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DavidOdden

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  1. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Boydstun in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    The same question can be asked about the common cold, appendicitis or malaria. Do you know by your own reason that these things exist, or do you merely rely on the expertise of others who say that they exist? I have personal sensory experience with the common cold and appendicitis, and not malaria. I now know that Turkey exists, though I do not know directly that Iraq exists, however, I have friends (whom I trust, perhaps unreasonably so) that can attest to the existence of Iraq.
    There is a simple formula that can be followed to deny all knowledge: just deny something. If you claim “I personally had covid”, the counter-claim would be “How do you know it was covid that you had, not something else?”. Indeed, Peikoff discusses the procedure in his explication of reason and certainty – to be certain, you must not just have evidence for a proposition, you must eliminate all evidence, even conceptual evidence, for alternatives. You could say “Possibly I had covid” or “Possibly I had appendicitis”, but how can you rule out all of the alternatives. It is always possible to say “It might be something else”.
    The key to not devolving into epistemological nihilism is to reject unsupported denial as a logical tool. To deny that an individual has appendicitis or the common cold, you must offer superior evidence that they have a specific alternative. My initial hypothesis regarding covid was that I had strep throat. I refuted that in two ways. First, the probative throat pustules of strep were lacking. Second, the antigen test was positive. My knowledge of what I had was not complete, for example I do not know which of 5 variants I was infested with, and certainly not which of the thousands of sub-mutations. The broader lesson is that you don’t deny knowledge just because you are not omniscient.
    If you intend to discount the testimony of scientific experts, you have to have superior evidence that they are not to be trusted. In fact, scientific experts collectively provide the essential evidence against themselves. I always urge people to directly engage the peer-reviewed literature as best they can, though I can’t make heads of tails of physics publications. An article will (should) contain the seeds of its own destruction, identifying weaknesses and alternative accounts, because the reviewers demanded that those seeds be planted.
    Unfortunately, most popular knowledge of science is transmitted in untrustworthy venues. I don’t know whether Science is trustworthy in other areas, but I can tell you that it is completely untrustworthy in the area of linguistics, where it occasionally publishes an ill-researched article. Blogs are plainly untrustworthy. So, a crucial skill in evaluating scientific claims is being able to evaluate the credibility of a journal, which is a very difficult task.
    Belief in climate change is a major problem, because it's a very specific package deal which is partially related to something else that the senses directly validate – weather change. "Climate change" is an ill-defined assertion that cannot even be spelled out as a concrete scientific hypothesis. Covid, on the other hand, is a specific, testable, and tested scientific claim.
     
  2. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from AlexL in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    The same question can be asked about the common cold, appendicitis or malaria. Do you know by your own reason that these things exist, or do you merely rely on the expertise of others who say that they exist? I have personal sensory experience with the common cold and appendicitis, and not malaria. I now know that Turkey exists, though I do not know directly that Iraq exists, however, I have friends (whom I trust, perhaps unreasonably so) that can attest to the existence of Iraq.
    There is a simple formula that can be followed to deny all knowledge: just deny something. If you claim “I personally had covid”, the counter-claim would be “How do you know it was covid that you had, not something else?”. Indeed, Peikoff discusses the procedure in his explication of reason and certainty – to be certain, you must not just have evidence for a proposition, you must eliminate all evidence, even conceptual evidence, for alternatives. You could say “Possibly I had covid” or “Possibly I had appendicitis”, but how can you rule out all of the alternatives. It is always possible to say “It might be something else”.
    The key to not devolving into epistemological nihilism is to reject unsupported denial as a logical tool. To deny that an individual has appendicitis or the common cold, you must offer superior evidence that they have a specific alternative. My initial hypothesis regarding covid was that I had strep throat. I refuted that in two ways. First, the probative throat pustules of strep were lacking. Second, the antigen test was positive. My knowledge of what I had was not complete, for example I do not know which of 5 variants I was infested with, and certainly not which of the thousands of sub-mutations. The broader lesson is that you don’t deny knowledge just because you are not omniscient.
    If you intend to discount the testimony of scientific experts, you have to have superior evidence that they are not to be trusted. In fact, scientific experts collectively provide the essential evidence against themselves. I always urge people to directly engage the peer-reviewed literature as best they can, though I can’t make heads of tails of physics publications. An article will (should) contain the seeds of its own destruction, identifying weaknesses and alternative accounts, because the reviewers demanded that those seeds be planted.
    Unfortunately, most popular knowledge of science is transmitted in untrustworthy venues. I don’t know whether Science is trustworthy in other areas, but I can tell you that it is completely untrustworthy in the area of linguistics, where it occasionally publishes an ill-researched article. Blogs are plainly untrustworthy. So, a crucial skill in evaluating scientific claims is being able to evaluate the credibility of a journal, which is a very difficult task.
    Belief in climate change is a major problem, because it's a very specific package deal which is partially related to something else that the senses directly validate – weather change. "Climate change" is an ill-defined assertion that cannot even be spelled out as a concrete scientific hypothesis. Covid, on the other hand, is a specific, testable, and tested scientific claim.
     
  3. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Jon Letendre in Reblogged:Will Independents Save the GOP From Itself?   
    Starting from the fact that lawsuits and criminal prosecutions are (ideally) seeking redress for violation of a person’s rights, justice is not served by an arbitrary time-based curtailment of the right to justice. Any time limit on justice demands proper justification, and “it has been a long time since the wrong was done” is not valid justification. The basic rationale for statutes of limitation is that miscarriage of justice is more-possible because of the unavailability or unreliability of witnesses after a certain number of years. A crucial presumption of SOL is that a person who has suffered a wrong will diligently seek justice, which of course requires that they have discovered the wrong, where for instance a surgeon who fails to remove an internal tumor can be sued for malpractice longer than the standard 3 years for personal injury, owing to the fact that the surgeon’s wrong is effectively un-discoverable.
    The proper political question (not constitutional) is, at what point should a person’s right to justice be terminated by the state? The primary limit should be based on the miscarriage of justice problem of litigating stale cases, where the witnesses are dead or cannot be trusted to remember: and we need an objective rule governing that limit, it should not be treated on a subjective case-by-case basis. Victim awareness of the wrong (the discovery rule) is also a valid reason for exceptionally extending the limit backwards, but this backwards extension should not provide an easy excuse for indiligence in protecting one’s rights.
    In the particular case, the New York Legislature simply abandoned the rational underpinnings of SOL law, by picking out an arbitrary subset of wrongs deserving of a longer limit on justice. It is not as though the victim was unaware of what purportedly happened, she simply chose to not care until she found a reason to care. So then why can’t I sue a contractor for defective workmanship 20 years ago?
