Wolf DeVoon

What doesn't make sense about Objectivist values

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Mere Mortal quotes:

...and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.

This is brilliant.

No one will ever be happy as long as they fail to live a life deserving of it.

Greg

If you knew happy like I knew happy--

Oh, oh, what a wonderful gal!

--Brant

is there happy or happy and happy (objective or subjective and subjective)?

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I don't care how it's explained away. This stuff is daffy.

1. Rearden romanced and married Lillian. Instead of having children, he adopted her brother.

2. Francisco laid Dagny only once or twice and never touched another woman.

3. Taggart Transcontinental was privately held and profitable.

4. Eddie Willers never loved anyone but Dagny from afar.

5. Ragnar's pirate ship never encountered the Coast Guard or US Navy.

6. Mulligan bought land in Colorado that no county tax assessor knew about.

7. Galt jammed every transmitter in America and broadcast on the same frequencies.

8. A dozen smart people brought down the government and destroyed a society...

9. ...with the expectation that they could rebuild everything later.

This isn't a list of Objectivist values. It's a list of things that some of the Atlas Shrugged characters did. I thought you were going to address the following from Galt's speech:

To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason—Purpose—Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge—Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve—Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.

These are marching orders. Are marching orders "Objectivist values"?

--Brant

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Mere Mortal quotes:

...and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.

This is brilliant.

No one will ever be happy as long as they fail to live a life deserving of it.

Greg

If you knew happy like I knew happy--

Oh, oh, what a wonderful gal!

--Brant

is there happy or happy and happy (objective or subjective and subjective)?

Happy Rockefeller?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Rockefeller

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Very nicely done Greg.

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I don't care how it's explained away. This stuff is daffy.

1. Rearden romanced and married Lillian. Instead of having children, he adopted her brother.

(Ellen corrected this: adopted his own brother)

2. Francisco laid Dagny only once or twice and never touched another woman.

3. Taggart Transcontinental was privately held and profitable.

4. Eddie Willers never loved anyone but Dagny from afar.

5. Ragnar's pirate ship never encountered the Coast Guard or US Navy.

6. Mulligan bought land in Colorado that no county tax assessor knew about.

7. Galt jammed every transmitter in America and broadcast on the same frequencies.

8. A dozen smart people brought down the government and destroyed a society...

9. ...with the expectation that they could rebuild everything later.

This isn't a list of Objectivist values. It's a list of things that some of the Atlas Shrugged characters did. I thought you were going to address the following from Galt's speech:

To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason—Purpose—Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge—Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve—Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.

I've been away from my desk several days. Give me a few minutes to think about your question. Thanks.

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MereMortal asked me to comment on this passage from Galt's speech, which he says are Objectivist values

To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason—Purpose—Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge—Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve—Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.

The first proposition is false. Lots of people prosper without valuing reason, do everything in their power to subvert it, for instance MTV, Cartoon Network, and the Clinton mob. Social metaphysicians of all stripes use reason to justify faith in God, or Fabian "municipal water and sewer socialism," United Way extortion at work, ZIRP, TARP, EBT, PBS, NATO, NAFTA and NASA. I picked those at random. Perhaps you'll recall that Alan Greenspan came to prominence by saving Social Security in 1981. How rational was that? I spent the last four days in hotel rooms and scanned 50 channels of television. I was astounded. There were negroes on every channel morning, noon and night, except Univision and Gala, which are latino. School children are being taught that the Founding Fathers were racist. White people elected Barack Obama twice. Over 90 million Americans are not in the workforce, yet bankers and brokers worldwide view our economy as "the cleanest dirty shirt" -- despite the fact that we doubled our national debt during the past seven years and racked up $200 trillion in unfunded entitlement obligations. Where do you see reason at work in Wall Street valuations or the flood of funding that allowed shale drillers to produce more and more natural gas at a loss, year after year? Rand had a good pitch in 1957. Today she's an easy target for scorn and derisive laughter.

But let's say reason is a good idea anyway, because we're stubborn and indifferent to whatever else is happening in society, like Lamar Odom saving his marriage by spending $65,000 in a brothel, or Ben Carson explaining that the Great Pyramids were built to store grain.

