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Posts posted by jedymastyr

  1. Does anyone have these lectures who would be willing to sell them?

    Below is the list of tapes in the series. I'm particularly interested in the ones by Salsman (to a lesser extent, Hull) and the debate at the end, if anyone only has some of them. I took the descriptions from here: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ro/www/IllinoisOb...ub/library.html.

    If you're willing to sell them, please email me. I may also respond to PMs, etc. but email is best.

    "Ayn Rand Comes to Harvard" Lecture Series

    This is the “Ayn Rand Comes to Harvard” video lecture series, sponsored by the Harvard University Objectivist Club in the fall of 1996. These videos feature long question periods, and their production quality is high.

    “Objectivism: Ayn Rand’s Philosophic Revolution.” Renowned Objectivist scholar Harry Binswanger delivers another excellent overview of Objectivism, as contrasted with philosophic theories from the past. (60 min. + 90 min. Q&A)

    “Rights—Reason—Reality: Ayn Rand’s Answer to the Intellectual Crisis of Our Time.” Objectivist and intellectual history scholar John Ridpath shows in detail how Ayn Rand’s philosophy can rescue modern-day academia. (70 min. + 75 min. Q&A)

    “Ayn Rand’s Theory of Free Will.” Dr. Harry Binswanger presents Ayn Rand’s theory of free will and how it differs from past attempts to solve the volition-determinism dichotomy. (75 min. + 75 min. Q&A)

    “The Problem of Universals: Failed Attempts and Ayn Rand’s Solution.” Dr. Gary Hull, Objectivist scholar and philosophy professor, presents a concise history of the philosophic problem of universals, one of the main issues in the theory of knowledge. Although this topic is more complicated than others, Dr. Hull’s lecture can be understood by anybody. Dr. Hull shows the two main historical viewpoints of universals, including Plato’s and Aristotle’s attempts at the problem, and how Ayn Rand’s theory solves the problem once and for all. (85 min. + 65 min. Q&A)

    “Bridging the ‘Is’-‘Ought’ Gap: How to Derive Morality from Facts.” In this wonderfully clear lecture, Dr. Harry Binswanger shows how the foundation of morality is neither subjective, mystical, nor whimsical, but objective, that is, easily derived from everyday facts of life. (70 min. + 80 min. Q&A)

    “The Mind as Hero in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.” In this talk, Dr. Andrew Bernstein, Objectivist scholar, discusses the theme of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged: the role of man’s mind in his life, and what happens when that role is overlooked. (80 min. + 70 min. Q&A)

    “The Virtue of Selfishness: Ayn Rand’s Radical Code of Morality.” Peter Schwartz, Objectivist scholar and editor of Ayn Rand’s Return of the Primitive, explains Ayn Rand’s ethical theory, and shows that selfishness is not evil, but the highest virtue possible. (60 min. + 90 min. Q&A)

    “Capitalism and the Environment: The Virtues of ‘Exploitation’.” In this talk, economist and Objectivist scholar Richard Salsman breaks down the myth that capitalism destroys the earth, and shows how “exploiting the environment,” when understood properly, is one of the noblest pursuits of man. (75 min. + 75 min. Q&A)

    Debate: “Selfishness: Moral Offense or Moral Ideal?” In this debate between Dr. Harry Binswanger and Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy, the issue is definitively settled whether selfishness is evil or noble. Filled with many humorous moments, this debate is excellent for anybody who questions Ayn Rand’s code of morality. (150 min. including Q&A)

    “Pro Choice Is Pro-Life: The Philosophic Basis of a Woman’s Right to an Abortion.” In this talk, which was taped the semester after the rest of the lecture series, Dr. Andrew Bernstein shows how pro-life vs. pro-choice is a false dilemma, and how anybody who upholds the sanctity of life must also uphold a woman’s right to abortion. (60 min. + 65 min. Q&A)

  2. Here are a bunch of audiotape lectures I would like to sell. I'm selling most of them for roughly above price of what they're sold for at www.aynrandbookstore.com. Whatever I don't sell here over the next week or so, I plan on listing on ebay.

