Precarious Life

Posted by Herb7734 3 months, 2 weeks ago to Philosophy
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Old folks, disabled folks, infirm folks, all have something in common.More than the average person, they are aware how precarious life is and how uncertain the future is.When one is young, the end is too far away and the future is tomorrow. In mid-life, a productive person is too busy to bother too deeply with the consequences of life. So, how does Objectivism deal with these very basic manifestations? I think I know, but I'm always open to learning.


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    Posted by j_IR1776wg 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    "She smiled. She knew she was dying. But it did not matter any longer. She had known something which no human words could ever tell and she knew it now. She had been awaiting it and she felt it, as if it had been, as if she had lived it. Life had been, if only because she had known it could be, and she felt it now as a hymn without sound, deep under the little hole that dripped red drops into the snow, deeper than that from which the red drops came. A moment or an eternity- did it matter? Life, undefeated, existed and could exist. She smiled, her last smile, to so much that had been possible." Ayn Rand

    Read more at: https://thequotes.com/quotes/298140
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      There is always a risk of demise at any age. Of course those who are young don't think about it as much, they can be careful and minimize risk but otherwise have more important things to think about: their lives. Being older with health problems makes it more of a direct an immediate concern.

      The problems you must deal with are not as such something to celebrate, but accept facts as they are and you can see why the Kira attitude, true to her life until the end, is the right approach.

      Ayn Rand also said "those who fight for the future live in it today". That is true for any moment as long as you are living.
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      • Posted by j_IR1776wg 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        I agree. The ideas expressed by Ayn Rand coupled with phraseology only she could muster have rendered her immortal. Her body may have died, her sense of life, her spirit, lives on and soars.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          One of those who made an enormous difference to our lives was James Clerk Maxwell, who in the 19th century developed the theory of electric and magnetic fields, as well his important work such that in the kinetic theory of gases. Physicist Richard Feynman wrote in his famous Lectures on Physics, "From a long view of the history of mankind -- seen from, say, ten thousand years from now -- there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the nineteenth century will be judged as Maxwell's discovery of the laws of electrodynamics."

          In his biography The Man Who Changed Everything: The Life of James Clerk Maxwell, Basil Mahon wrote, "Over the past 100 years we have learnt to use Maxwell's waves to send information over great and small distances in tiny fractions of a second. Today we can scarcely imagine a world without radio, television and radar. His brainchild has changed our lives profoundly and irrevocably."

          To this list can be added cell phones, wireless internet and many other applications ranging from from power transmission to the ray screen protecting "the Valley" in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

          Oliver Heaviside, in the generation following Maxwell's early death at the age of 48, extended and mathematically reformulated Maxwell's theory and equations in the form we know and use them today. In his The Maxwellians, Bruce Hunt wrote:

          "In one of the most interesting of his unpublished writings, Heaviside reflected on the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. In its old religious sense, the idea had, he believed, been thoroughly discredited. But there was, he said, another 'and far nobler sense' in which the soul truly was immortal. In living our lives, each of us 'makes some impression on the world, good or bad, and then dies'; this impression goes on to affect future events for all time, so that 'a part of us lives after us, diffused through all humanity, more or less, and all Nature. This is the immortality of the soul,' Heaviside said. 'There are large and there are small souls,' he went on.

          "'The immortal soul of John Ploughman of Buckinghamshire is a small affair, scarcely visible. That of a Shakespeare or a Newton is stupendous. Such men live the best parts of their lives after they shuffle off the mortal coil and fall into the grave. Maxwell was one of those men. His soul will live and grow for long to come, and, thousands of years hence, it will shine as one of the bright stars of the past, whose light takes ages to reach us, amongst the crowd of others, not the least bright.'"

          The same can be said of Ayn Rand, with her achievements of a far greater scope: a philosophy for living on earth regardless of the degree of new technology.

