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CartsBeforeHorses

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Everything posted by CartsBeforeHorses

  1. CartsBeforeHorses

    How much danger are we in? What can we do?

    I am not sure what the true motives of Moscow or Putin, whoever ordered it, are. However if they were behind the leak, it meant that they did not want to see a Clinton presidency. Frankly, any political action which prevents that is a commendable act. I could see your point if, for instance, Russia had assassinated Hillary Clinton. Put some polonium in her tea in late October to ensure a Trump victory. But that didn't happen. Instead, some information was leaked to the American public regarding the DNC and Hillary's shenanigans... a choice was still given to us, and the US chose not to go with Clinton. That's why all of America's little adventures that I mentioned (Serbia, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, oooh forgot Libya so add that one too) have happened in the time since the Soviet Union broke up. I deliberately chose a comparable time frame. Again, what has Russia chalked up in that similar timescale that even remotely compares? (Ukraine, I wouldn't count in the Russia column because we started it. Crimea was a Russian response to the pro-western and pro-EU riots in Kiev, and nowadays is only mentioned conveniently out of context. You can't just light a match in the forest and walk away, and then blame the firefighters who come to try to put it out.) Only in Russia's wildest dreams... they know full well that the Democrats would never, ever, ever allow Russia to be an ally of the United States. Heck, neither would most republicans, AKA John McCain. I don't think that Russia was under any illusion that we could become an ally, especially not with the spectre of President Zuckerberg or President Oprah coming into power in four-to-eight years and cleaning house. I'll grant that Crimea was a violation of international law. That being said, if you're a judge at the International Criminal Court, which would be the nation that you would focus your limited prosecutorial resources on? Probably the conflict with the most human rights violations. Okay, now we're getting somewhere. What sort of action would you want to see Russia perform, and what are the ways that we could convince them to do so?
  2. CartsBeforeHorses

    How much danger are we in? What can we do?

    Wait a minute. So Russia influencing our elections is bad... so the way to counter this is by having "muh Russia" be the narrative and topic du jour during debates? You're making me worry about the law of non-contradiction, Nicky. I mean, they're his politicians to murder. We conduct drone strikes on American citizens living abroad who are alleged to have joined ISIS. I don't see why Putin deserves any sort of blue ribbon when we run circles around his barbarism every day. I think we're on pace to match last year's Destroyed Wedding and Hospital Bomb-a-thon. Also, Hillary has had people murdered, too. Look at Arkancide back in the 90's. Seth Rich in 2016. You were seriously going to vote for America's Putin and put her in the White House? If by "he," you mean George Soros and the CIA, then sure. The whole Maidan "protests," aka riots, were organized with millions of CIA funding. The rioters toppled a democratically-elected president to put in a pro-western puppet, and murdered about 20 cops and 100 civilians in Kiev to get it done. Black lives matter, except with white trash. Putin took back Crimea and sent troops into Eastern Ukraine to protect them from rampaging neo-Nazis who burn communists and leftists to death, hate the Jews and Russians as racially inferior, and shoot rockets at old grannies' apartment blocks. The Ukrainian army is a bunch of savages... they are NOT our friends just because they happen to oppose Putin. Also, why the hell should we even give a **** about Ukraine? Does anything that goes on there even remotely affect our day-to-day lives? Why is Ukraine even a political talking point in the USA? Is it, "Russia wants it, we can't get it, so nobody can have it" childish attitude? Kinda like your kids fight over a toy and then one of them just rips it to shreds because if he can't have it, nobody can? That's the trouble with raising kids to be deliberately non polite. And like the imperialist that you truly are, that upsets you. Why aren't you more upset about what the leaks revealed about a major presidential candidate than who leaked them? I don't care if Lucifer himself leaked that information, doesn't make it any less true. Because no politician has been as lawless and repugnant as Shillery Rotten C**tface. The Russians were simply protecting their country from a woman who declared openly that she would start WWIII by enforcing a no-fly-zone above a sovereign country allied with Russia. What would you have done if you were Russia? Allow that creature within a thousand miles of the White House? Certainly not. Putin is immune to the regime change action that I'm sure that you're planning in your head. Unlike Western politicians who sell out their own countries, Putin's approval rating is well above 80% even in western-backed polls. If by "destabilizing," you mean, "elect the most pro-constitutionalist president since Reagan," then sure. Tell me again how appointing Justice Gorsuch, a strict constructionalist, was "destabilizing?" Tell me how having a man who builds things is better than a woman who destroys countries like Libya and Syria? Clinton can only destroy. Trump builds things. I'm sure there's an Atlas Shrugged reference in there someplace. You're right, I'm due to pick up my check from Mother Russia this Friday. Gonna buy me some vodka, cheap cigarettes, and mail-order brides with it. Might even get my old babushka some of those nesting dolls when I hit up the Broken Glass and Dashcams Emporium. Are they allowed to react proportionately, too? Is it cool if Russia launches drone strikes into Canada, our ally, because we drone strike Syria, Russia's ally? Oh, wait, no of course not. We're 'Murica. And none of what 'Murica does has to make any sense, because A is non-A when it comes to us and our blatant hypocrisy. And imperialism. You're part of this garbage attitude which is destroying the world. That is exactly what is happening. It's been over a year since the left's tremendous, spectacular defeat. They are committing an act of evasion by failing to accept that America simply didn't want a cretinous swamp villain on Pennsylvania Avenue. The facts are that a horrible, horrible woman was prevented from taking the throne. I don't care who it was or how she was stopped, I just thank my lucky stars that she was stopped after all.
  3. CartsBeforeHorses

