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Everything posted by 4reason

  1. A false premise indeed, yet oddly one that seems to run rampant in the thoughts of many young men, especially those who are still putting te final pieces of their own puzzle together. I have to wonder, however, if women are not guilty of promoting this premise because I think a lot of women (well, not rational, integrated women...) still, to this day, feel guilty and ashamed for feeling and exhibiting true passion. I think one of the largest reasons for that is that many women simply have a completely erroneous definition of passion that they're working with: when they think of passion they think of sexy love nibbles, clothes being torn off, sweat, etc. etc. While those are all nice things, they are , or properly should be, a consequence of passion, not passion itself. My conversations with my female coworkers would provide ample evidence of this misidentification. Passion itself is more, well.... rational! It's when two minds start to see the world in the same way; where their values are similar enough that they not only recognize the worth of the person they are passionate about, but they seek to exhibit that in all ways imaginable, both sexually and emotionally. James I, I think you will most definitely become less attracted to shady women as you become more integrated, and you should welcome that moment when you first cast scorn upon such a women with absolute pride. When you cease to become "passionatelt" attracted to women such as the woman you allude to, you will have proof that you are becoming more conscious of your worth. You will be recognizing that you are worthy of seeking and possessing a TRUE passionate relationship: one that stems from like values and a similar sense of life--- not one that stems from fleeting thoughts of "gee, he/she look great...." "Passion" that stems from thoughts like that is fleeting at best, and could hardly compare to passion in its proper, intellectually fueled form. Just wait and see. In the meantime, don't soil yourself with lust that comes from women who are incapable of appreciating the process and the product of your integration.
  2. A beautiful glimpse of what auto manufacturers (specifically Ford) could be capable of if only there were no unions... http://info.detnews.com/video/index.cfm?id=1189 Having mini assembly lines for vendor components of the vehicle within the plant? Brilliant! Ford won't cease to exist; they may cease to manufacture cars here.... but they won't cease to exist.
  3. I would like to agree with K-Mac that the American auto makers do have the ability to innovate, and we see remnants of it pop up from time to time, but the cost of labor makes it difficult for them to make their innovations marketable, let alone profitable. While I myself drive a honda, my 2nd job for five years now has been with Ford, and they do have good thoughts: one you can see in the US is the Sync communication technology that's becoming an option in most of their new models. But a good example of how they have the ideas, but are struggling to implement them would be the Eco-netic Ford Fiesta: http://www.greenenergytv.com/Watch.aspx?v=1815781484 What this newsbit doesn't mention is why it's not being released in the US: (1) they can't manufacture it profitably due to yes, UAW (it's made from relatively cheap materials, thus the cost of building them abroad and shipping them here is too much; yet, due to UAW, the relatively cheap cost of importing the components (such as the innovative diesel engine) is wiped out by the overwhelming cost of paying union workers to assemble those cheaply imported parts and (2) it's a diesel engine and while it's eco friendly in the mpg, environmentalists and their cronies in government don't like diesel engines and regulate the CRAP out of them. Something about emissions... They proposed building them in mexico, but that still won't work because of the regulations on diesel engines again, and if I remember correctly, regulations are even more strict when it involves imported diesel engines. Then they thought of building the car almost completely in mexico and then just having the engine installed here, but that still wouldn't work because of what you would have to pay ten union workers to do. (I say ten, because with unions it seems like there are always 10 workers to do the work of what would only require one). I hope they can figure something out, because it could give them a competitve edge, but as long as they've got the UAW holding them back it's unlikely. Interestingly enough, pretty much all of the smaller, fuel efficient and innovative cars made by the US automakers are built in Mexico. Check it out: if the vin number of a car starts with a 3 or a 4, that tells you it was made in Mexico. SO stroll your local US car lot and check it out. In fact, many foreign car companies who sell their products in the US also have them manufactured in Mexico: icluding VW, Honda/Acura, and Toyota. That's the only way they can be profitable! There is no UAW in Mexico. THe only cars that are made here are the ones whose market price can offset (or used to offset, anyway) the cost of paying unionites to build it. Ford Examples: the F-series trucks, the Explorer and the Expedition. But in times when big, gas-guzzling, $40k + cars that union members build aren't selling well.... that's when the cost of labor really becomes a problem. I hope they do not get the money... even though I am an employee of one. I am quite confident FOrd won't " close shop" but they may have to declare bankruptcy eventually, although they would be the last of the big three to have to do so. GM is in much worse shape and faces a more immediate threat. But if bankruptcy is what it takes to possibly restructure the labor used to make American cars.... well, that's the solution these companies really need. Does that mean a lot of union members will lose their jobs? Yes, but maybe it's high time we stop paying someone over $50k (well, probably over $100k if you include benefits) to wipe down a car as it comes off an assembly line. Building and maintaining a machine to do just that woule probably cost less. Maybe then these companies could use that money to pay someone what that job is worth and make a profit, or, better yet hire a brilliant engineer who can FULLY automate the whole system. Once that's done, you could use that same engineer to tweak the technology in the cars and make them even better.
  4. AN AMERICAN AUTO MANUFACTURER: You have two cows. They only produce the milk of 1/12 a cow because you can't engineer anything to be as efficient as the Japanese or German corporation because you're legally bound to keep letting a hundred union workers take one squeeze of one teet each day and then take two weeks of paid vacaction after five days of "hard" work.
  5. 4reason


    Or... to put it in comtemporary political jargon: "Main Street v Wall Street." I wince whenever I hear that phrase. Perhaps Main Street would like to see Wall Street fail, and say they got their just desserts, but very few inhabitants of "main street" understand the implication. Sure, it might be "unfair" that Atlas has the strength to hold up the world ("What makes him so special?, many would wine, "I want to be strong too"), but wait and see what happens if you start to starve him or cut off his limbs... The fact of the matter is, in capitalism it is not to your advantage for others to fail, so the assertion made by the other part in the referenced conversation is absurd. Maybe if they're in direct competition with you you may want them to fail, but ultimately, you want them to find something to succeed in: something that might benefit you. Maybe instead of manufacturing the exact engine that you do, they go out of business as such and instead go into the more specialized field of manufacturing a component to the engine that you still build. Better yet, by specializing in that component, your former competitor discovers a new way to make that component more efficient, which makes your product great, etc. etc. That is the beauty of capitalism: itrecognizes that humans are unique in their abilities and allows us to work to our mutual benefit. Capitalists get tagged as "heartless" and "selfish" everyday, but the truth is they want success. They demand it. The whole system depends upon it. Consumers have to succeed in their own specialities in order to consume, just as manufacturers have to succeed in their endeavors in order to sell and keep selling. Capitalism inspires and requires success, on all levels. Are some more successful than others? Of course, but Capitalism is what lets you succeed according to your own efforts. No other system does that. And, yes, you can still be charitable - on your terms. There is nothing about capitalism that says you have to love watching others fail and suffer. With capitalism you can toss that dollar to a bum, because you were allowed to succeed and had enough excess of wealth to enable you to make that gesture vs Communism where you were told you earned that dollar but watch as it's given to someone else, but no one else seems to be benefitting either (except, perhaps, that soldier on the street corner with the big gun). I would contend then, that it is impossible to measure success in Communism: how can you? What unit besides gunpower can you use to measure it? I prefer to use the dollar, not bullets. Let the dollar be what men trade in order to help each other mutally succeed in their own way, according to their own specialities, and according to their own efforts.
