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Everything posted by aristotlejones

  1. While looking for a new signature quote, I found this: Emotions proceed from reason, and where there are no firm, rational convictions, there can be no real emotions. Ayn Rand Journal <Φ>aj
  2. Yes, aikido may be called a martial art because it is founded on Bushido, Japanese sword arts, etc. However, it is also strictly the least martial of the martial arts in the sense that if you are good at it, the only attacks you do are feints, and your attacker must initiate force for you to have something to do. The optimum result is when you are attacked, you either throw, pin, or disarm your attacker, and if you're good enough, nobody gets hurt. Robbers often sue victims who fight back. At the best of times, I wouldn't advise anyone to try to learn a martial art from books or vids, but if it's all you have access to right now, there is much out there. Youtube, aikiweb & aikido journal online, the book Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, etc. I highly suggest that you visit a few dojos (aikido gyms), and just watch, which is always free. You should try to watch advanced students practicing, so you can see the range of responses possible to skilled practictioners. But everything the advanced students can do is based on what the beginners must master. And I'm discovering that if you master the basic moves cold, you actually have a lot of options for practical self-defence in a relatively short period of time. (assuming you have good teachers) Aikido is a journey which teaches one to breath properly, move with proper posture, cultivate awareness of energy, relax when attacked, and one which requires consistent dedication to learn the basics over many years, not just a few lessons. That being said, I started with a handful of night classes, then tried one dojo for a month, then another for about six months, as finances allowed. I went to another dojo for several years, but only when I could afford the dues, and even missed several winters. But when first I started training, and did a little reading about the founder and the style, I knew that I would be back, and that I would be dedicating myself to training as much as I could. I recently switched local dojos because, while in the movies a blind sensei is a cool thing, in the real world it is just not the best way to learn. In three months at the new dojo, I successfully passed my first testing at a seminar with a visiting teacher from Japan. In case you didn't know, Steven Segal is a highly ranked instructor of aikido and this is the style he uses in his movies. Stay Focused, <Φ>aj
  3. Your comment sparked a thought that may help me understand why I don't like most computer games or doing mind/exercises as suggested, because I think they might be too one-dimensional. Martial arts, aikido in particular, requires integration of not only mind and body, but also for any technique to work, integration of your entire body at each stage. If your opponent is inexperienced or the same size & strength as you, you can get away with incomplete integration in your movements and mental focus. But when you go up against a 6 foot 3 inch serving RCMP officer who has been on the Prime Minister's security detail, you have to have everything working together. That is why I suspect mind games, or computer games as only teaching the mental part, but in the real world, one needs to train both mind and body to work together. If you only specialize on the mind, and you're sick, or distracted, or tired, or someone is shouting at you, or you're angry, etc., often your mind is not working to its full potential. The only way to train this is to train both together. Yes, the learning curve is steeper, because there are more ways to screw up, but the result, over the long term, is more worthwhile and actionable. This is why some of the characters I like in fiction include Jason Bourne, Neil Burnside, Jedi, Jack Bauer, etc, as examples of a fuller mind body integration. Stay Focused, <Φ>aj
  4. Huh? There once was a guy named Plasmatic, Who stored his good limericks in the attic. But missed his espresso n toast, And realized he could not post, So friends thought he'd turned phlegmatic... <Φ>aj
  5. There once was a character named Galt, He told the statists to halt. They blustered and howled, But he would not be bowed, And they finally admitted their fault. There once was a King Leonidas Three hundred Spartans did he a-mass, To Xerxes did he say, Remember us this day For clearly he was the worlds first bad-ass. (ok, i just watched 300 tonight finally) <Φ>aj Anyone for objectivist haiku?
