Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Mimpy

  1. I'm living in Wellington for a couple months. Any Objectivists out here? Would be interested in a meet-up!
  2. Option c works best for me! Option b is fine, too. EDIT: Monday night would be good since that's the last day Matthew80 can make it...
  3. I'm in the suburbs of Philly until the middle of February. Would be interested in a meetup!
  4. If an artist holds the rights to a song and he wishes to distribute it freely, that is his prerogative. There is nothing wrong with downloading his music then. This would only be wrong if the artist does not hold the rights to the song, in which case you would be stealing. Don't think of it in terms of a value exchange. Think of it in terms of the person who owns the the rights to the product being able to set the terms of distribution of his product. As long as you are obeying those terms, your action is completely moral.
  5. I thought it focused too much on silly love relationships. There was not enough action.
  6. As most of you know, Congress is trying to rush through a massive health care bill by the August recess. Among many things, this bill will create a public option for health insurance that will compete with private insurers. It will also set up the “Health Insurance Exchange” platform, which will regulate which policies you can purchase. Some other horrific aspects of this bill can be read here. Ultimately, the only way to stop bills such as these from even coming to the table is by changing the culture. People need to understand that health care is not a right, that doctors have the right to choose their patients and set their own prices, that rising costs in healthcare are due to government intervention, etc. The United States has the best health care in the world. It is undoubtedly not perfect, but it is still the best. We need to fight to maintain quality and freedom in healthcare. We cannot change the culture in just a few weeks. So what can we do? I think the most effective solution right now is to write to our representatives. While they may not read our letters fully, they will at least keep a count of how many of their constituents support the health care bill and how many do not. Given that politicians’ main aim these days is to get re-elected, they are more likely to not vote for this bill if they see that a larger proportion of their constituents don’t support it. So let your voice be heard. You can write to your representatives at www.congress.org . Keep your letters short and to the point. Be polite. There are so many aspects from which you can discuss this issue. Pick just one or two. My letter is below. Feel free to use it in part or entirely, if you wish. Please do not vote for the health care bill. Government health care just does not work. Consider the rationing and long wait times in Canada and Britain. This will inevitably occur in America, as well, since private insurers will not be able to compete with the unlimited funds of the public option. The public option, then, will be the only option for most Americans. The United States has the best healthcare in the world. To maintain this quality and lower the costs, we must implement free market reforms in healthcare. These include: allow consumers to shop for insurance across state lines, remove coverage mandates in insurance policies, remove tax benefits for employer-based insurance, phase out Medicare and Medicaid. Also consider what this means for those who will be paying for this new system. A tax hike of greater than 5% on the wealthiest Americans is highly unjust. These people work hard for their money, and they should be able to spend it on the things they value. These are likely the most productive individuals in America. Taking their hard earned money to forcibly pay for the health care of their neighbor is unfair. By forcing the rich to pay for this program, we essentially turn them into our slaves, to be used at any time to fund our agendas. Sincerely, XXXXXXXXX XXXX
  7. Congratulations! My research project is funded by NASA. Like others have said, given that so much of your money is forcibly taken from you to advance the government's agenda, it is not immoral to reclaim some of that money back in the form of working for a employer who is funded by the government. Otherwise, 90% of academics would likely be out of a job. And many others, of course.
  8. This is a disgusting thing to say and undermines the beauty of their relationship. One does not choose to be gay because there is an absense of eligible members of the opposite sex. To assert that sexuality is something that can change with the whim of the moment is absurd.
  9. I have no idea where you are getting this from. From watching Jon & Kate, everyone is perfectly happy on the show. Yes, the kids fight, but so what? When do siblings not fight? To say that misery is inherent in having many children is absurd. And the reason there are so many shows today about families with many children is because it is interesting. People love kids and they especially love kids that look alike. It is also fun for parents to see how other parents handle situations much more stressful than their own.
  10. I've watched many episodes of "John & Kate Plus 8," and I think the show and the family are great. There is no inherent value in having a parent's "undivided attention." Attention is only good when it is constructive. And attention can still be given, even if a parent is busy with other children (or other activities in general, like work). Clearly, these kids won't have trouble with money. The show itself is a huge source of income. As for doing things "individually," this can still occur, even with many kids in the house. For example, John & Kate take each kid out individually for a day of fun once in a while. As for "screaming madness," there are many other sources for this, not just from other children. Creating a healthy and positive environment is what is key. If a parent can do that, then that is what is important. So I think that these situations need to be assesed on a case-by-case basis. I certainly would not say that John & Kate are doing anything wrong. They did not plan for 8 kids, it just happened that way due to the nature of in vitro fertilization. I have not heard anybody refer to these parents as "selfless," but I could be mistaken. I definitely think this is a minority, though. Most mothers would not call Kate selfless but instead empathize with the tremendous stress she endures every single day.
  11. To assess whether a Founder effect is positive or not, you must determine if the alleged advantage occured because of the Founder effect. I don't know the particulars of the example you have mentioned, but it is not clear from what you said that the advantage occurred because a group of people isolated itself from the rest of the population. A small population always increases the risk of inbreeding, which is never to the offspring's advantage. Consider the Amish in Eastern Pennsylvana, who are plagued with a myriad of diseases.
  12. While some of the precautions people might be taking may seem overboard, the fact remains that this flu is dangerous and that we do not have enough Tamiflu in this country to treat everyone. Furthermore, though the strain does not cause serious problems in some, in others, it certainly kills if not treated right away. I think it is great that we have reached the point in medicine where a virulent strain that could cause a pandemic can be controlled. It is still important to take precautions, however, because regardless of whether this flu might kill you or not, you still don't want to have it and take that chance.
  13. Mimpy