In Galt's fictional radio speech which simultaneously jammed every transmitter in America on all frequencies and used those same frequencies to broadcast from the Gulch, he says that an individual man's purpose is his "choice of the happiness" that his tool of reason "must proceed to achieve." Forget about a right to happiness. There is no such right. The pursuit of happiness maybe -- although it's against the law, against bipartisan political consensus, and lacks compassion for tens of millions of ignorant dipshits and their precious offspring who eat free breakfast, lunch and dinner five days a week at public schools or else they'd go hungry.

I've done my level best to be a rational person. It cost me much sorrow. I don't regret it. I like being rational. But if you saw some of our recent discussions concerning the purposeful work I undertook with reason as my guide, it's obvious that I flopped. Brant said it's only fit for engineers, some hundreds or thousands of years in the future in a better world -- and that's the nicest thing anyone said so far.

What did Ayn Rand herself achieve? -- she gave Leonard Peikoff her entire estate, including the film rights to Atlas. Of all the idiotic decisions made by allegedly rational people, that one qualifies for a Lifetime Achievement Darwin Award. She also allowed herself to appear on live television, looking and sounding like a deranged space alien. She lied about her relationship with Nathaniel Branden. She used Frank O'Connor to stay in America.

The bottom line is painful. We try, to the best of our ability, to do things that seem important and good and right, price no object. Stories like Atlas Shrugged are inspirational, despite the fact that it's a load of fanciful hogwash. A dozen people cannot bring down a society -- or rebuild it by scratching out a couple lines in the U.S. Constitution and dictating new provisions that make democratic government impossible. In today's world...

Atlas Shrugged reads with as much realism as F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story "A Diamond As Big As The Ritz." This is not a criticism of Atlas as literature. But let's face it. Atlas belongs to a lost generation, who shunned it. [Atlas Shrinked]

I wrote that 16 years ago, before Turner dumped Ruddy and Aglialoro handed Peikoff a seven-figure check to make amateur cow pies of Atlas. Last year I revisited the business of Atlas as follows:

What was it that made Roark more important to me than Galt? Roark was disgraced, penniless and powerless. The only thing Roark could do was refuse to compromise, which echoed my own plight. John Galt, on the other hand, commanded limitless power from an invention that no one else understands because it's a macguffin. He has a chat with two of his college buddies and Midas, and presto! — the United States government falls and hundreds of thousands if not millions of innocent women and children starve to death. The business of starving people to death is a sore point with liberals and likewise the reason that conservatives kept their mouths shut when Atlas appeared in 1957. No one was willing to speak in favor of it. http://www.amazon.com/The-Constitution-Government-Galts-Gulch/dp/1499550456

If you ask me the meaning of value, I'd say courage. Not just as a virtue, but an aspiration, a goal worth seeking. On the return trip by car yesterday I got so woozy and hypnotized that I had to stop and eat something, take a long break from driving. Nothing else better to choose from, I went to an Applebee's, and as I was finishing dinner, a guy sitting in a wheelchair rolled in. They put him at the next table. When he rolled himself to the men's room, I locked eyes with the hip young waiter and said "You and I have it easy. We don't have to sit in a chair. Make sure that guy gets good service."

When the chair-bound invalid returned, he glanced at me, and I said "Hi." There are a lot of ways a movie director can say that word -- in jest, or contemptuously, or lovingly, or mechanically. I said it like a friend who was glad to see the Wheelchair Guy, and in fact I was glad to see him -- late 30s, tall, handsome, well built, 9 chances in 10 an officer or non-com crippled for life by an IED or sniper. He didn't answer me immediately. He was in pain, leaning forward with his forearms on the table. It's hell sitting in a chair all day. I can barely do it a couple hours in a car before my ass is on fire.

Then his girl arrived and hugged him, asked if he'd ordered food yet, and went to use the ladies' room. I have a lot of high-powered antenna as a director. She was a tower of strength, deeply and permanently hurt by her man's devastating incurable injury, loving him no less for it, suffering every minute of his suffering with him.

I finished dinner, paid the check and got up to leave. Wheelchair Guy looked up and locked eyes with me as I walked past his table, friend to friend. "Take care of yourself," he said to me as a personal wish. Now that's courage as an achieved value, something he fought for, price no object, to wish others success and diligence. Even a soft near-sighted civilian with two good legs.

