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Everything posted by Cole

  1. I think Burgess Laughlin had some good thoughts related to this question that may provide some guidance. What is a central purpose in life?
  2. In addition to Renaissance Exercise, another good resource is the book Body by Science by the brilliant Objectivist physician Doug McGuff (here's its website). The book goes into extensive detail from a med school-based background to prove why Mike Mentzer was right about just about everything. If you want an overview before reading the book, I suggest viewing by McGuff. The topic is nutrition, but he spends a lot of time explaining the principles of HIT (the entire video is worth watching anyway). As far as information regarding the more specific, day-to-day application of HIT training, I recommend Drew Baye. Here is his website, and is a video that summarizes his ideas.
  3. Cole

    Hip Hop

    What do you like about it?
  4. The Law of Causality presupposes existence- it's a description of the nature of the universe. Cause and effect wouldn't exist without existence. Nothing "caused" the universe- matter cannot be created or destroyed. It's a contradiction to say that existence as a whole requires a cause and then conclude that the first cause must, by definition, be something non-existant. Does God exist or not?
  5. Cole

    Rand on Sports

    Tomer Ravid just sounds like a nerd
  6. Which seven? You claimed that defense is what wins championships and then used the Ravens as evidence. That is the claim I was referring to. I don't understand the point you're trying to make here. The 49ers had an amazing Hall of Fame defensive back while they were winning Super Bowls and a great defense in general, therefore...defense must play a bigger part in teams winning NFL championships than offense? You seem to think that my argument is that no championship team has ever had a good defense, or that a better defense doesn't result in winning more games. Not only is this not my argument, but I even made sure I was clear in my last post: "I'm certainly not saying that defense is irrelevant, or that there has never been a championship team that also had the best defense in the league." Let's try it this way: You brought up Ronnie Lott as evidence against my argument here. Quote the claim(s) I made that you think have been disproved now that you've brought up the fact that Ronnie Lott played for the 49ers. I can't help but to get the sense that you're deliberately misunderstanding my points here, since my mention of the 49ers was a very clear and direct quote of your mention of the Ravens- not the Steelers. Re-read the context in which I brought up the 49ers and you'll see that it was in reference to Baltimore. It's dishonest of you to now pretend that you misinterpreted my point to be directed towards something you didn't post until after my original post in question. Again, here is the factual basis of my argument. Which part of that is inaccurate?
  7. That's ironic, because I happen to live in Fresno right across the street from Bulldog Stadium and Trent Dilfer is a local celebrity around these parts. But even nation-wide, the fact that he earned a reputation as the worst QB to ever win a Super Bowl proves that the year was an exception to the rule- not evidence of the rule. I'm not saying the 49ers are the most successful NFL team, I was just questioning why you'd claim that a certain system is the most effective way to win a Super Bowl but then point to only a single championship win as proof. The West Coast Offense is one example of a system that resulted in more Super Bowl wins. You're welcome to mention them, because two examples out of 44 isn't strong evidence that good defense is more important than good offense. I'm certainly not saying that defense is irrelevant, or that there has never been a championship team that also had the best defense in the league. I think it's completely possible to acknowledge that there have been games that were won by the defense without contradicting the fact that looking at all the stats from all the teams over multiple seasons proves offense to generally play a larger part in winning games.
  8. Ask them what? The Ravens have only won one championship. If I'm going to use a single team to determine the most effective way to win NFL championships then I'd rather use a franchise like the 49ers, who built a reputation for dominating Super Bowls using innovative passing plays. A system that won four Super Bowls within eight years and then a fifth just five years later (and has never lost a Super Bowl) seems like a better example of what works in the NFL than a franchise with a only one trophy. Quarterbacks win championships.
  9. There's nothing to debate. Your friend didn't divulge any reasoning behind his conclusions. Ask him which specific parts of Objectivism he disagrees with and why.
  10. I think we can safely assume that the video is longer than just the short clip shown here.
  11. Which conservative are you quoting? My take on the spill is that it is definitely in BP's interest to stop the leak and clean up as much oil as soon and as effectively as possible, but I disagree with the environmental alarmists' claims that the situation is a huge catastrophic disaster. The only people who will come out of this incident truly harmed will be the men who were killed and injured in the initial explosion (yet the media didn't start referring to this story as a "disaster" until well after the explosion, once it became an environmental issue). Anybody who was financially harmed will have an ironclad case against BP, which will undoubtedly be paying settlements well beyond the $75 million federal liability cap. I am interested in hearing the reasoning behind the idea that no clean up effort should be made at all, since it's a position I've never heard advocated up until this point.
  12. This isn't surprising but it's good to see it actually measured. Two economic misunderstandings that seem to be at the core of every liberal's political philosophy are the ideas that it is possible for the government to create jobs by spending money, and that a service being provided by the government would fail to exist if privatized.
