Tuesday, December 23, 2008

That feeling

Do you ever get that feeling at 8 a.m., when you've been up all night reading a really good book and you finish what you've promised yourself is the last chapter before you finally try to get some sleep and the very last paragraph of that chapter makes you utter to yourself, "Well damn, now I have to read the next chapter"?

I like that feeling. I pay for it the next day, but I like it.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

"No consitutional right is absolute."

Go read all about it.

But don't act surprised. This is only the beginning.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

End the Fed...

...and grind its bones to make our bread.

How do you teach the group of, er, people who make up the government entity whose purpose is the manipulation of the market that the government manipulating the market is inherently destructive?

You don't. You abolish that entity, posthaste.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Barney Fwank...

I'm watching Barney on 60 Minutes right now. This entity needs to disappear. Now.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It's snowing. In Houston. It's actually snowing. Right now.

I haven't seen snow since I lived in Denver. God, I missed the white stuff.

I'm going outside in a t-shirt to stand in the parking lot.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"No grade given"

So, a weird thing happened to me today.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a short paper for a history course (The American Revolution) at my university. The paper was on Brailyn's book The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. I didn't think it was anything special, frankly. I figured I put in enough work for a solid A-, or maybe (horror of horrors) a B+ if the professor was grading particularly hard (which was a possibility, given that this particular professor is a nationally-recognized leading scholar in early American history). What I didn't expect was what happened when my paper was returned to me today.

As we took our final exams, the graded papers were spread out at the front of the classroom to be picked up as we turned in the test and left. I picked mine up as I walked out of the room and came to a dead stop halfway down the hall. "No grade given," it said on the final page of my paper. What the hell?

I waited for the professor until I realized that he had somehow slipped by me while I was discussing the final exam with some other students near the stairs. So, I went up to his office to ask just what exactly was going on with my paper.

I had some ideas, but one awful one was gnawing at the back of my head. One of the comments on the last page of the paper was "Can you prove that you did all of this sophisticated analysis. . .Where did you read and study all of the cited works?" He couldn't think that I didn't actually write this paper myself, could he? Everything was cited, I didn't misrepresent anything, the writing style wasn't inconsistent. But when I finally caught up with him in his office, he informed me that that was indeed what he thought.

It turns out that he had shown the paper to three other colleagues and they had all concurred that there was no way an undergrad wrote a paper that good. He even used the phase "borderline brilliant" when describing it to me.

After several minutes of discussion, during which I apparently thoroughly convinced him that I did indeed write the paper and, on top of that, knew what I was talking about in the paper, he shook my hand and gave me my grade: A.

I really needed this today. Now, it's time for a cigarette and a nap.


Friday, December 5, 2008

What? No Cheney flogging?

Well, this is infuriating as all hell.

I'm hoping it turns out to be a sick joke.


(LL: Diana at NoodleFood)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What do you mean "long-term"?

I don't know why I spend my mornings watching financial programs. I may be a pain glutton.

All of the fools clamoring for increased spending and mocking those arguing that cutting tax-rates is the best long-term strategy are fascinating to me. In a morbid way. They seem entirely ignorant of history (and usually economics, too--which is odd because they are financial commentators).

Anyway, these people are perfect examples of the anti-conceptual faculty. Ayn Rand said of the anti-conceptual mentality:

The main characteristic of this mentality is a special kind of passivity: not passivity as such and not across-the-board, but passivity beyond a certain limit—i.e., passivity in regard to the process of conceptualization and, therefore, in regard to fundamental principles. It is a mentality which decided, at a certain point of development, that it knows enough and does not care to look further. What does it accept as “enough”? The immediately given, directly perceivable concretes of its background . . . [emphasis mine]

Everything is self-evident and short-range to this kind of mentality. The immediately perceivable is the whole of reality. That is why, if you watch the financial shows on the news networks, you will see an endless stream of people acknowledging that, yes, cutting the tax rate and cutting government spending may be the best decision long-term (they don't know exactly why, they just heard someone say it), but they want to feel better now.

These people are actually willing to sacrifice long-term economic stability for a quick burst of large-scale wealth redistribution ("stabilization" they call it, the fools). A burst that will almost certainly do long-term damage itself, not to mention set a dangerous precedent for government intervention into the economy. But that doesn't matter: it's too far down the road to affect the anti-conceptual mentality.

From the migraine field--

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"It's not your money"

In reference to my last post on Wednesday, I bring you this:

And I reiterate: with an oar.

This is the mentality of so many people these days--in government, in business, in the public at large--that one of two things is likely going to happen within my lifetime, neither of which is very attractive: (1) things are going to come to a head, violently, or (2) we will eat ourselves up from the inside out and collapse of our own inner rot.

"To save the world is the simplest thing in the world. All one has to do is think." Novel idea, isn't it?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This can't be healthy

How bad is it that my most frequent thought is: "Wow, you should be beaten with an oar."?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, well, well...

Peter Schiff taking the fools to task:

Behold the power of principles, kids.

General rule: these days--with the kinds of people who populate this world--when everyone thinks you're wrong, you're probably right. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I have found Eden

Now, let me get this out of the way: I am a bibliophile. I love libraries, dusty old leatherbounds and everything else associated with that...and I love cryptography and technology history.

Given all of that, I think I have found where I want live out the rest of my life: Jay Walker's personal library. Hit your knees and praise.



I am experiencing a feeling alien to me as a Denver Broncos fan: pity for the Oakland Raiders.

Honestly, I feel sorry for the players on that team. The men in charge of that organization are clearly unstable. Now there's this.

The Raiders won't have another banner year until Al Davis dies. Mark my words.

Oh yeah, and Obama is president. Whatever. I'm too fed up with evil right now to comment. I have four years worth of blog-fodder coming my way from that entity.

"We've never celebrated anything here at all"--

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The virtue of selfishness

Barrack "The One" Obama on selfishness and taxes:

"The point is, though, that -- and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class -- it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.

"John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic," Obama continued. "You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness."

Die. Choke and die.

Ever wonder exactly how thoroughly one can commit an economic fallacy and demonstrate his moral failings in one breath? Behold.


Oy vey iz mir...

