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Rational Mind

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  1. As a long-time student at a school based on the Sudbury model of education, I can speak to many of its benefits and its shortcomings. I've always been actively involved in promoting the school, and I've reflected a lot recently about whether it really is an ideal model. At this time, I don't know. I do know that it is vastly superior to the majority of schooling options available today, and that overall I am very pleased with my experience. I can tell you that my experience in school has had a significant influence on my values and my confidence in them, as well as my ability to live my life according to them. I think that a flaw in most models is that day-to-day life consists of doing what others tell you to do, rather than following your own interests. Yes, you may learn math earlier at a traditional school. But at most schools, you'll hate it. When I discovered math, it was immediately inspiring to me (still is), and I pursued it with a gusto that may never have existed had I been compelled to study it. The same applies to reading, etc. For the same reasons that you need these skills in the "real world," you need them in the day-to-day pursuit of your life at school. I attended a Montessori school when I was very young. I still remember feeling that it was phony - here I was told that my life was my own, and yet I had to follow a compulsory weekly curriculum, doing things that were frequently of little to no interest to me? I wound up forging my teacher's signature on the form that was supposed to confirm that I had done my allotted tasks within the allotted time period. At my age, this forgery was very easy to spot, and I'm happy to say that my mother took it as a sign that it was time for a change. At this time, I can't imagine a better model than that of Sudbury, but I'll always be looking.
  2. Hello, It's been a long while since I've posted here - life has been intriguingly and fantastically busy. Before getting into the meat of my question, I'll give a bit of background information. As a very few of you may know, I'm a sixteen-year-old. I'm taking a strong interest in building my personal wealth; I have done a significant amount of research regarding investing and finance, and I am confident that I will manage my Federal Reserve Notes well. That said, I am aware of the fact that our currency has nothing backing it, and I accept the possibility of its eventual complete loss of value. I don't know when this will happen and not seen any plausible predictions, but I hate the idea of having built a significant amount of wealth just to have it collapse because the currency is worthless. So what do I do? Collect commodities and metals? I wouldn't want to put the bulk of my expansive investments into this, since there is no real room for growth except in post-economic apocalypse scenarios. Also, will the Dollar hold any value after it collapses? I'm at the threshold of beginning to invest and make significant (or more significant than they have been in the past) investments. I'd like to do it right and be comfortable that my money is safe.
  3. Cindy, thanks for posting. I'm looking very seriously at attending St. John's, and your quote stuck out for me as well. I'm taking a Physics class with a St. John's graduate, and given his approach I have come to appreciate the truth of the principle that I thought you were getting at, and I am glad to see through your clarification that I was essentially correct in my understanding.
  4. I remember my grandmother reading me a book that I recently found again and now recognise to be Objectivist-compatible, though not necessarily Objectivist by intention. It was called The Little Red Hen, and it was a story of a hen who asked the other animals on the farm whether they would take part in various tasks which you later learn (in a turn of events thoroughly surprising to a four year old) were the steps in preparing a cake. When all of the other animals refuse to do the work and later expect to eat the cake, the hen makes a nice little speech about how they are not entitled to the fruits of her labor and proceeds to enjoy the cake alone. I don't think stories can be written in order to preach Objectivism as such to young children. I agree with the earlier poster who said that would be teaching children to accept dogma rather than come to a rational conclusion of their own. However, I do think that questions fundamental to Objectivism can be posed to children in ways that are still acceptable and fun to them, which can make an impression on how they later look at larger and better defined questions. It's when you intentionally aim something to be over their heads and then tell them what the moral is without allowing them to come to that conclusion rationally that I think you run into trouble. Edited for clarification.
  5. And a ditto right back to 'ya. Completely agreed in all respects - especially when it comes to having to know that you are already of value to the type of woman you want to attract. This should hardly come as a surprise to someone already reading these forums, and I hope the redundancy will be forgiven, but it's most important to value yourself first. Your values, your life. It's one thing to say that you believe in living selfishly and it's another entirely to put it into practice - and it's rarely easy. Focus on attaining your best for its own sake. And while you're reaching this, the women who see it for what it is will be the ones worth your time and, guess what, you won't have to search them out or try to woo them. It's the same as building, if you care to look at it that way. When the focus is on creating an appearance and the structure is neglected, even those who fall for the appearance will be dissapointed when they see how it functions.
