ropoctl2 reacted to 2046 in On Ron Paul and Awlaki
Though nobody responded directly to Zip, his statement was very general, so I think we shouldn't have too much trouble taking some of the other posts and applying it to his statement.
It's not a matter of micromanaging, I don't think Paul would argue with you on that. I think he would say he has a beef with Congress taking its "power to declare war" and declaring "the President shall now have the power to make war on any persons in the future he deems a terrorist based solely on his say-so." I think he would say that amounts to a little more than just micromanaging, and wouldn't be a valid application of the war powers clause.
Accepting for the moment that it is constitutionally valid, even if Congress were to somehow declare a general war on anyone and everyone deemed to be a terrorist, or deemed to be associated with terrorists from now until forever, allowing the President to choose who is a terrorist and who isn't without having to provide evidence, then I think Ron Paul would simply say this is a wrong thing to do, and we can take him to mean that he simply opposes this strategy.
Now we could imagine the response being that the target himself says he is a part of AQ, but still, Ron Paul might answer that this is no proof of anything. If I say I murdered someone, we still must investigate and find evidence that I did, otherwise the charge might simply be a minor false reporting charge. There are many pseudo- and wannabe terrorists who claim things like this all the time, who broadcast their alleged affiliation, who even claim credit for attacks, after all.
ropoctl2 reacted to iflyboats in Another Ron Paul topic
I've been digesting the criticisms of Ron Paul made recently by Objectivist thinkers Yaron Brook and psychologist Michael Hurd, Ph.D. They both seem to hold an overall negative view of Paul due largely to his foreign policy.
Admittedly, I'm not very knowledgeable about foreign affairs. My main concern in politics has always been domestic policy. I don't really like to think about the weirdos/degenerates in the middle east, and Ron Paul's foreign policy of just leaving them alone, withdrawing from that part of the world and saving the money to spend on ourselves was easy for me to latch onto when he ran in 2007-2008, which was my first foray into politics. However, I realize that not liking to think about foreign affairs doesn't justify neglecting to do so, and I now agree with the criticisms that Ron Paul's foreign policy is not aggressive enough and that, rather than retreating from the middle east, the US should crush states that sponsors terrorism.
Having said that, I'm still considering supporting Paul anyway, because in my judgment, the US government's financial behavior seems to be a much greater immediate threat to my well-being than any foreign enemy. I fear that, unless the next President takes a firm stance against deficit spending, monetary inflation and government intervention in the economy on principle, we will be likely to suffer a worst-case scenario of hyperinflation in conjunction with a massive government power grab, with the result being many years of outright misery in America. Ron Paul is the only one who clearly understands the cause of our economic problems and is committed to championing the principle of individual rights in economic life. He is also the only one I trust not to take advantage of the coming crisis to justify an even bigger and more dangerous power grab than the one that happened in 2008-2009.
Furthermore, it seems that a financial collapse brought about by a big-spending President would compromise our military strength even more than the errors in Ron Paul's foreign policy, so if he gives us the best chance to avoid such an outcome, he might actually do more to maintain our military strength than someone with a better foreign policy, but a reckless fiscal policy.
Finally... it's worth notice that it was Ron Paul's candidacy in 2007-2008 that got me interested in ideas and eventually led me to Objectivism. I went from Ron Paul to Austrian economics to "Gold and Economic Freedom" to Ayn Rand. Google trends suggests that the rise in popularity of Austrian economics corresponds almost perfectly to Ron Paul's rise to prominence in 2007-2008. I credit him with injecting this knowledge into the mainstream at a crucial moment in history, and for all his flaws, I suspect that he has had a net positive impact on political and economic thought in America.
