sean

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Posts posted by sean


  1. I find these designs a bit on the feminine side. I like machines that look like machines. These scooters look a bit "pimped up" to me. I like objects that are male-crude or plain. But what can you expect from someone who deliberately bought a 2006 Scion XB? I love my ugly box on 4 wheels. And who is going to try to steal it?

    Bob Kolker


  2. "What is missing from modern bikes is that human touch."

    I totally agree with this in the sense that the human touch makes for a positive sense of life, but not in the sense that things have to be hand made. Vespas and Lambrettas were not intended to be luxury items--they were mass produced with the idea of being cheap transportation for the general population who could not afford cars after the war. Nonetheless, they had to make them desirable enough to compete with the other scooters on the market. For example, the Cushman scooter was one of the first and was pretty utilitarian and ugly. (Ugly as they are, Cushmans still do have a strong following in some circles.)

    When we talk about "the human touch" what is important about that is that the person who designed the vehicle or object in question wanted you to feel something or have a particular kind of inspiring experience when you look at and use it. Modern vehicles, in particular modern scooters, seem like they are designed with some kind of weird futuristic vision of what beauty will look like when we all live in space.

    Vespa GS160

    o856du.jpg

    Series 1 SX200 Lambretta

    wits12.jpg

    Series 2 Li 250 Lambretta custom street racer

    uroev.jpg


  3. Why do the sort of esthetics used in the making of most modern automobiles lack what it takes to make a machine of beauty? Ok, please allow me to be more objective...Why do the sort of esthetics used in the making of all modern scooters, lack what it takes to make a machine of beauty? Am I to believe the past designers of the now classic Vespa and Lambretta machines have achieved the certain kind of beauty that only a two wheeled, step through, motorized vehicle can achieve? I'm fairly new to the concepts of the esthetic arguments found in objectivism, but as a guy who has been doing nothing but eating, breathing, and sleeping vintage Italian motorbikes and scooters for over 20 years I can say that the folks at Piaggio (Vespa) and Innocenti (Lambretta) got it right when they made the GS160 Vespa and the GP200 Lambretta. While many beautiful models were produced from the 1950s through the 1970s, both of these models are the pinnacle of vintage Italian scooter style. Like a lot of Italian design, these scooters drew heavily on the esthetics of the female form. Many modern scooters are more utilitarian, and use edgy, straight lines that convey promises of speed that they can never deliver upon. For this reason, I feel for one to seek out and station a Lambretta or Vespa scooter next to one of the many lesser imitators, would be to conclude that the lesser machines would even stand a chance in terms of achieving the same esthetic value.

    There seems to be a lot of love for the latest and greatest going on in the objectivist philosophy, but what about the relics of the past? I know, I might be the only scooter nut on here, but what about old cars, planes, trains, etc.? Do estetics always progress, or can we say that in certain eras or periods the height of an estetic has already been achieved, and cannot be drastically altered? I'm a firm believer in the customization of a machine to fit one's personal metaphysical taste, but that's not the same as coming up with something totally new--such as a new design for a scooter.


  4. Is it immoral for an Objectivist to use a public library or even drive their car on a public road for that matter? Is it a case of well, were paying for it already, might as well use it?

    A more then somewhat socialist friend of mine were just have an argument about the local Tea Party canceling their protest do to a weather report released by an organization that is paid for by the government. Wouldn't the moral thing to do have been to just go ahead and protest in spite the NWS.


  5. Well, having been house bound last week here in the Northeast by 3' of global warming has lead me to try a my hand at figure sculpture.

    That is fantastic for a first effort.

    If you decide to pursue sculpture seriously, I would like to recommend my friend Stuart Mark Feldman. He is not only a successful professional sculptor (link) (link), but he is an inspiring teacher who has created anatomical reference models (link) for his students.

    Thanks, Betsy. Very impressive and inspiring. Already at work on my second piece. Back to my original question though, :" I decided on sculpting the human figure after coming across the definition in the Ayn Rand Lexicon to see if I can better understand where she was coming from when she said that only the figure of man can project a metaphysical meaning and there is little that one can express in the statue of an animal or of an inanimate object. It's is this statement that I find myself in disagreement with, for as a lover of vintage design, motorcycles, cars, architecture, etc.. I find that I can get a very good sense of life from their design as well. Maybe not as strong as the human body but they still do offer me a great deal of metaphysical meaning or so it would seem."

    Anyone have an opinion?


