MJR

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  1. happy accidents

    yeah, but it sure beats the hell out of finding out that he's a raving socialist, bumping shoulders with Fidel Castro, or something. You could make the argument that Mamet was talking specifically about political philosophy, economic philosophy, or maybe Sowell's overall Zeitgeist (which IIRC, is a benign form of conservatism). There's only a few better alternatives that he could have named, but a hell of a lot more worse alternatives.
  2. happy accidents

    I have just spent an entire semester studying the directing techniques of pulitzer prize winning Director, David Mamet. Basically, I just spent the entire semester learning what makes naturalistic movies terrible; and that objectivity in shot composition and sound, logical plots make for superior movies. Reading his book "On Directing Film" always reminded me of "The art of Fiction", and both books are the only ones on my desk. I guess I should have seen this coming, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up, given that he's a creature of hollywood. Then in the Village Voice, he announces that he is no longer a "brain dead liberal", and calls Thomas Sowell "our greatest temporary philosopher". http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-03-11/new...-dead-liberal/1 It made my day to find out that such a respected giant in the field of movie making is also as huge a fan of Sowell's works as I am. These sort of things don't happen too often, but it is pleasant when you stumble upon something like this
  3. Objectivist party?!

    I did try a search for it. "Objectivist Party" comes up with every thread that has the word "Objectivist" in it. As you can imagine, that didn't quite get me what I wanted. Besides, I want my own thread that centers around my questions to the Objectivist community about this very specific topic. Call me selfish
  4. Objectivist party?!

    So I got a sample ballot and was going over it today because I like to review the issues that I am voting for (translate the legalese) before I walk into the ballot box. On the Florida ballot, there are 13 candidates for president, with the initials of their parties next to them. Having a strange curiosity for what the third parties of America are, I got to looking them up. There was the Repugnicans and Democraps, of course. And the usual idiots (Libertarian, Green, and Constitution parties, and Ralph Nader) as well as the plethora of Socialist parties that count their popular vote numbers in the hundreds. then I got to Tom Stevens of the OBJ party. Yup, apparently this guy Tom Stevens founded an Objectivist party http://www.objectivistparty.us/ Did anyone else know that this existed? Are you impressed? Amused? Revolted? all of the above? I personally am not sure that I would vote for it. As Miss Rand said, when the country is ready for an Objectivist president, an Objectivist party won't be necessary. I'll probably go back to trying to figure out which one of the two main parties is not going to screw this country over as bad as the other one will. Thoughts?
  5. EXPELLED

    Ben Stein was never one of my favorite cookies. He was a Keynesian economist who got famous as "that smart guy", kind of like how Donald Trump is famous for being "that rich businessman". Thankfully, Stein seems to have shot himself in the foot by releasing such a debased piece of propaganda. You know its bad when not a single major Critic has anything positive to say about the film, it scored 3% on rotten tomatos. and even its Wikipedia article is fraught with criticisms. People are catching on that the Michael Moore school of documentary does not make for insightful or interesting media.
  6. My favorite stupid quotes are all those predictions from the 1970s where they predicted global catastrophe by whatever arbitrary date they came up with. 2000 was a popular date with most of their doomsday prophecies. Its fun reading them because it demonstrates how certifiably wrong they are. Environmentalism is the new Communism. It's a new, convenient excuse to enslave humanity. Luckily, I don't see it becoming a major power due to the general inconsistency of their arguments, short of another Bolshevik-esque political catastrophe
  7. Einstein, if I recall correctly, believed in the God of Spinoza; that God was the grand sum of the universe as is revealed by science. Hence his frequent usage of the term God. He was of course, always speaking metaphorically. It's not the most desirable, but still, no where close to being what theists try to say that he is. Nice find
  8. Heroes

