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  1. In light of having segued down the theory-practice dichotomy, it seemed prudent to go back and reconsider the evidence. From what was quoted, the source and fuller extent was: As to this last: "In 1934, she wrote a letter to thank an actor she did not know, whose performance onstage "gave me, for a few hours, a spark of what man could be, but isn't .... The word heroic does not quite express what I mean." You see, I am an atheist and I have only one religion: the sublime in human nature. There is nothing to approach the sanctity of the highest type of man possible and there is nothing that gives me the same reverent feeling, the feeling when one’s spirit wants to kneel, bareheaded. Do not call it hero-worship, because it is more than that. It is a kind of strange and improbable white heat where admiration becomes religion, and religion becomes philosophy, and philosophy — the whole of one’s life. Admiration is a subset of religion, religion a subset of philosophy, and philosophy the subsumption of one's life. To Ayn Rand, philosophy was religion, the “whole” of her life .... This would be an inversion of the relationship between philosophy and religion, and a subsequent insertion of that inversion as the whole of her life. In his next paragraph he compounds his error. It seems Rand venerated the anima mundi behind the innovators advancing the Industrial Revolution yet she failed to properly attribute the prior and supplemental influence underlying the European Renaissance and Protestant Reformation; as well as the previous contributions of instrumental men of faith, like Isaac Newton, to its outgrowth. What Miss Rand venerated was the fact that the innovators advanced the Industrial Revolution, not because of faith. Such men were instrumental in spite their faith, paying homage to reason, where reason was due. In the church I attended while growing up, the minister admonished the "Sunday Christians" who would put their "Sunday" face on to attend church, but Monday morning, resumed their swearing, drinking, and rubbing elbows with their fellow man. In his exhortation that "Rand fails to recognize the prime mover", the author implicitly counts on his audience's familiarity with Aristotle and knowledge of Rand's familiarity with the same, to undermine a "morality inherent to the natural world." The implication is that morality stems from a creator. The Objective Standard recently published an article entitled Secular, Objective Morality: Look and See. The author, Craig Biddle steps through how morality is inherent in the facts identified by looking out and seeing the natural world at our disposal. And on this note, I still stand by my identification of "those who seek to cut just one small corner of reality and are drawn, by feeling, to all the others who are busy cutting other corners" conclusion. So in conclusion, it was not the theory-practice dichotomy here, rather it was the gulf that separated faith and reason that the bridge constructed failed to divide.
  2. From ITOE: From the dictionary definition: Why does there exist an expression about 'rolling out the red carpet'? Why not a bluish-green carpet, or some other color? Why does it have to be read[sic?] There seems to be some difficulty bending the first AR quote into the same shape of the provided dictionary definition. You have presented Pragmatism quite accurately. So has the Lexicon.
  3. Miss Rand considered the word "selfishness" worthwhile to use, even though it tended to antagonize folk. Is the dictionary definition likely to reclaim the term from the observations that led to the lexicon's entry of pragmatism? Is citing portions of Rand that can be bent to support some points while disregarding portions that tend not to a pragmatic approach?
  4. The Wright Women: “Loving Frank”, an Architect of Modernity After spending an afternoon reading many of the articles written by Doug "Uncola" Lynn, this framed his compartmentalized approach. Most of the article deals with history lessons and facts painted to support what came across as rather disparaging views. It becomes clear when he focus' his microscope directly on Miss Rand. Rand, on the other hand, was an evangelical atheist and architect behind the Theory of Objectivism: My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. An evangelical atheist? It is true, she did not believe in a supernatural. She also indicated that you could not fight against a negative or the non-existent void, rather one need to identify and fight for the positive values that exist. Couching the philosophy of Objectivism as a theory sets the stage for returning to it a couple of paragraphs later. To Ayn Rand, philosophy was religion, the “whole” of her life and the foundation of her ideology rested upon the twin pillars of “egoism”, or the morality of self-interest, and “reason” as applied to the productivity, independence, integrity, honesty, justice and pride of mankind. Even among more secular critics, the desire to whitewash philosophy as religion is not uncommon. This puts all ideas, from Kant to Plato and every other variant on equal footing, the ideas are out there. What is it that you want to believe? Or putting it in the more familiar terms of William James: "You can say of (an idea) either that 'it is useful because it is true' or that 'it is true because it is useful.' Both of these phrases mean exactly the same thing." Failing to understand Rand's distinction between the metaphysical and the man-made, the "Uncola" (7-Up?) cuts his small corner of reality in the following: Rand, in her appreciation of mankind’s achievements, fails to acknowledge the same sort of design as evidenced in the Universe including the seemingly engineered and mechanized configurations of our solar system and the cohesive design of the human body. In her “Objectivist” description of “morality” as “adherence to the values that sustain Man’s life”, Rand fails to recognize the prime mover behind the same morality inherent to the natural world. She embraced the skeleton of mankind’s corporal entity while, at the same time, ignoring the sinew, the muscle and the flesh of that which breathes life into man’s existence. Those who relate to the small cut slashed off in this obscure corner of reality, may or may not add to it the corner they slashed off which drew them to it. The conspiracy theory offered in Galt's Speech is apt. Only the degree of complexity and the often tortuous circumlocutions serve as a sort of gauze covering the many small wounds.
