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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      Major Update to OL (please click to open)   02/09/2016

      Sorry for the inconvenience, but we had to update OL and there have been some serious changes made by IPB. The real bad news is that they had to merge User Names and Display Names. This meant that I had to choose between bad and bad. I opted to keep the log-on information the same, so you can get on OL like you always did, but now your User Name is displayed. If your User Name and Display Name were the same, you will not feel the change. If they were different, you are probably irritated right now. I will figure out how you can change this so you can revert to the Display Name you used before if you like, however this may entail a change in how you log-on. The good news is that OL is now searchable from the very beginning. This means all the old posts from the A-Team in Objectivism (and everybody else) will finally show up when you search for something. I will keep changing this announcement as we adapt to these new changes. It's a pain, I know, but after looking around the backend for a bit, I believe the benefits will far, far outweigh the current irritation. They changed things in a hamhanded way and I don't like that, but I can't do anything about it. Benefit-wise, they actually did a good job, so please bear with us. In addition to this change, many good things are coming over time. You are the reason OL exists and I am sorry you have to go through this. Think of it like birth pangs... (All right, all right, that's forcing it.  ) Michael

George H. Smith

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About George H. Smith

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  • Birthday 02/10/1949

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  • Full Name George H. Smith
  • Description Writer -- author of "Atheism: The Case Against God," "Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies," and "Why Atheism?" My most recent book, "The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism," will be published by Cambridge University Press in April 2013.
  • Articles I write weekly essays on the history of libertarian thought for libertarianism.org (a branch of the Cato Institute). See the index of my essays at: http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc. West Coast Jazz greats, such as Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Shorty Rogers, etc., etc. I have posted numerous music videos on YouTube as smikro1
  • Looking or Not Looking not looking

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  • Website URL http://www.facebook.com/george.h.smith.7
  • ICQ 0

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Bloomington, IL
  • Interests Books, ideas, jazz, chess, and intelligent people
  1. My Cato Essays

    Ayn Rand and the History of Philosophy Smith discusses whether we should hold a philosopher responsible for how other philosophers use his or her ideas. My Libertarianism.org Essay #199 has been posted. Ghs
  2. My Cato Essays

    Immanuel Kant and Nazism Was Kant somehow responsible for the rise of Nazism? Smith explores two points of view on this issue. This essay discusses the views of Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff on Kant. Ghs
  3. Photo upload program (to Michael)

    Michael, Thanks for taking care of this by uploading Marilyn's photo. Ghs
  4. Michael, A little while ago Marilyn tried to upload her photo on her profile page. She called me when she couldn't get it to work, but she was doing everything correctly. The photo wasn't too big, etc. But when she browsed her computer for the photo file and the file name appeared in the space, nothing happened. Later I tried to upload a new photo of myself on my profile page, but that didn't work either. My old photo just stayed in place. So is there some kind of OL software problem here? The process is so simple that I cannot imagine that we made any errors. And I've changed my photo many times in the past with no problem. Ghs
  5. Introducing myself

    I should mention that the theme music in the video I just posted was composed by Roger. (Marilyn and I used that theme in all of our YouTube videos.) Roger sent the music file within a few days after my initial email, and his price was very reasonable--considerably less, actually, than I expected. The music file was ready to use; all I had to do was insert it into the video editor. I am mentioning this in case other OLers plan on making their own videos. To use original music adds class to any video and gives it a more professional feel. So I encourage other potential video makers to ask Roger what he can do for them. His asking price will probably be more affordable than you might think, and he will send the music for your approval, so you won't be stuck with music that you don't care for. Ghs
  6. Introducing myself

    I am posting (possibly reposting) this video so people can view the short introduction by Marilyn. Her laughter will tell you more about her than I could possibly do in words. Around 3 years ago Marilyn did a number of interviews with me on atheism, which we taped for YouTube. Marilyn did terrific introductions for those videos, but one in particular is among my favorites. In the introduction for Part 2 of "Happiness in a Godless World," she flubbed a line and laughed. Although we went on to film the complete introduction free from errors, after reviewing the takes I suggested to Marilyn that we use this outtake. After all, what could be a better introduction to a theory of happiness than spontaneous laughter? Marilyn readily agreed. The interview itself is unimportant for my purpose here (unless you are interested in my discussion of Rand's theory of happiness, beginning at around 8 minutes) Just watch the introduction. Ghs
  7. Introducing myself

