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    Jonathan Smith
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  1. Trump's new nickname for Hillary: Hillary Rotten Clinton. Hahahahaha!!! J
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Does Ken Burns identify as a girl? It kind of seems like it. J
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. No, I didn't. You have a tendency to refuse to recognize that your questions have been answered, especially, it seems, when you've made mistaken assumptions and irrationally concluded that I must be taking the position that you want me to take so that you can argue with me. Reread the following in which I answered your question: Now, in response to the above, you wrote, Heh. Then what about the "disjunct" between your use of "essence" and Rebay's? Hahahaha! Um, while electon-chasing, did you forget that you described her as "experiencing said 'essence'"? Re-read the quote above of yours to which I was responding. I've gotten the impression that you've never read and grasped Rebay's writings as wholes, nor anyone else's. Instead, just isolated "electrons." I was stating that Rebay was mistaking her personal, subjective evaluation for an identification of universal truth, just as I have similarly identified Rand as mistaking her personal, subjective evaluations for universal truths. I agree. More precisely, my view is that Rebay was mistaken only insofar as she may have wanted to universalize her "system." The "essence" that she experienced was only an essence to her. Her experiencing it as such doesn't make it a universal essence for all. Something isn't disconnected just because Electron Ellen doesn't see the connection while refusing to see it while electron-chasing. I wasn't talking only about Rebay. She is not the only person whom Objectivist aesthetic foamers have accused of being insincere when stating their aesthetic responses and evaluations of abstract art. We've discussed her on previous threads. The search function is indeed limited if not defective. I really don't care about how you feel about whether or not others are sincere or bullshitting in their statements about the effects of art and the depth that they feel. Your feelings and suspicions are not a reliable or valid means of measuring such things (nor are anyone else's, including mine). Why not a ballet? I chose a random art form to use as an example! Um, reread what I wrote. Try to pay attention to the whole, and to the context. It's not about you. It's about the fact that some artworks or art forms do little or nothing for some people while affecting others very deeply. Here's my statement again: An individual work of art that Rebay may have experienced as a primary essence of creation might do little or nothing for me or you. In such a case, I’m not at all uncomfortable with the idea that I lack her sensitivities to the effects of the work in question. Likewise, if you say that a certain poem or ballet knocks the wind out of you, but it bores me, I wouldn’t find it upsetting in the least if anyone were to say that, in regard to the artwork in question, and perhaps even the entire genre, I appear to be aesthetically limited, unaware, unobservant, uninterested, etc. I would not be able to understand someone’s needing to tell you that you’re lying, delusional or pretentious when you claim that you experience depth, emotional impact, expressiveness and meaning that I and others might not. Oh, it's definitely a need of theirs! There is no other basis for their charges! I've asked them, and challenged them, to identify the alleged "objective" means by which they claim to be able to know and measure the depth, or lack thereof, of others' aesthetic responses, and then to provide the objective proof. They haven't answered the challenges, but have run away from them. There are no valid grounds on which they reject the legitimacy of others' aesthetic responses. Their (the O'vishes') only grounds are that they (the O'vishes) don't experience what others claim to, and they assert that those others are therefore lying to impress the artworld elite. That's Kamhi's position. Read her book! Btw, I'm not taking the position that there could never be any legitimate basis for rejecting others' claims of what they've experienced in art. I'm simply stating the fact that Kamhi and other O'vishes have not presented any. They haven't even tested their own or others' responses to the works of art which they accept as being valid! Yes, I'm accusing Rebay of being mistaken in believing that her personal, subjective experience was a universal fact of having identified the essence of creation, just as I accuse O'vishes of mistaking their personal, subjective responses to art as representing the one, true, universal, "objective" interpretation of any work of art in question. Yes, and I think that there are also abundant displays of what I take to be pretentiousness regarding abstract aural art (music), not to mention representational visual art, and also novels and films. Uh huh. I've felt the same way. But I recognize that my feelings about such things aren't a reliable means of knowing others' sincerity or lack thereof. Some people come across to me as insincere, when they actually may be just way too flamboyant or whatever for my tastes. My discomfort with their personalities isn't a valid means of measuring their sincerity or the depth of their aesthetic responses. Heh. I've been in that type of situation many times, and have