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  1. I wonder how a proper Objectivist would report on the data, but I propose the following: It would be 100% fact based, no shred of anything for a. personal financial gain b. political gain c. institutional or political reputation or d. with the intent to cajole or persuade people to any so called desired behavior i.e. no social engineering of sentiment or action of any kind. It would look at medical interactions in society from the individual's perspective, and individual rights, the individual's freedom, health, and very lives. This is in many senses opposite to the so-called "public good" of public health approaches. I.e. the data would be looked at in the sense of treating individuals, how individual people fared, their health, their freedoms, their mental well being etc. not merely the so-called health of a collective... using who knows what as statistical standards. A herd which is "treated" and "managed" be said to be more healthy, even when enslaved, or if part of the heard are disadvantaged or sacrificed (culled) for the sake of the collective whole. Herd mentality is not how an Objectivist would think of it or deal with it. Sacrifice of the innocent for NO MATTER HOW MANY other individuals IS EVIL. Lives saved? I wonder if anyone has done the analysis thusly: How many people under the age of 50, how many CHILDREN would have died or suffered irreparably educationally, physically, mentally, had nothing been done, no vaccines, no imprisonment, no mandates, no muzzling. Then how many were affected because of the measures taken. Then doing the same for people over the age of 50, no measures... versus measures taken. I wonder whether in the end, in the pursuit of sheer numbers of "survivors", many of the young with their whole lives ahead of them have been brought low and in some cases died for no good reason. That whole lives were sacrificed on the altar of public good in return for survivability of the very old, good numbers, and political and institutional reputation. I have said it before, if you ask your doctor whether any proposed action is better for yourself (or your child) PERSONALLY, given all possible benefit and risks, and he/she hesitates or looks confused... THAT is no doctor, that is an agent of the State who has forsaken the sacred duty to treat you PERSONALLY for your benefit, for your life and health... and you should find yourself a new doctor as fast as possible. You see, no matter how mundane and saccharine and academically philosophical the trolley problem seems, its purported utilitarian or arithmetical solution we now see in full. For the herd, all that really matters are the numbers, whether one arrived at it by sacrificing innocents is beside the fact... the so-called public good has nothing to do with individuals... the greatest "number" of survivors. I believe Rand solved the "trolley problem" with the idea of every person being an end in himself, which already requires no purposeful act to cause the sacrifice of anyone, much less children, who knew no better, some of whom (those so called "rare" few) died because of it. Public health is inimical to individual rights and is an evil, as evil as any of the other proposed Globalist, centrally planned erosions of our freedoms, or what is left of them. I am ashamed most prominent Objectivists are going along for the ride with not so much as a peep. The only brave and outspoken Objectivist pushing back on the madness I can think of currently, is Alex Epstein.
    3 points
  2. What is behind the conspiracy of conspiracies? Who or what conspires to cause so many seemingly normal people to distrust power, distrust government, distrust institutions and organizations? IS there some nefarious source of the multiple allegations against so many of the trusted and established authorities of the world? Is it because some teenage archetype of the psyche wants a bad orange man to write mean tweets? Is it because of patriarchal racism or sexism? Is it Chinese disinformation or Russian mind control? Why so much push back against... what is the pushback against? on a wide integration .. some of these things are just like the others... but what is the common thread.. what is the one in the many? Its like they are resisting being herded. Why wont the herd be herded? it's almost like... they are rebelling against being herded at all? Like they are not accepting coercion? They want to decide for themselves and act independently of our great establishment Parents ... the Global arisen God... The conspiracy behind all conspiracies is a deep sense of individual freedom... and it just wont die. Rationalize that.
    3 points
  3. And that's the bottom line. Everything else follows.
    2 points
  4. This is completely ridiculous and the clown is you, as it will result from the following. 0. The FACTS: it seems, as of today, that Ukraine was trying to knock down a Russian missile, but the Ukrainian anti-missile fell a few km inside the Polish border and killed two persons. The Russian Missile was probably directed at Lviv, some dozen of km from the Polish border, and was part of the Russian campaign of destroying mostly civilian energy infrastructure before the approaching winter. This is arguably a war crime. The aim of this campaign was publicly admitted by Russia’s military 1. Looking retrospectively, it was a serious PR blunder; besides, no Zelensky’s words are capable of making NATO invoke Article 5 and possibly start WWIII 2. WW3 would not be in Zelensky’s interest at all, because Ukraine would be the first victim; his interest would be in getting more, and more performing weapons. And also to convince NATO of the obvious: that Russian military logistics inside Russia is fair game for Ukraine. 3. During this incident USA and NATO were from the beginning extremely prudent; this alone refutes all claims that USA/NATO looks for an excuse to attack Russia. 4. In a war shit happens, and the principal responsibility lies on the aggressor – unless there is proof that the other party targeted civilians. Now, who is the clown? No, I do NOT take back my support for Ukraine just because of someone’s blunder: my support is much more principled than that.
