dondigitalia

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Everything posted by dondigitalia

  1. Sexual interests?

    I don't really know about that. I think women are more prone to be fluid with their sexuality than men are. There have actually been studies done on this. One that I read about showed gay and straight pornography to men who self-identified as gay and straight, and the measurements showed that their arousal was perfectly aligned with their orientation. The same procedure was done with women, who were aroused by all pornography, regardless of their orientation. I don't recall where the study was published, however. I doubt it would be too hard to find with a Google search though. Gay men tend to have much more "out there" lifestyles though. There is a joke among gays: What do lesbians do on a second date? Rent a U-haul. It implies that lesbians are more apt to settle down and start nesting right away, whereas gay men tend to have a more active culture later in life, which gives the impression that there are more of us. We're just more visible than they are, I think.
  2. Sexual interests?

    I think "abnormal" would be a better word to describe it, although I hesitate to call a practice engaged in by 10% of the population abnormal, as there are many practices engaged in by far fewer people that are considered perfectly normal.
  3. Sexual interests?

    I actually know three sets of identical twins where one is straight and one is gay. That isn't enough to be considered a study of any sort, but it illustrates that the matter is not wholly genetic. I think it's a mistake even to say sexuality is determined by a combination of nature and nurture. My view is rather unpopular among gays, but I am of the very strong opinion that there is an element of choice to it as well. In general, I think almost everything in human psychology is a combination of all three, at least going from what I can gather from introspection. I think I've talked to you (and to Jason) about this before; it's the reason I consider the standard experimental model to be inappropriate for psychology (free will is a variable that cannot, in principle, be held constant). That's a different topic altogether, though...
  4. Sexual interests?

    In my experience, you are right with respect to the sexual relationship of the men involved. We actually use the labels "top," "bottom" or "versatile" to describe a man's preferred role, although that role can change depending on a whole bunch of factors that can come into play in any given relationship. In this respect, homosexual relationships are much, much more complicated than heterosexual relationships. Oftentimes, psychologically, the men fall into roles that are aligned with their sexual roles, but this isn't always the case. Some men prefer that kind of relationship, whereas others prefer a relationship that is more dynamic, where neither partner is the one who is "in charge." Still others prefer a relationship where one is "in charge" sometimes and the other is "in charge" other times. In this respect also, homosexual relationships are a lot more complicated. My own preference (psychologically; I'll keep the other side of my preferences private ) is more of an even playing field, with occasional lapses of one or the other partner taking charge. I wouldn't want to be with a man who is submissive all the time (I don't think I could fully respect him), but at the same time, I'm too aggressive and strong a personality to be submissive all the time, but I do find pleasure in adopting either role from time to time.
  5. Sexual interests?

    Easier said than done. Induction is, like, hard and stuff. More comments later. Late for class.
  6. Heroes

    My bestest, bestest friend, Courtney; she helped me create the person I am today. Dolly Parton, for having the most visibly amazing senses of life I could ever imagine. Ayn Rand, of course. Leonard Peikoff and Onkar Ghate, for making Ayn Rand's ideas intellectually accessible to me. Galileo Galilei Isaac Newton
  7. Sexual interests?

    I'd like them, Betsy. I'll e-mail you also to request them. I've been thinking about this topic a lot this week (it's what we're working on in OAC right now), and have come to the conclusion that the reason I don't understand what Ayn Rand is talking about when she talks about sex is that the way she (and all women, I think, from my discussions with them) experiences it is vastly different from the way I do.
  8. Sexual interests?

    Homosexual relationships are very different from straight relationships. Not just because I have found my homosexual relationships to be by far better than the straight ones I used to have back in the day; they're actually much different in kind. And I've seen many gay relationships where the couple adopts roles very similar to Ayn Rand's model. I'm curious as to what you mean by "natural" and why you consider one sort of sexuality natural, but not another. I recognize that there are significant difference in the way homosexuals relate to one another that go beyond other sorts of sexual preferences/idiosyncrasies, but how does that difference make it unnatural, whereas having a preference for a particular race or body type is not unnatural? As you know, I am completely confused by Ayn Rand's theory of sex; anything beyond "it's good" goes totally over my head. I would never in a million years think to describe it the way she did. I'm not saying I think she's wrong necessarily; I just quite frankly don't have a clue what any of it really means. It's just a bunch of floating abstractions in my mind that I can regurgitate when asked to summarize her view. That said, I'm with Peter when he says he has no desire to settle into the "roles" she described. I think this is mostly a psychological issue she was addressing, though, rather than a philosophic one.
  9. Greetings!

