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  1. Like
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Boydstun in Some Fine Film Finales   
    Cool idea for a thread!
    The Shining
    And the sequel, Doctor Sleep.
    Based on excellent Stephen King novels, these are well-done adaptations, considering the movies both have different endings from the books.
  2. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to Boydstun in Some Fine Film Finales   
    At my Facebook page, but I'll try to show them directly in this thread also. 
  3. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to Doug Morris in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point?   
    Fraud involves indirect use of force, because it involves getting physical possession of another's property and refusing to surrender it to its rightful owner. 
  4. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to whYNOT in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point?   
    This exposes the faulty basic premise of all these arguments and public controversy: one is NOT initiating force by transmitting an infection; one does NOT have the right to not be infected. The consequences of trying to uphold and enforce that 'right' would be insane. About a thousand 'rights violations' a day might have occurred during the spread pf this pandemic.
    A business owner however could rightfully disclaim as many have always, that injuries (etc.) on his premises are non-liable. "Enter at your own risk".
  5. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to Boydstun in Ayn Rand Fan Club podcast   
    On history stuff you did explore with David, his remark about having heard of the romantic affair between Rand and Branden, heard in the 1970's in college, was the same for me. David and I are about the same age. He was at Princeton. I was at University of Oklahoma. I rather imagine now there were dots all around the country where this information was shared. There is something to add about this dissemination at that time, at least from the way it occurred in my little circle of young Objectivist types. The idea that there had been an affair was shared with us in the circle by the woman who was host for our gatherings. At the time, she was a grad student in geology.* She was sharing a copy of a private letter, as I recall it, that had gone out from Nathaniel Branden to some number of people around the country concerning the professional split between him and Rand. It included a denial that he had had an affair with Rand. He indicated that she had come on to him, but that he had declined and that any idea that they had had an affair was preposterous due to the great difference in their ages. The important thing though in that message concerning this personal point was that talk about an affair had been previously swirling around among some of his audience. That letter, which would have been in the early 70's, was the only thing I heard of the affair until the '80's, after her death, when it became common public knowledge.
    As a young guy, I'd have taken the age consideration as Branden had brought it up as pretty much weight. However, as years went by, I learned from women of the generation before mine how common it was for their husbands to have lost desire, sometimes by medical problems, by the time they were in their '50's. It was sad, and the wives were stranded for good. I don't know, of course, if that was part of Rand's situation, but I wouldn't be surprised. Be that as it may be, it seems very natural, very right, that in those days she should have become attracted to Nathaniel Branden. I'd like to mention also that, especially with consent from the affected parties, I don't think there was a blessed thing wrong with such a second relationship, and I damn the effectively religious-minded folks who say otherwise. Lastly, I'd like to mention the most wonderful, successful relationship with such age difference, which is the one that developed between Tina Turner and Erwin Bach. Beautiful.
  6. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to Reidy in Ayn Rand Fan Club podcast   
    Similar history here. I heard the story as gossip and found it too weird to believe, so I didn't until BB's book came out years later.
    The two published In Reply to Ayn Rand a and sent it to the Objectivist subscriber list. He said that what finally, irrevocably broke them up was his telling her that the age difference was "an insurmountable barrier to a romantic relationship". We took it to mean that she wanted to start it, not revive it.
    The text used to be at his website and perhaps in one of his books.
  7. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to Boydstun in Ayn Rand Fan Club podcast   
    Thanks for the interview. I sampled it. Learned some details of history. I recall one additional point about the early relationship between Peikoff and Kelley (who had mentioned it to me in about 1990) was that it began with discussion between them concerning perceptual form. Disappointed, of course, that Kelley was not questioned about core philosophy issues and especially David's past productions on that, but I understand the variation of interests. Glad to hear near the end of David's continuing work in epistemology.   A memento from back in the days:
  8. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to whYNOT in Ayn Rand Fan Club podcast   
    I have heard a conservative acknowledging that the fringe groups on both sides eventually converge at the bottom (when seeing the right and the Left departing in "a circle" instead of a flat line extending out to their extreme ends) and are one as bad as the other. That received my agreement, she was one who can be worked with.
  9. Haha
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in The Bobulinski angle on Biden   
    Looks like Jon took his own advice.
  10. Like
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in The Bobulinski angle on Biden   
    I'm glad you went on the record with this prediction. If the courts rule against Trump and Biden takes over, will you step off the Q-train?
