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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/22/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Sad life? One that is someone else's fault? If only they would get out of your way... But, alas, you are doomed to constant punishment for virtues lesser souls can't even dream about as you rant, "The bastards! The bastards! The bastards!" in impotent solitude... (How am I doing so far? I can do this with my hands tied behind my back because I've been there. Never produced a goddam thing when I was in that state. Heroism is not only fighting others, it's fighting your own self-destructive urges that are seasoned with self-pity and a growing taste for laziness--and actually producing something. That's not psychobabble. Suicide is a dangerous idea to cultivate. It eventually transmutes on its own from idea to reality. It starts with a shrug...) Reality is wonderful, even with idiots in it. Brush them aside and build. Besides, how can you win a world you haven't produced? What have you actually won by pretending? A feeling? You can't lose what you don't have. Most of all, stop looking down at others. Paraphrasing Nietzsche, when you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back into your soul. You become what you gaze upon. Michael
  2. 2 points
    Heh. That's a "TANTRUM"? And that's a "real" interviewer with "difficult" questions? Mr. Shapiro, I've selectively misinterpreted some fragments of your past statements to mean what I want them to mean. I gotcha. Defend yourself against my accusations. Pro Boss Real Interviewer right there. Is he the male Cathy Newman? J
  3. 2 points
    I haven't looked at the article yet, but the statement made in the title strikes me right off as false. The globalist elitists are parasitical. They require people who aren't like them to feed on. Consider a comparison to thieves. If everyone were a thief, who would be producing the goods for thieves to rob? Ellen
  4. 2 points
    Brant, Yes they do. That's what you are not seeing. They are using the Matt Drudge model of journalism: presenting headlines of news articles in a certain order and including only those that tweak their agenda. Notice that Drudge shows predominantly pro-progressive headlines one day, headlines that are chosen to get people riled up (threats, offensive things, etc.), then he presents the conservative knockout headlines the next day, including lots of headlines that put conservatives on the moral high ground. That's just one form of doing that. The tech giants learned it and added a gazillion others, especially through micro-targeting. Take a good look at their news feeds some day. Or the items they say are "trending." Or take a look at the same ads that keep showing up everywhere you go on the Internet. This is called "retargeting" and is mostly commercial stuff, but pay attention to the political things. You will see mostly easily debunked fringe things when conservative issues show up in these retargeted ads, and plenty of uplifting-like message ads from Dem establishment people like Kamala Harris. btw - Just for people to know, retargeting happens when a pixel of an image is placed on your harddrive with instructions embedded in it. You don't give permission for the pixel to be placed there. It just happens when you visit certain sites and interact with something on them. My joy and hope stem from the current stupidity of the social media giants. Instead of keeping to their covert stuff, they have gone full-on authoritarian and think they will persuade by persecuting certain individuals at a cartel level (notice Alex Jones was eliminated from a bunch of places all within the same 24 hour period). You can do that and be persuasive in a dictatorship where people will show up in the middle of the night, drag your ass out of bed and either put you in a political prison or kill you. You persuade thus by fear. But when you do that to Americans, they get really pissed and some strange alliances pop up to stand up to the bullies. Look at this authoritarian urge showing its ugly face with the midnight raid on Roger Stone by a large number of law enforcement people armed to the teeth. The fake news media was right there covering it all in real time. And the news feeds showed nothing but that for a time. They want nightime arrests of political opponents. They want their political opponents silenced and punished by the state with jail or worse. They salivate at the image and take joy in it. These people are enemies of individual rights, not victims of the state when they are restricted from doing harm to the individuals they wish to target for political differences. This is the press, you say? Not social media? The truth is, they are in bed with social media giants right now, sharing the same advertising sponsors. That is their leverage. Social media giants and the fake news media know what each other is doing. They are colluding. Michael
  5. 2 points
