Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by SherryTX

  1. I wonder why people can't reach out to me instead of vice versa. By the time I get to my therapist's office, I talk SO much because aside from conversations here and there with storeowners or a person I run into, I'm so hungry to communicate. If I did decide to take my life, noone would know it for days, maybe a week. I have nice neighbors, and am as nice to strangers as I possibly can be just to feel better about myself.

    I understand what you are saying here, and I understand where you are coming from. This isn't something I have experienced lately, and probably not to the degree that you have. It is hard trying to be extroverted when you may not have the spirit to.

    However, here is my suggestion - keep seeking out people. You have to do it, because that is something no one can really do for you. You already know how to use the internet, since you are here, so use that tool to your advantage.

    I have worked from home most of the last 4 or 5 years. I am not in the same situation as you - I have a big family. However, I had very few people I could call true friends when we moved half way across the country. After the first year, tired of being lonely for friends, I worked very very hard to start finding some. It was tought at first, because most everyone in TX belongs to a church and their life revolves around it. That is not for us, haha. I went online, and started seeking out people that I thought I might have something in common with.

    My first stop was a discussion board where a lot of people that head left my old religion - I got to know a few online, and subsquently in person (we had what was called "ApostaFests" - I even hosted a Xmas one at my house once). For a time, that was okay, but I found I didn't have as much in common with many of them after a while besides being an ex church member. I kept in touch with some, but then kept searching. I found another group (a Freethought Church of all things) - went once and thought, no this isn't for me. Then I found a Humanist group - became friends with a few folks there, and through them, found an Objectivist group in the area. I stopped going to the Humanist group a long time ago, but have made several true friends through the Objectivist group (North Texas Objectivist Society). I also started a Meetup group for recruiters (my profession) and got to meet a lot of great people. Some I became friends with, and others just acquiatnances. Along the way, I also went to a few Atheist Meetups...

    Anyway - my point is this: you cannot give up finding friends, but you also cannot forget that YOU have to do the work to find them. I realize it isn't easy, and it can be very exhausting emotionally.

    Currently, I am on the search for finding some new people for my 9 year old to meet so she can make some true friends. We home school her, due to some issues she has (Asperger's for example - which makes socialization for her and making and keeping friends tough), I have been working very hard on this. It is one of my short term purposes, because I don't want her to grow up unable to make and keep friends - but more importantly, I also want her to find friends that she has something in common with (shared interests) NOW.

    Check out Meetup, yahoo groups - or even here, go to the local forum and see if there is something in your area.

    Start small - there is nothing wrong with signing up for a few groups and checking them out and if you don't like the people, not going any more.

    You say you enjoy physical activities - see if there is a Meetup in your area where people get together to go hiking, play tennis, etc...what ever you are interested in.

    Let's us know how it goes! And hang in there - and keep on doing something for yourself!

  2. Thanks for both of your replies. I'm not so much worried about being able to find a job, as I have some good leads already, but I'm just going through the interviewing process and it's taking longer than expected. If none of these potential positions work out, there are more I can apply to, but I really need a steady source of income in the meantime. JMeganSnow, from your comment it sounds like waiting tables might be a good option if I really can get hired quickly. If there are any other types of jobs like this, feel free to throw them out there.

    Also, I've been making use of the career center in order to polish my resume and develop a good strategy for finding something. It's helped in some ways more than others, but I do want to talk to them tomorrow about how to handle my immediate lack of an offer.

    A month to wait for an interview? Sounds about right, especially given this economy. What has been happening (since late summer and fall for a lot of major companies) is that hiring managers have been forced to redo their budget for 2009, and many companies that usually start hiring in February have put off doing so until they had a better idea where business would be heading towards the end of the first quarter or into the second quarter.

    I agree it would be smart to find something short term if you can. If you haven't already, consider registering also with temp companies. Right now there are not a great deal of jobs, and even in TX competition is fiercer than it was 6 months ago.

    Regarding waiting tables, I don't think that is a bad idea. However, please keep in mind that the service industries have been slammed, so depending on where you apply, you may not have a lot of luck. I am not discouraging you from the route. However, make sure you take some time to figure out which restaurants are actually still doing a good deal of business.

    What part of TX are you in? If you are in the Dallas area, I highly recommend targeting restaurants in Addison, as well as the high end parts of Dallas (such as near Turtle Creek).

