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Everything posted by Jake

  1. Resurrecting the thread to share an interesting article about tribal peoples whose ability to remember quantities is limited by the absence of numbers in their languages. https://theconversation.com/anumeric-people-what-happens-when-a-language-has-no-words-for-numbers-75828 It seems the number may be four-ish. Perhaps, the seven-ish number requires easy and distinct labels for the items remembered, and our natural ability to perceive numbers is no better than a crow's.
  2. I believe the very concept of probability is epistemological. When you see blue, you are seeing blue. When you hear a sound, you are hearing a sound. Ad nauseum for any possible perception. Anything else, be it ball-picking or electron impacts necessarily rests on epistemology, because it is not bare perception. Alternatively, anything which is not in the present tense is not purely perceptual. So asking what will or what is likely to happen is inextricably epistemological in nature.
  3. As with any personal mental change that happens over time, it's difficult to nail down a description. I can describe it more from how I feel now. It's not just the weight change, it's the fact that my body is part of me when it comes to maintenance and improvement. I've always sought to learn, think better, etc. I also play music when I can and consider myself an accomplished driver and pilot. My physical fitness now lies in that same realm of personal accomplishment which was previously limited to mental activities. I think that previously I had a detachment brought on by evading thoughts about my body or the actions that let it get into terrible shape. I'm certainly no athlete, but I run 30-40 mi/week now, and when I look at my legs or feet, I have a sense of pride and ownership. Eating well also feeds into my personal pride. I think there's a vicious cycle for many overweight people where disappointment with one's body leads to evasion/detachment, which then enables poor eating/lack of exercise. It's easier sometimes to pretend that "looks don't matter" or "it's what inside that counts" which supports the schism between mind and body. I suppose it may be like people who claim to be "bad at math," detach their math skills from the rest of their personality, and avoid actions which would improve the situation. It's very difficult to communicate to someone who grew up with and maintained healthy habits what it feels like to shop for clothes, look in the mirror, or be in crowded situations where someone might bump into your flab. I think there are feelings and evasions that a healthy person may never experience, and so they have no reference. A bit more rambling than I would've liked, but the short answer is I feel more integrated now and comfortable in my own skin.
  4. I agree that the "shaming" aspect of the article was weak. It was far from cyber-bullying or anything of that sort. I do however like her description of realizing that she and her body are integral. I have sensed the same thing as I got into running and shed 70 lb.
  5. Are any OOers going to the Yaron Brook talk in Costa Mesa, CA on Wednesday? I will be in San Diego on business and may drive north to attend.
  6. It seemed to me his point was that every swan is not 12 lb, because they actually vary from 11.5 to 12.5 lb. I was presenting a counter-example to show his case didn't support his argument, rather than commenting on the strict identity requirement.
  7. I lived in Japan for 3 years. I admire many superficial aspects of their culture, but despise the apparent source of such traditions. The cleanliness, politeness, quality of service, food presentation, etc. is all amazing. The problem, I think, is that much of it is motivated by a duty ethic. From talking to fellow servicemembers who married Japanese women and saw a bit more "behind the curtain" than I could as a gaijin, the exceptional public politeness towards neighbors and foreigners is often offset by gossip and racism only expressed within the household. I think reading Rand's books can give a clue to how a duty ethic can lead to resentment,
  8. This is an incomplete thought, not a position taken... What would AI researchers have to say about the possibility of consciousness without life? Volitional consciousness is certainly self-generated, but I don't see the predication on self-sustaining (yet). Thoughts?
  9. IMO, what changes greatly with age is the volatility of people's opinions, not the depth of thought which formed them.
  10. This made me think of the travesty of any book written by Frank Herbert's son Brian and his quantity-over-quality partner Kevin J. Anderson.
  11. My vote is laziness or not realizing their method of showing tabulated data resembles a bar chart. Edward Tufte's Visual Display of Quantitative Information covers these issues really well. http://www.amazon.com/Visual-Display-Quantitative-Information/dp/0961392142
  12. What would be the scientific basis for assuming something can be "broken down" indefinitely?
  13. I have been in the military for over 11 years, and I have yet to see a reliable statistic showing rape in the military is any more prevalent than it is in U.S. society as a whole. Of course rape is a problem, but it's not a specific military problem, especially when you consider that the armed forces are greatly comprised of 17-25 year old single males (classic criminal demographic). The military is burdened with hours upon hours of mandatory sexual assault prevention and response training every year - far more than the 15 minutes you might get at college orientation, even though colleges are no less a hotbed for sexual assault. Commanders have to walk on glass any time a sexual assault is reported for fear that they might be fired if the slightest mistake is made in the investigation. There are known cases of false accusations, especially at the military academies, but I can tell you from experience as an officer with knowledge of a few investigations that the alleged victims are not mistreated or distrusted. On the other hand, the alleged aggressors are shunned, placed on other duties, moved to other commands, or even confined during the investigation. Additionally, military commanders can execute greater punishment with lesser evidence than a civilian court. Courts-martial are only one path (the one which more closely resemble civilian justice). A sailor can be put in the brig on only bread and water for a few days, docked pay for a few months, and separated from service by an O-5 or above via Article 15 NJP without a lick of evidence.
