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Males do not normally change their names upon marriage. Females do, however, hence the 'nee'. Nor is 'Bill Harris' an alias.

 

In the last post, you referred to me as 'Eva', now as 'nee Matthews". Combining the two, I get 'Eva Matthews', her entire family with whom I'm friends.

 

Eva does not post here. Hers was a project to retrieve information on some sort of 'dissonance/consonance scale'; in other words, to provoke anger which, from her telling, was easy.

 

The 'success' of her project, as she claimed, was the remarkable facility in which discussions about real issues became bogged down into name-calling and personal investigations.

 

A brief glance over to her participant site shows me that the moderator himself was the prime provoking agent. He caused the discussions to become personal, which is the opposite of what he's supposed to do.

 

Paradoxically, Eva leans more to your pov than i, who for all purposes remains neutral. For my part, i'm interested in open discussion in a friendly, relaxed way. 

 

BH

How was posting fraudulent profile photos involved with 'her' project?, in some settings(contexts) that would make he/she the provoker, just saying, she should consider that in evaluating her data. Btw are you family friends because you are both from Georgia, or just happy coincedence? Did you become aquainted with her family because of the geographic proximity, or is it that that helps explain the proximity, not sure which is more believable.

 

I read one post on this thread ('amerika') , and guessed you two were' acquainted. Funny, that :)

Edited by tadmjones

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How was posting fraudulent profile photos involved with 'her' project?, in some settings(contexts) that would make he/she the provoker, just saying, she should consider that in evaluating her data. Btw are you family friends because you are both from Georgia, or just happy coincedence? Did you become aquainted with her family because of the geographic proximity, or is it that that helps explain the proximity, not sure which is more believable.

 

I read one post on this thread ('amerika') , and guessed you two were' acquainted. Funny, that :)

I'm a part-time philosophy instructor where she goes to college, and had likewise, by coincidence,  enrolled in a refresher course in Quantum taught by her dad.

 

Because I believe that experimental psych does imply a reciprocal relationship with philo, I try to keep up. So, actually, I've taken one of mom's courses in method, as well.

 

Lastly. I attended her own class in Theoretical Math. Aggressive as she might be, she's not lacking upstairs.

 

There is, in any case, a small gaggle of students on campus who are interested in Rand. I cannot account either for their motives--provocation or sincere intent-- or their behavior.

 

'K' in America is fairly standard around here when referring to kultural middle klass institutionz such as teevee that drive discursive standards downwards. 

 

I do know, however, that photoswapping is somewhat of an inside joke among the barely20 crowd: who are you to judge my words by my image, etc...?

 

BH

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So ie mom's class explains your kindred affinity for the K- man, I think they (20ishers) like 'whatever' too ,regardless how whould raising the min wage help? (and what)

Edited by tadmjones

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There's a lot on your blog--kindly direct me to an article. Otherwise, please elaborate as to what you think the most important question is.

The blog isn't about philosophy/ethics as such. So, ignore it.

On topic, Rand never argued that we should judge government actions like welfare by whether the recipient ends up better off. Her primary argument was always ethical, using selfishness as the standard of good. So, she always judged government action by whether it supported or violated individual rights, defined as per her concept of them. More general benefit/utility is secondary in this view. And, when it is taking from Peter to pay Paul, there's zero legitimacy from an Objectivist perspective.

While Adam Smith -- and many other classical economists -- have argued the invisible hand idea, etc. to show that capitalism leads to the greatest good, Rand never did so. Of course, in a more informal way, she made the point that wealth comes with capitalism. (This is something that should not controversial today.) However, you will never find her claiming formally that it maximizes utility across an economy. One reason is that it does not maximize utility. In a formal sense, it is impossible to prove that capitalism (or socialism) maximizes utility across an economy. However, more importantly, Rand considered this to be secondary to her view of the proper role of government.

Suppose we know for a fact that *all* individuals in an economy will be benefited from a certain law, but they themselves do not think so. The fact of such benefit does not justify creating such a law. In a more realistic case, where some would benefit and others would not, it loses even more legitimacy.

