Michael Stuart Kelly

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Everything posted by Michael Stuart Kelly

  1. I just read the article and I am in agreement with the majority (but not all) of Nathan's conclusions. More later on that, maybe. I also just registered for an account at www.wethethinking.com. He has not opened his article to discussion yet, but I want to announce what I wish to do here first anyway - then there. Nathan and I crossed cyber-swords many times and I believe we were both seduced by the over-emotionalism of the environment when we did. This led us both to say several things that were completely foolish in hindsight. I would like to apologize to him. This decision in no way is a result of recent monkeyshines by those leftover from the old SoloHQ site where we used to meet. Frankly, I have been meaning to apologize to Nathan for quite some time. I wanted to do it publicly on his site, but he went into inactivity around the time I wanted to do that. So I waited for a good opportunity. Now the time has come. In addition to my own independent thinking on this, which developed as I watched events unfold, a while back Rich Engle was very persuasive about my need to take a second look at Nathan. I did. I didn't like what I saw either. But what I didn't like was me, not Nathan. Despite several areas of disagreement with him that still persist, I saw to my own self-disgust that my behavior toward him had been downright cruel and unfair on a few occasions (not many - I still stand by the majority of our encounters, but what I did wrong, I did wrong). I don't condone this behavior out of anybody else, so it certainly has no business being in me. Also, Rich wrote an article on mysticism that he had sent me for a critical read. We both agreed that submitting it to RoR at that time would be suicidal and he decided to publish it on wethethinking.com. I liked the article and asked Rich if there would be any problem with Nathan on posting it in "Chewing on Ideas" here on OL. There was no problem whatsoever. I thanked Nathan publicly for raising no objection. I want to be clear, though. This is not the place to expound on a litany of points where I still disagree with Nathan or present justifications for my past behavior. This is an apology. Nathan Hawking, please accept my apology for the times I have been unfair and mean to you. You did not deserve that and my opinion is that you are a highly intelligent person of goodwill. I was wrong and I deeply regret it. This behavior will not be repeated. Michael
  2. Ellen Stuttle just made the following comment on a thread where I am discussing a book about plot structures in literature: As I believe that attitude toward sexuality is one of the critical factors in the impact a role model has on a person, then this discussion is extremely pertinent here. Most of the Objectivists I have interacted with are very outspoken about freedom of sexuality, yet seem as uptight as any 18th century Puritan in their own lives - and in their condemnatory attitudes toward people (other than Rand) who exercise sexual options not sanctioned by society. The sole exception is that homosexuality is starting to gain a bit of acceptance, but certainly not in all Objectivist quarters. I wonder if this attitude I observe is a reflection on their adopting Rand's view by imitating her own attitudes, even where they were at odds with some of her stated views. Frankly, this posture seems to be a very safe one for people who are afraid to live. A person can SAY that he is open-minded, moral and whatnot, and he can condemn others to his heart's content, but he can LIVE according to a different standard - a SAFE one. It takes guts to openly (with emphasis on this word "openly") practice what you preach. I can think of no greater example of the principle of "sanction of the victim" than letting society dictate your sexual life IN ACTION, while you profess to believe otherwise. If this seems like I am being harsh on Rand, it is because I sincerely believe that these kinds of mixed signals that she sometimes put out (especially as a role model) need to be identified and dismissed so that her many good ideas can better flourish. People who ape Ayn Rand's weaknesses impair the spread of her strong ideas by being a horrible example (and role model) for others to look at. Michael
  3. Pete, I agree with you that there could be a danger of putting more store in this than it warrants, thus falling into sycophancy. However, I am a great believer in the theme-statement from the movie, Field of Dreams: Tal David Ben-Shachar is building it. They are coming. One of the cornerstones he is now using is NB's Six Pillars. More are coming. You may agree with me or not, but my prediction is that his approach is a bit more than merely building a mickey - and it is going to spread to other colleges. Once that happens, a solid academic reputation will be established whether people like it or not. If colleges today can be loaded with ethnic studies and similar stuff that was not available when I was a student (early 70's), I see no reason for positive psychology to not grow and become standard. I don't see this as the finish line at all. On the contrary, the starting pistol was just fired. But frankly, I can't think of any better starting gate than Harvard. You may not be impressed, but I am. (No offense intended here. Just merely stating different evaluations.) Michael