  4. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Boydstun in Natural Intelligence Teamed with Artificial = Fast Development   
    I found the article a bit disappointing, though not surprisingly so. Nice to have a new result, sure, but the potentially most interesting part was the implication that AI contributed something. It seems to me that they whiffed the explanation of how AI contributed anything to the process, something that could not be done as well by a handful of smart people and a supercomputer. For example, why, specifically, is it necessarily to use AI (and a supercomputer) determine whether the material can actually exist in reality, why can’t you just hand-code a supercomputer program to do that.
    Perhaps (as suggested in the article) it was that the human scientists had a prejudice against certain possibilities, so they would be inclined to skip over a solution that actually works but goes against conventional wisdom. If that is the case, this has more significant methodological implications about the conduct of science.  I have long held that one of the most significant flaws in typical human reasoning is the common failure to seriously consider alternatives, to check your assumptions. So why would the two types of ions be expected to compete with one another and result in worse performance. What is the observational evidence for this position? Did they also make an underlying high-level theoretical discovery about the theory?
    I know that Science News is all about the executive summary, not the in-depth understanding of the big picture (i.e. stepping outside of the box), but somebody has to care about the big picture.
  5. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from necrovore in My New Book, Inspired by Ayn Rand, The Enemies of Excellence by George Wilson Adams   
    I am compelled to insert a few technical corrections regarding universal grammar and Chomskian linguistics, which has been invoked here. First, Chomsky has held 1,900 different positions, often 7 at the same time. He is famous for saying “this is implicit in my earlier work”. Boiling away various temporary ornamentations of his, his theory has two aspects: a theory of the “faculty”, and a theory of the substance. Categories like noun, verb, vowel, nasal, quantifier are “things”, the substance, which he has claimed that are in a genetically endowed list of things that we know at birth. Those are the “innate concepts”. Over the years, the size of that list was waxed and waned, right now it is very small and for many practitioners (such as myself) it is null. Then there is the “faculty” aspect, the ability to do things. There too we find a range of views, one being that there is a list of things that you can and cannot do in language, and one that claims that there is little to nothing pre-specified.
    My position is that language is one aspect of the faculty of reason (which is itself an aspect of general cognition), so as far as I am concerned, the language faculty is not characterized with any substantive limits. However, language and reasoning still have a nature. It is the ability to structure words and form concepts that are part of human nature, and language is the essential tool for forming concepts and expressing propositions. The problem with radical tabula rasa theory is that you cannot learn a language or a fact with a completely blank brain, thus the conceptual faculty cannot itself be learned (how would a child know to learn “concepts” as opposed to storing every sense-image that they encountered; how would a child learn the principle of conceptual economy rather that the principle of maximal precision?).
    A faculty is a built-in ability to create a cognitive structure based on sensory input, and language (general, not a specific language) is the most obvious instance of a faculty. When you learn a language, you do not memorize all of the words and sentences of the language, you learn a small set of atoms, and a set of rules for building larger labels (whole words and sentences). Those rules have a definite nature, which in fact mirrors the hierarchical nature of knowledge plus some knowledge of what a rule does (for instance, unifies two concepts into one, or positions one thing after another). There is a kind of “negative knowledge” to the effect that prime numbers or the Fibonacci sequence do not play a role in grammar, which is not directly stated as such (i.e. no rule computes with a word is in a prime-numbered position, or even an odd-numbered position), instead it simply follows from the fact that that mechanism is not part of the faculty of language, which is universally available to all humans and happens automatically upon exposure to language, unlike the ability to sing on key or compute prime numbers which takes conscious training.
    In discussing “Chomskian linguistics”, you have to carefully distinguish Noam Chomsky’s current idiosyncratic beliefs and behaviors, from the theories of those whose interest is the mental mechanism that enables humans to have language. Extreme-nativist Chomsky (P&P theory) is fully incompatible with the Objectivist epistemology, but even Chomsky no longer believes in that, and his linguistic views are much closer to mine, which are, of course, based on Objectivism.
  6. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from EC in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    Usually, when we talk about “the government”, we mean the US government. In this case, we should instead say specifically “The US government” and “The Chinese government”, since I don’t think the intentions of the two governments are the same here. There is no merit to the idea (occasionally floated in irresponsible venues) that this was a CIA experiment. On the other hand, given the actual history of CIA clandestine evil-doing, it not unimaginable that the CIA might do such a thing. Ability to imagine an event is not proof that the event happened, and until real evidence to that effect is uncovered, we should give no more attention to a CIA theory than we would give to a claim of a convention of gremlins discussing Hegel’s Logic on Venus.
    The plausible theories of the origin of covid are (1) bad luck at the meat market and (2) deliberate creation by the Chinese government with probably accidental release. Under any theory of what happened, it is very clear that the Chinese government has been extremely secretive and obstructive of all attempts to learn the truth. US government involvement in not clarifying the origin of covid is not obvious, but seems to fall in line with a general pattern of spinelessness in foreign affairs – a general unwillingness to upset the Chinese government (since they have shown their willingness to engage in subtle economic warfare, which IMO poses an under-appreciated existential threat to the West).
    The question is not whether covid exists, but rather whether it is “metaphysically given” vs. “man-made”. Either way, governmental responses have been nothing short of 100% wrong.
  7. Haha
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Jon Letendre in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    Yet you still have no personal evidence to support your position, it is entirely based on believing the claims of other people. That would be fine, if those other people are shown to be credible and trustworthy. I have no reason to believe that Massey is trustworthy, and based on my reading of her FOI-related posts, I conclude that she is not trustworthy w.r.t. this particular issue (which is whether covid exists). You on the other hand, apparently have faith in her belief, and use her postion as the basis for your own argument. Your challenge to the covid-existence is ineffective, because you have not provided any evidence that supports the claim that covid does not exist, which is necessary to overcome the direct evidence of the senses, which cannot be rationally denied, that covid does exist.
    You might imaginably argue that there has been a specific misidentification, for example you could claim that covid is a bacterium, not a virus, or you could argue with the specific scientific classification of covid, but you have not done that. Your argument also seems to depend on an invalid package deal, a mixed wall of scientific and political claims. All of the political issues such as lockdowns and mask mandates are red herrings w.r.t. the scientific question of the existence of covid. Every known Objectivist, as far as I have been able to discern, holds that it is not the proper role of government to show down businesses, mandate a suspension of property rights, force vaccinations and mask-wearing etc. irrespective of their scientific beliefs about the nature of the disease. Feel free to challenge improper governmental action, but don’t lump in nihilistic unscientific claims there covid doesn’t even exist.
