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February 3rd, 2004

11:27 am - Salon #10: The Spooky Fog of Foreign Policy
Salon #10: The Spooky Fog of Foreign Policy

I believe Objectivism gives more powerful and satisfying attempts at political philosophy than any other philosophical system or ideology. I also believe Objectivism's political philosophy fails to properly answer persistent questions about how to govern a nation.

And how to relate as a nation interacting with other nations on the world stage?

Do international relations present even greater problems for an individualist political ethic?

What guidance does a libertarian / Objectivist political system give for current, real-world problems of foreign policy?

I have never seen an Objectivist / libertarian give satisfying, philosophical analyses of foreign relations or principles for foreign policy.

But most of us do not hesitate to have strong opinions on foreign policy, and I wonder how we justify those.

In this salon, our resident policy wonk and Washington DC dilettante Marc Brandl will present a host of libertarian observations and insights on foreign policy (this is my summary blurb of his presentation, not his!). I'm familiar with some of the sources he's drawing from, and I'm impressed, I think his presentation will be good.

We'll probably descend quickly therafter into a quarreling rabble over the war in Iraq, critiques of President Bush, and opinions on 9/11 (causes, responses, solutions).


Phone: (858) 344-6730
Salon begins at 7:00 pm on Saturday, February 7th, 2004
at Kirez's apartment....
Cover charge: $5 to compensate host for food & beverages

More information:

The Evite: http://www.evite.com/pages/invite/viewInvite.jsp?event=IXVWJGJPASFGKMNMLKXS&inviteId=AETMAGZMCLGHKBBLSDZF&showPreview=false&x=653953459

Directions to:

3550 Lebon Dr. #6324
San Diego, CA 92122

The Yahoo! map is accurate:
Current Music: Lou Reed - Take a Walk on the Wild Side

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January 22nd, 2004

10:45 pm - Rescheduling
My apologies to anyone who was looking forward to hiking this weekend but it's being rescheduled for February 8th.

Once the planning is done I'll post! Thanks.

If anyone has a burning desire to meet up this weekend for food and socializing I'm sure a trip could be arranged to India Palace in La Jolla on Sunday from 12:30 - 2pm. Anyone interested?


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January 14th, 2004

11:11 am - debate on war?
Folks of SDON,

I'm wondering if anyone would like to present either side of the case for whether America should be going to war, at the next salon.

Ideally, I would like to see two or three presentations on what American Foreign Policy should look like, post 9/11, backstopped by political individualism and good economics.
Three short lines on my opinions of how this should be doneCollapse )
If anyone is interested in discussing internatioal relations or foreign policy -- you will be welcome to, at the next Salon. But you need to have a short (5-10 minutes) presentation prepared in advance, and you need to tell me about it.

Also, we've found that book reviews seem to be working very well (Jackie's Guns, Germs and Steel and Andrew's The Ancestral Mind), so that is a good approach to take.

Any takers? Comments? Alternative suggestions?

Does anyone really want to do a presentation on something else entirely?
Current Music: Lucinda Williams - Righteously

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January 10th, 2004

03:07 pm - Upcoming -- Lisa's improv group January 17th
We've got quite a few upcoming events.... folks, post your events here!

From Lisa Tansey:

An invite below from my improv group. Let me know if you think you might be able to make it - there are only about 60 chairs, then it's standing room only.

I'm trying to cheat by stacking the deck with my high-quality friends so we get better suggestions to improvise with! :)

Happy New Year 2004!



Friends, Romans, Lovers of Silliness!

Have you ever wondered what TV would be like if it were made
completely ridiculous? Wait, before you answer...

The benissimo5 comedy troupe will be performing LIVE TELEVISION, um,
without the aid of a camera, on January 17. We'll take audience
suggestions and turn them into entirely new TV shows, and entirely
old TV shows with strange twists, plus a few surprises. If you've
ever wanted to have an influence on the most powerful mass medium
ever, now's your chance!

Here's the info:

Saturday, January 17
8 pm

The 101 Artist's Colony and Art Cafe
25 E St.
Encinitas, California 92024
(760) 632-9074

I hope you can join us!

Current Music: Kill Bill - The Grand Duel (Parte Prima)

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January 7th, 2004

09:12 am - This Saturday!!
What Do YOU Consider Fun? Fun, Natural Fun!*

This week, the SDON is all about selfishly returning to the primitive
through a look at The Ancestral Mind.

Taking the popular book (The Ancestral Mind, a new release in psych) as a
starting point, Andrew Breese is here to criticize the Objectivist movement
for strangling the spirit of Rand's fiction!

Randian heroes thrive through their clearly powerful minds. But what parts
of their minds are really strongest? We automatically call them 'rational',
but they're something more...

