Friday, September 30, 2011

299! Grammar Spelling and the lies that Follow

For those of you who have read any substantially large piece of my writing you will notice that I have pretty terrible grammar. Most times I clean up the spelling as I go but there are times when I don't and that ugly secret is revealed as well. I find that most of the time I can improve my spelling based on how I pronounce the words inside my head but the grammar that is one of those things that just sticks around. I've tried my best to improve it over the years but I can't seem to manage it. It just bounces off of me like it isn't even there. The more complex the thought I am trying to express the worse it gets. There are times where I write some pretty complex things too so it gets pretty depressing.

Pretty depressing but not so depressing as watching Grammar nazies frollick. Grammar nazies depress me. They are the sort of people who you can hand a 10 page piece of beautifully written prose and and the only thing they will say about it is that you missed a comma here or there. This goes further.

This is also where this topic came from. One of the biggest problems most people have with writing is that they are, first, afraid if it is good or not, then they are afraid it is right. To defend themselves against the second of these two arguements they make arguments similar to the one I am writting now except that it sound exactly like, "The english language is a mess, I am writing fiction, I don't have to care about grammar". While all of that is true to a point things like tense shifting and what not is something that is worth paying atension to. So it goes.

Part of the problem is that they are right. The other part of the problem is that they are also wrong and these are things that need to be adressed. And so I am going to do that now.

Spelling. Spelling is kind of its own thing and it is weird. For the longest time there was no standardized spelling. The first dictionary wasn't written until 1827 when Noah Webster decded to sit down and make the english language a little bit more boring. Now while the first dictionary was around in 1827 they were not widely used until MUCH later. Up until that point people would alter the spellings of certain words to add emphasis. An example would be spelling especially expecially. The x sound becomes harsher indicating a higher degree of urgency. Neat! This is also a time where people wrote more in form of letters and daily journal entries.

Now lets think about this for a minute. Setting aside the irony that Webster's first name is Noah. A man sat down one day and just decided how everything was going to spelled from then on. Now don't get me wrong Webster was a bad ass. He is probably one of the most underlooked historical figures in our United States history. Noah laid the foundation for the copywrite laws, started the first new york news paper, and he was one of the leading abolitionists oh and to write the dictionary he learned 26 languages. Like I said the guy was a bad ass they just don't make them like webster any more no siree. Still that doesn't erase the point that one day this man sat down and decided that this is the way we were going to spell everything from then on. It is kinda crazy and while I don't paticularly agree with it, it is worth respecting.

Sure we loose some of the magic of the written word but this isn't quite where things have gone wrong yet. Things went wrong when a variety of things happened all a the same time. THis is the sort of thing that needs a name but it doesn't have one. This is also the sort of thing that I wish I knew more about but finding and reading books on the evolution of the western intellectual tradition is probablly one of the most boring things I could ever think to do. However, at one point in the early 20th century people tried to make literary interpretation, grammar, and the arts in general more like a science. This is where things started to wrong. To put it differently this marks the rise of the grammar nazies.

The double negative rule in grammar? Where when you put two negative words together and it equals a postive word? That is a hold over from the movement where they tried to make language more like a science, or math in this particular case. As a result rules upon rules came out dictating how sentences are to be formed, where commas are and are not to be used flooded into school books and things got a little bit more structured.

Running concurrently with this was the New Criticims literary criticism movement. These people were weird. The goal of new criticism was to strip away personal biases, authorial intent and focus solely upon how the work is written. The goal is to come up with the best unified interpretation of a work. So basically when we all read the same we can all think the same. Creepily enough the specter of this movement is still around today from elementary to high school.

So essentially most of the rules of grammar and formal writing styles are from a movement designed to force us all to think the same. Okay cool. WT fuck.

