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William Scott Scherk

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About William Scott Scherk

  • Birthday 01/24/1958

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Interests
    Interests and hobbies are dang dilettantish, web design, cycling, psychologizing
    Passions/Interests: Argument re; human nature; good government; comprehension; current events/history; urban transport and urban design; emotion; pseudoscience, pseudophilosoply
    Favorite Movies: none but the worst, Evil Dead, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, crappy Mexican horror/wrestling movies, early Spanish gore movies, etc
    Favorite Books: Science within Reason [Susan Haack]
    Favorite Music: demented pop, Dusty Springfield, Cure, Anne Murray, Dead Kennedys, Los Popularos, classic Cuban
    Favorite Food: Cantonese
    Favorite Works of art: Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X [Francis Bacon]
    Other Favorites: My geekish side loves learning XML/PHP/MySQL and AJAX. My geekier side like Google Earth. My ultra geekish side thinks databases are neat. My normal side is fascinated by the obverse to norms.
    Pet Peeves: Forced-choice questions, pseudoscience, crap psychology, heartless cruelty.

    Philosophy: Non-Objectivist
    Ayn Rand Fiction read : Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand Non-Fiction read: Virtue of Selfishness, Romantic Manifesto

    Personality: Myers-Briggs Personality Type: Aqua

    Body Type: Average
    Height: 6'2" (187 cm)
    Eye Color: blue
    Hair Color: brown with distinguished grey

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    Intelligence ...
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    Gay / Lesbian
  • Real Name
    William Scott Scherk
  • Copyright
  • Biography/Intro
    WSS has been: Poet/HR manager of a year-round silviculture company in the great white north, - webmaster, data base admin - singer. songwriter, frontman - painter - sculptor - reporter - cook - janitor - editor - filmmaker - actor - amateur psychologist - web maven May he be all these things
  • Experience with Objectivism
    Six years of grinding up against the parts of Objectivism that I object to. This has sharpened my mind and arguments, and allowed me friendships with people I disagree with.
  • School or University
    College of New Caledonia
  • Occupation
    Consultant, Editor, Volunteer, Caterer, Multiculturalist, Gadfly, Critic

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  1. Do you follow or pay attention to sites that purport to offer accurate maps of the cut and thrust? What I hear here is that while precise figures are difficult to arrive at ... Ukraine has sufferered more casualties than Russia. Can you please share the sources you may rely on as "impartial observers"? One site that I see cited in many places reporting on details of the conflict is the Institute for the Study of War ... among which projects includes an animated timelapse: Interactive Time-lapse: Russia's War in Ukraine Today's daily report: https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-october-17
  2. You have been cleared by the tower for taxiway 9, if not yet for takeoff: Inbox - Objectivist Living

