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Everything posted by Jackethan

  1. I watched this and Del Toro's other movie El Orfanato or The Orphanage with my mom. We both really liked the movie. From the mystical life after death standpoint, both movies are supposed to portray a bittersweet message. Even though Ofelia dies, she gets to be the princess of the fantasy kingdom. Despite liking the movie, I felt that the ending was a sort of a jab at atheists very similar to the movie Signs (which I also liked anyway), I felt the message was 'For you atheists, there is no hope, no fantasy to live on after death, so for all of you, this is SAD AND DEPRESSING, go cry in your pillow. But for those watching who believe, then this little girl got everything she wanted, so go be happy!'
  2. I agree with Tenure. Having grown at the beginning of the generation in question, I can definitely say that any person I've met at my age or younger with those problems has some other actual problem which leads them to believe their lives are completely in the internet or in a game. Whether the cause is some sort of learning disorder in the child, drugs, abuse from parents, or normal everyday teenage angst. These are the same complaints people had about the bookworms decades ago. "Oh they never take their noses out of those books, they won't have the practical knowledge to deal with real life, always living in a fantasy land." and many other excuses for many other generations. The problem is not the tool of escape, the problem is what they want to escape from.
  3. I really doubt the Swiss will give in to America's request for access to swiss accounts. They would immediately lose all their business, even people who don't live in America, because they wouldn't be able to trust the Swiss. Obama -would- have to invade to get at that cash, and then he'd be seen as the evil fascist he is.
  4. You tell others in this thread not to judge you poorly for disliking a movie about "Hate for hate's sake." And yet, reciprocally, you accuse every single person who disagrees with you on the artistic quality of this movie, on this Objectivist forum, of being a Nihilist and hating life. Is it not possible that liking or disliking any art which does not fall under the genre of Romanticism is an OPTIONAL value? And being an optional value, is it valid to judge someone's character based on this optional value? If you dislike chocolate ice-cream, is every person in the world, ever, who likes chocolate ice-cream a nihilistic, life hater? I approve of and watch many movies which seem nihilistic, and many characters who are sociopathic, for exactly the same reason that I approve of and watch documentaries depicting images of concentration camps after the Holocaust, and for exactly the same reason I approve of and watched the movies which came out depicting the horrible events at 9-11. I believe it is necessary for man to have a very clear image of evil in his 'pocket' at all times, that he must know the details, causes, and habits of the greatest evils in the world, that when faced with such evils a man may more easily identify and destroy them.
  5. I also realize this thread is old but I've played a great number of single player games and MMOs and I think I have a good response to the article from the original post. RationalBiker mentioned a lot of good reasons why the author of the article got it wrong about WoW. I will start by acknowledging its faults: WoW -is- set up to reward players for time spent. Skill means nearly nothing until you start getting up to doing raids and instances. In PvP arenas skill is less important than your class combination. But, this is where WoW got it right: Leveling can be done completely solo (I've been playing since the BWL patch, which was less than a year after WoW came out) players have always been able to level up to 60, 70, or 80 (depending on which expansion you're on) completely solo. It is even easier -now.- This is for those introverts that hate playing with people. Personally, I hate playing with strangers. I have a very close group of friends on WoW that I play exclusively with. Classes are easy to play, tough to master. This is important, the player needs to feel that the class he is playing makes sense, that he knows what he's doing, but there also has to be a point at which the player knows so much about his or her class that he can be leagues ahead of others who play the same class. WoW does do this. Guilds are the same thing that every single other MMO that I've played has. From Vanguard, to EQ, to City of Heroes, Guilds are exactly the same thing. There has always been a way to form an organization of players that you can chat with and work together on a regular basis. This is a good thing, the quality of the guild is completely dependant on the players. If you're in a guild with a bunch of megalomaniacs, or socialists (yep, I've been in them) then your experience is quite likely to be completely horrible. Now, could WoW use some improvement? Yes, it could. It lacks in many areas. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is a sub-quality game. But it is important that you know the scale. WoW is a bad game to me, but it is still -the best- MMO I've played. That says really bad things about other MMOs, but it's true. To butcher a Winston Churchill quote, World of Warcraft is the worst kind of MMORPG, except for all the others.