Over my time I have learned that the grammer nazi usually has pleanty to say about how something is written but then in turn has nothing to say. A classic case of to much form and not enough function. However, there is there are the ideas that we need to learn the rules before we break them, that we need to say things the right way, that correct grammar is better than incorrect grammar, et cetera ad nausium. As a result creativity gives way to correctness and on it goes. How can someone truely enjoy somehting if all they are going to do is to focus on the insignifigant. It makes mountains out of molehills or if you prefer less drama it is distracting.

Part of the reason why National Novel Writting Month excists is that, assuming you are an amature like me, you will write at such a speed that you simply don't have time to worry about things like grammar or quality. The goal is to just write and to get as much done as possible.

So why is it all nessisary? Well for the essay. Most people will go through their entire formal education without being told what exactly an essay is for. An essay is a form that allows you to express thoughts that are to complex to merely be expressed orally or free writing like this. Essays are usually writen, then rewritten, then revised some more. Some essays are there to answer complex questions and other essays are to explain complex issues in such a way so that they can be understood. They pull together information from a wide variety of sources, and synthasize them together to form a complex whole. It may not seem like that when you are in school and you are just smearing words across a page as fast as possible to meet a deadline bu it is true. It isn't something you usually realize until you finally bite off more than you can chew and you tackle your first real and truely overly complex issue and you realize that there is no way you'd be able to explain it without writing an essay first.

It is in these situations that formalized writting shines and it goes from being annoy to absolutely essential.

So what do we do?

Well assuming anyone is still reading at this point the answer is balance. It is to understand that grammar has a place in our writing. But it needs to be recognized as a tool. It needs to be understood that there are both benifits and drawbacks to grammar and that both need to be understood if we are to progress, creativly unstiffled into a better tomarow.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A little over ONE DAY!

I said I wanted to write more in this here blog and here I am writing more in this here blog. It feels like my free time is being devoured by a hydra of reading, games, work, and pure laziness. Anyway I realized while at home that I have a choice between doing some more reading or doing some writing and I decided that Game of Thrones can wait for now. As much as I enjoy the books I am definitely going to be reading something else before I pick up the third book. I am thinking Farewell my Lovely by Raymond Chandler or possibly Ready Player One. I have no idea. In a related frenzy I finally got back around to resubscibing to Foreign Affairs and Harpers so I have that to look forward too and that if freaking awesome. I didn't mean to let the subscriptions to lapse this long but whatever problem is solved and now we can move on!

People seem awefully dreary lately which is sad. I also realize that now that I am sitting here that I realize that I have no idea what I want to write about. I've been feeling pretty good lately, really good in fact. I've ben socializing less as a result of Tyson disolving into a pile of nursing notes but that is alright. One of the nice things about socializing less is being able to read and do more, like play Glitch for example, or Start Dragon Quest IX. It is fun I think but we'll see how long I stick with it. The more I play it the more I wish I was playing Etrian Odessy. The downside is that there are all sorts of things I've bought that I need other people to do. I am hoping to get a "random game night" going amongst my friends so we have to all meet and play other things. It is looking like that is going to be Saturday nights which isn't bad, especially since I don't work Sunday mornings anymore. I don't know but I hope it happens, that way we can do things like one shot rpgs, or some longer board games. Or some stuff I just plain old haven't pulled out in awhile. I have no idea when I am going to play Twilight Imperium again which is disapointing. The last game I played I got stuck between a rock and a hard place and I'd to try that again. The opponent to my right got built up WAY to high before I could do anything about it, and while I nabbed myself some good planets I had a hard time getting anywhere. That was disapointing but oh so much fun.

I also freely admit that I am amazingly terrible at the game.

