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The Chinese

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 05:56

I thought Trevor Loudon was being a bit over-cautious about letting the Chinese have part-owership in Port Lyttelton. But now it turns out he thinks any trade with China is a security risk to New Zealand! Now that's going way too far, Trevor.

Recent Comments:
Now, Jason, *don't* equate — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-05-07 01:07
Americans Are Insane — by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-05-07 00:23
NZers are nuts — by Jason Quintana on Sat, 2006-05-06 20:40

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You want fairness, you pay up

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Fri, 2006-05-05 18:51

NZer Jamie Whyte strikes back again in the Times.

This time against state health and education.

Recent Comments:
NHS — by Tim S on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:10

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May Update

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-05-05 16:28

I’m a bit late with this month’s update, and due to end of the semester pressures I haven’t been as active in participating and managing SOLO as I would like.  Rest assured that this will be changing soon.   One thing I want to make everyone aware of is that I will be traveling to China on May 13, and I will be returning from the trip on May 28.  I will probably be speaking to some of you privately about keeping an eye on Lindsay while I’m gone Smiling If you have any SOLO related issues during this period please contact the webmasters and of course if there is anything serious you can contact Lindsay.

Due to the recent problems we’ve had with the company hosting the SOLO website we’ve had to disable several site functions including chat.  These problems are being worked on and we should have solutions soon. 


The first announcement that I want to make is that SOLOC 5 is on hold.   Lindsay and I have decided not to have the event on the dates of July 7-9, which was our original plan.   Our decision is based on the fact that we just don't have enough pieces of the puzzle in place to move ahead with it on such short notice.  Since Lindsay is flying over that weekend it is a shame that this didn’t work out, but as things stand now we believe that it is best to postpone the conference.  We tried our best to make this work but unfortunately we came up short. Lindsay will still be in Los Angeles during that weekend and a dinner is in the works for those who will also be in L.A. and would like to meet up with him and others.  Look for announcements about this during the next month.  I apologize to anyone who may have made plans around a July SOLO Conference.

Recent Comments:
Note!! — by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2006-05-22 22:38
Wow. — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-05-06 00:45
Hey! Cut it out, already! — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-05-06 00:06

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"Gaddafi Superstar" The Opera

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-05-05 13:34

Yes, it seems the prestigious English National Opera is doing a "Gaddafi" opera. The lead character is none other then Libyan dictator Maummar Gaddafi.  "'Gaddafi,' which opens in September, will feature Asian beats and rap in place of arias and romance, and the title role will be performed by a 39-year-old Irish-Indian nightclub MC called JC-001."

Recent Comments:
ENO — by Kenny on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:49
Vicious Circle Jerk — by JoeM on Sat, 2006-05-06 02:26
Just a guy named Maummar. — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-05-06 02:17

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. . . star-spangled darkness

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-05 04:56

Another dang post responding to pleasant murmurs when I announced Blog 46 and Concordance on the Objectivist Living list. Excerpt for los guignolardos chicos:

It is telling to me that those who are tone-deaf to other people's emotions and motivations oft try to belittle those they do not comprehend. They do not recall the salient warning of their grandmas: "Don't be small, Missy. Puttin' other people down don't put you up, you is acting nasty. Now you go out on the porch with no pie and you think about it.'

Me, I sat in the star-spangled darkness with no pie, and tried with all my little might to understand what she meant about being small.

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O-blogs & O-lists

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-05 00:04

Image sourced from the fabulous Perfectly Imperfect blog . . .

I copied the source from the current Wikipedia entry for
'Objectivism, online groups, and blogs' -- seems a little out of date. I also checked out the listing at SOLO and RoR. What's missing?

Recent Comments:
The're HERE...and more COMING! — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-05-08 02:52
Spot on, Mark — by Kenny on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:46
Understatement — by Mark on Fri, 2006-05-05 03:17

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Will medics' qualms kill the death penalty?

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Thu, 2006-05-04 21:53

I applaud the ends, but are these means worthy of the moral argument against the death sentence?

This method reminds me of Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice", whereby the winning argument against Shylock is - you can't take your pound of flesh without drawing blood.

"The goal of death-penalty opponents is to get a court order that says that lethal injections can only be administered by licensed professionals, because the ethics of medical professionals prohibit them from participating."

Nature 441, 8-9 (4 May 2006) | doi:10.1038/441008a

Will medics' qualms kill the death penalty?

