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  1. lidryn

    Guyau and Rand

    Very enlightening, Stephen, thank you! FYI, the full text of Kapteyn''s translation is available at the Hathi Trust Digital Library: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001920815
  2. An update on Gotthelf's essay: this is reprinted (I don't know if it was revised) in Allan Gotthelf and James G. Lennox (eds.), Concepts and Their Role in Knowledge: Reflections on Objectivist Epistemology, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013. Stephen Hicks reviews it here. While this may be logically prior to the OP's concerns, it would be foundational to a critique of the "linguistic turn". More philosophical clean-up...
  3. Yes, it's an ancient thread (in Internet time)... The thread title is what I'm after. Consider this: http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=226686 I put up some other Karl Denninger ranting somewhere else, strike-related I think, but this is... different. So there it is.
  4. http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?blog=Market-Ticker Karl Denninger, Oct. 11, 2013 [omits hyperlinks] "The Market Ticker is offline from October 11th-13th as a deliberate act to reduce to zero my economic activity, and thus taxable income, for those three days. On 9/11/2013 I went dark to protest the NSA's unconstitutional and outrageous acts of spying against American Citizens -- acts they claimed at the time were "catching terrorists" but which they were later forced to admit had interdicted not dozens of plots but perhaps "one or two." Despite this forced admission our Congress has refused, thus far, to force the dismantling of these outrageous, unconstitutional, ridiculously expensive and abusive programs. But the NSA is only the beginning of the mockery of freedoms that we, as Americans, are supposed to enjoy. No man or woman is free if he or she is defrauded and robbed via trickery or treachery. And yet that is what our Federal Government, along with many State governments, are doing to you every single day. The Federal Government asserts that due to the debt ceiling it would be unable to "pay its bills" if Congress does not allow it to borrow yet more money it does not have and cannot acquire through taxation. This is an outrageous lie; the fact is that the Government has been unable to pay out what it has promised from tax revenues for decades, and by promoting this lie they are stealing from you the very monies they claim you're being paid in "benefits." In point of fact the US Federal Government, on an actuarial basis, has promised to pay not $17 trillion dollars (or $53,000 per person) but north of $120 trillion when Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are analyzed on a forward basis -- an impossible sum that amounts to roughly $360,000 per man, woman and child in the country and exceeds the assets of all businesses, households and governments summed together. In other words, we are now, as a nation, factually bankrupt yet both political parties are demanding to borrow and spend even more. At the same time we are telling our Senior Citizens and those approaching that time in their lives that these programs are "secure" and will "be there" when it is trivially provable that this is a blatant and outrageous lie, since there is no possibility of ever covering that $120 trillion in political promises. To add insult to injury you have the editors of Bloomberg, centered in the den of thieves known as Wall Street, arguing that John Boehner's puny (not to mention both staged and false) resistance to such deficits is "dangerous." It's outrageous to read a "news organization" calling for the victims of financial rape to bend over and give approval to yet another round of what they have renamed "consensual sex", despite the documented and easily-proved damage that has been done to the victims -- middle class Americans. How much outrage would they garner if the same demand was made of a woman that had just been assaulted while wearing a pretty dress? The simple truth of the matter is that deficit spending, willful blindness to fraudulent credit creation and intentional tampering with interest rates, now being topped off with "Quantitative Easing", dilutes the value of your earnings and destroys the middle class and working American. The results have been seen over the last three decades and are not able to be disputed. You should be enjoying the gains of technology and productivity in your daily life. There should be plenty to feed and shelter the poor in this country and anyone willing to work should be living like Kings yet laboring only 20 or 30 hours a week. Instead the gains created by your hand in improved productivity have been stolen from you along with even more through these intentional acts of abuse, the poor are being decimated and the middle class are earning less in inflation-adjusted dollars than they were in the 1980s. This is why the job market has not recovered and neither has your earnings power, despite the claim that the recession supposedly ended more than four years ago. Neither political party has the willingness to face basic, fundamental arithmetic that we all learn in middle school, and yet in less than 15 minutes I can prove to anyone in this country, using only the government's and Federal Reserve's own tables of figures, that these assertions as to the alleged "growth" in our economy and what has truly happened are not my opinion, they are mathematical facts. The entrepreneurs and other producers in our economy, myself included, have been enabling this theft and myriad abuses served upon the public. The economic harm has been compounded by actors in several specific sectors within our so-called economy, most-specifically the educational, banking and health-care "industries." Proof of the former is found in the fact that Calculus as a skill has not changed in hundreds of years and yet the ability to deliver pizzas to pay for a college education, very possible in the 1970s and early 1980s, is now impossible and the pursuit of said "education" routinely saddles our young adults with $100,000 or more in non-dischargable debt. Across our young adults this debt now exceeds one trillion dollars. We have not only