          But it was more than a legacy left to us -- her observation that "those who fight for the future live in it today" pertained to our own lives as long as we have them, not predicting her own immortal legacy. The rest is a world-wide echo of her sense of life and accomplishment that she lived fully, promising the same potential for us for as long as we seek values in life.
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          • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            There are some contributions to the betterment of mankind that exist simply because those who created them did so simply because through some inner compulsion, they had to. Sometimes a tiny but necessary step turns out to be the key upon which a great concept is opened.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              Maxwell, Heaviside, Faraday (on whose experiments they depended on) and Ayn Rand were not driven deterministically by compulsion -- they created their own compulsion. They all worked systematically and consistently by choice throughout their careers; their success was not due to a tiny step.

              Since you are interested in and a big fan of Faraday and Maxwell you should read, if you haven't already, the Hunt book on the next generation of "Maxwellians" and how they extended the theory and accelerated the popular acceptance of Faraday and Maxwell. It is very interesting and inspiring.
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              • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                Which is what I meant by "inner" compulsion. What I was attempting to illustrate, perhaps clumsily, was what Einstein called thought experiments, where ideas and concepts come, not from consultation, but from within the creator of the idea. Romaine Roland in his novel "Jean Christophe" described it when he attempted to illustrate how his hero, a misunderstood but great composer, got his "inspiration." He thought of it a a well of water filled with ideas in the form of fishes that would surface and fade into depths as he pursued them, caught them and inspected them until he reformed them to suit him or rejected them altogether. What he was describing was Beethoven's method of "thought experiment." Beethoven was known to write an idea and work it over and over until it suited him, or no matter how hard he worked it, if he couldn't get it perfect, rejected it.
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  • Posted by chad 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    The reality of life is that we pass through it each moment we are alive. Every large and small thing we do impacts how we survive, how we enjoy what we do and how we impact others. Life is unpredictable even to the extent that we might be improving our ability to live and enjoy it the moment an asteroid impacts the earth and it is over for everyone. Choose to live in fear or the ambition to achieve for the sake of becoming better at what you like to do. The end is coming either way.
    What is frustrating is to have the added difficulty of a collective society that wants to exercise control and limits for the value of making others slaves or justifying stealing from them making recovery from mistakes more difficult. Failure isn't falling down, it is not getting up and trying to discover how to get the desired results or even to simply understand what is happening in the universe and discover; 'can we use that?'
    I challenge classes at the elementary where I work with 'Mr. Chad' questions on many disciplines. The classes enjoy my teaching them outside of their normal curriculum and sometimes try to prove me wrong which I enjoy very much. One class asked me how old I am and they were surprised to find out I am 68. They said; "You don't seem that old at all!"
    I replied; "I don't feel that old, I only feel.....67!"
    What ever it is you like to do, do it in spite of the collectivists. Enjoy that you were alive and that you might have even influenced others to think more clearly about their interactions with each other.
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    • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      "In Spite of" is a form of, "not doing business with them".
      When one simply enjoys what they do best leaves everyone else better than they were before...another thing that happens naturally and is intrinsically human that doesn't come upon a pointed finger.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      My grandson told me that I'm not 83 compared to many of his customers and associates are 83 but in 45 year old bodies. He's a cute kid. Hold it, sorry, he's 25. Perception!
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    We are all born looking down the barrel of a gun. It is true that when you are young and healthy and strong you do not think much of it -- unless you are a thinker. When I was in college we read The Outsider by Colin Wilson. We debated Antigone. And young people do take their own lives and most people think it is horrible (which it is), but never look deeper into the questions and answers... and questions about the answers.

