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Harrison Danneskjold

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Everything posted by Harrison Danneskjold

  1. Harrison Danneskjold

    What are you listening at the moment?

  2. Harrison Danneskjold

    Universals

    What if it's not inherently identical? If I say that three pencils all have "length" I obviously can't mean that they all have some sort of disembodied labels to that effect, with identical names but unique values. Rather, wouldn't it make more sense to say that all three are objects whose shapes are easily comparable to each other, but which won't impress any such concept onto me unless I do the comparing? Similarly, one could also describe a basketball as having "length" in a more geometrical and abstract sense - and that's exactly what would make it "more abstract"; that it's much less obvious to compare a sphere to a rod in that way. Which is why mathematicians make the big bucks. The labels of "length" in essence, then, would themselves be in my own head but only after I'd derived them from some metaphysical fact; from something I'd observed about a certain arrangement of matter. How does it go - "entities are the only primary existents"? So in one sense, you seem to be right, but not in another sense. --- You guys seem to have been playing ring-around-the-rosy between intrinsicism and subjectivism ever since the OP framed the question as whether universals are "in here" or "out there". I believe Rand would've rejected that whole dichotomy (and if she wouldn't have then I think she should've). Existence is Identity. Consciousness is Identification. PostScript: I agree with @MisterSwig's use of "concrete", as opposed to @Eiuol's (I think - he did get a bit metaphysical towards the end, there). I don't remember Rand using "concrete" to mean specifically physical and extraspective; just individual and directly perceivable (even introspectively perceivable). I would agree wholeheartedly with @intrinsicist's assertions about metaphysical universals if he'd phrased it as "similar" or "comparable" instead of insisting on "identical". Ultimately, no two things in the universe are perfectly identical. Even if someone were to hypothetically clone some object with something like a Replicator from Star Trek - if the cloned object was physical then it could not share its parent's location, which would necessarily leave them at least one difference. But we don't need things to be perfectly identical in order to form concepts about them; just close enough. The valid extent of anything we learn about things with such approximate similarities is not necessarily cut and dry, no matter how well we do our part of the process. Just look up the main problem with experimenting on mice instead of people. At the end of the day, as similar as we are, a man is not a mouse. Well. Some of us aren't, at least.
  3. Harrison Danneskjold

    Why Objectivism is so unpopular

    That's true, and I've actually started working on a similar concept. I just despise computer animation. All the API's with which I've done it (just the stock ones in Java and C++ and a newer but still screwy XML system) were riddled with bugs, undocumented or badly documented behavior, documentation which out-and-out lied about the behavior and a host of overlapping, competing control mechanisms - many of which the OS will automatically try to "help" you with, by default. Most of the problems I found were programmed decades ago, too, and just haven't been fixed since then. Everyone's just learned how to program around them and nobody's ever actually fixed them (which boggles my mind - I wouldn't be able to walk away from a botched job, like that). I like to sit down with a blank slate and a goal and figure out the cleanest and most elegant way to make it so. Spending six to eight hours grappling with someone's deranged abortion just makes me want to hunt down the responsible parties. So I do not do animations except as a last resort. I am working on something for YouTube, though; just not that exact idea. And I've downloaded a couple of apps to do all the necessary animation for me.
  4. Harrison Danneskjold

    Fallacy of Pure Self reference

    Then wouldn't "this statement is false" be merely arbitrary? I'm not sure I can disprove that it is arbitrary, in a certain sense, but in another sense it also seems self-contradictory. And in that same sense "this statement is true" seems tautological (and therefore true). That doesn't seem to follow, either. If "this statement is true" were arbitrary then "this statement is false" would also be arbitrary. The Objectivist concept of the "arbitrary" is not quite the same as "false". Edit: What about "this is a statement" - which is implicit in "this statement is true"? Again, you both seem to be looking at a single thing it means while there are multiple layers of meaning involved even in something as simple as this.
  5. Harrison Danneskjold