Oh National Novel Writting month is coming up and that is always exciting. I was looking around the other day and I realized that I can't find the second half of last year's novel. I don't have a very good track record with these things. The first novel got aborted because of me loosing most of it in a data backup acident. The second novel came out just fine, and the third one got the word count finnished but not the story then I lost the damn things. Nuts. Oh well here's hoping that this year will go better. I didn't have much of an idea as to what I was going to do for this years novel then the answer came to me in a dream. While that is all well and good I am not sure if I want to go through with that or not. Many moons ago I wanted to do a serialized fiction thing. I ended up putting it on the back burner while my friend evan raced on ahead and did it without me. After the first novel I realized that 2500ish words is a good size for a fiction chunklet and it is a pretty sustainable burden for once a week every week for year or two. I had trouble picking a subject. I latched onto one but I realized that the subject just didn't strike me as a good canidate for serialization. It was to... I don't know. The idea I came up with last year with the support group for people who were hellbent on ending the world as the millenium hit, now that has some promise. There is lots you can do with it, large colourful cast, I've already developed the charecters, and there is a sort of mystery to their world along with a slight hint of sadness. These are people who never expected to live in this world some of them still don't know how to drive, or how to pump gas, or where lightbulbs are in the grocery store and yet in their element they are gods. I love that idea. So what I wanted to do was to take that idea and run with it for awhile. Start with NANO use that to get WAY ahead and then just run with it from there. Then I could alternate, editing two entries, and writing one entry every other week which I think could be neat.

However, I have my own idea and I like that one. It is a niffty idea that came to me in a paticularly vivid dream. Basically it is the near future and the second rennisannce is upon mankind. New invensions, discovery, and prosparity are being brought upon the world by a new wave of geniuses. However, unlike in the past these geniusues number in the hundreds of thousands not in the dozenes. Then the madness started. Sure sure you are going to get a few bad apples in a large enough sample group. So instead of inventing useful life saving devices, some people just built armored suits to let them rob banks super efficiently. However, then the madness started to spread. Soon wild exparaments were being constructed on helpless populations, weapons were no longer built for the governments but instead for personal use and some of the geniuses started carving out fiefdoms amongst the world's poorer populations. New drugs flooded the streets compounding the problems as dealers armed with impossible weaponry were no match for the police force or even the military. Things looked dire until this once corporation stepped in, The Pembleton Consortium. They had their own stable of genisuses untainted by the madness. Employees from this company started rounding up the madmen and giving them some semblence of their sanity back or at the very least to teach the satisfaction of painting fires rather than setting them. In comes the main charecter. He is specifically not a genius but rather an ordinary guy who has legitimate mental problems who got caught up by The Pembleton Consortium. Now he is trying to make a living amongst a community of insane super geniuses, while dealing with his own problems, and uncovering the truth behind the sudden wave of madness.

I basically the main charecter is one of the geniuses one of the first in fact. He built a device that allows you to steal the best ideas out of other people's head and transfer if to data that is readable by a normal computer. The side effect to this? Madness of course you can't rip out an idea without leaving behind some damage. That is the thing too it rips out the idea so that it isn't in the original brain anymore. The MC realized that this is not something that should be and so he destroyed the device and most of his notes, but not before using it on himself so that not even the idea of the device would remain. However, the consortium caught up with him. They rebuilt the device, it doesn't work as well as the original but they did and they have been using it ever since keeping the ideas for themselves and leaving madness in their wake. It could be lots of fun. A lot of the book will be world building and the MC gaining/making friends before coming to his realization and bringing the consortium down.

The mad geniuses are basically going to be like Z list marvel/dc super villians. They are terrifying in their own way but you know they are dressed like Lepperchauns on stilts or Luchadors. You know so the final battle is the rise of the zlisters.

So I have these two ideas but I am not sure which one to run with. Oh well enough writing for now. Which is a shame because I just came up with two things that I really do want to write about. More than likely I'll do that tomorrow. This works out for the best. Get warmed up today and bring out the important stuff tomarrow.

Topic1: The reasoning behind grammar and the lies of spelling

Topic2: The tea party scares me.

