Joss Delage

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Everything posted by Joss Delage

  1. Introduction

    Hi, My name is Joss Delage, and I'm looking forward to reading contributions here - hopefully I will also have a few things to contribute here and there. I discovered this forum through the HBL email list. I work in finance / strategy at Microsoft, and am interested in 2 key areas of business: the internet and the emergence of a private space industry. Outside of my professional interests, I enjoy reading, mostly history, science, and science fiction. My favorite author is probably Robert Heinlein, whom I think prepared me to Ayn Rand's ideas better than anything else. I also enjoy custom knife collecting, and am a beginner hobbyist bladesmith & knifemaker. Cheers, JD
  2. Favorite Music?

    I second that. I've always liked Queen, The Police, Alan Parson's Project, Pink Floyd. I also find Annie Lennox extraordinary. Moby, despite his politics / philosophy, has some great CDs. I also enjoy Dead Can Dance tremendously - gorgeous music. Others in no particular order include Metallica, The Pogues, Sarah McLachlan, ZZ Top, The Waterboys, Shawn Colvin, .... Recently I discovered Johnny Cash and was shocked to find how much I enjoy his work, especially the CDs from the American series. I also discovered Dusty Springfield after listening to the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, and she is great - her Ultimate Collection CD is very good. In terms of classics, I like Bach the best, & I especially like to listen to Gould playing the Well Tempered Clavier, or his Variations.
  3. Who are your favorite painters, and why?

    I enjoy SF art a lot. My favorite artist in this genre is Michael Whelan. His web-site is here:, but it appears to be down right now, otherwise I would have posted specific pictures. I like Klimt a lot. I think he captures the joy of love and feminine sensuality better than anyone else, and his use of colors and golds is admirable. I am not sure Rockwell would be considered a "fine artist", but both his techniques and his subjects are inspiring. In sculpture, I like Rodin best.
  4. Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

    Actually, I was thinking of this one: I should have been clearer, sorry.
  5. Not sure this should be posted here, or in esthetics, or elsewhere. My apologies if this is not the right post. I remember reading a book where one of the character was talking about "victory in defeat". The example the character gave was that of the head of a family succesfuly bringing up his family while dying from cancer. I suppose this concept would also apply to the plot of "Beautiful Life", and maybe also of "Cyrano de Bergerac". I am interested in how Objectivists think of those situations. Is the concept "victory in defeat" valid? Or is it just victory? Or something else? Thanks, JD
  6. You Be the Jury #1

    I think that this is a case of legitimate defense. It might just be a case of morally justified rebellion against the state. The trooper is but a casualty killed during the legitimate act of rebellion. I would vote non-guilty. The trooper might or not have been guilty of aiding the state. If he was, he was not an "innocent bystander". If he was indeed morally innocent, then he is "collateral damage", and still Watson is no more a murderer than a fighter pilot whose bombs killed innocent civilians in Irak. In effect, the trooper's death is due to the actions of the State - not of Watson's. Isn't it the case that even though it was possible that Watson would get a reprieve, the risk of death was imminent enough to warrant any action necessary to escape, even if they cause the accidental death of innocent bystanders? Isn't that what also justifies collateral damages in war? Because war is nothing else than the State "consolidating" (probably not the right term) all the individual cases of self defense, I think that looking at cases of war definitely applies here. Whether the State was going to (unjustly) kill Watson out of malevolence or mistake is not relevant, IMHO. In any case, Watson is justified in protecting his life. This condemnation is the consequence of human actions and is not due to a natural accident - his individual rights are definitely being violated. At best, the state is guilty of criminal endangerement. In my mind, the situation is not dissimilar to that of someone driving at 120mph while under influence. Any accident and death that would follow would not be intentional, but the driver would be responsible, even if some other car, in the process of evading the out-of-control vehicle, had ran over a pedestrian. As a caveat, I think that, as a juror, I would want to take into account the "track record" of the state in executing wrongly convicted criminals. If it is well established that there have been no wrongful execution, that in many, many cases, executions have been stayed at the last minute and reversed, etc, etc, then Watson might not have such solid ground (although I think it's still legitimate not to want to take that risk).
  7. Cyrano de Bergerac