  4. Kevin, I've tried my damnedest to get this thing right and it just ain't gonna happen. Your rant is now posted twice, once here and once as if it almost were Roger, and that's the way it has to be - but that's perfectly OK. Your message is so important that it needs to be read twice, anyway. That's right. Twice. Michael
  5. Dayaamm Chris! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! We love you. Michael & Kat
  6. Here is a bit more info for those who don't like to click on links. The event is charmingly called "Great Decisions Dinner" It will be held on March 30, 2006 5:00 pm - Reception 6:00 pm - Dinner 7:00 pm - Talk Ristorante Don Giovanni 235 Castro St. (Between Villa and Dana Streets) Mountain View, CA 94041 US Dinner Menu: Mixed Green Vinagrette Salad Entree choices: Penne Pasta (Tube pasta with fresh-diced tomatoes & eggplant) Saute'd Chicken Breast (Marsala Wine Sauce with mushrooms) Grilled Petite Salmon (In a Dill mustard sauce) Grilled Pork Chop (Thick chop with applesauce) Dessert choices: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Sliced Strawberry Chocolate Mousse For price, registration, directions and other information, please click on the link in Patrick's post above. (Mmmmmmmm.... Appetite whetted? - now ya gotta click.) Looks like a winner. Michael
  7. On February 12, 2006, Mike Lee made two posts on Nathaniel Branden’s Yahoo forum. The views he presented are ones that are held by many, many people, but hardly ever given formal expression. They sum up a refreshingly frank and insightful historical perspective. I asked for (and received) permission from him to consolidate the two emails and present them here. I have eliminated references to posters and some other people and rearranged a couple of paragraphs. Thank you greatly for these thoughts, Mike. Michael
  8. Chapter 21 – Master Plot #15: Forbidden Love Tobias opens the chapter with the traditional “Love is blind” message, to show how powerful love is before examining the forbidden part. From the book: “We believe in the power and the strength of love to overcome all obstacles. It is the supreme achievement of human emotion. In the perfect world there is only love, and all the petty meanness that holds human beings down to such an earthly plane is left behind. Love is a transcendent state, and we spend our lives seeking it.” Tobias also mentions that “love is more powerful than any human strength.” Then here comes the catch. Although Tobias does not specifically state that forbidden love is a character plot and that the principal antagonist is society, he heavily implies this throughout the chapter. (Reality sometimes is the antagonist as well, as in the case of large age differences or deformities that impede sex.) Society defines love and states what is proper or not. It teaches others to adopt these definitions. Here are some of the situations where love is not acceptable, depending on the society: Rank or social standing Social class Faith (or philosophy for a more Objectivist spin) Race Adultery Same sex Incest Large age differences Extremely ugly or grotesque partner (Within the forbidden love plot, Tobias omits pedophilia, most likely because (1) a child is incapable of feeling romantic love in the same way an adult can, and (2) a published story like would probably be a crime in today’s society. Still, he cites Death in Venice by Thomas Mann where the protagonist is a man and the person loved is a 14 year old boy.) Thus there are some kinds of love that cross the lines drawn by society and “thrives in the cracks.” Although the different kinds of prohibitions are given above, Tobias highlights four main categories. 1. ADULTERY This always includes a husband, wife (one being the betrayed spouse) and a lover – the traditional triangle. The person who commits the adultery is often the protagonist and the betrayed spouse the antagonist. Revenge is a common motivation for the antagonist. Sometimes the plot thickens as the lovers plan to kill the other spouse. Their motivation is usually the desire to get married or be together. 2. INCEST This is one of the darker forms of forbidden love. Society does not tolerate it at all – and does not forgive it, so the end is almost always extremely tragic. 3. HOMOSEXUAL LOVE From the book: “In pre-Christian times, homosexuality wasn’t seen as deviant behavior, but with the scriptural admonition against homosexuality and the rise of a puritanic frame of mind, we became less tolerant.” (After adultery, this is the most common forbidden love theme. As society is becoming more tolerant, works are starting to appear with a less “forbidden” focus to them, focusing more on the love itself instead. But society is still intolerant enough for homosexuality to be considered in this category.) 