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Episode 231 - August 27, 2012



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Leonard interviews David Harriman, author of The Logical Leap and co-founder of Falling Apple Science Institute, on its current project: developing rational science curricula for middle and high school students.

Duration: 16:04

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Episode 232 - September 03, 2012



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01:08: If you hate writing, as you've said, can you nevertheless still be happy now that you wrote The DIM Hypothesis?

05:18: When The DIM Hypothesis is read in the future and your prediction is unfortunately proved correct, do you think that this could help people pay attention to ideas and become more rational?

06:42: Is the ultimate goal of the left to turn America into the Soviet Union or Sweden?

09:12: When one first meets a U.S. soldier, is it appropriate to thank him for his effort in protecting us without knowing the specifics of his military career and the kind of missions he was assigned?

10:56: Why hasn't Anthem been made into a movie?

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Episode 233 - September 10, 2012



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01:08: I am trying to write a fiction novel, but every time I sit down to write, my first thoughts are that I mustn't make it like The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. And then I can‚'t write. What should I do?

04:56: Did Ayn Rand ever tell you what it was like to read her own novels?

06:42: I recently developed feelings for a female coworker who is better at our job than I am. As I result I feel emasculated and almost unworthy of her. Am I right to feel that I must be her creative equal or better to pursue her?

08:40: In Atlas Shrugged, when John is giving Dagny the tour of the valley, there is a character briefly introduced who is identified as a writer and who matches Ayn Rand‚'s physical description. Did Ayn Rand intend this character to be a representation of herself?

10:38: Why is the number of men interested in studying philosophy and attending lectures about Ayn Rand‚'s Objectivism, five times greater than women?

12:14: If Miss Rand was here today, what would be her first spoken sentence after learning that the Affordable Care Act had been signed into law as constitutional?

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Episode 234 - September 17, 2012



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01:08: Suppose two men apply for a job. Both are qualified, but one is clearly more so than the other. The less qualified man knows he is the lesser, but gets the job anyway. Is this unjust?

03:40: Do you think most people embrace religion and mysticism because they seek to escape death?

05:00: With all due respect, who do you recommend we direct our questions to when you are no longer available to answer them?

07:28: According to Facets of Ayn Rand, she quote, she "cried tears of splendor" upon seeing the New York skyline for the first time. Were these different from wedding tears, in other words, were they malevolent universe?

09:12: How much would you pay for an absolutely guaranteed 25 additional happy, healthy and successful years of your life?

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Episode 235 - September 24, 2012



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01:08: Is romantic love a requirement for a happy life?

03:52: Why do people choke under pressure?

06:36: Suppose one happens across a person who acts to destroy lives, like Hitler or a serial killer, who is himself in a life-threatening emergency. Would the Objectivist ethics hold it as immoral for one not to rescue such a person?

08:08: I am in a wind ensemble. While rehearsing the conductor demanded to know who was using vibrato in the trumpet section. He said that it sounded very nice, but since no one else was doing it, I shouldn't either. Is he right?

09:10: If we are to decide our actions by reason and logic, why do we have emotion?

12:30: You said earlier that there is not likely to be a more evil person than the character Toohey. Since then you have called Obama a nihilist. Is he in any way less evil than Toohey?

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Episode 236 - October 01, 2012



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01:08: You are against capital punishment because of the possibility of error and thus of killing an innocent person. Watching the James Holmes case, the suspect in the Batman premiere shooting in Colorado, I‚'m curious if you would say there is ever a case conclusive enough to warrant the death penalty?

02:42: I met a woman 6 weeks ago and she has since been away for 4 weeks. I've tried to stay in touch, but after emailing her with my thoughts and interest in the relationship, I have not received a response. What is a reasonable amount of time to wait for a response?

04:18: Would a dictator be more or less immoral if he imposed Objectivism on a country?

06:06: I am pursuing a career in software which gives me both the physical things I want, such as money, and the spiritual things, like solving real-life problems. Although it‚'s challenging I know I can do more complex, difficult things with my time which would contribute to computer science. These achievements I know would lead me to happiness, but would also be very hard work and I don‚'t want to put in all that extra work. Am I wasting my life?

08:26: If you find one dollar on the street, is it moral to take it or is it theft? If you find one million dollars, does the same principle apply?

