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  1. This discussion has been rather far removed from the fundamental principles regarding man’s rights, and has focused instead on notions of aggression, spreading (versus other means), sensory inputs, affecting a person, doing damage to body or property including creating a risk of same. It has included the idea that one can accidentally initiate physical force. The problem has been (for over a half century) that we (not exclusively Objectivists, referring to people who take the concept of “individual rights” to be an essential concept that must be understood) are constantly playing whack-a-mole by invoking a concept like “aggression”, then we get challenged as to what “aggression” is, then we refer “aggression” to something else. Rand has stated the fundamental principle, and in my opinion Schwartz has explicated it nicely. I quote a single sentence from his first page: “This concept of force applies exclusively to actions taken by human beings against human beings”. But it is not just “the unchosen” that we identify when talking about force. Second sentence bottom p. 1: “We thus identify the concept “force” to denote a physical action to which we are subjected against our will”. Finally, he makes the identification that “The concept of force pertains only to the volitional. It pertains only to physical actions taken by a volitional being to neutralize the choice of another volitional being” (emphasis added). Relating this to the mask-mandate, there is no question that the governmental requirement to wear a mask in the locally-mandated circumstances is the initiation of force. It is a particularly egregious initiation of force, since it is in all cases a use of special dictatorial power that is outside the rule of law – it is only justified because it is declared to be an “emergency”. There isn’t even a real law requiring you to wear a mask. Sweeping away the mask orders, the question then should be, what legal consequences should there be if you do not wear a mask? The same as if you walk your dog, drive your car, or grow a tree on your property. If you walk your dog and do not control it, and it eats the neighbor’s cat, you are liable for the damage. There is extensive legal background on this principle (it is millennia old). The government and legal system subsumes these concepts under the “duty of care”, which allows you to not care about another party’s interests up to a point, but you must care when your actions do “harm”. It is obvious that I am not talking about Objectivist theory here, I’m just stating what has always been a legal principle governing social interactions. There are two related challenges for Objectivists on this front. The first is to be able to sort actions which should have legal consequences versus one which should not. Dogs eating cats would be an example of the former. Using the pronoun “he” when the referent prefers to be identified as “she” is an example of the latter. The second is to find a system of reason that relates those identifications to general principles, consistent with Objectivism. Automatically labeling something as “initiation of force” is anti-reason. Presenting a clear line of reasoning from principles to conclusions is what it means to “reason”. So let us reason. The strongest claim that I find at all compatible with Objectivism is that one should not knowingly, willfully transmit a disease to another person without permission. The second strongest claim is that if you negligently cause harm to a person by your actions (or inactions), you bear responsibility for those choices. Masks are about the second kind of case, where the bar is being lowering for a claim of “negligence” (as well as corrupting the concept “cause”). It is always possible at any time that any person has some transmissible disease and does not know it. It cannot be a principle of civilized society that one must self-quarantine if it is possible that one has a transmissible disease (that virtually contradicts the notion of a “civilized society” – we must always self-quarantine; life is not possible). This discussion needs a better principle. What principle underlies the distinction between covid and the common cold? What scientific facts underlie claims about covid versus the cold or the flu? I don’t mean, what do the newspapers say, I mean what are the scientific questions and findings? Then how do those facts relate to a person’s proper choices? That is how I think this discussion should be framed.
    4 points
  2. A virus is an element of nature and an inherent risk of life on Earth, not a weapon that an infected person goes around assaulting people with. If you don’t have symptoms, haven’t tested positive, or knowingly been exposed to an infected person, it’s rational to assume you’re not infected and go about your business. You can’t live if you have to assume you are infected with a deadly virus. Each individual’s health and safety is his own responsibility. The onus to stay home and/or get vaccinated is on those who are at risk. Every medical treatment has benefits and risks. If you fear the risks of vaccination more than you fear the virus, you have an absolute right not to get vaccinated. No one has a duty to sacrifice himself by accepting potential bodily harm for the sake of protecting others. The ardent anti-vaxxer’s assessment of the risks might be incorrect, but it’s his judgment, and he has a right to act on it, even if others disagree.
    3 points
  3. In The Prince, Machiavelli speaks of how a ruler who needs to do something unpopular can simply get one of his subordinates to do it for him, and then, if worst comes to worst, he can not only deny responsibility, but make a public spectacle of punishing the subordinate. A government can not only use that to wield "unpopular" powers, but also powers that it is not supposed to have in the first place. In the United States, censorship is one of these powers -- and the subordinate in this case is the "privately owned" corporations, who "volunteer" to be subordinates because they have to, because the government wields various carrots and sticks. The government has figured out a way to get the practical effects of censorship while not doing it itself, thus having plausible deniability. This depends on allowing a few big corporations to have their hands in almost all speech -- and then the government "delegates" the power of censorship to them. I think it's actually is proper to call this "censorship," because, when it comes down to it, it is the ruling regime doing it -- indirectly. The corporations aren't really doing it of their own free will. If somebody puts a gun to your head and makes demands, then whether you agree with the demands or not doesn't really make any difference -- although the gunman might tell you that things will go better for you if it seems that you do agree. But it's a little different when the gunman is the government: people who really do agree might not mind the gun at their heads, because they figure, "the bullets in that gun are for other people, people who disagree... but I agree, I co-operate, so I don't have to worry about it." When the corporations become unpopular, the government can make a big spectacle of "trust-busting," and the showmanship on this has actually already begun -- but you'll find in the end that, even if the government theatrically breaks these companies up, it won't make any practical difference. A few new rules will be announced, nobody will go to jail, and if you end up with two or three Facebooks or whatever, they will all toe the same line. In a free market, companies would compete for people's business, and a company that started banning people for their political views would simply drive those people into the arms of the competition. A company in a free market wouldn't ban people for political reasons, because it's suicidal.** So why are companies doing it? Because they're confident that there is no competition for those people to go to. Why are they so confident? Because the government is guaranteeing it. We don't have a free market. Trump has failed to grasp the nature of this problem and thus is proposing incorrect solutions. However, once again we see some people claiming that there isn't really a problem at all, and that if people are being kicked out of the public sphere for their political views, it's just "the free market at work." That isn't true either. (Some Republicans are doing one other thing wrong -- when they see the power being wielded, they don't want to eliminate that power, they want to take it over for their own use. That's not right, either: some powers cannot be used for good, at least, if good is defined as "promoting human survival.") Over the decades, there have been a lot of people complaining, rightly, about smaller "public-private partnerships" than these, and how such partnerships somehow manage to wield government powers while simultaneously not being subject to any constitutional restrictions because "they aren't part of the government, they're privately owned." Well, now we're coming to the culmination of the trend: companies and government are, for all practical purposes, just aspects of the same thing. To save the free market we need to separate these things: the only ultimate solution to this censorship problem is a separation of state and economics, which would include the elimination of all of these powerful regulatory agencies, so that the regime has no way of compelling compliance with its censorship desires. ** This sentence isn't correct as worded. A magazine publisher, for example, is not "suicidal" if he only accepts certain kinds of articles for his magazine. A phone company, on the other hand, would be "suicidal" if it tapped in on people's calls and cancelled their service over their views.
    3 points
  4. As America prepares to certify our next President, a large band of hooligans have taken upon themselves to storm the Capitol. This in the name of Freedom? Are these hooligans striving to look for their Fuhrer? As a footnote, something like this happened in fiction- in Atlas Shrugged.
    3 points
  5. The following is from a presentation of the Rand/Branden model of free will, by Onkar Ghate in the Blackwell A Companion to Ayn Rand. “Rand rejects any theory of volition that roots free will in a choice between particular items of mental content: whether to walk or ride the bus to work (selection between envisioned physical actions); whether to order the vanilla cheesecake because one is hungry or the bowl of mixed berries because one is on a diet (selection between desires or motives that will govern one’s physical actions); whether to admire Mother Teresa or Bill Gates (selection of values); whether to accept the psychological theories of Freud or of cognitive psychologists (selection of ideas). For Rand, all such matters are secondary and derivative: at root, free will is the power to activate one’s conceptual faculty and direct its processing or not. ‘All life entails and exhibits self-regulated action’, writes Branden in presenting Rand’s theory.” “An individual becomes both capable and aware of his power of conscious self-regulation as his mind develops. ‘It must be stressed’, Branden writes, ‘that volition pertains, specifically, to the conceptual level of awareness. A child encounters the need of cognitive self-regulation when and as he begins to think, . . . to reason explicitly. . . .” (“The Objectivist Theory of Volition” TO 5(1), 23) Rand and Aristotle remarked that higher animals are able to perceive more in sensory perception and to remember more than are lower animals. In modern psychology, the development of perceptual and memorial competencies in childhood has been greatly illuminated. I’d add to the Rand/Branden idea that the human conscious self-regulation emergences with the onset of conceptual abilities in children, add that: self-regulation of memory is also critical for the distinctly human abilities. “Remember this” we say to ourselves. Since the invention of sticky pads, I riddle my books with little strips of them. “The choice to ‘think or not’ is not man’s only choice, according to Rand: it is his primary choice. This choice sets a mind’s regulating goal. Sub-choices then arise to the extent that there is such a goal, and are the means of implementing it.”
    3 points
  6. https://youtu.be/ssvSsMqTtjo Kibbe on Liberty: Pandemic imprisoning and the culture war. Perspectives from Britain and the USA. Great conversation.
    3 points
  7. whyNOT Many legal born domestic Americans, which are spoiled, entitled, and lazy, are less "American" in the foundational and fundamental ways that matter, than are you. America is an idea, and they have lost it to the vices and weakness of childhood which they have not escaped... associated with the infantalization of the American adult.. leftism is a natural center of gravity for failed adults, manchildren, so the lurch to the left is almost no surprise. In any case you, as indeed Rand herself was, are more American in spirit, than the many unamericans born within America's borders.
