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Messages - Cain

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22351
Principia Discussion / Re: Forgive me for going grey...
« on: March 04, 2008, 02:41:30 pm »
I think you missed the part where I said I didn't care about balance, and was extending the logic of that argument to make a point about its worthlessness.

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From what I can tell, that's a pretty good list.

I was a bit disappointed by Prometheus Rising, but only because I'd already encountered all the ideas in other places before. It's great to see Godel Escher Bach too... one of my favorites.

I'm kind of surprised nobody has mentioned Atlas Shrugged or the Fountainhead. Or, as a newcomer to this forum, am I simply missing past hooplah about the Randroids? Especially given that around 1/4 of Illuminatus Trilogy is devoted to making fun of Ayn Rand (Telemachus Sneezed, anyone?).

Are we aiming for destruction of childish illusionment (normally Orwell, Rand, maybe Robert Pirsig) or tomes that actually worked to reconstruct public thought into new ideas? Campbell's work (Hero's Journey, etc) is fantastic. I'd also suggest Descartes' Discourse on Method as a useful tool for bullshit filtering.

Years ago, Kuro5hin (k5) had a couple of stories related to this, although they were more "what books have been influential in your life" while I suspect this is more "what books have been influential in your exploration of Discordianism".

Well, I have to say, the view on Ayn Rand on here isn't exactly...fantastic.  Now it could just be that most of us have either met Objectivists, either online or off (I know the local libertarian crowd, but they're very...classical in their approach) who seem a little...insane.  This is possible, given that nowadays Objectivism, as practised by the Ayn Rand Institute, is little more than a cult.  Also, the most vocal people within that group seem to be hypocrites, who profess individualism while having no problem with lumping in all Muslims together and nuking them, for example.  I wish I were making this up, but they seem to be 100% behind the War On Terror as well as the corporate arm of the government, and have advocated nuclear weapons to be used on the entire Middle East.  Rothbard/Hess innfluenced libertarians in particular seem to hold a deep hatred for Objectivists and their wholesale backing of the War on Terror.

As for Ayn Rand herself, I've heard contradictory things about her works.  On the one hand, you have a very dogmatic, demanding and somewhat authoritarian personality, not least towards women, homosexuals and Arabs, who sided with systems of control more often than not.  This view seems to be borne out by her many successors, both within the Institute and in the less controlled blogosphere.  On the other hand, in some respects, she made a couple of valid critiques, especially with regard to culture, and The Fountainhead is meant to be good in that respect, even if she spent much of her later life trying to repudiate certain views held within that.

The thing is...there are a lot of valid cultural critiques around, and if I spent all day reading them, I'd never get anything done.  From what I can see, Rand wasn't an especially talented philospher, and her main influences are Aristotle and Nietzsche, both of whom I have read in detail and consider generally superior to most philosophy.  Also, Nietzsche is a hilarious read most of the time.  More than a few people here tend towards Nietzsche than Aristotle, philosophically too, and of course Rand took the opposite view, so there is a rather large difference in terms of worldview there, which may explain some level of antipathy.

Anyway, welcome to the forums Aestetix.

22353
Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: March 03, 2008, 05:19:36 pm »
Reading Trickster Makes This World for the MLA course.

Still reading The Tragedy Of Great Power Politics by Mearsheimer.

Am about to finish Dying to Kill by Mia Bloom.

And I'll be starting Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill very soon.

22354
Sorry, I'm too busy profiteering from the crisis.

I'm actually sabotaging any attempt to compete the game, and instead am going round extorting money from people and assassinating guards.  And that fucker Desther is gonna get a smack in the gob soon.

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Or he meant they worshipped kings.

22356
Or Kill Me / Re: A Modest Proposal.
« on: March 03, 2008, 09:31:29 am »
I think this is a good direction to go.

I'm glad we have you back, and I'm glad to see we can hopefully have some sort of working system for how this site runs.  Of course, I'll reserve judgement until I see what ECH has to say about this but I myself can see no reasons for its refusal (and if there are some, I'll want to know what they are, so I can see if they have any sort of merit).

22357
Or Kill Me / Re: TRANSMISSIONS FROM ARIZONA
« on: March 03, 2008, 12:01:57 am »
Someone email me either when the forum has finished burning down, or else when we've decided what is going on.

I've tried to stay out of this as much as possible.  I don't like getting involved with fights between friends, even where there is a clear case of something I don't like happening, because often both sides feel they deserve unreserved support, and that is something I cannot give.

