Rich Engle

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Posts posted by Rich Engle

  1. Les Brown on Religion and Hell

    I was watching a video of Les Brown just now and he said something worth quoting. I will embed the video below--there are actually 2--if anyone is interested in hearing this fascinating man be interviewed.

    The quote deals with religion and spirituality, which I realize is seen with a lot of suspicion by atheists. However, I fully resonate with the spirit of what he said. I believe we could easily transpose this message to something more Rand-like. Before that, here is the quote:

    Religious people are afraid of going to hell, and spiritual people have been there.

    That hits around 8:49 in the first video.

    So now for something formatted better for our neck of the woods.

    How about this?

    Dogmatic Objectivists are deathly afraid of being wrong, and independent thinkers interested in Objectivism have screwed up big-time and fixed it.

    I know, I know. No rhythm. No brevity. It's kinda clunky. Not good for bouncing around the phonological loop in our brains, so it's hard to remember.

    But it's off the top of my head, I don't have much time right now, and it rings true. Maybe I'll work on it someday and put a spit shine on it.

    At least it's a hell of a lot better than another quote by Les Brown from the second video (around 3:06):

    Life is like a roll of toilet tissue. The closer you get to the end, the faster it runs out.

    :)

    Here are the videos. Les is being interviewed by Ariane de Bonvoisin for a program (or something) called "Change Nation."

    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/R312Lszc4b0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/s6EmH-XmZEo?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    I watched this because I literally stumbled across it looking for something else. I had already heard of Les Brown, but I have never heard him speak. This was my first time.

    You can bet that I will be looking at some of his other stuff.

    Michael

    Oh, he's great. Nothing like a creative evangelist. Quote one has some truth to it. Although, not ALL. Some people actually come out spiritual and stay that way, but it is a minor percentage. William James talks about the once born and the twice born, something along that line it goes. Quote two he got from a very old joke book or heard in a bar, or something.

    Essentially, he's talking about self-actualization, and I believe that is key. To be the man I never was.

    I was so heavily immersed in this area. Zig, Robbins. I saw Les Brown do a keynote somewhere at one of these things, I forget where, maybe a Brian Tracy seminar or whatever, and he was a great icebreaker.

    But there was a time when I had to break away from all this. My wife, too. Not long ago we took what was a HUGE library of motivational/self-improvement books and gave them away. I don't read any of this stuff any more and I never will.

    He's full of life, that one.

  2. That's one thing that I really love about Objectivist gurus like Peikoff, and guru-wannabes like Comrade Sonia. In their minds, their having studied Objectivism apparently somehow makes them experts in every field, and, despite having no education or training in the relevant fields, and despite their very public histories of being the absolute worst human beings in the world at "human relationships," and despite not really having anything that would actually qualify as a "career" in the real world, they're completely confident in believing that others should be flocking to them for advice on such subjects, and even paying for the advice!

    Well, here is a treat for you, from the dawn of time, a skimped-out-on-visuals regurge of a radio interview with Mary Ann Sures: "What Is Art?" . . . Jonathan, part one of four!

    Onward, Objectivism, to the technological advances of the splendid 20th Century!

    Thanks, Bill. That's just deliciously pitiful.

    Heh. Did you know that Rand is the only philosopher who has ever defined art?! I didn't know it! In fact, I was pretty sure that I had seen dozens of philolophers' definitions of art, but I must be mistaken because Sures says that Rand was the only one (at about 5:02 into the clip), so it must be true!!!

    Absolutely pathetic.

    J

    This whole thing about objective vs. subjective art is simple, yet severely misunderstood. And it goes back very, very far in human history.

    I always liked how Gurdjieff talked about it. Here: Gurdjieff on Objective Art

    Extract:

    “The difference between objective art and subjective art is that

    in objective art the artist really does ‘create,’ that is he makes what he intended, he puts into his work whatever ideas and feelings he wants to put into it. And the action of this work upon men is absolutely definite; they will, of course each according to his own level, receive the same ideas and the same feelings that the artist wanted to transmit to them. There can be nothing accidental either in the creation or in the impressions of objective art.

    In subjective art everything is accidental. The artist, as I have already said, does not create; with him ‘it creates itself.’ This means that he is in the power of ideas, thoughts, and moods which he himself does not understand and over which he has no control whatever. They rule him and they express themselves in one form or another. And when they have accidentally taken this or that form, this form just as accidentally produces on man this or that action according to his mood, tastes, habits, the nature of the hypnosis under which he lives, and so on.”

