I’ve never read Ayn Rand.
I hear so much flagrant shit about her books. The gist I got was she hates poor people and blames poor people for being poor or something?
But there’s gotta be more to it than that. I remember Borders having Atlas Shrugged on fucking display for a while.
So SOMEONE is buying into her bullshit.
The thing is, her books aren’t explicitly about how awful poor people is. Her books are about how awesome her self-reliant True Individual heroes are, which is part of what makes them appealing to so many people who are young and impressionable.
It’s the implications of the philosophy that is being advanced in her books (and which she articulates in her non-fiction books) that leads to the “screw poor people” stuff.
And the thing is, the books aren’t even good at showing the thing they supposedly show. They all are supposed to be teaching us great truths about human nature, but they ignore what human nature is and show what Rand thinks it should be. It’s like reading some alien’s fan fiction, written based on garbled descriptions and wild imaginings about what human life is like.
For instance, the Fountainhead’s protagonist is Howard Roark, the only architect in the world who is a True Individual who Doesn’t Follow The Crowd and Thinks For Himself.
But his individualism and supposed great creative genius consists of… making the most boring buildings imaginable and then insisting that this is the only correct way to do it and anybody who disagrees or deviates from his vision is objectively wrong.
His approach allows for no creativity, no individual expression, no decorative flourishes, nothing cultural or artistic. He looks at a site, and then comes up with the most utilitarian building possible to suit the practical needs of the project given the site. His design is presented as being the objectively (or Objectively) correct design, and anyone else’s design is judged by how much it deviates from the single correct answer.
So if 100 architects all submit different plans, they’e all sheep for not having the courage to see the one logically right answer.The more their answers vary, the more they are sheep.
And she writes the story in such a way that all the art and expression in architecture for thousands of years is a corruption that leaves people feeling hollow and empty. Think about the most soaring and inspiring religious art in architecture. The most beautiful buildings. In her story, the idea that these places inspire anything but conformity in the viewer is a lie we’ve been forced to believe, but looking at Howard Roark’s cracker box buildings makes our spirits soar.
This might just be written off as bad storytelling, but it reflects how she lived her life. Rand led a circle of “free-thinking intellectuals” where one’s free-thinkingness was measured in terms of one’s agreement with the group; i.e., with her.
Did you see that ridiculous letter to Cat Fancy going around where Rand talks about how she doesn’t feel anything about cats, she reasons that they have objective value? That’s not her being silly (on purpose) or suggesting “My dear person, you don’t understand how much I like cats.” As part of her deep-seated belief that she is an objectively rational human being, she convinced herself that all of her tastes and feelings are deeply rational conclusions.
So in her fable about individualism and the human spirit, the architectural flourishes that she finds silly and gaudy aren’t just not to her taste, they are objectively wrong and a sign of how oppressed the human spirit has become.
She even conducted her romantic affairs in this manner. When she essentially left her husband for a younger man (though I believe they stayed marry), she explained it to him that it was the rationally correct decision to make and if he didn’t agree then his whole life as an intellectual had been a lie. When her younger beau eventually dumped her, she made a similar declaration about him.
So this is the background of Ayn Rand: a woman who is as ruled by prejudice, superstition, and emotion as anyone else on the planet, but is so invested in the idea of being rational and objective that she convinced that whatever passion moves her must be the utter expression of pure reason.
And this woman has—as so many do—a deep suspicion of the idea that other people are getting something for nothing, and this suspicion leads to resentment. More understandably, she has a suspicion of anything that smacks of communism or government-backed redistribution from being a firsthand witness to the excesses of the USSR.
But rather than thinking about her feelings and where they come from, or examining her conclusions, she simply concludes that everything she feels is itself pure reason, and then articulates a philosophy around it.
And this gives us Atlas Shrugged, which is again about the triumph of the individual, but again in a very twisted way.
She takes the idea that all human beings are entitled to the fruits of their labor and posits that the only human beings who really labor are the people at the top of the capitalism food chain.
Reading the story, it’s apparent that she sees the world as a kind of steampunk AU where people who singlehandedly create unique and unreproducible technological breakthroughs are the drivers of the economy, not people who work and buy things, not venture capitalists and people who have inherited gobs of money and power.
