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  1. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Space Tug   
    When a ship returns to port from international waters, the captain relinquishes legal sovereignty to the nation where the port is taken. This differs from space as international waters, as well as "islands" in space that might become nations, in and of themselves.
  2. Thanks
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Space Tug   
    One person on an island has no need for a provision for protection of individual rights.
    As you migrate to two or more - at what point on the continuum does fences make for good neighbors move to establishing institutions among men to secure their individual rights? The development of communities in the new world under English, French and Spanish influence as it moved toward the conditions that gave rise to the Declaration of Independence should be rife with case studies to tease out pro and con aspects.
    As to an intellectual on that front, C. Bradley Thompson comes to mind.
  3. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to whYNOT in Is Dennis Prager a political ally?   
    And Eiuol, Since you keep implicitly returning to the theme "this guy's in South Africa, what business does he have meddling in American affairs".
    Let me be blunt. This post-modernist, Leftist, neo-Marxist disease which took root and grew in the USA from a long line of Continental and local philosophers (if you'd bother to study Stephen Hicks) has spread here. We are infected. Ideas travel fast, the vile ones fastest. What you hear and see there is largely mimicked here. Only one aspect which had become pretty relaxed, is worsening race relations. This tiny minority of whites, overall respectful and decent, are being labelled white supremacists. By the resentful people, identical to there, who could not take the opportunities of freedom on offer to make their lives. Historical revisionism, more post-modernism, is eliminating what the Europeans built, promoting a mythical African civilisation which predated them.
    And too, the leftists here who used to be bearable are now insufferably nasty. SA's politics will inevitably change accordingly and go further socialist and probably begin nationalizing.
    Same and similar goes for other countries. Subjugation and guilt ridden self-sacrifice
    My concerns are selfish, for America itself, for the West, and more immediately, local.
  4. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to StrictlyLogical in Is Dennis Prager a political ally?   
    Many legal born domestic Americans, which are spoiled, entitled, and lazy, are less "American" in the foundational and fundamental ways that matter, than are you. 
    America is an idea, and they have lost it to the vices and weakness of childhood which they have not escaped... associated with the infantalization of the American adult.. leftism is a natural center of gravity for failed adults, manchildren, so the lurch to the left is almost no surprise.
    In any case you, as indeed Rand herself was, are more American in spirit, than the many unamericans born within America's borders.
  5. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Reblogged:Rush Limbaugh, RIP   
    The dolphins and tuna approaches were entertaining as well.
    Interlocutor, as I reach for a can of tuna . . . "That's not dolphin-safe."
    Reply: "That's ok, I'm not taking it home for my dolphin to play with."
    The other one he used was the complaint that the dolphin-free tuna tasted funny.
    Mind you, these are paraphrased. The man was a consummate entertainer, even though I stopped listening to the show decades ago.
    "Talent on loan from God" is another one-liner he liked to rattle off. I'd like to think the peace he portrayed having with himself toward the end was not so much  a peace that passeth understanding, as per Philippians 4:7, rather it came across a peace that comes from understanding, accepting the fact in the gracious manner he accepted most callers on his show, with an air of tact and diplomacy.
  6. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to whYNOT in HB v. AB: Is collectivism the greater evil?   
    A conservative writer who can see clearly:
  7. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in What are your biggest issues with Objectivism?   
    I'd like to think my reference to the other stink juice inspired it.
  8. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from MisterSwig in What are your biggest issues with Objectivism?   
    I'd like to think my reference to the other stink juice inspired it.
  9. Thanks
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in What are your biggest issues with Objectivism?   
    I was thinking of the abandoned mine (in an effort to mine the same reference) in Michigan, visited by the vacationing lovebirds.
    They had driven across Michigan to the ore mine. They had walked through the ledges of an empty pit, with the remnants of a crane like a skeleton bending above them against the sky, and someone's rusted lunchbox clattering away from under their feet. She had felt a stab of uneasiness, sharper than sadness—but Rearden had said cheerfully, "Exhausted, hell! I'll show them how many tons and dollars I can draw out of this place!" On their way back to the car, he had said, "If I could find the right man, I'd buy that mine for him tomorrow morning and set him up to work it."
