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Ben Archer

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  1. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to softwareNerd in Arizona Bill 1062: The Right to Discriminate for religious reasons   
    No rational person would be comfortable with that. White people who think this is wrong may decide to boycott the bus line. Perhaps another bus line would come in and the previous company would be bankrupt, serving only bigoted whites.

    Still, it ought to be legal to discriminate on irrational, illogical grounds. Otherwise, government is being set up as the arbiter of what is rational and irrational in the sphere of private action.

    Traditionally, bus-lines, railways, etc. are considered "common-carriers" with less latitude to discriminate, compared to other businesses. However, this is mostly a counter-measure to the licencing monopoly granted to them by governments. As long as licencing restricts competition, it is okay to insist that such businesses not discriminate. Similarly, if my internet provider says he will not connect Jews or Muslims, he should be stopped, because government severely hampers competition from other firms. Without this, if the industry were open to all comers, businesses should be allowed to discriminate for any stupid reason they can come up with.
  2. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to softwareNerd in Time to be bearish on stocks...   
    QE was not a normal tool. So, very specifically, "tapering" really does not have much history to go by. Of course we do have the other types of "tightening".

    Over the last two cycles, the "Feds Funds Rate" was the main tool, but that is now ineffective. Nevertheless, if one takes the Feds Funds rate as a proxy for tightening over the last two cycles, one does not see the stock market shifting downward in a hurry. The data is limited, but using the little there is, the pattern is like this: tightening is a reaction. The Fed reacts after the stock market has bottomed and has then risen for a couple of years. The stock-market does not top off after the tightening, but goes on...sometimes for another two years. Again, the data is limited, but that's what it says for what its worth.
     
    We did see a tantrum around June, when the Fed said they would taper. The Fed panicked -- in the professorial, stoic way in which it panics -- and backed off even though most players had taken some tapering for granted. The taper was going to be quantitatively small, and actually not even a reduction if one computes it as a percentage of government bonds being issued. However, market players often watch for turning points (the way a significant change in price expectations leads to a seemingly disproportionate repricing of long-term assets). The Fed's reassurances notwithstanding, the market figured that it's a turning point for rates, and long terms rates rose and have stayed high. However, the Fed's assurances on short-term rates have also sent a message that there won't be any good place for "risk-free" cash to hide. So, the stock market is still the only game in town if one wants to dance as long as the music is playing (as Charles Prince tried).
     
    That's not to say I think you're wrong about the stock-market. Far from it. Though I wouldn't warrant a guess as to whether it will correct in 2014, 2015 or 2016, the market boom is growing a bit old, so it is wise to treat it at least as if it is somewhere between the mid-point of the upturn and the top, and to act accordingly.
  3. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to Leonid in Nelson Mandela   
    The evidence that capitalism brings prosperity and communism only misery and poverty is all around us and well recorded in the history of 20th century. If reality cannot persuade them, nothing will. The problem is that they are not after prosperity but after equality, and to achieve this they would turn everybody to dispossessed. As for the question of social responsibility, it has to be confronted on the moral ground of rational egoism. They have to be explained once and for all why nobody owns them their life, that they have no claim on the life of other people and if they want help they may have it as a charity, not as a right and only those who deserve it.
  4. Like
    Ben Archer got a reaction from JASKN in Nelson Mandela   
    It's pretty tough to remake the social and political fabric of a nation just emerging from a tradition–bound past. (nevermind economic development for now). An uncomprehending peasantry must be converted into a modern farming population; a ragged bunch of casual laborers must be made over into a disciplined work force; bazaar–minded traders must become production–minded entrepreneurs.; nepotistic and corrupt bureaucracies much change into reliable civil servants. And until those changes happen, economic development will wait. 
     
    It's always drawn–out and turbulent. If it could be done quickly, that would be one thing, but unfortunately that's not the prospect when you consider the logistics of development. Granted the situation isn't that black in every underdeveloped nation. But in general the implication is plain: economic development is not a smooth evolutionary prospect.

