Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Harrison Danneskjold

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Harrison Danneskjold last won the day on November 11

Harrison Danneskjold had the most liked content!


About Harrison Danneskjold

  • Rank
    The High Lord Infallible
  • Birthday 02/09/91

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Saint Paul
  • Interests

Previous Fields

  • Country
    United States
  • State (US/Canadian)
  • Relationship status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Real Name
    William Harrison Jodeit
  • Copyright
    Public Domain
  • School or University
    Hard Knox
  • Occupation
    General Specialist

Recent Profile Visitors

15967 profile views
  1. The Audit

    I'd like to reassure everyone who seemed to be worrying about me that I'm fine. I don't intend to become less talkative, in general, nor to give up on anything. Although I have had emotional struggles, they're not what I started this thread for; in fact, I don't think it'd be right for me to bring any kind of suffering to a place that feels special or sacred to me, such as this forum (not that I've never done that before, but never on purpose and every time I've felt really shitty about it, afterwards). Whatever I had to work through, I did so in private; I'm alright now. I'd like to thank everyone who's participated so far - especially @epistemologue, @StrictlyLogical and @MisterSwig. --- I am currently homeless. I have a great job and have been saving up for my own place (where there won't be any envious morons for me to deal with), so I will be doing pretty well in a little while. Unfortunately, as I took the bus from work to the shelter yesterday, I fell asleep. And while I slept some opportunistic person chose to help themselves to the backpack which contained almost all of my possessions on Earth. Fortunately, my job pays very well; I'll be able to replace everything I lost in less than two weeks. However, I cannot say when I'll be mentally fit to participate here. I couldn't objectively judge my own errors, right now. Right now it requires my conscious willpower not to apply this keyboard to the face of the nearest civilian. I am not in the proper state of mind and I'm not sure when I will be (although it'll probably be sometime in the next few days to weeks). --- I'm not telling you this for your concern or pity (which I don't want) but so you'll understand why I won't be answering anything, no matter how logical or insightful or profound (@StrictlyLogical and @MisterSwig) it may be. It's not because I don't appreciate your time or effort - it's actually because I do. Please feel free to continue (in any way you wish) without me; I will pick this up again when I no longer want to use a keyboard as anything other than a keyboard.
  2. The Audit

    Thanks, but I really haven't. Back in 2014 (particularly after reading the ITOE) my sense of life was actually more upbeat than it is now, believe it or not, and my critical thinking skills were orders of magnitude sharper. Since then I've bounced around from one living situation to another, and every single person I lived with insisted that I had to work on my communication skills because I was too difficult to understand. Well, I worked on them, I got much better at dealing with "normal" people - and now that I'm on my own and free to achieve anything, I've discovered that I don't understand Objectivism. I have gotten much worse than I used to be. And I'm not upset about it: I did this once, already, and doing it again is just the price I have to pay for my previous fear of independence. I am impatient about it, though. Break's over. Will respond to the rest after work.
  3. What are you listening at the moment?

  4. The Audit

    Over the past few years I've developed some rather unfortunate psycho-epistemological habits. I'm currently trying to remedy this (devoting all the free time I have to honing my command of my rational faculty) but my efforts would benefit enormously if I had more examples of good -but moreso bad- reasoning. I also fear that, over the past few years, I may have smeared the results of my intellectual difficulties all over this forum - but that might be an opportunity in disguise. Identifying the problems in any of my previous posts (as well as their possible solutions) would be invaluable in re-training myself to spot and fix them in my everyday, on-my-feet reasoning. The only problems are that it's become extremely difficult for me to spot my own errors (at one point it was a breeze) and that I have said just so damn much. Honestly, I never realized until yesterday quite how talkative I can be. Which brings us to the purpose of this thread: I'd appreciate it if you guys would point out anything (and I mean anything) I have ever posted that seemed questionable to you in any way whatsoever. I might gain an acceleration in my mental renovation while you'd stand to gain some long-overdue vindication: a win-win proposition. Commentary of almost any kind is also welcome. I'm not even opposed to speculations about the psychological causes of any given post (Hell, you might be right)! All I ask is that we please keep actual abuse to a minimum. I realize that it won't always be possible to discuss a given error purely in morally-neutral terms. Now and then it will probably be necessary to draw a bit of emotional blood, in order to make your point, and I'm alright with that. Just please do it constructively and not gratuitously. Let the audit begin...
  5. Truth as Disvalue

