regi

Ayn Rand And The End Of Love

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20 hours ago, regi said:

Perhaps you could provide a short list of authors or books that provide that new knowledge.

Randy

Randy,

Sure. But I'm going to pick and choose from previous posts (sorry for the length):

How Emotions are Made:

On 4/2/2017 at 11:10 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Here is one that was recently published and I just finished it: How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.

This is a hard book to get through because, although it is written for the general public, Dr. Barrett alternates between breathtaking descriptions of how the neuroscience works under the hood (including one of the best descriptions of concepts I have read to date) and views that are outright weird. She is what I call a Postmodern scientist. (Most of what Postmodernists do is deconstruct and make mashups.)

She drank the Kool Aid that man has no volition and makes his own reality through words. However, she alternates with this view at times and contradicts it because it gets so ridiculous, the scientist in her cannot abide. So she kicks it down the road, basically saying we will have wait and see (but with the insinuation that we will discover in the end that volition is an illusion). Then, at times, she turns it all upside down and talks about individual responsibility. Getting through her preaching parts is a slog and, to a reader like me, similar to listening to fingernails scratching across a blackboard.

But the insights she provides are deep and convincing enough to prove the efficacy of propaganda and constant repetition for undermining rational thought. And speaking of repetition, she presents a lot of repeatable science.

Dr. Barrett proposes a "theory of constructed emotions" as opposed to the "classical view," which she claims is intellectual and scientific poison. However, it never occurred to her to ask what if both exist? (This is my view so far. And she actually does entertain this idea when speaking about infants, although she doesn't use those words. Adults, to her, somehow lose their inherent emotions as they grow. Why? Easy. Just because. :) )

I don't want to bash her, though. I have enormous respect for what she has achieved. My own thinking deepened immeasurably due to this book. But I want to go through it one more time (taking notes) before I do a report on it.

Why We Snap:

On 3/27/2016 at 10:08 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I highly recommend the following book: Why We Snap: Understanding the Rage Circuit in Your Brain by Douglas Fields. This is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than a book about snapping and rage.

It's a bit technical at times, but if you have the persistence to get through it, you will see where the automatic part of values actually get pegged to specific neurons in the brain, at least according to 9 different automatic values Fields calls LIFEMORTS triggers: Life & limb, Insults (denigration), Family, Environment (territory), Mate, Order (social order and rules), Resources, Tribe, and Stopped (stuck).

Note, these are not chosen values although choice is involved later. These are innate from actual neurons that control behavior in the body, including secreting hormones and neurotransmitters.

A little more on Why We Snap:

On 1/15/2017 at 3:44 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

To me, this book is so fascinating, I was able to cut through boring parts and focus on the understanding I was getting. It's called Why We Snap: Understanding the Rage Circuit in Your Brain by Douglas Fields.

The term "rage circuit" is a bit off since he deals with other forms of the brain being so hijacked by a strong feeling, the person lunges into action, like when a person jumps into a river to save a drowning stranger but doesn't know why he did it. But "rage circuit" is the term he uses. Just expect it to mean more than anger.

His theory is that pressure builds up during everyday living on certain areas of the brain (and he takes this all the way down to actual neurons in the hippocampus) that a tipping point can get reached where the person "snaps" and kicks into action, usually violent action. He has identified nine areas where this occurs and identified them by an acronym LIFEMORTS: L (Life or limb/survival), I (Insult), F (Family/maternal aggression), E (Environment/territory), M (Mate), O (Organization, social organization and rules), R (Resources/lack of resources), T (Tribe/“us and them” mentality), and S (Stop, stuck, being trapped, restrained or cornered).

The Moral Molecule (this guy did some of this research for DARPA at the US Department of the Defense). They are now weaponizing story based on the neurochemicals released in the brain. This unexpected discovery about certain properties of oxytocin is extremely important. It also explains a whole swath of emotions.

On 1/15/2017 at 3:44 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

The real deal go-to guy on brain chemicals, though, is Paul Zak. He actually takes blood samples during values-based situations like weddings, involvement in stories, etc. His big thing is oxytocin since that is the neurochemical he has focused on. If you read his book, The Moral Molecule: How Trust Works, I believe it will blow your mind. (It's in lay language and an easy read.)

Habits of a Happy Brain:

On 10/29/2016 at 6:08 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I'm going to recommend a book by Dr. Loretta Graziano Breuning, Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels.

It doesn't look like it, but this is a very easy read.

