Roger Fusselman

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About Roger Fusselman

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  • Birthday 03/03/1965

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Seoul, South Korea
  • Interests Interests: teaching English as a second language * comedy * novelty songs * Objectivism * South Korean politics * North Korea * comic books * Japanese culture * playing the kalimba * vocal music * grammar * writing * editing * rational women<br />Description: I've been a part of the Objectivist world since February 13, 1985, when I met my first Objectivist. I am one-third teacher, one-third comedian, and one-third activist, more in personality than in vocation. Currently, I teach English in South Korea. Thank you for reading.
  1. I've been in Korea off and on for more than 10 years, and I'm looking for a few things, Objectivist-wise: 1) An Objectivist who teaches in Korea to bounce ideas off of regarding applying Objectivist epistemology to the teaching of English to speakers of other languages (the acronym for that is "TESOL"); 2) A girlfriend where there is serious potential; 3) Objectivist friends who I can hang out with; 4) Maybe starting something Objectivist-wise in this country. I live and work in Seoul, nowadays training teachers and occasionally doing stand-up comedy and writing sketch comedy for the English-speaking Korean expatriate community. Roger
  2. Any stand-up comedians out there?

    I believe we are basically in agreement. People do laugh reluctantly to jokes that had a point they disagreed with. It's typically not anything like an ethnic joke or a full-scale assault on one's deepest beliefs. It may be something in the middle range of importance, such as a joke about a candidate you reluctantly voted for. I daresay that if the two of us went to an A-list comedian's performance and I recorded your audience-member reaction, then grilled you about how much you actually agreed with the point of every joke, you probably would have laughed at one of those that had a point you did not agree with. I think controversy in humor is overrated and misapplied. People think comedians are just angry ranters who assault the sense with overblown exaggerations. Not true. There's more art to it. A set may begin with more mass-appeal material and the controversial quip may be included later in such a way that it comes across as part of the humorous package rather than as some errant assault. Listen to George Carlin's "Class Clown" album, for example. His act begins conventionally, then progresses ever so slightly to more controversial material, peaking at the end with comments about the Vietnam War. Then he saves his last block of material, his famous "Seven Words You Cannot Say on Television," for the end, which has both elements of mass-appeal material and controversy. Everyone can relate to it, even if they're put off on the language. There are ways of positioning such material and prefacing such material so that the audience at least hears you out and, yes, even gives you some form of laughter. I'm reading through Judy Carter's book "The Comedy Bible," which is the book I recommend for developing one's sense of humor (assuming one has a sense of humor already) into a comedy act.
  3. Any stand-up comedians out there?

    I disagree. Many comedy audiences appreciate controversy. George Carlin has done material defending atheism. Sam Kinison has denounced those who give to world hunger organizations. Bill Hicks has criticized nonsmokers in their presence, telling them how much he hates them. We've all heard jokes with a point we disagreed with yet laughed anyway at it. The difference of opinion is never the problem for making a biting observation funny. It's how you present that difference of opinion that matters. There's something else you're not doing that's getting in the way of the laugh. Trust me.
  4. Any stand-up comedians out there?

