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Good morning all,

My name is Bryan and I am here to study Objectivism in depth. I want to start with "Existence Exists," and work forward from there, unpacking the ideas as I go.

I look forward to any discussion this forum would care to engage in.

That being said, I am writing this inaugural post with a little bit of trepidation. At the risk of shooting myself in the foot and causing alarm where there might not be any, I want to tell you an experience that happened about two weeks ago.

On a truck driving forum I joined, (my current job is that of a truck driver for PRIME inc., hence my interest in a forum of that nature) my very first introductory post was flagged as spam and I was banned.

I don't know many details except that my post was linked to a Bryan Wirthlin (which actually is my real name) who is some kind of a leadership, consulting... thing.

If that happens with this post, I would like to ask the moderators to please not ban me outright. I'm not very tech savvy, so I'm not sure what happened or how it works. Help me investigate if it happens. I am writing this from my new tablet, because I pretty sure my phone is FULL of viruses, adware, spyware, and some other -wares that I don't even know.

So... Here goes nothing... Post.

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Awesome! Posting begins! Just downloaded The Art of Thinking and Introduction to Logic by Leonard Peikoff. Audio books are my preferred medium as a driver.

I have read (listened to) Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Virtue of Selfishness, Anthem. I am listening to OPAR right now.

I own physical copies, but have not yet read:

The above mentioned + For the new Intellectual, Return of the Primitive, ITOE, We The Living and 1 or 2 more that escape mw at the moment.

Regarding trucking, PRIME is admittedly the only trucking company that I've worked for, but the building and equipment are freaking amazing. Trucks are very well maintained, and in the two years I've been working with them, they seem to be kicking ass. Every Friday there's a safety meeting and they talk about current issues, like the new accounts we keep picking up.

And the owner, Robert Lowe, actually cares about the drivers. Its not lip service. PRIME is the only trucking company I'm aware of that has a Department of Driver Health and Athletics. In fact, on Aug 30 we had our company picnic where we had a Fittest of the Fleet competition. Of course your's truly competed and took 4th out of 7 well conditioned drivers.

I seriously love working for this company.

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I also drive for a living, and these days if it isn't on audiobook, it ain't gettin' read. I was pleasantly surprised to find many Objectivists books available for listening which I had been wanting to read for a while.

Atlas Shrugged was a great listen, but I have tried two times to listen to OPAR, and so far I just couldn't. It's very dense, I'm constantly needing to stop and digest, my concentration is not easily split between such heavy material and the road, and all-in-all the experience is very annoying. I don't know how you do it!

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OPAR is incredibly dense via audio book and tends to leave me feeling very angry. I think its because Rand and Peikoff both deliver their philosophy with a hammer, although Peikoff isn't doing that so much in his lecture to Introduction to Logic.

I've gotten to the point where I have to make breaks with OPAR and definitely NOT listen to it within about 4 hours of going to bed. OPAR definitely WILL keep me up at night. Lol.

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I think OPAR comes across in Rand's style because it was worked, reworked, and edited relentlessly by Piekoff. That's not his style for much of his output, where he instead took the "chewing" approach of using examples to tie the principles and theories to reality, in many different ways, to make sure many people were able to see the connections.

And no, I'm not a trucker (but I'm not dead yet!) -- I make local deliveries in a regular-sized car. I imagine that I could find things to like about driving trucks, but they seem so cumbersome and the appeal isn't obvious.

DW, I use audible.com because it's a sweet deal. The copyright for their OPAR recording (with a snooty-sounding narrator) is 2003:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Nonfiction/Objectivism-Audiobook/B002V0PR64/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1410228961&sr=1-1

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Yes Johanna Ward reads OPAR and I believe, Virtue of Selfishness. Her voice is pretty "high horsed," if I may invent a phrase. If a new reader is not careful, her snootiness may be superimposed on the material.

It wasn't till I listed to David Kelly and William R Thomas, that I learned Objectivism could be more "chill." And I'm sure really enjoying Peikoffs Introduction to Logic. He still delivers with strength and conviction, but I like that he's talking more about what logic IS instead of whailling on what it is NOT.

I mean, he still goes into depth about what it isn't, but OPAR seems (I haven't finished it) to be a 19 hour "Bash the Non Objectivists.)

Which I understand. Logic is logic and A is A. If your argument (if we can be so generous as to call it that) is not in accordance with these methods and axioms, I'm gonna call you on your bullshit and I expect to be called out in kind.

Still, I would like to see a... happier... presentation of Objectivism. Objectivism is supposed to be this great and,more importantly, True philosophy, yet most of what I hear is objectivists taking about what they're AGAINST instead of talking about what they are FOR.

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Still, I would like to see a... happier... presentation of Objectivism. Objectivism is supposed to be this great and,more importantly, True philosophy, yet most of what I hear is objectivists taking about what they're AGAINST instead of talking about what they are FOR.

