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Everything posted by NewYorkRoark

  1. To me, the glaring contradiction is the Left's insistence that we stop burning fossil fuels and resort to cleaner, alternative sources of energy (except for nuclear power, of course) and when the market begins to lean towards that direction (based on economics), they make it easier to burn fossil fuels! I'm not saying any of their premises are correct, I'm just pointing out the contradiction.
  2. I apologize in that I just started reading this thread and only thoroughly got through the first four pages. If this point has already been made, or someone has already addressed the issue, please point me to the correct post. It seems to me that masculinity and femininity are qualities that generally belong to men and women (respectively) but not exclusively (but almost exclusively). Surely - in purely a physical sense - there are women who are bigger and stronger than some men and men who are smaller and weaker than some women. Might it be the case that masculinity/femininity might - depending on the chemical make-up (increased testosterone, decreased estrogen, etc), be a quality of the neuromechanics of the mind/body and not exclusively (but rarely) the physiology of the gender?
  3. Shouldn't identity have primacy over existence (human perception of identity) and consciousness (human acknowledgment of human perception). Correct me if I incorrectly paraphrased existence and consciousness. If objective reality is defined by what can be grasped by the human mind but the human mind, in order to grasp existence, must act in compliance with objective reality, aren't you saying that objective reality is separate from the human mind (and has primacy)? Must objective reality be perceived by the human mind to be objective reality? Or does objective reality exist outside of human consciousness? I do feel bad about pulling you into this conversation, especially given the original intention of the topic. It's just that I think that life is like shooting a basketball: in order to maximize your shooting ability, it's important to better your form. I think of philosophy as the "form" with regards to life and I'm just trying to increase my shooting percentage, so to speak.
  4. I agree with all of this. I'm just not being explicit enough I geuss. I'm not saying that any music with that chord progression is corrupt or any music in 4:4. But I am saying that those are some basic musical follies (for instance, [yes, exactly] Simple Plan). It's the talent and the application and they can be celebrated together or separately, but since we're speaking of a creative art (vision + craftsmanship), I believe that the application (the thought process) is extremely important. I can play power chords and make a song that sounds powerful, epic and rocks, but that song has rocked before and 100 times over and at this point, it's talent, but it's also bad art, unless maybe if that's the whole point (early punk, which I don't really listen to but has it's creative merits).
  5. No, I agree. But I'd just like to point out that I did address this issue: To give an extreme, when I say "recycled chord progression" I'm thinking something along the lines of a pop-punk song. 4:4, G, D, Em, C, etc.
  6. I have a similar problem but a different hypothetical: water and land. How can one privatize and entity that moves freely from one property to another? I believe there was a breif discussion regarding this subject in another topic, but I was unable to find it. Also, just for the sake of clarification, New York City has "air rights" for buildings, but "air rights" does not refer to the air, it just refers to the space in the air. For example, an owner may have 1,600 feet of air rights which allows him, as of right, to build two more stories. That doesn't mean he owns the air molecules above his building, it just means he owns the space. Thanks, Casey P.S. I believe some made points that we already bottle water and thus privatize it. But obviously, I'm not talking about drinking water and you can't expect whole masses of ocean, lake and river water to be bordered up, regulated and pumped from one property to the next. Likewise, you can't expect the erection of bio-domes (thus privatizing the air inside) all across the world - and with air - there will still be air moving freely above and around the biodomes.
  7. It is a complicated issue. I do believe that there are objective standards for beauty as well. However, I question why I value attractive women over unattractive women or rather, how much I should value them. My question is this (I don't mean to steal your wind konerko but it's not that much of a tangent): Is there a subjective value to physical beauty in the opposite sex? I find myself strongly opposed to the way in which physical beauty is perceived in our current society (the vast majority of young girls claiming that they'd rather be attractive than intelligent). However, I have a hard time not encouraging that kind of behavior (implicitly - with my choice of sexual companionship).
