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    (Original post by kashiya)
    Oh no
    we are not even really in there and I already have no idea what we are talking about luckily there is Wikipedia
    John Galt, the OP's username, is a character in Ayn Rand's 'novel' Atlas Shrugged, . I don't wish to snarl at my fellow Wolf, though. The following quote might explain a bit, this is Zizek on Ayn Rand:

    Can a Lacanian learn something from Ayn Rand?

    Rand, who wrote the two absolute best-sellers of our century, The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957), was (deservedly) ignored and ridiculed as a philosopher: her fascination with male figures displaying absolute, unswayable determination of their Will, seems to offer the best imaginable confirmation of Sylvia Plath's famous line, "...every woman adores a Fascist." However, although it is easy to dismiss the very mention of Rand in a "serious" theoretical article as an obscene extravaganza — artistically, she is of course, worthless — the properly subversive dimension of her ideological procedure is not to be underestimated: Rand fits into the line of over-conformist authors who undermine the ruling ideological edifice by their very excessive identification with it.

    Her over-orthodoxy was directed at capitalism itself, as the title of one of her books Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal tells us; according to her, the truly heretic thing today is to embrace the basic premise of capitalism without its communitarian, collectivist, welfare, etc., sugarcoating. So what Pascal and Racine were to Jansenism, what Kleist was to German nationalist militarism, what Brecht was to Communism, Rand is to American capitalism. It was perhaps her Russian origins and upbringing which enabled her to formulate directly the fantasmatic kernel of American capitalist ideology.

    The elementary ideological axis of her work consists in the opposition between the prime movers, "men of mind," and second handers, "mass men." The Kantian opposition between ethical autonomy and heteronomy is here brought to extreme: the "mass man" is searching for recognition outside himself, his self-confidence and assurance depend on how he is perceived by others, while the prime mover is fully reconciled with himself, relying on his creativity, selfish in the sense that his satisfaction does not depend on getting recognition from others or on sacrificing himself, his innermost drives, for the benefit of others.

    The prime mover is innocent, delivered from the fear of others, and for that reason without hatred even for his worst enemies (Roark, the "prime mover" in The Fountainhead, doesn't actively hate Toohey, his great opponent, he simply doesn't care about him.) Here is the famous dialogue between the two:

    — Mr. Roark, we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us.
    — But I don't think of you.

    On the basis of this opposition, Rand elaborates her radically atheist, life-assertive, "selfish" ethics: the "prime mover" is capable of the love for others, this love is even crucial for him since it does not express his contempt for himself, his self-denial, but on the contrary, the highest self-assertion-love for others is the highest form of the properly understood "selfishness," i.e. of my capacity to realize through my relationship with others my own innermost drives. On the basis of this opposition, Atlas Shrugged constructs a purely fantasmatic scenario: John Galt, the novel's mysterious hero, assembles all prime movers and organizes their strike — they withdraw from the collectivist oppression of the bureaucratized public life. As a result of their withdrawal, what social life loses is impetus, social services; from stores to railroads, no longer function, global disintegration sets in, and the desperate society calls the prime movers back — they accept it, but under their own terms...

    What we have here is the fantasy of a man finding the answer to the eternal question "What moves the world?" — the prime movers — and then being able to "stop the motor of the world" by organizing the prime movers' retreat. John Galt succeeds in suspending the very circuit of the universe, the "run of things," causing its symbolic death and the subsequent rebirth of the New World.

    The ideological gain of this operation resides in the reversal of roles with regard to our everyday experience of strike: it is not workers but the capitalists who go on strike, thus proving that they are the truly productive members of society who do not need others to survive1. The hideout to which the prime movers retreat, a secret place in the midst of the Colorado mountains accessible only via a dangerous narrow passage, is a kind of negative version of Shangri-la, a "utopia of greed": a small town in which unbridled market relations reign, in which the very word "help" is prohibited, in which every service has to be reimbursed by true (gold-covered) money, in which there is no need for pity and self-sacrifice for others.