  6. A friend forwarded this to me, who obtained it from a friend, etc. so I am not sure who the source is, but it made me smile so I thought I would share it on the forum. I would only change one thing: I would change the socialism one to say "the state gives you some spoiled milk" Okay, maybe I'd dispute the American Corporation one, too, but I can't think of a better cow way of explaining that one. The bureaucracy example is pretty spot-on, and the Japanese and German examples, well, they're just funny.
  7. Just an interesting note: I don't think that juries are given the power to distribute a defendant's physical property, nor do I think the judge can say, "okay you get his car, and you get his vacation home, etc." From my understanding, and I'm not a legal expert (yet!) but the damages would be paid pro rate. If the defendant stole $20 from plaintiff A then plaintiff A would get $20 (and maybe some punitive damages, too), etc. The judgment would be in a dollar amount, which the defendant would then have to procure by whatever (and legal) means necessary. Whatever he failed to procure by selling the stuff he bought with stolen funds, they (the plaintiffs via the legal system) would get by other means: most likely, the defendant's other property --such as the house that he bought with non-stolen money-- would be sold and again the money would be paid pro rata until the amount of the damages was met. Physical goods are really only divied up in court in cases where two parties obtained them by mutal consent (ie, divorces, the dissolution of contracts/ businesses, etc), and those cases are usually ruled upon by judges, not juries. (or maybe that depends on the total amount of damages being sued for). Regardless, there would be two trials involved: a criminal trial to prove your guilt of stealing, and a civil trial in which those you stole from sue for damages. It wouldn't be all wrapped up in one arbitray sweep, as your analogy seems to suggest. As for how they figure the depreciated value of the stolen goods, that, again wouldn't apply in these case because they wouldn't be suing for those values: they would be suing for the amount that was stolen from them (plus punitive damages). The dollar value of the goods that were bought with stolen money would only be relevant to the defendant (the thief) as he'd have to hope he could get the most money he could to pay off as much of the damages as he could by selling these things on the second market. If someone stole your money, would you rather have the amount of the money that was stolen from you or the now-used car that the thief had bought with your stolen money and whose depreciated value would amount to less than your actual damages. Depreciation is a factor, but only in regards to how the defendant would start obtaining the money from the sale of "his" property to pay the judgments against him. In cases where the court is figuring the depreciated value of items, such as small claims' cases where the dry cleaner ruins your expensive, but two-year-old sweater, the way they figure these values is anything but arbitrary. There are companies out there that exist solely for the purpose of calculating re-sale value of just about anything. A well-known example is NADA or Kelly Blue Book. These organizations base the depriciated value of items (in this case, cars) off of many things, but the biggest factor is the average price that these items go for when they are sold second-hand. That's why different used cars lose value at different rates; because they sell for different prices on the used market. Insurance companies do this too, when they settle claims on an actual cash value basis. They look at what the damaged/stolen item cost new then subtract depreciation and voila, you have the claim amount. Of course, insurance claims are bound to the principle of indemnity (which states that the insured cannot gain from insurance, he can only be restored to where he was before the loss), and that is something that is not factored into situations such as your analogy outlined. In both the used car and insurance examples they are using the law of large numbers, which basically means that percentages based off of larger samples are more accurate than percentages based on small examples. I could give a bounty of insurance examples to clarify this point, as I work closely with claims adjusters everyday working to settle my clients' claims, but I won't bore everyone with that right now. Let it suffice to say, there are precise formulas in play that determine those values when courts are making judgments regarding those values and judges often cite their sources when making those judgments. But again, that is not the case here as the plaintiffs would be entitled to recover the full amount of their initial damages: the actual dollar amount you stole from them. They wouldn't want your used crap: they would want their money. This is based on my best, pre-law school understanding of the legal process as it pertains in such cases; so if I am incorrect in any of my thinking, I would welcome further insight.
  8. Okay, the topic has been dead a while, but I couldn't pass this up: If you are looking for insight into Thomas Jefferson's political thinking, I highly recommend a book called "The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson" I am not currently at home with my excessive, but precious library of history books, so I can't think of the author off the top of my heaf (Onuf, maybe?). If you're looking for a good general biography, Joseph Ellis' American Sphinx is a good start, though a bit iffy on the Hemings matter at the end. There's all sorts of "scandolous" books out there regarding his daliances with various women (there's one called "Thomas Jefferson's Women," or maybe it's called"The Women of Monticello" that came out recently, as well as a history of the Heminges at Monticello entitled, The Heminges of Monticello that can give you insight in those matters, if you care. If you want personal information (regarding matters other than women), I would suggest Jefferson's Secrets. There is a lot of focus on the Hemings issue again, but I found some information in this book that I hadn't come across before in any author biographies concerning his finances and health in his later years. FYI: the man deserves a medal for putting up with the crazy medical treatments they had for urinary disorders back then - OUCH. I just recently started reading a new book called Twilight at Monticello, about his retirement years and this is particularly amusing for me since the title of my thesis on Adams and Jefferson was virtually identical, and written many years prior. But, if you want to get to know the man and what he thought, philosophically, about a broad range of matters, I highly recommend reading his letters/correspondence with two people inparticular: James Madison and John Adams (and his letters to Madison during the decade or so that he and Adams were not friends at all will, I forewarn you, make you detest him a little bit, esp if you are as fond of Adams as I, and many people on this site are). He stabbed Adams in the back a lot (and openly confessed his actions to others, but never confessed to Adams), but they still managed to make amends for that in their retirement years. These letters are available in many books and letter collections. His letters are insightful, but unlike Adams he never kept a journal so it can be hard to pin him down for what he really thought- some letters between two people on the same thing are blatantly contradictory, for example. I respect the man greatly, but he knew how to pull political strings. He was the Democratic-Republican version of Alexander Hamilton, but a lot more secretive about it. But definitely stick to his letters from the time period of about 1789 to 1826. In these letters, he basically changes his mind about anything he said in any letters prior to 1789 (okay, not about everything, but a lot of things) so the earlier letters are not as "useful." His letters to Adams are the best source for his opinions on all matters besides politics; his letters to Madison are the best source for his thoughts on politics. As for the HBO Adams series, I adore it and proudly own it. It does portray him as petty at times, yes, but the fact of the matter was that he could be. He was very stubborn and he knew it; he knew it was what he was most detested for and yet he knew that his reasons for being stubborn were just. He didn't pander to anyone's political interests or party; that's what made him particularly remarkable. The one complaint I have about the series is that it can be jumpy from one event of his life to the next and leaves a lot of holes that could be confusing for someone that is not real familiar with his life or struggles. I was particularly disappointed by how much the series downplayed his efforts in Amsterdam in acquiring a loan, by his methods that COngress strongly advised against, that literally saved the REvolution. Beyond that, it was very accurate to detail: including the storm that raged outside during the official vote for independence on July 2, 1776 (yes, the 2nd, not the 4th... long story). Jefferson is portrayed as shy, and intellectually senstive to attacts on his writings and opinions because he really was. Franklin is portrayed as very amicable and pandering to others' ways because he was. Adams is portrayed as very stubborn and rude at times because he was; he detested holding back words and opinions simply to appease the sensibility of others. Abigail is very dutiful and the only person really able to hold any pwer of persuasion over Adams because that's who she was. They were all brillantly played - and some even bore an uncanny resemblance: such as the guys playing Elbridge Gerry and Henry Laurens; seriously, look at the paintings of them then look at the actors. Creepy. What was truly brilliant, however, was the fact that almost all of Adams' dialogue taken, word-for-word, from his own letters. The words his character speaks in the series were, in large part, Adams' actual words. (But some of the added one's were fun, too, like the comment about Franklin looking like he had been tailored by a taxidermist prior to making a public appearance together in Paris. I don't recall seeing that comment in any of his letters, but it definitely seemed like something he was probably thinking at the time!
