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Bold Standard

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  1. Ok, I watched the first five minutes. What is this? Based on what I saw, it seems to be headed in the direction of a Marxist criticism of the Fed as being too private, of all things. Who are these people, and what position are they arguing from, and why do you think this video is worth watching for those interested in economics?
  2. Lol, now how could expect me not to laugh? But then, you would probably expect me to be disobedient anway. : P The Doors comparison is interesting, because I don't listen to them very often (or any other 60's music really) but I do like some of their songs. Hm, I wonder what similarities between my music and The Doors you are picking up on. For now, I'll just assume it's the "singer as sex icon" thing and move on. ; ) Do you think that taking a drug of a certain type necessarily causes different people to make the same type of art? Why would this happen? Hmm.. I'm not sure I know what you mean. Does "outside world" mean the way other people perceive the world, or the way the world really is? If it's the former, then I think you really appreciate what I'm trying to do. If it's the latter, although my music is (or tries to be) an idealized version of the way I experience things, I do my best to be honest, and not to get to a place that escapes or avoids the point. (I don't know if that made any sense; if not maybe I can restate what I meant better later). Hm, yeah, I think I agree with you about Souvenir. There is something wrong with it.. Actually, quite a few things I'm aware of; but also something more fundamental that I need to fix that I haven't quite figured out.. I like that you said "tangible," I think it needs something to make it more like that.. (Actually, I think the lyric "Stone statues on the ground" was a half-attempt at groping for that; but it's a problem in the song itself, not just the lyrics--the lyrics, like all of my songs, were inspired by the music). I don't completely agree about Bonus though. There are some problems, and some work I still need to do on it; but I really like the basic idea, and I think the execution of it that comes across in that recording is decent. It is a dream, but I don't think it's a nightmare. I think it is at least approaching one of those dreams that's more vivid than waking life--one of the dreams in which your subconscious finally grasps or begins to grasp some interesting and deeply rooted issues that have been brewing beneath the surface for some time, and then it presents it to you in a manner which is so intense, that when you wake up, you feel inspired, and spend the rest of the day trying to understand the deeper implications of the dream, and trying to recapture that urgent, ecstatic emotion that encapsulated you when you first woke up. That's what I want it to be, anyway--because I love that feeling, and I'd love to be able to make other people experience something like that by listening to my song.. I at least want to make a song that can make me feel that way, when I listen to it. Another thing I like about Bonus is that I think the guitar sound which is playing the melody is pretty interesting--to me, it sound almost like a cello or violin. Could be better, though.. Especially the part at the end when it gets louder--that could be done much, much better. I like the chord progression on that part, but the melody is a little weak and maybe a little too "smooth jazz," or something (I was actually making this song up on the spot as I was recording it, so the melodies I chose weren't always the most intelligent, because of limitations in my performance as well as some of the theory).. I want to add some other instruments for that part too, but I haven't decided what yet. Yeah, this version of it did come out that way.. I've been thinking the same thing when I listen to it. I have other melodies I do sometimes, but also the recording, arrangement, and the sounds I'm using have a lot to do with why it sounds so repetitive. Not to mention, my performance was a little half-assed; that's because this was actually my very first attempt at recording on my new multitrack, so I was in such a hurry to just get something down and see how it would sound, I think I was a little sloppy. Also, this song could really use some bass--I don't have a bass at my house right now, so I haven't been able to record one yet. I guess I could do it on a keyboard.. Hm. Well, thanks for the criticisms, Ifat. It's interesting and very refreshing to get the reaction of an unusually intelligent as well as artistic and honest person to my music. Good, me too! : D
  3. Since the article is long, here is a relevant excerpt (bracketed text mine):
  4. Yeesh, welcome to the machine.. [rant]Sometimes, when I let or make myself sit and think about it, it really blows my mind that a government can be so corrupt, and so blatantly and shamelessly exploit its citizens, and with such pathetically feeble and illogical reasons and justifications provided, and yet the majority of supposedly freedom loving people simply accept it and obediently submit to it, not only failing to oppose it but even usually to accept it as a moral duty. The fact that this is the freest country in the world and the freest in history doesn't make it any easier for me to comprehend this--At least the more explicit and more consistently totalitarian countries often have the excuse that the truth is obstructed by force, and that ideological dissent is illegal. In this country, the choice is available, and people still continue to choose more and more statism and human sacrifice. I'm not a pessimist, and I believe there is hope for future change, and I acknowledge the many people who are fighting and winning various battles to preserve those freedoms we do still have. But still, to think of the actual gravity of the crimes which our government is now getting away with; and to think of the many ways *my* rights have been and are being and will be violated by those people in my country who are the government, it really pisses me off. Yeah, it could be worse, but it should be better.[/rant] This is logical, but unfortunately the government cares more about power than money. More unfortunately, the type of "increasing certain freedoms will boost productivity and lead to more forcibly acquired tax revenue which will lead to a more powerful State" argument is pretty much what modern conservatives, alleged defenders of capitalism, have been reduced to. (See The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism by C Bradley Tompson for more info on that).
