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  1. Today
  2. I got couple of private responses to my post. Applying the feedback, I will add another chapter. In this chapter I will explain concept formation, generalization, principle formation, and application for concepts of consciousness. In the process explaining fallacies like misclassification of units, wrong connection of concepts etc. This will serve dual purpose. One, it will illuminate epistemological aspects of psychology. Secondly, it will illuminate concepts of consciousness like feeling, thinking, knowledge, methods etc. Plus I will widen the scope of Evolution of Psychology to more modern intellectuals. Further, if we look at the history of philosophical ideas, we realize that application of these ideas to specific subjects has been a more potent force in spreading the ideas, than directly applying philosophical ideas to specific situations. For example, during Renaissance, ideas of Aristotle were applied to particular social situations like religious persecution (by Voltaire) or validating religious ideas(by Aquinas). However, its only when the philosophical ideas were used to form specific subjects like science (by Newton, Galileo etc.), or politics(by Locke and Founding Fathers), that the philosophy transmitted much more accurately and quickly to the man in the street. So even as we try to apply philosophical ideas to specific situations like COVID-19 crisis and political events, I think contributing to this thread will be a great value-add in long term. Thanks and Best Regards, – Rohin
  3. Simply accusing someone of having a disease does not land them in jail. Ultimately the reporting activity falls under self defense. You basically report: 1. The person to be tested 2. To be quarantined if the person had been proven to be positive Similar to suspicious activity, there would be potential liability if you got it wrong. (slander, defamation, libel) The police would ask the suspected-infected person to volunteer for a test, like an alcohol test. If they don't want to, they are asked to self quarantine. If (self quarantine) is refused, then it is deemed a threat and forcible testing or quarantining will take place. In many cases, people will self report to get help from formal channels, private or public. There would probably be charitable organizations that would cover costs of testing and or treatment. Similar to now, there is no point in reporting your scenario. You may simply tell them to stay away from you and they may comply. If they are six feet away from others in the park, who cares. But if you are going to be forced (by circumstances) to be near them, it is to your interest to counter the threat somehow. If there are no authorities, employers, gate keepers, bouncers etc, then you cover yourself the best you can ... or are within your right to use physical force to avoid them. As far as resporting goes, there could even be an internet site that you report it to, a private one although that would risk legal repercussions when false accusations happen. Even today you may ask for the assistance of a police if the person is coughing on a child without protecting them. Or you may report it to your employer if this person is entering your work area. Why? To either protect yourself, or to minimize liability. It has to be a proveable threat to your interests or it won't go anywhere.
  4. Yesterday
  5. I can almost see it now. Someone coughs in the street while failing to cover their mouth. Another individual walking in the vicinity sees it happen and continues walking with a cell phone clearly in his hand. After observing the scene for long enough, you finally decide to report it. Who do you report on, and why?
  6. But how would this be done! Similar to when your house burns down, or a car crashes into you, or a tornado or earthquake causes a building to fall on your car, or when someones tree or dog harms you. There may be multiple agencies that take reports. When someone robs you, or embezels you, how do you report it? There could not be much of a difference, just more of it.
  7. One applies principles to reality, not reality to principles. Agnostic------>Zoroastrian. ANY aggregate of all types of creed, ideology or philosophy conceivable, interspersed through a society can have a government founded on (objective) individual sovereignty, objective rule of law and objective individual rights. Those people don't just disappear or 'convert' to Objectivism. That's not an "Objectivist" government and, certainly it doesn't need an Objectivist culture. In fact, I looked through CUI - Man's Rights; The Nature of Government - to see if I'd missed any references to "Objectivists", per se. Not that I can tell. Only does it require a majority to believe it's 'a good thing' to have their way of life, living and choices protected, without forcing those on others and without recourse to government aid. The majority only needs to be rational enough to understand the self-interested value in being left alone to pursue what they see as happiness, their way. We have to stay within the realms of actuality, avoiding floating abstractions, failing which there will never be individual rights. This is the only "moral system" for men in society, and has to be distinguished sharply from being an individual's system of (rational) morality.
