Michael Stuart Kelly

There's a Reason this Hits Home

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I think that Tamara just needs to take some Lydia Pinkam's Tonic...

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It may be fun for a while to have trite arguments over logical points but it soon gets old. The argument you win does not carry. It is atomistic. If you want to teach logic, go right ahead. Start a thread. Be a teacher. See how many students show up.

I submit this kind of argumentum ad logicanis is some kind of fallacy proving nothing except how right you are and how dumb the other guy is. But basically you don't really have to know WTF you are talking about. The actual subject matter is only a McGuffin for a weak drama. Pull that out and everything collapses like your cake when you slam the oven door.

--Brant

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Brant,

Ironically, that is the only reason I decided to get entangled with this.

Have you noticed that every discussion FF gets involved in these days turns into that?

I just decided to let people see what they were looking at, but underneath the hood.

(Apropos, and because I can't resist, I even have another technique I was going to mention that comes from NLP or covert hypnosis--presuppositions. Notice how many times FF says "because we agree" or "now that we agree" or "since we agree" and so on. It's in almost every post he makes and he hammers that so often, people end up believing I--or others--agree with him even though we explicitly say we don't and show where. Also, he generally follows this with what is called a double-bind, which in O-Land is called a false dichotomy, except a double-bind has a covert agenda of compliance embedded in it. I don't know if he does this stuff by accident or he actually knows it, but he does it consistently and it does work. Look at how many people think he and I agree. Hell, even you do. Devil.gif )

But the truth is, I'm getting bored. I think I've made my point, so time to give it a rest.

Confucius say: You must drink lots of water to win pissing match. :smile:

Michael

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This is why content analysis is so rewarding in criticism.

I was originally resistive of this in graduate school just because it smelled of behavioralism, however, it works well.

You see it a lot today as "talking points."

Obama does it all the time with all the experts agree with ME crap.

A...

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Earlier in the thread I asked, "How would an objective observer know the difference between a man selfishly devoting himself to others and a man selflessly devoting himself to others?"

FF, Start wrong, you end wrong. You established for yourself -alone- that there is no contradiction between rational selfishness and "service" to others. But there is. The distinction is I think, there's no contradiction between selfishness and empathy. How one reacts to one's compassion for a person or people draws us into an area which might seem subjective, or as I prefer, "of personal value".

It depends: Are they the kind of people who need a temporary leg-up before finding their independence again - or will they develop an ongoing dependence on you? Did they come by misfortune by their own doing - or by the wrong and corrupt acts of their parents, government, natural disaster, etc. etc. At which stage will acting on his empathy become self-sacrificial to this benefactor? Can one afford the time, and financially? Is it a cause one is interested in and consumed by?

Indulging in a a little fancy, if I were retired and had a billion or so to spare, I imagine purchasing a chunk of land on the North Africa coast and setting up a refugee haven, drawing in a polyglot of people from all the camps in the Middle East, to eventually develop into a City-State, governed secularly and defended by a professional army, planned to become a self-sufficient entity. I believe there are today the highest number of refugees in the world than ever recorded, due to the region's upheavals. These are mostly fleeing innocents who lost everything, at the mercy of States, terrorist groups and tribal wars. So long as I was enthused by this, I don't believe this would be "devoting" myself to others in the least, it would be a selfish venture.

Down to earth again. Very few individuals are in the position to fix any more than a tiny part of the world's ills. They shouldn't be counted upon to. Certainly one does not deserve to live with guilt at "devoting" oneself to one's own interests irrespective of all else. Force comes in many forms, and the psychological pressure upon us all to serve others 'compassionately', indiscriminately, without personally perceived value, is more insidious today than ever. And the funny part is, you'd be called "selfish" - disparagingly - for picking and choosing your own benefactees.

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Earlier in the thread I asked, "How would an objective observer know the difference between a man selfishly devoting himself to others and a man selflessly devoting himself to others?"

FF, Start wrong, you end wrong. You established for yourself -alone- that there is no contradiction between rational selfishness and "service" to others. But there is. The distinction is I think, there's no contradiction between selfishness and empathy. How one reacts to one's compassion for a person or people draws us into an area which might seem subjective, or as I prefer, "of personal value".

