Peter Grotticelli

Members
  • Posts

    32
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Peter Grotticelli

  1. Bob, I agree that scientists must think this way - but what about the philosophers who cannot falsify the science, but must wait for the scientists to do it?
  2. Brant, Ok, I shouldn't have used the word "even" before "Einstein." One cannot speak of unfalsifiability. But philosophy cannot falsify the physicochemical, so I suggest that philosophers consider our current scientific knowledge as the absolute, for according to Kuhn, we need a set of absolutes - a paradigm - to begin progress in a field.
  3. Virginia, The nature of the universe is the "moral imperative" that you speak of. Those who controvert it are trying to push the universe back into the dense point from which it started. They are like hotheaded young men throwing their physical strength against the ocean, which Steinbeck depicted in The Pearl. I gave a brief explanation of the relevant kinetics of the universe. Ask me or the many better-educated people here if you would like clarification or expansion.
  4. Brant, I concur that even Einstein is falsifiable. I concur: we have to be open to new observations. But until we get those new observations, we must consider our current conclusions to be absolutes in science and in philosophy, though we must always scientifically test them based on our new observations. These absolutes are our framework - our paradigms - without which we haven't any springboards for progress. Kuhn gives many examples to prove this in his above-cited book. So the scientists must always attempt to falsify, as you said, but the philosophers cannot do anything but wait for the scientists to do so; in the meantime, they must accept the absolutes without question, for only the scientists have the faculty to question the physicochemical tendency of the universe that I showed to be a template for natural selection and hence objectivism.
  5. Brant, I agree. We don't have to absolutely know the universe to know the simple trends of ordering and expansion by heat of which I wrote. We just have to know a few fundamental physicochemical laws: electrons stabilize, and temperature varies directly with volume, in the only universe that we may sanely admit to our consciousness. Don't you think it's a stretch to use the word "absolutely" in "absolutely know" just for the sake of making your quip look like a novel first principle? Use clearer adverbs &c. so that I don't have to ask for clarifications.
  6. You guys don't give me half a chance. As Kuhn said, I have to wait for the old men to die before the paradigm shifts. The new paradigm of absolutism will come before I am of the average age of ye here. Brant, don't write off a dilettante so quickly. Rather than discredit my grasp of science, you should speak more specifically. Tell me how we've observed another universe.
  7. Brant, Perhaps Rand did not know enough about natural selection to fathom that it was the absolute basis of her absolutist philosophy. Not just man's proper course on earth, but the whole universe follows a pattern of which natural selection is the biological part: ordering and release of heat that drives the expanding universe. Electrons order into increasingly complex structures over time, thereby releasing energy because complexity is thermodynamically favorable, and this energy includes lots of heat to favor the second law of thermodynamics. According to that law, the ordering must be accompanied by a greater disordering; and heat is the most disorderly form of matter/energy. Now these physicochemical tendencies may be different in different universes, but Rand knows where she lives! She made no absolute philosophy or meaning for some vacuum-orb with a mind (which cannot exist!), but rather a philosophy and a meaning for "man on earth," the layman's phrase for "electrons in this universe." Our universe is knowable, and no other can exist - so our universe is absolute, and so we can know absolute things. As far as I know, they found nothing in those black holes, string theory only posits subunits of quarks, and wormholes only take us from one part of this universe to another. Surely something of which I am ignorant will get me on this, but I dare say that we must take our universe to be an absolute 5 x 10^30 m of diameter of everything, just as we take gravity as an absolute, though its particles are as obscure as their strings. As Rand said to Donahue, we are psychologically ill if we admit anything unobservable into our views of reality, for we cannot do well in our world if we base our lives off of an hypothetical other. Notes: As things order, they release heat: so global warming is a sign of progress - though of course we must get this heat out of our atmosphere and into the heat-pressured expanding void. We can halt that quest a bit by draining our oceans into a hole in the Saharan crust. Michael, You said that nobody here is President Thompson of Atlas Shrugged. Considering my missive here, do you stand by that statement? Bob, I get the idea that Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions would show you that the Dark Ages were naught but a European period after the fall of Rome.
