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necrovore last won the day on August 25

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About necrovore

  • Birthday 07/04/1975

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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. Research is still going on: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/research-on-lk-99-continues-paper-says-superconductivity-could-be-possible
  2. There's a difference between having doubt about a particular issue -- which can occur normally in the course of learning -- and having doubt as your philosophy.
  3. Somebody (maybe it was Gus Van Horn, but I don't remember for sure) observed that because the U.S. has a "winner-take-all" political system, parties in the U.S. are more like the "coalitions" in other countries. Creating a third party (or running as an independent) tends to split the vote and therefore help the people you like least. It would make more sense to create an organization just to promulgate ideas, which is what ARI was originally intended to be, but the main problem is that legal entities (including non-profits) can only exist with the blessing of the state, that the state increasingly makes its blessing conditional, and that the conditions increasingly are being set by Establishment leftists to the advantage of leftism and/or the Establishment. (I think the ARI was intended to "infiltrate" the schools and universities, but now I sometimes wonder who has infiltrated whom...)
  4. That's a really mean thing to say.
  5. This country is like a certain Surfside condo. You can see the cracking, the spalling, the exposed corroded rebar, but nothing will happen right away. Just wait until the time of maximum stress.
  6. An article about the implications for the rule of law: https://www.zerohedge.com/political/democrats-have-broken-america-wheres-outrage
  7. Now instead of Republican versus Democrat we have Establishment versus anti-Establishment. It is the Establishment side that sorts people into elites and "little people," and who hope to keep themselves at the top while keeping the "little people" dependent and incapable of escaping. (The whole idea that the Establishment try to embody is essentially Platonism.) Of course the idea of "anti-Establishment" is almost as useful as "atheist" because the term doesn't say what someone is for. It would encompass collectivists who want to transfer power from the existing Establishment to another (theirs), who might be more properly called "anti-this-Establishment." It would also encompass individualists who don't want an Establishment at all but who want a free country. It would also encompass anarchists who don't want any kind of government or laws at all. It's a mistake to package-deal these kinds of people. (Think who gains and who loses from such a package-dealing...) The sorting of people into elites and "little people" is not merely a conceptual device, it is an enforced set of standards. You end up with two rules of law for the two groups. Recognizing that this has occurred is not the same thing as endorsing it or helping to create it. A politician who tries to get the votes of the "little people" is merely recognizing the categories which the Establishment has already created. However, aiming for the votes of the "little people" does not say if you are an individualist or not; it doesn't even say if you are anti-Establishment or not, since the Establishment also hopes to win votes from "little people" so that they can at least maintain the appearance of having been legitimately elected.
  8. False alternative. The first thing you have to do is identify the reasons behind your emotions and check them against reality by means of reason. The reason for an emotion is a generalization over your past experiences and your value-judgment of them, applied to your present situation. This subconscious generalization may be correct or incorrect. (It can sometimes even be surprising because the generalization may draw from experiences you have not thought about recently.) If you figure out that the reason for an emotion is false -- and I mean really figure it out, not just try to talk yourself into it -- then the emotion will go away. If it does not, then there may be other reasons for it that need to be investigated. If the reason for an emotion is true, then you have to deal with reality: change your situation, move to a different situation, or pick an activity where the situation doesn't matter as much. You can train your emotions over time by getting more experiences and judging them accurately. (Reason is the only way to know if you are judging your experiences accurately.) (Sometimes too you may have to recognize times when your emotion is incorrect because your experience, though real, was atypical, and is not really indicative of what's likely to happen next time.) Trying to pressure yourself is pointless because it doesn't create any of the conditions necessary for success. But sitting around relaxed and doing nothing doesn't create them either. The conditions seem to be, first, an opportunity, and second, the skills needed to exploit it. So build up a lot of skills and then look for opportunities. Put yourself in places where opportunities are likely to be found. Both of these are hard problems. Philosophy is probably too general to solve them by itself; you need the "special sciences."