Anyway, my question is, can I rationally continue to support Ron Paul based on my judgment that, under the dire circumstances, the value of his domestic policy outweighs the errors in his foreign policy? I don't want to support the wrong man due to an error in my thinking, but right now, I don't see a better alternative in the field (save for Gary Johnson, who doesn't have a chance). His campaign's volunteer office just opened up in my state, and I need to decide whether I'm going to help with his campaign or not. I would therefore appreciate any arguments as to why I should or should not support him.
ropoctl2 reacted to Dairdo in I want to learn history
I've read a few of the books noted above, and they're great from a modern historical perspective. If you're looking for a more anthropological review, Guns, Germs and Steel was a very entertaining and informative read. Takes a 15,000 year perspective, proposing a comprehensive theory about the factors that, in the author's opinion, contributed to the rise of modern civilization in some places, and not in others.
ropoctl2 reacted to Greebo in Dating an objectivist
I'm an Objectivist and my wife is not. We don't agree on every minor detail - but on the major principles that matter in our relationship, we agree.
I don't think your issue is that he's an Objectivist - per se. There's plenty of people of other philosophies that feel this need to push those closest to them to be like minded with them - and at one time in my life, I was one of those, well, frankly, jerks. Fortunately for me, my wife is able to let me know when I'm crossing the line - she's a strong woman who can stand up to me when I get a little overly intense.
BTW I'm not saying HE'S a jerk - just that he's got the potential to be enough of one if he's not careful that it will ultimately push you away.
He has to learn to respect your boundaries - and to allow you to reach your own conclusions in your own time. O'ism demands that we all check our own premises, not that we force others to do so.
Have you read Atlas Shrugged? If you have, then refer him to how both Dagny dealt with Hank when Hank expressed his own self-loathing after their first night together, and equally how John Galt never tried to push his way of thinking on Dagny. With Dagny and Hank, she never told him why he was wrong, she just told him where SHE stood in the affair, and with John and Dagny, he stated his positions on matters but left her the freedom to choose for herself, and in neither case did Hank's failure to recognize his errors of reasoning or Dagny's failure to recognize hers change the regard that the other held for them each in turn.
Hope that makes sense.
ropoctl2 reacted to Jonathan13 in Ideas for increasing participation in ObjectivismOnline
No, I mentioned that many people have had the same experiences here as I have.
Do you seriously not understand that I am offering something constructive?
That's exactly what I'm doing: I'm suggesting a way to improve the site.
No, it's not a separate topic just because you weren't expecting it, or because you don't want to hear that improving moderators' behavior would be a good way to improve the site. The initial post on this thread asks for suggestions on how to attract more people. OO has rightfully earned a reputation of having moderators who impede discussions either with their personal biases or their inability to grasp the obvious relevance of a post (just as you appear to be having difficulty grasping the relevance of my points on this current thread -- it's almost as if you're trying to illustrate my point). Getting rid of the reputation of having intrusive and/or intellectually challenged moderators would attract more people, and that would result in better conversations, which in turn would attract more people.
Heh. Why is that almost every post that I write which does not contain exactly what the moderators expected to hear is deemed by them to be "off topic" or a "separate topic"? Man, it is so annoying having to walk moderators through the simplest of points.
ropoctl2 reacted to Ninth Doctor in Ideas for increasing participation in ObjectivismOnline
I agree with Jonathan. I’ve had enough posts deleted that I’m much less interested in contributing. I gave up on the “closed system” thread for that reason, my next reply needed to be extensive, and it didn’t make sense to put in the time since the content would have to be very controversial and thus subject to being deleted.
ropoctl2 reacted to TuesdaysThursdays in Breaking Bad
I'm not sure there is much moral insight to glean from the show as an Objectivist. Some decisions Walter has made are very poor, and the creators have all intentions of making it much worse for him, ending season 5 similar to the end of Scarface I imagine.
But from an aesthetic point of view BB is incredible. I have never before seen such a well put together show in all aspects. I respect everyone involved for the skills they necessarily possess for the quality produced. I love to see ability from people almost no matter what the ability is, and I am thankful that in this case it's a show targeting my demographic.
ropoctl2 reacted to Grames in Global Warming
Any appeal to peer-reviewed climate science papers is now immediately suspect. We all know the closed circle of AGW advocates was approving each other's papers and black-balling dissent.
