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Everything posted by Boydstun

  1. Predicted bound-energy state of a quark-antiquark system has received its first confirmation at ATLAS. Quantum Chromodynamics Made Simple Frank Wilczek Quarkonia and Open Beauty Production at ATLAS (Scroll down to §5 for quarkonia.) Else Lytken and Martin zur Nedden
  2. Hint of lightweight Higgs boson. Discussion of the LHC findings announced today, their background, and their implications will be here, today 12:30 ET.
  3. Det, Rand was an Objectivist. What did she think was moral perfection? What did she write on the concept? Did she think her fictional character Howard Roark was a morally perfect person? Why did his big mistake not count as a moral failing? Did he attain perfection by "paying for" the error? Why not learn Rand's philosophy from her? No, I am not an Objectivist. I'm very strict about what counts as which philosophy. You said in your bio that you study biology, but have an interest in philosophy. Good and good. I invite you to study philosophy. Study it with the precision with which you would study science. Find out what it really is. Leave the little stuff to the little people. Stephen
  4. Not five sigma, but something is up at Atlas and CMS on the Higgs boson. Existence of the Higgs boson “is a prediction that stems from a very mathematical approach to understanding the Universe, which is guided by the idea that it is simple at heart.” —
  5. There is some thinking about capitalism and The Fountainhead from an academic, apparently Marxist, in the following work: The Overman in the Marketplace: Nietzschean Heroism in Popular Culture by Ishay Landa (2007) Review Rand
  6. (Related thread) Superluminal neutrino possibility analyzed with respect to energy transfer and particle transformations when speed limits are different for different elementary particles: Sci. Am. – 10/2/11 Paper – Andrew Cohen and Sheldon Glashow
  7. . ULTra’s Personal Rapid Transit is electric and autonomous. Applications MechE
  8. . Neutrino speed anomaly may signal some new physics of elementary particles and spacetime. Conference live today at 1:00 p.m. EST. (Unknown how much will be in English.)
  9. Another quest at the LHC is for particles that constitute dark matter.* ** That would be cold dark matter, for which a light neutralino might be the particle. Recent modeling of dwarf galaxies suggests dark matter emerged later after the initial singularity and is of higher energy than the “cold” dark matter sought at LHC.* “Warm” dark matter would be out of the range of the LHC. The sterile neutrino is a plausible candidate for warm dark matter, and if that is right, warm dark matter could be detected in the future by telltale X-rays.* Neutrinos Neutralinos Sterile Neutrinos as a Dark Matter Candidate Some evidence for sterile neutrinos as dark matter is reported here.
  10. . Follow-up on #33 – I see that at the end of his chapter "The Fountainhead Reviews" (2007), Michael Berliner included a section on reviews of the 1949 film. That section is on pages 83–84, where one will find samples from a number of newspaper and magazine reviews. #34 – LOL
  11. Rand on Free Will and Rationality before the 1943 Letter (and after) From my writings: 1943 1943/1957 1938/1943/1957
  12. It was Barbara Stanwyck who persuaded Warner producer Henry Blanke to read The Fountainhead and open the door for getting the book made into a movie. An account of how the film got made, particularly in respect of its script, is given in Jeff Britting’s “Adapting The Fountainhead to Film” (2007). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Greene County Examiner-Recorder Catskill, New York July 21, 1949 Among the movie advertisements on page 8, was this one: July 26, 27, 28 MONUMENTAL BEST-SELLER! TOWERING SCREEN TRIUMPH! GARY COOPER —IN— THE FOUNTAINHEAD —CO-STARRING— Patricia ~ Raymond NEAL ~ MASSEY A Review (also p. 8) NYT Review Box Office I was unable to attend first-run showings of the film in 1949 as I was incapacitated on account of infancy.
  13. HLM, You might like to listen to some of these responses of Yaron Brook if you have not already done so. An answer about conscription in Israel is at minutes 3:45–4:50 Of related interest,
  14. Here is some further history of Rand's thinking about Christianity and religion more generally. From Objectivism Reference Center, the following excerpt is from a letter to Sylvia Austin dated July 9, 1946, in Letters of Ayn Rand, p. 287. From my writings: 1936 1943 1943 1943/1957 1957
  15. . Smallest Electric Motor Ever Devised If it this motor can be altered to generate radiation, can the converse of this electric motor—an electric generator driven by radiation—be far behind?
  16. . These look like good references for readers with a background in undergraduate physics (through intermediate classical and quantum mechanics): Group Theory A Physicist’s Survey Pierre Ramond (2010) Group Theory for the Standard Model of Particle Physics and Beyond Ken J. Barnes (2010) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “I think it will be much more exciting if we don’t find the Higgs. That will show something is wrong, and we need to think again. I have a bet of $100 that we won’t find the Higgs.” – Stephen Hawking (The Times 9/9/08; Far Reach) From an interview* with Steven Weinberg on 6/28/2011 by Zinta Lundborg: Lundborg – What about the particle everyone’s looking for—the Higgs boson? Weinberg – Because the Higgs boson is really required by the simplest version of the theory that unifies the weak and electromagnetic forces,* it’s very likely to be discovered. The theory has other versions which would lead to the discovery of other kinds of particles, the so-called technicolor particles. We have a fair degree of certainty that one or the other of those, and very likely the Higgs boson, will be discovered. In fact, it’s so likely that we already anticipate it, so it probably won’t get us anything new. What we really need is something that we don’t anticipate.