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I don't think I said exactly that, Wolfo. I'm usually not quite that harsh. I prefer to punch people through a pillow. (I just said that last sentence because when I thought of it it read too nice to dump.)

To understand what Rand was trying to say you have to focus on what she meant by "to live" by her ideal man: you'll end up with circular reasoning, however, for her kind of man is rational and has purpose and self esteem. As for "rational" it was her kind of rational which was not irrational, ideally speaking, but incomplete rational for there are other rational ways to use one's mind than the way she used hers. Your general description of her and her life, of course, is skewed. So is mine. So is everybody's This includes Rand herself. Everything gets filtered every which way. The only way to objectify others and ourselves through all our human complexities is sticking as close as possible to the basics.

--Brant

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To understand what Rand was trying to say you have to focus on what she meant by "to live" by her ideal man: you'll end up with circular reasoning, however, for her kind of man is rational and has purpose and self esteem. As for "rational" it was her kind of rational which was not irrational, ideally speaking, but incomplete rational for there are other rational ways to use one's mind than the way she used hers. Your general description of her and her life, of course, is skewed. So is mine. So is everybody's This includes Rand herself. Everything gets filtered every which way. The only way to objectify others and ourselves through all our human complexities is sticking as close as possible to the basics.

Ayn Rand -- especially Atlas Shrugged -- affected me profoundly when I read it the first time.

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I assume for the better and AS still does. But we learn more as life goes on so we drop the bs for there's less room for it.

--Brant

but it would be silly to be bitter for that means we didn't drop the bs

many never give up the glory of living in the world of Atlas Shrugged, so they aren't bitter in their permanently altered state of consciousness (can we count them on one hand?)

worry about the neo-cons; they are many and their permanently altered state of consciousness is likely to start a real WWIII

many neo-cons seem to have infested the ARI, which is a logical extension of Rand's own neo-con propensities respecting both Israel and the USSR, much more affordable in the 1960s and early 1970s than today for the world was much more binary

one Randian myth is she was against the Vietnam War--yeah, sort of, but she really wanted to get over it by kicking ass, which was my choice too since I hated the half-assedness of the whole project

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many never give up the glory of living in the world of Atlas Shrugged

I always study every idea and the connected flow of thought in your posts, but this one jumped out at me.

Prison and poverty didn't beat it out of me. Envy and vanity were harder to shed, but the worst was stupidity. No cure for that one. I took it all quite literally in 1973. There was a John Galt in the world somewhere -- and if not, then it was my job to try. Pretty quickly discovered that it's nigh on impossible to "destroy" anyone with moral suasion. It's not that they're deaf to logic, but most folks are like Dagny Taggart, deeply committed to their railroad (career, familiar purpose or ambition, individuality in the widest and simplest meaning of that term). Turned out that the only one I could woo and destroy was me, and that project took a lifetime, still in progress.

Miss Rand's achievement in Atlas Shrugged was the sanction of the victim. I think it's each man's job to save his own neck (his liberty, happiness, intimate independence). Maybe I've done it. I have one or two unfinished projects that I'd like to complete, but after that no particular plans, no expectation of an easy retirement or a pleasant death. Someone mentioned recently that there were 900 people at the funeral home to honor Ayn Rand's life. I doubt that anyone will know or care what happened to Wolf DeVoon -- and that's the ultimate measure of intimate independence, to live for one's self, if I correctly understand the meaning of courage.

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Quo vadis?

There is no better place on Earth to be a human being--nor was there ever one previously--than the United States today. I hope someone can say the same a hundred years from now in lieu of a better substitute.

If you make a product you cannot sell that doesn't mean someone can't steal it and sell it after you are dead and gone.

So make something else.

I suggest you get over seeing " negroes" on TV. I see black folk and I don't need to turn on the set. Did you notice there are too many women on TV too? I'm still adjusting to that, especially in sports. The female reporters started showing up in locker rooms a couple of decades ago. Then came the word some players were walking around starkers regardless. :smile:

Nothing was said about any erections--but, still, those men are young and hung and the reporters are always beautiful. The logical inference comes naturally and what's more natural (to my dirty mind?) than a man with an erection? You can't watch TV any more without seeing commercial after commercial for Cialis and Viagara. If your child watches TV he or she is going to be sexualized by the age of seven. That's right. TV is child sexual molestation--except the hands-on kind is much worse. If I had children there's be no TV watching. No TV. And no going to the neighbor's kid's home to watch any. I might have to move to central Nevada and live off the grid. Brainstorm: no kids.

