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    volco got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Sanity, or The Human Evasion   
    According to Ayn Rand admirer, psychologist Celia Green,

    If I had to bluntly assign those broad characteristics to two groups in relation to Objectivism I'd describe the ones who do think about what they don't yet understand as the creators, and those pathologically interested in other people as the altruists (by def.) and the second handlers.

    But that's me, what do you make of the above quote?
  2. Like
    volco got a reaction from theestevearnold in Republicans are dumber than Democrats...   
    Controversial psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa says Liberals are more intelligent than Conservatives. 

  3. Like
    volco reacted to KevinD in The Pursuit of Happiness in poor Latin-America   
    I remember hearing of a study done many years ago, in which people around the world were asked: "How happy are you? Do you consider yourself to be a happy person?"
    People in Russia could not understand the question. "You mean, am I happy right now? At this moment?" "No, generally, in your life."
    The idea of living "a happy life" was apparently incomprehensible to most Russians. Happiness was — at best — experienced as a fleeting emotion, not a way of being.
    I agree that any study which includes "ecological footprint" as an element of happiness should be regarded as worthless.
  4. Like
    volco reacted to Reidy in Building Galt's Gulch?   
    Rand herself is one who was aware of the similarities to Plato and More. She said in her early 60s show on the Columbia University radio station that she undertook to write a utopia deliberately, in part, in order to take it away from its totalitarian tradition.
  5. Like
    volco reacted to ruveyn1 in Reblogged: The Seeds of Leftist Fantasy   
    The irony is so many of the Lefties were brought up Jewish.

    I can testify to the efficacy of the -ethical content of Judaism-, as I not only was brought up Jewish, but still am Jewish right down to my toenails. I just do not need the theological baggage any more. The ethics and the resistance to dogmatic thinking is what is important to me. Jews generally do not have to park their brains at the curb to be Jewish. Even some of those of Orthodox persuasion still know how to ask pointed questions.

    What other religion teaches one to ask "Mah nishtanoh...." (Why is this different from that?) ? Not too many.

    And we learn not to worship idols, not only stone, wood, metal, and plaster idols, but idols of the intellect. The disease of the ultra liberal types is their imaginations are paralyzed by the political and moral idols they have not only construct, but -worship-. If there is a G-D, then that G-D is the rock bottom reality of the cosmos, not our wishful longings and daydreams. When Moses asked G-D what His name was, the reply was: Existence. I am That which is. Sound familiar?

  6. Like
    volco reacted to Jonathan13 in Does Rand's Aesthetics Differ from Soviet "Art"?   
    In the January 13, 1962 issue of the Saturday Evening Post (on whose cover The Connoisseur appeared) Rockwell was quoted by the editors as having said, "If I were young now I might paint that way myself. Recently I attended some classes in modern art techniques. I learned a lot and loved it."

  7. Like
    volco reacted to mdegges in Romantic Realism vs Socialist Realism   
    "...She rejects the morality of traditional utopias, as well as the cynicism of those who reject idealism as such. Ayn Rand offers both a moral and practical utopia that enshrines rational selfishness, individualism, and laissez-faire capitalism." -Richard Salsman

    Yes, but to clarify: "Rand's self-declared purpose in writing fiction was to project an "ideal man"—a man who perseveres to achieve his values, even when his ability and independence leads to conflict with others." -Wiki

    Again, to clarify: "Objectivism is far from being cold and calculating. It is sometimes perceived that way because it emphasizes the supremacy of reason as the basis of all human action. The common view of reason is that it is not compatible with emotion, but the Objectivist view of emotions does not support any such dichotomy. Emotions are rational, if based on consistent values.

    "Objectivism advocates happiness as the ultimate aspiration for every individual. In Rand's own words, her philosophy is "the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life..." (Atlas Shrugged, appendix). Happiness does not refer to a hedonistic distortion, but a long range happiness based on rationality, morality, integrity and productivity. " -Atlas Society
  8. Like
    volco got a reaction from Kate87 in Romantic Realism vs Socialist Realism   
    @Kate87 Bless you for pointing out the obvious and being insistent about it. It's remarkable that this is the first time (recorded) that this issue has been discussed in this forum. I am certain it's not the first time it has been discussed among Objectivists and Ayn Rand fans in the last 60 years.

