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Everything posted by happiness

  1. The Case for Private Health Care

    The purpose of medicine is to restore health, not simply the process of dying. Getting healthy is exactly what today's shit governments, including that if the US are making impossible.
  2. Is art better than sports?

    I think art is better because it's a product of the mind. While sport has a strategic element, it's mostly genetically gifted specimens flexing physical abilities—that has a place, but it's below art.
  3. Though it may still be better than most other countries, as I hold the present-day United States in low esteem due to its rampant violations my rights. Does the U.S. flag mean anything anymore? Should one who has lost all respect for the U.S. as a political entity respect the flag and only detest the voters who have corrupted the government? Am I justified in not wanting to salute the flag or stand for the national anthem, and wanting to remove the flag from the front of my residence?
  4. The American Flag--is it worth respecting?

    Given the current alternatives, I'm better off with the US government in my life than I would be without it. But I want it all, a country whose government protects my rights from both street thugs and politicians and bureaucrats.
  5. The American Flag--is it worth respecting?

    If I say no, do I admit that the Federal government in its present form isn't a complete abomination? I don't think so. It only does a reasonable job by world standards of protecting us from violent criminals who are not among its own ranks.
  6. The American Flag--is it worth respecting?

    It's my own personal example. The FDA prohibits any doctor in the U.S. from administering a legitimately promising treatment derived from my body's own stem cells to treat the arthritis that is gradually robbing me of everything that makes life worth living. Earlier this year I traveled out of the country and paid $33,000 cash plus travel expenses to get this treatment in a jurisdiction that allows it—it's working great, but I only treated 1/3 of the joints that need it, and I need additional treatments in those joints. It took me a year and a half to save enough money to do that much and the reality is I will never be able to afford to get the improvements I need under today's laws. I just paid my self-employment taxes and they took a fifth of everything I was putting toward the next round of treatment to pay my share of Medicare recipients' medical expenses, to say nothing of the $3000+ in premiums I had to pay for a health insurance policy that covers my 33/M self for any medical expenses I might incur related to pregnancy complications and altzheimer's disease, but that the government won't let pay a dime for the only treatment in existence that can make any meaningful difference in my own condition. What a great country.
  7. The American Flag--is it worth respecting?

    I think you're setting the bar too low and my beef with the U.S. isn't that the police arrest people for pot. Today's government, in the name of "protecting" people, imposes real hardship on many, and in some cases actually makes it impossible to even have a chance of survival.
  8. Strike back by comparing them to people who are yet more successful.
  9. The American Flag--is it worth respecting?

    I think the bad outweighs the good. I don't know what to say about the U.S. military; I don't watch or read the news and the only commentary on foreign affairs I pay attention to is Yaron Brook's and even then I feel pretty much nothing but contempt and revulsion for the stuff he talks about. The police and especially court system are worse than mixed bags and those of us who have been on the wrong side of either at some point in our histories, either for some victimless non-crime or just doing what we needed to do to live, know they regularly do a lot of bad.
  10. Obviously there should't be different sets of laws for men of different races. But what should be done about Indian Reservations? Should the laws recognizing them be repealed altogether? Should Objectivists support their existence in the context of the status quo since they provide some refuge from state and federal government?
  11. Is there any good reason to want to learn about ancestors you never knew and whose lifetimes didn't overlap with your own? Is it a form of tribalism?
  12. In a field of interest to me, it's common for people make arguments like "the empirical evidence shows such and such" and proceed to ascribe their uncontrolled observations to whatever cause they want. Isn't all evidence based on observation, and aren't uncontrolled observations not really evidence at all? I read a question on Quora today that asks what would happen if children were raised with "empirical science" instead of religion. I was going to answer by saying that all science is empirical, but then it hit me that philosophy isn't—is it? So while all physical science is empirical, the statement I was going to make would not be true. Correct?
  13. An example of the kind of observation and argument I'm talking about is "Usain Bolt ate Chicken Mcnuggets an hour before winning the Olympics; therefore, the 'empirical evidence' shows that eating Chicken McNuggets makes you fast." it is extremely common for people interested in exercise and physical training to follow the same reasoning to other equally stupid conclusions.
  14. What are the relationships between these things? To take my best stab at it... Faith: the acceptance of a claim without evidence Mysticism: the doctrine one has to accept without evidence Rationalism: the method of cognition used to conceive the mysticism
  15. I had been entertaining two jobs. Job A, although I had not accepted it yet, was mine if I wanted it. I was also reasonably certain I that I could get Job B, but it was riskier, and I had some doubts about whether I wanted it and the company itself. A few days ago I emailed the owner of Company B to express interest and request a phone call so I could ask some questions about the company and demands of the job. He agreed to a 10 minute phone call today, and told me to call his cell anytime within a three hour window. This was not to be an interview, just an exploratory discussion. In the intervening period I became increasingly negative on Job B, and by this morning I had decided firmly to go with Job A. I assumed that hearing from me was a trivial matter to the other employer, and was embarrassed to have changed my mind that fast, so I just didn't call him.This afternoon he shoots me an email saying "You leave a very unfavorable impression by standing up the owner of a company. A professional courtesy would have been a simple phone call to cancel. Don’t bother contacting me again as we don’t have any interest in people that don’t honor their commitments." That stung pretty bad. On one hand, I do see that It was unprofessional of me to request a phone call, set one up, and then blow it off, and I definitely should have at least given him a courtesy call or email. On the other hand, I'm wondering if I didn't doge a bullet, because those were some pretty heavy shots to fire over a 10 minute phone call with no firm appointment time. I emailed him an apology and am moving on with a lesson learned in professional courtsey. My question is...how badly did I really mess up here, and was his response justified?
  16. Who Got Your Vote?

