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Balladeer
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25 posted 06-24-2007 10:28 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Excuses, Reb? What am I trying to excuse? That I'm not richer than Gates? That I haven't won the Masters?  Those have never been goals of mine so why should I have to make excuses for not reaching them? Afraid I don't understand the comment.

On reading his bio the apparent bar Ron set for himself was avoiding starvation

I can't presume to speak for Ron and have no idea what the situation was back then but I find it highly unlikely that ron considered himself a failure in that department. He may have lost his money. He may have been facing starvation. It would appear that we have different definitions of failure. It is my belief that, when a man does everything he can possibly do to reach a specific goal, he is a success, no matter what. Did Ron do EVERYTHING he possibly could for years to achieve that specific goal? Only he would be able to answer that one. Of course you have to understand what "everything one can possibly do" signifies. It's not simply opening a store, putting an ad in the paper and, when no customers come, say "Well, I tried." Thomas Edison failed hundreds of time to create the light bulb. When asked how he endured all those failures, he replied, "Those weren't failures. I discovered hundreds of ways NOT to create a light bulb!"
You are exactly right about gambling addicts....winning is secondary to the thrill. Do my poker buddies want to win? Sure? Is it their only goal? Nope. The comraderie, the recognition of being a "competent player", the armosphere....all of these are equally important. If one were to add up all the wins and losses by equally capable players for the year, the money won or lost would be negligible.....the 52 nights of comraderie and friendship priceless.  You want losers? Go to Vegas or Atlantic City and you can pick them out every night. You want people dedicated to winning? Go to (I forget which) university where 8 students trained for years to break the bank in blackjack and then went to Vegas and did just that (for which they are now permanently banned from all casinos).

What do you think about that attempt tended to drive away your friends?   Great question there, reb. I tried to think rationally at all times, act rationally and make everything I did count....tough for a 19 year old soldier together with a battalion of other 19 year olds. there was no laughing at jokes I didn't find funny, no drinking just to get plastered, no "moral santions" given to mindless actions....the list can go on and on. I was as liked as Howard Roark or Francisco D'. In one part of Atlas Shrugged francisco asked Dagny if it  ever bothered her that in school she had had no friends or popularity. She slapped him and he understood because he had felt the same way. It is a downside, and a big one. The biggest reason for my failure, though, was much more important. I had no purpose. All of her characters were driven to fulfill a purpose. I had none and therefore nothing to drive myself toward, nothing to dedicate my life toward achieving. Without that, the attempt was meaningless. Guess what? I still don't, in terms of financial gain. I can live with that...even if it means I'll never be John Galt.

it's really only my intent to get people to stop beating themselves up for not reaching the stars -- which is what philosophies like Objectivism tend to do

In that case, you don't get the point of Rand's philosophy at all.  Rand did not advocate reaching the stars. She only advocated TRYING to reach the stars....trying to do the best one can do based on their abilities. It does not condemn those not willing to try. It simply advocates lead, follow, or get out of the way. For those who would beat themselves up for not becoming richer than Gates, they can blame their own irrational view of reality and not Objectivism. Religion encourages that all men be holy, which no man can fully attain. Do you then condemn religion for causing people to beat themselves up for not achieving sainthood?

it's also my intent to get people who have 'success' to be disabused of the notion that they are 'self-made' -- or that thier success belongs to them alone -- it doesn't.

No intelligent successful man worth his salt would claim that their success belongs to them alone. Success relies on many thing including chance, luck, right place-right time, and a host of intangibles. However he realizes that his success was made possible by the fact that he initiated it. He put out the effort to make it possible and to give the intangibles a chance to come along. As Lee Trevino once said, "It's funny but the more I practice the luckier I get!"  So, if your two goals stated here (1) getting people to stop beating themselves up and (2) disabusing self-made people of their "all mine" notions, relax and have a beer. They are taken care of.

Lastly, success is never boring

Ron
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26 posted 06-24-2007 10:48 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
On reading his bio the apparent bar Ron set for himself was avoiding starvation.

