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Andrew Grathwohl

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Everything posted by Andrew Grathwohl

  1. It is very refreshing to read an Objectivist-reasoned defense of *not* going in, guns ablaze, and wreaking havoc around the world - with unintended but very damaging consequences for American security. Just because we have the moral justification to drone-bomb a suspected terrorist and kill innocent women and children in the crossfire, doesn't mean we should. We may recognize our own moral obligation to do these things, but I can assure you that nobody in these ravaged countries (Yemen, Pakistan, etc.) do. This is what causes terrorism, and the intoxicating mysticism of religion is used as a tool to draw pawns for the terrorist leaders' rings. Terrorism is an idea, and it cannot be stopped with force. Violence may be prevented by force, but I would argue that the much greater concern is the growing irrationalism of both traditional (Judeo-Christian/Islamic) and modern (environmentalist) mysticisms, combined with the highly wreckless foreign policy the developed world pursues against the undeveloped world which causes anger and misery among already angry and miserable people.
  2. It appears we may be on our way, though! http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2102735/ibm-unveils-chips-mimic-human-brain
  3. If Jimbo does run, will his opponents not attempt to discredit him by bringing up his Objectivist connection?
  4. http://race42012.com/2011/03/20/you-heard-it-here-first-jimmy-wales-considering-senate-run/ Would be a very promising candidate, if you ask me! He'd probably be the first self-proclaimed Objectivist to run for Senate in US history.
  5. I am convinced that there isn't a single Objectivist working on this film. http://dollarsandcrosses.com/2011/03/atlas-shrugged-movie-producer-comments-make-charlie-sheen-seem-like-the-voice-of-sanity/
  6. I don't understand the analogy. I'm not saying that a property owner is drawing a line in the sand and saying "none shall pass." I am saying that the property owner sees police speeding down his road as potential destruction of his private property. I could easily envision a road owner not wanting to risk lowering the value of his property (or his land that the road is on, or the other properties on that land that may or may not be his) to a police pursuit that has nothing to do with the owner's interests. The example was intended to pose as an abstraction of the true meat and potatoes of the question I'm trying to ask. The question is to what extent, if any, that a laissez-faire capitalist government could encroach upon the wishes of a property owner if the protections they're aiming to accomplish are of no concern to the respective individual. To me, it sounds like either the government would be unable to guarantee the rights its citizens have to do what they wish with their property (so long as it is not initiating force against others), or it would be unable to use every possible means of guaranteeing an efficient and effective police force. Surely, there is a way to allow both things to happen? Well, as I alluded to above, the immediate reasoning I would consider is the potential to lower the value of the road or to disturb the land (and other potential properties on that land) that the road owner possesses. I would imagine that this would be the job of private industry, no? The police couldn't be in the business of policing roads as they do today if the roads are privately-owned. I agree that, if there is no explicit statement against driving furiously down a privately-owned road, then the police would be able to do so. That could very easily be reasonable and customary. However, does the property owner have the right to specifically outlaw such things from happening on his property and forbid individuals from using the road if he has a specific reason for doing so? As I said before, what if the property owner doesn't want that kind of thing happening on his property? Perhaps he owns the road because he owns a bunch of shopping plazas that surround it. Maybe he doesn't want potential customers being put in harm's way. Maybe he doesn't want the loud noise disturbing consumers he is hosting on his privately-owned and operated property. But the reasoning isn't relevant, is it? Surely, a laissez-faire government couldn't prohibit a restaurant owner from disallowing any racial minorities from entering his place of business - even if the rationality is (obviously) completely devoid of reasonable and customary considerations? We have the right to be idiots if we want, as long as the rights of others aren't being violated in the process.
  7. I got asked this question recently and was pretty stumped by it. In a fully capitalist government, the government would consist of all functions required to protect individual rights: the courts, the military, and the police. The government would not be allowed to trample on one's right to property. The government would also not be allowed to own any property that wasn't directly related to those legitimate functions. The government would be in the business of protecting the property rights of its citizens - not trampling them. Following this logic, it would necessitate that the government would not own or operate any roads. All roads would be privately-owned. So what would be the appropriate response to the following scenario: the government police need to respond to a crime-in-progress (let's say a bank robbery) as quickly as possible. Perhaps the road options are limited to only a few different paths. Perhaps one of those options is by-far the best path to take. Does the government police force have the right to speed down an individual's privately-owned road at fast velocities, sirens ablaze, even if the road owner makes it clear that speed limits are to be obeyed by all, including police and other government workers? Essentially, the question boils down to how the ideal Objectivist capitalist government reconciles the issues that would exist between private-property protections and the efficient, effective execution of legitimate government tasks that would rely on private property and private individuals to accomplish successfully. If the protection of private property rights must exist in this society, how could other legitimate government protections be guaranteed to be effectively carried out? Could anybody point me in the right direction here?
