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  1. As America prepares to certify our next President, a large band of hooligans have taken upon themselves to storm the Capitol. This in the name of Freedom? Are these hooligans striving to look for their Fuhrer? As a footnote, something like this happened in fiction- in Atlas Shrugged.
    3 points
  2. I launched my blog on 2 January 2011. The title was inspired by Gregory Browne’s Necessary Factual Truths (University Press of America, 2001). I met Dr. Browne at Eastern Michigan University in the fall semester 2007. Waiting for a class in police operations, I was walking the halls and heard him lecturing. It was obviously a philosophy class and he sounded reasonable. I looked in and saw “Ayn Rand” on the blackboard closing an array of philosophers in historical sequence. A couple of weeks later, I heard him actually mention Ayn Rand. So, I introduced myself. And I bought the book format
    3 points
  3. Look around your home. Is there anything there that gives you energy? Validates your consciousness? Reminds you of the unique manifestations of your identity? Any song, book, film, tactile object that resonates with the possibility of a goal worth aiming toward? Is there something you could put on your wall that will add a spring to your step, or release the tense confusion of a recent argument because it resonates with a problem solving mindset? As one works toward building a solid foundation in reality, aesthetics is where humanity has a chance to evolve creatively through the con
    3 points
  4. 14 January 2021 We will crush their violence enacted under their feast of self-delusion and contempt for our Constitutional rule of law. The republic will prevail. The citizens on both sides are armed if it should come to that, but I expect the organized force of the American government will succeed in defense and in bringing the violators to commensurate penalty. Tony: Indeed the American citizens overwhelmingly are not so stupid as to buy into Left-tarring of the bulk of Republicans as fascists and white-supremacist. And they are overwhelmingly not so stupid as to buy into the Righ
    3 points
  5. Boydstun

    Anthem

    Ayn Rand’s novella ANTHEM, published in 1938 and revised in a 1946 edition, is set in a fictitious collectivist community, one smaller and simpler than Kira’s historical setting in WE THE LIVING. Rand’s ANTHEM is presented as a journal kept by her protagonist whose name is Equality 7-2521. He records that he dares to choose, in the secrecy of his own mind, work he hopes to do when leaving the Home of the Students. He loves the Science of Things. He hopes he will be selected to be a scholar, but the authorities appoint him to be a street sweeper. The technology of his isolated community is
    3 points
  6. I am not trying to provide an explanation of all his behavior, in every instance, but pointing out that having a hostile and prejudiced Press (from the very start) against one has to have something to do with his actions. It meant that not a single Executive decision would ever meet with approval or a fair debate. He took them on at their own game, and I don't believe this was always smart or principled. I don't fault his unconventional methods in foreign policies, keeping enemies guessing and showing they can voluntarily make good choices: a carrot or the stick. My position is the over all po
    3 points
  7. SL, Poetically said, I think the poetic manner is a singular way to condense and express this unbelievable totality of life and one's life's existence. There are wonders here, how this animal made of star-stuff could become consciously rational and aware of its consciousness which ~almost~ seem mythological or religious. "Lest we be mythologizing ourselves" - of the species and of the individual being, I don't know of how one cannot. Obviously, without the supernaturalism. That autonomous "I" unique to you was who could observe, will to think those things, question them and marvel. This recall
    3 points
  8. Adrian, I'm re-reading Atlas Shrugged for the third time, 10 years since my previous reading. I found that she repeats the same point a lot upon my first reading, and perhaps the second reading, but I don't find it anymore. The repeating is necessary, to make it more convincing and dramatic. To stress the importance of the point. You know, the principle that altruism is evil can be summarized in one sentence, but it's the role of fiction to put the principle in as many concrete terms as possible, making the reader to discover it for himself. It's the principle of "show, don't tell." By the wa
    3 points
  9. Might seem off topic, at first. I was reminded last night catching a glimpse of the film I'd seen before, The Pursuit of HappYness. I don't know how it slipped through the movie moguls' attention, but here's a rare movie that encapsulates America. I.e. A black man who is not a victim. In this fortuitous passage I watched, the character played by Will Smith, despondently muses to himself after a particularly trying day coping with his little boy (heroic, too) and two jobs: WHY did Thomas Jefferson come up with "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"? Did he know that it was only to be "a
    3 points
  10. "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
    3 points
  11. Returning to the initial question, I’m going to say “No, it would not be helpful”. It would be helpful to clearly articulate a real problem which in principle could be solved, but that has nothing to do with BLM. The problem is not that Richard Spencer has his ideas, and the propagation of his ideas cause some other problem. The problem that BLM is addressing is the “rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us by the state” (their words). As they say, “Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act toge
    3 points
  12. Atlas Shrugged was published on 10 October 1957. A brief interview with Rand by Lewis Nichols was published in the New York Times three days later. On the writing of Atlas Shrugged she remarked: “‘It goes back a long way. I was disappointed in the reaction to The Fountainhead. A good many of the reviewers missed the point. A friend called me to sympathize, and said I should write a non-fiction book about the idea back of The Fountainhead. ‘While I was talking, I thought, “I simply don’t want to do this. What if I went on strike?” My husband [Frank O’Connor] and I talked about that al
    3 points
  13. How many masks do you wear? I chose to present and ponder this topic as a Metaphysical and Epistemologcal exploration of identity. This thread is not so much to argue the benefits and safety of the mask. Another thread seems to do a thorough job in favor of the mask: https://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/34048-rebloggedit-is-not-self-interest-to-take-illness-lightly/&tab=comments#comment-368272 I wear the mask every day, I had Covid in February, never been more sick in my life... I definitely don’t want my three grandmothers in their 90’s to die from it, an
    2 points
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. merjet

