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Everything posted by Moebius

  1. I'm in the market right now, but kind of just playing at guerilla warfare with only 10% of my bankroll, and mostly just shorting.
  2. The idea of such campaigns is to spark conversations and discussions on the topic, much as we are doing now. Emotions is a powerful tool. Certainly you cannot deny that at least on campus, the bake sale in all likelihood generated far more attention and discussion on the topic than any essay would.
  3. Actually Asians would probably pay something closer to $2.50 for getting none of the benefits of affirmative action as far as jobs or college admissions goes (in fact held to a higher standard than whites in some cases due to a lopsided over-representation) yet still suffering from many of prejudices and discriminations that comes with being a racial minority.
  4. Would being taxed at gun point be considered a violation of rights? Whose freedom does polygamy deprive? The spouses'? Because then monogamy would just be "depriving freedom" from one person as supposed to multiple people. Either way it would be immoral. But then again if the marriage is voluntary then I could hardly see how any freedom is being deprived. From China's point of view the land is owned by the 1.6 billion people, not just the relatively small group of ethnic minority. Again if a group of Texans want to set up a small government that does not violate human rights, the United States is not obligated to simply provide them with a piece of land with which to do so.
  5. What further complicates the issue is that there are a large number of Han Chinese nationals living in the greater-Tibetan area, each presumably with their own property. I assume that if Tibet indeed secedes they would simply have to give up their land holdings for little or no compensation. ROC as in the government that currently resides in Taiwan? That would be an unlikely event to say the least. The difference in population is 23 million vs 1.6 billion. Taiwan can barely hang on to its own sovereignty without constantly being bullied by the PRC, let alone making a claim on Tibet, or any parts of China.
  6. Just about every country in the world invaded someone at one point or another to claim their current territory. You might as well argue that we have no right to occupy the United States because we slaughtered a bunch of indians to get it. Tibet wasn't exactly a free country before it was invaded -- it was a theocracy headed by a "reincarnating" Dalai Lamas. As a matter of two dictatorships attacking one another, legality is not really an issue.
  7. Yes I meant a hypothetical Texas. It could really be anything -- say a bunch of brilliant Objectivists got together and wanted to create a truly free country. I agree that Tibet could not realistically defeat the Chinese army. My question is more specifically about property rights -- what morally entitles you to simply claim a huge area of land as your own. Instead of Texas, if a said group of Objectivists wanted to start their own country, would it be moral for them to just walk into Texas and claim it as theirs?
  8. But doesn't that make your moral standards a relative one rather than an absolute one? Texas for instance could theoretically set up a freer and less oppressive regime than the United States, hence be better off and "a step in the right direction". How do you logically end up with the conclusion that working within America is better than to outright secede? And why should Tibet not work within China rather than to secede? After all China has been progressively freer over the last couple of decades.
  9. I was wondering what gives a group of people the right to form their own country - especially if the new country is supposed to be situated in lands currently owned by an existing country. In Tibet's case they would be seceding from an autocratic government, only to form a theocracy. Would that be morally justified? Would the same reasoning apply if Texas was to secede from the United States?
  10. In real life I'd imagine that people would fight much harder to either detonate the bomb or to prevent it from being detonated -- what with their lives being on the line and all. Personally I probably would have just jumped the ship. I doubt WB had much to do with the scene though. I mean the scene pretty much had to end that way or else the Joker wins.
  11. I live in Taiwan, so I certainly do not disagree. But this seems like a really random thing to tack on.
  12. The link pretty much mirrors your view. I completely agree though that the IOC is acting like China's bitch. What I would like to see is for this matter to be thoroughly investigated, and if found guilty, the Chinese gold medals stripped. But then I'd hope that this incident would stir up some more discussion on the whole age restriction thing and have it simply scrapped all together. To me there is no doubt that the best gymnasts won during the competition.
