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Economic Freedom

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  1. > I rely on regular sources of information ("mainstream media") for report That's a major mistake. It's not "information" at all, but a narrative whose function is to get people to consent to whatever the government and other powerful, "stakeholder" groups want. It's story-telling, mainly comprising half-truths and outright lies. Just a month or two before the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a "pandemic game" (similar to a "war game" but focused on disease, not nuclear weapons) played in NYC, hosted by Johns Hopkins University. This game was known as "Event 201" and there are many video clips available online if you simply look for them. Members included some MDs, representatives of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, et al. Event 201 was also not unique; other pandemic-games have been played in the past, attempting to "game-out" how to respond if a global pandemic of some novel pathogen were to appear. What's especially alarming about Event 201, however, is that no discussion was made regarding how best to treat people; it was all about "how do we control the narrative -- the flow of information -- so that large populations are easily controlled?" It was all about social control. All members appeared to agree that controlling the media and keeping them in a narrative "lockstep" with one another was paramount: the media should all, essentially, "read from the same script"; say the same things; point to the same protagonists ("Zelensky is a hero!") and antagonists ("Putin is a madman!" "There are no early treatment therapies for Covid-19, and those healthcare providers who claim otherwise are spreading dangerous misinformation!" "The VAERS database cannot trusted since the reporting of vaccine adverse events is merely anecdotal!"); promote the same agendas ("Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! The Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective!"). It's right out of "1984." Given the large number of independent researchers, journalists, podcasters, commentators, etc., online, at alternative venues that don't censor information that is counter-mainstream-narrative ("Rumble", "BitChute" as alternatives to YouTube); "DuckDuckGo" and "Brave" as alternatives to Google; Truth-Social as an alternative to Twitter), there's no reason to limit information-gathering to the "legacy media" venues, or mainstream media.
  2. Recommended: An interesting and informative (if long) livestream podcast by a filmmaker/writer named Gonzalo Lira, who lives in Ukraine. He covers most of the relevant facts regarding the oligarch Kolomoiski (living in Switzerland) who helped place a comedian and actor, Zelensky, in power, as well as paying him to finance the Nazi Azov Battalion. According to Lira (in hiding as of the time he recorded this podcast) all of the cabinet ministers were "selected" by Kolomoiski and then duly "appointed" by Zelensky. The ministers are all thugs (according to Lira), as are the members of the Azov Battalion. The atrocities highlighted by the western media (the maternity hospital, for example) are mainly examples of classic "False Flag" operations, committed by the Ukrainian army (including, of course, Azov) against Ukrainian citizens, and then blamed on Putin and the Russian army. Retired Colonel Douglas MacGregor, Aaron Mate, Jimmy Dore, Gonzalo Lira, and other commentators whose links I've posted, are crystal clear on the reasons for the Russian incursion: Russia sees the expansion of NATO into Ukraine -- with the strong possibility of western (i.e., US) nukes stationed along its eastern border, just a few kilometers from Russia -- as an existential threat to its sovereignty, in exactly the same way and for the same reason, that the US under the JFK administration viewed Soviet nukes in Cuba -- just 90 miles away from the US -- as an existential threat to its own sovereignty. Lira posits hypothetically how the US would react if China, for example, formed military alliances with countries in South America, and then an otherwise neutral buffer-zone like Mexico were pressured to join such an alliance: would the US simply say, "Well, Mexico's a sovereign country so it therefore has the right to join any kind of alliance it pleases" or would it say, "such an alliance is ultimately controlled by China, and if Mexico ceases to be a neutral buffer between the US and the China/S.America alliance, we'll be seeing Chinese nukes on the northern border of Mexico, right next to Texas". I think the latter. And Lira, et al., are right when they aver that the US would view that as an existential threat to its own sovereignty and would probably take military action against Mexico...not to conquer territory but to keep Mexico "neutral", i.e., as a buffer between itself and the China/S.America alliance. Same with Russia and Ukraine. Russia wants Ukraine neutral. According to these sources, the outcome of this incursion is a foregone conclusion: the much larger, better equipped Russian army will win, especially since (as stated above) they view this issue as an "existential threat" and are willing to do whatever is necessary to keep Ukraine neutral AND to "de-Nazify" Ukraine by killing the Nazis...meaning killing the members of the Azov Battalion. The latter know this, of course, which (according to these sources) seems to be the main reason Zelensky/Kolomoiski/Azov are trying to keep the conflict going, as well as trying to coax other countries into the conflict -- especially the US -- in the hopes of starting a proxy war between the US and Russia, and in the hopes of extending the conflict long enough that they can continue surviving, probably by fleeing the country (just as Nazis in Germany did when they saw the war had turned against them). It's important to counter the false narrative coming out of western mainstream media since the latter seem pretty much to be warmongers interested in getting the US involved in what would clearly be World War 3. To understand more on how and why US mainstream media all seems to be in lockstep with their narrative regarding Ukraine, look into the CIA's "Operation Mockingbird", as well as Obama's signing into law the right of the US government to promote propaganda to the public (he essentially reversed an earlier law that had forbidden the federal government from propagandizing to the public). And THAT would be a perfect opportunity -- along with whatever new pandemics (or PLANdemics) the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, et al., have in store for us -- to impose the "Great Reset" on everyone. You can kiss goodbye any liberties you're now enjoying if that happens. For an example of what that could look like, see what's going on in the megacity of Shanghai, China.
