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Everything posted by pi-r8

  1. All I can say is, if you do somehow acquire some, I'll be happy to take those fractional reserve notes off your hands for what you say their real value is. If the bank only has 10% of its notes in gold, you'd say they'd be worth 10% face value, right? Well, I'll cut you a deal, I'll pay you 20% of their face value, in gold! ... Then I"ll go down to your bank and redeem them for their full face value in gold.
  2. Let's say you that you have a friend coming into town, and for some reason, you decide to give him money. However, you have no money, and will not have any until you get paid on friday. Your friend gets in on saturday. Is it fraudalent to promise to pay your friend when he arrives, despite not having the money to do so currently, since you know that you'll have the money for him when he does come? Of course not. You'll be able to meet your obligations in full when it comes time to pay them. Likewise, even though a bank might not have enough money to pay all its obligations at once, it knows that it will have enough money to pay them when it needs to. I'm sure they can calculate what the odds are of needing any given amount of money at any given time, so all they have to do is decide what an acceptable level of risk is. Like, if they hold 90% of their deposits in gold, they'll have a 99.9999999% chance of being able to pay back depositors; if they hold 50% in gold, they'll have a 99% chance, and so on. That's why they don't decide to just hold 1% or whatever (I have no idea how much they would actually need, but I'm sure any reputable bank would be extremely cautious about this). I guess you could argue that it's fraudalent to run a business where there's only a chance of being able to meet your obligations, but the same is true of any business. For example, there's a CHANCE that your bank could be blown up by terrorists tomorrow. It doesn't matter whether the bank is fractional reserve or not, there's still a chance that it'll get blown up with your life's savings. I'd hardly say that relying on statistics makes something fraudalent(almost any industry does, to some extent). The reason fractional reserve banking is commonplace, when it used to be nonexistant, is because it IS beneficial to the economy-it makes money for all involved. The reason it doesn't produce inflation is because it only works if the bank makes good loans. If a bank loans money to a successful business, the business grows, adding more real value to the economy. At some point down the line, it even allows some mining company to produce more gold. If the business goes bankrupt, the loan is not repaid, and the bank takes a hit, so the amount of money and actual value are reduced together. Finally, the reason bank notes would not decline in value is because value is determined by what you can get with something, not simply by the ratio of that thing to the money supply. If the bank is smart, than any of its bank notes can, at any time, be exchanged for that amount in gold. Not ALL of them can, but ANY of them can, and thus ALL of them retain their value. In your example of 100 pounds of notes for 10 pounds of gold, it doesn't work, because the values are so low. It would be very likely that some rich person would acquire more than 10 pounds of bank notes, and try to trade them in. But if the numbers are big enough, it works, because no one would withdraw, say, a million pounds of gold in one whack. And if you did want to do that, all you'd have to do is give the bank warning, or space it out over time. I believe most banks have a rule that they're not required to give out more than some amount (I think it's $10,000, but maybe that's just my bank) in cash at any one time, so as to prevent things like that from happening. Not to mention the insurance that all banks have... I'm afraid I don't know the reason behind the depressions of the early 20th century. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say it was because the quick expansion of the time combined with the first, unexpected, government interfernce, made things very volitile, but I really don't know, and I'm sure it's more complicated than any one issue.
  3. You guys do realize that all gold is the same, right? Just like every dollar is worth the same amount? When you open a bank account, it's not like you're putting your dollars/gold into a vault and saying "ok, anytime I want, I'll come by and you give me the stuff in THIS vault- my very own gold and money." It's more like one giant vault that everyone shares. You throw 10 dollars, or gold bars, or whatever, onto the pile, in exchange for the right to come by later and take 10 dollars (plus interest) back. So it's not like fractional-reserve banks grant two people ownership of the same thing. It's more like the bank owns what's deposited there, and then it loans it out to people who then own it exchange for a promise to pay it back. After it does that, it has more agreements to pay back money that it has deposits to pay back. Let's say $10,000,000 has been deposited in a band, and $5,000,000 loaned out. If every single depositer comes simultaneously, the bank will be in trouble, because it will have promised to pay back more than it can. That's when insurance comes in, and the risk (which will always exist, no matter what you do) of losing your savings. The system works because people don't do that- they don't TRY to ruin their own bank! The banks have very cleverly calculated how much they will probably need to repay at any one time, and keep only that much in actual capital (whether that capital is gold, paper, or electronic doesn't matter here). On the question of legality, it seems like there's usually a simple way to determine this. Is anyone using force, or would force only be needed to make it stop? I see no force in this sort of transaction. The only possible "Force" I could see would be if one bank decided to print money like mad and devalue the money supply, but there's an easy solution to that- have all banks issue different money. Then it would be impossible for one bank to devalue another's currency, just like it is impossible for one country to create inflation in another. I suppose you might have a problem of one's own bank davaluing your currency, but that would be easy to stop- just sign a contract with your bank where they would agree not to let their gold reserve go below some percentage of what they loaned out. Any violation of this could rightly be persecuated as fraud.
