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  2. Aristotle and the science

    I'm reading Francis Bacon's Novum Organum at the moment, which is very relevant to this. According to Bacon, all of the fundamental concepts of Aristotle's philosophy (like "substance," "quality," and "essence") are unclear, and all of his scientific claims are invalid. The reason for this lack of clarity and invalidity is allegedly that Aristotle did not build his philosophy up from the ground, based on experiments. Instead, Bacon claims that he jumped from a few observations to the widest generalizations, then deduced intermediate conclusions from those widest generalizations. The correct way is to start with very concrete generalizations based on plenty of experiments, then slowly build up from there, until finally you arrive at the widest generalizations. There is a lot of truth in what Bacon says in the book, but as you can see, there's also some anti-philosophy scientism in his reasoning. I don't think Rand built up Objectivism using experiments, so it's not clear how Bacon would view her work.
  3. Aristotle and the science

    It's okay to be an Aristotelian.
  4. Today
  5. Andrea Peyser hits the nail on the head regarding the rapid deterioration of the #MeToo social media campaign from "a necessary mass-rejection of sexual harassment and assault [to] absurdity and irrelevance." Peyser notes the inappropriateness of classifying actual sexual assault with less-serious behavior, as well as how continuing to do so will harm the credibility of actual victims in the future. Image via Wikipedia.[A] chorus of critics is urging [Al] Franken to resign from his seat. But in a preachy New York Times op-ed urging him to step aside, Michelle Goldberg revealed her underlying bias in the third paragraph: "Sure, Franken made plenty of sexist jokes when he was with Saturday Night Live," she wrote, "but I thought he was one of the good guys. (I thought there were good guys.)" No good guys? Come on! And so, the war on sexual offenses has been revealed to be part of a wider feminist War on Men. [links omitted, minor format edits, bold added]The same modern technology that is making it easier to publicize the likes of a Harvey Weinstein is also making it easier to see how the left operates: Find a legitimate (in this case) or legitimate-sounding cause, and take advantage of sloppy thinking on the part of many in the general public to co-opt it. -- CAV Link to Original
  6. Aristotle and the science

    I understand your point, but my topic is: the relationship between Aristotle and science. The point of the controversy being: Has Aristotle essentially favored or retarded science? Or at least many. Common examples given are: The world divided into five elements (fire, water, air, earth, ether) The rejection of the atomistic vision of the world. The division of the world between the terrestrial world and the sublunary world (eternal and undergoing no change) The Earth being motionless. His description of the movement of an object is false (as against Galileo and Newton who get out of his vision). The idea that there is no evolution of the living being.
  7. Aristotle and the science

