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About Repairman

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Southeastern Wisconsin
  • Interests History, economic theory, psychology, films, custom cars and motorcycles. I actively write for the purpose of creating my own graphic illustrated stories. Also, I hold title to two investment properties as a proud capitalist.

Previous Fields

  • Country United States
  • State (US/Canadian) Wisconsin
  • Interested in meeting Of course I would be interested in meeting a woman with Objectivist views. Appearances do matter.
  • Relationship status Single
  • Sexual orientation Straight
  • Real Name Keith
  • Copyright Copyrighted
  • Biography/Intro b.1959, SE Wisconsin. I have always had a deep attraction to comic/professional illustration, and often used my time in school to develop my own style. This got me into lots of trouble. At age 18, I lived independently, working factory jobs, until, at age 23, I supported myself through 2yrs of college. My choice allowed me to work in radio for 3 yrs. At age 26, I became a father. The State dictated the terms of my obligations, demanding 17 percent of my gross earnings for child support; my son's mother relocated to her original home, in a more affordable state hundreds of miles away. While I made every effort within reason to maintain contact with my son, financial obligations remained non-negotiable. This period of my life is difficult to explain, other than to say my choices included going to jail, or making more money. I chose the latter over the former. Eventually, I attained a career as a maintenance mechanic, and returned to factories. It is honest work, although it does not fulfill my aspirations. My obligations to others have been made whole, but my life remains an object under my continuous efforts to repair.
  • Experience with Objectivism I discovered the works of Ayn Rand late in life, however, many of my own life-long observations were so nearly identical to Rand's that I was immediately convinced of her genius. Since 2008, I have read Virtue of Selfishness; Capitalism: Unknown Ideal; The Fountainhead; Anthem; We the Living; and Atlas Shrugged. I have For the New Intellectual on CD. I have recently read Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, The DIM Hypothesis, both by L.Peikoff.. I have reviewed multitudes of YouTube videos, interviews, and anything about Rand, including many critical commentaries. I have also attempted to converse with others about Objectivism, but so far, my experience has been that most people are opposed to rational ideas.
  • School or University Associate Degree in Radio Broadcasting
  • Occupation Maintenance mechanic/ landlord / illustrator

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  1. I hope you don't think I was ignoring the influence of religion on the Colonists. I quite agree that the multitudes of Protestant faiths were huge contributing factors in the creation of the American character of those times. But in the short space of these posts, I try to avoid expanding into a dissertation. In any discussion I have about the Revolutionary period, I emphasize the secularism of the great thinkers, such as Franklin, Jefferson, and Paine. The lack piety in the writings of these men is noteworthy. If they held to any religious beliefs, those beliefs were not asserted as persuasive argument for revolt against the Crown. Being fully-aware of the sectarian strife and violence of the preceding years of colonial life, it is clear that they sought to diminish any legal justification for such strive in the nation they created. The fact that Objectivism is a philosophy that stresses the importance of individual liberty over that of the state makes it the ideal philosophical foundation for the first nation to stress the importance of man's natural rights to liberty. The Founders gave a nation with a rather vague and even at times contradictory set of moral directions. Ayn Rand gave of the directions that were missing.
  2. Szalapski, I suppose I was raising too many topics. I'll try to stay on point. It should be pointed out that we would be covering too much ground if we were to broaden the conversation to include government. I would not recommend that we attempt to work out the details of a reduced federal government, but it has been a very popular idea. It would not be poorly received by the many. If we look at this: "...extreme, in that it is beyond the range of reasonable possibility for many to consider." Have you ever considered the monumental changes that have come about as a result of a few great minds devoted to a just cause? The fact that Objectivism is a philosophy accepted by only a few is not sufficient reason to destroy the core tenets. Societal change happens as a result of changing attitudes toward justice. Historic change, changes in laws, or even the very concept of government does not simply happen in one single moment. It requires years, generations, possibly centuries to popularize an idea and establish that once unthinkable idea as an institution. I could list too many historical examples supporting this. As I've said, I'll stay on point, rather than deviate to detailing my historic examples. However you did mention some past figures in recent American politics, all mentioned carried a message of reduced government. Reduced government is an ideal, but one we may discuss on a separate thread. Drawing the intellectual conversation toward Ayn Rand is an end in itself. The notion that it is some sort of dangerous extreme to be viewed from a safe distance is a notion I find repugnant. You are compromising with evil, and evil in the end will win. The examples of Objectivist core values are acceptable, lifted directly from the Ayn Rand Lexicon. And I understand you've read The Virtue of Selfishness. If you have given any thought to Ayn Rand's historical view, you must be aware of the consequences of placing God at the center of one's life, or the good of the many over the good of the few or the one. Philosophy is the critical driver of history. If that which seems extreme today were to gradually take hold of our culture, it would shape our future. Those extremes, the good and the evil, are waiting on time to work in their favor. These altruists, collectivists and temple priests have had their time to prove the "extreme virtuosity" of their beliefs. The results were the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, slavery, the Soviet Union, and the Nazi Third Reich. As for the American conservative movement, we could include Prohibition, McCarthyism, and an assault of the firewall separating church and state. The New Left makes every attempt to gag free expression when it does not meet with their approval. It may not necessarily happen in a year or a generation from now. But if you cherish the idea that freedom is man's natural right, such notions may one day be considered dangerous offenses, punishable under the law. If it matters to you, you may want to arm yourself with the best possible argument against those seeking "God's Kingdom on Earth," and a "Brotherhood of Man." Consider this while there is still time.
