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Everything posted by nanite1018

  1. Miovas, one immoral act does not destroy someone who has otherwise been morally exemplary. It means he has made a bad decision, is not morally perfect, did something immoral. It doesn't mean he is evil or rotten to the core. Biddle is simply saying that given Peikoff's background this one act, while important and immoral in his estimation, does not destroy his evaluation of Peikoff as a fundamentally good person (though it certainly does mean he needs to attempt to make amends for the injustice). Your post makes it sound as if saying someone acted unjustly is equivalent to saying they are esse
  2. Okay Prometheus. "Time" is a measurement. It is, ultimately, a measurement of distance via the use of light (so the time it takes light to bounce between two mirrors may be deemed to be one picosecond (that'd be about .01 inches or so as the distance between mirrors). If I travel at a velocity that is non-zero in another frame of reference, the light travels at the same speed in my frame of reference and the frame of reference outside in which I am moving. This means that the light travels at the same speed between the mirrors, but is now having to take what is essentially a diagonal path inst
  3. I take him on his word there, that he wanted to ensure that Brook wasn't placed in an awkward position, or make it seem like he was at all connected to or supportive of Biddle's statement. My biggest concern over all this though is the nature of ARI. They seem to do a lot of good (a LOT), but if they don't support vigorous debate on philosophical issues, and actively seek to repress it (either on there own or as a result of directions from Peikoff), they lose a huge amount of respectability in my eyes. Objectivism explicitly demands independence and integrity, which the actions of ARI seem to
  4. You have got to be kidding me. So Craig Biddle, editor of The Objective Standard, the only Objectivist journal at all supported by ARI, and from what I have read of his work a good Objectivist (in the sense that he seems to understand it and apply it well) is now being essentially booted out because he dared to express his opinion that Peikoff is treating McCaskey unfairly based on all the information he has available to him? This is either because Peikoff wants it so or because ARI is concerned that association with Biddle will damage them (even though he's a great Objectivist). This is a
  5. Perhaps your right about "context." I think that all of it needs to be addressed in a scholarly manner however, along the lines of Tara Smith's "Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics", which has been far more instructive and helpful in getting clear the virtues and what they entail and their justifications on a precise basis than the writings of Rand in many or her essays (because they aren't treated in any depth there, leaving a lot of semi-open questions). I haven't even finished that one yet, but it is fantastic. I had a similar feeling when reading Harriman, but I feel that there needs to be a few w
  6. Well I finally finished The Logical Leap (I had been quite busy the last couple of weeks so I wasn't about to get around to getting it done until yesterday). It is a very good book, in my opinion. The essentializations of the processes of Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and those surrounding the atomic theory of matter were enlightening and definitely fun to read. The basic outline of induction in the book (that first-level concepts and generalizations are absolute, that concepts serve to enable and indeed force certain inductive generalizations, that causal relations are understood by the methods of
  7. The answer to both your questions is yes. I hope to, and will work towards, surviving until the heat death of the universe (and maybe beyond that, if we can find a way to create our own bubble universes). With even a modest growth rate in technology, we can expect to reasonably colonize the entire Milky Way Galaxy in less than 100 million years, which is less than 10% of the time it would take for Earth to become uncomfortable or uninhabitable due to the expansion of the Sun. It will be trivial to move about the Galaxy at that point. It will be easy for us to simply make new stars, or planets,
  8. Wow, this started up an old thread. I have to say, that after another year of physics courses, how little we actually know and can predict is humbling. Stars and galaxies are big enough to be kind of easy (though if you want to get detailed the mathematics can get messy, and really impossible to solve analytically). Really tiny things, atomic scale, we have a handle on, but then again there are a lot of things that can't be solved analytically. And then the meso-scale, where things are small enough that quantum effects important, but are huge by comparison, are simply too complicated for us to