  8. This is how you get a police state. What do you propose to report? "Officer, somebody sneezed on me, and sneezing can be a sign of coronavirus!" It would be a weird thing to say, because you chose to stand near them. Essentially, even if you don't desire it, you would be promoting government surveillance. You aren't just talking about special cases like an infected person working with a high risk population. You are suggesting that there is widespread violation of rights by individuals. There is more violations due to the virus causing the body of an infected person to do so. The reporting is what has to be done to deal with those "specific" rights violations instead of assuming everyone is doing it. In the Soviet Union, everyone was a violator or could be treated as one.
  9. Agreed, in terms of sequential likelihood, culture comes first, then government. Yes, for a government to exist, the population has to support its form which is cultural. Having said that, the potential for change/encouragement is more likely if that type of already government exists. The main example that comes to mind is Hong Kong. Their support for elements of Capitalism did not emanate from their culture. They were a british colony and for some reason Capitalism was strongly supported, perhaps in a sense, imposed on them. In the 70s when it was one of the poorest areas in the world, people in mainland China would risk their life to get to it and its so called horrible sweat shop conditions without understanding anything about the benefits of freedom, capitalism etc. Currently, one can witness the people of Hong Kong stand up to the Chinese behemoth. NOW, it is cultural. It was learnt based on what their (Brittish) government encouraged, perhaps an accident of history. In theory, a better life would exist in government run using Objectivist principles. (Assuming it is not over run by the socialists or hampered by repeated natural calamities), it has the potential to change minds, to make people want to understand "why it works so well?".
  10. Examples of being suspicious? I already did with the Soviet Union. The problem is nobody is, and the proposal that we should report each other is itself an example of encouraging people to be suspicious. I didn't ask you what could be criminally negligent, I asked you what it would mean to be diligent citizens and to report other people.
  11. A situation where an Objectivist Government needs to encourage the population to adopt an Objectivist Culture is likely an impossibility: the presence of an Objectivist Government would require as an antecedent cause, an Objectivist culture which acted to put it there. It's like suggesting we could hold some hope in the ability of the egg to cause the chicken to lay it... This is a slight digression. This flirts with an anti-concept or a corrupt one... Observe that metaphysically we are "free" to commit such acts... they are possible... the question is whether such action is proper and permitted in a moral society. In other words are they rightful are they rights of freedoms of action. I would argue that all rights ARE absolute, but that we must understand that they are definite and with metes and bounds. They are absolute within the domain of their authority (as Tara Smith reminds us with regard to Free Speech). "Absolute freedom" as the "absolute right to freedom" means there are no compromises, but the metes and bounds of that right simply do not extend to violating other peoples rights. Commission of murder, theft, fraud are not examples of exercising "freedoms", they are only illustrations of what free will is able to perform. Recalling that freedoms are negative rights only, i.e. they restrict others from interfering with you, they simply do not convey the right to interfere with others (who are not interfering with you). Like I said a bit of a digression...
  12. A reality that one may not expect is the fact that in an objectivist system (in any free market system), certain things are LESS FREE than we have right now. Because it is based on right's based freedom. For example you may be able to run into the desert right now. But in an Objectivist system, the desert you used to run on is owned by an entity, a person, a group, an institution that may not allow you to trespass. People complain about that, saying it is not freedom. Rightful freedom, i.e. Liberty in Libertarianism is a certain kind of freedom, which is not absolute freedom. Absolute freedom would include freedom to murder, steal or commit fraud. There is also another dashed expectation which is the idea that in an objectivist system, most everyone is rational. That could be if the culture was Objectivist, as in the norms were Objectivist. The government alone being based on Objectivist principles is not necessarily accompanied with a rational population. Perhaps in time, they will be more likely as they would be encouraged in that direction.