  5. God.. You think so? Literal ones? Why? (I hope not!) : /
  6. I bet that Law would also come in handy if you were a Nazi. Damn, I think I just lost... (j/k)
  7. What do you mean when you say that any mental concrete has a (its?) physical form? Do you mean that an idea of "cow" corresponds to the physical firing of neurons in a specific way in the brain? Or do you mean that an idea of "cow" corresponds to an actual physical cow that exists? But unless your arguing from materialism, the question of whether mental existents must have physical counterparts would seem to be scientific rather than philosophical, since I don't see how you could derive it axiomatically, in the way that you can derive that both mental existents and physical existents exist (and are not the same thing).
  8. I love poetry, and read it often. I especially like poetry from the Renaissance through the 19th Century. I love Swinburne, Goethe, and Edmund Rostand (who wrote Cyrano de Bergerac--I think that play is a great sales pitch for poetry, if you get the right translation). I'm one of the two people who likes to hear poetry recited the best. I prefer hearing poetry recited by a professional reader, because when I read it myself, I usually have to read or skim every line first, and then go back and read it once I figure out how the rhythm is supposed to go, which kind of takes the initial surprise away from hearing it perfect the first time. If the reader really gets it right, then I can just sit back and enjoy the poem all the way through as it was intended to be presented. But a truly talented reader is about as rare as a truly talented poet, and sometimes even when a poet reads his own works, he gets it wrong.
  9. Lol, oh yeah, I have to comment on this, too. The people in this picture could never say those things! Did you look at the expressions on their faces at all?? The last thing on the Mistress' mind is idle chit chat. She is greatly concerned about the contents of that letter--she looks as though, at that moment, the letter is all that exists for her! And the Maid is not thinking about how her heart is filled with joy. She's obviously concerned for the Mistress, at the same time being polite in delivering the letter.
  10. I think Vermeer's work is superb, and much superior to anything by Larsen, especially in style but also in theme. I don't get the sarcasm.. Regarding your dialog, for one thing, in 1666, when Vermeer painted this piece, in Delft, the mistress' wardrobe was the height of fashion. Compare this to the girl in Winter Evening, whose wardrobe is not the hight of fashion, but rather a very plain, unspectacular outfit that could be bought cheaply at any generic department store. Not to mention that in Vermeer's painting, the outfit is rendered superbly, and looks realer than real, whereas in Larson's painting, the outfit is rendered approximately, and looks only slightly realer than a typical comic book illustration. Thematically, Vermeer's work is full of mystery, and tension--a hundred stories come to mind that could explain the scene and you wonder what happens next. Larsen's painting is full of the familiar, the comfortable, the undramatic, and you know exactly what's going to happen next, and probably for the next four hours--there will probably be more activity coming from the window in the background than from the figure represented. In Vermeer's painting, every detail is presented with astonishing detail, from the objects on the table, to the many different textures of fabric, to the jewelry. Any time I look at a Vermeer painting, I walk away seeing everything as more vivid than I did before, because his vision was so intense. In Larsen's painting, some things are vivid and detailed, such as the shadows on her arm. But some things are sloppy and pretty cheesy and fake looking--check out the metal in the fireplace! Vermeer would never paint something metal without making it jump out of the picture at you. As to what the ideal of our philosophy looks like, if "our philosophy" is supposed to mean Objectivism, I will point out that Ayn Rand did call Vermeer "the greatest of all artists" (The Romantic Manifesto, pg. 48). Although she criticized Vermeer for being too naturalistic, his works still strike me as being more romantic than Larsen's, whose themes often strike me as being a little trite, if not boring. I agree with Mr. Sandberg's evaluation of Larsen. I think Larsen has potential, but is far from greatness as an artist.