09:18: If Ayn Rand were still alive today, do you think she would be upset enough about the current state of things that she would move to Singapore like so many others have done?

11:06: Say that in the future humans invent sexbots that are robots you can sleep with and marry. What would Objectivism say about that?

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Episode 237 - October 08, 2012



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Announcement: Dr. Peikoff will now be sharing his podcast, every other week, with Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute.

Dr. Peikoff will continue to deal with the same kinds of questions as he has in the past, but Dr. Brook will be dealing with other areas that have largely been ignored by Dr. Peikoff, such as current events in economics, foreign policy, military issues, etc.

Dr. Peikoff invites his listeners to continue to send their questions, for either himself or for Dr. Brook, at peikoff dot com.

02:06: What is the origin of gender roles? Is it true, as some say, that gender is not an objective reality, but merely a product of social construction?

06:22: Because Paul Ryan is the presumptive successor of Romney, assuming Romney can win, and because it is well known that Ryan is influenced by Ayn Rand, could this be a significant inroad for the escape from dictatorship?

09:34: Is it proper to bribe one‚'s self with immediate rewards for performing rational but unpleasant tasks? Or should the fact that the tasks are in one‚'s long-term interest be motivation enough?

11:46: What is your opinion of beauty contests?

13:24: Why do people respond so vehemently to the idea that love is conditional?

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Episode 238 - October 15, 2012



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01:08: Does the offspring of a diabetic parent have a reasonable beef with his parent if he himself contracts diabetes?

04:10: I don‚'t believe in God but I don‚'t discount that an entity beyond our comprehension might exist. For instance, nuclear fusion would have been incomprehensible to a cave man. Could there be something else like that?

06:02: What do you think of an older man masturbating to pictures of much younger, but legal women? Is it psychologically destructive?

08:28: You have really great hair for a 78 year old. Is that genetic or have you done anything to enhance it?

09:10: Why do you differentiate D2 from M2? Aren't they very similar?

12:16: Why was the concept of man-worship not covered in OPAR? Isn't it central to Objectivism?

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Episode 240 - October 29, 2012



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01:08: A woman indicates to me that she likes me romantically, but later broke up with me without explanation. I then found out that her diary includes fantasies about breaking my heart. Is this a split personality? What is the matter with her?

04:52: When, if ever, is it appropriate to refer to Ayn Rand as "Ayn"?

06:54: In light of your new book, The DIM Hypothesis, and current trends, would you call religion evil?

08:30: Five years ago my girlfriend broke up with me because I was not educated and did not make much money. Today I am well-educated, successful, make good money, and am still obsessed and angry with this woman. Where should I go from here?

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Episode 241 - November 05, 2012



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01:08: Because I have average intelligence and below average looks, I experience terrible jealousy to others. I feel bad about myself, especially because it means I can‚'t date the women that I want. What should I do?

06:04: One of your listeners started her question with, "You truly are a hero of mine." Is this a pleasure to you? Or do Objectivists think a hero shouldn't be a real person but an ideal?

08:34: For single accidental mothers, how do you define living morally?

09:40: According to Objectivism, is a self-absorbed person an example of selfishness?

11:20: If romantic love and sex essentially involve shared values of the soul, why is physical attraction in this realm such a powerful factor?

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Episode 242 - November 12, 2012



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Yaron Brook begins answering questions on alternate weeks with Dr. Peikoff

01:10: YBrook: If an individual acquires a monopoly in business, such as utilities or telecom, isn't the monopoly much the same as Collectivism and therefore preventing others from enjoying opportunities that a free society offers? Or am I misunderstanding the terms?

05:30: YBrook: What would be the likely effect of a major economic collapse, far beyond the severity of the 2008 crisis?

09:02: YBrook: A number of companies argue that Google is a monopolist and has urged the Federal Trade Commission to take Google to court. Is this an example of cronyism?

12:56: YBrook: A follow-up to Dr. Peikoff and Dr. Brook's joint podcast on libertarianism: A new term to replace Capitalism?

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Episode 243 - November 19, 2012



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05:14: A follow-up to a previous podcast on the questions: is gender merely a social construct? The book (horrifying but excellent), I refer to is As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl, by John Colapinto.

