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  • 16
    Posted by Mamaemma 4 years, 8 months ago
    Pirate, my impression is that the Gulch is now dominated by a few individuals who seem intent on being wordy and complicated and convincing everyone how intelligent and superior they are. The result is that, like K, I find myself bored. The sense of life that made the Gulch so wonderful (I posted about it once) is being smothered by this attitude. This is my individual experience.
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    • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
      Hey, Mama -- there are some of those. But there's also you. And me. If you're bored it's because of you. No one can bore you unless you allow them to. I'm never bored. Perhaps it's because I'm at the end of life and every waking minute becomes a treasure not to be squandered. I guess I'm pissed at this discussion and I'm almost ready to dole out negative points, but then, I realize, the points don't matter. The posts do.
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      • Posted by gaiagal 4 years, 8 months ago
        As usual, Herb7734, I love the way you think :).

        Boredom, to me, is a choice much like happiness is a choice.

        I'm never bored...even when I thought I had time to squander. I squandered my time by doing things like rock climbing or trying to run a sub 6 mile (never was able to, dang it) Now that I'm happy to even have the desire to walk a sub 30 mile, every waking moment, as you say, is a treasure.

        I have loved the aging process. The moment I turned 50 (way back when) I felt a personal sense of freedom I had never before experienced.

        How can anyone be bored?
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        • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
          The only thing I don't like about aging is that I'm falling apart in increments. Other than that, I am busy and happy, and lucky enough to have a BW for the past 60+ years.
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          • Posted by gaiagal 4 years, 8 months ago
            Yes, the falling apart is a pain. But other than that, it's a blast. I didn't have my only until I was almost 40 (my husband was over 40) so that kept us young for a long time - it's only now we're slowing down physically.

            We have no problem keeping ourselves happy and busy. Boredom is something we don't grok.
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            • Posted by $ johnrobert2 4 years, 8 months ago
              How about this... Our one and only came along when I was 48 and my wife, 46. Certainly no boredom there. Went to my 30th HS Reunion with her in the carrier. Boy, did I get some raised eyebrows.
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              • Posted by gaiagal 4 years, 8 months ago
                Oh, that's rich!!! I'm laughing picturing the looks you got!

                God bless your wife!

                A number of our group of friends, and co-workers, between the ages of 38 and 43 all got pregnant for the first time at the same time. It was great being older, you have a different perspective and never have the feeling you missed out on anything. You also have the advantage of having watched your friends raise their kids - I learned a lot about what not to do that way!
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      • Posted by Mamaemma 4 years, 8 months ago
        Hey, Herb. What I find myself doing is sifting through the comments and reading only certain ones; that's how I keep myself from getting bored. Am I opening a can of worms by asking why the discussion pisses you off? I enjoy and respect your comments.
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        • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
          I also don't read every post. I can usually tell by the first sentence if I'm interested. Boredom is one of my bugaboos. I picture it as some kind of idol called ennui. The older I got, the less bored I became, and frankly, the Gulch has been anything but boring, even when I've taken on a few disagreements. Actually, I kinda like disagreeing with people who are more intelligent than bonobos. Keeps the grey matter cooking.
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    • Posted by term2 4 years, 8 months ago
      If you look at the book AS, you see Dagny and Hank constantly battling the statists. Thats whats happening to us all now to one degree or another. Its depressing. Dealing with them is occupying more and more time and attention in my life for sure.

      Its time to just not give them the attention that they expect, but only the attention that they demand by force.

      Harry Browne's book about living free in an unfree world (which I just read), is spot on. The gulch should be a light in the night for how we do that in a positive way.

      Government exists today in the USA because people are supporting and enabling it. Look at all this election coverage. In reality, the government cant do positive things no matter who gets elected. It can only do more or less BAD things by getting in the way. It doesnt deserve so much of our attention.
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    • Posted by archerb55 4 years, 8 months ago
      AMEN!!!! the few 'libertarians' who are so full of themselves who do nothing but talk down to the rest of us who may disagree on an issue.... but what do we know we are all idiots but them.... i am ready to blow this site off as a waste of my time
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      • Posted by Mamaemma 4 years, 8 months ago
        No, no, no! I want everyone to participate instead of just a few. If you are a Rand fan, you belong here!
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        • Posted by archerb55 4 years, 8 months ago
          i AM a fan of Rand.... however, i lean conservative to libertarian depending on the issue.... i get sick and tired of being bashed or looked down upon because of the conservative views... but there are a few in here that really are no better than the folks we are against in the fedgov they are just a different flavor of the same ol thing
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          • Posted by BeenThere 4 years, 8 months ago
            Rand made very clear that neither she (nor her philosophy) were conservative. As closely as I can remember, her statement was "what are the conservatives trying to conserve?"
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          • Posted by Mamaemma 4 years, 8 months ago
            Pay attention, archer, and you may find like I did that what I thought were conservative views were really "randian" views. I wonder how many times you have a view that is in opposition to what Ayn Rand taught?
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        • Posted by $ Suzanne43 4 years, 8 months ago
          Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm a huge A.R. fan. Read Atlas Shrugged twice and listened to it once. Read The Fountainhead and We the Living. Atlas Shrugged is in my top five favorite books. Ranks right up there with Pride and Prejudice. :)
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    • Posted by $ Flootus5 4 years, 8 months ago
      There is a lot of truth in what you say. I wonder how much is driven in part by trying to be a top point earner? What if we tried without that for awhile?

