Michael Stuart Kelly

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Everything posted by Michael Stuart Kelly

  1. Update - Crazy Fray makes book-signing announcement Folks , it just keeps getting better and better. Dizzy's gonna give a speech for the CRAP book-signing at Borders Books, right next to its world-famous picture display of Danish Mohammad cartoons. Step right up. Step right up. Read all about it! The title of Dizzy's speech for this highbrow event: Bitchin' about Barbara. The rage of rejection. "My mammy ain't gonna reject me no more - no siree. I'll call anyone who reminds me of my mammy and rejects me a poo-poo head." The Objectivist folks enjoyin' the fine lectures at the TOC Seminar can
  2. Charles, I enjoyed this essay. I especially liked this quote: Tolerance is a great deterrent to crowd psychology manipulations. The loudest Objectivists against tolerance are the ones busiest building small power structures. These are the ones who deny such right to others (especially on issues that they think question their intellectual standing or their power), although they constantly proclaim the opposite. Roger Bissell mentioned brainstorming in the NB Self-Esteem Every Day thread. Your discussion at the end is all about brainstorming. This simply cannot happen with intolerant people. (
  3. Paul, Whenever I get thinking about social metaphysics, I think about a tangent - crowd psychology. As a conductor, part of my training was how to handle crowds and I did a lot of observing over the years (and even did my share in facing down and reversing hostile crowds). What makes people go off like that? I don't know why, but I have learned a lot about how (there is no crowd dynamic without at least one ringleader). btw - Hitler's favorite activity was whipping up a crowd and he could do it well. To me, however, social metaphysics as used in Objectivism is tied up with the idea of kissing
  4. Aaron, We are all free to have our opinions, and I have never told anyone to stop posting anywhere or stop liking anyone. However, the way your comment was phrased alerted me to the need to make a clarification. I am not collectively calling a group of people mediocre nor am I against the existence of the forum. Just because a person posts on Perigo's site doesn't mean he/she is mediocre. That is not what I am trying to say. I am reserving very harsh judgment for the core group - and what they produce - only. My basis is the following: Objectivism is a philosophy that holds high regard for com
  5. John, You better be careful among Objectivists, because if this problem is bothering you, they will consider you as: (1) an altruist, (2) a collectivist, or (3) a mystic. Frankly I am pleased by the fact that this is bugging someone (Objectivist or Objectivist-friendly) enough for him to get back to it. You stated in this last post: That is the problem. There is "NO SINGLE ANSWER applicable across-the-board." That goes for the Objectivist side too. But "SINGLE ANSWER applicable across-the-board" solutions is all you hear. Like I stated, I believe there is something within human nature the Ob
  6. Robert, You are causing me to break some rules set for myself about engaging in forum salvos, but I can't stop laughing. Perigo just answered you here and finally he wrote something funny. Perigo threatened you and God knows how many people with who knows what. And such an ominous tone coming from him is funny, because, well, he's a loser and you can't take him seriously. How on earth can a washed-up has-been declare war on anything and make any kind of difference in the world? Dayaamm! Oh, he will do his petty little posts and offline email and phone intrigues, but I can assure you of one thi
  7. Fran, I am all for seeing the world. It's your only time around, so pack as much in as you can. I know that I will check out Dubai over time. I have heard wonderful things about that place. If your temperament is more "improvisation oriented," you should do well in places like that. From your posts, you seem to be doing well in Cyprus as it is. For some basic information, you might want to check out the CIA World Factbook on United Arab Emirates. Informal unregulated banking is a big plus, despite the criminals that lurk around places like that. Michael
  8. Robert, This is very good news. You were giving that place an audience it didn't deserve. Some of the college kids could write a decent term paper, I guess, but the rest of the hardcore people haven't really done much in life - and when they did something, the results have been highly mediocre. Watching you over there was like watching a thoroughbred racehorse pulling a junkyard cart. Michael
  9. Ciro, This news is so important that I split it from the thread where you posted it. I hope you don't mind. Alida Valli was indeed a lovely lady and a wonderful star. More information can be seen on Robert Bidinotto's blog entry called Addio, Alida. Michael
  10. Barbara, I have a GREAT example of someone who practices pure social metaphysics, divorced from productivity. You start by setting yourself up as a new Objectivist leader. Then you make it an unforgivable offense for anyone ever to question your honesty, regardless of any whoppers you lay on folks or gross manipulation of facts you present. Then you worry a great deal about what your image as Objectivist leader could mean if somebody says you drink too much... (Time to stop...) //;-)) Michael
  11. John, LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL... Of course we're still friends. I am VERY PLEASED you started seeing some of the difficulties I have had in discussing this. It's like a slippery fish. The moment you start talking about one perspective or one topic, somebody comes up with another. Then somebody else comments on that, but brings in another, and off you go. I agree fully with your description of what should be delineated BEFORE even talking about anything at all. (ALL of my attempts to do this have failed, too. People just don't stick to the limited topic.) One thing is for sure. This issue causes a gr
