Rich Engle

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Posts posted by Rich Engle

  1. Is capitalism compatible with individual rights? Is Christianity? If yes, then why not with each other?



    Like this is a Major Question. Heavens. Are they down to just drawing stuff out of a cup? Next up: (Actually, I had a lot of jokes for this but thinking about it just got me sickers . . .OK, OK, how about, um, "Do We Still Exist, Even Knowing That Most People Don't Know We Do? A! A! A=A!) The Typewriter Told Me To<---see upcoming novel.

    Breakout Seminars:

    1. Ayn Rand Had Nice Legs, And I'll Tell You Why (Jim Bakker)

    2. Dentures: Why Aristotle approved, even though George Washington didn't yet invent them (Peikoff)

    3. I Live Out West and I'm still Ugly as Shit (Hsieh)

    4. Bob Campbell: You don't want to stay here long; at least those of you who are conscious--I have a detonator and a parachute.

    I hope this happens, I really do:


    And I hope they go for the low hanging fruit.


    I'm Not Bitter: I Just Do Good Schtick

  2. Well, the shitty ones in both camps have a lot in common. And that is the grease that makes it go, no?

    They could BBQ together, and share things. Very special things. Definitely, there is an intersect here.

    It depends what you mean by an Xstian. You mean those real good entrepreneur ones? Mega-Churches?

    Ah, if they sign up, they will provide an Emissary. A Soul-Reaper.

    Actually, that's not right; more like a portfolio-reaper.

    Either way, don't fuck with the real Christian Big Boys--they will suck out your eyeballs, and you will wake up the next morning, blind, yet somehow still feeling good about it.

    Sounds like a perfect Conference of the Shitheads.

    "Serious Intellectual Engagement." Oh my, oh my. I hope the Continental Breakfast doesn't give them the Screaming Shits<tm>.


    Just wear bad suits, and keep on doin'!

  3. There have been many amazing front men in rock. Freddie Mercury transcended rock.

    Freddie Mercury (Wiki)

    And, there is a lot to say about this brilliant, "beloved of God" musician. A lot. I'm not going to do an academic thing about him. If you aren't familiar, just look him up (or his group "Queen").

    I will simply point you at his opera "Barcelona" (arguably his last, and culmination work before he died) work; which he did with Montserrat Caballé.

    Happy BD, Freddie. You left it with us, with style, brilliance, and power.


  4. Fascinating discussion thread. Take this excerpt for example:

    Steve J. Shone says:

    Sharon Presley's latest outburst (or upburst?) concerning my paper on Voltairine de Cleyre adds more personal insults to those accumulated in her prior missives. So far, she has called me silly, offensive, petty, pedantic, troubling, unspeakably rude, vicious, snotty, contemptuous, a committer of sleight-of hand who misrepresents feminism and engages in anti-feminist sophistry, and a purveyor of misunderstanding, snideness, petulance, and meanness. All these barbs, none of which can be justified by reference to anything I have said, are hurled at me apparently because I commit the thoughtcrime of writing an article with which Presley does not think she will eventually agree.

    I'm frankly shocked to see such an exchange on the Libertarian Papers website.

    Why can't other internet forums be charmingly benevolent, tolerant and civil like Objectivist Living?

    What is it with people, anyway?



    it's so hard to shut up anyone these days!

    See what I mean? If only posters on other webforums would try to emulate charming OL role models like Brant.



    Having no trouble picturing GhS as an individual feminist--just keep to half-heels, for safety reasons.

  5. Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words (2010) for sure just hit Netflix in the last couple of days. If you have a subscription, there it is.

    I got it off the Roku box, "recent arrivals" via Netflix.

    It's good fill-in. Not badly done. Some new ways of putting it together, and some rare photos/footage.

    Netlix, Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words


    I just watched this for the first time. Wonderful film.

    I assume most of Rand's biographical reflections are from Barbara Branden's extensive interviews. In fact, at one point (while Rand is talking about buying the 65 cent dinner instead of the 45 cent dinner), I believe you can hear Barbara laughing in the background. Yet, despite the extensive credits at the end of the film, no mention is made of Barbara's role.

    This incessant pettiness from ARI is sickening.


    I think you are right about that laughing (and to me, that was a precious part of the film) . And, I KNOW! The Ministry of Propaganda . . . At least they avoided doing like in some bad prints of Bruce Lee's "Game of Death" where they had someone's paste-on head stuck in there. Or, more to this case, whited-out. Ding-dongs.


  6. That's a great racket, if you can pull it off.


    You now owe me five cents. Paypal is OK, I guess.

    You charge surprisingly little, Rich. Are you ... an "altruist"? :o:)

    Uh, no. Just a good entrepreneur. I'm not against some occasional sheep-shearing--I just try to not make too much of a habit out of it.

    An "altruist?" Puh--leeze! How dare you bait me! Do I look like I need chummed-for? Fuck's Sake!

    Why would you say that, Oh-Baiting-One? Are you checking my premises? Hey, by-the-way: got anything you want to get rid of? I'll be right over (assuming, of course, it is something I can make use of).


