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Everything posted by themadkat

  1. No, it isn't. It means we tend not to. This is not news. This is a fact of human psychology. If I was arguing what you claim I was arguing, I would say that you absolutely cannot change the fact that you have evaluated something to be more valuable on the basis of sunk costs. That's not true. You can step back and say, "Hey, those costs are sunk costs and shouldn't affect my evaluation of my present situation." In other words, if you have football tickets but there is a horrible traffic snarl in your way from getting there and the weather is brutal, you are going to be more inclined to
  2. themadkat


    That was my impression, and that was why I wanted to discuss it with you. It is easy to take work in sociobiology and submit it as evidence for altruism, but I believe this is sloppiness either on the part of the scientist if that is what they concluded or sloppiness on the part of the reader if that is what they take away from an article that doesn't say that. My position is that sociobiology says no such thing (though it is a separate question as to what the personal beliefs of EO Wilson are on the matter) and I was going to explain why. My intention was not to jargon you to death. I'm j
  3. There is no way I can possibly unravel all that's going on here but, factually speaking, I'm just going to add that Sophia's point about sunk costs is a well-demonstrated trend in human psychology. We do necessarily place more value on something that has a high sunk cost and, conversely, this can cause us to overvalue something and not realize that sunk costs are just that, sunk. This is one reason fraternity hazing continues to be so brutal and that houses with the toughest pledge periods have the "strongest" brotherhoods: what the boys went through is so tough that their psychological resp
  4. themadkat


