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Everything posted by Eiuol

  1. The context is different because the person in that podcast has a crush on a girl who had no romantic interest. In your context, it's a girl who did show interest, but you chose to do nothing. The advice there kind of presumes that you acted on your feelings and were honest about them, enough so to figure out what the other person thinks. Are you looking to talk about something specific? Or are you looking for advice?
  2. I think that's the right conclusion. But there might be a simple solution to resolving your feelings. If you realize now that it was a major mistake to not take her up on her offers and overtures, you can admit that. You can tell her that you know now it was a mistake, and now that you lost the opportunity, you feel bad about it. If you resolve things maturely, at the very least, you might actually feel okay being her friend. Who knows. Maybe she will appreciate the honesty.
  3. The blog post you linked is basically expanding on something like Rand's stated view on romance, she didn't have healthy romantic relationships, and I think her marriage contradicted those views. Using her love life as an example is very messy, and many things went wrong. I don't think any of us could say why she loved him (only she could really know), but we can be sure it wasn't because of a manifestation of power. I think you're right about her view about her husband. I like the idea that intellect is extremely important! I like to think of it as one of the most important features of your personality. We just need to remember that there are many ways to have intellect besides the analytical kind.
  4. Those differences aren't genetic. You can get better at all of those things. At best they are partially genetic, but still in large part under your control. But there's a few more things you're assuming. What does it matter if she's better at you at some things? If she's better at you at some things, why does that mean she cares? Having more friends doesn't make her a better person; having more suitors doesn't mean they see her mind as valuable; being wittier doesn't mean your sense of humor is boring to her. If she goes further than you, how does that matter for romantic compatibility? It's the whole wrong look at it. Think in terms of what values can be mutually admired and enjoyed. It's not as if you need to gain points to earn the girl, as if she's an achievement you unlock. You don't need to defeat her. You just need to be valuable. It's not about your real-life stats, it's about finding people to grow with. What counts as if you are in the same league morally speaking. You make me think of this song: Notice how he isn't angry or even upset. He's feeling bad about what might have been. It's the Platonic fantasy ("more than just a dream") that got him down, not the actual girl. Whoever he's thinking of, makes him feel very happy. I don't think he literally means he can't get the girl - he means he can't get the girl that doesn't even exist. It's a song basically about what happens when you get what I call the "out of my league" syndrome.
  5. That's a very broad and vague way to think about it. There is a lot more to intelligence in general than raw thinking power. Imagine you were a pretty good chef at a restaurant, but not particularly great at academics or school. Then imagine she were some PhD student in physics. Is her mind overall better than yours? Not really. To be a good chef, it requires different types of thinking and skills and practice. There is nothing that would make you inferior as a person. You would just be a different person than her. The quality of your mind is more about being a virtuous person. If she doesn't want to be with you romantically, it doesn't mean you're out of her league. You could be, if she cared about things like that, but you wouldn't want a relationship with someone who thought that. On the other hand, maybe she does value someone in academics like her, someone who can talk about those complex and abstract subjects important to her. You probably admire this about her. But the truth is, physics isn't that important to you. You don't like to read books about it. You prefer to think about other subjects. While the fantasy of being with her romantically makes you very happy, your values don't really match up. You might want to blame being not smart enough, or there's something inferior about you, but there's no reason to do that. If your values don't match enough, it won't matter. There's more to any relationship, friendship or otherwise, than what you imagine could happen. What you imagine isn't how things are. If you find out the future you hope for isn't going to happen, that doesn't destroy the value you have now. If you get value out of her company, don't abandon that. She does something good for your life. Why be vindictive and cut her out just because she didn't give you what you wanted? If she isn't interested, the easiest thing to do is focus on the value she provides today. Nicky offers great advice - just take the short-term pain. You'll be rewarded in the long run, with emotional maturity for getting through it and possibly lifetime friendship.
  6. What do you mean unattainable? I mean, it's not like relationships are about acquiring people, like acquiring cars or houses. You don't need to worry about getting her. A better question is to ask whether she is a good fit for you anyway. But just because she might be a bad fit romantically doesn't mean she's a bad fit as a friend. I think this is part of what Nicky is saying. I asked what you mean by unattainable because some people think in terms of people being out of their league. This might mean you don't think you're the best person you can be, or there are a lot of flaws in yourself that you see that you think should be improved upon. That would make sense. If that's all it was, all you need to do is improve yourself. But maybe you mean that you think you're too low on the social pecking order. This isn't so great because you'd be devaluing yourself about something that has nothing to do with whether you're a good match. If that mattered to her, then you need to reevaluate whether she's someone you want to even pursue in the first place.
  7. Eiuol

    I am a bit confused...

