Elias presents ... a worm!    Thoughts on family, philosophy,
and technology


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Book: Goddess of the Market

Last week, Jon Stewart interviewed Jennifer Burns, author of a new biography of Ayn Rand, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. Burns was reasonable, but made a few incorrect statements: Ayn Rand a "conservative"? [15:50] whose life mission was to defend the right? Actually, AR stressed that she was not a conservative, e.g. she couldn't stand Reagan, and The Fountainhead was not about political philosophy at all, but about the psychology and ethics of spiritual independence. Still, not a hint of the childish insulting tone from either Burns or Stewart that I was expecting (such as Colbert displayed about AR earlier this year). In fact, both of them seem genuinely impressed with AR. So thumbs up to Stewart for intellectual honesty here.

Today, Burns has an article on, Howard Roark in New Delhi. This is an interesting description of the popularity of AR in India. But this time Burns labels AR with "libertarianism." Actually, AR stressed that she was not a libertarian, calling libertarianism "a mockery of philosophy and ideology" which often plagiarizes her without credit.

So, Burns seems to be generally intellectually honest from what I've seen so far, and may intend to be objective about AR's political thought -- but she doesn't or can't distinguish between the Objectivist political philosophy and two movements that are profoundly incompatible with Objectivism, as has been described many times by many people, including AR.

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Movie: The White Rose

Last night I watched the subtitled movie "Sophie Scholl: The Last Days" about the young and courageous members of the secret resistance group in 1942-3 Germany, The White Rose. The group members, mostly students at the university of Munich, distributed thousands of leaflets denouncing the Nazi programme of war and murder. A few days after they were caught, the leaders (including Sophie Scholl, who was 21) were guillotined; many others were imprisoned. As a movie I don't recommend it, it is very depressing, one is better off to just read about The White Rose on the Internet (the Wikipedia article seems to give a decent overview). But the story depicts, negatively, the grand power of intellectual activism: besides brute force, irrationality has no defense against voices of reason. It may be a fictitious line, but in the movie Hans defiantly tells the judge that he and Hitler must be afraid of -- and thus morally inferior to -- the members of The White Rose, otherwise there wouldn't even be a trial.

From The White Rose leaflet #3:
[W]hy do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanised state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right - or rather, your moral duty - to eliminate this system?

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Next leg down: Are we there yet?

So the primary count is officially Minuette (iii) down of Minute [i] of Minor 1 of Intermediate (1) of Primary [3] of Cycle wave c of Supercycle wave (a) of Grand Supercycle wave IV.

Translation: last week we may have seen the highest stocks are going to be for years, with SPX hitting 1088.

UPDATE: The short-term call is already wrong, SPX has since hit 1099, but whether or not this rally ends, sooner than later, with a top in this neighborhood that will reign for years, remains to be seen.