    "All" ... haven't heard that; but, I have heard about the conclusions he based on very flimsy premises (what an Objectivist might call "rationalism"). On the other hand, he's known to have collected specimens, and attempted classification: which shows a respect for the study of reality. Along with the Renaissance, came a real thrust to the "scientific method" and for experimentation (a move attributed to Francis Bacon in the Anglophone world). Before Galileo became controversial about astronomy, he was doing experiments in physics that were upending long-held beliefs in Physics. Yet, these were beliefs one could upend by an experiment that did not take that long. It indicates that people had not thought of actually experimenting about many things they took for granted. Consider a farmer in the 1500's who always used a particular amount of fertilizer for his vegetables. It is unlikely that he would say to himself: "let me vary this in a small experimental plot and learn from those experiments". (We see "gentlemen farmers" doing this post-Enlightnment). Of course human beings have been "experimenting" even before they were human, as animals do; but that changed to be way more purposeful. Reading about Galileo's controversy with the Church, I got the impression that the fear was not that he was overturning the Bible, as such; but, Aristotle: who had reached his conclusions nationalistically. So, from a certain perspective, one might say that Aristotle was partly responsible for Galileo being rejected and prosecuted. But, I don't buy that argument: it comes from treating Aristotle as scripture. Blame the faith-based epistemology of the church, rather than Aristotle. Imagine that the Wright Brothers had made some conclusions that would be proven true through the propeller age, but were actually false and would be proven false by the jet age. Imagine that this held back the jet age by a decade. Would we blame the Wright brothers for holding back the jet age? We (being ingrates) can criticize them for being wrong, but everyone else who agreed with them is primarily to blame. We should not follow and agree with all a person's ideas just because they have a lot of great ones: be they the Wright brothers, Aristotle, or Ayn Rand.
  8. Have you ever heard this common idea that Aristotle was the enemy of science? That all his conclusions were scientifically erroneous; that his method was not scientific at all; that it was only when, in the Renaissance, we got rid of the thought of Aristotle (with the aristotelician Scholastics) that modern science was finally established? When you hear that, how do you react?
  9. Context matters. No quotes around context are necessary. Look, you can wear a swastika and say that you just think it's a nifty looking symbol. No need to bow to "groupthink" (which probably does deserve those quotation marks). But you're going to be interpreted as communicating something you may not intend, because the context that you've decided doesn't matter both exists and matters, whether you recognize it or not. If we defend Confederate statues and flags on the grounds of their historical significance (or whatever), and help to spread neo-Nazi propaganda on the grounds that the "literal" content of the message is acceptable (willfully ignoring the very context we're discussing, including the reason for the meme's initial propagation), then we can't cry foul when we're lumped together with the alt-right. It's not "non-thinking idiots" who will draw this conclusion, but thinking people who are trying to make sense of foreign belief systems and unfamiliar groups, and who don't necessarily have the time or inclination to personally interview every individual marching at the "it's okay to be white" rally alongside the actual skinheads and KKK. And furthermore, we don't actually want the neo-Nazis to be successful in their efforts, which we know are directed towards ends which are anti-life. We ought not help them, and spreading their memes thus seems contrary to our own social and political ends, whatever other moral exemptions we may wish to claim for ourselves.
  10. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    I had to stop halfway through the new one because he's being ridiculous. Men don't harass and rape women because of testosterone. They do it because they resent women and want to humiliate them. Testosterone makes men horny. Not violent creeps. Harvey Weinstein could have purchased a harem of hookers every night to satisfy his lust. But instead he preyed on defenseless actresses--to indulge his hatred and disgust for the innocent and beautiful.
  11. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Part of the context is the origin and usage of phrases. As far as I can tell IOTBW started in 2000 as a punk song by the skinhead band Aggressive Force. Here is a taste of the lyrics: In 2008 the band's singer, Brian Sawyer, died, and fans vowed to keep his memory alive. Around 2009, the white nationalist Church of Creativity created a flyer campaign called "It's Alright To Be White," with some of the very same white pride messages found in the Aggressive Force song. The church recently updated this flyer after the 4chan campaign to include new contact information. Additionally, five years ago, Aggressive Force fans uploaded a racist video for the song "It's okay to be white." A couple other YouTubers had uploaded the song, including the white nationalist Blood and Honour social group from Canada. Also, in 2014, the popular neo-Nazi forum Stormfront used "It's Alright To Be White" in their advertising. With this etymological and historical context, members of 4chan created the IOTBW real-world flyer and online meme campaign last October, and they began spreading the message around high schools and college campuses worldwide. At first these people posted the flyers anonymously at night. Now there are popular TV and Internet personalities who embrace the statement yet reject any connection to racism. The widespread acceptance or tolerance of this meme among conservatives has created an environment for more aggressive white pride propaganda. Already, less than a month after its mainstreaming, the IOTBW meme is morphing into the WP meme. What's next: WPWW?
  12. On whether the meaning suggests pride: the context of a slogan has consequences for determining its meaning. If I said "I have a standup view of women," I might be praised for virtue signaling, but if I'm Bill Clinton and I say it, perhaps a different meaning is suggested. Context is a part of meaning. So while the phrase itself doesn't suggest pride, when said by a neo-Nazi it does now. And on groupthink, is it true that Objectivist are entirely exempt from this tendency, especially when it comes to pissing "the left" off? Well that's not objective either. Indeed, it's better to identify particular thinkers and particular stated philosophy. Like the alt right and its proponents, the ones who started this campaign: they want to deport all non-whites. Identifying that is a crucial part of examining the ad campaign, ignoring it just sounds like the opposite of rational analysis: a blank-out.
  13. Mona Lisa Smile

