How I Philosophise

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-03-25 10:39

-- Click to enlarge

Philosophical appreciation is not the same as biographical appreciation. Why do people keep mixing them up?

Let me tell you right now that, philosophically, I don't really give a damn what Ayn Rand believed. Likewise, when it comes to Scientology I don't give a damn what Tom Cruise believes. What I want to know are the premises, the reasoning and the conclusions. Is it sound? Is it valid? Does it wash out harsh stains and leave my dishes squeeky-clean?

Recent Comments:
PARC is optional — by sjw on Sun, 2006-03-26 16:48
How to philosophise — by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-03-26 13:22
A game of two halves — by Tim S on Sun, 2006-03-26 11:47

Ni Idea

eg's picture
Submitted by eg on Fri, 2006-03-24 17:32

Roger Bissell on Feb. 18 posted the "only" review you'd need for PARC on Objectivist Living.

Recent Comments:
The least — by eg on Mon, 2006-03-27 15:07
Hmmm It would appear we have — by John M Newnham on Mon, 2006-03-27 13:42
And now MSK — by Casey on Fri, 2006-03-24 22:18

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"Freedom Jacked"! Congress is trying to pass another Abramoff Deal

Kamarat McWashington's picture
Submitted by Kamarat McWashington on Fri, 2006-03-24 16:37

Reposted from: Atlantis Blog

Did you hear about the new lobbying scandal? It is an "Abramoff Deal". What is an Abramoff Deal you may ask? It is when a person or group of individuals try to gain an advantage by playing both sides. Similar to a Faustian deal, they both come back to bite you in the behind. However, an Abramoff Deal is worse. In a Faustian deal, you at least know that you have a good chance of the screws being put to you. Yet with a Abramoff Deal, they will support you and your adversary at the same time. This way they gain more money or advantages from the escalating conflict between you both.

Rousseau and Kant—Partners in Crime

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-03-24 08:41

"Kant is the most evil man in mankind’s history."

Recent Comments:
Ah! — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2009-08-19 22:46
The proof of "most evil" — by Ptgymatic on Wed, 2009-08-19 22:44
That is Great — by gregster on Tue, 2009-08-18 09:40

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Notes on the Psycho Epistemology of Acting

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Thu, 2006-03-23 23:15



This essay is an attempt to explain, in more detail than has been presented in the past, the psychological processes involved in acting. I'm going to define some basic concepts in psychology and psycho-epistemology and apply them to the realm of theatre, specifically to Stanislovski's method of acting.

Recent Comments:
Emotions are a response to — by JennaW on Tue, 2006-03-28 23:50
Try It Your Own Way — by Dan Edge on Sat, 2006-03-25 20:13
Brow crinkling — by sjw on Sat, 2006-03-25 18:23

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Stanislavski Quotes

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Thu, 2006-03-23 23:03

Stanislavski was a Russian actor/director/teacher who worked in Moscow until his death in the early 20th century. His "method" of acting is today widely revered and implemented around the world. He was the first to popularize romantic realism in theatre. I would like to write an essay on his life some time in the near future, but for now I wanted to present some quotes of his that moved me:

- "What does in really mean to be truthful on stage? Does it mean that you conduct yourself as you do in ordinary life? Not at all. Truthfulness in those terms would be sheer triviality. There is the the same difference between artistic and inartistic truth as exists between a painting and a photograph: the latter produces everything, the former only what is essential; to put the essential on canvas requires the talent of a painter."

Meat and Mushroom Clouds on Doves' Feet

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Thu, 2006-03-23 04:13

DPF at Kiwiblog, and commenters, have been reacting to the work of Dr Marc Wilson of Victoria Uni (and his student/s).

The Dominion today reports on Wilson's latest work into social psychological factors influencing peoples' food preferences. DPF says....

An academic study on meat eating has found that a partial reason why men eat meat is to "express dominance or masculinity".

Silly me. I thought I ate meat simply because I enjoyed the taste. But what would I know.

Riveting Rand

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-03-23 00:33

I’ve spent the past day reacquainting myself with Ayn Rand, via the recently-published Ayn Rand Answers—the Best of her Q & A.

I’ve spent the past day in Atlantis.

Recent Comments:
Musing on artists as art — by Newberry on Mon, 2009-10-05 17:15
The Parrish verdict — by Ellen Stuttle on Fri, 2009-10-02 07:15
Undeserved Charity — by jriggenbach on Thu, 2009-10-01 22:49

( categories: )

Humour: George Carlin's Rules for 2006 - Corrected!

