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  2. Is the Higgs Field the unobserved (quantum field) version of Spacetime mass? The Higgs Boson can still be the particle that assigns the mass variable. I guess this means every variable has its own field? Unless the Higgs Boson holds more data than just mass. Anywhere the Higgs Field equation mentions state or observation it would mean physicality from spacetime. THE PHYSICAL DIVIDE
  3. The Aristotelian concept of "essences" being metaphysical (rather than epistemological) seems applicable.
  4. Yeah; sorry about that. I was already a little bit tipsy. Thanks for not giving me the kind of answer you definitely could have. Sure, it can be text-only, but I wouldn't be comfortable with the kind of emotionalist "average human being" that'd fall for any program sufficiently capable of tugging at their heartstrings. Obviously I'd prefer to be the judge, myself, but the average Objectivist should suffice. Let's not limit the processing power or memory capacity. Well, that's just it. If it was generating any of its own content on-the-fly then it wouldn't be part of today's "chatbot" paradigm (in which absolutely every response is pre-scripted). But even if it could generate its own content on-the-fly, if it had no basis to know what its words REFERRED to (like if it was just a neural net trained to imitate human speakers) then it would still end up saying some equally-bizarre things from time to time; things that could not be explained by the intentions of some bona fide consciousness. How long it'd take for it to make such a mistake isn't really the point. A more sophisticated system would obviously be able to mimick a real person for longer than a more rudimentary one could; all I'm saying is that sooner or later they would ALL show obvious signs of their non-sentience, unless they truly were sentient. Alright; maybe we'll see certain things that could fool MOST people in the short run. That's not really what I was trying to get at (and I do see that I wasn't being very clear about it; sorry). I think the better way to phrase this principle is that any non-sentient system can eventually be shown to be non-sentient by an outside observer (who perhaps has no idea what's going on "under the hood") who's at least somewhat capable of thinking critically. I have to start getting ready for work soon, but maybe it'd help if I showed some examples of what I mean later on?
  5. And presumably this would apply equally to American citizens and foreigners, alike? For instance, if I take a vacation to Cancun then the Mexican government should stop me on the way there and my own government should stop me on the way back (just in case I took up murdering random strangers while I was there)?
  6. Well, yeah. I said I wasn't entirely comfortable with where Binswanger's logic leads, but that is precisely it.
  7. I think that's where "access to criminal records" comes in. If you move from one state to another, it is generally possible for the police in your new state to find out about anything you've been convicted of in the previous one; not necessarily so with Mexico or Uruguay. Of course, this seems to imply that all the data our government currently keeps on every single one of us is proper. I'm not saying whether it is or it isn't (frankly, there have been a number of recently made points I still need to chew on a bit); only that it does seem to be a part of it. Because if it is right for our government to keep tabs on every single one of us (right down to our unique "social security numbers") then it would be wrong to just let people into the country for whom we don't have that information. But I think a case could be made that we shouldn't be keeping such close track of our own citizens, in the first place. I really don't know. But "double standard" probably isn't applicable and "circular" most certainly isn't.