    The next day, when they were driving west and south, toward the plains of Illinois, he had said suddenly, after a long silence, "No, I'll have to wait till they junk the Bill. The man who could work that mine, wouldn't need me to teach him. The man who'd need me, wouldn't be worth a damn."
    It is described as abandoned. Still, Readon thinks of buying it. Interesting. At what point does historically platted land get returned to unowned status legally, and thus subject to the historic precedent of homesteading, or perhaps the yet to be developed Southall Land Grant Claim?
    Did you find that or make that?
  10. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to whYNOT in HB v. AB: Is collectivism the greater evil?   
    The past repeats itself only because of: collectivism, altruism and statism. Those are what one fights against and advocates individual rights for, to prevent recurrences. They are mystical conceptions, but so is unearned guilt. Most so, taking responsibility for all the acts of all the people of a nation from yesteryear til now. Since he's not a mystic, an Objectivist would never accept his personal unearned guilt. (The 'social conscience' falls into that category). He makes good for the errors he alone made.
  11. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Boydstun in Existence, We   
    (Click on image.)
    This image displays the title and subsection titles of my paper to be published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies this July. I developed the metaphysics debuted in this paper over a period of about five years, working on it in the morning hours of each day, beginning before sunrise. An apt name for the resulting philosophy would be Resonant Existence.
    The image is a pre-dawn look out back at our place, a look to the east. On my way to coffee, I glance out as I’m saying to myself words from the Rig Veda: “So many days have not yet broken.” To those words, I import the meaning “What shall I yet create? What will humankind yet create?”
    The new metaphysics is more indebted to the metaphysics of Ayn Rand than to any other. Mine is a transfiguration of hers at the deepest level. In this paper of over seventy pages, differences and commonalities of the new foundational framework with Rand’s are explicated and argued. Rand’s fundamentals and mine are set in their relation to others, from Plato/Aristotle to the present.
    Anyone who would like read this work should get a subscription to JARS at this time.
    The most basic differences from Rand’s system are my retuning the conception of consciousness, redrafting the definition of logic, addition to Rand’s fundamental axioms and corollaries, replacement of Rand’s contrast class for concretes, and replacement of Rand’s categoreal scheme, her entity/attribute/action/relationship. Those last two innovations promise new understanding of the dividing lines between and distinctive natures of logic, mathematics, empirical science, and philosophy—the continuation of this work I tackle each morning, for future publication, hopefully for years to come.
    I’ll return to some posting on Objectivism Online shortly.
  12. Haha
    dream_weaver reacted to TruthSeeker946 in What are your biggest issues with Objectivism?   
    Never you mind about that. But I agree with the point.
  13. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Harrison Danneskjold in What are your biggest issues with Objectivism?   
    But your own philosophy, which you live by every day, certainly is.  And if one must arrive at precisely each conclusion Rand ever put into writing (including, as the OP'er pointed out, homosexuality) then there has only ever been one Objectivist and I doubt there will ever be another one.
    On a purely personal note I find the "student of Objectivism" or "admirer of Ayn Rand" terminology extremely self-deprecating and sad.  It's one thing if you can't bring yourself to actually LIVE the philosophy, but if you're doing everything you can to live up to your own ideals then I think you deserve to say so.  As I intend to! 
    Fundamentally, each of us has a right to the freedom of movement (including international movement) so long as we're not doing so for any nefarious purpose (such as terrorism).  There are no two ways around that.  And while it's true that we can't simultaneously have open borders and a welfare state, one of these things is already strangling the West to death regardless of WHAT we do with our borders.
    This is neither to say that O'ism is a "closed" system (which I don't believe) nor that anyone who advocates for closed borders automatically ceases to be an O'ist; only that certain tenets of the philosophy are more essential than others, and that Rand's conception of individual rights is a rather core component of it.  If you remove or alter that part then it ceases to be the philosophy of Howard Roark or John Galt and becomes something tangibly different.
    That being said...
    While we should have "open" borders that allow any civilized person to live wherever the Hell they want, it does make sense for us to have some sort of screening process to ensure that potential immigrants are, in fact, civilized people who aren't planning on manufacturing sarin gas or instituting Sharia law as soon as they arrive.  And since we should be trying to constrain the welfare state as much as we possibly can, it seems prudent to also say something like no immigrant can ever qualify for any sort of government handout, for example.  Once we had something like that in place we could then start trying to talk about whether we should really be giving handouts to anyone at all.
