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About Poornima

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  • Birthday 09/03/1982

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  1. To clarify I've encountered this in many contexts, intimate friendships and romantic interests. It usually occurs during some period of change in either their lives or mine (travel, moving, changing jobs, etc.), i.e. they are not trying to intentionally hurt me, but are overwhelmed with other stresses of life, and it manifests itself in finding faults in my behavior or personality instead of concentrating on improving themselves. I suppose you're right about being confrontational and defensive; compassion is probably the best approach if the person plays a pivotal role in one's life, and is highly valueable. Thanks!
  2. Psychological projection (or projection bias) as defined by Wikipedia is: a defense mechanism in which one attributes to others one’s own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts or/and emotions. Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted subconscious impulses/desires without letting the ego recognize them. Initially, I used to dismiss others as lacking in certain virtues or perhaps having certain vices that I found undesirable. Often times my conclusions would be warranted, especially if the vices were blatant or manifested themselves in something concrete (e.g. excessive drinking, self-deprecation, lying, etc.). But when evaluating people who are mostly rational it becomes harder or seems incorrect to quickly dismiss them. As I began to introspect I realized that I used this tactic too often to mask my own fears or anxieties. So when I would have an undesirable emotional response to someone else instead of quickly pointing a finger I began to see if the person really did have a vice or if I was projecting my own vices upon them. This has become easier to do. But, now I seem to suffer from the problem of over-confidence, in that I take more time to evaluate my response to them, and spend less time looking for their vices. I've also been on the receiving end; someone projected their vices onto me. While I was strong enough to realize that I did not deserve the judgment they were passing, it still hurt to see them come to the conclusion that they did. After awhile I came to the conclusion that they weren't intentionally trying to hurt me, and the feeling surpassed. But while they are projecting it can be hard, especially if the person is a great value to you. Plus, they can use projection into making it seem like you are hurting them, which is difficult to defend against. You'd like to help them see that they're wrong, but this can also exacerbate the problem. So I'm wondering how to handle the situation. Should they be left to discover what they're doing on their own? Or perhaps give them guidance in a benevolent fashion? ~Poornima P.S. A really good song about projection: Petrified to be god-like - Susie Suh I fight my demons everyday They come and go they up and flow Like the ocean You think you know me and you know me But you dont know How scared I am So I like to make excuses, and I like to blame everyone else And I like to point my finger at you Rather then change myself It's just eachday goes by so fast I cant seem to grasp them And I tend to run away from my reflection You see I am, so petrified, to be god-like So I like to make excuses And I like to blame everyone else And I like to point my finger at you, rather then change myself Ha-ah, ha-ah... So I like to make excuses And I like to blame everyone else And I like to point my finger at you Rather then change myself So I like to make excuses And I like to blame everyone else And I like to point my finger at you Rather then change myself
  3. You're absolutely right about lacking full knowledge, and how that shouldn't stifle your decision making, but instead apply the principles to the best of our knowledge. Its hard because there seems to be a desire for omniscience before making a decision, which I believe is motivated by self-doubt or the fear of making the wrong decision. As Objectivists we realize how much of an impact choices have on our life long-term, but being young means we don't have many experiences to derive knowledge from so we fear that we maybe making the wrong decision. I'm wondering how often this is the case, versus being precocious and thinking that we have all the answers before we've fully understood the philosophy. I think in my own experience its been a little of both.
  4. Its funny that you should mention art because I was thinking about that too. I have always been overly critical of works of art even before I discovered Objectivism. And I wonder if at times I'm making the right judgment about a movie or book in terms of appreciating it despite its philosophical message. I'm often overly critical or dismissive if the artwork's theme has a negative sense of life, philosophical message, or the characters have too many vices. Take for example the movie Prestige vs. The Illusionist. I really disliked the Prestige because the characters were complete second handers and spent their entire lives and careers obsessing over one another instead of enjoying life with loved ones. They became all-consumed in their pursuit to destroy each other, and lost all that they valued in the process. Unlike in the Illusionist, where Edward Norton's character had so much integrity and passion for life, that he would not stop until he achieved his values but did so in a just manner. So the character's sense of life in the Prestige really affected my overall evaluation of the move, even though as a piece I know the acting and movie-making was well done. ~Poornima
  5. I found Objectivism at a very impressionable age, 18, and it definitely affected my outlook on the world. I was already an idealist and had preconceived notions regarding judging people and the world. I used Objectivism to rationalize judging others harshly, and actively dimissed anyone who did not fit into the perfect Objectivist rendition of a heroic character. My psychology became composed of "shoulds", and had an almost puritannical fashion of always being productive and purposeful, pursuing only "rational values", and loving only those who were 100% rational. As one would imagine this can be an isolating experience, but I thought it was the natural course of being an Objectivist. Then I began to wonder why I wasn't happy, any why people who werent Objectivist were, or even though who were Objectivists and not as puritannical about it as me were. Thats when I realized the disconnect between using the philosophy as a guide to live ones life and issuing myself commandments. The former is a natural methodology that should be seamlessly integrated to one's life and actions, while the other borders on compulsive behavior. It took me a few years to realize that Objectivism is just a set of principles/guidelines to live and enjoy your life, and to not beat myself up as long as I wasn't being self-destructive. But sometimes I still think that the demanding nature of my personality (being ambitious, hard-working, and introspective) conflicts with enjoying myself or establishing friendships with others. I've been reading Edith Packer's pamphlets in order understand human psychology, as well as improve my own. But I was curious to know if anyone else has had this sort of experience, or how discovering Objectivism has impacted their transition to adulthood. ~Poornima
  6. I just watched the video, and I was sadly disappointed at the lack of air time for Dr. Binswanger. I think Dr. Binswanger got his point across in the last two seconds, but it wasn't strong enough.
