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  1. 3 points
    dream_weaver

    Which Eternity?

    It was in the Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy to be found: The climax of the "miraculous" view of existence is represented by those existentialists who echo Heidegger, demanding: "Why is there any being at all and not rather nothing?"—i.e., why does existence exist? This is the projection of a zero as an alternative to existence, with the demand that one explain why existence exists and not the zero. Granted the claim of the "miraculous" view is not stated explicitly in your lines leading up to it, but Heidegger's demand resonates in the cited portion. The denial that it is "NOT Reification of the Zero" brushes aside just 'what' is the alternative to existence.
  2. 2 points
    Grames

    Which Eternity?

    Potential is identity viewed from epistemological perspective, a mind with memory and imagination. All that exists are particulars, doing particular definite things in accordance with their identities. It takes imagination or memory to divert the mind's attention away from what the object of the mind's attention is doing right this moment. 'Potential energy' is a concept taught in elementary physics classes. Pendulum motion is described using the principle of conservation of energy such that the sum of the pendulums kinetic energy of motion and its potential energy of position must remain constant (neglecting friction for the moment). Here the so-called potential energy is real and actual because the pendulum is a real and actual existent with a real and actual position within a gravity field at every instant. One can avoid the potential confusion of thinking of potentials as real because it appears in an equation describing the pendulum's motion by using the term 'energy of position' instead. This kind of statement "a sea battle either will happen tomorrow or not happen tomorrow" is formally true because the alternatives are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive, but it does not constitute knowledge and cannot be categorized as a fact because it does not predicate anything. (It predicates two perfect contradictories which cancel to net zero predication.) The grammar of the statement is correct, the logic of the posited alternatives is flawless, yet it remains entirely an exercise in method. It is an unfalsifiable statement of the kind Popper scorned. The statement employs the useful and valid concept of "tomorrow", but that does not transform the referent of "tomorrow" from an epistemological construct (a 'concept of method' in Objectivist jargon) into an existential fact. Tree rings exist in the present as an effect with a cause in the past. The cause existed, then the effect existed. The present existence of the effect does not require the present existence of the cause. Going back to your argument: No beginning and no end can still be literally true if a finite Universe had some kind of strange asymptotic boundary conditions governing time. For example, space and time are related such that a very high mass density implies a very high space time curvature such that time slows to a crawl relative to a lesser curvature. The Big Bang would have played out very slowly, and extrapolating backward in time beyond the Big Bang requires crossing an inflection point where time would not pass at all. A remote future in which all matter had entered black holes and then been re-radiated as Hawking radiation until all the black holes were gone would be a perfectly static universe in which time had no meaning.
  3. 1 point
    Boydstun

    My Verses

    I took this evening photo a little after writing this poem, written lying on the living room floor beneath her. -2/4/19The 'he' is Jerry (d. 1990).
  4. 1 point
    Grames

    Which Eternity?

    Causal connection. Physical, material causality through direct and indirect contact or through fields or whatever else physics may discover. Then that thing would be unknowable, and it would be arbitrary to speculate about its existence.
  5. 1 point
    Yeah, no I don't think I have ever thought that when meeting someone. If I think about the truth I always have a sense that I have something to learn from each person I talk to. They might be dumb as a box of rocks and funny as hell.
  6. 1 point
    Nicky

