NYC Junto Newsletter written by Iris Bell on June 25, 2016

June 28, 2016

NYC Junto Newsletter

written by Iris Bell on June 25, 2016



* NEW  Junto meeting Thursday, July 7

* NEW  Junto speakers through September 2016

* NEW  Objectivist Meetup, Monday, July 4, 2:00pm

* NEW  June Junto, Michelle Kamhi with Mark Rothko’s son

* NEW  Prediction of the internet in 1974 by Arthur C. Clarke

* NEW  “Transforming Wall Street: A conscious path”

* NEW  On deregulation and property rights Atlas Network

* NEW  Fred Cookinham’s new book on cities and Ayn Rand

* NEW  “Hamilton: The Revolution” book review

* NEW  Specialization and Trade: Reintroduction to economics

* NEW  How to raise a life-loving child, in Objective Standard

* NEW  On deregulation and property rights by Atlas Network

* NEW  Objective judicial review: law’s moral authority

* NEW  Great business speeches in film

* NEW  Aristotle versus religion, by Andrew Bernstein

* NEW  Great Islamic Thinkers vs. Islam, by Andrew Bernstein

* NEW  Zak Snyder working on film Rand’s “Fountainhead”

* NEW  Common law and government overreach

* NEW  Emotion in Life & Music: A new science

* NEW  Government is after ExxonMobil and Alex Epstein

* NEW  Journalist Rose gets prize for defense of free speech

* NEW  City Journal article, artist’s in NY reclaiming fine art

* NEW  Fred Cookinham’s five Ayn Rand walking tours

* NEW  Result Junto April debate: Helmkee and Lott

* NEW  Gene Epstein’s monthly meetings “The Soho Forum”

* Free market and Objectivist local meetings, sites, podcasts

* Read and post to Junto sites

* About Junto and this Junto newsletter




Junto focuses on free markets, Objectivism and investing. It’s a group that shares information, discusses current issues and presents speakers.


July 7, 2016, Thursday

Adrian Bejan
“The Physics of Life: The evolution of everything.”


Admission free — no reservation necessary


We’ll socialize from 7:00pm to 7:30pm

At 7:30pm moderator asks for announcements and for people to introduce themselves.

The speaker will begin about 8:00pm.

Junto is not the usual sort of meeting with a long speech followed by Q & A. Junto’s invited speakers give a short presentation and are challenged to defend their assertions. Discussions are intense but polite.

The meeting will continue to 10:00pm or later.


General Society Library

20 West 44 Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, NYC

near the Grand Central Terminal


* Junto meets on the first Thursday of every month

* Participation by all attendees is highly encouraged.

* 70 to 150 people attend most Junto meetings.


Adrian Bejan will speak about his book, “The Physics of Life: The evolution of everything. ” He spoke at Junto in September 2015 about the nature of design.


This book explores the roots of big question by examining the deepest urges and properties of living things, both animate and inanimate: how to live longer, with food, warmth, power, movement and free access to other people and surroundings. Bejan explores sustainability, water and food supply, fuel and economy, to critique the state in which the world understands positions of power and freedom.


Breaking down concepts such as desire and power, the state of economy, water and energy, politics and distribution, Bejan uses the language of physics to explain how each system works in order to clarify the meaning of evolution in its broadest scientific sense, moving towards a better understanding of the world’s systems and the natural evolution of cultural and political development.


His book argues that the evolution phenomenon is much broader and older than the evolutionary designs that constitute the biosphere, empowering readers with a new view of the globe and the future, revealing that the urge to have better ideas has the same physical effect as the urge to have better laws and better government.


Editorial reviews

“…may be the broadest consideration yet. Harking back to the original definition of the discipline ‘knowledge of nature’ in Greek he ultimately concludes that ‘life and evolution are physics.’ ” National Geographic

“Riveting and poetic…elegantly argues that evolution transcends…biological and governs the flow of all phenomena…prompt you to look at the world with fresh eyes.” Kirkus Reviews

“…quirky, occasionally ingenious work…explores evolution as a phenomenon not of biology but of physics.” Publisher’s Weekly


Read about his book here.


Junto’s audio podcasts since May 2014 are here. Listen to the podcast of the February 4, 2016 Junto of Charles Murray on his book “By the People: Rebuilding liberty without permission” here.


