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Everything posted by JRoberts

  1. This is really neat! Thank you for posting this . The power of the human mind is indeed amazing.
  2. Al Kufr, I have been working a double shift (from 5am-11pm) for awhile, and so I haven't had time to post! I just wanted to let you know that I will respond this weekend as I am only working a regular shift . Best regards to you and your patience.
  3. I would, with 100% backing, suggest Victor Davis Hanson. He is amazing! Check out his website at www.victorhanson.com for more information about his ideas.
  4. Both examples you gave me deal with tactics. One was manly (Western), and one is effeminate (Eastern). But they both deal with tactics, not "strategy" as you claim. Give me one single example prior to the 19th century of a policy of attrition. I am not Victor Davis Hanson. But annihilate means to "destroy" via impact, as opposed to attrition, which means to "wear down". During WW1 (the first major war of Attrition in the Western World), battles were fought not to 'win', but to 'wear the opponent down'. So you agree with all of the examples I have given, who are all the pillars of Western Military Theory, and yet say "that doesn't matter" because the West disregards the people it studies in favor of a type of warfare not common until the 1800's? Besides being disgusted at effeminate warfare (diplomacy, compromising, trying to stop the battle before it happened, etc.), the West preferred a more manly, confrontational style (300 Spartans at Thermopylae). Is this the distinction that you are making?
  5. The question to ask yourself is this: If the movie had bombed instead of doing very well, would this article exist? Probably not.
  6. Nope, he's not really able to speak on it . He died in 1990. His family had a large part in the movie though.
  7. Depp was, once again, the Star of the Film. And I don't just mean that he had the largest role. I continue to be amazed, from movie after movie, at the pure acting ability of Depp. What is most interesting about Willy Wonka (Like Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean), is that Depp devised everything from the costume to the makeup to the character, all on his own. This is him acting, not a director ordering him to be a certain way.
  8. Would you call the actions of Scipio Africanus in Spain attrition? Do you think the Greeks had the ability to fight a war of attrition against Persia? Did Alexander use attrition to conquer the east? Or let us look at modern times. Would you call Patton a General who used attrition? Victor Davis Hanson says that it seems to be a "proclivity of the West to...use massive amounts of firepower to shock, defeat, and destroy the enemy, ideally through annihilation rather than attrition." Don't make the error of equating the West with the Barbarians. If you read the history of the West, you will see "avoiding strength and striking weakness" everywhere. From Hannibal to Scipio, from Fabius to Miltiades and Themistocles, the West has known these fundamentals of warfare and used them in ways to defeat the enemy with overwhelming victory. I suggest you study the battles of Salamis and Plataea before passing such rash judgement on the West. I don't remember reading it either. That is why I didn't mention mysticism at all in my post. What is your basis for claiming such ignorance on the part of the West? Or do you just believe that the total domination of the world (rightly so) by the West was because of 'luck' and an ignorance of strategy?
  9. Just because something is old does not place an automatic value on it. No. Except for studying specific battles (such as Marathon), the authors I mentioned did the same as Sun Tzu. Take for example Vegetius, who stated: That seems like a strategy to me that can be applied to business, or life in general. Are you trying to tell me that Alexander conquered Persia, Scipio all of Spain and Africa, Caesar all of Gaul, etc. based purely on tactics and no strategy? No, there is some value in him. However, his value I find miniscule compared to what the West has to offer. The greatest military men, business men, and moral men all come from the West. There is a reason for that. I always follow the truth. The truth is in the West; in the institutions that the Greeks and Romans devised; that America re-actualized. I still don't see any value that the East has to offer. Or rather, I don't see what the "big deal" is. Our culture today is drowning itself in "Sun Tzu", "Lao Tsu", "Confucius", "Feng Shui", "Buddha", and all the other instruments of the East. Though there are a few good quotes here or there, the East has been nothing but a backwards, barbaric culture.