  6. Jackethan

    Animal rights

    From what I understand of this issue, (there's another post that discusses this, I think it might have been in the viros debate.) the reason that human beings have rights and animals do not is specifically because -we use reason in order to survive-. I think of it this way, it's definitely not possible that no animal ever, in history, or now does -not- have the ability to use reason at some minute degree. Else, we would not be able to. I'll use a computer analogy. Let's pretend computers 'evolve', the computer might grow arms and legs, it might gradually solve more and more complex functions, its processing power might grow, as well as its memory capacity, but without the tiniest -semblance- of some sort of will or volitional capacity, it could not develop one. My desktop computer will not and could never become a fully integrated sapient artificial intelligence, (barring the obvious constraints of reality) because there is no learning ability, no volition or even the semblance of volition. But, regardless of my uneducated guess about animals having reason, the difference, and the reason humans have rights, is because animals can survive purely on instinct, or without instinct, animals could not survive using their minimal capacity for reason. Humans must use reason in order to survive, and thus, have rights.
  7. If a dude's life goal is to die, he's got a philosophical contradiction. He's not healthy, he's going to hurt people, himself, waste time and money. When it comes down to it, his goal in life is probably -not- to die. But even if it were, to try and kill himself in that method, with the very real possibility of shooting and killing someone else, he is most definitely wrong. Usually such gun battles are not the result of a man wanting to kill -himself- but wanting to kill other people. Darwin, and philosophy, pertains to people who are alive, in other words people that like life and wish to continue to do so. Living is not a 'collective goal.' It's a choice. If you choose not to live, I recommend following that man's idea of 'morality.' Since most people like living, it is in our interest to discover the best way to successfully do so within reality. Saying morality is objective because it pertains to that which furthers life does not negate individuality; it enables it. If morality is relative, why bother with anything? Why even have political opinions? Where does your libertarianism spring from? Some people have decided that their goal in life, their 'morality' involves dominating and controlling the lives of everyone on earth, and they work toward it every day. Who are you to tell Stalin he was wrong? In his morality, he wasn't. Believing that your purpose is to kill, or control, does not change the reality that those things are wrong.
  8. Regardless of whether or not animals are capable of reasoning, and regardless of whether or not human beings have instincts, animals survive via instinct, humans survive via reason. An animal instinctually stays with others of its kind, some instinctually know how to walk, and they instinctually stay to learn from their mothers on how to become self sufficient, or sufficient in the pack, depending on the species. Humans have no such instincts. A baby does not know how to walk, a baby does not know much of anything, it is instantly learning the second it is born, eventually it learns to imitate, it learns to conceptualize, and to talk, based on how it is raised. We don't have an instinct that tells us where to go for food, how to get it, or offer any help whatsoever in the performing of any activities required to sustain our lives. We -learn- them, from people in the past who -reasoned- them out. How do I know this? We have emotions, (which AR properly defined as the product of our values, which we gained by reason) they call back the memory of my childhood, "Food makes my stomach feel better." "If I cry I get food." then it evolves "I -like- food." "My source of food is another person." "I -like- this person, because she gives me food." Obviously the relationship between children and parents is much more complex and meaningful, but that is how it evolves. My dog however does not 'like' me. She knows that she gets food every day, and she gets petting, so she repeats whatever behavior seems to get her food and petting, and that's her life. She does not aspire, have goals, or seek to advance beyond just surviving, because that is her instinct. Her job is to survive, and pass on her genes. Humans have no such job, because we have no such instincts. We -decide- to exist, and we -decide- to use reason.