    The Objectivist position on borders is that they should be open - within reason.
    Incidentally, I wouldn't say that you can't still call yourself an Objectivist if you disagree with that position - just that you're currently wrong.    But that happens to us all.
    Do we know that, though?
    I once knew an immigrant couple from Nepal who, despite not speaking the best English, acted like some of the most American people I've ever met.  The one time I made the mistake of referring to them as Nepali-Americans I was swiftly told on no uncertain terms that they were full-fledged Americans like myself.  That couple took about two years to become almost entirely integrated (with the exception of some slight accents that I'm sure they've ditched by now).
    I bring them up, not to say that transplantation is quick, but simply to point out that it depends on whom we are talking about transplanting.  Some people drag their feet while others are eager to get it out of the way ASAP.
    And those who drag their feet about it, and set up little miniature versions of their respective homelands - do they actually want to BE American (or British)?  If not then what we should really be asking about are their motives for trying to enter our countries in the first place.  I also know a number of Somali immigrants to my area who have no intention of ever integrating, learning English or getting a job; they came to America for the handouts.  Handouts which should not exist in the first place.
    And yet children do not automatically inherit their parents' philosophies (as I am living proof of and suspect that you probably are as well).
    Could you elaborate on what you mean by that?
    Objectivism doesn't deny the existence of feelings (including hunger, fear, sexual desire, etc).  All it really has to say about them is that not all are valid (i.e. some feelings are not worth paying any attention to) and that they aren't a method for decision making.  They can be perfectly valid data on which to base your decisions, but the method should consist of rational thought.  So I'm not quite sure what you're trying to point to.
    The majority is lucky to inhabit MY world with me!
    Too much of a focus on politics is not good for you.  I know it can be very hard to focus on anything other than politics nowadays (I've been struggling with it quite a bit since the start of the COVID era) but the trajectory of your own life is much more important.  If you rationally think that the country you're in will only continue getting worse then you should move.  And (although I don't think you've actually said this I'll just mention) what most people accept as their own philosophy should certainly have ZERO relevance to what you accept as your own.  Furthermore (as in the above music video) the best way to get others interested in your own philosophy is to actually make something of yourself and show them there's something of practical value to it.
    Hyperfocusing on the beliefs of the majority is a path to the dark side.
  14. Thanks
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in What are your biggest issues with Objectivism?   
    You start with yourself and let others manage themselves.
    It would not be an Objectivist case. It would only be an objective case were I so inclined.
    Consider, too, the role compulsory education contributes as an obstacle going forward.
    If you're still intent on changing the world (or even just standing up for America) consider the advice provided in the hidden comment by William McRaven:
  15. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to MisterSwig in HB v. AB: Is collectivism the greater evil?   
    People interested in how a leading religious (Jewish) conservative thinks can watch Dennis Prager chat with Craig Biddle. They cover some hard topics and find common ground. I hope more Objectivists get on more conservative shows like this.
  16. Thanks
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    The 65-Year-Old Helping to Un-Deplatform Parler
    Jeffrey Wernick is not your typical tech investor.
    When Wernick came to Parler late in 2019, he understood that his involvement would be more than financial. Matze, he said, “was looking not just for money but for mentorship.” Parler was getting little traction, and one of Wernick’s first suggestions was to not renew the contracts of the influencers the site was paying to attract users, except for one: Dan Bongino, the Secret Service agent turned lib-owning podcaster. Parler had its best download days when Bongino read its ads on his show. “We don’t even need a script with this person; he believes it,” Wernick recalled saying. [Bold: mine]
    The power of conviction!
    Even though the service is once again being hosted on SkySilk, an outfit in California installing the app to access the service is complicated by requiring a third party installation manager app.
  17. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Gus Van Horn blog in Reblogged:Find 'Trouble' and 'Shoot' It, for Fun and Profit   
    It's a long read -- with a nice, short review here -- but I highly recommend Paul Graham's engrossing contribution to my collection of troubleshooting stories.

