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Everything posted by aristotlejones

  1. Unlike Babylon 5, where the unresolved character and story arcs were continually interjected by flashbacks, and formed part of the character interactions and development, and were what kept people coming back to the "screen" for five years, not including spinoffs. "If you cannot control and trust yourself, if you cannot see yourself clearly, you will never have any knowledge or trust of others, and you certainly will not be able to control them." Mitsugi Saotome <*>aj
  2. Um, Matus, I didn't really need to hear that. I'm only halfway through the first book, and don't have a lot of time for reading right now. Please spoilershield these little nuggets in the future. Thanx ahead, aj
  3. Always glad to meet another lurker. The most detailed demonstration of the frog in the frying pan theory that I know of, is Peikoff's "The Ominous Parallels." http://www.peikoff.com/op/home.htm <*>aj
  4. Since we're now delving into the precedents of economic tampering, and the faulty arguments used to rationalize statist legislation from the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to Sarbanes-Oxely, I recommend people read The Myth of the Robber Barons for the real story. http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Robber-Barons-B...3181&sr=1-1
  5. You are right in that a meal shouldn't make much of a difference to my definition, but I'm only going on what I observed. And it wasn't much to speak of, basically a "two-pack". But for a 49 year old who makes his living at the computer, I'll take whatever progress I can. But after considering this discussion, I'm starting to rethink the kind of situps I am doing, now that I have some inkling where I need to focus. I know there is muscle there, as I recently took a solid hit in the gut from a junior student in aikido, and it didn't even phase me. Also, I've always have sub-average body fat. Bottom line, I think it's a saggy epidermous due to accelerated decrepitude. But I'm going to keep fighting entropy with integrity. It also just dawned on my that my aikido might be interfering with my situps. You can often tell aikidoists or systema people by their puffed out stomachs and lowered center of gravity. This is due to intentionally different breathing patterns that create more power when executing a movement, and allow one to absorb a hit safely. After a while, one doesn't even think about it anymore, it is just part of your way of living. What doesn't kill you, makes you weirder... aj
  6. Well I have to agree about the masking effect of even a little too much food obscuring all one's hard work. I bike regularly, practice aikido, sometimes run & swim, but once I overheard a lady in aikido comment that she noticed a guy's sixpack, I thought, "hey, I need to strengthen my center for aikido anyway, and if it turns her head, so much the better". So I now do a double routine of progressively harder situps/crunchies every day. Well, although I am not an over eater, I do need to replace what I burn off, but after 2-3 months of consistent effort, I expected some noticeable effect, and while I'm back to my 33/4 waist, the definition just isn't there. For the past week I've been on a mild cleanse, and today, I had a cereal & espresso, then biked around to garage sales, did shopping, did aikido, then biked home, and before I got in the shower I happened to notice that I could actually see some definition for once. I'd been upping the reps, but simply not having much food in my belly seemed to make all the difference. I guess it's like those actors who purge before an interview. I guess this tells me a) that my work is not in vain, and to keep at it, and c) that if I really need to show off, calory restrict. Cheers, aj
  7. Actually word of mouth or personal example or the postal system works just as well. I have been in the science fiction community for probably 20 years. Back in the stone age, before the internet, and when Russia and its satellite states were called the Soviet Union, our local scifi club was trading books with a sister club in the Ukraine. I had an extra copy of a set of scifi books and chose the one that was the same thickness as Atlas Shrugged. I carefully peeled off the cover and reglued it over Atlas. I shipped it to the Ukraine with the other books, and months later got a puzzled reply from the person on the other end, but a few years after that, the Berlin wall fell down. (this was the era when banned books were copied by hand or typewriter, then passed around from village to village)
  8. Actually there is a Peikoff tape that most specifically addresses some of the questions raised so far. "The Role of Philosophy & Psychology in History" I guess I'll have to relisten to it if I want to participate. Hey, anyone know how to patent a 36 hour day? aj