      Another factor I think is happening, is the long drawn out, endless pounding and grinding of this campaign season. You can't access news without it. And so much real news is just eclipsed and gone because of it.

      However, I still enjoy the Gulch immensely. There are some fine folks here. I would never have latched onto the novel Shadows Live Under Seashells which I just finished. A highly worthwhile read. The mood and tenor is lingering with me for awhile yet.

      And I have gotten, and hope have given some good insight and advice. I am thinking of finding some Ayn Randisms of the day to bring to light again. I recently found my collection of the Ayn Rand Newsletter that I subscribed to back in high school. There are no doubt some gems in there to bring forth to today's non-fiction.
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  • 12
    Posted by Lucky 4 years, 8 months ago
    Free speech- yes,
    the right to be offensive - yes.
    But I remind those who verbally lash out that they are admitting failure by having nothing to say apart from abuse.

    “Common courtesy may seem a quaint anachronism,
    but without it, logic and reason die on the sword of uninformed passion. ”
    Pierre Ryckmans

    And,
    " one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas.”
    Margaret Thatcher
    This means, give us your thoughts and ideas, keep your anger off the page.
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  • 11
    Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 8 months ago
    Conservatives, news headline and political junkies, and anti-Objectivists. Emotive rather than Rational, Reasoning thinkers and posters.

    But as much or more than anything, it's a lack of confidence in the philosophy and life applications of Objectivism by all but a handful of the Objectivists of the site.
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    • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
      Ask yourself why there is such a lack of confidence in the philosophy and life applications of Objectivism. Objectivism works well for small groups of like-minded individuals. The big problem with Objectivism is that statists reject Objectivism's premises, and there are a lot more statists who think that they are entitled to what we produce than there are Objectivist producers.

      Rush Limbaugh Undeniable Truth #6:
      Ours is a world governed by the aggressive use of force.

      That is not the way that it should be, but it is the way the world unfortunately is.
      It is also the reason why the correct response is Atlas shrugging.
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      • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 8 months ago
        j; I couldn't disagree more with your assertion that 'Objectivism works well for small groups of like-minded individuals. Objectivism is by AR's definition Egoism. The 'lack of confidence' I refer to, has demonstrated itself through the acceptance of what's happened to The Gulch and the sparsity of Objectivist replies and votes to non-relevant Troll Posts.
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        • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
          If you are choosing to argue this point based on egoism, then you are arguing that everyone is pursuing his/her own self-interest. With that I agree. The problem with that is that some others (non-Gulchers) think it is in their self-interest to violate the principle of non-interference by forcing us to be keeper to those who are not our brothers.

          Before I get trashed for being racist or classist or some other "ist", I am making a distinction between humans of all races, colors, creeds (or lack thereof), ideological foundations, etc. vs. those who are part of my family (i.e. brothers, sisters, parents, kids, and those in the extended family with whom I have chosen to continue to make a part of my life).

          Do we have the right to enforce the principle of non-interference on others? In general society, we certainly do not. In an Objectivist society such as the Atlas Society or in Galt's Gulch Online, we can expect the principle of non-interference to be followed. But enforced? The best we could do even in an Objectivist forum is point this out to the moderators, and have the moderators ask people who violate the principles agreed to follow the terms and conditions of forum participation that that person agreed to.

          Regarding the "votes to non-relevant Troll Posts", some in this forum might consider my posting of the fire in Hillsborough, NJ as an irrelevant Troll Post. It was a legitimate news item from the town I grew up in. I rode past that warehouse every day I went to middle school. Back then, it stored many metric tons of mercury, which was moved out of there after I left in 1985. Such a warehouse fire epitomizes that Atlas Shrugged is now non-fiction, thereby making it relevant.

          I prefer to let the people who post define what is relevant, rather than let you or any other non-moderators dictate (word chosen carefully) what constitutes a Troll Post. If Scott, for instance, tells me something is a Troll Post, he has the right as a moderator to contact me and request that I do not post such items. Any non-moderators who attempt to limit discussion only to Objectivist philosophy on this site are now wondering why the forum isn't as entertaining as it used to be. Well, that is the just reward for attempting to infringe on others' freedom of expression.
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          • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 8 months ago
            j; I'm not certain what we're crossing pens about here. My response to rmp's posted question seems to have touched a sensitive nerve in you. Galt's Gulch Online is a site dedicated to Objectivists and those interested in the philosophy generated from AS or the AS Trilogy of movies or AR's writings, and almost any post or reply I make derives from my Objectivist viewpoint and knowledge. If such 'interference' offends those that don't yet have a firm grasp on the philosophy, or those that disagree with it, or those that are attempting to conflate their 'beliefs' onto or into it, or those attempting to flood the discussions available on the site with non-relevant replies and non-relevant posts--that's just too bad. I am unapologetically an Objectivist.

            I have little patience, time, or interest in PCness, courtesy over content, quantity over quality, or compromise of principles. I don't waste my time on tact or other nonsense. Words have definitions (AR described those definitions as the primary line of defense against the statists) and actions have consequences. As to your proposed principle of non-interference, I think any Objectivist would agree that one has no individual right to intrude into the private property of another and interfere with that others exercise of rights, unless the results of such exercise intrudes onto others in negative ways.