    $80 - Advanced Seminars on Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, Part 1 by Leonard Peikoff (12 tapes)

    $110 - Advanced Seminars on Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, Part 2 by Leonard Peikoff (12 tapes)

    $40 - "Chewing" the Objectivist Virtues by Gary Hull (6 tapes)

    $27 - A Brief History of the Middle East by Yaron Brook (5 tapes)

    $15 - Selected Topics in the Philosophy of Science by Harry Binswanger (2 tapes)

    $25 - Judging, Feeling, and Not Being Moralistic by Leonard Peikoff (4 tapes)

    $25 - Stress and Coping: An Inductive Approach (3 tapes)

    $17 - Ayn Rand's Life: Highlights and Sidelights by Harry Binswanger (2 tapes)

    $15 - The Legacy of Ayn Rand by Jeff Walker (2 tapes)

    $140 - Ayn Rand at the Ford Hall Forum (2 part set, 19 tapes):

    The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age

    America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business

    The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus

    Our Cultural Value Deprivation

    What is Capitalism?

    The Wreckage of the Consensus

    Of Living Death

    Apollo and Dionysus

    Apollo and Dionysus Q&A

    The Moratorium on Brains

    The Moratorium on Brains Q&A

    A Nation's Unity

    A Nation's Unity Q&A

    Censorship: Local and Express w/Q&A

    Egalitarianism and Inflation w/Q&A

    The Moral Factor w/Q&A

    Global Balkanization w/Q&A

    Cultural Update w/Q&A

    The Age of Mediocrity w/Q&A

    This is different than the version being sold now. It does not include "Is Atlas Shrugging?" but includes

    more and different Q&A sessions.

    $10 - Medicine: The Death of a Profession by Leonard Peikoff (1 tape)

    $7 - The Sanction of the Victims by Leonard Peikoff (1 tape)

    $8 - Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand (1 tape)

    $8 - This Hallowed Ground by John Ridpath (1 tape)

    $7 - The Objectivist Ethics by Ayn Rand w/Q&A (1 tape)

    $7 - The Objectivist Ethics Q&A (1 tape)

    $8 - Adam Smith and the Founding of Capitalism (1 tape)

    $7 - The Declaration of Independence by John Ridpath (1 tape)

    $5 - Objective Law by Ayn Rand (1 tape)

    $8 - Making Effective Choices in the Study Process by Edwin Locke (1 tape)

    $7 - Objectivism in Brief by Ayn Rand (1 tape)

    $7 - Introducing Objectivism by Ayn Rand (1 tape)

    $10 - Philosophy and the Real WOrld Out There by Leonard Peikoff (1 tape)

    $5 - Medicine: The Sick Man in a Mixed Economy (Dr.'s Cole, Haynes, Tierney, Tonkin and Vawter, 1 tape, The Jefferson School)

    $5 - Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand Lecture Excerpts by Leonard Peikoff (1 tape)

    $6 - Figures in Intellectual History by John Ridpath (1 tape)

    $17 - Religion vs. Man by John Ridpath (2 tapes)

    $10 - The Classical Economists (2 tapes)

    $8 - Traits of Business Heroes by Edwin Locke (1 tape)

    $5 - Everything is Getting Better and Better - I'll Bet on It (by Julian Simon (1 tape)

    $8 - Reflections on 30 Years in Academia by Edwin Locke (1 tape)

    $8 - Reason and Emotion by Edwin Locke (1 tape)

    $8 - Setting Goals to Improve Your Life and Happiness by Edwin Locke (1 tape)

    $9 - Censorship: Local and Express by Ayn Rand (1 tape)

    $8 - Psycho-Epistemology of the Arab World by Edwin Locke (1 tape)

  3. What you are suggesting essentially amounts to this: A person is reading a book. Suddenly, the book says turn to page 73. Then when you get to page 73 and read a paragraph, it says to turn back to page 33. Then, you read page 33 and it tells you to turn to another page.  No one would buy a book which is authored like this. Why would someone read a forum post which is like this?

    Come on...don't you remember those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books from childhood? "Turn to page 33 if you want to go up the creepy staircase. Turn to page 74 if you want to run away." Weren't they exciting? :dough:

  4. It is a link, but not an improper link. Since it is a real and genuine post, it is the most proper of links. I just think the only way to ensure no one edits you work or puts words in to your mouth is to keep the data on your own computer. I'm not trying to subvert anything here, just suggesting a way the Speichers can get the security they want and still be able to participate.

