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4 points
"Coming out"
Boydstun and 3 others reacted to thenelli01 for a post in a topic
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses and new insights. I appreciate them all as they gave me a strong conviction that it was necessary and important to do now, not *sometime* in the future. I took them out for dinner last night and told them. My mom started crying lol, which is actually I think part of what I was dreading (this is what I meant by dramatic, but it was kind of funny and endearing at the same time). I fought through all the discomfort and kept a clear head on the objective  I allowed them to say what they wanted without objection and thanked them for always supporting me and loving me. I feel pretty good as now I feel I can finally have a more authentic relationship with myself and the rest of the world. I think not telling my parents is what sort of kept me from really reaching my potential as I was always hesitant to be open about myself as it might get back to them. This was a weird psychological hurdle for me. Anyways, I feel more free and excited about what is to come. Thanks again. š 
2 points
Reactions Should be Infinite
MisterSwig and one other reacted to Harrison Danneskjold for a post in a topic
Why do you limit my reactions, developers? Who is to say how many "lols" or "hearts" I may have in one day? And by what right?! 
2 points
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
Harrison Danneskjold and one other reacted to StrictlyLogical for a post in a topic
Now that "Dishonest Jose" is gone, here is a little script with "Honest Joe"... Here, HonestJoe, although he made errors in the past, is intellectually honest and actually willing to think. SL: Suppose I say Rand is correct that in reality "contradictions are impossible" (1) AND Rand is incorrect that in reality "contradictions are impossible" (2). Is there anything wrong with that? HonestJoe: Well first, I understand what you have said, but it is nonsensical. That's what is wrong with it. You are saying one thing and then another thing which is its opposite. You cant say A and notA. SL: Well I can say it, and I have. So what is wrong with what I did say? HonestJoe: The sentence opposes itself... therefore it doesn't mean anything. SL: The parts (1) and (2) in the sentence each refer to something in reality. If both CAN be true at the same then the sentence is NOT meaningless, it simultaneously identifies those two truths. It opposes itself... but it must in order to reflect reality... HonestJoe: Well, they CANT both be true in reality. They are exact opposites, either Rand was wrong or Rand was right about the issue.... not both. Those two parts of the sentence are not identifying two separate things about the universe they are saying the opposite about a single thing, Rand's correctness. SL: OK. Why can't a single thing be at once two opposites in reality? Why can't "Rand correctness" at once be two opposites at the same time and in the same respect? HonestJoe: But that would be nonsense... that would mean "Rand's correctness" in reality would be A and notA at the same time and in the same respect. It's either A or notA, not both. Both would be nonsense... Rand cannot in reality be correct and incorrect at the same time and in the same respect ... that would be a contradiction. SL: So, who says contradictions can't exist in reality? Who?.... 
2 points
How Best to Attack Ayn Randās System
Harrison Danneskjold and one other reacted to dream_weaver for a post in a topic
* * * * * Split off thread  Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction * * * * * 
2 points
Life as a pattern
Harrison Danneskjold and one other reacted to DavidOdden for a post in a topic
The relationship between brain or DNA and āpatternā is not āis aā. A brain is an organ composed primarily of neurons and secondarily of glial cells, and it has the potential to do certain things, at least when attached to a living being. DNA is a molecule with a particular structure, just as sucrose is a molecule with a particular structure. DNA likewise has the potential to do certain things, and that potential is less tied to the organism being alive. In comparing your definitions to Randās, I notice that Randās are very focused and minimalist: they concisely say what the essential characteristics of ālifeā are. Your definitions say much more, which is a disadvantage. The purpose of a definition is to reduce the difference between two sets of referents to be distinguished, and befitting its cognitive function, it should be a minimal statement of what makes life distinct from anything else. A definition is not a catalogue of all or most knowledge about an existent. You expand Randās definition of life to include having āthe ultimate purpose of flourishmentā. Why should this be part of the definition? What, indeed, is flourishment? What necessitates this complication of the definition of life? We can still reach conclusions about rational goals and flurishing even if we donāt complicate the definition of life ā see various works of Tara Smith on the topic, who adheres to the classical definition of life. 
1 point
Showcase your art!
nakulanb reacted to RomanticRealism for a post in a topic
Here is my latest painting, Woman Wrapped In Silk. 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
StrictlyLogical reacted to dream_weaver for a post in a topic
A conspiracy without leader, indeed. 
1 pointFor these and other reasons, strong institutions are established where the individuals involved identify the interests and the aims of the institution as their own. Think, for instance, of a soldier who takes up a rifle in the hope of establishing the independence of his people after a long history of persecution. Such individuals do not need to be coerced to fight, or to be well compensated for their services. The fact that they are fighting for the benefit of their people is enough for them to be willing to throw their lives into the balance for the sake of a collective such as a tribe or a nation, stirring up an ardor in their breasts that moves them to acts of bravery and selfsacrifice that no intimidation or promise of pay could elicit. (p. 63) Human beings constantly desire and actively pursue the health and prosperity of the family, clan, tribe, or nation to which they are tied by bonds of mutual loyalty: We have an intense need to seek the material success of the collective. We work to strengthen its internal integrity by ensuring that its members are loyal to one another in adversity, honor their elders and leaders, and conduct the inevitable competitions among them peaceably. And we toil to hand down the cultural inheritance of the collective, its language and religion, its laws and traditions, its historical perspective, and the unique manner in which it understands the world, to a new generation. (p. 74). His extension of self is one where the collective (the nation) is more important than the individual. It is altruistic in the Randian sense. I agree that it is utopian, but not through and through dangerous and bad; some classical liberal theory is essential to Rand (in particular a lot of concern for individual rights). Let's make it more accurate: collectivism is essential to Hazony's theory, where the stability of the nation requires collectivism.

