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Everything posted by happiness

  1. 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?
  2. Strike back by comparing them to people who are yet more successful.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Should the laws recognizing them be repealed altogether?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?
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Aren't rationalism and floating abstractions nothing more than a failure to observe that A = A?
  15. 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?
  16. 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?
  17. 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?"
  18. 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?
  19. 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.
  20. Are you still concerned about the doomsday scneario and holding onto your gold?
  21. I've never read the Qu'ran and don't know what it actually says. Whose interpretation of it do you think is closer to correct, the "extremists" who carry out acts of violence and want to impose Sharia law by force, or the harmless ones who repudiate terrorism and violence? Because I know that the term "extremist" is often applied to anyone whose views are consistent, I'm inclined to assume that the "extremists" are the ones who are actually following the dogma.
  22. I moved out of my apartment last month after living there for three years. When I moved out, my landlord decided that the carpet was damaged to the point that it had to be replaced based on the fact that it was stained and "torn" in several places. While I accept responsibility for the stains, the "tear" is really a split at the seam that I believe is consisting with normal wear since I was not unduly rough on the carpet. I don't know its age when I moved in, but it definitely was neither new nor in perfect condition, so I suspect it was on the tail end of its useful life by the time I left three years later anyway. At this time, the landlord is charging me $1000 for the full cost of replacing the carpet. I don't dispute the need for replacement; however, I'm uncertain whether I legally and morally owe the whole cost of replacing the carpet or a pro-rated amount based on the percentage of its remaining useful life that I "stole" from the owners. Almost everything I have read on the internet says that I should legally pay pro rata, but I can't find any information specific to my state or jurisdiction, nor would I know how to determine the useful life of the carpet. And then there's the moral side of it—even if the law might give me a way to get out of paying the full amount, is that just IRS accounting gimmickery and law slanted against businessmen?
  23. Multiply the number of registered users of this forum x 1.
  24. The one college course I took in philosophy featured the most disorganized and anti-conceptual material I was ever exposed to (and was taught by a creep named Stephen Gardner who wears the trappings of an Aristotelian), and the TA blatantly singled me out with an utterly ridiculous accusation of plagiarism after I asserted my Objectivist views in several papers. I would not want to study philosophy, even non-Objectivist, in such a setting ever again. The only reason I would be willing to put up with it would be if I was planning to pursue a degree and career as an intellectual. Otherwise, I would stick to self-study. If you can't find the discipline to study a subject on your own, does the knowlege really fit into your life?
  25. I work primarily using the various freelance platforms on the Internet. Currently I use one platform exclusively, but have used another in the past and want to use others in the future. I just read my contract with the current platform in depth and realized that it contains a non-compete clause that prohibits me from partnering with any competing freelance platform for a period of two years after my contract with them ends. The platform I used before may have also had a restrictive period in its non-compete clause, in which case I'm currently in violation of it, though I honestly neither know nor even have access to that information any longer. How seriously should I take this? The reason I examined my contract thoroughly is because it's hard to fill up my schedule using the current platform alone, and I wanted to see whether I could work on two sites simultaneously. Observing the two year restrictive period is going to necessitate a drastic change in lifestyle. While it'sunlikely that representatives of any platform will find outs out my working for any other or care, it bothers me that I am breaking my commitment to maximum morality. Thoughts?