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  1. Yesterday
  2. Feel free to do something about it. I told you before, whyNot perpetuates the atmosphere by his sheer frequency of posting, repeating what he says, and needling people over and over about things he already addressed before. Lock the thread I guess. Merjet and I could make a new thread about the paper he has been talking about.
  3. Finally, I was doubting myself, so I looked it up, and, indeed, "All is mind." is a problem of absolute generality and leads inevitably to a liar's paradox. It's similar to saying "All is true." Or "All is false." And nearly identical to saying "Nothing is real." Etc. It is the rambling of a charlatan or a lunatic and not something to be bothered with by reasonable people. If nothing else, we need point out that all who preach this tripe eat and drink, pay their bills, and in every respect live as if they are staunch realists, yet lie through their teeth to others and maybe even themselves when they proselytize on this topic. The only ones who preach it and believe it are running wild in the streets and probably near death, as people who truly don't believe things exist/are real/etc. Wouldn't eat or drink or avoid danger, etc. and would starve to death very quickly or otherwise self destruct due to delusion caused accident. Hence, 99.99999% of those who preach it are dishonest, whether they realize it or not. Please forgive my verbose writing, and repetition. I should also say, as a side note, that traditional orthodox Theravada Buddhism is actually a realist school. All this anti realism and idealism stuff was developed centuries after the Buddha's death. Not relevant to objectivism, just food for thought and to clarify.
  4. A perhaps more elegant solution than what I wrote above: To think "All is in my mind, there is no objective, no real." Means to conclude that the statement just made is merely subjective, unreal, not true, and thus unreliable and conclusively false. "All is in my mind." Is a self refuting statement. To prove that there is no real, objective reality is always, without exception, to disprove your own proof, and thus the argument can never succeed. Such is impossible.
  5. 400 replies in this thead to date. Obviously answering EasyTruth resurrection of an idle topic has taken a back seat to roasting whYNOT. <sarcasm intended>Sad. Such an objective approach to handling disagreement.</sarcasm> In the spirit of Charles Ives, and The Unanswered Question . . . Would you consider it suicide? As far as I can see, both questions highlight the difference between the somatic application and volition as it applies to the conceptual faculty.
  6. I agree and thank you. I'd like to add my own argument: I think we can agree that the burden of proof of ownership, for proving to all parties, including the claimant, falls on the claimant. If I claim I own your house or car or something, I have to demonstrate this to be true. Otherwise, I have no basis for this claim, and no one will recognize that I own them, including me. The same logic applies if I said I own Jupiter, or the milky way galaxy, etc. No one would take me seriously, and I'd have to admit to myself that I'm incorrect without significant proof. That said, the only being who could demonstrate ownership over ALL to the extent needed to make the statement, and mean it literally, "All is my mind." Would be a god. They would have to demonstrate that they control literally everything. Assuming they're not omnipotent, they will fail to demonstrate that everything is in their mind. And anyone would fail to demonstrate to anyone else that everything is in their mind, the other person's mind, either, as they'd have to prove to the other person that they, the other person, are omnipotent. Thus, barring a god entering the mix, it is impossible for anyone to say "All is your mind" or "All is my mind" and be correct. And, so, this argument is destroyed. There are a lot of things to be debate, but it is not up for debate as to whether or not all is in someone's mind. That is a ridiculous position that is immediately disproven. In other words, only a fool runs into a wall that they didn't create and that neither they, nor anyone else can breach, and declares "This wall exists strictly as MY mind." Even a god who came up against such a wall would have to admit that, while everything in the universe is their mind alone, this wall is something other, as they didn't create it, and have no control over it, and thus have no right to say the wall is strictly their mind. Thus, there's a subjective and an objective, always, a self and an other. That is, unless one is omnipotent and can thus demonstrate that they everything is strictly theirs, they must always admit an other, and if there's an other, and a not self, then it is more reasonable to call it objective, than to illogically call it subjective.
