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It is intriguing.  I've been fairly obsessed for about a year with thinking about details.  I find microbiology fascinating. I wouldn't be wise, however, to talk about details.  The schemers are

That's what it says at the top of the page.  Your point?  It's not like this thread has devolved into a medley of cat videos.  Yet.  

That is astonishing. Thanks Jon. Behaviors that can cause a kid, later in life to be screwed up enough to become addicts or to kill themselves, needs a remedy and if the answer is chemical or physical

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20 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

I really wasn't dismissing anything, my point was when MSK said, "Crony elitist globalists certainly are narcissists" it means All globalists are narcissists.  Which they aren't.  So when you say All S is not P, that's amphibole and it's ambiguous:  logically the statement could mean No globalists are narcissists, or it could mean Some globalists are not narcissists.  So by saying All S is not P to try to clarify things, it's actually not clarifying them.

I don't agree with this necessarily.  Like I said earlier, I don't agree with the idea that all narcissists have low self-esteem or are they in fear.  You're saying here that a narcissist and globalist-collectivist has a loss of self, so they become collectivists.  But the problem is that many narcissists have a strong sense of self, and don't become collectivists.  I know two narcissists that are like this, meaning the Objectivist/NB pathological explanations for them do not fit these two at all.  For a principle to be valid, it has to work on all members of the class, and it doesn't.

[Some career politicians are narcissists], yes I agree with that.  And I agree that politics attract aggressor personalities.  But I don't agree that all narcissists need attention and adoration, that comes from Freud and not many psychologists still believe today.  Covert narcissism exists, convert narcissists don't need attention or adoration, and in fact they can be quite the loners.  I will agree that all narcissists want a measure of control over other people's lives.  You're right that in politics there are a higher incidence of narcissists and aggressive personalities.  You'll also find this in bureaucracies of any kind---hospitals, government, the red cross, etc---they love the power structure and manipulation possibilities and their ability to "hide" their true personalities.

Why do you think Trump was so attracted to government and politics?   He is the kind of narcissist that needs attention and adoration, his twitter feed screams narcissism, he lies, manipulates, deceives others, and he makes sacrifices to innocent people---and yet somehow isn't a narcissist?  Is he fit to be President because he's a narcissist?  I didn't vote for him, but I don't think he should be removed from office.  Certainly previous presidents have been narcissists.  But Tony, Steve Wolfer said Trump was a narcissist, and I am saying it, and other Objectivish people have said it, so I'm having a hard time understanding how you can think that he isn't a narcissist?

Korben, "Why do you think Trump was so attracted to government and politics?" That question gets to the meat of it. Why, indeed?

(Going back over the political personalities I have seen, it may be that narcissism is a job requirement! I'm half serious,  narcissists are calculated as 10 - 15% of a population given by one psychologist - I wouldn't be surprised if politicians measured closer to 50%).

So what makes Trump any different, why should he be picked out when many others are not? 

Types of narcissism given in an online search: Overt. Covert. Seductive. Vindictive. Name any pol, and we can have a fun game pinning these simplistic labels on him/her. Obama, certainly "covert" (with some vindictive). Hillary? John Kerry? Biden? ha.

Donald Trump, for the sake of argument but I'm unconvinced - is let us say, an "overt" narcissist. 

Returning to your question, I have to ask: is it possible that an individual who's narcissistic may also possess rational convictions and purpose and do objectively good things? I think so - I guess a minority people are in absolutely perfect psychological health, and while he may be un-intellectual (I am sure not anti-, as some O'ists say) he is quite the realist and he has at least one high principle, not so distant from an O'ist intellectual. And I don't think that the President's motives are psychological and narcissistic-driven. Understand, I think any person is most often highly complicated, with mixed premises, but if I believed, from watching him from the start of his campaign, that Trump saw *only* his personal gain and was motivated *only* by self-aggrandizement, power lust and narcissism--I would not have gone on supporting him. I believe that he is the genuine article. He has from long ago seen and heard from the 'ordinary' people, those many side-lined and forgotten, and thinks that they, not the progressivist intellectuals, were the backbone of America. That they became his power-base because he understands them, is no more than what any politician will tap into, and has to, if he wants to effect change. There are also good and valuable uses and applications of power, and of course I take it that you are on the side of a Great America, (although it's fair and rational to query your President's definition of this, and his methods)..

On another level, his actions are kicking back against Socialists/altruists/Leftists, who were leading the USA on a dangerous path; that's more than enough reason for me.

There is also the nature (narcissistic, second handed, vile and sacrificial-of-the-nation) of the very worst of his outraged/scared opponents, e.g. glibly preaching "democracy" while trying to hinder/destroy any democratic processes. If one had recently dropped down to Earth from an alien planet, one would need only to take one look at them, and know they must be stopped and vote for Trump (again). By your enemies you can be known.

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14 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

I really wasn't dismissing anything, my point was when MSK said, "Crony elitist globalists certainly are narcissists" it means All globalists are narcissists.  Which they aren't.

