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Everything posted by Q.E.D.

  1. I'm a graduate student in theoretical physics, and his extremely subjectivist view of quantum theory is neither canonical, necessary, nor reasonable. In fact, modern quantum physics, equipped with protected and weak quantum measurements has been able to uncover much more of the previously "hidden" (or as Mr. Wilson would say non-existent) quantum world. For example, using weak measurements experimenters at the University of Toronto were able to map the average trajectories of photons in the double slit experiment, while determining which slit each photon went through, WITHOUT destroying the in
  2. I think its important to emphasize the importance of long term happiness in your argument. Many people view rational self-interest as seizing the maximum amount of benefit in the immediate present as opposed to finding important goals and working towards them in the long term. Happiness changes over weeks, not over the course of hours. At the same time, you need to be open and honest about your motive for presenting the argument, otherwise he might sense that you're evading an issue purposefully or subconsciously.
  3. I haven't been able to dig up a pre-print (or access the actual journal article) yet. From what I gather from the pop science articles, this paper discusses an experiment which uses nonlinear optical effects to gather information about a momentum probability distribution without sacrificing information about particle position. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle requires that certain complimentary pieces of information cannot be mutually extracted from a physical system. A particle cannot give off position information without stealing some information about momentum. When a particle is at
  4. You might be interested in the videos by Stefan Molyneux on the same subject - he's a once objectivist who has a unique perspective on the issue.
  5. Other people already answered the questions sufficiently, so I'm only approaching property right from a more concrete perspective. 1. For a scientist being allowed to think means being allowed to check thinking with experiments. Furthermore, scientists think about the results of experiments which may be performed, based on the results of prior experiments. Without the ability to earn property or material resources a scientist cannot actually perform experiments, and no scientific thinking is possible in the realm of natural philosophy. The more ambitious the man and the greater his vision
  6. Ayn Raid said: "A group, as such, has no rights. A man can neither acquire new rights by joining a group nor lose the rights which he does possess. The principle of individual rights is the only moral base of all groups or associations." What individual man has the right to tax his neighbors? The social contract is invalid, because individuals do not have the right to create contracts for other men - so therefore groups do not have the right to create contracts for other men. I do not care what some tyrants in Washington D.C. vote to do with my life, because it is not their life to vote on
  7. A brilliant argument I first heard from Stefan Molyneux involves starting with the question, "I respect your right to disagree with me. Will you extend the same courtesy and respect my right to disagree with you?" If they say no, they're not actually open to debate and continuing would have been stupid anyway. Once the conversant says, "Of course I will respect your right to disagree with me on ______ (i.e. taxes)." At this point you simply point out the blatant contradiction inherent in him advocating a position which involves the initiation of force. If he advocates FORCING you to partici
  8. Correct physical reasoning (even to a non-Objectivist theoretical physicist) would involve drawing general/universal principles from the observed world. Its okay to have inspiration, but it has to at least relate to, explain, or unify some already existent principles or observables. Learn some math, get a basic introductory physics textbook. Geometry and algebra are your friends.
  9. "If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man’s only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a “moral commandment” is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed." - Rand If you want to look at people, do it. Morality is about choosing to think so that you do not want to do irrational things. First you come to understand why an action threatens your happiness intellectually, and then later you'll come to understand it emotionally. Correcting the basic premises which direct your emotions will take time and work, but
  10. Temperature with the addition of negative absolute temperature is just a generalization of the concept of temperature. Generalizations such as this are not meant to invalidate the normally observed 'temperature' (they can't). Physicists often introduce generalized concepts in order to make complex systems more understandable. 0K represents the temperature at which atoms do not move, whether negative temperature exists or not.
  11. Atheism is not an ideological position. If everyone happened to be atheist, certainly nobody would discuss atheism. If almost everyone happened to be atheist, non-atheists would be seen as isolated madmen who talk to snakes and burning bushes. Similarly in categorizing physical health, I do not know of any word for a person currently without cancer, because not having cancer is the norm of human life. Also, I spend no time each day practicing the non-belief of Zeus, Set, or Odin even though my atheism refers as much to those gods as it does to any modern pantheon. Da Vinci drew a model heli
  12. Look at the argument rephrased: 1. Only statements about something that exists can be true or false. (Assume for reductio) 2. "Contradictions exist" is a statement about something that does not exist, namely contradictions. 3. Therefore "contradictions exist" is neither true nor false. (By 1) 4. But if contradictions do not exist, then "contradictions exist" is false. 5. Therefore "contradictions exist" is false, in contradiction with 4. 6. Therefore, by reductio ad absurdum, 1 is false.