    1. Rand's ideological limitation is here clearly perceptible: in spite of the new impetus that the myth of the "prime movers" got from the digital industry (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates), individual capitalists are today, in our era of multinationals, definitely not its "prime movers." In other words, what Rand "represses" is the fact that the rule of the crowd is the inherent outcome of the dynamic of capitalism itself.
    In general I agree with Zizek in too much and on too much for comfort, but I still agree with him.

    JG, though, what other authors do you like? I'd suggest PMing me and allowing this thread to be (if moved to the Colleges part) a nice little "Hey Wolves!" thing, but I'm rubbish at answering PMs.
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    Hey,

    People from other colleges have started making FB group pages for themselves, anyone interested in a Cambridge-Wolfson 2011 page?
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    (Original post by Tanawat)
    Hey,

    People from other colleges have started making FB group pages for themselves, anyone interested in a Cambridge-Wolfson 2011 page?
    sure why not
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    Is someone making a facebook page, then?
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    (Original post by no chance)
    Is someone making a facebook page, then?
    if you know how to do it - go ahead
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    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=...80843511956662

    hope to see you there
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    I made a facebook and joined.
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    (Original post by no chance)
    I made a facebook and joined.
    cool now we just have to figure out how that thing works... :confused::confused::confused:
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    Hey , I've requested to join the group so whoever is an admin if you could appoint me it would be much appreciated!

    No Chance - I have come round to the point of view that rand is rubbish - sadly I was young impressionable and quite possibly under the influence of somehting when i read Atlas shrugged and decided to pay tribute to it.

    In regards to what other Authors i like - most recently its been Bukowski, Kerouac, Wolfe and Amis (martin)-take the extreme macho nature of those author and contrast it with what i discussed in my interview - Austen, Auden and the Sonnets and i think its safe to say what i like now will have changed hugely by the time I reach wolfson.

    What about yourself and main interests etc...

    In repsonse to Kashiya - I don't have any conditions just sitting in a office on my second gap year waiting to get to wolfson.

    It's a pleasure to meet you all as well
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    Just thought I'd stick my head above the parapet and say hello. I got pooled here from Newnham for Classics and will have been 21 for about 5 days when I arrive!! Am well excited about Wolfson and the DoS seems amazing.

    You guys all seem very nice and tbh, I think a mature college is better for me after 3 years out of school! Can't wait to meet you all next year!
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    Bumping for this year...I've applied to read history, anybody else around...?
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    Yup, there are few other folks kicking around this site, but we're not very organized, apparently.

    I've applied for English. Along with hundreds of other people, most likely. Wolfson's supposed to be a popular place for English.
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    Anybody else get an interview request yet?
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    Handy page if anyone hasn't seen it yet.

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...cs/wolfson.pdf
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    (Original post by marceltheshell)
    Anybody else get an interview request yet?
    Whoops, I forgot about this thread.

    Yes, I was invited for interviews, and it was a strange and fantastic experience. Lots of fun, slightly baffling.

    Anyone else? I'd be curious to hear what others thought about the college. I didn't run into many other applicants while I was there, just one person for English and two for History.

    At the moment I'm still trying to remember what the written test was about. My memory's been wiped, apparently...

    Also, those statistics are frightening.
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    I didn't meet or speak to anyone the whole time I was there, other than the porters (who were very friendly) and the people interviewing me. A young man in a suit sat next to me in the club room for a bit and wrote what looked like some trig identities on a newspaper and I overheard some young-sounding/looking people talking about how much they like books in the bar.

    I had no written tests for my subject. I'm wondering now if I went into enough detail with my answers in the academic interview or if I did enough thinking out loud - I stopped talking once I was told "That's right". I also interrupted one of the interviewers in my general interview as I guessed the rest of the question I was being asked, which is an awful habit and slightly rude. Plus there were lots of questions about my background which I am worried I didn't explain very well and may even have seemed a bit fantastical. Not to mention questions about how I was going to pay for it all.