1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to MisterSwig for a post in a topic
No, because Objectivism recognizes context. It only applies when there are no contradictions. When a contradiction happens, Objectivism doesn't apply to that reality. Both statements are temporary. They are true only for as long as they accurately describe reality. Do you see now how Rand was right? 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
StrictlyLogical reacted to dream_weaver for a post in a topic
I'm going to need more popcorn. And I should also add a note of thanks, Jose, for your help demonstrating just how well philosophy works. 
1 point
Math and reality
StrictlyLogical reacted to merjet for a post in a topic
I finished reading Knappās book, Mathematics is About the World. I rate it 5 stars, but with some room for improvement. Knapp barely mentions arithmetic and counting. More about arithmetic would strengthen his thesis that mathematics is about the world. The positive integers used for counting (and zero) form the foundation for the real numbers. Understanding addition and subtraction of fractions call upon the important concepts of unit and transformation, which he does use extensively for different topics ā measuring and vector spaces. As an aside, as I have already indicated, mathematics is also about the way we think about the world. Mathematicians āextrapolateā concepts beyond perceptual reality. Examples are complex numbers and matrices with more than 3 dimensions. 
1 point
Math and reality
dream_weaver reacted to StrictlyLogical for a post in a topic
I studied set theory in university. I studied group theory and quantum field theory for masters. Iāve studied chaos theory and fractal dimension in my spare time and Iāve read the Emperorās New Mind, Metamagical Themas, Godel Escher Bach... why is it I have the deepest conviction that although most of these are interesting and useful they are no where nearly as profound and real an intellectual achievement as grasping Objectivism... many years later? I have great respect for so much of what iI learned in academia and I did quite well but I truly am of the belief, and sometimes it shocks me to think it... after a BSc, and an MSc, (and a professional degree which I will not divulge) ... after all of that... I still did not know how to truly think snd know until Rand and Peikoff. I hate to say it but when I hear of successor functions and when I browse a chapter entitled āBuilding the real numbersā ... from my old set theory text... I canāt help but think something is wrong... and wonder what mathematics could have become if based on Objective philosophy. 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to dream_weaver for a post in a topic
The location of a recent, if not a currently existing Contradiction Dance, in Washington DC of all places. Could they be looking for an instructor with demonstrable experience? 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to MisterSwig for a post in a topic
Rand was right, but she ain't right no more, because: 1. She's dead and 2. Contradictions only became possible after her death. Do I win a prize? 
1 point
Math and reality
StrictlyLogical reacted to GrandMinnow for a post in a topic
Mathematicians, and different mathematicians, mean different things depending on context. The context is either stated explicitly or reasonably gleaned per a given book or article. So, just to narrow down, let's look at just two of the different contexts. (They are different but they support each other anyway.) To avoid getting too complicated for the purposes of brief posting, I'll give only a sketch, leaving out a lot of details, and not explain every concept (such as 'free variable') and taking some liberties with the notation and concepts, and for ease of reading, I won't always include quote marks to distinguish mention as opposed to use. (So this is not as accurate as a more authoritative treatment). So two contexts: (1) General, informal (or informal mixed with formal) discussion in mathematics about natural numbers. (2) Formal first order Peano arithmetic [I'll just call it 'PA' here]. (1) In general mathematics, we might taken commutativity of addition to be obvious and thus a given. Or one might say: "Okay, I'm going to state some truths about natural numbers from which I can prove a whole bunch of other truths, even though they're obvious anyway. The truths about addition I want to mention are: 0 added to any number is just that number. In symbols: x+0 = 0. The sum of a number and the successor of another (or same) number is just the successor of the sum of the number and the other number. In symbols: x+Sy = S(x+y), or, put another way (where 'S' is defined as '+1'), x+(y+1) = (x+y)+1. The induction rule. Now, with those three truths, one of the many truths I can prove, without assuming anything about natural numbers or what they are, other than those three truths, is the commutativity of addition. In whatever way you conceive the natural numbers, as long that conception includes those three truths I just mentioned, then the commutativity of addition is proven true." Notice that we can't do this with the real numbers, because the induction rule does not work for the real numbers. So, for real numbers, we would take commutativity as an axiom (or in set theory, we would prove commutativity from the properties of the real numbers as they are set theoretically "constructed"). (2) PA, as a system, has a formal first order language, with the primitive logical symbols (including '=' as a logical symbol) and certain primitive nonlogical symbols. The logical symbols are: Infinitely many variables: x, y, etc. > (interpreted as the material conditional) ~ (interpreted as negation) and, from '>' and '~' we can define: & (interpreted as conjunction) v (interpreted as inclusive disjunction) A (so that, where P(x) is any formula with 'x' occurring free, AxP is always interpreted as "for all x, P(x)") and, from 'A' and '~' we can define: E (so that ExP(x) is always interpreted as "there is an x such that P(x)") The nonlogical symbols are : 0 S + * We define S(0) =1 S(1) = 2 etc. When the language is interpreted: '0' is assigned to a particular member of the domain of the interpretation; 'S' is assigned to a 1place function (operation) on the domain, '+' and '*' are each assigned to 2place functions on the domain. With the "intended" ("standard") interpretation: the domain is the set of natural numbers, '0' is assigned to the number zero, 'S' is assigned to the successor operation, and '+' and '*' are assigned to the addition and multiplication operations respectively. And, since '=' is a logical primitive, we assign it to the identity (equality) relation on the domain. So for any interpretation (such that each variable, in its role as a free variable, is assigned to some member of the domain): x+y is assigned to the value of the '+' operation applied to the ordered pair: <the assigned value of x, the assigned value of y>. And x+y = y+x holds in the interpretation if and only if the value of x+y is identical with (is equal to) the value of y+x. So, to answer your question, in the syntax of the formal system itself, nothing is assumed as to what 'x' and 'y' stand for. But with a formal interpretation of the system, 'x', as a free variable stands for some member of the domain and 'y', as a free variable, stands for some member of the domain. And with the standard interpretation, the domain is the set of natural numbers. However, often we tacitly understand that when formulas such as x+y = y+x are asserted, we take that assertion to be the universal closure: AxAy x+y = y+x (abbreviated Axy x+y = y+x) And so, with the standard interpretation, that asserts that addition is commutative. And we prove it from the PA axioms (we only need the three I mentioned in a previous post, which correspond to the three truths I mentioned in this post). 
