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Everything posted by softwareNerd

  1. This process has been moving at a snail's pace, but it does appear to be moving. The latest reform is that some property rights will be respected.
  2. I asked the question because, after I read the introductory pages you posted, and I got the impression that you had an abstract audience in mind... i.e. people you think may benefit. But, when one writes to that type of target, you cannot tailor your "voice". Writing for an audience that is sympathetic to Rand is different from writing for someone who has a vague idea about Rand. Even when writing to a narrow audience like those sympathetic to Rand, one has to tailor one's material to a purpose. A reader who wants to get information to bolster his arguments is different from one who wants to get something from the book to help him in his own work/life in (say) the next year or two.
  3. Who is the audience for this book?
  4. softwareNerd

    What is 'reason'?

    Humans notice causal chains when they're pretty young. This means, they start to figure out that when thing A happens followed by thing B, it is a common pattern, and if thing A happens followed by thing C it is probably coincidental. As they observe more closely, they start to understand the other elements in reality that are playing a role, and thus understand certain causal chains not just as "there's a pattern of correlation", but in a more detailed way: of seeing how that causal chain works and leads up to the observed effect. This faculty is reason.
  5. softwareNerd

    OCON 2018

    His "way of speaking" I think you're referring to his literary/Freudian approach to philosophy. While one might criticize it as being a flawed epistemology to bring to philosophy, it does have its place, and is actually the more common way day-to-day people get philosophy: from tales. Objectivists would do well to learn the approach and counters to the approach. On "what he brings", a speaker often needs a foil. Salmieri could have stood up and given a lecture with only his own content and it would have been far more bland, and he likely would not have made all the points he ended up making. A socratic approach can can bring out points that a lecture wouldn't; but, more importantly, the "drama" and tension is engaging. Most of the day-to-day dispersion of philosophy is done by the socratic approach: families and friends just chatting about stuff (not to mention TV). Objectivists would do well to practice the approach. Finally, Peterson is the "intellectual of the moment". I know Hillary supporters, who did not know he was associated with the right, but had read his NY Time bestseller book and loved/recommended it. To have him on the stage, to present some of his opinions (as weak as they may be), to an audience interested in intellectual trends, is a value in itself. The fact that many in that audience like some aspects about Petersen makes it even more valuable to see how his ground is so shaky on some topics. With that said, tastes differ. I suppose some in that paying audience "wanted their money back". I would guess that the majority thought it was worth the price of admission.
  6. softwareNerd

    OCON 2018

    There wouldn't have been a real discussion without him. It would have been Disneyworld, where everyone agrees with everyone else and never learns much new.
  7. softwareNerd

    OCON 2018

    That was a good panel-discussion. It was interesting to see the differences between the two sides get highlighted so clearly, to hear Petersen make counter-arguments on core topics that would be familiar to most of an OCON audience, and to see people debating things with civility.
  8. I've read a (different) book by Randi ages ago, and he was debunking irrational beliefs. I did not get the sense that he thought everyone was irrational.
  9. Amazon says it is to be released on Sept 4, 2012.
  10. softwareNerd

    Global Warming

    My assumptions are: that the counter-arguments to to most dire predictions are all out there, and that these key arguments have been made, not just by groups with a mission against the AGW voices, but by scholars who are credible and who are generally respected in traditional academia If so, a Feyman would bring additional credibility, but probably no new counter-argument. Do you think the case he would bring has not been figured out? Or that it has not been made effectively? Or that it has not been made by someone with his credibility?
  11. softwareNerd

    Global Warming

    Yes, but it isn't clear if someone like him would make a difference to general public-opinion on the topic today.
  12. No. Unless I'm not getting your meaning here, I don't see why that would be. Do you see that basis in Rand's main essay ("Objectivist Ethics") on this topic?
  13. "Money can't buy happiness" is pretty good advice. Taken in the right sense, it is part of the message of Francisco's "money speech". Good advice (which could come from Objectivists and non-Objectivists ) would be things like "find / discover a purpose", and "live a life where you are honest to yourself, not living a pretense for others". I don't know Bourdain's story, but he has hinted that he was an alcoholic at some point, so he might have a history of psychological issues. It seems to me that sometimes when fame comes to people, they feel they do not deserve it. Knowing what they know about themselves, they see that with one or two twists of luck, they could easily have been obscure and unknown. I assume this leaves them with a huge sense of "impostor syndrome", which leaves one feeling that one is living one's life for others, and that it is all a sham that only exists in the imagination of those others. (Not saying Bourdain is an example of this though.) Still, stories like this aren't really big surprises.
  14. softwareNerd

    North Carolina Objectivists

    You could DM the people who have posted to this thread. That way, even if they do not visit the forum, they may have email notifications enabled for DMs.
  15. softwareNerd

    A Handmaid's Tale (2017 Series)

    Setting stories in some dystopian future is way more prevalent than setting them in some utopia. Quite often the ones that look like they're set in a utopia, are trying to show the negatives of that set-up. I'm willing to bet there's a good reason writers favor dystopias. Why do you like these stories?
  16. softwareNerd

    Are Pick Up Artists Legitimate Artists?