  8. Ba'al Chatzaf, I had a quick look at General Semantics on Wikipedia. It is the polar opposite of objectivism, for it asks us to cast off the bias of our species, whereas objectivism exists because of how our specific species must think to live. You have chatzaf fervor in this conflict; it puts the chatzaf on the same level as the customer in the Lake Ronkonkoma auto store who says, "We should blow up the whole ****ing Middle East." The chatzaf has long been known, e.g., by the New York Times, to be wiser than this type of knuckle dragger. Let us not destroy this reputation with Israeli warrior nonsense. They could kill Christ and we can kill all of bin Laden's associates, but as we have seen both times, we cannot purge the effect that they've had; well maybe John Galt could. This reading justifies the chatzaf fervor of 2000 years ago: Crimes of Christianity Chapter 1 (1887). I've only scanned it, but it cites Gibbon and so ye can see that it's historically perspicacious. With this work backing us, we may say that the Romans and Jews should have purged the Christians right away, and we may say that the modern analog is right: that the monkey in the auto store is right. We may say it, but it's not right! Only the conversion of the men of the Fortune 500 can save us.
  9. This is comprehensive: Harry Binswanger on Immigration No draft = no subversion. But the Democrats will do one good thing: they'll withdraw us from Iraq. Still we would like subversion. Let us convert the men of the Fortune 500 to objectivism, and watch them buy up all of their own stock shares! Soon they'll have passed around the Kool-Aid as far as we'll know. For Stephen Hawking will save the world by shooting them away from the otherwise doomed earth!
  10. Wolf, I use "ye" because it means "you" in the plural, and when I found that the romance languages have a plural "you," I decided that our language ought to restore this term in lieu of the bulkily disyllabic "you all" and "you guys," and the coarse "y'all" and "yous." I don't use any other Middle English. But I understand that it sounded pretentious in combination with my condescending request to withhold general criticism. Sorry, my friend; I took my objectivist license of pomposity too far. Brant, You shall have to show me specifically how my ideas conflict with hers. If you mean that I broaden the context too much, then that is the particular general criticism that I expected and yet despise, because my postmodernist professor last semester had nothing to say to me except that my topics were too broad. Though these were arbitrary topics about "what I know and why I think I know it," which ought not to have the inherent boundary of scope, he just took offense at my desire to make sweeping sociological conclusions (hence with premises) out of what was supposed to be carefully-worded philosophizing without premises. So I just hoped that I wouldn't hear the general criticism from objectivists that I should humbly work my way up to plans that span the continents. So I am inexperienced. But as the atoms are the same in "organic" and regular vegetables, so the plans are the same whether or not they include specialized terms and references. I did not propose anything new in law or philosophy; now that is the province of veterans. Now I agree that my broad contexts can cause misunderstandings. For instance, I said that Thompson was Galt's greatest enemy because I was thinking of the unwritten epilogue, in which Thompson's postmodernism would keep people in denial even after all the chaos. So leaving the story as a given, I considered that which the story did not necessarily resolve.