    How much danger are we in? What can we do?

    I don't care if it was. Russia (or Russians) did us a phenomenal service in exposing that wretched hag Hillary for the heartless, warmongering, lying pig that she really is. Honestly we should award Russia the Nobel Peace Prize and give Putin honorary citizenship for what he (allegedly) did. I don't praise Russia for its imperialism. I praise Russia because it is not imperialistic to the degree that the US is. Russia doesn't just go starting wars for no reason just to get some 'erl. Or "oil" as non-retarded people say it. Russia only exerts influence over other countries in an imperial way if they're in Russia's backyard and it serves Russian interests to do so. Vs. the United States which is like a patron at a strip club, shoveling out singles to whatever floozy nation wants some. NATO and foreign aid to Israel is more evil than anything that Russia is presently doing; they are not forcing their citizens into international altrusim. Russia's national debt per capita is a fraction of America's. They don't just spend their grandkids' future on war the way that we do. $3,700 per person as opposed to $57,300 for the US. Most of our debt is in either socialism (medicare, social security), or in inflating our massive, throbbing military erection to the point that it is as large as the next ten nations' combined. At what point will you acknowledge that the true aggressor nation in the world is not Russia, but the United States? Why did we bomb Serbia? To save a few Muslims from getting "genocided," and get no credit for it come 9/11 time? We should've just sat back and watched as Muslims got shot and thrown into shallow graves; maybe Europe would be a peaceful place today if Kosovo had been exterminated in the 90's. Muslims would be terrified to attack Europe, knowing that Serbia would go all crusades and medieval on their asses. Why the HELL did we invade Iraq, which was a secular country which had nothing to do with Islamic extremists? We literally created our own worst nightmare. ISIS would've never succeeded if Saddam had been left in power. Every time some barbarian drives a truck through a crowded city street and mows down dozens of people, you can thank George W. Bush. Why did we interfere in Ukraine and topple a democratically-elected president and replace them with a gang of thugs? Imagine if Russia toppled Mexico's government and installed a neo-Nazi regime. You'd be livid, but that's what the CIA did in Ukraine. To top it all off, why do we conduct air-strikes inside of a sovereign country, Syria, which has asked us many times to leave? Why are we raping them with our bombs that kill civilians indiscriminately? Because our military is led by apes, brutes, and savages. We rape the world continuously for decades and decades. Russia does not. Not just capitalism, but personal freedom. No where else in the world can you own weapons for your self-defense and speak your mind without being extrajudicially-executed by some pissed off Muslim in prison. Both can be true. We can be an excellent example of capitalism, while having a government which is led by heartless warlords. Try to stretch your mind just a little. There is no contradiction here. America's sense of life which Rand praised still lives on, even as warlords on the right and socialists on the left try to drive us towards a second Civil War. Because Russia has been gentle in doing the same. Five people died in Crimea. Millions died in Iraq. Crimea has no terrorist problem as a result of the invasion. Iraq is an international terrorist hotbed today, when it wasn't under Saddam. Do you honestly think that Crimea deserves equal weight to Iraq in our minds? Absolutely not. Russia could repeat Crimea a thousand times and still not even come close to what we broke in Iraq. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge Putin fan. He uses sleazy, corrupt methods to stay in power. That said, no one can accuse him of not taking actions to bolster Russia's standing in the world, in the Eurasion region at least. Unlike the US, Russia does not purport itself to be a global power... it lacks the lackeys and fellating masses of Pokemon Cards that we have. Gotta catch 'em all! Gotta get everyone into NATO to let 'em eat our gravy! Russia does not torment its citizens with international aid slavery. Hell, Russia is so soft that they don't even have the death penalty. How do you think that Russia produced Ayn Rand? Was it a fluke? Or are Russians just as intelligent, well-educated, and thinking as we are in the west? How did a communist country give us a run for our money in the space race? Could it perhaps be that even the Ruskies are thinking people with their own dreams, which do not at all conflict with America's in the post-Cold War world? The new cold war is bull****. At least the old cold war had cool little non-military competition, like the Olympics, or Hockey, or the Space Race. Now, though? There's no friendly competition. There is no friendliness, period. The fake news and the Dems paint Russia as demons of hell with whom we may have no brotherly companionship with. Trump is criticized every time that he even speaks to Putin. This is actually worse than the Cold War. This is International Suicide. The west is imploding everywhere, and looking for a boogeyman. Instead of blame the Muslims, socialists, anarchists, and Kantians responsible, who does the fake news and fake-politician democrats blame? Russia. They're truly our skin of evil.
  4. CartsBeforeHorses

