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Everything posted by iouswuoibev

  1. Add: While nonetheless accepting it within a given situation! It's the decimation of something you allowed into your head that you did not care to have in there. It's actually a psychological maneuver (that I can not put a name to - devil's advocate is a sub-category of it) that allows this to happen. It is not second-handed behaviour to do it (though it can be the precursor to it) because you can unwittingly allow an idea into your head while nonetheless disagreeing with it and be able to reassert the rational over your mind afterwards (this faculty has enormous practical value). How about contextual acceptance? EDIT: Where I say "something you allowed into your head that you did not care to have in there." gives rise to another concept: contextual valuing. If someone wants me to explain that let me know. One more thing for now: I think the idea of changing focus is pivotal to comedy. I am not sure if I am using it [EDIT: focus] the way Rand defined the word, but when I use it, I regard it as perfectly analogous with visual focus. Can someone tell me how Rand uses the word "focus" please?
  2. Another influencing factor is your method of esteeming; that is, how you (habitually or otherwise) pay tribute to something in regarding it as valued or sacrosanct. Not whether you value it, but how you go about valuing it in your manner of thinking. Do you associate a concept with images? Then you won't enjoy comedy that destroys that image. However, if you don't think in that way and don't observe the connection, you can still enjoy the destruction of something that is logically associated with something you value or even regard sacred (though maybe later on you'll notice it and regret it then). This idea has opened a whole door of new insight for me.
  3. I think this fills in what was missing from my first post. Comedy involves the introduction of something ridiculous into the context of what someone is focusing on. Something is ridiculous in regard to both context and humour - it is what they regard, in respect to context, as absolutely beneath contempt and not worth giving thought to (silly is a synonym for ridiculous). There has to be a logical but unexpected connection perceived between the ridiculous thing and the context. This draws the person's mental focus in a direction that was, ideally, completely unexpected, yet is logically "bridged". Your mind crosses this bridge and what you accepted something as being suddenly becomes phony. This is the "destruction" that has occured. The reason "with respect to context" is important is because you don't always keep a certain context in mind. You may laugh at something involuntarily and then regret it when the full context comes back into focus. Things like how much importance you place on certain ideas, or what concretes you most strongly associate with an idea, all play an influence on this (I'll let you think of examples). I regret using the word "destruction" now; it is too strong a word. Comedy destroys by making something ridiculous by means of something ridiculous via logic. But its purpose is to affirm. And as a last point, my opening sentence was wishy-washy rather than clever. Ignore it. Please let me know if you think I'm still missing something. EDIT: Actually, ignore me, comedy IS illogic. Most emphatically. I can explain it now, I just forgot why I said it. Comedy is the undercutting of an accepted value judgement by making it appear ridiculous by means of another obviously ridiculous thing that is illogically connected to the first. (Take that as the definition). That is, it is connected by an abuse of logic. There is an "illogical connection". Anyone agree?
  4. IF you are going to use your conceptual faculty (and you will), any irrationality you accept will jeopardise your happiness. So the proper use of your reason is the means to keeping it. Dogs can be happy in achieving their unchosen values, but they don't need to worry about having the wrong ideas.
  5. The thing being destroyed is in your mind. If you don't see things in a certain way then it won't be funny. This is an issue of value judgements, but probably ones we've made so long ago and are so automatic that it would take a great deal of introspection to figure out what they are. As an example, America is more (overall) psychologically egoistic than Britain is. Consequentially British people observe social standards more unthinkingly than Americans do. Consequentially, a gag such as a man dressed as a snail crawing across the street at a crossing holding up the traffic is more funny for a British person, because they observe it as undercutting not just someone's rational desire to go wherever they happen to be going, but also undercutting "society as a whole", that mysterious force they've never been able to reckon with. That's one possibility, anyway. This is to do with your level and target of focus. Read my previous post. Racism as a whole is not funny, but if you zoom into the details of it you can lose sight of and "feel for" that abstraction. Which means value judgements are involved. Because they don't take them as seriously as they think they do, or because they take them seriously without wanting to. You may take an evil abusive guard in a POW camp very "seriously", but will still laugh your head of if he gets his comeupance (particularly by something you habitually regard as impotent, like having his testicals bitten off by a sheep). Why? Do you understand the word objective?
  6. I find that a very odd view. Can you give any reason to it?
  7. I just want to add for the record (though integrated Oists will already know better) that when I say "Something is only funny in regard to someone's sense of right and wrong" I don't mean it in a social, conventionally moral sense, but about everything. I'm thinking of Galt's speech here, but I can't remember the words of the passage exactly (something about the question "Right or wrong" applying to everything?)
  8. Yes you can. Yes, but your laughter is an effect of your humour. You must not moralise about it. You must not think you have to all laugh at the same things. I think there are some things we all should be able to laugh at, and that the things we can't should only be things that rest on optional values. The things I laugh at have changed over time and I can identify that this is because my value judgements have changed. All comedy involves destruction of something conceptual. Maybe you don't see destruction because you are looking for something mean and hurtful. Remember that destruction can be a good thing, both morally, and in the resultant emotional quality. You need to tie the two facts together: that if you laugh, some mental fabrication was smashed. The smashing was, according to your humour, a good thing, and the laughter tells you that it was a good thing in the form of a positive emotion. It says: "Yes, this is how I see existence, by showing what it isn't." You don't see anything destroyed in this? How about the context? You get a certain grasp of the situation and then something comes along and blasts it. The whole film is a setup - you've got the knights of camelot; just when your mind starts to accept them again, something appears and trips them over. You know how your mind can tune out sounds you've been hearing for a long time so that you no longer notice them? Or how you cease to feel the chair you're sitting on if you sit very still for a while? It's the same with assuming context. The longer it is there the less you think of its presence, but the more intensely you will notice if it suddenly vanishes. Imagine if, in the Monty Python movie, nothing silly ever happened to the knights and it was just a regular adventure, and then at the end they suddenly got arrested just like in the original ending. You'd probably be so engrossed in what you thought the movie was about that you'll feel betrayed, but when you reflect on it afterwards as an abstraction, you'll be able to laugh at it. This highlights a fact I didn't point out in my first post: whether you find something funny can depend on how abstractly you focus on the details. (This is why I titled my post a cursory explanation; it is the bare skeleton of my theory and ommits finer details.) Wiping out the assumed context. The apparent threat of the water is defied. Bear in mind that when you hold a magnifying glass to the details of a joke it ceases to be funny. Thus it is difficult to confirm my theory by measuring your reaction to jokes while holding the theory in mind. I arrived at my conclusions by seeking the reoccuring pattern, and this is what I found.
