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Heinrich Dorfmann

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Everything posted by Heinrich Dorfmann

  1. I see. Thank you. But you haven't commented on how you personally do it. What exactly is the conscious process one has to go through to automatize knowledge? Thank you softwareNerd
  2. Hello everyone. First of all let me say that I have a deep familiarity with Objectivism. I have read all Rand’s fiction and most of her non fiction. I have been thinking a lot about methods of thinking and how to really learn a subject (or a concept or an idea). I always read books and try to learn new things but the material seems to fade away with a few weeks or months. With that in mind I started researching how to actually learn and retain concepts; how to, in fact, make it your own knowledge. I ended up buying and listening to Peikoff’s lectures “Understanding Objectivism”, “Objectivism Through Induction” and also Barbara Branden’s lecture “Principles of Efficient Thinking”. From those, I learned that our mind has a very specific nature and way of learning. Its not enough to read the material, but a specific method is necessary to really grasp the concepts. Peikoff calls this method “chewing”. Basically it consists of a few steps one has to go through to guide one’s thinking (defining the concept in question, identifying other concepts present in the definition, concretizing and condensing each concept, and finally integrating it with the rest of your knowledge). I found this idea very interesting and wondered how other Objectivists approach the issue when learning new material or thinking about concepts that are still not clear. How do you do it? What do you do to make an idea clear in your mind just as a percept would be? How do you think? I appreciate in advance.
  3. I understand where this is coming from. Thank you for opening my eyes. However, I must point out that you have no knowledge of the particular nature of the business venture in question. If you did, you might understand my high expectations.
  4. Thank you for the advice Nicky. After objectively evaluating all variables involved (economy, niche market, competitors, expected cashflow, etc.) I believe the chances of success are somewhere around 60-70% or more on this one. Still, I need to prepare for every scenario.
  5. I would represent work, effort, pride, productivity and trade. However, I am not personally interested in this business. You're right, the only value I would get would be the money - and pride for setting a goal and achieving it. Since I don't have a passion, I guess this option is better than getting a day job. Thank you. I guess I can set aside at least 2 hours in the morning for writing and other interests. Yeah, I never understood this aspect of Roark. What one likes in early adult life is often the result of associations one unconsciously formed as a child (most of the time arbitrary and chance associations). On "Principles of Efficient Thinking" by Barbara Branden, she warns about adopting unconsciously formed associations without thinking over and validating them. So how can one knows what one wants to do with one's life without considering all options, trying out as many things as possible? It seems a little mystic to say "I've always known I wanted to be an architect", don't you think? Thanks for the advice ND.
  6. Hello everyone. First, some background. I live in Germany, I'm 25 years old and currently in the last year of my economics degree. I have never identified what most people refer to as “passion” and what people in this forum refer to as “CPL”. When I chose economics as a major, it wasn’t because I loved it, but rather because I was very curious about it and had no strong interest in other areas. I must say that I was also curious about writing, specially screenwriting, but ended up choosing economics because of the higher money upside. Today, almost 4 years later, my interest in economics has not evolved into a passion. I still like it, but I wonder if I would be happier If I had pursued writing. I was thinking about getting a day job to pay the bills and start exploring/studying writing (and other things) on my free time to see if I really like it. However, I was approached by some friends with an offer to partner up in a certain business venture. The investment would be within my means and the returns seems to be amazing. If everything goes well and I sell my share of the business 8-10 years from now, I would become a millionaire (I’m talking about 8 digits). However, it would require 8-10 years of intense, mostly boring, work. I would have little or no time to pursue other interests. With the proceeds from this venture I would never have to worry about money in my life. I would have the freedom to explore my interests and maybe find a passion without having to work at a boring day job to pay the bills. Whatever I decide to do with my life, the money would make it 100x times easier to succeed. If I decide to become an investor I would have tens of millions to invest. If I decide to become a writter, I would be able to produce my own movie. I understand that if I had a passion and had been presented with this opportunity, it would be immoral to accept it, given that I would be unable to pursue my passion for 10 years. But I don’t have one. Writing is merely a hint, like economics was 4 years ago. I would love to know your opinions about this. If you were on my shoes, what would you do? Would you spend 10 years doing work that you don't particularly like? Is 34-36 years old too old to start pursuing interests, trying to find a passion? P.P.S. There is very little risk involved in the business. I am very confident by my own judgement, that the business will succeed.
  7. No. One can produce his own food and consume it. The activity does not have to be related to other people in order to be productive. However, to be productive a man has to produce something (goods or services) that has value for himself and/or for others, don't you agree? The activities the man in the example engages in after he leaves his job are not productive, by the own definition of the word. Rand says that "productive work is the central purpose of a rational man’s life". She also defines specifically what she means by productive work: "Productive work does not mean the blind performance of the motions of some job. It means the conscious, rational pursuit of a productive career." [bold added] Back to the example: the man in question does not have or pursue a productive career, therefore he does not have the "central purpose" Rand defines, therefore he is NOT moral. I don't see how he can be immoral. Is this a flaw in Objectivism? Any thoughts?
  8. Hello everyone. I appreciate if anyone could help me understand the following issue. The question is not so simple as the tittle states. I understand that productive work is the process by which man’s mind sustains his life. I understand that either you work to support yourself or you act as a parasite on others. Ayn Rand states that: She also states that: Ok, lets explore the following case. What about a man who works for X years untill he saves enough so that the interest payments on his earned money (or proceeds from investments on his earned money) is enough to provide for his life, values and enjoyment of it. Suppose that when he reaches this X amount, he will stop working (in other words, producing), and pursue other values, such as travelling, raising his kids, exploring the world, learning things he didn’t have the time before or taking cooking classes. Such a man would not produce anything, the use of his mind would be focused only on non-productive endeavors (but nonetheless endeavors that add value to his life and are rational). The man I described has no “productive purpose” anymore. He has a purpose, which is to do things he enjoys (rational things, as opposed to irrational whims). Is he moral? My answer is yes. He is pursuing rational values, learning, expanding his mind. I don’t see how he can be immoral, but, according to Rand, he becomes immoral at the moment he lacks a “productive purpose”. One could argue that it would take many years for him to reach X amount of money, and therefore he is moral because he produced most of his life (as in the case of a retired man). This is invalid because the amount of money he needs is a very personal matter: he may be happy living off very small interest payments or dividends, and therefore may have stopped working at a very young age. Or suppose a man who sells his business also at a very young age. I guess the final question is: is it moral for a man not to produce, but instead live his life pursuing other rational values, given he has the money to live by the proceeds of its investments (his own money). What do you think? What about a lottery winner or a wealthy heir in the same situation?
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