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softwareNerd

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  1. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Yes. The IQ scores aren't worth the paper they're printed on when they're used outside their planned context. There are pretty string assumptions about schooling that are built into IQ scores above the elementary-school age level. Of course they do measure something and that something is meaningful. The point, however, is that it is not some raw "IQ" that is free of the context of any input (in fact, that notion is a contradiction).
  2. It's pretty sad that the world prefers to go from evil one horn of the dichotomy to the other, instead of looking for the (abstract) solution that philosophers have long advised: go through the horns of the dichotomy.
  3. softwareNerd

    Hello, all!

    Welcome to ObjectivismOnline!
  4. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    If Rand claimed that people don't let emotions influence them, she was wrong.
  5. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    It really depends on what you mean by "tribalism". Since we're on this forum, maybe you're using Rand's concept, which I'll paraphrase as: the tendency to join group based on something other than reasoned choice. And what does it mean for something to be "inherent" in human nature? For instance, does it mean things that manifest themselves when men do not use reason to their fullest, but allow themselves to be guided by something else? If you put those two together, the conclusion almost writes itself.
  6. softwareNerd

    What is the relationship between Christianity and altruism?

    Isn't the "Sermon on the Mount" the place that people point to for the core Christian ethical theory? How much of altruism is in there?
  7. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    No, it is not that a third factor explains why the two correlate. It is that a third factor, a "independent variable" with relatively low poisitve correlation can trump the real extremely high correlation of a different "independent variable". Let X1, X2, X3,...Xn be independent variables, and let Y be the dependent variable. Let's assume that there are no other independent variables. And let's assume we can vary a single Xi while holding all other variables constant With this, let's say we find a very low positive correlation between X1 and Y, but a very high positive correlation between Xn and Y Under that scenario, X1 might still be the most important factor if we want to change Y.
  8. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    No the correlation-causation thing is a different topic. The point here is that you might find actually causation, and yet it is unimportant. Imagine you can control most other factors, and find that the IQ of a kid is 80% correlated with the IQ of it's dad (let's assume) Imagine some biologist -- separately -- finds that IQ depends on a certain configuration of some part of the brain, and can be predicted with 99.9% accuracy from the metrics of that configuration Imagine that there's a 95% correlation between that particular brain configuration of kid and that of it's dad So, in essence one has a mix of correlation and understood causation that is pretty strong Imagine also that even though we aren't sure ... this causation is an actual fact In other words: imagine that there is an actual causal factor that makes a kid's IQ extremely correlated with his dads, if all other factors are equal This would not imply that the IQ of a dad is at all important in determining the IQ of the kid. It may be, or it may not be. If important goes from 0 to 100, it could be any place from 0 to 100. To put this another way: if the correlation backed by causation is near zero, then it's obviously not important. However, if the correlation backed by causation is near 100, the importance could range anywhere from zero to 100. On a separate issue: tribalism is not genetic: not in the way you use those two terms. You seem to use "genetic" to mean something specific to one's particular parent... in the sense that if something is genetic I might have inherited it and you may not... because we have different parents. Used in that sense, tribalism is not genetic. It could well be genetic in the proper use of the term: i.e. that is is influenced by something in our genes. But, that is a completely different concept. Aside: People form tribes around all sorts of things... even silly things like the football team that was closest to their middle-school, or the floor they work on in a large corporate office.
  9. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    1. If this topic interests you, read "The Gene Illusion" by Jay Joseph. I'm not supporting all his conclusions by recommending him. But, his book is a good starting point survey of various such research projects (albeit from an author with an opinion). 2. One of the big problems with science is the obsession with correlation coefficients. Not just in twin studies etc., but even more so in medical research on reactions to types of foods, etc. Consider that we can somehow -- twin study or not -- actually find a 100% correlation between the IQ of a person and the IQ of their two biological parents. Without knowing other factors, this fact could give us anything between 0% and 100% predictability about a person's IQ...given that we know the parents' IQ. Chew on this a bit, because it is not an easy concept to understand with modern obsession with correlation coefficients. 3. Personally, I think it is plausible that genes have a correlation to some raw physical mental base on which "IQ" is based. Taking that hypothesis to "race" is confounding by using a fuzzy variable that gets fuzzier with every passing decade and will finally disappear in the west. Even so, it is still plausible that one will find a correlation using typical definitions. Nevertheless, what I find is that even if all the decent studies are true, the factor is not important compared to others. 4. Personally, my mind goes to the question: what value/disvalue does this thing (whatever) bring me, and how can I profit from it, and protect against the downside. This is -- as an individual first, not as a social engineer. However, given the relative unimportance of heredity -- even assuming convincing correlations -- if we did want to perform social engineering, that improves IQ for "society" there are pretty easy ways to do so (not easy to get them through politically, lol... that's the rub). 5. There's an old thread on this topic here: 4. I think it is plausible that
  10. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    I'll add this... all too often people pushing for "Open Objectivism" have some very specific ideas they want to sell to self-identifying Objectivists. And, instead of just trying to sell those ideas on the merits, they try to tag it to the brand name. "Ayn Rand" is such a powerful brand name that even her detractors love to use it. I don't mean "Open Objectivism" advocates here. I'm talking about people who write articles that criticize Rand, and who clearly ate her. They do realize that doing so, with a headline that has Rand's name, is great click bait. That's almost the definition of a powerful brand these days. Similarly, there are people who want to advocate for income taxes, or for abortion-bans, or for environmentalist ideas, or for racist theories of behavior... and they figure that calling these things "Objectivism" and showing that Ayn Rand ought to have thought like them, might find them a ready audience. Quite odd really... rather niche marketing!
  11. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    It's been years since I thought this might matter in some way. Maybe that's the crux of the issue. I suggest you should not think of ARI or Atlas are thought leaders in philosophy as such. More importantly, I suggest you don't think of yourself as "rank and file", except as a casual not-really-meant-as-suc figure of speech. They're about 90% primarily advocacy organizations. Advocacy is a legit role, but it ain't "thought leadership".
  12. softwareNerd