    Using geometry to fight gerrymandering

    Aw, quit being so modest, Nicky. What you really meant to say, "I know that even an ant should find my post more informative than everything mankind has ever posted, including the Library of Alexandria, Wikipedia, and even Sports Illustrated." BTW how are those little social experiments of yours turning out? I'm glad that you're spending such an opportunity as motherhood to make kids who are just as nice as you are. Who needs politeness, amirite? I really want to meet your offspring someday (I don't).
  5. CartsBeforeHorses

    How much danger are we in? What can we do?

    Russia, like any sovereign nation, has the right to defend itself from aggressor nations. Hillary Clinton represented an aggressor candidate who would start WWIII by declaring a "no fly zone" over Syria.. Russia's ally, which actually invited the Russians in, unlike the meddling imperialist nation of the United States. We just barge in with our jets and drones and claim some divine right to be there, or usually we don't even explain our actions since they are inexplicable and inexcusable. Sometimes we'll throw in a petty, childish insult like "Assad is a dictator, international law no longer applies to Syria's sovereignty LOL." Donald Trump was the first candidate in a generation who actually promised some form of reconciliation with Russia. Did Russia "hack our elections" or any other such nonsense? No proof exists for this. But let's say that Russia did interfere in our elections. They would be completely justified in doing so, because we brought it upon ourselves through our imperialist actions. Said interfering would arguably be legal under international law, via the principle of self-defense of nations. That is, if International Law actually meant anything to anybody, which it doesn't. The world's nations are in essentially a state of anarchy with each other. Russia would've been interfering in our elections to protect itself from a "regime change" operation, just like the one that the US pulled in Kiev, Ukraine which toppled a democratically-elected president just to put literal neo-Nazis in power... where is Antifa on that one? Russia was also protecting its interests and allies in Syria, Belarus, Serbia, Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, and other client states... also to prevent the disaster of another Iraq led by America. Hillary voted for Gulf War II; Trump and Russia opposed it. BTW we killed more people just in Iraq than Russia has killed in all of the conflicts which it has been involved in since 1991. Who is the "rogue state" again...? It's us. We are the imperialists on the world stage. We are a savage child state. We are the ones who the entire world is sick of.. other than our lackey and yes-men "allies" (read: parasites) in NATO who would suck our collective genitals for more cash and weapons if given the opportunity. All the while we add more members to the gravy train, countries like tiny Montenegro in 2017, a tiny deer tick of a country with an economy smaller than Vermont's, with nothing of value to offer on its own or as part of a group. All this, of course, paid courtesy of you and me, the taxpayer, and our unborn grandchildren who will be spitting on our graves for the national debt that our generation put them in without their consent, predating their birth. Israel, as well, is another fair weather "friend" of America's which stabs our back at every opportunity. We have no real friends or allies as a country. We're the pariah state, and all of our allies and friends are imaginary. We're like some rich kid who pays the other kids to hang out with him, when otherwise they'd all be off doing their own things. Every "ally" of ours condemns us for having a just and fair penalty for ultimate criminals (capital punishment) and refuses to extradite criminals to us who may face it. Every ally of ours shakes their heads at us for having "too many guns," for not having "universal" healthcare--AKA a socialist train-wreck like the rest of the industrialized world has. They laugh at us because we don't have hate speech laws, the sort of anti-reason laws they all have which protects Islam from any legitimate criticism. Europe is not our friends, neither are Canada or Australia or the UK or Japan or anyone else. If they were our true friends? They would copy our capitalist economy, which while mixed is still more pure than anywhere in the west. They would copy our freedoms. They would pay their fair share in NATO, they'd allow their citizens to own assault rifles should they ever face a ground invasion. We are truly the international slave state. Russia, while far from the good guys, is hardly an evil empire anymore. Perhaps we could learn national-self-interest from them. Russia enters no military alliances without some sort of benefit to Russia. They do not sacrifice themselves to other countries, nor expect other countries to sacrifice themselves to Russia. Additionally, every action they take upon the world stage serves their interests first, is well-thought out, based on real intelligence, and is as benevolent as possible. Five people died when Russia reclaimed Crimea. Not five thousand. Not five hundred. Five. And fake news told me in 2014 that I'm supposed to care more about this "illegal anexation" of Crimea than my own country's sins in Iraq for which we are still paying? Paying through ISIS-inspired and directed attacks against the West. We could've avoided much of this by simply not meddling in the M.E. to start with. We created the Taliban and ISIS through our actions or reckless irresponsibility. As Obama's pastor said, America's chickens are coming home to roost.
  6. CartsBeforeHorses

