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Spiral Architect

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  1. Like
    Spiral Architect reacted to softwareNerd in Eddie Willers   
    Yes, and I think we should also assume that Eddie has basically given up at this stage: as good as dead. He might live out the motions of being alive, or he might even meet up with someone with whom he can make some type of life, but the odds are that his life is over at this point. It is wrong to evaluate Eddie's character primarily by that last decision, even if we assume that he is committing suicide.
    Clearly, Eddie is not a prime-mover of evil, nor a hanger-on at the courts of evil. He's on the good team. He is a person of average competency, and someone in whom conscientiousness allows him to use this average ability to create a lot of value -- in a world made by the "super-competent". Rand intends Eddie to be a good guy who may not be as introspective as the best, who may nor be able to think as creatively as the best, but who is able to recognize the good, and to respond to it with admiration rather than with envy.

    In that sense, Eddie is person who reads Rand and admires her heroes, but who never creates the quantity and quality of values they can... at least not unless he can live in a world that they create. By this token, Eddie is the average Rand fan, and the message is: "you cannot survive -- at least not in our complex division-of-labor world -- without these great people you admire".
  2. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from CriticalThinker2000 in Eddie Willers   
    Serf?  Really?  
     
    There is NO economic or political derivative to pull from the end of the story outside of the fact the author used it to show what happens to moral people in an amoral system - They become victims.  
     
    In fact the book is the progress of good people being victimized and being replaced by the kind of vermin that benefit from a corrupt system. Rand just brilliantly turns it into a mystery to support the theme (what happens when the people that think stop). Eddie lasted the longest, by author fiat, due to being connected to Dagny and once she was gone he went the sad route of the rest - A good man lost.  
     
    That is theme of the book being dramatized - nothing more or less.  
  3. Like
    Spiral Architect reacted to Dormin111 in So I'm researching the Austrians and...   
    Speaking as a self-described Austrian, you need to unpack exactly what Austrian economics is.
     
    Austrian economics is a positive economic theory. Rothbard's evaluation of American businessmen, his anarchism, and Mises's epistemology are not a part of Austrian economics. Mises lays out the philosophical groundwork for Austrianism is Human Action (its called praxeology), though that too must be unpacked. One can agree with praxeology as a foundation for economic science while denying its validity as an epistemological and metaphysical tool. Mises unified the two in the Kantian tradition, while Rothbard took the econ but combined it with Aristotelian (and really Randian) metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. 
     
    I agree with you on Hoppe. He is a dangerous figure who should rightfully be ignored and marginalized. I saw him give a talk where he claimed the success of Europeans compared to Africans and Asians can be attributed to European genetic superiority due to living in colder climates. 
  4. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Jon Southall in Pollution   
    That is an interesting question to explore.  Implementation is a fascinating subject and under appreciated.  
     
    I am by no means an expert on the science of pollution, so take this as friendly chewing on the subject. I would consider intervention necessary for the same reason you would restrict any property - Something that makes life impossible for the community with no chance of reasonable justice.  Extrapolating the difference between the right to firearms versus WMD here.
     
    II can see it being reasonable for a community to require some kind of insurance for a power plant if it does not have the assets to pay back the community for damages.  It is one thing to sue a company for damaging my land but another if it contaminates the entire town and the plant will not have the assets to replay the loss.  Then again the community might forgo it to.  
     
    I'll add that this would be less of an issue without zoning laws which set up these situations in the first place.  But when moving from mixed economy to a free one this is an issue and I can see these steps being taken in the interim.  
  5. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Owning Land?   
    "Actually the issue of focus here is a landowner forcing others to pay for the location value of unimproved land. Not how or if land is used."
     
    This makes no sense.  
     
    The only way someone would pay is if they used it for something and I charged them to do so.   There is no "force" unless I'm forcing people to use my land against their will then making them pay more for the privilege.  Sort of like Obamacare.  Otherwise I have no idea what you mean.  
     
     
    "You're assuming unimproved land is your property, the very claim I am questioning. If you have improved land, you own those improvements. You don't lose those improvements through not using them."
     
    I don't assume it.  I know it.  If I save my pennies and buy some land up north - It is mine.  Simple. 
     
    If someone wants to use it differently then me they can save their pennies and buy there own instead of forcing me to obey there desires.  
     
    Property with permission or conditions is neither property nor freedom. 
     
