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Other Geeky Things
SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #501
RE: Other Geeky Things
Part 31: The first rule of Mutual Masturbation Club is: You do not talk about Mutual Masturbation Club

This is about the second part of chapter 21.


After some rest, Dagny is ready for the dinner party. John Galt takes her to the house of Midas Mulligan, where the others are already waiting. Ellis Wyatt is also there, composer Halley, Ken Danagger, Quentin Daniels, Akston, and a couple of others. The conversation quickly becomes a circle jerk of congratulations to themselves, the superiority of their ways, and comparing themselves to Heaven in some regards. Seriously, this is some perverse stuff.

Composer Halley has written more music in the valley. He'll play her some but he'll never share any of it with the outside world. Others have similar sentiments. Sure, whatever, that's their choice... but two of them don't sit well with me.

One of the men bragging that he won't share is a doctor who spent the last six years inventing a means of preventing stroke. And he won't reveal it to the outside world. Now on the one hand, that is monstrous because you're choosing to let people suffer from afflictions they didn't need to. On the other hand... this guy is full of shit. How the fuck did you invent that in six years? Where's your clinical trial? Who did you test this on? Is your proof of success, what, that this handful of people in the valley haven't gotten strokes yet? There's not enough people and not enough time to conclude that. What about the effects of your method on pregnancy and conception? What about interaction with other medication?

Oh my god, did you perform unsupervised medical experiments on these people? Without a fully staffed and equipped hospital nearby in case things got very, very wrong? And I know you can't have just invented it on paper because two pages ago, Akston said: "We never make assertions. That is the moral crime peculiar to our enemies. We do not tell - we show. We do not claim - we prove." So with that in mind, I guess you had to expose the people here to whatever experiment you brewed up. And then when they didn't get a stroke within the next couple of months, you declare victory. Gosh, well fucking done, you. What a stellar feat of medical science. And amazing how it totally doesn't sound anything at all like a snake oil peddler.

The other shitbag is a judge, who is writing a treatise that will demonstrate exactly why the looter-parasite philosophy is "humanity's darkest evil." Leaving aside for a moment things like, you know, genocide... this treatise is also not shared with the outside world. So he's busy writing a treatise that will only be read by the ones who already agree with him, and lack the legal background to formulate a proper counterargument in the first place. You coward. But the thing that really gets me is that the outside world is still full of people who feel that something is wrong with the world today. People who need a treatise like yours to point out the errors and show a better way. The looter-parasites can be defeated right now if you just finish your goddamn treatise and spread the word.

When Dagny asks what they're all doing here, Galt explains that they are on strike. Other kinds of men have been on strike before but this time it's the "men of the mind" who are on strike, because they are the ones who carry the world on their shoulders.

...

Symbiosis doesn't work that way. To compare it to a living body, just because the brain is highly important doesn't mean the heart, the bones, and the skin aren't.

What follows next is several pages of Galt monologuing. And it's just... no. It's not right. You know, for guys who jerk off over the idea that they never make assertions, you sure do make a lot of stupid assertions.

"Throughout all ages, the mind has been regarded as evil" Uh... no? People disagreed with specific thoughts, sure, but the concept of the the mind itself wasn't evil.

His point, if there is such a thing to be found in the pages of madness, goes somewhat like this: in the past, kings ruled through force and mystics ruled through blind faith in the irrational. If anybody ever did what they said, it would lead to stagnation and death. But the great Thinkers would invent, and improve, and share with others. So it was the latter who kept mankind alive but the expense of themselves. Now in the modern age, crown and churches have declined in power. The outer trappings have fallen away and people now serve Incompetence. It is up to the Thinkers to go on strike, to stop holding up mankind on their shoulders, and show them what's really up.

The entire thing might as well have said: "The moon is made out of cheese."

It's self-evidently incorrect, laughable, and a cause for concern if one ran into someone who sincerely held this as axiomatic truth.

The gathered men then begin to give their backstories. What happened to them, what made them give up their previous lives and come here on strike. They're basically all the same story with some of the flavortext slightly changed: "People didn't appreciate me enough and I refused to accept their code of self-destruction."

And so they remain here. Waiting for the world to collapse. Dagny is the now faced with an unusual choice: whether to join them or not. Nobody who ever set foot in this valley has ever had to make that choice, as they made up their minds prior to coming here, not the other way around. In some way she is now a danger to them. If she chooses to leave, she can compromise their entire plan. So she'll remain their guest a while longer, recovering her ankle and making up her mind. Obviously the people in the valley want her to stay. Not just because she is a Randian at heart, but also because otherwise she'd probably sell them out at some point.

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
26-11-2016 13:55:15
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #502
RE: Other Geeky Things
Part 32: Fifty Shades of Gold

This is about the first part of chapter 22.


Dagny wakes up in Galt’s home, where she’s staying in the guest room. She’s alone at the moment but a visitor soon comes by, here to see Galt. It is Pirate Ragnar and he hadn’t heard about Dagny’s arrival yet, so he’s a bit surprised to find her here. They talk some, and are soon joined by Galt who was only briefly out, and the conversation goes about Ragnar’s pirating stuff, Hank Rearden (briefly, Galt shuts that topic down hard), and eventually about the gold that Ragnar has stored for her. The whole income tax thing. Then he has to be off, to go see his wife, whom he married a few years ago here in the valley.

