1277: "Ayn Random"

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Klear » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:59 am UTC

zantrua wrote:The prisoner's dilemma is the dumbest thing to ever be imagined by pseudo-intellectuals. It ignores all real influences, sets up a hypothetical scenario which is baseless, manipulates the variables to come to a predetermined conclusion, and then pretends that it has deep meaning in reality.


= is a model. What's wrong with that?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Smylers » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:59 am UTC

chridd wrote:
azule wrote:
chridd wrote:It looks like the comic's title text is missing some backslashes. /(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}/i would make a lot more sense.
Agreed. But, what does it match that is of interest? I guess it matches all those listed in the cavern.
Exactly. The corrected version matches two words, containing only the letters p, l, u, r, a, n, d, y. (This is assuming Perl-style regular expressions.)

If it really was "b" and not "\b" would that match anything? Probably not. Oh, Randall, you need a coding mustard detector.
It would require the name begin and end in b. So, Baynb Brandb, Bpaulb Bryanb, Brandb Bpaulb, Bannb Bdruyanb, Bpaulb Bruddb, Balanb Baldab, and Bduranb Bduranb.

Not quite. With the “b”s being literal you no longer have the \b word boundary in there, so there's no constraints on the “b”s being at the beinging and end of the words, nor even that there are two words involved. So phrases like ‘rhubarb baboon’ and ‘bubblybath’ match, as well those you mention.
Last edited by Smylers on Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:53 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby PM 2Ring » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:07 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:2) The world's most random number is 17. This is a well-established fact1

1: for certain definitions of "fact"

See Human random numbers.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby urbanfly » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:30 pm UTC

The code in the alt-text is a regular expression to find names that include the following pattern 2 times: at least one of the letters in 'plurandy' (ignoring the case) surrounded by word-boundaries (spaces, punctuation, etc) and possibly a space.

The regex in the alt-text should actually be:

Code: Select all

/(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}/i


instead of

Code: Select all

/(b[plurandy]+b ?){2}/i


It is missing the escape character on the word-boundary.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby StClair » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:39 pm UTC

On a related note, it's kind of fun - the schadenfreude-y kind, to be specific - to watch Rand tie herself in knots trying to justify her nicotine addiction as not only rational, but awesome.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Monika » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:55 pm UTC

Antior wrote:I wonder what a Randall number generator would be like.

:lol:

Anyway, can someone explain in simple terms who Ayn Rand was, what she did, and why it's funny to make fun of her?

Wikipedia isn't very enlightening to me on this subject, but I did find out she was apparently a big influence in America, ignored by academics, and way less known in Europe.
She wrote some books and started a movement. She seems to have had rightist views without the Republican crazy extremist Christian stuff, so way closer to European Right (liberalism). Which doesn't sound that bad to me.

Is that about right? So why is it funny?

Have a look at this comic including the mouse-over text for a first glimpse: http://xkcd.com/610/
And at this one including mouse-over text for a succinct summary: http://xkcd.com/1049/ : "I had a hard time with Ayn Rand because I found myself enthusiastically agreeing with the first 90% of every sentence, but getting lost at 'therefore, be a huge asshole to everyone.'"
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby endianx » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:05 pm UTC

I was excited to see a Rand comic, and then disappointed that it was so wrong.

Rand was opposed to the idea that some things were intrinsically better. To be better begs the question, "better for what?" In the case of a random number generator, a bias is clearly not better if randomness is your goal. However, I suspect the comic was following the meme that Ayn Rand thought some people are better than others. Again, it begs the question, "better for what?" or "better at what?" To simply say someone is better (or good) is nonsensical. 3.14 is a better number than 3.00 if you are looking to find the area of a circle. Not that 3.14 is intrinsically better, but that it is better for some purpose.

Certainly Rand thought people who traded something of value for the money they received were deserving, while those who obtained money through force were not. Maybe that is what Randall is referencing, but that is so far away from the random number analogy that the comic just leaves me disappointed.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby dipique » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:28 pm UTC

Antior wrote:I wonder what a Randall number generator would be like.

Anyway, can someone explain in simple terms who Ayn Rand was, what she did, and why it's funny to make fun of her?