    j_IR1776wg placed the salient quote from Ayn Rand. It is something to think about.
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  • Posted by wiggys 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    It is what it is. Never lose sight of the facts of reality.
    the reality of how life goes for us is not necessarily recognized when we are young, but that is just the way it is, human nature maybe.
    but we can not escape reality so as the saying goes "we get old so fast and smart so late"!
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.
    This saying as well as "stop and smell the roses"
    "You only live once"
    To be conscious and hear these words of wisdom
    One has to be aware of the message.
    Lives change I mean really change in the blink of an eye, always with out advanced notice.
    Best to you and yours!
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    • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      The real problem, as I express in my opening paragraph, is the uncertainty of the future. As good old Robert Burns said, "The best laid plans of mice and men, oftimes go astray." The future can never be certain no matter how well planned.
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      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        That is so true.
        Above my door to the garage I have a bumper sticker that says:" The best way to predict the future is to create it." Funny, though if you look at it two ways- one is we never see the future only
        The here and now or -all we experience is the future unfolding before us like a 72 fleetwood brougham cruising across the states to unseen places.
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        • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Careful, Dan. You'll get better at analogies than me.
          Actually, I prefer the '69. But how about the cars of that era? I still mourn for my '69 Charger 440.
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          • Posted by  $  Dobrien 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            No chance but thanks. Your was built for speed. My best friends older brother owned a blue 69 charger that we would wash and wax to earn a ride some where. I knew that body pretty good.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Yes, when young...it's to far to see but now, it's staring us in the face.
    Had we remained bicameral in the sense of the nature of things, we would except it; but having greater senses, being ever conscious, it becomes the most difficult of times...we hold it in for the benefit of others...make no mistake, a conscious man (human) will search for some meaning to his life and try to reason with his demise. So few of us come to this time in our lives by choice or consequence.
    I suppose, that's why it might be easier to just live to die instead of living to live and the end be damned.

    Working at a Hospice Hospital...I see this everyday...it's sad and it's unnecessary...aside from our efforts to heal the family members...we could become a healing place for all...if we only were allowed to get away with it...it surely would not stand for long before government would step in.
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    • Posted by Mamaemma 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      Carl, please elaborate. What is sad and unnecessary? What would not stand for long?
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        There are many and natural ways to ease pain and even to heal, at least for a time, many diseases, providing quality and dignity to one's life...it needn't end in a medicated stuper.
        Example, CT. is a state where we can administer cannabis or hemp oil, but in doses only for pain but not for healing and make no mistake, these canabinoids do heal...your body is loaded with canabinoids that would benefit profoundly...it's not about the THC.
        Also, there is intravenous vitamin C and lately D as well. High doses of vitamin C is an excepted protocol in New Zealand. It's know to pull one out of the wool, so to speak.
        But as you might observe, government and their crony connections do not really want to cure diseases...they just want to profit from the symptoms...after all, that's what allopathic medicine is all about...symptoms but not the causes.
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        • Posted by chad 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Another alternative to use (I used it) is to put the body in an alkaline ph balance. I read that cancer thrives in an acidic ph balance. When my squamous cell carcinoma was stubbornly resisting excising and freezing I started taking a teaspoon of baking soda every night in a small glass of water (yechh). After trying for over a year to get results the sores on my head were beginning to appear in other places. After starting the baking soda (I also adjusted my diet to be less acidic) in 10 weeks the sores healed and were gone. I thought it interesting that my daughters mother-in-law who is a doctor who never saw or tested my sores declared that it could not have been cancer then!!? I had a dermatologist who sent samples to a lab, he asked if I wanted a second opinion and I said yes, he referred me to another doctor and she came back with the same conclusion but the doctor who had not seen me or asked for lab results insisted she was right and the rest of us were wrong. Don't know if it would work in every case and of course if the disease is very advanced it may be too little too late. It was for me an interesting experience that I have shared and a few others have claimed they benefited from it.
          If you want better focus and service from a doctor pay them monthly to keep you well and if you become ill stop the payments until they succeed in getting you better again, I think that might focus the doctor more on what he should be doing instead of trying to come up with the drug he wants you to buy.
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            Those last few lines are precious and should be heeded.
            I have used that protocol also, during a time of extremely high stress...it worked! I stayed in balance.
            I thank the creator for old wives tales and grandma's fixes...where would we be without them.
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        • Posted by Mamaemma 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Carl, some years ago my father had terminal liver cancer and was given less than 6 months to live. My very open minded doctor told me to get the book Vitamin C and Cancer. He then treated my father with Vitamin C given IV. My father lived 8 and a half years, and I think May still be alive if he had not had traditional chemo. For something so cheap and harmless, Vitamin C has great potential to help. I get you
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        • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Replying to the reply:
          I can only deal with my own experience. So far, I have learned to live and deal with physical pain. I took myself off opioids, went through a mild withdrawal and found I could cope with pain using OTC meds. The real pain is between the ears. The knowledge that because of age and disabilities, I can not only no longer do many things, but that I cannot even dream of doing the impossible things. If you are unable to take the first step, you'll never get to the tenth. It's depressing espially to a vivid imagination.
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        • Posted by lrshultis 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          A tiny bit of caution there. This technical article has some caution about dosage, which usually is in nanomole concentrations in most personal or medical dosages.

          http://docweed.info/medical/cancer-8....

