Sunday, April 10, 2011

Do you believe in God?

I believe in something higher than God. I believe in the good that God ought to represent in your soul. By your soul, I don’t mean something mystical. I mean the hard reality of your actions across time, across the span of your life.

Any rotter can (and often does) say he believes in God. Spare me the noise. Show me the good.

However, consider this – the good? By what standard? My standard is man’s life, man’s life as a rational animal, a life spanning decades with a perspective spanning centuries.

For more information, visit the Ayn Rand Lexicon, for starters.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


If you haven't already heard of Charice, check this out.  My introduction to her was via Glee (yes, I am a fan).  I couldn't believe her voice—dubbed?  The answer I found turned out to be—no, hell no!

This teenager is fantastic.  More than just a powerful, artistic voice, she's a dynamic stage presence.  God bless YouTube for bringing her to the world's attention.

Charice is, in short, wow!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Administrative note

I updated the comments settings in an effort to block a new spate of spam.  Anonymous visitor comments are, unfortunately, effectively blocked. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Obama taxes America's patience as well... the Washington Post reports here.

The incident is revealing. You can cut some slack for a misspoken word, a verbal hiccup here and there. Verbal diarrhea is another matter altogether. In this case, it seemed necessary, to protect the speaker as well as the listeners from the actual answer—You're over-taxed as it is? So what?

The Washington Post's report just reaffirmed this—I so look forward to this fall and using my vote to send as many Democrats as possible home. Republicans and Independents, pack your bags for a long stay in Washington, there's much to do and to undo.

Let's roll!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Raw Milk

Mary & I recently decided to try raw milk at a local farm—Deerfield Farm. It's delicious!

I'm still learning about the benefits of raw milk vs. non-fat milk. Of course, whole raw milk has more calories than the non-fat milk I had been drinking. However, that's offset by my regular exercise regimen. As long as I'm not gaining weight (unless it's muscle) while remaining healthy and strong for my uphill runs, I'm good.

Caveat: I'm not trying out raw milk because of any affection for "going green" nonsense. In my hierarchy of values, man is first; bugs, critters, vegetation, etc. are much lower values.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Undercurrent

A friend suggested I take a look at this Objectivist student newspaper. I like what I see so far. Happily, no blips on the Libertarian radar showed up.

Check it out. If you see anything noteworthy, especially good things to report, please do!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Art as a Concretization of Metaphysics

Last week, I had the special pleasure of attending my friend Barry's seminar entitled "Art as a Concretization of Metaphysics". The distance he traveled to deliver this seminar was far greater than the thousands of miles between Istanbul and Boston. The distance is also measured in years poured into maturing his understanding of Objectivism, of art, of beauty, of cultures, of the languages used to express them, of so much more—in short, of life itself.

Among the measures of success of his seminar were the many positive comments I witnessed as one student after another approached him after each class. Another measure included Mary, who, as a non-Objectivist with sharp disagreements with much of the philosophy, enjoyed Barry's seminar very much. That fact spoke well of the universality of his themes and how well he covered them.

One of those themes was to speak to this question: "What is it in the nature of man that gives rise to art, to his need for it across all times spanning all cultures?" Ayn Rand touches on this question in the Romantic Manifesto. Her description of the function of art can be read here. Barry's seminar did a solid job of fleshing out this idea, of showing how your metaphysical value-judgments affect your choices in things as simple as what to eat for breakfast to career decisions.

A critical point his seminar highlighted was this—man cannot not generalize. His interactions with the world over the course of his life covers countless details. Try to hold them all in your conscious awareness at once. You'll fail, of course. Generalization satisfies man's conceptual faculty, his need to sum up not only what he sees, but also his evaluations of what he sees.

Of course, summing up means leaving out some details. If you try to retain everything, you're back to the original problem—i.e., that you can't hold it all in your conscious awareness. What to leave out necessarily implies what to leave in—i.e., a selective recreation of reality.

There's much more to this topic, of course. Later, I'll refer you to Barry's seminar which should be available on CD some time soon. For now, I just want to make a note of something.

During the seminar, someone asked whether or not an exceptional personality could go without art to fuel his soul in his pursuit of some great value. Barry answered it well, though I don't have good notes on exactly what he said. As I thought more about the question, it dawned on me later that one way to respond would be to make this observation: can you pursue a great value without food or sleep? Yes, for a short time, in an emergency. But, barring an emergency, why would you want to?

Incidentally, this question, too, can give some insight to your metaphysical value-judgments—e.g., do you possess a malevolent universe premise or a benevolent universe premise? For example, do you think emergencies are the norm of life or the exception? Your answer will determine your answers to many concrete specifics—e.g., what career choices you make or what to have for breakfast?

Personally, I was moved by the way Barry ended his seminar. Being deeply reality oriented, he had to share with his class examples of the rubbish that passes for art today. Being deeply reality oriented, he also had to share with his class the hope for the future in romantic art via the romanticism upheld by Ayn Rand's powerhouse ideals. To put it another way, he showed things not only as they are but as they can and ought to be. It was inspiring.