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softwareNerd

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  1. Aristotle and the science

    Not dogmatic. I was really implying "rationalism". Dogmatism is a secondary consequence of subjectivism. Even that (in a "meta" way) is how science happens: get some things right, and some things wrong...but move forward.
  2. Aristotle and the science

    I'd suggest that we should blame Plato, not Aristotle. Consider this: Aristotle was forgotten for ages, and the middle-ages were their slow-moving self not because of him but in spite of him. On could argue that the discover of Aristotle was a catalysts to bring the middle ages into the Renaissance. In which case, science was retarded by his absence and helped by the rediscovery of Aristotle. Meanwhile, Plato's influence on Christianity was strong, and his rationalism jived well with spiritualism. There's a good case to make for Plato being a foundational influence on epistemology of the the middle-ages. So, with the discovery of Aristotle, but by people mired in Platonic epistemology, it is no wonder they treated Aristotle as if his text were scripture. Even if Aristotle was wrong, and even if he had not yet made the leap to the ideas made explicit by Bacon, we still see nuggets of the scientific method within his approach. IF people who re-discovered Aristotle had not approached him with their rationalist/spiritualist epistemology, they would have questioned his approach. Indeed, this is what Galileo did. If the church was not so mired in Platonism, perhaps a Galileo like figure would have arisen earlier, without needing to be scared of recriminations: someone far earlier, who did not need the protection of the Medici that helped Galileo be brave. So, no: Aristotle did not retard science. That was the doing of Plato and Aristotle. Blame St. Paul.
  3. Aristotle and the science

    "All" ... haven't heard that; but, I have heard about the conclusions he based on very flimsy premises (what an Objectivist might call "rationalism"). On the other hand, he's known to have collected specimens, and attempted classification: which shows a respect for the study of reality. Along with the Renaissance, came a real thrust to the "scientific method" and for experimentation (a move attributed to Francis Bacon in the Anglophone world). Before Galileo became controversial about astronomy, he was doing experiments in physics that were upending long-held beliefs in Physics. Yet, these were beliefs one could upend by an experiment that did not take that long. It indicates that people had not thought of actually experimenting about many things they took for granted. Consider a farmer in the 1500's who always used a particular amount of fertilizer for his vegetables. It is unlikely that he would say to himself: "let me vary this in a small experimental plot and learn from those experiments". (We see "gentlemen farmers" doing this post-Enlightnment). Of course human beings have been "experimenting" even before they were human, as animals do; but that changed to be way more purposeful. Reading about Galileo's controversy with the Church, I got the impression that the fear was not that he was overturning the Bible, as such; but, Aristotle: who had reached his conclusions nationalistically. So, from a certain perspective, one might say that Aristotle was partly responsible for Galileo being rejected and prosecuted. But, I don't buy that argument: it comes from treating Aristotle as scripture. Blame the faith-based epistemology of the church, rather than Aristotle. Imagine that the Wright Brothers had made some conclusions that would be proven true through the propeller age, but were actually false and would be proven false by the jet age. Imagine that this held back the jet age by a decade. Would we blame the Wright brothers for holding back the jet age? We (being ingrates) can criticize them for being wrong, but everyone else who agreed with them is primarily to blame. We should not follow and agree with all a person's ideas just because they have a lot of great ones: be they the Wright brothers, Aristotle, or Ayn Rand.
  4. A Complex Standard of Value

    Isn't biological quite close to physical, too. I've always thought of values as mind+body rather than three. Do you think further distinction is needed? From my experience, a degree of physical value pursuit is needed to "top up" one's happiness. I say this even though I'm generally very sedentary. I find that there comes a point where I know I have to do something, even if it is painting a door, washing the car.
  5. The Audit

    Life is a process of learning. At least, it ought to be. Imagine this.... imagine I read through all my posts over the last 12 years and find I've been fairly consistent. Imagine I find some that are a bit embarrassing, but nothing that makes me go "I was a total moron there" or "I would laugh at me for posting that today". What would that show: that I've not learned much in 12 years! By "talkative" do you mean your posts are lengthy? My preferred approach to a forum format -- particularly here with members who won't fly in a month or two -- is to treat topics as a long term dialog. And it's a dialog with someone about the right or wrong way to do something, or about whether something is right or wrong. It's similar to sitting down with a group of software folk and discussing (say) how to lay out a web-site. It does not go one time around, with everyone presenting their entire vision. Even if one person has a vision like that, it is often not productive to present it whole. It's often productive to go around the room and get a mix of ideas on the table. One can often take that medley and ask about the underlying principles: what are we trying to achieve here? or what are the principles here?. It's quite possible at this point someone will say: "Actually I have a vision of how this should come together" and they will present it. Having had an initial dialog and laid out principles allows people to look at the presentation and ask: "so looks like this meets most of what we were talking about, except those two things". Starting with a complete vision can be less productive, particularly if it looks integrated but is actually missing something. In the forum's context, I prefer threads that explore positions gradually, with brief posts, and then an occasional longer post when one is confident one understand the various ideas presented and the contexts of the other people. There's no hurry to present some comprehensive view. I always remember Burgess Laughlin's comment from a while back. Paraphrasing, he said he's fine thinking about what someone said and then coming back and replying after a year or so. That way one would get a thoughtful answer!
  6. Thankgiving