    Merriam Webster 1. skill acquired by experience, study, or observation the art of making friends 2. a branch of learning: (1) : one of the humanities (2) arts plural : liberal arts 3. an occupation requiring knowledge or skill the art of organ building 4. the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects the art of painting landscapes; also work so produced 5. (archaic) a skillful plan 6. decorative or illustrative elements in printed matter
  17. softwareNerd

    Potential rights... abortion vs. comas etc.

    Apart from nominating a person to make decisions for you, you can also list criteria, considerations and preferences. Of course, someone still has to interpret those, in a given context, but it can help making your own views clearer to the decision-maker. Possibly, such instructions could make certain decisions illegal (with a judge/jury deciding intent). There'll always be situations when there are no instructions and no person nominated. It becomes a tough situation. One might think that close family -- a spouse or parent -- know the person's will the best, and have their best interests at heart. In reality, there are all sorts of situations where that is not true.
  18. softwareNerd

    Are Pick Up Artists Legitimate Artists?

    The word "art" is used in different senses. For me, the top Google prompts, for instance... "the art of...war", "the art of...shaving", "the art of manliness", "the art of the deal"
  19. softwareNerd

    Quick Question: What time period was America at it's Best?

    You cannot analyse Trump's language in this way. I doubt he has a very informed view about the various phases of American history. He detects the emotion of his audience and knows how to reflect the right attitude back. He's reflecting a feeling, among a large number of voters, that things are not right. If they aren't right, but they used to be...that means we must "make America great again". Similarly, the typical Trump voter does not have a precise view about the best period in America, or even something like "three best phases". They think of it more generically: that things aren't going the way I thought they would; things are worse than I thought they would be; therefore... they should be better. Since the voter based earlier expectations on something, they want that back. The essential fact is: post-Great Recession has seen middle and lower class stagnation. "Make America Great Again" just means "stop this stagnation". Mexicans, Muslims and Indian programmers are convenient scapegoats, but the essential issue is an underlying feeling of dejection because they were living a lie and the lie is revealed, and the Democrats are telling them that the answer is more of the same, while Trump is pointing out specific scapegoats and saying he'll make America great again.
  20. softwareNerd

    Coercive School Photos

    If photographers asked whether parents want photos, for price $ XYZ, they would get less revenue. That's the basic assumption under which they operate. Photographers used to do this at certain tourist destinations too -- though, for the past many years they have not needed to print them out. So, they send them home, assuming that parents will go mushy seeing their kid's photo, and will buy. Very often, the school -- usually the P.T.A. has a motivation too. Since many photographers would like to get this business, the P.T.A. will sometimes do a deal with one of them, and get something from the photographer in exchange. I think a lot of parents buy them because it's a tradition that they had when they were kids. We never bought these for our kid -- maybe the first time, and not after that (memory fades). I think our school asked parents to sign releases, and (presumably, because I always gave permission) kids photos would not appear -even in the year-book as part of a group -- if permission was not granted.
  21. softwareNerd

    Coercive School Photos

    If I remember right, our school would usually send a note beforehand, telling parents that a certain day was picture day. The idea being that the kids should dress accordingly. The main thing you're going to address here is your son's embarrassment at not doing what his classmates are doing,.
  22. From anecdotal evidence there seem to be just as many homosexual Objectivists as any other random cohort. In fact, years ago I found it curious that there was such a high proportion of Objectivists who are homosexual, but I then realized that my interactions with Objectivists are online and I am probably underestimating the number of non-Objectivist homosexual folk I interact with everyday. Can't comment on female homosexual Objectivists, because the sample-size is pretty low. Though, I can;t imagine why that would be any different. Not a topic I've read much about, but it think there's a degree of fluidity in sexuality/sexual-preference. However, that doesn't imply that one should change what comes "naturally". I don't see whether it matters much whether "naturally" means "I'm born that way" or if it means "I made early-life preferences that are deeply ingrained". Nor does fluidity imply that other options will give one the same value as what comes "naturally". Introspecting, I don't know if I would want to change my sexuality so that I can target a cohort that has better political views; but, it's hard to put oneself in someone else's shoes. Seems to be a a tough decision, even if it turns out to be possible in the first place. BTW: There are flags in your post that say "troll". Just thought I'd mention that.
  23. softwareNerd

    Greetings from New York

    Welcome to ObjectivismOnline
  24. softwareNerd

    Why follow reason?

    Formally, it is redundant to ask "why be rational", since the question assumes it is.
  25. softwareNerd

    Why follow reason?

    No, of course it does not. Given your posts, I find it implausible that you would think it does have a clear meaning. Sounds like you're into polemic. If so, it's hardly likely to get answers; though, it might well confirm your suspicions, lol!