A couple of weeks ago, some random half-wit from Kansas City wrote up a short stack of nonsense about how "socialist" is a code word for "black". It is a relatively obscure source, but due to its incredible inanity, it made a short trip around the blogs for a little while.

Now, via Titanic Deck Chairs, I've learned of this over at Salon.com.


I'm going to go crawl into bed with a good book before my teeth try to reach back and eat my brain.

Welcome to the strange--

Friday, October 31, 2008


I'm beginning to wonder if Ben Bernanke even knows what the economy IS.

In other news: Barney Frank needs a smack in the mouth.

Sweet Zombie Jesus, this is fury-inspiring. I'm going to go smoke myself into a temporary coma. Excuse me.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Craig Biddle in Houston

I got back a few hours ago from seeing Craig Biddle give a talk at Rice University here in Houston entitled "Capitalism: The Only Moral Social System". A description can be found here. I must say, it was one of the better capitalism talks I have seen in a while. Biddle did an especially good job of concretizing the more abstract points of his talk, particularly during one point in the Q&A.

In fact, speaking of the Q&A, a questioner brought up the current presidential candidates which led Biddle to spend a good deal of time discussing the principle moral and political philosophies of both candidates, even breaking out his notes for his next talk which, apparently, is about that very subject. I don't know when or where that talk is going to be, but I recommend you go check it out if you can. From the little teaser we got, it sounds like it will be very interesting.


Apparently, Biddle's next talk, which I mentioned above, will be the next in ARI's lecture series. Info can be found here.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Going John Galt?

I've been talking with some of the Objectivists I know and the subject of "going John Galt" has come up more than a few times. I've also seen it come up on some Objectivist blogs. 

My tentative position on this is somewhere in the middle. I don't think it is time to "go John Galt". . . yet. I think the time will come where something similar is required, however. That is, I think we are beyond the point of no return, but we are moving slowly. Certainly much slower than in Atlas Shrugged (I recall reading somewhere that Rand sped up the collapse in AS faster than it would likely happen to make it work in the novel's context). I think that in a nation where something like this is possible with such little outcry, something is very incurably wrong. And the only thing to do is prepare and wait for the time to rebuild. 

So, given that, what should we do? Well, since we aren't at the "buy gold, ammo and stock seed and I'll see you in the mountains" bit yet, I think we continue to fight. Not to save what cannot be saved, but to take from the destroyers as much as we can. By this, I mostly mean: to win as many minds as possible. 

Is it possible to have so much of an impact that America reverses direction? I don't know, but I doubt it. Of course, it's possible that I am wrong, and if it ever turns out that I am wrong, I will gladly admit so. 

It will be awhile, however. And until then (if I even live to see it), I will continue to support ARI and other fine organizations because I think it is possible, and very much desirable, to win many more minds, especially among the younger generations.

Now, this hasn't been a very in-depth examination of the present situation, but I never meant it to be. I simply wanted to present my current position. But I certainly welcome comments. But I don't think it looks good, kids.

Weimar Republic, anyone?

From the Migraine Fields--

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's easy to get under my skin...

...but do you know how hard it is to get me to throw up my hands and say "Screw it!"? That's what this election has done to me.

I am far from disconnected. I read three newspapers a day, on top of all the articles I read online and the the few hours of news I watch every day. But, if it were anybody but "Creepo" and "Dipshit" running for the highest office in the land, I'd be swimming in articles and bios about the candidates, offering my analyses left and right to anyone who would hear them.

I can't do it this time.

I can't dive into the muck as willingly as I used to. It's just so much more disgusting now. I can barely be prodded to watch the debates. And now I'm sorry I did.

In a post a couple of months ago, I said that I was voting for Obama because McCain just scared the devil out of me. Now, less than a month from election, I've decided to abstain. I can't sanction this sideshow.

This pile of inanity is so far afield that it has actually driven me into the arms of 20th century philosophy. I have spent most of the time I would usually have spent on political analysis and commentary plumbing the shallows of Wittgenstein, Russell, Ayer and Husserl. And others. I hate these thinkers, but it is actually more enjoyable to discover just exactly how wrong Wittgenstein is than it is to read an article about what dough-headed nonsense fell out of the mouth of either presidential hopeful the night before.

This is going to be uglier than a baby with a claymore, brothers. Cover your hair and your eyes. And guard your wallet.

From the Migraine Fields--

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The colors! The colors!

Okay, I've altered the colors on my blog because I have received a few complaints from people who were having trouble reading light-colored text on a dark background. I may continue fiddling with things over the next couple of days.




Nick Provenzo over at Rule of Reason  has published another update to the uproar over his abortion post. He has published several of the more venomous and ridiculous messages he received from the so-called "pro-life" nutjobs. Some of them are hilariously asinine, others are eerily disgusting.

Go check it out for a good laugh and a creeped-out shiver. 

"Our stigmata will stagnate and we will shake"--

Friday, September 19, 2008

The greatest show unearthed!

Okay, I’ve been absent for a bit. Fall semester at university isn’t really kicking my ass, but it is time consuming. And, and the hurricanes. Half the city doesn’t have or is just now getting back power. I have a few things lined up, both for here and the YouTube account, but right now, I’d like to introduce a new feature here at Beyond the Wall of Sleep. Actually, this is just an excuse to introduce something that I can use as filler whenever I get too distracted to post as frequently as I would like.

So, every now and then I’ll post a strip from a little comic I’ve been working on off-and-on for a few months. It’s nothing particularly mind-blowing. Just something I do occasionally to pass the time, when I don’t feel like writing and when I don’t really have the alacrity to retain anything I read.

The comic is called “The Horrors of Babylon”. It used to be called “The World Will Be Poorer without You”, after a line in one of my short stories. But that name just didn’t fit the comic. So, I played with a few names in my head and eventually changed it. And if I think of a better one, I’ll change it again.

To describe it as succinctly as I can: This is the kind of comic I would find funny. Topics include philosophy, science, economics, history, geek culture, b-movie horror film culture (e.g., Bob Wilkins, Plan 9 from Outer Space, The Addams Family, Vincent Price, etc.), camp and kitsch (usually on the darker end of the spectrum), some politics and a few other things. It’s certainly not for everyone. But, if you enjoy a good Bob Wilkins, Kierkegaard or cryptography reference, this is for you.