    @Grames. Thanks for the first correct and honest answer.

    The resistance to this obviously legitimate question is probably explained because Objectivism does have some aspects or veins that can be rightly compared to Socialism and Fascism, and until Grames replied everyone was too unsecure of Objectivism to be able to defend it.

    In the Oath of the Horatii we see each Horace saluting standing up with their palm down, and their arm bend up high and straight.
    This is the Roman Salute or Ave (hail) which contrasts to the Asian and Christian bow, the lowering of the head and facing up of the palms, as in asking for pity or pardon (demonstrating submission and humility). Because of some random historical and cultural factors these last generations conjure up German Nazi imagery when witnessing this salute, but the salute itself is not more German than American, with its origin being Rome and its ultimate expansion the whole World. It is, again, simply the opposite of the bow or kowtow.
    And wasn't standing up instead of kneeling or bowing, the essence of what Ayn Rand built in her Heroes?

    I'd say this posture is what Fascism, Objectivism and Utopian Socialism have in common. Being irrationally defensive on the question of being influenced by Nietzsche is another thing the three philosophies have in common.

    But why is this style of art conjures up images of Socialist or Fascist art as much as the Hail?
    Probably because it's evolution was stunted (or spared) by the prohibition of experimentation with surrealism and abstract art , and other 'returns to the primitive' that Einstein and the Theory of Relativity allowed for.
  9. Like
    volco reacted to Grames in Romantic Realism vs Socialist Realism   
    They are forms of realism, which means they are representative and emphasize humans rather than objects. Here is David's Oath of the Horatii, which is in the neo-classical style and also a form of realism. All of these forms of realism are holdovers or remnants of the European Enlightenment period.

  10. Like
    volco reacted to Dante in France's president bans homework   
    There's a faulty premise here that it's vital to recognize when voicing opposition for policies such as this. Consider this quote: '"Work should be done at school, rather than at home,” in order to foster educational equality for those students who do not have support at home., he added.' The egalitarian rationalization present there is appealing to lots of people, precisely because of this faulty assumption.

    The underlying premise is that if some of the children get an extra step up (here, support outside of home), then this is a bad thing for the kids that don't get it. The reasoning is that homework is only effective when paired with this support structure in the home, and if some kids don't have this support, they are made worse off by other kids having it. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. It relies on the premise that individuals' interests are fundamentally at odds with one another, that life is a zero sum game. Applied to this context, the underlying idea is that there are only a fixed number of jobs for highly educated people, and if the wealthy and middle-class kids take them all because they had better educational opportunities (here, support for their homework), there won't be any left for the underprivileged.

    In actuality, people are made better off if those around them are well-educated. Education is not a zero sum game, it is a shining example of a situation where I'm made better off if the people around me get a quality education, even if I don't. In fact, this is the reasoning that most economists will give for why we publicly fund education, the fact that it has 'positive externalities.' The more educated people we have, the more new economic opportunities will be opened up for others. This is the fundamental argument that has to be made against policies like this, the idea that has to be corrected, and followers of Ayn Rand should be the first ones doing it.
  11. Like
    volco reacted to dream_weaver in creator, philosopher, and inventor ; john galt   
    A creator can create a garden, harvest the food, and create many wonderful meals from it. An inventor can put together a combination that has not been previously assembled from those ingredients before, perhaps add a process not previously conceived of and thus provide a new, or previously unexperienced, culinary delight.

    Producing widgets at work would be creative. Coming up with a patentable widget would be inventive.

    Wecome to OO.
  12. Like
    volco reacted to ilrein in Thoughts on Way Of A Superior Man by David Deida?   
    Enjoy guys!

    Just to note a few similarities of tantamount importance:

    "For a woman qua woman, the essence of feminity is hero-worship--the desire to look up to man." - Ayn Rand

    "If you have a more feminine sexual essence, your professional
    life may be incredibly successful, but your core won't be fulfilled
    unless love is flowing fully in your family or intimate life." - D.D.

