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Bold Standard

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  1. I absolutely agree with that. It's really a daunting task just to make worthwhile art in general. But, when faced with a daunting task, does one borrow *directly* from those who have mastered the task in the past, like Peter Keating cutting and pasting the architectural designs of others onto his buildings, all out of the original context, or does one attempt something on his own.. Letting himself fail, even, for as long as it takes to get it right--to make something new, and true, and something that's never been said in exactly that way before? Personally, that's why I would primarily take issue with the title. It's a very ambitious title. It's a title that I would not expect someone to give to a work unless he was ready for it, and could live up to it on his own effort, not second handed, but with an *entirely* original and flawlessly inspiring performance musically, lyrically, aesthetically, and philosophically. I would expect it to be an unprecedented integration of musical ideas with lyrical ideas that was constructed with as much passion and devotion as Ayn Rand put into her own works. I think anything less than that, with a title such as that, however innocent the intentions, could only ultimately serve to feed off of Ayn Rand's enormous popularity, not to promote it in a significant way. But, then, I am an American. I can sympathize with the plight of someone who lives in a country where her ideas are even more unheard of than they are here, and the desperate desire such a person might have to broadcast them for someone, anyone to hear, and hopefully to want to know more. But still, posting the songs on a public forum opens them to criticism from a world audience. So that's my perspective.
  2. But in a research paper, for one thing, a direct quote would never be included without a visible citation to the author within the same paragraph. But if someone is listening to your songs, without reading information you have on your website, they would only hear the quotes with no citation and might assume that you invented them yourself. It just seems to me that it would be more original and first-handed to write your own material rather than quoting for someone else without her permission. They're your songs, after all.
  3. Have you obtained permission from the Ayn Rand's estate to use her material in this way?
  4. The exact reason that Hume couldn't understand causality is that he was trying to derive it from sensualism/nominalism. Specifically, he was trying to derive it *directly* from perceptions apart from abstract universals, which did not fit into his epistemology. He was right that there is no way to discover a single instance in which causality can be directly perceived. If you throw a rock at a window, there is no little flag that comes up before the rock strikes which says, "The window is about to break," you merely perceive the rock next to the window and then the window breaking. In order to draw a necessary connection between the events, one must advance to the conceptual level, which is something that Hume opposed on principle. That's why Ayn Rand's solution for the problem of universals is important for her defense of causality.
  5. Could you give any examples of public speakers who you think are *not* annoying or condescending? Or even who "sound" intellegent, inspiring, and enjoyable to listen to? It seems somewhat incredible to me that the particular guilt by association you have in mind is not even an association with an actual radio psychologist, but with some character from a video game! But I haven't personally played Grand Theft Auto, so maybe it would make more sense if I understood the context. Many speakers take a period of adjustment for me, especially if they have unusual styles of presentation that I am not used to. Yaron Brook's lisp really disturbed me the first couple of times I heard him, even though I agreed with everything he said.. But now that I'm used to the lisp and can overlook it and recognize the genuinely passionate inflection and delivery that he actually intends and projects, he is one of my very favorite public speakers, and I can enjoy the expression involved in his delivery of speech material even apart from its particular content. I didn't mean to derail the thread, but this topic of the relationship between the *sound* of speech and its content is of particular insterest to me as a musician.. Sound as an expression of meaning is the whole meaning of music for me. But Ellen Kenner, by contrast, immediately had a voice that appealed to me. I perceive her as someone who has a totally calm, natural, benevolent way of delivering every fresh idea that it is clear from the content she has spent decades perfecting and refining and finding new applications for and relevence of. Her voice is soothing to me, and projects a confidence not only in her callers and in the truth and practicality of her ideas, but also just a general confidence in the world and the mind as a part of the world to make sense. I don't think it's fair to dismiss Ellen Kenner's achievement because of anything that it recalls in the voice and inflection of others unless it is similar in some essential respect which bears relevence to the specific nature of what you percieve to be a problem in her delivery of information.
  6. I'm confused what you mean by this.. Do you mean that her manner of speaking, or her habits of dialect remind you of those used by people who you have observed being condescending and annoying; or do you mean that the things she says seem to you to be annoying and condescending; or do you mean the actual *sound*, ie, the frequencies themselves are annoying and.. condescending? In any case, could you elaborate in what exact sense or way she is "condescending", and how you are defining that term? Are you accusing her of being annoying and condescending merely because her voice reminds you in some tonal or inflectional way of other radio psychologists who actually are annoying and condescending, and if so wouldn't that be a logical fallacy (guilt by association)?
  7. Could it be possible to split the screen so that you can have both chats open at the same time? What does "migated" mean?