    Brant. It is exactly the contrary. There is a lot under the hood and I think you don't believe much in it because it's new and you aren't familiar with the extents and proofs. Look at it this way for just one angle. The NYT is constantly struggling to stay alive financially. And without Bezos, WaPo would have folded. The amount of money these companies generate and need to operate is very small compared to the financial world of the social media giants. It's the elephant and mouse thing. What's worse, but more of an indication of the influence of these giant Internet companies, they made their billions and billions in the last ten years or so from practically nothing. That's not much time at all. Besides, neither NYT nor WaPo convince anyone of anything these days. They don't change hearts and minds. They sing to a small diminishing (but loyal) choir while resting on their reputations from years past. The social media giants are based on behavioral science at the root. Once you learn what they do, how they do it, and see the results according to split testing, you really get creeped out. (Look up growth hacking sometime if you are curious.) The only reason traditional media is still relevant financially is because of old connections with old advertising models. Once the ad world wakes up, they will leave traditional media and chase bigger payoffs for their clients elsewhere. This is already starting to happen. I could go into a lot of detail, but I don't have time. I believe Obama started the deep corruption of the tech giants. He (and his COBS people) helped them engineer the Arab Spring and they began to believe they could partner with political power to topple dictatorships and remold the world. These are nerds and that kind of power went to their heads. Once tasted, that kind of power is more addictive to nerds than their algorithms. Obama also put lots of his folks into Google while putting lots of Google folks into the government. I could go on and on about all this. Michael
  6. 2 points
    Brant, Nah... Ignoring the problem--and what caused it--is the back door to fascism. Principles operate in contexts. For example, the principle of private property was practically useless when the Titanic was sinking. As were all the principles of good seamanship. And those are great principles. The problem was the ship was going down. Once there are no people and no ship, principles mean what? Nothing, that's what. Would you have fought the different Communist takeovers of the different countries last century with syllogisms and principles? Many people did and look what it got them. What about that big pile of bodies, millions and millions of them, from Communist purges? Do dead people use syllogisms? In today's world, allowing government protected communication cartels to skew the next election toward an authoritarian elite because of a principle that doesn't work with government protected cartels is playing with that kind of fire and, frankly, it is a foolish way to enforce individual rights against a hightech cartel (one that is protected by the government) that is starting to run amok. Go on and let fascists win by cheating, then see how they act. Hell, just look what they did when they didn't win by cheating. For over two years they tried to ram a big fat lie down the public's throat that could have started WWIII had it worked and grown in the wrong direction, and they misused the intelligence forces and legal system to do it. (Not to mention all that blackmail due to pedophilia and other misbehavior of powerful insiders). In other words, we will not drift into fascism by recognizing a commons where private Internet companies can operate, but includes the protection of individual rights on that commons. The current social media giants are already practicing fascism there. Most people don't realize how much money and resources they received from the government and the extent of the secret contracts they have with the government, including massive surveillance contracts, facial recognition contracts, and so on. There is another issue. These Internet companies want to have the legal protections of private platforms, but want to act like publishers in operating their platforms. You see, publishers can choose the slant of their content. They can choose who they publish or not. But they are also legally liable for what they publish. Platforms are not legally liable for what is published on them. They want the powers of publishers, but the legal situation of platforms. This is a question of the law not catching up to technology while mixing in a lot of government money and legal cartel-oriented protections. Note: these companies are not de facto private companies. They have the shells of private companies, but they have the substance of something more like the Federal Reserve. They are intertwined with the government on many, many different levels. And now they are going fascistic. This problem of fascism is not something in the future to avoid. It is something in the present and we have to deal with it now, especially since it is still at a size we can deal with it. After it grows to a tipping point, we will no longer be able to deal with it through peace and law. Look at what they are doing--what they are doing right now and right here--and see if growth of that to a dictatorship by technocrats that will have no use for individual rights can be ignored. I, for one, have no intention to ignore it while cautioning about virtual back doors. I mean, who needs to worry about a back door when the fascists have already come in through the front door? Michael
  7. 1 point
    I'm sure you did clarify. However, since I've slept many times over since 2014, and I haven't worked in agriculture in 3 years, I have no basis on which to continue debate. :-)
  8. 1 point
    Re Conspiracy Theories and Conspiracy Theorists, as the title says: Yup: I've been thinking about writing songs again. These days, I've been thinking about the title of my first in a long time. How about this? I Wanna Be Big Brother Michael
  9. 1 point
