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Everything posted by softwareNerd

  1. LOL, you're using a whole paragraph of standard rhetorical logic to say that logic of that type is bull, and your faith trumps it If that were true, what's there to talk about? Your views are your faith and mine are mine, and sharing views is purely academic interest, of no real value.
  2. Amazon says it is to be released on Sept 4, 2012.
  3. I guess there could be a few reasons you mis-heard her, but the paraphrase in the OP is more accurate. I don't remember the original having any mention of body. At any rate, Rand's formulation is somewhat poetic rather than concretely accurate. As for the rest of your post: God is dogma. Indeed God might be the stereotype of man-made dogma, since it is about pure belief with no evidence. Think about what you're saying "Science has not discovered everything". In other words, science has discovered tons of things, but not yet everything. So, what is your answer? You diss it as dogma and decide that some arbitrary belief that has zero evidence is better! It ain't logic... just pure belief.
  4. I think they'r referring to the attributes in the "div"... like "data-channel" and "data-theme" in the snippet above. They're suggesting adding another attribute named data-nickname="USERNAME". The tricky part is: the "right hand side" (i.e. USERNAME)...where to get that from. When a person is logged in, it is showing up in the header, so there must be some variable that can be used. If you like, switch me to Admin and I'll take a look at it.
  5. Perhaps they know even less about Capitalism !
  6. The key issue is the integration of login IDs, and then a "single login" that gets you into Chat once you're logged into the forum. If we relax that requirement, there may be some easy options. For instance, ... 1. A completely stand-alone chat that had a link from the forum. A place to chat...but only related in a nebulous way 2. A completely stand-alone chat, but with user-ids granted manually for any forum member requesting it...and everyone else shows up as "Guest". These types of options could probably be hosted somewhere in the cloud, not on the forum. TL;DR: We could try a non-integrated chat
  7. By "life for its own sake", I assume you mean just staying alive, as such. If so, I agree. Staying alive is an essential precondition for any philosophy, at least while one is practicing it... even a Nazi/Commie/altruist has to stay alive as a pre-condition, at least up to the point the particular morality suggests death. There've been some thread on this topic: i.e. staying alive versus flourishing. The one thing that is incomplete in your post is that you mention " Pre-rational, visceral, gut-level enjoyment" -- which is okay but incomplete. An epicurean move from day to day, enjoying friends, music and other such fun will not bring the fullness of human happiness. Human beings need to supplement that with a sense of purpose: this is where Rick Warren or anyone who heads to the Peace Corp really understands something true about human happiness.
  8. This sentence interests me more than anything else in your post. To my mind, personal experience is a crucial litmus test, regardless of how logical an idea otherwise seems. So, I'd be interested in an example of this.
  9. One does not have to visualize/imagine a healthcare system that is fairly free-market. Many countries -- e.g. India -- have systems like that. And, "OMG! Surely I don't want Indian healthcare" misses the crucial point. Indian healthcare -- or even Bangladeshi, if you like -- is bad for the same reason everything is lesser there: average wealth. Given that average wealth, the system -- mostly private -- works very well. If Indians had 6 times their per capita income (becoming similar to Britain) it is easy to see their healthcare could be the envy of the world because of its structure. (The U.S. may be worse than U.K. in some ways because almost all of healthcare is government directed in some way, but has a structure of being private.)
  10. Still, ... with the caveat that you may have misunderstood, and "E&OE", what are some things that seem like they're probably contradictions in Objectivism. Not asking for a thesis. As you said yourself, this is a forum. A conversational few lines will suffice to keep the conversation going.
  11. I think a big hindrance to sea-steading is neither technical nor political. Rather this: most people do not want to go live on a commune somewhere, even if it seems to be with people who share their political views. Firstly, people receive lots of value from those who do not share their political values. Second, people don't like others just because of their shared political views. Finally, people realize that commune-like communities tend toward a certain "uni-think" because of the social-pressure exerted by a lack of alternatives. On the positive side, if you find people whom you like and who also share many of your political views, it can be a truly rewarding friendship. I think this can be done outside a commune-like setting, and is probably better achieved outside that setting. For evidence, see how a few Objectivist groups have enriched the lives of their members in a few key cities. Yes, they don't live on a beautiful island, and they still pay their taxes, but I'll say something that I've said before in other contexts: "it's only money" Not something I'd say in a different context, but we Objectivists should internalize this in the right way: money -- and the values it buys-- are only one form of value. My grandpa had far less than I do, but he was a really happy guy, lived a contented life, and died knowing his life had meaning.
