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An Apology, A Formal Introduction, And What I Hope To Achieve On This

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I owe everyone on this forum an apology. I hope you will consider forgiving me for a mistake I made. I failed to fully appreciate the fact that you are all here- or claim to be here- to discuss Objectivism which is quite admirable. I am very happy that this forum exists not only because it is devoted to discussing logical principles, but because also, there is far, far too little discussion of logical principles and philosophy elsewhere in the universe today. (I say Universe because people live on the International Space Station [i.S.S.] and their premises in fact are quite illogical since the context in which the I.S.S. presently exists is illogical; communistic ((you may refer to my essay "On The Official Establishment of U.S. Space Territory" if you want a further explanation of that assertion)))

This forum is very valuable and expressing that judgement should have been in my first post, not my sixth! I am sorry. Now, because I failed to explicitly identify my value-judgement of this forum my first post "A Letter To Readers" was presented to you out of context, and it was in fact, an implicit insult to you. I shall explain what I mean by "implicit insult". I wrote "A Letter To Readers" to everyone who reads at present and anyone who ever will in the future. Most readers however are neither Objectivist nor advocates of any particular, fundamental principle of Objectivism. The implicit insult here is that I implied, when I posted "A Letter To Readers" here, that you ought to be regarded as just "anyone who reads" since you absolutely are not! As I said, this is a very valuable forum and thus it should be treated as such. I should have expressed my appreciation for this forum, properly introduced myself to you, and told you what I hoped to achieve here, at which point it would then have been logical to share "A Letter To Readers With You". Again, I am very sorry and I most certainly hope you will forgive me.

With that now on record, I would like to formally introduce myself to you.

My name is Sean O'Connor. I am a 26 year old philosopher and writer. (I write mostly essays, and on occasion I write a story). I have five priorities as a philosopher:

1) To discover as much as possible about meaning in general and the meaning of essential particulars.

2) To improve and clarify as many definitions as possible

3) To discover as much about the optimal navigation of the mind as possible

4) To present philosophy as a field of science and change the way it is taught, understood, and applied

5) To be one of the best essayists in history

I have been writing since I was eight or nine. I have been studying literature (poetry, prose, and philosophical essays) since I was 18. I self published a book of short stories and word collages (that I now condemn) when I was 23. Last April I wrote the first essay I was proud of. It is called "In Condemnation of Apathy". After writing five essays I took a break and kept a study journal. (That didn't last long). I then began blogging and strictly on politics, and considered running for political office. I was not satisfied with the idea of being confined to potlics and experimented with photography and film. That didn't last long however. I then kept a daily philosophical video blog entitled "Thrive!". I didn't like blogging every day as I wanted more time to prepare my thoughts and visions and present them as clearly and thouroughly as possible so I began outling ideas, and taking my time. I wrote two short stories and then I began writing a third however I got an idea for an essay! That idea was unfortunately interuppted when I realized that I needed to find a new room to live in as the lease for the one I am currently living in has expired. Since I was low on cash, and was worried that I might not find a room, I decided to ask readers for help- specifically readership and promotion. (It is true that I said I was "open to donations or sponsorship" but readership matters to me much more than money and the fundamental task of the essay was not to raise money, but rather to discuss the issue of poverty, the relationship between ideology, psychology and circumstances how the relationship between those three concepts relates to our present economic disaster, to promote the ideals of independence, capitalism, responsibility, rationality, to discuss self investment, present my philosophical discoveries, and explain my literature).

There are five things I want to achieve on this forum.

1) I want to share my discoveries and ideas with you.

2) I want to help you understand my discoveries and ideas and indeed inspire discussion/debate. (You might think I have contradicted myself somewhere and if you do, that's okay. To quote my hero, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, "I'm open to learning. But let's be clear about what I have said and not said" (I am presently completing an epistle to Dr. Branden which I shall share with you very soon). The only thing I don't tolerate, or entertain is an insult.

3) I want more and more people to appreciate philosophy in general- to think about it, and talk about it. I will, from time to time, promote discussions here on Facebook as part of an effort to achieve this goal.

