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About Jonathan

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    Jonathan Smith
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  1. Well, she did categorize "esthetics" as the fifth branch. And that's correct. The problem isn't that aesthetics doesn't belong in philosophy, but that the official Objectivist Estheics is not actually an example of the Objectivist method properly applied to the subject of aesthetics. J
  2. Did you catch that? The Atlas Society is categorizing photographers as artists! Please, someone, anyone, contact the Society and screech at them that photography is not art. Ayn Effin Rand said so! J
  3. Trump's new nickname for Hillary: Hillary Rotten Clinton. Hahahahaha!!! J
  4. Submit your herioc Objectikitsch and win BIG money! Take over where Rand left off in "lighting the path forward" by presenting your own artistic take on "crucial values." Bust out your Roark-like aesthetic innovation "in visually arresting, engaging, and alluring new ways," like by showing figures leaping and bounding about, overtly and outwardly signalling their inner states!!! Feel the prestige of having your art judged by, among others, a vice-presidential candidate who is also a "professional" photographer!!! "Inspire, surprise, delight and provoke!" J
  5. McIver explained that she included the passages from Michelle Obama's speech after listening to Melania Trump read passages from the 2008 address. "Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama's speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama's speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant." ----- J
  6. My respect for the long history of libertarian heroes is such that I will not tolerate your sniffy sniping at them. So, if you want to continue to be a snarky little bitch, do it elsewhere. Well, the standard pissy Objectivist criticism of libertarians is that they are all over the place philosophically, that they're not properly "integrated," etc. My point was that the same is true of Objectivists, including Rand. There are "many strange varieties" of Objectivists. So, shouldn't we get all pissy and self-important about Rand and her followers for doing exactly what she got all pissy and self-important over when throwing fits over libertarians? Do you not pay attention to what you're saying when you say it??? You accused libertarians of stealing Rand's ideas, and of not properly integrating them with more basic principles. I simply challenged you to back up that statement, and to apply the same standards to Objectivists. There's nothing nasty about my asking for proof, and also for consistency. My, how delicate you are!!! J
  7. Really? Hmmm. So, are you saying that libertarians didn't exist prior to Rand? They had no ideas of their own, but just stole some of hers? Where might we see some proof to back up your opinion that Rand had good reason to be as pissy and self-important as she was about her accusations against libertarians? There are also people who claim to be Objectivist-communists, Objectivist-Christians, Objectivist-Muslims. There are all sorts of Objectivists who contradict Objectivism, including Rand herself. She was sometimes even more kooky in her opinions than the kookiest libertarians whom she threw fits over. Heh. It sounds to me as if you don't know any libertarians, and have never actually argued with the brightest among them. You're posing. Try that tactic on, say, George H. Smith, if he'll entertain himself wasting his time on you, and see how well you do. J
  8. Where is such empirical testing of people's ability to identify artist's meanings in the images in the left hand column??? Why is it that none of you Objectivish aesthetic geniuses, and none elsewhere, has been able to identify any artists' meanings in any realistic, representational paintings? One of the points of my posting the two columns of images, long ago, was to apply Objectivist criteria to various works and begin to test them in reality. I did so because O'vishes had demanded proof from others that abstract visual art could actually meet their criteria. In other words, they weren't content to take people at their word when describing the depth and meaning that they claimed to experience in abstract art. Well, I decided to call the O'vishes' bluff by applying their own standards to them: I'm not content to take you at your word -- I don't accept your empty assertions that the works which you declare are valid art have actually been shown to meet your criteria. I require proof, the same proof that you demand of fans of abstract art! So, as part of my investigation and testing, I have challenged, and continue to challenge, you and all other O'vishes to identify the artists' meanings in the representational images in the left column (as well as other tests involving other representational images beyond still lifes). So far, only a few people have even attempted to identify only a couple of the artists' meanings, and none have succeeded. Actually, they failed miserably. Nothing, ever, has yet been demonstrated to qualify as art by Objectivism's criteria! NOTHING!!! NIHIL!!! Aesthetically, that is what you stand for! You're destroyers and haters, and nothing excites and satisfies you more than screaming in everyone's face, "It's NOT ART!!!!" J
  9. Does Ken Burns identify as a girl? It kind of seems like it. J
