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Everything posted by studiodekadent

  1. Kandinsky is my equal favorite painter. The other favorite is Botticelli. Now, I do not buy into Rand's Aesthetics: if it were true that an Objectivist sense of life produces favorable reactions towards romantic art exclusively, then I am not an Objectivist because I like some naturalistic art (such as musicians like Front 242), some art based upon selective recreation of reality according to the artists disvalues (Horror films, most of the music I listen to, and the music I make myself). Since I am an Objectivist, I think I count as at least some evidence that Rand's aesthetics are at least somewhat faulty.
  2. I would like to add that "Christianity" is not a monolithic entity. The essential of Christianity is "Jesus Christ was divine." With regards to everything else, it is hard to find Christians agreeing! Hence, Christianity can be used to justify almost anything and hence can motivate people towards almost anything. Certainly, biblical literalism does motivate an understanding of Christianity that is absolutely opposed to Objectivist principles but not all Christians are biblically literalist. The current cult of christ that is devastating the USA is still a vocal minority with a stranglehold on the Republicans, and the latest election results seem to show that American theocracy has been rejected. Defending religious liberals over religious extremists, indeed defending anything that is an improvement over the current situation, is not 'championing' their ideas. I do not consider an improvement the enemy of the good. Remember that in the battle of ideas, the timeframes are long and as such we are unlikely to change things very quickly. This indicates that trying to push slower changes in the right direction may be more productive. In my experience, I have found that one need not try to 'convert' someone to Objectivism overnight. Indeed, you can get excellent results just by encouraging people to trust their own independent judgement. Just that little memetic virus, it rarely leads someone directly to Rand's doorstep but I find it is extremely effective at stimulating improvements. Michael, My sincere thanks!
  3. Its also highly likely that Hayek confused Altruism with benevolence. But so does Kevin Rudd. And John Howard knows nothing about philosophy or ethics, he is purely a pragmatic political strategist.
  4. The Free Muslims Coalition may not provide a Koranic defense for their position. So what? Why should a religion be consistent about what it believes? This kind of inconsistency with their religion (this 'hypocrisy') is precisely what we want to see! It happened with the Christians and look what happened. The church was neutered and politically disempowered (and only now are some elements of Christianity managing to come somewhat close to regaining a fraction of the power it had before). Christians take many differring views from eachother. We can point out how most of them are significantly inconsistent with a religion that is inconsistent with itself (biblical contradictions), but it obviously shows that faith is losing hold on their minds and they are becoming more rational. So what if they bifurcate their mind? Any rationality is better than no rationality at all. The Free Muslims Coalition is obviously not the 'perfect outcome' all Objectivists desire (everyone abandoning religion), but its a vast improvement and represents genuine potential.
  5. Im a benevolent leader, strangely enough. Under Myers-Briggs, Im either an ENTP or INTP (depending on the questions asked). Personally Im not too sure about personality typology. Its a complex matter to be sure. My usual self-description is "Free-Thinking Rebellious Individualist that Loathes Society" but its difficult to put this into a test. Im actually thinking, could there be some sort of personality typology for Objectivists? Maybe one based on the mix of virtues they practice? If that were the case, Id be Independence and Pride.
  6. Ayn Rand's books are read widely but they arent taken too seriously. However, I have found the philosophy department to be very intellectually honest... Ive never reveived less than a credit in any philosophy subject and usually I get distinctions. So I guess that the climate at least amongst some academics isn't so much hostile as it is apathetic. Some however love my work.... the Evolutionary Economics professor loved my work on Evolutionary Economics, Austrian Economics and Objectivist Philosophy.
  7. Thanks for the warm welcome Chris. Objectivism in Australia is, well, a little dead! This country has an unfortunate streak towards levelling-down egalitarianism (as in, not the (often misguided) benevolence Rawlsian type but genuine hate of the good) and a very strong demand for social conformity and social metaphysics. It blows! And our top tax rate is about 17% higher than the US's. As for Hayek, I dont entirely agree with his philosophy. His economic contributions however, for example his defense and extension of Mises's calculation argument, his co-formulation with Mises of Austrian business cycle theory, his demonstration of the link between economic slavery and political slavery, and his influence on informational economics and evolutionary economics (the latter which I consider a potential bed-buddy of Objectivism) are excellent. Often many people think he endorsed the Left's altruism and the like... I think he actually conflated altruism with benevolence and simply did not think that people could advocate altruism in the Comtean sense (you know, that kind of optimism). He also was influenced by Popper, but I dont think Popper and the like are that mistaken per se... Popper after all was a classical Liberal like Hayek and I agree with David Kelley that most, if not all, classical Liberals probably have an implicit grasp of Rand-esque forms of Objectivity.
