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Nicky

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Everything posted by Nicky

  1. I'll keep this simple, to start out with. Could it be that parts of the human brain are remnants of evolution (vestigial, like the appendix, the tailbone on an embryo, pseudo genes, etc.), and that they produce chemicals (such as serotonin) in reaction to outside stimuli, that affect our state of mind, entirely independent of our conscious mind (our values and knowledge)? (what I'm getting at is that this notion is fairly widely accepted in Psychology, and it does not gel with "tabula rasa"...that's the subject I'm ultimately hoping to revisit)
  2. No, none of what you are describing contradicts tabula rasa. I'm currently reading (almost finished) a book called "The power of habit" (I recommend it, because it doesn't just spout advice, it describes the cutting edge science and studies that back up the advice), which goes into detail about how habits are formed, which parts of the brain light up or go dim when they take over, and how we can consciously determine or affect these subconscious, semi-automatic habits. These are not fully automatic reactions, they can be created, bypassed or altered through conscious mental effort. I'm also not talking about physiological reactions like PMS, or a reaction to illness. That doesn't contradict Oism either. But Oism makes the claim that, in human beings, emotions can only be caused by values, and that old "instincts" are entirely defunct. And that's being contradicted by some very convincing voices these days...they're not looking to contradict Objectivism, just trying to figure out human psychology, and they are making a convincing case that parts of the brain are left over from before humans became rational, and are doing their own thing, sometimes in spite of our rational mind. That is the key here: they're not just controlling physiological functions the rational mind has nothing to do with, and occasionally reminding the conscious mind about these physiological problems. They're recognizing outside events that DO NOT PHYSICALLY AFFECT US, and reacting in a prescribed manner, in a muted version of the way the primitive, non-rational ancestor's brain used to react to them before we developed a rational ability.
  3. Sure. But that's not the issue. The issue is, the brain (it is claimed, I'm happy to name the people who make the claim, but I assume you're aware) reacts automatically to something being perceived (perceived automatically... this part Oism agrees with). The effect of that reaction (the mood) isn't knowledge. But what about the cause? If event X is automatically, and entirely independently of anything a person learned in their life, is causing reaction Y, isn't the ability of the primitive mind to recognize event X, and KNOW that this is the time to react in manner Y, "knowledge"? It is the brain acting on information (information that is innate, it's not information gained through perception + integration). I mean sure, it's not knowledge the way Rand defines it...because her definition of knowledge assumes tabula rasa ("Knowledge is a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation"...ItOE). But there's a lot of of editorializing in that. The actual definition should just be "knowledge is a mental grasp of a fact of reality". Perceptual, innate, however it came about. I would also like to remind you of this claim in Objectivism: " man’s values and emotions are determined by his fundamental view of life". ("Philosophy: Who needs it?", via the AR Lexicon). So okay, moods are not knowledge, they're emotions. But are they determined solely by knowledge as defined by Ayn Rand, or can you get into a mood because a primitive part of your brain has the ability to automatically react to something in the outside world that invariably causes it to release a mood altering chemical? No matter what you do, think, value, etc.?
  4. If parts of the brain react independently from the conscious mind (to produce mood altering chemicals, automatically, NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, because that's what they've been doing for the past 250 million years), how is that a blank slate?
  5. Most tech executives, including Google's CEO, live in the US. Which means the US Congress has the authority to stop this. They can make aiding and abetting repression abroad illegal. And, frankly, they should. There's already a precedent for it: the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes involvement in corruption abroad a federal crime. This is way more serious than giving a bribe to some bureaucrat. This app could very easily end up facilitating torture and murder.
  6. Farmers are traders. Everyone who produces something to sell is a trader.
  7. I'm hoping you don't need an answer to that.
  8. Not a bad point there, Miss Rand. Indeed, the nationalism vs. internationalism question is superficial and artificial. Nationalism has no virtues, nor does socialism, nor does internationalism per se. Only capitalism does, and international agreements only have virtue to the extent that they facilitate individuals' freedom to trade and move between states. P.S. You really should be more careful about the ghost of a dead individualist philosopher taking over you fingers and posting corrections to your collectivist book review, Grames. It's hurting the cause.
  9. Nicky

    What is "Appreciations" relationship to "Value"

    I don't think a helicopter will take you to any reasonable definition of " the top of the world". A combustion engine tends to run out of oxygen after a few miles above sea level.
  10. Nicky

    What is "Appreciations" relationship to "Value"

