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Everything posted by DancingBear

  1. Think you're too busy? Think again and find 15 min to listen to this podcast that could change the way you think about busy-ness.

  2. Cool podcast about hypothetical futures

  3. [Text] "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." -- T.E Lawrence, 'Lawrence of Arabia'

  4. I want to go see Interstellar in IMAX and also Fury. For the record.

  5. Just like in spring, first class of summer is canceled. What to do until 2?

  6. Somebody join the chat. I'm waiting.

  7. I only read the first post. It asked three questions, however, the second sentence wasn't actually a question, it merely had the punctuation that traditionally identifies sentences as questions. So, I will only give two answers. Fortunately, they are the same, so in the interest of efficiency, I will only respond once. No. Life is everything.
  8. It's been cloudy and raining lightly since Saturday here in Charleston. What is this, England? No.

  9. Hey everyone. I'm hanging out. Thought you should know.

  10. Okay I'm glad people are volunteering things they find funny. I can only assume Alfa hasn't heard Mitch Hedberg otherwise he would realize that Hedberg is much funnier than that short story/joke he just posted. By epistemological value judgements, I really just meant value judgements. I seem to remember reading somewhere in Rand's nonfiction something about how man's metaphysical and epistemological beliefs form his value judgements or something along those lines. By value judgements I mean what you judge to be valuable. So do you all laugh at things that you find to be unvaluable, say slapstick or Jackass-style humor? Or do you laugh at things you do value? For me, this would be somebody talented doing something really well and boasting about it, like an Usain Bolt in the 2008 Olympics. I know I'm happy to see someone so successful and often laugh out of joy but perhaps there's also an element of laughing at the untalented, unvaluable people that didn't succeed. Anyone care to explore this thought with me?
  11. The scenario I'm envisioning is basically this: You, your lover, and a terrorist are in a desert. The terrorist has a gun and is going to kill one of you because he's mentally unstable and believes his god told him that one of you had to die. There is no reasoning with him because he's irrational. You can't take the gun from him because you're not close enough and he'll shoot you if you charge him. You can't run because he will shoot you. So would you rather die or let you lover die? I suppose a lot of the decision-making will depend on the exact relationship between yourself and your lover, so you can take your current relationship and apply it to this scenario if you would like. Would you die so the person you are currently in a relationship with could live? Or you can imagine your ideal relationship. Also if you dislike violence you can imagine that your (ideal) lover needs life-saving medical attention, say, a blood-transfusion, and you have the only blood that can save her... I probably shouldn't introduce that because I'll have to think of a whole host of other contingencies but you see I'm trying to imagine an analogous scenario to the terrorist scenario. My thinking is that I would rather die than know I let my (ideal) lover die. That would be too psychologically traumatizing and would make life beyond that choice unbearable. Feel free to request more context. Maybe I'll turn it into short fiction. Edit: I'm disappointed to calculate that seven members have cast blank votes just to see the results.
  12. Tara Smith is coming to speak at the College of Charleston as part of the BB&T Free Market Process Speaker Series Thursday February 24, 2011 at 3 PM. Her presentation is titled "Can Selfishness Be Moral?" I had already planned to attend but just noticed her mentioned on the forums and now am even more excited. Let me know if you have any questions you think I should ask or if you would like me to report what she says.
  13. The reasons that humans can choose between right and wrong is because they are living organisms with free will. The right consists of things that further their life as a human being, and their power of free will allows them this choice. Observe plants. They have no free will, so they cannot choose the wrong (i.e. to die). However, the things that further their lives as plants are right for them (e.g. minerals, water, sunlight). As for frustration, are you saying that it is part of human nature (i.e. that suffering is normal)?
  14. To add to your list of "thriving/surviving irrational people", consider Attila the Hun and Hitler. By slaughtering, enslaving, and sponging off of others, these people become subject to the other's productivity. If everybody stops working, the "leader" dies. Yes, parasitism is possible. But a parasite will never become greater than it's host organism. In other words, if I'm your slave, you will only be successful as me, unless you choose to be productive outside of our relationship. This is all about the degree to which one is rational. Sure, one can be religiously observant (i.e. irrational), but at the end of the day they have to eat, so however they decide to get food on the table is a rational decision (i.e. observing their nature as a man; living morally). Praying for bread doesn't work. You still have to go to the store/market to get it. Stealing food is certainly an immoral method of fulfilling a rational desire, but being able to steal the bread successfully will depend to some extent on rationality. You're asking for proof that someone will die if they are not rational? Thankfully most irrational people retain the meager level of rationality necessary to eat (even cannibals) but there are still some who descend so far into madness that they either kill themselves for no reason or end up in a mental hospital, completely reliant on others (without others they would die). Like I said, parasitism is possible for a limited time, just as living only to satisfy your nutritional requirements is possible. It's irrational to not try to satisfy your desires beyond this point, however.
  15. Yeah I was just using money in my example to set a standard for value. I suppose you can put a price on anything with that in mind. Consider lawsuits involving emotional grief over the loss of a loved one, for example. A family gets millions of dollars because they won't see their father again due to some horrible accident. It makes sense that each person makes an individual choice as to how much he values something and in a rational hierarchy of values things like food would be valued more than time spent eating. And in the case of a lawsuit, it's the plaintiff's responsibility to argue that the loss deserves a remedy from the defendant equal to the value of the loss to the plaintiff. There needs to be a single, definite answer to this question precisely so that I may figure out which route is best for me. I need to know how much my emotional attachment to an object is worth so that I can trade the object without sacrificing my emotions by giving up something that means more emotionally than I was paid for it, or by keeping something when the payment would compensate for the emotional loss. It has certainly become obvious that the term sacrifice is badly misused by the general public (i.e. mainstream media).
  16. I understand addition, but trade doesn't involve identical units like 1+1. It may be your favorite baseball card for a car. Say someone is trying to complete their collection and they need your card, while they also have this car they don't use. The baseball card may only be worth $1,000 dollars at auction and the car is worth $10,000 dollars, so monetarily the trade seems worthwhile, but on the other hand, you've owned the baseball card for twenty years and you don't really need another car. Do you make the trade? I guess one of the underlying principles I'm trying to understand is how much are emotions were consideration? If I've had a car for a really long time, I'm probably emotionally attached to it and that's going to factor in any decision I make about possibly getting rid of it. How much should it factor?
  17. According to man qua man. Man has an identity. This identity must be respected and understood for survival. It includes being rational among the biological necessities. I would but "they" won't let me run those experiments. So instead I'll use reason. Your friend is totally reliant on other people for survival (welfare & unemployment). If for any reason this funding is cut, your friend will find herself in a deep, deep hole. Abyssal-like hole. People have a basic choice. Either live off of one's own productivity, or the productivity of others. Living off of your own productivity is the right choice because it ensures your survival regardless of what other people do. Family and friends is irrational to place at the top of your hierarchy of values because it's an unproductive method of living. To enjoy the company of others is fine, but in the end someone has to provide resources to continue to enjoy this company. If it's one person in a family, he better damn-well be extremely devoted to something productive. See Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged.
  18. I was arguing with someone about relationships and she said that one makes sacrifices for someone they love. I said that they're not sacrifices because you're getting something greater (a loving relationship) than what you trade for it. She maintained that it's still a sacrifice because something was given up. I suppose she actually values what she's trading more than she lets on, and is therefore in a truly sacrificial relationship, or she really does see most actions as sacrifices, like eating, because you have to "sacrifice" time. Another point to consider is how the term sacrifice has been stolen, as I see it, and refers to some heroic action although in most cases these actions are rational trades. Anyway thanks for the answers. By the way, we have three posters and only two votes besides mine in the poll. I'm surprised to find you all have no opinion.
  19. So in a tight spot where time is limited, it is reasonable to rely on intuition, because to check our premises would be to take too much time and miss whatever opportunity? In other words, intuition can be used, but must not be relied upon. Is this what you are saying? I'm interested in the time factor. We don't always have all the time in the world to rationally evaluate all our premises, and each second that ticks by the situation changes.
  20. DancingBear