  11. Like
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in The Bobulinski angle on Biden   
    Do you have some evidence for that claim? Has Trump or the FBI director blamed the Obama administration for delaying capture of the Chinese agents?
  12. Like
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in The Bobulinski angle on Biden   
    The official DOJ page for the Fox Hunt press conference is here. It's clearly an interesting and unique case. They claim it's the first of its kind.
    I don't see how it's related to Biden, though. So bringing it up in the other thread was suspicious. And using the FBI announcement as some kind of validation of Q was doubly suspicious. I agree that Bobulinski is obviously connected to Biden, but trying to connect him to Q seems far-fetched. So again, suspicious.
    Personally I think Biden is corrupt and possibly even a traitor. That's an interesting question. But why bring Q into it? Just make your case for Biden being a traitor.
  13. Like
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in The Pluriverse   
    You could in the version where grammatical ideas are not dependent upon learning "walk," "run," etc. That's the whole point of the pluriverse: anything goes.
  14. Like
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Derek Chauvin Trial   
    That is the question. The objection is that being in the courtroom, or being an actual juror, was some kind of advantage to discovering the truth in this case. I, however, think it was a disadvantage.
    This is similar to the point Mr. Nelson made about perspective. The jurors were limited to their in-the-moment perspective, particularly regarding witness and expert testimony. The human mind can only take in and retain so much information, which limits its ability to integrate and evaluate a large body of evidence. I, however, was not limited to an in-the-moment perspective. When I became overwhelmed by the trial testimony, I could pause the proceedings, think critically about what I had heard and observed, notice fine details, and reach a greater understanding of the evidence. I could replay any confusing testimony. I wasn't in a stressed mindset, where I had to put aside confusions and push through mental fatigue or distractions. When I got confused, tired, or unfocused by other thoughts, I paused and took a break at my leisure. I was in a peak, objective mental state for nearly the whole trial. I'd call it a "free time" perspective. I could watch the live recording or rewind to history or stop and think freely about the evidence, even contemplate what the defense or prosecution might say or ask in the future. 
  15. Thanks
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Derek Chauvin Trial   
    The fentanyl was at a possibly lethal level, but the meth was at a low level. One problem is that Floyd might have developed a high tolerance for fentanyl. Also, he was not found at home. There were other known factors. The fentanyl intoxication, however, is substantial grounds for reasonable doubt.
  16. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to Harrison Danneskjold in Derek Chauvin Trial   
    It should be said that the rioting started up anew towards the tail end of this trial, prompting a whole new round of curfews across Minnesota. In conjunction with the severed pig's head at the residence of one of the witnesses (etc) it seems fairly obvious what happened here.
    Chauvin was attempting to deal with an unreasonable and uncooperative individual, who was already in the process of dying (please remember that his drug dealer feared legal liability for this). He used less force than would've been permissible under the circumstances and called an ambulance in the attempt to save Floyd's life.
    Remember that our epistemic standard here is reasonable doubt. The defense did not have to prove that the balance of probability was on their side (although they seem to have done so anyway); all they had to demonstrate that the case for his guilt was not entirely airtight. The defense showed that we can't even be certain what role Chauvin played (if any at all) in the causal chain leading to Floyd's death; if we have reason to suspect that Floyd might've expired in precisely the same way, regardless of the police presence or absence, then we have reason to doubt the whole damn thing right down to the root.
    And yet, in the words of Dear Leader Maxine Waters: "guilty, guilty, guilty".
    This was a human sacrifice to appease the mob. And it didn't even work (as no form of appeasement ever does); no sooner had Chauvin's blood started drying on the altar than they found a new martyr to riot for: teenage knife fights!
    That last is not hyperbole. A black teenager was just shot in the act of attempting to stab another black teenager (whose black life does not seem to matter after all) and resulted in a discussion of whether we need our police to prevent teenagers from stabbing each other.
    I'm not sure how much track is left ahead of this crazy train.
  17. Thanks
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Derek Chauvin Trial   
    I'm not going to speculate on the motivations of the jury members. I do know, however, that if I had been on the jury, I would have feared for my life, and I would have been deeply concerned by my vote's potential impact on the mob. Still, I like to think that I would have voted not guilty, because that's what I believe after closely watching the entire trial.
    If Chauvin didn't cause Floyd's death, then he's not guilty, plain and simple. And I don't think Chauvin caused the death. At least, I don't think the state proved that he did.