Hey I just realized that if I write both of them I'll have hit 300 posts! That's exciting to me and I now have a goal for tomarrow. Tonight however, anime club awaits. I hope to play some Lord of the Rings and Dominion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Almost ten Days Again

I need to set aside more time for writting. It is just that much harder now that Books a Million closes at ten. Granted I along with everyone who worked there thought that the fact that they closed at 11 was idiotic so this is just the world's way of listening to me I suppose. Still I am not to happy about it. I bet I could bang out some blog entries on teh baby laptop while at home it is just that once I am home I am usually eat, watch something while eating, and then I go do something fun and while writing is fun for me it isn't as fun as say Dungeon Fighter, Glitch, Kingdom of Loathing, TF2, Touhou, and any number of other things I've been doing a lot of lately. That on top of the reading... oy! There is also the fact that I have been WILDLY unproductive on my last couple of days off.

I wanted to do a thing on the first game of thrones book but I think I'll let that sit for a bit and talk about something else instead. I don't have quite as much time as I want to get that done. For those who want a quick preview...I hate the starks. Hard people for a hard land, yeah that is true if you are talking about the Greyjoys. Those are some hard people. The Starks are a bunch of floppy balls, no not pussies at least pussies can take a pounding.

In a related note I am loving the Game of Thrones Card game. My biggest complaint about the game is that the cards are pretty loosely worded meaning that there can be some arguments as to how certain effects take place, there are also some timing issues which are a pain in the ass but most of these are a result of trying to keep both the two and four player people happy. My first real project is to build a Greyjoy Maegster deck. The reason for this is that I feel once my maegesters start getting lots of links on them they will become increasingly vulnerable to charecter/attachment removal. Greyjoy has lots of character saves and some decent cancellization effects. Best of all my agenda will effectivly make my deck 13 cards smaller which means I will have a much better chance to get the cards I need into play when I need them. I find that Greyjoy shines, especially in multiplayer because of their ability to make sucessful attacks by only kneeling one or two characters leaving the rest for defense. The last game I played I lost the game by one freaking power and that was mostly because I had miscounted. If I had counted correctly I would of mauled Travonta instead which would of caused me to gain less power but it would of made it so that he wouldn't be able to win that turn either. Then I would of been able to lock down the board and ensure my victory. Or something like that, but no I had to miscount. I hate myself.

In other news I am still loving the Lord of the Rings card game. The new quests are exciting and I find myself exparamenting more and more with different deck ideas. Currently I am stuck on the Conflict at the Carrock quest which pits us against 4 trolls at the same time simultaneously. These trolls start out at 5/6 and they all have ten life. That isn't all either. The quest deck is full of nasty things, including a one,two punch that will add +7 to your threat no questions asked. We've been working on it though and I think we will get it eventually. The other night we came SO CLOSE only to have victory snatched away at the last second. Oh well I have a quest coming in the mail that is even harder which is just as exciting for me. The quests are the best designed portions of the game and they aren't all the same thing or just variations on a theme most of the quests mess with fundamental game mechanics thus forcing you to adopt new strategies for each and every one. They are a good time, and I it is definitely one of the best gaming investments I've made. Now if only I could play it moar.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monkeying Around in the Tree of Life

I was going to play Lord of the Rings over lunch today but looks like that isn't happening as I left the god damn quest deck at home. No matter my second core set is coming in this week and I will want to rebuild my decks anyway to fully take advantage of it. So I guess I will be writing here ho hum :p.

As the title alludes I FINALLY got around to seeing Tree of Life. This has been on my radar for the longest bloody time and I just kept forgetting about it until recently. Then I decided I would want that to sink in a little before I did any writing about it. After awhile I came to a number of conclusions. First the long 15 minutish segment in the middle of the movie where they show all sorts of natural scenes and dinosaurs and stuff like that is very ineffective. I get it. The movie is framed with the question of nature versus grace. Nature being self serving and brutish whereas grace is living for others and being generally nice. Then there is a little bit of Sean Pen wandering around looking confuzzled then there is a bit of linear narration followed by the nature sequence.

