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Br16

Workable Objectivism (Ayn Rand)

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3 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Anyway I’ll duck out and leave you to it , i was interested in seeing Randian ideas challenged, I’m less interested in seeing personal bullying and mudslinging 

But that's the thing: we haven't been given any ideas to challenge. What we've been offered is essentialy judging other people's value. Saying entrepreneurs - "talent striving for excellence" to use the OP's words - are better than others is not an idea, it's a form of judgement.
The burden of proof is always heavier on whoever seeks to demean others. If anything, everyone is actually giving @Br16 a chance here...

There were two "ideas" in the OP: that "red tape" hinders human potential, and that "entitled programs" are "bloated" and unsustainable. I challenged the second one, and all I got was an internet link. As for the first one, there could be a short discussion over it, but only if one defines "red tape" properly and offers something at least vaguely resembling a "workable" solution/policy to what supposedly is a problem.
To sum up, we're still waiting to know what "workable" objectivism would look like. And no one is holding their breath.

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2 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

 What we've been offered is essentialy judging other people's value. 

Evidently, its fine to condemn millions of people as being morally or ethically defective.

But, one harsh word against a Randian, well that's just outrageous.

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Oh, and I forgot, most companies know that employee turnover is expensive. They do not like job jumpers, or bad hires, for that reason, and it also shows that workers are not so easily replaced because there can be a lot of proprietary knowledge, specific to jobs, like how the company works and who to go to for different functions, or workarounds and production skills.

it does not stop some companies to merge and lay off good people because of duplication, though there are steep integration costs, and bad fits.

It does not stop decent companies from being bought stripped down and the pieces sold, leaving good long time workers, perhaps to die from despair, loss of health care for their families and opioid addictions, for example.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, HoodedCrow said:

Oh, and I forgot, most companies know that employee turnover is expensive.

I'll correct this as well run companies understand that employee turnover is expensive and high employee turnover is usually a strong sign of very bad management.

Not all companies understand this. Not all managers get this.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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4 minutes ago, HoodedCrow said:

Oh, and I forgot, most companies know that employee turnover is expensive. They do not like job jumpers, or bad hires, for that reason, and it also shows that workers are not so easily replaced because there can be a lot of proprietary knowledge, specific to jobs, like how the company works and who to go to for different functions, or workarounds and production skills.

it does not stop some companies to merge and lay off good people because of duplication, though there are steep integration costs, and bad fits.

It does not stop decent companies from being bought stripped down and the pieces sold, leaving good long time workers, perhaps to die from despair, loss of health care for their families and opioid addictions, for example.

Yeah, it doesn't take much searching on the internet to find examples of a single employee or small group of employee's leaving causing entire departments/stores/companies to shut down. (Never the CEO by the way, they actually seem to be amongst the easiest to replace) And since those people leaving is usually caused by managerial incompetence/maliciousness. Well I'll leave the conclusion to you.

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I suspect @Heartofice mostly intends to criticize my approach, even though he tried to peace out of the last thread where we had a disagreement with a "you do you," conveniently right after he tried to sell the idea that someone getting arrested for tweeting a joke about bombing an airport was somehow a case of liberal oversensitivity running amok and not how security has worked for the last 20 years.

This thread has had any number of substantive critiques of Rand and of @Br16's positions, some which are polite enough to keep HoI's fainting couch away. I thought @Liffguard in particular had a great critique of the text itself. Of course there hasn't been any response to that. Because @Br16 would rather issue stale life pointers that have no bearing on real life.

I guess it's very much on brand for @Heartofice to take issue more with the civility of people arguing against stupid and condescending ideas than to actually engage with the ideas themselves. It's right on brand with defending Roseanne Barr and Nigel Farage as unfairly tainted by false accusations of racism.

But now is when he'll remember again that he's too civilized to engage again, right after calling me out.

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2 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

I suspect @Heartofice mostly intends to criticize my approach, even though he tried to peace out of the last thread where we had a disagreement with a "you do you," conveniently right after he tried to sell the idea that someone getting arrested for tweeting a joke about bombing an airport was somehow a case of liberal oversensitivity running amok and not how security has worked for the last 20 years.

This thread has had any number of substantive critiques of Rand and of @Br16's positions, some which are polite enough to keep HoI's fainting couch away. I thought @Liffguard in particular had a great critique of the text itself. Of course there hasn't been any response to that. Because @Br16 would rather issue stale life pointers that have no bearing on real life.