  9. Well, I don't defend Whewell's religiosity, but then again nor do I necessarily condemn him, as he lived at a time without the theory of evolution, or the highly advanced state of physics, and so I can tolerate a belief in a diety (in the same way as Newton or Locke believed in a god, I don't write them off for it). As for his "making us have innate ideas in order to conform to His world": I don't know Whewell's entire list of Fundamental Ideas, but they seemed to be mostly very very basic things according to the SEP article, attributes or objects which are very nearly things we directly perce
  10. Seriously. According to McCaskey, Whewell did some good work on the idea of induction, but didn't quite have the notion of a concept down correctly. He attributes much of the progress of the very science Harriman praises so highly in the 19th Century as a result largely of the influence of Whewell's views on induction, and that when they fell out of favor, problems began to arise in science (in a very similar manner as Harriman claims the rise of bad epistemology has led to the corruption of physics, from the various articles I have read of his in the Objective Standard). Indeed, looking o
  11. Okay, I get what you're saying now. But if the book is meant to be a guide to how you should actually perform an induction, then it probably isn't meeting its task if all it presents is the final logical form, and not the intermediate steps (as you can't get to the final form without those intermediate steps). Provide a guide to what a complete/finished induction would look like? Sure. But act as a guide to how you actually arrive at that point? Not so much. And I think McCaskey in his review was probably saying simply that if you want to provide a theory of induction that can be used to perfo
  12. My reading of McCaskey's review on Amazon was that his point wasn't that Harriman's theory was bad or something. Remember, "inchoate" means "incomplete", which is possible (I haven't yet finished the book, plan to this week). McCaskey was saying that scientist's don't do things as cleanly as Harriman suggests, and that often they come up with an ill-formed preliminary concept to get them by and develop their theory a bit more, and as they are working they then refine the concept, and then the theory, and on and on (sometimes this happens over decades and centuries), and that finally the concep
  13. Well, perhaps some things like psychology or neuroscience or something like that are overly determinist. But the whole point of physics is prediction of the future from a given set of circumstances (it's how we know how to manipulate the physical world after all), so you can't blame it for having determinist theories (actually, they are roughly speaking stochastic, i.e. random, on the quantum level; they just limit to deterministic ones for very large systems). As for Anthemgate proper, I'm not surprised. I've listened to a number of Peikoff's podcasts, read "Fact and Value" (which while pr
  14. Well, dark matter and dark energy are names we assigned to things that our theory predicts should exist when we analyze our observations (of galaxy rotations in the first case, of the expansion of the universe in the second case). So we know what they do, but have no idea what they are composed of (of course, they could just as easily not exist, and our theory be wrong, but we just don't know quite yet which is going to come out in the end). As for space being curved, it depends on your definition. From my understanding, physicists use a very particular meaning, essentially it is the vector
  15. Well, perhaps you should be less flowy and pay more attention to spelling and the like. Just doing whatever feels right does not at all help you accomplish any goal in the long-run. Perhaps the reason that getting in a "flow state" is easy is because it involves defocussing your mind (and of course for many people that would be easier than focusing it). Also, having a strong sense of self, who you are, what you believe, what you value, etc. is not a bad thing at all, and it is very different than trying to "complete" oneself through possessions or relationships. The latter in fact denotes a
  16. They don't get contradicting results, that is the whole point. Take the double-slit experiment. If you set up some type of detector which interacts with the particles prior to them reaching the screen, you get two lines on your photographic plate. If you have no such detector, then you get an interference pattern exactly as if it was a wave moving through both slits at once. You don't get both two lines and an interference pattern or something like that, ever. Scientists have worked on explaining quantum mechanics for decades, and the commonly accepted explanation is something called decoheren
  17. I'm a physics major. While I haven't had time to review the website in detail, I can say that 1) there are some things on there I don't know enough about to judge without further study 2) his explanation of the double-slit experiment seems like it might not be obviously flawed 3) if he were able to create (somehow) a hydrogen atom with a higher binding energy than usual, that would in fact create energy. How much energy? Well honestly I have no idea, as I don't know how close to the proton his theory allows the electron to go, but it could be quite substantial. Though I tend to think its a
