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Why The Gulch?

Posted by Herb7734 4 months ago to Philosophy
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I heard a talking head on the radio say something to the effect that most people who write to blogs do so in order to communicate with people who think as they do. Is this the only reason to be in Galt's Gulch? Not for me. I have learned a lot, and I thought that I knew everything there was to know about Objectivism. I have had my opinions broadened, some of my premises corrected and some askew ideas straightened. On the other hand, I hope that I have contributed and added to the insights of other "Gulchers." What say all of you? Is the Gulch just a way to blow off steam or do you have other reasons for entering?


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    Posted by  $  Abaco 4 months ago
    I like communicating with like-minded people. Objectivism, and sites like this, are like little islands of sanity in an ocean of lunacy. What to see some real lunacy? Turn on the evening news. I also appreciate what others have to say about the philosophy. I usually open my eyes and ears and close my mouth to learn.
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  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 4 months ago
    Most of the people here are well-informed and sharp. I learn a lot on this forum, and contribute a little humor.

    There are not a lot of place where all freedoms are considered valuable, and wise people bother to put logic behind their beliefs.

    ThanksGluching might be more important to me than Thanksgiving!
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    • Posted by 4 months ago
      More important than turkey and all the trimmings including pumpkin pie?
      If Grandpa Sherman heard you say that, he'd say, "Vat...are you cucu? You need a psycho guy to look inside your head. You know vat he'd find? CHICKEN FAT!
      (I once heard him say something like that to some jerk putting down the USA.
      I've been waiting years for the opportunity to put that in writing.)
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  • Posted by  $  mminnick 4 months ago
    I'm here for the reason that I don't agree with all of the posts. They make me think and re-think my positions on a lot of top[ics. I don't wlways comment directly, but the criticism I receive is always appreciated and taken to heart.
    If it ever becomes just a like thinking community, I'll leave. Given the likes of the inhabitants of the Gulch, that ain't gonna happen.
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    • Posted by tdechaine 4 months ago
      But understand that a lot can be gained from like-minded people. Not all Obj.ists (or those striving to be) are the same with the same strengths and knowledge.
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      • Posted by 4 months ago
        If by that, you mean no two people are exactly alike, no one can argue that point. However, it's possible for two people to hold the same clearly delineated tenets. .In my completely unscientific observations I see that the devil is in the details. One can agree with a certain premise but disagree on its implementation, for example. Hence we are confronted with an exchange of ideas that one might prevail over another, fostering debate or argument which is elevated like two physicist arguing. The thing is that most (not all, sadly) either side that wins enhances understanding, so everybody wins.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 4 months ago
    One of the things I value about the Gulch is that with only a few exceptions people are focused on the logic of the position rather than the emotion or rhetoric. This allows for productive discussions - even in disagreement. This is the first site I've been on where this is the modus operandi instead of the exception, and it's wonderful.
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  • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 4 months ago
    Much as you Herb, the more I write, discuss, and even argue Objectivism, the better my understanding and knowledge grows.

