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prosperity

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Everything posted by prosperity

  1. prosperity

    Libertarians

    reason for edit...david odden provided a pretty good reply, so what was going to go here would be redundant. *** I would like to emphasize though that I think Mr. Odden made many excellent points, one in particular about "might makes right"....because this is really what these competing quasi-security firms would be engaged in. As MartianHoplite admitted: ...and herein lies the downfall. David is right. When you get enough socialists together to make a huge security firm, the rest of us wouldn't stand a chance. Or...suppose you had the KKK security firm, ugh. or the KGB security firm....yikes.
  2. prosperity

    Libertarians

    So, you want the right to set up a gang, essentially? Because that is what you are describing. It's not a Government, it's you setting up a community of your own and calling it a state. Whatever laws you set may or may not be objective, but what you have is a dictatorship, with you in control...or a gang with you and some friends in control. OK. What happens if someone within your "state" decides YOUR rules are unfair? They set up a competing "state" within your boundaries, call for your overthrow (disregarding your property rights because you are a dictator and they are claiming you have no right to their property or yours due to "violating their freedom" or "right to property")...now what? Who handles this dispute? You? heh. Them? heh... Do you just ignore each other? How do you decide on the terms of procedure for any kind of legal hearing or binding arbitration? Where will it be held? etc. etc. ...I don't think the anarchists have really thought this through. This is something I've never heard any meaningful answer to from them. Since there is no Government, you basically have competing businesses serving as entities that are supposedly capable of redistributing force and applying justice. I've never seen that done without a disinterested party. And, the only disinterested party is one that cannot be bought...in other words, it's not a business.
  3. prosperity

    Inflation better than deflation?

    What you can do is buy gold with some of your savings. Gold has traditionally been able to counteract inflation helping to preserve the value of your savings. It's a two-edged sword though, because your local grocery store likely only takes your currency so putting too much of your savings into gold could work against you (in the short -term) in deflationary times...but for very long-term horizons (10yrs plus) it's nice to be able to have a stable hedge like that. Governments provide a huge question mark here too though...the uncertainty is what makes it nearly impossible to have a long time horizon in both precious metals (for fear of confiscation) and national currency (for fear of inflation). You are put in a position where you have to act on rational principles and then fight to preserve the value you created. It worked fine in Canada and the U.S. when central banking was a minor issue. The few regulations that did exist prevented banks from having a clearing house (which would have solved the perceived "instability" of the banking system then). A localized exception to the rule was the Suffolk system in Mass which really didn't suffer the same kinds of problems that other banks did in regards to an internal clearing and bank note exchange system. Also check into banking in general pre 1913. Every problem originated with the fact that State laws prohibited interstate branch banking and a clearing house system. Banks did temporarily inflate their bank notes, but the system still worked great, and I think it was because any expansion of those bank notes was governed by supply and demand and was kept in check by reality. There was no arbitrary inflation. As a result, the value of money was relatively stable.
  4. prosperity

    One mind, two hands, three years

    It looks very nice, and I'm not even what you would call a "boat admirer" if there is such a thing... ...who knows unless you try to sell them. There was a young man who was born, grew up, and went to school right here in Elmira (where I live) some years ago. He used to buy clothes in NYC and then alter them and sell them at local shops downtown. After a few business ventures he eventually made it big. You've probably heard of him, his name is Tommy Hilfiger.
  5. prosperity

    drugs

    I understand that as a starting point, however, at some point you need to be able to discover what is actually good for you and be able to determine benefit from harm. You can't simply base everything on whether it feels good and leave it at that. Otherwise, you have to be promoting recreational drug use.
  6. prosperity

    drugs

    I agree somewhat. All foods have tolerance levels. Even water can be dangerous. But I want to point out that none of this happens in a vacuum. I think an argument could be made that it is the combination of foods with lifestyle that will cause all of the things you mentioned. For example, I think an argument can be made that fats can be good for you (even saturated fats help you metabolize certain vitamins that otherwise would simply pass through you), salt can help you retain water (which can be a good thing), animal flesh provides you with necessary zinc, protein and other nutrients... ...but combine fats and sugar, and you have a problem. Combine carbohydrates and lots of sodium and you have problems...etc. I think I know what you're getting at, but to me it sounds hedonistic. You could make a case for nearly anything that you like or don't like doing, couldn't you?
  7. prosperity