Korben,

This is a cognitive error I see often and, God knows, I've done it enough myself.

In O-Land, this is called dropping the context. There are times when one is discussing all-or-nothing cases, and other times when one is generalizing. There is no way to discuss the topic we were discussing without generalizing. We weren't talking about, say, a scientific experiment and falsification controls. We were talking about broad categories of people. And when you do that, you can't even say all people have two arms and two legs. So dropping that context to apply a different standard, then point out your own error as if it were the error of the other is... well, an error. :) 

btw - The fake news media does this (especially progressives), albeit in a more dishonest manner. They know they are dropping context when they do it. In fact, they seek opportunities to drop context to make it look like someone said something stupid or outrageous. (Now stop and ask yourself if I am talking about every single case that the fake news media has presented--every one that has ever existed and ever will exist--or a generality. :) See what I mean about context?)

Since I like precision of communication, I have been guilty of this a lot. Nowadays, I try to figure out who I am talking to and what is it they are talking about, including if it is general or specific, i.e., if it is induction or deduction, before digging into their errors and feeling all superior and stuff. :) 

Michael

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9 hours ago, anthony said:

Donald Trump, for the sake of argument but I'm unconvinced - is let us say, an "overt" narcissist. 

Tony,

I am totally unconvinced. I find the idea that President Trump is a narcissist laughable. Mental health professionals who claim this show, to me, just how much quackery there still is in this field.

For example, President Trump is not a control freak who avoids putting himself in vulnerable situations at all costs. Avoiding embarrassment through excessive control is a universal among narcissists. On the contrary, Trump openly invites high-risk situations.

A good example is at his rallies. He will often bring a total stranger on stage and hand over his microphone. Does he know what the person will say? No. He may have a good idea, but ultimately, he hands over control. A true narcissist would never do that. Ever. The risk of being embarrassed would be too great to even contemplate for him.

Narcissists love to be scripted in their control freak situations. When they go off script, they tend to stomp on their dongs and get entangled in unending bickering over nothing. So they just don't do it.

Narcissists don't tell people to rise and achieve excellence. On the contrary, they pick at the faults of everybody so they can pump themselves up. President Trump said many times he wants everybody in America to become as rich as he is. A narcissist says get used to no longer being self-reliant, get used to the government handouts he controls, because those jobs are never coming back. (Remind you of someone? :) )

Here in O-Land, it's surprising to see people criticize a man with a healthy dose of egoism, self-esteem and high-productive focus as pathological precisely because of those traits, but there it is. I don't know what they see when they read Rand. It's obviously not the same thing I see.

Winners are not narcissists by definition. The idea that they are is a cultural sickness promoted by our current victimization media where everyone is either an oppressed slave, a heartless master, or the hero rescuer and savior--the government.

Underneath, to these people it's all about tearing down greatness. That's easier than becoming great themselves. When they look on the greatness President Trump has achieved and look at their own lives, it's like a loud hard slap in the face. It's so much easier to try to tear him down than try to live up to the promise of what he represents in America--where all men and women can become great, individually great, if they work at it.

And when they can't get sanction of the victim to work on President Trump to make him feel guilty, but instead get a haymaker of a counterpunch as response--without apology, they hate him all the more as they pick themselves up off the floor.

Narcissist don't like earning things. The feel entitled to them by default. They even feel entitled to tear down greatness in the human spirit.

President Trump stands for earned winning. Working hard and winning. Becoming great from focused effort at excellence. But earning victory is not for everybody. Many prefer to have it handed to them by their peers whether they deserve it or not.

Michael

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5 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Here in O-Land, it's surprising to see people criticize a man with a healthy dose of egoism, self-esteem and high-productive focus as pathological precisely because of those traits, but there it is. I don't know what they see when they read Rand. It's obviously not the same thing I see.

They see suave, debonair Frisco giving a philosophically deep money speech, or John Galt taking over a radio presentation and addressing the audience in the manner of a professor. If they don't see that style in someone real life, then they don't see that person's intelligence and productivity that they themselves will never match, and they look down their noses at the substance and accomplishments. They're kind of living in the aesthetic trance from having read Rand's novels, and having cast themselves as being equal to her fictional heroes, despite not really having accomplished shit.

They also tend to forget what a "bad boy" Roark could be.

 

5 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Narcissist don't like earning things. The feel entitled to them by default. They even feel entitled to tear down greatness in the human spirit.

President Trump stands for earned winning. Working hard and winning. Becoming great from focused effort at excellence. But earning victory is not for everybody. Many prefer to have it handed to them by their peers whether they deserve it or not.

True narcissists promise things that they don't deliver. Obama did a lot of that. He was stylistically smooth and gave the appearance of being an intellectual, and of knowing what he was doing. He made people feel that he looked as if he should be in charge.