4. MAY-DECEMBER ROMANCES This is one field where not only society, but reality is an antagonist, since time literally runs out for one of the partners. Works mentioned Aucassin and Nicolette by anonymous (legend – repeated from "Master Plot 14: Love") Tristan and Isolde (myth – repeated from "Master Plot 14: Love") Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Romeo and Jeanette by Jean Anouilh Heloise and Abelard (from their letters – repeated from "Master Plot 14: Love") The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo Death in Venice by Thomas Mann The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert “The Miller’s Tale” (from Canterbury Tales) by Geoffrey Chaucer Oedipus Rex (play) by Sophocles The Sound and the Fury by William Faukner Movies mentioned Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (repeated from "Master Plot 14: Love") Tis a Pity She’s a Whore (repeated from "Master Plot 14: Love") The Postman Always Rings Twice Diabolique Act 1 (or Phase 1) – Setup The characters are introduced and the affair is set up. The nature of the prohibition or taboo by society (or reality) is highlighted. The affair is almost always found out and society usually becomes an antagonist bent on punishing the lovers. Act 2 (or Phase 2) – Complications Here the lovers go into the heart of their relationship. This usually starts out very positive. By the middle of this section, seeds are planted of destruction of the relationship itself between the lovers, and by the end, the relationship is on the decline. These seeds can come from the force of society (or reality), or from within one of the lovers. Act 3 (or Phase 3) – Climax and resolution The lovers pay for violating the rules of society (or reality). This kind of plot most often has a tragic ending. Death is usually involved. When the death (or other kind of removal) of one partner is the case, the surviving partner can have the love continue to burn in his heart, or he may “surrender to disillusionment and despair.” Often he loses everything. Society is almost always the winner in this kind of story Checklist 1. From the book: “Forbidden love is any love that goes against the conventions of society.” Society exerts force (explicit or implicit) against the lovers. 2. The lovers ignore society, usually ending in disaster. 3. Adultery is the most common of forbidden love stories. The adulterer can be either protagonist or antagonist. The same goes for the betrayed spouse. (Actually, Tobias doesn’t mention it, but this also could be the lover.) 4. Act 1 – Define the relationship and social context. Taboos. How do lovers react? How do the people around them react? Are the lovers blinded by love or realistic about society? 5. Act 2 – This goes to the heart of the affair. It usually starts idyllic, but gradually disintegrates under the different pressures. 6. Act 3 – The relationship ends and moral scores are settled. (Read society’s moral score here.) From the book: “The lovers are usually separated, either by death, force or desertion.” My comments I believe adultery is the only forbidden love in Ayn Rand’s works. She used this theme to great effect to illustrate her sanction of the victim principle in Atlas Shrugged (Hank Rearden and Dagny). The issue of society being able to dictate what is proper or not in romance is very strong in Rand’s writing, even from the beginning (see “The Husband I Bought” in The Early Ayn Rand). Rand seemed to have an overly-strong aversion to sexual scandal. She gave extreme importance to it. For example, in Atlas Shrugged, there is a great deal of highlighted secrecy of affairs, then Hank wanted to punch out a casual stranger (during his car trip with Dagny) who insinuated that he was aware of the affair, and Dagny collapsed into tears after her tell-all radio broadcast. I simply cannot imagine Rand writing about any of the other types of forbidden love, although she did live through an experience of a large age difference and adultery. It is interesting to see how society was an antagonist. This theme could be a very rich one for an Objectivist-type story. Also, homosexual love.
  9. John, I do apologize. Our little software package has some limitations. Once in a while that will happen to me, then I use the browser's back button and it all comes back. Then I have to hit "Preview" once again before it will accept "Submit." Hopefully, after some time, we will hire a geek and do this thing mighty righteously. Until then, please bear with us. As a suggestion, maybe when you see a post growing, it would be a good idea to copy it to a Word file and save it in a folder called "garbage" or something. Then just copy and paste when you are done. If there is some posting problem, you will not lose your work. The only inconvenient aspect of doing it that way is that you have to redo all the formatting like italics and bold after you paste. (Sigh... How I long for a perfect world...) Michael
  10. Barbara, Sorry I didn't say anything sooner. I was a bit overwhelmed. That was one amazing post. History seen through those eyeglasses suddenly comes into focus and things make sense. It is absolutely reassuring that attitudes like hatred from intelligent people do have underlying causes that can be identified. We do live in a rational universe. Thank you deeply. How much more is there? I can't help but wonder... Ellen, I included your last post in the other thread. I didn't include your first post since the main focus deals with your account of a statement by Allan Blumenthal and your reaction to reading Rand's journal entries (an analysis of Rand), instead of a memory per se, which is the purpose of that thread. But it was extremely perceptive and a pleasure to read. Brant, Thank you very much for the compliment. I never felt you were ever motivated by malice, which is why I never crossed swords with you. If you have any other first-hand memories of Rand, it would be marvelous to hear them. If not, many thanks once again for what you shared. Michael
  11. This statement by Ellen Stuttle is dated February 16, 2006. It was posted on the thread, "A quote (from AB) and comments re AR's journals" here in the Branden Corner on OL. It is a modified version of a June 2003 post from her on the Atlantis_II forum.