  18. Eh, I don't know if you can get exactly the concepts of Objectivism in other philosophies. Your list gives a general idea, but it takes a lot more talking than saying "Objectivist, except I don't think government is necessary". Okay, well maybe not. But the latter is a more precise way of stating your position, to those in the know about Objectivism at least. You could condense transhumanist and capitalist together with "extropian", though that term has gotten less popular (google it, it's probably right up your alley), just fyi. DO NOT call yourself an Objectivist without some "except"s bu
  19. A large proportion of my post was addressed to the topic you raise here (you quoted me, btw, I don't know if you realized that or not, thought you might have thought it was from James Bond). I gave a number of possible ways of saying the same thing. Saying "I am an Objectivist EXCEPT X" means that I am an Objectivist in every way excluding my opinion on X which is different from that of Objectivism. Indeed, the distinction is made absolutely clear. Saying "I am an Objectivist and an anarchist" would be totally wrong. Saying "I am an Objectivist except I don't believe a government is necessary"
  20. James Bond, I am in a similar position as you, and have decided to say "I'm heavily influenced by Objectivism" instead of "I'm an Objectivist". I mean, if, like me, you think the argument for the necessity of government is flawed, but believe the whole of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and the derivation of the principle barring force and homesteading as the origin of property, then you are in agreement with vast majority of Objectivism. In fact, the only areas where you could possibly disagree are a) who exactly would be enforcing the law (what the law should be would be in co
  21. Interesting. I always believed that he had purposely taken it apart, at least just enough so it wouldn't work and wouldn't be able to be reconstructed, and then left. Its quite possible I missed the part where he discusses the motor he left behind. I think I might have gotten the idea from the passage you quoted dream_weaver, and another one I think where it says that there was just enough information to know what it did, but not enough to build it. I always thought it had been intentional, but I suppose it is also possible that the total collapse of the Twentieth Century Motor Company almost
  22. I think that, whatever the message of the game is, it will be beautifully executed. I'll love the game if only because of the setting: a flying city. If anything could embody the power of the mind of man, that's it (even more, I dare say, than a city at the bottom of the ocean). I've even become fascinated by the idea for the last few days, researching lighter-than-air craft, helicopters, etc. Apparently a floating city is actually possible with an enclosed geodesic dome with a diameter of approximately 1 km (worked out by Buckminster Fuller several decades ago). Boy, would that be something t
  23. Yes, what I was meaning, and what I think I made explicit in my last post, is that the set of all legal actions is larger than the set of moral ones for any given person. So when I was saying that "morality is a subset of legality", I really meant to say "the set of moral actions is subsumed within the set of legal ones," which is a true statement. You are correct that if I decide an action is moral, it is necessarily legal (as any action which involves the initiation of force is necessarily not in my rational self-interest, by my nature as a human being). So of course, no one would ask "is it
  24. The nature of man is that he is a rational animal, needs self-esteem, etc. The nature of Josh (that's my regular name) is that he is male, likes physics and has a thing for science fiction (there are other things in my nature too, but lets go with that). So, for me, reading science fiction or watching a really good science fiction movie for recreation is a value, whereas for some people I know, that would be a very unpleasurable experience and a disvalue. So, for recreation, it is good and moral that I read science fiction, but bad and immoral for them to (in the sense that it wouldn't serve t
  25. I am saying that the law provides an outline for the possible moral means of achieving some end. So how you pick up your friend is influenced by the law. The quality of the piece of music is not affected by the legality of you listening to it, granted, but that is not analogous as it is an attribute of an object, not an action taken by a human being. My only purpose, was to say any action of a human being is, by its nature within the context of the law and morality (in that its execution cannot violate laws, and also must be in your rational self-interest). Here is where you are making you
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