Ed from OC

When she is older or more successful

87 posts in this topic

My Granddad was an engineer and his wife did all the back office. I think she attended some conferences. I believe it worked great, but he died before my birth. My grandmother was definitely a role model.

What did you think of my zebra ideology, my reply to Burgess, btw? :D

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Several years ago someone asked me how I would feel if Stephen was my employee and working under my direction.  I imagined the situation, introspected, and -- incredibly for me -- drew a complete blank.  Then I realized why.  I was asking the wrong person!

I would have to ask Stephen.  If it was OK with him, it would be OK with me, but if he didn't want it, I wouldn't want it either.

That's an interesting answer. Why is it up to Stephen?

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Re: Eddie being Dagny's subordinate and the general case of a romantic relationship between a man and the woman he works for

I think it could work, but it depends on the man.  For you it wouldn't, could you share why?

I asked Ed and he didn't want to comment.

I didn't see that question. Maybe we've been miscommunicating on that one.

My comment: I don't see a problem for me. I haven't been in that situation (and, as an engineer, don't expect to be, since there are far more male engineers than female).

Maybe it would be better to have an established relationship before working together, but that may not matter. It might be odd, though, to have the man in the subordinate professional role trying to initiate a romantic relationship with his superior. (Then again, technically, John was Dagny's subordinate.)

The cliche of the boss dating his secretary is more typical. I can somewhat see her perspective: she sees him as the powerful, take-charge expert and is attracted to that. But if roles are reversed... if she is his boss... I can't project the same sense of hero-worship.

I do know of a 40-something businesswoman who left her husband, got plastic surgery, and now dates an early-twenties boy toy. I don't know what sense of hero-worship fits that. But I don't know either of them well enough to judge their relationship or the basis for it. (I assume physical attraction, but don't know beyond that.)

I don't have experience, but a very close thing is men falling for their female teachers.  There's a man here on the boards for whom that happened.  And I know 2 ballroom dancing couples.

I'm certainly guilty of falling for a few teachers over the years. What about the ballroom couples? Are you saying the couple started with the woman as his teacher?

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The only thing I wonder about is, beyond the initial attraction, is intelligence or rationality the main basis for your love? Or, does your love stem from a response to something even more broad than a particular virtue (albeit such an important one)?

I think you're right. Intelligence or rationality is a necessary but not sufficient condition for me in a romantic partner. It is also something I look for in friends. I didn't fall in love with Alex just because he is very intelligent (though, that is an aspect of what I love about him). I fell in love with Alex when I realized that he is my mirror (in terms of psychological visibility). From the fundamental to the optional, we approach life in a very similar way. However, I have a good female friend who I feel similar visibilty with (but, of course, there is no romance). So, it also has to do with the fact that Alex is a man; that makes all the difference. The hero-worship involved for me in a romantic relationship is very much tied up with that fact. And, this brings me back around to the issue of itelligence. Because his intelligence is one aspect that makes up his whole person, that is one of the aspects of Alex's character that I worship.

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I like to feel feminine with every single man I ever meet, unless he's off the charts icky.  All others, I like to be treated like a lady, escorted, eyed lovingly, etc etc etc.

Men who fail to pamper my feminine sense of self are like Spocks, automatons of the world.  They don't get that there is a dance between men and women, and it's a fabulous one.  What are they thinking???  Where is their chivalry?  How come they don't want to hold my door open for me when their hands are full?  Don't they know I'd give them a really beautiful smile??  LOL

Charles Sures was a master of this art.  At the same time there was never even the tiniest doubt that Mary Ann was his one and only. 

He was wealthy in spirit.  That's what a man needs; wealth, to get a great woman.  He needs to have enough to be a relative elephant, to lavish her.  Mary Ann and I talked about Charles; we agreed that there aren't many men like him.  My Dad was one.  I'd like to do my small part to grow more.  It's not rocket science, but it eludes many, probably due to modern mores + the elephant/zebra divide.

I never knew Charles Sures, but he sounds like a great guy. The rest that you describe sounds like just normal manners. Do you have something more than that in mind? Is there maybe a movie or book or even just a scene or two that also concretize this?