    3 points
  8. I launched my blog on 2 January 2011. The title was inspired by Gregory Browne’s Necessary Factual Truths (University Press of America, 2001). I met Dr. Browne at Eastern Michigan University in the fall semester 2007. Waiting for a class in police operations, I was walking the halls and heard him lecturing. It was obviously a philosophy class and he sounded reasonable. I looked in and saw “Ayn Rand” on the blackboard closing an array of philosophers in historical sequence. A couple of weeks later, I heard him actually mention Ayn Rand. So, I introduced myself. And I bought the book format of his doctoral dissertation. It derives from a refutation by Leonard Peikoff of the Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy. https://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2021/01/ten-years-of-necessary-facts.html
    3 points
  9. Look around your home. Is there anything there that gives you energy? Validates your consciousness? Reminds you of the unique manifestations of your identity? Any song, book, film, tactile object that resonates with the possibility of a goal worth aiming toward? Is there something you could put on your wall that will add a spring to your step, or release the tense confusion of a recent argument because it resonates with a problem solving mindset? As one works toward building a solid foundation in reality, aesthetics is where humanity has a chance to evolve creatively through the contribution of each individual. It takes a great deal of personal resilience to create something that is true, to the epic depths of your mind, regardless of whether another person might recognize some universal appeal.
    3 points
  10. 14 January 2021 We will crush their violence enacted under their feast of self-delusion and contempt for our Constitutional rule of law. The republic will prevail. The citizens on both sides are armed if it should come to that, but I expect the organized force of the American government will succeed in defense and in bringing the violators to commensurate penalty. Tony: Indeed the American citizens overwhelmingly are not so stupid as to buy into Left-tarring of the bulk of Republicans as fascists and white-supremacist. And they are overwhelmingly not so stupid as to buy into the Right-tarring of the bulk of Democrats (and Biden/Harris) as socialists or communists. Many of my relatives and friends voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Most of them have detested his behaviors with regard to the election result. What they had in common with Trump voters who bought and sold the BIG LIE of a purported Trump/Pence win of this national election being STOLEN was only a preference for that ticket over the Democratic one. It is not the case that those who showed up for the fateful Trump rally are representative of the majority of citizens who voted for Mr. Trump. ~American Republic Forever~
    3 points
  11. Boydstun

    Anthem

    Ayn Rand’s novella ANTHEM, published in 1938 and revised in a 1946 edition, is set in a fictitious collectivist community, one smaller and simpler than Kira’s historical setting in WE THE LIVING. Rand’s ANTHEM is presented as a journal kept by her protagonist whose name is Equality 7-2521. He records that he dares to choose, in the secrecy of his own mind, work he hopes to do when leaving the Home of the Students. He loves the Science of Things. He hopes he will be selected to be a scholar, but the authorities appoint him to be a street sweeper. The technology of his isolated community is very primitive in comparison to an earlier lost civilization (ours). His people have candles, but not electricity. He discovers a subway tunnel from the ancient civilization, and he begins to experiment with electricity in secret at night. In his own community, each refers to himself as “we”. Of his secret work at night, he thinks: “We alone, of the thousands who walk this earth, we alone in this hour are doing a work which has no purpose save that we wish to do it” (1946, 23). In his love of the science of things, he is similar to Kira, and to Howard Roark and to John Galt, the principal protagonists of Rand’s later fiction. He is similar to Kira also in her “wanting to learn a work I like only because I like it,” and he is similar to her in standing against society made collectivist. Comes a moment to Equality 7-2521: “This moment is a sacrament which calls us and dedicates our body to the service of some unknown duty we shall know. Old laws are dead. Old tablets have been broken [by me]. A clean, unwritten slate is now lying before our hands [my hands]. Our fingers are to write” (1938, 125–26). The talk of breaking old tablets is an echo of Nietzsche’s “On Old and New Tablets” (Z III). However, the moral principles Equality 7-2521 would replace are the ones he had known in his one and only society, not the ones of wider world and history. He is not on the brink of writing principles entirely different from ones known in the ancient times, the times of the reader. His task of moral philosophy is not the task of the God of Moses nor the task of radical and continual transvaluation and self-overcoming that Zarathustra gives to human creators. Rand wrote ANTHEM (1938) in the summer of 1937. In her manuscript for ANTHEM, she continually tries to suit ideas of Nietzsche to her story, then scratches them out (Milgram 2005; Mayhew 2005). Naturally, I wonder if she was not also, in some of those same strokes of the pen, writing down ideas of Nietzsche that she had seen attractive as truth, or at least promising as truth, then rejecting them as inadequate to her own grasp of the truth. Writing one’s ideas down and reading them helps one think better. Near the end of the fable ANTHEM, our true searcher Equality 7-2521 announces: “And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men have come into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. “This god, this one word: ‘I’.” (1946, 90) In his community of origin, Equality 7-2521 had wanted to know the meaning of things, the meaning of existence. He had wanted to know the secrets of nature, and he had come to suspect there is some important secret of human existence unknown to all. After fleeing his collectivist society, he becomes alone the live-long day. He comes upon an uninhabited fine house and learns from its books many wonders of the advanced science of the ancient civilization. He discovers the word “I”. That is, he discovers that word and attains the concept “I” distinctly and firmly set. He no longer writes “we” or “we alone” or “we alone only” in his journal to refer to himself. A new chapter begins. He writes: “I am. I think. I will” (1946, 86). With this fundamental discovery, Equality 7-2521 has become a Prometheus, whose name he takes for his own. He continues: “What must I say besides? These are the words. This is the answer. “I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning.” (1946, 86) There is one word “which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the meaning and the glory. / The sacred word: EGO” (1946, 98). That last quotation is the close of the story. At the time this story was written (1937), there were no atomic weapons, no nuclear arsenals, and I think it was an ordinary assumption among people not Christian that human kind would continue effectively forever on the earth. Consider too that ANTHEM is a poetic work, and in poetic expression, as in dreams, conjured images condense multiple associations. In the case of poetic expression, the suggested associations are set up by the wider text. To write that the word “ego” and that which it names cannot be eradicated from the earth might be playing on multiple meanings of “earth”. One meaning is the third planet from the sun; another is the dwelling place of mortal men, as distinct from mythological realms of immortal beings; another is the collection of human inhabitants on the planet. Rand’s uses of “earth” with talk of ego in ANTHEM can rightly carry those three meanings simultaneously. I think the most salient of these meanings in Rand’s use here is the second one. She is not only making a statement about the endurance of ego among all possible societies (the third meaning). She is most saliently making a statement about ego in relation to all the earth, to all the abode of human existence. At the core of ANTHEM, her manifesto of individualism, Rand sets a foundational sequence of thoughts: “I am. I think. I will.” Although Rand lists “will” as third in her 1938 foundational sequence, third in sequence of philosophical reflection; she awards “I will” some preeminence over “I am,” which she characterizes as self of truth, and over “I think,” which she characterizes as protector of self (1938, 128–29). Of words, “only three are holy: ‘I will it’” (129). Further: “Where I go, there does my will go before me. My will, which chooses, and orders, and creates. My will, the master which knows no masters. . . . My will, which is the thin flame, still and holy, in the shrine of my body, my body which is but the shrine of my will.” (129) This opposes 1 Corinthians 6:19–20, which would have the body of a righteous individual be temple of the Holy Spirit and would deny self-ownership of one’s body, which has been bought by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Prometheus’ line “Where I go, there does my will go before me” says I go only where I will, but expresses it in echo and in substitution of various King James biblical passages saying God is with one and goes before one to subvert threats or create lights in one’s path. Moses says to Joshua: “And the Lord, he IT IS that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee” (Deut. 31:8). Additional parallels (anti-parallels) between ANTHEM and the Bible are observed in Simental 2013, 100–105. I do not think that the preeminence of “will” in Rand 1938 is a tuning to Schopenhauer or Nietzsche. It looks to be, rather, a bannering of liberty. In her 1946 edit of ANTHEM, Rand posed ego as stay of the earth not because ego is earth’s heart, spirit, and glory, but because ego is the earth’s heart, meaning, and glory. In ATLAS SHRUGGED, Rand would leave off all talk of man or ego as stay, heart, or meaning of the earth. But in her 1946 rendition of ANTHEM, “meaning” opens a new possible interpretation of its closing line. Without a meaning maker, there is not meaning in the world. It is similar to the situation with truth and fact. Without holders of truth, there is fact in the world, but truth is absent. This is actually more than a parallel. Meaning could be taken as a blend of truth and value. With no holders of truth or value in the world, meaning is absent from the world. With no truth, value, or meaning in the world, the world as human abode does not exist. That angle suggests an enhancement to the sense of “earth” as the human abode in the original proclamation. Ego brings heart and spirit to the character of the human abode. Ego brings spirit-life. Ego brings into the world what preciousness, what value, there is in the world. Without spirit-life that comes with human being, the world as human abode does not exist. Earth in the sense of the dwelling place of mortal man is not the only sense of “earth” suggested in Rand’s statement that “ego” is “the word which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the spirit [or meaning] and the glory.” Rand drew a picture in ANTHEM, and again in FOUNTAINHEAD, in which individual human being in his or her desiring, thinking, willing self is the final end of the earth in all its components, in all its minerals, seas, and forms of life. This teleological order of things is not portrayed as being there with the earth devoid of man, but as there with man upon the earth, making it his own. Beyond that, the further suggestion that the earth in the plain full sense depends on human ego is a discomfiting line of thought and one to be deflected. That problematic further suggestion in the closing line of ANTHEM points to an inadequacy of Rand’s philosophical foundation put forth in that work. However adequate for the internal context of that fiction, that foundation is inadequate to full philosophy for human life in the actual world, ours