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Everything posted by themadkat

  1. Off-topic, I'm sorry to hear about the wife situation, Maximus. But in response to the OP, of course jealously is a proper response. Values are things which you act to gain or keep. If you think you are about to lose something of high value you should react strongly. The question is what you do with that jealously or whether it's constructive. If you see your lover's eye wandering, for instance, an appropriate response would be "I need to make sure I am at my best to retain his affections and maybe need to make sure he values what I think he does." "I'm going to make him sleep on the
  2. I agree with you. A friend forwarded me this article, I read it, and this was my reply to her: "I don't know about this one. It makes sense from an Oist standpoint or to someone well-versed in Oist ethics at least, but it's not going to have an impact with the population at large, as you can see from the comments. It's like starting in the middle. He never justifies why morality is a personal code of conduct and decision making (though it is) and does not explain why subjectivism and hedonism are incompatible with such a code. I guess there wasn't space but I feel like articles like t
  3. This thread is depressing me...apparently I'm shredding my vocal chords with every karaoke performance of "Crazy on You" and "Bring Me to Life"...gah.
  4. I had to laugh at this a little. I suggested something similar to this in chat once, evolutionary hypotheses about human behavior, and was called a determinist and all other manner of nasty things. That aside, from what I know of conflict in the social species, including ours, this is the scenario. Social living imposes a cost on the organisms that engage in it, so if it's maintained over time there has to be some benefit(s) that exceed the cost. Defense against predators, warmth, ease of finding a mate, etc. are some of these possible benefits. But the thing is, once a species becomes
  5. In that instance, perhaps (although intelligence is not the only measure of "complexity"). The point is that for a given organism they may evolve to be more or less intelligent depending on the environment. Also, on balance, it's not correct to say that life as a whole is getting more complex. There are more highly complex lifeforms now than there were 2 billion years ago but that's because there is a "left wall" to the distribution, so to speak. The dominant lifeforms on the planet are still unicellular.
  6. Sounds about right. The appropriate response to scummy record companies is just not to buy from them. It might still be difficult to distinguish whether an artist has retained control over their tracks (thus having the right to say "yes go ahead please download these old demos, etc."
  7. Speaking as an evolutionary biologist who will shortly be teaching evolution to university students, I will say that in my opinion evolution is taught poorly and inadequately, especially at the high school level and before. A lot of people in my class will disbelieve evolution without even ever having known what it IS. The worst part is, a lot of people who DO accept evolution don't understand it either. For example, a lot of people still think evolution involves progress or increasing complexity (it doesn't), or that evolution can somehow be forward-looking (all evolution is backward-looki
  8. I find the record industry as a whole slimy and loathsome, and I hate to see control of work out of the hands of its original creators. It's true that a lot of times, new bands are not in a position to negotiate for, say, retaining copyright and such over their music, because you're right, they are kind of over a barrel. I like the fact that music seems to be going in the direction of self-promotion, largely because of the internet. New artists can take their music directly to the fans and don't have to rely on corporate marketing to find a broader audience. Recently, a new band called W
  9. Here's an interesting wrinkle I wonder about. Some artists actually encourage you to download older versions of their work or tracks that were never actually released on an album (Evanescence, I believe, has said as much regarding their pre-Fallen work). However, artists, especially major artists, frequently sign contracts with record labels such that their work is no longer wholly theirs. If an artist says publicly (for example in an interview, or on a blog) that you ought to download older/unreleased work, can you be certain that they really have the ability to authorize that and that the
  10. Yes, they are in boot camp. However I was under the impression that having all of their privileges removed for the entire weekend (no PX, no electronic devices, etc.) was unusual and could therefore be considered punishment, especially considering that it was likely those who attended the concert maintained their regular privileges as far as I can tell. I think the degree to which religious crap is being forced on our soldiers is extremely location and commander dependent. It was well-known that religious nutters were in firm control of the Air Force Academy for a long time. I have no id
  11. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-rodda/us-soldiers-punished-for-_b_687051.html This is such bullshit. Generally speaking I am pro-military and I am glad we have such a special volunteer force to defend us but it sickens me the number of religious fundies we have hiding in the higher ranks who are more than happy to turn our actions in the Middle East into the next Crusade.