  8. I've had my try at advocating the Objectivist viewpoint on Reddit several times. The key is how you choose to word your argument. When being straight-forward and uncompromising in your remarks, expect downvotes. Lots of them. However, the more targeted you make your remarks - the more specific to a concrete issue - the more likely you are to get sympathizers and supporters. The Reddit community, like most massive online communities, does not like to deal in large overarching concepts. Most have little to no integrated concepts behind their understanding of epistemology and metaphysics. The community is also getting younger and younger, which unfortunately has led to the upvote/downvote system turning into more of a "whose comment is funniest" contest rather than an indicator of the comment's overall contribution to the discussion topic.
  9. Yes. The computer got answers wrong not only when it was willing to buzz in, but even when it was the first contestant to do so.
  10. I didn't say that smoking cannot enhance your experience of life in any way. I said that it is nonessential. I smoke a pipe 1-3 times a week, and I would be the first to tell you that it is not an essential aspect to my life whatsoever. Anybody who did view smoking as an essential part of their lives would probably not be smoking tobacco (or probably even cannabis for that matter, which I also used to do). People who do not view sex as enjoyable have serious issues that need to be resolved, and they most certainly do not live a rational life. Leonard Peikoff even said that sex is more essential to life than art.
  11. It's not circular reasoning; it's the law. Works in the public domain can be utilized freely. There is no need to cite it, because you cannot be legally prosecuted for not doing so. In the case of Wikipedia, or this very message board, you're dealing with an issue of individual policies implemented for (legitimate) reasons of protection. But the issue at hand was that you told him to get permission from the copyright holders for their pictures before distributing their works. He told you that the images are in the public domain. That's that! Asking him to cite the sources of those images does not change the truth or fiction behind that statement. He does not need to prove that the images are in the public domain before he can start distributing his work. He either is telling the truth, or he isn't and therefore risks suffering the legal consequences.
  12. Seriously? It's in the public domain - it doesn't need to be cited.
  13. While your post is thoughtful, and even though I agree with it almost 100%, I would be careful when analogizing sex with smoking. The former is a necessity for a happy, rational life. The latter is a "vice," which, when overdone, can lead to serious health problems, and is completely nonessential in any other capacity. On the topic of avoiding metaphysical realities, the OP must realize that contraception is a metaphysical reality just as much as unprotected sex leading to the possibility of pregnancy is. The possibilities of our metaphysical reality, provided to us by the ingenious and inventive human minds that work in the field of contraception, have allowed us to pursue a necessity for a happy life without the risk of pregnancy. If only they could figure out how to do this same thing in the case of smoking! The only way one can avoid a metaphysical reality when engaging in intercourse is if they do so expecting no possibility of pregnancy without utilizing some method of contraception. The OP is likely confusing metaphysical reality with "basic" or "uncivilized" mankind, which leads me to suspect that he/she is not versed in the Objectivist response towards those who insist upon a mind-body dichotomy.
  14. Sorry, but not even the studio trickery involved in making your run-of-the-mill theatrical trailer could cover up the horrific acting exhibited by every single actor and actress shown in this preview. This is going to be a D-rate portrayal of an A-rate novel. What was Peikoff thinking when he gave up the AS rights to the people involved with this??
  15. That isn't changing copyright. Jailbreaking your smartphone is a perfectly legitimate use of your property. Copyright law doesn't (and shouldn't) limit the consumer's ability to use purchased hardware/software as long as this use is legal. The reason why jailbreaking, game console modding, and other such actions are perfectly legal and not touched by copyright is because it is the actions you commit AFTER doing these things that could potentially be violating copyright law. The ability to modify your own property is your right. If you're an Apple smart-device user, then you most likely agreed to not jailbreak your device when registering your product - but that would be an issue entirely separate from copyright law. Now, if you happen to jailbreak your smartphone for the purposes of not having to pay for a company's SDK, or to get free applications for the device that you would otherwise have to pay for, then those resultant actions would be illegal, and copyright law already clearly stipulates this. But merely the action of jailbreaking your smartphone is not, and should not, be illegal, and the Library of Congress was right to make this decision.
  16. Didn't Rangel bring up this bill up originally to make an anti-war statement? I remember reading that he opposed the Iraq war, and said that if the draft were reinstated, the American public would angrily retaliate and call for the end of our military involvement there. From a November 2006 Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/19/AR2006111900376_pf.html
  17. Yes. Today, the film rights to Atlas Shrugged - in the right hands - would be worth several million dollars. Licenses for film adaptation can occasionally be the most expensive item on a film's budget!
  18. I would imagine that breaching contract would be the major offense involved in this scenario.
  19. Having been to a few baptisms myself, I would certainly be hesitant to call any single aspect of them a "joyful ritual." More like "frightening."
  20. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9GL7LI00.htm
  21. He's on the ballot!!! http://www.ctmirror.org/story/6506/schiff-qualifies-republican-primary-us-senate
  22. Indeed. The most respectable individual involved in this film, according to IMDb, is the film scorer, James Horner.
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