Dr. Loretta (I am Facebook friends with her) deals mostly with the mammalian part of the brain, so she oversimplifies the neuroscience a bit. She teaches you how to get the right triggers for the right neurochemicals to squirt so you feel happy in your lower brain. Without drugs...

And she teaches how to create and myelinate proper neural pathways so this becomes a habit.

More on Loretta (also, I recommend Beyond Cynical as it deals with negative effects of neurochemicals, especially cortisol, from her mammalian perspective--you can get the book at the link below):

On 1/15/2017 at 3:44 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I want to call your attention to the work of a lady who I have been following for some time. Her name is Dr. Loretta Breuning (here is the link to her Amazon books: Loretta Graziano Breuning).

Her approach is precisely the "animal" part of the "rational animal" definition, with focus on mammal. All humans are mammals, so whatever is good for a mammal is good for a human. In Loretta's understanding and research, all mammals release similar neurochemicals that guide their actions. These neurochemicals, when triggered, take over mammalian brains and focus all the different systems in the brain in one direction to do one activity, so to speak. Some call this frames, but it is felt as emotions. 

There are many neurochemicals, but Loretta has narrowed them down to 5 so she can communicate the idea to the lay public in a manner where they can do things to use this information: dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin and cortisol.

We have to talk about Gazzaniga and the "interpreter" in our left brains:

On 1/15/2017 at 3:44 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

The next thing is a weird part of the left brain based on the work of Michael Gazzaniga. That is where our inner storyteller resides. Just because the left brain is the seat of rational processing, that doesn't mean it doesn't like a good yarn. :) (Caveat, this is far more complicated. But this oversimplification is useful for imparting the gist.)

The right brain is the one people think of as the dreaming brain, the emotional side, etc. And this is where people would think the storytelling part would reside. But the right brain is present-oriented, not past and future. That part goes to the left brain. Enter the storyteller. Stories are mostly told in past tense, not future or present. There's a mental reason for this. Once again, there are exception, but they sit on top of this truth, they don't replace it.

Gazzaniga has studied people who have had their corpus callosum damaged (this is the group of fibers that connects the two brains). He has found that when the left brain cannot make sense of something coming solely from the right brain, it makes up a story to explain it, and it will automatically opt for bullshit when a rational story doesn't work. :) What's worse, we believe our bullshit when we do that. I want to go into examples because they are fascinating, but that's beyond the scope here.

I have only read Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael S. Gazzaniga so far, and I'm almost loathe to recommend it in this context because a patch of this book gets really technical (so much so even I zoned out), but his work on understanding the "interpreter" is just too important. We have a little barefaced liar inside of our brains that will conjure up a story when things don't make sense. :) (I've read some of Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience, also. I need to finish it.)

Flicker: Your Brain on Movies:

On 6/25/2015 at 10:11 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

On another point, I am reading a book called Flicker: Your Brain on Movies by Jeffrey Zacks. It just came out. It deals with neuroscience as applied to movies. Inevitably, it lands right in the middle of story.

The idea promoted in this book is that story did not evolve as "fuel," but instead as a means of understanding the world. From other studies I have read, I know we think in stories along with concepts. In fact, normative abstractions are impossible without story since causality can only be expressed through narrative.

And even story unfolds in what Zacks calls an "event model." This is a mental representation of space and time and some of the stuff and character(s) within it. This event model has fixed parts as context and moving parts as "components."

. . .

Apparently we experience stories in this manner. This idea is still relatively new (as is the entire field of neuroscience), so there are some scientists who have different theories they are working on. But in Flicker, Zacks takes us on a small tour of the different areas of the brain that process each major part of normal event models and their components, so he is pretty compelling.

. . .

Have you ever been lost in a story? Where you lost your sense of who you were, of time and of where you were? And you saw the story unfolding in front of you as if you were there? This is called a "story trance."

In Zacks's event model, which I now consider part of my epistemological understanding, we use the same event models for reality as we do for stories. So when we get lost in a story, we turn the reality event models off to be able to turn new story ones on. We have to because the same areas of the brain process both.

More on Flicker from a comment I made on Facebook (about a year ago, see here). I mention it right now, even with its focus on film shots, because the boundary neurons I mentioned (or whatever the hell they are called--I really have to review that part :) ) are extremely important to the way the mind processes story, and narrative in general automatically elicits emotion:

Quote

The book is from 2015 and called Flicker: Your Brain on Movies by Jeffrey Zacks. It goes into a lot of the neuroscience of processing space, time, sound and events and how that relates to film. His discussion of event models for storytelling alone was worth the price of the book for me, but he goes into a hell of a lot more.