    Did you do any internships while you were in school? If so, contact the people you met at the company and see if they would be interested in hiring you back for anything while you are searching for a better position. Also, register with here http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobs/job.html and get your resume out on Craigslist, and other sites that do not charge recruiters to view resumes.

    Also, there are two really good job search engines I highly recommend:



    Both search the major job boards, as well as corporate job boards. There is a lot of overlap, but I have found that sometimes one has a few postings the other doesn't.

    Neither, at this time, can search Craigslist, so you need to go their to search.

    They will be hiring again for the US Census in June or July. Call your local Census office and see what will be available. It is not a lot of money, but it could get you through the summer.

    Do you have any friends from school that would be interesting in splitting the cost of a small apartment for 6 months to a year? That could save you a lot of money, and make it easier to stay here.

    Good luck - and let us know how you make out!

  3. I think it is great that people can get out there and support causes they believe in, and earn money for college.

    However, my only problem with it is that it is run by the government. Taxes should not be used to fund anything outside of the basic responsibilities of government.

    My real fear - though - is that we will see something in the future that will REQUIRE public service on college - even high school students - for them to graduate at publically funded schools. I remember when I was younger, about 18, I worked at a nursing home run by the Catholic Church. Next door was a Catholic High School, and some of the seniors would come visit. One of them (very nice young man, he really seemed to enjoy visiting the folks there) told me that a certain number of community service hours were required for him to graduate, and this was what he picked. I don't have issues with something like that - it is a private school, and if they tell you up front what the requirements are, you have a choice to accept them and go, or reject them and not go.

    However, since so many parents cannot afford private schools or home school their kids, public school is their only alternative. I don't think the government has any business dictating that people must "serve the community" in any capacity (although I think it is always a nice option as altnernive to paying fines for an actual crime).

    I just don't get it. We bloat the budget, have to print money to keep things afloat, and he signs bills like this. It would be better to suggest colleges set up their own service for tuition on programs the colleges have a lot of interest in than this. (I am not referring to work study.) That makes a lot more sense to me.

  4. You say "More essential"...I don't consider Rand's beliefs on things that didn't deal with philosophy to be of essential importance, though. Other philosophers are not judged on their personal life, or at least not as much as Rand has been.

    I disagree with her views on sexuality in general, which I think she explained as a matter of psychology, and it's impact on what people ought to do. There could be legitimate griping with some specific things Rand considered immoral like homosexuality when you view ethics as much more based in observation than other branches of philosophy. You can only say a certain action is wrong if you know what that action's consequences imply.

    I also disagree with some things...but only applications of the philosophy, not the philosophy itself, as far as I understand it. I think Rand was wrong on the woman president issue, as well as homesexual issue. However, I think had she lived longer, she may have changed her view on homosexuality. I also don't agree with her definition of feminity, as I do not believe - and have never seen any real evidence for - her view that in order to be femine you have to have a man to worship.

  5. The one in Dallas was amazing!

    It is estimated there was several thousand there - and there were a LOT of John Galt and Atlas Shrugged signs - not just by people I know through local Objectivist groups - but people I have never seen before!

    We handed out a lot of fliers tonight. And the speakers mentioned Atlas Shrugged several times.

    Sure, there were some God signs here and there, and they did start it with a prayer - but I actually thought there would be a lot more religious signs than there were.

    It was well worth the trip into Dallas. My two youngest girls joined us and helped hold small signs and handed out fliers.

  6. I have a 2 and half year old I read to every night. Currently we enjoy Where the Wild Things Are, Curious George, Margaret Wise Brown and Eric Carle books. I recently discovered Oliver Jeffers children's books which we like very much. Anyone else have any good recommends for me?

    I have never heard of Oliver Jeffers. Thanks for mentioning him!

    I love all of Margaret Wise Brown's work. She was a wonderful author!

    Hmmm.. I loved reading the Lyle the Crocodile series to my son when he was very little, and to his little sisters, as well as Ira Sleeps over, by Bernard Waber.

    Here is a link to a list of his books:


    I also enjoyed Syd Hoff's books as a child (Danny and the Dinosaur, for example).

    Now, I know some may not agree with this selection, but I also love Love You Forever by Robert Muncsh.

    Anything by Beatrix Potter, as well as Winnie the Pooh stories (not the Disney books, but the original ones. No offense to Disney, but the original ones are the best in my book!)