Here is an argument not covered by that site: increasing atmospheric CO2 can have only a miniscule effect on global climate because of the physics involved. See Cold Facts on Global Warming and the explanation of Beer's Law. In short, the temperature response of the atmosphere as a function of the percent of CO2 is logarithmic, meaning it must have diminshing returns, and the current amount in the atmosphere is already way past the knee of the curve.
ropoctl2 reacted to softwareNerd in Jail time for trolling
In the U.K., a man was given an 18 week sentence for "sending a communication of an indecent or offensive nature", when he posted comments on a page set up to mourn someone's death.
Reading this article led me to check out the laws in the U.S.. Here's a page that neatly links to laws across the various states. So, an example from Arizona says:
Typically, these laws aren't just about the internet. They're part of laws saying (for instance) that following a person around in a public place, with no legitimate purpose, and after being told to desist, is harassment.
ropoctl2 reacted to brian0918 in Fool's Gold (article)
This assumes the government-adjusted CPI is accurate, which it is not. You can check out ShadowStats for a more historically-accurate estimate of CPI. You can also read up on the assumptions, algorithms, and hedonics used to concoct a stable, low CPI. (e.g. this CPA)
I will also note that even IF you assume the CPI is accurate (which it isn't), one couldn't even keep up with inflation just by putting one's money in a bank savings account, due to the Fed's continued ZIRP.
ropoctl2 reacted to brian0918 in Fool's Gold (article)
Regarding purchasing gold: we still have yet to pass the inflation-adjusted record high of around $2400/oz. You'll also find that not only do the folks who believe the Fed/government will rapidly devalue our currency (e.g. Peter Schiff) recommend buying gold, but so do the folks who believe that we will experience rapid deflation due to credit destruction (e.g. Bob Prechter). Either way, I wouldn't recommend going all-in. While gold may ultimately play a much bigger role as money in the long-term, the interim is uncertain. I would hold gold, silver, cash, guns, foodstuffs, and trade skills.
ropoctl2 reacted to brian0918 in Fool's Gold (article)
Since you seem to use "inflation" ambiguously to mean both increased Fed money-printing and rising US prices, I cannot make sense of your statements.
And besides that, you are not even arguing with anyone here. Certainly Objectivists are not simply in favor of returning to the gold standard that we had up until the '70s - i.e. a government-mandated one. The free market should decide what form our money should take. Gold certainly has ideal properties as money in certain contexts, so it would likely be popular in a free market.
ropoctl2 reacted to Prometheus98876 in Looking for a business partner in hi-tech
Game physics engine : C++, and happily so. If it was a game in which high performance was not an issue : C#.
OS kernel : C or maybe C++. C# if I simply need a simplistic kernel for which performance is not vital.
Database system : Not sure, probably C++.
Given its poor design , about the only reason I can think of to use Objective-C is if you are making Apple products.
C# is highly suitable for a MANY applications. It is a powerful language with many features and libraries ( the .NET ones number in the tens of thousands of really good ones). It is slower than C++ and a number of other languages , however for many , many applications this does not matter. For the vast majority of applications, it is plenty fast enough and anyway, unless it is a high performance application : The choice of programming language makes almost no difference these days.
If you have a look, you will find many even slower languages are popular? Why ? Because programming language speed makes very little difference to anyone not making applications in which high speed is very crucial. Sometimes languages that seem slower can actually do some things FASTER. Python for instance is considered slow usually, however it has some highly optimized mathematical libaries that can be tweaked to run at speeds approaching C++.
This does not sufficiently answer the questions I asked however.
ropoctl2 reacted to Prometheus98876 in Looking for a business partner in hi-tech
This is the first I have ever heard of this "Pliant" programming language. The main site will not work for me right now, and the other sites I can find give me precious little information. What is so great about this language and why would anyone care so much? What about it justifies setting up a business around it? Historically, this sort of thing has been tried : But it has been proven time and time again that it generally doesnt work.
Programming languages are themselves generally not what makes profit, what makes profit is the great software which can be profitably made with them. What is it about Pliant that lets you do this?