The three recurring characters are Tzim Tzum, Ms. Penny Dreadful and Autumn Mitternacht. I am an okay artist, if I take my time. But I don’t put an incredible amount of work into these things. They exist largely for the jokes and references. They’re a boredom project.

The first on is called “Of Bullshit-ology”. Let’s see if you can guess what that is a reference to. Enjoy.

(You may have to click on it to see a bigger version. Flickr doesn't seem to have anything between "too small to read" and "too big to fit in the post".)

I solo (final)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Provenzo on abortion; religionists on how to embarrass yourself publicly

Nick Provenzo over at Rule of Reason posted a piece about Palin’s Down’s Syndrome child and the ethics of abortion. It’s a good piece (except for one possibly misleading part that someone outside of an Objectivist context might misconstrue, but which Nick later clarified) so go read it.

What I’d really like to draw attention to for anyone who has yet to see it, is the quality of comments over at Rule of Reason. It’s goddamn embarrassing. Sometimes, it’s hard to think of some people as fellow human beings. The raving lunacy with which the conservative readers attacked Nick (thanks to links from HotAir, LifeNews and LewRockwell.com, among others) is astonishing. He gets called a moron, a eugenicist and “a sick wacko” among other horrible things. He was even compared to “white supremacists, nazis and other groups hellbent on genetic cleansing.”

In my experience, this sort of inanity and frothy-mouthed, unbalanced hysteria is reserved for when someone tells the left to go take their social justice, socialized medicine or environmentalist nonsense and shove it. Take a lesson from this, kids: it doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, left or right, when you reject reason, you are reduced to the kind of ravings that would embarrass a mental patient.

This was directed at Diana Hsieh in response to one of her comments: “I wish i had an egg to smack on your head”. Charming.

Take a good look. This is what religion has wrought.

From the migraine fields—


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mother Nature sucks...

Okay, the blog is not dead (is there even anyone out there to check the pulse?). With the fall semester at university under way and hurricanes Gustav and Ike crashing my party, I have been a tad neglectful. But fret not, things are a-brewin' and I will be resuming regular posting within the week. Cheers.

"I liked you better when you had hope."
"No, you didn't."


Thursday, August 7, 2008

A few notes...

...just so you know I'm not dead. I've been working on a few projects, so I haven't been updating with the frequency I would like. But here is some brief commentary on some recent happenings. I know of a few Objectivist bloggers who have a regular feature like this, so I might continue to do one every now and then.

Victoria Osteen (or, Sky Bitch of Houston)

I generally don't like to gloat about someone else's problems, but I just hate these people.

For those of you who don't know, Joel Osteen is a pastor at a megachurch here in Houston. He does, however, have several best-selling books and I believe he is on television quite often. So many people have probably heard of him.

His sermons, which are broadcasted nationally, are some of the most annoyingly foolish piles of religious nonsense I generally experience.

The church is a converted sports arena. That should give you an idea of the size of his congregation. I also live about half a mile from this atrocity, so you can imagine how much of a bitch it is to get around downtown in a major city on a Sunday with the biggest church in the nation releasing the drones to go to their apre-sermon IHOP breakfast.

Anyway, it seems his wife threw a hissy-fit on a plane when she didn't get immediate service after demanding the flight attendants clean up a fifty-cent piece size spill. While bitching out, she apparently tried to force her way into the cockpit and shoved a flight attendant into a bathroom door and elbowed her in the breast.

Some of the claims made by the woman bringing the suit are kind of foolish, but the general consensus of everyone who is not Osteen or her lawyer is that she did indeed wig out and try to force her way into the cockpit.

This trend of religious leaders acting like general a-holes and engaging in graphically hypocritical acts makes me smile.

XM/Serius Merger

The FCC finally deigned to allow Sirius and XM Satellite Radio to merge. Of course, in a free society, private companies wouldn't need to grovel to government bureaucrats to exercise their property rights, but one aspect of this merger struck me as particularly disgusting.

As a condition of being allowed to merge, the new company must pay fines of about $20 million because several radio receivers and signal boosting towers violated FCC technical rules. What rules? The companies failed to create and market receivers that were capable of receiving a signal from both companies prior to the merger.

That's right. Before they even knew if the government would leave them the hell alone and let them practice business the way they saw fit, they had to potentially waste millions of dollars on production and marketing of a product that, if the FCC had rejected the merger, would serve to aid their competitors. The new company is essentially going to be fined for not being sufficiently stupid prior to merging.

Reason #8,903,772 to abolish the FCC.

Beijing Olympics

Okay, personally, I have always thought, and I still think, that the U.S. should boycott the Beijing Olympics. This is a collectivist, authoritarian nation that shows no respect whatsoever to individual rights.

There was a big stink a little while a ago over China going back on the promise to refrain from monitoring and restricting the internet access of foreigners in the country to participate in or attend the Olympic Games. No surprise there.

Now China has revoked the visa of American speedskater and gold medalist, Joey Cheek, barring him from competing in the Games. Why? Essentially, because he is a Darfur activist.

Now, I think the notion of "doing something" about Darfur is foolish. But the only reason this man's visa was revoked was because of his work with Team Darfur, a bunch of athlete-activists who try to raise money for their cause. China's economic and military ties to the Sudan are very well known, so it's not hard to wonder about why this happened.

Of course, barring a gold medalist from competing against China's athletes only sweetens the deal.

That is all--

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh, I can feel my anger in my teeth...

Last week, a meeting was held here in Houston, the purpose of which was purported to be an "[e]xamination of the Healthcare crisis in America and offering Universal Healthcare as the solution with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman John Conyers, Jr."

The entities responsible seemed to try very hard to avoid letting many physicians, or even the general public, know about this. I attended. It hurt my brain meats.

I refrained from writing up a report because I have a temper and very little patience for asininity and because my notes were basically divided into two categories: ones that went along the lines of "Dr. Whatever, healthcare as a right, economic illiterate/moral parasite" or, more bluntly, "Conyers, Wortham apology, are you shitting me?!"

Honestly, those are the notes I took. I can't take these people seriously. I know they pose a serious threat, but intellectually, I view them as bratty children at best.

Anyway, Gus Van Horn was there as well and he wrote up a very good report on the whole sad little event. Go check it out.

