Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Daniel Casper

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Daniel Casper

  1. Obviously, she's just trolling the professor. I mean, just look at her. Who would wear something like that? A mass murderer?
  2. You could approach this both morally and militarily. Morally, the US had no right to do it, and the ends do not justify the means. Even in situations of war, people do retain the right to not participate because of their right to determine their own life. If this principle is not held in trying times by a government, then that government is engaging in evil against its citizens and should be changed. Militarily, it is impossible to assume the draft (and only the draft) won the war. The draft was part of a conventional approach to warfare - put a bunch of men on the field supported by navy/airforce/artillery, take positions from your opponent, defeat him by making him surrender. Yet imagine if the United States did not have the ground forces to engage in island hopping to Japan or invading Europe. By necessity, military planners would have had to develop a different style of warfare (probably using mass bombing raids) that probably would have saved more Americans than the conventional ground fighting. And for the sake of fun, I speculate that the best approach in World War II would have been to leave Europe to itself, while we waited on our shores and amassed a giant navy/airforce. Japan would never be able to mount an assault on the US because of our production levels (there was no requirement that we invade in 1 year as opposed to 5) and Germany would be busy with Britain, and more importantly, Russia. After, when we have our first nukes and long range bombers, we destroy the entire island of Japan by surprise, and then mop up both the Russians and the Germans after they are done wiping each other out (which would have happened regardless of our involvement). Also, AR advocates an almost exact same approach in her Q&A.
  3. This thread has two different questions in it: 1. Is jailbreaking currently illegal? 2. Should it be illegal? As for one, that's a question (I believe) the courts are still deciding, so assuming that's the case, it is not illegal. As for two, the real question is: does a copyright holder of software have the right to determine what is done with his code? The answer is - absolutely. Code after copyright is intellectual property, and therefore the owner of the copyright may determine how and in what way his code is used. Remember also, contracts are legally binding. If you sign a contract that say that you won't break your iPhone after purchase, or that you won't use the programmer's code in an app you are writing, then you are legally held to that. So for anyone to use any part of the iPhone, whether the boot-loader, OS, even hardware (this might not be a copyright but could be legally established with a contract from Apple) against Apple's explicit permission would be an infringement of copyright if Apple wishes it so. The same would go of any product. It doesn't matter what is "practical" or "impractical" from a business or technological stand-point. The person who has a copyright controls the copies, which he has given you permission to use. You now own the copy and you may use the copy as how the original owner stipulates via contract. This is why when you buy a copy of the Fountainhead, you don't own the Fountainhead, but a copy of it, and you just can't print a million copies for your friend. Enforcement may be next to impossible, but the principal remains if you want property rights.
  4. I am new face of Kapitalism, da? Capitalism only possible with principles; Russia is just being pragmatic.
  5. First, if we are talking about an ideal society, there is no taxation, the system of the government is set up in such a way that it pays for itself. This is a complex issue, which I am not going to address right now, but the question of "how" applies with or without taxation. There is no intrinsic value to a currency. Our society would like to evade the responsibility of negotiating individual contracts and actually measuring the value of what they deal in by creating a national currency which is supposed to hold an intrinsic value, but such a system actually destroys their wealth through inflation and allows the government manipulation of the economy via the banks. Your question of "how would the government deal," is equally applicable to the individual: How would the individual deal with obtaining income when he had all the currencies to choose from? That being said, the government would simply collect and deal in whatever it needed to pay its employees. Since all currency would be backed by tangible assets, if the government were, theoretically, to acquire a note it didn't want, they can trade that note for another note, or the goods can be acquired. It may require some effort, but effort is required of anyone if they want to function. Employees of the government could even request in what form they be paid (likewise for employees of a private entity). Above all, it is up to each and every individual to negotiate the terms they want to live under. This naturally leads into how one would determine the value of a currency, but that is also a complex question of economics. The theory I accept is that it is the most capable producers' demands which drive currencies, but really, all demands drive currencies.
  6. All currency would be private property, so there would be no "national currency," if you mean currency that is state controlled/printed. In my mind, all forms of "currency" are simply promissory notes that are capable of being drawn upon a tangible asset. These notes may be traded, and their value would be relative to the demand of the asset backed by the note. So, in this sense, the currency aspect has value only so far as it is used as an instrument to expedite trades. Instead of sending a man twenty gold bricks so a man can buy a horse, a banker can send that man a note that is worth twenty gold bricks (via a contractual promise which the holder of the note can drawn upon the issuer), which that man can then trade the note for the horse. The horse-seller, knowing he has a note that is worth twenty gold bricks, also does not have to obtain the twenty gold bricks to trade - he can simply hand the note off to someone else who would value the currency (ie the promise of 20 gold bricks) or who wants the gold themselves. So, anyone can print currency, backed by any asset. You could have a plutonium dollar or a wheat dollar, but you, the issuer, by creating the note, are obligated to provide that asset to the holder of the note when he wants it, whomever it may be. It is up to the traders in a given market to determine the value of different types of currency for themselves. The role of the police and the courts, in this system, is to protect the rights of the note-issuers, by fighting things such as counterfeit, and protect the rights of the note-holders, by forcing issuers to honor the promise for payment made when they printed the currency. Furthermore, to print currency for an asset you might not have at the moment is not necessarily fraud (hence why we can have interest on banking), but you are still obligated to honor the note. To print currency and then refuse to honor the holder, is fraud. That's my take on currency.
