Issue CLXIII 

June 14-18, 2008

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Culture
The Best Self-Help is Free: Chapter 19: Avoiding Futile Endeavors:
G. Stolyarov II

June 14, 2008
We humans are creatures of limited abilities. The limits of our abilities can and do expand, of course, and there is no universal law that states that our abilities will never reach certain levels. However, we are still limited at any given moment in time, and our abilities can only expand so quickly. It is essential to take this into account when deciding what projects and endeavors to undertake.
Mr. Stolyarov explains the necessity of avoiding undertakings that are doomed to fail as well as the means by which this avoidance can be most effectively accomplished.

The Best Self-Help is Free: Chapter 20: Gaining Value from Other People:

G. Stolyarov II

June 15, 2008
We can be much more effective value traders and value gainers if we take our implicit recognition of the importance of value trading and make it explicit, using it to guide our everyday actions and our treatment of other people. There exist tempting errors of judgment that many people who do not focus explicitly on value trading lapse into. Here, Mr. Stolyarov hopes to convince you that these ways of thinking ought to be avoided and replaced by ways more conducive to value exchange.


The Best Self-Help is Free: Chapter 21: Focusing on Conclusions in Persuasion:
G. Stolyarov II

June 17, 2008
When persuading another person, your primary interest is that the other person adopt the conclusion of your argument – and whether or not he or she adopts all of your premises is of secondary importance. After all, it is on the basis of the conclusions they have reached that people decide what they ought to do, and their actions are of much more direct relevance to your life than whatever goes on inside their heads. Mr. Stolyarov explains how focusing on the conclusions you want to convey will make you much more effective at persuasion.

Economics
Europe's New Telecom Framework: Functional Separation is a Dead End:
Molinari Economic Institute

June 14, 2008
Believing that the transition to a competitive telecommunications market is still incomplete, Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for Information Society and Media, suggests imposing “functional separation” of incumbent operators (the former monopolies) into two distinct entities, one to manage network infrastructure and the other to provide retail services to customers.
According to a new study from the Institut Economique Molinari, Brussels is making a mistake. Not only is this measure unnecessary, but it is harmful and arbitrary.

Literary Analysis
"Who is Henry M. Galt?": A Review of Garet Garrett's The Driver:
Edward W. Younkins

June 18, 2008
The Driver (1922) is a prime example of the literature of achievement. The author, Garet Garrett (1878-1954), had the ability to make economic, financial, and management processes come alive in novel form. Dr. Edward Younkins writes that not only is The Driver a novel of high finance and Wall Street methods, it also paints a portrait of an efficacious and visionary man who uses reason to focus his enthusiasm on reality in his efforts to attain his goals.

Music
Piano Composition #3, Op. 5:
G. Stolyarov II

June 17, 2008
This work was composed by Mr. Stolyarov in 2001, but it makes its first public appearance here. It combines the chords and alternating moods of much of 19th-century Romantic music with the strict meter and rhytm of 18th-century Classical music. Left-click on the link above to play the composition, and right-click to download it in MP3 format.

Piano Composition #4 (Industry), Op. 7:
G. Stolyarov II

June 17, 2008
Mr. Stolyarov composed "Industry" in 2001; it is now available to the public for the first time. This piece employs a rapid tempo, large numbers of massive chords, and periodic variations on the main theme. As the work progresses, the intensity and degree of ornamentation increase; this is intended to represent the accelerating effects of industrial progress. Left-click on the link above to play the composition, and right-click to download it in MP3 format.

Strength in Numbers:
Rodney Rawlings

June 18, 2008
“Strength in Numbers” is a song composed by Rodney Rawlings about the importance of autonomy and rational individualism.
Click on the link above to listen to the song, download it, and see the lyrics written by Mr. Rawlings. The Rational Argumentator is proud to host this inspiring, harmonious, and well crafted composition.

Politics
A World Afloat on an Ocean of Oil:
Alan Caruba

June 15, 2008
Considering how much untapped oil is known to exist, not just in the United States, but worldwide, one would think that its current price was some kind of anomaly and it is. According to Alan Caruba, this price is more the result of speculation than anything else.

Iraq or the Economy?:
Ron Paul

June 17, 2008
What is the importance of the war in Iraq relative to other current issues?  This is a question Rep. Ron Paul is often asked, especially as Americans continue to become increasingly aware that something is very wrong with the economy.  The difficulty with the way the question is often asked relates to the perception that we are somehow able to divide such issues, or to isolate the cost of war into arbitrarily defined areas such as national security or international relations.   War is an all-encompassing governmental activity.  The impact of war on our ability to defend ourselves from future attack, and upon America ’s standing in the world, is only a mere fraction of the total overall effect that war has on our nation and the policies of its government.

"Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth." 
~ Ayn Rand

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