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    Objectivism Is The Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"
  • Objectivism Online Chat

    Reblogged:Our Latest Climate Deadline

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Regarding the latest headlines proclaiming that we have only a few years to "save" the planet from "climate change," fossil fuels advocate Alex Epstein  has pointed to a must-see video (viewing time: 15 minutes).

    To say this video has it all would be a vast understatement. Barely half way through Tony Heller's collection of time-debunked news clips and "experts" clinging to pet theories obviously at odds with reality, you may already be laughing. And then you'll see the same thing occurring with the global cooling scare that came before -- and the global warming scare that came before it. I don't think quoting from the last slide will spoil anything, so here goes:
    The source? An Australian newspaper from 1871.

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Reblogged:Protectionism Trumping "Deregulation"

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    George Will nails Donald Trump's self-contradictory economic policies to the wall, shortly after correctly stating that, "The descent of American capitalism into a racket is being greased by professed capitalists in government, in collaboration with professed capitalists in what is called, with decreasing accuracy, the private sector."
    Of course, that's just the measurable amount. We're not factoring in all the ramifications -- à la Frederic Bastiat -- for everyone who had to overpay, or will overpay due to such policies.

    So much for even that "bigly" 0.07% decrease in regulatory drag I was already getting ready to eat my hat over, tanks to Keith Weiner's analysis.

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Reblogged:Drone Regulation: A Step Back or a Strategic Retreat?

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Image via Pixabay. The President who wanted to remove two old regulations for every new one recently signed into law the FAA Reauthorization Act, which repeals an old statutory exemption from FAA rules for model aircraft, such as drones. The new law will take some time to take effect, but it raises some interesting questions for those of us who, unlike the President (See: tariffs.), oppose regulation of the economy on principle. The first might even be, where do we stand on this? Other countries already have drones delivering beer to concerts, for example, and the FAA has been a hindrance to commercial drone use here, for example. I haven't delved into this story, but in our crazy-quilt mixed economy, such a move could -- especially to a pragmatist -- look like a good way to free up the economy. It could even fit into a general scheme to de-regulate. I doubt this is the case with Trump or today's GOP, but its an interesting question to consider.

    Part of the problem is that our regulatory authorities combine several types of activities, ranging from the completely illegitimate; through those that need doing, but not by government; to providing a proper and necessary legal framework for a certain type of activity: (1) completely illegitimate central planning (such as the kind that makes "Uber for flight" illegal); (2) activity that standards bodies, watchdog groups or the like can and should be doing, instead of the government, such as establishing best practices for dealing with volcanic ash; and (3) adapting the law as necessary when new technology raises a question about, say the limits of property rights. Even in the last case, I doubt a full-blown regulatory agency would always (ever?) be necessary.

    Again, I just learned of the signing of this law and haven't had time to learn about its rationale, but the mixed nature of regulation conceivably means that a nominal increase in regulations can sometimes look in effect like a freeing-up of an economic sector, and could conceivably be a tool for eventually reducing and eliminating regulation while other law is corrected. The last link mentions that flight raised new questions about an old common law assumption about property rights, and reminds me a bit of Ayn Rand's essay on a related problem, "The Property Status of the Airwaves," in which she discussed how the government incorrectly solved the problem posed by radio in its early days.

    I have heard some cheer this regulatory expansion, citing the common stereotype of the individual as inherently irresponsible and in need of being kept from flying drones without heavy government supervision. But reckless piloting, say near airports, would already be illegal. Torts might, in a freer society, motivate manufacturers and sellers to educate their customers. And then there is the question of whether the limit to how high in the sky private property actually goes was settled correctly in the early days of flight. I don't know the answers to all of these questions, but these are good questions, and those of us who oppose regulation need to appreciate that they are good ones as we prepare to argue against regulation and think about how to get rid of it.

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Chess: Compatible With Objectivism, Or An Escape?

    Randrew
    By Randrew,
    I was wondering if there were any serious chess players out there who have struggled with this question, as I have. Actually, I think I already have the answer, in the form of Ayn Rand's explicity-expressed opinion, although it seems that it could fit in with Galt's description of work. First, I present the argument against Chess-ambition. Here I quote Rand's "Open Letter to Boris Spassky" from PWNI (54-55): "Chess is an escape--an escape from reality. It is an 'out,' a kind of "make-work" for a man of higher than average intelligence who was afraid to live, but could not leave his mind unemployed and devoted it to a placebo--thus surrendering to others the living world he had rejected as too hard to understand. . . . Unlike algebra, chess does not represent the abstraction--the basic pattern--of mental effort; it represents the opposite: it focuses mental effort on a set of concretes, and demands such complex calculations that a mind has no room for anything else. By creating an illusion of action and struggle, chess reduces the professional player's mind to an uncritical, unvaluing passivity toward life. Chess removes the motor of intellectual effort--the question 'What for?'--and leaves a somewhat frightening phenomenon: intellectual effort devoid of purpose." On the other hand, recall John Galt's paragraph on the virtue of Productiveness (946): "Productive work is...a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values--that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind..." (946) Although chess doesn't really have a strong connection to "the earth" or "matter," there are many kinds of productive work that also don't, such as the various and sundry abstruse branches of higher mathematics. In the case of pure mathematics, its creators work without an eye to specific applications, and may even die not having seen their work influence productivity. But it is still considered productive work. Thoughts?

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