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ann r kay

Interesting Observation Regarding Member's Ages

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After voting in the poll on the ages of the posters here, I noticed that almost half are under the age of 25. So it made me wonder, is Objectivism a phase that many young people grow out of, and if so, why does the process of aging cause people to be less rational?

For the record, I seem to be doing quite the opposite, becoming more and more rational the older I get. B)

Edited for my error.

Actually, more than half are under the age of 25.

Edited by ann r kay

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It's actually become quite popular to say "oh, you'll grow out of that" with respect to Objectivism. I think many people succumb to their massive junk heap of contradictions they've built up in life. Either way, people who "find" Objectivism only to leave it later likely a.) never found it or b.) gave up on values.

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My guess is that it is both things:

The poll is probably skewed because a higher percentage of younger Objectivists come online, come online frequently, and come here of the other places they go online.

OTOH, many people do go through a "philosophical phase" in high-school and college that then wanes once they start working. It happens to communists too! Hopefully more to communists than to Objectivists B)

A 63-year old Objectvist who had seen many enthusiatic young folk come to lectures and clubs and then fade away, used to call them the "Sodas": after a while, the fizz goes and they're flat.

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It's also quite probably the result of the fact that older Objectivists tend to get tired of arguing the same things over and over and over. The older Objectivists I've met that aren't actually interested in teaching tend not to discuss philosophy; they know what they think, they're more interested with what to do with it.

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Actually I am only twenty four, but as far as Megan's explanation about why older objectivist aren't around here, is one of the reason's you don't see me posting very often on many subjects. I post what is of interest to me and comment on those areas of interest only. I am not here for debate and argumentation purposes.

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I really think it's mostly that older people just don't use the internet in this way as much as younger people do. That and less time, I suppose.

As for me, I can't see Objectivism as just being "a phase" even though I've only known about it about three years. To come out of "the phase" I would have to become a totally different person that suddenly rejects reason, reality, and values, and unless I lose my mind or something physically happens to me and I become retarded or something, I would no longer even be me if that happened. It would not just be the ending of a phase, but the ending of Eric Clayton qua individual, being that I've always thought along Objectivist lines, and now I have made my implicit thinking explicit and objectively validated most of it by carefully following the arguments.

Edited by Rational_One

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It's actually become quite popular to say "oh, you'll grow out of that" with respect to Objectivism.

If I had a penny every time I heard that .. I could probably buy myself a burger and fries - biggie size.

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I think there are a number of reasons there aren't older Objectivists here.

- older Objectivists are busy applying and integrating Objectivism, and no longer have so many questions

- busy with careers and families

- younger people are more likely to use the Internet

- lack of peers (I'm a 34 year old woman. Wish there were more women here, and more people my age.)

- some are not really Objectivists, and they begin to compromise over the years, gradually becoming less rational

People in their late teens and early 20s are going through a stage in their lives when they are discovering who they are. They spend more time introspecting and developing their own opinions than they have earlier in life. Very few people who discover Objectivism as adults become interested in learning about the philosophy. They generally have too many deep-rooted contradictions and evasions.

I discovered Objectivism in 1990 when I was in college. I started finding other Objectivists online in the mid nineties. Some of those Objectivists I met in real life and I started a local adult club that met once a month for over 5 years. I stopped hanging out online when I found local Objectivists. We had one young couple who had just graduated from college, but the rest of the members and inquiries all came from adults in their late 20s and early 30s. (Supporting the theory that adults are less likely to use the Internet interactively, and more likely to meet in person. Although I found most of my members through a posting on a web site, I think that older adults are less likely to participate in forums and live chat. I found other members by talking to people while attending Objectivist speakers at the University.) I think some of the club members still meet, but I have moved across the country and have lost touch with them.

My husband and I are both computer professionals who met online through an Objectivist chat room. After we started living together, we both stopped going online for a while and focused on other areas of our lives. That changed when we went to see Yaron Brook speak about ARI earlier this year. After hearing about how interest in Objectivism is growing, my husband got all fired up and went in search of people new to the philosophy. He really likes to talk to people who are new to Objectivism, and says it hones his analytical skills. He's the one who found this forum, and has also started being active in IRC again. I don't post nearly as often, but I do enjoy interacting with other Objectivists. I would probably participate more if there were more 30-something or older women.

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I concur with the analysis that older Objectivists just don't spend as much time on fora. When I was in my mid-to-late 20's I was a fairly active poster to humanities.philosophy.objectivism. Then I got bored with arguing the same points over and over and decided my time would be better spent actually applying Objectivism to the process of living on Earth. That's what it's really for, after all.

I wandered back into this forum by way of somebody's weblog. I read threads that look interesting, and post infrequently.

(Oddly enough, Pony Girl, I'm also 34 as is my Rand-sympathetic wife. Make of that what you will.)

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Just remember...

... the poll results represent those who chose to answer the question...

... so don't read too much into it.

Would there be a such thing as a poll answered by people who didn't chose to answer? And how would it operate, at gun point, now that's a poll I wouldn't want to read to much into.

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Just remember...

... the poll results represent those who chose to answer the question...

... so don't read too much into it.

I've been on IRC off and on for about 10 years. The people who join the IRC channels are also mostly young males in their late teens and early twenties.

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+1 Male in his early 20s.

I agree with much of what was already stated in previous posts, so I won't repeat.

