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Everything posted by jimmay

  1. If capitalism is defined as the only form of society that is based on the recognition of individual rights, that means that any activity where no coercion is involved, is capitalistic by nature. That even extends to communes, which might be seen as anti-capitalist in spirit, but not in fact so long as individuals are not being coerced. That's the contradiction at the heart of all "communes" in free societies. If that condition is met, it's just a question of what makes the most economic sense, and in that domain I don't see how the concept of "anti-capitalist" can apply, assuming the cont
  2. Perhaps Thermopylae could be seen as a Doolittle raid... having its effect more by means of inspiration, of galvanizing moral conviction, rather than imparting any strictly strategic advantage.
  3. Which is more dangerous, the left hand of a mugger that has already wounded you heavily but is currently away from you -- or his right hand, which now suddenly holds the knife, scant inches from your neck? I remain unable to understand statements to the effect that the left as such is more dangerous than the right, or vice-versa. At the basic level we have got to stop making these distinctions, because we are still in essence dealing with a single enemy. By that I don't mean simply to recognize that they all come from the same philosophical source, I mean that we need to realize that thes
  4. I have always seen the right of a child as being the same as those of adults, with the difference that some of them are "nascent" and must be activated somehow. The metaphysical grounds of this are simply that a child has the rights of a human because they are humans, but are temporarily unable to exercise them due to conditions of nature beyond their control. I'd be interested in seeing some further enumeration of these nascent rights; for myself, these consist of the right to sustenance, and the right of contract. First, I don't see food, shelter etc. as a "right" in the same manner a
  5. I've been thinking of writing one myself. The current document's primary flaws in my eyes: 1. No definitions (with one such omission meriting its own entry below). 2. No direct codification of the purpose of government, referenced and reinforced in the "default" clause (that's the "any powers not hereby delegated" clause, which catches all unforseen possibilities... this is currently the Ninth and Tenth Amendments) 3. No "Consent of the Governed" clause dealing with the delegation of the right of retaliatory force, and the circumstances delineating the limits of the Government's
  6. If America becomes a police state, it is destroyed by all the measures that matter. It would be just another empire in that case, commanding no loyalty from me. If there are any Tooheys in the Islamist movements, they know this. I know the core Left does.
  7. It has been said around this thread that Christians/the Bible say "turn the other cheek", or "Christianity doesn't give them a cause to fight for", or "The Christians are the uncertain, hesitant and malleable side." Forgotten Rome, the Crusades and Dark Ages already? Religion is plastic; it works just as well to rationalize violence and war as it does to rationalize pacifism. Before focussing so narrowly on Christianity's soft side, you guys need to examine their tough side. I suggest firearms forums. Here's two: Glock Talk Packing.org By all indications, the religionists are get
  8. The purposes of "perfect reproduction" and "make it sound *good*" are not the same. That means that at some point, they will diverge. The recent resurgence in tube amps shows that all too well. So the answer to your question depends on whether the engineer seeks mathematical perfection, or want to sell a lot of amps. With the degree of precision now possible, the remaining variables all pertain to personal preferences.
  9. Here's an article by Lech Walesa regarding President Reagan, that I think is a good read -- especially the section towards the end about "cowboys". The Polish people, hungry for justice, preferred "cowboys" over Communists. "When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989. Poles fought for their freedom for so many years that they hold in special esteem those who backed them in their st
  10. No he wouldn't. He'd start it as some sort of informal discussion group and nurture it to prominence, but he'd never head it up. Run it, yes, but always the cat, never the cat's paw.
  11. jimmay


    Well, that would shoot down was I was about to write, i.e. that non-citizens can't be drafted. I've never heard of such a provision anywhere in my various dealings with U.S. immigration, but I was 29 when I first came here. Moreover, I thought that the U.S. military was treated like any other employer from the standpoint of immigration law, i.e. that foreigners would need a visa to enlist.
  12. Since when? You, sir, just flunked Americanism 101. Individual rights are not contingent upon citizenship. At this point, the proper policy to follow is the same as that for criminals, citizen or not: if you honestly believe you recognized one of them, call the FBI. "Informers", like anyone else, should be evaluated by context; ratting out Jews to the SS is the moral opposite of informing the Air Force where bin Laden is hiding.
