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Everything posted by dream_weaver

  1. The initial gut reaction would be to ask if Yuval Noah Harari is in cahoots with folks the likes of Daniel Schmachtenberger and Alexander Bard. In her essay, For The New Intellectual, Miss Rand put forth: "If America perishes, it will perish by intellectual default. There is no diabolical conspiracy to destroy it: no conspiracy could be big enough and strong enough." Yet, I've run across individuals who declare that it is not a conspiracy, that the attack on America is an open assault (by the descendants of Frankfurt School, for instance), that the power of philosophy is recognized by the enemies of philosophy and being harnessed produce a concentrated impact, dedicated to bringing down any supporters of an alternative view of existence. In other words, it is not a conspiracy being done behind the scenes, but an open assault with no need to remain hidden behind the scenes, in order to escape detection. Is this how the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times" be brought about?
  2. When people are rapacious or terrified, they develop the weapons they need; when cooler heads prevail, the weapons rust in peace. — Steven Pinker, The Better Angels Of Our Nature.

    Atkins hardly let his weapons rust in peace.

  3. @Easy Truth, you introduced him to me here. My assessment is based on about five minutes of the two audio segments and your analysis in the OP. As to the second part, I do not have particulars in mind. Alex Epstein would certainly qualify. There is a couple I met a decade ago that formed the Objectivists of Southeast Michigan, that began doing podcasts as an alternative to get together's at the onset of the hoopla over CoViD-19. Five Minutes with Robert kicked it off. Robert and Amy are still producing that weekly podcast, and also one hosted by the Ayn Rand Centre, UK dubbed "Life On Earth". Another, James Valliant, co-auther of the book "Creating Christ" has his own podcasts has been a frequent guest on Life on Earth, as well as Gena Gorlin, who is currently fielding a project she called "Building the Builders" over on Substack. She has been interviewed by the ARC team, been on Robert and Amy's podcast as a guest. As to pointers about enhancing capacity, it is a byproduct of intellectual growth. Alex investigated fossil fuels. Robert and Amy teamed up and made Objectivism an integral part of their day to day lives. James delved into the origins of Christianity. Gina is exploring the psychology of the builders (producers?). These examples all share what Joseph Campbell advocated, "Follow your bliss.", or Andrew Bernstein's advocation of Objectivist's becoming "value intoxicated". Yes, the "conspiracy without leader" still goes on. To the degree Galt's Speech is the essence of Objectivism, it has always gone on, and will likely continue long after you and I have finished acting out the roles we have chosen for ourselves. In that sense, if Israel, or Judaism, are considered as "the chosen ones", why not Objectivism be comprised of the choosing ones, openly recognizing the "secret" so many dread to name, i.e.; "the fact that man is a being of Volitional Consciousness." His concrete bound approach to human rights is an end run attempt around the development of an understanding of individual rights, what they are, and how they came to be recognized by those who advocate and uphold them.
  4. What to do, then? You've quickly added context that sets the tenor of your OP. As a diverse community, each member here has their values that frame what they find of value to focus on. In a world of nearly 8 billion folks, there are many influencers on a variety of different platforms. Setting aside the differences of the participants on groups such as Objectivism Online, Objectivist Living, Galt's Gultch, The Objective Standard, The John Galt Line, The Prometheus Foundation, ... Is it reasonable to take the fight to the Jordon Peterson's, Dennis Prager's and Yuval Noah Harari's of the world, or might it be more productive to hone and develop the capacity to become the influencers, taking a foundation of morality and reason that a Steven Pinker can't quite put his finger on, and use where they go right and where they go wrong to help concretize a position better?
  5. It's not the use of a "new form of democracy" that came across as "off" to me. Many folk use democracy in the 2nd sense offered at Webster's 1913 Dictionary. In order to "know people better than they know themselves", suggests a knowledge of the nature of human beings. Turn it around and to use such knowledge to manipulate people, and it's back to the snake-oil salesmen, or con-artist's availing themselves to technological advances. Even in technological advances, ways to ward against hacking, viruses, etc., are continually evolving as well. The tools can be used for good or for evil, depending on the hands wielding them.
