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Ninth Doctor

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Ninth Doctor last won the day on April 19 2017

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  1. Ninth Doctor

    Innate ideas and animals

    As opposed to: Nothing like the human "long childhood" for these critters. They hatch, and they "know" what they have to do, right away.
  2. Ninth Doctor

    Innate ideas and animals

    When the topic of human instinct comes up, I think of this clip: Is it instinct that kicks in at 14 months? Some combination of nature and nurture?
  3. Ninth Doctor

    The Logical Leap by David Harriman

    Stephen, what was Ted's user name on this site? I couldn't find anything by him here. Just a reference to him that I made once.
  4. Ninth Doctor

    The Logical Leap by David Harriman

    This is terrible news. Ted was one of the best people to interact with in Rand-land. Always so stimulating. He stopped posting years ago, and has been much missed. I'll let the folks at OL know.
  5. Ninth Doctor

    Jumping into the fray

    "The sterile will sterilize me as their last form of reproduction." Beautifully crafted sentence. Do you aspire to be a writer?
  6. Ninth Doctor


    Have you studied Edwin Locke's work? Looks like there will be a good amount of overlap.
  7. Ninth Doctor

    Novels to read before you die

    When you're done pick up Rand's Art of Fiction. She talks about Hunchback there. https://www.amazon.com/Art-Fiction-Guide-Writers-Readers/dp/0452281547/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501850514&sr=8-1&keywords=rand+art+of+fiction
  8. Ninth Doctor

    Novels to read before you die

    I agree Mysterious Affair at Styles ought to be read first (it being the first in the series), but Ackroyd is special. And it shouldn't be spoiled for anyone who hasn't read it. Please don't look it up on Wikipedia first, you only get one chance to read it the first time. I've never been able to get into Finnegans Wake. Even with Joseph Campbell's book length analysis laid side-by-side.
  9. Ninth Doctor

    Objectivism and me

    AP Calculus in 10th grade? Sounds like the prequel to Good Will Hunting.
  10. Ninth Doctor

    Novels to read before you die

    Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco Mason & Dixon - Thomas Pynchon Ulysses - James Joyce The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman - Laurence Sterne The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert Heinlein The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie All the Jeeves novels (plus the short stories) of P.G. Wodehouse
  11. Ninth Doctor

    Heirs to dictatorships

    Try looking into the history of the 18th century monarchs who were influenced by the Enlightenment. Joseph II of Austria is a prime example. With the stroke of a pen he freed the serfs and gave Jews equal rights. There was a backlash, and he ended up writing his own epitaph: Here lies Joseph II, who failed in all he undertook. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_II,_Holy_Roman_Emperor
  12. Ninth Doctor

    Art and Sense of Life - Explained

    Thanks for the link, good job isolating that section. I don't this is the place (the thread) to get into a debate on whether Hugo was a socialist; we'd have to go into the political context in which he was writing etc. Let it suffice that the line: “democratise property, not by abolishing it, but by universalising it, in such a way that every citizen without exception may be a proprietor” marks Hugo as a 19th century liberal; very far from a modern day socialist. Recall that Valjean was a very successful businessman before unmasking himself as a former convict.
  13. Ninth Doctor

    Art and Sense of Life - Explained

    You mean Victor Hugo? Where do you find that in his novels?
  14. Ninth Doctor

    Joseph Campbell's Monomyth

    Let’s take the transition to parentage. What metaphor might inform and strengthen the natural impulse to regard a baby as the greatest miracle ever? The Christmas story. The savior of the world is delivered into your hands to nurture. That’s how the metaphor works. And you’re going to celebrate this every year, it’s part of the church calendar. Good thing too: fact is that baby is going to drive you nuts, between diapers and wailing in the night. The Lion King does well with this also, the whole story being bookended with the presentation of a newborn to universal acclaim (rather like the adoration of the Magi). It’s interesting, however, that the Christmas story wasn’t composed to serve this purpose; that evolved later, in the 4th century. It was originally shoe-horned in to liken Jesus to Moses, hence the flight into Egypt (and subsequent return). The early Christians weren’t having babies, at least not if they were taking St. Paul’s advice. "Such signs cannot be invented. They are found. Whereupon they function of themselves".
  15. Ninth Doctor

    Joseph Campbell's Monomyth

    I’d say Myth spawns Art. It’s a crucial element in how Myth is communicated. But Myth also spawns Ritual, and you couldn’t say that Art does that. They’re different concepts, with a lot of overlap in their referents. Let’s move on to enumerating Campell’s four functions of Myth. I’m pulling these from Occidental Mythology: “The first and most distinctive – vitalizing all – is that of eliciting and supporting a sense of awe before the mystery of being." “The second function of mythology is to render a cosmology, an image of the universe that will support and be supported by this sense of awe before the mystery of a presence and the presence of a mystery.” “A third function of mythology is to support the current social order, to integrate the individual organically with his group; and here again, in the long view, we see that a gradual amplification of the scope and content of the group has been the characteristic sign of man’s advance from the early tribal cluster to the modern post-Alexandrian concept of a single world-society.” “The fourth function of mythology is to initiate the individual into the order of realities of his own psyche, guiding him toward his own spiritual enrichment and realization.” There’s a whole lot here. I was thinking of using The Lion King to draw illustative examples from (particularly for functions 3 and 4), and now that I’m typing I find it a headache-inducing task. For a Sunday night. BTW The Lion King was crafted by a group of screenwriters who were given a “Monomyth How-To” guide drawn from Campbell’s ideas. Under functions 3 and 4 comes something vital: myths provide the metaphors to inform the great transitions we all go through in life. Often via Art, often via Ritual, or both. What are these transitions? We start out like any other mammal, utterly dependent on our mothers. Then we start to individuate, and after quite a few years (and stages) we’re ready to be fully independent. Then we find a mate, procreate, and have to focus much of our energies on caring for our own offspring. Then they go off to college. And hopefully don’t move back in afterwards for an extra decade of remedial nurturing, but if they do, we have to deal with it. Then we retire, our health fails, and we go back to being dependent. And finally die. Each of these stages calls for a transformation of consciousness. And there are Myths to inform each stage, and the richer the Mythology, the more stages are covered. Digression: IMO Rand’s stories are especially good at informing the later stages of the transition from dependence to independence. But don’t do much for any of the other stages. To be continued.