True Individuals in Atlas Shrugged are people who are clever and brave and selfish (which is considered a virtue in her writing) enough that they should be rich and ruling the world, and the fact that they don’t is another sign of how corrupt the world is. This is why it resonates with so many people (and the particular people it does) so deeply: it tells them that they should be in charge, they should be rich, they should have everything, and the fact that they don’t is because of Moochers, Looters, and Takers (everyone else.)
Selfishness is a virtue, altruism is a sin, and anything done for the benefit of society rather than oneself is “looting” and the reason that the well-deserving supermen of the world are left with nothing to show for their awesomeness.
The title “Atlas Shrugged” refers to the idea that the titan Atlas who holds up the sky (or in many popular depictions, the world) suffers and toils silently for the benefit of the whole world with no reward might one day have enough of it and put his burden down, see how the world gets along without him.
Which sounds like a rallying cry for labor, right? But this, again, in Rand’s mind and in her bizarre AU fantasy that she calls a philosophical thesis statement, this description does not apply to the mass of human laborers whose work forms the backbone of our life. Those people are takers. Whatever they get is by definition more than they deserve.
John Galt, the “hero” of Atlas Shrugged, is a randpunk inventor who organizes a “strike” of all the other True Individuals, and the wheels of society grind to a halt without their benevolent greed. This is why Tea Partiers and the like talk about “going Galt” or wave signs around that say “Who is John Galt?” (which is Tea Partier for wearing a Guy Fawkes mask). The irony of ironies is that most of these people are working class, which means that they would not be seen as Atlas in her work but as Atlas’s burden.
But as long as they prefer to see themselves as the Bold Individuals Who Would Dare (if not for that darned government and immigrants and homosexuals and communists and witches), they’ll never realize that.
Sorry to the less-interested among my dash for reblogging such a long post, but Rand’s psychology (it’s…not really a philosophy, and my philosophy prof is the only other person I’ve ever seen pick apart her premises & reasoning so thoroughly) rarely gets examined in-depth, and I find it fascinating when it is…also, “randpunk” as a genre name. I kinda wish it existed. So we all knew what to avoid, but still.
Website graphs your favorite shows based on quality | Warming Glow
I wondered that too! Turns out it was a clip show episode. Also, if you go to the chart site itself you can click on each dot and it’ll take you to the imdb page for that episode.
Languages animate objects by giving them names, making them noticeable when we might not otherwise be aware of them. Tuvan has a word iy (pronounced like the letter e), which indicates the short side of a hill.
I had never noticed that hills had a short side. But once I learned the word, I began to study the contours of hills, trying to identify the iy. It turns out that hills are asymmetrical, never perfectly conical, and indeed one of their sides tends to be steeper and shorter than the others.
If you are riding a horse, carrying firewood, or herding goats on foot, this is a highly salient concept. You never want to mount a hill from the iy side, as it takes more energy to ascend, and an iy descent is more treacherous as well. Once you know about the iy, you see it in every hill and identify it automatically, directing your horse, sheep, or footsteps accordingly.
This is a perfect example of how language adapts to local environment, by packaging knowledge into ecologically relevant bits. Once you know that there is an iy, you don’t really have to be told to notice it or avoid it. You just do. The language has taught you useful information in a covert fashion, without explicit instruction.”
“It is speculated that the yams that form the basis of the island diet have a contraceptive agent in them (The Pill was originally made by looking at chemicals in wild yams), which conveniently explains quite a bit, including the low birthrate despite the high level of sexual activity. Indeed, the whole idea lends quite a bit of support to the idea that material factors shape culture — after all, our own sexual revolution didn’t happen until we got the yam’s chemicals in pill form in 1960.”
Gaston really is the most terrifying Disney villain because he could be anyone in the world.
Later he convinces the whole town to set up his wedding with the knowledge that the would-be bride would be thrown into it. Everyone finds his creepy-ass tactics as cute and “boys will be boys” esque. So yeah, he is terrifying.
