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Hairnet

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Hairnet last won the day on August 4 2014

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  1. Determinism seems...silly.

    I kind of know where Harrison is coming from. I have been investigating the following idea. Would like to discuss it. I noticed Harrison't comment that we can't prove that people could act other than they did. It seems absurd to argue that an action, once taken, could be anything other than it was. One could posit an alternative action, but we would never have evidence that they were capable of anything else. You could only argue that different actions should be taken in the future in order to achieve certain goals. You can only really talk about what comes next. This doesn't really undermine my ethical or epistemological outlook. I don't really care if someone has an actual choice in their actions. I, and all people have to operate on the premise that they are making choices. If some guy choses to rob me, I don't really care if he couldn't have chosen otherwise in some metaphysical sense. I am analyzing the person't behavior and thoughts in order to preserve my well being and values. I could examine his motivations, reasoning, and circumstances and come to conclusions about what kind of threat he is to me, and what should be done about him, but ultimately it doesn't matter to me if that was the only choice that could have been made. I think volition is an epistemological concept not a metaphysical one. The precedent in this from Ayn Rand's philosophy is the idea that all of reality is an integrated whole, but that people cannot literally comprehend reality that way and therefor have to isolate and focus on small aspects of it at a time. In the same way people may actually be bound to there circumstances to the point at which they cannot literally do otherwise, but people do think using the premise that they can make choices. They have to, as Rand points out. It would be similar to the use of imaginary numbers or counterfactual statements. Things that aren't literally true but serve as useful middle steps for our brain comprehending reality in a more sophisticated way. I don't think this undermines reason.
  2. How big of a problem is racism in the USA?

    The issue of internalized bigotry, collectivism, and conformity are hugley important. Its kind of sad, but even if blacks were as oppressed as some leftists claim, they would most likely worse off with their own governments just because of how unwilling they are to see one another as individual people with their own lives to live. I think that a combination of learned prejudice and normal in-group biases in majority groups does lead to injustices being done to minority groups in the United States. This isn't just true for race though. Its all over the place, and in some places the roles are reversed. Sometimes women are objectified and are sexually harassed at work. Sometimes men are accused of being pedophiles while being in public alone with their daughters. White children who are minorities in their school districts are of often abused by the majority population. Black people sometimes speak in a different way, and people assume they are stupid, lazy, criminal, or unproductive because of this. However, minorities in this country do go through things that are caused by the rest of their communities (its never just straight white men). I have witnessed some major bullying of asians (emasculation for males, objectification for females). I know a black girl who was accused of being a prostitute just because she was making out with her boyfriend in a parked car, they even took her to jail. I know that my boss is a pretty active bigot in his hiring processes (and if I told anyone about this I would just be blown off because no one cares). My mother works at an HR firm, and tells me that many of the businesses which recieve employees from them have major qualms about hiring blacks. Those are just anecdotes. I am not a sociologist so I don't know how exactly I could quantify and test these issues for anyone here. What is worse is that a lot of people who like to talk about these issues are either progressives or far-left Anarchists, which leads them to missing very important nuances. I would encourage anyone though to keep an eye out for how minorities are treated in whatever communities they are a part of, and to ask them if they do think that they are treated unjustly because they aren't part of the majority groups in the organization or community.
  3. Despotism vs Democracy