  8. Today
  9. In the April 1964 edition of The Objectivist Newsletter, Ayn Rand published an article called "The Property Status of Airwaves." In it she argues against the idea that radio waves should be public property, and I tend to agree with that basic conclusion. As far as I can tell, the radio waves themselves rightfully belong to the owner of the station broadcasting those waves. Rand, however, makes an important mistake in her argument for that conclusion. She doesn't acknowledge how radio broadcasters infringe on the rights of other property owners. Rand writes: Rand does appear to recognize an important objection to her position: that radio broadcasts use the spaces owned by others. But she doesn't admit that it's a possible violation of rights. Consider that the broadcast station sends out radio waves in all directions. Those waves then travel through the private spaces of every landowner within the range of the broadcast. (A property owner owns the space above his land, sometimes hundreds of feet above it, in the case of skyscrapers.) So Rand is perhaps pre-empting this "unpermitted use" rebuttal by claiming that the medium, or ether, being used on other people's property is "of no practical use or value" to them without the radio station. She therefore denies the property owner's full right to this unidentified medium in his space--on the grounds that he isn't using it. But of course he is using it. He's living in it. The owner should therefore have the right to live in his unidentified medium without being subjected to a constant invasion of radio waves. The broadcast is a potential infringement not only of his land-space rights, but also of his rights as an individual person being constantly penetrated by another's radio waves. Even if such radiation exposure is ultimately proven to be harmless, doesn't the owner of the space have the right to control its use? Rand's error can be seen even more clearly in the example she gives comparing a radio broadcast to a piano concert. She says: First of all, Rand already told us the essential difference between a broadcast and a concert: the type of waves are different. Radio waves don't use the air, sound waves do. But notice the other obvious problem with her analogy: a radio station's broadcast is not contained within the walls of a rented hall or building. To be more accurate, Rand should have considered an open-air venue surrounded by residences, in which case she might have seen the comparable problem of a performer's sound waves intruding on the neighbors' private spaces. In such instances, like with the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, this problem is addressed by local government setting noise curfews and sometimes even regulating objectionable content. (The neighbors of the Greek, for example, once made quite a stink over Snoop Dogg's vulgar rap vocals reaching their children's eardrums.) Failing to appreciate this potential rights violation of sending waves into someone else's private space, Rand instead focuses on attacking the government's position that radio frequencies should be public property; and, in doing so, she unfortunately resorts to denying the existence of public property altogether. She doesn't see how socialists have stolen the concept and repurposed it for violating private property rights. So instead of reclaiming the idea and stripping it of the rights-violating conflation, she entirely forfeits the concept to her enemies. She misidentifies it as a "collectivist fiction," when in reality it's a collectivist conceptual theft. The idea of "public property" depends on the concept of "private property," since the "public" simply refers to private individuals in a social-political group context. Therefore, property claimed by a public group, such as the residents of a city, should not include a violation of private property rights, such as the use of government force to acquire land or property through eminent domain or nationalization. If such rights-violating force is used, then the acquisition is in fact stolen property. Often times a battle will then ensue between the rightful owner and the thief, i.e., the government. And to disguise the theft, the government will slap the "public property" label on whatever they stole. I believe Rand sensed a problem with her argument in this particular article on radio waves. Before republishing it three years later in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, she deleted the section about the "ether/medium" and how it's of no use to anyone but broadcasters. Also, in a couple different lines, she replaced the words "medium" and "ether" with the words "space" and "air" respectively. I think this is strange, given her recognition that radio waves don't use the air, but some "unidentified element in space." Contrary to her "public property is fiction" view, it seems like she actually relies upon the concept to justify a broadcaster's right to use other people's spaces. Unless the medium/space used by radio waves is considered public property, why shouldn't the broadcast be a violation of other people's right to their own spaces? Yet, having explicitly abandoned the concept "public property," Rand has little choice but to utilize fallacious rhetoric to defend her position, in this case colorful ad hominems. I suppose an illiterate share-cropper and a whiskey-brewing hillbilly were the best examples of the public that Rand could imagine. In any case, do their rights depend on their particular abilities to understand radio waves? Would Rand have reversed her position if every member of the public perfectly understood broadcasting? The fact is that when people form a community or society (in our case a city like Los Angeles), these people must agree to share some things which come along with the nature of a properly functioning city. And we have learned, through trial and error, that these things can include publicly claimed lands and spaces. We agree, for example, to use certain lands for public roads. And we accept that certain spaces should be used for public airways. We don't claim that the cars on the roadways are also public property, and we don't claim that the broadcasts on the airways are public property. But we do claim that, since these things use shared lands and spaces, then we the public, the individual residents of the city, have the jointly held right to regulate that usage in a reasonable and democratic fashion. There really is no better way to do it, if we want to have efficient access to physical places across the land, and easy access to information sent through the spaces.
  10. Really? I'm still reading through that last page (and I'm actually more inclined to agree with you about this than with Don Athos) but subjectively feel like considering this a special case??? Citation very much needed, sir.
  11. Yeah but you have argued for banning socialist ideas on the basis that they're objectively dangerous. It was a much stronger case than "we should ban them because they're offensive"; they are actually dangerous ideas. And both cases boil down to "but what if X happens", which is not the proper question to ask. I believe Harry Binswanger already did. And what you outlined is the best argument I've heard so far for having a somewhat-controlled border. I'll have to chew on that while I'm at work today.
