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Everything posted by themadkat

  1. Ayn Rand was wrong on that one. Happens. And while she may have thought homosexual acts disgusting, she certainly didn't seem to have a problem with individual homosexuals, as one of her best friends was gay (her husband Frank's older brother Nick). Anyways, I think that the argument of what "causes" homosexuality entirely misses the point. While I believe it is true that people's orientation is more likely "hard-wired" than not, I think I would have the same opinion of it if it were a totally voluntary choice moment-to-moment and everyone's sexuality was malleable (I think most agree, h
  2. I didn't think anyone was using it to argue against rational self-interest. Also, an evolutionarily stable strategy does exist in nature - any behavior that persists in a population long-term and increases the fitness of its practicioners could be an ESS. The key is, these concepts are not meant to describe human interaction necessarily. The original application of game theory to ecology was to answer the question, "How could cooperative behavior evolve and persist (in non-human animals) if those who cooperate risk a fitness penalty against those that would take advantage of a cooperation?"
  3. An evolutionarily stable strategy is a strategy that can persist in a population despite the intrusion of competing strategies. It doesn't have to be the "best", or "win", it just has to persist given the current conditions. Obviously it's a very context-dependent thing - no strategy is going to be stable and persist in all times and all conditions. It can also be a frequency-dependent phenomenon, as erikatrka was explaining (got what you were saying now, thanks). I don't know that there is such a thing as an evolutionarily stable equilibrium, unless you mean a population where the frequen
  4. But if that were the case, you would no longer have an evolutionarily stable strategy, and cooperation will disappear from that population. Unless what you're saying is, the environment may change later to make cooperation favorable again, or it is a frequency-dependent strategy and will become less successful if the proportion of cheaters gets too high.
  5. My fellow and I met and befriended on the internet by happy accident. Objectivism had nothing to do with it, but Xena might have LOL My mate is actually not Objectivist at all (you could say I'm not either) and doesn't like Rand anywhere near as much as I do. But he's got a general commitment to reason and individuality just like I do, so, good enough.
  6. Just a point of clarification on this puzzle: both 'prisoners' are supposed to know all the facts about the payoffs of the various options, but the reason they are separate is so they cannot coordinate their actions. Each makes his choice independently and without knowledge of what the other is doing. The reason that the only "rational" choice for the individual is to rat is because if you rat, the two possible outcomes for you are no sentence or five years, whereas if you do not rat the two possible outcomes for you are six months or ten years. Even though it is more likely you will be ser
  7. I think that especially in the younger folks, people who are finding themselves, sometimes you have to find out what feels wrong before you can make a serious attempt at seeking out what's right. A 16-year-old shouldn't necessarily be expected to be holding out for their "true love", and I think you can have a healthy sexual experience with someone you perhaps like, or like a whole lot, but don't necessarily love. Alternatively, you may think you love someone, but then realize that what you are feeling is not love and that love is something else. I think sex can help in this discovery proce
  8. Well hell, I'm game. General: Profession (current or intended): Graduate student in Biological Anthropology, intending to be a researcher/professor Fields of interest: biology but specifically behavioral ecology, philosophy, synthesizing broad knowledge bases Talents: You're going to make me list but a few? Seriously, though, I dabble in a bit of everything, but don't often put the time in to become really good. The exception would be my academic career which I am very serious about. But I am also athletic, playing several sports, sing and play several instruments, write fiction
  9. This is why I never feel guilty that I have federally subsidized student loans (government paid the interest while I was in school), nor that we as a family accepted state aid for my sister's disability.
  10. Gonna have to disagree with you here K-Mac. Government or no government both lenders and borrowers made incredibly poor decisions and ignored most of the fundamentals of economics. It isn't rocket science for someone to know better than to buy more house than they can afford, or not to lend an amount of money to someone that, based on their income and credit history, there is very little chance of them repaying. Both borrowers and lenders were more or less counting on the housing market to keep going up at bubble rates forever, a completely irrational expectation. All markets experience cy
  11. Saw it. Loved it. Although I did get irate when one of my friends used a line from the movie against me (a liberal relativist buddy) - "Behold, the atheist who believes in God!" That was, in the movie, the reporter to the defense lawyer.