  3. Good to see you here, Doug.

  4. Like you claimed me? I am friendly, but no nothing about you. Nice to have a friend showing up in my profile ...


  5. I'm not by any means an Objectivist, brother. An interested bystander, perhaps, and one with a great sympathy for folks 'up against the machine,' but not an adherent. Good luck with the sales of your book. When I was in France I was surprised at the 'tightness' of what I could see of that culture. I remember being surprised at gardens in the suburbs of Paris -- so pruned and bollarded and crimped and gated and forced into conformity that it seemed the householders were angry with the poor shrubbery. It wasn't till I spent some time in the Sauterne that I realized Paris wasn't France . . .
  6. Thanks for the links, Dominique. One question occurs to me . . . why do you use 'the author of Grandoria' and 'Dominique Raymond Poirier himself" rather than 'me'? I don't know what to say, except to quote from a terrible/wonderful scene between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the movie Whatever Happened To Baby Jane. The Davis character had been systematically tormenting her sister, and now attempts to reason with her . . . Crawford: You wouldn't be able to do these awful things to me if I wasn't still in this chair! Davis: But you are, Blanche! You are in that chair!
  7. I am a bilingual Canuckistani and followed the links to Facebook and to the two forums noted. There is some apparent suspicion that a newbie poster is actually the author (/a brother or friend of the author) of Children of Grandoria, and so suspicion that the newbie is indulging in a bit of (hidden) self-promotion. These are huge forums with very large readership. As far as I can tell there is no banning or 'censoring' of discussion, just a rather dire dismissiveness and suspicious/supercilious attitudes. In the context of French literary squabbles, this is not particularly notable -- not to take a swing at 'The French' or anything, but the world of literature is taken much much more seriously in France than the average North American can comprehend . . . and the ability to be scornful and dismissive and arch has been taken to a level that is breathtaking at times. Perhaps the author (RichardP) can give some direct links to the worst of the commentary to illustrate the kind of reception his book has received? I would be happy to translate.
  8. According to a message sent to readers/members at her Facebook page "Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller," and also posted to her Wordpress blog, the author of "Ayn Rand and the World She Made" is shortly to visit the Archives as a registered user. She invites research questions via email (questions based on her book or other reputable sources) and writes that she will report on her visit later this month.
  9. Via Youtube, a highlight from the upcoming documentary film Bloodied But Unbowed. This highlight clip is me in the flesh nowadays talking about sex and status and community and a wave of nostalgia. Wscherk, me, was once Bill Shirt, frontman for a couple of Vancouver bands. In the promo clip you can see some vintage footage of the callow youth cavorting on stage and singing the 1979 anthem "Nothing Holding You." Strange to have the old days return in Vancouver. We were once 300 brave villagers battling the swampy, shitty music landscape of the time, banding together for mutual protection and plentiful libations. Those days are gone, but for better or worse, Vancouver's punk-era nostalgia boom continues unabated. The film premieres at DOXA festival on May 13. I am so excited. I am wearing my new pink sombrero (only those who know me on Facebook will get the in-joke). I post this here so OOites who have only seen my snarkouts here can snark right back. ___________
  10. Jake answers my query: "Objectivism would allow US Marshals to seize and destroy products such as these, or if Objectivism might allow a law against adulteration, and allow policing of such scams." Well, if under Objectivism, a law against adulteration might exist, and a law that allows policing of such scams might exists, I am left wondering just how this would work. If Stiff Nights is investigated, and its product found to be adulterated, who does the investigating? Or rather, what part or arm or agency of the government would be charged with these tasks? Here's what I don't quite get: there is and will be a Fraud Squad, one that has powers to obtain search warrants, and so on. If a customer/consumer contacts the Fraud Squad and says Zyprexa is mislabeled and mismarketed, what next? A corollary is the question of what the detecting/investigating agency would do if it was alerted that a whole type of Stiffy-type supplements probably contain a powerful blood pressure reducer. Would they investigate all those products? How does the detective differentiate between the innocent Stiffies and the adulterated Stiffies? What is the crime to be detected, in actuality? It isn't simply a generic fraud, it is selling a drug as a so-called dietary supplement. If an Objectivist government has the right/power to police such things, how will this power be constituted? Will it be pro-active and investigate widely, or only respond to particular, individual complaints? How would you want the tissue banks to be policed, Jake -- as a potential customer, right now?