            But when that other enters into the public sphere or into a gathering of Objectivists with the intent or attempt to espouse anti-Objectivist discussion and ideas under the guise of 'freedom of expression', that other opens himself up to my unapologetic condemnation and/or counter arguments, and certainly invites my responses to and for those open to the Objectivist Philosophy.

            As to your last paragraph, your statements and implications are generally wrong and inappropriate to the discussion. I don't know of any on this site that are generally recognized as Objectivists, that demand purity in posting or comments and have even found many of them to welcome humorous and personal interactions.

            This discussion of what is 'Trollish Behavior' has been going on for more than a year now, and the reluctance of members in general to utilize the tools available to respond to the behavior has resulted in many of the Producers of the site dramatically reducing their involvement or even leaving the site--to the detriment of the rest of us as well as to those that find their way to the site discovering it to more resemble a general discussion or Conservative site than an inviting Objectivist site.

            For now and the future, you may fully expect that I will continue to espouse and defend Objectivist principles and the development of Objectivist thinking and growth in any venue that I choose.
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        • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
          We'll agree to disagree then.
          Objectivism is predicated upon the premise that it should be self-evident that humans should have liberty to do as they please, as long as it doesn't negatively affect others. In Galt's Gulch Online, even though individual contributors have some disagreements, as you and I do in this case, in general, we respect each other and can get along at the end of the day.

          Statists operate under the premise that they have the right to use force to make us bend to their wishes. This is fundamentally incompatible with the existence of an Objectivist society.

          If I were to disagree with my own prior assertion that "Objectivism works well for small groups of like-minded individuals", it would be on the side that it doesn't even work well in small groups of like-minded individuals, rather than on the side that it can work for a larger society. Perhaps I was being too generous to Objectivists.
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          • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
            Ayn Rand did not hold as a premise that "it should be self-evident that humans should have liberty to do as they please..." nor is it true that "everyone is pursuing his/her own self-interest".

            Ayn Rand was neither a psychological hedonist nor an a-philosophical libertarian. She developed an entire philosophy showing how political freedom requires ethical egoism, how what is in fact in one's self interest depends on the nature of man and is not whatever one feels it is, and how an ethics of egoism requires reason as the exclusive means of knowledge. The notions of a self-evident politics or automatic selfishness were alien to her.

            Objectivism is not "for small groups of like-minded individuals" and you are not "too generous" to Objectivism. You don't understand what it is. It is not politics. Objectivism is a philosophy for the individual to live on earth. That has implications for social relations and what kind of social system is required. It does not mean that everyone has to be "like minded". It does require rationality, without which no society can work. In a mixed or irrational society every rational individual still needs philosophical principles by which to live and survive the best he can for his own life despite the irrationality of others.
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            • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
              You are correct in saying that Objectivism requires ethical egoism. You are correct in saying that Objectivism requires "rationality, without which no society can work". If you said "without which no society can work productively to its citizens", then I would have no argument. However, there are plenty of non-Objectivist societies where dictators, kings, oligarchies, etc. rule that are unproductive for their citizens. An Objectivist in such a society should be and will always be frustrated by his/her surroundings in such an irrational "society". Very few societies throughout time have been rational. Those that have been rational have prospered. I will argue that there are no longer any rational societies.
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            • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
              Rand indeed did not recognize the premises that I stated. Nonetheless, what I said regarding those premises have been proven throughout the course of history, even American history. I recognize these premises on my own.

              Rand did say that Objectivism is a philosophy for the individual to live on earth. Objectivism does have implications for social relations. Those implications are precisely the problem. Those who reject Objectivism's tenets have no compunction about using force to get their way and will always win over those who show restraint in using force to get their own way.

              What I am saying is that the philosophy of Objectivism is fatally flawed precisely because it does require rationality of the vast majority of a society's citizens. An Objectivist society is to be desired, but not stable. If I were to simulate an Objectivist society, its Lyapunov exponent would be positive, meaning that it can never reach a stable steady-state.
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              • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
                Human life requires rationality. Recognizing that is not a "fatal flaw". That statism is a political implementation of irrationalism is not a flaw of Objectivism.

                The premises you claimed Objectivism are predicated on are both false and not what Objectivism are based on. Ayn Rand explicitly rejected both of them.

                Your statements about mathematical "exponents" are arbitrary, rationalistic nonsense that have nothing to do with Objectivism. It is more floating abstractions. It is no better than the previous metaphors about "differential equations" with nothing to measure and no equations to relate them.

                It was apparent when you previously claimed you were over 90% "there" to being an Objectivist that you didn't know what it is. You still don't.
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                • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
                  Ayn Rand's Objectivism says that human life requires rationality. This is a point that I disagree with in the case of the ever-growing number of moochers, many of whom are capable of choosing to become producers but find it easier to be a moocher. Objectivism requires an entire life of choosing to be what Objectivism defines as moral. (This is not a slam against what Objectivism defines as moral, but rather a contrast to what Judeo-Christian history has defined as moral). This is a series of hard choices that few people make. Are moochers being rational when they think that they will be "taken care of" after making their daily choices to be moochers? Such moochers are definitely alive. Otherwise, you and I wouldn't be expected to be their keeper.