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I think you're right.  Intelligence or rationality is a necessary but not sufficient condition for me in a romantic partner.  It is also something I look for in friends. I didn't fall in love with Alex just because he is very intelligent (though, that is an aspect of what I love about him).  I fell in love with Alex when I realized that he is my mirror (in terms of psychological visibility).  From the fundamental to the optional, we approach life in a very similar way. However, I have a good female friend who I feel similar visibilty with (but, of course, there is no romance).  So, it also has to do with the fact that Alex is a man; that makes all the difference.  The hero-worship involved for me in a romantic relationship is very much tied up with that fact. And, this brings me back around to the issue of itelligence. Because his intelligence is one aspect that makes up his whole person, that is one of the aspects of Alex's character that I worship.

Thanks for the detailed explanation, Sarah. I completely understand how you feel, and why.

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Several years ago someone asked me how I would feel if Stephen was my employee and working under my direction.  I imagined the situation, introspected, and -- incredibly for me -- drew a complete blank.  Then I realized why.  I was asking the wrong person!

I would have to ask Stephen.  If it was OK with him, it would be OK with me, but if he didn't want it, I wouldn't want it either.

That's an interesting answer.  Why is it up to Stephen?

I can't make decisions that affect the terms of OUR relationship without his consent.

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I can't make decisions that affect the terms of OUR relationship without his consent.

Well, sure. But I thought you meant, in regard to the idea of having Stephen working for you, that you didn't have an opinion on it until talking to Stephen, and then you'd agree with his opinion. That seems really out of character.

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Well, sure.  But I thought you meant, in regard to the idea of having Stephen working for you, that you didn't have an opinion on it until talking to Stephen, and then you'd agree with his opinion.  That seems really out of character.

That would be.

The issue is more that it seemed like an easy question to answer -- How would I like it if Stephen worked for me? -- until I realized I was missing a big piece of the puzzle. I couldn't reach any conclusion at all because it depended on what Stephen wanted.

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That would be.

The issue is more that it seemed like an easy question to answer -- How would I like it if Stephen worked for me? -- until I realized I was missing a big piece of the puzzle.  I couldn't reach any conclusion at all because it depended on what Stephen wanted.

It depended on what BOTH of you wanted, or what HE wanted?

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It depended on what BOTH of you wanted, or what HE wanted?

it depends on what he wants, because Betsy said she'd be open to it. [i'd reply the same]

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Masculinity and femininity are correlative, sex-based styles of behavior.

By "correlative" (if I am using the word properly) I mean it is something that arises in relation to something else. By "sex-based," I mean a style of behavior (in relation to the other "-inity") that, at some psychological level, grows from physiological facts of the primary sex act. By "behavior" I mean voluntary actions.

[...]

The one summary point I want to make is that I think that masculinity and femininity are styles. As Ayn Rand explains in The Romantic Manifesto, style (literary, in the case of TRM) is a very difficult subject, a subject to which she made some initial suggestions (for literary applications), but the field needs a lot of attention from another genius.

Thank you for your thoughts, Mr. Laughlin. Please accept my apologies for the late reply.

I have spent some time re-visiting The Romantic Manifesto, as well as observing various couples, onscreen and in real life, including my own romantic relationship. I think I have a better grasp of what you mean by "correlative sex-based styles of behavior."

However, my grasp of your formulation is not much better than my grasp of the concept, "sense of life," which is something I have a lot of trouble with, quite frankly.

My real trouble with these concepts (masculinity and feminity) is finding explicit, differentiated CCDs (conceptual common denominators) with which to begin conscious integrations.

Which is why I asked for more concretes. Still, the example you gave was quite helpful.

I believe that part of my epistemological struggle owes to "style" being a closely-related concept to "sense of life."

If sense of life is the pre-conceptual equivalent of metaphysics, and style is something like "the sum of individuating elements in the presentation of metaphysics" or "personal (optional) touch, slant, or attitude accompanying a necessary action taken in pursuit of a value" (my words not Ayn Rand's), then it may be that for one to grasp "style" firmly, "sense of life" would have to be further concretized.*

One more question, if I may: If style is personal, how does it apply to universal concepts like masculinity and femininity? Or, What personal choice of sexual attitude (the masculine) would a heterosexual man share with other men but not with heterosexual women, for whom the universal would be the feminine? Could these universals be phenomena like men shouldering crises more comfortably, or being less quick to use terms of endearment?

