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  1. Oldest Known Human Construction Site

    The Theopetra Cave and the Oldest Human Construction in the World The Theopetra Cave is an archaeological site located in Meteora, in the central Greek region of Thessaly. . . . . The World’s Oldest Wall Another fascinating find from the Theopetra Cave is the remains of a stone wall that once partially closed off the entrance of the cave. These remains were discovered in 2010, and using a relatively new method of dating known as Optically Stimulated Luminescence, scientists were able to date this wall to around 23000 years old. . . . . This predates the world's oldest temple, Göbekli Tepe, by 11000 years.
  2. Fact sometimes stranger than fiction.

    Romanian Court Rejects Man’s Claim That He’s Alive BUCHAREST, Romania — A Romanian court has rejected a man’s claim that he is alive after his wife officially registered him as dead, saying that the decision cannot be reversed. A spokeswoman for the court told local news outlets on Friday that the man, Constantin Reliu, 63, lost his case in the northeast city of Vasului because he had appealed too late. The ruling is final. Should he have filed an extention?
  3. Great line from the recently released movie Justice League:
    "Darkness, the truest darkness, is not the absence of light. It is the conviction that the light will never return."

  4. The Most Dangerous Game

    The depths of the ocean. The summits of the mountains. Two metaphors for two perspectives. Plunging to the depths of, or rising to the heights of a profound understanding of something. In these particular two scenarios described, John Galt did not return. One provided a sight, such, that he could no longer wish to look at the rest of the earth. The other provided the realization that what he wanted to bring down to men couldn't be brought down. The variation on the myth of Prometheus provides another clue, albeit one partially withdrawn. "John Galt is Prometheus who changed his mind. After centuries of being torn by vultures in payment for having brought to men the fire of the gods, he broke his chains and he withdrew his fire—until the day when men withdraw their vultures." There's either an equivocation, a faux pas, or another alternative going on from between the 'fire of the gods' to where he 'withdrew his fire'. Grant you, a precedence for altering myths was, indeed, previously established in an earlier chapter:: "The Immovable Movers." [Richard Halley] had changed the ancient Greek myth to his own purpose and meaning: Phaëthon, the young son of Helios, who stole his father's chariot and, in ambitious audacity, attempted to drive the sun across the sky, did not perish, as he perished in the myth; in Halley's opera, Phaëthon succeeded. Gotta love the stuff enigma's can be forged from.
  5. The Most Dangerous Game

    Heralded as A Philosopher-Priest's Warnings for 21st-Century America, it was a provocative enough title to warrant a click. After reading the article, this paragraph from The New Intellectual came to mind. Thus they come to need each other. Attila feels that the Witch Doctor can give him what he lacks: a long-range view, an insurance against the dark unknown of tomorrow or next week or next year, a code of moral values to sanction his actions and to disarm his victims. The Witch Doctor feels that Attila can give him the material means of survival, can protect him from physical reality, can spare him the necessity of practical action, and can enforce his mystic edicts on any recalcitrant who may choose to challenge his authority. Both of them are incomplete parts of a human being, who seek completion in each other: the man of muscle and the man of feelings, seeking to exist without mind. Skimming back over it, this is what struck to the heart of the above: Do the men and women we know, each of us in his own field, strike us as people conscious of their responsibility for what is happening in the world? Does their sense of responsibility affect their public as well as their private lives? Do our rulers impress us as people who know what their duties ultimately involve and who tackle them accordingly? Is every public servant’s measure of power counterbalanced by strength of character, adequate understanding of human existence, and a fitting moral attitude? Has an ethic of power evolved from a real coming to grips with the phenomenon of power? Are young people (and older ones too as far as possible) being educated to the right use of power? Does such education form a substantial part of both of our individual and our public endeavors? The Witch Doctor worships the power of Attila, and seems to know the reliance Attila has on what he, as the Witch Doctor, can provide. What stood out is the reversal of ethics and power. This puts power in the drivers seat of both. Both seek it. Yet Ayn Rand recognizes not just the power of power as such, but the power of morality as the greatest of all intellectual powers. She goes on to say, in Faith and Force, "mankind’s tragedy lies in the fact that the vicious moral code men have accepted destroys them by means of the best within them." So while this article was published March 6, 2018, its power emanated from the pen of Romano Guardini (1885-1968). Clearly it was not written in disappearing, or invisible, ink (which has been known of since the 4th century BCE.)
  6. The Most Dangerous Game