That was a bit tongue in cheek, Reb. The studio was actually more than mildly successful and I sold my interest in it to my partner after two years for a nice profit. He kept it going another five years.

I sold the studio for the same reason I eventually got out of Commercial Art. I discovered, first, that the emphasis was much more on commercial than on art, and -- much, much worse -- I realized I was personally much better at the commerce than I would ever be at the art. I still remember the precise moment my career as an artist ended. My downfall was Pablo Picasso and the realization I would never be THAT good. I was still young enough, naïve enough, and idealist enough to be unwilling to settle for second best.

quote:
On the other hand -- it's also my intent to get people who have 'success' to be disabused of the notion that they are 'self-made' -- or that thier success belongs to them alone -- it doesn't.

On the contrary, Reb, I believe we are all self-made, success or failure notwithstanding.

If you want people to share the credit, Reb, you also have to be willing to let them share the blame. What you're suggesting is just another way of saying, "It wasn't my fault." I really don't think you can have one without the other. Taking credit is just the flip side of accepting responsibility.


Local Rebel
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27 posted 06-25-2007 12:34 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

No intelligent successful man worth his salt would claim that their success belongs to them alone. Success relies on many thing including chance, luck, right place-right time, and a host of intangibles.



Let's start there since we are in total agreement Mike, and, I'll add that invention is a process of happy accidents.  Sometimes all you have to do is sit under a tree and have an apple hit you in the head.

Granted -- one would have required a lifetime of preparation to understand what's happy about the accident when it happens.

quote:

On the contrary, Reb, I believe we are all self-made, success or failure notwithstanding.

If you want people to share the credit, Reb, you also have to be willing to let them share the blame. What you're suggesting is just another way of saying, "It wasn't my fault." I really don't think you can have one without the other. Taking credit is just the flip side of accepting responsibility.



Which man could have succeeded without a market?  Without a Constitution of rights,laws, and courts?  Without teachers?  Without a central banking system?  Public schools?  Post-secondary grants, loans, scholarships, veterans benefits, a culture to give success context?

Here's the test Ron -- was Edison's Lightbulb our (humanity's) achievement -- or was it Edison's?  Or both?  Was stepping on the moon Armstrong's achievment?  Nasa's?  Ours?  A small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind?

People used to come to me, companies, in the process of launching new products -- with the product in design phase -- show me the concept and then ask me to invent (design) something that would produce it at an economical price-point.  I'd bid the jobs with a cartoon concept -- If I won the bid -- then I had to start hammering that concept into the constraints of reality -- time, money, and physics.  Very seldom did it look the same when I got done with it as what was sold at the begining of the process -- point being -- it was always a process of work, knowledge, and lots of LUCK!

But still -- even when lucky (and good) -- it had no context without the need to make the product.  The product had not context without a market.

quote:

Excuses, Reb? What am I trying to excuse? That I'm not richer than Gates? That I haven't won the Masters?  Those have never been goals of mine so why should I have to make excuses for not reaching them? Afraid I don't understand the comment.



On page one you said;

quote:

It's curious how we can set up our own barricades to excuse our NOT being able to do something instead of just doing it.



This is where the rubber hits the road guys.  Mike -- you say, if I may paraphrase, that if someone is just willing to try -- that is success -- but Rand's capitalism doesn't reward trying.  There is no consolation prize for attempting to build the perpetual motion motor.

And I'll pick this up in the Einstein thread later..

Ron
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28 posted 06-25-2007 01:29 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Which man could have succeeded without a market?  Without a Constitution of rights,laws, and courts?  Without teachers?  Without a central banking system?  Public schools?  Post-secondary grants, loans, scholarships, veterans benefits, a culture to give success context?

And what man could have failed without the same? You essentially blur the distinction between George Washington and Adolph Hitler, Reb. If neither man can have succeeded, then surely neither man could have failed. They were the same.

And society fares no better in your imagined world. If Edison's accomplishments were not his own, if they are to be claimed by you and I, then I'm afraid you and I have to also lay claim to the accomplishments of Jeffrey Dahmer. If we are all to be inventers and geniuses, then we must all also be murderers and sociopaths.

quote:
But still -- even when lucky (and good) -- it had no context without the need to make the product.  The product had not context without a market.