  9. I believe that the terror she's talking about is a very internal, sometimes even subconscious terror. The kind that a person in that situation probably doesn't tell anybody about. It is not a physical emotion, until it is drawn into the light. When such people are confronted directly on their contradictions, they usually respond with intense anger, which is a reaction to the terror they feel inside. As for the ubiquitous use of the word terror, I've recently read the beginning of PWNI and I agree that I have seen it mentioned a couple of times in that text, and it made sense to me. The kind of terror she means isn't specifically about the external effects of their shortcuts, as in the gas prices or economy death, but the internal struggle from their subconscious to eliminate contradiction while their conscious mind constantly reinforces it. Jake, she most definitely is referring to non-objectivists in those quotes. CYP.
  10. This is what stood out most to me when reading your post, Talya. What is your definition of "Right" and "Wrong"? I don't mean your relativist view of what is Right and Wrong for you, in your morality, I mean what is your definition of the words? Now, this isn't the prettiest definition, but what is morally Right is any action which serves to further the purpose of a man's life -without- causing harm to another man or himself. Your problem seems to lie in that it -looks- like (correct me if I'm wrong) you believe morality is relative because you have discovered that morality's source is -not- divine. In other words, you seem to think that the only way morality can be objectively definable and universal among all men is if it was created and is enforced by some power, and since you've recently discovered you don't actually believe in such a power, you believe morality no longer has any concrete basis. This is where Objectivism disagrees with moral relativism: Morality -is- bound in reality, and just because it is not instinctual or divine does not mean that it is not objectively definable. You describe yourself as a Darwinist, which is good! But analyzing the connections between Darwin's Natural Selection and human society actually reinforces that morality -is- objective. For instance; animals are obviously not sentient and as such cannot have rights, nor do they have any need for a code of morality, but let's pretend they do for a moment. If an Elephant decides suddenly that his mate is hogging all his food, and that he'd be much better off with her dead, and kills her, he has just committed an -immoral- act. Why is it immoral? It does not -actually- help him in any shape, now he cannot have children with her, so his genes will obviously not be passed along and he will be easier to pick off by a predator, that Elephant just FAILED at life. The reason his choice is immoral is because it leads to his death, and the death of his mate. Humans have it easy in one sense, we do not (currently) know of any other species that uses reason instead of instinct to survive. Because we are animals of reason over instinct, morality strictly applies to us and for us. It is wrong to initiate force, why? Because force is the opposite of reason, it breaks our 'code'. If I killed another person in anything other than self defense, I have chosen to -relinquish- my right to live. In other words, by killing someone I am saying 'I do not recognize this person's right to life.' and in turn, I should be killed; I no longer have that same right to life, because I didn't recognize it. The initiation of force against another person is wrong universally. There is no context in which it is correct to use force unless it is for the preservation of my own or someone else's individual rights. Morality -was- created by man, for man, and just because it was, does not mean it is relative.
  11. Voluntary slavery defies the definition of slavery as pointed out in the original post. If I -want- to haul the rocks up the pyramid for free, I am not a slave. (Just an idiot.) You can't be a volunteer slave just like you can't be a bird and a rock. Individual rights. Capitalism is moral because it allows human beings to coexist for mutual benefit without the use of force.
  12. I haven't studied theoretical physics very much, but what about describing the universe as a fractal, like the Mandlebrot set? At any stage or distance you will see the same pattern, and no matter how far you zoom in or out you see the same thing. What if the universe is unbound by the dimension of size? Inside each atom, another piece of the universe, and our verse, encased by an atom? Again, just my imagination going wild.
  13. The one point I can think of in regard to AR's mentioned point about naming children etc.: Why not name myself my genetic code? It's completely unique to me, nobody else can have it. It is my individual genetic code. It's pretty long though, and I can't imagine a person taking a glance at it and being able to pick out the sequence of TTAGACTTA that might be different in my code than any other person's. It also brings up another question, identical twins have the same genetic code! (I think, holler profusely and hop up and down about how wrong I am, if I am wrong) If they don't, they sure do look alike. Does that make them second class citizens, because they have no physical distinction and thus should 'share' an identity? A name is a means for a person in your general area to refer to you. It is a symbol of you, just like the alphabet symbolizes a sound. K and C can symbolize the same sound, should we consolidate them? No, they perform functions, we understand words differently based on their usage. K and C affect the word around them, how it is pronounced, what it means. Existence is identity, yes, but just because something is -called- the same name as something else, does not make them identical.