    Would you like to have to create your own website every time you wanted to post? How about having to upload it? Then putting in the link... not having access to smilies without creating the image files yourself... not having your posts read as much because people have to click on an external link and break the flow of posts to be heard...

    Why should they bend over backwards to help _us_ understand Objectivism better? I can't remember a time any of us taught them something...

  5. Betsy/Stephen,

    One way to ensure your posts can't be edited, even by GC, is to make them a page on speicher.com and then just post a link in the forum. The moderators can only edit the link, which will break it. In effect you are limiting their powers to deleting.

    Even if that weren't a ridiculous waste of time and if people would be willing to click on the link and break the flow of the thread every time they want to read a post, it's still against the forum rules:

    • Improper links

    No advertisements or spam of any kind will be tolerated, including any posts made solely to advertise your website.

  6. The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics: The Case Against the Brandens is a new book I just received information about since I'm subscribed to get updates from ARB.

    It will soon be available at the Ayn Rand Bookstore, and includes the following description:

    Preorder now! Expected shipment from the publisher in February 2005.

    This explosive book lays to rest the myths about Ayn Rand's life and character that have been promulgated by her detractors. It is highlighted by extensive, never-before-published personal journal entries of Ayn Rand. These passages are immensely valuable, not only in revealing the claims of Rand's critics to be profoundly inaccurate and unjust, but also in showcasing her epochal mind at work resolving complex questions of personal life.

    I'm curious what other people think about a book of this kind. Obviously we can't judge it fully without first reading it, but I think there are points that can be made based on the description and the general nature of the topic.

    I understand that for the most part ARI has not really addressed this issue much, and I was under the impression that was because discussing it would only give some credit and publicity to the Branden biographies that they don't deserve.

    On the other hand, it appears that this book will have new content that directly refutes some of the claims made (and I'd bet some of the many negative insinuations) in the Branden biographies. That could be of value in discrediting them.

    Searching for the author's name on Ayn Rand Bookstore reveals only one other item: an interview with Leonard Peikoff. Does anyone know more about this author, or why this was written by him instead of one of the more established Objectivist authors who might have even first-hand knowledge of the Brandens? Was Mr. Valliant an Objectivist at that time?

    Any other thoughts? (my initial reaction was "It's about time...")

  7. I'm not going to respond to every point you made because I think I'd be repeating myself. I'll respond to the ones I think help clarify the view I'm putting forth.

    Contrast this with a forced, blanket collection of DNA to solve possible future crimes.  Such a collection, in the absence of proof of a crime or evidence implicating me as a suspect, would constitute the initiation of force and would be a violation of my rights.

    Given that there are lots of murders throughout the country, and if many unsolved could be solved were a DNA database available, I'm just saying that this is a proper way for the government to uphold individual rights. To use retaliatory force to get all citizens' DNA would be the proper function of the government in protecting everyone in the country's individual rights by removing murderers and helping to remove the threat of murder.

    I am not sure in what sense you mean that certain things "come before" other things.  Time wise? Priority wise?

    Hierarchically (conceptually).

    Man's rights are inherent.  Their existence does not depend on government, only their protection does.  One cannot say that if something prevents government from protecting our rights, our rights disappear.

    Inherent in what? Outside of the possibility of a government having a possible way to protect them, what meaning would they have in reality?

    You are again projecting the possibility of a situation in which government must violate our rights (albeit a small violation) in order to protect our rights against much more egregious violations.

    I don't advocate the government violating rights. Period. I say this--the government's powers to uphold individual rights and make living in a free society possible come before and presuppose the protection of individual rights in any country. For the second time, please don't accuse me of advocating the violation of individual rights. If you disagree that this is presupposed by individual rights, say so--but realize that's what I'm saying, not that the violation of rights is okay in any situation.

    ...you cannot justify initiating force (to collect DNA) on the grounds that it makes the use of retaliatory force more efficient.

    I'm not trying to. I'm saying that if a new technology makes the protection of rights--which was impossible before--possible, then it should be used. If DNA testing is one of these things, it should be used. If a DNA database of all citizens is essential in this regard to protecting individual rights against serious threats, then it is appropriate.

    I don't think that this is a violation of rights--I think it's an expansion of the government's ability to protect individual rights based on technology increases.