Yeah, the truly scary thing about Beauty and the Beast isn’t that Gaston exists, but that society fucking loves him. People who deride the movie by saying it’s about Stockholm Syndrome are ignoring that it’s actually about the various ways that truly decent people get othered by society. People don’t trust the Beast because of the way he looks, which only feeds his anger issues and pushes him further away. Gaston isn’t the only one who criticizes Belle for being bookish, either; the whole town says there must be something wrong with her. And her father gets carted off to a mental asylum for being just a little eccentric.
Howard Ashman, who collaborated on the film’s score and had a huge influence on the movie’s story and themes, was a gay man who died of AIDS shortly after work on the film was completed. If you watch the film with that in mind, the message of it becomes clear. Gaston demonstrates that bullies are rewarded and beloved by society as long as they possess a certain set of characteristics, while nice people who don’t are ostracized. The love story between Belle and the Beast is about them finding solace in each other after society rejects them both.
Notice how the Beast reacts when the whole town comes for him. He’s not angry, he’s sad. He’s tired. And he almost gives up because he has nothing to live for. But then he sees that Belle has come back for him, and suddenly he does. In the original fairy tale, the Beast asks Belle to marry him every night, and the spell is broken when she accepts. In the Disney movie, he waits for her to love him, because he cannot love himself. That’s how badly being ostracized from society and told that you’re a monster all your life can fuck with your head and make you stop seeing yourself as human.
Society rewards the bullies because we’ve been brought up to believe that their victims don’t belong. That if someone doesn’t fit in, then they have to be put in their place, or destroyed. And this movie demonstrates that this line of thinking is wrong. It’s so much deeper than a standard “be yourself” message, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite Disney movies.
No but what I’m saying is, he should have remembered being both Xanders, because they were both him. And if he suddenly remembered both timelines at once, he would have realized the spell had broken right away, by the sudden experience of having two memories of the same time period. But he had no idea. Why not?
Right, he didn’t know when the spell ended, so he probably didn’t remember both timelines.
I don’t think he remembered being both Xanders, because they weren’t both Xander. They weren’t copies, they were separate aspects of Xander.
Because the original idea was to make Buffy into The Slayer and Buffy, respectively, so I think the goal was not to be like Helpless, where the test is to take away the physical aspects of being the Slayer, but she still is supposed to be able to defeat the vampire with her knowledge. Like, Buffy!Buffy would have been easy prey because she wouldn’t even have had that experience; she would have been a completely different person than Slayer!Buffy.
So neither of them was completely Xander, like, the hero!Xander (whose viewpoint we saw during most of the episode) seemed like “our” Xander because of the goofy way he was acting, but he wasn’t really “our” Xander; he was only a part of Xander.
Then, in the end, they re-form to become one WHOLE Xander, so maybe they actually don’t remember anything except a vague idea of what happened, because neither of them actually was Xander during that time, which means neither experience is valid to the existence of whole!Xander.
(not sarcasm, this is actually fascinating)
[rebloggable by request]
You’re the same person who sent me the ask, “Given that Deiniol was born in Wales, How likely is it that he was a person of color?”
I take it you did not read any of the 19 books I referred to you? Otherwise you’d probably be able to better understand your own question.
I don’t know why you keep sending me these vaguely race-baiting asks.
Phrases like “how likely is it” and “not ethnically Italian” don’t really make any sense in the context of this blog, or history in general. You seem to have this really weird idea that somehow in some far-distant past, Europe was full of exactly one race that you consider to be White. I mean, are you trying to say, Proto-Indo Europeans? That’s completely in the realm of linguistics, and has nothing to do with race. I mean, here’s a simplified mockup of Italy from 400 B.C., 400-ish years before Terentius Neo died in Pompeii:
Here’s some Etruscan art from around that time:
Like, how far back do we have to go to find people you’d consider “ethnically Italian”? When does this question start making sense?
Wait, did you mean when it was part of Ancient Greece, Crotone and all that?
Did you mean like, 8000 B.C.? Are these people “ethnically Italian”?
WHAT ANSWER ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
this ask from earlier hit some unexpected nerves with some people. If it wasn’t clear: “ethnically Italian” isn’t really relevant since Italy wouldn’t exist until 1861, almost 2,000 years later.
If you mean “white people” you should probably just say “white people”.