To whet your appetite:

"The original condition of human beings, prior to the development of
self-reflective consciousness, must have been a state of inner peace
disturbed only now & again by tides of hunger, sexuality, pain and danger.
Unfulfilled wants, dashed expectations, loneliness, frustration, anxiety and
guilty are likely to have been recent invaders of the mind. They are the
dark side of the emergence of consciousness." (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of
Flow fame, speculating rather oddly on a sort of Darwinian Garden of Eden!)
Andrew half-agrees with this quote, and will explain why he finds it

"Once it appeared, the self-conscious Thinking Mind allowed us to radically
reshape our environment. [...] Through learning and radical innovation,
humans were able to become masters of our fate by dominating nature, but at
a great cost: it was this taking control that allowed many 'maladaptive'
traits, such as persistent anxiety, to emerge."

"Television sets follow you from the airport lounge onto the plane, and even
onto the bus that takes you to your rental car. [...] The modern world seems
determined to eliminate any opportunities for personal time and personal
reflection, as if silence and independent thought were subversive activities
that needed to be suppressed."

"The media presents us with so much to worry about -- murder, catastrophes,
terrorism -- that we begin to believe that life is inherently horrible. Much
of what passes for 'news' is irrelevant [....] & would never enter our
consciousness were it not for technology & [strange] economic incentives."

"[Many] stories aren't inherently interesting, yet they consume our time on
the planet, amusing us to death."

"The hallmark of so many genuinely fulfilling experiences, from mystical
ecstasy to states of 'flow' in work & romantic love, is loss of the sense of
boundaries around the personal self & the feeling of 'merging' with
something or someone else. This expansion of our sense of self is [the
truest] experience of joy."

"One of the reasons that Al Gore failed in his 2000 presidential bid, of
course, was that he [did not show us a strong] emotional connection to the
Ancestral Mind."

"Each basic emotion has served a primary function throughout our
evolutionary history." And then the author goes on to tell us what those

"The root cause of modern stress is [a disconnect] between Thinking Mind
consciousness and Ancestral Mind consciousness, [and] between modern world
and ancestral world."

"The Thinking Mind, with its incessant internal monologue, its great
cognitive powers, and its strong sense of self, has seduced us into
believing that it is not just part of us but that it IS us."

This Saturday night. Be there, or be square.

Goal: Fun, natural fun!

* " 'Genius of Love' is a famous hip-hop song by the Tom Tom Club, who were
a side project of a few members of the Talking Heads. It was released on
their self-titled album in 1981. "

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January 5th, 2004

08:15 pm - Salon #9: January 10th
I'm a bit frustrated with the lack of participation in recent salons. So:

1. I need y'all to let me know what needs to be done to encourage you to bring "show-n-tell" items, and

2. I want you to share with the rest of us things that rock your world, be they books, movies, poems, or other inspiring events or institutions.

Also, while you're with me in the preface, props to neoteny who wants to host Movie Nights again. Follow that link for good times' sake.

And welcome to sukipookie and bkmichele who have recently joined sdon and who we hope will enjoy our network and salons.

Salon #9: The Ancestral Mind</h2>

Andrew Breese will be giving a presentation inspired by a promising new book by Harvard Med Psychiatry prof Gregg Jacobs, The Ancestral Mind: Reclaim the Power. Follow this link to see why Andrew's a stud for bringing this book to our attention!

Tomorrow (Tuesday January 6th) I'll be posting another reminder and some thinking points for Andrew's presentation.


Phone: (858) 344-6730
Salon begins at 7:00 pm on Saturday, January 10th, 2003
at Kirez's apartment....

directionsCollapse )

Current Music: Sarah Brightman - A Whiter Shade of Pale

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January 4th, 2004

03:29 pm - Saaaaaaaaayyyyyyy...
Wasn't yesterday the first Saturday of the month..? Was there a salon? Did I miss it?!

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December 22nd, 2003

10:13 pm
I'm moving to San Diego to attend TJSL. any tips?

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December 21st, 2003

12:10 am - Dim Sum Event
Location: Jasmine Seafood Restaurant
4609 Convoy Street, San Diego, CA View Map
When: Friday, December 26, 11:30am to 2:00pm
Phone: (858) 268-0888


Come gather with fellow philosophical types as we celebrate the coming of the New Year over dim sum at Jasmine's. Please feel free to bring friends and family.

A group will be leaving for a nature hike in Encinitas at 2pm. In the case of inclement weather or overstuffeditis indoor gaming will take place.

We hope to see you there,

Danielle and Jessica
Current Mood: hungryhungry

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December 4th, 2003

Please note that Salon #8, the December Salon, is THIS Saturday, day after tomorrow, December 6th.

I had initially written "14th" --- I've since corrected the error, but please note the correct date.


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