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William Parker

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About William Parker

  • Birthday 05/14/1979

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  • Interests
    Understanding the universe, cultivating relationships, making music, learning languages, making my home a better place to live, dancing

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    United States
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    I would enjoy meeting new people who share my values
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    In a relationship
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    Public Domain
  • Biography/Intro
    I was born and lived in Utah near Salt Lake City, then moved to Fort Worth, Texas when I was eight. As long as I can remember, I have loved learning about the universe, progressing from geography to history to science and finally philosophy. I began loving physics in high school and decided then I wanted to be a professor. My friend introduced me to Objectivism the year before I graduated as an undergraduate, but it took over seven years for me to embrace it fully. In the mean time, I married, moved to Columbus, Ohio for graduate school, had two children, realized I'm gay and got divorced, then graduated. I moved to Illinois to do postdoctoral work and to Wisconsin to teach and research full-time.
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William Parker's Achievements


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  1. Visit the scenic campus of UIUC this summer to learn the secrets of quantum Monte Carlo for simulating electrons

  2. thanks everyone for the birthday wishes!

  3. Come enjoy food and conversation with other Objectivists and interested parties at my house in Columbus, Ohio. Please bring a dish to share that feeds 5-10 people. Beverages and other edibles are also welcome. Message me for address/directions. Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010 Time: 5:00pm until exhaustion
  4. doctorx079 has decided that he wants an Objectivist meetup in Dayton, too. So, come on out all you southwest Ohio Objectivists (and interested friends from afar)! We'll get to know one another better, converse about current events and make plans for the future. RSVP on meetup.com or Facebook. Time: Saturday, April 10, 10:00am-1:00pm Location: Dayton Mall Panera Bread 2500 Miamisburg Centerville Rd Dayton, OH 45459
  5. I forgot to put the date and time: Sunday, December 13 starting at noon.
  6. Come celebrate the holidays with other Objectivists at my house in Columbus with food, beverage and good conversation. Non-Objectivist friends and family are welcome, too. Please bring an edible or drinkable item to share. RSVP for my address. I'm open to suggestions for activities. Concepts in a hat, anyone?
  7. I, too, will be passing my first Christmas as an Objectivist. In years past, I had been somewhat disdainful of gift-giving because I thought it distracted from the holiday's supposedly-proper religious focus (though I was not above receiving gifts -- how hypocritical was that!). Also, I didn't recognize the value of relationships as much, and that, combined with my financial situation, made me a poor gift-giver. Leonard Peikoff's Christmas Should Be More Commercial helped me understand the proper secular nature of the holiday.
  8. I've decided to start an Objectivist club at Ohio State University, even though I'll probably be graduating this year. I have some more local support so I can do more beyond the community meetups (which have continued in spite of my choice not to keep posting them on this forum; please check out Facebook, Meetup.com or e-mail me), and a potential person to pass off the different responsibilities to, once I leave for my illustrious career. We had a table at the student involvement fair last Monday where 70 people signed up for our mailing list, and we passed out all of the ARI booklets we had, plus many flyers and Undercurrents. So, brimming with that success, the first meeting of the Ohio State University Objectivist Club will be tonight (Monday, September 28) at 5:00pm at University Hall 043 (a basement room next to the tunnel to Dulles Hall). We hope to meet weekly and have different activities to help OSU students learn about and apply Objectivism. If you know anyone at OSU who might be interested (or should be interested), please let them know. Our Facebook group page (current main point of contact) is: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=133576269686 You may also give them my e-mail which is parker.453 followed by osu dot edu.
  9. Pearlist, Could you be more specific about how you would apply Occam's razor to Bohm's interpretation of quantum mechanics? An interpretation must agree with the well-proven equations of motion for the wave function and avoid or explain the problem of wave-function collapse while retaining things like objectivity and primacy of existence. I recently began revisiting my understanding of quantum mechanics (in my less philosophical days, I tacitly accepted the David Mermin's summary of the Copenhagen interpretation: "shut up and calculate"). Quantum Mechanics and Experience by David Z. Albert does a fair job of explaining the problem of wave function evolution and collapse, why the subjectivst formulations don't adequately address the problem and how the many worlds interpretation and the Bohm interpretation differ. He also tries to show how the Bohm interpretation allows free will while still deterministically describing particle motion. That particular argument didn't sink in well for me. Travis Norsen's papers that I've read so far argue 1) that an interpretation of quantum mechanics is necessary and 2) that Bell's work (and subsequent experiment) does not disprove a hidden-variables interpretation (such as Bohm's) but only proves that the hidden variable must be nonlocal (i.e., contain faster-than-light causality, and hence violate special relativity). I haven't made it past his 2006 work yet (finishing up a Ph.D. takes time enough), but this is what I've gathered thus far.