  6. ARC has a short article on the decision: http://blog.aynrandcenter.org/the-montana-dissent/ <Φ>aj
  7. When I'm biking I flash on a vehicle license plate and then try to recall the numbers & letters. (ok, I've been hit a few times, but not due to this exercise.) I find that if you actually try to read the plate as it moves past you, you cannot remember it. You have to flash on the plate, and allow your mind to rebuild the image for you. Guess it's what Jack Bauer does when he snap-looks around a corner at hostiles. Also, I take aikido, which integrates mind and body, timing and distance, perception and energy, and teaches one to unlearn the programmed monkey brain response of retreating from an attack, where moving into it is the safe place to control it. Knowing where you are, the parts of your body are, where opponents are, and where their attention is, are all parts of the mental exercise that aikido teaches. Your mileage may vary... <Φ>aj
  8. Sounds like you believe repression is when one gives priority to conscious data over emotions or subconscious potentials, when in fact the reverse is true. [but that's a side-quibble] The use of emotions and the subconscious, in most people, is based on their history, role models, aspirations, and the costs incurred when they followed their values. However, in those trying to behave objectively in the explicit sense Rand taught, first their haywired programming has to be examined consciously, over many years, with a weedwacker and trimming shears, until one's emotions and subconscious responses are congruent with their consciously held values. The more one retrains and consciously holds objective values, the more their emotional and subconscious responses will mirror these values every day. Given our present culture's antagonism towards objectivity and individualism, this is very difficult for most people to acheive consistently. I personally have been on this journey since I was thirty, and I just turned fifty a few days ago. By conscious attention to objective values, I have saved my own life several times, when there was objectively not enough time to process the amount of data consciously and still come up with the right descision. I'm talking about the kind of split second decision that made me turn my bike into a position that would have normally caused me to crash into a busy intersection, but instead allowed me to hit a glancing blow on a car that was dangerously racing through rush hour traffic, where a direct impact most likely would have killed me. Two things I identified later were responsible for this decision. First, I had consciously chosen to take more care in protecting my life, and to be more aware of my surroundings to that end. And second, by having that value formost in my conscious mind, generally, if not at that moment, my subconscious filing system popped up a reference in a book I had read on biking on ice which recommended to turn a bike sideways to distribute the impact. I had much less time to decide than it took to type this, and it was my subconscious that gave me the data about what action to take. I trusted my subconscious because I had learned to trust it because I had been retraining it consciously for many years at that time. Another example is when one takes up a martial art such as aikido. To learn anything with a both physical and mental component, one must start slow, and go through each step consciously, and repetitively, or there will always be weak points in your technique and those are the cracks in which an opponent can turn your technique against you. The more you train consciously, the more you are training your subconscious mind, which to be more scientific, is your muscle memory. Most people, when they are falling towards the floor, flail out their arms and break a wrist (common in icerinks). It is quite frightening, initially, to tuck your head away from the ground, making you blind in that direction, and to roll along one side of your arm. With a lot of training, you can do it without thinking about it. So the conscious begets the subconscious. Now, one can have a subconscious chocked full with irrational, contradictory, bloody dangerous responses. And most people do. But the objective thing to do is to identify where the flaws are, where one responds emotionally and incorrectly to a situation (as in personal relationships), and corrects the conscious errors that lead to the subconscious ones. Likewise, as Branden said, when one rigidly applies a consciously held (and maybe poorly understood) principle which one uses to override previous subconscious integrations, sometimes, the subconscious is the right call. Sometimes. It is the responsibility to every adult to sort through their epistemology, history, and mistakes (past & present), and continually reprogram their subconscious with the aim of being more objective and more life-valuing. Although I admired Spock in Star Trek, once I understood objectivist epistemology, I could never believe that such an emotion stripped race would ever