There is one particular bit about their conversation that requires some more attention. Ragnar tells Dagny that he only “refunded” her income tax, but not the taxes she paid from her Taggart Transcontinental stocks. This is because James Taggart turned that company into a looter-machine as well, and so Dagny earned a lot of money from the stocks but it was unfairly squeezed out of others.

Here’s the thing: Ragnar knows that Dagny was not responsible for the looting. She is, according to him, “the greatest victim of that policy.”

So… a company has turned to “looting” and price-gouging and all sorts of shit, reaping enormous financial rewards for the stockholders at the expense of the looted. And you’re telling me that the “great victims” of this practice… are the stockholders?

[Image: 90uPgHP.gif]


Then comes…

Ok, I will just have to quote this. For some context, one month a year the Randians who are on strike all gather here in this valley, if they haven’t taken up permanent residence yet. A chance for them all to meet together, compare notes, relax amongst equals, that kind of thing.

(…) (John Galt) smiled. “How long did you think you were going to stay here, Miss Taggart?” He saw her startled look of helplessness. “You haven’t thought of it? I have. You’re going to stay here for a month. For the one month of our vacation, like the rest of us. I am not asking for your consent – you did not ask for ours when you came here. You broke our rules, so you’ll have to take the consequences. Nobody leaves this valley during this month. I could let you go, of course, but I won’t. There’s no rule demanding that I hold you, but by forcing your way here, you’ve given me the right to any choice I make – and I’m going to hold you simply because I want you here. (…)”

Holy Mackerel.

First, even if she did trespass on the valley of Midas Mulligan, John Galt has no authority to detain her. This is false imprisonment.

Second, she did not “come” here. According to Galt’s own admission in the previous chapter, some of the rays of the cloaking shield disable conventional engines. She crashed. Because of you. You brought her here. Even if a calamity like a plane crash were not reason enough by itself to justify her presence, you are also responsible for her arrival.

Third, even if she had trespassed and John Galt had authority, her arrival did not “give him the right to any choice he makes”. Are you fucking kidding me? This is like Pulp Fiction’s “Spider just caught a couple of flies” kinda shit.

But wait! It gets better!

You know what sparked this topic of conversation in the first place?

I’ll tell you: John Galt is charging Dagny for room and board.

That’s right, he is illegally holding her prisoner and then he will also extract gold from her bank account for the privilege. None of which requires her consent, because as he said, he literally doesn’t ask or need it. This, ladies and gentlemen, is our hero of capitalism: a leech who embezzles money because he commits a crime, and expects his victim to reward him for it.

Oh yes, which reminds me.

The villains of this story are the looter-parasites. Their ghastly modus operandi is to catch a victim in some rule-breaking, even though breaking that rule was really beyond their control. But nevertheless they will use that broken rule to justify them taking money away from the victim.

Now look at John Galt again. Tell me what difference there is between the hero and the bad guys.

Anyway, Dagny plans to earn her keep (despite having already earned the money way back when, according to Ragnar) so she will become his servant girl instead.

A few days later, Owen Kellogg comes by. He’s shocked. Dagny Taggart is alive?! But… people in the outside world think you’re dead! There’s search parties combing the mountains and everything!

(So yeah, hey, remember how I mentioned that a hologram field can’t hide the smoke coming out of their plants and foundries? I don’t think Ayn Rand thought of that.)

Later Francisco d’Anconia also comes to see John. He was outside and thought Dagny was dead, so he spent a lot of time helping the search. Now that he’s here he finds out the truth, and he immediately breaks into a two-page monologue about how much he loves her, and now that she’s here she can understand, because he had to leave her because he loves her or else he could not be worthy of her, and so on, and so on.

The book also starts to get a little into… smuttier territory. Francisco does love Dagny with all of his heart, but he also gives her permission to be with any man she chooses. (Hint: like John Galt.) The story is starting to take on some male harem undertones.

The reverse is not true, though. John Galt has no woman, something Dagny worried about when John keeps leaving many nights, but to her great relief it turns out he’s just lecturing physics.

And then there’s seven more pages of the two talking and yearning for one another. Lots of yearning in fact, and lots of descriptions of Dagny lying in bed thinking of John with her hands pressed against the sheets, wishing he would come inside her room. (The last word of that sentence is optional.)

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
11-12-2016 19:13:36
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Oddman Offline
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Post: #503
RE: Other Geeky Things
That last sentence made me snigger.

Your entire story made me question my sanity in continuing to read it.
12-12-2016 16:36:05
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SageGenesis Offline
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RE: Other Geeky Things
Part 33: We’re 747 pages in and still nothing is happening

This is about the second half of chapter 22.

The composer Richard Halley played some music for Dagny. After that they talk a while about her payment, which is not what you think.