    As I mentioned before, “SARS-CoV-2 Production, Purification Methods and UV Inactivation for Proteomics and Structural Studies” provides prima facie scientific evidence, of the type that you demanded, for isolation, purification and distinct identification of the virus. Scientists have shouldered the burden of proof, now the burden rests on those who deny that proof. You claim, in broad terms that many such studies “on closer examination, have not actually done so”, but you do not provide any evidence in support of that assertion. The subsequent sentence “Numerous FOI requests worldwide for records of isolation have resulted in "no records found" (any administrative exclusions notwithstanding)” is irrelevant as I explained above (FOI requests provide evidence of government records, not scientific results).
    My main point here is that science is a specialized kind of knowledge, not the same as philosophy, and making any scientific claim requires the integration of massive amounts of existing knowledge. At best, you can reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that covid exists, just as you could reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that the Earth is a sphere since you have not directly seen any evidence supporting that claim and you do not accept the claims of myriad others who claim that the Earth is a sphere.
    I do not actually accept your premise that “isolation, purification and distinct identification” is a logical requirement for an existential proof of an existent, but I have acceded to the demand and provided one reference, in the hopes that you would engage the science and abandon the irrelevant political rhetoric.
  8. Haha
    DavidOdden got a reaction from monart in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    Yet you still have no personal evidence to support your position, it is entirely based on believing the claims of other people. That would be fine, if those other people are shown to be credible and trustworthy. I have no reason to believe that Massey is trustworthy, and based on my reading of her FOI-related posts, I conclude that she is not trustworthy w.r.t. this particular issue (which is whether covid exists). You on the other hand, apparently have faith in her belief, and use her postion as the basis for your own argument. Your challenge to the covid-existence is ineffective, because you have not provided any evidence that supports the claim that covid does not exist, which is necessary to overcome the direct evidence of the senses, which cannot be rationally denied, that covid does exist.
    You might imaginably argue that there has been a specific misidentification, for example you could claim that covid is a bacterium, not a virus, or you could argue with the specific scientific classification of covid, but you have not done that. Your argument also seems to depend on an invalid package deal, a mixed wall of scientific and political claims. All of the political issues such as lockdowns and mask mandates are red herrings w.r.t. the scientific question of the existence of covid. Every known Objectivist, as far as I have been able to discern, holds that it is not the proper role of government to show down businesses, mandate a suspension of property rights, force vaccinations and mask-wearing etc. irrespective of their scientific beliefs about the nature of the disease. Feel free to challenge improper governmental action, but don’t lump in nihilistic unscientific claims there covid doesn’t even exist.
    As I mentioned before, “SARS-CoV-2 Production, Purification Methods and UV Inactivation for Proteomics and Structural Studies” provides prima facie scientific evidence, of the type that you demanded, for isolation, purification and distinct identification of the virus. Scientists have shouldered the burden of proof, now the burden rests on those who deny that proof. You claim, in broad terms that many such studies “on closer examination, have not actually done so”, but you do not provide any evidence in support of that assertion. The subsequent sentence “Numerous FOI requests worldwide for records of isolation have resulted in "no records found" (any administrative exclusions notwithstanding)” is irrelevant as I explained above (FOI requests provide evidence of government records, not scientific results).
    My main point here is that science is a specialized kind of knowledge, not the same as philosophy, and making any scientific claim requires the integration of massive amounts of existing knowledge. At best, you can reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that covid exists, just as you could reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that the Earth is a sphere since you have not directly seen any evidence supporting that claim and you do not accept the claims of myriad others who claim that the Earth is a sphere.
    I do not actually accept your premise that “isolation, purification and distinct identification” is a logical requirement for an existential proof of an existent, but I have acceded to the demand and provided one reference, in the hopes that you would engage the science and abandon the irrelevant political rhetoric.
  9. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from AlexL in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    Yet you still have no personal evidence to support your position, it is entirely based on believing the claims of other people. That would be fine, if those other people are shown to be credible and trustworthy. I have no reason to believe that Massey is trustworthy, and based on my reading of her FOI-related posts, I conclude that she is not trustworthy w.r.t. this particular issue (which is whether covid exists). You on the other hand, apparently have faith in her belief, and use her postion as the basis for your own argument. Your challenge to the covid-existence is ineffective, because you have not provided any evidence that supports the claim that covid does not exist, which is necessary to overcome the direct evidence of the senses, which cannot be rationally denied, that covid does exist.
    You might imaginably argue that there has been a specific misidentification, for example you could claim that covid is a bacterium, not a virus, or you could argue with the specific scientific classification of covid, but you have not done that. Your argument also seems to depend on an invalid package deal, a mixed wall of scientific and political claims. All of the political issues such as lockdowns and mask mandates are red herrings w.r.t. the scientific question of the existence of covid. Every known Objectivist, as far as I have been able to discern, holds that it is not the proper role of government to show down businesses, mandate a suspension of property rights, force vaccinations and mask-wearing etc. irrespective of their scientific beliefs about the nature of the disease. Feel free to challenge improper governmental action, but don’t lump in nihilistic unscientific claims there covid doesn’t even exist.
    As I mentioned before, “SARS-CoV-2 Production, Purification Methods and UV Inactivation for Proteomics and Structural Studies” provides prima facie scientific evidence, of the type that you demanded, for isolation, purification and distinct identification of the virus. Scientists have shouldered the burden of proof, now the burden rests on those who deny that proof. You claim, in broad terms that many such studies “on closer examination, have not actually done so”, but you do not provide any evidence in support of that assertion. The subsequent sentence “Numerous FOI requests worldwide for records of isolation have resulted in "no records found" (any administrative exclusions notwithstanding)” is irrelevant as I explained above (FOI requests provide evidence of government records, not scientific results).
    My main point here is that science is a specialized kind of knowledge, not the same as philosophy, and making any scientific claim requires the integration of massive amounts of existing knowledge. At best, you can reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that covid exists, just as you could reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that the Earth is a sphere since you have not directly seen any evidence supporting that claim and you do not accept the claims of myriad others who claim that the Earth is a sphere.
    I do not actually accept your premise that “isolation, purification and distinct identification” is a logical requirement for an existential proof of an existent, but I have acceded to the demand and provided one reference, in the hopes that you would engage the science and abandon the irrelevant political rhetoric.
  10. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Boydstun in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    Yet you still have no personal evidence to support your position, it is entirely based on believing the claims of other people. That would be fine, if those other people are shown to be credible and trustworthy. I have no reason to believe that Massey is trustworthy, and based on my reading of her FOI-related posts, I conclude that she is not trustworthy w.r.t. this particular issue (which is whether covid exists). You on the other hand, apparently have faith in her belief, and use her postion as the basis for your own argument. Your challenge to the covid-existence is ineffective, because you have not provided any evidence that supports the claim that covid does not exist, which is necessary to overcome the direct evidence of the senses, which cannot be rationally denied, that covid does exist.