  9. I would definitely agree that the web is the way to go; unlike the periodical version of the Wall Street Journal, etc., and the TV programs of the likes of CSPAN, etc., web-based information sources offer one thing that I love: links. You can shoot off to other sources to see where they're deriving their information from and so on and so forward. Links are like the internet version of footnotes, and I am very fond of them. (Tracing footnote trails was the foundation of my research method for my history thesis). Granted, some links can lead you very astray, but sometimes little journeys can be fun. ALso, since links can help you discover what sources news sources are using for what they report, it can help you determine what news sources are more to your liking and reliable. I am presonally quite entertained, and disgusted, when I find out that an interesting and ground-breaking news article is using opinions more than facts as their "evidence"-- even though they lead you to believe they're citing facts. For example, a lot of economic articles out there right now are fear-mongering because they're citing certain economists and politicians' predictions rather than evidence of past or current fact. You can sense this from periodicals, and from the television programs, but I think the web really allows one to prove how subjective many "news sources" can be.
  10. Could you provide a more specific reference for the documentary? I would be curious to see it, as I find this assertion ridiculous because these processes are handled by different parts of the brain. If moving required us to stop all thinking, I think that would make us worms, or something along those lines. Okay, maybe that's a little overdramatic, but we can process many kinds of stimuli at the same time; that's what makes the human brain so great. The producers of this documentary sound like their trying to degrade the brain's great capacity. But I would like to see the documentary because maybe they were more or less trying to say there's certain kinds of movement that aren't conducive to good thinking. Example: riding your bike through the busy streets of NY is probably not the best time to be thinking deep thoughts because you should be focused on life-threatening sensory input. Most of the movement we all seem to be referring to is movement that is already occuring within safe boundaries. How many threats can one face when one is on a treadmill, for instance. A periodic glance at the speed and incline suffices to keep one's physical efforts on pace, and is not enough to impair deep thinking. If your movement involves a setting where you might be having to dodge other objects, then choose a different venue to think in.
  11. I was particularly disturbed by the authority that this proposed legislation was giving to the Secretary of the Trasury, and even more disturbed to find this power as a rarely listed objection amongst those that opposed the bill. Everyone seems hell-bent on emphasizing how the American taxpayer should not bear the financial responsibility for these firms' bad business decision, which is a valid objection, but the fact that no one is really questioning the authority that the Sec of Treasury would be obtaining is just plain scary. If someone knows of a legislator opposing this point specifically, please let me know. Checks and balances are key in a well-functioning, and righteous, government. They are meant to prevent one person or element from wielding too much control over any one aspect of the government. These powers which Congress keeps suggesting we give the Secretary of the Treasury seem to defy that checks and balances even exist. The controls that the legislature can enact over a Secretary are weak, at best. Say, for example, he does become an economic tyrant (as these drafts of legislation would legally allow him to become) who is to stop him? I find it ironic that there is more red tape involved in Congress being able to "control" an unsavory cabinet member than there is for a cabinet member being able to assume absolute control over matters that should not be of his concern or prerogative in the first place. Sounds pretty backwards to me. Sounds like COngress just wants to pretend that the ideological foundations of our government just are not very important in times of "economic crisis." Giving absolute control to anyone over anything to the extent that this seems to be suggesting smacks of absolute monarchy to me. Didn't we fight a revolution against that? Or has COngress rewritten history to exclude that complicating factor known as the AMERICAN REVOLUTION? It's hard to keep track' politicians keep changing their minds over what that event actually means to them. As for Sec 111, I took that more to mean that there would be limits placed on the compensation packages for the executives of these firms if they accepted the bailout. That part isn't so bad; I do not think these executives should be able to make millions of dollars in profits for themselves as a "reward" for running the business into the ground, at the taxpayers' expense, no less. But then again, I don't think the bail out should occur anyway, and I am pleased to see that it failed to make it through the house today. If free market eceonomics played out, these men would not profit at all because the companies would lose all their assets as a result of their bad decisions. So you see, there is a way for these men not to profit that doesn't involve the government stepping in and putting some limit on it as a contingent requirement of the government intervening in their welfare. If lawmakers don't want to see these execs profit, it's simple: don't bail them out! Then you don't even have to bother thinking about compensation limits.
  12. I am hesitant to say "one point for Obama," but I do consider this a bad move on McCain's part. Is he an active member of Congress who should be involved in the "crisis resolution" there? Yes, but at the same time he is a candidate for the most powerful office this country has to offer, so he needs to be able to tell the American people what he thinks and what he would do about the situation. The fact that he wants to delay the debate seems to suggest that he is trying to buy time to let other people tell him what he should say. It sounds as though he is scared to actually get involved in a debate about the economy - and you know that would be the big topic of the debate, along with the war - because he doesn't know what to think or say, and that doesn't say much for his ability to think through a crisis. That's my impression, anyway. I wish there were more politicians these days who were more like John Adams: who actually had opinions of their own, could justify their reasoning, and who were not afraid to tell you about it.