I guess it's very much on brand for @Heartofice to take issue more with the civility of people arguing against stupid and condescending ideas than to actually engage with the ideas themselves. It's right on brand with defending Roseanne Barr and Nigel Farage as unfairly tainted by false accusations of racism.

But now is when he'll remember again that he's too civilized to engage again, right after calling me out.

I like your post but I just want to add one thing. When some one makes an argument base on not facts but emotion, don't expect facts to change their minds, but do expect to get an emotional counterargument. 

Stay strong dude.

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3 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Interesting that it’s the same group of people who dogpile on someone they disagree with and immediately go for the personal insults. I’m not in agreement with  @Br16 on this topic but they at least seem to want to discuss the matter with dignity and respect.

Dignity? Respect?  You recall this topic is about ... Ayn Rand???????  :lmao:

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Yes, you are right, OGE, about with your addendum to high employee turnover. I try not to be too wordy, but usually fail:) I used an inaccurate generality to save space.

Yes, True Métis, there is money in splintering off and eating a badly run companies lunch for smaller pieces of the action, or just better ideas that the old company won’t consider because it is not part of their larger mandate or vision. Or having a new idea. Cough, we have.

br16, you are not wrong to jump ship, to get a better opportunity, or if you sense the company is failing, or unethical, before they do. But it is BECAUSE, of Randian ideas and not bothering to promote or reward talent and labor of individual contributors, and outright deceptions, cheating employees, short term unethical thinking, thefts of pensions, etc.

I used to want to staple a copy of Rapid Development on upper managements heads. One idea is that employee rewards depend on the individual person, and personality. But honestly, this is an old book with classic info, and yes, bad managers didn’t get the very basics. A lot. Being the upper management has other challenges.

I hope you’ve seen movie “the smartest guys in the room”. There is also a great series on the titans of the guilded age, and it’s an eye opener. I will look it up.

I do dislike Ayn Rand, morally, ethically, artistically, and the effects of unscrupulous people using her faked up fictional (sic, redundancy)utopia to justify harming millions of people. Please, please, come back from the forces of darkness! I do understand younger people, or anyone, having a rough go and deciding to play hardball.

If you want business pointers, career, or money management pointers, feel free to start another thread. I have unwanted leisure time that weighs heavy.

 

 

 

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I think the fundamental problem with Objectivism is that human beings are not purely individual creatures. We can't thrive without others. We can't do great things without the foundation that our ancestors have laid for us. Most of us, save some rare exceptions, can't find lasting happiness without human interaction. An ideology which emphasizes the individual over all else is missing the forest for the trees. The individual can't be the foundation of society; the individual isn't self-sufficient.

A much healthier version of individualism would argue that people should focus on developing their own unique talents, free from "red tape" and oppression, for the benefit of the community. That kind of individualism would both encourage individuality, creativity, and uniqueness while also remaining grounded in the community as central to a good life.

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Whatever red tape might mean there.

Which one of the deficiencies of most Randy posters. They get agitated over some red tape without being clear what red tape, and how it's holding them back. Not to mention, that the red tape might serve an actual function. But to get there, they would need to be clear about the red tape in the first place.

Anyway the cynic in me sometimes wonders whether drug cartels aren't actually the closest thing there's in the real world, which makes Reagan's war on drugs kinda ironic. But that's just my inner cynic.

But then again, the same cynic is also amazed that somebody with Rand's biography came up with such a social darwinistic piece of writing. But then again, maybe this was her way of rationalizing the irrational. Not for me to judge her coping mechanism, and it would make it harder to blame her for some numpties turning it into some kinda bible. Afterall she did not think too highly of Saint Ronald.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, maarsen said:

I like your post but I just want to add one thing. When some one makes an argument base on not facts but emotion, don't expect facts to change their minds, but do expect to get an emotional counterargument. 

Stay strong dude.

I should clarify as well, especially since @Br16 said something about me being at the peak of my anger, that the collapse of the company I'm talking about happened seven years ago. I managed to get out relatively unscathed, aside from seeing my dream project vanish and being separated from a group of outstanding colleagues that I was hoping to work with for years. That is a wish, by the way, that is neither naive nor stupid. It is the best way I know of, in twenty years of professional experience across three industries, to maximize the quality and efficiency of a company's work and the happiness and loyalty of its employees.

