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Everything posted by RohinGupta

  1. Good Morning, today is Monday 20th June. So I am starting second part of the study from Pixar section. It deals with how Pixar helped Steve Jobs to understand talented people, and therefore work with them better. CHAPTER 7 – LUCK When people list industries Steve has revolutionized, they include 3-D animation movies [among PC, phone, tablet, music, and app-development]. But author thinks that credit for revolutionizing this business should go to Ed Catmull and John Lasseter, and not Steve Jobs. When Pixar actually started making movies, from them Steve started absorbing an approach to management that made him much more effective on returning to Apple. As Steve watched Toy Story develop, he started to truly love Pixar. He started coming to Pixar office once a week, even though he did little there. He had no input to the development of Toy Story plot. It was developed by Lasseter in collaboration with Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Joe Ranft. They also took help from Jess Whedon. Stanton went on to make A Bug’s life, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E. Doctor would direct Monsters, Inc. and Up. Ranft was co-writer and story in chief of many Pixar movies, and Whedon went on to create Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers. Four men became the core of what Catmull calls “The Brain Trust” – “collection of Pixar writers, directors, and animators who provide constructive criticism to director of every Pixar movie”. The uniqueness of this setup is that The Brain Trust does not have any authority whatsoever. Directors are asked to listen and deeply consider the advice of its members. It became a powerful tool helping reshape movies like The Incredibles and Wall-E. Watching Lasseter, Stanton, Docter, and Ranft develop Toy Story, Steve witnessed creative thinking at its best – choke full of failures and dead ends, but still working hard to move forward. Because when you are on the edge, some things go right and some things go wrong. Watching Toy Story develop fuelled Steve. Thus on returning to Apple, his understanding of talent of people had improved drastically. He was in better position to be inspired by talents of people he worked with, and in turn inspire them.
  2. Good Morning, today is Monday 13th June. As per schedule I am starting first part of the study from Pixar section. It deals with how Pixar culture impacted innovative aspects of Steve Jobs. So here it goes... 1. CHAPTER 5 – A SIDE BET Summary: Pixar was bought by Steve Jobs from George Lucas in 1986, primarily for its 3D technology. Despite Steve's efforts for many years however, the software division did not take off. Instead, hire from Disney to Pixar John Lasseter created small movies here. Short movies like Luxo Jr. which had little lamp as hero were really liked. It was the success of this short movie that was primary reason Pixar could venture into full animation film Toy Story, in collaboration with Disney. Pixar adventure helped Steve Jobs rediscover self-respect, made him billionaire, and taught him more about management than anyone he had worked with. In short, Pixar made second act, which had iPhone at its climax, possible. From the very beginning Pixar was called “a great fraternity of geeks”, and they shared the dream of creating full length feature film. It was founded by Alexander Schure, and later headed by Ed Catmull. The offices and labs of Pixar moved from Long Island (in East coast) to California, where the team helped George Lucas do Graphics for Star Wars. Ed Catmull, as he steered company of odd and talented people from one crisis to another, considered management as an art in itself. In 2014 he went on to write the book Creativity Inc., and is considered to know more about managing and motivating creative people, than anyone else (including Sony’s Akio Marita, Intel’s Andy Grove, or Bill Gates). And after Toy Story(1995) in particular, his success through Pixar proved to be a powerful example for Steve. Though contributing Graphics for Star Wars movies and Indiana Jones series, the ultimate aim at Pixar was to create full length animation film. So Catmull hired young and frustrated Disney animator John Lasseter. Lasseter was assigned the task of creating a series of animated short films that could show the potential of 3D computer graphics. The brilliant 30 second pieces like The Adventures of Andre and Wall-B and Luxo Jr. were screened at annual imaging convention, SIGGRAPH. These screenings served as advertisement for the group, made clear its startling technology, and showed that Lasseter had a rare gift for storytelling. Unlike Apple and NeXT, Steve did not shape the culture in Pixar. Here he was not the center, and could not change the company to reflect his image and sensibilities. Being micromanager Steve could have been major hurdle for Ed Catmull. But having kept previous owners away, he knew keeping Steve at a safe distance was possible. So he observed Steve closely, and over time became his keenest observer. And after developing understanding based on the observation, he became one of Steve’s most valuable mentors. Steve told the author what he thought of Ed. He thought of Ed as someone who was really, really, smart, even though quiet. Plus since he managed really smart people, he listened to them. Specifically, Ed showed Steve how a movie came together, and the pieces fit together – digging deep into 3-D technology with Steve. Further, he explained managerial decisions to Steve with sincerity and depth of feeling. Though Steve never directly acknowledged what he learned from Ed, or came across as somebody who was introspective about these learnings. But he did say to Ed that he valued what Pixar did, and understood that it was very different from what Steve himself did. Even though Pixar was financially unprofitable, Steve had great respect for people of Pixar. Especially Catmull and Lasseter. Former for his business and management expertise, and latter for his grand vision of life full of possibilities. Lasseter’s short films achieved great ovation in SIGGRAPH imaging festival, and later he won Oscar for animation Tin Toy. These achievements made Steve really happy, and motivated him to persist with Pixar’s animation, despite no revenue coming from there.
  3. Good Morning, today is Monday 6th June. As per schedule I am starting the study for chapter on iPod. So here it goes... CHAPTER 10 - FOLLOW YOUR NOSE Timeline discussed here – Beginning of the year 2000, when iTunes was first thought of, to the end of year 2001, when iPod was first launched. Summary: It was iTunes software product in Mac Desktop, that acted as a precursor to iPod. iTunes could play music files, sort them using various fields, could rip them from or write them to CDs. Using iTunes consumers could organize music and playlists in Mac Desktop for devices like Sony CD walkman. [iTunes music store came later though(after the success of iPod).] iTunes was developed, because consumers needed to integrate Mac to fast growing consumer electronics category. And unlike iMovie before, consumers could use it every day. Rather than building from scratch, iTunes was adopted from already existing 3rd party Mac jukebox, Soundjam (after acquisition and merger with Soundjam teams). While using iTunes, Apple employees realized that major improvements can be made to music devices like Sony Walkman. Plus building music player would enable Apple to have hardware device also in consumer electronics category. In late 2000, when Jon Rubenstein, head of Apple’s hardware R&D, saw flash drive technology at Toshipa. He realized that it could be used as storage disk for Apple’s music players. It had all needed qualities like very small size, huge storage density, and random access capabilities. So engineers and software from older and failed handheld device Newton were reused. Also, enterprising and ambitious engineer Tony Fadell was hired from Philips to lead the effort. User Interface being the major challenge, Jonathan Ive invented flat thumb wheel for browsing songs. (Touch iPods were developed after iPhone). Using thumb wheel users could scroll and select any song. Plus they could see details of song playing, and go to next, previous, or replay same song using buttons in the circumference of thumb wheel. While there were other innovations like easy synchronization with PC in iPod or shuffle songs that added element of surprise. It was user interface that made this product a success. Most importantly, iPod led Apple to rediscover innovation process that could also succeed in market. Encouraging Apple executives to think about future in a new way. And it is this thought process that ultimately created iPhone.
