Monday, January 24, 2011


Thursday, January 20, 2011

What a week for Africa, what hope is in the air. If you are in Africa you may be feeling a sense of hope from events that may directly effect your life, or the lives of friends and family. Cote d'Ivoire, Tunisia, Sudan, Congo, even the whole of Africa via the start of this year's Indirectly we all feel hope; seeing a land known for poor material wealth, under-utilized human wealth, and extensive corruption find hope is eating a slice of humble pie with a shot of elation.

We need to hold on to this feeling, hold on to the up-surge of drive for progress. Change for the better and the long-term can only come in the presence of faith. The Sun rises and the winter will end.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love in the key of Objectivist Humanism?

I've cracked the code, uncovered the last seal in the Objectivism saga. Ayn Rand wrote that there are two major distractions, hedonism, where one is motivated by base, short-term stimulus, and a perverse version of altruism, being motivated to appease and sacrifice. The middle road, lauded Rand, is Objectivism, where one values initiative and derives self-value from accomplishments. While this describes a world of givers and takers in a self loathing spiral, the alternative she offers is lacking. What if we try but fail? What if we want to do, but are crippled by poor self image? What about those who conditions is such that almost all their energies are spent on maintaining health?

Humanism and Buddhism tell us that we are valuable because we are. This precious moment is a miracle and we need to appreciate how it manifests, no matter what the details are. It seems that Objectivism would be much better off if it was addended with a little love from the likes of Rogers. What if we took Rand's original statement, as paraphrased above, and on the healthy middle path we said, "when you take initiative toward your personal goals and dreams, believing in and valuing your self, then the behavior that pours forth, whether fruitful in bringing about a change or addition, is good. You were successful in being you, the most important act."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Resolutions and Time Management

The turning of the solar and lunar calendars and the changing of numbers in our sterilized civilization is a mnemonic marker which tells us when all of those annual things come to account. We in the West have a wonderful tradition of resolutions, of resolving to make a change, and in the age of progress, it is a secular, self-affirming, "positive" change.

Of course, we should strive to be in a constant state of flux that takes into account the turbulent nature of being an entity that is the overlay of billions of semi-individual organisms in a hallucinatory state of "self" and whose nature is highly social, that is, dependent on the relations with other such beings in definition and measure. So, the idea of a prescribed time to resolve for improvement could be a textbook example of contrived, if such a guide be in demand. However, we are, as noted above, social, and it is being prompted by this society to improve that I find the inspiration for the following, as well as aspiring to inspire.

To evaluate myself as a work in progress, to acknowledge that there is more work to do, and all work worth doing takes time for fruition. There are things out of my control, be they externalities or circumstance or structural bias, and are obstacles to be aware, not any part of self evaluation. Which is to say, I must practice what I preach here in PersonalLiberationLand. We are the beautiful phantasm of individuals, an evanescent drop on the surface of society built on a synergy of organic chemistry which rests so fragile on a lattice of physics. There is no room for circumstances there, except those which we nigh miraculously overcome to exist.

To avoid distractions, finding a joy in progressing, no matter how infinitely tiny, no matter how quixotic the goal may seem, towards that which I have set out to do until I succeed or die. There is nothing more pathetic than having a blog where you describe how being independent of mind and spirit is the very definition of living an authentic life, then being distracted in the very pursuits that you are driven to do, and after a time, bitch that you haven't succeeded (not directly to you, dear readers, not you).

Making evaluations of goals to see if they stay in alignment with ideals and are in proportion to where they sit in priority. This is a little like the "my third wish is for an infinite number of wishes" kind of resolution, the meta--resolution.