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Ninth Doctor

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  1. There's some pretty scary reading in this Robert Tracinski piece here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/newsletters/the_daily_debate/2013/04/15/ Follow the link to the story in The Nation for the real grisly stuff.
  2. Janeane Garofalo and Robert Reich were the other guests. I remember that Peikoff did well, but the other guests, particularly Garofalo and Shatner, dragged the intelligence level of the dialogue down too much. I had it on VHS but must have lent it out, otherwise I'd probably have uploaded it to YouTube back when I was doing that. A couple things I recall: Peikoff had a nice claque, at one point he came out with a good zinger and the audience roared, surprising Maher who reacted with a bug-eyed double take. Also, and here my memory is less clear, Shatner tried to tell Peikoff what Rand was all about, by way of disagreeing on some point, and Peikoff pulled rank on the good Captain of the USS Enterprise. I wouldn't mind seeing it again, but it's not on YouTube, I just checked again. Here's this latest thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVV08uwKcA8 Maher's not even funny. I don't get it, I've never understood how this guy has a career. I used to like watching Olbermann since at least he was entertaining.
  3. Here's a recent story that made me think of Hickman: http://www.cleveland.com/chardon-shooting/index.ssf/2013/03/tj_lane_sentenced_in_chardon_h.html "T.J. Lane will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing three students and wounding three others in the Chardon High School cafeteria Feb. 27, 2012. Before his sentence, Lane, wearing a white T-shirt with the word "killer" written across the front, said: "This hand that pulled the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory. F--- all of you." If you read up on Hickman, you have to wonder what Rand read about him that led her to write what she did. "He gets immense enjoyment from shocking people, amusing them with his cynicism, [ridiculing] before their eyes the most sacred, venerated, established ideas. He takes a real delight in opposing people, in fighting and terrifying them. He has no ambition to be a benefactor or popular hero for mankind. […] Subconsciously, this is the result of a noble feeling of superiority, which knows that to be loved by the mob is an insult and that to be hated is the highest compliment it can pay you." Or, more likely, he was a f'd in the head monster.
  4. "[T]here are only three kinds of fine art: the art of speech, formative art, and the art of the play of sensations (as external sense impressions).... The formative arts, or those for the expression of ideas in sensuous intuition (not by means of representations of mere imagination that are excited by words) are arts either of sensuous truth or of sensuous semblance. The first is called plastic art, the second painting. ... To plastic art, as the first kind of formative fine art, belong sculpture and architecture. The first is that which presents concepts of things corporeally, as they might exist in nature (though as fine art it directs its attention to aesthetic finality). The second is the art of presenting concepts of things which are possible only through art, and the determining ground of whose form is not nature but an arbitrary end−and of presenting them both with a view to this purpose and yet, at the same time, with aesthetic finality. In architecture the chief point is a certain use of the artistic object to which, as the condition, the aesthetic ideas are limited. In sculpture the mere expression of aesthetic ideas is the main intention. Thus statues of men, gods, animals, etc., belong to sculpture; but temples, splendid buildings for public concourse, or even dwelling−houses, triumphal arches, columns, mausoleums, etc., erected as monuments, belong to architecture, and in fact all household furniture (the work of cabinetmakers, and so forth−things meant to be used) may be added to the list, on the ground that adaptation of the product to a particular use is the essential element in a work of architecture." Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgement, SS 51 You Kantian dog!
  5. Now thinking like a Platonist has some utility. Sure, Chavez himself can’t feel discomfort from our barbs, but aspiring manifestations of the form he represents, the demagogic thug, will see from reading such critiques that at least one of the values they crave, posthumous acclaim for a ‘legacy’, doesn’t follow from the kinds of actions that earn one the title ‘demagogic thug’. So get on those steel-spiked shoes, and get back to dancing on Hugo’s grave. You party pooper.
  6. I hear they're in talks with Jessica Rabbit, but the snag is she's refusing to dye her hair blonde.
  7. Is it that you want references for the comments I made? "Bernstein's Wager" comes about 40 minutes in, that's the only note I made and I'm not planning to go through the whole thing again. I gather D.D = Dinesh D'Souza, it took me a minute to figure out who you meant. Anyway, he's obviously active on the lecture circuit, with lots of debates loaded to YouTube with thousands of views. Somebody must like him. BTW, here's a funny little sidelight: I first heard of Dinesh because his book Illiberal Education was carried by Second Renaissance Books back in the early nineties.
