Monday, August 10, 2009

Gunk Club redux

Still thinking about FIRM, Objectivism, and health care reform. A few things:

-- It occurs to me that what liberals and conservatives disagree over are which community values should be most important -- equality? Christian morality? Financial security? Competitiveness? Defense? -- but I think that liberals and conservatives would both easily agree that we should have community values in the first place. That's where both groups differ with the Objectivists, and the reason that Objectivists almost never identify themselves or their philosophy when they write articles. They don't hide it -- at least they don't put much effort into hiding it -- but they prefer to identify themselves with meaningless abstractions like 'reason' or 'objectivity'. I suspect that there are fiscal and social conservatives who read articles by Hsieh and company who would probably disagree with FIRM's fundamental beliefs, and I know that there are much stronger arguments against a public option than "doing things for other people is an immoral weakness."

-- Here's an interesting post on Objectivism in popular culture, in the video game Bioshock and the movie The Incredibles.

-- It occurred to me this morning how weird it is to call yourself FIRM. I mean, don't get me wrong -- I'm the founder of RIPPED (Rationalists In Peril of Perpetrating Educated Debate) and a signatory member of TURGID (Tactical Understatement Really Gets It Done), but FIRM strikes me as odd, somehow.

-- I found this entertaining tidbit on reddit.

In non-FIRM news (inFIRM? UnFIRM?), the New York Times published a solid introduction to health care reform today -- good on them for replacing their horse-race analysis of whether the bill will pass and who will win or lose with an actual investigation of the issue at hand.

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