    I don't understand the distinction between enforcing rights and protecting rights.  Nor do I agree that anything trumps man's rights, if that is what you are suggesting.

    Nothing that comes conceptually after man's rights can "trump" man's rights (fallacy of the stolen concept). Man's rights do not "trump" anything coming conceptually before them (same fallacy).

    I see no evidence that such a case will exist.  As technology advances, law enforcement gains access to all sorts of new forensic technology to aid in solving crime: hair analysis, fiber analysis, voice recognition, etc.  This makes it increasingly unlikely that the police will be forced to rely on any one technology, does it not?

    If technology advances and makes a "blanket DNA collection" unnecessary, then it is not proper. It is only proper if it is important in upholding justice and individual rights, which is what I've said before.

  8. The only proper use of force is in retaliation against those who initiate it.  Thus, before government can act, it must have proof that someone has initiated force, i.e. it must prove that a crime has been committed.

    May I take it from this that you are against pre-emptive wars, then?

    ...the government may then use (retaliatory) force to compel samples and collect evidence...


    What you are proposing is the possibility that, under some unspecified set of conditions, it might be that the only way for government to protect all our rights is to violate some of them.  Can you provide any evidence to support such a possibility?

    No, that would be impossible. Rights that violate one another are not rights. I don't advocate violating rights.

    Let me illustrate my point with an example, which will help to concretize the issue and perhaps you can better understand where I'm coming from.

    I can't find the specific details online, though I have looked, but I heard this while watching a show on CourtTV (Forensic Files?) a year or two ago. It was about the first DNA test in court, or the first of a certain kind, or the first resulting in a conviction...or perhaps one of those just in a particular state...but either way it was an important case early on in the history of DNA evidence.

    There was a rapist on the loose in a very small town (under 1000 people, I think). Someone's rights had already been violated with a very bad crime, and many other women's rights were threatened. Given DNA evidence collected after the crime, all investigators really needed was a sample of DNA from all adult males in the community to figure out who committed the crime. Their other evidence wasn't getting them close to solving the crime.

    What they did was make every adult male (might have been all adults? or an age range?) give a DNA sample. As a result, the rapist was caught and everyone's rights were protected. The raped woman got some justice, and so did the criminal.

    I think, in a case like this, it wasn't a problem for the investigators to use a sort of "blanket" DNA testing procedure. Rights were violated very severely, and the government had a right to use a small amount of retaliatory force in order to find the criminal. This doesn't mean they had the right to go searching everyone's house or that cops should just go shoot everyone in a town because eventually they'll get the suspect...all it means is that in some cases the violation of rights demands a use of retaliatory force to find and punish the criminal. This is not entirely unlike subpoenas, which were discussed on another thread a while back. The source of the force being used (in a retaliatory way by the state) is the criminal in initiating force against the victim and requiring a proper defense and protection. It is not the government violating rights, but the criminal.

    Justice and the government's ability to defend individual rights come before the rights ever getting implemented in practice. If the government requires certain things in order to do so, these things pre-suppose rights. As such, if a "blanket" DNA test were done in order to defend individual rights and protect them in a way that before was impossible...but technology has made possible...then that is a perfectly acceptable thing to do.

    I'm not saying that it necessarily is appropriate right now...but if there are a lot of crimes in a large society that do not appear solvable presently, but which a DNA database would solve--especially murders and even moreso murders that still potentially result in a murderer being on the loose--then it is an appropriate use of retaliatory force to build such a database and to carry out justice. I know DNA tests are currently very expensive, and many cases are solved without them. That's why I made sure to say this was a technological issue.

    ...proves the opposite of your proposition -- it proves that it is possible to protect our rights without violating any of them.

    I didn't propose to protect some people's rights while violating others. Rather, what I propose is that if a DNA database makes the protection of rights possible--especially in a way far superior to the way it is done today--then it would be perfectly acceptable to make one. I'm not saying that it would be a violation of rights, but rather the opposite--that it would be in defense of individual rights (as a retaliatory use of force by the government). Since justice and the ability of the government to enforce rights comes before, in reality, the government's protection of rights, I consider this hierarchically prior to the question of rights.

    If you disagree with that assessment, feel free to say so...but please don't accuse me of advocating the violation of rights.

  9. What is the Objectivist viewpoint about requiring suspects to submit to mandatory DNA tests? Even when there is nothing but circumstantial evidence in the case?

