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November 04, 2004

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Welcome Slartibartfast

Great choice.

What does Slartibartfast mean?

Again with the logic and facts. ;)

Welcome, Slarti!

Slarti- Welcome. You're too modest, though: I think you're a far more articulate defender of conservatism than you give yourself credit for.

To von, hilzoy, Katherine and the rest: great choice.

I can't speak for either the highly intelligent or the articulate Left, but still let me extend a very warm welcome to Slartibartfast!

I think you're a far more articulate defender of conservatism

I can accurately say that I don't even know exactly what constitutes conservatism in this day and age. I can only defend my opinions, not any collective opinions.

Sorry, von, you may just have recruited a budding Libertarian. Time will tell.

Edward: 8)

Don't sell yourself short. You and I have had some heated words in the past, but you've more than earned a place here.

As a Douglas Adams fan currently residing on an actual fjord, I bid you welcome. I look forward to disagreeing (and occasionally agreeing) with you in the future.

Thanks, everyone.

platosearwax, I pine for them on a daily basis. Closest I've been to them in recent times was Sweden, though. I probably could have wangled a trip to Bodø, but that's not quite fjord country, IIRC.

Slartibartfast, I went to your website and I have a question just to get things rolling. Perhaps in a future post.

I see that you've had problems with code violations and shoddy construction on your house and I have empathy (here I go getting all weepy and emotional) for that, having experienced some minor stuff on my house as well.

I live in a state whose Republican legislature (just passed to Democratic leadership for the first time in 40 years) passed fairly draconian restrictions on suing builders, basically forcing consumers to go through a convoluted negotiation process with the builder with no suing permitted. You know, the 62 phone calls and 62 snubs we went through anyway before suing, but no suing.

Anyway, given your Ayn Rand influence (being a liberal, the only thing I liked about her WAS the sexy stuff), can we do a thought experiment?

Let's say you're a minor character in Atlas Shrugged (hopefully less cardboard than all the others). You have a running problem with building code violations on your house throughout the book. But you consider yourself a "producer" and like to gaze alongside Dagny Taggert into the flinty future where you (your fictional character, now, not you) might not have to put up with the rest of us. In fact, you go on strike and go wherever they all went until the rest of us got rid of all taxes and regulation and begged you back because none of us were smart enough to produce vaccines, or something.

One of John Galt's equally pristine associates happens to be your builder. How do you get him to fix the code violations in your house, you know, given the probability that there would be no code regulations in Shangri-La? Remember, you've just spent 850 (?) pages chasing him around in a world that had all those pesky non-producing bureaucrats chasing him around, too, but couldn't get him to show up because he was noble and they weren't.

Now, no fair saying this possibly couldn't happen given the extraordinary competence and inner code of Galt's associates. Because in this thought experiment, the characters must have some shred of humanity; ie they might make mistakes and be too lazy to fix them, for example.

By the way, you can see I left Rand at age 13 to take up Marx and Lenin, only to leave them behind at 13 1/2. But, if I were to create a billboard for each advertising their visions, they would be exactly the same. Ruthless people, jut-jawed, hair fanned by the wind of destiny gazing into the distance at their ideal condition, with lots of dead folks in the background.

Again, I prefer Rand, but only because the heros in her billboard picture had some hot but weird sex somewhere along the line.

Just food for thought for a future post from you. Or not ;)

Probably, were I a two-dimensional (being generous, here) character in an Ayn Rand novel, I'd demand that the builder fix the problem immediately, hijack a radio station and subject the listening public (all 20 of them) to a hundred-page tirade on the evils of, well, everything not derived solely from Objectivist tenets, dynamite the entire subdivision when that failed, and then retreat to a secluded valley where all houses are built to endure for centuries by former industrialists that easily transform themselves into skilled, meticulous craftsmen.

Rand and I parted ways a while back, in case you were wondering.