  13. No, your examples don't even involve being suspicious of people. They are dealing with risk in a responsible manner without watching anyone or reporting anyone. Nobody is reporting anyone. This is fine. Not many people seem to think that rights are being violated at an exceedingly high rate.
  14. I think ARI is fiddling while Rome burns. They are O'ist thinkers who have to see the broader view, that this pandemic has permitted and justified ~altruism~ running amok, a world-wide self-sacrifice is taking place with few upsides, while ALL governments surrender their citizens' higher value for a lesser, and ARI must realise that the Motor of the World has completely run down, an unprecedented catastrophe Rand alone could foresee. "Man's life", the standard of value, has been traded for 'men's lives'. Regardless of the present and future billions of men's and women's lives surviving. The damage has already been done, the slow regrowth of individuals' lives and work everywhere - multiplied by x millions into "the economy" - will be arduous, in many instances impossible. While the intellectuals mostly spend their intellects and time on politics, what a "proper" government should be doing, and faulting present "leaders"... Does it have to be restated that politics isn't perfect, and rights often interfered with? Earlier written here by a poster, some Randian "fire" is what's needed, agreed: Passion for the burning reality, ethics, values and how best to conceptually integrate all this, less blathering on about a hypothetical.
  15. Illegal in California (Image by Melqkov, via Wikimedia Commons, license.) Until recently, we could all laugh at California's mind-boggling array of bans. Years ago, they prohibited single-use plastic bags. Gig work was banned this year, but firms like Uber fought back in court and firms like Vox Media blacklisted Californians. They talk about outlawing the internal combustion engine in ten years. It's even illegal to own a hamster there! Bottled water -- but not bottled Coke -- is verboten at the San Francisco airport. But recent events have made me feel much less smug. Many of the products and services that California despises might save those of us hunkering down in our homes to avoid infection. Since reusable bags harbor pathogens, chains like Target asked shoppers who won't avail themselves of single-use bags to bag their own purchases. (Last week, many municipalities wisely reversed or suspended these bans.) And then gig workers for companies like Uber Eats are essential to make life bearable for many people stuck in quarantine... To continue reading my latest column, please proceed to RealClear Markets. I would like to thank my wife and Steve D. for their comments on earlier versions of this piece. -- CAV Link to Original
  16. Is the run on the drug hydroxychloroquine considered a market failure? It was never said but there seemed to be an implication that an authority does not have the right to claim miraculous results from a drug without evidence. What if some church or guru type says he had a revelation and then there is a run on the drug. It is unfortunate when it causes a lack of it for people who actually need it. Is there a role of government in this? They talk about it starting here (although I did not see if there was a role for government): https://youtu.be/jlX774xqH70?t=1099
  17. The video today from ARI had a snippet about the proper role of government in this. What was interesting is that there was a hint that in an Objectivist based government (or proper role of government), there conceivably could be a right to prior restraint. Examples as in closing theatre's by force of quarantine. Is there more information on this? Maybe this is a temporary right. Maybe initiating force as a temporary measure. There could be an error saying that the right to quarantine existists, demonstrated by the right the government has closed theatres in the influenza pandemic. Quarantining people is based on keeping them separate based on evidence that they have the disease, or are likely to have it or get it (objectively a high threat level). Maybe the right is about "in this environment" the threat level rises to unacceptable levels. Link is setup to when they talk about the role of government in this. https://youtu.be/jlX774xqH70?t=2130
  18. All that is being said here is that there will be more incidence of it. In other words, the negligence does not increase as in its gravity, only the prevalence increases, requiring more resources to deal with the conflicts that arise. At a minimum would you at least agree with that? First let us talk about citizens that are complacent, not diligent about this. Right now it mostly shows up as expecting the government to fix it. The think "go ahead, shut it all down". You (the government) will surely fix it later on. This mindset dramatically changes in an Objectivist based government. vs. Diligence I the business owner am going to shut it down because my people can sue me because of my negligence. I saw so and so sneeze, I am keeping away from them. The nursing home had a virus positive person and he was immediately separated and we cleaned the whole place up and tested everyone. Reporting Criminal Negligent behavior I got the virus because I was required to hold hands in a circle in a small room at work. I saw so and so sneeze on the can of soup and the employees ignored it completely. He tested positive and I saw him accept patients for teeth cleaning. In this case lack of diligence can end one's own life. If no one cares it is a disaster. I (the business owner or even client) saw some guy sneeze on the cans of soup in the market and acted like nothing happened. The less dilignet you are, the more this thing harms you or spreads ultimately. Now you see another concretized scenario. That everyone watches everyone and ASSUMES they are carriers which is ugly, like in the Soviet Union. That is unfortunate. But don't we do that now? By using masks? By staying away from people? By washing hands when we came from the store? The bottom line difference is that in the Soviet Union it was not temporary.
