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Everything posted by softwareNerd

  1. I don't see that. I see how one might say it represents 'tragedy", but I don't see how it shows a tragic sense of life. It really does not show any tragedy though. It shows love and grief. More abstractly, it shows a valuer. With sculpture and painting -- unlike a novel -- one can represent only a very small snapshot of life. It is unfair say a sculpture says "this is life" in a broad sense of "this is the essence of life". It's more appropriate to think of a sculpture or painting as saying "this too is life". Personally, I would not want a sculpture garden filled with just happy sculptures: I could go to Disney for that.
  2. Leaving aside the terms/words, there are two different aspects out there in the world: there's a a conclusion that starts with a set of true premises but ends up with a false conclusion there's a conclusion that starts with some false premise and applies generally correct processes to reach a false conclusion So -- simplifying down to just two stereotypes -- our false conclusions can be the result of: some flaw in the process: errors of logic or process some flaw in a significant premise There are contexts where it is useful to distinguish between these two types, even though delving deeper one might find that the fault premise was itself the result of faulty process.
  3. I have no reason to think the list is made-up, and my default assumption would be that it is pretty accurate...but, it's the internet
  4. Supposedly, this is a listing of Ayn Rand's personal library.
  5. There's a long term (by 2025) plan for the Baltics to switch their electrci grid from being connected to Russia to being connected to the West.
  6. The current revolution in Ukraine has taken a turn away from Russia and toward Europe, with the President fleeing the capital and being voted out by parliament. Russia could still use its army to squash the rebels, but with much less legitimacy, except by claiming to protect the ethnic Russians in eastern half of Ukraine. The President did come to power via a democratic election, but the political split of the country is pretty obvious in this map showing which parties won in different areas. So, perhaps the most practical resolution is for the country to split into two, while allowing free movement of citizens and property across the two newly-formed countries. I'd be happy to see the whole country spin out of Putin's grasp, but if a split will save lives that's better. perhaps Russia will keep its army out if it can retain a buffer-state, albeit a thinner one, between it and Europe.
  7. I see what you mean, he's for "motherhood and apple-pie", and we'll get the details later
  8. Thanks for the informative posts. What are two or three of Macron's signature positions that he usually mentions in his speeches? For example: if you had to guess, what would he want to focus on in his first year as President?
  9. Seems like someone (the Russian FSB?) is trying a desperate last-minute attempt to damage Macron, by leaking lots of his campaigns emails.
  10. What was the Chat we used before using IPS, was it PhpFreeChat? Placing a free chat of some type on the forum should be easy. The tricky part was integrating it with the user's forum-login, but most will have some way to do that.
  11. I thought I would start a thread for Ayn Rand / Objectivism related mentions in the news. I know some folk are interested in mentions, but it isn't worth starting a new topic for each. Instead feel free to add a post to this thread if there's a mention you wish to share. Here's one: "Man's Ego is _____ this (fill in the blank) ____ of human progress". That was a Final Jeopardy question that stumped a professor recently. So, there's one more reason to read Rand: not doing so could cost you $30,000! (Though, I'm not sure I'd have got the answer right either.)
  12. What do you see as the pros and cons? I think the forum software allows sub-forums to be merged. The bigger job may be to figure out the structure. There are so many threads now that Google search is the best way to navigate the forum if you're looking for a specific topic.
  13. Given that Macron is not from a mainstream party, it sounds as if he will become President but the legislature (National Assembly and Senate... says Wikipedia) will not be people from his young party. So, he will have to work with legislators from other parties. Is that true? If so, what types of power can a French President exercise on his own, and for what does he need the legislature? Is it close to the American system where the President has executive power but no legislative power? Can the president decide the budget on his own, or does the legislature have to do that? Has the legislature given the President so many discretionary powers over the years (as Congress has done in the U.S.) that the President has lots of discretion in what he can do on environment, regulation and so on, without having to go back to the legislature?
  14. As I understand it, property rights are limited on reservations, because they're viewed as belonging to the tribe. To the extend that is true, it should be phased out, giving residents (and possibly non-resident tribe members) full-fledged rights in property and ending the concept of collective ownership. (I'm not implying that the whole reservation should be broken up into private parcels.) Hernando de Soto makes a strong case for formal property rights as the basic need for economic development. This article from The Atlantic argues the same. In some villages in Africa, the land is owned by the whole village and it is quite a mess trying to get new development. One has to gather various chiefs and get some consensus, or -- even more likely -- the main chief treats the village as his domain, doling out favors with most of the benefit coming to him. A lot of problems on poor Native American reservations are behavioral, so they won't change in a hurry; but, its important to make it easier for outliers to change their behavior... others will follow in time.
