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Everything posted by Focus

  1. One of the best things about Porcupine Tree is that, unlike many progressive rock bands, he doesn't masturbate with his guitar for the length of a song. I mean, I have nothing against guitar solos, but stuff like Dream Theater and Mahavishnu Orchestra sound much more like circus acts than they do actual art. I have nothing against being a virtuoso, but when it gets in the way of the art, it bores me to death.
  2. Focus


    Don't hold me to all the details, but I heard somewhere that one of the most effective ways of getting information in World War II was taking the enemy out to steak dinners.
  3. I am pretty sure Sagan did not adhere to Objectivism or anything like it. He was an agnostic, and I am pretty sure he would not have promoted Rand's ethics.
  4. I go to a religious school, so I end up being attracted to religious girls all the time. There was one that I was in love with, but nothing really happened between us. I was particularly attracted to the fact that she was driven and somewhat prideful in her endeavors. She was one of those Christians that is rational in every area of her life except in areas where God would overlap. She was more of a moderate liberal, but I thought I could ignore that and instead focus on the aspects of her which were outstanding. She considered herself a freethinker, which greatly upset me because of the irony behind that statement, but at the same time it attracted me because at least there might have been some sort part of her that wanted to get away from the fuzzy and confusing explanations that make up Christianity. I find women like this to be the worst kind to be attracted to. Especially if they still have that "untouchable God area" of their life, which will exist no matter what. You think you are getting something good, but since you differ on a core issue, you still feel some sort of isolation in relation to them. They are similar enough for one to have strong feelings for, but the hopes end up being too high to be met. I think that the cores of each party's worldview have to be similar in order to gain the most happiness out of a relationship. Don't get me wrong, relationships which consist of two different cores can still exist and be rewarding, but I don't think they can be as rewarding as one where the cores are the same. I don't think any emotional attraction can last long enough to disguise the women for who she really is, especially for someone who holds reality so highly as an Objectivist. Somewhere down the road the religious side of her life might show its ugly head.
  5. I haven't read his critiques yet. I have read Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Prolegomena for Future Metaphysics, and a bit of Religion Within the Bounds of Reason Alone. Kant is hard work to read, and I understand that it is even harder if you don't start with his introductions. Both Groundwork and Prolegomena are great places to start with Kant. They were made with accessibility in mind, but they are still a lot of work to read through. When I read Kant, I need to read slow. I can only digest so much before my head feels like it is about to explode. At this point it is best to stop because I probably won't take in anything more. I usually play around with the concepts during this time to make sure I have a full grasp. When I feel I am ready, I move on. Eastern philosophy is more like poetry. I wouldn't call Yates philosophy, though I think that he does philosophize. I apply the same principle to Eastern philosophy, where the majority of it is poetry.
  6. I know that this may not be hot among some here, but I enjoy reading stuff that challenges my views. I enjoy reading Kant and even Eastern "philosophy" because they ask fun questions I reject what they both say, but their works address questions that are fun to think about. Eastern philosophy has a poetic aspect to it, which I really enjoy. Alan Watts is a pretty funny guy if you are willing to get past the mysticism. With that said, I am currently reading The Metaphysics by Aristotle and I love it. I couldn't really explain what "metaphysics" really was, so I decided I would look at its beginning. Aristotle is hard to read, and you have to take your time, but it really pays off in the end.
  7. Why did you love Dancer in the Dark? I am not asking that as if I think there is no value in it, but it is such a depressing story. In the end evil prevails over good, and it isn't for the sake of warning like a tragedy would be. The only enjoyment I really found in it was the music, and the fact that Bjork was in it.
