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Everything posted by mrocktor

  1. Those brake disks don't look up to the task
  2. Menger, when you think about the state of human knowledge back then, is brilliant. EDIT: It is no surprise how much Menger got right, considering he started from the following principle (first paragraph in his Principles of Economics): “All things are subject to the law of cause and effect. This great principle knows no exception, and we would search in vain in the realm of experience for an example to the contrary.” Carl Menger A step in the right direction. I like "individually contextual", because the fact that values cannot be assessed by any other than the valuer himself, the fact that different people's values cannot be equated, added or subtracted all stem from the nature of values. Values are an appraisal of an individual as to how things promote their own life - in the full context of that life. A context that simply cannot be identical to any other person's (though it can be broadly similar), a context that cannot even be fully expressed in a practical fashion (though in many cases a subset of that context can be sufficient, with regard to a limited issue). "Individually contextual" clarifies that values cannot be assessed, compared or aggregated between people while steering clear of the discussion of whether a given individual has objectively assessed his own values through reason or whether he is an irrational basket case. The second individual may hold an irrational set of values - that does not impinge on the fact that holding objective values is possible. While Menger and some other Austrians use "subjective value" to mean "individually contextual value", most people will interpret "subjective value" to mean "all values are equally arbitrary". Including some Austrians and many, many libertarians.
  3. I'm not discussing math, I'm discussing the topic (how to address the issue of infinity versus the real world to a very smart 5 year old).
  4. "Unbounded" is not a merely mathematical concept. Discussing the size of the Universe with your 5 year old may not be much easier than math, though. If he has had any contact with astronomy, you might use the example of two galaxies moving away from each other - the distance between them is unbounded - always finite but ever increasing. It will never be infinite, but it will always be greater than it was just before. It is hard to get good examples within our day to day context.
  5. One useful concept to bring into the conversation is "unbounded". That means "can increase with no limit" but does not in any way imply that infinity is possible. An unbounded variable always has a particular, finite value at any given moment.
  6. mrocktor

