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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Boston Objectivist Network's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, October 10th, 2010
6:24 pm
[selfishgene]
Salon - Rational Optimist
Sunday Nov 21st 12pm

A rational person should be optimistic about the future.
In every era pessimists have been vastly more popular than optimists. Yet almost every single pessimistic prediction for thousands of years has been wrong.
Find out why, when I present the book by Matt Ridley. Discussion to follow.

Location :
Brown Sugar
1033 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617.787.4242

[On weekends cheap parking is available in the BU Babcock St lot. Babcock St stop on the Green B line is very close.]
Sunday, July 25th, 2010
1:42 pm
[selfishgene]
LobsterFest Plymouth
Sunday August 1st at 2pm
Location
Lobster Hut
25 Town Wharf
Plymouth, MA 02360

Look for Free State Project Tshirt

Some Communist lobsters have been spotted off shore of Plymouth MA. Their stealthy approach and red colour clearly show their intent to overthrow Capitalism. We are gathering to defeat this red invasion by mercilessly devouring the enemy.
Monday, February 15th, 2010
11:16 am
[selfishgene]
Salon - Round Table
Bring any questions you have about Objectivism. Or any rant on an Objectivist
related topic. There will be no formal presentation, just an open discussion.

Sunday Feb 28. 12:00 PM

Brown Sugar
1033 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617.787.4242
There is a parking lot on Babcock St. (North of Comm Av.) It was $5 entry last
time. The T stop is Green B Line - Babcock St.
Friday, December 4th, 2009
11:24 am
[selfishgene]
Salon - Obamacare
December 20, 2009 12:00 PM (New location)

Open discussion on the healthcare 'crisis'. What is the best way for an individual to deal with medical situations in the face of government interference? Do you want the results of your annual physical to be posted on some poorly secured government website? Do you want the IRS to send you reminders to go to the gym or lose your tax deduction?

Panera Bread
888 Commonwealth Ave
Green Line train B @ BU area
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 738-1501
Friday, September 25th, 2009
11:04 am
[selfishgene]
Salon - Anarchy of the mind
Rand believed implicitly in anarchy of the mind - nobody has a duty to let others control their life. Why did she then reject anarchy as a practical system? Was she right to do so?
The salon will be a mostly discussion format with only a short presentation. This is the right room for an argument.

When: October 11, 2009 11:00 AM

Where:
White Horse Tavern
116 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-6633
Friday, July 17th, 2009
2:45 pm
[selfishgene]
Salon - August : Entrepreneurs and Monopolies in the 19th Century

Chris B is in from California to present this fascinating topic. (I hope railroads are in there somewhere.)
Please note this is the August salon, the July salon is on the 26th. I know they are only two weeks apart but our distinguished presenters are in great demand.

Date : Sunday August 9th
Time : 3pm
Venue :
White Horse Tavern
116 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-6633

Please also note the start time is later than usual. Furthermore the time and location are subject to change. It will be Sunday afternoon in Boston but within those parameters details may change.

Friday, May 22nd, 2009
3:17 pm
[selfishgene]
Blog
There is now another blog for the Boston Objectivist Network.
If anyone has a paid account feel free to create a syndicated feed. (See 'About' page of that blog for the link.)
Friday, September 22nd, 2006
8:48 am
[brer_vole]
New FreeBoston mailing list / Virtue of Sex Salon Oct 8th
BON is now host over at yahoo groups:

Join the group here : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freeboston/

Also a recreational room has been reserved in an MIT grad dorm MIT for Oct 8th. So this is the night of the next salon. I've heard that the topic is "sex". I'll call it the "Virtue of sex" salon! Lets popularize it and try to get some newbs.

Posting at universities is an idea. I think there are people / groups that can be hired for this. Also livejournal. Is it worth the trouble to post on LJ?
Saturday, April 8th, 2006
5:22 pm
[brer_vole]
Saturday, April 8 from 7PM-11PM
Who: Cool folks interested in Objectivism
What: A discussion of the philosophy of brains, oops I mean mind
(was going to be called the limits of rationality or the domain of
rationality)
Where: MIT Building E55, Cambridge MA
When: Saturday, April 8 from 7PM-11PM

Have you ever been at a cocktail party and had someone tell you that your dream is really an expression of your subconsious desire for X? This happens to me all the time. So, this Saturday, we'll attempt to arrive at an answer for this and more.

