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Carrier of the Zero

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Everything posted by Carrier of the Zero

  1. Hello all. I was hoping some of you could recommend to me some Art and Culture blogs or sites (other than Big Hollywood) that analyze things from a rational and/or pro-Western Civ perspective. They don't HAVE to be Objectivist, but I'll be happy as long as I'm not reading a bunch of post-modern, critical theory nonsense. I'm particularly interested in analyses of film, literature, pop culture, and genre fiction, but visual and fine arts are cool, too. Thanks!
  2. I agree 100% This has actually been a big issue for me. It amazes me how many ways people can come up with justifications for this barbaric act, and fail to understand such a simple concept as the individual's not to have his body violated. Luckily, I've been able to change a few minds over the years, and there are several intact children running around now because I was able to educate their parents.
  3. I've recently been enjoying Code Geass on Cartoon Network, and the box set of Tokyo Majin. I really liked Noein and Wolf's Rain, but I absolutely loved Blood Plus.
  4. Right now I really like a lot of the European hardcore/emo bands like Belle Epoque, Daitro, Sed non Satiata, Mihai Edrisch. I like anything from the late 80s Dischord label, and the old-school emo of the early 90s; bands like Moss Icon, Indian Summer, Navio Forge, etc. I think some of the best musicians around today play in this style, in bands like Off Minor, Circle Takes the Square, Funeral Diner, Envy, etc. I even like the chaotic stuff like Orchid and Pg 99, and the more laid back Midwest emo. And of course, the 'angular' post-hardcore stuff like Drive Like Jehu, At the Drive In, Bear vs Shark..
  5. Thank you. I appreciate the response. After doing further research, I have discovered that my original thinking was badly ill-informed, and that Hayek's position was much more nuanced (and problematic) than I thought. This will require a lot of further reading.
  6. Hayek's position that societies and economies are too complex to be centrally planned is not a great moral argument, but as a derivative principle I have no problem accepting it as one of many explanations for why socialism and central planning do not work. However, the other side of his argument seems absolutely anti-reason. For all his talk of 'spontaneous order,' it really sounds like nothing more than cultural conservatism, as though conscious reasoning should not question pre-existing cultural practices. It sounds like a defense of good ol' tradition. Am I simplifying Hayek's arguments here? Surely his positon was more nuanced than this? (I've not read much of his work - just excerpts). Help me articulate the nature of the false dichotomy that seems to be at work here. Something just is not clicking in my mind. I'm leaning toward a position that reason can be used to establish new cultural practices and institutions which would maximize human freedom, rather than ones which would attempt to micro manage society.
  7. What do you mean by 'check out'? They won't send you your report card, or what?
  8. Has anyone mentioned United 93? I wouldn't say it's the best movie ever, but it certainly is one of the most powerful I've ever seen.
  9. Hi there! Welcome. Your story of the girl with the cool sweatshirt would make a great topic for a song.
  10. No one likes the old Untouchables series with Robert Stack? I thought it was great - good guys chased bad guys, and there was no outside family drama or relationship crap to distract from the plots. Also, there was none of this moral ambiguity - again, good guys chased bad guys. I currently enjoy the show Futureweapons. The host, a former Navy SEAL, has the greatest job ever; all he does is travel the world testing out new weapons systems. The show is all about new and better ways to kill people and defeat your enemies, and is not the least apologetic about it.
  11. Whatever you think of Hofmann's luck, or 'genius,' LSD does have legitimate medical and psycho-therapeutic value. It would be a mistake to entirely dismiss its potential value simply because of its misuse by hippies and other irrationalists.
  12. I agree 100%. There is so much great rock music in the alternative and underground ghetto that will never be heard on the radio or on MTV.
  13. What justification did Plainview have to lie to the Sunday family? He had no intention of telling them they had oil on their land, or of paying them a fair price.
  14. Are you kidding? This is the least Objectivist movie I have ever seen. The fact that it's based on a book by Upton Sinclair should've been the first tip off; but really, this movie was nothing but a character study of a scoundrel. It just showed one instance of his depravity after another, all leading up to nothing. Plus, the movie was just plain boring. There was nothing unexpected or unpredictable; there was nothing insightful to be gleaned from the relationships among the characters. I'm hard pressed to think of a more intellectually barren movie, but simply because it was filmed in a slightly off-kilter, episodic style it gets praised as a great work. It's pretty blatant in its message that all businessmen and religious leaders are corrupt, but that's hardly a groundbreaking premise.
  15. Ugh, reading this will make you feel like murdering someone. http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/21_02/lego212.shtml Someone please tell me this article is a joke or spoof.