  12. I was thoroughly delighted to see the sudden appearance of a guy named "Star the Hater" on RoR. This is one more coincidence. This guy represents perfectly how to get to normal people - how to talk to them. He put his own spin on Objectivism, mixing it with elements of his target audience, and has about five million listeners who tune into his radio show every day. He calls his spin "Objective Hate." Apparently, the real things he hates are losers in life. This dude puts Objectivism in places it never would have gone. Bravo, Star! Nothing replaces talent. Nothing. (The new Proprietors of Objectivism sure as hell don't.) I will read up on the guy and post more comments on him later. One thing stands out, though. He ain't part of any idealistic organization, bowing to a leader. He is truly an Objectivist. His success is individual. Michael
  13. Here is one from The Objectivist (March, 1967).
  14. Drangonfly, I'll concede to the voice of profound experience. (ducking...) //;-)) Anyway, given the present context, Roger's lampoon, redundancy is not too redundant at all. (Dayaamm! That was a terrible phrase. Where on earth do I come up with this stuff?) (scratching head...) Michael
  15. This statement by Brant Gaede is dated February 16, 2006. It was posted on the thread, "A quote (from AB) and comments re AR's journals" here in the Branden Corner on OL.
  16. Brant, Sorry about the inconvenience on the other thread. I had to lock it in order to keep it from being used for arguing. It is a thread for people who knew Rand to record their memories. I will keep your post here and also repeat it in that thread. If you would like to post it under your name instead of under my name mentioning that it is from you, (and I would VASTLY prefer it to be only you), please send me an email (mikellyusabr@yahoo.com) and we will mark a time when I will unlock the thread for you. Then I will delete the post I made. I am trying to think of some way around this problem... I will delete the present post after I hear from you, or after a day or so has passed. Thank you very much for sharing that memory. If you would like to share others, I (and probably scholars and other interested people) would be delighted to read them. Edit - Brant, in light of your gracious answer below, I will no longer delete this post so that people can see what you were responding to. Michael
  17. Dragonfly, Technically speaking, not a pleonasm. Onan spilled his seed (doncha love that word?) on the ground, but he wasn't wanking. He was getting it on with his old lady - he just didn't want her to get pregnant like he was told to do. He pulled out at the magic moment. How his name got mixed up with wanking is a long lonely story... Michael
  18. This guy, Tal David Ben-Shachar, is really something! In the short time he has been at Harvard, he's already teaching 20% of Harvard's undergraduates a subject that has been dismissed as "pop psychology" for years. He even founded the Harvard Ayn Rand Club. I have a feeling that the his results are the start of a small but much-needed academic overhaul that will spread to other colleges. I am highly pleased with his adoption of Six Pillars (with the results of that given in his email to Nathaniel). I'm a fan of this guy already. Michael
  19. Patrick, I'm glad you started this. Kat is a single mother who will shortly not be so. I am a single male shortly about to have an addition of two step-kids to my life. So this is a very timely subject for me. Gotta do some heavy thinking so I get it right. I see the whole issue for now in terms of balance. There is a time for being stern, when danger is involved, for example, but I think a good parent also "steers" the interests of the child, by fostering interesting approaches, and lets nature take its course. The key seems to be a willingness to try to see the world through the child's eyes, while keeping on the lookout for basic BAD STUFF like stealing, drugs and stuff like that. I will have to wait and see, but I m going into this parent thing with this approach. Michael
  20. Helmholtz further suggested that the “characteristic resemblance between the relations of the musical scale and of space [is] of vital importance for the peculiar effects of music” (370). He went on to say that: Helmholtz is saying something very important here: he is recognizing the dependence of depicting emotion upon depicting motion.{37} In turn, however, since there are no disembodied motions, any more than there are disembodied emotions, the depiction of emotion must ultimately rest upon the depiction of some kind of entity in whom the motion and emotion appear to inhere. That entity, of course, is melody, which functions as a sort of virtual entity, or apparent entity, as does a chord. Rand’s associate, Allan Blumenthal (1974b) described melodic themes in music thusly: Citing Levinson 1990 (336–75) and Levinson 1996 (90–125), Scruton (1997) writes: “We hear a piece of music as though it were the voice of an imaginary subject.” He elaborates on this point: This view of music’s metaphor to individuals in action toward goals is, as Halliwell (2002, 238–39) says, a view that dates back to Aristotle: Over four decades earlier, the more general psychological mechanism, of which the “virtual person” or “musical character” phenomenon in dramatic music is a special case, was discovered by social psychologists Heider and Simmel. They made