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So, hi all.

I’m Dana and, obviously, new here. My purpose of joining this forum is to interact with Objectivists and other Ayn Rand fans. I am a 19 year old college student and being such, it is like nails on a chalkboard when I try to discuss Ayn Rand with those older than me…“You’ll grow out of it” “I loved Ayn Rand in college but then I got into the real world” “You’ll have to compromise someday” “I loved Gary Cooper in the The Fountainhead” are just some of the things I hear from people after telling them I am an Ayn Rand fan and an objectivist. It is incredibly exhausting.

I don’t take sides in the Peikoff vs. Kelley argument. I do, however, really like Yaron Brook and think he is a wonderful advocate of Objectivism and Capitalism.

I could give you a long description of who I am and the things I value but I won’t. I’ll just say that the character I admire most in all of literature is Hank Rearden. The one I relate to the most? Dominque.

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Welcome, Dana. I’m Dennis. Well, now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s dive right into the heavy stuff. Who is your favorite NFL team?

Not that you asked, but my favorite team is the Indianapolis Colts, since they obviously have the best quarterback in all of human history, Peyton Manning. (Don’t pay any attention to what Adam Selene says. He likes football too but doesn’t seem to appreciate the fact that Peyton walks on water. Howard Roark in a football jersey. And he claims to be rational!! Hah!)

Objectivism and football. You have definitely come to the right place.

Most of the people here are rational and benevolent, but you will inevitably encounter the occasional libertarian nihilist/homeless mental patient. They are easy to recognize. They write like Ellsworth Toohey and they hate football. Just ignore them.

Again, welcome.

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Welcome, Dana. I’m Dennis. Well, now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s dive right into the heavy stuff. Who is your favorite NFL team?

Dana, welcome to Objectivist Living. Allow me to suggest that you browse the topics and post your replies, even to older discussions. Fresh insight is always appreciated.

Dennis: I keep looking in the Ayn Rand Lexicon for "football" and I just do not find it. Personally, I find baseball far more rational and a more objective measure of sportsmanship. Baseball is a thinker's game. (Football reguires the collective sacrifice of linemen to enable the quarterback to complete a play.) Baseball can be played well by persons of any size and gender. (Football has turned universities in minor league training camps.) Baseball requires a mix of skills from every player. (Football consists of a lot of short action plays punctuating long delays.) You can play baseball by yourself: toss up the ball, swing the bat. (Football requires others.)

Baseball fans are loyal. Football fans are fanatical.

I point out that the NBI formed baseball teams while the Kennedy family played touch football on the White House lawn.

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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Hi Dana. Where are you going to school?

Do you prefer college football or NFL?

Not that you asked, but my favorite team is the Indianapolis Colts, since they obviously have the best quarterback in all of human history, Peyton Manning. (Don’t pay any attention to what Adam Selene says. He likes football too but doesn’t seem to appreciate the fact that Peyton walks on water. Howard Roark in a football jersey. And he claims to be rational!! Hah!)

Objectivism and football. You have definitely come to the right place.

As long as he doesn't have to run (er, attempt to run), Manning is great. But until the Colts lose Austin Collie (prick from BYU) I cannot cheer for them.

Go Steelers & Bears... and any team with my fantasy players.

Mike

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Hi, Dana.

Hardin is a very good man, and probably an excellent therapist, at least for anyone but himself. Occasionally, he even has a sense of humor. He seems to be stuck on this football thing. But we all have our stuff. Perhaps he likes all the ass-patting, the roar of the crowd, whatever. Anyone that is willing to pay 12 bucks for a beer needs to do some serious introspection, at least in my book.

As to your experience talking to others about AR, etc. . . .this is a constant. And by that I mean decades. Initial exposure to, say, Atlas, or Fountainhead is an amazing, liberating experience. It also has the unfortunate capability of making you into an intolerant prick, if you are not careful about things. I think one of the hardest parts for me was realizing that some of my friends were really not my friends. And if you think about it, reading Rand pretty much gives you the imperative to cast people out of your life. I urge you be careful on this. Because, if you are not, you will be no different than any other shiny, new believer in anything. In other words, being an evangelist is perfectly fine, if you really understand what that means. "Proclaiming," however, generally will get you in some bad straits--ones that might really burn things, people, that you later realize you still love.

