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Ryan and Jacob's Manifesto

Their website http://www.eternalambition.com/ has, in essence, this message:


I seek to communicate [without] ... standard chitchat and pretenses.

I will only accept perfection in everything I do.

I do not tolerate what doesn't follow reason and logic. 

Unless you will dedicate your life to the pursuit of finding life's purpose, don't even bother responding back. 

If you believe in god, Jesus or any other religious junk, don't bother replying.

If you want to ... "enjoy life" ... there will be no point in writing back to me.

If you have strong ties to this world, ... then this will also lead nowhere. 

I, and those like me, will be the next generation of humanity.

We will ... build a new society that will have none of the faults or aimless "freedoms" of the present one.

The idea of "freedom" as it is defined today is the chain that binds us to a pointless existence that will lead nowhere. 

Only through logic will there be any chance of us finding [the purpose of life].

The only truly perfect purpose [which I seek] is one that is universal. 

I exist as an impartial, and impartial only. I know of no bias or preference, I know of no wants or needs.

I feel emotions like every human and yet I have no desire to change anything about them, and I don't see the need to act because of them. 

I am only able to think objectively. I exist as nothing more than an instance of reason and intellect. I make decisions based only on that, and act only on that. 

I have no ties, allegiances, bonds, or attachments.

I do not believe in any moral codes or standards (there is no "right" or "wrong", just "logical" and "illogical", I have no objections to killing, suicide, theft, or just about anything, as long as the reason is logical), my thinking is pure and unconstrained. 

I will communicate toward a common goal, not for enjoyment, fun, or to start a friendship.

I intend to develop communication skills that no one has ever tried before.

This communication would strive toward true understanding.

I have found another person with whom I have succeeded in communicating in this way. 


I must say, for such an unemotional pair, Ryan and Jacob's manifesto seems really packed with emotion.  It reads like one of the rants in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.  Or maybe I'm just projecting that into their writing.  I think these guys are onto something, but some of their statements seem to contradict other statements.  Here are my thoughts on their manifesto. 


I seek to communicate [without] ... standard chitchat and pretenses.

I'll give 'em that -- their chitchat and pretenses are all non-standard!

I will only accept perfection in everything I do.

Striving for perfection is a good thing if, in addition to accepting perfection, the Duo is willing to accept criticism.  For only through careful reading and understanding of the criticism can one get closer to perfection.  Or, if, through careful reading of the the criticism, it is evident that the critic has misread or misunderstood some points in the manifesto, then the Duo's own writing can be improved to be more easily understandable to future potential critics.

I do not tolerate what doesn't follow reason and logic. 

This might cause one to overlook a valid challenge to the rules of reason and logic themselves.

Unless you will dedicate your life to the pursuit of finding life's purpose, don't even bother responding back. 

Fair enough.  Only serious correspondents need apply for this job.

If you believe in god, Jesus or any other religious junk, don't bother replying.

That's not fair!  What if it can be shown that a belief in these things has merit?  For example, what if it is advantageous for society?  In that case, it would be reasonable and logical to encourage members of society to learn such beliefs.  And, as a member of society myself, it is reasonable for me to learn such beliefs.

If you want to ... "enjoy life" ... there will be no point in writing back to me.

This presupposes that "enjoying life" is mutually exclusive with dedicating life to finding its purpose.  But there are at least two other possibilities I can think of.

It is possible that spending some fraction of one's existence in "enjoyment" is compatible with spending a significant fraction of one's existence finding life's purpose.  After all, does it have to be 100% of the life that is devoted to the higher purpose?  If so, then there is no time for sleeping, eating, and crapping.  On the other hand, if the Dedicated Duo is willing to allow time off for those activities, then can't they also give time off for "enjoyment", too?

It is possible that discovering the meaning of life is enjoyable in itself.  (But I don't think the Duo had this in mind when they put "enjoy life" in quotes.)

If you have strong ties to this world, ... then this will also lead nowhere. 

This Stoic viewpoint cuts out a whole class of deep thinkers -- those over 29!

Seriously, although I see the point that strong ties to this world distract one from a pursuit of Truth.  But in the modern world, these ties often permit a good deal of leisure time.  If that leisure time were devoted to a search for Truth, then this search might lead somewhere.

I, and those like me, will be the next generation of humanity.

Yeah, along with millions of dolts.  Don't forget them!

We will ... build a new society that will have none of the faults or aimless "freedoms" of the present one.

Ayn Rand!  Ayn Rand!

The idea of "freedom" as it is defined today is the chain that binds us to a pointless existence that will lead nowhere.

There's a lot of truth to that, depending on whose idea of "freedom" you use. Nietzsche, I think it was, argued that "free will" is a meaningless term, because the "will" itself is bound up with the wills of everyone else, and is not the sort of thing that an individual can exercise, by definition.  Sartre argued that the will is nothing, at least not an object of this world, and therefore outside of causality, and that's how he is able to argue that the will can be free.  Seems fishy to me, but I need to read more.

Only through logic will there be any chance of us finding [the purpose of life].

That narrows the search unduly, unless you are willing to take an unusually broad view of "logic".  The rules of logic, as we know them, might be projections of our own way of thinking on the universe, causing us to reach forgone conclusions.  So it's fair to question logic itself.

The only truly perfect purpose [which I seek] is one that is universal. 

I exist as an impartial, and impartial only. I know of no bias or preference, I know of no wants or needs.

Yet, to take a viewpoint outside human existence requires a close examination of oneself, if only to identify those biases and preferences that normally color our viewpoints.

I feel emotions like every human and yet I have no desire to change anything about them, and I don't see the need to act because of them.

But can you deny that you have an emotional need to find life's purpose?

I am only able to think objectively. I exist as nothing more than an instance of reason and intellect. I make decisions based only on that, and act only on that.

But don't you have goals that lie outside of objectivity?  Isn't the desire to understand the purpose of life (mind you, the desire, not the purpose of life) outside the realm of objective thinking?

I have no ties, allegiances, bonds, or attachments.

I do not believe in any moral codes or standards (there is no "right" or "wrong", just "logical" and "illogical", I have no objections to killing, suicide, theft, or just about anything, as long as the reason is logical), my thinking is pure and unconstrained.

Do you not believe that moral codes exist?  Or that moral codes apply to you?  If it's the first, then this view presupposes there is no moral dimension to the purpose of life, needlessly restricting your search for meaning.  If it's the second, then you deny your participation in society while at the same time seeking to communicate with members of society, a contradiction.

I will communicate toward a common goal, not for enjoyment, fun, or to start a friendship.

I intend to develop communication skills that no one has ever tried before.

This communication would strive toward true understanding.

I have found another person with whom I have succeeded in communicating in this way.

It is important to you to communicate, I can tell, because you've gone out of your way to open channels of communication.  Is there an emotional need on your part that is satisfied by success in this regard?


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