  4. Study of preparatory sections start from tomorrow in advertisement thread. Checkout the following link to know more.
  5. Little more than a month left for the start of main study-group (Monday, 11th July). From tomorrow (Monday, 6th June) I plan to start study of preparatory sections. As always, participants can summarize, outline, or chew relevant portions. The preparatory studies will happen in this thread itself. Schedule for preparatory sections is as follows : Week 1 - Monday 6th June to Sunday 12th June How was iPod conceptualized and developed CHAPTER 10 - FOLLOW YOUR NOSE Week 2 - Monday 13th June to Sunday 19th June Impact of Pixar venture on Steve Jobs - Part 1 CHAPTER 5 – A SIDE BET Week 3 - Monday 20th June to Sunday 26th June Impact of Pixar venture on Steve Jobs - Part 2 CHAPTER 7 – LUCK
  6. INTRODUCTION Primary objective here is not to give opinion on events, but to analyze widely circulated opinions. This will involve summarizing the two main opinions, understanding categories of thought elements involved in those opinions, giving historical perspective of those thought elements, and infer wider implications. SUMMARY OF OPINIONS First opinion is Chetan Bhagat’s “Times of India” editorial[1], urging Kashmiri youth to give up anti-India stance on practical grounds. Better career prospects for Kashmiri youth is the practical aspect. Argument being that India is economically strong, and therefore best equipped to enable good life for the youth. It goes on to give political options like eliminating article 370 for making India integration complete and viable. Second opinion by Barkha Dutt[2] criticizes Chetan Bhagat’s editorial for not giving sufficient space to violent events in Kashmir valley. Events like killing of a major, killing of aspiring cricketer, response of killed major’s widow and so on. It goes on to give social option of “humanism”, that is to integrate Kashmiri youth with rest of India by sympathizing with them. MY OWN OPINION ON THE SUBJECT My opinion here essentially extends Chetan Bhagat’s opinion, to make explicit certain terms which I think should have been articulated. Intention here is to give moral foundations to his practical suggestions. Chetan Bhagat rightly points out that Kashmiri people have 3 options. Politically integrate with India, or integrate with Pakistan, or get independence. I think sustainable economic growth requires political foundation, and that also should have been emphasized. Politics of Pakistan widely involvesBlasphemy laws[3] and Blasphemy culture[4], history of dictatorships, and state sponsor of terrorism. These socio-political attributes show that Pakistan has also rejected secularism like other Islamic societies, in letter and more so in spirit. No doubt there have been religious riots in post-independence India. But relatively secular environment ensures that slowly we are coming out from culture that breeds riots. Kashmir however remains the only place in India where religion based violence caused permanent demographic impact, exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. Article 370 and local support for it ensures lack of accountability for government authorities. Accountability through rational processes like audit and “Right to Information”, its absence making governance implicitly dictatorial. So not to same degree as Pakistan, but still secularism eludes Kashmir. There are some more non-secular elements in India also.ShahBano case[5], and over involvement of governmentexecutives in Hindu private schools[6] off late being the examples. However, even implicitly blasphemous laws like censorship, or clauses of National Security Act that led to the arrest of Kamalesh Tiwari for making derogatory remark against Prophet Mohammad[7]. Worse case these penalties lead to ban or jail term for few years. There is no mass movement in India asking for severe punishment of those who disagree - vilify Hindu or any non-Islamic, non-Christian religion. Government involvement is complex and more in many cases, but sufficient checks and balances from auditor to courts have ensured that society remains relatively free [8, 9]. So my opinion is that Kashmir should integrate to India not on democratic but secular grounds. Just because majority of neighbors want your wealth does not mean that they have right to forcibly take it. Political implementation of this ethical argument gives criteria for strongly integrating Kashmir to India. From secularism, separation of religion and state, going to idea of Liberty. Accepting polytheism and rejecting over involvement of Government. Removal of License Raj by P.V Narasimha Rao government and its extraordinary effects giving basic motivation for pursuing Liberty in all social spheres. Liberty and Secularism therefore offering foundations to practical and more specific arguments of Chetan Bhagat. THOUGHT ELEMENTS IN OPINIONS My own opinion in previous section was a digression. Central objective is to extract two types of thought elements in diverse opinions, and then analyzing nature and history of those thought elements. Different from mainstream media, Chetan Bhagat’s opinion had some implicit conclusions. Making those conclusions explicit was a preliminary step for analyzing the thought elements. Opinions like those on Kashmir present some facts, and then interpret those facts. “Nature of interpretation” and “nature of facts selected” offer window into the minds of opinion makers, and therefore society’s culture in political realm. Accordingly I will analyze those thought elements. FIRST THOUGHT ELEMENT, THE NATURE OF INTERPRETATION - EPISTEMOLOGY Nature of interpretation in Chetan Bhagat’s argument: Problem statement here is that Kashmiri youth need a good future, and there are hurdles to it. Solution offered is greater integration to India through removal of article 370. Root cause analysis leading to solution being that article 370 empowers local politicians, without making them accountable. Nature of interpretation in Barkha Dutt’s argument: Problem statement here is that Kashmiri people are suffering, and Chetan Bhagat should have emphasized that suffering more. Solution offered is integration with Kashmiri youth through “humanism” and resulting compassion. Unlike Chetan’s argument, there is no indication of how humanism will be achieved, and how does one sympathize with rumor mongering, stone pelting culture. How humanism will normalize the situation, perhaps by giving some specific historical examples where it worked. Even for a specific case cited, the killing of young cricketer from bullet, there is no indication whether the bullet belonged to terrorist or Army. And what were the specific events surrounding the killing. Summary of epistemological difference: So to summarize, Barkha’s solution is abstract and floating, without concretizing how it will be actualized. Chetan Bhagat’s solution can actually be implemented by first creating a mass Kashmiri movement citing ills of Article 370, and finally repealing it. HISTORY OF FIRST THOUGHT ELEMENT Introduction: Final solution of Chetan Bhagat is connected to facts, and has historical basis. In politics it’s the laws, good or bad, derived from mass movements that bring the change. Further, the laws like repeal of article 370 will lead to more government accountability and institutional integrity in Kashmir. American history from 1776 to 1860 shows how idea of Liberty got organically integrated into society from American Constitution. Ultimately leading to elimination of slavery. Barkha Dutt’s idea of humanism lacks factual reference and context (mentioning that same term was used by Vajpayee before is not a reference, but an abstract echo without content). It is so abstract that unless this term is connected to historical events and implementable methods, it can mean anything to anybody. So what is the history of these two approaches? Logically and factually connected, history based opinion of Chetan Bhagat. And