    I for one applaud your contributions.
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    • Posted by 4 months ago
      Thank you.
      As you discuss and debate, you grow. Even those times when you think the other person is crazy, it becomes a learning experience. Often when newbies attend the Gulch I find expressions that are so awful that I know they won't be here for long once they "get-it.' Yet they illuminate how way off course people can get when trying to grasp even the simplest of concepts. The concept of Altruism, for example seems to drive people utterly bonkers when I express to them my thoughts on it. I mistakenly posted discussing religion and philosophy. Each time I did I would open a jumbo can of worms which pasted over what could be some interesting thoughts.
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 4 months ago
    Hi Herb ,
    A year ago I was just finishing reading Atlas Shrugged to my wife. The book was an enlightening experience for both of us. I finally felt an understanding to what was happening to our country.
    I was seeking more Ayn Rand and read a few more of her books. Then I watched some old interviews of her. One day I stumbled into Galts Gulch much like Dagny I was chasing a lead.
    After briefly lurking , I joined. I don't join groups.
    I am thankful to learn ,share and I feel a connection to so many ethically self interested people who have the kind of curtious dialog and sound ideas that will propel a true advancement in our society. Thanks Herb for enriching and contributing to my growth!
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  • Posted by andrewtroy 4 months ago
    I am one of the newbies, at least to this particular Objectivist site (though I've lurked near the Gulch since before the first movie came out). My answer would be ALL OF THE ABOVE. I have found that I enjoy listening to the discourse of those who think as I do (ie. In REASON, where people can have discussions without constantly having to battle the trolls). I have blown off steam, I have both laughed and teared up while pondering the state of our country and world, I have both checked and confirmed my premises, and I have identified questions that require further insight and data collection. Even some of the other Randish sites are one sided to the point of closed ears and minds. I come here for a reality check in the midst of chaos and contradictions, and I come here because I am hungry for adult conversation and thought. Thank You All!!
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  • Posted by term2 4 months ago
    I am most interested in applying the principles of Objectivism to current life. AS was a great book in showing how collectivism destroys things, and it showed how Dagny and Hank fought the system the way they had always done it- which no longer worked as the society degenerated.
    So what are we to do now? The price of "shrugging" is essentially to withdraw from the benefits of our society. But we only have one life, and it seems a shame to just withdraw and eventually die while the socialists like Obama take advantage of our work and have a great life.

    This is a real quandry of life in the USA currently. I find myself 'wanting' to buy less and make less to avoid the taxation.