Wikipedia isn't very enlightening to me on this subject, but I did find out she was apparently a big influence in America, ignored by academics, and way less known in Europe.
She wrote some books and started a movement. She seems to have had rightist views without the Republican crazy extremist Christian stuff, so way closer to European Right (liberalism). Which doesn't sound that bad to me.

Is that about right? So why is it funny?


I was surprised at how many anti-Rand people were in the XKCD crowd. I read Fountainhead and/or Atlas Shrugged (two of her most famous novels) at least every couple of years or so and enjoy the read every time.

"Objectivism", which is the Ayn Rand philosophy, is a little on the cooky side, but her books are anti-entitlement, pro strong decision making, pro personal boundaries and personal responsibility, anti crowd mentality, pro rationality as a basis for making decisions, pro integrity, anti bureaucracy... etc.

Those are all things that resonate with me. Her writing is pretty two-dimensional--i.e. the characters are all archetypes of whatever they represent, especially in Fountainhead--but once you come to read it as symbolic it's quite enjoyable. It's about the interaction between known quantities, not a more typical read about character development.

In any case, her books indicate that certain attributes are intrinsically good--such as those I listed above. People, on the other hand, can choose to assume those attributes or not.

I think you could usefully divide people into five groups:

1. Ayn Rand Fans (politically/philosophically)
2. Ayn Rand Fans (literature)
3. Indifferent
4. Ayn Rand Detractors (literature)
5. Ayn Rand Detractors (politically/philosophically)

I tend to think of 1 & 4 as cooky, 2 & 5 as rational and 3 as... well, indifferent. :)

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ctdonath » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:30 pm UTC

Obligatory:
Image

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ghanburighan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:35 pm UTC

Unlike, of course, any big-government apologist you care to name. Their works are always impartial and arrived at by the most rigorous self-examination, never ever inclining even a little to self-interest. These paragons of literary and philosophical virtue are the envy of all conservatives! How the latter yearn to come albeit close to such pure-minded and noble objectivity!

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby mcdigman » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:40 pm UTC

chridd wrote:It looks like the comic's title text is missing some backslashes. /(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}/i would make a lot more sense.

I see backslashes on the real comic. Don't know if they've been added or if its a browser problem.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:45 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
zantrua wrote:The prisoner's dilemma is the dumbest thing to ever be imagined by pseudo-intellectuals. It ignores all real influences, sets up a hypothetical scenario which is baseless, manipulates the variables to come to a predetermined conclusion, and then pretends that it has deep meaning in reality.

= is a model. What's wrong with that?

That some models are intrinsically better?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ucim » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:46 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
ucim wrote:... aynd to think I always thought the best random number was 42

Jose
2Chosen by die roll. Guaranteed to be random.


Is that 16?


Perhaps I was too subtle. :) Or maybe you asked the wrong question, because I have the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Since it's a super question, I used a super script. (Actually, I should have used comic sans, but that's not script!)

On another topic, I think part of the reason for Ayn's renown is the quality of her prose. I'm sure she also used a random number generator. :)

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:49 pm UTC

mcdigman wrote:
chridd wrote:It looks like the comic's title text is missing some backslashes. /(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}/i would make a lot more sense.

I see backslashes on the real comic. Don't know if they've been added or if its a browser problem.

This is the part from the original source:

Code: Select all

<img src="http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/ayn_random.png" title="In a cavern deep below the Earth, Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ann Druyan, Paul Rudd, Alan Alda, and Duran Duran meet togther in the Secret Council of /(b[plurandy]+b ?){2}/i." alt="Ayn Random" />


This is the part of the source after I['ve just] refreshed it:

Code: Select all

<img src="http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/ayn_random.png" title="In a cavern deep below the Earth, Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ann Druyan, Paul Rudd, Alan Alda, and Duran Duran meet togther in the Secret Council of /(\b[plurandy]+\b ?){2}/i." alt="Ayn Random" />


ETA:
ucim wrote:Since it's a super question, I used a super script. (Actually, I should have used comic sans, but that's not script!)

Technically speaking, Comic Sans is a casual script typeface.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby markfiend » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:00 pm UTC

Crivens the Ayn Rand fans are out in force already.

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby mostlygrounded » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:20 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:Some numbers are intrinsically better. pi is much more useful than six-hundred-and-seventy-three.