  9. Comedy is illogic. It is the art of contradictory identification. Its purpose is to allow us to enjoy the undercutting, intellectually or physically, of what we regard as wrong, bad, bizarre, inane, stupid, silly and irrational. When you have decided what is right, good, expected, sensible, serious and rational, you free your mind to assert and recognise its antithesis. Your sense of humour is, in fact, your sense of right and wrong. Humour is your value judgements. There is an objective sense of humour. This is why people who don't share the same sense of humour often can't help feeling dislike for each other. What a man laughs at, is a reflection of his humour, irrespective of what his consciously held or verbally professed beliefs are. This is also why nearly all of us laugh at some jokes: we live in the same reality, and are almost inevitably going to arrive at some identical identifications regardless of background. Something is only funny in regard to someone's sense of right and wrong. When someone says "you're not funny" or "you have no sense of humour", they're implicitly stating: "There is something wrong with your value judgements." In order for comedy to work, it has to be asserted. To assert, means to state as true. Self-assertiveness is the quality of stating onesself as true (dwell on that!). A man can assert through his speech, through body language, bodily functions, noises, and through all forms of art. The rational man should enjoy the disachievement of non-values, and [comedy] is the means to this joy. It is a reaffirmation of his existence and an end in itself. This is the core principle underlying comedy. People who reject it are, by the only reason I can foresee, trying to reconcile rational and irrational values together, and thus they must think that laughing at certain goods is possible or that laughing at certain evils is impossible. Comedy gives man the power to detect his irrationalities if he dares to look. I initially felt unsympathetic towards Rand when I first read that laughing at onesself is "spitting in one's own face". It made logical sense to me, but I felt opposed to it. This is because I had repressed my sense of my right to my own life. All second-handedness begins by deciding not to assert onesself. If you have felt the same way, then perhaps you have been doing the same thing. I will post more on that last paragraph later under a new topic. For now I will leave you with this: If you think of something that you consider funny, it is vital for your psychological health that you say it.
  10. I think Galt was the man Rand could look up to and admire intellectually and not just for his masculinity - i.e. her intellectual superior. Granted, she created him, but she had years to plan in advance what he was going to say. The man who could act that way all the time, naturally, in real life, would be extraordinary. Could a man of Galt's stature exist in real life? I definitely think so. If he can be thought of, he can be real.
  11. Disagree. Why do you think it has to take that long?
  12. But they are. If the government appropriates property from one if its citizens then that makes it a socialist government, just as you only have to kill one person to make you a murderer. It would be wrong to say that they are absolutely socialist (i.e. communist). They are mixed economy AND socialist.
  13. That's inane. Did you challenge him on his reasoning?
  14. Someone was able to log in and change their name to the one I was currently using and then masquerade as me. This urgently needs to be fixed. (I tried changing my name, and then changing it back, and it prevented me from doing so saying the name was already taken - obviously it's selective about when it chooses to prevent name-clashes).
  15. Had the same problem. You need the latest version of QuickTime installed.
  16. Now that I think of it, it might actually, if they've heard about the book before and this sighting jogs their memory...
  17. If they reject it on the basis of a negative slant in a movie, they won't be of the character to accept Oism anyway.
  18. Only people who already know Ayn Rand will notice the connection. Nobody is going to go out and buy the Fountainhead based on one glimpse of the cover in a movie. I think that negative attention towards Rand is better than no attention. In the event that the movie goes into more detail about TFH/Rand, the "negative" part will be discarded as irrelevent by viewers. They will assume that if it warrants being brought up in a movie, then it must be an important book, and will go and get a first-hand opinion.
  19. *winces* I'd say this is solely an issue of ignorance, not stupidity. Stupidity can cause ignorance, but it isn't the same thing. As you said, it's probably the education system that causes it. People assume they've been taught what they need to know once they're out of highschool. I think us Brits are getting are starting on this same road to ignorance as well. I came out of high school with no idea who Joseph Stalin was, or what communism/socialism were. I had no idea what the declaration of independance was except from what I'd gotten from watching cartoons (!). That reminds me of one particular TV show here in the UK: Newsround. It's a current affairs program aimed at kids, shown in the after-school hours. To say it has a leftist slant would be a big understatement. I wouldn't be surprised if a good percentage of our nations children grow up to hate America and think global warming/businesses are the biggest threat to humanity solely on the grounds of that one program. It really makes me sick.
  20. I spent a few hours in the chat room last night and had some highly enjoyable conversations. The format allows you to actually converse with people, as opposed to an internet forum, where you can only discuss/debate with them. For those who haven't tried it already, I highly recommend stopping in.
  21. You have to have some emotions (value judgements), or it will be identical to trying to have sex with an inanimate object without even thinking. Maybe the emotions are centered more on yourself rather than her?
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