    Brant, Actually, an idea like this starts in places like OL where it is discussed and hashed out. Once someone prominent gets wind of it, it grows. If it is framed in a form that hits the cultural zeitgeist correctly, it starts becoming a real thing. After that, it's just a matter of fighting it through the legal structure. Think of this. Even one year ago, would you have imagined that entire states would outlaw abortion--signed into law? The idea to do that started somewhere. That somewhere was small places like churches, forums and so on. I have no illusions my formulation will happen just because I say so. I have a big head, but not that big. But working out the idea is productive. Once it is honed, it can be shopped around to people with large audiences. In the age of the Internet, all it needs is one such person to get things rolling. Michael
  10. 1 point
    Actor who accused Spielberg found dead. https://thefederalistpapers.org/opinion/actor-accused-spielberg-colbert-pedophilia-found-dead
  11. 1 point
    With all due respect, bullshit. The reality is you were born at the exact right time to be here now. I get you that the world is awful at times and people are a mess. But if you wallow in defeatism because of them, who won? You? Hell no. Snap out of that shit. You have a world to win. Or feel sorry for yourself and leave it to them. Your choice and your life. You won't get another so you can change your mind after it's gone. If you don't value yourself, nobody else will except those who pity you. Michael
  12. 1 point
    Monsanto is getting its ass kicked so hard that they gotta clear their throat to fart. https://www.brighteon.com/603709449100
  13. 1 point
    Besides, how loony do people have to be to think they can give standing ovations for "post birth abortions" without a backlash? Michael
  14. 1 point
    William, Maybe that they are evil? Unspeakable? Immoral? And so on? Then nothing, of course, would happen. Just like mocking these people, pretending they don't exist, and showing up only during election-time to cheat them into candidates and positions that they don't really support will not change their minds. Let's turn this around. What do you say? Do you complain? I know you don't respect these people. Do you expect respect from them? How? Why? Just because? Or is just cheating and coercing them--when you (or people who agree with your ideas) can get away with it--enough for you? After all, they are subhumans in your view, right? Here's some practical advice. If you ever need an abortion one day, don't try to get it in Alabama. Michael
  15. 1 point
    What a joy to listen to Roseanne now that the dust has settled. She thinks there is going to be a paradigm shift in Hollywood after some of the elites who created the anti-Trump hoaxes land in jail. And she says that with a lot of pent up satisfaction. I think she's right and I hope she enjoys every moment of schadenfreude that emerges in her soul when it happens. I loved her comment to Lionel when he asked her about the Democrat candidates as he rattled of the twenty-something names. He asked her what they had in common, what was their common platform for the Democratic party... Immediately and without blinking she said: "We hate Jews who love Israel." Dayaamm! Boy, did that nail it. Every goddam one of those candidates show signs of that. She has even eschewed the term socialism. She said what they are doing now in the culture has nothing to do with what she meant before by that word, which was basically not letting anyone go hungry and live in the streets of America. (My comment: Back when she was touting her working class leftism, you could hardly find any people like that. Now they are common in America's cities. Thanks Obama & Co.) She said President Trump is doing a lot of what she wanted done. One last one. When she was in a wheelchair, she said they would not let her smoke in some building or other, not even with the window open. Lots of tut-tut-tutting about their morally superior position. But when she went out on the street, she had to navigate around human feces. Michael
  16. 1 point
    I just read it, but want to reread it before I comment. It's a great essay. But first some housecleaning. This first appeared in David Horowitz's Frontpage Magazine: THE BRAINWASHING OF A NATION More comments coming. Michael
  17. 1 point
    Tony, I think you're perceptive and eloquent about "globalism" as a religion and the way it works "[quoting you] collectively in the mass of minds." But I think that you miss something about the instigating role of persons whom Michael and Jon and I call "global elitists." Those persons aren't just responding to popular desire as it were in order to take advantage of it. They're cynically manipulating in order to produce the mass phenomenon. They aren't themselves actually believers in the religion they're fomenting. Brandon Smith, whose articles Jon featured in starting this thread, thinks that the ringleader elitists subscribe to their own "Luciferian" religion. I'm doubtful about specifics of Smith's views. My current belief is that the history behind today's global elitists hasn't been so organized and unified an effort as he thinks it was. However, there has been an occult history which has laid groundwork for the machinations of today's international-power-seeking elitists. Ellen
  18. 1 point
    Kneel before Zod! Everything? No, they haven't yet tied in the Freemasons, the Elders of Zion, or most vitally, the Knights Templar. It's "a fundamental axiom: The Templars have something to do with everything." See Foucault's Pendulum, chapter 65.
  19. 1 point
    One does not even need any math to resolve the paradox (explain the apparent contradiction). It was resolved at the beginning. It only takes a little thought and a discovery of the fallacious assumptions in the statement of the "contradiction." One can state things in mathematical terms afterwards, but that is not necessary. The thread is useful only in showing how screwed-up a mind can be, and still seem brilliant (and perhaps be such, in certain quite limited aspects).
