In Sunday’s Rationally Selfish Webcast, I answered the following question about wealth and responsibility from Objectivist Answers:
Doesn’t greater wealth entail greater responsibility? If you have amassed a great fortune, don’t you also have to shoulder a greater responsibility to society and your fellow man than others? After all, success in business doesn’t occur in a vacuum: it always depends on the community to some extent. People like Michael Bloomberg or George Lucas know that they would not be where they are today without some pretty significant assistance from others. So shouldn’t they assume more responsibility for their fellow man than others?
In Sunday’s Rationally Selfish Webcast, I answered the following question about the morality of compulsory juries:
Are compulsory juries moral? Is it necessary and/or proper to compel citizens to serve on a jury? If not, what is the best way to ensure the right to a trial by a jury of your peers, rather than trial by government agents? Should a free society have professional volunteer juries like the military?
The issue was (and is) of particular interest to me because Dr. Peikoff has stated in a past podcast that compulsory jury duty would be entirely proper. I disagree strongly with that position, and I don’t think it’s consistent with Ayn Rand’s views on taxation or the draft, both of which she opposes.
So in my webcast, I argued that compulsory juries are a violation of rights — and hence, neither moral nor practical. You can watch the video of that segment here:
I’ve not yet seen any substantive defense of Dr. Peikoff’s position, but I’d certainly be interested to hear one.
Also, someone asked the natural (and requested) follow-up question on why I think that subpoenas are justified if compulsory juries are not. I’ll likely answer that in the next few weeks, but please vote it up so that I can answer it sooner rather than later!
On Saturday morning, I gave my first speech to Liberty Toastmasters. I was very pleased with it — more so than expected.
The speech wasn’t brilliant or deep, but it was perfect for the audience. I was able to use my notes as nothing but a rough outline, then ad lib around that. (Although I never write out speeches in full, I’m usually too dependent on my notes.) My delivery felt good too. In fact, I’m happy to report that I won the “best speaker” award — by a unanimous vote! Hooray! My strength in Toastmasters has always been evaluations: I can give a kick-ass evaluation at the drop of a hat. So I’m really hoping to develop my skills at impromptu speaking and prepared speeches.
Honestly, the speech went so well that I wished that I’d recorded it. However, I decided to do the next best thing: I recorded a video of it when I got home.
I’ve been wanting to try video for a while, but I just couldn’t carve out an opportunity. Finally, I had one! So I recorded it with my iSight webcam on my iMac, plus the good condenser microphone that I use for podcasting.
As you’ll see, it’s rather rough, not just because I did it on a lark, but also because I allowed myself just one take. Next time, I’m going to have to work on keeping eye contact with the camera. I’m used to roving my eyes around the room while speaking, so focusing on the video camera is something new. I need to find ways to position my notes, so that they’re not a distraction to my eyes. I need to adjust the light in my office. And I want to try shooting the video with my new camera, then perhaps with a real video camera.
However, I’m pleased by how much more of me is captured in video than in blog posts and podcasts. I’m really fascinated by that, and I’m going to think about how to best use that.
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