"And much of madness..."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe"

Ed Cline just doesn't stop. Now that you've read his short series on Obama, go read his three-part series "John McCain: Psuedo-Maverick of the Republican Party" (here are parts 2 and 3--they are also linked in the sidebar on part 1).

I love this guy.

Oh, and his Sparrowhawk series of historical fiction novels is amazing as well. C. August over at Titanic Deck Chairs provides an excellent review.

From the Migraine Fields--

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Sokal Hoax

Let me begin by saying that I have been aware of the Sokal Hoax for some time now. I was aware of who the principal players were, what the gag was and what the outcome was.

For those of you (is anyone out there?) who are unaware of the hoax: Alan Sokal, who is a physics professor at NYU, perpetrated an elaborate and very well-known academic hoax on the editors and readership of a postmodernist academic journal published by Duke University called Social Text. Sokal, who is the author of such books as Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science (which I recommend), wanted to see if such a prestigious postmodernist journal would “publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions”.

He proceeded to write “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”. Now, as I said, I was aware of the hoax (which occurred in the mid-1990’s) and all the basics of the situation, but I had never read Sokal’s “Transgressing the Boundaries”. Until today.

It is comedic genius.

It is such a blatant hoax that the Social Text editors really deserved all the flak they caught for this (and then some). Anyone paying even the slightest attention while reading this paper would have caught on. There are so many great inside gags that, after a few pages, the only proper reaction is “Hey, this guy is screwin’ with us!”

Here’s a taste (from footnote 14):

“See also Porush (1989) for a fascinating account of how a second group of scientists and engineers -- cyberneticists -- contrived, with considerable success, to subvert the most revolutionary implications of quantum physics. The main limitation of Porush's critique is that it remains solely on a cultural and philosophical plane; his conclusions would be immeasurably strengthened by an analysis of economic and political factors. (For example, Porush fails to mention that engineer-cyberneticist Claude Shannon worked for the then-telephone monopoly AT&T.) A careful analysis would show, I think, that the victory of cybernetics over quantum physics in the 1940's and 50's can be explained in large part by the centrality of cybernetics to the ongoing capitalist drive for automation of industrial production, compared to the marginal industrial relevance of quantum mechanics.”

This is complete gibberish for anyone who knows anything about (1) economics, (2) the history of cybernetics, or (3) even the most basic elements of semiconductor physics.

“As Althusser rightly commented, ‘Lacan finally gives Freud’s thinking the scientific concepts it requires.' [Oh, God!] More recently, Lacan’s topologie du sujet has been applied fruitfully to cinema criticism and to the psychoanalysis of AIDS.”

If I had read that first sentence in a paper that was meant to be taken seriously, I would've crapped myself with anger. The second sentence—the one about applying Lacanian topology to cinema criticism and the psychoanalysis of AIDS-- is, disappointingly, based on actual publications. If I wasn’t already personally aware of that, you couldn’t have convinced it was anything but a joke.

If this paper was meant to be taken seriously, it would drive me up the goddamn wall and would certify its author as a Grade A, batshit numbskull. But, knowing it’s a joke, it’s just bloody funny.

From the Migraine Fields--

Saturday, July 19, 2008

How goddamn cool is this?!

I was introduced to this video via a post on HBL.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Islam and Faith

New video.

Islam & Faith



Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day

I'm far from the only Objectivist blogger linking to Dr. Berliner's piece, but he said it so much better than I could. So, enjoy.

Enjoy your Independence Day celebrations.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Repitition is the most sincere form of blarney

A link to a video where I basically repeat what I said earlier in this blog about the '08 election, with some further elaboration and some mild gesticulation.


Or don't. In which case...

Long live the new flesh--

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I hate parades

Simply because I don't attend them. Since I don't usually care whatever everyone is jumping around about, all you nimrods are doing is blocking a major thoroughfare and further congesting traffic in a city notorious for its traffic. Go rent a field and stay off the goddamn roads. I have places to be.

Friday, June 27, 2008

There are worse things than death...

...and I can do all of them.

I have reserved several of these depraved things for the sundry half-wits I have run into today. Why is it that every moment I spend not locked up in my apartment with a book, my patience and sanity depend on the competence of my fellow human beings? Every dough-brained Pez-dispenser that seems able to invade my consciousness to interfere with my temper seems completely bent on doing so.

From the migraine fields--

Thursday, June 26, 2008

This is how things got out of hand in Germany

Go read Ed Cline's excellent four-part series on "Barack Obama: Messiah of 'Change'".

Go. Now.

And here is a postscript to the series over at the Rule of Reason blog.


Go away, before something bad happens...

I think I've become so used to my insomnia that what is usually considered a "good night's sleep" (say 7 or so hours) actually aggravates me. The last few times I managed to sleep more than my usual 3-4 hours I have woken up feeling like utter crap and I've had to seriously ease into my day. Today, I woke up at 11 am after getting to sleep a little after 3 am and I had to lay in bed for about an hour before I even felt like moving, my head hurts, my throat is dry and now it is about 4:30 pm and I'm just starting to feel better after several hours of milling around the apartment in a fog, doing some light reading and having a hearty meal with lots of water.

This happens pretty much every time I get what is considered a healthy amount of sleep. I think maybe I'm Dracula. The sun does frighten me. Although, I love garlic. But I do hate the crucifix. Huh.

Ghouls & slugs--

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Heartburn '08

Alright, I can’t avoid it much longer. I wanted to wait until the empty-headed Pez-dispenser séances that pass for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions before I did any commentary on the election because…I just can’t stomach it. I thought Bush/Kerry was a political Sophie’s choice, but McCain/Obama is fury-inspiring in a way I can’t fully express.

Briefly, here is what I think of the two candidates:

Obama is a half-witted, collectivist bromide-fountain. McCain is an ignorant, statist appeaser.

Obama is clearly a modern socialist. Of course, actually calling yourself a socialist as a presidential candidate is political suicide. So he clouds what he really is with political bromide. That doesn’t hide it very well, but Obama doesn’t seem too bright. Judging by his stance on several issues, he is clearly ignorant of basic economics and foreign policy. He supports such nonsense as “say on pay”, he defends FDR New Deal social welfare programs, he has equated privatizing social security with “social Darwinism”.

