Myno

Aloha

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I guess I qualify as an Olde Timer to Objectivism, though I'm brand new here at 4AynRandFans. As you may have noticed, I was drawn here to post in Current Events about a nasty popular fiction book that warps and twists Objectivism. But aside from that, I'm glad to make contact with fellow travelers.

Born and raised on the West Coast, but mostly in the SoCal desert farming community of Indio (25 miles and a world away from Palm Springs, at least back in those days), I remember my mother reading Atlas (in our family we didn’t call it Shrugged) to my father at night, especially the scene where she lands in the valley. Later, I became a close friend of Karl Bray in LA back when I went to undergrad at Harvey Mudd College. I ran Stanford Libertarians when I went to graduate school there. I married a great gal who actually was the youngest person to attend the Nathaniel Brandon Institute in the basement of the Empire State Building in NYC back when Miss Rand was lecturing there (Barbara Brandon got it wrong in her book, as we told her). I met my wife at one of Nathaniel Brandon’s Intensives in LA. So I've got some history with Objectivism and its cultural side-effects.

These days I mostly shake my head at the world, and work on my software projects. I reside in Hawaii, which is about as Socialist as you might imagine, but the weather's fine.

So a warm aloha to you all.

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Glad to meet you Myno. 10 days ago I was in Aruba and now its 12F here in Maryland. I'd take warm weather if I could find a job there.

I've been involved with Objectivism since the early 70's. It's hard to believe that time flies to quickly.

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Aloha Paul,

It's "cold" enough here (for someone accustomed to the tropics), with this North Wind we're having. [see http://earth.nullschool.net/] But I can't compare my huddling in sweaters in the low 70's to what everyone on the mainland is suffering through in the New Global Warming Climate.

I once had a "long leash" to Silicon Valley, but presently am working on an iPhone/iPad application. So, there are still few good jobs in Paradise, unless you bring your job with you. And the political climate here (Obama kinda came from here, you know?) isn't going to generate many new ones anytime soon.

As for local interest in Objectivism, when I went to my local Tea Party meeting, and said what my philosophical orientation was, they looked at me like I was some strange kind of fish they'd never heard of before. And when I started talking Austrian Economics, their eyes glazed over. Sigh...

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I reside in Hawaii, which is about as Socialist as you might imagine, but the weather's fine... It's "cold" enough here (for someone accustomed to the tropics), with this North Wind we're having...

It seems that the statists take over all the nicest places first, in every respect that they want.

Isn't the cost of living higher there, too?

As for local interest in Objectivism, when I went to my local Tea Party meeting, and said what my philosophical orientation was, they looked at me like I was some strange kind of fish they'd never heard of before. And when I started talking Austrian Economics, their eyes glazed over. Sigh...

What were they advocating? If you have anything in common with them at all, maybe it's an opportunity to show them how much more is possible.

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Cost of living is indeed higher. We often refer to the "Paradise Tax", and that can contextually mean anything from the price for shipping to/from the mainland, to the onerous business environment.

As for what the local Tea Party was advocating, they are here dominated by religious conservatives, for whom the abortion issue dominates all other concerns. (To be fair, the state has a huge health bureaucracy, which has frustrated them for many years.) But try to find common ground in the economic disaster, and they pay lip service, but really want to exclude anyone not sharing their view on abortion. Generalizations don't apply equally to all, of course, but I found the atmosphere at their meetings stifling. They don't really want to learn. They want to take action, but really haven't much clue as to how to go about influencing folks in this island culture. I've tried, believe me I've tried. And the problem is very deeply entrenched in the local culture. E.g., there's one (count him!) Republican in the state senate. He's a pretty exceptional Republican, but you get the idea...

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As for what the local Tea Party was advocating, they are here dominated by religious conservatives, for whom the abortion issue dominates all other concerns. (To be fair, the state has a huge health bureaucracy, which has frustrated them for many years.) But try to find common ground in the economic disaster, and they pay lip service, but really want to exclude anyone not sharing their view on abortion. Generalizations don't apply equally to all, of course, but I found the atmosphere at their meetings stifling. They don't really want to learn. They want to take action, but really haven't much clue as to how to go about influencing folks in this island culture. I've tried, believe me I've tried. And the problem is very deeply entrenched in the local culture. E.g., there's one (count him!) Republican in the state senate. He's a pretty exceptional Republican, but you get the idea...

If what they mostly care about is making abortion illegal it's not hard to see why they are failing to influence the culture there and no one should be helping them at all.

