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Everything posted by JJJJ

  1. There are two shows for me that belong in their own separate category: Seinfeld(+ Curb Your Enthusiasm) & The Wire The reason being that they both "ruined" other shows of the same genre by being so much better. The Wire especially, as it gives a real look about police work and people in public office. After watching The Wire, I have only been able to watch "humoristic" detective shows like the Mentalist, Bones etc. Trying to watch an episode of Cold Case, where the Philadelphia PD Cold Case Squad week after week solve unsolved murders from as long as 60 years ago instantly feels ridiculous. Probably 99% of Cold Cases that are solved are due to someone coming forward with relevant information, some newer crime somehow relating to the old case or by testing for DNA that wasn't previously possible. I can guarantee you that unless the case is a Zodiac/JonBenet Ramsey type superpublicized case that no squad has time to go solve a murder from the 1930's just because the greatgranddaughter of the victim found some letter about the victim having an affair or something(something that routinely happens in the show).
  2. JJJJ

    Rand on Sports

    I answered this in a previous thread about rooting for specific(esp. local) teams, and it still applies.
  3. One thing you forget is this: Every sport I can think of, especially team sports, are more enjoyable when attending the event live rather than watching it on TV. Also, especially in the past, the majority of games you were able to get on TV locally were of local teams playing. So if you live in Cleveland, OH, the vast majority of live baseball games you will see are Cleveland Indians games, and your local cable provider shows you every Cleveland Indians game, you will quite naturally form an affection with that team as you learn more about their players and their history, unless there is something obviously repulsive about them. It's just like with friends. I'm still pretty good friends with a lot of people who went to school with me, but that doesn't mean that the school I went to was somehow special in 'producing' likeable people with similar values to me. It's just that I know those people, and that makes a big difference. Maybe all of you guys on this forum would be better friends than the ones I hang out with, but I can't see you guys whenever I want to, nor do I really know you. If a good friend of mine gets married vs. someone on this board gets married, I really happy for my friend, while I don't 'really' care about the one getting married from this board. The one on this board may be a better person than my friend, and I may even know it, but that doesn't change the fact that my friend getting married is more important to me. Just like watching a team succeeding, whose games I've attended for the past ten years and whose players backstories I'm aware of, is much more important to me than seeing a team I really know nothing about winning, even though they may be better. I know that there are a lot of irrational sports fans, and the more irrational they are, the more loud/visible they will be also. That doesn't mean there aren't solid reasons for being a fan of a certain team. I have a favourite team in all sports I follow(some local, some not), but I am one of those who don't support 'my' team regardless of what the team currently looks like. I have fallen out of love with many teams, due to the makeup of the team at the time, but I do stick with my teams in general, unless there is something really repulsive. I'm also one of those fans who don't ever "brag" about "my" team, and I'm brutally honest about what is going on with the team. This gets me into trouble quite often, as many of my fellow fans don't like to hear that the other team was clearly better thirty seconds after losing an important game. Or saying that you really admire a player on a team who you are "supposed" to hate, just because he is playing for your division rivals. Still, in addition to the accessibility of the team, there are other constants to teams as well. That's why the argument about the players changing teams doesn't apply. Many teams have a clear identity year after year, and despite the players changing, that stays the same. Take the Pittsburgh Steelers for example. They have been known to be a defensive team for the last 40 years, and have always, no matter who the coach is, played a defensive style. Also, if you watch the same broadcast for ten straight years, and go to games at the same stadium, you can definitely start to feel affection towards the people who do play-by-play on the broadcast, or some 7th inning song that is sung during every home game. Especially if this is something you have done ever since you were a kid. Teams become almost like family to you. I have to mention, that I very often have a secondary favourite during every season, just based on what kind of personalities are on the team, or what kind of style they play. Just like when watching a movie, you root for a certain character to do well, you do it in sports as well.