* Visit Junto’s site for information on current and past speakers, listen to podcasts, read previous newsletters and to sign up for the Junto e-newsletter here. Junto’s Twitter is here.


Junto’s founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer. Visit his site here. His Twitter is here.




Feel free to use the above text to promote Junto among free marketers, Objectivists and investors.



Come to Junto, meet these upcoming speakers:


August 4, 2016,  Victor Niederhoffer, Shibboleths of the market. His site.


September 1, 2016,  Andrew Bernstein, Heroes of Capitalism. He spoke at Junto in January 2015. His site.



Objectivist Meetup, Monday, July 4, 2:00pm


Once again we’ll celebrate the heroism of the Founding Fathers on Independence Day. We’ll read and discuss the Declaration of Independence.


This year we’ll meet at Circle Line booth, in Hudson River Park, on 43rd Street and 12th Avenue. From there we’ll find a place in the park to sit and read.


Get up-to-date information here.



June Junto, Michelle Kamhi with Mark Rothko’s son


On her site you can read of her encounter with “Christopher Rothko — the highly affable son of the famed not-so-affable Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko…[the son] has written a volume of essays lovingly re-examining his father’s life and work….


“…There was a particular irony in a Junto session devoted to Mark Rothko’s work, however, for Ayn Rand made a compelling case against the idea that any abstract work could be an objectively meaningful form of art. So I gladly accepted Epstein’s kind invitation to present my contrarian view — as summarized in these brief remarks and fleshed out in dialogue with Christopher Rothko.” Read her essay here.




Prediction of the internet in 1974 by Arthur C. Clarke


As mentioned at the May Junto, this 1-1/2 minute news video is used to open the 2015 film “Steve Jobs.” Science fiction writer Clarke tells how computer technology will evolve into personal computers, to be part of our future, watch here.



“Transforming Wall Street: A conscious path for a new future”


Kim Ann Curtin announced her book at Junto. Victor Niederhoffer says, “In this well-researched and clearly-written book, Kim Ann Curtin interviews people of success, respect, and integrity about their ideas on the current state Wall Street. The reader is shown what Wall Street could and ought to be.”


John Allison, former President & CEO Cato Institute and retired chairman & CEO of BB&T, one of The Wall Street 50 featured in the book, says, “Through her interviews, Curtin defines what true capitalism can be and should be. She exposes the situations that have hindered capitalism, such as government interference in free markets, from fulfilling its potential for long-term prosperity for everyone. Well worth reading.”


When did capitalism and making money become bad things? Where do you draw the line between making a living and greed? Can you work on Wall Street without selling your soul?


Kim’s a CPCC, ACC, founder & CEO,, keynote speaker, adviser and consultant to executives, teams, conferences, Fortune 500 companies, in U.S., the world. She and her team help C-Suite executives accelerate personal and professional success through consciousness, to be as successful inside as on the outside.


She speaks on topics such as “Innovate Failure: Embracing failures, failing better, and finding success” and “The Corporate Hero: Honoring the soul at the office.”


Her book combines insights from 50 leading Wall Street luminaries, academic experts and wide-ranging group of Teachers of Consciousness — an eye-opening and soul-inspiring insight into conscious capitalism transforming America’s financial industry.


Read a chapter here.



Fred Cookinham’s new book on cities and Ayn Rand


“Man in the Place of the Gods: What cities mean”

Victor Niederhoffer wrote: “Analysis and insight on Ayn Rand’s life and work, embedded in a guide to New York’s architecture and public art, wrapped in a paean to cities: how they work and what they mean to us.”


Fred’s almost always at Junto, given dramatic readings there and conducts tours of NYC, including 5 Ayn Rand tours (listed near end of this newsletter.) His book’s often sold at Junto and is for sale here. And his 21 minute talk about his book is here.




“Hamilton: The Revolution” book review by Junto speaker


Robert Begley, whose Junto talk was on heroes in June 2015, has seen the Broadway Hamilton nine times. His review of this book about the show is here.



“Specialization and Trade: A reintroduction to economics”


Cato published this book by economist Arnold Kling. In “The Wealth of Nations,” 1776, Adam Smith wondered at the great efficiency of just 10 men, each performing only 2 or 3 different tasks on a few machines, could produce a dazzling number of pins — 48,000 pins a day. “But if they had all wrought separately and independently,” he said, “and without any of them having been educated to this peculiar business, they certainly could not each of them have made 20, perhaps not one pin in a day.”