  9. Seems on topic today: https://drhurd.com/2023/08/14/ukraine-the-biggest-money-laundering-operation-in-human-history/
  10. So far it looks like it has not panned out. Lots of people made the material, some observed diamagnetism, none observed superconductivity (as far as I have heard). When the liquid-nitrogen superconductors were discovered, they were much easier to replicate.
  11. It was towards the end of the book where they had captured him and they were asking him to rebuild the economy for them, and he was saying that he couldn't work with them. Near where they offered him a "cool, neat, billion dollars." -- Actually it's "Fire your government employees." I didn't remember it word-for-word.
  12. This may be because of the current laws of Congress more than because of the Constitution or its original intent. We didn't start out with a big permanent bureaucracy like the one we have today. We do want a government of laws as opposed to a government of men, but in many cases we have a "government of laws" when we should have freedom instead. The laws become more and more complicated over time because of unintended consequences and "controls necessitating further controls." Freedom is considered a "barbarous relic," like gold. I saw a TED talk once about how China's government was better than the USA's because in China they don't have elected leaders; instead people have to start at the bottom of the bureaucracy and get promoted up to the top, so that by the time they reach it they have 20-30 years of experience in government. The Founding Fathers, by contrast, called for a popularly elected President. This can lead to a wide variety of different temperaments from one President to the next, and I think the Founding Fathers knew that and didn't think it would be a problem. So one must ask, why is it a problem now? This conflict about Trump is not really about Trump per se. It's just that the bureaucrats want one of their own (or at least somebody who will stay out of their way). I don't think they want there to be a President (or a Congress or a Supreme Court) unless they are rubber stamps. I think the bureaucrats want to run things themselves. So, as John Galt said, "Fire your bureaucrats." Trump actually planned to do something like that, and that's one big reason why they don't want him being President again.
  13. This looks like one of those cases where the law itself is legitimate -- I wouldn't say that laws against fraud should be thrown out -- but it doesn't seem like it's being used correctly here. So it's thoughtcrime in the way it's being used. You also have to look at who Trump is up against -- the permanent bureaucracy. They believe consensus is reality. If they reach a consensus, e.g., that masks are effective, then that's "reality" as far as they are concerned, and they have the power to prosecute accordingly. So their definition of "delusional" is different from yours. Bureaucrats expect all the right forms to be filled out, and all the right boxes to be checked. This approach probably clashes with Trump's frequent use of "salesman's intuition." That's why they don't like him.
  14. So the deciding factor is what was in Trump's head... which makes this thoughtcrime. Rationally, it would be a tough case to prove, which is why I don't think the approach they have in mind is to prove Trump guilty by rational means. Life is lived first-draft and by successive approximation. Further, one's opinion can change as evidence comes in, and as people's statements come in and sometimes are not properly evaluated until later (where somebody might say something, and you might believe it at first, and then you think about it, and decide they are wrong). It's one thing to have reached a conclusion and another to have thoughts in progress, and an active mind usually is more like the latter, so that even conclusions that have been reached can be tentative and subject to revision if more information comes in. Information about the election continued to come in over a long period of time. So Trump could easily have been listening to a lot of people, and there was no shortage of people around him on both sides of the issue, and so he could have been going back and forth about whether he should believe this or that statement and whether he was cheated out of victory or not. There may have been times that he leaned toward thinking he had lost the election fairly. Even if they have him on tape saying something, it's hard to say that he knew that what he was saying was absolutely true. He may have been considering it possibly true at the time, he may have been seeing if he could get used to the idea. Sometimes you "try out" an idea to see if you have any subconscious doubts. When I'm editing posts like this, I frequently put sentences in, then decide they are wrong, and take them back out. I cannot know before I put the sentence in that it is wrong. I have to write at least part of the sentence before I can judge it. In speech it is not possible to delete sentences. I'd end up saying wrong sentences and then having to contradict them later. It would be easy to play a tape of those wrong sentences and then say that I "knew" something that I later decided wasn't true at all. There are also cases such as sarcasm where what you say isn't what you believe. I don't know if that applies here but it might. Further, Trump didn't seem to know what options were legally available to him, which