  8. I apologize for taking so long to reply, but I wanted to thoroughly investigate the discussion you provided in the link. Would you mind responding more directly to this comment (in response to yours): As for the definitions you provided, those help significantly. I do believe we were/are/will be using slightly different definitions - and perhaps that would be a nice place to revisit. For instance, these statements seem to contradict the other: What exactly would "objective reality" mean if objective is meant (in Objectivist philosophy) as you defined it?
  9. I would point out that in some cases, we do perceive something for what it is not. Some people, for instance, are colorblind. Surely red and green are not the same frequencies? So in certain instances, something is supper-added to what the thing is. What about a visual illusion? We may perceive an outlined cube that doesn't exist. We just perceive it as such. But I agree that the vast majority of individuals perceive most objects for what they are but not absolutely (as in, an individuals perception is not all-powerful). That is what the tree is, but our experience of it is individualized. In most cases, it isn't imperfect information - but it is limited. As I pointed out earlier (I used colorblindness, but there are other examples that I can use if you like), perception (in some cases) is fallible. Perception is the starting point of all knowledge, but we aren't all-knowing because human perception isn't all-powerful. It is very accurate, but it is not perfect. It is not infallible. I don't think that we have volitional control over how we perceive something, but I do think that we have our own individualized filters. I am 5'10". You are X'Y". We'll never see the same object exactly the same if we're standing upright because we will have different experiences of it. In other words, I agree that we have no control over how we perceive it, but I don't think we all perceive the same way. We cannot make red, green and green, red, but sometimes, that's just what happens. Likewise, I can't experience the tree exactly as you experience it. We can have very, very similar experiences, but that doesn't mean they are the same. My experience of the tree is not your experience of the tree. A is not a. A is related to a, but it is not a.
  10. There's a company called Wentworth Energy that teamed up with a company called Petromax to commercialize a product that enables the environmentally-friendly, economically-profitable extraction of oil from oil sands. Check it out at Wentworth Energy. FYI, Wentworth Energy is a publicly traded company that I own shares of, so I may be biased, but I think the videos speak for themselves. A quick side note: Is there a forum dedicated to stock buzz? Is there a place people can bounce companies off one another or is there some kind of SEC restrictions regarding online forums?
  11. Has anyone been to Roosevelt Island in New York City? It is filthy. There's so much potential - it could be the next 5th Avenue. Luckily, the government owns most of the land and built a TRAM from the island to Manhattan. Of course, they could have just linked an elevator to the Queensboro Bridge bicycle/walking path, but they decided to spend a lot more money on a gondala. They also built a garage that won an award for using the highest percentage of concrete. The garage was built because cars weren't allowed on the island but a few years later they changed that law. So now it's mostly pointless. When walking down Main Street, you feel like you're in a post-Communist Eastern European country. Concrete boxes. It could be beautiful, though.
