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avampirist

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About avampirist

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  • Birthday 02/10/84

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    Calgary

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  1. Calgary Objectivists

    If there are any Oists in this city interested in getting together to discuss philosophy, I am willing to initiate a Club. I'm not certain where would be the best place to look, but I thought there'd probably be others, and I figured this place was one of my best bets. Send me a message if you exist.
  2. Is Barack Obama a Socialist?

    Well, all Socialists are necessarily Statists, and all Statist politicians necessarily institute Socialist practices. So Obama isn't merely a Statist for the same reason that he's not merely a Socialist: he's both. You listed the definitions of Socialism and then deduced that Obama isn't one because he doesn't fit the definition of a person who thinks the government should own "all" of the means of production. But owning "all" the means of production isn't part of any of the definitions you provided. And I found another definition of Socialism: procedure or practice in accordance with this theory. Taxation is a Socialist policy. In my view the government owns the means of production insofar as it owns those who actually own the means of production, despite not having direct control over the operations. You don't own anything if there's 100% taxation. 99% taxation is going to be some form of Socialism, so is 20% taxation -- but we call that a mixed economy. So at what percentage of taxation is it acceptable to start calling someone a Socialist? Obama should be compared to Stalin, because if there is ever going to be another Stalin, it's people like Obama who will be an intermediary to that happening. You can say that someone like Stalin is the standard of Socialism, but he's not the minimum requirement. People take excessive use of the word Socalism as a shock term, meant to scare people, and I'm frequently admonished to not use it becaues it's not "technically true". Well, is it? It's probably better to call a moderate a "Socialist" if it scares people, before you get a real one.
  3. The Psychology Of Metal Music

    I saw Megadeth, In Flames and Children of Bodom on Wednesday, and I sort of regret it. I feel guilty about it. There is no doubt that metal predominantly exudes a malevolent sense of life, with exceptions that are few and far between. If music is "metal" enough to be classified as such, then I don't think it's unreasonable to also lump the entire genre into one category and label it immoral in general, which, yes, would make it anti-Objectivist. I know a lot of you are saying "there's no such thing as Objectivist music", but I wouldn't say that's true. Anything that's moral would be Objectivist. And no, science doesn't know enough on the subject to make absolute claims about the goodness or badness of music, but that doesn't mean we can't judge it for ourselves, and that doesn't mean that the negative affects of music aren't glaringly obvious. Anyone who's made any real attempt to analyze music for its sense of life, would see the philosophical abstractions songs represent. That doesn't even take into account the obviously primitive beats that work towards disintegrating your mind, the repetitive thumping and banging that is characteristic of metal. Metal music measurably fits a certain category rhythmically, which is how we know to label it "metal". So if we can say that a certain category of rhythms are simple and degenerative for most people, then we can say that Metal, too, is degenerative for most people. Doesn't music either works towards integrating or disintegrating your mind or, at best, have no effect? And if metal generally works towards disintegrating your mind, then it's immoral. Let's be serious here. Look at it this way, we can say that Rand was the most "Objectivistic" Objectivist who's ever lived. She created the damn philosophy. So how would she react to metal? She'd hate it. it's anti-Objectivist. For those who say that they listen to metal because they appreciate the technicality of the song, or skill of the musician, or the composition in general without taking heed of the lyrics, I'd say these are all rationalizations. Nobody listens to music at any great length unless it appeals to their sense of life. You wouldn't be able to. You'd get bored. Music tends to be a very personal thing for people and nobody spends great amounts of time listening to stuff they don't truly agree with subconsciously. For the same reasons, not too many people are going to decorate their house with technically masterful paintings of vaginas or dead people, if the abstraction doesn't appeal to them. For the same reasons, not too many people will make a habit of reading well written books on subjects they have no interest in. Anyone who says otherwise, in my opinion, is just rationalizing the fact that they like it, because they're afraid of the consequences of owning up to it. You hear this often from people who are not confident in claiming what music they enjoy. They'll say, "Uh, I like it for the beat only". No you don't. You like the songs! I appreciate fancy woodworking, but I don't go to wood sculpture shows regularly or sculpt anything, because it's not something I value. I may claim to disagree with the message in the songs I like, but my subconscious agrees. it would be too annoying to listen to if it didn't affirm your sense of life. People are very selective about music and are quick to discard of anything that doesn't appeal to them. One other thing to keep in mind, there cannot be a great discrepancy between the sense of life and the composition. The composition is what it is because of the composers sense of life. The parallels are consistent. So you're not going to have someone screaming angrily that life is great and they're happy with life. Such a thing would be a joke and you'd burst out laughiing. Similarly, you don't get musicians singing jubilantly about the hopelessness of life. The composition and SOL evoked are intrinsically related, and have to be in order for the song to be successful, I think. So I don't think anyone can claim to have an emotional connection to a song without agreeing with its SOL. I do not think just a trivial matter of taste, like preference of clothing style, or decorating your house; it can have a profound affect on your life. Ask Kurt Cobain or Jimi Hendrix, or Lain Staley, or Jim Morrison. People need to own up to the fact that they like metal for being metal. Not all metal is bad. And in fact, a lot of it is very uplifting and romantic, but most of it is not. And until people own up, they can't make the right decision to stop listening. I've made the decision, because I now am certain that it is unhealthy. If that's something you need to do, do it.
  4. New Chat Program

