Junto news: Many books, reviews, good news

July 29, 2016

NYC Junto Newsletter

written by Iris Bell on July 27, 2016


* NEW  Junto meeting Thursday, August 4
* NEW  Junto speaker September, Andrew Bernstein
* NEW  Ayn Rand Meetup, Sunday, July 31, 3:00pm
* NEW  Objectivist Meetup, Saturday, August 14, 2:00pm
* NEW  Victor Niederhoffer honors Tibor Machan
* NEW  Summary of book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”
* NEW  National Review, Hillary “lucky” in stocks
* NEW  Andy Bernstein interviewed on Aristotle VS Religion
* NEW  Defending Free Speech, book from Ayn Rand Institute
* NEW  Post office commemorates repeal of Stamp Act 1766
* NEW  Savvy Street site, deep thinking into common sense
* NEW  “Locke,” movie review with comments worth reading
* NEW  “Failure: Federal misedukation of America’s children”
* NEW  Gary Johnson ad mentioned at July Junto
* NEW  Success using “Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”
* NEW  Calculus disappearing from high school curriculums
* NEW  Triumph of the City

Fred Cookinham’s five Ayn Rand walking tours

* NEW  Free market, 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.

August 4, 2016, Thursday

Victor Niederhoffer

Shibboleths of the market

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.

Victor Niederhoffer will speak on “Shibboleths of the market.” He’s a quantitative hedge fund manager, squash hall of fame member, philanthropist, advocate for free enterprise and father of seven children.

He studied statistics and economics at Harvard (BA 1964) and the University of Chicago (PhD 1969). His autobiography is The Education of a Speculator, see it here.

From Publishers Weekly, “Spiked with irreverent, often self-deprecating humor, this rambling memoir by the head of Niederhoffer Investments, a top-ranked Wall Street commodities trading firm, is entertaining, outspoken and sometimes maddening.

“Born in Brooklyn in 1943, the author, who grew up playing stoop ball, applies his street smarts to the art of speculation as he distills lessons from handball, chess, checkers, gambling, poker and also tennis, which he played while attending Harvard. National men’s squash champion for 10 years, he retired from the game on principle after he was denied membership in athletic clubs that excluded Jews.

“Sketching an eclectic history of forecasting techniques from ancient Greece’s Delphic oracle to the Federal Reserve, Niederhoffer extrapolates from weather predicting and handicapping horse races to estimating price movements, and draws strained if intriguing parallels among sex, music and speculation.

“Finally, he turns to ecology for an ‘ecosystem model’ of futures and foreign-exchange markets. Although he lays out no comprehensive system, his book is full of unconventional advice on what and when to buy and sell.”

His site says it’s “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.” It’s filled with comments by him and others on books, ways of thinking about markets and more, here. and his Twitter is here.


Junto’s audio podcasts since May 2014 are 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 this upcoming speaker:

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



Ayn Rand Meetup, Sunday, July 31, 3:00pm

As always, we’ll talk about Ayn Rand, her works, challenges, Objectivist life, options, associations and knowledge. Give and take, open to all, no charge, no reservations. It’s on the last Sunday of each month.

It’s at The Midtown Restaurant, 155 East 55 Street, between 3rd and Lexington Avenues, mid-block on the north side of 55th Street, in Manhattan, free.

There are one to two dozen people at each Meetup. Benny Pollack, Ayn Rand Meetup organizer, says: “Join our group of regular Objectivists for a lively discussion on topics related to Ayn Rand and Objectivist philosophy in general.

“Please join us. If you are already versed in the topic, want to learn or just want to spend an intellectually stimulating afternoon, please come. I hope to see you all there.” Get up-to-date information here.



Objectivist Meetup, Saturday, August 14, 2:00 to 4:00pm

In this gathering, speakers will spend roughly 5 minutes sharing stories about heroes they admire and how those individuals integrate Objectivist principles. Then the group will take 5 minutes to give comments. Participation is not required but encouraged. I’ll be making a speaking here.

We’ll meet in a location dedicated to Greek Heroes — which contains monuments dedicated to Aristotle, Socrates, Sophocles, and Athena, in Athens Square Park, at 30th Street and 30th Avenue, Astoria, Queens. Up-to-date information and a link to a map here.