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I have disabled the summary of recent comments

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-05-04 20:22

Before the DreamHost fiasco, you would see something like this at the end of a story summary:

Recent comments:

It was instructive to hear (by Ross Elliot at Tue, 2006-04-25 18:23)

Now you won't. The comments are still there, and they're still visible when you read the story, and you can still post your own comments. They simply won't be listed on the front page like they used to be.

This functionality will hopefully be restored once the CPU issue has been resolved.

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Today’s New York Times’ Headline: “Energy Crisis: Many Paths but No Solutions”

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-05-04 15:00

The above headline, “Energy Crisis: Many Paths but No Solutions,” appears on page one of the print version of The Times’ National Edition. I can’t find it on the web version of The Times, however. (To wit: “Your search for Energy Crisis: Many Paths but No Solutions in all fields returned 0 results.”) Perhaps it was withdrawn to avoid embarrassment.

The headline should be embarrassing because it suggests either gross dishonesty or gross stupidity. This is because the solution to the energy crisis is so blindingly obvious. The solution is: allow the oil companies to drill for oil—in Alaska, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of California, on all the land mass of the United States now set aside as “wild-life preserves” and “wilderness” areas. Allow the construction of new atomic power plants! Stop interfering with the strip mining of coal! Stop interfering with the construction of refineries, pipelines, and harbor facilities necessary to the supply of oil and natural gas! This will increase the supply and reduce the demand for oil (this last because substitutes for it will be more readily available). All this can be summed up in very few words: Politicians and environmentalists, get the hell out of the way!

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gone's picture
Submitted by gone on Thu, 2006-05-04 08:06
Recent Comments:
None of this is news — by Scott Wilson on Mon, 2006-05-08 11:21
There you go — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 11:24
Ho-hum — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 10:13

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Dreamhost = Nightmarehost

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-05-04 07:07


Overnight (NZ time) our site was disabled by our hosts, Dreamhost. I received the following e-mail explaining why:


Unfortunitly being that you have not contacted us to let us know that you are working on lowering the cpu usage We have had to temporarily turn off your site until you contact us to let us know that you will work on it. Sorry for the inconvenience but we can not allow you to impact the performance of other users on this server.


To which I replied:

My understanding was that my webmasters were indeed working on this issue with you - they were reporting frustration to me in their efforts to get the necessary information. But please be assured we want to resolve the matter as soon as possible & restore the site immediately.

Recent Comments:
dummy or idiot? — by PhilipC on Mon, 2006-05-08 01:29
Better Suggestion — by Marnee on Sat, 2006-05-06 23:18
$3.99 / month at GoDaddy — by Rick Pasotto on Fri, 2006-05-05 11:32

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Capitalism, what have you done for me lately?

Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-05-03 01:46

From Prof. Reisman's blog:

Read the whole post. Quite funny.

Prof. Reisman's Blog Post

The following paragraph should be memorised and hurled at any of those sniffling, simpering, loopy-lefty, bed-wetting freaksters that you may from time to time encounter:

Recent Comments:
Thanks for being so ortho-Ed-ic ... — by Ed on Fri, 2006-05-05 04:56
Semantics — by Tim S on Thu, 2006-05-04 08:41
Yeah, 'real wealth,' that's it. But ... — by Ed on Wed, 2006-05-03 18:02

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My wonderful brother just bought me two bottles of Scotch ...

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-05-02 23:30

I just (this morning in fact) received two bottles of scotch, sent to me by my brother:

Glenlivet 15Lagavulin 16

These happen to be my two favourite drinks, ever. I'm actually hoping to convert my wife to the joys of scotch with the Lagavulin, which has a mellow, full-bodied, almost sandalwood-like flavour.

I can now imagine sitting back in my chair, writing up a functional spec (funny the things I do in my leisure time), sipping on a fine scotch ... mmmmmmmmmm ... pity it's only lunchtime, and I've a busy day ahead ... the bottles are sitting on my desk at work, taunting me ...

Recent Comments:
Have you tried the Laphroaig — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-10-04 19:26
I love beer... — by Greg Mullen on Wed, 2006-10-04 17:15
Ross, — by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-06-08 09:10

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Jihad, and the Conflation of Freedom with Coercion

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-05-02 21:12

When most people think of the word jihad, they think of a fanatical mujahid with an AK-47, struggling to impose his chosen religion on the rest of the world, by force of arms.