1 point
Rucka Rucka Ali
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to MisterSwig for a post in a topic
Looking at Rucka's latest offering, "Flat Earth Song (Not Round)," this is one that contains the type of swearing that, at first blush, appeared gratuitous to me. It is a parody of "Better Now" by Post Malone. I don't follow Post Malone, so I was not familiar with his story or music before hearing the Rucka song. You can watch the music video here: The visual elements focus on Post Malone performing the song and hanging out. They have little or nothing to do with the lyrics, which relate his (or his character's) thoughts on a failed romantic relationship. The general idea, repeated in the chorus, is that both of them claim to be better after the breakup, but only because they aren't around each other anymore. However, Malone seems to be fooling himself, "because no matter how [his] life has changed, [he] keeps on looking back on better days." I suggest reading the full lyrics here. Now watch Rucka's parody. His character is a flatearther who tells the story of how he rejected the roundearth model and became an ostracized street bum. Rucka appears to be drawing a parallel between Post Malone being dumped by his girlfriend and the flatearther being dumped by society. The line "you dindu anything, they made up everything" is society sarcastically mocking the flatearther's failure to take responsibility for his own social situation, which resembles Malone's seeming failure to take responsibility for losing the "love of his life." Malone repeatedly says, for example, that he "never meant to let [her] down." Oh, really? The closest he gets to the truth is when he says "everything came second to the Benzo," which apparently refers to Malone's admitted history with drugs for anxiety. But that subject is a mere one line in the first verse, and it's quickly forgotten and drowned out by the mantralike chorus. Rucka's parody takes this lack of personal responsibility in one relationship and applies it to one person's relationship with the entire planet, represented by society rejecting the flatearther. As for the instances where Rucka uses "shit" and "fuck" in the lyrics, it might be that he's imitating Malone, who also has a bit of a potty mouth, or it might be that his flatearther must be vulgar to match the ideas and character, or maybe Rucka ran out of more meaningful words to use. I'm not sure, but he does appear to be mocking Malone's style in other ways. For example, he utilizes some slang and ungrammatical sentence construction. So I would guess that the cursing, in this case, is motivated by parodical imitation. 
1 point
Math and reality
StrictlyLogical reacted to GrandMinnow for a post in a topic
Some topics that have been mentioned: (1) MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION on NATURAL NUMBERS Induction [by 'induction' in such contexts, I mean mathematical induction] is ordinarily used in these contexts: * Proofs from the axioms of Peano arithmetic [by 'Peano arithmetic' I mean first order Peano arithmetic] in which induction is an axiom. Induction is needed because there are many things you can't prove about natural numbers from the Peano axioms without the induction axiom. * Proofs from the axioms of set theory in which there is the set of all and only the natural numbers and that set admits induction. Induction is used because it is the induction property of the natural numbers that permits many of the proofs about natural numbers. * Proofs historically before Peano arithmetic or set theory. (But such proofs can be put in Peano arithmetic or set theory retroactively.) * Proofs in general mathematics in instances where Peano arithmetic or set theory are not necessarily explicitly mentioned. (But said mathematics can be formulated in Peano arithmetic or set theory.) And none of this stems from any supposed need to avoid "derailment" from infinite cardinals or ordinal addition. (2) USE/MENTION There is a distinction between a) symbols, or sequences of symbols that are terms, to stand for objects or range as a variables over objects and b) the objects that are symbolized. Single quote marks indicate that a linguistic object  a symbol or sequence of symbols  is referred to. (Actually, more exactly, for sequences we would use a concatenation marker, but that is too pedantic for this discussion.) '2' is a symbol (a linguistic object), it is not a number. However, 2 is a number. But this has really nothing to do with stating the commutativity of addition. (3) IDENTITY x = y means x and y are the same object. So '=' stands for the identity (equality) relation. If T and S are terms, then T = S means that T and S both name the same object. Equivalence was mentioned. The identity relation is an equivalence relation, but there are equivalence relations other than identity. But there is nothing gained in this discussion by mentioning a warning against confusion with equivalence relations. There is no mistaking that '=' stands for identity. (4) An article titled 'Infinity plus one' was linked to. The title of that article is misleading. In regards to cardinals, we don't use 'infinity' as a noun, but rather 'is infinite' as an adjective. (This is different from such things as "points of infinity" in the extended reals system, as such points don't refer to cardinality but rather to ordering.) (5) This comment was posted: "It was posited that the equation (1+a=a+1) could not be verified, because we would need to check it against every possible number, which is impossible to do because infinity." Just to be clear, that is not necessarily my own view, but rather it was part of a brief explanation of Hilbert's views, and even in that regard, the statement needs important qualifications such as those I mentioned. 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to StrictlyLogical for a post in a topic
It seems we agree... he has not avoided the "trap" of logic to make his case, "prove" his position, somehow... he has abdicated logic, and by doing so he has given up what makes proof possible. 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
StrictlyLogical reacted to MisterSwig for a post in a topic
I've stated that the argument is unsound and that trying to prove the premises will get me caught in your trap. Trying to avoid the trap, Jose resorted to the old "there are no absolutes" line. But I'll enter your trap by answering directly. Being wrong means that your statement contradicts reality. 