I wish you the very best. You will find many amazing people here. Even ones that argue about sports!

Best,

rde

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Dana,

Welcome to Objectivist Living.

I sympathize with you about the college problems. What are you studying?

I'm an economist; BEcon and MBusEcon. I actually had a positive time overall; certainly my Objectivism wasn't popular amongst all but there were many that were partially or wholly sympathetic. My Master's Thesis advisor was inspired by my work on the commonalities between his Evolutionary Economics and Objectivism; he read Atlas Shrugged and absolutely loved it. At the moment we are both working on an article for the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

OL has been a fantastic forum in my experience. There's no pressure for ideological conformity (in spite of Dennis' blustering about "libertarian nihilists" I have yet to encounter any actual nihilist on these forums) so you get a lot of Randian, Neo-Randian, and Rand-inspired perspectives here. I happen to enjoy that; exploring common ground between Objectivism and other schools of thought is far more productive than burning intellectual bridges at every opportunity. If I were to offer any advice about being an Objectivist in college, that's the advice I offer; try to find common ground between Objectivism and your Profs.

For example, in one of my philosophy courses, I had a feminist Foucault-scholar (she wasn't necessarily a Foucualdian herself, though). So I did a piece heavily inspired by Objectivist approaches to feminism. If you have the misfortune of ending up with a devout Postmodernist as a teacher, you could try to introduce the Objectivist concept of "the Metaphysical vs. the Man-Made" (what Rand calls "the man-made," postmodernists call "the socially constructed"). In economics, there are plenty of scholars besides Mises to look at... you can find a lot of Objectivist-compatible value in both Hayek and Schumpeter.

I will echo some of the warnings given by others... the reading of Atlas and Fountainhead can be an amazingly empowering and liberating experience (it certainly was for me), but it does run a risk of leaving one 'blinded by the light.' This can make one develop a harsh, dogmatic approach, which would be exacerbated by being in an environment that lacks much sympathy for Objectivism... being surrounded by an 'hostile, enemy world' can make one develop a seige mentality (speaking from extensive experience). This is not to discount the immense value of Objectivism; merely to provide some caution.

As for relating to Rand characters, I too find it easy to relate to Dominique (although I lack the fetish for bodice-ripper ravishment sex). A sense of disgust at society in general can easily do that to one :) However I also relate to Roark in many respects.

Either way, I look forward to talking with you more and I hope you find much value in these forums.

-Andrew

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Dana,

Welcome to Objectivist Living.

I sympathize with you about the college problems. What are you studying?

I'm an economist; BEcon and MBusEcon. I actually had a positive time overall; certainly my Objectivism wasn't popular amongst all but there were many that were partially or wholly sympathetic. My Master's Thesis advisor was inspired by my work on the commonalities between his Evolutionary Economics and Objectivism; he read Atlas Shrugged and absolutely loved it. At the moment we are both working on an article for the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

OL has been a fantastic forum in my experience. There's no pressure for ideological conformity (in spite of Dennis' blustering about "libertarian nihilists" I have yet to encounter any actual nihilist on these forums) so you get a lot of Randian, Neo-Randian, and Rand-inspired perspectives here. I happen to enjoy that; exploring common ground between Objectivism and other schools of thought is far more productive than burning intellectual bridges at every opportunity. If I were to offer any advice about being an Objectivist in college, that's the advice I offer; try to find common ground between Objectivism and your Profs.

For example, in one of my philosophy courses, I had a feminist Foucault-scholar (she wasn't necessarily a Foucualdian herself, though). So I did a piece heavily inspired by Objectivist approaches to feminism. If you have the misfortune of ending up with a devout Postmodernist as a teacher, you could try to introduce the Objectivist concept of "the Metaphysical vs. the Man-Made" (what Rand calls "the man-made," postmodernists call "the socially constructed"). In economics, there are plenty of scholars besides Mises to look at... you can find a lot of Objectivist-compatible value in both Hayek and Schumpeter.

