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Everything posted by Sevik

  1. Quick final note -- I actually don't like identifying myself too much with Turkey or Turkish traditions and don't participate in Turkish American associations, etc. but do keep track of things. For professional reasons, I'm involved in some Islamic organizations pertaining to Islamic banking though. For those who want to keep up on Turkish news in English, the following site is the most comprehensive I think: www.turkishdailynews.com.tr The editorials from TDN are often leftist, but you can get a feel for the dynamics between secular right, secular left and Islamists that are playing out in Turkey. ------- I'm in LA now but will be back in Turkey off and on during the summer; so if anyone is planning on going and wants to hook up in Istanbul then let me know.
  2. Depends on who the peers are, and which part of Istanbul. Parts of Istanbul are rather conservative -- and quite pro Islamic. Don't forget that the current Prime Minister (basically, an Islamist) was the Mayor of Istanbul. There has been huge rural to urban migration in Turkey over the past 20+ years, so Istanbul is really a mixed bag. Think Mexico City. With respect to peers, the most receptive group I think are going to be entrpreneurs involved in technology (and maybe tourism or real estate). Likewise, entrepreneurs, rather than students, I think are also the best target audience for marketing Objectivism. Also, with a narrow target audience, you are less likely to attract attention from other quarters. All the Turks I've met at universities in the USA tended to be liberal (left wing) and secular too. The arabs (non-Christian) have been more mixed, but most have been socially conservative, and, even if secular, they would like to see the social conservatism of Islam in the law (like our Christian conservatives - secular but want Christian morals embedded in the law). FWIW, I'm half-Turkish (on my mother's side - her father was a successful Turkish industrialist) and I was born in Turkey, have been visiting Turkey all my life, and my girlfriend is Turkish. So, I have many Turkish ties along with extended family there. We also have Pakistani connections in the family by marriage. I'm going to write on the global Islamic movement (and Islamic finance) shortly on a blog connected to an upcoming website, so I'll save the juicy stuff on why Islam is winning for when I set up my blog. Start learning arabic !!!! [ha ha !]
  3. I've been travelling back and forth to Turkey for the past 4 months -- with one stay going over 3 weeks -- and have met a lot of Turks. Although Turkey is not generally considered in the Middle East, it is in the neighborhood, and would be the easiest of the countries with muslim populations to target for Objectivism. There are already some Objectivists there, and there are good translations of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in Turkish. However, my guess is that any open advocacy of Objectivism would be tough in Turkey, or in any country with a majority muslim population. Especially if there were any sense that non-local organizations (such as ARI) were involved. It is hard to explain quickly, but my advice is to operate under the radar and to focus on social networking rather than activism. Acting very openly at a university could easily lead to violence, threats against the students, embarassing their family --- and thus pitting the student against their family, etc. It really needs to be handled carefully. I love the idea of trying to get Objectivist-minded people to immigrant to the US though. That would be terrific. Once a lot of these students/professionals are free from their family, religion and traditions then they could really live life the way they want to --- having social networks would be important in helping these people not give up on their dreams --- the peer pressure and family pressure is immense on them. Anyway, say what you want about Islam, the truth is that many (I would say 'most') young and well-educated muslims want MORE Islam in their politics and economics, rather than less. If you actually get involved with Islam and/or muslims personally or professionally, then it is easy to see why Islam draws people in. If your experience with Islam is just from reading books or watching the news then you may be surprised why Islam captures the hearts and minds of intelligent young men and women. (Think Marxism capturing the minds of young Western students as a way to give the world a socially just system; not much different with Islam because educated muslims don't see Islam as the Taliban or Al Queda way but rather something more enlightened.)
