Matus1976

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Matus1976 last won the day on July 13 2009

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  1. My original intention was to compare Rand's characterization of feminine beauty against the 'norms' of western society's concept of feminine beauty, which are usually considered to be shy, passive, demure, submissive, along with a slender delicate body and highlighted female body features. I thought for source material to use the movies which depict an unattractive woman being turned into an attractive one and told how to dress, act, etc, in order to be beautiful. For these I picked out She's All That, Miss Congeniality, and The Princess Diaries. Surprisingly I found Rand's depiction of beauty to be very similar to those, I was confused until I realized all three of these films focused on 'royal' feminine beauty, and not typical feminine beauty. One was being groomed to be a prom queen, one Miss United States, and one a literal princess, often they were directed to 'hold their heads high' and 'walk with purpose and elegance' quite different that the shy passive submissive femininity usually considered beautiful. The only thing that stood in stark contrast was the irrelevance of dress and makeup to Rand's conception of beauty, so the temporary conclusion I've drawn is that Rand's conception of feminine beauty is almost identical to the 'royal' idea of feminine beauty. Interesting. Also all three movies depicted the subjects as clumsy, unruly, unorganized, etc, even after they had been transformed into what would have been considered beauty.
  2. I found this interesting article on the topic, which I've only skimmed so far http://heim.ifi.uio.no/~thomas/po/female-hero.html It points out Rand's unique view of gender but also some contradictions which present themselves through her writings on femininity.
  3. Looking at the full quote in context, it does seem like this is something Lillian is thinking. Contrasting this with Francisco's description of Dagny a few pages later at the same party, it seems even more evident that the 'chained' comment was Lillian's thought
  4. Looking at the full quote in context, it does seem like this is something Lillian is thinking.
  5. Here's some of the source material I've gotten so far...relevant but yet to be edited.
  6. Thanks everyone for suggestions so far. I'll add mine as I transcribe them. That line always bothered me. I read one reviewer suggesting that it was a thought of Lillian's, and not of opinion of Rand's, since it was Lillian's reaction to Dagny entering the room that solicited that response/passage. But given Rand's on record opinions it does not seem unreasonable that it was her's. Just women for the purposes of this paper Excellent suggestion!
  7. Forced to take a 'social science' course and ending up in Sociology, for the assigned paper I decided to contrast the gender conceptions of beauty from common media sources against those portrayed in Atlas Shrugged. I'm pouring over the text again for the goodies, but looking for help from fellow Rand admirers, point out your favorite examples that convey the concepts of feminine beauty, such as Rearden seeing Dagny for the first time, etc. I particularly like the way Rand conveys beauty in the feminine context and it stands as a stark contrast to popular conventions, where women are often portrayed as shy, passive, demure, dependent, etc. Where Rand's beautiful heroines are strong, confident, capable, intelligent, etc.
  8. I realize this is an old thread, but it is still an interesting topic. I just came across this in a recent issue of Scientific American Mind which empirically answers the perfect pitch question about innate talent vs practice. "In an experiment published in 2006 my colleagues and I gave a test for perfect pitch to two l arge groups of music conservatory students - Mandarin speakers at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and speakers of English or of another nontone language at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. - and found that the prevalence of perfect pitch was indeed far higher among the Mandarin speakers. ... But because the Central Conservatory students were all Chinese, the results could mean that genes that spur the development of perfect pitch are just more prevalent among Chinese people. To decide which explanation was correct, ,y colleagues and I gave a test for perfect pitch to University of Southern California music conservatory students, including English speakers and three groups of East Asian students divided by how well they spoke their native tone language. Among the English speakers, the prevalence of perfect pitch was just 8 percent among those who had begun music training at or before age five and 1 percent among those who had begun training between ages six and nine. The statistics were similar among the East Asian students who were not at all fluent in their native tone language. In contrast the students who were very fluent tone language speakers performed extraordinarily well on our test: 92 percent of those who had begun musical training at or before age five had perfect pitch as did 67 percent of those who started music lessons between ages six and nine. Those students who spoke a tone language moderately well fell between the two extremes." Perfect Pitch: Language Wins Out over Genetics - Diana Deutsch et al www.acoustics.org/press/157th/deutsch.html
  9. Wow Jeff! Really! Objectivism uses terms in ways that are different than the norm! Oh my god, you've found the one fatal flaw of Objectism! Wow! Guess I'll just be burning my copy of Atlas shrugged and wipping out Das Kaptical... The Fact that Rand took some words and used them in a different AND VERY SPECIFIC way, was obvious and very intentional, and the reason was because the hi-jacking of those words is a manifestation of corrupt and malicious philosophical systems and, since words are the only way which we can express ideas, necessarily subjugate the very ideas so critical to human understanding (identification and categorization are critical components of conceptual integration) Given that, can you think of any reason why it might be bad if society takes the idea of giving up something of a lesser value in order to gain something of a higher value and uses the exact same word (hence, idea) to describe that as someone who gives up something of a higher value in order to gain something of a lesser value? Is it, perhaps, because they want to hide the moral distinction between the two? To sneak the later into the grouping of the former, to elevate 'sacrifice' as something that is always good, and sneak in there horrible things which hurt you but benefit someone else under this label that seems to mean something good. Rand was trying to reclaim these words to rightfully recognize particular aspects. Why do we even use the term sacrifice to mean 'giving up something lesser for something greater' when what we are actually doing is rationally prioritizing values Look to dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sacrifice We have infact both meanings present 3. the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. 