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  1. Boydstun

    Existence, We

    (Click on image.) This image displays the title and subsection titles of my paper to be published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies this July. I developed the metaphysics debuted in this paper over a period of about five years, working on it in the morning hours of each day, beginning before sunrise. An apt name for the resulting philosophy would be Resonant Existence. The image is a pre-dawn look out back at our place, a look to the east. On my way to coffee, I glance out as I’m saying to myself words from the Rig Veda: “So many days have not yet broken.” To those words, I import t
    2 points
  2. But your own philosophy, which you live by every day, certainly is. And if one must arrive at precisely each conclusion Rand ever put into writing (including, as the OP'er pointed out, homosexuality) then there has only ever been one Objectivist and I doubt there will ever be another one. On a purely personal note I find the "student of Objectivism" or "admirer of Ayn Rand" terminology extremely self-deprecating and sad. It's one thing if you can't bring yourself to actually LIVE the philosophy, but if you're doing everything you can to live up to your own ideals then I think you
    2 points
  3. Boydstun

    Form v. Matter

    George Walsh - “If you talk about the glass merely in terms of the macroscopic level, then don’t you need some concept of ‘dispositions’?” Rand - “In what way? How?” Walsh - “Because the glass is not acting now, it’s not breaking into pieces.” Peikoff - “Well, what’s wrong with the Aristotelian concept of ‘potentiality’? An entity has the capacity to act because of its nature.” Walsh - “Well, the reason I was bringing this up was because I thought you rejected the concept of ‘potentiality’.” Rand - “No. . . .” Walsh - “I have memory or a misremembrance of someone
    2 points
  4. People interested in how a leading religious (Jewish) conservative thinks can watch Dennis Prager chat with Craig Biddle. They cover some hard topics and find common ground. I hope more Objectivists get on more conservative shows like this.
    2 points
  5. This discussion has been rather far removed from the fundamental principles regarding man’s rights, and has focused instead on notions of aggression, spreading (versus other means), sensory inputs, affecting a person, doing damage to body or property including creating a risk of same. It has included the idea that one can accidentally initiate physical force. The problem has been (for over a half century) that we (not exclusively Objectivists, referring to people who take the concept of “individual rights” to be an essential concept that must be understood) are constantly playing whack-a-mole
    2 points
  6. I took my girlfriend to the mountains to see Neowise. We saw it with the naked eye and through binoculars. She even got a decent photo of it with her phone's camera. Sometimes I watch Bob the Science Guy on YouTube. He does amateur astronomy and posted an educational video on Neowise. He even mentions the sort of professional-amateur collaboration that was done with data from the NEOWISE space telescope to find new objects and create maps.
    2 points
  7. I selected a Bushnell 18-1561 as a gift option for 10 years of service. Shortly after receiving it, Jupiter and Saturn were available for viewing prior to midnight's. After considerable effort, the telescope was aligned to take in my first personal sight of 4 of the moons of Jupiter. My disappointment came shortly thereafter with the need to re-align the instrument every 2 minutes to maintain an active view. Not long thereafter, Saturn was available for viewing. The "smudge" I was rewarded with came with the realization that to pursue the activity in any meaningful way would require a bet
    2 points
  8. In 2016 I was still teaching. Just after the election one of my students asked me if I voted "for Satan or the orange". I said that actually Satan was Immanuel Kant, not any politician. I overheard him ask some of his fellow students "Who??".
    2 points
  9. If there's any one thing Rand would've supported, I'm sure it's mob violence in the name of lies at the behest of an authoritarian against democracy...
    2 points
  10. He's not a conservative. In an interview with TAS Williams rejected the label "conservative" and called himself a "radical for individual liberty." What's interesting to me, however, is that both Rand and Williams were popular with conservatives. To this day many people think of them as conservatives. Williams died in December, and he had spent so much time with conservatives that his NY Times obituary called him a "conservative economist" in the headline. I think it's a credit to conservatives that they find value in the ideas of radicals like Rand and Williams. And it's a telling
    1 point
  11. That's awesome. I'd like to think my reference to the other stink juice inspired it.
    1 point
  12. The past repeats itself only because of: collectivism, altruism and statism. Those are what one fights against and advocates individual rights for, to prevent recurrences. They are mystical conceptions, but so is unearned guilt. Most so, taking responsibility for all the acts of all the people of a nation from yesteryear til now. Since he's not a mystic, an Objectivist would never accept his personal unearned guilt. (The 'social conscience' falls into that category). He makes good for the errors he alone made.
    1 point
  13. Just as with inventing, whoever chooses to exercise their capacity to turn barren land into something useful (if they have that capacity) is its owner. Barren land which currently serves no purpose does belong to everyone, in a way (since it belongs to nobody) and nobody has a right to prevent anyone from doing whatever they want with such land. I was thinking of the abandoned mine (in an effort to mine the same reference) in Michigan, visited by the vacationing lovebirds. They had driven across Michigan to the ore mine. They had walked through the ledges of an empty pit, with
    1 point
  14. I see. Well, then, perhaps I can interest you in a bottle of my new perfume.
    1 point
  15. If you accept the essence of Objectivism then you're an Objectivist in my view. Just like people who accept the essence of what Christ said are Christians.
    1 point
  16. It's a long read -- with a nice, short review here -- but I highly recommend Paul Graham's engrossing contribution to my collection of troubleshooting stories. Troubleshooting? you might ask. The essay, by writer/investor/entrepreneur/Reannaissance man Paul Graham, is titled simply, "What I worked on." Painting, and successfully getting rich in order to be able to paint are among those "things." I regard the story as troubleshooting of the highest order because it helped me make a connection about why I like troubleshooting stories, particularly those about reformed criminals and others who
    1 point
  17. 2046