    2 points
  5. Your understanding is usually shallow. It is not 'anti - American' to be strongly against NATO without whose egregious manipulations and military-political-economic, um, "support" for Ukraine (read - belligerence against Russia) this regional war would have been a non-starter (and could surely have been resolved peacefully between the two countries involved). It is not 'anti-American' to be against the conflict-escalating, self-sacrificial reactions of this present US Administration. This is ostensively not a war that furthers America's self-defense nor national self-interest. Therefore, many "such commentators" and myself are distinctly PRO-American. Where does that leave all you others? On the war-mongering side are aligned the indoctrinated, useful idiots who may not know they are are in fact, anti-life. The purpose of the avalanche of western propaganda is to conceal one fact: humans are being sacrificed to the West's "noble intentions".
    2 points
  6. In a Communist country nothing works as you would think it should... In order to leave such a country, even for a short time, you need a passport and an exit visa in it. Nobody had an a priori right to either. In order to get the travel passport and an exit visa you have to be a special person - a normal one had no chance. You had to be a "trustworthy" and "deserving" person, a very flexible concept... And various instances had to certify this... The procedures to apply for an exit visa were long and complex. The first decision of the authorities was usually a refusal, with no justification given, of course... Etc. And after coming back, you had to return the passport to the authorities within 3 days and get back your ID card (or internal passport). If anyone is interested in details of the application procedure and of the follow-ups, please ask. The ordeal of getting an exit visa depended on the specific Communist country and on the specific epoch. I know well the ordeal in Romania. PS: if meanwhile someone reported on you to the police that, for example, you did not intend to return to the country, all the border points were immediately informed, your exit visa was canceled and the passport confiscated. It happened to me once (1981) and I took care that it never happens again 😁
    2 points
  7. I second your analysis. If the Republicans get control of the House we'll be in for two years of rancorous, bad-willed divided government that won't be able to move any big legislation, and that's the best we could have hoped for. Another piece of good news is that the state-level abortion initiatives went the way I hoped. At National Review they're already trying to rationalize it away.
    2 points
  8. It is amazing to me how people that have studied philosophy and the nature of government can be so completely defenseless against low grade propaganda. "Safe and effective!" "Safe and secure!" Weak minds think alike.
    2 points
  9. Voting a straight ticket will guard against the rise of a one party rule movement ? Cuz men with vaginas will finally be safe ? See now I feel bad associating coarse pedestrian language with such a highly intellectual think piece.
    2 points
  10. THE OXFORD COMPANION TO PHILOSOPHY (1995, 2005) is an encyclopedia of issues and philosophers. It is 1056 pages long. It does not have an entry for Ayn Rand, although she is mentioned within an entry for Popular Philosophy. The entry begins by setting forth three sorts of popular philosophy: general guidance about the conduct of life; amateur consideration of the standard, technical problems of philosophy; and philosophical popularization. There was movement called “popular philosophy” in eighteenth-century Germany. It included various definite philosophies, but criticized obscure technicalities and systematic elaborations, in an attempt to stay close to experience and usefulness for life. Frankly, general educated readers today, would find those writings quite technical philosophy. And frankly, the German Rationalist before them Christian Wolff held to the Enlightenment value of concern for the welfare and betterment of humanity (and he found a method for increasing the yield of grains). Then too, all the systematic, technical philosophers before them held forth practical philosophies, which is to say ethical systems. So I don’t give much weight to the claims of uniqueness in this self-declared popular-philosophy movement. The movement was eventually displaced by Kantianism. Beside those guys, the entry mentions under philosophers giving general guidance about the conduct of life: Socrates, Aristotle, Stoics, Epicureans, Christian dicta (not really philosophy), Erasmus, Montaigne, F. Bacon, La Rochefoucauld, Samuel Johnson, and Benjamin Franklin. “By the end of the eighteenth century, prudence, and the idea of rational management of life, had been obscured by the clouds of romanticism.” That is to say, the allure of this sort of practical philosophy was