Down to earth again. Very few individuals are in the position to fix any more than a tiny part of the world's ills. They shouldn't be counted upon to. Certainly one does not deserve to live with guilt at "devoting" oneself to one's own interests irrespective of all else. Force come in many forms, and the psychological force upon us all to serve others 'compassionately' and indiscriminately, without objectively perceived value, is more insidious today than ever. And the funny part is, you'd be called "selfish" - disparagingly - for choosing your own benefactees.

giving-thumbs-up-winking-smiley-emoticon

animated-italian-si-text-smiley-emoticon < Italian/Spanish portuguese-animated-sim-text-smiley-emotanimated-french-oui-text-smiley-emoticon

animated-german-ja-smiley-emoticon.gif Germans geez always gotta do it alone!

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FF will disengage when people stop responding to him. I am not suggesting this unless you can't get value. I'd like to see a new thread he would start, one that could prove how wrong we are about him.

Things got a little nasty from some of us with Jerry. Haven't seen him since and hope to see him again, but he was starting many threads out of his sincere interests. He had tremendous substance that way in spite of his dogmatism about what he holds dear on health issues and nutrition. Even if you only agree with him half the time-or even less--he was a purveyor of real value. I'd like to see some of that from FF. FF, however, is someone it's too hard to have a real sense of and that has nothing to do with anonymity. We all have at least an Internet sense of each other and a little more, including Jonathan and, of course, Adam. I have no sense of that with FF except it's the same person and he is what he is whatever that really is. I do think he's extremely well read in his libertarian areas of interest.

There's a natural turnover of posters on OL. It's a hard place for a woman. It's a hard place for a phoney. It's a near-impossible place for trolling triolls. It's a hard place for a high school student once he or she goes to college. The last all leave and they don't come back. That's quite natural and right. College is too different and demanding; too much changes. I myself will likely cut back eventually although I wonder about doing a complete exit because of the demands of work.

Internet sites have their own natural life cycle. There's not much left of Rebirth of Reason or SoloPassion. Both are too damaged by their respective owners who repeatedly drove the brainiest away for different reasons. Jimmy Wales destroyed the original Atlantis which would have survived several more years which is what it did as the Yahoo Group AtlantisII. Not much left there now. I think OL has a long way to go. More than say eight active posters must be reading this stuff. Either that or we are writing for the ages.

--Brant

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Why do you think OL is a hard place for a woman? I might say Objectivism is a hard philosophy for a woman to live by in a practical sense, but OL doesn't make it so.

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Brant,

According to Google Analytics, we got 7,774 unique visitors this last month.

Just think about it. With stats like that, every damn thing you write on OL is read by lots of people.

Hell, you probably have a fan club somewhere.

:smile:

Michael

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Earlier in the thread I asked, "How would an objective observer know the difference between a man selfishly devoting himself to others and a man selflessly devoting himself to others?"

FF, Start wrong, you end wrong. You established for yourself -alone- that there is no contradiction between rational selfishness and "service" to others. But there is. The distinction is I think, there's no contradiction between selfishness and empathy. How one reacts to one's compassion for a person or people draws us into an area which might seem subjective, or as I prefer, "of personal value".

It depends: Are they the kind of people who need a temporary leg-up before finding their independence again - or will they develop an ongoing dependence on you? Did they come by misfortune by their own doing - or by the wrong and corrupt acts of their parents, government, natural disaster, etc. etc. At which stage will acting on his empathy become self-sacrificial to this benefactor? Can one afford the time, and financially? Is it a cause one is interested in and consumed by?

Indulging in a a little fancy, if I were retired and had a billion or so to spare, I imagine purchasing a chunk of land on the North Africa coast and setting up a refugee haven, drawing in a polyglot of people from all the camps in the Middle East, to eventually develop into a City-State, governed secularly and defended by a professional army, planned to become a self-sufficient entity. I believe there are today the highest number of refugees in the world than ever recorded, due to the region's upheavals. These are mostly fleeing innocents who lost everything, at the mercy of States, terrorist groups and tribal wars. So long as I was enthused by this, I don't believe this would be "devoting" myself to others in the least, it would be a selfish venture.