JFTR, though, I think building codes are a good thing. If you think this is worth a post, we can discuss my particular situation, codes in general, or some mix. Request lines are open; be the sixth caller and you may win.

Yes, I understand you have parted ways with Rand. And good answer. Yet another secluded valley beyond the first secluded valley.

Actually, I have no questions about building codes. But since you mentioned Rand as an influence, I just wanted to make sure your literary taste might be fairly within reach of mine: messy human nature in full regalia, screwing it up but finally somehow prevailing (or not) without boring and unfunny ideology.

But I have another question or thought experiment
regarding libertarian thought .. but later.

Again, welcome.

Just adding a welcome of my own. Congratulations on getting added to one of the most anticipated reads of my day.

Welcome, Slarti.

And von's testimony notwithstanding, I don't consider myself to be a particularly skilled writer.

We've found one more thing that you and I completely disagree on. I think you're a good writer, and I look forward to reading your posts.

And completely disagreeing with them, no doubt. ;-)

I'd be shocked if that weren't the case, Jesurgislac. Thanks for the kind words. I'd like to think if we met in person, I could buy you a beverage of your choice and we could chat about something non-political, like the backsliding of Purdue's bowl prospects.

Slarti: I'd like to think if we met in person, I could buy you a beverage of your choice and we could chat about something non-political, like the backsliding of Purdue's bowl prospects.

I think it unlikely that we ever will meet in person, but I hope that with your increased involvement in Obsidian Wings, we'll find something apolitical to talk about that we can agree on. Meantime, I'm logging off. Cheers!

Welcome and congratulations, Slart, and I also think you're underestimating yourself. I guess Moe tended not to give himself full credit either. But cats can be surprisingly discriminating about what they drag in.

My commitment here is to bring an open (yet eternally sceptical) mind to the discussion, and to offer arguments based on logic and fact rather than emotion.

Excellent. And rest assured you'll hear about it if anyone thinks you're straying from that standard ;-) In fact maybe we can even put a discussion of the role of emotions in decision-making somewhere on the discussion stack.

Slarti... as an almost religious ObWi devotee (tho infrequent poster) allow me to say welcome to the drive train of the web's most provocative blog. From what I've seen thus far command central has made an excellent choice. Just one thing: for the sake of us morons in your reading audience, could you resist the temptation to so frequently alphabetize phrases you consider to be common? I for one would be grateful. TYIAFYC (thank you in advance for your cooperation).

Slarti... as an almost religious ObWi devotee (tho infrequent poster) allow me to say welcome to the drive train of the web's most provocative blog. From what I've seen thus far command central has made an excellent choice. Just one thing: for the sake of us morons in your reading audience, could you resist the temptation to so frequently alphabetize phrases you consider to be common? I for one would be grateful. TYIAFYC (thank you in advance for your cooperation).

Congratulations to all for a...renewed..blog. Slart a fine addition. I can remember our first interactions at Tacitus ( including my hallucination that Slart recognized my name) and seems that Slart may have mellowed in the last couple years. Perhaps domesticity and hurricanes were contributing factors. It seems I see him less at Tacitus than used to be, and that he feels more at home here, and am wondering if he has any comment. No criticism of that board at all intended, I read it daily and if anything find it has moved left and a bit....loose. (Sorry, I feel more comfortable in third person).

I myself have become shrill and strident beyond responsibility, and a little humourless. I am self-prescribing a rest from politics. I think we are in a "wait-and-see" period anyway. Between vindication and rejection, seems few folk will be in a receptive mode for some months. Thought about visiting all my liberal boards and saying:"Your opinion doesn't matter right now." But this is my only comment today. Opinions expressed here do matter, at least to me.

Meanwhile, gonna load up my databases and tablebases, and try again to hit 2000. Good luck.

I'll try. My geek index goes down whenever I pass up an opportunity, but I exist to serve man.

