Tom Burroughes's blog

Barbara Branden—1929-2013

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Thu, 2013-12-12 08:51

I see that Barbara Branden, best known of course for her association with Rand and the 1986 biography, has died. I never met her but corresponded with her a few times over the last 20 years.

Recent Comments:
I was sorry to hear of — by Newberry on Tue, 2013-12-24 20:06
Eh? — by Lindsay Perigo on Sat, 2013-12-21 02:39
Gregster — by Neil Parille on Sat, 2013-12-21 01:58

Rob Lowe asks what it is that so riles people about Rand

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2013-11-15 12:22

The Hollywood actor (star of shows such as The West Wing), Rob Lowe, asks: http://www.theobjectivestandar...

Recent Comments:
Vitriol Explained — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Wed, 2013-11-20 07:09
What is going on — by Tom Burroughes on Tue, 2013-11-19 10:42
Thank you Kyrel. Precisly my — by cindy holland on Mon, 2013-11-18 23:38

Excellent paper on why humans have volition and why consciousness does not make sense without it

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Tue, 2013-10-29 14:29

In my joust some time ago with a determinist (he eventually "chose" to leave this blog in a huff, by a delicious irony), I was reminded of what a tangle of contradictions people who think they are "scientific" get into when trying to disprove or mock the idea that humans have free will.


Film Review - Rush

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Mon, 2013-10-21 18:03

Spoiler alert: One or two parts of this review give away parts of the plot.

http://www.rushmovie.com/


On why so much supposedly great TV is so dark and nihilistic

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Thu, 2013-08-29 07:29

Megan McArdle, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/... , writing over at Bloomberg, has this thought-provoking article (well, it is to me) about why so-much acclaimed television is so dark and depressing in its content:

Recent Comments:
Rosie — by RationalMan on Wed, 2013-09-04 05:19
Saved by British manufacturing. — by Shane on Mon, 2013-09-02 23:21
Hey Rosie. I find your post — by Rick Giles on Mon, 2013-09-02 01:12

Book Review: Men on Strike, by Dr Helen Smith

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Sun, 2013-08-04 18:33

As some regulars here know, a complaint that is made of today’s Objectivist movement is that it does not have much to say about certain topics, or does so only intermittently.

Recent Comments:
Objectivist Hero — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Sun, 2013-09-01 19:47
Olivia — by RationalMan on Thu, 2013-08-22 06:50
Michael — by tvr on Wed, 2013-08-21 10:07

Another example of the highly dubious nature of "new atheists" when it comes to reason

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Wed, 2013-04-17 21:51

I am indebted to Doug Bandler, who recently mentioned the wonderful and stimulating book, Aping Mankind, by Raymond Tallis.

Recent Comments:
Yes — by Jules Troy on Thu, 2013-04-18 23:41

How so-called "progressives" can be terrible on science

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Wed, 2013-03-20 15:57

I suppose this has become a bit of a theme for me lately.


Good to see a professor taking a stand against religious apartheid

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2013-03-15 11:25

Lawrence Krauss, another of the "new atheists" I wrote about the other day, experienced an example of the sort of sexual apartheid that deluded Westerners are prepared to go along with so as not to offend those of certain views:

Recent Comments:
Empty Remarks — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Fri, 2013-03-22 15:50
Linz — by Doug Bandler on Thu, 2013-03-21 19:04
Claire... — by Jules Troy on Thu, 2013-03-21 04:18

Some of these "new Atheists" are not always as rational as they like us to think

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Thu, 2013-03-07 10:51

One of the "new Atheists", Victor Stenger, who is a retired research physicist and now full-time writer, is someone whom I follow quite a bit and I have read several of his books.

Recent Comments:
Digging deeper — by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2013-03-15 10:58
Re Shermer — by Doug Bandler on Tue, 2013-03-12 18:51
Michael Shermer wrote an — by Tom Burroughes on Tue, 2013-03-12 12:28

Thoughts on the teaching of history

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2013-02-01 17:44

Note: putting in links to all these guys is time-consuming but you can Google all of the stuff here fairly easily.

Recent Comments:
James Clavell — by Tom Burroughes on Sun, 2013-02-17 20:09
Funny thing is... — by Marcus on Thu, 2013-02-14 17:50
British history and attitudes towards business and success. — by Tom Burroughes on Thu, 2013-02-14 17:29

Great quote from a physicist about the perils of Kant's philosophy

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Tue, 2013-01-08 20:16

"In his Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant argued that experience was not the only source of knowledge, that in addition our minds have certain built-in a priori concepts. One of his major examples was our intuition that space is described by Euclidean geometry. Of course, we now know that other geometries exist and that Einstein used non-Euclidean geometry to describe space in his general theory of relativity. So much for what Kant called the synthetic a priori."

Recent Comments:
Tom — by seddon on Thu, 2013-02-21 14:31
Oh I can understand the point — by Tom Burroughes on Mon, 2013-02-18 17:17
Tom — by seddon on Mon, 2013-02-18 14:50

Article about the late, great Dave Brubeck

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Thu, 2012-12-06 12:10

As the article says, this is a man whose jazz achievements transcended his own field and became one of the most famous of them all. A consummate musician who worked almost to the very end.


Karl Popper's shellacking by Nicholas Dykes

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Wed, 2012-10-24 20:49

Nicholas Dykes, a fan of Rand (not an uncritical one, though) wrote a great essay for the UK Libertarian Alliance several years ago about the late Sir Karl Popper.


Another look at life as the source and reward of value

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Mon, 2012-08-27 13:00

In a joust with Richard Goode Big smile , I wrote a longish comment that I thought I would repeat here.