  6. Not all his graphs flow consistently downward. This could be aberration that won't show up without putting it under a future microscope examining the past. C Bradley Thompson offers the following clip aimed at the educational sector for consideration: Our Killing Schools Part 1 Progressive Education and Our Killing Schools Part 2 Nihilism and Our Killing Schools Part 3
  7. Sakkijarvin Polka a cappella (The Swingle Singers) https://youtu.be/q98Y86jfXaY
  8. No animals were harmed during it's creation. (Didn't mean to omit that juicy tidbit.)
  9. https://www.rt.com/russia/559728-ukraine-escalation-rand-report/ RT Article: The US and its NATO allies need to take a series of steps to avoid a direct conflict with Russia over Ukraine, the Pentagon’s foremost think-tank advised in a report published on Tuesday. 1.) Sanctions against Russia have created conditions for one of the escalation pathways already, while the continuing flow of weapons and volunteers to Ukraine may trigger others, the RAND Corporation warned. The other three possibilities involve 2.) Moscow coming to believe a direct NATO involvement is imminent; 3.) that weapons delivered to Ukraine are making a major difference on the battlefield; 4.) or that unrest within Russia is threatening the government. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/perspectives/PEA1900/PEA1971-1/RAND_PEA1971-1.pdf Pathway 0 - Escalation spiral that could have already begun Preconditions for Escalation [Preconditions for this pathway, such as comprehensive sanctions on Russia and extensive military assistance to Ukraine, already exist.] Steps to Escalation • Russia eventually decides to retaliate for U.S. and NATO measures that are already being implemented. • Moscow’s preoccupation with war in Ukraine might have delayed the response. • Such an escalation would likely begin with non-kinetic attacks Pathway 1 - Preemption against perceived NATO intervention in Ukraine Preconditions for Escalation • Political pressure for intervention in Ukraine intensifies in NATO member states. • New NATO long-range strike capabilities are deployed in eastern flank member states. • Volunteers from NATO member states participate in Ukraine war. • Russian conventional capabilities are significantly degraded. Steps to Escalation • Russia perceives imminent risk of NATO intervention in Ukraine. • Escalation could begin with an immediate move to kinetic strikes on NATO forces or territory. • Nuclear use is plausible. Pathway 2 - Interdiction of NATO allies’ military assistance to Ukraine Preconditions for Escalation • NATO members transfer more-powerful capabilities to Ukrainian military. • Moscow is convinced that halting allies’ assistance to Ukraine is necessary to avoid defeat. Pathway 3 - Domestic instability in Russia sparks aggression Preconditions for Escalation • Domestic instability in Russia increases dramatically. • The Kremlin perceives a Western role in fomenting the unrest. Steps to Escalation • Escalation could begin with non-kinetic attacks. • If NATO retaliates, eventual kinetic conflict is possible.
  10. A couple of more quips from The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011) from the subsection Where Angels Fear To Tread out of Chapter 6, The New Peace With a slight hat-tip to Karl Popper, who would have been 120 today except for an event he participated in back in 1994, Per the BBC news on July 1, an underestimate has already reached over 10,000 folk. Granted, the decade would have been over 2021 as the book was published 2011, still ideas matter, and Steven makes a good point in the first citation that the question missing the point. He then succumbs to Popper's error in the second by acquiescing to the notion that the essence of science is to make falsifiable predictions. <sigh>
  11. Perhaps the FDA could provide you with a succinct summary why they have not approved the treatment. From there, pick the essential element you consider yourself able to speak well to. Oft times, picking the right issue to zero in on can damage the foundation that superlative issues are resting upon.
  12. I also looked up propaganda. The 1913 Webster is provided a more positive application of the term from a once upon a time perspective. Since I reference Steven Pinker's book The Angels Of Our Nature, a quick search came back with a twitter tweet about a recent editorial by him published via The Boston Globe. In the doublespeak of some of the intellectuals he opens with: The longer version of the above is below. Is Russia’s war with Ukraine the end of the Long Peace? It provides a brief plug to his book relative to current events. I've found it an insightful look at the history of violence of mankind. I have to remind myself that he is a psychologist now and again. *edit to add: The Long Peace is a chapter in the book that I am currently in the middle of right now. (The stuff serendipity is made of.)
  13. Yes. This. Share what you judge to be in accordance with reality by isolating it from a linked article, or if it is easier, share the part being discarded by isolating it from what you found otherwise to have merit. You may find value in the 20 minute video you linked here. I've only got 4,568 days left to squander. Why should I squander 20 minutes on that video in an attempt to experience a pseudo vulcan mind meld with you via John Pilger serving as some sort of mystic intermediary between us?