Thank you again.

*Another related concept is "value-slant" (used by Miss Rand in TRM [see The Basic Principles of Literature] and Dr. Peikoff in his Integration as the Essence of Personal Identity lectures).

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[...] Could these universals be phenomena like men shouldering crises more comfortably, or being less quick to use terms of endearment? 

The above sentence from my last post should read:

Could the particulars subsumed by these universals be phenomena like men shouldering crises more comfortably, or being less quick to use terms of endearment?

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I have several questions, not directly connected to each other. If we find answers to them, that might help make progress on this -- or these -- issues.

[...] my grasp of the concept, "sense of life," [...]

Strictly speaking, "sense of life" isn't a concept, is it?

I believe that part of my epistemological struggle owes to "style" being a closely-related concept to "sense of life."

By "closely related," do you mean "sense of life" and "style" are in the same genus, that is, they are the same kind of thing? If so, what is that thing?

If sense of life is the pre-conceptual equivalent of metaphysics, [...]

Again, what kind of thing is a "sense of life"? I would suggest "subconscious mechanism" (Ayn Rand's words, The Ayn Rand Lexicon, p. 453).

[...] and style is something like "the sum of individuating elements in the presentation of metaphysics" or "personal (optional) touch, slant, or attitude accompanying a necessary action taken in pursuit of a value"  (my words [...]

What kind of thing is "style"? I suspect you are not defining "style" widely enough. Instead, I wonder if your definitions might be instances of style rather than an identification of essential (causative) characteristics of style in general.

A suggestion: When thinking of style, think even more widely than human actions. For example, doesn't a bear have a different style of movement than a cheetah? If it turns out that "style" doesn't apply to nonhumans, then we might at least benefit from learning why.

By the way, what is Ayn Rand's definition of style?

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Strictly speaking, "sense of life" isn't a concept, is it?

I would say that "sense of life" is a concept: it names a psychological mechanism which subconsciously sums a man's basic values. It is similar to Aristotle's concept of "common sense," by which he meant the sense that sums (man's) sensations into percepts.

By "closely related," do you mean "sense of life" and "style" are in the same genus, that is, they are the same kind of thing? If so, what is that thing?

On a very broad level, I would say that they are united by the concept "mind," and perhaps in some contexts, by the concept, "subconscious," but that's as far as I am willing to venture. A sense of life is a mechanism that is triggered regardless of one's conscious judgments and values, even though what it integrates is one's judgments and values. A style is largely determined by sense of life, but is open, in some measure, to one's conscious choice, which is why a person can imitate another's style.

A sense of life is wholly automatic, although its product is open to evaluation and alteration; a style is largely volitional, but depends on sense of life. Style, when not a product of imitation, is the projection of sense of life. Or more specifically, the data processed by sense-of-life are the foundation of style.

Again, what kind of thing is a "sense of life"? I would suggest "subconscious mechanism" (Ayn Rand's words, The Ayn Rand Lexicon, p. 453).

Philosophically, a sense of life is a kind of psychological (subconscious) process. Biologically, a kind of brain activity. Those who know the exact brain processes involved will be able to say more than I can on this subject.

What kind of thing is "style"? I suspect you are not defining "style" widely enough. Instead, I wonder if your definitions might be instances of style rather than an identification of essential (causative) characteristics of style in general.

A suggestion: When thinking of style, think even more widely than human actions. For example, doesn't a bear have a different style of movement than a cheetah? If it turns out that "style" doesn't apply to nonhumans, then we might at least benefit from learning why. 

I don't think we can properly say that non-humans have style, since all their actions are automatic. Since style is a projection of sense of life (i.e., of integrated choices and conclusions), we would then have to give non-humans all the properties of a volitional consciousness in order to attribute style to them.

I would posit that non-humans display species-wide behavior, which is not individuated. Style is an attribute of the individual, and individualism is a product of reason. One grizzly bear's behavior is indistinguishable from another grizzly's, but its behavior is certainly distinguishable from a cheetah's.

