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Everything posted by Nicky

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. What something "comes across as" is irrelevant. Only thing that matters is what it is.
  4. 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?
  5. Nicky

    Just Shut Up and Think

    I bet you can't prove that my answer isn't of the highest degree of acceptability, goodness, quality, or any other word you wish to use. So the question "Is the pen in your hand blue?" is also an open ended question, because it also depends on who's answering it? Sure. That's because you asked a meaningful question. The quality of a person's answer to your question can be evaluated objectively...because there is an objective standard for evaluating people's goals and decisions. That standard is Ethics. Specifically, rational selfishness. That's what makes the answer "I want to be the next Mother Theresa", for instance, an objectively bad answer. On the other hand, I have not been made aware of any standard you might use to evaluate my answer above, and objectively call it worse than yours. So it's not worse than yours. You can't even pick on "potato" not being a number, because we're using a digital medium, so it is.
  6. Nicky

    Just Shut Up and Think

    Elegance can mean all kinds of things, but the common meanings tend to range between two polar opposites: practical simplicity and pretentious sophistication. So you can tell a lot about a person from their definition of elegance.
  7. He was a recovering drug addict (he was able to quit hard drugs before he became successful). More recently (through the famous years), he wrote about how he abused alcohol to "treat' depression caused by his divorce...and it's unclear if he ever managed to pull out of that cycle.
  8. That the more seriously you take an irrational belief system, the less likely you are to be able to keep your sanity while living in a reality that contradicts your beliefs at every turn...and altruism and religion are two such irrational belief systems. There are many other beliefs and practices that lead to mental illness (depression is a side effect of addiction, for instance), and mental illness can also have genetic causes, but altruism and religion are definitely worth mentioning first. And the main cause of suicide in current societies (except for Switzerland) is mental illness. As for Switzerland, assisted suicide is legal there, and the chief cause of suicide is rational choice, in response to a terminal illness diagnosis. I don't see why that would be a problem Objectivists would want to solve. Objectivism doesn't pass moral judgement on such decisions...and therefor, I don't see why reducing suicide rates would be a goal for Objectivists. The goal should be to prevent suicides caused by mental illness...not all suicides.
  9. Nicky

    Just Shut Up and Think

    Well, I have a standard answer to all "open ended problems" (because that way I don't have to read them first), but, presumably, it's just as good as any of the other answers, right? That's what "open ended" means? So: 1) the answer is potato, to all of them. 2) the "different" answer is still potato...but a different one. 3 and 4) the first potato, because I don't like different potatoes. I like all my potatoes the same.
  10. Nicky

    Reblogged:Evolving Phone Etiquette

    George Costanza has this all figured out.
  11. In the original post, the bill was described as "legislation to allow Americans with life-threatening conditions access to unapproved, experimental drugs". I posted that such a bill would not pass Congress. And it didn't. And it won't, anytime soon. This bill gives DYING patients access to medication that PASSED phase one of the FDA's approval process. Access they already had, through a different mechanism. So it's a meaningless bill, with no consequences (positive or negative) whatsoever.
  12. Just saw this shirt, while watching a (dirty hippy, organic) gardening vid totally unrelated to Oism (really surprised me, too, that the guy even knows who Ayn Rand is): Any idea where you can order these from? Because it looks great.
  13. I like these dystopian/alternate reality shows too (Man in the High Castle, SS-GB, all the way back to Amerika...1987 show with Kris Kristofferson and Sam Neill...I don't know if it still holds up now), but, for some reason, The Handmaid's Tale turned me off after 4-5 episodes. One interesting thing about it was that, as far as I remember, they stuck to the "first person narration" from the book...we only see what the main character sees. I just wish she saw something else from time to time, besides just creative, over the top, unrealistic ways in which women are abused by society. And sure, there was some kind of vague, mysterious plot, but it was moving along very, very slowly, because all the show-makers' focus seemed to be on laying the "message" on as thick as possible. Maybe that changes later, and I just wasn't patient enough for it. But it didn't seem like it would, from the episodes I saw.
  14. The most notable of the retirees is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan -------------- He's quitting that job, I don't think he's retiring from politics. He's probably doing it to avoid becoming permanently associated with Trump...because he's planning to run for President at some point. There's really not much Republicans can do, right now. Trump won the election on the Republican ticket, they can't openly oppose him, they just have to wait this out while trying to minimize the damage. But they are keeping him in check to some extent. The people running the DOJ, for instance, are Republicans, and they're standing up to him pretty well. The newest SCOTUS justice is a principled conservative as well, and he has a majority behind him when it comes to blocking anything abusive that Trump might try to do. Also note how there's no wall being built. The ideas Trump's been throwing around about tariffs against US allies are also being walked back. That's because there's no support for any of that, in the Republican Party. P.S. Also, Mitt Romney's running for Senate, and he's doing it in Utah, which is a conservative, anti-Trump stronghold. He's gonna be an automatic, high profile no vote on every idea Trump might have.
  15. Nicky

    Are Pick Up Artists Legitimate Artists?

    No. Ayn Rand agreed with what most of the world has believed since the Renaissance: art is something you do for its own sake, not for a utilitarian purpose.
  16. Nicky

    Are Pick Up Artists Legitimate Artists?