    "The end game is to identify correctly what is private property. If man is to sustain his life long term he needs to be free to think and act in his own rational self-interest. "
     
    Which his why others shouldn't point a gun at him and tell him what to do with his land. 
     
     
    "When he creates wealth by thinking and doing, he needs to own the wealth he has produced, the consequences if others own it is that he will be to an extent enslaved.'
     
    We are not talking about someone else owning land - we're talking about a man owning his own land.  If someone else owns it then you get  permission to use it or simply don't use it. Simple. I ignore business every day with simple ease.  
     
     
    "His rights to property are exclusive rights to action, not to objects. "
     
    ​A right to action is a right to dispose of the objects he owns.  Man survives by creating and using material objects. Other wise man would be paralyzed and soon dead. 
     
     
    "He does not live by permission, he lives by producing values and trading them with others who produce value."
     
    Exactly why he should not have to get permission or conditions on his property when he buys him.
     
    "When others trick him in to trading the wealth he has created in exchange for something which is not owned by his trading partners, his rights are being breached. To ensure he is not tricked he needs to understand what is and what is not someones private property. In buying a car he carries out a HPI check to see if it has been recorded stolen, he avoids ponzi schemes."
     
    Agree.  This is called fraud.  Already covered under law even in mixed economies let alone a free one.  

    "If he is smart, he will question why he is paying a landowner for a land value attributable to the unimproved value of land, which is itself attributable to the value of the land around that land, which itself is attributable to the wealth created by other individuals in that community. He may decide that although he wants to offer a price to use that location and bid higher or before anyone else, in recognition of the value of that location, he will want his payment to go to those responsible which does not include the landowner. The landowner is just an intermediary who does not pass on payment to those who have earned it, he keeps the unearned income for himself."
     
    Outside of the collectivist labor theory of value running amok here, I'll simply say this means nothing since it is an argument for value and demand that applies to everything already.  I could shoehorn my car into that argument.  
     
    The owner paid of the land and it's value so he can add to that value himself or he can simply leave it to market forces.  Maybe he'll get lucky, maybe not.  I don't care since it is not my land and not my responsibility.  I would not want him telling me what to do with my land so I won't tell him what to do with his.  
     
    The basic point is this - If someone  wants to use the land or buy it he can either agree to the price or walk away.  Or he can man up and go buy his own.  People do this every day when deciding not to do business with someone.    I ignore Taco Bell - I don't go in and force them to cater to my demands.  
     
    "The behaviour by landowners is without virtue and ignores what wealth creation and trade are both premised on. Landowners who produce no values are enriched at the expense of those who do. I didn't think Objectivists favored parasitical behavior or would forcefully defend it but clearly many of the ones here do."
     
    This is  vicious.  There virtue is in earning the money they used to  purchase *anything* they own.  Just because they do not use it to your approval is no moral statement on them.  
     
    The parasite is the one who points a gun at them and forces the owner to use it against their will because the gun holder is to lazy to earn it themselves.
     
    I got the end game.  If I own land and don't use it to your standards I'm the bad guy and should be punished.  Whether I be forced to use it how you want or you'll confiscate it I am not clear, but the end results is the same.
     
    The only thing left is to find out what event caused you to think that you have a right to punish me for not obeying these a priori conditions.    
  6. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Craig24 in Altruism Revisited   
    It might be useful to remember context. 
     
    Atlas Shrugged was a novel and things that are said in there, while certainly reducible to her philosophy, reside in the context of the characters and the story.  It is also a dramatization.  Rand herself always said that in real life ordinary things are marginal while in a story they are to omitted if they do not support plot, them, characterization, etc.   Her books were not about generosity, which is good as generosity as a theme sounds more like an after school special to be truthful. 
     
    Modern talking heads simply confuse the point by package dealing Altruism (as sacrificing yourself to society i.e. Comte) with goodwill/generosity (traditional).  Altruism, which she reiterated in her speech quote you highlighted, is a core philosophic point that is the backbone of many other ethical and political justifications and she hammered the point to keep it unpackaged.    Atlas Shrugged dramatizes that point.  For general generosity, she didn’t spell it out since it was not a theme of the book but if you really want to understand it you can look at how she dramatized people’s actions.  Notice that the heroes of the book consider how the government’s policies will affect others while the looters who preach altruism claim to want to help the poor while ignoring how their actions do the opposite (because they really want power).  Dagny is desperate to get farm loads shipped so people so they will not starve.  It is not a sacrifice, society collapsing and others dying is certainly not in her interests either, but yet the fact is true goodwill does not conflict with rational self-interest.  The looters sabotage this, even redirecting trains to crony projects, while wringing their hands about sacrifice, unconcerned of the real harm they are doing. They know it conflicts with rational self-interests but expect others to compromise towards the sacrifice.  Generosity and goodwill is not compatible with altruism and it's all over the book. 
     