    When you child gets old (or maybe even now), I highly recommend Chika-Chicka Boom! Boom! Also, Eic Carle books, such as The Hungry Catepillar have been enjoyed by my kids.

  7. I don't consider prostitution and taking drugs "recreationally" to be moral myself, though I realize that I have no moral authority to impose my views onto others. Most, if not all, of the "ills of society" stemming from the use of drugs and / or prostitution come from the fact that these are illegal, and therefore pimps and drug lords are necessary in order to defend themselves against those who would use force against them.

    Look, it's the woman's body and if she wants to sell her ability to have sex, then the moral right to live your life as you choose takes precedent over anyone else's use of force to prevent you from doing that. As to drugs, some might not be any worse than having a beer, or so I'm told, since I haven't used any, but there are definitely some out there that are harmful in a permanent manner. If someone wants to cut off their emotions or their enjoyment of life from the achievement of values, they have a moral right to live that way.

    However, I don't think we are going to sell capitalism to the American people by telling then that drugs and prostitution will be legalized -- they will be legalized that that is not the primary point of capitalism. The primary point of capitalism is the freedom to live by the best judgment of your own mind, because you have the moral right to live your own life as you judge best for you and your standards; but you also have to agree that this principle applies equally to everyone; which means that it also applies to drug sellers and prostitution houses.

    The Libertarians also don't have a moral justification for capitalism when it comes to running a business. In their platform it mentions that capitalism(free markets) have the most diversity of products and services, but this is almost self evident. The real key is to assert the morality of making a profit for the individual running a business.

    So, the moral fight for capitalism based on man's nature as a rational animal is the only way to really fight for capitalism. Anything short of that will eventually lose out to the more consistent moral stance.

    Tom, thanks for your thoughts on their updated platform.

    By the way - regarding laws against drugs, I listend to Ayn Rand's lecture 'Apollo and Dionysus' Friday night, as well as the Q&A afterwards. I believe it was during the Q&A where she stated that making drugs illegal was wrong, she did say that of course, except for selling to minor children. I was happy to hear that. I do agree that drugs should be legal, but have no issue with having laws making it legal to sell to minors. However, I digress....

    Regarding moral justifications - is this the only real issue here? Because they don't go into detail issue by issue and go back to detailed explanations as to why woman should be allowed to have abortions, or why drugs shouldn't be illegal? Because they don't discuss in detail the philosophical reasons? I didn't really see this on the Republican or Dems website for their platforms - so why does this make Libertarians worse than those parties?

    While hey I think it would be great if they did that - I don't see rejecting them as a political party or one of their candidates because they haven't done this.

    Tom - perhaps you could email someone at the local Lib party level and make some suggestions. You never know!

    Also - where one poster suggested getting Libertarians to support ARI. I found that interesting, because why would someone that didn't already support ARI who was a Libertarian really want to do that? I would think if they read what ARI writes about Libertarians that they would probably not be swayed to do that.

    I am hoping that in the coming years that they can continue to improve their platform so that ARI will recognize that they are not an evil party. I understand the issues Ayn Rand had with them- she didn't like the anarchists (neither do I), but she also accused them of stealing her ideas constantly. I would be a bit upset with them if I were here and that was what I thought they had done as well.

  8. In terms of broad brush strokes, the conservatives tend to be intrinsicists and the liberals tend to be subjectivists; and the libertarians are not objective, since they cannot validate their cry for freedom (which makes them come across as whim worshipers).

    None of the three major parties base their arguments on the factual nature of man and derive their politics from those facts. That is none of them base their arguments of their politics on the fact that man is the rational animal, and that he has certain social needs to be left alone so he can live his life as a rational animal. The conservatives, especially insofar as they are religious, base their arguments on edicts without validating those edicts; the liberals want certain things to happen (i.e. more people in houses, wealth equality, etc.) based on their desire unsupported by the facts; the libertarians want to do whatever they want to do, with no justification of why they ought to be free to do it.

    The only real rational alternative is presented by Ayn Rand in Capitalism:The Unknown Ideal and in Atlas Shrugged.

    I would recommend reading Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty by Peter Schwartz to better understand the nature of libertarians.

    I understand why Ayn Rand was not happy with Libertarians back in her day. But this is 2009. Some things have changed. They are absolutely not perfect - and neither are the Reps or Dems. In fact, in many instances, I don't see a lot of difference between those 2 parties most of the time.

