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  1. Boydstun

    2020 election

    Tony, this horse we children would ride out in the country belonged to that man I spoke of who went to school only through the third grade. He was the second husband of our mother. He was a cattle rancher; paratrooper and aircraft mechanic in North Africa and Italy during WWII; he knew his Catholic catechism. He read newspapers and did his own thinking. He did not need any advice in discerning a con man or discerning human depravity or goodness or in determining who would get his vote. Neither did the children on that horse in their adulthood.
    2 points
  2. I think it is important to remember two contextual factors regarding concepts. First, every concept is a mental integration… which means, it’s in your head. Second, proper concepts in your head arise by applying logic to valid conclusions, given some premises, so to the extent that the facts out there are the same, we all learn the same concept “dog”. Concepts are objective, not subjective. The science of psychology is concerned with the nature of a concept in the brain, whereas philosophy is concerned with the abstract nature of concepts which anyone can grasp using reason. Epistemologically
    2 points
  3. DavidOdden

    2020 election

    A difference between paying a bribe and paying a fine is that a bribe is conditioned on the recipient performing an action, and charity is not. If I charitably pay your fine, you are free to thank me or not, to vote or not… The term “bribe” is a specific legal term, though it is metaphorically used to describe giving any incentive. Bribery, which is illegal, requires an offer to a public servant, where the offer is not authrized by law, and the intent is to influence an act in the official discretion of the public servant. None of this describes paying a fine for a felon. A more apt de
    2 points
  4. Here is my website: nakulan.bandcamp.com
    2 points
  5. Clip from the fine film Love Letters (1945). Writer of screenplay - Ayn Rand. (The popular song of the same title was written that year and was played without the words in that film. In 1962 an adaptation of it recorded by Ketty Lester became a hit. I was 13. I like that recording very much.)
    2 points
  6. dream_weaver

    2020 election

    I like one of the points Onkar Ghate made in his Study of Galt's Speech. The patience exercised on the behalf of the strikers. Consider the passages leading up to what Hugh Akston told Dagny: " "Consider the reasons which make us certain that we are right," said Hugh Akston, "but not the fact that we are certain. If you are not convinced, ignore our certainty. Don't be tempted to substitute our judgment for your own." If someone does not agree with me, and I am right, why does the other guy have to have abandoned reason, or even be irrational. In fact, my being right (or anyone else'
    1 point
  7. dream_weaver