  10. And this is my entire point. The West, which is the only consistent Scientific Culture, was also much more successful prior to Sun Tzu. While this does not mean that Sun Tzu is "worthless" in his own right, it does mean that I see no reason why the West should "embrace" it as a revolutionary document. Many. How about Vegetius? His book has been one of the foundations for Western Warfare for centuries. Or Caesar? He too has been emulated in the West. The campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Scipio, Caesar, etc. have been the foundation of Western military thought; a foundation that has proven us much more effective than anything that comes from the East. So once again, what is so special about Sun Tzu?
  11. Did the 19th century American Capitalist rely on Sun Tzu? Do you think they performed just as well (if not better) than most companies today? What did the Military of the West do before Sun Tzu? Was everything hopeless until he came along? And the biggest question of all: what change in our society, for better, has this "revolution" from Sun Tzu brought? Can you show me some practical examples of how: -Companies are more successful -Armies are more successful etc. in today's world, thanks to Sun Tzu?
  12. I have indeed checked the book out. And after doing so, I still don't see a reason why it is 'considered' the "most important" military text.
  13. What is your grounds for calling it "The Most Important"? How is it any better than any other strategy book written? And how is it the most influential; especially in the context of history?
  14. I'm just amazed that only one person has mentioned Scipio Africanus. Undefeated in warfare; brilliant in strategy and tactics; could siege a city with ease and defeat an army on the field with the same brilliance. Scipio Africanus even defeated Hannibal! Having never lost a battle, and defeating one of the greatest military generals of all time, Scipio Africanus really does deserve some attention. Spartan, did you post that at TWC forums too? It is an interesting list.
  15. Are you the picture taker? If so, I must thank you! Those pictures are amazing. As to translations: I would start with Robert Fagles. His translations of The Odyssey and The Iliad are the ones that I personally read. They are both very smooth, poetic reads that at the same time don't get "lost" in verbage. They are also pretty cheap, so there's another plus. After reading those two, I'd begin with Polybius. Polybius basically puts you in the "middle of the action"-his goal is to describe the Punic Wars. Not only is Rome at her prime during this period, but her entire population was nothing short of virtuous. A great read . The Penguin Classics edition is what I would suggest.
  16. I have known Free Capitalist for about 4 years now . And indeed he is correct about the Classics! What I would suggest depends mainly upon your interests; philosophy, history, literature, etc. Personally, I would suggest some literature first to get an overall "sense" of the Greek world. I would suggest Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. They are both very good books about admirable, virtuous men. After reading them, I would go on into history. Once again, you must ask yourself a question: Greece or Rome? Both contain virtuous men and are great reads. I hope this helps .
  17. I saw it and honestly loved it! It is a wonderful, benevolent story about a boy who values the right things; his family, his happiness, etc. It is also a very moral movie in the Aristotle sense; each "room" is a testing ground fo the virtue or vice of a child. In the end, the child with the most virtue won-pretty amazing . Mix that in with a very pro-capitalist Willy Wonka (giant factory as heaven, self-made, loved innovation, couldn't stand parasites, etc.) and you have a wonderful movie that I am seeing for the third time today .
  18. I just wanted to give everybody a general update on what has been happening over at Homer Reborn. We've been very busy lately! I started a series entitled "Life's Lessons", which analyses different fables of Aesop. The first discusses the importance of thought before action. The second discusses how humans are defined by their actions as opposed to merely what they proclaim. Our first Feature Article, by Jeff Luebcke, entitled "Republican Generals", is a fascinating article. It compares two generals under a Republic (one Ancient, one semi-modern), and explains why a general who fights for a Republic doesn't lose. A must read! My article, "Soft Around the Edges", explains how we as Americans must not be "soft" when it comes to China by explaining a similar situation in Ancient Greece. Two more Feature articles, more philosophical in nature, as well as a new article discussing Russia and Putin are on the way. Be sure to check them out!
