Monday, December 24, 2007

A very big MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my readers!
I wish you all good premises!
- Meg

Friday, December 21, 2007

Doctor of Objectivism

The Randzapper has been awfully quiet lately, so I decided I'd take over, and present a few more WTF moments in internet Objectivist history. On the ObjectivismOnline forum, a young and impressional high schooler Tom Rexton wonders if writing his college essay about his idol, Ayn Rand, would jeopardize his chances of admission. "non-contradictor" asks incredulously "Would you really want to go to a college that refuses you admission because you write about Ayn Rand?" Yeah, that's really logical and totally non contradictory, to deprive yourself of an education and degree just because the college thinks [rightly] that Rand is a loon.

But frother JMeganSnow takes the cake with her incisive and scathing reply:
Respected? By whom? For what?

On first glance this appears as a simple application of the fact that you have no obligation to go around incriminating yourself, however, I think that acting in this way is very dishonest on a personal level.

I place zero value on appearances . . . on attaching myself to a prestigious school, program, professor, or whatever. What is "prestige" . . . it is appearance without substantiation. To me, respect is a VERY personal matter that is based solely on my appraisal of a individual or group of individuals. Largely because I learned that other people's opinions are generally, well, crap, pardon my French.

You (speaking generally) cannot use an anti-Objectivism program as a springboard for promotion of Objectivism. It can't be done; you will experience such violent resistance on all levels that you will either be forced to compromise over and over, thus distorting your message beyond recognition, or they will break you and destroy your love of philosophy. You cannot really achieve a value without exercising the corresponding virtues; honesty and integrity.

If the University wants to know what your values are before admitting you, TELL THEM. You will accomplish nothing by failing to call a spade a spade. There are other Universities, and, if not, there are libraries, there are public forums (such as this one) there are MANY MANY means of acquiring an education.

An education is simply a means to an end, not the end itself, and if you want to succeed you need to treat it as such. By all means, write that essay about Ayn Rand's books, IF those are honestly the most influential books you have encountered.

Did you hear that guys? Now going on Objectivist forums and talking to SMRT people like JMeganSnow is a viable alternative to getting a university degree!

It's pretty obvious that Megan places no importance on outward appearances. Her inner Objectivist radiance is all she needs to land her the Galt of her dreams. Boys, if you haven't checked out her profile photo yet, you should - she's hottt.

The Iron Ring

The iron ring is a ring presented to Canadian engineers upon graduation. It is worn on the pinky finger of the working hand. To the untrained eye, the Ring looks like it was manually hammered into shape. It is designed to be a practical symbol of the profession, and not a piece of decorative jewelry. Definitely a Rand-friendly concept, eh? There was a guy who gave his ring to his girlfriend, and depending on her mood or feelings about his relationship with him, she would wear it on different fingers. That sounds a like real life Hank and Lillian Rearden scenario with the Rearden metal bracelet he gave her, huh?

However, the iron ring does not merely symbolize of the superiority of engineers, but also to remind them of their their duty [!] to their profession and to society [oh noez!]. An urban legend says the ring is made of an alloy of metals scavenged from engineering disasters representing each form of engineering (eg, a collapsed bridge, faulty medical equipment). Thank god Canadian engineers are more grounded than Rearden et al.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What's the frequency, Kenneth?

This is a reply to Jay's comment on ARCHN that people who live their lives pridefully and rationally are happier and more successful.

During my brieft stint as a Objecti-curious person, I remember being bothered by the fact that I taking great pains to live my life RATIONALLY and objectively and I didn't get anything in return, but some nutter who assaults Dan Rather screaming "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" gets immortalized in a REM hit single. And come on, everyone loves REM, at least all Objective people.

It led to a huge crisis of faith, and I renounced Objectivism forever.

hah, i wish, it took a bit more crises of faith and tears before it really happened

Jay also mentions in another comment:
I don't have any evidence of that. But I do have to wonder: does anybody grow up dreaming to be a government-employed diversity trainer?

