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  1. 2 points
    I'm reading a good book that deconstructs all this anti-woman/ PUA mentality, and offers an alternative approach. One that is respectful of women without putting them on a pedestal, and congruent with Objectivism. In fact a lot of it seems to be written from a partially Oist perspective (the author fleetingly mentions that reading Atlas Shrugged in college changed his life, in the book, as well). It's from Mark Manson (who's known for "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck", which is the second best "life advice" type book I have ever read in my life), and it's titled "Models: Attract Women Through Honesty". ( I don't think "models" refers to fashion models, but rather "things to model yourself after"...but it is an ambivalent title, on purpose...pretty sure it's meant to mock PUAs). The two books are very, very different. "The Subtle Art..." is short, it's written in a provocative style (lots of cursing), it throws flashy, provocative ideas around somewhat carelessly, and uses a wide lens to look at life in general. But it's very interesting, and frames a lot of good life advice in some very surprising and original ways. The "Models..." book on the other hand is longer, analytical, detailed, carefully thought through, and focused on the subject at hand. But, as you go along, you find out something very important: the subject at hand (getting women) is as wide as life itself...because you get women based on who you are, personally and socially, not on what "techniques" or lines you use. So the book actually sets out to encourage the reader to change their entire life, and become an interesting, opinionated, provocative, well dressed and groomed, physically fit, healthy, independent, well traveled, knowledgeable, well read, sexually uninhibited, confident, courageous etc. person. Do that, and women won't be able to resist you...no aggressive, fake alpha behavior needed.
  2. 1 point

    The Transporter Problem

    @DonAthos You are correct that what I have postulated has evolved, but that's only because I'm trying to envision a realistic scenario that involves "FPE" destruction, nondestruction, or the ability to transfer and therefore avoidance of destruction (assuming that's possible). I'm trying make to sure this whole debate isn't a form of debate that's essentially just talking about "squared circles" or something that is impossible in reality. As to everything I said about entanglement, that's mostly to suggest that specifically the fundamental principles of reality that might make such teleportation possible in reality might also provide a way out of the conundrum of "FPE death". I've been thinking hard on this, and have decided the subject needs to happen on a more abstract level that includes human minds but isn't limited to only them, so that people aren't sneaking in preconceived notions about their thoughts on man in general. A general AI running on a specific "computer" vs another otherwise identical computer is something I will discuss in the future. I'll be back with more when I completely flesh out everything I'm thinking of exactly in the near future. But, I will leave one thing here for everyone to possibly discuss if it interests them: Imagine putting a living human inside of a skin tight "force field" such that the entire human body is completely separated from the environment with zero space between the person's body and this "force field". The person is then vaporized while inside the force field such that his now free flowing particles that remain are still confined to the volume left inside this force field and can not mix with the outside environment. Then "through the 'magic' of future technology is put back together exactly the same as prior to vaporization (likely impossible due to quantum fluctuations due to the uncertainty principle, and the second law of thermodynamics, etc. *which my be key to resolving all this due to loss of information at the quantum level*). Would the identical mind that results then share the same FPE with the mind that existed before it's substrate/brain was vaporized? I think the answer is still no because the existence of the substrate was discontinuous. The substrate that causes any mind to exist must exist continuously, with no discontinuities for a particular FPE of a mind to continue existing. This is fundamentally different than a person experiencing a coma, a alcohol induced blackout, etc., or more abstractly a general AI having it's processor switched off then turned back on after some period of time, because the substrate (brain, memory, processor) never cease to exist even if it's unused for some period of time. Vaporizing a mind's substrate that is the cause of it's emergence is fundamentally different than those examples because there was a finite period of time that even the capability of mind "production" (and therefore that mind's previous FPE) was completely destroyed and obliterated. When the substrate is then rebuilt and the mind reactivated must be a new FPE because the previous FPE lost the ability to exist for a finite period of time.
  3. 1 point

