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Everything posted by brian0918

  1. Other writers are also speculating that Obama claimed Kenyan birth to gain some academic benefits. I searched back through Google News Archives of newspapers, and all the references I found say he was born in Hawaii, or don't mention his birthplace. Those included articles around 1990. Some examples: 1, 2. Based on that, I'm leaning towards it just being a mistake by the publisher, that Obama either didn't know about until it was too late, or ignored.
  2. The same is certainly true of Romney as well, but I don't see Breitbart covering his deceptions. I guess by claiming they are vetting Obama because the mainstream media didn't in 2008, Breitbart can avoid vetting Romney in 2012.
  3. Declawing is a serious surgery and renders the cat helpless if it is ever lost or released. I agree with chev - your scenario is not particularly troublesome, and only requires you to put in the effort necessary to correct the cat's behavior. That is, if the cat is enough of a value to you. Look for books or local experts on modifying animal behavior.
  4. It is certainly not impossible - people assert contradictory views all the time. However it is compartmentalization, and will have negative consequences on your life in some form. After all, on what basis does one "reject" certain parts of her philosophy that conflict with one's pre-existing worldview? This indicates that reason is not the standard by which such determinations are being made, and that will potentially affect other decisions in one's life.
  5. I haven't read it and couldn't find any past discussion on this forum (besides very minimal examination). Maybe there is some more detail about his arguments in the Amazon reviews. I tried to view some of a section that sounded interesting in the Amazon preview, but didn't get much. He was writing about OPAR's discussion on the topic of sensation versus perception, and Ryan questioned the very need to even discuss sensation, stating that "Nobody in his right mind would worry about whether bare sensations were veridical" (p. 67). When I first read that section of OPAR, I thought it was particularly important to show that the base source of all knowledge is axiomatically valid. The point of OPAR was to start at the most fundamental level, so why the hostility toward such a basic examination? And people certainly do question the validity and proper interpretation of the senses themselves. See David Kelley's Evidence of the Senses, summarized here by Grames (written before Kelley's break with Rand). So are we just to write such critics off as not being in their "right mind"? Is right-mindedness an unquestionable, axiomatic concept? Just a brief critique of the first section I happened to read, and nothing more.
  6. No, I am saying that people count that money as wealth in their assumptions about their current economic situation. When that wealth evaporates as the financial institutions that hold those derivatives fail, their standard of living will necessarily drop, which will likewise impact the rest of the market. It is fine to gamble your money like this in a free market, but our centrally planned government-enforced banking system has incentivized gambling, and as a result we believe we are much wealthier than we are, which further contributes to malinvestment and destruction of capital.
  7. Objectivist entrepreneur Keith Weiner has argued that this is not the case during a crisis:
  8. And $7.7 trillion is a drop in the bucket compared to our $100+ trillion in unfunded liabilities, and the $700+ trillion in derivatives exposure ($200+ trillion in the US alone) that people mistake for real wealth.
  9. I would say that is because this depression hasn't actually started. We have only had a minor recession. Even in Europe where they appear to be implementing austerity, they are only hitting the tip of the iceberg. Global default on both sovereign debt and even unfunded liabilities is a necessary outcome, and it is only after the public observes that as an inevitability that we will see what the true response is like. Observe that when polled, most people want the government out of their lives, until they are asked about specific government benefits that they happen to receive (either directly or indirectly). The negative reaction to stimulus is nice to see, but it is coming from people who are already receiving some form of unsustainable government benefit, and without which will necessarily see their living standards significantly decrease. It's one thing to complain about government when your life is comfortable, and another thing to voice those same complaints when your elderly parents are now your dependents, or you can't put food on the table and can't afford medical care. It is only then that we will see what the actual public response will look like.
  10. It was moved here: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=23409
  11. This is not correct. The existential alternative of life or death makes value possible, but Objectivist philosophy does not claim that mere survival is the "ultimate purpose" of a living being. I would recommend Tara Smith's Viable Values as a starting place, although even OPAR covers this distinction. "Life" as the standard of value in Objectivist philosophy is not equivalent with simply having a pulse. That this is the case should be apparent from Rand's fiction/non-fiction, in instances where an individual is willing to die for another.