Dingbat Ocasio-Cortez is currently trying to do the same, but not succeeding as well at the pose. She's recently been asked a few times by members of the press about how she intends to pay for her 40 trillion dollar proposed commie spending spree. She has been able to come up with only 2 trillion by proposing seriously putting the wealthy through the ringer (and disregarding the consequences of doing so). And then she starts to promise what narcissist Obama had promised: Socializing shit will actually SAVE lots of fucking money! Yeah! Hoorah! We can give shit away, left and right, to millions of more patients, students and consumers, and even do more consuming than producing, and the result will be savings and cheaper prices and rainbows and gumdrops and happiness! Cuz we're the richest country so we can therefore afford to raise our moral standards and become just as civilized as all of the countries which are poor due to having adopted Ocasio-Cortez's wonderful ideology. 

And, yet, Trump, whose ideas deliver more than promised, is accused of being a "narcissist"?

Hahaha!

J

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What are the most useful trait criteria for a presumed  personality disorder of Narcissism? Or, what characterizes the suite of behaviours that constitute this presumed disorder?

Are these criteria appreciably different from common usage of "narcissism"? Moreover, without an operating definition, how will we avoid speaking past each other?  A question I have in my mind is "what are the most common meanings/usages of the term right here?" (eg, what is the "control freak" criterion?)

7 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:
17 hours ago, anthony said:

Donald Trump, for the sake of argument but I'm unconvinced - is let us say, an "overt" narcissist. 

Tony,

I am totally unconvinced. I find the idea that President Trump is a narcissist laughable. Mental health professionals who claim this show, to me, just how much quackery there still is in this field.

For example,

For example, the diagnostic criteria for Narcissism from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals over time?  Who first identified observable trait syndromes?

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?  How is it diagnosed?  Is such a diagnostic entity a relict or artefact of psychological guesswork, bias, conceptual emptiness -- or other epistemic barrier to its reality in people we live with?

Once these questions are adequately answered in your mind, dear reader, would it be useful to cite a particular argument that ascribes narcissism to the President?

Edited by william.scherk
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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

What are the most useful trait criteria for a presumed  personality disorder of Narcissism? Or, what characterizes the suite of behaviours that constitute this presumed disorder?

Are asking, or are you assigning someone homework?

If asking, I'd suggest Google as a starting place.

1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

Are these criteria appreciably different from common usage of "narcissism"? Moreover, without an operating definition, how will we avoid speaking past each other?  A question I have in my mind is "what are the most common meanings/usages of the term right here?" (eg, what is the "control freak" criterion?)

A bit of a tangent here, but if I wanted to make the world a better place, ya know what I'd do? I'd make a million clones of me.

Can't afford to pay for my mandates? Heh. Fucking loser. I can't be held responsible for every undercapitalized business.

You didn't build that. Someone else made that happen (me, community organizer clones of me, me, me, me, etc.)

1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

For example, the diagnostic criteria for Narcissism from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals over time?  Who first identified observable trait syndromes?

Phil Coates? Phil Coates replacement wannabes?

1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?  How is it diagnosed?  Is such a diagnostic entity a relict or artefact of psychological guesswork, bias, conceptual emptiness -- or other epistemic barrier to its reality in people we live with?

Once these questions are adequately answered in your mind, dear reader, would it be useful to cite a particular argument that ascribes narcissism to the President?

It certainly would.

J

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2 hours ago, william.scherk said:

What are the most useful trait criteria for a presumed  personality disorder of Narcissism? Or, what characterizes the suite of behaviours that constitute this presumed disorder?

Are these criteria appreciably different from common usage of "narcissism"? Moreover, without an operating definition, how will we avoid speaking past each other?

William,

Why... we never started speaking past each other on narcissism before. So why now? Hmmmm... We never did until I started laughing about it mocking it right now. Imagine that...

In all other times candidate--then President--Trump has been called a narcissist (and mocked for it by anti-Trumpers) right here on OL, I don't recall you asking about what that term means. Not once. Not even when I posted videos from a site about narcissism by a man helping people get out of relationships with narcissists. (I guess that guy looked like alt media, not anything respectable like CNN, huh? :evil:  )

It's funny now that the idea is laughable and tanking the good tank how you suddenly became interested in defining it...

:evil:  :) 

(You know that name's not going to stick to President Trump with the general public. It did not stick and it will not stick. You're intelligent enough to know that. Not after a bunch of mental health clowns wrote a full friggin' book about it with millions of dollars in free publicity claiming they were big shit mental health experts so they should know--and all the book did was entertain anti-Trumpers in a Jerry Springer sort of way. See here.)

Michael

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2 hours ago, Jonathan said:

They see suave, debonair Frisco giving a philosophically deep money speech, or John Galt taking over a radio presentation and addressing the audience in the manner of a professor. If they don't see that style in someone real life, then they don't see that person's intelligence and productivity that they themselves will never match, and they look down their noses at the substance and accomplishments. They're kind of living in the aesthetic trance from having read Rand's novels, and having cast themselves as being equal to her fictional heroes, despite not really having accomplished shit.

They also tend to forget what a "bad boy" Roark could be.

Jonathan,

I think you're right.

Style over substance added to delusions of grandeur and an aesthetic trance based on Rand's storytelling skills.

