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Posts posted by RobC

  1. Leaving out the philosophical objections I have with most of these "* pride" campaigns. The psychological and cultural changes that many undertake to make are valid and valuable. I agree that having autism is nothing to be proud of. But as long as one is as productive as one is capable of becoming it certainly is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Further, autism is not failure. Failure denotes a value that one is striving to achieve and is subsequently not successfully achieved. I agree it is not a virtue, but it certainly isn't evil either.

    I would also add that it is probably to Autistics that hear words all their life such as grief, frustration, defective, failure; that such a campaign is aimed, as well as the people who utter those words or suggest in their deeds and actions about Autistics.

  2. My impression of Bioshock was one big long Strawman argument. Presented with beautiful graphics and with great game play. My reasons for thinking this are very similar to those listed above.

    What concerned me most wasn't the fact that they had anything coherent to criticise Objectivism with. Is that it would infect the minds of those who didn't know any better against those Objectivist ideas before they even got a chance to be exposed to them.

    I know Ayn Rand didn't appear to be too fussed about it. I can't remember the quote, but I know Ayn Rand only sought to speak to those who hadn't already betrayed their humanity. But still, it'd be nice if those people weren't led to the slaughter before they knew they were being led to the slaughter. That said, movies and books have been doing it for a long time... it was pretty much only a matter of time before video games got in on the act of betraying their patrons.

  3. This isn't a comment on "Life Behind Her Eyes" but on the Atlas Shrugged movie...

    I don't think it's going to matter what the popular press will say about it. The popular press routinely trash Atlas Shrugged the novel, and it still sells well more than 50 years after its release. If even a quater of the people who have read (and liked) the book go and watch the movie it will have done well. Add in the boys and young men (and older ones) that will buy tickets because Angeline Jolie is starring and you have at least a half decent taking at the box office.

    For this type of movie if he translates the themes of the novel well, the movie will do just fine. Don't know if it will break records at the box office or not, but I know I'll be contributing my part when it is released.

  4. "stuffed mushrooms"

    Field mushrooms, de-stalked.

    Fill cap with a mixture of peregrino cheese (or other 'hard' italian cheese) and bacon bits (mix cheese and bacon to personal taste... I prefer less bacon bits)

    fry face down till cheese "sets" (i.e. cheese doesn't run out of cap)

    then fry on other side till mushroom is cooked...

    then eat.

    Fried in a frying pan, with minimal lubricant of choice. I use canola oil VERY sparingly... i.e. use canola oil to heat up pan then pour excess off at heat point so as all that is left is the residue.

  5. Take a look at this amazing picture, drawn by an autistic artist after a single helicopter flight over London:

    Autistic people are sometimes known to have unlocked very powerful mental capacities in other areas of brain activity (think Rain Man). What more could be locked away in our own minds? And what's more important, where is it coming from? Why don't we have these powers now? Laziness and unwillingness to train?

    That is actually a myth. Only about 0.5% if autistics have savant abilities. Much like the general population.

    The so called intelligence of Autistics is primarily given rise because they lack the desire (or need) of much interpersonal contact and so devote large tracts of time to their specific areas of interest. Where those interests intersect employable tasks... you'll not find a more qualified employee.

    I'd encourage people to find out some more truth about Autism than what has been bandied about so far. As an aside, it was "world autism awareness day" on April 2nd. Not that I condone anything by the UN, and 1 in 94 boys is a bit rich as a statistic... but still... just letting y'all know.

  6. I don't use Safari and don't know why it's quicker. But to make FireFox (and possibly IE) quicker, try looking up Pipelining. For sites that support it you can increase page load times to a phenomenal rate.

    Also, if you're a FireFox user you can try adding this to "about:config"

    integer preference: nglayout.initialpaint.delay

    value: 0

    Makes it render immediately as oppose to waiting... don't know why that isn't on by default!? Plugins are available that automate the process of fiddling with connection and pipeline settings also.