  13. I've always experienced deja vu as ZiggyKD describes... I always pursue it, but it never goes anywhere. I'm inclined to see it as some sort of false recognition echo... not half-recollected but falsely recollected. That would explain why attempts to consciously pursue it never bear fruit... because unlike ordinary memories, this "recollection" bears no associational connections to the rest of your knowledge... it's literally context-free. I also wouldn't doubt its connection to sleep deprivation. Once, I tried to do two all-nighters in a row to complete a project. In the wee hours of
  14. "Now there's a man with an open mind - you can feel the breeze from here! " -- Groucho Marx
  15. When faced with that sort of claim, Ayn Rand simply said (paraphrasing) "Don't ask me what they mean by 'rational'; ask Immanuel Kant." The description that I use that seems to get the message across the fastest, is to describe the Objectivist view of reason as "unlimited". We do not grant that there is anything outside the reach of reason, and we use the exact same process to consider and evaluate ALL issues, including moral and spiritual ones. There is ONE all-encompassing form of reason. You will find that all those other "rational" types accept the division between reason and moralit
  16. Green card holder here. The actual answer spans nearly all but the last entry; for some people it's a slamdunk, for others it can be a nightmare, for most it's in between. The paths to citizenship can vary wildly. I took the employment sponsorship path, which took about three years to GC and will end up taking eight years (total) to citizenship. A friend of mine here in LA married an American, and will beat me to citizenship by two years. If you have a U.S. parent, you can go straight to citizenship in relatively little time; if you are sponsored by a U.S. relative other than a parent
  17. You answered two key parts of my question, when you made clear that consciousness is non-physical and that it is volitional, i.e. not subject to physical determinism. Now I'm curious about what exactly *is* a non-physical phenomenon? If consciousness has identity but is non-physical, then we've introduced another idea new to me; that physical phenomena are only a subset of existence, that there exists another class of distinct phenomena that is not physical and does not reduce to it, but is nonetheless causally tied to it, both ways, possesses identity and is real. You also mentioned some
  18. I've been giving this queston a lot of thought over the years. At some point I'm going to put together a Website detailing how I think it needs to be done; but here are some of the points I think need to be borne in mind. TACTICS Forget about convincing people by means of trench warfare; that is, you won't do it by straight argument. See the "anti-realism" issue you've been grappling with to see what I mean; people will take whatever smidgeon of Objectivism you communicate in the short time you have, put it into their terms of thought, and blame you for the resulting contradictions. O
  19. Fine. Learn to leverage them without sanctioning them. Amplify the things they do right, assist them when they do something valuable, and be there to pick up the ball when they drop it.
  20. I can't see radio waves, but I know that they exist. How? By means of its "footprints" in reality. In other words, *something* is propagating through the air that allows me to listen to a baseball game thousands of miles away. For the color-blind person, there is a perceptual way to show him "color" by using two chairs that look the same shade of grey to him, but one of which is red and the other green. For example, a light which affects white objects to similar degree in his vision, has a radically different effect on the two chairs. He can't see that the light is green, but he can se
  21. I would infer from this that the *mind* or consciousness is what processes information? otherwise this is a surprising statement.
  22. The non-sequitur in his argument is the idea that the values created by "grouping" are not traceable to the individuals. Where the hell does that come from? Has he ever heard of the division of labor? If I live longer because a doctor healed me, the value came from the doctor. No matter how complex a society may get, all that exist and are acting *in reality* are individuals. Even if one points out that one's life is much better with people in it, it is still those individuals who are the source of that value. Since rights only become morally relevant in the context of society (because
  23. SHAZAM! That's a key point to be made here. All forms of perception, anywhere in the universe, natural or artificial, are of finite *resolution*, which can be described as measuring ability. The terms, or *units* of resolution (not to be confused with units of a concept) change with regards to the sensory apparatus in question. Trying to resolve something in reality that is smaller than the limit imposed by the size of your smallest unit of measurement (for the eye, the individual light-sensing cells of the retina) is just guesswork, but that does not in any way invalidate the informatio
  24. Why? Even non-conscious entities have causal efficacy. Doesn't the interaction with a rolling boulder cause the tree to fall? Sure, but what caused the boulder to roll? When referring to non-conscious entities, a chain can be established going both forward and back from the incident in question. The rolling boulder came from a cliff, which is being eroded by wind and water, and which was formed by sedimentation in an ancient ocean and then uplifted by geologic processes driven by tectonic movement etc. Similarly, you can go forward and observe the wood beetles etc that eat the wood, res
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