    Well, I'm not gonna steal other people's material, and I already have and have ready Judy Carter's 1988 book (and a dozen other books on this stuff). I'll reiterate my question: any people out there who either do stand-up professionally or are considering it as a career and are working toward doing it? Would like to hear from you. Roger
  5. Dear all, I'm attempting to do stand-up comedy for the expat community in South Korea, while working full-time as an English teacher. Right now, I stink at it, for long reasons I won't get into here. Suffice it to say that anyone who's done stand-up for a long time knows how hard it is to get just five minutes of solidly funny material. Right now I have one minute of adequate stuff and four minutes of still-born half-notions of whimsy. Incompetence aside, I'm a nice guy. Through, I've started a website for stand-up comedy wanna-bes in the Seoul area. However, I'd like to meet other people on this forum who are also pursuing a possible second career in stand-up comedy. Perhaps we can share ideas and war stories performing, creating, and all that. Mind you, I'm very new; there are only three five-minute open mics to my name. But hey, you gotta start somewhere. Yours sincerely, Roger
  6. Well, that's not true. The publisher is Minumsa, and the translators are native-speaking Koreans. Their Korean would be excellent. Given that Hangul is a bit large, it would take about five hardcover volumes of about 350 pages each to translate this. Galt's speech comes out to just over 100 pages. It does not appear as if they left anything out, although certainly a coherent, consistent translation would have to take its liberties with the original. Korean translators nowadays seem to be doing very well. I found the Korean translation of "Those who fight for the future, live in it today" in "The Romantic Manifesto." The translation, when translated back into English, seemed to work well, and was very close to the original. I use this translated phrase at the end of my blogs, whenever I blog on Korea-related issues. (I blog in English under an ornithological monicker.) To read that phrase in my posts, you'd need Korean fonts, but the rest of the post would be in English. Roger in Korea Still hoping to find Objectivists here...
  7. Hey! I'm an Objectivist who recently moved back to South Korea. I'm looking for Objectivists. Things have been pretty good lately for Objectivism. The five-volume translation of "Atlas" was published about a year or two ago, as was a new translation of "The Romantic Manifesto." I tell ya, this philosophy can catch on. Who's out there? Roger in Pohang
  8. Meyers-Briggs used in career counseling

    ABB, As written, i.e., in the context of the post and others I have made, the statement is no endorsement of the Dean's second-hander mentality in "The Fountainhead," assuming that's what you're getting at. Recall what I said: an extremely shy person may have trouble with being a social director. A somewhat risk-averse person may have trouble being a police officer. These people COULD have such positions, but they may find aspects of the work unappealing to them. Or, to take Roark as an example, an extremely independent sort of person may have trouble carrying out the orders and designs of others. To keep his sanity, he has to do and say things that seredipitously get him fired from one office or another, without him meaning to get fired. For more information on personality and work, I'd like to recommend some of the stuff Edwin Locke has done, particularly "The Prime Movers" and "Setting Goals to Improve Your Life and Happiness." In the former, he argues that great businessmen have various personality traits that help make them billionaires. In the latter, he argues that career goals should be set with some limiting context in mind; a shoe clerk with debt and a crumbling marriage, to give one of Dr. Locke's examples, may find it counter-productive to dream of being President of the United States. These weren't Locke's only arguments, but they show a connection between personality and career. I will certainly admit that it's possible to abuse the MBTI test, but you'd be surprised how many tests can be ruled out on the basis of potential abuse. Roger
  9. Meyers-Briggs used in career counseling

    A few points: 1) I think the Meyers-Briggs people can defend themselves without recourse to the "collective unconsciouness" aspects of Jung. I did not get any lectures on Jung the two times I took this test, nor was any tie-in like that made. Just because Jung was weird does not mean he was incapable of good ideas. 2) If personality type was the only principle of career choice, you might have an argument that Meyers-Briggs would counsel determinism. The counseling I got stressed that all types are in all professions and that it is certainly possible for me or anyone else to do work outside of their personality "comfort zone." Still, I don't think you can speak of MBTI "practitioners," as you call them, as "determinists in general," unless you've made a particular study of the matter. I think the point of books like "Do What You Are" is to help people see how their own personalities can be evaluated and how they can be compared to jobs where such personalities are a plus. The point is NOT if you have type X you can't do a Type Y job. If a Type Y job is your interest, then of course do it. But people may want to consider who they are consciously and subconsciously as a component to judge what kind of life is right for them. 3) "For someone who knows their values and has done any degree of introspection, the results of MBTI are a self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak." You make it sound as if "any degree of introspection" were necessary to think about oneself or one's career goals. Even if someone knows his values, he may still have a pile of unanswered questions. In my case, the test assisted my own introspection about careers I had considered throughout my life. It wound up being introspection helper, because many topics and subtopics were being integrated along these psychological considerations. 4) "For someone who does not know their values, what would be the outcome? They would answer the value choice questions by what they had heard others say was right or good or what they were told they were supposed to think or feel." Not necessarily. They could simply take this advice in consideration while thinking about what they like and don't like. A good career counselor may listen more than talk, allowing the person to come up with ideas on his own. 5) I think Bernstein's "cast the net" advice is valid, but I would extrospect AND introspect. Still, when doing both, it's important to consider what one is capable of doing within a limiting context. Physically, one may be too old for, say, an athletic or physically demanding career. Financially, one may not have the funds or resources to go to Harvard Law School, at least for the moment. Politically, some jobs may not be available, say, to people living in countries or times when positions are barred because of race or nationality. Psychologically, one may have an overall demeanor that inhibits some psychological job requirements. If you are painfully shy AND a bit disorganized AND averse to crowds, you may have trouble as social director on a cruise ship, regardless how much you may love the ocean. If there are many of these differences and if they go to the root of what a job requires, it may be psychologically uncomfortable to a person to complete the work satisfactorily. They could still do the work, but the satisfaction of a job well done may not be as satisfying as it could be if the work were more attuned psychologically to the person. One does not have to be Jung to see that. Regardless of one's passion for a particular field, it is important to be realistic about the kind of work one can get, and one's personality may be a part of that. Roger
  10. Meyers-Briggs used in career counseling

