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Everything posted by source

  1. I can't help but wonder what on Earth they mean. Things are not *how* simple exactly? Things are not what they are? Consciousness is not conscious? A is not A? It's no wonder they blank-out at the mere mention of morality. From Wikipedia: Good for whom? No answer. Bad for whom? No answer.
  2. I hope you understand that in Objectivist philosophy, every "must" is conditional, i.e. it is true that "If I want X, I must do Y." There is no "I must, period." The wording of your sentence is a bit unfortunate, however. What one would normally regard as evil is that which destroys his life or his values and not that which hinders his self-interest. (Does the fact that the shopkeeper won't give you the bread you need for free hinder your self-interest? After all, you would prefer to have the bread and keep the money, no?) Also keep in mind that a mistake isn't necessarily evil, even if it does result in destruction of values to some extent. Even the most moral person can make honest mistakes. When judging good or evil you should be looking at how decisions are made, rather than what were the outcomes. Finally to answer your question, many confuse giving charity with altruism, but that isn't necessarily so. You can give something of yours away without having a guarantee it will ever come back, without actually making a sacrifice, if you have it in abundance. And helping someone who has had a streak of bad luck in life can be rewarding, if for no other reason then for the warm feeling you get for knowing that you were able to help someone. Normally, I think, people don't like it when other people are miserable, especially when it is not their fault.
  3. Accessing the member map causes the following error: Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 346595 bytes) in /home/objectj0/public_html/objectivismonline/forum/admin/sources/classes/output/formats/html/htmlOutput.php on line 639 I'm using Google Chrome.
  4. Hey, I haven't been active here for quite a while and thought I'd say hi. I've graduated in the meantime and got a job, so now that I don't have to study all day I suppose I'll find some time to stop by a couple of times a week. Cheers! Nikola
  5. One thing I haven't seen addressed in this thread is the fact about how overblown this thing is in the media. I don't know how it is in the US, but over here in Croatia the media, as well as the government, are spreading panic for some reason. As far as I can see, H1N1 is no more dangerous than seasonal flu, so why all the fuss? If I understand it correctly, the H1N1 strain isn't even new. The mortality rate of H1N1 is the same as that of a seasonal flu. Any comments on their reaction? Thanks.
  6. I'm now reading book 5 and surprisingly enough, book 4 didn't have any quotes that stand out as being too irrational, like some I quoted from Blood of the Fold. There were a couple of instances but they weren't strong enough to make me put them here. However, I wouldn't say that book 4 satisfied me much. I'm looking forward to the next book, and then the next. I'm expecting Soul of the Fire to be better than the previous couple of books In any case, I'm not going to stop reading until I'm through with the series. These books are by far the most captivating I've ever read. I must admit that I haven't immersed myself this deep into the story even as I was reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
  7. I get there by waiting? Agreed, but that does not disaffirm the blank-out suggested by my conclusion made from the quotes I've given. Quote: This is an interesting line that pops up on various locations throughout the series until now (I'm currently reading Temple of the Winds, Chapter 24). The last time it was mentioned in this book,
  8. Anyway, here come the quotes: The above two combined seem to say: The first quote by itself is a horror as it is. I said before and I'm saying it again - Goodkind gives way too much importance to instincts. Maybe he just got lazy after doing a great job in WFR? I don't know, but The Stone of Tears and Blood of the Fold are the only two books I've ever read that get more and more boring as the story reaches its climax (well, with the exception of those that are also annoying).
  9. Yes, that's what I wanted to quote just now but I'll skip it since you mentioned it. However, there's one other thing that's bugging me and it has to do with the prophecies. Yes, I find that confusing too. Just as I find confusing those instances where he claims selflessness, yet Goodkind doesn't neglect to mention every single selfish reason for whatever it was that Richard did. That's great, but I still think Goodkind gives Richard's instincts too important a role. As far as I can tell, to humans instincts can only say "run" and "hide". Everything else is sheer luck, or skill (or the mixture of both). Richard has no skill and luck just doesn't come in those amounts. I don't see what it was that prevented Goodkind from making other books more like the first one, THAT was interesting! What have I to look forward to at the end of the Blood of the Fold? That he's suddenly going to shoot lightningbolts and kill all his enemies and at the end of it all in a blind haze he's going to say "I've no idea how I did it" and Goodkind's going to credit his success to his good instincts? That's just lame -- much like the end of The Stone of Tears. Edit: Changed wording.
  10. I find it deeply disturbing that the protagonist of a book which is supposedly based on Objectivism can get away with "I don't know how I did it", when referring to the way he resolves all problems in the plot during the climax. I'm now reading book three which - it seems - will be like book two when it comes to climax, and judging by a number of reviews I've read on the Internet, book one is an exception to the rule. Richard resolves problems by means of instinct and gut feeling. Can someone explain to me how any of this can be called Objectivism, or at least based on Objectivism? I'm going to use this thread to quote from the book the passages I find to be non-Objective, especially those in complete contrast with the philosophy of Objectivism. Feel free to contribute and comment. I'm not going to backtrack (quote from passages I've already read), but instead I'm going to quote as I go from where I am at the moment in Blood of the Fold. I'm going to rate each quote according to how much I think it is opposite to Objectivism, using the following system: weak (when I can see how this particular quote can be Objectively justified), moderate (when my explanation is a bit of a stretch), strong (when I can't see any Objective explanation), contrary (when I think the quote challenges the ideas of Objectivism). Here's two quotes now: From Blood of the Fold, Chapter 29 (strong): Why is it not Objective: Richard's giving in to his instinct rather than reason. At first I thought the last sentence was a bit redeeming, that he had no other choice but to let go. But that's exactly when one must switch on rational thought. Prior to this on several occasions it is mentioned that something's telling Richard (in his mind) that what's happening is wrong. At this very moment, he should try to figure it out rather than let go. From Blood of the Fold, the end of Chapter 30 (moderate): Why is it not Objective: Richard's instincts guide him? What is he, a mere animal? Probable explanation: From the perspective of the characters who have not yet fully formed some concepts, Richard's actions may seem like instinctive when, in fact, they may have been thought through. This is a bit of a stretch, though, because as you can see from the previous quote, he does give in to instincts, at least sometimes.
  11. source


