Feel Good Friday: Ayn Rand, Compromise and Compassion


There can be no compromise between a property owner and a burglar; offering the burglar a single teaspoon of one’s silverware would not be a compromise, but a total surrender – the recognition of his right to one’s property. What value or concession did the burglar offer in return? and once the principle of unilateral concessions is accepted as the base of a relationship by both parties, it is only a matter of time before the burglar would seize the rest…

Doesn’t Life Require Compromise
Ayn Rand

State Of The Ramble


Unlike Roark, with whom the author seemed to identify, Rand received all the benefits of an upper middle-class education, mooched off her relatives to set herself up in the United States, and enjoyed the support of a veritable army of influential conservative and libertarian intellectuals and elites who championed her work.

source

I am on day two of being sick.

It’s been a little odd since my current job doesn’t pay sick days. So at a job where I do have sick days, I’d be okay with being sick but since that isn’t so, I have  tremendous guilt over being sick and not going in to work.

This voice nags at me, it says “get the money get the money.

I respond “but I’m sick, what about my body?

And it goes “What about poverty? You don’t have a back-up plan do you? You’re poor!

Me: “WTF voice in the back of my head.

Is this what it means to have Catholic guilt? I wouldn’t know so I’m asking. I do have Father’s guilt though.

Father’s guilt is the idea that nothing you do is correct. Ever. If you are sick, you should’ve been sick differently or taken a bunch of drugs and gone to work anyway “cuz no one is going to take care of you” or some such “advice” like so.

Or if I did go to work, “you should’ve stayed home.” Yes my father is a ginormous tool. A ginormous, emotionally yo-yo of a tool, like any emotional unstable human. And he just happens (to like?) to use his position to inflict pain when he feels threatened. And the threats usually come whenever he feels his child is acting like an independent person. Sometimes I wonder if he has Borderline Personality Disorder.

But I still feel guilty for not working, even though being sick in the workplace is a crappy thing to do.

……….

“Live with integrity, respect the rights of other people, and follow your own bliss.” Nathaniel Branden

Speaking of crap, some crappy article on HuffPo about Ayn Rand taking Social Security and Medicare came out recently. I hate Ayn Rand, her absolutism is appalling to someone like me. I believe in balance. Balance is rarely absolute, it’s always a little of this and a little of that and so on and so on.

Absolutism is divisive, good and bad, right and wrong…feh.  And it requires a person to live in a type of certainty that can be inflexible in real world practice. There is right for now and wrong for then.  Right and wrong is something we need to constantly devote brain cycles to. Not just rely on the belief of one person. That one person can be wrong. Case in point, read about my father and my mother and anyone who lives on stereotypes, which are absolutes. For example, “if Eds talks like this then she must be some lefty liberal.” EHNT, WRONG ANSWER.

Same thing goes for stereotyping people who gossip. EHNT, WRONG ANSWER. You know who you are.

The funny thing was that Rand, when she knew that she would most likely have to take benefits, decided to soften her stance about taking benefits. Which is on par for the witch. (I’m talking about her falling out with Nathaniel Branden btw.) It’s the “I don’t need to be understanding until it works out to my favor.”  It’s “saving face.” The problem is, if you never got yourself in a corner like that in the first place, you may have never had to save face. But at the end of the day, it almost doesn’t matter. Telling a Rand lover that she has faults is like telling a child that wrestling is fake.

(And what was the political social reason behind Social Security and Medicare? Was it for the exact reason Ayn had to use the money? Hmmm hmmm? Anyhow.)

I stand by my statement “Ayn Rand is the McDonald’s of reasoning.” There are just better writers who talk about being an individual without demonizing other people or entities.

Her absolutism seems to inspire people to live by the sword.. wait I’ll let this Buddhist fable explain that statement and my dismay with Rand’s way of being.

The Cakkavatti Siihanaada Sutta describes a state in which the king ignores his religious advisers and does not give wealth to the poor. Poverty becomes widespread and, in its wake, follow theft, murder, immorality in various forms, and communal breakdown. The culmination is a “sword period” in which men and women look upon one another as animals and cut one another with swords. In this sutta, lack of compassion for the poor leads to the disintegration of society. Lack of social and economic justice leads to disaster. In contrast, the ideal Buddhist model for society, as deduced from the texts, would be one in which exploitation in any part of its structure is not tolerated. Such a society would be rooted in compassion. Compassion is its prerequisite.

That’s right. I got Buddha in my corner, can you argue with religious belief? No? Didn’t think so. SCK IT! (FYI, you can read the Cakkavatti Sutta on the Access To Insight website.) Ok ok in all seriousness, a Buddhist should not be divisive in their speech and telling someone to “suck it” is pretty divisive but still, “Dharma-gates are boundless, I vow to enter them.” I’m imperfect, I know that. I have a ton of gates I have to enter, correct speech is one of them.

9:10 pm Eds

……….

Speaking of assumptions, which is what Rand did, my parents did, and people who live by stereotypes do. Why don’t people have assumptive fail-safes?

Just a little something in your mind that allows to be like “whoops I made a mistake” and you do no harm to yourself cuz you knew all along you could be wrong and the person who you were wrong about doesn’t become offended because they see that you know you made a mistake and they don’t have to fight with you over an assumption you made about them.

We can’t get rid of assumptions all the way because assumptions are what make relationships special. When our friends, parents, and significant others make the correct assumptions about us, we feel special and honored. (Like even when they are right about us having a shtfit over something silly.) When we/you/I assume correctly it’s like saying “you mean something to me.” Someone took the time to watch us and figure out something we may need or like or whatever.

But assuming is a double-edged sword, cuz when we do it wrong and especially do it wrong in a conflict, holy crap. So why don’t more people just have an assumptive fail-safe? It’s just a little mental space you devote to any ideal you have that says, “I think I am right, but I could be wrong. And I’m open to and okay with being wrong… if i am.”

But perhaps this simple concept requires too many resources like, time to think about issues thoughtfully, a deviation from a person’s routine which complicates simplicity, plus if this a social deviation we can cause anxiety for ourselves cuz we may no longer be considered normal.

……….

This has lead me to the Dunning–Kruger effect.

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to appreciate their mistakes.[1] The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to the situation in which less competent people rate their own ability higher than more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence. Competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. “Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.”

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

  1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
  2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
  3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
  4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

Yup.

So concludes this State of the Ramble.