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About Jmayng

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  • Birthday 08/17/1992

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    Jack Mangan
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    We the Living, Anthem, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand Lexicon

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  1. Just because my candidate won't win doesn't mean I won't vote my conscience.
  2. Yes. Last time I checked there were more than two people running for president
  3. Whoah, whoah, whoah-----vote Romney/Ryan? No thanks
  4. Sophomore Year: Let's get it done

  5. I think Eddie Willers is an overlooked character. While he is an unremarkable man not equal in stature to the likes of John Galt and other more central characters, he is an important figure because he represents what the average person might be able to achieve; the "common man objectivist", if you will. He lacks the same level of ability that is consistent with the strikers, but he is most certainly their equal when it comes to core philosophical convictions. Characters such as Galt and Roark are visions of the ideal man, and they provide us with a standard of excellence to pursue. But I would wager that most of us aren't quite genius enough to invent something like Galt's static electricity generator. Many of us will fall into the Eddie Willers vein, and it is for this reason that he is a highly relatable and important character. But I like Dagny too.
  6. I agree with TheEgoist. Rand doesn't really say anything about consciousness other than that it's there. So any reductionist statement aimed at this axiom with the intent of defeating it is largely pointless because Rand (to my knowledge) never said anything in conflict with it.
  7. Nothing is more illogical than believing something for which there is absolutely no evidence. A god could very well exist, but so could the proverbial Flying Spaghetti Monster. Making the choice to believe in something simply because it is possible is not consistent with the actions of a rational man. You cannot prove a god's existence. You cannot disprove a god's existence. But you are never called upon to prove a negative. And since you are the one making the claim, the burden of proof is on your shoulders. I don't understand what the point of making a thread for arguments against theism is.
  8. Tim Minchin is not a Russel Brand wannabe. Tim Minchin is an Australian comedian who is also an immensely talented musician, and he melds the two into one poignant and hilarious ear/mind-gasm.
  9. I don't deny the connection between government and business, and I don't deny the fact that there are undeserving wealthy. I don't recall you mentioning either of those points in your original post which is why I didn't discuss them, but yes I acknowledge those points. I disagree with the privatization of schools leading to a "bigger sea of idiots" or that "school be then only for the rich". If you privatize schools, they will compete for students, and cost would likely go down not up. If you get the government out of the equation, and treat it like a business transaction, then it would be in the best interests of private schools to attract their target student by having competitive tuition. I think the level of education would increase, and it would save us a lot of money. We already do this with many private colleges and universities, why not extend it to elementary education? I also don't understand where you get the 10% statistic about the reading in the population. Most children, in my experience, begin elementary school already knowing how to read. They learn to get better at it, but literacy generally begins before the classroom does. I seriously think you are taking it too far when you say that privatizing education would lead to a 10% literacy rate in among American citizens.
  10. But we also don't have a free market, so I guess you could argue
  11. You make a good point in that people on the upper end seem to be condescending toward the lower end. I have noticed this. But you you have to admit the fact the the lower end is often also very upset at the upper end. Who is right? Neither in most cases. Let's take the example of your uncle first. He works the least amount of hours of anyone in this example. If how hard you work is equal to how long you work then he works the least hard and gets the most reward for it. I can see how this might be interpreted as an injustice. But was your uncle making 1 million dollars right out of college? I highly doubt that. He probably had many years of working his way up to the top and making connections. He probably worked a ton of hours when he was younger to get to where he is now. I disagree with him that teachers are overpaid, but he isn't alone in hating taxes, everyone hates taxes. This doesn't meant that you should lower government worker's wages though, it means you should privatize education. Now for you Sister-in-Law: I think a teacher can be a valuable person in a child's life. She doesn't make a lot of money, but is she justified in being upset about it? Think about it this way: Not a great salary, but generally speaking, amazing pension and early and comfortable retirement, something a lot of other Americans don't have. Her job might not end when the school day ends, but it does in May or June when she probably has about 3 MONTHS of no work. 40k /y isn't a bad deal when you get a the longest summer vacation of anyone in this scenario. Also, if she wanted to make more money, than she is foolish. Why would you get a masters degree in Philosophy and be a teacher. I would love to get a philosophy degree myself, philosophy is one of my passions. But I'm not going to because it is highly impractical given the things I want to achieve in my life. You seriously can't expect to spend over a hundred thousand dollars on a philosophy degree and to come out making a ton of money, it doesn't work that way. I think she just made a poor choice in career/degree if she wanted to be wealthy. But once again, a teacher can be a very important job. As for your cousin: He seems like an idiot, and there is not much more I can say. People who assume laziness on the part of any and all persons who don't make at least 100,000 are total jackasses. Are there people who don't work hard, or take welfare and don't attempt to improve their situation? Absolutely. But I would submit to you that those are the exception not the rule. My mother is working two jobs at the moment, and is making very little money while she has three college age children. She doesn't make 100,000 a year, but she works her ass off for my brothers and I. Anyone who would accuse a single mother of three of being lazy because of her income total is a fool. Why does he watch fox news? what a joke. Your step-brother seems like a great guy who works hard and doesn't complain. And your best friend is your best friend so I wouldn't dare offend you haha. This has been my commentary on your scenario, I'll do my best to help with your questions now if I can. Everyone in your scenario probably deserves every penny of what they make. And I don't think it is wrong for them to say that. If they are adequately completing a job that pays a certain amount, they should get that money. I do not think that Rand would call your uncle's earnings a grave injustice. I believe that she would view everyone has having gotten what they deserve. I agree with you that society values some professions over others, but I think you have it horribly backward. Higher salary does not mean higher respect from the population. In fact, I believe that society has been conditioned to believe that the teacher is the most valuable profession, and yet the teacher makes the least in your scenario. People hold the opinion that being teacher is a noble occupation because they are shaping the future of America and giving their time to the children etc. Why then do they make less money than the analyst. It is because value is not necessarily money. Some of it can be attributed to marginal utility. A lot of it is supply and demand. There are tons of teachers and would be teachers but not that many stock analysts with a masters in economics. Take athletes. I hear people say almost everyday that athletes are way overpaid. A friend of mine posted this a few weeks back after Albert Pujols signed with the Angels: wow... alright Albert Pujols just signed a 10 year $254 million dollar deal.. okay lets think about this $254,000,000 = a quarter of a BILLION dollars $254,000,000/10 years = $25,400,000 a year $25,400,000/ 365 days in a year = $69,589.04 a day... thats more than most people make in a year.... (average annual household income for the U.S. = $50,233.00) Lets see.. he walked up to the plate 579 times last season.. $25,400,000 a season/579 at bats in a year = $43,868.74 every at bat.. wow. thats all i have to say. i would gladly get hit by a 90 mph fastball for $43,868.74 and im sure i could think of a thousand ways to put that money to good use. You sir, along with a lot of other athletes, make way too much money. Your job is to play a game. Seriously. This is me talking now, not what my friend posted. How many people can do what Albert Pujols does? Basically no one. And what is the demand for someone who can do what he does? Extremely high, not only because he an almost unique skill set, but because there are baseball fans. Sports fans seem to be the people that complain about player salaries. If you watch baseball, you are contributing to Albert's huge paycheck. There probably aren't a lot of people that could do what your uncle does as well as he does it. He is more valuable because of this and gets paid to match. There are plenty of people capable of teaching a curriculum, and plenty of people that are certified and looking to, so their salary is less. I'm not saying that these are the only factors involved, but they play a vital role. I think supply and demand is a fantastic thing when it comes to a free market capitalist system, which Ayn Rand would defend to the death. To say that she would call this set up a grave injustice, I think, is pretty far off base. But I'm not an objectivist expert. Someone swoop in and shut me down if I'm wrong. But once again, society does not value a banker over a teacher, I do believe it is the other way around. And it is probably not rational. Finally, as for Atlas Shrugged, I think it relates to the occupy wall street aspect of this thread. Atlas Shrugged is partly about people vilifying industrialists and great thinkers for making a ton of money off of them. And occupy wall street, and I'm guessing because they have no official set of grievances or demands, are vilifying wall street executives and the 1 percent of society because they simply make money. If they believe that government is dangerously mixing with business, and that the earnings of the 1 percent aren't fair because of some sort of system cheat, then they might have ground to stand upon. Other than that they seem to be mindless rabble. Just because someone is wealthy doesn't mean they are a horrible human being who doesn't work hard or deserve their money. Like wise, just because someone is wealthy doesn't mean that they earned their money either. Donald Trump for instance was born into it. People need to stop hating on each other out of misplaced anger. It isn't the people that are bad, it is the system that needs to be fixed. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
  12. Compelled to say a few words in tribute to Christopher Hitchens, whose death on the 15th has only just now reached my ears. He was (and I quote from Vanity Fair's, Julie Weiner) "an incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant." And I add, a man who certainly would have become a hero of mine if I had such figures. He was a brilliant journalist, author, and a (peerless, I might say, as I have never seen his equal) polemicist. He fought against reli...