  3. >I always find myself thinking about how those who hold the view of nature-as-living would react to arguments about the primacy of existence By "existence" you mean "matter" only? Or are you including the non-material, such as "mind."? Does "existence" for you = "matter" and "mind", simultaneously, neither one preceding the other metaphysically or temporally? Or does "existence" for you mean, "matter" appeared first, and through complex chemical/physical interactions, somehow a non-material thing appeared called "mind"?
  4. >You also mention the double-slit experiement, which allegedly shows that consciousness affects the world in some way, No, I did not say that consciousness affects the world in some way. I said that observation affects the world in some way. Big difference. To "observe" something means you have to interact with it in some way, perhaps by simply shining light on it. That won't affect very much something the size of a boulder (should you be interested in observing a boulder) but it affects something the size of an electron.
  5. >Concepts of consciousness (measurement, perception, intensity of thought) are derived ostensively from observing those faculties in action. A circular argument based on Rand's arbitrary definitions regarding the mind as being the "observer" of a pre-existing world of entities. It's incorrect from a scientific point of view, and it's incorrect from a historical, linguistic point of view. All we know today of human minds in antiquity comes from surviving written texts. What the texts show is that words denoting a mental state (a "concept of consciousness") simultaneously denoted a physical state in the "outside" world. For example, in Latin, "spiritus" meant simultaneously "spirit" and "wind". "Nous" in Greek meant simultaneously "mind" and "measure." This is true of all languages, eastern and western. The concept of consciousness, "express" (e.g., to express an opinion or idea) also meant, simultaneously, "to roll out" (i.e., what you do with a rolling pin and dough); the word "right" (e.g., "she is morally right to do that...") also meant "straight"; the word "wrong" (morally wrong...) also meant "sour." There's no evidence that people in those days first looked outward, to a physical event such as trees swaying in the wind (psyche or spiritus), and then through a process of linguistic metaphor, imported the word to describe some sort of mental stirring. No evidence for such a process at all. All we know today is that many words had both an "interior" (self) and "exterior" (not-self) meaning at the same time. So instead of corrupting that fact with a materialist-based assumption that the exterior preceded the interior, and that the interior therefore comprises nothing but exterior words original imported as metaphors (which is what the materialist-based notion assumes), why not just conclude the obvious: human minds in antiquity (at least, as revealed in surviving texts) did not distinguish between the so-called "outer" world and the so-called "inner" world, most likely because there is no clear metaphysical distinction between the two (i.e., it's a continuum), the distinction having been brought about later, mainly by means of language. I'll point out, also, that there's zero evidence of any sort that human language began as a system of pure "signs", i.e., grunts, groans, pointing, etc. for the purpose of signifying physical objects, and then somehow the idea of "metaphor" -- using one grunt or groan to "stand for" or "represent" in a non-literal way -- was invented. In fact, the farther back in time one goes in the study of language, the less literal or denotational it becomes: early languages (again, from evidence of surviving texts) are all figurative, with many words having multiple meanings (inner/experience & outer) simultaneously. So-called "literal" meanings -- the word being a pure sign pointing to one thing only -- is a late invention (Emerson, by the way, has a famous essay about this, "On Language"). The "grunt-groan-point" hypothesis about early (i.e., pre-written-history) languages was invented by anthropologists in the 19th century, whose operative assumptions were all based on a philosophy of materialism: i.e., the so-called "outer" world of physical, material objects appeared in the universe first; that "somehow" gave rise to life; life "somehow" gave rise to mind; mind "somehow" invented language; and minds "somehow" understood that they could represent a physical object (e.g., a rock) to themselves and to other minds by 1) pointing at it, and 2) inventing a sound to consistently "stand for" or "represent" what they are pointing at. So by repeating the sound to themselves or to another mind, the "image" or "idea" of the original rock would appear. There is NO evidence for such a process. It was all "ad hoc" assumption based on the prevailing philosophy of materialism: "matter appearing first; mind appearing later". There's zero evidence for that, either.