    Form v. Matter

    The dominant views in 20th century philosophy of science has been backed by materialism and nominalism. We are familiar with that views challenges to cognition, intentionality, free will, personal identity, and normativity. That view however has been seriously challenged by failures and inability to integrate with new discoveries in the quantum revolution and biology. Another branch of philosophy that the concepts of matter and form can illuminate is philosophy of mind. The two main dominant views in philosophy of mind have been some form of materialism and dualism. But they both have pri
    1 point
  18. merjet

    Form v. Matter

    Huh? My writing "gibberish," which was flippant, referred to the numbers in the following.
    1 point
  19. There is much more integration (not just coherence, but mutual reinforcement and support) between modern conservatism and Marxism and postmodernism, than there is between Marxism and postmodernism. For just one of many examples, one of the current leading and most influential conservative philosophers Alasdair MacIntyre continues to argue, using Aristotelian and Thomistic methods that Bernstein blathering on about in peak Objectivist mode, that modernism (aka the Enlightenment) is a failed project precisely because of its liberal capitalism, scientific rationalism, and individualism, and
    1 point
  20. Well, the successful and happy-seeming individuals I have ever known, I can't recall one who was an atheist. I've met maybe hundreds of businessmen/professionals, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, who were most enterprising people. Some very wealthy. One can make the same rationalistic error that Binswanger made, like his referencing of some 12thC Pope's writing about how debased man is - that because the doctrine states X in the abstract, the believers practice X, concretely. Out of touch with present realities. Therefore, as HB would apparently argue, the religion has not undergone var
    1 point
  21. On a slight tangent: Idiot of the Week: Quaker Oats "What’s next, that Coca-Cola might change its name because it is cocaine-based and could be accused of drug abuse? That Lacoste might be associated with animal cruelty because crocodile skin is used to make handbags and shoes? Or perhaps Quaker Oats itself should consider changing its name because it is related to the Quaker religious community, potentially offending other religions or atheists? "What is clear is that the dictatorship of political correctness, promoted and used by the left to silence its critics, only succeeds
    1 point
  22. The easy answer is that it does not need to have any other justification than that it makes your life better. If you find life-affirming enjoyment in the discovery and understanding then that is all that is required. On a deeper level, consider the simple fact that a modest telescope like a 4-inch refractor or a 5-inch reflector, even a 70mm National Geographic "department store" telescope will reveal that many stars perceived as solitary objects to the naked eye are pairs and multiples. For thousands of years - even 200 years after Galileo - we always assumed that the stars were individu
    1 point
  23. It is easy to "like" astronomy. But that is not the same thing as being active in it. Astronomy is one of the few hobbies in which amateurs and professionals collaborate. A continuing thread in the history of astronomy is that it was generally a private pursuit, privately funded either personally or through non-governmental organizations. In the 20th century that began to change. But amateurs developed radio astronomy as a spin-off of ham radio; and they quickly jumped in on photography and eventually spectroscopy. Most amateurs are backyard observers. Some do have distant, remote-contro
    1 point
  24. [7] That's an important reward for me: revisiting the paths of the pioneers. Jupiter and Galileo are top of the list there. But very many other sites are out there if you read the histories and follow the skies. [1] [2] Your Bushnell 50mm x 1200 mm is a good beginner scope. It does take work getting used to them, no different than shooting a rifle or handgun, or shooting pool or bowling for that matter. Do you remember learning how to drive a car? I have a 10-inch x 2500 mm telescope in the garage on loan from my local club -- an option you might consider -- and it is going back to the e
    1 point
  25. I don't know what hysteria you are talking about with regard to me. I'm perfectly happy to talk about it. A lot of what I said apparently from my memory had to do with the notion that a smiling label is not used to judge people but to make sales. I wouldn't have said anything if it weren't for the strange notion that it is always moral to make money if trade is voluntary and there is no immoral way to make money if trade is voluntary. That's the kind of thing I respond to. But I'm not trying to "cancel" anyone when I talk about race. Don't know what you're talking about. I was just re
    1 point
  26. Alas, the world stage draws back the curtains to rebrand a player whose true identity is to be grist into its new identity: The Pearl Milling Company. I suppose if a pearl necklace is to be formed, milling holes in them is a prerequisite to stringing them along. In this case, the pearls ought be judged by the company they keep. Meanwhile, I'll stick with adding grade a eggs and milk before whipping things up for a few stirring moments while the griddle heats up for the occasion.
    1 point
  27. The link for the book doesn't work. This Amazon one does for now.
    1 point
  28. The key identification that Schwartz makes about force is that it is a physical action to which we are subjected against our will, being taken by a volitional being to neutralize the choice of another volitional being. “Action to neutralize choice” distinguishes the case where a person pulls out a weapon in order to cause him to abandon his property (mission accomplished) from the case where a person pulls out a weapon to check it and accidentally scares another person into abandoning his property (neutralization of choice is not the purpose). I take it that you are not satisfied with this, an
    1 point
  29. dream_weaver