    Am I the only one who hates this format? Is there a way to make a uniform background, to prevent it from looking tacky with colors all over the place? With the two-toned background, you've significantly increased the number of potential clashes that occur. With a wide variety of background schemes, people are more likely to change their font color to better suit whatevre background they chose, whereas people usually kept it black/white in the old chat. The end result is annoying color everywhere. Even if people keep the default font, most of the schemes look bad. Imagine reading the forum where every line has a different background/font color. It would be unreadable. It seems as though the black background gives you best chance of not being annoyed by color, but I don't want a dark background. it's irritating and hard on the eyes. it's dark and depressing and makes all the colored name titles stand out. I feel like a hippie in a cave, with tie die everywhere, not an Objectivist. This is tackier than yahoo. Aside from that, it runs well.
  5. Objectivist Jokes

    You know you're an Objectivist when... someone looks in the direction of a skyscraper to see just what it is you're staring at. You know you're an Objectivist when... you cringe when someone says " it works in theory, but...". You know you're an Objectivist when... you're not confused when someone says AS, VOS, TRF, TRM, OPAR, ITOE, CTUI, or WTL. You know you're an Objectivist when... you've cited "unwillingness to sanctioning immorality" as a reason for doing anything. You know you're an Objectivist when... You show resentment about the company kept by the lone copy of AS in your local bookstore.
  6. Ayn Rand Video Interviews?

    There's at least a couple on the ARI website, along with hours of other audio versions of interviews and speeches. https://secure2.convio.net/ari/site/SPageSe...=reg_ar_library here are the videos. Ayn Rand and the New Intellectual: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pag...e=reg_ar_newint and Communism vs. Capitalism: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reg_ar_cvc
  7. atheism, article from a friend

    The point is that every person on earth is an atheist, including your friend. Evolution is an argument, atheism isn't; it's the negation of a belief in god. It's just bad philosophy and bad metaphysics. The question of god is really a metaphysical one and so the easiest way to refute it is by challenging the metaphysics. The answer is that there is no supernatural. The concept of supernatural is absurd, it's an anti-concept in my opinoin, and it's simply not true. You can't say that something exists outside of what exists, because existence is the sum of everything that exists... if you understand htat, there's no need to pull out any of the more complicated arguments. Argument over. Every other false argument is just an extension of the belief in the supernatural. Attack the root and it all falls down!
  8. "Africentric" School

    Where I live, in Toronto, the Toronto District School Board has just recently voted in approval of opening an "africentric" public highschool, which will be "black-focused" and will try to discourage blacks from dropping out. The dropout rate for blacks in this city is 40%, so the idea is that a school of this type might help black kids' self image to learn about contributions made by blacks in history and society. Many of those in favor of this idea have blamed the public school system for the dropout rate, accusing the system for being discriminatory to blacks. There's been obvious backlash from the community, because many view this as a huge step back from the progress made by the anti-segregation movement, in what is the most culturally diverse city in the world. However, the school will be open to people of all races, but will simply teach in a black oriented way, whatever that entails. At first, I didn't like the idea. I would think that labeling blacks as needing a special school would hurt the self image of the community more than anything. But maybe it's not so bad of an idea. I've always hated the fact that there are not many options for schooling for young children. Perhaps there's no harm in providing more options and letting people judge for themselves. What do you think? http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTV...hub=TorontoHome
  9. Buddhist teaching: There is no ego (anatta)

    That's the problem with eastern philosophy. How do you know you don't know something? Knowledge is positive; not knowing is negative. You can only know what you know. (knowledge is finite) The question is: how do you know what you know. You posted this thread becuase you're trying to argue in favor of the existence of something that you know. If I have no means of knowing it, why would you post it? If existence doesn't exist, why are you acting as though it does? I will add, though, that I do believe that Buddhism, unlike every other religion, understands something about the psychological and spiritualism. (By spiritualism I mean focusing attention in a certain way so as to achieve certain results. That's me paraphrasing Sam Harris) I've meditated before while focusing on the idea that "there is no I" and I experienced drastic psychological changes. When I say "there is no I," I mean that there is no fixed self. I found that that exercise helps remove prejudices about the self, and creates a mindset that is more conducive to acting rationally. I also experienced intense elation.
  10. Where do you want it? From behind or upfront?