  20. 1 point
    So, you're saying you love Hitler? J
  21. 1 point
    William, This is the danger of legislating from the court, even the Supreme Court. Roe vs. Wade is a legal abomination. Abortion aficionados would be well advised to spend some quality time learning how law is made in the USA. Then do that instead of trying to cheat all the time. For the understanding challenged, this means pass a bill in both chambers of Congress and have the President sign it into law. Obama had this in his hands and could have done it with the snap of a finger, but he and his people were too arrogant to even consider it. The result? I guess abortion aficionados will have to develop a taste for hoisted hair. Either that or stage a coup, install a dictatorship and change the nature of the US government. Michael
  22. 1 point
    About a year ago, on May 22, 2018, Q asked Who is Ed O’Callahan? Then Q wrote "Acting" 1439 Q!CbboFOtcZs22 May 2018 - 3:29:23 PM UNITY NOT DIVISION. Last post was simply for IDEN_reconf. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/22/fbi-doj-to-brief-lawmakers-on-handling-russia-probe-on-thursday.html📁 Who is missing from the scheduled meeting? [RR] Who is Ed O’Callahan? "Acting" [Ed] DECLAS_ Pain. Enjoy the show. Q Today, AG Barr announced his new Acting Deputy Attorney General, Edward O'Callaghan.
  23. 1 point
    I don't think they, for the most part, see themselves as "monstrous" so they aren't afraid of being seen as such. They simply don't want to be challenged. Then they go nutzo. But what they are fighting is basically human biology. Ironically they aren't even addressing ten percent of the world's population. It's Western Civilization they are after, which is a runabout way of trying to overcome human biology. They can only win battles. They can't win--they won't win--the war. The more they are exposed the weaker they'll become as the "sanction of the victim" is withdrawn. --Brant not to fight evil is to sanction it
  24. 1 point
    Jon, I've read the Brandon Smith article now, and I think you're right in your understanding of his meaning. Interestingly - re my calling global elitists "parasites" - he says in the third paragraph: He refers to their parasitism a number of other times also. What he's talking about as their "ultimate goal" is a goal which he recognizes they couldn't achieve but which they aim toward so as to make life safer for them. Some excerpts: Ellen
  25. 1 point
    The establishment never learns with President Trump. They always worry about him not accepting the results of an election. Notice, he never questions his opponents if they will accept the results of an election. And you know why? The only people who needlessly worry about this are the people who intend to cheat. They want to make sure they can get away with it. Let's start back in August 2015. Does anybody remember this beauty? Go to 8:10 for the question from Brett Baier. I don't think Brett was scared, I think he was just asking what the Fox brass wanted him to ask. But you could feel the fear from the establishment cronies like something thick and murky in the air at the time. Brett asked Trump if he did not win the primary, would he accept the result and not run as a third party. This concern was running nonstop in the mainstream fake news media at the time (although it was not yet called the fake news media). Giving that question to Trump in that setting was like giving a banana to a monkey. He immediately peeled it and happily started chomping on it as he led the press around by the nose with his little finger. Notice that Megyn Kelly was lying in way to ambush Trump asking him if he was a misogynist. Which she did soon after Brett's banana. And what did Trump do? Oh boy, another banana. He peeled that one, too, started chomping, and even had Megyn slip on the peel and fall on her ass. Why were the establishment people worried? Somebody in the establishment wanted to cheat and they needed Trump to graciously accede to sanction of the victim so they could get rid of him. They worried his public support would not die out without him agreeing to sanction his destroyer-wannabes by withdrawing. That's what cheaters do. That's what cheaters worry about. Incidentally, Trump didn't indent to cheat. So he wasn't worried about who or what others would accept. Then he won and the establishment did everything in their power to keep him from the nomination. Remember the delegate monkeyshines? But he got nominated. Then came the 2016 election. The Dems, with the collusion of the establishment never-Trump Republicans, had already cheated both for Clinton (screwing Bernie and running a sham investigation on Clinton's criminal acts) and against Trump (the Deep State was in full covert operations feather at the time). Around October 2016, the fake news media was running nothing but stories on whether Trump would accept the election results since they had tried to corner him on it in the Presidential debates and he peeled the banana again. Both Dems and establishment Republicans were worried. For example: GOP Slams Trump: Not Accepting Election Results Would Be 'Beyond the Pale' Pretty, ain't it? Well, guess where we are at again? From the NYT three days ago. Pelosi Warns Democrats: Stay in the Center or Trump May Contest Election Results I get it that Pelosi is trying to get a handle on the ultra-left dingbats in her party, so she tries to scare them with a boogie man story, but now all you see in the fake news media is speculation about whether Trump will accept the 2020 election results. And, of course, most of the speculation is that he will not. It's the same sorry-ass stunt as the other times. Hmmmm... I wonder who's intending to cheat again and worried that their cheating won't work again, huh? It ain't Trump, that's for sure. He doesn't cheat. They do. But, hell, I think the Dems and the establishment need to keep on doing what they are doing. I learned in AA and NA that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result was the definition of insanity. Most of the time, people don't notice this insanity. But now, after a two year silly hoax pile-on by the Dems and the establishment, the Deep State, and about 90% of the fake news media, everybody sees it. They're nuts. Bonkers. Daft. So carry on, I say. Let's see how that form of insanity plays out at voting time. Michael
  26. 1 point
    No, from Saudi Arabia. He had you, though, didn’t he? How long have you thought that? Didn’t make all those billions in oil, either, so how did he make all those billions? Who Owns The New York Times? Who Is Carlos Slim? Is he 'from Saudi Arabia,' or are the two discussants above thinking of someone else?
