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Bob G

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    Music, art, all areas of philosophy, travel, food.
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    Herndon, VA
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    Bob G.
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    Long time reader of Ayn Rand.
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  1. If anyone is planning to attend this seminar and is not familiar with downtown DC or the Mall or hasn't been there in the last few months, let me know. I am a resident of the area and have been a member of the Smithsonian Associates. There are some tidbits I can mention that will help you avoid problems and make the visit a little easier. Bob
  2. Not to divert the thread, but Ayn Rand, who is the standard for *precise* said "man's" life. She didn't mean a collective, and neither did I.
  3. sNerd, I think you misspoke here. Isn't it human life that is the standard and your life is your purpose? The standard is not one particular person's life, but what human life qua human life requires to live and prosper?
  4. When you do not uphold the value of reason, regard it as a virtue, strive to understand reason and the mental process it entails, you surrender to faith and force. Your mind does not function, cannot make differentiations between a good argument and nonsense. Few people, generally, even "intellectual", are basically able to tell the difference between an argument or a smear or a accusation or an emotional spew. It all seems the same to them. Nor do they know the difference between what they want and what is, accepting the primacy of consciousness with their religion, etc. Nor do they know the difference between knowledge and maybes, e.g., alien abduction. They do not know that they have to keep track of the sourse of their ideas and the reasons and justifications for accepting their ideas as knowledge. It is all a blur. So it should not be a surprise that they see nothing wrong about spewing at Ayn Rand because they feel threatened without actually having a real clue what she stands for or what her statements mean. We must keep in mind that there is a difference between thinking and what passes withing the U.S. culture. Adam Reed, in his blog "Born to Identify" argues that in our attempt to spread Objectivism we need to teach people how to think. We see why, don't we.
  5. They should blow the plant up before they leave, too. They won't, but they should.
  6. Discounts are now offered to supporters of ARI and members of DCOS.
  7. I wish I did. I hope that someone has a good suggestion. I can say, TLR, that Voltaire is not a hard read. There use to be books like The Pocket Voltaire or The Voltaire Reader that were easy to find. You could go through his stuff prety quickly and get your own understanding of his views. Just a suggestion. He does have some fun things to say.
  8. Benevolence is often taken as naiveté or gullibility. As Americans, we still have much to be proud of. Let's hope and work to retain that spirit. Ayn Rand often talked about the American People and their strength and openness. It takes an honest Brit to recognize what was happening.
  9. Fred Seiler is hosting a new Objectivist Discussion Group patterned after the very successful Front Range Objectivist Group in CO. Go to the DCOS Meetup Site for details. The first meeting will be on Feb. 21, 2010. Front Range Objectivism activity was the result of many years of work by Lin Zinser, who is now the Vice President of Public Outreach of ARI and oversees the activities of ARC in DC. Fortunately for us in the DC area she hangs out with us when she can. She has volunteered to lead one of the discussions of the first meeting of our new group. So this will be good. I am hoping that we will have people of various levels of knowledge of Objectivism. Knowing the people who have already signed up, I can say that there will be a lot of good background and understanding there. I can also say that these people will be very tolerant of ignorance and will encourage questions and concerns. There is also a dinner planned later that day. You don't have to go to both. I am looking forward to those events. Bob
  10. One problem with the internet (could apply to other media as well, actually) is that you have no way of gaging the reality of any of the posters. Good or bad reviews from basically anonymous sources are really meaningless. I know that generally, when there are a lot of reviews, probably most are authentic, but you don't know. Good reviews can just as easily be false as bad ones. Even if they are authentic, you don't know the standards of the reviewers. Of course, extortion should be prosecuted, and would be in a society that upheld individual rights. What is also an important issue, as you suggest, is the lack of personal responsibility we see nearly everywhere in our society. The internet just makes it more apparent. We see it on this forum. For example, some posters accuse others of being willing to steal and other morally wrong behavior, or at least having written about it, and then, when proved wrong, the accusor just walks away. If you are going to do things or say things, take responsibility. A person should take responsibility for their actions in any circumstance. To not do so on an Objectivist Forum is really missing the point.
  11. Since you know, in an entirely objective manner, what is happening and why, which you learned via your senses, it is a tribute to man's imagination, but has nothing to do with a test of reality or perception or objectivity. If anything, it is a support of the primacy of existence, as any perception is. The stolen concept is that the person who made up this image had to use their senses and imagination to create it, which they had to ignore or evade to make the assertion of the primacy of consciousness.
  12. I agree with bluey (does that rhyme with phooy?) and sNerd. If you are interested in Ayn Rand's philosophy, read. Don't go for the most complex stuff first, like OPAR or TIOE. Galt's speach is a good start. Her published books are good. The Objectivist Newletter and The Objectivist are very important. But read a lot more because you will find that what you have said doesn't connect with her ideas. We'd love to talk to you then. -
  13. At least he didn't want to call all of this "Texas"!!
  14. I think that you want to be careful how you use the word "deterministically". I know that you were being careful here, and that you were a little concerned. I don't think that I have heard an Objectivist intellectual use that word. It isn't necessary and it carries some baggage from philosophers who deny the existence of freewill. I'm not sure what to do with "what affects man's volition". Nothing affects man's volition. It just is. Man either thinks, raises the level of his consciousness, or he doesn't. Nothing affects it. The trouble that some run into is that they try to treat volition as some different type of causal category. It is merely one aspect of man, one which we recognize as essential from the standpoint of our knowledge. Every aspect of an entity interacts with the rest of reality according to what it is. There are different things, i.e., the inantimate and the living. Living things self-start and are goal directed. The activitis of living things are not externally initiated, but start within. Volition is one way in which man self-initiates. If by "determinstically" you mean that the physical construction of man's mind "operates" according to causality, then I agree. It isn't an assumption. It is reality, i.e., the truth. The same can be said for all aspects of man, including his volition and psychology. The same can be said for all of reality.
  15. This is an event from the Smithsonian Associates, see. The Instructor is Shoshana Milgram Knapp, who has made presentations at many Obj conferences. There is a cost for the ticket, but I hear a discount may be available for ARI contributors. Members of the Smithsonian Associates also receive discounts. This event was at least partly engineered by the ARC. I have heard that there will be other events during the same period so that if you make a trip here you may be able to attend more than one event. I am stealing the ARC thunder a little (forgive me Lin) but the more warning, the better. This event was just posted by Fred Seiler at DCOS.
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