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Everything posted by Tenderlysharp

  1. Tenderlysharp

    Why follow reason?

    "You don’t think through another’s brain and you don’t work through another’s hands. When you suspend your faculty of independent judgment, you suspend consciousness. To stop consciousness is to stop life. Second-handers have no sense of reality. Their reality is not within them, but somewhere in that space which divides one human body from another. "-Ayn Rand, For The New Intellectual A living person is to parrot someone who has died... for a philosophy of life? I don't believe any living Objectivist claims to be Ayn Rand. Only you can direct the action you take to quote her. If it were all quotes it would be like she was just here talking to herself...
  2. The purpose of this thread is to explore the perspective of transition someone new to Objectivism may experience. One person may take off like a rocket from the first moment Ayn Rand comes into his awareness, voraciously reading and integrating everything she has ever written, another may take years trying to decide whether he is willing to embrace it fully. The people here have various levels of understanding, age, and experience with Objectivism. The title under a person's avatar may give you a clue as to what level of understanding he has proved himself to express. Novice, Jr Member, Member, Senior Member, Administrator, Organizer, Proud Father, Web God, ... there may be more that I haven't noticed yet... When weighing the perspective of another member of this site you may want to look at his profile, and the other posts he has commented on to get an idea of where he is coming from. The strong ego that Objectivism encourages may make a person seem as though he is talking down to you. It is a bit of an assumption on his part that you have just as strong an ego as he has, and therefore he expects you to take what you want from it without feeling pressured to do so. The forum rules request that you do a search before posting a question. I wonder if the administrators or any members know the top 10 most redundant questions. One of them is Agnosticism/Atheism: With commonly redundant questions pick up an old thread where the previous commentary left off. The original posters may not be around to respond, but if you have something to add to the conversation it may peak the interest of the people who are here now. Every person who comes here values his time, many are happy to answer your questions, yet the most common answer you will receive is a link to where you can find the answers for yourself. It takes a lot of work to learn everything there is to learn about Objectivism, and most people are not willing to do your work for you, (nor could they even if they wanted to). If you value another person's time he will be more willing to exchange ideas with you. I often write everything I am thinking on a subject, save it for the next day, read it again fresh, write some more, and then cut off half to 2/3rds of the weakest part reserving some of it in my own files for when I understand it better. Being concise is an integral aspect of every great mind.
  3. Tenderlysharp

    Jumping into the fray

    Where did the last three weeks go? Went on a road trip; Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, and back to Wyoming. I've been painting a lot since I got back. Its a different part of my brain I use while painting... visual language. I get good at one thing, and push myself to try to challenge myself in a different way and it turns out horrible. Getting over my false pride, so I can earn some real pride is messy and it takes too long, but I am trying.
  4. My kid came home with a package of school photos. There is a note with a price list that says: choose the photos you want, and send a check, and send back what you don't want. The package includes a calendar, book marks, key chains with my son's picture on them, 21 photos all together for $36. I don't like the photos, the photographer doesn't do a good job. My kid doesn't understand why I am upset, he is taking it personally, and will be embarrassed to return to school with them, saying his mom doesn't want photos of him. I didn't give them permission to do this. I also don't want to send the photos back, because I don't want them having photos of my kid. What are they going to do with them? Its such a waste and I just want to burn them. We take natural fun photos with our phones all the time, we don't need these. Should doing business this way be illegal? I would appreciate any recommendations on what I ought to say to the photographer, the school, or a higher official.
  5. Tenderlysharp

    Coercive School Photos

    I appreciate the time each of you has taken to respond. Writing it out and engaging like this is helping to clarify it in my mind. I can send the 21 photos back without buying, technically it seems like no obligation... the obligation is in the emotional manipulation. The garbage waste of so many printed photos is weird; when I was a kid, having your photo taken was a luxury. A photo of your child is a sentimental treasure, even if he is making a loopy face, it sucks throwing them out. It is awkward confronting the photographer, and the school, the time spent doing so, and my son being in the middle of it. You never know who is someones relative, I shouldn't care, but small town drama sometimes bleeds down to the kids. I also don't mind picture day in general, I am buying him a year book, I just don't like the way they are going about it. If I complain they might not take his photo at all. Thinking of burning them is a symbol of rebellion to the whole situation. Maybe it is a risk the photographer wants to take. I know from working for a couple years reproducing fine art, the material cost is probably $3-$5. They can recoup their cost if 20% of parents are susceptible (or interested) enough to pay, which is easier than raising a stink, especially when you don't have a philosophical foundation to consider. At his last school in Salt Lake City, the photographer had three shots, several backgrounds and a variety of sizes to choose from, they were available for order online before printing. Working to make picture day at school more objective is not as challenging as taking on the big problems of the world... I don't know... maybe I will take him down to the river for a photo shoot and print some good ones out myself.
  6. Tenderlysharp


