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Everything posted by stellavision

  1. I think it's quite natural to grow apart from old friends, especially high school friends, as your paths diverge. (This is true whether one is Objectivist or not -- I remember, as a college student, reuning with some of the women I'd considered my closest girlfriends in high school and thinking, "Who ARE these people?") I'm having a similar issue now with wanting to "downgrade" many longstanding friendships, but for different reasons. Since becoming an Objectivist I've started to notice more which of my friendships are really trades of value, and which are becoming increasingly one-sided. I can see a pattern in certain old friends (perhaps becoming former friends) that they only contact me when they are in emotional distress. Granted, we live in different parts of the country, but why not share good news too, or ask me how I am doing? It seems that I think of them, and ask about them, more often than the reverse. I know that the best friendships last through thick and thin, but lately I feel like I've been getting too much of the thin part. It makes me treasure the friends who do treat our friendship like a two-way street all the more. As JMeganSnow said, you eventually separate the gold from the dross, and it doesn't take much gold to enrich your life, while all the dross in the world won't.
  2. I agree with the rest of your reasoning for why we need elections, but I'm not sure that we need term limits. If an official is doing a good job and wants to keep doing that job, shouldn't citizens be able to keep him there? I would think that having strictly defined limitations on what the government is and is not able to do would prevent a populist president from being able to do too much damage -- even if the majority of the country wants lots of government programs and overstepping of appropriate authority, a system of checks and balances that is working properly would be able to stop such a president from getting far because, for example, a suit could be brought against the existence of an unconstitutional program and it could be thrown out by the judiciary. (Then again, because the president picks the members of the judiciary, I do see how a long-term president could put too much power in the hands of the executive branch.) Still, if what the people want is a populist president and there are term limits, aren't they just going to vote for the candidate who has the closest platform to the departing president anyway? In that case, how does a term limit help?
  3. Because they aren't irrelevant, not in the long run. If your partner is the type to argue for a belief that flies in the face of evidence, say global warming or the existence of a god, and especially if your partner is not willing to reconsider the issue when presented with facts that contradict her stance, who's to say that such emotionalist thinking will not pervade other aspects of her life -- and thereby your life together? Today it's global warming, tomorrow it could be, "I know you've shown me that we don't have any extra money right now, but we HAVE to bail my brother out of his credit card debt because he's my brotherrrrrrrrrrr!" etc. To answer the original question, I was not an Oist when I met my boyfriend of 3.5 years. He was. As he says, I was not a difficult convert -- precisely because, while I held some flawed ideas, I was willing to talk about them with him, and (this is key) I already applied reason in most areas of my life, there was not too much emotionalism to root out. As Inspector describes, when my boyfriend (always gently, always politely) pointed out facts that contradicted my position, I rethought how I had gotten to that position in the first place, realized that I was wrong, and gradually came to embrace Objectivist ideas. So, would I date a non-Oist? No, because I'm not going to let go of the one I have. But if I were to be single again, I would consider a non-Oist man if I thought he was basically rational. Not if I could see that there was a lot of irrationalism to have to deal with, though.
  4. Oh, I can go on for hours about eating out! I should warn you that I tend to care about the food almost exclusively (ambience doesn't matter much to me, except that I prefer simple and unfussy service and surroundings), so if what you're looking for is lots of candles and romance, my recommendations may not be any good. But some great options are: Chinatown: A dim sum experience is a must. When there are only two of you, I personally recommend Dim Sum Go-Go, 5 East Broadway. A little inconvenient to get to, but the plus is that you can order sampler platters, which include 10 different dumplings apiece. When you eat at a traditional dim sum restaurant (where the carts are wheeled around), with only 2 people you may not get to try as many different kinds of food because the plates are big enough that maybe 3 or 4 of them would fill up two people quickly. Plus, Go-Go's soups are very good. If you're looking for the more traditional experience, Jing Fong or Golden Unicorn are two well-known places. Also in Chinatown: Excellent Malaysian food at Jaya (99 Baxter Street), including some of the best satay I've ever had (including satay I ate in Malaysia!). Good (and super-cheap) Vietnamese at Doyers Vietnamese Restaurant on Doyers Street (a tiny side street). Japanese: I've heard Nobu is the greatest, but I simply cannot be bothered to call them over and over and over again to get a 5:30 reservation. Try Morimoto in Chelsea -- you can reserve online via OpenTable, and the food is outstanding. (Morimoto used to be a chef at Nobu.) Megu in Tribeca is also really good. For more workaday but still delicious sushi rolls, I'm fond of Momoya (in Chelsea), Sushi Edo (17th between Broadway/5th), Yummy Village (West Village), and Cube 63 (Lower East Side). Greek: One great thing to do would be to go to a concert at Lincoln Center, and have dinner at Onera (79th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam) beforehand. It's not "authentic" Greek -- the chef has a very distinctive style to add -- but it is really some of the best food I've had. Plus the wait staff is very friendly and will take good care of you. Nice place for a romantic dinner. Indian: If you just want a quick snack, the Kati Roll Company (on Macdougal Street in the West