    Nicholas, I'm glad I didn't have the experience that you had. My career counselor advised me up front that all personality types are in all careers, and he did not take any stand on what career I should have. It sounds like what you got was not so much a career counselor but rather more of a career wrangler, someone who wanted to push you somewhere in the name of your personality type rather than simply make suggestions. If ALL you took was a personality test, then the career counselor wouldn't be doing much for you. I also took a career interest inventory test that shot at me 100 or so career ideas, in the form of things I might want to do (e.g., "I would like to work in an emergency room"). I had to rate my responses from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree," all done on a computer, which crunches the data and indicates my leanings. The report I get back shows two things. First, it classified the pattern of my interests and identified my interest type. Yep, psychometricians have ways of measuring even what careers strike your fancy. I find out I am an ASE, that I am interested in artistic, social, or enterprising careers, in that order. Other career leanings are realistic ®, investigative (I), and conventional ©, and anyone can test as any three-letter combination of these six concepts, by being, for example, an SCR, as IEC, an REA, etc. Second, I get a thick print-out showing what particular fields I seemed to lean toward, by what percentage, and other statistical data on your responses and what they could mean, whether it fit my ASE pattern or not. This may sound very hokey to some you. Why not just make a list of your career ideas and follow your convictions? Making a list of EVERYTHING you like may strain the crow, but a test where a myriad of career opportunites are shot at you, you can get a good profile of where you lean, sometimes with surprises. This is especially good for people who go to career counseling: those in doubt about their future, who need help in reflecting on what they should do in the future. Having this kind of test, when administered wisely, could be very illuminating, especially when combined with my Meyers-Briggs data.
  11. Meyers-Briggs used in career counseling

    For what it's worth, I think it's legitimate for the test to have what Betsy calls "false alternatives," such as the facts/theories example she gave. I've taken the test twice and do not remember any question like that, especially the second, official test. As for that question, one could argue it's not so hard to answer. Facts are always true, whereas theories are not, so choose facts, right? But let's say a conscientious Objectivist did choose theories as the answer. That may indicate that he was simply more comfortable in the world of theory than in facts, the kind of person who enjoys a theory-intensive course more than a course that requires heavy memorization of details. While it may look like a series of false dichotomies, the point is to force the test-taker into a choice that guages where he is more comfortable. I don't know under what auspices some have taken the test, but apparently there is some variation to the tests, especially if they are not done by the agency certified to do them. The test I took recently was a bit more subtle than what Betsy indicated. I am guessing there are a lot of pathetic versions of the actual test. If done right, I could imagine applications of the test data to things such as hiring practices, and I've heard there are even dating agencies that use tests like these. Roger
  12. Meyers-Briggs used in career counseling

