Universe of Evil

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Sun, 2006-03-26 04:55

[Edit April 1, 2006]

Pic above links to great story on Grand Guignol and San Francisco's 21st century heir, Thrillpeddlers

More pix, links, and post-mortem at bottom.


I have enjoyed the Mertz-Wissler sideshow very much. It occurred to me that I needn't observe the existence of the Iron Curtain between SOLOPassionofbitchingendlesslyaboutpeoplewhodon'tgiveashitaboutyouroryouropinions, and RebirthoftheSanerLargerpieceofthepiethatLinzwastoostupidtonoticewasbeingdivviedup . . . and so thought to link and post some lighthearted banter from the Dark side of the Universe.

Recent Comments:
Tic Toc pick talk — by wsscherk on Thu, 2006-04-20 07:00
The referrence to Birdcage — by John M Newnham on Tue, 2006-04-18 13:28
Wow — by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-04-18 01:01

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NZB3 Promo

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-03-26 04:48

New Zealand Be Free blog
NZB3 Show- The New Zealand Be Free podcast

Last year Julien Pistorius and I put together a pro-capitalism New Zealand podcast. We made 10 fantastic episodes!

One of the most important things I learnt from doing this was how to correctly pronounce Julian's surname. It really makes you think.

Though we're both committed to Objectivism, we didn't make a subject of it in our podcasts. I think though, that if we could get some extra Objectivist manpower, we could make some more podcasts that focused more broadly on philosophy.

1:41 minutes (1.54 MB)
Recent Comments:
Julian, we're starting a — by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-03-26 08:21
Something new and better — by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-03-26 08:09
Linz is right. — by JulianP on Sun, 2006-03-26 07:29


JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Sun, 2006-03-26 01:21

My girlfriend recently started an art course. We just had an intense, hour-long philosophical discussion about objective judgement of ideas (Good vs. Bad) and whether art can be judged objectively. She is not really familiar with Objectivist philosophy (I have never pushed), and I am not an experienced philosopher by a long shot. Neither of us had given much thought to objective judgement of art before. I know only a little bit about Rand's views on aesthetics. I have to confess that even though Linz has recommended it ages ago, I still have not read The Romantic Manifesto. I have a lot of Rand's work left to read for the first time - something to look forward to. Smiling

Recent Comments:
Steady, Ricker, a little bit — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-03-29 00:02
Hey Ross — by Lanza Morio on Tue, 2006-03-28 20:58
By oath Ross — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2006-03-28 13:35

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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


Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-03-25 00:32

42 guests online? I saw 135(!) lurking the other day. Mmmm...

Come out, come out, whoever you are...

We won't bite Smiling

Recent Comments:
Wow, 135 eh? Could it be — by Titan on Sat, 2006-03-25 03:16

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Voodoo bird flu peril

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Fri, 2006-03-24 21:58

It seems the voodoo priests are in for a nasty surprise. Reality is catching up with them.

From the New Scientist.

"Voodoo bird flu peril

MEANWHILE in Africa, the latest continent to be invaded by the bird flu virus, an unexpected means of catching bird flu threatens voodoo priests who sacrifice chickens during rituals by ripping the birds' throats out - with their teeth. According to Reuters, officials from the Benin agriculture ministry hope that spreading the word about bird flu may help save the lives of voodoo devotees. It's just one of the ways in which cherished habits may have to change if a flu pandemic is to be avoided."

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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."

Hank Rearden, can you hear me?

Prima Donna's picture
Submitted by Prima Donna on Thu, 2006-03-23 06:31

Introducing Apple Computer, the "evil, predatory monopoly" of the future:


This man should be shot. Or deported to France. Immediately.

Recent Comments:
Ironically ... — by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-05-30 03:29
HAA!!! — by Prima Donna on Tue, 2006-05-30 02:08
Apple did a superlative job — by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-05-29 23:39

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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

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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

Frank's Drinking

eg's picture
Submitted by eg on Wed, 2006-03-22 17:04

Barbara Branden has just posted on Objectivist Living her sources previously unnamed for Frank O'Connor's drinking. I certainly believe he had a drinking problem in his last years, but question whether in the context of dementia it is right to call him an "alcoholic." Barbara called him one in an email to me last Fall.

Recent Comments:
Over Here — by James S. Valliant on Fri, 2007-06-01 23:21
Ms. Branden implies and — by William Scott Scherk on Thu, 2007-05-31 06:40
Thank You — by James S. Valliant on Sun, 2006-09-03 00:55

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The Sense of Touch

Prima Donna's picture
Submitted by Prima Donna on Wed, 2006-03-22 08:12

Ross, this one's for you. Eye Jennifer's Weekly Meditation from the most recent ReMARKable Palate podcast.

You can listen to the full podcast at www.culinarypodcastnetwork.com.

