Pigsaw reacted to softwareNerd in Free Money
This is a little different from the original question about why people help (i.e. about all the rational and irrational reasons combined). Taking this question: donating money is one specific way of helping someone. So, one way of thinking about this is to ask "is it okay to help people?"
Now, take that question, and consider whether (say) a doctor helps his patient. Clearly he does; but since he does it for money, we're really not talking about that situation. So, to make the question more precise, we should ask ourselves: "Is it okay to help people without getting money in return?"
Taking this revised question, we're faced with situations like helping one's wife or friend with something. For instance, a friend's car breaks down and he needs a lift to a job-interview. Do you help, or do you say "only if you pay me cab-fare"? Assuming that there is no special reason this would inconvenience you, and assuming you would want your friend to get that job, it is reasonable to act toward that value. You mention Atlas Shrugged, and I suppose you're thinking of the token payment when a friend borrows a car. That's a custom invented to stress the idea that one is not acting from altruism, but that one derives value from "help". Of course, a token payment is not a value worth getting: so, there must be some real value involved beyond that token payment. The important question is not whether a token payment (a tiny value) was received, but whether there is some really meaningful value achieved. You would help your friend because you value your friend, not because they pay you a token payment.
Typically, innovators are trying to fix something or make something better. Henry Ford, Edison and so on are primarily driven by this. When someone who has made money like that decides (say): "I'm going to tackle poor education", the best motivations are not much different from "I'm going to make a car". Getting paid for it need not be part of the motivation.
Pigsaw reacted to Atlas- in Determinism and Free Will
I realise what you are all saying but the fact still remains when you make a choice, whether it's what you want to eat for breakfest, set out to world domination or to focus, what made you make that choice? It is the infomation you have aquired and deduced. This info has come to light and is true because of the actions of someone or something. If not for this infomation than consciously or subconsciously you're descion would be changed. When you come into the world there is aloready a host of info out there. I have chosen to think rationaly yes, but if I had not experienced that which I did then I might no have. Then again I had to experience those things because of the colliding of two atoms billions of years ago.
Think of it this way, if you rewind a tape then it still plays the same thing no matter how many times you do it. Life is the same people where always going to make those choices based on the choices made by others. I don't want to belive this and thats why I'm asking but I can't deny reality.
Pigsaw reacted to Capitalism Forever in Love at first sight
Well, if I saw a lady who looked like the perfect woman for me to spend my life with, I certainly wouldn't be indifferent--I would be very, very excited !
But would I be in love ? Would I be committed to her? I definitely wouldn't, until I have found out that she doesn't only look like, but is, the perfect woman for me to spend my life with. Appearances can be misleading, and I wouldn't want to base what is perhaps the most momentuous decision of my life on what I hope to be true. I'll be in love when I know she is what I am looking for.
Pigsaw reacted to Gramlich in Steve Jobs and Cosmic Justice
Don't worry, Wotan; I have it all covered.
I conversed with a rock today that told me Steve Job's soul was currently travelling past the Gligok galaxy, on its way to Valhalla. Now, as is well known, the Gligok galaxy is home to the infamous Kecktox. An evil race known for its proclivity of enslaving souls as they make their cosmic voyage.
Me and the rock both agreed something had to be done, so, being a wizard, I cast a spell on Steve Job's soul to hide it from the Kecktox's souldar.
With any luck, Steve Job's soul should arrive safely at Valhalla, where he will be at peace slaying Jewish money lenders for all of eternity.
Pigsaw reacted to emorris1000 in Global Warming
Ok, so I glossed over a bit of equilibrium mechanics because I'm not teaching a class on chemistry. But the point is that with two reactions (or the same reaction in different directions) occuring at some set of rates (which are functionally dependant on concentration) you end up with an equilibrium concentration, a stable concentration.
Which we don't have.
Which means that the reaction rates are changing.
The reason the equilibria concentration is important is because of the known qualitative causal link between those concentrations and temperature.
Fair point. I'll retract that.
I'm sorry, I should have been clear on this. There most certainly is a causal relationship between [CO2] and temperature. The question is not whether [CO2] causes temperature changes, it's whether the current temperature changes are primarilly caused by an increase in [CO2]. Or if its mainly noise, or whatever. But [CO2] is undoubtedly a component of it. You may be saying the same thing here.
We DO know that changes in [CO2] are at least partially caused by humans. Mainly through combustion (increased generation of CO2) and deforestation (decreased consumption of CO2), which leads to an increased equilibria concentration of [CO2], which, btw, we haven't reached yet. Its true that other sources are contributing to it as well, like release of methane from clatherates that is oxidized to CO2. But I would need to be shown some evidence that non-human/non-controllable sources are primary sources.
And we DO know that changes in [CO2] cause temperature changes.
But yeah you're right we aren't sure of the magnitude of affect we have actually had.
That's true, CO2 has a log effect on temperature, so it's not a great example chemical to use for the whole global warming conversation (not all of them have a log effect), but on the other hand it is generally pretty stable, which means its an easier example to use for the chemical rate/chemical equilibria conversation above.