    Concept formation and neuroscience.

    What do you mean by "guys"?
  13. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    And there are those like me who respect Rand's views, and want to use Objectivism to change my environment... and don't really give a damn about the whole Open vs. Closed debate. There was a time I thought it mattered from two viewpoints: For personal conceptual clarity: i.e. what is "Objectivism"? From a marketing viewpoint, i.e. what does the world identify as "Objectivism"? I now realize that neither is important and controllable. The whole debate is like the early Christian debates about trans-substantiation. Some inner circle will keep arguing over it for decades, but it really doesn't matter. Time poorly spent.
  14. softwareNerd

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    There's no doubt that ideas and attitudes about focus (political / non-political) and about whom to cooperate with have changed over the years. There's also no doubt that -- as a whole -- Rand fans/Objectivists have embraced and incorporated many non-Rand ideas not their own personal "philosophies". That does not really make those new ideas Objectivism though. Aren't you making two completely different points here: Philosophy did not stop with Rand's Objectivism. We already know more, and we will continue to learn. Good and true philosophy is a super-set We should continue to call this super-set "Objectivism" In general everyone here is agreeing with your first point, which is the really substantial one, by miles. Do you see that agreement? Or do you think people in this thread disagree with you on this aspect? On the surface, the second (ie. what to call it) seems relatively unimportant. Is that your only point of contention?
  15. softwareNerd

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    By this token one has to throw out the entire Objectivist Ethical theory, not just the tiny part about family. Truth is that Rand was pretty silent about family so speaking of an Objectivist conception of family is already far-fetched. Not really. Not if you're using 'Western civilization" to mean "modern / industrial civilization as opposed to middle-age European civilization, There is a dangerous meme that our modern world is Judeo-Christian. It's unfounded. As for family, Christianity is relatively weak in its support for duty toward family. I cannot compare to the typical Eastern civilization, whee entire religions take duty to family as a more fundamental than most other duties and even make it a foundation for their primary scripture.
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