4) I want to build an audience; I want to get enough people reading and talking about what I have written as to have evidence for an ambitious, virtuous book publisher to know for certain that my literature is marketable.

5) I want to convince you that my assertions and judgements are logical.

I shall tell you a little more about myself because learning about someone's personality enhances our idea of him or her; it adds meaning to everything else he or she tells us.

I live in East Windsor, New Jersey. I hate living here and for two reasons: the geography does not match my sense of life. (The tropics do) 2)Despite a "Republican" governnor, NJ is heavily Socialist and it is quite depressing. I want to live instead, on the U.S. Virgin Island: St. John- because I love the Caribbean and it is a politically free (or semi-free) American Island.

Regarding my education: I have decided to write an essay on it because I take a lot of pride in it so I shall confine myself here to writers and philosophers I have studied (some in greater depth than others) in chronological order, as to provide you with a bit more context; an idea of "where I am coming from" so to speak; an indication, based on my interests and decisions of who I studied, of how I have evolved ideologically and what I have learned. I have studied The Bee Gees (yes I studied them) and other pop-music lyricists (They're not worth naming here) Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Hume, William James, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, Schopenhauer, Dostoevsky, Fitzsgerald, Hemmingway, Henry Miller, The Bible, Kant, Napoleon Hill (and other writers on "The Law of Attraction"), James Joyce, Ayn Rand, Aristotle, Leonard Peikoff, Karl Marx, Obama, Hitler, and Nathanial Branden. (my education does extend beyond literature but I shall discuss that in my essay) I am still educating myself.

My top hobby is watching movies and television shows. My favorite movies are "Atlas Shrugged Part 2", "Die Another Day" , "Atlas Shrugged Part 1", "Moonraker", "Phenomenon", and "Limitless". My favorite television programs are "Star Trek", "The West Wing" (not for its politics, but for its glimpse inside the West Wing, as I am interested in politics and how the government functions in general) and "The Glenn Beck Program" (despite his metaphysical and epistemological mistakes).

My favorite musicians are "Vivaldi" and "Bach".

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for taking the time to read my introduction.

I look foreword to having valuable discussions with you and I wish you achieved ideals,

Sean O'Connor

Edited by Sean O'Connor
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Ah, don't worry about it. I certainly was not at all getting any sense of being put down by the letter's tone being for a more general audience. I doubt anybody else was offended either. It was clearly written with another expected circumstance in mind largely and being aware of that made it unnecessary for the thing to be edited to fit us in particular and mention how super duper we presumably would be here. I got through most of that first post before I started skimming. I started skimming because current circumstances make it difficult for me to concentrate on long texts. That's part of why when I got to the explanation of what you were really after in the way of assistance I knew that unfortunately I couldn't be of much help there. In addition to my own long text troubles right now, everybody I know who might have any interest is already here. There's nobody else I know to make any recommendations to.

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Thank you for your responce, and again, I apologize for the length of time it took me to respond. The delay, like that which makes it difficult for you to concentrate on long texts, is due to current circumstances. So little time is terribly frustrating!

There is indeed a lot of literature being presented to us throughout the world and it is certainly essential to be aware of it and be able to judge it. In my own life I am quite overwhelmed in my struggle to read as much as I can. I study objectivist literature, I want to study Dr. Nathaniel Branden's books and Dr. Leonard Peikoff's books, I want to study other ideologies as well, study the news, art, history and biographies, study the special sciences and answer as many questions of mine as I can and this is terribly, terribly time consuming- especially as I also must pay bills and promote my literature.

You wrote: "everybody I know who might have any interest is already here. There's nobody else I know to make any recommendations to"- that is both depressing and comforting. It is obvious why it is depressing! A perfect concretization of how depressing it is: the fact that today we have to endure President Obama's second inauguration and the majority of the country's immoral "celebration" of socialism's progress in America. But as I said, I am also comforted and thus feel confidence in our future. I feel tremendous pleasure here. Perhaps your cirumstances are similar to mine. If they are not, then I am glad! For me: "There is no one I interact with in person- other than my girlfriend- who agrees with me on fundamental, ideological issues..it brings me sadness and frustration. But every time I get the opportunity to communicate with or read from someone I agree with- at least to a significant extent- ideologically, I feel exhilaration and tremendous confidence in humanity’s future; I get to experience the beauty of virtue, intelligence, wealth and truth; it is like a strangely warm day in the brunt of winter; it is luxurious!" (from "An Epistle To Dr. Nathaniel Branden)

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The only thing that could have been taken as offensive was the interjections of basic philosophic ideas. Knowing your intended audience, they make more sense.