    I would like to see hard data on what Objectivists are on the Meyers-Briggs, because I doubt that most of us are from one personality type. It could be that being an Objectivist pre-empts how we respond on the binary nature of the test, they we often put down the answer we think we should put down rather than the answer that accurately reflects who we are. We might, for example, describe ourselves so much as individual rather than as sociable, that the answer we give skews us unnaturally and inaccurately as mostly introverted. When I took the short version, about 60 questions, I scored as an INTJ, but later scored as an INTP on a 90-question version. I'll bet you we have all types in this movement and that types that don't look as , that someone who scores as ESFJ (Extroverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving) interprets that as, say, "SCEA" (Second-hander Concrete-bound Emotionalistic Amoral), which it certainly is not.
  13. OK, I guess I'll start this one. Recently, I went to career counseling at my university to examine what kinds of careers would be right for me. The counselor gave me the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory, a common personality test of over 90 questions used to elicit what your usual temperament or orientation is. The counselor did a good job qualifying the test, pointing out that it wasn't destiny, that it was not an excuse, that all careers have all of the 16 types this test identifies, that everyone needs a little bit of all 16, that the test itself has its own imperfections, etc. Very responsible, I thought, and I think it helped me see more about my personality and about what careers may suit it. I also did research on my own about the type I tested as, and found the information to be specific; it was NOT a sort of thinking man's astrology, as I think some use Meyers-Briggs to be ("Like, dude, that's so ENFJ"). For an Objectivist, and therefore for someone generally cautious about believing things at face value, I was impressed. But I did talk with a friend of mine about this, who's also an Objectivist but not well-versed about what Meyers-Briggs is. His concern was with typing people in general, that 16 types do not capture the range of people out there. He basically scoffed at the whole thing. I disagree with ths scoffing, but I could see how other Objectivists might scoff at the test, and I'm willing to give their criticisms the benefit of a doubt. So, my question to all of you is: have you done something like this kind of test for the sake of learning about your career options? Do you have any positive or negative views about this test? Do you think it exemplifies or violates anything in Ayn Rand's philosophy? Do you think this kind of test is helpful? Roger (INTP)
  14. Induction, Physics, and Language Learning

    The broader question I asked is about the applicability of Peikoff's model of induction to language learning. Let me explain my problem again, this time in the form of a dilemma I am facing. Perhaps you can help me untagle it. Peikoff starts with first-level generalizations such as, "Balls roll when you push them." But if his model presupposes that the inducer has grammar to guide him in the making of first-level generalizations, then it may be wrong to use it as a model for how children form grammatical rules. It would be putting the cart before the horse for me to use the rules and/or principles Peikoff discussed, such as difference and agreement, to explain something even more fundamental, i.e., a way of stringing concepts together. So, at the risk of sounding rationalistic, I am backed into two choices, unless you see a way out: 1) I must either forget applying "Induction in Physics and Philosophy" to language learning, since that whole lecture course was meant for something much more involved, or 2) keep Peikoff's analysis but delete anything in his model that presupposes grammar (which may of course be the whole model!) in order to apply what he said to the issue I'm thinking about. Do you see my dilemma? If it were you, would you drop the whole idea of applying that course to this problem, or would you incorporate the course in a slightly different way? Roger PS -- Tell me if my harping on this gets annoying.
  15. Induction, Physics, and Language Learning

    Betsy, So you see this learning process as first pattern or sound learning without much conceptual grasp of the words themselves, like children saying "It is dead because it died" rather than indicate a causal relation, and that, by trial and error, by some "hypothesis testing," they eventually get the concept of the pattern. (I like your "because" example of a pattern that kids use without making much sense, because I read an interesting paper on that a long time ago.) I think that's analogous to Rand's description of definitions, of "man" for example being a thing that moves and makes noises. They have some first-level generalization -- you can put "because" between two words, for example --and then later on that gets sharpened, in the manner that the definition of "man gets sharpened. As a parent, does that sound right to you, or does that sound too much to you like children are research scientists, sitting and stewing about usage, a bit unnaturally for kids? Still wondering if it's weird to speak of inducing grammar rules. Like I said, it could be that grammar may have to precede induction.