  7. Definitely agree with everyone else's advice in regards to learning about what programming is before you learn a language. And another thing thats helpful is to learn the basics about computer architecture nothing too fancy, but just to understand the basic jargon (e.g. disk vs. memory, data transfer speeds bits vs. bytes, major components of a computer). So that you have a nice overview of how things fit together. I double majored (EE/CS) and I found that other who did wrote better code because they understood the big picture. The quickest and best way to learn programming is by doing! So make sure that whatever book you pick up has plenty of tutorials and/or projects. Reading a textbook is a great way to learn about the abstract ideas, but it won't make you a good programmer. And if that is indeed your goal, you really need to get your hands dirty and understand how every component fits together (variables, functions, classes, etc.). When you write a program for the first time try to understand the purpose of every line, because good code has a very specific semantics. My personal advice would be to learn C++ first, Java is nice, but as a first language it can be too much like spoon-feeding. If you intend to pursue CS as a major then you need to learn about memory management, object-oriented programming, etc, and C++ includes all those constructs. Java is a nice language to use when you want to focus on learning more about software engineering and program architecture, which are more advanced topics. Happy coding
  8. To summarize whats probably already been said, and throw in my own experiences: I've dated both Objectivist and non-Objectivst men. The conclusions I've derived from both are the following. Non-Objectivists might be mostly rational in some aspect of their lives, such as their career or passion for a particular subject, but if they do not either implicity follow the philosophy in all realms of life or desire to learn more about it then a long-term relationship will be un-fulfilling for you. However, this doesn't mean one should disclude dating them, but keep in mind the imbalance when progressing further with the relationship. They must make the choice to learn about the philosophy on their own; you can only lead by example. While dating Objectivists is nice, because you both agree on the fundamentals, there are still other traits of a romantic partnership that may get in the way of you both having a successful relationship (e.g. you both maybe uncompromising when it comes to your career ambitions, grow apart over time or distance, have differening senses of humor and shared values, etc.). Also if someone truly wants to become an Objectivist but isnt yet, then it will take them sometime to undo their previous epistemology. In this case, its important to judge them based on this context, and be patient with them if you believe the person is worth pursuing. In either case its important to recognize what you want out of the relationship, and what you are looking for. The best test is using all the virtues when evaluating someone new. In my short life time, I've discovered that any relationship (romantic or otherwise) should be about spending time with an intellectual and spiritual equal. And most importantly be optimistic and benevolent
  9. You basically mean the trader principle, mutual admiration and respect. That's afterall what friendship is; you choose to be with those who are like another self.
  10. I own both so I'll read it later today. Thanks!
  11. As I understand it love is a selfish act; you chose whom you love, and vice versa. As humans we are social beings who seek companionship in order to share values with one another, and psychologically we want to be with other humans for mutual benefit. But we only want to be with people who recognize the good in us. This makes sense because we should be revered for our virtues not our vices. One tenet of love is admiration. You admire the one you love because of their virtues. My question is "is the desire to be admired second-handed"? Its not that we pursue goals and act virtuously in order to be valued and loved, but because we are the primary beneficiary of our values and virtues. So on the one hand it seems selfish that you should want to be revered for being good, its a reward. But on the other you are seeking this approval from others, and if you do not receive it then you are unhappy because they have treated you unjustly by not recognizing the good in you.
  12. Originally I read the Fountainhead and Anthem in high school, and enjoyed them immensely, but did not know there was a philosophy behind it until I got to college. In college I joined the Objectivist club to learn more about philosophy. The campus club was at Duke, and it was run very well by my good friend Alex Epstein. I also had a pretty unique experience while I was there, because I learned from two Objectivist professors Dr. Gary Hull (philosophy), and Dr. Eric Daniels (history). They definitely shaped my understanding of Objectivism in terms of ethics and politics. I enjoyed having a structure learning experience, and being able to discuss ideas with people who had a wealth of knowledge about them. I've read all the fiction, and a majority of the non-fiction (CUI, OPAR, VOS, and excerpts from a few others). I've also read some tangential authors such as Craig Biddle book "Loving Life" and Henry Hazletts "Economics in One Lesson". Initially, I was an economics major so I was interested in learning about the foundations and principles behind capitalism, which Objectivism laid out very well. Since changing majors to engineering I've become more interested in epistemology. I plan to start reading ITOE soon. Prometheus - thanks for the feedback, I will make a note to change it. ~Poornima
  13. Hello All, I joined this forum, because its been a long time since I had a good philosophical discussion with anyone! Somehow after college I got so wrapped up in my career that I started to neglect learning more about Objectivism and philosophy. I'd like to consider myself an Objectivist, but I think I'm still learning and growing and have been for about 7 years now. Fundamentally, I'm a passionate person who believes that philosophy is meant to guide your life, and improve the way you live it. I love Ayn Rand's novels and especially the heroic characters; I aspire to be like them everyday of my life. A few details about me: I work for a startup www.mymint.com as a lead software engineer, and I just started a blog www.femgineer.com to dispel common myths about being a female engineer. Check them out when you get a chance. Looking forward to learning for ya'll! ~Poornima
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