what is philosophically termed as “floating abstraction”, given by Barkha Dutt? Method of logic was discovered by Aristotle around 340BC. And father of theory of “floating abstractions” in non-theological discourse is Plato, ironically who is Aristotle’s master. Platonic and Marxist elements in Barkha Dutt’s arguments: It was integration of ideas of Jesus to Plato’s by Augustine in 4th century AD, which made Christianity sustainable. It gave strong supernatural foundations to the idea of sacrifice by Jesus. Plato considered every earthly object to be a pale reflection from supernatural reality. In his opinion, things like horse, ring, man, everything and every event had a supernatural counterpart. While the earthly reflection was imperfect, the supernatural source was perfect. Most importantly according to Plato, everything and every event on earth had to be directly connected to those intuitively grasped supernatural ideas. This approach intellectually justified floating abstractions by philosophically sanctioning context dropping. Concept of Christian God, everything in general and nothing in particular, was reached after taking few more steps in Plato’s theory of pure forms. With idea of supernatural having such strong (though still illogical) explanation, it became easy to justify idea of sacrifice by Jesus. Since heavenly dimension is superior to earthly, it is right to obey those who command sacrifice in the name of God. From 12th century to 18th century however, rediscovery of Aristotle’s ideas (which I will elaborate later), started undermining Christian thought process of sacrifice, based on intuitive grasp of supernatural dimension. Christian intellectuals and their sympathizers started looking for ways to bring back their deserting “flock”. And chain of ideas from Immanuel Kant to Hegel ultimately lead to Karl Marx. He reintroduced method of thinking which was essentially floating abstractions like Plato’s forms, Augustine’s God, sacrifice by Jesus; but designed to appeal inside Industrial society. There was and never has been comprehensive evidence as to how “Dictatorship of Proletariats, the workers” will lead to prosperity. But then, Platonic methods never demand historical context or factual connection. Only connection demanded is to intuitively grasp very abstract ideals, “humanism” and “compassion” in case of Barkha. As the following Video of young Barkha using Marxist ideology on Kasmiri Pandit massacre and mass exodus, shows she is indeed a closet Marxist. And so the thought element, “floating abstraction” in this case, has traveled from Plato to Augustine to Marx to her. Aristotelian and scientific elements in Chetan Bhagat’s arguments: Lets come back to Aristotle. Rejecting his master’s theory of forms, Aristotle further conceptualized older Greek ideas,Anaxagoras’ existence in particular, to create philosophy that developed from idea of single reality, without the supernatural dimension. Categories of different things and events we perceive, using logic for understanding concepts of what we observe, and then applying method of Posterior analytics which is very similar to using experiments for developing understanding. These methods for thinking and acting are key achievements of Aristotle. So influential were his works in later part of Middle Ages in Europe, that Christian Saint Aquinas explained God in earthly rather than supernatural terms – “The Unmoved Prime Mover”. Rediscovery of Aristotle through Aquinas led to Renaissance and Enlightenment in Europe. Scientific revolution started by Galileo and Newton, Industrial revolution started by James Watt, Electrical revolution by Edison and Tesla, Electronics and software revolution through Turing’s machine. Also Aristotle’s rediscovery in Europe led to American Revolution, and Adam Smith’s revolutionary ideas creating subject of Economics. “Never again in history have so many owed so much to one man”, this is what Ayn Rand wrote about Aristotle. So brief adaptations and transmission of Aristotle’s ideas are as follows – Rediscovery through Aquinas in 12th century, Renaissance involving Galileo, enlightenment starting with Newton, distortion of his ideas by Immanuel Kant in 18th century, distortion of Logical Method by Hegel in 19th century, rediscovery and improvement of Aristotle’s ideas by Ayn Rand in 20th century, Libertarian movement partially adopting Ayn Rand’s ideas through John Hospers[10], India’s Liberalization of 1990 due to growing influence of Libertarian movement, and Chetan Bhagat becoming first purely market driven intellectual post Liberalization. Like Aristotle, in his editorial Chetan Bhagat looks for facts, categorizes them, explains the relevant attributes, connects those facts using key concepts, and is therefore able to give practical solution. Unlike Barkha his abstractions are not floating, but they are not completely comprehensive either. Just as Libertarian movement is handicapped by distortions originating from Kant and Hegel, Chetan Bhagat is not able to rise one more notch to connect using concepts of Liberty and Secularism. But overall his opinion is breath of fresh air, in a way taking forward Shekhar Gupta’s argument[11] to its logical conclusion. SECOND THOUGHT ELEMENT, NATURE OF THE SELECTED FACTS – SENSIBILITY Prior to interpreting facts for forming opinion, one has to select some facts from array of events. Here I analyze the kind of facts two opinion makers regard as primary. Sensibility of Chetan Bhagat: The primary focus here is to build one’s life, career being the main aspect. The most suitable representatives are selected in the context, Engineers. Negative events like antagonism of Kashmiri public comes up, because it leads to situation like that in NIT Srinagar. And such events act as hindrance to the student aspirations. So in the nutshell, achievements of values involving positive life goals is a primary. Elimination of negative forces is the means to enable and accelerate the positive achievements. Sensibility of Barkha Dutt: The primary focus here is negative, death and misery. The violence, the recent protests against army, the killings, these are the facts that concretize negative elements. In overall context, person striving to be a cricketer is token fact at best, because he is selected for his misery and not talent. Floating abstraction “humanism” is the only positive piece offered. So in nutshell, death and misery is the focal point, particular positive aspect is non-essential to the argument, and abstract ideal is disconnected from reality. History of ideas behind Barkha’s sensibilities – ideas that enabled her to select certain facts for the opinion: Here too we go back to Plato. Plato’s justification of most ideas is rooted in his conception of two realities. The earthly reality is imperfect, and supernatural world of forms is perfect. Idea of circle is perfect, the circles in world like ring and round stone are imperfect circles derived from perfect circle. Augustine came up with his view of man’s nature from this Platonic premise, the view that was later accepted by Christian intellectuals. He identified man’s essential attribute, his knowledge as his original sin. Adam, Eve, and humans being earthly are depraved, because they refuse to obey their creator consistently. The depravity of man is not limited to some of his actions, it’s in his nature, making it his original sin. So intellectuals with Platonic premise who focus on earth, most of the times they focus on the human imperfections like death and misery. For Marx focus was on class struggle and resulting violence, and so is for Barkha. Her floating abstraction echoes Plato’s “pure forms”, Augustine’s God, Marxist utopia – cut off from reality. History of ideas behind Chetan’s sensibilities – ideas that enabled him to select certain facts for the opinion:Aristotle is the man of this world who rejected his master’s supernatural. Desire to understand this world lead to discovery of