And how many "noble" cultures were biased against and didn't even USE the highly-valuable zero? And hardly any of those even created a random-number generator, "fair" or otherwise.

This comic is just a blatantly unfunny potshot at a fundamental truth.

This is golden. :lol:

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby NiteClerk » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:52 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
Klear wrote:
zantrua wrote:The prisoner's dilemma is the dumbest thing to ever be imagined by pseudo-intellectuals. It ignores all real influences, sets up a hypothetical scenario which is baseless, manipulates the variables to come to a predetermined conclusion, and then pretends that it has deep meaning in reality.

= is a model. What's wrong with that?

That some models are intrinsically better?


Sure. Consider Adriana Lima, Gisele Bundchen, Kate Upton, Lara Stone or Alyssa Miller. Much better models than the prisoners dilemma.

Also I see that Alan Alda is included with the secret cabal. I don't think they will get many unanimous agreements.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Klear » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:53 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
Klear wrote:
zantrua wrote:The prisoner's dilemma is the dumbest thing to ever be imagined by pseudo-intellectuals. It ignores all real influences, sets up a hypothetical scenario which is baseless, manipulates the variables to come to a predetermined conclusion, and then pretends that it has deep meaning in reality.

= is a model. What's wrong with that?

That some models are intrinsically better?


But what's wrong with this model? It nicely shows that there are occasions where altruism is the most beneficial strategy, something that is not always readily apparent, and a handy weapon against encroaching cynicism.

What NiteClerk said.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Danan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:01 pm UTC

Ok I just wrote a long-ass, detailed reply to many comments but the software tells me it was flagged as spam...

Is there anything I can do about that?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby YellowYeti » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:05 pm UTC

dipique wrote:
<Some snipped text >

In any case, her books indicate that certain attributes are intrinsically good--such as those I listed above. People, on the other hand, can choose to assume those attributes or not.

<Some snipped text >



endianx wrote:
<Some snipped text>

Rand was opposed to the idea that some things were intrinsically better. To be better begs the question, "better for what?"

<Some snipped text>



I honestly don't think I've snipped anything that puts either of these out of context.

As someone that has skimmed over reviews of Rand, and generally gone 'meh', is this a case of 'reading into the words what you want to see', or is there really a subtle distinction that makes both statements valid?

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby omgryebread » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:08 pm UTC

A quick summary of why Ayn Rand is terrible:

She was a horrible person. Jealous, arrogant, demanding and selfish.

Her philosophy is grade school. Ontologically, it's essentially existentialism. Epistemologically, it's a fairly standard, if unsophisticated rejection of skepticism. There's nothing particularly wacky or insightful in either.

Ethically, Objectivism makes no sense. Even if you accept validity of logic, as Rand does, it's an awfully large leap to reach her ethics. How does one go from observations of reality to the conclusion that productivity is a moral obligation? Why is a person who values altruism less moral than a selfish person? Her entire ethical philosophy is begging the question.

She was misogynist.

She was also a terrible novelist. Her novels are melodramatic emotional appeals (despite her dismissal of emotion), and they typically jump from a novel with flat characters and predictable plot to a tract by the flat hero of the book. Atlas Shrugged is infamous for basically dropping it's plot and turning into an incredibly long essay with Ayn Rand speaking through her main character, John Galt.


She's fun to make fun of because most of her fans simply use her philosophy as a way to rationalize fucking people over. For this specific comic, Rand is often used to justify wealth disparities: according to Rand, productivity is good, and wealth is a measure of productivity. Being wealthy is not only morally acceptable, being wealthy is morally obligatory.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby baardvark » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:21 pm UTC

This gets posted mere days after I have the sudden realization that Rand Paul was probably named after Ayn Rand.

Clearly I was getting psychic interference from Randall's writing brainstorm.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ManaUser » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:26 pm UTC

Danan wrote:Ok I just wrote a long-ass, detailed reply to many comments but the software tells me it was flagged as spam...

Is there anything I can do about that?

Try writing only text that the moderators agree with.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby markfiend » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:47 pm UTC

baardvark wrote:This gets posted mere days after I have the sudden realization that Rand Paul was probably named after Ayn Rand.

Rand is short for Randal. So I would say not. It doesn't totally rule it out, obviously.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ThemePark » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:53 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:
Danan wrote:Ok I just wrote a long-ass, detailed reply to many comments but the software tells me it was flagged as spam...