  7. Why do you bother? I don't think anyone is at risk of taking his ideas very seriously. Anyway, I think there is a better interpretation of what Rand is saying than yours. The context of the quote is about the precise way in which (human) volition can change the shape of reality itself. Clearly, we can't change the nature of reality and its elements with volition. We can identify and conceive of the way the elements of reality can be moved around to act differently, but this isn't changing the nature of the elements of reality. In an Aristotelian sense, we imitate reality, that is, if I want to build a house, I can only put things together by their nature as if the house developed from the movement of the Earth's tectonic plates. It is not by sheer will that I transform the elements of reality into the elements of a house; the elements of reality don't go through metamorphosis through your willpower. Cognitive process should be interpreted with a similar context in mind. Volition does not control perception. Volition does not control the automatic functions of your body such as heartbeats and breathing. It only has direct control over cognition, the operation of your reasoning processes (or any process beyond the actual operation of perception). Volition can control movement, to the extent that a plan of movement is necessary, and that basic identification needs to be immediate. More than that, identification and abstractions - anything extremely abstract for that matter - themselves have no purpose other than how they serve your life and flourishing. Abstractions and identifications need to ultimately manifest as physical action and movement if they are to have any impact on life and flourishing. It's not lost on Rand that cognition serves a practical purpose, her entire theory of epistemology and the nature of man's mind revolve around how important they are to being alive. If anything, your R2 definition from Rand is a better definition of her meaning.
  8. Four Things 1. My daughter has solved a problem for me caused in part by a sort of technology-induced blindness. I had always been a little dissatisfied with the kinds of lunches I was packing for her. She hates bread, so sandwiches are out the window -- for starters. And then, during summer camp, she became loathe to use her bento box, because she thought it looked childish. Oh, and she wanted something hot in her meal. And she offered by way of suggestion a very good way to do it. Back in kindergarten, we'd gotten her a set of two thermoses. One was for drinks and the other for soup. The soup container went unused for years, but I had told her it could keep things warm, and she remembered that. (I know, because I asked her how she came up with the idea.) She wanted Spaghetti-O's that day. I wasn't sure how well it would work, so I told her so and offered to try it as an experiment. So I went ahead and microwaved them and put them in her soup canister. It worked very well. She has since had leftover dinners, scrambled eggs, and breakfast fajita mix, heated in the microwave and kept warm in the thermos. Today, she's having chicken piccata, aka "Daddy chicken." It's an elegant solution, and may seem blindingly obvious to many of you -- but I never thought of it because I always use a microwave when I want to heat something for lunch, and had mentally pigeonholed the canister for soup, which I generally don't regard as a meal. Mrs. Van Horn got her some small plastic containers that can fit onto a freezer block for side dishes. She's been quite happy, and it solves a dilemma I've had for some time: How can I work at places that don't have microwaves without having to buy a lunch or resort to cold sandwiches, which I'm rarely in the mood for? This is how, and I can thank my daughter's fresh perspective and creativity for it. (And now that I'm editing, I recall doing something similar when my son was in a hot dog-eating phase. I'd put heated 'dogs in a drink thermos (minus the straw) for trips, knowing he wouldn't do fast food. This doesn't make my daughter's idea any less creative or, since I'd forgotten this, any less appreciated.) Update: It is important to let children know not to use a lunch stored hot if it is not warm to the touch, or to eat from a hot container later on. The leftovers have to be discarded. More here. The author and his wife, as game characters. There must have been no facial hair options in this game: He portrays me with my beard when possible. (Image by my son, copying permitted.)2. Surprise, surprise: My son loves computer games. He will sometimes try to induce his parents to play -- or simply have more character options -- by creating characters for us. The first time he did this, he got me to play Among Us by making me a character named Nin, with a green space suit (my favorite color) and a "Florida hat," as I like to call the kind I wear to the beach. His latest creations are of me and Mrs Van Horn, at right. These were extra characters that my wife saved from digital oblivion when it became apparent he needed to get rid of them due to some kind of limit in the game he was playing. He always does a good job, considering the media at his disposal. He once did great Lego miniatures of my in-laws. I believe they ended up using my photos of those in their Christmas letter last year. 3. I was glad I took Cal Newport's advice to have a "working memory" file on all my electronics devices, including my phone. This was great for taking notes during my kids' latest check-up. Mrs. Van Horn always wants to know their heights and weights, and we're monitoring a medical condition my daughter shares with me, so I had a great place to keep track of the new data and what I need to do next. My daughter is closing in on being as tall as her mother. A year or so should do it, I think. 