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message 1: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Independent thinkers carry the world forward through their innovations and their actions towards progress.

A fictional independent thinker is Howard Roark of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. He gives me joy and fuel to pursue my goals. The heroes of Reason Reigns are independent thinkers.

A towering real-life independent thinker is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Branded as a troublemaker for thinking innovatively, he was fired by Salomon Brothers in 1981. He formed Bloomberg LP and used technology to revolutionize Wall Street.

Independent thinking and purposeful action have made Mr. Bloomberg a billionaire.

Dear friends, thank you for your time. Please share whom you admire and why.

message 2: by Rush (new)

Rush | 5 comments I also admire Ayn Rand's portrayal of Howard Roark. Integrity and good, hard work is the recipe for good fortune. But good fortune is only a consequence. Being honest to yourself, always striving to reach your best and achieving it is the reward in itself.

message 3: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Thank you, Rush.

message 4: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Excerpt from Reason Reigns:

___ had never felt better in his life. “A supreme ruler on one hand and freedom on the other. I choose freedom! I choose to risk my life to defend liberty. I have gone from the dark side to the side of angels. I have atoned. I failed to realize that I want Kiran for the values she represents. I failed to appreciate that Leo Thomas is greatness personified. I was blind because I did not use my own mind. Independent thinking has set me free!”

message 5: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod


If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man
But soon or late the person who wins
Is the one who thinks “I can.”

- Walter D. Wintle

message 6: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
This is an excerpt from Reason Reigns:

“The people on this boat, the Georgia Knox, are heroes. A hero knows the power of the mind. He respects and seeks ideas. He appreciates knowledge. He lives by reason and logic.

A hero trades – he is neither a master nor a slave. He is an independent thinker – he is neither a power seeker nor a mindless follower.

A hero admires other people’s abilities. He is happy.

His morality is self-interest based on reality and reason. In such a morality, would the interests of individuals ever clash? No, because no self-respecting person would ever desire the unearned or the forced. A moral man does not loot or defraud. He is loyal to ideas and to values, not to specific men or to a group. He respects every man’s freedom. He does not rule. He cannot be ruled.

Ron speaks of a God who is all-good and all-loving. May God bless these heroes.”

* * *

message 7: by Ilyn (last edited Aug 16, 2008 04:17PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Dr. Jose Rizal:

- author of Noli Me Tangere
- polymath & polyglot
- executed by tyrants at age 35
- sculptor of the naked woman on the front cover of Reason Reigns, entitled: The Power of Science over Death

Dr. Rizal passionately valued individual rights and knowledge, at a time when independent thinkers would surely die. He valued these and his country more than his life. He was a man of mettle.

My favorite quote from Noli Me Tangere: “It’s not criminals who provoke great hatred, it’s honest men.”

When the Philippine Organic Act of 1902 was before the US Congress, the Democrats argued that the Filipinos were too barbaric to govern themselves. Their party platform stated, “The Filipinos cannot be citizens without endangering our civilization.”

Republican Congressman Henry Cooper of Wisconsin argued that a society that could produce a man of Rizal’s abilities was certainly capable of self-government. He read Rizal’s “My Last Farewell” on the House floor, capping it by the peroration, “Under what clime or what skies has tyranny claimed a nobler victim?”

The bill passed.

message 8: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
This is an excerpt from Reason Reigns:

Ali and Dyosa’s boat exploded. Like Ivan and Kori, their bodies were never recovered.

Ali’s mother and her friends held a prayer session for their souls. They were concerned that Alisa did not wear black.

“People might think you don’t love your parents.”

“I know the truth,” Alisa answered.

“People might be offended that you don’t follow tradition.”

“I’m free. I am not beholden to any tradition.”

“People will talk; their opinions won’t be favorable.”

“I don’t think of that.”

message 9: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Another excerpt from Reason Reigns:

Majestic rock formations backdropt the beach by the seawall gates. Lola boarded the support boat parked beside Tony’s boat which hauled Jay’s earlier. The bows of both boats were onto the beach. The three boys followed Lola into the boat which flew the flag with the ‘I’. Ivan explained to Jay, “Tony owns the boats that fly the gold, silver, and black flag. Lola and I own this boat. The letter ‘I’ on our flag stands for ‘Ivan’ and for ‘the Individual’.”

“It also stands for ‘Independence’, for independent thinkers who respect individual rights,” Lola added. “People who prefer ‘WE’ over ‘I’ dread independence and feel a frantic desire to belong. Instead of using their own minds, they trust the wisdom of others; they stick to traditions; they copy or obey; they are loyal to their respective groups rather than to values; they take the unearned – they loot.”

Lola easily maneuvered her boat to the deeper end.

