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Something like this?

That thing looks sinister. It coud work well for the Objectivist secret society.

I will have to agree with those who think that trying to come up with a symbol to represent Objectivism is an idle pursuit. However, if anyone wants to carry on with this idea, there are some aspects

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Precisely. Also, symbols allow to expressing an idea in the art without propaganda much easier.

An advantage of your latest effort is it can be drawn (crudely but recognizably) in a few seconds. Vertical line, circle touching it, ellipse touching the circle. The ellipse might be easier to hand-draw if it's two arcs (i.e., sharp points at the left and right). It would look then like *part* of the CBS logo, with a vertical line through the "pupil".

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Symbols are very good at drawing peoples attention. I think such a thing would be good to help O'ism win the information war.

Stray thoughts about this have been nagging at me.

I think symbols are actually intended for the benefit and use of those who already know the meaning of the symbol. Just like a word concretizes a concept, a symbol does the same thing.

A symbol does not belong to any language, a useful feature when going global. A non-linguistic symbol is compatible with an assertion of universality. The drawback is it cannot be spoken or written but that is the function of the word 'Objectivism'.

It also struck me that a symbol for a philosophy which looks like a 1 inside a 0 is pregnant with implications about that philosophy's relationship to modernity, and right and wrong versus shades of gray.

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I think symbols are actually intended for the benefit and use of those who already know the meaning of the symbol. Just like a word concretizes a concept, a symbol does the same thing.

A symbol does not belong to any language, a useful feature when going global. A non-linguistic symbol is compatible with an assertion of universality. The drawback is it cannot be spoken or written but that is the function of the word 'Objectivism'.

It also struck me that a symbol for a philosophy which looks like a 1 inside a 0 is pregnant with implications about that philosophy's relationship to modernity, and right and wrong versus shades of gray.

To elaborate: An "I" standing for self, the individual, holding up the insides of the universe or a sphere or a ball, has connotations of Atlas. An "eye" is our primary means of observation or perception, and is the foundation of our epistemology. I agree that the symbol should be as simple as possible so that it may be reproduced by hand or spraypaint or needlework. An oval can sometimes represent our planet. For the caffinated, sometimes staying focused requires the equivalent of a toothpick holding open the eyelids, which this symbol also denotes.

So, in summary, a thick I supporting the walls of a horizontal oval can represent:

Atlas, focus, perception, the invidual inside the universe, opening one's eyes requires effort, the eye of objectivity, objectivity requires observation, the individual is the integration of incomplete dichotomies, etc...

your mileage may vary...

<*>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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That symbol is a bit too identical to the on/off button found on electronic appliances though. :smartass:

I beg to differ.

A small dash breaking the top of a circle is not the same as a large "I" spanning a horizontally flattened ellipse.

And I don't think Objectivists would be advertizing their philosophy on electronic devices. At least not on the power buttons.

But you spawned another idea...

<*>aj

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That symbol is a bit too identical to the on/off button found on electronic appliances though. :smartass:

How about this?

Looks like an "A" which given that the law of identity is redundant for the slower folks, A=A can be shortened to just A.

A looks like a mountain, which can represent the hierarchichal nature of knowledge, science, and objective philosophy.

The "A" looks like an arrow pointing upwards, to the sky, to the top, to the best within us...

The oval again bounds the aspirations by the limits of reality, or this earth.

And the obverse, with the arrow pointing down, for the statists, the closed minded, the sinkholes of despair...

your mileage may vary...

<*>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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How about this?

"This is madness!"

"THIS IS SPARTA!"

Now it has similarity to a capital greek letter lambda, the first character of Lacedaemon the capitol city of Laconia. A large lambda was emblazoned on the red shields of the Spartan warriors.

WW06.jpg

Speaking of greek letters, Φ (phi) is the first letter of the greek word for philosophy φιλοσοφία.

Φ

That symbol is a bit too identical to the on/off button found on electronic appliances though.

Not a problem unless it is already trademarked.

