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DavidV

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Everything posted by DavidV

  1. Social network survey #2 regarding Intellectual Property - "like" if you agree: 1: The need for property rights arises from the possibility of conflict over scarce resources. Non-scare resources such as ideas not scare, since sharing an idea does not take it away from any other holder of that idea. Treating ideas as property by granting intellectual monopolies creates scarcity where it had not existed before. "Intellectual property" is a redistribution of the rights of tangible property o...

  2. Quick survey of my social network: A tax is an involuntary, coercive confiscation of property, and therefore is theft and a violation of property rights. All forms of taxation should be abolished entirely, immediately, and permanently. Services currently paid by taxation should be instead be funded by the voluntary consent of individual consumers. "Like" if you agree.

  3. Those who oppose minor and perhaps reasonable expansions to the power of the government on the grounds that that power will inevitably be expanded abused are not necessarily committing the fallacy of the slippery slope. Extensive precedent has shown that once any task is institutionalized in a government agency, it will forever have a lobby which is dedicated to expanding its purview and budget. No matter how rigidly and narrowly the original mission is defined, the continuing employment and power of the bureaucrats responsible for it becomes an end in itself. Perhaps one of the simplest examples of this is the list of United States Federal Agencies. Operating independently of market constraints, the bureaucrat has no obligation to prove his efficacy or any continuing need for his services, nor any need to balance the value of the service he provides against the cost. He works tirelessly to find new crises which must brought under his control or to worsen (usually by means of perverse economic incentives) the very problem he is tasked with solving. In the aggregate, the mass of bureaucrats in any given society work subvert the energy of the remaining productive people until civilization disintegrates into hyperinflation and bankruptcy. Their intentions may initially be purely benign, but their work requires ever greater degrees of evasion and mass brainwashing as they search for victims and enemies in ever wider circles of society. No matter how trivial the problem to the solved, once a political solution is attempted, the issue can only be expected to become worse and more expensive. Can you think of a single instance when a bureaucracy resolved the issue it was tasked with solving and fired itself? It should be noted that this trend also manifests in large corporations, whenever it becomes so large and vertically integrated that individual departments are able to operate outside the pressure of the market and thus outside the pricing mechanism as a means of valuing services. Fortunately, the wealth destruction of corporations in a free economy is limited by its revenue, and it need not exhaust the entire wealth of a society in order to it collapse. Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TruthJusticeAndTheAmericanWay/~3/DeTK4uSqKrg/
  4. Hello, My web host is threatening to kick me (that is, us) out because my account has too many files (over 200,000). One issue is that there are too many attachments for this forum. Over the last 10+ years and many upgrades, we've accumulated some orphan files it seems. I would like to clean them up, but it make cause broken attachments if I delete the wrong ones. However I don't suppose it's reasonable for everyone to review all the files they've uploaded over 10 1/2 years. I'm open to suggestions.
  5. Those who oppose minor and perhaps reasonable expansions to the power of the government on the grounds that that power will inevitably be expanded abused are not necessarily committing the fallacy of the slippery slope. Extensive precedent has shown that once any task is institutionalized in a government agency, it will forever have a lobby which is dedicated to expanding its purview and budget. No matter how rigidly and narrowly the original mission is defined, the continuing employment and power of the bureaucrats responsible for it becomes an end in itself. Perhaps one of the simplest examples of this is the list of United States Federal Agencies. Operating independently of market constraints, the bureaucrat has no obligation to prove his efficacy or any continuing need for his services, nor any need to balance the value of the service he provides against the cost. He works tirelessly to find new crises which must brought under his control or to worsen (usually by means of perverse economic incentives) the very problem he is tasked with solving. In the aggregate, the mass of bureaucrats in any given society work subvert the energy of the remaining productive people until civilization disintegrates into hyperinflation and bankruptcy. Their intentions may initially be purely benign, but their work requires ever greater degrees of evasion and mass brainwashing as they search for victims and enemies in ever wider circles of society. No matter how trivial the problem to the solved, once a political solution is attempted, the issue can only be expected to become worse and more expensive. Can you think of a single instance when a bureaucracy resolved the issue it was tasked with solving and fired itself? It should be noted that this trend also manifests in large corporations, whenever it becomes so large and vertically integrated that individual departments are able to operate outside the pressure of the market and thus outside the pricing mechanism as a means of valuing services. Fortunately, the wealth destruction of corporations in a free economy is limited by its revenue, and it need not exhaust the entire wealth of a society in order to it collapse. Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TruthJusticeAndTheAmericanWay/~3/DeTK4uSqKrg/
  6. By the way, I just updated the Wiki to the very latest version: http://wiki.objectivismonline.net/index.php?title=Special:Version
  7. Good point. Thanks. I have updated the front page with instructions.
  8. The forum software has been updated. Let me know if you find any issues.
  9. In the natural world, we can attempt understanding, but not judgement. We can ask why the lion hunts the antelope, but not whether it is right or wrong. We can feel pity for the prey, but we know that while the antelope must die for the lion to live, neither can be said to be more deserving of life. They act as they must to survive, and to judge their method of survival is as irrational as criticizing the earth for going around the sun. But with human action, it is different. Humans have the power to choose their way of life, and so affect their existence for better of worse. As fellow humans, we can observe the choices of others, understand their consequences, and apply the lessons to guide our own actions. And so, every human action that we observe has the potential for judgement: does this choice improve or worsen the actor’s life, and how would affect mine? Some people tend to judge without understanding, by following their emotions or someone else’s edicts. Others attempt to understand without judging, viewing other humans as another kind of wildlife, and themselves as the indifferent observer. Both habits lead to disaster if pursued consistently. As mortal animals, our time and resources are limited, and so we must learn from others actions which mistakes and people to avoid, and which habits and people to value. Understanding must come first; if we judge without understanding, we fail to use our primary means of survival (our mind) and enslave ourselves to whomever’s moral edicts we happen to hear first. We must attempt understanding far more often than we judge because obtaining the evidence needed to form a conclusion is never a certainty. The person who refuses to judge is just as much a slave to the moral edits of others as he who judges without understanding, as neither develops the ability to form his own opinions, and so both fall victim to the first preacher of right and wrong. As mortal beings, our way of life requires that we understand both the facts of nature and the facts and consequences of human action. When it comes to human choices, we must keep in mind that every action and every man-made thing carries the possibility and responsibility of moral judgment. Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TruthJusticeAndTheAmericanWay/~3/A9LM23Hz4_I/
  10. The FAA requires that China submit to TSA regulations for it to allow planes from China to land in the USA. So when we left China, the *asked* us "are you carrying any bottles of water?" None of that nonsense of remove clothes, laptops, shoes, etc. When we got to the USA, we had to go through security again. The conveyor belt dropped Sarah's Vaio laptop and cracked the case. The moral of the story: buy Apple laptops if you fly in the USA.

