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  2. William Hobba

    Global Warming

    As I quoted: 'We typically think of farts as being the culprit, but belches are actually the primary source of cattle-produced methane, accounting for 95 per cent of the problematic greenhouse gas. So Belching does account for 95% of the emissions. And the second link showed the original amount of 18% in the first link was now thought to be lower than the real amount by 11% giving the 20%. You said: 'What I said above, in a nutshell, is this: pasture that is managed according to regenerative principles sequesters more carbon in the soil than a typical temperate climate forest (like the ones in Europe, most of North America, and most of Asia).' The link I gave seemed to cast some doubt on that here in Aus: 'The NSW Department of Primary Industry has compared soil organic carbon under perennial pasture in high rainfall areas in the mid-north coast of NSW to native hardwood forests within a 100km radius. They found that for the high-rainfall areas studied, there was no significant difference between soil organic carbon in the pastures and native forests at 20 centimetres depth, with an average storage of 72.9 tonnes per hectare in the pasture versus 76.5 tonnes per hectare in the native forest site' Of course you are free to argue otherwise - but I do not get how this does not, at least, need further clarification on your part to support your claim. You have done that - pointing out you said properly manged pasture - and that's fine - I don't know if its true or not as I am not knowledgeable in the area but will accept it until I come across evidence to the contrary. As to the rest of the stuff - of course I read what links I post. Although I am prone to go off on tangents such as my comments on Feynman and Dyson. Guilty as charged on that one. I suspect however we are on different wavelengths in how we engage in discourse. All that you needed to say was something like - interesting Bill - but I was referring to properly manged pasture where the situation is different. I engage in a lot of scientific discussion over on Physics Forums and I find your approach somewhat different to what I am used to. So please bear with me and I will try to get a feel for the style on this forum and post more in line with that. Thanks Bill
  3. human_murda

    Veganism under Objectivism

    And need is a sanction to violate others' rights?
  4. Interesting, I had not made the connection between "arbitrary" and anything is possible. (now that you mention it, it's embarrassingly obvious) So that is at the heart of it. It is what the whole exercise it all about. We are beings that need to know "the possible" to survive. We are like hungry mouths, waiting to be nourished by "the possible", and sometimes we take in a trash/poison/virus that is "the arbitrary" that looks like food. The arbitrary misguides us when we miscategorized it as possible, it will take us well ... to the arbitrary. (sometimes the impossible, after all, it's arbitrary) And Objectivism is saying that it does not have to be that way. In fact, it should not be that way. The defense/disinfection starts with "I can know the difference". Sad to note that they refuse the healing respect we provide when they reject it with "who am I to know?"
  5. Yesterday
  6. I noted the dualism on my reading. I found it arbitrary at worst and a complete violation of Rand's Razor at best.
  7. StrictlyLogical

    "How do I know I'm not in the matrix?"

    Heh your conclusory remarks remind me of a physicist - lawyer friend who cannot (actually will not) give up the idea that "anything is possible". He does not have a good grasp on the arbitrary and takes almost anything stated as "possible"... he is unaware that he really means "who am I to know?" Generally the ideas of "possible" "probable" "certain" as well as "evidence" and "knowledge" and "claiming a positive" are widely misconstrued... Personally I blame the tendendancy toward Rationalism (ideas over reality) for these and most errors in philosophy.
  8. Nicky