    You might imaginably argue that there has been a specific misidentification, for example you could claim that covid is a bacterium, not a virus, or you could argue with the specific scientific classification of covid, but you have not done that. Your argument also seems to depend on an invalid package deal, a mixed wall of scientific and political claims. All of the political issues such as lockdowns and mask mandates are red herrings w.r.t. the scientific question of the existence of covid. Every known Objectivist, as far as I have been able to discern, holds that it is not the proper role of government to show down businesses, mandate a suspension of property rights, force vaccinations and mask-wearing etc. irrespective of their scientific beliefs about the nature of the disease. Feel free to challenge improper governmental action, but don’t lump in nihilistic unscientific claims there covid doesn’t even exist.
    As I mentioned before, “SARS-CoV-2 Production, Purification Methods and UV Inactivation for Proteomics and Structural Studies” provides prima facie scientific evidence, of the type that you demanded, for isolation, purification and distinct identification of the virus. Scientists have shouldered the burden of proof, now the burden rests on those who deny that proof. You claim, in broad terms that many such studies “on closer examination, have not actually done so”, but you do not provide any evidence in support of that assertion. The subsequent sentence “Numerous FOI requests worldwide for records of isolation have resulted in "no records found" (any administrative exclusions notwithstanding)” is irrelevant as I explained above (FOI requests provide evidence of government records, not scientific results).
    My main point here is that science is a specialized kind of knowledge, not the same as philosophy, and making any scientific claim requires the integration of massive amounts of existing knowledge. At best, you can reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that covid exists, just as you could reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that the Earth is a sphere since you have not directly seen any evidence supporting that claim and you do not accept the claims of myriad others who claim that the Earth is a sphere.
    I do not actually accept your premise that “isolation, purification and distinct identification” is a logical requirement for an existential proof of an existent, but I have acceded to the demand and provided one reference, in the hopes that you would engage the science and abandon the irrelevant political rhetoric.
  11. Thanks
    DavidOdden got a reaction from EC in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    Yet you still have no personal evidence to support your position, it is entirely based on believing the claims of other people. That would be fine, if those other people are shown to be credible and trustworthy. I have no reason to believe that Massey is trustworthy, and based on my reading of her FOI-related posts, I conclude that she is not trustworthy w.r.t. this particular issue (which is whether covid exists). You on the other hand, apparently have faith in her belief, and use her postion as the basis for your own argument. Your challenge to the covid-existence is ineffective, because you have not provided any evidence that supports the claim that covid does not exist, which is necessary to overcome the direct evidence of the senses, which cannot be rationally denied, that covid does exist.
    You might imaginably argue that there has been a specific misidentification, for example you could claim that covid is a bacterium, not a virus, or you could argue with the specific scientific classification of covid, but you have not done that. Your argument also seems to depend on an invalid package deal, a mixed wall of scientific and political claims. All of the political issues such as lockdowns and mask mandates are red herrings w.r.t. the scientific question of the existence of covid. Every known Objectivist, as far as I have been able to discern, holds that it is not the proper role of government to show down businesses, mandate a suspension of property rights, force vaccinations and mask-wearing etc. irrespective of their scientific beliefs about the nature of the disease. Feel free to challenge improper governmental action, but don’t lump in nihilistic unscientific claims there covid doesn’t even exist.
    As I mentioned before, “SARS-CoV-2 Production, Purification Methods and UV Inactivation for Proteomics and Structural Studies” provides prima facie scientific evidence, of the type that you demanded, for isolation, purification and distinct identification of the virus. Scientists have shouldered the burden of proof, now the burden rests on those who deny that proof. You claim, in broad terms that many such studies “on closer examination, have not actually done so”, but you do not provide any evidence in support of that assertion. The subsequent sentence “Numerous FOI requests worldwide for records of isolation have resulted in "no records found" (any administrative exclusions notwithstanding)” is irrelevant as I explained above (FOI requests provide evidence of government records, not scientific results).
    My main point here is that science is a specialized kind of knowledge, not the same as philosophy, and making any scientific claim requires the integration of massive amounts of existing knowledge. At best, you can reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that covid exists, just as you could reasonable declare that you are personally not persuaded that the Earth is a sphere since you have not directly seen any evidence supporting that claim and you do not accept the claims of myriad others who claim that the Earth is a sphere.
    I do not actually accept your premise that “isolation, purification and distinct identification” is a logical requirement for an existential proof of an existent, but I have acceded to the demand and provided one reference, in the hopes that you would engage the science and abandon the irrelevant political rhetoric.
  12. Haha
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Jon Letendre in Reblogged:Will Independents Save the GOP From Itself?   
    It's fucking hilarious that you think I said anything even vaguely implying that any form of speech is illegal. You should learn to read more carefully.
  13. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from AlexL in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    So to paraphrase your response, you personally have no evidence to support the claim, instead you believe a claim made by others. Which is pretty much the same basis that 99.99% of people on the planet have for the affirmative belief that covid exists: they have heard an “authoritative request”, they have no reason to deny the claim and some reason to accept the claim – an act of faith. Clearly, we have an epistemological crisis: contradictory positions, so how do we chose between rejecting vs. accepting the claim (that covid is real)?
    In reviewing some of the voluminous files provided on the web page, I concluded that the requests themselves were misconceived, in terms of what constitutes a record under 45 CFR Part 5, which starts by clarifying that
    The FOIA does not require us to perform research for you or to answer your questions. The FOIA does not require agencies to create new records or to perform analysis of existing records; for example, by extrapolating information from existing agency records, reformatting publicly available information, preparing new electronic programs or databases, or creating data through calculations of ratios, proportions, percentages, trends, frequency distributions, correlations, or comparisons.
    Ill-defined requests for “any information on this topic” are very likely to run into the 2 hour search limit. As a meta-test test of FOIA compliance, you might therefore request something more specific, such as information contained in the article “SARS-CoV-2 Production, Purification Methods and UV Inactivation for Proteomics and Structural Studies”. I don’t believe that this published article would be produced by a FOIA request, because scientific publication on a topic within the scope of what a federal agency “does” are not automatically records subject to disclosure. The regulation states that “Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical form, would not be meaningfully informative if nothing new would be added to the public's understanding”. Discovery of some fact about covid in the above publication would not “shed light on the operations or activities of the government”, therefore would be outside the penumbra of FOIA.
    There are better tools for searching for scientific information. A FOIA request is about as appropriate as would be using a hammer to remove a screw.
