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Boydstun

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  1. I noticed that the Random Quotes generator of Objectivism Online has displayed the following statement and attributes it to Ayn Rand: “The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.” That is not what Rand wrote. I know that that sentence is attributed to Rand all over the internet. Nevertheless, that is not what she wrote. What she wrote was: The Dean: “Do you mean to tell me that you’re thinking seriously of building that way, when and if you are an architect?” Roark: “Yes.” Dean: “My dear fellow, who will let you?” Roark: “That’s n
  2. William, the following may help with our grip on this. “What do touch screens, radiation therapy and shrink wrap have in common? They were all made possible by particle physics research. Discoveries of how the universe works at the smallest scale often lead to huge advances in technology we use every day.” “Today is an extraordinary day.” I think the low temperatures in this experiment have to do with making a setup with high enough sensitivity for our detection of phenomena, rather than production of the phenomena. This present experiment at Fermi uses the same basic way o
  3. Thanks, Greg, for this find and setting it down here. In that essay “What is Romanticism?” (1969), Rand portrayed a Romanticism emblematic of individual human life as volitional development of self-character in values and in higher cognitions and as volitional in actions under that sort of self-constitution. This is in contradistinction from the life-nature of any other animals and of Naturalistic literature emblematic of taking human life diminished in those distinctive manners beyond all other animals. So I take the “primacy of value” in life, in this essay, as “primacy of chosen values” in
  4. No. Or anyway those would be secondary parallel patterns. I am not referring to any analogical relation to ‘Primacy of Existence to Consciousness.’ Simply to Rand’s thesis in Atlas: “It is only the concept of ‘Life’ that makes the concept ‘Value’ possible” (1013). This is introduced before Rand’s layout in the Speech of her axiomatics of Existence/Consciousness and Identity/Identification, and it is fully understandable in its context without having yet been introduced to her most fundamental metaphysical scheme. Her use of “concept” in the sentence quoted in the preceding paragraph
  5. For the New Intellectual Three years after Atlas Shrugged was published, Rand penned the essay “For the New Intellectual.” It is interesting to compare and contrast the analysis of philosophical and psychological archetypes in Galt’s Speech—Mystics of Muscle/Mystics of Spirit—with the types Attilas/Witchdoctors in FNI. In the present note I’ll not take that on, and I’ll not take on their relation to the broad philosophical types Peikoff frames in his book DIM. Certainly, in FNI and in Atlas, Rand was affirming, against many philosophies, the equal reality and virtuous unity of mind and bo
  6. First Results from Fermilab’s Muon g-2 Experiment Strengthen Evidence of New Physics
  7. ET, Think in parallel with the way we take the statement "existence is identity." Then the following would evaporate: identity exists or is it an identity exists? I hope you get a subscription to JARS so you receive the July issue, with my essay "Existence, We" in it. It is in a way the culmination of my life's work, and it will not be available outside that journal.
  8. Once more I’d like to encourage anyone interested in seeing my fundamental paper “Existence, We” (EW), setting forth my metaphysical system and its relation to Rand’s and to others, to get your subscription to JARS at this time. I’ll post here a section of a paper that was to be a follow-on to EW and which—as the follow-on project has been redesigned—would no longer fit the follow-on paper.* This posted section is indeed built onto of the frame developed in EW. It gives a taste of some of what goes on in that fundamental paper. The material below uses that frame and some technical termino
  9. What Has the Pro-Life Movement Won? by Ross Douthat - 2 April 2021 Excellent review of what it has come to in the US. Legally and politically well-informed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Content of Roe and a Moral Rationale
  10. Movers, Prime and Immovable Chapter IV of Atlas Shrugged is titled “The Immovable Movers.” Rand opens the chapter with the following paragraph: “Motive power—thought Dagny, looking up at the Taggart Building in the twilight—was its first need; motive power, to keep that building standing; movement, to keep it immovable. It did not rest on piles driven into granite; it rested on the engines that rolled across a continent.” (64) In that chapter are the lines: “She had always been—she closed her eyes with a faint smile of amusement and pain—the motive power of her own happiness” (65). T
  11. Additional, from beyond the armchairs: How Brains Make Up Their Minds by Walter Freeman (Columbia 2000) The Neural Basis of Free Will - Criterial Causation by Peter Ulric Tse (MIT 2013)
  12. I hope to return to this discussion in the context of Merlin’s paper once it has been published. Meanwhile, looking for something else, I came across these ideas of Rand on this topic in her 1943, which would be good to have in this thread. “[Keating’s] paying the price and wondering for what sin and telling himself that he’s been too selfish. In what act or thought of his has there ever been a self? What was his aim in life? . . . . Others were his motive power and his prime concern. . . . He didn’t want to build, but to be admired as a builder. . . . It’s his ego that he’s betrayed and
  13. "On to On" (painting by Bierstadt; poem by me - March 2021)
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