    Both authors share the same ideal of masculinity and its opposite.

    Another quote by D.D:

    The imagery of Dominique is perfect here, and Rand's characterization of how Roark responds to her is just so consistent. That in Dominique's most brutal "testing" her secret desire was that Roark could not be broken...the harder she pushes for hurting Roark, the more she admits to herself of the depth of her love for him, that even when she succeeded she still could not hurt him and that he still completely dominated her in mind and body.

    And the later part of the book when Dominique leaves Roark and returns to test him and see if he will abandon his purpose, in that moment truly acting as if she wanted just that, and Roark of course knowing that deep down it would be a betrayal of his own values, and that Dominique would grow to resent and hate him for it if he would submit to her impulse...
  13. Like
    volco reacted to JASKN in How would you spend $1,000,000 to spread Objectivism?   
    I have no specific ideas besides the myriad ways Objectivists currently try to spread Rand's ideas (friends, family, ARI, schools, universities, legal battles) but generally speaking -- I think resources for introducing her ideas to people should be targeted at young people who have less cultural muck to shed, and then old people who have already accepted Rand's ideas but need support, such as legal support, in fighting to defend those ideas against the rest of the world.
  14. Like
    volco got a reaction from RationalBiker in Objectivism and homosexuality dont mix   
    We are living in that interesting time when a (historically) recently deceased "prophet" begins the transformation towards immortality.
    By that I mean that some people are now still alive when Ayn Rand was writing her last novel and have read Objectivism during its historical context.

    Most people from "now" on will be reading Objectivism in a very different World. That is one of the reasons why homosexuality is so relevant to O'ists and Ayn Rand fans; gender roles seems to be the first issue that is beginning to be re-thought in the following manner

    amen to that
  15. Like
    volco got a reaction from Superman123 in Turning Socialists into Capitalists — Recommended method?   
    Why would you want to undertake such a task?
    That obligatory part said; I'd recommend actually evaluating whether you gain any value by trying to turn "socialists" into "capitalists" as if it were an evangelical mission. If you do try and distill whether that value comes from practicing your oratory or arguments, or like to litigate, or just enjoy getting together.

    For tools you could play them the Stossel Show on repeat; he's mastered the art of non being confrontational with confrontational ideas. genius really. Our very own Glenn B'ck
  16. Like
    volco got a reaction from Superman123 in Certainty vs. pragmatism   
    The following is certainly not the official Objectivist stand, but my own.

    How will you treat this question, metaphysically or psychologically? your tastes or the truth? Maybe Objectivism resolved that riddle but not explicitly.

    Even if by empirical evidence we could be certain about the sun rising tomorrow, the sun is still too close and well understood. We are ignorant of that which exceeds our scale, which may or may not be infinite. the distant past, the distant future, the very small and the very large (Richard Dawkins compares this to viewing from a burka). When thinking/speculating at a scale that far exceeds what humanity will ever get to know, we our confronted by uncertainty.

    For all conceivable practical purposes (and Objectivism demands the application of a principle to reality) absolute certainty is applicable.
    For Objectivism to be rational it demands to be fallible even if 99% correct. It's it's neither authoritarian (dogmatic/infallible) or mystic (relativistic/ applying uncertainty to the scale humans can indeed control).

    Objectivism rightly asserts that the universe is knowable, and it is to a certain extend that is good enough. But if we call this "contextual certainty", we must acknowledge that it plays a (rightful) psychological role - that of focusing on the knowable instead of literally going crazy with the unknowable (unless properly channeled).
  17. Like
    volco got a reaction from Dreamspirit in Ayn Rand's ghost, real or a sophisticated prank?   
    it was Halloween!!! for the love of Galt!
  18. Like
    volco got a reaction from Superman123 in Starvation   
    Les Miserables by Victor Hugo deals with the subject. Ayn Rand loved Victor Hugo, and indeed referenced to him and also to the problem of stealing a loaf of bread - can't back that up with a quote by I know it's there. In We the living, you'll see somewhat similar problems in practice.

    simple answer. if it's a loaf of bread because you're starving it'd be altruist not to eat it. If you're trying to extrapolate that situation to something more general, that would be another more general question.