  27. 1 point
    Sorry, but this is a back door to fascism. Let things work out naturally. Conservative haste makes freedom waste. --Brant
  28. 1 point
    No sooner than I say something like this, I run across it in the media. First, where I got the article from. I just now, at this very moment, watched the following video by Tim Pool. Incidentally, I am quickly becoming a huge fan of Tim's. He mentioned this article by Will Chamberlain. Platform Access Is A Civil Right. From the article (my bold): I left out the smart-ass ending of the last two sentences because, as a rhetorical device, it works, but cognitively, it's misleading. (For the record, here is what was written: "Conservative objections to this plan are “peacetime” objections. And we are not at peace.") The last sentence in the quote means "they can" not in the sense that might makes right, but, using the context of the article, it means that some states are politically constituted that this legislation is viable, while in the federal government, it isn't just yet. As to the part I bolded, the idea is that since the federal government paid for a huge chuck of of these platforms and a commons in the hands of a few giant companies developed as a result, the "public domain" concept comes in. Notice, this is not the same as a private company doing the whole thing as would happen under a laissez-faire system. This is a de facto public-private partnership where the law has not yet caught up with the technology. Normally, when the federal government pays for something, the product goes into the public domain or the public has access to it (unless there are public safety concerns like with classified documents). That the government paid for these companies, but still allows them to exist as private, is reward enough to compensate their own initiatives. That said, they should not be allowed to take money by force from people they refuse to serve (i.e., taxpayers). And since they did--and still do--take that money, they need to provide public access to their platforms as a civil right. Under this thinking, they still have the right to moderate and ban users, but only as concerns legal and illegal activity. Not political agenda, religion or anything else protected under the First Amendment. Michael
  29. 1 point
    Products of entrenched crony–statism are not private companies, they are products of entrenched crony–statism. A return to freedom necessarily involves the destruction of the propaganda monopolies created and controlled by the crony statists for their retention of power.
  30. 1 point
    President Trump just weighed in on the recent bans of conservatives on social media, especially Facebook. (I wonder what Farrakhan thinks about being the Token Black among that group? ) Good. President Trump needs to kick their asses hard. In our neck of the woods, the immediate kneejerk is that these social media giants are private companies and the government has no business telling them how to run their businesses. However, ALL of the tech giants enjoy--and have enjoyed--massive injections of government money, both in exclusive contracts and outright subsidies. That means taxpayers fund these things, at least in a significant part. So it is unreasonable--and probably illegal in the hands of a good attorney--to ban people from platforms they themselves helped to fund--and still fund--on the basis of their ideologies and religions. If people in O-Land and l-land want to use the "private companies" argument, it would be a good idea if they talked about actual private companies, not elitist crony corporations actively setting up a government-protected cartel and busting their asses to influence elections through covertly manipulating their users and banning voices they disagree with politically. If they don't want the government involved, then they should not take government money in such massive amounts. The "private companies" principle really dilutes as a principle when it is used to defend elitist government cronies over the citizens who are forced to pay for them through taxes. Michael
  31. 1 point
    Someone left that cake out in the rain. I don't know if I can take it, it took so long to bake it and I'll never have the recipe again... oh no......