4. I like the fact that in Florida, unheated swimming pools have tolerable water temperatures during most of the summer. By contrast, back in Maryland, I developed a rule of thumb after several times of having the kids ask me to take them swimming, only to get out of the water and ask to leave because it was too cold: No swimming unless it has been at least 85 for at least three days running. Ground temperatures lag ambient air temperatures. I do face a weather problem here, though. Around this time of year, it pretty reliably thunders and rains in the afternoon -- the time it would otherwise be best to take a dip. Often, it's obvious, and I have no issue since the kids know that swimming during thunderstorms is a Bad Idea. One day, it seemed nice, and I was in the mood to go swimming -- but the forecast called for scattered thunderstorms. I looked outside and there were threatening clouds in many directions, despite the sunshine. So I decided against swimming and kept my trap shut about the whole idea. Unknown to me, Pumpkin was Facetiming with a school friend, and they hatched a scheme to cajole their parents into a play date at the pool at 3:00. I had to say no to their plan, and I explained why, but the momentary sunshine outside didn't help, despite the fact I took her outside and pointed to all the clouds. The lightning show and torrential downpour fifteen minutes later were a welcome and timely demonstration of my superior fatherly wisdom. Sometimes the weather does cooperate! -- CAV Updates Today: Added note to Item 1.Link to Original
  9. whYNOT omitted the rest of that sentence. The whole sentence is: "His volition is limited to his cognitive processes; he has the power to identify (and to conceive of rearranging) the elements of reality, but not the power to alter them." I disagree. Human volition is not limited to cognitive processes. It also includes volitional actions in the physical world. Clearly humans do have the power to rearrange or alter the elements of reality. How so? Rand gave no explanation of how that is possible. Humans make things like machines, tools, computers, bridges, vehicles, and buildings. The obvious explanation is that humans have physical bodies, and their hands are hugely important in being able to make machines and so forth. If that is contradicting Rand, so be it. She also wrote in the same essay: "But just as animals are able to move only in accordance with the nature of their bodies..." That's true for humans as well. Let R1 denote "His volition is limited to his cognitive processes". Let R2 denote: "The faculty of volition operates in regard to the two fundamental aspects of man’s life: consciousness and existence, i.e., his psychological action and his existential action, i.e., the formation of his own character and the course of action he pursues in the physical world." This is from The Romantic Manifesto. whYNOT quoted R1 while being oblivious to R1 and R2 being incoherent. I'm not surprised.
  10. Book II 2 - Is something called incidental when it should be ascribed differently? Examine cases where a predicate has been asserted or denied universally to belong to something. Define terms, even incidental terms. Define what you think should be called what most people call them. Sometimes you need the definition a doctor uses, sometimes the definition of most people (clearly advocates contextual definition for dialectical discussion). 4 - Alter terms into more familiar ones so that the thesis becomes easier to attack. If you want overthrow a view, ask what it is in reality that is real if the thing in question is real. If you want to establish a view, ask what thing in reality must follow if the thing in question is real. I can tell that this isn't just about logical relationships between propositions, but what things in fact are real.
  11. 9 - The types of predicates where the 4 types of questions are found are the 10 categories. 10 - Be careful with contradictions of contraries, especially if you combine the contrary predicate with the contrary subject. You might be talking about doing doing good and those who are good, the contrary predicate being doing evil and the contrary subject being those who are evil, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you should do evil to evil people in the way you argue that you should do good to good people. Most precisely, the contradictory proposition is that you should not do good to people who are not good. 11 - A thesis is when an eminent philosopher states something against general opinion, or a reasoned view contrary to usual opinion. Don't bother arguing with people who are in need of punishment or perception. 13 - The means to be supplied with reasonings: -securing propositions -figuring out how many senses there are of an expression -findings differences -investigating similarity 14 - Collect various propositions, and similar ones, and contrary ones. Record these under various headings. Then note specific ideas of eminent thinkers. Aristotle seems to be recommending a writing process very much like modern scientific and academic writing where you always begin with a survey of relevant ideas. 15 - How do you find the different senses of a term? Contraries (the opposite of sharp is flat, which might refer to notes or solid edges) Sometimes words are ambiguous (the opposite of love is hate, but the physical activity of love has no opposite) Differences of kind (a clear color versus a clear sound) In relation to the deprivation or presence of a state (states such as when using your senses) Inflected forms (if justify has more than one sense, then so will justly) Signified predicates (good food signifies something different than good medicine) Distinct genera (for example, river bank versus a bank the institution) Comparability (a sharp note can't be more sharp than a sharp flavor) Distinct differentia (sharp note, sharp flavor, different differentiae) As species or differentia (color of a body, versus clarity of a note) If you remove the object described by an adjective, does the adjective retain the same meaning and sense? 18 - Aristotle says how useful examining multiple meanings is for clarity and reasoning. But after all that, he says that for argument or dialectic specifically, you can't always do that and you should beware unless you really can't discuss the subject any other way.
