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  1. Famine and war versus more mean tweets. I'd pick the tweets every time. Trump was the only president in decades to have not started a new war or military intervention. Of course that was the main reason he had to go.
    2 points
  2. "I can't argue that Newton's Laws are not true because they are just generalizations that Newton made up..." (My point being that what you are saying could be applied to any argument whatever and therefore is a rejection of reasoning as such)
    2 points
  3. Well Done! Ken Danagger asks Dagny Taggart: Dr. Chris Sciabarra is ending his long labor of love The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. He produced the journal for 22 years, which means a total of 44 issues of the journal. I list here some tidbit teasers from the first 10 years of the journal. V1N1 “But something changes. At the end of the book, Roark is no longer a seemingly isolated young man, alone with his thoughts in the depths of the countryside. He is just as individual as he was at the beginning, but now he stands at the heart of his country’s economic life, building its most conspicuous symbol, with the glad permission of his fellow citizens. Of the many inversions of perspective and expectation that are suggested by Roark’s dive into the sky, this is one of the most remarkable.” –Stephen Cox V1N2 “Although both Andrei and Wynand are men guilty of their own tragedy, Rand presents their falls more as the logical outcome of their mistakes than as the just desert of their sins. As in the Aristotelian tradition of tragic ‘hamorita’, theirs is a type of transgression that must be distinguished from pure evil, making their fatal ends deserving of respectful pity rather than righteous condemnation.” –Kirsti Minsaas V2N1 “You can live any way you choose within a regime of well-drawn non-conflictng individual rights. But again, to know what those rights are, to better be able to shape them coordinately, to limit all but procedural distinctions, we require minarchy.” –Murray Franck V2N2 “The character may be embroiled in highly implausible situations, but he must still ‘live and breathe before us’ as an actual human being, with motivations we find at least intellibible, else we cannot empathize with the character or imaginatively share his fate. There is much more to it than this, and I am greatly condensing the account. But when I presented it once to Rand she agreed with it, and was pleased by my Aristotelianism on this issue.” –John Hospers V3N1 “The data the sensations provide us with must come from somewhere, and this somewhere cannot be, as on the Cartesian account, from the physical objects. On pain of rendering incomprehensible why we all largely agree in our empirical beliefs, something that the formal agreement in geometrical belief cannot suffice to explain, there must be some common data source. Given the Kantian account of the physical world, this data source must be supra-physical.” –R. Kevin Hill V3N2 “It isn’t just Rand who stumbled over the implicit. It gets under psychologists, feet, too.” –Robert L. Campbell V4N1 “Indeed, I would argue that we can see Rand’s epistemology as an updating of the project that Abelard pursued over 800 years ago.” –Peter Saint-Andre V4N2 “There is the marked disparity between her popularity as a novelist and the number of articles of literary criticism written about her work, though this too is not without precedent. It took some time for John Steinbeck to achieve recognition by certain sectors of the critical establishment. His work was disdained for its popularity, sentimentality, and the fact that it is accessible even to high school students.” –Mimi Reisel Gladstein V5N1 “Considerations of self-esteem and self-esteem-based happiness THEMSELVES do not provide an agent with a reason that makes the difference in how he should act.” –Eric Mack V5N2 “Rand’s measurement-omission analysis of concepts could be correct even if her account of their genesis were incorrect.” –Stephen Boydstun V6N1 “Dr. Stadler’s complaint that he almost froze to death and numerous references to city-dwellers exposed to the elements for the first time in their lives [also] describe the first winters of Communist rule.” --Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal V6N2 “I find it tempting to believe that we can gain knowledge through the faculty of reason both in an a priori way and from experience. . . . These two ways could work together.” --Richard C. B. Johnsson V7N1 “Rand’s trader principle does not suffer from the problems of [Adam] Smith’s invisible hand principle because she explicitly grounds her defense of trade in an individual’s right to exist for his or her own sake. . . . I do not sacrifice my interests for your sake, and you do not sacrifice your interests for my sake.” --Robert White V7N2 “If you want a deconstructionist, go to the English Department. Philosophy departments in Anglophone countries are still predominantly homes for linguistic and logical analysis, the whole tone and tenor of which are very much in opposition to subjectivist nihilism. In fact, analytic philosophy of all styles began in self-conscious opposition to such German gobbledlygook.” --Max Hocutt V8N1 “That worry is precisely the worry that being unmarried ISN’T a necessary property of anything, prior to and apart from the convention in question. . . . It’s only qua bachelors that those entities are necessarily unmarried, and the worry is that what it is to be something qua bachelor is an artifact of the convention, not a fact about the world. / I believe this worry can be met, but that the way to meet it is to show that it can arise only from OUTSIDE the linguistic