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Everything posted by necrovore

  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.
  16. Meh, I haven't failed, I'm just too lazy. Also new examples are popping up all the time. So I think it's silly to just present one or two examples -- and I don't have time to curate hundreds or thousands of them for you. (I did find one interesting piece of information today, but it seemed to be more about censorship than about Ukraine, so I posted it in a thread where I was writing about censorship. But that same article seems to have implications regarding the character of the EU's leaders at the moment.)
  17. Well, now, here's an interesting piece of information: https://brownstone.org/articles/how-the-eu-is-forcing-twitter-to-censor-and-musk-cant-stop-it/
  18. No, that's not how it works. No one can think or see for another person, just as no one can breathe or eat for another person. It would be second-handed for me to try to see only what other people see, or to try to know only what other people know. If I cannot trust my own mind, or memory, or eyes, then reason is impossible to me. That would also apply to anyone else. (This would also mean that I am more likely to trust people who encourage me to see things and think them out for myself, than people who tell me that I should trust "Western leaders" but not my own memory.) There's sometimes a difference between what you know and what you can "prove in court," and I suppose this is an example of it, or an explanation for it. It's also an example of why freedom is necessary -- because as long as I'm not hurting anybody else, I shouldn't need to "prove everything in court." The reason freedom is a value to a rational being is that it means, for example, that I can go off and do things that no one else can see the reason for. There is the risk that I am wrong, but, I am not trying to force anyone else to go along with me. As long as that's the case, the "blast radius" of my mistakes is limited, by the freedom of other people. The ephemeral nature of the Internet is a bit of a problem with the Internet, but not so much with reality. If reality consisted only of non-repeating events, then abstraction would be impossible. Therefore, if an abstraction is correct, new pieces of evidence for it will keep coming up. Besides, other people are seeing the same things on the Internet that I am. Maybe you need to diversify your news sources, in which case you will see some of these facts as well, because they will come up again, even if I don't have specific citations. Even if you disagree with "opposition" news sources, sometimes they mix facts and opinions, and the facts are correct even if the opinions are wrong, and so you can discard the opinions. The facts are sometimes verifiable and important. Sometimes even the Marxists get facts right (but they always propose Marxism as the solution to every problem they see... because they are Marxists.) Nobody has time to read every article from every source but even a little random sampling may reveal important things and, if that happens, you can investigate more thoroughly. I do take my own advice and look at "opposition" news sources from time to time. So far I haven't seen anything that would change my mind, at least about the broad abstractions. Instead I see people telling me to ignore facts and not to trust my own memory.
  19. There's evidence that I've seen but don't have. I can't present it to you because I don't have it anymore, but there are sources that keep producing more, and it's consistent with information going back decades. I have a long memory. I actually get frustrated with news websites that present useful information (often with quotes, pictures, etc.) only for it to "scroll off the screen" in a day or two. Like the time when Nancy Pelosi claimed that her house was vandalized, there was a picture of something spray-painted on her garage door, but looking at the picture you could see that the spray-paint mysteriously stopped at the exact edge of the door and did not intrude onto the brick next to the door, where it would have been much harder to clean off. It was as if someone used a board or something to protect the brick from the spray-paint. Why would real vandals be so kind? Unfortunately I doubt if I could find that article or that picture today. It's not like Google would be of any use, because of their own political leanings. Sometimes I "print to PDF" but often I don't, there is just too much. Occasionally these sources remind me of something they said six months ago, and I'm like, hey, I remember that! That wouldn't mean anything to somebody who didn't see it the first time, though. I think a lot of the people here who agree with me know what I am talking about, though. By contrast, certain people in power would like to suppress information that is inconvenient to them. They create "disinformation boards" and such to do it officially, too. That's a good reason not to trust them. As I've indicated before, I don't trust that general approach to knowledge. I trust reality, and the approach of starting with reality, and following it wherever it leads -- not ignoring it or suppressing it, either because it's inconvenient or for any other reason. Reality still exists even if you do ignore it, and ultimately it can't be suppressed. There is more than one Western philosophy and some value reality and some don't. (Also, there are degrees of valuing reality, and there are some philosophies that value it different amounts in different contexts.) In that sense, we might want to choose carefully which Western values are worth defending. I would generally side with Ayn Rand.
  20. So I should just trust them, eh? ... That's your idea of "consistently holding Western values"? Just stop trying to figure things out for yourself, stop believing your lying eyes, and trust the people in power. Right. Talk about a "villain's line of thinking from Atlas Shrugged"... (or maybe The Fountainhead?)