    I am encouraged that Trump won over the evil witch Hildebeast to give me a little more time to enjoy life and perhaps slow down the spread of socialism. What I want to do is withdraw from our current society but I dont want to give up all the advantages of it that are still there. Definite problem...
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    • Posted by term2 4 months ago
      I am intrigued by the idea of hiding in plain sight as in ALONGSIDE NIGHT, where the people just have as little involvement in the collectivist society as practical, trade amongst themselves, quietly bypassing the income and sales taxation (at least to a degree), and enjoying life at least somewhat free of the bureaucracy.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 4 months ago
    In addition to most of the reasons stated by others, The Gulch is something of a sanity check where I can find people that think differently than most of society and aren't completely looney tunes. I came to many of the concepts of Objectivism naturally and Atlas Shrugged was an ah-ha moment. There was not a lot of people that I could discuss this with and when some opinions would come out of my mouth someone that had read AS but rejected it would ask "are you a Randite or something?" Sharing the thoughts and experiences with like minded people is a pleasant pastime.
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 4 months ago
      Sanity check! Me dino was wondering what to write here. Well, uh, uh--what you said.
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      • Posted by 4 months ago
        Most Objectivists that I knew were in Michigan. As I moved around the country after retirement, I would come across a concept, an idea, or something I re-read by Rand and was frustrated that I didn't have anyone but the BW to share them with. Especially during the last ten years or so. I thought I'd need to duct tape my head to keep it from exploding.
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  • Posted by  $  SarahMontalbano 4 months ago
    I'm here primarily to learn. Although I don't post much anymore (I'm sorry!), I have been refining my views through the differing positions presented here. The Gulch is also a lifeline on days like today that seem impossible to get through, and a way to make lifelong friends with people that share my values.
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    • Posted by 4 months ago
      When I was younger there were many days when I thought that I'd never get through the day. Was everyone and everything insane? I usually resort to humor when that occurs. I think, "Screw 'em if they can't take a joke" and move on.Here is a thought from the world's foremost authority -- me. "Humor is the oil which keeps the motor of life from seizing up."
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  • Posted by Blanco 4 months ago
    I enjoy conversing with intelligent, literate people who treasure individual freedom. I have learned from being here that I am not an Objectivist but rather a Libertarian/Christian/Constitutionalist. Being in the Gulch has allowed me to understand myself and my values more precisely.
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 4 months ago
    Edification, sanity retention. Reassurance that there are people that see things as they are, and have no use for servitude, or oppression regardless of source. This Gulch has a higher concentration than is found elsewhere. It seems a bonus too that it is, by its nature, a bad choice for trolls.
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  • Posted by jdg 4 months ago
    I'm here in the hope of finding enough like minded people that we can build something like a real "Galt's Gulch" someday. I'm comfortable enough with my own philosophical basis that I'm not looking for anyone to teach me another.
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  • Posted by 1musictime 4 months ago
    What is Galt's Gulch? What is it here to Galt's Gulch in Atlas Shrugged?Land setting in one. Colorado. Maybe the freest state. The group of people there are a certain way by one way, and more than one way by more than one way.Here, it's more electronic and words.One can read.The book is with the good people interacting and noting each. They are top of the world.It's a sanctuary. When is questionable.What are the characters of people here next to the ones in Atlas Shrugged?With Atlas Shrugged the people are certain ways to the world.Earth may require their excellences. Villains may pretend it is not.Believing it, they may be worse than mistaken.
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  • Posted by gcarl615 4 months ago
    I come here to listen to(read) what reasonable smart people have to say. On the other hand I also go to Facebook to see what idiots have to say.
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    • Posted by 4 months ago
      There are some people chronicling interesting stuff.One in particular decided to drop out. He made some money, but he sold off everything and lives as a homeless person. He has a sleeping bag and a computer and a large circle of friends. He attained a bit of fame as a cartoonist Since he lives in an area that is a Sanctuary City he is rarely bothered by authorities. He chronicles his adventures and answers question on line. Turns out to be quite fascinating.
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  • Posted by tdechaine 4 months ago
    I believe that GG is for Obj.ists or those wanting to learn about Obj.ism; to share or address areas of confusion. But not for those who simply want to criticize.
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    • Posted by 4 months ago
      No sites want critics, unless they are criticizing someone else.
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      • Posted by tdechaine 4 months ago
        But we've been getting a lot of criticism of Obj. on these blogs. Just trying to minimize it.
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        • Posted by 4 months ago
          Unless you consider yourself an expert on the philosophy of Objectivism, you should not defend it to others. You certainly could correct false premises . Or if you really can't help but use Objectivism as part of your defense, you might want to preface it with, "As I understand it" which leaves room for correction if you're off the mark. Further, if you just can't get away from it, I would strongly advise you to use the Ask The Gulch. You'll get lots of advice, but again I would caution you to to be careful as to whose advice you use. You'll probably get a viable consensus.
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          • Posted by tdechaine 4 months ago
            Where is that coming from?
            When and if you find my advice wrong, you can correct me.
            BTW, I don't "defend" Obj.ism; I simply correct others who make errors or answer questions re the philosophy.
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            • Posted by 4 months ago
              Your post gave me the impression that you were going about correcting other sites about Objectivism, which I don't think is a good idea unless you are a spokesman for Objectivism. In the past the powers that be of the Objectivist philosophy were very restrictive about anyone representing them without their permission. That came down from Rand and was carried on by those who took over. I'm not worried about you at all and perhaps that's changed, but I'd check it out if I were you. It's been quite a while since I had my wrist slapped Just looking out for you, otherwise I'm fairly harmless unless I get pissed off.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 months ago
    It is true that Americans have been clustering into political camps for about a generation. See The Big Sort here: http://www.thebigsort.com/home.php

    In the 1960 Presidential election, Kennedy won by about one vote per precinct across all precincts. That is no longer the case.

    A similar perspective comes from Bowling Alone. We used to socialize with people who disagreed with us on politics, mostly because we did not discuss politics (or religion). Now, those recreational groups are less common than they were a generation ago.

    While it is true that we have discussions, debates, and disagreements here, those are all within a narrow context. I took some flak here for saying that some of my best friends have been communists. (If you do not understand that, you probably have not read We the Living.) Overall, we tend not to get too far afield.

