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About bbrown

  • Birthday 08/07/1974

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    Bill Brown
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  1. I think uranium-based nuclear reactors are good enough and have been in service full blast for fifty-plus years with a terrific safety record. Moreover, some of the new concepts use passive safety systems that make the things even safer. Thorium reactors have only existed at the testing and prototype levels, not as a full-scale commercial operation. While the benefits are true, they're not revolutionarily better than uranium reactors. I think by the time uranium reactors have run their course, fusion will be ready to take over. Bill
  2. I love the idea behind the 1950s Atoms for Peace slogan "Too Cheap to Meter" even though it was frustrated pretty quickly by the regulatory apparatus. Nuclear-wise, I just can't see the likelihood of the thorium reactors. Uranium is certainly much more finite, but reprocessing is currently prohibited in the US. If that changed, all of the spent fuel could be recycled for the foreseeable future without having to dig as much out of the earth. Plus there's the whole re-use of nuclear warheads going on--plenty more where that came from. I think the future of nuclear energy is in Small Modular Reactors (SMR), which are being built by Westinghouse and NuScale for example, and fusion, which has seen some recent, intriguing work by Lockheed's SkunkWorks (compared to the ITER morass). Personally, I like the SMR notion because it seems the most likely to sidestep the current regulatory regime and change the perception of nuclear energy by putting them all over the place. We shall see. Bill
  3. This sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay is my favorite: When I too long have looked upon your face, Wherein for me a brightness unobscured Save by the mists of brightness has its place, And terrible beauty not to be endured, I turn away reluctant from your light, And stand irresolute, a mind undone, A silly, dazzled thing deprived of a sight From having looked too long upon the sun. Then is my daily life a narrow room In which a little while, uncertainly, Surrounded by impenetrable gloom, Among familiar things grown strange to me Making my way, I pause, and feel, and hark, Till I become accustomed to the dark. Bill
  4. Excerpts are now available - http://www.how-we-know.com/Excerpts-list.htm Bill
  5. This was sent out to those who pre-ordered: (As a side note, the Amazon page was a mistake and a new one will be created by the publisher once the Amazon distribution is firmed up. Kindle might be a few months.) Bill
  6. There's also the book's site: http://www.how-we-know.com/ Bill
  7. There's now a page on Amazon for it. http://www.amazon.com/How-Know-Epistemology-Objectivist-Foundation/dp/0985640618/ He indicated before that there would be a Kindle edition but I went ahead and requested one through Amazon's channels anyway. Bill
  8. I emailed him asking whether the book would be available outside of OCON when ARI announced that he would be signing it at the conference. He said, yes that it would be widely distributed (read: Amazon.com) afterwards. Just before the conference, the book signing was cancelled and he posted to HBList that he wasn't able to get it to the printers on time. Since then, I have been checking Amazon and http://hblist.com/ every day. Bill
  9. The people behind Stack Overflow have opened up the engine (called Stack Exchange) to power any group. I think their setup would be ideal for the site you describe. You can suggest the project at http://area51.stack exchange.com/ and then get people to vote on the project. [EDIT: never mind, I didn't see the link in the post above.] Bill
  10. They are not baptized and my wife doesn't go to church. They're all 6 and under so it's not like religion comes up a whole lot. They know that my wife believes and that I don't. We intend to raise them that way--where they come to their own conclusions. Bill
  11. I've been married to a Christian for 17 years now and vie been an Objectivist for 21 years. I've got four children. So yes, it can work quite well. I think it mostly depends on what kind of a religious person she is. I couldn't imagine being married to a zealot or a fundamentalist. Sense of life is really important also. Bill
  12. I think you must figure out the nature of parenting if you want to determine the proper relationship of parent to child. For me, parenting is the process of preparing a child for adulthood. The parent, thus, helps a child to become self-aware, long-range, independent, and rational. The two are not on equal footing and so the parent necessarily must assume some sort of authority at least in early childhood. I've got a lot more to say about this and am presently preparing the outline for an essay on the subject. When the time comes, I'll post a link here. Bill
  13. No, this was a progression. Bill
  14. I've found several of the comments on this thread to be highly rationalistic and I suspect that there's a strong correlation between that issue and not having children. Deriving whether corporal punishment is moral or not from Ayn Rand's theory of individual rights is not helpful because they're wildly different issues. I can assure you that there is a great chasm of experience between what you think about raising a child prior to having any and after having some: it has been a real eye-opener for me. There's a credibility that comes from having some skin in the game, so to speak. I have spanked my four children at various times in their short lives (all are under 6). It generally occurred at the point of successive willful disobedience. For example, a daughter plays loudly at bedtime or goes wandering upstairs after a cat and is told to get back to bed. She repeats the behavior or a variant again and I tell her that next time she is going to have the cat taken away. She continues and I say that next time she will get a spanking. She continues again so I administer one to her rear. She cries and stops, falling to sleep shortly after that. She's only done that sequence once and every other time stops after the first reminder. The spank, as I see it, was an emphasis--letting her know that this was the end of the line for this set of behaviors. I didn't enjoy it and she knew the consequence in advance. She (and her siblings) has suffered no ill effects that I can see and is no door mat to authority. Where children lose respect is when this becomes the go-to move or is applied capriciously. When punishments aren't objectively applied, then a minor version of learned helplessness and associated resentment ensue. In the thick of heavy emotions or impulsive behavior, calm reasoning can fail--children lack the self-control that we adults can have. I view the parental role as imposing control, foresight, and empathy until they are able to exercise it on their own. I do this through objective rules, timeouts, and explanation. As the children age, they will internalize the rules and explanations and I can phase out the timeouts. Bill
  15. I haven't, but it was discussed quite a bit in over at NoodleFood a while ago. Bill
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