Objectivism Online Forum

# Flagg

Regulars

14

1. ## "One Problem With Objectivism"

Whoops, I forgot to point out something stronger: my whole "deduction models causal interaction" presupposes that both (even meaninglessly defined) premises are granted at least the benefit of non-contradiction: if one denies the conclusion which follows anyway, then one denies at least one of the premises presupposed (by the argument qua argument) to be true. It isn't related to causation, but of increasing contextual knowledge implied by some A, which is presupposed to not be known by the recipient of the argument: the argument then expands the reader's contextual knowledge to include the wider implications of A (namely, in his framework. It's induction that models causality, my bad.
2. ## "One Problem With Objectivism"

Now, I think we should be careful here. As a mathematician, I should point out that imaginary numbers (i=def. sqrt(-1) etc) have no metaphysically given and non-man-made reference, but the deductions from some important proofs established in the theory have led to electronics, among other things, which have advanced humanity. Also, consider the bizarre area of abstract algebra (groups, rings, fields, etc.) and their application to your computer security! But how do such referents still gain at least some smudge of validity? Suppose I say something totally ill-defined and incomprehensible, such as 1) If all smarks are blarks, I am the Orsh of Mamanota. 2) All smarks are blarks. 3) Therefore, I am the Orsh of Mamanota. These statements in and of themselves are of course not defined at all, and utterly meaningless (to even myself), but the argument is still valid and still corresponds to reality. How? Recall that we are assuming that premise (1) and (2) at least have the identities stated (EDIT i.e. we presuppose they at least have some identity even if not defined), corresponding at an (extremely) abstract level with concrete correspondence to particulars as a concept. Furthermore, the fact that the argument is deductively valid means it corresponds to the concept of causality, i.e. identity applied in action, in the abstracted sense epistemologically. So albeit very abstract, the argument still corresponds to the generalized way reality is, and still uses reality as its King. But, the argument certainly isn't useful, especially when I don't even define my terms. But the latter statement is irrelevant to the case.
3. ## Infinity and Existence

I've done further study; the First Cause need not even be lengthless or widthless. Hawking's equations denote a First State, if brought into nowadays, that would be some kind of pellet of size to the order of 10^-33 m. So we don't even have to worry about the implied topology. Hawking asks us to imagine some sort of disorderly causation state here where there can be no "before" or "after." It meshes up with physics - that the first Universal state is of maximal disorder - but how can it mesh up with Objectivism and the actual notion of causation? Here's where I seize on Hawking with philosophy - such a small clown-car state of the Universe - containing all that exists - won't even have "space" enough to separate causes. What this means is, for any constituent in this soup ak, and for all other constituents a1, a2, ..., ak-1, ak+1, ..., an, ak's identity affects all other identities in the universal set at the same time. This creates some kind of incomprehensibly large spiderweb of causation (but not infinite in size, of course) that all happens simultaneously. This causes a wavefunction-collapse. Some argue the collapse had a 95% chance of happening; some have argued (and of course I hold) for 100%. How can this sort of causation make sense? Well, loosely, since causation denotes time, we still have a state internally and externally outside of time. Now, don't imagine - in either case - that we have some sort of soup of all the constituents of reality just hanging out for some past eternity pushing against one another and then suddenly going "geez, let's make a universe today!" No. The state here is outside of time, not eternally present (an invalid statement in the case of this Universal State, since it by definition has no precedent causal referent). It simply is, as the universe as a whole is now, but also internally, as well. The effect is the universe. Bang. We thus have a finite chain of causes, with an eternal universe, making sense both in physics and Objectivism. I like it. Comments?
4. ## Why logic works

That's at the very least because the footage and photographs of her are almost always from the latter part of her life, I would suppose. I remember watching this when I was 18, and not thinking once about it, but now at 30 I'm kinda like hmmm: Look at her piercing eyes in this interview (the early Mike Wallace interview) as she rips the guy to shreds for basically having her on the show to ridicule her on national TV. Growl. I have it in for redheads. My girlfriend is one; I also adore Allyson Hannigan and ... whoever the redhead was from That 70's Show. And from the older crowd, Julianne Moore is still yummy. The most perfect product of Hollywood will always be Audrey Hepburn, that being said. Perfect delicate face + perfect eyes + generally joyous casting and behavior = perfect beauty.
6. ## The most beautiful places on earth?