  21. I'll say it again: you're conflating Western values with Western leaders. They are opposites.
  22. I never made an anti-capitalist argument. My argument was that US funding of NATO was subsidizing European socialism, because the governments there didn't have to spend money on their own defense, and were free to spend it on social programs instead. "Fundamentally standing against your values" is not an initiation of force. Putin attacked Ukraine, sure, but he did not attack NATO or the US. NATO is technically not obliged to defend Ukraine, as it is not self-defense for NATO to do so. Ukraine isn't part of NATO yet. However, the "political class," who stand against proper values as much as Putin does, thought it would be a good idea to intervene. I have my doubts. (When you say "the West," do you mean the rulers, or the people? They are opposites. Or perhaps you mean Western ideals such as "freedom"? Freedom is not valued by the current rulers of the West.) Ayn Rand wrote that a free country has the right, but not the obligation, to destroy a non-free country at any time, because the non-free government consists of criminals. Setting aside the issue that Western countries are arguably not free at this time, there is also the issue that, even though a free country will eventually grow richer and stronger than a non-free one, it may not be richer or stronger at a particular time, and may wish to avoid conflict at that time. Even if Europe discovered the value of freedom tomorrow -- which would be great -- it is still in terrible shape because of the damage done by decades of bad policies. It is in no shape to go to war. But its leaders want war. They think they can keep everything under control, and they don't care if the people suffer. They probably think suffering people are easier to rule.
  23. The political class is not capitalist. Just because someone has money doesn't mean they're capitalist. It is even possible for someone to earn money legitimately and still not be capitalist. They can be corrupted later, or as they go. (If they are not corrupted, I would not call them members of the political class. There is no "capitalist class.") The political class are criminals, like gangsters or bank robbers. They have the same psychology. They don't earn money by producing anything; they get it either by favors or by taxation or by just printing it. They regard productivity itself as a plum to be handed out, or a favor to be fought over; although they are willing to compete against each other, they do not want random people being productive and inventing new successful businesses in their garages (unless they can seize them, or buy them with printed money). They would rather have a few big businesses than thousands of little ones. (One of them said "I don't think we want people starting banks in their garages.") They want businesses to be awarded to people. They want to control who succeeds and who fails, so that they can ensure that they keep the successes among themselves and their friends. They do not want capitalism or freedom for anyone else ("You will own nothing and be happy"), just themselves, and maybe not really even that. They are trying to create the "state of ultimate inversion" that Ayn Rand warned about, where the people have to act by permission, but the government can do anything it pleases. That is fascism. Some of them claim to be supporters of Ayn Rand or freedom or capitalism but they are not selfish in the Ayn Rand sense. They have victims and (metaphorically speaking) they hide the bodies under layers and layers of bureaucracy. The political class likes to provoke crises and emergencies ("never let a crisis go to waste") because it gives them an excuse to seize political power and do end runs around mechanisms (such as due process) that are intended to protect individual rights, because, hey, it's an emergency! Even if they didn't originally provoke the war in Ukraine, they are acting to prolong it, because it is useful to them. The political class seeks to eradicate the rights of the West's citizens. They seek to have all the wealth for themselves. They would rather destroy wealth than not possess it, so Ayn Rand's observations that the mind is the root of wealth and that the mind only functions when free, are irrelevant to the political class. The never-ending "emergencies" are just one way for them to proceed. (Sensing that time is running out, they are trying to speed up the process.) The Covid lockdowns were the first large-scale example, but that didn't work. They've decided it's in their best interests to keep provoking Putin and to deliberately get rid of any possibility of a diplomatic solution. (Blinken was recently caught saying that the destruction of the Nordstream pipelines was a good thing...) This does not make Putin a good guy and I don't much care what happens to Putin in all this. What I do care about is the people of the West who are losing their rights (and, secondarily, their wealth) because of the self-appointed elites in charge of the bureaucracies of Western governments. (Douglas Adams was right when he said that the purpose of the President was not to wield power, but to attract attention away from it...) As far as I can tell the populist leaders who keep getting elected, like the Prime Minister of Italy, or Donald Trump, are derided because they are obstacles to the ongoing quest of the political class. Such populist politicians, if elected, are not always effective because all they (and almost all the people who voted for them) have is a sense of life and not an integrated philosophy. This can cause them to make stupid anti-freedom mistakes such as trying to ban "woke" books and the like. However, they are not integrated fascists; the political class are. And of course, as Ayn Rand herself observed, the mistakes of the defenders of capitalism make it easy to pick holes in their philosophical positions, and the holes, unfortunately, are very real. On the other hand, the political class has much bigger holes in their theories, and they are doomed to fail eventually. If they keep printing money, the currency will collapse. If they keep pursuing shortsighted environmentalist policies, they will destroy their own ability to produce energy (or win wars). If they keep pushing Putin, eventually Putin will be forced to react violently. The important questions are only how many victims the political class will take with them -- and what, if anything, will arise to take their place.
  24. It's sounds like you're trying to argue that money is such a good thing that we wouldn't want to sully it by pointing out that it also motivates bank robbers (even though it does). Ayn Rand wrote a great deal about money, including how it makes a big difference whether it was obtained honestly or dishonestly. In fact, those are some of her most famous quotes.
  25. Capitalism requires a separation of state and economics. What we have with NATO is not capitalism at all; it's cronyism and corruption. There's plenty of evidence for it.
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