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AlexGrant

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About AlexGrant

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  • Birthday 11/06/1986

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    Dalhousie University

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  1. Heck yes, Vimy is excellent! I worked there as a tour guide last summer. It was an absolutely surreal experience.
  2. Hmmm... You might be on to something here Zip. If we could only incorporate Oism into hockey we'd potentially have a whole nation with us. Who needs the siren when you score a goal? Instead we just blast a Rand quote. A hat trick you say? You get the whole Galt speech, so grab another Keith's.
  3. I'm not huge into watching sports, but I do have a huge amount of respect for professional athletes. The guys I live with are very much into watching sports; I cannot count the number of times I've seen things like knocking on wood or heard things like "Don't say the S.O. word!" (Shutout). I know stuff like this is pretty harmless, it certainly hasn't cost me any friendships, but I can't say that I like it. I also know it happens outside of the sports world, but I just find mysticism very prevalent within sports. Anywho, there are these new Nike commercials, in the wake of the World Juniors (hockey) and with the Winter Olympics coming up. I quite like them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSXVv80XXDQ EDIT: this probably belongs in the miscellaneous forum eh? Apologies.
  4. Loved the speech. Unfortunately there is something that is nagging at me quite badly; the critique of Maynard Keenan. As far as I know, the (partial?) purpose of Puscifer is to satirize our societies' views on sex. I'm sure it doesn't make him a hero who can stand shoulder to shoulder with Superman, and he's of course not an upstanding Objectivist role model, but I don't think he belongs down with Michael Moore either.
  5. This is a very interesting topic for me because I've always loved horror movies, but I haven't really re-watched any since I've started heavily studying Objectivism. I remember really liking Freddy Kreuger; maybe it had something to do with defeating evil simply by staying in touch with reality. However, I was about 10 at the time so probably not. One horror movie I HAVE to recommend, which I saw a couple years ago and really enjoyed is, The Descent. It came out in 2005 and I feel like it was probably overlooked by most people. If you have the chance I would check it out, but I will have to re-watch it from an Objectivist viewpoint. Another movie I'd recommend, and have recently purchased so I can rewatch, is Ravenous. I'm not sure that it can be considered a horror movie, but it is definitely along the same lines. Maybe I'll post again after re-watching them. Does anyone have any horror movie suggestions that they think are even close to inline with some Objectivist principles?
  6. Ramachandran is exactly who came to mind when reading this. I only know of him because of his Ted talk I watched a while back. It was pretty interesting if I remember correctly: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/vilayan..._your_mind.html
  7. I finally saw this movie for the first time last night and I wholly agree with Brian and Grames. It came as a HUGE surprise that anyone on the board would think of the ending as self-sacrificial, but that may be because I am extremely interested in all of the 'parent sacrificing life for child' type threads on this board. *spoilers* The ending was exactly in line with the Objectivist arguments for dying to save a loved one or a higher value. The man saw this family, and particularly 'Toad', as his only friends. Toad had potential to be a great human being, one that lived up to the values of Walt probably better than he ever did. Realistically, he's not going to storm a house and kill five gang members. Even if he could, he would have to accept the challenge with the understanding that if even one survived, that surviving gang member would do terrible things to his new friends. Walt instead thought very carefully about what he had to do to truly eradicate the problem and allow Toad to grow up as a strong contributing member of society. As for the review a couple posts up talking about how he took religion back into his life by going to one confession, I completely disagree. It seems rather that as the movie progressed, Walt came to respect the Father as an individual and this had nothing to do with the church. Finally, that same review talked about how it seemed confusing whether or not Walt supported his country in the war. I think this was made very clear in a conversation with the priest. Walt had talked about all the horrible things he had done during the war, and the priest said something along the lines of "lots of man were ordered to do terrible things and it haunts them for all of their life..." and Walt replied along the lines of "it's the things that you aren't ordered to do that haunt you". This explains how he can support the action of the military, but be terribly disturbed by his own actions. Overall, great movie.