    A literal cognitive zero wouldn't have anything for anyone to learn about (or subsequently know about); every fantasy, no matter how outlandish, is a mental rearrangement of previous mental content (which was ultimately derived in some way -valid or not- from reality). Although it makes a handy metaphor, to speak of literal "knowledge about a zero" is a contradiction in terms. One can come close to contemplating a zero, as in certain forms of meditation or the attempt to visualize nonexistence, but even if successful (which I'm not sure is possible) it would not leave you with knowledge - but it would leave you with something. "They was men who reached the edge of space, saw a vasty nothingness and just went bibbledy over it." -Kaylee's explanation of the Reavers, from Serenity That's why I originally responded to the OP with a warning against pondering the experience of death. Staring into the vasty nothingness is very bad for you. Just because we acknowledge its reality and incorporate the fact of it into our cognition doesn't mean that we have to torture ourselves with it. I'm well aware that Al Gore exists in reality, at this very moment, and yet I hardly ever soil my mind with the thought of him. Only if evasion can actually lead to the kind of pleasure we seek. I've been trying to show that it can't. Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I think "the rational pursuit of tranquility" is a perfect description of some of the millennials I've known. Suppose you'd just fallen from the top of a skyscraper and only had a few more moments to live. You could face that fact and choose how to spend that time accordingly (reflecting on your life, making one last phone call to a loved one, screaming some well-chosen last words, etc) or you could evade it and squander that time (perhaps continuing whatever text you'd been composing when you fell). Neither option will change your doom one bit and yet one of them is clearly morally superior (on the basis of what you can get from that time). As mortals we're all in freefall together. The only question is what we choose to do about it. But you can't choose to do anything about it unless you first know about it. If you evade it then nature will make the choice for you.
  6. Truth as Disvalue

    Alrighty, then. That was context-dropping. What followed it probably was true (and I'll probably mention it in another thread) but it had nothing to do with the rest of the post @dream_weaver was asking about; I just didn't want to admit that I'd been talking out of my ass. Well, that's what I was doing with that statement, as well as this one:
  7. Truth as Disvalue

    If a truth (any truth) can be a disvalue then one's own efficacy can be a disvalue, which would be gibberish. To act on the precept "if thine eye offends thee then pluck it out" can only result in blindness. Which makes it very difficult to pursue - anything.
  8. Truth as Disvalue

    No problem. It only took me an hour or so and it's a scene I'm sure I'll need to refer to in the future. Firstly, as human beings, I think the very meaning of volition is that they could be woken up (and Toohey was already awake - he simply chose to be consciously evil). Secondly, in any borderline case, I find it best to err on the free-est side of all. As I once explained it to a friend: "I understand: you don't blame them for their evils because you don't think they can help it. In a sense, you're saying they're not fully human. And that's alright. But don't you ever dare to think about me in that way. If I do something that upsets you then you have to tell me so; hurt my feelings, if you have to; scream at me, if you have to, but don't you ever fucking say it's beyond my control because it's not. I'm just as much of a human being as you are, you bastard." I've found it best to extend that notion to everyone else I can, as long as I don't know anything that'd contradict it. It does lead to more fighting but it doesn't habituate oneself to become nauseous at the sight of another biped (as tends to happen when one denies their free will). Yes. Slapped them silly, commanded them to pay attention and explained the rational antidote for that particular poison. If you actually were their friend in the first place. Listen past 1:30. Isn't his knowing about death a possible state of reality? You're on the right track, but look deeper...
  9. Truth as Disvalue