  32. 1 point
    Maslow’s theory of motivation claims that first motivators are physiological factors like food, shelter, etc., after that safety factors like rule of law and insurance(protection in general), then meaningful social relationships, then social status and reputation, and finally an individual’s need to find himself or herself. The final one being self-actualization. From OEFO perspective, not a chosen few, but all adults are or should be motivated by self-actualization (OEFO refers to my book “Organizational Ethics from Objectivism”, from which the snippet is taken). The Central Purpose of Life (CPL) in Objectivist Ethics is quite similar to the concept of self-actualization. Other needs in Maslow’s model, ranging from physiological, safety-related, social, and emotional should be inferred and adjusted based on the CPL. For example, a CEO of an organizations will need a bigger social circle than a scientist(generally speaking), since the latter focuses more on in-depth study, and the former more on collaborative actions for building products and services. Safety is a negative factor and should not be the primary motivation. E.g., retiring early without having any clear CPL is not right. Also, the emotional part of the self should be fuelled using art or sports, such that one is sufficiently motivated to move towards their CPL. The same criteria is true for personal and other relationships. The contribution of each relationship towards the CPL should be evaluated. True, there are adults who have very destructive CPLs. Communism in Soviet Russia and elsewhere, Socialism in Nazi Germany, or many Socialist intellectuals and politicians of the Indian Left are a few of the examples of those having destructive CPLs. Also, among millennials, the non-productive purpose of enjoying as an ultimate end is popular. However, this too is not right as a Central Virtue, because it’s not derived from the Virtue of Productivity: The creation of products and services as a priority. These CPLs can be contrasted from the CPLs of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates 1.0, the founding fathers of America, Walt Disney, Narendra Modi, etc. Overall, irrespective of the value or the disvalue of CPL, the fact remains that humans are, or should be motivated by purpose.
  33. 1 point
    Whew is right! And it's settled science since it comes from someone at a prestigious university. We have to trust our scientists and professors. The only question now is how do I find out if I'm an insect alien hybrid, and therefore in charge of controlling, punishing and killing everyone else as I see fit, in order to save the planet. I'm pretty sure that I should be in command. I can feel it.
  34. 1 point
    Yes, it is an oxymoron. Christianity and Objectivism are two completely different systems. In Objectivism, reason is an absolute and rejects all forms of mysticism (belief in the unknown). Also, it is pro-selfishness, in Christianity you can't do something simply because it makes you happy, you have to do because it makes God happy. To call yourself an Objectivist or a Christian or a Socialist, etc., you have to follow the core principles. That being said there are people who call themselves Christians and believe in God, but also rely heavily upon reason as a guide in their lives and agree with many aspects of Objectivism.
  35. 1 point
    And to get rid of other people. Although "stopping climate change" is often pushed as necessary to avoid human extinction, there are those among the advocates of draconian methods who know that the result of those methods would be many human deaths and who want that result. Ellen
  36. 1 point
    Scott has misidentified the problem. The actual problem is people wanting to control and punish other people. Gen 4 doesn't solve that problem, but removes some of the excuses and satisfaction. So, in order to make Gen 4 palatable, they'll have to find a way to make it include more control and punishment -- and more costs -- more than what they've been advocating and proposing in regard to old energies and technologies. How can Gen 4 be used to reverse the concept of merit? Until there is a good answer to that question, it will face strong opposition.
  37. 1 point
    Hi, I'm new here and I thought it'd be good to introduce myself. My name is Jennifer and I've been learning Objectivism for about 2 years now. I have read three of Ms. Rand's books so far: Atlas, The Virtue of Selfishness, and Anthem. Many times when I have searched for my questions a thread from this would be suggested, so I've decided to stop spying and become a member. 😂 Plus, I don't really have many outlets for discussion with others and able to feel very comfortable so why not give this place a shot. 🙂
  38. 1 point
    Jennifer, Welcome to OL. I hope you have a good time here. Lots of great people who are interested in Rand. Now you are a great people interested in Rand, too. Michael
  39. 1 point
    Brant, My point was that I was not discussing Rand right or wrong. In fact, no matter what gets discussed when the name Rand comes up, no matter what the nuance or insight or even folly is on the table, someone always takes the issue back to whether Rand was right or wrong, then people start discussing that instead of the issue. Then they start fighting over whether she was right or wrong. The issue becomes secondary when not forgotten. In AA when I was going to meetings way back when, it was a common occurrence to see a person punctuate his personal tragedies and attempts to figure out how to stop drinking and destroying his life with a call for everyone to obey the program (the 12 steps). Then he would emphasize that, start preaching and that would become his point, no longer his own witnessing about his experiences or his successes and failures to stay sober. In other words, AA is right and those who question it are playing with fire. Those who say it is wrong are damned. And if you don't believe it, he will talk about it until you get it. (Many of the people like that I knew had Homeric relapses. Sporadic relapses with few and far in between, but Homeric when they hit... ) Michael
  40. 1 point
    The gist of her screed comes down to the primacy of existence. Mysticism, primacy of consciousness: it is so because I feel it to be so (and I don't wish it to be so, therefore it isn't), is of course not limited to religion and faith - you find it in every sphere (politics, science, ethics and the arts, for just a few).