In the centuries since Smith economists seem to have lost sight of their study’s roots in this crucial insight into the value of specialization. This ebook argues that post-World War II economists have mistakenly placed the concepts of scarcity and choice at the center of economic thought. Kling writes, “specialization is the most essential fact in economics. Each of us performs only a narrow range of tasks, often producing nothing that is directly consumable at all, and yet we enjoy goods and services that require hundreds of millions of tasks performed by millions of workers all over the world.” Read more or buy the ebook here.



How to raise a life-loving child, articles in Objective Standard


The purpose of parenting…is to enable a child to learn about the world, to develop his mind and skills, and to make his own choices so that he can live well and love life — not only in adulthood, but also throughout childhood….


[This]…applies not only to passing events and minor decisions, but also to long-term planning and major decisions. For example, it applies when parents are considering possible summer camps for an eleven-year-old, in which case the answer might be: Include the child in the research and decision-making process; ask him to help collect information on possible camps; discuss with him logistical concerns and expense limits; ask him to weigh the pros and cons of the alternatives; and let him choose the camp himself.


Read the rest of Sarah Biddle and Craig Biddle’s article here.


In a related article, “Objectivism and Parenting” Craig writes “…we foster a child’s cognitive contact with reality and its laws. We help him see that everything has a nature, that contradictions and miracles are impossible, that wishing or mere wanting cannot change the way things are. We help him see that, because reality is an orderly and causal environment, to make any desired changes in life, we must take certain actions and not others. We help him see that he can understand the world and can transform it to suit his needs and desires — so long as he recognizes and respects the laws of reality.” This article’s here.



On deregulation and property rights by the Atlas Network


Bringing lower food prices to Israel through agricultural deregulation. Basic necessities are made expensive by government intervention in agricultural production and food markets, but Israel-based Atlas Network partner the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies (JIMS) has helped bring about substantial reform through its influential studies calling for deregulation. “[In February] the government announced that free trade will be more seriously implemented in the food market, introducing greater competition and lowering prices for all.” Read about it here.


Clearly defined property rights are a worldwide problem. A pressing problem in most of the world is the widespread lack of clearly defined property rights that allow people to live and work securely, argues Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, president of Atlas Network partner Instituto Libertad y Democracia (ILD), in a recent Fortune column, here.



Objective judicial review: Tara Smith on law’s moral authority


What is an objective legal system? Where does a legal system get its authority to use force? Is the rule of law value-neutral? How does a professor of philosophy come to write a book about judicial review? In this interview she describes the genesis of her book, “Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System.”


Video of Smith, professor philosophy, BB&T Chair, Study of Objectivism, University of Texas Austin, interviewer Steve Simpson director legal studies Ayn Rand Institute, here.


* Ayn Rand speaks on objective law in 1965, here. NEW______________________________________________

Great business speeches in film


Movies in past generations had an overall positive tone toward enterprise and markets with occasional business villains. Watch 3 great pro-business speeches: Linus Larrabee (“Sabrina” 1954) — Howard Roark (“The Fountainhead” 1949) — Cash McCall (“Cash McCall” 1960) here.


Watch “Business in the Movies” taught by anthropologist Christina Elson, PhD, at Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business here.



Aristotle versus religion, by Andrew Bernstein


“…By observing Judaism, Christianity, and Islam relative to the ideas of the ancient Greeks, we can see that the essentially secular approach of Greek culture — especially the rational method Aristotle developed — is responsible for golden ages and renaissances, both in the West and in the Middle East; and that the faith-based approach of religion, when intellectually dominant, is responsible for cultural stagnation and dark ages….” Reads the whole article here.

Andrew will be the September Junto speaker.


Great Islamic Thinkers vs. Islam, by Andrew Bernstein


“During its Golden Age, the Muslim world, in the arts and sciences, conducted a love affair with the Greek method of observation-based rationality; but — because such method applied to life’s most fundamental questions threatened religious beliefs — could not, and, consequently, did not adopt it in philosophy….The tragic spectacle of a superlatively-advanced civilization crumbling into mindless irrationality is heartbreaking…. Read the rest here.



Zak Snyder working on film of Ayn Rand’s “Fountainhead”


Director of films “300” and “Batman v Superman” feels it’s a thesis on the creative process. Read about it here.