I also have to take the forum into account, as a whole.  You're talking about making radical changes without having one of the main players in how this forum runs even present.  Some would, and probably will, argue that ECH shouldn't be present or have a say in what is going on here. 

But I'll say this.  Unless this is cleared up in such a way as everyone gets something they can agree on, then we will be back here in 3 months, in 6 months, in a year...all the while sapping away energy from vital and interesting projects.  You may want the quick solution, you may even demand it.  But unless a deal between everyone can be thrashed out and all this stupid, petty dominance games come to an end, then this place may as well shut up shop now.  There's no point in its further existence if this is what it is going to be like, because I sure as hell wont stick around, and anyone interested in accomplishing anything other than "I trolled some other Discordians, lol" wont be either.

Take that as you will.  I'm too busy trying not to fail my course to have the time to go more in depth.

22358
Principia Discussion / Re: Some thoughts from #Discord
« on: March 02, 2008, 07:17:00 pm »
If you have the spare money and don't mind a few African/Native American/Greek diversions, I highly recommend Trickster Makes the World as a book to read.

Also, I do intend to participate in the main forum, once the MLA course is over.

22359
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Traps set by the machine
« on: March 02, 2008, 06:43:32 pm »
Also, this blogger manages to show quite well what I mean by atomistic individualism.  Calling himself a contextual libertarian, he makes the point quite well about social and cultural influences http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2003/11/in-praise-of-contextual-libertarianism.html

22360
Sounds fair to me, even if I don't exactly know what you mean by reglical.

22361
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Traps set by the machine
« on: March 02, 2008, 05:59:41 pm »
Well, I didn't wonder if they were rich and comfortable per se, but that was part of it.  Families who both value education, had the means to be able to send their child to such a school and had the knowledge and reasoning ability to decide it was the best for their child.  That might be harder to pick up via demographics than how I framed it, almost certainly, but that was what I had in mind.  I believe usually, according to the sociologists, its middle class families who value education most, but I'd have to check on that.  Either way, the greater the mix of backgrounds and social groups, the greater the chances are it is a successful model and not just a fluke anyway, so the point is redered fairly useless.

22362
Techmology and Scientism / Re: Interesting or Amusing Technology blogs
« on: March 02, 2008, 05:37:58 pm »
Wired.com

I know its not a blog, hush now.

22363
1) I need to spend more time hanging out on PD.com. This thread is proof of that.

2) I need to read a book about the 8 circuit model one of these days.

Prometheus Rising is probably the best, I agree with Rata.  It is best to approach it as more of a philisophical model than a scientific one, just as a warning.  There is no 'evidence' for it, its just an interesting, and possibly useful way to think about things.

22364
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Traps set by the machine
« on: March 02, 2008, 05:29:49 pm »
Could you elaborate on the educational choice issue.  I'd like to know more about this.  I'm presuming you mean the choice of where or if to go to school? 

Also, what are the socioeconomic demographics for a Sundbury school?  How large was the mix there between different groups in society?  Obviously they are successful at some level, but I have to wonder if thats not due to the sort of parents who are drawn to such a school rather than the teaching methods alone.  I may be wrong, its just a suspicion I have, but you know how statistics can be...

22365
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Random News Stories
« on: March 02, 2008, 12:13:07 pm »
IHT are being purposefully disingenous.  An Israeli minister in the aftermath of the Lebanon/Hezbollah spat in 2006 threatened mass devastation on Gaza as well, should Israel have to fight a two front war.  Its not just an off-hand comment, but a threat of policy.

I also love the bit about the kid.  Sounds like the reasoning of the US military when they dropped a bomb on Zaqarwi and killed a 5 year old girl at the same time.  Actually, it sounds kinda like the reasoning the IRA used to use, when their publicity went bad after a bombing.  "Well clearly its the people who got caught up in it's fault.  We certainly have no moral responsibility, we only dropped a bomb/failed to send coded warnings to the police/are legitimately resisting the British occupation.  Sucks to be the kid."

The thing is, any policy of mass retaliation is just going to put the Palestinians in the Hamas camp anyway.  AFAIK, Fatah lost the civil war badly, despite some neat toys from the USA making their way to their hands as part of an aid package, but managed to disillusion most of the population about how bad Hamas really is, even when compared to their levels of corruption and thuggery.  Sending the tanks rolling in and raiding the refugee camps etc is only going to put people mentally on the defensive, and cause them to side with Hamas, seeing as they have most of the Palestinian firepower in Gaza.

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