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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"

    Pop-ups--A violation of rights?

    By Alex,
    Pop-ups, everyone gets them or at least alot of us do. I don't know much about the technicalities of it so correct me if I'm wrong. Programs can be downloaded onto my computer from outside when I go to a site without my consent and these programs can lay inside my hard drive and send 'pop-ups'. Would that be an act violating privacy and property rights?

    To Beam Or Not To Beam?

    By Whitestar,
    In 1998, researchers at Stanford University's Linear Accelerator Center successfully converted energy into matter. This feat was accomplished by using lasers and incredibly strong electromagnetic fields to change ordinary light into matter. The results of this experiment may allow for the development of variety of technological gadgets. One such development could be matter/energy transporters or food replicators that are commonly seen in some of our favorite science fiction programs. For more information, check out the following site: http://www.geog.ouc.bc.ca/physgeog/contents/6a.html The transporter in Star Trek operates by separating crew members at the atomic level, converting them into energy, sending them to their appointed destination and the process is reversed. Granted, this is science fiction, however, fiction has a knack for becoming fact. Anyway, imagine for the sake of argument that scientists have built a transporter/teleporter that works just like in Star Trek, let's see what would happen to a person undergoing the process. If the mass of a person is converted into energy in an uncontrolled way (eg, collision with a very large amount of antimatter, destroying every proton, neutron and electron in your body) then the information that is encoded on the gamma rays (usually) released will be lost. In a controlled conversion, you could in principle convert the entire body to energy one particle at a time, and then read off the whole state and transmit it. But there are two problems with this: 1) A tremendous amount of data needs to be sent. In "The Physics of Star Trek" author Lawerence Krauss calculates the approximate amount, about 10,000 light-years to the center of the galaxy! 2) The amount of time this takes. However, current thought in neuroscience is that the "personailty/consciousness" is not at all QM, and thus there is no need to break someone down to a subatomic level and read their Quantum State. Instead, it is simply enough to know there chemical structure - and copy it at that resolution. This means there are no "no cloning" problems, much less data to handle, and no need to destroy the original (given sufficient technology to do the scanning). This would allow you to create "clones" - you could send copies of yourself "over the radio", while you stay safe at home. (Greg Egan's Diaspora talks about this at an AI level - the AI programs clone themselves and send themselves all over the place) Now if you turn each person into energy, you get a cloud of gamma rays expanding outwards. There is nothing that would make them spontaneously reform the person - even if you reflected them backwards, they would not neccessarily create the original particles. It is much more likely that teleportation would involve sending the information that can be gleaned from the gamma rays, and then having the information used by a base station to construct the person, more mechanically. In my view, when your body is destroy, you die. End of story. What comes out of the teleporter is an exact copy, with all your memories etc, and no knowledge that it isn't you, but it isn't. No one would ever notice the problem, so it only affects you when it happens. Unless, if you believe in souls, there are "conservation of souls" problems to deal with - does the same soul follow the body around? While in an information state, there is no consciousness, no heart to beat - the person is not a person shaped lump of energy, rather they are radio waves carrying info about his state. What does everybody else thinks? Whitestar

    The Cultural Ascendancy of Ayn Rand

    By schwartzandrew,
    Hello everyone, Some of you may be interested in a just-published special year-end column at the Atlasphere by Chris Matthew Sciabarra: "The Cultural Ascendancy of Ayn Rand." From TV shows to encyclopedias, comic books to scholarly journals, Rand references in the culture have recently been skyrocketing — transforming Rand into a veritable iconic figure. Sciabarra tells the story. For the article, visit: http://www.theatlasphere.com Happy New Year! Andrew Schwartz P.S. Also, in case you missed it, the Atlasphere's recent interview with rock musician Sarah Saturday of the Wisconsin-based pop-punk band Saving Face is still available online.

    Technical fields and the lack of artistic license

    By mikes603,
    Forcing an author to write in a certain language is obviously wrong. One could argue you should write in Chinese simply because more people speak that language. A writer could chose pig Latin as his chosen language under artistic license and it would more then likely be accepted as a valid although unpopular choice. I am personally finding that technical engineering fields while having the same passion for thought,reason,imagination and happiness via creativity as writing, is granted no artistic license by most. This could be materialized in numerous extreme examples as with the writer, such as designing a house out of Popsicle sticks that is structurally sound. Basically using any unpopular method to reach an aim that is as sound as using a popular one. The results being the same technically as the popular method. I am finding that this unpopular method, whatever it may be in whatever realm, is apposed by the needs of the inability of others... Not all engineers know popsiclology, so if repairs down the road had to be made by a 3rd party it would not be advisable to use such a unpopular method. I feel that this is placing a need on the pro popsiclology engineer that is based upon the inability of others. Am i correct? If so, is this a valid reason not to use an unpopular method chosen under artistic license? I am looking for text on further thought on this. (ive read fountainhead&as) I guess pertaining to questions such as.. Should Engineers have artistic license? Should that license grant any chosen methods if yielding the same results? -Mike Spenard

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