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Steve D'Ippolito

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Everything posted by Steve D'Ippolito

  1. Actually without seeing the selector lever on the other side of the gun, I can't be sure this one isn't a full auto model. Nevertheless the point remains that many people don't know the difference between a semi-auto rifle that is a "clone" of a military select fire model and a real full auto weapon (thanks to a media that is on the gun-grabbers' side). And even those full auto weapons aren't really "machine guns" in the sense of a belt-fed weapon, even though they can fire multiple rounds on one press of the trigger.
  2. Or at the very least, a good fast car.
  3. Or how about those who willfully and repeatedly violate supreme court orders not to hold government sponsored prayers, etc.? Even after being warned, many officials in the "bible belt" insist on defying precedent.
  4. Your last video, Best of Tchaikovsky, has for its fixed image "Study for Waking Up Among The Clouds III" which I was pleased to see. It's hanging in my living room. On playing it, I find you associated it with Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony, my favorite of his symphonies. Thanks! (Now I need to watch the other two videos.)
  5. Yes. This "need" to defend Dr. Peikoff against those who disagree with him--sometimes even to the point where refusing to defend boorish behavior is used as a touchstone for deciding someone is not an Objectivst--is simply incomprehensible to me. Seriously: Is Objectivism about using your own judgment and never, ever evading, or is it about defending prominent Objectivsts against people who disagree with them?
  6. The lotto machines here used to give no audible indication of a winner, and many were suspicious that store employees were keeping winning tickets (after announcing to the customer that they were losers, let me just throw that out for you). I even heard stories of employees having a tremor in their hand as they set the "loser" ticket aside. Of course one can guard against this by asking for the ticket back regardless. In any case, the machines now have a voice that cheerfully announces "You're a winner!"
  7. I see today's youth and they aren't even remotely libertarian in temperament. They think that society is full of "fail" but somehow expect government to be the solution. It doesn't seem to occur to them that our overbearing, out of bounds government might be the cause of the fail.
  8. It would surely be interesting to know the rest of the title of this piece.
  9. Even if the reviewer is wrong about there being no prior Objectivist economic work, that doesn't take anything away from this book. I'd say you should judge it based on other things.
  10. I mostly agree with this. On the other hand, Obamacare will happen and I believe it will have significant negative effects on health care in this country; it's designed to break the private insurance market and get people to "realize" they need single payer. It's a sort of "delayed blast" bomb that has already been set to go off.
  11. Sarchasm. n. the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the recipient who doesn't get it. "Sarchasm" was an entry in a "change one letter to create a new word" contest some newspaper held a while back.
  12. I simply cannot believe anyone still listens to Paul Ehrlich; he has made many predictions of famine, shortages, and the like, and none of them has ever panned out. Yet many "progressives," "liberals," and other leftists still do.
  13. I think the average investor is outsourcing the research that really ought to be done. The fee can be worth it not to have to spend hours a day poring over reports etc.--and that assumes you even have the training to evaluate them when there's an incentive, often, for them to be obfuscative.
  14. Did you or did you not accuse Eiuol of finding interactions with other people draining simply because he is expected to think during them? I don't care whose definition you are using, that's insulting.
  15. This is like insisting that someone justify their like or dislike of chocolate. Both chocolate and football are optional values. It would be absurd to expect that someone pick up an optional value just because others happen to have it.
  16. You could try looking at wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sexual_reproduction Short answer, they don't really know for sure yet. But the fact that you are raising the old silly creationist chestnut that one sex might have evolved without the other one being present indicates to me that you probably don't actually understand what evolutionary theory is saying, yet you presume to denounce it as false. (It would have to be simultaneous, both sexes inhabit the same gene pool. Asking the question usually demonstrates that the questioner is perhaps unwittingly assuming they are two separate species with two separate gene pools. On the plus side at least you didn't raise the so-called issue of "what if one sex evolves faster than the other?" which is just as absurd as this is, and if you think about it, equivalent, since one sex evolving first would imply different rates.)
  17. So what, you don't think introversion is real? If someone claims they feel drained after interacting with people, but do not otherwise, and you pull this line of reasoning out on them, you are implying that they never think when they are by themselves, or they would consider that draining as well. That's pretty insulting. About a quarter of the population is more introverted than extraverted, and having extraverts (like you, apparently) who simply won't imagine that other people might not be just like them, deny this and try to treat introversion as if it's some kind of made-up "problem" is also grossly insulting.