Asking about ethnic Italians isn’t entirely meaningless, but definitely misphrased. The name Italia goes back thousands of years and wasn’t just invented at unifiation. In the Social War when various non-Latin Italic indigenous ethnic groups tried to rise up against Rome (either to demand citizenship or to overthrow the Republic - the debate still rages), these peoples did fight under ‘Italia’ (the Latin coming from the Oscan word víteliú). This Italia was perceived as sort of an alternative to Rome that might overthrow it and basically incorporated various Italic peoples from all across the mainland (not including Sicily since it’s not Italy - which is why the proto-Sicani paintings are a little misplaced as an example, the peoples of Sicily were not Italic peoples).
If vladith is looking for numbers, he won’t find them (we barely have numbers for anyone in Rome who wasn’t an adult male citizen - slaves, women, kids, forget it). Is he asking about the 2nd century BCE or CE? If CE, a hell of a lot of them would be non-Latin ethnically, considering how easily people born outside of Rome could become citizens, but they’d still be Romans legally, and almost entirely culturally if they were living in the city itself. If BCE, fewer would be non-Latin and non-Italic, but they’d certainly be around. I think at least Roman Jews are attested somewhere in the record for the late 2nd C BCE. Migration’s not as hard as people seem to think tho, and is also something that wouldn’t have been documented so much (what are the chances someone’s going to write “so this guy came into Puteoli from North Africa today” and that it’d survive?). Etruscans themselves might not even be Italic (this debate still rages, I’m on the non-Italic side of things) although they were one of the Italian peninsula’s most prosperous civilizations (I concede angrily). And there should have been a good number of Etruscans at Rome in the 2nd C BCE too.
If this kid was looking for modern Italians in ancient Rome tho he’s really got another thing coming!
The context: I had just posted this painting from Pompeii(A.D. 55-79):
And in that context, it’s fairly ridiculous.
The insistence on viewing or describing people of color in Europe as “foreign” in some way, shape, or form is what I’m really calling into question here. Especially when combined with the previous ask. How long to you have to be in Europe before you are considered “European”?
The point of my blog is that Europe has been racially diverse for a long, long time-but a lot of history was rewritten in the 19th and 20th centuries to erase that fact. Just Italy on its own was very diverse culturally, as we have both noted (quibbles over Etruscans notwithstanding).
As for the proto-Sicani cave paintings, the point they make stands: looking for historic evidence of an “all-white” Europe is a wild goose chase that requires you to ignore, explain away, and dismiss about a million proofs to the contrary. Unfortunately, modern academia has been designed to do just that.
Also, I’d imagine that some of them managed to get to the mainland and have some babies in the last 10,000 years, so they would in effect be Italian. And lastly, you may have noticed they are literally stick figures on a cave wall; it’s not like you have any idea WHAT they may have looked like.
As for Terentius Neo, all we really know is that he lived in Pompeii and was a baker; there’s no way to know by looking at him what his ethnicity would have been considered at that time. Roman ethnic categories were really, really different than ours, and weren’t racial categories.
Lastly, thanks for pointing out that North Africa is like, literally right there. Even ancient peoples often had legs, domesticated riding animals, and boats.
Not sure whether the thank you was sarcastic, but you’re welcome nonetheless. Obviously we don’t have hard stats but there were tons of North African and Eastern peoples in Rome for a lot of its history.
Perhaps a bit late but a good addition to this post… the emperor Septimius Severus was Punic, from Leptis Magna in Libya, and take a look at the way he’s depicted here! (And I hope vladith considers that Severus was just as Roman as he was Punic regardless of his colour)
Thanks was 100% genuine. I always welcome additional information for this blog.
I also welcome and am reblogging the image you posted of this piece, which is much better than any of the ones I’d found.
It should be noted that there are two sorts of Gallifreyan, circular and linear. Most of the online constructions are circular (because circular is cool), but I did find one version of Old High Gallifreyan. OHG actually appears to be relatively common in the Whoniverse and is arguably more oft…
SO MUCH GALLIFREYAN
I learned how to write my name in Sherman’s Circular Gallifreyan last night, and it’s really pretty, so I think I will continue with that despite there being twelve other ways to Gallifreyanize things including a conlang project
This had nothing to do with smoking weed or getting high. This is about our earth. This is about our future. This is about the future of our race as humans.