  12. I don't mean to sound angry, but I sent you that as a personal message. You responded by saying, But after I make my personal message public, you act as though you "don't understand what is being said here" and that you're "not really sure how to untangle this." So you don't understand the dilemma, so how could Objectivism have an answer? Aside from that, you took statements that I made, created straw men out of those statements (the "straw man fallacy"), and then argued against those straw men. I realize that you were trying to more fully understand what I was saying by creating those straw men, and I realize that some of my statements needed clarification, but in the future, I think it will be more productive if we hammer out exactly what claims are being made and what claims aren't, so that we're not arguing in triangular fashion. Ok, let me try to unravel what has been ravelled. Let me rephrase that ("vividness" is sort of ambiguous). Every time an object is sensed it is a subjective perception of the actual object. If you and I are standing side by side, our perception of a tree 5 feet away is different in that I can see certain parts of the tree that you can't and visa versa. The tree is the tree. A is A. But my perception of the tree is not the tree - just a representation of the tree in my mind - and my perception of the tree and your perception of the tree or not the same. If I walk around the tree and climb it and try and absorb as much sensory information as I possibly can, I have a much better representation of the tree than I did before, but my perception isn't total. We could both do this, but we still wouldn't have the exact same representation in our mind. They would be similar, and we could communicate the representations to each other to get them even more similar, but they would never be the same. You started the straw man fallacy when you said: I am not saying and never said that "there is no translation." This was exactly what my personal message was regarding. Read it again for clarification. I said they ARE related, but they are not the same. And the more sequences of communication that occur, the more detached we are from the initial perception, and the less accurate are perceptions are. Surely you've played "Telephone" before or tried to remember the face of an old friend but couldn't bring it into focus? Objects are what they are. Our perceptions of them are subjective representations. They may be accurate representations, but they aren't absolute. If they were, you'd be able to remember the face of that old friend you've forgotten, or the melody of the song you're trying to remember, or the name of that actor, etc. In fact, if they were, we'd know everything we could sense. This is the deeper issue but your conclusion, again, is a straw man. I am NOT saying that we cannot convey our perceptions to others and I am not saying that none of us really know what it is that we are trying to grasp. I am saying that we can only convey a limited amount of ideas to others and I am saying that our ideas are limited perceptions of objective reality. And LIMITED doesn't mean LITTLE - just LIMITED. I might have a LIMITED view of a building but still can see 99%. THAT IS NOT MY STAND. I said, again, the two are RELATED. If a son/daughter receives 40% of his/her inheritance, do you call them "cut off?" No! They are still getting some of the money just like we perceive some of the information and just like some of the information can be communicated on. There is OBJECTIVE REALITY and there is SUBJECTIVE REALITY and the objective reality is that an old friend exists that has a face and the subjective reality is that you can only remember certain bits of information of that face. Objective reality is the tree that exists right in front of us and the subjective reality is that you have access to a limited amount of information. The two are SEPARATE and RELATED. Pretty much. "A concept retains everything about the item being conceptualized." That would be nice... if a concept was some kind of objective constant - but it isn't. Only objective realities are objective constants. A concept is a subjective entity and it has the potential for being a more fleshed-out concept, but it doesn't contain everything. It has the potential to, but never will. And as for the ever expanding file-folder, that would be a good analogy if we didn't lose information that we had when we started keeping track. Think about that old faceless friend... When I spoke of "dog," I meant it as I meant "tree" earlier in this response. If we're looking at the same dog, we don't have identical representations of that dog. When we meet up two days later, our representations will probably be less similar than they were initially. Again with the straw man fallacy.... "you can't do that if you don't know what you are pointing to in the first place." I never said you can't know... I said you can't know absolutely. No. My position would deny TOTAL resolution of any confusion. Do you believe in world peace? Do all Objectivists agree on every application of Objectivism? Did every Objectivist vote for Bush? But I think we've gotten off track anyway. The bottom line of my argument regarding what is currently in question is this: - Objective reality exists. - Based on sensory information, mental representations of objective realities are built. - These mental representations are individualized by the personal experience of the object (sensory quality, situational environment, etc). Such representations are "subjective realities." - The tree is tree. A is A. The tree is not my mental representation of the tree. A is not a. My mental representation of the tree is not your mental representations of the tree. "a" is not "aye." That doesn't mean they aren't related, but they aren't objective realities. They are only OF objective realities. If you want to know what I think about volition, I think it exists and I think it's limited. I think that the human mind is like the human body. Some people have more potential for building muscle than others. Some people will be skinny and meatless all their life, no matter how hard they try. Some people will be overweight no matter how hard they try. And I think some people think they're going to be meatless all their life, or fat all their life, and never try to find out whether or not they had the potential in the first place. Similarly, I think some individuals have more potential for "mind over matter." Others may try but don't have the same potential. And others use nature over nurture as a crutch and never find out whether or not they had potential in the first place. I realize this is extremely ambiguous, but it's just the manner in which I see humans go about their day. Some people wait for the world to come to them and I don't think some of them can help it much. Others go out and meet the world. And I think a lot of it has to do with our childhood. Pre-episodic memory when our neurological system is extremely plastic and maleable. Luckily, I believe myself to be an individual who is blessed (not in the religious sense but in the "glad I had a smooth" childhood sense) with a fair amount of volitional potential. But I can't logically justify "mind of matter" and I don't want to pigeon hole myself into any kind of axiomatic statement. This is the crux of my complaint. I just think, if you are able to, live your life as if volition is axiomatic. But I refuse to claim that it is any more than a very attractive theory that I subscribe to. And it IS a theory because it cannot be proved scientifically. I apologize for being so unscientific and disregarding any kind of logical breakdown during this last paraphraph but I don't have any logical breakdown for it. I only have a logical breakdown to show why I can't absolutely prove the existence of volition.
