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MisterSwig last won the day on November 18

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About MisterSwig

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  1. Aristotle and the science

    Science depends upon a particular philosophical orientation toward perception rather than conception. One approach leads more and more to facts of reality, the other leads to fantasy. Aristotle firmly oriented man toward objective facts by creating a philosophy of perception, logic, and science. Many of his mistakes were due to remnants of the wrong orientation he inherited from Plato, and some were due to ignorance of physical and biological laws discovered later. Those later discoveries, however, would not have been possible without a perception-based orientation for knowledge-seekers. It's not Aristotle's fault that later thinkers couldn't figure out his errors. It's their fault for not following his philosophy and adopting a fantasy-based orientation in taking his word as dogma.
  2. Is "groupthink" an anti-concept?

    It seems that the social psychologists in the '70s were puzzled by groups of very intelligent men who made seemingly horrible, stupid decisions. Note that, originally, "groupthink" applied to the best and brightest professionals in the government and military. We're talking about CIA agents, military intelligence officers, President Kennedy and his advisors, etc. And later it was applied to smart and successful businessmen responsible for catastrophes like Enron. There was never an assumption that the "groupthinkers" were mouth-breathing, bottom-of-the-barrel, non-thinking idiots. Janis was dealing with a real conundrum: what went wrong with the decision-making and how do we solve it? Unfortunately, I suspect that his solution was to evade objective inquiry and focus on another construct called "concurrence-seeking," which apparently people do when they want to feel group solidarity. The implication, I suppose, is that group members don't realize they are "concurrence-seeking," so regulations must be put in place to counter this psychological tendency. For example, army intelligence employs a practice called red-teaming, which is a separate group whose purpose is to attack the main group's position. Kind of like a required devil's advocate. As an Objectivist, I believe the root problem is most likely the collectivist-altruist philosophy driving every move the group makes, not some imagined notion of "concurrence-seeking."
  3. Is "groupthink" an anti-concept?

    How about this.... "Groupthink" suggests that a man's opinion is not worth taking seriously because the group to which he belongs is deemed irrational. Since he is part of the irrational group, he must be irrational too and not open to reason. The term "groupthink" would therefore function as a replacement for moral evaluation of an individual's mind. Indeed the social constructionist would need such a concept in order to judge another's rational faculty, because being a subjectivist he has no way of knowing what that other individual is thinking in his own head. But that person's thoughts are clearly manifested in his group's actions. So if his group acts irrationally, that means he's no good too.
  4. Is "groupthink" an anti-concept?

    Is it actually passive acceptance if you have to identify the loudest, longest, most socially acceptable idea? How do you determine what's socially acceptable if you don't care about the truth? And why bother if you're not even interested in consideration?
  5. In 1972 social psychologist Irving Janis coined the term "groupthink" to describe a psychological phenomenon in which a person accepts irrational decisions in the name of group loyalty. Put another way, some collectives make bad choices when their members value group harmony over expressing unpopular positions. This is particularly the case when the most vocal elements are also the least intelligent. While the basic idea sounds plausible, I'm troubled by its usage. Janis used it to attack major military decisions, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion and not protecting Pearl Harbor in WW2, which he considered monumentally stupid and clear examples of "groupthink" at work. It seems like the word "groupthink" is typically used to disrupt or stop consideration of other explanations for such bad decision-making. In fact the label "groupthink" is applied based on an assessment of the final outcome and not on the persuasive arguments and choices made by those originally involved in the decision. And if someone begins talking about those arguments and choices, he is accused of wasting his time on "groupthinkers." It smells like an anti-concept to me. There is also this belief that engaging in debate with "groupthinkers" is not productive. But this assumes that all of the members in the opposing group are happy with their group. I submit that the most intelligent ones are probably not very happy if they have to submit to the dumb ones. And it might be worth trying to find and recruit them.
  6. Aristotle and the science