It's not often I read an insight like this these days. I love the term "aesthetic trance."

Thanks.

Michael

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Style over substance added to delusions of grandeur and an aesthetic trance based on Rand's storytelling skills.

Jonathan,

Incidentally, here is an insight right back at you. (Not competing... just sharing...)

First a small literary detour.

Here is a five-act structure that is just as old and probably more universal than Campbell's Hero's Journey. I got the from a book called Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story by John Yorke added to a rather difficult but profound book by David Mamet called Three Uses of the Knife.

Once you know how to look for this pattern, you see it everywhere. And that is the reason it's one of the ancient patterns that are still with us.

Here is a gross outline of the way it is given in The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (which I mention because Yorke used his version as a kind of starting point):

Quote

1. Anticipation.
2. Dream.
3. Frustration.
4. Nightmare.
5. Death (of protagonist or monster).

Booker elaborates on this often through his book (as does Yorke and Mamet, although Mamet, talks about a three act structure with the second act being the equivalent of Acts 2, 3 and 4 in the others). For instance, when he talks about the plot of a normal James Bond story, he writes the states as:

Quote

1. The "Call" (or Anticipation Stage).
2. Initial success (Dream Stage).
3. Confrontation (Frustration Stage).
4. Final Ordeal (Nightmare Stage).
5. The Miraculous Escape (and Death of the Monster).

I only mention this because it's an extremely flexible pattern. (It works in Shakespeare and it works in Rand. And it goes waaaaaay back into ancient mythology.)

When applied to real life (from whence it came), I even see it in the way I went through Objectivism and the way I see most people do when they get deep into the philosophy.

1. The "Call." This is first contact with Rand's works. This tends to release a lot of dopamine and feels wonderful.

2. Initial wins. This is when a person starts winning arguments he never used to win, discovers other Objectivists, reevaluates everything he has learned through this different lens, etc. There's a lot serotonin released and even more dopamine. Life can't get any better.

3. The Reality Stage. I'm indebted to Mamet for calling the frustration stage "reality." This happens when the high of the first epiphanies and wins (Acts 1 and 2) slam up against the mundane aspects of reality that just won't go away (Act 3). If you want to be a great musician, you have to practice scales during long hours each day and that is boring. If you want to be a great engineer, you have to study math and other stuff for hours a day that is boring. If you want to become a great philosopher, you have to read tons of philosophy from obscure books each day and that is boring. It never seems to end and it's so damn slow and hard. You can't get away with gushing about stuff and instantly become an expert. You have to a lot of boring-ass donkey work during this third act. 

3-a. There's a midpoint during the third act Yorke talks about where a person has to come to grips with something he has to change inside himself, otherwise, he doesn't make it through the third act convincingly. (That's when stories seem to dip and meander.) In real life and according to my application here in O-Land, I believe this realization is an intellectual humbling. A person has to come to the conclusion that he is not Francisco D'Anconia, who never seemed to hit snags during the donkey work of developing a skill, and decide he wants to become proficient at the skill more than he hates the boredom and frustration and sheer amount of it. Only then can he can plow through the dull stuff and finish. This realization can take many different forms, but it has to be on the intensity level of a religious experience to work. Just saying you want to doesn't work. 

4. The biggest nightmare I have seen in this O-Land situation is an inner crisis of doubt--wondering whether this path will actually work out in triumph or whether there is something wrong with the person because he can't seem to get out from underneath the enormous pressure he feels to live up to the standards he imposed on himself and his constant fuck-ups. Even after he's made it through the third act, he still fucks up at times and wonders if his chance to become one of mankind's greats just slipped his grasp. The irony here is that Objectivism comes with an anti-guilt proposition, but this Act creates massive guilt in many people. Based on Randian archetypes, he doesn't believe that a hell of a lot of fucking up is the only way to eventually get it right consistently, so he feels guilty for essentially being human (and taking the only path that will get him to anywhere near to becoming a Randian hero).

5. For the final act, the person comes out of the nightmare by becoming a true-believer, or he walks away from the philosophy, or he chooses his own independent path, but takes a lot of good from Objectivism with him. (Guess which one I am? :) )

After years of online O-Land discussions, I find that most pro-Rand people are still stuck in Act 3. (Not all, of course, but many, many, many.) They're chasing the high of the first two acts and can't figure out where the joy went when they try to apply the philosophy to their day-to-day grind. So they repeat passages from Rand when they get confused, but can't go very deep into what those words mean other than the traditional boilerplate arguments. They worry a lot, though, and keep trying to square the circle of how to keep the high going. I think the irritation in this phase is one of the reasons Objectivists have a reputation as unduly snarky. They've read Rand do constant putdowns and that's about all they've got for response when challenged that makes them feel a bit better until they figure out how to push through this boring painful phase and actually become competent at something.

Anyway, food for thought.

btw - Mamet was funny in characterizing the grandiosity of feeling of the first two acts (using the 5 act division) against the reality slam of the third act where everything seems to go wrong all of a sudden. He said it's an old joke, but it's hard to remember to drain the swamp when you are out in the middle of it and up to your ass in alligators.