    This appears to have been the case with many Communist Party states. Most of the people just didn't get it and only went along with it because thugs terrorized them into doing it. What is funny about this is that it shows how totalitarian methods tend to show a weakness in government not strength. Another example of mixing the two is a monarch like George III of England. Despite being the bad guy in the revolutionary war, he was actually well liked by his people once he appointed William Pitt as prime minister. The Wikipedia article about him is fascinating. England always had a strange mixture of democratic institutions and depotic ones going back to the Anglo-Saxons, and George III had to deal with that all of his life. Its strange. When looking at the Economic Freedom Index, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Switzerland, and Australia are at the top. That is a lot of freedom but with a huge diversity in terms of centralization vs decentralization. Switzerland is very decentralized and democratic, but has one of the best economies in the world. Singapore is as you described, and Hong Kong is in similar circumstances. Canada and Australia are republics federated from the British Empire. I am not sure how to interperet that.
  4. If anyone is to blame it is the parents of the people who had those kids. I don't understand what is so difficult about wearing a condom.
  5. I would point out to people that Hamas is not interested in protecting the rights of its subjects. Even if we accept the premise that the palestinians are being subjected to racist oppression, their response is insane. Armed conflict against Israel could never be effective in securing the rights of Palestininans. Israel is too heavily armed and because of the actions of Hamas the war effor against Hamas has about 95% of the Israeli Jews supporting the conflict. Jews make up about 75% of Israel's population. Hamas could never in their wildest dream secure the rights of their people through armed force. http://www.vox.com/2014/7/31/5955077/israeli-support-for-the-gaza-war-is-basically-unanimous http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/israel-population/ A quote from the Hamas Charter shows exactly how they feel about other means of dealing with Israel. "Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: “Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.” From time to time a clamoring is voiced, to hold an International Conference in search for a solution to the problem. Some accept the idea, others reject it, for one reason or another, demanding the implementation of this or that condition, as a prerequisite for agreeing to convene the Conference or for participating in it. But the Islamic Resistance Movement, which is aware of the [prospective] parties to this conference, and of their past and present positions towards the problems of the Muslims, does not believe that those conferences are capable of responding to demands, or of restoring rights or doing justice to the oppressed. " http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html?chocaid=397 It is clear that Hamas was not an organization formed to effectively deal with the problem of Jewish oppression of Arabs, but an organization founded to pursue the fantasy of forming a racist theocracy out of thin air. Even if this were a desirable outcome no reasonable person would assume that this was even remotely possible. They spend what little resources the Palestinian people have on weaponry rather than attempting to diplomatically and econmically grow their influence. I know if I sat one of their leaders down and told them that what they need to do is increase ecnomic oppuruniy. He may tell me that this is impossible because Israel prevents them from doing so. However military conflict with Israel will never be an effective policy, where as commercial integration with Israel can only be made possible by disarming. This either means they are deluded, incompetent, or just want the small ammount of power that comes from running failed state. Israel is not the greatest country in the world.. In terms of economic freedom they are considered to be in the "modertaley free" tier (Spain is in the same tier) and are rated at a 68.4. This is by the very generous standards of the Heritage Foundation. They have a draft. Also, they appear to struggle with institutional prejudice against Arabs. However the sad fact remains is that Israel while not being Switzerland is stil a government which basically attempts to respect the rights of all its citizens, Arab, Jew, or whoever. The fact is whatever evil things Israel may have done to the palestinians it is still Israel's responsibility to dismantel Hamas while protecting the rights of its citizens. http://www.heritage.org/index/country/israel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_Israel#Racism_against_Arabs ( I haven't looked into this particular issue too deeply, so I suggest if you are interested to read the studdies cited to make sure the claims were produced under sound methodology).
  6. One Piece

    Ghost In The Shell is great. Its probably the most thoughtful series I have watched. I thought One Piece was a satire though. I heard there was a guy who wields one of his three swords with his mouth.
  7. Despotism vs Democracy

    The issue with despotism is that a rights respecting despot would become irrelevant as soon as 'the people' got wealthy enough to replace him with their preferred system. Its a pattern I have seen running from the Revolutionary War, the English Civil War, The French Revolution, Pinochet's Chile, and so forth. The monarchy\autocracy provides just enough security to make people wealthy and they use that wealth to replace the monarchy with the modern state. I am not sure if a liberal autocrat can sustain its existence. I agree though that a liberal monarch would be preferable to a democratically elected fundamentalist sect.
  8. The Carnegie book isn't that cynical. I don't think its particularly profound though. Dr. Hsieh has a review of it on her podcasts. But from what I recall, it claimed that the ability to sincerely listen to people and show that they are being heard is a decent way to get people to like you. Its a mostly true idea and the one valuable thing I remember from the book. I don't recall it reaching "Pick up Artist" levels of self-delusion and dishonesty though. Alex, you sound well adjusted. There will be a lot of fakers in your life. Don't ever feel bad about distancing yourself from toxic people. Remember that a lot of people conform not out of character weakness but out of fear, often of actual harm. Abuse, either from peers, faculty, or guardians happens at your age and many of these people are wearing masks to protect themselves. Some of these people do have authentic aspects of their personality that they most likely won't share with others until they feel safe to do so. The best thing you can do is demonstrate that your aren't going to hurt them. This is done by keeping promises and reciprocating values. Maybe they aren't worth the effort at this point in your life, which is fine because that means you can focus on acquiring the skills and resources necessary to open up new social venues for yourself.
  9. Neo-Objectivism

    You should stick to the ethical ideas before you try formulating a political philosophy. First try and work with direct quotes from Rand and then use real world examples with citations to demonstrate what you find problematic with her ideas.
  10. Am I being cruel to my aunt?