    Jerry Seinfeld, interviewed by Norm MacDonald

    Seinfeld is many things, and a brilliant comedian is one of them. Virtue acknowledgement in a very concise way, Nicky... great job
  7. CartsBeforeHorses

    What are you listening at the moment?

    #200 Stretch your mind. Expand it. Listen to this song in context regardless of who wrote it and when or why. Make it meaningful to you, like Christine Dente (lyricist) made it meaningful to her. Out of the Grey - Unfolding
  8. CartsBeforeHorses

    What Sonic The Hedgehog Shows Us About Evil

    As I've mentioned elsewhere, I am making a YouTube video about Sonic The Hedgehog and why the character remains so popular, despite decades of declining game sales. I tie this in to the Objectivist conception of good vs. evil, and how that is such a powerful idea conveyed by Sonic and how he acts within the world of his games. Most Sonic fans understand this conception at a subconscious level, as this conception resonates deeply with them, but it has never been stated outright on the internet in these terms. My script for the video is available below; please provide any feedback that you think might make it better. ===== Why Is Sonic the Hedgehog Such a Popular Character? Sonic the Hedgehog has always been one of my favorite fictional characters, and I’m not alone. Sonic has maintained a persistent popularity among internet fans, especially compared to long-time rival Mario. Look at the number of fanfics that have been written about Sonic the Hedgehog on Fanfiction.net. Absolutely dwarfs Mario, with 38k Sonic fanfics compared to 9k for Mario. The number of Sonic deviations is over 2 and 1/2 times as many as Mario deviations on DeviantArt. Sonic AMVs on YouTube are 1.5 million strong, almost neck and neck with Mario AMVs, which number 1.51 million. This is despite decades of declining game sales. No Sonic game has sold more than five million copies since 1994. Compare this to Mario, Sonic’s longtime rival, during the same time period. Mario games still sell like hotcakes, with New Super Mario Bros. Wii selling 30 million copies in 2009, one of the best-selling games of all time. And he’s still going strong to this day. Despite declining game sales, Sonic fans still love him as a character. Something about Sonic as a character is so appealing that his fans are inspired to create thousands and thousands of works of the mind that Mario fans simply don't make. Something about Sonic strikes his fans at a much deeper level than Mario strikes his fans. Maybe it's Sonic's coolness. Sonic is fast, he’s got attitude, he’s like a living sports car. That makes Sonic cool, right? Well, to answer that question, we must first establish what “coolness” is. Coolness is an admiration that people have for a person or object, based upon certain traits which they celebrate as superior to other traits. Cool is relative, and can only exist in a certain context. Smoking used to be cool back in the 1950’s. It was sleek, glamorous, and cigarettes tasted smooth. Society saw models and actors who smoked as better than ones who didn’t. But then the health consequences of smoking were discovered, and over the next few decades, smoking’s perception among the public changed. Smoking went from being a cool, sexy, and badass habit to a nasty, stinky, and dirty habit. I still smoke, though. Sorry Sonic, I know you told me not to. In the same way as cigarettes were once seen as cool, Sonic might have been seen by the gaming public as cool back in the 1990’s. But cool doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and the declining game quality in Sonic is legendary. In this decade? He’s unfortunately gone from being cool, to being an internet joke. Fans of Sonic don’t seem to care, though. Despite Sonic and his fandom being ridiculed online, they continue to produce creative works praising their beloved mascot. He might not be cool to the internet or to most gamers anymore, but he’s still cool to the fandom. Why? Does the answer lie in-universe? Is Sonic cool within the context of his own games, comics, and shows? Admittedly I haven’t seen every piece of Sonic media, or played every Sonic games, and I’ll leave the deeper nuances for YouTube commenters who might know a little more to answer this question than I do. Even if I did know more, Sonic is often portrayed differently depending on the games, the plots of which often are incomprehensible even to diehard Sonic fans. Nevertheless, I believe I have enough of a basis to answer the cool-in-universe question…. let’s begin. Cool is relative, so we must judge Sonic’s coolness in his own universe by comparing him to other characters in universe. Sonic is always the fastest character in the games, enabling him to enhance his powers with rings and chaos emeralds. His self-proclaimed “girlfriend” Amy is attracted to his power and speed. Sonic is orders more powerful than the defenseless woodland creatures or clueless humans that he saves from destruction in the games. Sonic also has attitude, but never in a condescending way like his friend Knuckles often has. His attitude arises from his confidence in himself, his abilities, and his smarts... compare that to the insecure Tails who looks up to Sonic. Sonic isn’t a genius like Tails, but he’s certainly on the smart end, and I would say has more common sense than