  16. I watched Sunshine recently and, despite some predictable points in the plot, it was really entertaining. The visuals were great, and the ending was amazing.
  17. I don't think there is anything wrong with getting a 'buzz' once in a while, if it's a special occasion with friends or whatnot. It can be a fun way to celebrate, as long as you're not losing your self-control. That being said, I never liked the taste or the effect of alcohol. I never understood what the appeal of smoking cigarettes was either; I smoked them for a while, and they did nothing for me. I could feel no difference between breathing regular air and breathing poisonous air. I did smoke weed regularly when I was younger; I know that's anathema to most Objectivists, but it's basically the most innocuous, harmless substance on the planet. I will defend weed forever, even though I no longer smoke it; it did not warp my senses, or interrupt the functioning of my mind. It did not prevent me from thinking logically, it did not make me lose interest in intellectual activities or my other hobbies. It was certainly not an escape from reality or responsibility. It was just a pleasant state of euphoria and relaxation. I still view it as no different than coffee or a soft drink; most people have a coffee break, whereas I had a marijuana break when I got home from college in the afternoons, and I still got A's in math classes and chemistry. I think weed gets a bad rep from people who've never tried it because it's associated with hippies, leftists, and probably the 'bad kids' you went to school with. Anyway, to get back on the subject of alcohol... No, I never liked its effects. I did get stinking drunk once as a teenager, I guess just out of curiosity of what it would be like. That one time was enough for me; I never wanted to feel that again.
  18. Yes, 'supernatural' is an invalid concept... as we've established, if something exists then it is a part of nature, with a specific nature. It's not outside the realm of possibility that there exist processes, or even entities, at work in the universe that humans are either not aware of yet, or don't have a proper understanding of yet, but the burden of proof is on the person making the claim for their existence.
  19. Why should the mature and capable individuals be punished and restricted to protect the immature from the consequences of their decisions? This sounds like the kind of reasoning behind all altruist policies: punishing the strong, capable, intelligent, etc. in order to protect the less strong, capable, intelligent. EX: Why shouldn't productive individuals pay more taxes to take care of the poor? They can afford to do so, and some one really needs to take care of those less fortunate... or: Because some people are irresponsible, stupid, or criminal with regards to gun ownership, then no one should be allowed to own them. So I'm not sure who's rights are being protected by not allowing the mature individuals from exercising theirs, or by protecting the less mature from themselves.
  20. I've re-read the Roark/Wynand sections of the Fountainhead, while skipping the Toohey/Keating sections, too many times to count. It was the first book I ever read where the hero was far more fascinating than the villain. I've read Douglas Coupland's Generation X several times. All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren, I've read twice. I plan to read Dune again sometime soon. And I'm actually re-reading Atlas Shrugged right now, for the first time since I was about 15 or 16. I started on it last week and I'm already almost finished, it's taking up all of my spare time.. It's such an amazing read!!
  21. at first I thought the title of this thread was going to be a reference to the old Mission of Burma song... But painting like that took some amazing skill. A lot of time and hard work went into attaining that level of ability. Bravo.
  22. Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful replies. Regarding the Delany quote, I don't think he was attacking Libertarians (or Objectivists) specifically, but Reason in general. After I became more familiar with his critical work, it quickly became apparent that his philosophical leanings were toward the Postmodernism/Deconstructionism axis. I think he was saying that reason is not a valid means of persuasion, period; and that everyone's beliefs have material causes only. Obviously, I couldn't disagree more. And Mr. McVey touched upon something that I have firmly come to believe: that most people subordinate their minds to their feelings. They just go with their gut, their first emotional reaction when confronted with an issue of morals or values (what feels good), and expend their mental energy justifying that first reaction. They never examine the fundamental causes of their beliefs, and take their emotional evaluations as self-evident. Also, a lot of people base their whole sense of identity on their beliefs, so there is a lot of emotional energy invested in defending whatever arbitrary collection of values they've happened to adopt. They feel their whole sense of self is under attack if you criticize some belief of theirs. And this points to something else I've thought a lot about; humans have a psychological need for a coherent sense of self, an 'identity'. Without an explicit understanding of reason to guide them, without a method of rationally evaluating values and the issues that confront them, it's so much easier for these people to just adopt some pre-existing value structure (religion, or Leftist ideology, or some subculture) to provide them with that sense of self. And, you know.... some of these value systems could be completely irrational, but most of them probably have some valid points on certain issues; but without reason guiding them, they're basically just an arbitrary collection of values based on 'mixed premises', as AR would say. And so the people who adopt these systems, also without reason to fundamentally guide their thinking, are unable to untangle the good from the bad in their chosen belief systems. Anyway, thanks to everyone again for the replies, and for making me feel welcome here!
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