Common law and government overreach in Cato newslettter


On common law: …Elected and unelected regulators have media operations to tell reporters what they are doing. Common-law rules, on the other hand, are mostly unseen. Legal doctrines such as property and contract emerged quietly from series of court decisions over decades and even centuries, so they often go unconsidered and unspoken. Many people may believe that legislation and regulation do most of the work of ordering society.


Libertarians should remember the common law and generally prefer it….Building on experience in case after real-world case, common-law courts accrete knowledge about the rule-set that best serves society. Because rule development occurs with reference to real life cases, it takes advantage of local knowledge about the precise disputes that occur….


On government: Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey TV show, “For years I’ve watched governments take control of our lives, and their argument is always the same — fewer costs, greater efficiency. But the result is the same, too. Less control by the people, more control by the state until the individual’s own wishes count for nothing. That is what I consider my duty to resist….The point of a so-called great family is to protect our freedoms. That is why the barons made King John sign Magna Carta….Your great-grandchildren won’t thank you when the state is all-powerful because we didn’t fight. Read more here.



Emotion in Life & Music: A new science


This new book is by M. Zachary Johnson, who’s often at Junto. What does it mean for music to be emotional? How can these mysterious feelings be understood and validated? Philosophers from Confucius to Plato and Aristotle, religious traditions from Hinduism and Buddhism to Christianity, all regarded music as a profound form of moral-emotional training.


This book presents a new theory that music produces the *psychological signature* of emotion — a motion of the mind with a distinctive set of mathematical characteristics. Learn more here.




Government is going after ExxonMobil and Alex Epstein


Alex, a Junto speaker, sent an email to supporters of his defense of fossil fuels: “….government’s persecution of companies and think-tanks who challenge climate catastrophism extended to me…I responded with a righteous three-word response to the Massachusetts Attorney General and a $100,000 challenge to the leader of the campaign, Al Gore, to debate me.


“[Got] coverage in PJ Media, Ricochet, The Blaze, The Daily Caller…I chose to use profanity in writing for the first time for very deliberate reasons….Persecutors get away with violating rights in large part because the victims treat them as civilized. The Massachusetts Attorney General is demanding my emails at gunpoint because I have prominently voiced opinions that are contrary to hers. She is a fascist, acting profanely. “F**k off, fascist” was therefore the response she deserved.” His article’s here.




Journalist Flemming Rose gets prize for defense of free speech


Cato gave him it’s quarter million dollar Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. In 2005 the Danish newspaper he worked for published editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad. In his book “The Tyranny of Silence: How one cartoon ignited a global debate on the future of free speech,” he explains the important of taking an active role in defending the right to speak and publish. More here.




City Journal article about artist’s in NY reclaiming fine art  


Here are some highlights of this article:

The stories surrounding Jacob Collins all tend to go like this: a young artist, lonesome in a love for pre-modernist painting, stumbles upon Collins, who has built a life out of the premise that the 20th century nearly ruined art. Collins opens his doors to those who feel the same.


Collins’s own rigorous studies — starting with classical fundamentals and working up to the live figure — form the basis of the pedagogy. In the first year, students dedicate mornings to cast drawing and cast sculpture, and afternoons go to master copies, block-ins, figure drawings, and perspective….


Collins’s artistic drive seems all-consuming but not in the typical sense: his goal is not to compete with today’s artists but with those of a distant past. He aspires to be a “new” old master, and he has constructed his life — the studios, the apprentices, the dogged study, the old-fashioned style and subject matter — to approximate the conditions that allowed the old masters to create.


See examples of his art and read the article here. Visit the school’s site here.



Fred Cookinham’s five Ayn Rand walking tours


*Atlas Shrugged, *Ayn Rand’s Park Avenue, *Ayn Rand’s Fifth Avenue, *Skyscrapers of The Fountainhead and *Ayn Rand on Broadway. Private tours $30 per person. Arrange tour, get information, call Fred at home: 718-397-9019, on cell: 917-607-9019, email: fcookinham [at] His site’s here.




Result of Junto April debate: Paul Helmkee and John Lott


“In order to reduce its murder rate, the U.S. needs more stringent gun-control laws.” Helmke took affirmative, Lott negative.