  13. "Bugaboos do not exist because Bugaboos, by postulation, are perfectly round, perfectly square creatures." This needs to be broken into its assumptions. DEF A - A Bugaboo is a perfectly round, perfectly square creature (A requires BOTH B and C) DEF B - A perfectly round creature contains no edges DEF C - A perfectly square creature contains edges (B and C are contradictory) The axiom of non-contradiction states that contradictions do not exist and so the bugaboo does not exist by definition. In fact, asserting the existence of the Bugaboo is the same as asserting the existence OF a
  14. Since the issue of this thread is the WIKILEAKS release and not the morality of the soldier releasing data, I think its a little irrational to get into an emotional frenzy about the soldier. As for the morality of the wikileaks operators, it may be stated that they attempted to contact the department of state and ask which documents should be censored or omitted from the release for legitimate reasons (i.e. to protect life/liberty). I think the behavior of WikiLeaks is appropriate and will have a positive influence on the world. Democracy isn't about voluntarily electing dictators, its abou
  15. Photons do not emit photons to attract other photons or to 'interact' in the kinematic sense. Gluons (strong force) on the other hand can "emit" gluons to attract other gluons creating a 'strongly' nonlinear effect and making the strong force the beast that it is. The effect in the double slit experiment is the superposition of two (or more) photons occupying the same regions of space.
  16. A lot of times officers are unable to give you a solid ticket if you won't admit to having broken the law. If you didn't have a speedometer why would you say you were going 15-20 mph over the speed limit? How did you know? The fact that you answered discredits your "faulty equipment" argument (because you KNEW your speed by confession) in court and also serves as a confession (that you were speeding) which the officer can use against you. You've no case on those grounds. I have however heard of judges reaming out police officers if they feel that the officer was abusing his end of the power re
  17. You completely ignored my statement that whatever this constant quantity is called, its not what we call speed. I can't even tell what your actual idea is because you're not very clear. I think it would be a lot more worthwhile to actually talk as technically as you can so that people with a physics background can understand you. A varying frequency of what? Discrete states based on the NATURAL NUMBERS?! In what 'space' of variables would this 'speed' 'appear' constant for every observer? How does this idea simplify the knowledge of lie groups necessary to conceptualize much of quantum
  18. If one defines 'distance' as the number of meter sticks between two points and 'speed' as the rate at which an object follows a path of a certain distance, then one cannot say from observation that the speed of all objects is the same. I think what you mean to say is that a conserved quantity exists, analogous to speed, which is the same for all objects.The "four-velocity" in general relativity is a similar but not equivalent quantity to the one you described.
  19. I'm going to assume you're trying to get into a top 10 school for graduate level study. I've learned quite a bit about applying to graduate school, as I'm currently in the process of applying to physics graduate programs. Foreign born students in Science/Technology/Engineering/Math (STEM) generally need to be 80th or 90th percentile on a subject based test and also have an in major GPA of 3.8 or higher. Generally STEM graduate students in the United States have their schooling fully funded, however you might have some trouble getting funding as an Australian. You'll also need research exper
  20. If you pursue your contentions honestly and meticulously you'll either come to agreement with a far greater understanding or you'll have an opportunity to contribute to the field of knowledge. You may continue to profit from the insight of Ayn Rand without bearing her name on your chest when you enter into conversations. The only problem I think that you have is that you think you must either be "inside" or "outside" of Objectivism. Objectivism's not a house... or a dump truck.
  21. If two philosophers come to the same conclusions it says nothing about their methods. Ayn Rand advocated sticking to what you know about a non-contradictory reality and not getting bogged by the imaginations and demands of others (mysticism and altruism). If Rand, Obama, and Hitler all agree on a philosophic point it does not mean that the three people hold the same philosophical system. If you've read Atlas Shrugged and would like to study Objectivism further you should see Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtue of Selfishness, and Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (availa
  22. Being relatively new to Objectivism myself I've tried to vehemently argue students of theology and philosophy out of their positions. While my arguments have become clearer and cleverer I've found that its nearly impossible to change someone's mind through debate. Someone may change his own mind by engaging in a candid discussion with you, but otherwise you won't be able to help. It might be useful to spend time arguing with worthwhile adversaries if you can find them (for your education), but its not worthwhile to try to influence other people. That being said there are drastic efforts underw
  23. It's really narcissistic to think that you're going to be able to turn an emotionalist into a rational thinker by aiding in her deception. Its a narcissistic belief because it arrogantly states that you can control the way another human being thinks. Not only that, but you're ignoring the fact that you destroy any credibility with her by sanctioning her actions. She might play along and treat you like John Galt because she knows that you like it, but your 'Objective' relationship will be completely superficial and temporary. I doubt you'd be able to get her to read Objectivist literature an
  24. Its a matter of whether or not you can contribute to one of these fields. Start an undergraduate degree and study the essentials of philo, math + econ, and poli sci and then towards the end of your undergraduate career you should be able to read academic papers and participate in research. If decide that academia isn't for you you'll still have an education which will pay for itself. If you've studied hard this will also give you an advantage in the job market. If you go to graduate school and don't get a professorship - you'll still make significantly more in the private market. Also peopl
  25. I don't think your analogy fits because the poster you're responding to did not seem opposed to a single lifelong spouse (theist IS the opposite of atheist though). The argument is that sex with someone you value is a value - whether or not your relationship is serious. Sometimes a serious relationship isn't in the cards because it would put careers or lives on hold. Similarly, once you've had sex with one person you're not morally glued to that person (recall Dagny in A.S.).
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