    Well then the problem is your method for choosing and defining goals. A rational man's goals are part of a hierarchy, with the ultimate value, one's own life, at the top. This goal has no discernible connection to that hierarchy, you just randomly picked a pointless goal. There are a few ways in which you can identify whether a goal is connected to your hierarchy of values, or not: 1. Is it challenging? Going sight seeing in a helicopter is not an achievement. At least not unless it's your first time in a helicopter. Then that's a new experience worth having, because you are leaving your comfort zone, and that is a challenge in itself. But if you spend all you free time being a typical tourist, avoiding challenges, then it's just lazy. In general, over-achievers don't engage in lazy activities. Even when they're on holiday, they are wired to do challenging things. It's not a habit you can turn on or off: if you're lazy when you don't work, it's gonna make you lazy when you work as well. And if you're challenging yourself in your free time, that's a habit that will carry through to your work as well. So doing challenging things, no matter what they are, automatically serves that higher purpose. 2. Re-define it, make it more clear what the motivation really is behind it. For instance, if you're taking this helicopter ride with friends or family who are physically limited, or with kids who are experiencing it for the first time, then the mountain isn't your goal at all. Your goal is to socialize or be a teacher. If you're taking it with an attractive girl, your goal is to get in her pants...even more important to be honest then, because that's the only way it will actually work. Another way to re-define a goal like this is: I just want to waste a day. Because, if you can't find a way to connect an activity to your hierarchy of values, that's precisely what you're doing: wasting time. More exactly, you're doing meaningless tasks as an avoidance mechanism (you're avoiding unpleasant problems that require your attention).
  11. Nicky

    What is "Appreciations" relationship to "Value"

    My end goal is to have the greatest life I possibly can. Taking a helicopter ride does little to help with that. Climbing a big ass mountain all by myself, on the other hand, just might... So we're in agreement, it's not about getting to the top, it's about personal achievement.
  12. Nicky

    Health & Evasion.

    Okay, but let's note that even this highly unusual fairy tale isn't about two beasts being drawn to each other's inner beauty. It's about a physically beautiful woman being drawn to a behaviorally beautiful man...which is very different from the notion that "inner beauty is all that matters".
  13. Nicky

    Health & Evasion.

