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  1. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Should I debate this person about welfare?   
    It is interesting that in today's political climate, saying anything negative about poor people (ie. should spend money better, are historically and geographically extremely well off) is a level of taboo on par with that of racism and anti-democracy.
  2. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from Spiral Architect in So I'm researching the Austrians and...   
    Speaking as a self-described Austrian, you need to unpack exactly what Austrian economics is.
    Austrian economics is a positive economic theory. Rothbard's evaluation of American businessmen, his anarchism, and Mises's epistemology are not a part of Austrian economics. Mises lays out the philosophical groundwork for Austrianism is Human Action (its called praxeology), though that too must be unpacked. One can agree with praxeology as a foundation for economic science while denying its validity as an epistemological and metaphysical tool. Mises unified the two in the Kantian tradition, while Rothbard took the econ but combined it with Aristotelian (and really Randian) metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. 
    I agree with you on Hoppe. He is a dangerous figure who should rightfully be ignored and marginalized. I saw him give a talk where he claimed the success of Europeans compared to Africans and Asians can be attributed to European genetic superiority due to living in colder climates. 
  3. Like
    Dormin111 reacted to softwareNerd in Hong Kong   
    I don't want to make excuses for the Chinese government, but the Chinese are not going backward from where they are today. Rather, they are reneging from where they were meant to go. Today, the Chief Executive is elected by an Electoral College. This college is not formed via democratic elections, but various industry groups (and other pressure groups) select candidates. This is by and large the Hongkong establishment, not the hoi polloi. Basically, the Chief Executive is always someone whose primary loyalty lies with Beijing.
    This was supposed to be the way until 2017 [the first 20 years of Chinese rule]. Then, in 2017, Hongkong was to move to direct democracy. The Chinese "clarified" that when they move Hongkong to direct democracy, they will still get to nominate the possible candidates. So, rather than trying to assimilate Hongkong, the Chinese are reluctant to let it be as independent as they promised.
  4. Like
    Dormin111 reacted to Iudicious in Is there an increase in "parasitic" entertainment?   
    All of the quotes below are from the OP, CptnChan
    Consider a couple things here:
    1. I'm not actually sure that you're correct that these are more prolific than people who create "new" content.
    2. Critics, reviewers, and game-streamers are delivering an actual product/service. They are content creators. The fact that you don't like their content doesn't actually mean anything - they are delivering value to someone. 
    Except you're wrong here. That streamer is delivering content. People watch his channel, as opposed to other channels, because they enjoy watching him play, they enjoy listening to him talk as he plays, they enjoy the content he has created. What he has created is separate from the game he is playing - and it is content that clearly a lot of people enjoy.
    Just because you don't like it, does not mean it is not content or that value has not been created.
    I personally enjoy watching game streams. I've done it a lot lately, in fact, because I don't have time to play a lot of video games, but it's quite fun to watch them being played while I do my work. When I was a kid, I used to watch my friends play games more than I played them myself - that was enjoyable for me. That's how it is for a lot of people. So these game streamers are creating content, both by doing what they're doing, and by adding value in the form of the commentary and such that they add to their streams and their videos.
    No, but judging by the rest of your post, you sure would like it to.
    These reaction videos get millions of views usually because they're funny or because the people involved have personalities that people enjoy listening to or watching. It's literally the same thing as morning talk shows. People tune in because the reactions are funny, the conversations are interesting, and the personalities are fun to listen to/watch.
    This type of entertainment is highly accessible. It doesn't require a lot of time - so there's a low barrier to entry, a low up front cost - and it's usually humorous, entertaining, enlightening, easily understandable, et cetera, so a high amount of value is obtained from it. The fact that you characterize this kind of entertainment as having nothing of interesting and contributing nothing doesn't make it so - it could very well be that you've seen a few videos and simply generalized. 
    Keep in mind here - if value was not being gained by watching the videos, they would not be getting watched so much. People are mostly rational actors, if simplistic ones. Viewers tend to go for entertainment that has a low barrier of entry, and a high payoff. Which explains your next contention:
    Historically, art has a high barrier of entry. It takes a lot of work to get into it. This isn't a new phenomena - it's ages old. Did you ever learn about Shakespeare? One of the reasons we discuss Shakespeare still today is because he wrote plays that were easily accessible to the general public. Low barrier of entry, with a fair amount of very low brow wit - some of it was frankly even slapstick. So, low barrier of entry, high entertainment value. 
    That is how it has always been. The most complex art historically has been reserved mostly for nobles, the rich, the clergy, and various other people who had the time and money to kill to appreciate it, while lower entertainment was preferred by the masses - because it had a low barrier of entry, and a high payoff. 
    This doesn't mean that one is better than the other, nor does it indicate anything particular about people. The fact is, everyone has their passions and their interests - and outside of their passions and interests, they're not likely to invest a whole lot of time into something. Why would you expect a creative work of art to have millions of views? Of course it wouldn't. Because the ONLY people who gain something from it are people who are passionate about art in the first place - so people who are passionate about, say, plants or math (me!) would spend hours on plant videos, but they wouldn't spend hours on creative, artistic videos - rather, I'd be likely to watch a low brow video that has a high entertainment pay off and a low barrier to entry, or else spend my time on the things I actually care about. 
    The reason most people don't care is because you're stating the blatantly obvious.
    What you've said amounts to this:
    People, in general, won't put in the time and energy to understand and appreciate things that they don't have any previously existing interest in, and would rather enjoy something that doesn't demand so much of them.
    This is obvious. Why would people - the majority of whom have working lives, passions, interests, and goals which they are already putting a significant amount of time into - spend extra time on something that isn't their interest? Just because you think something artistic on youtube is worthwhile doesn't mean others will. Yeah, a lot of work went into it - and that work pays off to the people who have an existing interest in it. But for everyone else, there's just a high barrier of entry and something that's demanding a lot more time from them than they have to be spending, for a minimal payoff.
    Nobody is living off of other people's content. You're creating an issue where none exists. Just because you don't like some content, doesn't mean that the people who made that content are parasites. 
    Beyond ALL of that, consider this:


    This is just a very small sampling of original content on youtube with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of views. Your notion that people aren't paying attention to original content is patently wrong - they're just not paying attention to the content you care about. Which makes sense. You pay attention to that content because it's of value to you, so the barrier to entry isn't a big deal. But for people who have no interest in it? The barrier to entry IS a big deal, so they're naturally gonna pay attention to things that either A. are of interest to them or B. have a low barrier to entry (cat videos, reaction videos, et cetera)
  5. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from CptnChan in Do sagging dorsal fins equal evil treatment?   
    I call using "Sagging Dorsal Fins" for an indie rock band.
  6. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Do sagging dorsal fins equal evil treatment?   
    In Objectivism, "value" is not usually used descriptively to refer to any thing which an individual pursues, but rather prescriptively to refer to what an individual rationally should pursue in accordance with his nature. In this case, we need to identify the rational values and costs pertaining to animal torture.
    It can be ethical to torture animals if one is pursuing and gaining a rational value (wealth, research, etc.). However, I think the very act of hurting an animal should be considered a cost in and of itself, since no rational person would enjoy or be indifferent to the act of inflicting pain upon a creature. Thus the question is contextual and concerns pay offs. Is it rational to hurt an animal in this particular instance to attain a particular value? To give two extreme contextual examples:
    - Would you electrocute a puppy for a week to receive a modest sum of money from a sadist?
    - Would you administer a painful injection into a lab rat to attain scientific results which can be used to produce valuable pharmaceuticals?
    If Blackfish's argument is true, then I would consider holding or watching captive orcas to be immoral since it consists of causing an animal a tremendous amount of pain for the sake of mere amusement. I would even go a step farther and add that amusement and pain are at odds with one another, and I don't think I could ever enjoy an activity which I knew was causing pain, even if the amusement was great and the pain was minor.
  7. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from JASKN in Do sagging dorsal fins equal evil treatment?   
    What do you mean by "material/monetary"? Why is it put in a separate category from psychological, emotional, or spiritual? Ayn Rand subsumed all of these concepts under "value."
  8. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from softwareNerd in Physical Attraction To The Opposite Sex   
    Here is a picture of supermodel, Adriana Lima.
    Question - Is Adriana Lima physically attractive?
    Answer - That's impossible to know, unless she states her core philosophical values.
  9. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from thenelli01 in Physical Attraction To The Opposite Sex   
    Here is a picture of supermodel, Adriana Lima.
    Question - Is Adriana Lima physically attractive?
    Answer - That's impossible to know, unless she states her core philosophical values.
  10. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from theestevearnold in The Broad Relevance Of Ayn Rand In Today's Society   
    Although the title of the article is misleading, Neil Peart isn't an Objectivist, only influenced by Ayn Rand's literature.
    Jimmy Whales, the founder of wikipedia is an Objectivist though.
  11. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Is "anti-value" a valid concept?   
    Life is also a prerequisite for happiness, so putting happiness ahead of life makes no sense. Here is an essay by Robert Bidionotto where he attempts to reconcile the twp points: http://mol.redbarn.org/objectivism/Writing/RobertBidinotto/SurviveOrFlourish.html
    He argues that Rand herself was sometimes unclear on the "survival vs. happiness" debate. In later discussion, Leonard Peikoff has been on the survival side while David Kelly has supported flourishing. He proposes a synthesis of the two which declares "life as man" to be the standard of value. This is neither pure survival nor deontological happiness, but rather human existence in its natural form.
  12. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from Madhavi in The Good Earth   
    If anyone is looking for a fiction book with good themes, check out Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth.
    The protagonist is Wang Lung, a man living in China in the early 20th century who is sort of a peasant Hank Rearden. Throughout the novel, Wang rises from a subsistence farmer to a wealthy landholder through hard work and careful planning. He and his wife are extremely industrious and consistently choose to save their occasional surpluses rather than splurge it on silk, opium, or concubines like other peasants. They encounter various obstacles like a thuggish uncle and a lecherous concubine but always manage to succeed in achieving their goals. Later we see Wang's sons grow up with varying commitments to his philosophy. Although Wang is not perfect, he is a very good example of a heroic protagonist whose greatest virtues are productivity and value attainment.
  13. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from mdegges in Immoral to lie about criminal history   
    I agree with Nicky but I caution him not to oversell his point. There is nothing wrong with seeking moral guidance from like minded individuals. As long as you can maintain your phychological independence, asking others for ethical help can be a great benefit to your life.
  14. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from softwareNerd in What's best way to introduce young man to Objectivism?   
    If your son is a fan of video games, you could try introducing him to (or if he has alredy played it, then just talking to him about) the PC game, Bioshock. The game takes place in a dystopian quasi-Objectivist city and displays many Objectivist values in a very compelling manner.
  15. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from CptnChan in Arguing for private schools   
    A few breif add ons to your responses:

    1. For the vast majority of parents, education will almost certainly be the second most important thing to get for a child after basic necesities. There is no reason whatsoever that no market would exist for cheap school in a free economy. A great example of this in action is this Cato study (http://www.cato.org/...ncome-countries) where researchers examined profitable private school in the slums of Kenya, Ghana, India, and Nigeria, literally some of the poorest places on the planet. In the cases where there were public schools, the private schools significantly outcompeted them, even when the public schools were "free."

    2. At a certain point, a lost cause is a lost cause. Nobody likes to admit it, but if the parent doesn't give a shit (which, as you say, is an extremely small minority), then unless the kid is a rare anomaly, there is nothing anyone can do about it. Why is forcing children to go to shitty slum public schools any better than the alternative? In most instances, it is preferable to let the kid enter the work force during high school and acquire some level of experience, skill, and references.

    3. Not all jobs require basic math or reading skills. And besides that, I would be willing to bet that in a free economy, there would be virtually universal K-8 education anyway due to its low cost and high demand.

    4. Same old, same old.

    An important element to stress in these conversations is that education has been so regimented and standardized, that it would look unimagineably different in a free market. Why do kids today sit in rows of desks? Why do they go to school five days a week between roughly 7:30AM and 3:00PM? Why are all taught minor variations of the same established subjects? Why are classes regimented by age group as opposed to ability or interest? Why do schools waste sizeable portions of their budgets on sports while leaving more important subjects underutilized? Why, Why, Why???


    If you really want to throw a screwball, you can also try bringing up the theories of Charles Murray. Put simply - education quality is close to irrelevent in terms of success. Schools are not artists who mold clay children into beauiful sculptures, but are art apraisers who simply grade alredy existing statues.
  16. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from Swerve of Shore in Rothbard and anarchism   
    I will do my best to explain Rothbard's mistakes from the Objectivist position.

    Essentially Rothbard inverts the basic moral/political rights of man.

    According to Objectivism:
    1. The first political right of man is the right to life. That is the right to exist as a man qua man. Without this right, I would be dead.

    2. From this right extends the correlary right to liberty, or freedom from coercion. To live as a man, I must be free from physical attack, theft, and fraud from my fellow man. Only then can I use my rational mind to continue my life and attain happiness. Without this right I would be killed or enslaved.

    3. Finally, we arrive at the secondary correlary, the right to private property. In order to exist I must be able to lay claim upon and defend objects in existence, so that I may use and dispose of said objects as I please. Without this right, I would at best live in a constant state of fear that all of my production would be lost, and at worst, perish after losing my produce.

    4. Objectivism maintains that these rights must be secured in the order listed. The only way to do so is to create an objective arbiter of disputes which will defend a man's right to life and liberty, SO THAT he may engage in economic transactions with private property. This arbiter is the state, an organization which holds a legitimate monopoly on force within a geographic area and uses said monopoly to defend individual rights.

