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Everything posted by Locke_and_Rand

  1. I hold these meetings about once to twice per month (usually on first and third Sundays) at a coffee shop. The discussion format is based on questions that I create. The questions for the topic can be found at: http://planoopar.blogspot.com/ Please read the essay before you come, even if you have read it before, and bring a print-out of the questions. Sign up at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar-announce/ for meeting time and location announcements. These are open to anyone so long as they agree to the format I have come up with (discussion based on the questions). Dean Cook [email protected]
  2. Another cool thing we might do at a future meeting would be to do a tour of downtown Dallas. There are lots of interesting buildings, statutes, and whatnot to see down there.
  3. I didn't see this already posted, so here it is: http://www.frontrangeobjectivism.com/2006-law.html
  4. Thanks for letting me know about your own experiences in running a group. It certainly makes me appreciate the folks who invented the Internet even more (and I don't include Al Gore in that group). I understand about your not being able to make it, and I have had several other folks also say that they would like to come but can't due to distance of travel. In the future, after we have gone through OPAR once, I may start trying to do meetings at a more central location (or based on polling potential participants, so long as it isn't too far from where I live). I mostly chose Plano because it is where I live, and that makes it conveneient for me. I also chose Plano because I spent most of my youth here, and it is my little way of "giving back to the community". (I've joked with other O'ists before that they should all move to Plano so that we can take over the city council and school board, and turn it into PlanO.) I also agree that people who complain don't have a right to complain if they aren't going to "step up to the plate" and do something about it. That's part of why I started the OPAR group, in light of my criticisms of the NTOS meetings on meetup.com. Anyway, any time you can make it out, you are welcome to do so.
  5. As mentioned in a previous post, for the past several months, I have been running an Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand book study group using the study guide by Gary Hull. The basic format of the group is for the participants to read OPAR, starting at the begning. Every other week, we meet on Sundays at a local coffee shop and answer the OPAR study guide questions as a group for that particular section of OPAR. This format has kept the discussion fairly on focus. There are a couple of people that are fairly new to Ayn Rand's philosophy, and they seem to be learning a lot, and there are also folks participating that have been studying her ideas for many years. If you are trying to put together some sort of group on a budget this is the way to go. In the past 10 years, coffee shops have proliferated across America, so they make ideal meeting places, especially if you can find one that isn't that busy at the time of the day that your OPAR group meets. Use of the Internet (another thing that has grown a lot in the past 10 years) also makes it easy to keep group members updated on meeting times and locations. I recommend creating a yahoo groups page for your OPAR study group, as well as a blogspot. Both of these Internet services are free. I also recommend that you make the posts on the yahoo group's page available only to group members, this allows you to keep meeting times and locations somewhat secret, thereby helping to ensure that you can control who comes to the meetings. (This is important because you might otherwise get the occasional obnoxious individual who simply wants to disrupt the meetings, and doesn't have a sincere interest in learning about Ayn Rand's philosophy.) The only money costs involved are the costs of the book and the study guide, all of which can be had for under $20. The only other major cost involved is the need for the group to have an organizer, who has sufficient commitment to find the meeting locations, send out meeting announcements, and act as a "contact" for people that are interested in joining the discussion group. One other small outlay of money and time that I suggest you make is to print out some fliers describing the group, and giving contact information. Go to the local universities and community colleges and post them wherever you can. Interest in Ayn Rand's philosophy is going to be higher on college campuses than probably any other single place. You can also post these fliers at local bookstores and coffee shops. I used to hear a left-wing environmentalist slogan that actually makes some sense when applied to spreading Objectivist ideas. It was something like: "Think globally, act locally." Similarly, I think that you can make a significant contribution to our "cause" by starting a local OPAR group like this. You can check out my group's Internet presence at: http://planoopar.blogspot.com/
  6. I just don't get that. How can he be such a fan, yet not want to promote her books with financial support? Even if he doesn't want to promote Objectivism as such, he could set up a special foundation to pay to have copies of the Fountainhead distributed in high schools or something.
  7. I too am impressed by it. I'm very happy that the 635 bottle neck on Central Expressway is gone. They've been working on Central Expressway for as long as I can remember, so I'm glad they appear to be done now.