I will discuss some insights from John Locke's epistemology, later sharply criticized by Freud. Amanda will discuss Timothy Wilson's book on subconscious thoughts. Wilson, apparently, takes Freud to task. I will also talk about John Searle's contribution to philosophy. Searle argues against behaviorism, and against understanding consciousness simply in terms of the biological processes. He also uses the "Chinese Room Argument" to show that the mind is not a machine.

Unless it is your first salon, please reimburse Alex and Alice with $5 for refreshments and room fee. Bring your left and right brain and the thingy that connects them.

Our Bldg. 55 location has:

a) easy access to students and others in Boston
b) easy access to the red line (Kendall/MIT)
c) ample parking on a Saturday night
d) a gorgeous view of Boston skyscrapers

Directions are listed on the websites below. Take Memorial Drive to
Wadsworth st. From Wadsworth, if you're driving, take a right onto
Broadway and immediate right into the sloan parking lot, free and
ample on Saturday night. MIT students will generally let you into the
building as long as you let them frisk you and pat you down. Take the
elevator to the penthouse.

http://whereis.mit.edu/map-jpg?section=directions
http://whereis.mit.edu/map-jpg?zoom=level2¢erx=712303¢ery=496106&oldzoom=level3&ma%20p.x=283&map.y=140

The Moderator
Thursday, March 2nd, 2006
8:30 am
[brer_vole]
between 7 PM and 11 PM on Saturday, March 4, 2006
The following will take place between 7 PM and 11 PM on Saturday, March 4, 2006. This will be the shortest four hours of your life.

A group of intellectual rebels will convene on the top floor of MIT Building E55 to discuss the implications of the virtues of Objectivism. Some are self-employed. Others work for other people. Some are students. Repeat attendees are asked to bring $5 to compensate for food, drink, and the cost of renting the room - unless Alex and ALice are informed you are not consuming nourishment. First timers will attend for free.

The first season virtue salon digressed into a discussion of whether or not the virtues are absolute. The audiotapes were said to be slow and uneven. The second season will go about rectifying that situation by examining what the virtues mean and when they can improve our lives, summarizing Gary Hull's talk rather than playing it. Said intellectual rebels will examine integrity, productivity, justice, and pride. Honesty will be dropped because it is an optional virtue. NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE IS ASSUMED.

In order to heighten the experience of the salon, one of our members will experience a panic attack by looking out of the window of our 22nd floor room. By becoming helpless, she will appear to raise the volatility of the situation. Another attendee will be captured in an MIT prank on the way to the building. This will give viewers something to watch when the main course is on break. The location has:

a) easy access to students and others in Boston
b) easy access to the red line (Kendall/MIT)
c) ample parking on a Saturday night
d) a gorgeous view of Boston skyscrapers

Directions are listed on the websites below. Take Memorial Drive to Wadsworth st. From Wadsworth, if you're driving, take a right onto Broadway and immediate right into the sloan parking lot, free and ample on Saturday night. MIT students will generally let you into the building as long as you let them frisk you and pat you down. Alice will hopefully post an emergency number to the list and give directions from the elevator if it's not obvious.

http://whereis.mit.edu/m ap-jpg?section=directions
http://whereis.mit.edu/m ap-jpg?zoom=level2¢erx=712303& centery=496106&oldzoom=level3&ma p.x=283&map.y=140

Come prepared with your favorite Chuck Norris joke.

The Moderator
Tuesday, February 7th, 2006
5:39 am
[brer_vole]
A Scintillating Discussion about Lawsuits as a political strategy
Where: MIT Building E55 (Directions below)
When: Saturday, Feb 11, 7-11 PM with a break
What: A Scintillating Discussion about Lawsuits as a political strategy
Who: Hopefully, you and other cool, laid back folks interested in Objectivism
Cost: $0 for first-timers, $5 for anyone else unless they let Alex and Alice know they won't be eating

The chances of implementing full-blown Objectivism in the political sphere are nil. However, there are opportunities to move either further away from and towards the Objectivist model. This is true in electoral politics, but increasingly, lawyers and interest groups are using the courts to achieve political ends. Lawsuits as a political strategy are being used both for capitalistic and anti-capitalistic agendas. For example, MA lawyers are now suing schools for offering snack foods in vending machines, and D.C. lawyers sued McDonalds for causing people to be obese. I will discuss the mixed results of the judicial process, but if some of you want to look up the topics below, so much the better.

NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE IS ASSUMED. I simply listed the cases in case you wanted to look them up on the internet. I'll be sharing insights I learned from a libertarian professor last semester. Possible topics include Gonzalez v. Raich (medicinal marijuana), Lawrence v. Texas (antisodomy laws), Gratz v. Bollinger (affirmative action), Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (vouchers for religious schools), Granholme v. Healde (wine sales on the internet), U.S. vs. Lopez (interstate commerce), and Coker v. Forti (tobacco cartel whoops I mean settlement). Other suggestions are welcome

A lot of abbreviated decisions are listed here, so they are short and sweet.

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/home.html

This should be a good salon, and we may have some newcomers. Amanda will post this to a Harvard libertarian club list and I'm passing this on to the meetup group.

On Saturday, we have a terrific setting in a million-door penthouse in an MIT skyrise! How fitting for fans of Howard Roark. With the MIT, Cambridge, location, it has

a) easy access to students and others in Boston
b) easy access to the red line (Kendall/MIT)
c) ample parking on a Saturday night
d) a gorgeous view of Boston skyscrapers

Directions are listed on the websites below. We're in bldg E55, so you'll want to take Memorial Drive to Wadsworth st. From Wadsworth, if you're driving, take a right onto Broadway and immediate right into the parking lot. Friendly MIT students will generally let you into the building as long as you let them frisk you and pat you down. Alice will hopefully post an emergency number to the list and give directions from the elevator if it's not obvious.

http://whereis.mit.edu/map-jpg?section=directions
http://whereis.mit.edu/map-jpg?zoom=level2¢erx=712303¢ery=496106&oldzoom=level3&map.x=283&map.y=140

Anyone can park in tHe Sloan Parking lot off of Broadway on a Saturday night.
Tuesday, November 1st, 2005
3:14 pm
[brer_vole]
Nov 5 : "salon on interpersonal communications"
Chris writes : "I'm planning on having the Nov 5 salon on interpersonal communications. I can summarize what I've learned from Deborah Tannen's book "Communication Matters" on tape. However, the salon will be better if other people can summarize similar such books, and I would recommend anyone who spends any time commuting do so. Tannen has several other books on tape, and the classic "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is available from just about any library, though you may need to use ILL to obtain it. It has some interesting stories from history, and it should prove to be controversial for BON. I could arrange to burn some cds of each for takers. Any volunteers?"
Wednesday, September 21st, 2005
7:19 am
[brer_vole]
Saturday, September 24, from 7pm-
Who: The Boston Objectivist Network - cool, intelligent people
Where: Joe's house, 11 Lilac Ct., Cambridge
When: Saturday, September 24, from 7-?
Theme Music: Honesty, Billy Joel

Due to our trust in central planning, I have chosen to designate next Saturday's salon to a deeper understanding of the Objectivist virtues. Reading them in Galt's speech is one thing; applying them in one's own life is another. We will listen to Gary Hull's lectures in brief intervals as starting points for discussion. For those drawn to controversy, you might be interested in a point of contention between ARI and TOC - TOC disputes that productivity is the central purpose of one's life.

Is a virtue most fundamentally a habit of taking particular actions, or is it a principle of action, whose application to context may vary?

Are virtues only a means to life or happiness, or are they "mieutic ends" that are both means to the good life, and constitutive of it at the same time (so that it would not make sense to sacrifice them for the good life).
For those who hold that virtue is its own reward, or constitutive of the Good, virtues are the sort of activities one lives for.

JOE's PLACE IS THE LOCATION AFTER ALL, since he is not moving/cleaning quite yet. If you plan on not eating or drinking any of the refreshments provided by Alex and Alice, you MUST notify them ahead of time so they don't waste money that they won't collect back. Contact Alex at alex@inga.....

