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Rearden

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  1. When Greenspan testified last week before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the notoriously obtuse chairman was quite succinct. According to Greenspan:

    "Why did corporate governance checks and balances that served us reasonably well in the past break down? At root was the rapid enlargement of stock market capitalizations in the latter part of the 1990s that arguably engendered an outsized increase in opportunities for avarice. An infectious greed seemed to grip much of our business community. Our historical guardians of financial information were overwhelmed. Too many corporate executives sought ways to "harvest" some of those stock market gains. As a result, the highly desirable spread of shareholding and options among business managers perversely created incentives to artificially inflate reported earnings in order to keep stock prices high and rising. . .

    . . . It is not that humans have become any more greedy than in generations past. It is that the avenues to express greed had grown so enormously."

    I am going to go out on a limb and say that Greenspan is not an Objectivist.

    Mr. Greenspan  (since I know simply telling you won't do)

    I would have to say, from your bold emphasis, that it doesn't really jusify saying that Greenspan isn't an Objectivist. Greenspan could have meant the subjectivist form of selfishness. From what I know about Greenspan he is a very private man so to say he is or isn't an Objectivist would be very hard for me to say. I have decided to wait and see what he has to say in his autobiography, if he release’s one, before I make any Judgements about him.

    Ash :D

  2. I would have to say that Answers in Genesis is probably the worst of the creationist organisations in the world. The reason being is that, not only do they promote bad 'science' - even if you could it that - but also their calling for a Reformation within Christianity. Anyone who knows there history of the reformations knows that it not only affects those who are within the Christianity but also those outside the Christianity, and most of the time in ends in bloodshed :D . Creationism is an evil that mankind can do without, and when Intelligent design is ruled by the supreme court to be un-constitutional hopefully that will be an end of movement [in so far as trying to get their 'science' into the public school class rooms]

    Ash B)

  3. Yes, it is amazing here at (community) college how 10% of my grade in some classes is based on attendance!!

    In Australia we don't have college's. We have TAFE schools, which sounds like your American college's. What is the age group to attend college? I was told by one American that it depends on the State you are in. For interest sake here is Australian system of schooling and it applies to all states and Territory:

    Age 4 go to kindergarten [i miss hand painting :thumbsup: ]

    Age 4/5 to 10/11 go to primary school [prep [or grade 0] to grade 6]

    Age 11/12 go to high school [Year 7 to Year 12]

    Age 17/18 go to TAFE or University [Course average for TAFE is 1-2 years; degrees can take up to four years [Engineering is longest as far as I know].

    You can of course leave school from Year 9 [Age 15/16] by law and go into a trade which means that you will go to TAFE for a little while as well.

    Ash :lol:

  4. Does anyone know of other distributed computing projects?  If so, which do you like to participate in?  If you don't participate for philosophical reasons, why?

    (Note to mods, this topic is not in anyway intended to be some sort of advertisement.)

    Here at Deakin University [Waurn Ponds Campus] , Australia. We have an on going distributed system program that has been going for a number of years. It was first called RHODUS. Now it is called GENSIS. It is headed by Professor Andrei Goscinski who was the first person, as far as know, to release a scientific papers dealing with Distributed systems. I think the paper was released in 1981, though I will have to check my resources.

    As far as participating in GENSIS, Andrei is pretty protective of it. So only those who doing there PhD under Andrei get to work on. Note: I am only a lonely Master's Student. As for what type of research I would like to do on GENSIS I am not sure. I will have to think on that one.

    Note to crackers/hackers: GENSIS is an independent system that is not attached to internet so don't bother wasting your time trying to get into the system.

    Ash :thumbsup:

  5. Some people are probably familiar with this site, but I figured I'd post it anyway.  It's basically a catalogue of responses you can use against the absurd arguments of Creationists. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

    This is a good resource site, especially the quote mining project. :thumbsup:

    Philosophical though, it is a nightmare. That is, whoever is doing the article also promotes their philosophical view so you endup with a mish mash of subjectivism and determinism usually.

    As for Creationism or intelligent design died almost 150 years ago and as far as I am concern it can remain dead.

    Lastly, I do know of a very funny creationist website called Answers in Genesis. I thought it was a parody until I saw that these guys were not joking. Image doing a Creationism exam? It would be so easy.

