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View Full Version : You Ayn Rand lovahs...



TerzaRima
11-10-2009, 06:28 AM
...I may not get it, but I know there are plenty on this board--check out this week's New Yorker. There's an article about Rand's life and following that's pretty interesting whether you like AS or not. I had no idea that Glenn Beck was touting Atlas Shrugged, but it makes hideous sense.

I liked this quote:



Most readers make their first and last trip to Galt's Gulch--the hidden-valley paradise of born again capitalists featured in "Atlas Shrugged", its solid gold dollar sign standing like a maypole--sometime between leaving Middle-earth and packing for college.

defcon6000
11-10-2009, 07:51 AM
LOL.

Is this article online? I'm curious to read it now.

blacbird
11-10-2009, 09:19 AM
Ayn Rand is remembered, and adulated by some, for her political philosophy, rather than for her fictional writing skills. The former are powerful, and debatable, and vigorously debated. The latter are pedestrian, at best. She was a polemicist, first and foremost, and never pretended to be anything but that. In other words, she was for the right end of the politico-economic spectrum essentially what Upton Sinclair was for the left.

caw

Medievalist
11-10-2009, 09:34 AM
Ayn Rand's primary claim to fame is her metaphorical onomastic utility in explaining the clear superiority of the Oxford/Harvard/Serial comma.

To wit:

"I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand, and God

versus

I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

RG570
11-10-2009, 10:51 AM
Vigourously debated theories? Euh, Rand is nothing . . . she might as well be a scientologist.

Even right wing scholars of any importance agree that she is at best junk philosophy.

James81
11-10-2009, 06:12 PM
Ayn Rand's primary claim to fame is her metaphorical onomastic utility in explaining the clear superiority of the Oxford/Harvard/Serial comma.

To wit:

"I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand, and God

versus

I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

I was always under the impression (and this is offtopic a bit) that both are correct and that you use them in different circumstances.

For example, in your example if "my parents," "Ayn Rand," and "God" are three completely separate ideas/entities than you separate them all by commas.

However, the the last two are related in some way, then you leave the comma out. For example:

"I ate breakfast, got dressed, and ran out the door." are three different actions that need separated.

but

"I ate breakfast that was comprised of a glass of orange juice, cereal and milk."

Cereal and milk are related and go together and thus no comma needed.

Probably not the best example, but you see what I'm saying, no?

Bubastes
11-10-2009, 06:23 PM
Um, James, grammatically both examples are correct. However, Medievalist shows that taking out the serial comma creates an entirely new meaning.

Which I found funny, BTW.

Priene
11-10-2009, 06:23 PM
Oxford commas and Ayn Rand in one thread. I predict this'll turn ugly.

Did anyone bring the tar and feathers?

James81
11-10-2009, 06:24 PM
Um, James, grammatically both examples are correct. However, Medievalist shows that taking out the serial comma creates an entirely new meaning.

Yeah, I knew they were correct. I was just saying that I think the ultimate reason for taking out that last comma is for the reason I stated. In a "technically, this is the rule" kinda sense.

Red-Green
11-10-2009, 06:28 PM
Oxford commas and Ayn Rand in one thread. I predict this'll turn ugly.

Did anyone bring the tar and feathers?

Now if only someone would bring up sparkly vampires...

*runs away*

benbradley
11-10-2009, 06:40 PM
LOL.

Is this article online? I'm curious to read it now.
Google brings me here:
http://archives.newyorker.com/default.aspx?iid=30570&startpage=page0000067
But from there it wants print subscription info or money.

Vigourously debated theories? Euh, Rand is nothing . . . she might as well be a scientologist.
She became her very own secular religion.

Phaeal
11-10-2009, 06:51 PM
The problem with Ayn Rand followers is how so many forget the second half of John Galt's credo. They remember "I swear, by my life and my love for it, that I will not live for another man." They remember this part really well.

The second half: "Nor ask another man to live for me." Oops, that's not so convenient. Crap. Let's just practice selective memory.

But to address the OP: I am not Ayn Rand's loofah. I will never ask another person to be my loofah, nor be a loofah for any other person. Except maybe Viggo Mortensen. Or Katee Sackoff. But that's it.

MumblingSage
11-10-2009, 06:59 PM
Ayn Rand's primary claim to fame is her metaphorical onomastic utility in explaining the clear superiority of the Oxford/Harvard/Serial comma.

To wit:

"I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand, and God

versus

I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

If I had a refrigerator, that would be tacked on it. One of my favorite..."quote" isn't the right word...examples of grammar gone wrong.

I thought Rand was a very enjoyable read, even though I generally disagree with her philosophy (or perhaps, I agree with her on a basic level, but I don't think capitalism works in the modern world the way it works in Galt's Gultch). I liked her straightforward style, and enjoyed rereading Atlas Shrugged to see how the philosophy ("philosophy," if you prefer) and plot intertwined. I'd disagree with those who call her prose pedestrian. Read the first page of We The Living to see what I mean.

As for her philosophy...what I find most interesting is her philosophy about art, that it should have a message. Which I don't necessarily disagree with. It's certainly made me look twice at what sort of worldview I'm presenting in my stories.

Jamesaritchie
11-10-2009, 07:16 PM
Vigourously debated theories? Euh, Rand is nothing . . . she might as well be a scientologist.

Even right wing scholars of any importance agree that she is at best junk philosophy.

You'll have to name those scholars for me. I am right wing, I read pretty much every right wing scholar out there, and darned few believe her philosophy to be junk. Some think it extreme, I do myself, but at base, it has a huge, huge, massive following, and this includes many, many right wing scholars of note.

Medievalist
11-10-2009, 09:32 PM
Um, James, grammatically both examples are correct. However, Medievalist shows that taking out the serial comma creates an entirely new meaning.