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Jordan Peterson (who I think is a brilliant thinker and public speaker) makes a very interesting point about social statistics: the real issue isn't the 60/40 split between the masses. The real issue is between the outliers: when there's a 60/40 split between two large groups of people, the spit between the extremes (the people who out-perform the group, meaning the over-performers) is far greater (95/5 to 99/1). For instance, in NYC (or NYS, I'm citing this out of memory, so I'm not entirely sure which), an overwhelming majority of genius level IQ tested high-school students are ethnic Ashkenazi Jews. A crazy amount, something like 49 out of 50 "genius" IQ students in NY are Jewish. That's a natural consequence of Ashkenazi Jews being, on average, about ten points above the average population, in IQ. Which is not that much. But small statistical differences result in overwhelming differences when it comes to outliers (in this case, geniuses). Another good example of this, often cited by Jordan Peterson, is the radical split in prison population, by sex...pretty sure it is above 9 to 1 in "favor" of men...despite the fact that, on average, personality traits that favor criminality, between men and women, tend to be around 60/40 percent...which, on the surface, doesn't seem that significant until you look at the results in outliers. And, of course, outliers determine the future of a society. It's hard to argue with that. Albert Enstein (a person who can be objectively judged to have had superior intellect, without an IQ test) was more important than 5 billion people, all added together, who lived since. Clearly. If high IQ really does equal superior intellect, then no one else really matters in the NYC school system on a societal level, except Ashkenazi Jews. And no one really matters on the African continent, period. So, if you buy into IQ (like Jordan unfortunately does...but with a caveat: he does not claim any kind of omniscience, he is open to counter-arguments, and I think he would be blown away by someone challenging his definitions, I don't think he ever met someone able to do that), you can't really dispute these types of conclusions. The only possible avenue of attack against that position is attacking IQ (and social sciences in general, because Jordan is correct: IQ is one of the better parts of social sciences). Jordan, as far as I know, only makes one decent argument for IQ: there's a strong corelleration between IQ and financial success in the West. Which is somewhat of a non-sequitur.
  7. 1 point
    What are you going to do with this assumptions? Do you seriously thinking 40% 60% etc. while talking to people? If you are actually having a conversation, It does not take much to start forming an opinion of another person... at which point class probabilities are rendered pretty useless. And, if you start to assume that before hand, you will hinder your own ability to be objective, and will therefore miss spotting reality.
  8. 1 point
    Tenderlysharp

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Have you ever had a personal sentimental item, attached to the memory of a person who is gone, stolen from you? I have. No amount of shouting in the street about what is fair is going to stop human malevolence and ignorance. If I want to approach fair human interactions, I've got to build my own foundation, inspire the cretins to educate themselves, and not waste time bloviating to a choir of one. I come here to find real, unique, interesting intelligent human beings, who happen to adore Ayn Rand for reasons she might have appreciated. I am not here to run around in circles with puppets who spout ideologies with no thought of what any of it means to them personally, individually here and now in the real world.
  9. 1 point
    Grames

    Which Eternity?

    No. The concept of Universe works just as well whether what exists is finite or infinite. Concepts are by definition and in practical usage open ended. Furthermore, paraphrasing Aristotle and his principle of identity, everything that exists has particular definite form. A 'sum' or 'whole' used in reference to the diversity of all that exists then is not something that has a primary sense of existence but rather it is merely an epistemological device. A good definition will specify a genus and differentia; but the definition of Universe can have no differentia. Universe then is a special and problematic epistemological contrivance. Is it a problem that needs solving? Can it be avoided? I say no and no.
  10. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    Movie: First Man

    I rented First Man and thought it was very good. Its story is told from the perspective of Neil Armstrong and the personal challenges he faced in order to become the first human being on the moon. The style tries to blend both the emotional and rational aspects to his journey. It does a good job at that and really puts you into the boots of this amazing character as he struggles with his daughter's death, the fear of dying, and all the technical things he must figure out in the spaceships he controls. The tone is serious and deliberate, backdropped by the potential for chaos and catastrophe. The film looks great. The effects seem like they belong in every scene and don't distract from the suspension of disbelief. Nothing really popped out at me to criticize, except a minor impatience with some slow parts. The movie really takes Armstrong's famous words to heart. It's about one man representing mankind's desire to reach the moon. It's an epic, hero's journey. But a real hero's journey. This is another film from director Damien Chazelle, who also did Whiplash, one of Peikoff's favorite movies, which I thought was excellent as well. Chazelle is apparently working on a TV series now. I hope it's as good as his movies so far.
  11. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    A dictatorship is a threat because it is a threat to your life and property through the use of force... This is a fundamental disagreement with Objectivism. Of course people might develop ideas that would then push them towards initiating force, and in this sense ideas might be threatening. Yet we still wouldn't want to initiate the use of force at this stage because people can also change their mind, or might be cowards and not do anything, or don't know the implication of their ideas, or otherwise want to give people the opportunity to be free to change their ideas. We can respond to these threats through argumentation, persuasion, or anything else. In other words, there are different kinds of threats, and different kinds of responses to threats. Since ideas aren't violent threats, I don't see any justification to respond to them with violence. I can put it this way. I think your idea about anti-American beliefs is itself anti-American. I think this is threatening to the stability of our country, and would necessarily lead to violence if enacted in the way you want. Should I be able to deny you access to the country? Should they be able to kick you out of the country?
  12. 1 point
    Doug Morris