    I'm no authority on punctuation, because my use of grammar isn't excellent, but I don't remember the last time I saw a comma used after the word "But". "My use of grammar isn't excellent but, I don't think your teacher is correct." Similarly, you can't use a comma after "and". " I went to the park and, walked my dog." Nobody ever says "Walked my dog". That's a sentence fragment. Nobody uses a conjunction until they have a clause to join to another clause. Right? That's a bad example, because the sentence is so short you don't need a comma, but perhaps you know hwat I mean. "I put the comma in the front but, I wonder if thats correct." Which sentence sounds more correct? I'll let you decide. "I put the comma in the front but" "But I wonder if that's correct." "But" and "and" are conjunctions. They're used to connect two "independent clauses"? I don't quite remember the terminology, so someone correct me if I'm wrong. Using the comma in that manner breaks the connection.
  11. Beauty by Race

    If, by race, she meant "general set of physiological structure and features," as you proposed, then she did mean that beauty is divided by physiological structure-- according to which "race" is defining beauty. Each "race" has common physiological features -- that's why it's a race. I don't think Rand would have used the word "race" so haphazardly, without defining what she meant. If what nyos says is true, then I think rand did mean that white and black are races, not as individual species, obviously, but as group of people who share common physiological features.
  12. Renaming ObjectivismOnline

    Aside from my ideas, and out of the ones suggested by others, I really like RealityReasonRights.com. It's not imperative that Objectivism be in the URL. People find the site via search engine anyway, so you just need a good tag. You don't need to advertise it. Those who are genuinely interested will find it. Besides, I've always thought that those who don't actively read philosophy are intimidated by "ism" words.
  13. I have a fairly simple question for anyone who's familiar with Objectivist Epistemology. Please correct if I'm wrong. From what I understand, the Objectivist view is that man can only hold "4 or 5" units in his attention at once. Does that mean that he may hold 5 units, but never 6, or 8, or 9? Also, how did Rand reach the conclusion that the number is "4 or 5" ?
  14. I've had a lot of anger towards my parents for the way they raised me. My dad had kids from a previous marriage, and when he decided to drink instead of being a father, his first wife kicked him out of the house, while the kids were still young. Well, I was a product of his second marriage. Unfortunately, nobody kicked him out of the house that time .The result is me, a fucked up person. It's not hard to realize how my parents affected me, because I can literally just look at my two older siblings -the two from my dad's previous marriage - and see how they turned out. They are healthy and happy individuals. My sister is a lawyer. So it's not as if I'm left wondering "what if". One might say that I made the wrong choices, but I think that would be far too disingenuous a thing to say, especially considering the stark contrast between me and my older siblings. I try not to have hard feelings because it's just not productive in any way. Besides, I know that they too were children once, and they probably had bad parents themselves. Although, it's a bit hard for me to accept that they "did the best they could", especially my dad, considering that his favorite book was, and still is, Atlas Shrugged! Yet I was left undisciplined as a child, left to be raised by TV. I was deprived of my mind. this makes me question whether or not he fully understood the book, or if he just didn't understand how to raise me, or both.
  15. Spirituality and Objectivism

    I think spiritualism could very easily be defined psychologically. The only reason why it hasn't been defined is because of religion. If anyone gave it much thought, I think their conclusions would look something like this: I define "spiritualism" as "focusing your mind in a certain way so as to achieve a certain result. A "spiritual" experience can be defined as an intense elation brought about by chemical reaction in the brain. This experience can brought about naturally or artificially. Drugs would be a means of achieving an artificial spiritual experience. A natural spiritual experience would be brought about by being conscious. When your mind is healthy, when your nervous system is functioning efficiently, your brain naturally produces and secretes serotonin, which results in intense happiness. Notice that during a spiritual experience, no matter who claims to have one, colors appear brighter, images are sharper and more memorable. Nobody ever claimed to have a dull spiritual experience. Also note that "spiritual" experiences are also brought about by intense introspection. Bhuddism is a great example of this. It's clear to me that there are methods and modes of thinking which are more conducive to happiness. Even if you are a bad philosopher, (Christian), there are means of thinking which result in happiness brought about by delusion. To think is to be alive! Right?
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