today, fully real. “I am” is not necessary to all fact even though it is necessary to all truth. A foundational philosophy aiming to uphold realism and objectivity must take its most basic truths from most basic facts, and “I am” does not fit that bill. “Existence exists,” Rand’s axiom for her mature philosophy (1957), is the better base and necessity. Early Rand and her Kira stood solidly for objectivity, which is attacked in the Red student speech. Rand’s protagonist in ANTHEM is given these lines: “All things come to my judgment, and I weigh all things, and I seal upon them my ‘Yes’ or my ‘No’. Thus is truth born. Such is the root of all Truth and the leaf, such is the fount of all Truth and the ocean, such is the base of all Truth and the summit. I am the beginning of all Truth. I am its end.” (1938, 128) This sounds subjectivist, like the ancient God-sayings it echoes and would replace. It might seem that Rand was climbing down, between 1936 and 1938, into the Nietzschean cavern of subjectivity or at least was stepping down into the Kantian ravine. I think, rather, she is only affirming in this passage that all judgment of truth is individual and that all truth we render from the world is for our own final value. Those lines in ANTHEM (in 1938; excised in ’46) are preceded by these: “It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears which hear, and the hearing of my ears gives its song to the world.” Something is seen, and with the subject, it is rendered beautiful. Something is heard, and with the subject, it is rendered song of existence. Something is given, and with its recognition, it is rendered truth. Rand does not create a superhuman for the meaning of the earth. Does her Prometheus create a meaning of the earth? His namesake does not invent fire. Rand’s protagonist unlocks a type of human that finds the meaning of human existence; not in super-terrestrial personages and their affairs, but in complete human individuals on earth. “I am a man. This miracle of me is mine to own and keep, and mine to guard, and mine to use, and mine to kneel before!” (1946, 87). ANTHEM does not teach humans to create (or to beget) the meaning of the earth, but to discover it. “This spread of naked rock and peaks and moonlight is like a world ready to be born, a world that waits. It seems to us it asks a sign from us, a spark, a first commandment. We cannot know what word we are to give . . . . We are to speak. We are to give its goal, its highest meaning to all this glowing space of rock and sky” (1946, 84). I really do not see Rand setting up some sort of Fichtean or Nietzschean perspective on the relation of ego and world. She is saying that whatever goals there are in inanimate and animate earth, they reach their final end in their crowning glory: the individual human knower of joy and living; the individual judge of truth; the individual will free over his or her ends; in a word “ego”. Notice that at this stage of Rand’s development only sentient living processes, specifically, human ones, can be ends not for the sake of something else. And these final ends are human, not superhuman. In actual development, we begin to use the personal pronouns “I, me” at age two. Knowing one’s proper name and knowing how to use first-person pronouns does not yet include realization of the deep fact “I am an I” or “I am me” or, as Dolf Kohnstamm 2007 puts it, “I am I”. At age two one can construct scenarios with dolls or other figures representing individual persons. One can make up dialogues, not only participate in them. The ability to converse with oneself as if between two characters is a plausible step necessary for coming to the insight “I am I”, where the first “I” is self as patient, actor, and controller, and the second “I” is self as in contrast to any other self (Kohnstamm 2007, 164, 174). Thinking “I am I” importantly includes thinking the identity of those two characters. Rand’s Prometheus accomplishes the same recognition as part of the thought expressed by his newly found word “I” whose meaning is explicated as his unique and uniquely possessed body, shrine of his unique spirit, and explicated by his triplet “I am, I think, I will.” It will be recalled that Equality 7-2521 had been seeking some word and concept that had been excised from his society. People there are missing the personal pronouns “I” and “me” and the possessives “my” and “mine.” Each refers to himself or herself by proper name or as “we” and refers to another individual by proper name or as “they” (or as ”you” taken as plural). The discovery of “I” by Equality 7-2521 is an episode of exhilarating liberation and profound fulfillment, though also overwhelming sorrow for mankind in its state of not knowing “I”. Given the spontaneous, untutored character of the “I am I” episodes in real persons displayed in Kohnstamm’s book, one might wonder whether the absence of the pronoun “I” in the fictional society that was Equality 7-2521’s cradle is really possible. Probably not, though it is a neat ploy to Rand’s purpose of showing the importance, the preciousness of man the individual, as against the collective. For thoughts of Kohnstamm on “I am I” in a couple of actual collectivist societies, see his pages 175–80. Equality 7-2521’s native society is without mirrors. Were we to bring one into their village, they would soon comprehend themselves in it, just as Equality 7-2521 does later in the story, seeing his face in water, and just as each of us did before age two. Earliest comprehension of mirrors and one’s body in them does not entail the comprehension “I am I” (Kohnstamm 2007, chap. 4). Similarly it is in the journey of Equality 7-2521. He has not yet roundly and profoundly grasped “I” and “I am I” when first seeing his reflected face. Equality and his fellows had been trained to deflect awareness from the self and direct attention to the group by saying “we” where we should say “I”. Forbidding the word “I” with its meaning attained in the understanding “I am I” would be idle without currents of the forbidden within subjects under the law. Such currents are on show to the reader in the person of Equality 7-2521. I suggest, however, actually, “we” in the indoctrinated sense of a joint singular life and will and thought of the collective can only have meaning to one who has gotten “I am I.” The author of the fictional adventure knew the reader would come equipped with that grasp. References Kohnstamm, D. 2007. I AM I - SUDDEN FLASHES OF SELF-AWARENESS IN CHILDHOOD. Athena. Mayhew, R. 2005. ANTHEM: ’38 & ’46. In Mayhew, ed., 2005. Mayhew, R., editor, 2005. ESSAYS ON AYN RAND’S Anthem. Lexington. Milgram, S. 2005. ANTHEM in Manuscript: Finding the Words. In Mayhew, ed., 2005. Rand, A. 1938. ANTHEM. Cassell. ——. 1946. ANTHEM. Pamphleteers. Simental, M.J. 2013. The Gospel According to Ayn Rand. THE JOURNAL OF AYN RAND STUDIES 13(2):96-106. In this photo are the lights in Colorado Springs and Pueblo and in the mountains---a bit of our human world lost in the world inherited by Rand's Equality 7-2521. One very beautiful aspect of Rand's story I did not touch on was the love story developed all along the way. There is also a very important philosophical point in this work---a viewpoint carried forward into Rand's mature philosophy---I did not mention. I think that particular stance of hers a profound mistake. I'll try to return to this thread and address that error after the fundamental paper for my own Rand-related philosophy has been published this summer, which framework includes the fix of this error.
    3 points
  12. 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.
    2 points
  13. The experience of your own reaction is your payment for your understanding or misunderstanding of the world. Rationality/Justice counsel proportionality, not only for those others whom your sentiments are about, but for your own "experience" of other people, which you put yourself through. Hatred is the most vile and extreme sort of emotion which takes a toll on the experiencer which has to be paid for by the benefits of the extreme action it urges one toward... be it elimination of a mortal enemy, or complete disassociation with a thoroughly toxic and irredeemable person in whom no value whatsoever may be found... but make no mistake it does not leave one unscathed, whether any action, appropriate or not, is taken in response. Upon reflection, you may find disappointment, sadness, regret, lowering of esteem are more rational for you to subject yourself to as an experience and more Just and proportional a response to others. Be rational in your assessment of the whole person, be it your brother or your father. Also, final responsibility for an adult person of sufficient intelligence lies with that person alone... fault the father a lack of fatherhood as a factor but you cannot negate the son's final responsibility in making his own soul.
    2 points
  14. I also recently heard some more arguments: 1. There are other societies that had even more slavery like Haiti or Brazil that did not do as well as the United States in their economy. 2. To say there was zero labor cost is false. The "owners" had to give a minimum standard of living to have viable workers. That included lodging, food and southern government had to spend a lot to maintain the system i.e. catch runaways. This expense was constant 24 hours a day even when there was no "work" to be done. 3. The fact that the slave could not go looking for job meant the areas of the economy that needed the most labor could never attract the labor, therefore never achieving maximal efficiency. 4. Slavery in general serviced the wishes of the owner, as in the pyramids which were built by slaves, and pyramids don't do much for an economy.
    2 points
  15. Boydstun

    Facebook

    I joined Facebook originally in order to get access to particulars of certain Objectivist gigs that, some years back, were being announced outside of Facebook, but to get the particulars you had to be able to get into the link to Facebook, which in those days required FB membership. I had not intended to do any socializing there. I had used my real name, and after a few months of being on there, a long-time real-life friend found me and made Friend request to me, which I accepted. Next thing you know, I got Friendy with other real-life friends. Then a deluge, becoming Friend to people I've known only online. It is a distraction from other projects, but I've so enjoyed it these last seven years or so. I make the rounds to the Page of each of my Friends and see what they've been up to or have had to say. The variety of purposes to which people use their Page is interesting. Many have much interest in politics. Also cats or dogs. My Friends consist of family, philosophy/libertarian types, high school classmates, and gay friends known from when we lived in Chicago. Sometimes I get a Friend request that I accept, but then it becomes evident over a few months, that they were just gathering audience for doing their political spiels, never responding to what I post on my own page, and I unFriend them. Another neat thing about FB that enables one to have the sort of social experience one wants there, is that you can Block a person (whether Friend or not) such that you and they no longer see each others posts, even when you are both posting at the page of a mutual Friend. That's effective: if someone is saying nasty things to you, usually over political differences, just block them, and continue to participate in peace thereafter. We retired to Lynchburg, VA in 2009, and ever-better internet communications have made it possible to continue or begin anew being with friendly acquaintances of all sorts from across a lifetime. At my own Page, I don't write about politics, culture wars, etc.---plenty of opportunity to discuss those things at other people's Page. The most wonderful thing I use at my Page is the area they have provided under Photos called Albums. I have created several Albums, friends and family really appreciate them. Me too, and if later on in life, I can no longer remember on my own who I was or my loved ones or what had been my life, I hope there will be someone who will lead me to my Albums.
