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I Haven't Introduced Myself! How Rude!

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Hi. My name's Rob & I'm from San Francisco, if that's not obvious. :huh: I joined these boards back in May, spent a lot of time "lurking" & taking in as much as I could, and more recently started getting involved. However, I realized that I never actually introduced myself. Is there a [rude] emoticon? :worry:

I originally stumbled upon Objectivism through Terry Goodkind & his Sword of Truth series. I found myself identifying quite strongly with the main character of the series, to the point that I wanted to find out where Mr. Goodkind was coming from regarding the core philosophies of his character. A Google search of "Terry Goodkind philosophy" made short work of it, and I soon found myself here.

Since then I have plunged into learning everything I can about Objectivism. I'm one of those people who has gone through 30 years of their life suffering from what I now recognize as an extremely flawed upbringing & education. I was raised in a Catholic environment, but fought against it basically from when I was old enough to start thinking for myself. I was also raised with a mother who's a staunch Liberal/Democrat and a home environment that permeated the liberal/socialist/collectivist/altruist mentality. My father is an incredibly hard-working, dedicated entrepreneur & multiple small-business starter/owner who instilled in me some of the proper values that I have. Unfortunately, his potential influence was curtailed by his own lack of a philosophical base. For example, he took up religion when he married my mother & he _HATES_ large companies (he won't buy coffee at Starbucks, distrusts Microsoft, etc), on the basis of the "big = bad" mentality. He calls himself a Republican, but I don't think he knows why anymore.

The causes/effects of these issues are now obvious to me & don't need to be analyzed, but the problem I've faced is that, before Objectivism, I did not have the proper base from which to evaluate the "why" of it all.

Through my study of Objectivism, all of the disparate, fractured bits that I had figured out for myself all started simply falling into place. More than that, for the first time [my disparate, fractured bits] were being laid out & presented back to me as a coherent whole, with the significant gaps filled in & taken to their logical ends. It was shocking, exciting and even a bit scary how much sense it all made.

Anyway, as to my progress as a student of Objectivism -- So far I’ve read :

* The Fountainhead,

* Atlas Shrugged

* Anthem

* We the Living (1936)

* The Voice of Reason (1989)

* The Virtue of Selfishness (1964)

* Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (1979)

* Philosophy: Who Needs It (1982)

* I think I'm missing something but can't figure it out. :)

I'm currently working my way through :

* Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, by Leonard Peikoff (1991) and

* The Capitalist Manifesto, by Andrew Bernstein (2005)

I've also thoroughly abused The Ayn Rand Lexicon & have subscribed to both The Intellectual Activist monthly newsletter & TIA Daily.

I have purchased but have yet to read:

* For the New Intellectual (1961)

* Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966)

* The Romantic Manifesto (1969)

* The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (1971)

* The Ayn Rand Letter

* The Objectivist Newsletter

A little background on me - I grew up in the San Francisco area, spent six years in central Florida for college & work, then moved back to SF in '99. I'm 30 years old & engaged. I majored in English Literature in college, but I've spend the past 11 or so years in the tech industry. I've worked for some extremely large companies like Disney & Cisco, & now I'm the IT Director of an extremely small company (~10 people when I started a few years ago, ~100 people now).

Outside of work, I love to mountain bike (I have 4 bikes that, added up, cost more than my car), wakeboard & snowboard (unfortunately with a recently reconstructed knee to show for it), and fly airplanes (unfortunately decreased in recent years by Bay Area cost of living / mortgage payments :P ). My biggest vice is playing MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). I realize what a colossal waste of time they can be, but they're fun. :( They also provide an opportunity for me to spend time with some of my good friends who live in other areas of the country & who I don't see very often. So while they're a waste of time, there's also some value in them.

Anyway, I guess that's enough babbling for now. I just wanted to officially say hi. So hi. :D If I think of any other juicy tidbits about myself, I'll be sure to come back and let you know.

Edited by rob.sfo
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Welcome! It's somewhat "obligatory" for the first mod on the scene to make some mention of the forum rules, but I don't see any point in this case, so, well, never mind.

I don't really see how people stand MMORPGs, personally, but I'm antisocial at the best of times.

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Welcome to the forum!

I play City of Heroes (and now City of Villains) and World of Warcraft. Those are the only MMORPG's so far of interest to me. Granted, I tend to solo play alot. Unfortunately, there are situations in which the game "forces" you to team up with people if you want to complete certain objectives.

Do you play either of them?

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Jennifer -- I've never been into normal video games all that much because I get bored *extremely* quickly by computer AI. As impressive as it can be sometimes, it's still repetitive & predictable. MMOs provide for an unpredictable environment. I enjoy that as much as the potential social aspect of the genre.

And yes...I've read the forum rules. :P I even re-read them before I posted in the Objectivist Rides... thread to ensure I was allowed to post a bunch of pictures right in the thread.

Dave & RC -- I've been playing Dark Age of Camelot off & on for the past 4 years. I've tried almost all the others, but I find myself bored of them for exactly the reason mentioned above. They either don't have the Player vs. Player element, or they don't implement it very well if they do.

softwareNerd -- Thanks. :D The genesis of the image comes from the obvious Atlas reference combined with a great History Channel documentary I saw a few years ago about the story of the Golden Gate bridge. The project was scrapped for financial reasons due to the depression. However, the people of San Francisco wanted it built so much that a large number of them actually mortgaged their homes to put up the capitol to build the bridge. Think about that for a minute. People took out 2nd mortgages on their homes to build a bridge. It's almost unreal. Can you imagine something like that happening today? It was a beacon of productive values & achievement in the midst of such a terrible time. I found this awe-inspiring even when I was the aforementioned pre-Objectivism confused mess that I was.

I actually spent a bunch of time on the colors. I was trying to pull some of the glow into the Atlas statue as the original was a somewhat drab grey. I'm not sure I'm done with it, but I've probably spent too much time on it already. :) I'm glad you like it. I'd be happy to send you the Photoshop original if you want it (it's a much larger image). None of the original elements are mine but I like what I was able to do with them. :(

Edited by rob.sfo
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I will admit that my memory of the topic is very vague and a quick Google search hasn't produced any useful insight. My intent in highlighting that particular point is that I view it as individuals taking rational, self-interested & self-motivated steps to achieve a value. I'm sure there are plenty of flaws that, once exposed, will crush my admiration for that aspect of the project. However, in that case I can simply fall back on the general theme to maintain the integrity of my avatar:

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the foremost man-made tourist attractions in the United States. But at one time, critics said it could never be built. From the start, the project looked impossible. The span of the bay was too wide. The shore was too unstable, the tides too turbulent. Storms battered workers, fog shrouded construction. Yet engineer Joseph B. Strauss' plans proved to be a masterpiece of design and function. In four years, the longest, highest, most spectacular suspension bridge on earth opened to the public, and became one of the greatest symbols of American ingenuity.


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