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    If a few million come in every year they have time to assimilate and become more American, especially if they are not forced to keep a low profile by wrongful immigration restrictions. Many of the people who come here do so to work, which is compatible with becoming more American. Any portion of collectivism or individualism present in any person's ideas is there by their choice and can be changed by their choice. It is not biologically determined. This is also true, in a less direct manner, of most, if not all, of a person's attitudes and emotions. And where reason conflicts with emotion, we can choose reason. That approach may be of value, especially in breaking through initial resistance, but to really accomplish something we need to work positively, on a fundamental level, by teaching them the right fundamental principles. The major practical reason being that humans are the main variable in the equation and that we are to a large extent selfish beings and that capitalism leverages said fact. Perhaps. That's stated very generally, making it hard to get a handle on. It's not the whole story, though. For example, central planners have trouble knowing what prices to set. In at least some cases they have used prices in freer economies as a guide. That's tribalism right there. If every country should have open borders, if we're all individuals and all have equal rights then that statement is a contradiction. The nation state of the USA is an arbitrary construct if you believe in open borders. Why focus on the arbitrary when you could focus on the concrete? It's not tribalism. It's recognizing where I can have the most effect and where this will most affect me. Where exactly national borders are drawn is not arbitrary but optional. (I am using the words "arbitrary" and "optional" in Ayn Rand's sense.) The world badly needs to have a U.S.A., although it really needs a better one than the one we have now. I have no doubt in my mind that that is a firmly held core belief of yours. Doesn't mean it's objectively true though. To the extent that people distinguish "races", they do so on the basis of minor physiological differences. The evidence for greater differences is weak at best and implies at most statistical differences which are much less than the differences among individuals within each "race". The biggest genetic differences that do exist among humans fall not along the lines of traditional "races" but among different groups in Africa, one of which gave rise to all modern humans who left Africa. Just because differences are real doesn't mean the answer has to be bloody murder every single time. There are some shades of gray here. It's just that you can't see them based on your current belief system which demands that only black and white are allowed to exist. I am well aware that the "races" have had different histories which have had measurable statistical effects and have also had a major effect, in a variety of ways, on people's ideas and attitudes. Can you name even one shade of gray that actually exists that I can't see?
  13. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    Sorry to interject, and I cannot speak for Grames, but everything which exists, exists now. That does not in any way detract from the fact that things existed "in the past" or that things (or states or configurations of things) will exist "in the future". I know it sounds like a semantic game, but it is not. The fact that we can remember and/or deduce the past from the present, or predict (to varying rates of success) future events from the present, does not serve enough to "equate" the fundamentally different categories of NOW versus "PAST" and "FUTURE". [ I do understand there is some nuance involved in talking about the fundamental differences without invoking the ancient fallacies that "change requires destruction and creation" (or there can be no change?) or "you cant stand in the same river twice"] So what is the status of traces of the "past"? Whether rings of a tree, or photographic remains from the 19th century, or actual memories in our brains, there exist states and configurations of things as they exist now, which are a result of causation which occurred in the "past" and involved existents as they were in the "past". But the existents are no longer as they were in the "past"... forms, chemicals, arrangements of matter change... although some preservation of states (or a clear connection of present states to those of the past) is necessary to deduce the past (chemicals in a photographic plate which have preserved their states which were caused by interaction with light at the moment the photograph was taken) [Aside: I accept the oddness that since time is always in motion, even the act of recalling the distant past involves processes which themselves involve time... to see an image of my childhood home, my visual cortex and associated systems are provided with something which has been stored for years, but the experience I have of seeing it in my mind, is already milliseconds old.. since the time of recall to the time of "display/experience" is not instantaneous....] In that sense things only ARE, but we see from what they ARE what they (or perhaps what other things) WERE. What about the status of the "future"? The "future" IS not, but it WILL be. What it will be is inexorably through causality linked to all that is now, so we have the luxury of being somewhat able to predict and project, what to expect existence to be in future, by thinking about it. That a ball will arc through the air into your baseball glove according to a parabola, and you can place yourself to catch it is a wonderful thing. But "time" is simply a measure of the changes in the things which exist... it is not that there is a ball and time and you somehow have figured out the relationship between the two, there is, was and only ever will be the ball. The FACT is that the ball, its attributes (position momentum weight size) and its arrangement in relation to the Earth its nature and the fact of gravity, all mean that there will be a causal chain of events which is not random. The facts of things that ARE do exist, and they will affect the future, but those facts of things as they are now, exist now. Again in that sense, things only ARE, but we can see from what they ARE what they MIGHT (or WILL) be. Although we can remember the "past" and predict the "future", although the "past" affected the present and the present will affect the "future", there IS only NOW. Moreover, since time is merely the fact that THINGS change, and "time" is not a thing in itself, there literally is no PAST or FUTURE. They do not EXIST now... All we should mean when we refer to various "points" in time are the THINGS as THEY WERE (or WILL BE) AT those times. Referring to a disjointed floating time is technically meaningless. There is no December 2, 2020 as such, but we CAN speak of THINGS AS THEY WILL BE on December 2, 2020. It's the same as the concept "number", one is no more correct to refer to a disembodied "past" or "future" (rather than referring to the past states of things or the future states of things) than to refer to "six" absent specifying six "what"? [As in "I saw Six running in the lobby today" ... "Six? You saw Six what running in the lobby?" ... "No just Six, I saw it running in the lobby" ... "Incredible... utterly fantastic numbers are not things... there are only numbers of things (and by measurement omission ... numbers of "anythings")] For clarity, I do not think you are wrong to see the "past" and the "future" in things that ARE, but the notions "past" and "future" can only ever mean what things were and what things will be, and the act of seeing those "in the things that are" is merely an identification of identity and causality as the prime "movers" of "change", not an identification of a literal past or future "in" the present.
  14. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    contra the "non-manmade future" of Rand?
  15. 1 point
    Grames