I see Muslims, too.

One thing hard to stand are all the dumb and stupid acting white guys--TV, real life; all over the damn place! They run this country. They run Europe. They start wars.

I say deport them to the Amazon Basin. Let them Amazons take care of them. They'll only need to keep a few for procreational purposes. The rest will float nicely out to sea--it's the river of no return.

--Rant

https://youtu.be/hO8PYjRSCQs

as for male enhancement:

https://youtu.be/x7P957ixaXA

there are two ways to be destroyed: morally and existentially: from the inside out or the outside in, and you can mix them up if you want (Roark was morally--in the terms of the novel--invulnerable but not invulnerable to something dastardly acting on his person)--this is not the same as using up yourself over the course of a lifetime through aging and/or over-stressing your body and the psychology of your mind (vacations might help)

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Interesting discussion Wolf and Brant. I can't seem to find any particular point to comment on, the discussion is all over the place.

Turned out that the only one I could woo and destroy was me, and that project took a lifetime, still in progress.

Miss Rand's achievement in Atlas Shrugged was the sanction of the victim. I think it's each man's job to save his own neck (his liberty, happiness, intimate independence). Maybe I've done it. I have one or two unfinished projects that I'd like to complete, but after that no particular plans, no expectation of an easy retirement or a pleasant death.

Can you elaborate?

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Prager University is viral with over 40,000,000 views so far this year.

Dennis found a cutting edge method to promote American values. :smile:

Greg

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many never give up the glory of living in the world of Atlas Shrugged

I always study every idea and the connected flow of thought in your posts, but this one jumped out at me.

Prison and poverty didn't beat it out of me.

Yeah. We know that you were in prison. You tell us so quite frequently. It's very important to you to tell us that you were a bad ass who went to prison, but also just as important to never reveal why. Boring. Contrived. Attention-seeking. Vanity.

Please, WolfAlan, oh, please, oh, pretty pretty pretty please, tell us why you were in prison! Oh, my God! You're so exciting and mysterious and adventurous!!! I NEED to know, WolfAlan! I'm begging you! Please, please, PLEASE, with sugar on top! My life will never be complete without knowing all of the secrets that you beg us to beg you to share!

Envy and vanity were harder to shed...

Past tense?!!! Heh. Still lots of work to be done, WolfAlan.

but the worst was stupidity. No cure for that one. I took it all quite literally in 1973. There was a John Galt in the world somewhere -- and if not, then it was my job to try. Pretty quickly discovered that it's nigh on impossible to "destroy" anyone with moral suasion. It's not that they're deaf to logic, but most folks are like Dagny Taggart, deeply committed to their railroad (career, familiar purpose or ambition, individuality in the widest and simplest meaning of that term). Turned out that the only one I could woo and destroy was me, and that project took a lifetime, still in progress.

I think that a lot of Rand's followers destroy themselves, or a least severely limit themselves, by never giving up the Randian fantasy that helped them make it through the weakness of their youth. They never mature, and their talents are therefore never put to use toward truly genuine individual self expression and truth, but toward serving the fantasy, and especially toward protecting past posings as being something grand and heroic. Trying to impress others becomes more important that actual accomplishments. Quite odd for people who view themselves as "independent," no?

Someone mentioned recently that there were 900 people at the funeral home to honor Ayn Rand's life. I doubt that anyone will know or care what happened to Wolf DeVoon -- and that's the ultimate measure of intimate independence, to live for one's self, if I correctly understand the meaning of courage.

What a sad and twisted view.

"Here lies WolfAlan DeDorf Von Altenvoon. He stood in his own way."

J

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Wolf writes:

Lots of people prosper without valuing reason

They do, Wolf... but their gain can only come at the loss of others who also don't value reason.

It's a closed mobius loop zero sum Marxist clusterfuck of predator and prey... each preying upon others as they are being preyed upon by others... just as each deserves the other.

People who do value reason operate OUTSIDE of that self inflicted man made hell...