1 point
Math and reality
StrictlyLogical reacted to merjet for a post in a topic
It isnāt necessary  at least in your view  but it is possible. Task: Prove (1 + a) = (a + 1) is true for all natural numbers. Method: mathematical induction Base case: a = 1. (1 + a) = (a + 1) is obviously true. Inductive step: Show that if P(k) holds, then also P(k + 1) holds. (1 + k) = (k + 1) (1 + k) + 1 = (k +1) + 1 (1 + (k + 1)) = ((k +1) + 1) QED. From the linked page: "Although its name may suggest otherwise, mathematical induction should not be misconstrued as a form of inductive reasoning as used in philosophy. ... Proofs by mathematical induction are, in fact, examples of deductive reasoning." In other words, mathematical induction relies on a chain of deductions. 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to StrictlyLogical for a post in a topic
Why would Rand be wrong if there are contradictions? 
1 point
Math and reality
StrictlyLogical reacted to dream_weaver for a post in a topic
There has been objection in the past to substituting 'A=A' for 'A is A', and validly so. In math, 3 is 3 and 3=3 reduce to the same, because in number, every instance of 3 is exactly the same. The meaning of 'A is A' is 'a thing is itself'. In number, the referent is an abstraction. The number stands in for the relationship of a group to one of its members taken as a unit. Using the membership/relationship/group/unit notion, should make the transitive property of (a+b)=(b+a) seems like an exercise in mental gymnastics. 
1 pointFine, but a rant is neither rational nor persuasive nor interesting. If your frame of understanding and reference is Left versus Right, then there isn't much I can say. It really only ever came from the French Revolution to distinguish between those who supported the monarchy and those who did not (more or less). It wasn't that bad of a distinction for a while because so much of European political reality was monarchy. But by these days, it's all kinds of confusing. Not to mention Objectivism never tried to be a left or right philosophy (which is how it can actually have elements of leftist politics). Even if the article is wrong, nothing sought to support authoritarianism, control over lives, skepticism as a theory of knowledge, collectivism, things like that. Being critical of a theory does not tacitly support every single adversary of the theory.

1 point
Math and reality
StrictlyLogical reacted to merjet for a post in a topic
I didn't say or imply you might try to derail it. 
1 point

1 point
Math and reality
Boydstun reacted to GrandMinnow for a post in a topic
I have to emphasize that I am not a scholar on Hilbert, mathematics, or philosophy, so my explanations are not necessarily always perfectly on target, and at a certain depth, I would have to defer to people who have studied more extensively than I have. And I don't mean necessarily to defend Hilbert's philosophical notions in all its aspects. That said, however, here's a stab at answering your question: I think what Hilbert has in mind is the distinction between a) reasoning with symbols that are taken as representing particular numbers and b) making generalizations about an infinite class of numbers. For example, if 'a' is a token for a particular number, then the truth of 'a+1 = 1+a' cannot be reasonably contested as it can be concretely verified  it is finitistic. For example, for the particular numeral '2', the truth of '2+1 = 1+2' cannot be reasonably contested as it can be concretely verified. On the other hand, where 'A' stands for any undetermined member of entire infinite class of numbers, then 'A+1 = 1+A' (which is ordinarily understood as 'for all numbers A, we have A+1 = 1+A') cannot be verified concretely because it speaks of an entire infinite class that we can't exhaustively check. Therefore, some other regard must be given the formula. And that regard is to take it as not "contentual" but as "ideal" but formally provable from formal axioms (which are themselves "ideal"). And it is needed that there is an algorithm that can check for any purported formal proof that it actually is a formal proof (i.e., that its syntax is correct and that every formula does syntactically "lock" in sequence in applications of the formal rules); this is what Hilbert has in mind as the formal "game". Then Hilbert hoped that there would be found a formal proof, by using only finitistic means, that the "ideal" axioms sufficient for ordinary mathematics are consistent. Godel, though, proved that Hilbert's hope cannot be realized. 
1 point
Math and reality
StrictlyLogical reacted to merjet for a post in a topic
I have no plan to do so. The above also indicates how far this thread has strayed. The title is Math and Reality. Mr. Knappās bookās title, sans subtitle, is Mathematics Is About the World. I agree it is very much about the world, but think itās a little more than that. More concretely, Knappās thesis is that arithmetic and geometry, especially analytic geometry, pertain to the world. He defines mathematics as the science of measurement. (Analytic geometry and calculus enable indirect measurement.) I think mathematics is a little broader than that, but measurement is a big part. Functions and vector spaces also pertain to the world. His book is not about symbolic logic, mathematical logic, predicate calculus, or finitary vs. infinitary. His book presents an alternative view of mathematics that is very different from formalism, logicism, Platonism, and others. Regarding the philosophy of mathematics schools of thought surveyed here, his is most similar to Aristotelian realism or empiricism. My view is much like Knappās. 
1 point
Reblogged:A Way to Douse Oregon?
