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dream_weaver

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Everything posted by dream_weaver

  1. Yeast not only gives rise to bread, it gave rise to an answer to a question that has eluded evolutionary biologists. "To understand why the world is full of plants and animals, including humans, we need to know how one-celled organisms made the switch to living as a group, as multicelled organisms," said Sam Scheiner, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Division of Environmental Biology. "This study is the first to experimentally observe that transition, providing a look at an event that took place hundreds of millions of years ago."
  2. dream_weaver

    Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step

    In the beginning was the phase separation A simple mechanism could have been decisive for the development of life Date: May 23, 2018 Source: Technical University of Munich (TUM) Summary: The question of the origin of life remains one of the oldest unanswered scientific questions. A team has now shown for the first time that phase separation is an extremely efficient way of controlling the selection of chemical building blocks and providing advantages to certain molecules. Molecules in the garage The effect can also be seen externally: the initially clear solution becomes milky. The lack of water in the oil droplets is like a protection because anhydrides need water to disintegrate back into carboxylic acids. [Chemist Job] Boekhoven explains the principle of phase separation with an analogy: "Imagine an old and rusty car: Leave it outside in the rain, and it continues to rust and decomposes because rusting is accelerated by water. Put it in the garage, and it stops rusting because you separate it from the rain." In a way, a similar process occurs in the primordial soup experiment: Inside the oil droplet (garage) with the long-chain anhydride molecules there is no water, so its molecules survive longer. If the molecules compete with each other for energy, again those that can protect themselves by forming oil droplets are likelier to survive, while their competitors get hydrolyzed.
  3. This is from the first night of the '76 lecture series: There are various areas of human endeavor where under certain circumstances it’s practical to accept the advice of an expert, and declare: "he knows best—this is not my field". But you cannot do it in philosophy. And this is so even if you found a certified, completely rational expert. It would be useless, for instance, to turn even to such an expert and say to him, I need a philosophy, you’re an expert, so I’m asking you, should I for instance be selfish? Just tell me, yes or no, so I can act. I haven’t time for discussion and proofs, just give me answer. Now that expert could just say, well that’s easy, just be selfish, and then leave the room, but would that do you any good? After all he told you the truth, but what else would you need? Now, just in pattern, just to give you a taste of what would be involved, just one example. You’d need to know what selfishness is. That would be very helpful. And how do you apply such a wide abstraction in particular in real life situations? And to be selfish, does that mean do whatever you feel? If so, what do you do if your feelings are irrational and clash with other people, and how do you know what’s rational anyway? And who can say how another man should live? Maybe what’s true for the expert, isn’t true for you. Or is truth objective, or what is truth? What is objectivity? And what’s the use? How do you know if you can achieve your goals in this kind of a world, so is there any point to being selfish, or what kind of world is it anyway? And if everyone was selfish, wouldn’t that mean cut-throat competition, and dog-eat-dog, and child labor? And how do you know the answer to all these questions, by what method of knowledge, etc. Now that’s just a taste, a sample of the pattern. The point is you need to know it all—the whole system, not on faith. Faith doesn’t work. It’s useless, even if what you have faith in happens to be true. You need to know it all firsthand with objective proof of each point on strictly practical grounds, to make use of it, to function, to live. In answer to the question: Does one have to create one's own philosophy?, the answer is no. Without validation, however, it is useless.
  4. dream_weaver

    Why follow reason?

    Nothing, I'm pro-reason. "[R]eason", according to Ayn Rand, "is not an axiomatic, but a complex, derivative concept". In the same paragraph she heeds against inquiring about a stand on the validity of reason. (Last paragraph of chapter 6 in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.) If the objective is to assess the rationality of Objectivism or of Ayn Rand, examine them for cracks in their foundation.
  5. dream_weaver

    Why follow reason?

    @sjw, What, if anything, would you propose using in lieu of reason?
  6. dream_weaver

    Why follow reason?