  3. Thanks, Bill. That's just deliciously pitiful.

    Not all of his 36 Youtube videos are mere audio + photo. Some have the Dour Doctor young and fresh and vibrant, sounding just like Preston Manning, wearing what we used to call Hockey Hair. Here's fifteen minutes of delight, from the last century, with a stunning 28 views:

    Good God! If I hadn't been assiduously avoiding him for decades this crap would have been dumped on me. This is the first time I've ever seen a blackboard used as an argument from authority. And his voice! He didn't sound so horrible 40 years ago. People paid money for this and then thought they'd got their money's worth? I suspect there was a drastic petering out of the paying customers. Philosophy as a ton of lead.

    --Brant

    I watched a minute or two--did it get any better?

    I saw this a long time ago, along with most of whatever you could get your hands on. Speaking of whatever you can get your hands on, the real horror question is not what he's doing with his left hand--clearly, he was wearing the loose pants on purpose; so he could dive in and play a rousing game of "pocket pool." Sinister, Dexter. He had it all going on. I would've gone for a dark colour of trousers, in case of the embarrassing stain. But there was probably little risk of that.

    rde

    Jump ball over the two to sink the one in the left corner pocket.

  4. Art is whatever the fuck I say it is.

    There's a good reason for that. It has to do with honoring the creative impulse, the flow. Crap is better than Soviet Realism or Nazi butalism.

    --Brant

    rules can be helpful and informative but not chains

    Yup.

    rde

    Still wondering about what kind of cream.

  5. After listening to a bit of that video it is obvious Peikoff is not senile today unless he was senile then.

    As for Sures, I'm glad I didn't spend any money on her art course at NBI.

    --Brant

    Senile dementia, or whatever he has, can only improve what was. I mean, at least you get a few more funnies out of it. He bursts, right? I can only imagine his house-servant/wife requests.

    "After you're done emptying my Secret Colostomy bag and submitting it for the DNA research, hit the music genome project and upload my mix tape 1 (cassette) . . .you know, the one where I made the kewl transition from "Who Stole the Kishka" to Beethoven's Heroica... yeah, that bitch rocked. But hurry, because you have to put The Cream on me after that."

    rde

    Art is whatever the fuck I say it is.

  6. Phil is saying he ate a whole fucking bunch of Taco Bell<tm> and is getting ready to clog the entire Florida sewage system. Mad Ninja power! Phil:

    "What I'm saying is that 23,000 lbs (of tension or compression) to support 2000 lbs makes no sense and is not what happens in the real world. "

    That is why being in the Longshoremens' Union is critically important. To your well-being, I mean. Did you ever meet guys like Unibrow Dante? If you haven't, be joyous about it. The Big P continues:

    "And I could make the numbers much worse:"

    That, I never doubted.

    rde

  7. "The Department of Innovation is about people and ideas that likely will shape the way we will live one day."

    http://blogs.smithso...-of-innovation/

    The Smithsonian put up this new website a couple weeks ago, inspired by President Obama's claim that America has reached a "Sputnik moment". Here is the logo they created for this "department":

    innov4.jpg

    Numerous comments were soon made on the blog, pointing out that the logo shows locked gears. They've since updated the logo, so now it looks like this:

    InnovationBlogPost.jpg

    Oh, the ironies! There's just too many, where to begin? Particularly that Obama referenced Sputnik, an achievement of Soviet science.

    Oh, my.

  8. I was just being sloppy in my searches.

    Behold, Again: The Fortress of Philitude!

    I suggest you all review the Holy Scripture, nay, Phil-ture. I know I am, just so I don't repeat myself. Still, though, a brief extract is in order. Oh, I used to have such fire . . .

    But he is gone now, and if we look towards the Coates Place, and see it with the right kind of eyes, we know that we are all, all of us, poorer for it. We know that our relentless efforts at softening him, those savagely endless blows of meat tenderizing mallets being used as million-pound shithammers, were all in vain. Near the end, he was transforming himself into a different, lighter-hearted Phil--transcending from his traditional (and loyally-served) position as a punching bag into a true (if slightly musty) bon vivant.

    I am a spiritual man, but not one borne of petty superstitions. Even so, it would not surprise me at all (indeed, it would bring a joyous tear to my eye) were he to rebirth himself at some future time--walking back out from The Light with a new, deeper, Holier insight. And new ways to correct our grammar and manners, as well.

    the-burning-bush.jpg

    rde

    He Has Risen, and Revealed.