    Spinoza and Rand

    "DERIVING AN ETHIC OF EGOISM FROM THE FACTS OF EXISTENCE: THE PARALLEL PHILOSOPHIES OF SPINOZA AND AYN RAND" by Dagney Palmer. https://www.academia.edu/19599757/DERIVING_AN_ETHIC_OF_EGOISM_FROM_THE_FACTS_OF_EXISTENCE_THE_PARALLEL_PHILOSOPHIES_OF_SPINOZA_AND_AYN_RAND?email_work_card=title I haven't read it yet. It is only 5 pages when shrunk and white space galore removed.
    2 points
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
    2 points
  21. When I was able to get both planets in the same view with my telescopes, I drew proportional sketches of the conjunction. With a field-of-view, for example, of 2.42 degrees, I used circles of 2.4 and 4.8 cm. I developed a personal technique of being able to view with both eyes open so that I can hold a centimeter scale at a convenient distance to guage separations. I have used this for binary stars, also. ' Images are reversed right and left. Saturn was to the West (Left) of Jupiter. That is an artifact of the refracting telescopes. We correct that with prism
    2 points
  22. I have enough superstition about me not to want to declare that we've survived this, just yet. But despite everything, it looks better to me today than it did yesterday, and it's the first time in a while I've been able to say that. That said, we are far, far from anything approaching good, and we could lurch towards the worse at any moment. Or towards the worst. Trump is an authoritarian and a statist. He has been searching for a way to overturn the election for months, and the only way we have yet preserved our system is because other people (to varying degrees) have frustrated him in h
    2 points
  23. I wear one when required, out of respect for the fact that a private business is required to enforce the mandate. I never decided on a consistent policy to use in situations where I have a choice. I go for walks in a public park and don't wear one, even though it's required as far as I know, because no one is around to enforce. I'm not interested in wearing one without having a good medical reason to believe they actually work. If this premise were somehow proven, and this was communicated through a source I respect, I would be more interested in wearing one, but right now I feel like this is
    2 points
  24. Just the one when it's required to enter a store or something.
    2 points
  25. Although not quite a "sense of connection" with those, I agree it makes for an insight into their cynicism or nihilism or "ressentiment" and quite valuable for one's understanding of general trends, moral and artistic. My opinion is one needs to look at the dark side in art too. One emerges stronger and more certain for the experience I think (like one's intellectual, artistic "immune system" is enhanced from the exposure). Naturalism, that broad category, holds merits, often technical and stylistic, and at least as a foil to romantic realism. Best put, maybe, that one comes to finely discern
    2 points
  26. When your 12" cube is empty, none of the particles of reality which exist have attributes i.e. coordinates in space, which coincide with the innermost space of the 12" cube. This does not, of course, in any way contradict with the fact that in times previous, many particles possessed such physical coordinates. Nor does it contradict the fact that presently, when empty, particles, systems, and energy outside possess the potential to cause, over time, some particles to again possess coordinates coinciding with the interior of the 12". Stating that the cube is empty, in fact means, of t
    2 points
  27. If anyone is still interested in the goings on at the Ayn Rand Institute, Yaron Brook has come out strongly in support of Biden for President: Yaron Brook Show The article “Biden is Our Only Hope” comments on this in detail. You can find it by searching on biden yaron "christian right" using Google (Bing and DuckDuckGo won’t work); “christian right” must be in quotes. You will learn that after Brook’s comments it became known that Leonard Peikoff had donated $250 to Trump’s campaign. So far Brook hasn’t commented on having once said that no “Trump apologist” should call him
    2 points
  28. I mean consuming anything by Gilson should profit you substantially. His Methodical Realism is a very good, short read. His Thomist Realism and the Critique of Knowledge is good for setting the ground rules on engagement with Cartesian and Kantian epistemology. More neo-Thomist stuff: Anthony Lisska's two books Aquinas' Theory of Perception and Natural Law is a reconstruction of Thomistic epistemology and meta-ethics that engages with contemporary analytic philosophy. John O'Callaghan's Thomistic Realism and the Linguistic Turn employs Aquinas' semantic theory to describe how co
    2 points
  29. Our new episode covers the controversy over the NY Times' 1619 Project versus Trump's push for patriotic education, when it comes to teaching history. We also get pretty deep into the principles and design of the correct curriculum.
    2 points
  30. Boydstun

