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softwareNerd last won the day on March 17

softwareNerd had the most liked content!

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  1. Well, a few answers that you feel are cringe-worthy will lead you to prepare for better future ones. Not too important really. Be proud that you're questioning yourself about it. You know that a fair number of people would have felt positive about his cause, while knowing they did not intend to vote, but yet they would have happily lied and said they'd definitely come out. Since you take ideas seriously, and since you consider your word your bond, so to speak, it makes you uncomfortable that you lied. Good for you. There are so many possible answers. It depends how much of debate you want to get into with strangers. With door-to-door people, you can simply say you don't plan to, and say you don't intend to discuss it further. No need for any animosity. You can even compliment them personally while rebuking them: "I admire you going door to door for a cause you believe in, but our home-owners association should not be allowing people to be disturbed." With someone who is an acquaintance, you've got to figure out how deep a discussion is warranted. "I never vote for local bonds"... or something like that may be all you need. And, a more polite way to say you won't discuss it further.
  2. Do you know how do the state-level "Right-to-Try" laws (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-to-try_law) interact with existing Federal law? I'm curious about this question: If one is in a state that has pass such a law, would the Federal law have provided more freedom?
  3. If you could liberate Cuba?

    Raul Castro is going to given part of his job to someone about 30 years younger. Though Castro retains power for now, let's hope -- for the sake of Cubans -- that this is a good thing. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-11/a-cuban-president-not-named-castro-will-inherit-troubled-economy
  4. Veganism under Objectivism

    I'm not convinced. Allow me to react to each sentence above: "Using a gun instead of an argument requires to force others to act irrationally. " I agree. These are our two options: reason or force. "One only uses force when they can no longer reason." This the statement you're attempting to prove below. So, let's see... "This is because if they were using reason their arguments would win and not need to be forced." This is a re-statement of the first sentence: i.e. if reason worked, you would not need to use force. But, it does not say why one is better or worse than the other, or why we cannot use some combination. "And since reason is where all morality is derived from in objectivism the only situation where you can initiate violence is when acting immorally." With respect, this sounds very much like "begging the question". The reason to use reason is.... Objectivism says so? Objectivism derives morality from it? But why is the correct? I don't get it. Take a concrete example: Let's say you are a frail old woman who needs her walking stick to hobble around and I an a big, burly male high-schooler in his prime And you have an apple and I do not. I love apples. I'm hungry. I would love to eat that apple I use my reason and it tells me I could reason with you about why you should give it to me. I might be able to convince you to part with it I have some money, but I reason that I may be able to get the apple for free So, I speak to you and tell you I'm hungry and that I have nothing to trade, but I'd like to have the apple. Let's say I'm good at this, and I build up via a conversation that builds empathy for me. And, it goes on for a while, and you're friendly, but you insist that you are hungry too. You say you're willing to cut out a quarter and give it to me, to help me out I really want the whole apple, so I contemplate offering money. (Maybe I search through my pockets and act as though.... Hallelujah! I do have a dollar after all; God be praised!! He did it with fishes, and he's doing it with dollars now ) But, my reason tells me that if I can keep my money, I can trade it for even more stuff So, I "reason" with you by saying: "Give me your apple or I will take it from you, and you will get hurt" (Yes, I recognize this is actually a threat, and therefore force) You say "No" So, I grab it and run away In that story, I fully recognized that reason and force are the alternatives. I even used reason to figure out how I might try to convince the old lady to part with her apple. When that failed, I used reason to threaten her before actually acting, because I cannot gain anything from injuring her, as such (and she was sweet enough to offer me a quarter of the apple for nothing). But, when that did not work either. I recognized it was either-or, and chose the next logical option: force. What's wrong with that? The only answer I see in the propositions you listed is "Objectivism derives all morality from reason". Well, I used reason all along. But, if that means Objectivism also wants me to use reasoning in all my interactions with others, maybe Objectivism got that part wrong.
  5. Veganism under Objectivism

    Why is it illogical to have to use force? The reason specified is "because the thing receiving force is capable of reason", but so what? What's the capability of the recipient got to to with the requirement for the other -- the person taking the action -- not to use force. In other words, why is an argument more logical than a gun?
  6. Veganism under Objectivism

    I question the underlying idea that people have rights because they can reason. Not saying it is not true, but it sure is not an "argument". It's just an unsupported claim. I'd like to see the OP support this claim with an argument.
  7. Reblogged:Thought-Crime in Belgium

    What Gus van Horn writes about may be termed a "hate crime", but objectively it is not a crime at all. Everyone has the right to hate. At the next step, people have the right to express their hatred. (There are "fighting words" situations that should be criminal, but that's the borderline case.) Next is the case where someone gravely injures someone else: e.g. kills them. Yet, it is not criminal. The law looks to the perpetrator's intent and motivation to judge is their act was within bounds of reason and that the killing was an "accident", or if their acts were unintentional but "criminally negligent", or whether the act was intentional and thus criminal. Finally, there's the question of penalty for that last category: the criminal. I'm sympathetic to the idea that sentencing can take into account the motivation of the criminal. This does not have to imply non-objectivity, nor slippery slopes.
  8. Donald Trump

