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    gerald starnes
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  1. Why did Ayn Rand quit smoking?

    ^nice way of looking at it. also, if you've 'beaten' things i presume you've been at points where you know what i mean when i say that, despite not being able to see oneself w/o <chemical here>, one knows their 'sense of life' is off and cannot be optimized while physically and/or psychologically dependent. /objectivists usually do a decent job of understanding the biochemical and behavioral aspects of addiction from what i've seen.
  2. plz help me find this quote!!

    Ha! was sitting on my couch w/ the lexicon just pouring through, didn't think you guys'd be *that* quick! thank you and happy festivus! /edit: am doubly embarrassed, as rearden's contemplation while ferris yaps is about the most poetic in the book IMO, just literary gold! Have probably read those pages at least 30+ times
  3. plz help me find this quote!!

    It's to the effect of "this battle must/needs to be fought with clean hands, because the enemy's power is in (guilt?)" i'm unsure if it's galt's speech, virtue of selfishness, or something else. am going blind tearing through my books, pdf's, and google, all to no avail. it was in the context of things like "no unconcerned/neutral parties in such a struggle" if i'm recalling correctly. god this is driving me crazy, but am imagining someone here can save the day!
  4. Why did Ayn Rand quit smoking?

    [baal- congratulations i noticed something kind of similar: about 3mo ago I had a resting rate of mid90's, almost scary-territory. I began a heavy reduction(haven't conquered it fully yet) and started training for triathlons, and now have a resting rate of low/mid70's and feel better than i have since college] JT- is that verbatim from rand? I dislike saying that rationalization is inherently an irrational application of reason, it isn't cut/dry like that. Can one not rationalize something properly?
  5. Why did Ayn Rand quit smoking?

    what do you mean it's not known when she quit, didn't someone just say she quit right after her diagnosis? (and did you write that or just post w/o sourcing? good read regardless) /puts cigarette out, eyes the nico patches on the table :/ goddamnit.. //need this bb bio
  6. Why did Ayn Rand quit smoking?

    well, surely stress can exacerbate cancer, and repression can lead to stress (i know i know, am kinda kiddin ;p ) what is this "BB" autobio you refer to? Am reading "goddess of the market" right now but don't think it's that. Lol, the irony of having half of my rand collection obtained via torrents :PP
  7. Why did Ayn Rand quit smoking?

    that benefit of hte doubt doesn't really absolve her from trying to 'fake reality' by hoping knowledge of her cessation not be disseminated.
  8. Why did Ayn Rand quit smoking?

    Just because she "wasn't impressed" by statistics or doctors' advice doesn't mean they didn't factor into her decision to quit. What I see here is that she smoked, saw the dr., then quit. This sequence of events shows her quitting as being catalyzed by this event, or being coincidental - i think we'd agree on the former, no? Further, as was alluded to with "100.0% rationality", it's silly to presume that her decision to quit was rooted solely in a concise, explanable reason - some combination of rational faculty and survival instinct* caused her to quit, and to argue that the dr. visit wasn't the catalyst is foolish. (*ya ya there's no "instincts"- she's wrong on that one) and re her quitting and not wanting to trumpet her decision, that fits incredibly well with what others have suggested insofar as her almost inability to admit being wrong, or to ever allow any hints that she could be anything but 100.0% rational (not fully OT but i think that's the crux of why her final years in life sucked so badly) Would've been nice if she were born into an age where smoking (and amphetamine over-usage) were understood a little better :\
  9. Why did Ayn Rand quit smoking?

    What are you looking to know here? Whether or not she thought smoking was the cause, or whether it would just hinder recovery (or exacerbate a cancer rooted in something else), it's pretty obvious that her lungs, and the effects of smoking upon them, were the catalyst for her cessation. "There is probably nothing in terms of lifestyle that by itself absolutely guarantees cancer." Maybe not 100.0% (though Marie Curie may disagree were she able to). If only 99.99999% can be acknowledged, does that make much difference in practice? /addiction is not "a denial of free will" //yes, it's unlikely that 100.0000% rational ppl do not, and cannot, exist. Well, "cannot" is too strong- despite it being possible in a strict sense, it's unlikeliness makes it appropriate to only consider how close someone can come to it.
  10. Landscaping & gardening

    you're probably joking, but if not- there's no proper place for recreational spaces or communal areas in low-rent, gov-sponsored housing. don't confuse what he did for a strictly budget-conscious project as some kind of ruler for his raw aesthetic talents.
  11. Addiction posts from Atlantis