Just one comment. I don't think length of shot by itself has much bearing on the information the brain processes. You need a lot more inputs. 

For example, if you don't need to reset your boundary neurons too much between cuts, inherent motion blindness will interpret jump cuts like blinking and the scene will feel like one long same thing like looking around a room. 

If you take a long shot with the camera image bouncing up and down like when a person is running and filming at the same time, your boundary or landmark neurons (sorry, I can't remember the technical names for these without rereading the book) constantly reorient the rest of the brain and this can be exhausting. It feels like a bunch of different disconnected events and can even make you dizzy. 

Just one more comment on Flicker because this idea of event model is critical to understanding the integration of the different modules of the brain in a narrative and resulting emotion. It's from a comment I made offline:

Quote

Zacks explores a concept that works both in writing and in cinema called an "event model." Another term for this is a template. He claims stories have small templates (or event models) that the brain automatically understands and uses (in the subconscious)--and he maps much of it to specific areas of the brain. If you exclude these event models, you tell a rotten story.

Here is a note I wrote to myself in the margins of the book (on p. 48 to be exact :) ):

  Quote

1. The first duty of a story is to evoke an event model (who, when, where, and what's happening).

2. Then you operate the components (with action).

3. Evaluate (abstraction in Zacks-speak).

Note, the reason you evoke this model is to get the brain thinking in story. (I call it "story trance," which is a conversation for later.)

Actually, it's to connect all of the different parts of the brain so they can follow a time-linear abstraction (a narrative) and connect it to the different areas of the brain--all of which process and work with different parts of the human experience. Then the narrative can be felt as a single thing. In Objectivism, this would be called integration (although I don't know of anyone in our subcommunity who goes into this in the manner I do).

. . .

When we process events, as we are trying to group the different parts of our brain into a single thing (for lack of a better word), we have to put some pillars in place to be able to find our way around. (There are actually specific orientation neurons that are involved, but that's a long heavy trip.)

So you really need to establish who-when-where right at the start. Those are your event model components (which I just called pillars).

If you write a thought, evaluation, or action and the reader doesn't know who to peg it to, his mind will try to fill in a replacement, or simply drift without paying any attention. You have to present the components of a model that your reader already uses so his mind will engage, but you can put in any details you wish. You can't leave out components (as a general rule--there are always exceptions, but that's or later :) ). You have to do this if you want the reader to pay attention to what you write.

This only scratches the surface, but I am out of time for searching for more. At least I am sure you will not get lost in the weeds with these.

I'm not giving you a list without comments because I can't stand the kind of discussion where a person compiles two years of scientific reading in a post and presents it as a replacement for an argument. That is merely an intimidation tactic. This post is a bit long, but I included parts of some of my previous comments in order to give a gist of what the different books are about in lay language.

But believe me, there are plenty more books where those came from--one more fascinating than the other. I study a lot...

Some day if you are feeling in a weird mood and want to see some of the craziness of way the brain can get with lesions, look into a neuroscientist named V. S. Ramachandran. Ah hell, read this book, too (which I read and loved): The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human. Life can get really really strange...

And let me mention another less technical book for the sheer way it feels all wrong: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker. It's a long book, but quite a fascinating read. Pinker documents the facts of human violence from antiquity up to the present and proves that we live in a mostly non-violent world compared to before. The problem is we have brains that evolved to deal with the commonplace brutal violence of ancient times. This causes people in modern times to be very vulnerable to scare tactics, news, massive exaggerations, and so on.

As you can see, I have been suggesting these books and discussing them for some time. In fact, several of the quotes above are addressed to Tony (even back then--and there are plenty more that go back even further). He has yet to mention or look at one. Not one. So my comment to him above did not come out of nowhere.

This list is a decent start, though. I don't suggest stopping everything and reading them. Scan them. Get a feel for them. Read about them online. Whatever. Then let your mind land where it will and go deeper, even if you want to disprove something.

This little list will be highly rewarding to anyone in O-Land who goes into it. It is a great complement to Rand's ideas of human nature and a corrective to some of her more glaring misconceptions.

Maybe later I will put together a list of YouTube videos. 

Michael

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2 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Maybe later I will put together a list of YouTube videos.