  19. Homer Reborn is a blog network created by me-Jason Roberts. Its goal is to bring back the Classical world-to show the relevance not only of Aristotle or Sophocles, but Thucydides, Homer, Herodotus, Plutarch, Polybius, Cato, etc.-a wide list of invaluable tools, admirable heroes who can help us (yes, even Objectivist!) in many ways. Currently, Homer Reborn is split into two sections: Letters From An Enthusiast (written by Jason Roberts), with a focus on history and politics; and The Inner Temple (written by Travis West, aka. Cicero), with a focus on philosophy. I encourage everyone to come over and witness the importance of the Classical works-it does a body good.
  20. Oh my... I really do suggest a survey course of European History if it is offered in your high school. If not, then there are wonderful books out there that you can read-one of which is called "A History of Modern Europe since the Renaissance" by Dr. John Merriman. America had to come from somewhere. We didn't just spring up...we are the child of Europe (or the triumph of what Europe was striving for).
  21. Would you agree or disagree with the statement: Ideas are to be taken seriously? Would you also state that Objectivism is a prime value in your life? If so, then please tell me how this piece is not malicious.
  22. I don't think this is truly socialism. I have played many MMORPG'S, and am currently playing WoW. I think that players are actually just more generous (and they also realize that it is a game instead of the real world). It reminds me of the Golden Rule. For example, as a Rogue in the group-I get an awesome staff. Will I use it? No. Now maybe I could sell it to the Auction House for about 50s...or I could give it to the mage in the group. This way, the mage is better off-and consequently, my group is better off-and consequently, my "team" (Alliance or Horde) is better off-which then comes back to me. The stronger my guys are, the better prepared we will be for Raids and for PvP. Also, I know that if that mage got an awesome dagger, he will (and it has always been the case), give it to me. So I see no issue of "Socialism" in the MOG economy . Amen to this. I used to play FFXI, which if you know anything about, is probably one of the greatest grind games. THANKFULLY WoW was released-so that now I can play for about 30 minutes, enjoy it-and leave. I'm totally in love with the Instance Dungeons and think Blizzard shines here. Though they take a bit longer-it makes raids fun...for ALL levels-instead of having to wait for the end-game to do Raids.
  23. Ayn Rand did. In "The Art of Fiction", she states: "Humor is a metaphysical negation. We regard as funny that which contradicts reality: the incongruous and the grotesque..." (Rand, 165). And then further on, and more importantly: "What you find funny depends on what you want to negate. It is proper to laugh at evil (the literary form of which is satire) or at the negligible. But to laugh at the good is vicious. If you laugh at any value that suddenly shows feet of clay, such as in the example of the dignified gentleman slipping on a banana peel, you are laughing at the validity of values as such.” (Rand, 166). I suggest you read Chapter 11, starting on page 165. I also am curious to know-do you value Ayn Rand? Or is she negligible in your values?
  24. Hi Lyn, Ayn Rand is pretty deep. I started reading her at a young age-and regret that I had done so. A lot of the deeper implications of her novels were not grasped by me because I simply wasn't mature enough. Even "Anthem", though not as dense as "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged", is a pretty dense novel and deals with some tough issues that young people simply cannot comprehend. To me, the best way to introduce him to Objectivism is to find fiction that will interest him; fiction that has some themes similar to the Objectivist Philosophy. Harry Potter comes to mind (if he hasn't already read them). There are many issues that may be covered within those novels-and I'm sure that he would retain what he read and what he learned in Harry Potter (written for children) much more than what he would read from Ayn Rand (written for adults). Providing a basis for him at his age now will strengthen his understanding of Objectivism when he gains the maturity to actually read the works. As for History, I would say that it totally depends upon you and what are most familiar with. Children ask many questions-and it's best if you were prepared for the (hopeful) onslaught . Would you mind telling me in which area of history you are most learned? That issue aside, I would say that now is a perfect time to begin studying Classical History. There are many areas that you could cover in the Classical World that will greatly benefit his life. A study of Classical History allows him later on to branch into Primary History (first-hand accounts), Philosophy, Poetry, Theatre, etc. and will allow him to understand where Objectivism itself comes from, as well as to understand the basis for our Western Civilization. Good luck, and welcome to the boards .
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