categories, logic, and analytics. His ethics of golden mean, though deficient, always looked up to best and wisest Greek people for guidance on the right and good. For him man was a magnanimous being capable of heroic deeds, and literature should motivate him by projecting “as he ought to be” (rather than what he is). Similar view of man was the premise of John Locke when he wrote treatise on government around 17th century. And this view got transmitted to America’s founding fathers and constitution. Most of the corporate structures we see today are implicitly derived from this American view, though even in corporations this view is somewhat undermined by Marxist and Kantian ideologues. So when Chetan Bhagat with his corporate background urges youth to focus on their careers, their life goals deriving political choices. He is echoing Aristotle’s love for life on earth. A man capable of building his life by applying reason, and if needed by creating the right political environment that enables him to exercise reason. CONCLUSION So here we have our material. The problem of Kashmir, opinions from two influential opinion makers, their epistemology and their sensibility. The choices we make, like the followers of Plato and Aristotle, will determine the destiny our lives and civilizations take. We can focus on the greatness our lives are capable of. Or we can stretch bad and miserable beyond necessary. We can either choose method of thinking that connects to floating abstractions using intuition. Or we can develop abstractions from facts using categories, logic, and analytics. Applying the right principles to act purposefully. I have made my choice…. Have you? REFERENCES [1] http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/The-underage-optimist/letter-to-kashmiri-youth-even-if-you-dont-like-india-heres-why-your-best-bet-is-to-integrate-jk-with-it/ [2] http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/open-letter-to-chetan-bhagat-on-kashmir-from-barkha-dutt-1397145 Copy - http://roarkedforgood.blogspot.in/2016/05/copy-of-barkha-dutts-column-on-response.html [3] Blasphemy laws in Pakistan -http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-12621225 [4] Pakistani teenager cuts his hand for accidental blasphemy - https://www.rt.com/news/329180-pakistan-boy-cuts-hand/ [5] Shah Bano case -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohd._Ahmed_Khan_v._Shah_Bano_Begum [6] How Sonia’s UPA Communalised India’s Education System -http://swarajyamag.com/ideas/how-sonias-upa-communalised-indias-education-system [7] http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-here-s-why-1-lakh-muslims-are-demanding-death-penalty-for-kamlesh-tiwari-2154898 [8] Striking down of Internet censorship by courtshttp://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-strikes-down-section-66-a-of-the-it-act-finds-it-unconstitutional/article7027375.ece [9] CAG Report on Coalgatehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_coal_allocation_scam#March_2012._Draft_CAG_Report_on_Coalgate [10]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hospers#Friendship_with_Ayn_Rand [11] http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/national-interest-disarming-kashmir/1204466/5
  7. I have created the clone of above private event, and made it public. Now even people who are not my friends can join and get notifications. Here is the link - https://www.facebook.com/events/1019012018169364/
  8. Looks like people who are not invited cannot join the event. So please send me friend request to get invited and follow the event. My facebook id - https://www.facebook.com/rohin.gupta.18
  9. @Mars, Thanks for participating. You can buy Kindle version of the book here - http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Steve-Jobs-Evolution-Visionary/dp/0385347405/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454938114&sr=8-1&keywords=becoming+steve+jobs
  10. Please join following event in facebook to get regular updates. https://www.facebook.com/events/196626720696513/
  11. Please contact me on facebook if you any queries - https://www.facebook.com/rohin.gupta.18
  12. SCHEDULE START WEEK - Monday, 11th July, 2016. END WEEK - Monday, 8th August, 2016. (Note: Pages in Kindle are not consistent. So refer also to starting and ending text for confirmation in the mentioned and nearby page.) Week 1 Chapter 12 – Two Decisions (Part 1) Monday, 11th July - Sunday, 18th July - Section on Page 297 Starting with “Apple did not have a formal research and development unit…” To Section on Page 301 Last paragraph starting with “Having 5 different projects sprout up around similar technological possibilities….” Week 2 Chapter 12 – Two Decisions (Part 2) Monday, 19th July - Sunday, 25th July - Section on Page 306 Starting with “Out of the five cellphone and tablet related projects…” To Section on Page 311 Last Paragraph starting with “As he brainstormed with Jony, and as Fadell’s team started to get going on a real design…..”. Week 3 Chapter 14 – The Whole Widget (Part 1) Monday, 26th July - Sunday, 1st August - Starting with “Taking care of Catmull, Lasseter, and their staff was a deeply satisfying resolution….” (Page 347) To - Last paragraph starting with “After the development of iTunes, Steve had come to fully appreciate the power Apple now commanded” (Page 353) Week 4 Chapter 14 – The Whole Widget (Part 2) Monday, 2nd Aug - Sunday, 8th August - Starting with “Steve was deeply focused during these years.” (Page 353) To - Last paragraph starting with “In other words, Steve had just turned computer industry on its head.” (Page 364) Week 5 Conclusion Monday, 9th Aug - Sunday, 15th August
  13. We will be studying relevant chapters from the book Becoming Steve Jobs: How a reckless upstart became a visionary leader. The content to be studied is evenly distributed, and plan is to study delimited portion each week. It is a five week long Study Group, with fifth week reserved for concluding posts. Please check the following link to know exact schedule and content. If you plan to participate, please sign up in objectivismonline.com forum. After signing up, please convey your intent by posting in this thread. The post can be as small as containing the text “I will participate”. However I think if you post your work, education, and personal information (like Hobbies and activism related activities), it will lead to better collaboration with other Study-Group members. Actual Study-Group will take place in this thread - Looking forward to have insightful group study.
  14. Look at your mobile phone, and the mobile phone of people around you. Chances are that these devices will either be iPhone by Apple, or Android based phones from Samsung, Xiomi, Lenovo, or Sony. Small differences between the two types apart, they are overwhelmingly similar in overall look, use and feel. Just ten years back, smart phone market was filled with very different devices. Ranging from Nokia N series phones dominating the product category, to Motorola devices, to Blackberry by RIM. What was that which transformed the mobile devices landscape in a short span of 10 years? Multi-touch technology and software innovations like virtual keyboard were the primary drivers of this world altering change. Taking keyboard hardware out of the picture, and allowing the extra space to be used for better display experience while using the phone. How did these ideas originate? Who were the key people behind these ideas? What were the motivations of these people? What was their background and work experience? How these ideas then transformed into a delightful product? Study-Group is a powerful medium to get in-depth knowledge of subject, and I invite you to study How iPhone was conceptualized and developed. Having spent almost 5 years in various study-groups, I now move on to understand something that deeply impacts many or all of us. Check out next thread to understand how exactly the journey will begin, proceed, and conclude.