an experimental film, the plot of which consisted of the striving of a protagonist to achieve a goal, the interference by an antagonist, and the final success of the protagonist with the aid of a helper. Nothing unusual in that . . . except, the “stars” of the movie were three dots. Pinker (1997) says it is impossible not to see the dots as “trying to get up [a] hill . . . hindering [the first dot] . . . and helping it reach its goal” (322). The point, Pinker says, is that people, even toddlers, “interpret certain motions . . . as animate agents [that] propel themselves, usually in service of a goal” (322). Commenting on the Heider and Simmel’s experiment, Wegner (2002, 17) writes: Heider later (1958) explained, Wegner says, that “people perceive persons as causal agents—origins of events—and that this is the primary way in which persons are understood in a manner that physical objects and events are not” (Wegner 2002, 16). Human beings, in other words, have a natural propensity to interpret and respond to even the bare semblance of physical motion in anthropomorphic terms. The behavior of musical tones in dramatic music is completely analogous to that of these dots and is naturally, unavoidably experienced in the same way. This feature of melody constitutes a major part of the explanation of why we respond to an unfolding musical progression similarly to the way we respond to the actions of people in literature, drama, and real life. Melody is able to provide a convincing and engaging analogy to a human being located in space and engaged in physical movements and gestures and goal-directed activities. Citing Rosen (1972; 1988), Scruton (1997) elaborates on this musical analogy to space and motion: This is the phenomenon experienced as the basis of the analogy between purposefulness or goal-directedness conveyed by progressions of musical events and plot in literature long acknowledged by music theorists and laymen alike.{38} This resemblance between such progressions of musical events and plot in literature is unmistakable and not at all accidental. Allan Blumenthal (1974b) describes this analogy thusly: A most lucid exposition of the nature of goal-directedness in music is offered by Meyer (1967, 71–72): Nearly all music in our culture is experienced as being goal-directed and not merely as “tone in motion,” because the melodic motion takes place within a context of harmonic and rhythmic relationships between tones. For any given musical style system, and for any given musical piece at any given time, certain relationships are experienced as being more probable or less probable than other relationships. That is, it will seem more likely that a tone or group of tones will be succeeded by one particular tone or group of tones, rather than some other tone or group of tones. The broad stylistic system that has predominated between the Renaissance and the present day—and which consists of tonal harmony based upon the diatonic scale—allows for probably the most precise, striking sense of relationship between successions of tones and chords (harmonies) that is possible within any style system. There is a firm mathematical-physiological basis for this experience, too: the connections between the partials of the various harmony tones and the fundamentals (or roots) of the harmonies involved.{39} Since some of these relationships are felt physiologically as being more direct than others, they are more highly expected to occur in a piece than other, less-direct-feeling ones. So, we subconsciously expect, or regard as probable, that the tones existing in these relationships will follow one another, as opposed to the tones existing in less direct relationships. This gives rise to the anticipation of definite projected melodic and harmonic goals—even if only on a subconscious and sub-verbal level. Thus, there is a natural basis in tonal harmonic music—and to a more limited extent in other types of music, as well—for experiencing in musical events a logically connected progression, which is perceived as such. And that logically connected progression seems purposeful or goal-directed, because certain melodic-harmonic-rhythmic goals are most strongly implied and expected in a given piece of music. Such a progression or sequence could not be constructed or experienced in music unless the main “character” of the music (the main melodic phrase, motif, theme, etc.) were engaged in the “pursuit” of some purpose—unless, that is, the melody appeared to be motivated by some goal(s) that direct its action. Meyer (1967, 7) explains how: We may thus be said to understand a melody, in the same sense that we use with regard to persons or literary characters, whenever we understand why it acts as it does—i.e., when we understand a melody’s actions and know what to expect of it. We understand the “musical motivation” of the melody. We have grasped the stylistic premises or principles, if only subconsciously, which form the melody’s character and “move” it to action. To paraphrase Rand in carrying this analogy further: to re-create the reality of his melody, to make both its nature and its actions intelligible, it is their musical motivation that a composer has to reveal. He may do it gradually, revealing it bit by bit, building up the evidence as the music progresses, but at the end of the musical work, the listener must know why the melody did the things it did—even if this is only realized subconsciously by the listener.