Jay Rahman spoke softly but proudly. “I used my own mind in deciding to follow the beacon. I chose to come here despite numerous frightening stories. I chose light over darkness. I am worthy to be on this boat.”

message 10: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
This is in my profile under "Ilyn's writing". I wrote it six days before I found Goodreads:

A blog about the print-on-demand (POD) technology, independent thinkers, and self-published books, particularly Reason Reigns


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim (rangerider) | 7 comments For most of the past twenty years the majority of my published work has dealt with obscure facets of the American automotive industry between 1890 and 1940. As a result I am of the opinion that this may very well be one of the most overlooked corners in American history.
There are a multitude of lessons to be learned in studying the formative years of this industry. Many of these lessons are applicable to a large number of the problems faced by Americans today.
Consider the rags to riches story of Charles Nash. He was born in 1864, abandoned by his parents at age six, and bound out by a district court to a farmer. The abusive situation led him to run away at age twelve.
From this tragic beginning he learned the carpentry trade, read extensively, and became a cushion stuffer for the Flint Road Cart Company owned by William Durant, founder of General Motors.
He followed this with the position of manager for the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, a stepping stone to the head of Buick Motor Car Company in 1910. He topped this when he became the president of General Motors in 1912, and the founder of Nash Motors Company in 1916.
He was a hands on manager that did not mico manage, was financially prudent, and avoided red ink for his company during the initial days of the depression.
In this time and in this industry he was not unique. Ransom Olds tied an educational system to his business where employees received, free of charge, all manner of education. Studebaker initiated a father/son apprenticeship program.
To a large degree the comparison between then and now leads one to believe that in the realm of business we are now a nation of corporate wimps with little or no regard to social responsibility. The current mortgage debacle and the governments response seems to confirm this gloomy line of thought.

message 12: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hi Jim. Thanks for joining the group.

Thanks a million for sharing the great story of Charles Nash.

Good fortune on your endeavors.

message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim (rangerider) | 7 comments Writing The Big Book of Car Culture was one of the most rewarding and most challenging projects I have yet to be involved with. The challenge was I had a mere six months for completing the project. The reward was the discovery of all manner of fascinating people and interesting history.
Ralph Teetor tops my list of amazing, inspirational people. At age twelve he and a cousin rebuilt an engine and tried building a car. Ten years later he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science degree.
His list of accomplishments was quite lengthy. He founded the Perfect Circle piston ring company, invented the gyroscope mechanism for torpedos and cruise control for automobiles.
However, the most amazing accomplishment was his ability to rise above a severe disability - he lost his eyesight in an accident at the age of five!

message 14: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
This is precious information, Jim. I greatly appreciate it.

Now I know that your book is a good gift to youngsters. What inspiring courage - Ralph Teetor is a great hero!

A main character in Reason Reigns, named in honor of my Mother, is blind.

message 15: by Donna (last edited Sep 22, 2008 10:04PM) (new)

Donna (skeets) | 30 comments Hi Jim and All,

Jim you have been writing about old cars from the 1890s and into the 1940's? How can that be fun? I am not being rude or facetious. What do you discuss about the cars? Are you telling how they have progressed or all the new designs and features that have been added. Best of luck to YOU, Donna..

I also liked your story about Charles Nash.

message 16: by Jim (new)

Jim (rangerider) | 7 comments Pardon the pun but the cars are merely the vehicle. The "fun" is in the discovery and sharing of fascinating people, overlooked history, and lessons that apply to the modern era.
To date all of my published work is either travel or automotive related. More often than not they are intertwined.
My newest book, Route 66 Backroads, is more than another guide book to that iconic highway. It is also an introduction to the wonders often overlooked that are found to the north and south of that highway such as Palo Duro Canyon in Texas and Suapi in Arizona. It is also a history of the evolution of an American society completely built upon the automobile.
In The Big Book of Car Culture I delved deeply into that evolution. In researching and writing this book I found that hybrid cars were being built to "soil the air less" in 1917 and discovered individuals such as Ralph Teetor.
History is a topic often presented in a manner as dry as an insurance seminar. Automotive history is taught as a two week seminar. This is quite amazing when you consider that every aspect our current society is tied directly to the automobile and its supportive infrastructure.
Route 66 and Charles Nash, tourism and manufacturing, The Model T and creation of Holiday Inn, Winnebago and crash test dummies are topics that fall into the category of automotive history.
My travel books go hand in hand with this. In writing the guide book Backroads of Arizona I discovered the Desert Classic Cactus Derby races.
These were held between 1909 and 1914, featured racers such as Louis Chevrolet and Barney Oldfield, and followed a different course across the desert from Los Angeles to Phoenix every year. This led to the discovery of a heavily ilustrated guide book to the courses published in 1914.
With these discoveries I was able to add real meat to my Arizona tour guide. I was able to add historical tidbits as well as provide relevance to overlooked or forgotten historic sites such as the Old Trails Garage in Kingman, a pit stop for the Louis Chevrolet team in 1914.
one last thought on your excellent question. Consider this - between 1895 and 1940 there were more than 3,000 automobile manufacturers in the United States, are lexicon includes the word "duesy" which is a comparative to the Duesenberg, that before 1912 over 75% of vehicles built were either electric or steam, and everybody from Buffalo Bill to Emily Post were promoting the adventure of seeing the USA by automobile.

