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abott1776 last won the day on July 9 2015

abott1776 had the most liked content!

About abott1776

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  • Birthday 06/05/91

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    Schaumburg (Suburb of Chicago)
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    Mechanical Engineering, Hydrocarbon Drilling, Objectivism, History, Film

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    I am an engineering student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Experience with Objectivism
    I have read a lot of Objectivist fiction and non-fiction literature. I also like to watch fellow Objectivists on You-tube and other related topics.
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    University of Illinois at Chicago
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    Hydrocarbon Drilling (looking to enter)
  1. In the news

    I saw this on Listverse: http://listverse.com/2015/06/28/10-potential-alternatives-to-the-conventional-capitalist-system/ Objectivism is number 2. It is one of the fairer characterizations of Objectivism I've seen mentioned on this site. I guess this isn't exactly news, but I thought it was worth sharing.
  2. Innocents dying, ethics

    When a country defends itself against an aggressor, innocent people will surely die. Let's make this more fundamental. When you assert that one kills innocent people,you are implying that we are depriving them of their right to life, etc. When a country goes to war against you they lose all rights until the threat is ended. In the context (key word here, look into Ayn Rand's placement of importance in context) of international aggression similarly when it comes to some thug trying to kill you, the actions necessary in order to survive require you to forget distinguishing between innocent and guilty. Any other way is sacrifice in the other direction. The key difference between the disease and war is force. That is why it would be sacrifice in the disease case, and not in the other.
  3. Innocents dying, ethics

    I have to separate war as such and war in the middle east right now. War in general: Let's look at the truly "innocent" people in an aggressive nation. The children perhaps, the people who abhor their regime, who want to see it fall. First off they would want to see it fall, if the defenders we're not involved this would require tremendous amount of casualties on their side anyways. Second, do you fully understand the nature of war, what it takes? You have to demoralize the enemy. You have to take the war to them and their whole existence. You have to basically make them see that their motive is futile and that when they attack us we will utterly destroy them. If you don't do this and try to practice a "humanitarian" war, say something similar or even more consistent to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, you both do not accomplish the defeat of the enemy and you don't spare the lives of the civilians. You don't defeat the enemy, as well as sacrifice the lives of American soldiers, precisely because you try to spare the "innocent" in mosques, homes, etc. Just like you can't practice altruism fully (you would commit suicide) you can't practice such a war fully. People not directly involved in fighting you are going to get hurt. To practice such a war fully, you would sit back and let the aggressors destroy your country. Next time try to address the realities of war. You don't seem to understand what it takes. I will try to address the middle east including its history later.
  4. Innocents dying, ethics