  6. >this precedes thought. No. Percepts are results of thoughts. The only thing preceding thought is sensation, which is strictly physico-chemical. And yes, that has been established by scientific investigation.
  7. >You are defining "senses" narrowly to include only the workings of the sense organs, and maybe not even all of that. Epistemologically, the senses include the entire process, some of which probably takes place in the brain, by which perceptions are presented to consciousness. LOL! Nice save!
  8. >I'm just evaluating the questions being asked No, you were evaluating the questioner, not the question itself. Difference.
  9. Watch the Jimmy Dore podcast I sent you. Here's another link to a Jimmy Dore podcast in which he shows an excerpt from a Fox Business News broadcast with guest, Ret. Col. Douglas MacGregor explicitly calling out Zelensky as a puppet: https://tinyurl.com/2j5shk3p Zelensky receives money from a Ukrainian oligarch who fled Ukraine for Israel (he also has a Cypriot passport) named Kolomoyski; Zelensky, in turn uses that money (some of it, anyway) to help finance the Nazi Azov Battalion. So the battalion pretty much is the influential entity within the government (and therefore, "runs" it. You object to the term, "runs"? Too bad.) and is the influential element within the entire Ukraine military. Zelensky's entire cabinet, by the way, was "selected" (i.e., installed) by Kolomoyski (apparently, from his Swiss chateau). So Zelensky is a puppet of Kolomoyski's money and of the Azov Battalion's thuggishness. Recent leaked phone calls from Victoria Nuland (Undersecretary of State) admit the U.S. participated in a coup to oust the former president, Poroshenko, for the sake of "regime change" more amenable to U.S. interests (meaning, NATO, and the personal interests of various American oligarchs). Oliver Stone made a documentary about this several years ago titled "Ukraine on Fire." You can find it online. Was Zelensky fairly elected? He was a popular TV actor and comedian but given the evidence of election fraud in the U.S. (see Dinesh D'Souza's documentary "2000 Mules") and what appears to have been a similar kind of fraud in the recent French election (popular LePen is ahead in all polls and suddenly loses to the unpopular Macron, who immediately declares that he's going to institute the new "Digital ID" passports to everyone) I have little confidence that Zelensky's 73% win with a 95% turnout was legitimate. Just before the incursion, Putin declared that he intended to "De-Nazify" Ukraine, another indication that there's little difference between the Nazi Azov Battalion and Ukrainian government, since the rest of the government -- cabinet ministers, at any rate -- were simply installed by Kolomoyski and pretty much do nothing. According to journalists on the ground in Ukraine, most of the Ukrainian military forces have been routed by the Russian army, but they have now fled into populated urban centers, using locals as human shields (just as many Islamist jihadists have done in middle east conflicts with Israel). That means the Russian army has to move at a much slower pace than they otherwise would. I understand from statements made by Dr. Robert Malone (pioneer of mRNA technology in the 1980s, who has come out in the past year as being highly critical of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna) who also has professional experience in the military intelligence sector, that the 30-or-so bioweapons labs in Ukraine (funded by the U.S.) cannot simply be shelled and demolished since that risks spreading whatever pathogens were being toyed with. Each lab has to be "decommissioned", meaning bioweapons experts have to go into each lab, investigate what's there, and then decommission it, usually by just walling up the entire laboratory. He said this is the usual way in which anthrax labs are handled: you can't just blow them up because the spores are robust and can become airborne. The entire facility has to be walled up (sort of like Chernobyl). Nice. I would never deny such an inquisitive mind as yours the pleasure of doing your own research on this issue. So do a little homework. Who knows - you might even get "red pilled".
