warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/solopsweb/ on line 33.

Epistemology and Agile Software Development

crmckenzie's picture
Submitted by crmckenzie on Thu, 2006-06-08 04:08


Epistemology has long been a favorite subject of mind. I’m fascinated generally with how the mind works, and reading Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology was an electrifying read for me. As a software developer, I continually strive to find better ways to write code. For the last six years, there has not been a single week when I have not looked at code I wrote just a couple of months before and thought, “that’s crap.” About a year and a half ago, thanks to my friend the Philosophical Detective, I read Agile Software Development by Robert C. Martin. It was the Atlas Shrugged of my software development career. Lately, I have been devouring books on design patterns and refactoring. Mostly I’ve been focused on the Martin Fowler related books due to the respect I’ve gained for him while reading his blog. During all this reading, I have been intrigued by the relationship between software design and technical epistemology. I’m going to talk a little about Design Patterns and Test Driven Development in this blog.


Recent Comments:
Earlier this year I had a — by Ryan Brubaker on Thu, 2006-06-08 23:20
Chris, — by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-06-08 06:11
CHRIS — by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-08 04:19

( categories: )


Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-08 03:53

Hi Rex, I thought you would enjoy this article. Very interesting stuff. It also makes for interesting reading for Objectivst...just in case they may be "sitting on the fence" regarding the God issue Eye



By Sam Harris

Somewhere in the world a man has abducted a little girl. Soon he will rape, torture, and kill her. If an atrocity of this kind not occurring at precisely this moment, it will happen in a few hours, or days at most. Such is the confidence we can draw from the statistical laws that govern the lives of six billion human beings.

Recent Comments:
Good luck Victor — by Rex Wilkinson on Sun, 2006-07-02 04:37
Britain's Luckiest Man — by Fraser Stephen-Smith on Tue, 2006-06-27 16:24
Maybe — by eg on Tue, 2006-06-27 00:21

( categories: )

The Liberal Glossary

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-08 01:06

Liberals have taken the English language and made it their own. Here's a handy glossary of commonly used Leftist terms, and what they really mean:

SOCIAL JUSTICE: spreading the misery of socialism equally throughout.

ENLIGHTENED: a person who refuses to accept that socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS: celebrities who brag about their environmentally friendly hybrid cars while tooling around the world in gas-guzzling private jets.

Recent Comments:
Holy cow. What hasn't he — by Mike_M on Thu, 2006-09-28 03:09
Plagiarism: See 'Victor' — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-09-28 00:08
Say. . . — by Chris Cathcart on Wed, 2006-09-27 16:15

( categories: )

Gearing Down

Lanza Morio's picture
Submitted by Lanza Morio on Wed, 2006-06-07 10:00

Objectivism places us at an incredible advantage over the general population because we have better life-serving tools (Sanction of the Victim, A is A, Either-Or, Capitalism is good, Romantic Art gives us goose-bumps) than they do. There is a significant challenge in dealing with the population-at-large because we generally have to gear down to deal with them at all. In business I haven't found this to be a problem probably because we are there primarily to conduct business and that's it. But with family, friends, and new people I have to bite my toungue or, when I don't, their body language displays their discomfort and I become the bad guy for ruining Thanksgiving and making an in-law cry. So the gearing down becomes a habit because day after day we check our toungues at the door because we simply can't go around pointing out every atrocity we encounter.

Recent Comments:
Perhaps the idea is to fight — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-06-09 23:44
Offensive — by atlascott on Fri, 2006-06-09 22:17
Bam! — by Lanza Morio on Fri, 2006-06-09 19:07

( categories: )


Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Wed, 2006-06-07 03:30

Solo Members,

What a devil I am. I believe my contempt for B.Branden (and this MSK caricature) is known by now--and shared. I have been to the O-Lying site (as it's lovingly called) and came across this post from B.Branden. Am I an ass for sharing it here for it's perverse entertainment value? She speaks of Lindsay and SOLO and...well, it explains itself.

Here it is:


Recent Comments:
Like being buried alive in — by John M Newnham on Fri, 2006-06-09 04:16
love bombing — by User hidden on Thu, 2006-06-08 19:09
You are all such wonderful, — by Mike_M on Thu, 2006-06-08 05:06

( categories: )

The Flagellation of the Pursuit of Happiness

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Tue, 2006-06-06 20:17

Paul Krugman is at it again. In today’s New York Times, in his official capacity as a professional bleeding heart “liberal,” he once again revels in his role of flagellating the pursuit of happiness with the whip of human misery. Specifically, he denounces the prospect of the impending Senate vote to abolish the estate tax, on the grounds that the government’s loss of revenue “will cause 65,000 people, mainly children, to lose health insurance, and lead many people who retain insurance to skip needed medical care because they can't afford increased co-payments.”