  11. The teenage perspective will appreciate a pretty picture of the epilogue to Atlas Shrugged. "Grownups" don't seem to care for John Galt's mission. But we can fulfill it by painting pictures like the one I present here, and presenting them to the world. Not everyone can be persuaded of the virtue of the eternally young Rand, but those who read her works, and understand that man is not a shapeless block of intelligence, but a specific species that requires a specific philosophy, can keep their zeal flowing by painting and viewing these pictures. If Ayn Rand "grew up" by shaking off her ideals, she could not have written her novels. Should we "grow up" and moderate Ayn Rand's extreme brand of objectivism? We can only fight it with nonsense like strategic foreign aid. I say, unless we have greater minds than Einstein, and Rosenbaum (Rand), and Feynman, all fellows in an ethnic group with ideas so bombastic that the vulnerable members were permanently quarantined below the ice in Russia, we can either apply Rand's objectivism or ruin it. Now Mr. Thompson - who was damned influential: the President of the United States! - might tell Galt to be humble because his idea is only one among equals. But those who wish to retain youth, and thereby carry out Galt's will, must never obey Thompson. He was by far the most dangerous foe to Galt, and his postmodernist counterparts in reality have so far suppressed Rand. By Jove, is she suppressed. I had lived eighteen years and yet could only associate Ayn Rand's name with Ann Coulter until my employer lent me her book; still, I put off reading it for a year because I didn't want to read Ann Coulter. Even now, those to whom I have mentioned Rand still call her "Ann Rand." The picture follows. I recall a statement in Atlas Shrugged that it is morally right for a mother to buy a hat for herself instead of milk for her starving child, if the hat is more important to her than the life of the child (see "Note" at the end of this post). This reductio ad absurdum establishes by a wide margin the parental right to abandon a child if the survival of the current family members, which tends to be more important than a hat, is more important to the parents than the life of the child. So the child's survival is an issue between the parents and the child. But the picture wasn't so bleak, as my employer pointed out, when apprenticeship was legal. For if a passerby sees intelligent eyes in an abandoned child, and this passerby happens to be self-employed, he might profit by taking up the child as an apprentice. Apprentices worked for room and board, and for the opportunity to learn a trade; in return, his keeper got free labor. Craftsmen used to save intelligent children from poverty by this trade of value for value. Minimum wage legislation and compulsory standardized education have illegalized this tool of natural selection and production of skilled workers. Let me posit a scenario in which minimum wage legislation has been repealed, and in which an apprentice has no socialistic means of escaping work: no chance of a welfare check, foster parents &c. A man who owns factories could invest in bunkhouses, quarantine quarters, water and food supplies, one set of clothing per worker, washboards and buckets for the workers to use, twine and clothespins, and other necessary but primitive miscellany, and a new factory. He would arrange for the stabilization of health and subsequent naval transport of abandoned children to his site, via a new type of company arranged for this purpose. The government would check them for contagious disease at the border and have the transportation company send them back if infected, but as Harry Binswanger proposed (http://www.hblist.com/immigr.htm), it would expel them for this reason alone. The children would not be paid or educated, but they would learn English from the paid foremen. To keep order, he would hire jack-of-all-trades officers: new types of professionals who would receive a new type of rudimentary training as both policemen and judges. They would be equipped to deal with the very simple scenarios that could arise in isolated, primitive societies. They would lash children who attacked others, and likewise strictly punish them for theft and fraud; and when fear has induced a semblance of order, they will mete out all further punishment via swift jury trials. There will be no explicit death penalty; but the prospect of rotting in a diseased cellar will deter petty crimes, and export to a federal prison for capital offenses will deter capital crimes if the scenario includes federal capital punishment. Keep in mind that knowing their language shouldn't be necessary to instruct children in the simplest of assembly line procedures. Some older children would understand that they ought to follow the lead of the foremen, and they would help to instruct the younger ones by speaking to them in their common language. Hence the entrepreneur should transport groups of children from the same area, since they would all likely have a common language. If languages are highly variable in an area, the transportation company could offer to the adults of a village the chance for their children to build a new life and perhaps someday send for them. The company would mix these children with the abandoned ones of the area, and perhaps mix two or more groups of different languages, each with a fair amount of older children who can instruct their younger