    Q1: Where did all the variety of horses come from? The biblical god Yahweh did it. [Correct]

    Q2: How did the solar system develop? The biblical god Yahweh did it. [Correct]

    Q3: Where did life come from? God did it [incorrect] The biblical god Yahweh did it. :lol:

    Creationism is so lacking intelligence that a five year old child could do their 'science' since they have nothing except 'God did it'. Oh! Sorry 'The biblical god Yahweh did it' :lol:

    Ash :lol:

  6. Is this the same thing as Vampire: The Masquerade?  I'm not fond of the Storyteller system in general, possibly because any time I've played it I had a dysfunctional group.  I know there's approx.  13,000 versions of Storyteller, including Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Wraith, Abberant . . . of course I play d20 so I can't complain about THAT.

    Vampire: The Masquerade was the first set released. Click here for Vampire: The Masquerade. Vampire: The Eternal Struggle is now what the game is called. Vampire: The Eternal Struggle was printed on better cards but the withdraw was that a few cards went out of the original set. Click here for the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle webpage. Anyway they released a RPG of Vampire: The Eternal Struggle. It was alot of fun playing the different clans.

    Ash B)

  7. I was a bit curious to know if anyone else here plays role-playing games.  I've found it to be an enjoyable, albeit expensive, hobby and almost a form of performance art.  I'm aware that RPG's aren't held in much esteem, and I'd love to hear from anyone wanting to express that side of things, too.

    Here's my favorite systems:

    Dungeons & Dragons (the NEW new one) 

    Deadlands

    Mutants and Masterminds

    Unless you're a serious fanatic I doubt you'll find a system I haven't seen, though.

    Actually I am quite fond of playing RPG's. I have played Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, D & D and Advance D&D and Necromunder. The game, though not a RPG, is Magic: The gathering by Wizards of Coast. Great Game magic :confused: .

    Ash :)

  8. I've been noticing a phenomena when I "debate" (if that's what you want to call it, since they mostly only accuse Ayn Rand and the ARI of being a cult) non-Objectivists. I will frequently get a response from them that I am "talking down" to them. This has confused me, as the statements I present are always rational and adhere to logic and reason.

    My question is: has anyone else noticed this phenomena when debating non-Objectivists? What are the motives behind this statement? Personally, I'm inclined to believe it's only a straw man they're using to evade the issue at hand when they feel emotionally wounded.

    Also, before someone says it, I know it's not all non-Objectivists which do this. I've frequently encountered non-Objectivists who were almost rational in their thought process and did not invoke the "talking down" line.

    I usually get hit with that I am in a cult, doesn't matter if you say your an admirer of Ayn Rands, ARI or an Objectivist. My usually response is "How do you have a cult of individuals each thinking for themselves?" From the persons response I judge whether to further the conversation. Most times people, who say your in cult, don't know what they're talking about when it comes to Objectivism; thereby I tell them to go read "Atlas Shrugged". That way they can go correct them selves and for those who have read "Atlas Shrugged" and still continue to say you’re in a cult, than those people are not worth talking to about Objectivism, thereby end the conversation or change the subject.

    Ash :confused:

  9. Omigod!

    Someone PLEASE revoke NIJamesHughes moderator privileges before he does any more damage!

    I think this whole situation should not only revoke NIJamesHughes moderator privileges but this person shouldn't be allowed back on the forum for this act. I only hope Greedy will act swiftly and justly. As for being a moderator I do think it should be required that moderators know the basics of the Objectivism philosophy being that this forum and website is Objectivismonline.net.

    Ash :confused:

  10. 1. Ayn Rand (100%) Click here for info

    2. Aristotle (92%) Click here for info

    3. John Stuart Mill (81%) Click here for info

    4. Aquinas (78%) Click here for info

    5. Epicureans (75%) Click here for info

    6. Plato (68%) Click here for info

    7. Jeremy Bentham (67%) Click here for info

    8. Spinoza (65%) Click here for info

    9. Kant (61%) Click here for info

    10. Stoics (60%) Click here for info

    11. St. Augustine (57%) Click here for info

    12. Jean-Paul Sartre (55%) Click here for info

    13. Nietzsche (54%) Click here for info

    14. Thomas Hobbes (54%) Click here for info

    15. David Hume (43%) Click here for info

    16. Prescriptivism (42%) Click here for info

    17. Cynics (40%) Click here for info

    18. Ockham (36%) Click here for info

    19. Nel Noddings (9%) Click here for info

    Ash :thumbsup:

  11. Quoting from Ayn Rand (in Letters of Ayn Rand):

    "But the fact is that Roark did not actually rape Dominique; she had asked for it, and he knew that she wanted it. A man who would force himself on a woman against her wishes would be committing a dreadful crime. What Dominique liked about Roark was the fact that he took the responsibility for their romance and for his own actions. Most men nowadays, like Peter Keating, expect to seduce a woman, or rather they let her seduce them and thus shift the responsibility to her. That is what a truly feminine woman would despise. The lesson in the Roark-Dominique romance is one of spiritual strength and self-confidence, not of physical violence."

    "It was not an actual rape, but a symbolic action which Dominique all but invited. This was the action she wanted and Howard Roark knew it."

    Case Closed :thumbsup:

    Ash

  12. Well, again, I cannot speak for ARI, but, in general, it is honest and just to judge people not simply by the previous mistakes they made, but also by who and what they are now. There are, of course, things that people are capable of doing that are unforgivable, but personally I would not treat previous association with the TOC, in and by itself, in that way. I would be rather suspicious of someone who was intimately involved for some time with that organization and its prime members -- and it would take a lot more than just hearing a condemnation made of the TOC, even for the right reasons, before I could gain trust in the intellectual honesty and integrity of such a person -- but past involvement with the TOC would not preclude me being open to evidence of substantial change.  

    I do not mean to imply that Mrs. Hsieh is such a person, but only that condemnation of an anti-Objectivist organization such as the TOC is not a guarantee of positive and proper support for Objectivism.

    Again thanks for that insight Stephen. I was wondering what dealings you've had with the ARI? The reason I ask this question is just so I can make a judgement about your post. Whether you have had specific dealings with ARI or more general. Note: I have taken your statement about not speaking for ARI into account.

    I should add that while it is nice to see Mrs. Hseih break with the TOC, that in itself does not necessarily imply that she must then be an Objectivist in the full sense that the word must apply to a spokesperson for the ARI. I do not know enough about her to judge either way, but there are people who associate themselves with Objectivism and denounce both the TOC and ARI.

    Also, I should like to distance myself from Mrs Hseih and her works, since I have had no dealings with her myself. As for the part about association and to clarify my position, I am in full agreement with Ayn's philosophy, but I don't consider my self apart of either organisation. The main reason for this is that I live Australia, though I do support ARI via donations while I don't donate to TOC, thereby I am at a serious disadvantage of trying to make sound judgement on the issue of TOC and ARI. Hence I have left this issue as arbitrary.

    Lastly Steven, could you explain or clarify your following statement "condemnation of an anti-Objectivist organization such as the TOC" a little further? TOC, as far as I know they support the philosophy Objectivism [Click here ] though I would agree they are inconsistent with it, thereby how can they be an anti-Objectivist organisation.

    regards

    Ash :thumbsup:

  13. I cannot speak for ARI, but it is my impression that ARI would not want to have "a speaker on the area of TOC." To do so would be to dignify that organization beyond its actual worth, to elevate it to a level beyond which it deserves. ARI is in the business of promoting Objectivism, not swatting its enemies. Anyway, that is my view.

    Thanks Stephen for your view, which is what I am after since alot of you would have more experience with the ARI organisation than I. When I wrote a rough draft of this post I didn't include "as a speaker on the area of TOC or something similar?". This part was included, later, to give an example of something she might be able to a talk on. The main point was could she be accepted at ARI organisation, to promote Objectivism, at all due to her past association with TOC.

    Ash :D

  14. I wondered that too after reading his op-ed "The human spirit of Christmas."

    Diana Hsieh gave that as an example in her "A public statement on the Objectivist Center"    www.dianahsieh.com/toc/statement.html

    I would be interested in knowing if this lady might be accept at ARI as a speaker on the area of TOC or something similar? Or, how it works is that once you have affliated with an organisation like TOC you can't join ARI and vice versa. I have to admit my ignorance here because I live in Australia, thereby the ARI/TOC debate/issue, if there really is a debate/issue that is :D, isn't really dealt with here. The only time that ARI and TOC comes up in discussion I have with people is when a anti-Objectivist is hostile towards the philosophy, thereby using the issue as a weapon against Objectivism. So if anybody can explain some of the 'inner workings' here I would appreciate it.