  14. Rather than starting a new thread, I'll just say here that I saw Rush in San Jose last week, and they were as great as ever. I saw them for the Test for Echo tour ('96) and the 30th anniversary tour ('04), and enjoyed this show the best of the three. It helps that the new album is better than much of what came after "Signals."
  15. From the military perspective, war games are extremely useful for two reasons: 1) They allow players on both sides to act with some degree of freedom. This exposes alternative courses of action (both friendly and enemy) that may be missed by a purely thought-experiment style brainstorming session. 2) They expose flaws or potential breakdowns in execution of plans (e.g. You plan to have 2 helicopters, but 1 breaks down - or, A certain unit misses communications involving a change of plan, etc.) This allows you to make improvements in training, preparations, etc.
  16. I am halfway through Zubrin's Merchants of Despair. It's a good read. I had no idea that so many of these terrible organizations were ideologically related (e.g. Greenpeace and the Nazis). He makes more than a few comments about the atheism of the people he dislikes and Christianity as a source of respect for the individual and individual rights, so my money is on him not being an Objectivist.
  17. So a rational person is supposed to be overly tender and kind and respond only to the obseqious nature of a hostile question? Peikoff didn't come to the forum to hear that guy talk, it was vice versa. Which is it? You're back-pedaling about your judgment or you're trying to justify it? Words have meaning; talk != debate.
  18. Uhhhh... The questioner was clearly asking, as Peikoff put it, "a very unfriendly question." Peikoff did not "hit the roof." That is just the way he talks, as evidenced by hundreds of hours of recorded lectures. Peikoff cut to the heart of what the questioner was really asking and responded. The question smuggled in the idea that Peikoff said it's not okay to talk to Libertarians, but to my knowledge, he never said that. He said that he does not debate Libertarians, which is why he answered as he did. I wish I could thumbs-down the video via this forum.
  19. Check your facts. The last bombing of Japan was on 14 Aug 1945. Hirohito announced the surrender via radio the next day (15 Aug). Additionally, the terrible firebombing of Tokyo referenced by the essay you linked was 5 months earlier on 9-10 Mar. The single historical source quoted by the essay does not say that 1,000 bombers hit Tokyo on 14 Aug. It says GEN Arnold wanted a big raid on Tokyo, but multiple separate targets were chosen instead. The records I found in a quick google search showed the last bombing of Tokyo on 10 Aug (14 Aug was other cities).
  20. I'm not an historian, so I really am asking you. When and what cities did we bomb after 2 September 1945 (The surrender ceremony)? Or when and what cities did we bomb after 15 August (Hirohito's radio announcement)? I'm sure we didn't bomb anything after the Treay of San Francisco in April 1952.
  21. It is not the Objectivist position that the right to life is a moral principle. It is a political principle formed by applying a moral principle to a social context. I'm sure you understand that a single word can refer to different concepts depending on the context/usages. It is right (i.e. good or proper) for a man to live. This is true alone on a desert island or in the middle of Times Square. Morally, a man's actions should be taken with this in mind. Politically, the right (i.e. privilege, just claim) to life is a recognition of this moral fact applied to a social context. The right to life legally sanctions one man's living while delimiting those actions which others may not take against him (killing or injuring). If a man on a desert island jumps off the top of a palm tree to his death. It may be morally wrong, but it is politically null. Freedom from coercion applies to the right to liberty, not life. Some Objectivists may reverse the conceptual hierarchy of rights and illegal actions, but Objectivism does not. The readings clearly show a conceptual progression like so: Ethical principle: It is right for one to act in his own rational judgment + Context: Society = Political principle: Right to Liberty "Freedom of coercion" comes from an understanding that the only way to interfere with a man acting on his own judgment is by force. Hierarchically, the bundling of all the specific actions one cannot take against an individual into "freedom from coercion" comes after the principle which sanctions the individual's own actions. There are, of course, many more pertinent facts which are used to fully validate these principles, but I'm not trying to rewrite CTUI or OPAR here.
  22. The only things true in any context (or all contexts) are axioms. The context for rights is society. Man has rights in a social context. If a man is alone on a deserted island, all of the conceptual prerequisites are there for him to have rights, except one: other people. It is right for him to live, and right for him to use his own judgment, and right for him to use the products of his efforts, but without another person with whom to interact, he has no need for rights. No one is there to take his life, liberty, or property. A small technical point perhaps, but worth mentioning, I think.
  23. My guess is that this has something to do with you being a nonexempt employee under the FLSA. I used to have a job that I thought was salaried, but which required me to fill out timesheets every week. I was scheduled to work 40 hr/wk and reported that, but sometimes I would leave early on Fridays, and there were times I stayed very late for troubleshooting. It turns out I didn't make enough to be nonexempt. See here: http://www.flsa.com/coverage.html It could be that the company would prefer to pay you a salary, but if you don't meet the requirements listed in that link, they have to track your hours to ensure compliance with labor laws. It protects them. I'm with SN on this one: let it be. Think of it as gov't intervention preventing you and your employer from having the business relation you both would prefer. On another note, some jobs, such as auto mechanic, are paid by the job in rated hours. So, if a transmission replacement is rated at 4 hours, the mechanic gets paid 4 hours of labor, regardless of how long he takes to complete it.
  24. As far as I can tell, moral consequentialism = pragmatism. How exactly do you decide what a constitutes a good outcome, and how do you predict to 100% accuracy that it will happen?
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