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About jasonlockwood

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  • Birthday 08/24/1966

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Kensington, Sydney, Australia
  1. Les Misérables (2012)

    I haven't looked forward to a movie nearly as much as this one in I don't know how long. It opens on Boxing Day in Australia.
  2. Moving overseas is difficult depending on one's current situation with regard to employment and family. I moved to Australia in June of 2008 on a sponsored visa with the company I was working for at the time. For me it wasn't especially difficult, but I was also single and had been to Australia a few times before moving down. I understand that for many people it is trickier and requires a lot more planning than it did for me. I also had a specialised skill in demand which couldn't be found locally. The question now remains for me: do I keep my American citizenship after I become a naturalised Australian or do I not? I've heard many arguments for and against, but at this point in history, remaining an American may well be a detriment, not an asset. Thoughts, anyone, on this last point?
  3. I generally choose situations where it's people I want to be around, but there are contexts where this isn't possible, such as company events or dinner parties where I don't know everyone. In each case, I look for people with whom I can have some level of meaningful conversation. One thing I immediately turn away from is angry or sneering types. They stick out like a sore thumb, I find, so I look for quick exits whenever they cross my path.
  4. I hadn't visited the Forum in some time and then saw this thread that Bryson started, so I thought I'd respond with my own experiences. I refer to myself sometimes as an introverted extrovert. I love my solitary existence and the mental time I give myself. It's a reason I love writing so much because I enjoy the idea of expressing ideas in a well thought out way, whereas those who must always be the social butterflies never give themselves that mental space. That said I also love getting out and meeting people. My chosen career puts me in front of new people all the time and I have learned the art of good conversation even in fleeting circumstances. The international life I've lead also has meant that I have to make an extra effort to meet people while at the same time observing so I can absorb the new place I'm living in. I think it's possible and valuable to be equal parts introvert and extrovert. Like Bryson, I don't enjoy mindless small talk, so I'm always on the lookout for people with whom I can engage in deeper conversation. My partner and I prefer smaller events where quality discussion is possible, as against noisy parties and nightclubs. I consider dinner parties the ideal way to socialize with others because you invite the people you care about most and you are more likely to have good conversations with them in a controlled environment. Perhaps hosting your own dinner parties, Bryson, would be a way to be social with people you actually enjoy.
  5. I read through some of the comments. The usual suspects get it wrong. What a shocker.
  6. I'm more in line with Brianna with regard to personal debt. The one thing I made sure of before I left the US more than three years ago was that I'd never get myself into any serious long term credit debt ever again. Before leaving I paid down about $25,000 and sold my car. Currently I rarely extend my credit debt beyond a few months. I would say I have become financially cautious, what with the state of economies lately. Australia is in considerably better shape, but even so, I refuse to put myself in a situation where I could be wiped out if I were to lose my job. Like my physical health, I prefer to remain financially lean and mean.
  7. Happy Birthday to Alon Tsin

    Happy birthday from down under, Alon!
  8. HP To Apple: You Win

    When it comes to price and Apple products, I often think of high quality shoes that cost several hundred dollars but outlast the cheaper shoes. I switched to the Mac going on four years ago and my experience has been dramatically positive. I spent over $2,000 on my first MacBook Pro, which was definitely more than a PC laptop would have cost. But the value I got from it was far beyond the PCs I ever owned. The Mac was always stable, the programs always ran well, and I never suffered the slowdowns that were routine when I left PCs running for days. I could leave the Mac on for WEEKS and suffer none of the ill effects. Over the years I've acquired other Macs (and most recently a new Mac Mini) and transformed my entire home to an Apple 'ecosystem' consisting of a Time Capsule (1TB drive and AirPort Extreme combined), an Apple TV connected to my 50" plasma TV, plus the iPad and iPhone. I've noticed a huge increase in my productivity, not just because I like Apple devices, but because I so rarely have to maintain them that I can focus on the tasks most important to me. I understand that many tinkerers get frustrated with Apple products because they're self contained and make modifying the hardware difficult if not impossible. That is exactly the point, though. Apple products appeal to so many people BECAUSE they are easy to use appliances that enable people to get things done. The majority of the buying public is not looking to tinker. If they were, Apple would not have become as successful as they have.
  9. TAS Website - Myths About Ayn Rand

    Great, quote, Bill. I frequently comment to people I know well that what saved me from succumbing to the mob is my globetrotting. For many years I had to learn how other cultures worked and that required independence. So whenever I was back in the US, I found that I cared less and less what other people thought. I actually discovered Ayn Rand while I was teaching in Slovakia many years ago. Expatriates are often the most independent people, I find. They may not all be Objectivists, but overall I find it easier to associate with them, generally speaking.
  10. TAS Website - Myths About Ayn Rand

    That makes some sense. Without the ability to think in principles, AR's detractors are incapable of grasping that philosophic principles aren't just a bunch of concrete facts. It explains why religious conservatives are utterly befuddled by her view of religion.
  11. TAS Website - Myths About Ayn Rand

    So my somewhat rhetorical question is: for all the incorrect opinions about AR out there, why is it more of these people DON'T do their homework? No one is asking them to like Ayn Rand. Basic scholarship isn't that tough.
  12. I'll go one better on this topic: I'm dating a non-Objectivist and it's going swimmingly. I spent a lot of time assessing his character and sussing out what I valued and what could be a source of conflict. Six months into it, what I'm seeing emerge in him - based on his positive response to my blog and the discussions we've had - is a desire to learn more about my views and how I came to accept them. It helps that I ask him lots of questions and I am genuinely interested in what he has to say. He knows that I have a strong intellectual grounding and is constantly curious. I haven't even mentioned Ayn Rand with him yet and I doubt as an Australian he's heard much about her. What I do notice is he values reason above all other things. He loves to figure things out for himself. He also holds a benevolent view of the world around him, which is extremely rare in a 25-year-old these days, much less a man of 45. I do not consider myself a cynic by any means with regard to people I meet. Most aren't Objectivists and most never will be, but just as Betsy has talked about seeking out valuers, I have done the same. It pays dividends. Some people may end up being better friends if one gives them time. Those who are not open to reason aren't worth my time, so instead of fretting over them, I let them go.
  13. This reminds me of Apple's business model that befuddles so many people who work in the computer industry. Some people simply cannot grasp how Apple has succeeded so well - especially in the past decade - even though their products aren't feature laden or up to the bleeding edge specifications. What many people fail to take into account is Steve Jobs has always stated that Apple designs their products with users in mind. It's astounding to see so many people take to the iPad, for example, in ways they never did PCs or even seemingly similar tablet like devices.
  14. This horror does not deserve a title

    I studied to become a French teacher at a university in Quebec in the 1980s. I actually mastered the language and could speak it like a native well before the education element started my last year of university. An interesting thing occurred during my student teaching. All the people in my program were native French speakers and I was one of two students who wasn't. We were all assigned schools and classes where we would do our student teaching for the year. During one session with the organizer of the program, he mentioned a common complaint coming from the schools: the student teachers almost universally had poor spelling and grammar when writing on the chalk board, with one exception: me. It turns out the teacher I was working with noticed that my grammar was not only acceptable, but flawless. He made it a point to report that to the organizer of the program for two reasons: 1) it was a rarity in the student teachers he'd seen over the years and 2) it was surprising that a non-native would have mastered the language to that degree. The above is not meant as a boast, but as illustration that subject matter expertise in the education field is considered exceptional and surprising. This was in the 1980s in Quebec, no less! I shudder to think what it's like these days.
  15. Public Employee Unions

    Considering they JUST voted down collective bargaining in an entirely Allen Drury-esque manner.