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  1. Yesterday
  2. This idea of irrationality comes about as follows: we start by thinking of abortion as a post-event contraception. therefore, there appears to be no rational reason to wait; meanwhile, the fetus is growing from a clump of cells to something more substantial and integrated With this mental model, it is easy to think that the line from pre-sex-contraception to late-term abortion is a line of increasing irrationality The problem is that this mental model has little to do with facts and reality of why people have abortions at different points in time. What we would find, if we examine actual women having actual late-term abortions, is tat the later ones actually appear more, rather than less, justifiable...to an outsider.
  3. This probably depends on what you mean by "invalid." But it reminds me of the discussion about experience and logic. It's impossible to separate the two. Logic is our method of experiencing the world. So whenever we gain some knowledge, we already have the "why" it's true, even if we can't fully explain it in words. Usually, even a child can give you the basic reason: "because it is." That's the first attempt at explaining the law of identity. Sometimes you'll hear, "because I said so." Then you know you have a problem on your hands.
  4. Perhaps we could do a new thread on this, because it's an interesting question on its own. My initial thought is that Rand's Razor is a tool of cognition while the arbitrary is an absence of cognition. We use the razor to identify mistakes in concept-formation, but the arbitrary is not a mistake, it's not even trying. It's just barfing up words without knowing their meanings. So how would you use the razor on that? At least with an anti-concept it is supposed to mean something, which makes it particularly destructive to the real concept it's replacing. The idea of a "flat planet" is no threat to cognition, until you apply it to the shape of the Earth.
  5. True enough that the onus is on he who asserts the positive ... and that the concept of Gravity Threads as real, although consistent with the math, is an arbitrary concept which also is an unnecessary and superfluous concept. What are your thoughts about the relationship between Rand's Razor and Arbitrary concepts (and anti-concepts)?
  6. If a figurative or metaphorical explanation is presented as literal truth, I think that can be disastrous, on par with religious myths that people faithfully believe. But metaphor presented as such can be useful in understanding difficult concepts. Also, I considered arguing that "gravity thread" is an anti-concept, until I realized what you were doing and that there was no real epistemological issue to fix. Even if there were, it is risky to begin by accusing someone of rationalism. I prefer addressing the cause of the conceptual error, which is the original misidentification of the existent in question.
  7. Classic glass and steel skyscrapers ... have no place in our city or our Earth anymore. -- Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City *** If the recent blackout in Caracas, Venezuela reminds one of New York's blackout in Atlas Shrugged, the latter city's mayor just gave us all reason to ponder another of Ayn Rand's works, Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution. How? On Earth Day, Bill de Blasio declared war on the skyscraper, the very same symbol of human achievement a different tribe of savages attacked in his city nearly two decades ago: Image by mpewny, via Pixabay, license."We are going to introduce legislation to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers that have contributed so much to global warming," de Blasio said. "They have no place in our city or our Earth anymore." Despite Hizzoner's insistence on repeatedly using the word "ban," he later admitted his legislation would actually just tighten the city's energy code to make it prohibitively expensive to develop glassy high-rises.I submit that such a proposal will more surely and thoroughly, albeit not as dramatically (at first) accomplish what the atrocities of September 11, 2001 accomplished, and on a wider scale than any Islamist could ever hope for, if enacted and enforced. I have already expressed my moral opposition to the nationwide version of this proposal, rooted as it is in the unquestioned and savage morality of altruism. But Rand always expresses such sentiments and unites ideas and their consequences so thoroughly that I will quote her on the matter. The following is not from the book I just mentioned, but it is in the same vein: Americans have known how to erect a superlative material achievement in the midst of an untouched wilderness, against the resistance of savage tribes. What we need today is to erect a corresponding philosophical structure, without which the material greatness cannot survive. A skyscraper cannot stand on crackerbarrels, nor on wall mottoes, nor on full-page ads, nor on prayers, nor on meta-language. The new wilderness to reclaim is philosophy, now all but deserted, with the weeds of prehistoric doctrines rising again to swallow the ruins. To support a culture, nothing less than a new philosophical foundation will do.Without that philosophical structure, we are seeing a large segment of our population morphing into a savage tribe hostile to industrial civilization. Don't believe me? Just consider the fact that even if the entire (national) "Green New Deal" supported by so many Democrats were enacted, it would have zero effect on the emerging economies around the world rushing to catch up with our standard of living by building coal plants. I do not endorse holding the world to the same irrational standard; rather, I point this out to underscore the fact that something other than concern for the earth or American lives is behind these efforts. As morally bankrupt as environmentalism is, capitalism will not survive unless we, its beneficiaries, make a positive stand for it; it will lose by default, as it is even now. It is incredible that the mayor of one of the world's greatest cities could say something like this in all seriousness, but he has indeed. -- CAVLink to Original
  8. Oh, I see!!! Your „gravity threads theory“ wasn’t for real, you intended it as an exercise in philosophical detection! Possibly in the context of the discussion in the thread “Fundamentally, is there only ‘spacetime’?", which I did not follow...