In fact, just one aspect of that definition pertains to jihad - the word struggle:

Jihad ... is an Islamic term, from the Arabic root ... "to exert utmost effort, to strive, struggle" ... which connotes a wide range of meanings: anything from an inward spiritual struggle to attain perfect faith to a political or military struggle to further the Islamic cause. To those the neologism "jihadist" is sometimes applied.1

Recent Comments:
Holy War — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Thu, 2006-05-04 07:56
And it all goes to show that — by Richard Wiig on Wed, 2006-05-03 09:02
It always seems ironic to — by Capitalist on Wed, 2006-05-03 07:00

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Galbraith's Neo-Feudalism

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Tue, 2006-05-02 15:45

[Editorial Note: The following is a fitting remembrance for John Kenneth Galbraith, whom today's New York Times reports as having died on April 29.]

Material progress and individual liberty have once again been made the targets of a crude, sniper attack. In his book, The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbraith, Harvard social commentator, has indicated that he views with grave displeasure the “sense of urgency" which is attached to “the craving for more elegant automobiles, more exotic food, more erotic clothing, more elaborate entertainment—indeed for the entire modern range of sensuous, edifying, and lethal desires [sic].” (p. 140.) He has proclaimed that there are things of greater importance, such as more public schools, public parks, public roads, and anything else which “public authority” may deem to be in “relative need.” (pp. 311f.) And he has let it be known that the liberal should cease being “a co-conspirator with the conservative in reducing taxes." (p. 314.)

Recent Comments:
Incredible, Professor — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-05-03 00:43

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The Real World War

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-05-02 07:17

Andre Glucksmann writes: "Our planet is not in the grips of a clash of civilisations or cultures. It is the battleground of a decisive struggle between two ways of thinking. There are those who declare that there are no facts, but only interpretations - so many acts of faith. These either tend toward fanaticism ("I am the truth") or they fall into nihilism ("nothing is true, nothing is false"). Opposing them are those who advocate free discussion with a view to distinguishing between true and false, those for whom political and scientific matters – or simple judgement – can be settled on the basis of worldly facts, independently of arbitrary pre-established opinions."

Recent Comments:
A good point — by Ed on Wed, 2006-05-03 06:33

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An Early Victory?

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:22

On my Sunday radio show I read out an item from that day's Sunday Star-Times quoting Green MP Sue Kedgley, chair-thing of Parliament's Health Select Committee, saying she would welcome a ban on the promotional toys given away by McDonald's in association with their Happy Meals (& by implication, a ban on the meals themselves). I railed about this for four hours, along with most of my callers. I urged them & all listeners to e-mail Kedgley, along with National MP Jackie Blue who said the idea was worth considering, letting her know what they thought of her nutri-nazism. Several listeners forwarded to me the replies they received from Kedgley. I e-mailed her myself. The exchange is below, her reply at the top:

Recent Comments:
Luxury?! — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2006-05-07 21:31
I corresponded briefly with — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-05-03 00:42
I appreciate Rick Gile's tart and sassy reply — by wsscherk on Tue, 2006-05-02 14:20

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Doves for War in Darfur

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-02 00:32
Marching yesterday for American military action in Darfur, Sudan, were many people who have previously marched (and voted) against American military action in Iraq including George Clooney, Al Sharpton and three members of the US Congress who voted against the liberation of Iraq.

Hypocrisy? Well, the New York Sun editorial writer is one who thinks so:

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wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-05-01 12:41

Here's a link to a post that I dithered on putting on SOLO or RoR. Since I was intruding on a conversation in a thread initiated there, but in reference to events here in the SOLO archipelago, I thought it best to post a note. Lest I be thought of as being silly and not worthwhile . . . sample scrapbook below.

What is 'dialectical dishonesty? -- essay? Personal blog entry? Part-scholarly document?


Look into this face Shudder  Tremble  Gasp

Recent Comments:
We are none of us as smart as we think we are . . . — by wsscherk on Wed, 2006-05-03 13:40
William — by Jody Gomez on Wed, 2006-05-03 03:06
Cresswell: 'Save us the bother of reading your nonsense" — by wsscherk on Tue, 2006-05-02 14:34

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Machan's Musings—Galbraith's Obituary Distortions

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Mon, 2006-05-01 08:39

Not even the obituaries can be trusted now. Having been told of the death of John Kenneth Galbraith, the famed socialist economist—who taught at Harvard University for most of his life and was once John Kennedy’s ambassador to India—I read his obituary in The New York Times (both print and on line) and on several Web sites, including, via my Hotmail account.