Please don't bother for me. I never watch videos. They don't give you time to think. I can read perfectly well and like to pause and consider each idea. If someone cannot present their ideas in a well written form, I distrust them.

Thank you very much for the references and links.

Randy

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4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

normative abstractions are impossible without story since causality can only be expressed through narrative (citing Zacks)

First off, this sounds like gibberish. Present tense observation, witness to events, is not story. It's life in the real world. Fire, ouch, and so forth. I don't think it's fruitful to debate whether normative abstractions are acquired mostly in youth or adulthood. It is conceivable that a new appreciation of something can be conveyed by story, but I don't think Aesop or Ayn Rand achieved that. Notably, Rand exited story in Galt's 50-page speech, to give a lecture in logic. It's absurd to say that attending a lecture on calculus is somehow story hour, with good guys and bad guys fighting over exponents.

Second, original stories differ from stock answers and normative anything. That's why they're interesting and surprising, the opposite of Salinger's kitchen sink slice of life crap, instantly recognizable. For the juvenile reader of a certain age, Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is barrels of fun because it revels in pleasant comedy, nothing to do with awkward reality. Heller's Catch 22 achieved the same thing by slanderous conundrum, exempting readers from making any effort to think twice or think further. In Vonnegut's world everything is deuces wild, and Irving wants to sell you a stick of soapy butter camouflaged in painfully tedious neighborhoods that are recognizable as the folks next door. There was and still is big business in evil, of course, particularly in Hollywood product after Capra and DeMille. Truman Capote was the poster boy for evil literature, Harvey Weinstein and Quentin Tarantino the bastard cousins of Wes Craven and Sam Peckinpaw. Good old evil, whatever would we do without it? USC would have to shut its doors if Hitchcock was seen exactly for what he was, a purveyor of pain, Spielberg's great mentor. Is evil original as a story? -- never. It's as tawdry and commonplace as a walking tour of Compton, South Chicago, or Detroit.

I don't think normative abstractions play a significant role in my stories. My characters are people (as opposed to dogs or doorknobs) but unlike other people. They are reality oriented, no fun and games. The villains are bit players, ordinary in many ways, highly recognizable. My hero and heroine are not templates for better homes and gardens of spiritual enlightenment. You couldn't follow them if you wanted to try, and often they themselves question life on life's terms, understanding little, risking much, gambling for a sense of passionate pride that is normatively incorrect with a capital i in the world today. That's why I've been blackballed.

 

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20 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Tony,

That's a particular beef I have with Rand and I've been writing about it for years. She defined the human being as a "rational animal," then ignored (or outright waged war on) the animal part while giving most of her attention and metaphysical importance to the rational part. And she started by declaring that man's mind (meaning the rational part) is man's only means of survival.

If that were the case, humans would have never evolved from non-conceptual primates. No wonder she had her doubts about evolution. It contradicts her very definition of man.

Rand cut her differentia off from her genus in "rational animal" a lot in her writing, then got nasty with those who disagreed with her.

Why bother defining something if that is what you are going to do with it?

Michael

Man is the conceptual animal?

Man is the would-be rational animal?

Man is the should-be rational animal (which is what Rand actually worked with)?

Man is man. We all know what that means.

--Brant

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10 hours ago, regi said:

Please don't bother for me. I never watch videos. They don't give you time to think. I can read perfectly well and like to pause and consider each idea.

Push the pause button.

--Brant

when you need help, send out the signal!

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10 hours ago, regi said:

Thank you very much for the references and links.

Randy,

There are 4 books that came to mind after I wrote the post above. Actually, there are many, but these four, I believe, round out the first set.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman 

This doesn't get into the neuroscience per se, but Kahneman does set up a kind of virtual way of thinking about thinking based on both neuroscience and modern psychology (which differs from normal psychology owing to the large number of repeatable experiments).

Kahneman calls automatic thinking System 1 and consciously aware thinking System 2. Then he goes into the large number of shortcuts the brain takes in processing information. He calls these shortcuts "heuristics." Sometimes they are called cognitive biases, but that actually is not an exact synonym. This is a fascinating book and includes Kahneman's Prospect Theory, for which he won the Nobel Prize in economics (the only psychologist to have ever done so).