  12. But not from writing or selling books about their (truly offensive) ideas, nor teaching it to their own kids (and those of any other consenting adults) nor talking about it online with anyone who's willing to listen. So not only would it do us very little good to ban "public collectivism" on such grounds, it would add that air of mystique to such ideas (I believe it's called the Streisand effect) and in today's culture would be much more likely to get our ideas banned from the public, instead of theirs. Honestly, your defense by the horrors of "what'll happen if enough people start taking them seriously" was so much stronger.
  13. See, that actually seems to be true. If "public property" is a valid conception then something similar to your position certainly would follow (although there would still be the problem of your inappropriate yardstick). So... What do you think of all the arguments Rand made against public property? I mean, as an advocate of "open Objectivism" I'm always willing to entertain the possibility that she was wrong about it; maybe this was something she really screwed up, and now you've found the solution that she hadn't. That's not sarcasm; it's actually how I try to approach this kind of thing. But it would make this whole conversation much easier if you'd address her arguments about it, first, to give the rest of us a clearer picture of where you're actually coming from. Would it help if someone (preferably not me) went and tracked down everything she said about public property?
  14. Alright. First of all you're arguing for the validity of "public property" in a big way. I don't remember all of Ayn Rand's arguments against it off the top of my head, but she's made quite a few and they all apply. For starters: since there is no such thing as "the public", only some number of individual men, it has all the same problems with it as that of the concept of a "public good". Who gets to decide how best to use such public property and by what standard? Now, if you were to mention the Democratic process (as I suspect you probably will) then it wouldn't be too difficult to show how, in practice, this would actually mean pressure-group warfare. In short, everything that's wrong with today's "mixed economy" would also apply to what you're arguing for (since they're both based on the same kind of fallacy). Secondly, you say that "society in general has no claim on private lands", which I would wholeheartedly agree with. That's absolutely right. It also means that if some rancher on the border wanted to hire a truck-full of Mexican (or Columbian or Somalian or whatever) laborers to work his own land -or if someone who owned some land in Minnesota chartered a private plane for the same purpose- then it's none of "society's" business. Right? I do agree that your argument deserves serious consideration (as you mentioned in the other thread). But I don't think it's sturdy enough to survive it. Actually, it does. By defending the rights of immigrants at the borders we are also defending our own rights, inside of them (and several of Binswanger's examples demonstrate precisely how); anyone who defends the rights of one man is defending the rights of all. You are right that it doesn't take much imagination to think of ways in which open immigration could go horrifically wrong. That is true. But the same could be said for every other way in which our government is not allowed to meddle in our private lives. Think of warrantless wiretapping and surveillance. Surely it's important that we allow our government to do the necessary snooping to discover who is or is not an objective threat to everyone else. Not much imagination is needed to think of the terrible things that could happen if we don't allow the government to do that. Not much imagination is needed to think of what could happen without legally mandated insurance (of either the health or automotive varieties), either. You'd probably think it was a straw man if I threw drug prohibition on top of the pile, but it wouldn't be. "What could happen if we allow people to do X" is not the proper yardstick to apply in this situation. And it turns out that pointing that out does, actually, show regard for the lives and property of our citizenry. Because neither really matter without freedom.
  15. Well, here is Binswanger's essay. The main bit that got me was when he pointed out that our government has no right to start bothering random people on a bus or on the street, checking to see that everyone can prove their citizenship somehow. I agree with that: such a policy would be a gross perversion of all the proper procedures for actually protecting individual rights. Well, if we have the right to be free of that anywhere inside of America then presumably anyone trying to cross the border has that same right to be left alone (as long as they aren't obviously carrying bodies or bombs with them). As I've mentioned more than once, I'm not entirely comfortable with the implication that we should just be letting anyone cross in either direction, and trying to take care of the actual threats after-the-fact. But whether I'm comfortable with it or not isn't what's supposed to count here, and his logic does seem pretty solid to me. And yeah; it's completely a procedural question. But as near as I can tell the just procedure would be totally and completely open borders.