    People that I look up to Frank Miller - For being the closest thing to Objectivism in comic books. Check out his latest work: Holy Terror! Batman!, where Batman, according to Miller, "Kicks Al-Qaida's A**!" Bill Watterson - The creator of Calvin and Hobbes. The only cartoonist who saw his work as art, and who defended the integrity of his art to the very end. Calvin and Hobbes was the finest cartoon in print and is still refreshing to read nearly 12 years after it went off the printing press Frank Herbert - Author of the Dune series. The entire theme of Dune was the discovery of the prevention of human extinction. The ending was highly enlightening and extremely life-affirming. Robert Heinlein - The only Sci-Fi Author I know who made (positive) references to Ayn Rand in his works. He is still one of the most influential sci fi authors that ever lived People that I admire (despite differences) Richard Dawkins - Few men have defended secularism with as much articulation as he has. Watching him destroy the arguments of the religious is nothing short of poetic Ron Paul - Despite his adherence to a Libertarian foreign policy agenda, I couldn't help but agree with his free-market rhetoric. Any political candidate that speaks positively of Ayn Rand is a candidate that I will give the time of day. Historical figures Livy - Ancient Roman writer. One of my favorite champions of liberty. Aristotle - goes without saying on these forums, doesn't it? I've never felt so enlightened in my life as I did after reading Aristotle. Lucius Junius Brutus - Have to give props to the man who deposed the king of Rome and established the Roman Republic Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus - The man knew how to wage war and win battles. Cato the Younger - a tragic figure of Rome's history who watched as his beloved Republic disintigrated into competing warlords vying for power and who failed to stop it Marcus Cicero - Not much needs to be said about the greatest Orator in history. It was a shame that his vision of a free Republic was cut short by that thug, Mark Anthony. Julius Caesar - A long time favorite of mine. A brilliant general and greater statesman. One of the few Roman politicians who tried to abolish slavery (on utilitarian grounds though, not moral ones). It's a shame that he died when he did; I think it is entirely possible that he could have gone the way of Sulla and surrender his title of Dictator-for-life. Empress Theodora - Easily one of the most fascinating female figures in history. What she did for the Byzantines is hard to put down in words. Belisarius - Tragic general. No man did so much with so few resources as he had to work with. Thomas Acquinas - Took over 800 years of Augustinian tradition and shattered it. The Renaissance would not have occured without this man. William Shakespeare - The first naturalist. However, also responsible for some of the most beautiful and poetic works in literature. Thomas Jefferson - Made America what it is today Thomas Paine - for bravery to speak out against religion in a time when such acts mean public humiliation. Charles Darwin - The answerer of the great question "where did humans come from?". He gave atheism its great leg up into the world as a respectable viewpoint. Friedrich Nietzsche - Though there is much to disagree with about his existentialism, his defense of individualism was nothing short of poetic. Calvin Coolidge - Very capitalist President in a post-Teddy Roosevelt, post Woodrow Wilson era of politics. Widely forgotten in modern politics, which is a shame Jack Kennedy - The first U.S president with the stones to stand up to the Communists. Ayn Rand - For obvious reasons Ronald Reagan - I always thought it was sad that Miss Rand didn't live to see what he lived up to be. Despite his warts, he proved to be a very capable President who removed years of statist sentiments in America. People I have known Bob Zappallorti - professor of fine arts who helped me get into art school. Doug Moench - Writer for DC comics who influenced me from an early age that art is a valid route of employment Bill Duvall - My uncle, CITO and co-founder for Lojack. Certified inventor by the U.S Patents office. Most down to Earth person you'd ever meet. William Rembert - Tough as nails professor of literature. Pitiless grader. Debated Ayn Rand with me in class. I consider earning his respect to be one of the crowning achievements in my life. My sister - for being a merciless critic of anything I've produced.
  9. Batwoman Is Back As a Lesbian

    whoa! sorry Moderators! I had no idea this thread was so old! feel free to delete these posts
  10. Batwoman Is Back As a Lesbian