  13. Here's what I am optimistic about: I secretly hope "the collapse" happens despite the government's bailouts and that with all the publicity concerning the dollar amounts the government is throwing out there and the control they are assuming, that people might have a thought of skepticism toward government intervention in business matters. I know this is unlikely, but you know, in the decade prior or so to the American Revolution, a mass majority of the population was AGAINST any moves towards independence or rebellion. I know people won't see it right away, but my sincere hope is that they will see it over time, maybe in the next decade or so as the ramifications of all this play out. I saw an interesting figure on the Today show this morning. The recent -and we're talking just in the last few months - totals that the government has put toward bailing out these companies is around $1.1 TRILLION DOLLARS, and that's not even including the talk of the government giving millions of Americans loans to prevent them from losing their homes. That means each American is getting asked to pay around $3600, which they obviously won't collect from you all at once. They'll do it over years, so by the time it's said and done it will probably be more like $5,000 per American. And that's assuming no more bailouts are to come. Why bail out an investment firm if the money needed to do so deprives the American populace of so much money that they have no money to invest anymore? Their business won't recoup because their clientele and capital is going to go down. These companies have part of the blame, the government has partof the blame, but let's not forget that individuals are to blame too. Someone who makes $35,000 a year had no business taking out a $400k mortgage. Was the company dumb for offering it, yes. Was the government dumb for making banks be more lenient toward lower income households, yes. But that person was pretty stupid, too. Many people are living beyond their reasonable means, just like many businesses (and governments) are spending beyond their incoming funds. A collapse would be devastating, yes, but maybe it would eb the first step in making the value of things in our economy (stocks, etc) more reality based. I've been visiting some old economic theorists' works lately (goodness knows there's no sense to be found among most of the contemporary ones), and came upon a very insightful quote that made me smile to think how appropo it is right now regarding the "seen" and the "unseen" in economics: In other words, while it may seem that the government can stimulate the economy (and many Americans and economists hold steadfast to this belief), what many people in this country are failing to see is that the government cannot spend money that it does not TAKE first (via taxes). What each American gets back in return is bound to be only a fraction of what is stolen from them as these events play out. When we consider the long terms consequences of this, it's not a pretty picture at all. An interesting theorist, this Bastiat. Does Rand ever reference him? I have only just begun to read his writings, but he seems to be very anti-government intervention in economics from what I've read so far, so I am certainly enticed to keep reading.
  14. I still don't think this justifies the government's bailout. Natural consequences need to play out; that is how learning, in any context, whether with children or in making investments, occurs. If big failures resulted from big mistakes, businesses would not only know to avoid those mistakes, but investors would know what to watch for when making their investment decision. The demise of AIG would have been catastrophic yes, but I think the governments intervention in the matter will prove much more catastropic. (but people don't always get that because the damages occur more over the long run, where as a company fall-out is much more evident and has consequences that show up a lot faster). Every instance where the government assumes control -and part of this "loan" is the agreement that the Fed Gov now controls 80% of AIG- means that is one less instance in which free markets controls are allowed to function. (And if the gov now controls 80% og AIG, what % of the investment market does that amount to considering how widespread AIG is? Does anyone else not see how much leverage this is giving the gov?). When free market mechanisms are disabled, there is no way for capitalism to function. How can it when profits are inflated with subsidies, tax breaks, and all other sorts of government interventions that shouldn't be there either.
  15. I would definitely concur that there is no heroic quality in this movie whatsoever but I still found it entertaining - mostly because it is so different from any of the other movies out there right now, that either a) have plots that are WAY too predictable are remakes of a movie that was bad in the first place or c) are sequels to a movie that was bad in the first place. It struck me as being similar to the Seinfeld shows, where all these little elements and idiotic decisions made by all the individual come together in very unexpected ways. MY only disappointment was how each character's end status so poorly resembled what the natural consequences of their decisions should have been. But I still liked how it was unpredictable, and I did find its portrayal of the CIA to be, what I suspect to be, highly accurate- full of bumbles, fumbles, and cover-ups. Not the best movie, but entertaining none the less.
  16. It's really sad to me that anyone in this country could possibly think that this bail out is a good idea. I have watched famous financial analyst after famous financial analyst on all the news programs say "There was no alternative. AIG is too big to fall and the ramifications would have been so profound," and I am amazed at how non-capitalistic these people are in their thinking. Do they really not understand that the ramifications of this bailout are far worse for our economy than the fallout of a major company would be? This is just yet another dangerous precedent to be added to the list of te government's justification of stiffling any last remnant of free-market thinking that may xist in this country. AIG is big, yes, and if it had fallen --on its own dumb accord -- then yes, people would have seen their mutual funds drop in value, people would have lost their jobs, and some people would have had some serious questions if they held variable life insurance policies with AIG. But I say it should have been allowed to fall. I don't care how old and prestigious companies are; if they've become idiotic and have provenover the course of time that they are no longer capable of making wise business decisions for themselves and their investors, then let them fail! It is unfortunate that lots of people would suffer financial hardships, but that is part of the risk of investing. People complain about how bad business practice has become in this country, but what incentive is there for companies to avoid bad business practices if there is no consequence for their ill action? If they know that the government would step in with taxpayer dollars to bail them out after all their bad decisions made them lots of money but cost their investors thousands. It's liek the teenager who never learns to value their car or take care of it properly because if they wreck it, daddy will buy them a new one. Who wouldn't drive wrecklessly if there were no consequences? I am not surprised then, that there are so many scandals emerging among these big companies because the natural consequences of bad business decisions are being prohibited from coming to realization. These companies are not being allowed to fall... and the consequences of proping up ill-performing businesses with billions of taxpayer dollars is absolutely sickening. I think one of the biggest underlying problems in our ecomony, and maybe I'm being idiotic in this assumption - so feel free to correct me if I am out of line here, is that people have this ridiculous sense that they are entitled to profits on their investments; that they DESERVE to make money whenever they toss some money in a stock or mutual fund. No one seems to understand that there is risk involved anymore. Sometimes companies make money, sometimes they lose money: that's why you should make informed purchases of stock and make sure you're not dumping all your money in one place (diversification is key to ptotecting your assets; it will never protect all of your assets, but it helps shelter you from a total financial fallout). You as the investor made the choice to purchase that stock (or gave such consent to your mutual fund, or 401k, etc to make investments with your money for you) and you always have the choice to sell. If companies were allowed to fail when they were making failing decisions, then people would be able to make more informed purchases because the value of these stocks would be more accurate (ie, bad businesses on the verge of collapse would not be carrying a deceptively valuable stock value). If people lose all their money then I would contend that they are partly to blame for not spreading out their money enough. Now I am FULLY aware that AIG is a stock that is carried in nearly every mutual fund out there so it's downfall would have had a deep impact on more than just people who had a lot of their stock or their employees. But let it fail, and let a better business take its place. Let people see that better business for what it is and choose to take their money there, and please, let them remember that there is risk in stock investment (and variable life policies derive their value from stocks, so they need to keep that in mind too). If one finds that they are not comfortable with the idea that they may not be guaranteed a profit, then they need to do other things with their money: but some real estate, buy some boullion (oh wait, the government limits that... how convenient), stuff some money under the mattress, or whatever. In a free market, companies do lose money and they do fail and that is the only proper course for bad businesses to take. it is their failure that allows wiser companies to take their place. But how can we ever make room for ethical business practice in this country if bad business is so richly rewarded? How can good business earn consumers' dollars if all their dollars are being taken from them to prop up bad business. This whole situation is disastrous, but for reasons quite different from what all these commentators are saying on the news.