  7. To continue, rather than spike, this discussion on this level--not the point of Phil's thread--we all go read Paul Johnson as Phil has already done.

    Happy reading. :)

    It would also be helpful if you could get Phil to acknowledge that his stated source, Paul Johnson, is notoriously pro-Christian throughout his writing.

    I suspected that this was the case, but was curious to see in what direction the discussion would progress.

    I originally wanted to reply to Phil: "I recommend Karl Deschner's "Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums" ('Criminal History of Christiniaty'), but then decided against it because I don't want to enter here on this thread into a polemic bac-and-forth about the 'virtues and vices' of Christianity, during which the original question would get lost: "Why is Objectivism Not Spreading".

    So why is Objectivism not spreading? I'm very interested in your assessment on that, JR.

    No philosophical system "spreads." No philosophical system has ever "spread" or ever will. People are not philosophical. Reading and thinking about philosophy are activities engaged in by a vanishingly small segment of the population. This has always been true. I believe it always will be. Phil compares the spread of Objectivism to the spread of Christianity, but on one very important level, there is no comparison between them. The intellectual content of Christianity is minuscule; any dolt can comprehend it after ten minutes of exposure to it. Understanding Objectivism even as well as I do (and there are others who understand it far better than I) is a project that would take an intelligent person at least a few years. Most people would never be able to summon the interest even to attempt something like that. And a very large percentage of them, if they did try, would discover they were in over their heads: they simply lack the capacity to undertake such work.

    That's the reality of the situation. The idea that Objectivism (or even the comparatively much simpler libertarianism) will sweep the culture is a pipe dream. It'll never happen in our lifetimes. It'll probably never happen at all. If you're involved in this stuff, make sure it's because being involved in it is an end in itself for you - because you can't imagine not being involved, knowing what you know. If you're in it to change the world, you're heading for disillusion and despair.


    I don't think such efforts should be expended on Objectivism or even libertarianism save for addressing others so naturally minded. I'm sure millions have benefited from many facets of Objectivism without even knowing the name of the philosophy because they read Atlas Shrugged or even only knowing people who have. What is needed is to address important social issues by emphasizing individual rights philosophy as opposed to Objectivism's rational self interest. You can then say it's rational self interest--see Objectivism or not--and being rational means respecting and knowing reality as best we can by being rational, not just by bumping into things. I have just covered the essentials of Objectivism. Years of study is in the details.


    So they do spread, don't they? Hardly ever entirely intact, but they do.

  8. You've expressed your opinion about P and T and NB. I agree with much of it. I don't think they are "nihilistic." I did get the feeling they had prior issues with NB that had little or nothing to do with self esteem. Regardless, isn't it time to go on to another subject? Don't forget that in spite of your high opinion of NB, he's Objectivist-movement controversial. Self-esteem is also controversial if by that we mean a "movement." I hate that; it's so collectivist in its implications qua human psychology. It isn't politics where movement this or movement that can all be legitimate.


    I appreciate the support, Brant. I'm not 100% sure that's what you intended to convey, but that's how I'm taking it.



    Well, I think Quentin Tarantino is nihilistic--Oliver Stone not--but I'm not getting into a wrastlin' match with anyone over that! (The best contemporary director is Ron Howard, but Stone is a visual genius.)


    No, it has been and always will be Roger Corman. swamp_women_poster_03.jpg

  9. No philosophical system "spreads." No philosophical system has ever "spread" or ever will.

    Prove it.


    This oughta be good. :)

    I think he meant on toast.


    One does not prove the negative, but the positive. So the burden of proof falls on the one who asserts that philosophical systems have spread.

    It is about complete systems, not just about certain ideas taken from systems.

    Spreading by coercion and dogma are excluded as well.

    (As for the 'toast', let's save that for the one who will successfully have conducted the proof).


    not yet chilling the champagne. :)

    What? Who says? Now, he said something, and I want the dang premises, that is all.


  10. Once can really rack one's brain in the [probably vain] search of a philosophical system that has spread as a whole (without coercion).

    So it is probably only certain ideas of a system that people adopt because it suits them for some reason.

    Aristotle's Logic seems to have done quite well for itself.

    But even with the works of Aristotle, coercion was sometimes was involved on the part of his followers.

    The uncritical adoption of his work as the gold standard made it very difficult for non-Aristotelians to get their foot on the ground in academic circles.

    In his book "PI in the Sky", the physicist and mathematician John D. Barrow quotes an Oxford University statute of the 14th century where it says (I'm translating because I have Barrow's book in German):

    "Baccalaurei and magistri who are no supporters of Aristotle's philosophy have to pay a fine of five shillings if they make statements contradicting the philosophy."

    That's a great racket, if you can pull it off.


    You now owe me five cents. Paypal is OK, I guess.

  11. It's funny.

    I have supported Dennis and tangled with him. And I have supported Jeff and tangled with him.

    Maybe I should just do one side or the other. Whaddya think?

    For some reason I just can't seem to get with the program...