    2 points
  16. This is a question of terminology. I'm trying to distinguish words and ideas from reality itself. If you hold that a "fact is a type of claim" then you lose (or at least muddy) that distinction. What is a fact a claim of? What do you call the thing out there in reality? (A statement is a complete sentence, not just a noun. So if a statement is "factual," i.e., true, the underlying fact, out there in reality, must be more than just a "thing" like a rock or whatever, it has to be a thing doing (or being) something, even if only existing.) As evidence that my distinction here is not mine alone, I offer this: if I say something, and someone replies, "Is that a fact?" they're asking about the state of things "out there" in reality; they aren't asking for a mere categorization of my utterance (which could be determined entirely from the utterance itself, and from a knowledge of how to categorize utterances, as opposed to looking at whatever I'm talking about). If a fact were a type of statement then asking, "Is that [statement] a fact?" would be the same sort of thing as asking, "Is that statement using an intransitive verb?" Another thing to consider is context. All statements are made in a context. The context can be used to resolve ambiguities and to specify meanings. If I say, "That book is on the shelf over there," it would have to be the context that would make it clear which book and which shelf. Some contexts are broader than others. The broadest context available is the context of "all human knowledge," but smaller contexts are frequently useful and necessary, so you can have your own personal context, e.g., concerning whatever is in your immediate vicinity, and distinguish that from other contexts. A statement has to be put into a context in order to be judged as true, false, or arbitrary (or "possible," "probable," etc.). Further, the same statement can be true in one context, false in another, and arbitrary in yet another, although this might hinge on certain words that have different meanings in different contexts. (I should also point out that in the case of a "word salad" which isn't even grammatical, there's no use trying to put it in a context, because context doesn't make any difference...) I did make a distinction between a statement which is "arbitrary in a particular context" and one which "would be arbitrary in any context." The latter, I think, is what most people here mean when they state that something is "arbitrary." The examples of arbitrary statements given by Peikoff seem to be of that latter type; they seem to be those where the claimant is deliberately trying to insulate a claim from evidence. I think such a statement, "detached from the realm of evidence" as Peikoff describes it, is very different from a claim that merely lacks evidence. A claim that lacks evidence is merely useless; a claim that's impervious to evidence is another sort of beast -- and the statements Peikoff makes about the arbitrary being "an affront to reason and to the science of epistemology" would make more sense applying to the latter.
    2 points
  17. Boydstun

    Brainworks

    On Human Perception of a Starry Sky "For millennia, humans have looked to the night sky and chosen star groups to name. But why does Centaurus comprise that specific set of stars rather than some other? We hypothesize that the perception of star groups (constellations) can be explained by a simple model of eye movements taking a random walk along a network of star-to-star transition probabilities. The walk is biased by angular distances between stars, preferred angular distances of human eye movements (also known as saccades), and stars’ apparent magnitudes. To derive predicted constellations from the random walk, we employ a free energy model of mental calculations that maximizes the accuracy of perception while minimizing computational complexity. The model transforms the true transition probability matrix among stars into a perceived matrix, in which star clusters are evident. We show that the statistics of the perceived star clusters naturally align with the boundaries between true constellations. Our findings offer a simple explanation for the identities of the 88 standard constellations."
    2 points
  18. In July 1986, I was with my first life-partner Jerry (d. 1990) sitting in the bleachers that had been set up in Manhattan along the Hudson. We were watching the Tall Ships sailing by. In the evening, the President would throw a switch, sending a laser beam across the river to activate the illumination of Liberty, which was reopening after a long refurbishment. The night sky would be filling with glorious fireworks on and on as if an umbrella over Manhattan. That afternoon was sunny, as the ships sailed by. There were smiles and friendliness all around. Behind us a woman wore a classy T-shirt with a stylized line drawing of the Statue of Liberty, with only the word Forever. A day or two before, the US Supreme Court had handed down their decision affirming the constitutionality of States criminalizing same-sex sex acts. Oklahoma, for example. That was one of the reasons we had moved from our native Oklahoma to Illinois (where Jerry became an attorney), where we were legal. That sunny day with the ships was so sad to me. The photo below is from 2002 (photo by native New Yorker, my husband Walter). In another year, the Supreme Court would reverse, and thereby make same-sex love-making legal throughout the land. I always remember that I learned of the 2003 decision while I was at Logan in Boston, learned from a newspaper headline. And I always remember my first thought was of Jerry and me that day with the Tall Ships. Tomorrow belonged to me, these todays, each a “smiling day to be free to kiss in the sunlight and say to the sky ‘behold and believe what you see, behold how my lover loves me.’”
    2 points
  19. "Fictional problem", in the sense that a "paradox" must involve some disconnect with reality. Reality has no problems, the problems are thus fictional. No hypothetical shape, event, situation, process, system, etc. which is obvious and behaves exactly as "expected" or "intuited" was ever called a "paradox". Neither was anything which was judged too new or too complex to understand. Differential geometry is not a paradox to a musician, it's just something he/she does not have training in and does not understand, but he has no reason to suspect "paradox". A paradox requires an experience that something is amiss... but there are no contradictions in reality (no matter how many opposing forces, collisions or disagreements) there is only existence and existence is identity. So the "problem" is fictional, in the same way an illusion introduces a fiction... reality is what it is, but something about what we see, and should understand, is off kilter, and we know it. At least for those who experience the particular paradox... the feeling of paradox requires a certain thinking process to get a person in the wrong place to sense that disconnect, and in truth, different people are often led in different directions... I think in a sense the more something appears or seems opposite of what one assumes it obviously should appear or seem like, the more paradoxical it is. Since reality is NOT at fault, our sense and assumptions of what things obviously should appear or seem like, IS.
    2 points
  20. I, too, am disappointed in the guilty verdict. Providing the epistemic justification requires being able identify and guide others through judicial landscape presented. Thanks for providing the summation. It was nice having it in one place, unfolding as you presented it.
    2 points
  21. Boydstun

    Atlas Shrugged

    For the New Intellectual Three years after Atlas Shrugged was published, Rand penned the essay “For the New Intellectual.” It is interesting to compare and contrast the analysis of philosophical and psychological archetypes in Galt’s Speech—Mystics of Muscle/Mystics of Spirit—with the types Attilas/Witchdoctors in FNI. In the present note I’ll not take that on, and I’ll not take on their relation to the broad philosophical types Peikoff frames in his book DIM. Certainly, in FNI and in Atlas, Rand was affirming, against many philosophies, the equal reality and virtuous unity of mind and body. There is much that is interesting and much that is suspect in Rand’s FNI story of the history of philosophy and in her account of how philosophic ideas move the world. That’s something else I can’t address just now. I want to suggest in this note only that in FNI, Rand articulates one profound way in which her philosophy is a corrective to philosophies boosting Attila/Witchdoctor tendencies and in which her philosophy is a profound intellectual defense of humans as rational workers, producers, and traders. There is a cohort of that way, a second profound way of Rand contra Plato and Aristotle and contra much other philosophical thought to our own time, a second line in thorough defense of rational worker, producer, and trader. I want to notice that second way. Rand’s first way is the Primacy of Existence.* By that phrase, she meant (i) the universe exists independently of any consciousness and (ii) things have natures independently of consciousness. Along with that idea is her Existence is Identity. This restriction contracts the Existence she would have as primary, contracts from traditional Being, where the latter comes in two forms qualified and unqualified. There is no such thing as the unqualified existent in Rand’s view of widest reality. So an older philosophy committed to primacy of being over mind (say, over over human mind anyway) could be very far from Rand’s picture of the primacy of existence over (any and all) consciousness. The second way, of which, in my view, Rand does not make enough hay in her critique of the course of philosophy from the Greeks to today is her: Primacy of Physical Life over Value. (Bertrand Russell noted somewhere I cannot recall that philosophies can be divided between those giving primacy to value over existence—Plato and Kant for sure—and philosophies to the contrary, such as his own.) Rand realized explicitly that her positive proposal for the basis of value and her scheme of morality drafted upon that basis was ready for adoption by anyone coming to realize the primacy of existence with respect consciousness, including valuation-consciousness, human or divine. But when looking at classical philosophies in contrast to hers, I think there is rich work not yet done: explicitly laying out their contrast with her primacy of physical life over value.
    2 points
  22. How many masks do you wear? I chose to present and ponder this topic as a Metaphysical and Epistemologcal exploration of identity. This thread is not so much to argue the benefits and safety of the mask. Another thread seems to do a thorough job in favor of the mask: https://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/34048-rebloggedit-is-not-self-interest-to-take-illness-lightly/&tab=comments#comment-368272 I wear the mask every day, I had Covid in February, never been more sick in my life... I definitely don’t want my three grandmothers in their 90’s to die from it, and I miss hugging them terribly. I've been seriously trying to figure out how I might be able to quarantine for two weeks just to have the privilege of being in the same room with each of them. You can submit to the mask and still hate it and still speak out against how dehumanizing it can be. As well as give careful attention to the ways opportunistic power struggle groups seize upon fear. The Chinese Congress spent $2 Billion for covid in the U.S. That is $40M in each state… Money from China is slave labor money. The money seems to be spent on social media ad campaigns promoting their agenda. You can spot the underlying theme in a deluge of memes that try to alienate, belittle, polarize, dehumanize, take for granted, and intellectually cripple America for respecting freedom and success. If you are faceless, what identity do you have?