outdone and displaced by the allure of philosophical romanticism, including Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Emerson and Shaw should be counted among this sort of practical philosopher. Others mentioned, from the twentieth century: Émile Chartier, Havelock Ellis, John Cowper Powys, Aldous Huxley, and Sydney Harris. In the last three decades of the twentieth century (and to the present), “professional philosophers, after a long period of absenteeism from anything but the most abstract and uncommitted attention to the problems of conduct and practice, have resumed a measure of direct involvement, mainly at the political or collective level, but to some extent more personally, as in Richard Robinson’s AN ATHEIST’S VALUES and Robert Nozick’s unkindly treated THE EXAMINED LIFE.” Skipping the second kind for a moment, the third kind of popular philosophy in this entry is popularization of philosophy. Among this kind are mentioned: Paulsen, Windelband, Benn, and Russell in his PROBLEMS OF PHILOSOPHY, Hospers in his INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS and HUMAN CONDUCT, and Scruton’s MODERN PHILOSOPHY. T. Nagel, Blackburn, Midgley, Glover, and Singer are professional philosophers who have been lured into press in the popularization genre. The second kind of popular philosophy is in contrast to institutional philosophy, which today means in contrast to academic philosophy. This kind of popular philosophy, though amateur, tackles the standard, technical problems of philosophy. Notwithstanding all their influence, the author of the entry puts Descartes and Hume in this category. I should add Spinoza. This sort of philosophizing flourished at presses in the nineteenth century, but languished in the twentieth century. Exceptions in the twentieth: C. G. Stone, L. L. Whyte, and George Melhuish, “and, in the United States, Ayn Rand, strenuous exponent of objectivism and self-interest.” I’d say that Leonard Peikoff greatly contributed to expanding the range of standard philosophy problems that can be addressed by Rand’s philosophy in metaphysics and epistemology. His essay, “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy” was a big expansion, even if only a short overview. In his History of Philosophy lectures in the early 1970’s, he gave square, competent presentations of the big guys through the ages and followed each with what Objectivism could say precisely of what was amiss or right in the particular philosophy. Appearance of the Blackburn A COMPANION TO AYN RAND is a milestone breach of the silence on and snubbing of Rand by academic philosophers. This breach was made possible by the renowned Aristotle scholar and Objectivist Allan Gotthelf. Another breach is the Ayn Rand Society within The American Philosophical Association and the books issued by that Society under an academic press. Another: Chris Sciabarra’s AYN RAND: THE RUSSIAN RANDICAL and his JOURNAL OF AYN RAND STUDIES. The thesis of his book on local Russian influences on Rand’s philosophy were contested by James Lennox, Barbara Branden, and others knowledgeable of Rand and her development, but in the course of his book, Sciabarra exposes to a wider scholarly audience a very detailed view of Rand’s philosophy itself. I should mention that the professional philosopher Robert Nozick preserved his early challenge to Rand’s ethics by including it among his papers in his book SOCRATIC PUZZLES. Academic presses have issued other books on Objectivism or putting it into technical philosophical work: three books by Tara Smith and one by David Kelley. Although Nietzsche after 1890 was widely read among people outside academia, and a cult of Nietzsche burned brightly until WWI, he was shunned by the academy there and here until after WWII. That would be about five decades after his death (really ten for full blaze). Rand has been deceased about four decades. The question of how far Rand’s philosophy might become a stable and large topic of academic philosophers in the coming decades remains entirely impenetrable to me. By now though, it appears Rand’s philosophy will for a long time to come continue as a help to some people in making a life for themselves and as, for some, an entryway to philosophy more generally. This is a picture of Ayn Rand in 1951 being read by a college student maybe 15 years later.
    1 point
  11. Former secretary of defense Leon Panneta said in Oct that Putin never had enough of a force to invade and control the whole country of Ukraine with only 200k ground troops. https://news.yahoo.com/opinion-military-force-only-effective-083000912.html Given that he is a politico and not to my knowledge a military expert , it would seem this is probably a fairly common belief /opinion among people with a modicum of scrutiny into military capabilities and a general sense of raw numbers. But maybe everything people know about military strategies and technicalities are really just Russian propaganda.
