1049: "Bookshelf"

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby DrDucker » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:40 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:I wonder what happens if someone picks up Twilight...


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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby eidako » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:53 am UTC

I'm surprised nobody has pointed out the problems of rotating a fairly thick, rectangular bookshelf up flush with other rectangular bookshelves. I seriously regret visiting the forums sometimes.

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby EpicanicusStrikes » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:01 am UTC

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:01 am UTC

thelastholdout wrote:
lly wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:If you think Randall is doing a terrible job, make your own webcomic and do a better job.


If you think Twilight is terrible, why don't you become a published novelist and show how it should be done?


I don't get this whole attitude that one must be talented in a field in order to be able to criticize a work in that field.

Case in point: I'm a terrible singer, and I can't play worth a damn, but I know an awful band when I hear them. And I am entitled to rage at the injustice when an awful band is pushed as a good band.


And here's where I butt in and ask, if I am consistently condemned for being harsh to Randall, shouldn't you all treat Randall the same? I at least spend about 5 minutes a day, tops, to write a post. How long did it take Randall to think up and draw this comic??

Yes: 6 minutes!

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:01 am UTC

eidako wrote:I'm surprised nobody has pointed out the problems of rotating a fairly thick, rectangular bookshelf up flush with other rectangular bookshelves.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby ElWanderer » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:17 am UTC

eidako wrote:I'm surprised nobody has pointed out the problems of rotating a fairly thick, rectangular bookshelf up flush with other rectangular bookshelves. I seriously regret visiting the forums sometimes.

Perhaps the edges of the bookshelf have to be folded into L-Space during the rotation.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby HugoSchmidt » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:26 am UTC

I do not have the time to reply in full, but I'd like to just home in on one of these.

nccn wrote:
(quoting yours truly)

One day, I may find someone, somewhere, who disagrees with what Ayn Rand says while accurately quoting what she says.


Her ideas don't really jive with history, or reality, or logic.

1) A Laissez-faire economy has never existed and will never exist, nor does any thinking person really believe that unrestrained trade would be the ideal method for human existence. I have yet to meet anyone who feels that organ donations should go to the highest bidder, that every drug should be legalized and uncontrolled, that Richard really owes his kingdom for a horse, and that murder for hire should be legal. Once you admit that the freedom to contract is not absolute your argument becomes a mere one of degree rather than kind.


Emphasis added.

Remember what I said about quoting her accurately? For once, I'd like to see someone do this.

Re:capitalism, we've never had it pure, but lets run the following comparisons. North and South Korea. East and West Germany (heck, even east and west Berlin). Communist China and free-market Hong Kong. The industrial, capitalist union, and the feudal, slave-owning, non-capitalist confederacy.

In all cases more capitalism ~ better place to live. In every instance where we have the ability to do a direct comparison (please spare me any rubbish about comparing Sweden (today) with 19th century America).

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby lynkyn » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:30 am UTC

Any book that explains 2020's America is worth reading XD

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby lynkyn » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:32 am UTC

HugoSchmidt wrote:In all cases more capitalism == better place to live.


This is the best way I've seen it put :P

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby radtea » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:44 am UTC

HugoSchmidt wrote: In all cases more capitalism ~ better place to live. In every instance where we have the ability to do a direct comparison (please spare me any rubbish about comparing Sweden (today) with 19th century America).


Assuming you're holding up America (today) as more capitalistic than Sweden (today) I'd have to say I'd prefer Sweden (or Canada, which is where I actually live, although I have lived in the States off and on over the past 20 years.)

But that aside, I've written extensive criticism of Rand's ideas from an well-informed perspective, mostly unavailable now as no one ever archived Jimmy Wales' MDOP list. Some of my more recent thoughts on the topic of Rand can be found here: http://www.tjradcliffe.com/?p=248

She was a creature of her time, and needs to be understood in that context. Her ideas are rarely consistent and her whole approach to "the nature of man" at odds with Darwin (humans are not primarily rational, we are primarily reproducing, and any philosophy that puts reproduction at the periphery of its model of humanity is going to be off-kilter, which is just what Rand's is.) That's just one example. Her insistence that there is no metaphysical randomness is another: this is simply not the way the world is. And so on.

But for all of that, and all her dreadful prose, she's and important feature in the swamp that is the landscape of 20th century intellectual history, and deserves more from both her critics and her followers than she actually gets.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby Akabander » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:02 pm UTC

Get out of my head, alt text!