    Which Eternity?

    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 not-existence. 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.
  16. 1 point
    KyaryPamyu

    Universals

    It could not, because those particles only act according to what they are, not according to what they aren't. You can't arbitrarily hack anything. You can't do more than its possible to do given the nature of what is, particles and 'meta-energy puffs' included. The fact that things are made of more basic ingredients does not invalidate the existence of those things. Explaining something doesn't invalidate its existence. By the way, Objectivism is not a materialistic philosophy. It holds existence, not matter, as the primary. Matter and conciousness are specific things that exist. No, there isn't. When you say that two bottles of water are the same thing, you're saying that both of them are man-made objects with a shape and material suitable for carrying liquid. You retain those characteristics and ignore their measurements (in reality everything might be different about them: their size, their exact shape, whether they're made of plastic or glass). But those bottles are not the same thing at all, i.e. instances of an Archetype. They are two different concretes which man can classify togheter in order to reduce the complexity of the world. According to your views, if there is a higher-lever 'spec' which defines what things are and ought to be, what is the even higher level spec which defines what the previous spec is and ought to be? In other words, causality. But actions don't cause objects, it's objects that act. Causality is an instance of the law of identity: because something is what it is, it acts according to that. A thing isn't the way it is because it ought to be what it is. What is, is. 'Ought to be' is a specialized category applying only in a specialized context, that of choice. In no way does it apply outside that context. In morality, when you say that you ought to do something in order to achieve a goal (man's life), you mean that you ought to do it because of certain facts, i.e. because of the identity of man and the world. Everything is what it is, i.e. has a nature. Not an abstract nature. Define your terms, otherwise your arguments will go all over the place. The ability to mentally isolate certain characteristics of an object and to contemplate them apart from that object is what abstraction consists of. It allows man to observe similarities and differences between objects and thus to form concepts and the whole body of human knowledge. Abstractions themselves have a nature. For example, they are formed in the brain of a particular living being, they require a certain type of action on the part of that being, they are made possible by a very complex kind of nervous system. In your view, do the abstract universal archetypes which define the nature of things have a nature themselves? In that case, what do you think defines the nature of these universals? Other universals? If those universals are primaries and their identity is not set by previous universals, do you think that by the same token we can dispose with universals altogether and simply accept existence as a primary?
  17. 1 point
    Nicky

