April Update

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Sat, 2006-04-01 21:47

It has been an interesting month watching things develop here on SOLO. As I initially noted, I was surprised when Lindsay tapped me to run things here, but I decided that the challenge he was offering is one that gives me an outlet to focus on things that are important to me. Objectivism is important to me, discussing ideas is important to me, and advocating freedom is important to me. The goal that Lindsay and I share is that we both want to develop the best Objectivist community on the Internet. While SOLO is certainly my personal favorite Objectivist community I recognize that a lot of work needs to be done before we can once again claim this title. My first goal in this process is to build a strong team of people to help me run different aspects SOLO. A lot of what I write in my initial monthly updates will be aimed at attracting people to help with different projects. This month I have three such projects that I want to mention.

Recent Comments:
contra Jennifer — by Jody Gomez on Tue, 2006-04-04 03:21
Error in Dates — by Jason Quintana on Mon, 2006-04-03 22:36
Kenny — by Jason Quintana on Mon, 2006-04-03 19:56

Cut the bastards off!

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-04-01 12:18

Jim 'The Spud' Bolger, 1990-1997 [pic: Dominion Post/Stuff.co.nz]

There has been a buzz among some of us in the Kiwi blogosphere this week regarding the funding of our past Prime Ministers. Like ex-Presidents, old New Zealand PMs take a pension and take perks until the reaper finally takes them.

2005 Jim Bolger's travel cost $47,021 – which included $25,606 on self-drive cars.

Recent Comments:
No check, Brant, however I — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-04-02 10:08
Tell your Mum that I give — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-04-02 10:06
Ross — by eg on Sun, 2006-04-02 01:17

Objectivists Reeling!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sat, 2006-04-01 04:33

A series of bizarre incidents has rocked the Objectivist movement overnight, causing a run on counselling books by renowned neo-Objectivist therapist Nathaniel Branden. Dr. Branden has responded by raising the price of his works to $10,000 each, nearly as much as he's believed to charge California's feeble-minded therapy addicts for a one-hour personal fix. When accused, by one frustrated would-be book-purchaser, of "price-gouging," Dr. Branden, aka "Dr." Branden, replied, "Eat shit, dickhead."

The crisis was triggered by the sudden confession by Ayn Rand biographer Barbara Branden that she has made mistakes. Ms. Branden has insisted in the past that she has never made a mistake. Those who say she has made mistakes, she has claimed repeatedly, are angry alcoholics. Now, Ms. Branden has stepped forward to say she was mistaken about never being mistaken. Speaking on the website ObjectivistLying.com, Ms. Branden said, "In painting a picture of Frank O'Connor as an alcoholic, I made an egregious error. The error consisted in my not pointing out that Ayn Rand was an alcoholic too. ('Ayn the Alky' we used to call her.) I left it for my readers to infer that from the fact that she was angry all the time, but I should have spelled it out. I can only apologise to my readers for the years of deception I have been responsible for in this matter. Oh, and while I'm about it, it goes without saying that Leonard Peikoff is an alcoholic also. 'Lenny the Lush' we used to call him." When it was pointed out that she had presented no evidence of Dr. Peikoff's alcoholism, Ms. Branden retorted (angrily), "When has that ever stopped me? Furthermore, on this occasion I do have evidence, and I am its source. I saw Leonard once. He was angry AND he had a drink in his hand. There! Ha! Case closed, you raging pisshead!"

Recent Comments:
"And James? Hell, I called — by John M Newnham on Tue, 2006-04-04 15:32
Broken Balls — by Dan Edge on Sun, 2006-04-02 18:19
Give me a break — by sjw on Sun, 2006-04-02 17:56

Letter to NYU

Erika Holzer's picture
Submitted by Erika Holzer on Fri, 2006-03-31 22:59

This was just sent to NYU President John Sexton. Pass it on!



"Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens."
Epictetus, Stoic philosopher & crippled former slave.

From: Erika Holzer [mailto:erika@erikaholzer.com]
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2006 2:11 PM
To: 'john.sexton@nyu.edu'
Subject: From two NYU Law School graduates

My husband, Henry Mark Holzer, earned a BA from New York University and we both earned our Juris Doctor degrees at the law school in 1959.

We are ashamed of our connection with NYU because of your craven surrender regarding the Danish cartoons and the treatment accorded the Ayn Rand Institute panelists, as well as members of the public, all of whom courageously wished to discuss a serious and important issue like civilized human beings.

