and I found a real gem on that score at ThinkProgress. Its title? "What the Right Gets Wrong About Venezuela and the American Left." If you ever wonder how someone can hear all the horror stories out of there, let alone from every time socialism is tried, yet never question socialism, read this piece. If you've ever wondered why, so often, leftists will simply dismiss hard data as "propaganda" -- although it shows the dire, plain implications of their principles put into practice -- read this piece.
    And, much later, after disparaging vote buying (!), we have this:
    In other words, if it caused misery, it wasn't really socialism, and it never will be, because socialism exists "in theory" -- in Plato's realm of Forms -- until and unless "equality" is achieved (How? Apparently by having a government funded "robustly" (unequally) enough, by their lights.)

    Meanwhile, in the real world, where we temporarily live, Venezuela is getting closer to achieving equality, as the Guardian notes:
    A saying about death being the "great democrat" comes to mind.

    I am not going to waste my time on a point-by-point rebuttal of any of this. I am of the mind that anyone who pushes such blatant evasions (and is old and educated-enough to know better) knows what he is doing -- that, as Richard Salsman put it so well, "Socialism worked in Venezuela." What I leave here with today is the treatment of concepts: Socialists are apparently quite happy to have us strive for an ideal they admit is divorced from reality and impossible to achieve on this earth. At the same time, they will go into a Gish Gallop with "facts" allegedly refuting any claims about the implications of those ideals, as if they really care about evidence or how it might be used to evaluate an idea or its application to life, such as socialism. They get away with this for two reasons, one being the ruinous effect of "Progressive" education, and the other being moral cowardice on the part of most of the alleged exponents of capitalism.

    -- CAV


    Today: Minor edits in last paragraph.  Link to Original

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