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Found 5 results

  1. I am reading "Simplexity," the 2008 book by J. Kluger. He writes: "Electronic devices ... have gone mad. It is not just your TV or your camera or your twenty-seven-button cell phone with its twenty-one different screen menus and its 124-page instruction manual. ... The act of buying nearly any electronic product has gone from the straightforward plug-and-play experience it used to be to a laborious, joy-killing experience in unpacking, reading, puzzling out, configuring, testing, cursing, reconfiguring, stopping altogether to call the customer support line, then calling again an hour or two later, until you finally get whatever it is you've bought operating in some tentative configuration that more or less does all the things you want it to do--at least until some error message causes the whole precarious assembly to crash and you have to start it all over again. ... " After elaborating on this topic (for several pages), the author concludes that "there's necessarily complex and then there's absurdly complex." What he does not analyze, at least in the chapter I am reading, is the effect all this may have on the minds of our push-button youngsters. Push-button experience is very different from building radios, repairing grandfather clocks, tractors, cars, etc. Will the overall effect be positive or negative? What do you think?
  2. I owe everyone on this forum an apology. I hope you will consider forgiving me for a mistake I made. I failed to fully appreciate the fact that you are all here- or claim to be here- to discuss Objectivism which is quite admirable. I am very happy that this forum exists not only because it is devoted to discussing logical principles, but because also, there is far, far too little discussion of logical principles and philosophy elsewhere in the universe today. (I say Universe because people live on the International Space Station [i.S.S.] and their premises in fact are quite illogical since the context in which the I.S.S. presently exists is illogical; communistic ((you may refer to my essay "On The Official Establishment of U.S. Space Territory" if you want a further explanation of that assertion))) This forum is very valuable and expressing that judgement should have been in my first post, not my sixth! I am sorry. Now, because I failed to explicitly identify my value-judgement of this forum my first post "A Letter To Readers" was presented to you out of context, and it was in fact, an implicit insult to you. I shall explain what I mean by "implicit insult". I wrote "A Letter To Readers" to everyone who reads at present and anyone who ever will in the future. Most readers however are neither Objectivist nor advocates of any particular, fundamental principle of Objectivism. The implicit insult here is that I implied, when I posted "A Letter To Readers" here, that you ought to be regarded as just "anyone who reads" since you absolutely are not! As I said, this is a very valuable forum and thus it should be treated as such. I should have expressed my appreciation for this forum, properly introduced myself to you, and told you what I hoped to achieve here, at which point it would then have been logical to share "A Letter To Readers With You". Again, I am very sorry and I most certainly hope you will forgive me. With that now on record, I would like to formally introduce myself to you. My name is Sean O'Connor. I am a 26 year old philosopher and writer. (I write mostly essays, and on occasion I write a story). I have five priorities as a philosopher: 1) To discover as much as possible about meaning in general and the meaning of essential particulars. 2) To improve and clarify as many definitions as possible 3) To discover as much about the optimal navigation of the mind as possible 4) To present philosophy as a field of science and change the way it is taught, understood, and applied 5) To be one of the best essayists in history I have been writing since I was eight or nine. I have been studying literature (poetry, prose, and philosophical essays) since I was 18. I self published a book of short stories and word collages (that I now condemn) when I was 23. Last April I wrote the first essay I was proud of. It is called "In Condemnation of Apathy". After writing five essays I took a break and kept a study journal. (That didn't last long). I then began blogging and strictly on politics, and considered running for political office. I was not satisfied with the idea of being confined to potlics and experimented with photography and film. That didn't last long however. I then kept a daily philosophical video blog entitled "Thrive!". I didn't like blogging every day as I wanted more time to prepare my thoughts and visions and present them as clearly and thouroughly as possible so I began outling ideas, and taking my time. I wrote two short stories and then I began writing a third however I got an idea for an essay! That idea was unfortunately interuppted when I realized that I needed to find a new room to live in as the lease for the one I am currently living in has expired. Since I was low on cash, and was worried that I might not find a room, I decided to ask readers for help- specifically readership and promotion. (It is true that I said I was "open to donations or sponsorship" but readership matters to me much more than money and the fundamental task of the essay was not to raise money, but rather to discuss the issue of poverty, the relationship between ideology, psychology and circumstances how the relationship between those three concepts relates to our present economic disaster, to promote the ideals of independence, capitalism, responsibility, rationality, to discuss self investment, present my philosophical discoveries, and explain my literature). There are five things I want to achieve on this forum. 