    I haven't read anything written in the past 5 years that made me think that it is wrong to consider a candidate on their personal track record and their stances on issues - regardless of whether they are Dem, Rep or Libertarian. To me - to say no to any candidate just BECAUSE they are a member of these parties is arbitrary.

  9. What a blowhard Branden is:

    1) Rnad's distrust of the new is probably well justified. Even if you don't know the ins and outs. we're all eqpuipped with BS dectectors. In philosphy, it's called "conatural" and means "goes with being a grownup" e.t. "If it sounds too good to be true; it is". When I hear the crap that hss come down in psychology, mostly about stress and self-esteem since the Revisionism of 1978 I understand her point. When I see the way things in medidcine change every 5 years, I'm tempted to say, "Hey, come back when you get it right. If you ever do!" For how many years was Pluto a planet? Now a bunch of Eruo-Weenies get together in 2006 and change the street signs again. Short Attention Span is endemic.

    2) The "theory of Evolution" is in fact a hypothesis. As of 1974 it was stlll being discussed as a non-settled issue. Petr Beckmann rejecited what is commonly called "the theory of Evolution" in the latge 1980's. The reason is that "The Theory of Evolution" is taken to mean Darwin's theory. The real kicker here is that in 1975 or 6, Rand wrote in her letter titled The Missing Link that she had a hypothesis that the "range of the moment menality" is the "missing Lin". It also appears in either PHILOSPHY, WHO NEEDS IT or THE NEW LEFT: THE ANITI INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. Now the rest of the stary; from SCIENCE DIGEST 1983 in an article titled "Was Early Man Schizophrenic", a Dr.Jaynes located the defining characteristic of man in the rational faculty. I hope I don't have to explain the connectin to "The Missing Link".

    3) Given the understanding of hypnosis, especially before 1950 and how it is portraayed, one could hardly blame Rand for not buying it. Granted she was wrong but hindsight is better than foresight by a damnsight.

    4) We are supposed to take ESP and that kind of stuff seriously? Nathaniel? What's next alien abductions? Majestic 12? shadow people? fairies, elves, demons and "nature people? Why don't you just fill in for George Norry on Coast to Coast? You'll fit right in. It's been a fact for some times that the "scientist" is easily fooled and ends up falling for what a conjuror like the Great (James) Randi refutes in 3 minutes flat. e.g. Uri Geller: He had everybody buffaloed until Randi showed that he could do all those trick on demand.

    5) Science is by nature conservative. We don't rush headlong into accepting novel ideas. Remember cold fusion? We've been knoked ass over tea kettle too many times.

    Any more Hazards?

    1. I will repeat what I said earlier: Nothing I have read in Six Pillars contradicts what I have learned about Objectivism. Yeah, we all have BS dectors, and we can read and think for ourselves and decide if it is or not.

    2. Life has evolved. That is a fact. All the "ins and outs" of what the evoluntionary process is - that is a hypothesis. But that life evolves is a fact.

    3. Do I think hypnosis is valid? Maybe not - but having said that, I am not reading anything by him about hypnosis, and even if I do, it doesn't have anything to do with what I have read and listened to by Branden (including his Basic Prin of Objectivism lectures - which Rand approved I might add). So what is your point there? Rand was mistaken about a few things, but I don't through out everything she stated just because she (in my opinion) is wrong about no women should be president, or that she stated homosexuality is wrong.

    4. Again - what is your point? That's great Rand disputes it. I haven't seen any scientific proof that has convinced me that ESP is real. However, the same answer applies as #3

    5. He can be wrong about things and right about others. That doesn't make everything he has written wrong or evil.

  10. I am hoping the Libertarian party can some how work on its platform. I cannot join Republican or Democrat parties - but the Libertarian party is closer to my polictical beliefs. But I am an independent.

    I vote per the candidate, not the party. I didn't vote for McCain or Obama either - I wrote in John Galt, but I did vote down the rest of the ticket. And I voted for every Libertarian on the local ticket because at least I know they hate taxes and large government. I wouldn't vote for Ron Paul because I don't like his stance on abortion.

    If there is a Libertarian candidate were to run for president that agree on with most of the issues, I would absolutely vote for that candidate.

    By the way - Libertarian party does have issues, but that doesn't mean they cannot change. I think disavowing them altogether just because a lot of prominent Objectivists do (either the party or individual candidates) is a mistake. You have to think for yourself - so why not at least investigate the candidate's stance before just disregarding them?