  13. I apologize for not responding in a timely fashion, it's just that I've been working quite late the last few weeks. Anyway, regarding your response to my response to your response etc., I wanted to clarify my position. I was not saying that ideas and objects are not related. Certainly ideas are OF objects. I was simply saying that an idea is not an object and it cannot objectively represent the object in an exact fashion. Every time an object is sensed it's vividness (it's truth) is watered down. If it's communicated to another it is watered down more - similar to the way audio quality is reduced every time it moves through a new medium (wire, amp, wire, speaker, etc). In this sense, it is not exact. We can never communicate an sensed objective truth because 1. it is watered down immediately and 2. it is watered down even more (and to a greater degree) every time that idea is communicated. Now, I am NOT saying that it's not OF an object, it's just not an exact representation of an object. It's like painting rather than a photograph. I'd also like to respond to the free-will vs. determinism discussion we were involved in, but I'll have to do that a little later as I still have a ton of stuff on my plate right now. Thanks, Casey
  14. You sound like you've already made up your mind... You've heard all over the place? Then where? You can't send two websites that lack bibliographical references, one that's based on a website that looks worse than one I made in high school and expect me to take THAT seriously. And can you reference your statement regarding Krakatoa?
  15. I don't think it's a question of whether humans contribute to the carbon cycle. We do contribute. Denying human contribution is denying human respiration, human decomposition, etc., without even getting into the industrial factors. Every pound of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere through unnatural means is a pound of carbon dioxide that wouldn't have been released otherwise, or would have been released at a different point in time. What is questionable is whether or not our contribution is significant or not. If it is significant, then it's a question of whether or not it's dangerous. I think a poll would be nice, but I'd like to see it with a few different options. For instance: Do you think human industrialization has added unnatural amounts of carbon into the carbon cycle? (I say yes) Do you think the amounts of unnatural carbon are significant? (I'm leaning towards yes - I'm speaking from a geological background) Do you think this significant contribution has led to or acted as a catalyst for global warming? (Again I lean towards yes) Do you think global warming is dangerous? (This is where I'm not so sure) [Mod note - Removed quote of entire previous post - sNerd]
  16. From a geological standpoint, global warming is a logical result of releasing extra CO2 into the atmosphere. This often occurs naturally and coincides with increased levels of volcanic activity and variety other factors ( The Carbon Cycle ). There was a much better description in my geological textbook, but this will suffice. I was wondering, does anyone disagree (from a geological standpoint) that global warming, as a result of human industrialization, exists? My motivation is this: I've read a lot of alarmist material about decreasing biodiversity and rising temperatures. Often, these articles come to the conclusion that "temperatures are rising to dangerous levels" or that "biodiversity is falling at a dangerous rate" without giving any reasons WHY a warmer climate might spell disaster or a less diverse world would place the balance of life in jeopardy. Maybe the Wyoming Toad is just too feeble to survive in the wild. Maybe it's a good thing that it's moving towards extinction. But before jumping into those questions, I'd just like to get a sense of whether or not individuals here agree that humans are affecting the carbon cycle. Thanks, Casey
  17. As I understand it, an Objectivist government would consist of a policing division, a military division, and a judiciary system. These are my questions: 1. Who will be in command of the military (ie. when we are attacked, who will have the power to declare war)? 2. Who will and how will members of the judiciary system (namely judges and lawmakers) come to positions of power (will they be elected / appointed and by who)? Thanks, Casey