  15. INTRODUCTION Book – BECOMING STEVE JOBS: HOW A RECKLESS UPSTART BECAME A VISIONARY LEADER Writers – Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli Chapters – 1. Chapter 12: Two Decisions 2. Chapter 15: The Whole Widget About: Becoming Steve Jobs is a biography. Emphasis here is on phases of life that shaped thought process and character, enabling Steve to lead creation of most valuable gadget in mankind’s history. The content book covers ranges from pre Apple years, Apple 2, Macintosh, NeXT, Pixar, iPod, iPhone, Stanford speech, sickness, and iPad to name some. It is derived from people like Steve’s wife Laurene, his close ally Jonathan Ive, one his most productive employees Tim Fadell etc. Style involves writing it in the form of interpretations of these people and some of Brent’s own, when they observed Steve in these phases. The study group focuses on sections of book that specifically deal with iPhone development, and its conceptualization before that. We study about the following: a.) Five projects that acted as input for the “idea of iPhone”. b.) We then move on to next chapter, where specific challenges, related negotiations, demo, initial and later response, plus overall impact of iPhone is discussed. a.) is mostly covered in Chapter 12, and b.) in Chapter 15. To enable greater focus, we will skip some portions of chapter 12. Exact details of sections will be explained in Schedule related post in this thread. Chapter 15 is the core, and will be studied to the fullest. Last week will be reserved for conclusion by the participants. Note: Membership of objectivismonline forum is the prerequisite for participating here. Also please confirm your intent to participate in the thread whose link will appear in 3rd post of this thread. References: Book - http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Steve-Jobs-Evolution-Visionary/dp/0385347405/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454938114&sr=8-1&keywords=becoming+steve+jobs
  16. I have started observing and personally experiencing a movement whose specific instances are as follows :- 1. It condemns food items that are processed in factory, leading to bans on products based on standards that are arbitrary. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggi#Food_safety 2. It condemns people who are fat and focus more on intellectual activities. The deep discussions around technology, philosophy, and politics suddenly break, and people start asking "why are you fat?" P.S. It was a conscious decision to focus more on intellectual well-being rather than physical well-being, because I think in this day former is more important. Of course, I can say this to people who ask this in discussion, but it still breaks the momentum of intellectual discussion. But many a times these discussions do not even take off because even relatively better people start commenting on looks as soon as we meet, rather than intellectual and other interests we share. 3. Most objectivists know that root cause of quality of medicine going down is massive government intervention. But in mainstream discussions, the decline in quality is associated with inferior nature of Modern Medicine as such. As a result people are moving towards more primitive forms of medicines like Homeopathy, Ayurvedic, and exercises like Yoga. As an example, from the book of Steve Jobs I came to know about the delay of 10 months in surgery after tumor was first discovered in his body. He explored more primitive methods for 10 months before reluctantly confirming surgery. 4. During facebook discussions I came across few references(unable to locate now) in US, which publish fake studies to discredit Western food habits. 5. There is a program in my office where HR is providing equipment to employees, and online accounts, to measure their steps. There are teams allocated, and there is competition as to which team walks most. It is associated to the following movement https://www.stepathlon.com/ Now discussions in office are increasingly moving from work related to how much people have walked etc. Rather than seek instant answers, I am more interested in understanding the nature of this movement right now. So my question is as follows :- Ques.) It is clearly similar to Environmentalist movement by New Left. It condemns elements of industrial civilization like processed food and Modern Medicine. But rather than sacrificing these for environment, it asks for sacrificing them for one's own body. There is an element of selfishness, but the reasons given are arbitrary most of the times, and do show anti-mind bias. So what is the name of this movement, and who are its dominant advocates?
  17. Today I close the study-group from my side. As concluded, this was personally very rewarding and intellectually stimulating. There are still couple of days remaining. Please use this time to conclude. Recalling my first study-group, which was on December, 2011 from chapter on "Definitions" in "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology". I prepared 3-4 months for it. Reading not just the chapter, but also the preceding ones. Unfortunately due to personal conflicts and some psychological barriers, I could continue only for 2 weeks in a study-group that was around 6 weeks. I persisted nevertheless. Later that year, the second study-group from title essay on "For the New Intellectual" however was extremely successful. I chewed almost the complete essay during the timeline, also connecting it to personal experiences and Objectivist movement in general. Burgess was so impressed with the effort that he offered me to select the subject and title for next study-group. And so my contribution enabled me to collaborate on subject close to my heart, metaphysics and epistemology. Next summer we did study-group on "Reality" chapter from "Objectivism : Philosophy of Ayn Rand". Most rewarding study-group has been the one on "DIM Hypothesis". Almost any cultural event I now relate to DIM, and even my own thoughts and emotions. To summarize, in past 4 years I have actualized potentialities that I thought would take a lifetime. Study-groups eventually gave me confidence to do great things in life.... Hope others can get that too...!
  18. While initially less number of participants brings some negativity, I think I will persist. Advantages and dissemination, even if I study alone is significant. Team of around 5, and even 1 more persistent student as we had now, should be quite good. Plus nothing to be disheartened about. Just because people do not engage intellectually in one channel, does not mean they are not active intellectually, or that our culture is doomed. But if somebody wants to be good in writing, thinking, and in some particular topic, from personal experience this format is as good as going to an university. Thanks for the good wishes. And thanks also for persevering with this forum to provide people like me such wonderful platform and springboard. Here is the basic description of the magazine I plan to work with. "So what is the new Swarajya or Swarajya 2.0 about? Swarajya will be an authoritative voice of reason representing the liberal centre-right point of view. In its second coming, Swarajya remains committed to the ideals of individual liberty unmediated by the State or any other institution, freedom of expression and enterprise, national interest, and India’s vast and ancient cultural heritage. Swarajya will be a big tent for liberal right of centre discourse that reaches out, engages and caters to the new India in a manner that’s not arcane, abstruse, arrogant or self-referencing." Further details here - http://swarajyamag.com/about-swarajya/
  19. CONCLUSION Good Morning, today is Monday, 3rd August. This week we conclude the 5 weeks of structured study we were engaged in. I will reflect on this study-group, and idea of study-group in general. This study-group, like all the prior study-groups, has sharpened my thinking, planning, execution, collaborating, and marketing skills. The reason for improvements I think was the study process and also the content we were studying. In this fast paced world of hi-tech information feed, undivided attention is the most difficult feat to achieve. By mandating focus to particular section, I think we can improve psychological processes that require deep thought, and therefore help participants improve their thinking and execution skills. If I compare this study to the normal readings I did just after buying the book, there are many more positives in structured study. By studying Introduction in detail, I could connect content of chapter to a larger theme of "how ideas are developed and disseminated". I can better appreciate different forms of mediums like recorded lectures, fiction and non-fiction books, and news letters. Also methods like abstraction, induction, deduction, reduction are better appreciated, because now these are explicitly connected to "central purpose of Ayn Rand's life". In short, this study has helped me to develop standards that I think will enable me to direct my intellectual activism more purposefully and cause greater impact. Coming the particulars we studied, I think these were extremely relevant. Having studied Steve Jobs through multiple mediums involving written interviews, presentation videos, interview videos, lecture videos, 2 full biographies, and so on. I think deep study of individuals who deeply impact the world is critical. Every decision they make, and consequence of correctness and falsehood of that decision is so deep, that we need to analyze every aspect of that decision. And as we cannot directly see thought, the way we see product of thought. So its from the product of thought, and from presentation of product by experts, that we infer what it takes to change the world. So insights into Ayn Rand's activities from childhood till the end, in such a short digest, I think can greatly help us improve our thinking and decision making. For e.g. , we need not feel very guilty about slipping on timelines of tasks, if we are convinced that quality of product requires extra time. I think we should be grateful that Ayn Rand didn't just finish Atlas Shrugged in 2 years, or Galt's speech in 3 months, just because that was her initial plan. In the long run, the improved quality has been much more beneficial than the saved time could have been. Finally, the study has given me greater understanding of Burgess. I understand his suggestions, facebook posts, blogs, and studies much better now. After study I am confident that he will become much more admired now, than he was ever in his lifetime. And lastly, despite lots of advertising, the participation in the study-groups(including prior ones in www.studygroupsforobjectivists.com/) has been quite less. I think this is the sign of times we live in, and the nature of intellectual activism as such. While its impact is great, intellectual activism, like activism of people in the book, requires varied mediums rather than persisting with one medium and over engage. So I urge participants to spread Ayn Rand's ideas and ideas of Burgess in various forums, and through different mediums we know of. I for my part have decided to take a major leap, even though I am only part-time intellectual. I will initiate the process of appying to write for a major right wing publication in India. This may give even lesser time for study-groups, but I am confident that now I can organize same or better quality study-groups more quickly.