  12. This is a thread for people to comment on movies or TV shows they just saw and enjoyed (movie theater, TV, DVD, whatever). I will start with a most charming one I just saw called National Treasure with Nicholas Cage (2004). This is sort of like an Indiana Jones adventure, but the setting is a modern day quest through USA historical items and places from the times of the start of the country. The treasure of the Knights Templar that the founding fathers hid after the Revolutionary War is the prize. A secret treasure map is on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Two groups of people try
  13. Fran, Hi (and a hearty welcome to OL). To be fair to NB's example, he was addressing the moral indignation we feel on seeing an act of blatant callousness to a stray hungry child - what the source of that indignation is. I don't think we would feel such indignation for a stranger not providing the long-term solution you mention. But we would feel indignation on seeing a stranger refuse to get such a child out of harm's way or observe him look on the child's hunger with total indifference. This is a human nature thing. I believe that empathy (especially for children) is is biologically a part
  14. Roger, This is a tangent, but I wasn't just talking about repertoire. When I produce a show, it goes MUCH deeper. And it is not all technical, either. (Although I get into everything, from all the visuals, lighting, arrangements, placement on stage, sound tests, the works - I even try to set an agreeable sequence of keys, making it so that when the atmosphere is similar, the keys are related and when I want a big break in climate, I do something like going from C to F sharp - I could go on all day about this.) However, what I was talking about with social metaphysics was something like if a ma
  15. Barbara, I think we are fully agreed on this. Here are some random thoughts that bounce around in my head about this, though. If I am with a person I care a great deal about, I will most definitely do something to cause that person pleasure and then bask in the attention that is returned. But I understand that this is different than trying to become that person's opinion of me. Still, my actions are very much guided by what that person will think of me. Another point. I have produced many popular music shows in life. If you do not care what people think of you and you are a popular entertaine
  16. Barbara, You're right. I was stretching the concept a bit. I find myself overreacting these days. When a person is pushed by a fanatic, he tends to get fanatic on the other end. I have seen so many "Objectivists" posture about and even brag as if approval and things like that didn't mean anything to them, then fall right off into the most banal cattle-mooing of crowd psychology possible, it makes me wonder. (Could there be something called "crowd metaphysics" or "cattle metaphysics"?) There is a huge difference between psychology (dealing with what comes built-into the mind) and philosophy (wh
  17. Projecting the concept of social metaphysics to a child's level and looking inside myself, I find that approval of others makes me feel good and disapproval makes me feel bad. This works on several levels, also - one being sexual, another in terms of my achievements and another in just plain getting attention. Also, any creative pop artist in any field will do his utmost to create a fad. Fads appeal to a herding thing in the mind where people try to fit in with a group and be approved. Some parts of social metaphysics comes from making wrong choices, but some of this is prewired in our brain.
  18. How much Karate skill do you think 20 bucks will buy? This guy better hope the Ninjas won't come back to finish the job... This ain't altruism. This is entertainment. Michael
  19. This seems more like semantics than anything else to me. From one angle, I see Dragonfly's point. Obviously a number does not refer to any specific entity in reality and it can be used for all of them. Yet from another angle, it does refer to the individuality of things - thus it refers to a general characteristic of most everything in reality. Essentially I see numbers being derived from an axiom (identity). Another part of the derivation is man's capacity for differentiation (noticing similarities and differences), especially when there is more than one similar entity around to look at (or p
  20. Dustan, There is a little sucker in our brain called the amygdala, which is the source of our emotions. I am not a neuro-scientist, so I have used some of the more popular literature to understand some basic concepts. Apparently some reactions have been mapped in the brain by science. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman discusses this in layman's terms and gives solid sources in the bibliography. One interesting case is with sight alone as the sensory input. Light waves enter the retina, turn into impulses that can travel along the optic nerve, going up to the thalamus (another little suc
  21. Dustan, If I haven't already, let me give you a warm welcome to OL. I hope you like our little home. Michael
  22. Hi Dustan (is that your name?), I agree with you about the need to establish context in order to analyze this situation. My example was meant to be the most normal one with no special considerations (healthy adult, basically healthy child, lots of good food, no other adults around, etc.). If you want to see where this evolved from, it started at an Objectivist club meeting here in Florida. I am of the opinion that there is a "meanness" factor in a some people in the Objectivist movement and they get off on trying to sell the philosophy by inverting traditional values (sort of trying to ape Ayn
  23. Dragonfly, You never heard of synergy? Let's simplify the math: 1 + 1 = 3. Sex. Michael
  24. Human will, consciousness or whatever you want to call it exists as an entity. Or it is an attribute of another entity. If it is an entity, it can be a prime cause for causation. This is the view I hold. I'm highly into synergy where life is involved. 2 + 2 often comes to 5 or more, and that brings new entities into existence. Michael
  25. Ellen, Oh no!!!! The kid died! (Here's the correct phrase): "In seinen Armen das Kind war tot!" (In his arms the child was dead!) I studied Die Schöne Müllerin in college. Some of it was cool, but I found some of it boring back then. (It's a trombone thing...) Now it occurs to me that the child might have starved to death! //;-)) (Sorry, couldn't resist...) Michael