    Obviously I don't know whether I will receive an offer or not. What I do know is that I wish the decision would arrive sooner. On the plus side, if it did go very badly then I at least am such a poor candidate that I'm not even aware of it thanks to the Dunning-Krugger Effect.

    The admissions statistics show that most offers for my subject are made to people taken from the Winter Pool. Still, it's not as bad as those for architecture, CS, philosophy...
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    (Original post by CaelumCorvi)
    Whoops, I forgot about this thread.

    Yes, I was invited for interviews, and it was a strange and fantastic experience. Lots of fun, slightly baffling.

    Anyone else? I'd be curious to hear what others thought about the college. I didn't run into many other applicants while I was there, just one person for English and two for History.

    At the moment I'm still trying to remember what the written test was about. My memory's been wiped, apparently...

    Also, those statistics are frightening.
    I know, aren't they horrid?

    What subject was your interview for?
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    (Original post by Hippodamos)
    I had no written tests for my subject. I'm wondering now if I went into enough detail with my answers in the academic interview or if I did enough thinking out loud - I stopped talking once I was told "That's right". I also interrupted one of the interviewers in my general interview as I guessed the rest of the question I was being asked, which is an awful habit and slightly rude. Plus there were lots of questions about my background which I am worried I didn't explain very well and may even have seemed a bit fantastical. Not to mention questions about how I was going to pay for it all.
    That completey describes my interviews, too. The more I think about them, the more things I wish I had said, or said differently! During the heat of the discussions I traded reading all social cues for thinking about the questions, I'm afraid, so I'm hoping I didn't come off as a bad listener. It seems that everyone was getting questioned about their financial situation. Certainly an important aspect for an applicant, but I wish they hadn't made such a point of it.

    (Original post by Hippodamos)
    On the plus side, if it did go very badly then I at least am such a poor candidate that I'm not even aware of it thanks to the Dunning-Krugger Effect.
    Heh, yeah.

    (Original post by marceltheshell)
    I know, aren't they horrid?

    What subject was your interview for?
    English. Were you there?

    I got to spend a couple of nights because of the distance I had to travel, but the college was so quiet that I had trouble finding people to chat with. Luckily there was a troupe of ~50 part-time graduate students drifting around, so the place wasn't entirely abandoned. The few fellow applicants I chatted with were also really friendly. And agreed, the staff was very nice. They helped me sort out meals and were very patient with my slew of clueless questions.

    I'm on the fence about how well I did, but I really enjoyed my subject interview (a bad omen?) and probably could've spent half the evening continuing that conversation if only we hadn't run out of time.
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    (Original post by Hippodamos)
    I didn't meet or speak to anyone the whole time I was there, other than the porters (who were very friendly) and the people interviewing me. A young man in a suit sat next to me in the club room for a bit and wrote what looked like some trig identities on a newspaper and I overheard some young-sounding/looking people talking about how much they like books in the bar.

    I had no written tests for my subject. I'm wondering now if I went into enough detail with my answers in the academic interview or if I did enough thinking out loud - I stopped talking once I was told "That's right". I also interrupted one of the interviewers in my general interview as I guessed the rest of the question I was being asked, which is an awful habit and slightly rude. Plus there were lots of questions about my background which I am worried I didn't explain very well and may even have seemed a bit fantastical. Not to mention questions about how I was going to pay for it all.

    Obviously I don't know whether I will receive an offer or not. What I do know is that I wish the decision would arrive sooner. On the plus side, if it did go very badly then I at least am such a poor candidate that I'm not even aware of it thanks to the Dunning-Krugger Effect.

    The admissions statistics show that most offers for my subject are made to people taken from the Winter Pool. Still, it's not as bad as those for architecture, CS, philosophy...
    Congrats on your offer to Wolfson! See you there in October. Are you an international applicant?
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    Is there a 2012 facebook group yet? Phenomenally excited to get to October already...too much to get through between now and then!
 
 
 
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