  14. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Boydstun in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    I got something about 16 months ago: mostly a persistent sore throat like strep (without the blotches). My wife was also feeling crappy, then she hollers down to me that she had covid, I took the test again and the test device showed lines. I infer that I had covid, but I don’t “know, with certainty” that I did. The main question, then, was “what should I do?”. I decided to take the benevolent path and not risk transmitting it to others for the requisite time, and just waited to get over it. The alternative would be to assume that I don’t have any bio-disease, so maybe I would go shopping or partying, or something.
    In other words, when you don’t know “for absolute positive certain” what the correct conclusion is, you have to carefully weigh risks and the quality of knowledge that you have. My direct knowledge was pretty minimal, everything that I know about covid is second to third hand (I don’t classify “common knowledge” as “knowledge”, and gen-pop health services announcements are also not “knowledge”, they are social-management strategies). Mask facts and distancing facts were prime examples of ideologically-engineered conclusion which had a mild relation to scientific fact. The 6’ figure was derived from standards applied to doctors, a number for reducing chances of getting whatever the patient was emitting (20’ closer to the Truly Safe distance, also completely impractical for ordinary human interaction). I decided to read a couple of serious (paywall) articles when the plague first happened, and like everything else in medicine (and science in general), I found multiple tiers of information.
    Popular media and politicians rely on the lowest level of pseudo-information, the executive summary. This is strictly a series of conclusions and recommendations, and no evidence – the existence of evidence is implied. You can either accept or reject the popular statements, but to do so on a reasoned basis, you have to work hard, ultimately you have to engage the peer-reviewed scientific literature. This goes for covid, lipids, pollution, global warming, species endangerment, homelessness, and every other hot-button political issue. I just don’t have the bandwidth: I’m gonna do what makes sense for me, knowing that death is always possible and fearful death-avoidance isn’t living. Others may prefer to prolong their process of dying, in the mistaken belief that living is “not being dead yet”.
    Anyhow, I assume your grandfather had something, which the professionals decided was “covid”, and it isn’t important whether covid is “one thing” or “a class of things”. In terms of declaring what they (the CDC mouthpieces) should have said or done, the one thing that I would fault them for is the huge missed opportunity to elevate the population’s understanding of science. They could have focused more on evidence and logic, rather than the resulting conclusions. The main reason why they did not was that suggestion any possibility of doubt would encourage irrational rejection of conclusions that were not absolutely, definitively and with certitude proven beyond imaginable doubt. Some aspects of this thread are ridiculous, mainly the implied conspiracy theory that nothing actually happened, it was like the staged landings on the moon. Sweeping aside the innuendos and nit-pickings at the lower margins of the science, there are only two important questions. First, was there a disease (or class of…) – can we rationally be Holocaust-deniers about the event? I say no, it happened, details of the disease are of lesser importance. The second question is what the government should have done, and that is pretty obvious at least here: nothing. The function of government is not disease control. But we have been saying this for decades, covid presents nothing new, and IMO losing serious ground in that struggle for hearts and minds.
    It is up to the person who cares to find the evidence that objectively (in)validates their conclusions. It would have been nice if the CDC had packaged the science better, but there shouldn’t be an official governmental voice of science in the first place, so applying a “should” to a “shouldn’t” requires you to embrace a contradiction.
  15. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from AlexL in Remembering the CG Computer-Generated Pandemic Tyranny   
    I got something about 16 months ago: mostly a persistent sore throat like strep (without the blotches). My wife was also feeling crappy, then she hollers down to me that she had covid, I took the test again and the test device showed lines. I infer that I had covid, but I don’t “know, with certainty” that I did. The main question, then, was “what should I do?”. I decided to take the benevolent path and not risk transmitting it to others for the requisite time, and just waited to get over it. The alternative would be to assume that I don’t have any bio-disease, so maybe I would go shopping or partying, or something.
    In other words, when you don’t know “for absolute positive certain” what the correct conclusion is, you have to carefully weigh risks and the quality of knowledge that you have. My direct knowledge was pretty minimal, everything that I know about covid is second to third hand (I don’t classify “common knowledge” as “knowledge”, and gen-pop health services announcements are also not “knowledge”, they are social-management strategies). Mask facts and distancing facts were prime examples of ideologically-engineered conclusion which had a mild relation to scientific fact. The 6’ figure was derived from standards applied to doctors, a number for reducing chances of getting whatever the patient was emitting (20’ closer to the Truly Safe distance, also completely impractical for ordinary human interaction). I decided to read a couple of serious (paywall) articles when the plague first happened, and like everything else in medicine (and science in general), I found multiple tiers of information.
    Popular media and politicians rely on the lowest level of pseudo-information, the executive summary. This is strictly a series of conclusions and recommendations, and no evidence – the existence of evidence is implied. You can either accept or reject the popular statements, but to do so on a reasoned basis, you have to work hard, ultimately you have to engage the peer-reviewed scientific literature. This goes for covid, lipids, pollution, global warming, species endangerment, homelessness, and every other hot-button political issue. I just don’t have the bandwidth: I’m gonna do what makes sense for me, knowing that death is always possible and fearful death-avoidance isn’t living. Others may prefer to prolong their process of dying, in the mistaken belief that living is “not being dead yet”.
    Anyhow, I assume your grandfather had something, which the professionals decided was “covid”, and it isn’t important whether covid is “one thing” or “a class of things”. In terms of declaring what they (the CDC mouthpieces) should have said or done, the one thing that I would fault them for is the huge missed opportunity to elevate the population’s understanding of science. They could have focused more on evidence and logic, rather than the resulting conclusions. The main reason why they did not was that suggestion any possibility of doubt would encourage irrational rejection of conclusions that were not absolutely, definitively and with certitude proven beyond imaginable doubt. Some aspects of this thread are ridiculous, mainly the implied conspiracy theory that nothing actually happened, it was like the staged landings on the moon. Sweeping aside the innuendos and nit-pickings at the lower margins of the science, there are only two important questions. First, was there a disease (or class of…) – can we rationally be Holocaust-deniers about the event? I say no, it happened, details of the disease are of lesser importance. The second question is what the government should have done, and that is pretty obvious at least here: nothing. The function of government is not disease control. But we have been saying this for decades, covid presents nothing new, and IMO losing serious ground in that struggle for hearts and minds.
    It is up to the person who cares to find the evidence that objectively (in)validates their conclusions. It would have been nice if the CDC had packaged the science better, but there shouldn’t be an official governmental voice of science in the first place, so applying a “should” to a “shouldn’t” requires you to embrace a contradiction.
  16. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Boydstun in What are some counter-cultural rules you live by?   