1) I want to share my discoveries and ideas with you. 2) I want to help you understand my discoveries and ideas and indeed inspire discussion/debate. (You might think I have contradicted myself somewhere and if you do, that's okay. To quote my hero, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, "I'm open to learning. But let's be clear about what I have said and not said" (I am presently completing an epistle to Dr. Branden which I shall share with you very soon). The only thing I don't tolerate, or entertain is an insult. 3) I want more and more people to appreciate philosophy in general- to think about it, and talk about it. I will, from time to time, promote discussions here on Facebook as part of an effort to achieve this goal. 4) I want to build an audience; I want to get enough people reading and talking about what I have written as to have evidence for an ambitious, virtuous book publisher to know for certain that my literature is marketable. 5) I want to convince you that my assertions and judgements are logical. I shall tell you a little more about myself because learning about someone's personality enhances our idea of him or her; it adds meaning to everything else he or she tells us. I live in East Windsor, New Jersey. I hate living here and for two reasons: the geography does not match my sense of life. (The tropics do) 2)Despite a "Republican" governnor, NJ is heavily Socialist and it is quite depressing. I want to live instead, on the U.S. Virgin Island: St. John- because I love the Caribbean and it is a politically free (or semi-free) American Island. Regarding my education: I have decided to write an essay on it because I take a lot of pride in it so I shall confine myself here to writers and philosophers I have studied (some in greater depth than others) in chronological order, as to provide you with a bit more context; an idea of "where I am coming from" so to speak; an indication, based on my interests and decisions of who I studied, of how I have evolved ideologically and what I have learned. I have studied The Bee Gees (yes I studied them) and other pop-music lyricists (They're not worth naming here) Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Hume, William James, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, Schopenhauer, Dostoevsky, Fitzsgerald, Hemmingway, Henry Miller, The Bible, Kant, Napoleon Hill (and other writers on "The Law of Attraction"), James Joyce, Ayn Rand, Aristotle, Leonard Peikoff, Karl Marx, Obama, Hitler, and Nathanial Branden. (my education does extend beyond literature but I shall discuss that in my essay) I am still educating myself. My top hobby is watching movies and television shows. My favorite movies are "Atlas Shrugged Part 2", "Die Another Day" , "Atlas Shrugged Part 1", "Moonraker", "Phenomenon", and "Limitless". My favorite television programs are "Star Trek", "The West Wing" (not for its politics, but for its glimpse inside the West Wing, as I am interested in politics and how the government functions in general) and "The Glenn Beck Program" (despite his metaphysical and epistemological mistakes). My favorite musicians are "Vivaldi" and "Bach". Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for taking the time to read my introduction. I look foreword to having valuable discussions with you and I wish you achieved ideals, Sean O'Connor
  3. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/Charter-School-Paradox.pdf One thing that's amazed me recently was hearing that libertarians were pushing very hard for charter schools. The justification is all about compromise: since charter schools are supposedly "more like" private schools (they aren't clear on how), libertarians are all for them. Charter schools, for those who aren't familiar, are privately owned schools that get government funding roughly equivalent to public schools and operate to some extent like a public school. If it sounds like a really bad idea its because it is: it's an unholy union of Wesley Mouch-like private companies and public money. Now instead of just a plain old public employee union lobbying the government for more money, charters are moving us into the express lane where the brightest minds in for-profit companies devise new and exciting ways to get more money from the government. The above-linked Cato article tells of the punchline: that the last vestige of private education in the USA--private schools--are quickly being replaced with charter schools. Basically, a private school cannot compete with a local charter school that gets massive subsidies from the government, so they die. Or more likely, they convert themselves to a charter school and get some of that free money for themselves. The Cato study above points out an immediate problem with this as well: your taxes are going to go up since you are now going to start paying for a whole bunch of people's private school (before they were paying for it all now they are paying for only a portion and sticking taxpayers with the rest). Make no mistake, although they are sometimes touted as having "less regulatory burden", charter schools are heavily regulated as one would expect from something supported by taxpayers. So the plan is clear: first kill all true private schools in the USA in favor of pseudo-government controlled charter schools, and then slowly turn the ratchet on charter schools, eventually making them "privately owned" in name only.