    I'm not a pathologist, so to a large degree I must rely on the opinions of the experts. I found Dr. Baker and Dr. Fowler to be the most reliable and trustworthy in terms of the cause of death. Baker, who actually did the autopsy, said that "the law enforcement subdual, restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take by virtue of those heart conditions." The prosecution attempted to downplay the role of the heart conditions, but Baker made it clear that when he placed other significant conditions on the death certificate he was saying that he thought they contributed to Floyd's death. "You don't list trivial stuff that didn't play a role."
    I was most impressed by Dr. Fowler, who said that "Mr. Floyd had a sudden cardiac arrhythmia due to his arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease ... during his restraint and subdual by police." I recommend listening to Fowler's testimony if you want to understand what happened.
    I think the defense should have stressed how Floyd irrationally resisted the police and over-exerted himself by refusing to get in the police car. Floyd then continued his irrational behavior on the ground, kicking and struggling, while saying he couldn't breathe when clearly he was breathing for several minutes on the ground.
    What made Floyd act so irrationally and communicate his problem so poorly? I think that's where the drugs and criminality enter the picture. First, he was not sober, and therefore wasn't thinking clearly. Rather than remain calm and think and communicate precisely, he panicked and repeated nonsense. Second, he stupidly concealed his drug use when asked what he was on.
    If Floyd had been sober he might have survived by simply sitting in the police car like a rational person would do. And if he had been honest about his drug use, perhaps the police could have known to give him Narcan or some other treatment. A sober Floyd might have also said something about his hypertension and heart issues. But then a sober Floyd probably wouldn't have panicked and resisted in the first place, knowing that he would risk his life by pushing his heart to the extreme.
    I think Floyd was responsible for over-exerting his own body and causing his heart to fail. It's very possible that he did not realize what he was doing due to the cocktail of drugs in his system at the time. According to his friends in the car, he had been falling asleep moments before the police arrived, after being quite active and shuffling around in the food store. This suggests that the fentanyl had taken effect and his breathing was being chemically depressed. So when he resisted and struggled with the officers, his half-awake body was in no condition to sustain such a physical effort. To maintain such action would require more oxygen, which would mean faster, effective breathing. But from the experts we know that Floyd was breathing at a normal rate of 22 breaths per minute. He should have been breathing at 30 or more. I submit that 22 was all Floyd could achieve under the depressive influence of fentanyl. He should have been asleep but was compelled into wakefulness by the police interaction.
    Many blame Floyd's breathing problem on the police restraint. The prosecution and the jury certainly do. And perhaps being held in the prone position exacerbated the problem, but I think the most reasonable and primary cause was the fentanyl, because Floyd was saying he couldn't breathe even before going to the ground.
    Ultimately the police were in a bind of Floyd's own making. Floyd was a criminal who got the police called on him at Cup Foods. He wasn't taking his prescribed medication for hypertension. Instead he was taking illicit fentanyl and passing out in his car when he had just offered to drive his ex-girlfriend home. The police walked into a lose-lose nightmare. They didn't know about Floyd's health and drug problems. Reasonable officers would see a large, muscular man who appeared to be physically healthy apart from probably being on some unknown drug causing him to act strangely. Thinking excited delirium, reasonable officers would attempt to immobilize Floyd for everyone's safety. Obviously they wouldn't want to be kicked or bitten or exhausted themselves. But also there would be the risk of Floyd giving himself a heart attack, which is exactly what the police and one onlooker warned Floyd about while he was resisting.
    It looks bad that the police maintained their restraint positions even after Floyd lost consciousness. Obviously the knee placement looks particularly bad from the viral video. But no evidence or testimony has convinced me that Floyd was asphyxiated due to the pressure applied by the police. I believe Dr. Fowler, who said, "Positional asphyxia is an interesting hypothesis unsupported by any experimental data." And I believe Dr. Baker who also didn't see pressure to the back of the neck that would explain asphyxiation.
    Given Floyd's heart disease, hypertension, fentanyl intoxication and physical exertion, there is plenty of reasonable doubt to support a conclusion of not guilty. I think the defense blundered by not explaining the physical exertion issue better, but I'm not sure whether it would have mattered to the jury, and I'm not going to speculate.
  18. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to Boydstun in Do animals have volition II?   
    The following is from a presentation of the Rand/Branden model of free will, by Onkar Ghate in the Blackwell A Companion to Ayn Rand.
