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BetTheFarm

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  1. It was delightful and inspirational to watch Ayn Rand in action at age 74 (she stated during the show that she was born in 1905 and the show was published in 1979, therefore, I conclude that she was 74 give or take a year given her exact DOB). To those who conclude based on their personal observation that she appeared "on edge" or "nervous"... I don't necessarily disagree. I had a similar first impression. Let me be clear: Ayn Rand is the epitome of moral and psychological strength in my assessment; however, her mannerisms do not correspond to my personal stereotypes of moral and psychological strength for the following (subjective) reasons: 1) Her body language was "defensive"...she appeared to anticipate disagreement as a response to her statements either from the host or the audience (in my opinioin, this expectation was warranted and likely based on empirical evidence), 2) Her eye movement and her verbal reactions are quick and precise. In my experience, many individuals associate this behavior with guilt (i.e., they infer that this behavior is in response to an a priori expectation of accusation). In Ayn Rand's case, I attribute these reactions to the following: a) A superior, and consequently more efficient intellect (one that is able to process questions/comments very quickly and thus react to such in an efficient manner), The cumulative experience of a 74 year old philosopher who is used to her statements being subject to criticism, ridicule, or exagerated reaction. In my opinion, what you may have just viewed is analogous to the result of Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders for 74 years. Ayn Rand stood her ground to the end and did not budge. If possible, I respect her now even more than after reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
  2. That's an interesting question, I hope you receive enough responses from which to draw a meaningful conclusion. I recall from a prior survey that the age distribution of members of OO.net was markedly skewed towards those between the ages of 18 to 25. You may want to consider "normalizing" the results of the current survey based on the data provided in the "age distribution" survey. This would help to answer the question: "Of those of a particular age group, what percent changed philosophy..." Just my two cents. Regards.
  3. I assumed you meant non-human life forms. Indeed. I do not intend to turn this into a brawl. I am geniunely interested in the rational basis and support of these assertions.
  4. My argument is as follows: there is no "fundamental hostility" between man and "other life forms", in a general sense. In any specific instance, man's survival and other life forms' survival may be at odds (competition over food, territory, etc). In specific instance, there may be a fundamental hostility between man and other men but it does not follow that there is a fundamental hostility between men. Inspector asserted that there is a fundamental hostility between himself and other life forms. I am genuinely interested in support of this assertion - or the equivalent version if extended to all men, i.e., there is a fundamental hostility between man and other life forms. Regarding my comment wherein I agreed that hostility exists between Inspector and other life forms, I was referring to the content and tone of his posts and comments in this thread, several of which I would consider hostile, both to "other life forms" and other members of this forum. Let's just say I'm glad I'm not a bear.
  5. You seem to be implying here that if a lifeform does not survive by reason then it must survive by force. Would you consider a herbivore to be one such lifeform that survives by force? If so, how does this differ from a man who eats fruits and vegatables - is he not likewise surviving "by force"? If not, how do you reconcile that with your assertion? Based on your posts, I would agree that there is a fundemental hostility between you and every other form of life on the planet. I just don't think that the source of this hostility is necessarily the other life forms. I am disheartened by the fact that someone who calls himself an Objectivist would make a statement such as this. I'm assuming that you've obviously never had an affectionate pet. Man and animals are compatible in many (obviously not all) ways and can gain value from mutually affectionate relationships. Have you watched Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" too many times? Do you really consider this an initiation of force?
  6. You could start by asking your colleague whether Hobbes was neutered (or declawed). The answer might put an end to the speculation.