Recent Comments:
Correction — by Rowlf on Tue, 2006-04-04 05:21
Wafa is not a Muslim - she — by Pete L on Mon, 2006-04-03 01:42
Kenny: ~~ Yes, "Muslims have — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-04-03 01:20

The Food Philosophy Podcast

Prima Donna's picture
Submitted by Prima Donna on Fri, 2006-03-31 22:22

My show will go live on the Culinary Podcast Network later this weekend, but here's a teaser.

I cannot WAIT!!!!! Laughing out loud

UPDATE: And we're live! You can also subscribe via iTunes.

Recent Comments:
HUGE Announcement!! — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-04-08 05:16
That Steve guy... — by Prima Donna on Wed, 2006-04-05 16:06
Conspicious Consumption! — by Rick Giles on Wed, 2006-04-05 12:09

( categories: )

Hsieh Got My Classes Laughing

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Fri, 2006-03-31 22:08

Hsieh's crack about me being the "most unreliable secondary source [on Kant] ever" was too funny for me not to tell my classes--the two ethics sections that I currently teaching. We are near the end of Kant's GROUNDING. Once I told them how vast the secondary literature on Kant is they found Hsieh's remark too funny. Then all during class at the appropriate moment, e.g., when I was answering a question or explicating a particualrly difficult passage I would remind them not to take my word since after all, I am the "most unreliable secondary source EVER." In fact, at one point I repeated Hsieh's line and the class in unison supplied the EVER. Someone asked me the web address so maybe we'll get some people to take a look at SOLOpassion, Of course, don't believe me after all etc.

Recent Comments:
Well-trained and thoroughness — by James Heaps-Nelson on Tue, 2006-04-11 20:38
Training — by James Heaps-Nelson on Tue, 2006-04-11 20:16
well-trained..and thoroughness — by PhilipC on Tue, 2006-04-11 20:00

OL Writer Explicitly Embraces Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Fri, 2006-03-31 16:02

A morbid fascination led me to the Objectivist Living site, where I discovered this little gem:


The article is a criticism of Peikoff's "Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy" paper published along with the ITOE. The author argues in an authoritative tone that Peikoff's essay is fundamentally flawed because the Analytic-Synthetic distinction is valid. He goes so far as to say:

"Mathematics does not correspond to reality, it may be applied to reality, but that is something quite different."

The article displays a complete misunderstanding of Peikoff's essay and, more significantly, a complete misunderstanding of Objectivist epistemology. Yet the response to the essay at OL was universal acceptance (with the exception of one poster whose only two posts on OL are a critical response to the paper).

Recent Comments:
Subsumption of Newton's Dynamics — by Stephen Boydstun on Thu, 2007-08-09 21:24
ASD — by 0 on Thu, 2007-08-09 09:24
The Harmony between Newton and Einstein — by Gregory Browne on Thu, 2007-08-09 07:39

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Email received

Kenny's picture
Submitted by Kenny on Fri, 2006-03-31 13:41

This email got past Norton anti-spam (spooky!) and reached my inbox yesterday. It has been forwarded to Scotland Yard.

Dear Sir;

I am Abacha Blair, nephew of the Head of State and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom.

We have come into £14 Million Pounds which has been lent to us by noble supporters of the regime, which we must transfer to an account in your country before it is found by agents of the security services (The Electoral Commission, Parliamentary Standards Committee and Scotland Yard).

These moneys must only be used for the doing of good works which is why we have contacted you as an upstanding member of the community. As a trusted individual, please send us your bank account details and we will TRANSFER IMMEDIATELY the sum of £14 Million UK Dollars into your account. It is very important that you only spend these moneys on community benefit projects although as a consideration we will pay you a HANDLING FEE of 20 PER CENT and nominate you for a PEERAGE in the HOUSE OF LORDS in the British Parliament.