  10. >It seems you've already reached your verdict. You're a mind-reader? I merely asked a question. >It is your mind that needs to process the data of your senses. Psychology and neuroscience have established that the only things given to the mind by the senses are sensations, not "data". Sensations are not data. The data are created from the sensations by the participation of the mind. Percepts exist in the mind, not "out there" in reality. Only particles and empty space exist objectively, apart from mind. Sorry, but that's what science has established. An Objectivist can always fall back on Peikoff's old snipe, i.e., "Philosophy has veto power over science." That probably explains why so few Fundamentalist Objectivists become scientists: the philosophy itself (as espoused by its Fundamentalists) is anti-science. Being pro-capitalist, of course, entails Objectivists admiring the fruits of scientific research, such as technology (John Galt's motor vs. Robert Stadler's theoretical research). But if the result of some scientific research contradicts a tenet of Objectivism, the Fundamentalist jettisons the science and retains the philosophy, thus exercising the "veto power" Peikoff claimed for philosophy. Other kinds of Fundamentalists claim the same veto power for their respective religions.
  11. >Parents who try to do something genetic to improve their children need to be very careful to make sure that they are acting in the child's best interests. LOL! "Something genetic to improve their children"? >In general, you seem to be taking a very simplistic, distorted view of evolution. Can you provide any quotations or links to back up what you are saying? Thousands of quotations and links. But since you boo-hooed about an earlier post of mine, claiming that you should've ignored it altogether, I can't think of a good, selfish reason that I ought to waste my time and effort posting links for you when you should actually stop being smug and lazy, go to the library, and start studying a subject about which you clearly know very little. Here are 3 references from very different kinds of authors, all converging on a similar conclusion: classical Darwinism is bunk: 1) https://tinyurl.com/m8j3a699 Evolution: A View from the 21st Century James Shapiro, PhD (biochemistry) Recent data that Darwin couldn't have known regarding how living organisms at the cellular level contribute to their own evolution, rather than being simply passive objects of random forces causing the extremely rare, beneficial mutation. 2) https://tinyurl.com/2dntzf6b Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design Stephen C. Meyer, PhD (philosophy of science) A summary of data -- some of which actually known to Darwin -- regarding the sudden appearance of all major biological phyla with no precursors in the Canadian Burgess shale deposits, an event known as the "Cambrian Explosion." Whether one accepts Intelligent Design as plausible or not, these data undercut any attempts to attribute the appearance of life and its speciation given Darwinian assumptions of slow, incremental changes over long periods of time. 3) https://tinyurl.com/27xd4db8 Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life Hubert Yockey (PhD, physics). Application of Claude Shannon's information theory to the appearance of life from non-living chemicals via thermodynamically-driven forces, showing it to be mathematically implausible. Yockey is a certified atheist so you don't have to worry about being assaulted with religious arguments. I would also recommend the works on evolution by astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle.
  12. >My point is that the evils of history do not show that humans are by nature evil. So you actually didn't mean what you actually wrote earlier; you meant something different. OK.
  13. Interesting. Long-winded but interesting. I'm fascinated by the amount of lively discussion it generated. In any case, I'll have to peruse it later today.
  14. >You're not the first to hold the stance you are posturing with, nor will you be the last. I'm relieved to hear it! You mean to tell me that others have actually posted to this board and dared to contradict the teachings of Ayn Rand as recited verbatim by the long-time members here? Good grief, that's outright blasphemy! >If you are unable to find what you're searching for here, perhaps there are more fertile fields to plow elsewhere. By "fertile fields", you mean boards that encourage independent, critical thought? There probably are. Thank you for stating the obvious. Now, are you "posturing the stance" that this board brooks no contradiction of Ayn Rand or the Scriptural Texts of Objectivism? If so, say so. I assumed this board was all about "reason" and "truth". Please inform me if I'm wrong about that. >Has anyone prevented you from positing your position and making your inquiries? Have I claimed that anyone has prevented me from "positing my position" and making my inquiries? I don't think so . . .