  9. Is there anything actually wrong about an infinite regress? It seems only to apply to monism, and I don't think Oism posits a monist conception of reality. Things can be divided infinitely. Or at least, there's no reason to say things can't be divided infinitely in principle. If there were an absolute end, I think that would be evidence for reality being a simulation, or the existence of God.
  10. Also, the idea that some entity must play the role to mediate the interaction between the object and the Earth, inevitably leads to an infinite regress, as by the same logic some mechanism (read entity) must be required for the interactions between the Thread and the object ...eg attaching means of some kind... and between the Thread and the Earth ... eg spool causing the emergence of the Thread... at some point one should accept and be happy with an action-interaction-relationship simply being directly between two things without any further invocation of extra entities.
  11. Excellent. Between the lot of you we have at least touched on: 1. Reification of abstraction i.e. rationalism in the form of conflating mathematics with reality. 2. Distinction between unnecessary pure speculation armchair physics and observation based theorizing to resolve a necessary problem. 3. related to 2 that theory with no evidence nor any possibility of verification is problematic and arbitrary. I really would have loved to see Rand’s razor mentioned as it is invaluable as an inoculation against rationalism run rampant. To close this out I would like to invite some further comment in the abstract answering the following: Is superfluous explanation valid, although absent evidence, absent any independently verifiable prediction, if it helps a person to grasp what’s going on? Is reification of math or relationships between entities ever justifiable on the basis that it is easier to “see it that way”? IF true Gravity Threads would seem as valid as the reified space-time we hear of so often.
  12. Last week
  13. 1. I’ll begin with the most serious mistake and continue with the less serious ones. The premise of your “theory” is that the possible trajectories an object can take in free fall are in fact real. You call them “gravity threads”. In your view, an object follows a path by “attaching” itself to the “thread” corresponding to the object’s velocity. Until and unless the reality of the gravity threads is established, any speculations about details, e.g. how it would work in different circumstances, are absolutely useless. In the absence of a solid justification of your premise, your “theory” is neither true nor false, it is simply arbitrary. This essential objection was already made by MisterSwing - but you failed to comment on it, which is unfortunate... Besides, yours is not a theory, it is a hypothesis - at most ! 2. You did not justify the necessity of revising the classical Newtonian theory of as applied to free fall: non-concordance with observations, possible gaps in the theory and so on. In the classical theory the various trajectories are potentialities, only one will be taken in reality, depending on the initial velocity (value and direction) and the strength of the gravitational field. 3. You say nothing about how it would be possible to prove the reality of the “gravity threads”. 4. If the trajectories/“gravity threads” are real, it should be possible to observe them. For this they should interact with our senses or instruments, and thus they probably have to possess some energy. Because you postulate an infinity of such “gravity threads”, you have an obvious problem: one will need an infinite energy to create them (at least a continuum infinity of the 6-th order!!) 5. I will also mention one of the least important mistakes. You write that “in space above the Earth and within the Earth's influence, Threads all follow parabolic arcs”. This is false: even in the absence of any other force beside the Earth gravity (such as air resistance), the parabolic arcs (y=Ax+Bx2) are only approximations - namely second order approximations. Even in the ideal case, the true trajectories are (almost) never parabolas. Details – on demand. PS: wrong is also your question addressed to the audience: “What’s wrong with the theory?”. This question is wrong from the point of view of the onus of proof rule.