    It is true that the roots of Objectivism can be traced back some three thousand years (not ten), but the soil that it is rooted in is found in Greece. Western philosophy has been influenced by numerous Asian streams, however Aristotle cannot be said to have been influenced by Christianity or Judaism. Centuries later, the Romans welded Plato and Jesus together to create a still-living hydra monster, but we cannot generalize these secondary developments as “Western philosophy” thereby tainting Objectivism with improper Christian underpinnings.
    It is also true that Objectivism has a normative trend – there are “rules”. Rules are not a recent invention, indeed they substantially predate the evolution of humans, or mammals. Obviously rules in the sense of explicit moral codes are the exclusive property of humans because only humans have language, the tool for encoding explicit moral codes, and we may presume that such rules have been around for over 100,000 years. Mostly they would have been in the form “Give me your stuff or I’ll kill you”, or “Touch my stuff and I’ll kill you”. The dominant putative authority for moral rules across the globe has been the supernatural, except that the ancient Greeks sought to devise moral rules deriving from nature (as did the Cārvāka of India, who vanished), and this is the essence of Aristotilean and Objectivist ethics.
    If Objectivism were a synthesis of 10 millenia of world philosophy, it would be incoherent as Christianity is, especially in its modern instantiations. It is very clear from the historical record that Rand eliminates millenia of prior “synthesis” to find the Aristolilean core, then developed and perfected it into Objectivism. Identifying that philosophical root is what makes Objectivism radical. I don’t deny that in the 60’s the leftist movement redefined the meaning of “radical”, but I also don’t care.
    The reason why we should not just look at outcomes is because inspection of outcomes is vastly inferior to an understanding of actual causation. We now have rampant outcome-based systems of pseudo-knowledge on our computers that threaten civilization because they are based in a neo-religious interest in superficial behavior (outcomes) rather than what causes behavior. Outcomes are just the raw data that we call on to understand causation.
    It is meaningful to ask what are the principles that define Protestantism, Orthodox Christianity, and Roman Catholicism. We can even ask what distinguishes Calvinism from AME-ism. The fact that there is a difference between AME-ism and Syrian Orthodoxy does not invalidate the unity of Christianity as a body of religious principles. Even within a single church (literally, a building not an institution) individuals can disagree. Because man’s behavior of chosen and man is free to choose between alternatives, we face a real quandry in characterising any philosophy or other kind of volutional behavior by humans. The integrationist viewpoint looks for the underlying principles that guide men’s choices, the disintegrationist viewpoint emphasises the diversity of behaviors.
    In order to judge a culture, you have to first identify the culture, meaning that you have to know what its causal principles are, and what essential properties distinguish it from other cultures. It is not an essential property of Christianity that Shabbos is on Sunday, even though that is a property distinguishing SDA from other Christian sects. That is one sense in which Christianity “speaks with many voices”, and we can multiply Protestant disunity by noting many other non-essential differences such as abstinence from alcohol, abjuring homosexuality, belief in credobaptism, doctrines regarding sin, the essentiality of sacraments etc. The question should not be whether you can find differences between individuals, the question should be whether a particular concept is valid in the first place, and if so, what are its defining features.
    I am lightly skeptical about the validity of the concept “modern Judeo-Christian culture”, as opposed to “Jewish culture” and “Christian culture”. Rather than defining the unity in terms of religion, I would define that unity based on geography: western civilization. As it happens, Christianity spread along with other aspects of western civilization, and the Judeo-prefix is a recognition that western culture is not exclusively Christian in religion. I would prefer the label “Religious western culture”, which is distinct from “atheist western culture”, but still similar in being “western culture”. Then any reference to “modern Judeo-Christian culture” simply directs our attention to the religious aspects of western culture. By inspection of the texts and behavior, we can identity a certain “Judeo-Christian” unity, even thought here there are measurable differences that should be omitted.
    If there are professed (purported) Christians who act selfishly, you should not ask whether they believe in some part of the Bible that seems to teach selfishness, you should ask whether they simply reject the principles of their nominal religion without embracing that rejection. Crossing the line from agnosticism to atheism is extremely difficult, and I believe that many so-called Christians are only social Christians, who are unwilling to openly declare their atheism.
  17. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from EC in Seeking insights on Objectivism: Benefits and misconceptions   
    As I see it, the most important point made in Objectivism is the “primacy of existence”. Nature is and does what it does, regardless of your beliefs about Nature. But you can use your consciousness to understand Nature. The “primacy” part means that your consciousness should conform to reality, and simply wishing doesn’t make it so.
    “Bare” Nature is malleable. Houses don’t just appear because of the invisible hand of Nature, a consciousness has to choose particular actions that bring houses into existence. Snakes and dogs are incapable of that kind of technology – why can’t they build? They lack the knowledge tools. A central contribution of Objectivism is an understanding of “knowledge”, and how it is that we get from observed facts to choices. We can observe properties of trees, and properties of rocks, and integrate that knowledge reaching the conclusion that we can create lumber. More observation and integration leads us to the conclusion that we can (and knowledge how) build houses. Other observations and integration lead to a moral code whereby we should build houses (in order to survive).
    In short, Objectivism puts consciousness and existence in the right order.
  18. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from tadmjones in Seeking insights on Objectivism: Benefits and misconceptions   
    As I see it, the most important point made in Objectivism is the “primacy of existence”. Nature is and does what it does, regardless of your beliefs about Nature. But you can use your consciousness to understand Nature. The “primacy” part means that your consciousness should conform to reality, and simply wishing doesn’t make it so.
    “Bare” Nature is malleable. Houses don’t just appear because of the invisible hand of Nature, a consciousness has to choose particular actions that bring houses into existence. Snakes and dogs are incapable of that kind of technology – why can’t they build? They lack the knowledge tools. A central contribution of Objectivism is an understanding of “knowledge”, and how it is that we get from observed facts to choices. We can observe properties of trees, and properties of rocks, and integrate that knowledge reaching the conclusion that we can create lumber. More observation and integration leads us to the conclusion that we can (and knowledge how) build houses. Other observations and integration lead to a moral code whereby we should build houses (in order to survive).
    In short, Objectivism puts consciousness and existence in the right order.
  19. Thanks
    DavidOdden got a reaction from EC in Reblogged:Pet Peeve Officially Identified as Rude   
    I am super-shocked that an Objectivist would interpret “Do you want to take out the trash?” as an order, wrapped up as indirect fake-politeness and then asserting without evidence that this “comes across as belittling”. The proposed alternative is to state your request directly, because people don’t like to feel manipulated, and yet the alternative given is the even-worse highly manipulative pseudo-request “Will you do me a favor?”. For the record, that is literally a request for information (a prediction about the future), but without saying what that favor is, you are making an altruistic claim against the addressee’s life. If in fact your purpose is to command a person to take out the trash, as initially asserted above, the most two direct ways to do that are to say “Take out the trash!” or even better, “I command you to take out the trash”. We can temporarily leave aside the question of comparative rudeness.