most of his friends, who look to him in a leadership role. The Sonic games all reward inquisitiveness and exploration, and many of them reward the ability to solve puzzles… or just the ability to try out “self-evident” solutions. Most importantly, though, Sonic is a good guy. He pursues his own ends and goals as a good guy should, never using underhanded methods to get them like Dr. Eggman does. Sonic is also friendly, and inspires loyalty among his friends because they all have each others’ backs. Sonic always rescues his friends when they’re in a bind, and they come to his aid when he needs them. Sonic’s friendships, from his point of view, are based on mutual exchange of value. I won’t get into all of Sonic’s friends, but suffice it to say that Sonic is a confident and capable ring leader. Heh. For all of these reasons, I think it’s safe to say that Sonic is cool within universe. Is being cool and having a large cast of friends enough to inspire such loyalty amongst Sonic fans? Not by itself, no. Sonic is not just cool, he’s also a heroic character. Sonic is fast, smart, and has a can-do attitude. Compare that to his evil nemesis, the slow, lumbering, incompetent Eggman, or Robotnik as he was once known. While Sonic inspires loyalty and friendship, Dr. Eggman can inspire nothing. His goal of “roboticizing” everything by force and bringing about “Eggtopia” are laughable. Thus, Eggman must resort to enslaving small woodland creatures to fight for him. Eggman’s own creations like Metal Sonic often rebel against him and his bizarre goals, as do many of his former partners including Knuckles and the Deadly Six. For these reasons, Eggman has come to hate Sonic over the years… solely because he’s the good guy, and Eggman’s obsession over destroying Sonic often leads to his own defeat. Sonic, though, has no similar hate towards Eggman. If anything, he views him as a minor nuisance. As the good guy, Sonic realizes how competent and excellent he is, and how weak and pathetic Eggman is. Defeating Eggman is still challenging for him (and the player), but it’s a challenge that he always knows that he can win, and his confidence and indomitable spirit takes him and you, the player, to eventual victory. Sonic knows that, if he’s ever in a bind, he can count on his friends like Tails and Knuckles—to name just a few. In the original trilogy at least, Sonic fights Eggman not to rescue some princess like Mario. Not blindly guided by prophecy like Link. Not for unearned gain like the evil GTA “protagonists.” Sonic feels no cumbersome duty to fight Eggman… he fights Eggman because it’s fun for him! Sonic is such a powerful figure because he teaches us something about life in a way that other video games simply don’t. This giant contrast in the Sonic games between good’s competence and evil’s impotence strikes the hearts of fans more than anything else. Most fans might only grasp this at a subconscious level, and a lot of Sonic fans don't even know why they like Sonic. But the contrast resonates with them because it’s true to life. Sonic’s can-do attitude demonstrates that no matter what evil you observe in your surroundings, you must never accept it as normal or permanent. You’ve got to fight against whatever evil you find in your life. We don’t have super speed like Sonic. We can’t turn invincible and fly. What we do have is the internet, which enables us to spread our good ideas at lightspeed around the world. Your mind matters. Your reason matters. Your ideas matter. Your words matter. Many governments and religious fanatics around the world have a vested interest in suppressing your speech. Corrupt, evil politicians hide their theft and graft in the darkest of corners; they hide their evil plans to trample, enslave, and replace their own people, to terrorize them. They jail, tax, and even kill those who speak out against them. Standing up to them is not, and will not be easy. But just like Sonic, our ideas are true, our motives are pure, and we will win. All Sonic needs is one ring to survive, and so long as he keeps picking it up, he’s invincible. All freedom needs is one person who refuses to accept evil’s dominance, and he can spread his ideas far faster than censorship or oppression can contain him. We need Sonic as a culture, because he condenses this long speech I just gave into a simple idea. A powerful good guy against a bad guy who at first seems intimidating, but in the end is revealed for the paper tiger he always was… that all evil men are. Once you know that, fighting evil can become as fun for you as it is for Sonic and the players of the Sonic games. I leave you all with one of my favorite songs in the world… the song “Sonic Boom” by Pastiche and Spenser Nielsen. These four didn’t care or know about Sonic before being commissioned by Sega to write this song. They were probably just told to write a song expressing the triumph of good over evil, how fighting evil is fun once good guys realize their own power. In that, they succeeded. ===== So, what does Objectivism Online think? Have I clearly enough tied the concept of the impotence of evil, and its subconscious adoption by Sonic fans, to his disproportionately large popularity as a character? Does this strike you as a reasonable explanation, or have I missed something? Eager to hear everybody's thoughts.
  9. CartsBeforeHorses