    OAC Exam

    To my understanding, they generally don't allow that. You can always audit classes, however.
  14. Mimpy

    OAC Exam

    It is a four year program.
  15. Agreed. It is inspiring to watch regular people do spectacular things.
  16. If you don't have a central purpose, i.e, if you are not acting to preserve your life through productive work (which is the only central purpose possible), your actions have no standard by which to judge them. If you don't have an ultimate goal that you are striving towards, you have no reason to practice the virtues. Why form conclusions through reason when you could just listen to what other people are saying without consequence? (Of course, the consequences are inevitable, but who cares if you don't intend to achieve something anyway?) Why be true to your principles? After all, you can have none because you have no need for methodological principles if you are not interested in living a proper life. Why gain values through honest means? Faking reality is not dangerous if you don't want to live to achieve some productive work that ultimately enhances your life. And etc. You can't hold any virtue if you don't hold the "supreme" value of purpose. For what reason would you practice independence, honesty, justice, etc. if you don't have something specific you want to achieve? In that case, you default on those virtues, which makes you a parasite, liar, evader, etc.
  17. It's good to look aesthetically pleasing. But right now, we should not be focusing on these minor details. It is a great accomplishment that ARI finally has the money and the man-power to actually produce these videos. If you want the video to look better, give more money to ARI. Sitting here discussing how it could be better is useless. If you truly value making these videos better, either offer your services to ARI or give it more money to find the right people to do so. Other than that, we should be appreciating all that ARI is doing, heavily promoting it to our friends, family, and co-workers, and learning how ARI intellectuals are fighting for the culture so that we can do the same in our own lives. Criticism is easy. Actually going out there and fighting for cultural change is much more difficult and also much more productive and important.
  18. Who cares? I mean, seriously. ARI is getting great videos out there. The message is important. Who really cares if there is "body shifting" and other minor issues? I didn't even notice it. I was listening to what Don Watkins was saying, not scrutinizing over the make-up of the video.
  19. It's not a false alternative. Either he rehearses what he is going to say or he doesn't. Even in other video op-eds that ARI intellectuals have done, they've rehearsed it, no matter how "regular" it might look. I don't see how it is similar.
  20. I love fedoras. I feel very stylish when I wear mine!
  21. I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Would you prefer a video in which an ARI intellectual was "winging it," instead of delivering a message that he has rehearsed? And how does Dr. Brook appear to be a "slick salesman?" Is he conniving you into buying something cheap? Is he actually trying to sell anything? And how does this appear cult-ish to you? Is Dr. Brook trying to indoctrinate people with Objectivist principles or is he encouraging them to read a novel that he genuinely believes will likely advance their lives? Your analysis is way off and insulting to the efforts of ARI. ARI has had more impact in the last year than it has ever had before, and it is not because people are being sucked in to some sort of "cult."
  22. The point is that while artificial selection can eliminate advantage of certain variations and give everyone equal differential success for those variations, it certainly cannot (yet) for other variations. Also, selection is not the only factor that causes a population to evolve. Genetic drift, mutation, and migration will always fluctuate allele frequencies.
  23. While artificial selection is certainly a powerful force, natural selection still plays a very important role in shaping the genetic makeup of future generations. For example, consider people with HIV. In Europe, a mutation in the CCR5 gene gives some individuals resistance to HIV. Individuals who do not have the mutated allele will become infected with HIV, and if infected before they reproduce, their disease will mentally and physically reduce their ability (and desire) to survive and reproduce. Some individuals will still reproduce, but this number will be low compared to the extent they would reproduce if they were not infected. Individuals with the mutated CCR5 gene will be exposed to HIV, not become infected, and their comparitve ability to survive and reproduce will be much higher. This mutation will naturally be selected to pass on to future generations. How can artifical selection affect this process? HIV medication can alleviate some of the symptoms that people endure, but eventually, AIDS will lead to their death. So while it might increase the reproductive and survival capacity a little, it will never be able to compete with natural selection for individuals reproducing who have the CCR5 mutation. Another example is the sickle cell allele in Africa. Individuals who are homozygous recessive experience a terrible quality of life. Heterozygotes, however, enjoy an advantage since their genotype gives them resistance to malaria, which is rampant throughout the continent. Most Africans who are homozygous recessive and consequently suffer from sickle cell anemia do not get treatment like it is available in industrialized nations. The frequency of the recessive allele naturally decreases, while the frequency of the dominant allele increases. So while artificial selection is an important factor to consider when determining whether a population has evolved, natural selection still plays an important part in determining the genetic makeup of future generations.
  24. I saw some people referring to it as such on Facebook.
  • Create New...