    1 point
  12. "Glaringly apparent from the first day", based on size of the countries, population, size of economies and volume of military equipment, was that Ukraine will crumble within weeks, if not days. And based on the announced Putin strategy: decapitate the leadership, replace it and that's it. And anyone "who is honest, realistic and knows military capabilities" could have predicted this. But did Ritter, the big expert, warned that it may take many, many months ? That the leadership might not be decapitated ? That the Ukrainians might show themselves to be very motivated and creative, while the Russian solders will not, and its military commanders were inept and overwhelmed by the surprisingly strong resistance. That the West will supply weapons (although few and mostly outdated) and provide intelligence data ? THIS would have been the proof of a truly professional expertise ! IOW, who would have bet on David that he will resist Goliath more then 5 minutes ? But maybe Scott Ritter did warn "from the first day" that, although Russian victory is inevitable, it will not happen before the end of the year. I would be glad to consider your proof that he did. Otherwise he is a failed expert, no better than I am. BTW, here is a funny quote from a statement by S. Ritter, March 13, 2022 : "neo-Nazis affiliated to Azov Battalion in Ukraine ... seized the power in the country". This echoes the then Putin's claim that he attacked Ukraine in order, among other objectives, to "denazify" it. I wonder who inspired whom... And I also wonder why this slogan disappeared from Russia's propaganda... and from Scott Ritter's vocabulary... Now he is warning that an invincible armada is descending on Ukraine and that she would better surrender, or be crushed. I did not visit recently the "120 minutes of hatred" by Solovyov and others on the Russian TV, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear there about the invincible armada...
    1 point
  13. OK, her big achievement was, according to you, to radically change her opinion. Is this a value in itself? Because a more important question is: is her new opinion true? And was her old opinion false? Or, which is also possible, maybe both her new and her old opinions were false? You implicitly answer these questions by your choice of the video, a choice you made according to your own opinion. As such, it advances nobody’s knowledge about the Russia’s war against Ukraine. Moreover, it is embarrassing that her employer, John Mark Dougan, the independent journalist, made her visit only the Russia’s side of the frontline, but not also the Ukrainian side, as one would expect from an independent journalist, to find out that in a war both sides are suffering, and that, therefore, one has to go beyond suffering and see who is responsible for all that. However, the interview is quite interesting, on different levels – if one is familiar with the conflict in Ukraine. Now: how objective is this journalist? According to Google, John Mark Dougan is quite well known as a conspiracy theorist (e.g. about a US-funded bioWEAPONS lab in Ukraine - see here, quite interesting), but this might be a subjective view. What is not subjective is this detail in his biography: he is a US fugitive and received political asylum in… Russia… He is a frequent contributor to Russia Today, RIA Novosti/Sputnik and other such "independent" publications.
    1 point
  14. If you obey the laws of nature, are these laws the master of your rights? (that was metaphorical but helps in making my point) The law should protect your rights and everyone else's rights. No one is being subjugated when a neighbor objects to you burning leaves when the situation is incendiary. The neighbor has a right to their property too. Protection of their rights is not the same as a government supporting your subjugation or slavery. And the idea that a supporter of individual rights wants to burn leaves whenever they want is simply a smear. A person who is not aware of anyone else's rights can't be aware of their own, it's a description of a sociopath. Such a person is anti social and incapable of trade. That does not describe what an individualist is. True enough. But the current way of governing is out of control as you would agree. The exact source or solution is nuanced and confusing. But at it's core, treating innocents like they are guilty is a key indicator of evil.
    1 point
  15. Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress https://rootsofprogress.org/ Team, Human Progress https://www.humanprogress.org/ Two other efforts that tend to be pushing in the right general direction. Jason Crawford has familiarity with Objectivism, while Human Progress holds a more benevolent sense of life approach per my esteem. Neither are heath centric, though both might deal with it if it fell under their proposed umbrellas.
