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Everything posted by DanLane

  1. It takes three points to define a curve, i.e. a trend. One convicted crime is a mistake, two is a coincidence, three is a pattern. Not saying it's the perfect number but it has a rational basis. In addition to Steve's idea, there are many ways of making three strikes more objective. A ten-point system with felonies assigned 1-5 points each depending on severity and/or seperation of felonies into categories like violent, fraudulent, and reckless/neglectful. Besides recidivism, I suspect three strikes is a way of relieving stress on the system by keeping first time offenders from clogging the prisons and repeat offenders from clogging the courts. Take all the drug, tax, and regulatory offenses out of the equation and we would be free to extend, contract, or remove the application of this law based on its objectivity rather than as a logistical tool.
  2. You have to go further than to assume climate change is occuring, you have to assume to know the exact nature of its effects, the official subsidized version of which has changed every week since the 60s. On the other hand, the amount of damage caused by interference with individual rights since climate change was first brought up has been like "The Day After Tomorrow" times 2586. It's like seeing a smudge on the horizon which could be the either smoke from a forest fire or a cloud and preemptively burning your house down to starve it of fuel. A proposal to increase this effect is something I can't take seriously for debate. If you really want to know whether there's something government CAN do, I can't think of anything legitimate but to keep the peace if things go badly. However, I don't buy the idea that people will literally be too stupid to come in out of the cold if/when they are confronted with a measurable threat. The mystics can't help but be frightened of the environment because they've abondoned man's means of dealing with the environment. They see modern comforts as something that sprung up out of the ground and wouldn't know where to begin in order to repeat such feats. Nature, as it is and has been and will be, is utterly inhospitable to humans, and yet here we are. If all the horrifying, panic-enducing prophecies came to pass we would be reduced to a standard of living only a few orders of magnitude more bearable than that of the serfs of an average planned economy, only they are slaves and we would be free. If environmentalists care enough about this issue to support laws which they objectively know would kill countless people, directly, why not sell some of their guns and start a business dedicated to discovering a real, technological solution? Or at least start convincing people to move out of coastal cities? I'm not talking about any form of pull-peddling, which has never resulted in anything good. They could just take the tax dollars their supporters claim to be willing to pay as donations and start researching at any moment but it won't happen because to them the human race is only worth saving if they get to cannibalize its members in the process. So if you want to start working on a solution, keep in mind that it is the climate change movement and the government who will do the most to get in your way, as they've gotten in the way of all progress in recorded history. Good luck. Edit: Spelling
  3. If person A prays to his diety that person B get's stuck by lightning, and then person B gets struck by lightning, then type climate change or regulation into the search bar.
  4. Words have exact meanings. And guess I don't write enough for it to sound like I'm talking. Something like that. Should I use numbers instead 4 lawls?
  5. If you're going to mosh just don't get in over your head. If you size up the crowd first for fist fighters it's as safe as any sport for an athletic person. I assume intoxication would add some danger, and trying to breate in that environment as a smoker would suck, but I've always been sober. Aesthetically, it can embody the kind of determination/conviction which is painfully rare to encounter in another mind in day-to-day life. No quarter is requested or given. While anger is a theme, it is directed outward and not toward other participants. I find that productive energy can be released as well, facing and overcoming a type of challenge that books and equations don't quite offer, as much as I enjoy books and equations. If you're at the concert of a particularly nihilistic death metal band the motive for the pit tends to be malicious, some kind of simultaneous punishment of self and others. I would avoid those concerts for the sake of musical taste anyway. However, if the band is a little more philosophically sound (not necessarily perfect, I take what I can get), the motives of the crowd in the pit reflect that too. The heaviest pit I've participated in was to Lamb of God's Black Label, and even though everyone was exhausted and still hitting like pro football players there was no hint of ill will. I've never picked up a sense of conformity or collective attitude in a pit, quite the opposite. Up in the front couple rows where everyone's packed in skin tight is where that can happen, imo. I can appreciate the art of dance displayed by someone else, but I cannot imagine dancing much myself even for recreation. Moshing appeals more to my sense of life, though I have never lost my temper and can't imagine a scenario in which I would start a fight or willingly do anything contrary to the achievement of my own happiness and self-esteem. Like all aesthetics, it comes down to the values you are seeking from the activity and whether you honestly encounter them in the process.
  6. To add a point from his own argument, the "commons" did not exist until somebody created the means and infrastructure to use it. At first, the only resources were food, water, wood. No amount of uranium would have been considered part of the commons until a few decades ago. Under his proposal, nobody would expand the resources available or try to find new ones, because the fruits of their labor would not belong to them. If he would only get out of the way there would be no practical limit to natural resources, with a theoretical limit at the entirety of the potential energy of every speck of dust in the solar system (and beyond?), and even that is recyclable. He needs to control the actions of businesses because he sees man as inherently Fallen. He needs to govern the distribution of resources because he cannot discren between the mataphisically given and the chosen. There's an Ayn Rand quote about dealing with nature by persuasion and men by force, and this issue is metaphysics. Steer things in that direction rather than towards politics.