    The Transporter Problem

    In another recent thread, I was invited to make this one to explore what I'm calling "the transporter problem." In quick summary then, the "problem" considers the famous Star Trek transporter. It purports to disassemble a person (into whatever constituent elements) and then reassemble that person in identical fashion (and perhaps from the same constituent elements) at some distance. In Star Trek, people routinely utilize this technology; however (granting that this would someday be feasible; a separate consideration), I would not use such a thing, because I believe that it would be fatal. This speaks to the question of the "First Person Experience" (FPE) and its metaphysical status -- which is why I'd raised the problem initially; granting that the person who enters the transporter (e.g. James T. Kirk) is identical to the person who leaves it from a third person/scientific perspective, I yet argue that there is a fundamental metaphysical difference which cannot be assessed from "outside," i.e. it is a different person with respect to the FPE. The Kirk who leaves the transporter is not the same Kirk as the one who entered it; the Kirk who entered the transporter is dead. In response it was asked whether sleep was in some way analogous to this situation -- and whether we "die" when we go to sleep. But no, it is not the same thing at all. When I go to sleep at night, I wake up the next morning as the same person. Whatever interruption or discontinuity of consciousness that sleep provides (as well as being knocked unconscious, in a coma, or "legally dead" then revived) it is not the same as the death of the transporter, which I argue is utter obliteration. Then it was suggested that this is some rephrasing of the "Ship of Theseus." But no, it is not. It is not a question as to whether we continue to call the entity who emerges from the transporter "Jim Kirk," but: would we be willing to use the transporter? I argue that the answer to that question depends on whether we believe that a consciousness can be reconstituted such that the associated FPE remains the same, irrespective of what we call it, and whether we believe that the FPE (despite being immeasurable from a "scientific" perspective) has any reality to it. Which is to say that it depends upon our assessment of the FPE metaphysically. Accordingly, I would not be willing to use the transporter.
  4. 1 point

    Objectivism in Academia

    . “In the poem ‘Human’ (1903), Gorky says of the new man that he is lost ‘among the desserts of the universe . . . on the little piece of the earth’. Yet, ‘he is going bravely ahead! and higher! On the way to victories over all the secrets of the earth and sky’. . . . “‘There was a cold wind outside, and an empty stretch of land under an empty sky” (Rand 1957, 15). The train encapsulates all the problems of a society that is living---and dying---due to the principles of collectivism. . . . The desert is the symbol of a hostile world in the novel: it is made obvious in the scene depicting the crash of the train at the Arizona desert [1160-61]. . . . “. . . In ‘Human’, Gorky glorified the new type of human, who is a creator and whose major impulse is Thought. . . . . . . “But there is a great difference between Gorky’s Human and Rand’s ‘new human’. . . .” JARS 18(2):326-27) --From the paper in that Winter 2018 issue of JARS: “Ayn Rand’s ‘Integrated Man’ and Russian Nietzscheanism” by Anastasiya Vasilievna Grigorovskaya, who has a number of publications on Ayn Rand, in Russian, and who is working on the first doctoral thesis about Rand in Russia (Tyumen).
  5. 1 point
    I'm glad to hear that at least one Supreme Court justice can't believe that he is having to consider whether the Bill of Rights applies to state law enforcement: Image via Wikipedia.The court has formally held that most of the Bill of Rights applies to states as well as the federal government, but it has not done so on the Eighth Amendment's excessive-fines ban. Justice Neil Gorsuch was incredulous that Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher was urging the justices to rule that states should not be held to the same standard. "Here we are in 2018 still litigating incorporation of the Bill of Rights. Really? Come on, general," Gorsuch said to Fisher, using the term for holding that constitutional provisions apply to the states. Justice Stephen Breyer said under Fisher's reading police could take the car of a driver caught going 5 mph (8 kph) above the speed limit.The case, Timbs v. Indiana, concerns a man whose $40,000 Land Rover was confiscated when he was arrested for a $400 drug deal. After reading the article, I think the argument that the fine is excessive is a good one. Interested readers can read a post at the Institute for Justice for legal background, including a timeline of the case. The post reads in part: The case shines a spotlight on the excessive fines and fees often imposed by governments, and showcases yet another example of the inevitable abuse of power that results when government employs civil forfeiture, a process through which police and prosecutors seize someone's property and keep the proceeds for themselves, thus giving law enforcement an incentive to maximize profits rather than seek the neutral administration of justice. The case has attracted amicus briefs from a diverse coalition of groups calling on the Court to hold that the Excessive Fines Clause applies nationwide. These groups include the Cato Institute, American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, Constitutional Accountability Center, and Pacific Legal Foundation. All of the amicus briefs can be downloaded from the Supreme Court's website. [link in original]We should know the Court's answer by June, according to the report. -- CAV Link to Original
  6. 1 point

    Showcase your art!