fellows. This sounds like the world of Anthem, but it is temporary, and there is a continuum of options to meet every degree of ambition. Workers will be fed in proportion to standard (not extra) hours worked per week, and will keep an account of points to be used on food, and will be wise to save some points for weeks when they are sick. They will not be allowed to work if they show any signs of illness, but will be quarantined with those who seem to have the same illness. At any time a lazy worker will be allowed to go back home, and will be fed on the (hellish) voyage. The ambitious will attend classes to learn the three Rs; they will work a certain amount of extra hours per week per class granted. As indentured servants, the children would be fenced in for a few years before release. At release, they would be paid enough for a month's rent in most cheap single-room apartments. They would be allowed to return anytime if they needed to, but would then be paid only part of a month's rent upon departure, the full amount awarded only if they stayed as long as they did in indenture. Most importantly, if a child did not want to work for the requisite number of years and hours per week, he would have the option of being sent back home. At the beginning of a child's stay, these numbers would be set and not varied for him during his stay; and the employer would inform him of his if the employer increased them for the child, the child, Since cramped quarantine rooms will be the only safeguard from epidemic on a cramped and hence disease-prone vessel full of wild kids, we can be sure that these anonymous children will not choose to spend their lives in dishonestly continuous transportation to and from the sites. Some time after the establishment of the site, there will be a large proportion of bilingual workers, who will ensure that children are informed of their options immediately. Ye may say, how would these children advance in life if they are unpaid and do not acquire complex skills? They would advance by their free starts as English-speaking, possibly literate and numerate Americans with job experience. Large groups would have entered the facility at the same time, and so each member of a large group shall be allowed to leave simultaneously. So a group of departees could share the rent on a room near a mainstream factory that pays its workers. There is plenty of room in the United States for these factory sites. Binswanger stated on the above-cited website that if the population in the continental United States were 3.3 billion, it would still be less densely populated than England. Like a benign bubonic plague, the resultant population decrease and increase in average age will stabilize places like the Sudan. Now what about the violence? Modern Sudan has the same basic civic structure that Western Europe had in the Dark Ages, but there are some differences. Sudan suffers from a foreign influx of money and/or weapons, as well as from foreign recognition of the dictator. Aside from extracting indentured servants, the world has to let the place catch up at its own pace to the industrial world. I have rethought, or will rethink, political science in ordered settings, but objectivism provides no easy way to continue fooling with politics in the anarchic parts of post-colonial Africa. If we let them alone, feudalism will arise spontaneously and stabilize them. Warriors need to rely for income on guarded towns, not foreign aid, if anything is to be protected. The warriors will thereby become feudal lords over safe havens. When reasonable peace is established, foreigners will come in to build factories near villages and pay the workers, for they will have to provide nothing else for them. This shall someday be a business venture on the scale of draining the oceans, and ye won't want to miss out on it. It shall happen because Rand believed that hers was the philosophy of the future, and Atlas Shrugged has so far shown its prescience. Note: The quote is in John Galt's speech, maybe about four pages into it. (Lacking a copy of the book, I deduced this from an online excerpt.) "The word that has destroyed you is 'sacrifice,'" he says, soon followed by, "If you wish to save the last of your dignity, do not call your best actions a 'sacrifice': that term brands you as immoral. If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty."
  12. I was deleting my stuff like that jackass, Keating, who relies on others to sanction his existence; but I'm not going to watch my own funeral like Tom Sawyer did. I was thinking of disappearing and devoting myself exclusively to cell biology, so that those who smote me would regret it when they saw my fame, but there were too many problems with that approach: not only was it still in Keating's mindset, but also, I don't want to do it and therefore I'm not capable of it. So the hell with all that nonsense; I'm going to follow Rand's example and poke my finger into the small of your bad backs, for the pleasure of seeing ye squirm from the hydrochloric acid reflux of badly digested idealism. I'll leave ye adults alone so ye can concentrate on John Galt's mission; I will draw my pictures of the epilogue to Atlas Shrugged in "Inky's Room," the same place to which Rand would have been quarantined, as Mr. Gaede knows well. But does Wolf DeVoon diffuse Ayn Rand's brand of objectivism? Nah; he fights it with nonsense like strategic foreign aid. I say, unless we have greater minds than