I will echo some of the warnings given by others... the reading of Atlas and Fountainhead can be an amazingly empowering and liberating experience (it certainly was for me), but it does run a risk of leaving one 'blinded by the light.' This can make one develop a harsh, dogmatic approach, which would be exacerbated by being in an environment that lacks much sympathy for Objectivism... being surrounded by an 'hostile, enemy world' can make one develop a seige mentality (speaking from extensive experience). This is not to discount the immense value of Objectivism; merely to provide some caution.

As for relating to Rand characters, I too find it easy to relate to Dominique (although I lack the fetish for bodice-ripper ravishment sex). A sense of disgust at society in general can easily do that to one :) However I also relate to Roark in many respects.

Either way, I look forward to talking with you more and I hope you find much value in these forums.

-Andrew

Wow, did I like reading that, Andrew. And it wasn't even for me. Hey, that reminds me! I'm working on this giant story for my blog and I have a few days before I can put up anything of my own. Your last article was so good and well-received! Do you have anything sitting around that you'd like to put up over on my place? Even a shorty? I just got done working with Robert Binidotto and before that, Rachel Cron, both of which took a bit of doing. But I would love to have you do something else. Message me or whatever. You are really emerging well as a writer, from my eyes, and what that is worth--impressive.

So Dana, I think you have a good person to read here. After all, this thread is your introduction and that is what is important. I didn't mean to barge, but Andrew is just so good lately I couldn't help myself.

best,

rde

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Dennis: I keep looking in the Ayn Rand Lexicon for "football" and I just do not find it. Personally, I find baseball far more rational and a more objective measure of sportsmanship. Baseball is a thinker's game. (Football reguires the collective sacrifice of linemen to enable the quarterback to complete a play.) Baseball can be played well by persons of any size and gender. (Football has turned universities in minor league training camps.) Baseball requires a mix of skills from every player. (Football consists of a lot of short action plays punctuating long delays.) You can play baseball by yourself: toss up the ball, swing the bat. (Football requires others.)

Baseball fans are loyal. Football fans are fanatical.

I point out that the NBI formed baseball teams while the Kennedy family played touch football on the White House lawn.

George Carlin explained the key differences between football and baseball very well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om_yq4L3M_I

The bottom line:

In football, the object is for the quarterback, otherwise known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his recievers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! "I hope I'll be safe at home!"

Baseball is for pansies! (Nothing personal, Mike.)

It’s true that the NBI staff in the sixties always played baseball, never football. But I think that was because every time someone suggested football, Ayn always insisted on being the quarterback. You can imagine how that worked out.

As for the Lexicon, one look at Binswanger and you know he’s a baseball guy. (Actually, probably a badminton guy.)

I would bet Nathaniel prefers football. I seem to recall visiting his home back in the 70’s and noticing an autographed picture from Johnny Unitas, another great Colt quarterback and Peyton's mentor, on his wall. I would swear to it.

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Not that you asked, but my favorite team is the Indianapolis Colts, since they obviously have the best quarterback in all of human history, Peyton Manning. (Don’t pay any attention to what Adam Selene says. He likes football too but doesn’t seem to appreciate the fact that Peyton walks on water. Howard Roark in a football jersey. And he claims to be rational!! Hah!)

Objectivism and football. You have definitely come to the right place.

As long as he doesn't have to run (er, attempt to run), Manning is great. But until the Colts lose Austin Collie (prick from BYU) I cannot cheer for them.

Go Steelers & Bears... and any team with my fantasy players.

Mike

Still upset about Collie’s last minute catch from Matt Hall back in 2007, huh? Unga punched in the TD and you guys lost. Sour grapes, dude. You UTES will just have to learn to deal with it. Collie’s a winner!

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Hardin is a very good man, and probably an excellent therapist, at least for anyone but himself. Occasionally, he even has a sense of humor. He seems to be stuck on this football thing. But we all have our stuff. Perhaps he likes all the ass-patting, the roar of the crowd, whatever. Anyone that is willing to pay 12 bucks for a beer needs to do some serious introspection, at least in my book.

rde

Hmmm. No, it isn't the ass-patting or the roar of the crowd. . . Let me think on that. . .Oh, yeah. . .

cardinals%20cheerleaders.jpg

When's the last time you saw one of those at a baseball game?

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As for the Lexicon, one look at Binswanger and you know he’s a baseball guy. (Actually, probably a badminton guy.)