  4. True, but she has that annoying "I'm above petty 'human' concerns"-vibe that so many rational characters in various movies/shows tend to have. I mean, stuff like "Love is just a chemical reaction", and the way she is able to analyze every social situation/culture without feeling like she is part of any of them. The stuff like "A lot of people behave....." and "Throughout history, a lot of cultures have valued....." etc. Still, I like her as a character, and I love when she points out the irrationalities in what Booth says. I can't remember the exact quote, but when Booth was once again talking about his gut telling him something, Bones said something like: "You mean your digestive system actually speaks to you". However, House has a few nice one-liners as well. My favourite: to a patient: "If you don't think your life is worth more than someone else's, sign your donor card and kill yourself"
  5. My quick answer would be: Yes, not everyone 'can' be a billionaire business tycoon at age 25, and your parents financial situation does make a difference. However, this has nothing to do with homeless peopel/beggars etc. in western countries. There are no excuses for a person with a functioning adult mind to be in that kind of a financial situation. Your point would be valid if someone claimed that everyone should be a millionaire by age 22, or something. Also, the lack of money growing up is not the reason that makes a lot of these people fail in life. It's the philosophy they've been brought up with. It's no surprise that most of the "poor kids" who have made a success of themselves in later life, have had a good, stable upbringing, even though they may have lacked material stuff. The ones that fail, usually have had a pretty rotten upbringing. Even if you don't have a dime to your name, but have a sound philosophy, you will succeed if you want to. If you want to go to college, but can't afford it, you can always take a loan or work a few years. Sure, you may not get it as easy as someone else, but your life shouldn't be about comparing yourself to others, and you should instead focus on what it is you want. It's self-defeating to think about "how easy" some people have it, and instead focus on the things you can do to change your situation. If you do this, there is NO way you can end up homeless or begging at the streetcorner. Also, your friend doesn't really seem like the best "guide" to objectivism, at least the way you describe him.
  6. It seems every character that's supposed to be rational in every show, has some serious psychological/social issues, and is overall a "damaged" person. It's pretty telling about how these writers themselves see the world, in my opinion. In House, the choices are presented as House or Wilson. Either you're consistantly rational, but psychologically damaged (House), or you are a pushover with no self-esteem, whos main goal in life is to please/appease everyone without any firm personal values of his own (Wilson). In other words, either you are consistant and face reality->pain, suffering and loneliness, or you hold no firm convictions, base your behavior on other peoples values - > happiness. Another show with a "rational" character, is 'Bones', where dr. Brennan is portrayed as the ├╝ber-rational icequeen vs. the man of faith, agent Booth. Again, dr. Brennan has some serious psychological issues(even though not to the degree as House), and she is completely void of any personal values. I'd say dr. Brennan is a much more likeable character than House, as she doesn't seem to be the evader that House is, but otherwise she is just another example of a "rational" character, who is akward socially, can't relate to people, and feels that values, morals and principles are for the dumb, and she is above those petty "human" concerns. As a side remark, I can't bare to watch House, as I get so tired of the doctors constantly making life-changing decisions in their lives based on what type of patient they happen to have that week. It's like they flip-flop from week to week, and make important decisions based on rationalizations about their patients. I have nothing against shows that combine personal drama with some specific professional endeavor, but the way House does it, is beyond ridiculous.
  7. Those comments are what are sickening..... Leftist logic: A cruise ship that has probably created more income(not charity) to Haiti than what most people make in a lifetime, is morally corrupt, because it continues to create income to Haiti, while also being helping out in the relief effort......While a leftist sitting at home in the West feigning outrage for a week or two is moral?
  8. Imagine if courses at veterinary school centered around how pregnant three-legged horses raised in southern Angola handle zero-gravity while ignoring teaching about the horse's anatomy and how to cure it's common diseases. That's pretty much what academic philosophy is......
  9. Quarterback Warren Moon is one example, and he was inducted to the Hall of Fame.
  10. Everyone is probably familiar with the Michael Vick case and his 2 year sentence for running a dogfighting operation/illegal gambling operation. Everyone of us here probably agrees that what Vick did was not virtuous in any way, but it wasn't a crime either, and he shouldn't have gotten any jail time for it. But, how bad is animal cruelty morally speaking, and where does it rank? I love animals as much as the next guy, but now that Vick has been released from prison and is set to resume his NFL career, the majority of things said about Vick are totally overblown. There are people who say that the NFL should ban him for life, that Vick got off too easy, and that Vick is about the worst human being to ever live. I certainly understand that taking pleasure in animals suffering and killing them for sadistic entertainment is deplorable, but in my book, that is not nearly as bad as a person beating his spouse, things which some NFL players have done without missing any games or losing their image in the eyes of the public. I would even rank cheating on your spouse/fathering multiple "illegitimate" children to be morally worse than what Vick did, yet there are a lot of professional athletes who do these things, yet are praised by sports fans around the world. Am I off base here, or does anyone else think that Vick is targeted pretty disproportionately for what he has done? I understand that the NFL wants to protect it's image, but is running a dogfighting operation really worse than spousal abuse/cheating/abandoning your children?