    Troubleshooting? you might ask. The essay, by writer/investor/entrepreneur/Reannaissance man Paul Graham, is titled simply, "What I worked on."

    Painting, and successfully getting rich in order to be able to paint are among those "things."

    I regard the story as troubleshooting of the highest order because it helped me make a connection about why I like troubleshooting stories, particularly those about reformed criminals and others who manage to recover from grave mistakes in life.

    The common thread to such stories is that the protagonist reaches a point that he cannot evade the fact that he must act constructively to improve his own lot. Quite often, something or someone that person cares about provides motivation.

    Paul Graham makes mistakes like anyone else, but he he never messes up enough to reach such a point, because he finds strong motivations around him all the the time. I think he does explicitly mention that an important problem is picking the right thing to pursue.

    The reviewer I point to above states of the essay:
    I think this is on the right track, but it doesn't completely capture what I think you'll see: I would go so far as to characterize this essay as something like reading a microcosm, across the span of an individual life, of Steven Johnson's Wonderland. That book is about the role of delight in the evolution of the modern world. Here, we're seeing a near-perfect marriage of value -- of being in touch with what one wants to do -- and effort. The fact that Graham has a formidable intellect is beside the point: There is a lesson here for us all.

    My best first stab at this lesson is in my title, Find trouble you like, and shoot it for fun and profit.

    Enough of my still-forming thoughts for now: Let's look at a few gems...

    Here is Graham on the importance of having the right motivation:From prior experience, Graham knows that scaling a new business can be tricky. Undeterred, he started his angel investment firm in a way that could teach him how to do it well as he went along. Just as his values continually helped him discover opportunities (trouble other people would pay him to shoot), they help him realize solutions when they appear:And, just to stress that the essay is as entertaining as it is valuable, here's some comic relief:I, too, have caught myself wondering the same thing about his writing at times. Now I know why, and am glad to see that this master practitioner-teacher (as Alex Epstein might call him) is still going strong.