    drugs

    I think this is just rationalizing the use of drugs for relaxation. Your example uses the same purpose but different particulars (ice cream for relaxation?). I eat dinner without desert all the time. But, if one is weighing the pros and cons, it seems that the cons of doing opiates would usually outweigh the benefits for most people seeking a long-term healthy lifestyle. In fact, I can't think of a single reason, assuming that purpose, that one would seek to do opiates as a form of recreation. A big "con" being the immunosuppressive nature of those drugs. The fact that opiates are pain killers could logically lead you to the idea that recreational use of them would constitute an abuse of the drug (by your defense of the recreational use of opium, do you also defend those who take drugs in a manner other than what they are designed for? If so, how can you defend the use of opium for recreational use, but not Morphine? or Heroin? Those are opiates also.). Aside from that, I still maintain that it is a form of escapism. You don't need painkillers to "relax", ever. If you are doing it "just for fun", I think that you're ignoring the cons in favor of the "feel good" effect of those drugs. That "feel good" effect that comes without a cause. When you relax without those drugs, the process is much different than just injecting a needle in your arm or taking a few puffs. Lastly, I can eat deserts - especially if they are sugar free or "no sugar added" (provided they taste alright) - and not risk pulmonary edema, respiratory failure, or cardiac problems. Can't say the same thing about opiates. I think just those alone would keep me from ever taking up those drugs as a form of recreation.
  8. prosperity

    drugs

    Perhaps...but I'm just as excited about grape juice and I don't get intoxicated from the amount of wine I drink.
  9. prosperity

    drugs

    haha...I've heard other people say that also as a reason to drink a bottle a day, but then I've known a few folks who just have a drink every day with dinner. The problem is that if you are doing that it could get expensive unless you are drinking from those boxes...but it's not always the greatest tasting wine. "Factoid" implies that it is somehow incorrect...is there something untrue about the resveratrol in wine? Someone probably does...I'm a little skeptical sometimes though with supplements. Depending on what it is, it may not be absorbed in the same way that it would if you just ate (or drank) the food/beverage that naturally contains it... ...I don't know enough about resveretrol to say though.
  10. prosperity

    drugs

    Actually, I remember reading long ago that red wine (in moderation) was actually good for you. 9 times out of 10 if I do drink alcohol - and it's not very often - that's what I'm drinking (some type of wine). The one time out of ten I might have a beer and very rarely liqueur. Seems like if you are smoking opiates with the intention of relaxing, that that's some kind of escapism. Why not relax without the drugs? Note your honest answer to that...
  11. prosperity

    Taking over the Internet

    Hello, I'm trying to find folks on this board who own websites, preferably related to money and finance, that would like to join me in taking over google Seriously, I have a proposal that would be mutually beneficial (and relatively cheap to implement) to help increase our placement in the SERPs, provide the Objective information that is desperately needed out there, and generate more traffic and, of course, money. If you want more info, please PM me with "SERP strategy" or something similar in the subject line. Thanks,
  12. prosperity

    Taking over the Internet

    Well, from what I have read you are right it's not about number of links per se. It is mainly about what I've mentioned before which is relevancy of the site that is linking to yours, and relevancy of the content on your site, and inbound links. I suppose there are a few other things that factor in, but email the guy on the website in the previous post. He'll tell you how he did it and you can sort of reverse engineer it. I thought it was pretty cool. You're not "gaming" the system, you are giving google exactly what they want. I think what is different about it is that you are not waiting around hoping that someone with a relevant site links to yours using anchor text keywords that you want to rank for.
  13. prosperity