Is there anything I can do about that?

Try writing only text that the moderators agree with.


Because only text that is intrinsically better than other text is allowed in here.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Andromeda321 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:56 pm UTC

markfiend wrote:
baardvark wrote:This gets posted mere days after I have the sudden realization that Rand Paul was probably named after Ayn Rand.

Rand is short for Randal. So I would say not. It doesn't totally rule it out, obviously.


It's not, apparently Rand is just short for Randall and that's just what they called him as a kid.

Pretty good coincidence for his politics these days though that I'm sure he doesn't mind people thinking so.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Yoshisummons » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:04 pm UTC

Danan wrote:Ok I just wrote a long-ass, detailed reply to many comments but the software tells me it was flagged as spam...

Is there anything I can do about that?

The forums flag posts with links from forum accounts with less than 5 posts total.

What omgryebread said, and with all the new posters already in this thread this is going to be good. It has been a pleasure lurking with you ladies and gentlemen.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Andromeda321 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:05 pm UTC

YellowYeti wrote:
dipique wrote:
<Some snipped text >

In any case, her books indicate that certain attributes are intrinsically good--such as those I listed above. People, on the other hand, can choose to assume those attributes or not.

<Some snipped text >



endianx wrote:
<Some snipped text>

Rand was opposed to the idea that some things were intrinsically better. To be better begs the question, "better for what?"

<Some snipped text>



I honestly don't think I've snipped anything that puts either of these out of context.

As someone that has skimmed over reviews of Rand, and generally gone 'meh', is this a case of 'reading into the words what you want to see', or is there really a subtle distinction that makes both statements valid?


My dad is really into Ayn Rand to the point where I have for my various important graduations received Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged from him (and have read all three- Atlas Shrugged really is better if you just skip the 100 page essay about objectivism that she refused to let an editor touch, saying it would be like editing the Bible). Basically what I took out of it is that you should be ok with standing up for yourself and your abilities and what you think is right, which is a pretty good message really.

Where I don't get Ayn Rand in ways many apply it to life is I'm pretty sure the woman had Asperger's, as none of her characters ever seem to have anything resembling emotion or compassion (and people who knew her earlier in life say she was quiet and never had friends and quite a few other Aspie tendencies). So once you realize things in terms of that Ayn Rand's work makes a helluva lot more sense through that lens, but most people who really adhere to her philosophy don't seem to realize that.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby learsfool » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:45 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:A quick summary of why Ayn Rand is terrible:

She was a horrible person. Jealous, arrogant, demanding and selfish.

To be fair, there were also a lot of people who supported that combination of traits during her life, and there are plenty of people today who are just as bad if not worse.

She was a broken toy and shouldn't be hated . . . lots of people write crazy things, it's not really her fault that her stuff got popular.

Spoiler:
Her philosophy is grade school. Ontologically, it's essentially existentialism. Epistemologically, it's a fairly standard, if unsophisticated rejection of skepticism. There's nothing particularly wacky or insightful in either.

Ethically, Objectivism makes no sense. Even if you accept validity of logic, as Rand does, it's an awfully large leap to reach her ethics. How does one go from observations of reality to the conclusion that productivity is a moral obligation? Why is a person who values altruism less moral than a selfish person? Her entire ethical philosophy is begging the question.

She was misogynist.

Yeah, agreed there's no real logic behind some of those core beliefs in her books, there are a bunch of magical elves that are actually doing all the work that nobody talks about, but Galt gets especially wealthy because he has IDEAS. . . but so what? Lots of people have ideas, they're useless unless other people do the work. I swear sometimes this is the same lack-of-logic that high-paid CEOS and such use to earn as much as dozens of nurses, despite the fact that most of them aren't worth ONE nurse.

Really it's just a poorly constructed fantasy world that couldn't actually function.
She was also a terrible novelist. Her novels are melodramatic emotional appeals (despite her dismissal of emotion), and they typically jump from a novel with flat characters and predictable plot to a tract by the flat hero of the book. Atlas Shrugged is infamous for basically dropping it's plot and turning into an incredibly long essay with Ayn Rand speaking through her main character, John Galt.