    I always thought that batwoman was something of a contrived character. She comes from the Adam West era of Batman when everything batman owned was a "bat-something". I think there was even a "bat-dog" at one point in time. Poison Ivy and Harlequin always had this thing for each other, if I recall. Although I don't think it was ever revealed if it was ever more than a close friendship. When it comes to Batman, The finest interpretation of Batman ever was and still is Frank Miller's Dark Knight series. Frank Miller, in case anyone didn't know, is a fan of Ayn Rand, and it reflects strongly in his work (as if it wasn't completely obvious in "300"). My favorite line in the Dark Knight series: Batman: [arguing with Barry Allen, AKA the Flash] Do you want to fight me? then fight me, damn you! but don't tell me to compromise! I've seen where our compromises have gotten us!" Doesn't get any better than that, folks. Heck, he gave a nice Nod to Steve Ditko when he wrote The Question in his original Objectivist style, instead of the Zen Buddhist style that the later liberal writers gave him. To see him arguing with the Green Arrow, whose political views are far left, is nothing short of hilarious (The Question takes him to town, BTW). When it comes to Batman, there's everyone else, and then there's Frank Miller
  11. Bear in mind, also, that Ryan nationalized it with the intent that he would dismantle the company, rather than keep it for himself. In this light, he was neutralizing a threat, not stealing a company's capital. But this exactly demonstrates what the creators wanted: philosophical discussion. Does any governing agency have the right to pre-emptively neutralize a threat? This is a valid question; one that anyone from an Objectivist to a left-liberal has to answer. That's part of the beauty of the game: the creators' intent was to stroke discussion about the nature of right and wrong, particularly in politics. By avoiding the traditional path of dividing sides into the "guys who are nice to one another" vs "the guys who are jerks to everyone", which is what most struggles between good and evil in video games amount to, they are forcing discussion. And like The night of January 13th, your conclusions have more to do with your values than what the author wants you to believe. You're right, a left-liberal will say that rapture fell because it didn't have social programs like welfare and social security. A right-winger will say it was because they refused to let God into their society. However, both of those conclusions can be contested; as social unrest was stroked by the Gangster Fontaine, and the introduction of God was also a means of control by Fontaine. That merely adds to the intelligence of this game, in my opinion.
  12. I actually liked this game a lot. The game was made specifically to challenge conventional moral sensibilities (The Christian, or Christian-based altruist mentality), so the designers did not want it to be a case of the people who are nice vs the people who are jerks (which happens painfully too often with most games.) That's why Andrew Ryan was involved in potentially underhanded activities, like sleeping with exotic dancers and torturing smugglers to gain info. They wanted there to be enough pros and cons of each side for a person to have to make a decision based on their own value system, similar in spirit to Ayn Rand's Night of January 16th. So yes, it is open season on Ayn Rand... but when is it NOT open season on Ayn Rand? When are the altruists NOT decrying her system as some sort of ultra-right wing fascist psuedo-hedoism philosophy? You get used to all the blubbering, after a while. And at least this will bring exposure to Ayn Rand, even if it is negative, it is better than no exposure at all. As far as game mechanics go, it is by far one of the smartest games I have ever played. You definitly needed to use your brain; guns alone will leave you ammoless and empty handed. Consider the myraid ways I killed a "Big Daddy" -used telekinesis to throw propane tanks at him -lured him into the crossfire between myself and splicers so that he turned on the splicers when one of their round inadvertently struck him -lured him into the water and zapped him with lightning -led him through a trail of proximity mines -hardwired security turrets to fire on him -plucked rocket propelled grenades, fired from an RPG turret, out of the air using telekinesis and flung them at him. -lit him on fire and lured him into a pool of gasoline and those are just the ways that I can recall. Virtually every Big Daddy was killed differently, because only seldomly did I have enough ammo to finish him off without having to resort to alternative means. E ven if you do not like the story, you can't help but apreciate how intellectually involved the game is. The maps are vast, but you never feel lost or confused. Objectives are varied enough to be interesting, but not obtuse enough to slow down the flow of the game. Ammo is perfectly proportioned; you are always on the verge of running out, but you always have just enough to make it through. The environment is extremely pliable; often there are several ways of accomplishing a task. Firefights are fiercely intense, but never frustratingly difficult. The horror factor was great! always enough to be spooky and disturbing, without having to resort to cheap gimmicks (like turning a blind corner and the monster going "boo"!) The environment was as artistic as any I have ever seen in a video game. SPOILERS Like one of the other posters mentioned, it wasn't any flaws in Objectivism that brought down Rapture, it was the result of outside influences, particularly the gangster Frank Fontaine, who used underhanded means to rise to power. The comparison to Ellsworth Toohey is wonderfully accurate. Fontaine sparked a class war against Ryan, which he stroked though weaponizing Adam with his company: Fontaine Futuristics. That's why Andrew Ryan nationalized it; he recognized it as a legitimate threat to the safety of Rapture. There is nothing that suggests that Rapture would have fallen the way it did if Frank Fontaine had never been there to stroke the flames of dissent.
  13. The religion is faltering

    I ment besides the obvious
  14. http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fus...ec-6880767e7966 So much for "complete consensus in the scientific community". Is it too much to hope that the wind is being let out of the sails? Or am I just being optimistic? What do you guys think?