  15. >began to abandon the concept after it became clear that there was no such thing and the reasons were methodically bad That's pretty much true of everything in science, not just early models of heat. If you're correct, then our model of the Big Bang is "inappropriate" because it's actually failing right now and will be replaced in just a few years. Our model of the atom was (by your lights) always "inappropriate" because it's been replaced several times: electrons are not embedded in the nucleus like seeds in a melon (originally conceived by J.J. Thompson), but there's empty space between the electrons and the nucleus...in which case, why doesn't the electron routinely fall into the nucleus? Well, then, it must because the atom is "sort of like" a miniature solar system, i.e., the electron must be orbiting around the nucleus. But that was shown to be "inappropriate" because quantum mechanics says we cannot isolate the exact position of the electron in such a presumed "orbit" because of the Uncertainty Principle; so the most we can say is that the electron has a certain probability of being in one location as opposed to another location; and since the probabilities are continuous (from zero to one), the electron itself must be some sort of "cloud of probability" surrounding the nucleus. No doubt this is "inappropriate", too. All scientific models are exactly that: MODELS. And they are all "inappropriate" as knowledge grows. By the way, this is true in medicine, too. All young med school graduates are told the same thing by the admins during graduation ceremonies: "50% of what you've learned here at medical school is wrong. The problem for you as practicing doctors is to figure out which 50%." Indeed.
  16. >That is false, unwarranted, and insulting. Here is independent thinking and learning. Give me one example of a thought on this board that contradicts Objectivism or any of the "inerrant" scriptural texts of Miss Rand. I haven't found any so far. If all statements are simply in agreement with Objectivist Scripture and statements by Objectivist authorities like Peikoff, Brook, and Kelley, then they can scarcely be said to be "independent".
  17. >If you are able to distinguish between a perfect and an imperfect circle, it means you can measure the imperfect circle's closeness to a standard of perfection. I can distinguish precisely between a perfect circle and an imperfect one without seeing, imagining, or measuring them. A "perfect circle" is one in which all points on its circumference are equidistant from its center. An "imperfect circle" is one in which NOT all points on its circumference are equidistant from its center. I don't have to perceive anything to distinguish between the two. I just have to know the meaning of the adverb "not".
  18. >What are your grounds for this accusation? Already answered (see above). Do some homework. The entire Ukrainian government is corrupt (and mainly RUN by a minority of Nazis known as the "Azov Regiment" or "Azov Battalion"). And while doing research, ask yourself why the sons of Joe Biden (Hunter Biden), Nancy and Paul Pelosi (Paul Jr.), and Mitt Romney (he has several; don't remember which one) sit on the boards of directors of energy companies in Ukraine, a topic about which they know nothing. This is all influence-peddling and money-laundering. You might want to introduce yourself to the concept of the "Deep State" since it's seeping into mainstream media from the alternative/fringe/conspiracy media on venues such as BitChute and Rumble. If you're intimidated by the European press regarding what's going on in Ukraine, you might try starting with an American comedian-turned-political-commentator, Jimmy Dore. He's a lefty slowly getting "red-pilled" on various issues, including Covid, the so-called "vaccines", Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum Agenda 2030, Bill Gates buying up most of American farmland, etc.. He tends to harp occasionally on fabulousness of socialized medicine and "Medicare for All" but aside from that, he's great. Often funny, lots of bad language (F-bombs, etc.). As a stand-up comic he's not in the same class as the late George Carlin (no one is), but he's pretty good on counter-narratives of political news. He's generally good at citing his sources, as well. For example:
  19. >The unreachable perfections that EF refers to are without such backing as in thermo, but are merely from the philosophy-of-mathematics armchairs of Plato, Leibniz Funny! Euclid reached them thousands of years ago. What do you think his "Elements" is based on? Don't know about Plato's contribution (if any) to mathematics. I know that he insisted on students in his Academy studying geometry so that they would better understand the idea of "Formal Proof" and "Logical Demonstration". He believed an education in geometry was a necessary prerequisite for the study of ethics, since in his view the latter would also depend on formal proof and logical demonstration. As for Leibniz, he is considered by historians as the co-founder (along with Newton) of calculus. In fact, it's mainly the notation of Leibniz that we use today in differential calculus (dy/dx as the "First Derivative" vs. Newton's terminology of "First Fluxion").
