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Author Topic: Andrew Ryan  (Read 4017 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Andrew Ryan
« on: October 14, 2009, 11:45:39 PM »
For those unaware, Andrew Ryan is a fictional character, the 'villian' if you will, in a video game called Bioshock. While he isn't real, I felt his views and goals deserved real discussion, and I know many Elliqiuans are Bioshock fans.

Basically, Andrew wanted to escape the combined tyranny of three different elements of modern society. Government, Religion, and 'Parasites'. To him, these three different creeds only held back truly great men.

He built a city at the bottom of the ocean to escape from these things, and invited artists, scientists and the like for his perfect society. Here, every man was 'entitled to the sweat of his brow' meaning that what you built or accomplished was yours and yours alone. No media could censor you, no delusions of morality could hold your scientific mind back, and no one could demand a share of something that wasn't theres. Free market and free will.

To him, 'Parasites' were men and women 'expected the farmer to feed them out of charity and the doctor to heal them for free' he went as far to compare these people to pedophiles, and saw small acts such as stealing from vending machines as punishable by death.

In one instance, he speaks of buying land on the surface, and the religious community threw a fit, claiming the land belonged to God, and through Congress, sought to force him to nationalize what he had rightfully purchased. He saw this as such an afront to the ideals that would lead to his underwater city, and when his land was finally nationalized, he torched the whole thing.


While the man can be considered a hipocrit and borderline dictator, his views do raise interesting points.

Offline Kate

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2009, 01:52:53 AM »
I think if there was one obvious failure that would be concerning
His core beliefs create massive distinctions implying everything can exist independently.

For many talents - eg medicine - the student of the subject is a parasite until they have a certain level of knowledge.

Those making high value/low turn over items are a parasite up until they sell it.

Government's greatly aid the regulation of currency - such as what does "1 dollar" mean. Or for his own society what "level of conformity to the values" is one living by. Bartering for things like necessities is useful if you can be face to face with those that have the goods - and you have goods they want.

His mother birthed him - and likely fed him etc - but they didn't give back something
valued by his core-structures "children = paracistes" OR what the child creates is owned by the mother - ie what you do is the property of your mom, living by his beleifs in a pure sense would contradict them in a pure sense.

It doesn't make sense, risk his life on the assumption enough harmony without an institution to aid it  in an under-water city more dependent on peace than above ground cities that experience massive turmoil for less contradictory reasons is insane.

His society was doomed from the get-go.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 03:52:18 AM »
His core beliefs create massive distinctions implying everything can exist independently.

I'm pretty sure he encouraged fair trade and marketing, so as long as someone worked for their money, and paid for their bread and butter, things were fine by him.

His society was doomed from the get-go.

Of this, we can agree on ^___^ but it could have lasted a while if Adam had not been discovered.

Offline September

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 04:22:57 AM »
Sounds like he was an Objectivist.

Offline Kate

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 05:19:49 AM »
considering the nature of the physical world shows emergent characteristics for complex media

(what i mean by that is after a certain level of complexity some traits appear that can not
be deduced from awareness of the previous state (chemistry => biology => anthropology)

As such Objectivity in how he uses it is a myth.

Offline September

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2009, 06:03:15 AM »
Could you explain that again?  I didn't really follow it.

Offline All Powerful Nateboi

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2009, 01:28:28 PM »
That kind of concept could never really work, for a reason I like to call "Nateboi's Law".

It states: In order for any plan to work for a group of people, you *must* begin from the idea that some people, no matter what the incentive to do otherwise, will be dicks.

PLain and simple, his plan is reliant on the idea that no one would be a dick. No one would, for example, beat the crap out of someone and steal their money, and proclaim that they had clearly earned the money (after all, ti was *work* beating on someone and taking it!).

It also falls vicitim to what I like to call the Dick in the Mashed Potatoes problem. Goes like this.

You have a bowl of mashed potatoes. You're happy, the bowl is happy,e verything is good. Then, out of nowhere, someone walks up and sticks their dick in it. Why? We don't know. But they've done and done it, and now the mashed potatoes are ruined. So you make a new bowl, only now you make a rule "DOn't stick your dick in the mashed potatoes". Except now we have a new problem. Namely, people who never would have even considered it, are now considering it. And people who won't break the rule itself will still try to push the boundaries. What if I wave my dick *near* the mashed potatoes? What if I just put a spoonful of mashed potatoes onto my dick? You have to create a whole crapton of rules involving dicks, mashed potatoes, adn the placement thereof.

So your utopian society where anything is alright as long as X requirement is fulfilled is suddenly a lattice-work of laws and government, because some asshole had to go and stick his dick in the mashed potatoes? And why? Nateboi's Law. Some people, no matter the incentive to do otherwise, will be dicks.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2009, 02:08:31 PM »
A lot of the ideas Andrew Ryan espouses are modeled after the outlook of the 40s and 50s (after all the game is set in that era) and that was the us vs them model of capitalism vs communism. (and socialism)


Offline Inkidu

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Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2009, 04:32:01 PM »
"The question is not: How could I build Rapture under the ocean? It is: How can I build it anywhere else?"