    Here is my new painting "An Active Mind". I have larger detail images at www.vanoostromfineart.com
  7. 1 point

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    That's not accurate actually, the view is that individual rights are a necessity to a healthy and functioning society, not an end in itself. I mean, if you're talking about individual rights and then also other things to enhance that, sure. But you can't have individual rights if you propose specifically racist policies (judging people collectively according to their race). I mean, individual rights aren't some appeal to a platonic good, the whole idea is that it does in fact work better on a practical level and a moral level. If you accept individual rights as theoretically good, but in practice see them as a failure, you are actually rejecting the theory in the first place.
  8. 1 point

    The Transporter Problem

    These are all things I've thought about, and are all "problems" I have no answer for. These things and the issues I mentioned are all reasons why I earlier said I give this type of technology even being possible, let alone created, a 50/50 chance at best. I offer zero advice or knowledge on making any of this practical (nor ever claimed to), if there's a way around all these things. Since it's a thought experiment being discussed, all I can say is "future tech" could make it possible. I mean entangled pairs are created together, and these couldn't be as one half already exists. If somehow someone got around that and could entangle the particles, we'd need to hope that it held all the needed information without us ever being able to know any of it. I couldn't see any way around at least partial wave function "collapse" during beaming. We'd probably have to accept minimal signal loss as a fact. Another huge problem would be "reassembly" of the random gas configuration of all these various types particles that just arrived at the destination. Again, using the black box of future tech for this, but imagine the amount of energy you would have to add to the system (which would also cause decoherence and also ruin our plans) just to catalyze and/or fuse this gas into a solid state. Anyways, the point is I think all of this is likely always to be impossible, and we share the same issues as to why. That said, without knowing exactly how any future technology could ever overcome all these issues *if* it was created and these issues were overcome, the technology would have to be based on quantum principles especially entanglement. Without that, the idea of teleportation goes from potentially plausible to certainly impossible.
  9. 1 point
    That may be fine, but let me be clear on what my argument is. I'm saying transcendent and universal in form of argument, not transcendent and universal in geographic scope of its conclusion. We have already seen Hazony's favored nationalism³ requires deontic-like claims. It may be that for his nationalism², he is searching for some formal property of "liberalism" that will lead him to "we must have multiple states, and not one world government." But, as my argument above stresses, liberalism is a specific kind of solution ("basic, negative individual rights and private property") to a specific kind of problem ("what is government and why do men need it?" or more abstractly the problem of human community.) Thus, someone working from an inductive and largely Aristotelian-in-spirit framework doesn't require one truth to rule them all, or for norms that are deontic, or transcendent, or universal/universalizable, or that solve all political problems. We work in terms of principles where the fitness of said principles is determined by (a) what in reality gave rise to the need for them and (b) how well they solve those problems. Liberalism is one solution to one set of problems. Not-having-a-world-government (Hazony's nationalism²) is another (questions of centralization-decentralization in scope and structure.) For this reason we are not bothered by Hazony's "liberalism cannot justify dividing that function up over different parcels of land" problem.
  10. 1 point
    You are way off topic here. If this is a continuation of a disagreement originating in another thread then please take it back there.
  11. 1 point
    What alternative? Name it please.
  12. 1 point
    What would "a bunch of 'unaccountable sociopaths'" have to do with a fully capitalist government? If and when a capitalist government starts to exist for the first time in human history in, say, the United States, why would it be a bad thing for it to spread throughout the whole world? This would be, far and away, the greatest achievement in the history of mankind.
  13. 1 point
    Boydstun, It doesn't have to be all humans, it just has to be enough to get all governments working properly.
  14. 1 point
    I don't often run into mentions of This Perfect Day, but it is a neat book!
  15. 1 point

