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Alone

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  1. +1 Have read and do recommend.
  2. I wasn't able to find that particular audio book, when you get some free time I would really appreciate a link.
  3. What is the term for people who attempt to reduce philosophical concepts to disconnected granular facts? Is there a term? ...oh yea! Scientists! Sam treats morality like a scientific theory, and exposes it to a range of facts in an attempt to fine tune it / falsify / strengthen it. He feels that the broader the range of facts his theory becomes exposed to the stronger it becomes. The various "peaks and valleys" he discussed in the video were all "facts" that he's exposed to his theory in an attempt to revise / falsify / strengthen it. He isn't seeking a principle or an irreducible primary, he's just looking for something to "work." "Why don't we feel X toward Rocks?" This is where he attempts to establish the fundamental basis upon which he builds the rest of his thesis, emotion. This is his starting point, and from there he doesn't work backwards in search of anything more fundamental, doesn't attempt to revise the question or offer any analysis on the validity of this being the correct question (in any of the material I've watched or read from him). He moves forward from that point offering a perspective on a broader range of topics about societies, and always groups of people or in consideration of others. If someone else weren't suffering then you couldn't feel sympathy for them could you? So for him morality is entirely about your relationship to others. Steve was right, and this kind of approach is pretty popular among "New Atheists." That being said, I think The End of Faith was a really good book, and I admire the clarity with which he both speaks and writes. His position is unique I think, in that he's heavily influenced by the practices of eastern religions (such as meditation for the purpose of shedding "the self") but insists that he detaches any mysticism from the practice. He is also a humanist, so really its as though he walked into a shopping center of ideas and just whimsically tossed whatever he felt was good in a cart and checked out.
  4. Any evidence to the contrary would be helpful in refuting the "assumption."
  5. Objectivists aren't eco-careless, we're just not eco-worshipers or climate alarmists... and the arguments used by climate alarmists and eco-worshipers run along the lines of "What?? you're not on board with our alarmism and planet-worship!?? You must be careless then! or worse you MUST be Anti-Environment!" There are a tons of legitimate reasons to care about the environment. The problem is that these legitimate concerns are lumped together with the eco-worship and alarmist nonsense as though the are of equal value, or one in the same with no differentiation. I, for example, live on top of the largest cave system in the world... there are "sink holes" (big ditches) where cave ceilings collapse all throughout the Karst landscape. These cave systems capture much of the local ground water used for drinking water, and dictate where one can and cannot safely build. Cool thing about Alaska is that at some points in the year it stays dark for close to 30 days straight... and cities always look really pretty (I think) when they're lit up at night!
  6. True but "Progressive" is a really common political term and its intellectual roots are clearly derived from communism.
  7. Speaking with someone for a few minutes would be a pretty easy way to find out.
  8. I don't disagree with anything you wrote, and you share that kind of "just get it out there" position I'm in... I would hate for an Atlas Shrugged movie to be release that doesn't do the book justice, but I think getting it out there along with all of the other forms of "creativity" you mentioned is what needs to happen. The only state that makes sense is Alaska, its geographically cut off which would make for an easier split, once the rest of the country goes under.