The primary question is: does this protect individual rights.

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If you don't want to call the welfare issue a 'moral hazard', that's fine with me.

Yet by any other name, .... The most important question therein always seems to be, ....

What we do seem to understand....

The ethics of Rand are said to be classified as.... In this regard, yes, i'm aware that she called Kant 'evil' because of the consequence alone of his philosophy....

BH

Stay focused. You are all over rhe place and precious little can be advanced in this way. The purpose of the OP was to find the metaphysical root of Mr. O's statement. Mr O was wrong because any attempt to make me eternally indebted to the Country is a form of slavery. I have already paid for the roads, etc that I use. To this extent, I did build that. The eternal debt is akin to original sin. I reject any such debt, and if an attempt is made to compel me to pay ad infinitum, I will default. Mr O's metaphysical error is to reject the Law of Causality. He also rejects Free Will.

As for all the disparate points in your post, I refuse to hunt snipe.

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Males do not normally change their names upon marriage. Females do, however, hence the 'nee'. Nor is 'Bill Harris' an alias.

 

In the last post, you referred to me as 'Eva', now as 'nee Matthews". Combining the two, I get 'Eva Matthews', her entire family with whom I'm friends.

For anyone here at OO who is interested, "Eva" is not a real person. She was a made-up person created by someone who was trolling over at OL. "She" was caught posting a real person's image and pretending that it was her own. "She" also used some of the same peculiar turns of phrases that "Bill" is using here. So, if anyone is taking him seriously and being fooled, be forewarned that you're conversing with someone who is claiming to vouch for the existence of a fictional troll who writes in the same personally quirky manner as himself.

 

Eva does not post here. Hers was a project to retrieve information on some sort of 'dissonance/consonance scale'; in other words, to provoke anger which, from her telling, was easy.

"Eva" didn't provoke anger in anyone but herself. In fact, the people at OL were quite generous in the face of her transparent provocations and game-playing, answering her calmly and patiently with rational substance while she engaged in nothing but bluffing and fallacious arguments.

 

The 'success' of her project, as she claimed, was the remarkable facility in which discussions about real issues became bogged down into name-calling and personal investigations.

The discussions didn't become bogged down in name-calling and personal investigations. They became bogged down in "Eva" not answering the substance of her opponents and obviously pretending to be something she was not. And the complaint about "personal investigations" is hilarious because all that it means is that "Eva" got caught trying to commit the identity fraud of using someone else's picture.

 

Paradoxically, Eva leans more to your pov than i, who for all purposes remains neutral. For my part, i'm interested in open discussion in a friendly, relaxed way. 

"Eva" doesn't exist.

I'm a part-time philosophy instructor where she goes to college, and had likewise, by coincidence,  enrolled in a refresher course in Quantum taught by her dad.

At specifically which college are you claiming to be employed?

J

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So ie mom's class explains your kindred affinity for the K- man, I think they (20ishers) like 'whatever' too ,regardless how whould raising the min wage help? (and what)

I really have no 'kindred affinity' to speak of. Rather., I;m simply familiar with The K Man's work as being central to research psy in learning behavior. if I've missed a cogent critique of his work, kindly inform me as to where i might scroll back.

 

Obama's point is that the market value for labor has failed to adequately compensate millions of hard-working Americans. Therefore, the minimum standard needs to be raised.

 

BH

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This is to second Jonathan13's request for information on your academic affiliations.  You claimed, as Eva in another forum, to be a student at a university.  Here you claim to be a part-time instructor in philosophy there.  This raises questions.  Universities (as vs. community colleges) rarely employ part-timers in academic departments (as vs. professional schools or fine arts departments).  I checked Emory and Georgia Tech and found nobody by your name nor anybody listed as a part-time instructor.

 

(If you so resent people's checking up on you, you'd be prudent not to make such easily-checkable claims.)

Edited by Reidy

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The blog isn't about philosophy/ethics as such. So, ignore it.