Village, also 46th between 6th/7th) cannot be beat. It's great Indian street food -- griddled paratha rolls filled with your choice of spicy fillings (chicken, cottage cheese, potato, or beef). If you want a more elaborate meal, Devi in the Flatiron District is excellent -- the kitchen staff have a sure hand with their spicing. Beautiful setting, too. American/burgers/BBQ: I love Blue Smoke (27th/Lexington) for spareribs and other stick-to-your-ribs cuisine. (The sweet potato fries with maple dip are awesome.) I've also heard R.U.B. (Righteous Urban Barbecue) in Chelsea is very good, but I haven't made it there yet. It's too bad you'll be here before the Shake Shack opens for the season, because theirs are by far the best burgers I've ever had. Fully worth standing in line the 45 minutes it usually takes to get one. But since it's not open, the Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien hotel on 57th Street is an excellent substitute. Great burgers, and one of the few places that still fries their French fries in beef fat. (This is a good thing!) It's hard to find -- look for the tiny neon sign hidden in a side hallway of the hotel. I can't get enough of Bobby Flay's restaurants, either. (Well, two of them at least -- I've tried Bar Americain, his take on the French bistro, and didn't like it that much.) Mesa Grill and Bolo are both wonderful -- Flay has a way with strong flavors, for sure. For entertainment, if you like classical music, don't forget to look past the obvious (the NY Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall performances). While those are great, there's also a number of performances by students from the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music (if you make the trek that far uptown, have dinner at Dinosaur BBQ beforehand), and others that are well worth seeking out. Check out the New York Magazine or Time Out NY websites for weekly listings of stuff to do.
  5. Ifatart, have you ever thought about medical illustration? If what you love is to create art, but you also love science, perhaps you can merge the two. That's what I have done in my career path (or a version thereof; I am a writer rather than an artist) -- I enjoy thinking about science and learning more about medicine in particular, but I don't enjoy actually doing lab work. Imagine my joy when I discovered that there is a whole industry dedicated to *writing* about medicine (medical education, medical advertising, and such), and that one need not be an M.D. to pursue a career in it. You might find a similar enjoyment in depicting the human body (and, at a more microscopic level, the medicines that can heal it). And, to answer the original question, I am currently a pharmaceutical copywriter, and that's what I want to be for the foreseeable future (with some advances on the totem pole in salary and responsibilities, of course).
  6. Me, too. Galt was the more perfect character in that he did not make the same mistakes in his thought processes as Rearden -- but it was Rearden's struggle and eventual discovery of the truth that I empathized with most, and that made me fall in love with him. Not to mention that the description of Hank and Dagny's romance is the most fleshed-out of any of them -- we know where he takes her to dinner, the gifts he buys that make her feel like a woman, and what they feel when they sleep together for the first time. Seeing their romance in such detail made it my favorite of any in the novel.
  7. I thoroughly agree with this. While plenty of people hold incorrect premises, it's impossible to live without accepting, at least subconsciously, *some* correct principles about how to deal with reality. Thus we see productive men who believe in God and go to church, but who depend on only their own effort and mind when it comes to bringing home the bacon. They *think* their earnings are a gift from God, but at some level they know they have to go out and work, that help will not just fall from the sky. The extent to which a professing non-Objectivist *actually* accepts and practices good principles can determine whether he or she shares enough in common with you to establish a friendship (or even a romance), and who knows? The discussions you have may even lead to that person consciously adopting the principles they've been practicing all along.
  8. I haven't written anything for them in several months, but I think I submitted my first article around early 2005. I've written maybe five or six since then.
  9. Actually, yes -- not Objectivism per se but an Ayn Rand-themed puzzle that appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education the week of Miss Rand's centennial birthday. Unfortunately my PC is shot at the moment, or I'd post the puzzle.
  10. Well, it certainly wasn't the Birds' best game ever (were they asleep in the first quarter?), but fortunately they were one field goal better, and that's all that matters! I hope they can turn it on against the Saints on Saturday! Most satisfying part of the year: whiny T.O. losing to BOTH McNabb and Garcia in the same year. Nice.
  11. Many of you may know me already from the Forum for Ayn Rand Fans and/or my writings on the Atlasphere. I'm Stella, 28 years old, originally from Philadelphia (E-A-G-L-E-S!), and currently living in Brooklyn. I'm a pharmaceutical copywriter by day, and a crossword puzzlemaker (and ace solver -- 6th at the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament) on the side. I sing in the Young New Yorkers' Chorus, and I'm about to begin training for the Broad Street Run 10-mile race (one of my few New Year's resolutions). I first discovered Ayn Rand in high school, when a friend recommended Atlas Shrugged to me. While I enjoyed the novel as a great story at the time, I wasn't ready for it philosophically (having been raised in a very strict Christian household and having accepted those beliefs without question). During my college years I became an agnostic, and more open to questioning long-held beliefs. When I met my boyfriend of 3+ years, who is an Objectivist, I ended up rereading the novels, reading Rand's nonfiction essays for the first time, and gradually came to realize that Rand's philosophy made perfect sense. So, for those who despair of finding an Objectivist to love, I am proof that conversions are possible.
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