    I see little point to being complete in this post, but a handful of things have to be said. Firstly, when discussing drug use and abuse, it would benefit the layperson to understand that dependence, tolerance, addiction, cravings, etc are different words with different meanings (the new DSM in a few years should, hopefully, clarify a bit of this confusion to the professionals) Secondly, opioid cessation (if not properly managed) will result in both physical and physiological symptoms. This is not psychosomatic, nor is it up for debate (also, for cocaine, withdrawal symptomology is almost entirely psychological, with little physical. In no way does that mean there is no withdrawal to cocaine) Thirdly, perceived intensity of withdrawal varies substantially from person to person. This has almost nothing to do with 'expectations' of the withdrawal, as Jeff claims, but rather is dependent upon "how life is going"/"mental outlook"/etc. I like how Bill brings up the idea of medicalizing things that should've been kind of obvious (though I think my analysis of what that means is probably the opposite of what he does). If drugs were the only things you really got out of life, addiction will be harder to break for you than for someone with a 'healthier' life (and it doesn't really help that, in modern western society, being a "drug addict" generally comes with inherent social setbacks that are wholly independent of anything related to physiology) For an *incredibly* fascinating little look at this aspect of addiction, see the "Rat Park" study (tl;dr: Rats conditioned to cocaine while in cramped cages will select water over cocaine once introducted into a "healthy" social/life environment, which they created as a 'rat park' where the rats could live 'normally' as opposed to cramped cages. Also, the rats that were never in tight cages and had always lived cocaine-free in rat park, were uninterested in the cocaine once the addicted rats and the cocaine were introduced!!!!!!!!) Jeff- Wow, I really like your "recommendations" on drugs! I'm pretty much the same, in that psychedelics are the only thing I believe a person truly "misses" through abstinence. I'm downloading (legally, right?) doors of perception right now, but...did you know that your "education should involve a couple Trips" idea is actually a part of another book of his (99% sure), "The Island"? Fantastic book, and quite short, but "Moksha Medicine" (some kind of fictional phen/trypt-type psychedelic) ceremonies were part of the youth's education. I'll put my trolling hat on for the following: Objectivism is an amazing topic to ponder(for lack of a more appropriate word to describe thought processes while tripping) on psychedelics. In fact the last time I tripped I ended up reading Rand (probably atlas) for many hours of the trip, well actually the entire time after 'peaking' was over and i could actually read from a book.
  12. Objectivism and Recreational drug usage

    "addiction robs a person's freedom" Interesting thought for sure, but it's not robbing any "freedoms", as we use the word. I'm sorry that you won't go into it now - hoping you change your mind ;). This is a 'problem' i was thinking about though - do narcotics rob free will through their effects on the brain (particularly reward pathways)? Can your free will be 'taken' by something that you willingly consumed? Once addicted to narcotics a person is inherently changed, no doubts about that, but at what stage was their freedom taken?(presuming they could have been reasonably informed of such risks beforehand) At some point drugs almost have to be regulated; laissez faire, applied to narcotics, would have immense implications. Regardless of any ethical judgment, the impacts on health/culture/etc would be immense. If a free* drug market is a death sentence to a society, then gov control IS necessary- we must be protected from ourselves, right? But, the gov is decreasingly able to 'fight' drugs, and they're universally becoming more available / more potent / cheaper - nothing can or will stop that (perhaps evidence that the focus of "drug control" needs radical overhaul, if not for an ethical, then a practical, reason?) [*a free drug market, where peopleadults can grab hard drugs with the ease they currently get booze/cigs...freer actually, since both of those are quite regulated.] thank you for the link, will check that out (WOW is that a mess of a page!! Am about halfway on it lol, good stuff) /"used speed as a recreational drug when she created Howard Roark" I'd like to think her usage of amphetamines while creating roark was higher than just "recreational". //but surely anyone who uses speed productively, also uses it recreationally
  13. Objectivism and Recreational drug usage

    and here you are, posting on a board about a philosophy that was developed by an amphetamine-inspired mind. ironic eh? ALL drugs, whether meth or booze, can be used in destructively stupid manners. I'll definitely give you that meth lends itself to destructive stupidity much better than alcohol (which does so much better than pot) - do the negative potentials of specific drugs influence your thoughts on the rights of man to consume them?
  14. Objectivism and Recreational drug usage

