Short video about Steve Ditko's objectivist superhero, Mr. A

I’m not so sure. Sociopath is a term that gets a little misused IMHO. Many rotten people are sociopaths, but being a sociopath doesn’t destine someone to be a rotten person. Using it as a synonym for rotten people does feel a little ableist, though I understand why a mental health term has devolved into a term of disparagement in the wider culture.

The thing about Rand is that there’s no need to infer her own rottenness through her poorly written self-righteous genocidal protagonists. She straight up founded a movement to encourage people to behave like her protagonists. It would be like is Vince Gilligan founded a movement for evil geniuses or Shakespeare a movement for bloody coups, except of course with way worse writing.

I find it especially ironic that the end result of her hypocritical disciples’ efforts has become a post-fact world.

ETA: Neuroscientist James Fallon does a better job than I can at explaining what I was trying to say about mental health. Among other things, he describes the chilling moment when he realized his own brains scans were a match for a psychopath.

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That’s where I stopped.


I doubt that many of Rand’s most fervent fan boys really waded thru that borefest.



Also, say what you will about The Question, but at least he wears his mask around other people. :mask:

I guess so does Mr. A, but his seems less effective.


It isn’t the only thing she ripped off.


It would be a brighter world if we all wore Mysterio masks


That’s a wonderful point, and I never thought of it that way.

You really do feel for Rorshach. And I suppose the main difference is that he was moulded by the world. Like he started just as naive as Night Owl etc, but he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe a little Killing Joke in there too?

Why, are they illuminated from the inside?

Or to put it another way: so who’s Mysterio?

I think from a literal point of view the masks are illuminated from the inside

Related, this article on the Libertarian takeover of a small New Hampshire town is glorious in its guano craziness (with cameos by a lot of bears!)

Free Towners were finding that the situations that had been so easy to problem-solve in the abstract medium of message boards were difficult to resolve in person

Replace or add “rapey potboiler novels” to “message boards” and it works equally well.


Not with Rand. Putting aside the objectively (heh) sociopathic nature of the ideology she created, putting aside her rank hypocrisy, she behaved abominably and with a marked lack of empathy on a regular basis to those in her personal life and proudly proclaimed her admiration for a serial killer. All those things taken together propels her out of the mere arsehole category to someone who’s seriously twisted.


Interesting (albeit not super surprising).

In college I read her three major novels and some of her non-fiction drivel where the only half-decent ideas were those she ripped off from others decontextualized into a staggeringly stupidly antisocial moral kludgework. I did so because a peer I’d previously respected was enamored with her work. Needless to say that respect evaporated and I wasn’t keen on reading her magazine or other assorted awfulness. I think I saw The Passion of Ayn Rand and mentally blocked it out.

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“He asks a question, provides a range of arguments, but he seems to avoid directly answering the question he originally asked. Or, more accurately, his actual response is lost in all the noise he creates trying to refute possible contradictory positions. He is thorough, but not succinct.”

So, like most Libertarians, he just sits around JAQing off about his “philosophy”. I guess the internet isn’t to blame after all.


thank you . . . i think.


It was definitely complimentary.


I am also a fan of this, which feels like how a lot of the problems with objectivism are dealt with.



I finally got around to watching the video, and I have one big disagreement:

When Stan Lee said “I have always considered Steve Ditko to be the co-creator of Spider-Man” and Ditko objected to that statement, it wasn’t the “co-creator” part he had a problem with, it was the word “considered”. He believed “considered” was a weasel word, a qualifier; Stan didn’t come out and say “Steve is the co-creator of Spider-Man.” He didn’t state it as a fact.

To an Objectivist like Ditko, that’s the ultimate insult, treating a fact as if it’s an opinion.

And, in Ditko’s defense, I think in this instance he was right. The Jonathan Ross documentary In Search of Steve Ditko is well worth watching if you’re interested in Ditko, and Ross interviewed Stan Lee directly. I think the interview makes it pretty clear that Lee didn’t really consider Ditko to be the co-creator of Spider-Man; he thought having the idea made him, Lee, the creator, and he was only giving Ditko a co-creator credit as an act of generosity, not an accurate reflection of the facts as he saw them.

That’s why Ditko’s essay goes into the definition of “creator” at such length – he’s saying that Lee is wrong, that merely having an idea is not creation in itself; the idea has to be expressed in order for the work to be created.

To the best of my knowledge, Ditko did not consider himself the sole creator of Spider-Man; he acknowledged Stan Lee as co-creator. But I think it’s pretty clear that Stan Lee considered himself “the creator” since he was the guy who had the idea, and when he acknowledged Ditko as co-creator it was always with some kind of hedge, some kind of indication that he didn’t really believe that and was only saying it because it was what Steve wanted.

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