    The Transporter Problem

    Grunching. The resolution to this is whether or not every particle from "the old body and therefore mind" was or wasn't entangled with the particles of the "new body/mind". If the answer is yes they were priorly entangled (and this would likely be a requirement for this technology to work) then yes, the mind is the same and the person is the same and never "died". If however the technology just put together a second copy without being previously entangled (something like construction via nanobot or "Maxwell's Demon" then no it's not the same person and the first person was killed to make way for the second. Again, it's quantum entanglement of all the "old" particles of a person's mind with all of the particles of the "new" person's mind that guarantees continuity of the same mind. Without that entanglement the situation would be the "death conundrum" that OP states.
  16. 1 point
    In unrelated news, I'm releasing a new book. It's about cakes, and if you follow along, you will benefit for a variety of reasons, including these: 1. eating your cake is maximized 2. having your cake is maximized
  17. 1 point

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    "Racist" describes your position, that is, advocating for specifically judging people based on their race rather than their individual characteristics, specifically for perceived threat and destabilization of your country. You were telling me about immigration policies you want in reference to race, you didn't mention anything about, say, only allowing people with a certain IQ to become citizens or immigrate (although wrong, not racist). Moreover, this isn't an implication of what you're saying, it is what you're saying, you seem to just want a nice word without the connotations. If you think it is offensive because it is inaccurate, and you don't want to judge people collectively according to their race, you should fix what you're saying about immigration. Otherwise, you should own up to the most accurate label you can, even if it is distasteful.
  18. 1 point

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Of all the meta-ethical theories floating around in philosophy, there are usually 4 types: god, society, reason, or nature. Usually attacks on Rand's views as a naturalist come from one of the other templates. A Kantian, for example, might claim Rand fails to attach moral claims to pure reason, a conventionalist might claim public agreement lends to more altruism than Rand wants to allow. You seem to want to challenge Rand's views from within the context of human nature, by pointing to some tribalistic aspects of human nature that we've ignored or failed to see. You mentioned a number of times bow, humans are led by emotions, humans are tribal, humans are inherently this or that. But it's not as if merely asserting this or that constitutes a reason to believe something. It's fine if you want to map out the territory, well if humans were inherently interested in only members of their own race, then some sort of racist ethical prescription might follow, but your posts in here suffer from serious "argument from assertion" fallacies. To simply assert is not to establish. It's as if your claims become their own mantra "I see what you're saying but, humans are inherently tribalistic, QED." Is this the proper way to do philosophy? Is this intellectual honesty or ethical discussion? There are many challenges to a neo-Aristotelian conception of human nature, a Randian could challenge, eg., A Nietzschean account by challenging Nietzsche's views of human nature. But just making assertions and repeating them as a mantra is sophism, not philosophy. Moreover, there are many conservative and communitarian critiques of liberty that point to a supposed inherent tribalism, and establish statism to arrange society in tribalistic patterns. MacIntyre, for example, argues against cosmopolitan liberalism from even a largely Aristotelian framework. But he does more than assert "humans are tribal" over and over. The right-Hegelians wished to establish a tribal society in the basis of racist scientific claims. In any event, your original post was about being an "open Objectivism" and revision of certain claims. It's not clear how, if one adopted the above views, one would be offering a divergence from, rather than new version of, Rand's views. If one is rejecting free will, the efficacy of reason, and open ended human sociality, and opposition to statism, this just comes across as petty opportunism or entryism, rather than being an honest conservative critic.
  19. 1 point
    I agree, and here Rand has chosen to speak in a manner such that she could be understood by the masses. I think the main psychological takeaway here is that "intention" or "goal" or "intended consequences" are such a focus of common everyday non-attentive action, that people forget that WHAT they are doing most often achieves NOT ONLY what their goal happens to be... but with blinders on, thinking muted, and eyes on the "prize"... the interpretation then is that the action taken and the particular intended consequence are one and the same. So much so, that a popular self-help writer of the 80s and 90s Steven Covey (Seven Habits?) had to explicitly state (and I am paraphrasing from foggy memory) "when you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other end of the stick too", something one might forget if only focused on picking up one particular end of the stick...
  20. 1 point