  4. how about this. Taxes are evil If everyone knew about Objectivism, You'd never have to pay taxes again.
  5. "Actual" doesn't mean how you actually are, it just means how you perceive yourself. And yeah, one would think the "ought" self would match up, but, for anyone with the standard Judeo-Christian sense of morals, it doesn't, and can't.
  6. Today in my personality psychology class we were talking about the goals people set for themselves, and my teacher explained that people basically had three images of themself: the "actual" self (how they think they really are), the "ideal" self (how they would like to be) and the "ought" self (this was a little unclear, but I think it referred to how people felt that they had a moral obligation to be). Someone then asked if anyone's "ought" self matched their "actual" self. Everyone in the class agreed that this was impossable- I wanted to scream at them "of course it's possible- it's only impossible if you've accepted an impossible standard of morality!" Then, to make matters worse, our teacher explained that "basically the only people whose "ought" selves match their "actual" selves are serial killers, but these people have extremely low levels of anxiety." I was about to say that my "ought" pretty much matched my "actual," but I didn't want them to think that I was a serial killer. I'm sure they think I'm strange enough for trying to explain why it was obvious that people have free will . Does anyone else have these kinds of experiences in their psychology classes?
  7. What about naming Emperor Gestahl Lenin, and Kefka as Stalin? Ooh, and General Leo could be Trotsky!
  8. Man, Dayton, Ohio sounds like a really rough place. Have you considered moving?
  9. I just wanted to say that reading this thread really helped me put into words some of things I've been thinking about this subject for a while now. Your time and thoughts are very much appreciated.
  10. I agree with you. In this thread I tried to argue that Objectivism should not be defined as "the philosophy of Ayn Rand," and got a lot of very angry responses. I think you explained why much better than l did, though.
  11. Ok, I've tried to present my views in a rational manner and to answer all questions that have been asked of me. At first I thought I was getting somewhere, but now I'm just being insulted. Enough of this discussion for me...
  12. Maybe not, but if we're going to discuss this in a rational way, you're going to have to try. I'm going to consider myself right unless one of you convinces me otherwise. Telling me to go read such and such a book, or that I've clearly misunderstood what I've already read and need to read it again, doesn't help. And, I do not think morality can simply be deduced, I think it requires both deduction and induction, which is the method Peikoff uses in OPAR.
  13. thanks y_feldblum. I always enjoy people contentless forum insults. Ideasave- the question I keep running into is, what essentials of Objectivism did Kelley violate? For that matter, what are the essentials of Objectivism? The best example I can think of, of Ayn Rand stating them publically, was "Metaphysics: Objective Reality; Epistemology: Reason; Ethics: Self-interest; Politics: Capitalism." If someone can prove to me that Kelley and TOC violate these essentials, I will admit that they are not Objectivists. Or if you wish to present a different version of the essentials of Objectivism, I'll consider that as well, but bear in mind that I've already explained why I don't consider "created by Ayn Rand" to be an essential characteristic of Objectivism. Also, as a side note, I don't think it's possible to develop Objectivism, or any sort of abstract knowledge, without both deduction and induction. For example, how would you use induction to prove that capitalism is the only just political system? It's never even fully existed! Or how can you use pure induction to develop something as abstract as, say, morality? Somethings just can't be directly observed. I thought this was Rand's answer to the old empiricist/rationalist dichotomy? and I have no idea whether or not Kelley claimed that libertarians are Objectivists, although I really doubt that he would.
