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Posts posted by ian

  1. Seems to me that you're running smack into the problem of universals. I'll start with propositions. What is a "proposition" exactly? It can't just be something in the head. Two different sentences in two completely different languages being expressed  by two different people can mean the same proposition. Thus propositions must not be mental, but external.

    Isn't this a false alternative? Can't the proposition be neither completely in here or completely out there, but rather objective: in here but formed according to rules derived from reality.

  2. Anyway my experience has been that if you act disinterested, arrogant, and have the looks and or money to back you up, you'll never be lonely on a Saturday night. If you are decent, kind, thoughtful and honest, you may very well die a virgin.

    Maybe part of the reason women are not attracted to nice guys is that they like to live vicariously through their partners, and it is more fun to live vicariously through someone dangerous?

  3. Well... the kind of weapons you would use against an individual are quite different objects to those you would use against a government. Handguns, baseball bats vs Nukes, planes, aircraft carriers, smart bombs etc. So isn't dividing weapons according to the target they were designed for objective? Because then you could say "that is not allowed as it is an anti-government weapon."

    But then some would say the right to bear arms in the consitution was precisely to

    give the people a last resort defence against a government gone tyrannical.

    Also maybe someone stockpiling weapons intends to use them against a foreign

    dictator, not his own government.

  4. I got the above quote from L. Perigo, who was on the panel. He defended libertarians with "should we really eschew cooperation on a political level with libertarians who believe rights come from God, or from nowhere?"

    I watched a libertarian presidental candidate nomination on C-Span once. They were an offensive bunch of louts and I got the impression they just want freedom so they can spend their time getting high. There is just no comparison between these people and rational to the core Objectivists. How can they even consider an alliance? I can see why the proper Objectivists at ARI have nothing to do with them.

  5. I also am a big fan of Star Trek: Voyager and have been buying the DVD sets as they have been coming out. At first glance it appears to be one of those awful PC programs, with a woman Captain, Native American first officer, Black security officer etc. etc. But it really isn't.

    Here is an exchange between a Borg (a member of a giant intergalactic communist collective) and Seven of Nine - someone who escaped from the collective. The episode is called "One."

    Borg: Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One, you have left the collective. It was a foolish decision. Now you are alone, you have lost the many, you are only one, you have become human, weak, pathetic. Humans do not have our strength, they are imperfect, now you are imperfect as well.

    Seven: No.

    Borg: You will not survive. You can not survive without the collective.

    Seven: I will adapt.

    Borg: By becoming weaker, less perfect?

    Seven: I will adapt as an individual.

    Borg: One. One alone. A Borg can not be one.

    Seven: I will become stronger.

    Borg: A borg can not be one. She will die as one. Weak, detached, isolated. One Borg can not survive.

    Seven: I am an individual. I will survive alone.

    Borg: No. You are weak. You will die alone.

    Seven: I can survive alone.

    Borg: Seven of Nine. Resistence is futile.

    Seven: I am Seven of Nine. I am alone, but I will adapt.

  6. I work at a largish company and we had compulsory diversity training last year...

    I managed to get out of it by simply not going to my session, but at the same time not making a big deal out of it. i.e. I didn't stand up and say "this is racist and I want no part" - I simply stayed at my desk at session time. My manager knew I had not gone but did not want to make a big deal about it.

    I suspect that would be true of a lot of companies - they say the employees must go but in the end they're not going to force any one, and probably not discipline you if you quietly avoid it.

  7. Can any reader think of an example of trying to claim the metaphysical existence of something while denying the validity of forming a concept to refer to that thing?
    Maybe if the thing had no objective similarity with any other thing, something totally unique.

    If so, would "stealing the referent" be a good name for attempting to do such?

    Perhaps simply "misintegration" would be a good name.

  8. I am here to have a look at what is so appealing to you all as objectivists.

    It's not so much about choosing what ideas appeal to you and which don't, it's about what's true and what isn't... that's the key thing.

    Objectivism doesn't start with a political view, it starts much earlier with a full view of what reality is and what truth is, and then derives it's political views from that.

  9. Ian, thanks for your compliments. It takes both hard work and a lot of practice in order to become a good writer
    Thank *you* - it's refreshing to read complex ideas presented so concisely.

    My essay could be thought of that way [ian: as an analysis of one of ARs statements] (at least on a broad level), although only retroactively. My thinking on the issue of the unbounded universe was independent of that statement from AR; I only came upon it after the fact.

    In that case it's even more impressive - sorry I shouldn't have assumed.

    As Dr. Binswanger would say "good premises" for your future endeavors! :P

  10. I'm not sure it's valid to assert that the fundamental particle would have to have spacial extension. It could be something we can't even imagine, so maybe your two alternatives are not the only two possibilities. Spacial extension is a macro level concept.

  11. > Diameters smaller than the diameter of the minutest particle cannot

    > be measured or measured precisely

    But I don't think there would exist any such diameters. Everything would have to be an even multiple of the fundamental particle's diameter.

  12. Hi Alex,

    I read your essay some time ago and was very impressed with the sharp, clean epistemological style. Is it hard work to write like that or does it just come with practice?

    Are there any other of Ayn Rand's statements that stand out to you as needing further analysis that haven't been analysed yet? (EDIT: I say this because I consider your essay to be an analysis of the statement "But we can't ascribe space or time or a lot of other things to the universe as a whole. " END EDIT)

    Also are there any other contexts where you have smashed the traditional arguments by applying this pattern of saying the concept doesn't apply.



  13. The only thing you as an individual should care about is whether the country you live in upholds your rights and lets you pursue your goals. If it does, you shouldn't care how many people immigrate. *If* you live in a constitutional republic.

    If you live in a democracy like the U.S. then you should care about immigration, because you live in a system of majority rule.

  14. Concepts have to be formed over instances from reality. If so, then how can Hume's concept of knowledge be valid, when it requires omniscience? Where did he get these instances of omniscient entities to form his concept of knowledge over? From religion.

    He is one of these guys who thinks they have escaped religious influence but are

    really still in it's grasp.

    :confused: Ninjas are more powerful than Hume :ph34r:

  15. Why couldn't you speak at the interviews - is it because you don't really want the job? If you don't want the job then you shouldn't go to the interview because it wastes everyone's time - the company's time as well as your own. If it is just because you had stage fright then just listen carefully to what the person says and answer their questions - no need to lie.

    Remember even Howard Roark went to work for Keating when he needed the money. Even Ayn Rand herself worked as a waitress I believe (what a waste). The key thing is to hold on to your dreams - savings are important here. If you want a fresh start to try a different career then just save up your money from your job until you have enough to go back to school and learn what you really wanted to do in the first place.

  16. By what criteria can we distinguish between physical entities whose existence is predicted  by a particular theory, and purely mathematical 'fudges' that are required in order to make the equations work?

    Do you mean someone who models reality as e.g. curved space because it gives the best predictions, even though they have no evidence that it is actually curved?

    I think the only way to tell which parts of the model really exist is to create

    a cause and effect chain to your senses, by using machines such as telescopes or

    microscopes etc. If you can't do that you can't say they're real, even though a model that includes them gives perfect predictions.

  17. I believe that at the point in the gestation cycle where abortion typically occurs, the fetus is not much more than a tiny spec. People can say that it is potentially a human, and that is true, but the potential is not the actual. What was actually aborted? A spec. Big deal.

  18. His fate was deliberately left up in the air. This was to show what happens to the three types of people when the world stops. The prime movers are saved by their virtue, the second-handers are destroyed by their vice, and the average, honest person - well, who knows?

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