  11. Well, they need a better defense, but do they have a better defense is another question. Also, I'm not so sure about the "motivated as hell" part. I think the Cardinals of 2008 were basically the Falcons of 1998. A perennial underachiever has a one off season, and is a threat to no one the next. In the NBA and the NHL we often see good teams lose in the finals one year, and then win the championship in the next few years, but it doesn't really work that way in the NFL. Here is a quick list of the previous Super Bowl losers, and what they did the next few years: 1998 Atlanta Falcons: 6-10 in '99 - no playoffs 1999 Tennessee Titans: 13-3 in '00 - lost in the divisional playoffs 2000 New York Giants: 7-9 in '01 - no playoffs 2001 St.Louis Rams: 7-9 in '02 - no playoffs 2002 Oakland Raiders: 4-12 in '03 - no playoffs 2003 Carolina Panthers: 7-9 in '04 - no playoffs 2004 Philadelphia Eagles: 6-10 in '05 - no playoffs 2005 Seattle Seahawks: 9-7 in '06 - lost in the divisional playoffs 2006 Chicago Bears: 7-9 in '07 - no playoffs 2007 New England Patriots: 11-5 in '08 - no playoffs* The last Super Bowl loser to return to the SB the next year was the Bills in the early 1990's, but I guess we all know how those games ended. In fact, no Super Bowl losing team since the Bills has returned to the Super Bowl within the next 5 years, and even in that case(Patriots '96 & '01), the core of the team wasn't the same. Obviously coincidence plays a part as well, but it seems like it is really difficult to return to the SB after losing, especially for "cinderella" teams. Also, of all the teams in the league, I think the Cardinals are the team that is the most reliant on the health of one player, being Kurt Warner. Sure they have the two superstar receivers, but Warner is the only guy on that team that can actually get the ball to them. Warner is an old man, and if he goes down, I doubt that Leinart can lead the team to any success. Should be, but for some reason he has been able to fool everyone to think that he is a good QB. With TO gone, I think he will struggle, just like Eli will struggle without Plaxico. There are only a select few quarterbacks who have shown that they can they can win without any weapons, and Tom Brady is probably no.1 on that list. When Tom Brady gets a Randy Moss, he throws 50 TD's and breaks all kinds of records, but he managed to win three superbowls with third string runningbacks and really average receivers. One more thing: I am 99% sure that Matt Cassell will be an absolute bust in Kansas City. People look too much at QB's W-L records, and if they had actually watched film, they would have noticed that Cassell lacks almost all tools a good QB needs. He's definitely not worth 10M/year or whatever ridiculous amount he signed for.
  12. If you look at the history of the NFL, you will see that the losing team of a Super Bowl, especially cinderella-type teams like Arizona, don't really do well the next year. Obviously they are helped by the fact that their division is absolutely horrible, and I wouldn't be surprised if a 7-9 record would be enough to make it to the playoffs from the NFC West. Sure, Seattle could be pretty good this year with Hasselbeck healthy, and with the addition of TJ, but the 49ers(unless one of their QB's steps up) and especially the Rams will pose no threat. I would say that the AFC favourites are: 1. Patriots 2. Steelers 3. Chargers 4. Ravens ...and the NFC favourites being: 1. Eagles* 2. Giants 3. Vikings (if they get Favre, and he accepts a "game manager"-type role letting Peterson be the no.1 man) 4. Saints * the only knock on the Eagles is that in terms of "clutch quarterbacking", which is very important in the playoffs, the Eagles have a real handicap, because in my opinion, McNabb is the worst 4th quarter "clutch" QB the game has seen in a while. I mean, considering how good he is otherwise. I'm an Eagles fan, so that may make me too critical, but he is the type of guy that throws for 350yds with 4td and 0int, but if he needs to lead the team down the field with 2 minutes to go, he can very rarely pull it off. Also, the fact that he is so obsessed with "proving" that a black QB can be a pocket passer, means that he can't see that the individual named McNabb, is not a very good pocket passer. He has the awareness and the arm strength, but he is so horribly inaccurate with his throws that he really should scramble more, and rather complete these dink and dunk passes to Westbrook, Desean Jackson and starting this year to Jeremy Maclin as well. Those guys can give you the yards after the catch, so just try to get the ball in their hands.
  13. What you are promoting here is a pretty stark antithesis of Objectivism. Bad ideas should be fought with good ideas, force should be fought with force. But you are inverting this, and claiming that bad ideas should be fought with force. But what kind of world would you achieve with this? After slitting all the throats of people with bad ideas, you suddenly think that people in the society will embrace ideas instead of force, when you have just been doing the exact opposite. At this point the rational person would conclude that getting involved in political debates is not worth the effort, instead of fantazising of slitting throats. Political debates, if the participants are adults, is usually completely pointless, and if you really want to do some sort of intellectual activism, focus on the young people. However, if the ideas you are promoting are the kinds you present in your post, the best thing you can do is just stay home.