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It would be important (therefore) for those using Juxtys' suggestion, to ensure that the I sits entirely within the ellipse. Of course we might just want to use Φ (make sure it's capitalized) instead, because of the connection to the word "philosophy." (Hey, if the Xians can mess with lower case alpha (α) to make it look like a minnow or some such, why can't we take over phi?)

There is a version of lower case phi where the line goes all the way through (rather than simply dropping through the bottom φ). It's quite common in math and physics books and is usually seen in italic, so the the vertical line is slanted (something like Φ). This must be carefully avoided because it is essentially identical to many peoples' (e.g., computer scientists) rendering of zero. And we are not zeros. So be careful to make the vertical stroke vertical.

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It would be important (therefore) for those using Juxtys' suggestion, to ensure that the I sits entirely within the ellipse. Of course we might just want to use Φ (make sure it's capitalized) instead, because of the connection to the word "philosophy." (Hey, if the Xians can mess with lower case alpha (α) to make it look like a minnow or some such, why can't we take over phi?)

There is a version of lower case phi where the line goes all the way through (rather than simply dropping through the bottom φ). It's quite common in math and physics books and is usually seen in italic, so the the vertical line is slanted (something like Φ). This must be carefully avoided because it is essentially identical to many peoples' (e.g., computer scientists) rendering of zero. And we are not zeros. So be careful to make the vertical stroke vertical.

I'm with Steve on this. What better symbolic representation of the only philosophy worthy of the name than to use a symbol already connected with the field.

Wiki says:

The upper-case letter Φ is used as a symbol for:

The golden ratio conjugate 0.618... in mathematics.

The magnetic flux and electric flux in physics, with subscripts distinguishing the two.

The cumulative distribution function of the normal distribution in mathematics and statistics.

Philosophy.

The number of phases in a power system in electrical engineering, for example 1Φ for single phase, 3Φ for three phase.

The symbol of the voiceless bilabial fricative in the international phonetic alphabet.

And the symbology is congruent with the values of objectivism: the "i" standing for the independent mind, the individual, the entity vs the non-entity and as the joining of two halves of a flattened oval which can represent either the earth or the universe, but also both half-truths of philosophy, i.e. rationalism & empiricism bound together into objectivism. (ok, it's not perfect, but you get my drift...)

<*>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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The use you have put it to is fine, but don't try to sell any knick-knacks of a capital phi. I found the following trademarks:

76565124 single greek letter PHI for handbags and such

76565152 single greek letter PHI for fragrances

76565153 single greek letter PHI for jewelry

76565150 single greek letter PHI for brochures about above PHI products

Then there were these: (these are serial numbers, not registration marks)

76447920 PHI in a dark circle

75849560 PHI for screws nuts and bolts

75666773 PHI for computer hardware and integrated circuits

75085417 PHI and IOTA in a circle for screws and other hardware

73466920 PHI with snake wrapping on central stroke for medical apparatus

73420787 PHI as a hollow character for shoes boots footwear

73212510 PHI bold for Electron Energy Analyzers

73158198 PHI w/serifs nurse and patient medical training

73114963 PHI tilted for medicinal tablets

72362409 PHI white on dark rectangular background

72122460 PHI white on dark rectangular background, nested rectangles

72049371 PHI switches

The circle with interior vertical bar, touching or not, is apparently wide open.

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The use you have put it to is fine, but don't try to sell any knick-knacks of a capital phi. I found the following trademarks:

The circle with interior vertical bar, touching or not, is apparently wide open.

Trademarks are partly about the nature of the mark itself, and partly the products or services to which it is associated.

In this case, it would only matter if one of the objectivist organizations would want to protect it so that they could use it on their merchandise.

But like the dollar symbol, if we start spreading the meme, it enters the public domain eventually. See Kleenex & Xerox.

And I suppose we could start a text based trend of significant icons to denote our personal values.

I use <*>, a jumpgate symbol, to show my affiliation and love of anything to do with Babylon 5, the scifi series.

