• Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by emb021

  1. Devers & Rand. Yes, that's the source for the comment by Rand that 'NB was smiling too much'. I read the item on Branden's website. I don't yet have MYWAR.

    Let me try to re-iterate my question regarding the Peikoff pics.

    On the ARI site (and especially in the AR Bookstore), most of the pictures of the authors are posed shots. Peikoff's are all candidate shots of him laughing/smiling.

    Do these pictures represent a true image of Peikoff, or were they choosen to give the impression of LP being a really nice and friendly guy (giving, if you will, a 'friendly face' to O'ism) when he's really not?

  2. Here are some books by Objectivists that seek to extend Rand's thought (rather than simply elaborate on it, such as books by Tara Smith) --

    1. Kelley, Evidence of the Senses;

    2. Binswanger, Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts;

    3. Peikoff, The Ominous Parallels.

    Can anyone think of any more?

    Oh, no no no! There is no extending Rand's thought, don't you know! Objectivism is perfect as is.

    (sorry, couldn't help it :) )

    While I have yet to get them, wouldn't 2 other works by Kelley be part of this: Unrugged Individualism and A Life of One's Own. As well as Kelley's Art of Reasoning.

    Would Reisman's Capitalism be considered?

  3. I think Rand was harsh on altruism (as Michael explains it-- a moral doctrine) because she experienced so much of it in its institutionalized, fully-evolved form. I agree with Michael's definition of altruism, which I consider to be a racket run by politicians and certain religious institutions.

    The thing that gets missed by some Objectivists is just as was said earlier-- if giving/helping/whatever gives you pleasure, achieves your purposes, that's in your self-interest. Instead, some go to the other side. There's good selfishness and there's stupid selfishness. The overly-selfish end up being just as ineffective as the uninformed selfless type.

    Rand was, to my mind, pretty clear on how she defined altruism. Yes, her definition uses the term to define , specific type, if you will, of altruism.

    For me, I've always used 'altruism' in her sense, and separate it from other forms of service/benevelence/help, etc. As others have noted in this thread.

    I have to say that Rich is right in that too many O'ist don't fully get it, which I blame partially on Rand's personality. Her 'harshness' and strident view of altruism too often seems to color how some O'ist behave. (they don't seem to be able to separate the philosophy of Rand from her personality/behavior). And the sad part is that many outside of O'istm have picked up on this and view O'ism and thus O'ist in a negative light of being self-centered in the extreme, care only for themselves, and would never help others.

    Sort of a view that an O'ist would walk right past someone lying in the street hurt, because helping them would be altruistic, and altruism is evil.

  4. Here's a partial list

    I disagree with the following Objectivist ideas and derivatives thereof

    d) Dismissal of altruism

    Where to start? Thoughts?

    Let me just touch on this one.

    For me, 'altruism' is the forced service/sacrifice of others. I separate them from 'doing good' or 'doing service' or 'help others' because YOU wish to do so.

    Ex: forcing kids to do service work to graduate. That's altruism and that's wrong. As opposed to encourging kids to do service work because they think its the right thing to do, and allowing them to decide what, if any, service they will do. That's not altruism.

  5. The Lord of the Rings series. I got through the Fellowship of the Ring, but for some reason, I put The Two Towers down and didn't pick it up again. I might try again though, and I thought the movies were pretty good.

    Hmmm. I read the trilogy and the Hobbit.

    HOWEVER, what happened is I read the Hobbit straight thru. Started into Fellowship of the Rings and got about 2/3rds of the way and gave up. Later came back, finished it, got partway into Two Towers and again gave up. Again, came back, finished it, got partway into Return of King, and gave up. Again, came back and finished Return.

    Bought Silmarilion. Tried to read it, never could get into it. I've bought many of the tie in books (other by Tolkein, the stuff his son edited, etc).

    I keep meaning to re-read the trilogy, but haven't.

  6. Keep in mind that "300" is Frank Miller's version of the story, '300 Spartans'. The movie was based visually on what Miller did in his graphic novel. The look of the Spartans, Perseans, etc, was his.

    Wonder what Miller thinks of the accusation???