    Well, look who's here. I don't get much time to come around THE FORUM these days, but since I got an e-mail saying pkrembs added me as a friend, of course I couldn't resist coming to welcome you.
  10. Terry Goodkind

    I know many Objectivists are fan of Goodkind's best-selling fantasy series (some have said they actually discovered Objectivism through Goodkind), and I wholly understand why, although I do not share their enthusiasm. Terry Goodkind has acknowledged his intellectual debt to Ayn Rand on many occasions, although I don't know whether or not he considers himself an Objectivist. Whether or not he is an Objectivist is beside the point, though. I have read the first six books in his series, and it appears to me as though he discovered Ayn Rand halfway through them and decided to alter the direction his novels were taking to incorporate Objectivism into them. I have no real issue with this, although the shift was a little awkward. At times, it's borderline plagiarism! There have been occasions, particularly in Faith of the Fallen (the last book of his that I read), where he uses Miss Rand's words almost verbatim. In The Romantic Manifesto, Miss Rand pointed out that most good literature presents old ideas in a new form. One could argue that since Gookind's character, plots, and genre are so radically different from Rand's that this is a new form; I may even agree. But the fact remains that Goodkind explicitly uses many Objectivist "slogans," for lack of a better word, throughout this book, and I would have like to see him put them a little differently. Some specific ones, just off the top of my head, are: - Existence exists, and only existence exists. What is is. - A is A (Yes, I am aware that this is Aristotle's formulation, not Ayn Rand's) - Reason is man's means of survival. - When you use faith as your means of knowledge, you are acting on the standard of death. The last is not an exact quote, as I don't have the book handy. When I am at home, I will locate page numbers to reference if needed. There were also many, many others. Of course, I don't have any problem with any of these statements. They are all true! And I am overjoyed to see a best-selling writer putting forth the right ideas in his novels. My gripe here is purely esthetic. What ever happened to originality? In addition to all of this, in attempting to write "Objectivist novels," Goodkind's already average writing ability seems to have deteriorated. As they progress, his writing style has gotten more juvenile and less flowing (or perhaps I've just become a harsher critic; definitely possible). I don't mean to say that his content is juvenile, but his style. It's a little ironic to see Objectivist ideas presented with such consistent mediocrity! Which of you have read Goodkind's books and what are your thoughts?
  11. Happy Birthday to dondigitalia

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone! Even though it says my age is 29, I think I'm staying 23 again this year. It's good to know I'm not completely forgotten in my recent absence. P.S. That poem made me laugh so hard I cried. Thanks very much.
  12. Musical Timbre

    I was beginning to wonder the same thing myself, Alex. I'm not familiar with Yngwie Malmsteen (although it's now added to my list of music to check out), and I don't typically care for metal, but Dream Theater is in a league of its own. I suggest that those who are condemning metal (which, unsurprisingly, are the same individuals who were condemning hip-hop), open themselves up to the possibility that they may have passed judgement prematurely, download a couple of songs, and then decide if heavy metal, by it's very nature, is bad art.
  13. Favorite Hero of the Ancient World

    Yeah, I think he had great hair, too. Seriously, though, I'm right there with you.
  14. An Ageless Universe

    Yes, it helps. Thanks.
  15. An Ageless Universe

    Alex, I think I have a full understanding of the points you raised in your essay, but there are a couple of integrations I want to check with you. Would you say that the universe is "without size" in the same way that the air around us and water are both "without color," or is there some difference? They are both cases in which a certain property just doesn't apply to certain existents, but is there any difference aside from the concretes involved? Is th asizal nature of the universe different in some way from the asizal nature of concepts of consciousness? To clarify my question further, I'm not asking about any difference between concepts of consciousness and the universe themselves, but specifically about their asizality. It seems like there may be some difference between the two, since the universe contains sizal elements, whereas consciousness does not. I'm not sure if positing a difference on these grounds is fallacious.
  16. Binswanger's Spherical Universe

    Hey, when you're right, you're right. He did make it clear that his position in that lecture was not a final position, and is properly viewed as a work in progress. I'm glad to see that he has since expressed agreement with your view (which I also agree with). I don't really have any other questions. I mainly wanted to find out if I was missing something, or misinterpretting him, or if he was just wrong on that point.
  17. Happy Birthday to SCS

    Wow, I totally missed this until now. Congratulations, you guys!!! Sarah S........ has a great ring to it! It rolls right off the tongue.
  18. Comprehensive Destroy the Republican Party Bill

    Thanks for the clear, informative answer. I don't understand your use of 'however' in the last sentence, though. It implies that their money-saving is in spite of something else.
  19. Get a Fire Extinguisher!