By the way, what is Ayn Rand's definition of style?

Ayn Rand: '"Style" is a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of execution.' [Art and Sense of Life, The Romantic Manifesto, 51; pb 40.]

I think her use of the individuating terms, "particular" and "characteristic" underscore the tie of style to human (individual) action.

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Again, what kind of thing is a "sense of life"? I would suggest "subconscious mechanism" (Ayn Rand's words, The Ayn Rand Lexicon, p. 453).

Philosophically, a sense of life is a kind of psychological (subconscious) process. Biologically, a kind of brain activity. Those who know the exact brain processes involved will be able to say more than I can on this subject.

I disagree with both. I'd say that the kind of thing sense of life is, is "a view of life" (so that's the genus). And furthermore, that "implicit" is the differentia, so it's distinguished from an explicit view of life (like philosophy, although a full definition of philosophy would probably include more detail than "an explicit view of life", like "...set of fundamental interrelated principles..." etc).

So, sense of life - an implicit view of life. Also mentioned in The Ayn Rand Lexicon, p. 453)

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My love asked me what would happen to our rel if I was more successful in my career than he was in his. (We don't have a concern about me being older than him, as I'm quite a bit younger than him.) I told him that nothing would change because there is a fundamental difference in our careers.

My career means that I will usually be working for someone else. As an engineer, I would be a "hired problem-solver". Being an engineer is a steady job and always will be around, although that certainly isn't why I picked the job. But because I'm always hired by someone else, there's a "cap" on my salary as to what people are willing to pay for my service.

My love has no such cap. The only cap to his income is his imagination and intelligence, which are boundless. He is an entrepreneur. So no matter how much more successful I become as an engineer, I will always deeply respect and admire the risks and rewards he has in his job. :P

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I don't regard relative earnings as a significant factor in a relationsip -- at least in a marriage. There have been periods in our marriage when I was the only breadwinner (when Stephen went back to school for his degrees) and times when he was (when I was a stay at home Mommy for the first few years of our son's life). There were times when I made more money and vice versa.

Through it all, Stephen and I have always regarded whatever we earned as OURS.

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Betsy, I am just wondering how it would work to regard everything as both peoples items?

I know that there are certain things that I don't have a clue why anyone else would buy, but I don't care since it is not my money or my life. But if I was earning most of the income, and my partner bought it, I would think it is a waste.

The same works in the opposite direction. Sometimes I buy computer games and associated hardware when I can't really afford them because even tho it might stretch things for that month, I really love games very much. (It is part of what my career is based around, games and protecting digital content online such as games) so even tho it creates a bit of juggling for the next month, it is worth it to have that kind of enjoyment.

Anyhow, in a shared environment, I don't see myself doing that as working out too well for the relationship because while I don't mind that situation, my girl observes money very carefully for her goals and values.

Do you or have you ever had similiar views? How did you answer them or deal with them?

I have a thought line or a clue to explore later on in my own thinking when I have time to sit down and put a lot of thought to explore that avenue, that when you are in love with someone, you trust their judgement and ability to choose and pursue rational values so if they bought it, it isn't a wasteful thing but something with a purpose.

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Betsy, I am just wondering how it would work to regard everything as both peoples items?

I just want to point out that Betsy spoke of us sharing the money we earn, not necessarily sharing all the "items" that that money can buy. We certainly each have possessions that are solely our own, at least in terms of choosing and using. I think it is optional how a couple works out the details, but sharing a life together means that you make decisions not only independently, but also together.

For us we discuss and decide together on the things we share in common -- furniture, etc. -- and we each have discretion on personal items up to a certain amount. Beyond that amount we discuss with the other before buying. By loving and caring for each other we are sensitive to the other's style and needs, so negotiations are usually based on a deep level of understanding. I tend to be the spendthrift while Betsy is more thrifty, so for us it evens out well. :P

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By loving and caring for each other we are sensitive to the other's style and needs, so negotiations are usually based on a deep level of understanding. I tend to be the spendthrift while Betsy is more thrifty, so for us it evens out well.  :P

It's interesting to see how we have evolved over the years. While I am still the more frugal one, Stephen taught me how to relax and enjoy spending money and I have watched him become a savvy comparison shopper.