Jay, you're an undergrad, right? I'm sure there are plenty of feminist studies majors at your school who'd cream their girly pants at the thought of that.

*not that i'm a fan of feminist studies majors, quite the opposite, but that's a story for another post...maybe.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ayn the closet Kantian?

NEWSFLASH: I have discovered a contradiction in Objectivism!!!

like... dozens of others have before..

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” - Ayn Rand

Francis L. Macrina, in Scientific Integrity:

"Ethical theories are generally divided into two major categories. The first of these is called either teleological or consequentialist, and the second is referred to as deontological. Teleological theories focus exclusively on the consequences of an action in order to determine the morality of that action...

[Deontology] does not depend exclusively on the consequences of an action to determine its morality... [Kant's] theory is an example of an extreme deontological position in that the consequences of an action are not considered in establishing its morality. Kant believed that using the utility of an act to determine whether it is right or wrong is a terrible mistake."

Many have commented that other than her rabidly capitalist veneer, she is really Leftist on the inside. She says that happiness is man's purpose in life, but this lip service is as far as she goes to avoid Kant's deontology. The next part of her motto states that one should hold "reason" as their absolute. All her novels are about the importance of having the "right" (read: Objectivist) philosophy to live by. None of these things are compatible with a teleological point of view. She admits as much in her condemnations of libertarianism as being too utilitarian.

Of course, Rand probably did not intentionally write this contradiction into her philosophy. Her leap of logic is that holding reason as one's absolute will, ipso facto, make you permanently happy. Which any truly rational person would know, is not always the case.

Either half of her above statement alone would have made sense, but together they contradict each other. If you hold adherence to the creed of Objectivism as the most important thing in life (and this is what I gather from the body of her writings and those of her followers), then your happiness is not top priority. This can be compared to adherents of conventional world religions: They believe that practice of their creed will lead to happiness and success in life, but they usually admit that they place adhering to the exhortations of their faith above pursuing their own immediate happiness should they contradict. Objectivists aren't so artless.

Book Review: "Old School" by Tobias Wolff

"Old School" is set in a mid-century New England boys prep school, where the young protagonist encounters Rand, among other things. It depicts Rand's ability to sexually mesmerize the young, as the protagonist and his girlfriend share Rand-induced fantasies with each other. Rand and her gang visit the school to judge an essay competition, where Wolff recreates the behavior of the Objectivist cult in public down to a T. They strut, stomp, heckle and blow smoke into their hosts' faces through the day. Rand is horrified when she learns that her top pick, a story about beefy steers fighting the tyranny of collectivist farmers to board a spaceship and fly off to cow paradise, was really an exhortation to veganism.

It should be noted that Rand isn't the main focus of this book, although probably the most interesting part. The parts about teenage boys' sexual discovery titillated me, and the parts about Rand were funny. But the rest of the book was about when they grew older and disenchanted and realized that everyone is living a lie (or something like that), and that got boring.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Ascent of Ayn

Objectivists don't buy the ideas in Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species, but they do believe in Evolution of the Uber-Mensch

Sylvia Bokor presents...

The Ascent of Ayn

This also reminds me of the diagram in Stephen Colbert's book I Am America (And So Can You!) where he depicts the evolution of Gods from through Dagon and Anubis through Ganesh, Buddha, and Caveman Jesus until we reach the pinnacle of godly evolution, the God-man Jesus himself.

Everyone's a little bit Objectivist

I might sometimes post stuff not directly or obviously related to Objectivism. After all, a cute co-ed talking about her kinky Randian sexual exploits would logically draw the crowds, right?

In the Objectivist party game
Concepts in a Hat slips of paper with concepts central to objectivism written on them are placed in a hat (and now, lets face it, what words or concepts exist hat are not indelibly linked to the greatest philosophical system ever conceived). Each player draws out 2 slips of paper and tries to make the Objectivist connection between them.

At first i thought this was a parody, but no, it's for real. Both Nate Branden and Peikoff actually played this game on a regular basis.