  7. I would like to offer the following perspective for your consideration. Based on this post and previous posts that you've authored, it is clear that you are angered by the fact that you are forced to pay so much money in property tax. I wholeheartedly agree that these taxes are immoral. I am forced to pay alot in taxes myself (property and otherwise) and I sometimes find some comfort in the fact that this money is spent on some things that represent value to me. Granted, it is not provided with my consent, nor as efficiently as it could be provided in the private market. I presume that you value things such as roads (which you use extensively), national defense, public schooling (should you decide to enroll your daughter in the future), police protection, etc. I'm sure I could make a longer list of those things that you do not value but which your tax money is spent on. I'm sure you could too. My point is that focusing on the positive may make a bitter pill easier to swallow. Please don't read this as an endorsement of taxation in any way - it's not. Another point I'd like to address is the fact that you state that you are not good enough at any one skill or intelligent enough to find monetarily rewarding employment. I disagree. I disagree based exclusively on your written communication skills. These alone indicate to me that you are a capable man. I have interviewed several candidates on behalf of my company in the past and there is a startling lack of individuals with good communication skills and basic reasoning skills. I believe you have both, though I may disagree with your reasoning in specific instances. It sounds to me that what is preventing you from gainful employment is your ability to interact with others and perhaps the willingness to endure short-term pain for long term happiness. This is speculation on my part, based on your posts. I would conjecture that this issue may be overcome by sheer willpower. Please don't take this the wrong way, but in all honesty, my reaction to essence of your posts is one of anger. This is because I never look at the world as anything but a place where man can succeed by the effort of his own mind and a love of life in spite of the obstacles that may present themselves. It sounds to me like you have given up living or nearly so and I find this attitude so incompatible with the tenants and spirit of Objectivism that my reaction is one of anger. I believe that a more positive attitude would enable you to harness the power of your mind more effectively in order to find numerous solutions to your current dilemma. There is no doubt that it is possible to overcome your financial problems, but first you must want to do so. You must first want to live. Focus on those items that are of value to you and do not let your hardships overcome your love of life. Best wishes.
  8. It's funny that you mention that as an example. I've had the exact same experience with Tetris after playing for any extended amount of time. Once, a friend and I were playing the game for several hours. Afterwards I remember saying something like, "we turned off the game but it's still going on in my head." My mind was actively imagining shapes descending and was trying to fit them into the proper place. Interestingly, my friend, who played the game just as long and as intently said he experienced no such phenomenon. I always thought it odd that he could "turn it off" while my mind was still very actively involved. I'm still curious whether studying this type of phenomenon could provide some insight into how different people use their brains to focus. Perhaps a clue as to how to think or focus more effectively is in there somewhere.
  9. I respectfully disagree. To a selfish man, there is value to be found in conversation with other men (with some men, some of the time). To converse is to engage in an exchange or trade of thoughts. If a man values the exchange of thoughts, he may want to be a practiced trader, i.e., a good conversationalist. Awareness of the comfort of those to whom one is speaking is one skill that a good conversationalist may want to posses. Therefore, being selfish does not necessarily imply that one is unaware of the comfort of others.
  10. Ravane, Let me be the first to say, "Wow!" It's great work, I can't wait to see more.
  11. I looked on the ARI website but did not see anything regarding sponsoring a specific geographic region - I am interested in viewing those regions in need of sponsorship. Can anyone point me to this? Thanks.
  12. The township in which I reside is attempting to introduce a "Historic Resource Preservation Oridanance". I quote from the pamphlet on the topic: "These historic buildings are our common wealth..." Ahem, our common wealth? Actually, I am the owner of my "historic property", and I don't remember anyone offering to help me pay my mortgage lately. I am very concerned about the (further) violation of my property rights buy such an ordinance. Has anyone had experience with historic property restrictions in their area or on their homes? Any advice on how to prevent the passage of such an ordinance? Thanks
  13. That's an interesting idea. However, I do not think this level of involvement falls within the proper scope of an insurance company's activities. Basically, if all insurance policies were priced adequately and equitably (and they're not, due to excessive regulation), those insureds with the highest potential for loss would pay the highest premiums. This simple fact would provide incentive for insureds to minimize the risk of loss (or mitigate the magnitude of loss when it does occur) by investing in risk control measures such as the one you suggest. If an insurer is not permitted to price policies based on their actual potential for loss, this leads to inequitable "risk sharing" - where other policy holders pay more than their fair premium to offset those being subsidized. My point is that, if the insurance market were permitted to operate without regulatory interference in pricing policies, the proper incentives for loss control would exist for policyholders and it would therefore not be necessary for the insurance companies to become involved in activity beyond their scope of expertise (e.g., fixing levys, etc)
  14. I'm curious how this qualifies as one of your goals in life. What aspects of this make it appealing and important enough to put it on a relatively short list of things to do before you die? I must admit that I've never understood the appeal of hunting as a activity by which one derives pleasure. What is the rational basis for the pursuit of hunting animals living in remote areas half a world away?
  15. What "confuses" me is why she puts "everything" in "quotes" as if "it" has some "unique" meaning.
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