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Everything posted by dream_weaver

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


  3. It shows up on both the Portal and the Forum pages. to both you gentlemen.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Off the top of my head, I can't conceive of something that would invalidate man's nature as a conceptual being.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?)
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. With all due respect, this thread was started in November 2004. You mentioned Arrival. I was disappointed with its general approach to the treatment of concepts. What was it that you liked about it that I may have discounted in this regard? Somewhat related to Million Dollar Baby, the movie Passengers dealt rather interestingly with the 'value of'/'stealing of' one's life.
  14. An exception to the "vast majority of movies, including blockbusters" would be Million Dollar Baby, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.
  15. From about a quarter of the way into the linked article "Why Nerds are Unpopular" I don't mean to suggest they do this consciously. Some of them truly are little Machiavellis, but what I really mean here is that teenagers are always on duty as conformists. For example, teenage kids pay a great deal of attention to clothes. They don't consciously dress to be popular. They dress to look good. But to who? To the other kids. Other kids' opinions become their definition of right, not just for clothes, but for almost everything they do, right down to the way they walk. And so every effort they make to do things "right" is also, consciously or not, an effort to be more popular. Nerds don't realize this. They don't realize that it takes work to be popular. In general, people outside some very demanding field don't realize the extent to which success depends on constant (though often unconscious) effort. For example, most people seem to consider the ability to draw as some kind of innate quality, like being tall. In fact, most people who "can draw" like drawing, and have spent many hours doing it; that's why they're good at it. Likewise, popular isn't just something you are or you aren't, but something you make yourself. So why isn't Objectivism popular? For starters, Objectivism isn't a popularity contest. Demanding fields are popular. Medicine, for instance. Relief for the poor. Egalitarianism. The success in these fields rely on the unconscious acceptance of the bromides put forth to promote them. Note the switch from "the ability to draw" to those who "can draw" as "having spent many hours doing it." Yet incoming questions are often asked: If Objectivism is true, why isn't it more widely embraced in the world? Or: Objectivism is true, but in order to implement it, a new existential Atlantis need be erected in place of the city of Atlantis or the Garden of Eden or some kingdom of perfection, always behind us. The root of that legend exists, not in the past of the race, but in the past of every man. You still retain a sense—not as firm as a memory, but diffused like the pain of hopeless longing—that somewhere in the starting years of your childhood, before you had learned to submit, to absorb the terror of unreason and to doubt the value of your mind, you had known a radiant state of existence, you had known the independence of a rational consciousness facing an open universe. That is the paradise which you have lost, which you seek—which is yours for the taking. Yes, the current educational system undermines making such a paradise yours for the taking. But if you have been spared the irrevocable damage from such a program of indoctrination, don't you owe it to yourself to discover this for yourself? After all, in terms of essentials and absolutes, the psychological price of admission to Atlantis is a precondition of the possibility of entering it existentially.
  16. The Physician and Flash of Genius I recently watched the 2013 film "The Physician", which I heartily enjoyed. Based on a novel, the notion of cataract and appendix surgery seem a bit of a reach for the 11th century, none the less it was a powerful display of science triumphing against/within a background of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—(with an overt usage of Aristotle therein.) "Flash of Genius" centers around the Robert Kearns' case with the Ford Motor Company about patent infringement that dealt with intermittent windshield wiper technology. The introduction of Charles Dickens "Tale of Two Cities" into the trial, contrasted against a new arrangement of existing electronic technology made my evening.
  17. Touché! I was looking at it primarily in the light of the timing of Douglas' delivery.
  18. From that speech: You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence I will proceed to lay them before you. Somehow I don't get the impression this was simply an extemporaneous delivery. Of course, it's not 1852 either.
  19. Is it up to the teachers unions? Unions may be influential among the workers, and hold sway with some producers. Ultimately it is the consumer that chooses the product to purchase in a free market. Montessori and homeschooling options have been trending up. Politically, making these options more difficult pits ~1.5 million union teacher votes to ~1.5 million children's parents votes at this time (per estimations from a few google searches.)
