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Posts posted by dondigitalia

  1. Oh yeah, I gave it a 6 for artistic merit, and a 10 for its sense of life.

    My friends since college saw S&C on Friday. I got a messae on my machine: "We just walked of seeing Sex and the City and of course we thought of you."


    See it and you'll understand. Even those who didn't watch the series will enjoy it; they did a fantastic job of making it self-contained. I have to admit that I was extremely skeptical going into the movie and was very, very surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I thought it was going to be a "play to the fans" kind of thing, where they try to artificially, but unsuccessfully, recreate the charm of the show. They were able to recreate the charm, but in a new, non-artificial way.

  2. I thought this movie was very charming. It wasn't flawless, but definitely has a lot to offer Objectivists. In particular, I've always considered myself "a Samantha," but after seeing the way she was portrayed in this movie, it's inconceivable to me that any Objectivist wouldn't identify with her. I don't want to give away too much, but her egoism is really emphasized in this movie and all she lacks for an explicit declaration of it is the right wording. I definitely recommend it.

  3. Is this a contradiction?

    Is value subjective or objective?

    No contradiction. Value is objective.

    What "objective" means, though, is one of the more difficult ideas in Objectivism to understand. The best way I can think of to sum up what is meant by "objective" is: based on facts integrated by choice, for a purpose. That is a gross oversimplification, though. Dr. Peikoff's course Understanding Objectivism, gives the fullest coverage I know of.

  4. I think this highlights the dangers of artificially creating the archetypes "homosexual" and "heterosexual". I believe that some homosexuals have a biological predisposition towards members of their sex, some are drawn towards same sex relationships for psychological reasons (I have read that some women who were sexually abused as children find comfort in relationships with other women because of the horrors they experienced at the hands of "men"), some are drawn towards homosexuality because of curiosity, etc. I have met a few "straight" males who, for some reason or another, had little forays or "crushes" on members of their own sex, and because of this became highly disturbed. Since our modern culture places sexual orientation as an essential attribute of one's self, these "forays" cause immense psychological problems because the person's own identity is seen to be in jeopardy. The person who is normally or biologically attracted to the opposite sex, but has an occasional "crush" or interest with a member of their own sex, thinks that he must automatically be lumped together with the person who was born with a predisposition to members of the same sex.

    Yeah, I agree. I don't think sexuality is a binary, either-or thing. Rather, I think it's a continuum. There are plenty of women who I still find attractive, although I much prefer men. That's where the element of choice comes in.

  5. Could it be possible that you are conflating unhealthy submissive psychology with healthy submissive psychology? I would say that Dagny, for example, was submissive (observe her in relation to Galt), yet she was not in any way weak, depraved, disgusting, etc.

    No. I recognize the difference. I don't view a healthy submissive psychology as weak, depraved, what-have-you; it's just not what I want in a partner. I can see how others would, though. My own psychology would prevent me from fully respecting such a person as a lover. By the same token, though, my own psychology prevents me from taking a submissive role all the time either. But there are times when I want my (hypothetical) partner to make the final decisions and act as a leader, just as there are times when I really have to be in control.

  6. To this day she cannot grasp why I don't support all these leftist causes and candidates on the theory that I am a "tratitor." She actually gets angry that I'm so calm and reasonable. Gays should be ACTIVISTS according to her.

    That's just silly. The only areas I think gays would have any reason to be activists are in regard to gay marriage and gay men being able to give blood. Both are extremely low on my list of priorities.

  7. I've never understood why social sites like MySpace are so enormously popular. I can't think of a reason why I'd want to bother. What's the big deal?

    I like it because it allows me to have a one-stop place to keep up on all the people I've known over the years, whether through school, work, or just being friends. It sorting of streamlines the whole ordeal of keeping in touch, which I'm not very good at.

    Plus, I'm a big fan of Facebook stalking. (Not as creepy as it sounds, lol).

  8. Thanks for your insights, Don. I think your post raises some important issues. A primary one for me is that this thread has focused on dominance in terms of the specific act of sex. However, this is just one aspect of a relationship in which dominance plays out. There are many other aspects of relationships in which one person tends to take the lead, and it isn't always the same person who takes the lead in sex. This being said, another speculation I have is that the person in a homosexual relationship who, on balance, takes the lead in most things will also take the lead (dominate) in sex. What do you and others think?

