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necrovore last won the day on November 15

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About necrovore

  • Birthday 07/04/1975

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    Jacksonville, FL
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    Programming (Scheme, F#, C#, C++, Forth, Java, Assembly), Music (Reason 11.0), Writing (Plot, Literary Theory, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror).

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    I discovered Objectivism in 1997, read all I could about it, and promptly adopted it. However, I don't know if I'm very effective at advocating anything.
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  1. I think there's an "innocent" explanation for the trajectory of the missile: Is it possible that the target, regardless of its origin or direction, was to the west of the defense missile's launch point at the time of launch? Then if the defense missile missed its target, it could have possibly continued further west, across the Polish border.
  2. The link just links back here. (This bug has hit before.)
  3. There's a lot of speculation about why the election went the way it did, but one thing I don't understand is this: prior to the election they did a lot of polls and used them not only to guess who was going to win, but why. (This is why they ask voters what the most important issue is to them, and questions like that.) But they don't do polls after the election. They just seem to speculate and rationalize. Why? Why don't they ask people such questions as, did you actually vote, and if so, whom did you vote for -- and why? If you want to know what people were actually thinking when they voted, that seems to be the simplest way... I don't think people would lie to pollsters now, because the election is already over. Also, since we're asking about the past, people won't be changing their minds as much. (Of course, the people being polled would probably still want to be anonymous.) But maybe the reason they don't do polls after the election is that it would raise some eyebrows if the percentage of people who say they voted a certain way didn't match up with the way the election actually came out. Hmmm.
  4. OK, just thought at the time that you would like to know that someone saw it.
  5. I can see your message. Hopefully the moderators can see it, too.
  6. necrovore