    2 points
  23. Boydstun

    Existence, We

    Once more I’d like to encourage anyone interested in seeing my fundamental paper “Existence, We” (EW), setting forth my metaphysical system and its relation to Rand’s and to others, to get your subscription to JARS at this time. I’ll post here a section of a paper that was to be a follow-on to EW and which—as the follow-on project has been redesigned—would no longer fit the follow-on paper.* This posted section is indeed built onto of the frame developed in EW. It gives a taste of some of what goes on in that fundamental paper. The material below uses that frame and some technical terminology introduced in EW (and some ordinary terms such as situation which as part of this framework have a specialized meaning specified in EW, where also are my proofs for axiomatic standing of such statements as “existence is situation”) that I’ll leave opaque here, which may further encourage readers here to get a subscription to JARS if you don’t have one. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PRIMACIES OF EXISTENCE Ayn Rand spoke of the primacy of existence, and by this she meant primacy of existence over consciousness, which meant (i) the universe exists independently of any consciousness and (ii) things have natures independently of consciousness.[1] Identity is primary over Identification, and concretes are primary over abstractions. My metaphysics is of the primacy-of-existence genre, but more generally than Rand’s. My primacy of existence means primacy of existence over of-existence. This entails that concretes with their formalities are primary over abstractions. Actualities and potentials are primary over recognitions and possibilities. Necessity-that of existence is primary over the necessity-for in consciousness.[2] Then too, existence being primary over the of-existence that is living existence and the latter being (I say with Rand) the residence of all value, existence is primary over value. Rand’s primacy of existence to consciousness runs with Aristotle,[3] but for the countercurrent of his hierarchy of being in which formal structure is not only explanatory, but causal, and in which formal, teleological cause is ultimate being.[4] Primacy of existence runs against Descartes in first philosophy.[5] It runs against Descartes’ forebears Henry of Ghent and Bonaventure who took the first adequate object of the human intellect to be God. It runs with Aquinas, Scotus, and Suarez who took that first object to be being or whatness (quiddity).[6] Primacy of existence runs also against Kant when he writes that “apperception, and with it thought, precedes all possible determinate arrangement of presentations” (KrV A289 B345).[7] Against Kant also, and in step with Aristotle, Rand writes: “‘Things as they are’ are things as perceived by your mind” (AS 1036). She means in context not only things as perceived by your mind so far, but as perceivable by your mind at any stage, and she means not only your mind, but any sound human mind. Rand’s primacy of existence to consciousness runs against all idealism, of course. It runs also against Husserl in his bracketing of “things in themselves” and against Sartre’s starting point (subjectivity) in his archaeology of being and against the adequacy of Quine’s “to be is to be the value of a bound variable.”[8] Rand spoke in that passage against Kant of “things as they are” and not of “things in themselves.” She was right to avoid the latter phrase because of the well-known shading of it. That latter phrase, down from Kant, intimates a systematic inaccessibility of mind-independent Existence with its Identities by our cognitive faculties. In the same vein, rightly she would reject talk of the transcendental object or talk of noumena and their comprehensive contrast to phenomena, the latter a foul concept when transplanted from its use in Newton—phenomena as physical patterns in observational data, where those specific patterns suit only a specific form in the character of their physical cause—to fundamental ontology and to subject-object relations.[9] Talk of “things in themselves” meaning things free of any situation is talk of nothing. “Things in themselves,” meaning merely all that they are, is a sound sense of the phrase and not Kant’s sense when he is contrasting things in themselves with those same things as they are in their external relations such as in their relation to human consciousness. Things in all that they are are what we know part of and know that our known is only part of the all there to be known. Further, existence of a thing is nothing more than—indeed, it is identically the same as—existence of all that a thing is.[10] Existence per se and in its totality is more fundamental than living existence or conscious existence. By experience and conception, we know that of-existents are not and cannot be the only type of existents. Primacy of existence in my philosophy departs from Rand’s primacy of existence in that I mean primacy of physical existence, which in our scientific comprehension is spacetime, mass-energy, angular momentum, molecules, heat, photosynthesis, synapses, and so forth all in play together. Further, it is in my system not only knowing physical existence as necessary requirement for consciousness of physical existents, but knowing we ourselves are physical existents and that that physical status is a necessary requirement for existence of our life and consciousness. The focal sense of existence is existence actual and concrete (and mind-independent, though susceptible to actions such as human discernment and utilization).[11] Existence actual and concrete endures, and enduring existence is all of enduring.[12] Existence in the focal sense is not without time and number and some formalities, and these accompaniments are in no way prior to existence.[13] As I mentioned in EW, all potential existents are attached to actual, concrete existents. Existence actual and concrete, in whole and in every part is ever with potentials. That is not to say every part of existence has causal powers; no potentials, only actualities, have causal powers, and potentials are part of existence, concretely so. Future existents, unlike past ones, are not yet actual, only potential. Future existents without present discernment of alternatives concerning them have no present causal power. Abstractions include recognitions of formalities of concretes. As with the concrete existents that are potentials, formal existents themselves or abstractions themselves have no causal powers.[14] Any concrete actual existent, with all its potentials and all its formalities, is actual by way of antecedent actualities and their potentials. The potential for a future actual concrete existent coming to be so is not a potential belonging to it, but to its antecedent actuals. Every concrete actual existent shy of the whole of existence is a contingent existent in its emergence from among potentials of prior actuals, but it is necessary in its possession of all its own potentials and formalities. Potentials not only belong to present actuals, their potentiality consists only in their potential for future actualities from present ones.[15] Co-existing present potentials, furthermore, are often not jointly capable of future actualization. Potentials, I have said, are concretes, whether or not they become actuals. Moreover, I hold contra Avicenna, that potentials are not less existing than actualities.[16] Cognitive possibilities, I should reiterate, are subordinates of facts of existence, whether facts of actualities and their potentials, facts of concretes and their formalities, or facts of Entities and their passage, situation, and character. The primacy of existence over of-existence does not entail that existents not also of-existence are more existing than existents that are also of-existence. Passage, situation, and character are not more existing (or less existing) than experience or recognition of them. Concretes and their formalities are not more existing than experience of them or conceptual grasp of them. Now passage, situation, and character are no less reality than the Entities to which they belong. And formalities are no less reality of existence than the concretes to which they belong. As I said in EW, there is nothing common between existence and nonexistence; the latter is only a lack of standing in the former, a mere lack noted by us, by us in and of existence.[17] Further, A is A in the application nonexistence is nonexistence is only item-keeping in thought and makes nothing but nothing of the item. Any thought of a priority of existence, metaphysically most fundamental, over nonexistence or thought that the former is in some metaphysical sense greater than the latter is derailed thinking. Only within Existence is priority and the greater. Notes [1] Rand 1973, 24; Kelley 1986, 7–43; Peikoff 1991, 17–23, 243–48, 419–20. [2] Cf. Fine 1994. [3] On Aristotle’s primacy of existence, see Owens 1978, 133–35n108, 138. Rand rightly did not accept Aristotle’s conception of the mind as “becoming all things” and the mind’s doing so by assimilation of the forms of existents extracted from a metaphysical composition of form and matter constituting any existent. On infirmities in the primacy of existence in Roger Bacon and his Arab forebears, see Tachau 1988, 11–16. But for doctrines of faith, Blasius of Parma in 1385 leaned towards primacy of existence in constitution of human mind by arguing all human intellectual and moral states to depend on the human body (via prime matter) for their existence; see Pasnau 2011, 108–9. [4] Aristotle, Ph. 198a32–99b31; Metaph. 1041a25–b8, 1071b20–a21, 1074a35; Ferejohn 2013, 163–76. [5] Rand 1961, 28; 1973, 24; Kelley 1981; Peikoff 1991, 17–23; Gotthelf 2000, 39; Boydstun 2019. [6] Aertsen 2012. [7] Kant is represented rather differently in the Jäsche Logic in declaring (i) that general logic, though independent of its use in concreto, could only be found by observation of such use and (ii) that logic in application to a particular science would be futile without acquaintance with objects of the science (1800, 17–18). [8] Owens 1978, 133–35n108; Quine 1939; Armstrong 2004, 23–24; Crane 2012, 64–65; Koskinen 2012. [9] Newton’s theological conception of space as the sensorium of God joined other Christian theological pictures in drawing Kant to his grand division of reality into the phenomenal and the noumenal. On Kant, see Bird 2006, 335–38. Cf. Heidegger in Han-Pile 2005. Cf. Sher 2016, 166, 172, 181, 259–60. [10] See further, Baumgarten 1757, §§15, 37; Kant, KrV A324–27 B380–83. On Kant’s severance of “thing in itself” from its external relations to human consciousness, see B 69, A139 B178, A190 B235, B306–9. [11] Cf. focal meaning in Owen 1960, applied to substance (ousia) as focal meaning of being in the metaphysics of Aristotle; Owens 1978, 38n126, 119; Ferejohn 1980; Kirwan 1992, 80; Barnes 1995, 76–77; Lewis 2013, 90–92. [12] Descartes does not get that far, but he is correct when he writes: “Existence or duration in a thing which exists and endures—should be called not a quality or a mode, but an attribute” (1644, §56). A mode in his terminology here would be a modification of a substance, and a quality is at hand when a modification enables classification of a substance as a certain kind. With attribute he means our thinking of what is in a substance in a more general way. In fact Descartes thinks of duration as an attribute of all created substance, which are fundamentally two: thought and extension. (See further, Alice Sowaal’s entry ATTRIBUTE in Nolan 2016.) Similarly, though with metaphysical substance expelled from our metaphysics, as well as the creation of all temporality and all existence, Rand with I could say enduring of an existent is not a modification of it or a quality of it. [13] Cf. Aristotle, Metaph. 1017b17–21; Avicenna 1027, I.2.24–29. [14] Contra Aristotle, essences or forms as causes or constraints not concrete is misconception. See Lewis 2013, 290. [15] Aristotle, Metaph. 