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Posts posted by sbeaulieu

  1. This morning I watched proudly as my 6 year old daughter received an award at school. Truth is, my pride had little to do with the award. It had everything to do with seeing how she conducted herself in the world where she is separate from her parents. She interacted with the teachers and other children with independence, confidence, and a truly sparkling spirit. One of the greatest experiences in life is when your child spots you across a crowded auditorium and beams with the most infectious smile and eyes filled with happiness. It tells you in an instant that you are doing something right.

    Her award was for kindness. On the program it describes award recipients as embodying the following spirit:

    "I am sensitive to people's feelings. I help others in need. I am never mean or hurtful with my actions or words. I am charitable."

    Personally, I think these are great qualities to develop. I believe it would be a mistake for someone to hold these qualities at the exclusion of other qualities such as self-assertiveness, self-confidence, independence, productiveness, etc. These qualities of kindness should not define a person or a moral code but they should be included. My question is: Are these qualities of kindness included in Objectivism? Or does Objectivism tend to polarize itself from such qualities or ignore their value?



    I am sensitive to people's feelings, and I am never mean or hurtful with my actions or words - falls under respecting individual rights (self explanatory).

    I help others in need and I am charitable - would seem to fall under rational egoism with respect to the individual finding happiness in helping others. Coersion, guilt, and mandates for charity are not sanctioned under Objectivism. There are individuals that find value in helping those who truly need assistance after falling on hard times through no fault of their own - either directly or indirectly (through charities).

    ~ Shane

  2. How so? Can you ellaborate? That seems like a very general statement. I can see where in some cases, that might hold true, but not all. In teaching, for instance, you have to get your students to a common ground (standard) before they can grasp and implement those teachings. It also creates a solid reference for teaching further on that subject. Without a common standard for objective communication, there is confusion.

    ~ Shane

    I don't know what "objective" communication means. I have an idea what communication means but once you add that adjective I'm lost. Possibly you are referring to communication using some technical language where the meanings are quite precise?

    Objective - not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion (standard definition). In communications, it would be the elimination of subjective qualities. It creates neutral ground so that are no biases or preconceived notions. Whether you're introducing someone to new material and thoughts or something that's been hashed out at length, it's still the onus of the communicator to clearly convey the meanings by defining them up front. Otherwise you end up with the "deer in the headlights" look, or hands going up to ask the meaning of a particular word used.

    The most important thing I learned in speech class - know your audience. If you assume folks are on your frequency, you're likely to lose part of your audience. By communicating objectively, you create the neutral ground - everyone can stand on it. But it ultimately falls on the person trying to get something across to create it, and maintain it.

    Strangely enough, L. Ron Hubbard wrote in Dianetics something very useful that I applied during teaching. He said (I'm paraphrasing) "If a person is reading and comes across a new or unknown word, and continues reading on without first defining it, the reader will find themselves hooked on the word. In their mind, they are grasping at putting that word into context of the sentence. As they read on, they will not be able to focus or concentrate." Ever keep reading beyond a word you don't understand? The same applies to teaching, introducing new subject material here, or delving deeper into subjects where folks eloborate on tangents they've found. Neutral ground has to be a constant.

    ~ Shane

  3. Shane:

    Not the same Shane that I have had knock down drag outs with? lol

    Wouldn't that be funny that we share the same tastes.


    Knock down drag outs? Nah. I think in the year that I've been here, the only thing I had to clarify for you was in the DC gun thread. I'm still learning the intricacies of Objectivism, so I'm pretty much a sideliner watching the games here. Call me an Objectivist benchwarmer :P

    I'm about to head home so I can see the clip...and also so I don't derail the thread.

    ~ Shane

    P.S. I'm sure there are quite a few things we share in common. My political stance is very close to yours.

  4. Sbeaulieu: [geez couldn't you have pick an easier handle like Bob]:

    Being the capitalist that I am, I support the biggest cash crop in America.

    Do you know how hard I have tried to get glaucoma!

    Sorry, real bad joke.


    I forgot to add my name at the end of the entry. As for glaucoma, I hear it runs in my family :) The one time heredity might afford me what is rightfully my choice in the first place...ha!

    ~ Shane

  5. I study the social environment and identify the criminogenic factors. For now, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    Well, with computer networks, the human being is still the biggest security breach. The human being writes down passwords where anyone can get to them and uses easy passwords. The human leaves his computer logged in and unattended. The human being keeps servers where anybody can get to them.

    Much like snow being a four-letter word down south, "user" is a four-letter word in the IT world. The worst attack vector is social engineering through phishing. Curiosity and click-happy addicts are sinking networks and resources. Physical security can be shored up by competent admins, but changing the user mindset, not so much.

    ~ Shane

  6. The dispute we have here is whether we hold a common standard for objective communication.

    My dispute would be that such a thing does not exist :)

    How so? Can you ellaborate? That seems like a very general statement. I can see where in some cases, that might hold true, but not all. In teaching, for instance, you have to get your students to a common ground (standard) before they can grasp and implement those teachings. It also creates a solid reference for teaching further on that subject. Without a common standard for objective communication, there is confusion.