          "...Here we observed a proliferative response of glioblastoma and lung cancer cells at concentrations of 100–300 nM THC, whereas
          THC at micromolar concentrations induced cell death in agreement with previous observations with neuronal cell types and immune cells.
          These findings indicate that the
          biological responses to cannabinoids critically depend on drug concentration and cellular context. Taken together, these results have to
          be taken into account when considering therapeutic applications of cannabinoids. The risk in the medical use of THC or cannabis for the
          treatment of patients with established tumors is the further acceleration of tumor growth due to the proliferative potential of cannabinoids."

          I am nearly back to having a normal heartbeat which had been with 40% PVCs with a pulse rate of 32 beats per minute. It was the choice of a drug to prolong the time between ventricle contractions or to a 2 to 4 hour procedure where probes are threaded into the heart until the malfunctioning AV node cells could be stimulated and then ablated by RF radiation. I chose the drug though both required a standby resuscitation team. The heart is beating much more regular now and the extra blood profusion gives me more energy. The allopathic medicine, which regulates sodium and potassium channel activity in the electrical system of the heart, seems to not have killed me.
          I do regret one encounter with young x-ray tech who was living in a world where miracles were happening daily. I opened my big mouth to say that I believed everything was natural in nature. I regret that since I apparently ruined her day the way her happy, smiley disposition disappeared. It is not the job of an objective person to cause discomfort to others, even though she may have not have the same belief for others.
          I do disagree with your placing most medicine practice in the allopathic category. That is a slap in the face to modern medicine and those who dedicate their lives to finding things out about the nature of disease and how to cure it.
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          • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            Rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, scared the hell out of me one Saturday a few weeks ago. Finally got to see the cardiologist. No big deal (according to him) just a mild attack of tachacardia or however you spell it. So he put me on a med that controls it. This was 2 weeks later, since the attack "cured" itself later that day. I'm way too much the type to say, "I'm busy, I don't want to think about it, just give me something to make it go away."

            I just thought of a good one. Humans are born to live their days on the Event Horizon of their lives.
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            It's never the intent to categorize "All" even though it comes off that way...one gets tired of that typing qualification statement all the time...my apologies.

            BTW...thank you for nM/micromolar lesson...it made it easier to understand how to convey..."a Tinnie bit".
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Me old dino could become legally handicapped but I think it more healthy to limp along past the car often illegally parked in such a reserved parking space. The push bar on a grocery cart helps to prop me up quite well.
    I'm not afraid of death for reasons I'm not allowed to discuss here.
    I'm thinking of visitors to my dirt nap. So I have a pretty local cemetery picked out that's more into flowers instead of a dreary if not Gothic clutter of markers and monuments.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      I used to feel that way until my legs told me, "Thou shalt go so far and no farther" whereupon I got a handicapped tag. We made all the legal arrangements and burn-em-ups so that the kids can either keep the ashes, or dispose of them, or I dunno, whatever they do with them. We chose some really cool modernistic urns but something tells me, I won't care.
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  • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    When you look into the abyss the abyss looks back at you. - Nitche

    When you are young you are setting and achieving goals in an effort to achieve for yourself and your family. Once enough time passes and you've met your goals (or failed to), the kids are pretty much on their way, and the relationship your in has become mundane you have time( perhaps desire) to think on larger matters (not focus solely on the present) and look into the abyss.

    That's my take and, I think, I'm wading through a mid-life critical evaluation.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      As to that, with the exception of the Randian ideal icons, I think that all of "Us" at some point, stop, take a breath, and realize we've fallen short. Even those who have achieved their goals realize that they set the goals too low. That's the evaluation that you will never give yourself an A+ on. With all his seeming arrogance, I'll bet even Trump can't quite make it to the "+" if he's being honest.
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