    The blank-check manipulation strategy behind the loathesome utterance “Will you do me a favor?” is not a request for information (compare that to “Will the bus arrive on time?”, where you have some reason to believe that your interlocutor can predict arrival time). It is a demand for a promise – without the courtesy of saying what you are promising, or why you would promise it. A less manipulative, direct approach is to state a fact, such as “I want you to take out the trash” (who cares what you want?), “It would be to your advantage if you took out the trash” (I’m waiting for the details…), “If you want sex, you better take out the trash” (at least now you know what’s at stake), or the objectively preferable “If and only if you take out the trash, I will have sex with you” (though submit that contract to a lawyer if you can’t find the loopholes). Everytime some pundit makes an ignorant claim about proper use of language and what words “really” mean, I have to fight the temptation to make a witty or sarcastic reply, and I always lose the fight.
    It is very rude to make uninformed claims about language, and yet people do it all the time. I think that the reason is that “rude” is an emotional response, not a rational one. It’s clearly a negative reaction, it implies that the perpetrator lacks basic knowledge of social norms, and is only used when the evaluator feels (yes, feels) that those norms are so self-evidently true that it is impossible to rationally explain what is morally wrong with the action. Appeal to how things “come across” is a bullet-proof proof that an action is rude: it is bullet-proof because it is a statement about the speaker’s subjective emotional reaction, which cannot politely be disputed.
    In aid of getting the trash taken out, what would be a morally-proper egoistic action? Very simply, take out the trash, don’t pass the buck to some other person. If taking the trash out is of high value to you, you will take out the trash. If it is a high value to Smith to take out the trash himself, Smith will take out the trash without any prompting. Since Thanksgiving just happened, we might reflect on social interactions from last Thursday. How do you acquire more turkey when it is 12 feet away from you? We could make a list of verbal and non-verbal means of achieving that end, and then we could also pair with each means a rudeness-evaluation, where (for example) interrupting a conversation to say “Pass the turkey” is rule, and saying “Please pass the turkey” is ruder because it introduces a level of uncertainty in the request (what should I do if it doesn’t please me to pass the turkey?). BTW getting up and taking the turkey is also rude, I leave that as an exercise to the reader.
    This is just a smattering of the massive set of reasons why I wish people would dismount their high horses over social conventions of language use.
  20. Thanks
    DavidOdden got a reaction from EC in What are some counter-cultural rules you live by?   
    You are correct that Objectivists do present Objectivism as being “radical” in some sense (in fact: it means "root" at least in Rand's usage) , but that is a contingent truth, not a defining property. In a cultural context where most people adhere to Objectivist principles, we would drop that characterization.
    As a rhetorical device for summarizing our stance in relation to others, the term “radical” is more appropriate than “conservative”, “traditionalist”, or “liberal”. I am not personally invested in defending the sound-bite use of the term “radical”. It is true and accurate to say that Objectivism does not support a wide range of popular beliefs and practices, and perhaps we could talk about what those “counter-cultural” beliefs are. The system is radically different from all other previous systems, although individual statements with which we agree and have even adopted can be found historically over the past 2,000 years or so (extending this back 10,000 years is too much of a stretch, or too little, since humans learned how to make fire much further in the past, and learned how to hunt even before we were humans). That is, the system is more than just the individual parts, it is the logical relations between the parts. The system has been sorely lacking, historically.
    We don’t have long lists of rules, because we have a system, whereas the Amish (perhaps) have long lists and no system. The principle of “simplicity” is belied by the fact that they have clothing styles that are 400 or so years old – not 10,000 – that they use domesticated animals, metal chisels.
    The most productive way that I know of to understand the practical application of Objectivism is to focus on a comparison of why you act the way you do, and how that differs from how other people act. The actual behavior may be same for Objectivists and non-Objectivists, but the chain of reasoning that leads to a choice will differ. Objectivist reasoning is not rooted in “the greater good”, whereas most people reduce their choices to some kind of social benefit.
  21. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Repairman in What are some counter-cultural rules you live by?   
    I suppose first there has to be a “rule”. In my culture (the US), very few people use hanh phi in cooking and they don’t eat ugali, but that isn’t a “rule”, it’s a cultural accident that it isn’t a commonly-known option. It’s not really a “cultural rule” that people don’t have a Ph D or that you aren’t an accountant. There are cultural prohibitions against incest, theft, loud noises in the middle of the night. public nudity, using the N word, and so on. Any legal prohibition is a cultural rule against doing that thing. One other thing: norms for children are not the same as norms for adults, so we ought to limit the context to adult behavior.
    It is a cultural rule that a man stands up when a lady enters the room, however the vast majority of (male) adults do not follow this rule. Now, I’m old enough that I am aware of this rule, but I suspect that this rule was quietly repealed by the cultural legislators in the early 70’s. So it’s not entirely clear that there is any such a rule, and maybe we should say that it is a former rule.
    There is a new cultural rule of language that every adjective must be preceded by the adverb “super”. I refuse to abide by that rule. I know a number of people who don’t abide by that rule, but I don’t know if they are aware that there is this rule – in a few cases, I know that they are aware and they refuse, for the majority, they may be unaware that this is a rule.
    There is also a cultural rule regarding copying intellectual property without the permission of the owner. A considerable percentage of those who violate this rule do so willfully i.e. they refuse to follow the rule, but an even bigger percentage don’t follow the rule because they misunderstand the rule (usually thinking it only applies to copying for profit but not copying for personal use or the use of friends and family).
    In short, there are zillions of rules that most people don’t follow, mostly because they don’t know that there is such a rule, or believe that the rule has been repealed.
  22. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Boydstun in The Objectivist Concept of Truth   
    I want to butt in with a distracting point that may seem irrelevant but I argue is a central issue. The ancient Greeks did not have the idea “all animals are mortal”, as I understand it, the expansion beyond singular terms originates from William of Ockham. More to the point, the ancient Greeks did not have ideas about animals and mortal, but they did have concepts and perhaps ideas about θήρ and βροτός. Specifying the referents for these words is way above my pay-grade. The nit that I am picking is that one must first inspect the referents as a unit, and see what label (word) is assigned to that unit. Discussion of concepts in Ancient Greek have to focus on facts of Ancient Greek and ancient Greeks. As I understand it, the above terms more closely translate to English as “wild beast” and “mortal man”. All concepts are specific to a language, but the potential to create extensionally-identical units with some label is universal,
    Let’s then ask whether concepts have changed in the context of English, but taking other terms like “press” or “arms”. The latter two figure in the US Constitution in the First and Second Amendments. When the document was written, newspapers were literally printed on presses (originally designed for pressing wine), and “arms” were all single-shot muzzle-loaded metal tubes. The concepts “press” and “arms” are not limited to the extant technology of the time, they refer more abstractly to the practice of disseminating “expressions”, and to weapons. Meaning is concepts and propositions, not a list of concrete instances – meaning is intensional, not extensional. Thus the meaning of these concepts has not changed at all.
