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  1. Don't feel like you need to find a pre-made objectivist...My husband is an objectivist, and I was a bleeding-heart-liberal when we first met. We were drawn to each other's "sense of life" (long-story, but true). Although I had some seeds of objectivism previously planted in my thoughts (that I didn't recognize until later)...I was ripe for learning. The seed within me was planted when I had previously been exposed to Rand, and had read the Fountainhead. However, I only understood the concept as far as it illustrated artistic integrity at the time...I had no understanding of objectivism, but enjoyed having a deep conversaion at long last! Because of my thirst for more knowledge and inspiration we had more enlightening conversations, and I did more reading. I slowly evolved, but I certainly was made, and not born! As we dated, he was very cognizant of my few altruistic weak spots, and was careful not to "turn-me-off" by revealing horrific objectivist philosophy and avoided or softened the conversation....He was actually a master of gradual introduction. He played a clever game of understanding my lefty-thoughts and slowly nudged me into answering questions that I couldn't refute. I still jokingly say that it was trickery that he was able to convert me, but he was actually very wise in the way that he fed rationality in a few digestable morsels, as opposed to shocking me with a philisophy that contradicts my upbringing. I second (or third) the concept of celebrating the sense of life....In the end, its all about affirming life, and life should be a celebration. If you can find someone who celebrates life, you should be able to find a way to celebrate it realistically!
  2. How is the Grandpa's forest different? The forest is PROPERTY....the forest is just like Grandma's wedding ring, Grandpa's forest, or their swingset. YES! You can get another ring, swingset, or forest...No, it won't be the same ring Grandma wore on her wedding day, the same swingset Baby Bobby swang on when he was 2, or the same forest you squatted on in your youth... but the fact is it belongs/belonged to someone else besides you. As it has been previously said, if you valued it that much, sell your house, your car, your first-born kid, whatever it takes until you value the forest as much as the grandson is willing to sell it for... It's still belongs to someone else. Are your neighbors "trusts" in writing?
  3. Obviously, people who have offered significant value to our lives will be permanently missed when they die. For those acquiantances we don't know well enough to miss, I venture to think that sometimes people look at other's life as a reflection of their own, so that when a person dies, whether familiar or not, they are reminded of the fragility and finality of their own life. Maybe the fact that the people you mentioned played cruel jokes on the deceased made them realize their inappreciation of the value of life, both the life of the deceased (guilt), and the life that THEY are living. Maybe you are less affected because you are more confident in how you are living your life.
  4. I am an iTunes junkie, and am constantly perusing and listening to samples from the music store for fun refreshing music. I stumbled across Roisin Murphy in a quest to track down some music I liked from the show "Grey's Anatomy." In so doing, I discovered her song, on the same album as Ramalama, and by the same name as "Ruby Blue." I really like the song "Ruby Blue" and have purchased it. (Not that this helps your drive for insight.) On a separate note, I love the iTunes ability to access individual songs without purchasing a whole CD of songs that you might not want...But by the same token, I feel like in some cases, I am missing out on listening to an artist's ability to make a nice collection of music by not buying the rest of the songs. Maybe this is another topic all together, but thanks to current technology, I feel like I liberally buy one-songs here-and-there from a broad range of artists, and am more conservative about buying whole albums in entirety. Sometimes I wonder if I am cheating myself from the artist's depth. (Sorry, for going off on a tangent, here...just some thoughts.) In any case, Roisin Murphy is one of the artists that I bought the one song, but wonder if I am missing out on other great music too. I am curious to hear what other people's experience has been. However, it seems Roisin only has one album to choose from.
  5. I agree with this....I too find comfort in the thought that there might be a supreme "force" out there. Maybe it's as simple as "good" will prevail. "Good", of course, meaning, "that which furthers life." Therefore, in a Darwinian way, the suicide bombers and other cultures who do NOT value life, will die off and the world will evolve into an Objectivist world. Maybe its not so much religion, but a sense of optimism we are looking for when things get bigger than we can control. I sheepishly admit to finding an occasional guilty pleasure in toying with concepts of "what if" there is some kind of force? What if there is a race of purple space goats swooping down on earth with a master plan to save us from destruction? If there was a ton of compelling claims and evidence about the goats, I might find it interesting, and I might WANT to believe that the goats were coming to spread Objectivism....especially if times are hard and government has gotten so big that there is not much I can personally do about it. But, in no way will I ever allow my recreational intrigue in the supernatual be the driving force behind my self-confidence, nor will I ever make any decision based on such whimsical thoughts. It is something that I might keep in the back of the mind when things oustide of my control get really bad to help maintain a level of comfort, hope and/or optimism....but when it comes down to it, I realize that I can only do what I can do, so I might as well make the most of it. The key is that I will NEVER EVER act or base any decisions on the concept of purple goats until their existence is a proven reality.