5. a loss incurred in selling something below its value. Tell me, do you think in a rational language, that a word ought to mean both one things AND IT'S DIRECT OPPOSITE? Lets look at it’s origin and change in usage over time. More from Dictionary.com Origin: 1225–75 sacrificium, equiv. to sacri- (comb. form of sacer holy) + -fic-, comb. form of facere to make [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sacrificium : sacer, sacred; see sacred + facere, to make; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.] sac'ri•fic'er n. Here we see sacrifice is “to make holy” “Sense of "something given up for the sake of another" is first recorded 1592” “Baseball sense first attested 1880. The verb is first recorded c.1290” So in 1250 Sacrifice meant “to make holy”, by 1592 sacrifice as giving up something for the sake of another is first recorded. By My nifty Oxford Universal Dictionary, which traces changes in definitions over time, shows that in 1697 that sacrifice was used to mean “A person or thing that falls into the power of an enemy or destructive agency” it notes, amusingly, that this is “Now rare”, The next definition, dated 1844 reads “a loss incurred in selling something below its value” Wikipiedia’s entry on “Sacrifice” says this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrifice “Sacrifice (from a Middle English verb meaning "to make sacred", from Old French, from Latin sacrificium: sacr, "sacred" + facere, "to make") is commonly known as the practice of offering food, objects (typically valuables), or the lives of animals or people to the gods as an act of propitiation or worship. The term is also used metaphorically to describe selfless good deeds for others or a short term loss in return for a greater gain, such as in a game of chess. Recently it has also come into use as meaning doing without something or giving something up. Now why would the word for making something sacred, and for getting a greater gain, suddenly start being used to mean going without and giving up? Is it, perhaps, that the notion of altruism has so permeated the philosophical foundations of culture that the notion of going without (giving things up) is now considered holy Who might encourage such a change in definition? Who benefits from such a change? And why would a word being used to mean giving something less up for something more start to be used to mean a victim then be used to mean giving up something more for less?
  10. The part I bolded is the part that is a subjective valuation. There is nothing in reality that forces you to adopt that as the guiding principle. You think that survival is important, and therefore construct your moral system around it. "to exist or not to exist" is a fundamental question only if you think continuation of existence is a fundamental value. This again is you reverting back to your flawed definition of what "Objective" means, which you for some reason think is difference in the context of morality. There is nothing in reality that FORCES you to agree on what the mass of an electron is either, or that vaccines do not cause autism, or that cell phones cause cancer. Yet these all have Objective answers. Morality is a question that pertains only to entities which live, this is an objective observation, you can not ask "what is the proper standard of morality for a rock!" The question is non-nonsensical. If morality is a question that pertains only to living entities, then the answer must be one that pertains to the living aspect of those entities. It does not matter if you think survival is good and your moral system should be based on it. Your moral system MUST be based on it - or you die, and thus the question of how a living being ought to live (Morality) has one and only one answer that is logical, rational, and not self refuting. That does not mean you MUST choose that, it just means if you want to live, you must choose it. An objective "standard" for morality is not a mystical authoritarian decree which abdicates volition in every existing being. It is a reference point by which things are judged and actions are guided.
  11. Consensus is irrelevant, truth is not ascertained by 'popular vote' and suggesting as much demonstrates only an incredible ignorance of science and the concept of "Objective" You ignore the essential part in my quote, namely the scientific method. If you think that this is the same as 'popular vote', then you have no idea what science entails, as this is the crucial difference between objective and subjective arguments, it guarantees that the results of different persons will converge, independently of the person who uses this method (which does not mean that it is infallible, new data and new insights may change the result). A consensus is an interpretation - an evaluation - of evidence which is inherently unclear enough to not give an unequivocal answer. We do not seek a 'consensus' of the mass of an electron, because deriving a 'consensus' is not what you are doing when you are determine error percentages in experimental equipment. The fact that some try to apply 'consensus' as some sort of concept of scientific truth is merely a recent manifest of that post modernistic crap. If you think consensus is a part of science you are grossly ignorant about the nature of science. When a man performs an experiment and claims a particular result, and asks another to verify that experiment and result, they are not giving a 'consensus' they are making an observation. There is no interpretation of observations. The scientist does not say "do you agree that this is the way things are?" he says "are the things that you see happening the same as the things that I see?" This is not 'consensus' Objective replication of an experiment is not a 'consensus' Wikipedia says enough on it Michael Chrichton speaks well on the topic as well
  12. You could use juggling flaming torches as your standard of morality as well, but that does not mean it is an objective standard for morality, or that there is no such things as an objective standard. If "political" animal or "social" animal are used as your standard for morality, they lead to death. No amount of chattyness and voting will grow your food and build your shelters, only the rational application of mans efforts will do that. Only reason is the objective standard for morality, because everything else leads to death. MSK - the great thing about life qua man being the objective standard for morality - as objective and factual as the mass of electron or the gravitational constant of the universe are - is that it doesn't matter what the opinions of certain solipsistic bozos are.
