Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Days Won


Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from William Scott Scherk in The Bobulinski angle on Biden   
    I respect the right of an individual to be wrong. It in no way encumbers me to disavow them of what they choose to believe. Objectivism Online is private property and respect is expected for its owner and the intentions for which access is made available to you.
    Participants agree not use the website to spread ideas contrary to Objectivism. Examples include religion, communism, "moral tolerationism," and libertarianism. Honest questions about such subjects are permitted.
    I see this could use an amendment.
    Examples include, but are not limited to, religion, communism, etc.
    In light of the evidence you have left in your little-examined-by-me wake, I suggest that you address the questions directed to you in matters of Q/QAnon, with a lot less, go out and research it for yourself, and a greater willingness on your behalf to provide a bit more epistemological foundation and providing the rationale that convinced you, rightly or wrongly, when it is requested.
  2. Thanks
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Existence and Similarity   
    William and Doug,
    Electromagnetic waves are not composed of electrons, but of photons. The former are fermions (which cannot be in the same state as another fermion, including particle location), whereas the latter are bosons (which can be in the same state with another boson, including particle location). E-M waves, including radio waves, are quantum waves. They can interfere which each other, as waves, and thereby degrade the ability of the carrier wave of radio broadcast to carry information. (Also, if I remember correctly, in cases of waves in matter, such as ripples on the surface of otherwise still water, interference of waves with each other [cancellation or other alteration of each other] is not essentially due to the impenetrability of molecules [fermions].)
    Of related interest: Energy Wave Theory
  3. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Age of Electricity   
    The interviewer in the preceding is Eiuol.
  4. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Age of Electricity   
    Philosophy, Engineering - a life, a mind
    Interview of me: 
  5. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Boydstun in What are you listening at the moment?   
    Vasks, Peteris:The Fruit of Silence
    Astor Piazzolla - Buenos Aires Hora Cero
  6. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Tenderlysharp in How many masks do you wear?   
    Yamasee War
    The tribes joined together to fight a common oppressor. To suggest that 10,000 years created a dominant trait of indomitable volition brings to mind an inverse of the use of breeding to domesticate livestock. 
    European tribalism and north American tribalism developed different moralities, stemming from different driving mythologies, or "primitive philosophies". 
    The Yamasee War is not something I recall from school. It popped up in a search for slave trade, native american, to flesh out a better understanding of your propositions.
  7. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Boydstun in Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step   
    Self-replicating with an evolutionary hint!
    Self-replicating protocells created in lab may be life's "missing link"
    “By constructing peptide droplets that proliferate with feeding on novel amino acid derivatives, we have experimentally elucidated the long-standing mystery of how prebiotic ancestors were able to proliferate and survive by selectively concentrating prebiotic chemicals,” says Matsuo. “Our results suggest that droplets became evolvable molecular aggregates – one of which became our common ancestor.”
  8. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Federal Budget   
    Appropriations - FY 2022
    FY = Oct. 1 through Sept. 30
    Budgets and Projections
    Thanks to Merlin Jetton for recent remarks and for notice of the site COMMITTEE FOR A RESPONSIBLE FEDERAL BUDGET.
  9. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Gus Van Horn blog in Reblogged:If Politics Were Baseball, the FDA Would Be Out   
    Harry Binswanger has already made an airtight case against the FDA; go to him if you need one. Both links are damning, but don't completely overlap.

    Having said that, a quick visit to In the Pipeline this morning has provided two additional strikes against government control of medicine (and drugs in particular), although its author -- like most people today might -- merely hopes for reform of that unreformable, illegitimate agency.

    Having already expressed outrage that the agency's questionable approval of adcuanumab, a very expensive Alzheimer's drug, Derek Lowe notes some interesting fallout.

    I think it is more interesting than he does, especially the following:Private industry to the rescue! you might hopefully add, as I did. Indeed, insurance companies might well perform safety and efficacy testing if there weren't an FDA -- and you can already see here that the profit motive would stop an ineffective drug from getting the de facto seal-of-approval of being deemed worthy of insurance coverage.

    Strike One was the garbage drug approval. Yes. The FDA shouldn't even be at bat: People should be free to take snake oil if they want, just as insurance companies should be free not to cover it.

    But it's there.

    Here's the next pitch, and it comes in the next few sentences of that same paragraph:So a questionable approval of a dubious drug by the FDA might -- despite free-market elements of our economy acting as a partial backstop -- still put everyone on the hook to pay for it. Strike Two. Aducanumab should be a last-ditch drug (or high-end snake oil) for the wealthy, but it might about to be normalized at everybody's expense, instead.