  14. Hmm, Apparently swearing isn't allowed at all on this forum. I'll avoid using any in the future. Man, this is frustrating, because I really don't think our views on this are all that different. I agree that induction is necessary, and that's why I included basic perceptions as one of the building blocks of Objectivism. I also agree that, to be Objectivist, you must follow Objectivist principles. I guess I just don't see why no one but her can do that. If Peikoff's writings are Objectivist, then why not Kelley's, or mine?
  15. I responded to some of these posts, by my reply got moved to the trash can. I'm, um, not really sure why. You can read it there though.
  16. /me ignores the debate on the axiom of existance and returns to the original question. I'd suggest The Feynman Lectures on Physics for a good, rational introduction. They're very tough, but if you read slowly and carefully you'll learn a lot. http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7868 That article explains David Harriman's view on modern physics- he seems to be saying that nothing valid has been discovered since Einstein came along (!). Kind of a rediculous view, in my opinion, since there's solid evidence for a lot of modern physics which contradicts classical physics. I'm not aware of anything by Leonard Peikoff on the subject, but I would assume he holds similar views to Harriman.
  17. Here's where I found the Peikoff quote: http://www.jeffcomp.com/faq/peikoff/green.html He doesn't really say anything too substantial after the teaser, which is why I omitted that. He does insult Mr. Greenspan in many ways, however. While he doesn't actually use the word "evil," I think it's fair to say that that's how he thinks of Mr. Greenspan. I think you can judge for yourself, from the context of Mr. Greenspan's speech, whether or not he really advocates affirmative action. Diana- I do realize that I did not make any real arguments against your position. I was not really trying to convince anyone, I simply wished to state my opinion on what I see as being the central rift between TOC and ARI, without being bogged down in a debate that I didn't think would ever end. But, since that appears to be where this thread is moving anyways, I will do so now. I've already explained why I think we should tolerate those with opposing viewpoints, rather than condemning them as evil. That's half of it. The other half, which is probably the most divisive, is the open vs. closed system question. Knowledge, as I'm sure you will all agree, is hierarchical. It begins with a few, fundamental axioms, upon which all the rest is based. Logic allows us to make deductions of higher level knowledge based upon what we already know to be true. Objectivism is no different from any other kind of knowledge in this respect. It begins with recognition of the three axioms of existance, consciousness, and identity. After those come the basic perceptions and the laws of logic. Using these fundamentals, Ayn Rand built the system of Objectivism. She deduced it. However, she did NOT create it. Did Newton create the laws of motion? Did Copernicus create the motion of planets around the sun? Did Darwin create evolution? Of course not! The truths of Objectivism would still be just as true even is she had never lived, just as the laws of motion would still hold if Newton had not lived. Suppose Ayn Rand had never escaped from Russia. Suppose she was shot and killed before she ever began writing. Someone, eventually, would have discovered Objectivism. To be sure, it probably would have taken a long time for a philosopher as intelligent as her to come along and do it, but it would have happened. It was not a random act of creation, but the identification of true facts of reality. It probably would have been called something else, and written differently, but all the important facts would be the same. I do not think that there is any more validity to calling Objectivism a closed system than there is to calling physics a closed system. Sure, it was discovered by a person who is now dead. But if we understand the fundamental principles behind her discovery, there is no reason to think that we cannot go on to make further discoveries with it. Ayn Rand felt that a woman president would be an abomination, and that homosexuality was a disgusting aberration. No doubt she felt that Objectivism proved these things. But, to the best of my knowledge and logical reasoning, it proves exactly the opposite. What are we to conclude from this? If Ayn Rand herself disagreed with Objectivism, what should we do? Should we amend Objectivism to being whatever Ayn Rand said, and throw out its logical structure? No! Instead, we should realize that, for all her brilliance, Ayn Rand was not infallible. She did not posess unlimited knowledge, and she did not know everything there is to know about Objectivism. As long as I maintain the roots and structure of Objectivism, I will be an Objectivist, even if that means I must occasionally disagree with Ayn Rand. The same goes for David Kelley. If we limit ourselves to only rewriting what has already been written, than we doom Objectivism to an early grave. If you want Objectivism to become truly influential, you must allow it to grow. Or should we, as Wesley Mouch in Atlas Shrugged recommended, stop and rest, to free ourselves from the burden of keeping up with an ever-changing world?