  13. Consensus is irrelevant, truth is not ascertained by 'popular vote' and suggesting as much demonstrates only an incredible ignorance of science and the concept of "Objective" But this 'lack of consenses' anyway - is because those people, and you, and X-Ray, continue to insist that "OBJECTIVE" *ONLY* in the context of morality means it must be accepted by everyone and nothing other than that ever believed. If there is an "OBJECTIVE" Standard of morality, the rationality, logic, and science will answer in the affirmative or negative. Only one definition of Morality is not irrational, the standard by which living beings choose to live. Define morality in a manner that is not irrational and self refuting, e.g. Morality can not be a series of behaviors, because morality is a subset of types of behaviors that a entity capable of behaving performs - not just all behaviors, because no question would be necessary. Now define OBJECTIVE in a manner that is applicable to the SCIENTIFIC use of the term, and using those definitions, ask yourself what is the objective standard for morality. Please, as an excercise, go ahead and write out your definitions and statement.
  14. You just don't get it, XRay, "Objective" in the context of ethics and morality is simply the same as "Objective" in the context of any analysis of reason. You must use a different definition in order for your twisted point to be valid, as any elementary listing of your actual logical argument would prove. This discussion is exactly about the properties of matter, the properties of matter that make up things which live, and the rules of existence which govern those things which live. Those rules say that unless those things which live behave in a manner which makes them continue to live, they will die. Morality, which is the question about how living things ought to behave, is a question about matter, reality, and existence, because living things exist in reality made of matter. Please provdide a definition for "objective" which is equally applicable to the thing you think "Objective" in morality is not, AND the thing which you think "Objectivity" in Science is. i.e. "Objective" is something a religious mystic declares is true. Therefore "Objective" Morality is a prescription for behavior that some mystic declares is true. "Objective" Science is a declaration about a property of matter that someone, anyone, declares to be true, merely because he declares it to be true. (WRONG) Obviously this is not true or "Objective" is an aspect of reality that can be determined by any mind and is unaffected by bias, preference, or values. Therefore "Objective" In science is a statement about the nature of a property of matter, such as the mass of an electron, that exists independantly of any one's opinions, preferences, or biases. "Objective" in Morality is the observation of the reality that for living entities to continue to live, they must behave according to the laws of reality demanded in order to ensure their survival - laws that are not effected by opnions, values, or preferences. The *only* definition of "Objective" which can be rationally applied to "Morality" and "science" is the latter, so unless you are making up an entirely different definition - which invalidates your argument - then you have no argument to make Sorry to burst your bubble again, but there have existed (and still exist) enough systems of morality which accept destroying life. You're not bursting my bubble, you're instead re-enforcing how much of a stagnant close minded idiot you are in repeating over and over again irrelevant things. It doesnt matter if someone 'chooses' something that 'destroys live' as their OBJECTIVE standard of morality, OBJECTIVE means it is NOT subjected to CHOICE, these thigns are not an "OBJECTIVE" standard for morality because they lead to death, and MORALITY pertains ONLY to the QUESTION OF HOW LIVING BEINGS OUGHT TO LIVE. For Living Beings to continue to live, they must behave according to the laws of physics, otherwise they die. I live on earth, where existence exists, where words have meanings, and where actions have consequences. Ok, so the definition of MORALITY which you CHOOSE, has SUBJECTIVE contained within the VERY definition, HA. Ok, so to the definition of morality might as well be MORALITY Xray1) Something which absolute can not be objective, because I say so. And.. you are somebody important? do you officially declare the definitions of words? ha. Funny none of the definitions of Morality I looked up actually say "an empty container people fill with subjective ethical values" 1 a: a moral discourse, statement, or lesson a: a doctrine or system of moral conduct b plural : particular moral principles or rules of conduct 3: conformity to ideals of right human conduct4: moral conduct : virtue Again, over and over and over again, it must be repeated to you, OBJECTIVE has nothing to do with CHOICE. Something is not OBJECTIVE merely because someone is unable to CHOOSE otherwise. It doesnt matter than a million different 'standards' of morality are considered 'objective', because objective MEANS *SPECIFICALLY* not dependant upon choice, opinions, or mystical divination. It means it is available, rationally, to anyone. People can CHOOSE whatever subjective standard for values they want, but all of them will lead to DEATH, unless the standard is life, and that is the absolute OBJECTIVE unavoidable consequence of reality.
  15. This paradox of choice non-sense is rooted in the same basic philosophical corruption - a worship of platonic idealism and holding human errors of judgement up against some impossible standard of omniscience. Instead achieving happiness in the face of a vast array of choices rationally by suggesting people merely adopt a 'good enough' attitude, and pick a 'go-no go' time for decision making, these idiots feel it necessary to force everyone to make the same choices by severely limiting the number of choices. But if this were truly such a psychologically crippling phenomena, how would any human ever find a decent mate in the sea of millions of possible mates? this is just another leverage point for socialist tyranny to try to take root.