    And here's Strike Three:So much for the whole damned idea that the free market needs government to set safety standards and prevent fraud.

    Abolish the FDA.

    -- CAVLink to Original
  10. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from tadmjones in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    Let me reword that then:
    As to his stance on what the government ought have done, the context is to leave public individual's health to the public individual and go about upholding the conditions necessary for folk to act freely.
    This does not substantially alter in my mind what I said with the exception of the technicality of terminology. Who knows, it may even spill over into my useage more casually having given that bit of additional thought.
  11. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Sebastien in "Rite of Passage"   
    @Sebastien, your addressing this post brings to light the omission of what is a "Rite of Passage". In many cultures, this is a ceremony marking a passage from boyhood to manhood, or a transition from a girl to a woman.
    As conceptual beings, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology refers to various approaches young minds take when acquiring new concepts. She outlines several approaches. 
    Perhaps what I'm asking potentially amounts to wishful thinking. Still the fact such approaches can be articulated implies a superior approach can be desired and sought after.
  12. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Doug Morris in "Rite of Passage"   
    I would suggest that instead of a brief, concentrated rite of passage, we need an ongoing process of pointing children in the right direction by precept and example.
    Bad ideas do a lot to hold people back from the conceptual level.  As better ideas spread, we will get better results.
    To the extent that we also write and talk, we will help the process along. 
  13. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Sebastien in Information Overload   
    I would question the quality of the Objectivist content in contrast to what the talk-show host uses in bringing in and holding new listeners.
    The Mark Scott Show was what introduced me to Ayn Rand's materials, and I had listened to it for a long time before I made the connection. Why? Because what the guy said made sense.
    He talked about current issues and connected them to the relevant principles, and only then might he point out the origin of the principle under examination. In exchange he made his listeners stronger thinkers by challenging their premises and encouraging them to question their convictions in an inviting rather than threatening way.
  14. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Sebastien in Information Overload   
    If your line of argument is sound, which I think it is,
    instead of measuring the amount of material when deeming Objectivist content as dear or less dear,
    measure the number of Objectivists.
    If there are fewer Objectivists than conservatives,
    it is not because Objectivism is becoming less dear,
    it is because choosing Objectivism requires more courage than choosing conservativism.
    Therefore, those who remain strictly Objectivist will be stronger thinkers who did not fall off the map when it came time to vote either for Republican or Democrat.
    This is good for us. We are America's Persecuted Minority.
  15. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to 2046 in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    To confuse risk of physical force with  initiation of physical force is to confuse a potential with an actual. The whole mandatory vaccination position depends on a Parmenidean worldview in which all that exists is fully actual, combined with disregarding the need to obtain sufficient information to blame any one person for anything. It is the same fallacy employed by advocates of anti-immigration, gun control, and environmentalism. Thank you for helping to make that connection.
  16. Haha
    dream_weaver got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Objectivists are working to save the world from tyranny--isn't that altruism?   
    I was tempted to suggest a set of ear-plugs. If an idea can't be heard, it can't be as easily spread. Since insane ideas can inexplicably be detrimental to a rational society, ear-plugs should be worn by all in order to prevent any insane idea(s) from being heard and potentially spread to others.
  17. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from necrovore in Articles in the news, referencing Ayn Rand   
    Per Drudge Report: How Ayn Rand stopped UK's passport scheme...
    Did Ayn Rand defeat vaccine passports?
    Javid is widely known as a fan of Ayn Rand’s brand of radical individualism, reportedly once telling Parliament’s Crossbench Film Society that he wooed his future wife by reading her passages from The Fountainhead. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to find him resistant to implementing as national policy a requirement to show medical paperwork in order to do something as everyday as going clubbing.
  18. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to StrictlyLogical in Moral responsibility of enabler parents   
    The experience of your own reaction is your payment for your understanding or misunderstanding of the world.  Rationality/Justice counsel proportionality, not only for those others whom your sentiments are about, but for your own "experience" of other people, which you put yourself through.