And of course the basis of my writing, and my being here is to address basic, as well as complex, philosophical ideas. I have to confess, I felt- and to a slight degree still feel- nervous about communicating on this forum. Not as a matter of insecurity, but rather, precisely because of what you wrote- that people would get offended, then angry, and insulting at the sight of philosophical-ideological ideas that they have no interest in accepting.

One of the worst trends in our culture, due to irrationality, lack of understanding the meanings of things, poor value judgements, et cetera, is that people fire insults at each other like anarchic freaks shooting machine guns! It is so rampant that family members of mine are this way, people where I work for are this way, and even my damn landlord is this way! Indeed, it really is time to address the problem of rampant insults head on!

I am glad that there is not "too much" of that here. I wrote in the apology " I want to help you understand my discoveries and ideas and indeed inspire discussion/debate. (You might think I have contradicted myself somewhere and if you do, that's okay. To quote my hero, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, "I'm open to learning. But let's be clear about what I have said and not said"...The only thing I don't tolerate, or entertain is an insult. I mean every word of that.

I have discovered, as I have asserted in other posts, that the defintion of philosophy tends to be misapplied and severely misunderstood and taught. I do not assert this because I want to cause a dramatic, arbitrary and semantical argument with Objectivists. I do it because I highly admire Objectivists, and want to impart, not the dismantling of objectivism in terms of most of its principles, but rather, the advancement of philosophy. By advancing philosophy we give it more substance and relevance. We make it more interesting! And we can thus interest others in it.

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Not as a matter of insecurity, but rather, precisely because of what you wrote- that people would get offended, then angry, and insulting at the sight of philosophical-ideological ideas that they have no interest in accepting.

Actually, I would say it's a dangerous mentality for a person to feel offended at seeing ideas they have no interest in accepting. No one can presume to learn anything if they decide at the outset that they won't accept or at least look into ideas different than their own. A rational person can entertain an idea without accepting the idea. If the idea ends up to be true, it should be accepted. On the other hand, even if I've thought a lot about an idea and rejected it, I am usually glad to teach what I know, and in the process I can perhaps learn about things I had not considered before. I think civility and intellectual honesty is an important part of discussion, and you come across as a very civil and honest person.

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No problem about the wait. I don't expect this forum to be anybody's top priority. ;) Stuff happens, people get busy.

It's true that can be looked at in both a negative and a positive light depending on which angle you come at it from. We're relatively small here, but it also is efficient if you don't have to spread your efforts over many different places. Everybody I know of who may have an interest is here though because I either met them here or at some point I met them elsewhere and they made an account here either later or before I met them elsewhere. Glad to hear you've been enjoying time here.

Don't worry about offending people here so much though. :P Overall, it is harder to offend us than most people. We also aren't afraid of the truth wherever it may lead, thus hearing other ideas isn't a source of offense in itself. Hah. We've talked about all kinds of bizzare ideas some people have put out there. You also won't hear anybody here use "I'm offended" like it is some kind of counter argument either. Generally, the easily offended people don't belong here anyway. Those people are either trolls or in violation of the forum rules about not using this place for the purpose of trying to spread some other ideology. We welcome discussion and debate, but anybody who is unwilling to reconsider anything is just a pest. There are lots of other places around where we can and do speak with people who are flat out advocates of other stuff already so we don't need this place to be another one of those. The rare person who gets in a huff easily without being a troll or here to peddle some other ideas usually doesn't stick around long or else eventually they wind up banned for shennanigans like name calling rants and argument from intimidation.

So, really, relax, make yourself comfortable.

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