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Everything posted by jedymastyr

  1. I think the new Anthem one is better than the other new ones...though I do like the blue in Atlas. But, in terms of how they look compared to the normal covers...no contest (bad). I particularly dislike TF's new cover.
  2. You don't seem to understand what is meant by retaliatory force. Any time force is initiated, the government responds with what is called "retaliatory" force--to hold the criminal responsible (making him compensate the victim to the extent it's possible, for example). They can take away the criminal's rights (through due process) in retaliation for violating someone else's. For example, consider a crime of stealing. Person A steals person B's money. The government has every right to force person A to return the amount of money he stole (in addition to potential jail time, etc.). So, say you have some sort of private police force (which won't work). This victim goes to the private police force, and claims person A stole his money. The police go and take the criminal's money, returning it to the victim. If you notice, any "private police company" would have to use force against the criminal in order to function. There is no way for a police "company" to enforce rights without initiating force--they have to be able to punish those that it believes initiate force. Since the government did not process the case under objective law, and use its retaliatory force, the government views this "police company"'s use of force as an initiation of force against the alleged criminal. The "police company" (or whoever acted for it) will be held responsible by the government. If a crime is committed against you, you don't have a right to go to whoever you think did it and steal back whatever property you think he stole from you. That would be a crime. It is the government's job to objectively define the laws and enforce them. Companies can only do what people can--they cannot use force either. So it is impossible for a company to do the government's job.
  3. Differences between a government and private company: Governments exist to serve everyone that lives in a given society by protecting their rights. They use retaliatory force, under the guidance of objective law, to uphold justice. Governments do not properly make products to sell to the public, or provide public services (by that I mean its "services" are the protection of your rights--not anything else, and only governments are capable of this since only they can use force against those who violate rights). Companies are voluntary associations of men wishing to combine their capital to provide some products or services other people will be willing to buy, in order to gain a profit. The purpose of a company is to make money, while the purpose of a government is to protect individual rights. A company is a voluntary organization and deals with others exclusively by free trade. A government has the exclusive power to deal with people by force (only against criminals who initiate the use of force). The two have a lot more differences than similarities. The main distinction is free association vs. force. Citizens in a society delegate their right of self-defense to the government so that punishment and guilt can be determined by objective standards (see "The Nature of Government," again). In instances where it is not possible for the government to protect one's rights, like emergency situations when a criminal is assaulting you, of course it is entirely appropriate to defend yourself. In light of this, private guards (security guards) are perfectly acceptable. Their job, though, is limited. They aren't allowed to punish the criminals, but rather to determine when property is being stolen or someone is being attacked and act in their immediate defense (by eliminating any immediate threat and then holding the criminal until the police arrive). Private detectives are fine too--they can gain information so long as they don't initiate force. Unlike police detectives, they cannot collect evidence, search houses, etc. Private detectives can spend their time collecting information publicly available (or that people are willing to tell them). So, there are a lot of professions that look like they "mimic" government functions, but they do not. They can provide for immediate defense in situations where the government cannot help you--or gather information. However, they cannot punish criminals or take private property. They cannot use force as the government does (except in the case of an immediate threat, which normal people have a right to use force in as well). The people working in these professions can only do what any other normal person could do--they do not have the extra power (of using retaliatory force under objective law) that governments do.
  4. The government doesn't have a right to organize itself on your land. Governments use retaliatory force, and the use of force is not permitted except by the government (in this limited context). There is no way for a private company to provide defense, law enforcement or contract enforcement without the ability to punish (use force against) those who attack, break laws, or infringe your contracts. There is no way for a private company to do this, as these actions would be illegal and the government would punish anyone doing so. I refer you again to "The Nature of Government." This is directly addressed there:
  5. She was unique, independent, strong, attractive, and quite interesting. You make it sound as if she's some sort of loonie, when she has so many great virtues. I don't claim that she's perfect, but that's ridiculous.
  6. What are you talking about? anti-heroes? They are great valuers, acting passionately towards life and each other. I don't have any clue what you mean by "anti-heroes" in the context of this movie...where do you even get that from? Please explain where you got this from, as the movie I saw was essentially about a man trying to save his relationship with the woman he loves. Of course it had conflict, but that doesn't make it "naturalism." And are you equating emotions with surrealism? Because sure, it was emotional (how else would it be interesting?)--but not as some sort of subconscious fate thing. The emotions came from the immense value of the man and woman to each other. If you notice, these depraved people, as you call them, were essentially opposed to the heroes--their depravity (i.e. not doing their jobs properly) was the main cause of problems for the hero (who wanted to save the memories and his relationship, but couldn't because their irrationalities and avoidance of their job cut off his escape). Except the one with the main characters in it, which ended in a happy reunion. I don't know how closely you followed the movie, but based on previous scenes and the personality of the main female character, the scene you're referring to basically meant that she thought their relationship was worth it--and she wanted to try it. It didn't mean anything like their relationship was damned or that there was no point--quite the opposite. Except that whole thing about how in the end they get back together, still valuing each other and their relationship. It's a revolting sense of life because he struggles to save his memories of the woman he loves, and the movie ends with his triumph and their reunion?
