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Doug Morris

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Everything posted by Doug Morris

  1. My initial reaction is to interpret it as saying that we determine our own future. It is up to us to make the best future we can for ourselves, and not to make any excuses. The line that follows seems to say that the best results tend to take time to achieve.
  2. It wouldn't hurt to try again as long as you're prepared for rejection.
  3. I recall a specific instance of the "out of league" syndrome. I was at a gathering at the home of a man who owned the franchise on several fast food restaurants and had a very nice house. It was not an Objectivist gathering and I don't know what his philosophical views were. I think he was better off financially than most, if not all, of the rest of us at that gathering. (i was working in IT and was certainly not poor.) He mentioned a woman he was attracted to but didn't think he could have a relationship with because she was much richer. He said "I'm not crying poverty, but I'm not in her league." Her "league", if I understood correctly, included the ability to make a trip to Europe impulsively. Suppose I had known such a woman and been interested in her romantically. The financial difference would have been even greater. According to his reasoning, I should have dismissed any thought of attempting to get a relationship going. That doesn't really follow. It is of course possible to speculate about possible problems related to the financial difference, and even without that there's always the chance a relationship won't work out. But that doesn't mean one shouldn't try.
  4. Doug Morris

    The Genuine Problem Of Universals

    As I understand Ayn Rand's approach to such questions, she makes a threefold distinction. (I am solely responsible for the wording used in this post.) This refers to the nature and status of abstractions, so it is an epistemological question rather than an ontological one. Intrinsicists hold that abstractions have an existence or status independent of the human mind. (E. g. Platonic forms, Aristotelian essences.) Subjectivists hold that abstractions are arbitrary creations of human consciousness, and can't be evaluated by any criterion having to do with validity or truth, but only by criteria such as convenience. Objectivists hold that abstractions are mental tools. They are created by the human mind for use in dealing with reality. Like any tools, they can be evaluated according to how well they serve their purpose (and how well they are made). Considerations of validity and truth are an essential part of such an evaluation. (Conceivably a person might be a lower-case objectivist in this sense but disagree with Ayn Rand enough in other respects not to be an upper-case Objectivist.) I have stated this in a general way. To make it more precise, we need to distinguish between the realm of epistemology and the realm of ethics. A separate issue that can be referred to using two of the same words is primacy of existence (objectivism) versus primacy of consciousness (subjectivism).
  5. Doug Morris

    Link needs fixing?

    Somebody sent me this email. I'm not sure why they sent it to me. I'm posting it here in hopes it will be seen by someone in a better position to respond. Heather from Staysafe.org <[email protected]> 3:30 PM (16 hours ago) to dougmorris66 Hi there, I was reading your site and noticed a dead link on: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php. The website, www.ncjrs.org (National Criminal Justice Reference Service) is sending your readers to an irrelevant site. The correct site is www.ncjrs.gov. Thought you might want to make that change so your readers can get the information you intended for them. I'm with The National Home Security Alliance. We publish articles on a wide range of issues related to safety and crime and I think a lot of our content could serve as a beneficial resource to your informative site. I'd be honored if you would you consider adding us a resource. https://www.staysafe.org Thanks for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Heather Nye Outreach Intern National Home Security Alliance Staysafe.org 1200 G Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005
  6. Doug Morris

    Global Warming

    What effect has government had on regenerative farming?
  7. Doug Morris

    Just Shut Up and Think

    I just noticed that in d), if you take residue classes modulo 4, you get 0, 0, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1. That looks like a pretty strong pattern, but I'm not sure where to go from there.
  8. Doug Morris

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    It might be worth distinguishing between the cost to oneself and the benefit to another. I'm reminded of Rearden's thought in some cases when dealing with businessmen he respects, but who are not on his level. "it's so much for him, and so little for me."
  9. Doug Morris

    Red Cross

    What, exactly, does that charter say and do?
  10. As I understand her: Ayn Rand would agree with points 1 and 2. Point 3 seems to me to be more a scientific question. On the rest of your points, she disagreed with the concept of events being caused by previous events, instead thinking in terms of actions caused by entities that act.
  11. Doug Morris

    Reblogged:Two on Kavanaugh

    Anyone we actually get on the Supreme Court is likely to be a mixed bag at best. If we don't get Kavanaugh, what will we get?
  12. Doug Morris

    Classical music

    It might also help if we could clarify just which modern music Rand was referring to.
  13. Doug Morris

    What is 'reason'?