1049b13–17. [16] Cf. Rand ITOE App. 284–86; 1968, 531, 534. Actualities have priorities over potentials on account of their patterns of dependency I have stated. Even were we to count these priories of actualities as amounting to actualities being “more existing” than potentials, I should not concur with Avicenna (1027, 4.2.34) that this priority is also a higher rank in metaphysical nobility or perfection. There are no such things applicable to general metaphysics; nobility and perfection can only pertain to existents that are living existents (include conscious existence) and only within that living mode of their existence. [17] Contra Kant 1782/83, 29:811; 1790/91, 28:543; 1794/95, 29:960. Cf. ITOE 58, 60–61; Branden c. 1968, 28. References Aertsen, J. A. 2012. Medieval Philosophy as Transcendental Thought. Leiden: Brill. Ameriks, K., and S. Naragon, translators, 1997. Immanuel Kant – Lectures on Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Aristotle c.348–322. B.C. The Complete Works of Aristotle. J. Barnes, editor (1984). Princeton: Princeton University Press. Armstrong, D. 2004. Truth and Truthmakers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Avicenna 1027. The Metaphysics of The Healing. M. E. Marmura, translator (2005). Provo: Brigham Young University Press. Barnes, J. 1995. Metaphysics. In The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle. J. Barnes, editor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Barnes, J., Schofield, M., and R. Sorabji, editors, 1979. Articles on Aristotle – 3. Metaphysics. London: Duckworth. Baumgarten, A. 1757 [1739]. Metaphysics. 4th ed. In Fugate and Hymers 2013. Bird, G. 2006. The Revolutionary Kant. Chicago: Open Court. Boydstun, S. 2019. Foundational Frames – Descartes and Rand. The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 19(1):1–37. Branden, N. c.1968. The Basic Principles of Objectivism. In The Vision of Ayn Rand 2009. Gilbert: Cobden Press. Cottingham, J., Stoothoff, R., and D. Murdoch, translators, 1985. The Philosophical Writings of Descartes. Vol. I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Crane, T. 2012. Existence and Quantification Reconsidered. In Tahko 2012. Descartes, R. 1644. Principles of Philosophy. In Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch 1985. Dreyfus, H. L., and M. A. Wrathall, editors, 2005. A Companion to Heidegger. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Ferejohn, M. T. 1980. Aristotle on Focal Meaning and the Unity of Science. Phronesis 25(2):117–28. Fine, K. 1994. Essence and Modality. Philosophical Perspectives 8:1–16. Fugate, C. D., and J. Hymers 2013. Introduction to Metaphysics – A Critical Translation with Kant’s Elucidations, Selected Notes, and Related Materials. London: Bloomsbury. Gotthelf, A. 2000. On Ayn Rand. Belmont: Wadsworth. Haaparanta, L., and H. J. Koskinen, editors, 2012. Categories of Being – Essays on Metaphysics and Logic. New York: Oxford University Press. Han-Pile, B. 2005. Early Heidegger’s Appropriation of Kant. In Dreyfus and Wrathall 2005. Kant, I. 1781, 1787. Critique of Pure Reason. W. S. Pluhar, translator. 1996. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing. ——. 1782/83. Metaphysik Mrongovius. In Ameriks and Naragon 1997 (AN). ——. 1790/91. Metaphysik L2. AN. ——. 1794/95. Metaphysik Vigilantius. AN. ——. 1800. The Jäsche Logic. J. M. Young, translator. 1992. In Immanuel Kant – Lectures on Logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kelley, D. 1981. The Primacy of Existence. The Objectivist Forum 2(5):1–6, 2(6):1–6. ——. 1986. The Evidence of the Senses – A Realist Theory of Perception. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. Kirwan, C., translator, 1993. Aristotle’s Metaphysics – Books Gamma, Delta, Epsilon. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press. Koskinen, H. J. 2012. Quine, Predication, and the Categories of Being. In Haaparanta and Koskinen 2012. Lewis, F. A., 2013. How Aristotle Gets By in Metaphysics Zeta. New York: Oxford. Nolan, L., editor, 2016. Descartes’ Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Owen, G. E. L. 1960. Logic and Metaphysics in Some Earlier Works of Aristotle. In Barnes, Schofield, and Sorabji 1979. Owens, J. 1978 [1951]. The Doctrine of Being in the Aristotelian Metaphysics. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. Pasnau, R. 2011. Metaphysical Themes 1274–1671. New York: Oxford University Press. Peikoff, L. 1991. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. New York: Dutton. Quine, W. V. O. 1939. A Logistical Approach to the Ontological Problem. In The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays. 1976. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Rand, A. 1957. Atlas Shrugged. New York: Random House. ——. 1961. For the New Intellectual. New York: Signet. ——. 1966–67. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. In Rand 1990. ——. 1968. Of Living Death. The Objectivist. October. ——. 1969–71. Epistemology Seminar Transcripts. In Rand 1990. ——. 1973. The Metaphysical versus the Man-Made. In Rand 1982. ——. 1982. Philosophy: Who Needs It. New York: Signet. ——. 1990. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Expanded 2nd ed. H. Binswanger and L. Peikoff, editors. New York: Meridian. Sher, G. 2016. Epistemic Friction – An Essay on Knowledge, Truth, and Logic. New York: Oxford University Press. Tachau, K. H. 1988. Vision and Certitude in the Age of Ockham. Leiden: Brill. Tahko, T. E., editor, 2012. Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    2 points
  24. When has this happened? I mean, it seems like the Magnificent Seven remake was the forgotten one... And if the original was forgotten, it's not because it was canceled. The logic seems to go like this: 1) companies that are rational make money 2) companies that are not rational don't make money 3) therefore companies that make money are rational 4) since it is not rational to make parasitic movies, the companies that make such movies won't make money 5) therefore the companies make these movies for reasons besides money 1-3 is circular (Why they rational? Because they make money. Why do they make money? Because they are rational.) 4 misses the fact that you can make money this way. 5 indicates a hidden premise that no one who is irrational tries to make money or will always fail to make any money. Sometimes it's hard to accept that companies can be manipulative. You can make money off of marks and do quite well. The progressives are the marks.
    2 points
  25. "[Reality] is something that humans actively participate in producing when their minds interact with their environments." That's 11 minutes in just about. It wouldn't be so insane if he meant something like "the society people live in is shaped by the way minds interact with the environment". That would be true, but obviously that doesn't mean each society is literally a different reality... It's like he forgot that when people say "ancient people lived in a different world" they don't literally mean a whole separate reality. My conclusion: Never go full subjectivist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wVagQ_LVd4 I find that he really was attempting to give a basis to say that indigenous people deserve respect. In a way, he sees the indigenous people (especially those exterminated by the Spanish) as offering worthless ideas and were thoroughly primitive, so the only way he could offer any value for them is to say that they lived in a literally different reality. They are so worthless to him that he has to create a whole separate reality for them. The truth is, people like the Inca had great ideas as well as bad ideas even compared to Europeans. He doesn't have to dismantle objective reality: If he actually cared about indigenous people, he would be telling us about what they got right about reality, especially the things that Europeans could not figure out.
    2 points
  26. Has anyone come up with a more precise characterization of who or what is or is not being suppressed than "rightist" or "leftist"?
    2 points
  27. I highly recommend this paper by Tara Smith. It is as an argument about anything we've discussed here, it's a paper about a conceptual cleanup regarding terms used when discussing freedom of speech. The Free Speech Vernacular: Conceptual Confusions in the Way We Speak About Speech
    2 points
  28. That's awesome. I'd like to think my reference to the other stink juice inspired it.
    2 points
  29. But your own philosophy, which you live by every day, certainly is. And if one must arrive at precisely each conclusion Rand ever put into writing (including, as the OP'er pointed out, homosexuality) then there has only ever been one Objectivist and I doubt there will ever be another one. On a purely personal note I find the "student of Objectivism" or "admirer of Ayn Rand" terminology extremely self-deprecating and sad. It's one thing if you can't bring yourself to actually LIVE the philosophy, but if you're doing everything you can to live up to your own ideals then I think you deserve to say so. As I intend to! No. Fundamentally, each of us has a right to the freedom of movement (including international movement) so long as we're not doing so for any nefarious purpose (such as terrorism). There are no two ways around that. And while it's true that we can't simultaneously have open borders and a welfare state, one of these things is already strangling the West to death regardless of WHAT we do with our borders. This is neither to say that O'ism is a "closed" system (which I don't believe) nor that anyone who advocates for closed borders automatically ceases to be an O'ist; only that certain tenets of the philosophy are more essential than others, and that Rand's conception of individual rights is a rather core component of it. If you remove or alter that part then it ceases to be the philosophy of Howard Roark or John Galt and becomes something tangibly different. That being said... While we should have "open" borders that allow any civilized person to live wherever the Hell they want, it does make sense for us to have some sort of screening process to ensure that potential immigrants are, in fact, civilized people who aren't planning on manufacturing sarin gas or instituting Sharia law as soon as they arrive. And since we should be trying to constrain the welfare state as much as we possibly can, it seems prudent to also say something like no immigrant can ever qualify for any sort of government handout, for example. Once we had something like that in place we could then start trying to talk about whether we should really be giving handouts to anyone at all. The Objectivist position on borders is that they should be open - within reason. Incidentally, I wouldn't say that you can't still call yourself an Objectivist if you disagree with that position - just that you're currently wrong. But that happens to us all. Do we know that, though? I once knew an immigrant couple from Nepal who, despite not speaking the best English, acted like some of the most American people I've ever met. The one time I made the mistake of referring to them as Nepali-Americans I was swiftly told on no uncertain terms that they were full-fledged Americans like myself. That couple took about two years to become almost entirely integrated (with the exception of some slight accents that I'm sure they've ditched by now). I bring them up, not to say that transplantation is quick, but simply to point out that it depends on whom we are talking about transplanting. Some people drag their feet while others are eager to get it out of the way ASAP. And those who drag their feet about it, and set up little miniature versions of their respective homelands - do they actually want to BE American (or British)? If not then what we should really be asking about are their motives for trying to enter our countries in the first place. I also know a number of Somali immigrants to my area who have no intention of ever integrating, learning English or getting a job; they came to America for the handouts. Handouts which should not exist in the first place. And yet children do not automatically inherit their parents' philosophies (as I am living proof of and suspect that you probably are as well). Could you elaborate on what you mean by that? Objectivism doesn't deny the existence of feelings (including hunger, fear, sexual desire, etc). All it really has to say about them is that not all are valid (i.e. some feelings are not worth paying any attention to) and that they aren't a method for decision making. They can be perfectly valid data on which to base your decisions, but the method should consist of rational thought. So I'm not quite sure what you're trying to point to. The majority is lucky to inhabit MY world with me! PS: Too much of a focus on politics is not good for you. I know it can be very hard to focus on anything other than politics nowadays (I've been struggling with it quite a bit since the start of the COVID era) but the trajectory of your own life is much more important. If you rationally think that the country you're in will only continue getting worse then you should move. And (although I don't think you've actually said this I'll just mention) what most people accept as their own philosophy should certainly have ZERO relevance to what you accept as your own. Furthermore (as in the above music video) the best way to get others interested in your own philosophy is to actually make something of yourself and show them there's something of practical value to it. Hyperfocusing on the beliefs of the majority is a path to the dark side.