    Hatred is the most vile and extreme sort of emotion which takes a toll on the experiencer which has to be paid for by the benefits of the extreme action it urges one toward... be it elimination of a mortal enemy, or complete disassociation with a thoroughly toxic and irredeemable person in whom no value whatsoever may be found... but make no mistake it does not leave one unscathed, whether any action, appropriate or not, is taken in response.
    Upon reflection, you may find disappointment, sadness, regret, lowering of esteem are more rational for you to subject yourself to as an experience and more Just and proportional a response to others.
    Be rational in your assessment of the whole person, be it your brother or your father.
    Also, final responsibility for an adult person of sufficient intelligence lies with that person alone... fault the father a lack of fatherhood as a factor but you cannot negate the son's final responsibility in making his own soul.
  19. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in John Dewey on Perception and Conception   
    Dewey writes: “To say that to see a table is to get an indication of something to write on is in no way to say that the perception of a table is an inference from sensory data. To say that certain earlier perceived objects not having as perceived the character of a table have now ‘fused’ with the results of inferences drawn from them is not to say that the perception of the table is now an inference” (1916, 252).
    Dewey and Rand are in accord on that picture. In further agreement with Rand’s conception of perception, Dewey opposed the Peircean doctrine that perceptions are immediate outcomes of inferences going on in the subconscious. “There is a great difference between saying that the perception of shape affords an indication for an inference and saying that the perception of shape is itself an inference. That definite shapes would not be perceived, were it not for neural changes brought about in prior inferences, is a possibility; it may be, for aught I know, an ascertained fact. Such telescoping of a perceived object with the object inferred from it may be a constant function; but in any case the telescoping is not a matter of a present inference going on unconsciously, but is the result of an organic modification which has occurred in consequence of prior inferences.” (ibid.)
    Peirce had held that although perceptions are direct (1868a, 31; 1871, 84; 1878, 120; 1901, 62), they are interpretations (1871, 85; 1903, 229), a semi-automatic sort of inference (1868b, 42–51, 57, 62, 67–68, 70; 1871, 85; 1877, 96–98; 1891b, 207–11; 1905, 204–7) conditioned by previous cognitions (1868a, 36–38; 1878, 120). "In perception, the conclusion has the peculiarity of not being abstractly thought, but actually seen, so that it is not exactly a judgment, though it is tantamount to one. . . . Perception attains a virtual judgment, it subsumes something under a class, and not only so, but virtually attaches to the proposition the seal of assent" (1891b, 208–9; also, 1901a 62). Our subconscious abductive inferences in the process that is perception coalesce smoothly into articulate perceptual judgments which are forced upon our acceptance (1903a, 210–11, 227).
    I think Dewey and Rand are correct in replacing Peirce’s characterization of the process of percept-formation as subconscious inferences. More plausible, under the present knowledge of brain processing, is that the process of percept-formation is by brain integration of sensory and motor experience of things, and that this process can to some extent undergo organic adaptation under further experience of a thing and habituation. Rand thought of that enriching adaptation in humans as arising from injection of some of our conceptual grasps of a perceptual object and its wider contexts into subsequent percepts of the object. I think, however, we should not stop with only conceptual injections as instigating the perceptual adaptations.
    I sense that in my perceptions of our pear tree, I bring some conceptual knowledge that is alienable only in thought from my perception of the tree. Such would be that there is the fruit that are pears hanging from the tree, which can become ripe enough for human consumption, and that once upon a time some unknown humans planted this tree here next to the house to enjoy the blooms in spring and perhaps to get to eat the pears. There is additional conceptual knowledge about this tree, knowledge not so general about pear trees, and apparently not so run into my adult perception of this tree. Such would be my knowledge that soon I’ll be needing to trim the tree and that, as a matter of fact, the squirrels will eat all the pears before they are ripe enough for human consumption.
    Mature squirrels come and investigate the tree for edibility of the pears as the pears develop. When the time is right, the sufficiently mature squirrels are adept at harvest. The point I want to stress about this is that the immature squirrels must undergo organic enriching adaptation in their sensory and motor elements bound in percepts under more and more experience and habituation in order to perceive the pear tree as would an adult squirrel. I do not think squirrels are conceptual animals. What is that non-conceptual injection into percept-formation that results in enriched percepts of the pear tree as the squirrel matures into an adult? I suggest that that injection is attainment of action-schemata, which are an attainment we have in our own human development by the time of language onset and which continue to undergird our conceptual life.*
