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Post 60

Friday, June 25, 2004 - 4:07pmSanction this postReply
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I am undone. Phorsaken & undone. Undone by my own phailure to italicise. Alas! Woe! I pray for death!

'Lorn Linz

PS - Jeremy: where *did* you get that photo of Regi?
(Edited by Lindsay Perigo on 6/25, 4:09pm)


Post 61

Friday, June 25, 2004 - 4:13pmSanction this postReply
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Venus' heart-shaped arse, Linz, you don't see me tearing my hair and beating my breast when I screw up my formatting or let spell-check pass over an obvious typo. You can always edit a post, right?

Post 62

Friday, June 25, 2004 - 6:49pmSanction this postReply
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Linz, Jeremy,

PS - Jeremy: where *did* you get that photo of Regi?
 
Yeah, Jeremy, I'd like to know that too? I think your posting it is an invasion of my privacy or something. Can I sue?

Regi




Post 63

Friday, June 25, 2004 - 9:07pmSanction this postReply
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Regi, I'm surprised you've forgotten!  It's from an album I acquired at Sotheby's back in, oh, '85.

The early 1890's...you and Linz were in college....?  There were some photos neither of you were very proud of...?  Ah well.  Opium was still big back then.  Let's just say Rome didn't die with the Romans, people!  : P

(Now that's comedy.  I'm a habitual line-stepper-acrosser.)

EDIT: Sorry for disrupting the thread--you all have my permission to get serious again, if you like.

(Edited by Jeremy on 6/25, 9:10pm)


Post 64

Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 10:23amSanction this postReply
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Jeremy, Linz

Good grief, she promised me she had destroyed all those pictures. I was so gullible.

The early 1890's...you and Linz were in college....?
 
To be honest, and we are always honest, I don't recall Linz at my college; was he by chance going by the name Oscar? I suppose he was a bit Wilder in those days.

Opium, heh? So that's what that black stuff was Oscar smoked.

My my!

you all have my permission to get serious again
 
Oh no! Not that!

Regi


Post 65

Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 6:35pmSanction this postReply
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[Joke deleted by its author as too disrespectful---and on this forum, that's saying something!]

(Edited by Rodney Rawlings on 6/28, 2:47pm)


Post 66

Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 10:20amSanction this postReply
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Interesting, seeing some of the old postings and their comments... and wondering if any intellectual progress has been made over the betweening years...

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Post 67

Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 10:45amSanction this postReply
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Hsieh says:

"Ed Hudgins' Christmas 2003 op-ed "The Human Spirit of Christmas" repeatedly appeals to Christian ideas in such a way that a person unfamiliar with Objectivism would never guess that the philosophy is atheistic, let alone that it wholly rejects the Christian moral ideal. The basic approach to ideas in the op-ed is not only misleading and condescending, but also contrary to the Objectivist rejection of appeasement."

What a crock. There is not one appeal to altruism nor any appeal to Christian doctrine.

Here's one terribly shocking quote:

"Christmas commemorates the birth of a child whom many see as manifesting the highest aspirations of the human spirit. But what exactly does the birth of a child, any child, manifest?"

Here's another:

"Our physical development is accompanied by the growth in the capacities -- some would call them divine sparks -- in us that make us truly human."

That's it. That and the spooky use of the word soul. We know Rand would never use such an appeaser's word.

Such a shame that Diana never herself produced the work she wanted to see while she was at TOC for 10 years. What does she believe is the contrary of appeasement? Hostile mischaracterization? Now that she no longer has TOC to blame for the lack of her output, what, exactly, is standing in her way?

Post 68

Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 10:48amSanction this postReply
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The Human Spirit of Christmas

by Edward Hudgins
This op-ed also appeared in the December 25, 2003, Washington Times.

By Edward Hudgins

The holiday season is a time for spiritual reflection, celebration and frenzied commerce. These activities might seem incompatible. They are not, and that's what makes this such a joyous season.

Christmas commemorates the birth of a child whom many see as manifesting the highest aspirations of the human spirit. But what exactly does the birth of a child, any child, manifest?

Children are born cute, tiny and helpless. But they soon learn to focus their eyes, perhaps to stare in wonder, to smile, and to laugh at the toys, decorated trees and pretty presents presented to them by doting family and friends. They learn to grasp with their little hands and to crawl and soon to walk and to run around the house where do they get all that energy? They learn to say "Mommy" and "Daddy," to draw pictures with crayons, to build houses out of blocks and to sing little songs.

They later learn to write words cat, dog, school and to figure out that three times seven equals twenty-one. They ask lots of questions and explore any relative's house, park, public or private place in which they're placed. They learn to ride a bike and to repair its chain when it comes off. They make science fair projects with electric wires, motors and lights. They learn ballet dancing, and to play the flute and to bake cookies. They play kickball and then football, basketball and soccer. Eventually they graduate from school or college and go on to careers.