  10. You’re mixing things up. Category mistake. Someone’s having a view on what constitutes “the primary essence of creation” is not an issue of employing artistic sensitivity, but of normal cognitive abstraction and proper conceptualization. It is the act of logically identifying and defining the proposed concept of “essence of creation.” One does not use one’s “artistic sensitivity” to logically identify and define concepts. Let’s say that I invent a replacement for carburetion which I call “botrification.” We bring Hilla Rebay back to life, and, after studying the “botrifice," she declares that it’s wonderful and exciting to see it in action, and that it's some sort of fulcrum and lever compression unit, which it is not. Now, the fact that she has conceptually gotten its technical operation wrong does not mean that we have reason to doubt her report of her having experienced seeing the invention as wonderful and exciting. Her conceptual error is not an issue of artistic sensitivity. Understand? You’re trying to impose “artistic sensitivity” on an issue to which is not applicable. I agree. Rebay experienced something, and it deeply affected her. And then she misidentified what it was, and that's an issue of conceptual error, not of artistic sensitivity. I wouldn’t necessarily call it an “essentialization of form,” but rather a condensation of form to what the artist experiences as the relevant attributes in the given situation. The purpose of my posting the two columns of images was to compare how the compositions on the left and right are similar (and to ask people, who were enraged about abstract art qualifying as art despite allegedly having no meaning, to identify the meanings in the realistic paintings). But would you, or "the average viewer" or whatever, see the images in the column on the right as being "identifiable likenesses to things in reality" if they were not shown in comparison to the images on the left? No. Get it now? See, you have to grasp the full context, and not strip electrons away individually. See, there was a specific meaning in the term “identifiable likeness to things in reality.” It means that people will identify, say, an image of an apple as being an image of an apple, and not as being a red thing that kind of has similarities to apples as well as to a lot of other red things, but none in particular. Understand? Yeah. I know. I’m sorry about that. You’re having a tough time. Keep fighting, though. Try to stay sharp. Personally, I think that continuing to argue will be good for you. I, for one, am not going to coddle you as you drift into dementia. J
  11. Sabotage does sound like a realistic option. My first thought was that Melania's writer might have copied and pasted from a variety of sources, intending to use them as inspiration, but then lost track and neglected to delete the source material from Michelle O. But that just doesn't seem realistic. You're writing for a candidate's wife at a national convention, and you don't catch copied source material on final proof-reading? Ugh! I could also see Trump wanting this to happen on purpose, with the motive of luring the Dems/leftmedia into attacking Melania, and therefore waging a "war on women," and then Trump using that to reference past Dem wars on women -- Sarah Palin, etc. That seems less realistic to me, though. J
  12. I don't think the roads issue is a pressing problem, or anything near to being the in the first tier of rights issues that libertarians would want to address when heading toward their ideal system. I only mentioned "Muh roads!" here because I thought it was funny that the Johnson campaign seemed to be preemptively addressing the standard objection that "statist zombies" have to libertarianism: "But what about Muh roads?!!!" It's an issue which terrifies certain people. They act as if they believe that the world will come to an end if libertarians have their way, because roads will then cease to exist, and we will be landlocked, trapped, and economically paralyzed. "Muh roads!!!" J
  13. Haven't we all been educated to "see" more than what we thought might be in a painting, or a film, a dance, or a novel? And to "hear" what generations have heard in music? Don't we learn from hearing others' perspectives on various artworks and art forms? Well, I mean most of us. Those of us who aren't actively opposed to learning due to having been bitten by the Rand bug. I think a good way to look at it is this (which I've mentioned in the past): Might Frank Lloyd Wright have had the ability to see and experience more in architecture than, say, Thomas Miovas Jr., if for no other reason than that Wright was a seasoned professional who had a fierce passion for the art form, and who worked at it almost daily during his entire life, where those things are not true of Junior? Would it be unreasonable to suspect that His Royal Published Highness, The Majestic Roger Bissell, although professionally not on the independently creative and productive level of a Mozart or Rachmaninoff, might have gained knowledge and sensitivities in regard to his favorite genres of music, via working as a professional trombonist, that, say, a Tony or a Gregster or a Dr. Comrade Sonia, Phd., lack due to their not having practiced and performed daily? Would it be completely irrational of me to expect that Newberry would recognize color modulations and perspective shifts, and their potential effects and contributions to meaning, which bossypants non-artists like Kamhi&Torres™ would not recognize, and which might require quite a lot of classroom explanation and hands-on training in order for them to grasp those attributes? Would it be the definition of insanity to consider as a remote possibility that OL's Jules "Steve" Troy might instantly see and understand a lighting or depth of field scenario and why it was chosen by the artist photographer, where someone who has little interest in or experience with photography would have no idea what Jules was talking about? If the above mentioned people began discussing certain artworks, would it take us long to get a sense of who was aware and sensitive versus who was not? J
  14. Smith didn't merely interview the Ruskies, but lived among them, and experienced what they did. As for their awareness of the American system, I think they had some little information, and had heard rumors, but didn't really know what to believe, and couldn't imagine its being as successful as it was. To them, it sounded like a fairytale that was made up by people who were supposed to be their political enemies. J
  15. I remember hearing, years and years ago, Hedrick Smith being interviewed about his book, The Russians. When confronted with the idea of privatization, Soviet citizens couldn't imagine who would produce and deliver food, and everything else, if government weren't in charge of it all. "What if a store owner wanted to use his ownership power to deny people access to food!!! We'll all starve!! Besides, privatization is all too complex, and I can think of lots of problems and objections to which I, personally, can't imagine any solutions!" J