    I am very physiologically affected by emotion, my own and the emotion of others. I don't want to change that about myself because I think it teaches me something. My mind returns to difficult emotions because I want to understand human nature. Objectivism helps me bring emotion into conscious terms. Ayn Rand once said "I very rarely had an emotion that took me more than a couple days to get to the bottom of." I am seeing more objectively the way emotions can be manipulated by or blamed on others. I was listening to an audiobook last year that was interesting. There is a space between what you experience, and how you react. In that space is the story you tell yourself. I can't remember the title.
  7. The Virtue of Selfishness is a 173 page book. According to me... It means self esteem, self respect, trusting myself, introspection, keeping my own counsel, doing the best I can, calling myself out on my own BS, learning. I don't always know if I made an irrational decision, when I notice or when someone I respect points it out, and I agree, then I correct it. Your self is your body/consciousness/memories, a sum total of everything you are and have been. I believe I am a Self first, the -ish follows. If I want to value rational values it is my self that chooses, and I gain confidence on that path. I don't agree with mullahs. Every woman I know has had their body trespassed upon by a man at some point. Having been inappropriately touched by strange men several times in my life brings painful clarity. In theory it is true that it is the man who needs to correct his behavior, not the woman who needs to cover up. But I won't risk my body to prove that point. I choose the level of protection I need for a given situation. Sometimes a bikini, sometimes layers and a weapon. A woman wearing a Burqa believes it is a symbol of honor, it ought to be her own choice, I wouldn't force her to wear it, nor tear it off of her. I believe in this world, as an objective reality, an orange is an orange and not my imagination. This reality contains irrational people and mystics who believe in other worlds. An Objectivist forces no one, but if forced, will respond with force. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/selfishness.html
  8. Ayn Rand has redefined selfishness, you are using the definition of selfishness that is used by the majority of society, originating when mystics accused the self as the source of all evil. When a person acts against their rational self interest it is a loss of self that they experience. This confusion and disorientation happens to everyone, clarity and fog, integration and disintegration. Humans learn concsiousness by putting attention into returning to the path of rationality. It is painful, I would be horrified to witness that in person, and would probably have nightmares about it. In that moment it is in my self interest to do everything in my power to rationally talk them out of it. I cried once when I saw a video of a large man grab the back of this small girls sweater and pull her off of a ledge of the Golden Gate Bridge. I honestly can't say I think he was wrong. She appeared young and healthy, the possibility of her discovering a value worth living for is there. In another context some people suffer for years with chronic pain making it impossible to really live, if there is no hope of recovery, why force them to continue suffering? As an artist, I think the human body is beautiful, and have enjoyed nudity in a safe family friendly hot springs. I think of a similarity with taxes. Objectivists believe tax is theft, but we still pay our taxes, because we live in a society still largely dominated by mystics. It is a process of development. With greater rational freedom and responsibility nudity would become safer and more common. Women are at risk of being raped even when they wear cloths, the risk would increase when there is no physical barrier. It is a management of available resources. Humans are omnivorous. Where population density increases the incidence of vegetarianism increases, in some places the higher classes would ban eating meat in order to reduce competition for that resource. The further north you travel, the less vegetation available, the more dependent on meat those cultures are. A rational argument will not stop the irrational. Crimes happen every day that can not be stopped. Irrational selfishness has a way of creating enemies, and you risk retaliation. Objectivism is a philosophy chosen through self respect, if you want to be rational.
  9. Tenderlysharp


    This is interesting, I often worry that my needs should not be a burden to anyone around me. I know the value of writing in a journal, but hadn't thought of it from the angle of unmet needs. I have avoided seeking a psychologist because of how friends had talked of their experiences, and the Zen/socialistic/egoless perspectives they took. I have some pride about figuring out my own problems for myself, its lonely.
  10. Tenderlysharp

    The value of apologizing

    A relationship that can recover from a struggle will be stronger for it. There is an art to genuine apology.
  11. Tenderlysharp

    Addiction: Coffee, TV, and laziness

    These are great points
  12. Tenderlysharp

    Elon Musk

    Mixed Premises... Yes Elon Musk chooses to be interested in societies concerns more than most Objectivists do. That is his choice, he has earned it. He is an engineer, a prime mover, an energy generator. If you want to believe he is your enemy, at least give him the respect of being an intelligent formidable enemy, rather than a straw man.
  13. Tenderlysharp