    From Hellenistic History and Culture: The reapers in Idyll 10 are a gruff, perhaps elderly workman called Milon, given to coarse rustic proverbs, and a lovestruck young man, Boukaïos, whose name suggests a cowman and his song: in the Iliad Hector uses it as an insult to Ajax, as Antinoös does to Iros in the Odyssey. Homer says βουγάïος, not βουκάïος, and the two citations confirm one another, but the difference of spelling is nothing. It is typical of the freakish pedantry of the Alexandrians to use a Homeric word in a corrected form. Bougaïos or Boukaïos has fallen for the girl from Hippokion's farm, the daughter of Polybotas, who must be a farm slave if not a wage laborer. She plays the flute for the reapers, and Milon's advice about her is “Take what you want and pay for it.” Boukaïos sings a song about love: If the translation of Milon's advice is accurate, it provides a source of the citation of greater antiquity than the 1920's. To know how or why, or even if, this is true, is hardly axiomatic. As was pointed out in Introduction To Objectivist Epistemology "reason" is "a complex, derivative concept." This translation of the Tenth Idyll of The Idylls of Theokritus provides Milon as having said: "God finds out the guilty. You've been asking for it."
  7. dream_weaver

    Why follow reason?

    "Take what you want and pay for it." Found this on The Straight Dope: It appears in Agatha Christie's 1938 novel Hercule Poirot's Christmas It is also presented in 1920 in The University of the State of New York Bulletin: Sixty-First Convocation Proceedings There is an old Persian proverb which runs: The Gods said to the mortals, "Take what you want and pay for it." In other words, the choice of your life is yours, but the resulting success or failure, happiness or misery accompanying the choice is yours also.
  8. If memory serves me correctly, one of the tie-ins he made was to consciousness in general, and another to the terms of order/disorder as being epistemological.
  9. In Selected Topics in the Philosophy of Science, Harry Binswanger provided a more useful thumbnail sketch of entropy. Not knowing the fuller context of the book, from this excerpt, Mr. Locke introduced a topic in this that legitimately raised more questions than he answered. To the broader question on the table, it does not jog an particular recollection from my cross section of readings/listenings.
  10. dream_weaver

    Race Realism

    Considering some other points that have been made in this thread, the concept of race, as both presented and elaborated upon by the OP, has not been verified satisfactorily either.
  11. dream_weaver

    Race Realism

    The question is inverted. What guidance does the philosophy of Objectivism offer for ascertaining the validity of concepts? What guidance does the philosophy of Objectivism offer for determining the veracity of propositions?
  12. dream_weaver

    Race Realism

    The differences being alluded to here are still only correlation. While acknowledging the presence of race, it doesn't affect the whole society, per se, it affects and effects individuals within society who individually attach different significance to race. The collective assessment is much more difficult to isolate, given other factors that influence individuals as well.
  13. dream_weaver

    Race Realism

    Here's a paragraph from Anthem: At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of the freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled. What manner of speaking is this? What is it (i.e.; what does she mean) for man to be enslaved by his race? Or perhaps you would prefer her usage of the term "race" in The Only Path to Tomorrow, or her articles Racism or Global Balkanization from The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution?
  14. dream_weaver

    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.
  15. I was going to title this "You can't make this stuff up", ‘Boy Who Came Back From Heaven’ actually didn’t; books recalled The best-selling book, first published in 2010, purports to describe what Alex experienced while he lay in a coma after a car accident when he was 6 years old. The coma lasted two months, and his injuries left him paralyzed, but the subsequent spiritual memoir – with its assuring description of “miracles, angels, and life beyond This World” – became part of a popular genre of “heavenly tourism.” Earlier this week, Alex recanted his testimony about the afterlife. In an open letter to Christian bookstores posted on the Pulpit and Pen Web site, Alex states flatly: “I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.” The ironic part is the author's name. Malarkey.
  16. dream_weaver

    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?
  17. 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."

  18. dream_weaver

    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?
  19. dream_weaver

    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.
  20. dream_weaver

    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.)
  21. dream_weaver

    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:
  22. dream_weaver

    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.
  23. dream_weaver

    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.
  24. dream_weaver

    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.
  25. dream_weaver

    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.)
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