    2020 election

    Tony, this horse we children would ride out in the country belonged to that man I spoke of who went to school only through the third grade. He was the second husband of our mother. He was a cattle rancher; paratrooper and aircraft mechanic in North Africa and Italy during WWII; he knew his Catholic catechism. He read newspapers and did his own thinking. He did not need any advice in discerning a con man or discerning human depravity or goodness or in determining who would get his vote. Neither did the children on that horse in their adulthood.
    2 points
  31. I think it is important to remember two contextual factors regarding concepts. First, every concept is a mental integration… which means, it’s in your head. Second, proper concepts in your head arise by applying logic to valid conclusions, given some premises, so to the extent that the facts out there are the same, we all learn the same concept “dog”. Concepts are objective, not subjective. The science of psychology is concerned with the nature of a concept in the brain, whereas philosophy is concerned with the abstract nature of concepts which anyone can grasp using reason. Epistemologically
    2 points
  32. DavidOdden

    2020 election

    A difference between paying a bribe and paying a fine is that a bribe is conditioned on the recipient performing an action, and charity is not. If I charitably pay your fine, you are free to thank me or not, to vote or not… The term “bribe” is a specific legal term, though it is metaphorically used to describe giving any incentive. Bribery, which is illegal, requires an offer to a public servant, where the offer is not authrized by law, and the intent is to influence an act in the official discretion of the public servant. None of this describes paying a fine for a felon. A more apt de
    2 points
  33. I think this is the hold up because purpose is a subspecies of standard (in a certain context). Standard and Purpose, both give guidance. (but with Rand the primary difference seems to be that one is abstract, the other concrete) The difference between “standard” and “purpose” in this context is as follows: a “standard” is an abstract principle that serves as a measurement or gauge to guide a man’s choices in the achievement of a concrete, specific purpose. “That which is required for the survival of man qua man” is an abstract principle that applies to every individual man. The task of a
    2 points
  34. I have a feeling it was this: When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. https://www.cato.org/blog/ayn-rand-front-page-ecu
    2 points
  35. The views of capitalists and liberals historically developed out of opposition to things that came before them. Locke developed the natural rights doctrine and laid the foundation for liberalism, but was a bit of a mercantilist in economics. Late 17th and early 18th century thinkers like North, Cantillon, and Quesnay began to develop free trade movements out of opposition to mercantilism and utilized Lockean and generally Enlightenment-influenced arguments about "rights of man" and "laws of nature." The physiocracts and French liberals in the 18th century were among the first to mix laiss
    2 points
  36. "What about-ism" isn't a counterargument. It's a distraction. Communism and Maoism are more like Marxism+, that is, there are elements of Marxism. What would change about her argument if she mentioned them? She easily could condemn them on grounds of expropriation. An anticapitalist could say that every attack on Marxism should mention imperialism of the US, but you would rightly respond that the essay is about Marxism, not about the ways that capitalism has been corrupted in the US. The essay is about capitalism, so let's talk about capitalism. By the way, my basic response would be wha
    2 points
  37. I meant what I said. In the examples that I gave, his orders clearly violated well-established law, though perhaps you are not happy about with the law on these points. Your response is mostly part directed at a different question, namely whether it is reasonable to ignore the law. Given that the purpose of a president in our republican form of government is to implement the law, Trump is dysfunctional. This is a basic divide within the population of those calling themselves Objectivists: some consider law to be optional, others consider it to be fundamental to living in a civilized society. T
    2 points
  38. A great teacher is not merely a subject-matter expert, but also a good mentor, as we learn from Richard Feynman's correspondence with a former student. Shaun Usher of Letters of Note sets up the context: Image from 1959 Cal Tech yearbook, via Wikimedia, public domain. In 1966, nine years after gaining his Ph.D. with a dissertation titled The Self-Energy of the Scalar Nucleon, physicist Koichi Mano wrote a congratulatory letter to Richard Feynman, the man who had originally taught him at the California Institute of Technology and, more recently, joint-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
    2 points
  39. Warning: The following is to be taken as poetic rather than literal... Religio - re connect or re-linking back Identifying the self with the universe, or the planet... is in the direction of mythical or religious thinking... because although you are in and of these things, you are not identical with them... being unseparated from them and indeed embedded in them.. it is a natural direction in which mystical thinking points... we are star stuff... made from elements formed in supernovae... in a literal "tree of life" billions of years old... each a node on an unbroken b
    2 points
  40. Of course some Objectivists, choose to be activists for the philosophy, but that in no way means the philosophy itself IS activist, and people interested in the philosophy should not think that it is. In considering Objectivism as a whole, I am confronted with distractions... not in the form of ideas, but in the form of personalities, of movements, of factions... and yes, a little bit of activism. Rather than looking outward and inward to my center.. I find myself sliding my eyes sideways at metaphorical others... whose presences, in the realm of my engagement with ideas, are inap
    2 points
  41. I do not equate philosophy for living, and living one’s life with anything like political activism. Life requires knowledge and a philosophy, so having “skin in the game” is to take it seriously and to live by it. You only have one life and it’s yours to live. Some “activists” of a quite different political flavor from myself feel quite strongly that “real life” is lived in the political sphere... the body politic, society as a collective endeavour... and hence participating in life is measured by them by how loudly one shouts and how many likes one receives. These activists
    2 points
  42. In older days there'd be a lynch mob to take a (suspected) culprit out of custody before trial and string him up. The mentality hasn't changed much: "someone" must suffer for an injustice. Who else are easily accessible but shopkeepers and their properties? Added bonus, for many violent rioters the store is a symbol of capitalism. "Repressive Capitalism", that is, to those of Leftist conviction.
    2 points
  43. Boydstun