In this respect, and in many others, we have rounded off some rough edges and become more similar and comfortable with each other, while still retaining enough of our differences to keep things exciting.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how much intelligence [iQ as against rationality or knowledge] I need. Because I want a man with a preponderance of great traits, so I can revere him, I had been thinking he had to be at least approximately equal my IQ. However, my desire for shared sense of humor trumps all else. If we shared that sense of life, I’m pretty sure I’d be able to have all the other things that I seek from a man’s intelligence [great talks, empathy, interesting questions].

And it seems possible that someone with a lower IQ, reasonably lower, could have my sense of humor and it would work out great. I know a couple where they both agree the woman is a genius [my evaluation too] and the man is really smart but not quite at her level [i don’t know him as well but I’ll take their word for it]. So now I think that’s my favorite case history. He’s quite a man on many issues, there is definitely enough for her to hero worship.

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I have always viewed IQ as the speed of which a mind integrates, and that it doesn't give any new super human abilities that people with a lesser IQ doesn't have.

A genius might invent a new source of power in one year, but someone who isn't a genius, working for 70 years, might still invent it.

As a result of that view, I have always viewed the commitment to rationality, honesty and persistence as far more important qualities for my life partner to have. :)

It also matters to me that the woman I choose to be my wife can understand my work. It doesn't mean she has to be able to invent the stuff in my work. But that I can explain the concepts to her and she will think it over and understand. My work is so important to me that I consider it to be important for visibility in the relationship.

It doesn't matter to me whether she understands it at the exact same speed that I made the original integration or if she thinks about it overnight as long as that visibility exists.

The reason why that visibility is important to me is that some of the stuff, I have been thinking about and designing for years and it will still be a few years until it is completed. I want the virtue in building that thing to be understood, the persistence and the independence required for that path because it is evidence of myself as a person.

It is a strong source of evidence to her as to what sort of man that I am.

What sort of woman is she? (What virtues, what goals?), Will she be able to identify my virtues?(Am I visible as a person). What sort of sense of life does she have? What sort of humour? Those are the main questions I ask myself whenever I consider someone.

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I have always viewed IQ as the speed of which a mind integrates, and that it doesn't give any new super human abilities that people with a lesser IQ doesn't have.

hi Michael!

I agree completely that IQ is predominantly speed, and I agree that you as a man won’t find it very relevant what your woman’s IQ is, as long as it’s reasonable. My sticking point has been the issue of hero worship. It’s really easy to revere a quick mind! Especially for one such as me, for whom the mind is most certainly a top value. How could I love a man without a mind like mine? I haven’t had any full romantic experiences with someone “slower” than me. Doing some quick calcs this limits me to about 9% of the male population, whereas a male similar to me finds 33% of women ok. This is to my disadvantage! That’s why I’ve been pondering it quite a bit.

Finally today I think I see why Ayn Rand was right again! It’s always so nice when I get to that conclusion. LOL In this case, she was right that sense of life is far more important than any other factor. I do include IQ in sense of life, but for me IQ is not what I love the most about my sense of life – that’s humor.

I think what I need to do to widen the scope of potential possible mates from ~9% to ~30% is to teach my [reverent, storytelling] sense of humor. That’s certainly a long-term project that could easily be a 25year task, but the outcomes would fit all of my life goals.

Today, non-Objectivists are often cynical, and Objectivists are often unappreciative of my reverence. So the combo means far fewer choices for me.

Also, I tend to hang with high-IQ people, but the sense of life is really what matters to me more than that. High IQ men wouldn’t care about a course in humor, they make up their own according to their tastes. But the window of men I’m missing right now might see such a thing to their advantage.

Reverence in humor goes hand in hand with reverence for other things. I can think of at least two people who might have an IQ of 100, but since they have my sense of humor I find them smart cookies and great values.

Thank you EdOc for this topic! Boy do I have a lot of work to do...

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I agree completely that IQ is predominantly speed ...

I don't get this IQ-as-speed thing. If you are going nowhere, does it matter if you get there fast? Speed of thought is certainly nice, but, to me, much more fundamental to intelligence is the breadth of the concepts one holds in mind, and the depth of integration one can perform.

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