Robert's picture
Submitted by Robert on Wed, 2006-03-22 19:59


Actually, George Carlin didn’t write the rules that were originally posted here. It has been pointed out to me that Bill Maher invented the "New Rules" comic device. These particular rules aired on Bill's Real Time program. It aired on HBO between March and September 2005.

You can actually read Bill's rules "New Rules" here.

You can read the rules that used to be posted here at this website.

And well you should read them, because there are some bloody funny ones there. But don't take my word for it, I've posted by favourite rules below.

All that remains is to offer a red-faced mea culpa.  I offer my apologies to Bill Maher and George Carlin for misattributing their work and for posting something without checking the copyright issues around it. I shall now go and eat some boiled Brussels sprouts as punishment.

Let this be a lesson to the rest of you. Never believe any E-mail you receive from an Australian. Those bloody sheep-shagging sons’s of sheep-rustlers couldn't lie straight in bed.

Recent Comments:
URLs — by Robert on Fri, 2006-03-24 16:36
So why didn't those urls — by Luke H on Fri, 2006-03-24 10:30
Tone — by JoeM on Fri, 2006-03-24 06:23


Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-03-22 19:48

Diana's account of her history with the Brandens:

Recent Comments:
...and Philosophy. — by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-03-26 07:37
You mean ... — by eg on Sun, 2006-03-26 07:16
Good. — by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-03-26 07:11


Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Wed, 2006-03-22 02:40

(Click to enlarge)

Recent Comments:
My my count, it's 25 years — by Rick Giles on Fri, 2015-01-30 19:25
Sorry Ross, short term — by JoeM on Sun, 2006-03-26 07:20
Yep, I did actually post on — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-03-26 04:17

Dr Chris R Tame RIP - Founder and President of the Libertarian Alliance passes away

Kenny's picture
Submitted by Kenny on Tue, 2006-03-21 17:30

Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, has distributed this email message this morning:

"It is with the deepest regret that I must announce the death of Dr Chris R. Tame, Founder and President of the Libertarian Alliance.

Chris founded the Libertarian Alliance in the early 1970s. During the next 30 years, he worked tirelessly to recover the British libertarian tradition as a seamless heritage of freedom. He took issue with those Conservatives who saw freedom in terms purely of pounds and pence - and often not even as that. He took issue also with those who demanded freedom in all matters but those involving the getting and spending of money. He believed that freedom should be defined in the traditional English sense, as the rights to life, liberty and justly acquired property.

Recent Comments:
Thanks Tim — by Kenny on Tue, 2006-03-21 21:17
Very sad news. — by Tim S on Tue, 2006-03-21 20:51
Thanks Chris — by Kenny on Tue, 2006-03-21 17:39

Hudson Leick

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Tue, 2006-03-21 06:20

Some thoughts on "powers that be" who think we mere mortals on the ground can't run our own lives with our own money....

This is actress-sex-goddess-babe-evil-fighter-bandit-Xena-nemisis Hudson Leick/Calisto. Xena: Warrior Princess, we all remember, was a ratings hit involving our own Lucy Lawless. The Yanks made it, I think, in West Auckland or some such. It was a fantasy TV show set in a fictional Ancient Greece.

Calisto was our heroine's, Xena's, arch-enemy. She fought with her sword, her sexuality, and her dirty and siniser mind games- always driven by her vengeful lust toward Xgirl. She was sort of a cross between a hateful Drew Barrymore and a horny Wolverine. Powerful performance. I wish I watched the show more now....but I digress.

Below is a picture of Leick on another show around about the same time Xena was still on, Touched By An Angel.

I used to watch both of these shows sometimes, but the latter, the one about angels rocking down from Heaven and fixing our lives, dropped off my watch list one day. That was the day Ms Hudson Leick first joined the show and just ruined it for me.

