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Everything posted by DavidV

  1. Although I am no longer active on this forum, I was recently sent a moderation request. I decided to post this brief introduction to my involvement with the site in case it is of interest to some of the current users. I created Objectivism Online in February 2003. The original vision was much more ambitious but has gradually narrowed in scope and various social media platforms have superseded some of the original features. The initial membership came largely from connections I made at the 2003 Objectivist Summer Conference. For a number of years, this site was the primary online community for students of Objectivism on the Internet. I have not been active on the site for over 10 years, but it has continued thanks to a succession of administrators: RationalEgoistSG - he helped complete the original vision for the site in 2003. AshRyan - he organized live events and supported the forum through the rapid growth phase in 2005. softwareNerd - he has been the de-facto leader of this forum since 2006. JASKN - has been running the site since softwareNerd retired in (2015?) I'll close with some other sites that I run on the server which hosts this forum: WalletRecovery.info, my Bitcoin Wallet Recovery business Vellum Capital , a cryptocurrency hedge fund (in which I am a partner) The Free Capitalist Network, a WordPress blog network with a few dozen (free) blogs. RationalMind.net , my own blog, which was active from 2001-2013, until I co-founded Liberty.me , and set up my blog there. In addition to these projects, I am the Director of Marketing and Technology for the Foundation for Economic Education, a free market think tank founded in 1946. As I'm not currently active on the forum, if you want to contact me, you can find me on Facebook. Let me end with a plug for The Objective Standard (I've been helping Craig run the site), and the TOS-Con 2018 conference, where I will be presenting content from my forthcoming book on personal finance. It's in Richmond, VA August 16–19 2018.
  2. Disappointed with my investment advisor's choices and the limited selection of my company-sponsored retirement funds, I have decided to consolidate all my investments into an online brokerage and stake out on my own. I would like to share my strategy and solicit advice to profit in the current turbulent economy. My strategy is: 1/3 precious metals – Physical bullion, GLD, and mining ETFs 1/3 S&P 500 1/3 foreign stocks & currencies Get a discount warehouse club membership and hoard supplies My assumptions: The dollar will fall dramatically, along with most domestic stocks. (0-2 years) Gold will rise (0-3 years) Foreign markets will crash when U.S. debt is discovered to be worthless (0-7 months) Unburdened of worthless U.S. debt, foreign markets will outpace USA (1-10 years) Some questions: What are strong and broad foreign investments? What is a good growth small-cap domestic ETF? What should I do with my tax-free accounts? What specific funds would accomplish my strategy?
  3. Let's do that now: I split my portfolio into 3 equal parts at start of 2009. Gold: 86 to 183, down to 128 : 49% up International securities: 29 to 52, 45 now: 55% up S&P 500: 825 to 2173 : 163% up I would have done better if I had gone 100% S&P 500. It's fair to say my doomsday predictions were quite wrong (or at least too early). I did quite a lot better than the markets in 2009 and 2010, but did not sell when gold crashed in 2013+, and slightly trailed the market from 2011 on when foreign markets stalled while the USA boomed. In conclusion, while I had some good and bad luck, I mostly matched the overall market. My superior returns were mostly due to luck. The one smart thing I did was to invest every penny I had when the market was worst, specifically in the assets which suffered the most. I that again in January 2016 with similar success. This post and the upcoming one cover the lessons I learned from investing on my own.
  4. ObjectivismOnline now has a wiki - a user-contributed, collaborative collection of documents. My eventual goal is to integrate the wiki with the rest of the site and create a reference on Objectivism. To assist me in this goal, I encourage member to add well-written responses and explanations to our wiki.
  5. Join Objectivist fantasy-fiction author Tom Liberman for a celebration of his sword-and-sorcery adventure novel, The Broken Throne. http://www.spreecast.com/events/the-broken-throne This is a live video event on Spreecast, and you can watch, ask questions, and join in the community. We start at 9 EST on Tuesday night (March 3). Can a taste of freedom can turn a man against everything he has ever known? Hosted by Liberty.me LIVE. PS: The Broken Throne ebook is free to download for all Liberty.me members for a limited time. (However, you don't need to be a member to come to the event.)
  6. By David from Truth, Justice, and the American Way,cross-posted by MetaBlog The environmentalist movement believes that unless immediate and drastic measures are taken to combat global warming, “disease, desolation and famine” are “inevitable” on a scale that might spell the end of life on earth, making earth “as hot as Venus.“ Surely, such an apocalyptic threat demands immediate action. Given the resistance to curtailing industrial production (not to mention the economic destruction and mass death that such a curtailment would entail), environmentalists should eagerly supports experiments that attempt to compensate rather than eliminate the impact of industry on the environment. In fact, a number of relatively simple, low-cost measures have been proposed by scientists and entrepreneurs, one of which is documented in the June 2008 issue of Popular Science (PDF). As early as 1988, oceanographers proposed seeding the oceans with iron, which would cause an algae bloom that could rapidly compensate for the entire effect of industrial civilization for far less money that it would cost to eliminate CO2 emissions. Seeding experiments by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have demonstrated that the technique works, although further experimentation is required. A number of entrepreneurs, such as Russ George of Planktos Corp (TED video) stepped forward to carry out the required work. How would you expect environmental groups to react to such an opportunity? If you guessed outright or even cautious optimism, you would be dead wrong. “I don’t think any quick geo-engineering fixes are going to work,” said one Greenpeace scientist. “There are only two ways that we’re going to solve climate change: reduce the amount of energy that we use and dramatically change the methods we use to generate it.” According to Scientific American, environmental groups were essentially united in the belief that “if society relies on quick techno-fixes to ameliorate global warming … people will stop putting in the hard work necessary to cut carbon emissions.” Think about what that statement means. “Hard work” means government coercion to destroy the industrial production that feeds (sometimes barely) a rapidly growing human population. “Quick engineering fix” means a fast, cheap, technological solution that allows us to have our cake (the wealthy, healthy life that industry makes possible) and eat it too (literally, algae eating CO2). Notice that their objection is not that iron seeding won’t work, but that it eliminates the incentive to destroy industrial civilization. As the article make clear, environmentalists are violently opposed to even exploring any measure that attempts to neutralize the “threat” of global warming rather than deal with the cause. Lies and intimidation are integral to the movement: the terrorist group Sea Shepherd, which has sunk nine ships since 1979, threatened any future seeding experiments, their PR machine used fear of nanotechnology to claim that iron ore (plain rust) is “engineered nanoparticles,” while their political branch got the Spanish government to ban seeding on the grounds that it constitutes “toxic waste” dumping. As should be clear by now, environmentalism is not actually opposed to global warming - ending the “threat” posed by global warming is the last thing on their agenda. Their real goal is to use the global warming scare to bully the developed world into reverting into the pre-industrial, pre-civilized age. They oppose viable alternative energy sources for the same reason that they oppose viable fixes to the crises they invent – they oppose nuclear energy, hydro power, and they are organizing to oppose wind power just as it has become viable. If solar panels ever become viable, they will certainly invent reasons to oppose them too. (Note that I am not actually advocating iron ore seeding. I am not convinced that the climate is warming as rapidly as claimed, or that CO2 is the cause, and even it is, it is likely that higher CO2 levels and a warmer climate offer tremendous benefits to both plant and animal life. If anything, we should be encouraging measures that make our world greener and more comfortable.) ShareThis http://ObjectivismOnline.com/archives/003749.html
  7. How about now? Better?
  8. Update: Just updated to PHP 5.6 and tuned the settings. Let's see if it's more stable.
  9. FYI The forum has not been very stable since the move. I am trying to host it on Windows/IIS, which requires some tuning. If it does not work after a week, I'll have to move it to Apache and/or Linux. Please IM me if you notice that it's down.
  10. Sorry guys, I screwed up big time. I migrated the nightly backup, whereas I should have taken a snapshot before migrating. I thought it would be OK because it was the middle of the night, but because of the time zone difference (I'm in Bangkok) I did not realize that the backup was done on the previous day. Then, because I did it at the last minute, the hosting account is expired. I cannot access the latest backup without paying for another six months. Would it be a huge deal to give up on the last day of posts? They are probably in Google's cache.
  11. For future posts, please follow my new blog at Liberty.me: The Ungoverned Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TruthJusticeAndTheAmericanWay/~3/AxDzosatVdc/
  12. The "electric universe" theory is unscientific nonsense. I'm closing this topic to discourage real science from being posted here to give it an air of legitimacy.
  13. I just made the default background a bit darker. I think it makes the text a little easier to read, but still not perfect.
  14. Sophie learned how to remove the keys from my MacBook today. In other news, I now know how to re-attach the keys on Apple keyboard. This is bound to turn into an arms race.