I myself have a fascination with Ayn Rand, for much the same reason. As I've said before, "She's an acute observer of human nature, I just disagree with all of her conclusions."

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby icebrain » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:03 pm UTC

drazen wrote:*I should engage in rational self-interest.
*Accidents happen, and I may become one of the non-producers at any moment.
*Therefore, I should hedge my bets by saving for the future, or joining an independent organization that provides insurance/protection."

National health systems have been shown to be cheaper per user than private insurance. Refusing them because others would be forced to pay even if they don't want insurance is not acting on self-interest.

*I should engage in rational self-interest.
*People with no money and little hope of getting money tend to commit crimes, even violent crimes.
*While a police force can protect me, they tend to be most effective only after-the-fact.
*A perhaps more effective method of curbing crime, and a better use of my money, is to simply [b]purchase a security system


Is it really? Security systems, at least where I live, are expensive and of dubious effectiveness. Not to mention that according to economists, the false positive rate of alarms is more than 90%, costing billions of dollars to the US economy per year.

simply [...] buy a gun and shoot the criminals


Well, according to most people arguing pro-guns, there's no such thing as "simply buying a gun". They tell me that gun owners undergo extensive and regular training/practice, which is time that could be better spent doing something else, in my opinion.

If you have a family - and particularly children - you should also consider the psychological effects, particularly the fear of having a burglar in the home, possibly witnessing the killing, etc. Not to mention that if you're not at home your gun won't be of much use.

Finally, one should consider the possibility of an accidental discharge; after all, there are thousands of gun accidents per year, and while plenty are no doubt caused by the owner's own stupidity, they don't all just "happen to others".


(Seriously, you think because people commit crimes, we should capitulate to them and make concessions to them for free? Terrorists would love having people like you in charge.)

Typical black-and-white view, and completely not appropriated in rational self-interest, which demands pragmatism.

"We don't negotiate" only works when the other party wants to negotiate - like with kidnappers who ask for ransom - because they only gain something if you do negotiate.

Thieves, on the other hand, won't stop robbing just because you refuse to pay them, because they gain from the theft itself. The situation is completely different.

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby BlitzGirl » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:12 pm UTC

TazTheTerrible wrote:Am I the only one who thinks that the joke isn't "Rand is bad" but the play on the old secret passage trope and the idea that the bookstore owner would go to such lengths to give people their opinion on the book?


Ah, the good old days. Now, in the era of Amazon 1-star reviews, we get:
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby John E. » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:22 pm UTC

Nobody's posted this yet?

– 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.


http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2009/03/ep ... 009-7.html

Also

http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/222482

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby rojse » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:22 pm UTC

In response to the poster who wanted to know whether to read any of Ayn Rand or not, if you want to learn about objectivism, or want to read works which contain philosophies and ideas you may not agree with in order to better understand them, than I would suggest having a look at some of her work.

In saying that, what I've read by Rand ("Atlas Shrugged") is absolutely and utterly terrible. As a fiction, the story is repetitive and extremely bloated, and the characters are poorly-drawn caricartures. As a philosophical vehicle, while Rand does manage to put her philosophy across through dent of repetition, she fails to defend her philosophy against any possible counter-argument (of which there are many), because the characters in her stories are strawmen made to either argue for or against her philosophical viewpoints, and her opposition gets little chance to argue their viewpoints.

One easy example of how Rand's philosophy fails to stand up to scrutiny is her contention that even in an unregulated economy, two competing businesses will lower prices to compete against eachother, and this would therefore be good for those buying goods. It's far more profitable for the two businesses to collude with each other instead, create monopolys, or for fierce competition to drive away all smaller competitors so that the few remaining businesses can charge more expensive prices. There are plenty of other real-world situations where Rand's argued philosophy of objectivism fails, too - one poster gave a rather good example of disabled people not fitting in at all with Objectivism.

All up, Rand is probably worth a look, just to understand what everyone is on about, but it's rather badly-done on all fronts.

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby RoberII » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:27 pm UTC

I tried reading 'the virtue of selfishness', but as someone with an interest (not even a BA or any other education in the field, mind you) in philosophy, I found it laughable, especially her criticism of other 'egoist' philosophies (hedonism, Nietzsche) as arbitrary, when her own moral philosophy is equally arbitrary - I especially found her excuses when it came to why we shouldn't fuck over our friends rather funny. (It amounts to - don't fuck over your friends, you like your friends, and liking your friends is totally not arbitrary, that's objective, because all your friends are übermenschen like you, right?)