    It is fine to admire the achievements of various people. If they happen to be from your native country, that's fine too. It's also great to admire the achievements of people that you know personally. But it's important to remember that this really has nothing to do with the history of your family. Whether someone is your grandfather doesn't matter, because birth family doesn't have any bearing on what makes someone admirable or not.
  8. Eiuol

    Just Shut Up and Think

    It doesn't seem like there's any more agenda than you would have on many measures of cognitive performance. Sure, we should nail down better what it is you mean by "best answer". But even on pattern matching tests, where you have 7 items in a sequence and need to select the 8th item, there are best answers. You could say that technically any answer is correct, because the pattern is man-made. From what I can tell, most puzzles like this are developed with some specific conceptual common denominator or fundamental characteristic. I don't take it as any more serious than a crossword puzzle or logic puzzle. I like how you draw out the ways we can ask what makes the best answer. But how would you explain psychological tests of cognitive performance? Those don't seem to take much effort to know what people mean by best answer.
  9. Eiuol

    The Genuine Problem Of Universals

    Can you link the original source? Or is this full context?
  10. Eiuol


    Just so I know where you're coming from, are you getting the terminology 'logos' from Jordan Peterson? It would affect my response. I've heard it in other contexts such as stoicism and Christian theology in case you meant those, but the only contemporary use I've seen is from him.
  11. Eiuol

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I don't follow how you get here. I'm not seeing how that as long as your actions are not contrary to self benefit, you are being a rational egoist. This is very watered-down, and numerous philosophies promote some kind of self-benefit. But fine, you could argue it is still some form of putting yourself first. But then I don't understand how you get here. Why should I even drop that self benefit should be primary? I'm not even seeing the conflict. === I think part of the issue is what we consider "self" to be. Is self restricted to anything within the outline of your body? Or can we extend self to include the environment around you, the tools you use, the people involved, the world we touch? If we stick to "self" as strictly what's within the confines of your body, I can imagine that it would look as if Rand has ignored the vast amount of value that exists for life that's " beyond" the self. But Rand often writes about how the things we create enhance our own life. How the concepts we form in our minds must be some extension of our cognitive needs. That we need a capitalist society so that you can function to your greatest extent. Nothing indicates to me that she finds the self as limited to your immediate body. I find that AS it is a lot about what it means to have a self - much of the time putting oneself first means incorporating others as if they are extensions of yourself. There may be some secondary goals in common, but your ultimate goal is first. It's in fact well within her philosophy to say that a loved one can be a literal part of yourself. Your attitude should be one where you are the primary benefit, but also that you are an integrated animal where who you are is a lot to do with how you use the world around you to extend your self. If you compare Dagny in the early part of AS arguing with her brother about fundamental beliefs. At that point, she sort of had blinders on. She understood that focusing on herself was important. But it was difficult for her to see much value beyond the confines of her body. As the book progresses, she gains a more holistic sort of mindset. She liked the gulch partly because she could work on her dreams *and* seeing the whole place as an important part of her complete self. This isn't just a literary thing. I find that in my own life, I feel selfishly minded more confidently over time as I come to incorporate more of the world around me into myself. When I was younger, I think I was more stuck in the immediate confines of my body, a sort of solipsistic emphasis. Much of this discussion about self benefit or selfish pleasure has presumed what a self is without defining the term.
  12. Eiuol

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    It's not true that another person's mind is unknown. I mean, sure, I think you recognize abstract ways that there can be a breach between an actor and his benefits. Yet I also think it's quite easy to underestimate just how egoistic one ought to be. For the most part I think people don't go far enough, and don't go as far as Rand did. Earlier on, I was arguing how if we did happen to analyze in detail who gets benefit, you would find that you do gain the most benefit. This is important because objectivism's moral philosophy is selfishness. It's not a philosophy where you derive some satisfaction from your actions and you feel okay about yourself. It goes as far as to say that you are the primary beneficiary, you matter the most, your life is all about you. A breach would be an instance where - from your context and life - you are not the primary beneficiary. You can actually discover this. After all, we can understand things like scams, Ponzi schemes, being asked to prom just pour pig's blood over your head when you are crowned prom queen, or going to a relative's wedding because you are "supposed" to. In other words, when there are injustices, the benefits or unbalanced. You might derive some benefit from going to that wedding because you like the food, or you'll see your favorite cousin there. You can also see that the relative getting married is gaining some profound greater value from you (social appearances perhaps) than you gain (if you don't care for the person getting married, you are essentially wasting your time for the sake of someone else despite your marginal benefit). Basically, there should never be a time you give more than you get back. Because, literally speaking, you would already know that you are not the primary beneficiary. I don't think it's proper to just wave your hand and say "well, I can't gauge the other person's mind!" Sure you can. I imagine you have some estimate of the benefit I get out of this conversation. I think Merlin senses the strength of Rand's egoism, but he pushes the wrong implication; this has no necessary negative implication on other people. We can have natural, as in built up from how man functions in reality and the world, or we can have natural as in it's where people naturally gravitate. Which one did you mean?
  13. Eiuol