He blithely and belligerently spews out nonsense like a demand for a 35% reduction in fuel consumption, the BioFuels Security Act, cap-and-trade policies (or fuel rationing, do let’s be honest). He supports universal health care (socialized medicine, again, let’s not BS ourselves), net neutrality and affirmative action. He supports a policy of appeasement with Iran and he is a convert of the doom-saying global warming dogma.

There are also his constant demands for sacrifice, a la his commencement speech at Wesleyan.

Obama is old-school leftist evil. Easy to identify, easy to combat, easy to destroy intellectually.

McCain has done nothing worthy of praise in his term as senator. He’s responsible for the despicable McCain-Feingold Act and the Climate Stewardship Acts (with that other fool Lieberman). He admits ignorance on the science of climate change, but that hasn’t stopped him from caving to the green agenda.

He has a near-complete disdain for the individual and individual rights and is the “national glory” brand of collectivist-statist. He also admits an ignorance of economics. But that doesn’t stop him from presuming to lay the blame for the subprime crisis squarely on lenders.

He believes the United States was founded on Christian principles and the U.S. is today a Christian nation. I don’t know how seriously he is considering Huckabee (who is an explicit religious socialist) for VP, but if we end up with a McCain-Huckabee presidency, I would be very worried.

McCain is opposed to drilling in ANWR and voted to steal money from tax-payers for alternative fuel subsidies (“funding” my ass, it’s a subsidy—let’s call a spade a spade, kids).

This is a fairly stream of consciousness post, I realize. I simply am too disgusted by the upcoming election to spend a good deal of time thinking about and editing, re-editing and organizing an article about it. I simply want to get my point across and move on.

All that being said, and though I consider him an extremely bad candidate, a scoundrel and a fool and I disagree with pretty much every one of his positions, I will be voting for Obama.

I hate Obama. Don’t think I’m voting for him for any reason other than I think he is too foolish and weak to accomplish as much evil as he promises. McCain is more evil. He is more evil because he is doing what all conservatives seem to be doing: trying to pass off his tyranny as freedom. I also happen to agree with Leonard Peikoff: I will in no way support a Republican candidate, even as a lesser of two evils, until the party disassociates itself from the religious crazies. Due simply to inertia, the country will continue to move towards statism (discounting for the moment, a philosophical revolution). The left wants what the old-style socialists want, but they aren’t as impassioned. They have to argue with buzzwords and bromide, because they have no deeper ideology. The increasingly religious right has a deeper philosophy, but an evil one. As Dr. Peikoff put it, in a choice between “a rotten, enfeebled, despairing killer” and “a rotten, ever stronger and ambitious killer”, it would be immoral to do anything other than what would topple the latter from power.

There. That’s where on stand on the election. I’m going to go take some Tums now.

Ghouls and slugs--

Some thoughts in the philosophy of science

When I first got into philosophy as a senior in high school, my interests gravitated towards metaphysics (the branch of philosophy that studies existence) and epistemology (the branch of philosophy that deals with the acquisition and validation of knowledge). I was still interested in ethics, politics, aesthetics and so on, but I was most interested in metaphysics and epistemology. However, in recent years, my interests have shifted to the philosophy of history and the philosophy of science.

With that in mind, these are just some musings on the thought of the Princeton philosopher of science and developer of "constructive empiricism" Bas van Fraassen and one his most vocal critics, the prominent student of Karl Popper, Alan Musgrave.

* * * * *

In his piece entitled “Arguments concerning Scientific Realism”, Bas van Fraassen argues for an alternative to scientific realism that he calls “constructive empiricism”. Van Fraassen holds that the realist position is generally naïve. His interpretation of the realist view runs thusly: “Science aims to give us . . . a literally true story of what the world is like; and acceptance of a scientific theory involves the belief that it is true.”

Generally, antirealist theories, of which van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism is a strain, hold that science does not offer theories that are true in the literal sense or that one need not believe a theory is true to accept it (or both). Van Fraassen’s antirealism holds that theories can be literally construed, but a theory’s truth is not a requisite of it being a good theory. Van Fraassen is also somewhat of a literalist: whatever a theory says, implies or entails then that is what the theory says, implies or entails.

Van Fraassen proposes that science “aims to give us theories which are empirically adequate…” An "empirically adequate" theory “saves the phenomena”. Presumably, that is when what a theory says about observables is true. So, to accept a theory is not to hold the theory to be true, but to hold that what the theory says about the observable world is true.

So, what of the non-observable? Van Fraassen’s position can best be described as agnosticism. One must suspend judgment and withhold belief about the theoretical, the unobservable. A good theory is a theory that is true when discussing observables—if it says anything about unobservable phenomena, the theory (or at least the part of the theory that addresses the “theoretical”) is flippantly dismissed in the typical agnostic fashion: "Who knows?"

This leads right into van Fraassen’s treatment of the observable/theoretical distinction, which is largely a polemic against realist arguments such as those of Grover Maxwell. Given that van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism would require him to at least refrain from dismissing with such a distinction since holding that accepting a theory merely means holding that the theory is “empirically adequate” presumes that one can discern observable from unobservable phenomena.

Van Fraassen points to what he believes is a clear case of an unobservable object. His example involves charged microparticles traversing a cloud chamber leaving behind them a visible condensed-vapor trail. Though the trail is visible, van Fraassen argues, the particles themselves are not visible. Although an observable trail is seen, the particles themselves cannot be said to be observed—one observes only its purported effect, the particle is merely “detected”. It therefore follows, van Fraassen claims, that there are unobservables about which one can be an antirealist (that is, agnostic about the existence of that which one has not observed directly).

Another challenge to van Fraassen’s antirealist constructive empiricism is what is commonly called the inference to the best explanation rule. Briefly, this rule states that given some evidence and two (or more) alternative theories (hypotheses), let’s say A and B, we would do best to infer that B is the correct theory if B does a better job than A of explaining the evidence. The example van Fraassen uses is: given my missing cheese, the scratching noises I hear at night and the hole in my floorboard, I infer the existence of a mouse in the walls of my house. The argument is that if one has good reason to believe B, then one has good reason to believe that any existents entailed in B actually exist, even if they are unobserved.