@ radtea, in my experience most Randroids mean something along the lines of anarchy when they say capitalism - they do this so they do not have to deal with actual capitalism, but can hold up The Perfect Platonian Capitalism as an ideal, and, you know, not have to deal with all the shit that goes on in say Mexico, Africa or the US as a consequence of capitalism.

@hugoschmidt
You do realize that all of those cases can and need to be explained by other factors as well, right? Like East and West Germany being the vassal states or colonies of two vastly different victors of WWII, one of which was completely devastated by the war and one of which wasn't? Maybe (just maybe) it isn't entirely accurate or appropriate to compare Hong Kong and China, considering the history of Hong Kong as a major trade hub of the world? It's like comparing the economy of New York and Mississippi and concluding that predominantly liberal New York has a better economy than predominantly conservative Mississippi, therefore liberalism is a better economic choice. Or maybe one is just a major trade center of the world, and one isn't.
Anyway, Somalia has almost no government and is as such a pretty 'capitalistic' place in the sense that there is nothing to interfere with the Holy, Infallible Market, if you really think that that's where you want to live, go ahead and move there. I'll give you a hug and a free copy of Das Kapital when you come back.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:42 pm UTC

If you want unfettered capitalism, go play EVE
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby kommunist » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:49 pm UTC

It is funny, how many of you here consider a book by our komrade tovaristch Aleesa Rozenbaum from Leningrad an american-only phenomenon. Just can't stop giggling about that :lol:

Read the book. Liked it mostly.
Last edited by kommunist on Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:52 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby Karilyn » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:50 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:- If you go 90% of the way along with a logical argument, and then abandon it simply because the next step is to be an asshole to everyone, you're engaging in prejudice. I don't care if the argument's logical endgame is ". . . and therefore the Nazis were right and we should rebuild the camps." Either break the logic (which may include a value-based argument) or accept the conclusion.
- She was less saying "Be an asshole to everyone," as she was fighting the idea of "Don't be an asshole to anyone."
- There are logical flaws in Rand's philosophy. Reality is not purely objective, nor is rationality the sole correct method of thinking.
- Its repeatedly hammered premise of "Don't bite the mind that feeds you," is something that hasn't been learned by too many people.
- Literature is different things to different people. I think that it's about escapism. The advantage that Rand's works have, as well as Robert Heinlein's, and the Twilight series, is that they say that being good, being the hero, will get you what you want. Some people want that.


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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby neoliminal » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:56 pm UTC

[censored by moderators of the organization of me]
Last edited by neoliminal on Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:33 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby IWX » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:57 pm UTC

Steeler wrote:xkcd seems consistently phoned in recently, and this is just part of that pattern. It's kind of sad.

Might want to take a look at Friday's comic (1048) again if this is how you feel. If you think he has come across as detached or preoccupied for the last year, there's a very good (and personal) explanation given there (I'd offer an image and direct link, but I'm below the post count to allow that). I'm actually surprised he manages to pay so much attention to the comic with all the other stuff he usually has going on; even if it's usually limited to stick-figure art, there's invariably enough provocative material to stimulate pages of discussion.

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby neoliminal » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:01 pm UTC

eidako wrote:I'm surprised nobody has pointed out the problems of rotating a fairly thick, rectangular bookshelf up flush with other rectangular bookshelves. I seriously regret visiting the forums sometimes.


Capitalism solves all problems (except Market Economic manipulation).


The two books which seem to have predictive effects on political views appear to be Atlas Shrugged and Catcher in the Rye.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby Karilyn » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:02 pm UTC

John E. wrote: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.

The parasites of society are kind of like orcs aren't they? I never thought of that comparison before. :wink:

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Strictly speaking, people who are fans of Atlas Shrugged tend to do extremely well financially, and function very well in the real world. Of course, this is likely correlation, not causation, but the point still remains.

Unless of course the lifelong obsession which was referred to were people who think Atlas Shrugged is the work of Satan himself, and that the writings are impossibly evil, and worse than Hitler. Those people tend to be incredibly emotionally stunted, and usually are people who are so incapable of working even a minimum wage job that they live in their parents basements until they are kicked out, whereafter they go to live on welfare, insisting that the world hates them, and that everybody who's every succeeded in the world just got lucky.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:20 pm UTC

Zanmanoodle wrote:I admire and have taken a lot of inspiration from Rand, and actually enjoyed both Atlas Shrugged and more so the Fountainhead. I particularly admire the parts about not being pulled around by guilt. Really, I never saw it as "therefore, be an asshole" but rather "therefore, don't let other people tell you to be or not to be an asshole."