  20. > You can't measure perfection without a standard. Indeed. That's why the idea of "perfection" doesn't rely on measurement.
  21. No, but that story is not too different from claiming, "It's magic!!", which seems to be the position of the members of the Santa Fe Institute (Stuart Kaufmann, et al.). "Things just magically become different when enough elements are brought together!" OK. "Brought together" by chance? Or by intentional design? And to claim (as the Wiki summary does) that "Life is an emergent property of chemistry" misses the salient point that life relies on a *code* embedded within the chemistry, and which cannot be derived simply by studying the chemistry. No study of thermo takes you from chemistry to the genetic code. It's a bit like saying, "If we study metallurgy really thoroughly, we'll understand how metallic things self-assembled to 'locks' and 'keys.'" No. "Locks" and "Keys" are ideas that someone thought up and invented; then instantiated in material that seemed suitable for portability, durability, reproducibility, etc. As far as the idea of a lock and the idea of a key are concerned, they can be concretized in any suitable material: stone, plastic, even chains of amino acids (enzymes are proteins that function by means of a "lock-and-key" mechanism; the enzyme is the key and its substrate is the lock). The Santa Fe Institute has its adherents -- those who put their faith in somewhat hazy hypotheses such as "self-organization" and "spontaneous order" -- which are relevant in fields dealing with entities that are alive and conscious (economics, for example; see the works of Hayek and Mises) -- but in the non-living, non-coded-chemistry world of simple chemical elements? Sounds more like faith than science.
  22. >flawlessness... A synonym for "perfect". Where did you get "flawlessness" from? From "measurement" of something? You haven't answered the question.
  23. >You have not presented arguments, only repetitions of commonly held cliches You have not presented refutations, only repetitions of falsehoods and half-truths from Ayn Rand's works.
  24. ??? I said nothing about "measurement." I don't think Boydstun did, either. He simply jumped from "string suspending a bob" to "perfect verticality" as an arbitrary assertion. I don't see how measurement is relevant. Pray tell, which measurements -- and how many measurements -- take us from "string suspending a bob" to "perfect verticality"? Don't assert, please. *Cite the actual measurements that one would have to make to go from "this particular string suspending this particular bob" to "a universally abstract PERFECT verticality"*. I don't see how one goes from the former to the latter via any act of physical or conceptual "measurement." Miss Rand was hung up on the idea of "measurement", even claiming -- with no background in mathematics -- that measurement was the basis of all math (wrong). She then imports the idea of a "unit" into her hypothesis of concept formation -- in which the concept "chair" is a kind of "unit" of an existing, physical chair; but then explains away some obvious difficulties in that idea by quickly asserting, "Oh, but I don't mean a physical unit -- because that would be a metaphysical statement. I mean an *epistemological* unit!" -- As if the latter actually were intelligible (which it isn't, and which I believe is the reason that not only is ITOE the weakest part of Objectivism, but explains why no one else has tried to do anything more in Objectivism regarding epistemology (I don't count Peikoff's "DIM Hypothesis"). Acolytes merely quote from ITOE in the same way devout Catholics recite a catechism.) In any case, Boydstun's example was arbitrary, too. Why jump to "perfect verticality" from a string suspending a bob? Why not, for example, pouring water from a bucket onto the ground? The stream of water is somewhat vertical, just as a string suspending a bob is only somewhat vertical. Boydstun failed to validate the conceptual jump from "somewhat vertical" to "perfectly vertical." And I maintain that it cannot be validated at all simply relying on percepts -- which are always "in the mind of the perceiver" anyway -- as being at the putative "base" of knowledge.
  25. Thanks! I'll check it out. However, I never claimed to be an "idealist" (German or otherwise). It's a commonplace in the field of experimental psychology -- specifically, the psychology of perception -- that percepts exist in the mind only. A physicist would tell us (and no doubt, prove to us) that a tree is a bunch of particles and lots of empty space. The particles are pretty much the same ones that compose the rock next to the tree, yet we obviously register something on our retinas and visual cortexes two things that look very different. We then reify the difference by giving each one a different linguistic sign: "tree" and "rock." It's also a commonplace in psychology that one of the main functions of language is, in fact, to perform such reification, essentially "carving out" an outside world putative of "things" that correspond to our percepts. What actually exists objectively, however (as physics shows) is just a bunch of boring particles.
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