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Everything posted by Nicky

  1. Just a reminder of what's going on...or at least what you said is going on: you cut off contact with this person without an explanation. You might want to start the process of re-establishing contact with an explanation for your bizarre behavior, instead of any questions. I would suggest a well composed, written explanation. One in which you assume full responsibility for everything that happened, without being overly dramatic. Good luck: it's a big hole you dug yourself into.
  2. Nicky

    Why are men's clothing so boring?

    If anything, it should be the other way around: women should stop decorating themselves on a daily basis, too. I'm not opposed to the practice, for men or women, but it's a waste of time when done daily. There is no reason why women should only ever leave the house "decorated". And, indeed, women I know who are productive don't waste their time with that. My boss (a woman...she's also my favorite boss of all time) dresses in the same exact, simple clothes every day. She commands the respect and admiration of people around her through her actions, instead of her appearance (not that there's anything wrong with her appearance, it's just plain compared to how most women walk around). She does wear heels, a dress, makeup, etc. but only for special occasions, never for work or casual outings.
  3. Nicky

    Reblogged:Delimiting Required

    a one-day meeting ------------- An all day meeting? Dear sweet God. I hope the windows were locked, to keep people from jumping.
  4. These are usually three very different things: 1. the way person A is 2. the way person A sees him or her self 3. the way another person sees person A That's why it's very important to always be open to the possibility that you are wrong, about pretty much everything, except logically and scientifically proven truths. Odds are, she doesn't see herself as particularly witty or smart, or you as particularly dull or stupid. It's even possible that she isn't wittier or smarter than you, you just think so. As for the other three, you're probably right there, but those things don't really matter. Who cares who's stronger at work, has more sexual experience, or talks a lot? (women talk more than men, so they're better at it...whatever) It's silly to think any of that matters.
  5. Sorry, but this whole thing stopped making sense to me. On the one hand, you are describing a situation where a friend of yours, who you have a crush on, and who's shown interest in you herself, is either having a quick fling with someone else, or is in the early stages of a relationship with someone else. Either way, not a relationship that's guaranteed, or even likely, to last. On the other hand, you're talking about a girl who is "unattainable", "out of your league", and regret and missed opportunity, all suggesting that there's no chance you could ever date her. Those two stories can't both be true. It's one or the other. Which is it?
  6. I think you have a problem, but it's not what you think. Your problem isn't inexperience or shyness. Women don't mind that. What they mind is jealousy and insecurity. You are NOT in a relationship with anyone. You shouldn't act like you are, and while we're at it, you should also try not to feel like you are. Your jealousy is out of place. You're not in pain because of any kind of lost love (she's clearly not lost to you), you're in pain because of misplaced jealousy. Here are some things you shouldn't do: 1. Do not tell her about your jealousy or any kind of pain she is causing you. It's not her problem, not her responsibility to "not hurt you", etc. Don't even entertain the thought that it's her fault in any way, no matter how many texts she sends, and what's in them. It's her right to share her life with her friends, and it is not your right to blame her for it. It's also her right to test you, if that's what she was doing (though I doubt it), and see if you can handle the idea that she doesn't belong to you. If you ask her out, be casual about it, don't pressure her or become emotional. 2. Do not act on this pain in any way. Don't try to distract yourself with alcohol or any other high, substance induced or emotional, either. That's a way to validate it, too. You're in pain, just accept the fact and do nothing else, because it shouldn't be your goal to live a pailess life. 3. Do not for a second think that jealousy is an unavoidable part of love. It's not. It's a symptom of a sick culture that misrepresents love, not a natural consequence of human nature. If you never give an unwanted emotion any validation, and take full personal responsibility for having it (never blame anyone else for causing it), that is the way to fight it, and make it subside and eventually go away. And, in general, don't act like you're in a monogamous relationship, in any way. She clearly hasn't rejected you romantically (the way you, kinda annoyingly I must say, claimed in the OP), and there's no reason to give up on her, but you're not in any kind of relationship with her. So do what she does: keep your options open, go on dates with whoever will go out with you, be open about it with your friends, accept their support if offered, etc. Prove to yourself, and to everyone else, that you are able to keep your emotions grounded in reality: she's not the center of your existence in reality, therefor she shouldn't be the center of your emotional life, either. That groundedness will take you further with attractive, confident women (who have to deal with obsessive, possessive "admirers" on a regular basis) than anything else you can do.
  7. You can think your way into or out of anything...as long as you are aware of what your actual values are, and are willing to give them up if you recognize them as irrational. (I'm saying actual values to differentiate from our purported values: the values that actually drive our emotions and actions, not the ones we would like to have drive us). For instance, if there is an emotion that is too strong to overcome, then whatever value is causing you to have that emotion needs to be identified and reconsidered. In this case, the main suspect would be this notion, that became part of the fabric of western culture in the past 100 years or so, that love, especially romantic love, is the goal of our existence, and when we feel it, we must sacrifice everything to fulfill it...to the point that we celebrate a piece of literature as insanely irrational as Romeo and Juliet, and the thousands of equally insane copies it spawned, all preaching the primacy of an emotion over reason, and even life itself (as an aside, it's worth noting that some think Romeo and Juliet is meant to be a parody...because its message might just be too insane for Shakespeare to have meant it). Teenagers and young adults are especially vulnerable to this message, because it is being shoved down their throats constantly in popular culture aimed at them. And it's very wrong, and very dangerous, precisely because it's such a strong emotion. The stronger the emotion that drives us, the more dangerous it is, and the more important it is to put an end to it, by giving up the notion that the emotion is an important, once in a lifetime event we must hang onto and pursue to the ends of the world. As an aside, there is nothing in Objectivism to condone this message. Just because Rand thought highly of love doesn't mean she placed it above reason or selfishness, in any way. If you ever want to have a fulfilling romantic relationship, you need to first figure out the correct place for love in your hierarchy of values...and make sure it's actually THERE (through the very simple method of repeated trial and failure...and to do that, once again: you must learn to also value the pain that comes with failure).
  8. One of the greatest regrets of my early life is cutting off ties with a girl I loved, and several of our common friends, because I couldn't have her. Yes, staying friends would've been painful...and, back then, I thought pain was a hindrance to any kind of accomplishment or success, and therefor to be avoided at all cost...but, as I found out later: pain is a part of life. A necessary, and therefor GOOD part of life. It would've TAUGHT me a lot, about both myself and the nature of the human experience in general. So just take the pain. Don't betray your values, by removing a good person from your life, because you're scared of a little pain. If you take the pain of a short term, probably illusory heartbreak, you will be rewarded for it with a learning experience you can't access in any other way... and possibly a lifetime of friendship as well. P.S. You DO want to stay away from any kind of an exploitative relationship. My post assumes that your relationship with her is a straight forward friendship (like mine was), and she is not taking advantage of your feelings in any way.
  9. Nicky

