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  1. I plan on (and have already begun) reading through Will Durant's The Story of Civilization, the purpose being to broaden my understanding of where I come from and what man once did (and what he doesn't do today but maybe should) and also to help me truly understand more abstract words like justice, free market, politics, economy—I could tell you what each is and can vaguely recall some mental images for each, but I want to shore up my concepts by having my mind to flood with images, e.g., justice—Hammurabi's code, the Sumerian custom of an eye for an eye, trials by ordeal, Justinan's codex etc. I know not all these images would fall under an objectivist concept of justice, but this is just to illustrate a mental process. So two things— (1) does anyone have any tips on working through material like this and how to integrate it, e.g, essay ideas, hiring a tutor to question you. I thought even spending some time travelling, e.g, a month or two in Greece studying Ancient Greek and visiting sites, might help in that I might be able to help what I read come alive when I can touch, taste, see and talk about things connected to it. Be aware that I have much more time and ability to do this than most as I've committed myself to a four year study of topics of my choice. (2) is anyone interested in studying together via Skype?
  2. See: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/extended-interviews/b6364d/sarah-chayes-extended-interview In a couple of other threads where we have discussed taxation and terrorism, a recurring topic is the one revolving around the drivers of history (which in turn gives us insight into the future). Does religion create terrorism, or do terrorists (with other motives) use religion as a tool? Or a combination of both? I suggested that looking through the lens of philosophy is not actually very helpful, despite Ayn Rand's obvious bias in this regard. I instead suggested we look corruption as the driver of history (particularly modern-day history). A few days ago I watched the linked interview here from an author that clearly knows the Middle East extremely well. She explains the rise of terrorism (and terrorist regimes like Isis) better than I've ever seen anybody do so: she shows how corruption leads directly to terrorism. I have also said that reason is the cure--the only cure--for political corruption. I have always maintained that we Objectivists should be the guardians of reason and reality--making sure people know that facts are the basis of a better life and a more fair and effective government. it's our job to fight populism, and to stamp out superstition and other epistemological games corrupt power-brokers play to ply their trade. As an example, I have personally switched my own "political party bias" from Republican to Democrat in the last 20 years because I now see the former as the party of populism, blatant institutionalized (and celebrated) stupidity and unreason (and to be clear, it's a bias not an absolute sort of thing--and I bring up this point up only as an example). I see corruption as our enemy, not "taxes" or "regulations" per se (although both can be the fruits corruption). If we don't defend reason, nobody will. It should be our top priority.
  3. Hi, I have enjoyed listening to Dan Carlin's history podcast on iTunes. His website is dancarlin.com I wonder if any of you have listened to those talks and can discuss those historical events of which he tells from objectivism persepective. Boris
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