{40} This is the basic outline of a compositional approach often used in “serious” or “classical” music. It accounts for the common observation, noted above, that such music seems to “tell a story.” Composers have often used one or more melodic ideas in order to unify their multi-movement works. The melodic material appears within varying harmonic and rhythmic settings, thus lending each movement a different mood or outlook.{41} 3. Further Clarifications It is certainly possible to pursue a more detailed comparison of tonal attributes such as texture, rhythm, and harmony with the physical attributes of human beings and the temporal and spatial attributes of their actions. The analogy, however, would become more and more tenuous, as we attempted to integrate less well- defined correlations into the whole. While a pair of countermelodies, for instance, might plausibly be compared to a pair of lovers or combatants,{42} at some point the attempted one-to-one matching of nuances becomes simply pointless. There will be other musical details and aspects of one’s emotional response that relate more to the felt qualities of tone than to the semblance of motion per se. Thus, despite the extensive and fundamental parallels between dramatic music and dramatic literature discussed in the previous section, the analogy is necessarily an incomplete one. This is the basis of the oft-stated caveat that, in the final analysis, music is to a large degree, sui generis. Despite its significant commonalities with the other temporal arts, especially literature, it is also a realm of human expression with a considerable amount of autonomy. Notwithstanding this important point, however, the deep commonalities between music and the other temporal arts must be acknowledged if the nature and power of music as an art form is to be fully understood. To put it simply: it must be realized that music is only relatively sui generis. It is most accurately regarded not as being in “a category by itself,” but instead as being in a subcategory of the temporal arts. This can best be seen by a further consideration of emotion in music and the other temporal arts. Emotions, which in a real sense are things from reality, are often held to be the subject matter of music, music supposedly being (unlike the other arts) a kind of “language of the emotions.” The microcosm view of music, however, does not amount to a claim, as Torres and Kamhi (2000b) allege, that an emotional or feeling state (or even a long succession of them) is a world-in-miniature.{43} Emotional and feeling states are things from reality that in representational form, become “furniture” (i.e., more specific content within) the new, idealized reality, the imaginary world that arises within a work of music, just as they are present in other temporal art forms such as poetry, novels, and stage presentations. Whether in dramatic literature, theatrical drama, or dramatic music, a panoramic vista must be presented or implied, and within that vista must be presented perceivable figures that serve to embody the basic view of the world that the vista represents—and dramatic music does this no more and no less than the other dramatic arts. Thus, if it seems that music “more aptly represents human emotional processes,” it is because, unlike the visual arts, music, “like life [and literature], appears to be in constant motion” (Scruton 1997, 79). However, this is only relative. The truth behind the longstanding myth that music is the “language of the emotions” is the fact that each of the temporal arts is a language of the emotions, i.e., of one’s sense of life. Rand’s comment (1971, 46) that music “evokes man’s sense-of-life emotions” is no less true for any of the other temporal arts. As Jourdain (1997, 312) puts it: “t’s easy to see how music generates emotion. Music sets up anticipations and then satisfies them.” This, in general, is the same way that emotions are generated in life and literature. The world-in-miniature in music is thus not the emotional or feeling states “re-created” in aural form. Instead, the musical microcosm is the whole aural vista{44} the listener is presented, within which secondary re-creations of feeling states and other phenomena can be and often are presented as more specific elements within that vista. Furthermore, every emotional state has an object (what the emotion is about) and a subject (the person experiencing the emotion). As Scruton (1997, 167) notes: “[E]motions are not identified only through their objects, but also through their subjects, and the behavior whereby a subject expresses them.” Davies (1994, 239) elaborates: Since no emotional state exists in disembodiment from a person who experiences that emotional state, there can be no re-creation of an emotion—neither in literature nor in music—that does not rest more basically upon a re-creation of a person, or something that resembles a person in the key respects pertaining to emotion (such as auditory tonal intensity and volume, musical gesture, progressions of musical tension and release, etc.). In other words, dramatic art in general, and dramatic music in particular, functions as a “language of the emotions” by means of characterization, which conveys physical accompaniments of emotions, and by plot-construction, which conveys progressions of actions and their associated emotions. (cont.)