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Just some ideas to consider. You can can cause injustices by acting improperly towards people. This can easily occur voluntarily. Sure, there are obvious breaches when you initiate force. But there are subtle ones with our day-to-day actions. A breach may go on when you do negative self talk (i.e. "I'm the worst writer ever, I should just throw out every short story I've ever written"; "I'm born bad and nothing can ever fix that"), or if you voluntarily do something like go to Thanksgiving with family members that are actually pretty bad people. In these cases, you are often the breach to yourself. But at the very least, there is not always a breach if other people gain (approximately equal in terms of their personal perspectives) benefit. A breach would occur if you ignore or avoid the idea that an actor should be the beneficiary.
  14. Eiuol

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I don't think there's a diplomatic way to say this: given the nature of the discussion and the types of things Merlin decided to focus on, no, it doesn't sound like it's worth my money to get a hold of the complete paper. But I could be wrong - the outline could demonstrate that there are good points that really makes me inclined to go out and read his full argument. That's why I suggested it - he could make the rest of us inclined to take his points seriously. I'm glad you mentioned though that it's odd I wouldn't subscribe to any related journal. I don't have any excuse for that. Since we're speaking so much about values, it is important to me to understand various academic-level discussions about Objectivism. I should at least subscribe to JARS. That's a matter of style. I don't think that type of rigor is necessary for discussion forums. I am quite able to provide exact quotes for others to see, making a case that would satisfy academic counterarguments. But I'm not trying to do that here. It's important to me to speak in a conversational manner on forums and anything else public. To do this, I rely on my memory of what I've read, and I reread things periodically to make sure I'm not misremembering things. This is how the ancient Romans did it before there were books you could cite whenever you want. I'm fine that you call the style beer talk (I'd call it conversational), but I think you underestimate the value or purpose of it. When and if I write papers, I'm careful to include citations and quotes. EDIT: I forgot to add. Rand herself rarely quotes. On occasion she will. But for the most part I think she relies on her memory of what she has read (and at times she will make mistakes because of this when criticizing other philosophers). For her audience and the type of person she wants to talk to, I think this is a very good thing.
  15. Eiuol

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    You usually can share something about your manuscript, no? If not, why don't you outline the paper if you want to talk about it? We could grant you that maybe this is an instance where (as absurd as your claim about "literalness", and that you've ignored all arguments that you are the one adding more than is already there) Rand has contradicted herself compared to the rest of her writing. But you do seem to have a dramatic misunderstanding of things she has written. Even if we discard that quote completely as if she never said it, you seem to be saying that Rand in her written words (as opposed to what we would like the words to me) says that other people should gain *no* benefit. This doesn't make much sense.
  16. Eiuol

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    ... By reading comprehension? I don't know what you are expecting me to say. No one seems to understand why you think that in one quote that the meaning of the sentence actively excluded the benefit of other people rather than simply not mentioning the benefit of other people that may go on. And throughout this whole thread I even talked about how you could maintain that you as an individual must gain the most benefit without also implying that the benefit of others must be minimized or zero. If you think 2046 was attempting an ad hominem argument and failed, it's probably because he wasn't even attempting one. The point he was making is that not mentioning something doesn't mean someone was saying anything about the excluded stuff. If you want a complete literal explanation, you should not introduce added subjects... Anyway, if you link your paper here, maybe I would take the time to look over and offer a more complete criticism of you. I'm hoping that your criticism of Rand's egoism isn't based on this one quote.
  17. Eiuol

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    You've been asked in several different ways how that quote excludes other people from gaining *any* benefit. You still haven't answered that. Your "literal" interpretation wasn't literal at all. Just because other people are excluded from the subject of a sentence doesn't mean the sentence is saying anything about those excluded people.
  18. Eiuol

    What is 'reason'?