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to Gus Van Horn blog for a post in a topic
Writing about the recent beating of journalist Andy Ngo by Antifa thugs in Oregon, George Parry offers a solution in an American Spectator piece. The former state and federal prosecutor notes parallels between the license granted to Antifa by Portland's government with that given the Ku Klux Klan by the government of Jim Crowera Mississippi (and dramatized in the 1988 film, Mississippi Burning). Here is the crux of the legal portion of his argument: Not only is the group's name highly ironic, the emblem on this flag reminds me of the pointed masks favored by Klansmen. (Image by Old White Truck, via Wikipedia, license.)[W]hether Antifa acted under color of law under [18 USC] Section 242 or whether the mayor of Portland or other city officials can be held criminally responsible for those acts depends on the degree to which Antifa and the City of Portland combined, conspired, confederated, or agreed to promote or permit Antifa's campaign of terror and intimidation. To be sure, unlike the outrageous direct involvement of the Mississippi law officers in the murders of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman, there has been no suggestion that Portland police actively joined in Ngo's beating. But the question remains whether or not Portland's handsoffAntifa policy was part and parcel of a conspiracy to allow Antifa freedom to threaten, oppress, intimidate, and deprive others of their civil rights. In that regard, the bad news for Portland is that such a conspiracy can be proven without direct evidence of a formal agreement. In fact, most conspiracy cases involve an informal agreement that can be legally inferred from circumstantial evidence. On that basis, the facts and circumstances of how and why the City of Portland has allowed Antifa's masked thugs to prowl its streets while wearing masks, brandishing weapons, and threatening others warrant investigation by federal law enforcement. In particular, it should be determined whether there was a nexus between Portland's handsoffAntifa policy and the attack on Andy Ngo. In addition to criminal liability, Portland may also be answerable in money damages if it can be proven that its official policy regarding Antifa was a substantial factor in bringing about Ngo's injuries... [bold added]It is alarming (to say the least) that governments like Portland's are allowing this to happen, but heartening to know that we have defeated worse in the past. I am not an attorney, but Parry's particular idea seems worthwhile to me. More important, I fully agree with his (more general) call for the federal government to hold accountable officials  such as those in Portland  who invite such atrocities.  CAV Link to Original 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to EC for a post in a topic
It does no such thing. You can create two entangled black holes that exist at opposite "sides" of the universe but are the same space inside of the event horizon of either. Entangled particles share the same exact feature because ER = EPR. There is no contradiction involved; you just don't understand the science. 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to softwareNerd for a post in a topic
There are some older topics on the forum: 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
StrictlyLogical reacted to Harrison Danneskjold for a post in a topic
He's trying to attack the Law of Identity (as in "contradictions have been scientifically proven to exist") so StrictlyLogical said that yes, contradictions exist all over reality, and yes, a contradiction is metaphysically impossible; we're both right (which I found hilarious). After much evasion he finally deigned to retort that "if the Law of Identity is unfalsifiable then it's just pseudoscience, so tell me what it'd take to prove a contradiction to you". So I asked what it'd take to disprove his own existence to him. He still hasn't answered that. Apparently he's waiting to know what SL meant by "sure, contradictions exist, and also couldn't possibly exist". I'm extremely amused with it all, but I'd prefer it if he didn't try circling back to points that have already been exploded. Just thought I'd give you guys a headsup. 
1 point
Charles Tew
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to MisterSwig for a post in a topic
For a couple years now Charles Tew has been building a show on his YouTube channel. He calls himself an Objectivist philosopher. He once solicited viewers from this very forum, and claimed that he wouldn't blame us for thinking he might be a crackpot. All he asked was that we give him a listen and judge for ourselves. So, let's get to it! I'll begin with a recent video from a couple weeks ago, in which Tew offers his negative opinion of Rucka's parody music. Starting at the 10:30 mark, note that he's specifically asked about Rucka's song "Am I Gay?" At first Tew says that he can't give an answer because he hasn't listened to the song. Then in the next breath he admits to listening for a few seconds and turning it off because it was "vile." Immediately, we see an initial glimpse of Tew's evasiveness. He might be excused for not watching the whole video, but why pretend like he can't answer the question, only to answer it in the next sentence? Soon we get to Tew's general view. "I think Rucka's comedy music is nihilistic filth." Now, normally, merely expressing such an opinion wouldn't be a huge issue, except that Tew had been friendly with Rucka, had spent many hours livestreaming together, had praised some of Rucka's songs, had called Rucka a model Objectivist, and had even acted as a consultant for Rucka's music. In this context, Tew anticipates that many people, including Rucka himself, will ask why he didn't state his opinion earlier. To which he offers a few excuses. First, he explains that "it's not possible to point out or say everything you're thinking all the time." He makes it seem like he didn't speak up because he was overwhelmed by the nature of his conversations with Rucka. For example, he's "drunk often in those conversations, so it's hard to notice things." But even when he's sober, "there are just a million considerations." And how about the times when he does notice things? "There are countless times Rucka said something, and I've noticed there was something really wrong about it, but I didn't come up with a good way to respond to it, or to articulate what was wrong, prioritize what I should say until much later. So it's hard to do that in the moment." In all this, notice how Tew acts as if the real issue is his poor conversational skills or his drunken stupor. He entirely evades the fact that it's about his evaluation of Rucka's music, which has been sitting online for years. Tew didn't need to come up with some impromptu logical critique while drunk. He simply had to visit Rucka's channel in his free time, and analyze and judge the videos carefully. He then could be prepared to discuss it with Rucka in the future. It's ironic that Tew at one point accuses Rucka of having "a real antipathy toward forethought," when he couldn't be bothered to prepare an honest opinion of his friend's music, nor stay sober long enough to comprehend and intelligently answer Rucka's list of questions. Tew blames people for "invalidly inferring" that he approved of Rucka's music. He says "this is a very naive view, where you're thinking, well, if you disapprove of something, why didn't you say it?" So, on one hand, it's his audience's problem with logic. Yet, later he admits that even Ayn Rand would have condemned him. "I know Ayn Rand would say that I am the evil one here, because without my sanction, this kind of nihilism would have no chance." Wait, what sanction? His sanction of Rucka's music? I guess that wasn't an "invalid inference" after all. At last we come to Tew's most revealing point. He tries to take some of the blame for the situation. "I do think that I have contributed to some people getting the wrong impression by allowing things to pass by that I wouldn't have allowed if I weren't so pessimistic or Dominiquelike so often." His pessimism is so acute that he doesn't believe his sanction matters, because sanction doesn't matter in a world without other rational people like him. "People see that I allow this kind of thing [Rucka's nihilism], and good people will turn away, and I'll never find my kind of people. But, that's a nonissue, because my kind of people don't exist. So it's hard for me to care very much about sanction." Tew associates moral sanction with finding his kind of people. But since his people aren't out there, he sees little reason to bother with moral sanction. And herein lies a deeper evasion. He fails to appreciate the fact that his kind of people do indeed exist. They are those who tolerate evil. They are those who blame others for their own shortcomings. They are those who evade reality. 