  7. Somethings been bugging me about Leonard Peikoff.

    I have to say I find it a bit, well, strange that all is pictures over at ARI (especially in their bookstore) are of Peikoff smiling/laughing/grinning. None are what I call 'serious' pictures.

    I recall in PAR of a late conversation between AR & BB that AR complained to BB that NB was 'smiling too much' on an tv interview. Most of the tv interviews of AR, she is very serious. Almost too much so.

    So I have to wonder if the pictures you see of Peikoff are some kind of careful attempt to make him seem nice and friendly. When what little I've read of him is he can be a real *ss.

    On a related note. I found it a bit strange as I've been skiming thru my recently obtained hardback collections of the Objectivist & AR Letter, that Peikoff's Ominous Parallels was really written (or started) way back in the late 60s/early 70s. The AR Letter kept saying it would be coming soon from a particular publisher. But the book never came out until 1982 (I assume after AR passed away???).

    I had also recently read Rothbard's article on the 'Ayn Rand Cult', and one thing he points out is that all of her followers never published any books while part of the 'cult', only afterwards. NB & BB only published after being expelled ("Who is Ayn Rand" being an exception). And now you have Peikoff not getting his first book out until after Rand passed away. While don't totally agree with Rothbard's assesment, I found that very strange.

  8. Sad, sad.

    I really liked the ORC, and found it a great source of data. For this site to be lost would be tragic. For instance, having just recently obtained the hardbound reprints of the Objectivist Newsletter, Objectivist, and the Ayn Rand Letter, I was looking forward to using the site to figure out what articles got reprinted in her books and what ones didn't.

    And I thought I had heard any the possible 'evils' of Branden... So now all the cult-like behavior of the NBI-era (as if it didn't continue afterwards), etc. etc. is all Branden's fault. Riiight.

  9. All-

    In reading thru my (new for me) hardback collection of "The Objectivist", I found out that a 501c3 foundation called "the Foundation for the New Intellectual" was formed to accept donations from Objectivist. Branden formed it and was running it, with Peikoff as a Trustee. This was just prior to the Break, afterwhich, Peikoff was in charge.

    Whatever happened to it? Did Peikoff use this Foundation to form ARI???

  10. ~ But, what the f***n' hell is 'geocaching'? Have I been deprived in life? Your 'description', Michael, is about as good as describing Spelunking as 'climbing down into a hole in the ground.' Like, whaddya DO?


    We use a multi-million dollar military satellite system to find tupperware hidden in the woods.


    go to www.geocaching.com

    its a sport/hobby were people put hidden items (caches) which can be as large as a bucket and as small as a tip of a pen (really), and give people the GPS coordinates of the location (and maybe some clues/hints) and you go find it. At a minimum, you sign a little log to say you found it. Large caches have trade items. Some add puzzles to the mix, making it harder to find the caches. Finding some caches may led you to others.

  11. has changed the title of one of her books from the title she chose for it;

    The only retitled work is "The New Left" to "Return of the Primitive". Is that the one you mean?

    he has "edited" and has allowed others to edit many of her writings

    Sad. was not aware of this.

    I was pleased when I finally got the hardback reprints of the Objectivist Newsletter, Objectivist, and ARLetter that nothing was alterted. One has to wonder if this would have happened today...

    he has changed the focus of one of her books by inserting essays by such as Peter Schwartz

    Return of the Primitive. I still have my copy from the early/mid 80s of all her works I got. No plans now to replace them with the newer editions, especially if I have to worry about 'fiddling'.

    Further, by ignoring Nathaniel Branden's and other essays in The Objectivist and The Objectivist Newsletter, by not, for instance, including them in the CD Rom sold by ARI, he has altered Objectivism, since Rand said explictly that these essays were to be considered part of Objectivism.

    AFAIK, that CD was not produced by Peikoff or ARI. The person who did create it seems firmly in the ARI side of things (see his promotion of Valliant's book on his site). Quite frankly, the absense of most non-AR works from this 'complete Objectivist CD' makes it near useless, IMO. I would have gotten it to replace my Objectivist books and avoid having to get the hardback collections of OL, O, and ARL. But it only has AR and LP on it, and that makes it incomplete. Pass.