  6. This thread is hilarious! Moose, I am pretty sure I could tell which posts were yours. Eternal, I got a kick out of your lists. On another note, when I've found myself in conversations with the bleeding-heart democrats (like my mother-in-law), I have found quoting the bible useful...In many cases (especially to protect familial relations) I have given up trying to convert (it's hopeless) but if I can change SOME thoughts in baby-steps, I consider it an accomplishment. To speak in native language of a religious person, I like to use 2 Corinthians 9:7 .... "God loves a cheerful giver." to help dissuade the atrocity that altruism promotes, by denying that a person SHOULD give out of obligation to a god. I realize that my mother-in-law will never be converted to Objectivism, so my husband and I try to bring her a little closer to rationality in whatever way is accessible to her (which is only the bible.) When arguing with her and other people who find verse from the bible the last word, this is one quote I can appeal to people who want to justify taxing social welfare. (How the rest of the quotes are justified beats me.) Bible fanatics will take what is convenient for them and ignore the rest (like the quotes in the previous list.) Meanwhile, I have resigned to the hopelessness of converting most zealots, but have been trying to resort to communicating on their terms (if not avoiding altogether.)
  7. Ugh! The thought of that "expert" makes me nauseated! It sounds like she wants to use the media to "shape our reality." Great response though! When you recalled the point of the expert that, "Newspapers ought to have policies which set racial quotas for people appearing in photos, regardless of the content of the story." This is already happening so much more than people realize. Even if it's not written down as a formal policy, many places make an in-formal conscious effort to do this. In my professional career, I have experienced this first-hand and it is absolutely horrible!!! At one point, I was working for a publicly-funded higher-education institution, and was told to represent more minorities in my publication. Well, I used actual footage, from actual classrooms, so if it wasn't depicted in the photos I was provided, it wasn't real. But, the "experts" wanted me to find un-related stock-photography, or even stoop as low as to use my software to darken the skin color of some of the people in existing photographs, so the publication "looked" diverse, even if in reality it wasn't at all. (For some photos, they would find women or minorities and ask them to pose.) (I wonder what the "two-fer" expert would think about fabricating diversity to live up to a quota! I would think that would be a smudge degrading, especially using digital technology to magically diversify....Didn't that also become an issue when O.J.'s mugshot was darkened for Time magazine?) I hope the other students were able to recognize the fallacy of this "experts" thinking. I now lament the bias that my college bestowed on me to overcome!
  8. I have to put my vote in for shelter dogs, and border collies! But, ultimately, you have to decide who you connect with. I got my border collie/spaniel mix at the shelter when she was 3-months old. I just thought she was really cute and friendly, and I liked that she was the only dog that wasn't barking desperately, or barking at all for that matter. She was house-trained within 2 -days of getting her home. She was energetic, and I did live in an apartment, but I came home to see her at lunch, and we hiked or walked daily, so it was never a problem. It helps to know some knowledge of the breed your considering, but I think there is much to be said about how you relate to each other.
  9. I found a trick to help to help turn my mind off. In the past, I've tried journaling the issues out, as suggested, but I will still obsess in my mind. Sometimes the journaling takes me in even more directions and makes it worse. I usually end up dwelling on an "issue" or visualizing my next creative project, or just philosophizing in general, but I just can't shut my mind down. Sometimes just reading with a dim booklight until I can barely keep my eyes open is enough to escape my thoughts. My last resort, that has been working like a charm, is tucking some headphones under my pillow and listening to a talk-show or audiobook (but nothing too deep that it will get ye old head-wheels spinning again.) It actually works pretty good, because I can lay in a comfortable position AND have my eyes closed (which you can't do by reading.) The pillow mutes the sound, so I have to focus to listen, which forces me to UNfocus on my thoughts. I usually fall asleep very shortly. At first I was worried about having words unconsciously imbedded in my subconscious, but eventually realized that sleep was more valuable. (Plus, I can't stand the tast of cough medicine!)
  10. In response to Praxicals post: What a character V was indeed! I wished they would have interspersed more V time in the middle of the movie, to break up the lengthy government scenes (I was hoping for some fun cabaret music in there too.)....But despite my earlier concern, I was pleasantly surprised by Portman's performance. ** spoiler** In regards to the end, when Praxical asked "why" it had to end the way it did, one of my thoughts have been to avoid taking on any more power. V made sure that the final task was carried out by Evey, not himself. It reminded me of Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf refused to take the ring because he knew that having such power would corrupt. V had fulfilled his "vendetta", and it wasn't his to carry on anymore. Besides, his death makes it more dramatic that his idea lives on.