Be seeing you,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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From the thread on "I", Juxtys recently posted:

>I could argue that the word "I" means the difference between you and everything else in the Universe. Can't you really grasp such a simple fact?

well for those who need a visual reminder, the capitalized phi symbol serves this purpose admirably. (the larger "I" written over an oval or "O" that symbolizes either the earth or the universe)

b c-ing u,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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As DavidOdden pointed out, there can be no Objectivist Symbol because the person who came up with Objectivism (Rand) never made one.

If ever there was any symbol that would become associated with Objectivism, it would be one of an organization that people associate with the philosophy or which is preponderantly made up of Objectivists.

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As DavidOdden pointed out, there can be no Objectivist Symbol because the person who came up with Objectivism (Rand) never made one.

If ever there was any symbol that would become associated with Objectivism, it would be one of an organization that people associate with the philosophy or which is preponderantly made up of Objectivists.

If you're happy and you know it...clank your chains. B)

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

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As DavidOdden pointed out, there can be no Objectivist Symbol because the person who came up with Objectivism (Rand) never made one.

I find that a bit narrow-banded and somewhat obsolete. It implies that Miss Rand would limit things to her own lifetime (as the Taliban believed about Mohammed when they said "live as the Prophet lived" not realizing that the Prophet lived in the most advanced manner of his time and looked to a better future). I do not think that it honors Miss Rand since she was at heart, a futurist, issuing a scathing indichtment against Traditionalism.

In "For the Record", she dropped the whole matter of Objectivism in our laps without restriction. ("It's up to you").

She did not forbid the making of an Objectivist symbol or logo's. With my 1/28th of your visual resoruces, I am aware that man is a visually oriented species. Is understanding not equated with seeing? Is not archetecture as art primarily visual? It is understood that Man does about 85% of his work visually (I do about 50). To me, that goes a long way to provide the context. The question we have to argue is "What is not forbidden is permitted" vs "what is not permitted is forbidden [in the incarnation of 'what is not done is forbidden]". It whould not be hard to figure out on which side of that coin Objectivism falls. There are many things Miss Rand did not do that we do. She was not fond of rock and roll for one thing. I hope nobody here dislikes cats. she liked them. She did not like chess. she collected stamps

If ever there was any symbol that would become associated with Objectivism, it would be one of an organization that people associate with the philosophy or which is preponderantly made up of Objectivists.

So maybe ARI ought run a contest.

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... an organization that people associate with the philosophy or which is preponderantly made up of Objectivists.
The PHI-sters?

I suppose a relevant question is: where would Marxism have got if it did not adopt the Hammer/Sickle or the color red.? (That reminds me... PHI-sters need a color too: black and white sounds appropriate. :lol: )

Edited by softwareNerd
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There's no issue with making a symbol for yourself or your Objectivist organization. But you can't make a symbol and claim that its "the Objectivist symbol" any more than you can make a symbol and retroactively claim it represents aristotleanism.

As I said, I have no problem with an Objectivisty-symbol, I just think its silly to try to popularize it as an "Objectivist" symbol as opposed to the symbol of some Objectivist Organization. For one, I think only Ayn Rand could really declare something an "official" Objectivist symbol (this is not to say she had the last word on everything, but it does mean that her philosophy is free-standing and authored by her.) Second, I don't think there's anything thats very compelling as an "Objectivist" symbol, since its such a broad philosophy. Christians have the fish thing, along with crosses, which are central to their beliefs, but to an Objectivist reality is central to our beliefs. Far better (and simpler, and possible,) then, to come up with a symbol which can be made to stand for some particular application of reason to reality.

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Christians have the fish thing, along with crosses, which are central to their beliefs, but to an Objectivist reality is central to our beliefs. Far better (and simpler, and possible,) then, to come up with a symbol which can be made to stand for some particular application of reason to reality.

Which I have tried to explain (in ref to the phi symbol and earlier versions) in my previous posts.

Reason; a faculty of the individual, represented by the "I", which is the means to conceptually grasp the universe, i.e. Reality, as represented by a flattened "O", which also represents the O in objectivism...