  7. If you are having trouble with energy and focus, try getting a prescription for Ritalin, Adderall, or Concerta, etc (they are not all the same. I have found that Adderall works great for me, but Concerta gives me headaches after the dose wears off). These things have definitely helped me with the symptoms you're describing. Healthy diet and exercise also vital. Last, sheer will-power never hurts either, which comes from a strong philosophy and sense of values.
  8. Healthcare stocks went up. Financial experts, is there a way to short the healthcare market, like those guys did with the sub-prime and made millions?
  9. I'm going to stop supporting all Republicans because it's their fault this passed. The failure of the Bush Presidency stacked the Congress and the Presidency in the Democrats' favor. Also, the Republicans were unable to propose a free-market solution and compromised with the Democrats on principle (such as ordering insurance companies not to deny coverage in law). I'm going to buy the mandatory insurance because I have no choice aside from sacrificing years of my life on the hope that the courts do something, which is not a moral option for me. I'm going to make as much money as possible to help influence elections for when everyone above the age of 40 dies and today's youth becomes the major voting block. Oh, and the one thing that I will do most of all is laugh, because this whole thing is a joke and it's pointless to feel any depression over the event. It's beyond your control. The best thing one can do is stay happy and pursue their own values. PS - Car Insurance is mandatory in Texas.
  10. SC2 - USA Servers Name: daedalus.maestro Hit me up and we'll practice
  11. There's nothing noble about this guy. If he had taken a sort of moral stand, it would have been one thing. But he vilifies Capitalism alongside Communism. He's the kind of person who would commit suicide after hearing John Galt, not Cheryl Taggart. Also, he took his rage out on people not responsible. Clearly, an irrational man.
  12. I bought a Beta Key for $200 off of a Blizzcon 2009 attendee, otherwise they have an opt in lottery available at battle.net As far as the game...the controls are like a breath of divine life into a player like me. If you played the original SC, you could only select up to 12 units at a time, and only one building at a time. Now, I can hotkey all my unit producing to structures to one button (!) and it queues up the units one by one. The automine feature also reduces actions necessary to win. I won my first game against a Protoss opponent by doing a quick 4 gateway mass Stalker (this unit replaces the Dragoon) build. I'll be developing build orders and posting them here as I progress in my knowledge of the game. Oh, and it looks so beautiful. I am overjoyed.
  13. Everyone, The Starcraft 2 is out and I am downloading the game! I'll let you all know how it is, and how I'm fairing against the dreaded Koreans.
  14. Video games are themselves not art, but sometimes may contain a piece of art. Thus the "game" aspect of it is not art, it is recreation, but it would be stupid to say the "story" of a video game is somehow not literature. When one puts a mural on the side of a building, the mural doesn't cease to be a painting, nor does the building cease to be a building. Rather, the painting becomes subsumed by the building, remains a work of art, and can be isolated for the purpose of enjoyment/study. So it is with video games.
  15. Yes. Any creature which possesses a rational faculty, regardless of whether it exercises rationality, has the right to live, and to keep what it has created and/or earned, up until the point it infringes upon the rights of another.
  16. So, here's a great question. How does one know if one is in a life or death situation if not for reason? The mind must identify several factors whether you like it or not. That "split-second reaction" is made possible only by your previous rational identifications, which allows you to make a split-second judgment. Second, reason does not reign or service. Reason cannot act. It is a cognitive tool for understand reality, so your point is invalid. So long as something is perceivable, or derived from perception, it can be rationally understood. In this sense, there is no difference between an atom or a baseball. Both have characteristics, both exist, and thus both are subject to understanding by the human mind. There may be gaps in knowledge, but that is not a fault of reason, just the fault of the observers. Reason is the only thing which can bring someone to such a gap and is the only thing that can fill it. Where is the delusion in this? There isn't one. The delusion is all yours in thinking that reason is not the master of man's nature. It's the source of his concepts of value, of his understanding of the world, and his actions. And if it's not the sum, what is? Intution? Faith? Because those are not valid approaches and are not natural for man. Reason is the only valid approach.
