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Everything posted by Guyau

  1. Joan was interviewed in the March 1993 issue of Full Context by Karen Reedstrom. Some of it is biographical, including the following: JMB: "I read The Fountainhead when I was fourteen, and found it interesting. My understanding at the time from The Fountainhead was that it was largely an issue of artistic integrity. That appealed to me, integrity in general was very appealing to me. I was very friendly with Barbara Branden, and later when I went away to college Barbara followed---along with Nathaniel Branden---and they introduced me to Ayn Rand." [Joan was born in Los Angeles, lived in Winnipeg from age six to sixteen, then returned to LA to attend UCLA.] . . . KR: "You and Allan are one of the few couples, both of whom are well known to people interested in Objectivism. Has your interest in Objectivism helped your personal life?" JMB: "Allan and I actually met through Objectivism. Allan's cousin, Nathaniel Branden, who was the cousin of my friend Barbara Branden planned for us to meet when he knew Allan was coming to New York to study at the Julliard School of Music. I resisted the idea of a blind date briefly, but Nathan was determined. We took to each other instantly. But apart from how we met, we both feel that Objectivism had little to do with our personal relationship. We always seem to have had fundamental things in common." KR: "What was your first impression of Ayn Rand?" JMB: "I thought she was fantastically brilliant. She happened to be very charming and very interesting, and I was terrified of her. She was really terrifying!" KR: "Just because she was so brilliant?" JMB: "No. I knew a lot of brilliant people; I always have. I've been very lucky that way. It wasn't that. It was that she asked piercing questions when she didn't even know you. As a teenager I was hardly accustomed to that. So I felt on the spot every moment." . . . JMB: "I was taken to her country house in the Valley in Los Angeles, expecting to meet her and have, perhaps, light conversation but nothing quite as heavy as was wanted there. Also she gave me a speech from Atlas Shrugged to read. She was far from the end of Atlas at that time, but she had written the money speech, and she gave me that to read because of something that came up in the conversation. I was very impressed by that speech. I also liked Frank very much right from the beginning." . . . JMB: "He had done something I had not seen until that time. They had a gallery around the living room. They had a Neutra house, a very beautiful and interesting house. Around this gallery Frank had plants falling down into the living room. I loved it." Joan mentioned that her "first serious teacher [in art] was a nun in a Catholic convent in Winnipeg." Joan attended the Winnipeg School of Art, studied painting and drawing at UCLA, and did graduate work in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU). She studied at the Art Students League for several years. She studied at the Artists Workshop in Venice and painted at a school in Connecticut. Somewhere I have something on the reason(s) the Blumenthals' split with Rand, but so far I've been unable to locate the piece. I've read NB's second autobiography, and I recall from that that as his split with Rand was unfolding, but before it was announced by Rand in The Objectivist, he had been seeing Allan at Rand's bidding and was discussing with Allan his affair with Rand and his new love. In the remark of Allan's on his own later split with Rand, as I recall, the problem was the incessant demands from Rand on Allan for engagement in psychological analysis concerning whatever she was trying to fathom. I gather she had a regular process like that going in day-by-day discussions with Nathan during his years with her. It is an element in her nonfiction writing I always found---not only with her, but with any others, especially Nietzsche---a waste and repugnant and distracting from real philosophical engagement. It's wonderful of course in construction of fictional characters.
  2. . Thanks. I used the source button just now, and at least that takes care of that problem of getting old junk cleared out. Good help.
  3. Testing - I spent a good while constructing a post to add to this thread this morning, but the system would not post it. It responds "Saved" but fails to post. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sorry. I had tried to save that post, but what was saved was everything on page one of the thread and not the content of the post. I don't have time to reproduce it, and I can't know if it would succeed in being posted in a second try anyway. Much is weighing against posting here. If you copy from a Word document, the formatting and word order will be messed up. If you type directly into the editor here and try to save on the clipboard what you've produced before clicking "Submit" that too may fail. To type it twice, once in Word, then again in the editor is prohibitive.