allowed this but we actually cheer on the financial rape of our children and assist in their screwing by filing FAFSA forms so they can be bent over the table by glib-toungued admissions and finance counselors. In my opinion our youth would be fully-justified in eating us -- slathered in BBQ sauce -- for this willful and intentional act of abuse. Proof of the latter is found in more examples than can be counted, such as the woman who was billed over $60,000 in Arizona for two doses of scorpion antivenom that can be bought over-the-counter for $100 in its country of origin -- Mexico -- just a few miles from where she was stung. Rather than respond to this sort of blatant financial rape with indictments and prison sentences our government passed "Obamacare" and demands that we all submit to being abused by medical monopolists under penalty of fine and forfeiture. Since 2007 I have written thousands of articles detailing all of the above in the various schemes inflicted on the American people to strip them of their wealth and prosperity. Instead of a rising tide lifting all boats, these three sectors along with our government have been actively drilling holes in the boats carrying 99% of the population, leaving them with the choice of either furiously attempting to bail out the water or drowning while the 1% chortles with glee in The Hamptons. As one of the producers in this economy and an entrepreneur I know, from my own experience, that I can personally outrun this blatant and outrageous theft. But by doing so I create much taxable income, which is then siphoned off in the form of taxes to power the drills that are used to intentionally harm everyone else. I can no longer square my personal drive to succeed with what my success, and the taxes levied upon it, empowers in the form of harm to 99% of the people. I have thus decided to "slim down" those activities, reducing my taxable income to essentially nothing. To cease my contributions to the so-called "common good", because irrespective of whether I keep the money or not that productivity improvement will wind up in the hands of government and these favored "industries-cum-scams" that will be used to drill more holes in the boats of ordinary Americans. So on these three days, October 11th - 13th, I choose to produce a literal nothing. To sit on the beach and contemplate, to spend my days and evenings with people who I care about, and to deny government at all levels my labor -- the very essence of which they are using to screw everyone else. This act, the voluntary reduction of economic activity, particularly among those who produce, is the only effective means available to we, the people, to protest in a manner that is both directly related to what is being done to the common American but in addition is both expressly lawful and directly attacks the source of the problem. I ask that you consider joining me; the sunset remains beautiful, even if the sun is indeed setting on what was America as her founders roll in their graves."
  5. Thomas, I don't think this really describes how JSTOR functions or how it is governed. For one thing, the corporation operates more as a middleman or jobber between the publishers of the scholarly journals and the subscribers to the database of digitized journal articles. Not to go on incessantly with the references, but this is another useful one: www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/JSTOR. A similar resource (mentioned in this entry) is Project Muse, and it's a short step from there to EBSCO and Gale - more subscription services. So anyway I just wanted to get that out there in case anyone was interested in digging into the current state of the business of information-by-subscription. And I'm done with the JSTOR stuff... Just so this is clear: I don't have any issues whatsoever with the position you're articulating on copyrights & patents, insofar as you've made one; similarly, I don't think Aaron Swartz is much of a "culture hero". But here are a couple of questions for you: first, do you have any opinions about the "open access" movement in scholarly publishing? Second, prompted by the New World Encyclopedia article noted above, what do you think of the "Creative Commons" licensing agreement? Finally, what sort of mechanisms do you think are practical in preventing (or seeking restitution for?) violation of your own work, which appears in digital form? Pirates or plagiarists, shaming them doesn't seem to have much effect. You may know that Charles Dickens was a victim of this, even in an age of paper, ink & press: American publishers weren't subject to the limitations of British copyright law.
  6. Sorry if that was not useful - perhaps a little more on the ownership of JSTOR would be? The entity/corporation is known as "Ithaka Harbors": http://www.lincc.us/PubApps/showVals.php?ein=133857105 (this includes links to their 990 filings as a 501©3 entity) and here's another person, looking at the question: http://www.generalist.org.uk/blog/2011/jstor-where-does-your-money-go/ So do I have any opinions on copyrights and patents? Still reading, I'm afraid - intellectual property is fascinating, but I don't consider myself well-informed enough to contribute more than a few references.
  7. Thomas, there are a lot of openings here, but I'll take the JSTOR angle. I'm not at all sure about the ownership structure - an IRS filing might help with that - but you may find this to be of some related interest: Kevin Guthrie, Rebecca J. Griffiths & Nancy L. Maron Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources Published May 01, 2008 www.sr.ithaka.org/research-publications/sustainability-and-revenue-models-online-academic-resources This report (available in PDF) may be more relevant to your larger purpose of discussing the moral aspects of intellectual property, but it is worth noting that JSTOR has a statement on the Aaron Swartz affair: about.jstor.org/statement-swartz hope that helps.
  8. Okay, I'll bite: what's the worst? Whittaker Chambers' "review"?
  9. This would be an interesting hypothesis to test (but I wouldn't take the bet because I just don't bet!!). This conclusion depends necessarily on a confirmation of the hypothesis, of course. And is a topic for another discussion, sometime.