    Well, duh. San Francisco is onlyl 47 square miles. Indianapolis is like a million.... (it's really 362, yielding around one eighth the density of SF). Besides, it's not about population... it's about attitude. *strikes an aloof pose*
  20. Comprehensive Destroy the Republican Party Bill

    Here is one question for Betsy, or anyone else who has done a significant amount of work as a private contractor and understands how all that works: Would employing the would-be naturalized aliens as private contractors enable employers to continue paying them below minimum wage, but legally? Or do minimum wage laws apply there as well?
  21. Comprehensive Destroy the Republican Party Bill

    I would agree with you, under current immigration. If immigration is opened up significantly without doing something about welfare-statism, though, logically, nothing can happen but the same thing that has happened in every other welfare state around the world. My heart is with the immigrants to America. Anybody who values American freedom and the opportunities available here greatly enough to leave everything behind and begin anew... well, that just shows what selfish, value-seeking, good people they are. By and large, they are the kind of people I'd be willing to help out, and definitely the kind of people I want to have producing around me. But the fact of the matter remains that laws in America set wages far above market value for what most immigrants have to offer. Here in Northern California, in particular, most of the (illegal) immigrants I hear about are employed under the table, making less than minimum wage, mostly doing farm/ranch work like picking nuts and olives. What would happen if all those people (literally thousands), were to become citizens? It is my understanding that the chief thrust of this bill is to make naturalization easier to obtain for illegal aliens, not to allow more people to enter and live in the US. United States citizens have to file a tax return each year. Adults who don't file run the risk of getting caught in the IRS's radar. With all that documentation floating around, it would be extremely foolhardy for an employer to continue to pay his workers less than the legal minimum wage. Farmers/ranchers have a hard enough time turning a profit as things are. Having to pay all of their workers minimum wage would break them. Currently, excess immigration doesn't really affect the welfare problem too, too much, because so many of the excess are here illegally and aren't eligible for (most forms) of welfare. If they were legal citizens, though... This bill is a bad, bad, bad idea. I know ARI hollers all over the place about open immigration, and if we were in a better place politically, I'd be right next to them, but I'm afraid that a lot of overhauling needs to be done before open immigration will be pragmatic, for one thing, but more importantly, just and moral. I can't emphasize enough, however, that the problem is not naturalizing aliens, but the welfare-statism that will first destroy those same aliens, followed by the rest of us.
  22. Get a Fire Extinguisher!

    lol, and I guess it depends on what you consider a city. We snobby urbanites would consider Indianapolis a really big suburb.
  23. Get a Fire Extinguisher!

    Are you talking about suburban apartments or urban apartments--they're two different animals. The vast majority of apartments in urban areas are less theft-prone than the houses. For one thing, the winding hallways and stairs make it a pain in the ass to try to navigate back to the exist with a bunch of loot, not to mention the stairs. For another, it is extremely rare that an urban apartment building doesn't have a huge steel cage with coded entry before you even get to the door of the building. And, in my experience, the people who live in those buildings are very serious about making sure nobody enters the gate as they are leaving. Apartments are a big fire hazard though... when I was in DC, apparently there was a crackhead living two floors down from me. One night he passed out with his torch going and set the building on fire. Three apartments on the first floor were toast. Luckily, only the guy who started the fire was hurt (he died), and my apartment wasn't damaged. But I did have to take the next couple of days off work to clean smoke residue off of everything in my place.
  24. Comprehensive Destroy the Republican Party Bill

    This is exactly what was running through my head while reading the first three posts in this thread. In particular, the minimum wage has potential to do great harm if immigration is significantly opened up. Mobs upon mobs of people who can't work to support themselves because businesses can't afford to pay them because the minimum wage makes 1 employee cost what 5 would otherwise. And then what comes next? The same mobs upon mobs of people turning to government handouts and subsidies in desperation--and who can blame them really? A family has to eat. Then what happens when the welfare system nears bankruptcy from trying to support so many people? The rest of us just have to pay more. And what happens when we don't have anything left to pay? History has a thousand examples. Everyone, both foreign and domestic, has a right to political freedom, but not on my dime. I am unfamiliar with the specifics of this bill, but unless significant measures are written in to prevent the rest of us from having to pay for the influx (which I highly doubt), I'm against it. In a freer society, like the one Betsy's dad came into, though, come one, come all.