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Everything posted by MisterSwig

  1. At the first presidential debate Joe Biden and Chris Wallace started interrupting President Trump soon after the initial round of two-minute answers. Trump then went into beast mode, like any self-respecting man might do who was being attacked from both directions. He verbally smashed Biden like an action hero smashing henchmen in order to reach the big villain. "Biden as henchman" is an apt analogy, I think, because he is just a little man with little ideas. He's a weak human shield for the pack of thirsty socialists peeking over his shoulder. Listening to Biden debate was like watching
  2. Our new episode covers the controversy over the NY Times' 1619 Project versus Trump's push for patriotic education, when it comes to teaching history. We also get pretty deep into the principles and design of the correct curriculum.
  3. Rand writes: "Only an irrationalist ... exists in a perpetual conflict of 'interests.' Not only do his alleged interests clash with those of other men, but they clash also with one another." (VOS, p. 58) 1. Perhaps Rand did not believe that the clashing "interests" were actual interests. Here she put the word in scare quotes and then said "alleged interests." So maybe the conflict is with something else, something she thought people mistake for an interest. 2. Who are these "other men" with interests that clash with the irrational man's "interests"? Are they rational or irrational, a
  4. That's the thing with the principle of two definitions: both would be actual interests. You have to distinguish them through context and description.
  5. In your view what was the first valid criticism of Rand's philosophy (or a part of it)? Who offered the insight and when/where did they publish it? I'm not talking about criticisms of her personal views on small matters, but her important principles and applications articulated in her works. I imagine the first was probably during her lifetime, but I'm having trouble coming up with an example.
  6. I agree. DW brought it up and I think it's the best suggestion so far for a line of contemplation. Like "value" or (in my view) "standard," the notion of an "interest" seems to have two proper definitions. There is the broadest, most general one: something that is desired or wanted. Then there is the narrow, more particular one: something that is desired or wanted in accordance with one's chosen moral standard. Note that in this formulation an interest is merely a value considered from the mental perspective. Interests don't exist apart from a consciousness capable of conceiving them. But
  7. This is interesting, but I disagree with the proposition. Interest and desert appear to be of two different categories. An interest refers to something needed or wanted but not necessarily deserved. A desert refers to something deserved but not necessarily needed or wanted. "Desert" sounds like the moral root for a political concept like "justice" or "restitution." While "interest" sounds like the moral root for the political concept of "rights."
  8. Maybe I asked you this before, but could you give your definition of "intelligence"--for the sake of this particular thread? Google offers this: #1 seems okay for a starting point. The genus is "ability." But I think it matters why something has the ability of intelligence. Otherwise isn't "intelligence" merely a stolen concept, severed from its roots? We wouldn't have this concept without the idea of a living, conscious entity capable of gaining knowledge. So I don't understand your basis for suggesting that a nonliving entity could produce intelligence. What evidence supports that
  9. Yes, she appears to be using a super-generalized idea here. A more fundamental question I have is: what sort of society does she think we have? It would appear that her ethical system only applies in a free society. So if I live in an unfree society, it is impossible to pursue my values. Objectivism is rendered useless. What if we assume a mixed free-unfree society? Then Objectivism is useful only part of the time. How should we plan longterm under such conditions? As if we live in a totally free society? That's evasion. I doubt anyone would argue that we live in a totally free socie
  10. Yes, and this poses another serious problem for the "false world" proposition. Either this world must be the real one or it must be a near-perfect simulation of the real one, at least in terms of the potential for human-computer interfacing. And if this is the false world, how would we know if the simulation accurately reflects the real one? Again there is only an arbitrary assertion. Thus, apart from Morpheus appearing and showing you the other world, there is no reason to doubt the realness of this world being experienced.
  11. I don't know, but I believe the basic proposition is based on the real potential of human-computer interfacing. Ultimately it doesn't matter if the subject is aware of any real potentials in nature, because the proposition assumes that he is not aware of reality. His "reality" is the false world, thus he couldn't know what's possible in the real world of the machines that manipulate his experience. In this aspect the modern scenarios are no better than the evil demon, since the subject in either case has no real-world evidence for his notion of the real world.
  12. This is a curious conclusion to Rand's essay. Her entire argument appears to rest on the final claim that in a free society we don't have to deal with irrational people and in a non-free society it's impossible to pursue our interests. So does her position fall apart if it turns out that in a free society sometimes we do have to deal with irrational people, and in a non-free society it's possible to pursue our interests? Part of the problem, as I see it, is that our society is a mixture of free and non-free aspects. So in any particular interaction, how do we determine if it's possible or
  13. The modern scenarios are science fiction, Descartes' is pure fantasy. At least in the modern scenarios a body or brain is required for the experiencing of the false world. Descartes apparently requires only pure consciousness for the evil demon to manipulate. Regarding rational criticisms, the machines of the modern scenarios are not presented as omnipotent, but why should omnipotence be necessary to prevent a human subject from awakening to the real world? The machines only need to be able to keep the subject unaware of the real world. The subject might doubt his reality, but as long as
  14. I checkmated this self-described "pragmatic progressive Leftist" in only two moves--a personal best. Someone posted this question to a philosophy group on Facebook: "Does white privilege exist? If so, what are some concrete examples that you can point to?" Mr. Zook replied and I responded to him. GZ: Have any of you white people ever traveled on a pedestrian level and worked in the lower levels of our economy ... drank in dive bars ... been on the street ... if you have and you can tell me that their even at this low economic/social level wasnt a difference in the
  15. Wow, if that Wikipedia link is correct, China is currently building about sixty new tunnels longer than 8 miles. Added to the eighty-five they already finished, that's a lot of Taggart Tunnels.
  16. I agree. I've been focused on this problem in Rand's writing for a couple years now, ever since I noticed a mistake in her article on "The Property Status of Airwaves." I recently traced the problem to her definition of capitalism. Thank you for articulating your view and adding some historical perspective. I believe a critical context is missing in most Objectivist arguments against public property. That context is the purpose of forming a community, a society, a village, a town, a city, a state--any social group. The purpose here is to benefit the individuals qua members of a group, not
  17. Nancy Pelosi told Stephen Colbert that "Mother Earth is telling us that climate crisis is real, do something about it!" Jesus, she sounds like a religious nut who thinks God sends hurricanes as a warning against tolerating homosexuals.
  18. From the Wehner op-ed: Wehner sounds like a clueless stooge still bouncing around in the idealism of multiculturalism.
  19. Who decides what you deserve? If a black barber denies me a haircut because I'm white, is that an act of injustice because I deserve to have my hair cut by him?
  20. Do you mean government exploitation, racism, sexism, etc.? Black Joe the barber refusing service to whites would not affect my liberty. I don't have a right to his service. Opportunity is not liberty. Liberty is your freedom from force, not from other people's rights.
  21. I suppose one should criticize this description of "expropriation," since it's the alleged link between capitalism and racism. The trick here is classifying certain voluntary transactions as "confiscations." You might not like being saddled with high-interest loan payments or losing property to foreclosure, but that's what you agreed to in the contract. Confiscation is seizure of property by authority, not by contract.
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