  12. Last week
  13. "His volition is limited to his cognitive processes;" The Metaphysical versus the Man-Made All for nothing, was this theory put forth here: "Our hypothesis is that the ultimate adaptive function of consciousness is to make volitional movement possible. All conscious processes exist to subserve that ultimate function". Pierson/Trout Nice try, merjet. But falling back on property of, attribute or "volitional faculty" -most often used by Rand - is not going to rescue that erroneous argument. You found it's you who have been contradicting Rand. Thanks for the link.
  14. Como se llamo esto i am from SPAIN. I registered a lot time ago. Can i see this web without adblocer? thanks )
  15. This is strange to me because Aristotle's clear that scientific knowledge is a narrow form of knowledge that you arrive at through deduction and demonstration from already known knowledge. I don't understand translators sometimes, their choices often seem to drop context or make Aristotle's terms considerably more abstract than they actually are. I really think the best translation is "mental vision". There is no need to use an English term with widely different connotations and origins. Mental vision is even more "colorless" than the word comprehension because it captures the context better whenever he uses the term nous. It seems to imply a mental focus, an awareness, not in the form of propositions, a way to engage the world mentally, the way the soul (life) has contact with reality most generally.
  16. He is quite right for a change. I do not follow his gibberish. Read and compare what he wrote to what Ayn Rand wrote that I quote below, keeping in mind a definition of "property" -- an attribute, quality, or characteristic of something. "Because man has free will, no human choice—and no phenomenon which is a product of human choice—is metaphysically necessary (link). "Man's volition is an attribute of his consciousness" (my bold, link). Rand's two sentences are clear. whYNOT's are gibberish and even contradict Rand's.
  17. A while back, I noted a link at Hacker News to a blog post titled "Do Nothing." I'll allow its terseness to stand in for a more verbose explanation of this workflow method, which one commenter identified as the Napoleon Technique (more on that here):Image by Volodymyr Hryshchenko, via Unsplash, license.I spent my early career as a sysadmin in a company of about 300 people. These interactions were frequent. Being [a] young upstart I would jump on them straight away. Often I would spend hours solving the problem, prioritising it above what I was previously doing, only to find it wasn't important to begin with. The reason people make these requests is that it removes a burden from the requestor. They have some stress, and they need someone to offload that stress on. This has nothing to do with the actual problem and everything to do with the person's peace of mind. [bold added]The post opened with examples of such problems -- which the other person was able to solve on his own relatively quickly. The function of these minor asks for the requestors as stress relief reminded me of comments Cal Newport often makes regarding what he calls the hyperactive hive mind, in which people will make minor requests of others through such channels as Slack or email: The source of the stress relief is primarily through capture: The problem is somewhere in writing and won't get lost as the person asking moves on to what he really needs to do at the moment. Newport's solution isn't identical to the Napoleon method or to earlier advice to ignore email for long periods. (Indeed, a quick search of his site for Napoleon yielded only one hit -- for Napoleon Hill.) Newport's advice is to get this stuff out of email/chat:You can't ... avoid this work, but you can find better alternatives to simply passing messages back and forth in an ad hoc manner throughout the day.Specific strategies he suggests to deal with a flood of non-urgent requests are (1) using scheduling apps to arrange meetings, (2) moving obligations into role-specific, non-email repositories, and (3) holding office hours. It is on a podcast in which Newport answers a question about office hours that he sounds the most like the post about doing nothing. The very fact that many people will have to wait to discuss a small matter will cause them to think more deeply about what they want to discuss. Two common things happen as a result: What would have been, say, a long email chain gets compressed into a short interaction -- or the person who would have emailed about a trivial matter finds or figures out the solution in the process of thinking a little bit more about the issue. In the second case, a small problem disappears, and in any case, the person following Newport's recommendations is spared lots of time and context-shifting. Not to short-sell Napoleon: He did make exceptions to his rule for holding his mail for three weeks before reviewing it. But Newport's method would seem to have fewer things delayed unnecessarily and with a far better response time! As someone who has struggled with procrastination all his life, I have occasionally seen my tardiness humorously "pay off" with the demise of one obligation or another. In some cases, it is clear that the procrastination was as if I'd employed Napoleon's Method. It's good to know that one can do this intentionally and systematically, and experience the good fortune of problems disappearing or not existing at all on not just a regular basis, but routinely. -- CAV Link to Original