  20. ERRORS I am sorry but I did one major, and two minor errors. Major Error : I missed questions from section Reason as Integration. So here they are. REASON AS INTEGRATION Questions Q1. What is integration? What is the relationship between reason and integration? Q2. What are various functions of reason? Q3. What aspects of reason were there in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology? Please post the answers next week along with the conclusion. Minor Error 1 : I misclassified answers from REASON AS INTEGRATION section as being from A DEFINITION OF REASON. Minor Error 2 : I did not post answers from section A DEFINITION OF REASON. So here they are. A DEFINITION OF REASON Q1. What was central theme of the book on Epistemology? Whats the significance of this book? Ans: In her book Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, she published articles presenting her theory of concepts and her solution to the traditional problem of forming them. Significance : This was the single most important important philosophical work of Rand, because her theory of concept-formation was the center of her epistemology. And the epistemology of reason was foundation of her ethics and politics. [References: For the publication of first edition of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Ayn Rand by Britting, pp97-99] Q2. Why is the central theme mentioned in (A1.) the most central issue of philosophy as a whole? Ans: The issue of concepts is known as the “problem of universals” in philosophy. It involves validating concepts, since man's knowledge is held in conceptual form. Specifically, it involves connecting word like man, a concept, to percepts pf various men and also their characteristics. In general, it involves connecting abstractions to concretes, and also to intermediate abstractions in the process of reduction. [References: a.) For the problems of concepts, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Ayn Rand, pI. b.) For the example of man, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Ayn Rand, p2.] Q3. What was the answer offered to the problem of universals? Ans: The definition of concept she arrived at involved following characteristics. a.) A concept is a mental integration. b.) It has two or more units.[Concept man referring to various percepts of man]. c.) Units are mentally isolated according to specific characteristics. [ Various characteristics like two leggedness, speaking, and later rationality. The differentiating characteristics determined by the context in which units are separated.] d.) The units involved may contain any aspect of reality – Entities[like table or man], attributes [ action like walking, or adverbs like quickly ]. Perceptual concretes[percepts of table], or earlier formed concepts[like speaking]. e.) The isolation involves a process of abstraction, which is selective focus to [mentally] take out certain aspect of reality from all the others. f.) And uniting involves integration, which is creation of a single, new mental entity[word]. This mental entity refers to concretes that were integrated. g.) Unity is in the form of definition. h.) And mental entity thereafter acts like a single unit of thought, for forming later concepts. i.) The process of forming “concept table” is complete when a word such as “table” labels the concept. [ In the text Burgess added “isolated” and “united” in italics. This was done to emphasize the two functions of reason involved in concept formation. Also, he removed (s) characteristic(s) of original, as it was not necessary for the definition here. The definition given here is taken from p10 of 2nd edition of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. The pages that follow describe the process in detail, and it leads to a more complete definition in page 13.] Q4. Give content and background of the 2nd edition of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology? Ans: The second edition of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology contained text from the four workshops Ayn Rand had conducted. These were conducted between 1969 and 1971, and were twenty-one hours in total. These consisted of a dozen philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians who had studied Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. In 1990 the content of this workshop was published by Peikoff and Binswanger in the expanded second edition. The added content of this workshop was two hundred pages of recorded, and edited conversations between Ayn Rand and others in this workshop. [ “Foreword to second edition” by Leonard Peikoff contains details of these epistemology workshops. ] Again sorry for the inconvinience these errors may have caused.
  21. Good Morning, today is Saturday, August 1st. I will now answer Monday's questions. A DEFINITION OF REASON Answers Q1. What is integration? What is the relationship between reason and integration? Ans: Integration in its broad meaning refers to the process of connecting one fact with another. And in its narrow meaning it means “finding one in many”. Like creating concept “table” after observing some instances of individual tables. [Meaning of faculty : a.) Inherent mental or physical power.(Mental in this case). b.) Aptitude for doing something. (Integration in this case).] Relationship between reason and integration : Reason as a faculty of integration was the key point brought by Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. This integration begins with sense data and continues till most abstract concepts. [ Here I think narrow meaning of the reason is looked at. ] [ Here, and at other places, where there is no reference, it means that the text is by Burgess alone.] Q2. What are the various functions of reason? Ans: Reason performs induction, deduction, reduction, and proof. Induction is forming universals from particulars, starting with percepts. Deduction is classifying new particulars under known universals. Reduction is tracing the induced universal back to its origin in perception. And proof is proving a conclusion step by step using available data. In general, reason includes the whole process of knowing reality. Q3. What aspects of reason were there in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology? Ans: The book was her most detailed statement of the essential nature of reason and its application to philosophical and other problems. [ Reference : In the 1971 issue of “The Objectivist”, Ayn Rand mentioned that Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology contained the definition of reason.] SHIFTING GEARS Answers Q4. What was the scope of “The Ayn Rand Letter”? Ans: “The Ayn Rand Letter” presented her analysis of current political and philosophical events. The overall context for this analysis was set by the philosophy of Objectivism. Because of her own failing health, and the failing health of her husband, she closed “The Ayn Rand Letter” in 1976. [References : For “The Ayn Rand Letter”, Ayn Rand by Britting, p105.] Q5. Apart from “The Ayn Rand Letter”, what were her other intellectual engagements in the 70s? Ans: She helped advertise her books to increase sales. From the many invitations she received, she accepted only a few. One of the speech was in U.S. Military Academy at West Point titled “Philosophy : Who Needs It”. She oversaw the course on main topics of her philosophy by Leonard Peikoff. This was the only systematic presentation on her philosophy. Even after closing “The Ayn Rand Letter”, she continued to discuss ideas among friends. She also provided editorial to books by Leonard Peikoff and Harry Binswanger. Former writing Ominous Parallels, and latter The Ayn Rand Lexicon. She had also written one-third of the teleplay on Atlas Shrugged by the time she died. [References : 1. For promoting sales, Ayn Rand by Britting. 2. For Ch I of Philosophy : Who Needs It and public speaking at Westpoint, Ayn Rand by Britting, p105, p107. 3. For overseeing the course by Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand, Britting, p111. 4. For her last years pages 109, 111, 112 in Ayn Rand by Britting. 5. For private discussions as her favorite forum, p94 in Ayn Rand by Britting.] Q6. How were ideas of Ayn Rand disseminated immediately after her death? Ans: “Ayn Rand Institute” was created by the advocates of her philosophy, after her death. The mission of institute was to disseminate her philosophy. Further, the institute archived her previously unpublished works and published those. It also trained additional advocates for disseminating her ideas, and they applied Objectivism's principles to particular problems. [References : www.aynrand.org for “The Ayn Rand Institute”.]