  16. I believe that I do understand about probable cause and warrants -- but as to your argument, I agree that I might not understand it very well, because I have found the argument you've presented in this thread to be confused and scattershot. Are you basing your argument in the idea that one may not initiate the use of force, and that a stop at the border is the initiation of the use of force? If so, then I'd refer you to the argument(s) I've made that any proper administration of justice will involve some use of force against those who are potentially innocent, and sometimes later proven to be (and who are factually innocent all the while, and have not initiated the use of force). The existence of a "warrant" -- that whatever action is undertaken with a judge's permission -- does not change this fact. But if a judge's permission or evaluation that some action is reasonable given a set of circumstances makes some difference for us, in the case where some individual's "lawn is bruised," then the border question is perhaps satisfied by the fact that general stops at a border are seemingly allowed by judicial opinion in both the US and UK -- and perhaps everywhere else, as well. Besides which, I have made the case, at length, that a border stop is both "reasonable" and also necessary for the effective administration of law in a world where countries maintain separate jurisdictions, separate repositories of information, and etc. As to all of the rest of it, Eiuol's "aided" versus "unaided" (do glasses count?), "active" versus "passive," etc., etc., I believe it reflects an attempt to justify those things that strike you yourself as reasonable, like examining license plates (even in an "arbitrary" manner) against those things that strike you differently for whatever reason, like facial recognition technology. Yet I don't think these proposed distinctions represent anything real or meaningful with respect to the protection of individual rights. And while I respect the existence of preexisting law and doctrine, and legal opinion, the fact of them does not really settle the question for me of what ought to be, which does rely on our actual arguments and understanding. I'm not so interested in what Lord Snuffbox thought, per se, as I am in the reasons for his position, and comparing them against reality as I understand it.
  17. That's basically god-like power, and I have my doubts that it's even possible, given how many atoms are in a human and the unknown factors. But I would still call such a thing a human. Though I'd want to broaden the concept of "human" to include man-made (versus metaphysically given) humans. Sort of like how we can think of the mythical god-made humans (Adam and Eve) versus nature-made ones (who evolved from chimps).
  18. Origin-of-Life Study Points to Chemical Chimeras, Not RNA Scientists studying how life arose from the primordial soup have been too eager to clean up the clutter. The mind's task is to 'clean up the clutter'. From the early sensory material available, the conceptual mechanism one has is tasked to sort it all out, or 'clean up the clutter'. Is an artificially created E. coli sufficient evidence for the epistemic category of possible? Such RNA-DNA Frankenstein molecules aren’t just convenient inventions pieced together for the sake of the experiment. While no known living microbe or creature has a chimeric genome, one research team has artificially created E. coli that do. And yeast and other microorganisms have been observed to accidentally make such mixtures, though they have enzymatic systems that eliminate such mistakes.
  19. I am way late to this party by Internet standards, but I finally ran across the bizarre story that went viral a couple of months back concerning allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of a Harvard law professor. As a byline in Reason summed it up, a woman and her transexual partner "used sex, activism, and Title IX to scam" him "out of his house, job, and money." Conservatives have rightly noted, some with a heavy helping of schadenfreude, the role of Bruce Hay's ideological orientation in this bizarre tale: It played a big role in making him a near-perfect mark for these grifters. And its implementation as Title IX is continuing his misery via a complaint lodged against him by his erstwhile trans-activist co-author. But it seems like just about everyone is not quite getting that part of the story. Ross Douthat of the New York Times gets the closest to seeing the role of ideas in the story when he notices that people of different political orientations react to it differently: DNA Profiling for Paternity Test (Image by Helixitta, via Wikipedia, license.) The leftward-leaners were more likely to focus on Hay as a uniquely gullible or lust-addled individual, and to draw strictly personal lessons from his disastrous arc. (For instance, to quote the Atlantic's Adam Serwer, that "men need meaningful and supportive friendships with people they are not married to, especially into middle age.") The rightward-leaners, on the other hand, read the story politically, as a vivid allegory for the relationship between the old liberalism and the new -- between a well-meaning liberal establishment that's desperate to act enlightened and a woke progressivism that ruthlessly exploits the establishment's ideological subservience. ("Not only did [Hay] trust Shuman," Bolonik writes, but "he felt it would have been insulting for a heterosexual cisgender man to question a professed lesbian as to whether she'd had sex with other men.") ... By this I mean the heart of polarization