    There are many more examples of goodwill.  Reardon gives his brother a charity check to make him happy and gets slammed for it.  Reardon sees it as being generous and nice to his brother while his brother criticizes Reardon for being personally motivated and doesn’t want his name tied to the money.  James Taggart expects Cheryl to love him for nothing selfish and treats her badly while Dagny actually tries to give her moral support.  Stadlar thinks people are animals and not to be trusted while Dagny gives the tramp a warm meal. 
     
    You might not have noticed them since Rand was pounding the big picture while these flowed naturally from the characters, but they also happened for a reason.  It’s just not the point of the story.
  7. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from dream_weaver in Owning Land?   
    His argument is that land is not someone's property if they do nothing with it. He is making a lateral run around property rights by claiming it's not your property unless you use it.  
  8. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Peter Morris in Inequality is the enemy of growth. Discuss   
    Why does it even matter?  It is taking the focus off the greater context.  Either you own it, which means have disposal rights, or you don't, which means someone else gets to decide that for you.  The first is the definition of a free society and the second is not.  
     
    Why do you see the need to draw the distinction?  What is the point this is leading to?   
  9. Like
    Spiral Architect reacted to softwareNerd in Fiat Money as Economics’ Floating Abstraction?   
    Seems like a pretty good analogy to me. The essential notion that the is "no there there", is common, regardless of how people use their floating abstractions/money.
    One might say a floating abstraction is like an egg-shell from which the egg has been drained.With analogies, I think it is, in part, a question of "to each his own": I'm looking for structure and patterns in some area, and so I look for similar patterns in a more familiar domain. Of course an analogy only gets me so far; it is not reasoning, nor an argument. It illuminates but does not explain.
  10. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Existence exists subsidiary thread   
    "Don't bother to examine a folly, ask yourself only what it accomplishes."
     
    Ilya, what are you trying to accomplish?
  11. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from softwareNerd in On Money (Explain like I'm 5)   
    I’ve had to work through this too.  My story was very similar actually, outside I used different items.  I like the moccasins idea as it shows how goods poorly transfer to every person (and I like that it is dated to the period but your right, shoes would be better based on age).
    The only thing I did different is I added that metals were better because they were smaller and transportable.  A couple of coins are easier to hold then a several chickens and a gold bar is easier than taking the whole cow herd with you to the store!
    The nice thing is, as some point when you get to wealth and savings, this transfers nicely to that conversation too.  Money is easier to save then a hen house full of chickens or a barn full of wheat and allow for people to save for the future. 
     
    Tell the kid the dinosaur had to eat his meal today but people learned to save food for the future and money made it possible to do that.  The poor T-Rex could not save food for the future so he was forced to hunt daily J
  12. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from softwareNerd in A Free Market Defense of Walmart? Not so Fast.   
    Agreed.  I realized after rereading my post that in my attempt to dispute how Wal-Mart got to where they are at I could be interpreted as saying they do business immorally now.  True, they have changed their business strategy but so does any rational business (as any individual would) adapt to circumstances. 
     
    This is all besides the point I just realized.  If James wants to wag a finger at anyone he can blame the customers that vote with their dollars every day.  The episode of South Park on Wal-Mart nailed it - The customers that approve of it and vote by shopping there are the "heart (sanction) of Wal-Mart".  It's part of a widening trend where we ignore the free will of those involved. 
  13. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in The Golden Rule as a basis for rights   
    The Golden Rule theory of ethics here assumes that everyone is acting in their self interests. 
     
    But how do we know to do that? 
     
    That is an ethical question and the only ethical thing we are given is to do onto as we expect them to do to us?  You can be irrational and expect others to be irrational to you and not violate the Golden Rule.  Or you could use it as a moral blank check by promising others to not judge them, for example.
     
    You are accepting ethical ideas as pre-existing to support your ethical primiary.  That is why it fails as an ethical priciple. 
  14. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Reparations: Wouldn't It Be Worth It?   
    The problem with Reparations, like any other variant of Original Sin, is the belief people are born guilty of a crime they didn't commit.  This is an argument that might have been valid 150 years ago when there were actual victims and perpetrators but today it's another way the term "Social Justice" is used to erode the real virtue of Justice. 
  15. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Living for the state   
    It isn't called differentiation - It's called collectivism. 
     