    He has distorted the story of her life in "Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life," by pretending that Nathaniel was not an overwhelmingly important part of it. He has presented a fallacious and insulting picture of that life as one of unadulterated happiness, thus, in effect, turning Rand into a kind of Pallyanna unaffected by the opposition she faced and the tragedies she endured.

    Dispite the flaws in the PAR tv movie, the removal of important people from SOL makes it a poor 'replacement' or even 'answer' to PAR from the ARI crowd. Stupid.

  12. Sorry if this is off topic.

    In reading thru the materials of the 98 Auction (wasn't clear where all this material went. Do hope copies of materials were atleast given to ARI and TOC), I notice that Henry Holzer was the attorney that represented Barbara et al when LP tried to sue them over the auction. I was surprised by this, as he sided with AR during the split, and he had noted that he assist AR with the denuciation that ran in ''The Objectivist".

    Did Mr Holzer make amends for this? I would have been curious if he ever retracted what was written in that denunciation or the like.

  13. ~ Assuming we're talking ESPN 'athletic' type (which rules out board games like Monopoly or Chess)

    You're just watching the wrong ESPN channel. Try ESPN 8, 'The Ocho', where 'if its almost a sport, we've got it'.

    For me, I find watching a sport very boring. As to playing, well, I've never been very athletic. So that puts me off from most sports. I'm pretty decent at bowling & volleyball. (guess that's why I did them for my PE classes in college). Even was part of a volleyball team at a previous place I worked.

    Most 'sports' for me are more outdoor oriented: hiking, canoeing, snorkling/scuba diving (tho haven't done those in a while), snow skiing (ditto, because I've have to travel to a decent ski place), etc. One sport/hobby I've gotten into recently is geocaching. Combines hiking, puzzles, and 'treasure hunting' all in one.

  14. All-

    (sorry if this is the wrong forum for this)

    Does anyone know what happened to the Objectivism Reference Center at www.noblesoul.com/orc? I visited the site today, and its some generic cybersquater site. I checked google to see if its been moved. No info that it has.

    I found this a great reference site on Objectivism. Lot of great info on Rand and other objectivist writers (whoever did it was obviously not in the ARI camp, so covered everyone).

    I hope its back. It would be a lost not to have this info available.

  15. M-B:

    ~ Yes, I was aware of Lucas' being influenced by the 'cliffhanger' serials, but you seemed to imply that B-5 itself had an influence; guess you merely meant that there was merely a confluence.

    Its kind of a "A" lead to "B" which lead to "C", as well as a sort of "A" and "B" inspired/influenced "C".

    The only real affect I've seen on SF TV by Lucas has been in making SF look more viable to Hollywood. SW lead to stuff like ST:TMP (it was being planned as a new tv series, which got scrapped) and BG being done as a movie. Some of its special affects would later influence things.

    After most of the post-SW SF TV shows of the 80s died out, SF on tv was pretty much dead, until ST:TNG came around. B5 followed, and added the ideal of yearly arches and a definite ending in mind, which influenced DS9 and Voyager and Andromeda, and the new SG-1/SG Atlantis, etc. Some SF TV shows were more heavily into the idea of arches, others not.

    I'm not sure how the current crop of episodic shows (24, the new BG, Lost, etc), which seem to all come about the same time came up with the idea. But to me, its more of a continuation of the multi-part stories and season themes/arches of the recent SF shows the the Star Wars movies.

  16. After some of the comments on this thread, I decided to check out the user 'reviews' of PARC on Amazon. Most I found useless, being many PARCter 'true believer' nonsense on the book. One review slammed the book and had a response from the books publisher (wonder if it was really Valiant?).

    One theme in many of the 'reviews' was the attitude that PARC is an 'antidote' to the 'years' (their term) of the Brandens lies/slander of Rand.

    Which kind of made me wonder what the f*ck they were talking about.

    My understanding is that they were more or less silent about what happened, other then the initial response to Rand's 'letter' in the Objectivist, until they published their books (PAR and MYWAR). I know that NB has done a further work on the 'benefits/hazards of Objectivism' (which is on his site). But I have to wonder if they means something else.

  17. ~ I do agree that Valiant's style of point making leaves (in spots, quite) a bit to be desired.