    Labor Laws

    You are looking at the whole issue backwards. You can't take our society as a reference and judge the industrial revolution by our current standards of wealth, poverty and quality of life. The simple answer to your question is that those kids working 20 hour factory shifts in the early industrial revolution would have been dead if they had been born before it. That is a pretty big improvement in working conditions. Andrew Bernstein's "The Capitalist Manifesto" does a really good job of putting the industrial revolution in perspective, in very accessible language and crystal clear terms. Highly recommended.
  7. You write far too well for someone who is actually on the verge of considering himself incapable of producing enough to sustain his own life or should be seriously considering himself to be incapable of increasing his own productiveness to a level that affords a decent standard of living. In your particular actual case, in current actual society, there are a myriad ways the government may directly or indirectly be creating conditions that are as you describe. Minimum wage laws and other labor regulation in particular come to mind. However the circumstances that would lead a person with the mental acuity and expression capability you have demonstrated in this thread to actually be unable to find productive work in a free society are exceptional enough that the fact that such a person would have to rely on charity is no argument against the absence of taxation and tax funded entitlements.
  8. How long until he forbids emigration? Can't be too far off...
  9. ( ) Love ( ) Hate (x) Don't care You have to earn love. And hate.
  10. Quite correct. That is one word you want to be very wary of though
  11. I realize this may be implicit in your idea of a "bad" worker, but I think it is important to point out that the interest of a more productive/skilled worker and that of a less productive/skilled worker are common - assuming both are honest. If by "bad" worker you mean someone who wants to live off others or get more than his work is worth to the employer - I agree entirely.
  12. Government does not grant rights. Rights exist where rational individuals exist living in society. Whether these rights are recognized or not, protected or not, is another issue. Despite the alien-ness, despite the ability to communicate mentally, the Na'vi are portrayed as idividuals. In no moment does the "connection" force a Na'vi to act other than according to his own will. Thus they are individuals (albeit with an additional sense of perception, granting an inhuman means of communication). They have rights like any human. Proper understanding of what rights are and what they require makes this obvious. While discussing a fictional setting is, ultimately, not very relevant - the posts on tribal groups and native americans here show how much the confusion extends to actual human scenarios. I refer to the topic What is a human being?, where the essence of what is required to be considered a "human being" in the context of rights is discussed.
  13. EDIT: Per David's request (simu-post).
  14. The fact that I care nothing about your opinion about me should tell you something. The fact that I don't thing you are worth any effort in engaging should tell you something. The fact that you present no arguments explains why you get no arguments back. The fact that you act the way you do explains why you get flamed in various threads. Why this post and the previous ones in this thread? Two reasons. One. You are free to be annoying, dogmatic, uncivil to the extent the moderators permit (which by far surpasses what it used to be back when I joined). You are not free to escape the consequences of your attitude. But you knew that. Incidentally, the original poster has since given quite clear indications that he is actually interested in Objectivism and is in the process of learning something. So, once more, you are wrong. As is Capitalism Forever in supporting your behavior based on the assumption that threesixty is a troll. He would, in fact, be wrong even if it were a troll, since this forum is read by many more people than those who post here. Two. Had better people not participated in this thread, a casual passer by might draw the conclusion "Objectivists are jerks" from your posts. That is why I bothered to participate here - and several others I'll wager. This is a long but very good article you should read: link.
  15. So it turns out that pretending you can do business as usual under a tyranny is not working after all...
  16. Now that is the proper sort of response to someone who does not understand something.
  17. A reasonable one or none, would be the choice I'd expect. But if being an ass is moderator sanctioned on these boards now, I guess that is that.
  18. Don't take it personally. He alienates board regulars as well as newbies. His has been reported.
  19. It is worth adding that if some third party is successful in creating an alternate program (not copied) that successfully interfaces with the car, the manufacturer cannot stop them from using it (and even selling it).
  20. The Playstation 4 does not exist. The cure for cancer does not exist. Interstellar travel does not exist. A perfectly spherical cube does not exist. The first three and the last have a fundamental difference which makes thinking about, conjecturing and even (for some people) preparing for the first relevant (or even essential, for people in the business), the second relevant, the third fanciful but not really useful (for now) while the fourth is a complete waste of time for anyone and always will be. Your "understanding" of what is and is not within the realm of rational consideration is lacking. In addition, your tone is unnecessarily uncivil and quite presumptious. Some short research has shown that this is typical and not the exception for you on this forum. Thus until such a time as you indicate some actual thought on issues, as oposed to simple recitation by rote, and genuine interest in honest discussion this will be our last exchange. Feel free to place me on ignore if my posts bother you, or to report them if you feel they go against the purpose of this forum.
  21. Ah! Very nice to see that someone gets it. While the concept "man" is completely sufficient to deal philosophically with currently known existents, getting rid of the non-essentials allows better focus on what matters - and reveals the true scope of the philosophical truths derived in Objectivism. While some people here have argued otherwise, knowing that the Objectivist ethics are the proper ethics for any concievable living being with a rational faculty is relevant knowledge.
  22. It is quite unsurprising, after all Objectivism makes it abundantly clear that what they spend their time and effort on, what they have built their name and career on - is absolutely useless drivel.
  23. Okay I'm done with this.
  24. No, I'm arguing that in that context the concept "rational being" (which does not have a word for it) is superior to the concept "man" (= rational animal). The capacity to reason differentiates men from all other living beings. This is a more fundamental distinction than the difference between a tree and a whale. It is a less fundamental distinction than that between an amoeba and a rock. If we start from all existents and differentiate initially between living and unliving we form two initial concepts. Let us call them beings and objects. If we start from all living beings and differentiate between the ones with a rational faculty and the ones without it we can form two more concepts. Rational beings share features that irrational beings do not - they are volitional, they must act by choice to sustain their lives - thus they need ethics, they can live in society to mutual benefit - thus they need politics. Now explain to me, why is it necessary to form concepts by first subdividing "beings" into types (protozoa, fungi, plants, animals etc.) and then separating the "animals" part into rational and irrational? Answer: it is not. Concepts are tools. We form them in the way that best serves our cognitive purpose. In this case, if you want to debate philosophy, it is more useful to form the concepts in the way I described above - arriving at the essential concept of "rational being" (call it whatever you like). Using the typical "rational animal" as your unit when discussing Ethics or Politics, while not incorrect (since rational animals are rational beings, and all that is valid for the latter is valid for the former), introduces opportunities for error. Such errors are very common. Attributing rights to other animals and attributing rights to unborn or brain dead humans are merely the most obvious cases. Likewise denying rights to alternate rational life forms in thought experiments. EDIT: Removed sassy rejoinder to add: I note that I was very poor at making the above distinction. Your first reply to me is actually spot on - I am talking about defining "something else", which happens to be a more useful tool for philosophical discussion.
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