The Southern Plains during storm season. One obsessed with nature may wonder what the value is with flat grasslands and dangerous storms, but they don't inherently possess the beauty I give them. It's the fact that I can use my mind to identify severe weather situations, plan in the context of chasing (something weather forecasters never give), and then use my skills to navigate the storm, position properly, and capture the beast that I caught with my mind, all while relaying scientific and civic warnings to the Weather Service so they can utilize my skills to warn people who do not have the knowledge, skills, or time to learn how to avoid a dangerous situation not of their own choosing.
7. ## Giving money to the homeless

While I consider it theoretically proper for me to donate money to the homeless, the fact is that a greater proportion of homeless utilize such funds to further drug or alcohol habits rather than pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, in comparison to the average homed person. That's statistics. It is certainly unfortunate for anyone homeless by means of circumstance outside their own choice, and I've certainly contributed to those who are homeless through immediate recognition of this kind of situation (i.e., I donated to the victims of the Parkersburg tornado that I chased last year), but many of the perpetually homeless have chosen to be so and therefore do not deserve handouts. For those using the handouts to maintain their situation (the aforementioned addicts, for instance), this is actually wrecking them further, making the action evil even if one is an altruist. Those on the streets to whom I would not mind donating a dollar do exist, but to determine whether their case warrants it would be an improper expenditure of time in relation to my own life and to the minimal benefit they would gain from the amount I could rationally be free to give in my own context of finances. It's like setting laws about statutory rape - some younger people may be capable to evaluate complex sexual situations properly with one over-age, but such evaluation would take so long that it is more proper legally to hold to a properly evaluated standard that fits the majority.
8. ## drugs

Actually, cocaine, speed, and heroin (in moderation, however small "moderation" would be in their cases) does not alter the mind in the sense Rand blasts - i.e., in the sense that it alters perception of reality as any dose of LSD high enough to affect the brain would do. To tone down heroin a bit, take classic old opium smoking - it leads to many similar physical "joys" and mental "opening-ups" as alcohol gives in relationally similar moderation. Rand and Peikoff may not know this, but through no fault of their own - their general rejection of any drugs and the subsequent disinterest in studying how it would effect their bodies is proper. However, they're still right; even though alcohol is addictive, it takes a much longer time and many indulgences that surpass moderation to take hold, whereas with cocaine and heroin, comparative "moderate use" (in the sense of results similar to moderate use of alcohol in singular instants) can quickly lead to one's capacity for choice being pressed - or, if moderation is passed - completely squashed. One cannot "moderately use" heroin for a week without the chemicals blasting the body in its absence, more or less maintain its moderate use for a lifetime while avoiding addiction completely, as one can with alcohol. Thus, they are still correct in maintaining that it is improper for a rational person to use. Should still be legal, though.
9. ## Your thoughts on Wittgenstein?

Old thread, but I was reminded when reading this paragraph of Rand's hilarious commentary that Wittgenstein's theory of concepts was a perfect description of a mind out of focus. I need to look at what he said and compare it to Rand's theory again to completely re-grasp the humor here, but I recall a dozen years back that this was pretty solid comedy on Miss Rand's part.
10. ## Autistics/Savants - Where do they fit in Epistemology?

Another comment: the unusual nature of the brains of autistic savants does entail, in several cases, the ability on the part of the autistic to demonstrate a high capacity to integrate and apply concepts in one particular area. Although in today's society of achievement recognition, such autistics may earn and survive based on their incredible skill in their respective areas, the fact that they are incapacitated in other areas entails that they, as a whole, could not have survived well in the nomadic hunter-gatherer situations in which our ancestors lived and evolved. Such early autistics may have prompted humans as a whole to advance in areas that the "normal man" would not have epistemologically been capable of developing, but in most cases, my guess is that their lack of overall ability to integrate in all areas of their lives meant they died early. Had that not been the case, we'd all be autistic, for the relatively unchanged metaphysical situation for the vast majority of our history would have meant the early autistics proposed would have remained the same throughout history, since the proposition you mentioned presupposes the survival of early human species Since we're not all autistic savants, but normatively able in all areas, I think the hypothesis is easily dispensed, although it did provoke some interesting thoughts.