  11. If you mean how would a laissez-faire approach to supplements work in the real world, I suggest you have a gander at some of the watchdog sites that monitor the scammers and fraudsters in the supplement industry, such as Supplement Genius There are some toe-curling stories of truly venal operations. My favourite is the Stiff Nights 'all natural' male-enhancement pill sold until recently . . . the secret in the mix was an analogue to the active ingredient in Viagra. Remember that Viagra's erectile properties were discovered in testing a blood-pressure reduction medication. So, taking Stiff Nights means you can lower your blood pressure. Good thing to have on the label, right? Well, not for the manufacturer. The FDA got wind of this fraud via customer complaints. My question concerns those Stiff Nights customers. In the absence of an FDA, who would the customer complain to -- the police? the neighbours? the courts? What is the recourse to someone damaged by a mislabeled or otherwise fraudulent product? Is the customer's only choice in a laissez-faire world to bring civil suit after the fact? Me, I don't see the horror in an investigatory regime funded by the public purse that has the power to intervene before death and damage occur. I made the comparison earlier between traffic regulation and the rules of the road. I wonder if a laissez-faire approach to road safety would show the same dividends of a laissez-faire approach to food and drug safety. Laws of the road, or standard rules and regulations might be rationally justified under Objectivism. Why not laws on food and drugs (and supplements)? Perhaps a completely rational society infused with Objectivism would get by with a simple "Be Safe, Everyone!" JMegan suggests "You can go all over the place and get tons of information about supplements." No dispute there. But where do you go to find out that Stiff Nights contains an active ingredient that is not on the label? In the case of Stiff Nights, you can go to their website . . . Stiffnights.com, and discover that the ingredient list does not contain the active ingredient . . . and then? Well, one can find warnings from the . . . that's right, FDA. What will replace the FDA testing and exposure of this scam under Objectivism? JMegan suggests "a lot of people don't seem to value their health and well-being enough to be really proactive in evaluating supplements." This statement would seem to mean that someone damaged by StiffNights should have investigated. Fair enough, but where and how? Who but the FDA will be likely to test the substance and publish a warning? I just don't get that supplement producers can lie and peddle dangerous 'all natural' and the consumer must somehow be charged with finding out the fraud on his or her own . . . I note that the FDA is likely gearing up to stamp out Stiff Nights as it has seized and destroyed other products: "they seized more than 14,000 dosages of products known as Shangai Regular, Shangai Ultra, Super Shangai, Naturalë Super Plus, and Lady Shangai. [ . . . ] In July 2008, the Marshals seized specific lots of illegal Xiadafil VIP tablets distributed by SEI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SEI) of Miami, Fla. The total worth of the seized tablets neared $74,000. In both cases, the firms prompted FDA enforcement by failing to act after being notified of the potential adverse health risks posed by the products. It could be that under Objectivism, there would be no FDA. But I wonder if Objectivism would allow US Marshals to seize and destroy products such as these, or if Objectivism might allow a law against adulteration, and allow policing of such scams. For more sad/funny/chilling tales of supplement scams, see Supplement Genius's 25 Top Worst Supplement Scans of 2009
  12. JMeganSnow reports on the American Association of Tissue Banks, a voluntary agency that sets standards for its members. Yes, something to think about. I tried to find out how JMegan came up with the SIX, count them, SIX tissue banks in the US, without success. I note that Ohio alone has 72 tissue banks registered with the FDA. According to a report by Harvard law student Mary Wang, in 2002 68 tissue banks were accredited by the AATB. I note that the AATB processes and procedures form the bulk of the industry standards that FDA regulations enforce. I see no way to conclude that trade in human tissues is an UNCOMPETITIVE industry. What compels the industry to sell its products? One might imagine that the AATB strictures and policies are altruistic (in the sense of a Public Interest), but note that hundreds of companies do not belong to the AATB. For those who wonder what the issues are that might rationally require strict oversight (whether from AATB or FDA), there is a decent 2002 article from the New York Times, Lack of oversight in tissue donations raising concerns It's a kind of creepy, interesting world of human tissue markets/industries. I'm one of those people who wants the highest, most rational standards applied to the harvesting and sales of the products. What is most interesting to me is that in an entirely unregulated food and drug industry, some stuffs can reach the market that are tainted or otherwise dangerous in themselves.
  13. JMeganSnow replies to my disagreement that it is much cheaper to lie than to comply with FDA requirements. JMegan had suggested by way of an example that it is "MUCH cheaper to LIE about your compliance and throw a few hundred thousand dollars at lawyers to keep the regulatory agencies off your back than to actually go through the byzantine process of compliance." I wrote that Eli Lilly lied, and paid the big price. My disagreement was that it was not cheaper for Lilly to lie than to comply. In any case, JMegan's totals are wrong. Lilly's lies to the FDA cost them much more than that 1.42 billion criminal fine. There was a separate settlement of 1.2 billion, as well as continuing legal fees and suits, including suits from Lilly's insurance companies who charge fraud, seeking $6.8 billion in damages. BNet reports that Lilly 'burned through' 6% of its revenues since 2006 on payouts for its Zyprexa follies. Lilly hasn't finished paying out on this file. BNet notes a figure of $3,914,400 and counting. That's a big price for lying, to my eyes. If JMegan might assert that 4 billion dollars is cheaper than compliance, I just don't see the reasoning.
  14. This statement is incorrect, given the real world example of Zyprexa. Lilly lied, and paid the big price.
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