  19. "Rights are being violated by negligence", not "there is greater negligence". I just hope you take the time to think about what concretely it would mean for there to be "diligent citizens reporting criminally negligent behavior". I was just trying to get at that discussion.
  20. "This is nothing like life as normal, because rights are being violated by negligence, at a rate far exceeding anything we have personally ever seen." This was in the context of pandemics currently. Let's break it down then. 1. Rights are being violated due to the transmission from person to person at a far higher rate (exponentially unchecked would be huge) worse than with the draconian measures - which may be a justification for them (to be determined)) 2. Negligence is what SL used, I used criminal negligence. People not washing their hands, shaking your hands, kissing you etc. is not criminal but negligent. This can violate your rights. They would could be held for negligence as in they are the cause. 3. There is going to be far more of this stuff with a pandemic. "The number of perpetrators, and offenders, those who are criminally negligent, and exposing innocent people to the deadly virus, will far exceed the number of common thugs we are used to seeing lurking in our streets. Enforcement and protection of the innocent during such a plague require greater number of police officers and diligent citizens reporting criminally negligent behavior. " Now he uses criminal negligence. That refers to people who know they have or even may have the disease and don't self isolate or take other prudent measures, causing the transmission. Wouldn't it be reasonable to conclude that more of these people would exist, as the infections spread out? The current political system will shut us all down to prevent people from doing this. (and treat everyone as if they WILL be negligent or criminally negligent) In an Objectivist based government, you have a far more active role in defending yourself and those who are criminal and those who are not are to be treated differently. I was not making a claim about the rationality or lack thereof in anyone. In the Soviet bloc, East Germany as well, people were not simply wildly irrational people who didn't trust anyone. It stems in part because people were encouraged to observe each other. To watch each other. This wasn't simply an effect of an authoritarian government. It was part of what made the authoritarian government possible in the first place. So while it may seem very benign to just say "be diligent", what it does is encourages people to be suspicious when otherwise they are not. As far as I understand, SL thinks that if people were more aware of their rights, they would be coming out in droves during this pandemic. There is no implication that you are claiming this or that. I may be referent to other people's claims. (you are acting like you are on trial and you have to defend yourself ... none of us are in that position) The claims I make have to stand on their own. Forget that I, you or someone else said this or that. Attack the idea, the person is immaterial. As in an objective reality that is independent of consciousness. There are different kinds of watching others. There is the type that you want to make money and want to know what needs you can fulfill. Then there is a malevolent kind, where you want to collect dirt on others to help your situation. In this case, watching others is knowing where the fire that burnt your house started from. Did the disease happen because your boss did not take proper precautions at work? Did you catch it because someone required to do something that caused it? The watching in the case means "knowing who caused it".