    Global Warming

    I wasn't being pedantic, and differentiating between belching and farting. You can call all of it flatulence, it's fine. The article doesn't claim that gases farted out and belched out by cows add up to 20%. It claims that the livestock industry, with everything they do, is responsible for 20% of global warming. They include things like the destruction of sea ecosystems due to fertilizer runoff, desertification, etc., etc. Cow flatulence, belching, and whatever else cows do is a tiny portion of that. I'm beginning to suspect that you don't read the posts you're responding to... or the articles you're linking to. What I said above, in a nutshell, is this: pasture that is managed according to regenerative principles sequesters more carbon in the soil than a typical temperate climate forest (like the ones in Europe, most of North America, and most of Asia). Meanwhile, your article compares rain forests and massive eucalyptus forests to semi-arid grassland it specifically says is "little grazed" (and, not mentioned in the article, they regularly burn down, which ensures that all the above ground carbon is released right back into the atmosphere). P.S. Regenerative farming isn't about replacing forest with grassland, so I hope I didn't give that impression. Plant diversity is a fundamental principle of regenerative farming, so regenerative ranchers do often grow trees, not just grass, on their pastures (that's called a silvopasture...sometimes it makes economic sense, sometimes it doesn't...when it doesn't, grassland by itself also acts as a net carbon sink, so it should be fine from an "environmentalist" perspective).
  9. The abstract says: "How We Know is intended as a summary (and a modest extension) of Objectivist epistemology. Binswanger's treatment of a wide range of epistemological issues is examined. Because his theory of propositions is inadequate and his philosophy of mind is an extreme form of dualism, Binswanger has added little to previous efforts by "official" Objectivists. As a work of epistemology in the broad sense, Binswanger's effort is fatally impaired. It is undone by his bifurcation between consciousness and the physics of the brain, which, if accepted, would largely deprive psychology and even computer science of their subject matter." I definitely need to read this review. Thanks.
  10. . There is a stimulating substantive review of Harry Binswanger's How We Know in the July 2018 issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. The review is 41 pages. The author is Robert L. Campbell, and he brings to this artful engagement wide acquaintance with the theoretical philosophy of Ayn Rand as well as his knowledge of pertinent cognitive psychology, which is his profession. http://www.aynrandstudies.com/Subscriptions.html
  11. Okay, agreed. What I was fixated on is the issue of "they are to be ignored". That is why I could not understand an "arbitrary concept". If I have an arbitrary concept in my mind, it is too late to ignore (I can only categorize it differently as unimportant). I can only ignore a concept in transit, from someone to me. That is why I could not accept it. Okay, I can see that we can use "arbitrary concept" as a concept with no evidentiary basis too. I want to be able to easily identify what should be ignored. I also want to be able to explain to the other person that they in a sense don't have right to expect it to be incorporated in my knowledge. So, it is clear that "imaginability" will not help in identifying it. Similarly, I see that "ridiculousness" also, does not help. So what I am left with is becoming clear about how evidence (or adequate evidence) is easily identified. The guy says "we are in a matrix". I am to ask, "what is the evidence". If he says, "I just know" (then he has an arbitrary concept in his mind, and he is arbitrarily stating it") The issue of "they think they are entitled to NOT give evidence" is fascinating. The idea of looking for that in the other person is brand new to me. Also, that attitude is a hard nut to break. I can just see myself saying "You are making an arbitrary statement, I have every right to ignore you". BOOM! (in my face)
  12. DavidOdden

    Veganism under Objectivism

    Some of the stuff kids search for on Easter is not based on animals, so yes they could have milk-free chocolate, although it may be that a given vegan parent hates fun; or maybe they make special treats out of tofu. Breastfeeding yes, and that can be a problem since vegan breastmilk is defective unless the mother takes dietary supplements. It's all about cows and their free will: a cow cannot volunteer to give milk.
  13. It's not clear that this is a sufficiently significant distinction. The cases have in common that in the first instance you yourself accept an assertion without evidence, and in the latter case you present an assertion with the the intent that others accept it without evidence. You can always subdivide any concept into different types, for example "arbitrary, with respect to moral principles" versus "arbitrary, with respect to epistemological principles", but why would you? A hammer used to drive a nail is a hammer, as is one used to smash a window. Is there a useful reason to subdivide the concept "arbitrary" into "with respect to one's own knowledge" versus "with respect to the knowledge of others"?
  14. I would be inclined to distinguish between an arbitrarily formed concept and a floating abstraction, because a floating abstraction can be a perfectly valid concept in some cases. For example, the concept "justice" is a floating abstraction in most people's minds, but it is valid in fact. Almost any concept can be a floating abstraction - the term floating abstraction just means it hasn't been grounded in facts in a particular person's mind, not that it's formed out of thin air.
  15. If a concept is a floating abstraction, any statement that makes use of it is necessarily arbitrary. More generally, once you use the arbitrary in any purported process of reasoning, all of the products of your reasoning from that arbitrary are arbitrary. Or, to put it simply: Once you just make up stuff, everything you base on that stuff is just made up too.
  16. You can, if you wish, call a floating abstraction an arbitrary concept, without doing violence to either term. "Arbitrary" in the epistemological sense means, basically, "I just made it up", and can reasonably be applied to concepts as well as statements. But the standard vocabulary is "floating abstraction" and there is no strong reason to confuse matters by saying "arbitrary concept" instead. It's not "no connection", which is an impossibility. Everything you are conscious of, including floating abstractions, reflects some aspect of reality; otherwise, you could not be conscious of it. What makes a statement non-arbitrary or a concept not a floating abstraction is that you followed a rational (but not necessarily correct) process to arrive at it.That process constitutes the connection to reality that makes something non-arbitrary.
  17. Yitzhak Finnegan

