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earwax

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  1. earwax

    response to evil

    I was reading Christopher Hitchens lastest piece up on Slate and wondering what the proper response to evil in the world is. Hitchens believes that in some situations the most Humane response is "what the fuck." The article is about Tsutomu Yamaguchi who recenlty died but was a survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Hitchens contrasts the response of a religious person who might describe Yamaguchi as being protected with the hands of God with a response of just uttering WTF. Now I don't want to sell religion short here because it does seem that there are plenty of confused Psalms and Lamentations in the Hebrew bible that closely resemble the sentiment of WTF. Even while this is true they suppose God must come and rescue them from their current situation to defend them from their oppressors or whatever the case may be. All this to ask what is a person's rational response to evil in the world. Is it sometimes just too incomprehensible that we can't explain it and are reduced to uttering WTF?
  2. http://www.recombinantrecords.net/docs/200...s-to-Death.html Found this link interesting.
  3. Anyone up here in Fort Mcmurray?
  4. I just finished the biography by Anne Heller. She talks about the Johnny Carson interview as if she had watched it herself. I wonder where she saw it.
  5. I am currently listening to the audiobook of the Anne C Heller book 'Ayn Rand and the World She Made.' I was actually more interested in the book by Burns. I saw her on John Stewart where I thought she did quite well. Unfortunately its not on audiobook so I may actually have to read it. Anyone else reading this one right now?
  6. Somehow the argument for not paying other peoples healthcare bills ends up to the point where I say taxes should be voluntary. Not very many people like to entertain that all of governments income should be from voluntary giving.
  7. I find it hard to debate people about the merits of free marker healthcare. While the Canadian and UK systems are easy to argue against, the German system is a bit harder. A lot of the problem seems that it is not as well known. From what I have looked at so far it does seem to have a funding problem. They still spend about 6 percent less then we do on healthcare with better results. I usually make a moral argument for free market healthcare but without real world examples it's hard to put up an ideal against real world systems like in Germany? Any suggestions? http://theragblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/ber...th-care-in.html
  8. earwax

    Dystopians

    I am wondering whether atwoods two dystopian novels are worth picking up and if you recommend one more than the other.
  9. An interesting take on trying to keep your marriage from failing. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/fashion/...wanted=1&em
  10. The fountainhead was on display at a Chapters/Indigo I went to. It was on display with several other books with a sign that said something like "books you should read before you turn 17." Could have been 18. I don't know.
  11. earwax

    children's books

    Thanks for the recommends. Yes it should be in Fiction. I don't know if I can move the thread or what.
  12. Warning: this article may not be worth your time. http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articl...over_inequality
  13. I have a 2 and half year old I read to every night. Currently we enjoy Where the Wild Things Are, Curious George, Margaret Wise Brown and Eric Carle books. I recently discovered Oliver Jeffers children's books which we like very much. Anyone else have any good recommends for me?
  14. Hmmm, I never liked Blink. I read a couple of critical reviews that destroyed his methodology in that book. Although I don't know where the links are. I was going through the top 15 NHL players for week 20 on ESPN.com and his theory didn't seem to gel to much with those players. It seems like July was a good month to be born then. There was even a December in there. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/playerranking
  15. Yeah, sorry about that you are correct of course. On a side note, he does seem to say that Chris Langon had lots of abilities because of his intellect that did not require 10000 hours of practice. Like being able to play Jimi Hendrix guitar licks at young age or even speak at six months or read at, what was it, three years?
  16. I just finished the newest Malcolm Gladwell book. According to the interview at the end of the audiobook, I listened to, Gladwell says that this book is an attack on rugged individualism. His basic argument is that the opportunities[lucky breaks] one is given, what month or year you were born, cultural background, and maybe even one's language can explain someone's success in life rather then their hard work or intellect. Case and point being that Bill Gates was given a computer to use at a young age that was in very limited supply in highschool. The access to this computer and being able to use it so much and some other lucky breaks that involve access to computers allowed him to become billionaire. On the other side is Chris Langan who has an IQ of something like 195 and never became the success that Bill Gates was because a couple people at his University would not allow him to change his class schedule so that he could make it to school when his transmission broke. It seems to me that Gladwell is magnifying the role of chance and lucky breaks in our lives to the extent that one's choice to work hard get ahead in life are rendered meaningless. Anyone else read this book and have a similar or different reaction?
  17. `It isn't the movie that is giving you the moral in the end. You're supposed to decide for yourself. Was Rorschach right in his opposition? Were the others right in their silence? How about the perpetrator?` To make the decision about who is right you have to agree to at least one false premise and one that stands out for me is that Ozymandias actually thinks that a common enemy will unite humanity into utopia. I find that to be a bit absurd. Also isn`t it a little questionable to unite with a Soviet Empire which apparently is responsible for 40 million deaths under its reign and treats people like slaves. It seemed to me that one is supposed to choose between Ozy or Rorschach based on whether you think utopia is worth the cost of it being based on a lie not whether the utopia will actually work.
  18. I have read the graphic novel and didn't like it so I guess its my own fault that I went and wasted three hours of my life last night. I think I might have enjoyed `He`s just not in to you` more.
  19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7828901.stm i don't know what to make of this article. not many facts to work with or even a discussion of the methodology used for the study.
  20. "And Canada does not do enough to defend the rights of its citizens." Case and point... Mark Steyn
  21. anyone seen the new steven soderbergh? what are your thoughts? any good sources on good historical accounts of his life?
  22. I can't remember where Ayn Rand gives her definition of what an anti-hero is but according to wikipedia Batman is a good example. I do not believe that Batman should be termed an anti-hero. He seems to possess all of the characteristics of a hero. I am not sure what qualities would suggest him to be an anti-hero.
  23. *** Mod's note: Merged with an existing thread. - sN *** As I argue for Objectivism in various places I usually run in to a problem when we come to the point where I express that voluntary taxation is the only moral way for a government to receive income. This usually comes after the point that the other side says that protecting people from physical harm requires an obligation placed on people to pay for a police and military force. When I say that people will pay for this service voluntarily I usually lose them. What is the best way to make the argument? Or is there any other form of taxation that Objectivism deems as moral?
  24. I do not know much about economics so I am trying to familiarize myself with complex nature of the subject. I have not read anything by or about Rothbard. But a quick bit of looking around on the web brought up his article 'Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult.' The thing is, if you know an author is not informed or lying about a subject one is quite familiar with then how can you trust him to give you accurate information on a subject you are not familiar about? Is Rothbard good on economics but bad on his take on Ayn Rand? Is he like Noam Chomsky.... good on linguistics but crazy on politics. Unfortunately the Raymond Moley books are out of print. How are you coming by those books? Ebay?
  25. Thanks for your input. I suspected she was a conservative pragmatist from what I saw on the John Stewart interview. I will probably end up reading it anyway but I will read your other suggestions first.
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