The realist argument, using the inference to the best explanation rule as a premise, is that we generally follow the rule on such a widespread scale of instances that we must commit to the belief in the unobservable. Van Fraassen argues that the widespread utilization of any such pattern of inference does not prove anything. One can combat such a notion by proposing an alternate pattern that also fits the example. Van Fraassen believes that one will always believe what best explains the empirically adequate.

Hilary Putnam offers another challenge: the “miracle argument” (or “ultimate argument” as van Fraassen calls it). Putnam’s claim is that the only explanation for the continuing success of scientific theories is scientific realism. Otherwise, since we don’t actually believe in the truth of our theories, their continued predictive success can only be attributable to a long line of miracles.

Van Fraassen answer is Darwinian in its structure: many theories struggle to survive and, invariably, those not adapted to their environment die off. Of course, for van Fraassen, the adapted theories are empirically adequate. Empirically inadequate theories don’t survive. He concludes that, as species evolution is not miracle, neither is the death or survival of theories.

Van Fraassen’s attack on scientific realism in his The Scientific Image (from which “Arguments Concerning Scientific Realism” is taken) has garnered quite a lot of criticism of its own. Notably, the book Images of Science contains Alan Musgrave’s critique in the article “Realism Versus Constructive Empiricism”. The article contains critiques of several points of van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism, but I will focus on two in particular: van Fraassen’s account of the connection between truth and empirical adequacy and his account of the observational/theoretical distinction.

The constructive empiricist recommends that we accept an empirically adequate theory about unobservables, but not believe it. This is because, the constructive empiricist holds, all we can know about a theory is whether the aspects of it relating to observable phenomena are judged true. Any parts dealing with unobservables can’t be judged true or false and so any empirically adequate theory that entails unobservables is to be accepted but not believed as to take the realist position that one can believe a theory about unobservables is true is unnecessarily riskier.

Musgrave argues however, that these worries apply also to the constructive empiricism. He argues that an empirically adequate theory must “save” (that is, explain) all observed phenomena past, present and future. Therefore, judging a theory to be empirically adequate requires more knowledge then we can have at any given time.

Another issue Musgrave confronts van Fraassen on is his account of the observational-theoretical distinction. Though van Fraassen does not defend the observational-theoretical distinction (he believes that “observable” is too vague a predicate to demonstrate that there is a distinction between cases where it applies and cases where it doesn’t) he refuses to acknowledge that a seamless transition from observation to detection is harmful to the dichotomy. Observing microbes under a microscope and observing the trails of microparticles in a cloud chamber are fundamentally different to van Fraassen: the latter are not observed but detected. Van Fraassen holds that the limitations on what is observable are what “a final physics and biology” tell us are our limitations as humans. Musgrave argues that such limitations vary from person to person and are species-specific and, therefore, cannot be granted special significance.

Unfortunately, the best arguments against van Fraassen’s brand of scientific antirealism can be found in the writings of Hilary Putnam. I say "unfortunately" because they do not address van Fraassen on a fundamental level and show why he is wrong. Most other philosophers, either addressing van Fraassen directly or being the object of van Fraassen’s polemics, though they may be well-intentioned in trying to dismantle antirealism, often fail…horribly. This includes Musgrave. Van Fraassen, however, doesn’t escape Putnam’s “miracle argument”. His answer of evolving theories is almost a non-sequitar.

More unfortunately, and more fundamentally, the entire field of philosophy of science (and the philosophy of mind and several others while we’re at it) appears to be suffering from a kind of Rationalism (ideas divorced from reality). That is, the philosophers in the field seem so divorced from reality and the need to tie their theories to the facts of reality that philosophical debate almost invariably devolves into nit-picking highly specialized pet theories with no references to the real world.

In regard to van Fraassen in particular: that his work is taken as seriously as it is, is ominous. Without risk, science stagnates. Every advance, every great leap in a new, unexpected direction, every new enlightenment came with risk. Lavoisier’s work in chemistry provided more proof for the atomic theory of matter than any work in any field before him. Atoms were still “unobservables”, but do we ignore the evidence? Do we sit in the agnostic limbo, throw up our hands and say “Well, who can say for sure?” Faraday’s work united the fields of electricity and magnetism, forces which worked largely as “unobservables”. Should the world have ignored his work? What could be empirically verified is empirically verified, but what then? We accept the non-empirical portion of these theories but if they aren’t true or false, and we couldn’t know anyway, what does it matter?

We can’t see black holes. We know they are there by the effects they have on their surroundings. Often the proof that something exists is not actually seeing it, but seeing what it, and only it, can do. What else explains the vapor trails in the cloud chamber? And if we’re wrong, we adjust and fix it. Reality is reality, everything has an identity, causality exists. Mistakes in knowledge are not disasters, a philosophy which evades reality in order to make truth or falsehood superfluous, is.

Scientists and philosophers (and, it seems, almost every scientist-philosopher) so often make the mistake of believing that scientific theories have philosophical implications. This inverts the relationship between science and philosophy. Philosophy is the fundamental discipline. It comes first. The Uncertainty Principle didn’t have an enormous effect on metaphysics or epistemology: Heisenberg’s bizarre personal philosophy lead him to a bizarre interpretation of his research.

One hears talk of the end of physics. This may be prophetic, though not for the reasons the prophets believe. Everyone, even scientists, has a philosophy. It may be implicit and unstated, swallowed dogmatically and unquestioningly, but it is there. It guides everything we do. With the state of modern philosophy, with philosophy nearly being on its deathbed since Kant, is it any surprise that the sciences are crumbling?

Ghouls & slugs--


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Popper, Falsificationism and Evolution

So I stumbled upon VenomFangX's nonsense about the falsifiability of Darwinian evolution on YouTube and decided to post a video response. Here it is:

Part 1


Monday, June 16, 2008

Greatest 10-second conversation ever

Me: "Where are the hot dogs?"

-"Right there in the meat drawer."

Me: "No, no. The ones wrapped in bacon."

-"Oh. Right there next to the strawberries."

Yes indeed.

How much technology can you cram into a swimsuit?

Check it out:

Making no waves

How cool is that? God, I love technology. Go capitalism!

(Although, an antitrust suit against Speedo? Really? Grow some balls TYR Sport.)

(LL: Geekpress)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A day in the life of...