The problems with the nature sequence is that what I estimated the time at around 15 minuts it felt closer to 30 and at more than one occation I was reaching for the fast foward button. Why though? The main problem is that for an extended periods of time I had no idea what the hell I was looking at. There were extreme close ups of things, I guess but as a result I was just sitting there in the dark looking at pretty colors on the screen with no real context of narration to help out. I was left to contemplate the validity of the nature/grace argument I guess but what the fuck I have the whole rest of my life to figure that one out and I don't need a break in the middle of the movie to watch abstract art to contemplate whatever.

The segment really ruined for me what I otherwise think is a fantastic, deeply moving, highly meditative movie. The movie has sat with me for over a week now, its themes playing around in my head as I poke around from one scene to the next. I enjoy unravling Brad Pitt's charecter which is one of the most complex, well rendered, charecters I've seen in any movie for a very long time. It is SO good. And yet there is this giant big red misstep in the middle that stands there glaring like the eye of suron.

See the movie itself has three different narratives going on at the same time. There is the family with Pitt, his children, and his absolutely gorgeous wife and this is linear. Then there is the Sean Penn non linear narrative which shows one of the children all grown up and him trying to reconcile with his past...and the big bulbous nature segment. With the exception of the large nature segment in the middle the movie seamlessly weaves all three narratives together perfectly. In fact if some of the more abstract images were removed or given some context I wouldn't mind. However, literally looking at an abstract sea of colors doesn't do it for me. I almost understand what it is trying to do too. These are all scenes involving nature, they show it at nature's most beautiful, to invoke a sense of both wonder and mystery. However, since it is so disconnected with the imagry from Penn's abstract narrative and the linear narrative it feels like it was just simply airdropped into the middle of the movie almost without rhyme of reason. I am okay with things like that but then why frame a movie with a question and then spend the rest of the movie complicating the question? Oh well.

I still loved it and I highly reccomend that everyone see it. The weird thing about Tree of Life is that it reached an audience that this sort of film normally has no hope whatsoever of reaching. More on that later though cause this is a point that derserve its own post. However, my time is up and that is that.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cleaning out the Brain

I do plan on doing an in depth comparison between Atlas Shrugged and the Communist Manisfesto but that is going to come later. Right now I am reading Game of Thrones and that is the part that is interesting to me. What I wanted to do here is to talk a little bit about some of the things Rand gets right in terms of the problems we are having. This is important as I feel it gives light to a lot of her appeal. The thing about this post is that there is going to be a lot of, "while this is true but..." People tend to have a lack of balance in their perspectives which tends to cloud a lot of the issues at hand. This is in desperate need of a "fer instance" so I'll provide.

The TAX THE RICH war cry. This is a distinctly anti objectivist stance and it a lot of ways it does more a pretty valid point. The TAX THE RICH war cry isn't really about taxing the rich it is more about taking away from those with the haves in the hopes that the have nots "usually the ones doing most of the shouting" will get a piece of the action. The problem with arguing with these people is that they, unfortunatly, are firmly intrenched in the moral high ground. See most of the right are getting out of paying their taxes through loop holes, creative accounting, faulty business expenses, et cetera ad nausium. These are people are rich enough so that they can pay other people more money I make in a year every month to ensure that their tax payments are at a minimum. A lot of the codes major corporations take advantage of were originally put in place to aid smaller businesses so patching up these holes isn't a matter of making a clean sweep or destroying deductions. None of these things are usually considered though. What happens is people look at the money deducted from their paycheck, then they look at the money major corporations pay and they declare the situation not fair. Fair really has nothing to do with it. In the grand scheme of things the idea of individual gains or loss are pretty inconsequential. Believing an idea is right or wrong outside of your own potenial for gain or loss is what is most important here.

In short it isn't so much what you are arguing but rather how you argue it.