Down to earth again. Very few individuals are in the position to fix any more than a tiny part of the world's ills. They shouldn't be counted upon to. Certainly one does not deserve to live with guilt at "devoting" oneself to one's own interests irrespective of all else. Force come in many forms, and the psychological force upon us all to serve others 'compassionately' and indiscriminately, without objectively perceived value, is more insidious today than ever. And the funny part is, you'd be called "selfish" - disparagingly - for choosing your own benefactees.

You may call it service to others or fighting extreme poverty or giving people a second chance. Whatever label you wish stick on it, acts of charity very often result in happiness for the giver. And to repeat such acts of charity in order to get more of that happiness may be properly described as selfish. To quote from Post #1: it is "a very selfish decision that brought him great happiness."

How do we know? Watch the video. The charity worker gives off happy vibes.

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Why do you think OL is a hard place for a woman? I might say Objectivism is a hard philosophy for a woman to live by in a practical sense, but OL doesn't make it so.

I made a very long reply I lost and will not try to recreate. You see, there's a lot of female in me. Don't get me wrong. I'm a man's man but not a man's man's man. I am not a natural paterfamilias male like most males are supposed to be. I understand this motherhood thing better then most of the hunt, fish, fight and make babies guys. I know women do not fight unless they have to and the Internet is all optional. Nothing a woman posts on the Internet will protect her home and family--but let that be threatened and God help the intruder.

There is nothing special about OL in this regard. Most posters are guys just to begin with. The guys get worn out too but there's more guys to come in and take up the slack. 100 women stay at home and 100 men go to war. 5 men come back. That's enough to impregnate all the women who want that. This doesn't work in reverse. 100 men stay at home and 100 women go to war and 5 come back. Everybody's fucked.

To show how fucked up I am I was a Special Forces Aidman. A medic. I never would have agreed to be one if they had disarmed me. I went to war and carried and used a rifle and a number of other weapons. I was more than a combat medic; I was a combatant combat medic. I got a medal for pulling a trigger and another for running medical patrols. One for valor and the other for meritorious service.

Last night a dove nesting on my porch was attacked and killed by a snake. I had been watching her for weeks. The eggs had hatched. I couldn't figure out what the big commotion was until this next morning. Only the chicks were left. After a few hours and Internet research I came to a decision. I filled an old fish tank outside with water, took a chick in each hand and drowned them. I was yelling and crying so loudly as I felt the life struggle out of them, a workman from a block away came over to find out what was going on. If I had to do it again I wouldn't. I couldn't. The too much female in me. I had to kick my own female ass to do this and it hurts, hurts and hurts even now.

If I was an alpha male, a man's man's man, I would have been cold-bloodily quiet. I was too much of a pussy because I already was. Don't get me wrong. You see, a man who is a pussy is weak. A woman isn't a pussy in this sense. This is not black and white biology. This is all over the map sexual psychology. Becuase I'm such a complicated person I'm spread too thin and it has made me too much of a weakling. My genes won't let me specialize. Story of my life. My woman as another person wouldn't have seen me kill those babies. I could have, would have, spared her that. That's my job as a man. To protect my woman. Only I couldn't. She was part of me. I didn't know what I was really doing until my hands hit the water. The man wouldn't let me stop. I beat her up.

--Brant

killer

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Force comes in many forms, and the psychological pressure upon us all to serve others 'compassionately', indiscriminately, without personally perceived value, is more insidious today than ever.

Tony,

There's not only this. I have been reading a fascinating author, Barbara Oakley. She wrote a neuroscience textbook called Pathological Altruism.

From a scientific standpoint, many kinds of altruism are good. But some are toxic, which is what she studies. Ironically, when altruism is good, the person acting altruistically gets benefits like spikes in oxytocin. When it is toxic, the person gains nothing and even damage.

A very common example is a codependent person. In fact, I am reading a study Oakley did of a person who ended up shooting her husband dead because she was so altruistic. :) It's a creepy story and some of the book is technical. But I like technical when it is accompanied by a creepy story. :)

Cold-Blooded Kindness: Neuroquirks of a Codependent Killer, or Just Give Me a Shot at Loving You, Dear, and Other Reflections on Helping That Hurts

This is a fascinating subject.