    Don't we start using the Objectivist method to the best of our abillity at a very young age? Two things may obscure this. We use the method long before we are able to articulate it. We get a lot of help because other people are already using concepts and we can learn from them. What role do formal logic and probability theory play in forming concepts like "red", "chair", "food", and "kid"?
  14. Doug Morris

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Merjet, I did a web search on Tony Garland and found someone who lives in a different place from whYNOT and who I would not expect to post on this blog. Farther down there was a Lowe's executive who lives in yet another place. Can you clarify your reaction to his real name?
  15. Doug Morris

    Number of people in Atlantis

    It might also be worth noting that there were different kinds of dropouts. The people in Galt's Gulch, Dan Conway, the man who quit rather than order the Comet to proceed with a coal-burning engine, the man who lost concern for human life when his brother committed suicide, and the raiders were very different kids of dropouts, but they all stopped contributing their best productivity to the society. It might also be worth noting that society was being crushed not just by people dropping out but also by the destructive effects of government interference.
  16. Doug Morris

    Fallacy of Logical Omniscience

    Suppose someone knows 1) Socrates is Athenian. 2) All Athenians are Greeks. 3) All Greeks are Europeans. 4) All Europeans are human. 5) Socrates is male. 6) Socrates is an adult. 7) All adult male humans are men. 8) All men are primates. 9) All primates are eutherians. 10) All eutherians are mammals. 11) All mammals are amniotes. 12) All amniotes are tetrapods 13) All tetrapods are vertebrates. 14) All vertebrates are chordates. 15) All chordates are bilaterians. 16) All bilaterians are animals. 17) All animals are opisthokonts. 18) All opisthokonts are eukaryotes. 19) All eukaryotes are organisms. 20) All organisms are mortal. It might take a little time and effort to make the connections and realize Socrates is mortal. How high a priority this is might depend on various things. Is our person very hungry, under attack, etc.? Does our person consider it a higher priority to evaluate Socrates' ideas?
  17. As I recall, Ayn Rand once said that she "learned to expect nothing from reviewers because of the so-called 'favorable" reviews, not the illiterate smears". Perhaps we should be cautious about judging Michael Shermer based on reviews.
  18. Doug Morris

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I hope I'm not being too picky here. Shouldn't the word "arbitrary" be "optional"?
  19. Doug Morris

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    A different example of an irrational trade would be an addict buying more of whatever he or she is addicted to. Again, they may perceive it as being in their interests, but it is not. Here the key point is not how much the seller is getting, even if the seller is getting monopoly profits because the whole industry has been forced to operate outside the law. The key point is that perpetuating the addiction is against the addict's interests. This would be true even if the substance or whatever was being provided for free. (Providing it for free would not necessarily be generosity on the provider's part; I understand it is a common technique for getting people hooked.)
  20. Doug Morris

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    When I said "You probably don't gain that much", I was not talking about some absolute standard of muchness, and I was not implying that you gain little. I was saying that you don't gain as much as the child does, and you probably don't gain as much as the parents do. You answered the question you thought I was asking. Now please answer the question I was trying to ask.
  21. Doug Morris

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I was trying to make the point that it doesn't matter whether the other party gains more or not. If you're getting the pleasure of playing chess, how is it against your interests if the other person is getting more? Now if you're saying that one should look for a way to tweak the relationship or your reaction to it, acceptable to both parties, that increases your benefit, that might be appropriate. But if you don't see any such way of tweaking, how is the relationship against your interests? If, at very little risk to yourself, you save the life of a child who is a stranger to you or a casual acquaintance, that child gains its whole life, and its parents gain greatly too. You probably don't gain that much. Does this mean you shouldn't save the child's life?
  22. I let government take from me because if I resist, they'll take it anyway, but they'll take more. If I resist hard enough, they may damage my property, throw me in jail, or even kill me. Most people haven't thought this through and would have trouble saying why they submit. Many people believe government has a right to take, but they are wrong. If it weren't for government's control over physical force, there wouldn't be much tendency to submit.
  23. During my adolescence an adult chemist told me about Noether's Theorem but didn't mention the author. As an undergraduate I asked a physics TA if Noether's Theorem and the Uncertainty Principle were related. He acknowledged the similarity that prompted the question but didn't know whether there was a connection. I have also been aware for some time that she was an important mathematician. I think this is the first time I've seen her credited with the theorem.
  24. Doug Morris

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    If the action is to your benefit, what difference does it make if your lover benefits more?
  25. Doug Morris

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    If you love a person, doing something that benefits that person also benefits you, and the action is moral as long as the benefits are not outweighed by some harmful side effect. This is true even if the benefit to the one you love is greater than the benefit to you. If you are running a business, it can be good business to go an extra mile to help customers. If you are trying to succeed and advance in a job, it can be good strategy to go an extra mile in doing the job. Both are true regardless of how much or how little benefit accrues directly to you from a particular instance of extra-miling.