Galt’s Gulch Chile Is Going Great

MountainValley

In my Atlas Shrugged series, I've previously written about the libertarians who tried to create their own Galt's Gulch in Chile, a plan which ended predictably in lawsuits, acrimony and accusations of fraud when real human beings turned out not to be as incorruptible as Ayn Rand characters. Now, as PZ informs us, there are some further developments to report.A coalition of disgruntled investors have created Galt's Gulch Recovery (motto: "Where Fraud Never Sleeps"), a site for them to air … [Read more...]

SF/F Saturday: Mystery Science Theater 3000

MST3K-2

The whole East Coast is snowed in after last night's blizzard. If you're feeling a touch of cabin fever, I've got a suggestion for how to while away the time.Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a cult-classic TV show that came out of Minnesota in the late 1980s. It's about a mild-mannered janitor named Joel (series creator Joel Hodgson), who had the misfortune of being employed by two mad scientists. As part of their evil, never-fully-specified plan to conquer the world, they kidnap him, shoot … [Read more...]

If John Galt Invented the Internet

ComputerChip2

A hero's work is never done. I've been recapping Atlas Shrugged, including the movies, for over two years, and the end was finally drawing into sight. But now I've found out that yet another adaptation is being planned, this time a TV series. The new producer, Albert S. Ruddy, plans on taking some liberties with the source material:The main thing, Mr. Ruddy said, is to honor Ms. Rand's insistence on making a film for the future. That means redrawing its capitalists and creators, who go on … [Read more...]

If Ayn Rand Wrote Shakespeare

If you're not reading the comments on my Atlas Shrugged posts, you're missing half the fun. Commenter Sneezeguard's excellent "Cobra Commander Dialogues" have brought a whole host of supervillains flocking to Galt's Gulch, including Doctor Doom (in three parts so far!) and even the ghost of Stalin.But the latest post has spawned one of my favorite memes yet. When I pointed out that Ayn Rand scorned Shakespeare as an insufficiently pro-capitalist view of life, several commenters have been … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: January 18

• From Valerie Tarico, how religion can let loose humanity's most violent impulses. A thoughtful essay that almost perfectly captures my views on the link between religion and violence.• "Tim is patient, Tim is kind. Tim does not envy, Tim does not boast, Tim is not proud. Tim is not rude, Tim is not self-seeking, Tim is not easily angered, Tim keeps no record of wrongs. Tim does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."• Alex Malarkey, a boy who wrote a … [Read more...]

Weekday Coffee: September 25

I've been taking a breather this week, but never fear, my Atlas Shrugged series will resume tomorrow. In the meantime, some quick links:• Help atheist blogger and ex-Quiverfuller Vyckie Garrison save her house! She's in financial trouble caused largely by her divorce from an abusive husband, which in turn happened because she lost her faith. She needs to raise $23,000 to save it. If you need more incentive, here's her outstanding speech from the 2014 American Atheists national … [Read more...]

Let’s Not Be Uncivil Here

Gay-Dictator

Can't we have a calm, reasoned, civil discussion about whether I should stop punching you or not?I mean, sure, I may currently be sitting on your chest aiming one punishing blow after another into your head, neck and shoulders. I'm willing to grant that reasonable people may differ about the ethics of this behavior. But the important thing is that we work it out politely. Why are you being so hostile? I'm inviting you to join me in a serious, sustained dialogue about the continuance of said … [Read more...]

Repost: The Box Office Shrugs at Atlas Shrugged

[Author's Note: I'm reposting some old favorites while I'm away on vacation this week. This post was originally from March 2013.]Way back in 2011, I wrote about the hilarious box-office trainwreck (see what I did there?) that was Atlas Shrugged: Part I. Inexplicably, Ayn Rand's dense, multi-hour soliloquies in defense of capitalism failed to translate well into the medium of film. The last news I heard after the movie's belly-flop was that its producer, heroic rich guy John Aglialoro, … [Read more...]

The FRC’s Bizarre Prayer Barrage

As you probably know, I don't believe in the efficacy of prayer. There's neither empirical evidence nor logical argument to support the proposition that a supernatural being is listening to our requests and can be persuaded to grant them if asked politely enough. Still, when believers pray for the healing of the sick or the welfare of the needy, there's at least a benevolent intention that I can respect.Then there's the Family Research Council.This religious-right group regularly issues … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: The Secret Purpose of Twitter

I probably shouldn't have said this in public, but now that the cat's out of the bag, I might as well tell you all as well.It all started a few days ago with a question about what the median number of Twitter followers is among active accounts. It turns out to be surprisingly low - less than 100 - and people with just 1000 followers are in the 96th percentile. This prompted me to make the following observation:I'd always assumed you'd need to be pushing 5 digits to qualify for … [Read more...]


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