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The Owl

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About The Owl

  • Birthday 04/25/1964

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    Eastern Connecticut

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    United States
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  • School or University
    Univ. of New Hampshire/Univ. of Htfd
  • Occupation
    Certified Public Accountant

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Novice (2/7)



  1. I think the biggest problem I've got with this article is that nowhere does/do the author(s) define exactly what they mean by the term "altruism." They seem to be saying it means cooperation and even deferred gratification, as well as being some sort of charitable impulse. In any event, I'd like to see what someone with a life sciences background can make of this. I'm candidly puzzled. And talk about leaping to conclusions! Were I the sort who felt compelled to give to charity, I'd be insulted that my behavior is at base the same as "a primitive multi-cellular creature." Patrick (Note that the bold emphasis in both quotes is mine.)
  2. I looked into Amway/Quixtar in a small way, and couldn't figure how anyone like me at the lower levels makes even a minimum wage, as long as all you're doing is selling and not signing up others. And I was not satisfied with the answers I was getting, to put it mildly. So I walked. The conclusion I kind of came to is that if someone had a gift for selling, they could probably do okay with Amway...but could probably make more money elsewhere. And as I have no talent for this sort of thing, I doubted I could go anywhere. I also kept banging into all this Jesus nonsense that really irritated me. I'm not sure to what extent this sort of thing is encouraged or permitted within the organization, but it seemed like the couple of people I talked to were at least as interested in saving my soul as they were in selling me detergent or signing me up. This is very strange, because I live in a part of the US that has very few Evangelical Christians. I almost never run across this sort of thing. It wasn't ultimately what put me off them, but it definitely contributed to my jaundiced view. I guess no else saw anything like this?
  3. (Bolding in the above is mine.) Two questions, hopefully neither too obtuse for consideration: (1) Wouldn't Miss Rand's personal favorites in art be chosen as a consequence of her aesthetics? Thus if I reject something that she liked, am I also in some sense rejecting Objectivist aesthetics? (By this I don't mean Mike Hammer detective novels or "tiddlywink" music, though I'm honestly not quite sure where one draws the line between things indulged in as a leisure activity and things to be considered serious art . ) (2) Is there something unique about Objectivism as it is presented "in OO.net" that I should have pondered as I answered the poll? Upon reflection, I'm a bit mystified how to interpret that part of the question, since none of the answers seemed to me to address themselves to OO.net specifically. Or were we simply supposed to assume that OO.net presents Objectivism correctly, in contrast to other sites and organizations?
  4. Here's a recent one, in Egypt, in the past month: The feeling I get is that the average "Egyptian on the street" would like to see more suppression of Xtians and Jews that their gov't. is currently engaging in, and though that I admit I have no empirical evidence to back this feeling up, I'm thinking should Egypt have some truly free elections the lives of Xtians and Jews would become considerably worse. But, to the Egyptian Gov't's. credit, they did dispatch police to protect the churches in this incident. Still, it is a video that only sought to return an Xtian to his faith. Doubtless the Coptic Nun stabbed also had it coming. Edit to add: I was kind of curious to see if I could find any similar treatment of Jews in the recent past. I couldn't, for the simple reason that there aren't any Jews left in Egypt to speak of. According to this link there are only 100 left in the whole country of 75 million. There were largely tossed out of Egypt following the conflicts of 1956 and 1967, though perhaps some of those left voluntarily.
  5. I shall have to add it to my list. Which unfortunately is growing faster than I'm likely to ever get through it. How did it compare with Economics in One Lesson? Which book probably would have been my choice in this area. I realize Hazlitt wrote it as a primer, but its the book I keep coming back to whenever I have a basic question in the area of economics.
  6. Like I noted, perhaps you're right and I'm being far too picky. BUT the problem I specifically have with Buffett on taxes is that he's become a point man for the statists. He's actively doing his best to keep the estate tax, and to raise income tax rates. He's written at least one Op-ed piece for the Washington Post in this area. He's someone the tax and spend crowd can point to and say that they're not anti-capitalist when they push for tax increases...why just look at Warren Buffett. It is not the case that he's someone who is simply voting his conscience privately, he's actively seeking to transform public policy. That's a good quote. It's a pity that he decided to limit his rational approach to only certain areas of his life.
  7. I agree with Warren Buffett on investing, but I find his views on taxes incomprehensible. He supports increasing the "progressivity" of income tax rates, and is one of the primary spokesmen arguing against repeal of the estate tax. So, while I hope the "Wizard of Omaha" continues to prosper (Full disclosure: I'm proud owner of 2 shares of BRK class B. ) I just can't bring myself to mark him down as someone I admire fully. Perhaps I'm just too nitpicky? I guess that's why I don't have any names to add to the thread. (FWIW, Bill Gates' father is also prominently involved in the fight to keep the estate tax. I don't know where Bill Gates stands himself. Anyone know off the top of their heads?) Patrick
  8. The Owl