...and also do business with their own kind as they deserve.

This is the essence of moral law.

Greg

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I don't want to know why Wolf went to prison. I'd like to know why anyone on the Internet would like to know. Is it for the sake of a life enhancing value or more ad hominem stomping?

--Brant

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Wolf writes:

Lots of people prosper without valuing reason

They do, Wolf... but their gain can only come at the loss of others who also don't value reason.

It's a closed mobius loop zero sum system of predator and prey each deserving of the other.

People who do value reason operate outside of that self inflicted man made hell...

...and also do business with their own kind as they deserve.

This is the essence of moral law.

Greg

I'm not so sure--100% sure. I've heard long pig can be quite tasty.

--Brant

and nutritious (just don't eat any brain)

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If I had children there's be no TV watching. No TV.

That's been my policy since my daughter was born, well, long before I met her mother-to-be, haven't had a TV since 1978. Liked BBC shortwave while it lasted. Still listen to radio for enjoyment and occasional news and opinion. The internet is much harder to police as a parent. I talk to the kid about abstract principles once in a while, but now that she's a teenager it's really her life to build on her own, make some bad mistakes without Dad interfering. Mom has a whole different relationship with her. Another deep satisfaction in my life, that my wife and our daughter are happy together.

I took a walk around the property today, glad to be here. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

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Interesting discussion Wolf and Brant. I can't seem to find any particular point to comment on, the discussion is all over the place.

Turned out that the only one I could woo and destroy was me, and that project took a lifetime, still in progress.

Miss Rand's achievement in Atlas Shrugged was the sanction of the victim. I think it's each man's job to save his own neck (his liberty, happiness, intimate independence). Maybe I've done it. I have one or two unfinished projects that I'd like to complete, but after that no particular plans, no expectation of an easy retirement or a pleasant death.

Can you elaborate?

Sorry, I can't guess. Elaborate which part?

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I think that a lot of Rand's followers destroy themselves, or a least severely limit themselves, by never giving up the Randian fantasy that helped them make it through the weakness of their youth. They never mature, and their talents are therefore never put to use toward truly genuine individual self expression and truth, but toward serving the fantasy, and especially toward protecting past posings as being something grand and heroic. Trying to impress others becomes more important that actual accomplishments.

 

Not to quibble, but my body of work is the only thing I have to promote as best I can. No new work available or likely to happen. So maturing further is moot. Undoubtedly I was weak. So was RLS, no comparison of stature implied. Rex told me one day on the patio at headquarters that the Head of Security thought I was a weakling. I said in reply, "I may be a weakling, but I'm not a chicken." That seemed to make sense, not only to myself, but to Rex as well. There's no shame in being truthful.

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I don't want to know why Wolf went to prison.

Then WolfAlan hasn't succeeded in his fishing expedition. He's been chumming the water, and using his best bait. He's pleading for you to want to know why he went to prison.

I'd like to know why anyone on the Internet would like to know.

Because WolfAlan wants everyone to want to know! He's begging for attention. He thinks that he's making us believe that he's very important, interesting and mysterious.

J

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That would be a lot more enjoyable than a man just being honest about himself in a desultory way.

--Brant

which explains our completely different reactions

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Wolf writes:

Lots of people prosper without valuing reason

They do, Wolf... but their gain can only come at the loss of others who also don't value reason.

It's a closed mobius loop zero sum Marxist clusterfuck of predator and prey... each preying upon others as they are being preyed upon by others... just as each deserves the other.

People who do value reason operate OUTSIDE of that self inflicted man made hell...

...and also do business with their own kind as they deserve.

This is the essence of moral law.

Greg

I think you're wrong about that. I've met too many people, in the past and most recently, who are making their way in big cities and small towns, pursuing opportunities and working hard to get ahead. They're living cheerfully and successfully.

Hermits like you and I are cloistered from the profane culture, rather than doing something more profitable. You could knock down $1000 a day as an electrician if you wanted to. Downside risk is sudden surprises in L.A.

R+Cobb+7.jpg

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$1000/day. That's why when I needed some serious electrical work done I had to kidnap the electrician.

--Brant

don't worry--he was a Democrat (I made him listen to Ronald Reagan speeches until he couldn't take any more)

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