Without a market, Reb, there never was a product. I think, as an engineer, you are perhaps confusing the thing with the need (perceived or real) that every product must fulfill to even be a product. Edison didn't invent a light bulb. He devised a solution.

Of course, what you're actually referencing, Reb, is the need for an infrastructure. The man who invented the wheel didn't have a lot of infrastructure behind him, Newton and Edison certainly had a great deal more, and you have still more yet. Success isn't diminished by the need for an infrastructure, Reb, but rather is defined by it. The wheel, Classical Physics, the light bulb, and yea, hopefully even the products you design, are all accomplishments that extend the existing infrastructure. That's hardly an indictment of individual achievement to may way of thinking.

quote:
I'd bid the jobs with a cartoon concept -- If I won the bid -- then I had to start hammering that concept into the constraints of reality -- time, money, and physics.

But you could never win a bid in your reality, Reb. After all, that would be a success and something you would clearly have to share with me and Mike.


Local Rebel
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29 posted 06-25-2007 06:39 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

If society/the economy demanded mass murders and megalomaniacs then Dhamer and Hitler (you brought him up Ron -- you lose   ) are providing solutions.  Is that the case -- or are they working against the terms of cooperation?

I'm not confusing the tool with the need.  As I've said many times -- people don't want drills -- they want holes.  Nobody wanted a light 'bulb' -- we wanted light.

Every bid that I won was yours and Mikes Ron -- because it fulfilled a part of your infrastructure.  When I made a buck and went to the store and bought a can of beans the farmer who produced the beans, the factory workers who made the tractors, combines, wagons, trucks, that were necessary to produce that can of beans -- the fuel company that went to the ground to get oil and coal -- the people who pulled the ore out of the ground and turned it into iron - the chemists who made the plastics -- the tool makers and engineers who produced the tools -- the people who made the can -- the truck drivers that drove it to the store -- the advertising agency that told me about the beans -- the people at the store where I bought it -- the computer programmers who provided software to keep track of all that data -- the revenues paid to the local, state, and federal governments -- all won that bid and made a buck.  (with apologies to Zig Ziglar for mangling his speech from 30 year memory).

Brad
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30 posted 06-25-2007 07:06 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Zig Ziglar? Now that was a long, long time ago.


rwood
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31 posted 06-25-2007 07:47 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Zig Man Ziglar? Wow. I haven't heard that name in eons.


quote:
it's really only my intent to get people to stop beating themselves up for not reaching the stars -- which is what philosophies like Objectivism tend to do


Now hold on. I tend to try to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground with a level head, while I admire the stars. If by chance I do something that catapults me to the top of whatever mountain of responsibility it took for me to get there. I'll be a bit closer to the stars, but I'll never forget the valley from whence I came and how easy it might be for me to roll back down into it.

It's irrational to beat one's self up in the game of success. Causes over achievement, early burn out, the need for stress and anger management courses, heart attacks, divorce and detachment because people are married to their jobs.

but mainly, that's how some struggle with delusions of grandeur which goes against Objectivity. That type of behavior resists reason and the focus becomes success at any price.

I'm glad I didn't succeed at some of my cockamamie ideas.

Balladeer
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32 posted 06-25-2007 08:44 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

So why would people beat themelves up for not suceeding if success depended on so many other people, events, luck, the market, etc.? They can go to you to let them know it's not really their fault

Rand's theory on capitalism does not reward effort without financial success? Again I will remind you of Howard Roark, her main character in The Fountainhead. Financial-success wise, he was a zero all the way through the book up to the end. He was a hero because he had a set of goals and ideals he would not abandon, even when he was offered millions to do so, even while starving. What about Halley, whose music was the most glorious sound Dagny had ever heard? He struggled for years in the "outside" world. His music was what made him a hero of hers, not how many times he topped the charts, like Snoop Doggy Dog. Even John Galt could have - and was prepared to - live out his days at the Gulch and would have if the national collapse of the country had not presented itself while he ws still alive. Her books are riddled with examples of characters who were not capitalistic successes but heroes, nontheless.