  18. Eiuol, I thought the following might be good to mention here.
  19. https://inductivequest.blogspot.com/2009/10/aristotles-view-of-induction-summary.html This is further support for how this section is not talking about induction as we understand it. In this instance, "induction" is "leading to" and is a form of deduction.
  20. I am at a loss for words after reading an open letter, hosted by the Independent Institute, demanding that California replace a proposed K-12 math curriculum that includes the following, among other loony things, all quoted in the letter from the proposal:[F]ringe teaching methods such as "trauma-informed pedagogy;"[T]eachers insert[ing] "environmental and social justice" into the math curriculum;[H]aving teachers develop students' "sociopolitical consciousness;"[A]ssigning students -- as schoolwork -- tasks [to] solve "problems that result in social inequalities;" [And, my favorite, d]iscourag[ing] accelerating talented mathematics students.I'll quote a couple of the paragraphs from the letter, which mostly is on point:In California, the dunces run the classrooms. (Image by cogdogblog, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)We believe infusing mathematics with political rhetoric is alien to mathematics as a discipline, and will do lasting damage -- including making math dramatically harder for students whose first language is not English. We believe that all students without exception have natural gifts they can use to learn school mathematics, and therefore all students are harmed by refusing to recognize students' giftedness. We thus find it immoral and foolish to intentionally hold back the intellectual growth of students by forcing them to waste time in unchallenging classes. Those who are ready to move up, should do so. They should not be held back for fear of recognizing the existence of differences in giftedness -- differences which are a reality in every human endeavor. We believe that the modern world of science and technology -- and of constitutional democracy, human rights and expanded opportunity for all -- arose largely because societies learned to value inquiry that was disinterested (i.e., "objective" and "neutral"), rational and coherent. It arose by moving away from judging ideas on the basis of cultural origins and group identity in favor of judging them according to their real merit. We believe, therefore, that this proposed framework must be replaced with one that will truly serve equity [sic] and justice by living up to the very moral aspirations this framework rejects.Save for the use of the term equity, this is as close to the best reply to such nonsense possible short of calling for the separation of education and state. -- CAVLink to Original
  21. Consciousness: "the faculty of perceiving that which exists". "Two fundamental attributes are involved in every state, aspect or function of man’s consciousness: content and action—the content of awareness, and the action of consciousness in regard to that content". CoC, ItOE "The faculty of volition operates in regard to the two fundamental aspects of man’s life: consciousness and existence, i.e., his psychological action and his existential action, i.e., the formation of his own character and the course of action he pursues in the physical world". tRM --- That "action" always repeats In Rand's writing. Action preceded by an exercise of will. That *faculty* of volition is responsible for a mind's existential action AND content. A volitional consciousness requires volitional actions, and ALSO will choose and act upon the character virtues, which themselves are volitional means to ends. Actions, descending by way of "the course of action", the abstraction for the millions of corresponding concrete acts - volitional and voluntary or self-automated by repetition - that comprise a physical life, in order to gain the material/spiritual rewards. "A volitional consciousness" - in this "psychological" respect, the self-formation of character - then can literally be said to be: the mind you want and chose. I.e., volitionally.
