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Over the past few years I've developed some rather unfortunate psycho-epistemological habits. I'm currently trying to remedy this (devoting all the free time I have to honing my command of my rational faculty) but my efforts would benefit enormously if I had more examples of good -but moreso bad- reasoning.

I also fear that, over the past few years, I may have smeared the results of my intellectual difficulties all over this forum - but that might be an opportunity in disguise. Identifying the problems in any of my previous posts (as well as their possible solutions) would be invaluable in re-training myself to spot and fix them in my everyday, on-my-feet reasoning.

The only problems are that it's become extremely difficult for me to spot my own errors (at one point it was a breeze) and that I have said just so damn much. Honestly, I never realized until yesterday quite how talkative I can be.

 

Which brings us to the purpose of this thread: I'd appreciate it if you guys would point out anything (and I mean anything) I have ever posted that seemed questionable to you in any way whatsoever. I might gain an acceleration in my mental renovation while you'd stand to gain some long-overdue vindication: a win-win proposition. :thumbsup: Commentary of almost any kind is also welcome. I'm not even opposed to speculations about the psychological causes of any given post (Hell, you might be right)! 

All I ask is that we please keep actual abuse to a minimum. I realize that it won't always be possible to discuss a given error purely in morally-neutral terms. Now and then it will probably be necessary to draw a bit of emotional blood, in order to make your point, and I'm alright with that. Just please do it constructively and not gratuitously.

 

 

Let the audit begin...

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I have only been on this board for a couple months, but I find you to be a particularly bright, intelligent individual with a happy sense of life. Whatever you might have been in the past, you have obviously changed for the better.

I would recommend reading Dr. Joseph Murphy's "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind." I should warn ahead of time that the book is from a New Age author who was an ordained Jesuit minister, so there are references throughout to the "law of attraction" and miracles... Nevertheless I still recommend the book because Murphy does the best job of any author that I know of describing 1. the nature of the subconscious mind, 2. how to change its contents, and 3. how to harness its power. For only $1 on Kindle, I would consider that money well spent.

Also know that "Life is practice." The learning and refinement process never ceases. It is a continual journey and you will gain wisdom along the way, knowledge of what you did wrong and how you could do better in the future. In that sense you are never a "finished product" and should never hope to be so... that would mean that your personal development has come to a stop.

I wish you luck on your continued journey--and know that you will not be alone. I too am constantly refining my reasoning process, and my psycho-epistemology...

I think Huey Lewis put it best... "All I wish for tomorrow, is to get it better than today."

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In business emails, you learn that people will read your first 3 sentences and if it does not get to the point, they don't read the rest.

I would not have asked for your two cents if you were unbearably talkative.

Do I think you are talkative? Sometimes. 
Do I want you to stop? No.

I would rather you continue to be "whatever you are" rather than stop being as insightful and communicative as you have been. I think most people are too talkative in person so I am biased, not the best judge of this. I want my answer and nothing else, 

Furthermore, what exactly does being too talkative mean? Is there an objective measurement.Isn't talkative mostly in the eyes of the beholder?

I notice you put likes and thanks on posts, is that being too talkative??

Why do you suspect that you are talkative?

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Life is a process of learning. At least, it ought to be.

Imagine this....   imagine I read through all my posts over the last 12 years and find I've been fairly consistent. Imagine I find some that are a bit embarrassing, but nothing that makes me go "I was a total moron there" or "I would laugh at me for posting that today". 

What would that show: that I've not learned much in 12 years!

By "talkative" do you mean your posts are lengthy? 

My preferred approach to a forum format -- particularly here with members who won't fly in a month or two -- is to treat topics as a long term dialog. And it's a dialog with someone about the right or wrong way to do something, or about whether something is right or wrong. It's similar to sitting down with a group of software folk and discussing (say) how to lay out a web-site. It does not go one time around, with everyone presenting their entire vision. Even if one person has a vision like that, it is often not productive to present it whole. It's often productive to go around the room and get a mix of ideas on the table. One can often take that medley and ask about the underlying principles: what are we trying to achieve here? or what are the principles here?. It's quite possible at this point someone will say: "Actually I have a vision of how this should come together" and they will present it. Having had an initial dialog and laid out principles allows people to look at the presentation and ask: "so looks like this meets most of what we were talking about, except those two things". Starting with a complete vision can be less productive, particularly if it looks integrated but is actually missing something.