  14. Considering who the audience was(republicans), and who the host of the event was(republicans), I found it almost Kelleyesque to leave the topic of religion almost completely unadressed. Yeah, he talked about the separation of church and state briefly, but only as a segue to his call for the separation of state and economy. He should have really made it clear that the government has no business in matters like gay marriage, abortion or stem cell research, and that advocating teaching nonsense like creatonism on par with evolution to children should stop immediately. That the Republican Party needs to get rid of the cancer of religion within the party, if they actually want to stand up to the principles that made the country great in the first place. The speech was good otherwise, but how can he leave that whole topic completely unadressed in such an event?
  15. This is not capitalism. It just reeks of the same mindset of parents who "bribe" their children to do well in school. They do not value the real, long-term value of education, and instead learn to do well in school because it "directly" gives them money. What happens to their motivation when the money doesn't come directly anymore? When they should have been motivated on the fact that education may be/is important to achieving your long term values, they instead treat education as a low paid job. Well, once they find another slightly higher paying job, their motivation for education is lost. It is counterproductive to treat young people like dogs, who need to be seduced with biscuits to enter the car when going on holiday, or distracted with a toy when giving them a vaccine. If you treat them like dogs when they are children, they will see themselves as dogs when they are adults. Young people actually have a mind that can appreciate the long term, and to destroy it with stuff like this is really bad. Even though Objectivists shouldn't generally be reminded of this, everything that has to do with money, or monetary rewards, is not capitalism. And destroying teenagers minds in order to get statistics to look nicer, is not something an O'ist should support.
  16. JJJJ


    I think "That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen" should be the first thing a person should read when wanting to understand economics, especially at this time of bailouts and "stimulation" It can be found here: http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html
  17. This is pretty much true. The reason I, and i suspect most Objectivists support Israel, is because its relative freedom, and even more importantly, its willingness to put its money(weapons) where their mouth is. Whatever the looney reasons for some jews to live in Israel may be, if you oppose Israels right to exist, you are opposing freedoms right to exist in the middle east. Israels right to exists is not by virtue of some holy book, or some UN declaration, but by their freedom, and it would not make any difference if the country situated in Israels place would be Sweden, Taiwan or Barbados. To give up Israel, one of the only real allies the US has, would be the same to say that people are not allowed to be free in the middle east. About the topic of Iran, one thing would have to be guaranteed before i would support a nuke. The utter, 100%, cutting of ties with Saudi Arabia and other nutjob countries the US calls their "ally", and the cutting of all aid and trade with these dictatorships in the area. Only then, would i support an "endgame" type total and utter devastation of the infrastructure in Iran, nuke or no nuke, and real threats that everyone that doesnt comply with ending the funding/training of terrorism will be next. So what im saying is, that if a nuke or total war is to be used, it has to be absolutely total, and utterly consistant with achieving the US goals. If it is done without cutting all ties with the Saudi Arabias of the world, it would once again be a shining example of counterproductive US foreign policy.
  18. Well, considering there is no record of such a philosopher existing in any of the native cultures, and if one had arisen within the native cultures, he/she would not have become such because of the culture he/she grew up in. Just like if an african tribal savage starts using his mind and starts recognizing facts about reality, and creates a somewhat rational philosophy, does not mean that he/she is a "tribal philosopher" or a "savage philosopher". Please inform me how one could build a sound recorder without understanding in depth what sound is. But he/she would not have been a "native" philosopher, in the cultural sense, even though he/she probably would have been a "native" ethnically. Just like Ayn Rand is not a "soviet philosopher" in any meaningful sense of the word. Im not that knowledgeable about the history of the north american tribes, but your points about the achievements of native cultures vs. western cultures, really remind me a passage in "Return of the Primitive" by Rand:
  19. One thing that borders this subject that i've been thinking about is what rights do biological parents have to be the ones to raise their children? I mean, how far does it go? I haven't thought about this all the way yet, but why wouldn't a parent refusing to teach his child to read, write, speak, count etc. not be on par with parental negligence, and be enough for removing the child from the care of the parents. Obviously the leash should be pretty long, so im not advocating that a child should be taken away from parents after one late night drinking binge that left the child unfed, but if the parents are destroying the childs mind by refusing to educate him, and dont provide the basic tools for a child to function as a human being, shouldnt the child be removed from the parents and given up for adoption/foster care..... Obviously if the child is older, it gets a bit tricky, but i cant think of a single reason why parents should be allowed to destroy a childs mind, just because they have a biological connection to the child. I really think that refusing to educate the child to speak, read, write, count etc. is grounds for removal of the child from the parents.