  8. I would say technically it does, since part of being rational is being consistent in your views, and Machiavellianism is inconsistent with Objectivism. There is a reason Gail Wynand ended up as he did in The Fountainhead, and I think it's usually the same way for people who act on his principles in real life (to the degree they do so consistently). But, I think the most helpful thing for you to do to resolve this would be to study Objectivist critiques of Machiavelli, and of similar philosophies. There is an excellent analysis of Machiavelli in Leonard Peikoff's Founders of Western Philosophy lecture series. The whole series is fascinating and very informative. But Dr. Peikoff puts Machiavelli in an historical context, which I believe is vital to understanding him, as well as contrasting his views to Objectivism and to other philosophers. Another thing about your post that makes me curious is your description of your view as "pragmatic". I wonder if you are influenced by the ethics of the philosophy of pragmatism as well as by Machiavelli. If so, Dr. Peikoff's lecture series on Modern Philosophy will be of great interest to you as well. He devotes two lectures specifically to pragmatism, as well as continually referring back to it and tracing its influence in subsequent philosophies. Very interesting stuff. (These lecture series are available individually or together as a set at the Ayn Rand Bookstore).
  9. A few of my most favorite videos: Robot playing a trumpet Nancy Whiskey and the Chas McDevitt Skiffle group perform "Freight Train" in 1957
  10. My favorite youtube videos Here is my whole catalog of favorite youtube videos, and I update it frequently.
  11. I haven't done the sentence completion excercises from that book, but I've done some other ones (from How to Raise Your Self Esteem) and found them helpful. I'd say within a few hours I started to realize premises I didn't know I had but that I'd been acting on, and within a few weeks was able to translate them into better premises and better action and therefore better self esteem. Since then (several years ago), when I'm feeling unsure about courses of action I'm taking or emotions I'm feeling, I sometimes create my own sentence completion excercises, and I've found that to be an effective way to root out hidden emotions and premises that are effecting my actions (hidden, I think, because they're not usually well thought out, so it's hard to trace back to them logically). I wonder if you're familar also with Ellen Kenner. She's an Objectivist and a psychologist who has a radio show, and I've found her insights to be very helpful for self improvement. There is much less that I disagee about with her than with Dr. Branden. And she seems to be a nice and honest person, from what I've gathered.
  12. This opinion is not consistent with Ayn Rand's statements regarding suicide, or with the implications of her ethics. Unfortunately I don't have access to my Objectivism research dvd right now to look up quotes. But consider the part in Atlas Shrugged where . That is not a scenario of physical pain as is the one you suggested, but of psychological pain at the loss of a value. If one truly has no possible values left to gain in the world, no hope and no joy in living, my view is that it would be self sacrificial to continue living. The problem is that if one is in the midst of an intense psychological depression, it's difficult to see things objectively. There is a tendency to overlook solutions and other options that are available. Sometimes things can look hopeless when really they're not. But it is possible for things in this world actually to be hopeless for someone. It depends on the context.
  13. Wow, I've seen some of these before but didn't realize they were water colors. I didn't know that kind of distinction was possible with water colors. Does Steve Hanks always (or usually) use them?
  14. I really like the song he did with Siouxsie and the Banshees called "Face to Face" for one of the Batman movies (the second one, I think, with Catwoman in it). Ennio Morricone! : )
  15. Oh yeah, I just thought of the Clockwork Orange soundtrack by Walter Carlos. That has some really cool early synthesizer stuff on it.
  16. : ) I don't know if you meant this literally, but one thing I've noticed that I think is interesting is that many of the most emotive and intimate of public performers have been described in interviews as being shy. From personal experience, I've noticed that many of the musicians I respect, when I have met them after or before performances in which they had a tremendously intimate rapport with the audience, are very personal and reserved. I'm also a musician, and I have no problems or fears about revealing parts of myself to an audience while I'm on stage, but in person I would consider myself introverted and reluctant to open up to people I don't know well in conversations, and also reluctant to initiate conversations with people I don't know.
  17. Oh, this is a good topic.. Three that come to mind.. "Once Apon a Time in America" - beautiful soundtrack composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" - some amazing songs composed by Angelo Badalamenti ranging from spacey retro-jazz to sort of classical sounding synth/ambient music, with some unforgettable vocals by Julie Cruse "Until the End of the World" - nice selection of new wave songs from Wim Wenders' 80s sci-fi movie (Pretty much all other soundtracks composed by Ennio Morricone and Angelo Badalamenti are good, though) I also really like the soundrack to Marylin Monroe's "River of No Return." It's an interesting pop take on country music. (Pretty much other soundtracks for Marylin Monroe movies are good, though.) Oh, yeah.. "The Sound of Music" - Rogers and Hammerstein "The Wizard of Oz" - Harold Arlen [edit to fix formatting]
  18. Yes, but I wasn't aware of a distinction between shyness and introversion. I thought shyness was the common term and introversion the technical term for the same thing. Maybe I'm wrong, though.. [edit: So I also didn't think there was anything in the concept of introversion that would exclude the presence of fear.]