    There's no mention of baseball either. Doesn't mean they don't care about it, it just means it's not relevant, beyond the painfully obvious: a rationally selfish person should take care of their health. Rand smoked, and her body type didn't really allow her to appear thin, but she was not obese either. Clearly she paid attention to her diet. I would write off the smoking to the Oist tendency to be skeptical of popular and government advice...because such advice is usually wrong. So it took her longer to buy into it than most. And her husband was thin through his life. So are all the men you mentioned. I doubt that's just by coincidence. No indication that they drink to excess or smoke, either. Clearly, they value their health more than the average North American. I know most about Peikoff's habits, because I listened to his podcast. He is very careful to maintain his weight, at all times, and has been for decades. But he does so without the "nihilistic" approach of denying himself food he craves. He just has less of it, or switches off fattening foods for a few weeks, when he notices any weight gain. P.S. But by all means, e-mail prominent Objectivists and ask. You'll probably get an answer from some of them. Or show up to an even they're speaking at, and ask. I'm sure you'll get the same answer back: health is obviously a value, and we should take care of our bodies.
  14. Well, even if we fully buy into the "good provider" theory, that is an evolutionary theory. In other words, it deals in men as they lived before specialization (as hunter gatherers, where you proved you are a good provider and protector through behavior, rather than any achievement or possession. And it was a very specific set of behaviors, because there was only one way to be a good provider and protector: be strong, fit, assertive, but also loving, open and honest. Specifically, EMOTIONALLY honest. This is what the "Red Pill" crowd fails to understand: being honest, being willing to put yourself out there (not being guarded, but rather being willing to take the risk of being hurt), being caring and genuinely curious about a woman's deepest emotions and experiences, etc. is just as attractive as being confident, strong and decisive...and to be attractive beyond a first few short encounters requires you to be both, and be so genuinely. Not play the role of the "nice friend who listens to her boyfriend problems", but be genuinely interested, and know how to make her comfortable to share those things with you. Also, you gotta know WHO to become genuinely interested in. If you're gonna insist on chasing after someone who rejected you, that's not "alpha male" behavior (I'm using it in quotes because it's a stupid term, I prefer to call it "selfish, confident man"), that's the very definition of a needy man who can't handle the rejection and must validate himself by changing this woman's opinion of him. An alpha male actually wants a woman to make her own decisions (by putting his honest self and his honest intentions, without any stupid tricks and games), and happily respects her decision, whichever way it goes. As for the reason why so called "good providers" get dumped: it's because they're only good providers materially. Not emotionally, not intellectually, and not sexually. They just bring home the bacon, and think that's good enough. So when the, again so called, alpha male comes around and knows how to make a woman feel sexually desired (which is a HUUUGE turn-on for women, probably the biggest), has interesting stories about people, travel, adventures, AND in general is a guy willing to take risks emotionally and connect on an emotional level, he's everything the bacon bringer-homer is not, in all the ways that actually count. Also (according to the theory), women aren't specifically attracted to a "good provider", but rather to a "potential good provider". Someone who proves that they have the ability to be good providers. Let's take two identical twins, who were separated at birth, and are now both age 20: The first one, Mr. A, is a billionaire CEO. He wears the same T-shirt and jeans everywhere he goes, he has a bland haircut, he spends 14 hours a day working, has a very serious demeanor, he hates talking about his personal life or his emotions to anyone except maybe his therapist or one or two of his closest friends. And he gets embarrassed any time someone openly talks about sex...especially if there are women present. He speaks well, but softly, and prefers to stick with a few of his favorite subjects, mostly work, politics, technology and his wood carving hobby. The second one, Mr. B, is a college kid who lives in a dorm, and has no material possessions or marketable skills. He has the same haircut as the dude from Vikings, he has cool tattoos, a leather jacket and clean but torn jeans, a V-neck Queens of the Stone Age T-shirt, dogtags and rings, and a big smile on his face. He's loud but friendly, gets along with people despite the fact that he never tries to cater to anyone's needs unsolicited. He'll help you out if you ask, but only if he likes you, and only if you have something to give back. He loves talking about himself, he's open about his emotional and sex life. Annoyingly open. He also doesn't take himself particularly seriously, he's actually a little dismissive about his own problems...he mentions them, but not to complain. Just as a matter of fact. Guess who is perceived as the "potentially good provider" by women. That's right, mr. B. Because 100,000 years ago, Mr A would've been a terrible provider and protector, while mr. B would've been excellent. Also, not much changed in 100,000 years. Mr. A has a lot of learning to do before he could be a truly good provider, even with billions in the bank. Because money is not enough, if you're not emotionally and physically available to your family. Meanwhile, Mr. B would do fine, if he decided to settle down and have a family. He doesn't want to do that, but that doesn't change the fact that he could if he wanted to...so he's attractive to women.
  15. Nicky

    Donald Trump

    This is a lie. My actual position is that war is necessary when faced with an existential threat (by an enemy country or organization). And, in war, it is justified to attack not just the organization itself, but its entire economic and material support network. Obviously, that has nothing to do with how government powers should be limited in peace time, in a capitalist country, or with how innocent economic migrants should be treated. You would have to be quite daft to not understand the difference between an enemy in war and Mexican farm workers.
  16. Nicky

    Donald Trump

    I guess that question has been answered. Welcome to the trade war: General Motors, after repeated warnings, and lower 2018 profits due to the rising cost of steel and aluminum, closes five plants and fires 15% of its workforce, in the US and Canada. The American plants are located in Ohio and Michigan, two states that voted for Trump's protectionist platform in 2016. Trump doesn't understand how this could've happened, throws a fit and issues threats. Hopefully, the voters in Ohio and Michigan are a little smarter, and able to figure it out.
  17. I'm reading a good book that deconstructs all this anti-woman/ PUA mentality, and offers an alternative approach. One that is respectful of women without putting them on a pedestal, and congruent with Objectivism. In fact a lot of it seems to be written from a partially Oist perspective (the author fleetingly mentions that reading Atlas Shrugged in college changed his life, in the book, as well). It's from Mark Manson (who's known for "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck", which is the second best "life advice" type book I have ever read in my life), and it's titled "Models: Attract Women Through Honesty". ( I don't think "models" refers to fashion models, but rather "things to model yourself after"...but it is an ambivalent title, on purpose...pretty sure it's meant to mock PUAs). The two books are very, very different. "The Subtle Art..." is short, it's written in a provocative style (lots of cursing), it throws flashy, provocative ideas around somewhat carelessly, and uses a wide lens to look at life in general. But it's very interesting, and frames a lot of good life advice in some very surprising and original ways. The "Models..." book on the other hand is longer, analytical, detailed, carefully thought through, and focused on the subject at hand. But, as you go along, you find out something very important: the subject at hand (getting women) is as wide as life itself...because you get women based on who you are, personally and socially, not on what "techniques" or lines you use. So the book actually sets out to encourage the reader to change their entire life, and become an interesting, opinionated, provocative, well dressed and groomed, physically fit, healthy, independent, well traveled, knowledgeable, well read, sexually uninhibited, confident, courageous etc. person. Do that, and women won't be able to resist you...no aggressive, fake alpha behavior needed.
  18. Nicky