She's fun to make fun of because most of her fans simply use her philosophy as a way to rationalize fucking people over. For this specific comic, Rand is often used to justify wealth disparities: according to Rand, productivity is good, and wealth is a measure of productivity. Being wealthy is not only morally acceptable, being wealthy is morally obligatory.

Yeah, I was amazed at how BAD Atlas Shrugged was compared to Twain or something, I think it just got on those 'must read' lists because not enough people read it and said 'WTF is this?'

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Jackpot777 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:56 pm UTC

I just wanted to add the most fun you can have around Ayn Rand aficionados (the ones that relate to the philosophy, not the literature)...

Tell them that Rand applied for social security and Medicare at the end of her life. Fair enough, people say, she paid into the system so she should get out what she put in... which is when you drop the bombshell. The amount she needed, to pay for her treatment for lung cancer caused by her smoking (a connection she spoke against in her life), was more than her total income: "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out"...

I've done this quite a few times, received dozens of answers defending Ayn Rand and objectivism ...with none of them saying she should have been true to her philosophy and not taken the hand-out as a statement of her philosophy's strength. Here's an example of what I mean.

The fun part is pointing out that none of them have defended the philosophy they say they follow. All of them make excuses for why she should use something she called evil. Many of them tried muddying the issue between [what she paid into the system] and [all the money she ever earned in her life]. Some resorted to just inventing "facts" to cope with the cognitive dissonance.

It's not as fun as eating ice-cream on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but it is the most fun you can have around Ayn Rand aficionados.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Klear » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:08 pm UTC

Jackpot777 wrote:I just wanted to add the most fun you can have around Ayn Rand aficionados (the ones that relate to the philosophy, not the literature)...

Tell them that Rand applied for social security and Medicare at the end of her life. Fair enough, people say, she paid into the system so she should get out what she put in... which is when you drop the bombshell. The amount she needed, to pay for her treatment for lung cancer caused by her smoking (a connection she spoke against in her life), was more than her total income: "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out"...

I've done this quite a few times, received dozens of answers defending Ayn Rand and objectivism ...with none of them saying she should have been true to her philosophy and not taken the hand-out as a statement of her philosophy's strength. Here's an example of what I mean.

The fun part is pointing out that none of them have defended the philosophy they say they follow. All of them make excuses for why she should use something she called evil. Many of them tried muddying the issue between [what she paid into the system] and [all the money she ever earned in her life]. Some resorted to just inventing "facts" to cope with the cognitive dissonance.

It's not as fun as eating ice-cream on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but it is the most fun you can have around Ayn Rand aficionados.


This reminds me of an anecdote about a rabbi, who was drinking and whoring and generally not being a shining example. When his congregation complained to him, that he's supposed to be showing them the way, he took them to the edge of the town and showed them a signpost.
"Is the singpost showing you the way? It is. Do you want it to go anywhere?"

Not that I want to defend Rand with this in any way, mind you. I just like the anecdote and wanted to share it.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:09 pm UTC

I used to think that Objectivism was a decent philosophy.


Then I grew up.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ghanburighan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:06 pm UTC

Here's one for the sociologists (do specimens of this species frequent this comic? Not in large numbers, I'd guess, although we all claim to be expert armchair sociologists).

Might the apparent popularity of authoritarian governments among mathematicians and art majors (and I may be begging the question, but it surely seems to me to be the case, albeit by anecdotal evidence) be due to the preference of mathematicians for order (and better order imposed from a central authority than chaos, or - to put it another way - better order without freedom than freedom without order) and the impact on biddable art majors by the heart-wrenching rhetoric used to present said authoritarian ideologies (see Hugo Chavez et. al.)?

Ok, a very leading (and poorly parsed) question, but having acknowledge that, I am persuaded that our personal meta-narratives preclude true philosophical objectivity. The least one can do is admit it, which would rule out the lamentable proliferation of ad hominem attacks in this forum. In other words, anyone calling a follower of Ayn Rand a lunatic (or equivalent ad hominem disparagement) is guilty, at the very least, of self-ignorance.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:07 pm UTC

dipique wrote:1. Ayn Rand Fans (politically/philosophically)
2. Ayn Rand Fans (literature)
3. Indifferent
4. Ayn Rand Detractors (literature)
5. Ayn Rand Detractors (politically/philosophically)

I tend to think of 1 & 4 as cooky, 2 & 5 as rational and 3 as... well, indifferent. :)


Wait wait wait. You consider people who like her for her literary value to be rational?