In the forum's context, I prefer threads that explore positions gradually,  with brief posts, and then an occasional longer post when one is confident one understand the various ideas presented and the contexts of the other people. There's no hurry to present some comprehensive view. I always remember Burgess Laughlin's comment from a while back. Paraphrasing, he said he's fine thinking about what someone said and then coming back and replying after a year or so. That way one would get a thoughtful answer!

Edited by softwareNerd

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People think in many ways and use various techniques.

Some rely on words almost purely linguistically and manipulate them like in a game before translating them back into concepts they refer to while others think primarily conceptually and only when they can they will express the thoughts in words.

Some rely more or less on abstraction and processing the abstractions and applying them to concretes, while others subconsciously hold the abstractions in the background, dealing with a few concretes which pull along the abstractions to arrive at general conclusions.  At one far end of this are floating abstractions and rationalism and at the other concrete boundedness.

Some people use deductive and inductive A, B, C, D implies X type structures to think, rigorous use of logic and abstractions, while others inspect a bunch of ideas, and upon reflection and introspection pull something out which feels like the correct conclusion.

Many of the above can at times be useful in a process of thought, of getting to the right conclusions eventually, and I have not exhausted all the possibilities.

 

I have encountered some who simply cannot think with rigor in any abstract way.  While others cannot see how completely untied their artificial formulations are from reality.

My suggestion is to try to identify which of the above and other strategies for thinking you currently use, and try to practice diligently some of the others.  If I had to make a more specific suggestion once in a while exercise your thought process more along the lines of mathematics, abstraction, and rigor (give reflection and intuition a rest now and again).  It might sound silly, but picking up an LSAT prep book to exercise the grey matter might be the particular work out for you.

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16 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

my efforts would benefit enormously if I had more examples of good -but moreso bad- reasoning.

Why did you phrase that last bit the way you did? You seem to want more examples of bad reasoning than good, yet in your thesis statement you subordinated your greater desire to the lesser.

I'm not so interested in reading your old posts, but if you put up some fresh ones here, I'll nit-pick them until my fingers turn blue.

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17 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Identifying the problems in any of my previous posts (as well as their possible solutions) would be invaluable in re-training myself to spot and fix them in my everyday, on-my-feet reasoning.

The only problems are that it's become extremely difficult for me to spot my own errors (at one point it was a breeze) and that I have said just so damn much. Honestly, I never realized until yesterday quite how talkative I can be.

I bolded "only" because I suspect that you use that word (and similar ones) to stop yourself from thinking. It is actually a very powerful word. If you look it up in the dictionary, it means things like "alone in kind or class," "sole," "standing alone by reason of superiority or excellence." So when you say "the only problems" that means you have determined that these problems are all there are to consider. They represent the complete class of problems which need to be solved in order to fix your reasoning. So how would you respond if someone came along and said, no, there are other problems to consider? What if, perhaps, one other problem is that you have stopped thinking about certain things? Why has it become difficult for you to spot your own errors?

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17 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

Whatever you might have been in the past, you have obviously changed for the better.

Thanks, but I really haven't. Back in 2014 (particularly after reading the ITOE) my sense of life was actually more upbeat than it is now, believe it or not, and my critical thinking skills were orders of magnitude sharper. 

Since then I've bounced around from one living situation to another, and every single person I lived with insisted that I had to work on my communication skills because I was too difficult to understand. Well, I worked on them, I got much better at dealing with "normal" people - and now that I'm on my own and free to achieve anything, I've discovered that I don't understand Objectivism. :P

I have gotten much worse than I used to be. And I'm not upset about it: I did this once, already, and doing it again is just the price I have to pay for my previous fear of independence. I am impatient about it, though.

 

Quote

 

 

Break's over. Will respond to the rest after work.