    Eragon / Eldest

    It looks like he was 15 when he started it, per this link.
  9. There are numerous atheists (I think mostly from internet infidels) already posting here... http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/index.php? And polite non-Christians are welcome, at least in most of the site's "rooms." This sort of thing is no longer my cup of tea, personally, but I guess if it is yours this looks like a good site to enter into these sorts of debates. As a plus, it also looks quite active.
  10. The Owl

    Eragon / Eldest

    My wife picked Eragon up, based upon this positive article in Newsweek . She was a bit disappointed, candidly. It wasn't that she actively disliked it, its just that it didn't seem like anything she hadn't read fifty times before. And based upon that article she was expecting something more original. I'll probably get around to reading it, but based upon what she said its hardly going to go to the top of my fiction reading list, since our tastes that way are usually similar.
  11. I don't think David Odden was talking about Norway, but about lemmings. Lemming suicide as urban legend
  12. Candidly, I doubt you're going to find anything remotely close to this site, whether the thrust of the forum is liberal, conservative or, for that matter, libertarian. So, I offer these with the caveat that they probably do not meet your definition. But, they're the best I can do. Democratic Underground - Activists in the US Democratic Party, that I believe tilt further to the left than most US Democrats. I believe they're also very quick to ban those who disagree with them. Revolutionary Left - I believe this is the old "Che-Lives" discussion site. "Cappies" (as they term Capitalists) are permitted only in the "Opposing Ideologies" section. This may actually be further to the left than what you were thinking, but it is quite an active site. They also seem to have more than their share of angst ridden teenagers who are more into their Che t-shirts than seriously discussing Das Kapital. However, there are (or were, as it has been a bit since I've lurked there) quite a few well-read Socialists, Leninists, Trotskyites. One People's Project - OPP is not as active as the two preceding sites, but it is probably the place to go for any sort of racial issue. If they're a bit more extreme than the average liberal, they seem to take liberalism to its logical conclusion. Surprisingly, there were two liberal discussion sites that used to be quite active that now seem to be long gone: AngryFinger.com and the discussion board associated with MichaelMoore.com. Perhaps they've just move somewhere that I'm not seeing. They both had memberships in the thousands, with hundreds of posts per day. Anyone know what happened to them?
  13. Unless I'm missing something, Mr. Long either knows something I do not, or at least is able to parse the word "certainly" in ways with which I am unfamiliar. From the 1964 Playboy Interview:
  14. Invictus William Ernest Henley Out of the night that covers me Black as the Pit from pole to pole I thank Whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeoning of chance My head is bloody but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find me, unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.
  15. No, simple intellectual curiousity. I'm trying to determine whether I agree Objectivism or not. I've read all her novels, and am beginning to go through all the AR non-fiction my local library holds. However, for the moment, I'm simply going to continue to think of myself as someone with libertarian leanings. At age 40 I'm a bit past school assignments. Sorry that I didn't mark my age in the profile. I am also aware that my lack of a background in Philosophy is going to make for some tough going on at least some of the reading I'll be doing. Hence, my registration here, so I can search the site and ask the occassional question. Patrick
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