Sometimes it seems like there is a lot of this, especially given the tone people take when they're "against." On one hand, it's understandable, because so much crap gets a pass in world culture today. But on the other hand, what an awful life to sit and whine endlessly. The end goals might be almost the same, but the shift in attitude, I think, will significantly alter the chances of achieving those goals. You just can't walk around with a negative attitude all the time and expect to be happy and get things done.

So by all means, ignore those who seem to you to be OBJECTivists, so to speak, and use the principles as they were intended -- to be and stay happy. :)

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I mean, he still goes into depth about what it isn't, but OPAR seems (I haven't finished it) to be a 19 hour "Bash the Non Objectivists.)

 

OPAR presents, in systematized form, a complete philosophy including a revolutionary theory of epistemology, a rock solid metaphysics (including new formulations of the law of causality etc), a new theory of ethics derived from reality, a political philosophy grounded on original insights and inductions, and a theory of art derived from the antecedent branches of philosophy. Of course it includes answers to common attacks on the philosophy but to describe it as a 19 hour bashing of non-objectivists.... I have to wonder if we're talking about the same book. :confused:

 

Edit: Now that I think about it, I think it's probably hard to grasp the originality, significance, and implications of the book's content without having thought about the ideas for some time or at least being pretty familiar with the history of philosophy. It's impressive that you're even reading it, being only recently introduced to the philosophy.

 

And I didn't even welcome you to the forum. How rude! Welcome. :worry:

Edited by CriticalThinker2000
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thank you for the welcomes.

I didn't mean to imply that OPAR (or Objectivism for that matter) is 'merely' a "bashing of non objectivists." I was speaking about its "presentation." I grant you that Objectivism has a major task in front of it, namely dispelling an incredible amount of bullshit (Zen, Judeo/Christian/Islam, spiritual virtues derived from Quantum Mechanics ETC,) but nobody likes "That Guy" who sits in a corner and rants all day about why the world and it's philosophy sucks.

So I'm simply saying I would to see what Objectivism can "build" as opposed to what it can tear down. Its great for destroying irrational nonsense. Now, what can it create in its stead and how do we go about building it in our personal lives?

P.S. I'm very familiar with Eastern Philosophy. You might call me a "recovering Buddhist" lol, so I'm am keenly aware, (I think, I could be wrong,) of Objectivism's Metaphysical and Epistemological... Rarity.

:-)

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Welcome to the forum.

thank you for the welcomes.

I didn't mean to imply that OPAR (or Objectivism for that matter) is 'merely' a "bashing of non objectivists." I was speaking about its "presentation." I grant you that Objectivism has a major task in front of it, namely dispelling an incredible amount of bullshit (Zen, Judeo/Christian/Islam, spiritual virtues derived from Quantum Mechanics ETC,) but nobody likes "That Guy" who sits in a corner and rants all day about why the world and it's philosophy sucks.

So I'm simply saying I would to see what Objectivism can "build" as opposed to what it can tear down. Its great for destroying irrational nonsense. Now, what can it create in its stead and how do we go about building it in our personal lives?

OPAR is a philosophy book. As such, it is a little too abstract to give practical suggestions on how to improve one's personal life, but it builds quite a lot nonetheless.

For more practical suggestions, Leonard Peikoff has a podcast. Ayn Rand used to give interviews, and answer questions from fans and critics alike quite a lot (at least compared to other philosophers). Other prominent Objectivists have blogs, podcasts, give speeches where they take questions, etc. as well.

Objectivism is an accessible philosophy, and Objectivists strive to answer practical questions more than any philosophy I know of. They've been doing it for decades. Surely, you can find something to at least begin to satisfy your curiosity.

Edited by Nicky
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I'm sorry, I never meant to suggest that Objectivism wasn't sparking and satisfying my curiosity. On the contrary, Objectivism has given me endless subjects to consider and I would personally say that my life was instantly improved the moment I wrapped my brain around Rand's metaphysics. I reading the OPAR now and listening to Peikoff's Introduction to Logic.

The nature of my questions is meant to convey my lack of understanding. I suppose my focus at this point in my life is "what to build and how to build it?"

Rand's metaphysics and (what I understand of her) epistemology have "cured" me of a lot of mystic nonsense. Now the question is, Where to go from here? Now that I have an understanding of how NOT to act, of the goals NOT to strive for, it's time to think about the goals I should be setting, what's worth doing, and how do I do it?

I'm not claiming to have answers. I'm just throwing my thoughts out there. :-)

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I'm excited to see everyone's love for audio books. I just finished AS for the second time. Listening to a book is great! Often times a line is read differently (better) than how I imagined it.

My job isn't driving, but I drive all day doing service calls, so I too spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

 

Oh, and welcome to the forum!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love audio books. I'm going through two lectures of Leonard Peikoff's at the moment and relistening to the fountainhead for the second time. I can't seem to find introduction to Objectivist epistemology in audio format. However, Peikoff's OPAR+ Intro to Logic+ Art of Thinking seems to make reference to it enough to probably be a good grounding in it.

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