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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Boydstun in Was Slavery a Wealth Builder?   
    I think of the broken window fallacy where the focus is on all the downstream positives that occur because a kid hit a baseball shattering the glass as it went through it.
    The glacier now has money to spend that in turn benefits who he spent it on and so forth.
    Henry Hazlitt goes on to point out how the suit the money was going to be spent on was not purchased, which the tailor did not have the profits to in turn spend on what he wanted.

    While the thief may be 'enriched' by the theft, it does not negate the fact that without productive minds, what would be available for a wannabe thief to steal?
  12. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Boydstun in Franklin Planner Software   
    A Restored Vermeer Painting Reveals a Hidden Cupid Artwork Hanging in the Background "Conservators knew the image of the Roman god of love existed after a 1979 X-ray, although it was assumed that Vermeer had altered the piece himself. Only after they performed a series of infrared reflectography imagings, microscopic analyses, and X-ray fluorescence examinations in 2017 did they realize that the Cupid was covered decades after the painter’s death, even though they still aren’t sure who marred the original piece or when. This dramatic of an alteration is rare during restoration, considering standard processes generally involve simple cleaning and repairs." “When layers of varnish from the 19th century began to be removed from the painting, the conservators discovered that the ‘solubility properties’ of the paint in the central section of the wall were different to those elsewhere in the painting,”   From The Romantic Manifesto: The closer an artist comes to a conceptual method of functioning visually, the greater his work. The greatest of all artists, Vermeer, devoted his paintings to a single theme: light itself. The guiding principle of his compositions is: the contextual nature of our perception of light (and of color). The physical objects in a Vermeer canvas are chosen and placed in such a way that their combined interrelationships feature, lead to and make possible the painting's brightest patches of light, sometimes blindingly bright, in a manner which no one has been able to render before or since. I've never gone searching for Vermeer paintings. I remember the name and connected it to the praise cited above, and had clicked on the article, making a note of it yesterday. The contrast the left and right side of the image provide over and above the Cupid restoration echo what Miss Rand illuminated in her praise of his theme here.
  13. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to tadmjones in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    My employer can not require me to get vaccinated, they can inform Me that they will only allow vaccinated individuals to be employed at their business.
  14. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Boydstun in Objectivists are working to save the world from tyranny--isn't that altruism?   
    The individual that fights for his own freedom is not sacrificing himself for others. He is unwilling to live as a slave.
  15. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Existence, We   
    Knowing Is Some Living
    Knowledge presupposes knowing. Any and all knowing presupposes value, and all value presupposes life.
    We can make non-living machines to expand our cognitions, physical labors, and leisure activities. But natural living intelligence is the parent of any such machines, and for that matter, parent of any artificial living things. Only living things can have authentic values and responsiveness and pursuits.
    All set-membership relations and concept-membership relations and all mapping relations are generations from living intelligence. Those relations are not self-generators, a necessary trait of life. Knowledge that were its own end without the end-in-itself that is a living, concrete intelligence, such as we, is nonexistent. Likewise for reason or truth, notably when capitalized to reify and personify them.
    Excerpt from EW (88):
    Some sort of impossibility of mind without life is affirmed later in the speech when Rand writes of the alternative “your mind or your life” that “neither is possible to man without the other” (1957, 1022). Then too, when something she wrote in Galt’s speech “It is only the concept of ‘Life’ that makes the concept ‘Value’ possible” (1013) is joined with something else in the speech “A rational process is a moral process” (1017), it could be inferred that at least in higher, rational consciousness its aliveness is implicit in its episodes and this fact is reflectively accessible within such consciousness. Also, in an oral exchange a dozen years later, Rand remarked concerning consciousness: “It’s a concept that could not enter your mind or your language unless in the form of a faculty of a living entity. That’s what the concept means” (Rand in Binswanger and Peikoff 1990, 252; cf. Binswanger 2014, 30–41).
  16. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Some Fine Film Finales   
    The Shape of Water

  17. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Some Fine Film Finales   
    Name of the Rose

  18. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to necrovore in Some Thoughts on The Arbitrary   
    This is a question of terminology. I'm trying to distinguish words and ideas from reality itself. If you hold that a "fact is a type of claim" then you lose (or at least muddy) that distinction. What is a fact a claim of? What do you call the thing out there in reality?
    (A statement is a complete sentence, not just a noun. So if a statement is "factual," i.e., true, the underlying fact, out there in reality, must be more than just a "thing" like a rock or whatever, it has to be a thing doing (or being) something, even if only existing.)
    As evidence that my distinction here is not mine alone, I offer this: if I say something, and someone replies, "Is that a fact?" they're asking about the state of things "out there" in reality; they aren't asking for a mere categorization of my utterance (which could be determined entirely from the utterance itself, and from a knowledge of how to categorize utterances, as opposed to looking at whatever I'm talking about). If a fact were a type of statement then asking, "Is that [statement] a fact?" would be the same sort of thing as asking, "Is that statement using an intransitive verb?"