    What Sonic The Hedgehog Shows Us About Evil

    Firstly, I wouldn't refer to it as his "coolness". It sounds like you're talking down to your audience. It doesn't sound deliberately unkind or anything but would you like being talked down to? I'd hate that. And the people who'd actually prefer to be talked down to - I don't think they'd watch your whole video, no matter how good it is. So in general it might be helpful to remember who your target audience is (people who have a brain and aren't afraid to use it). And in particular I would find a better synonym for "cool". Secondly, although comparing and contrasting is absolutely vital to concept-formation (which in this case means comparing and contrasting these fictional characters), I'd be very careful not to imply that "coolness" itself is based on such a comparative standard. It seems to me that one of Sonic's main virtues is not just that he's a sleek, swift, sexy sports car, but that he also knows it. And he doesn't know it in a comparative kind of way (like knuckles); he wouldn't say "I'm better than you" but just "I'm fucking great!" It's written all over his face. Honestly, I think it could use a bit of work, but with a bit of work it could be really and truly great. If you've never seen Phineas and Ferb before, it'd make excellent conceptual fodder to work with. The battles between Doctor Doofenshmirtz and Perry the Platypus illustrate exactly what you're trying to get at - there are lots of characters there worth comparing and contrasting.
  6. Harrison Danneskjold

    What are you listening at the moment?

    The Chicks Dig It
  7. Harrison Danneskjold

    The Audit

    Although my primary focus frequently was on other peoples' minds, that doesn't really sound like it. My frustration came pretty specifically from an overwhelming sense of disgust and hatred. I know that contradicts the stereotypical "people pleasing" secondhander (and I have indulged in that in the past year or so) but most of it I came from a different species of the same thing: I didn't usually want to please people (although, occasionally, yes) but to offend and outrage them. I wanted to piss them off as much as they pissed me off. Of any area of my life, my posts here got the least amount of it over the last few years (Objectivists -even goddamned Peikoff- piss me off so much less than anyone else on Earth), but it wasn't immune. I think that was a large part of the exchange between Nicky and myself (which I leapt into, without even glancing at the actual subject, in order to pick a fight - because, let's face it, Nicky is easier than most to pick a fight with) as well as a large part of what I eventually intend to audit. Perverse, I know. That's why I started this. --- Just another memnonic aid.
  8. Harrison Danneskjold

    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...
  9. Harrison Danneskjold

    The Audit

    Very much so. In my nightly sermons (they're a requirement at this homeless shelter) one of the only useful things I've heard was the description of a certain state of mind as "having the fuck-its". And wholeheartedly, yes; most of the fallacies I'd ultimately like to indicate (and every single one of the worst ones) I committed during a fit of "the fuck-its". That was also the primary emotion that'd override my reason, by far. The only other one (an overwhelming sense of gratitude and a hint of satisfaction) probably accounted for 1/10th of the problems. And that's not limited to my posts on this forum. All of the very worst decisions I've made in the past five years sprang from one case or another of the fuck-its. And -as far as I can currently tell- my emotions were overriding my reason roughly once every two or three days. But once it happened I'd suddenly find myself way off in left-field, a few hours (or occasionally days) later, with an unbroken string of truly abhorrent choices behind me. This probably isn't useful (I'm primarily including it as a starting point for my future self) but this is what I'd almost always listen to, just beforehand. I think it actually might've been every single time since October of 2015 but I'm not certain. I'm not sure, yet. I know I've been doing a lot of solitary thinking, lately (hence my absence), but I'll have to do some more about that. Thank you. So much. --- Exclusively for anyone who thought too deeply about "Shipwrecked" and was tempted to worry about me:
  10. Harrison Danneskjold

    The Audit

    A1: This is a cop-out to sidestep even the pretense of a reasoned argument by merely asking "What Would Roark Do". WWRD is an extremely useful way to illustrate or clarify some moral abstraction but by itself it's not a valid justification (since one couldn't imagine him inventing metals or motors or writing novels, either). A2: Any evaluation of "our movement" according to the actions of any one member, without demonstrating any overarching trend (such as Islam's tendency to produce suicide bombers), would be based on the idea of "guilt by association" - which holds individuals morally accountable for the actions of other men (their associates), which is irrational and stupid. Pandering to the irrationality of one's inferiors is wrong (and part of why I now have to put myself through this). Unless Objectivists everywhere are constantly talking about masturbation, Peikoff's podcast reflects on nothing. C1: "There are no evil thoughts except the refusal to think" - and no stupid questions (nor any questions that'd be wrong to answer). I was implicitly contradicting that, which is probably why I didn't feel like formulating an explicit argument about it. C2: Instead of actually justifying C1 (which can't be done by reference to any Objectivist principle) I made a couple of related points and hoped he'd guess my justification for himself. I'm not sure that's necessarily irrational but it is cowardly and underhanded (and was necessary to keep my implicit contradiction from becoming explicit). E: The fact that I'd been arguing that point for that long without even trying to look at what we were talking about.
  11. Harrison Danneskjold