Victor Niederhoffer honors Tibor Machan, 8 time Junto speaker

“One of ours, a frequent speaker at the Junto, passed away on Thursday, March 21 at the age of 77. He was prolific and ingenious. He is well known as one of the three founders of Reason magazine. He wrote many books on philosophy, contributed weekly timely articles on the applications to freedom in the Orange County papers, and continued to write a blog with timely application until last Monday. He wrote an autobiography, which describes the growth of his philosophical life, and his love life. He was a proud father, a good man, and always creative and practical at the same time. I will miss him greatly.”

His biography is “The Man Without a Hobby: Adventures of a gregarious egoist.” Among the many books he wrote, co-wrote or edited are: “Individuals and Their Rights,” “A Primer on Business Ethics,” “The Commons: Its tragedies and other follies,” “Why is Everyone Else Wrong?: Explorations in truth and reason,” “Capitalism and Individualism: Reframing the argument for a free society,” “Generosity: Virtue in the civil society,” “Classical Individualism: The supreme importance of each human being,” “Morality and Work,” “Putting Humans First: Why we are nature’s favorite,” “Philosophers of Capitalism: Menger, Mises, Rand, and beyond.” “Business Ethics in the Global Market,” “Ancient, Modern and Contemporary Individualism” and “The Business of Commerce: Examining an honorable profession.”

In 2011 he was interviewed for three hours about his life and work, on C-Span 2, watch it here.



Two page summary of book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”

From the book’s author, Alex Epstein, Junto speaker. Feel free to share this PDF with anyone and everyone, or read it to prepare yourself for discussions on this subject and others. This is how it begins:

“How to think about our energy future.

Is humanity’s continuing — and expanding — use of fossil fuels a moral choice or an immoral choice? To answer this question, we need to be clear on our standard of value — our metric of good and bad — in energy and environmental issues.

“At the Center for Industrial Progress, our standard of value is: maximizing human flourishing. We reject the common standard of minimizing human impact.” The rest is here.



National Review, Hillary “lucky” to make money in stocks

This was mentioned at the June Junto. “Is Hillary Clinton a better commodities trader than George Soros, or did she just get really, really lucky? Both explanations leave something to be desired.” Read more here.



Andy Berstein’s interviewed on Aristotle Versus Religion

At Students for Liberty, Samantha Stephen questions him about freedom of and from religion, during the Israel regional conference here. He’ll be the Junto speaker in September.



Defending Free Speech, new book from the Ayn Rand Institute

Former Jyllands-Posten editor Flemming Rose said, “a timely collection of excellent articles on current threats to free speech.” Edited by constitutional lawyer Steve Simpson, Ayn Rand Institute director Legal Studies. Both a warning and a call to action: defend free speech — or we’ll lose it.

It addresses Islamist attacks on cartoonists and our leaders’ appeasing response, the culture of sensitivity on America’s campuses where students seek “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” to shield them from controversial ideas, and the intimidation from our own government in the investigations of ExxonMobil for climate apostasy and the calls for limits on political speech.

This book analyzes threats to free speech, ideas that underlie those threats, and the better ideas: reason, egoism, and individual rights, necessary to defend this precious right.

Written by Simpson, the institute’s senior fellows Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo, and institute founder Leonard Peikoff, look at it here.



Post office commemorates repeal of the Stamp Act 1766

U.S. postal service issued a stamp for the 250th anniversary of the repeal of the British legislation that American colonists condemned as “taxation without representation.”

The British Parliament passed the act March 22, 1765. American colonists had to pay a tax on newspapers, legal documents, mortgages, contracts and more. See the stamp here.



Comparison of Civil War and WWI memorials in New York

Dianne Durante’s short piece is illustrated with three statues. I learned a lot about these wars and their different styles of memorials in New York City.’

It’s astonishing that she could pack so much information into so few words. She’s done a lot of study and thinking in this area. See her article here.



The Savvy Street, translating deep thinking into common sense

Site with an international panel of writers, some Objectivist. Articles in these areas: Art of living–about flourishing in your life and self-actualization. Science–about discoveries, inventions, medicine and research. Art–objective reviews and discussions of artistic works. Commerce–about finance, economics, trade and business. Politics–about governments, war, policy, law and justice.