Einstein, and Rosenbaum (Rand), and Feynman, all fellows in an ethnic group with ideas so bombastic that the vulnerable members were permanently quarantined below the ice in Russia, we can either apply Rand's objectivism or ruin it. Now I will apply it where it matters: in the dreams of youths, who will never cop out on me by dying, or by discrediting me because of my youth and my academic preference of the sciences to philosophy. What group is really concentrating on Galt's mission: the youths, MSK who made their forum, and the engineers - the scientists! - who made MSK's computer and the Internet; or those who discredit Rand because of her eternal youth? Michael, thanks for sticking to constructive criticism. Edit: Damn it, looks like I didn't poke fast enough to stop the funeral. But fear not, Ellen, for not I, but a relation of mine is afflicted. The sob sisters of the MS Society want to increase their bang for the buck by using vague language to make ye think that all of the scholarship winners have MS. The damned society never speaks of embryonic stem cells; it ignores them like Toohey ignored Roark. It calls for charity, volunteerism, federal funding, "MS research;" how nauseating! If we lived in the epilogue to Atlas Shrugged, I wouldn't have had to solicit money from these bastards; for self-education would have been acceptable, given the high price of private university tuition - the only option - and the availability of easily comprehensible texts in the natural and logical sciences, as well as a concise collection of all the philosophy we need (Ayn Rand!). Anyway, I wouldn't be humble even if I were afflicted; for public humility is hypocritically selfless selfishness, as Brant has taught me; it is a contradiction, and even Conan the Barbarian wouldn't stand for it (for he has said that non-contradiction is his only first principle, and I suppose that Rand believes the same). DeVoon, i.e. Mr. Thompson, might tell Galt to be humble because his idea is only one among equals. But those who wish to retain youth, and thereby carry out Galt's will, must never obey Thompson. He was by far the most dangerous foe to Galt, and his postmodernist counterparts in reality have so far suppressed Rand. By Jove, is she suppressed. I had lived eighteen years and yet could only associate Ayn Rand's name with Ann Coulter until my employer lent me her book; still, I put off reading it for a year because I didn't want to read Ann Coulter. Even now, those to whom I have mentioned Rand still call her "Ann Rand."
  13. Dragonfly, You're right; the analysis of one's openness cannot be so simply related to selflessness. Anyway, it was a superfluous addendum to my presentation.
  14. Brant, Will I come up for air in twenty years because I will not find a woman who believes in Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand? If that is the issue, it may be different now because of the Internet and particularly this forum here. Objectivists believe that the world only gets better, in general, with technological progress. This Internet is a product of the current greatest Age (as all Ages are the greatest ones yet). So in this greatest Age I may be supplied with the sort of woman that might not even step foot upon a university or workplace of mine.
  15. Peter, Are you sure she isn't straight-arming you? --Brant I didn't mean to say that she ever became aware of her "selfish selfishness;" sorry if it was unclear. Nah, we were young non-objectivists: we hadn't developed tastes for deceit. We never conversed but frankly, for we hoped to gain philosophical understanding by mutual self-analysis. But being postmodernists at heart, like the "wet nurse" of Atlas Shrugged, we learned a sum of nothing. There is no Hugh Akston to teach us; we are receiving postmodernist education. Too bad she didn't have an employer to educate her. I am lucky that mine lent me Atlas Shrugged. Anyway, I went through this whole course with her over the last two years. Having put off reading Rand because she was apparently aligned with the conservatives, I at last wished to escape all the nonsense. Having little else to do this summer but to read less interesting science textbooks, I latched desperately onto the profundity that I had seen upon a glance at the book last summer. I did not see right away how objectivism could be the one right philosophy, but I latched further onto it because it posited an alternative to this girl's contagious selflessness. Alas, it is too late in her life to show it to her: not because her convictions are any stronger with age, but simply because she will never take the time to read the requisite epic, since she will spend her time either studying socialism or enjoying her life by getting away via mindless and occasionally drunken diversion from the focus of her life: political and/or economic socialism (a.k.a. social democracy and The Green Revolution). So I know absolutely that she has this strong selflessless and that she thinks that she finds her prospective profession virtuous because it is socialistic. Don't feel obliged to devise a way of convincing her of anything. I told her a month ago that I wanted no more words with her. She admits that political science readings are amounting to little substance, and given this environment in which proper moral instruction comes by the chance of having a wise employer, she has been cast into the pool of no substance, and only John Galt himself might get her out.