                  You correctly quoted Ayn Rand in saying that Objectivism is a philosophy for living on earth. The only country and time in which an Objectivist could have lived with minimal contradictions in a larger non-Objectivist society that was rational is pre-21st century America, most notably the late 1800s. There is no nation that an Objectivist can live in this era that can be defined as "rational". I seriously challenge you to name a nation right now that you can define as rational. Yet there are around 7 billion people in this world, more than ever before. According to Objectivism, human life requires rationality. As I have just illustrated, there is no longer a rational country on Earth, even though all of us in this forum would prefer that it did. We would flock to such a place, The fact that we cannot decide amongst ourselves on a place to shrug is further evidence that there is no longer a rational country on Earth.

                  You may choose to disagree with me, but after my last paragraph, it should be clear that Objectivism is a philosophy for living in Utopia, not for living on Earth.
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                  • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
                    You still do not grasp that Objectivism is not politics and not social relations. An individual requires a philosophy to make his own decisions in his own life regardless of what others do. It is not about moochers versus obsession over running off to a desert island. The ethics of social relations is secondary to the necessity of personal choices. One of the destructive aspects of altruism is that it reverses that, demanding not only sacrifice to others as the primary, but leaving the individual with no guidance at all in his own life.

                    The distinguishing characteristic of man is his rational faculty, the use of which is required to live. It is exercised to some degree or he doesn't. Rationality is the fundamental virtue of the Objectivist ethics. It is accepted by choice or not. It is not automatic. And it does not mean choosing rationality doesn't matter unless everyone does. It does not mean that rationality is for living in "utopia" and Ayn Rand never argued that it does. That is bizarre. You are very confused about Objectivism.
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                    • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
                      I have my own philosophy to make my own decisions. Many core values will determine what I do regardless of what others do. However, there are some aspects of life where others' life (or death) choices will affect my decisionmaking. Namely, if society chooses to punish hard work, intelligence, and production, then it is perfectly rational to shrug. Moreover, if moochers are rewarded while producers are punished, that is an irrational society. By that definition, I see no rational societies left. Politics and social relations may be secondary to one's personal choices, but when a society is so fundamentally screwed up, then the rational decision is to move elsewhere. When all societies are fundamentally screwed up, then it is time for the Second Dark Ages.
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                    • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
                      I disagree with your premise (and AR's) that rationality is necessary for life. While it is necessary for life by an Objectivist, I know too many irrational people who live (albeit poorly) for that premise to be axiomatic. The government-dictated and enforced altruism in every country that I can think of makes the use of man's rational faculty unnecessary for moochers. All one needs to demonstrate the obviousness of this is to look at the huge number of people supporting Comrade Bernie Sanders.

                      While you correctly pointed out one of the problems with altruism, the more important problem with altruism is that those who willingly choose not to produce do not die of starvation. That is part of my definition of a rational society. Instead such moochers outreproduce responsible producers when it comes to the gene pool. The opposite of this would be required in what I would consider a rational society.

                      And since you evaded my prior challenge to name a current nation that is rational, I ask you to once again.
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                • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
                  I suggest you consider why Objectivism has not been accepted by a wider audience. It surely has had enough time and enough intelligent adherents telling its message to achieve a wider acceptance than it has.

                  I have come to my own philosophical conclusions based on my own empirically derived observations. Objectivism is consistent with many but inconsistent with some of those observations.
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                  • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
                    Your pragmatist mixed premises are not consistent with Objectivism at all. Believe what you want, but please stop claiming it is related to Objectivism in any way and stop misrepresenting a philosophy you do not know.

                    Objectivism is not accepted in a wider audience because most don't know what it is to be able to accept it or not. You are one of them.
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                    • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
                      The reason why the Gulch has become boring is because it has become an echo chamber for those who consider themselves strict Objectivists. With few exceptions, those disagreeing with strict Objectivists have been shouted down and now have ... shrugged.
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                    • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
                      I do not claim to be an Objectivist, and while I share many views with Objectivists, I have not and never will claim to be an Objectivist for the following reason.

                      The common retort for Objectivists is that non-Objectivists are pragmatic. Well, if Objectivism is a philosophy for life on earth, that is a definition of a pragmatic philosophy, yet Objectivism is not pragmatic, as you and others insist.
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          • Posted by $ AJAshinoff 4 years, 8 months ago
            Personally, I agree with your assertion JBrenner. I believe its an honest assessment based on empirical evidence.

            I'm a really good example of this....being a conservative its said by some that I have sullied and degraded this website by expressing and defending my thoughts and ideas.
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    • Posted by $ Suzanne43 4 years, 8 months ago
      Are you suggesting that Conservatives are not welcome or wanted in the Gulch? I really want to know.
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      • 11
        Posted by Mamaemma 4 years, 8 months ago
        Suzanne, I know your question was not for me, but can I tell you what I have learned in the Gulch? I have been a fan of Rand and a believer in her philosophy since a very young age. I hate what collectivism is doing to my country, and I always thought I was a conservative, but I have learned that many conservatives are just as willing to use power and force to advance their beliefs as socialists are. I no longer consider myself a conservative. I am an individualist and an aspiring Objectivist.
        I think conservatives are welcome here, but viewed by many of us with caution, especially when they forcefully try to dominate the conversation.
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        • Posted by $ Suzanne43 4 years, 8 months ago
          Thank you for your honest answer. I hope that I have never forcefully tried to dominate the conversation....that is not my way.
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          • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
            Ayn Rand was neither a liberal nor a conservative. To the extent that someone, who is either, is rational and individualist to significant degrees there are commonalities with Ayn Rand's sense of life and philosophy. That makes it possible for many to be attracted to her writing and ideas. Where else would they come from?