message 17: by Donna (new)

Donna (skeets) | 30 comments Hi Jim,

I am so embarrassed about my question. I finally figured out how to see some one's profile ( by clicking on their name or picture ). I did it on yours and found out you were an author of 26 car books. I was amazed and fascinated with just the covers. I think I would enjoy reading some of them, if not all of them. Can you forgive my stupidity? What you just posted was very interesting and knowledgeable. Sorry again. Can we be friends? Riding down the road, Donna..;)

message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim (rangerider) | 7 comments I am not that thin skinned! I found your question to be an intelligent one, not an offensive one.
History, in particular automotive history, is often viewed as a topic that is as dry as toast. Listed among the reasons I wrie is an effort to correct that perception.
As noted I also write travel guide books. However, in these as well I hope to introduce people to history as well as scenic wonder.
This may be a shamless plug but as an introduction to my world where automotive history and travel intertwine I would suggest The Big Book of Car Culture.
Please feel free to ask questions. This is how we both learn - you are introduced to new subjects and I learn to how to introduce people to interesting history.
Thank you -

message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Many things look 'dry as toast' until I start to learn about them. I never thought wood & trees could be so interesting until I started getting into them more. Ditto with tropical fish, horses or photography. I'm not saying I'm an expert or even an advanced hobbyist in any of those subjects it's just the more I learned about each of them, the more fascinating I could find them. If I had the time & money, I'd love to look into them all in depth.

Jim, I'm not a car buff, but I have one son who is. I'm glad to see you here as I often have trouble figuring out birthday or Xmas presents. I think I found one. Thanks.

message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim (rangerider) | 7 comments Your more than welcome.
One of the perks derived from writing is in learning and expanding the horizons. This may not put beans on the table but it helps take my mind off the hunger and on occasion gives me new ideas about things to eat.
As travel and automotive history are what seem to fascinate me most everything I write finishes with strings tied to these topics. I write about ghost towns of the southwest and discover a forgotten series of automobile races. I write about the Ford Model T and discover there was a dealership in the absolute middle of nowhere Arizona between 1914 and 1920.
I write about the Lincoln Highway and this leads to the discovery of a book written by Emily Post about her trip in 1916. This in turn leads to the discovery that there was a military convoy testing the use of motorized transport along this route in 1919 and one of the officers was a certain World War II general that became president. These discoveries lead to reading about the development of the interstate highway and its forefather in Germany which in turn leads to writing a book about Route 66 and the discoveries to be found along the old two lane highways of America.
When I wrote my first feature in 1990 there was little indication the journey would last this long or be this exciting.

message 21: by Donna (new)

Donna (skeets) | 30 comments Hi Ilyn,

That is my outlook on life, Take me as I am or not at all. I am definitely not a conformist. I have always been my own person. I feel that I can be this way as long as I hurt no one and what other people think is their problem- if it runs their lives.

Keep up the good writing and hugs, Donna.

message 22: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hi Donna,

Thank you. Take care and hugs.

message 23: by Ilyn (last edited Dec 09, 2008 11:37PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Notice how they’ll accept anything except a man who stands alone. They recognize him at once . . . . There’s a special, insidious kind of hatred for him. They forgive criminals. They admire dictators. Crime and violence are a tie. A form of mutual dependence. They need ties. They’ve got to force their miserable little personalities on every single person they meet. The independent man kills them—because they don’t exist within him and that’s the only form of existence they know. Notice the malignant kind of resentment against any idea that propounds independence. Notice the malice toward an independent man.

- “The Nature of the Second-Hander,” For the New Intellectual, 69.

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

That sounds remarkably like the reaction you get from devout statists when you dare to point out that government is neither practical, nor just.

message 25: by Jerin (new)

Jerin Tahapary ....the name and cultural impact of Noam Chomsky mean anything?

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

About as much as his influence on the philosophy of language, which is to say fortunately not much. Never did understand the appeal of denying the law of non-contradiction as he does no often.

message 27: by Jerin (new)

Jerin Tahapary ...I mostly know him via those Chomskyyoutubes... he speaks eloquently.... is there any truth in his sayings?