  8. I would like to add a point. There is no such thing as an intrinsic essential. The process of abstraction is based on measuring a group of concretes according to their similarities and differences to and from eachother. Hence, that which constitutes the 'eachother' will influence what the essentials (the unique factors) turn out to be. Kelley's description of the essentials of Objectivism is within the context of comparing Objectivism to other philosophies. The ARIans consider the essential of Objectivism to be, at least from what I have seen, "the philosophy of Ayn Rand," i.e. that which she said. In the case of the ARIans, this seems related to their intellectual tribalism: their devotion to people rather than principles (Ayn Rand, rather than Ayn Rand's ideas), and also seems related to their religionistic attitude: "Christianity is the philosophy of Jesus, that is why it is totally different from the philosophy of Buddha!" (Blank out the fact that all religions are philosophically identical, essentially speaking). Im sure the analogy is understandable.
  9. Unfortunately its hard to explain it, because most people are so corrupted by the altruist false-dichotomy that it requires a paragraph long explaination. I usually just say "Acting in your rational self-interests, neither sacrificing yourself to another OR others to yourself." If they say "I like giving to other people," ask them "why?" Tailor the rebuttal or endorsement to their reply. The fact is that giving to other people is in many contexts self-interested. If their motivation is self-interested, then he is being self-interested by giving. However, if the reply is "I dont know why I like it, I just do" then you have to interrogate further. Just remember that most idiots do not understand their subconscious premises.
  10. My own personal Concerto of Deliverance.... Its both "Joy" and "Darkangel" by VNV Nation.... Joy especially because of its more literal lyrics.... that song tells the story of the battle for ownership of one's own soul... a battle I have fought tooth and nail for my whole life.
  11. Front Line Assembly, :wumpscut: or Icon of Coil. But usually its select works rather than entire discographies.
  12. Elizabeth, I think Ill give you some help. 1) eBay, eBay, eBay. You can get gear for CHEAP on it! I bought basically my whole studio on it. Now, electronic music, especially Industrial, has a number of elements to it. The first is Sampling. Do not buy a hardware sampler, you do not need it. Instead, get "Kontakt" by Native Instruments. For drums, get "Battery 3" by Native Instruments. If you have those two things, the only thing you need for external hardware is synthesizers. Now, many people talk about sound quality. Samplers sound just as good as software (because a sampler is as good as the samples). Synths, on the other hand, almost always sound better as hardware. Amongst hardware synths, the debate is on analog synths versus digital synths (or 'virtual analogs'). Analog does sound thicker, but it is mostly due to the analog FILTERS of an analog. All the rest can be digital (which is usually cheaper). However, I generally recommend having at least one fully analog synth but on a budget you dont need to worry too much. For a good inexpensive analog sound, You can look for a Novation Super Bass Station on eBay. Or, I can recommend you check out the following page at Analogue Haven: MFB makes analogue synths (often analogue-filter-digital-oscillators) and analogue filter banks. You can get their most inexpensive synth, the "Synth Lite 2" (3 digital oscs, with one switchable to LFO, and a fully analogue filter you can run external signals through!) for US$299. Basically all you need then is a very versatile analogue-modelling synth for all the rest.... If you dont mind spending a little bit of cash, the Korg Radias or (a bit more pricey but worth it, and a techno/industrial standard) an Access Virus TI. If you really want to keep costs down, you can look for a Novation Nova Laptop on eBay, or an older Access Virus model. Another inexpensive but great synth is the Dave Smith Instruments Evolver. Get the desktop model. Its only one voice but its very inexpensive and it sounds demented! Its digital-analog hybrid.
