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Boris Rarden

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Everything posted by Boris Rarden

  1. Adrian, I'm re-reading Atlas Shrugged for the third time, 10 years since my previous reading. I found that she repeats the same point a lot upon my first reading, and perhaps the second reading, but I don't find it anymore. The repeating is necessary, to make it more convincing and dramatic. To stress the importance of the point. You know, the principle that altruism is evil can be summarized in one sentence, but it's the role of fiction to put the principle in as many concrete terms as possible, making the reader to discover it for himself. It's the principle of "show, don't tell." By the way, do you find "War and Peace" as repeating the same point many times? Rereading Atlas Shrugged for the third time, I'm dumbfounded by this book. It's remarkable on so many levels. For one, it is cross genre, it defines categorization. Is it a science fiction, a romance novel, a detective story, a self-help book, a philosophical treatise, a political satire, a prophecy, an action adventure, a poetic hymn (like the Greek myths)? Second, many books are spoiled if you know the ending, or if you know the hidden secret. But, this book reveals a secondary meaning and depth only if you know what's coming at the end. You say that the dialog is not as developed: the dialog is ingenious because every sentence is first understood as metaphorical, while on a repeated reading (once you know the secret), it's read as literal! She hid things in plain sight.
  2. I work outdoors in city parks. I wanted to do this for a long time, but it came handy during Covid. Before Covid I used to go to the public library to work, but now I can't do that. Once it got warmer in the Spring, I began going outside, with a table setup. I'm able to carry all this gear on a bicycle, or by car with a wagon cart for the last mile. Besides the gear, I take lunch with me and plenty of hot tea to keep me warm if it gets cold. (Working in a standing position is warmer.) The biggest challenge that remains is an unlimited and affordable LTE mobile plan. I have an article on Medium that documents it in more detail. It's linked from my homepage.
  3. I have learned a few good points from Charles Tew. I have particularly enjoyed his review of Jordan Peterson. Thanks, Charles.
  4. In the introduction to the Objectivist Forum series, Ayn Rand wrote that Objectivism is a closed philosophy. Apparently David Kelley didn't read this, because he was surprised to learn from Peikoff that Objectivism is a closed philosophy. Here's what Ayn Rand said at the end of that introduction: Therefore, the moment you begin to promote a venue for Libertarian ideas (which means that indirectly you are making these statements), then you can't put everything under the rubric of Objectivism. There needs to be a separating line, that is made clear to the audience, of which ideas are Objectivism, and which are not. But this doesn't happen in David Kelley's conferences. They present all sorts of speakers there, and it would not be clear to he laymen audience which ideas are Ayn Rand's and which are of the speaker.
  5. Nice find, thanks. I am a bit surprised, to hear this from Seinfeld. I think he and Larry David make jokes about the desire to be selfish, but I didn't think they are fully on the side of selfishness.
  6. I think that now your require several cups a day to stay well for the reasons outlined in my article, described fully in the reference How Stuff Works article. The fact that you may sleep like a baby while consuming a lot of coffee may mean that reacts to coffee and induced adrenaline better than an average person, however, the essence of the biological process described still happens. Or would you say that as a result of coffee your pupils don't dilate, blood veins are not shrinking and adrenaline is not released ? I doubt that, but I am sure that there can be an easily administered and conclusive test that you can do, after you drink coffee. For pupils, just look at the mirror. For blood veins, maybe measure the blood pressure. I'm not a medic, just thinking logically.