    The Audit

    I mention "ruthless logic" and "tough love" because if it is what I think it is then facing some cold, hard truths head-om might actually be the best thing for me, right now. And I'm sure I'll find some of those tomorrow.
  12. Harrison Danneskjold

    The Audit

    True; thank you. I probably should've stuck with the first thing I'd typed ("tough love"). It seems to be less about who's involved (although, now that you mention it, I think I may have a few examples of that to be audited) than what they'd think and/or feel about what I'm saying. Which doesn't seem like it's necessarily wrong (isn't that a pretty basic component of any communication?) unless it takes precedence over the truth. And if I'd automatized that inversion of priorities (which, causally speaking, seems right up the alley of "learning to deceive better") then that would explain without contradiction every symptom I mentioned plus a few more I identified at work this morning. I hadn't even included "good reasoning", at first - I'm not even sure what relevant lessons I could draw from it! Which isn't to say that there's nothing to be learned from it (which would almost certainly be false); only that I don't know what, off the top of my head. Yeah! You're right! I was only interested in "bad reasoning" - I only mentioned "good reasoning" to make the sentence Kosher for the hypothetical reader I had in mind! The Benevolent Universe premise and the massive emphasis on pursuing values (instead of escaping from disvalues) are the only specific reasons that come to mind, but it does seem to be one of the most frequently-recurring themes in Rand's fiction. Not anymore, but around this time last year I did. I honestly don't know. It should be easy to determine a lower bound, in the very least, after I really start auditing (tomorrow).
  13. Harrison Danneskjold

    The Audit

    Ah! It's almost as if I've automatized the direction of my attention, while under observation, to the anticipated responses of my observer (instead of to the facts involved)! That simplifies things. I take back what I said about abuse: bring on some ruthless logic! I think I'm actually going to enjoy this.
  14. Harrison Danneskjold

    The Audit

    http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/30896-we-should-be-fun-people-we-arent-lets-change/&do=findComment&comment=352166 I'm not sure this was right. Specifically: are there any subjects one morally shouldn't consider (no matter how silly)? I don't have time to fully unravel it at present but that seems very wrong. The pandering to anonymous strangers' judgements of "guilt by association" isn't my implicit moral collectivism; it was Rand's and Peikoff's. Still, that's not a valid reason to perpetuate it. There's much more here but I'm out of time.
  15. Harrison Danneskjold

