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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"

    Miscarriages of Justice

    By Hermes,
    These are not accidental, but are the logical and natural consequences of the criminal justice process. 1. Originally, the courts were not part of the government. In John Locke's Second Treatise, the branches of government were legislative, executive and diplomatic. Courts were community institutions to protect from government. Our present federal Constitution made the courts a branch of government. 2. Prosecutors, defense attorneys -- especially "public defenders" -- bailiffs, and other actors all work together daily. The victim and the accused are outsiders to the system. 3. Actors are not responsible for their decisions. Bad prosecutions, jury error, judicial error go unpunished, even if they are corrected on appeal. 4. We draw juries from the pool of licensed drivers -- formerly registered voters. Jurors are not professionals, vetted for their competence. 5. Eyewitness testimony is known to be notoriously flawed. A subset comes from the police "line up." Some are live. In others people are shown photographs. The police "drive up" is when the officers on patrol place the suspect in the back of the car, take them to the victim, and ask for verification. 6. Informants run a spectrum from the guilty seeking absolution, to jail and prison insiders who testify to anything asked in return for material reward. There is no clear, objective way to differentiate them. 7. Special interests perpetuate themselves. Politicians are elected for proposing tougher laws. Government departments of corrections become huge populations dependent on crimes and punishments for their livelihoods. To cut costs, states turn to private providers, generating a "prison-industrial complex." But the very study of criminology seeded an "academic-criminal complex" in which theories abounded and solutions were sparse. On the other hand, governments have quality control processes for the construction of bridges, but none for the construction of criminal law or its application and enforcement. Police and prosecutors gain power and authority for enforcements which incentivizes them to lie: the courts uphold their right to do so. (more to follow)

    Reblogged:My Favorite Weather Babe

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    My wife purchased an Amazon Echo around Christmas, and let me take this opportunity to sing praise to the high heavens for the following mundane use: I can (at last!) get a concise summary of the weather on a daily basis. Yes, this thing is a technological marvel, and I love having something so science-fictiony sitting unobtrusively in the kitchen (where it blends in suspiciously well with our car coffee mugs), but this has been my most pleasant surprise and favorite use so far. Here's a slightly edited transcript:
    Short, sweet, and to the point. But why has this been missing from the web?

    Before I begin, let's consider the obvious benefit of Alexa's weather summary: I can get the weather immediately when I need it -- generally when getting myself and the kids ready for the day -- without having to drop everything to check my computer or phone -- or having some radio station blaring the whole time. That's a big part of it, but the summary is far superior to the barrage of verbiage, images, and advertising (however much decent formatting salvages it) from the web, or even the less-bloated output of my phone's weather app. Indeed, I looked for some time for exactly this kind of summary, in text form, a couple of years ago, in the hopes of automatically dumping it into my daily planner so I could ... just ... know ... what generally to expect. I never found one. Given that this is a popular use of the Echo, it's not as if there was zero demand for something like this.

    My best guess as to why the web, for all the information available from it, never delivered something like this comes down to a few things:
    Since it's easy to deliver gobs of information, and there's no telling how much detail what any one visitor might want, weather pages just go ahead and give it. (And one can come up with a general idea by perusing, say, the hourly forecast, but it takes more time.) Web pages are delivered "free," but since someone has to pay the bills, they have to include ads. So the "weather page" suffers from having more than one purpose. No man can serve two masters ... (Alexa, though not ad-free, is a subscription service, and needn't and doesn't serve ads for things like this. You'll get an ad only if you bump into something your subscription doesn't cover.) Such a summary, while it sounds simple, strikes me as something requiring artificial intelligence. Perhaps it is a happy byproduct of all the other work it took to create the Echo. Note that the web hasn't caused mass unemployment of television and radio weathermen. In any event, it has been a joy to be able to get what I need when I need it so quickly and easily.

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Failure To Launch Epidemic

    By Tenderlysharp,
    I read this article this morning and am having some thoughts about the issue of Failure to Launch.  This article complains that children are being coddled, but doesn't suggest much more solution than having a family meal: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/nation-wimps/201612/the-failure-launch-epidemic   Competition for resources has made it much more difficult for a young person to own his home.  When you own your home you have a greater drive to keep it.  When most of your energy is being drained to a vampire rent lord you lose ambition.  If the housing industry is being manipulated by realtor vampires, why put all that energy into a middle man between you and the former owner of the home?  When the government is devaluing the dollar to make it look like there are gains in the economy, how can you keep the fruits of your effort?  Why put any effort into feeding the parasites?  Our parents 401K's gain money through rental properties, our parents generation is living off of our generation.  In China three generations live together, and China is now buying up 'investment' property in the US.  Why leave home?  If you refute my arguments please divulge if you own rental property, and how that is good for the economy.

    Is it moral not to have a productive purpose?

    Heinrich Dorfmann
    By Heinrich Dorfmann,
    Hello everyone. I appreciate if anyone could help me understand the following issue. The question is not so simple as the tittle states. I understand that productive work is the process by which man’s mind sustains his life. I understand that either you work to support yourself or you act as a parasite on others. Ayn Rand states that: She also states that: Ok, lets explore the following case. What about a man who works for X years untill he saves enough so that the interest payments on his earned money (or proceeds from investments on his earned money) is enough to provide for his life, values and enjoyment of it. Suppose that when he reaches this X amount, he will stop working (in other words, producing), and pursue other values, such as travelling, raising his kids, exploring the world, learning things he didn’t have the time before or taking cooking classes. Such a man would not produce anything, the use of his mind would be focused only on non-productive endeavors (but nonetheless endeavors that add value to his life and are rational).  The man I described has no “productive purpose” anymore. He has a purpose, which is to do things he enjoys (rational things, as opposed to irrational whims).  Is he moral? My answer is yes. He is pursuing rational values, learning, expanding his mind. I don’t see how he can be immoral, but, according to Rand, he becomes immoral at the moment he lacks a “productive purpose”.  One could argue that it would take many years for him to reach X amount of money, and therefore he is moral because he produced most of his life (as in the case of a retired man). This is invalid because the amount of money he needs is a very personal matter: he may be happy living off very small interest payments or dividends, and therefore may have stopped working at a very young age. Or suppose a man who sells his business also at a very young age. I guess the final question is: is it moral for a man not to produce, but instead live his life pursuing other rational values, given he has the money to live by the proceeds of its investments (his own money).  What do you think? What about a lottery winner or a wealthy heir in the same situation? 

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