    Trump. I was uncertain up to the last minute and still am. It's horrible to see trump win, but good to see Hillary lose, and I can enjoy it for at least a few hours.
  17. Metaphysics of Death

    Not sure how seriously to take this, but one's own death is not "bad" thing, but the negation of the context in which both "good" and "bad" things happen to him, the negation of the thing that gives meaning to those terms. You could also say it's the result of bad things happening to a person.
  18. I don't dispute or misunderstand anything you wrote here, and i'm not saying a crisis under the tenure of Democrats will automatically cause people embrace liberty, only that it will hopefully discredit the left, including authorities like central bankers and open people up to considering radical pro-liberty ideas in the long term. Is there an imminent danger that Americans will turn to a proverbial man on a white horse? Maybe, but as Peikoff noted in his book, Americans are still much more rational than Wiemar Germans. Regardless, what I was really getting at in my last post is that a financial crisis would bring richly deserved justice upon a lot of people. Those of you whose lives haven't been as badly and directly affected as mine maybe can't appreciate this, but not having been so lucky myself due to a health issue and healthcare policy, there are times when I would really just like to see some of the assholes driving that policy and gloating about their success get what's coming to them. For me, witnessing current politics is like watching the person who murdered your wife and kids get off on a technicality and walk free, and in my darker moments I say things like that I just want to see the sky fall on this country.
  19. Since positive political change is unlikely, some of us would just like to see the people who brought about the current state of affairs get it in the neck. A good crisis would thoroughly discredit the incumbent politicians and bureaucrats and potentially open up peoples' minds to liberty ideas.
  20. Aren't rationalism and floating abstractions nothing more than a failure to observe that A = A?
  21. I apologize if this has been covered at length in another thread; I didn't know what search terms to use to check. So how important is it to you that your romantic partner be an Objectivist? If it's not, how do you get serious with someone who doesn't share your most deeply held views?
  22. Could man evolve higher rationality?

    Would man be better off if he evolved some neural mechanism that made reason automatic, such that any evasion of fact or use of an incorrect epistemology produced an unbearable emotional response? Or would this be antithetical to free will?
  23. This question could apply to any field, but I often think about how the medical field would shape up in the absence of regulation such as the FDA and professional licensing. The basis for regulation is the idea that consumers aren't capable of making good decisions; some people seem to think society is stratified into two groups of people—doctors and patients—the former being like an enclave of erudite super-experts and later of whom are helpless and irrational, and in their desperation, sure to gulp down the first bottle of snake oil within arm's reach when the get sick if they don't have the erudites protecting them from themselves. So to prove that freedom is good, one has to be able to prove that lay people, that is, those with no particular scientific education or expertise, are capable of figuring out who is most qualified to treat them and what drugs are appropriate to take. So how would people do that exactly without resorting on some level to basing their decisions on the belief that large numbers of other people must be right about their choice of a certain kind of clinician, hospital, or drug? If you go to a website like Healthgrades to look at reviews, you're assuming that the reviewers are credible. If you were to seek the services of someone with some kind of prestigious private sector certification, you'd be assuming that the people who grant it that prestige are right to do so—but how is that different than assuming that the various government bodies who regulate medicine deserve their prestige, which most people mistakenly buy into today? How would people make good judgments about what product or service is best without resorting to the assumption that "X is true because others believe it is so?"
  24. I enjoy watching YouTube videos of him paining on his show, and while his paintings are "good," they are all of natural scenery and devoid of humans or anything more man-made than an occasional cabin in the woods or mountains. Is there anything contra-Objectivism about this kind of artiwork?
  25. Learning finance

    I'm taking self-paced courses on Udemy, some of which are quite good. This was a nice primer I took this year after having ignored the markets for the previous 3-4 years and forgotten most of what I knew: https://www.udemy.com/financial-markets-a-to-z-for-beginners/learn/v4/. I also take the books of economists/investors I respect such as Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, and Peter Schiff, and look up important concepts mentioned on sites like Investopedia. Finance is a pretty broad field, so I would recommend concretizing in your mind exactly what you're trying to accomplish.