  8. A yahoo groups page has been set up to notify people of the meetings for the OPAR discussion group in Plano. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/
  9. Yaron's ARI speech was here in Dallas last night. So, who all here went to that? Any comments regarding it?
  10. Well, we did the second OPAR meeting before the Yaron Brooke thing. We were pressed for time, so we still have the last two sections of chapter 1 to finish. More people seem interested in comming to the next one, and we are just getting started, so let me know if you are interested. Next time we will finish chapter 1 and start on chapter 2.
  11. I thought ya'll might find this interesting. I think too many in our society think that homeless people (formerly known as "bums") are just happless victims of their environment who can't help being poor, when, in reality, they choose to live the way they do. One of the quotes from the brochure in this article left me rolling on the floor laughing: Advice on respecting wildlife: "While neighborhood cats, dogs and squirrels might make a tempting meal, please refrain from catching them, killing and cooking them. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dw...n2.8664fc2.html
  12. The second OPAR meeting will be moved back to Nov. 6, earlier in the day, so that we can all go to the ARI speech later in the evening.
  13. What the? I guess I haven't been giving enough to ARI lately to get this message.
  14. I cannot recall what was discussed most now. I think it may have been question 3: "Would a biological explanation of consciousness undermine the idea that consciousness is an axiom? Why or why not?" I think that one of the more interesting discussions was probably somewhere on the section on causality.
  15. Next meeting to finish Chapter 1 is Sunday, Oct. 30. E-mail me for details.
  16. Yeah I guess you're right, I mean look at the French. (Yeah I know, pretty cliche to take a shot at the French, but they make it so damn easy.)
  17. I would think that your odds of dying by slipping in the bathtub, knocking yourself out, and drowning are higher than this, but I don't see anyone saying not to take baths. (At least I hope not, pew!)
  18. We had the meeting on Saturday as planned. There were four of us. We only got about half-way through the chapter 1 questions in the study guide, so we will just be picking up there next meeting, hopefully in a little under 2 weeks. Those wanting to join in should feel free. Just read up through the chapter we are covering for that meeting out of OPAR.
  19. Maureen Dowd is a Dem and I think she's easy on the eyes. So's <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/press/releases/press10162003.html">Katie Couric</a> But the joke is funny nonetheless
  20. It's just what I've heard. I've never been there and I could be wrong. One concrete instance that comes to mind is when the Governor of New Jersey had to quit because he hired his former lover as the state's homeland security honcho, even though his lover was not in any way qualified for the job. That governor was widely regarded as a crook, and decided to "come out of the closet", and claim that he was being persecuted for being gay, in order to divert attention from his crookedness. (If I recall correctly.) I've also just generally heard that New Jersey has a reputation for being mafia-controlled, but maybe that's just the Hollywood version of the state.
  21. Sorry bout that. The new time is Oct. 15, at 3:30pm. E-mail me for location info. Chapter 1 will be covered using OPAR study guide by Gary Hull.
  22. I wouldn't despair too much if the numbers are relatively small to the rest of the population. It's usually a relatively small minority of dedicated people that advances a particular ideology or philosophy anyway. Others just sort of pick up the ideas without really realizing that they are doing so or where they got them. I've had this experience with friends who aren't objectivist telling me things I've said, and forgetting that I originally told them that. Just keep doing what you can to move the ball forward, even if it's just little things, like attending my OPAR discussion group that will probably start on October 15th. (Like how I did that plug?)
  23. Your assesment of New Orleans, and La. in general is correct. Except for maybe New Jersey, it's government officials are some of the most corrupt in the nation.
  24. I am not clear why you think that Southwest has a "monopoly" or how it's market is being "protected". The fact that local residents wouldn't allow an expansion of Love field to allow more carriers to fly out of Love could be a problem, but I don't see what that has to do with whether Southwest should be able to fly to non-contiguous states out of Love. That is a seperate issue. In fact, it may be that the local residents around Love do in fact have a property right to prohibit increases in noise levels given the fact that many of them built their houses around there with the assumption that noise levels from Love wouldn't get any greater than they currently are. But, this is an issue of nuisance law, to be decided by courts. To say that this fact means Southwest has some sort of "monopoly" doesn't make sense to me. In short, please explain why you think Southwest has a "monopoly", by which I mean, how are they using the force of government to prohibit others from exercising their right to create, gain, or keep property?
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