  16. Dragonfly, I spoke not of her adult state, but of her childhood, in which one's predispositions are revealed, for they have not yet been influenced by reasoning discourse with fellows who think differently. One who is taciturn through to his teenage years, who was not subjected to an unusual amount of terror or suffering in his environment, and hasn't any speech or linguistic impediments, is likely taciturn because his ego has never grown enough to give him confidence in what he thinks, in the light of what others think. He may also wish to please others by listening to what they have to say. Now ye may say, "Roark is taciturn." But Roark wishes to listen to the fools around him because he knows that that is the quickest way to have them leave him alone, and furthermore, nothing he says can affect them any more than their words affected him. For the same reason, he does not start up many conversations. Indeed, silence often says enough between heroes. The bottom line is that I had all sorts of fruitless but informative discussions with this taciturn, selfless girl, and she told me how pointedly she has always believed in selflessness. I know her circumstances; the description about the weak ego above is applicable to her, if not to everyone. She can never become an objectivist because she will never read Rand's works. Brant, As you can see from the above paragraph, I cannot be distorting my view of her, because I have heard explicit affirmations of her greatest conviction, which is the virtue of selflessness (and her unawareness of her aforementioned hypocritical selfish selflessness).
  17. Michael, Yes, temperament was the substance of the cited neurobiological chart. I agree with what Barbara Branden said and what you paraphrase: that educated actions can be evil, but actions in ignorance, thoughts, and mere existence are not evil. But we must consider the scope of this education. A standard university education today, as stated in Atlas Shrugged, leaves the actors in ignorance. A reading of Rand's works is sufficient education for many. But some people need to be the starving citizens after the cliffhanger ending of Atlas Shrugged. Those souls hardened even against Galt are evil beings, not just evil sets of actions, and they would sooner die than accept objectivism. Rand doesn't specify which of her characters are thereby evil, but I think she hints that Dr. Stadler was one of them. Anyone short of such a being is not evil, for he can be educated. I maintain that from the historical perspective, genetics and environment (the sum of all atomic movements in the universe that occurred before one's conception, thereby including all human action) determine how a man lived his life. Note the past tense. A man can act upon irrational whims that are per se unpredictable, but retrospectively, genetics and environment will tell us why he acted rationally or irrationally, though they will not tell us why he did something in particular unless we can observe the life of a men with at least seventy-two quarterings of recorded ancestry in controlled cells. So we can never see all the particulars unless we perform Naziistic experiments, but I maintain that we get a general idea of character from a man's ancestry and surroundings. Ye will see more neurobiological revelations in time. Rand had not seen any; therefore the tabula rasa was plausible to her.
  18. You're right that it isn't ideal to study hypothetical people, but Rand maintains that people like her characters do exist, and she said in her postscript to Atlas Shrugged that the publishing of her book is evidence of their existence. Furthermore, we both know these same characters deeply, whereas we know different people deeply in the real world. Though these characters are prototypal, you're right that they are not evidence of anything. Our relations of real people to these characters makes them auxiliary in a study. The steadfast Rand heroes and Rand villains of my acquaintance, who I have known to be steadfast since childhood, have not been open to a transmutation to the other side. Do you know anyone who has changed a strong predisposition, as evinced in childhood, towards being a hero or a villain; i.e., towards being selfish or selfless? Did you know, or know of, a taciturn and selfless young girl who became an objectivist? Did you know a John Galt who contrarily transmuted?
  19. Sorry; I was referring to my own figurative expression, which I just derived from reading that the eerily insightful Toohey of The Fountainhead calls Catherine "anemic." I defined "mental anemia" as the lack of Brant's "turbo" button, caused by the inability to realize one's selfish potential. The mentally anemic in Atlas Shrugged are the villains, and the others are heroes. Ranging from the lowly Willers to the prescient Galt, and from the secure Galt to the wavering d'Anconia to the perenially resistant Dagny Taggart, these heroes, like the villains, have in common the characteristics of objectivists or of mental anemics, respectively. I consider this differentiation heritable because these villains and heroes do not transmute to the other side. Even the resistant Dagny does not change her character in the least. The great volatile environment of the characters changes nobody as far as we can see. Rand leaves us hanging in the end, for she cannot predict what the greatest persuasive force, the will of John Galt, will do to the characters of the villains. The book is a presentation of the stubbornness of man. As the clever President Thompson shows, man can classify the one right philosophy as a good one among equals, all of which must be accepted in a free society. This postmodernism nihilistically dissolves objectivism. Again, nothing we can do can change the minds of James Taggart and company, except perhaps that which Galt does. Surely Rand believes in an inherited predisposition of character - in genetics - for environment (except, perhaps, for Galt's destruction of the reeling People's States) does nothing to particularly strong genetic traits like being a hero or a villain; but a simple aspect of the environment, i.e., Galt's conferences with business leaders, can convince wavering people, who haven't the villain's predisposition, to become full heroes. The environment can work on people where the genetic resistance isn't too fundamental.