  5. How fitting it was that Liberty Enlightening the World should have been commissioned to Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, resident of La Ville-Lumière. The subtle depths of Rand's use of light is likewise portrayed in Atlas Shrugged via: "If I had staged it intentionally, I would have beaten the record of the Emperor Nero" — the classic example of vicious irresponsibility via his fiddling, or singing of poetry, whilst Rome burned.


  6. It shows up on both the Portal and the Forum pages. to both you gentlemen.
  7. What I was thinking (but misstated) was: legally, movies and music are considered differently. More essentially, as you indicate, it is the encrypted data that is used as the legal differentia here. Hmm. A DVD can be played (decrypted) in a DVD player on a computer. This suggests that the decryption key is in the DVD hardware unit. Presumably if the file on the DVD could be copied to the hard drive, this would suggest that the general accessing of the hard-drive would not have the decryption capability, rendering a copied file as inaccessible.
  8. Yes, I was pondering it as an extension of the principle as I understood relating the music angle. It is good to know that legally movies and music considered differently. Thanks for the responses. Currently the space issue is primarily due to the DVD case packaging. The electronic copy consideration is of interest to make locating any particular movie easier by automatically keeping the list alphabetized.
  9. Over at TheTollOnline.com, Doug "Uncola" Lynn posts this article: They Live: Choose Before You Die. Setting the context for the quote that stood out and captured the essences of the peice: When considering all that dystopia I am reminded of a line from the 2008 film, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” where an alien spy in a McDonalds restaurant tells the alien destructor (played by Keanu Reeves), the following regarding humanity: I’m afraid they are not a reasonable race. I’ve been living amongst them for seventy years now. I know them well. Any attempt to intercede with them would be futile. They are destructive, and they won’t change. The tragedy is, they know what’s going to become of them. (Bold emphasis added.) To the author's credit he analyses his own motives for watching Dystopian materials. In my own case, however, I like to watch these shows to see what is being programmed, speculate as to the reasons “why” and, at the same time, try to learn some new perspectives on human nature operating under duress, and in dire circumstances. When viewing all the vampire shows over the past several decades, I wonder if these were to prepare the masses for the bloodsucking Fabian Socialists, and financial establishment leeches, draining the life from those working to sustain society; and now that the zombie craze has swept America, it seems as if we are being prepared to war against not only each other, but while destroying the flesh-eating people of Walmart; the dead men walking in the great and forthcoming culling soon to take place. (Bold emphasis added.) The author has a subconscious sense of the altruism Ayn Rand identified throughout most of her life's works without recognizing the alternative that exists: Today, the conflict has reached its ultimate climax; the choice is clear-cut: either a new morality of rational self-interest, with its consequences of freedom, justice, progress and man’s happiness on earth—or the primordial morality of altruism, with its consequences of slavery, brute force, stagnant terror and sacrificial furnaces. One more observation from a list of Doug's assessments from the show The 100. Groups with no code, or law, descend into anarchy Coalitions are formed by the like-minded Politics are always at play within any group Politics are always at play in the relations between groups Allegiances change based upon circumstances In matters of survival, expediency reigns supreme Some leaders value the group over the individual Some leaders value individuals over the group Once trust has been established in a group, it becomes that group against all others Groups and individuals who desire similar outcomes will form temporary alliances Leaders emerge, as do traitors By their actions, they are known (Bold emphasis added.) While most of these reference the group in some form, the individual is important enough to warrant three mentions here. In the light of dystopian literature, a distinction comes to the forefront. Atlas Shrugged is often categorized as such, yet does not belong therein, unless Ayn Rand is mistaken in her identification of the siren call Doug "Uncola" Lynn is hearing. She trumpets a decidedly different symphonic potential.
  10. For question is for those who agree with Intellectual Property Rights. Over the years, I've amassed a substantial collection of DVD movies. Per my understanding, I understand that these can be copied to a hard drive, and viewed from the hard drive, providing I still own the DVD. Now if I were to take the physical disc and put it in a garage sale, or even just give it away, the electronic copy should be removed. The question is: If the physical copy were purposely destroyed (say to free up limited storage space), does that act also destroy the right to preserving the electronic copy?
  11. Off the top of my head, I can't conceive of something that would invalidate man's nature as a conceptual being.
  12. The title is certainly spontaneous. The modern denial... Why this comes off as trying proving a negative escapes me at the moment. Agreed. The validity of any concept rests on a much more intensive (and investigative) basis.
  13. What does the concept tabula rasa refer to? Why would such a concept arise, and furthermore persist, if it were invalidly based? Another way of asking this is: What was the logic and evidence, or reasoning, that gave rise to the concept of tabula rasa? (Hint: John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding would be a good start. What, since this, has been discovered that obsoleted his investigative report?)
  14. A mix of some good and bad, is Queen Katwe. As a biographical film, I always end up wondering what was specifically biographical and what might have been embellished, but was not motivated enough to pursue the specific concretes. If you're familiar with the game of chess, the specifics are not expounded upon in the film, but familiarity with the game is counted upon to create a framework of reference. Phiona and Robert's roles set up the major context and ultimately carry the film to its climax. Otherwise, I found much of the detail provided of the day to day living superfluous.
  15. I had picked up the DVD when it came out. It had been marked on my calender almost from when the release date had been announced. After zeroing in on the hype of the language and the interpretation thereof, I probably created an expectation in my own mind that did not get fulfilled, hence the disappointment. I will put it back in the queue and give it another go, sans expectation.