    Ayn Rand said, "If you exchange a penny for a dollar, it is not a sacrifice; if you exchange a dollar for a penny, it is." So she was saying, if I understand correctly, that trading a lesser value for a greater one is not sacrifice. My question is, if you're still giving something up, isn't that still sacrifice? Because I predict that at least one of you will answer that it is a trade, not a sacrifice, let me define sacrifice. Sacrifice-losing something you value. Trade-giving something you value less for something you value more. I'm not saying trade and sacrifice are mutually exclusive, but how is a trade not sacrifice if you are still losing something you value?
  21. *** Mod's note: merged into an existing topic - sN *** Anybody know what Ayn Rand found humorous and why? What do you all find humorous and why? I'm curious because what someone finds humorous seems to be an indication of epistemological value judgments. Some of the things I see in popular entertainment are entirely not funny, although they are meant to be, although to opposite is also true. Just want to hear someone's ideas on the matter.
  22. Is it unreasonable to think that their is a process of subconscious logical reasoning? In other words, why do all the variables have to be explicitly identified to be sure of logical validity? If you're sure of your premises and intelligence, can't you be confident that you wouldn't think something without having to identify everything that makes it true explicitly? My definition of intuition is the ability to subconsciously make broad connections between concepts before identifying the logical connections between the concepts.
  23. Interesting game. It seems very similar to soccer. I like the idea of multiple teams though. I can't think of any other sport where multiple teams compete at the same time on the same field. If you're still working on this, you should invent your own type of ball. Think about it, all the great sports have their own ball. Basketball, golf ball, hockey puck, etc.
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