Hahahaha... My wife asked me what I was laughing at and I just could not explain it. However, that said... in high school when someone cast an aspirsion at badminton, a couple of the coaches showed us how it can be played. Lesson learned: you gotta be really, really, really aggressive to be manly at badminton.

cardinals%20cheerleaders.jpg

When's the last time you saw one of those at a baseball game?

Point taken. Speaking of politics. Do you know this:

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I could give you a long description of who I am and the things I value but I won’t. I’ll just say that the character I admire most in all of literature is Hank Rearden. The one I relate to the most? Dominque.

Oh!... Dana Marie! We nearly forgot. We were so wrapped up in ourselves...

Here you are, looking for rational thinking... hah! Well, as I said, feel free to jump in, make your statements, take your shot, define and defend your ideas. Roll up the sleeves, take off the kid gloves, and join the action.

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Dana Marie,

This post is prompted by

> I ... really like Yaron Brook and think he is a wonderful advocate of Objectivism and Capitalism.

You might take a gander at ARI Watch – a critical review of the Ayn Rand Institute, critical from a pro-Ayn Rand perspective. Mr. Brook of course is the president of ARI.

I wouldn’t trust him.

Best wishes,

Mark

Edited by Mark
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Hello Dana.

I apologize for the boorish behavior of some responders. Football and Russian cheerleaders in a "greeting" letter? That is not "us." There are many Objectivists here who don't exhibit such exuberance over . . . I don't know . . . over a pretty teenager's picture?

Welcome.

Semper cogitans fidele,

Peter Taylor

Edited by Peter Taylor
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Brook is doing an excellent job as a spokesman and a better job than we could have expected of running ARI. He has to put up with Peikoff and his cohort, but he seems to be making an effort to move beyond them. The forthcoming Atlas Shrugged documentary, featuring former non-persons, is a case in point. People new to Rand's writings don't care about the factional squabbles anyway.

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ARI Watch doesn’t worry much over squabbles within ARI. It addresses issues like government institutionalized torture, support for Israel, war, etc. Yaron Brook (president of ARI) doesn’t just put up with Leonard Peikoff (ARI’s founder) regarding these issues, they’re on the same page. (I don’t know who you mean by Peikoff’s cohort.)

Some ARI people will be featured in the new documentary “Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged” (first known as “Is Atlas Shrugging?”), but it’s produced and directed by Chris Mortensen. I don’t think ARI has a part in the production. (It’s scheduled for release 7 October 2011.)

In any case Atlas Shrugged doesn’t need a documentary to promote it, and one featuring the likes of Berliner, Bernstein, Binswanger, and Brook without opposition – and consequently promoting them (and ARI) – is a poor way to spread Ayn Rand’s ideas. See:

Harry Binswanger on Torture

and

Who’s Who

and the other articles on ARI Watch.

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I followed up on Mark's links, and, on the strength of them, I find ARI Watch bitchy and trivial.

By Peikoff's cohort I mean, among others, some of the people Mark mentions - Binswanger and Bernstein.

Whether or not ARI is helping to produce the documentary, they co-operated and they're promoting it. Maybe the movie will turn out to be a bad sales vehicle, appealing only to the already-converted. We'll see. I mentioned it because word on the O-web is that the ARI crowd are willing to appear in a movie with some of the apostates. They never would have done this when Peikoff was actively running things; I hope it's a sign of the times.

Nathaniel Branden is known to have owned a sketch by Jose Manuel Capuletti of a football game they attended together. The only baseball game I know of is the one BB recounts (with a photo) in her biography.

Glad you could join us, Dana Marie.

Edited by Reidy
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By Peikoff’s cohort I mean, among others, some of the people Mark mentions – Binswanger and Bernstein.

Thus Reidy intended earlier that Yaron Brook squabbles also with Binswanger and Bernstein, besides Peikoff. What were these squabbles?

Reidy writes that he “followed up” on my links above – whether he read much in less than an hour twenty minutes is another question – and apparently didn’t like what he saw, relieving himself as he did of the usual epithets.

The subject of U.S. torture is non-trivial and I think ARI Watch offers a penetrating analysis of ARI’s position on it as expressed by Peikoff, Binswanger, Epstein and somewhat Brook. One more article in the series is planned: “Yaron Brook on Torture”. The previous articles are listed in:

Torture and Intrinsicism

Dana Marie,

You need the hide of a rhinoceros to participate in these “Objectivist” forums.