    Veganism under Objectivism

    While I think the argument "we are omnivores by nature, so we should continue eating meat" should be sufficient to keep a rational actor from becoming a strict vegan, I recently heard an even stronger argument: There are no vegetarian ecosystems on Earth. They don't exist. For an ecosystem to function in a sustainable way, some animals have to be eaten: there have to be animals that eat plants (and other lesser life forms), and there have to be animals that eat the plant eaters. If the planet were to turn vegan, we would have to feed everyone with food grown outside a functional ecosystem...which means we would have to remove a helluva lot of functional ecosystems from the face of the Earth, to make room for these artificial "gardens of Eden" that don't have an ecosystem, and therefor must be heavily tended to. And, of course, "tending" has to continue to mean chemical and heavily mechanized, gas guzzling tools. There is enough human labor to avoid those tools, but only if most people in the world decide to become manual laborers on a farm for 12 hours/day, seven days a week. So chemical and mechanized is the only real option. The only other solution is to maintain and improve the functional ecosystems we have: these ecosystems tend to be fairly simple: grass grows pretty much by itself on pasture, various herbivores graze it, and the humans act as the meat/dairy/egg eater in the food chain. There is plenty of room for improvement (ecosystems function better when there is variety), but even this simple, flawed model is far more functional and sustainable than ANY edible plant producing operation, be it a large scale corporation with GM corn, laying artificial fertilizer and spraying chemicals, or the most ecologically super duper organic hipster wet dream of a quarter acre "food forest" ever.
  10. Nicky

    Objectivist values and the personal.

