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Nicky

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  1. The US federal government isn't operating under the assumption that taxation is voluntary.
  2. Whoever agreed with you that drunks and drug addicts should have their freedom restricted in any way is just as wrong as you are. PETA is a dishonest organization. I would never take any "study" they publish seriously. If you wish to cite scientific studies, please first make sure that they are done by and peer reviewed by scientists.
  3. I'm not convinced. Can you give a concrete example of how a big business or rich person "enormously" impacted your life?
  4. A psychiatrist is not a judge. A psychiatrist wouldn't just have to "conclude" that there's a danger, he would have to actually prove it. And, again: he couldn't prove it, because animal abuse is NOT proof that someone will hurt people. Let's take the most famous example: Michael Vick. He abused dogs in horrific ways, did it strictly for his own amusement. This was almost a decade ago, and he's yet to hurt any humans. There are many others, just like Michael Vick: proven animal abusers, who have never been "isolated" (they sometimes serve short prison sentences, but they serve them in general population, they're not isolated), and yet, have never hurt any humans. Isn't that proof that animal abuse doesn't necessarily lead to violence against people?
  5. No, you would still have to prove that they're going to hurt people. Which you obviously can't, because animal abuse isn't proof that someone is a danger to humans. There was a study by Prof. Frank Ascione at the University of Denver and Prof. Arnold Arluke at Northeastern University, of 1433 children ages 6 to 12, who have been physically abused, that found that 60% had abused animals. There are also studies that suggest that up to 5% of all American children have abused animals. I would think it's worse worldwide (since child abuse numbers are worse). So, on a world wide scale, we are talking about tens of millions of such children. Are you saying that it's justified to "isolate" all of them, because one in a million will turn into serial killers?
  6. If you're being honest about your motives, sure you could. You could prove it, and establish some credibility, by answering what I asked you a few days ago: who are you, what political/religious organizations are you associated with, how did you become interested in Mr. Barney, etc.? Because right now, you have the credibility of an anonymous accuser with a hidden grudge: in other words, none whatsoever. I (and I'm sure anyone else with half a brain) would never let an anonymous smear arriving through the Internet cause me to question my friends' or business associates' honesty or character.
  7. Hey, HandyHandle. You seem to be engaged in a campaign against a fellow Objectivist...which is fine, you have the right to do that. But, at the same time, he has the right to know who's attacking him. So would you mind posting your real name, as well as any kind of affiliation you have with the AR Institute, or any other Oist or political/religious organizations? If what you're saying about your interest in Carl Barney (that it's not anything personal, you're merely interested in protecting the image of the Oist movement) is true, then telling everyone who you are will help lend credibility to what you're saying. It proves that you are willing to stand behind it, and stake your reputation on it, you're not just engaging in an anonymous smear campaign.
  8. Atlas Shrugged isn't just about Capitalism, it's about a lot more. You can't just take everything in the novel and assume it's a political statement. Most of it isn't. That's a pretty childish thing to say. What freed millions from tedious housework isn't the invention of "ingenious" household items (frankly, none of that stuff is particularly ingenious, and it's stuff that's been in use in various cultures in the past), it's the improvements in productivity that allowed the mass manufacturing of consumer goods, as well as large scale research in improving them. And it WAS the great minds of industry and business who created that kind of innovation, not some guy who came up with the design for the disposable diaper.
  9. I know. Scientologists are yet to start any holy wars, burn anyone at the stake, or plunge humanity into the Dark Ages. As far as I know, they're also yet to aid and protect an organized syndicate of pedophiles operating in their midst. So lots and lots of differences. In fact the only thing they seem to have in common is taking money off of unsuspecting rubes, with stories of aliens, immortal ghosts, and a magical zombie that does unimpressive party tricks (I guess he was okay for his time, but, these days, Penn and Teller would make him look like an amateur). That last part they're very similar in.
  10. He has four years to pass his own version of socialized healthcare. I suspect he's going to be able to. The current version is pretty unpopular.
  11. Yes, nothings says "religion" quite like someone asking a question. That's what religions are known for. Open conversations, and everything open to being questioned. Ya silly, green, living under a bridge goose.