  10. Date : Sunday, June 14, 2009 Time : 1:30pm - 3:30pm Place: Upper Arlington Main Library Meeting Room A 2800 Tremont Road Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221 What does sex mean to human beings? Why is it good? How do love and sex relate? When is it moral to have sex with someone? Is sexual orientation volitional or deterministic? Are masculinity and femininity objective? Philosopher Jason Stotts will speak on this topic for one-hour followed by an hour of discussion. Jason invites you to e-mail him questions in advance at [email protected] Please put "Ohio Objectivist Society" in the subject line to avoid spam filters. Please read or review: The Ayn Rand Lexicon entry on sex: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/sex.html Ayn Rand's Playboy interview (linked from Jason's blog): http://erosophia.blogspot.com/2009/05/play...d-ayn-rand.html If you have access to these books, also see: A. Rand, For The New Intellectual, "The Meaning of Sex" (taken from A. Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part II., Ch.4). A. Rand, The Voice of Reason, "Of Living Death". A. Rand, The Voice of Reason, "An Answer to Readers (About a Woman President)". L. Peikoff, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, "Sex as Metaphysical," Ch. 9, p. 343-348.
  11. Thank you everyone who replied. I have a few followup comments and questions: While I completely appreciate the epistemological aspect of objectivity, Ayn Rand in the essay I quoted says there is a metaphysical aspect, namely "the recognition of the fact that reality exists independent of any perceiver’s consciousness". Are the reality of states of consciousness independent of my introspection of them? I think so because those states of consciousness exist whether or not I introspect. So, their existence independent of my introspecting them underlies the metaphysical objectivity of concepts formed from them. Since most of you respondents emphasized the epistemological nature of objectivity and Jennifer explicitly stated that the concept of metaphysical objectivity is "meaningless", do you think that "the recognition of the fact that reality exists independent of any perceiver’s consciousness" is not useful? What caused me to use the word "entangled" was imagining a scenario where I am in a given state of consciousness, say experiencing an emotion, and, while still feeling that emotion, I introspect, note this emotion's similarity in kind but difference in degree with past emotions of the same type and form a new concept of emotion. The "entanglement" would seem to be simultaneously experiencing the emotion while forming the concept of it. I have no memory of ever having such an experience, and, thinking about it now, I see no reason that there would be "entanglement" in the sense that the concurrent experience of emotion and concept formation would affect the concept formation. Do you agree?
  12. I'm trying to sort out in my head the relationship between existential concepts and concepts of consciousness. Their differentiae are: existential concepts are formed from sensation while concepts of consciousness are formed from introspection. Does it make sense to say that when I note my state of consciousness at a given point in time that is a introspective percept? Is it valid to use the concept percept with introspection? Next, I try to apply objectivity to concepts of consciousness. From "Who is the Final Authority in Ethics?": I see the epistemological objectivity -- I acquire knowledge of a part of reality (states of my consciousness) by reason and apply logic (non-contradictory identification) to those states to form concepts of consciousness. However, while I recognize that the reality of my states of consciousness exists independent of any perceiver's consciousness, they seem entangled with my own consciousness because they are an inseparable part of it. Is there a contradiction in viewing introspection as an objectification of my states of consciousness? I would appreciate any clarification anyone has to offer.
  13. Greetings, forum readers. We will hold our third, nearly-fortnightly meetup in Columbus on May 31st. We will have a discussion of the topic of certainty and its contextual nature. Questions to address are: Does reason lead to certainty? What establishes certainty? How does knowledge advance from possible to probable to certain? What distinguishes the possible from the arbitrary? We will discuss Ayn Rand's answers to these questions. Please read chapter 5 of Objectivism : the Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff beforehand (though do come even you don't). Also, see the Ayn Rand Lexicon entry on certainty: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/certainty.html In summary: Sunday, May 31, 2009 1:30pm - 3:30pm Columbus Metropolitan Library - 3rd Floor board room 96 S Grant St Columbus, OH 43215
  14. Welcome, Rational Jenn. I greatly enjoy your blog. Please keep it going.
  15. Parking in the library parking garage is free for the first hour and $0.50-$1.00/hour each successive hour (pricing is scaled to discourage long-term parking). Validate and pay your ticket in the building before returning to the garage. Free on-street parking is available on Washington Ave. a half a block east of the library. The conference room is directly across from the east-most parking garage elevator (do not enter the book part of the library). Matt Yucha, president of OOS, will be there and has a suggested agenda, though we are free to cast it aside. As DavidOdden brought up, I think it will be important to establish common interests so that meeting up can be a value to those participating. I look forward to meeting all of you who come.
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