  18. Why should he, when there is an small army of sycophants to do it for him? Remember these people have no issue more important to them than to bash people who don't "respect" Peikoff enough. That's their touchstone for being an Objectivist. Never mind the fact that independent minded people (you know, that virtue of independence?) are supposed to call someone on it when they argue from ignorance, and that the ignorant someone ought to thank them for correcting their ignorance. That would be the correct implementation of integrity on the part of the formerly-ignorant person. And by the way, justice doesn't mean your past accomplishments give you a blank check allowing you to argue ignorantly and/or stupidly and/or outright immorally today without being called on it, and that no argument you make, no matter how outrageously wrong, can ever be condemned.
  19. The arrogance of this is infuriating. Did it not occur to the "reporter" that perhaps his narrative--his view of the world--is perhaps incorrect if he has to make stuff up to bolster it?
  20. I know it's certainly a lot easier for outlets to simply ignore stories that don't fit their preferred narrative. That's how journalistic bias is usually expressed: in their judgment as to what will get air time/pulp/web space. Which is why we see scandals from one party get far more "ink" than scandals from the other party. But even if a story actually gets covered, bias can manifest itself in neglecting to tell one side of it. Outright lying or really egregious negligence in not checking sources (and thereby allowing oneself to be a pawn used by somebody else to lie), if discovered, generally gets one canned.
  21. And the people who insist that we mindlessly bow and scrape before whatever Leonard Peikoff pronounces are only mimicking the argument from intimidation tactic--using a variant leavened by the appeal to authority. You can't disagree with that; it's Leonard Peikoff speaking! Disrespecting him means you aren't an Objectivist! If you check the "date rape" thread, yes you will see reflexive attacks on Leonard Peikoff, but you will also see people willfully ignoring the plain meaning of Peikoff's statements just because they are Peikoff's statements--and others who weren't as bad and could see that there was a problem with the plain text, but nevertheless maintained that it had to really mean something else, based on context (this is Leonard Peikoff, you know who he is, Leonard Peikoff can't possibly be wrong). There are a number of people on this site who will only chime in to a discussion when they feel the need to accuse people of disrespecting Dr. Peikoff. That selective interest tells us what their priorities are, they have elevated the man over every other issue. And of course this is exactly the game Checking Premises is engaged in. It is difficult enough to counter accusations of cult-like behavior in Objectivism without having such obvious examples of it actually happening--and the practitioners going out of their way to make themselves visible. Or to put it another way: Is being sufficiently respectful of Leonard Peikoff to satisfy these guys, even when he says something outrageous, truly a valid touchstone of whether someone is or is not an Objectivist? If the answer is no, why? And what does that reasoning say about those who insist it is?
  22. He specified it in the parenthetical immediately after the words "hate crimes."
  23. Could it be that what evolutionary psychology is actually discovering (assuming for the moment it isn't complete garbage) is what people will tend to do when they don't, as you put it "bother using their minds"? In other words, is there a "default" behavior people engage in when they don't think, and is it determined by evolutionary selection pressures? When one considers that the rational faculty is a relatively recent development that made some sort of mere animal into a human being, is it possible that that last non-rational ancestor of ours was fully describable by evo-psych? Or to put it yet another way, the sorts of phenomena evo-psych claims to be discovering operate at a certain level, but for us it's a lower level, lower than our rational faculties, and thus we humans have the capacity to override it. But other animals do not have that level so they cannot. [i note as an aside that many more highly intelligent animals--including us--can "learn" or be trained even at a non-conceptual level, and that level may or may not also be higher than this hypothetical evo-psych-programmed layer.] If this notion is correct, I would expect evo-psychological methods to explain (other) animals' behavior with high correlation. But it would not explain ours all that well; the correlations should be very weak because of the number of times we overrride our evo-psych "programming." As such, studying (other) animals instead of humans could be a way to control for a rational faculty "interfering" with whatever evo-psych claims to be studying. I'd certainly condemn as silly any claim an evo-psych worker (or anyone else) makes that we do not have a rational faculty and that our behavior is perfectly explained by their discipline. They would be making the same mistake that Skinner made when applying insights on training animals to people.
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