  13. Id consider "Failure" by Assemblage 23 to be one of the best Futurepop albums (judging the album as a whole) ever. I would probably put it as #3, behind Empires by VNV at #1 and Serenity Is The Devil by Icon of Coil at #2. However, A23 is getting stale and a bit too trancey.... guess that even though I got into the scene via Futurepop (the song that introduced me to it was "Disappoint" by A23 actually!) Im part of the backlash against it.... its becoming too fomulaic. However, Futurepop has had a good influence in that it helped Industrial musicians become less fearful of melody.... one of my fave bands, [:SITD:], uses Futurepop-style melodies over the harsh Industrial drums, and I love it. I certainly will post up my stuff when I can. May I ask what gear do you have for electronic music? I have an Access Virus C, Clavia Nord Rack 3, Waldorf Microwave XT (may be leaving when I upgrade the Virus C to a TI however), Roland GR33 Guitar Synthesizer (I love guitar synthesis... so Im trying to bring it into Industrial), and my baby/pride and joy/lover: an Alesis A6 Andromeda analog polysynth. Will be getting a DSI Evolver Keyboard and a Roland SH2 later. I use a MOTU 24i/o audio interface and TC Powercore PCI cards for DSP processing in Cubase. What setup do you have? If you are still looking to acquire stuff, I can give you some advice on the best gear etc. And who knows, we may be able to do some collaboration! Look foward to hearing more from you, -Andrew
  14. "Apatheism" is a wonderful neologism! Here is my take on the subject: One cannot disprove a negative directly. One can only prove a positive that logically contradicts the negative. Hence, one can logically disprove a negative (at least in some cases), but not empirically. Hence, Atheists cannot run a scientific test to detect no God. Scientific tests detect things, not detect no things. Theists, whose argument consists of "science does not explain everything (yet)" are committing a non-sequitur. It does not follow that because science doesnt explain everything that their God exists. Their attack on evolution is simply moronic. Evolution is a theory, true, but it explains a lot of empirical facts, and further, intelligent design is another non-sequitur. God may have not been the designing intelligence! It could have been the aliens (the Raelians may be right!). Also, Evolution may not be completely (or even mostly) right but that does not prove God. See Panspermia for more details. Lets analyze precisely what each side is attempting to prove: Theism: That the deity of Christianity (Jehovah, Yahweh, The God of Abraham, etc), an omniscient omnipotent omnipresent omnibenevolent (and essentially 'infinite in all respects') consciousness exists and created existence. Atheism: That said deity does not exist (and/or its so unlikely that said deity exists that reasonably we should reject said deity's existence). The Atheist case is logically provable without empirics or evolution, using simple logic. 1) 'infinite' deity violates the law of identity, and 2) an existent creating existence is a stolen concept ('existent' presupposes 'existence' along with its corrolary axioms that their god violates). On this basis, Atheism wins. However, by the above definitions, this does not disprove the existence of currently unexplained phenomena, which may or may not include certain entities that some might consider 'spirits' yet have a specific nature. In these situations, however, there is little knowlege, certainly not much in the way of scientific verification, and as such the rational position on these issues is agnosticism. Hence, I am an Atheist-Agnostic: The God of Abraham as described in the bible obviously does not exist, but with regard to any possible unexplained-but-logically-feasible existents, I will need to see evidence before I believe in it (i.e. I dont know).
  15. I submit the following regarding Satanism and Objectivism: Satanism and Objectivism An Objectivist Response by Andrew Russell This article refers to "Satanism and Objectivism," written by Nemo and published at The founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, described Satanism as "just Ayn Rand's philosophy with ceremony and ritual added" (, but is this correct? Nemo, thankfully, takes the view that Satanism and Objectivism have "vital differences" and this will not be contested. However, Nemo attempts to say that regardless of the vital differences, "Satanism has far more in common with Objectivism than with any other religion or philosophy." Nemo attempts to portray Objectivism and Satanism as if they were brother and sister philosophies. This essay takes the position that Satanism and Objectivism are not brother and sister. Indeed, the differences between the two philosophies are extremely fundamental in nature, and that Satanism, like Neitzscheanism, shares little with Objectivism apart from an aesthetic reverence for individualism. Otherwise, Satanism is fundamentally opposed to Objectivism. In the article, Nemo writes: "First, Objectivism holds that metaphysics, that branch of philosophy which concerns itself with the nature of reality, determines the nature of epistemology as well as ethics, politics and art. Current philosophical disagreement on this issue still continues. It is, in fact, an unproven assertion by Rand that one's metaphysical assumptions determine one's ethics" (italics mine). Nemo disputes two links between the fields of philosophy: the first link is metaphysics to epistemology, the second is epistemology to ethics. The first link is simple to demonstrate: Epistemology is concerned with acquiring knowlege, knowlege of what? What does one know when one claims to know something? Simply put, when one claims to know something, one claims to know that something is true, i.e. something is real, i.e. that something is an existent. Without a philosophy of existence (a Metaphysics), one cannot have a philosophy of knowlege (an Epistemology). To attempt to construct a Metaphysics without an Epistemology is to attempt to construct a method of knowing without anything to know about. In short, an Epistemology without a Metaphysics is a stolen concept fallacy. The second link, Epistemology to Ethics, is also simple to demonstrate. Ethics is a field of enquiry, and hence, it requires a means of enquiry. It requires a theory of a moral Epistemology. Without an Epistemology, there is no way to