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Objectivism Online Forum


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About aturner

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  • Real Name
    Aaron Turner
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    Optical Engineer
  1. I can understand the constraints of young children - I have three daughters. In addition to weekly meetings, we also occasionally have weekend gatherings for more social purposes. When these occur, perhaps you would be interested in attending. If so, send me your contact information and I'll put you on our email list.
  2. My wife and I run a discussion group on Ayn Rand's philosophy: Objectivism. Our group (currently four regular members) meets weekly in the evening in Southbury. Our discussions range from philosophical topics, (including metaphysics, epistemology, politics, aesthetics) to purely social exchanges. We seek to further the integration of Objectivism into our daily lives through exchanging experiences, perspectives, and occasionally correcting our errors. We range in age from 30's to 50's. Our meeting structure is very informal, and regular attendance is not required. If you are intereste
  3. No, Aurelia, you didn't miss my point at all. Your definition matches my understanding quite well. As for the practicalities mentioned, I recognize the biology connection, but for the other sciences I think any connection is either non-existent or no longer relevant. Of course, there are the legal phrases that are still in Latin, and if you are a European lawyer you may want to have a good understanding of Latin to consult older texts. What I'm still interested in fully understanding is the feeling by Free Capitalist (and perhaps Aurelia) that Objectivists "should" be studying the classi
  4. Aurelia, I just posted a topic in the Culture forum for you to answer regarding the "classics". I'll be looking forward to hearing your answer.
  5. Aurelia's introduction has left me wondering what she and Free Capitalist mean by the "classics". When I hear this phrase, I associate it with ancient Greek and Roman literature. My understanding is that in the generations preceding my own (I'm 40), studying the "classics" was presumed necessary to qualify as an educated individual. Clearly by my generation, this had all but vanished (I recall Latin being offered in my high school, but not seriously promoted). In addition to the definition, I am also wondering why an education in the "classics" would necessarily require a knowledge of Gr
  6. I am surprised anyone is surprised. If we polled Americans, just what percentage of the under 35 crowd would recognize Aushwicz? Perhaps more than 40%, but I wouldn't bet on it. Modern history is presented in our public schools only in high school, and even then "ugly" modern history is only seriously discussed in Junior and Senior year, and then only in the "advanced placement" classes. How many minutes are spent discussing the Holocaust? I'm going to guess less than an hour, and unless the message was driven home by a film, a long writing assignment, or a field trip, I doubt the inf
  7. Interesting, I just listened to the Galt speech using Audible (from New Intellectual) and it came to about 3 hours at the point in the speech where he says (paraphrasing) "now that you've listened for three hours". I found this rather revelatory of the detail to which Ayn must have gone in producing this work - obviously she or someone else read it out loud and timed it. Then again, watching Ayn deliver impromptu dissertations, maybe she dictated the speech
  8. I also received the trilogy DVD set. Generally, I've not liked the "improvements" - I'm of the opinion that art should not "evolve" after it has been released by its creator (yes, even if the creator is the one doing the evolving). However, I would have welcome a demuppetfication of the final movie. Teddy Bears just don't make convincing war heroes. My five-year-old daughter is simply entranced by the entire triology - but I don't need her to develop a fear of stuffed animals (well, at least not yet).
  9. Well, I stand corrected, and quite surprised.
  10. Actually 99% of cruise control systems just read the signal feeding the speedometer to determine the vehicle's speed, which is based in turn on a mechanical measure of how quickly the wheels are turning. Adaptive cruise control, which is virtually non-existent in a statistical sense, relies on radar, but I would assume it does not use doppler radar to determine the relative velocity of vehicles ahead of the equipped vehicle, just distance as a function of time. "Check your premises" -A.
  11. I've spent my career to date working in optical engineering for the company that produced the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra Observatory, and has been involved in a several other major NASA contracts. Our primary market is the US Defense Department (along with some foreign militaries). My understanding of the ethics of working in such an environment is along the lines that Stephen has mentioned above - this is a pre-existing condition of the country, and that my rational self-interest is best served by producing in an environment in which I excel. That being said, as I have ris
  12. I've also read the book, and found it "interesting". I cannot find an immediate reason to reject the hypothesis, though it must be seen as an unprovable hypothesis, and more a subject of history than of psychology. But my real question for you is based on the quote from your original post. Why are you hesistant to ready something controversial? If you are hesistant because of the potential waste of money / waste of your time, then that is understandable; however, to be hesistant based only on the commentary of others is not ethical.
  13. Stephen - thanks for the corrections on the topic of relativity. I admit I used this opportunity to draw out your general opinion on the solidity of that theory. And I would welcome a (short) list of references to experimental verifications of the premise of special relativity. As for experimental verification of the general theory, I am awaiting the results of the Gravity-B experiment, as well as those from the various gravity wave detectors currently under construction (I have some familiarity with the LIGO project as a supplier of test masses, and of Gravity-B as the supplier of some d
  14. I'll add a third physics-based, accepted, contradiction: the so-called "Twin Paradox" resulting from special relativity. I am a bit concerned that this is not a logical contradiction, but I'll await commentary from others in this forum on that issue. We have twins A & B. B is an astronaut, who leaves Earth at a high fraction of the speed of light (lets say 99% of that speed). Due to the relativity effect of time dilation (slowing of the rate of time seen by a "stationary" observer watching a moving clock), B ages at a much slower rate than A, according to A. Hence, after 1 year in A
  15. It should be pointed out that the wave/particle contradiction you mention is not the same as the equally pervasive Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle in quantum mechanics. Although the Heisenburg principle is the simplest to state (essentially putting limits on one's ability to know the position and motion [momentum] of an object simultaneously), it is the development of this principle into the much more complicated Schrodinger Wave Equation that brings this fundamental contradiction to fruition. The wave equation describes the probability distribution of an object's position at a point in
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