  13. They deleted it to quell the international controversy. Given the state of Chinese internet, they probably would have done it regardless of whether the documents were fake. I already stated why I think the case is inconclusive. It's obvious that you disagree. Without any further evidence I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I'm not sure where I misunderstood. Does the US athletes doping represent the American view on truth as a general proposition? Let me clarify. What I actually said was based on what the guy did, he does not qualify as a hacker. And then as an additional note, hackers in general are not a very credible source because they are essentially morally bankrupt thieves. I don't dispute that this IT guy accessed a search engine cache and found some documents. Let's put this physical appearance issue in context: here we are talking about telling the difference in appearance between a 14 year old (their alleged age) and a 16 year old (their official age). At least one of the Chinese gymnasts I recall was even 15 and some odd months on the official documents you keep mentioning. Are you honestly trying to say that you can reliably tell a 15 year old from a 16 year old just based on looks? Especially when these girls are already pre-selected for being small and youthful in appearance and in all likelihood have stunted growth from years of training beginning at a young age? At least with the official documentation there is a case to be made, with the only difference being you consider it conclusive and I don't. Physical appearance on the other hand shouldn't even be in the discussion. If China in fact cheated, they are guilty of breaking a rule. In this case what I consider a bad and hypocritical rule. It's supposed to protect kids from over-training at a young age, but it's pretty clear that both in China and in the US, nobody is backing off of those kids much, if at all. But alright, they should still have their medals stripped if the case is proven. The US gymnastic team on the other hand (well, the coach and the director anyhow) kept releasing statements that implied that the US would have won if the Chinese kids weren't underage. That is straight up a load of BS, as anyone who watched the actually event will be able to tell you. The US squad fucked up so many times that it wouldn't have mattered much how the Chinese did. Any mediocre performance would have won that pairing. To me that is either an attempt to deceive or straight up evasion of reality. At the end of the day though, if the current evidence satisfies you, then there really isn't much point to continue this discussion. If I had to bet, I'd probably bet that at least one of those girls was underage too. I just don't think that what we have amounts to a definitive case.
  14. Well what should their goal be, if not to win? This is sports. The other teams' goal should be to win every single game they can also, doing everything that they are able. Not to run away whenever someone is "too good". Again I think the decision to outright forfeit is teaching the wrong values to the kids. I don't play chess, so I would turn down the master chess player's challenge also. But I DO play basketball, and if Michael Jordan said that he wanted to play me 1 on 1, I'd say bring it on. If I lose, I lose. But I sure as hell would try my hardest to win. As a more realistic example, I am 6'2" and 190 lbs, and in my recreational basketball league I have often had to guard players that are 6'6" or 6'7" and 200+ lbs. Do I sit there and complain about how those players are too big for a rec league and should be banned? No. I go home, I lift weights, I practice, and the next time I meet them I go harder.
  15. The clerical error was in regards to He. I don't know what the official statement is on Jiang. The banned internet IPs is obviously to save face. No I am not saying that the Chinese government could not have possibly given those girls altered passports. I am saying that there has not been any definitive proofs, and that it is irresponsible to state as a fact that China cheated. This is in response to you stating that on philosophical grounds China is guilty because they have cheated in the past. What I am pointing out here is that the US has had several high profile doping incidents ourselves, but it would be unjust to automatically assume that an accused is guilty without definitive proof. It's not your characterization. Several articles have mentioned this guy as a hacker. I am pointing out that all this guy did was access some search engine caches, which hardly makes him a hacker. My main point however was that a hacker is not exactly a reliable or credible source of information. This is again out of context. This is in response to you claiming that their physical appearance counts as appropriate "evidence" to their being underage. My point was that it is not. Okay, as far as I can tell there has only been two person on record saying that being underage is an advantage from the major media reports. On is Nellie Kim, whom as I said won her own gold medals when she was 23 herself. The other one is the coach of the US gymnastics team (as well as the director... can't recall their names) -- who I certainly don't think qualifies as an objective commentator. Look, it would be one thing if it was a close contest. But the US squad royally fucked up by landing on their ass several times and stepping out of bounds. All things considered, a silver isn't that bad. The implication from the US coach that the Chinese only won because they were young was an utter disgrace. Feel free to look it up. But I would say that most of the girls she beaten were probably significantly younger.