  22. Thanks William for the post. Regarding, > By means of the Ayn Rand Institute founded by her followers. I think Objectivists should start using term "students" instead of followers for those who digest and spread Objectivism.
  23. Good morning, today is Monday 27th July. Today we begin last section for study. Next week we will conclude. Here are the questions for this week. Questions A DEFINITION OF REASON Q1. What was central theme of the book on Epistemology? Whats the significance of this book? Q2. Why is the central theme mentioned in (A1.) the most central issue of philosophy as a whole? Q3. What was the answer offered to the problem of universals? Q4. Give content and background of the 2nd edition of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology? SHIFTING GEARS Q5. What was the scope of “The Ayn Rand Letter”? Q6. Apart from “The Ayn Rand Letter”, what were her other intellectual engagements in the 70s? Q7. How were ideas of Ayn Rand disseminated immediately after her death?
  24. Good Morning, today is Saturday, July 25. Today I will answer questions I posted on Monday of this week. Answers CHANGING VEHICLES Q1. What factors contributed to her decision to enter nonfiction? Ans : She devoted second phase of her life to present her philosophy using nonfiction mediums, contrasted to fiction that portrayed ideal man and her philosophy in first phase. After publication of final novel, she focused on the state of culture where her themes were proceeding. The state was examined from three sources. a.) Hostile reviews of Atlas Shrugged. b.) Reports from university students in her circle. They gave information about intellectual state of academia. c.) Issues brought by non-academic members of the circle during night-long discussions. After examining information from these sources, she decided that she needed to devote time to nonfiction, and defend the philosophy of ideal man she had presented. [References: For Rand's change from fiction to non-fiction, Ayn Rand by Britting, p91-93.] Q2. Apart from writing books, what means Ayn Rand used to spread her ideas in the initial years of non-fiction phase? Ans: a.) Public speaking in universities such as Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and Brown. b.) Editorial review for series of public lectures on Objectivism by her associate Nathaniel Branden. c.) Presented and recorded lectures on fiction writing to a small group. The forty-eight hours lectures covered aesthetics. Later private lectures covered non-fiction writing and epistemology also. [References: a.) For starting series of speeches at universities, Ayn Rand by Britting, p-94. b.) For the first lectures on Objectivism by Nathaniel Branden, Ayn Rand by Britting, p95. c.) For the timing of recorded lectures on fiction writing, Letters by Ayn Rand, p-xxi. d.) For lectures on non-fiction writing, The Art of Non Fiction : A Guide for Writers and Readers by Ayn Rand, edited by Robert Mayhew, NY, Plume(Penguin), 2001, pxi. e.) For private workshops on epistemology, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 2nd edition by Harry Binswanger and Leonard Peikoff, NY, Meridian(Penguin), 1990, p-125.] Q3. While writing about fiction writing, how did Ayn Rand present the fundamentality of connection between conscious and subconscious mind, along with the relationship between abstract and concrete? Ans: She rejected the disconnect between conscious and subconscious mind. Disconnect that was implied by slogans like “For those who understand, no explanation is necessary; for those who don't, none is possible”. An artist she claimed, needs to have general premises in conscious mind. And to grasp those premises clearly, the grasp should involve sufficient number of concretes along with associated general rules. This way meaning of premises will become automatic to you. Therefore premise, the term associated with conscious mind, becomes part of subconscious mind through thoroughly understood and integrated concretes. And it is this automated meaning stored in subconscious mind that is writing capital, and therefore provides inspiration. So lack of integration of key ideas to sense perceptible concretes will lead to “floating abstractions”. And therefore such abstractions will not be objective. Specifically for fiction writing, theme will be the abstraction, and individual characters and their actions concretes. [ Listing essence of characters, and encapsulating series of actions into chapters and parts can be considered as intermediate abstractions ]. For e.g. in Atlas Shrugged, “importance of reason” is the theme. Specific concretes used for “forming generalization” can be various industries, sciences, logic in philosophy, writings of Hugo etc. While these concretes are used for automating the understanding of theme, once understood properly the theme is used to generate concretes like Dagny's character of a purposeful person. And actions like construction of John Galt Railline demonstrating “importance of reason” in sequence of actions. Character of John Galt also demonstrating reason's importance, by identifying the prime movers of the world and destruction of world by pulling out these prime movers. [References: For her analysis of Artistic mysticism, Art of Fiction, page 2. For floating abstractions, Art of Fiction, page 3. For elaboration of the use of abstract and concrete in fiction, Art of Fiction, page 13. ] Q4. Summarize / Describe content and significance of her lecture titled “Faith and Force : Destroyers of the Modern World”? Also specify connections she made between various branches of philosophy in this lecture? Ans: Content : Lecture on “Faith and Force : Destroyers of the Modern World” brought metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical points. Further, these points were related to contemporary culture of 1960s. Specifically, she defined reason as faculty for perceiving, identifying, and integrating the material provided by man's senses. The ability to move from percepts to concepts and abstractions, is the differentiating ability of man from animals, latter being at perceptual level. Reason subsuming mental activities like differentiation, induction, reduction, and deduction. Mysticism referring to acceptance of allegations without evidence or proof. Allegations instead resting on some non-sensory and irrational means like “instinct”, “intuition”, “revelation”, or any form of just knowing. Significance : In this lecture, Rand presents not just her views on reason and mysticism in a digest, but also her whole philosophy. The definition of reason here was connected to the metaphysics that there is one world which is knowable by Human consciousness, that is by percepts and logic. And definition of mysticism she gave made mysticism mutually exclusive with reason. Because while former relied on percepts and logic, latter was based on non-sensory and irrational. Further, she broadened horizon of mysticism from just Faith to other forms listed in definition (instinct, intuition, revelation, just knowing, etc.) [a.) “Faith and Force” from Philosophy Who Needs It(paperback) for the content being discussed. Pages 75-76. b.) For functions subsumed by reason Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology pages 13-14(integration, differentiation) p28(induction, deduction). And Objectivism : The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, pages 132-134(reduction).] Connection of epistemology to ethics and politics : The ethics for Ayn Rand, as for other debaters, was the payoff from epistemology. Epistemology