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Everything posted by felicity

  1. NIJamesHughes, From what Burgess says, there are few volunteers for the job of moderator. So, first let me thank you for volunteering. Secondly, I'm sorry to see the way this thread is proceeding: too much vitriol for my taste. I have not seen a single post that asked you where you were coming from AND did so in a non-condemnatory way, in order to elicit facts from you rather than to provoke a fight. The facts as I understand them are: 1. Stephen posted 2. You, as a moderator, thought they violated a forum rule 3. You acted by pasting the rule over the original text. You say that you did so in good faith, and I believe that. I'd like to ask you just one question: if you could do this again, would you do anything different? - Would you take his status as a long-standing member into consideration and give him the benefit of doubt? - Would you warn him? - Would you retain the original text while posting the rule? - anything different?
  2. Burgess: Thank you for mentioning the "romantic-realism esthetic". This helped me down a path where I have been asking myself how I can find certain jokes funny, but disgusting... funny enough to think "that's clever"... and yet disappointing in that I hate the subject being caricatured. Your comment made me think that there is some parallel to reading a book and thinking something like: "this is good naturalism, but I don't like it".
  3. I was under the impression that the Presidents who were considered more imprtant were put on the lower-denomination bills.
  4. Calories: input and expenditure is the fundamental of weight gain and loss in the typical person. The book that I like best for a review of various diets and the pros and cons of each is "The Fat of the Land" by Michael Fumento". Use copies are available on Amazon for under $5.
  5. The government number says that about 5% of those who want work cannot find it. Many of these people are rejecting jobs because the pay is less than they want. They simply decide to wait. Often, this is completely rational. Going to work might mean putting the kids is day care, spending money on commuting and work-clothes, and other incidental costs. For some, the time spent working at an extremely low paying job might be better used learning something that can then get them a better paying job. So, to answer the question about job-availability in the abstract: yes, there are jobs out there for every one -- if they're willing to accept the salary & other terms. I will given you a real-life example of "job available if the price is right". This happened to a close friend. She had a baby and decided to take 5 years off work, leaving a software job that paid $70,000 a year. Five years later, when she wanted to get back to work, it was the year 2003. The worst of the bust was over, but the job market was still quite "tough". She realized that she would not be considered "up to date" in her subject-area. So, she studied about the latest versions of that particular software and then passed an exam which "certified" her. She then sent out lots of resumes, without a single response. Recruiting firms were not interested. Knowing that she had a better chance if she spoke to someone face-to-face, she decided to try job-fairs. That "kinda" worked: in that a couple of recruiters were convinced enough to take her one step forward, but no further. The next level of interviewer or resume-reviewer would say that five years of staying at home had left her unable to compete against the other resumes. [Aside: BTW, this situation has changed today, and the number and quality of resumes submitted for any particular software-job has started to decline.] After a few months of being told that a "5-year gap" was too much, she heard about a company that did some non-profit work on the side. They were a business, but they also did pro-bono software development for non-profits. They provided a part-time manager, the office-space and the tools, but staffed these projects with a group of volunteers. So, she volunteered there, and began to do that (3 half-days a week). Working there, she clearly stood-out. Many of the other volunteers had almost no computer software experience. Also, her work-ethic was clearly superior. One day, the manager told her that they could give her a tiny (1-week) paid assignment if she was willing to work full-time for 5 days. She did, and it went well. After that, they would give her small paid projects from time to time. One day, she found a job advertisement that was in her particular specialization, but was extremely low-paying. She applied and was called for the interview. Remember, that her resume now showed a few months of more recent (albiet mostly voluntary) job-experience. The hiring firm was a real dive -- extremely low salary to all, and very poor work conditions. A non-objectivist might even call it a sweat shop. At the rates they were willing to pay, only the desparate were signing up. Most were treating it as a place to wait while they sought a "real job". She got the job -- getting paid just $16,000 a year. Finally, with a year's worth of experience under her belt, she landed a consulting assignment which paid pretty well. Three months into that, the client offered her a job at $75,000 a year. The point of this story is that one can get a job if one sets a goal and then takes steps that bring that goal closer. So, a job at McDonald's could be a starting point or it could be a waste of time. It depends on where you are and where you want to go. Good luck in your endeavors!
  6. Welcome (home) Au. Felicity PS: "Au" is Gold.
  7. Yes. Thank you for defining it better than I can. Since many people are "compartmentalized", they may be dishonest in some areas but pretty honest in others. So, someone may not steal money, may not cheat on her spouse, and yet evade a lot of facts in some other area. The author of the "social ostracism" post spoke of dishonesty. He wasn't referring to theft or cheating, but to holding dishonest ideas. Assuming that some people evade facts when drawing conclusions about ethics, politics, etc. -- how do I identify this? How do I identify that they are evading facts? What is the measure? Is the degree to which their conclusions differ from mine a measure of their dishonesty? or, is it merely a measure of their ignorance? For instance, many people have read a couple of Ayn Rand books and still disagree with Ayn Rand. There many even be more such people than people who have read the books and mostly agree with Ayn Rand. Are most of the people who disagree after reading Rand dishonest? After all, how can they claim ignorance? I do not know the answers. That is why I was curious if you had ever had to expel someone from an Objectivist group because they were "intellkectually dishonest" [not just dishonesty in the sense that they were stealing your study-guides:)]. That way I could have one concrete example as a starting point. One poster gave an example of a Hitler-admirer. I think admirers of mass-murderers are clearly dishonest. Unfortunately, most people I encounter from day to day are admirers of less extreme ideas. At what point do I judge them to be dishonest. Having ponder this issue for a day, I have concluded the "social ostracism" suggestiong was not the aspect that really irritated me. I am more than happy to socially (or unsocially) ostracise someone who is dishonest, in any way. However, how do I dare apply the term to someone who disagrees with me about whether Bush or Kerry is a slower-acting poison.