  14. d_w, the best place for this discussion IS because this is an Objectivist forum. This war and its global response demands objectivity, from many more outspoken individuals. Not that it is "essential to Objectivism", but that Objectivism is essential and fundamental to (identifying, explaining, judging, resolving) it. In short: O'ism's applicability. None other, and I've read and heard many erudite intellectuals on this war, has the unified principles and methodology. (I appreciate that opinions can be freely thrashed out here whereas, in other places one might be deplatformed and the site banned for daring to question the controlled, moral agenda). "'Tis not unreasonable to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger". David Hume This anti-philosophy is what mankind has absorbed and we are up against. and in conjunction with the following: That what is going on between Russia and Ukraine is that an independent and sovereign country was military attacked and an attempt is made to suppress dissolve it or at least continue to dismember it and incorporate the pieces. Crimea was already swallowed (in 2014), and parts of Donbas were already detached from Ukraine. With the second stage of the war, which started 5 months ago, the process continues with a much higher intensity. It is unique in that it takes place in the 21 century, in Europe, in violation of a dozen of treaties regarding the independency and territorial integrity of post-soviet countries. It is a textbook case of naked, cynical, perfidious aggression, similar to Nazi Germany (and Russia’s) aggression of Poland in 1939, which started WWII. For an Objectivism forum it is important as an opportunity to discuss the responses of USA and Europe to this war , from the point of view of Ethics and Political Philosophy These are pretty straight forward, and both provide a basis for examining the events. Moving on: In fact, - the problem is that Tony is NOT providing conflicting sources, he mainly and consistently provides information, and supports his claims, from governmental sources of one of the warring parties; - he is also not simply “missing the point”, he supplies “facts” he cannot (and is not willing) to validate. Let me rephrase my statement. Tony has been the one adding ongoing materials to the topic. I know I just read about a brokered deal to ship grain from Ukraine between Ukraine and Russia, followed almost immediately by Russia bombing the seaport referred to in the agreement. Now I don't use television nor much radio, usually I refer to Drudge Report, Real Clear Media, and <gasp> sometimes even Facebook. I'm hoping without a link the identification is valid enough to stand on it's own merit. whYNOT replied to your comment to me as followed: The last statement is key. Objectivists are independent thinkers. Something that can help this ongoing thread is how information is provided. Instead of leaving the thoughts implicit of why a link, or several links, is/are posted—give others reason to click on a link. What did you hope to find? What did you find what was worth while. Are you in agreement with the entire article? Did you disagree with something in the article? What is the essence of the article in a paragraph or two, or even excerpted from the article? ********************* After reading Steven Pinker's book Rationality, his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011). In light of recent events, it seemed relevant given the escalation of violence being discussed here. One of the passages was impressive enough to add to the random quote database of Objectivism Online: Needless to say, a community of people who choose to perfect the faculty of reason is a compelling and enrolling thought. Steven Pinker also had another passage to cite for contrast here: Yikes. Do I close the book and return it to the library? Perhaps take into consideration that Steven Pinker is a cognitive psychologist and not an epistemologist and read on to see what other gems he may have strewn away along with some of the chaff? Or post the The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011) by Steven Pinker and expect people to just read it because it came up in a link? ********************* The events in the world are unfolding constantly. As pointed out a couple of times in the recent movie Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, "No one can know everything." It is one thing to work with each other to try and elucidate the essentials of what is unfolding. Nor ought there be an expectation to have what is going on in the world broken down in such a way as to be spoon fed, as if this were Gerber Online instead. ********************* So if folks are interested in what is going on in the Russian - Ukraine Theater, use the process of identification to do so. There is nothing that says it all has to be done in one thread. If someone else want to take the lead of identifying relevant articles to the situation at hand, open a thread to do so and help by setting the example of how to access and separate the 'wheat from the chaff' so to speak.
  15. No, I have never denounced Tony. Where do you get this? My apologies. You have rejoined the conversation, while several others have been taking Tony to task.
  16. 18 pages since this thread was split from another topic. Can someone enlighten me as to: Why is this discussion essential? The gist I get is that @whYNOT continues to make continued contributions to a thread that was broken off to segregate @Economic Freedom's observation that the mainstream media has provided little other than "propaganda". @Jon Letendre has joined in with several others denouncing Tony. The evaluations Tony makes continue to provide ongoing weight as someone engaged with various sources providing conflicting sources. What intrigues me is the number of individuals that suggest Tony is missing the point here. For one, I ask myself: "What is essential about what is going on between Russia and Ukraine?" In the responses so far, I'm not grasping what, in particular, is the essential significance. In so far as Objectivism is concerned. (as this is Objectivism Online) it would be the core of why such a discussion is essential to Objectivism that is eluding me. Can anyone help me here, or is the "obvious" beyond my capacity to grasp here, giving the "limitations" of language to communicate in this venue?
  17. Not that these put the considerations onto solid ground: Historically, the first movements of the fetus, or the quickening, were used as a rough guide as a before/after line to be drawn in the sand. Recently, a case hearkening back to 1792 has been brought up, and the discovery of counterpoint tendered back in 2015 referencing the same time era. One based on Nancy Randolph, the other on Mary Wollstonecraft. The first illustrates how the founding fathers considered that the issue was left to the individual's consideration, while the latter outlines an interventionists case against abortion. Note, on the latter, rather than pinning the onus on the Christian God, it is couched in terms of nature.