People set up excuses for their failures? I certainly stand by that but I didn't and don't see how tht applies to my not winning the Masters, for example.   If you were to hear me whine about not having a green jacket because people just didn't give me a chance, because I didn't have the money for good equipment, because the committee at Augusta are jerks or a variety of other reasons (while excluding the fact that I never practiced or made any serious effort to get to that level of expertise), then I could see your point. People have a ready finger to point all over the place at things or events to justify their failures. People won't buy your new creation better than ice cream? DOn't waste that one on Famous Amos. The possibility of that happening didn't deter him.

As soon as you set up all your "failure" option on why you may not succeed (none of them being your own fault, of course) you have insured non-success. If someone were to come out with a book entitled "You're a Failure But It's Not your Fault, it would probably sell millions. I would do it but there are so many hours in a day, you know, and a man has to work and when I get home I'm too tired to think and the kids have the darn tv going all the time and I don't have any pencil;s handy to jot down notes...it's not my fault!
Ron
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33 posted 06-25-2007 01:39 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Every bid that I won was yours and Mikes Ron ...

You really should have called, Reb. There were a few bids there I probably would not have accepted as optimally profitable. Ultimately, our net to the infrastructure could have been much higher had you but listened to me. You should have called.

But that's okay, too, I guess. It's certainly not your fault you didn't call. Not in a world void of successes and failures. What say we blame that one on Mike?  
Balladeer
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34 posted 06-25-2007 02:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Don't blame me! Everybody knows he's a Rebel
Local Rebel
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35 posted 06-25-2007 07:59 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

You really should have called, Reb. There were a few bids there I probably would not have accepted as optimally profitable. Ultimately, our net to the infrastructure could have been much higher had you but listened to me. You should have called.

But that's okay, too, I guess. It's certainly not your fault you didn't call. Not in a world void of successes and failures. What say we blame that one on Mike?  



Inadvisable Ron.

Analyzing a business on a product-by-product or project-by-project basis is misleading to the overall gestalt of the organization. Even a money-losing project can be beneficial to the enterprise if it absorbs overhead, thus supporting the margins on other projects.  In an endeavor that is heavily dependent upon skilled specialists in particular it is important to keep thier hours in 'inventory' for future profit.

Moreover -- sometimes it's better to take on a losing project with a new customer in order to learn how to make money off of him or her.

Remember, Brad is the cute one.  
Local Rebel
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36 posted 06-25-2007 08:11 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

All;

quote:

Another aspect of her philosophy that I would like to talk about -- one of the hazards -- is the appalling moralism that Ayn Rand herself practiced and that so many of her followers also practice. I don't know of anyone other than the Church fathers in the Dark Ages who used the word "evil" quite so often as Ayn Rand.

Of all the accusations of her critics, surely the most ludicrous is the accusation that Ayn Rand encourages people to do just what they please. If there's anything in this world Ayn did not do, it was to encourage people to do what they please. If there is anything she was not, it was an advocate of hedonism.

She may have taught that "Man's Life" is the standard of morality and your own life is its purpose, but the path she advocated to the fulfillment of your life was a severely disciplined one. She left many of her readers with the clear impression that life is a tightrope and that it is all too easy to fall off into moral depravity. In other words, on the one hand she preached a morality of joy, personal happiness, and individual fulfillment; on the other hand, she was a master at scaring the hell out of you if you respected and admired her and wanted to apply her philosophy to your own life.

She used to say to me, "I don't know anything about psychology, Nathaniel." I wish I had taken her more seriously. She was right; she knew next to nothing about psychology. What neither of us understood, however, was how disastrous an omission that is in a philosopher in general and a moralist in particular. The most devastating single omission in her system and the one that causes most of the trouble for her followers is the absence of any real appreciation of human psychology and, more specifically, of developmental psychology, of how human beings evolve and become what they are and of how they can change.