    That is an intriguing thought I had not hitherto entertained. Toohey, in his self-portrait to Keating (4-14) confessed his power-lust. If Roark could not have accepted his path, his alternative would have been to look at 'the proof that another kind of men existed' as 'tombstones, slender obelisks soaring in memory of the men who had been destroyed for having created them'. (Atlas Shrugged, Part Three, Chapter IV) — or so it seems to me. But would that be "turning to the dark side"? Although one could precede the other I use "the dark side", in an Objectivist sense, to denote a certain kind of motivation. 'The producer's concern is the conquest of nature; the parasite's concern is the conquest of men.' -Somewhere in Roark's Speech [you'd know better than I] Gail Wynand, the entrepreneurial power-luster, is an excellent example. If Howard Roark were to turn his magnificent mind from grasping reality, to grasping other men, he still wouldn't be able to keep it still; it would still blaze with an equally prodigious talent of a less benevolent (or moral or safe-to-coexist-with) type. Just like Wynand's. Hence, the greater evil of a Roark's renunciation (over, say, a Keating's) also corresponds to a greater degree of self-efficacy. Which is the reward of more (previous) conceptualization. I imagine Kant must've started out like any of us.
  10. Truth as Disvalue

    That implies a contradiction to this: I'm not saying you were wrong to be worried (I am, too). But this intellectual exercise either has existential consequences to worry about or it doesn't; you can't have it both ways. So you haven't read it. Alright. I can work with that. Please read the thread I linked to for elaboration. I disagree. The minds that are best equipped for rationality are also best equipped for evasion (as opposed to drift, as in any mind of social ballast). If a Roark were to turn to "the dark side" they would not be able to become a Keating, but a Toohey. So much the worse if he destroys it. That's precisely what would make it difficult for me to empathize with the "victim" aspect: because of what the "murderer" aspect would've destroyed. Don't say he couldn't do it if he wanted to. What part of oneself? I'd throw myself into sulfuric acid to defend certain parts of a person, but fear? I don't know about that. "The enemy is fear. We believe it is hate, but it is not; it is fear." -Mahatma Gandhi In my experience (from both sides of it) that doesn't make much of a difference.
  11. This is a scene involving the characters Dominique and Peter. Peter Keating is a people-pleaser to the core. He's extremely handsome and popular and works for one of the most prestigious Architectural firms in the country (where he's paid extravagantly). He also hates architecture (a career he chose only to please the mother he despises) and doesn't have a single independent thought or opinion of his own. While he's talking to one person, he holds one set of ideas (the ones he thinks they want to hear) but for someone else's sake, he'll believe another set of ideas. Being that sort of social chameleon has served him pretty well so far (it's how he gained his popularity and his position) but for some unfathomable reason he can't stand to spend any amount of time alone. Ayn Rand loosely based Dominique Keating on herself "in a very foul mood". She sees straight through Peter's games (and those of everyone else like him) and her only feeling about them is something like the sensation of a spider crawling across one's skin. She sees great men and heroes in the world, doing great things (like Howard Roark or Gail Wynand); she sees them being punished by envious mediocrities like Peter -punished specifically for their greatness- and, although she idolizes the heroes and desperately wants to see them enjoying the rewards they so deserve, she thinks they're doomed to be destroyed by the mediocrities. Over and over again she tries to convince them to give up their greatness, rather than suffer and die for it - and she practices what she preaches. She destroys anything she wants or cares about too much, or takes too seriously (knowing what leads people to strive for greatness) and only allows herself to indulge in meaningless, range-of-the-moment little whims (explaining, at one point: 'I never do anything for any reason except if it amuses me'). Dominique had proposed to Peter Keating almost two years before this, because she was in love with Howard Roark and because she considered Peter to be one of the slimiest little creatures she'd ever met. Peter agreed, despite his fear and hatred for "that Hellcat" and despite his true love for another woman, because a wife like Dominique could be socially useful to him. And now, without further ado...
  12. Truth as Disvalue

    While I enjoy some irreverence as much as (probably a good deal more than) the next guy, this is a very serious matter. If you've read the Fountainhead then you'll know in what sense SL is talking about amputating a chunk of his self (his "him") and what that means. I don't know to what extent he's actually serious about it (since he's indicated partial but not full sincerity); meaning that I don't know whether he actually intends to do it or not. The proposal itself, though, is nothing to sneeze at. You can. If he were to kill some part of his self he'd be both the victim and the murderer and, personally speaking, I'd find it very difficult to see past the latter. We do need a Seppuku emoji, though. For Peikoff.
  13. A definition of 'context'