On topic, Rand never argued that we should judge government actions like welfare by whether the recipient ends up better off. Her primary argument was always ethical, using selfishness as the standard of good. So, she always judged government action by whether it supported or violated individual rights, defined as per her concept of them. More general benefit/utility is secondary in this view. And, when it is taking from Peter to pay Paul, there's zero legitimacy from an Objectivist perspective.

While Adam Smith -- and many other classical economists -- have argued the invisible hand idea, etc. to show that capitalism leads to the greatest good, Rand never did so. Of course, in a more informal way, she made the point that wealth comes with capitalism. (This is something that should not controversial today.) However, you will never find her claiming formally that it maximizes utility across an economy. One reason is that it does not maximize utility. In a formal sense, it is impossible to prove that capitalism (or socialism) maximizes utility across an economy. However, more importantly, Rand considered this to be secondary to her view of the proper role of government.

Suppose we know for a fact that *all* individuals in an economy will be benefited from a certain law, but they themselves do not think so. The fact of such benefit does not justify creating such a law. In a more realistic case, where some would benefit and others would not, it loses even more legitimacy.

The primary question is: does this protect individual rights.

Of course we can agree that Obama's speech demonstrated a lack of concern for individual rights-- in so far as 'rights' pertain to an owner's priveledge of paying workers what he wants to.

 

The real issue, then, is not so much making a metaphysical statement regarding the primacy of an individual as being able to interface said statements with economics and politics. Now because this involves convincing other people, I do belive that the Objectivist dilemma is one of focus, focus, focus.

 

For example, your above statements clearly indicate that Randian Economics would exclude that of all known ecomomists, including von Mises. Likewise, convincing an electorate that the metaphysics of individualism takes priority over obtaining a life above that of poverty would be a hard sell, too. 

 

So i would say that the metaphysics of Obama are rather transparent: he has none. Redistribution isn't an end in itself that requires any sort of philosophical justification.. Rather, to him at least, it's just what needs to get done.

 

BH

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Stay focused. You are all over rhe place and precious little can be advanced in this way. The purpose of the OP was to find the metaphysical root of Mr. O's statement. Mr O was wrong because any attempt to make me eternally indebted to the Country is a form of slavery. I have already paid for the roads, etc that I use. To this extent, I did build that. The eternal debt is akin to original sin. I reject any such debt, and if an attempt is made to compel me to pay ad infinitum, I will default. Mr O's metaphysical error is to reject the Law of Causality. He also rejects Free Will.

As for all the disparate points in your post, I refuse to hunt snipe.

Well, i'm not sure that 'eternal indebtedness is the right term! Unless, of course you mean that society has imposed a living-debt that you'll never be able to repay.

 

What all societies have always done is to devise rules of social and economic interaction. One of ours is that of permitting labor to find market value. This has informational value, as well, of offering an idea as to what the relative supply and demand for a particular job is by virtue of its compensation.

 

But this is only a rule which is set within the context of it being beneficial for the general welfare. So when it isn't the rules get changed, or tweaked a bit. In brief, there never has been or will be a society in which property rights are not imbedded within usufruct rights so granted.

 

So my 'focus' suggestion is that you broaden your a bit to include the context in to which all invividuals exist.

 

This, of course, isn't to say that compensation cannot be 'unfair'. if you create something that greatly benefits everyone, you should be rewarded accordingly. For example, Bessemer made gazillions of pounds off of his process as to how carbon might be cheeply infused into iron. OTH, the inventors of the modern computer, Turing and von Neumen, either died in poverty or decently well as an academic mathematician.

 

BH

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...

So, Obama's call is a magician's trick. it is called "misdirection".

 

Yes, and this sets the stage for allowing his audience to fill in the blank.  It doesn't matter that individual success is the sum of initiative and cooperation.  Whether or not successful individuals ought to acknowledge the shoulders they stand on, hasn't the infrastructure they used already been paid for?