They then design skyscrapers and lay bricks for buildings; engineer new aircraft and repair automobiles; discover new medicines and assist surgeons in operations; advertise products and work on assembly lines; write software and manage websites; process orders for consumer products and clerk in stores. They do everything that makes this such a prosperous country. And many of them get married, have their own kids and raise their own families.

In other words, those children are us! And the best of us keep the excitement and optimism of a child facing a bright future as we live our very grown-up lives. One way we can keep that spirit alive within us is to reflect on the deeper meaning of our journey from child to adult.

Our physical development is accompanied by the growth in the capacities -- some would call them divine sparks -- in us that make us truly human. First, we grow in our capacity to understand and thus to master the world around us, to create all those material things that allow us to survival and prosperity. Second, we grow in our understanding of our moral nature. We know when we are being open and honest with ourselves, when we are focusing our minds and halting that passion of the moment to ask, "Is this right?" And we know when we are being deceitful and dishonest with ourselves, allowing some whim to cloud our judgment, or when we are being morally lazy or evading uncomfortable truths. It's not just Santa who knows if we've been bad or good. The one approach to life opens the world to us and our souls to joy; the other is the path to every form of debasement and evil.

We recognize that by exercising this higher will we achieve peace in our own souls. We never need to be ashamed of ourselves. We can look without flinching into the mirrors of our souls and be proud. We will want to treat with benevolence those who inspire us by choosing to seek the best within themselves. And we will want to fuel and nurture that spark in our children so that they will become adults who will achieve wonderful things.

Thus we celebrate the Christmas season and indulge our capacity for joy. We place dazzling decorations on our houses, buildings and anything on which we can hang lights or tinsel. We feast on tasty treats. We sing beautiful songs of the season -- inspiring, happy or just plain fun! We show our love for family and friends, often with gifts that are the fruits of our productive capacity. We especially try to teach our children the meaning of the season. And most of all, if our hearts and minds are filled and open, we will reflect upon the spirit within us that can make peace on earth and peace in our souls truly possible.

Hudgins is the Washington director of the Objectivist Center.

This editorial comment has been produced and distributed by The Atlas Society. If you would like to reproduce or publish this piece, you may do so provided you include the biographical information found on this page.

For more information, please contact The Atlas Society.

If you are distributing this piece electronically, the following text must be included after the selection:

Copyright, The Atlas Society. For more information, please visit www.atlassociety.org.

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Post 69

Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 5:06pmSanction this postReply
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Hsieh above describe's La Valle's review of The Art of Fiction as "hostile" and "denigrating." His hostility amounts to a criticism of what he sees as Rand's overgeneralizations on Naturalism. If rationally argued disagreement counts as denigration and hostility then she may have a point.

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Post 70

Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 3:42pmSanction this postReply
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Here we are, many years later, and ... has anything changed for better or for worse for any of the concerned parties?



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Post 71

Saturday, June 10 - 5:10pmSanction this postReply
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a point to make - for one thing, Ayn never intended an organization on the philosophy...

secondly, the 'heirs' of ARI had made such a diehard ossifyingness of what they acquired that only in these past decade or so has there actually been anything scholarly outputted - and yes, worse regarding The Atlas Society, sadly...

thirdly, especially in my own area of interest - aesthetics - there still has been a dearth of such thought, such that, as Ayn herself advised, go my own way in enlarging on the neglect of theming as the essence of aesthetics, and only mentioning Objectivism as the starting point but whatever enlargements done are of my understanding [which is why I call myself a THEMESCAPIST], as well as aesthetics being applied ethics to the PERSONAL, as politics is to the SOCIAL, thus reenforcing her view of politics as the LAST area of philosophy needing to be corrected and objectified - meaning that aesthertics is actually of MORE importance than politics, despite its dearth of objective study.....

 

so - what of the rest of you?



Post 72

Saturday, June 10 - 6:03pmSanction this postReply
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So, as Luke said in post #70, "Here we are, many years later, and ... has anything changed for the better or for the worse..."

 

Better or worse call for a context, a question of "In what way?" 

---------

 

Robert asked, "so - what of the rest of you?"

---------

 

I'm older, know more things, am wiser and a better writer.  Being older isn't better - more like inevitable.  Knowledge, wisdom, and writing skills are good...  but they were paid for in time and effort and that means they have to be judged for the values given (time and effort, and alternatives foregone).

 

I know that Objectivism is a richer, fuller body of knowledge and theory than it was 50 years ago.  It hasn't diminished in its content despite losing Ayn Rand.  But I don't think it has spread as fast as the opposing philosophies have.  Progressivism is a horrible kind of philosophy (mostly political, but also with its imbedded/implied epistemology, metaphysics and aesthetics).