  13. I actually just came across "Isn't Everyone Selfish?" tonight while working my way through the VOS. I was actually making the argument that everything everyone does is selfish about a week ago, but I wasn't even convinced of my argument and was eager to see what Mr. Branden had to say on the subject. I was very disappointed, and actually believe that he is wrong. The final example Branden uses in his essay is much like the Peter Keating example used above. Except, for Mr. Branden's argument to be true, you have to accept that the reason the son switches professions is that "The boy accedes to his mother's wish because he has accepted that such is his moral duty..." My problem with this is the following: Is it not possible that the son in this situation does not believe that it is his moral duty to switch professions at the whim of his mother? Why is the only reason possible for such a career change that the song believes he must sacrifice his life to his mother's will? Is it not possible that the son, while not feeling any obligation to his mother's desires, changes his career anyway because he values the approval of his mother more than he values this particular career? Can it not be that having a solid relationship with his mother is more important to him than this particular job? If he values the mother aspect more than the career aspect, switching his career to align with his mother's desires is certainly selfish. Am I missing something here? Am I totally wrong? I apologize for phrasing all of my points in question form
  14. I believe the quote is something like, "A leash is only a rope with a noose at both ends." And I believe that is Wynand who says it in the Fountainhead. As for your questions, I am not the person to be answering them. Not knowledgeable enough, sorry.
  15. I agree with swine on that her father does not seem to be practicing Objectivism based on her description, but some sort of hybrid. And I don't trust her description, and don't think that she accurately remembered or understood her father's quote at the dinner table. And based on her description, Ayn Rand did nothing to her except provide her with exceptional literature which she admittedly enjoyed.
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