So, you are left with this sort of picture of your life. You either choose to be rational or you don't. You're honest or you're not. You choose the right values or you don't. You like the kind of art Rand admires or your soul is in big trouble. For evidence of this last point, read her essays on esthetics (Rand, 1970). Her followers are left in a dreadful position: If their responses aren't "the right ones," what are they to do? How are they to change? No answer from Ayn Rand. Here is the tragedy: Her followers' own love and admiration for her and her work become turned into the means of their self-repudiation and self-torture. I have seen a good deal of that, and it saddens me more than I can say.

Let's suppose a person has done something that he or she knows to be wrong, immoral, unjust, or unreasonable: instead of acknowledging the wrong, instead of simply regretting the action and then seeking, compassionately, to understand why the action was taken and asking where was I coming from? and what need was I trying in my own twisted way to satisfy? -- instead of asking such questions, the person is encouraged to brand the behavior as evil and is given no useful advice on where to go from there. You don't teach people to be moral by teaching them self-contempt as a virtue.

Enormous importance is attached in Rand's writings to the virtue of justice. I think one of the most important things she has to say about justice is that we shouldn't think of justice only in terms of punishing the guilty but also in terms of rewarding and appreciating the good. I think her emphasis on this point is enormously important.

To look on the dark side, however, part of her vision of justice is urging you to instant contempt for anyone who deviates from reason or morality or what is defined as reason or morality. Errors of knowledge may be forgiven, she says, but not errors of morality. Even if what people are doing is wrong, even if errors of morality are involved, even if what people are doing is irrational, you do not lead people to virtue by contempt. You do not make people better by telling them they are despicable. It just doesn't work. It doesn't work when religion tries it and it doesn't work when objectivism tries it.

If someone has done something so horrendous that you want to tell him or her that the action is despicable, go ahead. If you want to tell someone he is a rotten son-of-a-(pip-edit), go ahead. If you want to call someone a scoundrel, go ahead. I don't deny that there are times when that is a thoroughly appropriate response. What I do deny is that it is an effective strategy for inspiring moral change or improvement.

The great, glaring gap in just about all ethical systems of which I have knowledge, even when many of the particular values and virtues they advocate may be laudable, is the absence of a technology to assist people in getting there, an effective means for acquiring these values and virtues, a realistic path people can follow. That is the great missing step in most religions and philosophies. And this is where psychology comes in: One of the tasks of psychology is to provide a technology for facilitating the process of becoming a rational, moral human being.

You can tell people that it's a virtue to be rational, productive, or just, but, if they have not already arrived at that stage of awareness and development on their own, objectivism does not tell them how to get there. It does tell you you're rotten if you fail to get there.

Ayn Rand admirers come to me and say, "All of her characters are so ambitious. I'm thirty years old and I don't know what to do with my life. I don't know what I want to make of myself. I earn a living, I know I could be better than I am, I know I could be more productive or creative, and I'm not. I'm rotten. What can I do?" I've heard some version of this quite often. I've heard it a lot from some very intelligent men and women who are properly concerned they they have many capacities they are not using, and who long for something more -- which is healthy and desirable, but the self-blame and self-hatred is not and it's very, very common.

The question for me is: How come you don't have the motivation to do more? How come so little seems worth doing? In what way, in what twisted way, perhaps, might you be trying to take care of yourself by your procrastination, by your inertia, by your lack of ambition? Let's try to understand what needs you're struggling to satisfy. Let's try to understand where you're coming from.

That is an approach I learned only after my break with Ayn Rand. It is very foreign to the approach I learned in my early years with her. And it's very foreign to just about every objectivist I've ever met. However, if we are to assist people to become more self-actualized, that approach is absolutely essential. We are all of us organisms trying to survive. We are all of us organisms trying in our own way to use our abilities and capacities to satisfy our needs. Sometimes the paths we choose are pretty terrible, and sometimes the consequences are pretty awful for ourselves and others. Until and unless we are willing to try to understand where people are coming from, what they are trying to accomplish, and what model of reality they're operating from -- such that they don't see themselves as having better alternatives, we cannot assist anyone to reach the moral vision that objectivism holds as a possibility for human beings.