    Just to give some insight as to how widely gay relationships can vary, I know more than a few couples were both partners are exclusive "tops" or both are exclusive "bottoms." In such relationships, the psychological aspects vary just as much as the others.

  9. This being said, another speculation I have is that the person in a homosexual relationship who, on balance, takes the lead in most things will also take the lead (dominate) in sex. What do you and others think?

    Although I think that is the case in many cases, I don't think it is enough to be considered a norm of any sort. There is an extremely wide variance in the way homosexual relationship work. Sexuality is a complex issue to begin with. Toss in all the other complexities involved in homosexuality (not that heterosexual relationships aren't complex; they are, but in a vastly different way that doesn't have as direct a relationship to sexuality) and it complicates the issue even more.

    It's something that would require an extremely skilled psychologist to study. And I think such a psychologist would have to be gay himself to interpret his findings correctly. In addition, I don't think psychology is advanced enough yet to engage in a study rigorous enough to yield anything worthwhile on this issue either, but you would probably know better than I do on that last point, as I'm just beginning to explore psychology enough to identify problems in philosophy of psychology, much less draw any conclusions about what a proper methodology would entail.

  10. Reading this thread makes me have to ask: are there more gay men than lesbian women? It seems like the percentage is higher for males than females.

    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.

  11. By "unnatural", I mean-it is a path that deviates from the natural "mold" that mankind evolved into. With that said, I agree with your further statement, which is why homosexuality is okay, whereas evasion is not. Evasion is not natural (it goes against using reason, which is what nature gave us to survive, thus leading to our death). Homosexuality is "natural" to those who are born homosexual, as they have a biological predisposition that they cannot change, and thus it would be "unnatural" for a homosexual to try and act in a heterosexual way.

    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.

  12. I agree. I did not mean to completey discount the "nurture" part of it; from what I've read, it's a combination of both. Anecdotally, I know what many gays and lesbians come from "broken" homes where at least one parent was out of the picture during important stages of childhood development. As for my own case, my parents have been married 30+ years and couldn't be happier, nor I with the pleasure of knowing them as adults. From a very early age, I recall an attraction to the same sex. How much this had to do with my parents, I won't speculate except to say that I had a very safe, loving childhood.

    As I understand it, a massive study of identitcal twins is under way to perhaps shed some light on this very issue.

    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...

  13. I can see this, but I do wonder how often that kind of "role-switching" actually occurs among gay men. Without any real evidence to back this up, my hunch would be that the men who submit do so the majority of the time, and the men who penetrate do so the majority of the time. That is, I think they would probably fall into roles that align with their preferences for pleasure. In this sense, I could see the psychology becoming very similar to heterosexuals. But maybe someone can support or refute my speculation on this?

    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 :D ) 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.

  14. 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

  15. I realize it is not something most guys can identify with simply because it involves aspects of uniquely feminine psychology. I have written several short articles explaining this in terms most men understand. Send an email to requesting my "Femininity Essays" and I'll send them to you.

    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.

  16. I think that you have to remember that Ayn Rand was writing about sex as it applies to "natural" people (which is indeed heterosexuality). Homosexuality, as by their own nature different than the general nature of mankind, has a different psychology when it comes to sex than heterosexual relationships. For this reason, it is not at all wrong to not aspire towards Ayn Rand's descriptions of sex...roles. But her principles of sexuality remain the same, regardless of your orientation.

    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.

  17. Hello everyone! I'm Peter. A friend referred me this site and I'm excited to see a broad arrange of topics available for discussion. I am an on-again, off-again subscriber to HBL, so maybe I will recognize some names!

    I've also never been to an OCON, but am planning to perhaps next year or the year following to finally put *faces* with all of these names :D



    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. :D

  18. So to answer your question, employers paying illegal aliens as independent contractors would pay whatever is agreed upon in the contract, and there's no gov't price control on that as far as I know, since it's like any other price for a product or service. So they wouldn't technically be paid "below minimum wage", since the payment is not a wage rate (they are not employees). However, employers would likely save substantial money from such an arrangement.

    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. lol, and I guess it depends on what you consider a city. :P We snobby urbanites would consider Indianapolis a really big suburb.

    Except that the population of San Francisco is less than Indianapolis :P :P

    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*