    1 point
  16. ReasonFirst, Descartes thought the only reason we humans err is that we let our will outrun our understanding. He and many others thought that God could not err. That was because they thought error would be an imperfection. That is foolishness, I say. Where there is no error, there is no intelligence. God was traditionally thought of as having a will (there was the choice to make the world and to make humans) and as having understanding, or intellect. Although Descartes would emphasize the extent of the divine will, whereas Leibniz would emphasize the extent of the divine understanding, all could agree that for God, Its will cannot outrun Its understanding. Its understanding, Its intellect, may be pure act, but it is not a process requiring time to obtain knowledge. This idea of divine infallibility (and omniscience) in comparison to human fallibility (and partial ignorance) might be thought analogous to a real refrigerator and a perfect refrigerator, as in thermodynamics. The Second Law says the perfect refrigerator can be compared to real refrigerators, but no real ones can attain coincidence with the perfect one. I think that analogy would be an inappropriate analogy. Although we can get better at avoiding errors (and I would say that the best outside help on that is elementary logic texts which include informal fallacies as well as formal ones; the former can be supplemented by the informal fallacies Rand formulated, or anyway rediscovered and renamed, such as the Stolen Concept Fallacy |—>The Art of Reasoning), we would rationally expect to make errors even when proceeding with the greatest care and conformance to logic. We must not suppose it is possible to make no innocent errors, even as we get more skilled in avoiding them and even with the self-correcting methods of the hard sciences. That would be an error. For comparisons of human intelligence with other intelligence, I should suggest comparison of our cognition with the cognitive powers of the great apes, and not with imagined chimera such as God. A Natural History of Human Thinking
    1 point
  17. Danzas Argentinas Song by Alberto Ginastera
    1 point
  18. The article Boydstun linked to from CIDRAP is based on a study by researchers at Imperial College of London , their conclusions are based on their data. Their modeling has been shown multiple times to be grossly inaccurate. So what weight should been given to that study or any other ? Might it be the ‘places’ their studies are published ? Lancet published the study and their ‘track record’ since the Covid pandemic shows them to publish politically motivated pseudo science and then retracting , might they retract this too ? I was basically questioning why Stephen places so much weight in the study .
    1 point
  19. Another reason omniscience is impossible is that knowledge is gained by a process, and no one can process everything. If we define infallibility as immunity from making mistakes, we have a different question from the one DavidOdden answered. I still think the answer is no, but I'm not ready right now to give a good explanation.
    1 point
  20. Neither the Lancet nor the Imperial college should qualify as 'good' sources especially re all things Covid https://www.aier.org/article/the-failure-of-imperial-college-modeling-is-far-worse-than-we-knew/
    1 point
  21. Omniscience is universally impossible in principle, insofar as the scope of “all” in all-knowing includes experiential knowledge of events that have not happened (you cannot experience a thing before it happens), or of events that preceded the existence of the particular consciousness. Infallibility on the other hand is meaningless (impossible for a different reason). I cannot hear microwave radiation, but that is not a failure, that is because of my nature (or, the nature of humans, or mammals). If you switch to omnipotence, that just leads to a different kind of incoherence. For example, humans can see light in a particular range, using their eyes, and can hear sound in a different range, with their ears. You can’t hear light or see sound, and you can’t digest light or sound either. Plants can “digest” light, but then we are metaphorically toying with the word digest. There are many things that humans are incapable of doing, including a whopping load of meaningless “things”. Omnipotence is also conceptually incoherent. Our solution to the problem of certainty is to understand what it is. Certainty is contextual – a proposition is certain if all actual evidence in a knowledge context points to the conclusion and alternatives are also disproven. Arbitrary uncertainty is a fiat declaration that “one can imagine”, that is, reifying imagination into being a “fact”.
    1 point
  22. This requires a more detailed analysis. Lviv is pretty far west.
    1 point
  23. Your map needs work. You could start by showing Lviv, the path of the Russian missile, and where the countermissile was fired from.
    1 point
  24. The list goes on. How far will he go, is the concern. For the umpteenth time, desperate Zel has tried to drag in (more, to the nihilist extreme) foreign assistance and armies for outcomes of acts he knows were self-inflicted, not Russian doings. "Projection" as it's been called. But let's not ruin his idealized image!
    1 point
  25. If you don't know by now who/what 'started it' you never will. Tough how it's turned out and will turn out for Ukraine, and I've not suggested Putin is nice, but conflict can be the consequence of denying democracy and equal rights to a part of the population by reason of ethnicity (and 'the sins of their fathers'). "Why would so many countries...."etc? They were gulled into panic by academics etc. into believing they were next to be invaded. The 'self-fulfilling prophecy' of NATO: "we told you Russia would be dangerous again - one day". It only took about 30 years of NATO aggravations to finally have its (null) reason for continued existence to be vindicated. Human nature, simple psychology, you treat others with suspicion or hostility they eventually turn unfriendly.