Saying the rich should do more to help out society so we can all have nicer things doesn't work. This is especially true when we talk to people who live in the service industry and make a living off of tips. By paying a dollar extra for everything we buy and then directly giving that to the poor we could greatly reduce poverty yadda yadda yadda. It is this endless cycle of finger pointing and acusations that goes no where. Whereas when you stick to the argument that says you need to pay this money because that is the price you should pay for the privlage of doing buisness in our borders and hiring our citizens, then you are on much firmer moral territory.

The first sounds like someone demanding a hand out. The second is something based in ecconomic reality.

Well what's wrong with a handout or two anyway? Nothing. It even happens over the course of Atlas Shrugged a couple of times. Like when Rearden gives Taggart Railroads a loan to help build the John Gault Line. Sure he expects the money back after awhile but he wasn't expecting much of a rate of return and he benifited from the loan most certain;y as the rail would be the ultimate advirtising campaign for Rearden Steel but at the same time he wasn't under any real obligation to do it. It was a hand out.

Handouts are fine. It is when people start expecting, or even demanding a handout that we start running into trouble. It also gets bad when people start relying of said hand out instead of trying to live in such a way where all handouts aren't necessary. This may not seem like a big deal but it is one of those things you start to notice when you begin looking around more and more

-Tyson's nursing peers demanding that the nursing curriculum be easier cause they can't cut it
-The way my coworkers pissed and moan every year when our tax free 100% donated bonuses are handed out
-The way lots of people talk about school when they are on scholarships
There are others. It is the weedling cry of someone that feels they are owed something for free.

OH I GOT the best fucking example ever. Pick a free mmo. Any free mmo will do. Now look that the forums and watch people flip out and complain about their free game that they aren't even obligated to pay for.

Or even worse...and this is a personal thing. People get all snotty twords Toady, the maker of Dwarf Fortress. I've seen times where people will feel that they are owed graphics and a decent interface. Those people piss me off.

Okay I think I established enough examples and I think I am about to be interrupted which isn't what I thought was gonna happen when I started that covenversation DAMNIT FACEBOOK!

So moving on. The reason why Rand works is similar to a reason why people find Marx to be seductive. They both correctly identify a set of problems. Marx is the idea of class struggle and Rand is the problem of catering to beggars. So while you are reasing about the problems that you know are problems the solutions might start to seem viable even when they are crazy objectivist ramblings or communism.

There is one more point I'd like to adress before I lay all of this to rest for awhile and that is that I myself live a rationally self interested life-ish. And that is weird. It is really weird in fact. When I was rolling ideas around in my head while washing dishes this stuck and it came as a bit of a shock. The thing is that I do have a set of interests. They involve gaming, movies, and a generalized sort hedonism that is custom tailored to myself. My life is focused around my pursuits of these goals. My job is structured in such a way so that I can persue my interests even if I have worked that day or not. I work late enough in the day so that I can stay up until three am and still be ready to go the next day. My job pays me enough money so that I can maintain a modest savings, a gaming habit, and the distinct privilege of living on my own. I get what I want and I don't feel any real need to give any of what I have to anyone else. Then again I don't paticularly have much to offer in terms of material goods. I don't believe in sacrficing myself for my job. I used to but I started to change my mind once I realize that my job is essentially meaningless and that my time is better spent on myself. The same goes with my friends I could be playing Malifaux with corey now, an activity I greatly enjoy but instead I decided I wanted to take time out for myself so I didn't. I don't feel beholden to anyone nor do I feel required to do anything I don't really want to. I tip but I don't hand out money to the homeless. This is part of who I am and I don't think it is wrong.

There are some other things to say but I am pretty much done as I would now like to move onto something else.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Michael Shrugged

I hate the book Atlas Shrugged. I hate it so much that I bought 4 800 page books, and three other books of notable length so that I will be lacking a reason to go back to it for a very long time. I already have my next wave of books picked out. I hate for not very many reasons either which is odd all things concidered. I don't hate it for the story. Actually I rather like the story, but then again I read buisness news. I like the parts where bright minded executives wrestles with incompetent employees and and an unfreindly government to try to produce things. I think it is interesting and a subject that can be compelling... the same way John Grisham made lawyers compelling, or whomever it was that made coroners compelling. I don't hate it for its message either.

