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Member Since 21 January 2012 - 01:48 AM
Offline Last Active Sep 17 2021 04:43 PM

Topics I've Started

"I Have Come to Bury Ayn Rand"

05 April 2021 - 08:40 PM



A prominent evolutionary biologist slays the beast of Individualism.

My father, Sloan Wilson, wrote novels that would help define 1950s America. I loved and admired him, but the prospect of following in the footsteps of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and A Summer Place was like being expected to climb Mount Everest. My love of nature provided an alternative path. I would become an ecologist, spending my days researching plants and animals, which fascinated me since the summers I spent as a boy at Lake George and a magical boarding school in the Adirondack mountains.

Little did I know that by heading away from the madding crowd of humanity and my father’s vocation, I would end up writing a sequel to another famous novel of the 1950s—Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. But don’t get me wrong. I’m no Rand acolyte. I’m not here to praise her ideas but to bury them.

Even if you never read Atlas Shrugged or anything else by Rand, you probably know the names and what they stand for: The sanctity of the individual and the pursuit of self-interest as the highest moral ideal. Rand constructed an entire philosophy around this called Objectivism, which she claimed could be fully justified by rationality and science. But it was through fiction that she reached her largest audience, with Atlas Shrugged selling over 7 million copies and still widely read. She wisely noted that “Art is the essential medium for the communication of a moral ideal.”

The Rise of Neoliberalism: The Cause of Extreme Inequality?

05 April 2021 - 08:56 AM



Neoliberalism has done an astonishingly good job of making ideology seem like natural law. To shift power, we need to acknowledge that this cruel ideology is a choice, not an inevitability.

Don't book liars

24 February 2021 - 09:13 PM



A House subcommittee hearing Wednesday on media disinformation, especially in cable news, broke down predictably along partisan lines. But representatives and other speakers agreed that the issue is of major concern in an age of increasingly polarized media and amplification of falsehoods.

"Partisanship and polarization in media has been building for years, but these more recent events reflect a point of frightening escalation," U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), said during the remote hearing. Citing witness testimony, he added: "Media companies have increasingly set aside journalistic standards to chase audience share and higher profits."

Longtime journalist Soledad O'Brien, host of the public-affairs talk program "Matter of Fact," said news organizations have a major responsibility to make sure they don't provide a platform for disinformation.

"Congress cannot and should not regulate journalism in defiance of the First Amendment, but here is what we can do: Don’t book liars or advance lies. Cover the fact that lies and propaganda are being disseminated but do not book people to lie on your show because it elevates them and presents a lie as another side," said O'Brien, who said the problem has been aggravated by a steep decline in reliable local news organizations.

The tRump Crimes Thread

22 February 2021 - 11:08 PM

The Rachel Maddow Show

February 19 at 7:33 PM ·


The lawyer who almost literally wrote the book on racketeering law has been hired by the Manhattan district attorney.

He wasn't looking for a job, he already works at an acclaimed law firm handling high profile white collar clients.

But he took this one gig, to work just one case: Donald Trump.


What’s Happening to Our Economy Is Like a Natural Disaster

30 January 2021 - 11:16 PM


Ezra Klein and Paul Krugman discuss Covid economics, cryptocurrencies and deficit delusions.