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Everything posted by Reidy

  1. If you have access to back issues or reprints of The Objectivist, read her 1968 kiboshing of George Wallace; it's as close as you'll get (which is close indeed) to what she'd say about Trump. The character most resembling him in her fiction is James Taggart. Both are classic mixed-economy businessmen, getting rich by government favors and connections in a highly-regulated industry. Both are contemptuous of ideas and principles. Both are what Objectivist jargon calls social metaphysicians. Taggart stroked his vanity by letting his wife think he was a man of acheivement. Trump is trying to do this with the entire world.
  2. Not important at all for me. An interest in Objectivism is not a deepest value, and such an interest is neither necessary nor sufficient for such a sharing. This is not to deny that the character traits that caused the two to take an interest in Rand's writing could be deepest values. Such an interest might also be superficial or even bad-willed; most of us, I suspect, have met at least one thoroughly repellent character who claimed to be an Objectivist. Somebody who is positively snide and hostile to Objectivism wouldn't attract me, not because of overt convictions but because of traits hat this hostility indicates. People hit it off - as lovers, friends, business partners, performing partners and so on - or they don't. Nobody deduces the outcome from the contents of a checklist.
  3. Footage has come to light of the 1971 demolition of the house in Chatsworth, CA where Rand lived in the 40s and 50s. She'd sold it several years earlier, so she had nothing to do with this. See the house in better days. (Dietrich did not live there, though AR and NB both believed that she did.)
  4. A brief perusal of Return of Kings, the site the previous post links to, shows that it is seriously wackadoodle. I wouldn't trust it far.
  5. One feature these quotes have in common is a failure to appreciate the division of labor. Trying to produce all your own knowledge is as futile as trying to produce all your own food or all your own gasoline. Some skills take relatively little input and a higher proportion of work on one's own: athletic skills may be the extremes, with dancing and musical performance not far behind, but few, if any, excel with no cooperation at all. Math and computer science are examples from the opposite end of the scale. If you do well at one end of this scale, fine, but your aptitudes and preferences aren't binding on the rest of us. To take them up one at a time: - "I am not attracted to book smart..." Intelligence has to be intelligence about some topic or other. If you limit yourself to what you can learn from uninformed doing or unverified word of mouth, you won't be intelligent about much of importance. Not anyone can sit behind a desk, at least not productively. At least as many can run off at the mouth on topics he doesn't know much about, and that's really what's usually going on when you sit on a rooftop at 2am. I was an adolescent once myself. - "Books only contain information..." And not all of them do at that. This is pretty much a tautology (a word I learned reading a book): books contain what books contain and not what books don't contain. The quote refers to the latter as "knowledge", which information from non-book sources might be but isn't necessarily. Personal impressions and haphazardly-acquired prejudices can be be true or false, too. The latter ways of learning may actually be more prone to error. "Knowledge is gained from personal experience" is true if it means some knowledge and false if it means all knowledge. The last statement probably traces its ancestry back to John Dewey. The originator of the quote may not have known this (mistrusting book learning as he did), but somebody along the chain of transmission took the time to read. - "I'm an intellectual who doesn't read books." This is possible; Rand wasn't much of a reader after her school days. You might be the kind of intellectual (a mathematician, for example) who works it all out in his head or on paper or at a keyboard, but this requires having learned a lot and having read a lot of books beforehand, and it takes a lot or sitting at a desk. (Rand wasn't much of a reader after her school days, so it can be done.)
  6. I don't know of any others. If you mean that she's hard to understand, that accent is really the way she talked and not necessarily a matter of recording quality.
  7. If either of the majors had a better position than McMullin's I'd say his position is a bad one, but as thing stand I could overlook these. He's evasive on abortion. He's right that government shouldn't subsidize abortion (or any other medical procedure), but he doesn't quite say whether he wants to outlaw it or not. He seems to want to let both prohibitionists and non-prohibitionists read their own position into his statement.