survive a second season of the Pon Far. Bottom line is that emotions are a necessary part of being objectively human, and it is beholden upon the torchbearers of objectivism to train their emotions appropriately. Galt had emotions consistent with his epistemology, as did other Rand characters to the extent and scope of their development. While Rand gave us an objective epistemology, and many fictional examples of objective characterizations, Branden has and is supplying the tools to help us retrain and deprogram bad epistemologies, and to grasp, not just consciously, but subconsciously, the values of objectivism. The developmental aspect of achieving Galt-hood from Mouch-hood is missing in Rand's fiction. I think that Branden is teaching us how to develop into more objective people who can feel emotions without guilt or obfuscation, because they understand and live their epistemological roots, and that is a service to the objectivist community that should not be disparaged or belittled. Sincerely, <Φ>aj
  9. I only had time to skim and save the article, but this popped out at me: Ayn Rand said, "To fear to face an issue is to believe that the worst is true." This is the core of the malevolent universe premise. <Φ>aj
  10. Mercy for the guilty is treason to the innocent. I was picked to give a summary of the objectivist virtue of justice at a students of objectivism group once. It was extremely hard to do, mostly because I didn't know how to essentialize or write very well then. I was relieved to see that in OPAR Peikoff admitted that this was also one of the hardest virtues to understand. Which is why it is so important. I am presently going through some very stressful quasi legal battles, and this quote, along with "Focus on the Solutions, not the Problems." from Terry Goodkind, is preserving my sanity. (that and aikido) I was skimming the article in the Islam to Objectivism thread, and this also popped out at me. Ayn Rand said, "To fear to face an issue is to believe that the worst is true." I think this is the core of the malevolent universe premise. <Φ>aj
  11. It was just an exercise to see if I could wrap my little brain around the questioner's proposal. I did it because at first glance, at least for me, understanding the issue was not, as we say in the patent world, obvious. Or to put it another way, I knew it was wrong, but not why. At least in a tangible, non-multisyllabic sort of way... BTW, I work for inventors, so I like asking dumb questions. (argumentum ad absurdum) And a good time was had by all... <Φ>aj Everyone else, please put your pistols back in your holsters.
  12. Which I have tried to explain (in ref to the phi symbol and earlier versions) in my previous posts. Reason; a faculty of the individual, represented by the "I", which is the means to conceptually grasp the universe, i.e. Reality, as represented by a flattened "O", which also represents the O in objectivism... Besides, a meme doesn't need anyone's sanction. It just fits with the times and the message. your mileage may vary... Stay Focused, <Φ>aj
  13. I just finished TotW tonight, so it was easy to find the relevant quotes. RR's clue was "Ward left in. Ward right out. Guard your heart from stone." "So, have you come to forgive me, Richard?"... ..."I can't forgive you because it would be wrong of me to come here to forgive you... His fist moved to his chest. "It is here that we connect ever after that. We can be connected only in our hearts. You did not give him your heart. That was mine and mine alone."... "I do not own you. You are not my slave. There is nothing for me to forgive. You did not betray me in your heart. It would be presumption of the worst order if I came with an offer of forgiveness when you never betrayed me with your heart."... "Will you forgive me, Richard?"... "Please, Kahlan, all I can have in this life, if you will grant it, is your forgiveness." Mere moments before she had had doubts, been uncertain as to her true feelings about him. Now, absolute conviction avalanched through her. <Φ>aj
  14. That, is precisely why I posted the two concrete examples illustrating the absurdity of treating attributes or relationships as metaphysical. BTW, I like the idea that relationships are hierarchically subordinate to attributes. I'm going to try to be socratic more often... I might learn more... In the same sense that it was used (confused) in the original post. >...entities have metaphysical primacy, in that the existence of an attribute is dependent on the existence of the entity having said attribute (and likewise that a relationship's existence is dependent on the existence of two or more related entities). What I was just thinking is that attributes have metaphysical primacy over relationships, or that the existence of a relationship is dependent on the related entities having the attribute(s) giving the potential to exhibit the given relationship. <Φ>aj
  15. Does a leakiness of a carburator have primacy over Boyles law? (pressure vs volume) Does the darkness of an object have primacy over how the angle and intensity of light varies as the angle of incidence through a refracting medium? Just asking...that's all. <Φ>aj