  4. Thanks, Merlin, for the peek into Henry Hazlitt’s The Foundations of Morality. I’ve had it on my shelf a while now, but the time is not yet right for me to dig in. For now I remain open to a possibility he evidently rejects: egoism and altruism might be mutually exclusive, yet not jointly exhaustive, depending on how one defines the two. The site “What Ayn Rand Read” lists this book with a note: “This item was included in a 2005 auction of materials from Ayn Rand's personal library. The auction catalog describes it as being underlined and/or annotated, so it is clear that Rand actually read it.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PS - Marginalia of Rand's on another book of Hazlitt's is included in Ayn Rand's Marginalia. Clashes over altruism, self-regard, capitalism, creative intelligence, and rights appear on pp. 167-69. I surely concur with Rand that portrayals of free-market production and exchange as somehow really altruistic is a farce.
  5. . Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Columbia . . . "For one smiling day to be free / to kiss in the sunlight / and say to the sky / 'Behold and believe what you see, / behold how my lover loves me'." //
  6. . Bob, computers and automobiles are made up by human beings, yet that does not make them unreal. We organisms are emergent, and in the emergence and in our daily existence, we are conforming to the principles of physics, but to additional principles of engineering as well. Engineering principles are for success in functions, for avoidance of failures in functions. Things with performance, things with functions and failure modes, are real and their engineering principles are of reality. An ethics that includes prescriptions for the maintenance of life is in that part of the ethics a case of engineering principles for the perfectly real things that are us and our lives. Give that slumbering Hume a shake. Wake him up to full physical reality.
  7. . Merlin, delighted to see your blog Correspondence and Coherence.$
  8. Prof. Hill has an article here in Salon on his life and Ayn Rand in it.
  9. Implication for further reasons, complicating ones, may be found in this perspective on theism v. atheism in Rand 1936, 1938, and 1943, from draft of my book in progress: [Deleted due to formatting problems.] So instead, I'll put in this space a little rounding out of Schopenhauer's picture. He writes: "It is just as absurd to grieve over the time when we will no longer exist as it would be to grieve over the time when we did not yet exist . . . . "Epicurus considered death from this point of view and therefore quite rightly said, 'death does not concern us', with the elucidation that when we are, death is not, and when death is, we are not. . . . Accordingly, from the standpoint of cognizance there appears to be absolutely no reason for fearing death . . . . And it is actually not this cognizing part of our I that fears death, but rather 'flight from death' proceeds solely from that blind willing with which every living thing is filled." (Translation of D. Carus and R.E. Aquila 2011)
  10. Scatology is repeatedly on show here as deepest rationale in Greg’s animadversions. His smudge aside, there’s much good reflection in this thread. Here is some reflection on the topic from Schopenhauer 1818 (World as Will and Presentation): Among animals, only with the human being does nature “attain for the first time to reflective awareness; it then marvels at its own works and asks itself what it is. But its wonderment is all the more serious as it here stands for the first time consciously face to face with death . . . . “The interest instilled by philosophical as well as religious systems has its absolutely strongest anchor in the dogma of some form of survival after death. And even if the latter systems seem to make the existence of their gods the main concern, and to defend this with the greatest fervor, it is fundamentally only because they have attached their dogma of immortality to it, and regard it as inseparable from it; this alone is what really matters for them. . . . “There has never . . . been a lack of people endeavoring to earn their living from this human need for metaphysics and to exploit it as much as possible. That is why it has monopolists and general leaseholders among all peoples: priests. But their trade had everywhere to be secured by obtaining the right to impart their metaphysical dogmas to people at a very early age, before the power of judgment has yet awakened from its morning slumber, hence in earliest childhood, for then every well-implanted dogma, be it ever so senseless, sticks forever. If they had to wait until the power of judgment was mature, then their privileges could not endure.” In our culture, it has been my experience that when I affirm to a religious person that there is no God (taken as a supernatural god), their concern runs as: if true, then all would be meaningless and we and our loved ones die like a dog. I incline to think Schopenhauer is mostly right on this issue, even though his own metaphysics went quite haywire. (Schopenhauer, by the way, was a serious student of the biology of his day, but he died just before Darwin’s theory appeared.) Schopenhauer studied all kinds of religion (and he comes down extra hard on the Koran), but the kind dominate in his own land would have priests or pastors, along with other trained teachers, educating children in the right beliefs from an early age. In America, those denominations continue, but we have a large contingent of people who go through an intensely emotional episode and ceremony of “being saved” (saved from death mainly). In early childhood, these customers may not have had highly versed priests or pastors, but apparently they had almost always some adults around whom they loved who were of the Christian faith and who were singing its supernatural god and immortality to the children.
  11. Guyau