    Now from our point of view, the cost of collectivism is high, because it denies political liberties and economic freedoms, among other things.. But collectivism doesn't wait for the slow, usually wasteful, growth–producing ways of the market...it just puts men where they're needed. (Stick > carrot)
     
    Despite how it looks to the West, it's not so repugnant to the East/South. The harsh discipline of collectivism is much less noticeable at the margins of humanity where life is already horribly disciplined. The loss of liberty is hardly a loss to men who've never known liberty. As a method for achieving growth, it might not work for people who have a long history of past growth; but, to people who already live in misery and despair, it might be the only way of quickly escaping an insupportable life into a better future. 
  5. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to Kate87 in Immigration Ruins Capitalism?   
    Thanks everyone for your replies, they are very helpful.
  6. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to CrowEpistemologist in Is the economy teetering on the edge of collapse?   
    Yes, that's far preferable than dismissing my comments out of hand as completely ignorant. Have at it--I'd love to be proven wrong on that thread.
  7. Like
    Ben Archer got a reaction from JASKN in Reblogged: No Planning for Freedom   
  8. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to John Link in Tasteless political cartoon   
    Ben Archer, I share with you the feeling that there's something not right with the cartoon.
  9. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to oso in Tasteless political cartoon   
    I think that it is a matter of degree. Mass murder is pure, stark evil that is on another level than Obamacare or even an evil game that can result in the death of innocent people. You could say the same about Obamacare and knockout, but I think they are comparable for the purposes of comparing the two motives. Someone who thinks Obama isn't evil, but that he's simply a misguided do-gooder could fairly disagree. Keep in mind that the cartoon shows Obama punching Uncle Sam. It would be different if it showed him having beaten a random person to death.
  10. Like
    Ben Archer got a reaction from Myself in Anna Calvi   
    There we go. That's certainly and ambitious use of her voice...extending low hums to those cries. She really gets into it too heh...she makes it look agonizing at the end. I like her phrasing, the key change, and especially how it ended (as it started). I don't know exactly why but I have to admit I like her music. I don't think I could listen to her all the time, just because I'm more easy going. But she definitely has a place in the epic playlist. 
  11. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to Myself in Anna Calvi   
    Hi Everyone,

    I haven't posted here in a long while, but I thought I'd get started again by sharing an extraordinary new artist I learned about. Her name is Anna Calvi and, well, I'm going to let her music and performances speak for themselves...

    These songs are from her debut album, Anna Calvi.
     

     


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb9fAs1AfIM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qobdDWvV9cM

    These tracks are from her new album One Breath

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnhdFOHrix4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZug1q9ns0I

    I encourage anyone who's interested to listen to the entirety of both of her albums. You can start with the first one here : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7FFCD79156FE813D

    I thought Anna Calvi might appeal to the Objectivist sense of esthetics due to the obvious passion, sophistication, and clarity of her music.

    I'm really interested in hearing your opinions about her.

    I'd also like to mention that if anyone is interested in discussing her music more in depth, I created a forum dedicated to her over at annacalvi.net -- we'd definitely welcome some more members there coming from an Objectivist perspective.
  12. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to DavidOdden in Abortion   
    It is important to frame this discussion in terms of principles, and the right principles. The "right to life" does not follow immediately from "the ability to reason" whereby losing the ability to reason means that you lose your right to life. How can one make a direct connection between "ability to reason" and "has rights"? I've never seen it done. The connection is more involved -- more steps, but simpler and I would say more solid steps. Very briefly and I admit, not at all complete (but in the form of extracted quotes from VOS), "Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law", "man must act for his own rational self-interest. But his right to do so is derived from his nature as man and from the function of moral values in human life", "The men who attempt to survive, not by means of reason, but by means of force, are attempting to survive by the method of animals", "Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses. It is a faculty that man has to exercise by choice", "men cannot survive by attempting the method of animals", "The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others".
    The main points where people seem to have the greatest problems seem to be over the fact that "rights" is a social concept, which pertains to the relationship of others to the individual. There are no concerns about rights when you are dealing with a man on a deserted island. Rights are moral concepts, meaning principles, and not a collection of unrelated concrete instantiations. They have a purpose -- man's survival, given the facts of reality. Especially when combined with the function of government (to protect rights, and use force as required), it is imperative that notions of rights be expressed in objectively stated law that says clearly what a man may and may not do, a law whose reason for existence is objectively proven.