Unvirtuous people who eat without paying will be chewed up and spit out.
Monday, July 25th, 2005
9:07 pm
[amapola_t]
Hi all,

I'm moving to Cambridge in September and will be looking at apartments or lodging of some sort during the first 2 weeks in August. If anyone knows of any great place to live, especially that is in walking distance of Harvard, I'd love to hear about it. If it's a place with sane, quiet, clean and productive roommates, that'd be fine too. Thanks! I'm looking forward to BON.
Monday, July 18th, 2005
6:59 pm
[brer_vole]
Discussion of Movies : 7pm Sat July 23
What: A Discussion of Movies with an ear to what's interesting to Objectivism
When: Saturday, July 23, 2005, 7:00-11:00
Where: Langley Road, Second Floor (use back door), Newton [contact me for the address]
Who: Cool People interested in Objectivism
Theme Music: Public Enemy, Burn Hollywood Burn
Suggested Reading: The Romantic Manifesto, Chapter 1.

This Saturday, we're honoring the people's choice to rotate salons between locations. We'll be having a comparatively light discussion topic, and one in which everyone gets a chance to speak (as with the book salon). amanda42 will come with lessons from her film class on how to analyze films. Everyone should come prepared to talk about a movie and why it was or was not a good movie, and hopefully try to tie it into Objectivism. I venture that the most interesting movies will be the more extreme cases; i.e., the movies that strongly support Objectivist philosophy or sense of life, or ones that strongly oppose one or both. You might consider plot, themes, acting style, camera work, music, and direction.

Art is selective recreation of reality, so assume that everything in a movie is there for a reason. I speculate that when an artist places something in a movie, he is elevating that thing to a metaphysical level. For instance, if the badguys win in a movie, the artist could be elevating evil to a metaphysical level and saying that evil is more powerful than good. If no one acts according to consistent principles, the movie might be saying that living a principled life is impossible. Please feel free to chime in to the list if you have more suggestions on how to analyze movies ahead of time.

To avoid repetition, please email the list when you know what movie you will discuss, or come with a few back-ups. Some obvious films praised by Oists in the past would be The Shawshank Redemption, The Incredibles, Batman Begins, and Chocolate. Some obvious films slammed by Oists in the past have been Deliverance, The Unforgiven, Hannibal, anything made in France, and Fight Club. But why go for the obvious?

This week, I, burntbythesun02, will also assume the role of moderator. Note that we are meeting a week earlier than usual because several of us will be away on July 30.
4:37 pm
[brer_vole]
2005 Porcupine Freedom Festival : July 23-31
PorcFest '05 is the second annual Free State Project gathering in New Hampshire. It's open to anyone interested in freedom or the Free State Project.

WHEN: July 23-31, 2005. You don't have to attend all days (Fri Jul 29 - Sun 31st is best), but we'd love to have you!

Details : http://www.freestateproject.org/news/festival/

PS : Michael Badnarik is expected to be there for several days and will speak Sat July 30st at around 2.45pm. Come say hello and/or tell him that you're (not) happy with "Ohio".
Saturday, June 18th, 2005
5:49 am
[brer_vole]
The "Edukate me" Salon - THIS Saturday, 8pm (TODAY!)
"Who: The Boston Objectivist Network
Where: Joe's house, 11 Lilac Ct., Cambridge
When: Saturday, June 18, from 8-?
Theme Music: "School's Out" - Alice Cooper

Now that school's out (for! summer!), it's only appropriate that the next
salon cover the grand theme of "education". Because I'm lazy, this topic
will be elaborated publicly by others shortly. I hope.

NOTE: This time it's at 8pm to accommodate some of our presenters. If you
show up too early, it's likely that no one will be there.
-J"

"Hi everyone,

We'll be discussing four methods of education and how they relate to
objectivism - feel free to familiarize yourself with any of the four methods
& bring your questions or opinions or criticisms!

