Hello. I am a human being. My name is Michael DeBurgh, but I'm commonly called Mike.
I found this site through a discussion on FB where I saw a discussion about the 'OL' site. That discussion of this site intrigued me, and with the help of google and the commenter's name I found Objectivist Living. I've only just started to read so I know not yet whether this will be a place I've been looking for, not knowing I was looking for it.
Five or six years back I read The Fountainhead, and immediately thereafter, Atlas Shrugged. As for many others, they were eye and mind openers. Ever since the days of my youth I've tended toward the rational and questioned the irrational/mythical, yet there was always that thought "Could so many believers be wrong? There must be something there." I was baptized an Episcopalian and attended Sunday school for a year when I was thirteen. A couple of years later I discovered the intoxicating taste of sweet wine and spent the next ten years in the intake of a lifetime supply of drugs and alcohol. I also joined the Marines. Upon discharge I also managed to stop drinking and better living through chemistry and started a long irregular search for answers to questions I didn't know I was asking. Evangelical Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, spiritual meditation... and when I had a question no one could answer the answer always seemed to be "You just have to believe and have faith." That was never good enough for me.
Then I read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and these were the answers I sought these many decades past. At this writing I am 63 years of age. Habits of a lifetime are not easily changed much less a decades old subconscious forged of who knows how many misbegotten concepts, so I have been taking this learning at a moderate pace. I will read, then I need to put it down and digest it. After some time has passed I'll return to read and study some more. I've finally reached the point where I understand some of the terms and concepts used in objectivist philosophy, yet I still have so far to go. Other than one course in Phil 101 taken nearly 30 years ago I have read no other philosopher's work. Right now this is intentional because I want to understand objectivism more fully before reading other philosopher's works else I fear I'll muddy and confuse my nascent understanding of objectivism. In time I'll read others, but not today.
I am not 'well educated'. I've taken a number of college courses but have no degree. I am a retired Marine with over 27 years service in the active and reserve forces. Defining a home as a permanent residence (as opposed to transient quarters) I have lived in over 60 homes in three countries, six states, and more than twenty-three villages, towns, and cities. I have been a mechanical draftsman, mechanical designer, piping designer, high end inventory manager at a Tiffany store, gemstone inspector, manager of classified communications security material, merchandise manager at an auto parts store, flatbed truck driver; while in the Marine Corps I worked in administration, was a low altitude anti-aircraft gunner, marksmanship instructor, operations manager, and whatever else they needed someone to do at the time. I was never one of those people who knew what they wanted to be as early as grade school. I still don't know what I want to be. I am more like a dog chasing squirrels. However, now...
A primary desire is to apply objectivist principles in my life. That's why I'm glad I've found this forum.
So... let's start reading and see if it's what I've been looking for.