  6. Although this topic seems to be long dead, I can't resist weighing in from an Objectivist female's perspective, especially being at about the same age as the original poster. The advice given in EC's posts is pretty far off base for me in particular, and I haven't seen it refuted heavily enough. When I enter a relationship with a man, it is because I see my values reflected in him. One thing that I value and find attractive is confidence, but only when it's correctly placed. One example from EC's post: (I'm not particularly short, but suppose that I was) if someone were to walk up to me and say "hey shorty," (especially if he followed it up with the suggestion given) though I suppose it takes a certain amount of confidence to make that type of introduction, it would hold absolutely no reflection of my values. I would take an immediately antagonistic view of the man and likely avoid further interaction. I don't want a man to "bust my balls," but I'd be thrilled to meet a man who would engage in intelligent, involved discussion with an underlying competence and resulting confidence - if his point is in opposition to my own, all the more interesting. But a demeanor of slobbish disrespect from the onset is utterly unattractive. And the fact is that the opposite is not quite, but almost as unattractive. If a man is self-effacing and doing nothing but complimenting me and presenting me gifts without any reciprocity, I see too little self-respect there and would have a difficult time respecting him myself. I'll restate what I've said once before for clarity's sake. I see a relationship between two people as a mutual acknowledgement of value. Yes, in a man I admire strength and confidence, but I have to expect that he admires my own virtues beyond "being short so I don't have to kneel when..." - and if that is the only basis for the relationship, what value can I possibly find in it? Wouldn't it be a terrible disservice to myself to think that that's all I'm worth or should expect? And wouldn't it be terrible for him, if he thinks so little of me, to engage with me on a sexual level when he has nothing to respect? I don't want to be dominated - particularly not by someone who has not earned my respect. All of this being said, my boyfriend is considered by many to be "cocky" or "contemptuous." He is disliked by some people because he comes across as an intimidating figure who is too self-assured. And I'll admit, I sometimes wish for his sake that he would learn to be more diplomatic when arguing his points. But the reasons for his cockiness/"contempt" are usually a genuine competency in what he argues along with a dislike of people using incompetent, emotionally charged arguments against his reasoned ones. This I can respect, because it is a use and a display of his intellect, not a misguided attempt at "looking confident." And when we talk, there is an assumed respect from both of us - we each maintain our individually earned confidence, which is a tribute to our individual self-respect which is what attracts us to each other. It's not about dominance and submission. It's about value and respect. I also agree with about everything JMeganSnow has said.
  7. I think I figured out how to use the quote bubbles (a very handy design, by the way). Thank you to SoftwareNerd for spiffying up my previous post and for the compliment. As far as heroism... I guess I do want a heroic job. I wouldn't normally define it as such, but when I think about it I would like to view myself as a hero. The difference is that I am seeking my own approval and admiration, not that of the public en masse. I understand that this is not what you are meaning, though, and your words are well taken. I also appreciate the comment on cause and effect. That is a mistake that I could see myself making if I were not careful, so the cautionary tale is helpful. Agreed that the qualifiers for a good job are to find value, constant improvement and enjoyment in the work - that will be a necessity in any profession that I choose. Interesting thoughts regarding long-range challenges and avoiding boredom - once again I find myself in agreement. Thank you again for your replies. As I said, for the time being I have made up my mind that I will probably not continue to pursue training professionally, and as I hope I have expressed clearly in some of my above comments, it is not out of a disdain for the profession. Reading your responses and articulating my own has been very helpful in achieving a clearer understanding of my motivations and intents, so I appreciate having this venue for doing that.
