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Everything posted by Judith

  1. I just now came across this thread, so forgive the lateness of my reply. I'm in my mid-forties. I chose not to have children, and I actively thank my younger self for having made that decision fairly frequently. I never actively wanted children, and through my twenties, I kept my options open, but at thirty-one, I was sure enough to make the decision permanent. I often say it was the best thing I've ever done. When I go through airports or stores or restaurants or other places where babies are screaming and fussing and toddlers are running around and pre-pubescent children are making smart r
  2. There was an article on National Review's website in August by Heather MacDonald arguing that conservatism should not be based on religion and arguing against the truth of JudaeoChristianity. She based her attack on the truth claims of Western religion on the classic argument of "If God is good, why do bad things happen to good people, and why isn't everyone treated the same way?" She also said: "And that is why I am uncomfortable when a political leader invokes God — assuming that he is serious in doing so — because he is operating beyond reason. When President Bush said in one of his deba
  3. During the past two years I've been having all kinds of mid-life adventures. One of them centers around the realization that it really is important to have these kinds of people around me, and making it a high priority to find such people and nurture relationships with them when I do find them. Perfection isn't necessary -- "almost" is good enough! Judith
  4. Some of the traits I find myself valuing in people in general: Kindness, honesty, earnestness, dignity, patience. They may sound simple, but in fact they reflect a level of personal development that is increasingly rare. When I was in my early twenties I thought that intelligence was everything. Now, after having spent the last twenty years working pretty much exclusively with highly intelligent people, I've come to value these traits above intelligence. I have to say that I don't know a single person today who exhibits them consistently. I may know two or three people who almost meet the
  5. Well -- I'm finally home! Really! Hmmm. I never would have guessed. My few experiences with UUs has been like being dropped into a family reunion of ultra-left-wing liberals; not a friendly environment for an Objectivist at all. I don't think I'd be at all welcome in any of the local UU groups, with my pro-gun, pro-war, tough-on-crime attitudes. I didn't get the impression from reading about the studies that the experience was the same as stimulation of the pleasure centers. It was, I believe, perhaps more related to epilepsy. Buried somewhere in the depths of my book collection is a n
  6. Ken Wilber, in "Eye to Eye: the Quest for a New Paradigm", summed up his thesis pretty much as follows: There is an eye of flesh, an eye of mind, and an eye of spirit. Each is appropriate to a specific body of knowledge, and information in each body of knowledge is validated by consensus among experts in the field. The eye of flesh deals with empiric physical reality, such as scientific knowledge. Knowledge in this field is gained by direct sensory perception or by using instruments that extend that perception. For example, when Galileo said that the earth moved and the sun stood still, thi
  7. There's a discussion of this book and its author under the "Links" topic. Judith
  8. I've been on (and am currently still on) vacation, so I haven't had a chance to reply for a while. Angie, regarding some of the questions you posed above, I think it's easy early in a relationship to do the "right" things. We're at our best, and the other person is at his/her best, and somehow it all comes quite naturally. Later on, when "reality" sets in, it's all quite a bit harder, and requires self-discipline to act with kindness and consideration, and to listen when perhaps we're tired, or would rather read a book or play with the dog, or to be sympathetic when we think that our own day
  9. I also would like to hear more about Rich's experiences. I find Wilber's work fascinating. I agree that the semantics issue alienates a lot of people. Judith (on vacation in Santa Fe and posting and reading VERY sporadically)
  10. Well said, Victor. And something that can never be said too often. Judith
  11. Wow. Sounds great! Down the barrel it is! (Shotgun videos are shot [ouch -- pardon the inadvertent pun!] that way all the time! The shooters just go through great pains to show the audience that the gun is unloaded first. I guess we won't be able to do that in a painting, so the world will have to believe that I WASN'T about to shoot you from horseback while you painted me. It WASN'T a shotgun painting!) Welcome! Judith
  12. I wholeheartedly concur -- both the interview and the book itself are great. I met Fred at the 2005 TOC conference in Schenectady. I talked to him a few times, picked up a copy of his book, and began to read it while I was still at the conference, and I was simply blown away. I reviewed it on Amazon, and I simply NEVER do that. Get it. Read it. You're in for a treat. For more details regarding my reasons, see my review at Amazon. Fred's walking tours are great, too. I took two last May: one on Margaret Corbin, a woman who fought in the Revolutionary War in Manhattan when her husband was
  13. Truly beautiful. Thank you! Judith
  14. I can understand Barbara's frustration, too. I've had that experience occasionally while driving at night and seeing something up ahead that just won't resolve itself into something recognizable, but that seems to be a disjointed jumble of lights or reflections. "What the heck IS that?" I wonder, and slow down until I recognize it. It's downright creepy. Nothing wrong whatsoever with my vision, either -- no astigmatism, etc. Just a natural result of not having all the data we have while driving during the day. Great butterfly photos, by the way. I have a Canon digital SLR and enjoy takin
  15. I haven't yet stopped kicking myself for not buying tickets to those performances before they sold out. I knew they were happening last summer, and I put off buying the tickets because I didn't know who would be going with me, and I got busy, and then when I called to buy the tickets they were sold out of the 8th. (I wasn't going to make the trip just for the 2nd, since I've seen that one live twice.) Now I'll be lucky to find another performance of it in the continental US anytime in the next 20 years -- and I'd be happy to fly anywhere in the continental US to see a creditable performance
  16. "Spartacus", without any close second-runners. Everything about it. The general theme (human liberty, fighting for one's values), the sense of life (people handling themselves and treating each other with respect and dignity instead of walking around like so much animated meat, and acting as if what they're doing is IMPORTANT), the earnestness with which the subject is treated, the cinematography (for example, one scene in which Roman decadence is superimposed with the hero and someone whom he respects greatly involved in a fight to the death that neither of them wants), the wonderful Alex N
  17. Hi, Everybody -- I've been lurking here for months, planning to join "someday", and the discussion of the Mahler symphonies finally tipped the balance and got me moving. I hail from the upstate New York area. I met some of you (including Michael and Kat!) at the TOC seminar this summer; I attended this year's and last year's, and plan to keep on attending them in future years -- they're wonderful! Maybe some of you will remember me. I've been an Objectivist since 1982, when I picked up Atlas Shrugged and couldn't put it down, despite the fact that I was supposed to be studying for my Ph.D wr