  4. Israel in NATO has been repeatedly brought up over the years. If jpost.com has an archive section then you might be able to read some opinions on it. The point normally has been the long term defense of Israel, primarily against a joint Arab attack, rather than dealing with Iran now. Anyway, I don't think Israel can be admitted until its "final" borders are determined, and that will require, if the current European and American mindset is any indication, the creation of Palestine. So, this would be some years down the road - especially since the current Palestinian leadership does not appear to support a two-state solution unless Israel accepts the the 1967 borders and the "right of return" of refugees - neither of which is currently acceptable to Israel. - Keith
  5. ha ha, okay, if a person wants to fail law school then go along with what DavidOdden said about what an "actual reasonable person" would do. Otherwise, I would recommend being very aggressive about working the facts to make coherent legal arguments for both sides. Fwiw, dropping cases names is like dropping celebrity names - not very impressive. - Keith
  6. zctlbd5, if this is a school problem then please end me an e-mail if you want useful-for-school-help - if you turn in an assignment with the logic and conclusions stated here then you will get a very low grade. Saying the buyer was certainly negligent could get you an F with some professors. There are enough facts to make a good argument on either side but it isn't a quick 5-minute-read-then-post-an-answer analysis unless you are really solid in your law (which I'm not but I know better than to come to quick conclusions!). For those who haven't gone to law school, please be aware that professors expect the students to be able to work the facts to make an argument for whatever side they are on (and often strongly for both sides with the same facts). This problem looks like a classic law school problem with each fact carefully chosen to raise issues that help one side or the other. So, you can make a strong argument for the buyer and the seller with these facts. - Keith
  7. Hello, I just started to take tap dancing lessons in Santa Monica. Great fun. If there are others doing the same or interested in doing tap, I would love to connect. FWIW, if you think you are "too old" to start learning, I can assure you that you aren't - tap really can be learned by people of all ages and the students at the school where I am studying demonstrate that quite well. Enjoy. - Keith
  8. I think the "new" term for languages such as Python, Ruby and Perl is "dynamic language" while the term "scripting language" is being retired. In any case, Python is a great choice. Good luck. - Keith
  9. The Linux kernel like most kernels, and probably many if not most drivers, is written in C. Here's a quote from one of the Linux Kernel HOWTO docs from LWN.NET: So, you want to learn how to become a Linux kernel developer? Or you have been told by your manager, "Go write a Linux driver for this device." This document's goal is to teach you everything you need to know to achieve this by describing the process you need to go through, and hints on how to work with the community. It will also try to explain some of the reasons why the community works like it does. The kernel is written mostly in C, with some architecture-dependent parts written in assembly. A good understanding of C is required for kernel development. Assembly (any architecture) is not required unless you plan to do low-level development for that architecture. Though they are not a good substitute for a solid C education and/or years of experience, the following books are good for, if anything, reference: - "The C Programming Language" by Kernighan and Ritchie [Prentice Hall] - "Practical C Programming" by Steve Oualline [O'Reilly] - "Programming the 80386" by Crawford and Gelsinger [sybek] - "UNIX Systems for Modern Architectures" by Curt Schimmel [Addison Wesley] The kernel is written using GNU C and the GNU toolchain. While it adheres to the ISO C89 standard, it uses a number of extensions that are not featured in the standard. The kernel is a freestanding C environment, with no reliance on the standard C library, so some portions of the C standard are not supported. ------------------------------ If not Lisp early on then Scheme is a good substitute. - Keith
  10. Lisp, historically, has been linked with AI but it is great as a general purpose language. Paul Graham's website ( www.paulgraham.com ) has a lot on Lisp that makes for interesting reading. - Keith
  11. Not all Republicans are religious. The religious wing of the party is just one (loud) aspect of it but there are a lot of other competing groups within the "big tent." I vote Republican and have off and on sent money to them during elections whereupon I get a card saying I'm a member but I certainly don't have any attachment to any religion or religious agendas. I just think Republicans are more likely to support less regulations on business, and lower taxes and privatizing social security. Often this isn't the case, but the Democrats are nowhere near doing any of these things. Although I'm unsure as to the value of working within, or through, a political party to cause change, I think the Republicans today are a far better bet then the Democrats. - Keith
  12. These days, C is considered low level. It is often considered a glorified macro-assembler. Pascal is probably a little better for beginners but since most languages take a C-look, C is probably the better way to go. I think if one starts with C then they will learn to be more careful in programming when it comes to memory allocation and pointers, and will also learn about the underlying machine. C doesn't hold your hand or hide much so the learning process can be difficult but well worth it. Somewhere along the way, one should also learn Lisp or Scheme, and investigate Forth. - Keith