I have been following the works of Galbraith for many years, since the 1960s after his The Affluent Society was published in 1958 in which, among other things, he aired his oft-reprinted attack on advertising. This is the piece that presented the view that ads produce desires in us which we then must satisfy, thus becoming addicted to products and services we do not need and taking resources from important public projects and diverting them into the coffers of greedy corporations. It is also where Lyndon Johnson’s idea of the Great Society, following such previous utopian statist experiments as FDR’s New Deal and JFK’s New Frontier, got its send up.

Recent Comments:
The dead — by Kenny on Tue, 2006-05-02 20:12
I remember... — by Ross Elliot on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:11
I remember ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:00

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Christianist Ex-Chief Thug of FDA Under Criminal Investigation

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Mon, 2006-05-01 08:14

The Christianists' false morality is often a screen hiding vile breaches of objective morality. Thanks to a lawsuit against his arbitrary and unjustifiable ban on over-the-counter sale of emergency contraceptive Plan B, we finally learn the real reason why Lester M. Crawford resigned as head of FDA in September, less than three months after the Senate confirmed him: he is under investigation for using his office to profit from the impact of his official decisions on the price of drug company stocks.

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Half-full, Half-empty, or Twice the Size it Needs to Be?

Antony Reed's picture
Submitted by Antony Reed on Sun, 2006-04-30 13:59

The "Glass" question always gets me thinking. Why would one allow so much unfilled space? Sure, a pessimist may see the glass as half-empty and if one is a pessimist, I could understand the lack of motivation to change the situation...

However, what good is it to merely see the glass as half-full? Many people may hold hope for the future, but never take action to better their situation. Sure, they are still seen as optimists, but feeling things will be better, and MAKING things better, are completely different.

Why should anyone be happy with half of a life? Are there people in your life that drain you? Do you feel you are obligated to certain things in your life that, if you really looked at them, are no good for you? Is guilt a ball and chain you carry around, making your life only half-empty/half-full? Is your true person different than the one you show the world? Then no wonder.

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seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Sun, 2006-04-30 03:38

“President David Palmer: Anne, I have been in this job for nearly four years and I have learned the hard way that there are no absolutes. Sometimes you have to make compromises.

Anne: (President’s Doctor and Romantic interest) Politically, yes. But when it comes to morality, David, you have to draw the line.”

24 – Season Three – 4 p.m. – 5 p. m.

Recent Comments:
I already have two — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-04-30 23:05
Addictive — by Fred Weiss on Sun, 2006-04-30 21:11
> I love Jack Bauer. My — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-04-30 20:07

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Dirtwater Dynasty

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-04-30 01:46

As promised, some more Hugo Weaving for you. Before he was in V For Vendetta, before he was in Lord of The Rings and The Matrix trilogies he was an Australian pioneeir.

Weaving played Richard Eastwick in the greatest mini-series I've ever seen, The Dirtwater Dynasty. This is the story of one man, Eastwick, from his life as a homeless urchin in England to the ancient patriarch of a vast Australian empire.

Recent Comments:
Onya, Rick. — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-04-30 08:12

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It may concern

eg's picture
Submitted by eg on Sat, 2006-04-29 19:39

Thank you.

Recent Comments:
Posting — by eg on Mon, 2006-05-01 15:09
I'm assuming you sent Dear Barbara this here "Dear Barbara" — by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-05-01 13:08

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[Today's Reprise] THE ROMANTIC MANIFESTO and SCIENCE FICTION: Out of the Gutter, and to the Stars

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Sat, 2006-04-29 06:12

Ayn Rand was a promoter of the Romantic Realism school of literature, but stories such as ANTHEM and ATLAS SHRUGGED contain bits of science fiction and fantasy, genres she both defended as ideally related to Romanticism. Her influence has made its way into STAR TREK, SPIDERMAN, and the works of Terry Goodkind. Her idea of romanticism is well suited to a genre identified with the perennial question “what if?”.