practice in question, and cannot coherently be raised from within it. No one who assents to the proposition that bachelors are necessarily unmarried (thereby participating in the practice) can consistently add “oh, but that’s not a fact about the world.” --Roderick T. Long V8N2 “To be fair, Objectivists do not deny the existence and importance of ‘spiritual’ qualities. Objectivists argue strongly against any sort of reductive materialism such as behaviorism or eliminativism. But, for Objectivists, material entities are the ultimate reality and conscious beings somehow supervene upon this underlying reality. Thus, the existence of any sort of supernatural entity, such as God, is ruled out.” --Stephen E. Parrish V9N1 “A human being is a coherent unity of mind and body, yet this way of stating the fact still leaves ‘mind’ and ‘body’ conceptually separate. The concept ORGANISM conceptually integrates these two facets of human nature in a graceful and unit-economical way.” --Andrew Schwartz V9N2 “Both see rationality as our distinctive means of avoiding threats and securing our survival, given our animal vulnerabilities. However, where MacIntyre diverges from Rand is in relation to the implications of this in respect of our ongoing dependence on others.” --Ron Beadle V10N1 “We do not believe there are untethered and dispositionless will acts made in complete freedom of antecedent conditions. . . . We endeavored to use notions of self-direction in ‘common-sense’ ways not packed with a lot of philosophical baggage, because we believed that ordinary usage (say, ordinary common law usage of choice and intent) were sufficient to complete the political argument.” --Douglas J. Den Uyl and Douglas B. Rasmussen V10N2 “He [Nietzsche] insists, as she does, that it is absurd to live for the sake of the collective (i.e., what he calls ‘’the majority’), but the reason he gives is not the one that she would give. Her reason would be that it is absurd to live FOR ANYONE [who is not oneself]. The answer he gives is the aristocratic one, that one should live for the best and the rarest. Even here, though, his position still overlaps with hers IN A WAY: for what he is saying here can be captured by a phrase that Rand sometimes applies to herself, namely, hero-worship. Nietzsche’s aristocratic hero-worship I think is the key to understanding the collectivist-sounding language in . . . .” --Lester Hunt
    2 points
  4. Spherical Gear – Active Ball Joint
    2 points
  5. Interview with Marsha Enright by David Kelley
    2 points
  6. I had never gotten around to reading Ronald Merrill’s original The Ideas of Ayn Rand until now, in parallel with Marsha Enright’s expanded version Ayn Rand Explained. Enright has expanded Ideas considerably in Explained, beyond the three new chapters. For example, Merrill wrote in Ideas: “Rand’s predilection for paradox and her pleasure in surprising and shocking the reader probably owed much to the influence of O. Henry and Oscar Wilde.” That statement, its paragraph, and its section remain in Explained. But the element of paradox and six others (mostly additional to those remarked by Merrill) in Rand’s literature receive fresh and delightful notice and discussion from Enright. One of the hazards Nathaniel Branden had attended to in “The Benefits and Hazards of Ayn Rand’s Philosophy” (1984) is perhaps more a psychological hazard than a philosophical one: repression.* As I mentioned in another thread,* his lectures The Basic Principles of Objectivism, as transcribed in The Vision of Ayn Rand, contain much more psychology than does Leonard Peikoff’s Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. As readers here know, Branden published quite a bit of psychology in The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist. In recent years, he has allowed that the psychology he propounded then as well as his later corrections and extensions to it are not part of the philosophy of Objectivism, and he has acknowledged that Peikoff’s OPAR is an accurate representation of Rand’s philosophy. The divide between philosophical psychology (as my Thomist first philosophy professor called it) and what we call cognitive psychology* or therapeutic psychology* is not sharp. For example, Rand would not have gotten far in posing her view of the nature and role of reason in human life without saying things about the nature of perception and emotions and their relations with reason. Theory of perception and emotions at some level of outline has to be part of a philosophy such as hers. Moreover, emotional dynamics figure into film, such as Love Letters,* and novels, such as Fountainhead and Atlas. It is in connection with Rand’s literature that Branden came to see a hazard in the “philosophy” of Ayn Rand. He wrote: No such lesson took on me as a young person reading those books. In Fountainhead again and again Roark is shown to be the character not evasive about himself, the character most not evasive about himself. In Atlas Dagny, Rearden, and Galt are shown as kin of Roark in that respect. Rand was no Doris Lessing when it came to space devoted to self-reflection in characters. Lessing is no Rand when it comes to space devoted to the glory of sustained productive achievement. The two authors had different aspects of human existence, both of them important, that they especially wanted to embroidery. The view that Rand’s protagonists are emotionally and introspectively inept has become a cliché. It was a pleasant surprise to find that in Ayn Rand Explained that cliché is challenged. This work counters that image, specifically with respect to Branden’s contentions about emotions and repression as portrayed in Atlas (pp. 120–25 in Explained; 79–84 in Ideas).