might lead to conversations like "Can we try X? Can we try Y?" and maybe X is illegal and Y is debatable. Since he's not a lawyer, he has no way to find this stuff out except to ask. Further, in a case where you don't know if the election is fraudulent or not, and you are going back and forth about it, it might still be legitimate to see if there are ways of winning. (Lawyers also are known to look for ways to try to win cases for their clients even when their clients are guilty, and that by itself is not fraud.) Ayn Rand also wrote about the danger of psychologizing, where you attack a person's subconscious instead of addressing their conscious mind. This is particularly pernicious when the person is still thinking and working out conclusions about events that are still in progress. Of course that's a non-sequitur; one does not have to be delusional to question the credibility of statements made by DoJ officials. (I am not sure you meant it that way.) I think the impression of Trump as a maniac has been manufactured by the media. In the media's opinion, the Democrats are always right about everything, they have science on their side, and the only way you can disagree with them is to be delusional. The more you disagree, the more delusional you are. This applies not only to Trump himself but to everyone who thinks independently (i.e., without Leftist guidance). The Left (especially in the media and such) uses ad hominem attacks and social pressures and intimidation. Not so much rationality. If the election was not affected by fraud, then people who believe it was affected may be rational but mistaken. However, there is a certain specific proper way to address a rational but mistaken mind, and this is not it. The Left's approach to disagreement is very alienating, and as for me, it makes me more likely to believe that the election was stolen. Their approach is less like "Here's how you can see the election wasn't stolen," and more like "You can't prove I did it because you'll never find the body." I am not the only person alienated in that way. So if the election really wasn't stolen, they aren't doing themselves any favors. (Even though it's true that I can't find the body.) This prosecution makes that situation even worse. It's saying that "deep down, everybody knows that Leftism is true (or that the election was fair), including people who claim to deny it, in which case, they're lying to themselves and defrauding everybody else." Which seems like a religious argument.
  15. There have been many other elections where alternate slates of electors were made available, and also where existing electors were lobbied to change their vote. This sort of thing has been done by both parties. But it's apparently only illegal when Trump does it. With point 93, I would want more context. There's a difference between the way a person might talk in a casual conversation and the way they might talk in a more formal setting, like when they're under oath in a case. So this can be like quoting someone out of context. I think this is not the first prosecutor to apply the standards of one to the other, either. If I say there's a million reasons for questioning this point, does that mean exactly one million reasons, as if I counted them? And if not, am I knowingly lying? The question is whether the listener expected (or had any right to expect) an exact count. It depends on the context. There are even set phrases like "Pleased to meet you," where the speaker and the listener might both know the phrase is not literally true in that particular context. (That's different from a "white lie," which Ayn Rand rightly spoke against, because in the case of a white lie there's an intent to deceive but also a belief that the deception won't matter. Here I'm talking about a context where there's no possibility of deception, because in one case the statement is a "set phrase," and in the other it's so outlandish that it cannot be literally true, and the speaker expects that the listener would understand that, and it's a reasonable expectation. So I think it's malicious context-dropping.) As to point 96, it was a subject of debate at the time whether the Vice President's role was merely ceremonial or whether he really does have the power to refuse to certify the results. The prosecutor here presents an opinion (that it is merely ceremonial) as if it were fact. Suspected election fraud might be a valid basis for refusing to certify. So I think Trump had something there, but on the other hand the Vice President apparently thought the case for fraud was too weak (or perhaps that he was required to certify regardless), and the Vice President did what he thought was right. (Of course there was a case recently where they tried to say that an Alaska politician was ineligible to serve in office because he was a former member of the Oath Keepers. There we learned that the oath to protect and defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic, is merely ceremonial, and if taken literally leads to the desire to overthrow the government. [The judge disagreed.] So it's very important that ceremonial things remain ceremonial, which is why Nancy Pelosi's House wanted to pass a law ensuring that future Vice Presidents were required to certify regardless of any fraud that may have occurred.) It would take a long time to go point-by-point and find all the problems...
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