This is why people think I’m a bit off. This is what I did today:

I woke up obscenely early for me and power smoked a pack of Camels while watching the second half of the episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 during which I fell asleep the night before. When the episode ended I left my room and went into the kitchen to make breakfast: a quesadilla and coffee. With my food prepared, I settled into the old beat up recliner that sits in the living room of the apartment and cracked open Among the Gently Mad by Nicholas A. Basbanes, which is about bibliomania and book-hunting.

Since I was already half-way through this book from the day before, I finished it at about three o’clock. I made some tomato soup, grabbed my laptop and spent the next seven or so hours alternately watching television (when something good came on, like a documentary on the Gospel of Judas, or a program about the search for the true heirs of the Romanovs) or John Waters interviews on my laptop. All of this time was not entirely unproductive, however, as I simultaneously did some sketching (which I am wont to do from time to time), spent some time studying chess strategy (specifically: Sicilian defense opening and the Queen’s Gambit Accepted opening, as well as how to force a win from the Lucena position), and, after that, took some notes on an article in a the new Philosophical Quarterly by Lionel Shapiro called “Naïve Truth-Conditions and Meaning” and a couple of articles in the new Monist entitled “Consciousness as Knowingness” by Colin McGinn and “The Interdependence of Phenomenology and Intentionality” by Adam Pautz. I hated them all, if you’re curious.

I finished just in time for some dark comedy: 30 minutes of Pat Robertson on CBN.

I have to be working on several things at once (and I’m usually reading more than one book at a time) or I feel lazy and get bored. I know a lot of people hate doing that, but I get along just fine.

It’s coming up on eleven o’clock and I’m sitting on the little patio area in front of my apartment with a spiral notebook, a flask of absinthe and a pack of Djarum Blacks. In a minute I’m going in to read the first book of Neal Stephenson’s “Baroque Cycle”, Quicksilver, until the crowd thins out over at House of Pies (about 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning). I will eat their wonderful turkey, bacon and swiss sandwich and drink coffee for several hours while I do some light research.

A typical day. I should probably sleep more, but today was enjoyable enough. At least I am not pissed off…yet.

Long live the new flesh--

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

D'Souza on democracy...

Not the video I promised, still working on that. But here is a brief video on Dinesh D'Souza. I'm trying to post more frequently, so bear with me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Screw PayPal...

Seriously. I hate PayPal more than life itself. I want everyone who ever had anything to do with PayPal's existence dead. I want their families dead. I want their houses burned to the ground.

End rant.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Coming soon to an unknown blog near you...

A few things in the queue. I am working on two papers: one on religion and one on the philosophy of science. And no, I don't feel like being more specific right now. Also working on two videos, one on the position, which is growing in popularity, that the Dark Ages weren't that dark and one on some of the new arguments coming out of that funny little creationism/ID movement. I also intend on posting a more impromptu piece on my experience with contemporary philosophy and philosophers since my first year of college in 2004. The video on the Dark Ages will most likely be up within 24 hours.

Ghouls & Slugs--

Monday, May 19, 2008


Know what I did today? I went to a bargain book sale, bought copious amounts of knowledge for an exceedingly cheap price, then I came home to my apartment and spent the night reorganizing my library while watching "Inherit the Wind" (the original, not the remake) and "Cyrano de Bergerac" (1950).
It's been a good day.

Ghouls & slugs--

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Oh god, he's in MY head!!!"

My YouTube account: http://www.youtube.com/user/CaptainGhoul

Most videos will be cross-posted here. Some won't. Enjoy. Or don't.

Ghouls & slugs--

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I think my ears are bleeding

I read a lot of financial publications: BusinessWeek, Investor’s Business Daily and the Wall Street Journal regularly and others when I get around to them. I don’t know why—I suppose I’m a masochist. In a two-hour window I came across these articles.

Freddie Mac loses $151M in 1Q, but beats expectations

Eurozone finance ministers take aim at 'scandalous' executive pay

Exxon: Profit Pirate or Tax Victim?

Well, Freddie Mac, being one of the many government programs responsible for the current "subprime crisis", is hemorrhaging money. $151 million in the first quarter this year and $4.5 billion in the previous two quarters--how about that: a government economic program demonstrating the government's complete inability to deal with matters economic.

And "scandalous" executive pay. I hate this topic so much that I could kick a kitten through a steel fan whenever it comes up. Let's go over this again: A good CEO is indispensable to a corporation. Hell, a competent CEO is still pretty valuable. The CEO must project a very complex, long-range business plan to be successful. As an analogy, there is a reason the quarterback is paid more than the long snapper. A good long snapper is desirable, of course, but a good quarterback is much, much more valuable. (I'm not responsible for that analogy, but I don't recall where I first saw it--it may have been in an article by Andrew Bernstein). And I am not at all surprised that an article on executive pay from AFP begins by referring to executives as "corporate fat cats".

And Exxon is getting reamed for being successful again. The article focuses briefly on the exorbitant taxes the company pays, but not for long. Hilary Clinton is quoted in that article as saying, "There is something seriously wrong with our economy when Exxon's record $11 billion in quarterly profits are seen as a disappointment by Wall Street...This is truly Dick Cheney's wonderland." Really, Hil? That is something a belligerent college freshman with zero knowledge of economics screams at a protest in front of the university library.

And her statement is quite telling. She has dropped even the pretense of assuming that $11 billion is "too much" when others have eared "too little". That a company is earning record profits period is enough to condemn them. That we expect them to earn record profits is indicative of "something seriously wrong with our economy". Beg pardon, but aren't profits good for the economy? I suppose not, when profit-seeking is a trait to be damned as insufficiently self-abnegating.

Lastly, here is an interesting article about the effects of farm subsidies on the "food crisis". It is a decent read until the very end where it calls for the money dumped foolishly into subsidies that distort market prices be dumped foolishly into programs like The World Food Program.

Farm Subsidies are the Real Culprit

I'm going to go take some Advil.

Ghouls and slugs--


Monday, May 5, 2008


I was going to say something about how religion's abandonment of reason will render religious people incapable of dealing with reality and will inevitably lead them to adopt unquestionably asinine rituals. However, I think this video speaks for itself.

When I see shit like this I'm not sure I could eat the amount I want to vomit.

Ghouls and slugs--

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Still flopping...