    2 points
  7. Reidy

    Win Some, Lose Some

    Say what you will about Dobbs, the recent EPA decision is shaping up as very good news. Here's an example of just how happy we should be.
    1 point
  8. Ultimately the responsibility for the administration falls to Trump , so it doesn’t make a difference whether he made good decisions or had good decision makers in the administration . He ‘lucked out’ because not much was happening on his watch , the only administration in history were the US had little or no influence on what happened internationally. Trump had been making his views on foreign policy and trade fairly public since the late eighties and has stayed fairly consistent on those views and actually tried to implement some of them , he lucked out in that they seemed to work or at least not cause immediate negative effects. He just lucked out lol, that TDS sure blunts reasoning.
    1 point
  9. Boydstun

    Back after 10 years...

    Welcome back! Congratulations on JD!
    1 point
  10. Nordsteam I and Nordstream 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic have now both been sabotaged. The most likely perpetrators are the Americans and the Ukrainians. There is no way in hell the Russians did it, the ability to return to the pre-war gas market as Europe's primary supplier was Russia's major negotiating chip to keep their gains in the Ukraine after things settled. They could always turn off the flow and had already turned off the flow for demonstration purposes so blowing up their own pipelines reduces Russia's political influence and is contrary to their financial needs and stated policies. But if the Ukrainians did it, that is just another way to state that the Americans did it. Elections have consequences.
    1 point
  11. LAWS VI 772a “Boys and girls must dance together at an age when plausible occasions can be found for their doing so, in order that they may have a reasonable look at each other; and they should dance naked, provided sufficient modesty and restraint are displayed by all concerned.” –Plato
    1 point
  12. Capitalism requires a separation of state and economics. What we have with NATO is not capitalism at all; it's cronyism and corruption. There's plenty of evidence for it.
    1 point
  13. Heh, the fact that a high placed Wehrmacht official ends up as NATO military commander 'fits nicely' with putinist 'propaganda' .
    1 point
  14. I didn't say "just." Why "nevermind"? A mixed economy is a mixture of freedom (capitalism) and controls (e.g., socialism or fascism), so this does not rule out what I said. If two countries agree that each one will defend the other if attacked, then there is no need for money to change hands, even if the attack actually occurs. It might cost money to honor the agreement, but that money would not need to flow from either country to the other. Maybe after World War II, Europe was too weak to defend itself, and it might have made sense for the US to help it then, but the flow of money continued long after it should have ended, and then it took on a life of its own. What they don't need is free money or loot. They think they can have both, but they are neglecting the former in their pursuit of the latter. On what basis? You're accusing me of saying a lot of things that I didn't even say. Also, whether something is a "narrative" or not is beside the point: what matters is whether or not it's true. I don't think you can argue that it isn't true. Maybe you could argue that it isn't important, or that it leaves important things out, but I think it's important.
    1 point
  15. Until this morning I had never heard of him , nor could I name any other NATO military commander throughout the history of the organization. But today the algorithm pointed me to an article that mentioned him , having little if even detailed knowledge of NATO actions my impressions of its comings and goings are only shaped by whatever general or casual information floats around in popular culture , basically in the broadest view in the west ‘they’ are pretty much the ‘good guys’. I would never have guessed that one of Hitler’s former military officers would have been selected for such a post. Do you think the ‘official’ or legal Nazi status as compared to ‘plain ole Wehrmacht officer ‘ is a difference in kind and not simply degree? I would assume that even if he was a member , that that would have been ‘scrubbed’ to allow for more acceptability in the post WW2 west. Or maybe NATO really is and always been Nazi friendly. ps I figured when I mentioned it , someone would be triggered ‘he wasn’t a Nazi , he only helped Hitler establish the Third Reich , he had a totally different uniform !’
    1 point
  16. I have no idea... Then why do yo call him a Nazi and imply that NATO employed Nazis in command positions ?
    1 point
  17. At least, we have no evidence they wrote .
    1 point
  18. I’m thinking a lot of applications for robotic welding .
    1 point
  19. So for example if the risk of killing someone is 7%, that's okay, but if it rises to 8% then it counts as initiating force? That doesn't make sense. It doesn't matter what the actual percentages are, either. An increase of risk cannot "rise" to the level of physical force. The distinction is not a matter of how much risk it is, but of whether it's a matter of deliberate choice or not. The initiation of force can only be done by deliberate choice. Failure to get vaccinated is not an initiation of force. Forcing someone to get vaccinated, is.
