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Everything posted by iouswuoibev

  1. By fault I mean who's responsibility was it. I'll frame it in human terms: if someone puts pressure on you or interferes with you, and does everything short of physical force to get in your way, is it your fault if you get affected by it (you let it affect you, you failed to use your mind which is your only defense), or is it the fault of the person interfering? There's something I was thinking about recently: whether anyone can really be verbally bullied. Because I used to experience this a lot when I was at school, growing up as a child. Everyone disliked me and did everything they could to let me know it. And this made me terribly upset. It was only once I accepted that I chose to be upset about it, and took charge of my mind, that their barbs ceased to have any affect on me. Now when I see people who whine that they are being given a hard time at work or such, I feel contempt for them and think that it was their own fault for not doing the necessary thinking that would give them the self-respect to deal with it. So I'm asking, do you agree with this attitude?
  2. Wynand said that if lightning strikes a rotten tree, it is not the fault of the lightning if the tree is destroyed. Do you agree? (Discounting the observation that Wynand is not like lightning because he possesses volition).
  3. All great choices so far. But then, with Miss Rand I'm not sure it's possible to make a bad choice.
  4. I think socialism is an effect of bad philosophy, whereas religion is a cause (since it is a form of philosophy). I don't think Rand wanted to focus on religion because it would have detracted from her addressal of philosophical issues. My personal attitude towards religion is that it is a complete non-issue, and I refuse to debate it from the outset. I think Atlas Shrugged is too intelligent a book to address religion. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Rand spends nearly as much time debunking religion in her non-fiction either as she does with nearly every other subject.
  5. My favourite line from that section is where Thompson says "Look, why don't you let me talk to you?" and Galt replies "You are talking to me". I'm not sure that Rand intended it to be funny, but I burst out laughing when I read it.
  6. I'm so good-looking that cameras go a little grainy when they try to take a picture of me. Sorry about that.
  7. Roark and Wynand both describe how their pain "only goes down to a certain point." This is my understanding of what this refers to. It is about rationality and the fact that rationality leads to enduring happiness. Enduring because you know what you are and how you will react to any given thing. Consequently, an active mind is like a battle armour, where even if something terrible happens to you, you only take a partial blow rather than full disembowelment. Is this what Rand intended or did I misunderstand?
  8. Being permitted to pick just one, which line or short passage from a piece of Ayn Rand literature would you choose as your favourite? Note that this should be a quoteable excerpt, so don't say "Galt's Speech" or anything of similar length. Here's mine: "The structures were austere and simple, until one looked at them and realized what work, what complexity of method, what tension of thought had achieved the simplicity. The buildings were not Classical, they were not Gothic, they were not Renaissance. They were only Howard Roark." I chose this as my favourite because it encapsulates how I feel about my own work.
  9. Casual conversation is determined by the intent rather than the content of what is being said. I can be quite laid back when discussing something that interests me greatly, but it depends on who I'm talking to. The antonym of a casual conversation is a tense conversation. The tension arises when the person being conversed with is unreceptive or hostile to what is being said. To some people, what he/she-did-at-the-bar-last-night could be of quite monumental consequence, according to the things those people have chosen to value. I find myself drawn to solitary individuals, but unfortunately I've had experiences where the person who interested me turned out to be absorbed in something quite different from thought. There is no sure way of knowing exactly what's going on in someone's head. The automatized reactions we develop towards certain people are approximations that are meant to be efficient rather than accurate. Not just because it would take too long to reach an intimate understanding every single person you meet, but also because of the existence of volition, which entails the fact that people can change or harbour contradictions. It is necessary to be able to quickly adapt to these changes in order to avoid wasting time on the wrong people. I think small talk has a purpose, as a means of quickly appraising someone's view of existence, where their consciousness is likely to dwell, etc. in order to find out if "big talk" is appropriate. Unless you already know the person, how are you going to find out otherwise? When I engage in light conversation with someone, within five minutes we're either onto some topic that holds some significance to me, or we've stopped talking. If you think that small talk lasts longer than that, it's because the big issues in most people's lives seem superficial to you.
  10. I'm definitely opposed to Connery. I think Atlas should stay away from any iconic actors, even if they do fit the part (qua part). They will carry over too many assumed characteristics from their other roles or general iconic status, and I think Atlas is too important to be influenced in that way. It needs to come off as something completely fresh.