  8. And now it's up on YouTube. D'Souza used most of the material I predicted he'd use above. Bernstein did a good job with the "atheist regimes" one, his approach was much quicker and just as effective as what I suggested. He just said he was willing to agree that Christianity was second worst, after Marxism, and that since Dinesh had in effect conceded that Christianity was bad, Bernstein had won the debate. Well played. Overall though, I felt Bernstein was hit and miss. BTW one point that irritated me was "Bernstein's Wager", his supposedly original answer to Pascal's Wager. It's just too similar to Smith's Wager, which in turn is derived (I think) from Epicurus. Give credit where due, I say. Well, unless that means giving credit to a non-ARI affiliated Rand scholar.
  9. This being my busiest time of year, the flame war would probably be quite one sided. It's not like I just applied the term “excommunicated” for the first time to events in the history of Objectivist schismology, and if you follow the link above, you'll see John Aglialoro using it to describe what happened to him for speaking at the Cato Institute. Now you might think the Atlas Shrugged movies are the worst ever made (I don't), but to say that such a long time insider, who has invested millions of his hard earned wealth spreading Objectivism, doesn't know “what the hell” he's talking about...as John Stossel would put it: give me a break.
  10. 17 minutes in: “When the party line shifts, there’s still no redemption for those who shifted too soon”
  11. http://www.forbes.com/sites/billfrezza/2013/02/06/atlas-shrugged-producer-shares-insights-and-a-surprse-that-awaits-in-atlas-iii/ According to this interview with John Aglialoro, Part III is going ahead as planned. There's a little detail buried in there that seems designed to get tongues wagging, but doesn't strike me as a big deal at all. Aglialoro says there will be a scene that's not in the book, where Dagny goes into St. Patrick's, which is of course across the street from the Atlas statue in Rockefeller Center, and a priest talks to her. Shrug. A concern I have is how they're going to do the adaptation, especially "Act I". In the book Part III starts in the valley, and there's not much in the way of action for quite a while. I'm afraid audience interest will sink like a stone for lack of tension.
  12. This is just a play for attention, I’m not reading anything more into it. Actually, I think it’s pretty cute. At least this politician isn’t apologizing for Rand’s atheism, not yet anyway.
  13. I wrote quite a bit about this upcoming debate here: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=24436&#entry301951 Then I saw this recent lecture by Bernstein, and find that he takes a lot of his "facts" and interpretations of history from Peikoff. http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=24757&#entry304309 So I'm afraid Dinesh is going to have ample opportunity to use the above line against Bernstein. Greece and Rome were secular? And what was Socrates accused of? Why were Christians persecuted by the Romans? Under what legal regime? News flash: Christianity didn't bring theocracy to the Roman Empire, it inherited it. Dinesh is very well read, very glib, and a pretty fiery debater, even when he's full of shit. He's going to rip Bernstein to shreds over crap like this. Manichaeans were Christians, oh for chrissakes! In case Bernstein's reading this and is inclined to take advice, look up the Voltaire quote about how one religion equals tyranny, two equals civil war, and thirty live in peace. That's the way to understand religion in the Roman Empire, and why imposing Christianity was a disaster. You can maybe use the Battle of the Frigidus as a case in point. Also there's the great Gibbon quote about the various religions all being true for the people, false for the philosophers, and useful for the magistrates. Have these quotes ready.
  14. Very well, now bear in mind that Frederick II had bitter enemies, and that this material comes from them. If you want a good exercise in the challenges of historical research, look up Frederick’s letter to Henry III of England concerning the Sixth Crusade, then read the Patriarch of Jerusalem’s account. I think the only facts they agree on are that the Muslims turned over Jerusalem and there was no fighting. It’s shocking how his enemies heaped scorn on him for achieving this supposed ultimate goal of the Crusades peacefully. He allowed them to maintain control of the Temple Mount, and this was the original headquarters of the Knights Templar (hence the name), and they were none too happy about it. And don’t even get me started on the Popes. Maybe you saw the Al Sharpton segment on Ayn Rand I posted on another thread a day or two ago? Imagine if that were one of the few sources for information about her. Southern Italy had a Muslim minority, and he gave them a place at court, even using them as bodyguards. He brought Jews in too. He was centuries ahead of his time. I can’t agree, certainly not if one considers Christianity in history. For how many of the say, 17 centuries of Christianity since it first came to be "in power" did 1 or 2 apply to Jews?