  10. I am, however, reminded of the enabling legislation passed by the National Socialists in 1933, upon which they erected the edifice of their regime: all completely "assented to" - and, by the way, a very difficult bone for the postwar German historians to chew, when considering the legal status of resisters prosecuted under those laws. (See Also, obviously, Ominous Parallels). I don't think there's any problem with my identification of modern-day anonymous bureaucrats entrusted with the initiation of coercive force as latter-day analogues of the equally anonymous and lethal agents of the RSHA? Here's the heart of it, for me: these people depend on two things for their continued uninterrupted activity (All Perfectly Legal): one is personal anonymity, so that not even their neighbors have any idea about what they do, relieving them of the possibility of any personal sanction; the other is the continued maintenance of the myth of voter consent, which simply deflects the accountability, as in the (invalid) Eichmann defense. My distinction between a "democracy" and a "democratic republic" is intended to refer to the solution implemented by the American Founding Fathers, which has been steadily eroded to this point, approaching (but no, not yet exceeding) the limit of credibility and authority. However, in this weblinked world, it seems to me more probable that an anti-authoritarian (Not Perfectly Legal) act such as I describe is more likely than the restoration of the limits of a constitutional republic.
  11. I find it difficult to distinguish between this line of thought and one that leads to "therefore, orders are orders, and my job is to follow them." My modest proposal, as Swiftian as it might be, is to simply suggest that it is not only technically possible to hold these bureaucrats to account by name, it is also likely that it will occur. Sooner or later. BTW, the fine distinction between a "democracy" and a "democratic republic" is forgotten, apparently - and one might ask, to whom are the bureaucrats responsible? And who wants to know?
  12. I understand your objection to the apparent moral equivalence (always a valid objection), but consider: Eichmann's role in facilitating the Holocaust was essentially bureaucratic - in fact, the same charge could be made against Himmler, and many lesser agents as well (although the SS did not lack for educated enablers: see esp. Table 4, p.12 - and many were convicted murderers) -but the point which Churchill only implies, and which I find to be the common element among these thugs is the classic "Befehl ist Befehl" - a fruitful resource, BTW, which takes us off the topic of Nazis and more towards culpability. I would go one step further away from my proposal and suggest to you as well that in Nazi Germany many were perfectly aware who was a Party member and who was not, although positions in the secret police were probably not advertised. So such a list would not even be thinkable, let alone have any impact (except destruction for the author, of course).
  13. From the War on Terror Ward Churchill's epithet of "little Eichmanns" was misplaced: 9/11 casualties in New York were not bureaucrats, except in the typical conflated sense from the perspective of a modern leftist intellectual (and leaving aside the confounding circumstances of crony capitalism). The real "little Eichmanns" are the bureaucrats of the state: in particular, those instrumental in authorizing, implementing, or executing the police power of the state. But while BATF, FBI, and IRS are obvious, these agents include employees of the social welfare establishment, and the regulatory enforcement agencies - and their counterparts at the state and local levels. It will be an interesting question to determine the degree of culpability attributed to the enablers - the "support staff". Summoning spirits from the vasty deep If such a list of agents were to be made public, it would strip their anonymity. The idea of a representational government vests ultimate responsibility in the voters, and then in their elected agents, but the plain fact is that the latter-day analogues of Adolf Eichmann are those who exercise the coercive force of the state, and benefit directly from its use. The Official Register of the United States identifies the federal employees; no doubt such lists exist for each state. The fact that these are not generally available (transparency in government?) is technically trivial. The precedent for such transparency has been made recently; it's simple enough, then, to propose a database of state agents sortable by name, address, position (implying level of authority), salary, and elements tying that individual to a larger social network? Are there laws against this sort of thing? Quite likely, but identifying that statutory authority would be a useful exercise if only to draw attention to the insulation from accountability afforded to these agents. And data has proved to be surprisingly leaky.
  14. following the two previous commentators, I will only add: I want Jeff's hat. I would wear it until Part III comes out. Maybe longer.
  15. I think this is the right thread for this note; anyway, somebody looking for the topic will find it like I did... I am surprised that nobody's mentioned the connection with Elizabeth Warren and George Lakoff, but other than flogging that entertaining blog I wanted to point out that the whole episode is an excellent example of the transmission of ideas - a notion I first encountered in For the New Intellectual (the essay) and which has continued to serve me well (that, and "follow the money" or more classically cui bono). Anyway: one more step down this track, chasing Lakoff's references (in the video, at Legal Insurrection) to other "progressive" thinkers finally led me here: Fitch,Robert. "Bad Faith and the Common Good: The Road to Civic Republicanism." MRZine, 11 October 2006. http://mrzine.monthl...itch111006.html A lovely piece of intellectual detection, right back up to John Rawls. I leave the exercise of finding Ayn Rand's comments on that to the reader.
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