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Old 11-04-2006   #11
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Take me with you before Ted starts making moves on me.

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 11-04-2006   #12
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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Posts: 989
Rand's ideas are persuasive..seductive even. But they leave me with a neauseous, hollow feeling. If I were to believe what she thinks about the essence of mankind I would spiral into despair.

Call me naive, but even in the face of few supporting examples and continous reinforcement to the contrary, I have to believe that people -- at least some people -- are better than that. More virtuous. More lazy.

I take solace in the dude -- that pantheon of achievementlessness -- Jeffrey Lebowski. The deadbeat Lebowski. Beer in one hand, j in the other, listenin to Creedence and goin bowlin. Makes me feel better. Then I remember ski bums, climber bums, boater bums...persuing happiness, sure, but it's tough to argue that they do anything productive. Well, I guess somebody has to wash the dishes at a hotel in Jackson Hole.

I find reading H.S. Thompson WAY more enjoyable. It's a shame after dental school I swore off reading for good. You read a 500 page textbook about root canals and tell me if you feel like looking at more words on a page.

I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 11-04-2006   #13
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 390
I think Rand wrote about fame and fortune because that is what she wanted for herself. The hero of The Fountainhead got kicked out of school because he was an architecture bum who just liked designing buildings and didn't care to be successful. I find Rand's work to be the most thorough and intellectually bloated justification of anything you want to do, because in her world, nobody other than you can possibly be right about what is going to bring you bliss.

edit: although she does seem to be totally ignorant of the valuelessness of everything, i dont blame her for it, product of her generation and all that crap
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Old 11-04-2006   #14
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 58
"Productive achievement" reminds me of "quality" from Zen/Motorcycle. It just might mean whatever you want it to.

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Old 11-04-2006   #15
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185 lb. waste of space, Keeping Glenwood Springs real
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Posts: 917
the productive achievement would have to be taken from the perspective of the individual otherwise productive achievement could take on a utilitarian form and then it would have to pertain to the greatest good. Like the "quality" in Zen its Burger king custom made so you can have it your way. the problem I see with saying that all of this stems from a man's reason as being absolute is that man's reasoning is not always absolute and is often shaped by outside influences and situations. Put enough pressure on a person and they will make a decision that they would not normally make if given other options and time and thus faulty reasoning.
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Old 11-04-2006   #16
Join Date: Aug 2006
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When Rand states that man has "reason as his only absolute" I don't think she's talking about his ability to reason but the product of his reasoning. In other words, the outcome of his life is solely subject to his reasoning - not God's will, not fate, not his upbringing but the decisions he's made when faced with his environment. I'm not sure I agree with that but that's my understanding of Objectivism.

I think man rationalizes more than he reasons. One of my favorite quotes is from Jeff Goldblum's chartactrer in "The Big Chill".

"Don't knock rationalization. Where would we be without it? I don't know anyone who'd get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex. Have you ever gone a week without a rationalization?"

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