Recent Comments:
James, you've finally got it! — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-04-01 20:41
Blair in loans for peerages scandal — by James Heaps-Nelson on Sat, 2006-04-01 19:58
Peers don't wear wigs. On — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-04-01 15:26

Parents' Rights/Children's Rights

Tenyamc's picture
Submitted by Tenyamc on Fri, 2006-03-31 07:47

Several weeks ago I posted notice of an upcoming meeting in the SOLO Michigan forum. The meeting topic was to be Parents' and Children's Rights. Along with the meeting notice, I posted the following introduction to the issue (please be aware that this was written by the discussion leader for that meeting--not me):

Parental rights is a more complicated matter than anyone could possibly fathom at first glance. Those we would call conservatives today believe parental rights are absolutist, almost in the same way that most Objectivists hold property rights as absolutist. Rand actually had very little to say about parenting and parental rights. But in our morality, how far do these rights really go? At what point should the government be allowed to step in to protect the child's rights as an individual? Consider the following cases in point:

Recent Comments:
No worries ... they get even — by VSD on Fri, 2006-04-28 18:57
Thank you — by Wes on Fri, 2006-04-28 12:47
Thanks for the reply, Wes. — by Tenyamc on Fri, 2006-04-28 06:26

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Sports Movies

Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-03-31 05:59

I have a soft spot for movies about sports or movies that use sports as a backdrop or plot device.

Latest I've seen is called The Perfect Catch but for some reason in the US it's called Fever Pitch ...at Amazon ...at the IMDB & ...at DVD Verdict

It stars Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore (hubba hubba) and tells the story of Fallon's baseball-obsessed character and Barrymore's hot executive chick persona as their romance develops and falters during the Red Sox's triumphant 2004 season during which the Sox finally broke the Curse of The Bambino.

Recent Comments:
Well, there you go, Bill. — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-04-05 00:21
20 replies — by Bill Sipes on Tue, 2006-04-04 14:16
Wes makes a good point, — by Ross Elliot on Tue, 2006-04-04 00:08

( categories: )

It's April 1 in NZ ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-03-31 03:54

Standards NZ think this is funny. And it is. What's not funny is that if it were serious, no one would turn a hair!


MEDIA RELEASE New NZ Standard on Lift etiquette

Standards New Zealand has initiated a new Standard to govern the way in which people behave in and around lifts. The Standard will specify appropriate queuing behaviour, right-of-way rules for those exiting and entering lifts, and - most importantly - define appropriate behaviour when actually travelling in lifts.

"Standards NZ has become aware of concerns amongst the general public about an increasing tendency for rudeness that seems to be triggered by close proximity to lifts," says Rob Steele, Chief Executive at Standards NZ.

Recent Comments:
Rules to be extended — by Kenny on Fri, 2006-03-31 09:31
Must... resist... — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-03-31 04:45

UK Libertarian Alliance KASSes Again!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-03-31 00:28


The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil
liberties policy institute, today calls on the Crown Prosecution
Service to drop its investigation into the private life of the
well-known fashion model Kate Moss. Miss Moss could be charged with
possession of cocaine. If convicted, she could in theory go to
prison for seven years and face an unlimited fine.

Libertarian Alliance Director, Dr Sean Gabb, says:

"If Kate Moss wants to sniff cocaine - not that I would for a moment

Recent Comments:
Spot on — by Kenny on Fri, 2006-03-31 09:10


eg's picture
Submitted by eg on Thu, 2006-03-30 23:25

Today, March 29, MSK on Objectiist Living, attacks Linz, though not by name, for intolerance. What he and Barbara Branden have in common is the establishment and maintenance of as broad an Objectivist community as possible under the "toleration" rubric. Michael: Ayn Rand was "intolerant." Do you know what you are doing?


Recent Comments:
Maybe, perhaps (words never used by Dagny T.) — by eg on Mon, 2006-04-03 20:26
Related? — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-04-03 18:26
You don't understand — by eg on Sun, 2006-04-02 01:07

( categories: )

Proto Kyoto

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Thu, 2006-03-30 12:15

Bangladesh, for example
The other week I was blogging about George Reisman, the economist.

I planned to come back to one of the very interesting points George made with respect to the global warming mumbo-jumbo and what it means for developing nations. Bangladesh, for example.

Have been waiting for a nifty lead-in but in all this time the best I can do is that a left wing and a right wing blog have each just done respective little environmental jigs. One is praising Michael Chrichton's "State of Fear" and the other is bemoaning the fact that the Gov isn't doing more to respond to climate change- take a wild guess for yourselves which blog is saying which!

Rental Dispute

Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-03-30 04:52

A man met a beautiful girl and she agreed to spend the night with him
for $500.00. So they spent the night together.