.........

So here in Ayn Rand's work is an ethical philosophy with a great vision of human possibilities, but no technology to help people get there, and a lot of messages encouraging self-condemnation when they fail to get there.

Her readers come to me and they say; "Boy, it was so great. I read her books and I got rid of the guilt that the Church laid on me. I got rid of the guilt over sex. Or wanting to make money." "Why have you come to see me?", I ask. "Well, now I'm guilty about something else. I'm not as good as John Galt. Sometimes I'm not even sure I'm as good as Eddie Willers," they respond.


NathanielBranden


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37 posted 06-25-2007 08:33 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

I tried to think rationally at all times, act rationally and make everything I did count....tough for a 19 year old soldier together with a battalion of other 19 year olds. there was no laughing at jokes I didn't find funny, no drinking just to get plastered, no "moral santions" given to mindless actions....the list can go on and on. I was as liked as Howard Roark or Francisco D'. In one part of Atlas Shrugged francisco asked Dagny if it  ever bothered her that in school she had had no friends or popularity. She slapped him and he understood because he had felt the same way. It is a downside, and a big one.



quote:

In the days of my association with Ayn Rand, we heard over and over again the accusation that we are against feelings, against emotions. And we would say in all good faith, "What are you talking about? We celebrate human passion. All the characters in the novels have powerful emotions, powerful passions. They feel far more deeply about things than does the average person. How can you possibly say that we are against feeling and emotion?"

The critics were right. Here is my evidence: When we counsel parents, we always tell them, in effect: "Remember, your children will pay more attention to what you do than what you say. No teaching is as powerful as the teaching of the example. It isn't the sermons you deliver that your children will remember, but the way you act and live." Now apply that same principle to fiction, because the analogy fits perfectly. On the one hand, there are Rand's abstract statements concerning the relationship of mind and emotion; on the other hand, there is the behavior of her characters, the way her characters deal with their feelings.

If, in page after page of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, you show someone being heroic by ruthlessly setting feelings aside, and if you show someone being rotten and depraved by, in effect, diving headlong into his feelings and emotions, and if that is one of your dominant methods of characterization, repeated again and again, then it doesn't matter what you profess, in abstract philosophy, about the relationship of reason and emotion. You have taught people: repress, repress, repress.

If you want to know the means by which they were taught, notwithstanding all the celebrations of passion in Ayn Rand's books, study the scenes in The Fountainhead that deal with Roark's way of responding to his own suffering, study the ruthlessness toward their own feelings and emotions exhibited by the heroes and heroine of Atlas Shrugged, and study also consistent way in which villains are characterized in terms of following their feelings. And understand the power of role models to shape beliefs.

When admirers of Ayn Rand seek my services professionally, they often come with the secret hope, rarely acknowledged in words, that with Nathaniel Branden they will at last become the masters of repression needed to fulfill the dream of becoming an ideal objectivist. When I tell them, usually fairly early in our relationship, that one of their chief problems is that they are out of touch with their feelings and emotions, cut off from them and oblivious, and that they need to learn how to listen more to their inner signals, to listen to their emotions, they often exhibit a glazed shock and disorientation. I guess I should admit that seeing their reaction is a real pleasure to me, one of the special treats of my profession you might say, and I do hope you will understand that I am acknowledging this with complete affection and good will and without any intention of sarcasm. The truth is, seeing their confusion and dismay, that it's hard to keep from smiling a little.

One of the first things I need to convey to them is that when they deny and disown their feelings and emotions, they really subvert and sabotage their ability to think clearly -- because they cut off access to too much vital information. This is one of my central themes in The Disowned Self. No one can be integrated, no one can function harmoniously, no one can think clearly and effectively about the deep issues of life who is oblivious to the internal signals, manifested as feelings and emotions, rising from within the organism. My formula for this is: "Feel deeply to think clearly." It seems, however, to take a long time -- for objectivists and nonobjectivists alike -- to understand that fully. Most of us have been encouraged to deny and repress who we are, to disown our feelings, to disown important aspects of the self, almost from the day we were born. The road back to selfhood usually entails a good deal of struggle and courage.