Rare cinema screening of The Fountainhead in London

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2012-08-24 09:50

I received this message via a good pal of mine, Alex Singleton. I am spreading this around for those who are interested:

Recent Comments:
I'll go off... — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2012-08-24 10:46
I remember ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2012-08-24 10:42

Even the UK's state-privileged TV broadcaster has woken up to Ayn Rand

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2012-08-17 11:16

Although there is a bit of silly snark at the end via J Tucille, here is a pretty fair and good item on the "Ayn Rand phenomenon" at the British Broadcasting Corporation's website.

Recent Comments:
Curious — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Sun, 2012-08-19 21:51
Tom — by gregster on Fri, 2012-08-17 14:21
Maggie — by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2012-08-17 13:40

Discovering poetry

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Wed, 2012-08-15 16:42

US legal scholar, activist and Rand fan Tim Sandefur has an excellent essay on why he thinks Objectivists, given Rand's views on art and aesthetics, should pay more attention to the art of poetry.

Recent Comments:
Much great literature was poetry... — by Marcus on Fri, 2012-08-17 16:29
Repetition.... — by Craig Ceely on Fri, 2012-08-17 13:14
The lone and level sands... — by Craig Ceely on Fri, 2012-08-17 04:05

One of today's "New Atheists" smears Rand, loses my respect

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Mon, 2012-08-13 10:49

I occasionally look at some of the atheist/skeptic sites out there, as they can contain some good material (such as debunking of nonsense such as Creationism).

Recent Comments:
"Some assembly required" — by Richard Goode on Wed, 2012-08-15 22:28
Correction — by Jmaurone on Wed, 2012-08-15 15:28
Good Point — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Wed, 2012-08-15 14:52

Ayn Rand's views about native peoples

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Tue, 2012-07-10 13:42

During one of the recent jousts on this site, the issue of Ayn Rand's views about Native American peoples came up as a point against her.

Recent Comments:
From my reading, some tribes — by Tom Burroughes on Mon, 2012-08-13 10:36
I wonder... — by Marcus on Fri, 2012-07-13 09:55
Damien... — by Marcus on Fri, 2012-07-13 09:52

A surprisingly good film about the decline of Rome, the ascent of Christianity, and philosophy

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Sat, 2012-07-07 16:31

I am probably behind a good deal of SOLO regulars here, but I have finally got around to watching the film Agora, starring Rachel Weisz.

Recent Comments:
ha! — by Damien Grant on Sun, 2012-07-08 04:42
is on Internet — by Richard Goode on Sun, 2012-07-08 00:49
not on itunes — by Damien Grant on Sat, 2012-07-07 22:49

I guess this is a contest between an Attila and a Witch Doctor

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2012-05-25 11:18

Here is a link to the latest on the Egyptian elections: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05...


A new Galt's Gulch off the coast of the US?

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Thu, 2012-05-10 18:08

I came across this item (via Ray Kurzweil's futurism site) about a large construction that is floating off the west coast of the US that will be a form of "seastead" for computer and other entrepreneu

Recent Comments:
Good like, but — by 0 on Sat, 2012-05-12 09:22
free trade zones — by Damien Grant on Sat, 2012-05-12 04:15
Jeez, Robert... — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2012-05-11 09:52

Was Rand really wrong to dismiss the argument for anarchy?

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Mon, 2012-04-30 14:00

I was going to write this in response to Stephan Kinsella regarding his statement that Rand got it wrong on anarchy (as he says she also got IP wrong).

Recent Comments:
"you don't need to have — by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2012-05-04 12:01
It was a typo! — by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2012-05-04 11:52
Question is ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2012-05-01 21:48

Getting "Big Stuff Done"

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Wed, 2012-04-25 22:46

Oh boy, that IP posting of mine has really got the barn burning. So we might as well continue.


Intellectual property rights

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2012-04-20 08:40

As I expected, the issue of intellectual property rights gets objectivists, and others in the the broad free market/classical liberal school really fired up.

Recent Comments:
Shayne — by Brant Gaede on Wed, 2012-07-18 15:42
Brant — by Shayne Wissler on Wed, 2012-07-18 06:14
stop — by Brant Gaede on Wed, 2012-07-18 06:08

The corruption of science in the West

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Mon, 2012-04-16 20:54

I am reading "Watermelons", a book by James Delingpole about the Green movement and the scandal of the AGW alarmists who, at institutions such as the University of East Anglia in the UK, have allegedl


A nice take-down of the "intelligent design" point of view

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Fri, 2012-04-13 08:25

One of the arguments that they sometimes bring up is that the universe is structured in such a way that if a single relationship were slightly different, life could not exist.

Recent Comments:
Why the argument? Well, — by Tom Burroughes on Sun, 2012-04-15 18:27
why the argument at all — by seymourblogger on Sun, 2012-04-15 11:50
And sixst-life adjusts itself — by 0 on Sat, 2012-04-14 05:27

An interesting version of the "tall poppy syndrome"

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Tue, 2012-04-10 11:55

In an interesting swerve on the idea of an individual attracting resentment for his/her achievements and manner of their achievements, we have the phenomenon of a whole team of individuals - in this c


Reasons to be cheerful

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Submitted by Tom Burroughes on Sat, 2012-04-07 23:25

Well, rather than look to the religious world for reasons for optimism, let us consider the ingenuity, courage and tenacity of our fellow bipeds as a cause for celebration:

Recent Comments:
Upbeat — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Tue, 2012-04-10 14:35
Last night I watched an excellent programme... — by Marcus on Tue, 2012-04-10 11:05

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