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Free Thinker

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Everything posted by Free Thinker

  1. I haven't/hadn't been following this thread, but damn. That was a sweet post.
  2. Yeah, I just noticed that too. I guess for some strange reason I have to accept them before they are posted. Well, I'll get rid of that. Whoa, nice looking site! And you are signed artist! Wow. I going to have to listen to some of your music. (And BTY I play the trumpet too)
  3. Yeah, I've thought of that too. I have no idea. That would be pretty cool though. Oh, and everyone, be sure to bookmark my blog! (so maybe this is shameless advertising... )
  4. I recently revamped the look of the site. Check it out!
  5. I saw this movie last night. Overall, I thought the movie was well done. The metaphors/symbolism I recognized reminded me a lot of Nietzsche..which is a mixed bag..
  6. I don't think that we have to necessarily use a name with a double meaning, or with a reference to a character or event in Rand's writings. I think that this is a great title. It makes it clear what that section of the site IS; I didn't even understand what the "Egosphere" for a while.
  7. Has anyone read this? I read a good review of it on Dr. Hurd's website, but I want to know what you guys think.
  8. I am mentioned in my school paper. My name appears on page 2 : http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2005/11/14/66134
  9. Thanks for the clarification. Upon first glance, though, it seemed like you were really insecure .
  10. This is the most peculiar thing about your post. Why can't you trust yourself? Perhaps it is too personal a question; and if so, let me know.
  11. And another: http://www.qanda.org/Video/?ProgramID=1019 And another: http://www.uncommonknowledge.org/900/902.html
  12. Here is an interview featuring Thomas Sowell on Booknotes. It is excellent. http://www.booknotes.org/Program/?ProgramID=1007
  13. Regarding the differences between the two forums (OO.net and the FORUM) (in no particular order): -People on the FORUM give you a work out. The posters there spend a lot of time analyzing your posts; sometimes I take it personally (meaning I think they are attacking me (when they aren't) ). On this thread, it appears that people don't devote nearly as much time posting and participating (which is fine), so the atmosphere seems more lax. When people do take the time on this forum, the results are admirable. -The FORUM has a lot of cool features ("Ask the Experts", "Study Groups", etc.) which this forum lacks. I think it has to do with the fact that the Speichers have many connections with people in the Objectivist movement. -If I were to make a choice, I think I would prefer Betsy Speicher's posts as compared to her husband's. Both have been amazing helpful and patient with me though. - OO.net is homier though.
  14. Concerning the WtL movie; It's steep price deterred me from viewing it up until now; but I Interlibrary Loan(ed) [it] through a local library and look for to watching it!
  15. Here is one I just found: http://www.fee.org/library/default.asp?c=media Notably, it features audio files entitled "Economics in One Lesson", "The Law", "The Myth of the Robber Barons", and others. I have yet to listen to any of them, but it looks promising! Also, have you checked out www.prodos.com? (Objectivist radio, frequently updated)
  16. I thought so as well. Serenity is an important film. The integration between plot, themes, and styles was brilliant. The message also was heartbreakingly noble. I almost cried.
  17. Betsey Speicher summed up what I've to realize perfectly: "You determine what an object's characteristics are -- all of them -- using your senses. When you integrate entities into concepts, the defining characteristics are those characteristics that separate units of the concept from everything else you know (your context) that isn't a unit of the concept."
  18. He hasn't responded yet to the last email I sent him, but basically he buys into the argument that because induction can't "predict the future" (which is a claim induciton REALLY doesn't make), induction is a system of probabilities.
  19. David Odden - The only way I could distinguish what fundamental characteristics an existent had was to say "what distinguishes this thing from that thing". How would you go about doing it?
  20. Here is an email I sent to my prof. "Point 1" is my answer to how we know what the fundamental characteristics of an existent is, and "Point 2" further elaborates on the nature of concepts; I think completing my theory. Two points - 1) The way we determine the "essential characteristics" of an existent is sort of a backwards question. "Characteristics" is really a negative concept - it describes what an object IS NOT. It describes the differences between all the finite numbers of object of which we are aware AND their relation to a existent. The more objects/existents we are aware of, the more specific our language is. The Thus, a concept is NECESSARILY defined by its context - context in this respect meaning the sum total of our knowledge [of existents]. A concept is not the existent itself, but our way of representing it. 2) I can anticipate the question already - "That is all fine and good, but that still cannot possibly predict the future. Even if we understand the nature of concepts, and of the "essential characteristics of the sun", what's not the say that tomorrow the sun WOULDN'T rise?" The answer to this question is that we DON'T know that the sun will certainly rise tomorrow. There is a possibility that it won't rise, but one cannot predict the events that may or may not take place tomorrow. What was the point of all that then? Have I conceded my case? No. The key thing here is that a concept is NECESSARILY defined by its context. Our sum body of knowledge that conditions a given context [of a concept] may or may not change, but that doesn't mean that our statement is false. Let me explain. Suppose the sun didn't rise tomorrow. This is the EFFECT we observe. By it's nature in reality, a cause must exist. Once we figure out this cause, we revise our statement by adding a qualifier. This does not mean we were wrong in saying that "the sun will rise tomorrow"/ or "the sun will always rise"; because implicit in that statement is a reference to context; the body of knowledge that we based that conclusion on. If we learn that the sun didn't rise because (let's say) an alien used a really big oven mitt to hold the sun down, we have added knowledge to our context and our conclusion changes, but NOT our initial conclusions about the nature of the sun.
  21. That is fantastic! So all one REALLY needs to do is understand the fundemental properties of an existent, and the interaction that that existent MAY have with other aspects of reailty just follows - in other words nothing will change about a ball, or a sun. All that may change is our understanding of it's relation with other existents?
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