    @Dante, I recently watched the office all in a row, having never watched it before. I remember that situation, but throughout the whole show it seems like that guy is trying to have it both ways with his 'family of employees'.
  19. Like
    volco got a reaction from Superman123 in Correcting premises vs. sense of life   
    It sounds cliche not melodramatic and I mean it in a sympathetic way. I don't believe there's anything unnatural in the way you feel.
    The stage between sleep and wake is a window that allows us to see our mind more "integrally" or in another "whole" way (as we can glimpse BOTH our states of mind while dreaming and while being awake, almost at the same time). That is why awakening and going to sleep are the phases where most normal typical psychological troubles become obviously evident (like people who have trouble going to sleep).

    you say of that time when you awake to a new day (after spending hours digesting thoughts in very different cosmos within your mind)

    but there IS reason for feeling something both special and intense. There is no reason however to feel neutral, that would be a feat to accomplish.

    you have every valid reason to feel angst during that time (expressed in either emptiness, or mild depression, whatever).
    I've found myself in that situation a lot. The only exceptions don't occur naturally or by default, they occur when I purposefully set something that I really want to wake up to. For instance if when I wake up I know I'm at the beach and that the ocean expects me, I just feel joy. (for others might be the arms of a lover). But that's ideal. Another way is to wake up wanting do something you really love doing, something you had to give up the night before due to physical stress (sleep). By doing what you like, I specifically mean the absorbing state of mind best described by Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi as "flow" .

    That seems to me the best most productive and satisfying way to avoid dealing with the infinite existential questions that pervade a semi intelligent mind on a daily basis.

    other popular but less satisfying ways to evade the full scope of reality include earning a living for the sake of it, raising a family (for the sake of it), drinking and doing drugs.

    Flow occurs naturally so it might be hard to achieve if you're conscious about trying to achieve it (in the same way that sometimes when you don't remember something, you know you will eventually remember it if you stop thinking about it) . So maybe a way to begin your daily routine of achieving flow might be doing something that mildly engages you increasing difficulty gradually.

    Maybe you already achieve flow and you still the same way on the mornings. Psychology is surely not clear cut, no "science" called study of the soul can be.
  20. Like
    volco got a reaction from Superman123 in Sluggy Bear Intro   
    My take is rather cold and objective as I am not an American citizen or resident. I reside in the other end of the Americas and am a citizen of certain European country. But here you go,

    What you call invasion is actually a normal phenomenon. When a population dwindles and decays, another takes its place and such is the case of the many immigrants.

    I am assuming (strictly by your demeanor and avatar picture) that by "communistic Mestizo" you mean Mexican regardless of ethnicity or ideology.

    Mexicans (along with Canadians which don't count in this discussion) are the only ones who have the special distinction of being a mixture of two complicated groups in American dynamics; immigrants and native americans.
    It is so itchy a subject because the existence of the Mexican identity (a mixture of indeed immigrant conquistadores and Catholiced-by-force native american population) cancels out the existence of the American Nation identity, and vice versa. this is long and fresh ground for many misunderstandings.

    All immigrants except Mexicans have to either sail or fly into a new continent, the New World. Certain magical aura comes with it. And yet Mexico is the most powerful country of Hispanic America with interesting projected growth.

    I could go on until you are inevitably banned, but do you really wanna continue this conversation
  21. Like
    volco got a reaction from Superman123 in Masculinity   
    It is an interesting topic and as James said it overlaps into many many threads. But Ayn Rand was far from homosexual so we can leave all the gay threads aside for a bit and consider the question of an intellectual woman during the rise of Feminism who had some subtle masculine traits of herself and wrote a lot about gender roles.

    I consider most striking seeing Dagny in three different capacities, as an executive single and then with Rearden, as a housewife (more specifically as Galt's housekeeper), and then somewhat to our imagination, in all her proper femininity, under her hero and then rescuing her hero.