Drudging my way through finals at the moment. If anyone is actually reading this, that is my excuse. But here is a little bad-assery to make up for my huge gaps in between posts.


Ghouls and slugs--

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More psycho-ravings from the peanut farmer...

If he had a tophat, monocle and cane he'd at least be entertaining. Jimbo Peanut on meeting with Hamas leaders:

"When I go to a dictatorship, I only have to talk to one person and that's the dictator, because he speaks for all the people."

Well, there you have it. He really does have peanuts growing out of his ears. Does anyone remember when Ahmadinejad said there were no homosexuals in Iran (despite its public executions of homosexuals)? I suppose if you kill all dissenters and the only thing left are the anal polyps who grovel at your feet, you really do speak for all the people.

(LL: Myrhaf)

Sorry, folks...

To anyone who may actually be reading this (or, failing that, to the voices living in my head): I apologize for the large gaps of time in between posts. I fully intended to post with the frequency of at least three to four posts a week. However, I got busy with some university stuff and a few personal things.
I have a couple of post ideas lined up and will try my damnedest to get two of them in within the next 24 hours. So check back.

Ghouls and slugs--

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just die already, Jimmy

Well, Jimmy Carter is strutting around the globe like he matters again. This time, he is going to the Middle East (again) and says he will meet with Hamas leaders. Fortunately, Israeli leaders told Jimbo to go get bent.
Diplomacy with Islamic terrorist groups is morally and politically tantamount to diplomacy with the likes of Hitler. There. It's that simple. It's time for Jimmy to go away now, before he further damages our nation's credibility. 

This nation owes Michael Milken an apology (and much more)...

I didn’t want something like this to be the first substantive post I make on this blog, but I’ve been busy and this topic sort of fell into my lap. So, here it goes.

I was discussing high-yield bonds with an economics major a few days ago at the university I attend and, naturally, Michael Milken came up. Now, by way of full disclosure, as far as I could gather, this particular individual's influences are Keynes and Samuelson. So, of course, he launched into the tired old tirade about Milken (“The Junk Bond Lord” he kept calling him) putting little old ladies out on the streets in financial ruin, about all the damage the junk bond scandal had caused the economy and how all of this is what happens when we (i.e., the government) allow the economy and all its actors to run around unchecked by regulations.

For those of you who don’t know, Michael Milken is the financier who pretty much single-handedly created the high-yield bond market in the ‘70s and ‘80s. In 1988, however, the SEC filed securities fraud charges against Drexel Burnham Lambert, a major Wall Street investment banking firm, and one of their directors Michael Milken. Milken had set up a high-yield bond trading department within DBL that would soon produce an amazing 100% return on investment. The whole tragic story of the government’s hounding and destroying of this man’s career is chronicled in the book Payback: The Conspiracy to Destroy Michael Milken and His Financial Revolution. The whole thing is too long and fury-inspiring for me to get into it now.

Milken eventually plead guilty to six securities felonies in a plea bargain that permitted him to escape jail time but required what amounted to $600 million in fines and other charges. He was sentenced to ten years in prison anyway.

Now that the background is done, my response to this individual was essentially this:

Michael Milken did more for America than all of the 20th century’s altruist heroes combined.

Let us break this down. Milken created millions of jobs. Millions. He was a financial pioneer who created a new and innovative way for businesses to raise capital. Enjoy that cell phone in your pocket? The reason they are so cheap and ubiquitous is because of the junk bonds that helped fund MCI in the 1980s. Own anything from Barnes & Noble, Chrystler, Calvin Klein, Hasbro, Mattel or Time Warner (there are countless others)? Milken’s junk bonds financed all of these companies (keeping many from bankruptcy).

Incidentally, Milken did donate hundreds of millions of dollars to education and medical research. But you’ll almost never hear about that from his detractors. So, why is he trashed whenever his name is brought up? He was selfish. His financial genius made him a billionaire. And he did it on Wall Street, working for an investment bank—you can’t get much more capitalist than that. This alone, of course, is grounds for condemnation by the dominant moral philosophy of the day: altruism (both religious and secular alike). Milken became the “symbol of 1980s greed”, and that was his real crime. He was condemned and punished primarily for being successful.

As a final note, I suggest everyone read ABC reporter John Stossel’s book Give Me a Break wherein there is a section in which he claims that Michael Milken, as a greedy capitalist financier, has done much more good for humanity than has Mother Theresa. Gotta love it.

Ghouls and slugs,

I'll try to post with more frequency in the future


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Welcome to the Strange . . .

I'm writing this on a spiral notebook at 3 in the morning, sitting in a booth at the back of a House of Pies. I've been a heavy reader and writer for as long as I can remember. However, in recent years, with my insomnia and the fact that I am essentially nocturnal (which means that almost no one else is awake when I am, and vice versa), I cover large amounts of paper with my scribbles and tear through more books (most of them more than once) then I probably would if the insomnia and nocturnal hours were nonexistent.

I'm almost entirely non-social. Not as a rule, it's just a holdover from my senior year of high school and the fact that I tend to be disappointed with people, generally (I don't actively avoid social situations, but I don't actively seek them out either). My free time is usually spent with my nose buried in a book or moving through the internet at a fairly rapid pace, sifting through blogs and news sites, all the while hoping that later tonight, the History Channel will air a six-hour documentary about the history of the Oxford English Dictionary, and not merely a paltry two-hour one.

So, I've decided to post some of my writings, analyses and assorted miscellany on a blog. Partly for shits and giggles and partly to get some feedback. This blog will contain my analysis of current events from an Objectivist perspective (that is, from the perspective of a student of Objectivism). It will also occasionally feature pieces I write on more fundamental topics in philosophy (which is my major at university), history, economics and other arenas. And maybe some book reviews.

I'm a bit of a weirdo. Sort of a freak, wrapped in a brain, wrapped in an anachronism. I mention this only as a warning to those of you (if anybody does ever end up stumbling upon this blog) who happen to agree with me on philosophical and political issues may end up, if I happen to put up the possible personal post, finding me a bit . . . off.

Strap yourself in, this may or may not end up being a rollercoaster (doubtful), but if nothing else, I'd prefer that many of you are restrained when you hear what I have to say. I have enough scars and I don't have the patience for flame wars.

Ghouls and slugs--