  11. This might work in some cases. There's a reason for it. It can be that a woman automatically gets treated with respect without having done anything to deserve it, and she allows her subconscious to be conditioned by it. If she's very attractive, she may get treated as a goddess by men every single day. Then her subconscious automatizes certain responses in order to "filter out" the 99% of men that approach her. If you are placed into this category by her subconscious, it is nigh impossible to get out of it, and you are not going to get a positive response if you show a romantic interest in her. In order to make an exception for someone there has to be the unexceptional, and that zone is significantly bigger if a woman is constantly bombarded with flowers and love-letters. This may come as a revelation to some men, but its actually true of men as well. If you're a man, do you stop and turn to look at every woman you meet? Can you count how many women you didn't take a second look at last time you went out? No, precisely because they didn't catch your attention. Some lovesick guy who is pining after some aloof, intelligent, beautiful woman could be completely oblivious to the fact that there's another shy woman who sees him every time he walks in the room and would leap at the chance to go out with him - it's no different with either sex. Both men and women have a blind spot, the "unexceptional zone", where in romantic terms certain people just don't exist. Take your parents or siblings as an obvious example. It may be possible in some cases to modify your behaviour and make yourself romantically visible to them, but if this is intended as an act of self-improvement then their response should not be your concern.
  12. When you "fall off", do you learn anything from the experience? How often has this happened to you? Is it a collapse of integrity that occurs once a year, or some minor transgression that happens three times a day?
  13. This is funny. I found ITOE more difficult (I had to slow down and think) and actually had an easy time of OPAR. In fact, I thought OPAR was written for the layman.
  14. That's the source of your misunderstanding. There is such a thing as an implicit philosophy. Everyone has a certain view of existence, whether they are able to state it in words or not.
  15. You had to use philosophy to arrive at that conclusion. You can't think without at least some basic assumptions about reality. The assumptions may not be explicit in your mind, but they are there.
  16. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Why do you want to write an OS?
  17. That isn't what I had in mind. The purpose of a FAQ would not be to give a formal explanation of every topic, but to help people get an acquainted sense of what Objectivism is about by the manner in which it tackles issues that they commonly encounter in their lives. Concrete examples help people identify with the abstractions. The most frequently asked questions people have after reading Rand's writing are not about the principles, but about isolated concretes, because they haven't identified with the proper principle that covers it. As an example of what I'm talking about, on the ARI website, in the second half of Piekoff's intro to O'ism video, the questions asked by the students are not asking about the principles themselves (if they were certain of the principle then they wouldn't need to ask questions), but particular concretes which pertain to them. The concretes differentiated in the correct place give rise to an abstraction; its this"cutting" of reality at the right place that allows them to grasp the principle involved. This is how I think a FAQ would be useful.
  18. Is there a FAQ solely for questions on Objectivism? If one doesn't exist, I think there should be one. It may help rectify common misconceptions held by newcomers to the philosophy, and spare others the effort of repeatedly answering the same questions. What do you think?
  19. Not at all. But Object Orientated languages are an abstraction away from the details of CPU operation, with procedural languages being a step closer. C forces you to think hard about how to accomplish certain tasks because of its low-level nature. For instance, you can encapsulate abstract data types and emulate an object-orientated environment (up to a certain point). I like to do things like this to gain an intimate understanding of the higher, more abstract methods that are taken for granted in higher level programming languages. Of course I know that - but I think C is more challenging than most.
  20. Why do you say that? I'm interested in understanding a computer right down to the core. I don't like to take the operating system, API, coding environment, runtime environment etc. as the given, as something to just lean on and let it take care of me. I want to understand it, as fully as I'm capable of. I like to know my art/trade as fully as possible. It's not like that at all. I want to improve my method of thinking, my organisational skills, etc. and C DEMANDS that I do this in order to code with it successfully. It demands strict, principled, rational programming conventions in order to prevent you from descending into chaos. If you only do this partially, or not at all, it's only a matter of time before your pragmatism catches up with you and kicks you in the rear. I know that if I can learn to handle C like an expert, and adapt it to dealing with almost any programming task confidently and quickly, I will be a much more able programmer in the long run. I will also come to appreciate that much more how the higher level languages are able to serve me better in certain capacities. I think a similar thing can be said of Emacs - it's as useful as the knowledge of the person who uses it. No, it should be judged by what it can do for you (What you want a language to do for you depends on your individual goals). I like Ruby because it applies the same principle universally, so that I don't have to mentally switch contexts when trying to achieve different effects. I can't be more specific than this without going into details about the Ruby language (partly because I'm still a beginner at it) - suffice to say that each language is individual, and another language might also treat everything as an object but not be as well executed. All I can say at this time is that my cursory examination of Ruby impressed me a great deal.
  21. C, because I like to understand exactly why things work the way they work. Object orientated programming is another abstraction away from "the way the computer does things", hence why I prefer C to C++. This may change as I grow in experience, but right now I like the intimacy with the lower-level workings of a computer that C has. It also demands more of my mental faculties. I'm currently teaching myself Ruby alongside C - it looks to me like the perfect OO language (absolutely everything is regarded as an object). I'll probably use it for coding GUI's.
  22. A principle is a phenomenon of the mind. It was implicit.
  23. Have you played Beneath a Steel Sky or Flight of the Amazon Queen? You can download them both for free now on the ScummVM website, both with speech!
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