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Ninth Doctor

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  1. Here's a very nice piece by Sheldon Richman: http://reason.com/archives/2014/12/14/nathaniel-branden-rip-and-the-pursuit-of
  2. Nathaniel Branden died this morning. http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14822#entry222338
  3. If you haven't already, you ought to read (or hear) Peikoff's talk from the mid to late 80's, the title is something like "My years with Ayn Rand, an intellectual memoir", I think it's printed in The Voice of Reason. Of course it's a panegyric, but there is a point when he addresses her anger, and he goes so far as to say that sometimes it was not justified or appropriate. My point is that if even he felt it had to be acknowledged, if minimized, there had to be enough incidents (public and/or private) that his interest in credibility required addressing it.
  4. Were there damages? Are you looking to sue? You might have to notify the state board in order to proceed. While I can understand the desire to avoid turning to government agencies that “shouldn’t” exist, bear in mind that they often perform a role that needs to be performed, the problem is that they are coercive and (almost certainly) don’t do the job as well as a private alternative. You use the words “grossly negligent”, is this doctor’s incompetence going to kill someone? How about an analogy? You drive over a bridge on a foggy night and just as you make it across you see it collapse behind you. You don’t believe that government should be in the business of maintaining bridges. Do you call 911? Or let the next driver die, rather than sanction the government’s role?
  5. If you want to talk philosophy with people who have some backround it’s a bad idea to use common terms and classifications in a way that contradicts normal usage. Kant is classified as a (or rather the) Transcendental Idealist. And a sharp critic of Materialism. You may as well call Rand an Irrationalist, because she opposed Rationalism, if this is going to be your MO. And before long no one will bother talking to you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_idealism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism#Philosophical_objections I was drawn to this thread because I’ve read Krauss. I like Krauss, I find him very entertaining and engaging, and his use of the term “nothing” sometimes needs explaining, so I was happy to share my thoughts. Now I’ve done that, and I hope some readers have found my contributions worthwile. I find you too tedious to continue with, though I give you credit for being polite. So happy trails.
  6. This is nonsense. I suggest you give David Kelley's The Evidence of the Senses a try. I don't have the time or patience to continue. But this I can't resist: "Kantian Materialism"? How about "Up Down", or "Black White"?
  7. I’m finding it impossible to figure out where you’re coming from. You need me to explain how physicists perceive the sub-atomic level? How they gather evidence about it, its properties? Or are you saying empty space is not something we perceive? As in, there’s the earth, then there’s the moon way up there, but the distance between is not “perceived” because we see right through it? I’m about ready to follow Dream Weaver’s lead if you don’t start talking sense.
  8. What on earth? Do we perceive fields, YES. Existence consists (solely?) of perceived particles of mass, NO.
  9. You seem to be saying that the subatomic particle that "pops out" of existence still exists, post-pop. No. The field existed before and exists after. It manifested itself as a particle for that moment, and that's all. Let me quote more from the linked article: Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-­theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. But maybe this doesn't answer what your driving at. Frankly I don't follow you at all on your perceived vs. unperceived distinction.
  10. One of the Krauss’s key points is that empty space is not empty, there’s energy there (note that the temperature of empty space is not absolute zero), and at the sub-atomic level there are particles constantly “popping in and out of existence”. So when he uses the term “nothing”, as in “A Universe from Nothing”, he doesn’t really mean nothing. He was taken to task for this in the New York Times review of his book: f what we formerly took for nothing turns out, on closer examination, to have the makings of protons and neutrons and tables and chairs and planets and solar systems and galaxies and universes in it, then it wasn’t nothing, and it couldn’t have been nothing, in the first place. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 I gather you think all this has some relevance (a challenge) to Objectivist Metaphysics, and from my understanding of it, it doesn’t.
  11. At two points actually, first with Rand in the 70's, then later after her death.
  12. That was one of the best parts of all three films. Maybe the best, in that here was a genuinely clever and effective bit of adaptation and condensation, well (enough) executed.
  13. I saw it yesterday. I thought it was the worst of the 3. I'd be hard pressed to come up with anything positive to say about it. FWIW, there were about 20 people there. It was a 2PM showing. The church thing referenced above wasn't in the movie. My concerns about "Act I" were well founded. They tried to pull it off with a voiceover...the whole thing was a disaster, let's just leave it at that.
  14. Talk about irony, eh? If it wasn't fiat money it would be another matter of course. http://time.com/mone...er-money-obama/ As of this moment Rand already has an insurmountable lead, 5,078 votes to 949 for Eleanor Roosevelt in 2nd place.