    Veganism under Objectivism

    Inquiry: Do Vegans breastfeed? Or join in the hunt for Easter Eggs?
  18. That's a different kind of "arbitrary" than I've been talking about. One might distinguish them as "epistemological" and "rhetorical" arbitrary. The former indicates statements that an individual has not related to his context of knowledge; the latter to statements that others insist one must accept without examination. This illustrates my point. There is a species of leftists who simply assume that there is such a thing as global warming and demand that others do too. That's one kind of arbitrary, and one may safely ignore their demand. On the other hand, it is a perfectly legitimate physics question to ask whether the total energy in the biosphere is changing, and even to use "global warming" to refer to an increase in that energy. There is, after all, some evidence that this total is increasing, so this sense of "global warming" is not arbitrary.
  19. Unless you're talking fictive imagination, you can't say that an arbitrary statement is imaginable or unimaginable. Either way, doing so is a category mistake. To repeat myself: Until you've related a statement to your context of knowledge, the only legitimate reasoning you can do in relationship to it is to try to form that relationship.
  20. Only in a fictive sense --- and in that sense, so also is a tree winning a marathon.
  21. William Hobba

    Global Warming

    No - eg Dyson has his credibility of course. So does Gell-Mann, but he has a different view. He says correctly the trend has a component that is random, cyclical caused by things like sunspot activity, and the actual warming caused by the emissions. It exasperates him people do not get this. He didn't say so but you get the impression until people understand this, and scientists know better how much each will contribute, why are we arguing it? But he does think the emissions will eventually predominate - but when - your guess is as good as mine - and the effect - Dyson thinks it could be good. I could have his view wrong - but that seems to be his gist. Another view in the myriad that is promulgated. Contrast it to what Dyson says. Interesting inst it. Feynman had great credibility with the public for being a no nonsense type guy as well as an extremely good explainer of complex subjects. But he was so good people thought they understood it perfectly well when they attended a lecture of his but after couldn't, for some reason remember exactly what he said. In some ways he was somewhat of a paradox. Thanks Bill
  22. StrictlyLogical

    "How do I know I'm not in the matrix?"

    Back to concretes, do you think seriously religious people have a concept of an omniscient omnipotent God? You can call it an invalid concept but you cannot deny the concept altogether. As for the "arbitrariness" of a statement or a concept, it means that it has no basis in evidence. That a statement IS arbitrary does mean it's letters and words and syntax are random shifting or chaotic , it has identity as a statement. It was formed absent any evidence and an arbitrary concept is an invalid concept formed without an evidentiary basis ... evasion helps...
  23. softwareNerd

    Global Warming

    My assumptions are: that the counter-arguments to to most dire predictions are all out there, and that these key arguments have been made, not just by groups with a mission against the AGW voices, but by scholars who are credible and who are generally respected in traditional academia If so, a Feyman would bring additional credibility, but probably no new counter-argument. Do you think the case he would bring has not been figured out? Or that it has not been made effectively? Or that it has not been made by someone with his credibility?
  24. William Hobba

    Global Warming

    True - but one can live in hope. He certainly did in the Challenger disaster - but doing it again - that's a tough one. Reading the interview with his good friend Dyson what was one of the comments made - what has Dyson done - you just want to cry. Interesting story about that. One of his most famous contributions was showing Feynman diagrams and Schwinger's approach to QED were equivalent. Its famously known Dyson never got a PhD - he doesn't believe in that system. Of course with his published accomplishments he could apply for and easily get the higher award of DSc, but never bothered. Anyway while lecturing on his findings, Feynman, who being a friend of Dyson, already knew it, sat at the back of the lecture hall cracking up everyone near him with jokes. At the end of it he said - Your'e in Doc. It is suspected by some he would also have loved never to have had a PhD because he would have got a great kick in saying - I don't have a PhD and even I know that. That's just how he was - his basic view of what he thought was rubbish was I am just a kid from Far Rockaway that has seen through your city slicker ways. It grated on people like Gell-Mann after a while - part of it was creating these stories about himself like making a big deal of having to wear a tie at the Caltech restaurant despite wearing a tie to work most days - he thought it utter pomposity - but its just who he was. Thanks Bill
  25. softwareNerd

    Global Warming

    Yes, but it isn't clear if someone like him would make a difference to general public-opinion on the topic today.
  26. Unfortunately, it is not the first time. I think I could identify when a person makes an arbitrary statement, "they have no basis in what they are saying". But when I hear a "concept" within my mind, I can't imagine anything purposefully having no basis. That is as succinct as I can make it. We can let it go.
  27. StrictlyLogical

    "How do I know I'm not in the matrix?"

    I'm not sure what to make of any of that... my specific questions were completely ignored and I have no idea why. and the rambling "answer" seems ... i just can't make any sense of it... I thought we were making progress and reaching a sort of common understanding then ... ish de triddle de gloop gloop... we are no longer having the same conversation.
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