  17. . Tyler, I like your qualification “in her writing.” Ayn Rand was in a position to publish any of her ideas she pleased, and if she did not publish an idea, that is prima facie evidence that she was not entirely settled on the idea and its support. I should add, however, to Rand’s writings: any writings by any author in her publications The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist. Every piece in those publications was agreed with by Rand or it would not appear. Those publications were intended as exact representations of her views, and she was right there, insuring that was so. (Very unlike my journal Objectivity, in which I probably disagreed with something in every essay not authored by me.) Your block quotation from Rand, was in the August 1962 issue of the The Objectivist Newsletter. That was a reprint of the piece. It had been Rand’s first column, appearing June 17, 1962, in the Los Angeles Times. At that time, what most of the newspaper audience could have known about Rand’s philosophy was what was expressed in her novels and in her title essay of For the New Intellectual (and perhaps in Who Is Ayn Rand? which included N. Branden’s “The Moral Revolution in Atlas Shrugged” – published in 1962, but I don’t know whether before June). After the part of the column you quoted, Rand goes on to say: After a substantial paragraph for #4, Rand goes on to explain the incompatibility between (i) the individual rights protected by the American government, which fosters capitalism, and (ii) altruism. She stresses that it is either-or. As political ramification of the morality of altruism, she points to atrocities of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Red China, Cuba, and East Berlin. She points to the necessity of people accepting sacrifice for the “public good” in order for such regimes to arise. And for the prevalence of such talk in speeches of the Kennedy Administration. Tyler, you have argued that Position C is part of the “closed” view of Rand’s philosophy. You reject Position C. You argue that Position B is concordant with Rand’s picture of the structure of her philosophy in her 1962 column. Substituting my “is implied by” (implied, when joined with pertinent facts) for your “is fully consistent with,” we have: Position C – position addressed specifically in Rand’s publications, but is not implied by the essentials of Rand’s philosophy (as she stated it). Position B – position not addressed specifically in Rand’s publications, but is implied by the essentials. Position C was not embraced by Leonard Peikoff in his essay in which the “closed” character of Rand’s philosophy was addressed. I don’t think it is fair to saddle the “closed” view with such a position. As for Position B, suppose Rand had died in 1962. Then her thesis that identity entails measurability would not have been part of her published philosophy. There would be some precursors of it in Galt’s speech, but this fully fermented statement of 1966–67 would not have appeared: “If anything were actually ‘immeasurable’, it would bear no relationship of any kind to the rest of the universe, it would not affect nor be affected by anything else in any manner whatever, it would enact no causes and bear no consequences—in short it would not exist” (ITOE 39). Yet this could be written by someone else subsequent to Rand’s fictive death in 1962, and seen to be nicely fitting into what Rand had already written in Galt’s speech. It is not a realistic view of the “closed” view, to exclude from it Position B. In his 1989 essay “Fact and Value,” Peikoff remarked that for every philosophy “new implications, applications, integrations can always be discovered; but the essence of the system—its fundamental principles and their consequences in every branch—is laid down once and for all by the philosophy’s author” (emphasis added).
  18. . Higgs Missing Report (Fermilab page) See especially: “Is this all just a theory?” “What if no one ever finds the Higgs Boson?” “Are there alternate theories?” .
  19. Tyler, The condition "is fully consistent with" is too weak. That condition for A-D would be better replaced by "is implied by." When David Kelley argued that benevolence should be seen as a major virtue in Rand's ethical system, he did not settle for arguing that it was fully consistent with her ethics, but that it was implied by her ethics (however far or near Rand herself was to seeing that implication). His arguments elicited counter-arguments, but the point is that the desideratum for additions to Rand's philosophy beyond what she realized concerning it has to be something much stronger than "is fully consistent with." Hooke’s Law of elasticity, the Law of Definite Proportions in chemistry, and Mendel’s Law of Segregation for inheritance are each fully consistent with Newtonian mechanics, but they are not implications of it. Hamilton’s Principle of dynamics, on the other hand, is more than simply fully consistent with Newton’s mechanics.
  20. Tyler, The developments in mechanics listed in your table from Wikipedia can be sensibly said to be developments of Newtonian mechanics when they are being contrasted with relativistic mechanics. In other contexts of discourse, ones in which the contrast with relativity is not immediately pertinent, we distinguish the item listed for 1835 from Newtonian mechanics. That is, we distinguish Hamiltonian mechanics from Newtonian mechanics. At the time of Newton, and for some decades afterwards, the great contrast was between Newtonian mechanics and Cartesian mechanics. That contrast is probably more similar to the contrast between Randian philosophy and, say, Hegelian philosophy. More similar a contrast, that is, than the contrast between Newtonian and Hamiltonian mechanics. In speaking of Newton’s mechanics one could be speaking of the mechanics Newton invented. That is, what he wrote himself, what he reached in his life. Clearly, one meaning of “the philosophy of Ayn Rand” or “Rand’s philosophy” is like that. (Compare also, Lavoisier's chemistry and Lyell's geology.) When we say, however, that Euler was a proponent of Newton’s mechanics, we are shifting focus to the mechanics that Newton discovered and which continued to be applied and developed after his death. We are shifting focus to Newtonian mechanics (as in contrast to Cartesian mechanics). To speak of Platonic philosophy or Cartesian philosophy or Randian philosophy is to refer to broad classes of philosophy. Broader are those in philosophy than is Newtonian or Cartesian in mechanics (or Euclidean in geometry). Cartesian philosophy is broader than Cartesian mechanics not only because philosophy deals with more general topics. I imagine the reasons for that are worth teasing out, but I have to leave off here and not get too distracted from my current areas of study (which will in part result in more installments to this essay-thread). I hope these remarks will be a little help. I have not gotten to ponder all of the ideas people have contributed to this your sub-thread, but good to see such thinking and generous contributions, including your own.
  21. . Beyond the Standard Model, the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model* is hitting hard times at the Large Hadron Collider. Forty years ago in Kharkov* . . . .
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