1 point
Charles Tew
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to MisterSwig for a post in a topic
Did you see my thread on Rucka? So far I have reviewed "Am I Gay?" and "Prince Ali Obama." 
1 point
Math and reality
SpookyKitty reacted to GrandMinnow for a post in a topic
I would like to see a direct quote of Hilbert on that. Hilbert did discuss that, in one way, formal systems can be viewed separately from content or meaning. But that does not imply that in another way they cannot be viewed with regard to content or meaning. Indeed, Hilbert was very much concerned with the "contentual" aspect of mathematics. Granted, descriptions of Hilbert as viewing mathematics as merely "a pure game of symbols", "without meaning", et. al do occur in literature that simplifies discussion of Hilbert. But for years I have asked people making the claim (here moderated to "reliability") to provide a direct quote from Hilbert. And just looking at Hilbert briefly is enough to see that he was very much concerned with the contentual in mathematics. I'm simplifying somewhat, but Hilbert distinguished between (1) statements that can be checked by finitistic means and (2) statements that cannot be checked by finitistic means. Finitistic means are those that can be reduced to finite counting and combination operations  even reducing to finite manipulations of "tokens" (such as stroke marks on paper if we need to concretize). This is unassailable mathematics, even for finitists and constructivists. If one denies finitistic mathematics, then what other mathematics could one possible accept? On the other hand, mathematics also involves discussion of things such as infinite sequences (try to do even first year calculus without the notion of an infinite sequence). So Hilbert wanted to find a finitistic proof that our axiomatizations of nonfinitistic mathematics are consistent. So, there would be unassailable finitistic mathematics (which has clear meaning  that of counting and finite combinatorics) and there would be axiomatized nonfinitistic mathematics (of which people may disagree as to whether it has meaning and, if it does have meaning, what that meaning is) that would at least have a finitistic proof of its consistency. So, of course Hilbert regarded finitistic mathematics as having meaning and being completely reliable. And, I'm pretty sure you will find that Hilbert also understood the scientific application of nonfinitistic mathematics (such as calcululs). But he understood that it cannot be checked like finitistic mathematics; so what he wanted was a finititistic (thus utterly reliable) proof that nonfinitistic mathematics is at least consistent. However, Godel (finitistically) proved that Hilbert's hope for a finitistic consistency proof cannot be realized. Regarding looking at formal systems separately from content: Imagine you have a formal system such as a computer programming language. We usually regard it to have meaning, such as the actual commands it executes on physical computers or whatever. But also, we can view the mere syntax of it separately, without regard to meaning. One could ask, "Is this page of code in proper syntax? I don't need to know at this moment whether it works to do what I want it to do; I just need to know, for this moment, whether it passes the check for syntax." So formal symbol rules can viewed in separation from content, or they can also be viewed with regard to content. Hilbert emphasized, in certain context the separation from content, but in so doing, he did not claim that there is not also a relationship with content. 
1 point
Math and reality
SpookyKitty reacted to merjet for a post in a topic
The system of equations: 2x + 3y = 16 x + 2y = 10 can be placed in matrix form and be pictured with 2dimensional Cartesian coordinates. I wish I could show the matrix form, but I don't know how to do so here. I omit the picture (graph), too. Similarly, a system of 3 equations and 3 unknowns can be placed in matrix form and be pictured with 3dimensional Cartesian coordinates. On the other hand, a system of higher order, 4 or more, cannot be pictured with spatial coordinates of any kind. Hence, I for one would not describe such a system as "about the world", but rather "about how we can think about the world." Surely, when we start talking about multiplying matrices, we are not talking "about the world", but rather "about how we can think about the world." Calculus, with its concepts of limits, infinite series, infinitely large and infinitely small, we are not talking "about the world", at least the external world, but rather "about how we can think about the world" and/or methodical thought that takes place in our internal, mental world. 
1 point
Charles Tew
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to MisterSwig for a post in a topic
It might be funny to start calling him a sophist. But nobody really uses that word anymore, not to describe teachers. 