True to form, Krugman makes no mention of the fact that in each case the money paid as estate taxes was rightfully the property of the bequestor, who earned it and who had a right to determine to whom his property would go: namely, to his chosen heirs and not to anyone selected by Krugman or government officials, in defiance of his wishes. With Krugman and his ilk, the rights of bequestors and of taxpayers in general count for nothing. They are overridden by the needs of others.

Recent Comments:
This or nothing — by eg on Tue, 2006-06-06 23:25
Magnificent! — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-06-06 23:09
Great! — by Laure Chipman on Tue, 2006-06-06 21:57

( categories: )

Fighting Terrorism Requires Legalizing Immigration

James S. Valliant's picture
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Tue, 2006-06-06 16:58

Immigration has become a very hot issue in the United States these days. It is estimated that there are something like ten to fifteen million illegal immigrants living in America – and more keep streaming across the border every day.

Of course, immigration is nothing but a boon to any free market economy, as has been repeatedly demonstrated, and there is every reason for a capitalist society to eagerly welcome every last immigrant. And, of course, so long as the immigrant is not a direct threat to the physical safety of the country, such migration to and from a place is a RIGHT.

Recent Comments:
Grant — by Neil Parille on Tue, 2016-09-06 12:11
JSV and Reality — by Grant Jones on Tue, 2016-09-06 00:45
Invade the world, invite the world — by Neil Parille on Sun, 2016-09-04 14:18

( categories: )

Unsubjected Property

F L Light's picture
Submitted by F L Light on Tue, 2006-06-06 15:56

Would you consider purchasing, either for yourself or as a gift, a book which had five or six thousand couplets like these? In letters to agents or publishers I may quote your answers.
Possessing unsubjected property,
Free men allow the state no larceny.

Possessing unembarrassed property,
Athenians killed official thievery.

Extending freeborn ownership, obtain
Defensive property for your domain.

( categories: )

ART: The Culture's Barometer

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Tue, 2006-06-06 04:10

AYN RAND wrote in the ROMANIC MANAFESTO that “art is the barometer of a culture. It reflects the sum of a society’s deepest philosophical values: not its professed notions and slogans, but its actual view of man and of existence.”

Ayn Rand never wrote a great deal about the specific art form that is of my interest-—namely painting. She has given plentiful examples of the culture’s current state by citing numerous examples in the field of her specialization—-literature. And it's all dead-on.

( categories: )

PAR The Movie

Mike_M's picture
Submitted by Mike_M on Sun, 2006-06-04 23:41

Linz keeps bugging me to post my thoughts on the Passion of Ayn Rand movie, so I'll do that now. Here is the original post I made, plus some of what I wrote in the comments.

I opened a NetFlix account a few weeks ago. My first rentals were all five Death Wish movies. The only good one was the first. I also got to watch The Passion of Ayn Rand on Friday, thanks to NetFlix.

The Passion of Ayn Rand is a horrible movie. I’m not talking about its gross historical inaccuracies. I’m not talking about the fact that the movie makes Barbara Branden out to be a hero surrounded by idiots. In fact, I expected to see a good, though unjust and inaccurate, movie about deception, betrayal, and sex. So I’m not talking about this movie from a Rand-fan point of view. I’m talking about this from the point of view of a movie buff. I’m talking about the awful dialogue. I’m talking about the total lack of character development. I’m talking about the near randomness of the plot.

Recent Comments:
Boaz — by Chris Cathcart on Wed, 2006-06-07 04:00
Chris — by Boaz the Boor on Wed, 2006-06-07 03:21
Chris — by Penelope on Wed, 2006-06-07 02:54

( categories: )

Nocera Replies

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Sun, 2006-06-04 21:37

Dear Mr. Reisman-- I enjoyed reading your blog just now, but if you go back and read what I wrote, you'll note that I specifically set a parameter: to qualify a book had to be published in the last two decades. Atlas Shrugged was published, I believe, in 1959. The point I was trying to make is that over the last two decades, as business has become more central to American life--or least a more central topic now that Americans invest their 401Ks etc etc, and as business stories have become a part of the front page as well as the business page, and the subject of many non fiction books, where are the novelists? My point still stands, I believe.

Dear Mr. Nocera:

Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I believe it merely serves to dig you deeper into the hole of an indefensible position.