  12. They can't uncap the Social Security payroll tax, because the payout when you're old is directly correlated to the amount you pay in. They could never afford to uncap it and then face paying millionaires all that money back. If they changed the system so that the payout was no longer proportional to what you pay in, they would have to admit that it is straight out welfare for the old instead of continuing to pretend that it is government-sponsored retirement savings.
  13. I think a state should be able to make its own laws and policies so long as none of them contradict the United States Constitution (in other words, no state may pass laws abridging citizens' rights to speak, assemble, speedy trial, etc). It's one of the reasons we have the various state governments instead of one giant blob of a nation. I also think it's a good idea to allow the states to be something of a showcase for the "marketplace of ideas" so that people can see practically what succeeds and what fails. Of course this is all predicated on the notion that every state has the right of
  14. I understand what you mean about having a difficult time letting things go in other people. What I eventually concluded for myself is that they're just not worth it and, just like with me, the best lessons in life are figured out yourself, and those are the things that really stay with you. If a person honestly makes the effort to find the good and the true in this world, they will. Until they make that choice their own there is really no helping them. You need to focus on your highest value, you. It's one thing if you are very close to someone and you see them hurting themselves and they
  15. I have a bad habit of staring when guys do that. It's because the male anatomy intrigues me. Part of it is sexual but part of it is also just, "Hey, I don't have that, that's kind of cool, I want to investigate". A certain intimate male in my life has literally given me the "hey my face is up here" speech a couple times LOL But the thing is, he finds boobs fun and interesting whereas I'm just like "eh, they're attached, I deal with them everyday, they're not that great"
  16. I saw it as more along the lines of if everyone here is determined to ignore your virtues and punish you for the good you do, you should get out and go to a place where you will be treated justly.
  17. It is an interesting question. I can see no real-world reason why the price of oil has gone up THIS high. Demand (in the US) has actually gone down some as people try to use less.
  18. I'm amused by the fact that I've achieved over half this list. And I'm not even a man! Most of them seem OK.
  19. I minored in Philosophy in addition to my Biology degree. That worked out pretty well.
  20. I need to second Equilibrium being a fantastic movie. I really enjoyed it. I especially liked the part where we find out his son and daughter don't take their medicine either but they have been doing such an amazing job of faking that they fooled the father into thinking they were basically spying on him.
  21. My friends who grew up in such neighborhoods. And by "barely even come", I mean that they'll show up when they get around to it, long after the shooting's stopped or they could have possibly helped anyone. Basically after the point where they might possibly have to do anything because it's a "blighted neighborhood". Shoot, I know some neighborhoods like that where they aren't even that bad! My coworker lives in a little development in an otherwise tourist-trap town. Because some bad stuff (unrelated to her) happens in her project, she says when she calls for any kind of services, be they
  22. I live in NH (moved here for college, not the FSP) and it's quite nice. I'm leaving soon but I'd love to come back here someday.
  23. I think a false alternative is being presented here. Taking out Saddam Hussein is in NO way equivalent to the military actions we have taken in Iraq. I do believe the US, or anyone else, would be entirely justified in killing Saddam Hussein, but that is a whole different animal than making war on a whole country and slaughtering thousands of their citizens who did nothing, as well as needlessly putting our soldiers in harm's way. If anyone can explain to me why the trillions of dollars we have pissed away on this moronic endeavor could not have been saved but for the price of one bullet fro
  24. Whoa whoa whoa! Slow down there, cowboy. "Relationship broken, add more committment" is a time-tested formula...it's tested to fail every time. You need to work out whatever's going on BEFORE you throw yourself into anything. I reiterate my previous point that she must demonstrate a willingness to work at this relationship too or nothing you do will succeed. And I'm a woman too, so I don't think the above necessarily holds from a "girl's perspective".
  25. It's worth renting. One thing that I was able to do on the second viewing is, on the first time around I was very caught up in Ennis's story seeing as he is the main character. This time around I focused more on Jack, who is frankly the more sympathetic character to me anyway. I picked up on some things I didn't the first time either.
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