    Your first example boils down to "should I sacrifice another life for my own?" No you should never do that, as a rational egoist you would be trying to simultaneously hold the principle of the right to life and its opposite. This assumes a civil society though. Ayn Rand talked about emergency situations and how one cannot talk about ethics in those situations. From my understanding war like self defense can be thought of in terms of an emergency situation. Once a nation tasks itself with its own defense it has to end the threat as soon as possible, obviously with as little deaths on its side as reasonably** possible. This requires very brutal tactics, think of World War II, instilling fear in Germany's and Japan's populaces. That is where I think you are getting Peikoff's and Brook's deliberate targeting of civilians in their analysis of WWII. Today I don't think you would have to do that, we're not fighting mighty industrialized nations but pretty weak backwards states and terrorist cells. War might not be considered a total emergency situation though because there can be a lot of planning especially for an advanced country liked the U.S.. Ultimately one is responsible for the government one finds themselves under. The non-combatants of these countries have to reap what they sow. If their government attacks our citizens the blame for their citizens deaths as a result of retaliation rests on the aggressors. One other point about the comparison between this disease and war. Yes, a disease like cancer is most likely through no fault of their own (obviously except for things like smoking and lung cancer) but war is not a natural phenomenon, it is started by conscious beings aware of what they are doing. The war is through someone's fault and certainly not the fault of the defenders. **I do have lingering questions about how does a military strategist make the decision of what types of weapons and strategy to use. There could conceivably be a way to kill everyone in an aggressive country and risk zero lives as well as totally fuck up the war and risk everyone's lives (for the sake of protecting the enemies). How does one decide how much risk should be placed on our soldiers lives?
  5. Interesting topic. From what I know about history in general, not a detailed analysis of each nations economic history, the British Empire changed from a mercantile system to a more free-market, free-trade economy (not systematically but generally). The mercantile policies before and during the American Revolution (or as I like to call it The Second English Civil War) was what driven the American Revolutionaries to rebel. They saw it, and rightly so, as hindering their prosperity. Mercantile policies viewed wealth as basically static, if one nation gained, another lost as opposed to the free-market idea of you know "let's grow the pie, not bicker over what slice everybody gets". The Americans intuitively saw what Adam Smith later made an official theory. After the American Revolution the Liberals gained power for most of the nineteenth century, changing the way the Empire viewed trade and economics. The revolution was figuratively a slap in the face to wake them up, that their policies weren't working, they just pissed a whole lot of people off. Even in England, smuggling was viewed by a lot of people as a just robinhoodesque action, read Edward Cline's Sparrowhawk series, it will give you a very good representation of the opposing views of economics in the Anglo-American sphere at that time. In America after the revolution, there were two opposing sides, the Federalists and the Republican. The Fed's wanted that American System, big national banks, monetarily support industry (two examples that come to mind, steamboats and railroads were subsidized disastrously), the Rep wanted to basically leave everyone alone, but they gave us that distrust for national banks, and they sought to restrict by closing banks from interstate finance. Overall after the war the Anglo-American sphere as a whole grew increasingly more free culminating in the late nineteenth century, with America I think having an edge over the British in terms of culture (individualism, entrepreneurship, drive to strive better). There were specific delimited things the American government(s) did such as subsidizing this or that business, nothing like the all-encompassing attitude today that business is inherently corrupt, that it needs to be constantly regulated, that people needed to be guided in what they do, massive government redistribution programs.
  6. 1) The U.S. is "whimping out". It has failed to identify its enemies, today primarily islamic states and organizations that support (financially and intellectually) and carry out attacks against our country. It has failed to properly eliminate those enemies precisely because of what it fears will happen to the region if we did carry out massive assaults on countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran (both of which have attacked us in the past). We fear stepping on toes, hurting peoples feelings, and yes killing "innocent" people, probably many of them. Stabilizing the region would mean keeping the status quo, all of these enemies intact. We have to demolish our enemies, not get bogged down in dressed up peace-corps missions (Iraq and Afghanistan). The situation in Iraq today is easily explained, nobody takes us seriously, a country that we have recently subdued and replaced with a more "participative" government has been seen as weak. 2) I will grant you that many people do look at such wars in disgust. Perhaps that can apply to the rest of the world but it shouldn't apply to the U.S.. We're a superpower and could crush our enemies if we wanted to, no world war necessary, even against Russia or China, unless Obama dismantles more of our nuclear arsenal. The thing with Russia-Ukraine, like I said "which nation should we choose, or none at all?" would be a proper response. We should either have a national-interest in Ukraine, stand by our guns, Crimea is a green light for war or no concern what so ever. The reason we have all of these small conflicts, this bullshit as I call it, is that we like to have our cake and eat it too. We don't want Ukraine violated but we don't really want to get our hands dirty. Russia knows we won't go to war even if they took eastern Ukraine all together, and thus we get all of these negotiations and military tests. Same thing with Israel-Palestine, negotiation after negotiation intermixed by each side testing the other. 3) The DIM hypothesis by Peikoff illuminates his idea that there are three ways of thinking, Disintegration (there is no hierarchical concepts, theories, man cannot form principles about reality), Integration (this is basically the metaphysics and epistemology of Objectivism), and Misintegration (forming principles based on anything but reality, religion, etc.) Right now Peikoff would describe the world as living in a D mentality, thus as I would like to point out endless pragmatic adhoc decisions made by countries toward each other instead of principled polices.
  7. One of the most annoying sights when watching the news lately has to be the endless international bullshitting going on between nations, for example the "tension" between the Ukraine and Russia. To me it is a huge sign of the shift in global culture. Objectivists tend to talk about changes in the American culture, rightly so because it can be argued to be the best we have right now. But the global culture probably says a bit more about man's fundamental beliefs, especially since the world is more interconnected, people can know within minutes what has happened on the opposite side of the world. In an international setting where there is no easily identified global culture people tend to search for a commonality when thinking about world events. Pre-WW1 I would assume when word reached about a nation invading another nation, people would choose sides, "who is right?", "which nation should we support?", "should we even care?", etc. People we're generally more self-interested or at least asserted an opinion if it was not self-interested. WW1 and after everything shifted to what is in the best interests of the world, how do we keep the peace, etc. Today, it has degraded even further to just avoiding war outright, force is not even considered to try to keep the peace (an already bad idea, but at least it was some sort of goal). When nations have issues with each other the last thing on their minds is war, armed forces if used are used to posture, everything has to be brought to the negotiation tables. The best example of this is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, endless forced "negotiations" at the behest of the U.S. on Israel, and more than half a century of continual petty violence. All of this is the D mentality on a grand scale, using Peikoff's DIM idea. I think it is a really bad sign, because either it is going to continue like this for awhile, our balls castrated metaphorically, or someone will grab power out of the chaos.
  8. JASKN, Thanks for everything. I will try to chew those links. Alex
  9. Sometimes I obsessively think about wasted time or money. I repeatedly regret not making a decision sooner, coming up with an interest or idea sooner, and with money I will obsessive about how it could have been spent more efficiently. The how it is spent takes over to some respect the enjoyment of it. It will usually go away after neglecting to think about it, but when I do think about it I find myself being annoyed about it. This sounds like I have no control of my mind now that I think about it, but I guess it is just that thinking back upon my thought processes it is something that I find peculiar because it seems to me that many other people do not think like this. For example when I go out to a restaurant my friends will be thinking about just enjoying the food, whereas I will be thinking about how the fact that the amount of money for what you get does not necessarily match, that it was a "rip-off". They will just chalk it up to it being an "experience", while I think about how I should have found out about it before going and avoiding it. A friend of mine that considers himself an Objectivist (so do I), does not think in the terms I think. Another example, that I am going through right now, is that I think about wasted time not deciding to look into learning how to sail a few months ago instead of looking into it this last week. I could have optimized the amount of time practicing in May and June, but I now have to wait till July. I try to tell myself that I am not omniscient, but I often have a lingering resentment. I wanted to share this with this forum, because something that I think I have picked up from Objectivism is the idea of planning values, of purposefully thinking about what you value and going after it, which I admit I can either not do enough of, accept prejudices about how to achieve certain values, or procrastinate. When I see waste of time or waste of money, it really annoys me. I will get mad at family members for example when they use excessive amounts of soap when washing their hands, or when they do not coast to red lights. Is this irrational behavior?
  10. B-52's "Rock Lobster", WTF mate?

