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oklibrarian

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Hello, I'm Sarah Clark, a College Librarian. I suspect I fell into that profession in part because I've been instinctively checking my premises since childhood. I also fell into it because I love this part of the country, Bible Belt warts and all, and want to teach the many bright and striving "nontraditional" students that come through our school how to think critically and transcend all the dogmas that hold them and us back (Hence the user name). I'm married with 2 cats, and enjoy vegetable gardening, reading, writing both fiction and non-, RPGs (the old-fashioned kind that involve dice and face-to-face human interaction), cooking, and sundry other hobbies and intellectual curiosities. My worldview, to the extent I have a coherent one, is shaped largely by portions of the Stoics, George Orwell, Camille Paglia (in the sexual personae days before she got addicted to the sound of her own voice), and more recently some moderate political thinkers like Andrew Sullivan (when he's not being overly emo) and Bruce Bartlett. The current bit of heavy reading on my Kindle app is The Icarus Syndrome by Peter Beinart, which is well worth a perusal for those interested in the intersection of American history, politics, and foreign policy over the last century.

Aside from reading Anthem about 15 years ago during high school, My intro to Rand is relatively recent. About 3 months ago, I picked up the recent biography by Anne Heller, and though there was plenty there not to like about Rand, and several points I think Objectivism gets wrong (or on which it is at least insufficiently nuanced), I was struck by the force of her personality, her basic optimism about individual human potential, and a lot of the broad points of her thinking that were radical then but appear self evident now. Naturally, it was time to read Atlas Shrugged. Upon putting it down, I was generally impressed, if again not swayed on several key points. I wanted to learn more, as a fiscally conservative Democrat who wound up as such less because she adored the welfare state* than because she was not a bigoted Fundamentalist Christian. My moderately eclectic life to date has made me anti-dogma, and that goes for left, right, center, or any other direction. I'm also dubious about any worldview that assumes any group of people are an undifferentiated mob thinking and acting in a stereotyped lockstep. Those sorts of oversimplifications have rarely ended well for either the oversimplifiers or the oversimplified. Gurus and blind worship also leave me cold. That's why I was dubious, to say the least, when I started googling around to find a Objectivist forum where I could talk to other achievers and test out some newly forming premises without being subjected to ideological purity tests I would inevitably (and happily) flunk. I was pleasantly surprised to find OL, and have been browsing through the forums, generally impressed with the level of critical and independent thought on display. I doubt I'll have much to add in the short term as I'm still taking my early steps into understanding and selectively incorporating this new (to me) paradigm, but I felt it was high time to create an account and say hello. I look forward to knowing you all better.

Regards,

Sarah

*I don't necessarily *hate* the welfare state either, but as a ex-TANF caseworker I have some strong opinions on its structural flaws which are beyond the scope of this intro post.

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Sarah -

Welcome to OL. You'll find that you can spend hour after hour just exploring old threads. I urge you to follow your interest - and post per your interest. Don't worry about how old a thread it. If you have something interesting to say, others will likely respond.

Bill P

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

making up the test right now: Is B is B?

To be is to do - Socrates

To do is to be - Sartre

Do be do be do - Sinatra

(-- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)

Did I pass?

Sarah,

Welcome to OL.

Oklahoma?

You said a magic phrase for my way of being: "critical and independent thought."

If you value that, I already value you.

Please do make yourself at home. I hope you have a good time here.

Michael

You are either a skilled judge of regional nuance based on a few obvious clues or spent 12 seconds on google. Either way, Kudos. :-)

As for the "critical and independent thought" thing, IMHO most of the world's problems have been or can be solved with a creative application of the human brain. (Courage and compassion are handy too, mind, but only to the extent they're aimed in the best possible direction in a given situation) I'm already enjoying both the lighter and denser conversations taking place around here, and think that this may have the makings of a pleasant online niche.

Sarah -

Welcome to OL. You'll find that you can spend hour after hour just exploring old threads. I urge you to follow your interest - and post per your interest. Don't worry about how old a thread it. If you have something interesting to say, others will likely respond.

Bill P

Thanks, Bill! :-) as for old threads, I have been devouring quite a few, especially the Objectivist Philosophy areas. It's been 10+ years since my last philosophy class (when I fled screaming from the discipline after being forced to read Derrida AND write a paper that agreed with his theories), and the metaphysics and epistemology sections have been a very nice chance to get that flabby corner of my brain back in shape.