    "Who is John Galt?" Miss Rand opens her novel with a catch-phrase that she strategically uses throughout the book. In asking about the phrase, stories of an adventurer with a vast fortune discovered Atlantis while on his yacht, or a man who found the fountain of youth and discovered it could not be brought down from whence it was found, a variation on the myth of Prometheus, and even an intricate tale of a factory worker. According to John Galt, they were all true, the latter concretely. In Philosophy: Who Needs It? She indicates briefly how philosophic catch-phrases get used at large, without much of a second thought. After introducing the motor found in the abandoned factory, the secondary mystery is introduced that sets into play a search for the inventor of the motor. Following every lead from the record house, a mayor of a small town, one of the principals of a defunct incorporation, a retired deceased engineers widow, to a roadside diner run by a striking philosopher the answer to both mysteries turns out to be one in the same. Richard Connell wrote The Most Dangerous Game. It is a short story about a sportsman who grew bored with the "excitement of the hunt" of big game, and reintroduced it by finding a prey he thought worth hunting, in short, the rational animal. In Selfishness Without A Self, she indicates the target the crosshair of the scope of specific philosophers listing in place of the mindless brute: reason, intelligence, ability, merit, self-confidence and self-esteem. It would seem that the most dangerous game is philosophy, having brought the world to state she observed during her visit. After finishing Atlas Shrugged, did she go to sleep in the "most excellent bed" having earned a good night's rest?
  7. Veganism under Objectivism

    I've given this the consideration it was due. I did manage to find someone that appeared to have understood cow-ese and wrote the following:
  8. Veganism under Objectivism

    To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion—which is the policy of savages, who rule men by force and plead with nature by prayers, incantations and bribes (sacrifices). It does not work and has not worked in any human society in history. Picture yourself "reasoning" with a hungry polar bear, crocodile or python not to eat you. My guess is that no prayer, incantation or bribe will keep you from being eaten by the aforementioned. I'm envisioning the bourguignonne at the moment, albeit with beef, not troll. If you choose a vegan lifestyle, that is your right. If you seek to impose such a vegan lifestyle on other men, you would discover it would require the very same initiation of force you are presumably railing against.
  9. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    Currently playing in the mobile library (a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado) is the History of Philosophy, Volume 2 - Modern Philosophy Kant to Present. In lecture 7, Leonard Peikoff presents how pragmatism can be derived from elements of Immanuel Kant or David Hume (among others). It's 2018. It must be time to google "pragmatism on free will". The lead paragraph returned is: The idea that the truth of a belief can be judged by its consequences is the hallmark of pragmatism. But even William James, the consummate pragmatist, justified free will only tongue in cheek. ... There are important asymmetries between the doctrines of determinism and free will that favor the former. Feb 16, 2009 Wait. It looks like a link from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pragmatism/ So [William] James offers his pragmatism as a technique for clarifying concepts and hypotheses. He proposed that if we do this, metaphysical disputes that appear to be irresoluble will be dissolved. When philosophers suppose that free will and determinism are in conflict, James responds that once we compare the practical consequences of determinism being true with the practical consequences of our possessing freedom of the will, we find that there is no conflict. Is Mr. William James sacrificing the question of "which is right?" on the alter of "practical consequences" here? Dr. Peikoff's point was that pragmatism can graft itself onto any philosophic system in order to attempt to dissolve it. If the term "determinism" is unpalatable, should we just dilute it, or better yet, toss it out. If volition is too volatile a term, should we substitute a more compatible term to take its place. Which science studies how volition operates? Does this science answer, or leave unanswered, the question of "Which science studies the methods of the science that studies how volition operates?" The law of excluded middle states that volition either is, or is not, a type of causality. If volition is a type of causality, then it is the rest of the story. If volition is not a type of causality, then bring back a Paul Harvey type to tell the rest of the story.
  10. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    Somewhere on 24.3 gigabyte of audio talks was eloquently put that disagreement was evidence of free will. Conjuring some form of a vision of an exchange between a determinist and an advocate of free will could have generated comic relief in the hands of a George Carlin while he was on stage. He could open with: So the Determinist said: So, you think there is free will? Ha! Let me convince you otherwise . . . and ad lib from there. In the first essay of her book carrying as its title like a badge, For The New Intellectual, straddling pages 14 & 15: Man's consciousness shares with animals the first two stages of its development: sensations and perceptions; but it is the third state, conceptions, that makes him man. Sensations are integrated into perceptions automatically, by the brain of a man or of an animal. But to integrate perceptions into conceptions by a process of abstraction, is a feat that man alone has the power to perform—he has to perform it by choice. The process of abstraction, and of concept-formation is a process of reason, of thought; it is not automatic nor instinctive nor involuntary nor infallible. Man has to initiate it, to sustain it and to bear responsibility for its results. The pre-conceptual level of consciousness is nonvolitional; volition begins with the first syllogism. Identity is the perceived. Identification is the conceived. Free will is the one of the materials "bridges" were fabricated from between their various identities and their respective identifications.
  11. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    2046 The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action. Free will is a sub-type of causality. There is nothing in the law of identity that prohibits an entity of a specific kind from having a specific nature. I can agree that the Ayn Rand quote in the Lexicon isn't the best citation to the OP. Here's a more apt one from her 1955-1977 journal: The "determinism" to look for in human psychology is logic. The logic of a man's basic premises determines his motivation and actions. (This is in regard to [the view] that the science of psychology cannot exist unless man is subject to determinism.)
  12. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    Determinism has two citations in the Ayn Rand Lexicon. Determinism is the theory that everything that happens in the universe—including every thought, feeling, and action of man—is necessitated by previous factors, so that nothing could ever have happened differently from the way it did, and everything in the future is already pre-set and inevitable. Every aspect of man’s life and character, on this view, is merely a product of factors that are ultimately outside his control. Objectivism rejects this theory. Leonard Peikoff, The Philosophy of Objectivism lecture series, Lecture 1 Dictatorship and determinism are reciprocally reinforcing corollaries: if one seeks to enslave men, one has to destroy their reliance on the validity of their own judgments and choices—if one believes that reason and volition are impotent, one has to accept the rule of force. “Representation Without Authorization,” The Ayn Rand Letter, I, 21, 1 There is also an entry for Free Will there too. Determinism is there in black and white. It's not new and profound, nor exclusively introduced via Objectivism. It was a position Epicurus sought to expunge via the epicurean swerve and persists implicitly or even explicitly in materialism.
  13. "Rite of Passage"