Voted before debate:  For 33%  Against 56%  Undecided 11%


Voted after debate:  For 25%  Against 71%  Undecided 4%


Change after debate:  For -8%  Against +15%  Undecided -7%


Debater arguing against clearly won, picking up 15% between initial and final vote, Oxford-style. This is the way winners are decided by debating groups on both sides of the Atlantic.




Gene Epstein’s monthly meetings “The Soho Forum”


Beginning September 19, on Monday or Tuesday, starts at 6:30pm, Georges Berges Gallery, 462 West Broadway. Seating capacity 150, wine and cheese receptions after, also podcast. Free, open to the public, more information here.



Free market and Objectivist local meetings, sites and podcasts


*** Groups which meet in Manhattan ***


Manhattan Libertarian Party

NYC Ayn Rand Meetup

NY Objectivists/NY Heroes

New York Objectivist Salon, email both rayraad(at) and fahertym(at)


*** Sites to visit ***

Aristos: An online review of the arts

Atlas Network

The Atlas Society

The Atlasphere

Ayn Rand Institute

Ayn Rand Lexicon

Cato Institute

Center for Industrial Progress

The College of the United States

Forum for Ayn Rand Fans

The Heartland Institute

Independent Institute

Institute for Justice

Liberating Education

Liberty Magazine

Ludwig Von Mises Institute

News Sandwich from Amy Peikoff

The Objective Standard

The Objective Standard’s Blog

Objectivism Online

Powell History

Real Clear Politics

Rebirth of Reason

The Savvy Street

Sense of Life Objectivists

taxPOLItix by Alan J Dlugash

Robert Tracinski at The Federalist

The Tracinski Letter


*** Internet podcasts, all free ***

These are mainly weekly “radio” shows you can hear online, on your computer, phone, pad, etc. Listen to shows live or at any time. Most are on iTunes. If you’re listening live, join by commenting or asking questions by phone, email, in a chat room, tweeting, etc.


* “The Yaron Brook Show” two shows weekly.

This radical for capitalism discusses news, culture and politics from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism. Each show ends with suggestions of movies, music and/or novels. Your questions or comments welcome in chat room, tweet or phone. Listen to any show any time, they began January 2015.

Live Saturday, 2:30pm to 4:00pm eastern here.

Live Saturday, on Chicago radio AM560 The Answer and online, 5:00pm to 6:00pm eastern here.


* “Philosophy in action” Diana Heish Brickell answered questions from listeners, applying rational principles to challenges of real life. There are no new shows but plenty of the old ones to enjoy. Listen any time here.


* Hillsdale Dialogues, a survey of great books, great men and great ideas. Larry Arnn, president Hillsdale College, on Hugh Hewitt Show. Arnn is a teacher who enjoys teaching and his subjects, he makes learning fun and memorable. On radio in NYC he’s often on Fridays, a short segment during 9:00pm to 10:00pm eastern, on AM970 The Answer. Listen online any time here.



* “Don’t let it go…unheard” Amy Peikoff is a radical for capitalism and free speech, hosting a show discussing news, politics, law and culture from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy Objectivism.

Live Tuesday and Friday, 11:00pm to 1:00am eastern

Listen live or any time here.


* “The Peikoff podcasts” Alternate weeks have Leonard Peikoff, philosopher, Ayn Rand’s intellectual heir or Yaron Brook, president Ayn Rand Institute.

Leonard answers questions on Rand’s philosophy Objectivism, human relationships, career, moral issues — not technical philosophy or practical politics. Yaron answers questions on politics, economics, foreign policy. Podcasts are available by topic, single questions, full episodes, here.


Read and post to Junto sites


* Read and post to the Forum here.

* Read and post to Junto-discuss list: Discuss Junto speakers and other topics. To post you need to be a member. Sign up or read here.

* Visit Junto Facebook here.

* Follow Junto Twitter here.


About Junto and this Junto newsletter


* Our founder, host is Victor Niederhoffer. His site is dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value and laughter; a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place. Visit his site here.


* Iris Bell writes this e-newsletter, designs Junto handouts and is a freelance graphic designer. She was Ayn Rand’s and Nathaniel Branden Institute’s graphic designer.


* Oleg Atbashian created His own famous site, The People’s Cube, presents important political issues with humor and satire.


* This is a twice a month e-newsletter. Maybe an occasional extra about a timely event.


* To subscribe to this newsletter put “Junto list” in the subject line, email your name and preferred email address to:



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