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Everything posted by Durandal

  1. Actually, I just created my CafePress account this morning. I was surprised at how easy it was. They have a very good system set up. You can choose the markup on the goods sold through your store, such that the price of any item is Y (base price) + X (your markup). On each item sold, CafePress keeps Y, and you receive a monthly check for the sum of all X. Mind you, I think I'm making about $0.80 on each t-shirt, because I only did it for fun-- I don't intend to use it as a source of income. However, if demand is actually present, I may increase the price slightly but don't hold your breath. thanks, by the way
  2. First of all, if this post violates forum rules, I apologize I'm not trying to merchandise. Moderators, do your worst I really think CafePress is pretty cool. Unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of *nice looking* pro-objectivism designs available. I'm a graphic designer so I thought I would take a crack at it. My particular "store" is called Dollar-Chasers, and you can find it here. It's not a premium store or anything so I'm not sure if you can search for it, hence the hyperlink. Again, I'm not trying to sell anything here! Just wanted to let people know, 'cuz I tend to think it looks kinda cool. Let me know what you think! Thanks
  3. Nobody has yet mentioned the best scene in movie history! To avoid spoiling it, I will only say: The ending of "The Usual Suspects"
  4. I am a Mac user because I like the product, I like the company, and I like their design philosophy. Macintosh computers are reliable, fast, and easy-to-use machines. Now at version 10.4, Mac OSX "Tiger" absolutely leaves Windows in the dust (hell, come fall of 2006 Microsoft will just be catching up to Mac's innovations from 2001). The company has pioneered and brought to market almost every new computer technology since 1984. GUI, the Mouse, iPod, FireWire, PDAs, USB, WiFi, good-looking cases, Bluetooth, the Click Wheel, online music stores, 64-bit computing, etc etc etc. Their stuff may be more expensive, but they evidently put a LOT of their cash into R&D. I have to laugh at the Windows juggernaut because despite the overwhelming size of the PC side, they often follow Apple's lead. And of course, where everything comes together: the design. I don't need to clarify this as their reputation for gorgeous and functional design precedes them. Steve Jobs may be an ex-hippie, but he is the coolest guy on the planet. He is a great idea man, a fantastic visionary, and he has tons of pride and dignity in his product and company. I like Linux as well, and I appreciate the advances that it has made possible in computing. I'm simply not enough of a computer geek to use it regularly
  5. Good point on that David. You're correct that the jurors themselves aren't necessarily or entirely to blame in such a situation.
  6. I used to work for Merck, and as such I find this all very upsetting. If you guys didn't see this in the news yet, a Texas jury found Merck liable in a Vioxx lawsuit and ordered the company to pay Carol Ernst over $253 million dollars in damages. Carol is the widow of late Robert Ernst, who died of arrhythmia four years ago. Vioxx has been found to increase incidence of heart attacks. According to the AP news yesterday, the jury members apparently decided "not to dwell on technicalities" differentiating arrythmia from heart attacks. How can these people not dwell on technicalities?! It's COURT for chrissake! Unsurprisingly, this morning I could no longer find this reference among the news stories discussing the case-- all you see in the media is fire and brimstone, Merck is guilty of murder, yadda yadda. Talk about your concrete-bound illiterates flinging their accusations of greed. The lawyer representing the plaintiff instructed the jury, "If you write down $10m, Merck laughs. It's a rounding error. It's got to be over $100m or they won't even pay attention." Is this about reparations to a widow, or just sticking it to The Man? Bastards. (Changed title to make the contents of the thread more obviou. - sNerd)
  7. *Spoilers Follow* I just saw it. I must say that I was heartbroken that the movie didn't fully pursue the idea of cold, hardcore, absolute justice as presented by Liam Neeson in the first part of the film. I was nearly cheering in the theater for Liam when he spoke to Bruce of Compassion for criminals will only weaken justice and harm the good. The movie exhibited excellent, deep philosophical roots when Bruce Wayne was in his training by the League of Shadows...I was disappointed that the ideas' originator -- and strongest advocate thereof -- was twisted into the villain. Still, by far the best Batman movie yet. And Michael Caine as Alfred just kicks so much ass
  8. Yup, I'm a trombone player but in my band, we always said, "Low brass kicks ass", but then again we weren't a classy bunch. I'll also play bass bone, under pain of death I love my Bach 42A, but there's nothing on this earth that makes me happier than screamin' something jazzy on the King 2B.
  9. No, that was an honest-to-god foul-up. In Episode VI, Luke asks Leia, "Leia, do you remember your mother? Your real mother?" This indicates that Leia was fully aware that she was adopted.
  10. I thought the movie was worth seeing, if for no other reason than Ewan Mcgregor's acting. Even though so much of the other acting in the movie was flat and wooden, McGregor was great. As one movie critic put it: he seems to have mischief written in his DNA. I loved his line, "Chancellor, Sith Lords are our specialty."