    There was a time when respected American economists were afraid that for all the freedoms in the U.S. it was less practical than communism. Nobel prize winner, Paul Samuelson, wrote a widely used college text that showed how the U.S.S.R. economy would surpass the U.S. sometime in the future. So, just because China does something injurious to itself, why should the U.S. do the same. That is the exact pint that Hazlitt speaks to in his essay.
  9. There are a couple of old threads that discuss the topic of public nudity in quite some depth. They also have references to Rand's writing and commentary on what she meant/did not mean, etc.
  10. Reblogged:Thought-Crime in Belgium

    A crime require more than proof of intent. As Invictus said, it typically requires proof of malicious intent. Gross negligence is the other possibility. Whether it is a crime or not does not depend on how malicious the intent was. With the classic hate crime, the extra maliciousness influenced the sentence. The Belgium case is different though: because there is no crime, only maliciousness (at most, even though that is debatable too).
  11. Donald Trump

    This reminds me that the Mises institute has a Henry Hazlitt's book available for free download: https://mises.org/library/economics-one-lesson
  12. Donald Trump

    Things like that comment are non-issues. Everyone knows that there's a sense in which a lot of countries are shit-hole countries. These comments rile up the politically correct. The anti-Trump channels like MS-NBC and CNN treat it as news. Meanwhile, those who are non absolutely anti-Trump (a majority of people) think to themselves: "That's something I might have said." This has been Trump's real secret in the last election. Instead of toning down the voice of potential supporters, he has amplified it. If a voter is thinking: "I should have a guaranteed job, but Ford moved production to Mexico". The typical politician would say that he thinks NAFTA needs some changes. The voter isn't sure if he's just saying it to get elected Trump will say that, but he'll add that Mexicans are mostly rapists and thugs, and he will go out of his way to mention day-to-day crime where the perpetrator was Mexican (so, the voter thinks "this guy feels even more strongly than I do") Trump has no clue how to solve anything, but he is completely ego-less and gets his sense of self-worth from the eyes and voices of others. So, he is very in-tune with how to position himself to that audience. While he makes few inroads with people who respect ideas, the unwashed masses love him. He did not win because he supported free-markets more than others. A significant fraction of his voters in the mid-western states were actually Bernie supporters. These were not the people who attended Trump rallies, and they would not personally be as rude as he is. But, what they saw in Trump was someone who seemed serious about protectionism. And, not just protectionism. Consider health-care: though all Republicans like to talk about repealing Obamacare, with many -- and clearly with Trump -- it is hot air. He made it very clear that he wanted to repeal "Obamacare", while keeping all the goodies that were being enacted by Obamacare. Trump doesn't want to change Obamacare. He's even scared of re-branding it as Trumpcare. He's happy to keep it there as something he can beat up on, but not change. Trump won this election by winning a few swing states and a few states that are slightly Democratic. Without support from voters who were Bernie supporters, it's unlikely that he'd have been president.
  13. Donald Trump

    No, we shouldn't leave it at that. Next step: you should see for yourself! Time for you to immigrate here too. Given the rumblings we hear from South Africa, it might be time to change locations. The U.S. is a great place to live, if one could choose.
  14. Donald Trump

    I'm not sure on what you base your view of the psychology of middle-class Americans. What Trump saw was the the number of whiny whites had grown to a point where they had become a voting bank that nobody was speaking to. He saw that the Democratic party had started ignoring these people, and not been giving them enough hand-outs. These people felt invisible. In the wake of the great recession, they were also scared. For 40 years, ever since early Japanese competition, people have been telling these cohorts that the world is changing and they'd better adapt. Many did. But, too many pouted and refused to adapt. As if the world owed them a living! Japan came, the Asian tigers came,...and there was blowback each time, but net-net the system adjusted. Then the Chinese came -- a billion workers. And these Americans, still competing mostly on their low-skilled labor -- and having not heeded a few decades of warnings -- were finally scared. The great recession was the final straw. These loser Americans were then looking for someone to blame for their folly. Trump saw that. And, trump is a master of blaming others. And truth has no meaning to him, so he was the right person at the right time. Hillary was seen as "status quo", so these unthinking Americans -- clueless about right and wrong political ideas -- wanted to kick out anyone conventional. A bit to his surprise, trump found himself leading. Being the zero-ego that he is, he was expert in reflecting back the emotions of the crowd. A populist in the worst possible sense. He does not represent self-reliance, self-esteem and independence. He won because he pandered to the whining low-middle class white voters who think the world owes them something, and who think any type of intellectualism is just trickery.
  15. Legal advice for an experimental show

    One would think that if something like that is legal, there won't be an issue with recording/streaming it. But, one would need to know all the rules around research to really know if it is legal. Or, are you suggesting that the mutant mice would not be the real research; they'd be the fund-raising show for some other research? Would it really pay for the research though? How many people will pay to see a live stream like that?