    How would you expect the police to get more than circumstantial evidence if they didn't use this DNA test? (assuming they have exhausted other leads)

    Part of the reason they collect evidence and start to build up cases against suspects is so that, given a probable set of evidence suggesting someone may have committed a crime, they can get a warrant in order to collect more evidence that the suspect may refuse to provide.

    A DNA test isn't putting the suspect in prison or giving him a lethal injection, though it is an initiation of force. Small exertions of force are necessary in carrying out justice--when there is some reason to believe a person may have commited a crime and that force is necessary in carrying out justice. Of course, it should be objectively controlled and only be used when there is reasonable suspicion.

    What about requiring everyone to register their DNA. Do the innocent have any reason to refuse?

    I don't think (to the extent of my knowledge of Ayn Rand's applications) Objectivism itself says more on this issue than that the government must act in defense of the individual rights of its citizens. Of course, the problem is to apply the principles of Objectivism to this case.

    If having a DNA database of all citizens were essential to upholding justice, then it would be perfectly reasonable for the government to force all citizens to provide a DNA sample.

    In order to be a citizen of the country (i.e. to live in a country which has a government established to protect individual rights by banning force), if DNA tests and a database are necessary for enforcing the laws that ban force, DNA testing and a database would be necessary for the protection of citizens' rights. If this were the case, mandatory DNA samples would be perfectly reasonable for the government to protect rights. I don't know that these conditions have been met, at least now in the advancement of technology, but if so I would agree with a mandatory DNA database.

  10. P. S. -- Thanks to the person who filed the REPORT! In this particular case, I was aware of the problem but unable to solve it. Please do use the report function in the future. Realize, though, that we sometimes have only one or two moderators online at a time trying to moderator hundreds of posts sent in the last day or so. Again, thanks for taking the time to use the REPORT! function. If possible, please specify the post number. It will save time for the moderator.

    You're welcome; sorry for not including the post number...I figured the report function being used on a particular post would automatically link you to the post.

  11. The quality of a public forum lies in the intellectual qualities of its members. Mr. Speicher accounted for 6.5% of the total posts on this forum (more than any other member) and he was its intellectual fountainhead. What a loss...

    Stephen brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to this forum. In my view, he's the best poster here.

    I second both of those, and would like to add that with ~9 posts/day at that quality, averaged over about 3/4 of a year, the value he's provided people visiting this forum is incalculable.

    I don't disagree with him about leaving--his reasons are perfectly clear and valid. Regardless, though, it is a very big loss to the forum.

  12. I wish I remebered them verbatim. We shall probably never know now because Mr. Speicher has left and it is my understanding that it is not possible to retrieve the original post once it has been edited. I am very hesitant to say what I remeber of the posts because I do not want to put words in Mr. Speichers mouth that he did not say, which is the cause of this problem in the first place. I would PM the moderator who changed it.

    Why would you want to repeat what he wrote when it may lead to your posts being changed without notification and the information you posted deleted?

  13. I have another question on the topic of Homosexuality vs. Heterosexuality that I find to be more philosophically interesting than the morality of homosexuality. If someone is able to change their sexual orientation by introducing hormones or something like that--as scientific evidence suggests _may_ be possible--what ethical standing does that get?

    It seems like, if possible, this would be a way of changing one's metaphysical responses to reality. I think the reasons for trying to change this aspect of oneself would determine the ethical standing of such a change...but I am wondering what anyone else may have to say on the subject.

    I can think of lots of ways people change their _ability_ to deal with reality (lifting weights, reading, getting an education, poking their eye out, etc.), and some ways people change their second-nature-type responses to reality on a subconscious level (karate, keyboarding, etc.)...but I can't think of any way people change some way their body actually reacts to the world around it to something very different than it was before. I don't include, here, things like eating food to keep one's sensory apparatuses functioning properly--I mean a distinct change from the way it was before. I also don't mean something like the introduction of a vaccine--which "trains" the body to react to external stimuli in a better way by giving the body a sort of warning and head start...I mean something that actually changes...

    Is there anything more than usual that goes into judging this? If man is able to change a physical-level reaction he has to suit some consciously-chosen value, isn't that a good thing?