Speaking of which, it's lunchtime.

welcome.

so you recognize the usefulness of a mixed economy? hmmm. wanna start a debate on the Endangered Species Act? Florida has some lovely endangered manatees with large Johnsons.

cheers.

Francis

p.s. and, yes, I know that the ultimate answer is 42.

That last was directed at xanax.

seems that Slart may have mellowed in the last couple years.

Not mellowed, exactly. Just realized that being wrong in reasonable tones is less far to fall than being wrong stridently. Plus being a consistent bastard was getting to be way too much work. Plus the probability of persuading someone of opposing views seemed to drop precipitously when the persuasive tool is invective. It's why I stay away from Kos, Willis and Misha.

Bob, I thought I'd recalled you from Tacitus. What drove me away from tacitus was a couple of things, not least of which was the comments format. Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but I'm much more comfortable with this. Tac himself I had no issue at all with. Redstate, the few times I've visited, seems to be a little too...gloating, perhaps?

ISTR (heh. Couldn't resist for long) von being a regular there, too. Not being a regular there these days, I have no idea at all if he still is.

I myself have become shrill and strident beyond responsibility, and a little humourless

Been there, done that, got the fargan teeshirt. When you can't stand to read what you're about to hit the "post" button under, it's time to take a break. It's not giving up, it's regrouping.

Welcome, VRWC Deathbeast! May your career in Deathbeastery be as long and prolific as Moe's :)

Congrats and my sympathies!

John, adherents of Rand (who maintain their adherence beyond the age of 25) are more specifically Objectivists, which is I suppose a sub-branch of libertarian, but one which can easily creep out other libertarians, since it tends to evoke images of people throwing old women with broken legs on the fire and eating them while square jawed Anglo Saxon men dashingly seduce women who are strong on the outside, but inside year to be conquered by. . well. . anyway. Ayn had issues.

Sidereal: I know.

I like the seduction and yearning better than the libertarian part, too. By which I mean I plan to have all the sex I want whether its taxed or not.)

Let me add my voice to the choir: welcome, Slart! Or rather, congrats on your promotion -- I hope it pays better than the Commenter position.

the father of two stunningly beautiful girls

Have you started work on the tower yet?

Welcome Slarti. I look forward to reading your words of wisdom, and the rest of your words too.

Hey Slartibartfast, congrats on the assignment!

I too have spent less time at Tacitus since the change in format, I'm not a fan of how the comments work. Seems less like a group of people around a big table than this style does.

Have you started work on the tower yet?

No, still digging the moat. I'm taking it all the way down to the aquifer. After that I have to order the miniguns and the Bofors, THEN I lay the foundations for the towers. The armaments are long-lead, you see.

Welcome Slarti. I look forward to reading your words of wisdom, and the rest of your words too.

Thanks, Bernard. If I ever come up with any, you'll be one of the first couple of dozen to know.

Well, Slart, any earnest attempt at political debate without name-screaming is more than welcome these days. (I must admit, however, that I don't know how on Earth you grew up with a desire for that if your father used to read to you from National Review in the 1970s. I mean, I remember what they were like back then, and a lack of hysterical screaming and sleazy personal cheap shots was not one of their more noted characteristics.)

Bruce, if you know me even a little bit, you'd know that formative influences don't determine my behavior absolutely. After all, Rand was a relatively early influence (read pretty much all her fiction by middle school) but I'm far, far from being a Randian.

Note that I didn't say Objectivist. I'm not really one of those, either, but they're different from the Randians.

All of that said, I'm not proof against the occasional spleening. But then again, neither are you. But we can strive to Play Well Together, can we not?

Pardon me, but are any of you really smart people going to actually say anything meaningful or will you just give each other blowjobs all week long?

I'm going with the blowjobs. There are other threads here, if that's not your bag.

Slartibartfast,

Look forward to your ragin' debatin' here as elsewhere.

RW

You wrote: "I don't consider myself to be a particularly skilled writer."

I don't consider you to be one, either. I never have.

So, some of us are in agreement.

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