  20. Brant, Indeed they are end-stage at that point, because the fundamental conflict of strong inherited traits becomes evident when the traits become philosophically offensive. I agree that the environment significantly differentiates twins. But I would expect that the environment could not change a very strong inherited trait, e.g., mental anemia. I believe in limited intellectual determinism; it is limited because I have recently shifted from depressing selflessness into confident selfishness, but I could only shift so easily because selflessness was not my predisposition as a child, but only a powerful sentiment that I had first encountered later in life. Again, I do not believe that we are born as blank slates, but as the specific product of our ancestors. We are not slates, but humans, whose correct philosophy is tailored to the peculiar reasoning faculty of humanity. Furthermore, our ancestors endow us with even more specific speciation of various strengths, e.g., varied strengths of mental anemia.
  21. Brant, Before I had given up on trying to change people's characters, and before I had learned of other moral options besides selflessness, I had told my ex-girlfriend that it was selfish to wait for Prince Charming to get her off because she was putting effort into that which would make her alone euphoric at some point, thereby diverting effort from the ends of others. By this means I was appealing to her selflessness. Reflecting upon this attempt after reading Rand, I decided instead that she suffered from selflessness, for the concomitant lack of self-esteem makes the idea of getting oneself off repulsive; the afflicted find their own bodies nauseating. Yet I can see how mental masturbation (the "soul getting off" as you put it) results from this hypocritical selfless selfishness. However, the souls that get off this way are damned anemic; they don't have a "turbo" button. But those that do must indeed discover it for themselves, as I did during my recovery from the selfless contagion. They must not discover it through a meme, but through reflection upon instructive texts like Rand's novels. Then again, anemic souls have no choice but to follow the dominant theistic meme, if they want to get off properly. For what can they do to change their mode of mentally getting off? Like the homosexuals, they are born with a trait unfavorable in natural selection, for they lack a turbo button as the homosexuals lack a satisfying means of reproduction and infant suckling. Now surely the mental state is usually more versatile than sexual orientation, but I believe that some, who are particularly selfless from youth, suffer incurable mental anemia. We can gain nothing from discourse with them in philosophy, the arts, or the social "sciences," and little else from outside the most stable paradigms of physical, natural, computer science &c. As Barbara Branden has warned, we must not break up families and same-sex friendships (among men, at least; I don't know about women) just because some of our relations and allies have this incurable condition. But we can avoid prolonging relationships with the afflicted of the opposite sex, in which bitterness recurs inevitably. (For homosexuals, reverse "same" to "opposite" and it should still hold true, but again, I don't know about these relationships first hand.)
  22. That ain't genetics, it is memetics. You came to have these ideas because you -chose- to have these ideas. Genes do not determine the data or ideation content of your brain. That is acquired through experience which is a combination of choice and chance. Genes may determine how efficiently your brain works, but they in no say determine -what you think-. Ba'al Chatzaf According to dictionary.com, a meme is "a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes." Memetics is hence the mainstay of pre-Chomsky linguistics. I believe in the inherited mental grammar, and all the other inheritance follows. This mental inheritance makes us not just voids with CPUs, but specific products of specific ancestors. The strongest pillar of objectivism is the notion that humans are a specific species that require a philosophy tailored to the natural selection of the species. I believe that this is the objectivist viewpoint. I won't discuss non-objectivist viewpoints.