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Nicky last won the day on June 25

Nicky had the most liked content!


About Nicky

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  1. Nicky

    An Ally Emerges

    Also, the Philippines IS a US ally in the global war on militant Islam, and a crucial theater, where the West need to hold back their expansion, just like we held back Communism in various countries across the globe, during the Cold War. So we can't really afford to be anything but allies with Duterte. It would be nice if we had a US President who was able to qualify that alliance as born out of necessity rather than mutual admiration, but that doesn't change the fact that the European approach of constantly morally reprimanding a warlord who's on our side, without acknowledging the facts on the ground, is even worse. The Philippines is closer to a civil war zone than to a functional democratic state, so holding the guy in power to western standards for a civil society is moronic.
  2. Nicky

    An Ally Emerges

    His approval ratings have been oscillating between 37 and 42%, with 53-58% disapproving. Only President ever to be that unpopular, since the polling started, was Jimmy Carter, back when he was tanking the economy. Short of a large scale act of aggression against the US, there is nothing that could change that. The majority of Americans are firmly entrenched both in opposing him politically and disliking him personally.
  3. I haven't read the books either, so this conversation is borderline meaningless, but I would love to find out more about this sentence, from the Shermer book's summary: It's a little unclear what that means. Does it mean that science is the best tool to determine whether ANY belief matches reality? Because it's clearly not. To talk about tools, you must first define the problem you're trying to solve. So what's the best tool to do that? What tool is he using to define the problem he's trying to solve with science? Specifically, what tool did he use to determine that there's such a thing as reality, and that he is conscious of it? Just asking, obviously. Hopefully someone who actually read the book comes along, and tells us about what's in it. So that we have something more than guesses, to discuss.
  4. I can't think of any that have the unbreakable conviction of a Rand hero, because 99.9% of modern writers think that writing characters who aren't at least a little bit hesitant in their beliefs makes you a bad writer, but, other than that, the formula is pretty common. Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man is an obvious one. A less obvious one is Tyrion Lannister, in Game of Thrones. Sure, he's a dwarf, but he's charming, intelligent, and has that same public/private life duality (if I wanted to be fancy and pretend I know something about Greek mythology, I would say that he's a charming, more scrupulous version of the Hermes archetype). Also similar, but with a comedy angle added in, is Harrison Ford in pretty much every movie he's in (including Star Wars and Indiana Jones). He just plays the same character over and over again. I haven't actually seen the Johnny Depp pirate movies, but, judging from the trailers, that too. Captain Kirk in (the original) Star Trek movies is pretty much Han Solo, as well. [edit] Oh yeah, Batman's pretends to be alcoholic playboy to hide his true identity, too, right? I'm sure there are others as well, but I stopped watching these movies.
  5. Nicky

    Global Warming

    I appreciate that, but it's really not what I'm after. I promise. Regenerative farming is an extremely important, and, on top of that, extremely interesting and exciting subject (for anyone, not just farmers...I'm not a farmer, and I'm as entertained by a good video on regenerative farming as I am by a new episode of Westworld). So please find out for yourself. If you want a starting point that doesn't involve tedious "study" and "research", there's a Vimeo channel with professionally done, interesting vids about both the research that goes into it, and the people actually doing it. Here's a vid mostly about the research: And a few about the people doing it: https://vimeo.com/80518559 https://vimeo.com/170413226 https://vimeo.com/201215707 [Note: the research I mentioned above was funded by Shell...I don't have an issue with that, but potential conflicts of interest should always be disclosed, so I'm disclosing it] Alternatively, here's an amateur channel, from an actual farmer, who built a beautiful and extremely profitable (for its size...a two owner + 2-3 employee farm that generates an executive level income for the two owners) farm in Sweden. He adds content every week, so it's a lot. But it's great content, especially lately: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3111rvadtBPUY9JJBqdmzg
  6. Galt's Gulch is not a very helpful literary device for explaining the Oist view of politics, to be honest. It confuses people (who don't understand the limitations of a literary device) into thinking Rand advocated anarchy (because Galt's Gulch didn't really have a government). I don't know the answer to your question, Gio (I don't know about this Q&A), but I can't imagine Rand thought Galt's Gulch is a realistic, viable community. That notion contradicts her politics, imo (which is why, in Bodystun's quote above, she clarifies that it's not an example of Oist politics). So the answer to the thread title is "the more people in Atlantis, the better, because it becomes harder to change through outside pressure...which is inevitable, in a free country (that's very different from Galt's Gulch...Galt's Gulch was in fact NOT free... private = not free)".
  7. Nicky