Which I found funny, BTW.

Most of us do.

In the early 1980s at a bar at an SF convention, I racked up a 75.00 or 80.00 dollar bar bill listening to a bunch of editors argue the pro and cons of the serial comma with a fervor that I can only regard as religious ecstasy.

It is a religious issue for many, if not most editors. Humanists and the MLA favor the serial comma; social scientists, journalists, and the APA tend not to.

I use the serial comma often in my own writing, but I'm fine with whatever my editor (or whomever is paying me) favors.

James81
11-10-2009, 10:25 PM
Most of us do.

In the early 1980s at a bar at an SF convention, I racked up a 75.00 or 80.00 dollar bar bill listening to a bunch of editors argue the pro and cons of the serial comma with a fervor that I can only regard as religious ecstasy.

It is a religious issue for many, if not most editors. Humanists and the MLA favor the serial comma; social scientists, journalists, and the APA tend not to.

I use the serial comma often in my own writing, but I'm fine with whatever my editor (or whomever is paying me) favors.

But am I right, though, about it not really being a "choice" per se from a purely grammatical standpoint?

MGraybosch
11-10-2009, 10:28 PM
I thought Rand was a very enjoyable read, even though I generally disagree with her philosophy (or perhaps, I agree with her on a basic level, but I don't think capitalism works in the modern world the way it works in Galt's Gultch).

Personally, I think that what you call "capitalism in the modern world" is what Rand excoriated as "the aristocracy of pull". Rupert Murdoch is Gail Wynand, and Wesley Mouch is running the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Sit back, buckle up, and try to enjoy the ride; we're on the highway to hell.

Phaeal
11-10-2009, 10:31 PM
Personally, I think that what you call "capitalism in the modern world" is what Rand excoriated as "the aristocracy of pull". Rupert Murdoch is Gail Wynand, and Wesley Mouch is running the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Sit back, buckle up, and try to enjoy the ride; we're on the highway to hell.

Word. It's forcing other people to live for you, the big no-no.

I like old Gail, though. A great tragic figure for our times, and much sexier than Rupert.

Medievalist
11-10-2009, 10:37 PM
But am I right, though, about it not really being a "choice" per se from a purely grammatical standpoint?

No. You are wrong.

The point is that the comma changes the meaning of the sentence; both are grammatically correct. There's nothing grammatically wrong with either sentence. It isn't even a question of grammar.

The meaning of the two sentences, at the level of connotation, is strikingly different.

One (using the serial comma) suggests that there are three entities in the dedication; the other suggests that there are two entities in the dedication, and that the two of them, God and Ayn Rand, are the author's parents.

That's why it's funny.

MGraybosch
11-10-2009, 10:37 PM
Word. It's forcing other people to live for you, the big no-no.

No kidding. I remember the whole of Galt's oath, and do my best to live it, but to consistently live by that oath, you have to think about what you're doing at all times.

I've found that a lot of people who are into Objectivism don't really want the philosophy; they just want an excuse to be assholes.


I like old Gail, though. One of the great modern tragic figures.

Yeah, comparing Rupert Murdoch to Gail Wynand is probably more charitable than either Murdoch or Faux News deserves.

benbradley
11-10-2009, 11:01 PM
Most of us do.

In the early 1980s at a bar at an SF convention, I racked up a 75.00 or 80.00 dollar bar bill listening to a bunch of editors argue the pro and cons of the serial comma with a fervor that I can only regard as religious ecstasy.

It is a religious issue for many, if not most editors. Humanists and the MLA favor the serial comma; social scientists, journalists, and the APA tend not to.

I use the serial comma often in my own writing, but I'm fine with whatever my editor (or whomever is paying me) favors.
This so reminds of the Pascal programming language in which a begin/end block is used to make a single "compound" statement from the several statements enclosed. A semicolon is used to separate statements, but since the 'end' itself isn't a statement, one didn't need a semicolon after the last statement in the block. I somewhat vaguely recall some compiler complaining about an empty statement if you DID put a semicolon there.

Ironically, computer languages change more slowly than human languages, because new compilers have to compile older programs and the newly compiled programs still have to do the same thing they always did. What tends to happen is older languages become (mostly) abandoned as more suitable (hesitating to say better!) ones come along.

Medievalist
11-10-2009, 11:17 PM
This so reminds of the Pascal programming language in which a begin/end block is used to make a single "compound" statement from the several statements enclosed. A semicolon is used to separate statements, but since the 'end' itself isn't a statement, one didn't need a semicolon after the last statement in the block. I somewhat vaguely recall some compiler complaining about an empty statement if you DID put a semicolon there.

*Swoon*

I heart Pascal. Pascal was, in some ways, designed for humanists. I moved from a fling with Pascal to Perl, where I'm still a devotee.

BigWords
11-10-2009, 11:18 PM
I've found that a lot of people who are into Objectivism don't really want the philosophy; they just want an excuse to be assholes.

Oh yeah. Seriously, the people that fall for the 'one true way of life' crap...

Steve Ditko seems relatively sane when he (rarely) talks to journos, but after reading Mr. A I have serious concerns over his ability to write without the Objectivist streak coming through in any way. How many times has he revisited that particular character anyway? The Question is a slightly more mainstream interpretation, and the pamphlet he touted back in the nineties to refute any Spider-Man misconceptions is the exact same message being drilled into readers.

MGraybosch
11-10-2009, 11:27 PM
Steve Ditko seems relatively sane when he (rarely) talks to journos, but after reading Mr. A I have serious concerns over his ability to write without the Objectivist streak coming through in any way.

In other words, he'd get along with Terry Goodkind? :)

raburrell
11-10-2009, 11:43 PM
Great, now I have Vampire Weekend stuck in my head...