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About exaltron

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  • Birthday 11/25/1972

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    Electro-funk musician (trumpet, guitar, vocals, laptop) recording and performing around NYC and occasionally around the US. Released an objectivist-inspired hip-hop CD last year. Currently working on a more melodic and romantic batch of songs to be released in 08. During the day I have a less than fabulous cube-monkey job at a Big Pharma corp. Passionate about music and philosophy, also like to cook, exercise, yoga, and laugh at how ridiculously absurd most people are.. Or cry, I can go either way.

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  1. I can only speak from a Northeast perspective, but in my experience landlords don't usually choose based on offers of upping the monthly rent. I've been a renter for 15 years and I can say having talked to some of my landlords personally, they are much more interested in securing someone who is going to pay the rent on time and not screw up the apartment. If you think about it, this makes sense- the potential of an extra $600/yr vs. the risk of a deadbeat tenant (in the US it can take months to evict a tenant, no matter how atrocious they are) who may be destroying your property while refusing
  2. That was what I thought you meant originally, but I could see why you were misunderstood. I think what you're asking is: Is is a necessary condition for a moral person to always be independent? If that is the question, the answer is no. I think the concept of the "unearned" is too derivative to form a moral principle (contrasted with something like "never ask another man to sacrifice", or "never initiate force against another individual"). Perhaps something like "never demand the unearned" could be applicable, but taking the unearned is something we all do. No one gets everything they need thr
  3. I can definitely relate in many ways to what you describe, and I agree with what the posters above said regarding your self-image and pursuing your goals. I would add a few minor points based on what your post suggested to me: 1. You seem to indicate that you have social issues that keep you from pursuing your goals. I wonder if this has to do with [a] Not wanting to be around others because of social anxiety and/or disgust or just the inability to network and "schmooze". I think the first issue is something that you can get past with time. If you focus on what you want and your values mo
  4. It's a bit like with parents and children. If you don't teach your children how to value things rationally, they will still have various wishes and desires--irrational wishes and desires, i.e. whims. If you then go on to "give them everything they want," meaning: you satisfy all their irrational whims, that does not make you a good parent. To be a good parent means, first of all, to teach your children to think rationally, and then to support them in pursuing rational values. You mean like this? That would get my award for Parenting Most Likely to Lead to Childrens' Neurosis. Well sai
  5. Agreed, this post by Kimberly Wingfield sums up the philosophy of Palin and co. And for comic relief, see my link in the comments to Jon Stewart's brilliant send up of her schizophrenic "defense" of freedom.
  6. PS, Here is the podcast where Peikoff discusses the concept of greed, courtesy of Scott Holleran's blog. May be worth discussing in a separate thread..
  7. This is a trap that I've seen many Objectivists and students of Objectivism fall into: don't conflate the concept with the dictionary definition. The concept is a philosophical categorization based on a rigorous epistemological analysis, i.e., "why does this need a name? Is this set of things distinct enough from other things, yet possessing common traits among the set?", etc. The definition merely reflects common usage, so if everyone decides that "selfishness" doesn't just include interest primarily in one's own life, but "at the expense of others", even if this is conceptually invalid, so b
  8. Interesting, I would have said the same not a year ago. But I listened to a Leonard Peikoff podcast recently where he made a strong case in defense of greed as a valid concept and as a morally positive emotion. Thinking about it, it seems clear that, like "selfishness", greed has been packaged with lack of concern for others, or wanting more than one deserves, or wanting something irrationally. But there is no reason why it must be so. That said, I generally consider myself accomplished if I can convince people that selfishness is a virtue.. Greed may have to wait.
  9. Hmm, not sure old man (I'm assuming you're over the hill if you're calling me sonny ). Seriously, I'm flattered that you think I look younger (of course, you haven't seen my rapidly encroaching bald spot). Peikoff actually put the drop off age for premise-checking between 23 and 27 IIRC. I believe he intimated that people after that age generally lose interest in ideas or they hew to a certain dogma (same thing?). I know from experience on OO not to attribute anything to any well-known Objectivist uncited, so I'll see if I can find that podcast on my iPhone and post a link..
  10. I agree, if people are going to pirate something, let them pirate something that might have a chance of convincing them of how misguided their approach to happiness is. Better they read Atlas Shrugged and see themselves for the moochers they are, than pirate the Queen box set and congratulate themselves on their excellent taste and dedication to great music. I guess I have a slightly better attitude about this recently. A friend of mine who for years has been downloading music unethically/illegally on limewire has finally come around to the error of her ways. I have tried several times to
  11. I've wondered about this too, one of the things that surprises me is that it is very difficult to find ARI-sponsored lectures in any format other than CD or Cassette. Most people these days have long since thrown away their cassette players, and CDs for me are just clutter. To have to pay (a lot) for a CD, wait for it to come in the mail, then rip it and put it on my iPod to listen to is just too much of a hassle for me. I guess I'm like those people that Rand criticized who would be put off going to a public library if there were too many stairs I'm sure ARI is worried about putting up mp
  12. Well I can't claim to be un-biased, but I have seen funnier send-ups of Rand. The only thing I chuckled at was the comment about things being so desperate that Americans are actually reading. But Jake_Ellison's observation about his bait-and-switch satire is an excellent one. I find more and more that leftists rely on this type of argument where they want to have their cake and eat it too, especially when it comes to altruism. They will argue that it is in your interest to help the poor, but at the same time suggest that you have no right to assert your interests when it comes to those in need
  13. I was googling this and couldn't find anything, then it occurred to me that this might be a play on "The Grand Illusion" (name of a French film, a Styx album among other things). So if you're looking for the video, it's actually called the "Rand Illusion".
  14. I was thinking of a larger bathroom with several stalls and/or urinals that would be unisex- somewhat of a revolutionary idea in my opinion, as opposed to a one-at-a-time bathroom that could be used by either sex. The former is very common in NYC, for example, most starbucks have only one bathroom. I actually got a chuckle out of the bathroom scene with Diane Lane and the French guy in Unforgiven. She goes into the women's bathroom of a small cafe and he follows her in to umm.. make sure she has toilet paper. In any case, the women's bathroom of this tiny cafe where they do their dirty busines
  15. I think all this really proves is that stability, i.e., knowing what to expect, is generally preferable to a sudden, massive sea change in the way that one goes about getting a vital service. Any sane person who advocates privatizing anything that has been provided by government for many years, would have to advocate the socialized system being phased out gradually. For example as much as I believe in privatizing education, I think that it would have to be phased out gradually to avoid the kind of chaos that one sees in the former Soviet Union. I think the study in the Lancet is probably t
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