    Another thing to consider is context. All statements are made in a context. The context can be used to resolve ambiguities and to specify meanings. If I say, "That book is on the shelf over there," it would have to be the context that would make it clear which book and which shelf.
    Some contexts are broader than others. The broadest context available is the context of "all human knowledge," but smaller contexts are frequently useful and necessary, so you can have your own personal context, e.g., concerning whatever is in your immediate vicinity, and distinguish that from other contexts.
    A statement has to be put into a context in order to be judged as true, false, or arbitrary (or "possible," "probable," etc.). Further, the same statement can be true in one context, false in another, and arbitrary in yet another, although this might hinge on certain words that have different meanings in different contexts. (I should also point out that in the case of a "word salad" which isn't even grammatical, there's no use trying to put it in a context, because context doesn't make any difference...)
    I did make a distinction between a statement which is "arbitrary in a particular context" and one which "would be arbitrary in any context." The latter, I think, is what most people here mean when they state that something is "arbitrary."
    The examples of arbitrary statements given by Peikoff seem to be of that latter type; they seem to be those where the claimant is deliberately trying to insulate a claim from evidence. I think such a statement, "detached from the realm of evidence" as Peikoff describes it, is very different from a claim that merely lacks evidence. A claim that lacks evidence is merely useless; a claim that's impervious to evidence is another sort of beast -- and the statements Peikoff makes about the arbitrary being "an affront to reason and to the science of epistemology" would make more sense applying to the latter.
  19. Thanks
    dream_weaver got a reaction from tadmjones in Do animals have volition II?   
    Between the insults and failure to identify common ground to precede from, and now stretching into 14 pages to be used as a shining example for whom, about what?
    I don't see the lions and tigers and bears frittering away their time bickering about their position on such matters. I would suggest that the animals chose otherwise, but I know better. 
    Positions have been indicated. Are you (collectively) not men enough accept that an impasse has been reached, that minds may not be changed on the basis of what has been presented? 
    This is not the first issue that the charge raised that Rand is deficient on. Rand would also declare that you not take her say so on matters, but to identify the relevant factors within the scope of your own capacity.
  20. Thanks
    dream_weaver reacted to merjet in Do animals have volition II?   
    Its importance to its consciousness/awareness and to its bodily movements. 
    Consciousness is a biological adaptation that has many uses/functions. They include for humans awareness of the external world and inner and outer body states, perception, concept-formation, controlling actions, learning, remembering, language, setting priorities, problem solving, decision making, imagining, and planning. 
    That's a very complicated list. To get a better understanding of consciousness, we can focus attention on a small part of the list and/or try to grasp the essential functions of the consciousness of creatures with a much simpler kind of consciousness. Think outside the box, especially the one that Ayn Rand made. I believe the authors of What is consciousness for? did that. I believe Pierson and Trout doing so led them to some great insights. 
    - Consciousness and volition are integral: consciousness evolved as the platform for the volitional control of movement.
    - Volition is the sole causal efficacy of consciousness.
    - Volition directs attention which in turn directs movement.
    Attention to the movements of humans opens the door to a vast variety of bodily movements, especially those of the hands and fingers (using tools and machines, making things, writing, typing, etc.) and the mouth, tongue, and vocal chords (all involved in speaking). None of these things could happen without controlled bodily movements. 
    In footnote 3 Pierson and Trout say: "By 'motor movements' we are referring to all movements of an organism, not just locomotion. Other examples would include eating, mating, speaking, freezing in place, and moving the tongue, eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, arms, head, torso, etc. Obviously, volitional movements require extensive neurophysiology in addition to consciousness."
    Yes, they implicitly include hands and fingers for humans. Yet greater attention to hands and fingers should help highlight the huge significance of bodily movements to human life.
    If an image of a human body is distorted in size to represent the brain's dedication to various body parts, then the hands, fingers, and mouth would be far larger proportionally than the rest of the body. It would be something like this. Cortical homunculus.
    That's subjective, pessimistic, and a non sequitur. I was not aware that upholding animal volition in this tiny community could have such a destructive global effect on humanity. Having been involved in it for its short existence, I now hold a very contrary opinion. Consider the efficacy of animal volition versus that of human volition. Compare the efficacy of homo sapiens with its intelligence and hands to the efficacy of another species with its intelligence and hands or forepaws. Homo sapiens wins hands down.  Compare what homo sapiens can do with its mouth speaking a language with what another species can do with its mouth making sounds. Homo sapiens wins again. The differences are huge and widen the gap.  
  21. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Facebook   
    I joined Facebook originally in order to get access to particulars of certain Objectivist gigs that, some years back, were being announced outside of Facebook, but to get the particulars you had to be able to get into the link to Facebook, which in those days required FB membership. I had not intended to do any socializing there. I had used my real name, and after a few months of being on there, a long-time real-life friend found me and made Friend request to me, which I accepted. Next thing you know, I got Friendy with other real-life friends. Then a deluge, becoming Friend to people I've known only online.