  15. By the way there was a Peikoff podcast on libertarianism not too long ago: http://www.peikoff.com/2012/10/22/a-discussion-with-yaron-brook-on-libertarianism/ I think his claim that liberty as an "-ism" is "intrinsically invalid" is simply laughable. But there it is. You could say the same thing about Egoism, Atheism, or even Romanticism, and that hardly gets the list started. ARI came out with a new position on its website, one which I more or less predicted here, in the wake of the John Allison Cato thing. http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ari_libertarianism_qa 1. Has ARI changed its position on libertarianism? No. But the meaning of the term “libertarian” has been changing over the decades. Consequently, individuals or organizations that today call themselves “libertarian” may or may not hold the ideas we oppose. Unlike in the bad old days!
  16. Wow. No. I think you need to immerse yourself in the period, try to get into the medieval mindset, and then read his bio. Let me suggest Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose, he really communicates the sense of the period, even though it's set decades later. Or, try Dante's Inferno, F2 makes an appearance there.
  17. Careful, there's a piece attributed to him, The Three Imposters, that he certainly didn't write and that has to be the source for that line in the Wiki article. Frederick II was certainly a colorful character, but the main reason for my noting him here is that as a result of his good relations with the Muslims, he was able to import manuscripts of Aristotle from Baghdad, and then he employed translators, mainly in Sicily. Look at the dates, and remember that Baghdad was utterly destroyed by the Mongols very soon after. I'm not knowledgeable enough to say whether he's responsible for saving any particular works, but it seems likely. Also, Aquinas's father was a military leader under him, and Aquinas studied at the University of Naples, which was founded by him.
  18. There’s a nice irony here, and that’s that Aquinas’s opponents, such as Duns Scotus, argued that Faith can’t be reconciled with Reason. Which we all know is the Objectivist position. Yet it’s Aquinas who gets the praise. This is because he did much to get the camel nose under the tent, improving the status of Reason and Aristotle during the Middle Ages. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I feel Frederick II deserves even more credit, though there’s no good way to quantify this kind of thing. True, but not what I was thinking of. Notice certain evangelists on TV today, who preach the “prosperity gospel”. Joel Osteen seems to be the face of it nowadays, but there used to be the Reverend Ike, who Rand praised here: A religion represented by both Stylites and by the “Jesus wants you to be rich” types has issues with the law of non-contradiction, methinks.
  19. For some reason this doesn't strike me as worthy of its own thread. I get the feeling Sharpton cribbed from Obama, so I'm putting it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae6KPpm-ldM
  20. This seems a good place to bring up the Dudley letter again. http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=22400&#entry281408 Yet the early Christian communities were certainly communistic. See the Acts of the Apostles, and especially note the part where someone sells some of their property then fails to hand over all the proceeds to the group. But ultimately the tenets of Christianity are vague enough to permit many interpretations.
  21. Only a noob would expect her to take part in any kind of debate where she can't personally delete her opponent's posts. Alright, can't hurt to try, maybe this'll work to summon your quarry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VOEOjGuFzI BTW, I don't get the point of the Joan of Arc painting. Is it by someone that some supposed Objectivist art authority reveres as the cat's meow? The one up top is good for a chuckle, but I can't imagine hanging it on a wall unless it was a one time thing, like if I was having boring guests over and was going to need comic relief.
  22. Zap ahead to 8:45. I always heard that Jobs was into Eastern mysticism, this is the first Ayn Rand reference I can think of related to him. This is a new upload to YouTube, but I gather the interview comes from just after Jobs died. Strange if no one in Randland picked up on it until now.
  23. Ahh, one of the last outposts of ancient tolerant polytheism! Where Dionysus and Demeter are worshipped side by side, not to mention the one before whom all must eventually bow: the Porcelain God.
  24. Through ‘service’? What’s that? Sounds like a religious thing. Anyway, I was only praising the Mamet piece, I didn't mean to evoke Looney Tunes references in your mind. For those not familiar, Mamet wrote the film The Edge, referenced above. Now, maybe you can make another tangential jump, to loving the smell of napalm in the morning to some favorite song by the Doors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz3Cc7wlfkI
  25. Worthwhile? What an understatement. After reading this, even though I live in an urban area, I'm feeling some visceral drive to go kill a bear.
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