    The ability of men to correctly assess "can reason" is highly variable and IMO highly imperfect at best. (I claim that our knowledge of the faculty of reason is, scientifically, rather primitive and most important we cannot reliably distinguish expressive disorders from an actual lack of rational faculty). On the other hand, there is at least presently no serious question as to what constitutes "man" -- there are no actual man-ape chimeras. Senile adults do not become unclaimed property, there for the harvesting, when their ability to reason seems to be sufficiently compromised, because they are still men, and men have rights. It is possible that a given adult is really brain-damaged enough that they literally have no conceptual consciousness or free will, but that conclusion cannot be validated with certainty, excluding the alternative conclusion that the person does still have conceptual consciousness and free will yet suffers from severe motor impairment or memory dysfunction. Thus the government correctly has laws that limits the ability of one man to treat another as property -- it prohibits it, unconditionally.

    Note, for example, that Shiavo, who was a plausible candidate for "genetic homo sapiens without a rational faculty", was allowed to die -- was not killed, or turned into propery for exploitation. Where the notion of "rights" gets confusing in such cases is that the notion of "rights" has become perverted to mean "entitlement", and extends to such attrocities as "the right to a free education, the right to health care" and in Schiavo's case, "the right to be kept alive though active medical intervention without permission".
  13. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to Repairman in When Did You First Read Ayn Rand?   
    It has been six years since I read the Sparksnotes of Atlas Shrugged. I was born in 1959. I am a late in becoming aware of Ayn Rand, and her works, but quite enthusiastic to realize that there actually is a specific philosophy suitable not only for me, but for anyone who questions conventional beliefs. You might say that I had come to my own "objective" outlook at life early in childhood, while attending Catholic grade school. From a large working-class family, I was the only child in my class to opt out of the sacrament of Confirmation. My father was non-religious, but nonetheless, an overbearing control-freak. It was the 1960s-70s. The only references to Rand I had come across were seeing Book-of-the-Month Club advertisements with Atlas Shrugged, and, in 1975, friends exposed me to the rock album, "2112" by Rush. The rock opera was inspired by Anthem. I failed to seek out the novel, and got on with life. I was independent, working factory jobs at age 18. I put myself through a two-year associate program years later. It was my unplanned experience with fatherhood that set me back to working industrial, union-wage, occupations. As a middle-aged man, I purchased properties, rentals, and had been a voracious reader throughout my life. But it was only in the 2000s that I continued to encounter references to Rand. I began with the Sparksnotes of her novels, and delved right into the non-fiction first. I have read the novels as well, only now reading We the Living. Now I realize why so many people, myself included, fail to fully grasp the magnitude of pure reason.
  14. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to softwareNerd in Is the economy teetering on the edge of collapse?   
    Schiller did a study in 2006, and updated it in 2011. He found that consumption goes up by 1% for a 10% increase in housing wealth, but between negligible to 0.4% for a 10% increase in stock-market wealth. However, the historical data also shows that there is a negative correlation some years out (i.e. between a S&P rise and consumption some years out). 

    If we assume this is relationship holds (which seems unlikely), it implies that personal consumption would have been about 5% less than today if the S&P500 had got stuck at 900, instead of being almost double that level today. 
  15. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to softwareNerd in Is the economy teetering on the edge of collapse?   
    The last part is really false theory. Data and studies have not shown up: most consumer spending is not impacted by the so called "wealth effect". Studies show that consumers do take a long-term approach to spending. Their best guess of their life-time income and wealth are important factors in deciding how much they will spend. Stock market wealth during a boom -- particularly one that is seen as engineered -- does not cause a big upward move in spending.
    QE has been quite a failure in its limited ability to stimulate anything except the price of financial assets. And, what's the point of that, if it has little real impact? Yellen's concern for unemployment is not a good thing, because she has a faulty theory. As such, concern is good, but its like a doctor from 1800 who is concerned, and uses a leech to bleed his patient, weakening him further.

    The Fed knows it has a tiger by the tail. They know the stock-market will protest tapering. That is why they backed off. Now, they're trying a new spin. They are going to try combining a suggestion that they will taper, with a suggestion that they will keep rates lower for longer than before.

    Any time the Fed tightens, we're bound to have a shake-out. Greenspan was scared of a small downturn, and so he held out and we ended up with a huge one. Now, it looks like it is Yellen's turn to be lacking in long-term perspective, and political courage.