1 point
Charles Tew
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to MisterSwig for a post in a topic
Before moving on with my analysis, I'll address Eiuol's question: I have a deep interest in the health of the Objectivist movement. I've been part of it for over two decades now. And I think it's important that we come to an objective evaluation of Charles Tew. He has set himself up, gaining a considerable YouTube following, as a philosopher in the name of Objectivism. And, furthermore, he has very publicly and brutally condemned a fellow Objectivist. Someone should take up Tew's challenge and determine whether he's a cultish crackpot, for the longterm benefit of this community that we all value. He needs to be identified for what he really is, and, to be objective and fair, this requires a lot of time and analysis to accomplish. I don't want someone reading this and thinking, "Oh, Swig doesn't know what he's talking about, I'm going to give Charles the benefit of the doubt." No, this needs to be done thoroughly and clearly at least once. I have the ability to do it, I care about the community, and so I'm going to finish the job. I will at minimum complete the Ruckarelated videos, and then consider whether to continue. 
1 point
Ayn Rand's Popcorntradiction.
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to StrictlyLogical for a post in a topic
Perhaps Jose meant to say "entanglement and information..." Jose's reasoning is as follows 1 Rand held that there are no contradictions in reality. 2 modern science proves contradictions are possible hence it is proved by contradiction, that Rand was wrong. Observe that Jose depends on the premise "no contradictions exist in reality" in order to form a proof by contradiction. any proof relying upon this technique presupposes no contradictions... that is how a contradiction proves one of the premises are false. So Jose's proof is relying on a premise he is at once refuting. As such he has to abandon "proof" Rand was wrong... and in fact abandon any kind of proof whatsoever. After all, if contradictions are possible Rand can also be right, in the same respect and at the same time... and no conclusion can be made with any certitude, and certainly not any relying upon a proof by contradiction. 
1 point
"Coming out"
thenelli01 reacted to MisterSwig for a post in a topic
My suggestion is to catch them in a good mood, maybe after a meal on a weekend, or whenever they are most relaxed and unstressed in general, and then talk to them about it. Have a basic plan of what you're going to say and not say, but don't write out a speech if you want it to be chill. To avoid sounding like you're "coming clean," you could focus on simply acknowledging their past interest and giving them a straightforward answer. You could say something like, "You know how you've been asking me about marriage and relationships? Well, I think you deserve an answer. The fact is that I'm gay, and I just broke up with my boyfriend of several years." I don't see why it needs to be more complex than that. If they have questions, deal with them as they come. If it gets uncomfortable, just let them know that it's uncomfortable and you'd rather keep some things private. However, it might be worth fighting through some of the discomfort, if it's simply a matter of your personality, and not one of genuinely protecting information. Frankly, you talk about your personality as if it's something apart from you, like a standard of self to which you must be true, e.g., you need to act chill. Is that a fair interpretation? If so, it might be something to reconsider. Personally, I think of myself as the creator of my personality. I'm focused on behaving correctly in accordance with reality, not my personality. If the situation requires a nonchill response, then I'm going to get nonchill on your ass. The hard part is deciding when to express emotions and when to keep them in check. No matter how you deal with your parents, I think the key is to not give them grief for being overly concerned about you. Being your parents, they are allowed to ask these personal questions. Even if they judge you from a religious perspective, just give them solid facts, don't get into emotional arguments with them, and let them come to grips with reality on their own. 
1 point
"Coming out"
thenelli01 reacted to JASKN for a post in a topic
Imagine a world where conceiving a gay child is a parental consideration not much different than having a boy or a girl  it's just a fact that may or may not occur, and once known, childrearing is just adjusted somewhat. Being gay would have been in the DNA (so to speak) of your upbringing, totally normal and not with extra consideration of any kind as you grew up. A sitdown talk with anyone about being gay now would be as bizarre as "coming out" as a boy (gender politics aside). But, we don't live in that world yet (though it's surprisingly near). You described the current context instead yourself  your parents were/are very uncomfortable with homosexuality, enough so to be vocal about it toward their children for years. Your parents were raised in a society more hostile toward homosexuality even than your upbringing. It's baked into their brains, and now it requires of them conscious, consistent mental processes to undo. Even as a gay person, you may have had to do some of that yourself. And that is not easy, and is a lot to ask of someone, even if it's the "just" thing for them to do. So, I would say cut your mother some slack. Having a conversation with you about being gay is probably part of her trying to become OK with the idea of gayness herself, which is a positive step in the right direction. She cares enough about you to try to undo her lifelong viewpoint toward gays, and all of the associated mental habits that went along with it. 
1 point
"Coming out"
thenelli01 reacted to softwareNerd for a post in a topic
So, it sounds like your parents think you're gay, or think you may be gay. If you confirm that you are gay, what do you anticipate their reaction will be? 
1 point
"Coming out"
thenelli01 reacted to StrictlyLogical for a post in a topic
The truth is the truth no matter what it is. It is not casual, dramatic, or clean.. it just is the truth. Share the truth IF you WANT to share your truth, and because you want to share that truth. You are who and what you are and your parents want to know and be a part of that because they love YOU. You don't want to feel like you are "coming clean"?... certainly you have done nothing wrong by being you... but you have not let people in... you may have consciously evaded or misled others by silence... the world is a scary place and being vulnerable with the people you love is not easy... but if you to accept now that what you have done in the past is no longer acceptable, that you can and should be braver, more honest and more authentic.. then in a sense you are coming clean.. not only to your loved ones but with yourself. Sitting your parents down to tell them the truth about you because you love them and they love you and because you want your relationship with them to grow in honesty and depth... well, there is nothing "casual" about it... it is deeply and fundamentally important if your relationship with them is important.. and coincidentally sitting your parents down to have a good heart to heart is completely natural for a loving nurturing relationship. Don't let your "style" get in the way of being the honest earnest you. Dramatic talk? Talk is talk.. if you don't want it dramatic don't be dramatic. Talk with them ... talk with everyone... tell them how much they mean to you, maybe even apologize for giving in to fear for so long... but state that you are strong enough now to start living your authentic life and insofar as they are willing to be a part of your life you want them in it. Those who truly value and love you AS YOU ARE will not bat an eye at anything you say about yourself AS YOU ARE. 