  14. The Foundation for Economic Education recently published an article about millionaire Bernie Sanders with the title, "Bernie Is a Capitalist, Whether He Likes It or Not." Although this may be true of the first of the following dictionary definitions of the term, it is patently false about the second: 1. a person who has capital, especially extensive capital, invested in business enterprises. 2. an advocate of capitalism. 3. a very wealthy person. I would emphatically add that it's debatable, to say the very least, that "he deserves that money." It is his property, under capitalism, and he did gain it by trade. To that extent, it is proper that he has the money. But he did so while advocating an immoral and impractical -- a vile and deadly -- ideology. In that sense, he "deserves" that money in the same sense that a chiropractor or a fortune teller deserve whatever they receive from others, and he should thank his lucky stars for the remnants of capitalism that are allowing him to get away with it. I do, believe it or not, for reasons analogous to criminals sometimes walking free in our justice system: It's the price we pay for the protection of the rights of the individual being the default in our government. Or which, like private property ought to be default, but which Sanders and his ilk want to finish turning into "51 percent of people choos[ing] something, and the other 49 percent have to go along." This article, sadly and tellingly, does not convey outrage or even alarm that this is an increasingly accurate description. The piece does contain other interesting information -- such as a link to the instructions Sanders could follow to volunteer for income equality, were he sincere about his advocacy of the same; and it does indicate that socialism calls for government coercion. But it misses a big opportunity to make a case against Sanders that would really hurt: a moral one. As Ayn Rand once pointed out to FEE founder Leonard Read: Image via Wikipedia, public domain.The mistake is in the very name of the organization. You call it The Foundation for Economic Education. You state that economic education is to be your sole purpose. You imply that the cause of the world's troubles lies solely in people's ignorance of economics and that the way to cure the world is to teach it the proper economic knowledge. This is not true -- therefore your program will not work. You cannot hope to effect a cure by starting with a wrong diagnosis. The root of the whole modern disaster is philosophical and moral. People are not embracing collectivism because they have accepted bad economics. They are accepting bad economics because they have embraced collectivism. You cannot reverse cause and effect. And you cannot destroy the cause by fighting the effect. That is as futile as trying to eliminate the symptoms of a disease without attacking its germs. [bold added] (Letters of Ayn Rand, pp. 256-257)FEE would have done better to point out that Sanders, like many others who have become the first kind of capitalist -- including many who truly deserved their fortunes, like Bill Gates -- are far from being the second kind. More broadly, they could have noted that unless more of us become the second kind of capitalist, there won't be any of the first kind for much longer. -- CAVLink to Original
  15. The Innovators #1 Bernie Sanders lies about Amazon income taxes Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All #2
  16. For clarity the purpose, and the only purpose, of my questions was to get a clear idea of what it was that you meant.
  17. Falls short of any modern physics. I don't think a thin theory is valid. Thin implies minimal explanatory power. But my focus was on thinness, because I think that is the bigger issue than simply being invalid. The only reason to throw out a theory is if the theory does not sufficiently describe and predict reality. You would offer a new theory if the old one contradicted reality in some way, or if there literally was no other theory about the topic. Another option is to improve the old theory, by taking its weaknesses, and then improving upon those. But if you are improving a theory, you would be able to cite what you are improving. I mean, isn't the stuff pretty straightforward? I imagine if you have 2 degrees in physics, one of them would be a masters.
  18. To say something is possible means that you have some evidence for its existence. I don't see any evidence for gravity threads. There is clear observational evidence of various individual falling objects creating parabolic paths through the air. And the fact that everything free falls back to Earth suggests a force coming from the Earth. But where is the evidence that Earth creates gravity threads? When I asked about this, you said it hasn't been discovered how Earth creates them, but we know about them because of the way things move. Isn't this arbitrary? Why not imagine projectile elves that live in every object and guide it according to elven magic, which happens to make parabolas that fit with the math? That seems just as possible as gravity threads which mysteriously emerge from the Earth.
  19. Pat Corvini... interesting. Might I suggest Robert E Knapp as well. Neither platonic forms of platonism nor the symbolic games of nominalism leads one to an objective view of math. One must reject tendencies toward all of concrete boundedness, rationalism (which Peikoff identifies as the most problematic of pitfalls for earnest thinkers), and subjectivism. Understanding objectivity, is not easy... abstractions are not out there but they are about what is out there.
  20. Way too thin for what? If it doesn’t fall short of the standard for validity what other standard does it fall short of? What do you mean by “valid” if a theory can be valid but also way too thin? Also, why should the fact that the theory does not contradict the math be seen as a flaw? Shouldn’t consistency with existing knowledge be counted in the theory’s favour rather than it’s not calling other theory into question, counted against it? The adds to the knowledge of how things fall by explaining why things fall by positing the existence of new things responsible for it? What errors of logic or errors of conceptualization are involved here?