    Maestro, once again, as I have suggested as proper mediation many times before over the years, there is no alternative but for them other than to be on the grounds of honor at dawn, replete with thongs, and settle this the way true men due: Greco Roman-style wrestling. You are the ref--get you striped shirt all ready.


    Puking rainbows

  12. Leave it to the lame leftie to start talking about vomit when people are having fun...

    Yeah. I mean, first off, if you are planning your meals with a vomiting future in mind, well . . .

    Some things are definitely better than others. You have to consider smell, texture, how it will combine with the digestive acids. If you think you will end up doing it out of a car window, be courteous to your driver in advance and ask him what color flames he would like on the side.

    If you really want to amuse yourself, load up on a lot of multicolored jelly beans--at least that way you can put on a nice Technicolor show.

    A couple of offhand tips:

    1. For winter engagements. If you are wearing an arctic parka, make sure it is not zipped up to your nose--unzip to at least the neck level, or everything goes internal, and containment issues will occur. This was proven at a Trent Reznor concert I attended in the late eighties. The ride home cost me a few friends. You might think you are helping, you are not.

    2. No White Castle burgers (sliders). These are for AFTER--they are only used to absorb alcohol post-engagement. If you front-end it, expect results as outlined in point one.

  13. would say that the pack mentality is common in human nature, including in sports teams, nerds, Trekkies, etc,

    That just struck me as funny. :)

    You gotta wonder who the alpha Trekkie is, right? They guy with the biggest dual-core processor (A Mac, of course, of course!)? Well, actually, not necessarily a Mac. Could be a giant homemade running, of course, Linux! Deep into the Trekkie world, you go through the gates, get the keys, and maybe, just maybe get an audience with The Big Mainframe.

    I love Star Trek but man have I met some strange folks. My nerds are much more balanced, and powerful.

    sjw--character attacks? This has been looking to me like a pretty even-keeled conversation. Whatcha mean?


  14. In other words, you redefine the concept. Possibly to include traits which you personally share, so as to remake the concept into a more flattering one.

    You might be right, other than to assume I had some kind of personal stake in it. I can't think of the last time, if ever, I went to flattery--about myself, or anyone.

    ~I~ did not re-define the concept. Actually, reading down the posts once I got to this, a lot of it was explained.

    What actually happened was a matter of, well, watching how diluting works.

    But let's cut to it.

    First off, we, neglecting a-holes that we apparently are, have already managed to buy-in enough to talk about "Alphas" and "Betas," and so on

    This is herd mechanics, a la B.F. Skinner, and trust me, there have been many words shed here on this site alone to start that one up.

    I do not confuse animal behavior with highly-evolved humans. What I will do is say that, as creatures, we share certain things. I mean, this is really primal shit, here.

    What I do not like is watching how researched things (behavioral stuff, in this case) gets washed down to people who bandy it around without knowing what they use. "Language is a virus, from outer space." --William Burroughs

    So we probably would have been better off not using the "alpha male" thing as a springboard in the first place, given that it now has a more populist meaning, in addition to the more scientific meaning that people like Skinner, etc. ascribed to it.

    I guess, you know, it is useful if you go into a bar and want to make a quick analysis. But, for our supposedly higher, loftier purposes, it won't work. I mean, would any of us truly benefit from, were we to meet face-to-face, that is, any of us coming in from analyzing the herd, the alphas? This and related terms are now thrown around like a cheap Taiwanese whore.

    Plus, if you start talking those terms, you will sure influence the behavior around you (if you are good) and worse yet, maybe even start acting that way--and that makes you a real nub, doesn't it? The next thing you know, you'll be upgrading your bling, taking a few buttons down off your shirt, and doing The Strut. Do you want to be that kind of an asshole? I don't, and I won't.


  15. ... he blamed all the recent natural disasters on this being a "fallen world".


    That argument has been around since the beginning of religion.

    It ain't going anywhere.

    The worst part is that the poor dude probably believed what he was saying.


    Ignorance is bliss. Oh man, I have to add this. The prayer was battered with King James English, as though it makes the prayer more presentable to God. "we thank thee oh lord for whatsoever thou hast givenest ustestest" Really they should be getting up there and speaking Hebrew.

    What denomination? Just curious as to the monkeys in question. Or take your parents to a Unitarian Universalist church. They should find that thought-provoking. And maybe even horrifying, but for the wrong reasons. You'd like it--it is fun. They have lots of atheists there, and everything. Rand readers. And if you go to one with a not-too-old congregation, very hot pagan chicks. Even if not, usually a very fine collection of intellectual, well-maintained cougars.

    Best of luck with the studies.


    Payback is a bitch.

  16. Actually, I would say that the heroic male characters in her books are in fact "alpha males;" simply more of what I consider the real thing and less of the stereotypical. There's a lot more to coming out on top of a pack than sniffing your armpit and such. At least in the modern sense of it. Heavy masculinity does not preclude being rounded.

    Look at Heinlein's characters, as an example. Same thing. It's the "strong, sensitive" (and piercingly intelligent) type. :)