    The Royal Family of Nominalism

    The post that you're quoting said the words "if" and "might," not "is" and "does." Such words on behalf of MisterSwig seem to indicate that he wasn't trying to diagnose anything, merely suggesting a possibility rather than making a diagnosis or prescription. Also, you don't need to be a doctor to know that anti-psychotic medication is prescribed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar, and other mental disorders.
  10. I would argue that yes, it is. As others have pointed out, the Venezeualan middle class is leaving en masse for other countries. Those that stay in Venezuela are becoming less productive due to government seizure of corporate assets. Whether or not they are going on "strike" deliberately out of principle almost doesn't matter because the result is the same. Although I don't doubt that many principled Venezuelans are refusing to work in such a system as well. Prager U did a great video on this topic, explaining the history of socialism in Venezuela. As Trump said at the UN, the problem with Venezuela isn't that socialism has been poorly implemented. The problem is that socialism has been faithfully implemented.
  11. CartsBeforeHorses

    The Royal Family of Nominalism

    There is zero scientific consensus on this matter. For some conflicting evidence, consider that post-op transgender people still have a suicide rate that dwarfs the general population. If SRS was truly a cure, you wouldn't expect to see that. The truth is that transgenderism is a mental disorder. Body dis-morphia and mental dysphoria aren't only present in transgenders. They are also present in anorexics and bulimics, who feel that they aren't "thin enough" so resort to under-eating or to binging and purging. Is the correct treatment for them to give them liposuction so that they can be ridiculously thin? No. The correct treatment for a mental delusion is not to give in to the delusion; the correct treatment is psychotherapy.
  12. CartsBeforeHorses

    Fallacy of Pure Self reference

    I agree with the posters here. In English, statements that are not gramatically complete are called sentence fragments. I.E. The sentence "walking the dog." There is no object of the sentence, who is walking the dog. I would propose that sentences that are purely self-referential such as "This sentence is true" are cognitive fragments. There isn't enough information in the sentence to evaluate it.
  13. CartsBeforeHorses

    What Sonic The Hedgehog Shows Us About Evil

    My Sonic video has had to take a backseat to other things that I am working on, but I appreciate O.O.'s continued interest in the topic. I will most likely release the video in early 2018. I'm not sure, honestly. The character is never explored in such depth in the series as to the reasoning behind his true motivations. Anything that I could say would be a guess on my part. That was definitely true about the marketing. For what it's worth though, I was never really attracted to Sonic due to his rebelliousness. It was more his free spirit which appealed to me as a kid.
  14. CartsBeforeHorses

    BitCoin

    I just wish that I had started mining BitCoin when I had heard about it. Back then, you could mine it on a laptop or a PC. Nowadays, the algorithms have gotten so complex that you need a dedicated rig that costs thousands of dollars.
  15. CartsBeforeHorses

    Writing: A form of a cognitive mirror.