    Consider, for instance, what advice you'd have given Volcker, when he raised rates to the moon. The economy definitely took a hit, but it came out stronger as a result. Artificially low interest rates kill an economy just as artificially high rates do.
  16. Like
    Ben Archer got a reaction from moralist in Jesus Tax   
    I guess someone got a Word-A-Day desk calender and wanted to try it out
  17. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to Trebor in Peter Schiff's Testimony on Obama Jobs Bill - 9/13/11   
    Peter Shiff's recent, 9/13/11, testimony before Congress on the Obama Jobs Bill:



  18. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to Jake_Ellison in I'm depressed again....   
    Every viable plan to achieve something great begins with the smallest of steps. For instance, Rearden didn't get a job because working as a day laborer made him happy, but because it was the first step in his long term plan. And he was content doing his menial job because he knew it was a part of something important. That meant it wasn't menial at all.

    You're right, you shouldn't get a shitty McDs job to try and make yourself happy, and such a job should not make any Objectivist happy. You should get a shitty job as the first step in a plan to achieve something worthwhile with your life, in the long run. You don't even have to know exactly what that something is for now, because no matter what it is, it requires you to take this first step. You should think about what exactly you wish to accomplish, eventually, but that certainly shouldn't be your priority. The one important thing you need to understand is this simple fact: every great human achievement necessarily starts with one small step. That is the only way to start yours.

    Your mistake is that you are trying to come up with a first step that's as important as possible. You should do the exact opposite: come up with a first step that is as easy as possible. I'm not 100% sure what it should be, but based on what you wrote, I would suggest considering getting a very basic job. Don't worry about it being a good job, just take whatever job is the easiest to get. The significance of having taken the first step makes the quality of the job irrelevant: the job is not your primary goal, taking the first step is.
  19. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to DavidOdden in "Libertarian" as a concept   
    I'm very skeptical about the importance of such a classification. I very much doubt that it allows you to find people similar to me in political view (and "allows" implies that I won't be able to find such people if I don't have a special term that covers our similarity). For example, the actual prior existence of a term "Objectivist" does not thereby empower me to find such people, and one of the first people that I ever met who was (in fact) an Objectivist did not know that she was an Objectivist, she just liked the philosophy of Ayn Rand. It's not the label that makes it possible to find people who share your values, it's the existence of a public venue such as OO, a Tea Party event, a public lecture or whatever that brings people with shared values into proximity.
    As for allowing or even facilitating concise and clear discussion, that is exactly why constructing a term to describe a shared superficial outcome (a position on what governments should do) is contrary to the function of conceptualization. It is the brute-force welding of unrelated perspectives, and the implication that there is common ground is very misleading. The union "Objectivists and libertarians" is, like my construct "Q", based on non-essentials. The reason is that once you go past the superficial similarity in how we would characterize our beliefs about government, there is no similarity in the underlying causal principles behind our identifications of the proper role of government. For example, there is no libertarian position on abortion, and while many libertarians seem to support a woman's right to abortion (as do most socialists), the most famous libertarian politician opposes abortion. That means that libertarianism is actually compatible with the initiation of force by the government, which is clearly inconsistent with Objectivism. Another example is the well-known libertarian concept of "free market of force", whereby Tannahelp and any number of other companies are allowed to compete to protect your rights. This is diametrically in opposition to the Objectivist position on the monopoly of force.

    Thus a new construct that refers to agreement with a particular sentence ("The role of government should be restricted to the protection of rights") obscures more than it reveals; it fails to fulfill the cognitive function of concepts, because it omits essential measurements.

    Now, suppose that you decide (as I think you have) that you want to work with anyone who shares certain similarities in politics. If your state is considering a constitutional amendment that would prohibit the recognition of gay marriage, then you could join with the libertarians in working against this amendment. But you can also join with gays and liberals, who will also oppose such an amendment. Thus if you goal is to find those people that you agree with, this new terminology will prevent you from seeing that you have a specific short term goal in common with certain other people. Is there a proposal to raise taxes? It's not just the libertarians who will oppose raising taxes -- go find the conservatives, if you're interested in talking to people who are like you on that point. So again, cooking up a word to make you think that there's a similarity between Objectivists and libertarians will just make it harder for you to realize that you have issue-similarities with other non-libertarian people.
  20. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to kainscalia in Incredible Talent   
    As a professional opera singer and someone who has acquired a certain level of knowledge of technique -acquired the hard way after some years under the hands of bad teachers- I see something horrible being done here. The young girl's voice is truly exceptional, it has an unusual beauty --- and in some years' time it will be completely, utterly ruined.