    As natural languages evolve, words often end up referring to different concepts in different contexts. Take the word "man", for instance: it can be used to mean humans the species, a single human, or it can be used to mean a biological male. There's no reason to get hung up on it, you can get the meaning from context, and accept that no, someone using man in one sense is not trying to refer to the word's other meanings (unless you're a feminist, then apparently you lose that ability). Same here: artist is used to mean a master of a craft (an artisan). It simply denotes excellence in a field or activity, and has nothing to do with the modern definition of art in the context of Aesthetics. This (excellence at a craft) is actually the original meaning of the word, it only started being used to refer to the profession of someone who creates 'art for the sake of art' after the Renaissance.
  17. If the guy wants to learn how to read, there are easier materials to practice on than Atlas Shrugged.
  18. People can plan for falling into a punctuation mark of any kind, ( ), and put it in writing who they want making the decisions (with both their life and their property). If they don't, then, for lack of any better options, it's assumed that they would've wanted their closest relatives to make the calls. And it doesn't compare to abortion in any way. Abortion is a simply every woman's right.
  19. I'm not sure who you're talking about, but unless you are accusing me of turning a blind eye to some atrocity (and I can't imagine you are), I don't see how this is relevant to the topic at hand: the American far right. I've been to Germany, met a lot of people, and, as far as I've seen, Germans are extremely busy people, who occupy themselves with pretty much every activity imaginable (from extremely productive, scrupulous, hard work in the daytime to some of the most libertine expressions of sexuality I've ever seen, at night). Except for one: wallowing in shame. Haven't seen anyone do that. So I find it hard to accept that Germany's defining characteristics are self-denigration or any kind of wallowing. I also haven't come across any expressions of pride over that period of German history (and they really shouldn't be proud of it), but there was zero wallowing. To me, they appeared to have moved on from it, and are now occupying their time with entirely unrelated things. To the extent the people I met had some interest in politics, it was in the economy, and the various issues of the day, not anything to do with Nazi rule. There are of course activists on the far left and the far right who scream and shout their talking points all day, but every country has those. People like that don't define Germany any more than they define any other country. They're irrelevant extremists no one outside their little circle takes seriously.
  20. I agree with the fact that the American "alt right", and even the people who openly call themselves Nazis or white supremacists, are a joke. Immature idiots playing around, pretending to be big bad Nazis. They don't really mean what that entails, and would crap their pants the second they were asked to actually back up their pretend beliefs with action. But that's because the US is a prosperous, peaceful country with an effective judiciary that upholds property rights, free speech and religious freedom. Those aren't conditions a far right ideology would thrive in. Americans have it way too good to fully embrace an ideology that requires absolute submission to the state, and demands that individuals literally sacrifice their lives and their souls, in its service. Which is why it doesn't make sense to judge how dangerous the far right potentially is based on their current level of support. What makes far more sense is to judge the potential danger based on what happened in the past, when conditions became more accommodating to a strongman promoting this brand of fanatical, extreme altruism. What happened is exactly what the Nazi ideology means: millions of citizens of civilized, culturally rich nations willing to happily die and commit moral atrocities of the highest order in the service of the state, and do so with no regard to any of the values, decency or rationality that was integral to the culture of these nations for hundreds (or, in the case of Japan, over a thousand) years through their amazing, rich, benevolent history.
  21. Nonsense. The US has a long history of being a force for good in the world, and it's in its self interest to continue to be that. It may not always be done out of well articulated rational selfishness, but that doesn't change the fact that US foreign policy is contributing to a more free and more prosperous world, and that is to the benefit of the American people. Trump doesn't get that, because he doesn't understand what "good" even is. He has no principles. His idea of good leadership is what thugs like Putin are doing: a cynical, nationalistic drive to raise your country over others, without any regard to principles or decency. That's why he has expressed admiration for Putin.
  22. Objectivists are, as they always have been, opposed to both the collectivist right and the collectivist left. There is a third option your false alternative is seeking to obfuscate: individual rights. Objectivists are staying on that side. And Trump is just as far away from the side of individual rights as Obama was. Even further, if he ever gets around to implementing some of his deeply destructive, rights violating campaign promises.
  23. First off, "ordinary American" is demagogy, plain and simple. No point in even addressing it further. So, that aside, Trump is certainly "upholding" a specific segment of the population (not any more or less ordinary than any other segment) at the expense of others. But it's not really the segments you're describing (describing vaguely, on purpose). For instance, he's not upholding steel producers at the expense of Leftist intellectual elitists, he's upholding them at the expense of the individual rights of manufacturers who buy steel, all consumers who buy their products, and everyone who suffers from the inevitable retaliation to his tariffs. He's not upholding low skill American workers at the expense of college professors and Liberal politicians, he's upholding them at the expense of the rights (and lives) of economic migrants seeking to escape the misery of socialist hell holes. He's not upholding white nationalists at the expense of college professors, he's upholding them at the expense of 99.9% innocent Muslims and Hispanics. And so on and so forth. Whenever he "upholds" a neglected group, he does so by introducing laws that violate other people's rights, and almost never by eliminating laws that violate the rights of the people he's "upholding".
  24. It's hard for a rational observer to accept anything out of Trump's mouth as his honest views, but, to the extent his campaign platform had meaning, he was referring to the time before the Clinton presidency. His (supposed) gripe with American economic policy was mainly the trade agreements that promote a global marketplace. Just like the far left (the likes of Bernie Sanders) he blames the job losses that are an inevitable part of economic change and technological progress on supposedly "unfair trade". He also brought up the post-Reagan over-regulation and taxation, from time to time (and occasionally latched onto Reaganomics, just to placate economic conservatives), but it was mainly anti-globalism rhetoric.
  25. So you think the American government has been exactly the same degree of bad, for every second of its entire existence? You don't see a qualitative difference between let's say the Jefferson administration, the Lincoln administration, the FDR admin, or the Obama admin? No answer to the question which was best?