    As SD26 said, you may have a good start of an idea there. That's your basic conflict. Now, if you've read Ayn Rand's Art of Fiction and/or any of her journals, you may recall that she liked to ask how to make things even more difficult for the protagonists - how to make matters even more complicated for them. The trick is not to deviate too much from your basic conflict, for example by inventing another conflict. Think, rather, in terms of "expanding" what you have. Use the characters you've already created to deepen the tensions between them to make your story interesting and to "demand" immediate resolution or bust, so to speak. I almost gave an example for it, but I'll just leave my thoughts here now so I don't end up writing your story.
  12. I'll give you two examples. First, Harry Potter. The books are great! The movies are great. They don't take away anything from the characters, and they don't change them in ANY significant way whatsoever. Their depth shows on-screen as much as it does off it (in the books). Second, The Lord of the Rings. I'd say that characterization in the movies is even better than that in the books which is something I've never seen before, or after. In both cases, the philosophy behind the novels has remained intact when transferring it to screen. You will note that the popularity of both movies is enormous. OK, so Sword of Truth is a TV show, so maybe it's different. But that's just nonsense. Dr. House has been characterized brilliantly in his show; Captains Picard, Janeway, Archer, Kirk and Sisko have been perfectly characterized in their respective shows - and all of these have enormous popularity - and very little has been lost or changed. Yet here changes are so extensive that except by similarity in names it is virtually impossible to recognize what book this show was filmed by. You tell me I'm being unfair... I've seen a part of the first episode, I know what impression the characters have left on me - "Friends" has more interesting characters than that - and judging by how people talk about the show (e.g. "oh yeah, I remember that there was this brief moment when someone actually used brains in ep. X"), I seriously doubt anything would change if I see more of it. Which means, in other words, it's not even decent. A fetus has a potential of becoming a child, but the mother still (should) have a say in it. I think I've shown that it isn't. Well, for one thing, One makes a connection between a work of art and the real world because art is a selective re-creation of reality and not a selective distortion of it. No, that doesn't matter much, but still it's one less thing to like about the show - the book had it beautifully explained why Well, it certainly diminishes the part where What matters is not only that he does it, but also how he does it. Face it, in the show, Richard is less than a half-wit, at least in that part of the show that I've seen. In the books, whenever he found out something new, he asked questions about it so as to explore what this new information means. In the show, he's fed information and he's like "oh, OK, whatever", or "oh, I'm gonna have a bit of a problem with it, but eventually I'll go along with it because it's in the script". The show turns characters into exactly the kind of characters that Objectivist writers (including Ayn Rand) were accused of creating - shallow, one-dimensional, uninteresting. Why should I pick watching this over Xena the warrior princess, or Hercules? Heck, even the two of them do more "brainwork" per minute of show than Richard (in the show). Which, again by your own words, means it's not even decent.
  13. I absolutely love the character. But I suppose his premise reveals most in one instance when he's treating a woman who he thinks is going to die, and she has a daughter with whom she's completely honest. There is an instance when the conversation goes thus (paraphrased, I don't remember the exact words): House later comments this to his friend with the words (also paraphrased):
  14. source