    Colonialism/imperialism

    That's a platitude.
  19. Nicky

    Colonialism/imperialism

    I'm not really interested in debating the specifics. Just conveying the point that definitions are contextual.
  20. Nicky

    Colonialism/imperialism

    Definitions are made in context. Terrorism is a tactic, and its moral quality depends on the moral quality of the terrorist's ultimate goal. There's no absolute law that states that "terrorism is evil". A 21st century terrorist fighting for militant Islam, targeting peaceful, rights respecting societies, is very different from a 19th century terrorist fighting for civilization, targeting tribal, abusive societies...even if their methods are similar.
  21. Oh boy. You seriously expect me to explain what civilization is good for?
  22. Nicky

    Ukraine

    It's a tough situation, where walking a tight rope is important for rational actors, but I think the West, overall, is doing a good job. Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict started, Russia's GDP compacted by about 30%...all because of sanctions. In fact, it's at -50% from where it should be, with natural growth through the economic boom since the last global financial crisis. Lately, their economy picked up some steam, because they've been behaving, and significant new sanctions weren't needed. But that probably ends now. Another round of sanctions, as a result of this idiocy, should nullify the growth of the past two years, and force Putin to reverse course. Also, the sanctions will be likely paired up with military aid from the US and (conditional) economic aid from the EU, to the Ukraine (the beauty of EU aid is that it is generally handed out on condition of pro civil rights and anti corruption reform).
  23. Nicky

    Are Pick Up Artists Legitimate Artists?

    I've actually became curious about PUAs, after a few threads on this board. So I read up on both sides (PUAs, and people critical of them). Here's what I came away with: PUAs do two things: 1. set out to mask certain character flaws (especially low confidence, and an overwhelming need for validation from others) through scripted, usually overly aggressive behavior. 2. do it over and over again, to hundreds or thousands of women. That's all it is. There's nothing else to it. And I think point no. 2 is actually a good idea: fixing flaws is done through practice. So that part of the PUA movement is decent advice...it's just that you should do it while being aware of what's going on. You're not using some magic method to sweep supermodels off their feet, you're playing the odds. Anybody who plays the odds for long enough will eventually find a winning ticket. The catch is to be honest with both yourself and everybody else: that's how character flaws are found out, and fixed. Through honesty, not through some script meant to hide who you are. But even the mindless PUA repetition can fix one flaw: the fear of rejection. If you go over the same routines hundreds of times, you stop being afraid of a negative outcome. That fear is a character flaw (an important one, because it's the one people pick up on right away). So if it's not there, some women will find the absence of fear attractive enough that they'll look past the hokey pickup lines and the obvious dishonesty, and sleep with a "PUA" a couple of times...until the whole thing comes to a head, as the guy's deeper character flaws are revealed. But, again: the "art" itself is pointless nonsense. It works because of the repetition, and DESPITE the stupid pseudo-science about female psychology. Just replace the PUA nonsense with honesty, and apply repetition. You'll not just get laid more easily, but you'll develop meaningful relationships.
  24. That doesn't seem to leave much room for "individual liberty". Only option the individual seems to have is to obey the tribe they were born into, speak the official language, and believe in the national religion. Makes no sense. The Roman Empire, and then later the British Empire (just to name the two most notable ones) weren't trying to put an end to war or disease, they were trying to spread civilization (replace tribalism with civilization). Nationalism, by the very definition above, means reverting to tribalism.
  25. International treaties presume states ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_(polity) ) to exist. And yes, they're called inter"national", but they're actually between states, not nations. It's just a poor choice of words (chosen poorly by nationalists who confuse the two terms). The essential difference is that a state is a governing body over a geographic area, while a nation is a governing body over a group of people. Clearly, Objectivism advocates for the former, not the latter (because, in the former, people at least have the freedom to choose their government by moving).
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