    This movie is a periodic favorite of mine. It has a nice tightly packaged interplay between many different, clearly distinct characterizations. Katherine Watson's role, portrayed by Julia Roberts, is a pull no punches approach to individualism throughout. (Several examples provided in the hidden comments.) The examples given are of very tactful responses given during the course of the movie. See it for yourself, if you haven't already. Whether you buy it, rent it, or borrow it . . . it doesn't matter. Just see it.
  14. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    I don't see how it contradicts what Jan Helfeld said. Here is a new video, with unusual topic for him.
  15. Yesterday
  16. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Even if a source of "groupthink" were hijacked, that in itself would not alter a general tendency for "groupthink." A far better course would be to identify the thinkers and gravitate towards the opportunities that offers.
  17. The meme doesn’t necessarily suggest pride. The way to change the “context” of a majority/loudest groupthink is to completely ignore it, cutting it off at its legs with indifference. Imagine if the majority did this instead, would anyone still feel the need to care about the “context”? I suppose it really depends on your purpose. If you’re concerned with changing the minds of non-thinking idiots, I guess it would make sense to care about groupthink. But I doubt your caring is going to make a difference.
  18. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    ...which assumes that reason does not imply experience. You separate them. Okay, I see that it was a bad formulation. Let me go back and try this again. Reason? I agree that reason implies experience. I'm not denying that. I simply don't think one can have an experience of a value which possesses such a quality as "long and happy lifeness." Even if we assumed that we could, values are sought in a series of means and ends, right? So, objectively speaking, only the ultimate value would have that quality of "long and happy lifeness." Lesser values would have only bits and pieces of the ultimate value. For example, a single piece of fruit doesn't sustain you for a long lifetime, but it does sustain you for a brief time. And the same could be said for items that make you happy. Do you get a lifetime's worth of happiness from your first kiss back in grade school?
  19. The Law of Identity

    Viva soi-disants Heracliteans! Thanks to them I am now a self-confirmed alcoholic Eskimo ladyboy.
  20. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    The Nazis are absolutely winning this meme campaign. You can't fight IOTBW by accepting it and then claiming it means the opposite of what it actually says. Words have definitions. The meme has everything to do with skin color mattering. That is the whole point of it. The phrase does not imply anything about character or morality, except that you should take some pride in being white, and you should not feel bad about it. The Nazis don't care what justification you use for embracing the message, as long as you embrace it. I still have not seen any news organization trace the meme to any group prior to 4chan. Perhaps they don't want to talk about the Church of Creativity or the band Aggressive Force. Perhaps they buy the idea that the pranksters at 4chan coincidentally arrived at the same exact meme as Nazis and are having a bit of a laugh at the Left's expense. This is unfortunate, because it's not the whole story, or even the most important one. This story is about indoctrinating people with the idea that white folk are crashing the racial politics street party, and they're coming for their slice of the protest pie. What is the opposite of being ashamed of your race? Tucker Carlson gets it.
  21. The Law of Identity