I've been at two different companies since then, both selected for their stability. Lots of my former colleagues are still feeling the aftershocks, in terms of savings, credit ratings, and even personal relationships. The owner is as wealthy and toxically libertarian as ever, more than ever convinced of his virtue and victimhood.

Edited by DanteGabriel

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2 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Which one of the deficiencies of most Randy posters. They get agitated over some red tape without being clear what red tape, and how it's holding them back. Not to mention, that the red tape might serve an actual function. But to get there, they would need to be clear about the red tape in the first place.

To be fair, it's an inherently amorphous subject. There are literally millions or perhaps even tens of millions of rules across tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of jurisdictions. Some of them are reasonable, some are unreasonable and some seem reasonable, but turn out not to be when exploited by interest groups that ally themselves with the relevant bureaucrats. One could try to define it like this: it's the set of regulations which make something that the median citizen would think is not controversial into something that can only be done by a rich, patient and determined individual.

Of course, this definition is only marginally better than "one knows it when one see it". If you want a concrete example, take a look at this story of a man trying to convert a laundromat into an apartment building. The local authorities combine with a local interest group to throw progressively more absurd obstacles in his way, but he happens to be rich, patient and determined so he perseveres.

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Well, here’s some red tape. You are not supposed to dump toxic waste into the local water supply, even if it is thus more difficult to dispose of. You are supposed to stick to rules to make coal mining safer for miners. Should we eliminate these rules because peons are replaceable or politically unimportant? But, profits would be higher!

”The Men Who Built America” is an excellent docudrama about men who were important in the gilded age. Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller are portrayed among others. It’s a four part series and as immigrants ourselves, we were glued.

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DanteGabriel, my sincerest sympathy. It happened to us twice! My boo believes strongly in consensus hiring of teams, even if that takes longer. There were no silly Mensa questions, but thorough interviewing. One thing he looks for was someone with the guts to say “I dont know the answer to that right now, but I would research it” as much preferable to fudging. He likes real answers to what was your biggest mistake and what would you do differently.

Thing he hated most was having to lay people off, when mergers or business decisions higher up were made, but there is an interesting movie with George Clooney he relates to on that topic. He does prefer to be CEO or CTO, but you can have great teams in small or huge companies.

We just had a card from a grateful employee from a team that was disbanded because of a change in company direction more than 15 years ago.        He usually has teams that are mixed in terms of gender, race, politics, State, religion, sexual orientation. There is some evidence in Harvard studies that there is better behavior all around, and more efficiency, but he hires on if can they do the job and fit in with the team.  He did his best to protect his teams from death marches, in spite of unreasonable pressures to commit to dumb timelines. “Software, it can’t be that hard, or take as long as you have estimated carefully “ is so common I roll my eyes.

One software product they did over 15 years ago is still available, I believe, having been updated some to perform on newer machines.

People actually don’t like being treated like disposeable robots. They will do it to put bread on the table, though. Or fall into desperation, if they can’t get work.

Haha at the idea that drug mobs don’t suffer from red tape!

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1 hour ago, Altherion said:

One could try to define it like this: it's the set of regulations which make something that the median citizen would think is not controversial into something that can only be done by a rich, patient and determined individual.

That's actually a pretty weird definition of a rule, or even of a regulation. The crushing majority of the rules in our societies are agreed upon, and the red tape nothing more than the formalization of principles that on the contrary are rather uncontroversial. That some are complicated or even may seem ridiculous or counter-productive at a glance doesn't mean they are wrong, or even that they don't actually reach their goal.
The story you give us doesn't exactly change my point of view of that. So there was a rule that gave the local community the means to pressure a developer into making more than 11% of his future apartments' rent affordable? I'm not so sure all median citizens will find this an unreasonable rule. It basically protects the area from speculation, and we know too little of the exact context and practices to conclude that it's responsible for the housing crisis. The causality implied by the article involves many assumptions about the market that I would be wary of.

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12 hours ago, lucia-saturn said:

I think the fundamental problem with Objectivism is that human beings are not purely individual creatures. We can't thrive without others. We can't do great things without the foundation that our ancestors have laid for us. Most of us, save some rare exceptions, can't find lasting happiness without human interaction. An ideology which emphasizes the individual over all else is missing the forest for the trees. The individual can't be the foundation of society; the individual isn't self-sufficient.

 

One of my favourite videos from Philosophy Tube talks about this. 