    Depends on those existing values. Just saying that you value "health" and "wealth" doesn't really explain your values. Everybody values health and wealth. Some too little, some the right amount and for the right reasons, and some too much and for the wrong reasons. For starters, health and wealth can conflict as values: you can spend all your time striving to perfect your health, or you can spend all your time at work. Can't do both. So even just with that, you have to prioritize one over the other, in any given situation, and end up with a compromise between two priorities. Then there are all the other values you have, that you also have to set time aside for. That's where Objectivism comes in: Objectivist principles, once they are well understood and thoughtfully applied, can help decide which of these non-fundamental values deserves priority over the other, in any given situation. And then there's the longer conversation about the reason for pursuing any given value. People chasing wealth for the sake of wealth, for instance, aren't going to have fulfilled lives. Same is true for someone who's main obsession is having the perfect body, just like the models do on TV. Both those values are actually motivated by vanity and a phenomenon someone (forgot his name) dubbed the exceptionalism syndrome, not rational selfishness. [note: the 'exceptionalism syndrome' is this societal phenomenon, built up through mass media , where the bulk of our attention is directed towards the 0.001% of the human population that has done something that rare...causing the rest of the 99.999% of the population to feel inadequate in comparison...not only that...even that 0.001%, if they allow themselves to be swallowed up by this, will feel inadequate: because they're only exceptional in one tiny way, and inadequate in every other way: the greatest athlete in the world is probably an uneducated fool, with no charm or personality; the smartest person in the world stinks at sports, has bad social skills, etc...and even if they're decently charming and charismatic, they're still really, really bad at it compared to George Clooney, the guy they end up measuring themselves against. The fact that, since the 60s, new generations have been raised being told of their exceptionalism, whether they've done something worthy of the adjective or not, doesn't exactly help matters either. So, if you get swept up in any of that stuff (and, guess what: you do, because pretty much everybody does, to some extent), you just have to give up the values it caused you to have. Just say: Nope. Thanks, but no thanks. I don't want to have the perfect body, I don't want to be a billionaire, I don't even want to be the smartest or most charismatic person in the room every time). Being exceptional (which just means being in the 0.001% at something, and is not a selfish pursuit) isn't my goal. I want to be a person who recognizes and accepts who he is, and the many ways in which he is lacking, and strives to identify and work on the important, meaningful problems in his life, each day, while dismissing everything else. That's what "perfect morality" is. Not someone going around pretending to be perfect at everything they take up. Rand's heroes made all kinds of bad decisions...what made them heroes is the unwavering focus on the small number of problems they considered most important. Even Galt made the mistake of going to work at 20th Century Motors (is that the name?) instead of starting to solve the most important problem facing him (and everyone else, it's just that he was the one to recognize and solve it, first). And I'm not suggesting that discarding values is easy to do. Far from it. You have to look at every action, every emotional reaction, see what caused it. Was it the right value, or the wrong one? Can I keep this habit or pattern of behavior, or do I need to make gradual changes? It's a long, arduous process of constantly looking at, and taking personal responsibility for, every single event in one's life. Including the ones that are "somebody else's fault". Guess what: if you're depressed because you girlfriend cheated on you and then dumped you, it's still your responsibility to fix it, not hers. Same if it wasn't just cheating, but someone violated your rights and hurt you physically. Yeah, it's their fault, but your responsibility to deal with it, and everything else that ever happens to you...including to prevent it from ever happening again. Positive ones, too, not just the negatives: there's an entire perverse morality that consists of chasing pleasure (hedonism)...so you can't just rely on short term positive outcomes to validate your choices: evasion (not just substance induced: plain old denial, blame-shifting, playing the victim, engaging in distractions to avoid facing problems, etc.) generates a short term high.
  11. Nicky

    Choice - or not.

    Really? What if you're lost in the woods, and after several days of wandering the wilderness you stumble on an isolated cabin with massive amounts of donuts, and nothing else, in the fridge? What if you're in the middle of a famine in Africa, and a nice American billionaire decides to drop off a truckful of, you guessed it: donuts. Guess what: the right thing to do, in either case, is enjoy some donuts. Why? Because words only have meaning in context. Deciding what food is and isn't healthy, without providing context, is foolish. If eating something makes you healthier than not eating it, it's healthy. Eating a donut will obviously make a starving person healthier than not eating it. And that's an extreme example, there are far more mundane ones. What if you happen to have a very important deadline coming up in two days, at work, and the only way to meet it is to work two 16 hour days in a row? And the healthy food would take an hour+ to get (the healthy eatery is farther away, or that's how much it takes to buy the ingredients and cook them), while Mickey D's is right next door? What is the correct choice: a. blowing the contract just so you can have three healthy meals a day, and a healthy amount (eight hours) of sleep. b. meeting the deadline, and having the three healthy meals, but sacrificing thee hours of sleep c. going hungry for 48 hours d. making an exception, and eating some junk food Pretty sure it's d., for most people. Not everyone, though. Even then, additional context can make a difference: for instance, if someone has a condition that requires a specific diet, then you gotta go with b. instead of d. And someone who practices fasting as a way of life (look it up, if you don't know about this), and is used to it, would find it easy enough to just not eat anything. Because, again: context.
  12. Nicky

    Choice - or not.