    ~ Shane

  7. Michael (OP),

    I really wish you the best out there. All in all, it's good to see that you are not letting this situation drag you down (at least I don't feel that coming from your post). What MSK stated sounds like a basket of options worth digging through. With your background, have you thought about being a consultant?

    ~ Shane

  8. Hey, MSK, how about posting that stuff about internet marketing here? I'd like to see it.


    I will be doing exactly that. I am finishing putting some of my ideas into practice and after I have resounding proof they work and examples I can point to, I will be offering free training about some really good money-making stuff for newbies (as enticement for paid training for some even better money-making stuff, of course). I expect to do this both in blog posts and in email mini-courses. I will not specifically target the Objectivist world, but I will point to my work outside this forum once it is up for those interested here on OL.

    For the time being, here is a quick overview.

    The No. 1 product sold on the Internet is information. This sells better than sex, politics, religion, physical products and anything else you can imagine. So unless newbies are familiar with things like drop-shipping, or they don't mind endless trips to the Post Office for dispatching packages, providing information in a downloadable format is the most lucrative thing they could do. After you get a site, payment processor, promotion and delivery system up and running, most of this operates on autopilot and there is almost no overhead. So you do another. And another. And another. All at little or no cost.

    Here's the first thing: you need something to sell. (You can also freelance your services, and there are supplementary things I will be including to do that, but the real money is in marketing.) You can get a product from other people by representing them (called affiliate marketing) or by outright buying (or otherwise obtaining) a product and selling it as your own (called master resale rights, private label rights and a host of other terms with nuanced meanings, but all meaning you can sell the product and keep all the money). You can also produce your own product, which is much easier that it seems. And for the shameless, you can even get your stuff ghostwritten for a little of nothing at specialized sites like Rentacoder, Elance, etc.

    Products basically come in PDF files, software (program files on the browser side and scripts to run on the server side), video, audio, and membership sites. The most lucrative products are "How to" instructions. The most lucrative areas are money-making/finance, health/wellbeing, and relationships. Entertainment is also high up, but you have to know how to do that one, otherwise you are just a fan.

    There is a term, niche marketing, which is within the success reach of anybody who is interested. A niche is a specialized market where people buy information. (Look at a magazine rack at the drugstore, for example, and you will see a bunch of niches.) Some niches are really small, but since the Internet removes geographical transportation as an impediment, a really small market offered to the whole world suddenly gets a lot bigger.

    To sell a product, you need a place to sell it: a site. You can either buy a domain name and register it on a hosting account, then install site software like Wordpress or Joomla or a host of others (or even build a sales minisite from scratch), or you can use other people's stuff for free (Squidoo, Blogger, Weebly, etc.).

    After that, you need a payment processor where you can receive money, especially from credit cards. The best two at this time are Paypal and Paydotcom. Incidentally, at this last site, you can take a product you have the rights to and register it and they will do all the financial stuff and provide you with the codes (Paypal also provides codes and processing, but not as much support for sales as Paydotcom, which actually uses Paypal as part of its operations). You don't need to be the author at either Paypal or Paydotcom. (You do need to be the author for Clickbank, which is another story, and a very good one, too. But that's for later as a newbie starts learning about joint venturing.)

    Now, before doing all that, a wise marketer will obey the No. 1 rule in selling: sell what people want to buy. He will research to find out what people are looking for and buying. This kind of goes against the grain of Objectivists since Randian heroes are loners against the pack, but not one of her heroes are professional salespeople either. There is no shame in becoming competent at sales and learning the rules of how this field works.

    In order to find out what people want, there are procedures you can go through to find out what people are searching for on the search engines (through keywords and keyword phrases). Then you evaluate which searches involve people buying stuff and which ones are simply searches for information or free stuff. Then there are procedures for profiling searchers so you know which ones buy what.

    In short, the name of the game is to get your offer in front of pockets of people who want to buy what you are offering and speak to their interest. The rest is a bunch of techniques to do just that and there are many paths that lead to Rome. They call it driving traffic, but that is not accurate. When you do it right, it is more like getting in front of a big wave and preparing to get wet.

    One of the great things about Internet marketing is that to be good at it, you have to give away a lot of great stuff as one of the ways to get attention and establish trust. This means that you can get a lot of great stuff for free if you look.

    Also one of the best selling techniques is to get an email list of opt-in subscribers. By opting in, they give you their permission to send them free information and sales offers. If you can get your list to trust you by constantly sending them high-quality information, one sales broadcast turns into instant money.

    The downside to all this (for me) is that profession-wise I am a perfectionist and I want to know everything. There is a hell of a lot to know...

    Also, the hype is as thick as molasses in this field, so you need to establish some commonsense standards right at the very beginning just to get something done. It's great to dream about becoming a millionaire, but actually doing the work is not as exciting. You can easily get seduced into inactivity or sidetracked into doing stuff that is not productive.

