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Showing posts from April, 2011

A chat with Ayn Rand fan and objectivism advocate Froilan Vincent

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I had a nice chat with Ayn Rand online fan Froilan Vincent on the blog post "An advice to a dimwit" [sic] which he authored on his Randroid site Vincenton Post. Unfortunately much of the record of this revealing chat had been deleted from public eyes by Mr Vincent. Forunately I discovered that simply clicking on the "Back" button on my browser brought up cached pages of the site with the original text still on the comment submission form of the site. I thought I'd share these gems for those who are up for a bit of a laugh.

A demonstration of the Filipino's Heritage of Smallness at work

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Quibbling on terminology. The hallmark of small minds. It's like how the Law and its letter attempts to articulate a society's ethical framework. In the process of doing that, it creates an entire industry of professionals who are schooled for years to know the Law to the letter. The question however is this:

Does knowing the letter of the Law necessarily make one a proponent of its spirit?

Freedom of speech is a 'right': Says WHO exactly?

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A notion that needs to be challenged: that "freedom of speech" is a "right"? Where exactly did that notion come from? That's up there with the notion that everyone has the "right" to pursue "happiness". Is it now? Is everyone entitled to be "happy"? Both of those notions are enshrined in Western philosophy. But just because they are such does not make them absolutes in the natural scheme of things. Both of these are human constructs and it just so happens that we live in societies that have woven these notions into the very fabric of their thinking.

It seemed like a good idea at the time

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Famous last words: "It seemed like a good idea at the time." How many times have we heard those words? We recall harbouring ideas and notions in our minds and expressing these in words that go on to sound ridiculous in hindsight. Tragic that for many of us, wisdom usually comes when it is most useless -- when it is too late.

How easy it is for people to lose touch with reality

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Do we really experience reality? Think about it. Where does our personal concept of reality really exist? We think that we are in touch with our surroundings through our senses. That is of course true -- up to a point. Without minds that have been honed by years of experience turning nerve and neural signals (generated by our thought processes and our five senses whenever these capture external stimuli; i.e., light, vibration, texture, etc.) into mental constructs, there would be no experience as we, well, experience it now. Indeed, our minds piece together mental models of the world based on how it interprets data, and we "experience" those models as proxies of the real world.

The opportunities we miss as a result of a failure to imagine

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There are many artifacts, ideas, and beliefs in our lives that hang on to us with emotional hooks. Often these hooks remain securely fastened to our psyche even as the sense of their continued presence in our lives begins to wane. Recall how you would unhook a clothes hanger from your closet rack. The act of unhooking something requires one to first work against gravity to clear the hook from the object you want to move it away from. Some of us fail or wait an entire lifetime before that small, but perhaps uncomfortable step is taken. Others are lucky enough (or have the presence of mind) to recognise every opportunity to unhook themselves from old baggage as soon as these present themselves.