    That's true, but "agreement" doesn't always mean "truth". Millions of people can agree that the Bubonic Plague is caused by sin. Why not? If you wanted to know some thing wouldn't you try to learn it by reasoning from a certain specific body of knowledge (neither including anything irrelevant nor excluding anything relevant)? It doesn't have to be done that way. What makes "creationist science" (I'm not kidding) wrong is the inclusion of something irrelevant (the Bible) into the context of its "science". This makes all the conclusions they draw from their context laughably absurd, in order not to contradict the dark-age "facts" they want to integrate into their "science". What makes most peoples' conception of "selfishness" (concern with one's own interests) wrong is that it excludes something relevant (what one thinks those interests actually are and why one thinks so) from the context of moral judgement. This prevents them from even attempting to reason about their own interests or values (because what's there to figure out?) which leaves their choice of goals and aspirations up to whatever subconscious connections they might happen to make (whether this leads them to desire things which in fact help them or harm them). Both kinds of mistake stem from trying to understand some thing from the wrong contextual basis. In order to live long and prosper you must be able to act (mainly in the form of productive work, but that's only part of it). In order to act you have to know what you're trying to do, why it should be done and how to do it. In order to know any of that you have to be able to think correctly (which includes being able to judge which context would give you the correct answer to which question). That's why epistemology matters. P.S: In case you didn't believe me about "creationist science", here are some of the worst methods of thinking I have ever seen before!
  14. Truth as Disvalue

    No, it's not irrelevant to the standard of value as such, but what we're discussing is one specific application of it. It might be pivotal to a different application (such as Cypher's plan or the evasion of the difference between food and poison) but not here. The reason is that believing in an afterlife doesn't necessarily impact one's ability to survive, one way or the other (as countless conservatives are living proof of). Any of the derivative evasions required to maintain it might do so, but I couldn't say exactly how; there's a wide variety of knowledge required to survive. I couldn't count the mental steps leading up to it nor hazard a guess as to how long you'd take on any given step (since such integration would be driven exclusively by habituation and whatever random ideas you might stumble upon). Since I couldn't even guarantee that you'd actually screw up your survival skills before you aged to death, I won't include it as one of the essential factors. That would be dishonest. The possibility which matters much more than that you might become incapable of surviving is that you might stop trying to survive (or try only halfheartedly). However, since you might keep trying anyway (like any Christian who believes in the immorality of suicide) and since there are situations where Rand clearly showed Egoism to contradict survival as such (survival "on a subhuman level"), even that isn't the real essential; the crux of the matter is why you might not want to live that way. You can say that it contradicts your requirements "qua man" (as Rand did) or you can emphasize its effects on your psychological health (as I have); I don't see any functional distinction between these descriptions. I simply prefer the latter for its clarity to laymen. That is why, in this particular application of our standard of value, I've included its requirements for the quality of your life and excluded those for its quantity. Maybe. I've changed my mind, for now, but I really don't have the time to repeat myself ad nauseum. Really? Firstly, what about everyone's being "too kind"? Kindness means that we had better and harsher arguments we could've used but didn't (or else it could've been ignorance but could not have been kindness). Secondly, if someone tells you about their emotions point-blank then -unless it'd contradict something else you know- you sure as Hell can draw such a conclusion. In that situation it's not speculation but a valid inference which reason demands us to make - and to fail to do so would constitute the same refusal of integration that Christians mistakenly believe will keep their religious and secular beliefs separate. Thirdly, if you'd made such a cognitive failure with regard to some abstract issue (such as the relevance of someone's responses) that'd be understandable, if still slightly annoying. Making it about @Easy Truth's post is the kind of shit I'd expect from Leonard Peikoff. If I'm going to stay in this thing then I would appreciate your feedback on all of the points I have already made. I have now explained exactly why I don't consider "survival" relevant. Feel free to dispute any of that (I'm sure you will) but if you don't consider my argument at the very least a valid alternative to yours then please explain why.
  15. Truth as Disvalue

    Live long and prosper.