    This makes it imperative to learn about psychological behavior triggers. (Cialdini is tops on this.) You not only want to influence people to take the actions you desire (like buying your stuff), you also want to defend against doing stuff you will regret later, or at least be aware of why you are doing what you are doing.

    I have only mentioned free stuff you can do (or really low-cost stuff) for now. You can also do Adwords and other pay-per-click advertising if you have strong nerves and like playing poker with card-sharks. It's great when you learn it, but you can lose you shirt with one small mistake, so I strongly believe that people should only get into that after they learn how to make money from free advertising and resources.

    Also, as a huge financial problem is now facing the nation, my approach is the most sound one possible for the majority of people who will be searching for how to make money online. My main problem will not be finding people. There are already gobs of them and this will increase exponentially. It will be the panic driving most of them. I am thinking about how to get them to calm down enough to do the right things to make enough money to put food on their table and pay their bills.

    More coming as this project matures. I am at the very end of my education-only stage. I have an enormous reservoir of technical information (although it feels like I only scratched the surface) and am now doing my first quality sites and trying out my new wings.

    btw - You sell Objectivist ideas just like you sell other information. I will be doing that, too, as I go along. It will not be by sponsoring a quasi-religious movement, but instead by selling information and entertainment products to individuals eager for them. However, I expect Objectivism to be a secondary business line in my new career, not the primary one. That's for the most Objectivist reason of all: profit.



    If this is quick, I wonder what your summaries look like...:blink:

    ~ Shane

  9. This is in response to a discussion else where on the Civil War, the War against Southron Rebellion and Treason.

    Please read this for the full text of the letter written to the Mayor of Atlanta by William T. Shermn:

    The SOB was a hell of a writer. Essentially he said the knife was falling, stop standing under it.



    The link provided is no longer available. Do you have an alternate link?

    ~ Shane

  10. It is indeed :) I first heard her as the background music in a SNL Digital Short

    The SNL skit was a parody from a season-ending episode of The OC. This song was in that episode as well. Quite a funny skit. I love SNL to death.

    ~ Shane

  11. Between the boyfriend and I we have 2 horde 70s on Korgath. We actually just went to this thing where a bunch of people who where in our guild got together in western Maryland. I must say that we expected to see either some little emo-punk kid or someone who is older and creepy but we were pleasently surprized to find out that these people were actually smart and fun to hang out with.

    Shane: what kind of fantasy did you read?

    If you play Alliance, like me, then you will most likely get the "little emo-punk kids". Horde, statistically, has more adult players. The guild I'm in has mostly 25-yr olds and up.

    As for fantasy, I've stuck with Terry Goodkind the past 13 years. I've read Piers Anthony, Anne McAffrey, Magaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman, and J.K Rowling. I like series as they allow for more storytelling. But there are other authors with single books that are great, too.

    ~ Shane

  12. I enjoy reading fiction...I sway from fantasy to sci-fi every couple of years. I love movies. I enjoy getting out to the beach with the wife and kids. Just about anything that has my kids smiling is good for me.

    I started out playing D&D for many years since HS. Haven't done pencil & paper gaming for some time...that got taken over by WoW. Can you say four level 70s on Moonrunner? I love the community of players where you can hang out without hanging out with people all over the world. First-person shooters = great stress relief. But I mainly love games that are incorporated into a great story. So my faves would be RPGs. Board games like Chess, Monopoly and Risk top that list.

    ~ Shane

  13. You bring up several issues.

    1. Legality of taxation - While it is law, the taking of something (money in form of taxes) without putting the effort in on the making/processing/distribution/ of the product goes against free trade. There is no giving back from government on your paid taxes. That is to say, the money they take isn't put into programs/grants that you freely agree to.

    2. The government trying to put a salary cap on CEOs is downright wrong. What external agency has the right to dictate what you can or cannot make? If CEOs are giving themselves raises at the expense of their workers wages, that's wrong. But if all his/her workers are content with their work, pay, and compesation, and they have entered into that contract willingly, I see no problem with CEOs doing that. They have worked hard for their success and should be entitled to enjoying their profits.

    3. Any enterprise of business works off of supply and demand. If you make something I need, then you and I would come to an agreement. In most cases, I would buy what you make if I needed it. Since oil is in demand, money is certainly going to be made. As industry booms in third-world countries, the demand for oil is going to increase. Since there is a finite amount of oil that is refined/sold daily, they have to increase prices. This ensures that everyone will have a chance at buying that product.

    All in all, the government capping CEO salaries will not impact how much the company makes. But I think their attempt is to stem the amount of money CEOs are making vs. what the company is spending to purchase the oil and refine it. There's a disconnect when the company is spending more, but their CEOs are making more.

    ~ Shane

  14. According to ARI, more than 25 million copies of Atlas Shrugged have sold, with 1 million sold each year. Given the popularity and influence of Ayn's book, a rapt audience should not be hard to find for this movie. If people can sit and read her 1096-page novel, a 3-hr or longer movie will be a non-issue. And really, what's more important? The message/idea, or the bottom line? I believe both will pay dividends in the long run.

    ~ Shane