    Well said! When I am making my videos, such as my most recent one entitled "You Are A Phoenix," it was as much a personal journal entry as it was meant for public consumption. Crytstallizing my thoughts in this manner helped me to address a key philosophical issue: that of personal continuity, also known as continuity of consciousness.
  16. The problem is not the language used, but the concepts used. Words do not equal concepts. Whether or not a concept is applied to a computer is different from the language that we use to discuss computers. We can say that a computer has "memory," and a person has "memory," but that is, in most people's minds, a homophone. Like rose (the flower) and rose (to have risen). Same word, different concepts. Very few people out there actually think, "Oh, the computer is a living being with a consciousness that remembers" when they discuss "memory." While there are some people out there who conflate the two types of "memory", I suspect that they'd do that regardless of whether or not the same words were used. For instance, "processing" is often conflated with consciousness, as you pointed out. This is done despite there not being a term for machine "consciousness" in common use. I use the terms "memory" as relates to computers because that's what everybody else uses. Language is a harsh mistress. Just look at the word "selfishness" and how most people use it. Again, I'm open to any other terms that are in common use to refer to various components or aspects of the computer. I agree that it's a problem that some people out there view machines as conscious or potentially-conscious, such as the legal issues which Mr. Swig mentioned which could arise. However, I don't believe that changing the English language will cause these people to change their minds. It is the primary thing that concerns me with AI, not whatever people choose to believe is going on inside the box. Depending on the capabilities of AI, would depend on the degree of rights violation that could occur. Just look at how many people's phone calls, emails, and credit card transactions are tracked by the NSA. Another area is with self-driving cars. In addition to being used to track the driver, disable his ability to commute, etc. there is also the concern that traditional, human-driven cars would be outlawed because they aren't "as safe." In this case AI would be appealed to as the safer alternative. While that may be so, that is not a justification to curtail people's ability to use public roadways with the transportation method of their choice. Just like the existence of vaccines isn't a justification to force people to be vaccinated. And here I would agree with everything that he says. But changing the language to reflect what's actually going on inside of a computer, as I mentioned, is a difficult task. We haven't changed the colloquial definition of "Selfishness," so what makes you think that we'll change any definitions for the public usage of computer terminology? In many cases, they are, such as the "Brain uploading" projects. In mainstream AI research, the focus is not on building a conscious computer. The focus is on building an artificially intelligent one. One which mimics human intelligence, not necessarily one which actually is smart like a person is smart. As to whether or not that technology can exist in a general sense, we will have to wait and see. I would hardly call it a waste of money, because there are many good things that AI can be used for (such as aiding in scientific discovery, as you pointed out). I think that is a valid concern, yes.
  17. CartsBeforeHorses

    Anything For Anybody Is Everything

    At the end of the day, even Russel had to wake up every morning, put on his shoes, and walk out the door to go to work or wherever he was headed. His actions betray an implicit knowledge... you need shoes to protect your feet, you need to keep the door closed to prevent burglars or heat escaping your house, etc. When he conveys the idea that "knowledge is impossible," he actually uses knowledge to do so... his knowledge of the English language, and his knowledge of the concepts "knowledge" and "impossibility." Even the deniers of absolute knowledge act as if they have knowledge. That speaks volumes more than their denial that knowledge is possible. Such hypocrisy is what Rand called the "fallacy of the stolen concept." And it's what I call "the most basic of jokes."
  18. I think that, in most cases, the words that are being used are appropriate. "Memory" could just as easily be called "storage," and indeed, in many contexts it is. "Knowledge" has been used in this sense since the beginning of time. Academics lamented all of the "knowledge which was destroyed" when the Library of Alexandria was burnt to the ground. I would tend to agree with you that knowledge and data are different. All a computer contains in its hard drive is data. Knowledge is a contextual understanding of what a concept means, and its interrelation to other concepts. No AI system thus far developed has said knowledge. AlphaGo Zero is better at Go than the top human players, and previous versions of itself... but it does not have "knowledge" of the game, why it is played, what it means, etc. I haven't heard anybody call present AI software "conscious," although speculation exists among certain circles that eventually a form of consciousness could be reached by these systems. Most people who actually work in the field shy away from this sort of speculation--as they should, because if they said that they are developing conscious systems would necessarily entail government regulation of them. Perception? That's a new one. Usually it's called "image recognition algorithms" or something. Computation is an action, which needn't be performed by conscious beings. Nothing in the definition precludes it being done by a machine. My question to you would be: what alternate terms would you suggest to those presently in use? I don't necessarily believe that changing the terminology would change the predictions. AI's danger is like the danger of guns or atomic power... not inherently dangerous in and of itself, but dangerous if the wrong person uses it for the wrong ends, either deliberately or accidentally. In the case of nuclear power, it can also be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. I view "strong AI" in much the same way. Were it to be achieved, it needn't be conscious to wreak havoc, whether by a hacker or terrorist group gaining access, or because it was programmed incorrectly without safety precautions in place to prevent it gaining access to critical infrastructure and using it for ends that humans might not like... such as trying to convert the world into a giant paperclip factory. Or AI could simply be added to the growing police state's arsenal of surveillance in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The NSA would wet their pants to have access to Skynet, or other similar AI systems as portrayed in science fiction... and there is at least some reason to suspect that it may someday become science fact. We can care in the sense that we can suggest alternate terminology, but a small group of Objectivists is not going to change the language. Look at how the SJW effort with "xe" and "xir" gender-neutral pronouns has worked out... and I would say that they are far better poised to change the language than we are. Rather than focus our limited efforts on changing the terminology used in the AI sector, perhaps we could focus our efforts on bigger problems. Saudi Arabia recently granted citizenship to an artifically-intelligent robot. It would not be the first time that a government has irrationally granted citizenship to an entity non-deserving of it.
  19. CartsBeforeHorses