    Entity and Ousia

    Entity and Ousia Contrasting Roark with many other people, Mallory remarks to Dominique of those others: “At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unreversed or unbetrayed; as if there had never been any entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass” (GW V, 485). Consider in Rand’s full metaphysics the finer structure in her conception of the law of identity: "Whatever you choose to consider, be it an object, an attribute, or an action, the law of identity remains the same. A leaf cannot be a stone at the same time, it cannot be all red and all green a
    2 points
  44. Disagree here. "Retaliatory force" is not sensibly distinguished from "force used in retaliation." There may be legitimate and illegitimate uses of retaliatory force, but "force used in retaliation" is, as grammar would seem to have it, "retaliatory force." And further, vigilantism may not be "legitimate" in the sense of legal, but it may yet be moral depending on context. Our sense of law and legal "legitimacy" comes from pre-legal/extra-legal understandings that retaliatory force may be morally proper, in a given situation. "Initiation of force masquerading as retaliation," is not,
    2 points
  45. I go to Ford to purchase a new car. I buy a car with all the latest features, but I get home and the car is missing some features. I go back to the Ford dealer and summoning my best Karen, I ask to speak to the manager. I bought the package with all these features, but my car doesn't have these features, I say. Ah, but you bought the car from StrictlyLogical and Merjet. They were your salesmen. And they're not here. They're gone. Sorry, you're out of luck. And they won't be in tomorrow, or the next day. In fact, they're saying home and we're shielding them. And you can't get reimbursed fr
    2 points
  46. Regarding "retaliation" Ayn Rand wrote: "Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use" (Lexicon). So violence against a Minneapolis police officer who was not on the scene of the George Floyd incident would not qualify as "retaliation" in her view.
    2 points
  47. A Guide to Effective Study, by Edwin A. Locke, sports the following contents. Part I. Study Methods 1. Introduction 2. What is Studying? 3. How To Do Abstract Reading 4. How To Do Abstract Integrative Reading 5. How To Identify and Designate What Is Important 6. How To Program Your Memory: The Nature of Memory 7. How To Program Your Memory: Specific Techniques 8. The Physical Context of Study 9. The Social Context of Study 10. How To Manage Time 11. How To Take Lecture Notes 12. How To Prepare For and Take Exams 13. Study Monitoring Part II. Stud
    2 points
  48. Lawrence Edward Richard, firstly, welcome. I wondered if you are related to the Lawrence Edward Richard who died in 2011, because a Facebook man of that name stopped posting there at that time and recently that page has started again having posts under that name. I wondered if perhaps you were his son or other relation. Anyway, welcome to Objectivism Online. I enjoy your posts, as so many others here. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I think Rand, as any person in a sensible moment, would squarely object to the statement of Feynman’s as stated, which William Hobba rightly disputed, at the root po
    2 points
  49. Repairman

    Hello

    Welcome to the forum, Giemel, Your experience seems similar to my own. Reading through the many posts, you will find that there are as many differing views contesting to be the most rational point of view. I wouldn't worry too much about trying to identify as Objectivist, as I would see it more as an aspiration, rather than an identity. Most people I've discussed ideas with have never heard of Ayn Rand, let alone any philosophical school of thought. Most people are religious and anti-intellectual. There's little you can do about it. In conversation, I usually identify as "rational egoist,
    2 points
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