Recent Comments:
Thanks for the comments, — by JoeM on Mon, 2006-05-01 04:24
Joe -- Very thoughtful — by Ed Hudgins on Sun, 2006-04-30 16:52
SF: its Bright Side...and its Dark-Side — by Rowlf on Sun, 2006-04-30 01:58

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Hong Zhang, Jenna Wong and Mrs Parson's Finishing School for Squirrels [Dr Fun/David Farley]

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-04-28 13:34

Full disclosure: while I empathize with Diana Mertz Hsieh upon the publication of her essay "Dialectical Dishonesty," I enjoy reading and engaging with Jenna Wong. I will happily assert that Jenna Wong deserves reading, not arrogant dismissal as a malicious, morally-occluded worm.

If she's a non-entity and worm, why bother with a simulcast against her from the highest pulpit? That sense of proportion is disturbing to my sense of life.

As I noted in an earlier entry, my blog is off to a rather sad start here. Besides Linz's neutral one-liner, not a single opinion expressed whatso-ever, despite 151 181 reads. I don't get that part.

Anyhow, I did note at the evul RoR that I had opened a blog at SOLO. This was greeted by a fair bit of ho-hum, that's nice, you maniac you . . . but since Miss Mertz has linked to a thread at the dreadful place, I thought I would point my readers to Hong and Jenna's further commentary.

Hong Zhang
Jenna Wong

That's right: [Miss Wong:] "The other posts that I have read in the last 3 months, which have disturbed me but I tried to ignore my gut feelings -- RoR as "trailer park"? Oh, no, I hang out there. OL as "the worst"? Well, crap, I pop in there too!"

Not: [Miss Mertz:] "(3) I "insinuated" that Jenna is "the worst" because I made derogatory comments about Objectivist Living that I won't bother to look up, another forum on which she posts.

Jenna's inferences are quite bizarre, to say the least."

This is icky. The commentary leaves the impression that Miss Wong has accused Miss Mertz of calling her trailer trash. She did not. She does feel that Miss Mertz is nuts, but that is another story.


Recent Comments:
Just plain silly so I've moved it. Not worthwhile — by wsscherk on Sat, 2006-04-29 14:37
Just plain silly ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-04-28 23:20
Mr. Scherk, — by Casey on Fri, 2006-04-28 21:08

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Mid-Michigan Objectivists-May

Tenyamc's picture
Submitted by Tenyamc on Fri, 2006-04-28 07:00

When: Thursday May 11th, 6:30-?
Where: The home of Jack McHugh on Verlinden in Lansing, MI. Contact me through SOLO mail for directions.


Why have a purpose in life if you're an atheist? If you don't believe in God, or an afterlife of any kind, where there are no repercussions for your actions here on Earth, why bother to even live another day? What would be the difference between dying now, or dying at 110 years old? Once you're dead, nothing is going to matter to you anyway. What you accomplished, what made you happy, the values that you held, the rights that you respected, your family, your friends, nothing. You'll be dead and you won't even exist to care about the legacy that you leave behind or anything that you did in your lifetime. So why bother doing anything at all? What's the difference between living your life to the fullest or living it to the least?

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Mind-Body Integration

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Fri, 2006-04-28 05:32

A wealth of philosophical literature has been devoted to discussion of the supposed mind-body split, and why no such dichotomy exists. But the specific way in which mind and body are integrated has been neglected to a significant degree. This essay will explore the connection between these components of self and applications for self-training. I intend this to be a foundational paper for future articles on gastronomy, self-motivation, sexuality, and romantic love. I assume that the reader has a working knowledge of psycho-epistemology, specifically the way in which concepts and physical motions are automatized in the subconscious. A summary of these ideas can be found in the introduction to my Psycho-Epistemology of Acting article.

Recent Comments:
Phil — by Dan Edge on Mon, 2006-05-01 02:39
Roots — by Marnee on Sat, 2006-04-29 23:35
The Root of All Good? — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-04-29 03:23

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But I do think of you, all the time. Every waking hour...I despise you, I hate you, you reign in my thoughts.

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Fri, 2006-04-28 01:54

"One thing that has been in my mind lately is this; objectivists often quote from the scene in the Fountainhead where Toohey asks Roark to say what he thinks of him, and Roark replies, "But I don't think of you." Some objectivists can't seem to shake thoughts of the Tooheys(or perceived Tooheys) in their life."

Recent Comments:
Landon, — by Casey on Sat, 2006-04-29 09:29
Casey — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-04-29 07:53
Ipso Facto — by Casey on Sat, 2006-04-29 07:20

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