But there is another book that deals with Kahneman from a story angle:

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis

Lewis tells the story of how Kahneman developed his ideas with Amos Tversky (who tragically died relatively young). Not only is the storytelling excellent, Lewis does a wonderful job of explaining the ideas in a conversational tone.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson

Peterson mixes neuroscience, mythology, evolution, literature, and some other things in a fascinating mix. I have only read the first chapter so far (this book just came out). If you want to know about lobster neuroscience, this chapter is where to get it. I have seen enough of Jordan's YouTube videos to know this is a great book, despite the self-help type of title.

Impossible to Ignore: Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions by Carmen Simon

Although this is a book on content creation, this is a really book on memory for the lay person. I am familiar with a lot of the research Simon uses, so it is not merely a book of writing techniques and opinions. In O-Land, nobody ever talks about memory, which is the one of the most important bases of everything we do in our higher level thinking and this book gives a great introduction and overview of memory.

There are many more books I could recommend. If another critical one comes to mind, I will post it here in this thread.

Gotta go...

Michael

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21 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

I'll have to look at Valor again for I don't remember the panning.

Roark didn't have to care what people thought because he always took care of business. His way was the right way. Practically speaking he was somewhat deluded. The value of his characterization was watching how his character was invulnerable to various insults because of that lived-in integrity, but it was an admixture of subjective and objective. Thus he corrected Keating's work in college and perpetrated a fraud against the government--an oxymoron I think--and blew up that housing project for Rand's literary reasons. Roark is a square peg forced into a round hole. He almost fit but still needed fitting. Roark as a dynamiter was too choice for Rand not to use. So on and so forth.

You have the great luxury of doing the work you want to do. It's a luxury I hope to have in a few months.

--Brant

Edit: I'm one third way through Valor and still don't recognize me panning it, etc. It's not my style of criticism. You see, this is my first read. I had too much trouble a while back getting going with your prose style so I put it down. So far you seem to be setting up the overall two-fisted context. You are not easy to read here. Spillane is easy to read for this type of first-person noir, but that type died out in the 50s and early 60s, seemingly with him. Even Hollywood couldn't handle him except for a cheap movie or two.

First official criticism: the paper and ink are too reflective. Not a big problem but they need to be toned down a little next time.

Excuse me.

--Brant

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On 1/20/2018 at 8:25 PM, Wolf DeVoon said:

Effing brill, refreshingly original

This from the guy who chose the nom de plume "Wolf DeVoon." 

Start over with your marketing. From scratch. Dump the ridiculous disguise. The name screams amateur trash.

Be genuine in your marketing. You're not even yet an "emerging author," so in your promotional efforts, stop trying to pose as established and renowned.

Sell your work rather than trying to sell yourself, especially the phony image of yourself. You don't have name recognition, readers/fans, and your attempts to suggest that you do are transparent, and in some cases embarrassing. They look manipulative and dishonest at worst, or naive and self-unaware at best. Not exactly traits people want in an author. In fact, they are the opposite.

Review your past marketing efforts. All of them. Look at each of the synopses, promos and blurbs you've written for your work. Go through them and slash the trickery and bullshit. Describe the work, and only the work. Make it an enticement, but keep it honest.

In a separate section -- the "about the author" section -- describe the reality of your life and passion for writing. Leave out the romanticized crap and the real history that you're very proud of but which has nothing to do with anything and is of no interest to potential readers.

Lose the name "Wolf DeVoon." Burn it. When asked about it, admit that it was a crutch that you're still learning that you don't need.

 

 

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On 1/20/2018 at 10:34 PM, Wolf DeVoon said:

I don't regret anything I've done to publicize my work recently, spent many thousands of dollars, did radio interviews, social media, pitched a long list of agents and publishers. What I have is unwanted. Brant read Valor and panned it, wanted to slap my hero, said he was disappointed with the story. The Good Walk Alone, serialized above the fold at LFC Times, generated a flood of angry complaints every week. I'm accustomed to rejection, silence, zero sales. Curiously, it only affects me at night when, like now, I hope to tempt someone to buy a book. There's a $4 anthology at Smashwords, three complete novels that will likely be scraped and pirated.

Tomorrow morning like all other mornings I'll walk down the hill with my dog and put my key in the door of my writing office, rested and eager to start coffee and go forward on a project that I don't think has a precedent in literature, the same adventure related twice, his story (40,000 words) and hers (another 40,000) two completely different experiences. I don't actually care whether it's read, not this book. I'll archive it at CreateSpace and Kindle, because I can't rely on my laptop to live forever.

Beautiful! Keep creating!