 

I've come to think that most of us here are of a kind of mind and intelligence that we can and do parse principles and argue with one another over what things should be in the intellectual realm (with particular emphasis on Objectivism).  Not everyone can juggle abstractions at that level.  It is a good thing we do - one that needs doing.  It is like an intellectual, ecological niche that needs to be occupied.  It serves a purpose in the ongoing evolution of mankind who needs a philosophy and a philosophy needs each principle and part chewed on and refined - better to compete with the bits and pieces of other philosophies.  But as specialists of this kind I suspect that we haven't been in the forefront of the movers and shakers of the popular world.  The popular world of today doesn't reward our kind of skills as it should.

 

Myself, it is only lately - the last few years - that I have felt the call to get serious about contributing to the changing of the course of history - even if it is only by the tiniest of degrees. (With my books, which I'm just now starting to market).

 

My personal life is much, much better for being an Objectivist - it feels like a giant amplifier that lets me take whatever my level of intelligence and amplify it.  And much, much better for spending long hours here at RoR learning - through the act of writing - to be clearer.  And above all much, much better as a result of the many years I knew Nathaniel Branden. 

 

I'm putting myself in the "better" category.



Post 73

Sunday, June 11 - 3:28amSanction this postReply
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Is Objectivism a religion? For some, it is. That being as it may, Ayn Rand's works continue to attract new readers. Wrongheaded ideas such as "progressivism" today have always been "popular." That is largely irrelevant. Deeper issues and deeper problems define and drive a society.  Yesterday, at the UT library, I read from Astrology in Roman Law and Politics by Frederick H. Cramer (Ares, 1996). The spread of astrology throughout perhaps every aspect Roman culture was not the mere acceptance of that particular error in thinking. And there was not much else to oppose it, though there were skeptics in high places.  The problem was deeper than that. 

 

Although Democritus posited the existence of atoms, and Aristarchus put the sun at the center of the solar system, and Aristotle carefully recorded the development of the chick embryo, science did not exist in the ancient world. Science was a invention of the Renaissance.  See my review of The Science of Liberty by Timothy Ferris here.  It is specifically because we live in an age of science that the works of Ayn Rand are more popular than even ARI knows:

On May 14 of this year [2013], the Ayn Rand Institute announced total sales for all of the author’s books for the year 2012 at one million copies.  Of those, Atlas Shrugged sold 359,105 behind 2009 (best ever) and 2011 (second place).  According to them “Rand’s books have sold a total of 29,500,000 copies.”  I believe that total sales of all books by and about Ayn Rand probably exceed 40 million.  That said, the number of active “Rand fans” is probably one-tenth of that, at most.

http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-influence-of-ayn-rands-objectivism.html

 

Recently, here in RoR, we had this as a news item:  

"The New Age of Ayn Rand and She Won Over Trump and Silicon Valley" by Sam Erica (from The Guardian):

http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/AynRandSightings/0112.shtml

 

Hosted by the producers of the Atlas Shrugged movies, the discussion website, GaltsGulchOnline.com has over 20,000 unique subscribers. Very few of the active writers there are Objectivists.  All have been influenced by the works of Ayn Rand, or they would not be there in the first place.  I wring my hands over the conservatives who only saw the movies and who want to post diatribes against "Hitlery" Clinton.  But the fact remains that it is a guage of how wide and deep are the consequences of the tenets of Objectivism as expressed by the otherwise uninformed but nonetheless opinionated.  And, on the upside, many others who do demur from being labeled as Objectivists, do, indeed, understand the more technical topics from the philosophy.  It is just one data point among many.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 6/11, 3:31am)



Post 74

Sunday, June 11 - 11:43amSanction this postReply
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Is Objectivism a religion? For some, it is.

 

I'd like to point out that Objectivism can never be a religion... by its very nature. 

 

However, it is very true that some people, for psychological reasons of their own, will hold onto philosophical beliefs in a religious fashion.  When they approach Objectivism in that psychological fashion they must misinterpret or misapply Objectivism to do so - since, by its nature, it is fundamentally opposed to faith and mystical revelation and cannot be a religion.  

 

Also, when someone says that a person is holding Objectivism as if it were a religion, that isn't always accurate.  Sometimes it is a reference to a kind of unreasoning stubbornness - a self-made blindness, but it isn't necessarily a blindness born of faith over reason.  This might just be just a defensive personality trait - something developed to support some kind of psuedo-self-esteem.  They might be blanking out their reasoning error, even as it is being presented to them, so as to protect a fragile ego.

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

 

The important lesson to take away from this:

 

Sometimes it is psychology that needs to be the focus of our attention, and the philosophical positions being discussed are more like hastly thrown on clothes distracting us.



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