    I think a lot of Objectivists do that, and it is unfortunate.

  11. There's a few more videos shot in the same type of format on the ARI website, and I have to say I the lighting is unflattering to Dr. Brook -- they should certainly adjust it. It makes his face look red compared to his neck, and the cleft between his eyes is highlighted.

    Look at Yaron Brook in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGWuNq66v_0, and then in

    -- he hardly seems like the same person. He looks excellent in the second one.


    I have to say the woman in the most recent video looks spectacular though -- very beautiful. A tad robotic, but beautiful. :)

    Yeah, that was weird, but it appears to be a technical issues, I don't (I would hope anyway) that the effect was not intentional. And I agree, the second one did look better. And I liked the length, short and sweet.

  12. If anyone is interested, and hasn't had time to RSVP yet - please RSVP on the NTOS Meetup site by Saturday - I just want to make sure I have an accurate number for the restaraunt. So far we are up to 13 Yes and a few maybes. So we could have up to 15 to 20 people there!

    If you come, I don't think you will be disappointed!

  13. Welcome to the forum!

    Thank you for sharing your story, it is very uplifting.

    If you don't mind me asking, how did your wife respond to all this? I am curious becaue you were married (it appears) before you formally left the church.

    My husband and I had been married a few years (he was already an atheist, and I was 90% agnostic at the time), and "discovered" Objectivism, and took the journey together. I am curious if your wife has embraced it, or if she is interested in learning more or if you two have just "agreed to disagree". (I have met a few couples where the husband was Objectivist, and the wife was either an atheist or not, and they just accepted each other's different philosophies and didn't let it get in the way of their marriage.)

    I hope those questions are not too personal - but I am very curious, so figured I would ask. Of course, if you don't want to answer, that is understandable.


  14. ARI has posted these two videos on YouTube recently, with a new style:


    I dont really think that ideas as important as the ones being discussed, should be presented in a cheesy ad-like form like that. I dont know if this is just a personal opinion, but I usually get turned off really fast if i see "slick salesmen" type ads with shiny lights and rehearsed speeches because that gives the impression that what is being said isnt that important. I personally like better the style of sitting in a chair in front of the bookshelf, talking in a regular, but professional manner.

    Also, if there are people who have gotten second-hand information that O'ism is a cult, and those two videos are the first time he has heard/seen actual Objectivists talk, I dont think he's going to be that interested in finding out more. Im halfexpecting Yaron to invite everyone to the launching pad on top of the ARI building, preparing for our trip to planet Randia at the end of the first video :( . Obviously us who understand O'ism can get the actual message behind the presentation, but i dont think anyone else can

    Well, I didn't think there were that bad, really. The first one was kinda of long - not sure if people who are not already familiar with ARI would sit through 9 minutes, but Yaron Brook made some good points.

    I don't think they are cheesy. I don't think they are unprofessional - look, they are trying to reach a wide audience. And the manner that they did these videos, I think does that. I don't think making the spokespeople (Yaron Brook - and the lady I don't know who she is in the 2nd video) sound stuffy and overally academic is a good idea for something like this.

    I was actually surprised to find the format pretty decent (except for the length of the first one - two long!)

  15. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you can create a thriving Objectivist community in your area. Interest in Ayn Rand's ideas is at an all-time high. Capitalize on that!

    It's not difficult to get started. Create a web site, set up a mailing list with Google Groups, advertise (e.g. on Objectivist forums, on FaceBook, and with Google ads), and start a once-a-month discussion group for anyone seriously interested studying Objectivism. For a model, see Front Range Objectivism, particularly the "FROG" discussion groups. You might start with an Atlas Shrugged Reading Group at a local library.

    I'd be happy to spend a half hour on the phone with anyone interested in doing that. Or better yet, since I'm still busy writing my dissertation, you can ask about how to do it here -- or on a NoodleFood Open Thread.

    If you want it, make it happen! You can do it!

    Meetup.com is a very good tool for this if you don't have the time, money or energy to create your on website. It is very affordable. That is how NTOS uses! I met Santiago there, and he gave a great description of the group! I have met probably over 100 people the last 3 years that are Objectivists, students of Objectivism (like myself) and those interested, or friends of family that were reasonable enough to enjoy the get togethers.

    As Santiago said, we usually have 2 casual social events, as well as 2 to 3 speakers per year. Andrew Berstein has lectured and visited with us twice, as well as others. Craig Biddle was our first guest lecturer, and John Ridpath was another, and Dr. John Lewis will be coming next weekend!