  8. Edit: WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD I thought this movie was excellent. Before I even get into anything about the story I have to mention the 'events'. The plane and train scenes were absolutely intense and shocking. It is not often that imagery from a movie is stuck in my head for days afterward, but that was definitely the case with this movie. Whether it was a good or bad thing in this case I'm not sure. The only fair criticism I've seen of the move so far is the acting. The only reason I think it is fair is because I didn't even notice it. It may just be a personal ability to dismiss acting and become completely envelopped by the story, but I don't think any of the acting was absurd or terrible. I did see a review that said that the children out acted the parents, and that may be true. Now, for all this talk on religion. This is just how I read into it, but I think this movie was a complete dismissal of religion. It was almost a mockery really, but I think most people did not read it this way. For me, the movie essentially said: here is a bunch of stuff that religion claims (angels, end of the world, garden of eden thing at the end) but it turns out it's all just aliens and science (knowing the sun is going to get us) so HAH! I think the most obvious demonstration of this was at the end when Cage goes to his parents home. His father basically says "you know it's not going to end like this, religion dictates..." and Cage, clearly knowing that it is going to end, just says "I know" in a 'mmhmm doens't really matter now' tone. To me this whole scene shows: I'm a Chrisitan, I know the world won't end *BAM* dead, worthless beliefs. I don't see how the idea of an amazingly evolved superior alien race is out of line with Objectivism. I think it is an interesting idea to play with, it is my favorite type of science fiction and allows one to ponder all kinds of wonderful questions about determinism if that were the case. I think the movie was insanely well directed, the scenes were intense and effective. I think there was a lot to it that one might miss on the first time around, like the kid saying "just checking if you were listening" after Cage talks about how many planets there are/possiblity of aliens. But that might just be me reading into things. All of this being said, I find applying Objectivism to art to be the most difficult part of my studies in Objectivism.
  9. So I found this in another section of VoS, Monument Builders: "Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life." What I think almost my entire class would argue is: at a certain point, some men no longer need 100% of their produced goods to sustain their lives; what is the issue with taking 1% of that and giving it to people who cannot sustain their life for whatever reason. Is this just arguing pragmatism over principle? Is it just this idea that has been beat into our heads that some people have SO much that it only seems right to give some to people who have nothing (especially 'at no fault of their own')? I guess it isn't about whether or not they need it at that particular time. It comes down to whether they have the right to it. Right?
  10. Sorry Grames, perhaps I shouldn't have used the words 'own' or 'ownership'. These left-libertarians (and I suspect my prof) believe in individual rights, so far as it only involves you and your body. So you can smoke marijuana, not wear a seat belt; average negative rights libertarian stuff. However, they do not believe that, from this, you are able to derive the rights to what you produce. More specfically, you don't have the right to do whatever you want with anything you buy, create, trade for, etc.
  11. TL;DR: 1) Left Libertarians (Otsuka) believe we must seperate right to self VS right to own things. How does Ayn Rand bridge this gap? 2) Liberalism class has prof who spouts socialism without justifying it, calls Ayn Rand a whack job. 3) I thought dangerously and sneakily spreading socialism in schools/universities was conspiracy theory-ish, world flipped upside-down upon experiencing it. Hello all, I have several issues that I'd love to have some help with. All of these issues are related to a fourth year 'Liberalism' class I am taking in University; I don't think it is worth creating more than one thread, but there is definitely a lot ot be discussed. The description of the class is as follows: Liberalism takes a variety of forms and includes many topics including the rule of law, limited government, the free exchange of goods, entitlement to property, the self, and individual rights. It's philosophical and political assumptions provide the intellectual context within which it's account of the individual, it's vision of the community and it's preferred allocation of resources will be. I was incredibly excited to take this class, and this excitement was fed by the first few classes where we got off to a decent start on Locke. It was all downhill from there. The part of the description that I failed to notice was the 'preferred allocation of resouces'. Essentially, we have spent the past three months discussing which method of dolling out income, resources, etc. is best, without ever covering why any of them is justified. The thinkers we have covered so far are: Rawls (9 hours of him), Dworkin, Cohen, Frankfurt, Parfit, Anderson and last