  7. He imagines that large companies are simply hoarding massive piles of gold "somehow" and burying it in the ground. Every penny of wealth that is "amassed" has first been exchanged for something of equal or greater value and is afterwards used to fund the ventures of all the small businesses he is so fond of. By the time he says anything about the entertainment industry he is so deep in layers of contradictions that any arguement would be forced to concede one of his points. So don't try. Convice him of the basic nature of man as a rational being and not a resource converting machine which simply needs the have right raw materials distributed to it. Build up from that to practical applications. If he persists, I would part ways with an ultimatum that I will defend to the death my property and wealth which I have created without the aid of "the commons" or any need for his sanction.
  8. When people lack self esteem and know on some level that their flawed philisophy is at the root of their failures, they feel guilt. When they see that others are able to live happy lives, their guilt turns to envy. The Original Sin myths of religionists, socialists, environmentalists, etc. are the percieved solution: turn the tables and make guilt a standard of value, and you suddenly have something which all the people you envy do not. The false joy that comes from truly believing your guilt renders you a saint will attract more people who want the same Something for Nothing that you seem to have. As your fellow evaders make themselves more and more miserable, they become envious of all those who seem to enjoy the lifestyle, and so they become more and more dedicated to ritual self-hatred, and their self destruction fuels yet more guilt (the real kind). The longer this goes on the more dependent one becomes upon believing in it and pretending it works. Even when people realize the vicious cycle they've fallen into, there is no alternative but to climb all the way out of the hole, and many just become spiteful and give up.
  9. I haven't played Civ 5, but I can comment on 2 and 4. Since the premise is that you are an immortal, totalitarian dictator, it's natural that your politics transition from tribalism to socialism/communism to "democracy", with environmentalism as the capstone ecomnomic policy. It's an admission of the nature of statism. I play with a realistic Laissez Faire government by turning on all the cheat codes and winning in two turns. The new one looks amazing visually. I'm waiting for an expansion to come out before I buy it though.
  10. So the land is the fruit of the state's labor?
  11. Trolls are my favorite, so have to add: scavenging, especially by force, is the one thing that is explicitly denounced by Objectivism which every other major idealogy embraces. Also, sharing is impossible for th religious: they allow what they have to be taken or they burn for eternity. Sharing is impossible for the collectivists, they allow what they have to be taken or they are ruthlessly slaughtered by the state. Capitalists share all the time, benevolently, joyfully, without guilt, but _with_ the most important thing: an alternative. Who's side are you on, exactly?
  12. Apply that analogously to sex/rape. It's also the question every mugger asks right after he draws his gun. You can't be my friend, ever.
  13. Someone who doesn't pay for fire protection isn't any worse off than someone in an area without a fire department. No harm, no foul. Nearby neighbors who payed for coverage might have a case. If it was me, I would help put out the fire (but not necessarily risk my life in the process) since I hate to see valuables go up in flames, and if I lived nearby a burnt house would be an eyesore at the very least. Also, it's nice to be able to assume that some people would do the same for me, but I can't imagine putting a gun to their head and forcing them into it.
  14. Nevada Senate race Reid's ad campaigns are giving him a chance to keep his job, despite the healthy majority of voters who wanted him out just a few months ago. Sharon Angle, who is apparently "just too extreme", seems like a cookie-cutter republican who tried a little too hard to pander to alleged Tea Party values like privatized education. All Reid had to do was cut and paste about 15 seconds of combined sound byte and put EXTREMIST in the caption, and the whole bandwagon was derailed. The most damaging one is when she says that part of the reason for the second ammendement is armed resistance. Of course it cuts off before she states the conditions which would justify that course of action, so I can't tell whether to support that one or not. They're dead even, but the momentum is still going the wrong way. I feel like Angle has to do nothing but pick a well-defined stance on the issues and start defending it, but that's a lot to ask of the party of compromise. Even if she leaves the whole issue of Obamacare alone and emphasizes the blatantly criminal bribes Reid used to tack senators onto it she could destroy his credibility, even with hardcore democrats. In a perfect world she would drop the pro-"life"/anti-gay package and demonstrate that she knows a moral reaon why the scope of government should be limited, but repealing Obamacare is at the top of the agenda for me. So, is this trend the result of the flimsy philosophical foundations of the local Tea Party? Can Angle win by sticking to the (relatively) rational stances she's being attacked for / should she stick to them anyway for integrity's sake? Also, if anyone has a link to Angle's "exteme" comments in full context that would be great. If not I'll find them before elections. There may be democrats we can afford to leave in power to support gridlock and to let them take the blame for their policies. I argue that Reid, Pelosi, and a few others who have enough pull to pass the things we've seen in the past couple years are not on this list, but there are Other Threads for that discussion.