" This is a little like Rearden Metal -- it is very versatile but its benefits will become clear once a business is setup with a real client." - if you mean it is superficially like Rearden Metal - then sure. Both are things which were claimed to have a lot of promise, even though not everyone sees why or buys into it. Except Rearden Metal clearly shows promise upon examination by a rational and informed person. I am not sure that this is the case here.
ropoctl2 reacted to Boris Rarden in Looking for a business partner in hi-tech
The technical website about pliant is http://www.fullpliant.org
pliant is a language that aims to replace C++.
Just like the benefits of C++ are visible only on large projects (on small you can use scripting) same goes for Pliant. Only a large consistent project will show clear benefits of using pliant (extensibility, expressibility, strong libraries, minimal code, high abstraction, low level optimization)
ropoctl2 reacted to Tonix777 in Updating Objectivism
More than 50 years after Atlas Shrugged and after much years of being Objectivist, I strongly believe that some update is necessary to Rand's original approach
In fact more than an update is an extension consisting in applying Objectivism deeper to the Human Animal: Ourselves
The Aristotelian "A is A" means also that WE are what we are, and in recent years after Rand's main body of work, several science disciplines has gone much further in the research about our very own nature as "biological machines".
In an oversimplified analogy our body and specially our brain would be the "hardware", our mind the "software" and our emotional system standing between both, and functioning as some kind of "firmware" specially in our early years of life
Rand focused her wonderful insights in our mind, the software, which is of course the proper terrain for philosophy but I think now that she overlooked the strong influence of our hardware in our behavior, moods, and choices, specially our Emotional System which is shaped by our "sense of life" = values in Randian terms but also by our biology and even the particular chemistry and hormone balance inside our brains
What follow are some concepts for discussion, followed by some Conclusions at the end:
1- Modern Evolutionary Psychology and Neuroscience are progressing more and more in revealing how strong is the influence of DNA-inherited traits in our behavior and moral choices and preferences
So Aristotle-Locke's concept of "Tabula Rasa" is valid to a certain (great) extend but not absolute since we have innate tendencies acquired thru darwinian evolution
2- The (also Aristotelian) "Eudaimonia" and thus our pursuit-of-happiness are very strongly influenced by our emotional system, in fact happiness itself is an emotionally based state of mind, complex, quite different for each individual, hard to define, but emotional in nature: We feel happy as opposite to we think we are happy
3- Altruism and Religiosity, two apparently DNA-inherited traits are central to the discourse of Objectivism vs traditional organization in Society
Recent studies strongly suggest that these two tendencies found in all World's societies across all Ages, are "hardwired" in our brains and helped specie's survival
As a sample of this line of though please read Matthew Alper's book "The God part of the Brain" or this article in LA Times: http://articles.lati...theism-20110718
4- Human Society's evolution leads also to "biological weakness"?
Not to mention modern medicine hindering Natural Selection, Capitalism as the best-to-date political system is strongly linked to an evolved morality, and any regression in human history would likely diminish or eliminate Capitalism in modern Society with the subsequent possibility of returning to more savage relationships among men that in turn would also call for "less evolved" individuals in order to survive?
5- Beatles' classic "All you need is love" is an expression that probably would produce revulsion in Rand and most Objectivists BUT there is something extremely important inside the very concept of "Love" that is essential to our survival as individual and species: The DNA-inherited natural tendency of "attachment" in the Human Animal which is also emotionally driven. Attachment to our beloved ones, to our projects, to other people, even to objects or devices that become important for us, allowing to move towards needs generated by these feelings that not always have an easy or even logic explanation.
6- Ayn Rand stressed the essential importance of a John-Galt style of relationship with Nature, absolutely agreed BUT dominion of Nature is dominion of just one half of our environment, as social animals we usually live in groups so our "Reality" is compressed of Nature and People with the latter posing also multiple challenges coming from our relationship with others, personal interactions, rules and laws, rewards vs punishment, control vs freedom, etc.
A- We are what we are, A is A and it is pointless to deny our very own nature consistent with our current degree of evolution as species. Thus integrating Objectivist Philosophy into our complex "interior" (including specially our Emotional System) is a challenge that everyone has to solve in his/her own way. But to me we need adequate managing not denial, of all these DNA-inherited traits and tendencies that are more strong in some individuals than others but always present in the end.