  6. Wow, thanks! The reason I stopped at the neck, shoulders, and legs is that I was contrasting on what I see as the curviest part of the female form. It also offered me the least technically challenging part so I might not give up and lose interest. But, now that I have a better handle at what I what to accomplish, I feel I might be ready to tackle the rest soon on a different piece. As for your your offer, Thanks very much but, I think I'll hang on to it for a little while longer.

    Sorry, I meant to say concentrate not contrasting.


  7. Wow, thanks! The reason I stopped at the neck, shoulders, and legs is that I was contrasting on what I see as the curviest part of the female form. It also offered me the least technically challenging part so I might not give up and lose interest. But, now that I have a better handle at what I what to accomplish, I feel I might be ready to tackle the rest soon on a different piece. As for your your offer, Thanks very much but, I think I'll hang on to it for a little while longer.


  8. Well, having been house bound last week here in the Northeast by 3' of global warming has lead me to try a my hand at figure sculpture. I'm a vintage motorcycle Mechanic by trade and have not touched a block of clay sense I was in my teens so, I don't think it's half bad. Anyway, I decided on sculpting the human figure after coming across the definition in the Ayn Rand Lexicon to see if I can better understand where she was coming from when she said that only the figure of man can project a metaphysical meaning and there is little that one can express in the statue of an animal or of an inanimate object. It's is this statement that I find myself in disagreement with for as a lover of vintage design, motorcycles, cars, architecture, etc.. I find that I can get a very good sense of life from their design as well. Maybe not as strong as the human body but they still do offer me a great deal of metaphysical meaning or so it would seem. 2ni4pdc.jpg


  9. "humans were born with no instincts, the first woman who gave birth would not have known to chew the cord and put the newborn to her breast to feed and the human race would never have been"

    This was more or less the argument a friend of mine had with me the other night. I guess the think the I failed to realize is that the woman herself was not born 1 sec before she herself had a baby. Therefore, it had to have been a leaned behavior to want to take care of said baby.

    If that women was born and grow to adulthood, (retaining only what she knew when she was a baby) she would not be able to take care of herself, let alone a baby.


  10. I understand the majority of our decisions after birth are acquired from learned behavior, but if humans were born with no instincts, the first woman who gave birth would not have known to chew the cord and put the newborn to her breast to feed and the human race would never have been or what about dropping a baby in a pool? It takes to swimming right away, right? Like all animals, are we not born with certain instincts? I guess the thing I don't really understand why Rand said "An instinct of self-preservation is precisely what man does not possess".


  11. I understand the story of this kid broke a great number of years ago but have not heard much more since then or even if this story was true or not. Might be old news but I'm new to the writings and philosophy of Ayn Rand and was curious to get an Objectivist's take on it. Found this posted on another forum...

    "There's a young student at this university," neurologist

    Professor John Lorber of Sheffield University told Science magazine in December 1980, "who has an IQ of 126, has gained a first-class honours degree in mathematics, and is socially completely normal. And yet the boy has virtually no brain.

    A scan revealed that the student had only 1mm of brain tissue lining the inside of his skull - fluid filled the area where the rest of his brain should have been. His was an extreme case of hydrocephalus, or "water on the brain", whereby cerebrospinal fluid fills the brain instead of circulating around it. Most sufferers can lead normal lives if regularly treated.

    But if he had no brain, where was his mind? Similar questions are raised by cases of "transplant memories". In 1988, Claire Sylvia received a heart and double-lung transplant. After the operation, she underwent some apparent personality changes: she began to have unusual (for her) cravings for beer, green peppers and chicken nuggets; she dreamed about beautiful women and experienced homosexual urges. She also dreamed of meetings with a young man called Tim.

    Alarmed, Sylvia sought out her donor's family and discovered that her new organs had belonged to an 18-year-old boy, called Tim. Tim had a penchant for the same foods she was craving - he was eating chicken nuggets when he died - and Sylvia felt he was the boy in her dreams.

    In the 19th century, German anatomist Leopold Auerbach observed a complex network of nerve cells in the human digestive tract. This nerve bundle, a "second brain" containing more nerve cells than the spinal cord, was recently rediscovered by Michael Gershon at Columbia University. Professor Wolfgang Prinz in Munich has also studied this, and thinks it could govern some of our emotional and physical responses to thoughts and events - hence, perhaps, "gut feelings".

    Georgetown University's Dr Candace Pert has suggested that neuropeptides are linked to our sense of self. These chemicals, found in all our major organs and muscles, enable communication between the mind and body. Pert's theory is that they also carry our emotions and our memories. Is consciousness diffused throughout the body with them?"

    Also found this....

    http://www.flatrock.org.nz/topics/science/...y_necessary.htm