Still, I am far from a perfect Objectivist. Don't agree all the time.


I used to like Rand - then I read about her herself (a narcissistic, egocentric sociopath on welfare (one of the things she specifically railed against)), and moved away, while still respecting her work.

Then I grew up, and realized that there was more to life than being a narcissist.

EDIT: also, Heinlien was a much better writer, though I have grown to dislike some of his later musings (To Sail beyond the Sunset, for one). That being said, I think that his young adult fiction and series of short stories were the best things he wrote.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:32 pm UTC

I guess that's what you do with a bookcase secret passage if you don't have anything interesting for the secret passage to lead to.
I wonder if Randall has played Bioshock...

SirMustapha wrote:And here's where I butt in and ask, if I am consistently condemned for being harsh to Randall, shouldn't you all treat Randall the same? I at least spend about 5 minutes a day, tops, to write a post. How long did it take Randall to think up and draw this comic??

Yes: 6 minutes!

You're not condemned for being harsh to him, you're condemned by people who disagree with you, because they disagree with you. It just so happens that those two things intersect a lot. Honestly I respect your criticisms, but you do tend to write them in insulting ways; you're free to do so, of course, and no one's stopping you, but I think you'd be condemned less if you worded your criticisms differently.
Do whatever you want though, that's just my two cents.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:52 pm UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:You're not condemned for being harsh to him, you're condemned by people who disagree with you, because they disagree with you. It just so happens that those two things intersect a lot. Honestly I respect your criticisms, but you do tend to write them in insulting ways; you're free to do so, of course, and no one's stopping you, but I think you'd be condemned less if you worded your criticisms differently.


Yes, that is true, I have no reason to disagree (though I wonder whether it'd be worthwhile toning down my posts, as I see that even the most polite criticism tends to get a lot of kneejerk reactions). But there are quite a lot of people here that simply think I shouldn't post anything at all, and repeatedly tell me to leave the forum permanently. Well, you gotta say, what Randall did today on this comic isn't much that different from what I do here. You could argue that Randall didn't post that comic on a "Unconditional Fans of Ayn Rand" forums, and I say that he did far more than that: he posted it to the whole world, which amounts to the same thing.

And believe me, I don't criticise Randall for doing that. He is in his full right to do it. But it would be hilarious if a butthurt Ayn Rand fan came here to post either of these things:

  • If you think Ayn Rand is so bad, where is YOUR better novel, eh? Eh? Eh??
  • I can't believe you can be such a horrible and worthless person to make a comic solely to criticise Ayn Rand. Don't you have better things to do with your time?
  • Yeah, he's doing that comic only to promote his store. I've seen his merchandise. They are terrible.
  • You are basically the worst person in the world.
  • You're insulting all the fans of Ayn Rand. You're such an asshole!

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby Brace » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:54 pm UTC

I like Ayn Rand and her books, but she's not a real philosopher and her books are closer to porn than scholarship. She just takes a few simple truths about economics, mixes them with romantic egoism, and calls the whole thing "logically necessary". Also, The Fountainhead is better than Atlas Shrugged.
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby Soultaker~ » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:55 pm UTC

John E. wrote:Nobody's posted this yet?
– 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.

Ah yes, more petty name-calling. It's virtually impossible to read Atlas Shrugged and not be ridiculed for it. Because the only books worth reading are those that comply with the worldview of the “progressive” elite and of course Harry Potter (talk about obsessing over childish fiction).

eran_rathan wrote:Rand [..] on welfare (one of the things she specifically railed against)

She opposed the system of welfare as a whole, but it doesn't logically follow that it would be hypocritical to receive it. After all, she could not opt out of paying the taxes and premiums that were used to support the system either. If she refused to pay her taxes but still wanted to receive welfare, you would have a point.

For a comparison, consider that even though Warren Buffet argues that the rich should be taxed more, that doesn't mean that he is (legally or morally) obliged to donate the difference of his own free will.