  7. Is the world continuous ? I mean, is there say a distance of length 2*Pi actually ? I'm thinking here of the circle with radius of 1 meter, whose perimeter mathematically is 2*Pi. If the smallest unit of length is Plank's distance 'h', then are we to assume that the circle as is actually "pixelated" ? Could the smallest amount of matter be 'h', but we could still think of half of 'h' ? Suppose that you answer "yes", distance is discreet, in steps of 'h'. What about 'time' ? Does this also imply that we can not think of continuous time, because time is only a record of movement of objects? Zeno's paradoxes in fact criticize both views of continuity and discreetness of time. Quote from http://cerebro.xu.edu/math/math147/02f/zeno/zenonotes.html
  8. I have written an article against coffee. http://rarden.blogspot.ca/2011/10/addiction.html
  9. Hello, I am a developer of the website Propster.me, mentioned here already. This is a separate post to tell you about a feature I called bitcookies. It is a kind of ad-hoc invite code that does not require posting a url. You can use to publicly give money (tips) to people on forums. It is described here: https://propster.me/...kie/forums.html Thanks, Boris
  10. Hello, I have recorded these musicians on the street. Many of them I don't know how to contact, but I know where they (used-to) play. Maybe some of you have seen them. I have created public tip jars for them. If we can collect a good amount of money in them, it will be worth the effort to find these people and deliver it. https://propster.me/...utube.com/watch More street musicians: https://propster.me/...rummer ensemble How many times have you walked by a street musician, and wish you could give him props in a better way than a quarter? Propster is exactly like that, it is money + social. I sometimes give to good street musicians $5, and once I gave a $20. But it would be much better if 100 people would give 20 cents, because it creates advertising and these 100 will bring a thousand. I have received thousands of likes on these youtube videos, if everyone gave a little something it would be some real money and motivation for these musicians not to take a 9-to-5 but produce more wonderful music. Boris
  11. Computer Generated Music does not mean that there is no places for humans in music. It just makes music even more creative and accessible, and makes finding new ideas more frequent. Every musical genre is a simple idea developed further by people, but finding that idea is the hard part.
  12. Tell your Vancouver buddies about objectivism-Vancouver meetup
  13. I have started a meetup group in Vancouver Canada: Meetup.com/objectivism-vancouver looking forward to new members. We got 17 now.
  14. Steven Wolfram surprises us again, this time with Computer Generated Music. Note: At the following link you will also see a tip jar toolbar from Propster.me. I am the creator of that website. If you like what Wolfram did, leave a tip in a public tipjar, and Propster will deliver the tips to Wolfram. https://propster.me/v/0c84kdj/tones.wolfram.com
  15. To some extend that is already in the FAQ, but I will add to it what you have said as well. Thanks for the input. You are right that a person may refuse to collect the money for some reason, and the balance can be greater than a dollar.
  16. Hi, Nicky: That is a good point, I haven't thought about. It is hard for me to imagine a case where it would not be possible to deliver the money. Most people have a way to contact them. And in the case that I can't deliver, the money is either returned back, or given to Wikipedia when donations are anonymous. I am not sure there needs to be any additional workflow. I am excited to announce a new feature: Preview with a Tip Jar toolbar. Example: Peikoff website with a Tip Jar toolbar https://propster.me/preview/0c7s2ug Another example with screenshot: https://propster.me/tipjar/0c7sve2
  17. Hi, I have made a website on which everyone can create a tip jar for anyone. I have created four tip jars: Peikoff, for his Q&A podcasts: https://propster.me/tipjar/0c7s2ug The Objective Standard, for their great free podcasts and articles, and even previews. https://propster.me/tipjar/0c7s2y4 Alex Epstein for his podcasts on the fallacy of Green Energy: https://propster.me/tipjar/0c7s2o0 Here's one for ObjectivismOnline.net, as well ! https://propster.me/tipjar/0C7S3I9 The site speaks both USD Paypal, and Bitcoin. You can create more tip jars, for the kind of stuff that you like. The name "Propster" is something I thought a lot about. The site was originally called Online-TipJar, but I want to get away from the word "tip". I'm using the word "props", which stands for "proper respect". I think that word captures better the essence of why I'd want to contribute money to great projects/achievements on the net. Please use Feedback for requesting features. Boris
  18. I know many developers who have day jobs, where they do really boring work, and when they come home they start a project on Git Hub, where they try to be creative. But even those projects on GitHub are just small improvements on something that already exists. For example, a CMS system, or some javascript library, or some game, or Arduino (programming little robots). Lets concentrate, for a moment, on Arduino. Why is it so popular ? Because hobbyist want to do with physical things what they have done with computers. Many of today startups are created by hobbyists that learned to program in their teens. Those teens learned it for fun, not for a job.
  19. These blue prints will enable hobbyist to get into this stuff, and stop programming computers for the sake of programming, but now, programming to run these external tools. Eventually, there will be enough of these hobbyist who will begin to form into startup companies, repeating the .com boom, and more recently, the bitcoin boom, but this time in hardware. It is true that technology exists today in big companies, which are opened by especially talented business men, not tech people. Here is an analogy from Atlas Shrugged: The emloyees in Galts Gulch all had a side startup business, doing something with hardware. Ore mining, or something like that. When a simplest machine costs today 100 times the cost of a computer-only startup, most smart people do projects on a side that are isolated to the computer field. (Or, affiliate marketing, still computers, the internet). The geeks want to expand their domain. When more people start to tinker, not only more startups will be greated, but more great inventions will come. Big companies are good at what they do, but they are slow to move and switch directions. In one word, I'd sum it up as having FUN!