  16. I have played sports pretty much my whole life. And I'll tell you right now, coming in second is never satisfying to me. But yes, I guess it's better than being third, or fourth, so on and so forth. Well I mean, they DID fail to get a championship. Better than all those squads that simply nobody remembers though.
  17. I don't think the other team really needed to forfeit their games. What are you teaching the kids? When the competition gets rough, quit or evade. Personally I have always liked playing against better competition, even as a kid. It forces me to get better, and there were times as a kid where I would just sit there and do drills all day on my own just so the next time I could beat the other guys. Sports is about "fun", true. It's fun when you put a lot of work into your game and see yourself improve. It's fun when you win. And finally it's REALLY fun when you finally beat someone supposedly better than you. I don't want my kids playing in a league of quitters.
  18. First of all, according to the Chinese those online documents you mentioned got their age from the same erroneous application paper from when He switched from one team to another. This is a he say she say situation, although I would say that a passport is a more convincing proof than a gymnastics application. Now if you can find a birth certificate or something along those lines that contradicts the passport, that's another story. As it stands I don't think a gymnastics related documents pulled out of the internet constitute as "clear evidence". Second of all, the fact that the Chinese has cheated in the past does not make for a automatic condemnation of He's case. Otherwise I can just as easily say given the United State's history of doping in the Olympics, that Michael Phelps was probably on steroids. And goddamn it I am right until I am proven wrong, because the US has shown that they are not beyond chemically enhancing their athletes in the past. Again, personally I think that this is something that should be pursued and investigated, and if proven true, I would love to see the Chinese gymnasts get their medals stripped. Just don't pretend that this is a proven, open and shut case. I read this story. A "hacker" looked through a search engine cache and found some documents. I didn't know that looking through a search engine cache qualified you as a hacker, but neither is a hacker the most reliable source for information. It's a philosophical thing, don't you know? True story. When I was on the tennis team in the eighth grade we had a kid that was 13 years old that was 6'4" and had a full facial hair who had a serve that was faster than most high school varsity players. Maybe I should have taken his appearance as evidence that he was really a 25 year old disguising himself as an 8th grader in order to dominate middle school tennis. Not being an expert in gymnastics should somehow disqualify mean from using my REASON? Let's get this out of the way first: the reason the age restriction was placed on the Olympics gymnastics in the first place was to prevent kids from injuries, the pressure of elite competition, and burn outs. NOT because being young gives you an advantage. The Times statement that younger gymnasts have an advantage "because they're lighter and more fearless" comes from Nellie Kim, the five-time Olympic gold medalist for the former Soviet Union. Kim was 23 when she competed in her final Olympics in 1980, where she won two golds. TWENTY THREE YEARS OLD. Interesting theory from her. The Chinese gymnast, He, was recruited onto the National Team after having blown away the competition on the uneven bar by breaking two world records in two months in FIG sanctioned competitions. She is simply a phenomenal gymnast. If the Chinese did in fact cheated, it wouldn't be to take advantage of the gymnast's age. It would be to put their absolute best gymnast into the competition. I think there might be some residual hard feelings for the 17 year olds on the US team to get the snot beaten out of them by a tiny 14 year old Chinese girl, hence explaining the biased US media backlash. But maybe it's time that the FIG reconsider their age restrictions again (they've done this a couple of times in the past, both raising and lowering the age limit).