    Dewey strikes the distinction between percepts and concepts in the following way, which I think is at least an important part of the distinction.
    “[A concept] is a mode or way of mental action, . . . . It can be grasped only in and through the activity which constitutes it. . . . The concept is general, not particular. Its generality lies in the very fact that it is a mode of action, a way of putting things or elements together. A cotton loom is particular in all its parts; every yard of cloth produced is particular, yet the way in which the parts go together, the function of the loom is not particular.
    “The concept of triangle contains not less but more than the percept. It is got, not by dropping traits, but by finding out what the real traits are.
    “It is true that certain features are excluded. But this dropping out of certain features is not what gives rise to the concept. On the contrary, it is on the basis of the concept, the principle of construction, that certain features are omitted.
    “The concept, in short, is knowledge of what the real object is [Hegel talk here, but with new meaning in progress towards instrumentalism: not idealist]—the object taken with reference to its principle of construction; while the percept . . . is knowledge of the object in a more or less accidental or limited way.
    “It must, however, be added that the concept always[?] returns into and enriches the percept, so that the distinction between them is not fixed but moveable.” (1891, 145)
    (To be continued.)
    Dewey, J. 1891. How Do Concepts Arise from Percepts? In volume 3 of Dewey 1969.
    ——. 1916. Logic of Judgments of Practice. In Essays in Experimental Logic. University of Chicago Press.
    ——. 1969. John Dewey: The Early Works. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
    Hoopes, J. editor, 1991. Peirce on Signs: Writings on Semiotic by Charles Sanders Peirce. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
    Houser, N., editor, 1998. The Essential Peirce. Volume 2. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    Peirce, C.S. 1868a. Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man. In Wiener (W) 1958.
    ——. 1868b. Some Consequences of Four Incapacities (W).
    ——. 1869. Grounds of Validity of the Laws of Logic: Further Consequences of Four Incapacities. In Hoopes (H) 1991.
    ——. 1871. Critical Review of Berkeley's Idealism (W:74–88) (H:116–40).
    ——. 1877. The Fixation of Belief (W).
    ——. 1878. How to Make Our Ideas Clear (W).
    ——. 1891a. The Architecture of Theories (W).
    ——. 1891b. Review of William James' Principles of Psychology (H).
    ——. 1901. Pearson's Grammar of Science. In Houser (EP) 1998.
    ——. 1903. Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism (EP).
    ——. 1905. Issues of Pragmaticism (W).
    Wiener, P.P., editor, 1958. Charles S. Peirce: Selected Writings. New York: Dover.
  20. Thanks
    dream_weaver reacted to happiness in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    A virus is an element of nature and an inherent risk of life on Earth, not a weapon that an infected person goes around assaulting people with. If you don’t have symptoms, haven’t tested positive, or knowingly been exposed to an infected person, it’s rational to assume you’re not infected and go about your business. You can’t live if you have to assume you are infected with a deadly virus. 
    Each individual’s health and safety is his own responsibility. The onus to stay home and/or get vaccinated is on those who are at risk.
    Every medical treatment has benefits and risks. If you fear the risks of vaccination more than you fear the virus, you have an absolute right not to get vaccinated. No one has a duty to sacrifice himself by accepting potential bodily harm for the sake of protecting others.
    The ardent anti-vaxxer’s assessment of the risks might be incorrect, but it’s his judgment, and he has a right to act on it, even if others disagree.
  21. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Easy Truth in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    In this case, "each" is based on "all". The crux is the word "risk".
    It is a risk to each based on statistic from all.
    And we will treat each based on all.
    Some humans commit crimes.
    Not all.
    Each (and all) humans will wear ankle bracelets to counter the risk.
    All will have to do this to deal with the risk to each of us.
    This is to help us all.
    To help each of us.
    This is a small price to pay for the security it creates.
    In this case, the ankle bracelet will not kill you.
    But if you don't wear it, the police will kill you.
    This is not unlimited power.
    We are here to protect you and promote law and order.
    Because we each deserve it.
  22. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from tadmjones in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    At the risk of injecting a [f]requent, long, or unseasonable epithet—done—though I suspect it won't make much difference.
  23. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Gus Van Horn blog in Reblogged:Your Consequences ≠ My Guilt   
    Jeff Jacoby is understandably quite upset with the large numbers of people who people who will not avail themselves of vaccination against the coronavirus:This follows on the heels of comments Jacoby cites to the effect that the air is thick with calls for the heads of the "vaccine hesitant" in such forms as higher insurance rates and possible lower priority for treatment of their covid cases, should they require hospitalization at a facility with strained capacity.