    Taking over the Internet

    Right, I'm surprised that more people haven't showed interest... ...from what I have learned, it's basically about relevant content and one way links. You already see this for certain keywords. There are, maybe 10 or 15 people that are all friends...and they all link to each other's site using anchor text keywords that they want to rank for, but they do it in such a way that everyone is getting one way links (as opposed to reciprocal links). For example, if you google "how to make money online" (also google "how to make money), you'll see this guy's site makemoneyforbeginners.blogspot.com Now he doesn't sell anything...though he could...but see who he is outranking for that term. He has a crappy looking blog and he outranks forbes.com for the term "how to make money". And that's a very competitive keyword. I've exchanged emails with him and a few of his friends...doing what he did isn't terribly difficult. I'm sure the same thing could be done on other topics...like finance (for me), or environmentalism (I could probably venture a little into that myself), Global Warming, or any other keyword that you'd want an Objectivist site ranking up top. Lots of people use google every day. ...anyone see any potential there? Anybody?
  14. I love this quick commentary by Dr. Hurd, and I thought that most of the people on this forum would like it also. It's such a relief to hear someone say it like it is: http://doctorhurd.com/index.php/Hurd-on-th...-up-really.html
  15. You'll have to do it the old fashioned way...it's at www.drhurd.com, you may have to type it in your browser. Or, get a new browser Then it should be the second one down titled "Obama says we need to grow up. Really? "
  16. I am trying once again to simplify my own personal budget because I'm tired of dealing with each individual expense as a separate "problem", and so I have a few ideas (I'm also trying to finish this so that I can finally provide a good solution for my own clients). Actually, I've been at this for a few years and have come up with something of a solution, but I'm going back and finding that there are a few things that I don't know how to explain and that perhaps I am doing incorrectly. However, I'm getting hung up on the process and hitting a few roadblocks. Example, and I am just using this as a hypothetical, let's say an individual has a number of expenses (you can fill in the dollar amounts for each particular, as it doesn't matter): 1) mortgage 2) credit card 3) water bill 4) gas and electric bill 5) personal loan 6) car loan He sees several particulars that are similar, and groups them together so as to deal only with a smaller number of particulars: 1) mortgage 2) credit card 3) water bill 4) gas and electric bill 5) personal loan 6) car loan Now his list looks like: 1) water bill 2) gas and electric 3) loans The process continues until, conceptually, there are as few items to deal with as possible. Ordinarily, this looks like a process of reduction, however, the dollar amounts associated with the particulars do not go away. So, you have to add up all of the individual expenses and assign them to "loans" (after all they have to be paid, which I think makes this a quasi epistemological problem, and probably moreso a financial problem, but it's in this section of the forum because it might be epistemological - I don't know for sure). For a moment, we are not dealing with the logistics of how to handle the particular expenses, making sure they are paid on time, etc., as I believe I have a solution for that...I'm just trying to figure out the process involved above. So, the question is...what is the process involved here? Am I making improper associations for the purpose of budget simplification? Thoughts? Ideas?
  17. prosperity

    Chewing on a Financial Problem

    Well, that makes sense - except I'm not sure I would go so far as to budget according to frequency. At this point, it does not seem that there is "one way" to simplify a budget, which is good to know I suppose. So far I've been able to create a 12 month plan (it worked for the last 12 months) and focused mainly on "target income". In other words, I didn't really worry about how much was "going out the door" after the budget was made, I just worried about hitting "target income" for the month. It was fairly simple but was focused mainly on expenses, and left out explicit projections for savings and a few other items. It worked fine for the most part but I ran into a few snags for example when gasoline and food prices jumped up unexpectedly...which is why I was hesitant to teach this approach to clients (thought there may be a solution that I hadn't thought of or missed for such unexpected instances - which may just be to accumulate savings specifically to offset budget deficits, but also didn't have an explanation for the process so I wasn't sure if what I was doing was "good in theory", I was sort of "flying blind" in that respect. The other side of this problem is that there may not be a solution because the spike was due to Government intervention and you can't really make bulletproof plans when there is a lack of certainty about how the world around you will operate). ...so it worked for me for the most part but I didn't have any credit card (or other) loans and very few variable expenses. Whether this would work for someone with a lot of variables, I'm not sure. I think that could probably be solved though by averaging the variables to come up with a fixed amount...provided you had savings to cover the highest possible/projected expense (like you alluded to).
  18. prosperity