The fuck? Have you read her books? Her prose is awful, her plotting is nonsensical, and everything she writes is just cobbled together to support her philosophy (which, by nature, makes it an awful support for her philosphy. "Look, it works fantastically in a fictional world over which I have complete control and whose only laws are my imagination" is the worst argument possible).

If you like her philosophy and read her books for that reason, well, fair enough, you're a terrible person. But if you read her because you think she's a good writer, I'm reasonably certain you're an alien.
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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Klear » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:12 pm UTC

ghanburighan wrote:Ok, a very leading (and poorly parsed) question, but having acknowledge that, I am persuaded that our personal meta-narratives preclude true philosophical objectivity. The least one can do is admit it, which would rule out the lamentable proliferation of ad hominem attacks in this forum. In other words, anyone calling a follower of Ayn Rand a lunatic (or equivalent ad hominem disparagement) is guilty, at the very least, of self-ignorance.


Couldn't the same be said of any ideology, say, Marxism? (hah! dodged a Godwin there) I mean, Communism as such is was a pretty neat idea before it was kinda... tested experimentally. Nowadays we have enough empirical evidence to safely proclaim today's followers of such doctrines as lunatics.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby endianx » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:18 pm UTC

YellowYeti wrote:
dipique wrote:
<Some snipped text >

In any case, her books indicate that certain attributes are intrinsically good--such as those I listed above. People, on the other hand, can choose to assume those attributes or not.

<Some snipped text >



endianx wrote:
<Some snipped text>

Rand was opposed to the idea that some things were intrinsically better. To be better begs the question, "better for what?"

<Some snipped text>



I honestly don't think I've snipped anything that puts either of these out of context.

As someone that has skimmed over reviews of Rand, and generally gone 'meh', is this a case of 'reading into the words what you want to see', or is there really a subtle distinction that makes both statements valid?


I don't think it was right for dipique to refer to those things as "intrinsically" better. Productivity is virtuous, not intrinsically, but because it furthers you life. In fact, it is necessary to sustain your life. So you ought to be productive, not because productivity is magically good, but because your life requires you to take action to sustain it. Rand specifies numerous virtues, but they are good for a reason, due to the nature of man and reality, and are not intrinsic.

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"Error"

Postby arjan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:19 pm UTC

I strongly believe that the "error" that was fixed later this day was made on purpose to once again show Randalls love for Regular expressions. The same kind of love he demonstrated in http://xkcd.com/1171/ and http://xkcd.com/208/

He must have tested the expression before copy-pasting it to the alt-text.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:28 pm UTC

ghanburighan wrote:Might the apparent popularity of authoritarian governments among mathematicians

[citation needed]

ghanburighan wrote:order imposed from a central authority

[citation needed]

ghanburighan wrote:anyone calling a follower of Ayn Rand a lunatic

[citation needed]

In short: no.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby ghanburighan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:39 pm UTC

Klear wrote: Couldn't the same be said of any ideology, say, Marxism? (hah! dodged a Godwin there) I mean, Communism as such is was a pretty neat idea before it was kinda... tested experimentally. Nowadays we have enough empirical evidence to safely proclaim today's followers of such doctrines as lunatics.


Ah, but one man's lunatic is another's sage. Which is not to say I believe in relativism. Not at all. I'm just saying that ad hominem attacks (one of the moderators called anyone who agrees with Ayn a 'terrible person', how's that for moderation?) are not worthy of any intelligently defensible philosophy. And that means, ipso facto, that the philosophy of anyone who relies on such 'defense' proves that his or her philosophy, at least insofar as he or she is capable of understanding it, is pure BS.
Last edited by ghanburighan on Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:44 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1277: "Ayn Random"

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:41 pm UTC

You're not super clear on what ad hominem means. It's rather specific.

Which is to say, it's not actually just a way to say "insult" while sounding intellectual.

Edit: Okay, I mean, I guess language is an evolving construct and enough people make that mistake that now that could be argued to be the legitimate definition of Ad Hominem. But in that case, we should let go of the idea that it's actually a fallacy in any usage other than its old, strict definition.
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