    Her take on masculinity and femininity somewhat resembles that of other non feminist woman intellectuals such as
    to the left, Camille Paglia (ouch!)
    to the right, Celia Green

    Her take on gender roles seems to me consistent every other area, most obviously ethics; neither abuse or allow to be abused. There is some sort of compensating force in play. (ex, her masculine traits in a heterosexual woman).
  22. Like
    volco reacted to Prometheus98876 in Ayn Rand's ghost, real or a sophisticated prank?   
    I was being sarcastic, obviously.

    What do those other things she was worried about have to do with this? So she has other *possible* insecurities or something? That just proves that maybe there is a trend here or or something I guess ( I am not commenting either way). Not that the number of replies here is weird.

    Ah yes, your "aspects" of Ayn Rand. Maybe it is just possible that at this point we do not have a lot of reason to take you seriously. At least while DreamSpirit might be confused on a number of issues, she has ( at least in my opinion and I guess in the opinion of some others here ) seemed to make some effort to understand things said to her and to think rationally about them.

    Anyway, I think I am done with making this even longer.
  23. Like
    volco reacted to Tomer Ravid in demi-gods of THIS world   
    From my Facebook inspirations: Aristotle, Newton, Thomas Jefferson, Ramanujan, Ayn Rand, Richard Feynman, Mike Mentzer (yes, I know he hasn't had a deep understanding of Objectivist epistemology, but I really tend to like the concept of a greatly educated bodybuilder; this combination of mind and body clearly does remind me of Radian heroes), Steve Jobs.
    All these were innovative geniuses, and---to different extents and in different ways---had an impressive biography and held generally positive premises.
  24. Like
    volco got a reaction from dollardoctrinaire in individual rights are not subject to a public vote or are they?   
    @maarten they take out the ones more familiarized with any element of the case because neutrality is seeked among the jurors, not expert witnesses, and obviously to avoid bias and conflicts of interest.


    There is one context in which your original proposition applies. Consider a trial in which the defense committed a victimless offense against the state (like selling whisky during the late 20s). In such a case, or similar, jurors are being used to take the moral responsibility of the state's transgressions by having no choice but to deliberate on whether someone committed or not an offense against X law or regulation, not decide whether X law should exist.
    They can't even consider whether it's moral to destroy a human's life for the specifics of law "X", for the sanctity of any arbitrary law symbolizes the sanctity of the whole legal system.
    Therefore deciding whether someone sold or merely possessed a can of whiskey in the 1920s is contained within the same system that decides whether a man took another's life - and treated with the same gravity.

    Much like Democracy, the fact that there is no seemingly better system doesn't mean that both aren't horrible beyond toleration.
  25. Like
    volco got a reaction from Dante in Wondering About Rand's Amphetamine Usage   
    It's in Atlas Shrugged,
    Dagny loved her morning coffee and naturally smoked (lots of age specific context. i.e. in The Fountainhead a particularly annoying hostess is described as "she doesn't like women who smoke")
    Also beer is gulped down by Howard Roark after a hard day's work with his newly found found; other references to casually violating laws of prohibition are found in the beginning of the novel.  
    Dagny and Hank enjoy the mild buzz of the wine (several references) during their one romantic dinner, as well as the evening drink she offers Hank Rearden while living together.
    However Dagny's brother is found a wreck in his bedroom surrounded by empty bottles of, I believe, Whiskey.
    So, never forgetting the context in which it was written (post Prohibition pre Dyonisius decade), AS shows (as a very marginal theme) the two facets of Recreational Drugs, in this case alcohol. It can either be used to enhance life enjoyment or (ab)used to evade life altogether (sometimes by the crushing force of external circumstances such as was the end of Leo Kovalenski)
    Productive-enhancement drugs such as caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, are also referenced both in her novels as well as in her life. The story says that she quit two of those drugs as soon as she was presented with the evidence of their destructive power, even so, it was a value judgement not a dogmatic conditioning or appeal to authority.
    Finally, medical drugs (!) like pain killers I believe she wrote about the right to euthanasia as being necessary for the right to life (she wrote that not being allowed to die if one wants to is just as immoral as being forced to die if one wants to live), obviously this extends to quality and length of life being determined by oneself and not society.
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