B- Borrowing from conflict management strategies an interesting option I found is working "in the frontiers", meaning accepting that conflict is an essential part of existence and try to make our choices accordingly and as smart as possible. This is specially important in the relationship with all other people around us who usually are far more unpredictable and illogic than Nature that is much more benevolent in David Kelley's sense of the word
C- It sounds politically incorrect but I also believe that we should contemplate the need to be less overcivilized in some cases, keeping deep inside ourselves some residual "primitivism" just in case modern Society collapses and relationships among men change in some future. This applies also to the sometimes overprotective environment and education we are giving to our children?
ropoctl2 reacted to OptimizedPrime in Republicans for taxing the poor
The government was scheduled to run out of money completely within a week give or take, within the confines of the law, provided the president didn't exert certain statutory powers (e.g. the $1T coin etc.). Clearly had the deal not been reached, the president would have been duty-bound to override congress' attempt at ending our democracy.
Yeah, instantly removing the livelihood of tens of millions of people with no prior warning wouldn't have any bad effects at all. We should totally do that.
Ayn Rand once called Objectivism, "a philosophy for living on Earth". I guess people are free to use it however they want, and some are perfectly happy using it as a mental exercise, or a puzzle, or a way to win meaningless arguments at cocktail parties.
What a waste.
ropoctl2 reacted to OptimizedPrime in Republicans for taxing the poor
Yes, and it's important to think of this as "war" (an analogy), not peace. Everybody in the USA is under attack by taxes. Nobody deserves that. In war you make trade-offs to protect your population, which may involve diverting the attack to those whom would be less effected by the attack. This is not about rewarding mediocrity or punishing the successful, it's about surviving a bad situation.
As I alluded to in a previous post, rational people who make life the standard of value should have every interest in a path to change that doesn't simply crush people because after living a lifetime in a welfare state they "should have known". So yes, one good way to put is, "(slowly, carefully) ween the country off the welfare state", not "liquidate the poor".
ropoctl2 reacted to Prometheus98876 in Empty Space
[First of all : I would like to point out that I am not interested if you disagree with my conception of space. I am absolutely convinced that I am correct and I am not interested in debating this issue in this thread. If you do not agree, that is fine, I do not want to hear about it. Second of all : I do not care if anyone wishes to link/share this around, as long as I am attributed as the author).
Space is a concept which is very rarely correctly understand by anybody, including modern physicists. However, the purpose of this essay is not to discuss the confusions of others in relation to this concept, my purpose is to introduce a valid concept of space, clearly educed to its referents in reality. It is also meant as an answer to those that damn any and all concepts of empty space as invalid.
Whether or not there is any "absolute" vacuum ( even in "outer space" ) is according to modern physics debatable and there are many theories as to whether or not any such areas in space exist or not. However it is not really impossible from a metaphysical point of view ( when I say "metaphysically possible" - I mean that from a metaphysical perspective, such is not impossible ).
When one considers a "region of space", they are referring to it in relation to separation between a number of entities. This is what space is : It is a conceptual relationship and the "space" itself has no physical existence as such.
However, the separation, the geometrical relationship does in fact exist. The relationship can also be said to include the presence of absence of intervening objects ( or at least the presence or absence of such objects worthy of consideration in a given context). "Empty" refers to the fact that there are no such objects within that region. This is the so-called "void" of space and in some contexts the "void" may refer to a region of space which is alleged to be literally empty of anything at all. It is not metaphysically impossible for this to be so, it is not impossible for this relationship to exist ( again, whether or not any such regions exist is besides the point of this essay and is a question for physics to answer, not metaphysics).
Let us analyze "space " a bit more and put this another way : Space is a separation between objects. It is a relationship of positions between objects. We say space "contains" one or more objects when there are other objects which exist within the geometrical "boundary" which the bounding objects delimit.
Empty space means that there are no other objects which exist in a position which relates to the objects which are defined as bounding objects in a certain way. By which I mean that there are no other objects which exist according to the relationship of being 'between" objects bound by these objects which we are using to delimit this "space".
