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haller

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  1. The premise is to be rational. "The virtue of Rationality means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action. It means one’s total commitment to a state of full, conscious awareness, to the maintenance of a full mental focus in all issues, in all choices, in all of one’s waking hours. It means a commitment to the fullest perception of reality within one’s power and to the constant, active expansion of one’s perception, i.e., of one’s knowledge. It means a commitment to the reality of one’s own existence" No, they are not mere words, words just will never be sufficient to describe those things. Fun to play so it'd some sort of rational hedonism. So if finding a central purpose is impossible, shouldn't one embrace absurdism? Let's leave that, let's stick to rationalism and apply it to our earthbound life. Should man pursue the goal that would make him the most happy or the goal that would be the most rational one. One can argue that the most rational thing is the thing that makes you happy the most, but then this thing is subject to our knowledge and other factors, therefore, it's not objective. Okay, let's be specific. Let's analyse my decision of studying abroad. I could have stayed and be possibly happier than I am now due to my friends, family, etc. that I abandoned to get better prospects. According to some of your arguments, I should have stayed because it is rational to be happy. I believe that this happiness is the short-term one, not the one that we should pursue. So I chose the more reasonable decision, to my mind, that will result in better financial existence, more influential connections etc. We should pursue the most rational things that eventually result in real happiness from self-development thanks to which we can recognise it. I give up on my current happiness because I am not sure whether it is the sustained one, I prefer developing myself to make more accurate decision in the future. However, this leads to pursuit of greater good which again would be the central purpose for me.
  2. I actually can't stand not knowing it. That's why I took such a desperate measure and asked. I agree that happiness comes from achievement not from the process but I am anticipating the achievement at the end of my current process and it won't make me happy. During the process I collect information that create reluctance and doubts about it. The achievements that I truly believe that would lead to happiness are very likely to be idealistic and impossible to accomplish. I think this unattainable goals are, or actually would be, the only ones worth pursuing: finding fundamentals of reality, pure consciousness or fullness of meaning. However, since it is not possible to figure out those things, we should accept our limitations and leave it. For long I could not accept the fact that we are only animals after all. But even that does not make sense completely because if our primary purpose was procreation and love was just attribute of our species to accomplish that. Why are we capable of independent thinking then? I don't even know how to study this purposelessness. 1. I don't see myself as any of those. I just really love to read philosophy and contemplate art but I don't have any artistic or philosophical aspirations. How could I be an artist or philosopher if I don't have any vision of my own. They create things and answers. I look for them. I believe in one objective truth and try to find it. That's why I believe it is more rational to give up on art & philosophy since even for aesthetically good artists it is hard to make a living nowadays. Now I just pursue money that will give me resources (financial independence) to fully focus on finding real happiness in the future, which now I doubt in. I guess I am looking for some ideal and I should accept earthboundness and shallowness of reality. 2. I think there are many rationales to believe that my artistic or philosophical goals are unattainable, thus, pursuing them and then struggling would be in my eyes irrational, hence, wrong. Obviously I could become a philosopher that accepts this impossibility and creates shallow meaning for life, but I believe money is a mean that can lead to fulfilment of any shallow meaning. 3. Maybe it is some sort of obsession of mine but I could create only two types of games. One wouldn't be in concordance with my beliefs because its purpose would be to achieve commercial success and generate highest profit, so therefore, it couldn't be too sophisticated because it would be created for the mob. It is definitely very risky, I'd jeopardise my beliefs, and it still would be probably less profitable than what I will be earning if I keep pursuing my current career path. The second option would be creating a game that I would genuinely think that is good, this one won't jeopardise my integrity, neither generate serious money, however, it could lead to happiness. The only problem with it is, that it does not exist. Every game is pointless because it is either random or there is a minimax strategy that is the most optimal (generates highest probability of winning), but then it is not stimulating and it is boring. Chess was solved ages ago, online poker with efficient data available is almost solved. The game I mentioned that I play is contract bridge, even online version of it (using robots) is not even close to be solved but it is the matter of time thanks to machine learning and evolutionary programming. However, thanks to the fact that we cannot use any of highly statistical solutions of the games in real life because of the limitations when it comes to our computing power, it makes these games bearable to play. You can enjoy the fact that they stimulate you but it does not create any value and is just shallow kind of joy. Playing them cannot be one's purpose because then there would be no difference between someone who is playing League of Legends 24h or Chess whole life, apart from the history and perception of the game. Even if we stick to games, the most difficult one and the most rewarding one at the same time (therefore it should be the only right one to play) is markets. It is not random, market adjusts to your strategy, therefore there is no unique solution that would work all the time, there are many factors to consider, endless possibilities and it is the most rewarding one, even the big element of risk it contains makes it more interesting than others. But then it means that our purpose is either 1. being the best by outperforming others which is shallow because we want to be the best just for the sake of being the best so we care more about others than ourselves; or 2. money which is wrong because money cannot be a purpose itself; or 3. getting a joy just from just playing the game. I believe the last one is CPL for most professional sportpeople but for me it is some irrationality because there are no true rationales behind any game to really love playing it and choosing it. I would love to give creating a proper shot but first I need to find or create my vision to have something to convey in artistic form. Getting inspired by someone and following some stream would be a token of second-handness and hence it'd be wrong. Finance, a career in some alternative investment fund (a hedge fund probably) with investment banking or asset management as a first stepping stone. Our effect on our lives is fairly big, obviously not complete to existing limitations. Nonetheless, it does not stop us from doing what we want. I agree with that, though, I struggle with the steps before it. Since, rationality is man's basic virtue and the only source of knowledge hence I try to find rational reasons for living. I am aware that this post is extremely long and most people won't read it. So if you could just answer the 3 following questions: 1. Do you really believe that life is rational? 2. Does rationality implies the existence of the most rational and optimal way of living? 3. Are we capable of being fully rational? When it comes to second question, I believe the answers is yes. Life is a series of decisions, and we should try to find the most rational (therefore the best one) goal and thus make the most rational (therefore the best ones) decisions to achieve that goal. So hence there are goals and decisions (rational ones) that are better than others (irrational ones). So it creates existence of optimality. Moreover, since those goals and decisions are the object of rational objective thought they should apply to everyone. If something is rational to one person and is not rational to another means it is subjective, and therefore, is not rational. Regarding last question, I think it is not possible, there are too many limitations of our species, however, we should pursue our potential. What's rationale for doing so, then? There's always a thing that we cannot find cause of, isn't rationality hopeless then? It is not rational to pursue something hopeless. Is it rational to be irrational? I guess I overdid here, so yeah, until next time.