  7. I recommend re-reading "Man's Rights" and "The Nature of Government," found in VOS and the appendix of CUI. There is the linking of morality to rights. So here's the link between rights and the necessity to institute governments: Note: this is not intended as a full argument, but rather to show you that at least the arguments are there in Miss Rand's two main articles on the subject ("Man's Rights" and "The Nature of Government"). Nobody is allowed to "secede" from a government--they are allowed to leave the country if they wish. See "Government Financing in a Free Society," from VOS. Laws are established to fulfill the conditions necessary for men to live a moral life. If you don't agree, you must necessarily say that others don't have the right to live moral lives--meaning, you wish to initiate force against them. Once you initiate force, he has every right to defend himself (a right that he transfers to the state). If you believe in force, you will be answered with force--as you deserve. If you choose not to live by using force, your freedom will be protected. Anarchism is just pressure group warfare--the biggest gang wins, since the criminal is rewarded (with loot) and the victim is punished (by having his rights violated). Anarchism is not consistent with man's rights--it just encourages the use of force. Do you disagree with rights, too, or just governments?
  8. ! I really liked that movie. I don't consider a man fighting for the woman he loves--especially as emotionally and suspensefully as they presented it in that movie--to be boring or "tripe." I haven't seen The Incredibles or Spiderman 2, which I also think I'll like, but I know Eternal Sunshine was awesome!
  9. Just for clarification (I don't think I said it clearly enough before)-- If the electromagnetic force were infinity, it wouldn't matter that there are other forces acting (nuclear strong/weak)--an infinite force would have to be overcome. So even though there are other (stronger) forces acting, there still aren't any "infinite" forces. I just wanted to show that there weren't any infinite electric forces the strong force had to overcome in order to hold the protons together.
  10. I don't know much about advanced physics (strong/weak nuclear forces), but even in the more basic E&M that engineers learn in college this isn't a problem (if two positively charged nuclei must collide). Take two protons, for example: If you look at the spherical shell theorem 2, you'll see that a spherical particle acts (with respect to Coulomb's Law) as if it is a point charge at the center of the sphere. I'm pretty sure this (shell theorem) directly comes from Gauss' Law (from which Coulomb's Law is derived). [i seem to remember my mechanics teacher explaining how Newton invented calculus (partially, perhaps?) in order to calculate the force of gravity on an object due to a large spherical object (such as the Earth) by adding up all the components of gravity from small portions of the Earth's mass. If I remember correctly, he invented calculus, and then proved it with geometry, afterward. I think, due to the similarity between the gravity/electrostatics equations, this applies similarly to electric forces. So, I think Newton was the one that discovered it was the same as the point charge at the center of Earth equal to the Earth's mass.] Anyway, back to the problem at hand--if you have two particles, which take up some amount of space, the electrostatic force would only be infinite if their centers corresponded to the same location in space. Since this is obviously not possible, it is impossible to get any infinite force requirements out of this. If I'm wrong about any of this, feel free to correct me. I have the feeling that it's not that significant anyway, though, since as has already been mentioned there are much stronger forces at that range (nevertheless, it's important to know that it's not an infinite force required to pull them in).
  11. I view accepting Objectivism as almost a series of tests. As you learn more about it, you learn a lot of things that defy social conventions and traditional ideas. So, neglecting those that become "Objectivists" to be "different," it takes independence and intellectual honesty to oneself. I don't think the subjects one is interested in matter that much as such--philosophy applies to everything. I definitely see how math/science interests would keep one more logical and open to reason than a field like literature (and university English departments) would, but I don't think the subject is the root cause. I think the most important quality is independent thought (or the propensity to discover how to think independently). Environmental influences can definitely impact this, especially over long periods of time, but a significant amount of it comes from within.
  12. That's awesome! Just curious--was Atlas Shrugged in your elementary school library, or was this a public library you went to?
  13. Your intelligence doesn't depend on others being stupid.
  14. Haha, you're welcome. And, I noticed on another thread you recently commented on the awkwardness of knowing when to call people by their real names or not--you (or anyone for that matter) is free to call me Chad... I only put my last name in the sig because I've met many Chads and I figured it would be better to include my last name for that whole intellectual honesty and not hiding behind a screen name thing. Of course it's fine to call me jedymastyr as well, but I figured I'd clear that up in case there was any confusion. I don't think they are all done by the same guy. As is the nature of many online sites, old forms of information change as they get updated, and the original history stuff I read long ago is no longer there. I believe it started as a thing a group of college students did for fun, and I know for a fact that it has turned into a full-time living for those working there now (next to last answer at their well-hidden FAQ--http://www.homestarrunner.com/faq.html). Apparently: They definitely used to have more info on there, and the old old cartoons are aesthetically atrocious compared to the new ones (like old Simpsons episodes). That college student thing is from memory, though, so I can't verify it for sure. Also, yes, Flash is awesome! I've worked with it, and it has some really amazing features that are incredibly easy to implement. If you're interested, the other of my two favorites (Everybody to the Limit, not quite as good as Trogdor): http://www.homestarrunner.com/fhqwhgads.html