    It is perhaps the reason why Safari is quicker. Firefox defaults to 4 connections at any one time. Safari might default to 8. (I have mine edited to 30) :)

  7. I just picked up my painting of "Pearl" from FedEx. It is more beautiful than the pictures do it credit on eBay. Thanks a zillion Mac!

    As it is my first experience with eBay (or buying art for that matter) I was quite thrilled with the process and the speedy delivery. It's amazing to think you can buy romanticist style art from the other side of the planet direct from the painter himself and have it on your doorstep three days later. Modern civilisation really is fantastic! :)

  8. I am currently eagerly awaiting my book at the moment.

    I look forward to a chance to purchase some art, as my favourite two peices sold off of Quent Cordair before I even discovered the site. Being "Fare Well" and "Small Details." I look forward to the opportunity to discover new gems and dissapoint some other soul when I outbid them... hopefully :rolleyes:

  9. I assume the majority will never bother to actively explore the content of their minds, so I ask:

    How many Objectivists are needed to influence the culture enough to become Objective (to a large degree)? That is the question I answer for myself.

    One question to ask is the difference between looking at a selective sub-set of humanity vs. entire large countries or all of humanity. The "culture" represented by the people aboard the Cordair cruise ship was likely a lot better than the "average" U.S. culture. The same would be true of a hypothetical Galt's Gulch.

    My current view is that there will never be a time when a large country has a majority of fundamentally rational individuals with an explicitly rational philosophy - at least, not until average intelligence levels are substantially higher, which means not until "average humanity" has biologically better brains (because I reject the indefensible idea that free will accounts for all intelligence and ability.) I think that religion/faith/acceptance of the arbitrary is rampant in the world for one basic reason: it requires far less mental effort than actually thinking (including constant logical integration of knowledge), and most people have no desire (or, I suspect, even the metaphysical capability) to think at the level of the typical Objectivist today.

    While I agree that "free will" does not account for intelligence and ability, it does account for the basic philosophical decision on what we are to do with that intelligence and ability we do possess. That alternative is, "To think or not." Everything else follows. And being an Objectivists does not make one intelligent, the physical composition of a person's brain is the primary factor in that. What Objectivism does is outline the method by which one goes about getting the full and proper use of that brain.

    As to the original topic, I find it hard to conceive of people picking up "Objectivism by default." There would be too fundamental a gulf between the unthinking acceptance of the particular catchphrases a person would pick up from Objectivism and Objectivism itself. A person would be almost forced to blindly accept something more appropriate to their mode of operation lest their foggy existence be exposed to a stiff breeze.

    And one must remember that such a culture DID exist on earth, and that the people accepted it; not in unthinking desperation but in full astute awareness of what they were doing. Not as full as an awareness of what might be considered of an Objectivist accepting those same principles, but full enough to give birth to the United States of America.

  10. This piece, as sung by Anna Moffo, was the spark that got me loving classical music in the first place.

    Thank you for the surprise nostalgia, I had not heard this rendition before.

    You're welcome. Many years ago I heard another very unique and emotionally powerful rendition by an orchestra conducted by Koussevitsky, in which he slowed the tempo by about a third and was able to express the ultimate of longing.

    I had a similar experience when I heard a recording by Gary Kass. It sounded much slower than Anna Moffo's version, which at the time was my only exposure to the piece. Anyhow, thanks again.

    I always get a kick out of Vespasiano's and your own posts in this sub-forum. So a thanks to him goes out as well.

    Keep that great tracks rolling.

  11. My own critique is similar to Thomas Sowell's. The checklists and quizzes focus on the end results and behaviours rather than the underlying causes.

    For instance the comment earlier about extrovert and introvert. It is true that an introvert would get a score similar to an autistic because the end results are quite similar. However, what gives rise to those answers in an introvert are often vastly different to the reasons an autistic would give.