 

A "just and equitable" solution that relies on disproportionate payment for equal access to community resources ought to raise some red flags...

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Yes, and this sets the stage for allowing his audience to fill in the blank.  It doesn't matter that individual success is the sum of initiative and cooperation.  Whether or not successful individuals ought to acknowledge the shoulders they stand on, hasn't the infrastructure they used already been paid for?

 

A "just and equitable" solution that relies on disproportionate payment for equal access to community resources ought to raise some red flags...

Yes, to a great degree democracy is about letting constituents fill  in the blanks. This has been said about Obama all along: he's a centrist who considers it part of the prez-job to reflect majority needs as enunciated.

 

Yes, too, sliding scale taxes are about dis-compensating those deemed to have been over-paid by market standards, in order to compensate the needy. The metaphysics, so to speak, is simple: a loaf of bread costs the same for everyone.

 

BH.

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The metaphysics, so to speak, is simple: a loaf of bread costs the same for everyone.

BH.

This is the hallmark of one who does not know what metaphysics is, Snipe!

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For example, your above statements clearly indicate that Randian Economics would exclude that of all known ecomomists, including von Mises. 

 

 There is no such thing as "Randian Economics". Rand only outlined her ideas, and never argued that her opinions on the special sciences were part of her philosophy. There is no Randian psychology, economics, or anything else. There are Objectivists who work in those fields but those ideas are their own and aren't part of Objectivism. 

 

 

 

So i would say that the metaphysics of Obama are rather transparent: he has none. 

 

I think most of us would agree with you there. 

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Re #67:

 

Nor economics.  Elasticity of demand and its effect on pricing is one of the first topics a beginning course takes up.

Edited by Reidy

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 There is no such thing as "Randian Economics". Rand only outlined her ideas, and never argued that her opinions on the special sciences were part of her philosophy. There is no Randian psychology, economics, or anything else. There are Objectivists who work in those fields but those ideas are their own and aren't part of Objectivism. 

 

 

I think most of us would agree with you there. 

Yes, there is no Randian Economics.

 

My point, however, is a bit larger: since Economics focuses on group behavior vis a vis creation and exchange of goods and services, Rand's only hope of making viable economic statements would be to reduce all such to the level of an individual.

 

One would have to furthermore assess the interactions from the ethical perspective on said individual--that of rational selfishness. In other words, what is good for me would be good for the society as a whole because, after all, Economics assumes the most efficient process of clearing and allocating all goods and services.

 

Yet as cited by the narrator, such concerns are of no interest to Objectivism. Moreover, its metaphysical stance precludes any discussion of not only collective good, but also of collective behavior. In other words,all social science is out of bounds.

 

BH

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Yes, there is no Randian Economics.

 

My point, however, is a bit larger: since Economics focuses on group behavior vis a vis creation and exchange of goods and services, Rand's only hope of making viable economic statements would be to reduce all such to the level of an individual.

 

 Well methodological individualism is a major part of Austrian Economics. Although Rand didn't comment on that very much I believe.  

 

 

One would have to furthermore assess the interactions from the ethical perspective on said individual--that of rational selfishness. In other words, what is good for me would be good for the society as a whole because, after all, Economics assumes the most efficient process of clearing and allocating all goods and services.

 

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. 

 

 

Yet as cited by the narrator, such concerns are of no interest to Objectivism. Moreover, its metaphysical stance precludes any discussion of not only collective good, but also of collective behavior. In other words,all social science is out of bounds.

 

BH

 

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.

Edited by Hairnet

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Trade of what, for what?

If I had a pair of rocks, you and I could trade them back and forth all day long and neither one of us would succeed.  In fact, if we engaged in this for long enough, we would both starve and 'fail'- nobody would win at all.

Trade enhances success, but ultimately depends on it.  Trade requires production.  If there is no production, all of the trade in the world will not feed a single person.

 

And if you believe, just as "trade depends on markets", that production is caused by resources, then any further discussion of it would be futile.

 

Trade requires acquisition - Production requires resources.