    The lip tremble and chin wobble that is evident in several of her videos, as well as the unsteady and fluttery nature of her vibrato denote a *large* amount of sub-glottic pressure. These are things that aren't simply aesthetic problems, they are indicators of things that destroy voices and ruin careers.

    The presence of the jaw shake this early is extremely worrysome. Technician David Jones explains the consequences of this in this fashion:


    When I search my memory for singers who suffer this vocal problem, one large-voiced soprano comes to mind whose career was supported early on by Luciano Pavarotti. She has a beautiful instrument with fullness of color and beauty of timbre. However, this singer suffers chronically with a shaking jaw and tongue. The focus of the voice is sacrificed and over time, a large wide vibrato (wobble) developed in her voice. Tragically, this singer who once had a mainstream career hardly sings.


    The chronically shaking jaw is merely the external symptom of a serious internal problem that is a combination of one or more of these elements:

    *Breath pressure: When breath and support are not low enough, it causes a lot of problems for the onset of sound or what some singers call the "attack".
    When the breath is not 'low' enough (diaphragmatic) , it is essentially a clavicular breath (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPITHzdUUDk you can see it in the closeup here at 2:27 where the camera changes angle and you can see her shoulders moving up with her breath-- this is the indication of a clavicular or shallow breath) and you ennd up having too much breath pressure blasting upwards through the larynx. The result of this is that tension ends up accumulating in the shoulders, neck, jaw and tongue. The reason for diaphragmatic breathing is that it allows the singer to control the pressure using the lower body muscles-- with shallow breaths, you don't have these muscles working towards a regulated air pressure and the result is that, as vibrato occurs, the back of the tongue begins to shake uncontrollably. The result of this amount of tension is the shake in the jaw. Instead of creating a steady vibrato, this causes vibrato to become fast (the warbly 'Snow White' vibrato, which this poor child has started to develop) and often irregular.

    *Incorrect Attack: When the singer hasn't been taught how to properly initiate the sound (what Joan Sutherland called the 'feathered touch', which is essentially a tone that is initiated in a gentle fashion from which vibrato occurs occassionally, versus the 'hooked' approach), the vocal cords do not come together properly after inhalation and the jaw and tongue try to control the sound. Because too much breath pressure has come through the cords at the attack (the 'onset of sound'), the tongue then tries to regulate the excessive breath pressure. At this point the vocal cords are not vibrating healthily and the singer essentially resorts to 'fabricating' the vibrato by shaking the jaw and the tongue. Although this often fools many listeners, this isn't true vibrato and it causes severe damage in the long run. The use of the tongue and jaw cause the eventual rising of the larynx-- which sets the singer up for potential vocal damage, as the larynx must remain in a naturally lowered and relaxed position.

    *The High Larynx: Phonating with a high larynx can cause many bad things to happen. The vocal cords don't vibrate correctly (because they don't approximate the way they should), the soft palate (the 'vellum') collapses and the jaw tenses--- this is extremely dangerous and it robs the throat of the protection that technique grants the singer. This approach only causes problems as the singer's voice matures.