:) 

Michael

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

For instance, when he talks about the plot of a normal James Bond story, he writes the states as:

Here's the full quote by Booker if anyone is interested:

Quote

... one of the key reasons for the initial success of the Bond stories, even before they were translated to the cinema screen (increasingly modifying Fleming's original versions), was precisely the way they tapped so unerringly into those springs of the human imagination which had given rise to similar stories for thousands of years. So accurately did the typical Bond novel follow the age-old archetypal pattern that it might almost serve as a model for any Overcoming the Monster story.

    As conceived by Fleming, the basic Bond story (one or two vary the pattern slightly) unfolds through five stages rather like this:

    1. The `Call' (or Anticipation Stage): The hero, a member of the British Secret Intelligence Service, is summoned by `M, head of the service, and told of suspicious goings-on somewhere in the world which appear to pose a deadly threat to Britain, the West or mankind as a whole. Bond has been chosen to track down and confront the source of this evil, and the general mood of this opening phase is one of anticipation of the immense task to come. To prepare him for his ordeal, Bond may visit the armourer, `Q, to be equipped with special weapons, such as a new gun, a sports car fitted with a smokescreen device or a rocket pack which will enable him to fly. These are exact modern equivalents to the `magic weapons' of ancient myth, such as the sword, the `helmet of invisibility' and the winged sandals enabling him to fly with which Perseus was equipped by the gods before his journey to confront Medusa.

    2. Initial success (Dream Stage): Bond has first brushes with the `monster's' agents or even the `monster' himself, in which he is victorious (he catches Goldfinger or Drax cheating at cards or golf). There may be attacks on his life, but he survives these, and the general mood of this stage is a dream-like sense of immunity to danger, with the full horror of the monster's power and ambitions not yet in full view.

     3. Confrontation (Frustration Stage): Bond eventually penetrates the monster's lair to get closer to his enemy and then suffers his first serious setback, when he falls into the monster's clutches. But this enables him to get a full view of his sinister and repulsive opponent for the first time.2  Because the villain thinks he has Bond in his power, he reveals the full scale of his intentions, e.g., to rob Fort Knox or to drop a nuclear bomb on London. Bond's frustration at not being able to communicate this vital information back to the outside world is redoubled by knowing that the monster also has in his grip some beautiful girl or captive `Princess'.

    4. Final ordeal (Nightmare Stage): Bond is now forced by the monster to face the `terrible ordeal, which seems fiendishly designed to lead to his painful, long-drawn out death: e.g. having to endure a deadly obstacle race, crawling through a subterranean tunnel, where he has to run the gauntlet of poisonous spiders, roasting heat and finally a battle with a giant squid.

    5. The Miraculous Escape (and Death of the Monster): Bond survives the ordeal and then, by a miraculous feat of ingenuity and strength, manages in the nick of time to turn the tables, outwitting and killing the villain. He thus saves not only his own life but Fort Knox, London, mankind or whatever has been threatened with destruction. The monster is dead and Bond is free to end his adventure locked in fond embrace with the liberated `Princess.'

Believe it or not, President Trump has countless five act stories along his career. (And, no, dear anti-Trumpers, he's not the monster. :) )

Michael

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33 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jonathan,

Incidentally, here is an insight right back at you. (Not competing... just sharing...)

First a small literary detour.

Here is a five-act structure that is just as old and probably more universal than Campbell's Hero's Journey. I got the from a book called Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story by John Yorke added to a rather difficult but profound book by David Mamet called Three Uses of the Knife.

Once you know how to look for this pattern, you see it everywhere. And that is the reason it's one of the ancient patterns that are still with us.

Here is a gross outline of the way it is given in The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker (which I mention because Yorke used his version as a kind of starting point):

Booker elaborates on this often through his book (as does Yorke and Mamet, although Mamet, talks about a three act structure with the second act being the equivalent of Acts 2, 3 and 4 in the others). For instance, when he talks about the plot of a normal James Bond story, he writes the states as:

I only mention this because it's an extremely flexible pattern. (It works in Shakespeare and it works in Rand. And it goes waaaaaay back into ancient mythology.)

When applied to real life (from whence it came), I even see it in the way I went through Objectivism and the way I see most people do when they get deep into the philosophy.

1. The "Call." This is first contact with Rand's works. This tends to release a lot of dopamine and feels wonderful.

2. Initial wins. This is when a person starts winning arguments he never used to win, discovers other Objectivists, reevaluates everything he has learned through this different lens, etc. There's a lot serotonin released and even more dopamine. Life can't get any better.

3. The Reality Stage. I'm indebted to Mamet for calling the frustration stage "reality." This happens when the high of the first epiphanies and wins (Acts 1 and 2) slam up against the mundane aspects of reality that just won't go away (Act 3). If you want to be a great musician, you have to practice scales during long hours each day and that is boring. If you want to be a great engineer, you have to study math and other stuff for hours a day that is boring. If you want to become a great philosopher, you have to read tons of philosophy from obscure books each day and that is boring. It never seems to end and it's so damn slow and hard. You can't get away with gushing about stuff and instantly become an expert. You have to a lot of boring-ass donkey work during this third act. 