    Acting impulsively and whimsically is not the same thing. Impulsive simply means unplanned (you seem to be aware of this, since you're contrasting it with planned action). There's nothing wrong with impulsive action, per se. A person with rational values will have good impulses, and acting on them will usually lead to good results. Not always, of course, because impulsive actions can lead to mistakes, but allowing for the occasional mistake beats the alternative: being paralyzed in situations that surprise us...which is most situations, because the world is in constant motion, and if we want to be a part of it, we need to be able to make immediate choices, not just well planned ones. Also, never doing anything impulsive makes one a boring person. Whimsical action is very different. A person who acts impulsively can have a set of carefully chosen values that inform their unplanned reactions, not to mention evaluate them after the fact and deal with the consequences whenever a mistake is made (usually, a simple apology does the job). A person who makes whimsical choices has no idea or concern as to whether they're right or wrong. They don't choose the values that inform their choices, and they certainly don't have the awareness to realize their mistakes and fix them.
  13. Nicky

    Global Warming

    Well, as usual, it's impossible to measure the impact of government actions that restrict economic activity, because we don't know how much could have been done in a free economy. The worst kind of government action is the kind that bars the grazing of domesticated animals on "natural reserves". Obviously, this wasn't done with the intention to build deserts, or to hinder regenerative farming. Like Savory points out in the video, traditional grazing, which has been going on for thousands of years, IS causing desertification (and with it, climate change). And restricting grazing wasn't meant to accelerate desertification ... but that's exactly what's happening ... because the government acted on immature science, that incorrectly assumed that getting cows off the grass would help the grass grow (and never bothered testing the notion, to see just how wrong it is). Turns out that while over-grazing was killing grasslands very slowly, establishing these idealistic, "pristine" natural reserves is killing them fast. It's killing them fast in the natural reserves (where the ecosystem has been robbed of crucial animal impact, without which grassland is turning into desert or woodland...and woodland then burns down, taking with it life...including human life, and releasing carbon into the atmosphere), and it's killing it faster outside the reserves too. This second effect was obvious and easy to predict even without any testing: if you take away massive amounts of available pasture, the rest is going to be over-grazed even more, and destroyed faster...obviously. I would argue that, without this government interference, and many others (subsidies that prop up farms that refuse to change, costly regulations that create a barrier of entry for innovative newcomers), private actors would have a much easier time switching to practices that don't just stop, but reverse desertification through the correct management of both farm ranges and (privately owned) natural reserves. But it's impossible to know how fast the transition to this whole new approach to both food production and the protection of nature would be without all the hindrances by governments. We would only know that if we gave it a shot.
  14. Nicky

    Global Warming

    Here's a video of Allan Savory, an ecologist who conducted research on a massive scale in Africa and around the world, making an extraordinary claim: if we were to farm live-stock on half the world's grasslands using the regenerative methods I (briefly) described above, that would store enough carbon in the soil to return the Earth's climate to pre-industrial conditions...and feed the world in the process. He also notes that this is the ONLY known way to stop or reverse global warming. He also posits that environmentalist policies that "protect" land from grazing have accelerated global warming caused by desertification (a phenomenon that's been happening for 10,000 years), over the past 100 years...and provides evidence for both claims:
  15. Nicky

    Red Cross

    The (IC of the) Red Cross is mentioned in the Geneva Conventions as an organization that has "controlling authority" in the enforcement of humanitarian law during war. It's the only organization named in that context. So they go around checking on the treatment of prisoners of war and civilians under occupation, by Geneva Conventions mandate...which is indeed a form of government charter. They visit Guantanamo Bay prisoners, for instance. That's the only thing I can think of, that would give them government sanction. Other than that minor aspect of their work, the Red Cross is a private charity. It's not a charity I would donate to, but that's mostly because they're bloated, inefficient, and often driven by ideology I disagree with, not because they're government controlled. Note: The history of the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions is deeply inter-twined, and the Red Cross used to fundamentally be an organization that provided care for soldiers wounded in battle or taken prisoner...and they received a lot of support from the Swiss government (and some other governments), through their early history. I don't mean to downplay any of that. I'm just talking about what the various organizations under the Red Cross umbrella are today: they're independent, private charities, involved mostly in non-political (natural or war caused) disaster relief.
  16. Ayn Rand didn't claim to know more about the world than what science tells us. What she did do is assume three axioms without which any knowledge would be impossible, and dismiss statements that aren't based in fact, or use concepts that aren't based in reality. One such concept is "infinite", or "forever". Defining a concept as the "the opposite" of another concept (has "opposite" attributes) isn't based in reality. Just because something exists, doesn't mean "the opposite" of it exists too. Let's just leave it at this: there are things that we don't have the ability to measure, currently. We are limited by technology (as well as the inability of things that possess mass to travel faster than the speed of light, or to travel back in time ... at least in time and space as we know them), in what we can measure. Which means that there (probably) are things we know nothing about. I'm saying "probably", because again: we don't know anything about it, it's just highly unlikely that the size of existence and the size of the measured Universe coincide. But just because there are holes in our knowledge doesn't mean we should fill them up with nonsensical or simplistic assumptions. We should just accept that the holes are there. By filling holes up with assumptions, we are limiting ourselves. We are ignoring possibilities...such as that time and space isn't something that can only be experienced the way we currently experience them, but rather something that can be manipulated, and perhaps even extended or built.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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)".
  23. 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.
  24. Nicky

    Veganism under Objectivism

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

    Global Warming

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