  15. How rude. This is simply a gratuitous unprovoked attack with no connection to the topic. And the OP seems so polite.
  16. I'm calling foul on your use of the term "blackmail". RB already addressed it so all I'm doing is wagging my finger in your general direction, I don't have anything to add to what he wrote. I'd give you a warning point, if I were a moderator (no thanks!). If we're going to sling legal terms around, how about Implied Warranty? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implied_warranty Did Burgess specify that the name he was seeking was one he hadn't heard of before? Someone he could form a partnership with? I get the feeling he wanted those two features, a kind of fitness for a particular purpose. Did he work it into the offer? Oops, time for more reading, now on Offer and Acceptance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offer_and_acceptance Nope, he didn't. Is it an offeree's function to...forget it, this is getting boring even for me.
  17. Funny thing: Randi's book Flim-Flam used to be carried by Second Renaissance Books. A basic thing about Reason is that it has to be applied to something. So how can one be a "specialized promoter of reason"? What would that look like? Are we talking method without subject matter? A Platonic essence? Or is it that the candidate needs to have applied reason to multiple fields, so that one can make the case that promoting reason is the common denominator of this person's achievement? By that standard Randi still stands tall. In any event, I think it would be a classy thing for Burgess to pay up.
  18. Could have been worse(/better): "She was a welfare queen who idolized a serial killer! She was the inspiration for the Church of Satan!! She voted for Nixon!!!"
  19. I think Mr. Laughlin owes you $100. Or no, wait a minute, you didn't provide a link! http://www.randi.org/site/ Ha! Beat you to it! Tell you what, we'll split the dough, ok? For justice sake, you did half (the name) I did half (the link). Fair?
  20. There have been plenty of debates, get out there and look for them. Here's one: Is there any reason to say this wasn't a level playing field? The "socialists" (may as well call them Marxists) had equal time. There was once a debate between Christopher Hitchens, back in his Marxist days (I'm talking early 90's), and Objectivists. Some people have it on tape but I don't know where it might be available. Where Objectivists (particularly those associated with Peikoff) have been bad is in being willing to debate with people who are closer to them philosophically. Libertarians, mainly. Here's an example of what that might look like: Smith isn't technically an Objectivist, but the case he makes here is basically the same as I'd expect any well spoken one to make. Obviously Friedman is a different animal, though also in the Libertarian tent.
  21. This calls to mind a quote from Nassim Taleb: "Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love" Though that isn't the OP's point.
  22. The OP is asking for advice on how to cope, so it's not the same as the other threads. I suppose he could take a cue from Howard Beale: More seriously, I suggest he reflect on the fact that we don't have a military draft at present. Things have been worse. And they might get better, even much better, not immediately but well before the far distant future.
  23. I just reread my post from yesterday and I'm concerned it could be misunderstood. No one's said anything, but I want to clarify anyway (it's too late to edit the post). My cynicism is about academia, not about Jason Hill's character if he's kept his Objectivist views under wraps until now. If he's done so, and particularly if that's been the difference between him ending up a properly fed "full" professor and not a starving adjunct, good for him. Well played, and I wouldn't blame him for an instant. Here's a little anecdote from my past to illustrate where I'm coming from: I was President of the Florida State University Objectivist club in the early 90's. Campus clubs had to have a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor didn't have to be involved, all they had to do was sign a paper, once a year. Our faculty advisor never even attended a meeting, he was a history professor who'd read some Rand at some point but wasn't an Objectivist or interested in taking part, and his name wasn't associated with the club in any public way. We did a good job of promoting ourselves, you couldn't be on that campus and not know about the club. Flyers everywhere, a table at the Student Union once a week, etc. When the time came to renew one year I went to him to sign the paper, and he told me he had been pressured to stop being our faculty advisor, so, how about we find another. He didn't spell out how, but he acknowledged that it was creating a problem for him. Now, someone had to do some research to find out he was our faculty advisor, and then gather some support to make things uncomfortable enough for him. With the goal of shutting us down? Creepy, eh? Maybe things aren't so bad anymore, it's over 20 years later, but I have my doubts. In any event, this (along with some other experiences) is how I've come to my attitude. It all had a happy ending, however, though I'm kind of foggy on the timeline. We brought Ed Locke as a speaker, it must have been later, but anyway the Management department (at the business school) were tickled pink, and took us all out to dinner before his talk and picked up the tab. After that, I was graduating but I believe my successor had an advisor from the business school and there was no problem the next year.
  24. It's a very nice piece. But from me I'm afraid it provokes a rather cynical question: Did this guy just get tenure, and now he's "coming out"? Not as gay, but as Objectivist, now that it's more or less safe to do so? And if not, did he just throw away his chance?
  25. How about this: For the unwritten scene that takes place an hour or so before "Howard Roark laughed." But he doesn't have a Nun singing it to him, that would be awfully incongruous, eh? So he just sings it to himself, I suppose.
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