    Global Warming

    Meh. I'm still hoping I can get you to do two things: 1. consider how ridiculous the proposition that "20% of all greenhouse emissions on Earth come from cows belching and farting" is. 2. As a result, re-read the articles you posted, to find the disclaimer they buried deep within, where it's explained that the click-bait, simplistic headline is in fact misleading, and they added together a bunch of other emissions that have nothing to do with cows belching or farting, to come up with that estimate of 20%. Had they stuck with just cows belching and farting, it would be a far smaller number, no one would care, no one would click on the article, and then the writer would have to get a real job, that produces some actual value.
  8. Nicky

    Veganism under Objectivism

    Nope. Lions need to go to jail until they give up meat and start wearing thick framed glasses and fedoras.
  9. Nicky

    Global Warming

    And yet, you insist that cows belching produces 20% of all greenhouse gases on Earth.
  10. Nicky

    Global Warming

    I wasn't being pedantic, and differentiating between belching and farting. You can call all of it flatulence, it's fine. The article doesn't claim that gases farted out and belched out by cows add up to 20%. It claims that the livestock industry, with everything they do, is responsible for 20% of global warming. They include things like the destruction of sea ecosystems due to fertilizer runoff, desertification, etc., etc. Cow flatulence, belching, and whatever else cows do is a tiny portion of that. I'm beginning to suspect that you don't read the posts you're responding to... or the articles you're linking to. What I said above, in a nutshell, is this: pasture that is managed according to regenerative principles sequesters more carbon in the soil than a typical temperate climate forest (like the ones in Europe, most of North America, and most of Asia). Meanwhile, your article compares rain forests and massive eucalyptus forests to semi-arid grassland it specifically says is "little grazed" (and, not mentioned in the article, they regularly burn down, which ensures that all the above ground carbon is released right back into the atmosphere). P.S. Regenerative farming isn't about replacing forest with grassland, so I hope I didn't give that impression. Plant diversity is a fundamental principle of regenerative farming, so regenerative ranchers do often grow trees, not just grass, on their pastures (that's called a silvopasture...sometimes it makes economic sense, sometimes it doesn't...when it doesn't, grassland by itself also acts as a net carbon sink, so it should be fine from an "environmentalist" perspective).
  11. Nicky

    Global Warming

    Those articles don't claim that methane from cow flatulence amounts to 20% of greenhouse emissions. They claim that the overall effects of raising livestock cause 20% of emissions. Methane from flatulence is only a small part of that 20%. All the other practices that lead to greenhouse emissions are very much avoidable (flatulence is avoidable too, there are cows that don't fart as much, but it's not worth the effort, because it's not as big a deal as popular myths paint it to be). Not only that, but livestock farming can have a net positive effect (assuming "positive" means less greenhouse gases). Take "deforestation" for instance, which is one of the things they're harping on: sure, you can't really graze livestock in a forest (except pigs, they love it). But guess what these partisan, alarmist reports always leave out: grass sequesters more carbon than forests. So deforestation, as long as it's done for the purpose of creating a healthy pasture, prevents global warming. We don't need virgin forests to prevent global warming. On the contrary, replacing them with grassland would create far more vibrant ecosystems across Asia and North America. Note: I don't really know much about jungle ecology, and what effect deforestation has there...but rain forests only cover a small fraction of Earth, anyway...everywhere else, deforestation doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's only a bad thing when the forest is replaced with a heavily fertilized, frequently tilled monoculture that depletes the soil of all other biology, and essentially treats land as a chemistry lab that's supposed to be kept as sterile as possible. That, obviously, is worse than anything else you can do to soil, including leaving it as a relatively infertile forest. And, because in most climates forests are the result of the disappearance of large herbivore herds (which are the greatest "deforestors" on Earth), most forests are unnatural and therefor infertile. There's a reason why a lot of Africa is grassland: they didn't kill all their herbivores. The natural state of most land on Earth is grassland, grazed by even more herbivores than these 1.5 billion cattle the environmentalist movement is upset about. It's just that the grazing is supposed to be cyclical and regenerative, not constant and destructive, like it is now. If you keep it cyclical, you can actually graze more, so even "over-grazing" is a misleading term. That's what makes grasses different than any other plant: it's not supposed to be protected, it's supposed to be absolutely obliterated from time to time. You can (and should) graze/trample a pasture barren every few months (or at least once a year, but you can do it 3-4 times a year no problem, as long as you let it grow to seed once in a while), because a few weeks after the destruction there's an explosion of life both above and below the surface, where the herbivore herd passed through, that couldn't have happened any other way.
  12. Nicky