  9. It's funny to me the whole thing came up at all. We watch a lot of horror over here. Shoot, all the way down the the oldest of the old. Centipede came up on Netflix, and I gave it fifteen minutes. That's what you can do with a lot of modern horror flicks.

    Anyway, I didn't like the idea in the first place, meaning that it was kitsch in a place where that is hard to define. I thought what I saw of it was pretty much shit <---joke.

    You have to try harder than that to do a good B or general horror film. I just didn't like what I saw and I bailed. My bad. Stupid idea, though.

    r

  10. They're giving away $25,000? But you have to describe how you use Miracle Whip??

    Meaning, in turn, you'd actually have to eat Miracle Whip???

    Some things aren't worth $25,000.

    There is a rampantly lunatic and evil force at loose in the world, and it must be destroyed.

    Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion. ~ Ambrose Bierce

    And some Objectiv-ish types, too. ~ SR

    I know. It's a comedy piece waiting to be written. If I weren't so busy, I might submit some Whip Erotica to them.

    Now, I will say that the Olivio stuff made with olive oil isn't bad.

  11. As an Objectivist movie review, this article shall look at two factors; 1) the cinematic merits and flaws of the film, and 2) its philosophical content.

    Good review, but those up there were your first two mistakes. This is highly-evolved (?) subculture stuff, and subjecting it to those considerations will only make you cry. Or at least throw up in your mouth a little bit.

    Now, if you want to see a real amazing turd, check out "The Astral Factor" (1976). I managed to see about as best a cut as you can see over at pub-d-hub (which is basically goes through Roku). Oh my, it is a real piece of work that one. You can kind of get a treatment here:pub-d-hub astral factor

    Not to be confused with the later stuff by the same name. Oh, this one is a real stinker.

    r

  12. Nice piece. You might be better off without the disclaimer--if you're going to write humor, guns forward, no apologies.

    Rich,

    Thanks! Glad you liked it. The disclaimer was there because, well, some people that are unfamiliar with my Op-Ed style will at times criticize the work under the impression that I was trying to write a relatively dry treatise (a certain audience in particular had this reaction). I didn't have trouble with this at the ALS blog, but there most people are familiar with the kind of commentary I do.

    Would you like me to put this on my blog? I was thinking of asking you.

    Feel absolutely welcome to do so.

    Again, very good read!

    r

    And again, thanks! :)

    Oh, don't worry about your op ed style. Point the gun, shoot it. If you don't ruffle feathers, you're not doing anything. If someone doesn't doesn't like you, you wrote a shit article. OK, I'll put it up this morning--I'm working on a substantial piece, real big thing, so this would be the perfect time to share you in.

    Best!

    r

  13. An_Ostrich_with_Its_Head_Buried_In_the_Sand_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_100613-235954-065009.jpg<<<<Phil's formal lesson on answering ND's question.

    The real, basic problem with Phil is his intrinsic elitism. Nobody else matters intellectually. Ayn Rand seemed to have the same problem, with much more reason, but in many circumstances she still had a lot of grace--a very big and complicated person. Unlike Phil, she never went out of her way to display her brains. OL is quite out of the way for basic problems in complucatable physics.

    --Brant

    He needs a good mouthpiece to get out of this one and I have just the guy:

  14. (Sort Setup) These are some of my issues with the philosophy:

    First, this Selfishness vs. Altruism thing: I know what Rand considers true altruism, and I agree that 0 reward mindset is wrong, to suppress compassion and good feelings for the sake of selflessness goes against what makes us human. But on the flipside selfishness can be just as destructive; someone psychotic would be a selfish individual. So how come Altruism is the root of all evil in the world? What I see is two mindsets that if taken to the extreme, can be very destructive while here it's only one.

    Second, everyone that disagrees with Ayn Rand is either immoral or stupid?: This is the one that truly bothers me, I'll use this Objectivist Podcast 'Rational Public Radio' that I listened to. I listened to a full years-worth of their archive and for the most part it goes like this: Democrats Evil, Obama Evil, Muslims Evil Stupid Evil Stupid, Evil, Nazi's, Nazi's Nazi's. One of the hosts of this show even went so far as to say that anyone supporting a socialist party deserves to die if a nutcase highjacks it. I actually know one of those evil socialists and she isn't all that bad. When I talk with her at work her philosophies almost never come up, but without knowing much about her beliefs she seems like a decent person, I wouldn't consider her any dumber or evil than she is now regardless of wether she was a Communist or a Capitalist. I tend to reserve the word 'Immoral' for people that are knowingly and gleefully hurting others, not someone who wishes society should be run a certain way.

