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themadkat last won the day on June 14 2011

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About themadkat

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    I'm an evolutionary biologist with an affinity for many other fields as well. I strive to integrate many disciplines of thought into a logical, cohesive whole. Obviously no piece of knowledge can contradict any other piece of knowledge, or at least one of those things is not knowledge, so I like to pull facts and perspectives from many different fields to check for contradictions or connections in ways people have not tried before.
  1. Nothing, but that's not the aim. His idea is to rally the base and increase their turnout. For all the talk we hear this election cycle about the power of independents, neither candidate is really gunning hard to get independent votes because they assume, perhaps correctly, that independents are more likely to just not bother voting since they are not passionate about either candidate. Both will continue to make emotional appeals to "summon the troops" and get them to actually come to the polls on election day. That's really what this race will come down to - who can get more of their fana
  2. Anyone happen to see The Dark Knight Rises yet? I saw it last night, and without giving away spoilers, I thought it was a beautiful artistic representation of what happens under anarchy or rule by "the people". The "courtroom" scene relates almost directly to this conversation.
  3. It's ridiculous and stupid to say that volunteer work is harmful or immoral. Volunteer work can be highly profitable, especially when the benefits stay close to home. There are some things that are highly desirable but are never likely to become paid work, like cleaning up local parks. If you benefit from clean local parks, it is totally logical to perhaps, I dunno, clean them up! I do agree that forced volunteerism (at which point it's kind of stupid to call it volunteering anymore) is harmful, especially when directed at young people. I don't really like rhetoric about "giving back" - I
  4. This is true. However, I don't think it is necessarily wrong to take inspiration from a fictional character. I think the more salient point was that Dagny was a railroad executive, not a philosopher. The people on this board have at least a passing (and often more than a passing) interest in philosophy. For those of us who are out-and-out academics, debating with Marc (or anyone else) can be a value, hence why we choose to engage in it. Assuming that we're all (at least mostly) self-interested around here, why would we choose to waste our time?
  5. Marc, Let's back up a bit. First of all, you seem to have bought into the rationalist/empiricist dichotomy in analytical philosophy. You are an empiricist, and you are treating Objectivism as if it is a rationalist philosophy. It is not. Objectivism is inductive. It begins with observations about reality and builds concepts from that. It denies that there is some "higher truth" to be had from "pure logic" (i.e. rationalism) or that there is no knowledge beyond immediate sense perception (i.e. empiricism). It is possible to build upon perceptual observation to make valid concepts beca
  6. What this particular scene (and most of the rest of the novel The Fountainhead) leads me to conclude is that Dominique is a bloody fruit bat. I love the Fountainhead. I may actually like it better than Atlas Shrugged. It's hard to say. But I do not and have never liked Dominique, nor do I understand why a heroic man like Roark would entertain an attraction to such a head case. I also agree with Eiuol that this scene bespeaks Rand's odd gender conceptions. Think about the scene in reverse, with Dominique taking Roark. It doesn't make any sense (though it could be pretty hot if written we
  7. I think there's a big reason for why people make large donations to things that is being missed here, especially by those who are attributing it all to guilt or an altruistic morality in the culture. Prestige is huge. When you give a lot of things away, this is a form of social signaling - first of all, that you HAVE a lot of things to give (i.e. you are strong/capable) and secondly, that you are "good" (that is to say, you accept the standards of the larger society enough to behave in pro-social ways). This type of prestige has a lot of practical benefits to the giver. Throughout human hi
  8. First off - I believe you. Secondly, there is nothing wrong with you. They are the ones with the problem. You just have to take that, internalize it, make it your shield. They are wrong and evil and too stupid to see it. I also happen to be Polish and have a Polish last name, but where I grew up, that was actually pretty common. I'm sure there was anti-Polish sentiment in some areas of town due to history, but since Poles and Slavs generally were and are such a large group in my hometown they wouldn't exactly be able to target a given person. No, when I was a kid I basically just got
  9. I'm reading this now, in the free first-edition PDF. I'm not finished yet, but after four chapters I highly recommend it. It is definitely easier to understand if you have a passing knowledge of the history of philosophy particularly since the Enlightenment, but I think many people on this board fit that bill.
  10. Author's note: rather than try to explain the origins and purpose of this story, I will just let people read it, and then answer any questions about the references, etc. in the story. All I will say here is that the "I" in the story is not me, although it is a person I know. Coffee Copyright 2010 A. Kat I found myself restless one afternoon, one of those fall afternoons where no one’s around and you just aren’t really sure what to do with yourself. My house was deathly quiet except for the occasional creak of the weathered lumber in the wind. I couldn’t understand why, but I was vagu
  11. I agree with you 100%. I think perhaps there is some confusion here between two different categories: that class of people that are "women" and that class of people who are "women that are potential partners" (i.e. you would actually have interest in dating them). My confusion is, why would the women who act the way you say they do ever fall into the second category? Wouldn't you just quit bothering with them and find a better one? I believe this leads into my second point of confusion. We are presumably talking about people who an Objectivist or an Objectivist-leaning person would want
  12. And those differences are? The only thing I can think of as a big-ass difference off the top of my head (besides plumbing) is that women have a shorter time-frame, vis-a-vis their entire lives, to have children than men do. This might cause a reordering of life priorities IF AND ONLY IF having biological children is important to you. What, in your opinion, are the salient differences between men and women from the perspective of "harmonious interaction"?
  13. This is factually incorrect. Most complex organisms employ multiple sexual strategies for each sex.
  14. Check your premises. There is no biological tradition, as you say. Sometimes men do the pursuit, and sometimes women do. Not only is it culturally contingent, but it also varies within a given society. Can you present any evidence for the claim that psychologically healthy women, in general (I am softening your claim a bit), get satisfaction from being pursued in a way that a psychologically healthy man would not? Now, that said, there is no reason for you to think that YOU are not psychologically healthy and justified in preferring a more romantically aggressive male partner. As I sai
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