    Grieving the loss of God

    I'm no psychologist, but it is fairly common knowledge that grief is a natural part of life, if we conceive of it broadly as going through the process of psychologically dealing with loss. Loss is natural and ubiquitous if one is alive, growing, or changing... all the time one loses one's former self to become something new , something more (or different), a process of being is not static - it is a process of becoming. We transform from a dependent child to an adult, we learn to accept that Santa Claus is a fiction, as an adult we accept "the highschool years" as a part of our ever evolving lives and not its definition, and we must learn to make the transformation through old age and decline as well... These transformations and the subsequent introspections of the differences of self, require a process to fully deal with. We are aware that those who do not properly process these changes, as with those who do not properly process the death of a loved one, have psychologically unresolved issues... which can and will be problematic, until they are properly processed and there is closure and acceptance of the reality of that particular loss or change on a deep psychological level. One of the biggest psychological transformations a person can go through is to convert from an adherent of the religious/supernatural/mystical to a complete atheist. This is no trifle... it is a fundamental shift of a world view, indeed a view of the universe, all of existence, its relation to the self and the very definition of self also. Is anyone aware of any authority, academic, or psychologist who delved into, contemplated, and/or wrote substantively on the subject matter of the psychological process of Grief necessary for fully completing the transformation from religion to atheism in a psychologically healthy manner?
  21. 1 point
    The light hitting your eyes gives you an image that looks like a 3D object. That is on the level of perception and is true. Whether it really is a 3D object is on the level of interpretation, and there it is possible to make errors. This is not really different from other cases that have been used to attack the senses, such as a stick partially in water looking bent.
  22. 1 point
    Under the Objectivist epistmology, it is a problem to propose a ‘definition’ for an anti-concept. But furthermore, this definition needs some correcting. First, the words is actually used without regard to which political level the redistricting applies to – it could be county, state or federal levels of government. Second, this isn’t a definition of gerrymandering, it is an empirical claim about a result of gerrymandering plus some other political facts. If the Republicans (qua majority party) were to redraw voting districts so that Democrats would most likely become the majority party, that too would in fact be gerrymandering, though it doesn’t satisfy the profferred definition of the word. I propose that gerrymandering should be simply defined as any redistricting action that serves a political goal other than equal apportionment. If a state has 100 districts and a population of 7,405,743 citizens, then each district shall contain 74,057 citizens (there shall be rounding to accommodate the fact that districts are based on physical residences which can contain various numbers of people, and you can’t have 43% of a person assigned to each district). Any non-random assignment of geographical areas to districts is thus gerrymandering. This covers choices that favor one party over another; it also covers choices intended to increase or decrease the percentage of voters in a district of a certain race, religion, age, occupation, etc. A computationally-heavy geometry-based approach could be used to choose between SN’s three graphs (but there might also just be three solutions, one of which is selected at random. Because of the population-remainder problem, it is virtually guaranteed that some districts will have 1 more citizen that others. Because (by assumption, open for discussion) the content of a district is a collection of physical addresses and an address can (usually does) contain more than 1 person, addresses need to be included in / excluded from a district in such a way to minimize differences in populations. However, this does presuppose the principle of geographical representation, largely because it is constitutionally mandated.
  23. 1 point

