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Everything posted by Inspector

  1. Then basically your question is: "If this is so what ramifications would that have on morality?" But it isn't so, so I doubt many people here would be willing to engage in fantasy along those lines. Perhaps you should ask some questions about what you think makes it so or - if you want to debate the matter - start a debate in the debate forum.
  2. Thank you - someone finally said it! I think it's pretty obvious that the market demand is only so great for technologies that haven't moved past the clown car stage. I wouldn't chalk this one up to government oppression just yet.
  3. That definition is actually available online. You might also find this helpful.
  4. It's not about a ritual of form, David. Let's take your example: "...if someone were to set forth a conclusion and in some way indicate that they are not certain that this is the Objectivist position or derives from Objectivist principles" Suppose that someone said "I'm not sure how Objectivism deals with this topic but to answer the poster's question, I conclude X because of [argument]" versus someone saying "I'm not sure how Objectivism deals with this topic but I would like to learn it. I conclude X because of [argument] - is that a correct application of Objectivism?" This is not a matter of empty form - the former and latter examples each have an entirely different set of assumptions operating about what the purpose is here and what kinds of commentary are invited. The former says: "I'm ignorant but I'm going to try to answer the question anyway - even though I'm ignorant my opinion is valuable anyhow" while the latter says "I'm ignorant but I would like to learn so I'm going to lay out my reasoning for critique and discussion." But if you're basically saying there is no such rule and that people can make all the ignorant assertions they want with the idea that they will simply be debated on those assertions, then that's fine - it's just a different sort of decorum than I'd thought was the idea here. As I said, it's up to you all to decide.
  5. Actually, I agree - discussions about what is or is not Objectivism should be debated outside the debate forum. If you reach a different final conclusion from Objectivism (i.e. the recorded philosophy of Ayn Rand as opposed to the things produced by Peikoff, the ARI, or any other scholar) then yes that would be a matter for the debate forum. Even if you believe that you are coming from the same place as Objectivism in terms of the premises you used to draw that conclusion.
  6. I've no objection; it only ever came to moderation because she insisted that she wouldn't even discuss her post with me and that the moderators would have to be involved. I'm far more interested at this point in what the operative principle of the rules is here.
  7. If I understand you correctly, then yes - so long as the original post is actually in some way actually a question about Objectivism or the application thereof in some fashion. My comment about the nature of the original post was simply that it made the relationship somewhat less obvious, not that it changed the nature of the rules. Only if they presented it as an answer - "Well, I don't know what Objectivism says but here's my take..." The objection is - Objectivism Online is not a place that solicits answers from a non-Objectivist perspective, so it represents an unwelcome assertion. If they want to ask a question "Here's my take - is that square with Objectivism?" then I wouldn't object, since that is not an assertion of non-Objectivism so much as it is a question about Objectivism and how to understand it. You seem to be introducing the third possibility - that someone wants to answer from Objectivism but isn't really sure if they have it right. I'd say that it would be best to phrase it as a question or to put a "is that right?" at the end - something to indicate that the purpose of this uncertain person is not to make assertions from ignorance but rather to gain knowledge. In which case no I don't see that as bumping against the rules. Hardly - that is not what I said or anything close to a reasonable interpretation of what I said. Again - nowhere did I say that they have to assert it openly with every post. It is fine that it is implicitly understood that the only kind of answers expected here are those from Objectivism or an application thereof - so long as that is what the poster is reasonably sure that's what they are doing. You're playing a "gotcha" game here and I won't play along. I shouldn't have to explain that discussions of website policy are separate from intellectual discussions and you know that.
  8. To the contrary, it is entirely relevant. And the idea of "abandon a particular line of thought" is completely beside the point of everything that I have presented in this thread and represents a profound departure from my point. NOWHERE is it suggested or implied in any way in what I have said that the rules require a poster to "abandon a particular line of thought" - only that they should not present that line of thought as an answer but rather as a question or, if it is directly contrary, as a debate in the debate forum. The only insulting thing present here is the idea that what I have phrased suggests that a poster is or ought to be required to "abandon a particular line of thought" and I take exception to the suggestion that I have ever said or implied any such thing.