    The fact is that civilization and capitalism were possible expressly because of the diversity of the city. The willingness to socialize outside of the tribe, indeed, to abandon the native tribe and enter a fluid and dynamic social environment, is the mark of a self-defined individual.
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    • Posted by 4 months ago
      If I cut out every friend or relative who disagreed with me, I'd have no friends and damn few relatives.As it is, Those who choose to argue with me usually drop out of the Herbie crowd (such as it is) without any encouragement from me. Besides, I know very few who are activists. I must give off some sort of a "tell" that keeps most of them away.
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  • Posted by lrshultis 4 months ago
    I am here to see how those who liked Rand's works use her ideas to confirm their own ideas and in some cases as a replacement bible as a religion for those with a belief in a closed Objectivism, thus for a new god figure.
    Like with the Bible, some take the parts of Objectivism that fit their lives and try to rationalize away the rest. Just goes to show that no two humans have the same mental content and must wing it the best they can but will quickly forget rational thought in small ways when the going gets tough.
    Like minded here means liking Rand's work with a hope for it someday bringing a more rational future.
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    • Posted by 4 months ago
      Ms, Rand was absolute in her dislike of religion, ranking it right up there with Attila and Hitler. If you use Objectivism as a filler where religion becomes too irrational, you are neither a member of that religion, nor an Objectivist. You are a Mugwump. (Mug on one side of the fence, wump on the other.) However, if that suits you, well, it's still pretty much a free country. If I understand your post, I wouldn't claim Objectivism as a religion, if I were you.
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      • Posted by lrshultis 4 months ago
        You did not understand my post. You seem to believe that when one has a unquestionable belief system that it is not a religion. A closed system as required by some Objectivists is no different than a religion since it must by accepted on faith, the defining criteria of a religion. A philosophy is an open system where errors my be corrected by reasoning from data, previous and new. You seem to be saying that one should just describe objective reality without question as Rand did. The Collective, until most of the members broke free, seemed to be nearly a cult unwilling to contradict Rand or Brandon without being purged from the Collective.
        The fact that Rand had an absolute dislike of the idea of a supernatural did not keep her from making her followers into near religious believers of her ideas along with fear of being purged unless they had therapy from Brandon for wrong thinking.
        I do not use Objectivism as a filler for my 76 years as an atheist. I value Objectivism because most of it makes sense but I have never accepted it as the last word in philosophy.
        I knew that my original reply would get at least one gut reaction like yours. I did not intend to drive anyone away from an excellent philosophy but to give a warning about one branch being closed to any errors. No one is trying to take Objectivism away from its creator or her estate but only to question it an add to it.
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        • Posted by 4 months ago
          It would be illuminating if you could point out where in any of the writings of Ayn Rand there is anything to be taken on faith. I contend that there isn't. Other than her fiction, everything she has ever written is backed up by the most brilliant logic I have ever come across. However, she is not infallible. It is possible for her to be wrong and a reader of her polemics might want to argue a point. That is not faith but the exact opposite.
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          • -1
            Posted by lrshultis 4 months ago
            I did not say that she said that anything should be taken on faith but that, as you have apparently done, check her premises and the logical implications following from them before accepting without question and trying to live a life by the philosophy. Many end with a feeling of alienation as discussed by Sid Greenberg (1977) in "Ayn Rand and Alienation: The Platonic Idealism of the Objectivist Ethics and a Rational Alternative"

            The most important statements by Rand, to me, are about metaphysics and epistemology and especially to "check your premises."

            She defines mathematics too narrowly, but seems to implicitly recognize that definitions use many types of relationships (as when she spoke of the measurement of love) as a science of measurement when it is much more a conceptual science of relationships, both about objective reality and concepts as the mental existents' relationships within the brain which can just be consistently defined concepts (e.g., concepts in modern algebra or topology or even set theory) with no referents in objective reality, i.e., reality detected by the senses, processed into percepts, and formed into concepts by reason. She uses mathematics as the differentiation for defining concepts of objective reality but most thought deals with more than just measurements with respect to length and time. That would leave out nearly all mathematical concepts which only have referents as mental relationships which need not refer to anything that might exist physically or as actions and relationships in objective reality.

            Is it logical to define a human as a type of animal -- a rational animal (note that 'rational' is relational and not measurable linearly) -- but then distinguish humans from the animals by claiming that the animals only have built in behaviors which they have to live by, i.e., have no rational faculty. Should one just slide over such ideas or at least rewrite it as a distinction between animals without a rational faculty and animals with a rational faculty.
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