  3. Szalapski, by your estimates, what would you say is the core of Ayn Rand's argument? Understanding that Objectivism is an uncompromising collection of convictions, what is it that you find extreme? On what point should one moderate?
  4. Szalapski, I my estimates, this statement presents an adequate opportunity to address an authentic exchange of ideas. Let's take the adjective: "extreme." For many folks, to use the term "extreme" is interpreted as pejorative, much the way "radical," or "polarizing" might be interpreted, and for the same reason. These adjectives have no meaning whatsoever, unless understood within the context in which they are used. Extreme as compared to what? If I were to say, "This ideas is extreme in its accuracy," it would be the same as saying, "This is correct." (Example: 2+2=A; A=4. Damn! That's extreme.) Now you might say, well, philosophy is theoretical and can't be judged in the same way that one can judge mathematics. Objectivism is more close to mathematics than any other philosophical school of thought. In an earlier post, I mentioned a commonly held notion supporting the subjective school of morality: "There are no absolutes." The context of this utterance was one of judging the legal status of an immigrant. Is it possible that no one could be an illegal immigrant? According to this opinion, no: it is not possible that anyone could be an illegal immigrant. Using your independent judgement, would you say that that statement is true? Disregard any assumptions as to where the conversation may lead, could any rational person accept this premise? I can't say that I understand your reference to a "more conservational crowd," but as for the less philosophical, they will never figure it out for themselves anymore than a typical lay-Catholic will be able to figure out how it is that he has freewill, while at the same time, God rules over everyone. Catholics need priests who've studied for many years for the purpose of keeping the faithful in their place. We could address each of the belief systems of your acquaintances for there extreme weaknesses, if that would help clarify the extreme correctness of Objectivism. But I wouldn't waste my time trying to convince an altruist that he/she will never save the world by making his/herself, or anyone else, into a sacrificial animal. If one is not willing to devote the necessary time to think through an idea, one is merely following directions of someone else who has. Objectivism is not intended for the less philosophical. However, the lives of those who are more philosophical would improve greatly through the study of Objectivism. In addition, it is quite possible that a popular trend in extreme reason just might improve the lives of the less philosophical. But don't take my word for it. Make your own study of it and judge for yourself, for your own sake.
  5. Regarding this answer, I was responding to a comment by Eioul under the heading: "General Podcast Advise." At this point, I fully understand that your (Szalapski's) objective is clarity on the subject of Objectivism. So, if you could, please ask one or two specific questions, and perhaps at the end I would be interested in answering your questions or comments. Or maybe not. So far, it has been established that a podcast exists, and that some of the content motivated me to respond with protest. The use of the term: "Extreme," for example, when describing Ayn Rand and her works, reminds me of a clever statement used by Barry Goldwater way back in 1964: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vise; moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue." While this turn of a phrase did not help Goldwater win the presidency that year, (in fact he suffered an overwhelming defeat at the hands of a president who may hold a record for expanding the social welfare state), it is an endearing and enduring truth. Szalapalski, to whatever or wherever your queries might lead you in your quest for clarity, please understand, the world is not suffering for lack of technology, nor a lack of people who use it to their best advantages, (whether they be ill-conceived short-term advantages or constructive and long-term profitable advantages). The world is suffering from a lack of moral certitude. I recently hear a radio newscast. The opening sound bite: "There are no absolutes." Does this seem a bit extreme? It certainly does to me, and yet it is a widely accepted notion, not extreme to the mainstream. The world is suffering from a lack of philosophy, i.e., non-contradictory philosophy. I know of only one source which provides the proverbial arsenal of defense of liberty. And that source is Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Call me extreme, anytime.
  6. Is this podcast advise for my benefit? Or, for the benefit of the person(s) creating a podcast? I think I'll stick with the written form of communications. The written form is less ambiguous, in that I don't have to be concerned about the "tone" of my interlocutor, and instead, focus on literal meaning.