  15. I broke that into two posts because there was a smilie limit. Looking up, I now see why!
  16. "funny" example: When is a door not a door? When it's ajar! --- "sad" My cat died today. --- "confused" (often takes the place of "What are you talking about?" or "Why would I approve of that?," though this smilie may come after either) example (what are you talking about?): Person A: I'm going to Ryan's house today. Person B: Who is Ryan? Why are you telling me this? Person A: [now has to explain] example (why would I approve of that?): Person A: I just bought Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology from TOC, and I'll be reading it soon. Person B: What? You support TOC? --- "angry" example: Person A: I agree; Ayn Rand is awesome! I found a quote from her I absolutely adore: it seemed wrong to chastise a boy who had sacrificed himself to avenge injustice, and done it bravely Person B: Do you have any clue what you're talking about? --- , "yarr, pirate" Usually used in a sexual context, after phrases you usually wish you hadn't read (private or obscene), to imply "coolness". example: Someone to his close friend: My girlfriend's parents aren't going to be home tonight --- There are a couple that I consider as obvious as a regular smilie: (rolling your eyes, typically follows a ridiculous quote from someone above), (kiss) And, I've only seen used in a Christmas context (Merry Christmas! )--nothing special. I have never seen this one used, but Homestarrunner is from www.homestarrunner.com, a site that has some hilarious flash presentation jokes: http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail58.html (my favorite, Trogdor)
  17. I don't know all of them, but I can tell you what I understand of the context people use some in (from AIM, etc.): --- "Haha, something related to me is better than something correspondingly relating to you" (in a jokingly and inoffensively superior manner, and may or may not a product of that person's decisions) example (not a product of the person's decisions): Person A: I have all my finals packed into two days; this sucks! Person B: Mine are spread out, so I'll have plenty of time to study for each one example (a product of the person's decisions): Person A: When I did the problem, I used method X. Person B: Oh really? I found a shortcut [usual explanation follows] --- "happy" example: I just got an A on my test! ---
  18. I was thinking the exact same thing when I first scanned the list of things to vote for, and was surprised it wasn't on there. Of course, there are some of these I have not studied in any detail whatsoever (Caesar, Khan, Hannibal, Rommel, Belisarius, Attila the Hun). So, I can't exactly say that's an informed decision--but it's the one that I like most out of all I've read about (to the degree I know about them).
  19. Exactly what I'm thinking! I've listened to two of Mr. Salsman's Harvard lectures, and I absolutely loved them. They didn't have anything compromising in them, despite being focused on capitalism. I wish there were a source for more information on this view or what he intended. I have a hard time just dismissing a respected Objectivist's view without actually hearing the argument first.
  20. Just a guess before he answers...his text appears to be manually word-wrapped to the size of the text box used to start a new topic. Even in his original post, the text doesn't wrap like normal. The longest line, ending with "my," is slightly less than the text box's size. This would be consistent with hitting return every time the cursor gets close to the right edge, rather than letting it word-wrap by itself. I wondered this same thing myself, when I originally read the post, and that's what I assumed happened. Just my best guess I'm now even more curious to hear what it is...
  21. There won't ever be too many people like that around. Welcome!
  22. During school semesters, I average between 4 and 6 hours of sleep per night, depending on the difficulty of semester (from junior year of HS through this, my junior year of college). My longest running streak of non-sleep was ~3.5 days (three nights and about half way through the last day) when I had three really major (>20 page) projects due on a Thursday & Friday. I must concur with Mr. Laughlin that motivation is very key. The times I've slept in the 4-hour range regularly were times I loved the classes I was in and studying with almost all my free time. When I am not so interested in my classes so much, I tend to not be able to sleep less than 6 hours per night on a regular basis. An important thing for both long-range and short-range sleep-avoidance is not drinking caffeine until you're close to being able to sleep (at least that's how it's been in my case). When you drink lots of caffeine, you get a nice burst of energy but it makes you _really_ tired when that wears off. On my long streak of 3 nights, I didn't drink caffeine till the third night. It seems that caffeine works for a bit, but it also makes me take more sleep to recover from it...then I want to drink more mountain dew to keep me up to a normal time the next night, etc. At the same time, though, I hardly spent a night last summer that I didn't sleep at least 7 hours (avg ~8). Being away from most of my family and friends, working at a job I didn't really enjoy, and recovering from my long year of little sleep made for a lot of much enjoyed rest. When I was in shape and exercising regularly (soccer), I had to sleep more. Now that I'm focused on school and really have made little time for that, I am able to sleep less. Perhaps light exercise would be good for sleeping times, but I don't have any personal experience with that so I can't say.
  23. Thanks for sharing that article!
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