3:36 minutes (3.3 MB)
Recent Comments:
Jen, you sly foxette. — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-03-26 13:17
Female Exhibitions — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-03-25 20:57
Yes, very satisfying. — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-03-23 00:30


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

Pro-test action in Oxford

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Tue, 2006-03-21 22:50

Wow! Terrorists beware! Three cheers for the triumph of reason over irrationality!

Professor Tipu Aziz, a neurosurgeon, who has used primates in his research on Parkinson's disease, said the demonstration signalled “the return of democracy in the UK. This is the end of animal rights terrorist acts in the United Kingdom.”


Animal rights activists are facing new opposition. Nigel Williams reports.

The tide of animal rights protests which has seriously impaired Oxford University's plans for a new biosciences building turned last month with a demonstration by supporters of the need for animal tests in research.

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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

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.

Should the United Nations manage the Internet?

tfar's picture
Submitted by tfar on Mon, 2006-03-20 10:41

SOLOists may not be aware that one of the three regional meetings of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ) for 2006 is being held in Wellington NZ this month.

ICANN is a private Corporation that manages the URL naming system that makes management of the Internet Domain Name system possible. Country codes are normally handled by regional groups such as ICANN NZ. It must be doing a reasonable job one would think if the outstanding success of the Internet as a communications medium since ICANN was formed in 1988 is anything to go by.

However some people, notably those from Governments that dont like issues of personal freedom and liberty to be too widely discussed are lobbying very hard for control of the Top Level Domain system to be wrested away from ICANN and vested with a suitable United Nations controlled committee. The UN has for some years stated that Governments should intervene in the Internet to maximise economic and social benefits and serve the national priorities of those Governments. It's not only bastions of human rights such as China and the remnants of the Socialist states of Europe that are promoting this view. European Union countries that one would think would have historical reasons to steer clear of ideas that restrict principles of freedom of expression have also asked that management of domain names be removed from ICANN and given to the UN who will then be able to moderate it for "culturally appropriate content."

Recent Comments:
The UN is a joke. — by Sandi on Wed, 2006-04-12 23:56
Ok, it's not a trick — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-04-08 01:09
The Death of the Internet — by Marnee on Fri, 2006-04-07 20:18

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Bullshit! Debunking the Mozart Effect

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Mon, 2006-03-20 06:04

deleted by author

Recent Comments:
Rip-offs, Rappers, and...Bocelli — by Rowlf on Tue, 2006-04-11 04:05
Sorry John but my kid's — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-04-08 23:26
Bridge for Sale — by JoeM on Sat, 2006-04-08 23:06

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Titan's picture
Submitted by Titan on Mon, 2006-03-20 05:51

Maybe this post should belong under Banter...But what's the deal with Nascar? How utterly boring watching these fast cars go around on an oval track 6 billion times?!?! At least with Formula-1 racing you have track variety and not a damned circle. And those poor Nascar announcers who have to talk about stupid shit for 6 hours to try and keep the tv audience captivated by the constant merry-go rounds of the cars. I found myself getting dizzy and annoyed within minutes. There, I said it.

Recent Comments:
I come from a city known for — by Landon Erp on Wed, 2006-03-22 02:39
Oh, yeah so in case anyone — by Titan on Tue, 2006-03-21 04:19
Did you know that Nascar — by Titan on Tue, 2006-03-21 04:03

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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

Food and Philosophy

Prima Donna's picture
Submitted by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-03-19 16:31

I realized I put my initial announcement in the wrong place. Whoops!

I'm delighted to share the news that I've been asked to contribute to an upcoming anthology on Food and Philosophy. I'll be covering the topic of (shocker) sensuality.

Very, very exciting! Smiling

Recent Comments:
Ross... — by Prima Donna on Mon, 2006-04-17 05:54
Ok, Miss, now that I've — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-04-17 05:52
Moi? — by Prima Donna on Mon, 2006-04-17 00:36

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Rejected Titles for the movie Brokeback Mountain:

Robert's picture
Submitted by Robert on Sun, 2006-03-19 07:48


Recent Comments:
'PC' or not (obviously NOT)... — by Rowlf on Sat, 2006-04-08 20:34
Nobody ever told me if there were any pudding scenes! — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2006-03-19 21:58
No problem Robert — by Marcus on Sun, 2006-03-19 19:32

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The Beethoven Symphonies

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Sun, 2006-03-19 01:26

I am going to start a little series here on SOLOMusic with recommendations for recordings of the great symphonies.  This is a specialty of mine, but no doubt there will be some who disagree with my picks.   Hopefully seasoned veterans and those new to this genre will find something useful in my suggestions.  And if you have your own please add them to the discussion.

Recent Comments:
Malevolence — by Boaz the Boor on Wed, 2006-05-24 07:21
It's not directed at you — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-05-22 23:24
Landon — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-05-22 01:13

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