    Elon Musk

    Tesla - Automatizing electric cars, and semi-trucks. A self-driven car will become as rare as having a horse. SpaceX - A million people to Mars. Solar City - Enough energy hits the earth in one day to supply all our power needs for a year. Giga Factories - Lithium Ion Batteries. The Boring Company - Travel 200 miles per hour, in underground tunnels. Funded through merchandise sales. A Boring Flame Thrower anyone? Star Link - Access to high speed Internet anywhere Open AI - Working to ensure safety in quickly advancing Artificial Intelligence technology. Is AI our greatest existential threat? In 2008 Elon Musk's companies were nearly bankrupt, he put everything he had into keeping them afloat. Today these companies are developing work environments that foster thousands of the best engineers to live up to their potentials and make exponential breakthroughs in their fields. What are your thoughts?
  14. Tenderlysharp

    Elon Musk

    SpaceX is making superior rockets at a quarter of the cost of NASA's bureaucracy. The US Government had been buying cheaper satellite launches from other countries, SpaceX is bringing that business back to the US. SpaceX is also on the way to launching Astronauts, which hasn't been possible in the US since 2011.
  15. Tenderlysharp

    Elon Musk

    Musk was on the forefront of developing and coding online map city guide software, and naively sold it for $22 Million. Paving the way for Billions in U.S. revenue through the use of similar guides that took his ideas. Musk built PayPal and made a mistake choosing his co-founders, then had it sold out from under him for $165 Million, the company is worth $100 Billion today. The US Government has earned billions off of the products of his mind. They didn't steal from tax payers, they took his money, loaned a small percentage of it to him and he paid it back to them again with interest. In this story by the LA Times (a publication for the collectivist agenda) they are patting themselves on the back, shifting credit, inducing the public to believe that he still owes them something.
  16. Tenderlysharp

    Elon Musk

    Getting states to compete with each other for who is going to fleece his companies the least (tax breaks) seems like the beginning of an Objective approach. The other subsidies are loans paid back with interest. The government needs him more than he needs them. Where were Objectivists when these companies were looking for investors? If a staunch Objectivist alive today wants to get to Mars, is it possible? It seems ambitious to envision your companies on the way to producing a quarter of a percentage of the GDP... Thats about $46 Billion. The technologies that need to be developed in order to get to Mars have a huge impact on advancing the technologies we use here on Earth. I think Ayn Rand's work has directly and indirectly inspired producers to defend their value, and rise to challenges. Unfortunately you make yourself an unnecessary target to collectivists who hate the version of her in their head, and it seems Objective to not throw your pearls before swine, and admit openly to being influenced by her. Edit:Typos
  17. Tenderlysharp

    Why follow reason?

    Take what you want and pay for it. The phrase isn’t “steal what you want”, but ‘steal’ is a connotation. If I want to steal I pay by being caught and having my hand chopped off, or by living with the self hatred of knowing I have betrayed reality. I pay for it with fear, with evasion with a loss of efficacy. I pay for it by not being able to look someone squarely in the eye. She could never take anything without paying for it. Take what you want is a challenge Ayn Rand made to her potential. Rand is giving herself a powerful abstraction that propels her toward the immense task of philosophically taking on the entire world. Taking on the dangerous challenge of defying mysticism, where many great minds have succumbed to tragedy. It gave her the fuel to reach for the culmination of every aspiration she valued, and she paid for it with endless hours of hard work, she paid for it by pushing herself to do better, to go deeper, to make things more clear, more concise. She paid for it with the pain of leaving her family to die in Russia. With every rise and fall she paid. She took what she wanted from life, she told herself she could, she challenged herself to it. And if she ever wanted to give up she knew she would pay for that also. You are in a grocery store you want an apple and some water, you take it to the counter and pay for it. To let the phrase be even that simple. It has a calming effect over fear, and doubt. Taking this all together as a broad abstraction has a focusing effect on the mind. She didn’t say it for you or me anyone else. Volition is an act of choice with knowledge of as many possible alternatives as one can hold in context and integrate. For 8 words to mean this much and more. Want one interpretation and pay for it with the loss of perspective on all others. Affected by a phrase that covers so much ground. A phrase that leaves room for each person to choose what they will attempt to see in it. A consistently rational person ought to be able to explore all of the possibilities of what something could mean and then choose from there. Sleeping with Nathaniel Love is the most personal, dangerous, and tragic… sometimes rewarding… experience anyone can engage in. It takes a great deal of courage. Do you care to share the tragedies of your love life with the public? Yes a price she definitely gets charged for. Forcing others is going against their volition, and they will irrationally rebel from a forced rationality. The only way to rationality is through volition. Why create a philosophy that forces people to be rational? Would it work? Knowing that people can be irrational, it seems rational to be as rational as you can without hitting them over the head. Especially when mystics are just waiting for any sign of aggression to give them an excuse to attack.
  18. Tenderlysharp