Mark

Edited by Mark
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Dana Marie,

Welcome to OL.

After all the banter dies down, you will find some serious thinking challenges here. The tonic of this place is that people think for themselves, but still, most folks around here started sometime in their lives from a place where Rand made a strong impact on them.

This means that if you do your own study, you will learn a lot about Objectivism, since you will get seriously challenged on different premises (both for and against Rand's ideas). If you are looking more for a place where people simply teach Objectivism like in a school club, that is not what people here are into.

I foster the free-thinking environment. I believe that you learn a lot better and a lot deeper from being challenged and forced to think through stuff than simply following a reading schedule and filling out exercise books.

That aside, simply as a place to hang, OL is full of great people.

I hope you get into some galling tangles and super-friendly interactions and thoroughly enjoy yourself here. There is grand potential for this if you go after it.

Michael

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I apologize for ... That is not "us." ... over a pretty teenager's picture?

Well, it may not be you, but, obviously, it is us, or some of us anyway. It had nothing to do with "her" and everything to do with Dennis and football. We got exuberant for the off-topic post is all.

Anyone think of PMing her?

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Hello Dana.

I apologize for the boorish behavior of some responders. Football and Russian cheerleaders in a "greeting" letter? That is not "us." There are many Objectivists here who don't exhibit such exuberance over . . . I don't know . . . over a pretty teenager's picture?

Welcome.

Semper cogitans fidele,

Peter Taylor

Sic es vos rudis unus. . .

I hope this was meant as a joke.

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I followed up on Mark's links, and, on the strength of them, I find ARI Watch bitchy and trivial.

I agree completely. It's mostly a lot of quasi-pacifist claptrap. Spinning Ayn Rand's words to make her viewpoint fit theirs.

I suspect Ayn Rand would have been a huge fan of Jack Bauer.

Nathaniel Branden is known to have owned a sketch by Jose Manuel Capuletti of a football game they attended together.

Thanks for mentioning that. It's entirely possible that what I remember seeing at Nathaniel's house was actually a sketch of Johnny Unitas signed by Capuletti.

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Advice to debaters: Playground name-calling won’t convince the better people in the audience.

Years before 9/11 either directly or by furnishing financing and materiel, the U.S. has been killing people and/or blowing up things in the middle east: Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran. (Not to mention Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uzbekistan and many others in which the U.S. props up their murdering dictators.) It should come as no surprise when the U.S. gets attacked in response.

Our – as in Americans’ – enemy consists of corrupt elements within the U.S. government who use 9/11 (a criminal act by stateless terrorists some of whom were knowingly allowed into the country) like Hitler used the Reichstag fire: as a pretext for yet more war abroad and yet more police state at home. ARI is all for the war and supports the growing police state by remaining silent about it.

Pacifist? It’s the people at ARI who are the pacifists, pacifists in the face of empire abroad and a police state at home.

The latest terrorist attempts have been entrapment operations (Portland, Dearborn, the Bronx). The “Underwear Bomber” (Northwest Airlines Flight 253) was even more of a fraud than the others. Read what one of the victims, Kurt Haskell, has to say about it on his wife’s blog:

http://ariwatch.com/Links.htm#HomeGrownTerrorism

Ignoring this is somehow the opposite of pacifism?

If you want to engage the actual enemy you might start by reading the work of a real hero instead of watching stupid television serials about Jack Bauer. I refer to Rodney Stich, a former government agent and a famous whistleblower. See

http://ARIwatch.com/Links.htm#rodneystich

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Jack Bauer, or whether or not Ayn Rand would've been a fan of 24 (I doubt she would; she liked romantic fiction rather than 'gritty hardboiled 'realism''), is irrelevant to debates on real world foreign policy.

I admit that sometimes, ARI Watch's tone can get 'bitchy' (for instance, saying that Andrew Bernstein is spiritually corrupt because he also enjoys South Park), but it clearly isn't "quasi-Pacifist." Pacifism is the belief that war is unjustifiable, even in self-defense. ARI Watch clearly rejects that proposition; what it argues is that Neoconservative foreign policies are not self-defense.

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