    2 points
  30. There is much more integration (not just coherence, but mutual reinforcement and support) between modern conservatism and Marxism and postmodernism, than there is between Marxism and postmodernism. For just one of many examples, one of the current leading and most influential conservative philosophers Alasdair MacIntyre continues to argue, using Aristotelian and Thomistic methods that Bernstein blathering on about in peak Objectivist mode, that modernism (aka the Enlightenment) is a failed project precisely because of its liberal capitalism, scientific rationalism, and individualism, and to invoke Catholic social teaching (here and now, not 12 century) for a substantial collectivist vision that engages with key Marxist and Thomist concepts. Macintyre further argues that Marxism "achieved its unique position by adopting the content and function of Christianity." Again, this is one of the top living conservative philosophers (although I'm sure someone will spew some banality in order to avoid the uncomfortable cognitive dissonance.) Jordan Peterson taught them to say "postmodern neo-Marxism" in the same way the left was trained to use "white supremacists Nazi": it's a contentless stand in for "thing I don't like." In the same way, Randians programmed each other to say "Thomas Aquinas" and "Enlightenment" and "rediscovery of Aristotle" as a filler for a wider manichean drama of the forces of light historically prevailing over the bad philosophers without ever having actually read anything about it.
    2 points
  31. I took my girlfriend to the mountains to see Neowise. We saw it with the naked eye and through binoculars. She even got a decent photo of it with her phone's camera. Sometimes I watch Bob the Science Guy on YouTube. He does amateur astronomy and posted an educational video on Neowise. He even mentions the sort of professional-amateur collaboration that was done with data from the NEOWISE space telescope to find new objects and create maps.
    2 points
  32. I selected a Bushnell 18-1561 as a gift option for 10 years of service. Shortly after receiving it, Jupiter and Saturn were available for viewing prior to midnight's. After considerable effort, the telescope was aligned to take in my first personal sight of 4 of the moons of Jupiter. My disappointment came shortly thereafter with the need to re-align the instrument every 2 minutes to maintain an active view. Not long thereafter, Saturn was available for viewing. The "smudge" I was rewarded with came with the realization that to pursue the activity in any meaningful way would require a better telescope equipped with tracking capacity. I tried sighting the recent comet NEOWISE by heading a bit north to a darkened vantage point. I had not brought the telescope, being informed that I would be able to see it by the unaided eye. Alas, it was not to be for me. I treasure having seen the moons of Jupiter. After reading of Galileo's memoirs of the same, it gave his report substantially more body, having shared the experience.
    2 points
  33. In 2016 I was still teaching. Just after the election one of my students asked me if I voted "for Satan or the orange". I said that actually Satan was Immanuel Kant, not any politician. I overheard him ask some of his fellow students "Who??".
    2 points
  34. The mere existence of germs, poison, fire, etc. does not constitute physical force on anyone's part. Imposing them on another is physical force. Spreading germs can easily do physical damage to a person's body. Spreading ideas does not do physical damage. If the ideas play a role in a person's choice to do physical damage, that is the responsibility of the person taking the physical action. I considered "physical aggression" to be a reasonable shorthand for the initiation of physical force. I was substituting "aggression" for "the initiation of force". I am sorry if this caused any confusion. One thing that got me into this habit is the idea that in attempting to communicate with non-Objectivists, saying "physical aggression" might make communication easier than saying "the initiation of physical force". A necessary condition for something to be physical force is that it do physical harm of some kind. No. People are responsible for their own actions.
    2 points
  35. If there's any one thing Rand would've supported, I'm sure it's mob violence in the name of lies at the behest of an authoritarian against democracy...
    2 points
  36. Biden Nannyism, good. Trump Nannyism, bad. A variation on "If you don't like dad's answer, ask for mom's answer instead."
    2 points
  37. Simply, dark moods happen. As with anyone experiencing periods of deep introspect, it's personal. But, as it relates to the arts, certain music is appropriate in such moments. Some authors are more appropriate. When I read Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, it is helpful to find a virtual friend in shared experience. Nietzsche, as I understand him, was a guide to those who recognize the more frustrating aspects of modern life. His "man going under" is the man who is only able to rise above man, to becoming the "superman." Well, if one is going to be exhausted or depressed as times, one may as well rise above it stronger for the experience. I think there is a great body of works in our times that channel the introspective individual downward, but not necessarily guide him back to focus on any constructive purpose. I'm too old to appreciate Goth culture, but I understand the appeal. I only hope for the sake of such individuals who stare into the abyss that they find the strength to rise again. That's why I read Ayn Rand.
    2 points
  38. I wish this were hyperbole, but ev'ry word is most assured. The drooling beast has been released. It circles 'round our hallowed ground, awaiting weak and fearful fools. They bleat and squeal before they kneel, before the beast begins to feast.
    2 points
  39. The one error I have to point out in your comment is that anarchism does not ignore the concept of government, it misunderstands the concept. The anarchist position denies the validity of government, but has not resolved the problem of thieves under anarchy. One view is that anarchy is a utopian ideal, which can exist only when no person would ever use force – it’s a Platonic form towards which we might strive, but it is excruciatingly unlikely that it will ever exist. A closely related next-most surreal form of anarchism, sour grapes anarchism, declares that anyone using force has ipso facto become a government. If you steal my stuff, you have become a taxing government. The third circle of anarchism, more familiar to us because it is widely held in libertarian anarcho-capitalist circles, maintains that there is no special entity, government, which has a rightful monopoly on the use of force. Instead, anyone can rightfully use force, as long as they do not initiate use of force. The point about wielding force “autonomously” is obscured by the unmodified use of the word “force”. The problem is that if some jackass threatens me with a knife, I have to act autonomously right then and there, and will not roll over and get stabbed to death because I don’t have the right to use force on the premise that only the government can use force. It is very important that we not suggest that the Objectivist ethics requires you to roll over and die when attacked (Objectivism is not pacifism). Rather, the use of force is to be put under the control of objective law. Objective law mandates that force only be chosen by certain agents of the government who compare the facts and the law to see if force is justified, but it also provides an exception for life-threatening emergencies, where you can defend yourself if attacked. I know that interjecting law as an intermediary complicates the computation of rightful use of force, but it is an essential complication. Force is to be under the control of objective law. The government states what that law is. A proper philosophy is necessary for the government to devise proper laws.
    2 points
  40. When I was able to get both planets in the same view with my telescopes, I drew proportional sketches of the conjunction. With a field-of-view, for example, of 2.42 degrees, I used circles of 2.4 and 4.8 cm. I developed a personal technique of being able to view with both eyes open so that I can hold a centimeter scale at a convenient distance to guage separations. I have used this for binary stars, also. ' Images are reversed right and left. Saturn was to the West (Left) of Jupiter. That is an artifact of the refracting telescopes. We correct that with prisms for binoculars ("field glasses"). With astronomical objects it is not that critical and we often just indicated N-W or whatever is convenient. On the night of closest conjunction, the sky was overcast. I could make out the planets because I knew what they were, but nothiing was distinct. I could not see the rings of Saturn or the moons of Jupiter that night. As for the annotations. Consider the notes added to the image directly above. 70mm is the diameter of the objective lens. F/10 means that the focal length is 700 mm. The viewing power is found from the focal length of the eyepiece (17 mm) divided into the focal length of the objective: 700/17 = 41+. In addition, I used a 2x Barlow lens, which effectlvely halves the focal length of the eyepiece, doubling the magnification to 82X. The field-of-view (FOV) is just under 1 degree: 52m 34s. That is based on the standard ("Ploessl") eyepiece field of view of 50 degrees at the higher power. (Georg Ploessl was a 19th century maker of optical instruments. His designs for eyepieces became popular in the late 20th century when the hobby of astronomy exploded in response to the US-USSR "space race.")
    2 points
  41. Also there's an argument to the effect that, well look, the representatives in Congress deserve this. While, strictly speaking, this is correct, it doesn't follow merely from that fact that this is the right thing to do. Every member of Congress deserves to be huddled in their home in fear, as they would have the rest of us do the past few months. But part of a virtuous action is that it is done in the right way, at the right time, for the right reason. Consider someone performing some courageous act to impress an onlooker. Such an action isn't merely "doing the right thing for the wrong reason," it's literally not doing the right thing. This is an aspect of all agent-centered virtue ethics. The agent has to be in a certain state while performing the action. They cannot be counted as virtuous someone who does something by accident, in the same way consulting tea leaves and guessing the correct thing doesn't make some belief knowledge. See Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics II.4 for details. So it's possible to believe that the "demand side" if you will, the "getting what you deserve" might be good in some small way. I mean it certainly is funny to see the viking at Pelosi's desk. However, the "supply side" if you will, is people yearning for a dictatorship and indulging in epistemic vice. The "demand side" wasn't even substantial enough to change anything about lockdowns other than, people now screaming about "sedition" and "insurrection." Expect more bipartisan surveillance, policing, internet censorship.
    2 points
  42. Defiant Michigan UP cafe owner told to shut down after serving indoor diners Since November, bars and restaurants in Michigan have been limited to carry-out service or outdoor dining in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Who is mandating the limitation (and by what means)? Who's rights are being violated? Is it the people who chose not to frequent this establishment for CoViD-19 concerns? Is it the owner and voluntary workers at a restaurant violating a mandate to only fulfill carry out orders? A patient checks into a hospital and the diagnosis turns out to be CoViD-19. How did the patient acquire it? Was the patient get infected at a restaurant, a gym, a grocery store, Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner with friends and/or family, the local hardware store, the local mall while buying christmas gifts? Assume the patient was wearing a mask, as mandated by most states and counties-townships-cities-etc., and second-handedly requested by most establishments not quashed by law to allow customers to frequent. Keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list. It is only intended to illustrative of another passage that comes to mind from Atlas Shrugged: "You propose to establish a social order based on the following tenets: that you're incompetent to run your own life, but competent to run the lives of others—that you're unfit to exist in freedom, but fit to become an omnipotent ruler—that you're unable to earn your living by the use of your own intelligence, but able to judge politicians and to vote them into jobs of total power over arts you have never seen, over sciences you have never studied, over achievements of which you have no knowledge, over the gigantic industries where you, by your own definition of your capacity, would be unable successfully to fill the job of assistant greaser." Yes, social order can come into play, but not by means of folk that harbor a vision of man as incapable of acting rationally when a new virus is discovered. While a majority may serve as a deciding factor in a democracy, the morally decisive response requires a knowledge of what is the right recourse. Absent that, each individual should be granted the freedom to act according to their independent judgement, providing it does not infringe on anyone else acting according to their independent judgement.