    How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    I am honestly having trouble seeing the same threat from the neo-Nazis that you all (except Invictus) see. There are currently zero neo-Nazi countries, with the possible exception of Ukraine. Whereas there are many, many socialist countries, mixed-economy countries or countries where socialism isn't seen as the evil that it is. Neo-Nazism does not have the power to rule, one because of their terrible marketing image from WWII and the Holocaust which will never go away in the public's minds. Two, because it does not serve the globalist interest, and the globalists are the ones who hold most of the political and economic power among all enemies of Objectivism. Neo-Nazism, on the contrary, is antithetical to the globalist threat, because it places the white race and white nations above the plans of globalists of browning the West with immigration. That does not make neo-Nazism our ally, or conservatism's ally, and the alt-Right's alliance with neo-Nazis should be seen as more of a marriage of convenience just as Hitler's original alliance with Stalin. While I agree that if neo-Nazis were ever to attain power, the consequences would be catostrophic, I don't see it happening. Peikoff envisioned a theocracy taking over, which I also do not see, unless you count the technocracy AI folks like Ray Kurzweil and former Google director's new "church" to be a religion. The real danger to this country is left statism, and the bulk of the right will continue to be nothing more than reactionaries. The election of Donald Trump was a reaction to the left, not really representing a core conservative philosophy in himself. The left, on the other hand, DOES have a core philosophy... just look to Kant, Hegel, Marx, and other leftist philosophers. Thus they control academia, they control the media, they control the narrative because they actually have a playbook they're reading off of. Trump's playbook is by-and-large informed by his rudimentary America-first philosophy... I would again assert that this is a reactionary stance. There would be no need for an "America first" philosophy if there were not those out there--the globalists--who were interested in putting America last, disarming us, censoring us, flooding and replacing us, etc. "America first" should indeed be a true component of a larger philosophy of rational self-interest for individuals, and national self-interest for nations.
  20. CartsBeforeHorses

    How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Wait, Jews are white? I thought Nazis hated Jews. I'm confused, please help.
  21. CartsBeforeHorses

    How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Not true. Have you watched my YouTube videos? They're light on the memes, heavy on the concepts, though explained in rather pedestrian language. I'm not concerned with going viral more than I'm concerned with getting people to think. Though obviously if I went viral it would be great--it would pay me good money through ad revenue--I will not compromise on quality of my argument. There's a saying about porcupines. During the winter they try to huddle together to keep warm, but their barbs prick each other. Even though they'd all benefit from huddling, they don't because of their barbs. You're being barb-y. You don't have to be. Objectivists would do well with coordinated, targeted actions to maximize strategic effect. United not as some "collective," but around a shared set of ideas that we all have. Does a business simply hire people in its marketing department who don't talk to each other, who each go off on their own marketing campaigns to market the same product? No. They interact on a united campaign, with the same sales literature, the same metrics, etc. Cooperation is a benefit. That is something I do in my spare time. It is purely recreational in nature. That is not part of any active campaign I'm engaged in. How about this... you go after the commies and the fascists, and I'll go after the leftists. Deal? We can coordinate; we each do what we're best at. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." That's a common phrase. It's an idea. But it's a true idea in general, wouldn't you agree? You seem to espouse it yourself, that one person that you're eagerly engaged with one-on-one is worth whatever number of people you might "meme" at with unconvincing arguments out in the internet bush. It's true in many other areas of life. A great relationship is worth two first dates. An existing customer is worth two sales leads. Usually, it's far more than two, but the number can actually be measured in sales. I guess "A bird is worth 11.2 in the bush" didn't catch on as well. You don't need to know the underlying philosophy of the guy who first said "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" in order to evaluate its truth or falsity. You can incorporate its contents into your general knowledge. Sorry, I'll get it in the original Greek next time.
  22. CartsBeforeHorses

    How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Nazi messages don't resonate with conservatives any more than they resonate with communists, or other radically-opposed belief systems. Conservatism and Nazism are as incompatible as Nazism and Leftism. People make the mistake of calling Nazis "far right." They're not. They supported fascism, a system of government-sanctioned corporatism. The idea that government should pick winners and losers is a fundamentally leftist idea.
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