    Dark art

    . Son of a biscuit!
  12. That iris is photoed from our own patch a couple of days ago. Michael, you wrote "Nobody can tell me that supporting Hillary Clinton is due to fealty to conservative or libertarian principles." I won't tell you again. I've repeated the principle for voting Democratic against such Republicans for years on these sites. Enough on that. Thanks, Roger, for the points about the Kochs. I have Democratic friends who are very taken aback by CK's statement. Last year the Leftist rags speculated all sorts of dark ulterior motives the Kochs must have for their contribution to criminal justice reform. Either they don't get the difference between a conservative and a libertarian, don't know the Kochs have long been the latter, or prefer the latter were swept under the rug. I am myself puzzled as to why CK thinks an H. Clinton administration could plausibly be superior to a Ted Cruz one. I mean the priority I place on Roe and its reasoning has never been a priority shared by the Kochs in their political activities. Maybe they don't like the immigration/hatred stuff Cruz rolls along with. I do get CK's interest in influencing the Republican candidates in his directions (and away from day after day of distraction from substance by negative personal junk, attack-the-media junk, . . .?) by the remark not ruling out relative merit (relative less demerit) of Clinton as President. If Trump wins the nomination (as I now expect if he wins Indiana), I imagine any Koch money going to elections this year will go to House races to try to stem a Democratic sweep. It remains as always that support of education in the value and efficacy of liberty will remain the most lasting contribution of the Kochs to politics in America.
  13. In this case, the exchange of glance is not about romance, just lack of induction of simple excitement from one close person to another. The man is Leo, and the other person is Kira. She is still in love with him, or at least with what he would have been on his way to be when she met him, had they not lived in that country in that era. Leo has wound down on life. His fire is going out in that social system. Here is the surrounding setting: "Leo, . . . I know what your'e doing [black market]. I know why your doing it. But listen: it's not too late; they haven't caught you; you still have time. Let's make an effort, a last one: let's save all we can and apply for a foreign passport. Let's run to the point of the earth that's farthest from this damned country." He looked into her flaming eyes with eyes that were like mirrors which could reflect a flame no longer. "Why bother?" he asked. "Leo, I know what you'll say. You have no desire for living left. You don't care anymore. But listen: do it without desire. Even if you don't believe you'll ever care again. Just postpone your final judgment on yourself; postpone it till you get there. When you're free in a human country again---then see if you still want to live." . . . "Leo, . . . It can't do that to you. Let it take a hundred and fifty million living creatures. But not you, Leo! Not you, my highest reverence. . . ."
  14. . Addition to the compilation: "He looked into her flaming eyes with eyes that were like mirrors which could reflect a flame no longer" (Rand 1936, 445).
  15. In the preceding post, PD stands for philosophical dialogue.
  16. Pertaining to Nietzsche in the preceding post: From “The Impossibility of Philosophical Dialogue” - David L. Roochnik (1986, Philosophy and Rhetoric 19(3):147–65)
  17. Thinking about it a bit further, I see my preference for the Bernini is dependent on the fact that both sculptures are to be realizations of a particular character in a story known to the viewer. That brings in a dimension for evaluation (quality of character-realization), rather like in programmatic music. Considering the two sculptures aside from their story-character, I don't have a preference between the one strong man at rest and the other strong man in action. Like Leonard, I also had the privilege of walking around Michelangelo's David at the Accademia in Firenze, and that was unforgettable. Lovers of sculpture should in that precious city experience also those at the Bargello. In Rome experience those of Bernini and Michelangelo, including Bernini at the Borghese, home of his David. Unforgettable
  18. Guyau

    Piaget and Rand

    . The links were jumbled in the upgrade. The first one to the source series is this one.
  19. Yes, that's what I do, but in your case, I just see those bits of your life and your interests and favorite things off to the left margin. I don't see anything about your preferences in sculpture. And you don't have one of those tabs filled out for "About Me."
  20. . I'm not getting what it is in your profile. Do you mean the profile available right now here at OL?
  21. Brant, do you prefer Mich's David to his Dying Slave? I'm with the former on that choice, though the latter is fun for reasons in the vicinity of Peikoff's. Do you like Mich's David better than Bernini's David? I'm with the Bernini.
  22. . Charming remarks from Leonard recently in a little podcast this one.
  23. Guyau

    My Verses

    Resonance No council, no say. All earth turn, night trail day. Unceasing sea tease land away to watery deep stage lay, dark, for none. Bit ties bit, string twists string, winding time into spring. Like by like, life-clock sets, tracing past for future nets. Lights slip, waters slip slight chambers live-green for green, for green. Green-thrive, alive, earth stake, break, take; place in own pace, own bound, own round. Light-full green-sleep, keep in watchless waves of green live, green gone, dreamless. Lush, sheenuous pluming-greens slip peeks of the milk-limpid moon to him, and delirious lofty fan-flares wreck quakes of tensile steel-lance cries to him. A stone stardop soft-sprays a whiff-frail light, flushing his chest. He sweeps touchless drift-shades, and flash-streaks a glancing crester, sailing breath-brimmed space, splitting, splash-sparkling on a wind-spilled pool of silver rock. Fan-flares fly to open sky. Swirl-leaves flow, flicker and toss, and whispers cease on fluffs of moss. “There she of look and say to here of please, of raise to view, to set for things to reach, to touch, to move each thing round here of please, to move here through there to things each of each, to look all round to there of she of please. “Here say by she say, only by she with me. Say no I of things but by please to things. Say no I of things but always with she. Say no I of things but from here to things. Say things ever with she by sea of be. “Less it, less any, none is, might, or must, none least, most, or trust, none now, there, or throw, none born, breathe, or know. “It is, it is so, it of place, race, pace, it of stay, way, day, it of tight, sight, right, it of be, me, we. “Only it, other it is. Given it is and taken. Other it is in token. Spoken it is, other is. “Round itself sailing itself, taking, making its token, breath-sail flies and dies, broken. Rounding ruin, round sails itself. “In, still one, out, rushing roar, kill after kill, still is still. Touch and word, still ever will. One, still one. For say, sail, oar.”