    I have a question. My PhD graduate study basically revolves around the topic this poster raises. I would like to have this discussion with the above poster, provided he is intellectually honest. However, I recognize that this is not the proper section of the forum to do this. Can the mods move this topic to a better location if the OP agrees to continue the discussion with me in a serious manner? I'm not an Objectivist myself, but as I believe my position on the matter would be much more consonant with Objectivism than the OP it could still provide a value.
  5. Yeah, the Robins are kind of interesting. Dick Grayson has more or less "grown up" now and is on his own as Nightwing, although he is still part of the Bat-Family. Jason Todd was more or less just kind of a brash thug, as was made apparent after he came back from the dead. Tim Drake, the current Robin, is supposedly not as physically adept as Dick Grayson was, but he is a superior detective, and according to Batman he may eventually be a better detective than Batman himself. On a side note, I believe Teen Titans Robin is Dick Grayson.
  6. Corsets, ropes, and shouting? What, do you only run into women at BDSM parties or something??? I have to agree though, a lot of women have incredibly boring interests.
  7. What exactly constitutes an "enemy civilian"? The definition of a civilian is a noncombatant. So how are you to say they are your enemy? What's to say they have anything to do with your military opponent? I understand that sometimes civilians aid and abet the enemy, by providing them supplies or shelter, for instance. But there is no reason to think that all civilians do that. I think the conception of civilians in an occupied country as the enemy is extremely dangerous and unproductive. The truth is that you cannot actually end a conflict without winning the "hearts and minds", even th
  8. Thanks man. Looks like this book could be worth checking out. I found it in pretty good condition for less than 2 bucks at a thrift store yesterday. I bet it will still be there. Maybe I'll grab it.
  9. Anyone read this book? Any thoughts on it? Flipped through it real quickly and it seemed interesting, but it's hard to say much about such an involved book without really reading it carefully.
  10. OK, you know what, this is the second time I've been condescended to on this thread. What's the deal? I forgave sNerd because he didn't necessarily know that I do my own finances. What's your excuse, now that I've made it clear I'm not a financial moron? Don't presume to tell me you don't have a comparable tax burden as well. Apart from your income tax, are you counting your social security and medicare tax, which there is no way to reduce regardless of any loopholes, etc? Are you counting the sales tax you pay? Are you counting your property taxes, which yes, you do pay, even if you re
  11. Yeah, I get that. Pull is bad. Anyone can see that. But unfortunately the entire power structure of American politics is pretty much based on pull and patronage. It's almost like some kind of perverse protection racket. I don't see it going away in our lifetime, but hopefully perhaps we can beat it back a little. The point I was trying to make is that as we change things for the better, we have to make sure not to just remove the influence from some areas but leave it in others and call it good, because that still leaves some people at a competitive disadvantage for reasons that are whol
  12. I am aware of this. I prepare and file my own taxes. The government subsidizes the fact that I have borrowed money, for instance, because I can write off my interest. I do not think anybody should be getting tax breaks because I find it more than a bit silly that the government is encouraging me to take certain courses of action that I would not otherwise, in order to shelter my money from certain taxes. If I wanted to do those things, I would, I do not require an extra incentive beyond that. I would much rather the government just not charge me, nor anyone else, that amount. I recognize
  13. The only problem with giving tax breaks to big corporations, as opposed to giving tax breaks to everyone, is that it is an anticompetitive practice (big surprise there). If these megacorps are cutting special deals with the government that would not be available to newer players, or even certain other major players, this is a bad thing. It's more or less the aristocracy of pull. I'm not saying that's what's going on here. I'm just pointing out that tax breaks are not as clear-cut beneficial as some make it sound. In fact, it may be tougher to tell the difference between a tax cut and a cl
  14. I find this story fascinating because as I recall, Paulson came to speak at Dartmouth's 2007 graduation and I listened to the speech (my best friend was graduating). He seemed fairly pro-free market and I am surprised to hear this coming down from him. Apparently he is not what he seemed. I think the current crisis shows we need to drastically cut back the Fed's power, not increase it. Suppose I'll have to keep an eye on this Paulson fellow.
  15. It's funny you mention that xkcd comic. The one about "Someone is wrong on the internet!", my group of friends passed that around chuckling about how one or more of the group members is completely that person, especially the compulsive Wikipedia editor.
  16. I want to clarify that even though I got to it in a roundabout way, I am specifically referring to pain in a sexual context. I'm not sure what you mean about conquest. For me that's not what it was about and frankly if I did feel it was about conquering me I probably wouldn't enjoy it. What I'm talking about is using pain as a mechanism to enhance or as a preliminary to other fun getting-off-related activities. I don't think this is something that would work for everyone. I'm disputing the notion that there is necessarily something psychologically wrong with you if you enjoy pain. I ag
  17. Touche. But I challenge you with this question: do we (rationally) enjoy pleasure intrinsically, or as a response to its cause as well? I'm cautious of claims that something is intrinsically this or that, especially such contextually loaded things as pleasure and pain.
  18. I'm going to respectfully disagree and say that sometimes pain can be enjoyed for its own sake, although I'm going to distinguish between physical pain and psychological anguish as I have never enjoyed any kind of emotional suffering. I'm not sure if I can give a line of reasoning that will satisfy any here as to why physical pain may be enjoyable for its own sake other than to say it's tied into a particular state of mind and it's probably not for everyone. I also want to say that I'm not in alignment with Sieur Bertrand's argument, as frankly I'm not even sure what the heck he's trying t
  19. Thanks for all the well-wishes, guys. I'm hoping that in 6 or 7 years I'll have another announcement similar to DarkWaters so I can be Professor Kat. And in case I do ever make it over to Austin, which isn't a big stretch, I'd love to talk to Tara Smith, as ethics is the area of philosophy I find most interesting. I knew I was in the right place when I was interviewing the folks I'll be working with at Texas A&M and we had a good laugh on how awful and stupid postmodernism is and my potential advisor said she was drawn to my applications because I talked about ideas and research quest
  20. I guess I would say I do. I have been in my relationship for seven years now and couldn't be happier. We have every intention of remaining together forever. We've been living together for about six months and it's been great. But I also have a couple extremely close male friends. I'm not sure what you mean by "independent" friendship, but I assume you mean they are at least mostly my friend and not "our" friend. I would say that's true of these fellows. My man knows them and they are friendly and get along but he is not close with them like I am, he just likes them as good guys. I am a
  21. I want to share this with you folks: I took this today. It has incredible personal significance for me. For anyone not familiar with the logo on the hat, it's Texas A&M, which is where I will be pursuing my PhD come August. Getting into grad school has been quite an ordeal, a project of nearly two years' work, but I was able to get into a program that is perfect for me and I did it entirely on my terms. I'll spare the details unless folks really want to know, but I definitely want to make it clear that this represents a huge achievement for me.
  22. I think the notion that one has to "sow their wild oats" before "settling down" is wrongheaded. First of all I want to point out that to my way of thinking assuming you will be a different sort of person before you find your life partner vs. after is stupid and can cause a lot of problems. You need to be who you really are, all of your best self, in order to FIND and GAIN a relationship with your life partner. What good could ever come by getting used to being a certain way and then expecting someone else will come along and drastically change you? All seems a bit secondhanded to me. I
  23. I confess I find this whole discussion to be a bit weird. I have very good friends, close friends, of both sexes and it has never been a problem. Granted, my "best" friend, who is not my romantic partner, is usually female, but not always. I have been in my romantic relationship for years now, happily (I was extremely fortunate to find a fantastic guy on the first time around and we're sticking with it). I would never dream of giving up on the possibility of having close male friends. I think it would be more than a bit strange to have a close male friend who my man doesn't at least know
  24. It's a bit off the original subject but it sounds like we're getting into a discussion over whether androgyny is sexy and what, if any, conclusions a person may reach about themselves if they find that androgyny is attractive (I would say virtually none, but oh well). Some people are bound to find androgyny sexy and some aren't, and that's cool. I personally don't care for it, not as far as physical features go at least. I like big furry dudes with muscles and a medium/deep voice. Then again, I can definitely be attracted to an androgynous personality, so there's that. For whatever reason
  25. Several major clerics in Iran have basically told him to get bent. He doesn't really have a power base anymore.
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