  4. So it seems the People's State of France has started it march done the intelectual oblivion: http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2012/10/should-canada-follow-frances-lead-and-ditch-homework.html I posted this particular editorial for more than just the news itself but also the what is being said in this story as well as which news agency it came from. First of on the proposed education reform first. When I first heard about Hollande's education reform plans I had no words. In fact it took me a whole day to even try to comprehend how this can happen. I am not going to present the merits of homework here. I would hope that in an O'ist forum it should be fairly self evident (though I will if someone wishes to question it). My problem is with the reasoning. So essentially because some parents do not see fit to help their kids with structured homework activities they are somehow at blame for the failure of the other kids? How is not giving students homework is going to help those kids that are already falling behind? Ah I see now. Somehow educating other people's kids is my responsibility, and apperently society is only as strong as its weakest link. Just the simple reasoning here should give people alarm. Not only I am already taxed to pay for other kids education from all day kindergarden with fully qualified Early Childhood Education specialists (I live in Ontario, Canada), all the way through university (2/3 of the tuition fees in Ontario are subsidized by the government, and a large proprtion of students is on some sort of government assistance or 0% interest loans). But should this type of thinking come to Canada I am also somehow reponsible for other the success of other people's children. I guess the people of France have already gave up their personal property rights. Hopefully in Canada we have a little bit more brains left. What this article also doesn't mention is also some of the other reform points which are not that much easier to swollow: Increasing the number of teachers (which goes along with his idea of a longer school day) - If you cannot justify paying teachers more money, lets invent reasons. I'm sure that will solve it. I wonder how teachers feel about having to work longer days and teach what they used to have kids to themselves. This is a move that is probably supported by the Teacher's Unions but probably hated by many teachers, especially the talented ones Reducing the number of students held back each year - If the kids are to dumb to pass a class, lets just lower the bar. God forbid we hurt their little feelings. Ontario sort of did this by setting a goal to increase pass rates. The result was that the goal was met through lower standards as indepant standardized testing scores continued to decline while more students were passing Incentives for teachers to work in low-income areas - I have no opinions for either or, don't think it is the right way to raise kid's scores in low income areas The other problem I had with this particular article was the rest of the reasoning brought forth, by the so called 'experts' Yes it is homework that makes kids depressed, cause ADD/ADHD and breaks up families. That's right we solved it, homework. It's like I'm reading some horrible charater in one of Rand's novels. I don't even want to justify this with a reasonable argument why this is bad. Yep, there is that typical Progressive school thinking. Kids must socialize rather than study. I mean you will use picnic benches a lot in your life, but hey who ever used time-tables for anything practical, right. This tyes this to my third point. This article comes from the CBC, Canada's version of the PBS. Which is running costing the government over a billion dollars a year. CBC is not most left wing newspaper in Canada (take a look at Toronto Star). But it is still paid by my taxes and my hard work. And yet when Harper even raised the idea of getting rid of the CBC people were protesting and saying portraying him as some evil Dictator trying to control the media and destroy the public sector. Notice this article is isn't even a regular news article but a some kind of Community Blog, which somehow made its way onto the World headlines section. You guys think you have it bad in US with Obama trying to legistlate public health care, try coming to Canada for a few months, you will be thankful Obama is the worst of your trouble. Canada's official opposition (i.e. the second biggest party in parliament) is composed of socialists, communists, anarchists, and fundemental islamists (all quite open about it as well). And even though our current party holds a majority mandate, they are spending as if they are US Democrats (though they are doing some things right on international free trade front and foreign policy).
  5. realityChemist

    Atheism 2.0 at TED

    I found an interesting video on TED.com today, in which speaker Alain de Botton says that, while we need not agree with religions, we (meaning atheists in general, not specifically objectivists) may want to look into adopting some of their methods. I don't agree with everything that he says, but he made some interesting points. I especially liked what he had to say about art (his view seems rather O'ist). Below I've provided a link to the video (19:21 long), which includes a complete transcript on the webpage. http://www.ted.com/t...theism_2_0.html
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