Besides, a meme doesn't need anyone's sanction. It just fits with the times and the message.

your mileage may vary...

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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I'm working on a novel right now where one of my characters wears a torch pendant on her necklace. It's a symbol for Prometheus, the man who brought fire down from the gods.

I always figured a torch would be the perfect symbol for Objectivism because:

1. The denunciation of a higher being implied in the Prometheus story.

2. The metaphorical meaning of the story: bringing light (knowledge and good) to a dark (immoral and evil) world.

3. The torch has been used throughout history as a symbol of enlightenment.

However, having said that, I tend to agree with David Odden here, that Rand would not want a symbol to represent her ideas. Rand's ideas were not a matter of "do you believe or do you not believe"? For her, her philosophy was about accepting reality, either you do or you do not.

Rand aside, I also find the use of symbols to represent an idea a bit ridiculous. It brings us down to the level of the Christians and the communists. We should not swear allegiance to a logo, but only to ourselves and our minds.

Edited by tsprat
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I don't imagine any such symbol would become "official" in any way, or even denote membership in some other organization... but if enough Objectivists use it, it'll just be a useful convention. Possibly someday it could show up in advertisements (like some Xian business use the minnow--which is useful; I keep looking when I see that in the yellow pages), and one could patronize those businesses with *some* degree of confidence you were dealing with a rational businessman. Of course even if every O-ist enthusiastically adopted a symbol, a lot of pseudo-O-ists could use it too. (Xians have that problem too but who cares about their problems?) I see it as no more or less meaningful than a pink ribbon lapel pin, or Dawkins' red A (for atheism) or the like. It'd be a quick and simple way of announcing your O-ism to the world.

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I don't imagine any such symbol would become "official" in any way, or even denote membership in some other organization... but if enough Objectivists use it, it'll just be a useful convention. Possibly someday it could show up in advertisements (like some Xian business use the minnow--which is useful; I keep looking when I see that in the yellow pages), and one could patronize those businesses with *some* degree of confidence you were dealing with a rational businessman. Of course even if every O-ist enthusiastically adopted a symbol, a lot of pseudo-O-ists could use it too. (Xians have that problem too but who cares about their problems?) I see it as no more or less meaningful than a pink ribbon lapel pin, or Dawkins' red A (for atheism) or the like. It'd be a quick and simple way of announcing your O-ism to the world.

And who knows what will happen in 300 years, it might show up on a flag planted on Io or Titan.

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.. a dark (immoral and evil) world.

That won't do, not at all.

However, having said that, I tend to agree with David Odden here, that Rand would not want a symbol to represent her ideas.

But Rand herself assigned one symbol to her philosophy, the word Objectivism. There is no reason another could not be also be associated with it, so long as it didn't duplicate the functions already served by a word.

Rand aside, I also find the use of symbols to represent an idea a bit ridiculous. It brings us down to the level of the Christians and the communists. We should not swear allegiance to a logo, but only to ourselves and our minds.

Art concretizes value judgments. Allegiance to an artwork would be superficial, but that is an error and not the only possible way to regard a symbol. The objective functions of art in fulfilling certain psycho-epistemological needs are common to all people, including the religious people. Thus, merely the fact that religious people do something is no argument against it.

A craving for a token is not inherently intrinsicist. Exchanging wedding rings, getting a tattoo, and the giving of gifts in general are material demonstrations of regard.

I started off scoffing at the idea of a symbol, but find I am arguing myself into accepting it.

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A craving for a token is not inherently intrinsicist. Exchanging wedding rings, getting a tattoo, and the giving of gifts in general are material demonstrations of regard.

I started off scoffing at the idea of a symbol, but find I am arguing myself into accepting it.

So I've started using the phi symbol to represent objectivism, bracketed by arrows to represent a meme.

It seems to have the right balance, and to look like a distinct symbol now, instead of a lone phi character.

I'd wear a tie-pin with this symbol.

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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