    Michael, Okay, I get it now. I read Peter as saying that I would wallop anyone who disagrees with me, including Marilyn if she said something controversial. I obviously wasn't paying close attention. Thanks for setting me straight, and my apologies to Peter. Ghs
  8. Introducing myself

    Why would I want to wallop Marilyn when you are always available as an easy target? But if Marilyn would like to get into some heated exchanges with other OLers, she can get the ball rolling by posting and defending any of the following remarks: I liked Ayn Rand's novels when I was 14, but I grew out of them after I became more mature. A friend told me that Ayn Rand would have enjoyed watching poor people starve to death in the streets. What made her so cruel? Why was Ayn Rand a drug addict? When I asked my philosophy teacher his opinion of Ayn Rand, he said that she was "a fascistic, bat-shit crazy bitch." Does anyone here agree with that? . All the fans of Ayn Rand that I've ever met are emotionally repressed cultists and control freaks with no sense of humor. What makes you people like that? I watched Ayn Rand yesterday on a YouTube video. She was obviously a lesbian dominatrix. Did she ever talk about that part of her life? Ghs
  9. Any fans of "pro-life" music out there? :-)

    I suspect that your waddle looks to many people like a determined and purposeful sprint. Herbert Spencer sometimes condemned himself for his "indolence." Yet his published works easily fill an entire bookshelf. I also view myself as a fundamentally indolent person. If I had been a trust baby and didn't need to work, I may never have published anything. As it is, I can only prod myself to work by getting myself interested in a topic. I cannot write, or at least not write anything worth reading, unless I can throw myself heart and soul into what I am writing about. Thus does my "rational hedonism" govern even my work. Marilyn can testify to all this. Early each week she asks how my next L.org essay is going. And on more one occasion I have replied that I haven't been able to begin the writing yet--not because I don't know enough about the topic (that is almost never a problem) but because I haven't been able to "immerse" myself in the subject matter yet. It's a little difficult to explain exactly what I mean by "immerse," but anyone who undertakes creative projects in any field will probably be able to identify with my statement. I sometimes think of my weekly essays as the written equivalent of an improvised jazz solo. I follow a basic chord structure, write quickly and spontaneously, and then hope the outcome doesn't stink up the place. Ghs
  10. Introducing myself

    Michael, Since you won't be paying me, I think I should have the choice of the currency in which I'm not paid. But I would be willing to agree on a gift certificate from Amazon. That way, when I don't get the Amazon credit, I won't be able to buy books that I like. Deal? I am suggesting this arrangement because Marilyn is very sharp in financial matters, and I want to impress her. Ghs
  11. Introducing myself

    Michael, Yes, Triton Community College is a real school with real students. Marilyn took me on a tour of the campus not long ago; it is a lovely place. Marilyn has developed some interesting ideas about how to deal with difficult students, and some of her stories are quite funny. Perhaps someone can persuade her to share her thoughts on this and other matters relating to education. About my fee: I insist on American dollars. If I am not going to get paid for something, I prefer not to get paid in something that has value. That way, I can dream of the things I won't able to buy. Ghs
  12. Introducing myself

    Michael, I don't think Marilyn will need a chainsaw. She is an excellent writer, skilled in the art of zingers, and can employ her acid wit, when needed. Marilyn has put me in my place more than once. And if she can back me down, I doubt if she will have a problem with anyone else on this list. 8-) Ghs
  13. Introducing myself

    It will take a while for Marilyn to understand your sense of humor, but I already warned her about that. 8-) Ghs
  14. Introducing myself

    Marilyn, I'm glad that you took my advice and joined OL. You will be a welcome addition to this gathering of heretical Objectivists, philosophical mavericks, and social nonconformists. I have belonged to many e-lists and online forums over the past 15 years, and I regard OL as the gold standard for serious intellectuals, writers, and troublemakers. Note to Michael: What about your standing offer to pay $500 to anyone who can get a woman to join OL? I have done my part, so when do I get paid? ​ ​ Ghs
  15. Any fans of "pro-life" music out there? :-)

    Or maybe O'ists were only given permission to enjoy truly crappy jazz. 8-) Under what conditions do you suppose that Roger would be invited to perform at a function of the Ayn Rand Institute? None that I can think of, unless he first publicly confessed and recanted his heresies, and begged the forgiveness of whomever has that kind of power nowadays at ARI.. After this cleansing of Roger's psycho-epistemological soul, ARI would probably conclude that Roger's musicianship had improved considerably, even measuring up to the standards set by the Andrew Lewis Trio, so then, but only then, they might invite him to perform before a gathering of the Saints. 8-) Ghs