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About TheDancer

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  • Birthday 08/06/1983

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  1. Maybe I just need to read Atlas Shrugged 4 more times. Thank you for that, Betsy!
  2. I have an opinion why people might view John Galt as a one-dimensional character, maybe moreso than any other heroic character of Ayn Rand's. In her novels, Dominique, Dagny, Rearden, Ragnar, Francisco, and even Roark all have major or minor things that they are dealing with along the way, so we can relate to them better. Even if we as readers recognize they are rational beings who are heroes in their own right, there is at least one psychological problem/situation they are each trying to overcome, and by the end of the story, they each know their error, or they have a fuller understanding of how Dangerous the secondhanders/moochers are. Even Roark, throughout most of The Fountainhead, doesn't know why secondhanders are the way they are, and why they don't see the importance of being rationally selfish. So we can relate to these characters more because we see them make errors, learn from situations, etc. With Galt, he is presented in Atlas Shrugged as pretty much perfect, one who is the epitome of a heroic being. I'm wondering if why most of us say he is a one-dimensional character has something to do with we don't BUY his character. He seems too perfect, so we write him off as one-dimensional. I am guilty of doing this too, and I guess, now I'm thinking that this more of a confession on an insecurity I/we have. What do you think? Is this a reasonable realization or no? Could Rand have "fleshed out" Galt's character a bit more somehow?
  3. Thank you everybody, You all have given me a lot to think about. I appreciate everybody's feedback on my questions. I have many responses to your own comments, but rather than retort, I think I need to ponder everybody's comments, and maybe look through The Romantic Manifesto one more time, before saying anything else. Many surprising and interesting things for me to think about. I have much to learn, THANK YOU!
  4. I am an avid fan of Ayn Rand. I have been reading her fiction and nonfiction nonstop for 1 year, now, and this is only my 2nd post on The Forum. I have read The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Anthem, Virtue of Selfishness, some of OPAR, Romantic Manifesto, a few of her short stories, and I've begun We The Living. I mostly read to further understand how I can live my life according to reason, principle, and purpose. I have found an incredible new philosophy that doesn't have any holes in it, it seems, and I am enjoying integrating Objectivism into my life, to help me achieve the goals and dreams I have set for myself. However. . .after reading The Romantic Manifesto, I have some questions/concerns that I wanted to get some feedback from others about. Yes, she was a great thinker, and supplied a philosophy for living, but was she an ARTIST? Is good art only good art when the content of which is uplifting and purpose-driven? I have a hard time with this belief of Rand's. What the art communicates should dictate the measurement of the piece of art itself? Really? I enjoy reading her novels immensely, but I confess, I don't really read them for the artistry or creativeness. Giving one example from Romantic Manifesto, she criticizes the side of beef painting that is so popular among everybody(I forget the artist). Yes, I agree with her, in how portraying a piece of meat is counterproductive and is the antithesis of what she stands for, but is this painter any less of an artist for it, compared to Ayn Rand? Why can't an artist be a lousy thinker, and a decent artist? This seems like a weak argument. I'm not persuaded. I read her books to apply the philosophy to my life in a realistic way. A friend of mine told me recently that she thought Ayn Rand's writing wasn't as incredible as I thought. She went on to say that Ayn Rand was an "economic writer" and a "utilitarian writer", using words, characters, and stories to merely communicate a philosophy, but that there was only an average skill-level at allegories, metaphors, and whatever "good literature" fans enjoy. Why is it that literature buffs are not as impressed with Ayn Rand's novels? Are her novels not high-brow literature? When this friend of mine made these accusations about Ayn Rand, about how she was a good thinker, and a good conveyor of her philosophy, but not an extremely awesome novelist, I had to agree with them a bit, and was surprised to find that this disappointed me. Thinking of Ayn Rand as anything less than what she thought of herself to be, would be very disappointing to me. Seeing her only as a thinker, and not as an artist possibly, seems to disappoint me. I am left wondering, is she a good writer after all? How does one define a good writer from an average one? Does it even matter if she's an amazing artist at all? She's contributed so much with Objectivism. Thoughts, Feedback, Corrections, Things to ponder, PLEASE! Thank you.