    My understanding is that Valiant is a District Attorney, and uses the sort of 'prosecutorial style' that is used in court rooms. While that might work there, it doesn't work in the written medium of those outside of courts. A few reviews have made a point of his style, and have criticised it as being inappropriate.

  18. I lived in Salt Lake City for awhile -- long enough to learn quite a bit about the religion. I had a number of Mormon friends. I suppose it would depend on the particular Mormon. They're very nice people. But the religion can be extremely authoritarian. The CIA is fond of recruiting returning Mormon missionaries because the missionaries are accustomed to hard work, hard living conditions, and taking orders without question. There's quite a bit of secretiveness at the top. There have also been a number of changes, though, now that so many ex-Mormons have written exposes and word has gotten out. So -- to make a long story short -- I'd have serious reservations about it, and it would depend on the candidate.

    Kinda agree with Judith here.

    I've known many Mormons thru my involvement in Scouting (Mormons are big in scouting). Nice people, but I've learned too much about their religion and some of the goings on to ever want to join it.

    A good book on this (there are probably many more) is "Kingdom of the Cults". The author is a Christian, and takes a tack that any religious group that claims to be christian, but then deviates from mainstream/accepted christian dogma is, obviously, not really christian. He covers the Mormons and several other groups. If you ignore his premise, you can get some good critical info on the issues with mormonism et al.

  19. Healthy Picadillo

    Serve with warm low-fat flour tortillas or rice.

    Around here, this is a popular Cuban dish. Go to any decent cuban restaurant for this. My parents have made it also. Typically made with ground beef & pork (half and half).

    Traditionally, this is served with black beans and white rice. The black beans are cooked into a kind of thick 'soup', and poured over the rice. You can also get the black beans and white rice mixed together, which is called (in spanish) 'blacks and whites'. Never seen it put on tortillas. Its a little too liquidy for that, really.

    I've also never seen tomato chunks in any picadillo or raisans. Its tomato-based, and has green olives in it, and usually a bay leaf.

  20. M-Brown:

    ~ I'm familiar with the background on B-5 and JMS' intentions with a 5-year 'arc' plan (akin to Rodenberry's ST generalized idea about a '5-yr mission'). I thought it was a great idea (especially since, contra ST some aliens in B-5 were NOT 'humanoid'.) I also thought that with such a far-time plan, it would go the way of SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND and FIREFLY; all due to 'suits' using the shows as pawns for turf-fighting. Such obviously occurred.

    ~ However, I wasn't aware of the 'time' placement of both SW and B-5. You say that Lucas got his idea of making a multi-movie story from the TV-series of B-5? Could you elaborate?

    B-5 & JMS- at least JMS WAS able to achieve his 5 year plan for B5, with minimum of mucking around. Not so with some of the follow on series (read up on some of the garbage he had to deal with in Crusade...). Compare this with SAB&B and F, which didn't last a year.

    Uh, Lucas was inspired by the old 40s/50 'Chapterfilms' series in movie theaters. You may know them as cliffhangers. A lot of the concepts in SW was picked up from the old Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers stuff.

    The original Star Wars movies are all pretty much stand alone movies. Yes, some things continued, but they were standalone.

    There have been attempts at doing 'cliffhanger'-style shows on TV. Most have failed, except for maybe Soap Operas. Even 'novella' style shows haven't gone well on American tv, do to, apparently, being daily rather then weekly. [novellas are popular on hispanic tv, and have clear storylines with begining, middle, and and ending, with episodes each weekday. A series will usually run about 6-8 months, and end]

    ST:DS9 was running around the time of B-5. (there are claims that a lot of the ideas of DS9 were ripped off from B-5, considering that JMS showed Paramount his ideas...). You started to see 2-3 parters in DS9, and overarching ideas like the Dominion War. These ideas of overarching themes continued in Voyager and Enterprise.

    There are several new series which tied episodes closer together. Not just Lost, but the new Battlestar Galactica, etc. While BG does give relavent flashbacks at the begining of each episode, you miss out on a lot of stuff if you haven't watched previous shows. SG-1 and SG:Atlantis has been doing the same things to a degree, and much more in recent sessions.