  18. From a philosophical point of view / theoretical point of view, I don't have much of a problem with ID. Personally, I have a hard time arguing against St. Thomas Aquinas' first point (don't hate me): I'm not advocating creationism (in the biblical sense), it's just that any kind of Socratic attempt at reducing science seems to inevitable lead to "that's just the way things are" (ie. natural laws, mathematical relationships, etc.). Personally, I think evolution can be seen as a product of such laws (and therefore evolution and ID are NOT mutually exclusive - if evolution is seen as a product of laws created by a prime movement). I guess the best answer (especially from a scientific standpoint) is that we simply do not know and oviously, there's no way to prove that there was a prime movement ( don't think there's any way to prove that there wasn't as well). But I don't think that stops (or should stop) anyone from speculating - as long as we realize that it's purely theoretical. What are the arguments against St. Thomas Aquinas first point as quote above?
  19. Those pictures are awesome. I'd love to visit during my trip but I'm pretty restricted with time. What is Banff like? I wish I could make enough money to take a year off and travel the West (which I think is much more interesting (on a variety of levels) than the landscape of the East).
  20. I didn't ask why you think man-made wonders are better, I asked which natural wonders you thought were worth seeing.
  21. It seems most individuals who post on this forum find more beauty in man-made wonders, but I was wondering what specific natural wonders are really worth seeing? I hold a geology degree, so I have an affinity towards the American Southwest (This website is awesome). My top 10 (that I've been to): 1. Zion National Park (UT) 2. Alps 3. The Great Plains (I think they're awesome, I'm sure I'd get sick of them if I lived there) 4. Algodones Dunes (CA) 5. Arches (UT) 6. Niagra Falls 7. Snow Canyon State Park (UT) (Lava Caves, 4000+ Year Old Cinder Cone) 8. Canyonlands (UT) 9. Blanes, Spain 10. Sonoran Desert (AZ) Places I'd like to see (In no particular order): 1. Lava Beds National Monument (CA) 2. Galapagos Islands 3. Grand Tetons 4. Yellowstone 5. Sahara Desert 6. Himilayas 7. Amazon 8. Mt. St. Helens 9. Alaska 10. Yosemite 11. Sequoia National Park / Kings Canyon 12. Caribbean 13. Greenland/Iceland 14. ... In 3 months I'm going on a 12 day trip from Denver to San Francisco and stopping at: 1. Rockies 2. Colorado National Monument 3. Arches 4. Dead Horse Point S. P. 5. Canyonlands 6. Hite, UT 7. Capitol Reef 8. Grand Staircase Escalante 9. Bryce 10. Zion 11. Pink Sands 12. Snow Canyon 13. Las Vegas 14. Death Valley 15. Sequoia / King's Canyon 16. Yosemite 17. San Francisco 18. Muir Woods What other places would anyone recommend? Anything particular (like a great slot canyon in Hite)? Thanks, Casey
  22. Preface: I have sent Mr. Miovas a personal message but he has not responded to that personal message. Instead, he has responded within the framework of this topic and also asked for my response within this framework. If the powers that be would like to move this to a debate forum, that may be more appropriate, but it may also be redundant (which is why I had asked to move to personal messages). Anyways, I will respond: Objective: 1 : of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers <objective reality> An objective perception is a perception of the objective world. Anything you touch, taste, feel, smell, or see. Subjective 1. Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision. A subjective perception is a perception of the internal world, namely, the mind. Take this example that you brought up: In my opinion, this is a very muddy paragraph and I don't want to misinterpret what you are trying to say, so I won't rephrase it. I'll restate the example as I would personally restate it so that it is in line with what I think is accurate. Ayn Rand has non-physical ideas. These ideas may be about physical things (subjective representations of objective realities), or they may not be (subjective representations of subjective realities*), but they are subjective either way. For instance, my idea of "dog" is a representation of an objective reality (dogs exist). Your idea of "dog" is also a representation of objective reality. However, chances are, our ideas of "dog" are very different and even if we have subjective represenations of the exact same "dog," there is absolutely no way to prove it. We can talk to each other and come to the conclusion that "we're probably thinking of something similar - a black dog, bushy hair, medium sized" but that is ALL that we can do. This is the nature of ideas. You can never prove that one person has the same idea as another. You can only estimate. When Ayn Rand writes her ideas down, she is creating an objective representation of her subjective ideas (I' m going to stop typing "subjective ideas" because it's redundant and just type "ideas"). When somebody reads those objective represenations, it is only objective because one is seeing the black ink in contrast to the white background. That is an objective perception. However, because those ink marks represent ideas, it is easy to confuse objective and subjective. But the perception of the ink is objective in nature. The perception of what they represent is subjective in nature. It is a perception of her ideas. Ayn Rand might create the most rediculously detailed description of an idea she has, but I will most likely not have the same idea in my head and anyway, there's no way to prove it even if I do. This is an example of the differences between objective perception and subjective perception. But (specifically) regarding volition, it is a purely subjective experience. There are no physical qualities of volition. So now, you're talking about a subjective representation of a subjective reality. As far as I can see, you either have to show that subjective reality and objective reality are not mutually exclusive (some form of dualism) or that volition is an objective reality, and I am satisfied with neither of your explanations, which is why I asked you to clarify. If you choose to respond, please do not mix up objective and subjective realities or pose a situation where an objective truth arises from a subjective reality, unless you can also prove that an objective truth CAN arise from a subjective reality. All of this has much to do about philosophy of language. Has anyone read Wittgenstein or Locke or St. Augustine? It's very interesting. * I realize that subjective reality is contradictory if objective reality is a metaphysical absolute. How can something subjective be real? Perhaps we are objectively-based, subjective beings living in an objective world. Does that make sense to anyone? It would explain how subjective "reality" and objective reality might coexist. I'm not sure. That's why I'm asking. And again, I'd like to restate the crux of my dilemma: one cannot deny the existence of subjective reality and simultaneously assert a metaphysical [self-evident] fact that is ultimately based on subjective knowledge.
  23. There are errors in your argument regarding objective / subjective observations (which I pointed out in my PM) and since you have yet to provide an example of how the two aren't mutually exclusive, I would say that you have not said what needs to be said at this point in time.
  24. Does anyone else have trouble sleeping? Does anyone know any natural way to cope with mild insomnia (for a lack of a better word)? My problem seems to be this: I have to wake up at 6AM in order to go to the gym, shower and be at work on time, so I try and be in bed by 10pm. However, even if I'm in bed with my eyes closed by 10, it's usually 12:30-1:30 AM before I ever fall asleep. If I could hone in on the problem, I would point to an inability to switch from conscious thought to subconscious thought. I literally stay up at night thinking about whether or not we're volitional, whether or not I should go to grad school, whether or not a deterministic universe requires a prime mover, etc. It's getting a little rediculous and all I want to do is sleep, but I don't want to have to take medication for it (and then medication to get back in the swing of things the next morning). Anyone have this problem? Anyone solved this problem? Anyone have advice? I've literally tried to count sheep but that didn't work. The only thing that has worked so far has been taking Benadryl, which I only do during pollen season. Thanks, Casey
  25. Because I don't want to get in trouble, I'd like to take this to PM's and then perhaps we'll either find some common ground or we'll disagree, but I can't disagree with you on this topic anymore because I've already worn out my welcome. [Edited to remove long quote. -GC]
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