  9. The sentence is meant to address not a difference in sets of rules, but rather Ifat's confusion about the fact that my response did not consist of direct references to texts. Since the question in the thread was not about Objectivism per se but rather implicitly (by its presence here) about the application of Objectivism, then that is also the nature of the answer. I am happy with the existing rules, at least as I understand them. What the proper understanding of them is - that is the topic here. First, I'd like to point out that it is not exclusively the Objectivist position that I had in mind, but also any application of Objectivism to questions as well. Second, I didn't ever say anything about the participant being required to explicate every time that their post be the Objectivist position - it would be fine if this was implicit, so long as it was in fact the poster's intent. Ifat's post drew my attention since she seemed to be explicating that her post was not the Objectivist position. Had she not made that statement, I would probably have assumed that she had meant to be presenting what she thought was Objectivism or the application thereof and thus wouldn't bump against the rule I had in mind. (it's not a matter of whether the poster is correct in thinking that their position is Objectivism or an application thereof - I only see it as requiring that they honestly and reasonably believe that it is. If it isn't, then that is what the discussion is for.) The reaction to silence on the matter would depend on the context. You'd have to use your best judgement of whether the poster is intending to present non-Objectivism as an answer or whether they are mistaken in their understanding of Objectivism. The only time that someone would bump against the rule would be if they are intentionally presenting non-Objectivism (or application thereof) or that which they aren't at least reasonably certain is Objectivism or a correct application thereof. In many cases it might be appropriate to ask the poster if they think what they wrote is Objectivism or the correct application of Objectivism and if so why. If they say that it isn't or doesn't need to be or they don't know whether it is, then you can be sure they are in violation of the rule. If they know that what they say is not Objectivism or an application thereof then it has no business being presented as an answer here. If they don't know whether it is or not, then it still has no business being presented as an answer - although it might be welcome as a question.
  10. I'll ask how you can maintain the idea that roads are "subsidies" in light of the fact that the massive traffic jams out there show that the government is clearly not meeting the market's demand for roads. The government's control of the roads is not a subsidy, but another gigantic anchor weighing down how much more "built out" and full of cars a natural system would be. For more information, please see my essays on the Marxist attack on the car here.
  11. "Known reserves" includes only oil at the current price point - it excludes both extremely-difficult-to-obtain oil and extremely-easy-to-obtain oil. And I speak not of a single estimate, but of all such estimates. Here's a thread discussing the matter some - my initial exposure to the matter was Thomas Sowell's exposure of it, which is cited here.
  12. If that's the case, then it's something other than what I read it to be. That just leaves the question of the meaning of her aside that it wasn't in Objectivism: does that mean that she was uncertain of how it stacked up against Objectivism or was it one of those disclaimers along the lines of, "I'm not Ayn Rand so what you hear is not Objectivism but my own best attempt at it." If the latter then it is entirely outside the scope of what I'm addressing here. If the former, then it does fall into my concern that if you are not reasonably sure that what you're saying is Objectivism or an application of it, then it should be a question here and never an answer in someone else's thread. (that rule, of course, being what is in question here)
  13. I don't think that that is either implicit or explicit in the position that the answers solicited on the board are exclusively those which the answerer is reasonably certain are of Objectivism or the application of Objectivism. Because her goal was to come up with a way in which I had violated the rules. But I suppose that's an inflammatory way of putting it so I withdraw that expression. As I subsequently showed, the answer is still an application of Objectivism. It's just that because the question isn't expressly about Objectivism, it may be less "on the surface" that the answer was such an application.
  14. Naturally, you've picked a thread in which the question itself is not about Objectivism per se. But implicit in the question is that the poster wants to know about the political - i.e. philosophical aspects of the issue, which in a roundabout way is asking for how Objectivism is applied to the politics (and, to a large extent, economics) of this particular current-events issue. The answers I provide are very much how Objectivism is applied to this current events issue. Now if you don't think that it is a proper application of Objectivism to the issue at hand then by all means post a reply which identifies the error that I make. My objection to your post has nothing to do with the fact that it's your personal take (and it is also not a slap against you or any kind of statement that what you said isn't interesting or valuable) - it has everything to do with the fact that you said that it wasn't Objectivism (Or that you weren't sure of its status vis a vis Objectivism? I'm not sure I caught your meaning right but you forbade me from follow up discussion) and you were attempting to provide it as an answer to another poster, rather than as a question. As I see it, via the rules, if what you are saying isn't Objectivism or an application thereof - or you aren't sure if it is - then you shouldn't post it as an answer. You are of course welcome to post it as a question. Of course, this thread will bear out if the rules work that way but this will hopefully explain to you the basis on which I was operating at the time.
  15. Actually, I believe you're missing the fact that there is a debate forum which is set aside for arguing against Objectivism. The idea is that the rest of the board is for people to ask questions about Objectivism and for others to provide and discuss answers about Objectivism and the application of Objectivism.