Hi Sarah. Welcome to Objectivist Living. I hope you enjoy it here. I'm reading Anne's book now too.

Kat

Thanks Kat! I'm still slowly making my way through the forums, but need to search to see if there's a recent-ish thread discussing her book. If not, I might start one up to get folks' take on it...

(ETA: Found the Monster Thread on the book, and am currently plowing through...)

Sarah

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Thanks for the warm welcome!

making up the test right now: Is B is B?

To be is to do - Socrates

To do is to be - Sartre

Do be do be do - Sinatra

(-- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)

Did I pass?

Drat! And that was my hardest question! Notice the clever slight of hand whereby I substituted "B" for "A" hoping to confuse you?

--Brant

pseudo self-esteem under serious assault--when it goes all I'll have left is self-esteem; it may not be enough for a life of crime

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You are either a skilled judge of regional nuance based on a few obvious clues or spent 12 seconds on google. Either way, Kudos. :-)

Alternately, he may own the site and thus be able to see your IP address when you post.

What does the number 12 mean to you? It’s in the thread description and now you invoke it again to estimate how long he spent researching your whereabouts. Is it your motif? When I think 12, I think apostles. Or puberty. Or months.

But anyway, welcome to our jungle.

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You are either a skilled judge of regional nuance based on a few obvious clues or spent 12 seconds on google. Either way, Kudos. :-)

Alternately, he may own the site and thus be able to see your IP address when you post.

What does the number 12 mean to you? It’s in the thread description and now you invoke it again to estimate how long he spent researching your whereabouts. Is it your motif? When I think 12, I think apostles. Or puberty. Or months.

But anyway, welcome to our jungle.

Well, yes, that as well. :blush:

#12? not sure. I'm an atheist and well past puberty, I think it's just where my fingers landed. Nearly typed 18 seconds, but decided that was a bit long for a google query. But maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something...

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Sarah,

Don't be too concerned.

We have had some people who were banned from OL for things like plagiarism. Some of them periodically try to come back under alias names to cause trouble. And there are spam bots. So I check up on new members to make sure they really are new members.

I probably shouldn't show off about it...

:)

Michael

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Sarah,

Don't be too concerned.

We have had some people who were banned from OL for things like plagiarism. Some of them periodically try to come back under alias names to cause trouble. And there are spam bots. So I check up on new members to make sure they really are new members.

I probably shouldn't show off about it...

:)

Michael

No worries, I've modded enough writing communities in my time to understand the whole Benevolent Dictatorship Ray Shields Around Galt's Gulch thing is somewhat necessary to keep something resembling order online. And after perusing some more threads, there certainly appear to be some, er, Drama-Prone segments of the wider O-ist community...

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Beyondogma,

Benevolent dictatorship?

Heh.

Power is the last thing on my mind. I think of my job more as a glorified traffic cop.

I made the following analogy once before and people liked it, so I'll run it again.

Suppose this forum were a restaurant. By design--and even by law--my doors are open to anyone who wants to come in and eat. Now suppose a person shows up who yells constantly and generally makes a nuisance out of himself. I have a restaurant full of customers who are trying to eat in peace and suddenly they can't because of this jerk. So even if he is only on the borderline and not doing anything illegal, if I want to keep my customers, he has to go.

OL has gotten those kinds of people before.

I draw the line on behavior, not on expressing ideas contrary to mine. A person can certainly disagree with me without calling me a piece of shit, the forum members retards and things like that. (This has actually happened.) Other posters have tried what I call machine gun posting, where they make a habit of posting a whole bunch of times in rapid fire when they disagree with someone or something--or want to preach. This has the effect of disrupting any and all intelligent discussion. There are some other behaviors like that I try to contain.

Even still. I try to be flexible when I sense a good person is going overboard. (To me, a good person is one who is doing his/her honest best at trying to figure things out and has good will towards others who do the same, not necessarily a person who agrees with me or anyone else.) We all go overboard at times. After all, ideas are not just crossword puzzles. Good ideas get people excited and bad ones get people wound up. So I try to take that into account.

The weird thing is after some hardheaded and/or nasty people are shown the door for constant misbehavior, they want to sneak back in under an alias--but they want to keep doing what got them banned.

Rather than face that aggravation, I make checks beforehand. Sort of like a traffic cop with a radar.

Frankly, I would love to not have to do this. But I want a healthy forum...

Michael

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