    What are the roots of Thanksgiving? Harvest festivals go back for thousands of years. (In fact, TIL "harvest" comes from a word that meant "autumn". ) Thanksgiving could well just be a continuation of an old European tradition that fell into disuse in Europe (much like American pronunciation).
  7. The Moneyman Behind The Alt-Right

    I'd not heard of Regnery before this. Mercer has been in the news a little bit, reported as being a co-owner of Breitbart News, and the person who pushed for Bannon and Kelly Ann Conway to be part of Trump's team.
  8. The Moneyman Behind The Alt-Right

    I understand that Robert Mercer is the money guy behind Bannon.
  9. Why Objectivism is so unpopular

    One more group following this approach (after Undercurrent and some local groups took the lead) is The ObjectiveStandard. The focus of their 2018 gathering are topics that are primarily about "flourishing" , building a career, investing wisely, etc. This is aimed at Objectivists. One day, if the appeal is larger -- if people hear about this great "how to build your career" lecture and if they want to consume that output of advice, even though they don't know about Objectivism -- that would be a huge stride. It would be analogous to people who love the Fountainhead, but are not Objectivists.
  10. If You Could Have Any Superpower, What Would It Be?

    "He only has permission To do my instant bidding which is to Say what I have told him to repeat." - L. Cohen
  11. Is there ever an excuse for rudeness?

    Instead of "okay" why not start at "good"? Can rudeness sometimes be right & good, and -- in that context -- something other than rudeness be bad/wrong? (Is it true that you always get more bees with honey than with vinegar, when it comes to human interaction?) Can one achieve some end by rudeness that cannot be achieved otherwise?
  12. Donald Trump

    Donald Trump is backing a ban of abortions that are 20 weeks or more. It was bad enough that George Bush and his GOP buddies managed to ban some abortions by concocting the term "partial birth abortions" and spinning it to seem that late term abortions are about "irresponsible women " (in their hazy Christian eyes) using them as birth-control. Trump is not religious, but he's pragmatic enough to know that he has to appease the right, and he does not even have the moral compassion that some Christians feel when they temper their brethren on such bills. Instead, he wants to double down on the evil. Here's a late-term abortion story to combat any rationalism one might feel on the topic.
  13. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Step back and consider this: Objectivist epistemology does not make so sharp a distinction between a concept and a premise or a proposition. Some philosophers will belabor the differences, but you don't see Rand doing so. In Objectivism, concepts are not "just there" in the real world, nor are they arbitrary. So, a concept for "black people" does not exist out there in external reality. Nor should such a concept be arbitrary. The same for "hounds", the same for "greyhounds". If we create these concepts, we do so to serve an epistemological purpose. The implication is this: when we form a concept, we are not just grouping arbitrarily. Rather, we are making a statement about the characteristic(s) that are common among the members of that group. [Edge-case exceptions and borderlines excepted.] So, concept formation is the positive assertion of one or more proposition-like facts, but to a group of entities we want to name. And, it is also an assertion that the characteristics we identify are important to us, in some context. Next, when we make propositions about a group (i.e. about entities grouped by the concept), positing some attribute about those entities, we could be doing two different things: we could be making a statement that derives from the actual characteristics of the entities (even if its not the defining characteristic). For example: "All men are mortal" or "hetro men love looking at women". We can understand the strength or weakness of these two propositions by their tie to the facts that led us to create the concept. One does not have to use "all". Even a quantifier like "most" posits a causal link. E.g. "Most humans have 2 thumbs and 8 other fingers" is a trivial example. One step away, we start to get propositions like: "Vegetarians are healthier", or "Smokers have a higher chance of getting lung-cancer". Of course, we are not making a statement about any individual vegetarian or smoker. However, those concepts have been defined by a common characteristic. We are actually making a statement about a link between that characteristic and the outcome we mention in each case.
  14. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    I could point you to other literature, but it would be pointless given your approach to twin studies and to causation as a whole.
  15. Donald Trump

    We should nominate someone like Howard Stern for president. He's the epitome of fun. In fact, fun should be a cardinal virtue and we should all aspire to be as fun as Donald Trump and Howard Stern. The added benefit is that since Hitler was no fun, nobody will confuse us fun people for neo-Nazis.
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