            The question is not whether a conservative should want to be here, but why anyone would want remain either a liberal or conservative who is attracted to Ayn Rand's ideas and the sense of life she portrays, without further exploring her philosophy and the historical facts outside the prevailing "narratives" to see what made Atlas Shrugged and its implications for life on earth possible. (And that learning should be done primarily by reading it and listening to the lectures first hand, not by socializing here or anywhere else.)

            There have only been a few conservatives (and a-philosophical libertarians) here who have obnoxiously and militantly pushed anti-Ayn Rand views, or pushed all kinds of politics or causes without regard to Ayn Rand's principles, along with interjecting often angry personal feuding.

            For the rest, whatever they have been, this is an opportunity for exploring, improving understanding, and sharing common values. But no one without sufficient knowledge should believe he or she must "become" anything without knowing first what it is and why. You aren't joining a religious sect here, signing up in advance for a dogma. Forget about what you call yourself and strive to discover what Ayn Rand's philosophy is in all its ramifications and what is right. That should be true for all of us.
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  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 4 years, 8 months ago
    RMP

    It died.

    It died when a small group of Producers decided they had a lock on the truth of all things Rand.

    It died when they choose to push the Ignore button instead of exercising the persuasive power of Reason and Logic.

    It died when they choose to substitute vituperation for argumentation.

    It died when down-voting and the word "nonsense" became their comments of choice.

    Joe
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    • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
      Everybody tune in while I play the funeral march from Beethoven's third symphony.
      Who are "they" anyhow? You sound like you need a pity party. I won't attend.
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  • Posted by $ Susanne 4 years, 8 months ago
    To the original question -

    It has washed out and become a tool, not of the producer as it once was (and what brought me here) - "Producer" meaning the Randian, not the board's paid member status - but of the sheeple, the covert looter and the Anonymous hack.

    I used to log on and jump in with glee and abandon, knowing I was communing and communicating with like minded individuals, but now it's more of an internet hash-list of those who have a political agenda to push, using a few learned catch phrases to "pass muster" but otherwise being as false as coins made from play-doh.

    As such I find I rarely have the Daily Digest catch my attention as it once did long ago, and more often than not being deleted from my in-box out of hand as non-relevant, non-objective, or, frankly, non-sense. And as such, if that is the -best- tat the gulch has to offer me that day, it's not worth (honestly) wasting my time logging in and looking through the Gulch, only to leave sad, disappointed and likely embittered...
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    • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
      Look at the latest 'new' posts rather than 'hot'. If you were discussing here everyday it would probably mean neglecting something else important anyway.

      Have you gone back and read all the original Ayn Rand essays and lectures? Their characteristic depth and significance in contrast to stock political commentary (even when correct) makes them timeless. She once described her "purpose in writing articles [as] to discuss the application of Objectivism to modern events—i.e., to explain today's trends by identifying their philosophical roots and meaning, and to present the Objectivist alternative. In this respect, reality has proved too cooperative: so many trends are going the way I predicted they would (only more crudely and viciously so) ... My criterion in selecting the subjects I discussed was: the subject's philosophical importance, which had to be demonstrable, but not too obvious." -- "A Last Survey", The Ayn Rand Letter, Nov. 1975.

      It is far more than the rehashes you see today.
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    • Posted by archerb55 4 years, 8 months ago
      it is that the 'regulars' here are absolutely no different than the groups they despise... they act absolutely no different than the groups they rail on .... the only diff is the groups they rail on ARE the groups in power.... and there is a reason these "smart, intellectual, holier than thou" folks are not in power and it can be seen right here in the gultch
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  • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 8 months ago
    I apologize for re-posting this from Khalling's I'm BORED post, but my answer to her also applies here.

    The reality that things are getting progressively (word chosen very carefully) worse exponentially is sinking in. The Fed's proposal of negative interest rates is an example.

    If you look at the five stages of grief, this forum had/has many who are angry. The next stage after that is depression and detachment. I am moving into that phase now. After that comes dialogue and bargaining. There had been a lot of people dialoguing, but now have moved into the frightening stage given our current circumstances called acceptance. I will never accept the current situation. I suggested to my wife and kids last night that, if Bernie Sanders is elected, that we should just shrug and leave.
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    • Posted by term2 4 years, 8 months ago
      I agree. I have spent the last 9 years building a business that I hope to sell one day. If Sanders gets in, I can give up at least half of what I created in his tax proposals. It used to be that capital gains for small business stock one held for 5 years was 10%. Now he wants 50%. I better sell it in 2016, or just milk it dry before his taxes go into effect. No incentive to do anything after that for me.
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      • Posted by $ Susanne 4 years, 8 months ago
        Tis truly to the point where if you have a business and expect it to thrive, it can only exist on the underground economy, else you will lose it to the hyper-regulation and hyper-taxation that, regardless of who gets elected, will be rampant.