    It's okay to be an Aristotelian.
  7. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    I had to stop halfway through the new one because he's being ridiculous. Men don't harass and rape women because of testosterone. They do it because they resent women and want to humiliate them. Testosterone makes men horny. Not violent creeps. Harvey Weinstein could have purchased a harem of hookers every night to satisfy his lust. But instead he preyed on defenseless actresses--to indulge his hatred and disgust for the innocent and beautiful.
  8. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Part of the context is the origin and usage of phrases. As far as I can tell IOTBW started in 2000 as a punk song by the skinhead band Aggressive Force. Here is a taste of the lyrics: In 2008 the band's singer, Brian Sawyer, died, and fans vowed to keep his memory alive. Around 2009, the white nationalist Church of Creativity created a flyer campaign called "It's Alright To Be White," with some of the very same white pride messages found in the Aggressive Force song. The church recently updated this flyer after the 4chan campaign to include new contact information. Additionally, five years ago, Aggressive Force fans uploaded a racist video for the song "It's okay to be white." A couple other YouTubers had uploaded the song, including the white nationalist Blood and Honour social group from Canada. Also, in 2014, the popular neo-Nazi forum Stormfront used "It's Alright To Be White" in their advertising. With this etymological and historical context, members of 4chan created the IOTBW real-world flyer and online meme campaign last October, and they began spreading the message around high schools and college campuses worldwide. At first these people posted the flyers anonymously at night. Now there are popular TV and Internet personalities who embrace the statement yet reject any connection to racism. The widespread acceptance or tolerance of this meme among conservatives has created an environment for more aggressive white pride propaganda. Already, less than a month after its mainstreaming, the IOTBW meme is morphing into the WP meme. What's next: WPWW?
  9. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    ...which assumes that reason does not imply experience. You separate them. Okay, I see that it was a bad formulation. Let me go back and try this again. Reason? I agree that reason implies experience. I'm not denying that. I simply don't think one can have an experience of a value which possesses such a quality as "long and happy lifeness." Even if we assumed that we could, values are sought in a series of means and ends, right? So, objectively speaking, only the ultimate value would have that quality of "long and happy lifeness." Lesser values would have only bits and pieces of the ultimate value. For example, a single piece of fruit doesn't sustain you for a long lifetime, but it does sustain you for a brief time. And the same could be said for items that make you happy. Do you get a lifetime's worth of happiness from your first kiss back in grade school?
  10. The Law of Identity

    Viva soi-disants Heracliteans! Thanks to them I am now a self-confirmed alcoholic Eskimo ladyboy.
  11. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    The Nazis are absolutely winning this meme campaign. You can't fight IOTBW by accepting it and then claiming it means the opposite of what it actually says. Words have definitions. The meme has everything to do with skin color mattering. That is the whole point of it. The phrase does not imply anything about character or morality, except that you should take some pride in being white, and you should not feel bad about it. The Nazis don't care what justification you use for embracing the message, as long as you embrace it. I still have not seen any news organization trace the meme to any group prior to 4chan. Perhaps they don't want to talk about the Church of Creativity or the band Aggressive Force. Perhaps they buy the idea that the pranksters at 4chan coincidentally arrived at the same exact meme as Nazis and are having a bit of a laugh at the Left's expense. This is unfortunate, because it's not the whole story, or even the most important one. This story is about indoctrinating people with the idea that white folk are crashing the racial politics street party, and they're coming for their slice of the protest pie. What is the opposite of being ashamed of your race? Tucker Carlson gets it.
  12. A Complex Standard of Value

    Yeah, that sounds like something. I'll look into it. Too bad I'm not a very visual thinker or else I might invent some charts of my own. Maybe balance is the virtue that integrates three simple standards into one complex one. The balancing act would be similar but not the same for everyone, because people have different lives with different values.
  13. A Complex Standard of Value

    Kind of like a First Cause for volition? I don't think that's quite how it works though. I have a theory on free will and how it develops during childhood. In a nutshell, we learn to act volitionally by experiencing ourselves act reflexively. Essentially choice is a learned skill that we perform by an act of will. The "meta-choice" you describe might be the will focusing consciousness inward. It's basically introspection of your mental content. This is indeed a real choice. It is the choice to introspect rather than extrospect. It is the necessary first choice before you can deliberate upon various thoughts. If that doesn't seem right to you, let me know, because I'm most curious about this subject and how others experience their mental aspect.
  14. The Law of Identity

    Identity is a social construct don't ya know? You could be whatever gender or race you want nowadays. In fact, at birth I was assigned a racist white male identity, but now I'm a self-confirmed beautiful brown female. Viva Heraclitus!
  15. A Complex Standard of Value

    I think of her cardinal values as types of critical knowledge. They pertain to the mental aspect. And I agree that they are cardinal values, because you really aren't a man without a rational mind. My three values are more like cardinal standards. Yes, but it has to be applied within the proper context of man's other aspects. Let's take the drug abuser as an example. He's probably indulging in pleasure to the detriment of both his knowledge and health. If he's experiencing ignorance (memory loss, stupidity, confusion) and sickness (withdrawls, blackouts, malnutrition), he should immediately reduce or end the drug use. Or seek professional help if he's physically addicted to a hard substance.