  12. http://news.investor...mate-change.htm The most interesting bit of his comments: So if he knows from experience that the climate usually "tricks" you - i.e., runs contrary to your models -, on what grounds did he hold such certainty about the most recent models?
  13. Hey I noticed you moved from Hawaii to Pennsylvania. Was it a change for the better?

  14. The fact that the means of production are in private hands does not mean they are in private control, i.e. that individuals are able to make economic decisions free of government coercion. The difference between socialism and fascism is simply one of explicitness.
  15. I think it just stems from different requirements for proof between the public and a court of law. The court requires original documents in certain cases that most people may not think is necessary.
  16. Yes. I don't remember the full context of this point, where in which video do they discuss this? Some possibilities: 1. The software detected text and chose not to apply certain filtering to it, while it still applied filtering (e.g. sharpening) to the rest of the image, making it more pixelated. 2. Alternatively, it may have detected the text and applied selective filtering to it to make it more acceptable to OCR. 3. Or it could have just been an effect of the automatic process of putting the text in a separate layer. That's the whole point. Their entire rationale for why you would need to take two characters from another image and paste them into a different image was because the original stamps are no longer available (a blind assertion on their part), as if making another stamp is out of the realm of possibility. Other possibilities: 1. They didn't load the first two digits into the rubber stamp (by accident, or for whatever reason). 2. Not all stamps are the same, and some only show two digits, regardless of what the official policy actually states. 3. The rubber stamp was damaged in some way, leaving the first two digits blank. 4. The ink didn't get onto the first two digits on the rubber stamp. Notice how Obama's was stamped at a weird angle, like the user forgot and quickly stamped it later. 5. The ink didn't get onto the paper from the rubber stamp. It hasn't been established that it looks like a bad forgery. The only thing we know is that it looks different from some other cherry-picked examples, which themselves are not totally identical to eachother.
  17. I found my original youtube comments on that video. If you haven't watched the videos yet, I was responding primarily to this guy's phony authority, hence my use of strong language.
  18. I went through their claims when someone linked those videos on Facebook a month ago, and they're absolutely unfounded, particularly their assumptions - based on one example - of what the document should have looked like when scanned in. That depends entirely on the scanner used (unknown), the brand and version of scanner software used (unknown), the image filtering settings in the scanner software (unknown), and most importantly the OCR sensitivity/threshold settings (unknown). I've personally worked with OCR software to scan old books and convert them to readable text (ABBYY Finereader), and it is a tedious process. The recognition of text is highly sensitive to the settings you use, but these people act as if the results should've looked like their one example. This is just idiotic. Their claims about the selective service card being a forgery are very weak, particularly what they assume the stamp should have looked like and what it should have said - even their few cherry-picked counterexamples are not totally consistent in appearance. They blindly assert that the reason the stamp only shows two digits is because the "forgers" could not get ahold a rubber stamp from that era, as if constructing a fake rubber stamp is some outstanding feat.
  19. I generally approve of the goal of bitcoin but it has some technical problems, for example: the increased time it takes to verify a transaction as the number of transactions increases (the few transactions I've made took hours to fully verify), and the risk if one (evil) organization grows to represent over 50% of the network resources, which would theoretically permit bogus transactions to be successfully verified.
  20. So God is an alien? At least that explanation might have the capability of being possible.
  21. In this case, I assume by "the object", you mean a Creator Being, who - as an intelligent entity - must necessarily possess your property of "specified complexity". So since your Creator Being clearly shows evidence that it was designed, we must ask - who designed the Designer?
  22. What do you mean by "the environment"? Whose environment? If an individual can demonstrate that they have been harmed by the pollution of a company, that individual can sue for damages in court, and the company can be forced to stop polluting other people's property. If companies are polluting public property (e.g. open waters, parks) - the government should privatize that property. If lawsuits are too expensive for individuals, again you have government to thank for the cost of winning a court case.
  23. The fact that LP has read AP's note and wanted her to make it public implies to me that he agrees with her analysis, and that he will in a future podcast explain that he had misspoke or assumed a legal context, which was not clear given that the question was a moral one.
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