I know a lot of men and women who, in the name of idealism, in the name of lofty beliefs, crucify their bodies, crucify their feelings, and crucify their emotional life, in order to live up to that which they call their values. Just like the followers of one religion or another who, absorbed in some particular vision of what they think human beings can be or should be, leave the human beings they actually are in a very bad place: a place of neglect and even damnation. However, and this is a theme I shall return to later, no one ever grew or evolved by disowning and damning what he or she is. We can begin to grow only after we have accepted who we are and what we are and where we are right now. And no one was ever motivated to rise to glory by the pronouncement that he or she is rotten.

NathanielBranden


Ron
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38 posted 06-25-2007 10:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Analyzing a business on a product-by-product or project-by-project basis is misleading to the overall gestalt of the organization.

Yep. That's why I specifically said "optimally profitable," Reb. Sometimes you have to accept a deal where the profit is NOT money, but something less tangible. Trust me, Reb, programmers are no less expensive a resource to maintain than are engineers. I understand what you're saying.

But that wasn't the point, was it? By not calling me on our bid, I never had the opportunity to make a decision.

Ironically, Bill Gates hasn't called me about our company, either.

Question: Do you want us to debate Rand's estranged protégé, Nathaniel Branden, Reb? Or are we to assume that everything you quoted from him also mirrors your own stance? Are you prepared to answer questions about the stance you and Branden are advocating?


Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
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39 posted 06-25-2007 11:20 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

But that wasn't the point, was it? By not calling me on our bid, I never had the opportunity to make a decision.

Ironically, Bill Gates hasn't called me about our company, either.



What you land on is up to the dice you roll Ron.  If you buy it or not is up to you.  If you put houses and hotels on it, up to you.  You may win the game.  I may lose the game.  But you can't win if there isn't a game.  We all own the board.

Moreover -- Rand's fantasy that an elite class holds up the world is a blatant appeal to vanity.  Do you deny the interstitchal nature of the economy.  Doesn't the rising tide lift all boats?

My chocolate is in your peanut butter.

How can you have a discussion about Rand without Brandon Ron?  Discuss away -- I'
m up all night no matter how bad it hurts me --I have an EEG in the morning and I have to limit sleep.
Ron
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40 posted 06-26-2007 12:32 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
What you land on is up to the dice you roll ...

Sure, Reb, but we don't generally get just one turn. Over the course of a lifetime, most of us are going to land on every single square. Usually several times. And, unlike board games, there's nothing to prevent us from both buying Oriental Ave.

Is luck a factor? Absolutely. But, statistically, in the long run, we all have exactly the same luck. Contrary to popular opinion, Chance doesn't play favorites.

quote:
Moreover -- Rand's fantasy that an elite class holds up the world is a blatant appeal to vanity.  Do you deny the interstitchal nature of the economy.  Doesn't the rising tide lift all boats?

First, Reb, let me clarify something. I'm not a proponent of Ayn Rand so much as I'm a proponent of some of her ideas. Personally, I think Newton was a bit off center, too, but that doesn't change the value of the gravitational constant by so much as a decimal place.

Addressing specific differences, especially in light of this particular thread, I believe capitalism is the ONLY economic system viable in any setting larger than a family, but I am NOT in favor of Rand's brand of laissez-faire capitalism. I think we need controls, lest capitalism run amok. However, I should quickly add that I typically advocate slightly fewer controls than necessary rather than risk too many controls.

And, yes, of course, the rising tide lifts all boats. Just as the receding tide lowers them again. We are ALL under exactly the same constraints, Reb. Sure, the successful stand on the shoulders of giants. So do the failures, though.

Certainly we should give all due credit to the giants of the past, as well as to the contemporaries that support our efforts today. A restaurant can't exist without its vendors, and a restaurant on the local Restaurant Row is as dependent on the success of the other restaurants on the street as on its own marketing. No economy exists in a vacuum. I know exactly what you mean, Reb, and I completely agree.