3-a. There's a midpoint during the third act Yorke talks about where a person has to come to grips with something he has to change inside himself, otherwise, he doesn't make it through the third act convincingly. (That's when stories seem to dip and meander.) In real life and according to my application here in O-Land, I believe this realization is an intellectual humbling. A person has to come to the conclusion that he is not Francisco D'Anconia, who never seemed to hit snags during the donkey work of developing a skill, and decide he wants to become proficient at the skill more than he hates the boredom and frustration and sheer amount of it. Only then can he can plow through the dull stuff and finish. This realization can take many different forms, but it has to be on the intensity level of a religious experience to work. Just saying you want to doesn't work. 

4. The biggest nightmare I have seen in this O-Land situation is an inner crisis of doubt--wondering whether this path will actually work out in triumph or whether there is something wrong with the person because he can't seem to get out from underneath the enormous pressure he feels to live up to the standards he imposed on himself and his constant fuck-ups. Even after he's made it through the third act, he still fucks up at times and wonders if his chance to become one of mankind's greats just slipped his grasp. The irony here is that Objectivism comes with an anti-guilt proposition, but this Act creates massive guilt in many people. Based on Randian archetypes, he doesn't believe that a hell of a lot of fucking up is the only way to eventually get it right consistently, so he feels guilty for essentially being human (and taking the only path that will get him to anywhere near to becoming a Randian hero).

5. For the final act, the person comes out of the nightmare by becoming a true-believer, or he walks away from the philosophy, or he chooses his own independent path, but takes a lot of good from Objectivism with him. (Guess which one I am? :) )

After years of online O-Land discussions, I find that most pro-Rand people are still stuck in Act 3. (Not all, of course, but many, many, many.) They're chasing the high of the first two acts and can't figure out where the joy went when they try to apply the philosophy to their day-to-day grind. So they repeat passages from Rand when they get confused, but can't go very deep into what those words mean other than the traditional boilerplate arguments. They worry a lot, though, and keep trying to square the circle of how to keep the high going. I think the irritation in this phase is one of the reasons Objectivists have a reputation as unduly snarky. They've read Rand do constant putdowns and that's about all they've got for response when challenged that makes them feel a bit better until they figure out how to push through this boring painful phase and actually become competent at something.

Anyway, food for thought.

btw - Mamet was funny in characterizing the grandiosity of feeling of the first two acts (using the 5 act division) against the reality slam of the third act where everything seems to go wrong all of a sudden. He said it's an old joke, but it's hard to remember to drain the swamp when you are out in the middle of it and up to your ass in alligators.

:) 

Michael

Excellent!

A few whom I've seen hit level 4 and 5 run with some standard O-acceptable excuses, such as that they're "on strike," just like Frisco and Johnny and Ragnar. That phase doesn't last too long, though, since you still pretty much have to show some competence before anyone is going to believe that you walked away from success versus that you never developed the means to achieve.

A variation in the arts is that the styles that Ovishes create in are just too good for today's society. Garbage art has taken over, and real, true artistry has been abandoned. That only briefly fools a few fellow Ovishes until they're shown lots of successful realist visual artists, or songwriters who create beautiful melodies and traditional harmonic structures, or novelists and dramatists who deal in heroics and happy endings, etc.

So, yeah, um, O-kiddies, step on up to level 5, put on some bravery, set aside the excuses, realize that you're you, and maybe that means being something closer to Eddie Willers than Frisco, or a more like a random brakeman rather than a Dagny. Nutting' wrong wit dat.

Also maybe consider that Rand's belief that anyone can be great at anything they choose isn't realistic. Don't let Rand's unsupported, romanticized opinions of such things guilt you into unrealistic standards and expectations. Personally, my experience is that if a person hits level 3, and generally finds the work boring, and needs to crack the whip on himself most of the time, then he's not going to succeed in that field. It chooses you, you don't choose it. Rand could not have chosen to be a painter, or a surgeon, or an airplane pilot, and succeeded to anywhere near to what she did with writing fiction.

Anyway, thanks for the literary tie-in, MSK.

J

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Rand didn't offer paths, she offered sights. The paths were implied. Roark's boyhood and growing up did not exist. The boyhood of whom Roark became is unimaginable. Dagny and Francisco were sheltered, protected and nurtured by powerful families. They didn't grow up, they grew into.

---Brant

 

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11 hours ago, Jonathan said:

So, yeah, um, O-kiddies, step on up to level 5, put on some bravery, set aside the excuses, realize that you're you, and maybe that means being something closer to Eddie Willers than Frisco, or a more like a random brakeman rather than a Dagny. Nutting' wrong wit dat.