  41. 1 point
    Brant, Can of worms time. Right now I can't delve into making a case about the value and nature of mythology and religion in terms of human evolution (see Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society by David Sloan Wilson for one scholar's quite reasonable presentation of that), so I will simply quote a few pertinent thoughts about religious stories and some tangential but related thoughts. Let's just say that most people hold major religious events as coming from (or informed by) a realm different than everyday reality. Rod Sterling called it the "realm of the imagination." Christians call it Heaven and Hell. Either way, this different realm has been a concern of humans ever since recorded history. And even when there are odd happenings in the stories using only everyday reality as a standard, like the Virgin Birth, it's not pure 100% unadulterated everyday reality. It's a mixture with this other realm. There is always a mythic element to it--myth meets and mixes with physical reality so to speak. That, to me, puts these stories in a different class of mental event that deserves more thought than simply sniffing in superiority and calling all of mankind stupid for believing in them. I mean, one can do that if it rings one's ding-a-ling, but pointing at people and saying, "See how stupid religious people are? I'll never understand how they can believe all those crazy stories..." doesn't explain reality and, frankly, doesn't explain people. All it does is scratch a vanity itch. It's like Person A asking Person B what the meaning of life is and Person B responds by complaining about the flavors of chewing gum available. Person B is totally clueless about the issues at stake, but highly interested in something that tastes good. To use another analogy, a fish isn't aware of the water it swims in until there is no water. If the human mind were not constructed to swim in story, it would not have to create other stories (like the big bang) to replace the ancient ones when people begin to find them silly. And, frankly, as a foundational story, the big bang is a piss-poor story. It does not come with the ability to be used as social glue, for instance. No one will get married or buried in its name. And that's just one shortcoming. There are a slew of them. (A foundational story helps integrate the different modules of our highly modular brains so we--as individual members of a species--can behave in a manner where we survive and reproduce with relative success.) If people wish to sever their own beliefs from ancient foundational stories (and I'm not saying they shouldn't), they at least need to replace such stories with something that fills in the human life gaps left over when the old stories are removed. For those who laugh at people's current beliefs in myths and religious stories, I have yet to hear a single merrymaker explain why religious foundational stories have survived ALL of human history. Just saying people are stupid is a piss-poor excuse for thinking about that issue. Now a few quotes. I could--and probably will--write a whole book about this. I just looked and did find it in her Journals. Quoting Ayn Rand: Rand's metaphysics is essentially the axiomatic concepts. No stories of why and how things work. Just that things are and that things work. Done. Notice her phrase: philosophy is primarily epistemology. This means that she has no response to the big questions of philosophy like: What is the meaning of life? Why do we have to die? Why is the universe so infinitely large and infinitely small at the same time while we are so limited in scope? And so on. Rand did not even attempt to answer these questions. She essentially implied that people who ask these things are stupid to ask them. And if that thought bothers you to disagree, then let's just say she blanked out that people ask these questions and why they ask them. How can a philosophy spread when it leaves out such a big chunk of the human soul? It's not like you can't observe people mulling these questions over in records in all societies throughout all history. I can't resist the following entry as a playful gotcha to Barbara. (I wonder what she would have thought about my current conclusions. ) At one time--I don't remember where and when, I think it was in her apartment, I mentioned to her that philosophy was like an instruction manual on how to use your mind. She had a fit on me. She said that philosophy dealt with the fundamental nature of the universe. Period. End of story. But thus spoke Rand... None of this has anything to do with writing techniques, but it's interesting as all get out--to me and I bet to many readers. That's the nature of discussion forums, I guess... OL is OL. Michael
  42. 1 point
    Here is a link to my song "Ave Maria (Ellen's Prayer)" as performed March 10 in Minneapolis. The singer is Christina Christensen, mezzo-soprano (https://www.facebook.com/ccmezzosoprano) and the pianist is Emily Urban (https://www.facebook.com/emilylurban). (I am not sure how long this link will remain active; I will post a permanent link later. However, the audio file can be downloaded from this link.) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MXQSi8JqBFqXL4CszL7I38c4jEsLaQhZ/view
  43. 1 point