    Passive Voice

    Then you made a mistake. You said "I suggest that your feeling that you like [the first sentence] better than [the second sentence] comes from the fact that the latter conveys more information...", where you should have said "...comes from the fact that the former conveys more information..." That was the source of my confusion.
  15. I'm completely disappointed with the TV episodes. I watched about 20 minutes of the first one and I just couldn't stomach any more. I'm not watching another second of any. The episodes have no relation to Goodkind's novels except for character names, names of places and things, and things themselves. Characterization is non-existent. Plot was rewritten by someone with barely half a brain. Characters are puppets at the mercy of that guy. I mean, come on! The first episode managed to destroy most of the novel's most interesting plot twists in the first five minutes of its running. I don't even know why I watched the other 15 minutes. Perhaps out of sheer disbelief. If I had stumbled upon the episodes before I got the chance to read the book, I'd never have read the book, except at the insistence of someone whose judgment I trusted. I only hope Terry Goodkind learned something from this too. I'm only sorry he had to learn it this way. Edit: Fixed spoiler tags.
  16. Well, I suppose you're way past WFR now, but I'll answer anyway. Having read the book just today I can safely say that he doesn't resolve this conflict here. I think it's something TG wanted to resolve later in the series.
  17. Oh dear. I've only just finished Wizard's First Rule. I guess I'll be reading a while before that. But still, even from this first book I have learned so much so fast I have difficulty putting it into practice all at the same time. I can't wait to see what's new in the next book and knowing that later on even this issue is addressed makes me want to read it even more. Thank you for the reply.
  18. Please bear in mind that I've only read the first book. I loved it and already decided it to be the best fantasy book I've ever read. However, seeing that Terry Goodkind is an admirer of Ayn Rand and her philosophy, I find it odd that he would have his protagonists speak of selflessness and duty in high regard (well, Richard doesn't speak of duty that way, he thinks it is a burden on him that he must carry). My question is whether in later books he addresses this in any way and if he makes his protagonists realize that what they do is, in fact, selfish (rationally selfish, not traditionally)? Please answer as simple as possible, so as not to spoil any of the plot. Thanks.
  19. source

    Passive Voice

    Hmm, now I take a closer look at it, "It was only an ordinary motor boat that shattered Joe's quiet solitude, but to him it felt like the sound and fury of an invading armada" is in fact active voice. I must have been confused by the "It was..." part. But then, so is D'kian's other example (active voice), which makes the choice be based on style, rather than on whether it's an active or passive voice. Could you show what is this extra information that the second sentence reveals, which the first does not? Here they are again, for quicker reference: It was only an ordinary motor boat that shattered Joe's quiet solitude, but to him it felt like the sound and fury of an invading armada. The sound of an ordinary motor boat shattered Joe's quite solitude with the sound and fury of an invading armada. Thanks. Edit: Added clarification.
  20. source

    Passive Voice

    Please read the entire sentence... Edit: The entire paragraph, for that matter.
  21. source

    Passive Voice

    I know my word processor (MS Word) often reminds me that I should use active voice instead of passive. If Ayn Rand used it a lot too, perhaps it may have to do something with both of us (Ayn Rand and myself) having a Slavic language as our mother tongue. I found writing some things in active voice after I've written them in passive voice a rather unpleasant experience and not just because I had to do the same work twice. Hence, I like D'kian's first sentence better. It makes more sense to me to write active sentences when describing what people do, rather than when describing what happens to them. Thus, I'll gladly say "Michael went to class" instead of "The class was attended by Michael" (ugh); but also I'd sooner say "His peace was disturbed by a loud explosion" than "A loud explosion disturbed his peace." It kind of puts man in the center of attention.
  22. I see in Ayn Rand's writings that she begins creating stories by inventing characters, what they do, and then asks the question "What kind of situation he can be in?" In other words, what is his conflict. Ayn Rand also said that while creating a story, the writer must think in terms of conflict. Suppose you have a theme for a novel. How do you make conflicts relate to that theme? What comes first - the conflict, or the theme?
  23. Please, let me just make sure that I got this right - in the US, right now, banks get fined by the government per customer denied? In any case, this is exactly what I was looking for. Great post, Thomas. Thanks!
  24. source


    You are discussing things of little relevance.
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