On 1/20/2018 at 10:34 PM, Wolf DeVoon said:

Roark didn't care what people thought -- just saying. It did not matter to the work.

Roark was a fictional character who was missing some human characteristics. He might be a great inspiration for artistic creativity and aesthetic independence, but he's not the dude to pattern yourself after marketing-wise or human/professional relationship-wise. Study marketing in reality rather than absorbing it from heavily romanticized fiction.

The good news is that you've been doing it all wrong! Your marketing sucks. So it's not necessarily your work that's being rejected, but your stupid, shitty marketing. So fix it. Learn. Develop some taste. Seriously, you really need to focus on acquiring some taste in your marketing style.

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12 hours ago, regi said:

Please don't bother for me. I never watch videos. They don't give you time to think. I can read perfectly well and like to pause and consider each idea. If someone cannot present their ideas in a well written form, I distrust them.

Thank you very much for the references and links.

Randy

You distrust them based on their choice of medium through which to exoress themselves? Heh. That's the most illogical, not to mention insecure, thing I've heard this month.

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On 1/21/2018 at 9:20 PM, Wolf DeVoon said:

That's why I've been blackballed.

 

The above is an example of what I'm talking about. You've been "blackballed"? No. People actually have to have heard of you, and then met you, and then dealt with you and established something of a relationship with you before they would "blackball" you.

My, it sounds so important, doesn't it? "Wolf" committed romantically daring breaches of etiquette at the literary world's upper crust cocktail parties that he's attended. He kicked down the doors of their social restraints. And, damn the bastards, but they've gone and blackballed him because of it! They resent his greatness, his independence. They spend their every waking minute seething about heroic, masculine "Wolf," and how much better he is than they are. They plot his destruction. They can't let a man of his genius succeed. He must be ended because he is so damned brilliant!

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3 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

There are 4 books that came to mind after I wrote the post above.

Thanks Michael. I had already looked up Peterson and Simon, which you referred to in earlier posts on this thread.

Much appreciated.

Randy

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4 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:
15 hours ago, regi said:

Please don't bother for me. I never watch videos. They don't give you time to think. I can read perfectly well and like to pause and consider each idea.

Push the pause button.

 

2 hours ago, Jonathan said:

You distrust them based on their choice of medium through which to exoress themselves? Heh. That's the most illogical, not to mention insecure, thing I've heard this month.

If you'd like to psychologize, let me provide you some fodder. I learned to read before going to school. By the time I was in the third grade I was reading newspapers and the encyclopedia. In the third grade, reading class consisted of several students sitting in a circle, reading aloud from a typically boring third grade reader. By the time the second student had stammered their way through four paragraphs I had finished the book, and when called on had no idea where I was supposed to read. I received a bad grade in reading on my report card. When my mother, knowing how and what I read, asked that teacher why I received a bad grade in reading, the explanation was that I lost my place.

Now I do not mind videos, and truly appreciate a good speaker which is very rare. Videos meant to be informative and instructive, especially on important subjects always disappoint me. The speakers are terrible and the content is shallow, which it must be. No important material can possibly be presented in depth in the length of time of a video.

In the amount of time I might spend listening to videos' shallow presentation of an idea, I can read an entire book with an in depth explanation of the same material, which I can mark, and go back to recheck premises, for example. Occasionally (but very rarely) the actual text of a video is available. In those cases, I can read the text in one tenth of the time I would have to spend listening to the video. Videos for me are a huge waste of time.

In my experience, very few videos actually explain anything. They are much more like propaganda attempting to "convince" rather than to explain. Their appeal is often to one's feelings, sentiments, or desires with a grudging nod to one's intellect. If someone honestly has something to explain, real information one can understand and judge for themselves, they will be able to write it so anyone can study it. I distrust anything that cannot be explained in writing.

This is a very personal view of course, which extends to other things as well. My wife and I have not had a television for almost twenty years. We do occassionally watch an old movie (DVD on one of our computers). Sometime I'll explain why I think all media has a danger to it, because to enjoy it, one has to suspend, to some degree, their own control of their consciousness. (For most "entertainment" today, one must also suspend their moral judgement.)

Randy

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1 hour ago, regi said:

 

If you'd like to psychologize...

I don't, and haven't.

Your statement that you distrust people based on nothing but their choice of medium is indeed illogical and a sign of insecurity, as is the content of your last post. Your telling stories of your misunderstood childhood brilliance, along with your desire to be recognized for your imagined superior consumer tastes, are common telltale sign of weakness, lack of productivity and originality.