  16. Maybe? I started from the point where she said "that is my take on it, I didn't actually read it in Objectivism anywhere," which refers to the basic premise of her post from which the rest is derived. The idea I see here is that her idea which she presents is not a part of Objectivism or an application of Objectivism to a field outside of what was covered by the philosophy (i.e. outside its metaphysics, epistemology, etc). It's not really an issue of whether what she subsequently said ends up being congruent with Objectivism or not (an not a statement of the merit of her argument, which is unfortunately how she seemed to take it). The point is that she was presenting this not-Objectivism philosophical idea as an reply (i.e. an answer) in a thread. Had she instead started her own thread and said, "here is my formulation of ethics and metaphysics; how does this stack up with Objectivism?" then it would have been an entirely appropriate post. Also, if she had said "this is how I think that the Objectivist ethics and metaphysics work on this issue" then it would have been appropriate (if not necessarily correct). But instead her formulation was "that is my take on it, I didn't actually read it in Objectivism anywhere." Now if she meant by that that this was her take on how Objectivism answers the question then I don't see it as bumping against this rule (just incorrect). Which is not to say that this is all about Ifat's post - I would still like to know what the rules mean to other cases in which the poster is indeed giving a personal opinion which is not meant to be at all related to Objectivism.
  17. I'd like to point out as an aside (and not a reply to sN's post) for clarity that this is not what I am saying - thus my repeated use of the phrase "or applications of Objectivism." This is not a dichotomy of "only things from the books" versus "anything goes."
  18. I took it to be non-exhaustive - that "ideas contrary to or unrelated to Objectivism" were entirely unwelcome - not just really terrible ones like communism or libertarianism, but also Joe Smith's not-Objectivism take on metaphysics, politics, or whatever. That the only solicited commentary was that either of Objectivism or an application of Objectivism. It's up to David, I suppose. I'll operate under whichever interpretation/set of rules is in fact what is desired.
  19. One thing to bear in mind is the distinction between being "immortal" as in having no natural life-span and being "immortal" as being completely indestructible and incapable of ever dying. (If I'm not mistaken, the example in OPAR refers to an immortal, indestructible robot) Which meaning did you have in mind?
  20. To know this, you have to know what is meant when people say things like "known reserves." That the term "known reserves" does not in fact refer to the amount of oil in the ground at all, but rather only at price point "x." That the actual amount of oil that we know about is in fact many, many times that of "known reserves" and is estimated to last hundreds of years, even with projected increases in consumption. (this is a matter of public record) And finally, that entirely new discoveries of oil have consistently increased both "reserve" and the actual estimated amount of oil, doubling it every few decades or so and there is no evidence that this will not continue to happen. It takes a bit of research into the matter, but I think one can still remain a layman yet be able to confidently state that the idea that "peak oil" is anywhere in the next century is complete nonsense. And projections more than a century out are kind of useless considering that 100 years ago, oil was just coming into use and so it's senseless to worry that it might peak in 100 years when something entirely different will likely be invented to power things. Yes, I agree with that.
  21. (bold mine) Right, and given the explicitly stated purpose of the forum, that's the exclusive purpose that questions are supposed to have here. That's in theory at least... we do have a number of topics that are not really in keeping with this stated purpose ("What is better: Batman or Superman?") and so I think people lose sight of this sometimes. I don't know of any separate section of the forum which is a kind of "open bar" in which questions and topics can just be about anything and answers can be from any perspective. I suppose one could always be created; you can ask the mods I guess if you want one of those.
  22. So, the rules are that things which are not Objectivism or an application of Objectivism are not to be presented as answers, only as questions or as debate in the debate forum. If y'all want to change that, then that's your domain. Personally, I agree with it and think it should be that way (basically for the same reasons presented in LP's podcast and some of the discussion it generated here) but if you all say it isn't from now on then that is the end of that.
  23. CF, Oh by no means am I thinking that anyone should be banned! Oh, that's not what I'm saying. If you have what you're pretty sure is Objectivism or an application of Objectivism (the latter being something that definitely would not be found in a book) which just so happens to be incorrect, that is not something I see as butting heads with the rules as such. Certainly, the basic idea here is to give one's "own take," providing that that "take" is Objectivism or an application of Objectivism to the best of your knowledge. The thing I saw with Ifat's post is that what she was presented was not Objectivism or an application of it - and she knew and said that it wasn't - and she put it as a reply to a thread (where the expectation is for answers from Objectivism or using Objectivism), rather than as a separate discussion in her own thread.
  24. This is good - separating this. Let's discuss this so everyone can be clear on what the rules in fact are. If they are not as I say, then let that also be clear. I seek clarity and for everyone to be on the same page here.
  25. No, I would also point out that anyone who thinks the auto industry is a free market is really kidding themselves. Just follow that link and see how much the government burdens auto-producers via the unions. Then try saying that the auto industry is, on the balance, "subsidized," with a straight face.
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