    2 points
  43. Just the one when it's required to enter a store or something.
    2 points
  44. Although not quite a "sense of connection" with those, I agree it makes for an insight into their cynicism or nihilism or "ressentiment" and quite valuable for one's understanding of general trends, moral and artistic. My opinion is one needs to look at the dark side in art too. One emerges stronger and more certain for the experience I think (like one's intellectual, artistic "immune system" is enhanced from the exposure). Naturalism, that broad category, holds merits, often technical and stylistic, and at least as a foil to romantic realism. Best put, maybe, that one comes to finely discern the light from the darkness, while noting/appreciating the shades between them. The art content and presentation by extremely capable artists or authors will usually hold several enjoyable take-aways which, if nothing else, heighten the capability to *see* (and conceptualize). E.g. Any well-crafted novel but the most boring, naturalist, ones always has a prominent and often absorbing individual character, typifying individualism, but - he/she may be the doomed-Byronic type, having volition "in regard to consciousness, but not to existence"; or on the other Classical Romantic side, he succeeds in his ambitions but does so without an expressed reason: possessing volition "with regard to existence, but not to consciousness". Then rarely, one finds the authors and their characters who combine both elements, in greatly refreshing romanticism-heroism for one's spirit. I advise to read and view them all and find out/identify/enjoy for oneself. An art 'echo chamber' is needlessly self-constrictive and limiting.
    2 points
  45. Boydstun

    Physical Space

    MS & SL, I like the idea of space as a potential for occupancy. Potentials of nature are real things in my book and so are potential things that might be invented and gotten a patent on. Potential are distinct from mere possibilities in my usage. Possibilities are things in the mind that is engaged in thinking. Potentials are already out there as it were, and together with actualities, they compose existence. Potentials, hence space of the world is real. Space, even unoccupied space, is real, is an existent. However, potential for material or field occupancy is not the only potential that space is. There is a line in space right now that will become coincident with, a week from right now, the spin axis of the earth, and the spin axis of the earth would be the spin axis of the earth (a line in space) even if there were an empty cavity all the way through the earth along its axis of spin. MS, one reason I speak of physical space is to allude to the distinction of (i) geometries that are only abstract from (ii) the abstract geometries that are instantiated in particular situations in the physical world. In the last two centuries geometries came to be discovered (by the methods of mathematics) that are valid geometries, but so far as we know, they have no physical instantiations, no applications. Some of the new geometries are ones for which we have found physical application. These can be 3D like Euclidean geometry, but be a geometry in which, for example, triangles sum to more than 2R or to less than 2R, among other differences they have with Euclidean geometry. They are hard to visualize except by looking at how their 2D surfaces look when embedded in 3D Euclidean geometry. The reason we were able to discover these geometries in mathematics is because Descartes and Pascal figured out the beginnings of how we can represent curves on surfaces or in space by algebraic equations (analytic geometry). Such algebraic representation can be made of the visualizable geometry that we learn in high school in Euclid's Elements. That is, analytic geometry can represent synthetic geometry (the sorts of proof we do in high school geometry class and that the Greeks did are the methods directly dealing with synthetic geometry), and indeed through manipulating equations of curves, new discoveries of relationships in Euclidean synthetic geometry were made. There are synthetic geometric relationships that can be found for Non-Eulidean geometries via analytic representations of those geometries that cannot be visualized (in 3D or higher), yet have been found to have physical application. (Now I don't want to leave the natural impression that we can make up any sort of geometry we like as a new abstract geometry. Mathematics has its criteria for what constitutes a geometry, even a merely abstract one that, for all we know, may not have any physical instantiation anywhere. Just now, one of the books I'm studying pertains to those mathematical constraints; it's title is Geometric Possibility.)
    2 points
  46. I don’t agree with this. Explaining why requires two distinctions. - Dictatorial about government policy versus dictatorial to the USA’s people in general. - A dictator personally versus a dictator institutionally. Trump shows a strong desire to control government policy. However, his desire to control people in general doesn’t seem strong to me. Indeed, a prime counter-instance is the health insurance mandate. Obamacare made the mandate – that people in general (with a high enough income) must purchase health insurance, and they will be penalized (“taxed”) if they don’t. Trump got rid of the mandate, calling it the worst part of Obamacare. Joe Biden shows little desire to be a dictator personally. However, it seems he has little reservation about having in his orbit others who are very dictatorial, e.g. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, AOC, Kamala Harris. If elected, his cabinet appointments will be very revealing. Another reason I say this is his persistent desire for higher taxes, even more spending, and more regulations. Implicitly or explicitly, he views a better world coming from government activism. Trump does not. On the campaign trail, he has touted the “public option” regarding health insurance. If elected, I would not be a bit surprised to see him flip-flop to backing some form of Medicare for All (advocated by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris when they pursued the presidential nomination). Biden explicitly proposes to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Of course, the transition will be forced via government intervention – regulations and subsidies. How often have you heard Biden praise private industry or advocate individual liberty?
    2 points
  47. • Trump has the right enemies. For example the Deep State – he is so repellent it’s existence has become widely known through its brazen attacks. • He saw the political expediency of bringing up the immigration issue in public. • He pointed out the bias in the news – “fake news.” (Rand would have liked this one.) • He ended an Obama regulation that forced low-income housing onto suburbs. • He appointed Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch (founded by Larry Klayman), to a court oversight commission that can remove judges for misconduct. • He appointed three – count ’em, three – not-so-bad Supreme Court justices. Can you imagine if Hillary ... but I don’t want to have nightmares. • His first Attorney General prosecuted elite child slavery rings. (I haven’t read anything about the current one, William Barr.) hagmannreport.com/president-trump-zeros-in-on-elite-pedophiles lizcrokin.com/uncategorized/trump-takes-two-dozen-elite-pedophiles-including-celebrities-politicians • He’s at least trying to prosecute those behind the Russiagate hoax (William Barr is dragging it out). • He withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord. • He banned the indoctrination of federal government employees and contractors with critical race theory. One could easily think of more but isn’t that enough?
    2 points
  48. Well, even if we fully buy into the "good provider" theory, that is an evolutionary theory. In other words, it deals in men as they lived before specialization (as hunter gatherers, where you proved you are a good provider and protector through behavior, rather than any achievement or possession. And it was a very specific set of behaviors, because there was only one way to be a good provider and protector: be strong, fit, assertive, but also loving, open and honest. Specifically, EMOTIONALLY honest. This is what the "Red Pill" crowd fails to understand: being honest, being willing to put yourself out there (not being guarded, but rather being willing to take the risk of being hurt), being caring and genuinely curious about a woman's deepest emotions and experiences, etc. is just as attractive as being confident, strong and decisive...and to be attractive beyond a first few short encounters requires you to be both, and be so genuinely. Not play the role of the "nice friend who listens to her boyfriend problems", but be genuinely interested, and know how to make her comfortable to share those things with you. Also, you gotta know WHO to become genuinely interested in. If you're gonna insist on chasing after someone who rejected you, that's not "alpha male" behavior (I'm using it in quotes because it's a stupid term, I prefer to call it "selfish, confident man"), that's the very definition of a needy man who can't handle the rejection and must validate himself by changing this woman's opinion of him. An alpha male actually wants a woman to make her own decisions (by putting his honest self and his honest intentions, without any stupid tricks and games), and happily respects her decision, whichever way it goes. As for the reason why so called "good providers" get dumped: it's because they're only good providers materially. Not emotionally, not intellectually, and not sexually. They just bring home the bacon, and think that's good enough. So when the, again so called, alpha male comes around and knows how to make a woman feel sexually desired (which is a HUUUGE turn-on for women, probably the biggest), has interesting stories about people, travel, adventures, AND in general is a guy willing to take risks emotionally and connect on an emotional level, he's everything the bacon bringer-homer is not, in all the ways that actually count. Also (according to the theory), women aren't specifically attracted to a "good provider", but rather to a "potential good provider". Someone who proves that they have the ability to be good providers. Let's take two identical twins, who were separated at birth, and are now both age 20: The first one, Mr. A, is a billionaire CEO. He wears the same T-shirt and jeans everywhere he goes, he has a bland haircut, he spends 14 hours a day working, has a very serious demeanor, he hates talking about his personal life or his emotions to anyone except maybe his therapist or one or two of his closest friends. And he gets embarrassed any time someone openly talks about sex...especially if there are women present. He speaks well, but softly, and prefers to stick with a few of his favorite subjects, mostly work, politics, technology and his wood carving hobby. The second one, Mr. B, is a college kid who lives in a dorm, and has no material possessions or marketable skills. He has the same haircut as the dude from Vikings, he has cool tattoos, a leather jacket and clean but torn jeans, a V-neck Queens of the Stone Age T-shirt, dogtags and rings, and a big smile on his face. He's loud but friendly, gets along with people despite the fact that he never tries to cater to anyone's needs unsolicited. He'll help you out if you ask, but only if he likes you, and only if you have something to give back. He loves talking about himself, he's open about his emotional and sex life. Annoyingly open. He also doesn't take himself particularly seriously, he's actually a little dismissive about his own problems...he mentions them, but not to complain. Just as a matter of fact. Guess who is perceived as the "potentially good provider" by women. That's right, mr. B. Because 100,000 years ago, Mr A would've been a terrible provider and protector, while mr. B would've been excellent. Also, not much changed in 100,000 years. Mr. A has a lot of learning to do before he could be a truly good provider, even with billions in the bank. Because money is not enough, if you're not emotionally and physically available to your family. Meanwhile, Mr. B would do fine, if he decided to settle down and have a family. He doesn't want to do that, but that doesn't change the fact that he could if he wanted to...so he's attractive to women.
    2 points
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