Essentially, it talks about the idea that our minds are not independent entities that exist entirely within our own skulls. In many ways, our sense of self as individuals only exists - can only exist - in relation to others. Without other people to define ourselves against and in relation to, our sense of self will start to break down.

 

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11 hours ago, sologdin said:

fairly sure that i've decapitated, here, peikoff's summation of objectivism.

Nice - and colorful - writeup.  Thanks.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/12/2019 at 5:46 AM, Liffguard said:

Even in the very novel itself, Galt's Gulch only works because of a scientifically impossible infinite energy perpetual motion machine. Rand herself could only ever make her ideal society work, even in her own imagination, by appealing to a vague hand-wave.

Also, ever notice how Galt's Gulch completely glosses over all of the other details about how the society works. There are no labourers, only industrialists. Who does the work?We're told all of the manual labour is done by machines, which rather implies that in Rand's view, anyone incapable of building or buying industrial robots doesn't deserve to live in her society, and therefore deserves to die.

And furthermore, how about that Galt's Gulch, despite being a supposedly hyper-competitive objectivist utopia, doesn't actually have any competition. Francisco D'antonia runs the only copper mine. Ellis Wyatt runs the only oil well (and by the way what's that oil even for if they have an infinite energy device?). Nobody ever tries to undercut each other or take over each other's business. For a supposedly capitalist society, Galt's Gulch is rather cooperative. Dare I even say communist? Each member has an assigned place in society, and contributes to the common good and receives enough for their needs.

Galt’s Gulch was Rand’s chance to show her dream of how an objectivist society would actually work. She had total freedom of imagination to do so. And the result is a philosophically contradictory mess that relies on literal magic to work.

 

I’ve recently read a book based on Bioshock 1 and I think the writers  gave a more realistic interpretation on how such a society could fail when  including some missing elements you noted  in Rand’s fantasyland. For clarification for anyone who doesn’t know what Bioshock is its  a first person shooter RPG video game that’s centered around deconstructing Rand’s philosophy. The game like Atlas Shrugged features a rich ultra-capitalistic Billionaire, named Andrew Ryran(yes the likeness to Rand’s name was deliberate) who gets tired of “government overreach”oppressing great geniuses like himself and builds his own Capitalist utopia called Rapture. He largely fails because he had to contend with the things you’ve noted that were missing Galt’s paradise-actual workers(everyone not being simply being able to get robots to the labor), and capitalists who act like capitalists through trying to constantly undercut each other and use their capital to force society to shift in the directions that profits them. 

The Bioshock novel gets much more detailed into various situations that would inevitably rise in a society that takes capitalism to this extremity and would eventually lead to it’s collapse.

There’s one instance in the novel where Ryan encounters a situation where the only garbage collection business(a monopoly), has raised the prices at a ludicrous rate specifically when dealing with someone whose a rival of his in another area of business-that person not being able to thrive given his business is constantly surrounded by garbage. Ryan’s response is basically “quit whining you beta bitch it’s the law of the Jungle” when the victim begs for government intervention and asks why such a shady practice be allowed-after all garbage collection is a public good it shouldn’t be left in the hands of the free market totally unregulated.

A situation like this(a capitalist encroaching heavily on the territory of another capitalist) could not have been included in Rand’s fantasy and even though it would make sense because  it would frame uber-capitalists in a negative light.

Rand’s capitalists once in Galt’s society must be in a sense neutered in terms of competitiveness and made to be sated with their current state of wealth. It’s hard to look like paradise and have it’s occupants look like the best of humanity when everyone is trying to destroy each other to get ahead through really duplicitous means.

On 7/14/2019 at 6:57 AM, OldGimletEye said:

Evidently, its fine to condemn millions of people as being morally or ethically defective.

But, one harsh word against a Randian, well that's just outrageous.

But you see he uses “polite” language when denigrates the working poor as intrinsically  inferior to the great “visionaries” 

That means he should get a polite response. 

Because being “civil” is really the most important thing. 

Kidding.

I’ve come to believe most people who heavily moan about the issue of “civility”in terms of how people address really dehumanizing ideas fall into three stripes-idiots who are unknowingly doing the work of bigots through hyper-fixating on things like  “tone” which in turn draws attention away from the ideas being criticized, egotists who think they’re superior by virtue of being “big enough” by saying they want to keep the conversation “polite”(oh they’re so moderate and rational),  and bigots who want to normalize gross ideas through acting outraged at the less”polite” responses given to their rhetoric. 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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