  16. But the story is called "24", not "A year in the life of Jack Bauer". And what makes Jack our boy is that what he does in the rest of year, prepares him to succeed in those critical hours that try men's souls. Small quibble: Jack lives in a malevolent "society"...a belief in a malevolent "universe" is a psychological problem that Jack does not have, well, most days. He couldn't do what he does if he believed that what he did could not make the world a better place, and that ultimately everything was tears and sackcloth. I do agree that it always does seem to end in a draw however. But that's Hollywood... I'm about to finish the fourth of the Goodkind Sword of Truth novels, and the one thing you gotta like about Richard Rahl is that he always seems to end up at least one step ahead in the end. Of course, the enemy is just around the corner... <Φ>aj
  17. Ahm speeeking lawk Awnhald: Wee ahre heeer too >pump< you up! Sounds like an ad for a weight loss program. Hey, how did my wallet get suddenly lighter? Your mileage may vary... <Φ>aj
  18. I was lucky enough to attend a day long seminar at our local university (SFU) devoted to celebrating the 150 anniversary of Tesla's birth, in 2006. There were original papers and current science presented explaning how Tesla's work is still relevant and prescient. Several speakers (historians of science) discussed the "who invented radio" question, and the relevant patents were examined and compared. My background is electronics and intellectual property, and I was satisfied that the circuits I saw in Tesla's patents proved that he invented radio ahead of Marconi, and I believe the USPTO also agreed on this in a court challenge after his death. BTW, can anyone recommend the best books on Tesla's life and achievements? I'm thinking of getting the Cheney bio, but if anyone can point me to something better or more thorough, I would appreciate their advice. Stay Focused, <Φ>aj
  19. That's two arguments from authority to my lone misquotation. Here's the shorter version: If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. -- Albert Einstein Care to back up your assertion that Einstein was wrong in this statement with something more than a MSc Phys union card? No, I don't believe it differs essentially from the one I posted. Regards, <Φ>aj
  20. If you're happy and you know it...clank your chains. Stay Focused, <Φ>aj
  21. And what tenured branch of physics are you supporting? Stay Focused, <Φ>aj
  22. Polygamy/polyamory usually becomes more problematic only when consent is required. Mo hinline quots: Everybody lies about sex. Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful - just stupid.) Touch is the most fundamental sense. A baby experiences it all over, before he is born and long before he learns to use sight, hearing, or taste, and no human ever ceases to need it... A woman is not property, and husbands who think otherwise are living in a dreamworld. [And visa versa. aj] Rub her feet. If you don't like yourself, you can't like other people. <Φ>aj
  23. As I mentioned before, I don't really want to register for either prodos or the TEW site if I can have the conversation here. I would prefer to keep the discussion at a level where a simple student of objectivism can discover the merits or flaws of TEW or vectons in the company of those with a similar epistemology. Are you implying that any answers to the questions I was invited to ask are going to be banned from this site? Stay Focused, <Φ>aj
  24. Most self-help books are trap doors for religion which welcomes people as flawed, and not perfectible. We all >make< mistakes, but that doesn't mean we >are< mistakes. I was lucky enough to attend two seminars Branden held in Vancouver many years ago, which focused on teaching people how to use the sentence stem techniques for self-exploration and deprogramming flawed responses. One thing I'll never forget, which I've never experienced with any other human being before or since, is Branden's conscious integrity when someone asks him a serious question. In the seminar or in the hallway, he would stop, and think, and think, sometimes to the point when people would start looking at their watches, and then he would finally come up with the most enlightening, incisive, actionable, and profound answers. As others have said, Branden is not seeking to replace or correct objectivism, only bring more clarity to one of its most important aspects. Stay Focused, <Φ>aj
  25. From the thread on "I", Juxtys recently posted: >I could argue that the word "I" means the difference between you and everything else in the Universe. Can't you really grasp such a simple fact? well for those who need a visual reminder, the capitalized phi symbol serves this purpose admirably. (the larger "I" written over an oval or "O" that symbolizes either the earth or the universe) b c-ing u, <Φ>aj
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