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby exadyne » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:59 pm UTC

I like letting people speak for themselves, from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Ayn_Rand#Native_American_Quote (you can also find the audio text on her estate's website).
Now, I don't care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country. And you're a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race. You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn't know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not. Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights--they didn't have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal "cultures"--they didn't have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using. It's wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you're an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a "country" does not protect rights--if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief--why should you respect the "rights" that they don't have or respect? The same is true for a dictatorship. The citizens in it have individual rights, but the country has no rights and so anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in that country; and no individual or country can have its cake and eat it too--that is, you can't claim one should respect the "rights" of Indians, when they had no concept of rights and no respect for rights. But let's suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages--which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their "right" to keep part of the earth untouched--to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it's great that some of them did. The racist Indians today--those who condemn America--do not respect individual rights.

Generally speaking, I had a very great distaste for Ayn Rand given my political leanings, but even then, when I first saw the quote online, I assumed it had to be people doing false attribution, to make her worse than she really is. So I did actually listen to the audio on her estate's own web site, and yes, what appeared to me to be her own voice said the above.
I have to say there is something wrong with any philosophy that claims no one can initiate force against someone else, but then justifies genocide against native people simply because their philosophy of hadn't come to the conclusion about property rights that Rand had. Also, to top it off, if you disagree with her about genocide, you're the racist? Yeah, that strikes me as "so be an asshole".

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby John E. » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:01 pm UTC

"Oh boo hoo, mean people aren't giving Ayn Rand and her readers the respect they deserve..."

Here, take a look at this series...

http://wonkette.com/415825/thats-object ... st-century
Last edited by John E. on Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Karilyn
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby Karilyn » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:03 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:But it would be hilarious if a butthurt Ayn Rand fan came here to post either of these things:

  • If you think Ayn Rand is so bad, where is YOUR better novel, eh? Eh? Eh??
  • I can't believe you can be such a horrible and worthless person to make a comic solely to criticise Ayn Rand. Don't you have better things to do with your time?
  • Yeah, he's doing that comic only to promote his store. I've seen his merchandise. They are terrible.
  • You are basically the worst person in the world.
  • You're insulting all the fans of Ayn Rand. You're such an asshole!

One of the core differences here is that it's a single comic criticizing Ayn Rand, while you come to criticize Randal every week for some reason. The repetitiveness of your actions is what gets to people. Especially when Randal happens to produce a comic which by most standards would be considered at least above-average in quality, and you still stretch to find criticisms of it, many of which feel as if they were pulled out of thin air. It starts to give the impression that it would be soul crushing to you to admit that one or any of Randal's comics could have at least one redeeming quality.

The entire thing is very... awkward to say the least, and it's very hard to think of an explanation for your behavior patterns which would not in some way be negative or condemning of you, because these behavior patterns are so atypical for a healthy human being. That's not to preclude the possibility that you're a happy healthy normal individual who is also not trolling, but it seems increasingly unlikely as time goes on.

At this point, a person who is not even a fan of Randal, would be justified in coming in and saying "Don't you have better things to do with your time?" Randal could be the absolute worst webcomic artist in the world. Randal could be so bad that he makes Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff look like a work of art on comparison with the greatest works of the Renaissance. And even then it would be hard to justify the time you dedicate to criticizing Randal on a weekly basis for years on end. Is this really something that is worth dedicating years of your life to?
Last edited by Karilyn on Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:09 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
Gelsamel wrote:If you punch him in the face repeatedly then it's science.

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Brace
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby Brace » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:05 pm UTC

exadyne wrote:I like letting people speak for themselves, from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Ayn_R ... ican_Quote (you can also find the audio text on her estate's website).
Now, I don't care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country. And you're a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race. You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn't know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not. Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights--they didn't have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal "cultures"--they didn't have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using. It's wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you're an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a "country" does not protect rights--if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief--why should you respect the "rights" that they don't have or respect? The same is true for a dictatorship. The citizens in it have individual rights, but the country has no rights and so anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in that country; and no individual or country can have its cake and eat it too--that is, you can't claim one should respect the "rights" of Indians, when they had no concept of rights and no respect for rights. But let's suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages--which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their "right" to keep part of the earth untouched--to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it's great that some of them did. The racist Indians today--those who condemn America--do not respect individual rights.