  15. Although the Obamacare website has been a very typical government IT disaster, given the State's unlimited ability to rob the public to pay for his mistakes, it will surely be fixed eventually. That is when the real fun will begin. Given the State's ability to redirect an unlimited ability of the people's wealth into healthcare, surely the total amount of medical services provided can be increased, in the same way that the amount of educational services have increased by increasing the shar...

  16. I updated my NuGet packages, which upgraded me to MVC5, breaking SimpleMembership. I installed the new Visual Studio 2013 to try to understand the new Microsoft .NET Identity API, which seems to subtly break SimpleMembership. VS2013 was a buggy piece of junk (trying to create a new project crashed it), so I uninstalled it and did a massive Git revert. Then, found out that my SQL Server 2008 database diagram support is broken in SQL 2008. Repairing SQL Server 2008 did not fix it. So I ha...

  17. Each additional person in a group photo increases the probability of a bad shot by x%, with x varying depending on factors such as lighting and distance. When adding children, multiply x by 13-age (ie, a 3 year old is 10 times as hard to get right in a group photo on the first shot.)

  18. 1000+ of my favorite quotes.

  19. I discovered something today about the way babies play. Sophie had been playing by herself for some time and I found that her head was soaking wet, with water dripping down her face. She was periodically wiping her eyes. Turns out she was engaged in an exhausting workout, just playing with her blocks and crawling around. She picked out a few of the toys we put out and organized a pattern of manipulation for multi-sensory (holding, hitting, tasting) physical interaction. We provided h...

  20. “The biggest enemy to learning is the talking teacher.” ― John Holt

  21. “The idea of painless, nonthreatening coercion is an illusion. Fear is the inseparable companion of coercion, and its inescapable consequence. If you think it your duty to make children do what you want, whether they will or not, then it follows inexorably that you must make them afraid of what will happen to them if they don’t do what you want. You can do this in the old-fashioned way, openly and avowedly, with the threat of harsh words, infringement of liberty, or physical punishment. Or yo...

  22. Alouette, gentille Alouette Alouette je te plumerai Alouette, gentille Alouette Alouette je te plumerai Je te plumerai la tête Je te plumerai la tête Et la tête, et la tête Alouette, Alouette O-o-o-o-oh Alouette, gentille Alouette Alouette je te plumerai

  23. In order to become a Medical Doctor licensed to practice medicine, you must first get a four-year bachelors degree, which often need not have anything to do with medicine. Furthermore, the four years of medical school need not teach you anything at all about the specialty you intend to practice, as that is learned during the residency and fellowship. Basically, the medical certification system wastes eight of the most productive years of a young person's life before they are allowed to work...