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About Azelma

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  • Birthday 06/15/1986

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    New friends are always fun! As for that other thing, I have high standards, but sure, if the right opportunity presents itself. =)
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    I'm a Neuroscience/Psychology/English student who: will be in school forever, loves Hannah Montana, coaches children's swim team, is easily subdued with chocolate and smoothies, procrastinates just enough for her own good, fangirls Batman, is a total perfectionist, and loves to meet smart people. Are you one of them?
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  1. I'm curious as to how music affects your values system. It could be that I'm just a writer and don't particularly associate music with art. (Or writing, really, honestly -- but I've never been all that artistically minded.) I think the real problem is that music represents different things for different people, in different ways. I think my music choices definitely say something about me -- but so do my food choices, and for me it really is a better comparison. Who I am definitely affects what I'll choose to eat, but I wouldn't go as far as to say it reflects my "soul." This is interesting -- what do you mean by reverse? And I freely admit that there are probably very good ways to objectively evaluate music. They're just not things I'm personally interested in, and I think insinuating that we all should be interested in them is kind of suspect. I think the brain is much more wonderful than any "art" we've created with it, but I won't be upset if others aren't quite as enamored with neurotransmitters as I am.
  2. Me too, minus the "unworthy" bit because I think that might be too strong a phrase for me in this case. It may very well be worthy, as in some of the artists that have been mentioned in this thread -- but there are many that have been mentioned in the "worthy" category that I personally don't find very fun to listen to. But I'll take silence over someone else's favorite music that I just don't care for. Which has always been my difficulty with people who seem to take music preference too seriously/personally: they seem to make it their personal mission for me to like their favorites, and I don't know how to respond other than, "Thanks, it's very well done, but...I just wouldn't pick this out myself. Can I have my High School Musical soundtrack back now?" I just think it's really tricky to assign value judgments to music choice, but then again, perhaps it's because I'm used to people balking at what I listen to and then being shocked that I'm not an idiot or a sniveling fangirl.
  3. This part of the article I found particularly revealing: I guess that's my answer to this question: not everybody loves music. I certainly don't think I do. People can get really defensive of their music choices -- as evidenced by this thread! -- and I've never quite understood those who almost seem to judge someone's merit as a person based on how "sophisticated" their music of choice is. Whereas I think musical choice is just that -- a choice. I think Kori really said it best here: To me, telling people what kind of music they "ought" to like or making value judgments on them based on their music preferences is a bit like saying that people who like to eat tangerines are shallow, unsubtle and unrefined. I can definitely understand the objective evaluations of the quality of a particular type of music, but I don't think that's the same thing as a preference. As Kori said, I don't like music from any technical appreciation: I like it because it makes me happy on a personal level, because of the associations I have with it, because of how I feel about the artist and what kind of message they're presenting, etc. And I don't think that's wrong; I think it means I'm not interested in the technical aspects of music. I certainly wouldn't judge anyone based on whether or not they liked watching medical documentaries as much as I do. Maybe they like history documentaries. I personally don't, most of the time, but that doesn't make either of us good or bad people. I think we can take others' music choices too personally sometimes. With that in mind, I think pushing aside your love of a particular type of music just because it's not seen as the highest quality would be potentially dangerous self-denial. That said, I now proclaim myself a very big fan of Hannah Montana (but Maarten could tell you that!). Her music makes me happy, and that's much more important to me than whether or not someone else might think it's "terrible." I think we should be careful about how we phrase these kinds of judgments; sometimes they can sound a bit too much like telling someone what to think/feel/be, to me. Hmm, yes, I think this topic has made me want to go fire up some Miley Cyrus.
  4. Hmm, in what context do you mean "not immutable and inborn"? I'm pretty sure the general scientific consensus is that it's a bit of both biological and environmental factors, but weighing heavier on the biological. It's a bit like the "anchor and adjustment" principle in psychology (to use a term you brought up ), with the biological being the anchor. Environmental factors can definitely slide the scale, but there won't be a whole lot of sliding in either direction because that first big chip has already been thrown down. But if you have a different view, I'd love to hear your basis for it (although I have to say that your personal experience doesn't hold a whole lot of weight to a scientist like me, so I'm hoping you have other arguments!). How does your last statement relate? In what ways does homosexual immorality differ from heterosexual or bisexual immorality? (I have read some of your previous statements about self denial but am not quite sure I understand -- and if I have understood, I'm not quite sure that I buy it.)
  5. I am curious as to what "changes" you mean here: do you mean there is documented evidence for drastic "changes" in sexual orientation, or other kinds of "changes"? If the former, I'd be interested to see citations for these changes; if the latter, I'd be curious to hear how they relate to sexual orientation. I echo those who are confused as to how a thread about transgendered individuals ended up so colored by a discussion of homosexuality. This seems like a discussion about apples that devolved into one about peas. As to the discussion about the biological basis of orientation, I do have some knowledge of that, but I'll wait and see what specific questions people have instead of telling you things you already know.