  7. Eiuol, I shall give your perspective due consideration. I find it difficult to respond to an audio conversation, especially when I detect "loaded terms," or indications of bias against Objectivism. It is impossible to insert commentary into such a dialog as Szalapski's podcast, that is, commentary requiring context related to the opposing statement. Perhaps this is merely a matter of different techniques of learning, as you've suggested. The advantage of this forum is the option of isolating a comment (particularly one that may require clarification or context), and responding to the specific portion of the entire statement. It is not my intent to discourage the recently-interested from exploring the ideas of Ayn Rand. Quite the opposite, there are times when I need clarification in order to judge the intent of the other person. Szalapski, Was there anything I said that appears to need clarification or context? I am still somewhat mystified by this reference: "...more Objectivist than 99% of the population," and the element of "remaining impurity." Could you explain?
  8. I listened to your podcast once; it was 25 minutes or more of my time, from which I drew the impression that two men were having a discussion about Ayn Rand, and her philosophy of Objectivism, presenting the same trite oversimplifications I've heard uttered on anti-Rand Youtube videos. I have no idea what my reaction would have been to "the remaining impurity," to which you refer. I would never expect anyone to qualify as "more than 99% of the population," because I don't know what that means. If someone had never heard of Ayn Rand, but the actions and opinions of that person could be characterized as one of rational self-interest, that person would be OK by my estimates, and I would have more respect for that person as a result. If a person arrives at the same level of intellectual honesty without studying philosophy, I would strongly approve of that person. Here, you seem sincere about your interest to discover something. What that something is can only be answered by you. Some people join this forum with the intent of finding support of something they feel very strongly about, only to find that Objectivism doesn't deal in their pet peeve. On the subject of seeking clarity on Objectivism, you may be well on your way via the study of more Objectivist literature. As you read more, you will find that there is no compromise with religionists (if that term works better than "mystics"); there is no compromise with socialists or anyone advocating for the common good. If that's what you're looking for, there are plenty of other "great minds" to support subjective premises. Objectivism is based on objectivity. Without the basic principles (one being, "A is A"), one stands on a weak argument, proceeds on a misguided sense of direction, and consequently loses focus of one's desired outcome. That outcome for me is my happiness, and the continued love of my life. I would be happy to address any point of misgiving you may have with Objectivism to the best of my ability, but please be specific.
  9. I hope you understand my defensive post regarding your conversation with your friend. Much of what I heard on your podcast was defense of the altruistic status quo. There was no context provided in the criticisms made by Zack Schmitt; as remember it, there was no defense of Objectivist ethics worth mentioning. To the point that you or your friends are not experts, this is quite apparent, and I did not assume that to be the case. Without an advocate to defend the opposing view, the conversation becomes an indictment of Objectivism rather than an argument or discussion. I take a strong position in defense of reason, individualism, and capitalism. Your guest was an advocate of mystical, altruistic, and collectivist rhetoric, all too common in our society. Ayn Rand points out that throughout the ages, man has followed a moral code rooted in either the spiritual or the social. Identifying oneself as holding Judeo-Christian beliefs is sufficient evidence that one is religious, and, (at least in case of Judeo-Christian beliefs) this suggest that one receives one's code of morality through mystic revelations. Some people will go through life meditating on mantras such as: "Who knows?" or "There's nothing I can do about it." or "Everyone does it." To say that: "We can't know ourselves," may be true for some people, but I know who I am, and anyone making any claim to the contrary certainly does not. If others hold their own opinion of me, I can do nothing about that, other than to alter my behavior accordingly. If I have no respect for an individual's opinion, I make no compliance or behavioral correction; if the person holds some value and/or authority over me, be they a client, a dear friend, my boss, a law officer, then I take into consideration the changes necessary to improve our relations. I might dress myself in more sophisticated clothes for a special occasion. But it is the very height of absurdity to cater to the opinions of every Minnie, Moe, and Jack. But at least Minnie, Moe, and Jack are people, and not ghosts. After one accepts these truths as self-evident, one may find oneself on the proverbial horns of a dilemma. What is morality, and why am I certain as to what morality is? Objectivism answers those question and many more without contradiction. While you certainly will find disagreement among the participants in this forum, you make your own rational judgements, with or without this forum. Rationality does not come about automatically; it takes practice. Inasmuch as you've identified yourself as agnostic, it should be pointed out that holding ambiguities as to the existence of supernatural forces may lead you to errors in judgment, as well as errors in actions. Moral ambiguities are at the very center of chaos. I, too, was for many years ambiguous about the existence of God; my experience has been that I am far better off with objective reality as my moral set-point. You be the judge of that which is best for you.
  10. It seems I missed an error in my earlier post: It should read: "I won't stop you." So, without further comment, let us proceed down the rabbit-hole. As they say in show biz: "Take it away, Ilya..."
