• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Charles

  1. I chose this picture with the Garden of Eden in mind.... It is traditionally used as the fruit eaten by Eve off the tree of knowledge, forbidden by the Lord. I always admired the fact she took her own life into her own hands...she chose to choose, she chose freewill and I think the apple is a simple, effective symbol of this.

  2. Any Objectivists/Ayn Rand fans/groups in Toronto, Canada? I'm planning on being there for some time in the Summer, and I'd like to pad out my trip with interesting things in case the raison d'aller doesn't work out.

    Whilst Im at it, no budding neurologists out that way too??? :)

  3. Hmm. I wonder how the women refer to John McCririck?

    Well his wife is completely submissive about it, and Germaine Greer (equally notorious feminist) feels sorry for him. The two went on a 'reality-tv' show in the UK, which gave the descriptions: 'She is an antipodean feminist intellectual, he is a bluff chauvinistic horse-racing commentator.' Most sane people try to ignore him, her and those shows.

  4. I strongly recommend this short read. It is a series of letters sent between two old friends in the 1930s, who used to sell paintings in the US. One, a Jew, still lives in America - the other, a German, has returned to his family in Berlin. The Jew, Max, has a daughter trying to make it as a young actress in Berlin. The correspondence documents the relationship between the two as Hitler is elected to power...the inaction of Max's friend, and his loss of everything via Max's pen makes a chilling tale of friendship and betrayal.

    Check it out here: Blackwells

  5. I think "significant other" has a kind of vague yet important ring to it. "My woman" a kind of ownership/ cromagnon sound to it. "My girl" or "girlfriend" has a playful and a bit unserious connotation to it.

    (:) with you on the cromagnons!)

    Sometimes, the implicit is more tantalizing than the explicit. That's just as true in the developing romantic relationship itself as it is in speaking to others. Two people becoming romantically involved don't need to make all their feelings -- and therefore their own relationship -- explicit at that point.

    Then there's the way my sister would introduce her guy as "my POSSLQ" (pronounced "POS-sil-cue").  That is the official Census Department designation of a Person of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters.  The bureaucratese is not very romantic but, when spoken, it sounds kinda cute.

    Now im with Burgess on this one; there is real buzz in the undefined...a feeling of potential and a cause to always be proactive/on your feet. For the sake of those situations where you absolutely have to refer to your partner I think Possilcue sums that up nicely!! But then my humour is quite dry and satirical.

    Incidentally, John McCririck, a vulgar racing commentator in the UK, is notorious for referring to his spouse as 'the booby', and other women as 'boobs'.

  6. A truly democratic system where every issue is voted for electronically by citizens leaves me thinking two things:

    a) it would be a good thing because people would very quickly see the results of their own decisions/lack of decision making/influence of the media

    :) it would be a disastrous thing because of the decisions people would make given the current situation.

  7. What has always been on the back of my mind is how/if we are the only ones to have the capacity to reason/have volition...But then I think how the difference between a 'bum' and a successful entrepreneur could come down to a single realized concept. Once we had basic concepts the evolutionary edge was so much greater than any provided by mere genetic differences that the likelyhood of another species catching up with us was unlikely. That...and the fact we took an early interest in war/genocide as a species...!

  8. Is reason a distinctfaculty of a volitional consciousness, or is it in a crucial sense the samefaculty as volition?

    Let me put it this way: Is it ”consciousness --> volition --> reason” as (evolutionary) separate units, or is it ”voltional consciousness = reason” as a single unit?

    Im going to compare Animals and Humans as a thought experiment here:

    Animals are conscious in so much as they are aware of themselves in the context of their environment and their immediate concerns. A crucial feature that differs us from them is the ability to see ourselves in the light of the past and future - and I would argue that requires a degree of reason;

    An animal may have analogous sensory stimuli to ourselves in a given situation - but it couldn't take that information and through its abstract analysis deduce something beyond the patently obvious.

    If you only have access to the present (animals), you are severely limited in your ability to exercise will i.e. act volitionally - their 'state of mind' is largely deterministic.

    I conclude the capacity for reason is contigent on a number of evolutionary prerequisites, in particular: the capacity to memorize, an environmental scope for volition and the ability to adapt the enviroment physically i.e. advanced interactive capacity - like monkeys. If 'awareness' is allowed to rumage through past experience for solutions to new problems to give an evolutionary edge then eventually the best analyzers will be selected for. The birth of reason..?