  17. Okay, as if my previous post wasn't long enough, I've actually been thinking about this in great depth these last few days, and I think I have a better idea as to why Jefferson omitted the word "property." The document that really helped establish Jefferson among the leaders of the revolutionary cause was his Summary View of the Rights of British America, which was originally published anonymously as a pamphlet in 1774. In this document, Jefferson expounds in great length on what he considered many disagreeable British statues regarding property: including laws that gave certain, favored British merchants monopolies over colonial trade, laws that prohibited American manufactures, and laws that laid American lands open to the demands of British creditors. To say that Jefferson didn't consider "property" an important right because he didn't choose to list it amongst his "top three" that he chose for the Declaration is simply not true. Note the phrase "that among these rights" that precedes his list in the Declaration. It was not an exclusive list. And if one takes the entire context of Jefferson's published political writings into consideration (including his Notes on the State of Virginia, which came out nearly a decade later) it becomes evident that the pursuit of property was very important to him. But lets remember that the Declaration was meant to be "harmonizing" statement of a populace united in a common cause; there was no room in that document to raise non-harmonious issues, such as slavery. Having reviewed Jefferson's earliest draft that we have, and comparing it to the final draft approved by the Congress, I noticed another significant deletion: Congress eliminated Jefferson's contention that the American colonists had expatriated themselves long ago when they originally settled the land. Jefferson points out in great length in his Summary View, and in lesser detail in his draft of the Declaration, that the settlers who came from Britain to the New World did so largely at their own expense and fought to defend their settlements and maintain their survival with their own blood and sweat; the British government, it is true, did not really start providing military support for the colonies until they were already well-established. This view, however, was uniquely Jefferson's and the other members of Congress - including Adams - were not comfortable with this historical interpretation of events. I would contend, then, that while all the Founders considered the pursuit of property by one's own efforts an inalienbale right, they didn't feel that that was the cause of their need for independence. Their grievances were more focused upon the division and application of governmental power, and while we can argue that a government stepping in to interfere with one's pursuit of property is a violation of man's natural rights, I do believe Jefferson considered it less important than the idea of the right of expatriation which is the foundation of his property-based arguments in his Summary View. He felt that the settlers came to America to find their own happiness by pursuing those values (religious, economic, etc) that they were unable to pursue in Britain., and that they then had to pursue property --more as a necessity than a desire, in his view-- property for the mere sake of survival. The ideas of capitalism and free markets were still in infancy (indeed, perhaps prior to Smith, one could say they were still in utero). The best evidence that the right to pursue property was not the greatest concern is the fact that the colonists, in the decade prior and all the way up to the vote for independence, were not contesting the fact that they were being taxed: they were contesting that they were being EXCLUSIVELY taxed in ways that other parts of Britain's emerging empire were not; that a government in which they had non-representation was taking exclusively from them and offering them nothing in return. it was robbery. Political writings records of political debates abound from the decade or so before 1776 that prove this point: It wasn't that they were protesting taxation/government seizure of property per se, but rather that the government wasn't allowing them any say in the process. It was a revolution meant for greater representation of the people's will in government; not a revolution to establish capitalism. Capitalism stems out of this idea, and would not be possible in any other type of government. But capitalism and the stronger notions of the right to property really start to emerge later in American history; post American revolution. Jefferson had a lot to contribute on the matter; but I think it is unfair for us to feel unsatisfied that he was not the great defender of private property that we wish he had been, because American thinking wasn't quite there yet. I think his political writings prove he was close, but even he was wise enough to understand how unique his views were at the time - and how those views might not help the cause of the greater issue at hand.
  18. Actually, many major insurance companies are now starting to rate clients for driving citations as well, not just accidents anymore. It's one of those things you see popping up in insurance journals, which i have the great (sarcastic) pleasure of keeping up to speed on. Some companies are charging you a rate increase per infraction, and some are letting them just build on your policy so that you are not charged for the infractions themselves, but if you ever did have an accident or claim, they would charge you the extra rating as if you had had that claim PLUS all those other infractions suddenly count as "claims" and your rate goes up a lot more than it would of if you had just had the accident with no prior history of traffic violations. It's a relatively new thing; it literally just started within the last six months or so, so the industry hasn't come up with a consistent way of dealing with this; each company still has their own policy on this matter. But they cannot hide this change; check your policy or your renewal paperwork. You'll want to look through those papers and look for the phrase "experienced rating." This will tell when and for what your insurance company will raise your rates. As for getting the officer to admit he lied, good luck with that. I would really doubt you could get an officer to say that he screwed up in the duties of his job in order to save you from a fine and a few points on your license. You'd need a really good attorney to wiggle out of this, and the expense of that just would not seem prudent when compared to the cost of just paying the ticker and dealing with the points on your license for a few years. I had a trust-fund friend who recently tried this, though his ticket was for running a stop sign. All in all, he spent over $7,500 in legal fees to contest a $50 ticket. And he lost. The statement of the law that requires you to drive within reason given the conditions of other traffic, the roads, etc. works in conjunction with the posted speed limit. The posted limit helps define what the reasonable limit is - though I am not about to argue that the limit posted is always reasonable. But that's how the law sees it, and as much as you don't like it, the officer was doing his job by helping to enforce such law. Could cops be put to better use than watching for speeding violations at 12:30am, yes, but that doesn't change the fact that you violated the law as it stood. TO make an overdramatic example, just because a murderer does not get caught does not mean he didn't commit the murder. He still did it. And as much as we may all contest the notion of speeding laws and limits, you still violated those laws. If you want to make a principled stand and spend a lot of money to try and get an officer to admit he's incompetent, then go for it. Financially, and even legally, however I would not advise you to take such a course. Maybe a better course would be to make a public fuss about it and pursue trying to have the law changed. It sounds strange, but somehow I think that path would offer less resistance and might produce greater results.
