Doug Sheerton

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  1. Are Thanks Really Necessary?

    Yeah, that's what I meant. It's a volunteer military (police and fire, too). They get paid. Most absolutely love what they do. So do all the job types you named in your list. As I do and am engaged in my work. Some of us need thanks, some don't. I try to discern who. That's it. Where's this need arising to make it more complicated? I'm sorry, but I'm having difficulty with your difficulty, made more so by the apparent sarcasm (which I trust I echoed back to you appropriately and without malice). Because I don't find it difficult to follow the glaring difference between one of us getting killed in a traffic accident on our way to work and someone who deliberately puts himself squarely on the wall and, in the words of a pretty actress tell us, "Nobody's going to hurt you tonight," whether or not that hurt has the risk of immediacy or is the result of a strategic thinker (also paid for what he loves to do) to affect some longer term consequence. What I don't follow is what you seem to be arguing with me about, if anything at all. If I knew the two people Burgess mentioned I'd thank them; I might even hold their hands if that will help them get over CNN. When my Navy friends are back home, I won't; we'll drink beer and tell stories. I'll mostly listen. What's the issue?
  2. Ken Wilbur

    Yes, I understand. And, just as unfortunately, he predicts this type of reaction in T.O.E.Wilbur might reply from his "Theory of Everything" that we are merely in different hierarchical zones. There are Buddhists I know who are consistently reality based when interacting with me; what goes on in their heads apart from that I leave to them. And while it's true that many Buddhists subscribe to the rebirth fantasy, there is another book on my reading list ("Buddhism Without Belief") which I'm told takes the "awareness of reality" aspects of Buddhist training and leaves the rest. Just as Aikido developed two primary schools--one concerned with only the physical aspects of this marital art and one which also embraces the mystical Ki ("Use the Force, Luke."), I'd need to know more about how Ken Wilbur practices his Buddhism before I wrote him off. I appreciate your time and research, Burgess. If you or the owners of this site would prefer no further discussion of Ken Wilbur here, I have absolutely no issues honoring that. Otherwise, I encourage anyone who has actually read his works to comment further. Thank you.
  3. Ken Lay

    Yes, Ken Lay. What in the world could he be doing here? I recall that his defense at the Enron Trial had been that he wasn't aware of the conditions in his company. Whether you believe that or not isn't the focus of my question. It stunned me that a man of his wealth, surely with access to the very best medical care on a regular basis, could drop dead of severe coronary heart disease at 64 (still relatively young). It occured to me, could it be that he evaded not only his own company's affairs but, as a pattern, also that of his own body's? Aren't there warning signs galore for this type of untimely death--even basic ones that we all have diagnostic access to such as higher blood pressure, arterial sclerosis, elevated heart rate, pulmonary capacity, elapsed time to restore after vigorous exercise? Again, my focus is not so much on Mr. Lay as it is in using him in the context of a medical question to knowledgable readers: If we grant the premise that he did in fact have the best medical care and availed himself of it, then how is it possible for such a severe condition to go undetected? I ask for all our sakes.
  4. Ken Wilbur

    I'm not qualified to answer definitively any questions related to Wilbur's writings yet. I'm hoping to attract those on this thread who have read his works. I'm reticent to give more details because of the questions they in turn will generate for which I am ill-equipped to answer on his behalf. His writings should do that.But I'll do my best with our understanding that this doesn't generate further dialog between two people who are not familiar with his works. And, of course, to thank you, Burgess, for your willingness to jump in, for which you are always welcomed. So far in this book (T.O.E.), he has only been writing about expanding one's awareness of reality. He has devoted much time to laying out hierarchies and quadrants of knowledge. I have yet to read anything by him in this book that defines what is as anything other than reality. He and Branden both agreed that the mystical approach is flawed, both old school and new age. He accepts subjectivism and intrincisism (without using those terms, of course) seemingly from the perspective that we do--they exist in men's minds and we need to be aware of them. They are often conduits for real awareness if one gets past them. He accepts them as primitive methods of organizing information, despite both tending to minimize all other views, which he regards as endemic to each hierarchy to the levels below and above it. He is very critical of our Age, which he calls afflicted by "boomeritis" (please don't ask me to expound yet except to note that I get he means narcissism and is not being critical of rational self-interest). But there's no doubt in my mind he is ruthless in excoriating self-proclaimed allegedly "higher" consciousnesses (such as the nihilism of radical environmentalism) as anathema to actual progress for humanity. So he keeps hooking me along. He's beginning to introduce terms such as "holonic" and "integral" (I know really nothing of these yet) and I'm being cautious about accepting or dismissing new terms (to me) until I understand much more. I do remember him embracing spirals of knowledge which reminded me of Dr. Peikoff's writings in O:PAR. I don't know much more about it yet, thus this post.
  5. University of Chicago supports Iran

  6. Are Thanks Really Necessary?

    I really admire your perspective on this, especially how you seek to learn more about the other person's values no matter which side of the "coin" you're operating.Thanks, Ray.
  7. Ken Wilbur