Also maybe consider that Rand's belief that anyone can be great at anything they choose isn't realistic. Don't let Rand's unsupported, romanticized opinions of such things guilt you into unrealistic standards and expectations. Personally, my experience is that if a person hits level 3, and generally finds the work boring, and needs to crack the whip on himself most of the time, then he's not going to succeed in that field. It chooses you, you don't choose it. Rand could not have chosen to be a painter, or a surgeon, or an airplane pilot, and succeeded to anywhere near to what she did with writing fiction.

Jonathan,

I want to give this an inspirational side, too.

I'll speak for myself. Accepting my own limitations at any given moment is merely accepting reality and judging it accordingly. (That's my cognitive before normative thing.) After I have done that, then I have earned the right to strive for greatness. I let my spirit dream while I make my body work.

I often see others make the error of striving for greatness without wanting to do the donkey work, without being willing to fall on their ass and get back up as they try, over and over and over until they get it right.

I might never become the greatest writer in the world, but I can become the greatest writer I can become. That part I can control. It involves my own dreams and my own discipline.

The other I can't. I used to think about that other when I was younger. I don't anymore. Not after I started developing skills from putting in the long hours to make it work.

The good news is, this is doable. And anybody can do it. 

On the really negative side, if a person only dreams about it and doesn't do the donkey work, doesn't even try to goose himself up emotionally to do the donkey work, he can control that outcome, too. He can guarantee with 100% certainty that he becomes a failure. A pompous one at that. :) 

Michael

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On 9/18/2018 at 12:02 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Tony,

I am totally unconvinced. I find the idea that President Trump is a narcissist laughable. Mental health professionals who claim this show, to me, just how much quackery there still is in this field.

For example, President Trump is not a control freak who avoids putting himself in vulnerable situations at all costs. Avoiding embarrassment through excessive control is a universal among narcissists. On the contrary, Trump openly invites high-risk situations.

A good example is at his rallies. He will often bring a total stranger on stage and hand over his microphone. Does he know what the person will say? No. He may have a good idea, but ultimately, he hands over control. A true narcissist would never do that. Ever. The risk of being embarrassed would be too great to even contemplate for him.

Narcissists love to be scripted in their control freak situations. When they go off script, they tend to stomp on their dongs and get entangled in unending bickering over nothing. So they just don't do it.

Narcissists don't tell people to rise and achieve excellence. On the contrary, they pick at the faults of everybody so they can pump themselves up. President Trump said many times he wants everybody in America to become as rich as he is. A narcissist says get used to no longer being self-reliant, get used to the government handouts he controls, because those jobs are never coming back. (Remind you of someone? :) )

Here in O-Land, it's surprising to see people criticize a man with a healthy dose of egoism, self-esteem and high-productive focus as pathological precisely because of those traits, but there it is. I don't know what they see when they read Rand. It's obviously not the same thing I see.

Winners are not narcissists by definition. The idea that they are is a cultural sickness promoted by our current victimization media where everyone is either an oppressed slave, a heartless master, or the hero rescuer and savior--the government.

Underneath, to these people it's all about tearing down greatness. That's easier than becoming great themselves. When they look on the greatness President Trump has achieved and look at their own lives, it's like a loud hard slap in the face. It's so much easier to try to tear him down than try to live up to the promise of what he represents in America--where all men and women can become great, individually great, if they work at it.

And when they can't get sanction of the victim to work on President Trump to make him feel guilty, but instead get a haymaker of a counterpunch as response--without apology, they hate him all the more as they pick themselves up off the floor.

Narcissist don't like earning things. The feel entitled to them by default. They even feel entitled to tear down greatness in the human spirit.

President Trump stands for earned winning. Working hard and winning. Becoming great from focused effort at excellence. But earning victory is not for everybody. Many prefer to have it handed to them by their peers whether they deserve it or not.

Michael

There is a man I associate with Donald Trump, who was a major tycoon on the SA scene . He is Sol Kerzner, who has since built casino resorts from the Bahamas to Dubai, to Atlantic City. I had a memorable time of a few days in his company covering the story for a financial mag when his first resort, Sun City, was about to open, Dec 1979. In his company helicopter we flew over the arid hills of Bophuthatswana. This is hot, wild, uninhabitable country useless for anything, one would think. As we crested a hill, he pointed to the valley below and casually remarked to me - "Here's where I decided to put it"  - and down there was this sight, like an enormous oasis incorporating hundreds of acres - a towering construction site, vast pools and greenery, teeming with hundreds of workers, and I was incredulous. I just stared at him I think. Who can have that kind of vision, to make something so huge - from nothing? He tirelessly walked through the site the whole day with his large team of architects, engineers and designers, noting unfinished building, mistakes and expertly suggesting improvements. The big opening was the next day attended by world leaders and celebs, the worked all night and you can bet that everything was finished on deadline. To this day, I remember thinking that such people operate power on a scale, and with a mind for detail, I found unimaginable. That was all his own initial, and projected vision, and he's repeated it in other countries. This type of man is an extreme and rare category of prime mover, and yeah, couldn't function without "a healthy dose of egoism". A long time later, no surprises, I discovered he is sociably pally with Donald Trump, a similar field of industry, competitors and friends - with comparable characters and visions, and brash personalities that attracted controversy, also. And in a hardhat on a messy construction site, or in board rooms, and negotiating with foreign presidents and PM's, all the same to them. A type that knows how to make something out of nothing.