        I deal in tangibles for what I produce. I do so on a mouth to mouth basis, and say little otherwise.

        Its sad when you play by the rules and lose... but that is the American way.
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        • Posted by term2 4 years, 8 months ago
          Interesting thought about the underground economy. My x-man power is inventing, and I am not sure at the moment how that could be used in an underground way.

          What do you mean by "mouth to mouth" basis? Can you give some examples?
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          • Posted by $ Susanne 4 years, 8 months ago
            Say someone is looking for someone to perform a service or build something, etc. Using word of mouth the person asks who does this really well? The word gets back to seek out so-and so who does a damned good job at a fair price, the deal is made, and the word gets out that so-and-so is the person to go to to have (x) done.

            It relies on So-and-so giving excellent value, producing top quality goods, and getting that word-of-mouth to the people most likely to need or desire so-and-so's Knowledge, skills, and abilities.

            It's called the "underground economy"... when states prohibited things like barter, it's how business was done via this prohibited medium to keep the watchdog masters one the wiser on the economy that was thriving under their noses.

            You have to market to those who need your talents, shake a lot of hands, have tangible examples of what you do, and be able to meet the commitments you make.
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            • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
              That is called reputation and has always been crucial. "Underground economy" is something else and pertains to how values are exchanged in trade outside of the system.
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    • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
      JB:
      Twenty years younger and I'd be right behind you.
      But if Bernie is not elected, and instead we get Cruz, Rubio, Or one of those, what then? What about Trump? Or have we played out on politics, or perhaps wait until the field is down to the two presumptive rulers?
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      • Posted by lrshultis 4 years, 8 months ago
        Herb:
        As one who has just reached 76, houses 3 stents, and trying to keep up with the quickly accelerating rate of perceived time passing, I was wondering if good and evil are additive in the sense that if a candidate is not all good, will his good and evil add or subtract from that already in the present government. Or, will the bad just get worst? I am in the compromise makes the bad get worst camp.
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        • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
          The bible does have some quotable snippets. "By their deeds shall you know them." For the most part, I'm not interested in their deep dark secrets, or even their philosophy. What they have done is the best indicator of what they will do. Trump is a good example. After reading the first paragraph of his bio I knew I couldn't vote for him.
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  • Posted by $ straightlinelogic 4 years, 8 months ago
    Unless I overlooked it, this comment from yesterday was deleted, although it had 4 thumbs up:

    Original thought and commentary has decreased relative to sloganeering, unthinking acceptance of canned points of view, and out and out nastiness. Originality, a product of thinking for one's self, is hard work. Even some of the people who regard themselves as objectivists sound like Ayn Rand robotic clones. Current rearranging-the-deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic politics is boring and abysmal inside or outside the Gulch. Since I've joined the Gulch, I've found some real gems of posts and commentary (and some good books by Gulch authors), but they are fewer and farther between, and I don't have time to extract them from the dross. Yesterday, in response to Khaling's "I'm Bored" post, I said that when I'm bored with what I read, I try to write something interesting. I will continue to try to write interesting things for my website and post them in the Gulch, but beyond that I don't get much intellectual bang for my time buck.

    I'm wondering if this repost will get deleted as well. I await an answer from whomever deleted the original.
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    • Posted by $ 4 years, 8 months ago
      This is my post and I did not delete it. It's very well said and I hope it's just lost somewhere in the threads. +1.
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      • Posted by $ straightlinelogic 4 years, 8 months ago
        Thanks. I'm curious as to how it was deleted.
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        • Posted by $ 4 years, 8 months ago
          An excellent question that I'd also like the answer to.
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          • Posted by $ Flootus5 4 years, 8 months ago
            A couple of weeks ago, I had a thread of comments disappear as well. I contacted Gulch support, described the threads, where they had been and wondering why. They were tame posts providing praise for Shadows Live Under Seashells.

            Support got back me to after two days, thanked me, and said they had found a glitch in the system. They fixed it and the thread comments were back. I wonder if it or something like it is still happening?
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            • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 8 months ago
              same thing for me two answers. sometimes there is a little post at the bottom that says "More posts?" But the staff suggested look in Spam or Garbage. Sure enough everything was in spam...
              Another issue is one will read something in the right hand column but it takes a while to post in the main comments section. I think most have been fixed thanks to the staff and someone notifying of a problem.
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  • Posted by GaryL 4 years, 8 months ago
    Every comment is the OPINION of the author. There is a handful of authors who will immediately smack you down if they disagree with your opinion. As with many open forums, they will soon find they are talking to themselves because they can only allow those of like minds to participate. I call them "The Establishment"!
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  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 8 months ago
    Ok, define "sense of life in the Gulch."
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    • 10
      Posted by $ 4 years, 8 months ago
      A culture, like an individual, has a sense of life or, rather, the equivalent of a sense of life—an emotional atmosphere created by its dominant philosophy, by its view of man and of existence. This emotional atmosphere represents a culture’s dominant values and serves as the leitmotif of a given age, setting its trends and its style. Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto.

      The Gulch used to be vibrant and full of life. Now if feels like any other news feed that worms its way into my email.
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      • Posted by term2 4 years, 8 months ago
        I think gulchers have that sense of life in dealing with their own lives. BUT, that said, dealing with the collectivism every day is indeed debilitating. If the conversations in the Gulch were focused on what we can do to better preserve our own lives in a declining society, and get ready to rebuild as soon as government programs "get out of the way", the tone of the gulch would improve.