  8. Focus


    Karnivool is an Australian rock band that mixes the elements of bands like Tool, Meshuggah, and Porcupine Tree. They aren't a groundbreaking band by any means. However, their music is just really good. It is stripped of the pretension that some of their influences tend to have (aka. Tool). I have never listened to their earlier albums, but I know that their most recent Sound Awake, which was released in June 2009 in Australia and February 2010 here in the US, is an amazing album. The whole album carries an anti-religious tone, but it doesn't endorse mysticism in the process either. If you want to hear some of their music I would suggest watching some of their live performance here: http://moshcam.com/karnivool/metro-theatre-604.aspx If you feel like only listening to one, I would recommend the last song. Has anyone else here heard of them?
  9. In one part of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals Kant states that it is rational to pursue one's own happiness and that we should view ourselves as our own ends. How to achieve happiness is a big difference in Rand and Kant. Reasoning one's way to happiness is against Kant's ideas. In the beginning of the first section he states that reason is only meant to be our way of rewarding ourselves for accomplishing something, He tries to argue that if nature wanted us to secure our happiness then instincts would work better than reason. Rand states that man is to reason his way to happiness whereas Kant would believe that one finds his happiness in submitting to duty. Just in case it matters at all, my version of Groundwork was translated by Thomas Abbott.
  10. I definitely agree. Porcupine Tree doesn't bombard you with altruism either. I can't recall a song promoting self-sacrifice, though I have only heard as far back as Signify and I have not gotten too deep into their lyrics.
  11. Has anyone heard the new Porcupine Tree album, The Incident? On it there is a song called The Blind House, which is anti-religion. It is a pretty beautiful song.
  12. I really don't see how someone can just say that masturbation is completely immoral. If you look at it as the highlight of your day (American Beauty reference) then that would be immoral. If it gets in the way of your happiness at all then it is immoral. Masturbation allows one to keep his sexual stress low. If you view it in that light then I don't see how it can be wrong.
  13. He can agree with Peikoff's ideas on how to handle the situation. Why he agrees with them is what is so crucial. I present a video: Is that how you handle an argument?
  14. I thought the movie was hilarious. The acting was great and the characters were memorable. I really don't think you can say the movie completely clashes with Objectivist values when one of the main characters makes sure that evil is punished. Plus, I don't think that you are supposed to just think that all the gore he uses is cool. You kind of just laugh at it because he makes it into a joke scenario.
  15. Here is some of the music I am referring to. I can only link to last.fm and myspace because I am not sure whether their youtube videos are copyrighted or not. Swans: Swans Sonic Youth: Sonic Youth - Silver Rocket Melt Banana: Melt Banana
  16. No Wave and Noise Rock music are probably not what Ayn Rand would have liked. I reason this based on the fact that I think I remember Dagny Taggart saying that atonal music is bad in Atlas Shrugged. Now I have not read The Romantic Manifesto so bear with me. From what I understand, Rand believes that the best kind of art is art that is uplifting. Noise Rock and No Wave music are not really uplifting, and for a reference you can listen to just about any song by the Swans. The general feeling one will probably get from these genres is confusion, but with a band like Sonic Youth that confusion is mixed with a punk song. The lyrics and the artists are influenced by post-modernists, something I dread, but I still have a liking for this music. Basically, I want to understand why Ayn Rand's position on art is that the best is the kind that lifts one's self-esteem. Wouldn't the best art be the art that is the best means to one's own end? I mean, I love No Wave because it helps me enter a state of deep thought, kind of like when I am playing chess. Minimalist post-rock music generally gives me the same feeling, such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor. All these artists are all anarchists and post-modernists who deny reason and such, yet there music is more appealing to me than any "romantic" artist I have ever heard. Am I listening wrong?
  17. I've got Unquestionable Presence. It is a great album. Aren't Atheist back working on a new album? A tour with Cynic is all I hope for. You also have Pestilence who are reuniting. There needs to be an Athiest/Pestilence/Cynic tour because I wasn't old enough at the time to see them, nor was I into any form of extreme metal (I am only 16). Also, I guess folk/blues would be much more accurate. A lot of the soft stuff is blusey and everything, so that is how I tame to my conclusion.