Letter to the NZ Herald re. the cost of being blind

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-03-21 05:05

I just sent this letter to the Herald, in response to their article Blind have to fork out extra $61m a year:

The Soul of Science Vs. the Ghost of Intelligent Design

Kamarat McWashington's picture
Submitted by Kamarat McWashington on Mon, 2006-03-20 14:42

Reposted from: Atlantis Blog

    The most frustrating thing about the
Evolution vs. Intelligent design debate is the voluminous research
both sides have done. How can either side condense that information
into a paragraph or sound bite in order to persuade the other side.
When it comes down to it, the essential driving force of both groups
is philosophy. It deals with two main branches of philosophy,
epistemology and metaphysics. Epistemology deals with the theory of
knowledge. In other words, how do we gain knowledge and how do we
know it is true. Metaphysics tells us what kind of universe we live
in. Your answers to these questions will determine the quality of
your science and whether something should be considered science at

    Starting with metaphysics, do we view the
universe as something that has always existed, with everything having
a set identity and nature. This would entail that based on each thing
having a set nature, set consequences would occur by different things
interacting with each other. In other words, cause and effect is the
expression of the set nature of things applied to action. Which in
discovering the set nature of things and observing the cause and
effect of their identities in action, allows us to find universal
principles that apply to many things besides the ones we are
observing. For example, water boils when the right amount of heat is
applied. On the other hand, do we view the universe as something a
all powerful being created. Things did not always exist only the
powerful being was eternal. This universe would not have set
identities and natures. It would have the natures that the powerful
being or beings (god or gods) would give it. If the nature of
something is created by a god, it can be changed by that god. So a
car could be turned into a living human being if a god decides to. A
house is a lion if god wishes it so. Observe the different views of
life those two different ideas create. The universe that
always existed(UAE) suggests that studying every
thing's specific natures and their interactions with each other will
lead to an ever growing knowledge that uses past knowledge as a
stepping stone to reach new heights. A universe that was
created(UWC) suggest that we can never really know the
truth about anything because god can change the nature and identity
of something, by simply wishing it so.

Women at war with the mullahs

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Sun, 2006-03-19 20:51

There's a great piece in The Times about Dr Wafa Sultan, the outspoken critic of Islam, as well as other prominent Muslim/ex-Muslim female critics of Islam. Here are a few choice quotes from Dr Sultan:

"We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."

A Pappap’s Dream

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Sun, 2006-03-19 19:18

This is a site dedicated to the Passion of Ayn Rand’s thoughts and definitely not a photo album grandkid kind of place. So what this particular blog entry. Well, let me tell the story and you be the judge.
I riding in the car with my 3 grandchildren, 2 10 and one five year old and the kids start arguing about proof. I don’t even know what started the argument. I chime in with the idea that there are different kinds of proof and as an example I said that if you wanted to prove that a swimming pool exists over there to our right, all you had to do was look. Or if you wanted to prove that the car ahead of us exists all you had to do was look. It was at that point that my 5 year old grandson asked, “Pappap, Does existence exists?” Holy shit I thought, What a great moment to be a grandfathter. Oh, by the way, I said, “Yes.”

Recent Comments:
Mean — by seddon on Sun, 2006-03-26 20:29
Fred ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-03-22 08:14
Linz, What do you mean by — by seddon on Tue, 2006-03-21 15:52

V for Vendetta Reviewed

Robert's picture
Submitted by Robert on Sun, 2006-03-19 00:09

"A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having."

There are many aspects of V for Vendetta that will warm the cockles of the Objectivist heart. Set in post-apocalyptic Britain, the story unfolds with an innocent citizen, out after curfew, is beset by three special police officers ("Finger-men") intent on gang raping her. Out of the midnight mist appears a caped figure in a Guy Fawkes mask, a vicious fight ensues and the masked man prevails.

Recent Comments:
Yep, yep, yep ... — by Ed on Thu, 2006-04-27 04:22
IDEAS are Forever... — by Rowlf on Tue, 2006-04-25 21:51
Agreed, even better than Batman Begins ... — by Ed on Tue, 2006-04-25 08:57

( categories: )

Noodling David Kelley

sjw's picture
Submitted by sjw on Sat, 2006-03-18 23:05

Diana Hsieh is well-known in Objectivist circles for her philosophical criticisms of TOC & David Kelley, all essentially amounting to the idea that they are fundamentally at odds with Ayn Rand's Objectivism. Her latest round is here:

On the face of it, that first paragraph she snipped out of T&T does look like it could be damning. If one were inclined to knee-jerk criticism, one might accuse Kelley here of saying that to judge someone, we take into account two exhaustive factors: their motives—what they intended to achieve—and their actions—what they actually did. Now any Objectivist knows that good intentions are worth zilch unless backed by integrity to rational principles. Therefore Kelley must be advocating some kind of touchy-feeling judging of people by what they hope and wish, and pragmatically balancing that with what they actually did in order to sneak in a little Objectivism, right? So as Diana asserts, Kelley must have a mind-body dichotomy manifested here as a motives-consequences dichotomy, right?