    Third, this whole Global Warming Thing: Ok this point annoys the shit out of me, because I assume as 'Rational Individuals' an Objectivist SHOULD have a leg to stand on when he claims everything we're being fed about man-made global warming is a pack of lies. This one hurts me rationally. I know enough to trust Science as our collective understanding of truth in the world. The trouble is Objectivists tend to be smart individuals and it's hard for me to write them off along with the guy I see at work every day claiming the The New World Order built the Hotel across the highway to 'spy on us'. Yet apparently theirs a Global Warming conspiracy and a lot of evil Bio scientists our there. Whats the ratio of the correct scientists that agree vs disagree that global warming is man made, and if disagree is higher why?

    (and Finish) I'd like to here some responses to them, am I characterizing Objectivism correctly when I ask or am I missing something?

    Answers:

    1: Yes

    2: Yes

    rde

    Problems solved.

  15. Milton Friedman, like Alan Greenspan, was a monetarist, a variant on Keynesian economics dominant since before WWII, now coming to an ignominious blow-up, world-wide. There could be another 5-10 years of debt destruction and depression. The contradiction between monetarism and freedom is the socialization of the money supply through central banking. Money is the life-blood of economics going everywhere there is economic activity beyond bartering and dumpster diving and hunter-gathering and slash and burn agriculture. All the de-regulation Greenspan supported that has blown up in our faces contradicts what he was doing as head of the Fed. and is why it blew up.

    What's going on will likely not be the end of central banking and government monopoly of money, but the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next, as happened during the great depression of the 1930s. We will probably get a real big war thrown into the mix too boot.

    --Brant

    Thank you.

  16. Something is rotten in the state of Philmark<tm>:

    Phil has chosen to change my avatar over to his spectral image shot. He sent me an email:

    Do not smite me. I accuse thee witch. Remember the Salem trials, motherfucker--I hanged hard on that one, and I can do that again, fuck-face: that was the 1600's. I kicked ass then, and you can only imagine what technology (I call it Philnology, as will my masses) has done at my bequest since then. I will serve Thee math problems. I will correct Thine thoughts. I will foul your wenches (the rest breaks off to a series of symbols, weird audio files of chanting, and some kind of offer to join the Church of the Sub-Genius; I asked those guys about it and they so far haven't found anything--ED)

    Apparently It has taken over a number of servers. This is some really funky shit, folks. Hide your women and chillun's.

    rde

    On his way to Wally World to get some shotgun shells and a few things to barricade the quarters.

  17. I'm going to have to carefully think through each of your points to make sure I understand and agree.

    Phil, you know I like you, and you should know I am glad to have lots and lots of folks 'back' on OL, and so am glad to have you back . . . but in my opinion you should give serious thought to answering a question that lurks in several minds.

    When you stopped posting earlier this year, you wrote (indicating MSK), "I will never post on your site again."

    Now you are back posting.

    The questions lurking will not go away, but will reemerge in different forms over time, I think. So, my friendly advice to you is to address the disjuncture between the 'never' post and the present physics thread. Just do it. Just ask yourself, "Hmmm, big guy, why are you posting on OL again after storming off?" And then answer. Each time you are again addressed with what is a pretty basic question, and each time that you ignore the question, the disjuncture becomes deeper and deeper.

    So, cut to the chase and please just answer the question in a way that satisfies you.

    I doubt very much MSK will enter and question you about this, since he doesn't really give a shit one way or the other what you do, but would it not seem strange to you if the positions were reversed, if MSK had stormed off your forum?

    Phil transcends all boundaries. He swoops down like the Roman God that he is. Don't press him for explanations, or you will be smitten. Well, more likely pounded into a catatonic condition of some sort. There are no human laws for this, unless Phil<tm> says so. Be grateful for the Presence of Phil<tm>. How dare you question him. You should be asking him what he likes--various types of sweetmeats, fruit, and so on--then send it to him.

    You should be saying: "Welcome back, O Sultan of Shifting Rules."

    Phil has died, and Phil Has Risen. With a physics problem. Fuck yeah.

    I urge you all to visit the Temple of Phil that I created here. Remember his funeral? It was magnificent--but only as much as we could manage.

    I, for one, am joyous and worshipful. Remember this Golden Moment, courtesy of Peter Taylor?

    Phil was told,Phil, you *are* a hypocrite.

    and Phil replied:

    Up yours, cunt.

    rde

    You want fries with that, Phil?