  13. I've actually written a small freeware game - not very pretty since I am no graphic artist but it was a good learning experience; e-mail me if you want to know more about it (I think it is still available on Tucows for downloading). I would jump in and do some coding not expecting that the code is going to be used for the game but just to learn about the libraries you will be using. Then, when you know the capabilities available to you, you can design and then code the project. The hard part isn't the graphics/audio but rather the algorithms and data structures you will be implementing to create the gameplay. My experience is with DirectX without any layers (like SDL) so I'm not up-to-speed on cross-platform concerns. You might want to code a tiny shooter to get your hands dirty - an enemy at the top of the screen moving left and right; the player's sprite at the bottom of screen that responds to input and can shoot. This will cover a lot of the basics - loading/rendering images, collision detection between sprites and input management. Throw in some background MIDI music and put in a background image too so that you can deal with those issues. All this can be done in an afternoon ... depending on what you do with collision detection. When it comes to books, I think a lot of older books that cover DirectX 7 may have more information on 2D sprite style coding than the DirectX 8 and above books, which probably focus on 3D techniques. (Although you can use 3D methods to do 2D style games, which is what I did in my game). So, older books may have good information too. There was an introductory book by a fellow named Parberry (or something similar) that had a simple 2D game using sprites. Good luck! - Keith
  14. I didn't suggest anarchy - I am quite happy to be able to call the government provided police when there are trespassers, and I said that. Btw, What makes you (DavidOdden) think I am assuming there are no bad people? I am strictly limiting the role of the government though to be not proactive in this case (building a weapon). That's my call and I think it works, without any utopian assumptions. I realize I could be wrong. We are all trying to find out how far we can go in limiting government. I do not advocate anarchy. Given what we know about free men and governments, I just think it is more utopian to believe that it is better to rely on the government than free people to handle situations like neighbors building nukes. That's my current conclusion based on my own study of history, law, etc. I think coming up with these unusual disaster scenarios allows one to come up with excuses for bigger more intrusive government when it isn't necessary. Bad people tend to be excluded if people are allowed the ability to exclude others; insurance companies may not want certain activities to be performed within homes they insure; road owners may have restrictions against transporting uranium; etc. I would rather rely on ___the possibility__ of these processes unfolding over time than giving the government too much scope on determining threats __within our society__. As far as threats posed from abroad, I am more open, at the moment, to giving government wider scope to act - e.g. having spies, etc. in foreign countries. The law uses the term "subjective" to indicate what the particular person perceived, and "objective" to indicate what a reasonable person should have perceived. I don't think "context" is a legal term used in this analysis. (I like to study law but am not an attorney so I could be wrong.) I think currently the law requires a "substantial step" (an action), that takes the actor beyond just planning, for the government to be able to intervene in situations. What this "step" is depends on the situation. There might be some interesting common law history on the matter that might help see how the issue has been addressed. In a free market world where all land is private, it is hard to imagine how the police system really works so how police gain information and how they can act is probably difficult for us to really understand. Another issue to consider is that people involved in hazardous actions generally have duties imposed on them to safeguard others. People building nukes can be intruded upon, possibly, to ensure they are taking the proper safeguards. This of course raises more issues but it is another avenue to explore.
  15. 4th amendment protections at the international borders are much lower than on the streets. I wouldn't think Terry v. Ohio at international border crossings. I think in Objectivistan all land is private so the government would not control who could enter the country. The property owner of the land on the border would decide who can enter his land. To get any further into the country would require the OK from other land owners. If the borderland owner found someone trespassing he would call the police but only at that point could the government interfere. I don't see how a government could force border patrols, border posts, border searches, etc. on land owners in a capitalist society. Regarding the neighbor with nukes, in an Objectivist world he would have to have traded with others to obtain the materials to build his weaponry - this requires quite a bit of commerce. Presumably, this was done without coercion so it is OK. If you don't like it you might want to move or talk to the neighbors and shipping companies, etc. to try and get some collective non-coercive action to get your neighbor to change his plans. You don't draw the line - you live with the risk or get out of town. The alternative is a police state, to one extent or another depending where you draw the line ... and then later decide to redraw and redraw. Live amongst those you trust and build outward rather than try and control the lives of others - tinkering with nukes might be fun for some people, why deprive them of their fun? I think these extreme situation scenarios don't take into account that situations evolve differently in a free society than they do in our type of society. The options and methods of recognizing and resolving issues would differ in a free world. There is usually no truly objective line with intent, it tends to have a subjective component - whether the person thought there was a threat. Two people faced with the same situation - one can think there is a threat and the other can think otherwise. Even if it would have been reasonable for both to think threat, are both allowed to use force or just the one who gauged the situation as a threat? If only one then subjective beliefs have a role to play rather than just the objective facts of the situation. If you look only at the objective facts then you are saying someone can use force even if they don't believe they are threatened.
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