    2020 election

    Elections are a reminder that we have the power of choice. When the focus is on how bad the 'choices' are (Trump/Biden), instead of seeking to discover why election after election provides 'the lesser of two evils', the focus usually boils down to analyzing down to the minutia of what is right/wrong with this or that particular candidate. Lately, as I've listened and re-listened to Galt's Speech while cutting the grass or working out at the gym, I've noticed her emphasis, when directed toward such, is not so much on the irrational as it is honed in on identifying those who have abandoned
    1 point
  8. Karl Marx argued that competition over limited resources was inherent in society and framed it as a perpetual conflict of interest of the members of that society. Marx’s theory of exploitation of the working class in capitalist societies is summed up with a ruling bourgeoisie and an oppressed proletariat are not interacting using rational means (voluntary agreements). “The bourgeoisie maintains social order through domination rather than agreement.” This state of affairs is considered a constant conflict of interest going on in society … not voluntary trading. "Exploitation: when wor
    1 point
  9. Our new episode covers the controversy over the NY Times' 1619 Project versus Trump's push for patriotic education, when it comes to teaching history. We also get pretty deep into the principles and design of the correct curriculum.
    1 point
  10. I’m afraid I remember little on the whens of them, MS. None are from reading or listening to criticisms of others, only from my own reflections across the years. (I became familiar with Rand’s literature and philosophy in ’67-’68.) Some core things here. Concerning biological function of mind here. Egoism suffering some pinch here. To the preceding one, I should add that resort to the subconscious, packing it with purely selfish aim, to egoistically explain what Branden/Rand named the Visibility Principle, is packing the subconscious with an untested, evidence-absent conjec
    1 point
  11. Okay, so using the word desert can include disinterestedness, where a deontological rule says a person deserves something without regard to their interests. Or it could mean something more consequentialist, where you just try to figure out how things need to end up. We need the work of the word "interest" because we want to keep in mind the agent acting, trying to work for goals and objectives, and some consideration of the nature of the agent acting. So instead of taking only what people deserve, we are also keeping in mind the whole point of needing to deserve anything anyway. You're r
    1 point
  12. You keep giving different versions of the same scenario. I keep asking each time why you think it is a conflict of interest, or phrased differently, which interests conflict. At this point it's clear that you just aren't reading, or you don't understand what you're reading despite clarifications and explanations. No, I don't mean agreeing, I mean even understanding what Rand said so that you actually know what you're disagreeing with.
    1 point
  13. This is another good point. I have a bit of a soft spot for the ordinary language school. I think it's a perfectly reasonable question to ask whether the everyday common sense usage of "conflicts of interest" comports with the meaning Rand employs here. And if it does not (which it definitely doesn't) what motivates our moving from the one usage to the other? And the answer to that lies in the answer to the question: why does Rand need there to be no conflicts of interest? What work is this doing in her overall system? I mean what's the cash value of the thing? Suppose she's wrong, someti
    1 point
  14. I mean, you've been asked a few times exactly why you have a different view. You began the discussion by suggesting that Rand didn't understand the "common meaning", and/or was really only talking about something trivial, so you gave examples that you thought would easily make us call into question what she was talking about in her essay. So people corrected you that you were missing the point, or were misinterpreting her, or otherwise not reading her essay carefully. Fair enough. Then you gave a hypothetical. Great. But when you were given analysis, you were combative, didn't answer clarifyin
    1 point
  15. That's just the thing. You really believe your posts at least met 1, but they didn't. And unfortunately, you felt insulted when you were told that your reasoning sucks. Do you want to have a better discussion, or do you prefer to insist on discussing things the same way? ET, I don't see any issue with saying that there would be "no more" conflicts of interest between rational people, mostly because the conflicts of interest don't actually exist in the first place. It's not that they go away, it's that people realize they were never there in the first place. As was mentioned before, you ma
    1 point
  16. Close, but I think the way you wrote this is worded a bit funny. Context is everything connected to what you refer to when you use a concept or idea. Sometimes, as with language learning, it might include how you say the word, when you use the word, grammar rules, and so on, on top of what the word refers to. Context is also something like the boiling point of water is 100°C, but that assumes the context is sea level. Context will constrain our referents or what we are talking about in reality. As a result, when we are trying to form new concepts, it will be easier to remember and focus on the
    1 point
  17. Sorry. The context I meant was the attorney, client, and loyalty. "The lawyer's duty of loyalty is fundamental to the attorney-client relationship and has developed from the biblical maxim that no person can serve more than one master."
    1 point
  18. The real potential of human-computer interfacing presupposes the notion of a real world, and the capacity to identify the factors necessary to create the infrastructure needed for a human-computer interfacing. The "evil-demon" arises from loosing touch with the such facts as the concept of non-existence is derived from existence, inaccuracy from accurate, false from true.
    1 point
  19. Interesting take. Would the Turing test now being passed make any difference? https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27762088#:~:text=The 65-year-old Turing,London that it was human. Thanks Bill
    1 point
  20. This is a curious conclusion to Rand's essay. Her entire argument appears to rest on the final claim that in a free society we don't have to deal with irrational people and in a non-free society it's impossible to pursue our interests. So does her position fall apart if it turns out that in a free society sometimes we do have to deal with irrational people, and in a non-free society it's possible to pursue our interests? Part of the problem, as I see it, is that our society is a mixture of free and non-free aspects. So in any particular interaction, how do we determine if it's possible or
    1 point
  21. If we acted deterministically (or at random), there would be no free will. It would not matter whether the deterministic (or random) elements forcing us to act as we do could ever be isolated by scientists. Moral principles would have no authority in the counterfactual scenario you are proposing.
    1 point
  22. There seems to be agreement that "conflict" will always exist no matter what. The disagreement is about "conflict of interest" not "conflict". (problem is that any conflict is about wants, is that interest?) The question hinges on the definition of interest. Does interest mean wants, as in desires? If so, there will always be conflict of wants. But the definition must be "what is objectively good for you" not simply what you want. What is actually good for you is your interest. If so, then the precondition is rational thinking, meaning a "well thought through want". But rational thin
    1 point
  23. [In response to Jonathan's original post] I don't think one can learn philosophy in the same way that one learns a foreign language. When you learn a foreign language, you are mostly learning new words (and grammatical constructions) for concepts that you already know, such as learning that the Japanese word テレビ is "television" and so forth. You don't learn anything new about televisions by learning the word テレビ. That's a fundamentally different process from the one you would use to learn entirely new concepts, and it's also different from the process you would use to add "depth of u
    1 point
  24. I dunno if this will be useful in your quest to better integrate Objectivism in your life, but I do have a perspective on language learning. I will start by saying that technique 1 doesn’t work for me, in fact it is logically impossible for any human, if taken seriously and literally. Technique 2 is somewhat defective because of the use of ‘then’, but that’s fixable. I am betting that you can’t learn the words ተኹላ, ጠለበዱ, ወዐግ, ድቢ, ምራኽ, ዳንጋ, ገመል, ድሙ, ጫቚት, ከልቢ, ኣድጊ, ሓርማዝ, ወኻርያ, ኣጋዚን, ጢል, ኡማሬ, ፈረስ, ገንሸር, ነብሪ, ኣንበሳ, ጋውና, ህበይ, በቕሊ, ብዕራይ, ቅንፍዝ, ማንቲለ, ደዕል, ኣንጭዋ, በጊዕ which are just the names of ma
    1 point
  25. I mean I'd say neither. There is a conflict in the sense that the plans conflict since you stipulated they are incompatible. And that's fully coherent with saying one, both, or neither of them is being irrational. We don't know that yet. But this tells us nothing about whether there is a conflict of rational interests. Again, the thesis is about interests: whether there is a basic conflict in our individual human good. It's not a thesis about conflict of conclusions, conflict of plans, or legal/financial conflict. So to rework your example to make it more relevant to the problem at hand,
    1 point
  26. Personally, mastering the sounds of a language has been way more important than learning words by categories. Sometimes I practice Spanish by reading out loud complete paragraphs of books, even if I barely know at all what was said. It helps when I have a native speaker to correct me. It's also good because by reading books in Spanish, I'm exposing myself to words and getting a natural sense of which words are more common than others. On top of that, since I'm picking my interests through the books I choose, it's much easier to fold those words into memory. Of course, immersion around na
    1 point
  27. Boydstun, that is a tough act to follow, in a complimentary sense. Here is a further reflection drawn from Atlas Shrugged. In the valley, John, Dagny, and Francisco illustrated this principle, even using aspects of the toast to help concretize the point with Francisco handing Dagny and John the set of matching wine goblets, keeping for himself the third glass the evening prior to Dagny's departure from her month's stay.
    1 point
  28. ET, Thanks for bringing up this issue. I think of the conflicts of interests that brought on the American Civil War. Slavery was a crucial economic factor of production and profit in the South overall. And farmers without slaves thought that were slaves emancipated it would bring greater competition to their sector of the economy. In her essay “The ‘Conflict’ of Men’s Interests” (1962), as all here know, Rand defended her view that “there are no conflicts of interests among rational men” (1957). From what I read in the essay, she should conclude that however dependent upon slave
    1 point
  29. whYNOT