The main problem with Ryan's belief's was pointed out by Fontane [sp?] himself in the same game, "You've got all these scientists and artists, but someone still has to scrub the toilets."

Offline Kate

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009, 03:25:16 AM »
September.

Emergent properties for complex media.

Ok, I did summarise a little to brutally to those not versed in it.

Emergant properties is "behavior" that seemingly appears out of now-where that isn't
predicted by models that effectively "perfect modeling" the initial state [1]

 Effectively - phew ... ok ... this relates to levels of precision and accuracy or probability.
Lets say your a super physicist that can accurate model all behavior of sub-atomic partials.
So deduce that perhaps strange combinations come of it (ie chemistry) ...
but all chemical interactions are not predictable from first principals
(note it is an assumption they are but we have not "found all the first principals yet" ... thus the quest for the grant unified theory of everything ... which seems "elusive" at best - as all proposal solutions can not be testable (proven right or wrong))
which leaves us where we are at hte moment ... so some traits of chemistry become "emergant"
ie behavior that appears after a level of complexity of underlying media that is is not deducable (it could simply be tracking the complexity is where things get harder - your making more assumptions your handle on "knowing" becomes vaguer and more intent related ( your getting more selective of what your tracking)
... extend this further and chemistry can imply life - (biology) but intimate knowledge biology doesn't
show all behavior when it gets really complicated "emergent" properties "appear" ie anthropology.

Thus we have specialists that focus on a "range of behavior" for emergent properties.
sub-atomic physics specialises in emergent behavior that comes from quantum energy packets.

Chemistry specialists in emergent behavior from atoms.
Biology specialises in emergent behavior of organic chemistry.
... and so on.

My point ... no matter how thoroughly you understand X ... when X becomes complicated (it becomes Y ... something new ... not X anymore)  .. whatever rules you understood X by will become obsolete... due to new emergent behavior appearing that you couldn't predict that soon dominates all things "relevant" in the landscape of Y.


***

Nateboi, -

Nateboi, that was the most touching moving analogy I have heard of since team america

<sniffs and wipes tear from eye>

And gosh its true, some want attention, some want to be special, so much so even negative attention is enough.

This is due to issues in raising likely - ie as a child they may not have been raised in ways that are perfect. The thing is society doesn't really care about prevention ... it is too busy punishing behavioral symptoms of some fkt up past as "choice".

Until society takes an active role in the mental sexual and psychological and social development of individuals - likely highly intrusive to current standards ... there will always be the

... "Nateboi syndrome"



Offline Inkidu

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Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2009, 06:33:36 PM »
Non sequitur... :/

Offline Trieste

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Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2009, 10:10:57 PM »
Yeah, this guy is pretty much ripped directly from Atlas Shrugged.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2009, 11:37:25 PM »
Yeah, this guy is pretty much ripped directly from Atlas Shrugged.

Some of us haven't had the pleasure and/or endurance to play through System Shock 2 :P

Offline Trieste

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Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2009, 12:09:02 AM »
*slow blink* Atlas Shrugged is a book, Sabby... :P

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2009, 12:13:53 AM »
Oh... I was under the impression that Andrew Ryan was copied from the villian in one of the System Shock games... at least, thats what my friend rants about.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2009, 12:25:42 AM »
No. It's been forever since I read any of it, but the basic premise of Atlas (and it's essentially a huge work of fiction engineered to propagate Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism as explained in that wiki link) is that Socialism. Sucks. You have smart people who contribute to the society, and then you have the rest of society which basically leeches off the smart men and takes all their money/possessions/happiness. In the course of the book, all the creator-men go on strike, and the rest of the world discovers how desperately they NEED intelligent innovators. But it's too late and the innovators have taken their toys and gone home.

I think they also set up a moon colony, but I could be mixing some errant Heinlein in there. >.>

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2009, 09:14:39 AM »
Andrew Ryan had more to do with Anne Rand than anything, I think.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2009, 09:40:32 AM »
For the record, Ayn Rand wins a frickin award for 'do what I say and not what I do' in philosophy, and I think she was really a very unhappy person. I also think her philosophy is crap - certainly, anyone on a site like this is going to be some form of innovators, so I'm going to be a little arrogant and count myself among them (even though according to Ms. Rand, women don't have the mental fortitude for that).

A philosophy like this is all about greed. It's demanding payment for your good fortune. If I have the good fortune to discover morphine, this man thinks I should be charging through the nose so that people who are in pain can have relief. It's abhorrent and incredibly selfish, and I don't agree at all. As long as I have what I need to be comfortable, there is no reason for me not to share the fruits of my labors freely with others. Even if I don't have everything I need, but someone else needs it more, who am I to keep things like that to myself? It's just awful.