  19. What are your criteria for "similarity" between competitions? Is the 100 and the 200 similar? Is the 100 and 400 similar? What about freestyle swimming versus breast-stroke? To me they are all significantly different, especially when those differences are magnified by the small variance in performance among the tip-top athletes. Guys like Michael Phelps is a rarity. In fact very few athletes are actually at a medal worthy level across several events. Like I said above, there really aren't that many events that you can lump together as similar. What's a short distance race? 100 and 200? That's it. Can you definitively say that a guy who got a silver in 100 and 200 is definitely a better athlete than a guy that got a gold in the 100 and did not medal on the 200? I don't think so. How great of an achievement are we supposed to see a silver as? I mean, if some guy on the street told me he got a silver medal in the Olympics, I think to myself "damn that guy must be pretty good". It's not like people don't understand that silver medalists or the Buffalo Bills are good. It's just that they aren't the best. Are you objecting that gold medalists or championship winners get more attention and adulation? Well to me it seems pretty obvious that they should.
  20. Why is that relevant in this discussion? Generally an American kid is using his education to compete against other Americans. So what if he has a higher standard of living than an Ethiopian cow herder?
  21. I agree about the rules. If you break it, you should be punished. But honestly I think the age limit itself is a farce. If weight was a absolute factor, then by all means, establish weight classes. The fact that they don't mean it is probably not the most relevant nor significant factor in determining the winner. And again, the Times suggestion that 14 year olds are more fearless than the 16 year olds because they are younger is just a joke. Throughout the Olympics Chinese gymnasts and divers consistently chose the harder routines throughout the competition - probably because they trained hard and are confident with their skills. Bottom line is that the Chinese may or may not have cheated. But the US didn't lose because those girls were 14. They lost because those girls were simply better.
  22. No, we do not agree on that point. How would you define "a better athlete"? It seems to me that you are lumping various different types of sporting events into one category, when in reality there are huge differences between say, the 100, the 200, and the 400 -- especially if we're talking about milisecond differences in finishes. An athletic competition is a combination of body, mind, and technique. If a man hones his skill and devotes his body to a particular event and became the best in the world at what he does, that makes him THE BEST ATHLETE for the event in question. I have no problems with the glories going to the best.
  23. First of all, the "evidence" is based on "official gymnastic site listing" and "official Chinese media reports". I don't see how those are any more credible than their "official passports". The discrepancy is explained as a transcription error by the Chinese government, and you know what? There is no proof that it isn't. In any case the Times report is hardly objective, seeing as how it included random quotes along the lines of people saying "well the girls look so young *rolls their eyes*" as if that is that is factually relevant. Not saying that the Chinese gymnasts aren't underage, and if it is proven that they cheated, their medal should be stripped. But to state that they cheated as a fact is intellectually irresponsible. Second of all, the explanation for why the 14 year olds have an advantage -because they are younger therefore lighter and more fearless- just seems retarded. Is it a proven fact that being lighter gives you an advantage? Does the statistics show that all else being equal, lighter girls perform better? Because you can just as easily say being lighter means you have less muscle mass, therefore at a disadvantage. The second reason, that they are more fearless (and therefore by implication able to perform harder, riskier routines) because they are younger, is the most laughable of all. Is Times seriously saying that the courage to perform harder routines under pressure situations is determined by AGE? Not because of say, personality, training, and confidence in their skill? And that there is a significant difference in this kind of quality naturally between a FOURTEEN YEAR OLD and a SIXTEEN YEAR OLD? So, the Chinese may or may not have cheated, it is far from proven. The theory that a 14 year old have an advantage over a 16 year old in gymnastics is entirely unconvincing. Cheating is wrong, and again if it is in fact true their medals should be striped. But whatever their true age is, the only fact that is certain is that the Chinese gymnasts were simply better than the US squad.
  24. I don't understand your question. What is your standard of "fairness"? In sports, either you win, or you lose. Would you consider the second place the winner? Being the loser doesn't mean you suck. You're just not as good as the first place. People may or may not respect that, but hey, what can you do?
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