  8. While I agree, the practical problem is that one has to define objective and non-retrospective rules. There are dual dangers in law. One is the danger of having just the princple defined as law, and allowing judges to have a field day (witness anti-trust cases). People do not know they are committing a crime when they are doing so. The other danger is to try to define *everything* in such detail that any smart lawyer can find a loophole without violating the "letter of the law".
  9. "Citizen"? There's a mexican being beat up in the parking lot. He works hard. He's being robbed by a native who has never worked in his life. You have argued the the passing squad car should simply move on. (A famous objectivist once said that he'd prefer to dine with a concrete-oritented truck driver , rather than with an abtractly, floating modern intellectual ... I paraphrase from weak memory). By what right is the Mexican *not* a citizen?
  10. 10 year old (140K miles) Toyota Camry. If I had the money, I'd buy a Caddilac. For me "Hummer people" are prima facie suspect of "intellectual dishonesty" (just kidding).
  11. It saddens me to see the power of modern philosophy. The message "there are no heroes" pervades the culture. Newton, Jefferson, Gates,...
  12. I apologise for an inexact use of the term "objectivists". I think the poster wanted people to forward it to anyone sympathetic with Objectivist positions and perhaps to anyone else who might be convinced to vote his way. I would be happy to post it to this forum, but I think some moderators might object. If you'd like a copy by email, write to me at felicityFendi (this is @hotmail.com), and I'll send it on. I think a broader topic deserves attention: How does one know when another person is being intellectually dishonest? You run the Portland Group of Objectivists, so I am curious. Have you ever hads to ask a person to leave the group because of intellectual dishonesty?
  13. What type of property? Do you mean land and/or buildings? I bought my first house well into my forties, even though I had an above average net asset position for years before that. Or, are you using "property" in the more geenral sense of "asset" and suggesting that only people who have more than a certain amount of wealth should be allowed to vote?
  14. A post that is currently being forwarded to objectivists asks people to vote for Kerry because the cheif justice's recent illness creates an "emergency". The post says we should "Apply the appropriate degree of social ostracism to those who appear to be taking a dishonest position." (a.k.a. a pro-Bush position). It is appropriate to socially ostracise people who disagree with one? I'm sure the author would clarify that one would only ostracise if the position is "dishonest". Hmm! I have this vision of Dagny surrounded by the key residents of Atlantis when she decides that she is going back to the outside world. Sounds like people like this author would want to ostracise her for her dishonest position too. Ofcourse, on a completely different note: consider how short sighted the author is that he did not take the age and health of the justices into consideration, and was only motivated to do so when one was actually admitted to hospital. So, does one write a will when one is on one's deathbed?
  15. In my experience, the teens are the formative years for explicit philosophy. It takes a while, some college, some full-time work, some tax-paying for various aspects of political life to be less abtract. Therefore, if it were up to me, I would roll back the 26th amendment to the US Constitution (which lowered the voting age to 18).
  16. I will vote for Bush, but will vote for Democrat for House and Senate (though they're disgusting) because I want a legislative counterbalance to Bush. Particularly senator, because I do not want the next Supreme Court justice to help make abortions illegal.
  17. Good documkentation of US Anti-Trust laws can be found in A.D.Neale's "Antitrust Laws USA"., Cambridge University Press; 2nd Ed edition (July 2, 1970) ISBN: 052109528X http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...=glance&s=books
  18. A democratic friend was telliung me that the group of people that surround Bush (Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, etc.) are members of a group called "The Vulcans" which wants to assert US supremacy around the world. Sounded too much likema conspiracy theory. I did some checking on the web and found that popular source of this term might be a books called "Rise of the Vulcans". Looking at the description and other things on the web, itn sounds like this is not so much a group that infiltrated the white house. Rather, "vulcans" is just a fun term that the team around Bush gave themselves. Is it a term like "hawks"? or is it something more? I'd be interested in feedback about the book, as well as general information about the "vulcans".
  19. I agree that such a decision ought not to be made lightly. The mere fact that a plane has been hijacked is not a good reason to shoot it down. If hijackers understand that a protocol is in place whereby plane that pose a credible and imminent risk will be shot down, they will have to abandon the flying bomb approach altogether.
  20. Think of the areas of the economy that really do not work well: highways, schools, healthcare. Whenever I see the rush on the highways, I curse the government for owning them. Whenever I have to take my child to the ER, I curse government healthcare rules. Whenever I fill in my school-district number on my tax-form and remember that I have to pay even though my child attends a private Montessori school, I curse the government. Complaints aside, in a rich country like America the healthcare system, many government schools, and the post-office still run at reasobaly good levels of efficiency and competence. Mostly, they still do not measure up to private alternatives and cost many times more than they ought to.
  21. felicity

    What Is Evil?

    Quite the contrary. Rather, "evil" is that which is harmful to oneself. The starting point would be to ask yourself why you need to have a concept such as "evil" at all? Read the title essay of "The Virtue of Selfishness" to understand the Objectivist view.
  22. I agree 100%. All that is illegal should be immoral. The "separation" comes because: something should not be illegal just because it is immoral.
  23. No kidding. I found "Through a Looking Glass" to be humourous. I remember thinking: "epistemological comedy".
  24. ...and it isn't. One sees bogus studies that say "XYZ will kill you", and it turns out they've been feeding pounds of it to rats. I wouldn't have thought that licorice was harmful...but there was a recent news story of a woman who had eaten a pound of licroice every day for 5 years...and the doctors suspected that had caused the medical problem she was having. Often, the poison is in the dose.
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