Mar 262012
 

On Sunday, 25 March 2012, I broadcast a new episode of my live Philosophy in Action Webcast, where I answer questions on the application of rational principles to the challenges of living a virtuous, happy, and free life in a live, hour-long webcast. The webcast is broadcast live every Sunday morning at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. In the webcast, I broadcast on video, Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers is on audio, and the audience is in a text chat.

As usual, if you can’t attend the live webcast, you can listen to it later as audio-only podcast by subscribing to the NoodleCast RSS Feed:

You can also peruse the archives, listening to whole episodes or just individual questions. The archives are sorted by date and by topic.

We hope that you’ll join the live webcast, because that’s more lively and engaging than the podcast. People talk merrily in the text chat while watching the webcast. Greg and I enjoy the immediate feedback of a live audience – the funny quips, serious comments, and follow-up questions. So please join the live webcast when you can!

The Podcast: Episode: 25 March 2012

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    Duration: 1:03:27

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The Segments: Episode: 25 March 2012

The following segments are marked as chapters in the M4A version of the podcast. Thanks to Tammy Perkins for helping compile the show notes!

Introduction (0:00)

I was busy with SnowCon this past week… and my mother is coming to visit this week!

Question 1: Unfriendly Disputes in Online Communities (3:29)

Why are disputes so belligerent in online communities? I’ve noticed that people get into very loud and heated disputes online, whereas that doesn’t seem to happen in local communities. Disputes in local communities tend to be less frequent, less belligerent, and last for a shorter time – even when some people end up hating each other and refusing to have anything to do with each other in the end. Why is that? Also, why do people who are closest with each other (whether close friends, dating, or married) seem to agree more on hot-button issues? Are people more willing to reject a stranger’s arguments than those of a friend? Is that an error?

My Answer, In Brief: Conflicts with other people are inevitable in life. Online conflicts are often more belligerent, due to the differences between online and in-person communication. People should try to manage online conflicts in a sane way, with respect for facts about the limitations of the medium.

Question 2: Overcommittment in Projects (32:07)

How can I manage my projects better? Too often, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer volume of projects on my agenda. Because I’m overcommitted, I’ll miss important deadlines or allow some projects to be delayed into oblivion. Other times, my work is rushed and sloppy. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I become paralyzed, and then I don’t get any work done. What can I do to manage my various work and home projects better, so that I keep making progress on what really matters to me?

My Answer, In Brief: If you tend to take on more projects than you can manage well, then you need to work on being more realistic and more selective. Otherwise, you’re just making false promises.

Links:

Question 3: Talking About Selfishness (44:27)

Should I use the term “selfish” in conversation without explanation? According to Ayn Rand, selfishness means acting for your own long-range life and happiness, and that’s moral and proper. Yet most people think that selfishness means brutalizing other people, lying and cheating to satisfy your desires, or at least acting like an insensitive jerk. Should I avoid using the term unless I can explain what I mean by it? And how can I best explain its proper meaning?

My Answer, In Brief: When speaking to other people, make sure that you’re actually communicating what you mean to them. Most often, that will require explaining what you mean by “selfishness” or using another term.

Links:

Rapid Fire Questions (56:40)

In this segment, I answered a variety of questions off-the-cuff. The questions were:

  • In today’s political climate, should one bother running for office anymore?
  • Are some people born with more self-control than others? How can those of us lacking in self-control develop a more disciplined lifestyle?
  • Would selling yourself into slavery require regarding yourself as property – or just agreeing to do whatever your master commands?
  • Do you have a must-read book list (like Oprah)?

Conclusion (1:02:29)

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