  21. "This is nothing like life as normal, because rights are being violated by negligence, at a rate far exceeding anything we have personally ever seen." This was in the context of pandemics currently. "The number of perpetrators, and offenders, those who are criminally negligent, and exposing innocent people to the deadly virus, will far exceed the number of common thugs we are used to seeing lurking in our streets. Enforcement and protection of the innocent during such a plague require greater number of police officers and diligent citizens reporting criminally negligent behavior. " I was not making a claim about the rationality or lack thereof in anyone. In the Soviet bloc, East Germany as well, people were not simply wildly irrational people who didn't trust anyone. It stems in part because people were encouraged to observe each other. To watch each other. This wasn't simply an effect of an authoritarian government. It was part of what made the authoritarian government possible in the first place. So while it may seem very benign to just say "be diligent", what it does is encourages people to be suspicious when otherwise they are not. As far as I understand, SL thinks that if people were more aware of their rights, they would be coming out in droves during this pandemic.
  22. Seeing Through Misinformation During the Pandemic Agree or disagree, ARI has stepped up their game during this historic precedence, and during the foreseeable future of this epidemic, is planning to provide two broadcasts per week. The topics have looked at the situation from different angles. The examinations try to stick to the known and venture out from there, or draw upon experience (in the case of Yaron's experiences with state of emergency in Isreal) and extrapolate from there. The one's related to the COVID-19 are on youtube and many have been linked to from this thread as they've occurred. With the online courses, and the New Ideal platform, number of hits continue to show an increase over time. As in all ventures in life, there is sure to be a suggestion box for directional recommendations that can be added to the mix for consideration of where particular needs might be met.
  23. The expectation is not that there will far more criminally negligent people, but that some will have different ideas of what the threat is and how it should be dealt with. This has to be dealt with (settled) as soon as possible. A backlog in the judicial system could be deadly. There will be far less or perhaps no prior restraint, as in licensing laws so there may be a spike in snake oil. The idea of an Objectivist based government is NOT the same as an automatically rational population. The way the government is run is what would (or would have to be) rational. The idea is not that we should watch each other, as in seeing if you are making more money than me etc. It is more, watching out for your property, watching out for yourself, i.e. being responsible for "you". Someone one else from government-land is not going to do it for you. Meaning you won't be expecting to be pampered by big brother. It is an Objectivist based government after all. That awful do-nothing government won't build your roads, school your kids, and provide your old age protection etc.
  24. Yes, I misspoke, it is not a kind of fire that has never happened, but rare and devastating, the type we recently had in california where 2 to 3000 homes caught on fire. Now if we have a pandemic every 5 years, one may have specific laws already in place defining remedies etc. The reason there is no increase in litigation right now is because you won't sue the government for asking you to not conduct business. That damage is being caused by something we all own and no one owns in particular (the government). In a voluntary (non-mandated ) situation, some will shut down and others won't. One may sue a business for shutting down and not delivering a contract but they may think they are in the right. Right now, the compensation is en masse and one size fits all. In a voluntary system, things are not one size fits all, it is specific to situations and each has to be covered. There is the possibility that adjudication would happen far more frequently through arbitration than going to a judge and that would have the private sector buttressing the system. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to expect the incidence of litigation to increase temporarily.
  25. Last week
  26. But this isn't how discussion works. Okay, there is a link, but what are you trying to say? You made a proposal, so talk about it. Obviously the courts would decide any claims of criminal negligence; but that wasn't even in question. Even in my first post responding to you, I granted that there can be certain kinds of criminal negligence. But it's not happening now, so what are you talking about? Right now, people can go out and claim that there is criminal negligence. It's not a thing that happens day-to-day, even when there are pandemics. It's a thing that would happen because they were encouraged by someone. People sense the danger, and they have been taking precautions. This is fine. SL was going as far to say that the danger is actually initiation of force on a grand scale, and saying that people should do something about it - namely by watching other citizens and reporting them. You made a thread about what can be done. So why don't you address the concrete thing that SL proposed? Is there really an onslaught of criminally negligent people going on right now? Should citizens really watch each other and report each other? Aren't these sort of things bad, and one of the many reasons that countries in the Soviet bloc were terrible places to live? None of those are rhetorical, I'm actually asking.
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