    -- CAVLink to Original
  18. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Repairman in In Today's Crazy - Vote with your wallet   
    On a slight tangent:
    Idiot of the Week: Quaker Oats
    "What’s next, that Coca-Cola might change its name because it is cocaine-based and could be accused of drug abuse? That Lacoste might be associated with animal cruelty because crocodile skin is used to make handbags and shoes? Or perhaps Quaker Oats itself should consider changing its name because it is related to the Quaker religious community, potentially offending other religions or atheists?
    "What is clear is that the dictatorship of political correctness, promoted and used by the left to silence its critics, only succeeds in sweeping history under the rug, trying to sweep away anything they find annoying, trivializing the underlying debate on issues such as, in this case, racism.
    Gotta love the rabbit holes.
  19. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to Hermes in Any Other Astronomers Here?   
    [7] That's an important reward for me: revisiting the paths of the pioneers. Jupiter and Galileo are top of the list there. But very many other sites are out there if you read the histories and follow the skies. 
    [1] [2] Your Bushnell 50mm x 1200 mm is a good beginner scope. It does take work getting used to them, no different than shooting a rifle or handgun, or shooting pool or bowling for that matter. Do you remember learning how to drive a car? I have a 10-inch x 2500 mm telescope in the garage on loan from my local club -- an option you might consider -- and it is going back to the equipment chair tomorrow. It weighs 65 lbs to my 68 kg and it's a bear to haul out and set up. My "everyday carry" is a 102mm (4 inch) that I can lift with one hand and carry with two. I also have a 70 mm x 700 mm National Geographic. Like your Bushnell, it is a bit smallish for some things, but it works great for most. Give your telescope some time. Use it. 
    [3] That's how they work. You may find that paying about $500 to $1000 for a larger telescope with a motor drive is more to your liking. The big 10-inch above was available because the tracking computer was blown out (vintage 1995) and no one wanted to use it and I did not care because I can do my own tracking.
    [4] Your telescope could have come with three lenses: 25, 10, and 6 plus a 2x Barlow. Saturn's rings should have been clearly visible in the 25. The 10 would put you right there in person. The 6 would be poor viewing for reasons of physical optics. The 25 and 2x would be a nice compromise. If you take your time with the focus you should get a sharp view, not a smudge. But it will be small, not Neil deGrasse Tyson on PBS zooming through the rings. Mars is even smaller. But - as a matter of objective epistemology - we understand our perception in the brain and the mind, not just the sensory organs. So, if you give it five minutes, you might be surprised at what you can see.
    [5] I brought binoculars.
    [6] See [7] above. Before i go outside, I make a plan and I often pause to give credit to the people of 1700 or 1750 who first saw this or that. Galileo also was the first to record about 30 stars in what had been the 7 stars of The Manger in Cancer. We call it The Beehive Nebula today. Your telescope will do that for you. Right now, you can check out the Orion Nebula. Galileo seems to have missed it because of the narrow view of his telescopes. If nothing else, look at the Moon. Get used to that with your array of oculars ("eyepieces").
    And keep them. You can used them with your next telescope. 
    Between Galileo and about 1870 or so, most of the viewing was in small telescopes within the budget of a dedicated hobbyist. In 1847 Maria Mitchell of Nantucket was awarded a gold medal by the King of Denmark for being the first person to identify with a telescope a comet that was not seen naked eye. Her scope was about the same size as yours, 3 inches for hers. 
    I mean for $6,000 to $10,000 you can own an instrument that would have been beyond most universities 50 years ago and just about all of them 100 years ago. And those are very small dollars now. For about a tenth of that, like $500 to $1000 you will cross into the median range of hobby scopes. My 102mm cost under $300 and I am very happy with it.
    It is a voyage of discovery. You have to leave the shoreline.
  20. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Hermes in Any Other Astronomers Here?   
    I selected a Bushnell 18-1561 as a gift option for 10 years of service. Shortly after receiving it, Jupiter and Saturn were available for viewing prior to midnight's. After considerable effort, the telescope was aligned to take in my first personal sight of 4 of the moons of Jupiter. My disappointment came shortly thereafter with the need to re-align the instrument every 2 minutes to maintain an active view.
    Not long thereafter, Saturn was available for viewing. The "smudge" I was rewarded with came with the realization that to pursue the activity in any meaningful way would require a better telescope equipped with tracking capacity.
    I tried sighting the recent comet NEOWISE by heading a bit north to a darkened vantage point. I had not brought the telescope, being informed that I would be able to see it by the unaided eye. Alas, it was not to be for me.
    I treasure having seen the moons of Jupiter. After reading of Galileo's memoirs of the same, it gave his report substantially more body, having shared the experience.
  21. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Repairman in In Today's Crazy - Vote with your wallet   
    Alas, the world stage draws back the curtains to rebrand a player whose true identity is to be grist into its new identity: The Pearl Milling Company.