  11. Take it as many ways as you wish, Ilya, but take them away. Your comments as usual are out-of-context, over-worded, and irrelevant. If you wish to start a discuss relating to the inner working of the mind, go ahead; I would stop you. Neither will I join you. I could always discuss matters with Wilson, or some equivalent. I hardly see myself stranded on an island and I don't think most people do either. Your hypothetical is irrelevant. Incorrect(!?) It's incomprehensible. Can't you express yourself more clearly? Better yet, write a dissertation on the subject, and see if you can get a publisher to buy it. I guarantee, I won't. Where would we be without Ilya Startsev's commonsensical corrections of Objectivism, so commonsensical that it couldn't possibly be misunderstood by anybody.
  12. Szalapski, I resort to stating the obvious. You have made no specific criticism of Objectivism. It may be that you have no specific criticism of Objectivism. Having listened to the audio recording most recently listed on your podcast, it seems apparent that you have a desire to undermine the validity of Objectivism. While the motive for such an endeavor eludes me, I wish to offer these comments: Objectivism is a fully comprehensive philosophy. Most rational and coherent individuals would find it easy to live with the moral assertions of Objectivism, if not for the fact that there presently exists a ubiquitous acceptance of irrational ideas. The popularity of these irrational ideas undermines the likelihood of Objectivsim becoming a mainstream or well-accepted philosophical norm in the leading industrial nations of the world. Religious clerics, modern philosophy professors, and Hollywood producers are hard at work preserving the mystical/collectivist standard of ethics. Do you really believe that someone seeking a rational explanation for the general insanity of the world would be best served by presenting "Objections to Objectivism" without a firm grasp of the concept of Objectivism? Referring to the podcast, would a person questioning the foundations of ethics benefit from the confusing salad of unsubstantiated assertions I heard in the conversation you had with Zack Schmitt? How does Zack Schmitt, an admitted mystic who claims "we can't know your own selves," (paraphrased) qualify as an expert on Objectivism? On this thread alone, you have received feedback from people with a much broader breadth of knowledge in the formal study of philosophy than anything I would care to engage. If you have arguments with Ayn Rand's metaphysical or epistemological assertions, I recommend you address these concerns directly; perhaps these more scholarly participants could help you with these more abstract fundamental, however I always recommend some self-study followed by your own independent contemplation before engaging in any argument. As for me, a man of less academic reasoning, I am perfectly willing to accept the notion that that which I perceive is quite real, unless there may be some deception involved, or something as yet to be discovered. Deception is a matter of reality, as is the undiscovered. As for the manner of reacting and responding to reality, that is a matter for every individual to determine for his/her self. It is a matter of morality. The question of morality in Objectivist thought is not very difficult to grasp, unless one is confused by religious beliefs, or the skeptical premise that knowledge is an illusion, or a combination of both. Not everyone would benefit from a society governed by Objectivist morality. The indigent, the criminally insane, the inherently corrupt, and certainly those who presently prosper from the sales of mystical products would find themselves isolated from a community of rational thinkers. The majority of rational thinkers would thrive and flourish. If our present-day civilization spirals downward to the depths of a new dark age, it won't be because the world was populated by too many Objectivists. That fate would be the property of the mystics and skeptics. It is my profound conviction, and one supported with evidence, that the entire population of the world and beyond will live more contented, if not more joyous lives, when the reality, so obvious to Objectivists, becomes the standard of philosophic thought.
  13. While these books are excellent works of fictional literature, only TVoS, (The Virtue of Selfishness), is a non-fiction book, which mainly addresses morality and politics. It was my first choice when I decided to learn more about Ayn Rand and her philosophy, in fact, and I still consider it the best introduction to Objectivism. For a more complete and orderly view of Objectivism, I would recommend Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, by Leonard Peikoff. Now, perhaps you could share your "problems with Objectivism," or as StrictlyLogic suggested, start a new thread. I will take a look at your query on other preexisting threads, and see if there is anything I could contribute.
  14. Have you considered reading some of the many volumes written by Ayn Rand and Dr Leonard Peikoff? If you have, what are your opinions of Objectivism? Trying to piece together a comprehensive philosophy from online posts would only leave you with gaping deficiencies. Otherwise, welcome to the forum; I look forward to constructive exchanges.
  15. Whose fault is it? If someone is a legitimate threat to anyone, that must be proven by objective standards. "To believe" that a threat exists may be brought on by your own emotional reaction to someone's behavior. Cruelty to animals is not objective evidence that a person poses a threat to people. It is a problem that should be dealt with by some method other than imprisonment. Taking away a person's freedom and designating that person as a criminal is much more serious than the life of an animal. Iatan Petru, I can see that your interest in Objectivism is sincere. But you ought to research the Objectivist moral position on human freedom a bit more. Welcome to the forum.