never been upset in the slightest to discover that someone else experiences much more than I do in a work of art. Granted, I don't think that's happened in O-land. Usually, it seems that O'vishes experience so much less than I or most other people, and therefore aren't ever in a position to claim to experience more. Have you not followed along on OL, and seen various people being unable to see certain things in examples of art that have been posted? Have you not witnessed their lack of awareness and observational skills? No, it's not about mere claims. See, in the examples in which people have revealed that they're unaware and unobservant, I've actually then gone on to point out to them what they missed the first time around (or Billy has). There's still one example out there (the image of the nun) which contains a lot more to be seen, but which people here haven't yet noticed, despite being told that there's much more to see. People who are more sensitive and aware can usually explain pretty easily what they see that others have missed, and explain why they therefore interpret the work differently and more deeply. I've done that quite often. In such a case, the logical thing to do would be to ask for objective proof. It's the same position that I take when frantic Rand-followers assert that those who claim to experience meaning and depth in abstract art are psychologically and/or morally deficient. Heh. Remember back when you use to take a similar position, back when you objected to the Objectivist approach due to its being a weapon of "aesthetic response as morals exam"? No? Forgot about that? Yeah, you've apparently not paid attention to the lack of observational skills that others have displayed, which I'm using as my means of judging their visual abilities and sensitivities. And so have you! "Aesthetic response as morals exam." I'm fine with people having their own subjective responses to art. The problem only comes when they insist on claiming that others do not experience what they say they do, or when people insist on asserting that their subjective responses are "objective," and the "right" interpretation, and, most important of all, when they claim to know the artist's psychology, philosophy, morality, etc., based on their unaware, unobservant interpretations of his work. Indeed, and I gave my reasoning. Reread it. This time, try to hold the entirety in your mind. Try to notice that what I was objecting to was not Tony's personal interpretation of the image, but his implication that his is the only rational interpretation, and that "the only question" that remained was whether or not I or any other viewer would be able to state that "THIS is what life means to me," meaning that anyone who likes or identifies with the painting must feel that life is drudgery and servitude. In other words, Tony cannot fathom or will not accept that I or others might experience the image differently than he does: We MUST love drudgery and servitude. Aesthetics as morals exam! Again, try to focus on the bigger picture and the entire context rather than just isolated electrons. Go back and reread! When you do, pay attention, for example, to what His Royal Published Majesty said about people who find meaning and value in the painting! See if you can identify, when holding the whole of the conversation in mind, that I was responding to the mindset of "aesthetics as morals exam." (Also notice the difficulty that His Majesty had in identifying a simple color! Heh!) You've said several times that you disagree with my position that Kamhi tries to sneak in her personal aesthetic limitations (and those of a few others whom she has selected to quote due to their sharing her personal limitations) as the universal limit for all mankind. Unfortunately, you've offered nothing to back up your position. In her latest book, Kamhi begins by citing her own personal lack of response to some abstract sculptures, and then concludes that the sculptures are not art -- because they did not affect her. She also states that certain others feel the same way. That's all that she offers: her personal lack of response, and those of a few whom she has found who share her limitations. If you disagree, then cite what you think she uses as her "objective" method of measuring others' depth of aesthetic response! Please, back up your claims, and identify the means that Kamhi uses if not her personal lack of aesthetic response, and her congregating anecdotal collections of a few others' similar lack of response! Yeah, heh, you have great difficulty with analogies, comparisons, metaphors, etc. You seem to be incapable of grasping that the idea is to compare some aspects of one thing with some aspects of another. Instead, you focus on the ways in which the things are not alike, and then announce that the analogy therefore fails. Apparently your idea of a successful analogy would be to compare a thing only to itself. "A refrigerator is like a refrigerator." That's your type of "analogy." Yeah, you don't get it. The point is actually that a unified understanding IS to be had! See, the idea is for people not to be pigheaded, and egotistically fragile, but to recognize and accept that others might experience what one doesn't! The idea is to not limit yourself to your own personal perspective, but to move beyond your experiences and limitations and explore others' perspectives! More later. I'm busy, as you are, so no rush. J
  15. How gauche and ill-bred of you to say something so crude! J