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I'd like to reassure everyone who seemed to be worrying about me that I'm fine. I don't intend to become less talkative, in general, nor to give up on anything. Although I have had emotional struggles, they're not what I started this thread for; in fact, I don't think it'd be right for me to bring any kind of suffering to a place that feels special or sacred to me, such as this forum (not that I've never done that before, but never on purpose and every time I've felt really shitty about it, afterwards). Whatever I had to work through, I did so in private; I'm alright now.

I'd like to thank everyone who's participated so far - especially @epistemologue, @StrictlyLogical and @MisterSwig.

---

I am currently homeless. I have a great job and have been saving up for my own place (where there won't be any envious morons for me to deal with), so I will be doing pretty well in a little while. 

Unfortunately, as I took the bus from work to the shelter yesterday, I fell asleep. And while I slept some opportunistic person chose to help themselves to the backpack which contained almost all of my possessions on Earth. Fortunately, my job pays very well; I'll be able to replace everything I lost in less than two weeks. However, I cannot say when I'll be mentally fit to participate here. 

I couldn't objectively judge my own errors, right now. Right now it requires my conscious willpower not to apply this keyboard to the face of the nearest civilian. I am not in the proper state of mind and I'm not sure when I will be (although it'll probably be sometime in the next few days to weeks).
---

I'm not telling you this for your concern or pity (which I don't want) but so you'll understand why I won't be answering anything, no matter how logical or insightful or profound (@StrictlyLogical and @MisterSwig) it may be. It's not because I don't appreciate your time or effort - it's actually because I do.

Please feel free to continue (in any way you wish) without me; I will pick this up again when I no longer want to use a keyboard as anything other than a keyboard.

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Okay!

On 11/16/2017 at 7:41 PM, epistemologue said:

here you agreed with my characterization of you as a "positive utilitarian", despite having just said I don't anymore think that position is correct :P

I can't seem to find where I said that I no longer thought that position correct.

 

Maybe I'd just changed my mind (and forgotten even to mention that to anybody) but maybe not. Without the other post I can't tell what error (if any) I've committed! :P

I'll try digging for it again, though, when I have a few spare minutes.

 

On 11/16/2017 at 11:23 PM, Easy Truth said:

I notice you put likes and thanks on posts, is that being too talkative??

Why do you suspect that you are talkative?

Firstly, "too much" of something implies some goal (which is the thing's purpose and which dictates its standard of "too much" or "too little", etc). For the purpose of writing my own philosophical ideas, to be read by people who've voluntarily read Ayn Rand (recall the sheer size of Atlas Shrugged), I don't think I'm too talkative. For the purpose of combing through my previous ideas, finding all the wrong ones and finding the most essential wrongs among those (since that's the shortest route to what I really want to know), I've been far too talkative for one person to audit. @Nicky (whose posts seldom exceed a single paragraph apiece) could probably audit himself all by himself, if he wished to, but I can't. I'm not beating myself up about it (I never imagined I would be trying to do this when I wrote any of the things I've posted before) but it is a fact.

Secondly, I never actually said "too talkative"; just "talkative".

Thirdly, what makes me think I am talkative? My user history.

 

It's not necessarily a bad thing, in the usual context; it just makes my current goal a hard one to reach by myself.

 

On 11/17/2017 at 3:36 AM, softwareNerd said:

Life is a process of learning. At least, it ought to be.

Imagine this....   imagine I read through all my posts over the last 12 years and find I've been fairly consistent. Imagine I find some that are a bit embarrassing, but nothing that makes me go "I was a total moron there" or "I would laugh at me for posting that today". 

What would that show: that I've not learned much in 12 years!

Yes, and life is a process of motion - but I'd like to know that I'm moving in the right direction! I have some very good reasons to think that I haven't been (that, in fact, I've been moving in all the wrong directions) and I'm not beating myself up about that, either - I can't change the past. What I am doing is trying to learn from it.

 

My dad used to say: "don't tell me you're sorry for it; just don't do it". I've apologized for many of the things I've posted in the last few weeks, as I should've, but I can't stop doing the things I'm apologizing for until I understand their nature and causes.

And that is specifically what I made this thread for: to help me gain a better picture of what I've been doing wrong and how to start doing it right.

 

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I'm not so interested in reading your old posts, but if you put up some fresh ones here, I'll nit-pick them until my fingers turn blue.