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

I am not familiar with the Chomskyyoutubes, so on those specifically I cannot say. I read Chomsky many years ago as an undergraduate where he was trying (and in my opinion failing) to do philosophy of language. Still, in those, his much younger days as well, he seemed to be at least trying to discover truth and recognized that reason was the means to knowing truth.

Since that time I have every now and again read his political rantings. They are almost universally self-contradictory, self-congratulatory, and simply misguided at best. No where is there any respect for the individual, for the inherent worth of a person, or even for practical concerns.

He has on several occasions made it clear that he believes that X can be both true and not true at the same time. In other words this means that he denies the law of contradiction. This is a single step which reduces all language to meaninglessness, though this is far from the only consequence. To make the point, consider that under Chomsky's view "The table is in the living room" is both true and false, importantly this he holds to be the case regardless of the actual location of the table. So if we cannot refer to something as simple as a particular table in a particular room, how then are we to refer to less material examples such as truth itself, or justice, right, etc.? More over since he denies the law of non-contradiction, when we seem to agree, we could in fact be disagreeing but we could not know. After all in the chomskian world, "True" means the same as "false" and "up" means the same as "down." We literally cannot know to what anyone refers to if they deny the law of non-contradiction.

message 29: by Jerin (new)

Jerin Tahapary ...seems as tho' he's denying basic human logical sense... Could he be influenced by the Kantian Revolution?.... I for one do not think that he's metaphysically inclined

message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

If he was influenced by Kant at all it was in the negative, since Kant definitely held that absolutes existed, where clearly Chomsky argues not merely against absolutes, but against all universals as well.

Yeah, any denying of the law of non-contradiction is absurd but if you begin to watch what people say, very often they are arguing for or stating beliefs in contradictory positions, and ultimately are denying the law of non-contradiction.

For instance someone arguing that there is some special class of persons who have the right to control others, while at the same time claiming to argue for liberty and respect for the individual. These two are incompatible and necessarily contradictory. Either one is free, meaning that no individual has the authority to rule over the life of the individual, else one is enslaved or imprisoned in such a condition that some other, be it a king, congress, or president is assumed to be of infinitely greater worth and thus has the "authority" to rule over the life of the individual.

message 31: by Jerin (new)

Jerin Tahapary ...it's seems. my friend, that the law of non contradiction... is universal. Who beget that idea?

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

I honestly do not know who first put it into words, but as with all things logic, most likely it can be traced in the western world back to Aristotle.

BTW coincidentally I was discussing a particular aspect of politics with a friend last night and Chomsky came up with regard to some criticisms he apparently has about the current administration doing exactly what the past administration was doing, but simply calling it something different. Assuming that this is indeed what Chomsky was saying, he did get that one right.. I guess even a blind squirrel gets a nut every now and again.. :)

message 33: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Ellis | 8 comments Um. Hello.

message 34: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hello Sharon, Brian, and Jerin1701.

message 35: by Donna (new)

Donna (skeets) | 30 comments Hi Ilyn and others,
It has been a long time since I have been on here. Don't have a clue about this discussion but I did want to say Hi.
Hugs to Ilyn, Donna

message 36: by Ilyn (last edited Jun 19, 2009 05:27PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hello Donna,

It's so great that you're back. Hugs and kisses. How are you?

My second novel, Royal Serf, has just been released. May I send you a copy? Same address?

Take great care. I wish you everything good. Please visit these groups when you have a chance: To the Glory of Man, Reason Reigns, and Goodreads Tea Party.

My very best regards,

message 37: by Dana (new)

Dana Miranda (unmoored) hullo, Ilyn I was wondering since your writing is so similar to that of Ayn Rand and there is an obvious connection that you hold her in high moral standards, i was wondering of any other philosophers are dear to you, or even some theories.

Personally, I am enamored to the writings of Nietzsche who Ayn Rand was influenced by but subsequently divorced herself from, as well as Dostoevski, Bergson, Bataille, and Deleuze. It would be nice to here your thoughts and everyone else's thoughts.

message 38: by Ilyn (last edited Jul 02, 2009 04:00AM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hello Dana. Welcome to the group. I will respond to your queries this weekend.

Best regards.

message 39: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Ellis | 8 comments Just the mere mention of independent thinking gets me excited and rearing to go

message 40: by Ilyn (last edited Jul 13, 2009 06:00PM) (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
Hello Donna, Dana, Sharon, and everyone.

Dana, I revere Ayn Rand. I love everything about her. She admired Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. Aside from these three, I dearly adore Thomas Jefferson, the greatest political thinker.

I also admire Ayn Rand's intellectual heir, Dr. Leonard Peikoff.

message 41: by Ilyn (new)

Ilyn Ross (ilyn_ross) | 1071 comments Mod
A Prime Mover: Steve Jobs


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