week we were introduced to Nozick for, as far as I can tell, the sole purpose of critiquing him via socialism and denouncing free market capitalism. (I'm aware that there is plenty else wrong with Nozick) Finally, this week, we were presented with a reason for WHY socialism is justified at all (a little late). At the start of this weeks class, we were able to critique 'libertarianism' thanks to Nozick and, my professor went so far as to say, "whack job libertarians like Ayn Rand". I took this quite personally, as I had mentiond Ayn Rand to him once recently after class and he pretty much just dismissed what I had to say, and said to wait for the critique of libertarianism. The critique which intrigued me, and I would like your opinion on, is that of the 'left-libertarian'. They believe that there must be a seperation between 'ownership of self' and 'ownership of things'. They believe in the ownership of self part, but not in all of the aspects of owning 'things'. The prof brought up the example of owning a dog: you don't have the natural right to do all the things that are wrapped up in the 'idea' of 'owning' something (i.e. destroy it, mistreat it). I think this was an appeal to emotion in the class, because it is so hard to imagine someone mistreating a nice little puppy. They go on to ask how is it that a very talented athlete not only has the right to his body but all the money he can make and the power that comes with it? Now as far as I know, Ayn Rand doesn't get into this seperation of rights, because it doesn't really exist. I mean it's addressed in VoS, man's rights, in like 2 paragraphs because it seems so obvious. Man has right to self, derived from that man has right to what he produces. What I'm wondering is: is there any more to this? Is there a better argument available that will know this 'left-libertarian' idea off it's feet? I have a paper coming up for this class and I think I will focus on this. We are allowed to go well beyond the constraints of the literature in class (thank goodness), so I'm thinking of bringing Ayn Rand into the picture, but I want to do it properly and accurately. Any help here is greatly appreciated. Also I get to comment on this prof. at the end of the year and I think I will write up a nice little page about what socialist trash this class is (put more academically of course). It's a very intimidating class for me, I mean I have these ideas (I'm only a student of objectivist I'd say, but I'm trying) that nobody in the class seems to agree with, but more importantly they don't even want to discuss it; they simply say "that isn't really covered by nozick/rawls/whoever we're working on, so it's not valid. Very frustrating. To me, all of this stuff about 'spreading the evil of socialism in the schools/universities' seemed very conspiracy theory-ish. It's a total mind-trip to see this stuff in action and I feel very lonely in most of my classes having noticed it. I have a feeling this is a natural process in accepting Objectivism into my life. Thanks all! Sorry for the wall of text, I had to get it all out. Hopefully some of you are having a slow day and care enough to read it all!
  12. One can be thankful that the father is better than most.
  13. In response to David: "I don't think it concerns the geneal public, but it does concern the judiciary. That is what it means to live in a society governed by law," What would you reply to Ignatieff who would say that the courts are susceptible(edit sp.) to simply tagging along with the president; who would argue that the public does indeed need to know. "For nearly two years, the courts deferred to the president's powers as commander in chief, refusing to deny him authority to designate American citizens ''enemy combatants'' and allowing him to imprison foreign combatants at Guantanamo beyond the reach of American courts."
  14. " according to our traditional understanding of war, the only justified resort to war is a response to actual aggression. But those standards are outdated. They were conceived for wars against states and their armies, not for wars against terrorists and suicide bombers. Against this kind of enemy, everyone can see that instead of waiting for terrorists to hit us, it makes sense to get our retaliation in first. The problem with pre-emption is keeping the president's war power under democratic control." How do terrorists differ from states in how we think of pre-emptive war? Why would we be able to pre-emptively attack terrorists but not states if there is equal evidence of a threat?
  15. Hello, I've lurked here for quite some time without directly contributing. Unfortunately, my first contribution comes only as a spark. I'm wondering what some of the minds around here think about an argument such as that of Michael Ignatieff's on the sacrifice of rights in the name of security. A specific article can be found here: http://www.vigile.net/Lesser-Evils But even if you can't be bothered to go through it, what are your general replies, in the case of security, to someone who firmly holds that massive terrorist attacks are well within the realm of possibility. Thanks EDIT: I realize that sacrifice is a very dangerous word to use around these parts! Feel free to comment on sacrifice in general is horrible, but that's not what I'm getting at.
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