Mudita Journal

Personal Archive

A personal statement on Ayn Rand

January 4, 2014  ·  Category: Atlasphere, Individualism, Intellectual, Objectivism, Personal

The topic of Ayn Rand's personal life, how it could have affected her philosophy, and whether her overall philosophy is truly valid, has come up regularly lately on my Facebook timeline. And for good reason. Many who go through a phase of identifying closely with Ayn Rand's philosophy later come to disavow the term "Objectivist." Often one factor in their decision is simply that they can't stand the moralistic-antagonistic antics of those in the orthodox branch of the Objectivist movement, even though they still agree with the basics of Rand's philosophy. Others stop calling themselves "Objectivist" for more substantive reasons. Some of ...

Pointing to the reality

I wrote this in answer to a friend, a relative newcomer to Ayn Rand's philosophy, who inquired about my interest in spirituality and why I would say something like "The divine is all around us." Why use the same words that religions use? I just got back from a 20-minute nap in the sunshine in the grass, in the park down the street. On my way to my favorite patch of grass on the embankment, I was approached by a young black missionary named Marcelle who was carrying a bible and was eager to talk. Sweet kid, seemed lonely, and was ...

Being inspired by your child

September 12, 2011  ·  Category: Parenting, Personal

This post inspired me, in turn, on multiple levels: what children are capable of, what parents are capable of, and how valuable it is to treat one another as (basically) responsible adults. I'd heard people talk about being inspired by their kids before, and didn't really believe it as I hadn't had the experience. But last night, Tovar inspired me. I'd been exploring issues of autonomy and self-regulation with Shannon, as well as how we can be better parents, so that was my mental frame as I went in to cuddle him last night. As often happens when we go in after ...

Integration with Disqus and Facebook

December 13, 2010  ·  Category: Personal, Web Development

I've implemented the Disqus commenting system here, and imported my old Mudita Journal comments to the new system. It looks like not all the comments got imported successfully but I may not have have time to investigate why. (Sorry about your two recent comments, Svein! Feel free to re-post.) I've also tried to install integration with Facebook, so that any new posts get published to my Facebook wall by default. Will find out shortly whether that is working correctly... The new Disqus commenting system offers quite a few advantages, including threaded comments (so you can reply to an individual comment), the ability ...

Welcome to the new design for Mudita Journal

December 13, 2010  ·  Category: Personal, Web Development

With my recent work on The Atlasphere, the Atlas Shrugged Movie site, and other projects, I realized yesterday it was time to bite the bullet and give Mudita Journal an updated design as well. It was looking pretty dated in recent years. My most recent overhaul was in 2006. I've been posting less here during the past year since my divorce — as one friend noted, divorce has a way of forcing you to go inside for a while — but I'm feeling the urge to dust things off and start posting more often again. I've also been using Facebook a ...

Dietary research: Good calories, bad calories

January 10, 2010  ·  Category: Health, Personal

My friend Thomas Ryan Stone has posted an interesting article on his site about the dietary research he and his wife conducted this past year, the low-carb lifestyle they adopted as a result, and the changes they noticed because of it. I was particularly intrigued by this summary of the ten key conclusions in Gary Taubes's book Good Calories, Bad Calories. Based on other information I've gleaned over the years, and what I've observed in my own dietary changes, I'm inclined to agree with these. 1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease, or any ...

The Invitation

by Oriah It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon... I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or have become shrivelled and closed from fear ...

Moving to Belgrade

November 12, 2009  ·  Category: Personal

This Saturday I am relocating to Belgrade, Serbia. I'll be checking just two items when I board the plane: (1) my guitar and (2) a suitcase with my belongings. Today I put my remaining possessions in boxes, and tomorrow those boxes go in a storage facility here in Carson City. Why Belgrade? Overall I'm in a significant life transition. Kathy and I are recently divorced (amicably, remaining close friends and business partners) and now seems like a time to see what the world has to offer that may be different, meaningful, and exciting. A few years from now, I'd love to be remarried ...

Reason TV interviews Atlasphere founder Joshua Zader

November 9, 2009  ·  Category: Atlasphere, Buddhism, Individualism, Intellectual, Objectivism, Personal

The interview, titled "Dating in the Atlasphere," was actually conducted in August 2008, but they've waited a while to publish it as part of a long series of interviews about Ayn Rand's legacy. From Reason TV's summary: Joshua Zader's intellectual relationship with Ayn Rand began as it does for so many, during his college years. He then blazed a trail uniquely his own among Rand admirers by creating The Atlasphere—an online networking and dating site for the fans of Rand's novels with particular emphasis on The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Zader found inspiration in Rand's portrayals of independence and integrity, ...

You are not your emotions, except when “you” disappears

March 14, 2009  ·  Category: Meditation, Mindfulness, Personal, Witness Consciousness

A friend published a friends-only LiveJournal post titled "What makes you... you?" in which she says "I know (or think I know) intellectually that the feelings I have do not make me the person I am. But when I dig a little deeper I'm not totally sure" -- and elaborates, very articulately, about what this experience is like, the fears it evokes, and the personal-intellectual challenges it poses. Below is my response. The most valuable skill I've acquired through meditation is the ability to experience the sense in which I am not the same as my emotions. We have a ...