  14. Wow. I'm impressed. In only four sentences you disproved "Goedel's Theorem." And this Goedel disproof is even more succinct than your recent disproval of special relativity.  :)  What's next on your disproof agenda? How about disproving Euclidean or Riemannian geometry?

    Wow, that was really hilarious. I started laughing when reading the "In only four..." sentence, and it just got better after that...

  15. Notions such as deterministic or volitional behavior are derived from entities that exist in the three-dimensional world perceived by our senses. Attributes of these entities -- such as extension, shape, color, texture, etc. -- may not be primary aspects of metaphysical reality, but rather effects of the ultimate constituents as perceived by our senses.

    You say that some things (extension, shape, color, texture, etc.) are not necessarily "primary aspects of metaphysical reality." What do you mean by that?

    The way I understand it, things like shape, color, and texture are relationships among entities and these concepts refer to different identifications of these relationships (the frequencies of light they reflect, etc.). I see these relationships as necessarily existing in reality--our senses don't give us "bad data."

    In that sense, I think it's perfectly valid to say that extension exists in reality (as an identified relationship among entities).

    I think I get the rest of the argument, but I'm unclear on what exactly is meant by this particular claim. What I don't understand is whether or not you're saying it's possible that things like shape, extension, color, etc. do not exist in reality. An important part of my misundersatnding is that I don't understand what you mean by "effects ... as perceived by our senses." Could you elaborate on this idea to help clarify my confusions?

  16. It is not easy to put out articles of substance on a weekly basis. I wish your group the best in this endeavor.

    Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I'll relay the message, as well.

    I have one suggestion. You might want to consider putting a sprinkling of quotes by Ayn Rand in your articles, quotes that are appropriate to the subject at hand. There is nothing like the clarity of Ayn Rand's own words in getting many points across, and being beginning students of Objectivism this will enhance your consistency with Objectivism as you attempt to apply the philosophy to rather specific issues.

    That's an excellent point! I didn't even think of it, but there's not a single Ayn Rand quote in the entire first issue. I will be sure to tell the others and try to integrate some good quotes.

    Also, perhaps you should consider posting a PayPal account (or some other means) here and on your website for those of us who might want to offer some financial assistance.

    Thanks, another good idea. It never really occurred to me that other people may be interested in helping us that way. I'll look into getting an account for our club for that.

    And, do you have a faculty advisor for this project?

    Sort of. Our club has a faculty advisor. We called around and got all the permissions we needed to place racks on campus, etc. without needing any advisor signature.

    The club advisor was actually quite difficult to find. The only Ayn Rand-sympathizing professor I'm familiar with at UA is a Kellyite (he actually had David Kelley speak to our class...). Our main hope was to get an advisor who would not really care either way about our views so that we could just get the permissions we need and do the rest ourselves. All other advisors the club has had in the past have ended up with significant ideological disagreements that resulted in them no longer sponsoring the club. I just last week finally found someone who didn't care much and would sign forms for us...so we have an advisor for the club. None specifically for this project...and the club one isn't really much of an "advisor."

  17. The Student Objectivist Society at the University of Arizona has just started publishing a weekly newsletter to be distributed around campus (which is also available online).

    (when I use we here, I am referring to the couple of people working to put this publication out)

    We have quite a few reasons for doing this:

    --We want to better understand Objectivism by writing about it (which often helps provide a deeper understanding of the material)

    --We want to get Objectivist ideas out more prominently in the community we live in

    --We want a fun way to interact with other local students of Objectivism and promote a greater discussion of the issues

    --We want to get our viewpoint out without being heavily edited by people with opposing viewpoints (as the school paper has done to several club members, including myself)

    If anyone is interested, our website is www.slantnews.com and all the articles (along with a pdf showing what it actually looks like) can be found there. Some of the articles won't be on topics that are of general interest (many will focus on local issues), but anyone interested is welcome to read our articles.

    I should mention that as students, we are not and do not pretend to be "masters" of Objectivism--we will probably make some--hopefully few and unimportant--mistakes in applying Objectivist principles. We will try our best to make our articles consistent with Objectivism.

    We're printing the newsletter on 11x17 paper (which is equivalent to two 11x8.5 pages when folded down the middle). This removes binding problems and four page faces are plenty for us to try to fill every week (if we have problems with this we may change it to bi-weekly). I found a used, broken commercial-quality copy machine for really cheap--and was able to fix it (or at least enough of the features so it would work for our purposes). Since then we've acquired a paper folder and everything else we need to print the newsletter ourselves and keep costs to a minimum. We will try to get advertisers to pay our variable costs (paper, ink), but they're pretty small and so we're willing to pay them if necessary.