    Whatever the merits of the wider point here, the participants show a shaky understanding of Heraclitus. He lived and wrote before philosophy had the sophistication to express a notion such as the law of identity. What people nowadays think are his positions are actually the work of soi-disants Heracliteans of later generations. Aristotle distinguishes between the historical Heraclitus and "Heracliteanism" a couple of places in the Metaphysics: - For it's impossible for one and the same both to be and not to be, as some think Heraclitus said (IV 3, 1005b23); - Further, seeing that nature is in motion, they all thought that of what changes nothing can be said truly and that what is always changing in every respect does not admit of the truth. From this supposition grew the most extreme of the foregoing views, namely the view of those who claim to Heraclitize, such as Cratylus, who in the end thought nothing could be said, but only moved his finger and criticized Heraclitus for saying that there's no stepping into the same river twice; he [Cratylus] didn't think we could even do it once. (IV 5, 1010a6) (emphasis added) though not always: 1012a24, 34, 1062a32, 1063b24. When I studied H. I hit on a reading that I was later flattered to hear from Julius Moravcsik, a famous academic. He observed diversity and change in the world and yet wanted to find some way to see it at once and to pronounce stable truths about it. That is to say, ,he was struggling to identify conceptual thought, but nobody could grasp this until Plato came along. The nearest Heraclitus could get was simultaneous perceptual awareness of everything, in the mind of god. Thus he was like the man in Anthem, struggling to identify the first-person singular, but he never quite got there.
  22. The Law of Identity

    Some males today are asserting their right to "pee" in a woman's bathroom! A=A, you can't escape from reality even if a social contstruct negates the obvious! I see these kinds of things as the Left's attempt to blur the lines of morality as Hillary did in the last election which is a "textbook" Marxist agenda. Me? I am a self-confirmed radical Objectivist.
  23. Saw this picked up by the lamestream media today. There are plenty of divides within the Objectivist community regarding race and racism, as this thread has made clear, but with respect to this particular meme, I believe it is possible to bridge the divide by recognizing that communication (as all else) takes place within a context. Truth-telling, being a type of communication, does too. While it may be true that "Anne Frank is hiding upstairs in the attic," proclaiming this truth may not be moral in every conceivable circumstance. The context matters. And while it is certainly true that "it is okay to be white" (in the sense that skin color does not matter to one's character or morality), if the context is that this is a meme being propagated by neo-Nazis for the purpose of furthering their agenda, then the specific decision to participate in that meme ought to take that context into account.
  24. What are you listening at the moment?

    Disturbed—The Sound Of Silence
  25. As I scrolled through Digg's Long Reads this morning, I discovered this assessment of how the inter-connectivity of the internet with other technologies compared with: After a bad day at work, you return home to find a turnip, some lettuce, and a desultory chicken breast. That problem was the basic premise of the British cooking show Ready Steady Cook: Members of the public would throw together bags of groceries for a few pounds, and chefs would then make a serviceable meal out of these ingredients. This premise lasted 16 years and 1,895 episodes. Beyond their knife skills, what the chefs on Ready Steady Cook really offer is improvisational intelligence: the ability to come up with solutions to new problems on the spot. I found the title of this Torontonian highly caffeinated inspired article on several different levels. One of these levels is of the domino effect featured in several movies, such as Pixtar's Robots, and Warner Bros' Collateral Beauty. Then there's the tie-in to pizza, cascading quickly from Pizza Hut to the Domino chain. On yet a different level, is this excerpt featured as an excerpt in and from the article here: These interfaces appropriate both experience and effort, repurposing unseen human labor as machine magic. No one is working for you, only empowering you to make your own decisions [Bold mine.] The Domino Effect is by-lined as How machine logic infects our tastes. I'm not so sure that infects is the best verb to utilize as such, especially if you consider the machine as the frozen form of a living intelligence. (paraphrased from Galt's Speech.)
  26. Properly understood, Objectivism is not a manual for what to think, it is an introductory primer for how to do so.

  27. A Complex Standard of Value

    Yeah, that sounds like something. I'll look into it. Too bad I'm not a very visual thinker or else I might invent some charts of my own. Maybe balance is the virtue that integrates three simple standards into one complex one. The balancing act would be similar but not the same for everyone, because people have different lives with different values.
  28. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    Because you said : ...which assumes that reason does not imply experience. You separate them.
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