    And as collectivism, when you judge people not by their choices but as a group based on non-essentials like skin color, zip code of birth, or some supposed personality imposed by the group, you end up with idealism at best and mysticism at worst.  Although I suspect of you scratch an idealist you'll find a mystic since you're already off of existence when telling an individual he is a sum of things he has no choice over. 
  16. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from dream_weaver in Ayn Rand- Absolutes   
    A table is there.  If I put something on it it will hold it.  The fact it was built or what it looks like is a random attribute. 
     
    Gravity is a universal law, random speeds based on mass non-withstanding.  It is a law in fact that comes with random attributes that can be studied like anthing else. 
     
    Post Modernism is an excuse to ignore facts of reality like the table is really there and if I let go of a ball it will drop which can be understoood only if you know absolutes like the Law of Non-Contradiction.  It's characteristics like mass can only be understood if you have a system of knowledge based on A is A - An absolute. 
     
    Don't make the mistake of listening to long constructs philosophers and scientists build on randomn attributes to ignore the elephant in the room.  If nothing was absolute then we would understand nothing, the universe would be unintelligible since we could identify nothing, and we would not know there are no absulutes since that requires an abssolute to think by to utter the statement which is also an absolute.  
     
    Knowledge of a non-absolute is a contradiction in terms, just like a "Deterministic Philosophy".  Absolutes is a prerequisite of knowledge.  You need the first to get the second. 
  17. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from JASKN in Ayn Rand- Absolutes   
    A table is there.  If I put something on it it will hold it.  The fact it was built or what it looks like is a random attribute. 
     
    Gravity is a universal law, random speeds based on mass non-withstanding.  It is a law in fact that comes with random attributes that can be studied like anthing else. 
     
    Post Modernism is an excuse to ignore facts of reality like the table is really there and if I let go of a ball it will drop which can be understoood only if you know absolutes like the Law of Non-Contradiction.  It's characteristics like mass can only be understood if you have a system of knowledge based on A is A - An absolute. 
     
    Don't make the mistake of listening to long constructs philosophers and scientists build on randomn attributes to ignore the elephant in the room.  If nothing was absolute then we would understand nothing, the universe would be unintelligible since we could identify nothing, and we would not know there are no absulutes since that requires an abssolute to think by to utter the statement which is also an absolute.  
     
    Knowledge of a non-absolute is a contradiction in terms, just like a "Deterministic Philosophy".  Absolutes is a prerequisite of knowledge.  You need the first to get the second. 
  18. Like
    Spiral Architect reacted to dream_weaver in Ayn Rand- Absolutes   
    One can appreciate Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's opening paragraph on Postmodernism:
    That postmodernism is indefinable is a truism. However, it can be described as a set of critical, strategic and rhetorical practices employing concepts such as difference, repetition, the trace, the simulacrum, and hyperreality to destabilize other concepts such as presence, identity, historical progress, epistemic certainty, and the univocity of meaning.
     
    While apparently indefinable, it is not indescribable. For those having no truck with the reaffirmation through denial, a friend of Miss Rand once said:
    that today's attitude, paraphrasing the Bible, is; "Forgive me, Father, for I know not what I'm doing - and please don't tell me."
     
    The law of causality guaranties the outcome of the rebellion against identity. In the meantime, postmodernism just provides another way to separate those who know A is A, from some others that wish it were not so.
  19. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from JASKN in Purpose of Objectivism   
    I get up and see what passes for the news.  Correction - what passes for thinking in presenting the "news". 
     
    I go to work and listen to people talk politics or ideas which amounts to not moving the goal posts, but blowing them up, because they have learned how to think from Comedy Central or talk radio so they think that crouching in trees and throwing their shit at each other posses as a discussion of ideas.
     
    When I go home the Mrs. Architect will likely have saved some horror from today's news because in part she needs to share and talk about it too for her sanity. 
     
    This forum is an oasis from that. Not a place to hide forever but an oasis to breathe and broaden a few horizons in real time and real ways before I continue on my day. 
     
    I have good freinds and we do things but we will not be having a discussion of Objectivist Epistomology anytime soon.  Or any other kind actually. 
     