Page 223 of The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics says:
"Branden reports that in 1966 he took Rand to see his - still secret - new mistress, an actress, perform in a play. Rand later complimented her performance by saying that she had "applied" the philosophy of Objectivism to the art of acting. Branden reports Patrecia's response with sympathy: "What has Objectivism got to do with this?"


But, in a certain sense, philosophy, as any actual Objectivist knows, has to do with everything, it is "the master integration" of our knowledge. Philosophy is precisely the field of broadest abstractions which covers the most ground...."

Valliant goes on for a few more paragraphs essentially saying the same thing a few more times, and concluding that Branden was never a "true" Objectivist since he did not allow the philosophy of Objectivism to permeate his entire brain and take over his life, and ergo he was not Rand-worthy.


So if you think something is off topic, remember: Everything is related to Objectivism!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

ARCHN reports:
"Yes, Leonard Peikoff has the answer to this centuries-old problem. And it can be yours too for just US$205 and 13hrs of your time."

Save your cash guys, the answer is 42.

"For instance, a race of hyperintelligent, pan-dimensional beings once built themselves a gigantic supercomputer called Deep Thought to calculate once and for all the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. For seven and a half million years, Deep thought computed and calculated, and in the end announce that the answer was in fact... Forty Two..." - - Douglas Adams in The Restaurant at the End of The Universe

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

He's just not that into you

"We worked on his [psycho-epistemology] for some months in formal, psycho-therapeutic sessions - and our own relationship was entirely suspended in every sense or aspect during this period. The sessions were not very god: he was not very clear on anything, he kept discussing different aspects at random, and I did not understand him at all, in the sense that I could not tell what he grasped or not. I knew only that is [psycho-epistemology] was in total chaos - and I was shocked by it: I could not understand how the rational man I thought him to be had been willing to live with such a chaos and had let it go for so long."

You know, maybe she should have realized he was just not that into her?

ref: page 230 of The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics

First Post

Welcome to Meg's Marginalia, the 24/7;365 online Ayn Rand themed talk show. Yet another Ayn blog, you might wonder? There are already many awesome Ayn Rand sites out there, and many of them express many of my sentiments I feel, often better than I could. But if you're like me, you can never get enough juicy Rand-y gossip.

I'm also a chick, and females seem to be underrepresented in the field of Ayn Rand criticism (although I know she has plenty of adoring kinky female fans). I know there's Tara Reid, and like Noodle Food, I'm also a graduate student (not philosophy though hah!). But they're fans, and I'm slightly less sympathetic.

I'll try to update as often as possible, my goal is on average once a day, but I do have a life (unlike the Randroids!), so I don't know how close to that goal i'll come.

The content of this site will be commentary on Rand, her works, her life, other people's works about Rand, commentary about Rand-fans and Rand-haters, from internet sources, print sources, meta sources, anything. If you have an idea of what you want to see here, by all means send it to megsmargin@gmail.com and I might use it.

I am also not going to always be political correct -- this is a RAND blog after all, what do you expect, so if you don't like something, you can STFU. I mean, you can comment, or email me at (megsmargin@gmail.com), but I can't promise I'm going to reply to every single comment or email I get. I'm here to entertain, not to engage in long and pretentious conversations about the meaning of Objectivist life. If you want that, talk to a fellow Randist. If your comment is boring, tl;dr (too long, didn't read), I might not reply. All comments and emails sent to me become property of Meg's Marginalia.

Although the purpose of this site is to poke fun at the Objectivists and deliver Rand drama both old and new, I am more than willing to help anyone who is still caught in the clutches of the Objectivist cult. If that describes you, just drop me a line, and I am more than willing to talk to you. If you would like your message to remain confidential, indicate that and I will honor the request.

Finally, nothing on this site is affiliated with Ayn Rand or ARI or anything at all except itself.

I guess that's about it. Sign below that you agree with the aforesaid Meg's Marginalia loyalty oath of eternal loyalty to Meg... I mean... go crazy, Ayn diehards!!!