    We aslo have added lots of other events: dinners, after work get togethers, and sometimes movie and a dinner. We have a standard yearly event of going to the Scarborough Faire each year as well. The calendar is so packed for April - it is amazing!

    As a parent of 5 kids, it has been a great benefit to get to know other families that are trying to apply Objectivism in not only their personal lives, but in raising their children.

    We also have two other Meetup groups that are trying to find local Objectivists and interested parties in East Texas and the Oklahoma City Area.

    In addition to NTOS, Donovan has a great group with CRC - every Friday there is a new lecture we listen to (currently the Ford Hall Forum series), have a discussion, and most of us go to dinner after. I don't get to attend often, but when I do it is a great time, and very educational!

    If you want it...as Diana said...make is so.....you won't regret it!

  16. I bought my son (he was 17) one last year, per his request.

    They are cool hats. I wish more men would wear them. But not the skanky men. They can stick with skanky head gear, thank you very much hahah.

    Target had them last year, pretty cheap, and had some decent ones.

  17. What an excellent question! And one I think many people have struggled with in the course of their life.

    Here is my answer - and of course I have to base it on my experience and how I approach this question - I agree with Ayn Rand that you shouldn't hurry. Depending on your age, and more importantly how long you have felt free and confident in living for yourself and not others - this can take quite a bit of time. And also, keep in mind that your purpose in the short term, may change over time.

    Career-wise, my "purpose" had for many years to be the best recruiter I could be - to work with different companies, learn new industries, and be the best I could possibly be at finding hard to find technology professionals to fill positions. I enjoyed this very much. A second purpose was to make money to help my husband support our family. Of course, since I had my first child, a very important purpose I have had is to teach my kids to be "the most they could be". But how I did that and why changed drastically once I started to understand Objectivist.

    I am guilty of waiting for a purpose to find me, both career wise and family wise. At least for the first 30 years of my life. However, since understanding - wait, my purpose doesn't have to be dependent on my family, or some religion, or some altruistic purpose, my ideas have changed. I loved that career, but it wasn't what I wanted to be "when I grew up". I wanted to be a writer, or a musician, and never did anything productive about it to reach those goals.

    For the past two years, I have stayed in the same sort of role (recruiting/HR) because that is what I was pretty good at, and well, I needed to support my family. However, I have slowly been working towards getting out of that career and figuring out how to do so, and work towards writing - even if that "purpose" would only end up being a hobby. My circumstances have also changed quicker, in that right now I am "out" of recruiting, as I was laid off two months ago.

    So what have I been doing? Well, we pulled on kid out of school to home school - and that is a side purpose now. I am full into it, and have found that I am getting better at writing because of all lot of extra work I need to do in order to write up lesson plans, create some of my own curriculum for her, etc. So my main focus is on my short term purpose - that of teaching my kids to think for themselves, teach them (while keeping in mind the whole hiearchy of learning, etc.), and do everything I can to write on the side.

    Where will that lead me? Well, I hope to pull out the youngest for next year or the year after to home school her as well. This will still be short term - I very much keep in mind Ayn Rand's very astute comments she made in that Playboy interview, that a mother that is focusing on raising her kids needs to find something else to do to support herself when that job is over. I am working on a plan (one that will take several years, I know!) where I can further my education, either through formal college, or just self learning so that I can be a decent writer, and work towards writing a book, or at least writing high quality material that others will enjoy reading, even if it ends up just being a blog. I have several ideas I need to flush out. I love to write, that is my passion, though I am not very good (or very productive) at it right now.

    First you need to understand your values to figure out what is important to you in life. And you also have to "live life" a bit to discover what other things out there that may interest you and drive you. Sometimes that is not always easy to find if you are just in a routine that is not allowing you to go out and explore more.

    My advice, and probably the only worthwhile thing I can offer you, is to try stepping outside your comfort zone and explore life more fully. Case in point - I would never have known two of my kids would have a passion for fencing if they never tried it.

    There is one friend from our local Objectivist group that I have noticed had been investigating several different types of Meetup.com groups in the area. I applaud this - he is truly stepping out of his comfort zone and trying new things. It is impressive. Will that enhance whatever passion he has, or help him find a new one? I don't know - but I do know that he is doing the work to explore, and that is commendable.