  12. As he half-way admits... lowering audience expectations is an old trick. Shakespeare's eloquent Mark Anthony stirs a mob to violence, but still claims: Of course. And yet, I think Douglas makes a point that resonates beyond his time, and beyond his concretes: can we celebrate freedom and individual rights, if we deny these rights to others? There are two ways to tackle this question. The first way, perhaps the tempting way, is to warn against making the perfect the enemy of the good. At least with respect to blacks, we are nowhere near Douglas's days (yes, I realize that is a gross understatement). We're even past the Jim Crow days (again, understatement). There are surely those who push a culture of "victim hood forever", with a fervor way more religious to rival preachers of eternal, irredeemable, original sin. And yet, I think that's an incomplete answer. I would say that there were people in Douglas's day who could celebrate July 4th without hypocrisy. Some of these people were instrumental in placing him before his audience. There's an analogy to Rand's answer to the question on who may take government benefits: those who oppose them. Similarly, those who support individual rights, can look at July 4th as an important positive milestone in human history. These people do not have to be Americans to celebrate the day. On the other hand, many Americans are hypocrites -- or downright ignorant -- when they celebrate the day while also cheering the ever-growing use a state power against their fellow citizens, black, white and cis-hetero.
  13. Modern life in modern societies has become so easy. It is true that most people struggle to make ends meet, but the funny thing is that some who struggle would be considered rich by others who struggle, and those near the bottom would be considered rich by millions in the third world. Getting a job and lifestyle that would have been the envy of half the world's population just a generation ago... this has become so easy. So easy that one can coast through life, living comfortably from day to day, even with little sense of direction and purpose. So easy that one is in danger of losing one's soul. For this, I'm truly grateful
  14. Frederick Douglas, speaking on the occasion, about a decade before the civil war: "This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." Here is the link to the speech.
  15. Well, let's take the LGBT thing, since that seems like an easy one: "the LGBTQ community is being dehumanized" What do you think the person is saying, in terms of reality... real concrete happenings in the real world?
  16. No, not in conflict at all; just the opposite. In her 25-page essay, "The Objectivist Ethic", Rand lists 3 "cardinal values"To Rand, a "value" is "that which one acts to gain and/or keep". The three are: Reason, Purpose and Self-Esteem. AT the highest level of abstraction, these are thing Rand says we should each strive for. She also lists three corresponding virtues ("the act by which one gains and/or keeps [a value]"). These are: Rationality, Productiveness and Pride.
  17. That's why Rand's heroes do not primarily seek wealth. It's harder to see in Atlas Shrugged, but one could read this as one concrete way of looking at the main theme of Fountainhead. However, your mention of a "bigger picture" keeps things fuzzy. For instance ... Objectivism identifies purpose as a cardinal value -- in some senses is it the cardinal value. It's important to acknowledge that many other philosophers have identified purpose as a crucial foundation of ethics, yet they're very different from Objectivism. Christian pastor Rick Warren has a book about the "purpose-driven life", and every nationalist can explain why the nation's good is the ultimate purpose. In contrast, to Rand, the cardinal virtue related to purpose was: Productiveness. [For more info: see Rand's opening essay in "The Virtue of Selfishness"]
  18. Do you have an example of an emotion is a newborn capable of? I'm trying to understand what you have in mind?
  19. I doubt the core wants to achieve change in the sense of more value for humans. If someone figures out a technology to rollback global warming, they will either attack the technology or find some other change they can spin into a reason to hold back human happiness.
  20. Luckily one employee smuggled a copy of Rands works. He inspires the others. They rise up, kill all their managers, and create the first Capitalist country in the universe.
  21. Sure they could, and they do, and its a pretty powerful argument when someone shows you decades of reality that seem to belie your theory. The onus then shifts on the theorist to explain why anyone should believe him. In the case of depleting resources, Julian Simon wrote a whole book to analyze the argument: Ultimate Resource.
  22. More people, in more countries around the world able to consume more of most key resources than ever before...coupled with more available "stocks" of resources. This is the paradox that Julian Simon identified: there's no physical reason we'd run out of resources...only political intervention could bring that about.
  23. This quote does not represent Rand's informally-expressed view. You may find her actual view better or worse, but the above is inaccurate. See this earlier topic for some actual quotes.
  24. Are you thinking of some specific example?