  8. I don't know how this rule came about historically, but I can tell you why I think it's a good rule. Professional diagnoses invariably touch on private, normally confidential matters. Right or wrong, the pronouncement says something about the subject's personal life. That goes double if the doctor is right.
  9. Hurd has let me down. His presumptuous mind-reading is every bit as low-class as a judge's butting into politics. For physicians, sounding off publicly on a patient one hasn't examined is a breach of ethics (as is sounding off publicly on a patient one has examined). (even when the therapist or judge is right)
  10. Included in the concept is not the same as included in the definition or essential or necessary. Rand's statement means that the concept subsumes all the particulars that fall under it and encapsulates all our knowledge of them. Thus armless people would be included in man because they satisfy the definition.
  11. Did Johnson in fact make that claim? The news stories I've seen attribute it to Nigel Farage.
  12. The best comment I've seen about Trump, fitting well with the one above, was in National Review yesterday.
  13. You didn't. I expressly asked you to do it without any tu-quoques. To take up an earlier post of yours: No, would-be tyrant. No, I don't think anybody here would say that. We have at least two alternatives - vote for a different candidate; don't vote for a presidential candidate at all. Maybe you can get it deported.
  14. (Very well, I'll try to be courteous. I should have known from your admiration for Mr. Trump that you set a very high standard of gentility, as Little Marco, Lyin' Ted and Megyn Kelley can attest.) Esteemed Ms. 1964: May I be so bold as to ask how you reconcile your admiration for Mr. Trump and for Objectivism with his announced intention to use antitrust to silence critics? To be even bolder, could I be so presumptuous as to beg for an answer without any tu-quoques? And if I may presume further on your valuable time, I suspect that this is what Euiol meant by "shady."
  15. Claire, I've been thinking that the best reason not to support Trump is his stated intention of using antitrust to silence his political opposition. My observation has been that soi-disant Objectivist Trumplings, though few in number, are whizzes at rationalization. Can I expect one from you by noon west coast time today? That's a bit over 3 1/2 hours from now as I write.
  16. Just sent the same message to the same address. Let's all do it, several times a day.
  17. Both. The US, at any rate, had the draft, wage-price controls and consequent rationing, the relocation of the Japanese-Americans and constant FBI surveillance of just about everybody. (I once met a woman who had written in her high-school paper that she was tired of all this war effort and longed for a respite; she got a visit from the feds.) These facts don't entail that the US couldn't have won the war without these measures or even that they did any good at all, but they are facts just the same.
  18. A casual look through the current and related threads raises the question: do the books we read, or that people read to us, when we're children have any effect on our character, beliefs or behavior later on? Has anybody, Objectivist or not, tested such claims empirically? A good test would, among its other accomplishments, give us a way to distinguish between the book had this effect on children and children of a certain character were drawn to this book,iked it as children land remember it as adults. Anecdotes are better than no evidence at all, but not entirely convincing.
  19. Leonard Peikoff and Barbara Branden are Canadians who majored in philosophy (though neither finished a degree at a Canadian school). You'll find the same political range (i.e. very narrow) in American philosophy departments.
  20. Thomas Hobbes said all this nearly 400 years ago. What you and he, but not Rand, have failed to do is question what self-interest is. The behavior you describe just isn't what she meant by the term. If you want to appeal the matter up to a higher level and argue that your characterization is more cognitively useful than Rand's or more explanatorily powerful or that it avoids inconsistencies that hers falls into or what have you, I'd have to hear your case. On this level it is simply inaccurate about the plain language or her published writings.
  21. The radio speech goes into more topics than just ethics. On the other hand you ought to read it in the context of the story. The Objectivist Ethics goes into more detail on ethics and how to arrive at ethics ("metaethics" is the technical term for the latter). If you have time, read the entire novel - as you may already have done - and then move on to The Objectivist Ethics.
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