    There are cases where something other than technology or knowledge changes, for example “sick” has gained a new, positive meaning (at least for the time), and in British English, “boot” has been metaphorically extended first to mean “where you step to get into a coach” then “lower luggage compartment”, now “trunk”.
    I have deluded myself into thinking that I have a tolerable understanding of the concept “concept” and “proposition”, and I also know what a “sentence” is. I know the history of the word idea but I can’t say very exactly what an idea is (what distinguishes it from a proposition). I would be strongly inclined to say that a proposition is a specific type of sentence, except that propositions generally have to be paired with additional information that overcomes the vagueness of natural language (for instance, “He said that Stephen spoke” does not say who “he” is except it cannot be “Stephen”). In one knowledge context “he” would mean “David”, and in another context it would mean “Fred”. It would be correct to say that a proposition is a pairing of a sentence a context. It is also advantageous to promote language, not just because of my professional interest in it but because sentences can be objectively inspected and are not abstract and unjustified constructs like Cartesian mental images projected onto our brains. This is what the technical concept “semantic interpretation” refers to.
    A well-meaninged declaration that “He likes mammals, like lions and penguins”, it not and does not convert into a contextual truth when you discover that the person has a false belief that penguins are mammals. The declaration “He likes mammals, like lions”, is also not rendered contextually false because you can imagine there is some person whose pronoun is “he” yet who have most mammal species. Truth has to be about an objectively correct grasp of reality, unless we resign ourselves to saying that objectively false beliefs make false statements “contextually true”. I do not have a solution to the problem of distinguishing false beliefs, redefinitions of concepts, and “pronominal” terms like “I, that…”, but I would say that admitting false beliefs as contextually true solvent that creates truth from falsehood is not a good solution.
  23. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from Boydstun in god an anti concept?   
    My main point is that “God”, in the Christian sense, is not a concept, it is a proper name, like Barak Obama. Proper names don’t have CCDs. However, “unicorn” is a concept, and it has a CCD, even though there are no actual unicorns which you can touch. Mathematical concepts are all completely abstract and untouchable, but they are concepts. If we talk of “god” in the anthropological sense, i.e. supernatural personified beings across cultures as we might discuss in an Anthro class, then there would be a CCD, even though the term refers to an idea and not a tangible entity. “God” and “god” are both labels for existents, but they are not entities.
  24. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from EC in Victim of gang stalking   
    As I think you know, things tend to spin out of control here and everywhere else on the intenet. So to mostly return to the initial problem, you face a problem, so how do you make the problem go away? To avoid repeating what has been said, we can just say that the problem is trespassing, which is illegal. When someone violates your rights in that manner, you can’t (shouldn’t) take direct action by way of using retaliatory force against The Others (just an arbitrary label for the sake of convenience in talking about the problem). This is really the job of the police. Now perhaps there are things you can do, analogous to “bring your bike inside, don’t leave it on the porch”, maybe techno-sanitizing your phone if it has been infected with malware. But for the most part, this isn’t something that anyone here can help with, and is hardly a problem that you can solve yourself – unless you just disappear without a trace and start a new life somewhere else.
    You have identified a problem with your roommate, but I guess that is resolved? Then there is the problem with the others. So what you hav to do is file a formal, written complaint with the police, giving as much concrete evidence as you can which could lead to identifying and apprehending them. “Concrete evidence” isn’t the same as “conjectured explanations”, it refers to the axiomatic: things that you directly observe. You can’t directly observe that your phone is hacked, that is a conjecture based on something else, something that you observed at a specific time and place. What did you observe that led you to conclude that this is the work of a “huge group” rather than one person, or two persons? Don’t tell me, write it down. Have they ever communicated to you in a fashion that supports the conclusion that they are altruistic/collectivist/statists who are attacking you as an Objectivist? Why you attribute the behavior to a particular political agenda rather than simply assuming that they are punks, like in Death Wish 3? It isn’t important what the motivation is, so I would advise dropping from consideration all non-essentials. The essential question is, what have they done? It would be nice if you could connect specific actions to named individuals, but that’s not always possible. Specific descriptions of events, eliminate conjectures about cause.
    Put it in writing. Retain copies.
  25. Like
    DavidOdden got a reaction from HowardRoarkSpaceDetective in Victim of gang stalking   
    As I think you know, things tend to spin out of control here and everywhere else on the intenet. So to mostly return to the initial problem, you face a problem, so how do you make the problem go away? To avoid repeating what has been said, we can just say that the problem is trespassing, which is illegal. When someone violates your rights in that manner, you can’t (shouldn’t) take direct action by way of using retaliatory force against The Others (just an arbitrary label for the sake of convenience in talking about the problem). This is really the job of the police. Now perhaps there are things you can do, analogous to “bring your bike inside, don’t leave it on the porch”, maybe techno-sanitizing your phone if it has been infected with malware. But for the most part, this isn’t something that anyone here can help with, and is hardly a problem that you can solve yourself – unless you just disappear without a trace and start a new life somewhere else.
    You have identified a problem with your roommate, but I guess that is resolved? Then there is the problem with the others. So what you hav to do is file a formal, written complaint with the police, giving as much concrete evidence as you can which could lead to identifying and apprehending them. “Concrete evidence” isn’t the same as “conjectured explanations”, it refers to the axiomatic: things that you directly observe. You can’t directly observe that your phone is hacked, that is a conjecture based on something else, something that you observed at a specific time and place. What did you observe that led you to conclude that this is the work of a “huge group” rather than one person, or two persons? Don’t tell me, write it down. Have they ever communicated to you in a fashion that supports the conclusion that they are altruistic/collectivist/statists who are attacking you as an Objectivist? Why you attribute the behavior to a particular political agenda rather than simply assuming that they are punks, like in Death Wish 3? It isn’t important what the motivation is, so I would advise dropping from consideration all non-essentials. The essential question is, what have they done? It would be nice if you could connect specific actions to named individuals, but that’s not always possible. Specific descriptions of events, eliminate conjectures about cause.
    Put it in writing. Retain copies.
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