answer ethical questions. Nemo's second point about the differences between Satanism and Objectivism is as follows: "Satanists see that Objectivism has enthroned reason above the individual as opposed to utilizing this sole means to knowledge as a tool to achieve a purpose. Satanism enthrones the individual as a whole, not reason, as the supreme standard to determine the value of actions." In other words, Nemo accuses Objectivism of being a philosophy that enforces a mind-body dichotomy. Rand argued against this dichotomy vigorously, most famously in her theory of sex. In reality, it is Satanism that is dichotomising humans into 'reason' and 'the flesh.' It is Satanism that sees the individual as seperate from reason. To an Objectivist, to speak of 'reason' as if it were apart from 'the individual' makes absolutely no sense. Nemo's quote, however, displays the Satanic concept of reason as being some sort of Rationalist intution that provides truth that is superior to sensory evidence. What does Nemo mean when he talks about the 'individual as a whole' as the standard of value? It seems that Nemo is referring to some sort of metaphysical subjectivism. Nemo then states that "The Satanic view sees as ethical the reality of domination of the weak by the strong. The assertion in Objectivism is that the use of force to cause others to submit to the will of the stronger or cleverer individual is "wrong" for the individual. This is a second major assertion which Satanism finds unproven by the Objectivists." The issue here is human nature. Satanism explicitly endorses the view that humans are just another kind of animal, interacting in pack-like heirarchies of predator-prey, wheras Objectivism sees humans as heroic beings living independently by their own production and trade. The Satanic concept of human nature, as a result, is one of a Hobbesian bloodbath: Satanism does not comprehend the concept of benevolent coexistence, rather it assumes someone is going to be dragged off to the altar of sacrifice and the only question is 'whom?'. As a result, Satanism promotes a morality of cannibalism, where the 'strong' survive parasitically off the 'weak.' Objectivism sees this kind of survival as being improper to man's nature as a rational being and this is why Objectivism considers 'Neitzschean reverse-altruism' (Moral Cannibalism) to be detrimental to the predators as well as the prey. The Satanic world will be, like the Christian one, an orgy of sacrifice. Finally, Nemo states that "the Satanist is far more flexible in the choice of actions available than is the Objectivist who cannot simply accept his personal needs as absolutely reliable to determine the best course of action in any circumstance." Again, this is a product of the mind-body dichotomy that Satanists hold. Objectivists believe that ones needs are determined by ones nature (i.e. what kind of entity one is), and hence form the basis of Objectivist ethics. However, needs do not automatically tell you how to satisfy them (i.e. they are not a guide to ones actions). Satanists seem to believe that need-satisfaction is a simple instinctual process, whereby they do not have to put effort into producing food. Again, this goes back to issues of human nature, with Satanists seeing humans as animals with a capacity to make tools, and Objectivists seeing humans as beings with the capacity to reason, volitionally. Do instincts create skyscrapers? Do they alleviate poverty? Do instincts tell man how to grow food? In conclusion, Satanism and Objectivism are extremely dissimilar. Wheras Objectivism promotes a mutually beneficial, benevolent coexistence between rational beings with equal rights, Satanism envisions a world of moral cannibalism where pack animals tear eachother to pieces for a scrap of meat. POST SCRIPT For fellow travellers in IOS-Trichotomy Land, we can see Satanism is of the "S" variety, completely missing the "O." Satanism is obviously reserved for concrete-bound fifteen year olds trying to piss off their parents.
  16. I have some problems with Szasz. He is somewhat Freudian. However, I believe his conclusion that psychiatry should be totally voluntary is correct except possibly in some extremely exceptional circumstances. He attacks the reductive physicalism that is currently poisoning psychiatry and he points out that a lot of psychiatry is based on values rather than actual objective science. He is also a great writer and speaker.
  17. Suicide Commando, Front Line Assembly, :wumpscut:, Icon of Coil, Decoded Feedback, Hocico, VNV Nation, Velvet Acid Christ, [:SITD:] and pretty much the whole genre of Electro-Industrial from Futurepop to old-school EBM to Dark Electro and all shades and variations of. Although my personal work leans towards the sample-strewn and sonically complex, so Im not as minimalistic as some of the bands I mention.
  18. Thanks Kori! I agree, this place is a remarkably friendly one. Its like what would happen if you put everyone at Objectivism Online (aka Rationalist Randroid Central) on Xanax (lol). Actually, its much more intellectual than that, but the joke still stands I intend to share my music at a later date. I have a number of composed songs, I just need to get my MIDI interface and make the tracks with my synthesizers and samplers. But I promise Ill share them later. I hope you like your music dark and angry!
  19. Hi there, As can be inferred from the title, Im a new member. My name is Andrew, and I am an Objectivist from Australia and an economics student (the theory I work with is Austrian, Misesian-Hayekian branch). I like the attitude on this forum. Im a frequent poster on the TOC board and I back Dr Kelley in the split. I like the new scholarship coming out of this branch of the movement, it is really turning Objectivism into a school of thought. My own interests, intellectually, are in Objectivist Ethics, Objectivism and Austrian Economics (with some lean towards von Hayek and Objectivism; I think Rand's treatment of von Hayek was unfair), Objectivism and Evolutionary Economics, as well as Objectivist Feminism. Im also a political activist in Australia's Liberal Democratic Party (the equivalent of the US Libertarians, albiet a moderate version (most of the people in it are rather hardcore, we just don't want to frighten the electorate)). Im also a musician. I make electro-industrial music. I look foward to some enjoyable discussions here.