Apropos, on a totally different note, Oakley has put together one of the best courses on learning I know of (I'm going through it right now). It is free university course through Coursera: Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects.

Michael

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There is nothing special about OL in this regard. Most posters are guys just to begin with. The guys get worn out too but there's more guys to come in and take up the slack. 100 women stay at home and 100 men go to war. 5 men come back. That's enough to impregnate all the women who want that. This doesn't work in reverse. 100 men stay at home and 100 women go to war and 5 come back. Everybody's fucked.

Now that folks is about as simple as it gets.

And there is the difference and no amount of "re-ducation" will change it.

A...

You da man!

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Why should the self exist in agony?

The answer to this question will depend on whether you're a seeker or a sucker, Frank.

Not all agony is as meaningless and nihilistic as you imply in your question...

...especially when it's your own self inflicted agony of just and deserved consequences from poor moral choices. Agony can cause a seeker to question how they are living and to refine their character so as to rise above it...

...while a sucker like you stubbornly clings to your victim's blame (unjust accusation) of the government for your own failure to live like an American.

Greg

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Michael, What you say is plainly real, and that's what we deal with here, truth and reality. To get to your point, Frank asked me to watch the video to see the smile on the giver's (an actor, btw FF) face. But we all know this - it feels good to help or give. Whether the smile is still on his face a week later or a year, I wouldn't know. If I went by the happy Christian couples who politely come over at airports to persuade me of God's grace, and leave after an interesting (for them a little startling) chat, still smiling - If I'd believed they wake up and go to sleep every day for years in such a blissful state, hell I'd convert! But I'm lying, what's real and true matters to me too much to settle for less.

I think it takes half a lifetime to begin to know what "selfish" means (but I'm a slow learner). Learning about yourself, and in the process, learning about your common 'personhood' with all men, is the start. A big part of selfishness is finding inner peace of mind without resorting to unreality, I think. To reach the place when what you are doing is "right", without a God, religion or other people to refer to as standard. In fact, the person who needs a commitment to selfishness most, is someone who won't 'fake it'. An honest person who knows that all men, whatever they believe, have to deal with reality independently - and has goodwill and sympathy for them as a result - can be vulnerable to the deceits and manipulations of others which can really screw him over emotionally, and often materially.

In a way then, rational egoism is the balance, if not antidote, to that. What did Rand categorically state about everything must be done for one's self? It sounds blunt, but I think that she knew that implicitly such people are humanly good and aware of others, and need the protection of a selfish morality. Or else I'm reading too much into it. Anyway, once one delves into values there is much selfishness in apparent unselfishness.

Learning about oneself, one finds that anxiety, guilt and fear come about when one part of you is in conflict with another. (Soul-body, and all that). Which brings me to oxytocin and the feel-good chemicals. These are as much a physical part of us as our little toes, except oxytocin is emitted automatically, I guess. So why fight it? Let's enjoy it, the giving and helping - when appropriate, and perhaps sometimes when not. Certainly we shouldn't be rigidly dogmatic about when we should be 'selfish', when not. Each of us is all one state in the end. To make a life's service to others, is another thing entirely. Perhaps one overdoses, or develops a resistance to the oxytocin, when main-lined all the time. I don't know. But I have seen resentment - sometimes, hatred for people - set in with individuals who follow the creed of duty. The point is to be savvy of what the chemicals are doing and when, without them taking control - like a boisterous dog who has to watched around children. But I'm going on too long again...

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Why should the self exist in agony?

The answer to this question will depend on whether you're a seeker or a sucker, Frank.

Not all agony is as meaningless and nihilistic as you imply in your question...

...especially when it's your own self inflicted agony of just and deserved consequences from poor moral choices. Agony can cause a seeker to question how they are living and to refine their character so as to rise above it...

...while a sucker like you stubbornly clings to your victim's blame (unjust accusation) of the government for your own failure to live like an American.

Greg

If agony is meaningful, then life consists of more than just suffering and thus life may be preferable to death.

I always make it a point not to inflict agony on myself, unless of course it is deserved. The last time that happened was in 1968 when I voted for Richard Nixon.

As for my "victim's blame," there is none to cling to. That is because I have no victims, or even unjust accusations against me (except for perhaps yours).