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Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2009, 11:20:43 AM »
The half-asleep linguist in me just noticed something that adds to this theory:

Ayn Rand
A-yn R-and
A-and R-yn (see what happened there?)
Aand Ryn
Andrew Ryan

Sleep-dep.  Legal source of altered states since 1,000,000 BCE.

Offline Jooo

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2009, 09:05:43 AM »
In a sense i sympathize with him.  Ok, he was trying to build an underwater elitist dictatorship, but he had the vision of making a perfect place to live for deserving people as i see it, but things went wrong that were either not in his control (like fontain or the numerous pipe bursts).  But isolation like that was bound to send people crazy sooner or later, you would expect a man capable of building an underwater city to know that.

I can't wait to see what Rapture is like in 10 years time.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2009, 01:41:48 PM »
Also consider the forces that shaped Ayn Rand's life. She lived through the russian revolution and that had be a major shaping force in her outlook.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2009, 01:48:45 PM »
In a sense i sympathize with him.  Ok, he was trying to build an underwater elitist dictatorship, but he had the vision of making a perfect place to live for deserving people as i see it, but things went wrong that were either not in his control (like fontain or the numerous pipe bursts).  But isolation like that was bound to send people crazy sooner or later, you would expect a man capable of building an underwater city to know that.

I can't wait to see what Rapture is like in 10 years time.

Actually, the Adam would have been what done it :P commercialized DNA-fuckery will mess you up a lot faster then staring at fish.

Offline consortium11

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2009, 02:37:08 PM »
For the record, Ayn Rand wins a frickin award for 'do what I say and not what I do' in philosophy, and I think she was really a very unhappy person. I also think her philosophy is crap - certainly, anyone on a site like this is going to be some form of innovators, so I'm going to be a little arrogant and count myself among them (even though according to Ms. Rand, women don't have the mental fortitude for that).

A philosophy like this is all about greed. It's demanding payment for your good fortune. If I have the good fortune to discover morphine, this man thinks I should be charging through the nose so that people who are in pain can have relief. It's abhorrent and incredibly selfish, and I don't agree at all. As long as I have what I need to be comfortable, there is no reason for me not to share the fruits of my labors freely with others. Even if I don't have everything I need, but someone else needs it more, who am I to keep things like that to myself? It's just awful.

That's a slight misunderstanding...

As the creator you're perfectly free to give away the fruits of your labours to whomever you wish. As Objectivists generally see the world as selfish rational agents they normally think you'd sell it rather than give it away, but, as the essence of Objectivism is liberty and free-will, they wouldn't object to it being given away (some of the fanatical free-market Objectivists might on the basis it would manipulate and disrupt the market, but they're a fringe of a fringe group).

What they take exception with is when someone isn't given the opportunity to give away the fruits of their labours... it's taken from them. They view that as both an incredile attack on free will and a system that inevitaly leads to economic failure... in their view why would the people who create wealth work hard if they see little benifit personally through doing so? If everyone in the country was paid /$22k a year without regard for the quality of their work, the hours they put in... or if they're even employed... what is the incentive to work let alone work hard? Using less extreme examples, if the benifits an unemployed person gets gives them a similar lifestyle (in monetary terms)  to someone working 9-5, why would you work 9-5? Why should the productive be forced (rather than decide) to support the unproductive?

The real point they raise is this however: what right  does anyone have to limit the freedom of others? They view this right very (very) narrowly... most people have it far wider. And that debate right there has been the centre of political philosophy for at least the last century...

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2009, 01:12:46 PM »
The real point they raise is this however: what right  does anyone have to limit the freedom of others? They view this right very (very) narrowly... most people have it far wider. And that debate right there has been the centre of political philosophy for at least the last century...
Actually, it's also a difference in definition of freedom overall.

Offline Jude

Re: Andrew Ryan
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2009, 03:08:37 PM »
Greed is only one motivation to work.  People who view that as the only important factor are perpetuating a society where it exists as the dominant reason to do so, which results in a great deal of unhappiness.

The feelings you get from self-actualization, self-reliance, and accomplishing goals at work should also play a part in the rewards you get for working.  Problem is, Western Society has undervalued this because of our extreme emphasis on market economics.

Now I could be completely wrong in this comparison, but you always hear about Japanese Society and the sort of corporate identity/loyalty they breed in their employees.  They begin to take pride in their work, and I think there's something dignifying and elevating about working toward a cause.

Point is, people don't simply work for greed.  That's a rather sad view of human nature which ignores the higher pleasures in life and focuses instead on fulfillment of base needs.

But at the same time, you don't owe anyone assistance simply because you can help them.  Just because someone needs and you have an abundance and you choose not to assist, does not make you a bad person.  Charity is just that; the moment it becomes compulsory it's no longer a good deed, it's a duty that you have to uphold from being a bad person, and that takes the meaning out of one of the more humanizing impulses we feel as a species:  altruism.