  14. This is fun, let me try: P1: Any system of immigration designed to 'filter' so that only the best and brightest people would be allowed in would be steeped in bureaucracy, as 'best and brightest' is an entirely subjective criteria. P2: Bureaucracy is the bane of intellect. P3: Non-intelligent people view bureaucracy as a 'hurdle' on their way to the socialistic hand-outs they pine for so amazingly on their way to glorious America. P4: The people in charge of immigration have to let a certain amount of people in, so when none of the 'best and brightest' can be found wanting to go through the disgustingly long and hugely egalitarian immigration process, they might begin to let in some of the 'better and brighter' or the 'okay, and semi intelligent'. P5: (generalization:)Non-intelligent people might also view skipping the entire immigration process in favor of hopping the fence, or swimming the pond and existing here illegally. Conclusion: If the borders were opened to the ENTIRE world, (not just what countries you feel 'match' our 'culture' best.) and any Joe Blow from Reykjavik to Auckland (and beyond!) could walk over into America and start a new life, we -would- experience an economic upturn. Immediately. Simply because the 'best and brightest' aren't going to wait to be measured by someone else's standard of 'best and brightest'. They do not wait, and they do not have time for standards. If the poorest farmer in Mexico could drop his tools and walk over -without- having to go through a Coyote, -without- having to steal someone's social security number, where he is a legal citizen and might even have the ability to find (OR *gasp* create) a legitimate job, instead of whatever low paying under the table work he can find, he just might transform into the same kinds of immigrants who (yes they really did) built this country. Recognizing that brilliant minds are not exclusively born in rich countries, in fact that brilliant people are not 'born' but made. When simply trying to exist is a crime, everyone is a criminal. When a man, any man, regardless of where he was born or any other environmental factor, realizes that he can go to a place where he -doesn't- have to be a criminal anymore, and he can succeed, he will choose that. Is America a magical land of freedom and capitalism? No, but maybe, if more people who have lived in countries that suffer from the worst crimes of socialism and communism were allowed to come, they might help spread the growth of the ideals of Capitalism by letting their new friends and peers know that the socialism that they claim 'made Cuba the best place to find a doctor' or 'gave Canada a better health care system than the US' isn't really what goes on. It took me about five seconds after hearing Yaron Brook mention a couple virtues that might be brought from opening the borders to realize that he's got the right idea. Oh, and from a practical standpoint: What's one of our problems? Too many empty houses. What does open borders bring: More people to live in houses. Closing the borders creates a limited group of people capable of buying houses. We want to breathe life into the real estate market? Bring more demand. EDIT: Oh also, if you feel that open borders would allow muslim fundamentalists to get into the country and do their durn muslim fundamentalism all over our streets, please remember: Criminals commit crime. You could completely close the borders and allow -no- immigration, and they would still get in. People who are going to strap a bomb to their chest are not interested in following the law. Terrorist attacks should be stopped by other means than putting up a sign on the fence that says 'plx no terrorists.'
  15. This is pretty much what I did with myself all day long a couple years back. I call it Roleplaying. (sounds a little less collective than collective fiction ^^) Each person doesn't necessarily have to pick a specific character, but essentially each person sort of adds their own bit of story here and there. I'd love to participate, if you wouldn't mind Zip. I really dig that plot pitch you've made and I'm currently reading the first post. I have a couple ideas floating around in my head, but I'd like to ask some organizational questions. Would you like to be a sort of 'Game master' for this? Major plot developments etc. would go through you? Did you have something else in mind? Also, how sci-fi do you want this? Is Earth a dystopia now? You mentioned the space program is a sort of monument, so I would assume that there isn't much change in the way of technology for the everyday citizen, especially considering that fair wage law, but how advanced would you expect Mars to be? Is Mars already terraformed at this point in the plot or are colonists going to go live on a station for a while? I also really dig the idea of a civil war over Mars and freedom.