  12. Tell your girlfriend it could be worse. She could be an ecologist, like me. Seriously, I feel that any productive career can be moral and Rand would probably agree. It really comes down to your motivations for doing what you do. If you have a genuine love for your work, and do it because it contributes to your own life, I don't see how the choice of career itself is damning so long as you exchange value for value.
  13. Why David, you wound me. I haven't even published yet! At least wait until I've got some articles out before we see what the reductio ad absurdum of my framework is! Kat
  14. One thing that I think might have been mentioned above, by one poster or other (my apologies for not looking up the quote), is that if nothing else the OP cheated himself and sacrificed his precious time, not the state. If I was sentenced to 100 hours of community service (which I agree with DO and others is a rather reasonable, light sentence), I would at least have the self-respect to choose something I would enjoy/care about, like working at the animal shelter or telling stories to old people or helping coach a kids' ball team, things like that. In my opinion, even IF we grant the OP ever
  15. Legal? Absolutely. Morally acceptable? Perhaps not. My question to you is this...why on earth wouldn't the old lady just get a cheaper plumber? If she's mentally incompetent then no agreements she would make would stand anyhow and she'd be under guardianship. Presumably her guardian would find a cheaper plumber.
  16. And if you read my post I'm trying to demonstrate your equivocation on the concept of "nature". You wanted to argue the biological route so I'm showing you where that leads. All of the behaviors I described are capable of increasing a person's fitness by increasing their numbers of surviving offspring and suppressing their competitors in said enterprise. From the standpoint of "nature", that is all that matters. If I leave more descendents than you, in evolutionary terms I "win". Now, that has absolutely no bearing on whether I will live a happy, fulfilling, purposeful life. That is an e
  17. A lot of things which are "natural" to humans, such as rape, killing of the "other", and looting for nepotism, are quite immoral, yet they are omnipresent in our history and to a large extent occur because of selective pressures. Do you really want to argue that all of those things are OK, nay mandatory, because they are "natural"? You are losing the distinction between the most basic features that unite all members of the class "human" (hence, human nature in the strictest sense) and those things which "come naturally" to humans which are not at all exclusively moral. This is the same re
  18. Good luck dude. Other gay male friends of mine have reported similar concerns. I'm sure you can find someone out there who's not a player or a head case.
  19. Not Another Objectivist Sex Thread! Cripes, we just can't ever seem to put this topic to bed (pun completely intended). While I don't agree with JASKN, I do respect that he is doing more than just quoting Rand and saying that stands alone. Other guys here, I may agree with you but we've all read Rand here and I think it's best to use your own thoughts and words when possible, or at least formulate the ideas your own way. I'm gonna take a crack at it. I really think the two sides are talking past each other here. What I'm going to do, to ease this confusion, is start by saying explici
  20. Protip: BIOLOGY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. I frequently hear a lot made of the "biological differences" between men and women. Yes, the latter have innies and the former have outies, and this results in different hormonal soup and consequent physical development. HOWEVER, you are implying that there is MAN and there is WOMAN, and that is just not the case even in the strictest scientific sense. The vast majority of traits fall along a continuum, a distribution if you will, and the distribution of traits in men and in women has substantial overlap for almost anything you pick that isn't "penis
  21. Maybe the US should take a lesson from the Chinese after all... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10565868
  22. I interpreted it as meaning "anyone who touched her meaning harm" instead of "anyone who touched her out of sexual interest", but I might have been giving him the benefit of the doubt. I don't think there's anything irrational about getting stronger to be able to protect your loved ones, but doing it in order to control/possess them is definitely a no-no.
  23. If this is something you value, why should it be contradictory? It sounds as if the value of children getting a fair opportunity, even if they are the children of strangers, is important to you, it seems the irrational thing to do is NOT contribute.
  24. Seconded. Why shouldn't you be careful about something that is of a high value to you? I think this is an unfair dichotomy. I personally would be turned off by an "easy" guy. Who wants to be someone's fiftieth notch on the bedpost? Not me.
  25. Are you referring to "born on third thinks he hit a triple"? I know what you're talking about. Look, a lot of people say a lot of stupid things, and being rich (especially born rich) is no guarantee of being insightful or disciplined in thought. In fact I often find big differences in character between people who "made it" themselves and people who have always had nice things but never really saw how those nice things came about (this is of course a generalization). I think one thing you might want to consider is that making a moral judgment about someone is not just about what or how
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