  9. Media is the answer. If you want ideas to spread then you have to sell ideas in the right way. ARI does a lot of great and valuable promotion, but look at it in terms of dollars... and consider how insignificant the chirp over at ARI is compared to the kind of distorted world views being spewed from the nightly news out to hundreds of millions of people... 7 days a week, every day of the year. These entities have long ago stopped telling people "what" and have established an accepted role of telling people "what to think." Chirps the size of what ARI does will never amount to anything in the drowning pool of dis-information people are absolutely flooded with. Occasionally they're cast a life saver, but these sharks are reactive... any time the mere mention Rand or Objectivism comes up its a complete foaming-at-the-mouth shit storm until everyone involved in the conversation is just completely exhausted from being involved and ready to move on. For a perspective look at it this way, in 2009 ARI boasted an all time high in Atlas Shrugged annual book sales... at over 500,000 copies in one year (which is fantastic because book sales keep increasing). Do you know how many people bought the latest Harry Potter book when it was released? Over 9 million copies in the first 24 hours. It's the value of commercialism, and having the media in the right format. Those book sales were boosted by alternative forms of the same media, mainly Theater, DVDs, Video Games... Modern forms of Media that are more palatable for more people. Art, such as Ayn Rand's novels, has undeniably been the biggest influence on the general population for promoting Objectivism... these books are what capture our minds in the beginning and what inspire us to continue when things get shitty. We absolutely ~need~ an Atlas Shrugged movie, and corresponding DVDs, More Informative Documentaries (I've seen all the ones that currently exist). If these shitty trilogies like Lord of the Rings have shown us anything it is that the attention span of people isn't quite as short as commonly thought... so break Atlas Shrugged up into a 9 hour Trilogy and do the same for The Fountainhead. Fuck a TV series, we need something with staying power... a Blockbuster. Consider, as it stands the main exposure most people have to Objectivism is the kind of shit BioShock tells them, what idiotic college professors tell them, or when Fox News invites Yaron Brook on momentarily to promote an isolated idea about the free market (which in that context the average viewer doesn't even recognize as Objectivism). I hear so many bull shit accusations about "what Objectivists believe" and "what Ayn Rand believes" that it really is simply a matter of the dominance of dis-info. It drowns us out. I think that an Atlas Shrugged movie should be the #1 focus for ARI until its done, period. I would donate money to the project, maybe others would as well. It's 2010! Why is there no Atlas Shrugged movie? The movie is already a blockbuster considering the shit-storm of criticism it would receive from all sides, and the publicity of Objectivism (including authoritative answers to everyones questions) is inevitably going to spike tremendously... This needs to get done... Another issue is an outlet for Objectivist Media, a news station or a talk show somewhere online... something small that can grow. Something where discussion of current issues can take place outside of a forum, like a podcast or something... but it needs to be Audible and Portable. Nobody talks about sweet new thing is out there on an internet forum. The perspective needs to be out there, not funneled through trash stations like Fox, it needs to be an authentic and pure presentation of the Objectivist perspective in todays world. All of this "I'm moving away" garbage is funny. Mobilize! There are no other fronts on which to fight! America is it!
  10. There is a degree of uniqueness in the way this bill was passed, with misinterpretations pertaining to reconciliation and misinterpretations of the commerce clause, that might expose this bill to a beating in the courts. There might not be any historical comparisons. I'm not a law student so I couldn't tell you. They will look at past case law first though, so it would be good if anyone had any input on that.
  11. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/HealthCare/...ory?id=10178015 As of yesterday (3/23) 14 states have already filed papers in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the newly signed health care bill. Too bad skirting the constitution when its convenient comes back to bite politicians in the ass when they try to use the constitution to do whats its there for. I don't see the lawsuits doing much but getting laughed at. Power does what it wants.
  12. A Perfect Circle - Lyrics - Lyrics
  13. The point of "fixing it" (obviously) is to expose just how broken it is, not to really fix it. Its strategically a good move, because without a lot of bad publicity the FED isn't going anywhere any time soon. You see, the machinations of the FED are not common knowledge. Most people have no idea what the FED is or why it is there, or how it operates. They vaguely classify it as some kind of bank or an arm of the US Treasury. They could tell you that it has something to do with economics, but they couldn't tell you much else. The car analogy isn't correct. For that analogy to work the car would need to be breaking down, and the people riding in it would need to be ignorantly blaming a "good working engine" (capitalism) for making the car break down. When its plainly obvious that the car doesn't have a good working engine, but the people in the car just won't raise the hood to find a baseless FIAT printing press engine breaking them down.
  14. Of course, all of these yes voters who claim to be on the fence are quite obviously asking to be bought off with future additions to the bill. When they say, "the bill still needs work but we should debate about it" what they are actually saying is, "my demands haven't been met yet, and ill use the senate debate as a platform to plea so that my special interests are met or else I won't vote for it." The bill was originally over 1900 pages, now its closer to 2200 after buying a few senators, these debates have no potential to shrink this bill. The only two outcomes that are possible is that the bill will further swell to buy off the needed votes, or it won't pass at all. The administration has shown that they are willing to play with language and make additions to the bill so that it can get passed in the short term (the vote on saturday was just testing the waters so they would know how close they are to being able to get it passed). Once it is passed (and I think it will be) the government will change it in any way it sees fit to further expand its power. Power does what it wants. Healthcare in America will be ruined.
  15. It was the opposite of an honest reply, because it was sarcasm. You said the equivalent of "oh yea smarty pants, tell us all more since you're so smart." Your intention was mockery, while your post mimicked that of someone asking for more information. It isn't like hitchens masks what he believes and, being a journalist, there is plenty of print as well as interviews to draw definite conclusions from. You are replying as though I'm claiming to have some special knowledge about him.
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