Live like an American? I do so by following the example of the great anti-tax rebels of the American Revolution.

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Live like an American? I do so by following the example of the great anti-tax rebels of the American Revolution.

 

 

Oh No! animated emoticon

 

 

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Why should the self exist in agony?

The answer to this question will depend on whether you're a seeker or a sucker, Frank.

Not all agony is as meaningless and nihilistic as you imply in your question...

...especially when it's your own self inflicted agony of just and deserved consequences from poor moral choices. Agony can cause a seeker to question how they are living and to refine their character so as to rise above it...

...while a sucker like you stubbornly clings to your victim's blame (unjust accusation) of the government for your own failure to live like an American.

Greg

If agony is meaningful, then life consists of more than just suffering and thus life may be preferable to death.

I always make it a point not to inflict agony on myself, unless of course it is deserved. The last time that happened was in 1968 when I voted for Richard Nixon.

As for my "victim's blame," there is none to cling to. That is because I have no victims, or even unjust accusations against me (except for perhaps yours).

Live like an American? I do so by following the example of the great anti-tax rebels of the American Revolution.

This is free will? You deserved agony because you voted for Nixon? You evaluated the situation subsequently then opened the valve and let the agony flow over you? I always thought the people who had this power were masochists, but only once?--that can't be you. Now, how about agony from the outside? I think that power of yours still obtains since nothing seems to get to you. Agony at the gates? There it stays. The gates stay closed. I'm really talking about the agony of dealing with new and coinflicting ideas. Only you know the rest of it--the purely personal stuff. As for myself and Nixon--I probably voted for him but that's only deduction. I long ago forgot the actual horror.

--Brant

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Brant,

According to Google Analytics, we got 7,774 unique visitors this last month.

Just think about it. With stats like that, every damn thing you write on OL is read by lots of people.

Hell, you probably have a fan club somewhere.

:smile:

Michael

Sounds about right, maybe. Sounds about wrong, maybe. Does this mean if a Google bot comes here 100 times in a month that's one "unique" visitor?

I know there have not been +32,000 people looking at my profile in these last almost nine years. I'd have to seriously question even 10% of that. I'm not that pretty. I seem to be doing about 5-7/mo. A total under a thousand would seem about right.

If I have a fan club I'm gonna start charging admission. Money trumps ego [LIE ALERT! LIE ALERT!] with me.

--Brant

(not responsible for third-party interjections)

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Live like an American? I do so by following the example of the great anti-tax rebels of the American Revolution.

...only in your academic fantasies, Frank. :laugh:

Impotently pouting about taxes like a petulant victim reveals the truth that you haven't learned how to secure your own economic freedom the American Revolution secured for you. It you truly followed their example... you'd be free.

You're a sucker... and you deserve to remain one because you did it to yourself..

Greg

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Live like an American? I do so by following the example of the great anti-tax rebels of the American Revolution.

...only in your academic fantasies, Frank. :laugh:

Impotently pouting about taxes like a petulant victim reveals the truth that you haven't learned how to secure your own economic freedom the American Revolution secured for you. It you truly followed their example... you'd be free.

You're a sucker... and you deserve to remain one because you did it to yourself..

Greg

If he has economic freedom secured, let us say hypothetically, by a significant inheritance, what would your evaluation of FF--whoever he really is--be? Would there be a principal shift in your principle moral well-being metric?

--Brant

I don't think you've got under his skin yet--not in a noticeable way; I have been able to get under yours two or three times, which isn't significant considering the vast Greg OL corpus

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If he has economic freedom secured, let us say hypothetically, by a significant inheritance, what would your evaluation of FF--whoever he really is--be?

Interesting point, Brant.

Frank does exhibit the behavior of a failure who doesn't earn his own way... like a trust fund baby. But his behavior could also mean he's a government employee like say an academic for example. He's big on theory drivel... but is completely devoid of real world common sense.

I do know this principle:

Anyone who is given money without developing the strength of character it takes to work to earn it... they will LOSE it...

As Ayn Rand said:

"No man may be smaller than his money."

Frank is smaller than his money, because he has demonstrated time and again that he doesn't have the foggiest notion of how business works.

Greg

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