    No. I can't say whether or not you should have rejected this woman from your life but there wasn't anything objectionable in the way you did it. Rejection is a part of life I am sure she knows that. I hope your mother does better.
  11. I want to add another dimension to this discussion. I don't think that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for socialism. Democrats pander to the left for sure, but not more than Republicans pander to (real) Christians. Both parties are ran by people who want to steal money and who pander to populist movements to get votes. However I don't think that most Americans are Fundamentalist Christians. I also don't think that most Americans are leftists. The "Liberal Media" is actually very non-egalitarian. Liberal Seth McFarlane's Family Guy is most likely one of the most insensitive programs on television, and could easily be accused of being ableist, racist, transmysoginist, and whatever hating on sex workers is called. Another Liberal Bill Maher had the following conversation with Seth. Joss Whedon? That giant liberal douchebag's television program "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" is basically a white male's power fantasy. The women are all dolled up to the extreme and are unrealistically good looking for being super scientists and hackers. A person of color dies the first episode so a white protagonist can learn a lesson. The whole show is a narrative about how important the state is to leftists causes and how we should be willing to embrace state power to embrace leftist causes. Essentially showing his anxieties about how the left doesn't trust the establishment anymore. Also please look at this hilarious showdown between a far-left social justice warrior and Anarchist Suey Park and Liberal Steven Colbert. http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/03/28/stephen_colbert_versus_the_hashtag_activists.html My point is that there is friction between these groups and a conflict between the mainstream liberals and real leftists is on the horizon. Hopefully it will be less violent than last time. My main question is whether the typical immigrant is just a guy who likes the democrats because they say things that make sense to him and they offer him things that he doesn't have or if he is a third world immigrant ready to be brainwashed by the egalitarian cult?
  12. The Error

    So now you have gone from arguing one point to an entirely unrelated point. You were just listing opinions that you agree with and changing the subject to the economic viability of capitalism. Start a new thread about Austrian economics and stick to it if you want to do that, I am not going to be baited into enduring an endless chain of your pretentious rants.
  13. Ron Paul: Bitcoin could 'destroy the dollar'

    Why is everyone who is critical of the Fed automatically Alex Jones now? That isn't fair at all. Anyways, I am not an expert on this at all, but is this relevant? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-auerbach/massive-misconceptions-ab_b_3490373.html
  14. Reblogged: AGW "Demonstration" Iced

    Try reading that blog again. It doesn't matter to any of us either way if what climate scientists claim is true or not. What we do know is that the government is the tool of plutocrats and vainglorious politicians who couldn't solve the problem even if they wanted to.
  15. The Error

    Well methodological individualism is a major part of Austrian Economics. Although Rand didn't comment on that very much I believe. Economics is a value free science. What economists argue is that the market meets consumer demand, whatever those demands may be. The market provides people tons of bad things all the time. As an example, one of the first areas of privatization in our civilization was that of religion. Churches gradually went from being state operated entities to private entities dependent on meeting consumer demand. Many religion preach poisonous and harmful ideas, and have been for hundreds of years in a free market. Another example is fast food or narcotics. Just because Rand's philosophy has nothing to say on these matter doesn't mean they are excluded from thought. Social sciences do have utility. As an example one may be concerned about Child Abuse. A Rand influenced libertarian named Stefan Molyneux for example has spent a great deal of time using social sciences to help convince people to not spank their children. He cites the correlations between spanking and all of the problems that it can cause the individual and how these individual problems can explain many of the problems that are common in the West. Another example of how social sciences can be used is by Social Entrepreneurs. These people are paid to solve problems by people who care about specific issues. Our society has becomes so wealthy that now when the average person thinks "This problem sucks and I hate that it exists", he can pay someone to do something about it. This is preferable than just sitting there frustrated about how the world is. Social sciences can help those Entrepreneurs find creative ways of eliminating those problems. A third example is organizational sociology. Ford had a sociology department for example which was meant to study productivity in his firm. Perhaps a resort company in Mexico needs to hire criminologists to study security issues and figure out how to best deal with crime. A private city could hire a sociologist to figure out the best norms for a community. What social sciences should not be used for is assuming that the State can somehow manage society into prosperity. We aren't cogs in some machine to be pieced together into a perfect society, we are individual people with our own lives.
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