  18. Are there any prog metal bands that have the folk/jazz influence that Opeth does and own Opeth at the same time? No. I wouldn't go as far to say this. Also for anyone interested in Cynic: http://www.myspace.com/cyniconline
  19. I love Opeth. They are one of my favorite bands. Personally Burden is my favorite song of theirs or possibly The Drapery Falls. By the way, if you are into progressive death metal I would reccommend listening to Cynic's album Focus, and then getting their album that came out two days ago, Traced in Air. Really good stuff. Apparently they were the first progressive death metal band, though I would give that title to Atheist, with Unquestionable Presence, or Death, with Human.
  20. Skepticism was the Greek philosophy that one cannot know anything except by his own senses. I think that there also was the offshoot of skeptics who said that even our senses can't be trusted so we can't know anything. Either way, that is the true definition of skepticism. People have also corrupted the definition of "Cynic" which has almost nothing to do with what we have made it to be.
  21. I am not saying lyrics are dumb or anything like that. I am just arguing that music and lyrics are different things. You can listen to the music and the lyrics if you want to. Personally I listen to the music, then listen to the lyrics. The only exception is rap and grime, where I treat it more like poetry with background music. No matter how lyrics make you feel lyrics are not part of the music. They are not music. They are separate things. They can be appreciated at the same time, I guess, but that doesn't mean they are one.
  22. I am fine with that. I am just telling you how most people look at it. It is kind of like the English language. Most people use the word, "idiot" to mean "a foolish or stupid person" (as said by M-W). You can go ahead believing that it is a way to address those of good character, but it won't get you anywhere. My main point of my previous post was to differentiate lyrics and music and why someone can't say they are listening to the music if all they do is interpret the lyrics.
  23. Music is made up of sounds. Lyrics are not sounds. They are words. If I lay poetry down on a table in front of you, does it make any sound? No. Lyrics are not music. When you are paying attention to music, that means you are paying attention to sounds, not trying to make out the words of the vocalist. In some genres like, hip-hop and grime, lyrics are pretty much the most important factor of the song and therefore you are supposed to listen to the lyrics more than the music. In punk music, the main focus is not the lyrics. Especially not in emo. If you want to worry about the lyrics, there are many web sites where you will find them. If you want to listen to music, then pay attention to the sounds. Do you listen to any Neil Perry?
  24. I would somewhat agree, but Fugazi, from what I have heard has been considered post-hardcore. Though I don't listen to them much, nor do I talk about them with people much. Still a pretty sweet band. Anyways, I would agree that Punk and Hardcore are the only distinctions you need. The thing is that a lot of people will say that emo is too different from hardcore to be just termed hardcore. Emo itself has waves. The first wave is pretty much just hardcore. The second wave was that same hardcore, but it was influenced by post-rock bands like Mogwai. The newer stuff is mostly just second wave stuff and some new stuff that we haven't heard before. So, emo does differ from hardcore, but if you say you dislike all emo then you would have to say you dislike most hardcore because the earlier stuff was pretty much pure hardcore.
  25. Emo is short for Emotive Hardcore. All music has emotion. Therefore, the "emotive" in emotive hardcore is useless and a waste of space. That makes it hardcore. I mean look at what is called, "happy hardcore." You would say, "well it isn't really relating to this certain emotion so..." This, however, would make no sense because the first emo band sounds no different then most hardcore bands: Rites of Spring Emo is just a term for bands influenced by DC hardcore. A couple hands hijacked the genre and turned it into a fashion show. Now everyone says it is bad because it is people that are whining. The thing is, if you have a problem with that, then you must have a problem with blues, a ton of jazz, a lot of punk that isn't considered emo (i.e. Joy Division), and post-rock. For future reference, I like something in every musical genre I can find. As long as I can feel passion or soul in it, I like it. Hence, why bands like Dream Theater I hate, even though they are pretty talented when it comes to playing instruments.
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