    How (And Why) To Fantasize

    Funny how I'm the one who gets ridiculed as an "ayatollah of fun" when people in this thread were questioning the validity of an objectively fun thing. I don't judge you if you don't fantasize. I think it's a mental faculty that lots of people (not everyone) might find enjoyable to develop. Considering that I was being attacked for a position that I never held... that "fantasy is a fundamental virtue," I was confused at why this strawman was being set up and shot right through the straw. I appreciate your tolerance.
  24. 1 point
    More needs to be said of the political philosophy of the so-called alt-right*. This is one of the most revealing things I've ever seen: What are the logical consequences of a philosophy that takes a "negative view of human nature" (a malevolent people premise)? The first thing to go will be individual rights. A negative view of human nature implies that there's no real basis for holding the non-aggression principle: that one ought to deal with others on the basis of consent. Here is a great article by Andrea Castillo discussing the alt-right neoreactionaries: https://theumlaut.com/2014/07/29/a-gentle-introduction-to-neoreaction-for-libertarians/ Remind you of someone? The political philosophy of the alt-right is monarchist. If that seems weird or obscure to you, think of it in these terms: what they desire is an authoritarian strong-man to oppose the Establishment Left. That should not be an obscure idea at all, at this point. What's interesting is the origin of this political philosophy; quoting from Mencius Moldbug, the father of neoreactionary political philosophy: http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/04/formalist-manifesto-originally-posted.html This is not an oddball political movement that's come out of nowhere - the predecessor of this political philosophy is none other than the quintessentially D2 anarchocapitalism of Rothbardian libertarianism. Think about it - what is the next logical step down the path of D2 politics? It's the disintegration of the non-aggression principle itself on the basis of a malevolent view of human nature. Continuing from Castillo's article: The "Cathedral" that Moldbug discusses in his writing is the new secular "religion" that inhabits the media, Hollywood, academia, big government leftists, etc., that propound postmodernism, feminism, egalitarianism, democracy, etc. Note how this fits with the narrative of how the election is "rigged" against Trump, "a public-private partnership" which includes at its forefront "the media". Neoreactionaries see themselves as explicitly "enlightened", and "beyond libertarianism": One last thing I'll point out from this article, quoting from the "Dark Enlightenment" writer Nick Land: Well what we see right now is reactionary political philosophy becoming a popular movement in the Trump campaign. The threat is real, and we've been warned: its few slender threads of civility will not hold back the beast for long. Dismissing these people as "trolls" and attempting to silence them is extremely foolish; you are cutting yourselves off from the very people you need to be persuading. As Peikoff identified in DIM, we've been on a "distintegrating" (D-type) trend in our society for quite some time, and this is the next logical evolution of D-type political philosophy. I think in light of the apparent size and popularity of this mass movement as we see in the Trump campaign, we need to be re-evaluating what was already a very dubious prediction at the end of his book, that society will devolve into the previous, unmixed "stable state" of the M2-type. On the contrary, what we are seeing right now is the progression of the D-type trend into the unmixed "stable state" of the D2-type. That is a much more credible prediction of where society is going now, and we need to be ready for it. * the article quoted above identifies the original meaning of the term "alt-right"; it's an umbrella term that included the "manosphere", "neoreactionaries", HBD (human bio-diversity), the "orthosphere", the "Dark Enlightenment", etc.
  25. 1 point

    Black Swan

    The contrast between Lily's and Nina's character is not about "fixing" anything. Yes, going out with Lily did not help Nina. I'm not arguing that going out with Lily was a good thing for Nina to do, or that it should help Nina in some way. You are completely missing my point. Throughout the entire movie, you are beaten over the head with the differences between these two girls. Nina is mentally unstable and on a quest for perfection. Lily doesn't care about perfection, is hedonistic, but comes out looking more mentally balanced in the end. Nina ends up stabbing herself, Lily doesn't. Lily congratulates Nina on her excellent performance in the end and isn't psychotic. The connection between insanity and a quest for perfection is made because both of these elements are present in Nina's character. The connection between "balance" and mental stability is made because both of these elements are meshed together in Lily's character. These two characters foil each other: you get compromise and mental stability, or a quest for perfection and insanity. That's part of what's going on with this movie. But the other part of what's going on is that her quest for perfection is linked to her mental illness. The more she struggles to be perfect, the greater her mental illness. I do see a problem with showing this futile quest for perfection as the main characters struggle. In the Romantic Manifesto, Rand writes: "Since a rational man’s ambition is unlimited, since his pursuit and achievement of values is a lifelong process—and the higher the values, the harder the struggle—he needs a moment, an hour or some period of time in which he can experience the sense of his completed task, the sense of living in a universe where his values have been successfully achieved. It is like a moment of rest, a moment to gain fuel to move farther. Art gives him that fuel; the pleasure of contemplating the objectified reality of one’s own sense of life is the pleasure of feeling what it would be like to live in one’s ideal world." What kind of man wants to see a film or a work of art where the plot revolves around a futile quest for perfection undertaken by a crazy person? Who wants to see a film that connects perfectionism to insanity, and compromise to mental health?