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Invictus2017 last won the day on April 18

Invictus2017 had the most liked content!

About Invictus2017

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    I move a lot.
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    computers, Objectivism, and starting an Objectivism-based society

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    Public Domain
  • Experience with Objectivism
    Extensive, since 1983. I've read most, maybe all, of the important books and periodicals published before the mid 90's.

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  1. Not quite. I don't have a reference, but what various Objectivists have said is that you should do your own philosophical thinking (as you should do all thinking) and live by whatever you conclude. You should do this even if the result of your thinking is not Objectivism. If you err, the fact that you erred while reasoning leaves open the possibility of discovering your mistake. If you didn't reason, you have no way to know whether or how your philosophy is wrong.
  2. Coercive School Photos

    Refuse the photos, burn them even. If anyone complains, ask them to produce the signed contract where you agreed to having those photos taken. They'll try to bullshit you. Stand firm and remember that you're protecting your child and yourself against predators.
  3. I have added sjw to my ignore list, for his recent trolling.

  4. A theory of "theory"

    I make a distinction between "theory" and "model" when I think it is necessary. A theory explains certain facts in terms of others. A model predicts certain facts from others. So, for example, chemistry is a theory and a model, because it contains explanatory relationships as well as predictive methods. Quantum mechanics is a pure model, devoid of (generally accepted) metaphysics. (But QM plus the "many worlds" interpretation would be a theory and a model.) Our understanding of much psychology is theory, rather than model, explanatory without much predictiveness. Re: Hypothesis and theory. I tend to think of them as points on a continuum. A hypothesis is merely a set of explanatory relationships suggested by the facts. A hypothesis becomes a theory when its consequences have been explored without finding contradictions. Go further and the theory becomes a certainty, a fact in itself.
  5. For those curious about how I ended up illegally convicted, I have done a small amount of writing about what happened.  It's at https://wp.me/p2tt1M-1Z Comments welcome here or there.  However, I'm having difficulty getting through the reCAPTCHA screen on this site (because I use Tor), so it might be awhile before I see or respond to comments here.

  6. Race Realism

    Just so. And it wouldn't matter if the numbers were 90 and 160. Or whether we're talking musical ability, running ability, or any other non-essential characteristic. If an entity possesses the attributes of a human being, he is a human being for moral and political -- and therefore for Objectivism's -- purposes, regardless of what race (however defined) he might be.
  7. Veganism under Objectivism

    Why? "Rights" is not a floating abstraction. It arises from a consideration of what humans require to live, what this implies about the proper society for humans, and what each individual should do in such a society. One of the essential facts relied on in the derivation of rights is that humans survive by means of the use of their rational faculty. Take away that fact and the derivation falls apart. Thus, unless an organism survives by means of reason, it cannot be said to have rights.
  8. Veganism under Objectivism

    I don't have the time to read this topic through, so perhaps someone else has made this point: Man does not have rights because he can reason. He has rights because his fundamental method of survival is reasoning. The latter is not true of any other organism, so no other organism has rights.
  9. Reblogged:Thought-Crime in Belgium

    This is called question begging, and is not an acceptable form of argumentation. An action is not a crime until there is proof of intention. Why? See the Objectivist definition of force.
  10. Reblogged:Thought-Crime in Belgium

    You are wrong, historically and philosophically. With few exceptions, all crime involves a "mens rea", a "guilty mind". Without such a mental state, there is no crime. In America, punishment generally depends on the person's state of mind, as in giving a person a greater sentence when he does not demonstrate remorse for his crime. Even before "hate crimes", judges often gave harsher sentences for crimes motivated by animus towards individuals or groups. While you are correct that a person should not be prosecuted based on a mental state, the nature of his punishment properly depends on his mental state. The reason is that punishment serves two different purposes. One is restitutive, based on the harm done by the criminal to others. The other is defensive, based on an estimation of future danger to others of the proven criminal. It is this latter where mental state plays a necessary role. The person whose behavior comes from, say, an isolated lapse of control is far less a danger to those around him than one who, for example, believes that predation on others is an appropriate mode of being. Similarly, a person who commits an assault, motivated by anger toward a particular person is a lesser danger to anyone else than would be a person motivated by hatred toward a large group of people. So, yes, properly understood, there can be increased punishment based on group hatred, even if group hatred itself is not a proper ground for prosecution.
  11. Stockton, California, is already considering a guaranteed minimum income. See, e.g., http://www.businessinsider.com/stockton-california-launching-the-first-us-experiment-in-basic-income-2017-10
  12. Neuromarketing and choice