  11. I just posted two new songs on my Myspace page.
  12. But you do have faith in Senators to make the right decision?
  13. The formal name of this argument for the existence of God is "the argument from design." I agree with you that created things are more "purposeful" than merely existential things, since only living things are capable of purposeful behavior, and arranging things according to a teleological end. But I don't see in what way created things are more "organized." It seems to me that the molecular structures of inanimate objects, for instance, are as fantastically well organized as just about anything created by living things (maybe more so). And the same goes for other natural phenomena--celestial formations, topographic evolution, chemical reactions, etc.
  14. Hm, really? Could you give some specific examples of that? It seems to me that 19th Century writers were often critical of Enlightenment writers, and Enlightenment writers critical of Renaissance writers, and so on. I agree that the trend of the past 100+ years has been towards more cynicism, and that that's not good; but I'm not aware of *most* writers a hundred years ago looking at their predecessors as "blemish free."
  15. Oh, they've got them here? I haven't eaten there yet. Well, I'm curious now. I think the marketing ploy has worked on me.
  16. I thought this was interesting. I've never heard someone express this view point before. How did you come to that conclusion? Who has time to pursue a business career and at the same time get a masters degree?
  17. Ha-Well, I hope you know you don't need to cower on my account, since I respect your literary opinion more than anyone else's I know. I'll grant you that it's not the worst--not anything approaching the worst. But what I see in Eliot is the beginning of the end in poetry. Between 1919 and now, there has been a lot of poetry that is a lot worse than this--pretty much all of the beat poets wrote worse stuff, IMO. But would any of that have been possible if not for Eliot, and those like him such as Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein? Undoubtedly the majority of poems written since 1919 have been worse than this. But what about the majority of poems written between the Renaissance and 1919? Were they worse or better? I think most of them were better--most that I've read, anyway. Hmm.. That's actually a simile rather than an analogy, isn't it? Maybe I would be able to appreciate the comparison if you would be willing to explain it to me. What does "Streets that follow" mean? Arguments can follow, and people can follow streets, but what does it mean to say streets that follow? Follow what? Yeah, I guess those are some strengths of the poem besides the rhyme scheme. Hmm. I'm not sure I understand this. Was The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock discovered in a private diary of T.S. Eliot's, and not intended for publication? I thought it was intended for a general audience. Is it appropriate for an author to fill his works with "inside" references that an audience would be incapable of grasping, without knowing the author personally (or, perhaps, without being the author, or perhaps, not even then)? Should intelligible communication not be an author's priority? Why does one write, then? Why show anybody?
  18. I'd like to respond to this, since I don't entirely agree with y_feldblum's response. It's true that Objectivism rejects materialism, since materialism denies the existence of the mind, and that Objectivism rejects positivism for many reasons. But, technically speaking, Objectivism could be considered a form of empiricism. Empiricism simply means the belief that all knowledge is derived from experience, and that there are no innate ideas. In that sense, Ayn Rand was an empiricist. The confusion comes from the modern tradition of empiricism beginning in the 18th century with David Hume. Starting with Hume, and ever since then, most (virtually all) empiricists have also been nominalists and sensualists. Since Ayn Rand rejected nominalism and sensualism, many people think that she couldn't be an empiricist. But there is nothing inherent in empiricism which suggests that it must incorporate nominalism or sensualism. Empiricism existed before nominalism and sensualism. Aristotle is also properly considered to be an empiricist, but not a nominalist or sensualist.