I will! :D I start work in a few more hours, here, but I already have a list of 'likely suspects' in the back of my head, which I'll start linking to the next time I'm able (probably this afternoon).

 

Quote

my efforts would benefit enormously if I had more examples of good -but moreso bad- reasoning.

On 11/17/2017 at 11:04 AM, MisterSwig said:

Why did you phrase that last bit the way you did? You seem to want more examples of bad reasoning than good, yet in your thesis statement you subordinated your greater desire to the lesser.

Well, in this particular case I think the examples of bad reasoning would be much more helpful.

You're all welcome to let me know how awesome any of my conclusions are (I certainly won't stop you) but I really don't have any trouble with accepting or being proud of that. That's just my default response to my own ideas; even ones I've since discarded -such as Satanism- I still feel vaguely fond of (like previously-favorite toys which I happen to have outgrown). It's the opposite that I'm struggling with; realizing when my objectively amazing brain ;) happens to produce garbage, and then treating the garbage for what it is.

I know that positivity and optimism are a big part of Objectivism, though, so it didn't feel right to post it in the order in which I'd originally typed it. So I swapped them around at the last minute.

 

On 11/17/2017 at 6:50 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

My suggestion is to try to identify which of the above and other strategies for thinking you currently use, and try to practice diligently some of the others.

I'm not sure. I've noticed a few common symptoms but I don't know what they'd point to (if anything).

 

Firstly, I don't tend to have too much trouble with abstract principles, as such; the majority of the difficulties arise when I try to remember, off the top of my head, how they're integrated into my whole worldview, or to apply them to some concrete. 

For example, I know that productiveness is the virtue of rearranging the material of your background to suit yourself. That's very clear in my mind, as are several of its connections to other concepts and principles (such as the fact that all "creation" as such means a new rearrangement of old materials). However, some of its connections are hit-or-miss (such as the relation of independence to productiveness - "your life is yours to live, which means your life is your own responsibility" -Yaron Brook); some days it's there and some days it simply isn't.

Similarly, sometimes I can properly apply the virtue of "productiveness" to a given situation, and sometimes I can't. For example, take someone who tries to get a raise by flattering a boss they despise (like Peter Keating); some days I'll be able to see how that's not actually productive at all, and some days (like right now) I can't. I know it's the wrong answer but for the life of me I can't remember why.

 

Secondly, although at times I'll ramble on and on about something irrelevant (which seems pretty common among even the best of us), sometimes -particularly when I'm trying to stay on track- I'll do something much worse, without realizing it: I'll start saying things that aren't true.

It's not lying. I believe what I'm saying, in the moment that I say it, but if I remember it the next day I have to wonder where in the Hell I managed to pull THAT out of. It's not a conscious action and I usually don't even notice when I'm doing it (although in the past two weeks I actually have, and have managed to correct it on-the-spot, a couple of times); one minute I'm discussing some idea or some state of reality and the next I'm describing -with fully righteous conviction- something that's completely in my own head. It's something I remember doing all the time, when I was little, but since I really got into Objectivism this is the first time I've noticed doing it again. 

And it only ever happens when I'm talking to someone. When I'm thinking about something, by myself, it just doesn't happen (not ever, in any slightest way); if I'm talking to someone then I can start doing it hours and hours before I know what I've been doing.

 

Because of that I suspect that it's the result of learning to lie too frequently, for too long (which is why I mentioned dealing with "normal people" or "envious morons" - I've spent many years simply trying to deceive them into leaving me the Hell alone) but that doesn't tell me the identity of the flawed cognition I'm struggling with, nor (what's REALLY important to me, here) how to retrain my self out of doing it.

God. This was one of my favorite songs when I was a kid; hearing it now, I can't stop thinking about Robert Stadler. But I didn't bring this here for moral support but for the fastest possible cure, which I'd only retard by any omission.

When I think of why I started consciously learning to lie I think of this song.

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http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/30896-we-should-be-fun-people-we-arent-lets-change/&do=findComment&comment=352166

Quote

I agree that for the "intellectual heir" of the philosophy behind Roark to take [whether or not masturbation is moral] seriously (when it has no place outside of any church or mosque) reflects very badly on our movement.

