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blackdiamond

Objectivist Billionaires

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John Allison claimed that many Forbes 500 CEO's are influenced by Ayn Rand, and there are also many famous multi-millionaire traders who made public the fact that they admired her work. E.g. Monroe Trout.

Being an "Objectivist" is hard, at least that is what I've come to conclude after being on these forums. No billionaire, let alone multi-millionaire is going to spend vast amounts of their time studying all sorts of deep philosophical abstractions... they are busy people. Sure they do have hobbies and I'm not saying they cant, maybe a few do but that is the exception.

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If they are always or usually told that "they have no talent in their particular sphere (singing, acting, comedy, etc)," especially by experienced people in those fields, they should consider very seriously that they may indeed not be as talented as they think (we can all make mistakes). Of course there are stories of exceptional cases, but those are just that: exceptional cases (which is why they make the cover of a magazine).

I am not sure if they are exceptional cases - you just don't hear about it. I have met at least one Objectivist - the founder and CEO of The Gilded Fork (my fav culinary site) Jennifer Ionnolo has her rejection letter from Oxford University to an MBA program framed in her office. If you read biographies of highly successful people such stories appear often.

You asked if that talent in that context (on an island) has LESS value, and i said yes (because of a particular way it would now fail to serve MY LIFE, my survival - and you still think it is not any less valuable? Isn't your life your standard of value?).

What would you need money for on a deserted island? And yes you would not be able to feed yourself by singing - but it would not be rational for you to expect that given that there would not be anybody there to trade with.

I don't agree that the value of something is necessarily dependent on its trade value, how much you can sell it for. That seems to me is your idea of value.

So how could you possibly derive from that that i (only) measure value by money?

Correct me if I am wrong but I sense that the way you measure value of someone's work is through how much other people are willing to pay for it (thus your mentioning of free market). I however make a distinction between the market value of someone's work and an objective (metaphysical if you will) value of someone's work. Those two can be the same but not necessarily so.

Hm. I'm not sure about that. She would be very unique as a novelist if she considered herself successful novelist even if no one bought a single novel of hers [Remember we are talking about America, a society that still appreciates heroes in art, and still by and large appreciates good writing skill and craft].

Her goal was not to be a successful novelist - she did not write for that reason - it was only a tool she used. If that was her goal - the only thing she would need to do is to cater to the masses - tell them what they wanted to hear.

Perhaps you are not in the age group of her target market? Or you just don't like that genre of music too much?

An objective evaluation has nothing to do with age or genre.

It's the greatest gift you can give to them, as it is the greatest gift you can give to yourself; there is no dichotomy.

I don't think that inspiring others is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. The greatest gift you can give to yourself is to reach your own potential which involves understanding yourself well and then setting, striving for, and achieving the right goals.

Similarly, I think a person feels good (VERY good) when they meet a romantic partner who strongly admires them for their values. They do not pursue their values for the purpose of being admired by a potential partner. But they will certainly feel very happy - by way of feedback - when they do actually meet someone who expresses strong admiration for their values (besides other aspects), whenough to want to spend the rest of their lives with them.

Yes, and I understand that you seek that psychological visibility when it comes to your personal success but that is different from what you have said in this thread about others being a good measure of the value of one's achievement.

Edited by ~Sophia~

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I am not sure if they are exceptional cases - you just don't hear about it. I have met at least one Objectivist - the founder and CEO of The Gilded Fork (my fav culinary site) Jennifer Ionnolo has her rejection letter from Oxford University to an MBA program framed in her office. If you read biographies of highly successful people such stories appear often.

Sophia, you have continued to argue against something that I have not said. If you go back to the point where I introduced this particular example, I basically said it is very unlikely that someone who has a good voice (or talent) will be told "that's a bad voice" or "you better find another career" by MANY people everywhere (especially, including experts in those fields, like the "American Idol" judges, record company executives, family and friends, etc). You said that there are in fact many such successful singers and I disputed that (unless they subsequently improved their voice through voice training, etc etc). But I have conceded that exceptions are possible.