    One consideration, however, is that you might be stranded on a desert island where there are too few people for a "political system" per se, but if there is more than one person, "right treatment of others" would still be important.
  7. It is possible for some professionals to integrate things "only up to a certain point," which is still integration and can still be valuable as far as it goes. Such professionals make genuinely impressive identifications while simultaneously "missing the big picture." One of the big things about Rand was that she insisted in going all-in on integration. Essentials can form a hierarchy and she thought the broadest possible ones were the most important.
  8. Yes, that is true in general. However, this sounds like a possible case of Kant not realizing the full implications of his own ideas, and leaving that to his successors to work out... I also wanted to add something else: sometimes a philosopher with some large-scale mistakes nevertheless has a good idea. The philosopher may justify it incorrectly but that doesn't mean no correct justification exists. The philosopher may also justify it correctly but "undermine" that justification in another piece of writing, like correctly proving that something is true in one paper, and in another, disputing the idea that anything can be proved. It can be interesting and worthwhile to find good ideas and then, if necessary, work out the proper justification. However, sometimes doing so is a lot of work...
  9. I freely admit that I haven't read a lot of other philosophy. I don't think it's necessarily a waste of time in general; studying philosophy is basically studying the history of thought. There's nothing wrong with that. I have seen a lot of writings by people who say that Rand or Peikoff didn't really understand Kant, and yet when I look for myself at what they are quoting I find that Rand and Peikoff got it right. Rand and Peikoff both judge by essentials, and the essential characteristic of a philosophy is the most deeply-rooted (or most abstract) difference it has from its predecessors. Many philosophers contradict themselves, often because they don't know the full implications of their own new ideas, and sometimes because they carry on the ideas of their predecessors without realizing the contradiction. Aristotle is known to have written some things which are non-essential to Aristotelianism, and Kant almost certainly wrote some things which are non-essential to Kantianism (which Peikoff refers to as "occasional fig leaves"). Kant, for example, valued logic and freedom -- while undermining their actual roots. What I'm describing is a specific way of reading Kant and other philosophers, and it is itself a product of the Objectivist epistemology. That's one reason why students of other philosophies might find it surprising; they might not be thinking in that way (in terms of essentials, or "essentials as defined by Objectivism" as they might put it). The reason Objectivists are wont to discard Kant's lavish praise of freedom and so forth is precisely that such praise is undermined and contradicted by Kant's own revolutionary approach to reason and reality, even if this contradiction was not explored by Kant himself. But others might not see the contradiction, or might not care about it. Because philosophies have inconsistencies, philosophers invent new philosophies, to "fix" what they see as flaws in the previous philosophies. Rand saw herself as "perfecting" work started by Aristotle. Kant has also been "purified" by some of his successors -- but the original revolutionary idea that was being purified was his. Sometimes, too, philosophers can go into great and intricate detail about finer points of consciousness or ideas or what-not, but if the basic premise is wrong then it becomes an "error pyramid," the way Ptolemy's epicycles were made to describe planetary motion. This is one reason why Objectivism discards the whole philosophical subject of ontology, among other things. (Again, though, studying ontology is not necessarily a waste of time. It's part of the history of thought...) Also, it's certainly valid to consider consciousness and memory and the senses and how they interact with each other. That begins to get into subjects such as neurology, though, so Objectivism probably wouldn't consider it part of philosophy per se.
  10. Chapter 1 of OPAR has a whole section called "Idealism and Materialism as the Rejection of Basic Axioms"...
  11. Objectivism is rooted in practicality; that's why Objectivists have little to say about things like idealism. Philosophy, according to Objectivism, is supposed to be a tool that you can use to understand the world and live in it. Politics as a branch of philosophy is practical to the extent that it deals with creating and maintaining a civilization fit to live in, but there are plenty of other practical concerns that Objectivism helps with that have nothing to do with politics. This is why, as far as I remember, the heroes and heroines in Rand's fiction (such as John Galt, Hank Rearden, Dagny Taggart, Howard Roark, etc.) were always concerned with doing real physical things instead of just sitting around contemplating ideas.
  12. Here's another interesting article on the subject of censorship: https://www.theepochtimes.com/exclusive-j6deleted-internet-sting-operation-exposes-in-real-time-how-twitter-manipulated-jan-6-narrative_4796503.html?utm_source=partner&utm_campaign=ZeroHedge&src_src=partner&src_cmp=ZeroHedge
  13. "I had a neighbor who drank a lot of coffee, but one day a tornado knocked his house down and he died, so I don't drink coffee." Some people really think like that... Why on Earth would a Montessori school "leave you naïve about how other people can be bad?" And even if it failed to cover that particular subject, why couldn't the kids have learned about the danger of strangers from their parents, or from any other source? What's with this implied notion that a kid could only learn such a thing at a Progressive school?
  14. John Dewey is the father of Progressive Education, as well as the father of the philosophy of Pragmatism. Probably the best essay about it is Ayn Rand's The Comprachicos. I am also aware of a book by Leonard Peikoff called Teaching Johnny To Think.
  15. I should add something, now that I think about it: It's very common, even normal, for a person to generalize from lots of information and then not remember all the individual items that gave rise to the generalizations (because of the "crow epistemology" and the like). This is what gives rise to "sense of life" and so forth. However, if a person has formed generalizations that way, the generalizations can still be valid. In fact, it would be very difficult for them to be invalid, especially if the volume of information is large, because the person would have to be misled, not by a single piece of information, but by lots and lots of it. (The easiest mistake is over-generalizing, which is, you have information from your situation and you think it applies to all situations. Keeping context is the key to preventing this.) Any person uses similar generalization mechanisms to learn complex skills such as driving, typing, or playing a musical instrument. You wouldn't say that a person doesn't really know how to drive (in general) merely because he can't remember and cite all the individual turns and stops he made while learning to do it. But that's what it amounts to, to say that my memory must be misleading me because I can't cite individual articles. Scholars in libraries can form abstractions over books, but since the books are still there, they can find the source information again if they do a little digging. If I have a vague memory of something I read in OPAR, then I can often find it. The Internet, however, is ephemeral, as I have noted. Also, if you read an entire book and generalize over it, it can be hard to justify that the generalization applies to the whole book, just by providing a few quotes. Somebody could always claim that you cherry-picked the quotes to justify the generalization. The only way they can see the generalization for themselves is to read the entire book for themselves. Outside of books, even if a person doesn't have the original information from which he formed his generalizations, the generalizations can still be checked against new information as it comes in. There are people who have never learned how to type, or fly a plane, or ride a horse, etc., and if you watch them try, you can tell they don't know how, even if you also don't know how. But that's different from someone who clearly does know how to type or play the piano or whatever and merely can't show the exact history of how he learned it. On the other hand, it's possible for someone to mistakenly think that flying a plane is easy, and on that alleged basis not study the subject at all, and then end up in the cockpit of a plane and suddenly realize it's much more complex than he had assumed. In my case, even if the old information is gone, new information keeps coming out, and so far I have continued to see my generalizations borne out again and again, so I suppose I can try to share more of these articles going forward. That being said, articles and facts won't necessarily convince some people, anyway. Peikoff wrote a section in OPAR about "opposition to capitalism being rooted in bad epistemology." If you believe in censorship, if you believe that certain information should not be considered merely because it already contradicts your worldview, then you will be difficult to reach (and you will eventually end up in the position of the person who used to think flying a plane is easy). Incidentally, this is also the main reason why religions still exist, even after having been proved wrong. "Not blindness, but refusal to see; not ignorance, but refusal to know." Objectivity requires the integration of all facts.
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