An old article and photos might be of interest:

How Donald Trump knows about South Africa

09MondayMay 2016

Over the recent past, Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party in the United States presidential race, has commented on more than one occasion about South Africa. While South Africans can scream until they are blue in the face, he was dead-on right in each of his comments. See for example HERE and HERE. Any honest human being who knows that country knows he spoke the truth.

Trump_bI thought I would explore why that is the case, because Americans are typically outrageously ignorant about South Africa. That is how one very nice New York gentleman once told me, “Oh I know South Africa! I was in the Mediterranean in the war!“, and a Masters degree lady told me “Perhaps you know my friend in Liberia“. Another held me, as South African-born, accountable for the excesses of Idi Amin in Uganda. A young Canadian asked me a month ago whether “Africa has countries“.

It is therefore quite incredible that the US Congress should have overridden the veto of President Ronald Reagan in order to impose comprehensive sanctions on South Africa in the 1980s; this while the majority of members of Congress could not find it on a map. So, how is it that Donald Trump should be so spot on in his observations? This intrigued me, until I watched a 2 hour television programme about the rise of Donald Trump some weeks ago. At some quite unimportant point in the movie Trump is in a limo on the way somewhere, and that’s when a blurred image of another passenger in the same limo caught my attention. I was quite sure I had seen THAT man before in the flesh.

It was in the early 1990s on the tropical volcanic Comore Islands in the Indian Ocean, of all places. A new resort had recently been opened on the main island and week-long packaged stays were being sold in South Africa. The man behind the resort was South African real estate magnate Sol Kerzner, the man responsible for Sun City and, now more recently, Paradise Island, which is advertised daily on US TV. My wife and I had bought one of these one week stays on the main island.

While strolling around the grounds back then in the early 90s, I found Sol Kerzner busy kicking around the grass in front of one of the “cabanas” as though he was unhappy with the lawn quality. I had no particular reason to start a conversation with him and so we proceeded on our way, leaving him to kick at his lawn. However, I mentally filed away the image.

It turns out that, in the intervening years the world’s two major real estate developers, Donald Trump and Sol Kerzner, have been working together quite a bit in the Bahamas and Dubai. No doubt, Donald has been hearing the reality about South Africa from his friend Sol. As regards to what the degree they “hang out together”, the following images may perhaps clarify the situation.

In the image immediately below we have, from left to right, Melania Trump, Donald Trump, Heather Kerzner and Sol Kerzner together.

Partners_1In yet another photo below, we have Donald Trump and Heather Kerzner together at another event.

Partners 2Against this backdrop, black actor Samuel L. Jackson is extremely welcome to move to South Africa if Trump becomes president of the USA, which is exactly what he has “threatened”. Perhaps he could play Jacob Zuma in his next movie.

I would suggest the world would be a better place if Kerzner and Trump maintain their relationship. I well remember the young Comorean who hired out for a day to drive us around his island in his Mini Moke. His hero was Sol Kerzner and he waxed lyrically about Kerzner as being an example of what people can do if they set their minds to it.

Perhaps Americans can take an electioneering lesson from the young Comorean. He correctly identified opportunity and hard work, rather than handouts, as a key issue in life. That sounds remarkably like Trump.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

LOL...

CNN’s Jake Tapper Dedicates Segment to Trump’s Penis

:) 

President Trump has the fake news media so confounded they are doing news stories about his dick.

:)

Michael

I can't resist this one:

:) 

Michael

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7 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Brant,

I think she offered more than that. She stated that the goal of her writing was to present the perfect man. And she stated that her thing was man-worship.

She created gods.

Gods with their own stories.

Michael

Yes, look at them. One can imagine being a naked shepard boy about to take on Goliath - The David - look at the trace of fear and anxiety in his face. That's humanity writ larger than life but humanity to the core. Not a perfect man; there is no such thing.  The best job Rand did with her ideal was Howard Roark, especially early on in The Fountainhead.

---Brant

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

An old article and photos might be of interest:

Especially if you gave its originating coordinates in the form of a URL  -- rather than copy-pasting the entire article without ID:

https://hbooyens.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/how-donald-trump-knows-about-south-africa/

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8 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

LOL...

CNN’s Jake Tapper Dedicates Segment to Trump’s Penis

:) 

President Trump has the fake news media so confounded they are doing news stories about his dick.

:)

Michael

Distinctive?  It bends to the left, the right, unusual color scheme, unique vasculature, circumcised (or not), big, small...

Predictions?

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7 minutes ago, 9thdoctor said:

Distinctive?  It bends to the left, the right, unusual color scheme, unique vasculature, circumcised (or not), big, small...

Predictions?

Dunno. Don't ask me, not my field of expertise, a single sample isn't much to go on.

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