Recent Comments:
If the guy asked for a book — by Lanza Morio on Wed, 2006-06-07 05:39
Hot and cold running water — by Craig Ceely on Mon, 2006-06-05 05:39

( categories: )

Collectivism Repackaged

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Sun, 2006-06-04 20:53

Birth of a Tory lie. Now an economist is trying to repackage collectivism to sound like it were Libertarianism. What a mess!

"A new book, The Origin of Wealth by Eric Beinhocker (Random House) has been described by the economist John Kay as the most important business book of the year."

“People are strong reciprocators,” says Beinhocker. “They’re neither selfishly individualistic nor inherently altruistic. They try to do unto others as you would have them do unto you — but if others don’t do it unto you, then nail them.”

Recent Comments:
Deleted — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-06-05 10:12
The problem is — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-06-05 10:11
It's call the Third Way. — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-06-05 01:25

( categories: )


Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Sun, 2006-06-04 20:41

Here is an article about a school where pupils are encouraged to behave as indivduals. However, children need discipline too, don't they?

“Summerhill has 200 more laws than any other school,” she revealed. “It has been called the ‘do-as-you-like school’, but it isn’t. You can skip lessons, they are optional. That is part of your freedom as an individual.

“If you want to sunbathe in the nude that would be fine. But if you want to play the drums at 1am, it is not fine if you wake someone else up.”

Recent Comments:
Lisa van Damme — by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2006-08-16 06:26
Lisa VanDamme — by Lanza Morio on Wed, 2006-08-16 06:00
Diana — by jdlimber on Thu, 2006-08-10 04:24

( categories: )

The nature of visual literary arts

Landon Erp's picture
Submitted by Landon Erp on Sun, 2006-06-04 20:01

This is from my entries in a back and forth I had several months ago on RoR. Discussing the nature of static art (painting, sculpture) and literary visual art (comics, film). After seeing some of the entries on the "Blade Runner thread" I was tempted to add my thoughts.

Painting tends to be about essentials, but it's more the essentials of a specific moment in time. Like when you think back on your first kiss or something like that, how you remember what you were wearing, what color the walls were, how you were standing, what the expression on her (or his don't want to leave anyone out) face looked like just before etc. Specifically, just everything that would hit you about a particular moment. It's the essentials of everything that moment was, but enough to bring it all back and completely re-create the moment over and over again.

Recent Comments:
Interesting stuff. Kind of — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-06-05 00:52
Landon,This is a very — by Victor Pross on Mon, 2006-06-05 00:34

( categories: )

The Bisexual Monkey

Rex Wilkinson's picture
Submitted by Rex Wilkinson on Sun, 2006-06-04 18:16

The Bonobo monkey is bisexual and sex is being performed infront of the group on a regular basis.Young and old male to male girl to girl and the most significant thing to me is the girls do it face to face.I don,t know of any other apart from us that share that with the Bonobo.The are a non violent female dominated society that uses mainly nuts for protien along with a few grubs and insects.If we are to choose one of the primates to be our ancestor for me it,s the Bonobo,their society has a lot in common with us.The males masturbate and sex in general is performed for pleasure.The moment in time when a male Bonobo decided he wanted to copy the ladies and do one of them face to face is probably one of the great turning points in our evolution.Looking into the eyes of your lover and sharing feelings.

Recent Comments:
How did this string ever die? — by Ted Keer on Thu, 2006-10-19 07:07
The Joys of Beastliness — by Bill Tingley on Wed, 2006-06-07 20:21
The Beasts — by Rex Wilkinson on Wed, 2006-06-07 14:36

( categories: )

Does the Name “Ayn Rand” Ring a Bell?

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Sun, 2006-06-04 08:33

In his New York Times column of June 3, Joseph Nocera asks:

'Who among our better novelists has put business front and center? . . . Tom Wolfe comes to mind, of course; his first novel, "Bonfire of the Vanities," tackled Wall Street in the 1980's, while "A Man in Full," his second novel, had real estate as its backdrop. Surely, though, there must be others that are escaping me.'

Recent Comments:
Chris — by Neil Parille on Tue, 2006-06-06 10:52
Actually, in a talk on — by Jason Quintana on Tue, 2006-06-06 04:40
Valid criticisms can be made — by Aaron on Tue, 2006-06-06 04:35

( categories: )

Six Names in Sixteen Years

DianaHsieh's picture
Submitted by DianaHsieh on Sun, 2006-06-04 03:00

As expected, The Objectivist Center has officially changed its name -- yet again. The Center Sometimes Mistaken for Objectivist will henceforth be known as "The Atlas Society." Renaming your organization and its publication three times in 16-some years definitely inspires confidence, I think. It gives the solid impression of knowing what you're doing. Or not.