That should of been the start of a new paragraph but the mouse is being uncoopertive. However, yes the message. Rational selfishness is one of the most off the wall fictional concepts I've read in a long time. It is hard to get angry about the rediculous, and while I don't know very much about the ecconomic realities of the 40's and 50's the idea that people who want to make money will just innovate is one that isn't really based on any imperical evidence. At the onset of the novel we have two major almost science fiction events happen. One is the advent of Readen Metal which is cheap, an ore of copper, and stronger than steel. Without this fictional metal the book would simply be impossible. The other is a man who figgured out how to get oil out of depleated wells. Okay there big guy you go you. IRONICALLY the oil guy's next project was to figgure out how to get oil from Shale which is something we just figgured out how to do cheaply so NOT all of her ideas are off the wall, but the ones about rational self interest definitely are.

Oh yes and there are the workers. The happy men and women of taggart railroads, the joyous secretaries that work for a pittance but who are so honored to be in the precense of such great men and women of the world that they will gladly toil their lives away for the greater cause of other people's profit. Rand's treatment of the worker is a disturbing cross between marxist and the "happy slave narratives" we got shortly after the civil war. The whole thing is this marvelous trainwreck of stuff. I still plan to write a couple of essays about it. Especially in regards to how she views the workers because that is some compelling shit right there trust me.

No the reason why I hate the book is because Ann Rand thinks I am a fucking idiot. That is what gets to me. Okay I get it. Objecivism yay. The thing is that she has exactly one tool in her tool box and that is a hammer. Forgoing the idea of artistic design or subtlety she relentlessly hammers home her ideas over and over again with such a vengeful repitition that would cause even the Marquise De Sade to blush. At least that man had the decency to be neurotic in regards to how many times he used certain words. This combined with her generally poor writing style makes me want to kick a hole in the wall. Up above when I said I liked the story I wasn't lying. The thing is that I am 250 pages in and the story has happened over maybe 50 of those pages and most that was a blindingly awful flashback that served only to reinforce the fact that all of her charecters are two dimensional charactictures and to leave as little room for interpretation as possible. After awhile I found myself asking, "who the fuck is this book to?" I mean who is it trying to convince. It certainly isn't the great movers of the world. Most of them have little time for books or the arts. It isn't for the "happy workers" because they are already happily working. Is it for the great unwashed massed? Why would a bunch of unwashed masses read a 1000 pages of Ann Rand telling them they are stupid over and over again. No there is this middle sect of people. People who I firmly believe that Rand is a part of. It is a group of people who are not the great movers of the world, they aren't quite as low as the happy workers, nor are they the scum. In a Brave New World they would belong on the island. They are the middle people. The terrifying thing is that the books message to these people are to sit back and let other people run things. They will take care of us because they will be rationally self interested.

That is a chilling thought. It's also a message that seems specically designed to make people stupider. Don't try to fix, or control anything. Just let it go and let other people do it all. The ones who want to. Stay out of the giant's way and everything will be all right. What is even worse is that her and Marx actually share one incredibly compelling similarity. The focus of another essay I very much want to write I assure you. It is the fact that both of them have a knack for point out some fundamental problems with the way things work. You read the communits manifesto and it still, largely, feels current today. It certainly doesn't feel as it is written over 100 years ago. Atlas Shrugged, a much weaker book, definetly shows some age around it. However, she does predict certain things, like the shale, or innovation being focused in one area around one type of employment. For her it was Colorado and industry. For the real world it was computers and silicon valley. She also gets some of our problems right but I unfortunatly don't have time to get into them as my lunch is over and they are more than a little esoteric. Her solution is, much like Marx, utterly wrong, half finnished, and more of a fantasy than a serious attempt at a reality.