    The Audit

    Okay! I can't seem to find where I said that I no longer thought that position correct. Maybe I'd just changed my mind (and forgotten even to mention that to anybody) but maybe not. Without the other post I can't tell what error (if any) I've committed! I'll try digging for it again, though, when I have a few spare minutes. Firstly, "too much" of something implies some goal (which is the thing's purpose and which dictates its standard of "too much" or "too little", etc). For the purpose of writing my own philosophical ideas, to be read by people who've voluntarily read Ayn Rand (recall the sheer size of Atlas Shrugged), I don't think I'm too talkative. For the purpose of combing through my previous ideas, finding all the wrong ones and finding the most essential wrongs among those (since that's the shortest route to what I really want to know), I've been far too talkative for one person to audit. @Nicky (whose posts seldom exceed a single paragraph apiece) could probably audit himself all by himself, if he wished to, but I can't. I'm not beating myself up about it (I never imagined I would be trying to do this when I wrote any of the things I've posted before) but it is a fact. Secondly, I never actually said "too talkative"; just "talkative". Thirdly, what makes me think I am talkative? My user history. It's not necessarily a bad thing, in the usual context; it just makes my current goal a hard one to reach by myself. Yes, and life is a process of motion - but I'd like to know that I'm moving in the right direction! I have some very good reasons to think that I haven't been (that, in fact, I've been moving in all the wrong directions) and I'm not beating myself up about that, either - I can't change the past. What I am doing is trying to learn from it. My dad used to say: "don't tell me you're sorry for it; just don't do it". I've apologized for many of the things I've posted in the last few weeks, as I should've, but I can't stop doing the things I'm apologizing for until I understand their nature and causes. And that is specifically what I made this thread for: to help me gain a better picture of what I've been doing wrong and how to start doing it right. I will! I start work in a few more hours, here, but I already have a list of 'likely suspects' in the back of my head, which I'll start linking to the next time I'm able (probably this afternoon). Well, in this particular case I think the examples of bad reasoning would be much more helpful. You're all welcome to let me know how awesome any of my conclusions are (I certainly won't stop you) but I really don't have any trouble with accepting or being proud of that. That's just my default response to my own ideas; even ones I've since discarded -such as Satanism- I still feel vaguely fond of (like previously-favorite toys which I happen to have outgrown). It's the opposite that I'm struggling with; realizing when my objectively amazing brain happens to produce garbage, and then treating the garbage for what it is. I know that positivity and optimism are a big part of Objectivism, though, so it didn't feel right to post it in the order in which I'd originally typed it. So I swapped them around at the last minute. I'm not sure. I've noticed a few common symptoms but I don't know what they'd point to (if anything). Firstly, I don't tend to have too much trouble with abstract principles, as such; the majority of the difficulties arise when I try to remember, off the top of my head, how they're integrated into my whole worldview, or to apply them to some concrete. For example, I know that productiveness is the virtue of rearranging the material of your background to suit yourself. That's very clear in my mind, as are several of its connections to other concepts and principles (such as the fact that all "creation" as such means a new rearrangement of old materials). However, some of its connections are hit-or-miss (such as the relation of independence to productiveness - "your life is yours to live, which means your life is your own responsibility" -Yaron Brook); some days it's there and some days it simply isn't. Similarly, sometimes I can properly apply the virtue of "productiveness" to a given situation, and sometimes I can't. For example, take someone who tries to get a raise by flattering a boss they despise (like Peter Keating); some days I'll be able to see how that's not actually productive at all, and some days (like right now) I can't. I know it's the wrong answer but for the life of me I can't remember why. Secondly, although at times I'll ramble on and on about something irrelevant (which seems pretty common among even the best of us), sometimes -particularly when I'm trying to stay on track- I'll do something much worse, without realizing it: I'll start saying things that aren't true. It's not lying. I believe what I'm saying, in the moment that I say it, but if I remember it the next day I have to wonder where in the Hell I managed to pull THAT out of. It's not a conscious action and I usually don't even notice when I'm doing it (although in the past two weeks I actually have, and have managed to correct it on-the-spot, a couple of times); one minute I'm discussing some idea or some state of reality and the next I'm describing -with fully righteous conviction- something that's completely in my own head. It's something I remember doing all the time, when I was little, but since I really got into Objectivism this is the first time I've noticed doing it again. And it only ever happens when I'm talking to someone. When I'm thinking about something, by myself, it just doesn't happen (not ever, in any slightest way); if I'm talking to someone then I can start doing it hours and hours before I know what I've been doing. Because of that I suspect that it's the result of learning to lie too frequently, for too long (which is why I mentioned dealing with "normal people" or "envious morons" - I've spent many years simply trying to deceive them into leaving me the Hell alone) but that doesn't tell me the identity of the flawed cognition I'm struggling with, nor (what's REALLY important to me, here) how to retrain my self out of doing it. God. This was one of my favorite songs when I was a kid; hearing it now, I can't stop thinking about Robert Stadler. But I didn't bring this here for moral support but for the fastest possible cure, which I'd only retard by any omission. When I think of why I started consciously learning to lie I think of this song.
  16. Harrison Danneskjold

    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.
  17. Harrison Danneskjold

    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.
  18. Harrison Danneskjold

    What are you listening at the moment?

  19. Harrison Danneskjold

    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.
  20. Harrison Danneskjold

    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:
  21. Harrison Danneskjold

    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.
  22. Harrison Danneskjold

    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...
  23. Harrison Danneskjold

    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.
  24. Harrison Danneskjold

    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.
  25. 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...
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