  19. The Declaration and Resolves of the First COntinental COngress was written by John Sullivan of New Hampshire and yes, it did use the word property over happiness. This resolve was passed to thwart Joseph Galloway's persistent efforts to try and unite the colonies but to do so while keeping them within the British EMpire (he wanted a reallignment of power, not independence). But the resolves, authored by Sullivan, were pretty much the first agreed upon declaration by the COntinental Congress that that was not the path the Congress would pursue (though many stalwarts remained, particularly among NY --who never actually consented to vote for independence; they abstained -- and John Dickinson of Penn. who though he could not bring himself to vote for independence, he excused himself from the vote, thus letting Penn under the direction of Franklin add their name to the list of consenting colonies. Sullivan, I suspect, was more inclined to quote Locke directly because he was less well-read than Jefferson (though not uneducated by any means). I would suspect -and this is my subjective argument here- that Sullivan pulled it directly from Locke because he knew that it was familiar thinking amongst the Congressmen, and thus more likely to achieve his purpose of casting off the efforts of men like Galloway once and for all. And it did just that. But by the time Jefferson was writing the DEclaration of Independence two years later, the Congress was already more accomodating to the ideas that Sullivan had posed years ago and were incorporating those resolves into their daily thinking (though again they had not officially voted for independence until after his drafting had begun). He, therefore, did not have the urgency to defeat a conservative movement, like SUllivan had, and thus had more time to ponder his words (though 17 days doesn't seem like much). Here's the big problem, though: we do not have the original draft of Jefferson's; it is not known to exist anymore. Only a fragment of what is believed to possibly be his first draft has been found. Historians refer to this as the "composition draft" and it is literally a torn half of a paper that contains part of Jefferson's defamations of the King; this possible piece of Jefferson's first draft does not reveal the first paragraphs that contain the phrase we're all pondering here. The earliest complete draft, in entirity, is referred to as the "Rough Draft," but historians now think that this is actually Jefferson's first revision after his first presentation of his original draft to the committe of five. (Franklin, Adams, Livingston, and Sherman were the other members of the committee). This draft DOES NOT use the word propert; it contains, without any marks upon it, the phrase "pusuit of happiness." Thus, as best we can tell, Jefferson NEVER used the word property. I've heard some people say well, maybe he just couldn't remember the quote quite right since he didn't have his books with him at the time, but I find that highly unlikely (Jefferson accurately quoted passages from literature and political writings at length in other writings when he is also known to have not had that book he was quoting from with him). The drafts and the revisions made along the way are difficult for historians to piece together because all of these meetings were conducted in secracy; they had to be for they were all committing treason. What we know about what revisions were made are based on 1) that first revised draft, 2) the later recollections of Jefferson, and 3) the later recollection of Adams. Livingston and Sherman are not known to have recording anything about changes made; at least not that I have ever seen, but neither of those men were very prolific writers. While Adams and Jefferson's recollections of the events surrounding the Declaration contradict one another on many points (such as why Jefferson was chosen to write the thing), one thing they do not dispute is this phrase. It never appears to have been an issue. The congress undoubtedly recognized the difference, but NO ONE appears to have contested that it should be adapted back to Locke's property version. There were surprisginly few revision, it appears, to have been made to the document, and most of these were made by Franklin. Most notably he revised the phrase "We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable" to "we hold these truths to be self-evident," and this, ironically, appears to have been one of the two changes that upset Jefferson the most. Adams records that Jefferson's response to Franklin's suggestion was " I assure you each word was chosen with great care and purpose," or something along those lines. The other change that wounded Jefferson was Franklin's deletion of Jefferson's charge that the King was responsible for having introduced and perpetuating the slave trade in the Americas. Franklin thought, and proabably rightly so, that that was not the issue at hand and a phrase like that was likely to prevent the colonies from united together in this cause. The other changes were minimal: they took out the phrase "everlasting Adieu!" because they thought it too haughty, they changed "he has dissolved" to "He has refused" and changed the word "subject" to "reduce" in reference to the king keeping the colonies from running their own government acc to their own needs. Long story short, Jefferon's declaration, from what we know of the drafts that do exist, and the recollections of himself and Adams, NEVER contained the word property, and I would argue that this was deliberate on his part, and not simply a misquotation. Jefferson was much more of a Romantic thinker than many of the delegates there, most notably compared to Adams. I don't think that he felt the pursuit of property was not an inalienable right (excuse me, "a sacred and undeniable right", acc to his original words ) but I think he thought of it more as an incidental right that stemmed out of the pursuit of happiness. We have to be subjective when we speculate on why he chose one word over the other, because he never wrote about his semantic thinking on this particular phrase. Maybe he used the word happiness because he himself had never been in the position of having to pursue property, having been born into privelege. He had economic pursuits, but he failed miserably at them (if only he had known how to market his cool inventions, like the lazy-susan, the polygraph, the dumbwaiter, etc( his polygraph was a device that copied letters in duplicate; it was not the kind that assesses truth-telling). If one knew what values to pursue -- what made them happy -- and had the ability to pursue them they would be living the life of an independent and free man, and thus achieve happiness. Maybe property made people happy - it certainly made him happy; he shopped non-stop and died miserably in debt. But perhaps he thought that property was one of those things you could CHOOSE to pursue to obtain happiness, and thus it was not a fundamental right in his thinking. But then, one could always CHOOSE not to pursue life or liberty... but that's another debate. I believe he 100% deliberately interchanged the phrases because he thuoght property was part of what could contribute to happiness, but that happiness was the higher achievement to be had. But he is a hard man to pin down in terms of his personal thoughts. He didn't keep a journal or personal thoughts like other Founders did (or if he did, he destroyed it along with many of his most private correspondence). What he writes in his letters that we do have, and what others recall about the same events don't always match up. What he said about things and what has actually been proven later were also often contradictory. Unfortunately, we have to guess about his intentions because he didn't leave us a lot to work with in regard to the Declaration. ( I wrote my thesis on Adams an Jefferson, can anyone tell? ).