    A man's method of using his consciousness determines his method of survival. The three contestants are Attila, the Witch Doctor and the Producer—or the man of force, the man of feelings, the man of reason—or the brute, the mystic, the thinker. The rest of mankind calls it expedient to be tossed by the current of events from one of those roles to another, not choosing to identify the fact that those three are the source which determines the current's direction. The producers, so far, have been the forgotten men of history. With the exception of a few brief periods, the producers have not been the leaders or the term-setters of men's societies, although the degree of their influence and freedom was the degree of a society's welfare and progress. Most societies have been ruled by Attila and the Witch Doctor. The cause is not some innate tendency to evil in human nature, but the fact that reason is a volitional faculty which man has to choose to discover, employ and preserve. Irrationality is a state of default, the state of an unachieved human stature. When men do not choose to reach the conceptual level, their consciousness has no recourse but to its automatic, perceptual, semi-animal functions. — For The New Intellectual, pg. 21 So, as a question to the forgotten producers, what might it take to institutionalize the desire to reach the conceptual level—as a traditional "rite of passage"?
  14. Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step

    Chemical sleuthing unravels possible path to forming life's building blocks in space Experiments reveal how a hydrocarbon called pyrene could form near stars Date: March 5, 2018 Source: DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Summary: Scientists have used experiments to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases. Chemical compounds needed for the study were not commercially available, said Felix Fischer, an assistant professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley who also contributed to the study, so his lab prepared the samples. "These chemicals are very tedious to synthesize in the laboratory," he said. At the ALS, researchers injected the gas mixture into a microreactor that heated the sample to a high temperature to simulate the proximity of a star. The ALS generates beams of light, from infrared to X-ray wavelengths, to support a range of science experiments by visiting and in-house researchers. The mixture of gases was jetted out of the microreactor through a tiny nozzle at supersonic speeds, arresting the active chemistry within the heated cell. The research team then focused a beam of vacuum ultraviolet light from the synchrotron on the heated gas mixture that knocked away electrons (an effect known as ionization). They then analyzed the chemistry taking place using a charged-particle detector that measured the varied arrival times of particles that formed after ionization. These arrival times carried the telltale signatures of the parent molecules. These experimental measurements, coupled with Mebel's theoretical calculations, helped researchers to see the intermediate steps of the chemistry at play and to confirm the production of pyrene in the reactions. Mebel's work showed how pyrene (a four-ringed molecular structure) could develop from a compound known as phenanthrene (a three-ringed structure). These theoretical calculations can be useful for studying a variety of phenomena, "from combustion flames on Earth to outflows of carbon stars and the interstellar medium," Mebel said.
  15. The Mark Scott Project |Excelsior

    These broadcasts are from the last years (2001-2003) of Mark Scott (1940-2005). As a supporter of the broadcast, I had copies of all the broadcasts for personal use. This e-mail excerpt (link relocated) was received today, 3/4/2018. The Mark Scott Project is extremely proud and honored to announce that we are able to post, with the special permission of Mark Scott's family members, Mark Scott's internet broadcast period, The Mark Scott Show. Here is a special message from Nick: "Mark Scott's family would like to thank Pioneer Technology for making all this possible. We would not be able to share these recordings with the public without their hard work producing The Mark Scott Show, and preserving these memories for so many years. We are very happy to share the internet show with the public at large! Thank you to Pioneer Technology for releasing the recordings so Mark Scott's audience can enjoy them for years to come!"