I am all for hemp. Hemp is the cure for so many things wrong in this world. Hemp can make such a difference!
kitsunebaba, look what appeared on my dash :D
IT USES 5 TIMES LESS WATER THAN COTTON
AND PRODUCES LIKE 10 TIMES MORE
AND IT HAS TWO SEASONS IN ONE YEAR AND IT IS STRONGER
WHEN YOU MAKE IT INTO PAPER IT DOESN’T YELLOW
YOU CAN MAKE FREAKING CONCRETE OUT OF IT THAT GETS HARDER OVER TIME AND BREATHES SO IT DOESN’T CRACK
THE OIL IS SUPER GOOD FOR YOU
IT WAS THE ORIGINAL FUEL FOR CARS
YOU CANNOT GET HIGH FROM IT!!!!
THEY USED TO MAKE SAILS OUT OF IT
YOU CAN USE 80% OF IT FOR PAPER RATHER THEN 20-30% FOR TREES
IT WAS ONLY BOYCOTTED BECAUSE THE COTTON INDUSTRY WAS GOING DOWNHILL
I used to be so confused by the difference between marijuana and hemp because they’re both cannabis. Apparently, they are different species of the same plant genus, but hemp is bred for its industrial use and is grown in tall stalks to produce more fiber. Hemp has so little THC that you would have to smoke at least ten hemp cigarettes in a row to feel anything, and hemp also contains CBD which blocks the effects of THC. Marijuana is bred for its high THC content, obviously, and is allowed to grow bushy to produce more leaves and flowers.
It’s just like corn. To the layperson, corn is well CORN. But you have many different cultivars that look superficially similar, but have very different requirements for how to grow them and very different end uses. You wouldn’t use popcorn to make chicha or cornmeal! and if you’re growing it for silage, you’ll plant it and harvest it in a different way than you would if you were growing sweet corn for sale as whole ears.
So to layperson it seems like all cannabis cultivars will get you high because its the only one laypeople know anything about. Plus with the restrictions, the overall number of cultivars has been greatly reduced so the THC ones are the only common ones. If hemp was grown as a regular crop, you’d have loads and load of different cultivars, all bred and planted, to optimize different aspects. and all the fiber focused ones would be VERY different because they’d be bred for longest fibers. the majority of smokable marijuana is actually a DWARF variety of the plant! This is why the argument “well if people grew hemp, they’d hide marijuana in it” is silly. If the two cultivars hybridize, they totally ruin each other’s primary use! You’d get weak, shitty smokable variety AND an inferior, unsalable fiber crop.
anyway, to the other uses. One of its really AWESOME other uses is that it will take up HEAVY METALS from soil, including radioactive elements. Normally that’s a really tedious process involving scraping all the topsoil off an area (which can make radioactive dust airborne…) and then burning it to try and extract the heavy metals. Plant hemp, it uptakes it and stores it in the fiber. You do have to do multiple crops, but you never actually strip the topsoil. (plus hemp is a nitrogen fixing crop, so it’s like applying fertilizer!)
well then what the hell do you do with radioactive fibers? Conveniently mixing hemp fiber into concrete with make it stronger and earthquake resistant. You can also make it up to 1/3 lighter than you would with just concrete and rebar.
How do you normally shield radioactive items? entombing it in concrete. Make the core with radioactive hemp fiber, apply an outer sheathing with non-radioactive fiber to prevent direct contact or fragmenting into dust or coming into contact with ground water. (only a few inches is needed as a shield) Use it in something like skyscraper foundations or subway tunnels where it won’t be directly contacted by people very often.
So you can clean up many old industrial sites that are NOT currently safe AND use it to build infrastructure that’s extra strong and earthquake resistant. Or use it to extract radioactive waste from radioactive water.
It IS in use for that purpose within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. And remember that earthquake resistant part? I can think of a country that has to remove a lot of radioactive waste from soil and water AND rebuild structures ravaged by an earthquake.
It does a LOT of cool things, but the possibilities with bioremediation are probably the absolutely coolest because there aren’t many other options in that area that are as efficient and cost effective.
I’mma learn today.
This is all true, but also my best friend gets hives if she touches anything made from it.
- Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men’s Violence, and Women’s Lives by Dee L.R. Graham, pg. 112
I really want to talk about this more.Especially the first underlined bit about how their emotional bonds are with men though they have sex with women.
a common term for this is “homosocial”, coined by queer theorist eve sedgwick. once you start looking around, it’s rather obvious that men align themselves with other men and that they do not have any true connection with women (otherwise, you know, they would not be murdering/raping/taking away our rights/etc). men’s homosocial bonds, be they between heterosexual or homosexual men, reproduce and reinforce male dominance.
if you have more questions, feel free to ask. Loving to Survive is not really about male homosocial behavior, but you can understand how women align themselves with homosocial males in order to get by. on the flip side, there is much history and theory by feminists, such as audre lorde and adrienne rich, who assert that female homosociality is a key to female liberation.
or, why the MCU didn’t ruin your favorite supervillain.
below the cut: Iron Man 3 spoilers, discussion of cultural appropriation, narrative arc, and analysis of how ridiculously, wonderfully meta the advertising scheme of IM3 was.
If you are worried about the Mandarin and don’t mind spoilers you should read this
Standing in line to watch iron man now SO reblogging to read later
“apples do not come true from seed.”
It’s still a bit “that’s convenient” but consider it as it must have been originally (ie No Bond factored in).
- Silva steals something he knows will cause M to face disciplinary action: the hard-drive. That’s why he steals it - his end game isn’t to do with the agent’s names, he doesn’t care. His end game is where M will end up because of him taking such an item - the court house for a disciplinary hearing. i.e. away from the more guarded MI6.
- He blows up the new MI6, knowing their back-up base is underground. It isn’t a stretch to assume Silva would know this, having worked at MI6 before, and would know any attack on MI6 base would force them to move.
- He released the agent names and goaded M: come find me. He wanted to get captured, but on his terms. He didn’t factor in Bond, but worked with it anyway, the end result was the same - he was inside MI6.
- Knowing how MI6 works, he set his laptop up to hack the MI6 servers it would be connected to, releasing the doors. This, admittedly, is a bit reliant on Silva’s skill as a hacker, but he is an arrogant shit. He would probably have been happy to rely on that.
- From the MI6 base he forced them to move to for his own purposes of getting to the underground, he travels underground towards the courthouse, blending in with the masses rather than going overground.
- The explosives in the last leg of the underground were placed as a back-up, should Silva need a distraction during the last stretch of his escape. They were presumably put there by the policemen we previously saw working in the underground who aided Silva with his suit. The train coming through was luck - the explosion and rubble would have been enough for a distraction and planned as such. When Silva sees the train coming, he’s laughing - that was luck, luck on his side.
So yeeeeeaaaaah…feel free to pull it apart and whatnot, just my two cents against people who say Silva’s plan was too reliant on things happening that he had no control over. The level of control he had was actually staggering. He even controlled where MI6 was based purely so he had a quicker means to his underground route, thus getting to M in time at the courthouse…
- Hard-drive stealing <leads to> M faces disciplinary in the courthouse.
- MI6 explosion <leads to> MI6 moving to the underground base.
- Leaking names <was meant to lead to> Silva’s capture and therefore, location within the MI6 base, his planned “start point”.
- Rigged laptop <leads to> Doors opening, start the main objective - Kill M.
- Explosives in the underground <leads to> distraction enough to make the last leg of his run. [The underground route was the backbone of his plan - no doubt the explosives were put there in advance, by the policemen working in the underground seen earlier helping Silva]
- Luck: The train in addition to the originally planned distraction explosion.
End of plan - Silva expected to kill M then and there in the court room. After this point, he’s winging it pretty much. Hence why he loses his cool in the court room after he fails to kill M - we see him looking genuinely angry when Bond shoots the fire extinguishers and he starts firing at random, blind. He’s pissed - years of planning down to the last detail, down the shitter.
“The study notes that Likes that are the “best predictors of high intelligence include ‘Thunderstorms,’ The Colbert Report, ‘Science” and ‘Curly Fries.’ Low intelligence was indicated by liking (Facebook pages for) ‘Sephora,’ ‘I Love Being A Mom,’ ‘Harley Davidson’ and ‘Lady Antebellum.’ ” Researchers gave no further explanation of these findings.”