    I come here so can listen to real conversations with someone else who actually gets what I get. For real thoughts written in a coherent manner that add value to my life. 
  20. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Purpose of Objectivism   
    I get up and see what passes for the news.  Correction - what passes for thinking in presenting the "news". 
     
    I go to work and listen to people talk politics or ideas which amounts to not moving the goal posts, but blowing them up, because they have learned how to think from Comedy Central or talk radio so they think that crouching in trees and throwing their shit at each other posses as a discussion of ideas.
     
    When I go home the Mrs. Architect will likely have saved some horror from today's news because in part she needs to share and talk about it too for her sanity. 
     
    This forum is an oasis from that. Not a place to hide forever but an oasis to breathe and broaden a few horizons in real time and real ways before I continue on my day. 
     
    I have good freinds and we do things but we will not be having a discussion of Objectivist Epistomology anytime soon.  Or any other kind actually. 
     
    I come here so can listen to real conversations with someone else who actually gets what I get. For real thoughts written in a coherent manner that add value to my life. 
  21. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from dream_weaver in Purpose of Objectivism   
    I get up and see what passes for the news.  Correction - what passes for thinking in presenting the "news". 
     
    I go to work and listen to people talk politics or ideas which amounts to not moving the goal posts, but blowing them up, because they have learned how to think from Comedy Central or talk radio so they think that crouching in trees and throwing their shit at each other posses as a discussion of ideas.
     
    When I go home the Mrs. Architect will likely have saved some horror from today's news because in part she needs to share and talk about it too for her sanity. 
     
    This forum is an oasis from that. Not a place to hide forever but an oasis to breathe and broaden a few horizons in real time and real ways before I continue on my day. 
     
    I have good freinds and we do things but we will not be having a discussion of Objectivist Epistomology anytime soon.  Or any other kind actually. 
     
    I come here so can listen to real conversations with someone else who actually gets what I get. For real thoughts written in a coherent manner that add value to my life. 
  22. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from dream_weaver in Value of Physical Beauty   
    I'm reminded of an old truck driver I had a coffee with back in the early 90's while taking some downtime to catch up my hours.  He was a guy who had been doing it well before deregulation and we sat next to each other having a meal and talking.  He saw me watching the waitresses (it was a sports bar of sorts) and he said, "Kid, never mind.  Those are Ex-Wives waiting to happen".
     
    Of course, I asked "What do you mean?"
     
    He said, "You're looking at them in only one way.  That always ends the same.  You marry them because she was hot and you met in a bar and a year later your divorced because the only thing you had in common was that she was hot and you met her in a bar."
     
    I can't help but laugh when I see people checking each other out in bars or restaurants to this day - I think of that guy. 
  23. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Repairman in B-52's "Rock Lobster", WTF mate?   
    Punk worked because it took rock and got back to basics in a time rock was going critical in density.  Simple structures, basic rhythm or riffs (which in the case of punk is basically the rhythm) to form a catchy melody. etc.  The only issue is one music has suffered from as a whole and that is lyrics. 
     
    "Counter culture" is simply something labels do to make it sound fresh.  Punk came out when rock music was heavily progressive while the radio was settling into disco, so it was something new in context even if a retread of structures from 15 years earlier but taking advantage of newer distortion and amplifier power.   The cycle repeats itself from there:  The 80's had the New Wave and alternative, the 90's had  Grunge (complete with clothing that was the "Seattle look" that musicians in Seattle didn't even wear) and the "new" alternative.  Even metal tried to do the face lift with the so called Nu-Metal (which was basically an extreme punk and metal hybrid - don't get me started).  It was all "counter culture" which was the labels attempt to make it new and different from the same thing your older brother listened to. 
  24. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from Ilya Startsev in Living for the state   
    Don't worry - I only got it after a lot of reading and lectures too, and actually some very thoughtful posts here too.  Some of that is really deep and outside of my interest points (ethics and politics/economics) so it took some work for the light bulb to go on. 
     
    I'm just trying to save you some frustration.  I have gotten into some pretty drawn out conversations here too (it can be quite fun and self clarifying which is cool).  To each his own
  25. Like
    Spiral Architect got a reaction from JASKN in Reblogged: In Response to Navy Yard Massacre, Government Should Focus   
    I'm not sure what the controversy is here.  The article was spot on in saying the Government botched it's roll on this by focusing on the wrong priorities and will continue to botch it's roll since it is more interested in regulating property than protecting rights.  Or to put it succinctly it wants to criminalize what people own instead of what they do. 
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