    Ash :lol:

  15. Does anyone know how to learn c++ most effeciently? I have tried google but it didn't result in anything I wanted :(

    The book I used to learn C++ was "Absolute C++" by Walter Savitch. I found this book to be really good in helping to learn the language. Also this book was the pre-req for comp sci at Deakin University [Australia]. I also found reading Ayn Rand's "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" , and recommend it to all who want to learn OO, to be of great help in dealing with Abstractions [Of course this book offers much more]. Abstractions, in my experience, is the hardest thing to learn for a novice OO programmer. But once they understand Abstractions, thanks to Ayn, OO becomes very easy. Note: This is just for interest sake that OO in comp sci at Deakin has a fail rate of about 75% to 85%. The exam for it is really extreme :lol: . I heard that one person got 6% out of 60%. Not good.

    Anyway the Savitch book explain things pretty good and gives you many example programs in it. Though, I have talked to others in the industry about the book and they say the book takes the long approach to writing programs and that many of the examples could be cut down alot.

    Ash :D

  16. I have not read this thread at all, but just wanted to comment that there is actually good reason to think that a historical Jesus never existed – while a “Savior myth” was common to many groups and cultures, there are no first-hand accounts of Jesus outside the Bible.

    Some quick Google hits:

    http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/home.htm

    http://www.infidels.org/library/historical...eally_live.html

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

    In any case, the issue really isn’t that important, other than as a historical curiosity.  (Unless you’re Christian, in which case facts and evidence are irrelevant anyway.)

    Actually, I am reading two scholarly books on the subject of the Jesus Myth. They are "Deconstructing Jesus" by Dr Robert Price and the "Jesus Mysteries" by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy [Click here for the Jesus Mysteries website. Robert Price articles can be found here . I think these books provide enough evidence to show that the story of Jesus in the bible are simple plagarised :lol: works taken from other religions.

    Ash :)

  17. I bought the DVD set of Star Wars Trilogy. It is an interesting set since Lucas has improved upon the movies again. Jabba looks different, and better, and the ending in Jedi is slightly different. This might be get me into a bit of trouble but I like the new improvements upon the Star Wars Movies. Anyway I can't wait until the new movie comes out. :)

    Ash

  18. Welcome to the forum!

    I think there are too many Ash's now. (j/k)  I suggest we all change our names to either Bruce or Sheila such that we may be properly identified in public as students of philosophy... :)

    And now, the philospher's song....

    VES

    Thanks for the welcome R.C. You just made me think of a Monty Python skit I saw, in which they all played Australian's, and all they went by the name "Bruce" except one who was called "Michael". Since this caused some confusion amongst the Bruce's they changed Michael’s name to Bruce hence eliminating the confusion. It was a pretty funny skit in my opinion.

    Ash

  19. AshRyan wrote:

    Welcome to the board, Ash.

    Ash

    Thanks Ash and y_feldblum (maybe we should change the name of the forum to AshLand instead of objectivismonline.net *only kidding*) for your welcome. I just finishing reading the posts in the TOC/ARI topic [found in the Miscellaneous]. Interesting stuff and quite refreshing to see how other Objectivists handle that "cult" allegation. I have been hit with that statement ("So your apart of that cult?" or "But isn't that a cult?" or that throw that Shermer Article at me) so many times. Anyway again thanks for the welcome.

    Ash :o

  20. Hi everyone my name is Rearden [Real name is Ashley]. I live in Australia and I have been a student of Objectivism for 4 years [i luv it]. I have two degree in Commerce (majored in Accounting, Economics, Commerical Law), Computer Science (majored in Software Development) and I am doing my Masters in Information Technology. I actually introduced myself on the OPAR discussion forum a number of months ago but I just haven't had the time to contribute to that site yet! There is just not enough time in the day for it. I have also studied a variety of areas such as philosophy (Kant, Aristotle etc etc), physics, biology, racism, religion (I was raised a christian and for some time was) and currently I am going thru some sociology. Hope to see and participate in some interesting dialogue with you guys.

    Ash :o

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