I'm not sure this was right. Specifically: are there any subjects one morally shouldn't consider (no matter how silly)? I don't have time to fully unravel it at present but that seems very wrong.

The pandering to anonymous strangers' judgements of "guilt by association" isn't my implicit moral collectivism; it was Rand's and Peikoff's. Still, that's not a valid reason to perpetuate it.

 

There's much more here but I'm out of time.

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Ah! It's almost as if I've automatized the direction of my attention, while under observation, to the anticipated responses of my observer (instead of to the facts involved)! That simplifies things.

I take back what I said about abuse: bring on some ruthless logic!

I think I'm actually going to enjoy this.

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58 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I take back what I said about abuse: bring on some ruthless logic!

Ruthless logic cannot constitute abUSE.  If the logic is correct, then as such, it can be USEful (whether or not it can be classified as ruthless).

Avoid fixating on personalities, and who happened to say something (in the past) you disagree with, and focus on the content of what is now being said, by anyone, everyone, and even those who have said other things (in the past which you happened to disagree with) and use independent judgment to assess the usefulness/truth etc. of what is now being said.

Subconscious ad hominem is probably the least excusable of the involuntary logical fallacies, and is incredibly counter productive when attempting to objectively analyze ideas because it keeps diverting the focus from the substance of the idea to the originator of the idea.  Although context demands at least keeping in mind who said something and why, to the extent such a misdirection interferes with independent logical assessment, it is to be stamped out completely.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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7 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I know that positivity and optimism are a big part of Objectivism, though, so it didn't feel right to post it in the order in which I'd originally typed it. So I swapped them around at the last minute.

I'm assuming this means that at first you actually did write the thesis sentence like this:

My efforts would benefit enormously if I had more examples of bad--than good--reasoning.

And then you changed it to this:

My efforts would benefit enormously if I had more examples of good--but moreso bad--reasoning.

And you changed the emphasis from bad to good reasoning because it didn't "feel right" due to your understanding of Objectivism being largely about "positivity and optimism."

I asked you about this one sentence because I suspect that it reveals something substantial about your thinking process. At first it struck me as very odd that you would put the main point between the dashes. And now that you've told me why you did it, I'm even more convinced that it reveals a serious problem.

The truth seems to be that intellectually you don't care about examples of good reasoning, since you did not mention them again in the following paragraphs. Yet emotionally you do. When your intellect and emotions conflict, there is a serious problem that goes to the root of your being, and you should focus ALL of your attention on that issue.

Why do you think that "positivity and optimism are a big part of Objectivism"?

Do you think that being positive and optimistic is more important than being clear and intellectually honest?

And: How often do you allow your feelings to overrule your intellect?

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4 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Ruthless logic cannot constitute abUSE.  If the logic is correct, then as such, it can be USEful (whether or not it can be classified as ruthless).

True; thank you. I probably should've stuck with the first thing I'd typed ("tough love").

 

Quote

Avoid fixating on personalities, and who happened to say something (in the past) you disagree with, and focus on the content of what is now being said, by anyone, everyone, and even those who have said other things (in the past which you happened to disagree with) and use independent judgment to assess the usefulness/truth etc. of what is now being said.

It seems to be less about who's involved (although, now that you mention it, I think I may have a few examples of that to be audited) than what they'd think and/or feel about what I'm saying. Which doesn't seem like it's necessarily wrong (isn't that a pretty basic component of any communication?) unless it takes precedence over the truth.

And if I'd automatized that inversion of priorities (which, causally speaking, seems right up the alley of "learning to deceive better") then that would explain without contradiction every symptom I mentioned plus a few more I identified at work this morning.

 

3 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I'm assuming this means that at first you actually did write the thesis sentence like this:

My efforts would benefit enormously if I had more examples of bad--than good--reasoning.

And then you changed it to this:

My efforts would benefit enormously if I had more examples of good--but moreso bad--reasoning.

And you changed the emphasis from bad to good reasoning because it didn't "feel right" due to your understanding of Objectivism being largely about "positivity and optimism."

I hadn't even included "good reasoning", at first - I'm not even sure what relevant lessons I could draw from it!