Wanna impress us? M-Kay. What have you done lately? By "done" I mean accomplished, achieved, created, not consumed, turned your nose up at, pissed on.

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I can attest to Randy's impressiveness and creativity--even though I frequently disagree with his approach and results.

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4 hours ago, regi said:

Nope!

You're not acting like it. You appear to be quite eager to impress. Even desperate.

4 hours ago, regi said:

And who's "us?"

"Us" refers to the people here at OL whom you're trying to impress with your superior tastes and preferences, and your reading ability back in third grade.

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Rodney,

Do you have another website other than linkedin. I'd love to see what you've written but I won't join anything.

Randy

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11 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

"Us" refers to the people here at OL whom you're trying to impress with your superior tastes and preferences, and your reading ability back in third grade.

You mean you aren't impressed? I'm chagrined. How disappointing; you've ruined my whole evening.

Randy

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11 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Excuse me.

--Brant

You were exceedingly kind to me in reviewing Constitution of Galt's Gulch. I understand my fiction is peculiar, as you say rightly, archaic, done better by others. The reason I write that way is a simple mind doing what it can do, sketching an ideal man and an ideal woman, such as I understand what that might be. It's a love story. The next book in the series is more of a traditional mystery involving a serial killer, and the third novel was a cryptocurrency adventure, same main characters.

------------------

p.s. to all concerned, I have Jonathan set to Ignore for cause.

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Michael, There's such a thing as 'knowing' but not knowing, and all the scientists can't tell one how to know what one should know (better than anyone else), which is the nature of one's own mind. Know thyself?  Emotions reveal self as well as anything. An emotion displays itself with physiological changes and is experienced as pleasure--pain (very broadly). The physiology is what the scientists can argue about, and it's is good to do both, to learn about the brain/body - but what is there to learn from them about the actions and state of one's mind which you don't already know better from self-awareness? Their study of the nuts and bolts mechanisms of brain/physiology/chemicals can never supplant one's introspected knowledge. If the owner of a mind doesn't understand his emotions from the inside, how can he say with certainty he knows his mind? and identify reality? If he isn't familiar with his mind, how does he know who he is?

When one feels an emotion, one surely must be aware of: A). What type and intensity it is B). How and why it came about (prompted by something in reality, perceived in the present mostly, or anticipated or remembered) C). what is the root cause? Which of one's conscious values, gained, thought about and chosen values (sometimes - subconscious or accepted from others) are under threat -- or -- uplifted?

In fact, I would suggest an experiment to anyone who cares, to take note of their emotions for a period, and apply this introspective questioning. Prove the theory wrong. I'd like to hear someone disprove that there is ~not~ a value of their's - material, human, spiritual, intellectual - attached to and relating to any emotion they feel, in some way. Anyone feel up to it? A caution, honestly done it can be uncomfortably self-revealing.

For me, this matters a sight more than learning about the nuts and bolts.

 

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2 hours ago, anthony said:

When one feels an emotion, one surely must be aware of: A). What type and intensity it is B). How and why it came about (prompted by something in reality, perceived in the present mostly, or anticipated or remembered) C). what is the root cause?

Tony,

I sure hope you stay away from any con men who may be trained in the knowledge I am now studying.

You are a classic mark.

:)

PS - I didn't believe it when I read it, but you are flat out wrong on all three points. One surely is not aware of those things except for a small number of instances.

btw - Ever felt an emotion during a nightmare that woke you up? According to you, you surely must have been aware of its type and intensity, how and why it came about, and what was its root cause. 

Gimme a break...

:) 

Are you afraid to look at facts that may challenge what you already learned? You appear that way right now. But there's no need to be afraid. Rand's frame is solid even though several of her details are not.

Michael

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3 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

p.s. to all concerned, I have Jonathan set to Ignore for cause.

Wolf,

That's your choice, but given the content of his last few posts, even though they were a bit aggressive, there was a lot of solid marketing advice in them (different than posts before).

I would at least look at them. But, like I said, it's your choice and you know what disrupts your serenity level better than anyone. So I have no criticism if you don't.

Michael

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23 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Wolf,

You just told a story.

Try a little harder. I'm sure you'll get it with a little goodwill if you can get past your self-limiting beliefs.

Michael

I know you're trying to help me, and that it seems reasonable to learn, grow, flower again. When a woman gives birth she is "settled." I'm like that, settled.

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