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Ninth Doctor

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Everything posted by Ninth Doctor

  1. Here's another perspective: Criticism, for a book, is a truthful, unfaked badge of attention, signaling that it is not boring; and boring is the only very bad thing for a book. Consider the Ayn Rand phenomenon: her books Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead have been read for more than half a century by millions of people, in spite of, or most likely thanks to, brutally nasty reviews and attempts to discredit her. The first-order information is the intensity: what matters is the effort the critic puts into trying to prevent others from reading the book, or, more generally in life, it is the effort in badmouthing someone that matters, not so much what is said. So if you really want people to read a book, tell them it is “overrated,” with a sense of outrage (and use the attribute “underrated” for the opposite effect). Nassim Taleb, Antifragile, Chapter 2 This is a very interesting book, BTW. It's very new, and I'm still working through it.
  2. Damn straight! There's no possible scenario under which this woman chose to wear this "necklace":
  3. What Grames is talking about did apply to the Elián González case. People argued that nothing the father said should be taken at face value, since he was (with his family) trapped in a dictatorship. However within the US, and at the family and “community” level, one can leave a bad situation, by going to a battered women’s shelter, or whatever. Part of what made me think of Mormons is that they are known to shun anyone who leaves the church, so yeah, you want to stop wearing the veil (er, special underwear), you’re probably going to lose your family and friends. The Government has a proper role in this, where again?
  4. Well dagumit. You can tell I wrote hurriedly, since I neglected to substitute a good euphemism for “oppress”. Even the Doctor doesn’t bat a thousand. By that standard even Rachmaninov is out. There’s no evidence Lanza was ever exposed to Objectivism, even though he died a little after Atlas was published, so he gets a pass. Like Aquinas and Aristotle. As for religious music, we can always retrofit it with secular words for all future performances. Like the opening of Handel’s Messiah: “Comfort ye producers, saith John Galt…”
  5. No no no, you’re not getting it. Oppress the Mormon’s first, because at least since Mountain Meadows they’ve been progressively pussified to such a point that they had a new revelation in order to comply with civil rights legislation. I’m saying their corner of the tent is the easiest to get the camel’s nose in under. Then, once we’ve undermined that pesky First Amendment, we can start implementing Objectivist solutions to all our most pressing problems, like that imminent theocratic takeover that Objectivism predicts. Also, the culture must be saved, for instance, no more of that caterwauling and headbanging, Adam Lanza must give way to Mario Lanza, there are two America’s and we must make a choice. That’s all I’ve got time for now, but maybe I’ll share some more Modest Proposals later.
  6. I say let’s first ban Mormon underwear. ‘Cos Mormon’s are bad, mmmkay? They subjugate their women and such. The only problem is now we’ll have to have everyone wear their underwear on the outside, otherwise we’d have to have an intrusive police state (Egad!) to check for compliance.
  7. I just had a look at it, and that thing is simply dripping with satire. I've never seen that site before, but it's obviously a libertarian site. Whenever you see the words "Modest Proposal", you're almost certainly not meant to be reading literally.
  8. Wow, like I said in #28, there’s sure a lot of ways of skinning this cat. I have an old friend who was born prematurely, and is blind as a result. Here he is, doing his thing: Like Kate87 when she started this thread, I regard this as "self explanatory".
  9. Mmm, but that's actually an AP story. I searched for the perp's name and came up empty when I looked on HP this morning, still I suppose I spoke too soon. It's certainly not appearing on the main page. One might say it's "buried".
  10. Can't beat the timing, huh? One of the earliest entries in the comment section warmed my cockles: "this story is a lie. The huffington post is not reporting it" So I just checked, and yep, there's nada, zip, pas un mot about this on HP.
  11. I gather this photo is for real. It’s quite shocking, but thinking about it a bit, in Israel they know there are armed nut-cases nearby who want nothing more than to kill as many people, children included, as possible. Knowing they can’t change that context with the stroke of a pen, they deal with it on a more practical level. Wait a minute, this is different from the situation in the USA how?
  12. Heh, get a beer or two into me and who knows what’ll come out. Spaten Oktoberfest for my future biographers, or whoever else may be keeping track. Now here’s Gunnery Sgt. Hartmann to tell you what can be done with bolt action rifle. If you’re not sure what a bolt action rifle is, here’s a demo. Based on a true story. Gripping movie, though quite a downer.
  13. Mr. Bond also made good use of one. Here's Charlton Heston to demonstrate a few semi-automatics, for those who still don't grok the distinction:
  14. Thank goodness you only asked about semi-automatic weapons! Just look at James Bond, all pouty because his boss won’t let him carry his trusty semi-automatic Beretta .25 caliber. "Nice and light, in a lady's handbag. No stopping power." Now if they went after revolvers too, like Dirty Harry’s 44 magnum, it would make every lucky punk’s day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Hw3i-DS9ss
  15. Here's a nice clip of D'Souza being taken to the woodshed. If this is the best he's got, the debate ought to be duck soup for Bernstein. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsBEShZ8Llo
  16. http://reason.com/bl...ama-showcases-t "Finally, a president who has the guts to come out against the murder of children. Not only that, but he is prepared to confront those who, for murky but clearly frivolous reasons, tolerate violence, oppose tragedy prevention, and shrink from saving innocent lives. Because "politics" cannot be allowed to obstruct the solutions that every decent, right-thinking person favors."
  17. Let’s try to get this point across more plainly: you don’t have any business telling me that I only think the way I do because of where I was raised, what my skin color is, what my chromosomes are, what economic class I belong to (or was raised in) etcetera and so on. And on an internet discussion forum you have no way of knowing these things anyway, so the fact you’re doing it marks you as quite the rube.