Which isn't to say that there's nothing to be learned from it (which would almost certainly be false); only that I don't know what, off the top of my head.

Quote

I asked you about this one sentence because I suspect that it reveals something substantial about your thinking process. At first it struck me as very odd that you would put the main point between the dashes. And now that you've told me why you did it, I'm even more convinced that it reveals a serious problem.

Yeah! You're right! I was only interested in "bad reasoning" - I only mentioned "good reasoning" to make the sentence Kosher for the hypothetical reader I had in mind!

 

4 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Why do you think that "positivity and optimism are a big part of Objectivism"?

The Benevolent Universe premise and the massive emphasis on pursuing values (instead of escaping from disvalues) are the only specific reasons that come to mind, but it does seem to be one of the most frequently-recurring themes in Rand's fiction.

 

4 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Do you think that being positive and optimistic is more important than being clear and intellectually honest?

Not anymore, but around this time last year I did.

 

4 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

And: How often do you allow your feelings to overrule your intellect?

I honestly don't know. It should be easy to determine a lower bound, in the very least, after I really start auditing (tomorrow).

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I mention "ruthless logic" and "tough love" because if it is what I think it is then facing some cold, hard truths head-om might actually be the best thing for me, right now.

And I'm sure I'll find some of those tomorrow.

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Can you picture Howard Roark asking anybody whether it's evil for him to masturbateA1 (even a respected friend like Mike or Austin Heller)? I can't. That's a very Keating sort of move.

Sure, he didn't try to make a joke out of it, but I agree that for the "intellectual heir" of the philosophy behind Roark to take that question seriously (when it has no place outside of any church or mosque) reflects very badly on our movement.A2 And I fail to see the nastiness of pointing that fact out.

-Harrison Danneskjold

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Talking about sex has no place outside a church or mosque?

-Nicky

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Questioning the morality of masturbation doesn't.C1Sex can either be one of our highest or our lowest possible pursuits, depending on the particulars involved, and the Egoistic value of many fringe cases presently remains completely unclear. Masturbation, on the other hand, is one of the few ways for us to enjoy our brief span of years which doesn't come with any costs or risks whatsoever for us to consider. It literally has no downside.C2

It's like that notorious cost/benefit analysis which has vexed the best minds among us for untold centuries: would you rather have cake or death?

-Harrison Danneskjold

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Leonard Peikoff and Yaron Brook questioned the morality of masturbation? When?

-Nicky

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Not Yaron Brook (who, as I pointed out earlier, seems pretty damn fun already) but Peikoff; it was one of the links in the OP. I just listened to it last night, though, and apparently it was specifically about pornography; I'm not sure which of the things I said are even applicable (if any). 

I'm sorry for not double-checking that shit before opening my big mouth. If you're ever in the Twin Cities I'll buy you a beer or something.E

-Harrison Danneskjold

 

A1: This is a cop-out to sidestep even the pretense of a reasoned argument by merely asking "What Would Roark Do". WWRD is an extremely useful way to illustrate or clarify some moral abstraction but by itself it's not a valid justification (since one couldn't imagine him inventing metals or motors or writing novels, either).

4c2310f9dfd0463cf5c8957df7a845c0--the-big-bang-theory-bangs.jpg.97ed192f063085ce63e588206f8af72e.jpg

A2: Any evaluation of "our movement" according to the actions of any one member, without demonstrating any overarching trend (such as Islam's tendency to produce suicide bombers), would be based on the idea of "guilt by association" - which holds individuals morally accountable for the actions of other men (their associates), which is irrational and stupid. Pandering to the irrationality of one's inferiors is wrong (and part of why I now have to put myself through this). Unless Objectivists everywhere are constantly talking about masturbation, Peikoff's podcast reflects on nothing.

C1: "There are no evil thoughts except the refusal to think" - and no stupid questions (nor any questions that'd be wrong to answer). I was implicitly contradicting that, which is probably why I didn't feel like formulating an explicit argument about it.

C2: Instead of actually justifying C1 (which can't be done by reference to any Objectivist principle) I made a couple of related points and hoped he'd guess my justification for himself. I'm not sure that's necessarily irrational but it is cowardly and underhanded (and was necessary to keep my implicit contradiction from becoming explicit).