        Right now, most of the attention goes TO government and what it is doing. Government is just an impediment in my life. I try to ignore it as much as possible. It isnt the all powerful force that it wants us to believe it is. Its populated by minion clerks just trying to get a paycheck that I have to write. I try to give them only as much attention as they can garner by actual force. I would rather have no interaction with them at all.
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        • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 8 months ago
          Yes these times try a man's mind, still, I find this site much more entertaining, enlightening and satisfying than the Julian Jaynes or Neothink blogs I engage in.
          I realize that the latter two blogs kind of make me and outsider, but it was those studies that introduced me to Ayn Rand.
          Hope I haven't bored you.
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          • Posted by term2 4 years, 8 months ago
            I like your screen name. At least on this site we are all members of the same tribe
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            • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 8 months ago
              Yes...when "We the people" are forced to divide we do seem to find comfort and safety with members of the same tribe.

              Yea, the screen name is just my way of staying humble and honest. I seem to do my best work when I am reminded of that.
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              • Posted by term2 4 years, 8 months ago
                I think there have always been tribes of one sort or another. A tribe is a group of people with some shared needs and interests which allows for easier cooperation. A family is a tribe . The workers in my small company form a tribe. And vouchers are a tribe too
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      • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 8 months ago
        Its an election season. Lots of manipulation going on, and I get distracted from core matters when confronted repeatedly. Guilty. OTOH, this is an forum open to other points of view. Do you want to restrict that? Do you want to allow it, but not challenge irrationality with reason?
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        • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 8 months ago
          Know thy opposition especially when they blab so freely chuckle chuckle.....and sometimes a good to know item pops up especially when intentionally mis stated or quoted or defined. It's a window on the world so ....no restrictions...that's what ignore is for.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
        Hey, Mama!
        So make it vibrant and full of life. Reply to those whose sense of life you find bad. If I was there with you, I'd (gently) slap you up the side of the head with a warm dish towel.
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        • Posted by Mamaemma 4 years, 8 months ago
          Maybe a wet noodle?!
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          • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
            Noodles are too tasty to use as a weapon.
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            • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
              It depends on how stiff they become and what they have been dragged through. Sometimes it helps to add salt.
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              • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 8 months ago
                For a moment I thought you were writing a CSI episode, ewv.
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                • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
                  Personally, I prefer NCIS.
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                  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 8 months ago
                    Only watched the first 3 eps. Too many rights unabashedly violated by the "hero." Statist copaganda masquerading as entertainment.
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                    • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
                      What in the name of Mel Brooks is this Gulch put down of cops? Whenever I ask, I get illustrations of isolated instances. I know cops. I know a Lot of cops. To a man and woman, the ones I know are the good guys. However, I admit that if they are employed by the bad guys the choice to follow orders or not to is a difficult one. If you have a wife and three kids and a 3/4 finished pension -- what would you do? It's easy to say you'd do the right thing even if it meant losing your job, not so easy if you're the one on the spot.
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                      • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 8 months ago
                        The "put-down" is on the tv propaganda lionizing actions that violate rights.
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                        • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
                          OK. You're right. I'm touchy on this subject. I like seeing the good guys win. I don't often take other things into account, and sometimes forget that scripts are usually written by people who wouldn't know freedom from a canoe paddle.

                          By the way, I hate it when you're right. Waaay too often. (LNOL) [laugh not out loud]
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                          • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 8 months ago
                            I am touchy on it, too, Herb, in the other way ;^)
                            Sometimes I turn off programming when some PC rubbish appears. (Some friends hate my political commentary interruptions.) I think this attitude started after watching Boston Legal for several years during the Bush years. The writers were constant in their sniping and criticism of the war and 'rendition', etc. I was really looking forward to seeing what they would do when Obama was elected and betrayed the left. The show was cancelled in spite of decent ratings.
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                            • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
                              That was the writing of a guy named Kelly whose 1st name I can't remember. I believe he also did LA Law and still writes other shows. He's a flaming liberal, but a very good and witty writer. Sometimes it is good to mentally delete part of the content in order to enjoy the art. Like two consummate actors squeezing the juice out of a meaty script.
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  • Posted by philosophercat 4 years, 8 months ago
    I entered the Gulch as a place I assumed would have the excitement of a get together at Kay Ludlow's home in the Gulch. Diverse people with a common agreement on love of the mind and reason sharing exciting ideas about their work and rebuilding a culture.
    The hidden premise is simple. Objectivism is the most powerful creative idea in the history of thought since Aristotle. Rand showed every premise of contemporary thought is false and needs to be redone. That's huge markets and incredible opportunities but all I see posted here are complaints and lets run away.
    What I want is to see someone doing the new and exciting. The sense of life I yearn for is shown in Sandra Shaw's bust of Ayn Rand. I will do my best with the launch of a web site next month on knowing, essentially integrating science and philosophy. The point is that people are desperate to know in a time of anti knowledge and I think there is a market for knowledge. When it is dark nothing sells like a lantern.
    Ayn Rand showed evil is impotent. Its up to us to show the joy and virtue of the good life.
    Philosophercat
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  • Posted by $ jlc 4 years, 8 months ago
    Short answer: It went from, "Whoopee! There are actually other people who believe kinda-sorta like I do!" to "Here is the only place I can vent about what I see going on in the world to a sympathetic audience."