Generally speaking, I had a very great distaste for Ayn Rand given my political leanings, but even then, when I first saw the quote online, I assumed it had to be people doing false attribution, to make her worse than she really is. So I did actually listen to the audio on her estate's own web site, and yes, what appeared to me to be her own voice said the above.
I have to say there is something wrong with any philosophy that claims no one can initiate force against someone else, but then justifies genocide against native people simply because their philosophy of hadn't come to the conclusion about property rights that Rand had. Also, to top it off, if you disagree with her about genocide, you're the racist? Yeah, that strikes me as "so be an asshole".


There's also the fact that she is referring to all tribes as one homogeneous people and ignoring that, yes, there were tribes who had permanent lodgings and lived agrarian rather than nomadic hunter-gatherer existences.
"The future is the only kind of property that the masters willingly concede to the slaves" - Albert Camus

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eran_rathan
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:07 pm UTC

Brace wrote:There's also the fact that she is referring to all tribes as one homogeneous people and ignoring that, yes, there were tribes who had permanent lodgings and lived agrarian rather than nomadic hunter-gatherer existences.


Rand never let little things like 'facts' cloud her judgement.
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phrase
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby phrase » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:09 pm UTC

I feel a lot of people are hung up on the whole 90% thing. I felt Randall's issue was that he would be reading along enthusiastically with a sentence, then realize at the end he did not agree. A good analog would be reading a sentence, let's say aloud for the first time, loudly and passionately, expecting an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence, then finally getting to the end only to realize you had to switch up your inflection for the unexpected question mark.

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby BlueSoxSWJ » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:10 pm UTC

edit: ninja'd

blowfishhootie
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby blowfishhootie » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:16 pm UTC

HugoSchmidt wrote:In all cases more capitalism ~ better place to live.


Uh, what? If you want to just throw out blind bullshit and assume it's true with no real reason to do so, have at it, but it's not an effective way to create an argument.

Obviously "better place to live" is totally, in every way subjective, which is the most obvious flaw of this incredibly stupid statement. But if we can take public polling as to contentment with life and general happiness as a measure of "better," Scandinavia is consistently miles ahead of the United States in this regard. And again, "more capitalism" is something you've failed to provide a system for measuring, but I'm going to have to guess that paying way more in taxes and relying way more on government-planned services funded by those taxes, as they do in Scandinavia relative to the U.S., qualifies as "less capitalism."

Continuing with this method of quantifying "capitalism," I turn to Cambodia, where I lived for about three years. People pay virtually nothing in taxes - because most of them make virtually no money - and the government does next to nothing aside from maintain a military. Literacy is embarrassing low*, the police work for public hire and so only the wealthy are protected from crime, the roads are some of the deadliest in Asia because there is no rule or organization, and human trafficking is a serious problem. Again, if you have some other way of defining "more capitalism," please provide it, but I'm pretty sure it will be a bullshit definition unless Cambodia is classified as "more capitalistic" than the U.S., and I also don't think many people would argue that life for most Cambodians is better than life for more Americans.

Really, what an incredibly stupid thing to say.

* Report on adult literacy in Cambodia, citing a UNESCO/UNDP report that put the figure at about 36 percent.: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=ca ... OpcWFG9lyg

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby Kaylakaze » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:21 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:If you want unfettered capitalism, go play EVE


Actually, that's a common misconception about EVE Online. The market in EVE is, in fact, very well regulated. There are "government" entities that provide protection, provide needed goods at a set price, you get given everything you need to make your own way in the world when you start, including unlimited employment, and if you get blown up, you get a free ship that's good enough to get you back on your feet. And it also doesn't hurt that you're also immortal.

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Aurini
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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby Aurini » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:26 pm UTC

Ayn Rand? What an idiot! I'm glad we ignored her advice. Don't you know that it's demand that drives the economy, not production? Bah! These Randroids would try and say that Obama's WORSTENING the crisis by bailing out the bankers!

I'm with IceBrain on this; my only beef with the left, is that they're stalling after socializing medicine. Food is far more more important than medicine, and heck, there's already some soviet blueprints laying around for how we can do it.

Historical RGDP.png

were screwed.jpg


Source: http://captaincapitalism.blogspot.ca/2012/04/what-could-have-been.html

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby endolith » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:31 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Strictly speaking, people who are fans of Atlas Shrugged tend to do extremely well financially, and function very well in the real world.


{{citation needed}}

any kind of study, peer-reviewed paper, etc.

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Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Postby 20andHeartless » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:32 pm UTC

Randall's been being kind of a nerdy elitist douche lately


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