  21. Ellen, Just to be sure, I checked up on "fair use." Your excerpt is a bit long, but I believe that it satisfies the requirements of fair use as commented by the Copyright Office's own overview of fair use, sections 107 through 118 of the copyright act (title 17, U.S. Code). Specifically, of the four "factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair" as given in Section 107, your quote easily falls within three of them: Also, there is the following statement from the Copyright Office's overview: Your quote is only a small portion of a much longer article and is illustrative of a single idea under discussion. This discussion is non-commercial and hardly will affect the sales of VOR, the DVD or any other support where the article appears. btw - I wouldn't think of moving your initial post now. Michael
  22. Kitten, I am extremely proud of you. Keep up the good work and think deeply about what these wise people on this thread have told you. You are putting together something of lasting value for Objectivism. (Kisssssss...) Luke, it is great to see you here. I hope you enjoy our little group and contribute from time to time. If I had known you would have been seduced so easily by a chart, I would have had Kat do one a long time ago. (I should have known, anyway...) Michael
  23. You know, I had doubts about putting this rant up. I figured it would be used by some Objectivist Movement Leader or other for wily, conniving dirty-rotten designs. But I thought, the hell with it. Truth is truth. Then I was talking to Kat earlier on the telephone. She told me she was riding to work on the train yesterday and saw a person reading The Fountainhead. Obviously, she wanted to say hi to the guy, so she approached him. He looked up, furtively, then said, "You know, I'm not into that cult. I'm just reading this as a novel." She tried to calm his fears, engage him in conversation, talk about OL and the Objectivist people we know and so forth. But he was having none of it. With great deal of relief on his part, she finally desisted and left him alone. Don't think this guy was relieved because Kat was pushy. She isn't. Kat is one of the nicest and sweetest people on earth to strangers (except for aggressive street bums). I get amused by coincidences like that. They happen all the time with me. This guy illustrates perfectly what I am trying to say. The worst enemies of Objectivism and Rand's ideas are usually Objectivists. True believers. And the best ambassador for her ideas continues to be her novels - despite all the sound and the fury in teacups that squeak in the distance. Recently, I saw on another website (one where the people don't like me) a harsh criticism of a new Objectivist site of young people. Being young, they apparently got some of the ideas wrong, but with a great deal of enthusiasm. Of course, the Official Objectivist Movement Representative (and friends) roundly trounced the site of young people with relish. Then someone popped up and asked whether it would not be a good idea to try to teach these kids. They were young and obviously interested. I could hear the coughing and see the sudden glances off in the distance. LOLOLOLOLOLOL... These kids read some Rand and liked her enough to set up an online fan club. The train passenger liked Rand enough to read her on his trip. There is a lesson here, because these are all good people. They are in the 98% I mentioned in the rant. I'm trying to figure out how to talk to these good people - get to them. I would like to find a way to increase the influence of what Rand they read. (That's why there is an emphasis here on writing new fiction works, for instance - and talent.) Regardless, I suspect some of Rand's sound ideas are going to sink in from what these people are reading and discussing anyway, so some good will come of it one way or another. But that won't happen in a month of Sundays if you leave it up to the New Proprietors of Objectivism, that's for sure. From what I see, these dudes are scaring off the "normal people" who become interested in Rand's ideas. Michael
  24. Welcome Dr. Wesley, I hope you have a good time here. You mentioned Joesph Schillinger. I read a bit on a Schillinger method of music composition when I was in college in the early 70's. Is this the same one? I will have to bone up, but I remember he had some interesting ideas - especially about rhythm. Also - let me take advantage of the opportunity to welcome Col. Hogan/Wayne (sorry I missed you back then). Michael
  25. Roger, I'm biting my tongue but I'm laughing my ass off. Dayaamm! Michael