    1 point
  26. If the Republicans have any sense -- a huge if, if rumors about them seriously considering Donald Trump for Speaker of the House are true -- they will quit running in elections on the premise that the elections are "rigged." In an election many mainstream commentators on both sides are having difficulty interpreting, one consistently good result has emerged:Image by Tom Radetzki, via Unsplash, license.Voters in the six major battlegrounds where Donald Trump tried to reverse his defeat in 2020 rejected election-denying candidates seeking to control their states’ election systems this year, a resounding signal that Americans have grown weary of the former president’s unfounded claims of widespread fraud. Candidates for secretary of state in Michigan, Arizona and Nevada who had echoed Trump’s false accusations lost their contests on Tuesday, with the latter race called Saturday night. A fourth candidate never made it out of his May primary in Georgia. In Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s most prominent election deniers lost his bid for governor, a job that would have given him the power to appoint the secretary of state. And in Wisconsin, an election-denying contender’s loss in the governor’s race effectively blocked a move to put election administration under partisan control. Trump-allied Republicans mounted a concerted push this year to win a range of state and federal offices, including the once obscure office of secretary of state, which in many instances is a state’s top election official. [links omitted, bold added]Excellent, if a bit misinterpreted: People who buy conspiracy theories practically never tire of them: The actual, news is that, as much as Trump panders to the type, (a) there aren't enough of them to win a general election, (b) normal people who don't want such people in office will show up to keep them out, or (c) some combination of both. Most of us can breathe a big sigh of relief in the short term. In the long term, perhaps we can harbor hope that Republicans will quit screwing themselves by following Trump's lead on this manufactured issue -- and quit screwing those of us who want a serious alternative to the Democrats. Memo to All Partisan Pundits: Just because "your guy" won doesn't mean we like him or that he necessarily deserved to win. -- CAVLink to Original
    1 point
  27. Do any of you clowns wish to take back your support for Ukraine now that we know Zelensky tried to start WWIII by lying about whose actions caused deaths of innocents in a NATO country recently?
    1 point
  28. necrovore

    Blocked off my account

    OK, just thought at the time that you would like to know that someone saw it.
    1 point
  29. The kooks are those who believe that the people voted for the party in power destroying their lives.
    1 point
  30. Yeah, Russia is heroically trying to save the people of Ukraine, led by Putin. If it wasn't for the West, people would stop dying. Russia would be able to unleash freedom upon Ukraine. Yeah, Russia was always so nice ever since Putin came to power. Why would so many countries react defensively.
    1 point
  31. "If you don't already know no explanation is possible". I've heard that line from propagandists and mystics. No use talking with you.
    1 point
  32. Not a clue what you are going on about, what excuse, feeding what family? Explain. But you do remember who imposed the sanctions? Not Russia. The Western authorities did this and the pain of shortages etc. rebounds on their own populaces, and the powers helped foment this war for some underhand purposes, the economic consequences to be felt by everyone. Those useful -and obedient- idiots who are in the majority in the EU and Britain--are convinced self-sacrifice (you heard about altruism in "Objectivism", I guess) is the ¬moral¬ thing to do -because their Gvt's told them so and their media created a false narrative that appeals to their feelings - done to "punish" Putin and bleed Russia, rather than disdain to negotiate with him. (If they'd done so early on, any negotiations would unfortunately have revealed the unreported and brutal war that Ukraine had been carrying out since 2015 - that would have compromised the images of Kyiv's innocence and Putin's inherent evil, to the world. That wouldn't do; the talks were blocked). Societies will suffer and the Ukrainians suffer. Simply because a Story has been constructed replacing the reality that takes in the useful idiots. Who don't hear the true causes for the invasion, or if they do, evade and call it 'Russian propaganda'. I see you are highly sensitive to anything outside of your select western propaganda. Naturally you 'd object to reading possible facts that collide with your belief system. Besides, I've quoted RT, not the others, little. With your emotional reaction to RT you can't realize that most of their news items are lifted from the wire, Reuters, AP, with little embellishment and comment and not written by staff, or abbreviated re-writes.
    1 point
  33. Sure, they could be mistaken but the issue is why are they so confident in their knowledge. If it's about the high stakes, meaning, "I can't afford to be wrong", then the heightened emotions are causing the irrationality. At that point anything goes, and if you have confidence in them, then you are in trouble. Otherwise, if they know they are being arbitrary, I don't know what the motive would be, other than maybe they want to hurt you/misguide you.