  11. He's not a trombone player, is he?
  12. I really dislike billboards. I find most to be in bad taste. Exceptions would be city billboards-- brightly lit and high tech, the kind of stuff you find in Times Square. However, I've spent much of my life in the country, and I defy somebody to find a redeeming characteristic in those dull, ugly highway billboards that have become so prolific. I'm not against advertising. Hell, I worked at a commercial graphic design firm for three years. But billboards are just a crappy medium-- more often than not, they lack any modicum of grace, good design, or aesthetic value. Ugh
  13. Hello and welcome, from a fellow Drexel student I'm part of the Objectivist club, you can check out the site at: http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~abh25/DrexelO...s/mainpage4.htm
  14. The whole point is that it is very true in economics. The Friend vs. Foe format is just that-- it's only a format. Game theory exists, whether people like it or not. And yes, it is often the way things work. Like it or not. However, it needn't be presented in such a negative light...it isn't intrinsically good or bad, it just is. Like a stone or a desk or a lampshade. Just because a game show is formatted a certain way doesn't mean that it should be taken as an incisive philosophical, economic, social, or political commentary. Just a game show, after all.
  15. I personally don't see the conflict between Nash Equilibrium and Objectivism. I am an economics major, and so far I've found game theory to be quite relevant. In fact, I can give you a rather undesirable consequence of the Nash Equilibrium being disobeyed: OPEC. The prisoner's dillemma is one of the things that protects competition and discourages collusion. If this theory were invalid, groups of companies would simply join forces and fix prices at an artificially high level. However, the threat that any of those companies might "cheat" on the agreement, lower their prices and take the market share is what keeps everyone acting in their own self-interest. As I see it, the prisoner's dillemma is in fact, very Objective
  16. I agree. I don't typically skip class. The best way to secure good student attendance is to promote a rigorous and challenging classroom environment. I mean, I'm glad if a prof presents non-textbook material in class, even if it necessitates my attendance. Textbook teachers suck, and skipping their dull classes is the least I can do in return
  17. I can't stand teachers and profs who base any part of my grade on attendance. If I know the material, I know it, and my test scores will reflect it objectively. Attendance be damned. When I was a junior in high school, my chemistry teacher gave a detention for not taking notes! And I always aced the bastard's tests....argh!
  18. Moerbeke is right, philosophy necessarily precedes science. However, I believe you both are coming at this from two different vantage points. Historically, yes, science existed long before Objectivism, and indeed contributed to its fruition. However, in a personal sense, one must practice science within the cognitive framework of their philosophy. To clarify: using science to validate a philosophical concept would be akin to reversing cause-and-effect. Now, whether you folks decide this matter to be philosophical or scientific nature is your call. I just wanted to try to mediate a bit here
  19. Thank you for posting that. If I may, I'd like to retract my statements concerning your original "Good riddance" sentiment. It's unfortunate that many skillful writers are often such lousy individuals. In the interest of my own pleasure, however, I find it occasionally acceptable to seperate the writer's personal views from his work. In this sense, The Crucible is not at all negative, and in fact stands as a wonderful work-- but having his quotes in my mind certainly does a fair job of lowering my enthusiasm for it. Disappointed, but further informed. Argh, ignorance is bliss sometimes. Oh well.
  20. I agree with this. The Crucible details a struggle between that which is real, and that which is arbitrary. Miller artistically and emotionally demonstrated the harsh and painful consequences which often follow a denial of reason and reality. Even if you don't agree with its political innuendo, you must agree with the play's underlying philosophical foundation. Arthur Miller may not have been the world's best playwright, but I certainly wouldn't say of his death, "Good riddance."
  21. Thanks to all who responded to my questions. Although I haven't made a definite decision on the matter yet (internship has had me busy!), your advice has helped provide me with a better foundation to address the issues. I'm really racing to actualize myself and my goals as fast as possible, but time just ticks away so fast.. i'll figure it out though.
  22. I don't recall the exact quote -- perhaps someone can help me out on this -- in Atlas Shrugged. Dagny says something to Eddie about taking over, stepping up, meeting a challenge, etc., and he responds with something like (paraphrasing) "Oh, I could never do anything like that Dagny, I couldn't do what you do..." And Ayn Rand made a point of this paragraph, because Dagny was disappointed. When it came down to it, Eddie flat out said he didn't think he was good enough. Did anyone else in Galt's Gulch ever say that? Again, if somebody else better remembers the quote, please post it.
  23. Now that essay would have made Ayn Rand smile, I think
  24. I think the reason that death is an unpopular topic in Objectivist discussion is because it is a negative. Death is a lack of something -- life. Death is not the opposite of life in the sense of any characteristic besides the fundamental fact of existence vs. non-existence. For example, love and hate are opposites, because both emotions possess several contradictory elements: admiration vs. loathing, similar values vs. divergent values, etc. You can describe hate without referencing love. You cannot, however, define death without referencing life. It is because of this that life gets 99% of the attention. All one can really say about death is that it is not life. Now, matters of grieving, etc., are another matter entirely, and such effects of death aren't concerned with the above statements.
  25. Alan Greenspan -- once a friend of Ayn Rand -- wrote an excellent, excellent essay about the Gold Standard, and the use of gold in general as a substitute for government-backed cash. You may access the piece here: http://www.usagold.com/gildedopinion/Greenspan.html I highly recommend reading it, as it speaks directly to the topic at hand.
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