is often not a disagreement about the facts of a particular narrative, but about whether that story is somehow representative -- or whether it's just one tale among many in our teeming society, and doesn't stand for anything larger than itself.It may be true, especially in the early stages of this sordid tale, that Hay was lust-driven, but the fact that others fell for the same ruse (See link at "grifters" above.) tells me that Hay probably isn't especially lust-driven. But is he uniquely gullible? That's a good question. And I similarly question the notion that the duo are, respectively, a typical lesbian and a typical transexual, if there even is such a thing. They're nihilistic criminals. But ideas do play a role: How on earth would it be insulting to seek a paternity test when a woman one barely knows is claiming to carry your child? Re-read the second parenthetical quote above, and watch altruism -- in the guise of unearned guilt brought on by identity politics -- act as a mental kill-switch. Forget about Title IX and the fact that this man turned out to be dealing with criminals: Isn't the possibility of a pregnancy a big-enough deal to find out what the hell is really going on? And yet here he is, disarmed by the very ideas he is helping propagate through the culture. The right has a couple of reasons, one bad and one good, to be invested in seeing Maria-Pia Shuman and Mischa Haider as "typical." First, many have mystically-based views of sexual relationships and feel threatened by growing social acceptance of the nontraditional in that realm. Second, identity politics is wrong in many ways, and deserves cultural and political opposition. (It is wrong to confound the two: This story is in no way a vindication of "social conservatism.") Likewise, the left, has a couple of bad reasons to quickly dismiss this story as a one-off. First, there are those who genuinely believe that identity politics (vice individualism) is the path to social and political acceptance. Second, there are the cynical, who wish, say, to oppress heterosexual men or simply want power, and see identity politics as the way to get it. The first see identity politics as above question and the second don't want others questioning it. Both want to see (or have others see) Hay as particularly lusty and gullible, rather than blinded by ideals disconnected from reality or a desire to be seen as morally superior by others. Whatever the case might be for Hays, ideas played a crucial role in his falling for this long con: He disregarded reality in favor either of those ideas or for the sake of appearing to support them. -- CAV Link to Original
  20. If you have probable cause you can get a warrant. If you don't understand this, you have no hope of understanding any argument involving 4A.
  21. Thank you for listening and liking Dream_Weaver, I'm happy you enjoyed the rather eccentric piece.
  22. I'm leaving the possibility open that my recycle idea when multiple polarizers are present ..might be that the unobserved knows that state is changing more then once on its journey. It would know this before releasing anything. The higgs field is a lie, it's just spacetime. Spacetime assignes physicality I'm naming my theory: The Physical Divide Because duality does not include physicality and waves at the same time. All that matters is STATE.
  23. Yesterday
  24. How seriously am I meant to take this? Suppose that an innocent person is suspected of some crime -- such that there is probable cause for his arrest (if you grant that such a thing might sometimes happen, even in an otherwise ideal justice system). There is search, seizure, and incarceration, though the target of all of these has not initiated the use of force. I'd say it is a lawn fairly bruised, but can we design a system without this as an unfortunate sometimes byproduct? Or there is the further question of something like subpoena power over witnesses. If we say that a stop at a border is the bruising of a lawn (and I grant that it is) in the delay of however-so-long it might take, what about the delay incurred when the police make an otherwise justified stop, and traffic snarls behind it? Having a justice system and giving it the necessary power to function as a free society requires does not come cost-free. Some lawns will inevitably be bruised in the process, even as we work to minimize whatever burden innocent citizens might suffer when empowering law enforcement to do their job. For the purpose of the creation of a just society, I think that a crucial distinction must be drawn between bearing the burdens of unjust law versus the burdens of enforcing just law. But even if we were to take "bruised lawns" as the standard, I don't see how a scan qualifies. I don't see what lawn is bruised. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg for the police to have information about my identity or whereabouts. And as for "active" versus "passive," I don't know that such a distinction does us any favors. Is entering a license plate number "active" or "passive"? How much closer does that bring us to resolving the actual issue?
  25. What about a human which was assembled ... not grown from non human DNA, a human assembled atom by atom?
  26. No, but if you grow a human from it, then it'll be part of a human, and hence human DNA. This is an issue of causality. You can't have human DNA without a human to which it belongs. It's not the DNA itself that makes it human DNA. If that were the case, then human DNA existed before humans, which is non-sensical.
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