    He has a point, but if you think he is seizing a moment ripe to call on leftists to examine the injustice of social welfare policies more generally, you will be very disappointed.

    Let's continue:If I want to sell my services as a painter and you want me to paint your bookcase. Am I "punishing" you by refusing to do so if you can't or won't meet my asking price? Indeed, is it even correct to say I am "denying" you my services when you haven't the right to them?

    No. I am not your slave, and you must trade with me to mutual benefit before I will help you. And Third Party Tim isn't a slave, either: He certainly shouldn't be made to make up the difference.

    Jacoby does not offer a reason for claiming that a physician is "punishing" a sick person who, through lack of foresight, finds himself unable to pay for the services of a medical professional.

    And while I would agree that there is no need for the state to punish stupid actions that harm nobody but the stupid person, I take issue with the idea that not enslaving physicians is "terrible public policy." And slavery is exactly what Jacoby is talking about here, in the form of coercing a doctor to work for less than he would charge, or even to associate with a customer he does not want. Or forcing the rest of us to pay, for that matter.

    So if Jacoby doesn't offer a reason for asserting that people who accept medical risks shouldn't face consequences, what does he offer?Regarding medicine, Jacoby plainly accepts the idea in these situations of from each according to his ability to each according to his need, and he is trafficking in the unholy mire of fear, unearned guilt, and the hope for a free lunch that saturates religious services each week. There but for the grace of God go I.

    That is utterly contemptible.

    The fear is unjustified: Note the number of avoidable follies Jacoby lists here. We can learn form the follies of others and avoid those follies altogether or hedge our bets. Wear a helmet on your motorcycle -- or face the consequences. Don't drink too much -- or face the consequences. Don't jump into bed with people you barely know or don't trust -- or face the consequences. The consequences -- of ignoring widespread knowledge -- in these cases can include: illness, injury, death, dependence on the charity of others, or -- Heaven help us! -- higher insurance premiums.

    So much of what Jacoby is scaring us with is under our own control. It's nothing to be afraid of for ourselves, and the foolishness of others is not something "we" should feel guilty about, let alone demand or force (!) the virtuous to make up for. I won't dignify the premise of wanting a free lunch with a reply.

    Just because "we" currently use medical professionals to coddle bare-headed motorcyclists, dipsomaniacs, amateur prostitutes, and the like does not make that right. And appealing to such because it is a longstanding practice is ridiculous. Not too long ago, chattel slavery was a near-universal practice as old as history itself. Everyone does it and We've always done it that way are not moral arguments.

    Indeed, the very paragraph Jacoby uses to try to evoke compassion for people who refuse to get vaccinated points to the solution to that and many other problems, if only people did not assume that one man's need is a claim on the life of another: A free society -- including for the medical profession -- in which everyone must trade to mutual benefit naturally punishes foolishness and rewards virtue.

    The only risk anyone has the right to take is his own: This means the unvaccinated should face whatever consequences follow from their decision. They are not entitled to treatment they can't afford, nor, correspondingly, are they entitled to infect others deliberately or out of negligence -- a point well made by the Ayn Rand Institute in its white paper, "A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease." There are proper government solutions to this problem, but the only people at risk of coercion are those who knowingly or negligently infect others or who pose a risk of infection to others. That is as it should be.

    Rather than waste our mental energy being annoyed at the people we like to think are prolonging the pandemic -- and wasting even more by twisting ourselves into pretzels justifying shielding them from their own carelessness at the expense of the medical profession -- we should stop to ask one question about the destructive idea that we owe someone something simply because they suffer misfortune (and emphatically when they are its own authors).


    Those who do will find that there is no reason on earth for the idea that one man's misfortune is a claim on another's property or effort. And they might even conclude that it is in fact "we" who have acted on this premise for so long -- and not actually "the unvaccinated" -- who have kept the pandemic dragging on.

    -- CAVLink to Original
  24. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Boydstun in New discovery on HIV/AIDS   
    The mRNA approach got a lot of well-earned publicity. Ongoing success should help to lend more credibility to the science!
  25. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Easy Truth in Was Slavery a Wealth Builder?   
    I also recently heard some more arguments:
    1. There are other societies that had even more slavery like Haiti or Brazil that did not do as well as the United States in their economy.
    2. To say there was zero labor cost is false. The "owners" had to give a minimum standard of living to have viable workers. That included lodging, food and southern government had to spend a lot to maintain the system i.e. catch runaways. This expense was constant 24 hours a day even when there was no "work" to be done.
    3. The fact that the slave could not go looking for job meant the areas of the economy that needed the most labor could never attract the labor, therefore never achieving maximal efficiency.
    4. Slavery in general serviced the wishes of the owner, as in the pyramids which were built by slaves, and pyramids don't do much for an economy.
  • Create New...