  16. I think an interview in Playboy also emphasized one of her ideals which is 'sex is good.' I think regardless of Hugh Hefner's personal life, a magazine about sex is exactly the kind of place she would want to interview with. It is in congruence with an ideal she mentioned in P:WNI about censorship of the porn industry, that the popularity of the speech has no bearing on whether it can morally be censored by anyone; it cannot.
  17. I think she would've been a cool best friend/mentor type. Someone I could consult at any time about things going on in my life and she'd give me the best answer in the funnest way.
  18. The alleged detriment to physical health caused by masturbation is not at all compared to the psychological effect of -not- getting sexual relief for long periods of time. The entire page fails to mention a single -benefit- to masturbation. As such, the entire page is biased, and (it can be inferred) so is the book. As such I thought the question of whether or not the argument is 'reasonable' is self evident. It is not.
  19. Suddenly everything wrong in my life makes sense! Being sexually active is -bad- for me, AFK guys, becoming a priest.
  20. And Edison's vendetta against Tesla's inventions (which were arguably more well thought out and inspired than Edison's) including a PR campaign to completely deface Tesla's achievements do not go to Edison's character? Hard work is important, Edison however took the approach of "Screw the science, screw trying to figure it out, just put some stuff together and see what comes out." While Edison's achievements are admirable, I'd counter that work without rational "inspiration" is counter productive and non-progressive.
  21. I'd say now is our time, more than ever. This time, now that the liberals are in charge, they can't sit round absorbing people to their cause via the: "Evil pig capitalist republican policies getting you down? Join the underdog." Slogan. Now it's our turn. Now's not the time to give up talking. Now's the time to get bigger than ever before. Books, public speaking, internet, radio, and TV. Get the message out that America needs reason, not emotion, and Selfishness, not sacrifice.
  22. I like the Tesla theory, for its coolness factor. Considering his other achievements, I think it may be possible.
  23. Alternate solution: Formation of an association (not government aided or controlled in any fashion) whose job it is to identify corporations which mistreat animals, and encourage members to organize boycots of such organizations' products on that standard. In the case of private mistreatment, perhaps you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner's society, which you must agree to in order to live in that neighborhood. One of the agreements could be that you will not mistreat animals on or around your property. Government coercion is not needed in order to protect living creatures (While pets may be property by the law of identity, by the same law they are also -living creatures-.) If you morally think animals should not be mistreated, you can bet other people do too.
  24. Jackethan

    Tell me why...

    Let me say, I believe Anarchy could work as a form of government, if it were allowed to. I personally would rather live in an Objectivist state than an anarchic state, here is why. In an anarchy, a company may arise as a private security force to defend a particular community. Then another might pop up for the same region. The people in that region have the option as consumers, and in this case you'd think a little competition would be good! By capitalistic standards, this would be true. However, one PSF might claim dominion over an area, and start to fight the other. At this point, the people in the community would have to take up arms to fight for whatever specific PSF they happen to like, which if the companies don't have any sort of mission statement or ideology, may just be whichever one opposes the one that killed a family member, or whichever one a friend works for. Now a region is at war. Creating feuds, hatreds, and lots of killing. Then, the violence spills into a neighboring region, then the PSF of that region, and probably a few residents, would spill into the region, now we have a civil war. There is no authority, no state government capable of quelling this city vs. city violence, not unless there is a Private Military corporation, which would be difficult to fund with all these private security forces, and then the people must ask the private military to settle the violence, and they may do it, or they may not, because what does a private military corporation get paid for? War. What if there is no more war? Get paid less. In an Objectivist style of government the people would pay one military organization, and it would be held to the standard of objective laws, which protect individual rights only. We would pay one police organization in our area, which would also be held to those laws. Without those laws explicitly stated and objectively interpereted, there would be no way to prevent the one or two (Yes, I think people are good enough that there is only a few corrupt individuals) bad guys from getting a lot of power and exerting it.
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