  9. Hey All, I was an adult student in Toronto, still deluded that a high school diploma was worth anything, and we had this eccentric polymath teacher who used to run a cattle breeding farm, and who let the older students eat lunch in the storage area between the labs, letting us listen to Monty Python records (a beta version of CDs), while he did a 45 minute combat nap on a stool in the corner. One day he was teaching the section of Biology 12 that addressed evolution and its relation to other belief systems, and at the end of the class he handed out a copy of the "I" chapter from Anthem. I sat there and read it, slowly realizing that this is what I had always thought, but just couldn't put into words. I then looked up at him and said, "Do they know you're doing this?" (thinking that he might get into trouble) And then I asked where I might find more like it. He told me about Atlas and Anthem, and I took them out of the library that day, and read Anthem that night. This was before the internet, but when I get obsessed about something, I want to know as much as is available. Toronto is a great city for bookstores and libraries, and it didn't take me long to find more fiction and non-fiction. It was like I didn't have to feel guilt for believing the evidence of my senses anymore, for finally trusting my own judgement, for believing in heroes again. This teacher's singular courage made it possible for me to learn how to think in a more systematic and life-affirming way, and I owe much to him for who I am now. If you're out there, thanks.
  10. Hello, I agree with Megan in that there are many useful tools in 7 habits for both living more effectively, as well as operating a business, once you get past the flawed premises of the book. As part of a small business course, I gave a short presentation on the concept of the compass versus the clock. Having to evac a salesman who became hypothermic on the West Coast Trail because he was behind in his "schedule", and was not paying attention to environmental hazards (the kind that actually do kill you) was a good illustration of this principle. Also, the concept of dealing with the big tasks first and on an ongoing basis, which leaves many spaces between to take care of the little tasks. This is illustrated by the exercise of trying to see how much fewer large rocks one can fit in a jar if one starts the little ones first. All of these methodologies have been useful in living a sucessful, and yes, objective life. I would also like to mention two other titles that have much to offer anyone trying to live a better, happier life, in spite of each title's lack of objective perfection. Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelley, and Work Like Da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb. Stay Focused, aj
  11. A followup to my recent post on the utility of Atlasphere: Today I sent the following to the list owner after he tossed aside my very specific argument in one sentence. ------------------------ Joshua, Since your reply both demonstrates your lack of integrity to objective values and evades your responsibility for these breaches, I require that you remove both my directory and dating listings from your site immediately. I will neither support, sanction, nor participate in a venture that welcomes people antithetical to objective values, and that defrauds those paying for a specifically defined service by evading the minimum standards that make any such service an objective possibility. Stay Focused, Brian ----- Original Message ----- From: TheAtlasphere.com To: Tesla Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 2:02 PM Subject: Re: Renewal Confirmation (NOT) Tesla, I have turned off the auto-rebilling on your account for you. It does look like your rebilling notice was never sent to you. I see that others have been sent recently, but yours was not. I'll do some research to figure out what the bug might have been there and see if it's happening to anyone else. I do apologize for the inconvenience! Thank you for your general feedback but we do not have any plans to require members to provide more information in their profiles. Joshua At 07:36 AM 8/27/2008, you wrote: Hello list owner, Since you did not sent me a "Subscription is expiring soon" email in a timely fashion, as you did last time, I inform you now, August 27th, 2008, that I do NOT authorize any further subscrption payments for this account from my Visa. The reasons for this choice are posted on the Objectivism Online Forum in response to a query about the quality of your site as pertains to its primary purpose, namely, "Connecting Admirers of the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged." and are appended herein. I welcome any authentically constructive replies on this topic, but if you are going to continue to stonewall me with out of context evasions on the "rights of producers", the only just answer is to quote Dr. Nathaniel Branden, "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?" ... -------------------