    Unfortunately her high breaths create too much breath pressure under the larynx, therefore setting the stage for the "shaking jaw and tongue". When the breath is clavicular, the body often attempts to compensate by applying a downward pressure to fuel the breath (often attempting to depress the tongue). The result of this is that it 'overblows' the vocal cords, the jaw and tongue respond to too much breath pressure and shake uncontrollably. The long-term result of overblowing the cords can result in bowed vocal cords, nodules and polyps on the vocal cords- and the long long-term effects are, in sequence, loss of roundness of the voice, a 'lightening' and 'thinning out' of the singer's sound, loss of brilliance, the development of an exceedingly slow vibrato or 'wobble', and eventually the loss of most of the singer's register and a 'white' voice stripped of most of its attractive qualities (such is the state of another once famous 'girl singer,' Charlotte Church, whose voice has essentially been reduced to a colorless pinched sound
    , she is now incapable of singing the classical repertoire with which she started)
    The truth of the matter is that the girl's parents either have no brains whatsoever or they are too blinded with the promise of celebrity to think of her long-term interest--- but even worse, the girl's voice teacher -who SHOULD know better- is an absolute criminal for 1) Allowing her to do this AND 2) for having given her such an atrocious and damaging technique. I can assure you that I know that your objections to this will be "But she sounds great!"--- and indeed, she does, BECAUSE she has a naturally gorgeous voice. Voices that have a naturally ready beauty (as opposed to voices that eventually come into a beautiful quality after years of working them) are very deceptive- their lovely quality often overcomes technical problems at the very beginning. Young bodies can, for a time, compensate for bad techniques- but only for a time.
    My own voice was one of those cases: I have an unusual instrument which most who heard me found naturally beautiful--- I had many technical deficiencies, but the pleasant nature of the instrument camouflaged most of those issues and I was essentially coasting on my youth. I was fortunate in time to find an amazing voice teacher who warned me of the incoming crisis (and, indeed, I had started to experience some of the early symptoms of problems during my then recent performance as Nemorino in Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love") and with whom I have been working towards attaining a solid technique and an intimate knowledge of the principles of singing and its physiology. Having said this, I am very much afraid for this young girl precisely because she has such a beautiful voice. The wobbling chin is a HUGE warning sign to anyone who knows anything of vocal technique -most female classical vocalists have to re-tool their approach to breath support after menopause due to physiological changes in the body. When they fail to do so, the chin wobble immediately appears and it indicates that the proper adjustment for breath support (or appoggio as the italian school calls it) has not taken place and that the singer is running the danger of ruining their voices. When a ten year-old girl is displaying this so early in her career, it is even a worse sign.


    What disturbs me the most is that people don't see the truth for what it is: A potentially gorgeous instrument is in the hands of butchers, the people who should be watching out so that she should come to no harm are the blindest, but the only thing people seem to notice is how pretty she is and how lovely she sounds like. Sorry, Rationalbiker, this is something for the horror files. Whomever her voice teacher is, they should be punched squarely across the face for this. Repeatedly.
  21. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to khaight in I'm seeing a girl who has a boyfriend...   
    Whenever Leonard Peikoff talks about the process of judging people he puts a tremendous emphasis on getting all the facts. Details matter.
  22. Downvote
    Ben Archer reacted to SimonJ in NYC Mosque: Respect Property Rights   
    Do you not keep up with current events and news from large cities?
    The politics in most is a joke. How many dead or imprisoned voted in the last election?
    What makes you think that a lwyer would be honest? Arent most politicians lawyers?
  23. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to emanon in Interesting Facebook argument...not sure on response.   
    I think her very first sentence said it all VERY clearly:


    Right there, she has said plainly that following objectism IMPROVED her life, and goes onto say that not following it has caused deterioration... until the point where she is engaging in horrible reductionism.

    I would simply point out her first sentence and say... "Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."

    ---

    Remember also, that it is not your job to turn her into an objectivist. If she doesn't want to accept reason, I would tell her simply that she is wrong, and that if she wants proof, examine her own life. Then leave the conversation. You simply can't "logic" an irrational person into reason. If you could, not a single person on earth would 'believe in god'.

    Good Luck
  24. Like
    Ben Archer reacted to Hairnet in Interesting Facebook argument...not sure on response.   
    She has two main points.

    1) Ayn Rand's philosophy is practical. It isn't for me however because it doesn't fit with my life or experience.

    Re) This is total subjectivist non-sense. There isn't some uniqueness hiding in her brain that makes what she is special or valuable. If she is wrong, she needs to change to being right, not try to find things that fit with her wrong. She has already stated that Objectivism is actually functional, but it just doesn't jive with her. Too bad. You only get to live one life, no one is worth giving that up, even your "self".

    I have heard people on the chat call this Kantian Egoism, because it sees the ego as this mysterious absolute that can't be really questioned. Max Stirner's egoism is the best example of this thinking. It is totally wrong, consciousness has an identity and has no value (I don't know if the word value is appropriate in this context, perhaps function makes more sense here) apart from its ability to deal with reality.

    2) Capitalism leads to tyranny.