  22. Topics translated by W. A. Pickard-Cambridge Numbered in terms of chapters. Book I 1 - Reasoning is dialectical when it uses generally accepted opinions, as distinct from using demonstrations (mostly deductions). 4 - arguments start with propositions, the subjects of reasoning are problems. Problems and propositions are only different in terms of how they are phrased; Problems are questions, propositions are statements. 5 - Properties belong to that thing alone but do not indicate the essence. There are also temporary properties, which are relative. 6 - If you show that the attribute (subject?) in question fails to belong either to property, genus, or accident, you have demolished the definition. 7 - There are 3 kinds of sameness: Number (the referent has more than one name, like doublet and cloak) Specifically (the same species) Generally (the same genus) But Aristotle still suggests more, despite the 3 kinds. In reference to alternative names and definitions (same as the number distinction) in reference to a shared property (what can acquire knowledge is the same as man, which sounds like specifically) Substituting a term with an accident (Socrates is the same as the man who is sitting)
  23. 93b - 100b 10 - A definition is: an indemonstrable statement of essential nature, or a syllogism of essential nature (the difference is grammatical form), or the conclusion of a demonstration that has given essential nature. 11 - One version of the 4 causes, but not the commonly mentioned version. It seems to be missing material cause, and "antecedent which necessitates a consequence" replaces it. Aristotle seems to me cases where causes are linear as opposed to simultaneous or complementary. A cause can both exist for an end as well as by necessity. A cause might also only be for an end, like why people build houses. 12 - Further ideas about temporality in relation to causes. Processes are divisible, events are indivisible and atomic. Past events and present processes are not contiguous. Aristotle says that a process contains an infinity of past events. But I don't understand how if a process contains an infinity of past events, that it wouldn't be contiguous? In any case, the issue might be translation, and Aristotle recognizes that this explanation is not good enough because he says he will talk more about it later (he might be offering a response to his ideas). 13 - This section basically describes what we would consider epistemology about the way concepts are related to each other. Aristotle talks about a method to tracing predicated elements that contain or involve the definable form. I understand this to mean finding what are in fact the essential elements of a subject that are put into its definition. Even more simply, the method of how to properly define something. He talks about attributes that apply to the subject and has wide application, but doesn't extend beyond the genus. This sounds equivalent to the CCD. Hue applies to red, but also green, and in fact all colors - the genus. These are the kind of attributes we need to think about. Further he says that if you're writing a book about a subject generically as a whole (a general handbook about a subject), you should divide the genus into species, then find the definition with the help of what I called the CCD. After that, examine the differentiae. Divisions are not primary. But dividing from something more general to something more specific will guarantee that the general category will contain everything more specific. Find what elements a set of individuals in a species have in common. Repeat this, but for a different species in the same genus. Keep going until you find a particular identity, and can create a formula for that identity, that is, the definition. But! If you reach several formulas, you have to do more work. Or at least, you are defining more than one thing actually. Although this still is far from scientific experimentation, Aristotle clearly advocates for examining specific individuals of multiple species and finding out what they do. 14 - Collect common characters that you observe. Sometimes, though, the common character has no specific name. 17 - Effects may have more than one cause, but not when the subjects are the same species. 19 - If you possess scientific knowledge from birth, it would mean that you possess apprehensions more accurate than demonstration and fail to notice those apprehensions. If you need to acquire those apprehensions, you would need to do so with pre-existing knowledge (but you don't have the apprehension in the first place of any knowledge!). So, there must be some capacity, because we still manage to apprehend things, but it can't necessarily be superior then developed states like scientific knowledge. Aristotle explains this capacity by reasoning from animals in general. Because of sense perception, all animals have a discriminatory capacity. To the extent that sense impression does not persist, the animal doesn't "know" anything beyond the simple act of perceiving. If the sense impression persists, and repeated enough, it becomes memory. When memories repeat enough, they become experiences; memories becoming experiences is possible for those with the power of systematizing. Essentially, Aristotle is saying that the capacity and basis for our ability to possess scientific knowledge through demonstration is built up from the capacity of sense perception. He is giving a biological explanation. The content of sense perception is universal? This is unclear. Then again, Aristotle literally says his statement will be unclear. He says that intuition is always true. I doubt that he means intuition in this context the way we mean it.
  24. We interviewed David Kelley about his history in the Objectivist movement, that time ARI tried to buy him out, and his view on open Objectivism among other things. I'm a closed system guy so we debated that issue a bit starting around 40:07. Check it out!