  15. Jealousy is tough because it isn't a primary emotion. There is an emotion which is about two parts envy and one part admiration which I feel when I am bested fairly in some kind of competition. Like you said, this is not jealousy. It lacks bitterness and the desire for things to be other than what they are. When you work towards something like a job or a relationship it is easy to equate what could potentially be yours with what actually belongs to you. Say you are competing for a promotion and someone else gets it. The fact that you were striving to earn such a thing implies that you believe in principle that the promotion is a reward for merit/virtue. Jealousy is the desire to apply that principle to yourself and not to others, and to work in a vacuum. It may be rational to regret failing to gain some value, but taking the next step and blaming someone who did succeed is contradictory. Another application of the term jealousy that doesn't stick is when you catch your spouse in an affair, because exclusivity and honesty are conditions of the relationship. If someone takes the unearned from you dishonestly, it is presumed that you would not have done the same in their place, and you cannot be jealous of their vices. If your spouse leaves you for someone else and is honest about it, you are justified in feeling regret, but jealousy would still contradict the principle that one is free to pursue a relationship in the first place. In short, to be jealous of the earned is immoral because it is the desire to prevent anyone else from pursuing their values, and to be jealous of the unearned is immoral because it is the desire for non-values or to take others' values by force or fraud. The only way jealousy could be justified is if there is something in its definition I'm missing. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ From dictionary.com: jeal·ous·y   /ˈdʒɛləsi/ [jel-uh-see] –noun, plural -ous·ies for 4. 1. jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself. 2. mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims. 3. vigilance in maintaining or guarding something. 4. a jealous feeling, disposition, state, or mood. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ #3 is a slightly different connotation, but to apply it to the given scenarios one would be "maintaining or gaurding" one's right to pursue values above and beyond what anyone else is allowed to pursue, which is still contradictory. This doesn't apply to guarding one's property, because I would not be jealous of a burglar breaking into my house, I'd just be pissed off.
  16. The Koran should be burned in this case to flaunt the threats of Muslims and the appeasement by governments. As a rule though, I would rather print the Koran and hand out copies to everyone I know because it is the single greatest argument against itself. If I were to burn something, it would be burkas. Burn as many of those as you can track down, and if it draws the militants out where our soldiers can slaughter them, then so much the better, because we are at war after all.
  17. It _is_ the vector addition of the two sides. What Mathis tries to do is pull all the length dimesnions up to the level of the velocity vectors (the process of drawing a circle), add them, and then disregard the loss of magnitude in the resultant as something the orbital acceleration eats to make the curve of the circle. I can't put that into words any better than he can. Apples and oranges, and like I said, not one example or experiment. What draws people to him is the way he approaches problems mechanically, with no points or instants or dead cats.
  18. I wish he would do a single mechanics problem to see if he can attach a value to his ghost acceleration, which his whole field theory is based on. I like his way of thinking about quantum/astronomical problems, but you can take any set of data and correlate it to any theory if you don't ever do any math.
  19. Yeah, I read over the pi paper again. I thought he was just trying to convert pi to 4 by adding an extra acceleration term to eat up the extra distance. He never seems to make any point about it though, and the applications are vague. Also, he's comes across as a real douche, and then starts trying to say that this changes g to 7.9 and a bunch of other ungrounded bs.
  20. I saw the same review, but it doesn't have any content. It reminds me of reviews of Atlas Shrugged, whether justified or not. If it's convemient, could you point out some of the actual fallacies you saw in the "pi is 4" paper? I read it and it seemed consistent.
  21. Not in the Christian/egalitarian sense. A child represents the culmination of a lot of productive effort, can symbolize your value of human nature, etc.. You can also look ahead to all the values of parenthood. Some people think babies are cute, the captured essence of new life or something like that. Just because a fetus, as a potential person, doesn't have rights, that doesn't mean a fetus or small child cannot be of great value to its parents by virtue of that same potential. It just isn't exactly equivalent to the person it will grow up to be.
  22. In itself, the choice to donate organs has no bearing on morality because morality only applies in the context of life, but the possibily that you could be allowed to die as a consequence complicates things. It's a risk that you would have to balance against how much you value adding to the transplant supply, and the answer may not be the same for everyone. If you evaluate that risk honestly you can't miss, since the primary responsibility for your wrongful death in the worst case scenario would be with the doctor. I for one don't recall reading anything about anyone getting caught for this kind of crime, but the hypothetical doesn't seem that far fetched. I'm marked down to donate for now but it's something I might reevaluate before I renew my licence. If you want your organs to go to family members before reaching the general list, I think there is a legal procedure that will allow you to designate, but that's only based on seeing the movie "Seven Pounds".
  23. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" -Proverbs 3:5 This is repeated hundreds of times throughout, I'm sure there are better ones too.
  24. Thanks for the review, I'll put that one on my reading list.
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