    Greetings from New York

    Welcome Enlightenment Now I think your context is a little different, but this led me to a thought I had. When Ayn Rand said she never met her match in a debate... I contemplated that she possibly debated herself at times in order to prepare for a hostile or complex question from a member of an audience. To think through an argument thoroughly enough to consider the opposing position, to be ready to answer thoughtfully.
  19. Tenderlysharp

    Greetings from Rust Belt Hell, USA

    Hi Sonic & Knuckles, welcome to the forum. I don't believe "They can do it, but I wouldn't." is a contradiction. It allows freedom to both parties. Gives them room to learn for themselves. If you legally restrict vices it only insights people to produce an underground rebellion, which feeds into an illusion of being smarter than the controllers they resent. I think it is more effective to appeal to a person's intelligence than it is to try to wrestle with their evasions, and lack of the context of their entire lives. Also, developing a healthy sense of life, and a conscious philosophical foundation is a lot of work, important work. The vices of others can be a distraction, especially from looking at my own inner contradictions.
  20. Tenderlysharp

    Elon Musk

    I am curious about the evidence of this? I had the understanding that car companies were forced to take government loans as part of the bank bail outs in 2008, and Tesla paid the loan back quickly with interest. SpaceX is profitable from private companies who need satellites launched. SpaceX has developed ideas that are reducing government spending by having companies compete to reach benchmarks, and awarding more efficient companies with contracts. Ayn Rand was supportive of the military where these contracts are coming from.
  21. Tenderlysharp

    Elon Musk

    Perhaps I am being idealistic as well. I haven't yet come to your conclusions. https://futurism.com/images/a-comprehensive-list-of-elon-musks-breakthroughs-in-2017/ It seems he has been delivering something. Ayn Rand Apollo Launch https://ari.aynrand.org/issues/science-and-industrialization/scientific-and-technological-progress
  22. Tenderlysharp

    How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    Where to begin... I spend time weekly looking into the health effects of food. I could be more methodical and get a degree in nutrition, but I haven't. My perspective of junk food poison is from a lifetime of integrating the information I have found. One biochemist studying nutrition is Johana Budwig, she claims that when oils are cooked to a certain temperature (fries, chips) they plasticize, your body needs oils so it will try to use the plasticized oil, which results in degradation of your DNA's ability to regenerate. Her work and work similar to hers has not been taken into consideration by the FDA. Uncooked extra virgin olive oil, and Flax oil are reported to be good for you. https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=johana+budwig&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 Corn syrup is very difficult for our bodies to process. Those interested in making money off the corn industry flood the debate with a favorable view of their product. https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=pYzLWozoCM2WsAWOpJqABw&q=corn+syrup+diabetes&oq=corn+syrup+diabetes&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0j0i22i30k1l7.1060.7540.0.7820. There are pockets of humans all over the world where a larger percentage of people live to be over 100, these cultures do not eat much deep fried food, or corn syrup. They eat a diverse diet, have clean water, and get exercise. https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=diets+of+centenarians&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 For practical real world contemplation... compare the abundance of puss on the faces of McDonnalds workers to the abundance of radiant skin on the faces of WholeFoods workers.
  23. Tenderlysharp

    Elon Musk

    Well thought out critical feedback is exceedingly valuable to running a business. If these businesses are not objective enough, insight into how they would gain immediate practical benefit from moving toward more objective principles could do a lot to move understanding forward. I see many objective principles being implemented in these companies. Decreasing the inefficiency in government spending has been huge. Attracting skilled labor by trading value for value with engineers has made the engineer and the company more productive. Open communication. Trusting your vision. The hyper loop competition between engineering colleges was interesting. Deflecting the control tactics of an often hostile media is something very few objectivists have skillfully navigated. Seeing deeply into the heart of human nature is only possible for one who genuinely values people... sending a Tesla roadster into space with a space man in the drivers seat, blasting David Bowie music was an abstraction worthy of Joy.
  24. Tenderlysharp

    How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    You are right, I apologize.
  25. Tenderlysharp

    Elon Musk

    I don't quite understand a world where an objectivist would defend a mystic junk food Buffett, and devalue an engineer who works tirelessly toward technological innovation. If that future Capitalist economy were real I think Musk would adjust his business plan and be very successful in that world. Unfortunately I wonder if there are Objective Capitalists who put themselves in a position to value or make profound investments in technological advancement.