Her “payment” comes in the form of the fact that she correctly enjoyed the music. Now you might ask, so how would you incorrectly enjoy music? Well, it’s about how Dagny properly understands the struggles and values of the composer. She enjoys it rationally rather than merely instinctively.

Or something.

It’s basically a long and incoherent rant about how Ayn Rand’s personal tastes are objectively good and yours are not. Unless you happen to share her tastes, in which case it shows that you’re capable of proper rational thought and so your agreement with her was inevitable.

Then she strolls around and gets talking to a woman who is a baker and mother of two, and the whole rant sort of repeats itself. This book loves making the same statements over and over again. Repetition makes a decent substitute for arguments, I suppose.

This is followed up by a talk with the philosopher Akston, who treats us to the backstory of the three awesome men John Galt, Francisco, and pirate Ragnar. It basically uses several pages to tell us nothing at all: they studied philosophy and physics, they were awesome, and in the end it was Dr Stadler who gave up on hope and goodness and endorsed the founding of the State Science Institute because he is bad and wrong.

Then a whole lot more nothing happens. It’s incredible how much paper and ink can be spent describing nothing at all. Dagny and John go to look at Francisco’s copper mine (yawn), Dagny considers that a railroad in this valley might be good but then decides against building it after all (yawn), and then a plane is in the sky. It is Hank Rearden! Looking down, searching for the wreckage of Dagny’s plane! Thank the sweet merciful Lord, finally something is- oh wait no, he can’t see past the cloaking field. So he leaves again and the nothingness that was happening just keeps on happening!

Next, Dagny must soon decide whether she will stay here in the valley as one of them, or if she’ll return to the outside world. She only has about a day left to decide. John Galt is also on the fence about whether he’ll stay in the valley for good or if he’ll also go outside again.

This shocks the others. They implore him not to go out there. They describe in great detail how the infrastructure will collapse, then the food shortages will start in the cities. Chaos, panic, violent looting and utter lawlessness. Planes drop from the sky, buildings crumble, bridges collapse! Pandemonium will tear the nation apart! Doom! Death! Despair!

Holy fuck. And you’re thinking of sending Dagny back into that world? If John “ubermensch” Galt is at great personal risk due to accidents and outbursts of violence, what sort of chance does Dagny Taggart stand?

Anyway, Dagny hears these descriptions of horror and man’s inhumanity against man and decides that she wants to leave for the outside world. She has not given up on productivity and achievement so she wants to go out there and prevent that very fate from happening, because a railroad executive in a country without diesel, steel, or properly trained/motivated personnel is exactly what you need to save the world. Ayn Rand must’ve really hated it when FEMA was created. Bah, who needs a government agency who wishes to save people from earthquakes without a profit motive? Just leave it to a halfway decent train schedule planner and they’ll fix it up right as rain!

With that decided, John Galt will also return to the outside world. Because his goal was looking after Dagny. Francisco finally manages to put two and two together and realizes that there’s a thing going on between them. Because the way she was staying with him under one roof for a month or so and not your place wasn’t enough of a clue. He instantly accepts this, because heaven forbid we might see something interesting happen in this book.

Yes, at this point I would consider a love triangle between one woman and her two impossibly perfect suitors “interesting”. I am so fucking bored with this chapter that I would seriously read a bad Twilight fanfic because there’d at least be a chance of something happening.

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
30-12-2016 20:19:26
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MaszaH Offline
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Post: #505
RE: Other Geeky Things
I think this goes here.
specially for Arik.
Japan where they turn videogames into musicals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTd6DnJBY_w

don't underestimate the cosmic power of french toast!
07-01-2017 12:22:58
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SageGenesis Offline
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RE: Other Geeky Things
Well, that instantly ruined my good memories.

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
07-01-2017 12:53:01
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MaszaH Offline
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RE: Other Geeky Things
You're welcome...

don't underestimate the cosmic power of french toast!
07-01-2017 13:02:19
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SageGenesis Offline
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RE: Other Geeky Things
A quick, fun anecdote about tabletop wargaming.
http://imgur.com/gallery/V0gND

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
16-01-2017 01:57:41
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AlfaGirl Offline
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RE: Other Geeky Things
XD

"MacGyver" is the equivalent of Vulcan vintage human horror television.
16-01-2017 08:04:28
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scroipt Offline
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RE: Other Geeky Things
Common mistake, cheesing the guy who brought his own fondue xD

`Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là' --Pierre-Simon, Marquis de Laplace
16-01-2017 16:09:30
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SageGenesis Offline
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RE: Other Geeky Things
Cool little comic:
http://charminglyantiquated.tumblr.com/p...e-taken-up

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
17-02-2017 16:16:46
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SageGenesis Offline
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Post: #512
RE: Other Geeky Things
New DuckTales trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-LNgU4e1rE

What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren't Mad Max. You're part of the skull pyramid in the background.
03-03-2017 01:32:26
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scroipt Offline
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RE: Other Geeky Things
https://youtu.be/5ypU9j4w3_w

`Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là' --Pierre-Simon, Marquis de Laplace
26-03-2017 10:20:38
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