Rose Lake

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Everything posted by Rose Lake

  1. "What do you believe is true..."

    But it [the earth] does move though That's my joke, based on what may be an apocryphal story: That is what Galileo was supposed to have muttered under his breath, after being "proved" wrong and forced by Church authorities to recant his support for the Copernican theory.
  2. Casablanca

    If you have never seen Casablanca -- and if you like to be entertained with romance, suspense, moving drama, action, fast-paced dialog brimming with wit & humor, beautiful black & white film style, terrific acting, and the beautiful Ingrid Bergman, don't bother to rent this first. You might as well just buy it to begin with, because you'll have to own it. I lost count long ago of how many times I have watched this film, but I love it every time.
  3. "What do you believe is true..."

    I think a layman can prove that the earth orbits the sun in his own context. For me this proof is all the following things taken together: I have been taught the heliocentric theory all my life, which I realize, in itself is almost as good as nothing, and would make a reasonable person wonder, if there was nothing else. But there are other things too. I have seen drawings of our own solar system in what I thought were reputable science books with illustrations, though not at school. I have seen explanations of it in encyclopedias and science books over and over. The heliocentric theory, as far as I tell, has been accepted by virtually every reputable scientist on earth for the last several hundred years. If it has not, then there must be a huge conspiracy to keep me from finding out about this reputable group of protesting scientists who have evidence against what I have always understood to be a theory that has not been in serious dispute since Galileo's time and some period of time after that, which time-span I don't know for certain. I have known of not one reputable person in my lifetime to offer arguments against it. And if today's scientists do not know as much as what Copernicus theorized and Galileo offered evidence for, according to history books, hundreds of years ago; then I don't see how they could do advanced things, like sending men to the moon, sending satellites into outer space that take photographs of distant galaxies, etc. And what would 'distant galaxy' even mean, if there were no such thing as our own solar system, not to mention a few others? Granted this is not technical at all. But I think I would be a fool if I were not certain given this evidence, which I say constitutes overwhelming proof on the level of a layman. Now if I'd been going to the Van Damme Academy I would probably be able to prove the heliocentric theory in a much more educated way, but I went to public schools. I do not think they even pretended to teach us science that I remember, until high school. Actually, now that I think of it, maybe they did pretend to. But that was all they did, pretend. It is actually very interesting to me that the most lame support for the theory I ever experienced was in school, when I observed other children, during the presentation of "science" projects, presenting Styrofoam models of the solar system, alongside the papier-mache 'volcanoes' with vinegar, baking-soda, and food-coloring 'lava' flows.
  4. The Poetry Of Brian Faulkner

    I really like this one. But is it correct to infer from the title and first stanza that it is implied that the lovers were eventually separated by the choice of either one or both?
  5. There is no such thing as a commitment that's every bit as binding and real as a legal marriage, but is outside the reach of the law. The whole point of marriage is that it is an objective legal contract. If they want the romantic partnership to be as binding and real as a legal marriage, I suppose they could devise their own legal contract (perhaps by modifying how they will deal with the many aspects already covered by marriage laws). But since that would probably be an enormous task, I think that Betsy's pre-nuptial agreement idea is far more practical. That would cover any issues that are a specific concern to either partner. A legal contract objectifies a couple's committment to each other. Entering such a contract with the other person says - to the other person - I promise to do a, b, and c and/or not to do x, y, and z - and to be held accountable to my voluntary promises and chosen obligations by objective means.
  6. Human Sciences and Statistics

    For political freedom one may prefer the more comprehensive, if less specific "absence of physical coercion" (reference on the same page) keeping in mind that the proper context implies a society with government; that a state of anarchy is incompatible with "the absence of physical coercion"; and that "the absence of physical coercion" is at best highly unlikely in any actual "state of nature." But the point is the same, i.e. that essential characteristics are not limited to entities.
  7. Human Sciences and Statistics

    And it's not just entities that have essential characteristics. It is any valid concept, whether the concept refers to entities or to other existents e.g. attributes of entities or actions of entities. For example, freedom (in the political sense) is not an entity, but in its valid sense has an essential characteristic, i.e. "freedom from the coercive power of the state..." see The Ayn Rand Lexicon, p. 181.
  8. Another introduction

    My husband and I attended "Ayn Rand's Aesthetics in Historical Perspective" last summer and found it very interesting. We ordered it while there, but haven't received it yet. Any idea when it's due?
  9. Elle: Introduction

    Are you real? Consider me in your cheering section (from the recovery ward). I discovered Ayn Rand's writings just over five years ago at age thirty-seven. It's been quite an adventure, but there was a lot of damage already done, and compounded, with interest over the years. It's a wonderful relief to hear from a mind so unscathed! Go get 'em Elle!
  10. Inspirational Moments in Sports

    Oh Dear. I see now that the Hockey event was what started the post. Well, it's still good!
  11. Inspirational Moments in Sports

    The U.S. Olympic Hockey team beating the Soviets was pretty good, even if I only saw the movie version. I'd have liked to have seen the real thing. I think that was in 1980.
  12. Your Cake

    That phrase used to confuse me too, because I would think of just plain cakes, and this kind of exchange. "Won't you have some cake?" "Oh, thank you, I would love a slice." In that kind of case, having and eating the cake are synonymous. However, many cakes are elaborately decorated, like wedding cakes. So, one can either have the cake to look at, or cut into it and destroy it as a decoration in order to eat it. So, the origin of the phrase very likely arose in reference to beautifully decorated cakes. I can think of no other reason that cake, specifically, would come to be used to state the law of identity.
  13. Metaphysical vs. Existential

    First, to avoid ambiguity about what Ayn Rand meant by consciousness in this paragraph, the preceding paragraph should be included, which says: "When man unfocuses his mind, he may be said to be conscious in a subhuman sense of the word, since he experiences sensations and perceptions. But in the sense of the word applicable to man--in the sense of a consciousness which is aware of reality and able to deal with it, a consciousness able to direct the actions and provide for the survival of a human being--an unfocused mind is not conscious. Psychologically, the choice 'to think or not' is the choice 'to focus or not.' Existentially, the choice 'to focus or not' is the choice 'to be conscious or not.' Metaphysically, the choice 'to be conscious or not' is the choice of life or death." Once you have this context the discussion can be limited to man's consciousness functioning properly, as his means of survival; or not functioning properly -- and the result of man's choice about what he does with his consciousness. Now, it looks as though Miss Rand first presents the interior mental action as a psychological choice, then as a simple fact (existential), and then uses the term metaphysical to focus on the result in external reality of the interior mental action, i.e. life is possible if one chooses to focus -- but death will result if one does not choose to focus when doing so is demanded by the requirements of sustaining one's life.