This is why it is metaphysically possible to have a "void" in at least one sense and why it is valid to speak of a void in at such a sense: The sense that a void is said to refer to "empty " space, to the fact that no relationships of a certain type exist in relation to the objects bound a space. It is an identification of the fact that a certain relationship does not apply in a given case/context
The void does not "exist qua void” ,it has no physical existence, however it is nonetheless a valid concept and it is appropriate to use it.
Let me make this still more clear : Does the fact which I allege "empty space" refers to itself refer to anything in reality? Yes it does. The fact that "there are no objects within this boundary" means that there are some objects in certain locations. The objects and their positions and other objects we wish and their locations are the ultimate referents we are dealing with here.
Now we relate the position of these "boundary" objects in such a way that we form the concept of a "space" between them. Then we consider any other object and we recognize the fact that these objects have location as well, however that location is not within the "space" bound by the boundary objects. We then call that space" empty space" ( or we just say its "empty") to refer to this fact.
However, some people continue to deny the validity of this concept of space and insist on arguing that “reality is a full plenum, it is filled to the brim with something “ or some such argument. However one does need to invent an aether to do away with the concept of "empty space". It is entirely unjustified and rationally impossible to defend on such grounds.
In fact it is to commit a gross error of its own. It is to assume that “empty space” reifies nothingness, that it is equivalent to claiming that the absence of something is something and that it can be said to be a concept with referents ( a valid concept). However this is false. It is the identification of a relationship, as explained above. It is not the same as saying that the void exists qua concrete entity, it is simply the statement that certain entities exist with a given relationship to each other. It is not the same as giving nothing metaphysical primacy or stature and it is most certainly not a contradiction.
In fact it is to be guilty of yet another error. It is to take the relationship "empty space" , which is an abstraction which refers to objects and their positions and replacing it with some entity which one then refers to as "the aether" However this is in fact a logically unnecessary and ridiculous thing to do and what is more it is to reify the abstract relationship of space, which is the very error aether theory advocates tend to accuse those that believe in “empty space” of!
So in short : It is metaphysically possible that regions of "outer space” ( if “outer space” is to be a valid term, it must refer generically to any region of “space” which we wish ton consider outside of the bounds of the atmosphere of Earth or whichever celestial object one may speak of “outer space” in relation to ) are empty or that they are a void. Provided one recognize that space is relational concept
One need not invent an aether for this purpose. One need not treat it as something subject to curvature ( which is just another way of reifing space and a failure to recognize it as nothing more than a relational concept).
There is no space in philosophy or physics to treat space as anything but what it is. It is time more people ( especially physicists) started doing so.
ropoctl2 reacted to WeDontNeedGod in Empty Space
Fortunately, you do not have the privilege of dictating who can reply to what post.
Your conception of space is totally wrong.
"In 1905, Albert Einstein published a paper on a special theory of relativity, in which he proposed that space and time be combined into a single construct known as spacetime. In this theory, the speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers—which has the result that two events that appear simultaneous to one particular observer will not be simultaneous to another observer if the observers are moving with respect to one another. Moreover, an observer will measure a moving clock to tick more slowly than one that is stationary with respect to them; and objects are measured to be shortened in the direction that they are moving with respect to the observer.
Over the following ten years Einstein worked on a general theory of relativity, which is a theory of how gravity interacts with spacetime. Instead of viewing gravity as a force field acting in spacetime, Einstein suggested that it modifies the geometric structure of spacetime itself. According to the general theory, time goes more slowly at places with lower gravitational potentials and rays of light bend in the presence of a gravitational field. Scientists have studied the behaviour of binary pulsars, confirming the predictions of Einstein's theories and non-Euclidean geometry is usually used to describe spacetime." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space
ropoctl2 reacted to TheEgoist in Republicans for taxing the poor
Leave it to the Republicans, including the head of the moronic Tea Party Caucus to not support taxation of the rich but to be fine with taking some money from the poor. Because taking the last pennies people have will do a lot, but taxing the rich more would never help the country!
This is just reverse class warfare.