  11. I have a have a stock of laptop and old desktop memory, so if you want free/cheap (I have 1, 2, 4, 8 GB of DDR1,2,3 SIMM and DIMM) upgrade for your laptop or really old computer and live in San Antonio, Austin, or Dallas, please comment within 12 hours and I will bring it with me.

  12. I was mobbed by old ladies in the store today (as usual). They kept asking me if Sophie is really three months old, as she is very advanced for her age. My Chinese is crap, but I understood when they asked 吃奶妈妈 ("Does she eat mom's milk?") Few women breastfeed in China, especially among those who can afford Western formula, but it seems some still recognize its advantages.

  13. I remember watching a news program on TBN, a Christian broadcasting network. If I remember correctly, the format was that the news anchors would present some story from world or national news. Then Jerry Falwell, a famous televangelist would give his opinion on it. At the time, I thought it must be a dream job -- basically, he got paid to rant about whatever he wanted every night, while other people did all the research work and (supposedly) factual reporting. Whatever the topic, he alway...

  14. Advice to photographers and videographers: Unless you are taking photos for legal evidence, or to hand them off for processing to someone else, you are an artist, and should treat your work accordingly. Even if your goal is only to document an event, to take a photo, you must choose the subject, time, and composition of every shot. That means you are choosing the message you wish to convey, regardless of how the viewer may interpret it. Don't shirk your responsibility as artist by dumping...

