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Tabernac

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Tabernac last won the day on September 2 2012

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About Tabernac

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    Scientist by nature, passion and profession!
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    Skeptically interested in objectivist thought
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  1. This is influenced by my experience in the North American mining industry with regards to Chinese state investment. An extreme scenario for sure, but theoretically possible? Imagine Country A has a strong, booming economy, an internationalist culture and a totally free market. Country B has a planned economy and a clandestine desire for empire-building. State-owned businesses and agencies from Country B start to buy out companies, and buy shares in companies, in Country A. Eventually these state agencies from B are in control of A's largest companies, and have considerable influence
  2. Can't believe I didn't mention O'Brian myself, considering I'm reading the Mauritius Command now! Maturin is one of my favourite literary characters - a scholar of anything and everything - there could be no better role model in life. Maturin does seem to have some concern for individual freedom - he has a few bust-ups with Aubrey over the order, control and punishment he witnesses in the Navy, etc.
  3. Not any kind of philosophical work, but inspiration fiction: Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. An ode to pioneering spirits, ingenuity and innnovation, and the fight against oppression. And it's sci-fi, so win-win for me!
  4. What would happen re animal intelligence? The other apes, as well as some cetaceans, birds and even cephalopods display varying amounts of intelligence - should they be given any rights on this basis? What would happen if it was ever proven that an animal possessed intelligence approaching that of humans?
  5. Am I an Objectivist? Don't know. I am a scientist though, and someone who thinks critically about everything. I'm also pretty successful in life which has entirely been my own doing. It was my own motivation that led me to learn English. Naturally I strongly admire other "self-made men" and to a large extent don't blame them when they object to the idea that they should support people who show no interest in achieving anything. I guess you're poking towards the idea that those who display Objectivist-style self-entitlement are not actually self-made men. True in some cases no doubt, but not
  6. Apparently he opposes abortion - even in incest and rape cases. Screw this primitive!
  7. on that note... here's an article about possible pioneering private ventures aimed at Mars colonisation. Quite an uplifting article. PROGRESS! http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/12/reality-tv-humans-on-mars-earth
  8. Interesting thread. But, nuking?! How about targeted assassination of key leading figures? In oppressive states, huge amounts of power rest on the shoulders of a very small number of people. The middle-ranking agents of oppression only engage in oppression out of fear of retribution from those at the top. Take them out and the system would collapse.
  9. Amazing book, and one that I agree with 110%. I really hope humanity gets its act together and starts to colonise space within my lifetime. Or, at least, I hope we start to harvest space resources e.g. asteroid mining. The future! Not sure that communism, in its original form, saw humanity as vermin. Didn't it see humans as heroic, but valued them en masse more than as individuals? Marx certainly had a low opinion of Malthus for precisely the same reasons as this book lays out. Of course, communist states in practice did end up seeing humans as vermin. I've heard arguments that the I
  10. Is there anything fundamentally wrong with that standpoint, though? If an artform brings a person joy isn't that all that matters? The original meaning or purpose that the creator of that art intended it to have shouldn't be relevant to the uses the consumer puts it to.
  11. I'd say they're definitely an obstacle to rationality - and in that I'd include lust for money or material gain. Are you trying to acquire items out of a rational desire or out of lust? Will it actually improve your happiness or lead to innovation - or will it just satisfy your irrational lust? I can see it being very possible that some of the more wealthy proponents of objectivism support the philosophy not out of rationality, but merely because they consider it to be a justification for their irrational lust. Perhaps the way to tell is by seeing whether or not those people are innovative an
  12. Excellent news from my point of view... That was one of my main concerns with objectivism - that it shunned collective/grassroots efforts, etc. Apologies if that seems like a stupid assumption - that's just how objectivism was explained to me, by someone who purports to be an objectivist - and being in such a remote location at the moment hinders any efforts of mine to actually read objectivist literature for the time being...
  13. If secession were totally about the generic claim to states' rights, as opposed to the specific claim to states' rights to enslave people, then yep, 100% justified. What the actual motivation was, that's another matter...
  14. Apologies... I'm extremely short on time at the moment so sorry if my posts seem a bit rushed! And likewise apologies for any ignorance. I'd love to have some long, enlightening discussions with people here, but I honestly don't have the time at the moment (or a decent internet connection) I'm afraid :-( I'm assuming you'd agree that notions of membership of a society/community being mutually beneficial to its members are inherently "collectivist", am I right? I guess my intended question was, is collectivism seen as inherently bad, or only bad if it's enforced?
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