Recent Comments:
I can respect your comment — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-06-12 22:37
Excellent piece, Joe — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:36
Landon — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:35

( categories: )

The Rant that Wasn't

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-06-04 01:34

Here is the rant, complete with last-minute additions, with which I was going to open my radio programme today. Unfortunately (and innocently) because of a problem with the Auckland-Wellington link, I didn't get to air. My next scheduled appearance is midday NZ time next Sunday, June 11—Linz

There’s a lot of it about. Barking madness, I mean. Some of it’s good, most of it is innocently bonkers, some of it is quite intentionally evil.

Recent Comments:
Means and Ends — by Marcus on Sun, 2006-06-04 21:09
Barking Mad — by Rex Wilkinson on Sun, 2006-06-04 06:44
Beam me up, Scotty: they're all barking mad down here — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-04 04:50

( categories: )

Lenny Bruce: First Amendment Hero!

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-02 04:15

LENNY BRUCE: A First Amendment Hero!

[re-written and edited]

(“Please don’t lock up these words”)

He was a man with a disquieting sense of humor every step of the way. He entertained America with a disturbing frankness. His words crossed the law and those in it. He became intolerable to people in power. Words were his catalyst to fame…and failure. He tore into the planks of conventional morality like a buzz-saw. His life became a hamstring of censorship, arrests, trials, persecutions, convictions and appeals. When it was over, not even the First Amendment saved him. He died convicted—a comedian condemned for his words. His name was Lenny Bruce. He was a legendary comic, social satirist, free-speech crusader and martyr to the uptight social and moral repressions of the Age of Conformity.

Recent Comments:
La Stuttle slams the door on the unutterable scumbucket . . — by William Scott Scherk on Thu, 2007-05-24 06:10
Irony — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2007-05-24 04:33
Lindsay, why do you keep — by Kori on Thu, 2007-05-24 04:27

( categories: )

Anyone Going to be in Amsterdam in July?

jtgagnon's picture
Submitted by jtgagnon on Fri, 2006-06-02 00:13

I'm heading off to Amsterdam for the month of anyone going to be there then, or know of any like-minded folks over there?

Recent Comments:
John ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2006-06-05 00:09

( categories: )

Untitled So Far

User hidden's picture
Submitted by User hidden on Thu, 2006-06-01 20:10

When my mind is darkened and stormy with regrets,
Words flash into me, lightening on a black sky,
Thunderous phrases crashing against my ears,
Power like a prophetess crackling around my outline.

Recent Comments:
It makes me think of "Minerva" — by Sandi on Sun, 2007-05-20 18:39
Hi Kelly... — by Olivia on Thu, 2007-05-17 03:24
Thanks, Julie. I am looking — by User hidden on Wed, 2007-05-16 23:32

( categories: )

Cupid and Psyche

User hidden's picture
Submitted by User hidden on Thu, 2006-06-01 20:07

You woke every night, drenched in sweat, from a restless tossing sleep.
You woke to a touch that you felt like sound, a voice on your skin,
A love song that vibrated over every nerve,
Singing invisible caresses, chanting unseen pleasure
On every tender part of you.

You woke to his smell, a mountainous, snowy smell.
In through your nose and your pores you breathed
The fresh and musky smell of the young athlete,

Recent Comments:
wow — by Adam Buker on Fri, 2006-06-02 02:28

( categories: )

A new poem as yet untitled

User hidden's picture
Submitted by User hidden on Thu, 2006-06-01 20:06

… we're made so that we love
First when we see them painted, things we have passed
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;
And so they are better, painted -- better to us,
Which is the same thing. Art was given for that …
--- Robert Browning “Fra Lippo Lippi”

Summer in Georgia is green, but I make it greener,
Verdent and vivid and wild, when viewed through the lens of a poem.

( categories: )


Banned User's picture
Submitted by Banned User on Thu, 2006-06-01 03:47

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am fairly new to Solo, and by way of a little introduction, I want Objectivists to know that Romantic Realism is not dead.

I am writing a novel called 'The Hungry Artist'--and yes, it will be life-affirming and philosophical.

Briefly, I would like to offer the book's Theme and Plot...just to give you a very basic idea.

The Hungry Artist:

Theme: a band of dissenting and talented artists, of various disciplines, fight for a career in an egalitarian art community where the mediocrity of postmodernism is enshrined.