    2020 election

    As much as there exists Capitalism in the US by laissez-faire standards, the economic choice is this: https://trishintel.com/trish-this-election-is-a-simple-choice-capitalism-vs-socialism/
    1 point
  30. Boydstun

    2020 election

    Merlin, under the heading of this thread: Are you going to vote for the Trump/Pence ticket? The Supreme Court overthrow of Roe will have already been accomplished as far as that can be affected by getting anti-abortion seats on the Court. (I think all the talk about increasing the number of Justices on the Court is junk-prayer talk, just like Sen. Cruz in the 2016 Primary telling his evangelical base that he would go for a Constitutional Amendment to allow States to bar same-sex marriage---when you see that sort of recourse proposed, you know that side has simply lost the issue.) I voted alway
    1 point
  31. I think this is the hold up because purpose is a subspecies of standard (in a certain context). Standard and Purpose, both give guidance. (but with Rand the primary difference seems to be that one is abstract, the other concrete) The difference between “standard” and “purpose” in this context is as follows: a “standard” is an abstract principle that serves as a measurement or gauge to guide a man’s choices in the achievement of a concrete, specific purpose. “That which is required for the survival of man qua man” is an abstract principle that applies to every individual man. The task of a
    1 point
  32. Atlas Shrugged was published on 10 October 1957. A brief interview with Rand by Lewis Nichols was published in the New York Times three days later. On the writing of Atlas Shrugged she remarked: “‘It goes back a long way. I was disappointed in the reaction to The Fountainhead. A good many of the reviewers missed the point. A friend called me to sympathize, and said I should write a non-fiction book about the idea back of The Fountainhead. ‘While I was talking, I thought, “I simply don’t want to do this. What if I went on strike?” My husband [Frank O’Connor] and I talked about that al
    1 point
  33. It strikes me as a kind of foreshadowing. But the connected events happen in such quick succession that they indicate a plot-theme integration of predetermination. You see that the movie was so well done that the issue of choice versus fate was there in the initial scenes. Also, the "wake up" bit not only foreshadows his immediate waking from sleep, but also his later choice to escape from the matrix.
    1 point
  34. Nicky

    Abstract Surrealism

    The real twist would be if Banksy managed to draw something that's above the skill level of an eight year old...or, even better, said something more sophisticated than an eight year old.
    1 point
  35. Interesting, I had not made the connection between "arbitrary" and anything is possible. (now that you mention it, it's embarrassingly obvious) So that is at the heart of it. It is what the whole exercise it all about. We are beings that need to know "the possible" to survive. We are like hungry mouths, waiting to be nourished by "the possible", and sometimes we take in a trash/poison/virus that is "the arbitrary" that looks like food. The arbitrary misguides us when we miscategorized it as possible, it will take us well ... to the arbitrary. (sometimes the impossible, after all
    1 point
  36. Indeed it is impossible, that's why you just admitted you are wrong.
    0 points
  37. I think one can get fixated on one word, when it's clear Rand assumed her readers recognize that "interests" covers a wide gamut. Take: Needs, wants, ambitions, goals, ideas, actions, purpose, work, career, love life, friends, pastimes, financial profits, appreciation of art - and "self-interest", itself. And substitute any one for "interests" in her statement. They all equally fit.
    0 points
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