  18. Good chance this one won’t come up in the Bernstein debate, since it’s about science. But the debate topic is “Is Christianity the source of important truths, moral law, and man’s rights and thus profoundly good for mankind…”, and Dinesh might try to work this in under the important truths part, particularly if he perceives that Bernstein lacks much of a scientific background. I find it absolutely comical, but what the hell, I get a kick out of refuting it. This clip comes from his most recent debate, “Science Refutes God”, go to just before 35 minutes in: “Modern science, after climbing round and round the mountain has arrived at the top only to find a bunch of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” Now is that a convincing case for revelation and holy books as sources of knowledge, or what? The big bang model, he asserts, resembles the Biblical creation story in Genesis. I think it’s pointless to try disputing the big bang model, or whatever peculiar interpretation of the Bible story or the big bang model Dinesh puts forward. The way I think I’d attack this is by analogy to someone who brags about his success at gambling. I’m thinking of someone who only tells you about when he’s won a bet, but never acknowledges that he’s lost more than he’s won. Then go through the rest of the Genesis story, Eve was created from Adam’s rib, Earth created before the Sun, and so on. What kind of batting average on scientific matters do holy books have?
  19. Yeah sure, you got me, fact is I’m only capable of using Bourgeouis Logic. I also can only understand Jewish Physics. I'm simply not capable of understanding anything you say.
  20. You've ascribed a quote to me that is not in the linked post, and which is not by me, but Kate87.
  21. This might cheer you up: We're getting better! Like, empirically speaking.
  22. Well played. Having experienced arguing with Kate87 over the appropriateness of voting for Romney I had an expectation that her view of what is “self explanatory” and the “elephant in the room” on the Lanza case would be some kind of stereotypical left-wing viewpoint. Turns out I was right. I was looking at another Randland site this morning, and found another point of view, one I personally find hilarious, here it is: “I think that if this geeky guy (1) had a decent job, (2) played a lot of competitive sports, and (3) had a lot of sex -- at least, with semi-sympathetic prostitutes -- there's almost no way in hell he would have perpetrated this atrocity. Almost all jihadi mass-murderers could also be prevented thus. A capitalist economy and libertarian society would cure or contain almost all of the psychos.” http://www.solopassi...#comment-117171 There’s sure a lot of ways of skinning this cat! How frequently? How do you come to the conclusion that they don’t make things better more frequently than not? Rank psychologizing. For shame. Are you here for discussion, to find out what other people think, or to preach and wag your fingers?
  23. Huh? How are you making that link? Do you have data to back it up? Who thinks that? What does this have to do with the Lanza case? Was he being treated for something? I haven’t heard that in any report yet. Are you talking about depression medication, or something like Adderall? From what you’ve written you could just as easily mean alcohol or marijuana, since your use of ‘right narcotic’ is terribly imprecise (narcotics aren’t prescribed for mental or emotional problems, so I take it you mean ‘drug’). The population of people taking, say, anti-depression drugs contain a higher number of people already with mental problems (than in the population as a whole), so if it turns out there’s a correlation to later troubled behavior it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Proponents of such treatments could argue that there’d be more crackups if you took away this kind of treatment. I don’t have an opinion on it, how is it you came to yours?
  24. On to “atheist regimes”. What D’Souza does is concede that there’ve been plenty of atrocities performed under theistic regimes, and even acknowledge that much of it was done “in the name of” Christianity. Then he’ll claim that there’s a natural, or base level of human wickedness, and that Christianity itself has been a positive influence, that there’d have been more (and/or worse) atrocities without Christianity than with. He typically tries, as a side-note, to minimize how bad the atrocities were, claiming that the death toll wasn’t as bad as most people think in cases like the Spanish Inquisition, never minding that there are plenty of high body count atrocities that most people have never heard about. How about Justinian in North Africa, who’s heard of that one? Upwards of a million heretical Arians and Donatists joined the silenced majority. Then he moves into the record of the big bad 20th century regimes that he claims were atheistic. He always includes Hitler, and then come the bloodiest Marxists: Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. It’s important, and easy, to separate Hitler from the other three. Hitchens does it quite well. It’s worth mentioning that there’s only one source for the claim Hitler was an atheist, Table Talk, which is of questionable origin and even subject to multiple interpretations. If you read his speeches (and Mein Kampf) there’s no question his public image was that of a Christian, and that was what the people carrying out the orders, like manning the concentration camps, thought he was. There are some choice quotes to have at the ready, where he sounds like GW Bush claiming he’s doing God’s work. Ick. Now to deal with the other three. What’s important to convey is that the common element is Marxism, not atheism. I think the most devastating way to go about this is to frame it in terms of before and after. Russia was Eastern Orthodox, which is certainly theistic, then Marxist. China was Confucian and Taoist, which are not theistic, then Marxist. Cambodia was Buddhist, again not theistic, then Marxist. So it’s not that going from theism to atheism means going from paradise to mass slaughter. It’s going to Marxism from anything else that means mass slaughter. To clinch the point you can bring up the Münster Rebellion, where a Christian communism was imposed on an already Christian community, and the per capita death toll was worthy of any Ukranian famine town. Hitchens, being a Marxist himself, could never handle this as effectively as an Objectivist can.
  25. I disagree with this. Following Campbell, note that it took a thousand years for this interpretation, or variation, to bear fruit. Meanwhile, the roots of individualism are certainly present among the great Greek philosophers, and in stories like the Homeric ones. I agree with the rest of what you said.
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