    “Rand rejects any theory of volition that roots free will in a choice between particular items of mental content: whether to walk or ride the bus to work (selection between envisioned physical actions); whether to order the vanilla cheesecake because one is hungry or the bowl of mixed berries because one is on a diet (selection between desires or motives that will govern one’s physical actions); whether to admire Mother Teresa or Bill Gates (selection of values); whether to accept the psychological theories of Freud or of cognitive psychologists (selection of ideas). For Rand, all such matters are secondary and derivative: at root, free will is the power to activate one’s conceptual faculty and direct its processing or not. ‘All life entails and exhibits self-regulated action’, writes Branden in presenting Rand’s theory.”
    “An individual becomes both capable and aware of his power of conscious self-regulation as his mind develops. ‘It must be stressed’, Branden writes, ‘that volition pertains, specifically, to the conceptual level of awareness. A child encounters the need of cognitive self-regulation when and as he begins to think, . . . to reason explicitly. . . .” (“The Objectivist Theory of Volition” TO 5(1), 23)
    Rand and Aristotle remarked that higher animals are able to perceive more in sensory perception and to remember more than are lower animals. In modern psychology, the development of perceptual and memorial competencies in childhood has been greatly illuminated. I’d add to the Rand/Branden idea that the human conscious self-regulation emergences with the onset of conceptual abilities in children, add that: self-regulation of memory is also critical for the distinctly human abilities. “Remember this” we say to ourselves. Since the invention of sticky pads, I riddle my books with little strips of them.
    “The choice to ‘think or not’ is not man’s only choice, according to Rand: it is his primary choice. This choice sets a mind’s regulating goal. Sub-choices then arise to the extent that there is such a goal, and are the means of implementing it.”
  19. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to merjet in Do animals have volition II?   
  20. Thanks
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Derek Chauvin Trial   
    Week two began with prosecutor Mr. Blackwell calling Dr. Bradford Langenfeld. Langenfeld treated Floyd at the hospital and pronounced him dead after resuscitation efforts failed. Blackwell asked if Langenfeld was told whether Floyd suffered a heart attack or overdose. The doctor answered no. They covered several medical concepts such as asystole (flatlining) and PEA (pulseless electrical activity). The prosecution once again noted that "cardiac arrest" doesn't necessarily mean that Floyd had a heart attack. It just means that the heart has stopped functioning. Langenfeld discussed various treatments he performed such as using ultrasound and a blood-gas sample in an attempt to diagnose Floyd's particular problem. His leading theory for why Floyd's heart stopped was hypoxia (lack of oxygen). He also considered an acidosis such as excited delirium, though he hadn't received a report of excessive sweatiness or agitation which is common in excited delirium cases.
    On cross Mr. Nelson asked if fentanyl and meth (or a combination of the two) can cause hypoxia, and the doctor said yes. Langenfeld also confirmed that the blood-gas sample showed an "exceptionally high" amount of CO2. Normal range is 35-45. Floyd's was 100. So his blood was very acidic when the doctor took the sample.
    Nelson made some general points through the doctor. High CO2 could mean that someone is not properly eliminating CO2 through breathing. It can cause people to have a sensation of shortness of breath. It can happen even without other stress factors involved. The doctor also agreed that fentanyl is dangerous because it suppresses the respiratory system. And Nelson asked about drugs having a more powerful onset if taken inter-rectally, but it wasn't clear why he raised this issue. Perhaps it will produce dividends later.
    On redirect the prosecution asked Langenfeld if there was any indication that Floyd administered drugs inter-rectally. There wasn't. The doctor added more context to the blood-gas sample, explaining that because Floyd's blood had not been circulating for 30 minutes or so, his CO2 level would be expected to be higher than normal. Also, the issue of using Narcan to treat drug overdose had come up. Langenfeld said that Narcan only works if the heart is still pumping, so that's why he didn't give it to Floyd.
    It had been pointed out that police carry Narcan in their emergency kits, but, as a bit of analysis on my part, the officers might also argue that they didn't use Narcan due to Floyd lacking a pulse. Furthermore they did not know Floyd's exact problem because he took measures to conceal his drug use from the officers.
    Mr. Schleicher called police chief Medaria Arradondo next. After a long interview about Arradondo's work history and the various operations and outreach efforts of the police department, the prosecutor revisited some policy issues that have become a big part of the prosecution's case. They discussed "de-escalation," "medical care," "use of force," "critical decision making," "defensive tactics," "choke hold," "neck restraint," etc. After viewing the viral video, Arradondo concluded that Chauvin's restraint of Floyd was "not de-escalation, not a trained MPD defensive tactic." Per policy, it did not appear to be "light to moderate pressure" on the neck. He said it "violates policy" and is "not what we teach"; "once Floyd stopped resisting" the neck restraint should have stopped. It also "violated policy on rendering aid."