  5. Reflecting back on it now, I realize I should have posted this original post under a different topic. History would have been more appropriate, or something. I'll be better about that from now on. Shawn
  6. Thank you for your suggestion of Peikoff's "Understanding Objectivism," Betsy. In addition to the basic readings, I am in fact, curious as to what lecture courses are the most beneficial to one, starting out. Now I just need to save up the money! Shawn
  7. This is helpful. Thank you, bborg. This removes any guilt or insecurity I might have in just focusing on Ayn Rand at this point. Shawn
  8. Thank you RayK, I appreciate the encouragement. Since I'm starting out on this new path, it's helpful to receive encouragement from people who have integrated parts of/all of the path (in this case, Objectivism) into their lives. Yes, I am looking forward to finishing reading OPAR ( and then the rest of her nonfiction), so I can then know more concretely how to apply Objectivism to my everyday life, as I have an enormous amount of curiosity pertaining to how this will affect my friendships, romance, my business, and my goals. I realize, from reading everybody else's posts, that incorporating Objectivism into your life is a process, and it will take time. Years. But that's okay, I am 26 years old, and I'm really wanting to do this. . . In short, I'm motivated to press RESTART. It's 12:38am, and I think I'm going to read some pages from OPAR tonight! I hope everyone else is enjoying pursuing their reading interests, too. Shawn
  9. Thank you for all your excellent feedback, everybody! Reading your posts has helped me to clarify what it is I am after, my purpose, in reading Ayn Rand. From your responses, I have learned the following: 1. That I'm not interested in switching from philosopher to philosopher, in hopes of having a broad knowledge of every different kind. Maybe this will change in time, but after I have been on the wrong path for 20 years, I am motivated to focus most, if not all my attention to really learn Objectivism, which is a breath of fresh air not to have to skip around, like I'm in a history of philosophy class(although I do see how diversifying your knowledge at some point, would be beneficial). If I were to take a history of philosophy kind of course, or study, it would be one of Peikoff's series of lectures on history. If I'm armed with a better rational mind to begin with, I can then read other philosophers afterwards, applying my objective thinking to evaluate each differing viewpoint. This makes sense. 2. That with my new reality-based thinking might scare off my friends, if I keep trying to talk about rationality, reasons, and how mysticism is illogical. I should tone it down. In fact, if I just integrate Objectivism into life, I am sure my friends, and others will see the change in me, how I will have increased self-esteem, increased productivity, and higher fulfillment, and want to know more about this new philosophy for me. Show by example. Less talk, more action, that makes sense. 3. That after I read OPAR, I need to check out The Virtue of Selfishness, and The Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. From what you all have said, these seem to be very helpful to refining how one thinks, in general. How to apply rationality to any given context, or situation. I seem to have started with the novels Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged, and now I see the importance of including the nonfiction, as well. 4. That I have found a wonderful group of people, here on The Forum. I'm not sure what the protocol is exactly, but I just wanted to say thank you to all of you: Henrik, TheChef, Arnold, Thales, Alann, Paul's here, Brad Harrington, and Carlos, for your posts in response to mine. I have read and thought about each of your contributions to my original post, and can tell you that each of you have been very helpful! I look forward to integrating Objectivism more solidly into my life, as well as becoming more active on The Forum, and learning from so many of you. Cheers, Shawn
  10. Hello everybody, This is my very first post on The Forum. For the last few months, I have been reading other people's posts, and haven't gotten up the nerve to post my own. So I'm going to give it a shot, now. =) This may be a topic that has already been discussed. . .but, I have been told that I read too much Ayn Rand, by my friends. In the last 6 months, I've read Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Anthem, and am now working on OPAR. I have to admit, I am enjoying reading about Objectivism so much, that I'm not reading up on any other philosophers. I have always been hungry for a philosophy based on reality and logic, and I feel like I've hit pay dirt with Ayn Rand. So, I just wanted to ask everybody this: Do you all feel that reading from several different philosophers, in addition to Ayn Rand is a good thing? I ask, because I remember seeing somewhere that Ayn Rand stressed that a person should read from all philosophers, to be able to compare and contrast them, and then ultimately, come to the logical conclusion that she and Aristotle have a better grasp on fundamentals for living. So. . .Do you all find yourselves only reading Ayn Rand books, knowing the other stuff is incorrect, or do you throw in some Kant or Dewey along the way for a balance? What are the positives and the negatives to each perspective? I'm relatively new to Objectivism, having only read Ayn Rand regularly for the last 6 months. So any feedback on this would be very much appreciated!! Shawn