  21. Weighing the idea of a column on Earth Day, I learned the following amusing and thought-provoking coincidence: Image via Wikimedia, public domain.Unbeknownst to [Earth Day founder Gaylord] Nelson, April 22, 1970, was coincidentally the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin, when translated to the Gregorian calendar (which the Soviets adopted in 1918). Time reported that some suspected the date was not a coincidence, but a clue that the event was "a Communist trick", and quoted a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution as saying, "subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them." J. Edgar Hoover, director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, may have found the Lenin connection intriguing; it was alleged the FBI conducted surveillance at the 1970 demonstrations. The idea that the date was chosen to celebrate Lenin's centenary still persists in some quarters, an idea borne out by the similarity with the subbotnik instituted by Lenin in 1920 as days on which people would have to do community service, which typically consisted in removing rubbish from public property and collecting recyclable material. Subbotniks were also imposed on other countries within the compass of Soviet power, including Eastern Europe, and at the height of its power the Soviet Union established a nationwide subbotnik to be celebrated on Lenin's birthday, April 22, which had been proclaimed a national holiday celebrating communism by Nikita Khrushchev in 1955. [links and notes omitted, bold added]The pronoucements and proposals of leftists routinely demonstrate massive evasion or ignorance of well-known facts of history of their own civilization: It's no stretch to imagine even more ignorance of the actual history of the nation so many of them idealized at the time. At the same time, the coincidence should give us pause for the same reason the famous image of the first subbotnik (pictured) should. How valuable and to whom is unpaid manual labor? Setting aside making a show on his part, Lenin serving as a human cog on a log-moving machine is ironic even under communism: Otherwise, why have government planners at all? Shouldn't he be reviewing a five year plan or something? (This is not to endorse central planning on moral or practical grounds.) Likewise, why spend your time this way, only to take paying work away from groundskeepers, landscapers, and the like? You are a human being with but one life to live. Let the termites recycle, and consider using your mind and your capacity for enjoyment on this day, particularly if you have it off. That's the most natural and proper thing for a sentient being to do, anyway. -- CAVLink to Original
  22. Why? Isn’t it possible the Gravity Threads are real? I mean they match exactly what the paths are...? Isn’t it valid to conclude the paths exist as existents? Why should one refrain from taking that next simple step... formula of the path -> real thing being the path?
  23. Well, the provenance of a theory helps a lot. It helps to trace where the ideas come from, which people influenced its development, and how much theoretical development it has gone through. I agree, knowing why something is invalid is important. But it is much easier to evaluate someone's reasoning if they can discuss their inspirations and foundations. And even to think about how much evidence is available. Just on a meta level about theories, the validity and support for any theory is improved when there are people who stand before you. But even the newest theories will in some way refer to previous thinkers. At the very least, you would be countering the claims of some theorist by addressing explicit shortcomings of another theory. Even Aristotle did that. Speaking of which, these gravity threads simply sound like a reformulation of Aristotle's impetus idea. Certainly, Galileo made mistakes. Doesn't mean that we have to revert back to Aristotle to talk about physics. So, it's not so much that what you said is invalid, it's that it sounds way too thin when you haven't stated any modern theories that are insufficient, or when you haven't mentioned empirical evidence that calls previous theories into question.
  24. The basis for the involute is a spool (cylinder) from which an actual thread endpoint could be used to 'describe' an arc as it is unwound, shifting the 'gravitation thread' into a different context. It would take a pretty short portion of a parabola to superpose it on an involute and identify it as visually indistinguishable. Math is derived from reality. And like many other concepts learned, having used them for many years without issue, the initial formation of one, two, three, is lost back in childhood, and even with the guidance of a Pat Corvini, can be difficult to reclaim a clear notion of the relationships involved, and more difficult to explain to others. As math moves beyond the measurement of straightforward counting, the 'what' gets harder to separate from the "how".
  25. I have two degrees in Physics from accredited universities. The Theory is not based on that knowledge as its foundation neither is it based on what I know from Objectivism to be true about metaphysics and epistemology. Again the point is not who is the author of the theory or whether anyone believes it but whether and why it is valid or invalid. Knowing THAT something is invalid is impossible until you actually know WHY it is invalid, until then you can only merely suspect that something is invalid.
  26. The math leads to Galileo's experiments with projectile motion, right? The parabola is therefore a relational existent between the object and its trajectory. A gravity thread represents the reification of a relational existent that has been separated from its object. Without the cannonball flying through the air, there is no objective basis for the parabola's existence.
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