  25. Writing at The Federalist, David Larson makes quite a few interesting points regarding the left's attempt to federalize zoning law, often referred to as the "war on the suburbs" by conservatives. Probably Larson's best point is that conservatives are failing to uphold the right to property:Image by Michael Tuszynski, via Unsplash, license.This is where the fight over "single-family zoning" comes in. In many cities, the bulk of land is zoned in a way that only detached houses with large-sized lots can be built. If you want to build townhouses, a corner store, a duplex, or, God forbid, an apartment complex, good luck. [Tucker] Carlson argues that if the federal government pressures towns to scale back single-family zoning, you "are no longer in charge of how large your lot sizes can be." But what he really means is, you will no longer be in charge of how large your neighbor's lot size will be. Are conservatives only against impositions on freedom and property rights from the federal government, while local governments should have absolute power over the size and use of all property in their jurisdictions? To paraphrase Mel Gibson in the "The Patriot," who was paraphrasing American royalist Mather Byles, "Would you tell me, please, Mr. Carlson, why should I trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away, for 3,000 tyrants one mile away?" [bold added]This is an excellent point, but it is compromised by Larson's failure -- common among conservatives -- to uphold individual rights on principle as an absolute. This part of his essay is titled, "Zoning Gone Wrong." Why not Zoning Is Wrong? That said, many of his other comments are worthwhile, for they do highlight the many ill effects of suburban-type zoning, such as long commutes, unaffordable housing, and a lack of control over our own property. But this essay goes off the rails quite ironically shortly after his second (and second-best) point:[J]ust because some on the "other side" are for something doesn't mean we need to reflexively fight it. Many on the left who care about this issue seem to be motivated by their belief that this model is better for the environment and that it makes affordable housing more available and dispersed. [bold added]Amen to the part in bold, with a big but. Larson would seem to be in favor of the federalized zoning because it would -- in his imagination -- cure many of the ills caused by the zoning regime we currently have in place. That is the same kind of fool's paradise we inhabit every time a President wrongly uses an executive order that creates an outcome we happen to like. If you are green, you loved it when Biden killed the Keystone Pipeline by executive order immediately after he took office -- the same one Trump revived soon after he was inaugurated, to the temporary relief of energy advocates. When our government no longer does its job, of protecting individual rights, including the right to property, our individual aspirations for how to supply ourselves with the energy we need -- or live in what we regard as an ideal community -- are reduced to pipe dreams if they don't already exist and placed under threat from any change of public mood or officialdom if they do. Analogous case: The left favors vaccinations and vaccine passports. Many on the right reflexively fight vaccination and want to stop businesses from inquiring about vaccination status. Not reflexively fighting vaccination need not and should not entail advocacy of forced vaccination nor violating a businessman's right of association by banning him from asking about vaccination status. It should entail giving solid reasons to consider getting a shot, while also advocating that the state butt out completely beyond a proper response to the pandemic. So it is here: By merely replacing dumb and wrong zoning laws because "suburbia" is ugly, expensive, etc., and not because it's wrong to tell land owners what to do with their own property, Larson's case at best can be mistaken for We need better zoning, if that isn't what it actually is. I can't tell. Worse, it very easily can get marshalled as an argument for federalized zoning. It may be true that we won't repeal zoning anywhere anytime soon. And, yes, the kind of less restrictive zoning Larson wants may be the best achievable alternative today. But not being clear that one advocates as much as a temporary waypoint on the road to property freedom causes what could be an effective argument for doing even that into just another voice among the many squabblers over what kind of zoning we'll have for the time being, and effectively, a capitulation. I want the same vast array of living options Larson does, but I'll be damned if I'll consider federalized zoning as the right way to achieve those things. A real fight for such a value would entail advocating the abolishment of zoning altogether, as well as restoration of respect for what an owner wishes to do with his property, so long as he violates no one else's rights. Larson is correct: The right is inconsistent about respecting property rights, and that is a problem worthy of addressing. But the way to do that is to advocate property rights. Do that effectively enough, and you will incidentally also win over those on the left who see that any valid concerns they have (affordable housing is one, forcing people to lease to criminals is not) will be served by the same. The reason zoning -- or any other instance of government fiat overriding individual rights -- "goes wrong" and limits our options is because zoning is wrong. Unless a property owner violates someone else's rights through the use of his property, such as by creating a nuisance, the government should have no say whatsoever on the matter. -- CAVLink to Original
  26. Report that two-thirds of romantic relationships in US and Canada emerge from friendships, as distinct from those resulting from spark between strangers.
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