    Global Warming

    Where did you get the 20% from? I can't imagine it's that much. Half of the global methane emissions come from anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in soils (in wetlands, landfills and rice paddies), not from cows...so, for what you're saying to be true, methane would have to be the main greenhouse gas, not CO2. As for countering the effects, that's fairly easy: trap carbon in the soil, using regenerative agriculture principles. Pasture raised animals, when managed properly, regenerate soil incredibly fast. In the past 200 years, the removal of massive amounts of herbivores (most of them ruminants, like cattle), have depleted soils on Earth (in North America and Asia, especially) severely. There's nothing we can do about that, those millions strong buffalo herds that roamed freely across the landscape, chased by wolf packs and migrating tribes, can't coexist with modern human society. But planning the grazing of domesticated herbivores in a way that mimics the movement of wild animals (they moved in massive herds, grazing/trampling the soil bare periodically, adding fertilizer to it as they went, then allowing it long recovery periods) builds soil. It also reduces/eliminates the need for the chemical fertilizers that kill soil biology. Healthy soil has many benefits, but the main two are: 1. It traps a lot of carbon (including methane...read up on how well drained soil acts as a methane sink). Farms that follow regenerative principles have multiplied the organic matter content in their existing soil, and are building deeper soil (healthy soil biology leads to healthier plants, which then send roots down deeper into the ground, expanding the depth of the top soil ... this can also be accelerated, using a keyline plow). The reason individual farmers (who aren't paid to produce less, by the government) want this is because it increases yields, with fewer input costs. The reason why the rest of us want it is because it produces healthier food (not just because it contains fewer harmful substances...also because it's far more nutrient rich) and counteracts global warming. 2. high organic content in soil leads to dramatically higher water retention (again, by an order of magnitude higher, soils go from retaining half an inch of rain per hour to retaining ALL the rain that could possibly fall in an hour, allowing virtually no run-off), which counteracts drought and prevents soil from being washed away into rivers. Drought is the single biggest enemy of modern farmers, followed closely by soil erosion. Coupling soil building with more advanced methods of retaining rain water (like keyline design, developed in Australia) has successfully prevented crop failure due to drought in some very dry places on Earth. In other words, there's nothing to worry about. Herbivores (for now, mainly cows, but the ideal animal for the job would be the woolly mammoth) have a huge role to play in counteracting both global warming itself, and the purported effects of the combination of global warming and population growth. We will at some point need to move away from growing our meat indoors, though, and let animals out into the ecosystems we're supposedly protecting by not allowing farming on them. Because the removal of herbivores is destroying those ecosystems from the soil up.
  13. When there's a threat. Please note that I'm using the verb "is" in contrast to your use of the expression "comes across as". The former suggests objectivity and a desire to be exact, the latter subjectivity and a desire to be vague.
  14. What something "comes across as" is irrelevant. Only thing that matters is what it is.
  15. Nicky

    Just Shut Up and Think

    Productive? Only thing you're producing in this thread is nonsense, crazy lady. How am I gonna make you any less productive with a side argument?