  18. And I'm much more comfortable reading a self-help book where the author is closer to my worldview. It might not seem important but it makes a difference, however hard to explain.

    Some of the materials I've come across are even religious in nature, which makes me uncomfortable.

    I agree with 100% on that. I just dropped off my copy of the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" at Halfprice books about 10 days ago. I first read it when I was in religion - was a great book for me THEN - and tried re-reading it about a year or two ago. I just couldn't get into it because, well, while it still has some merits for me, really didn't offer anything I could use based on what I have learned through studying Objectivism.

    I am not overally concerned with what happened between the Brandens and Ayn Rand any more - but of course when I read his book, I did look for "red flags" that maybe wouldn't jive with what I have learned so far, and there were none. But even if there were, I think I am comfortable enough to sort out what is reasonable and what isn't.

    So I suggest if you are curious - just pick up one of his books and read it. Judge for yourself.

  19. One thing I've noticed is that he does not present anything new as alternatives to her philosophy. I don't doubt that he has a point to make, but he simply doesn't make that point. The only positive things he has to say are that "she was right sometimes", and where he says she wasn't, he doesn't offer a tangible alternative. He is following one of the follies of being too critical, and that is to attempt to lead away rather than to lead towards.

    Ayn Rand was a leader type, as well as a philosopher type, and so it was necessary for her to not only lead you in the right direction, but to convince you that it was good for you so that you are not being led blindly. Nathaniel Branden, on the other hand, takes a more passive role, that of the watch dog, and not of serious opposition. So with Ayn Rand, you know what you stand for, and with Nathaniel Branden, you do not.

    This is why his works shouldn't be taken as seriously as Ayn Rand's. There may be merit in reading them, but helping develop a fully comprehensible philosophy of your own is not one of them.

    Actually, Branden's work is quite good - and I am referring to his pyschology books, for example "The Six Pillars of Self Esteem" specifically. Nothing I read in that book did I find contrary to Objectivism in any manner. I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, he does actually have some really good things to offer in terms of pyschology/self esteem etc.

  20. These are very beautiful, and well done paintings.

    Can I just say though, I wish there were more paintings like this that had a more modern feel to them? And by modern, I am strictly referring to being able to tell the subject of the paintings live in this century. A lot of the art work (and most of it stunning) that I see posted in this and other Osit forums seem to be the same type of paintings just by different painters. I do not mean any disrespect to any of the painters (or the fans of their work) - but I am bewildered why I cannot find something that is just as beautiful and well done that doesn't reflect the modern world more.

    The only exception I can think of is some of the pieces at http://www.cordair.com/

    But that cannot be the only gallery out there with this type of work. (Not that I want to see a bunch of Bryan Larson knock offs - but just more - I dunno - something I can relate to more than works like this.)

    But thank you for posting them - again the are beauitful.

  21. Will Culture: My main interest.

    "A stimulus to nervous matter effects a change in the matter by calling forth a reaction in it. This change may be exceedingly slight after the first stimulus, but each repetition of the stimulus increases the change, with its following specific reaction, until by constant repetition a permanent alteration in the nervous matter stimulated occurs, which produces a fixed habitual way of working in it. In other words, the nervous matter acquires a special way of working, that is, of function, by habit.- William Hanna Thomson M.D

    This is the opening quote to Frank Channing Haddocks: Power of Will. What a way of writing he and most writers of the 19th Century had. As a weight-training enthusiast practising this idea of conciously bringing will to the fore transformed my often mundane workouts. It's an inspiringly rational text from the most secular of the will power authors- and the best.

    Seanjos signature quote says it all.

    You have to make it a habit.

    I think this is a very important subject, because focus is something I think a lot of people (including myself) struggle with on a regular basis.

    If you have a specific set of tasks that you are having trouble focusing on, perhaps you could start out by setting a time for yourself to work diligently on it. I do this with my children and their chores from time to time - even myself.

    I will set the timer on the microwave, and tell myself "Okay I am going to focus only on cleaning the kitchen for 30 minutes" or "focus on writing up the lesson plan for my daughter for this week for the next 60 minutes" etc.

    It has helped me - I know those examples may be a litte too simplistic (depending on what you are trying to focus on), but those are ones that personally come to mind for me.

    (I would like to see more comments here on specifics of how people have improved their will power and focus with actual examples - can others share? I would find it helpful, and perhaps the original poster would as well.)

  • Create New...