The worst of it, politically, is that their packaging of religious impositions with the meaning of the tea party revolt, such as they claim to be part of it at all, only undermines the tea party and discourages consideration of it.

Look for isolated individuals who aren't part of that.

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You may not realize, this is a really small "Big Island", so individuals with truly intellectual prospects are extremely few and far between. Been looking for awhile now (20 years).

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The population of Hawaii is about 1.4 million, more than 11 other states. There must be someone there you can talk to.

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Breathing is a prerequisite to life. Objectivism is a prerequisite to living well. But then there's the living well, the stretching of those psychoepistemological muscles, the accumulation of experience, and the development of personality. We are individuals, with our distinctive characters, with no guarantee that equivalence of outlook on one of life's many prerequisites is sufficient to satisfy the fractal chemistry of attraction. I am at that certain stage of life where I am attracted to folk with some piquant flavors evolved over at least a few decades of self-examination and experimentation, most likely beyond the purview of students in a collegiate club, no matter how well founded. I have grown into a multihued iconoclast, sparked as much by spark as doctrine. Forgive me if I do not fit into easily managed categories...

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You started out saying you couldn't find anyone who shares your political views on activism on your small island of Hawaii. The University at Honolulu has an Objectivist club where you could go to look for contacts. It doesn't mean you need to hang out and socialize with college students. In a state of 1.4 million people your intial statement doesn't seem to be true. It seems you have switched the topic to "fractal chemistry of attraction" and "multihued iconoclast, sparked as much by spark as doctrine", which, whatever it means, isn't what we were talking about. But on the original topic you have a practical suggestion.

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Also, adult non-students often gravitate to the talks and activities of Objectivist campus clubs in order to hear the speakers and mentor and support young people interested in Objectivism. As a result, campus clubs often become social centers for Objectivists.

I participated for over a decade in Jeanette Leneman's informal every-Wednesday-night Objectivist gathering at her house. It began with a bunch of UCLA students and then expanded to 20 - 30 people a week when she put notices in local papers and bulletin boards telling people who liked Ayn Rand about Wednesday night.

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I apologize if I have offended. That was certainly not my intention. Let me try to disambiguate the situation, from the top. I freely admit that this whole affair started off with my taking offense... at a popular novel that has a particularly nasty attitude toward Objectivism. I enlisted the assistance of several Websites in publicizing my negative review of that book, including 4aynrandfans. Betsy encouraged me to announce my presence on this forum, and so I did so, with the hope that I might encounter an interesting rugged individualist or two. In the course of conversation, I indicated that there were few prospects for fellow Objectivists in my local area.

Now the definition of "local" appears to be getting in our way. For someone who lives in a major contiguous metropolitan area, a drive to the "local" university is no big deal. But "local" to someone on the Big Island means here on the Big Island. In case it had escaped notice, the state of Hawaii (with its 11+ millions) is not comprised of just one island. The main population center is on Oahu, which also hosts the main campus of the University of Hawaii. We live on an "outer island" called "Hawaii" and known as the Big Island... big for its land mass, not its population, which is relatively small, and not particularly intellectual. One can travel between islands by air, but the plane fares are relatively steep and the inconvenience significant. After car rental, hotel and meals, and airport parking or taxi to and from Kona Airport, a trip to Oahu costs us a little under a kilobuck. That is not chump change for us. Nor is the time and energy expenditure for such a trip at our age. Certainly this is not something to consider doing frequently.

You are quite right that we could expend that effort and resources in the hope that there might be persons of interest there with whom to make contact. And campus groups offer wider contacts. But the result of that contact would be that those folks would be on Oahu, and we would be on the Big Island, and continuing contact would likely devolve to emails. At which point the fact of they're being in-state would become a distinction without a difference from any mainland contacts I might have.

The original reason I expressed my multiyear dismay at the infrequency of intellectual encounters on the Big Island, is that I had hoped to meet some interesting people via a mechanism of much lower cost... this forum! While it might serve the greater good for us to invest in regular travel to Oahu, it is much easier for me to make my presence here known and see who responds. I have my own inimitable way to expressing myself, which serves to attract some and not others. If you are not attracted, that's fine. If no one there is, then it was still an effort worth making. In any case, I wish you well.

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The same thing happened with the ferry service between Lubec and Eastport in eastern Maine across the entrance to Cobscook Bay. It's only 2 miles across the water and otherwise an hour's drive around the bay. The ferry sank.

You don't have to breed and ship sweet potatoes to go from one island to another, but I highly recommend growing and eating them if you can.

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