  15. I went for a walk in Lujiazui today on my way home....

  16. Re. my earlier post on restriction of copiers in Soviet Russia: "Senator Leland Yee wants 3d printers to be regulated, licensed, and the owners background checked" http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2013/05/08/sen-leland-yee-proposes-regulations-on-3-d-printers-after-gun-test/

  17. I had a technical issue I could not figure out. Normally I use Google to find either product documentation or people with similar issues. When the direct approach failed, so I tried the brute-force method: keep restating the problem in different ways. Some searches provided me with additional keywords to try. After about 20-30 searches, I found someone a close enough description of the issue, and the solution.

  18. "Observe the intensity, the austere, the unsmiling seriousness with which an infant watches the world around him. If you ever find, in an adult, that degree of seriousness about reality, you will have found a great man." - Ayn Rand

  19. FYI: I'll be in the USA - May 29 to June 12.

  20. "The task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice." --Linda Bowles

  21. I love the Google+ iPad app. Great animations and photo sharing. Very slick. I'm posting this on Facebook because no would actually see my comment on Google+.

  22. 1: The computer cannot be denser than that which would create a black hole (Bekenstein bound) 2: The temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation sets the minimum operating temperature 3: Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, Planck’s constant,E = mc2 set a maximum on the energy processing per unit mass (2 x 1047 bits per second per gram of its mass) 4: Due to the second law of thermodynamics, there is a minimum to the energy consumption per computation (Landauer limit) More: Wikipedia Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TruthJusticeAndTheAmericanWay/~3/7tuVKx2LQik/
  23. DavidV

    BitCoin

    That would make some investors very happy, because we would buy like crazy before the prices recovered.
  24. This is not a prediction, but one plausible timeline out of the many I can imagine: Late 2013: The media reports that organized crime, tax evaders, and “terrorists” are using Bitcoin. Early 2014: Politicians call for investigation of claims that Bitcoin is being used to facilitate illegal activities. The rhetoric is ratcheted up over the course of the year. Late 2014: Bitcoin transactions have been growing exponentially for several years. The world’s established financial institutions cannot compete with the lower costs of unregulated financial markets and pressure governments to act. 2015: Western governments raid and shut down all the major BitCoin exchangers and effectively kill the currency. Operators are put away for lengthy sentences, while others are found to have been cooperating with authorities for some time. 2020′s: Bitcoin (or something very much like it) revives on a small scale as an underground currency and slowly grows over the next two decades. 2020-2030: The US empire collapses. The EU has already fallen. China tries, but fails to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. People hoard gold, but governments prevent it from being effectively used as money. 2030′s: 3D printing takes off. Established industries attack unlicensed home printing as a violation of their IP. The major non-affiliated (“pirate”) pattern markets are blocked from handling financial transactions, and for a while, a pirate industry matures. Late 2030′s: Something very much like BitCoin resurges. This time, it has a killer app: micro payments for 3D printing patterns. Ubiquitous encryption prevents governments and corporations from monitoring transactions and hoarded gold provides the base for monetary exchange. 2040′s: With much of the economy being conducted in unregulated 3D pattern markers and most transactions being conducted over BitCoin, the tax base collapses. Late 2040′s: Governments seize fiat-denominated savings in a desperate power grab, but fiat money is now worthless compared to an untraceable fiat currency like Bitcoin. Governments attempt to seize real assets to replace lost income, but are met by large-scale protests backed by homemade 3D printed weapons. Mass chaos and violence follows. 2050′s: Stability re-emerges, as new judicial systems evolve backed by anonymous transactions. Large states become increasingly irrelevant. Late 2050′s: The last stand of centralized governments: politicians call in the military in an attempt to rebuild the surveillance state and kill digital currencies for good. Assassination markets, long used in organized crime, are turned against politicians, as the populace fights back. Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TruthJusticeAndTheAmericanWay/~3/bxAEz9DJkkQ/
  25. So, Sophie failed her hearing test in both ears three times now. She startles at loud sounds, so she's definitely hearing some things, but apparently not enough. Hopefully her ears are just clogged with vernix. We'll do another test a month from now. Of course I'll be obsessing about it until then.

    1. Plasmatic

      Plasmatic

      My nephew had the same type of problem. He ended up getting tubes in his ears and that made all the difference.

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