Traditional classroom
Montessori (which Rand loved) -- http://www.montessori.edu/
Sudbury Valley (or Free Schooling) -- www.sudval.org
Unschooling -- http://www.unschooling.com/

-A"

"One case for more traditional schooling, though not available online is from Peikoff:

http://www.peikoff.com/courses/philedu.htm

-C"
Saturday, May 28th, 2005
4:53 pm
[brer_vole]
new location - tonight : Saturday, May 28, 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Joe's House
11 Lilac Ct,Cambridge,MA View Map
When: Saturday, May 28, 7:00pm to 10:00pm


No longer shall we be inconvenienced by the downstairs door-buzzer, indoor carpeting, or fluorescent lighting, nor will we be given disapproving stares by socialist neighbors, for the Salon is now meeting at *my* house in Kendall Square. -Joe

Have you ever wanted to take supplies from the office when nobody was looking? Sneak into another movie theater in the same hallway after your movie is over? Take over the galaxy as the dark lord of the sith (you'll eventually be killed, but you'll rule for a good 40 years). Well, maybe, now you can!

One of Objectivism's most persistent criticisms is that it cannot answer the prudent predator problem. The basis for ethics in Objectivism is self-interest. But Objectivists have always argued that self-interest never consists in initiating force/harm against others. Most would say that it is in one's self-interest to respect the negative rights of others.

Rand came up with various reasons not to: doing so would give other people a reason to retaliate; it would encourage dependency on your part; it would make you value stupidity and gullibility in others; encourage the growth of predation; and you would lose time you could spend productively. All of these situations apply most of the time, but there are those occasional instances where one's decision to prey on others would never be caught, and doing so occasionally would hardly make one dependent. Is the Objectivist Position that "you should prey on others when it is in your interest, but it usually isn't"?

Some might say that the psychology of humans is hard-wired so as to never benefit (in terms of happiness) from harming others. We can discuss this as well as other objections to prudent predation at the salon. Recent emails have discussed this issue, as well as Will Thomas' lectures from last summer's TOC, and a paper I will forward later this week.

Wasn't I clever to have the predation salon take place at a location other than my own?

Your Moderator,

Chris

-----------------------

More on the location:

My house is one block from Hampshire and Cardinal Madieros, near One Kendall Square and the Kendall Cinema. It's easy walking distance from the Kendall T (10-15mins). Lilac is L-shaped, and joins Webster (at Hampshire) and Cardinal Madieros. There's a big Italian cultural center on that corner.

There's plenty of street parking (or there should be) on Hampshire, Cardinal Madieros, or at the movie theater, much of it metered. You can also take a chance with permit parking; the odds are good that you won't be ticketed (but I make no guarantees!)

Somehow, the Man was able to delete the bulk of Lilac Ct from the maps at Yahoo, Google, and Mapquest, so as always, don't believe what you read. The road really is there.. trust me.
Friday, May 13th, 2005
7:13 am
[brer_vole]
Salon : Saturday, May 28, 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Location: Chris's and David's
16 Elmer St, Apt 201,Cambridge,MA
When: Saturday, May 28, 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Let's go retro! Way back in the day that salons met on Newbury Street (at Will and Hawver's place), we had a salon to discuss favorite books of Objectivists. I think this is a good way to involve many people in the conversation and cover many different topics so as to not cause heads to explode from the intensity of discussing one topic.

Everyone should discuss a book and explain why it is interesting period. This book should not be a part of the official canon (that is, not a book by Ayn Rand or Robert Heinlein, a book in the Ayn Rand Bookstore, and perhaps not in TOC's catalog either). Ideally, they should also explain why it is interesting to afficianados of Ayn Rand. It would be nice to have the actual book there, but not necessary. Please avoid bringing in books that were brought in last time, which included The Moral Animal Makers and Takers, A New Guide to Rational Living, The Selfish Gene, The Giver, Everything is Negotiable, and Spot's book about WWII espionage whose title I can't remember.

Newcomers get their first hit for free; everyone else pays $5 to me for refreshments [Unless Chris and George kindly prepare a lovely display of healthy foods (in which case you owe them $1 or $2. They should post if they intend to do this)].

Let's try to start at 7 sharp.
Monday, April 25th, 2005
3:46 pm
[brer_vole]
April 30th 7pm : Minarchy vs. Anarchy.
16 Elmer St, Apt 201,Cambridge,MA

When: Saturday, April 30, 7:00pm to 10:00pm

The topic this month is Minarchy vs. Anarchy.

Newcomers get their first hit for free; everyone else pays $5 to me for refreshments [Unless Chris and George kindly prepare a lovely display of healthy foods (in which case you owe them $1 or $2. They should post if they intend to do this)].

Let's try to start at 7 sharp.
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