    So, we have minimized the joyous the bonding element and elaborated the kvetching moments.

    Jan
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
    Holy crap!
    I must be an insensitive clod.
    There are a large swath of contributors to the Gulch. Some are learning. Some are knowledgeable, some are not objectivists, some think their version of objectivism is the only way, sort of like going to hell if you don't believe in Jesus.Some are truly objectivists. For every one of them, a proper sense of life varies in some degree or another from the ideal. But to condemn the entire Gulch as having lost a good sense of life entirely is the same as racism. I hate to use that word because it's used so improperly, by demagogues today. Yet, there it is. I have read your posts, Pirate. I'm not sure if you are serious, or just want to provoke a discussion.
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 years, 8 months ago
      Just what I was going to say. We have some Utopian Objectivists, just as much absolutist as evangelical conservatives, pragmatic Objectivists trying to figure out how to bend the real world in the healthy direction, and a variety of other interested participants, all of whom provide a reasonably hospitable, intelligent forum.
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      • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
        There is only one "Objectivism": Ayn Rand's philosophy as she wrote it, which excludes utopianism, evangelicalism, and pragmatism. There are, however, different personalities with different personal values and interests.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 4 years, 8 months ago
    I'm a relative newbie (I think), so may not have a reference to before. Still like this place. Not too many others where the contributors are as well enlightened, and can teach me things every day... like "vituperation".
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  • Posted by LarryHeart 4 years, 8 months ago
    Huh? Everything seems to be OK to me. I have not experienced argumentative people. Just different levels of understanding and experience as more people get on. I have gotten frustrated once or twice. But that doesn't mean this forum is dead.
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  • Posted by jimjamesjames 4 years, 8 months ago
    For me, I see a malaise growing in the Gulch and in my life because there is a societal/political/economic flywheel turning left that I don't think can be slowed or stopped in the few years I have left to me.

    As a character in my world famous novel (!) Paris, Wyoming says, "The vicissitudes of this world force me to choose between depression and cynicism. I choose cynicism because it's more entertaining."
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  • Posted by $ blarman 4 years, 8 months ago
    It's hard to keep bringing up new things, and that is ultimately what a forum is based on: new things.

    Sure, we can rehash the philosophical arguments regarding economics, abortion, gay marriage, socialism, gun rights, evolution, and a host of other topics, but in general people have already made up their minds about which side they sit on, so instead of being actual debates with points awarded based on the merit of the argument, it becomes a contest of wills and populist agreement.

    So all we're left with are discussions of current events, and current events right now are downright depressing as jbrenner points out. Shrugging takes a tremendous amount of moral conviction, but it also takes preparedness. In AS, there was a retreat to fall back to. In real life, no such place exists so we are left to try to figure out how to survive individually. For those of us who appreciate economic basics, we know subconsciously that's not really that productive. We want more, but are stymied as to how to get there, leading to resignation/depression instead of a hopeful plan.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 8 months ago
    Here's a reason to not be bored. I used to be into Libertarianism many years ago, but it hasn't been within my realm of interest. People in the Gulch put me on to Gary Johnson. I'm impressed. I may re-evaluate my entire thinking as a result.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 years, 8 months ago
    I can't claim that my personal sense of life is great-
    ly to be recommended. It does not feel happy and
    expectant of great things, like a long time ago. But
    I don't know about the other people's. And I still
    find the discussions very interesting; I would not
    want them to disappear.
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    • Posted by ewv 4 years, 8 months ago
      Your personal sense of life is not the same as your evaluation of the course of society. Whatever happens out there, and whatever they may ultimately do to you, it's still your life for as long as you have it.

      Ayn Rand wrote about the phenomenon of people losing their sense of life as they grow older, but it happens not by imposition but acceptance.
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  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 8 months ago
    To wrapped in deciding how to justify voting left wing to deal with the main intent but I'm going back and reviewing the last year and keeping the good stuff.Latest project is explaining the whole objectivist system to the locals and that's bearing fruit, flowers and new shoots
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 4 years, 8 months ago
    Aaaaaah, the whole bunch of you are Trolls, some young, in the middle and Old Fart Trolls. It's fine rehashing Ayn Rand's Philosophy here in the digital Gulch. Unfortunately, some or many of us are caught in a piece of geography that is not conducive for productive employment or don't have enough money to start a business.
    I still have my mind, a mind of that of a young college student who became enamard with a young and vivacious female History Prof. whom I took every course she offered. Including one on Revlutions in History(some political and most others in armed insurrection. Basically turning me into a Revolutionary in mind, but not so much in physical activity. So, I currently read material about the Cival War, Secession of States and survival books. I'm impatient for the economy to crumble as in Atlas Shrugged. Objectivism, is no where to be found in this world except in peoples thinking. I'm not a Doomsday person, or one to hide in a cave. If there comes a time that Insane Obama attempts to nullify the 2nd Amendment and other parts of the Constitution I will take political and physical action. I will go to the state capital and have my voice heard for Secession from the Union. If that doesn't work then I will take physical action. Like finding a Militia to join or create one.
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