  18. And meantime, I just checked Steven Pinker's book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined out from the library. Granted the state of philosophy is precarious out there, but I wonder what bemoaning it contributes to harnessing the energy expended into the sails that guide the philosophical ship in the right direction. In the light initially turned on in this thread, mass shootings are occurring at the rate of more than 1 per day. On the face of it, this would run counter to Steven Pinker's assertion in his subtitle. I question why more don't seek out data such as provided by he, and others, such as HumanProgress.org, TheRootsOfProgress.org that seek to draw attention to the attribute that continue to shape the culture, and less "catastrophism" as the selling point for enrolling in what Objectivism has to offer for living life on earth.
  19. Wikipedia: Substantial Form A theory of substantial forms asserts that forms (or ideas) organize matter and make it intelligible. Substantial forms are the source of properties, order, unity, identity, and information about objects.
  20. Reformation in the Church of Science, RealClearScience July 9, 2022 Archives, subtitled: How the truth monopoly was broken up. From within the article, "Ideas have become a battlefield, and we are all getting lost in the fog of the truth wars." bringing to mind, "The battle of philosophers is a battle for man's mind. If you do not understand their theories, you are vulnerable to the worst among them.” - Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It By creating a correlation between science and beliefs and contrasting it with a correlation between the church and beliefs, analogy serves as a basis for making the leap within this article. Curious, I followed a link to the source, The New Atlantis and discovered another article in a similar vein. Reality is Just a Game Now, subtitled: And we’re all losing. A link on Facebook was generated by myself using the following lead-in: The Hounds of Zaroff was The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell, January 19, 1924, . . . tame compared to the cognitive assault generated by thinking Reality Is Just a Game Now. — — — The article starts off with a subsection — "✦ A Fun Collaborative Activity ✦" — based on CoViD-19 The article transitions into a subsection "A Strange Game" launching into a recollection of 9/11, of twenty years ago. (Use January 6, 2020, if a more recent time frame is desired or twenty years is beyond your scope of existence: many of the particulars share similar conceptual categories.) It is tempting to suggest follow the white rabbit at this point (being a multiple time watcher of The Matrix tetrology, or quadrilogy if you prefer) as "✦ The White Rabbit Appears ✦" Enter, "The Q Game", which has spread as an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) to draw in those attracted to the allure it has garbed itself with. — — — . . . perhaps I digress. Back on January 6, 2022, a severance agreement with my employer since May 1, 2000 was reached. I've been employed, as an individual, in some way, shape or form since 1972. I found this forum coming up on 12 years ago. A coworker of mine asked questions that drove me to investigate deeper what the writings of Ayn Rand had to offer. In the last six months, I've spent time learning to cook some different dishes, (whampoa chao dan*, anda bhuji*, egg foo young (it's not just for dinner**), german potato salad, red lobster cheddar biscuits, just to name a few) and converting some of the flower gardens into vegetables. The local library offers a course on writing to try out (to supplement reaching day 576, today, of Julia Cameron's Morning Pages). In my tenure here, the diversity of folk posting has somewhat diminished. The discussions have dwindled, while a few events have sparked a small rallying of intense articulations revealing differing approaches to epistemic justification not clearly articulated. After visiting the Death Clock, contrasting being 22,368 days old to having 4,579 days left, puts into perspective a basis of 4/5ths (roughly 20,000/25,000) life left. Perhaps a morbid way of viewing things, still it captures an element of teleology, like it or not. *mentioned on Gus VanHorn Blog, discovered here on OO. **the Chinese popularized the omelette for dinner.
  21. Much of the farm equipment stolen was modern enough to contained electronic deactivation devices, rendering the equipment useless, save for some spare parts. <google search> (Around May 5th, on the timeline.) Top result: Ukraine: How farm vehicles stolen by Russia were remotely disabled
  22. Yes. I was going to reference it with a link, and had I done so, would have realized the erroneous thought and not have committed the faux pas.
  23. Setting a little context around the end of this snippet: Betty: Art isn't art until someone says it is. Katherine: It's art! Betty: The right people. Katherine: Who are they? The effect reminded me of The Holstee Manifesto and ties back with "(the advice in this work is mostly good, by the way.)" from the first citation referenced in this response. I found myself scrolling through your collection of masks, and reflecting on several of them. Your choice of the word "addiction" above, doesn't capture the intensity you displayed via the scope of what had been included there. Addiction lacks a degree of what came across as more passionate in the related gallery.
  24. The low-lying fruit comes across as there are only so many innovations to discover. In a wider sense, that is true, any number you stop along the way toward infinity is finite. Is it the pace of innovation that matters? Where does the expectation that it should be at an ever constant, or ever increasing pace (despite what goes on in the political realm). The periodic table of the elements paved the way for a set of discoveries based on the understanding of chemistry. As new discoveries in the many technologies are brought to light, they provide opportunities for applying in conjunction with one another, and in other fields or disciplines. Individuals like Jason Crawford have found a way to cast the application of reason to the problem of survival that highlight the fact that reason is the root of progress. Kudos, Jason Crawford!
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