Recent Comments:
Re: Kelley on the mind-body issue — by mcohen on Wed, 2006-05-03 15:30
No you weren't — by eg on Tue, 2006-03-28 17:47
Brant... — by sjw on Tue, 2006-03-28 15:48


Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Sat, 2006-03-18 03:30

A recent article by Mike Adams. I don't always agree with him, but he always makes me laugh.


Production Versus Consumption

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Fri, 2006-03-17 22:49

There are two fundamental views of economic life. One dominated the economic philosophy of the nineteenth century, under the influence of the British Classical Economists, such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo. The other dominated the economic philosophy of the seventeenth century, under the influence of Mercantilism, and has returned to dominate the economic philosophy of the twentieth century, largely under the influence of Lord Keynes. What distinguishes these two views is this: In the nineteenth century, economists identified the fundamental problem of economic life as how to expand production. Implicitly or explicitly, they perceived the base both of economic activity and economic theory in the fact that man’s life and well-being depend on the production of wealth. Man’s nature makes him need wealth; his most elementary judgments make him desire it; the problem, they held, is to produce it. Economic theory, therefore, could take for granted the desire to consume, and focus on the ways and means by which production might be increased.

Recent Comments:
My two cents. — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-03-18 19:28
1964?! — by eg on Sat, 2006-03-18 17:28
Wow! That is a wonderful — by JulianP on Sat, 2006-03-18 01:17

Machan's Musings - Business Ethics Distortions

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Thu, 2006-03-16 22:54

Ethics is an ancient discipline, mostly tackled by philosophers. It addresses the issue of how human beings should choose to live, what standards should guide them in deciding what conduct is right, what is wrong. And it concentrates mainly on broad principles or virtues—honesty, generosity, temperance, courage, moderation, prudence, and so forth. Philosophers tend to argue about the exact ranking of these principles or virtues, as well as about whether ethics is possible at all.

There has always been some interest on the part of certain philosophers in the application of ethics to specific areas of human life—parenting, farming, medicine, business, engineering, and so forth. For some years, however, the study of business affairs was completely taken over by economics, which is deemed a social science. Thus ethics had been set aside where business was being investigated—it was assumed, largely, that what happens in commerce and business goes on as a kind of natural process, driven by the innate human impulse to prosper—in other words, the profit motive.

Recent Comments:
Well said. — by Prima Donna on Fri, 2006-03-17 23:12

Letter to the NZ Herald re. smoking restrictions

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-03-16 20:04

I just sent this letter to the Herald, in response to their article Anti-smoking lobby targets 'last frontier':

Recent Comments:
And further, we have health — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-03-18 05:48
The facists have leverage. A — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-03-18 05:44
Absolutely — by Scott Wilson on Fri, 2006-03-17 21:37

In the U.S. Senate the Guilty Interrogate the Innocent

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-03-16 16:55

In an article titled “A Senate Panel Interrogates Wary Oil Executives” today’s New York Times reports that “The nation's top oil executives were called before Congress again yesterday to defend their industry's recent mergers and record profits, in the face of public outrage over high oil and gasoline prices.”

Judging from The Times’ article, the hearings touched on everything but the simple, obvious cause of high oil and gasoline prices. They dealt with mergers in the oil industry, which, it was recognized by Senator Feinstein (Democrat from California), have served to lower costs of production in the industry. Somehow neither she nor, apparently, any of the other senators present, could see that the resulting lower costs would naturally result in lower prices if that were the only factor operative. (Lower prices would be necessary in order to derive competitive advantage from the lower costs and the mergers that produced them. Absent lower prices, smaller-scale, higher-cost firms would be just as profitable as before. But with lower prices, they would not be and would thus have to yield market share to the merged and now lower-cost producers.)

Recent Comments:
Reisman on SOLOpassion — by seddon on Thu, 2006-03-30 18:40
"I suspect they find me a — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-03-18 01:43
It's really great to see Dr. Reisman here! — by Casey on Fri, 2006-03-17 10:22

Morality, Its not just for Religions

Kamarat McWashington's picture
Submitted by Kamarat McWashington on Thu, 2006-03-16 15:41

Reposted from: Atlantis Blog

The other day in talking with two different friends, they each brought up quotes on morality.

"Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something." - Henry David Thoreau


"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"- Gandhi

Now you see Solo-Passion. Now you don't.

Robert's picture
Submitted by Robert on Wed, 2006-03-15 14:07

Here's an exercise for your Wednesday morning: Type in and try to determine whence the message announcing the rise of SOLO-Passion from the ashes of SOLOHQ has gone. You will see Joe Rowland's RoR announcement, but nothing about Linz or SOLO-P.

Disclaimer: I, Robert Winefield - author of this post, do solemnly acknowledge that Joe is under no legal obligation to afford SOLO-Passion advertising space on his website. Mind you, I didn't go to RoR by choice! I navigated to - previous location of a joint venture between Joe Rowlands and Lindsay Perigo.

This is only an observation. I am reserving my judgement because I don't have the vocabulary to express my true feelings without being obscene.

Recent Comments:
My point is... — by atlascott on Sat, 2006-05-27 19:06
Olives — by ethan_dawe on Sat, 2006-05-27 13:42
Here's a wee task ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Sat, 2006-05-27 11:47

Roe vs. Wade For Men PLUS

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Wed, 2006-03-15 13:10
     When a normal fertile male and a normal fertile female have sex together, usually that's all they're doing. They're participating in some mutual moments of pleasure, passion, and intimacy. They are generally not trying to make a baby. They are generally not planing to start or expand a family.
     This is the "default position" of sex. This is the implicit agreement and implied social compact between them. This contract may be unspoken and unwritten -- but it's very clear and strong.

Recent Comments:
Jen, I fully agree with you. — by Ross Elliot on Tue, 2006-03-21 05:48
This is MY body — by Rukundo on Tue, 2006-03-21 03:34
Property Rights — by Prima Donna on Mon, 2006-03-20 18:51

TOC: Bill Perry "Retires"

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-03-14 21:22

TOC has officially confirmed Bill Perry's departure with the following announcement:


"Bill Perry, The Objectivist Center's director of community relations, is retiring and returning to Arizona.

"After a career as a prosecutor in Arizona, where his family lives, and after trips to our Summer Seminars, Bill retired not to a life of leisure but, rather, to Poughkeepsie, New York to work for us for a while. He started with us in March 2004 and when the Center moved to D.C., Bill agreed to serve another year before really retiring.

"He has been a great help in the transition and in creating a well-organized system for fundraising and keeping in touch with our members. For example, Bill produced the Logbooks that are sent out ten times a year and organized the sponsors' dinner at the Summer Seminars. He even found time to do a fine seminar talk in 2005 on Ortega y Gasset, the Spanish philosopher on whom Ayn Rand in part modeled Dr. Huge Akston in Atlas Shrugged.

Recent Comments:
Come out and say it — by wsscherk on Sun, 2006-04-23 14:48
And... — by Holly Valliant on Thu, 2006-03-16 14:57
I'm sure.... — by Robert on Thu, 2006-03-16 14:31

Introducing: The Objective Standard

Lanza Morio's picture
Submitted by Lanza Morio on Tue, 2006-03-14 10:04

The high-minded and magnificent Lindsay Perigo gave me permission to post this even though it's in competition with his own Free Radical. Thanks Linz!

From their Statement of Purpose:

The Objective Standard is a quarterly journal of culture and politics based on the idea that for every human concern—from personal matters to foreign policy, from the sciences to the arts, from education to legislation—there are demonstrably objective standards by reference to which we can assess what is true or false, good or bad, right or wrong. The purpose of the journal is to analyze and evaluate ideas, trends, events, and policies accordingly.

Recent Comments:
Blog — by Glenn I Heppard on Thu, 2006-05-11 04:41

Lindzen on climate alarmism

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2006-03-13 19:42

Richard Lindzen is one of the most well-known global warming 'skeptics.' Here is a recent Powerpoint presentation given by Lindzen "rebutting alarmist climate science." As Robert Bradley from PERC notes, "he explains, among other things, how each greenhouse gas emission has less of a climate effect than the one before -- a powerful scientific law that neuters the CO2 mitigation option as the years and decades progress."

Take a look. It only takes a minute to get the main arguments. The document itself is in PDF form.

Recent Comments:
PERC — by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-03-14 09:48
PERC — by Kenny on Tue, 2006-03-14 09:44
Okay Cool — by Marnee on Tue, 2006-03-14 00:52

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