of reason resulted in ethics of egoism, rational longterm self interest that is. Similarly epistemology of mysticism led to ethics of altruism. In politics, consequence of reason was capitalism, where peaceful and honest individuals think[and live] for themselves. And government only protects individual rights of citizens from [physical] aggression and fraud. Statism was the consequence of mysticism and altruism, because without reason as guide physical aggression is default. [“Faith and Force” from Philosophy who Needs it, pages 79-81. And excerpt from Atlas Shrugged in the article at pages 88-90] Q5. What lesson can “New Intellectuals” learn from latter phase of Ayn Rand's life? Ans: The philosophical scope of “Faith and Force” was much more than Rand's previous works. The market her previous works had established, enabled “Faith and Force” to get transmitted into culture in the form of audio lecture and written text. And because her goal in life was central, as against multiple non-integrated goals, she could achieve greater number and higher quality of success. A PHILOSOPHER'S PROVISIONAL SUMMARY Q1. What is the content and significance of her book For the New Intellectual : The Philosophy of Ayn Rand”? Ans: The title essay gave current state of culture, history of philosophy, its influence, and the guide to “New Intellectuals” for reclaiming rational culture. Archetypes like Attila, witch doctor, and producer were used from time to time. Also, it was a collection of excerpts from her novels. The excerpts were chronological, and also hierarchical. Starting from politics with excerpts from We The Living, to ethics from The Fountainhead. The Atlas Shrugged section also dealt with few general points about epistemology and metaphysics. General points for epistemology being reason and logic versus mysticism. And this-worldiness versus other-worldliness being the general point of metaphysics. Detailed treatise on epistemology was written later though. For The New Intellectual was the closest she came to producing one volume of her philosophy. [References : For the dates of publication of this and the following works, Ayn Rand by Britting.] Q2. Who are four primary philosophers in the history of philosophy? Why didn't they integrate their philosophical product into one volume?What we can infer about philosophy from this part of “history of ideas”? Ans: Primary Philosophers : Primary philosophers originate the process of systematic thinking. They do it by presenting original philosophical treatises in epistemology based on metaphysics, which(metaphysics) is also mostly original. Further, they also apply epistemology to present treatises in Ethics, and most of the times also politics and on Aesthetics. Apart from Ayn Rand, Plato, Aristotle and Kant are other primary philosophers. [ From Plato, I don't know of any significant contribution in Aesthetics. From Kant I do not know of any significant contribution in politics. Except the fact that he admired French and American revolutions because they led to destruction of authority. Nihilistic elements in these events that is.(Politics of Kant from one of Dr. Peikoff's lectures or podcast.)] From their writings dealing with particular branch, here is what we can infer about the nature of text corresponding to primary philosophies. The content of each branch made individual connections with other branches at specific places(like epistemological ideas in specific ethical questions are isolated). But integrated volume of philosophy requires generalizing these connections, which was done by secondary philosophers of these primary philosophers. So while the primary philosophers loved solving particular philosophy problems, and systematizing connections with other branches in their mind, they did not present these connections in a general manner. From this aspect, and from the fact that “primary philosophy” is disseminated very slowly, we can infer that the subject of philosophy is really very complex. Q3. How are philosophical ideas disseminated? Ans: Dissemination is the process by which a philosophy and its implications are transmitted from primary philosophers to general public, latter being non-philosophical. Dissemination is done through intellectuals. The intellectuals are professionals that study “science of humanities”[like psychology, literature, political science etc]. And through them the philosophy is disseminated to people like university professor, writer, artist, newspaperman, movie maker, singer, and ultimately to the man in street. These people, and those studying physical sciences depend on professionals from “science of humanities” for various important aspects of human life like moral values, social theories, political premises, psychological tenets, and most importantly for the principles of epistemology. [References : For the quotation about dissemination of philosophical principles to social hierarchy, For the New Intellectual, by Ayn Rand, page 25 of paperback edition.] OPENING AND CLOSING CHANNELS Question Q1. Describe various communication channels of Ayn Rand in 60s? Also describe how they evolved overtime? Ans: In 1960 she experimented with speaking at length on New York city radio stations. In 1961 she presented paper, “Art as Sense of Life” at a yearly Harvard University meeting of American Society of Aesthetics. She corresponded with contemporaries like Philosopher John Hospers and historians like John Herman and Brand Blanshard. Further, her associate Nathaniel Branden offered courses on various subjects like principles of Objectivism, economics, psychology, and history of philosophy. These lectures were offered on media like audiotape. These programs were managed by Nathaniel Branden Institute. The institute also had book services by non-objectivists on subject of humanities like economics. The relationship with Nathaniel Branden however closed around 1967. Reason for closure given is his deceptive behavior in relations with her and his students. On withdrawal of Rand's endorsement it closed. After closing of the relationship, she started “The Objectivist” magazine. This magazine succeeded the magazine “The Objectivist Newsletter” in 1962. [References: a.) For Rand's radio appearances, correspondence with Hospers, and meetings with philosophical writers, Ayn Rand by Britting, pages 94 and 99. b.) For “Nanthaniel Branden Institute” page 95 of Ayn Rand by Britting. c.) For starting “The Objectivist Newsletter” and later “The Objectivist”, Ayn Rand by Britting, page 95. d.) For documented details of relationship with Nathaniel Branden, Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics by Valliant(Forum administrator Jasken)] BRANCH BOOKS Questions Q1. Briefly describe the books of Ayn Rand in different branches of philosophy(apart from the book on branch of epistemology, which is discussed in next section)? Answers Q1. Briefly describe the books of Ayn Rand in different branches of philosophy(apart from the book on branch of epistemology, which is discussed in next section)? Ans: The Virtue of Selfishness : A New concept of Egoism was on Ethics, and was written as an anthology. Capitalism : An Unknown Ideal was a book on politics, another anthology. The Romantic Manifesto : A Philosophy of Literature was her work on Aesthetics. [Meanings – anthology : Collection of writings, articles in this case. References : For publication of VOS and CUI, p97 of Ayn Rand by Britting. For publication of The Romantic Manifesto, p105 of Ayn Rand by Britting.]
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