    1 point
  34. Additionally, concerning Rand in Russia and her family: Pavel Solovyev and Chris Sciabarra. 1912 Father Student
    1 point
  35. The following excerpt seems to explain how Ayn Rand obtained from the Soviet government a travel visa to visit the USA. The following excerpt is from a 2004 biography titled Ayn Rand, by Jeff Britting. Page 29 “With the fear constantly in mind that Rand's vocalization of her frustration could put her in prison, Anna Borisovna [Ayn Rand’s mother] — to Rand's eternal gratitude — proposed a visit to Chicago by her oldest daughter. The timing of this suggestion was fortunate: Lenin's "War Communism" had been replaced by the more liberal New Economic Policy (NEP), and travel restrictions for students wishing to study abroad had been temporarily eased. In addition, the Rosenbaums learned that their American relatives owned a theater exhibiting silent films. The official purpose of Rand's visit would be to study the film industry first-hand and then to return and contribute the fruits of this research toward the advancement of Soviet film. This stated purpose, however, was a ruse; Rand planned to make her American visit permanent, "crossing over the lake" (in the words of her mother) to Canada, if necessary, to avoid returning to Russia. Her goal was first to establish herself as a screenwriter, thereafter "graduating into literature" — as she would later put it in her 1936 unfinished "An Attempt at the Beginning of an Autobiography"…”
    1 point
  36. It is difficult to find idiots more useful to Putin's fascist regime than the ones who spread propaganda of Russia's governmental outlets like Russia Today, TASS, RIA Novosti - even on this Objectivism forum. The fact that they are doing it for free, precisely out of idiocy, is even more damning : they don't even have the excuse of having a family to feed...
    1 point
  37. Vocabulary question: I thought a visa was an authorization to enter a country. If you're trying to leave your home country, don't you want a passport?
    1 point
  38. I'm doubtful that it could be validated. We could guess maybe. I mean, it really depends on how extensively the USSR bothered to spy on specific individuals in the US. But I don't see an advantage of them doing so, except as a tool of propaganda whenever possible. Defectors of the Communist Party were likely tracked, but since Rand was so young when she left Russia, and she was never trying to be part of the Communist Party, I doubt they would have done anything. It's not like they could blackmail her. If she wrote in her native Russian, and had specific followers in the USSR, I think that would have changed things.
    1 point
  39. "Escalation": es.kəˈleɪ.ʃən/ a situation in which something becomes greater or more serious: "Warmonger": a person who encourages or advocates aggression towards other countries or groups. https://youtu.be/rbFKREU13dQ After 6 mins in. (and the indisputable controls of info by a biased Google search)
    1 point
  40. Yes, it works !!! Thank you very much, Greg !
    1 point
  41. ET, ownership rights are a bundle of specific rights of control over a single property. So for example, I have a right to cut down any timber I please on my acreage and to exclude by force of law anyone coming on my land to spray paint words on the house or set fire to my woods. But in the bundle of specific rights making up my property rights is not a right of mine to burn leaves under all wind conditions. There was no claim of some collective right to land within some boundaries encompassing all the individual land ownerships. There is only a mutual alliance concerning the process for recognitions and enforcements of private property rights in lands owned (or would-like-to-be owned) by alliance members. (Rights to "airwave" bands for radio broadcasting are rights to land in the economic sense of land, contrasting with other factors of production such as labor. These rights too require alliance of potential frequency-band owners who have their rights perfected [backed by effective force, might]. But these exclusivities of the transmission medium for its exploitation get their property rights perfection by piggy-back on the social mechanism for perfecting property claims in land and transmission facilities built on that land. If air waves over that land can be usurped (or made useless, speaking more practically) by contesters from offshore, then the alliance will have a decision of response to take to best secure their own perfections of property rights of broadcasters based within the alliances' boundaries of perfected property rights in land.) The rights to private ownership of a land property are not something conferred by the alliance, but by claimants in their exploitations of that land. But the mutual alliance confers recognitions, backed up with force, supported by alliance dues, for what processes submitted by claimants for why something is their property are valid within the alliance. Rothbard's rules for coming to own previously unowned land are not the same as Epstein's, etc. To neglect to mention any conventions in such purported property rights acquisition, to pretend that such is all settled by natural law, and to paint a picture in which only one or the other—say Rothbard's or Epstein's—is a just acquisition process, is more plausibly deceptiveness of the salesperson (notably Rothbard) than reflection of stupidity. But all this and more can be learned by carefully studying my old article of some thirty years ago. It is probably