    Spinoza and Rand

    About 1/2 way into Part 2, Chapter 1, The Man Who Belonged On Earth It is from a paragraph on an elaboration by Dr. Stadler to Miss Taggert on "the hallmark of a second-rater".
    1 point
  30. whYNOT

    Does social media censor?

    I knew there was good reason to altogether stay away from social media... The consuming one now is "hate speech", however our Big Tech Moral Guardians wish to define it. One man's facts are someone else's "hate speech".
    1 point
  31. It seems to me that this kind of thing gets said regularly around here without proper challenge. The idea of "left" versus "right" is mostly a fiction. It's not a distinction that has much real meaning. It's "traditionally right" (in America) to be hostile to certain social freedoms (e.g. abortion, sex, drugs) and "traditionally left" to be hostile to business freedoms, but what they both have in common is that they are both unprincipled and generally destructive to freedom. (I say "traditionally" because, being unprincipled, these things can quickly and easily flip from one side to the other,
    1 point
  32. Jim Henderson

    Atlas Shrugged

    You mention that "Philosophic traditions down from the Greeks have constructed arguments to conclude that just acts are good for the agent (the self)." A good example of this can be found in Cicero's book, On Friendship (Laelius de Amicitia). In it Cicero states that "the very essence of friendship" is "a common set of beliefs, aspirations, and opinions." (p 31). He further states that friendship is only possible between those who "act and live so that their lives give proof of faithfulness, integrity, fairness, and generosity; and who are free from any low passion, greed, or violence; and are
    1 point
  33. Boydstun

    Atlas Shrugged

    Mind in Steel Dagny “felt the sweep of an emotion which she could not contain, as of something bursting upward. She turned to the door of the motor units, she threw it open to a screaming jet of sound and escaped into the pounding of the engine’s heart. . . . “Why had she always felt that joyous sense of confidence when looking at machines?—she thought. In these giant shapes, two aspects pertaining to the inhuman were radiantly absent: the causeless and the purposeless. Every part of the motors was an embodied answer to ‘Why?’ and ‘What for?’—like the steps of a life-course chosen by the
    1 point
  34. I don't think that's the claim, the claim has been more like "This mob is united and motivated by one particular concrete belief, namely that the election was stolen. They may vary in ultimate purpose or final goal, but overall functioned to attain some shared end". And then me and others have provided evidence why you should think that there is *some* shared goal at least among those who initiated force. Is this just a general warning against trusting the media? Or are you saying that this is where everyone here is going wrong? You wrongly assumed earlier that I'm using the media wit
    1 point
  35. Berra, Aaron - 1957
    1 point
  36. Depends what I saw. Initially Hitler looked like a joke, harmless. Like no other German in his right mind would support him. Once I saw the night of broken glass, where he openly justified killing of some people in his speech, at that point, yes I might become violent against him. So that's a big NO to my question. Hitler was elected in 1933. The Kristallnacht was in 1938. My point: you have no clue when to forcefully oppose an elected leader.
    1 point
  37. Truly, as soon as you say such things as "capable of shame," "remorse," "soul-searching," and so forth, my mind goes to Donald Trump and his sons, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Rudy Giuliani, Bill O'Reilly, etc., etc. These are the folks who "go high." The deep introspectors. So you're lending support (however you want to cast that support) to an assault on the Capitol, against the results of a democratic election, by a frothing, conspiracy-fueled mob, because... you have concerns about mail-in ballots. There is no way for me to respond to that appropriatel
    1 point
  38. Not so much as defend them a little Gee, not much of contradiction there. That's certainly how YOU are proposing it to be done. It's neither moral nor widespread. "Likewise"??? And now you're equating taking a handout from an agency that you already paid into vs. using physical violence to get your point across.
    1 point
  39. Nothing is dead, that's why it isn't time to fight in the violent way. I was saying that if the target of violence is government, then the people attacking the government aren't preserving or defending something they have. They would be fighting to attain something they don't yet have. If these people were fighting for the spirit of America, to preserve that, then they can't attack the government when it uses the Constitution as intended (the Constitution is the spirit of America). Or if they want to say that the country has been taken over by the bogeyman left, then they aren't preservi
    1 point
  40. This is a (fairly abridged) YouTube playlist adaptation of John Galt's speech. It only takes an hour and a half to listen to and it's full of extremely engaging visual effects that help to concretize all the points being made. Beware that many of the visuals (particularly towards the end) are NOT for small children! It does not pull its punches in how it portrays bad philosophies and if Marilyn Manson should give any of your kids nightmares I will take zero responsibility! I did not make this; I pirated it and burned it onto a DVD several years ago. I don't know who made it.
    1 point
  41. Is he the legitimate president? You'll appreciate this:
    1 point
  42. OJ was legitimately acquitted.
    1 point
  43. Boydstun