  11. As an ex-environmental activist (converted to Objectivism), global warming is a rather “hot" topic for me. In short, I think there is not sufficient data to support that human activities cause global climactic change theories. Yes, there is some evidence that MIGHT lean towards it. But based on my research, we would need many more years of solid research to be ABSOLUTELY sure. (Meanwhile, I won't buy all the hype.) Climactic changes happen over a long period of time, and we've only been measuring them first-hand for a relatively short period. I think most honest scientists would agree with that...and how we can measure INDISPUTABLY that it is all human's doings? If it is occuring, would it be so horrific, or dismal as the textbooks would lead you to believe? I think not. Even if humans are causing global warming, It's not going to happen so fast that people are going to wake up and find their coastal dwellings suddenly flooded with melted snow caps. There will be plenty of time for people (and other species) to evacuate if need be (many years). As far as biodiversity, I don't know if we can ever conclude how much that would be altered. Which brings me to another point. It seems that many environmentalists want to fight nature itself. Isn't it the very nature of nature to constantly evolve and change? In my experience, many environmentalists want the world to freeze the way it is (or was). They want to keep ecosystems permamently stable and pristinely constant in their idealistic view (should we revert to horse and carriages?). But that's not natural. Species come, species go -- some get better, some die off. It’s a fact of life...Extinctions will happen whether humans intervene or not (such as the dinosaurs). Nature is resilient. It will bounce back. Humans (when left to act freely) are resourceful and can adapt as well ... The gloom and doom perspective of global warming part of political agenda in my view. So, yes, I agree that environmentalists are extremely dangerous. It seems ironic how environmentalist try to control nature, by controlling men. Isn't mankind a part of nature? I think so. As humans we must abide by the rules of nature, not the rules of men. That way nature will work itself out. --Kari "Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine."
  12. I don't know if this is what you had in mind, but this is article, titled "Love and Selfishness" comes to mind, and is one of my favorites: http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7996
  13. I, myself, love natural wonders too....I visited Glacier National Park and Banff briefly, and found those parks a little more interesting and peaceful than Yellowstone...I do highly recommend those areas as well! As far as the Southwest goes, your trip sounds exciting...you appear to be packing in a lot of places in a short amount of time, but sounds fun! You might want to consider stopping in Northern New Mexico if you get a chance. It's so under-rated, and you might find it interesting as a geology major. The Sangre De Cristo mountains (the southern-most tip of the Rockies) are beautiful, and the Rio Grande Gorge is amazing. I was surprised the website that you linked to didn't feature that area. You could also take a white-water rafting ride if you're up for adventure. There are many natural hot-springs if you want to relax too. (And the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado are on the way...) Maybe I am a little partial because I lived in Taos for two years and was able to get intimate with the amazing landscape, but I learned a ton of stuff about the land and geology while I lived there, and found it delightful. And for those that prefer the man-made wonders, there are some pretty amazing houses out there to! Check out this site for some pictures, but it doesn't do justice.... http://www.sangres.com/statenm/index.htm --Kari
  14. I've had the same problem as well....(Using a Mac...Safari and Explorer) I'll look into the other recommendations here too. Ugh, the blasphemy of upgrading to PC! But we might be forced to convert eventually anyhow: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185221,00.html
  15. This is a topic that has intrigued me for a long time. Especially because I am a very strong "F", who through objectivism, lives a life in the "T" zone. I am very much an objectivist, but despite the common MBPT for Objectivists, I am an INFP.... I have done elaborate research in the Myers-Briggs personality tests, and find them fascinating and accurate. I love "people-watching" and trying to guess what people's types are. No, I agree, you can't always pigeon-hole people into a certain personality, but some of these traits are so obvious in SOME people, it's hard to ignore.(I am one of those people that you can't deny the description, as I am such an extreme INFP on all accounts, yet I am an objectivist with a heart, as I like to say.) The idealistic side of me wants to find a way to help other people "see the light" to Objectivism, but at the same time, my "F" peers think I am cold and callous for adopting my views. Meanwhile, those same traits make it hard for me to identify with many objectivists, because I have a hard time articulating my thoughts, because they have become co-mingled with my "F"eelings. I have always thought it would be cool to use my "F" ness (that's my feeling side) to help connect to other "F"s to help recruit objectivism. But perhaps it is a hopeless cause. But then again, I was converted from being a radical lefty, to objectivism myself...sigh....
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