  20. If television existed in 1909, imagine what Earth 2000 would have looked like? Or what Earth 1900 would have looked like in 1809. Where are we going to get enough horses? How will we have enough to eat when everyone is moving to urban areas? I bet none of those programs would have included Boeing 747's, Space shuttles and iPod's
  21. I used to "debate" with these conspiracy theorists a few years ago before being an objectivist, but it is absolutely impossible. Their style of debate is: Claim something ---> [other person refutes claim] ---> Do not acknowledge the refutation, make a claim about something else ---> [other person refutes claim] ---> repeat x100 A typical "debate" went like this: Nut: you can see plumes coming from the towers as it collapses Answer: air and debris is pushed out as the floors pile on each other as the tower collapses Nut: what about the fact that the towers fell at free fall speed Answer: no they did not, watch this video: [insert link] Nut: what about the fact that no building has ever collapsed due to fire Answer: no other building has been hit by a nearly fully fueled jet either Nut: what about the fact that the buildings were designed to withstand a hit by a jet Answer: no, it was designed to withstand the hit of a 707 with no fuel Nut: what about building 7 then, there was no fire Answer: [insert link to pictures where the "other side" of the building is shown] Nut: but the owner admitted to giving the order to "pulling" the building Answer: yes, meaning pulling the building of people, as the experts thought it was about to collapse Nut: what about the fact that there was no airplane debris found at the pentagon Answer: yes there was, see [insert links to pictures] etc. etc. etc. And once the particular "debate" is over, the same person will continue to give the same statements in other "debates". Gets pretty annoying, pretty fast......
  22. No, the LP takes the teeth out of individual rights and capitalism, and arms the liberals and altruists, because they offer no justification for individual rights and actually try to pamper to the latter(altruists) in their statements to get them to become libertarians. You cant start in the middle/end, and then figure out the start. The LP and Objectivism dont go well together, and even though you could say that both in a very broad sense "spout the importance" of capitalism, it begs the question, importance by what standard, and importance to whom. If the reasons for this "importance" differs, there is nothing that combines us. It's like saying that the KKK and Objectivism go well together because they both spout the importance of not forcing companies to hire minorities. I mean, a simple "why?" is enough to refute the libertarians claims that capitalism, individual rights and liberty are important.
  23. James, here are statements where you directly make accusations against Peikoff and Schwartz: And there are many others, like this one: ....where you without naming names, imply the same thing. So could you please provide the evidence you have on these claims. And before you answer anything else, provide the evidence, or apologize. Your style of debating is: Im going to just lie and distort my ass off, and when im refuted, im going to say i was joking, or that others cant read between the lines. Please change your style of debate to such that you say what you mean, and nothing else, thank you. But first, provide the evidence for the claims i quoted, or apologize.
  24. By that logic, whe should abandon "capitalism" because its used to mean everything ranging from corporate welfare, mercantillism, protectionism etc. "freedom of speech" because it is used to mean "the right to say anything anywhere with no regard of property rights or physical threats" "cencorship" because it is used to mean a private organization not allowing someone to use them as a mouthpiece "monopoly" because it is used to mean a succesfull business being so good that no competitors have an incentive to enter the market etc. etc.
  25. If you read that platform, you find that they just oppose the political enforcement of altruism, not altruism itself as is evident by the quote you provided: The generous interpretation of this quote is simply that they are indifferent to whether people are selfish or altruistic, and just want govenrment out of the "altruism" business, but there is nothing that denounces altruism in that quote. If they took the "be forced to" out of there, id agree with them. Compare it to : "People should not be forced to refrain from sacrificing their lives and property for the benefit of others." I agree with this statement, but it doesnt make me an altruist nor selfish. Similarily, the quote from their platform does not either. It's just a political statement, that either is grounded on principle or not. Yes, but that does not mean that they are selfish. Also, note the last sentence, where their subjective ethics lifts its ugly head. I most certainly either "approve" or "disapprove" every choice an individual makes, and on their part its just a cop out so that they can bring the biggest amount of "liberty lovers" to their party without making any judgement on anything. Well, that article clearly did. The LP may or may not, because they have so many conflicting ideas that it's difficult to make the distinction, but that article was clearly altruistic by nature.
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