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Everything posted by themadkat

  1. Nothing, but that's not the aim. His idea is to rally the base and increase their turnout. For all the talk we hear this election cycle about the power of independents, neither candidate is really gunning hard to get independent votes because they assume, perhaps correctly, that independents are more likely to just not bother voting since they are not passionate about either candidate. Both will continue to make emotional appeals to "summon the troops" and get them to actually come to the polls on election day. That's really what this race will come down to - who can get more of their fana
  2. Anyone happen to see The Dark Knight Rises yet? I saw it last night, and without giving away spoilers, I thought it was a beautiful artistic representation of what happens under anarchy or rule by "the people". The "courtroom" scene relates almost directly to this conversation.
  3. It's ridiculous and stupid to say that volunteer work is harmful or immoral. Volunteer work can be highly profitable, especially when the benefits stay close to home. There are some things that are highly desirable but are never likely to become paid work, like cleaning up local parks. If you benefit from clean local parks, it is totally logical to perhaps, I dunno, clean them up! I do agree that forced volunteerism (at which point it's kind of stupid to call it volunteering anymore) is harmful, especially when directed at young people. I don't really like rhetoric about "giving back" - I
  4. This is true. However, I don't think it is necessarily wrong to take inspiration from a fictional character. I think the more salient point was that Dagny was a railroad executive, not a philosopher. The people on this board have at least a passing (and often more than a passing) interest in philosophy. For those of us who are out-and-out academics, debating with Marc (or anyone else) can be a value, hence why we choose to engage in it. Assuming that we're all (at least mostly) self-interested around here, why would we choose to waste our time?
  5. Marc, Let's back up a bit. First of all, you seem to have bought into the rationalist/empiricist dichotomy in analytical philosophy. You are an empiricist, and you are treating Objectivism as if it is a rationalist philosophy. It is not. Objectivism is inductive. It begins with observations about reality and builds concepts from that. It denies that there is some "higher truth" to be had from "pure logic" (i.e. rationalism) or that there is no knowledge beyond immediate sense perception (i.e. empiricism). It is possible to build upon perceptual observation to make valid concepts beca
  6. What this particular scene (and most of the rest of the novel The Fountainhead) leads me to conclude is that Dominique is a bloody fruit bat. I love the Fountainhead. I may actually like it better than Atlas Shrugged. It's hard to say. But I do not and have never liked Dominique, nor do I understand why a heroic man like Roark would entertain an attraction to such a head case. I also agree with Eiuol that this scene bespeaks Rand's odd gender conceptions. Think about the scene in reverse, with Dominique taking Roark. It doesn't make any sense (though it could be pretty hot if written we
  7. I think there's a big reason for why people make large donations to things that is being missed here, especially by those who are attributing it all to guilt or an altruistic morality in the culture. Prestige is huge. When you give a lot of things away, this is a form of social signaling - first of all, that you HAVE a lot of things to give (i.e. you are strong/capable) and secondly, that you are "good" (that is to say, you accept the standards of the larger society enough to behave in pro-social ways). This type of prestige has a lot of practical benefits to the giver. Throughout human hi
  8. First off - I believe you. Secondly, there is nothing wrong with you. They are the ones with the problem. You just have to take that, internalize it, make it your shield. They are wrong and evil and too stupid to see it. I also happen to be Polish and have a Polish last name, but where I grew up, that was actually pretty common. I'm sure there was anti-Polish sentiment in some areas of town due to history, but since Poles and Slavs generally were and are such a large group in my hometown they wouldn't exactly be able to target a given person. No, when I was a kid I basically just got
  9. I'm reading this now, in the free first-edition PDF. I'm not finished yet, but after four chapters I highly recommend it. It is definitely easier to understand if you have a passing knowledge of the history of philosophy particularly since the Enlightenment, but I think many people on this board fit that bill.
  10. Author's note: rather than try to explain the origins and purpose of this story, I will just let people read it, and then answer any questions about the references, etc. in the story. All I will say here is that the "I" in the story is not me, although it is a person I know. Coffee Copyright 2010 A. Kat I found myself restless one afternoon, one of those fall afternoons where no one’s around and you just aren’t really sure what to do with yourself. My house was deathly quiet except for the occasional creak of the weathered lumber in the wind. I couldn’t understand why, but I was vagu
  11. I agree with you 100%. I think perhaps there is some confusion here between two different categories: that class of people that are "women" and that class of people who are "women that are potential partners" (i.e. you would actually have interest in dating them). My confusion is, why would the women who act the way you say they do ever fall into the second category? Wouldn't you just quit bothering with them and find a better one? I believe this leads into my second point of confusion. We are presumably talking about people who an Objectivist or an Objectivist-leaning person would want
  12. And those differences are? The only thing I can think of as a big-ass difference off the top of my head (besides plumbing) is that women have a shorter time-frame, vis-a-vis their entire lives, to have children than men do. This might cause a reordering of life priorities IF AND ONLY IF having biological children is important to you. What, in your opinion, are the salient differences between men and women from the perspective of "harmonious interaction"?