It does not, however, follow that we should attribute our success or blame our failure (and, again, you can't advocate one without advocating both) on others. That's just a cop out, in my opinion. We have to accept responsibility for our own decisions, and that's just as true of success as it is for failure. I acknowledge the dependencies, Reb, but regulated Capitalism bends over backwards to make sure we get to choose our dependencies.

Those choices, I think, mean the difference between success and failure.

(And good luck at the doctors, Reb.)


Local Rebel
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41 posted 06-26-2007 04:03 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Thanks Ron -- since they were just looking at my brain waves there's not really any chance of them finding anything!  

I, like you, am not against ALL of Rand's ideas, and my major point of contention is not so ironically, and almost predictably -- the same as yours -- that laizzes-fare capitalism is rational self-interest.  In fact -- if I were an Objectivist -- I'd accuse Rand of 'evading' and being evil for it.  Because, I don't personally believe that she believed what she was saying was true.  I think she merely recognized that she could buck a trend and make a move into an uncontested field in a way that would resonate with the people who were most in a position to benefit HER.  So, that was rational self-interest.  

I'm also not advocating that we take away, or fail to acknowledge individual success -- I am pointing out that we, as a collective share in that success -- because if it hadn't been for our need of light in the cold dark night (hey it's a poetry site) there would have been no impetus to make an electric light bulb.

We, as a collective, gave him a patent that protected his individual acheivement so that Edison, and Edison alone (along with whomever might make a financial investment and take the risk that went along with it) could benefit from that achievment.  But, when the time was up the time was up.  The electric light bulb reverted to the property of us all, and the world.

Of course, through good management he was able to turn that head start into the powerhouse that is still General Electric.  Anybody feel like investing money in a company that does exactly the same things as General Electric?

We don't, statistically, have the same luck though.  In fact, it's more accurate that a histogram compiled of the entire population is going to be extremely multi-modal and surrounding those many humps we will see issues such as race, gender, and economic/social class emerge as the assignable causes.

Now, anybody know a good solvent to get this crappy conductive paste out of my hair?  
Drauntz
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since 03-16-2007
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42 posted 06-27-2007 01:06 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

make you head bald, sir Rebel.
Drauntz
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since 03-16-2007
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43 posted 06-27-2007 01:55 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

to Sir local rebel or whoever has answers

The kind of economy what Sir Rebel talked about  almost did not exist because which is base on everybody had equal consuming need and all the profit he earns will back to the investment market and the investment all profit from it.

so

1. Do all the CEO's put their profit back to  the market? if they all invest their money in America not globally.( or like some one invest ?$ for a picture of Paris Hilton)

2. Do all the CEO's try hard to keep the quality of product while try hard to cutting down the cost then to control the price?  if they did not try to monopoly the market to  rise their price as much as it goes for profit?

3. what is the effect of global free trading on American economy? If individual consumer all buy online much cheaper and same quality goods from  other countries?

4. what is the function of Fed if they invest  government money (tax) by Billions for another country's political stableness  but end up causing  more chaos. and the investment lost all its capital...like half built dam or half anything?  

4. what do you benefit from Fed's ability to manipulate stock market? if the government is so scared that  all the CEO's claimed bankrupt , then 100% unemployment..people will become mobs or if not that bad, several banks where your money  is saved closed forever?  The Fed sure would support their losing on the stock market.But do they do a fair investment after being saved by Government? (they all shall be begged by Government and also invest within  in US). Is there any benefit, in general development of a society, of stock market down?

5.What if lots of money did not come back to the market like big bombs? do we benefit from that spending?


the horse of Capitalism obviously  needs a cowboy..a reasonable one as we wish due to human nature of greediness and selfishness.  But it is quite marvelous and more advanced than the pig of socialism   that every body wants to have cut but no body wants to feed it.

do I know what I am thinking? no idea.


[This message has been edited by Drauntz (06-28-2007 12:42 PM).]

 
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