    I am NOT TROLLING!! Very sorry for any impressions to the contrary!! 1, jts's reply pretty much sums up the specific case of meth. 2. You need to differentiate Objectivism from Libertarianism. Even if the extraordinary physical degradation from methamphetamine were not a consequence, an Objectivist holds their mind as a primary value. Any consequential diminuition of health, especially mental health, is not "allowed" by Objectivism, any more than would be cutting off a finger for the rush. 3. That said, your own happiness is your highest value. Rand's novels portray otherwise rational people drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. The specifics aside, metaphysically, it is known that many pleasurable food-like and organically-derived materials are available, for instance, vitamins. I feel good when I take them. (Niacin gives you a heat flash.) Are they a "recreational" drug? Runners in particular, but those who exercise generally, also report feeling euphoric, which is associated with the release of endorphins. Is exercise a "drug"? Can you become "addicted" to it? Those are (perhaps intriguing) medical questions, but on the philosophical level, if what you do does not harm you and leaves you feeling good, then you should not refrain from it. ... but that goes back to Aristotle, does it not? 4. In terms of mild drugs with mild - though undeniable - affect such as alcohol and tobacco (or marijuana for the Libertarians), the old joke come to mind. The man asks his doctor how to live longer. "Give up smoking, drinking, and sex," the MD says. The man asks, "Will I live to be 100?" The doctor replies, "No, but it will seem like it." The point is that we all have a finite time to live and how you enjoy it is your business, given, again, as above, that you pursue your own best interests according to reason as informed by reality. 4a. A cogent scene in The Fountainhead contrasts Howard Roark admiring his achievement at Monandack Valley while a car full of kids loud, raucous, with nothing in mind but the immediate present zooms past. For a rational person, achievement via the mind, is a high value. Roark's having a beer with Mike Donnegan in a speakeasy is far removed from falling into alcoholism - as Henry Cameron finally did - which would leave him supremely unproductive. 1. I used meth as an example because it would evoke such imagery. I'm presuming then that the substance's effects DO have implications for "okay / not"? I guess I view the negative side effects as of relatively little/no consequence when determining rights. 2. While I am interested in the more "superficial" legality/rights aspect, this is kind of what I was hoping to touch upon. The mind is a primary value, and I agree - HOWEVER, in many circumstances, drugs do not degrade, but ENHANCE, the mind. Whether it's steroids in sports, acid for enlightenment, or simply caffeine for productiveness(or methamphetamine/amphetamine in rand's case), drugs absolutely are NOT automatically a negative (they're not automatically anything, they're tools which, clearly, are misused far more than not). So, I'll give you that being a junky is, w/o doubt, contrary to objectivist principles. However, I hold(lol) that objectivism does not demand abstinence. 3. This is what i was hoping to get at. Drugs as "an end", of sorts, if I'm saying that correctly. Whether it is using acid for recreation (an end), or amphetamines for productivity (means), drugs are not automatically in conflict with objectivist ideology (and note that I'm talking drug *consumption*. Drug *production*/distribution, on the other hand, are clearly NOT in conflict with objectivist ideology, provided they're carried out strictly laissez faire. 4. Good point - although I cannot understand how people continue to consider alcohol a "soft drug" when it really isn't. I will get back to more points later this afternoon, I just wanted to get something in here so it would't seem I dropped this thread just to mess with ppl/troll lol.
  15. OMG i'm trying to find that thread right now, had forgot to set replies/notifications to email alerts.... and narcotics/porn(and prostitution) go hand-in-hand. will elaborate in other thread hopefully ;)