  3. Great article, and I totally agree with its content but I struggle with the very first step, that is, finding my CPL. It seems like Roark and Rand knew from the beginning what their CPL are and they didn't need to find it. I hope you could answer a few of my questions and tell me what your take is on my several thoughts regarding this article. 1. How does one find its CPL? How did Roark find his? Was it because he was born with some natural talents related to architecture like drawing talent, spatial thinking and that? Then it would mean that not we but our qualifications that we are born with determine ourselves, our CPL. Obviously Howard must have come across architecture when he was young, liked it and then decided to pursue it. However, objectively speaking interests are not equal. Shouldn't one find then interest that is the most optimal one (the best interest out of all interests he can successfully pursue)? But then this optimalisation does not lead to genuine interest. However, genuine interest seems to be irrational because it simply means choosing something worse because you associate more positive emotions with it. I don't know there's some vicious cycle here that I cannot escape. "First, it must be objective, that is, drawn logically from the facts of who you are, the nature of the productive activity, and the nature of the world in which you live" I find taking "nature of the world in which we live" into account quite contradictory to objectivism. I thought we should pursue our goals despite certain circumstances not adjust our goals to them. This adjusting leads me to conclusion that what can be our goals is predefined in certain sense and we can only decide whether to pursue fulfilling them. 2. I think my greatest misconception is that I try to find something bigger, deeper that might not even exist instead of accepting shallowness of life. However, thought of doing something that I reasonably like for a living, have a family one day and have enough time and money for leisure and that's it, suffocates me. I don't know where that urge to be unique comes from and how to satisfy it or get rid of it. 3. Maybe I can't find my CPL because I feel I have very strong preference to learning, self-developing over creating. Obviously creating is very developing so I'll use an example to illustrate what I meant. I'd prefer to learn from numerous researches in certain field of study instead of doing my own research. I have always thought that while you are teaching (creating, researching etc.) you cannot get taught, therefore, I have been choosing the latter. 4. I have started doubting whether acting rationally is the right way. Vast majority of people do not act rationally, therefore, people who do, have the edge over them. This edge results in better performance in work or other activities, but what are rationale for work, other activities and living? Whenever I try to be rational about this I cannot overcome the argument that we are all going to die but what is more importantly, we are so irrelevant and tiny in the context of whole universe. So since I am here, yet alive, I'd like to pursue my own happiness, but that absurdity of our life stops me from getting any real happiness. Short-term joy from shallow activities is something that I despise. And at this moment anything but philosophy, aboslute spirit, art is shallow for me.
  4. Due to rationality, I gave up on studying art and philosophy because even though I really enjoy it, it does not mean I am to become artist or philosopher. I could imagine myself struggling to make a good living. So since it was so risky I thought It would be rational to pursue profitable career and by achieving significant financial independence relatively early I can then focus fully on art and philosophy or finding other purpose. Before that I treat art and philosophy as hobbies. My career goals are more like milestones which will allow me achieve that financial independence. So I basically postponed current happiness to provide myself future one. That future career seems like something I will like because it is competitive and requires outperforming others both of which match my personality. Apart from that I like a mind game that I am playing quite a lot. However, my rational thoughts are that either of these things cannot be my purpose and me liking them is just a sign of immaturity and still low level of self-development because they are just shallow and meaningless, they don't make me any closer to finding fundamentals of reality, pure consciousness or fullness of meaning. On the other hand, perspective of me reading all books and learning to achieve full potential of my intelligence seems like dead-end job and does not make my outlook look very happy.
  5. Hi, I came across Ayn Rand in high school. It helped me organise my life back then and gave a lot of motivation to achieve my goal which was studying abroad. Now I’m at university but it didn’t really make me happy. Probably because my expectations were too big. I mean it’s alright but I started doubting in my future career related goals and got trapped in some sort of nihilistic mood. I can’t find anything that makes my truly happy or values that are worth living. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that give me joy, probably too many but this is short term unsustained happiness which I consider very immature and irrational, nothing to do with true happiness. The only happiness that I could think of now is spending all time on art and Philosophy and sharing thoughts with like-minded people that I have big problems to find. How can man find his values? I admire people who know who they are. I feel like I can be anyone but I don’t know who I want to be therefore I’m no one. Whenever I think I overcame that nihilism of mine with some solution then there’s always another “why” that I can’t find answer. Does being an objectivist mean that you have everything figured out in your head?
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