    The fundamental problem these people have is that they have rejected philosophy, so they really have no idea of what free will is. They are as ignorant of the nature of free will as you are (supposedly) ignorant of neuromarketing research. Free will, as applied to mental action, is an axiomatic concept; the capacity to choose is a precondition of and is entailed by the capacity to reason. The proposition that neuromarketing (or anything else) destroys free will entails the proposition that it also destroys the capacity to reason. Experiments that merely show a probabilistic effect on behavior simply miss the point -- they demonstrate no more than the obvious proposition that peoples' choices are influenced by their environment. Aside from the supposed utility of quantifying that influence, such experiments deserve no more than a "duh, and now you'll prove that the sun will rise tomorrow?" in response. Similarly, even if there are observed physical effects on a person's brain from advertising, it's irrelevant to the question of free will, unless those effects are shown to prevent a person from reasoning. Now, if the neuromarketing advocates proved that advertising prevents people from reasoning about what is being advertised, that would be a different matter entirely. But that is not what they have proved, nor is it what they are trying to prove. And, unless things have changed radically since I paid attention, it is something their experiments can't prove -- those experiments are designed to eliminate the role of reason in choice. So, next time they give you this nonsense and you want to confront it, tell them that the science does not prove that advertising destroys a person's capacity to reason and, so long as they have that capacity, they have free will. If they try to argue against you, tell them that they haven't studied enough philosophy to have an opinion worth paying attention to. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, after all. But if they want references, you can direct them to Rand, rather than just blowing them off.
  13. Neuromarketing and choice

    No, in their minds you were not challenging the science -- you could not have been, because you avowedly didn't know the science. Your challenge was to the philosophy -- that is, their dogma -- that they used to justify their belief that the science proved that people can be controlled by external forces. Yes, they disregard philosophy, as too many people do. But that doesn't mean that they avoided philosophy. All it means is that they relied on an unexamined philosophy, one that tells them that people's behavior is determined by external forces. Because, to them, determinism is an article of faith. It's dogma, not to be thought about, and certainly not to be challenged by those who don't accept the faith. This is mere sophistry, the sort of "reasoning" that the dogmatic use when they are confronted by unanswerable arguments. That said, yes, advertising doesn't need 100%. But the argument that people can be forced to act in a particular way by advertising does. Without 100%, either in actuality or in theory, the argument is simply false. (I think you need to beware of the trick of changing the goal-post. That's where a person you're arguing with changes the topic when you get too close to showing them to be wrong. So, once you pointed out the flaw -- that there are never 100% experiments -- they change the topic from the truth of determinism to the utility of advertising.) Agreed. Except that I'd say "evil", not merely "jerk". The arguments were not merely those of a disagreeable person but were also designed to subvert their opponents' reason. They were arguments from authority -- an unspecified authority, but an authority nonetheless -- and attempts at intimidation and at creating a sense of inferiority.
  14. Neuromarketing and choice

    If you start with the philosophical premise of determinism, you will interpret each scientific result in which stimulus seems to affect behavior as proof of determinism. If someone points out that no experiment gets a 100% response, you reply with the assertion that if only you could account for all the circumstances, you would get a 100% response. Conversely, if you start with the philosophical premise of free will, you will interpret each scientific result as merely quantifying the obvious fact that people are influenced by their environment. You will see no need -- or possibility -- of getting a 100% response; free will means that there's always the possibility of people doing something other than the expected. Can science prove determinism or free will? No. Because the interpretation of the results of scientific experiments depends on which premise you start with. To reach either position based on science would amount to question begging. The only field of knowledge that can speak to this issue is philosophy, and those who reject philosophy do not thereby escape philosophy. They merely take some particular (generally incoherent) philosophy for granted, as an article of faith, as essentially a religion. This, BTW, explains what those people were doing. In their minds, you weren't challenging the science, you were challenging their religion's dogma. Of course they responded with arrogance and condemnation -- just like any other religious fanatic.
  15. Neuromarketing and choice

    The answer to "X causes behavior Y" is the fact that behavior Y does not invariably follow X, and any explanation for why is just plain guesswork and special pleading. At best. The rejection of free-will as an explanation is philosophical, not scientific.