Recent Comments:
Mr. Weiss, Thanks for the — by Victor Pross on Tue, 2006-06-06 13:35
I'm not a fiction writer, — by Fred Weiss on Tue, 2006-06-06 07:26
Thanks. I think it — by Victor Pross on Tue, 2006-06-06 00:59

( categories: )

Free Radical Schedule

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-06-01 03:25

In accordance with what had become the FreeRad's quarterly schedule, Issue 71 would normally have been out around now. But we've been working through some technical production issues, making some changes, and regrouping. Issue 71 will now shock the world on July 1, and we'll revert to a bi-monthly schedule thereafter, meaning there'll be six issues each year, and three more this year—July/August, September/October, November/December. Guest editor for Issue 71 will be my KASS colleague Peter Cresswell, while I gird my loins for my expedition to California and my Valliant book-signing presentation. If you'd like to submit something to Peter for publication, send it to him at

Recent Comments:
Excellent, Ted! Hung like a — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-06-01 04:44
Best belly-laugh of the day. — by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-06-01 04:44
Just keep away from Ciro — by JoeM on Thu, 2006-06-01 04:43

( categories: )

Mises Institute = anti-Rand?

John Drake's picture
Submitted by John Drake on Thu, 2006-06-01 01:42

I've heard from several people that Mises Institute is anti-Rand.  From what little I've seen of the Institute, they take no "official" position for or against Rand, so I was a little confused by those statements.  Is it that its scholars still agree with Mises' subjective values and support anarchist scholars?  Is this what is meant by anti-Rand, or is there something else?  Are there any specific examples that I could reference? 

Recent Comments:
Objectivism — by DianaHsieh on Thu, 2006-06-15 18:32
Penelope on Libertarianism — by Rex Wilkinson on Thu, 2006-06-15 18:17
Mozart was a Red — by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2006-06-15 02:54

( categories: )

Lao Tzu's Naturalistic Metaphysics, Ethics, and Politics

younkins's picture
Submitted by younkins on Wed, 2006-05-31 23:53

Lao Tzu (Laozi), an older contemporary of Confucius, lived in the 6th century B.C., and is thought to be the founder of Taoism. The conjectured years of his life are 604-531 B.C. The legendary Taoist philosopher, whose name can be translated as the “Old Master,” wrote a manual of self-cultivation and government, as well as a metaphorical account of reality, called Daodejing (a.k.a. Tao te Ching) translated as “Book of the Way and Its Power” and recognized as a masterpiece in Chinese philosophy.

Recent Comments:
Lao Tsu — by Rex Wilkinson on Thu, 2006-06-01 09:01

( categories: )

Enshrinement To Mediocrity

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Wed, 2006-05-31 23:47

Ellsworth Toohey really knew his stuff.

In THE FOUNTAINHEAD, Toohey confesses his methods for killing the sense of greatness in men:
"Don't deny the conception of greateness. Destroy it from within. The great is the rare, the difficult, the exceptional. Set up standards of achievement open to all, to the least, to the most inept-- and you stop the impetus to effort in all men, great or small. You stop all incentive to improvement, to excellence, to perfection. Laugh at Roark and hold Peter Keating as a great achievement...Don't set out to raze all shrines-you'll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity....Kill by laughter. Kill reverence and you've killed the hero in man. One doesn't reverence with a giggle."

Recent Comments:
Enshrinement To — by Banned User on Thu, 2006-06-01 05:17

( categories: )

Blade Runner Again: Again!

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Wed, 2006-05-31 22:39

Yes, I see that Blade Runner is to be remastered on DVD again. Woopie. Yahoo. Quick somebody put me out. I'm on fire with ex and ite and ment.

No, not really. Had you going? I think this movie is shit. And I'm especially annoyed because so many people think it's great. Libertarians in particular. What's with that? What's with you people?!!

Recent Comments:
Hmmm — by Olivia on Sun, 2006-06-04 05:26
Best sci-fi ever? — by Chris Cathcart on Sun, 2006-06-04 03:45
Well, my story starts with — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-06-03 07:15

( categories: )

Couplets on Ayn Rand

F L Light's picture
Submitted by F L Light on Wed, 2006-05-31 21:58

There’s no enlightener auspiciously
More logical than Rand for liberty.

Ayn Rand, whose wishes were not watery,
The firmest abolition meant for tyranny.

Ayn Rand, whose wishes were not watery,
In solid logic sought her liberty.

Her wishes were not washy, shaping John
Galt’s sharp forthgoing from a state misgone.

Her wishes were not washy, far too hard

Recent Comments:
From The Iliad Plays My Music — by F L Light on Thu, 2006-06-01 19:56
Bravo! — by Adam Buker on Thu, 2006-06-01 05:50

( categories: )
Syndicate content