  6. Welcome, Ranmaru! I am definitely no stranger to the "sinking feeling" that you describe. I don't tend to "erase" disagreements as freely as most, it seems. I am curious as to why you mention social acceptance -- is this the same as something being morally right or wrong to you, and if so, why? Perhaps not the proper thread for a discussion like this one, in which case feel free to redirect it, mods!
  7. Hooray, I'm no longer the n00b-iest n00b! Welcome Greebo, and hope to see you around. Good luck as you continue to read and learn more about Objectivism.
  8. tsprat: I would end up quoting your whole post and shouting "I agree!" so I'll just avoid the quoting and go with "I AGREE!" Especially about the Jesus-finding part; my school is, fortunately, in one of the more socially-liberal areas of my state, but for South Carolina that's not saying much. We also have a bad party school reputation, though the Honors College (which I'm about to graduate from; it was the only reason I came here) has been trying very hard to rid us of that stigma. They've succeeded somewhat over the past few years: our numbers are generally higher than the other state schools, and I know several friends who got into said other state schools while being rejected from mine. People usually give me blank (better yet, drunken, sigh) looks when I mentioned Objectivism, but I have found a few friends who at least know what I'm talking about. If they do know what I mean, however, they're more likely to howl about how evil I am. I do recall a conversation with someone who said he "loathed" Objectivism, and then didn't seem to understand why this meant we probably would not work out romantically. =P Sadly, I do have a comment on the religious fanatics: in my experience, it's less of them understanding why they're in college and more of them replacing alcohol/partying with Finding a Godly Husband/Wife. (Which, if that's really what you want, oookay, but there are less expensive ways to find a fellow fundamentalist Christian in South Carolina, seriously. That's like saying you can't find pollen around here!) Chops: Yep! I really like the hybrid house system because I think it gives a much more accurate view of someone's personality, especially if you take into consideration which house is dominant. I found a community for sorting people into hybrid houses and have been having way too much fun with it. As to which one I have more of, a bunch of my friends say Ravenclaw, but my best friend swears I'm nothing but Slytherin, so I'm really not sure. (Slytherin is my favorite house, I think, for reasons obvious for any Objectivist familiar with Harry Potter, but I don't want to assume it's my real primary house just 'cos I like it!) Roger: I'm not too sure if y'all would be interested in my current project (it has a lot of religion in it, and not in a necessarily negative way; don't ask me how I ended up writing it -- sometimes my characters take charge of my brain, as Maarten will tell you). But if I get hit on the head with something more AR-friendly, I'll certainly see what you think. I don't post writing in its entirety in public places due to copyright issues, but I do have most of what I write on my Livejournal in an awesomely disorganized blend of writing + Katie's life. The writing is all locked, but I'll add pretty much anyone who wants to read it to the writing filter provided that they prove they aren't creepy. So nice to meet everyone! Any suggestions on where to get started on this board?
  9. Nobody told me there was an application process! I thought I was done with that when I got accepted to school! You guys want a personal essay, too, huh? Oh man, K-Mac, now I'm going to be wondering what he's said about me...
  10. What, no n00b!hazing? This is an outrage! I'm bitterly disappointed! Here I was expecting ancient cream cheese mongoose rituals! gags, I did see the thread (Maarten pointed it out to me, actually). Gotta confess it was a major factor in my decision to join. Any forum that realizes Batman's superiority over Superman has got to be a place worth spending time. Thanks for the welcome, and nice to meet everyone!
  11. Hey all! I was "encouraged" to join this board by another user who's a good friend of mine, Maarten. My name's Katie, but some around on the internet like to call me Azelma. Since I always take awhile to find my way around a new forum, I thought I'd introduce myself here while getting a feel for how things work. I'm a college senior about to graduate with a double degree in English and Psychology (big mistake on the former, but at least I can sing that Avenue Q song...), and I'll be starting work on a PhD in Neurobiology this fall. As you can probably tell, I have pretty eclectic interests, though most philosophy tends to get on my nerves a bit (with the exception of AR, obviously!). With that exception, though, I'm generally interested in everything. I've coached swim team for kids 3-18 since 2003 and, as you might guess, love both working with children and being active. I also love writing, like just about everyone else -- I tend towards young adult but am currently trying to finish a novel more on the science fiction end of the spectrum. I'm a total Batman addict, and I spend way too much time in Harry Potter sorting communities -- I am 99% Slytherclaw, and yes, I would love to sort you. I would say I've been an Objectivist since my grandparents gave me The Fountainhead as a birthday gift when I was sixteen, but I found that reading it was a case of finding a name to call the thing I've always been, rather than growing into something I hadn't been before. I wouldn't say I completely agreed with everything in the canon of what "we" are supposed to agree with, but Objectivism is a better definition of how I live my life than anything I've yet to encounter. I've grown tired of having to explain it to everyone I meet -- and of the shock-and-horror that comes from the ultimate six degrees of misunderstanding I'm usually met with. In general, though I'm an eternal optimist, I'm a little frustrated with the values I'm seeing from people around me (partying college students are not always the paragon of virtue), and I'm hoping to find some friends who are a bit more like-minded in how they see the world, themselves and their priorities. It's very nice to be here, and I hope to talk to you soon! Yes, you! Make my day: tell me about yourself!
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