    1 point
  20. Boydstun

    Existence, We

    Additionally, “existence is identity” in mathematics means not only that any mathematical fact will be correct statement of an identity, but that the identity is the existence. Concerning concrete existence, “existence is identity” must include in that identity: specification of spatial and temporal relations, for it to be the case that the identity is the existence. If we add that all existence outside existence in mathematics (or in logic, e.g. Löenheim-Skolem Theorem) is existence in physical space and time, then the ontological argument, of Anselm and Descartes, for the existence of God fails with respect to non-mathematical existence. From a set of predicates not including specification of spatial and temporal relations, the existence of God cannot be inferred, and inclusion by fiat of Its spatial relations (everywhere) and temporal relations (everywhen) in a mere conception does amount to the existence of God in that usual intended sense of existence.* Whereas, Existence itself is not something concluded from a conception, but is simply there all around us and is the physical and epistemological context for any knowing of any existent or identity. * Cf. Christian August Crusius (1745) in Leibniz & Kant, Brandon C. Look, editor, (Oxford 2021), pp. 61–66.
    1 point
  21. It is undeniable that the Mar-a-Lago raid has played into Donald Trump's hands: He is a specialist at playing victim, and a significant number of Republican voters lap it up when he does. But an interesting analysis argues that Trump's legal problems may not help him long term even within the GOP and will definitely harm his chances in the general election:Image by Jack Boucher, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain....Yes, it's true that Trump is more likely today to be nominated than he was before the FBI search for the simple reason that this party now runs almost entirely on spite. And crowning a guy who's under federal investigation king of the GOP for the third straight cycle is the most spiteful thing Republican voters could do to show their contempt for the political establishment and the "deep state." The search boosted Trump's populist appeal as the candidate of spite. The wrinkle is that it also strengthened DeSantis's argument as the electable choice in the field by comparison. The more baggage Trump has to carry, the more even some otherwise loyal MAGA voters will begin to think hard about whether he can win a general election. [bold added]I like the term spite here: It is a near-perfect characterization of the naive emotionalism/blind rebellion against the Democrats that seems to have swallowed the GOP since Trump arrived on the scene to "own the libs" (but not defeat them). Will the GOP merely be content to "own the libs" (by nominating Trump) -- or will it get past the childish, second-handed desire to get a reaction from the left. Will the GOP wake up in time to find someone who cares enough to understand what America is actually about, and methodically approach the problem of bringing back liberty and prosperity? Ron DeSantis may or may not be that man, but Donald Trump clearly isn't. Only time will tell. -- CAVLink to Original
    1 point
  22. Another possible description is "sacrificing others". This gets at a key confusion in popular concepts of "selfishness".
    1 point
  23. Here is an inspirational example from Chopin performed brilliantly by Daniel Trifonov:
    1 point
  24. To confuse risk of physical force with initiation of physical force is to confuse a potential with an actual. The whole mandatory vaccination position depends on a Parmenidean worldview in which all that exists is fully actual, combined with disregarding the need to obtain sufficient information to blame any one person for anything. It is the same fallacy employed by advocates of anti-immigration, gun control, and environmentalism. Thank you for helping to make that connection.
    1 point
  25. The focus is still that the concern is placed on the CoViD-19 virus and what it is reported to be doing to others. The fuel, you say, is provided by people, . . . i.e., by others . . . not taking the CoViD-19 viral aspect seriously. Altruism is Other-ism. Even in the response to the altruistic element, the claim is that it is by people . . . i.e., others . . . not knowing how to react to the altruistic element in the response. I read, recently, that the media may not be able to tell people what to think, yet have a great deal of influence on what people think about. Are you reading/hearing stories about the freedom and liberty to try preventative approaches such as Vitamin D might offer? Or are the stories of late a variation on the trolly car problem of who should the first thousand doses of vaccine be allocated to today, and in which hands should the divining rod be placed tomorrow? What of the freedom and liberty to volunteer to take a potential treatment? Or is the focus, in such matters, on the need to protect foolish irrationality from buying snake-oil, or a company from destroying its reputation by premature marketing of a product. Are businesses being offered the freedom and liberty to seek the advice of competent experts to advise them how to provide a safe environment for their customers, the same customers that trust the judgment of the business to provide them with the quality of merchandise for the prices they are willing to pay? Or are government servants to be elevated to positions of authority over arts and sciences they have never studied, to choose which 'expert(s)' should be 'listened' to (i.e., obeyed.) . . . Should this be done at the freedom and liberty of the individual level? Or should it be delegated to a city level? Or should it be established at a township, parish, or county level? Or at a state or a national level?
    1 point
  26. You have not been able to make a reasoned argument of your own, therefore I do not recognize your second handed "challenge" on someone else's argument. I've been clear about my stance and found evidence for it, show me what you've got.
    0 points
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