    Incomplete, I know - but just trying to get my head into it!

  9. Janet,

    I have never referred to myself explicity as an Objectivist - I have said my views/worldview are strongly influenced by Objectivism. I have read a number of Ms Rands works, attended local seminars on her work and seen a number of online lectures by people such as Dr Peikoff.

    There are others who are equally, if not more, keen on her works than I within our group - but we are definitely a minority. There is certainly a base that is more interested in the economic side of the party than the social, and through the groups (Adam Smith, CWF etc) we have associated with we are prolifically anti-EU. I recommend to you the email address of a Conservative MEP for the UK South East - he provides insightful and quite satirical observations on the Constitution and the political situation regarding it. I have emailed you his latest. (Stephen, if you want me to forward you a copy do say)

    As for Anti-Semitism - yes - there is an increased incidence of this in the UK, probably associated with the increase in Zionist conspiracy theories following Iraq and the recent anniversaries of the camp liberations. However - I must point out how the torrent of hypocritical abuse targetted at our Mayor, Ken Livingstone, is completely unwarranted. I do not like the man's politics, and I probably wouldn't like the man - but apparently a press reporter stepped over the porchway into his house after following him home from a party (he was probably quite tipsy, and has recentally been lambasted by newspaper who'd cried racism for something else and his reply had been in the form of a reminder that the newspapers founder Lord Rothermere (?) had been a prolific supporter of the Black shirts and would have been the first to endorse Hitler had he successfully invaded Britain...etc etc) anyway, I digress - the reporter stepped in asking questions, and the Mayor accused him of using Gestapo like tactics, the reporter then revealed he was Jewish, to which Ken said something along the lines of....'yes, but can't you see how your acting just like a concentration camp guard'. Tactless, but not Anti-Semetic. There is no record of any racial discrimination from him, and in fact its probably one of his few blessings he's acted to reduce it. This is a case of Media Hysteria pure and simple.

  10. Hi,

    As im sure is the case across most of the UK, and I imagine across the pond, Student Unions are predominantly left wing. When it comes to politics I am an opportunist in so much as I vote for the party that is most likely to sway the status quo in what I consider the right direction. As such I am an active member of the University of London's Conservative society...

    (The University of London is made up of a number of separate colleges eg. Imperial, Birbeck, UCL etc, and each has its own union. The presiding Union, however, is a cross college one known as ULU)

    Its Background:

    It has grown from a mere 20 members to over 100 and is currently the largest in London, and is privy to lectures with a large number of MPs, Media figures and political circles. Originally our events were exclusively centre right - with such youth organization as TRG (Tory Reform Group) and CF (Conservative Future). Thanks to a few individuals we are now getting actively involved in the Adam Smith Institute and CWF (Conservative Way Forward), which are concerned primarily with economic matters as regards party policy. We are despised by the Union, who are reluctant to give money to us and have had a number of confrontation with various student magazines.


    Our former treasurer and several other individuals from other London colleges societies are standing for election in ULU, the main student body in London...the largest Student Body in Europe. There haven't revealed there political inclinations...that would attract to much attention. Given the exceedingly low voter turn out it shouldn't be too hard to get these guys in through votes from our own number and anyone we can persuade. If there is any interest I can point you to these candidates, and information about them/their policies.

    I appreciate that the Conservatives aren't anything close to true Objectivism, but they do incorporate a diverse range of opinion and are the only party to explicitly advocate lower taxes...and anyone who has lived in the UK over the past eight years will know how much everything has gone up. If there is any place that could do with a change in climate...its the student unions.



  11. I was moving house from East to North London that day and was delayed in traffic for four hours because of that protest. I had to walk past the IPO to get to the car in the first place and witnessed over 20 of them sitting in the entrance blowing whistles whilst two swang on ropes, supporting a banner off the roof. A bearded...well..hippy...shoved a leaflet into my path, I walked on, and he cried out 'don't you want to know what this is all about?!'. There were police everywhere. I restrained myself :o.

    What annoyed me most about this is that they think they achieved something...Oil trading was stopped for minutes...whilst they were beaten back onto the street by traders....the traffic jams, diversions, police deployment that ensued went on well into the night costing thousands of people time and money. :D