  19. I think your definition omits too much behavior that is commonly regarded as "shyness", and too many possible psychological and emotional states that often correspond to such behavior. I do think your description is accurate to a significant portion of the phenomenon of shyness, but it's not comprehensive. Very often, people who are simply private and reserved by nature, and who do not habitually make an effort to "put themselves out" and assertively engage in certain types of social behavior as described as "shy." I think this is perfectly meaningful even if there is no element of fear present. Their emotion could just as easily be disgust, or utter indifference, or something else. Their psychological state could be a low self-esteem, but not necessarily. It could be they simply have a low or neutral esteem for others, or they might just lack the energy to engage others much. They might also have poor social skills, or they might not have anything to say or any positive reasons to engage others. I wouldn't disagree with calling this type of reaction "shyness," but I think it goes far beyond typical shyness, and seems to incorporate a neurotic element; maybe a social anxiety disorder? (I'm not a psychologist either, but I do enjoy studying it).
  20. I think this is much too narrow a definition for shyness. First, I don't agree that shyness is an emotion. I think it is more a type of behavior. Shyness is a tendency to avoid initiating relationships with strangers that would increase the level of intimacy involved in the relationship. There are all kinds of possible motivations for this type of behavior, and a lot of competing psychologies that could sustain it (some healthier than others).
  21. But I do believe he mentions somewhere that if oneself benefits, it's impossible to know that his action was from duty rather than inclination. It's possible to benefit others, especially if one has no goodwill whatsoever, in a way in which it is clear one is not acting from inclination, according to Kantianism (I think).
  22. I don't think Kant argued as strongly for self sacrifice as his followers did. Auguste Compte (1798-1857) coined the term altruism (which means literally, "otherism"). He intended it as a description of Kant's ethics. I think you can find it in Kant, but I haven't thoroughly studied Compte (reading over this thread brought to my attention how much my understanding of Kant had/has to be desired too), so I suggest if you are curious to study them both yourself to see to what extent. Kant's Foundations for the Metaphysic of Morals is pretty short, and his most accessible work, and his complete arguments for why one should act from duty are in there. My best attempt at a paraphrase: One should act from duty because it is one's duty to do so. Also, Kant thought that acting from duty was the only form of action consistent with reason. I don't remember which one he starts with though: whether it's one's duty to act consistently with reason or whether one should act from duty because it's consistent with reason. I'm pretty sure that's in Foundations for the Metaphysic of Morals.
  23. At the beginning of this post, you imply that Mr. Speicher deleted only posts that disagreed with his position, making the argument one sided. But then you admit that most people on the forum report having their posts deleted for a number of reasons--i.e., people on all sides of the debate. It was my experience in posting on that forum when Stephen ran it that he would delete posts which he believed to violate the stated forum rules regardless of whether he agreed with the overall intended position or not. Personally, I've been disappointed about the personal remarks made against Objectivist intellectuals at OO.net and THE FORUM. But, as Betsy pointed out, the ones made against Dr. Peikoff in this forum during the elections were worse. And many if not most personal remarks at THE FORUM are deleted. I just usually try to avoid discussions where personal attacks are flying around. (I'm making a brief exception in posting on this thread!) I've never seen a message board that didn't have some controversial threads and many views expressed by many members with which I disagreed. As long as the problem seems more or less confined to a few threads, if I think it's necessary to remove my sanction, I'll stop participating in those threads, but I don't understand the reason for boycotting an entire forum because of the controversial threads, while continuing to support other forums with just as many if not more controversial threads. I suppose I do understand why someone would boycott a website that he thought was continually attacking him personally. But to cut all ties with anyone who participates in that forum, even those who disagree with the attacks or who do not participate in those discussions, when the attacks (if that's what they are) originate from a small minority of posters, seems like it would be unnecessarily limiting.
  24. Oh yeah, here's a newer one with my current guitar. Fender Jaguar Baritone Custom. There's my profile and my De Bergerac nose. Don't know what I was looking at. : D Kind of blurry, that was a cell phone picture.
  25. I don't believe that's necessary for love.. It's possible. But I think it's possible to fall in love with someone to a lesser extent than one has loved before, or to love more than one person at once, even. I'm not sure I understand what's meant by "true love" here. As I understand romantic love, which is a process that evolves and develops and waxes and wanes, it's hard for me to distinguish a "highest order". Is this meant to be a description of the plateaus that occur within a relationship, when it is at its strongest, and the greatest degrees of intimacy have been achieved? Or is it a description of one particular type of relationship, peaks and valleys included, as opposed to other romantic relationships in which the peaks never get as high? If you mean the first, then I think I'd agree, "true love" at first sight is probably impossible. It is hard to imagine any first encounter possessing the same significance and intensity of a love which has been fostered between two people for years and had time to mature. But if you mean the second, I think "true love" at first sight is possible--I think it's possible to recognize that a particular person is well suited to be an exceptional romantic partner before any actual conversations begin, and that can be the beginning of a "true love" relationship, which is experienced as different from the beginnings of other types of relationships. But on that definition, I think it's also possible for "true love" to develop between people who did not experience "love at first sight", and might not have even initially been attracted to each other.
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