  17. It is, by the way, illogical to bring up historical/ethical analogies such as what the OP began with. The policies of shopping malls, lawyers, IE Private citizens with private property, have nothing to do with the nature or the decisions of the government. They are two whole different areas. Furthermore, as there has been no truly Capitalistic country, it is silly to bring up how the idea of "competing" governments has failed or succeeded historically. All of the past governments were in some way Statist, so no wonder there were problems. I think as long as you follow the method in the second paragraph, it is easy to determine when something should or should not be a state.
  18. The only competition between governments should be to obtain the most ideal practice of Capitalism possible, which means the complete enshrinement and protection of individual rights translated into the economic and political (I use the terms to include the efficacy of the police, military, courts, how the system is paid for, the particulars of the laws). In this sense, yes governments should compete against each other to see who can have the best police, the best laws, the best military. These things are what a good or bad government is judged by. Any economic/cultural differences between countries' citizens are nonessential, because government only deals with using force and protecting freedom. It does not exist for profit, or for the economic/cultural advancement of its citizens but only for political justice. There are no conflicts of interests between Capitalist governments. Now that doesn't mean that people can just arbitrarily start a government whenever wherever they want. In my mind it is an act of force to secede from a government, as you are saying their laws are invalid and no longer apply to you, while under their system, while establishing an armed system which forces your laws onto people (as that is a government). It is only justified if the "parent" government is using force against you (a la the American revolution). So if you are already in a Capitalist system, that doesn't mean you and your neighbor can suddenly ignore the government and create your own state. You must either be sanctioned by the existing state or morally justified. So, essentially, what I am saying is that governments can and should compete, but only in accordance with their nature. The rest is the voluntary exchanges between individuals.
  19. I am simply pasting my recent review of this movie. There is a subtle message of District 9 which its creator never mentions explicitly. He is not concerned with moralizing – there is no mention of rights in this movie about interment camps, poverty, genetic experimentation, and murder. Nor is the creator concerned with a thematic message – the movie does not attempt to sum itself up under a uniting abstraction. What the creator wants you to feel is intense suffering through the plight of aliens who act like brutal savages out of an African slum. He wants to make you sick with the presentation of prostitutes, slum lords, dismemberment, and gore that would make any healthy man wince. He wants you to feel sadness and pity for two beings who are caught in a horrible existence governed by forces beyond their control. Yet this is not his purpose, they are merely the devices employed to prepare the audience to accept the actual theme of the film. It is stated only briefly, at the end, a single idea which the audience is slowly led to accept. The creator does not intend for the audience to recognize it fully, but to let the events of the film serve as an unidentified group of concretes that will come to mind when the audience reflects on the issue. Like a gambler tipping his hand, the creator reveals what this issue is at the last moment, splitting the audience into two categories: those who can grasp his theme, and those who cannot. The artist, by virtue of how he hides it, hopes the audience is stupid enough to fall into the latter so he can con them into accepting the theme blindly. The message is that corporations are evil, and will do whatever they can to acquire weapons, power, and money, even at the expense of sacrificing the lives of volitional creatures. The creator believes that corporations are so powerful in their pursuit of profit that governments are simply their tools, and that multinational CEO’s are the true rulers of the world. When an alien spacecraft arrives in South Africa bearing 1.5 million starving, impoverished alien refugees, it is not the government of South Africa who processes them and releases them into the public – it is a private corporation which locks them in to a slum, guarded by a mercenary police-force and missile turrets. When the aliens are to be relocated into a concentration camp, it is the not done through the police and courts, but the corporation’s private army – whose actions are somehow illegal despite the fact they own the slum in which the aliens live. When the main character is infected with DNA that will slowly turn him into an alien, he is captured by the CEO, whose daughter the main character is married to, and used for weapons testing. During the process, the main character is needlessly forced to kill an alien. When the single alien who is a thinking being instead of the horrible savages that are his brethren attempts to go home, the corporation stops him with a missile. This is all done in unintellectual terms, with the usual blame placed on the profit motive as if the pursuit of money necessarily leads a man to evil, but it is at the conclusion of the movie in which the true ugliness of the film is revealed. One of the men who works at the corporation is arrested for exposing the illegal activities of his employer. Logically, how can a man be arrested for exposing someone breaking the law? The answer is simple: there is no such thing as law or government, only war-mongering “Capitalists” who are the secret dictators of man’s existence. Qua work of art, this movie is like a walking abortion. You will be treated to “Saw” level grotesqueness: chopped off limbs, gunshot wounds, exploding corpses, meat lockers.There is nothing redeeming in any of the characters, with the exception of the thinking alien. They are simply average men placed in unaverage situations. Your questions about the plot will not be answered. The film never bothers to answer such questions as why the corporation has that much power, why the government does nothing, even why the aliens arrived. The artist purposefully leaves the ending open, on a sad note, to inflict more emotional pain upon the audience. The audience is merely supposed to swallow it all like the dumb aliens in the movie and accept the creator’s conclusion.
  • Create New...