    Re) I suspect she is a libertarian socialist, because those sorts of people make this argument quite a lot. Essentially they say that the free market as a process hasn't existed and can not exist. Anything attempting to come close to this system will inevitably become a means to promote inequality, and from that it will promote oppression, as all oppression is rooted in inequality.

    First of all there doesn't seem to be any link necessitating a relationship between inequality and oppression. This is an illusion that comes from the modern political spectrum which measures thought in terms of egalitarian vs hierarchy. This puts Anarchists (real Anarchists, not "Anarcho"-"Capitalists") on the left, and Nazis, Stalinists, Liberals, Conservatives, Theocrats, Monarchists, and Free Marketers on the right. So in their eyes all of these groups are very similar, just their methods of oppression are different.

    The fallacy of this can be highligthed by the Anarchist/Libertarian Socialist's inability to pick friends and allies. While Objectivsts are betrayed by conservatives and libertarians quite often, they never do anything real horrible. Even a centrist like Bush wasn't all that bad compared to presidents in the past such as Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt.

    Look at the spanish civil war though. What sides were fighting? From wikipedia.

    The "Right"

    The Falange

    * National Syndicalism was to be the official ideology of the State.
    o Corporate state in which class struggle would be superseded by the Vertical Trade Union, forcing workers and owners into one organization.
    o Roman Catholicism
    o Attention to the Castilian farmers
    o Nationalist pride in the history of the Spanish Empire
    o Anti-separatism
    o Anti-communism, anti-anarchism and anti-capitalism
    o Anti-democratic, anti-liberal, anti-parliamentarian ideology
    o Paramilitarian

    Is this capitalism? I mean, could you even call this conservative? Even right wing in the American sense of the word? Not even Neo-Cons or Paleo-Cons, the more embarrassing right wingers in America, would call any of these ideas desirable. Except anti-communism.

    They also had some smaller factions such as Nazis and other groups.

    The Left-

    Anarchists
    Progressives
    Democratic Socialists
    Moscow Communists
    Non-Moscow Communists.

    So the spanish civil war was a fight between anti-capitalists with medievalist-futurists (Fascists love contradiction) tendencies and the leftists all basically had the same egalitarian-humanist value systems. Sure the the leftists disagreed with one another about the role of authority and the state, periods of transition, and what should be up for election. But they all opposed the oppression and inequality caused by capitalism, they all have the same damn value system.

    What happened? Anarchists, who do in some way support liberty, continually either defaulted on their anti-state views or got gunned down by their supposed allies. This happens time and time again all over the world. It happened during the Russian revolution as well where the Bolsheviks fired artillery on a an Anarchists occupied city. Che and Castro killed Anarchists. Noam Chomsky, said he had hopes for Pol Pots regime.

    When I said they default on their beliefs, read this http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/spain.htm.

    It doesn't seem like Capitalists are the ones in danger of supporting an impossible system that will tend towards tyranny. At least our ideological allies on the right don't kill us or commit genocide. In fact the closer you tend to get towards capitalism the more free things are, the closer you tend to get towards socialism (the further away from markets, or the more egalitarian you get), the more things get worse.

    Summary

    - Pick your ideas based on what right, not what fits you.
    - History shows that there is a conflict between two types of anti-capitalists, one is considered the center, the other the left. The Spanish Civil War was an exquisite example of leftists slaughtering one another (at least some American Corporations could profit off it.
    - Anarchists, who believe in liberty and equality at the same time, pick sides with the other egalitarians.
    - They are back stabbed or give up their liberty supporting beliefs.
    - On the American Right, even the most irrational people who could be called right are not going to shoot us or commit genocide or anything of the sort.
  25. Downvote
    Ben Archer reacted to claire in I'm seeing a girl who has a boyfriend...   
    Ben, it seems you've only known the girl for two weeks (in my opinion, not enough time for her to be staying over, but that neither here nor there.). Two weeks is a very short period to time. If there's someone else in the picture, of course she's going to be conflicted in her feelings. You two can hardly know each other at this point, and maybe that's what you should be concentrating on. Give her some space, share a meal, go to a movie, yada yada yada. Get to know each other, for pete's sake. And did you expect her to come without a past. There's an old boyfriend in her life whom she still has regards for. What's so weird about that? God may have made the world in seven days, but as far as I know, he still doesn't have a girlfriend, so creating a relationship just takes a bit more time.
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