  20. I have reworked the design of the project and changed the name to Propster: https://propster.hypervolume.com/
  21. A petition to start an independent village: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=23489
  22. Take a look: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=23489
  23. Why don't we create a site like the http://freestateproject.org/ but to start a full objectivist community where we wouldn't have to pay any income taxes. Let's prepare a petition to USA government asking for autonomy, according to the following plan: Stage 0: Build it. We take a geographical area in USA (buy lots of cheap land, in the middle of nowhere, in the states) We build a small community there using money from our current jobs We slowly increase amount of time that we live on site Stage 1: Live in there -- need petition granted The rules below are created to be in such a way that we are not taking anything away from USA infrastructure. The core issue at question is the absense of income tax on barter exchange within Gulch. Definition: Base Value -- Public school teacher's salary residing outside of Gulch. If USA will have one day no public teachers, we will take a percentage from the average salary of private teachers who have between 1 and 2 years of experience. We will pay a fee for use of electricity infrastructure and water, which USA govt can change any time, with 1 year advance notice, if the change is more than 5% in value, and 1 month notice if it is less. We will pay a fee for a member entering or leaving Gulch. This fee encodes the cost of public roads and infrastructure required to get to Gulch (gas, airports). This fee is a percentage of Base Value, and the percentage can not be changed. We will pay a one time property tax for the area. This fee is agreed upon when the petition is approved, and can not be ever changed. Protection fee: We will pay a fee to USA for running the military to protect us, per Gulcher. This fee will be a fixed percent of Base Value, and can not be changed. On purchase of any item not produced in Gulch, we pay USA sales tax, or USA import tax if it is imported from abroad. We don't pay income tax on barter between Gulchers, even if it is using some kind of local currency to facilitate it. We don't use the American dollar, but maybe Bitcoin or plain gold for business inside Gulch. We don't pay any taxes -- no property taxes on any land inside Gulch. No sales taxes on purchase of any products from a Gulcher. If located on a river, we do not pay any tax on using the river motive power. We don't pay any taxes on any natural resources in the land (existing or discovered later). We can not pollute environment (air) to more than 1% since inception when measured at the border of Gulch, if it can be proven that pollution comes from within Gulch (and not externally). A Gulcher can study in USA only as an international student (same kind of high fees). Should the govt want to nationalize Gulch (maybe because there's a lot of oil found), it may do so with a 10 year warning, as well as it gives permission for Gulch to move to relocate to another area with natural conditions similar to those of Gulch that have been when Gulch was formed. For example, certain percent of trees, certain access to a river, etc. Gulchers have the legal right to demolish any kind of construction they have created. A Gulcher can serve in the military. In this case he does not pay the protection fee while he is serving. To avoid paying income tax, both the employee and the company must be in Gulch: We only pay income tax if we perform work for a company outside of Galts Gulch. If a company who deems to be Gulch based hires someone who resides outside of Gulch, he is required to pay income tax. I should also mention that all the other internal laws in Gulch will be laws supporting a laissez-fair capitalism model, and will not contradict any hard criminal laws in USA constitution (like laws against murder etc). USA might grant such petition for the following reasons. First, we must have a solid amount of members to be taken seriously. In the thousands, and the more the better. Second, we are proposing a form of a peaceful change or resistance. In history, every group that got any kind of autonomy, first had to go to war. However, most people today, even non-objectivists, realize that it is better to settle things without war. We will be setting a precedent, in a similar way Ghandhi did when he proposed a peaceful form of resistance. We will appeal to the American constitution, and common sense, citing examples from history of devastating wars a persecution when a group wanted to be different. For example, the early Christians pacifists, who spoke openly against Roman military policy. Or late Pagans who didn't want to convert to Christianity. Or the war for American independence, or the war between North and South. We will show that people of different views can co-exist side by side, without having to go to war. We can give this a fancy name of "Peaceful Separatism" or something like that. Third, the public will not have problem with us not paying income tax, because we are not taking anything out of the American infrastructure. The few things that we do use (military, import of goods from abroad, etc) we will pay for proportionally to what we pay now as American citizens. What do you think of the idea ? Do you want to make amendments to this list of laws ?
  24. - cant grow any reasonable amount of food for myself -- I will have only a few items. Food requires trade. also trade is good - it made our civilization. I want to trade but laisez fair.
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