    I just re-watched it....
  8. The Right Stuff

    This is the only movie so far I've given a 10 to. The movie tells the tale of the Mercury program, and contrasts it with the X- rocket planes flown from Edwards. In the movie, it feels that the US space program could just as well have evolved from the rocket plane program or from the vertical-launch multi-stage rockets. Eventually, the later prevailed. The book is just as powerful.
  9. "Beau" is French for "beautiful". Personally, I wouldn't want to be called that. I like "Lover" best, but it's been twisted out of its true meaning. "Partner" is actually pretty good, but is mostly used in commited homosexual relationships (but not always). "Companion" is sweet yet meaningful. Might be the best term I've read here.
  10. It's "belle". We only use it (or beau for that matter) as an adjective.
  11. The West Wing

    I meant strongly, not hardly. Same adverb in French, which is my birth language... Not sure how to edit my post...
  12. The West Wing

    I love this show. I don't have a TV, but I have rented the whole series - 3 seasons out on DVD so far - not once but twice. The 4th season is due on DVD in April, and I can't wait. I am fascinated with the good plot and excellent character development of the show. To see the president, and sometimes some other cast members, demonstrate way more spine than the current Republican Pdt, when dealing w/ terror regimes or the Christian right, is worth its weight in gold. (E.g., in one episode, Martin Sheen orders the assassination of the defense minister of a gulf state who is responsible for terrorism. Hard to believe, I know.) I hardly recommend this to members of this board. Rent a couple DVDs, and see how you like it.
  13. Firefly (2002)

    One of the best SF show I've ever seen. I gave it a 9. Good plot, great characters, great character development. I can't wait for the feature movie!
  14. Rearden Commerce

    I was wondering if anyone is familiar with this company, and knows whether the name is in reference to Hank Rearden (it doesn't seem to be one of the founder's name). Thanks, JD
  15. The Shawshank Redemption

    I vote 10 on this. It is simply one of the best movies I've ever seen, with an uplifting story, a true heroic figure, and a happy ending. This being said, it is so "heavy" that I've never felt the need to see it again. I have it on DVD but I never watched it again. I don't understand why the term "redemption" - is that the redemption of the Shawshank jail? Or that of the main character, and if so, what does he have to get redemption for?
  16. TV show West Wing

    I'm curious what Objectivists think of it.
  17. Introduction

    Betsy - one more thing. There is at least one of his character that any Objectivist should admire and consider a true hero. A driven, dedicated, purposeful individual, ready to sacrifice all non-essentials to his one goal: going to the moon. This is of course D. D. Harriman of "The Man Who Sold The Moon" (isn't that title great too?). Several of his books deal with the intelectual shift from purposeless to purposeful, and end there. It's the case for example of Starship Troopers, where the lead character (who is not exactly a hero, as you correctly point out), only finds his true purpose in life when he decides to actually make career in the military. Or in Citizen of the Galaxy, when the lead character finally decides to dedicate his resources to fight slavers, etc.
  18. Rearden Commerce

    Thanks all. I was wondering about that. If I were in a business ready to conduct negotiations with this company, this would be a very useful piece of info.
  19. Introduction

    Interesting. I'd never heard him mentionned in an Objectivist context before. I thought he might be "persona non grata" for some reason. It's cool that he corresponded with you, and quite exceptional. I don't know if you read his "memoires", 'Grumbles from the Grave', but in them he explains that he chose at some point to stop responding to letters from fans, for egoistic reasons we all can sympathize with - basically, the time spent writting those was time wasted for money making book writing. BTW, in this he also explains that at some point one of his goal was to write a "great American novel", and he says something to the tone of "a bit like what Miss Rand did". An other SF write who's got good plots and driven, purposeful characters is Jack Vance, especially for his space-opera SF, and the Green Pearl fantasy cycle.
  20. Meyers-Briggs used in career counseling

    I agree with that. I'd be very surprised if there were many F's among Objectivists, and they would need to adapt radically to enjoy talking to us, the T's. I find the types really useful in how to tailor a communication to an individual. For example, if you had to give some "constructive criticism" (aka negative feedback) to a good friend, or a valuable employee, you would want to adapt the way you communicate this to whether they're T or F.