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Be careful of disguising the idea of "intrinsic worth" with the words "objective worth".

 

Value presupposes a valuer.  Valuation is context specific.

 

If you ask each person in a trade if they increased their own values, each would say "yes".  There is nothing more to say about the issue.

 

A socialist would of course disagree.

 

In your example, the iPhone was objectivly worth $300 at the moment of trade.  If I asked each person in that trade if they increased their own values, each would say, "I swapped $300 worth of assets"; net value increase = $0.  Whatever occurs afterwards is a consequence of investment, not sentiment.  Wishing the value of an acquisition by trade to increase doesn't make it so; the market gets a vote.

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In your example, the iPhone was objectivly worth $300 at the moment of trade.  If I asked each person in that trade if they increased their own values, each would say, "I swapped $300 worth of assets"; net value increase = $0.  Whatever occurs afterwards is a consequence of investment, not sentiment.  Wishing the value of an acquisition by trade to increase doesn't make it so; the market gets a vote.

What would motivate a 'swapping' of equally valued assets? If neither party in a trade thought they were to gain, acquire a value, why do it?  Are you saying that price and value are the same concept? 

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What would motivate a 'swapping' of equally valued assets? If neither party in a trade thought they were to gain, acquire a value, why do it?  Are you saying that price and value are the same concept? 

 

Diversification of assets in order to minimize the risk of value fluctuations, for one.

 

Price (how much does it cost) and value (how much do I want it) generally refer to objective worth and personal desire respectively.  While the definitions may overlap, price is objective, and value is subjective.  For example, I may really-really want a cheeseburger, i.e., I value it as something I enjoy eating, but the price of a cheeseburger is set by a market for cheeseburgers.  If I value a cheeseburger more than other consumers of cheesburgers, should I pay $10 for a cheeseburger being sold for $5??

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Diversification of assets in order to minimize the risk of value fluctuations, for one.

 

Price (how much does it cost) and value (how much do I want it) generally refer to objective worth and personal desire respectively.  While the definitions may overlap, price is objective, and value is subjective.  For example, I may really-really want a cheeseburger, i.e., I value it as something I enjoy eating, but the price of a cheeseburger is set by a market for cheeseburgers.  If I value a cheeseburger more than other consumers of cheesburgers, should I pay $10 for a cheeseburger being sold for $5??

How is the minimization of risk post trade(presumably of financial/investment instruments) not a value to be gained?

 

The price in dollars of any given cheeseburger is set (transacted) by  buyer and seller, that most other similiar transactions involving cheeseburgers are similiarly 'priced' is a result of other acts of buying and selling cheeseburgers. Sellers of cheeseburgers rarely sell a burger for $5 and stop there. Price in dollars flucuate continually , the only time they are 'set' is at a particular instance of a transaction.

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How is the minimization of risk post trade(presumably of financial/investment instruments) not a value to be gained?

 

The price in dollars of any given cheeseburger is set (transacted) by  buyer and seller, that most other similiar transactions involving cheeseburgers are similiarly 'priced' is a result of other acts of buying and selling cheeseburgers. Sellers of cheeseburgers rarely sell a burger for $5 and stop there. Price in dollars flucuate continually , the only time they are 'set' is at a particular instance of a transaction.

 

Security is a value, but diversification per se isn't a guarantee of security.  Diversification is one of numerous strategies that may (or may not) result in being more secure.  Similarily, trading per se doesn't guarantee an increase in value; it's a means of pursuing value.  Think of the difference in terms of having a right to pursue happiness, as opposed to having a right to happiness.

 

Yes, prices fluctuate continually in a free market, but the market price for any given object is fixed at the moment of acquisition.  If I am allowed to return the object for a full refund, does the amount to be refunded fluctuate during the time between purchase and refund according to my values?

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DA

So diversification is not a case of nonmotivated trade, yes?

 

Individual valuation has little to do with pricing, and all to do with trading.

 

Given the universal rule of no backsies, the refundee is at the complete mercy of the refunder.

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