You've met a business person who was rejected to Oxford for an MBA, as your counter-example. Firstly, this doesn't show she has been rejected by MANY people; secondly, it is unlikely that Oxford knew this person well enough (i.e. personally) to be able to judge her business abilities (which are much more complex than singing ability). Thirdly, it is unlikely that Oxford accepts people to their MBA program just based on their business acumen (but of course I don't know her full context); fourthly, it is VERY difficult for anyone to judge the business abilities of a person until they SHOW you how successful they have been in business; and 5. to be rejected by Oxford does not necessarily mean they do not believe that you can't succeed in business.

I know there are many examples like that of your friend, but that is very different from what I specifically claimed.

What would you need money for on a deserted island? And yes you would not be able to feed yourself by singing - but it would not be rational for you to expect that given that there would not be anybody there to trade with.

This is precisely why that talent is less valuable given that context. "Less" is a comparison. So, we are comparing with what? With a context in which there are other people. The point of your Island hypothetical, as I understood it, was to present a situation in which there is NO market, contrasted with one where there is. THAT talent is definitely less valuable outside a market context. So is the talent of boxing, comedy, chess, etc - if you are alone on a deserted island (even skillful novel writing is not as valuable on this island, as it is in the world of people, unless you intend to one day go where there are people).

Correct me if I am wrong but I sense that the way you measure value of someone's work is through how much other people are willing to pay for it (thus your mentioning of free market). I however make a distinction between the market value of someone's work and an objective (metaphysical if you will) value of someone's work. Those two can be the same but not necessarily so.

In my very last post, I had said that money is not the ONLY measure, which is why I said that the gift of singing possessed by the person on that Island can still have some value, it's just less than its value would be in a market context where other people can appreciate it.

Her goal was not to be a successful novelist - she did not write for that reason - it was only a tool she used. If that was her goal - the only thing she would need to do is to cater to the masses - tell them what they wanted to hear.

Qua novelist, her goal was certainly to be successful. But that's not the only thing she was, so this has to be integrated with all her other principles. ["SHE/HER" also refers to everything else about her soul that we know].

I don't think that inspiring others is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.

I did not say that, Sophia. I said "achievement" (is the greatest gift you can give to yourself).

[Out of curiosity: what is the "metaphysical value" of someone's work?

If by that you mean that a good work follows specific principles (eg particular esthetic principles for an art work), then I obviously agree. But I don't see why this ethically precludes a person from measuring his success/achievement by the response of others (given a particular social context that I specified), since sometimes you may not be as proficient at physically applying these (objective) theoretical principles (to your work) as you might hope; i.e. at integrating body and mind effectively in your work. Two women can read the same cookery book and both can enjoy their own baking, but only one of them might hear people say "ooh, that was a very nice cake!" and they only buy cakes from her (after tasting both). Why can't this be a reasonably valid measure of their achievements? But I have already said all this.]

I will allow you to make the last post (below) on this particular discussion (with me, that is). Thanks.

Edited by blackdiamond

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THAT talent is definitely less valuable outside a market context.

Why? Because you can not sustain yourself by doing it or because you can not trade it for something else? The standard of value for me is my long term happiness and not just sustaining my life, but of course in order to be happy at a minimum I must remain alive (for which I can find other ways). Why would a joy of singing be any less for me on a deserted island? Because nobody else can hear it?

I did not say that, Sophia. I said "achievement" (is the greatest gift you can give to yourself).

I must have misunderstood.

If by that you mean that a good work follows specific principles (eg particular esthetic principles for an art work), then I obviously agree.

Yes. In art it would be tied to what the purpose of art is.

But I don't see why this ethically precludes a person from measuring his success/achievement by the response of others (given a particular social context that I specified), since sometimes you may not be as proficient at physically applying these (objective) theoretical principles (to your work) as you might hope; i.e. at integrating body and mind effectively in your work.

We don't have the social context you specified. If they are using the right standard than yes but I think you are assuming too much of the public. My point is this (and based on our exchange here I don't think you would disagree) that even if there is a market for something (like Ms. Spears records) it does not mean that it is good and similarly even if there is not a market for something, like in the case of Readen metal, it does not mean there is no value in it.

Edited by ~Sophia~

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just as materialists do social engineering, producing awsome resembling short term results; spiritists do moral engineering producing such successes as Tom Cruise. Or for example I've seen a video about how Mormonism produces Millionaires.

But the point is, Objectivism is to Philosophy, what Laissez Faire Capitalism is to Economics. Sound long term results based on consistency at the expenses of short term investments

Edited by volco

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