    It is a distraction from other projects, but I've so enjoyed it these last seven years or so. I make the rounds to the Page of each of my Friends and see what they've been up to or have had to say. The variety of purposes to which people use their Page is interesting. Many have much interest in politics. Also cats or dogs. My Friends consist of family, philosophy/libertarian types, high school classmates, and gay friends known from when we lived in Chicago. Sometimes I get a Friend request that I accept, but then it becomes evident over a few months, that they were just gathering audience for doing their political spiels, never responding to what I post on my own page, and I unFriend them. Another neat thing about FB that enables one to have the sort of social experience one wants there, is that you can Block a person (whether Friend or not) such that you and they no longer see each others posts, even when you are both posting at the page of a mutual Friend. That's effective: if someone is saying nasty things to you, usually over political differences, just block them, and continue to participate in peace thereafter.
    We retired to Lynchburg, VA in 2009, and ever-better internet communications have made it possible to continue or begin anew being with friendly acquaintances of all sorts from across a lifetime.
    At my own Page, I don't write about politics, culture wars, etc.---plenty of opportunity to discuss those things at other people's Page. The most wonderful thing I use at my Page is the area they have provided under Photos called Albums. I have created several Albums, friends and family really appreciate them. Me too, and if later on in life, I can no longer remember on my own who I was or my loved ones or what had been my life, I hope there will be someone who will lead me to my Albums.
  22. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Devil's Advocate in The Statue of Liberty Shrugged?   
    In the episode Who Mourns for Adonais, a gods strength was measured by the quantity of its followers. The Roman goddess Libertas, or her Greek predecessor Elutheria, do not need to shrug under such a premise. 
    In J.R.R. Tolkien's book, Gollum's possession of the ring of power had generated whispers of a shadow growing in the area of the mountain he was harbored within. 
    Note the focus on the gods, placing them at the center of interest, the object of veneration and love, provides the metaphorical increase in power and influence.
    When the 'god' is made to be the loss of liberty, its degradation, its erosion — to what would the conversed 'metaphorical increase' apply?
    Yes, what goes on in the world need be taken into consideration. There is also the the adage regarding one finding what one seeks, i.e.; if one is focused on finding negative, is it any surprise that negative is found? 
  23. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in The Bobulinski angle on Biden   
    The most insightful article on QAnon dealt with game theory, of the stones on the floor that many gamers considered an arrow. 
    Many gamers spent time seeking to understand what that programmer had never intended as a clue.
    Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity outline James Valliant's and Warren Fahy's quest for the origins of a religion that has had an incontrovertible had influence on the course of history.
    L. Ron Hubbard is the author and instigator of Dianetics and Scientology. Thanks to some investigative reporting, Ron Watkins has been traced as an origin of 'Q-Level Clearance leaks'. How many 'movements' can be traced back to their origins?
    Karl Popper pontificated about how difficult some conspiracies are to keep secret, while others can persist for generations. Hopefully the thread that runs loosely through these also bind them somewhat together.
    The play on words "Q" gives rise to in existing cultural entertainment and can contribute to the amusement we indulged in flitting from Q of James Bond to Q of Star Trek: Next Generation, to John de Lancie who plaed Q, to a role he played in Murder, She Wrote that has been playing an a screen by pure intention, compliments of the local public library here. 
    Hopefully this will help place some of this into better perspective.
  24. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Brainworks   
    On Human Perception of a Starry Sky
    "For millennia, humans have looked to the night sky and chosen star groups to name. But why does Centaurus comprise that specific set of stars rather than some other? We hypothesize that the perception of star groups (constellations) can be explained by a simple model of eye movements taking a random walk along a network of star-to-star transition probabilities. The walk is biased by angular distances between stars, preferred angular distances of human eye movements (also known as saccades), and stars’ apparent magnitudes. To derive predicted constellations from the random walk, we employ a free energy model of mental calculations that maximizes the accuracy of perception while minimizing computational complexity. The model transforms the true transition probability matrix among stars into a perceived matrix, in which star clusters are evident. We show that the statistics of the perceived star clusters naturally align with the boundaries between true constellations. Our findings offer a simple explanation for the identities of the 88 standard constellations."
  25. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to merjet in Do animals have volition II?   
    Both humans and other vertebrates have a nervous system. The nervous systems of different species have a multitude of similarities. "In vertebrates [the nervous system] consists of two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord. The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are enclosed bundles of the long fibers or axons, that connect the CNS to every other part of the body. Nerves that transmit signals from the brain are called motor nerves or efferent nerves, while those nerves that transmit information from the body to the CNS are called sensory nerves or afferent. Spinal nerves are mixed nerves that serve both functions. The PNS is divided into three separate subsystems, the somatic, autonomic, and enteric nervous systems. Somatic nerves mediate voluntary movement" (my bold). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nervous_system
    "The somatic nervous system (SNS), or voluntary nervous system is the part of the peripheral nervous system associated with the voluntary control of body movements via skeletal muscles" (my bold). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_nervous_system
    A voluntary action is one done by choice, i.e. volitionally. 
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