02:54: What do you think of the 2012 presidential election results?

07:30: What should a minor in his mid-teens do if his parents, short of committing any crime, nevertheless act consistently on their oft-stated desire to make him continuously miserable?

10:18: What is the significance of age? Is it "just a number?"

13:06: How do D's survive? For example, many modern-day D's deny causality.

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Episode 244 - November 26, 2012



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01:06: To YBrook: If the current Supreme Court were to stay as conservative or more under a republican president, would abortion again be illegal? The Romney court took away private property rights in Massachusetts, will a liberal court under Obama preserve more property rights?

05:14: To YBrook: Dr. Peikoff previously said that Objectivism has to be accepted by consent, not imposed or forced on people. With that in mind, do you acknowledge that after WWII the American government forced the Japanese to accept a new conception of government?

09:50: To YBrook: How do you compare Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan vs. Turkey and Lebanon? How do they differ?

14:14: To YBrook: Is it moral to capitalize on a market distortion caused by government?

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Episode 245 - December 03, 2012



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01:08: Ayn Rand dealt with writing blocks by playing solitaire until she had a solution. Norman Mailer responded by typing any junk from his sub-conscious and throwing it away until he had a new idea. What is your advice?

03:28: I am a 29 year old guy and recently met a beautiful 18 year old girl who likes me. I care for and admire her, but she's not my equal, and I often find myself talking down to her as though I'm her father. I have decided against a long-term relationship, but is it proper to have sex with her if she understands the terms?

05:16: Is romantic love possible when one of the partners is disabled and cannot perform?

07:40: I enjoy dancing in private, but can't do so when anyone is watching because I'm too embarrassed. Is this second-handed?

10:52: Can an attractive person fall in love with an ugly person?

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Episode 246 - December 10, 2012



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01:08: To YBrook: There is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home in Phoenix and the owners want to demolish it. The community is outraged and the city is in the act of designating the building as a historical site. The owners in turn are threatening to sue the city. To me it's clear that the city intends to violate the owner's property rights, but I'm sad for myself and others that such a work be lost. For my emotions to align with reason, how should I feel if the owners prevail?

03:34: To YBrook: Assuming a European financial collapse, is it possible that the British Monarchy will take over Europe?

06:06: To YBrook: How would Objectivists defend against corruption within limited government, mainly the bribery of police military or law courts, to favor one individual over another?

07:52: To YBrook: What do you think of the slogan, "Economic patriotism"?

11:10: To YBrook: If a moral change in a culture is proceeded by change in the accepted epistemology, shouldn't the spearhead of Objectivism be focused on spreading epistemology?

13:32: To YBrook: Is it moral to take advantage of price-gouging after disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy?

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Episode 247 - December 17, 2012



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01:08: Which authors of popular fiction do you recommend?

06:42: What made it possible for Ayn Rand to be the genius of the ages, the first person in 5000 years to create a perfect philosophical system?

10:40: You mention that you thought you were not a good father because you did not set proper limits for your daughter; You had more the psychology of a grandfather than a father due to the fact that you had a child much later in life than is typical. What is it about aging that would cause a man to develop a grandfather psychology despite his knowledge?

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Episode 248 - December 24, 2012



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01:08: To YBrook: In a mixed economy, how should I address my self-interest for wanting to keep a public school up and running if it requires having to vote for an increase in taxes?

03:52: To YBrook: Ayn Rand spoke of inalienable rights, above all man's right to his own life. If this right is inalienable, then how can it be delegated or contracted to any one or any group, be it government or otherwise?

07:48: To YBrook: What would happen in a free market in regard to insider trading?

09:58: To YBrook: I own an investment property, but the mortgage is worth more than the value of the property. The tenant has stopped paying rent and is squatting in the house. An eviction would cost thousands of dollars. Would it be moral to default on the property?

12:38: To YBrook: Dr. Brook, you have been encouraging people to visit Hong Kong once before they die. Does the fact that it is a dictatorship make it immoral, even though the dictator imposes free markets?

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Episode 249 - December 31, 2012



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01:08: "Why does Roark stay in the world to fight but Galt allows it to collapse? How can these two heros of Rand's fiction take such opposite paths?

04:34: I feel uncomfortable or even embarrassed when I receive a valid compliment. I know I should be happy for the recognition. What am I to make of this?