    I don't have much more to say about it right now, but I figured some people would probably be interested to hear about it. If anyone has questions, I'd be happy to answer.

  18. Why?

    When I wrote that, I actually was thinking you specifically would ask that...I didn't have time to explain it right then, though, so I didn't.

    The context:

    I first read the post and clicked on the link (at that time I had not even read any of the comments). The topic indicates that the subject would be something humorous, and so I was in the proper mood for a joke. This is also a post on an Objectivist forum, and doesn't appear to be by someone hostile to Objectivism. So, I didn't think (as many here apparently did) that the intent was to insult Objectivism or ARI.

    Humor from The Fountainhead:

    Having read The Fountainhead, I am familiar with the context of the quote presented. Throughout the book, the boards of directors presented tend to be mindless and ineffectual. They tend to actively discourage independence, rationality, etc. This quote particularly is already ironic because it is a man who works on a board of directors denouncing them in general. He upholds many Objectivist virtues and was the one person in the book who worked hard and convinced a board of directors to promote Roark's career.

    Why the link made it more humorous:

    Before I even clicked on the link, I was already smiling from the irony and humor from The Fountainhead.

    Then, I clicked on the link and went directly to a page with ARI's board of directors spelled out across the top. This, obviously, is not one of those ineffectual boards. ARI has been rather successful so far, and its board of directors is made up of the Kent Lansing type rather than the typical ones represented in The Fountainhead.

    This just extended the humor in The Fountainhead. Not only is Kent Lansing (who is primarily a "good" character) wrong about all boards of directors being bad even though he's serving on one, but the rational perspective he offers--which ARI offers more fully--is exactly what is needed to allow a group of people to successfully collaborate with one another.


    I thought the comparison was amusing. I didn't see any malice, and I don't just assume that people are attacking important values without first having a reason to do so. I was amused before reading any of Delta's comments, so while I don't agree with all of them I still wanted to express my appreciation for the humor he provided. Perhaps I didn't find it amusing for the exact same reasons Delta did, but there is a similarity at least.

    Also, it wasn't like I thought through all this slowly and suddenly decided it was humorous. It was a very quick reaction, and I think that was only possible because I knew his purpose was benevolent (from the topic of the post) and that he didn't mean to attack ARI. I didn't think it was sarcastic at all. If the same post came from someone I knew to be a socialist, for example, I would have thought it sarcastic and an attack, and I wouldn't have found it amusing.

  19. If that's not what you're trying to say, then why don't you explain it? There's obviously at least two people who didn't understand it...

    I think it's clear enough that anyone reading it should be able to understand. If there is some confusion with what I said, I would be willing to answer specific questions.

    I will explain why I disagree with your attempt to paraphrase what I said:

    What jedymaster was trying to say is that a scientist is no more qualified to make a statement about philosophy than a philosopher about science. There may be exceptions but, for the most part, a specialist must stick to his own field.

    This seems to imply that philosophy and science are two completely separate fields--I stated that they were hierarchically related. Specifically, I said that philosophy is more fundamental than science in a hierarchical chain. As a result, it is perfectly reasonable for a philosopher to comment on a scientific statement if it contradicts a valid philosophical principle (or to verify that it is philosophically sound).

    What you said, at least how I read it, makes it appear that philosophy and science are unrelated--perhaps even that only specialists should talk about them. It makes it sound as if the two fields do not need to be properly integrated (compartmentalization) and ignores the hierarchy relating them. I didn't make any of these assertions (or allusions to them) in my original post, so I just wanted to make it clear that I didn't agree with your paraphrase.

    Please don't misunderstand me by taking my comments here to be hostile. I'm not accusing you of compartmentalization or intentionally misrepresenting what I wrote. I am just trying to explain why I disagree with your paraphrase so my point doesn't get confused or distorted.

  20. What jedymaster was trying to say is that a scientist is no more qualified to make a statement about philosophy than a philosopher about science. There may be exceptions but, for the most part, a specialist must stick to his own field.

    That is not what I was trying to say.

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