Monday, October 13, 2008

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged Currently I am about 200 pages into Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged." Some of the characters are straight out of a first year philosophy book. They are textbook examples of what it is to be idealist, atheists, materialists, etc. Each character seems to find their own niche but at the same time they remain individuals. The strongest Rearden and Dangy Taggart are morally or socially the most vile beings, but the moralists and virtue warriors such as James Taggert are described in such a way that they're outwardly expressions in the name of humanity are overshadowed by the lack of action taken to reach their supposed ends. I think the most impressive thing I have read thus far is the relationship that Dangy and Rearden have for their families. The metal in and of itself if nothing but a catalyst to move people to remain in their idealistic sense whatever that may be. In some cases their sense of right is being able to accept that they have desires and simply are machine like working and striving for nothing but success and a sense of worth in material things. The two main characters go about it different ways; Rearden by rigidity and, Dagny by allowing indulgences at times but always being aware of her profession. Pages 453 - 455 offer an insight into the driving force behind the mind of the author. She links the values someone has to their carnal desires which in many cases seems to be the case. She via the character of Francisco states that the relationships that people have with their partners are the most selfish and seek only to express their hidden moral code. Ayn Rand appears to have a lot of valid point with her view of objectivism, but it seems to leave to many holes. Its does not account for children, the handicapped, and or those who simply have never had the chance to show their ability. However toward the end of the novel she does attempt to reconcile some of these ideas but as most philosophical movements, they simply are too rigid or in this case not complete enough. The idea and elements of objectivism as presented by Rand is interesting and definitely worth a more in depth view. Of the whole book the below is my favorite quote because it is an interesting view of human moral code which we are supposed to have an innate knowledge of. The below contends with that notion. It seems that Rand is "Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means to an end. Your code begins by damming man as evil, then demands that he practice good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accept his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not." John Galt

Sunday, July 6, 2008

7/6/08 - 4th of July Weekend

It's been a good last few weeks, I have been working on my golf shot which is steadily looking like more of a fade than a straight slice. I still have a lot to go and I am thinking about getting lessons at some time in the future. I have also been running and riding my bike more often. It feels good but I got pretty angry at the gears in my road bike. They just would not do what I wanted them to do when I wanted them to do it. Rather angering but besides that its been a few good runs. I think that I just lack the challenge of another rider. When you ride by yourself you achieve personal goals but riding in a group offers the added advantage not only to better yourself but also to realize what techniques and other strategies more seasoned riders do. But anyhow thats the status right now...also the LSAT reading is wearing me out. but it have to crank it out. I do not think I will purchase anymore books from now until October. I really need to buckle down and take charge of that. Its not fun and i rather hate it but review will serve me best in the end.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

6/04/08 - Day Ride

I went riding today, it felt great. I had actually tried picking up running ,but man does that suck. Honestly. Running around in different directions with the sun beating on your skin and your eyes praying for a freak rainstorm to cool you down, thats a whole different type of person who likes that gig. Nope, I am more of a bike rider for sure. I can push it as fast as I want and cruise if I need too. I was racing down Vista Hermosa towards Pico. That was fast, I hit about 40-45 mph. I usually do not try and go for speed but i think that it just sort of happened this time. It was one of those times when if you don;t go fast a car will knock you out, but if you go too fast and can't control it you can call it a day, or a life. It was fun. On the rider back I took it easy, I rode down Pico to hit the coast and then just pilled through the miles. I think I hit that runners drug or whatever they call it. Its that point when you are tired and everything feels its about to break or just refuse to keep going , but all of a sudden you have a surge from somewhere deep in your soul that just pushes you that much harder. I swallowed up two riders and a guy with one of those running strollers. Okay i admit it the guy with the stroller pushing his kids was not the hardest thing to overtake but come on I was finishing a long ride with some semi-respectable hills. It was probably not very nice of me to cut him off as close as I did but like I said I was in the zone, its not my fault. its that inner drug deal :) Anyways... I am going to reward my awesome effort (believe me it is with my being out of shape) with a relaxing glass of h2o and a soccer game. Mexico versus Argentina in soccer. Its going to be exciting, of course I would say that because I like soccer. Also I am currently reading "Tragic Sense of Life" by Miguel de Unamuno. I know the title is depressing as heck and most would not look at that book twice, but I am an Unamuno fan. Its actually more concerning the inner struggle to reconcile logical answers with the heart and man's innate passions. Its quite interesting. I will write about it, and my observations of course next time. But for now...thats a wrap.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Political Correctness

It has become a standard for me to review things and comment on things long after they have happened. I like the fact of being able to see how things turned out. I like having the 20-20, rear-view, or hindsight if you will. I know most people would say that making a decision or a judgment call on the spot is what is needed in a hotly debated issue, or giving an opinion is somehow necessary. I however disagree. I recognize that there are things in the world that demand immediate attention; like when you run out of gas, are hungry, or have to use the “john.” But I hold that opinions are typically wrong when rushed and it is better to study and review a subject carefully before issuing an end all statement. I think that it is foolhardy to make a judgment call which can involve many different dimensions that cannot be accounted for in an instant. So, this having been said, I have noticed recently that people are very afraid of political incorrectness. Yet they are entertained and enthralled by politically incorrectness and even pay money to see it. We watch shows like Flavor of Love, or Rock of Love, the Tom Leykis radio show and other roasts and acts that are clearly not politically correct and often times crude. But why do we laugh and enjoy “politically incorrect” shows? Why do we not stand against these different forms of entertainment? The reason is because sometimes we are full of “it.” “It” being a desire to be entertained by what is supposed socially wrong. (note: you know you like my political correctness) I think it’s a joke. Admit the problem and if you don’t like political incorrectness don’t live in the land of the free where all speech is protected. I will concede that there is a place for everything and that some speech like “bomb” in a plane or screaming “fire” in a theatre is not appropriate. There are a lot of issues I bitterly oppose and will argue against, but the fact that there is someone arguing the other side without fearing for their life is refreshing and what it means to be an American. Just a thought.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Thousand Splendid Suns.. thoughts not a review

You know it was an interesting kind of day today. I just finished another book. I think I am on a crazy streak. Of the books I have read my favorite thus far is "A Thousand Splendid Suns." It is a great story, tragic but hopeful in many ways. I don't think that the story itself is something completely other; oppression of the opposite sex, i.e women. However the context and setting of the book make the story totally plausible and hence very appealing. I am not sure I have been so happy as when I finished. Its rather selfish but I was not happy for the characters, as each was dealt with in their own way. I was happy and thankful for being born into a society that is very accepting of diversity and difference. I know that many people around the world are not as blessed as I am and every day its a struggle to survive. I pray that they find peace and some joy in that which they are given. Many times I heard the phrase, God does not send you anything that you cannot handle. I find this to be true. Sometimes our greatest moments, our most human moments come at the most inhuman of times.