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Everything posted by punk

  1. You seem knowledgeable about mathematics, and I'm finishing an undergraduate degree in math. Perhaps we should exchange thoughts. If you're inclined, search Facebook for [email protected]

  2. The show is one giant "lifeboat scenario". Some degree of collectivism would be expected under the circumstances, even in an objectivist society.
  3. If a person attained perfection, they'd have nothing to strive for. Who'd want that?
  4. Demand is desire. Economically my ability to act on that desire is based on my other desires and the amount of money I have. If the price of a commodity falls low enough demand is exactly desire - I will take as much as I desire. In fact, for plenty of us there are things that we consume exactly at the level of desire. For instance I probably drink as much coffee as I want to, as I don't have a budget that requires I consider not drinking coffee to save money. There are plenty of things I would start consuming if the price dropped a bit. That means I have the present desire to co
  5. Not at all. If I am in the village at the lake there is a supply of water. It is there and people can take. Nobody produced the water, but there is a supply. You can have a supply without any producer. The Earth has a supply of air, and we all breathe it, but no one made it.
  6. The point being we aren't talking about "shortages" and "rationing" any more. We are talking about something deeper about the nature of markets, supply, and demand. Recall, my point was that "shortages" and "rationing" already occur any free market, so simply pointing out that they will occur in a nationalized system is pointless. The only reasonable definition I can think of for "shortage" is that there exists someone that wants something and can't get it. Every time I read something like this, I always substitute the following: "I dogmatically think the contrary, but I don'
  7. In practice supply never meets demand. There are always people who want something but cannot get it. What happens in a free market is that money is introduced and prices are set so that the demand for something given the price one has to pay for it meets supply. I have plenty of demand for things I cannot afford. I'd love to have my own private jet, it just so happens I don't have enough money. Thus the supply of jets and things like fuel don't meet demand, and prices are introduced to ration jets and aviation fuel.
  8. There is a shortage of everything that has a price. If there wasn't a shortage it wouldn't have a price. If I live in the only small village on a large fresh water lake, then there is no shortage of water (the resource is effectively infinite), so no one is going to pay anything for water and there will be no market in water. If I live in a village in the middle of a desert there is a shortage of water, and so water has a definite price, and there is a market for water. It is exactly the case that by having a price a commodity is effectively finite in amount (unlike the water in th
  9. Shortages *do* happen in a free market. A "shortage" simply means someone not getting the health care they want. In a free market there is still a finite amount of "health care" to go around, it is distributed by how much one is willing to pay, and if you don't have enough money you don't get it (in fact even if you do have enough money you might not be able to get it if you are unlucky and all the other wealthy types have gotten to it first, say if you want an organ transplant). Stop talking like there is somehow an infinite supply of health care in a free market. There isn't an i
  10. There is a certain dishonesty in the way the word "rationing" is tossed around in things like this. The fact is health care is already rationed. A free market is a way to ration things. Rationing is basically how you distribute a scarce resource. In a free market you distribute the scarce resource according to how much people are willing to pay (that is what all that economics of supply and demand is about). In any other system you choose a different method of rationing the resource than the amount people are willing to pay. So again health care is already rationed. To speak a
  11. If freedom were the ultimate political value then we wouldn't have laws, or the people advocating freedom as the "ultimate political value" would all move to the jungle and live however they want to without worrying about anyone else. Anybody living in a civilized nation has sacrificed freedom for some other good. The fact is, by living in a community you have already acknowledged that benefits come from having freedom limited. The question is at what point further limitation of freedom does not come with a corresponding benefit.
  12. I prefered the sequel - "Force 10 From Nihilism".
  13. In normal legal parlance this is what is called a "trial". The main objection to Gitmo has been the lack of trials to determine guilt.
  14. The number of unique positions is greatly reduced when you account for the fact if you have two positions that are the same except for having colors swapped, or simply having to rotate the whole cube, then they are really the same position. I believe Rubik himself wrote a monograph on the mathematics of the cube.
  15. We already have it. It is called a "safety deposit box". You can get one at the post office. Take all your money, put it in the box, and lock it. A variation on this for the traditionally minded immigrant is called a "mattress".
  16. The man is 78 years old. As such his own death looms larger in his own mind than it has in his past. His films are simply increasingly about characters facing their own mortality and finding their own accomodation with death, reflecting the preoccupations of an aging man. They are also about people looking back on their own life's work and accomplishments from the perspective of one nearing the end. You don't look at an old man's work expecting the preoccupations to be those of a young man. Also:
  17. The closest thing to a natural 3-valued logic is intuitionistic logic. Have you tried that?
  18. The free market hasn't failed. In fact what happened was that a bunch of people sold a bunch of financial instruments at completely incorrect prices and lost money as a result. Why were the prices completely incorrect? The models used to price the instruments didn't accurately reflect the real behavior of the markets. So yes, if everyone is going to go around devising weird exotic financial instruments that they are unable to price correctly then they are all going to lose money to people who can exploit the fact that the prices are all wrong.
  19. It isn't remotely true but it makes the math a lot easier. I believe Buffet said something to the effect of "If the Efficient Market Hypothesis were true I'd be living on skid row". If markets were efficient your investments would have substantially lower returns. The fact is none of EMH CAPM MPT and the rest of the standard basket of economic theory is correct and that is part of the reason we are having all these financial problems right now. All the risk models were all wrong so no one was hedged against the event the has happened.
  20. As the previous poster said a state is a legal self-governing entity and a nation is a group of people that sees themselves as a natural unit of some sort. There was an ideal of a "nation state" where the state would correspond with a nation. Europe spent the roughly 500 years up to WWII brutally pruning its populations in an attempt to create nation states, and is the nearest any old world area has gotten to having nation states. Many of the problems in Africa and Asia have stemmed from the fact that the notion of "nation state" isn't dead and the groups in power have been trying to el
  21. Strictly speaking, it would have been Ford in the White House. Jus' sayin'
  22. I've always heard that he originally did use "Property". Remember the Declaration of Independence was subject to approval by a committee. I believe it was felt that using the word "Property" wasn't going to resonate with the poorer population, that it would make the Revolution sound like it was for rich people and the poor people were just fodder. So, for PR purposes it was changed to "Pursuit of Happiness".
  23. We live in an increasingly technological and science-based world. I, personally, find the prospect of electing any leader that would let some bronze age texts trump the latest scientific investigations to be concerning - to say the least. Are policies going to be based on the facts on the ground - good or bad, or theology? The US is falling behind in biotech because of misguided policies by the present administration. This is one of the major future branches of research. Where would the US be if some administration had outlawed investigation into the steam engine?
  24. You all are feeling positive towards a nominee for VP that thinks creationism should be taught in schools?
  25. How does this calculus play out now that McCain has chosen a nutty creationist as his running mate?
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