    Here is a second-tier actor who probably just trashed his career. Maybe his life. If he dies soon, I, for one, will use that as an indication he was pissing off the wrong people for the right reasons. His name is Isaac Kappy. He was an actor in Breaking Bad, Thor, Fanboys, Terminator Salvation, and other movies and TV shows. He's also a writer and musician. He dropped some heavy names as pedophiles (Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Clare Bronfman heiress to Seagram's--who just got arrested, usual suspects like Kevin Spacey, etc.) and is daring people to sue him. In fact, he mentioned a lot of names. He said everybody in Hollywood knows what he knows, but everybody is scared to say anything. He also talked about the blackmail angle behind it all and defended some people he said were falsely accused as pedophiles, like Michael Jackson. He won me over when he said Stephen Colbert is a pedophile and trashed John Podesta (Colbert's bud). I can't believe all his says at face value without more evidence, after all, he talks about some fringe sites among the more credible stuff, and I know he is an actor and actors act, but my gut reaction to this video is that he fully believes in what he is saying and he's scared. I like to go with my gut. So that tells me this may not be the fire, but it is credible smoke. This topic needs to stay alive in the public to make sure lots of formal investigations are performed by lots of different law enforcement agencies. This crap has gone on for way too long. Michael
  44. 1 point
    Samson, if you said specifically what you think the point is, I missed it. Or perhaps didn't understand it. Brant may have come close, but I often don't understand him. Since I missed the point, I will belabor it. It could be said that the farmer doesn't even have full ownership of his crop. There are rules about the disposal of harvest "by-products" just like there are rules about restaurant food that was prepared in advance but not sold. Even if the producers of those goods wanted to give them to the poor, they often can't.
  45. 1 point
    http://en.wikipedia....ical_appearance Reacher is a giant, standing at 6' 5" tall (1.96m) with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds (100–115 kg). He has ice-blue eyes and dirty blond hair. He has very little body fat, and his muscular physique is completely natural (he reveals in Persuader, he has never been an exercise enthusiast.) He is exceptionally strong but is not a good runner.[3] Reacher is strong enough to break a man's neck with one hand (Bad Luck and Trouble) and kill a villain with a single punch to the head (61 Hours) or chest (Worth Dying For). In a fight against a 7 foot, 400 lb steroid-using thug (Persuader), Reacher was able to lift his opponent into the air and drop him on his head. So his description is basically Daniel Craig (5’ 11”) plus half a foot. If they casted Craig, no one would be complaining. But Tom Cruise (5’ 7”) just can’t make it to the top shelf. Terrific actor, but no Reacher, however much he stretches and gets up on his tippee toes. http://www.filmbug.com/db/258/height http://www.filmbug.c...b/262655/height
  46. 1 point
    Jack Reacher, so named because the author often found himself helping people in stores to get stuff from higher shelves, in other words he’s tall and earned the nickname Reacher, will soon be portrayed on film by Tom Cruise. Now I don’t know how tall Cruise is, but when he and Nicole Kidman split up, her comment was something like “now I’ll be able to wear heels again in public”. This is like casting someone blond and clean shaven as Blackbeard. BTW I’ve only read the first Reacher book, I thought it was well crafted but the bug didn’t bite hard enough. I might try another one of these days. http://marquee.blogs...ting-criticism/
  47. 1 point
    I agree. I think his last few books have fallen in quality, but as for the others, as I was reading them, I felt the exhilaration of enjoying fiction never before since reading Rand's.
  48. 1 point
    Phil C and Bob K, I've read them all and I strongly recommend them. Killing Floor and Bad Luck and Trouble are particularly good. Robert C Reacher Creature
  49. 1 point
    "Christian Objectivist" sounds to me a bit like "vegetarian tiger". Probably there also exist socialist Objectivists or communist Objectivists, nothing can surprise me anymore.
  50. 1 point
    Hi Bradley, I can’t buy that one is a Christian who never turns to faith in contradiction of reason. I can’t buy that one is a Christian who never turns to mercy opposed to justice. I can’t buy that one is a Christian who pursues monetary riches for himself. I can’t buy that one is a Christian who never sacrifices his own judgment to a higher-than-human intelligence in the universe. I can’t buy that one is a Christian who in no way believes he and his loved ones will arise from the grave and live forever in happiness in the presence of Jesus Christ (the son of God and savior of the world) in the kingdom of God. A Christian can’t be any those five ways. An Objectivist must be all those ways, except the third is elective in degree. An Objectivist may elect to pursue monetary riches for herself, provided she understands the rightness of it. One cannot be a Christian and an Objectivist. Stephen