    Why not? Would you be more specific? You'd be right to say that it's incomplete, or that a fully fledged theory needs more to it, but this doesn't invalidate what is there. I would like to see a detailed step-by-step account from an Objectivist academic as well, but the lack of one doesn't mean that the sketch given by Rand in ITOE can't be used. On top of that, not even Rand thought her theory of concepts was complete. Take this quote from Peikoff: "Ayn Rand regarded her theory of concepts as proved, but not as completed. There are, she thought, important similarities between concepts and mathematics still to be identified; and there is much to be learned about man’s mind by a proper study of man’s brain and nervous system. In her last years, Miss Rand was interested in following up on these ideas—in relating the field of conceptualization to two others: higher mathematics and neurology. Her ultimate goal was to integrate in one theory the branch of philosophy that studies man’s cognitive faculty with the science that reveals its essential method and the science that studies its physical organs. (109)" [My secondary source: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/24356-from-integrity-to-calculus/) I don't really see how your reply has much to do with the OP's question anyway. These aren't epistemological theories per se. You can't say "they are the way to go", especially because they aren't excluded from Objectivist epistemology. Or any theory that takes advantage of reason for that matter. If you say it as if these are the only valid options, it makes a sound like you will not have any knowledge until you learn formal logic and probability theory. They aren't things people do naturally. You would still need to explain basic concepts like 'dog', and how children can have knowledge of that concept without using formal logic.
  19. Eiuol

    What does 'valid' mean?

    It's just a very bad explanation of why the natives didn't make a huge deal about noticing the ships on the horizon. It is not a postmodern thing either, the explorers themselves thought that. I doubt anyone believes it though. It is possible for something to pass by and you fail to notice completely as if it were invisible. It can happen when your attention is consumed by one activity and you subconsciously filter out excess information. It has nothing to do with having knowledge about the thing you didn't notice. I think the point that matters is that anyone can notice anything as long as they are focusing their attention.
  20. Eiuol

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I didn't mean to make it seem like you were interfering with anything. You could argue about short-term actions benefiting another person more than yourself. But the type of self we are thinking about is the entirety of life, not just portions of it. That's not a problem though, since the concern for Rand is life in a biological sense. We don't want to talk about benefit separate from who actually reaps the benefits. In terms of only consequences, sure, there isn't anything "wrong" with that. I want to emphasize the psychological benefits though. The intentions and objectives of your actions. Should you smile at people with no intent to affect their mood? Should you not keep in mind that one positive interaction brings about more positive interactions, which would help your life overall? I'm saying that you ought to be aware and mindful of all your actions. You should especially be mindful of how your actions affect people positively. And more than that, since the reason you even think about it is how your life would be better off. If you keep that mentality, you put yourself first. You are of your own top importance, and all things you do involves being mindful of how your life will be affected. I don't mean you have to be a utility calculator and every moment in your life. Even still, your mind must be self-oriented at all times, including where the lion's share of value goes. Not necessarily in words, but with the sense that everything is going well. (To emphasize, value in terms of your own perspective and angle.) No, Rand never really used the word mindful. But she did speak a great deal about reason. Reason helps us recognize how things are, and even how things could be. We should use reason to be aware of anything pertaining to our lives. Reason helps to assure that you gain benefits rather than leaving it up to chance events you can't plan for like earthquakes and volcanoes, or serial killers, or injustices.
  21. Eiuol

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    SL, I don't understand why you click "Like" on a comment that just says he doesn't think I provided him with a good reason. The vendetta you have against me is very strange. I agree. I wasn't arguing about the meaning of the quote in the first page though. We were discussing what it means to be the primary beneficiary (and if our respective benefits can be measured objectively).
  22. Eiuol

    OCON 2018

    Not exactly. I didn't have any particular issue with him in the earlier portions. He wasn't trying to be a philosopher, mostly just discussing ideas relevant to his professional expertise. But when he was getting into a discussion of objectivity, notions of truth, it turned into a lot of jargon that wouldn't even resemble day-to-day discussion, and not even the jargon a philosopher uses. Brook isn't a philosopher himself either, and offered some ideas, but he doesn't try to talk beyond his expertise. You're right, it should be a discussion, not some kind of lecture. But that's how Peterson talked. He was talking as if it were a lecture. There are plenty of people available who are part of ongoing intellectual trends. Why Peterson specifically? Forget if he's right or wrong, his importance has been vastly inflated. From what I can tell, it's just because Rubin asked to bring Peterson. I don't know if it's true, but they already know each other.
  23. Eiuol

    OCON 2018

    It's fine if he disagrees. But there are much better options than a psychologist trying to talk as if he were a philosopher and ends up saying a whole lot of nothing. He was basically talking to himself the whole time - a very opaque way of speaking that requires having already studied other things he has said. I'm fine when he talks about his knowledge gained as a practicing therapist, as he did with his recent book, but past that... If he had good counter arguments, or spoke clearly, I'd have a different opinion. In other words, I don't know what he was supposed to bring to the table.
  24. Eiuol

    OCON 2018

    When he talks about philosophy, he says a whole lot in order to say nothing at all. "They're some other form of truth". 1:04:00 - 1:05:35. It sounds like he's trying to be profound, but doesn't have a point. It's unfortunate he was there. He only muddied the discussion. Salmieri was very articulate and brought clarity.