First, from Floyd in Wisconsin:
Sev, what music do you listen to while you post? Do you listen to podcasts?
I have the most eclectic playlist in the universe, because with the exception of country music and crap music (the C is silent I am told)I listen to everything. Which is very disconcerting to my family when I listen from the PC, because I can go from Led Zepplin, to Ragtime, to Stevie Ray, to Weird Al, to Celtic in just as many songs. I like to mix it up and it keeps my mind from wandering too far afield as it searches for meaning in the music.
If you wish to get particular, I don't listen to strictly "conservative themed" music. I like Muse and Rage Against the Machine, if only to appreciate the beauty of the music they created and then laugh at the puerile lyrics of children throwing a temper tantrum because they were told no. If you listen to their lyrics it's all about destruction and tearing things up in some wild hopped-up sugar rage. It really makes you want to spank their bottoms until they cry like little girls. Wait, that could just be my fantasy... never mind...
As to Podcasts, no I don't collect them, as a rule. I have a few from Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand's intellectual heir. He sounds like he's doling advice after a bender, but it's always clear and concise. Again, he only got that title because she'd never met me.
Then, from another Anonymous Reader:
Do you think you can create a Utopia like world?
Everyone likes to think they could create the perfect world, however, I am possibly the one person who knows that it is not possible because of human nature. There will always be the creators, the producers, the able, the thinkers, but they are few and far between. Most of the world is populated by leeches and looters, second-handers and those who do not wish to expend one bit of thought and need to held by the hand through life. They are the people who will never do for themselves because there is a planet of bleeding hearts willing to do for them what they are unwilling to do for themselves.
They are the ones who would be the first to fall in my Sevtopia. Does this mean I would line them up against the wall? No, I simply would not do for them at all. I would not prevent others from doing for them, however, there would be no state sponsored welfare that those types have used to leech from the able for centuries. I would show altruism for that which it truly is. The most obscene "virtue" ever thought up. I would make it the dirty word that selfishness has always been spoken in conversation.
The only other thing I would do is make emotional blackmail a capital crime. shoot them upon identification and bill the family for the bullet.
Yes, I am just that mean. Make it a lesson to others.
Next, from Matt in Dallas:
Sev, what books would you read to understand Objectivism better?
Atlas Shrugged and any fiction or non-fiction by Ayn Rand goes without saying. That being said, the Ayn Rand bookstore is full of books that may or may not help you understand the philosophy better. I am honestly of the opinion that you either understand it at a fundamental level, or you do not and will never get it. In the never going to get it camp you can put any Progressive Liberal. You may need clarification of fine points (I still do to some point) but for the most part, you either understand free-market economy and laissez-faire capitalism or you don't. If you don't we give you a sign and stick you under a bridge somewhere.
Don't believe for a second that I unquestioningly accept every bit of Objectivist dogma. I believe in God and I don't believe in abortion. I don't believe that Keith Lockitch is a genuine scientist. But, these are points I can agree to disagree with True Believers on. They are not deal breakers.
Oh, I also don't believe that the Christian message is altruism. And it's too easy to argue that it's not in the selfish motive of ones self-interest.
Another from Another Anonymous Person:
You're just a selfish bitch who likes to swear and let starving children die. You sicken me.
There is so much wrong with that sentence that I would almost believe it was written by a progressive liberal troll, however, sentence structure and grammar lead me to believe it must be a religious tea-bagger who wants me to feel guilty about not ever feeling guilty. So, with that said, let's dissect the run on sentence.
I am selfish in the sense that I let what is best for me lead me where it will without regard to starving pygmies in Africa or dirty-faced, shabby tenement dwellers whose think that my virtue of production is their license to steal what I produce. So, within the sphere of your knowledge, you are correct. Within reality you are possibly the most wrong person in the world, next to Nancy Pelosi and Cheryl Crow.
Am I a bitch. Unreservedly, unapologetically. You may ask anyone who knows me for references.
Would I let starving children die? Starving children die every day. It's tragic, it's horrific, and there is nothing I, as one person can do about it. Does this mean I don't give a flying fuck on a rolling donut? (See, I just swore online, reinforcing their argument) I care in the sense that each one of those children represents lost potential to me. I truly believe that every single person born can be a productive member of our society. You reach an age where you decide you are going to be or you aren't and most of it has to do with that which we are taught at home and school and church. I learned from watching my welfare hungry mother who has to be hand held through life and decided I never, ever wanted that for myself.
So I do donate to charities that feed and clothe starving children whose parents depend on them instead of working to do it themselves. We've taken the shame out of taking charity and made it a virtue. That is what must sicken you. I'm sure of it.
So, I've answered some questions. Let me have more. Throw it at me. If I can't answer, I bet I know someone who can and I will point you in their direction. Now I am off to find small children to exploit and hire them to clean up my yard.