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Everything posted by Alexandros

  1. On the way to my car this morning, I was welcomed by a crushed rear passenger door. There was no one around to admit to causing the damage, and no note containing their information. Needless to say, I was furious. That fury has only now become mild annoyance. At any rate, my situation got me thinking about laws concerning accident insurance/liability. Because it is the law (Texas), I have insurance. And my insurance company would be happy to fix the damage, as long as I pay a $500 deductible. Fine, those were the terms of the contract I signed. The problem is, I can't afford a $500 deductible, and because my car is fully functional, I won't be getting it fixed. This made me realize something I had never thought about before: Every month, I shell out the dough for something that, when it is needed, I can't even afford to use. Then, I asked myself, why don't you cancel it? Oh yeah! Because I am required by law to have it. But let's say I did cancel my insurance. In the event of an accident, one in which I am the proven victim and a police report is filed that the other person involved is at-fault, do I have any legal recourse? Or does the fact that I am without insurance mean that I am responsible for all repairs to my car, even if I am the victim? Is it possible that not having insurance would be enough to absolve someone from having to take responsibility for their actions? It sounds totally ridiculous, but I wouldn't be surprised. Thanks for any input on this matter.
  2. There is a recent book that deals with how this came about. If you're interested, here a link to some info: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Birth...5312874/?itm=25 It will be my next read, after "1776" by David McCullough.
  3. When it comes to advertising, it is in the advertiser's best interest to be honest and to not misrepresent. Lying and misrepresentation is only profitable in the short-term, but devastating to a business in the long-term. If a particular company claims its toothpaste whitens teeth knowing full well that it doesn't, in the short-term they will see a boost in sales. In the long-term, they will see sharp declines in sales, which could lead to bankruptcy, because the product doesn't do that which was advertised and the company eventually loses all credibility (think late night "if this product was at the last supper, it would be Jesus" infomercials). Incentive to lie and misrepresent only exists to an extremely short-sighted person. But, being that they are extremely short-sighted and extremely short-sighted people have a particularly hard time with becoming successful in any field of business, it's not likely that you'll ever see an advertisement by one of them.
  4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/31/h...s_n_249150.html House Health Bill Clears Last Committee Before Floor Vote, Recess The HECC was the last committee needed to pass the bill, and they rushed it through before recess. Now, very literally, the only thing to do on September 8th is enact it into law. My only hope is that 5 weeks is long enough for the public to learn enough about this bill to become angry. Already, more people than I could have imagined are realizing what this bill really means. Let's hope the trend continues throughout the recess.
  5. If that's what I wanted, why wouldn't I leave out the part where I said that it would be bullshit to congratulate me for being honest? It's the truth. I could have opened a blog or a livejournal or any number of different accounts so as to vent my frustration, and I've thought about doing that on many an occasion. But, somehow, it feels better to say this kind of thing to someone who will know exactly what I mean, even if that person couldn't give two rat's asses about me.
  6. I've been registered here for a little while but never properly introduced myself. Here, I am going to introduce myself in a manner I've never done before: by telling you about myself. I heard of Ayn Rand's novels when I was young, but only began reading them last year. The first of her novels that I read was "The Fountainhead". The reason I read it is because I enjoyed pretending to be some well-versed intellectual, and because I enjoyed having something to talk about that would make me seem smart because most people haven't read her novels. I then read "Atlas Shrugged". I agreed entirely with the message of these books, I didn't yet see how it applied to me. It wasn't until I began reading "For The New Intellectual" two days ago that it happened. In the section on "The Fountainhead", I reread Howard Roark's speech to Gail Wynand about Peter Keating, king of the second-handers, for the first time since I read the book last Fall. Howard Roark was talking about me. I am in my mid-20s. I am very intelligent and very knowledgeable, but I am not wise and am often quite hypocritical. I enjoy reading. I enjoy good conversation. I act on impulse most often, and must force myself, against great resistance, to act on reason. I lie often. I work a job I hate to put myself through a degree that I think I'll enjoy doing for the rest of my life, but I'm not completely sure. I'm vain. I'm superficial. I force my personality on people, constantly trying to prove that I am smart. I annoy and drive everyone away because I am so damn pretentious. I'm an engineering student. I feel better about myself when someone finds me physically attractive because of "good looks" than when I actually achieve something through effort. I don't know if that last bit is true because I hardly ever achieve anything because I'm lazy and I procrastinate, and when I do achieve something, I find it far less enjoyable if there is no one there to see it. I get by in life not by cheating or taking credit for other people's effort, but because things have always come easily to me, be they tests of physical or mental strength. An obvious consequence of this last bit is that I operate at nowhere near my potential. A little less obvious is that I'm growing more and more afraid to actually try because I don't want to learn how much of my potential I've killed through inactivity and under-utilization of my mind. It goes without saying that I seek people's approval so that I may validate my worth. As you can imagine, I'm depressed all of the time because of this. I know that the way to stop being this person is to keep in mind the things I have learned from Objectivism, and use all the will power I have to be a moral, productive human being, but I am so unsure of myself that even though I know this is the answer I still want someone to tell me it is the answer and that "I CAN DO IT! ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TRY!" I do not expect your sympathy and your guidance, but I want them, and it makes me feel pathetic. A small part of me is wanting to be praised for being "brave enough to be honest." But I know that's bullshit. This is the most honest I've been since I can remember. What the hell am I hoping to accomplish here? I have no idea, but it feels good to be so brutally honest about myself. I am Peter Keating. (Wasn't that clever?)
  7. I thank you folks, especially Dave.
  8. I was recently talking to a friend, trying to convince him that piracy is wrong, when he hit me with something that I haven't been able to argue. He was downloading some movie, and I asked "How can you reconcile piracy with Objectivism?" He replied, "Rights shouldn't always be protected. I do not acknowledged the rights of socialist governments, or any non-capitalistic government for that matter (dictatorships, communism, etc). The 'Big Four' companies in the movie industry have used government coercion to usurp control of the market. And, just as I have no problem with relieving a criminal of his rights when he fails to recognize the rights of others, so too I have no qualms with relieving arbitrarily established monopolies of their rights." And I'm spent. The only argument I've been able to make is that, if this is his reasoning, he shouldn't be downloading the movie he is, because it happens to be a movie that is produced by Magnolia Pictures, a holding of 2929 Entertainment, which is owned by two men who made their fortune during the dot-com bubble when they sold their website, which they built from the ground-up, to Yahoo. He agreed to this, and admitted that he should have looked into the producer and distributor of this movie to decide if it was consistent with his argument. But that's all I have. Does he have a point? It's so hard for me to believe because I have told myself for years that all forms of piracy are wrong because the owner of a particular product has the rights to it's distribution. But, I never thought to question whether or not the rights of the companies should be respected. To be honest, it is sympathy for the "artists" that gets me to buy their music, which isn't a good mindset to have. After all, if someone associates with criminals, even unknowingly, their life is still their own, and there is no reason to have sympathy for them. They are still accomplices. Your thoughts?
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