    Obama inauguration

    ...and yet how many times did he reference our founding fathers in his speech?
  19. prosperity

    Chewing on a Financial Problem

    So, as opposed to grouping by function, you are grouping by frequency? Why would you say that this is "essential" while function is not? By the way, I'm not saying I disagree, I'm just interested in your reason.
  20. prosperity

    Obama inauguration

    Yeah...I was just reading something interesting about this Obama phenomenon. Not only do these die hard supporters want to evade self-responsibility...they want to make other people just as dependent as they are regardless of what is in the best interest of that person. ...I guess that shouldn't come as a huge surprise...but it's very disappointing. reason for edit: edit for clarity
  21. prosperity

    drugs

    I guess I was thinking in broad terms of whether or not the person's value system was such that drugs were deemed altruistic or egoistic. But if you were upholding your life as the standard of value, which I can't really see where you could avoid doing that (if only implicitly), I would have to agree about self-destructiveness being immoral. I guess where the connection would have to be made is the realization or the acceptance that you cannot operate on the premise that you can "eat your cake before you have it".
  22. prosperity

    Obama inauguration

    I didn't watch it either, but how are these things unique anymore? We pretty much know the spiel. What is about this whole situation is that talking to an Obama supporter is like talking to a brick wall. And even those who didn't vote for him seem like they are laying down for this guy. I'm annoyed at the very idea of his name nowadays. Every time I hear or read something that praises this man, I get emotional, and they're never good emotions. His policies don't make sense, but that's not news to people frequenting these forums. What is annoying is that his supporters are demanding acceptance with whatever he does. That somehow he will do no wrong, and if the country is financially ruined it won't be his fault - and THAT is perhaps the most annoying part of this all. That he would be allowed to walk away smiling with a fat pension and his lust for power satisfied. That his policies make no sense, don't have to make sense, and need no explanation as to how they are in the best interest of Americans. If you try to explain that there is no way his policies can work, you are marginalized/discounted. It feels like another Global Warming cult.
  23. prosperity

    Chewing on a Financial Problem

    Thanks, This would be for personal budgeting. Simplify my own, and then share that with clients. The reason I was thinking in particulars was not the numbers, not the dollar amounts, but the individual expenses, like "water bill", "gas bill" "electric bill", and so on. I can point to those and say "by water bill, I mean this", but still...that water bill references a service being provided which implies all the pipes, electronics, back office people, etc that make that service possible. As far as the algebra part, I understand what you are saying, but I think you are adding in some things that I was not considering. The purpose was just to develop a personal budget that was simpler than what I am used to using (and I think most people are using). Something I see regularly is individuals using either MS Money (in simplistic terms), the envelope method, or they just balance their checkbook. In all these cases, they're dealing with every expense as a unique financial problem, always checking their account balance, not sure if they have enough money to pay this bill or that. In short, they're not really organized. Now, I have a budget, but in the past, it was awfully complicated and I found myself spending a fair amount of time on it. I didn't mind too much, but there were other things I wanted to do besides starring at a computer screen and writing checks. So I started thinking about whether or not it could be simplified, still accomplish the essentials of a budget, and yet not take up more than a few minutes a month to "manage". Could you elaborate on this a bit (bold)?
  24. prosperity

    drugs

    Perhaps we are focusing too much on the drug itself instead of the underlying reason for using the drug. Why do people use drugs? ...for example, the only reason I've ever heard someone give - in essential terms now - for using pot is that it makes them "feel good". They're after the high. They're after an emotional response. But that emotional response is not to any particular achievement. The value becomes - intrinsically - the drug. They are after the high for the high's sake. Could you say that doing drugs promotes an intrinsic value system? This may not mean much to the non-Objectivist, but the implications would be clear to one familiar with Rand. Of course, I've known a few pot smokers who were essentially looking for the effect (feeling good) without the cause (achievement). In my view, while perhaps not immoral, it is self-destructive.
  25. prosperity

    Chewing on a Financial Problem

    Well...the purpose here is to simplify the process of budgeting and general money management. To deal with the fewest number of particulars as possible and to reduce the time commitment of paying bills and keeping track of income as possible. That was my initial goal.
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