not that no one besides me and the editor carefully studied the article, but because the readership was not large and I was a nobody, that no public notice of it was made until its reappearance, on the website Rebirth of Reason early in this century. In truth by now it is such old hat to me, and my intellectual work has since been no longer in political philosophy, theory of rights, and theory of strategic games, that it's not exciting to me any more, and it is a distraction from what I should be working on the remainder of this year, a topic in history of metaphysics and epistemology. I have lately had other reason to dig into the latest anthropology on pre-state organizations of society in their religions and collective violence powers—tribes of hunter-gathers, then chiefdoms—and on to subsequent archaic states and more recent states in those respects, for the sake of my long-term ethical theorizing and not for ever returning to the cutting edge of political philosophy. But I wanted to show you the window on financing and the topic within which that proposal arose, at least for me. I had not set out, those decades ago, to find a solution to the just financing problem. But once I had the theory of the land state in the earlier part of the text, well, I was driving on a Sunday on the Stevenson southwest out of Chicago to put in some needed overtime commercial work. It was morning. I was traveling to a nuclear plant (the last built in America) where I worked and which was in its pre-operational testing phase. Thinking, as most always in a moment to do so, a shadow went by in the back of my mind, I followed it and thought: "Well I'll be damned. That's it." Given the analysis and conception of the land state, the natural attendant method of financing fell out as natural as an apple. That I still remember that scene is an indication that it was a very fine moment in that stage of my life. (I doubt this is the case, but I hope in your remarks, you were not and will not be looking about for a wedge into discussing anarcho-capitalism v. minarchy. It bores me a long time now. It remains a mystery to me that there are people, even professional philosophers as a side-interest of theirs, who are so old that they could be my own children and yet they remain interested in that sub-sub-sub-department of political philosophy and take an interest in persuading the young folks for whom the world was born this morning of the correctness of anarcho-capitalism, instead of persuading and inspiring the young people to get out and make some money, incur no debts, and be the serious business that is happiness. Top priority. No excuses. I'm fine to just leave that pretty-old-folk behavior as one of those mysteries of life not worth solving, and at any rate, I'll not be discussing the issue, beyond what I wrote decades ago.) By the way, as you will see in wider study of the article text, it is not that only land owners have rights. It was only the need of perfecting the claims to ownerships in land in the economic sense that was needed to also perfect the exclusivity rights individuals have in their labor and bodies, where as you also noticed or repeated, those boundaries are given by nature, not drafted by our coordinated behaviors.
    1 point
  42. Easy Truth

    Honesty

    I've always thought the virtue of honesty in this context was related to avoiding or preventing "evasion" which seemed to be at the root of evil. Was it to "not lie to others"?
    1 point
  43. This is some very good news for a thinker like me who is outside the academic area. Before I found this website, I was temporarily active on another general philosophy forum. I was so shocked at the posts of university students on this other website. It seemed like they got to the study of Hume, or Ayers, or Wittgenstein, etc. and could not get out of a hole created by an idea that was new to the student and seemed interesting on its face. All of them seemed to be unaware of Ms. Rand beyond her fiction and were emotionally bitter or angry about the ethics they learned in that fiction. The few who claimed to be familiar with Aristotelian metaphysics and Objectivist epistemology, couldn't see it thru their post-modern lens of logic and language having metaphysical standing instead of origin in human cognition. Chomsky's, Neo-Kantian view of innate cognitive content - purely grammatical in Chomsky's view, not extending to Kant's categories - was a very popular idea. It seemed like many people found comfort in ideas in philosophy that allowed, forgave, or created an excuse for a lack of focus or clarity in cognition.
    1 point
  44. During my time as an undergraduate philosophy major, Rand was mentioned several times. One of my ethics classes used James Rachels' The Elements of Moral Philosophy, which takes Rand seriously but presents a misrepresentation of her argument for egoism. (The professor in this class also presented mistaken interpretations of several other parts of Rand's philosophy.) Another ethics class mentioned Rand but only to assert that she was a nihilist in the sense that she did not believe in ultimate value. I also heard a student say that Ayn Rand was an example of a philosopher who was a logical positivist "if you want to call her a philosopher." So, my impression is that academic philosophers know that Rand is someone they have to address at some point when speaking to undergraduates, but they don't usually make a serious study of her work.
    1 point
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