The C(a)lt of Galt

Ayn Rand and Objectivism are rearing their ugly heads again. I noticed when the newly stamped copies of Altas Shrugged - this coffee table cum paperback graced the shelves at Costco. Seriously? Costco? I understand the desire to sell paper in such large volumes, but lets all admit to ourselves that this is the Brief History of Time for the Tea Party Set. The first 3-23 pages will show wear and the rest may as well be blank.

But more important of course is the risk that objectivism could begin to influence policy. I read Atlas Shrugged. And the Fountainhead. And Anthem (BTW - it does in 100 pages what it takes her 1000 pages to do elsewhere.). I read them around the age of 20. I tried on the ideas. I am a smart, above average height, ok looking, athletic guy. I mean, yeah, don't deserve to be me? Haven't I earned everything I've gotten? Why should others ride on my coattails as I ascend to greatness?

How long before you meet your first walking reality check? Someone whose father has cancer? Someone whose company lays them off at just the wrong moment? How long before you realize that there but for the grace of god go you?

I am all for more personal responsibility. It could go a long way to improve the functioning of our society. But it doesn't change that we live together and our aggregate interactions require policies to govern them. Otherwise a free spirited mother is getting my kid sick with TB because she refuses to vaccinate. Where's my freedom there?

Ayn Rand takes the extreme position that there should be no regulation and no social safety net. You just need one exception to derail such an ethos and I think even the starkest libertarians among us have lived a few of those exceptions themselves. To do otherwise can be barbaric.

$80 to see 1/2 a movie? Yeah. I think so. #HarryPotter

The Deathly Hallows Part Deux trailer is upon us. Reminds me of part one. No, really. It just seems so familiar. All seriousness aside, I think this is WTBS (worth the babysitter):


Royal Wedding Redux #UselessRoyalty

Here's CNN's fast facts and figures about the mishugas on Friday. Call it the thinking man's guide. Seriously, though, this is a wedding between a titular monarch in waiting and a social climber. The woman could become the queen of England, having risen to the point of having no real power at all -- a sort of social retirement. Why is this all anyone can talk about?

And don't talk to me about Diana. The woman took on a real social change. Other than a charity fund to which people can donate in lieu of presents, I don't see that here, though I admit I can wait.


Thom Beers. The other Mike Rowe. Also the boss.

Ever wonder who is the other guy who voices all those action documentaries: Coal, Ax Men, Ice Road Truckers, etc.? Thom Beers. Turns out that he's also the producer. Yep.

Meet Original Productions, the production company that crawled into my head at 10pm/9pm Central and just pumped out the free asssociations it found there. I've watched: Monster Garage (Jesse James building crazy cars in one week), Deadliest Catch, IRT, IRT: Deadliest Roads, Coal, Ax Men, and on and on and on.

Thom, we salute you.


Etsy Bitch - Hipster on Hipster Violence

I wish I were kidding, but Etsy has spawned "Etsy Bitch". Try this post for an intro. I had no idea, but in retrospect I am not surprised, that the online craft mogul had left bubbling eddies of haterade on the net.

Oh, and Etsy has also spawned its own FailBlog (www.failblog.org) at Regretsy (http://www.regretsy.com).

Pokey Roberts - @NPR Tiny Desk Concerts

I am a fan of Barbershop & Bluegrass, so old timey blues should be right up my alley. Take a distinctly hipsterish 9 minute walk back in time.

Would you prefer to follow this on Twitter?

I don't really plan to limit my thoughts to 140 characters, but would you like a Twitter Feed?

[Updated: Twitterfeed coming shortly]

Sui Generis

Sui Generis means "of its own kind" and is used in the legal context to extend a list of like items in a legal document. For example, a list of "bikes, including cruisers, BMX, mountain, and road" could be read to include triathlon and cyclocross bikes under this concept.

The posts on Small Thoughts have long been extensions of things I see on the web. Here's where I see them:

www.gizmodo.com (I'll rant about Engadget at some point).
market/finance blogs including RortyBomb, Seeking Alpha, etc.
news sites: CNN, NYTimes

And here's where I hear them:
Slate Daily Podcast
The Moth Podcast
Science Friday

That's basically my media stream. What you see here are reactions to that rather than thoughts 'ex nihilo' - from nothing. If you're confused, it might be because people routinely say sui generis thinking "That sounds like genesis..." when what they mean is ex nihilo.


Coming out of Hiatus

Hello out there! The requests are in and the blog is back!

I'll posting a few times a week rather than daily, but along the same lines.