    I suppose if a pearl necklace is to be formed, milling holes in them is a prerequisite to stringing them along. In this case, the pearls ought be judged by the company they keep. Meanwhile, I'll stick with adding grade a eggs and milk before whipping things up for a few stirring moments while the griddle heats up for the occasion.
  22. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in In Today's Crazy - Vote with your wallet   
    After a bit of searching, here is the song that purportedly popularized the name 'Aunt Jemima' written by Billy Kersands in 1875, and had acquired three different sets of lyrics by 1889. 
  23. Thanks
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Eiuol in Spinoza and Rand   
    About 1/2 way into Part 2, Chapter 1, The Man Who Belonged On Earth
    It is from a paragraph on an elaboration by Dr. Stadler to Miss Taggert on "the hallmark of a second-rater".
  24. Like
    dream_weaver got a reaction from Boydstun in The Psychology of The Fountainhead Characters   
    The Psychology of The Fountainhead Characters
    Psychology is not one of my strong suites. It is conversations like the several here linked to that provide insights into this novel that otherwise would have alluded me.
    The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are two distinct works of art. These assessments are primarily of The Fountainhead, and also provide a parallel between Ayn Rand and Dominique, as Ayn on a bad day. Another comparison is parallelled between Catherine Halsey and Cherryl Brooks as well as the young man on the bike and Richard Halley
    These are produced by the Ayn Rand Center, UK. Josh Dickson hosts Andrew Bernstein along with either Shoshana Milgram or Gina Gorland.
  25. Like
    dream_weaver reacted to DavidOdden in How many masks do you wear?   
    This discussion has been rather far removed from the fundamental principles regarding man’s rights, and has focused instead on notions of aggression, spreading (versus other means), sensory inputs, affecting a person, doing damage to body or property including creating a risk of same. It has included the idea that one can accidentally initiate physical force. The problem has been (for over a half century) that we (not exclusively Objectivists, referring to people who take the concept of “individual rights” to be an essential concept that must be understood) are constantly playing whack-a-mole by invoking a concept like “aggression”, then we get challenged as to what “aggression” is, then we refer “aggression” to something else. Rand has stated the fundamental principle, and in my opinion Schwartz has explicated it nicely. I quote a single sentence from his first page: “This concept of force applies exclusively to actions taken by human beings against human beings”. But it is not just “the unchosen” that we identify when talking about force. Second sentence bottom p. 1: “We thus identify the concept “force” to denote a physical action to which we are subjected against our will”. Finally, he makes the identification that “The concept of force pertains only to the volitional. It pertains only to physical actions taken by a volitional being to neutralize the choice of another volitional being” (emphasis added).
    Relating this to the mask-mandate, there is no question that the governmental requirement to wear a mask in the locally-mandated circumstances is the initiation of force. It is a particularly egregious initiation of force, since it is in all cases a use of special dictatorial power that is outside the rule of law – it is only justified because it is declared to be an “emergency”. There isn’t even a real law requiring you to wear a mask.
    Sweeping away the mask orders, the question then should be, what legal consequences should there be if you do not wear a mask? The same as if you walk your dog, drive your car, or grow a tree on your property. If you walk your dog and do not control it, and it eats the neighbor’s cat, you are liable for the damage. There is extensive legal background on this principle (it is millennia old). The government and legal system subsumes these concepts under the “duty of care”, which allows you to not care about another party’s interests up to a point, but you must care when your actions do “harm”. It is obvious that I am not talking about Objectivist theory here, I’m just stating what has always been a legal principle governing social interactions.
    There are two related challenges for Objectivists on this front. The first is to be able to sort actions which should have legal consequences versus one which should not. Dogs eating cats would be an example of the former. Using the pronoun “he” when the referent prefers to be identified as “she” is an example of the latter. The second is to find a system of reason that relates those identifications to general principles, consistent with Objectivism. Automatically labeling something as “initiation of force” is anti-reason. Presenting a clear line of reasoning from principles to conclusions is what it means to “reason”. So let us reason.
    The strongest claim that I find at all compatible with Objectivism is that one should not knowingly, willfully transmit a disease to another person without permission. The second strongest claim is that if you negligently cause harm to a person by your actions (or inactions), you bear responsibility for those choices. Masks are about the second kind of case, where the bar is being lowering for a claim of “negligence” (as well as corrupting the concept “cause”).
    It is always possible at any time that any person has some transmissible disease and does not know it. It cannot be a principle of civilized society that one must self-quarantine if it is possible that one has a transmissible disease (that virtually contradicts the notion of a “civilized society” – we must always self-quarantine; life is not possible). This discussion needs a better principle. What principle underlies the distinction between covid and the common cold? What scientific facts underlie claims about covid versus the cold or the flu? I don’t mean, what do the newspapers say, I mean what are the scientific questions and findings? Then how do those facts relate to a person’s proper choices?
    That is how I think this discussion should be framed.
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