  21. Yes, something about a Jewish tribe or a large family migrating from Israel to North America. This was said to have happened because they prayed and an angel came to them. They then migrated to North America writing down everything on brass tablets. While they were in North America, Jesus came to them (this was shortly after his death). I definitely agree that it sounds like a stretch, however, it also sounds pretty easy compared to Noah's trick. I am, however, not very knowledgeable past that, and that is pretty bare bones of the story so I can't say anything really. From a biblical standpoint (this is what I used on my mom when she was criticizing the religion) if Noah can pull off forty days and nights in an arc with two of each species, I'm sure the Atlantic Ocean isn't that big of a challenge. Once again that's their premise, not mine.

    There is more to the 'story' of where the "book of mormon" came from then that.

    The book of mormon gives a very detailed history of the Americas before the Europeans arrived. It speaks of empires built, and later destroyed by the Native American, etc.

    These were all written down on gold tablet in a language called "Reformed Egyptian". Maybe I should mention there is no such language?

    Joseph Smith, who had a reputation in his area (as well as his father and other relatives) of treasure hunting for non-existant treasure (even getting into trouble with the law for 'treasure scrything'), found the tablets and were able to translate them with a 'seer stone'. (later this was changes to special specticles). Once translated, the tablets and specticles disappeared. Hmmm.

    Now, say what you will about the Bible, much of what it speaks of does have historical basis. Not all, of course, but much. The Book of Mormon, btw, speaks of a lot of prehistoric info about the Americas that has NO historical basis, which has yet to every be backed up by any archaeological finds. Hmmm.

    It has been claimed that the Book of Mormon was cripped from an unpublished 'science fantasy' book speaking of lost civilization. There is a published book that some say it was an inspiration for the book. Another funny thing is the book includes scriptures taken from the Bible. Scriptures which have been found to be mistranslation of the original Bible. How could the BoM have mistranslated Bible scriptures? hmmm.

    Its also interesting that the church has some other, less well known aspects. Ask about the secret mormon underwear (you can see scans on-line). Also, many of the church ritual conducted in the Mormon temples ONLY for members are heavily based on Masonic rituals. Smith was a mason.

    Also, take some time to find out what happened at the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

    Also, check out the story about blacks and the church.

    There are some good articles on Wikipedia (and the internet) on some very serious issues with the church. Here are two:



    I know several mormons. Nice people. But I don't care about their religion.

  22. I am now of the view that Valliant shouldn’t have come down so hard on the Brandens with such vitriolic rhetoric. ... but I am glad that the “other side” was told.

    While I would agree that the 'other side' of the Brandens-Rand split be told, I can not accept Valliant's work as that 'other side'. In all honesty, the 'other side' should have come from Rand herself. As she is no longer with us, we can't get the full 'other side', her journals aside.

    After all, there is a divide in the Objectivist community and Valliant’s work is that voice speaking. That voice is sometimes compelling and sometimes irritatingly shrill.

    Sadly true. And personally I think it undeserving.

    I think it would have been much better to simply have published Rand’s private journals as a stand-alone for scholars to study. That is, the journals could be studied on their own merits or in reference to the Branden claims. If there are contradictions and clashes, they can be identified and judged solely by Rand’s own words—Valliant free. This way, we could have avoided a debate that has collapsed in trivia...such as the book’s jacket design.

    Have direct access to the journals would have helped, but sometimes we are not always honest with ourselves. We all have our own biases, etc. I doubt that Rand was immune to this, and I think this would have colored her journals.

  23. Ketchup (optional or forbidden, depending on who you ask)

    Ketchup... the red menace!

    Funny thing is that I like ketchup on a lot of things. Was that was as a kid, and there are still many thing I MUST have ketchup for: burgers, fries, chicken fingers/strips (unless there is other sauces available), fried fish/shrimp/etc (never cared for tartar sauce or cocktail sauce).

    BUT, there are a few (very few) things I will not put ketchup on and prefer mustard on instead.

    One of those are hot dogs. I refuse to put ketchup on them. Give me mustard (not too much), chopped onions, maybe kosher dill pickles on my dog and I'm fine.

    I love going to Costco for a hotdog (with deli mustard and lots of onions) and a drink. For a buck and a half. Mmmmm.