07:08: Is there a moral issue involved in Objectivist philosophers accepting gifts from admirers?

09:38: If you got away with murder, would it be rational to turn yourself in?

11:42: Is Gail Wynand an Objectivist? Does he understand the philosophy but fail to observe it?

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Episode 250 - January 07, 2013



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00:38: YBrook: A follow-up to a previous podcast [248] on the question: If a moral change in a culture is proceeded by change in the accepted epistemology, shouldn't the spearhead of Objectivism be focused on spreading epistemology?

02:04: To YBrook: Under pure Capitalism, with complete private property rights and no public land, would prevent a citizen from seceding from the boundaries of the established social contract?

04:02: To YBrook: Why is Hillary Clinton being spared the spotlight on Benghazi? Was Rice a diversion so Hillary does not get scarred from her 2019 presidential bid?

06:20: To YBrook: What got the USA out of the Great Depression?

10:34: YBrook: In a previous lecture you spoke about the economic situation in the Unites States being similar to Greece twenty years ago because of its debt. How is this possible since the United States can issue its own currency?

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Episode 251 - January 14, 2013



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01:08: Is unconditional love for a child irrational? How can a small child have the virtues required to deserve love?

02:46: Is it a contradiction for atheists to reject mysticism but accept altruism?

04:10: An Objectivist group holds that there is a hierarchy of people who believe in Objectivism but at different stages of knowledge. The lowest has been named beginner, then comes novice, proficient, expert, maestro, and genius. Is this official Objectivist doctrine?

06:58: Assuming you will not be subjected to hazing, is there anything wrong with joining a social fraternity in college?

08:26: Why does The DIM Hypothesis not apply to non-Western culture? Does it pertain to the nature of the Hypothesis, or to the nature of non-Western culture?

09:22: Did Ayn Rand ever meet your parents? If so, what did she think of them?

10:16: Is it wrong to value a person's oratorical style and commanding presence when the content of his message is philosophically repugnant?

11:30: Is ambition a virtue in Objectivism?

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Episode 252 - January 21, 2013



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00:38: To YBrook: Are there any careers possible in this world where the right of way is not blocked? A career where my children can rise as far as their potential allows them?

03:34: To YBrook: What do you think about America having a second civil war? What should an Objectivist do in a crisis like this?

05:16: To YBrook: I've seen a significant rise in conspiracy theories among the public lately. Is this a trend and how do we explain the prevalence?

07:24: To YBrook: Is there anything to be positive about in the wake of Obama's reelection?

09:26: To YBrook: Is there anything wrong with advertising and marketing Objectivism and Objectivist thought?

11:16: To YBrook: What do you make of the vast and growing number of people in the religious right who claim to be inspired by Ayn Rand's ideas, but clearly and vocally disagree with much of what Rand wrote beyond economics? Do you think this cherry picking is good or bad for the Objectivist movement?

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Episode 253 - January 28, 2013



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01:08: What should and can Republicans do to win their next battle with Obama, such as the debt-limit crisis?

04:22: Should a man pay for dinner on a date? How do gender roles play into this issue?

07:06: What is the most common misconception about Objectivism? [Dr. Peikoff gives one for each branch of philosophy.]

07:36: At work our boss provides us with free snacks. I usually take all of the best parts, including the muffin tops, leaving only the bottoms and such for the others. Am I immoral?

09:10: If John Galt could broadcast the same speech, modified for context, to the entire U.S., do you think Obama would try and recruit him as Thompson did?

11:20: If one is in a relationship, is it morally acceptable to seek out others as long as one does not engage in any relationship-type activities with them?

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Episode 254 - February 04, 2013



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00:40: To YBrook: In a recent podcast you refer to a worldwide division of labor. Would this require the free movement of labor of all kinds and the need to protect the rights involved? If so, are you advocating for a world government?

03:46: To YBrook: Why would a Collectivist, like Jimmy Carter, deregulate?

06:36: To YBrook: What are the fundamental differences between policemen and doctors when it comes to protecting individual rights?

09:24: To YBrook: Do we need a viable third party to survive?

11:36: To YBrook: What is the fiscal cliff? Is this an example of Obama's nihilism? What motivates both parties in this respect?

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