    Mr. Nelson began his cross-examination by pointing out that it has been many years since the chief personally arrested someone. He then focused on the policy manual's repeated use of the "reasonableness" standard. Officers are required to perform certain duties such as medical care or de-escalation when reasonable. Nelson quoted the manual stating that the "reasonable standard applies to the facts and circumstances known by the officer at the time force is being used."
    He and the chief agreed that minor incidents (detaining a suspect) can turn into major arrests. Earlier the prosecution used Arradondo to say that passing a fake bill is a minor, nonviolent offense.
    Nelson then addressed the issue of defensive tactics, distinguishing between a "best practice" and an explicitly prohibited one. Just because a new tactic is being taught instead of the old one, that doesn't mean the old one is against policy.
    Regarding de-escalation, Nelson then asked Arradondo if he agreed that "sometimes you have to display a weapon so that you can de-escalate ... the use of force can be a de-escalation tactic." The chief didn't quite like Nelson's formulation, and they agreed that it would be better to ask the training instructors about that aspect. This question seems pertinent to Chauvin brandishing mace to control the man who stepped toward him onto the street.
    Nelson also established that the chief does not have a degree in physics and is thus not qualified to speak to the amount of pressure Chauvin applied to Floyd.
    Finally Nelson introduced the concept of "camera perspective bias." He showed Arradondo two video clips of the same time period but from different angles. Looking at the clip from the viral video, the chief said Chauvin's knee was on Floyd's neck performing a neck restraint. But then Nelson showed him an angle from bodycam footage, and Arradondo agreed that Chauvin's knee was "more on Mr. Floyd's shoulder blade."
    During redirect Arradondo said the knee was on the neck up until the paramedic arrived. But Nelson's point about the camera angle remained. Arradondo was basing his conclusion on a misleading camera angle which had just fooled him in the courtroom during cross-examination.
    The final witness of day six was Katie Blackwell, a police inspector in charge of the training center where officers receive instruction throughout their careers. She testified that Chauvin's restraint was "not a trained technique." She was also used to introduce Chauvin's training records. On cross Nelson pointed out that the records don't break down all the various instructors and classes an officer might have had during, for example, an 8-hour unit of training. Frankly I'm not sure what to make of this issue regarding Chauvin's training. Even if Chauvin wasn't trained to do what he did, that doesn't mean he murdered Floyd.
  21. Like
    MisterSwig reacted to Eiuol in Why do some people fail to see Objective Morality?   
    The third option: they achieved nirvana.
  22. Thanks
    MisterSwig got a reaction from Easy Truth in Why do some people fail to see Objective Morality?   
    "You could be wrong" is a proposition, and without evidence it's an arbitrary proposition. Typically people will point to man's fallible nature as evidence that "you could be wrong" about anything. But the capacity to be wrong is not the same as the possibility of being wrong. To say something is possible requires evidence pointing directly to that possibility.
    Let's say you're certain that you're reading my post right now. Is it possible that you're not due to your fallible nature? No, because being fallible doesn't exclude certainty, it simply excludes infallibility.
  23. Like
    MisterSwig got a reaction from AlexL in Derek Chauvin Trial   
    This trial was televised. I watched every second of it. I have a better claim than the jury. One, the jury had to remember testimony, they weren't given transcripts, whereas I could watch the testimony repeatedly on YouTube and also pause it to facilitate copious note taking. And two, statistically I'm probably more intelligent than most of those jurors, though I don't put much weight in statistics, so mostly my objective advantage comes from point one. 
  24. Like
    MisterSwig got a reaction from dream_weaver in Derek Chauvin Trial   
    This trial was televised. I watched every second of it. I have a better claim than the jury. One, the jury had to remember testimony, they weren't given transcripts, whereas I could watch the testimony repeatedly on YouTube and also pause it to facilitate copious note taking. And two, statistically I'm probably more intelligent than most of those jurors, though I don't put much weight in statistics, so mostly my objective advantage comes from point one. 
  25. Thanks
    MisterSwig got a reaction from whYNOT in Derek Chauvin Trial   
    Here is an interview with one of the alternate jurors.

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