In the morning, before he left, he told the girl that he did not have
any cash with him, but that he would have his secretary write a cheque
and mail it to her, calling the payment "Rent for Apartment."

On the way to the office, he regretted what he had done, realizing that
the whole event was not worth the price. So, he sent a cheque for
$250.00 and enclosed a note:

Dear Madam:

Enclosed find a cheque in the amount of $250.00 for rent of your

Recent Comments:
Is that a 'fig leaf', or...? — by Rowlf on Thu, 2006-03-30 21:21
Ehh... would you mind — by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2006-03-30 19:41
Oh, is *that* Ron — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-03-30 06:48

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Basic Curry

Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-03-30 04:39

Due to an enormous number of requests (2), I'm posting this recipe.

Most people enjoy curries but perceive them as being difficult to make. Consequently they order out or use a store-bought sauce or powder. Fact is, curries are easy and use readily available ingredients.

Here's my basic curry that suits most tastes and can be made mild or spicy. Americans, be grateful that I've converted the metrics for you Smiling

You'll get all these ingredients at your local supermarket.

For two or three.


3 medium onions (red or white) finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped or pressed

Recent Comments:
Easy, big guy... — by Prima Donna on Thu, 2006-06-01 23:08
Jennifer, star anise — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-05-31 08:19
Food porn. — by Prima Donna on Wed, 2006-05-31 05:31

( categories: )


Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-03-30 02:49

Designer vagina?

What's the male equivalent?


Recent Comments:
hummm... — by Repairmanjack on Thu, 2006-03-30 19:16
Ross... — by Jody Gomez on Thu, 2006-03-30 02:55

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Islamo-Fascist Filth Cows NYU

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-03-29 21:27

Story on Diana's blog:

NYU Cowardice

Recent Comments:
Diana — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-04-01 21:04
Check Your Facts, Kenny — by DianaHsieh on Sat, 2006-04-01 17:49
Objectivist Standard links — by Kenny on Sat, 2006-04-01 16:56

Collectivism, Climate Change, and Economic Freedom

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Wed, 2006-03-29 02:10

An individual kills someone—for money, out of jealousy, as an act of revenge, or because he doesn’t like his victim’s looks. A chorus of left-“liberals” rushes in to excuse his act, especially if he is poor. He is not responsible, they say. The real criminal is “Society,” for having allowed him to live in the conditions that led him to kill.

Another individual owns a refrigerator, an air conditioner, and an automobile or SUV. This time, a chorus of left-“liberals” rushes in and pronounces him guilty. He is allegedly guilty of causing “global warming,” by virtue of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere in connection with the fossil fuels required to produce and operate his goods.

On being Right

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Wed, 2006-03-29 01:04

What does being 'on the right' mean to me?

The term is a broad brush stroke, a useful generalisation. The characteristic feature of a right winger's politics is his belief in the market. He believes 'good ends' come of trade, that the forces of supply and demand will reconsile their own natural level of production and consumption. He believes that there are laws, perhaps scientific ones, which allocate a never-ending array of various goods and services according to the qualities and quantities individuals choose for themselves. The right-winger has convinced himself, if imperfectly, that the left-winger (who seeks by degree to supplant this natural and automatic allocation process with an explicit human plan) cannot choose these rich mixtures for each of the many individuals, nor of society as a whole, better than the unfettered individuals can choose for themselves.

Recent Comments:
Both agree — by Rick Giles on Wed, 2006-03-29 01:36
Nice one Rick. I have to — by JulianP on Wed, 2006-03-29 01:13

Machan's Musings - Impossible Egalitarianism

removed's picture
Submitted by removed on Wed, 2006-03-29 00:59

Among my many acquaintances there are some avid egalitarians. Among these a few are very influential, a couple of them leaders in the global movement called “the capabilities approach.” They have written extremely well-published books and essays advocating global wealth redistribution. Some have even insisted that nearly all the resources possessed by those in developed countries need to be sent abroad to be used by the poor. As one has written, “On pain of living a life that's seriously immoral, a typical well-off person, like you and me, must give away most of her financially valuable assets, and much of her income, directing the funds to lessen efficiently the serious suffering of others.”