1 point
Popular Scientist vs. Popular Comedian
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to William O for a post in a topic
I haven't seen anyone bring up the contrast to religion in this thread. Tyson's comment that the universe doesn't care about you could reasonably be taken as a rejection of religion, which says that the universe does care about you  or, at least, is controlled by a magical omnipotent God that does. 
1 point
Which Eternity?
Easy Truth reacted to Grames for a post in a topic
No, there can be no boundary. Whenever you think you might be able to imagine something outside or beyond the Universe, it expands to include it. It is the intent of the concept Universe to encompass everything by definition. All concepts are like that, having openended referents. 
1 point
Which Eternity?
Easy Truth reacted to Grames for a post in a topic
Is not the view actually put in the positive sense, that it is claimed time is only inside the universe? Time is an attribute of what exists. Outside of the whole of existence there is nothing. Nothing can have no attributes. Nothing can be claimed about what is notexistence. All of that is merely laying out foundations of straight thinking in metaphysics to rule out some mysticism. I would not read Rand as making wild claims about the ultimate fate of the universe, whether it exists endlessly or not or in what form. 
1 point
Donald Trump Is The First President To Turn Postmodernism Against Itself
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to New Buddha for a post in a topic
I think the following two paragraphs from the link are insightful: Perhaps the best example of Trumpās provoke and win strategy was his approach to immigration. Any proposal for restricting immigration, no matter how modest, will invariably meet charges of nativism and racism. So why fight it? Trump opted to meet the challenge by initially proposing something truly appalling: the deportation of tens of millions of people. When the predictable outrage machine kicked into high gear, he didnāt go into damage control as expected. Rather, he dismissed the accusations and let it ride. After Trump brushed off his hyperventilating critics who were frantically calling him a racist, fascist, and everything in between, their rage gradually abated because it didnāt have the desired effect. Now, all of Trumpās clarifications on the issue are on the table for consideration, seem reasonable by comparison, and any subsequent PC outburst against them will ring hollow. Like so, Trump tamed and harnessed the outrage machine over and over again: the Muslim ban, killing terroristsā families, insulting John McCain for being a POW, all until it won him the Republican nomination. Reagan was the Teflon President  nothing ever stuck to him. Trump is like my well seasoned cast iron skillet that I never wash  so much stuff has stuck to it in the past, that there's no room left for anything new to stick. We live in interesting times. 
1 point
"Perspicacity" by Rene Magritte
dream_weaver reacted to StrictlyLogical for a post in a topic
I see "becoming" The idea that things are always becoming, shedding what they were to become what they can be. This is especially true of life and individuals if they are to grow. In order to recognize this and participate in this becoming one must recognize this potential, starting from but always looking to just outside of things as they are... toward what they will become. Somehow growth and life call on this sight and to direct one to strike out for that becoming. The end result is the expression and culmination of the potential... the bird. Accordingly, a fried egg would totally change what I would have seen here! edit: can't leave out element of self portrait... perhaps this is a useful way of showing that kind of recognition in action.. or a statement about art being about that kind of recognition or facilitating it for the artist. 
1 point
Nathaniel Branden, RIP
Harrison Danneskjold reacted to Plasmatic for a post in a topic
I don't see Galt's speech as containing nearly all of Oist epistemology. Even ITOE was merely an introduction. Where is hierarchy, reduction, firstlevel concepts..... I could go on. 
1 pointBen: That must not be a recent pic in your profile. Clearly, you've had the word "SUCKER" tattooed across your forehead. You do not know what another person is feeling; you only know what they tell you. (Read that statement 40100 times until you get it.) When a person demonstrates in action that they have no integrity ā when they are willing to lie to and deceive people whom they claim to love ā why would you believe them about anything? It can be a challenge to remain in objective control when your feelings are overwhelming you. If you heard the kinds of statements coming from this lady spoken by anyone else, would they make the slightest bit of sense? What would it would mean to remain in a romantic relationship out of a sense of "obligation"? I have a suspicion that this lady is a master of having her cake and eating it, too. Don't tell me about a person's positive qualities when they're a deceptive liar ā particularly in the romantic realm. Integrity is fundamental; to the extent she has brains and is likable, that only makes her more dangerous. You're sexually gone over this woman and it's frying your intellect.

1 point
Private roads
Easy Truth reacted to DavidOdden for a post in a topic
I would start by focusing on this part of what he said: "This shows". What shows? If the question is "Why should we have private roads", the answer is "Individual rights". If the question is "How can you defend the notion of private roads in light of the wellknown disasterous Crapleby Roads Ltd. system of roads in Durham County between 1957 and 1961", then your answer would be very different. (I made the example up, if it's not obvious). The primary argument is the moral argument, and it is up to your opponent to prove that private ownership of roads is impractical in order to tarnish the moral argument. You can't do that until you actually have that supposed proof, and I'm suggesting that you should not act as though it's wellknown that there is a problem needing to be addressed by capitalism. Suppose for instance that your opponent had granted the moral principle of individual rights and then claims that individual rights must give way to The Needs of Society; the response is that individual rights are a need of society, and that violating human rights does not in any way better satisfy the Needs of Society. When they respond by saying "But poor people would not be able to afford the roads, and only rich people would be allowed to leave their homes", then you can ask for their evidence to support that outlandish conclusion. Just in general, I think it's best to put the burden of proof on you opponent.