  19. The Ayn Rand Institute website has a lot of good introductory information <-(if you click on that it should take you there). I don't think that someone who loves Atlas Shrugged as much as you will be in any way disappointed with Ayn Rand's other works. As works of fiction, The Fountainhead, Anthem, and We the Living are all fantastic as well, as are her plays and screenplays (such as Ideal, Good Copy, and Night of January 16th). The first non-fiction book that I read by her (actually, the very first thing I read by her) was Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Although it was a lot of information for me to absorb, it laid a great foundation for my further studies of philosophy in general, and Objectivism in particular, and it remains my favorite non-fiction book. The Virtue of Selfishness is fantastic, and I'd say very much in the style of Atlas Shrugged. It was written not long after (AS was published in 1957, VOS in 1964). Philosophy: Who Needs It would also probably be a good introduction--to Objectivism and also to philosophy in general [to give you a hint about the content of this book: it's not a rhetorical question! ; )]. As to an introduction to the forum, I'd suggest just clicking on whatever is interesting to you, and skipping any threads that don't catch your interest in the first few posts. Also, don't be shy about digging up ancient threads that haven't had any responses in months or years. That's one of the things that makes Internet forums nice--you can pick up on an old conversation anytime. Of course, you can't expect the original posters on that thread to necessarily still be around. You'll probably want to check out the Forum Rules (most message boards have these, and it's always good to look them over, because different forums often have different guidelines). Welcome aboard. : )
  20. Hello, nice to see you here. I didn't know you wrote for the Atlasphere. Actually, my opinion of the Atlasphere just improved about 700% with that information. How long have you been writing for them? I haven't been to their website in a couple of years. I wonder if its content and format has changed much since then.
  21. Wow, hm. I haven't been to the Atlasphere website in a couple of years, since the Kelley/Buddhism/Libertarian thing does bother me. But still, I'm a little surprised and impressed that it's grown to the extent that there is a substantial amount of people one could meet up with in Canada. Are there a lot of Objectivists or even Libertarians in Vancouver?
  22. Some? Who, him and his friends? : P Some have argued the same thing about Green Eggs and Ham, I'm sure. The question is--why should their opinions matter? That was the poet's intent. I'm not sure if the poem deserves such a generous interpretation, but maybe that will make it easier to get through the class. I could only find one specific reference to TS Eliot in The Objectivism Research CD-ROM, and it was from Leonard Peikoff, not Ayn Rand. It's from The Ominous Parallels, which is a book that analyzes the cultural/philosophical trends in Germany which led to the rise of Nazism, and compares them to trends in America. (A very interesting book, btw). (The "Pound-Eliot-Stein axis" is a reference to Ezra Pound, TS Eliot, and Gertrude Stein). The one thing I can say good about this poem is: at least it rhymes! I think it's pretty lame when a poet as poor as Eliot fills his works with references to better artists, poets, and writers. It's as though he hopes that his poem will be improved by the strength of their reputations. What a repulsive couplet that is! It's a testament to the unintelligibility of modernist poems that one as short as this one can have 9 footnotes, and they add almost nothing to the meaning of the poem. For instance, number 4. Well, duh about him being a Renaissance artist (though I wonder if Eliot really thought he was great)--but does anyone have a clue what he has to do with this poem? Personally, I love poetry. But I don't like this or anything else I've read by TS Eliot. What's the point of reading [or writing] something if its meaning is entirely ambiguous? Besides getting a grade in a class, which is a good reason if you want to do good in the class, but I mean other than that.
  23. There are people who love to discredit prominent figures, and even worse, some who love to discredit great innovators, political liberators, and industrialists in particular. That type of cynicism is one of my pet peeves too. However, I think looking critically at the lives of prominent and even heroic historical figures can be an important and productive activity, if not done with the goal of denigrating greatness. To use Thomas Edison as an example--I'm not familiar with accusations of antisemitism with him. But there are some things he did that I think are pretty despicable. The worst is that he not infrequently attempted to use political pull to initiate force against and immorally eliminate his competition. For instance, he initiated the most infuriating campaign against AC power, in favor of his far inferior DC electrical generation, which if it had been successful would have slowed down progress in this country to an almost unimaginable degree. Based on the arguments he presented against AC at that time, I wouldn't be surprised if he would have had more success convincing a modern American government to ban it than he did then, if he were arguing it today instead (not knowing everything we do now about it, but only the information we had at the time). Something like that is important to know about one of the greatest inventors in American history--not because it illustrates his dark side and proves that "nobody's perfect" or any of that sort of nonsense. But because of what it teaches us about history and about the psychology of those great historical figures who we can admire and at the same time view critically. Interesting--my knowledge on this issue of Ford and antisemitism is extremely sketchy, and I'd never heard of this apology before.. It's encouraging and I hope it's true, but I'd like to research it some more when I have time.
  24. However, publishing and sponsoring articles isn't technically his "personal life," but his public life, which perhaps shouldn't matter either, since it was predominantly his professional life which was interesting. But his public life does have relevance to world history (such as his influence on events of WWII and Nazism) which is perhaps of broader interest than a mere biography of Henry Ford would be.
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