  20. Who decides what is right and wrong? This smuggles in a false premise. Metaphysically, the only authority is reality. Epistemologically, it is one's own mind. The former is the ultimate arbiter of the latter. I prefer the identification of facts over engaging in debate. If others wish to disagree with facts, what does engaging them in debate resolve? More pertinent to the thread topic would be Rand's astute assessment: The answer, here as in all other moral-intellectual problems, is that nobody "decides." Reason and reality are the only valid criteria of political theories. Who determines which theory is true? Any man who can prove it. —The Objectivist Newsletter: Vol. 4 No. 2 February, 1965 • Who is the final authority in ethics?
  21. When interns ask questions that I cannot directly answer, I try to provide them with the questions they need to ask, and direct them to the people to which they need to ask in order to gain access to the answers they seek. The influence Objectivism has to offer is not directly embedded in the individuals that seek to spread them to the wider reaches of society. Rand's ideas are either true and stand on their own recognizance, or they are not, and will fall of their own accord. On that note, is it Objectivism that needs to engage society on societies platitudes of its own merits, or is it society that need come to terms with that which it desires to engage with?
  22. On the back of a t-shirt in the midst of a small gathering were the words "Counting Crows". A list of locations punctuated the fact that the first thing that leaped to mind was not to do with the touring locations. At this point, I recognized that Counting Crows refers to a band of instrumentalists and singers. Of course, the wearer of the shirt recommends the group most heartily, and while still not having listened to any of the music, the following lyrics were selected from a rather this repertoire of songs. After checking out "A Mona Lisa" (I enjoyed the movie, "Mona Lisa's Smile"), the "Scarecrow" (for some strange reason, The Wizard of Oz came to mind and was quickly repudiated), I finally settled on "God of Ocean Tides" (nothing to do with the latest Disney film "Moana"). Close the door on a short night Lift the lid on the daylight 6:09 West Tennessee time And I buy all my days At the same place where the girl sells her nights To a God of ocean tides. Why, when I see "Counting Crows", I thought of "Crow Epistemology" at first, is hardly beyond my comprehension. The rest of the lyrics hardly compelled me to seek out more about "The Rest of the Story". RIP, Paul Harvey. RIP.
  23. Etsy binds a large print edition of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" in a hard cover leather-bound copy. Since receiving them, "The Fountainhead" is going on the second read in as many weeks. After nearly 25 years, it was like reading it for the first time, as so many details had been obscured in the ever deepening fog of of clear recollection. Apart from snippets looked up to clarify or search on various key words over the last few years, Dominique's relationships with Peter and Guy, Guy's ship, the "I Do" and many other factors were like seeing them for the first time. Here's an interesting interjection I noticed about Nike Apteros by Ellsworth Toohey to Peter Keating upon his arrival for an appointment. Her nearly inconspicuous use of 'unprepossessing' just prior to Ellsworth noting that he was certain Keating would say "that's always been my favorite" could have certainly gone unnoticed if it hadn't been there. If you're not familiar with them, or you haven't looked them up before, here's The Parthenon: and here's the Nike Apteros: The Etsy books appear to be well constructed. (Shameless plug for what appear to be quality craftsmanship, this early in the game.) It is easy to relate to many of the character traits of Howard Roark. Dominique plays a pivotal role in exposing the second-hander theme in the novel. The seeds of "the sanction of the victim" as well as "The Romantic Manifesto" are clearly already germinating in the rich loam she cultivated(/identified) within.
  24. Yes, I am quite capable of rephrasing my question. Why do you think the jury acquitted Jeronimo Yanez?
  25. Eiuol, Please keep in mind the context of the era that this is being applied in. If the standards of law enforcement requirements were up to Objectivist's standards, then deploy them across the board. If not—what are the existing conditions to which apply the scope of Objectivist principles in a pragmatic/subjectivist vacuum? I dropped the ball by saying "carte blanch" reasonable doubt. Per my immersion in the times, it is the conclusion. If a different conclusion is desired . . . many things have yet to occur to bring such conditions about.