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About Dairdo

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    Sergio M
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  • Biography/Intro
    Picked up Atlas Shrugged 3 years ago to better understand the "bible" of all that I perceived to be evil in the world... and, like so many before me, was the thankful recipient of a cold dose of reality in the form of well reasoned arguments grounded in the sound principles of individual freedom. A recovering expatriate of the Free Peoples of Canuckistan (more commonly known as "Canada") living on a sunny beach in a financial area of the Caribbean, I consider myself a student of Objectivism and explore my life with new purpose and vigor. On the cusp of turning 30 - I'm optimistic about my future, and the future in general.
  • Experience with Objectivism
    I've picked up most of Rand's material - and am particularly fond of both TVOS and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

    I re-read them often - especially the "Ethics of Emergencies" essay - as I enjoy confrontation in social circles, and always run up against some variation on that flawed form of reasoning.

    I particularly enjoy the blogroll that I've discovered - through which I can vicariously explore Objectivism as it is fleshed out in a myriad of lifestyles and activities as diverse as parenting through retiring.
  • School or University
    University of Waterloo
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  1. I think the fact that human life is defined by the combination of both the physiological and the psychological provides the objective basis for how a human being should live. Or, at the very least, the basis for identifying that a human life is more than simple biological existence. A slave can survive, but it cannot live within the full context of what it means to be a human being. The right to life identifies what a human being is, with respect to the above, and the right to property is a corollary to the right to life, as the former cannot be exercised without the latter.
  2. I saw this recently through another blog. To a laymen, can someone please explain the practical implications? How is this fundamentally different from existing mag-lev technology?
  3. 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.
  4. I don't watch Fox News in general. Though, I used to have a guilty pleasure of turning on Bill O'Reilly before a soccer game so I could get angry. Yes, a 500% over 10 year run up in gold does concern me. But not that it could be a bubble. I just don't see the pieces lining up to substantiate a bubble. The rise in price alone - in the absence of the other "bubble" conditions - speaks more of a hedge against inflation. When researching the "official" inflation figures - as we've discussed - I come to very different (much higher) rates than what has been reported. Perhaps its a self-serving c
  5. I certainly concede that gold is as susceptible to "bubble" conditions when compared to other asset classes. Anything that relies on human behaviour and perception is subject to distortion. I disagree that the current price is a panic fueled bubble. It simply isn't held by widely enough by investors, simple or sophisticated, to justify the comparison to actual bubbles that have emerged over time. When Joe Blue Collar is flipping properties with artificially cheap credit for year after year... we have a housing bubble. What is the comparison for gold? Hardly anyone I know has more than 1% o
  6. The only thing that the current price of gold is evidence of - with any certainty - is that a great many people have lost confidence in their respective paper currencies and their government stewards. Whether or not broad price inflation happens next - is up for debate. There are a great many persuasive arguments for significant price deflation. Personally, as is clear by my comments, I fall in the inflation category - for no other reason than I enjoy studying history, and the signs are all there - especially when coupled with a study of Objectivism, and the identification of flawed ideas t
  7. Aequalsa: I referenced the changing nature of the CPI calculation in a response to OP - but realize I didn't link a follow up reference. As you've inquired, I've linked it here for you. It explains how the CPI is calculated these days incorporating hedonics (subjective quality evaluations) into all inputs to the CPI calculation.
  8. Sadly, like most metrics these days, it depends entirely on which metric you're using. I've posted a few links that take you to a variety of sources. I believe all of the links themselves link back to actual Federal Reserve data sources. Link 1 Link 2 Link 3 While the charts speak for themselves, and my point still stands, my reference was certainly skewed - thanks for asking about it. I admit that I tossed it out in haste - and acknowledge that I crossed it with the debt trend. Specifically, it took something in the neighbourhood of 70-80 years for the US to accumulate $1T in deb
  9. Not sure I understand your comment, or tone, here. I was only responding to your "gold looks like a panic-driven bubble" opinion. I am no goldbug - but I do question the dismissive nature of such a statement. The use of the term is nothing more than a weak smear. I apologize if you inferred some condescension in my response that precipitated your retort - I meant no offence. With respect to the relationship between gold and paper currencies - it goes back far longer in history than the last 10 years. It is intimately tied to capitalism (principles of money) and individual confidence in eco
  10. The assumption driving rational investors to purchase physical gold is not that the USD will become toilet paper in the near future. Rather, it is an assumption that the unprecedented monetary expansion over the last 3-4 years (equivalent to nearly 70 years worth of expansion before that) will inevitably percolate through the economy over a series of years, gradually driving prices across all goods and services ever higher. Remember that inflation is a form of indirect taxation: a form of theft through the destruction of your purchase power. It matters not whether the government takes $1 f
  11. @Greebo: Agreed. Insofar as a persuasive argument goes with a weak pragmatist though - it's not ideal. I suppose I was looking for something more specific to the Norwegian socialist "dream" experiment. I've since gone back and attempted to argue from a principled position. However, other than arguing that tax is theft - which formed the basis for the Norwegian majority share purchase - my argument is lacking oomph! @brianleepainter: Thanks for the input. I agree - I think I've become frustrated and impatient arguing with pragmatists and was looking for a different, refreshing angle
  12. I've scoured the forums for a discussion on this, or similar topics, but couldn't find any - so please feel free to point me to another thread if you're aware of one. In any debate about the efficacy of socialist nationalization schemes, despite mountains of spectacular failures, Scandinavia inevitably is referenced as how "it should be done" in all things socialist. Most recently, I've been beaten over the head with Stat-oil. The salient facts are: - originally formed as a Norwegian government company in the early 70's to develop the industry; - privatized - with the government r
  13. The matter, as I understand it, revolves entirely around the proper use of force by a state. In this case, the use of military - which has only one just use, and that is against foreign aggressors; never against its own citizenry. Further, your policing example doesn't hold. The police are part of a State's legitimate use of force against those that would initiate it against individual citizens - entirely domestic. While policy departments may be implemented/coordinated on a city by city, or county by county basis - this is merely a bureaucratic issue, not a matter of principle. Police
  14. Yes. To my knowledge, his position is that the military should be well funded and as technologically advanced as is necessary to deter any and all enemies from attacking. However, the initiation of force, in all contexts - whether domestic or foreign - is only rationally justified to defend against those who first initiate force. I think the only reason he's pumping the anti-war theme, and calling the troops home - is because the government is both bankrupt, and engaging in a principally unjustified war in a far off land. I'm not sure which reason is the most significant - but both have fa
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