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About Laure

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  1. Well, if they've got good food, I'd continue going there. It's nothing compared to the "Vegetarian House" in San Jose! Check this out: *LINK* You get to watch videos of the Supreme Master Ching Hai while enjoying their food. It's pretty bizarre. But I've been back, and brought people there. The food is good, and it's actually kind of an entertaining experience! Learn more about the Supreme Master at her website, GodsDirectContact.com (I kid you not!) Apparently she's a very successful entrepreneurial philanthropist, very good at hobnobbing with folks with money. So, you see,
  2. I agree with turboimpala, and I see what slacker00 is saying. Rand was trying to reclaim the word "selfishness", but maybe we should concentrate on the larger battle. After all, nobody's trying to reclaim the word "gay" to mean "happy" - it's gone! Maybe the approach we could take is to mainly use the term "rational self-interest" and then explain as an aside that the root of the word "selfish" is "self", and that that word has had a negative connotation tacked on to its meaning which we reject.
  3. Wow, it's going to take someone really smart to run the economy! Smarter even than Obama. I've heard there's this guy in North Korea who's supposed to be the smartest guy on earth, maybe we could get him.
  4. Slacker00, let me expound on my views here, because I disagree with you about compulsion being "the root of what Rand is really talking about." In my view, opposition to compulsion is where it all started for Rand, but it's not "the root." She saw the horrors of communism as a young person in Russia, and her soul cried out, "NO!" She then came to the realization that the moral code of altruism is what MADE this compulsory system of government possible. She then came to the realization that the root cause of that moral code is irrationality. It's like when you discover a theorem in math.
  5. In my view, Rand opposed altruism as a principle because she saw where it leads. As soon as the idea that morality consists of sacrificing yourself to others is accepted, people in government will jump on that, and then you become compelled to do things that are not in your own best interest, for the alleged "good of society." And because you've accepted altruism as a moral ideal, you are disarmed! You can't say, "Hey, wait a minute! That's not fair!" because then "you're just being selfish." Just look at current events. The Chrysler bondholders tried to protest that their interests l
  6. Tsprat, Satriani's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yc8xyL0Xxo, seconded! My link is to a live version that I like even better than the video; he plays it slower and, I think, more perfectly. Such a gorgeous song, and so obviously a love song even without any words. On this video, take a look at Joe's face at around 2:50. He's a man in love -- not sure if it's with a girl, his guitar, his music, or his life; maybe all of the above.
  7. Laure

    AIG Bonuses

    This is the "right answer," of course. But I voted "no" on the reasoning that if AIG had properly been allowed to go bankrupt, those bonuses probably would not have been given.
  8. I think that was the era in which talk shows started undergoing a shift from being a respectful forum for the guest to express his opinions to the Dr. Phil (the other Phil!) mode of talk show, the purpose of which is to put an object on the stage and give the audience a forum to tell that object what his or her "problem" is. As Ifat and knast have pointed out, there was no question asked! It was just a woman standing up and spouting off her opinion of Ayn Rand. Rand's response was basically, "I didn't come here to be insulted", which I think was a correct response.
  9. Joe, I'm not quite ready to give up "hope" (!) on Obama yet, although so far it's not looking so promising. But, everybody, have a listen to the song!! It is REALLY good.
  10. Let me throw another idea into the pot. Couldn't we say that the "goals" that living things have are basically fighting against entropy? What would you say a star's "goal" would be? To keep shining, or to go out? If it's to go out, that's going towards entropy. If it's to keep shining, that's sort of a static thing - you're saying the goal is to, basically, make time stand still, which it can't do anyway. In contrast, a plant's "goal" is to grow and reproduce, not to decay. It goes against entropy.
  11. Agreed! Our only difference is a niggling one, over whether plants have "goals" or not. Rand (as I understand her) distinguishes "goal" from "purpose" and says all living things have "goals" but only conscious organisms have "purposes".
  12. I don't think this is a reasonable discussion, Jake. 1) It is not reasonable for a person to demand to know the author of a dictionary definition. They don't do it that way. The definitions are written by professional lexicographers, whose job it is to create definitions for dictionaries. 2) It is not reasonable to say that any dictionary definition must be assumed to be "subjective" (or indeed any statement is assumed to be "subjective") and that it is up to me to show that it is objective. It's in the dictionary, for goodness sake! How much more objective do you want it? (I'm not
  13. I don't see how you can call a dictionary definition subjective and ambiguous. And if you want a reference, here you go: Dictionary.com, "goal," in Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Source location: Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/goal. Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: January 15, 2009.
  14. Just a brief note: I do not think that Rand intended "life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action" to be a definition of the concept "life." It is just a description, just like "I am a left-handed person" describes me but does not define me. I think it is for biologists to define life. But I know that living things grow, eat, reproduce, and eliminate waste, and they die when they fail to sustain themselves. As stated by others, viruses are a borderline case. They are very primitive life, relying on a host, but it is possible to kill them, so they are considered livin
  15. Good post. When I heard Bush's statement, a similar analogy came to my mind: you find yourself thrown overboard at sea, and decide it's a good time to chuck all the principles of water survival you had learned, and just flail around wildly instead.
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