Since I've discovered Objectivism, I've been corresponding with my dad via email regarding issues and providing him with links to articles etc... He's nearly 60, and I must say, he has a much harder wrapping his head around stuff than I seem to do. He was raised a devout Catholic and his philosophic discoveries in his life were those of existentialism and other German philosophies of the post-enlightenment. I find that I've discovered Objectivism and approach it with more of a "blank slate" frame of mind, as opposed to him who has become a cynical old fart mired in 40-odd years of bad premisis from bad philosophies.

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Sadly, some do move away from Objectivism as they age. An example is commentator Don Feder (www.donfeder.com). I used to work with him in a group called Individuals for a Rational Society, whose goal was to spread Objectivist ideas however we could (mostly by presenting lectures and debates, doing TV/radio editorial rebuttals, etc.). This was back when we were fresh out of college. Now, 30 years later, he's a conservative, more concerned with religious values and preventing abortion and gay marriage than anything else.

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First of all, thanks for all the replies. From my own experiences, especially dealing with my own mother and father, I find it difficult to try to persuade them to think outside of the beliefs that were handed to them. They are both Catholics, and never question their faith.

- lack of peers (I'm a 34 year old woman.  Wish there were more women here, and more people my age.)

Pony Girl,

I wanted to reply to you specifically, because I am a woman in my 30s as well, although only just learning about Objectivism.

People in their late teens and early 20s are going through a stage in their lives when they are discovering who they are.  They spend more time introspecting and developing their own opinions than they have earlier in life.  Very few people who discover Objectivism as adults become interested in learning about the philosophy.  They generally have too many deep-rooted contradictions and evasions.

Perhaps that is why I am different. In my late teens and early 20s, I had no interest in discovering who I was or what I valued. My only interest was in fitting in. That wasn't what I said about myself, but it was quite apparent in my actions.

I have never been very comfortable around others. It takes me awhile to trust people. I used to think of it as a hindrance to my life, now I consider everything I am an asset in what I want out of my life.

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Rational One:

Just remember...

... the poll results represent those who chose to answer the question...

... so don't read too much into it.

Would there be a such thing as a poll answered by people who didn't chose to answer? And how would it operate, at gun point, now that's a poll I wouldn't want to read to much into.

I'm not sure if this is snideness peppered with spelling and grammatical errors or sarcasm littered with grammatical and spelling errors but just for you I'll be a little more explicit.

Some here are attempting to draw conclusions about the membership as whole. They may be right. However, in the absence of any other data, millions of explanations are possible, most of which will be false. It is more likely that true inferences will be made about the group that chose to participate in the poll.

Considering the reason I chose not to answer the poll question, I doubt even the simplest, most logical conclusion (average age) could be applied to the membership as a whole.

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From my quick glance of the posts in this section, I think you guys are completely missing the point. People aren't leaving because of spite or malice, but because they having induced, or found AR's principle's on their own. I went through that entire phase. Please read my posts. I think you will find it enlightening.

Edited by Free Thinker

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After hearing about how interest in Objectivism is growing, my husband got all fired up and went in search of people new to the philosophy.  He really likes to talk to people who are new to Objectivism, and says it hones his analytical skills.  He's the one who found this forum, and has also started being active in IRC again.  I don't post nearly as often, but I do enjoy interacting with other Objectivists.  I would probably participate more if there were more 30-something or older women.

Pony Girl, What are the types of topics that would interest 30-something or older women (who are also not just starting out in Objectivism) to visit this site? If you had to brainstorm in the form of "I wish this site had ..." what would that be? The owner, GreedyCapitalist, has some other threads asking for suggestions, so any ideas you have would surely be welcome.

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Considering the reason I chose not to answer the poll question...

And what reason was that?

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First of all, thanks for all the replies. From my own experiences, especially dealing with my own mother and father, I find it difficult to try to persuade them to think outside of the beliefs that were handed to them.

You see how what my wife said applies to your parents? They are older, and "set in their ways", which means: their philosophic systems cannot be altered without severe life-altering trauma. They have too much invested in their current systems.

In my late teens and early 20s, I had no interest in discovering who I was or what I valued. My only interest was in fitting in.

Believe it or not, that is a philosophic choice. You chose to value the judgement of others, i.e. "fitting in". Glad you changed your mind ;) Most people our age are not able to make such a fundamental change.

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From my quick glance of the posts in this section, I think you guys are completely missing the point. People aren't leaving because of spite or malice, but because they having induced, or found AR's principle's on their own.

Who said anything about spite or malice?

Several of us did say that some people leave Objectivism, but those people just never understood the philosophy to begin with.

Who said anything about people leaving?

I don't think people _leave_ forums, blogs, and IRC, I think many older Objectivists _never come_ here. There's a difference.

Edited by Free Thinker

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And what reason was that?

The quick answer is: I didn't want to.

A more reasoned answer is: given the simplicity of the poll question, which requested no further information or explanation and considering that no statement of the question's purpose was made -- I knew no valid conclusions could be drawn.

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The only conclusion that can be drawn is the conclusion about the age spread amongst those who answer the poll.

There is no danger here, and no threat to you or your existence. Why not answer the poll? It takes less time and energy than writing a post, and if the thread is as valueless as you say it is, then you've already wasted more time on it than you should have. What's 5 more seconds?

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