    According to Rothbard:
    1. The first political right of man is the right to private property, AKA self-ownership. Man has the right to engage in economic transactions with his own property, which originates from his own body and the labor it puts into his environment.

    2. Man can then use this right to purchase his rights to life and liberty from other individuals on the market. Overall, the market will produce optimal conditions of for liberty which individuals will voluntarily opt into.

    The Problem:

    Man cannot engage in economic transactions fairly, or live his life with any meanigful liberty, if his basic rights aren't protected in the first place. Rothbard's vision boils down to "might makes right" because there is no objective standard by which force should be used in a stateless society. Rand stated that rights must be protected from the outset by a single body with the power to coercively stop all those who wish to violate rights. Rothbard claimed the protection of rights should be tossed up to the market so that hopefully the good people will grab the most guns and kill off/intimidate enough of the bad people so that objective law reigns over (part of) the land.

    The most common rebuttal claimed by anarchists is that governments are inherently contradictory because they are coercive entities by default. The idea is that even if a state doesn't tax its citizens (as Rand supported), it still coercively prevents other private companies from setting up "competing governments" which might provide more efficient or different services.

    This challenege is predicated upon the use of an invalid concept knowns as the "market for force." Force is not a commodity or a tradeable good. Force is the imposition of will upon another being. There is no "trade" or "exchange" of coercion, only one party dominating another until the physically weaker party is destroyed or it capitulates. To suggest that there can be "competing wielders of force" is an invitation for gang warfare as "competitors" try to destroy each other on the "open market."

    While we all should have the right to create products and services, and then offer them to others in voluntary exchnages, none of us have the right to pick up a bunch of guns and arbitrarily declare ourselves to be enforcers of justice unless we are permitted to by society in some manner (ie. appointed/hired by officials elected by the general population). Imagine what that would mean in concrete form: if someone steals my ipod, I would be able to find that person a few days later and execute him on the spot with a bullet to the back of the head. I could then declare that I am not a law breaker, but actually the judge, jury, and executioner in my own judicial system which I voluntarily formed for myself. And by the standards of my own legal system, the theif deserved his punishment. The only way I could be stopped (assuming that competing governments were permitted), is if another "private government" attempted to strike back at me... at which point I would rally together my own gang and we would enjoy a nice shoot out in the streets.

    Anyway, I actually really like Rothbard aside from the anarchism and 100% reserve stuff. Feel free to ask more questions.
  17. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from Swerve of Shore in Is Objectivism Hopelessly Naive   

    The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom ranks Norway the 40th freest economy in the world. The index is by no means perfect, but its lists a lot ways in which Norway is no socialistic including its efficient judicial system, low inflation, relatively light business regulations, and lack of trade barriers.
  18. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from mdegges in Are there logical arguments for why one ought to be Altruistic?   
    His primary error is addressed in Howard Roark's courtroom speech in the Fountainhead. Essentially he is presenting a strawman/false dichotomy between altruism and predatorialism where every man must either sacrifice himself for the sake of others or sacrifice others for the sake of himself. Objectivism promotes rational selfishness in the literal sense of acting in your own self-interest. That is, human relationships should be based on the mutually beneficial exchange of values where neither party is sacrificed. It is not in an individual's self interest to use force to achieve his ends or to screw over potential and active associates.
  19. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from Eiuol in What did you think of the third Presidential debate?   
    No clear winner but Obama destroyed Romney with the "army has fewer horses" segment.
  20. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from milked in If Socialist Campaigning Feels Good...?   
    If cutting off your hand is a satisfying, healthy, and fulfilling way to live enhance your life and have fun, should one cut off his hand? Is it ethical because it is in an individual's self-interest?

    An activity is not in an individual's self interest because it is arbitrarily given that status. An activity is in one's self interest if it logically benefits the existence of the individual. In the case of campaigning for socialism, the activity is furthering the cause of pillaging and oppression. Any individual who committs himself to the cause will be have to deal with logical contradictions, and therefore an unhappier life.
  21. Like
    Dormin111 got a reaction from JASKN in North Carolina’s Despicable Amendment   
    It flumuxes me that it is an achievement for a 50 year old man who was in the Senate and now the whitehouse for four years to finally come around to the right side on an issue as blatantly obvious and simple as gay marriage. And especially from a progressive! I am a twenty year old at a liberal arts college and I am astounded by the lack of awareness of the cynical nature of Obama's sudden conversion. He just happens to make this major life altering statement just as a huge step backwards occurs in a Republican dominated state. He didn't bother to announce this new stance sooner in a press release or in speech, but instead waited for the opurtune moment. This is about as low as a politican can get.
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