Recent Comments:
Tibor! — by eg on Wed, 2006-03-29 05:56
Magnificent — by Pete L on Wed, 2006-03-29 05:46

Genetics is a risky business

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Tue, 2006-03-28 19:41

Fast becoming my favourite NZ author/ columnist abroad in the UK, Jamie Whyte delivers another gem here on the inanity of those that would prohibit insurance companies using "genetic testing" to set their premiums. (From February 2006).

Favourite passage:

"We already accept genetic discrimination in insurance. Being male is part of my genetic inheritance, yet no one seriously complains about insurance firms charging women lower car insurance premiums than men. Does Sir John really want to outlaw Sheilas’ Wheels?"

[Sheilas’ Wheels is a UK based insurance firm that offers lower car insurance premiums to women drivers only].

( categories: )

Bohemian Rhapsody

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Tue, 2006-03-28 17:02

On the "other forum," there's an interesting rebuttal of the book THE RISE OF THE CREATIVE CLASS, which is a call for government to spend more money attracting so called creative artists to rejunivate cities. As was pointed out by others, the author replaces cause and effect by government planning. I wrote,

Philadelphia is going through something of a renovation, and areas like South Street, famous for it's bohemian stylings, is slowly giving way to Starbucks and the like. Of course, all the dirty hippies complain about the area losing its charm, and such. But when that charm is manifest as punk rock shops and various holes in walls, you won't see me complaining.

religous friends question

Titan's picture
Submitted by Titan on Tue, 2006-03-28 15:34

Just out of curiosity, does anyone here have a best friend, or very close friends who are religous? Me personally, my best friend since childhood is Mormon.

Recent Comments:
Fundamentalists--not so much... — by Jody Gomez on Fri, 2006-03-31 03:04
I have religious friends — by Ashley on Thu, 2006-03-30 19:55
Utility Belt — by Mark Dow on Thu, 2006-03-30 04:38

( categories: )

Abortion is a Property Rights issue

Kamarat McWashington's picture
Submitted by Kamarat McWashington on Tue, 2006-03-28 14:12

Reposted from: Atlantis Blog

A wonderful little piece by Humble
B Wonderful

has lead me to ponder the abortion
issue again. Essentially her position is that abortion is a property
rights issue and provides a wonderful thought exercise on her blog in
regards to that position. I agree with her points. Further more I
agree with the Objectivist View that abortion is Pro-life and it is a property rights issue.
The right to property or ownership is the freedom to use and dispose
of one's property as you see fit. The first thing one owns as a
separate individual being is one's body. Therefore, the right to
property in this case is the right to use and/or dispose of ones body
as you see fit. A government that states or is given the power to
control what goes in or what goes out of your body, implies they have
a right to the use/ or dispose of your body. Government is only
a group of individuals. So lets follow this reasoning to its
conclusion. A group of individuals that controls the use of /or
dispose of your body implies that you are the property of this group
or government. This is just plain slavery. The rights of a fetus
would be the right to slavery. That's just not right at all.

Homeschool books

Titan's picture
Submitted by Titan on Tue, 2006-03-28 05:34

My wife and I are planning to homeschool our daughter. Any good recommendations for childrens educational books who are going into the 6th grade?

Recent Comments:
Economics — by Mark on Wed, 2006-03-29 12:44
For math, I highly recommend — by dvo on Tue, 2006-03-28 21:15
Thank you, Adam. I'll look — by Titan on Tue, 2006-03-28 15:29

( categories: )

Toastmasters in Japan

Titan's picture
Submitted by Titan on Tue, 2006-03-28 05:30

So, is Toastmaster's in Japan called Toastsensei's???

( categories: )

True Romance

Submitted by wngreen on Tue, 2006-03-28 03:44

So I watched the Quentin Tarantino written True Romance and found it enjoyable. It has a strong sense of (twisted) justice. Since True Romance is filled with "witty dialogue; sharp, macabre humor; and more bullets and blood than one would think likely for the running time." (imdb) I certainly don't recommened it enough to have someone buy it, it was a great topic for discussion amongst my friends at work of what is justice and the concept of romance.

( categories: )

mc hawking "fu_ the creationists"(not safe for work!!)

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Tue, 2006-03-28 03:10

Here's another.

2:23 minutes (2.21 MB)

mc hawking "you down with entropy"(not for work)

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Tue, 2006-03-28 01:23

I know Linz hates rap, but....

3:25 minutes (3.15 MB)
Recent Comments:
Ah, I love this song. So — by wngreen on Tue, 2006-03-28 03:05

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