E: The fact that I'd been arguing that point for that long without even trying to look at what we were talking about.

wrv4oc.jpg.211d0bcace31451780533648437282f0.jpg

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I'm curious, does frustration enter into your thought process at all? Perhaps you get frustrated about a certain line of thought, such as why Peikoff would discuss this or that topic, and so you give up pursuing that angle and instead turn to the next line of thought that pops into your head.

I'll give you an example that I experience frequently. Sometimes I get frustrated with a forum thread (or it could be an in-person conversation). I don't think I'm making any headway with other participants, and so the frustration kicks in. I have the urge to end the dialogue, abandon the topic and move on. But I've given myself a standing order to re-think what I'm doing when I feel frustration. I'll ask myself something like, why am I frustrated? Are there still unanswered questions? Can I rationally reduce my position to objective reality? Etc. Usually I find that I'm frustrated not because I'm having trouble convincing others, but because I was having trouble convincing myself. Essentially I had forgotten to focus on my own mind, and was focused on other people's minds.

Edited by MisterSwig

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On 11/23/2017 at 10:16 PM, MisterSwig said:

I'm curious, does frustration enter into your thought process at all? Perhaps you get frustrated about a certain line of thought, such as why Peikoff would discuss this or that topic, and so you give up pursuing that angle and instead turn to the next line of thought that pops into your head.

Very much so. In my nightly sermons (they're a requirement at this homeless shelter) one of the only useful things I've heard was the description of a certain state of mind as "having the fuck-its". And wholeheartedly, yes; most of the fallacies I'd ultimately like to indicate (and every single one of the worst ones) I committed during a fit of "the fuck-its".

That was also the primary emotion that'd override my reason, by far. The only other one (an overwhelming sense of gratitude and a hint of satisfaction) probably accounted for 1/10th of the problems.

And that's not limited to my posts on this forum. All of the very worst decisions I've made in the past five years sprang from one case or another of the fuck-its.

 

And -as far as I can currently tell- my emotions were overriding my reason roughly once every two or three days. But once it happened I'd suddenly find myself way off in left-field, a few hours (or occasionally days) later, with an unbroken string of truly abhorrent choices behind me.

 

 

This probably isn't useful (I'm primarily including it as a starting point for my future self) but this is what I'd almost always listen to, just beforehand. I think it actually might've been every single time since October of 2015 but I'm not certain.

 

 

On 11/23/2017 at 10:16 PM, MisterSwig said:

Usually I find that I'm frustrated not because I'm having trouble convincing others, but because I was having trouble convincing myself. Essentially I had forgotten to focus on my own mind, and was focused on other people's minds.

I'm not sure, yet. I know I've been doing a lot of solitary thinking, lately (hence my absence), but I'll have to do some more about that.

 

Thank you. So much.

 

---

 

Exclusively for anyone who thought too deeply about "Shipwrecked" and was tempted to worry about me:

 

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
No worries!!!

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On 11/23/2017 at 10:16 PM, MisterSwig said:

Usually I find that I'm frustrated not because I'm having trouble convincing others, but because I was having trouble convincing myself. Essentially I had forgotten to focus on my own mind, and was focused on other people's minds.

Although my primary focus frequently was on other peoples' minds, that doesn't really sound like it. My frustration came pretty specifically from an overwhelming sense of disgust and hatred.

I know that contradicts the stereotypical "people pleasing" secondhander (and I have indulged in that in the past year or so) but most of it I came from a different species of the same thing: I didn't usually want to please people (although, occasionally, yes) but to offend and outrage them. I wanted to piss them off as much as they pissed me off.

Of any area of my life, my posts here got the least amount of it over the last few years (Objectivists -even goddamned Peikoff- piss me off so much less than anyone else on Earth), but it wasn't immune. I think that was a large part of the exchange between Nicky and myself (which I leapt into, without even glancing at the actual subject, in order to pick a fight - because, let's face it, Nicky is easier than most to pick a fight with) as well as a large part of what I eventually intend to audit.

Perverse, I know. That's why I started this.

 

---

 

Just another memnonic aid.

 

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