  18. I wish that were true, but I think you're overestimating people's intelligence. Can you honestly claim that understanding the primacy of existance would be enough to allow you to deduce all of Objectivism? In principle it can be done, but I don't know anyone other than Rand herself who's smart enough to do it. I certainly couldn't, and I very, very much doubt that the average man on the street could.
  19. TomL made some interesting points. I think, on the whole, I agree with him. Good and evil in a person aren't absolutes, but that shouldn't prevent us from passing judgement on certain acts or thoughts as evil. But, I don't see TOC as trying to label people as "in all contexts, evil/good." To be honest, I see that more from ARI. This is what Peikoff once said about Alan Greenspan: "Now my next item pertains to Alan Greenspan; the Federal Reserve chairman with whom I was friendly in the fifties, and who is widely known as a one-time follower of Ayn Rand; a supposed pseudo, or quasi-objectivist. Something occurred in my copy of the New York Times last week which made me decide it is necessary to set the world straight on Alan Greenspan, once and for all. So when we return from this break, I'm going to tell you why, if I were the Pope, and I had the power of excommunication, I would now formally excommunicate Alan Greenspan from any connection with Objectivism. If I were the Pope (which I am not), and if he really said what they say he did. I'll be back." He said that because, according to a NY Times ad, Greenspan supported affirmitive action. Peikoff didn't even bother to learn the context of the quote. It turned out that the only "affirmtive action" Greenspan supported was for businesses to not be racist in their hiring practices. Nevertheless, Peikoff was ready to denounce Greenspan completely because of something he may have said on one issue. He urged all objectivists to sever all ties with him and have no further contact. Wheras Kelley says "What I object to is not moral judgment per se but the blanket condemnations that some Objectivists issue without adequate evidence." Therefore, based on the facts as I know them, it seems as though Kelley is more in accordance with your ideas on good and evil than Peikoff is. Good advice
  20. What does that Zappa quote mean? I really don't understand it at all. Although I almost never understand Zappa, I just like his music.
  21. Well, many times mistakes are not obvious, especially to the person making them. For example, it's obvious to me now that there's nothing wrong with making money, but before I read Atlas Shrugged that was not obvious to me. Many people will persist in believing themselves to be correct even though they are clearly mistaken, and that's why I said that it can be extremely difficult too prove them wrong. I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean in your second paragraph, though. Are you saying that there is just one single contradiction that must be proved in order to understand all of Objectivism, and nothing else is required?
  22. Ayn Rand's philosophy need no "interperating." The idea that a reader might "interpret" her writings was anathema -- so she worked and reworked them slavishly. We reap the reward of the beautiful clarity she has left as her legacy. She always said exactly what she meant in detail and with logical precision. Perhaps "interpreting" is the wrong word to use here. "Understanding" would be a better word, I think. I didn't mean that her philosophy has different meanings for different people, all I meant was that knowledge of it doesn't come automatically. You have to think about out, and apply your intelligence to the task at hand. I have seen many, many negative reviews of Rand's work that left me wondering if the person had even read her books. Of course they had, the real problem was that they didn't understand what she was saying.
  23. You're right, of course, that if I had not corrected myself, it would not be an honest error, and I would have been guilty of evasion. Still, I'm convinced that the vast majority- if not all- of the mistakes that people make are honest ones. For the most part, people will admit their mistakes if they are shown proof of them. Of course, proving them can be exceedingly difficult most of the time.
  24. Isn't Objectivism supposed to be capitalized? You just made a mistake. Does that mean you're immoral, and guilty of willful evasion? I really don't think you are, but it seems like you would be arguing that you are.
  25. You're right, there is a contradiction between some of what ARI and TOC say, which of course means that on the contradictory issues, they can't both be right. All I meant was that there are no internal contradictions in what TOC says- they would never, for example, teach that toleration both is and isn't a virtue. Reading at that quote by Kelley, I can't help but say "yes! exactly!" Philosophy is a very complex subject. On my last philosophy test, I got an A, but I didn't get a perfect score. Does that mean that I'm willfully irrational just because I forgot or misinterpreted some small details of Plato's early writings? I tried my best to give perfectly rational answers, but I'm not perfect, so of course I'm going to screw up every once in a while. Everyone does. Don't you?
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