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    That is in no way, shape or form true. Ayn Rand is not Jesus Christ the Savior, she was just a person, like the rest of us. Also, she's been dead for 37 years now. Stone cold dead. Not resurrected, not sitting on the right hand side of God, but buried in some dirt, and well on her way to decomposing. There's no Objectivist, in any faction, who would think that we all got done coming up with useful philosophy 37 years ago. Ayn Rand herself wouldn't have thought that humanity is all done coming up with useful philosophy, after she died. That's not what closed Objectivism means. Closed Objectivism simply tries to preserve her work for posterity, uncorrupted by people who claim to speak for her. She deserves that much. If you wish to come up with new philosophy, go right ahead. I'll read it if it's interesting. And if you think your philosophy has been influenced by Objectivism (the philosophy of Ayn Rand), go ahead and cite her as an influence. But that's all the level of familiarity you're allowed, as far as "closed Objectivists" like myself are concerned. You're not allowed to claim any kind of deeper connection than that, because, guess what: you don't have it. Objectivism is HER philosophy, and hers alone. Anyone who contributed only did so with HER direct approval. Anyone else, who claims to be adding to HER philosophy without her approval, is an interloper. The book on Objectivism closed when Ayn Rand died. The book on rational philosophy is wide open, you just have to earn your paragraph, page or chapter in it on your own, as a philosopher, without claiming any kind of magical connection to Ayn Rand.
  18. 1 point
    One of the greatest regrets of my early life is cutting off ties with a girl I loved, and several of our common friends, because I couldn't have her. Yes, staying friends would've been painful...and, back then, I thought pain was a hindrance to any kind of accomplishment or success, and therefor to be avoided at all cost...but, as I found out later: pain is a part of life. A necessary, and therefor GOOD part of life. It would've TAUGHT me a lot, about both myself and the nature of the human experience in general. So just take the pain. Don't betray your values, by removing a good person from your life, because you're scared of a little pain. If you take the pain of a short term, probably illusory heartbreak, you will be rewarded for it with a learning experience you can't access in any other way... and possibly a lifetime of friendship as well. P.S. You DO want to stay away from any kind of an exploitative relationship. My post assumes that your relationship with her is a straight forward friendship (like mine was), and she is not taking advantage of your feelings in any way.
  19. 0 points
    MisterSwig

    The Socialist Control Act

    I'm going to pitch a Socialist Control Act idea and spread it around social media and chat rooms. It's inspired by historical laws against communism, such as the Communist Control Act of 1954. My purpose is to contribute to the reaction against socialism, both the globalist and nationalist varieties, and to promote capitalism. The focus therefore will be defending individual rights, particularly property rights, and calling for a ban on advocating socialism on the public streets and in government institutions. I'm not interested in debating whether this violates free speech rights. Been there, done that. But if you're sympathetic to my idea, I'd appreciate suggestions for clarifying the message and drafting succinct sentences to drop into various online forums. Thanks.
  20. 0 points
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    If they really are totalitarian thugs, then they would fit all the other criteria that I mentioned. You've assumed that you could have totalitarian thugs that are nonviolent and could become a threat. I'm saying that a totalitarian thug is necessarily going to show threatening signs like violence, or do things like stockpile arms, or explicitly call for the extermination of a race. You've already told me that they wouldn't speak in explicit terms, they are being nonviolent, and they have no plan. If you'd call that a threat, I'd call that paranoia. For purposes of a better life and adopting many of the customs of the destination country. Only by means of using violence early on and throughout their rise to power. So I find the combination of the two fantastical, because the motivations are contradictory. I'd say there is no historical example because no totalitarian would be stupid enough to try to enact their beliefs through persuasion. Well, maybe Lenin was that stupid, actually, very early on. Except Stalin was an even bigger totalitarian, was violent from the beginning, and probably had Lenin killed. (By the way, saying no one would ever be that stupid is almost always false. You can almost always find an example of somebody being that stupid.) The better question is, can totalitarians be nonviolent? I don't think so. But then you might say, if totalitarians are necessarily violent, then shouldn't we prevent their migration? Absolutely! My point is there will always be signs of violence, so we don't even need to get into a discussion about whether someone's beliefs really are totalitarian. It's enough to look for all the usual signs of threats and violence.
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