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Cavalier0509

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  1. Lord of the Barnyard: Killing the Fatted Calf and Arming the Aware in the Cornbelt by Tristan Egolf. Outcast farming prodigy is harassed by a town of unintelligent, anti-humans until he takes revenge by turning the town into a literal trash dump. Realism, with an interesting (if not admirable) hero. The author had a skill for language that was absolutely jaw-dropping, as well.
  2. I am inspired. Thanks for sharing those videos.
  3. I like the topic that you chose. "Moral Luck" is one of those "important" ideas of the past few decades of moral philosophy, and I haven't seen it specifically addressed by any Objectivists. I was actually considering doing something similar to this for my DMP (distinguished majors program) thesis next year, but I haven't decided yet. Good luck with your dissertation. I can't wait until I'm in the same position as you.
  4. Ayn Rand was the subject of the application that I wrote for the school that I currently attend (I'm a Third Year at the University of Virginia). I honestly don't think your application essay is very important as long as you have good test scores and a good GPA. And, if the essay is well-written, it doesn't matter what the subject matter is.
  5. Student newspapers are silly, and no one really takes them seriously. UVA's paper, despite coming from a very reputable school, is no exception. The opinion articles are the worst. I've decided to start writing letters to the editor whenever something especially silly is printed. I'll post them in this thread. My first letter: This was written in response to an article titled "If You Can't Beat 'Em, Sue 'Em" which portrayed the battle between illegal music downloading and the RIAA as a natural progression of a market economy. I don't have a copy of the article, but I can say that it was very philosophically weak and tried to claim that people had some sort of "right" to downloading copyrighted material. Anyway, my letter to the editor was published. It was annoying, because I was limited to 200 words, but I tried to be concise and get my point across. More to come, as they give me more material to argue against.
  6. First of all, I'm glad to see that I got a few responses. DragonMaci, I can understand why certain metaphysical realities in the fictional world would detract from your enjoyment. I think Tenure adequately covered why Objectivists (or "students of Objectivism" like myself) can still find value in the books/movie, but I'm not asking for you to want to read/watch. I just thought it might be something in which people that peruse this forum might be interested. I don't think Pullman wrote the books as a refutation of Narnia (in fact, I think that's a common misnomer). I think it's more that the fact that they are the antithesis of Narnia causes people to project that intention on Pullman. However, he has said in the past that he does not think too highly of C.S. Lewis. __ Maybe we should leave the discussion of the ending of the books out of this thread (or in spoiler tags)? I made the thread more for people to discuss the first movie, and possibly how it relates to the first book. I'm sure some people will go see the movie without reading all three books beforehand.
  7. This is something I thought Objectivists might be interested in. His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy books written for young teenagers by Philip Pullman. The core themes of the books, in my opinion, are opposition toward religion, individualism, and the supremacy of reason and reality (over mysticism, specifically). There are some metaphysical realities in the fictional world in which the books take place that are not similar to the actual universe, but like I said, it's a fantasy series. In any case, a movie based on the first book of the trilogy is coming out in December. There is a big debate within fan circles about whether or not the anti-religious nature of the books is going to remain intact. I think it's a non-issue, as those themes don't become realized until the next two books. In any case, the story is one with real heroes, real villains, and an epic (romantic, if you will) plot. Like I said, I think it's something Objectivists would definitely like to check out. Here are links to the extended trailer and the regular one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwUaao-Cihs <-- Extended (much better) and <-- Regular
  8. I smoked for almost four years. The amount I smoked was usually due to how much extra money I had, not how far along in my "smoking career" I was. For example, during my senior year of high school, I didn't have any expenses and had a lot of extra cash. I was almost up to a pack and a half a day at that time (disgusting, I know). However, during my first year of college, I didn't have a lot of extra cash, and I only smoked a half of a pack a day. So, money was a bigger factor than the length of time in which I had been smoking in my case.
  9. Very good essay, Dan. This made me evaluate whether I identify with the Malevolent People Premise or the Benevolent People Premise. I won't share the particulars of this evaluation, but I will say that I am going to consciously try to operate under the Benevolent People Premise from now on. Thanks for the insight.
  10. Bold mine Err... I think you mean reason and rationality rather than rationalism.
  11. Ron Paul is not a protectionist in the economic sense of the word. From my limited understanding of his opposition to NAFTA and the WTO he is opposed to placing control over any individual American, American corporation, or America's legislative decisions into the hands of foreign entities. NAFTA has inevitably led to aligning of "labor standards" for the signatories (the NAALC). Instead of having the effect of freeing trade, I agree with Paul when I think that these agreements are a step in the direction of subjecting American corporations to the anti-capitalistic rule of foreign governments. Instead of further consolidating government power and joining in these treaties in an attempt to somehow free trade, I'm sure Paul would rather check his premises, eliminate any American governmental interference in foreign trade, and encourage other governments to do the same. I'm iffy on Paul because of his refusal to answer the question on how he intends to protect America. His speaks of "blowback" quite often--that the Islamist threat is a result of American interference in Middle Eastern affairs. He may even be correct in this assessment of the situation, but I see it as a non-issue, because these jihadists are trying to kill us now and if we withdrew our military from the Middle East tomorrow, it would not deter these people from wanting to destroy us. Therefore, we must proactively protect ourselves against the threat; not simply withdraw our forces from the Middle East entirely and hope for the best, which is what Paul proposes.
  12. Edit: My apologies, I thought you were referring to the original list.
  13. Congratulations to you and your son! I have at least thirty friends and acquaintances who attend Virginia Tech. They all enjoy it. I don't think any are involved in the Chemistry program, however, so I cannot give you an insider's perspective. I should let you know that every friend or acquaintance I have spoken to in Blacksburg has stated that they feel no less safe than they did before the massacre. Blacksburg is a very quiet, safe town, and you shouldn't be concerned (if you are). I was accepted in Virginia Tech as a transfer student a few weeks ago, but I have chosen to go to the University of Virginia instead. I'm a Humanities guy, so Tech wasn't exactly the best choice for me.
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