    It just reminds me of that character in the Fountainhead, a writer that just writes her peculiar crap, just to make it peculiar, odd, "challenging conventions". This reminds me of it, it is fun to listen to every so often, I'll admit. But that still does not preclude aesthetics judgement, I would think, or even moral judgement on the part of the creators of it. Would you not do something similar to a drug addict, wasting their life, this music is just a waste of talent to some extent.
  11. "And I don't see how asserting that a hypothetical volume could truly be "empty" is an assertion of nonexistence; it's only asserting that there are 'no existents here" That is what I contend when talking about "empty space", but LP argues that is asserting the existence of non-existence. The universe to him has to be filled to the brim with entities, what we consider "empty" no electrons, protons, etc. is just space filled with some undiscovered entities. "So if I were to declare that at some spot in space there is an "edge" of space, that would be a reification of the zero. Specifically because it turns "space" from a relationship into its own entity." I would think so exactly, there is this universe of existence according to LP (listen to the links above) and then there is this edge, because obviously the universe is finite. An edge would presume contact with something else, this something else would have to be the exact opposite of existence, non-existence, why else an edge then. This to me would make non-existence a real thing. To me this is how I picture the universe, as a bunch of existents patterned into galaxies, clusters, etc., who knows what other structures, enveloped in empty space, empty merely because the universe is finite and there is no edge to anything. Empty merely meaning an absence of entities.
  12. When googling "void" I get on the top of the page: "a completely empty space" I don't see how that is essentially different from the way I was using it, "space stripped of entities, existents". I don't know what you mean by the third sentence. I don't really care for the moment how chemistry or physics uses the term plenum if it is different from LP's. Existents = Entities = protons, neutrons, electrons, etc. all the known things to exist Plenum, by LP, and this is all I care about for the moment, defines as to be existence filled to the brim with entities, there is no space between entities that does not also contain entities. That is what I don't get to be necessary, philosophically.
  13. "To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of nonexistence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes." Ayn Rand Lexicon So the existents between my hands, could be something other than entities (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.), like floating attributes? I think you have made a fault.
  14. B-52's "Rock Lobster", WTF mate?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VCCiY17hKw How would you explain this phenomenon? It's funny, yet sad if you think about what sort of mind would think to make it. Sort of good background sound, for something, I don't know yet, maybe studying.
  15. He says that in his history of philosophy course when talking about Heraclitus and his idea, in which LP agrees, that the universe has to be a plenum because "there can't be nothing", nothing cannot exist. LP goes over some questions on the Universe in these links: http://www.peikoff.com/page/6/?s=universe#list http://www.peikoff.com/page/5/?s=universe#list In the first link, in an answer, he makes the claim that there is existence, a plenum by his accounts, filled to the brim with existents, whether that be protons, neutrons, electrons, and presumably some unknown other stuff we haven't discovered yet, and then there is a boundary to it and non-existence. He claims that if you were to try to travel to that boundary, and "through" it, you physically couldn't. To me, as soon as you put forth this claim to a "boundary", the next thing I think of is a boundary between what and what. That other what beings something that exists, not some "non-existence", it seems ludicrous to me. When you say my hands are the existents in the plenum argument, no, not according to LP, there would have to be some other existents in between them. He would not accept any absence of entities in between them.