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Monday, December 12, 2005 - 7:42amSanction this postReply
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Excellent points and a fine poem, too. In my memoir, The Man Without a Hobby (2004), I quote from a letter Rand wrote me back in 1962. It goes like this: “...I want to stress, as the most important advice I can give you, that no matter what intellectual errors you may make in the future, do not ever accept the idea that rationality is evil or that it can ever be proper to discard your mind. So long as you hold this as an absolute, you will be safe, no matter what errors you make. But if one doubts or rejects one’s own mind, one commits an act of spiritual suicide and the greatest evil possible to man. I believe that you know it now.”



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Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 1:31amSanction this postReply
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Thanks Stephen.  You're right, of course, that one's own judgment needs to be primary.  I've seen some poor people trying to twist Rand's words to fit what they think she really meant, so they can claim to agree with everything.  I wonder if that's better than those who look for any ambiguity in her statements and pounce on it as proof of how horribly wrong she was on everything.  Tough choice.

Whether someone calls themselves an Objectivist is an interesting matter.  I see it as offering acknowledgement to Rand's ideas and formulations.  It isn't to declare allegiance to her every word, or to pretend to speak in her name.  I find it interesting that those trying to maintain the purity of the philosophy end up making it incredibly difficult for people to simply acknowledge her ideas.  It's like they don't want anyone to believe any part of it, or to credit any of the ideas, unless they accept it all without criticism.


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Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 6:45amSanction this postReply
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From Pride of Place:
    You live and love, you die, you are forgotten, and every trace of you is erased. So it is eventually for all life and intelligence in the universe. Then is all value, significance, and meaning vanished from that dead universe of the far, far future.
When I spoke of the far, far future, I was thinking of the scientific expectations for the future of the universe, which has implications for the end of all intelligent life in the universe. Considering only human life on earth, “I think deterrence, defense, and disarmament will ultimately fail, and human kind will be ended by nuclear war, [although] that is no excuse for failing to protect, for failing in nuclear wisdom, so far as we can reach into the future.”*

There is an excellent film called Melancholia (2011) that imagines another full stop for life on earth (and really in the universe, if you catch all the lines). I recommend it highly. Reactions to the story’s denouement will vary with personality. For some, including me, it gives perspective to how amazing and wonderful is what has happened here and is our moment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some more of my poetry is now available here and there.


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Sunday, March 15 - 8:27amSanction this postReply
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Thanks for linking to this, Stephen! It was a pleasure to read.  (The link here came from a discussion on MSK's OL of Ed Hudgins' latest essay, which also on our front page here, "Google, Entrepreneurs, and Living 500 Years."



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