  13. This is factually incorrect. Most complex organisms employ multiple sexual strategies for each sex.
  14. Check your premises. There is no biological tradition, as you say. Sometimes men do the pursuit, and sometimes women do. Not only is it culturally contingent, but it also varies within a given society. Can you present any evidence for the claim that psychologically healthy women, in general (I am softening your claim a bit), get satisfaction from being pursued in a way that a psychologically healthy man would not? Now, that said, there is no reason for you to think that YOU are not psychologically healthy and justified in preferring a more romantically aggressive male partner. As I sai
  15. Oh my Gawrsh, what a completely stupid, backwards list!!! Your class apparently suffers from the worst sort of altruistic delusions about morality and love. No wonder people behave so screwed up today. Someone needs to smack your class upside the head with the simple truth that "sacrifice" should not play any part in romance. Also, the idea that the "rejection" of someone else's "sacrifice" makes one immoral is repulsive.
  16. As to your first point, certainly Rand thought it was more appropriate for men to pursue women in romance and for them to take the active part. In her own life, however, she did not do this - she pursued Frank O'Connor (in fact she tripped him), she pursued Nathaniel Branden, and she may have pursued several other young men as well although they did not actually begin a relationship. I am hesitant to speak for "Objectivism" but my honest understanding is that, like so many other things, IT DEPENDS ON THE INDIVIDUAL. Clearly, from your post, you prefer to be pursued. If this is the case, yo
  17. This kind of thing is just stupid and a little bit embarrassing. This author is really out of touch with reality. I see nonsense like this and it seriously makes me want to headdesk. I can't even properly respond to this right now. I wouldn't know where to begin. P.S. I didn't know when I read it that this was written by Ed Cline but apparently from the replies to it, it was. No wonder it's nonsense.
  18. Erik Christensen is not an Objectivist. He is a conservative. I don't really understand why folks even waste their effort on him at this point. His record on this board speaks for itself. Also: Hehe, no problem FF. I am one of those women for whom a "traditional" relationship would hold no appeal. It's true that I am strangely traditional in my way - I love one man exclusively, and I expect this to continue for the duration of our lives. But other than that there isn't much to being a little wifey that appeals to me. In fact, I'm just plain AWFUL at it...thank Galt I live in
  19. This might just be a little bit nitpicky but I do want to point out that in opposite-sex relationships, just because there is a male and a female involved, it does not mean there is a male "role" and a female "role". That form of relationship works for some hetero couples, but others make their own "roles" regardless of which sex takes them, and some just don't bother with roles at all. I am not trying to pick on you, Superman123. I guess I want to emphasize the point that while the traditional romantic narrative has left out same-sex relationships, it has also left out many kinds of health
  20. Several people have already mentioned to me that there is no point in replying to you unless and until you actually read what Rand wrote, but I do want to make one more minor point here. Objectivism does NOT agree with the doctrine known as psychological egoism, whereby "acting in one's self-interest" becomes a tautology. Psychological egoism is basically like saying "Why did you do that? You chose this, therefore you wanted this, therefore people want whatever it is they end up choosing to do." Objectivists hold that not only is it POSSIBLE to act against your self-interest (in contrast t
  21. Not in the long run, unless you think heroin addiction is a great way to live.
  22. Not directly relevant to the issue of taking property from a foreclosed house (which it sounds to me ought properly be considered abandoned property), part of the problem is that the foreclosure process is so broken. The way it is now, banks have been foreclosing like crazy without being able to prove that they actually own the debt in question. No one should be able to foreclose on a house unless they can present the note or other relevant loan paperwork. Many banks are not doing so. I think if owners stand up for themselves in this regard it will bite the banks in the ass for reselling t
  23. Mustang, The whole problem is that you believe that it would be in someone's "self-interest" to rob a bank, or cheat, or whatever provided there was a guarantee they could not get caught. Objectivism rejects this view of self-interest and as long as you hold this position, nothing we can possibly say is going to make any sense to you. Objectivists reject any conception of self-interest in which people's interests are naturally in conflict.
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