Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Tenderlysharp

Jumping into the fray

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

The purpose of this thread is to explore the perspective of transition someone new to Objectivism may experience.

One person may take off like a rocket from the first moment Ayn Rand comes into his awareness, voraciously reading and integrating everything she has ever written, another may take years trying to decide whether he is willing to embrace it fully.

The people here have various levels of understanding, age, and experience with Objectivism. The title under a person's avatar may give you a clue as to what level of understanding he has proved himself to express. Novice, Jr Member, Member, Senior Member, Administrator, Organizer, Proud Father, Web God, ... there may be more that I haven't noticed yet... When weighing the perspective of another member of this site you may want to look at his profile, and the other posts he has commented on to get an idea of where he is coming from.

The strong ego that Objectivism encourages may make a person seem as though he is talking down to you. It is a bit of an assumption on his part that you have just as strong an ego as he has, and therefore he expects you to take what you want from it without feeling pressured to do so.

The forum rules request that you do a search before posting a question. I wonder if the administrators or any members know the top 10 most redundant questions.

One of them is Agnosticism/Atheism:

.... here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here ...
With commonly redundant questions pick up an old thread where the previous commentary left off. The original posters may not be around to respond, but if you have something to add to the conversation it may peak the interest of the people who are here now.

Every person who comes here values his time, many are happy to answer your questions, yet the most common answer you will receive is a link to where you can find the answers for yourself. It takes a lot of work to learn everything there is to learn about Objectivism, and most people are not willing to do your work for you, (nor could they even if they wanted to).

If you value another person's time he will be more willing to exchange ideas with you. I often write everything I am thinking on a subject, save it for the next day, read it again fresh, write some more, and then cut off half to 2/3rds of the weakest part reserving some of it in my own files for when I understand it better.

Being concise is an integral aspect of every great mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The people here have various levels of understanding, age, and experience with Objectivism. The title under a person's avatar may give you a clue as to what level of understanding he has proved himself to express. Novice, Jr Member, Member, Senior Member, Administrator, Organizer, Proud Father, Web God, ... there may be more that I haven't noticed yet... When weighing the perspective of another member of this site you may want to look at his profile, and the other posts he has commented on to get an idea of where he is coming from.
Best to use the the second -- i.e. looking at the person's other posts. The titles merely show how many posts a member has, and can be a very deceptive rule of thumb.Sometimes I think titles based on post-counts can hurt more than they help.

The forum rules request that you do a search before posting a question. I wonder if the administrators or any members know the top 10 most redundant questions.
Here's a list of the largest threads. In addition, as you pointed out, sometimes multiple threads (like on Atheism may not have been combined into a long thread).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...But to those of you who do wish to contest it.

Particularly those of you who are young and are not ready to surrender

I want to give a warning:

Nothing is as dead as the stillborn.

Nothing is as futile as a movement without goals, or a crusade without ideals, or a battle without ammunition.

A bad argument is worse that ineffectual: it lends credence of the arguments of your opponents.

A half battle is worse than none, it does not end in mere defeat, it helps and hastens the victory of your enemies.

...Do not go into battle armed with nothing but stale slogans, pious platitudes, and meaningless generalities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not seeing what this is intended to accomplish. You're also conflating "new to Objectivism" with "new to this Forum", which may or may not necessarily apply. It's more than a little pretentious to start throwing around broad generalities about forum users like this, especially when you proceed to start throwing around Ayn Rand quotes without context or stated goal. It smacks of appointing oneself the Missionary to the Unenlightened or similar bosh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...broad generalities about forum users... throwing around Ayn Rand quotes without context or stated goal....appointing oneself the Missionary

Would this be defined as missionary activity?:

One million copies of Ayn Rand's books have been distributed to high schools, and millions of students will read her every year.

Efficiency compels me to reduce unnecessary misunderstandings. Its in my self interest to promote Objectivism; the process of beginning (of the novice) is of personal interest to me. There are Objectivist concepts (such as the word Selfish) that mean something different to an Objectivist than they mean to most people. I wonder what the most productive way to engage an interested yet unsure novice is.

It can be intimidating to contend with strong criticism coming from a strong ego - its something that most of the people I know have never experienced. This is a response to the trepidations I have experienced that I also recognize in some of the other introductions. An Objectivist may take criticism as a challenge to clarify and correct his position. A novice, lacking the correct context, may retreat... not knowing what he is running away from.

The Ayn Rand quote is to bring into awareness the way partial Objectivist arguments fall into patterns of abusing the novice by ignoring the context of what the novice understands. Introducing a novice to an argument isn't going to make the work ahead of him easier, but it may encourage him to try.

Edited by Tenderlysharp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Tenderlysharp, you jumped into the deep end, and I understand your frustration. You have apparently a fine mind and a great enthusiasm for O'ism, and whatever you experience, don't lose that.

There is a lot to learn here, and Individualists come in all types, so I advise that you keep your eye on the objective, and don't let the rest of it get you down too much.

(Said by someone who is a relative newby himself!)

No, don't retreat - there is plenty of value on OONet, and believe it or not, there're many other sensitive Objectivists.

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
there're many other sensitive Objectivists.
I like how you phrased that. Thank you for your response.

The more I try to communicate ideas I realize how crippled I used to be with the way altruists phrase things. I am experiencing such a sharp focus every time I think of using the word 'we'.

I may choose to invest energy into the development of the talent I see in other artists because I am interested in experiencing what they will produce, when I once would have said "I want to help artists". The desire may be similar, but the approach, perspective, and outcome are vastly different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the immense amount of conceptual integrations necessary to understand Objectivism, the most common response I have seen toward the novice is the encouragement to read more of Ayn Rand's books, because it is a way for a person to save themselves days of running around in circles with someone who doesn't 'get it'. And why should he spend his time if the information is already available somewhere else?

Often a lack of response is not a concession that there is no defense, but a decision the opposition makes that his time could be better spent elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In reply to your personal note:

Your light and your life are your own.  Brush aside the impotent darkness, seek other light.  Find souls of measure with yourself, and when none travel with you, find solace and joy in the light and life that are yours alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where did the last three weeks go?  Went on a road trip; Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, and back to Wyoming.  I've been painting a lot since I got back.  Its a different part of my brain I use while painting... visual language.  I get good at one thing, and push myself to try to challenge myself in a different way and it turns out horrible.  Getting over my false pride, so I can earn some real pride is messy and it takes too long, but I am trying.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

Where did the last three weeks go?  Went on a road trip; Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, and back to Wyoming.  I've been painting a lot since I got back.  Its a different part of my brain I use while painting... visual language.  I get good at one thing, and push myself to try to challenge myself in a different way and it turns out horrible.  Getting over my false pride, so I can earn some real pride is messy and it takes too long, but I am trying.  

Tenderlysharp, Quite a journey. I concur with Ninth, you have a special writing/thinking expressiveness which (I think) you should keep building upon. I experience too that mind-shift from verbalizing to visualizing when I take up the camera after a while, it feels like almost a physical effort at first, before engaging that important visual clarity and fluidity again.

(As aside, you must know of the neuroscience findings of "neuroplasticity", a brain self-consciously directing, establishing, re-establishing - and creating - new neural pathways, which bears out our minds' volition, the "self-made soul" . The scientists have lately begun to catch up with the philosopher and the artist-creator who has always known or sensed this phenomenon...!)

May I add: I realize you must satisfy your own standards, but you don't need to be too unforgiving on yourself. It may not be so clear at the time, but one develops even in 'failure', as one pushes at the boundaries of existence and one's mind to bring them together.

Edited by whYNOT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×