    A friend of mine who is not a Student of Objectivism recently sent me a 20 minute sound clip of a public conversation between Philosopher Ken Wilbur and Psychologist Nathaniel Brandon. I thanked my friend without engaging in any discussions about Objectivism's history since to him that would have come off as "gratuitous blather" and, even worse, inconsiderate within the friendly context of his thoughtful gesture towards me. Since after listening to the clip I hadn't dismissed it outright, a few weeks later I received from him Ken Wilbur's book "A Theory of Everything" which I am now pouring through. So far in my reading, the man seems sincerely objective, critical of both subjective and intrinsic world views, while maintaining that an understanding and acceptance (but not identity with) of both are necessary rungs to achieving higher states of consciousness. Nothing I've read so far, albeit in this one book of his, has caused me to see his approach as flawed. In fact, in the discussion with Branden, Wilbur embraced Objectivism and seemed to do so in good faith (as one might expect from one who is intellectually honest about trying to create a Theory of Everything). I have nothing close to the necessary familiarity with his works yet to create an informed opinion. For now I'd be interested in reading your thoughts about Wilbur's apparently voluminous works and specifically about his T.O.E.
  8. University of Chicago supports Iran

    Non sequitur. Rose and I already got to the bottom of the disconnect.
  9. Are Thanks Really Necessary?

    I deliberately try not to do that. Because it's just as easily argued, and equally pointless, that there are a large number of people who readily accept thanks for doing relatively little that earns our gratitude. (Burgess, my comments are not directed at the people you interviewed. I do not know them.)Interesting that three Navy SEAL's, men who are far from having any "psychological" issues that inhibit them from performing anything they have to do in its proper time and place (including accepting a gracious "thank you"), have an attitude about life more grounded than many of us--that our thanks is not necessary. Of course, in their line of work, they must live such attitudes because there's little room to see things without clarity that doesn't lead to the deaths of them or their team. Compare that with the noncom computer programmer--another military job out of thousands--behind her desk in Kuwait. Her desiring "thanks" because she's in a pouty mood after listening to CNN every day, and especially in relationship to the SEAL's similarly taxpayer funded job, actually strikes me as offensive.
  10. University of Chicago supports Iran

    I'd be surprised if it did. I wish it would. Now that would be interesting to watch. But, as Rose would doubtless agree, we have a long way to go before objective morality and the Law are uncontradictory in the United States.
  11. University of Chicago supports Iran

    Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification, Rose.
  12. Are Thanks Really Necessary?

    It's neither an opposition nor a false dichotomy. Around these three SEAL's that is the method to handle this particular issue. And, it's self-evident that it is also what the creator of this thread prefers. Thus, my use of the term "gratuitous blather" not only accurately embraced this widely-held point-of-view (that no thanks are needed), but also showed the "listening" skills that allowed me to offer the requisite respect on this very thread.But I also respect your experience, Burgess, and what those two (also) active-duty noncoms prefer. And, out of the same respect for what they too have earned, I would not challenge their false dichotomy--that the only two ways of relating to each is by either thanking or pillorying them. In their cases, your thanks was and will continue to be a welcomed antidote. The larger principle here is that it pays to know with whom one is speaking in order for communication to be most effective.
  13. University of Chicago supports Iran

    No, you have maintained the premise that Iran has no rights to it (a premise I agree with). Thus Iran is not its owner. If we grant our premise, then the U.S. courts are not seizing it from Iran, they are seizing it from the University of Chicago which is its rightful owner.
  14. Are Thanks Really Necessary?

    I agree completely with this evaluation.Our Armed Forces, like the Police and Firemen in the United States, are volunteers and paid with our tax dollars, which I personally would gladly give them even if this government didn't make compliance compulsory. I don't expect to be thanked for paying my taxes and thus understand completely what all professionals I've asked in these lines of work echo repeatedly. Examples? I've actually asked this question of three Navy SEAL's I know, extremely intelligent, quiet, and thoughtful men, each of whom independently and genuinely looked at me a bit odd when I asked (as if I was speaking another language) and then, when assured I was serious, replied to a man that they love their work, consider it the "best job on earth," and that no thanks are ever needed. Long ago I decided that the best way to honor such men is to grant them what they have truly earned--my respect. And, when around them, to demonstrate that respect quietly and without gratuitous blather.
  15. University of Chicago supports Iran

    If Iran has no property rights, doesn't it follow that the University of Chicago has the equivalent of what would be an "archaeological find" without any ownership but its own attached? If we admit the premise that there are no Iranian property rights, on what similarly objective basis would the U.S. Government now be justified in seizing the artifacts from the university in order to sell them off? For determining ownership lineage, Iran would have no more standing than New Zealand (though for different reasons).If the University of Chicago was now insisting on shipping the artifacts back to Iran, in other words ending its current ownership of them and donating valuable assets to a state that sponsors terror, I think a case could be made for the United States to intercept that transfer. But on what objective basis does the United States have for seizing them while still in the custody of UC if, as you write, Iran no longer has any rights to them? If we're going to promote the application of objective laws ("terrorism-sponsoring nation has abdicated the right to any property") then we should not seek to apply those laws selectively, but rather uniformly in all cases, something with which I'm sure no one here would disagree. And just as obvious to us, we do not yet live in a society governed wholly by objective Law.