  12. Well you don't really want to "shake things up". Politicians "shaking things up" in every industry, every time the US electorate decides to elect the other side, would have disastrous consequences. The best thing a pro free market administration can do, in the current, CYCLICAL political climate, is small adjustments that have a chance to do some good without destabilizing the economy. You have to plan for the other side taking over at some point, in the next 4, 8, or, at the most, 12 years. If you change too much, they'll respond by changing even more, in the other direction...and the negative effects of instability will far outweigh the temporary benefits of any positive change you made. (not suggesting Trump is pro free market, but some of the Republicans behind his economic policies are at least somewhat pro free market, and, if they could count on long term popular support for free market policies, they WOULD probably abolish gas mileage regulations ...but they can't count on that...they should count on the exact opposite: the Dems will probably win in a landslide in four years).
  13. DST is stupid, but the rest (the government controlling our clocks) is a non-issue. A government tasked only with the protection of individual rights would still need to have a clock (to be able to coordinate its own operations), and everyone else would still have to follow along with it, just like we do now, because it's necessary, for the Courts and the Police to operate effectively. You would be amazed at how many things would break or become less efficient, if significant portions of society switched to radically different ways of keeping time. Think Y2K times a thousand.
  14. It can be, sure. It's the history of how you, as an individual, came to exist. It only becomes tribalism if you assign significance to the tribal or ethnic background of your ancestors. But, if you are simply interested in who they were as individuals, it's a selfish, individualistic pursuit.
  15. There are different purposes for "thinking", or exerting mental effort (or "focusing" one's mind) such as: 1. to learn knowledge others shared with you (you specifically, or with a group you're a part of) 2. to apply that knowledge in creative ways (to create new knowledge) 3. to communicate with others effectively I think there are enough qualitative differences among those three activities, that they should be discussed separately...as evidenced by the fact that a person can excel at one or two, and be really bad at the other one or two. Since the subject you seem to be most interested in is learning, I'd love to take a crack at a partial answer to that. Partial, because it's a big subject, and I don't think anyone understands it as well as we should (compared to other fields of research). I'll start with my personal experience. My main two areas of focus are language learning (I do it for enjoyment, been doing it almost every day, since the day I was born) and programming (that's my profession), and I have basically the same approach to both. I learn in two ways: 1. I immerse myself into an environment where the knowledge I'm trying to learn is being used/put into practice by people who are better at it than me. In language learning, that can mean a wide variety of things, including watching TV or hanging out with friends who speak the language. So it's really easy to do, especially in the Internet age. Probably why I do it regularly. In programming, it's a little more tricky, because, in this field, information tends to be presented in the form of courses or books written for the purposes of teaching beginners or entry level programmers, most often in an extremely oversimplified manner. That doesn't work for me. Never has, never will. I will use them if I must, but I prefer immersion. So I look for places where the knowledge is actually being put into practice, on a level that is the same or close to what a professional programmer would do. I don't want someone holding my hand through the process, I want to be thrown into the thick of things. There are people who will open up a youtube channel or blog, and just start DOING programming on it. Not teaching, not "Hello, world" exercises, actual projects. There are also books like that, where professional programmers don't try to teach, they just present knowledge to their peers. There are also collaborative projects, etc. That's what I'm looking for. 2. I practice what I learn. Sometimes, if I must, I rely on "exercises" (in programming, not in language learning...in natural language learning, I just dive into using the language in whatever way I can, with the small exception of learning pronunciation...that area benefits greatly from structured exercises), but, in general, I prefer to do actual, professional level projects from the start. Also, this second "step" doesn't come AFTER the first step is over. It's in parallel. The most important things to note, about my process, are that a. it doesn't involve and conscious decision making, once the immersion begins...I don't "think", or "make decisions" about learning (I don't take mental notes along the lines of "oh, this is an important bit", or "oh, this is related to this other thing, I better make a conscious connection here"), it just happens incidentally, and b. ideally, there is a degree of difficulty involved: keeping up with what's going on is a challenge, it requires effort, and forces you to think in a way you wouldn't in a more easily accessible environment (my theory on why this difficulty helps is that, by forcing you to focus on trying to process what's happening, it prevents you from trying to focus on "learning", meaning "memorizing" or "remembering" discrete items of information). That's what works for me, and for many others I talk to about this subject. Structured classes, teachers, memorization techniques, etc., don't work as well. Finally, just to back the above up with some research, I've come across some very interesting research recently, involving memorization and learning: https://bjorklab.psych.ucla.edu/research/ It's a lot of information, covering a variety of topics related to learning, but here's an especially relevant quote, on what they call "desirable difficulties":