CH4, for instance, has a feedback effect due to oxidation in the troposphere which both removes ozones/hydroxyls and adds CO2 and H20, which can then increase temperature and increase CH4 generation through arctic clatherate release. That adds a lot of levels of complexity to the situation. In fact almost half of CH4s effect on temperature change is based on these indirect feedback effects.
If you feel up to getting into a really crunchy article on the subject read this:
Methane is really one of the scarier of the atmospheric gases, or at least potentially scary. The thing that concerns me are the issues with the arctic clatherates.
Anyways all of that was really just showing that the qualitative nature of the argument is sound. No one is going to argue that an increase in [CO2] or [CH4] will decrease global temperature.
The quantitative nature of the argument is trickier. But consider this.
You are in a car. There is a dangerous object in front of you and it is coming closer. You know your car is moving forward, but you don't know how fast it is moving. What do you do?
Pigsaw reacted to emorris1000 in Global Warming
This conversation, THIS right here, is why I asked the question of whether or not it is unethical to not have a strong understanding of science.
I see sooooooo many posts in here saying "I'm no scientist BUT" or "I'm no climatologist BUT". If you do not understand the science behind this, then you are at the whim of "experts", and the sad fact of the matter is that this is SUCH a complicated issue that even climatologists will come to different conclusions.
And to be clear, I'm not saying I have a better understanding myself or that I am not at the whim of the conclusions of experts. I consider myself pretty strong at chemistry, spectroscopy, and physical chemistry/thermodynamics, which are all key issues at play here, but one of the main things that knowledge gives me is an understanding that this is an insanely complex topic that is going to be very difficult to sort out even by the most knowledgeable of us.
Politicians exploit this confusion and take a stance on whatever side, knowing that they can find evidence to back it up, and then they can shift the argument away from the science and towards the "who has the most reliable experts." Instead of a scientific investigation it becomes a game of appeals to authority, argumentum ad populum, and other logical fallacies.
Rand's own statement, linked on the front page, is a complete logical fallacy (disturbingly so), dismissing the conclusions, not by understanding the argument, but by attacking the arguer.
But here's a couple things that I DO know.
The earth exists in a very complex series of chemical equilibria. One of the simplest is CO2/O2. Humans/animals/combustion etc suck up O2 and make CO2, plants suck up CO2 and spit out Oxygen. Based on the generation/conversion rates of each chemical you will reach a chemical equilibrium, which will be seen in the concentrations in different systems in the world.
Right now it is CLEAR that O2->CO2 is happening at a faster rate than CO2 -> O2.
So what does an increased concentration of CO2 mean? This is where the spectroscopy comes in. Light is the ONLY source of energy for the planet earth (geothermal is an energy store, but it doesn't create energy). CO2 absorbs light in a different way than O2 does.
This means that changes in the relative concentrations of CO2 and O2 will change the way that the earth gets energy. How much of what kind of energy gets through the atmosphere?
None of this is conjecture or political or anything like that. Its basic chemistry/physics.
Then you get to the "greenhouse effect", which is the interpretation of the effects a change in chemical equilibrium of certain chemicals will have on the lower atmospheric temperatures. Basically, more CO2 means more absorbed heat. How much heat, exactly, is questionable, but the greenhouse effect is, qualitatively if not quantitatively, certain.
This is also not conjecture, political diatribe, or anything like that. Its basic chemistry/physics.
Then you have the recent temperature changes. Ignore the causal link between CO2/O2 concentrations and just look at the temperature change. In the short term, it is definitely changing.
This is not conjecture, political diatribe etc etc. Its simple data logging.
But here's where it gets tricky as all get out, and this is where the whole argument happens. \
Is the temperature rise noise or real? We don't really have enough data to know that.
Is the greenhouse effect quantitatively strong enough to cause these kinds of temperature changes this rapidly? We don't have enough data, or even the proper models, to know that for sure.
And even then, if the temperature change is real, will it even have a significant effect on the world? This one goes back and forth and back and forth.
Part of the issue in the last question is the ideal gas law. If temperature increases, so does pressure. Vice versa the opposite way. In a closed system this is true permanently. But there really aren't closed systems at play here. Is it more like a hot air balloon or a pot of boiling water then? Here the pressure will temporarilly increase but the expansion of the system or the transfer of the heat will equilibrate either the pressure or the temperature back down. Maybe the same applies to the earth? I dunno.
But the way that temperature and pressure operate on the global climate is the key to our dangers. Will increased temperature cause more disparate pressure systems, and therefore more hurricanes etc?
I have no freaking clue, and I wouldn't trust more than a handful of people on the planet to really know the answer, or even the real question, there.
So you have a lot of unknowns.
But based PURELY on the knowns, mentioned above, you can understand that CO2/O2 (and methane and other stuff of course) equilibria is incredibly important. And you can tell that we are generating it a LOT faster now.
So why the hell not address that? I mean, yeah, maybe its not an issue right now, but no matter what it will be one day.
And I'm not arguing that you slash industry to the bone, far from it. The only way to solve this problem is through industry. But I am arguing that you have to at least acknowledge the basic science at play here.
Ignore the politics, understand the science you are able to, and act from that. And stop listening to Fox news/Pacifica to get your expert opinion.