  8. Thank you all for your responses. I've enjoyed reading them and they've given me some things to think about. I haven't figured out how to use the spiffy quote bubbles yet, so I've improvised below. This is why I think it remains a legitimate business - I don't mean to say that it isn't. I can speak from much observation when I say that there is a definite need for talented trainers. There are still a lot of archaic methods being implemented which are not only inefficient but that also cause undue stress for the horses as well as their owners. My doubt is not in thinking that there is no need or market for horse trainers, but rather in that when I consider what else I might do with my life there are things that might be preferable. I don't mean that I want to design steel specifically - I used it as an example along the lines of the type of things that I find interesting. It also is not because I think that it would be of greater value to society - it is because, in the case of steel, it would lead to additional potential for things that I value to be created. In Hank Rearden's case, that meant train tracks, bridges, etc. In any case, any appeal that creating such a thing holds is because the product - and the process by which it is attained - is something which I value for myself. As far as focusing too much on what others think - you're right. Especially in the context of proving that I was capable of becoming a trainer. When it was said that I wouldn't, I took it as a challenge and I didn't consider why or how it ought to effect me. Certainly the primary cause of this was still my own drive to be a trainer (if I didn't want to be a trainer, I wouldn't have said that I did! and that is what I wanted to prove), but the fact that I allowed their opinions to motivate me in any way wasn't ideal. I wasn't as conscious of the way in which I lived then - as I said, I was about seven at the time. I like your last paragraph particularly. Thanks for your encouragement. I do love working with horses. I think that I will continue to work with horses throughout my life, but I think it will be for my own personal recreation - the process of refining a horse's movements and responses is one that I deeply enjoy - but in owning a horse or two of my own I will be able to satisfy my need for that in addition to persuing the other goals that I choose. That is an excellent question which I will take care over the next few days to think about specifically and in some detail. In so far as I have already considered it , I would say that the only value you can create must be by your own judgement. This means defining one's own goals and achieving them. As far as the process of determining these goals, that is what I'd like to consider in more depth. I'll post back once I've given it a satisfactory amount of thought. This is in agreement with what I just said in response to your earlier post. Thank you also for the caution to comparing the value of activities side by side and for your supportive words. They have been of value to me. Thank you also for your encouragement, I enjoyed reading your thoughts. As I said, I'm still the assistant trainer at a local barn which will mean that I have many opportunities to maintain contacts and I still practice daily. If I wind up deciding that my true desire is to dedicate my life to work with horses, I will have the resources to make it happen. And if not, I will enjoy life regardless. There are two more responses that I have read and plan to respond to, but unfortunately I have run out of time this evening. Thank you all again and I will finish tomorrow. (Edited to add quotation-blocks. -softwareNerd)
  9. Hello, I've enjoyed this forum fairly regularly over the last few months. I have read much of Ayn Rand's work (starting with Anthem, then on to The Fountainhead, We The Living, some essays and eventually Atlas Shrugged). I have enjoyed it immensely. I'm also glad that I have read it at this stage in my life, where there is little remedial work to be done in reaction the acknowledgement and articulation of value that I have found in her work. I am sixteen. I have always been an intensely focused horseperson. I've worked with many trainers and at the age of seven I knew factually that I intended to become a professional trainer. There were always those who thought I wouldn't make it, and that it would prove too difficult for me - for a very long time they were wrong and I enjoyed proving such. Even now I am at a level where I could easily make a living training horses. I have built a solid reputation in the area (as well as having excellent out-of-state contacts) and work part-time as an assistant trainer at a nearby show barn. However, about a year ago I came to a stark realization - for all the skill that it takes (which I have so painstakingly acquired), will I really be happy in sixty years as I look at what I've done with my life and see that I have essentially taught horses to go around -beautifully- in circles? I was eventually able to admit to myself that I would not. I still enjoy horses as a hobby. Riding proves to be just the right combination of relaxation and challenge to be an excellent aside. Although I have settled for myself that I will not be happy as a trainer, I would like to hear what some of you think about the profession and the value that it does or does not hold. I think at this point I think of it as a value, but a recreational one and no more. Certainly if someone wants to have a horse trained to a level that they will enjoy it, and I can provide that service, there's no risk of being parasitic in doing so for an appropriate fee. But when I look at training horses vs. inventing Rearden Steel, etc., there is no question in my mind as to which is more alluring. That said, I'm still having a hard time concretizing my thoughts and would enjoy hearing yours so that I might more firmly understand the philosophic implications of my decision. It's 1:30 in the morning and having typed all this I'm beginning to question how wise it is to post in my current state of wooziness. I hope you will be able to overlook any sloppiness that comes with the hour, and if in the morning I am able to state my thoughts more clearly I will certainly do so. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and for your time.
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