[Yesterday's blog entry was apparently wiped out due to Google Blogger technical issues, but the core essence of it is still contained here. Ain't essentializing fun? :-) (Another term for essentializing is "unit-economy," but that's probably casting more pearls before so many swine.)]
One thing I've come to discover, on a repeat listen to Peikoff's Art of Thinking course, and as I set Ayn Rand's essay "The Objectivist Ethics" to outline form (based more or less on the outline-examples provided in the Appendix to The Art of Nonfiction), is that essentializing is NOT for amateurs - repeat, NOT FOR AMATEURS. Essentializing an essay such as "The Objectivist Ethics" in a proper fashion takes years of context-establishing and understanding, including at least several reads through of that essay as well as other literature; it's damn near impossible to expect an appropriate outline-summary from an amateur to Objectivism.
(Anyway, yes, I was able to boil Miss Rand's 30-ish page essay down to a useful 12-point essentialization. Point number 9, concerning the relation between life and happiness, is the most extensive, going up to several lines of summary. Many of the other points were relatively short. I see little point in posting the outline here, however. It's primarily for personal use and edification. It is available on request to students of Objectivism whom I know, though. The fucking amateurs - and I think they know who they are - can wither on the vine at this juncture for all I care; those unfortunate souls cannot or will not think in the true sense.)
On a totally related note - but not something amateurs could possibly grasp right away, either on its own, or in conjunction with the foregoing - is the following observation for the day: The dialectic did flourish in the 1960s - but (aside from the work done by Rand and at the NBI) not in philosophy. Just as today, the Philosophy Profession had defaulted on carrying the dialectical torch. But dialectic did have an outlet then - in popular culture.