International panel of writers: Vinay Kolhatkar, Jason Lockwood, Carrie-Ann Biondi, Robin Craig, Walter Donway, Marsha Familaro Enright, Robert Gore, Dale B. Halling, Kaila Geary Halling, Stuart K Hayashi, Stephen Hicks, Kurt Keefner, Mark Tier and Joel Wade.

You could start with this article on open immigration with its fascinating photo of the U.S. on the left of the Mexican border, here.

Their book review of “A Companion to Ayn Rand,” says, “an exhaustive study of Rand’s entire corpus, is targeted at the readers who are grappling with her powerful literature and unique philosophy. The volume takes a systematic approach in dealing with her novels, essays, cultural commentary, and several aspects of her life — it covers all the essentials in a condensed presentation of 544 pages.”

Savvy Street’s home page is here.



“Locke,” movie review with comments worth reading

In Atlasphere “Honor in the concrete” is a review by Kurt Keefner: “On the surface, ‘Locke’ writer-director Stephen Knight has given us a minimalist movie about a man, his car, and his mobile device. For 85 minutes we watch a man who pours concrete for a living, driving alone in his car and talking on the phone. On a deeper level, however, this is a movie about something subtle and important: The role of honor.”

The thoughtful review is followed by a worthwhile discussion between Carrie-Ann Biondi and the reviewer, here.



“Failure: The Federal misedukation of America’s children”

This Independent Institute book, by Vicki E. Algem, covers the Department of Education, created 1979, after a lobbying campaign which spanned generations. Also looks at education systems across the globe.

Learn what’s gone wrong over the decades and the institutional causes. Blueprint for returning the federal government to its constitutional role and for an educational system that meets the needs of students and parents, rather than bureaucrats. See it here.



At the June Junto Gary Johnson ad was mentioned

Victor Niederhoffer said he thought there was a commercial worth seeing. I’m not sure if this is the one he meant, see this one here.



Success using book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”

Edited from Alex Epstein’s podcast, Power Hour:

After a couple of years of working in the [oil and gas] industry one of the VPs at our company found your book and started to talk about the moral case for fossil fuel and shaping the narrative of our company. We started talking about it in groups and inside the company, maybe the oil and gas industry is actually a good thing and we’re contributing to the health and well-being of others.

We’ve gone from feeling apologetic when people say “What do you do?” Instead, we say “I’m really proud about it, I’d like to talk to you about it.” Every time, people say, “I never really thought about it that way.” The vast majority of people, nearing 100%, with 5 minutes concede it’s a good thing.

This executive’s advice to companies to replicate his success, start with employees with interview/debate, so they can see how the moral case framework challenges the traditional framework. Listen to the podcast here.



Calculus disappearing from high school curriculums

Choice Media.TV writes that there’s a new report from the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights that fewer than half of high schools in the U.S. offer calculus courses and 63% offer physics courses. An article here has a link to the report.

Media Choice, Education News, covering all facets of K-12 education policy. It’s creator and editor has been to Junto, announcing his comprehensive site. I suggest signing up to getting his news here.



Triumph of the City: How our greatest invention makes us richer, smarter, greener, healthier, and happier

by Edward Glaeser, Manhattan Institute. Below are parts of a review on Amazon by Ira Stoll, editor FutureOfCapitalism.com and former managing editor The New York Sun.

This is two really wonderful books and one less wonderful book all wrapped into one. The first book, which is terrific, is a brisk and accessible tour through a series of real-life experiments deeply grounded in data.

The second excellent book within Triumph of a City documents the way that regulations prevent cities from accommodating the needs of people. “Too much preservation stops cities from providing newer, taller, better buildings for their inhabitants,” he writes.

The strength of the first two books makes the weakness of the third book…all the more disappointing. This third book-within-a-book consists of a series of left-wing assumptions. See the book and this review 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] juno.com His site’s here. http://indepthwalkingtours.com/?cat=4



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)gmail.com and fahertym(at)uchicago.edu

*** 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 anytime 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 NYCjunto.com. 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: info@NYCjunto.org

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