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About Nicky

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  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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":
  6. Plus, there are benefits to playing golf: you can see Sweden out the clubhouse window. You even see terrorist attacks the local population fails to notice.
  7. The good news is, this venture will probably fail well before you spend 8-10 years on it. Most startups do. And when they're run by people with little or no previous experience, the odds get even worse. So, rather than assuming a payday at the end of this, you should assume it will fail. Then, with that in mind, decide whether you still want to do it: would it still be worth it, if, instead of 8 digits, the only reward is the experience you will have gained from it? If the answer to that question is no, then I would advise against taking it on. P.S. It also seems like a bad idea to invest both your money (especially if the source of the money is a personal loan), and your time, into a startup. Contrary to popular belief, most rich people don't get rich by taking on wild risks and getting lucky. They do it by planning for failure (making sure failure doesn't ruin them), and being persistent through failure. That means you should make sure that, if this venture fails, you land in a position that isn't worse than your current one, and you can start again, using the experience you gained to do better with your next project.
  8. "Voluntary" is a fairly simple, straight forward concept. Is an issue that boils down to something that obvious really an issue worth discussing at length?
  9. Taxation is not theft, because you can choose a different thief. * *as long as you are willing to relinquish your property (or pay a 40% exit tax on all your assets), for the privilege of being allowed to leave.
  10. Spam and commercial links Spam (multiple copies in one area or the same communication in multiple areas) or advertising/commercial solicitation messages are prohibited, including links to commercial sites. In addition, do not use this forum to promote any other web site or solicit the members of this board without the approval of the moderators (this includes promoting another site via a signature). If a participant wishes to discuss a particular outside source, do not start a thread with just a link to the source -- please also discuss why forum members would be interested in viewing your link. Exception: a participant may advertise websites selling products of interest to members in the Marketplace forum. If in doubt, ask an administrator whether a post is appropriate. Them the rules. Doesn't say anything about the quality of the website you're promoting. All it says is DON'T.
  11. Because I support freedom of movement in the context of individual rights, not as a floating abstraction. Rights violators shouldn't move freely, just because freedom of movement is a right. If a country is a hostile dictatorship, and there is a movement among its citizenry aimed at hurting Americans', then it becomes a free country's job to restrict these people's movement. Ideally, this should be done on an individual basis, blacklisting suspected threats. And, in the case of US friendly countries like Saudi Arabia, that is a good option. There's no need for a ban (in fact a ban against Saudi Arabia would result in retaliation in kind, which would hurt American interests just as much as it does the Saudis). But, sometimes, it isn't enough to blacklist threats. There are countries that don't work with the US to clear visa applicants, that harbor anti-American militants. At that point, the broader approach to security is warranted: rather than blacklisting threats, only people who are white listed should be allowed in. This is a more effective approach to security, but it also causes more hardship to innocents...so the standard for justification, just like for war, should be high. Note: Trump's ban doesn't meet that standard. Donald Trump has announced his intention to ban all Muslims, during the campaign, and then he banned a few countries' nationals in an effort to placate people holding him to that promise...without any attempt to justify his actions, by proving any actual evidence of a threat from these specific countries. So the courts are right to throw out this particular order. But, in general, the President should have the right to issue similar orders...as long as they're better justified than this one.
  12. I try not to buy food I won't eat. But it's more of an esthetic preference than a moral one. It just seems like an ugly thing, to throw food into the trash or flush it down the toilet, as there are people starving in the world. And yes, I realize that, on a practical level, my actions don't change anything for people who are starving. That's not how economics works. I wouldn't actually be causing anyone to starve, if I bought a bunch of food every week and threw most of it out. But, just because something doesn't actually hurt people, doesn't mean it isn't ugly.
  13. Gus is 100% right, outlawing left turns would be an obvious abuse of government power.
  14. No. While someone does have the right to wish you dead, they don't have the right to do it using a service that belongs to someone who forbids such behavior. And Twitter does forbid that. You are right to take advantage of their policies, and spare yourself from being subjected to that kind of behavior. As for reporting this to the government (on the grounds of "harassment"), that's a more interesting question. Harassment should indeed be a crime (and it is...in most jurisdictions, it's referred to as "stalking"). But if it happens once, no, it is not "harassment/stalking". Harassment/stalking entails a series of credible threats aimed at terrorizing someone, not just a one time expression of ill will. I like the precedents set by the US judiciary, on what constitutes a threat. They go the farthest towards protecting free speech, out of any country. Check out cases involving the Black Panthers threatening Police, for instance, on wikipedia. They make for an interesting read. It is amazing how far you can take free speech rights in the US...and rightfully so, imo.
  15. The three main reasons why visa applications are rejected by the US are 1. the applicant has the wrong education level and/or profession 2. the applicant isn't rich enough 3. the applicant lost a lottery, or belongs to an ethnic group with too many applicants already Does the paper acknowledge and address that fact? Or is it written under the pretense that the motivating factor for restrictions on immigration is national security?