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Reidy

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Posts posted by Reidy

  1. Similar history here. I heard the story as gossip and found it too weird to believe, so I didn't until BB's book came out years later.

    The two published In Reply to Ayn Rand a and sent it to the Objectivist subscriber list. He said that what finally, irrevocably broke them up was his telling her that the age difference was "an insurmountable barrier to a romantic relationship". We took it to mean that she wanted to start it, not revive it.

    The text used to be at his website and perhaps in one of his books.

  2. (Could you give us a link to the blog?)

    Yes, Rand would agree that self-esteem is fundamentally a matter of learning to deal with the world and master it. Parents, friends and teachers can help us, but we still have to do the work ourselves. She would also agree that wanting to be loved for no reason is undesirable. See the story of James Taggart and his wife in Atlas Shrugged.

    Aristotle, in the Nichomachean Ethics, distinguishes between people we value for themselves - our friends - and others we value for what they can do for us. The people who take care of my car are valuable to me, but I'm not interested in a personal relationship with them. Nathaniel Branden these entity and process relationships respectively.

    I'm not sure what the blogger means by "being  used as a subject and being used as an object". It sounds a bit like Kant's distinction between treating people as ends and treating them as means, and we all know what she thought of Kant.

  3. This would take checking, but we should at least consider the possibility that Rand picked the date because it fit her timeline. For example: the valley is in session only in high summer; she has to stage the tunnel disaster before that (without the irrelevance of winter travel conditions), and next she has to set up the disappearance of Quentin Daniels that will lead Dagny to the valley; ergo May 1.

  4. Some possible examples of gay-turned-straight are the movie Enigma and Noel Coward's play Present Laughter. They weren't remakes, but they took real-life gay people and turned them straight, Alan Turing in the first case and Coward himself in the second.

    People have been speculating for decades that George and Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf are both men, but the author insisted otherwise.

  5. Whatever the merits of the first part of your proposal, it looks like a literacy test, and the US outlawed these tests in the 60s (some states used them blatantly as a way to disqualify blacks). You'd need an act of Congress to change the law.

    The second part would never fly, and we should be glad. Ask yourself who'd pick the criteria and who'd decide who met them.

  6. Empirical psychology is not exactly a part of philosophy, but the Objectivist writings make several assertions in this field without providing more than intuitive or anecdotal evidence:

    Personality predicts sexual attraction.

    Sexual attraction predicts personality.

    Artistic taste predicts personality.

    Personality predicts artistic taste.

    Childhood literary exposure predicts adult character.

    Philosophical training and belief predict intellectual efficacy.

    This is not to say that one couldn't test these claims, only that I haven't seen such tests.

  7. The short answer is that I've never seen any Objectivist writings on the topic. My understanding is that, in computer science, heuristics are techniques for identifying high-likelihood paths through an infinite or impracticably large number of possibilities. This is itself a reasoning process, and you have to know the truth in order to judge how well or badly your heuristics did in getting at it. What are the arguments that using heuristics invalidates reason?

  8. I hope you're right. We'll see.

    Several people, mostly Democrats, invoking the slogan "too little too late", have observed that Republicans should have repudiated Trump years ago and that they aren't credible coming forward now. In that case, a lot of senators, congressmen and governors are going be swept down with Trump himself. Cruz is the first who comes to mind. He had a golden opportunity to distance himself from Trump in the 2016 primaries and at convention time.

    The path may be wider open than it looks.

  9. Wednesday's Tracinski Letter linked to an article in the New York Review, which led me in turn to a Wikipedia article about the Solovki prison, the first Soviet death camp, originally a monastery and close to the Finnish border, facilitating escape. Rand's Red Pawn, a movie treatment that was her first literary sale, is set in just such a place. Solovki was first known in the west in 1934. I hadn't known how close to the facts Rand's setting was.

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