  15. One can't really get anything useful from A=A as such. It's the "other knowledge" that's yielding all the concrete conclusions. However, even scientists who've never heard of Rand and who only know Aristotle as a name, assume that A=A when they think about all that "other knowledge". ot just scientists though: everyone, every day, in almost every little sphere of life, simply assumes A=A when they brush their teeth each morning, start their car, open the garage door, and so on. Most will never explicitly identify this in words, but when a magician does a trick, they assume its not really magic, because they know that A=A.
  16. I assume this isn't a specifically Objectivist symbol. The firebird/pheonix is a symbol of rebirth.
  17. There's a huge difference in the psychology of the person, even if there ought not to be a difference in legality. The OP is arguing that the psychology of the former poses an actionable danger to others.
  18. As I said above, your argument is: People who are overly cruel to animals (e.g. actual irrational torture for no gain other than some sick emotion), are a potential threat to other human beings. Therefore, such cruelty is beyond being immoral: it should be criminal. I'm not troubled at any of the semantics or style of your argument, but I am troubled by your fact-lacking approach. Do you have evidence of your premise? My impression is that you have no evidence that such people are a real threat -- at least any more a threat than many others; instead, you're simply assuming this. Frankly, without any evidence to back it up, it seems like you're purposely grasping at this assumption because it helps your argument, rather than because it is true. If someone is very drunk, we have ample evidence that they lose control, and -- in the right context -- we have no problem using force to restrain them from some anticipated dangerous action. If someone is dangerously psychotic where they're having hallucinations and can act dangerously toward others, the law allows them to be held -- and, if the kinks could be removed from the system, it is fine in principle to do so. The point is this: if your premise is true, then you might be able to make a case. Imagine you have a neighbor who starves his pet, or kicks it, or abandons it is some area it will probably die... etc. do you actually live in fear this person will assault you? I don't ask this as an argument: I ask that you introspect about this.... make it real, and see what evidence you really have, and what fears you really and legitimately feel .. then, argue forward from that, to your conclusion.
  19. First, welcome to the forum. I think using the concept of "debt" distracts from your argument; speaking of "debt to your fellow citizens" and "social contract" adds still more levels of indirection. I think your argument is much more straightforward than that; but I my be misunderstanding what you're saying. So, let me rephrase your argument in a shorter form and you tell me if I'm missing any essential point. Your core argument is: People who are overly cruel to animals (e.g. actual irrational torture for no gain other than some sick emotion), are a potential threat to other human beings. Therefore, such cruelty is beyond being immoral: it should be criminal.
  20. Amazon says it is to be released on Sept 4, 2012.
  21. The bit above reminded me of what Rand wrote about lipstick. [CTUI, essay "What is Capitalism"] Inventors make for interesting tales, but there are many businessmen who create <whatever> product or service and do it well and cheaper than others. Even here, there's a lot of innovation, but its not the big headline-capturing news like Galt's motor or Readen metal. Dagny's strength, for instance, is to run her railway well. She'll sure hire inventors and innovators to go from one technology to another, but she isn't an inventor by profession. To extend Rand's example, the businessman who take a few cents off the price of a lipstick, and many of his cohort, cutting prices elsewhere, enable Rand's stenographer to save a few extra dollars for the use of a microscope when she needs it. As Walmart said "Save money; Live better".
  22. Apart from the regular in-person OCON sessions, there are plans to livestream some sessions, if enough people sign up. If interested, check pricing here.
  23. The beauty of forums is that you often get good incidentals from discussion triggered by the most vacuous OP. You gotta check out their magic shows, not just their "Bullshit" TV series. Their magic shows are fun.
  24. OMG! There's this constant danger of being exposed by ex-scientologists. A tactical response is to have a second undercover operative expose the operation. But, not really. Instead, the way it works is that they bring it up in a way that gets the target community (in this case Objectivists, who are obviously a huge threat to Scientology) to come to the defense of the primary undercover agent. It works as inoculation, because the undercover agent has been embedded with a visible mission the opposite of the primary plant. They have long worked as a pair: the primary plant (let's say we call him Barney) gets to a leadership position in the enemy camp, while the second agent (let's give him any handy handle) positions himself as an attacker of leaders in the enemy organization. When the second agent attacks the first, the natural response in the enemy camp is to defend the primary agent against the secondary, who they have classified as a regular attacker. This inoculates the enemy against the few sane people within the enemy camp who investigate and find genuine doubts.
  25. Their main influence is transitive -- because they influenced your parents. For example, a person may be a Muslim because his great-great-granddad converted to Islam. For most people, the religion they practice goes back to a choice or a forced change made many generations back. There are more subtle impacts too. For instance, a person living in Cedar Rapids may be influenced mostly by his community; but his great granddad might have been the one who decided to move from Ukraine to America. The person's current existence in America (indeed his existence itself) is a product of that old choice.