Thursday, October 25, 2012

About Teens, Ayn Rand Answers President Obama from Beyond the Grave

As early as 2008, President Obama had already been making passive-aggressive swipes at Ayn Rand. We remember his complaint that "we’ve made a virtue out of selfishness. There's no virtue in that! We made a virtue of irresponsibility, and need to usher in a new spirit of service and sacrifice and responsibility."

This year, President Obama has finally made that antipathy explicit. To Rolling Stone, he proclaims:
Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity –- that that's a pretty narrow vision.
In short, he's repeating the old cliche that Rand is only appreciated by teenagers -- that growing up means growing out of having appreciation for her.

How ironic that the President so reputed to have inspired the idealistic youth of America to vote for him, is now dismissing this very same demographic as being somehow inherently prone to shallowness.

Fortunately, throughout her life Rand always remained appreciative of the idealism of youth. Concerning teenagers and other young people, Rand has a message from beyond the grave for our President:
There is a fundamental conviction which some people never acquire, some hold only in their youth, and a few hold to the end of their days -- the conviction that ideas matter. In one's youth that conviction is experienced as a self-evident absolute, and one is unable fully to believe that there are people who do not share it. That ideas matter means that knowledge matters, that truth matters, that one's mind matters. And the radiance of that certainty, in the process of growing up, is the best aspect of youth. . . .

It is not the particular content of a young person's ideas that is of primary importance in this issue but his attitude toward ideas as such. The best way to describe it would be to say that he takes ideas seriously -- except that "serious" is too unserious a word in this context: he takes ideas with the most profound, solemn and passionate earnestness. (Granted this attitude, his mind is always open to correct his ideas, if they are wrong or false; but nothing on earth can take precedence for him over the truth of an idea.) . . .

Young persons who hold this conviction, do not have to "throw off the leading conformity of the only society they have known." They do not conform in the first place: they judge and evaluate; if they accept any part of the prevalent social trends, it is through intellectual agreement (which may be mistaken), not through conformity. They do not need to know the different types of society in order to discover the evils, falsehoods or contradictions of the one in which they live: intellectual honesty is the only tool required.
--"The 'Inexplicable Personal Alchemy' "

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Patients With BPD Can Get Better ='-)

A study in Denmark shows that patients with Borderline Personality Disorder can indeed get better with additional treatment.  :'-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

About Stuart K. Hayashi, The Writer

At the behest of editors and publishers, I have written a new "About the Author" essay for myself.  This is what I have so far.


Stuart K. Hayashi is a freelance journalist residing in Mililani Town, Hawaii.  His original research played a part in publicly revealing that the documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11 cited what turned out to be a doctored newspaper page.  National news outlets eventually reported on this revelation.  Mr. Hayashi’s role in the investigation is acknowledged by name in the 2005 revised paperback edition of the New York Times bestseller Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man (New York, NY:  HarperCollins) by David T. Hardy and Jason Clarke, pp. 139-140. 

Hayashi’s own writings have appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser and on the news analysis website Ideas in Action (formerly Tech Central Station). 

He also contributed these chapters to nonfiction anthologies:

* "Human Cloning Is Ethical,"  Genetic Engineering:  Opposing Viewpoints, ed. Louise I. Gerdes (San Diego, CA:  Greenhaven Press, 2004).

 * "Atlas Shrugging Throughout History and Modern Life," Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”:  A Philosophical and Literary Companion, ed. Edward W. Younkins, (Hampshire, England:  Ashgate, 2007).

Most recently, his essay on the philosophy of fiction has been published in Scout & Engineer, Issue No. 2.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

'Scout & Engineer': The Exciting Second Issue!

The excellent literary magazine Scout & Engineer came out with its second issue over here, here, and here. It contains an article written by me, in which I explain why high-quality fiction, far from being a form of dishonesty, should be considered a highly symbolic method of conveying deep psychological truth.

There is so much more to this issue than me, however. The main attractions are the collection of short fiction by various writers, as well as the reviews and interviews by editor-publisher Hannah Eason.

You can see my enthusiastic review of the first issue (which doesn't include anything by me) over here. :-)

This magazine also published a great anthology of short stories by Christopher Blonde, entitled Wendy Never Married.

August 11, 2012