  12. Hello All, My full access to Atlasphere is about to expire again, and I won’t be renewing this time. I gave Atlasphere a proper test drive twice now, and am disappointed with the results. Its tagline or mission statement is “Connecting Admirers of the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.” Let us parse that claim, and see if it is grounded in reality. First, the professed standard that participants to be connected should be admirers of objectivism. Over six months, split between two different years, I found that a significant number of people listing on Atlasphere are openly or covertly religious, arrogantly and childishly abusive, and apparently incapable of writing ads that disclose anything relevant about themselves, implying that mind reading is a required faculty on this site (sic). In this latter case, the last time I registered for full access, I sent a short polite witty query to a few carefully selected participants, asking why they don’t reveal any detail about themselves, merely expressing my disappointment in this situation. In spite of receiving some very understanding and contrite replies to my blind inquiries, the owner of this service took it upon himself to threaten to remove me from Atlasphere for “spamming”. Well, my counter to that rediculous overreaction, is to ask: Why aren’t people who provide no or little information about themselves threatened to be removed for “lurking”? If this site has the primary purpose of “Connecting Admirers of the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged” then how is that possible when there is no information available for one participant to determine if they want to connect with other participants? By what standard are they to judge another if they want to connect, if they provide only a name, probably fake, and a photo, possibly photoshopped (mea culpa). How is one to assess the character, interests and compatibility of another when they conceal any relevant information to make that assessment possible? As a test of this proposition, today I clicked on the top twenty links in the directory and found sixteen had no information, and the rest only one piece of information each. In the top ten dating links, I found only one that disclosed more than gender and age. When 90 to 95% of your listings are stripped of any meaningful information, it is impossible to know who these people are. And as the site owner’s over-reaction has proven, I’m barred from asking more than one person the same question at at time, and have to figure out different ways to ask the same question, “who are you”, because the owner has not required they disclose this information as part of proper conduct on the site. I’m a business owner and do not have time to play twenty questions with people masquerading as objectivists. Now, back to the quality of the participants on this service. I am not some fly-by-night, flaky party crasher, who is lazily critical of objectivism due to a deficit of self-esteem or someone who misunderstands the epistemological requirements of reason. I have been a supporter and practitioner of objectivism since I was about 21. Because of the guidance, courage and integrity of Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden, the latter whom I’ve briefly worked with twice, I operate my own unique and successful Patent Services company. So when I am critical of this aspect of the Atlasphere, I have the street cred to back it up. I am an objectivist, and am proud to say so in a world that is turning into a cesspool of irrationalism. Objectivism has literally saved my life several times, once very recently. I use it, understand it, and would like to share the fruits and joys of that achievement with people who authentically care about it. If that means merely having a private conversation about the challenges of maintaining objective virtues in a decaying culture, or finding a mate who is turned on by someone who walks his talk, but who is not crazier than I am, then I am open to any level of connection that is possible. But Atlasphere just does not seem to be the place for “Connecting Admirers of the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.”. The last person I met who fit that dual standard on a minimal level was surprisingly a member of my aikido dojo. If the owner of this service claims that by raising his standards, and requiring minimal disclosure from participants to show that they are seriously objectivist, not just trolling for kicks, that he would lose money, I make the counter-offer that I would gladly pay twice the going subscription rate if these objective standards were consistently met. Otherwise, I am going to let my subscription expire in a few days, and give up on the integrity of a site that claims it is “Connecting Admirers of the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.”, but does nothing substantive to make that actually happen when the solutions are so simple and honorable. I’m not talking about surveillance of every ad, but it would be relatively easy to code to reject any application that does not provide a minimum number of informational entries. (Say five, just enough to get a proper sense of the person) Or to reject openly religious applicants to this site, as being contrary to the values that it professes to hold. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the articles and news items on Atlasphere, but these are advantageous for both parties. And they are not the professed rational for this site. Quantity one way to make more money. Quality is the way to make money more honestly. And usually you find you’ll make more than you expected. Stay Focused, Brian Dubberley Inventive Solutions
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