    Atlas Shrugged

    Kindred Souls Dagny, Francisco, Rearden, and Danneskjöld, a fourth protagonist, rescue Galt from a government torture facility. Rearden is shot in the shoulder in the process. Galt says to him “Thank you, Hank.” Rearden replies “If you understand that I acted for my own sake, you know that no gratitude is required.” Galt rejoins “That is why I thank you” (III X, 1157). Galt and Rearden are friends. They have brotherly love for each other in a close and elaborate way. Galt’s rejoinder says that he appreciates that Rearden is a person who risked life and limb to rescue him, but only be
    1 point
  44. Sorry, I'm going to bail on the "walk away" conversation. I'm not interested in walking away from the fight. Okay. I'll check it out. It doesn't take much to convince me to watch sci-fi.
    1 point
  45. Boydstun

    James G. Lennox

    In his book to issue this spring, James G. Lennox "argues that Aristotle has a richly normative view of scientific inquiry, and that those norms are of two kinds: a general, question-guided framework applicable to all scientific inquiries, and domain-specific norms reflecting differences in the target of inquiry and in the means of observation available to researchers. To see these norms of inquiry in action, the second half of this book examines Aristotle's investigations of animals, the soul, material compounds, the motions of heavenly bodies, and respiration." That book is Aristotle on
    1 point
  46. Simply, dark moods happen. As with anyone experiencing periods of deep introspect, it's personal. But, as it relates to the arts, certain music is appropriate in such moments. Some authors are more appropriate. When I read Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, it is helpful to find a virtual friend in shared experience. Nietzsche, as I understand him, was a guide to those who recognize the more frustrating aspects of modern life. His "man going under" is the man who is only able to rise above man, to becoming the "superman." Well, if one is going to be exhausted or depressed as times, one may as well r
    1 point
  47. Just the one when it's required to enter a store or something.
    1 point
  48. "The famous image of Aunt Jemima was based on the real image of Nancy Green, who was known as a magnificent cook, an attractive woman of outgoing nature and friendly personality, an original painting of which sold for $9,030 at MastroNet. The painting was rendered by A. B. Frost, who is now well known as one of the great illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration.[13]" This quote is from the Wikipedia article covering the life of Nancy Green, the original celebrity personality representing the soon to be discontinued brand, known as, Aunt Jemima. I hope there is common
    1 point
  49. There is a lot to unpack here. First we have to acknowledge that an image is subject to interpretation. The meaning of something viewed in the form of a communication has context... in what it is affixed to, by whom it is presented, and to whom it is presented, all play a role in what it represents. The star of David is NOT a hate symbol when displayed proudly by a Jewish person, but it is when applied to a Jewish person's clothing by a Nazi. The image itself is not objectively anything other than simply what it looks like... what it represents is contextual. A stereotype, to
    1 point
  50. When purported values are contradictory it is safe to say some or one of them is not a value. Here we have a situation where there is a form of pleasure, and intellectual challenge, perhaps you could call it a hobby (I assume you are not an astronomer by profession), and importantly the subject of interest is reality itself, the hobby being understanding and gaining knowledge of an aspect of that reality. Without debating the particulars, knowledge of reality always has at least some possibility of value even if one cannot understand how to use it at the time, this combined with the enjoyment
    1 point
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