  20. Be careful of using the word deserve, especially if you are referring to the Founders directly in your research. What the Founders were working from was the notion of Natural Rights, which has long historical roots but was really en vogue during the Enlightenment due to the contributions of thinkers like Locke (who would be worth reading, if I am understanding the intent of your studies correctly). None of the Founders would argue - even though many politicians like to manipulate their words today - that humans are born deserving life, liberty, or happiness. They believed they were born with the right to pursue them. They certainly wouldn't argue, for example, that a mass murderer deserved happiness just as much as anybody else. He may have been given the inalienable right to pursue it, but he severely screwed it up, by his own accord, in the process. It seems like a strange suggestion, but reading the Founders debates on the semantics of pivotal documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and even the Treaty of Paris (John Adams nearly fell to pieces over whether or not Americans should have the "right" or the "liberty" to fish in the waters off of south eastern Canada) will give you great insight into the philosophy they were working with. They understood how important that one little word could be. Read Thomas Jefferson's reactions to the phrases that were changed in the DEclaration of Independence and compare his drafts to the finished piece. Read John Adams reaction to the few changes that were made to his Constitution that he wrote for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (which still stands today, might I add). Understanding why they thought the words describing their principles were so important will help you understand what their principles were. Men are not born equal, but as John Adams would argue repeatedly, they are born equally free. Free to do what, you ask? To pursue such things as life, liberty, and happiness (and property, to be true to Locke's version) - but never, ever, to have these things given to them. Isn't it interesting that Jefferson very specifically chose the word happiness over property?
  21. Gurian does have a lot to contribute on this point in his research regarding how boys' brains differ from girls and how they have different learning needs than girls. As a former teacher, I can vouch to this, though there were always exceptions to this rule on both sides of the gender line. There's also a movement out there called Brain Gym that a lot of teachers, especially of young children, swear by. I never used the program in its entirity, but the basic idea was that certain movements produced higher levels of calm and mental focus. It made one more ready to learn. And I can attest to that, based on my personal tendencies. I find that I most definitely think better when I am moving. my greatest moments of clairvoyance of late have come when I am running hard on the treadmill. It's always struck me as somewhat bizarre that in those moments where you are sweating to death and gasping for breath and thinking "I should stop" or "how much further can I go" that one can also simultaneously be so purely focused on something much more abstract. (Like the notion of liberty and John Adams' political writings; for some reason I've been thinking a lot about those lately when I'm at the gym). But has anyone else out there seen this new "treadmill desk" movement out there? There has been for many years, I guess, a subcult of people who have customized some sort of desk surface to attach to their treadmill. People started doing it to lose weight; to avoid having to sit still for so many hours while getting work done. Now there are companies who have actually started manufacturing these desks, to the tune of about $4k each. Not too long ago, on 20/20 or Dateline, I saw a piece about a company in New York that decided to install four of these desks as part of a study. Lots of employees volunteered, again, solely because they wanted to lose weight. Well, not only did they lose weight pretty easily but their productivity increased enormously. These desks, it is worth mentioning, don't go more than two miles an hour, so they are not sprinting by any means. The company was so pleased, they put these desks in their conference room and everything. Everyone is getting fitter and productivity is increasing. The news piece seemed to suggest that the increase in improvement was coming from the employees being healthier; healthier employee = more focus, or something along those lines. I would argue, however, that it was the movement itself that actually contributed to the greater part of the improvements in productivity because they were thinking better and their brain was being stimulated in all sorts of good ways. I was dissapointed that the news piece left that more or less undiscussed. I tried running this idea past my boss, and sad to say, he turned my request for a treadmill desk down. IRA rollovers would be so much easier to sort through if I myself was rolling... but the boss wouldn't bite. studies abound out there, however, that suggest movement stimulates the brain so that it not only makes learning easier, but it makes the knowledge more permanent. The more parts of the brain that are firing at once, the more likely things/knowledge is to stick. As a gymnast I even found the reverse to be true; that thinking could help me move. When one was doing a difficult move,you had that focused thought that you relied on to get you through it. I always thought of a waterfall: its sound, its smell, its force, etc. I don't know why that image worked, but it did. I always concentrated on the thought of a waterfall if I ever had to do something physically challenging, and I still find myself resurrecting that old mental trick from time to time these days. But never when I am wearing myself down on the treadmill; for some reason running makes me think of political theory. Maybe I'm trying to run away from the political mess this country is in :-)
  22. There were definitely similarities; a lot of the Founders' principles are key ingredients in what Rand later put together -- in a much more coherent manner-- in Objectivism. But I think it is unfair to say that Objectivists could have written a better Constitution per se; the fact that a Constitution, accomplishing what it did, even resulted from all their efforts is amazing. Read Madison's thorough documentation of the Constitutional debates if you have any doubt regarding this. From those documents, you will quickly discover that the greatest obstacle the Constitution had to overcome was finding enough common ground among a very diverse group of men and the constituencies they represented. There was so much disagreement... and yet the areas where there was relatively little disagreement can give us a glimmer of their wisdom. One such example: religious freedom. There was little debate about this -- a few crazy men aside -- and even though their reasons were more toward acting in favor of individual freedom from state-mandated religion and fees, rather than trying to promote secularism, I think, given the time they were living in, this represents a monumental achievement. Madison pushed heavily for religious freedom, urged on by Jefferson from Paris; Jefferson had authored the Virginia statutes which established the precedent for this freedom as we know it. And that's only one example. So could Objectivist have written a better COnstitution? Yes, but what is the likelihood of getting that many like minded individuals together in a room (esp. given the estimated rarity of objectivists discussed in other topics ) I think it is important to view historical figures in the context of their time. It can be fun and informative to compare them to standards they would have been held to in current times, but it is useless if you are really trying to gain historical understanding. The truth is their achievement was huge... and they knew that. No one walked out of that convention completely satisfied; not even Hamilton, who was the one who really pushed for the abolishment of the Articles of Confederation. If we want to have some fun, and take the FOunders out of the context of their time, I like to imagine what it would be like if we could bring them back today, and let them see what has become of their efforts. I think they would clammer to see the Constitution, and eagerly read through it's amendments, but I think they would be astounded to see how few there have been. They thought there were more flaws and vague references needing clarification than that! When the Constitution was ratified, all of the members of the Convention knew there were flaws, but they treated it more as a foundational document rather than a perfect outline. It was something to build upon; something, in all honesty, they hoped posterity could work out the fine details on, and many FOunders specifically say that in their private letters. It's interesting to note the difference in tone and opinion of the Founders in their public and their private papers. Look at Madison and Hamilton, in particular: two of the three authors of the Federalist Papers that were publshed publically to gain support for the COnvention and the document itself. Read their private letters among their closest friend (esp. Madison & Jefferson and Hamilton and any of his political allies) and compare those to what they expressed in public. In public, they were confidant and optimistic, but in private (to their most trusted confidants) they were rationally insightful and doubtful. Kudos to John Adams for really being the only founder who presented his views in public the same way he expressed them in private. But there weren't many men like Adams then, just as there aren't many like him now.
  23. For all those who are interested, and who may be venturing to Las Vegas anytime soon, in the lobby of the Cirque du Soleil "O" Theater at the Bellagio, there is a breath-taking exhibit of Mr. MacDonald's sculptural work. All of the pieces are for sale, and come in various size castings of various material (bronze, clay, etc.). This exhibit showcases his "cirque" pieces where he had performers from cirque du soleil model for him (and how they held these seemingly impossible poses for so long is a wonder to me!). They also run a streaming video of him scultping the pieces, which is hypnotic to watch. It is well worth a visit; one of few sights to see in Vegas of any real value (not counting all the Cirque du Soleil shows, of course). The detail is AMAZING. I caught myself staring at the hands of one particular piece for well over ten minutes. They are all truly the most breath-taking sculptures I have ever had the pleasure of looking at in person. The eyes are haunting, the poses beautiful in their "impossibilty" and the detail he gives to the muscles of each figure makes them seem as though they will just come to life right before your eyes. A great expression of human beauty and what the body is capable of. A must see for all Vegas-goers (and go see "O" while your at it; the engineering of the stage alone will astound you, as will the performance). I have lots of pictures of the pieces (the gallery patrons are very friendly and let me do so), but I am worried I would be violating a copyright to post them; most of the pieces are featured in the "Cirque" link of the sculpture section of his website, however, ahich Sophia offered a link to above. Looking at photographs of these pieces, however, pales in comparison to looking at them in person.
  24. I think a clash of introversion/extroversion tendencies can cause difficulties in any human relationship (we've all worked on a group-project in school, for example, where a clash of personalities in this sense can really affect the responsibility load each member bears...), but this clash can be especially detrimental in meaningful friendships and romances. My three closest friends, in fact, are extreme extroverts: they live for their "network," and use those attachments to define themselves in ways that the non-Peter Keatings among us would not. (Though allow me to issue the disclaimer that I am not contend that all socially-inclined people are needy in the way Keating was... but my friends seem to be, sadly). And they are, as mentioned in an above post EXHAUSTING for those of us that are introverts. Imagine someone like Mallory being friends with someone like Francisco! I think the problem more or less lies in the fact that how introverted or extroverted one is may reflect upon and stem from their sense of life (how they approach new things, danger, adventure, etc.). My experience with extroverts seems to indicate that they like the thrill of new things and have an insatiable sense for exploration and adventure in all realms (all you extroverts out there, feel free to intervene with your comments). We introverts, on the other hand, tend to prefer laying out predictable courses, and having all necessary information before taking any risks. We still try new things, yes, but to a lesser extent and definitely less often. A clashing sense of life, as any objectivist will agree, seems to make meaningful human relationships impossible to achieve. I would suggest that that played a pretty big part in the crumblings of your relationship, which I am sorry to hear about. Religious differences could reflect a different sense of life, too, but I would prefer to judge people for how they act in accordance to their beliefs, so religion need not be hinged upon as a pivotal factor. But I would certainly concur with Megan's advice: go ahead and experience your emotions, work through them, analyze them, conquer them... in other words, introspect. Isn't that something we introverts love to do anyway ? Let your emotions be your reaction, but don't let them control your reactions, if that makes any sense at all. Introspection, I believe, is one of the greatest things mankind has the ability to do. The reflections upon one's errors made by the greatest geniuses in history (from Newton to Edison) have led to many of the greatest inventions and achievements in human histoty. Don't feel pressured into accepting anyone else's timeline for your "grieving" besides the one you set for yourself. You'll know when you've analyzed things and wallowed enough; introverts have a particular talent for that sort of thing.
  25. Certain parts of the brain do have specific functions, it's true. Most of the studies that have enabled us to comprehend what part of the brain handles what functions have come from studies involving patients with injured or diseased brains. When we look at brain function in any task in a healthy brain, using imaging techniques such as EEG, MEG,fMRI and fMRS, what we discover is that nearly all brain activities involve networks of locations that work together. When a brain is injured, we can decipher how that particular location affects the "network" of the lost ability or function. A piece of the process/network is disabled, and thus the entire function that network controlled is affected. The old dichotomy argument really is being broken down by the evidence that new brain-scan technology offers us. One fascinating group of experiments to look at in terms of left-right brain research, however (indeed, these are the studies that lead to the theory in the first place) are the studies of patients with "split" brains. These were patients who, as a drastic last resort to treat epilepsy, had the nerve fibers of their corpus callosum severed (these are the nerve fibers that connect the two hemispheres. Interestingly enough, the impact this procedure differed greatly between children and adults. Children's brains showed a remarkable resilience and networks rerouted themselves in unique but functional ways. It's a fascinating field. I like to ponder what Rand would have to say about all these new discoveries... As to how I chose my career, that's an interesting question, because I am still a work in progress in that regard. I love what I currently do -- teaching primary level Montessori-- but am very frustrated by how little control I have and the lack of prospect for financial advancement. I was always attracted to teaching; even when I was in school for architecture I imagined myself as one of the professors someday. I had planned on going to grad school after taking a year off after graduating with my BA in History, with intentions of becoming a professor in Early American History (American Revolution and Early National Republic eras, to be exact). In the meantime, I thought of teaching at the high school level, to try and get some assistance paying for grad school, but became so disgusted with the bureaucracy of education at the workshop day to get into the certification program that I knew I could never work in public schools, and well,I just started to wonder if I could stomach being a teacher at all if I wasn't going to be able to teach effectively because of somebody else's red tape. But then someone gave me some reading on Montessori, and I was sold. There were some qualms I had, but overall the logic of the method Montessori uses had great appeal to me. I applied for and got into the training program here in Colorado, sucessfully graduated, and have been in the field for three years now. I love working with the kids, I love designing works for the classroom, I love coordinating the curriculum, but I hate having limits placed upon what I believe to be my effectiveness. In pursuit of answers to my own curiosities, I hired a career consultant and have been working with him for several months. One of the first things he said to me was that" It's not that what you are doing is wrong, it's just that you may be doing it in the wrong place." There is actually "education/teaching" involved in lots of careers where one might not think, and I am exploring those fields now, most especially criminal investigation and financial advising. I want more control over my own circumstances; I have thought of opening my own school someday, but I need some way to get there financially first so I would still need something else to do for a while before I tried doing that. But who knows, I may end up with something completely different. I am envious of people out there who have one specific, marketable skill that they excel at. I am more of a diversified person in terms of my skills, but have found that can be pretty frustrating to find a career that caters to all the right parts of my personality and still lets me pay the bills and have recreational interests. It is a work in progess, but I am loving the process nonetheless and have total confidence in the outcome of this career-adventure. And I would definitely recommend anyone who is struggling with the career choice they made, or to make one at all, consider working with an independent career consultant. It really helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of, and to have someone who can help you with all the research you need to achieve what you want to achieve. At the very least, it's been a very insightful process for me and has certainly given me a greater understanding of myself and my goals.
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