  13. I need clarity on what his argument is before I can refute it. In this first sentence he claims that not all voluntary trades are consensual, which would mean he's using a definition of "voluntary" that I'm unaware of. (Merriam-Webster [my emphasis]: "proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent") But then later in the paragraph he argues that the very trades in question are not even voluntary in the first place. Which is it? Those are competitive business practices. None of them impinge upon the freedom of anybody else to start their own company in the same industry. The don't ban entry the way that government does. His intent seems to be to prove that companies will do these things to set prices higher than the market would, but that's not where we're in disagreement. My point is that if a monopoly raises its prices without an increase in the cost of supply and independent of market forces, then this will create huge profit incentive for new suppliers to flood the industry until the prices reach equilibrium. His argument that high start-up costs would eliminate the creation of those new suppliers is unrealistic. These days, investors fund new business endeavors with even the highest start-up costs, as long as they'll make an adequate return on their investment. They find enough profit motive to do so even in these industries where the prices are set by the natural forces of supply and demand. So, in a situation where a monopoly has set prices independent of the market and created profits that greatly exceed supply costs, why wouldn't investors all be eager to get into that field? If the profit of prices set by supply and demand is enough incentive for investors to create new competition, then why wouldn't the even higher profits of prices set by a monopoly create an even higher incentive for investors to create new competition?
  14. Yeah, I don't know how any reputable newspaper could print somebody who's saying that the Right has created the most "uncivil" period in modern US politics during Obama's presidency. It should be so obviously untrue to everyone who reads it, but instead many people seem to think it's fact and even repeat it. (Chomksy's biggest supporters) (The people Chomksy is warning us will turn America into something "more dangerous than Nazi Germany")
  15. Your friend seems to be essentially making the same argument in both #1 and #2- that capitalism would create monopolies and destroy the free market pricing system. The exploitation argument in his first point can be easily refuted, because the trade between employee/employer and supplier/customer are all done voluntarily. Two people simply do not trade with each other voluntarily unless they both think that they will be better off as a result. If an employer offers somebody a paycheck in exchange for the person's time and effort and both people agree to the terms, where specifically is the exploitation occurring? As far as the "capitalism causes monopolies" argument- I've always liked how clearly Alan Greenspan refutes this fallacy in CUI: For example, let's say a cell phone company were to somehow become the only supplier of cell phones in a laissez-faire economy. If this company tried to sell its phones for a price higher than where the price would be set by supply and demand, then those unnaturally high profits would turn the cell phone production industry into a very lucrative endeavor. There would be a huge incentive for entrepreneurs and investors to start cell phone companies, so that they could undercut the monopoly and still make big profits. It wouldn't be long until the industry becomes flooded with new suppliers who respond rationally to selfish incentives, and the market sorts the price problem out like it does in every other situation.
  16. The article begins with discussing the Tea Party, so I'm guessing they are the target of Chomsky's criticisms. Regardless of what you think of their tactics, it's simply not true that the foundation of the Tea Party's ideology is that "illegal immigrants and blacks" are the source of the problem they're protesting against. It's incredible that essentially every criticism I've heard of the Tea Party has focused on the character of the people making the arguments, instead of refuting the arguments themselves. Of all the people who oppose the message of the protesters, there seems to be nobody attempting to give an economic explanation of how more federal spending can possibly be a good thing. The best we get is when some MSNBC reporter goes up to a protestor and smugly points out that Obama hasn't raised taxes. (Which isn't exactly true in the first place. Obama signed the largest tax increase on tobacco in US history.) But merely not raising taxes doesn't mean that the federal government isn't expanding at an alarming rate through other methods, like; nationalizing major corporations, socializing entire insurance industries, massive increases in spending, inflation, etc. Not raising taxes during a time when rampant federal spending has created the largest deficit in history is hardly something to be proud of. Also, I've been hearing the criticism that political discourse in the US has become more uncivil than it's ever been before. Chomsky himself seems to imply in the article that this brand of criticism towards the government is dangerous. Maybe it's because I spent much of my time on a liberal California college campus during most of Bush's presidency, but I'm not seeing any protests from the Right in the US today that even compare to viciousness of the Left's protests against Bush. While the Tea Party protests against the current administration and its policies, they still uphold patriotism and the foundations of America. In the Left's very personal attacks against Bush, they criticized the administration but also many of very principles that the country was founded on. I don't think that arguments against traditional ideas are necessarily wrong just because they're untraditional (they're wrong for other reasons in this case), but I don't understand why people would think that the protests from the Right these days are more "dangerous" than the protests from the Left in the past. It takes an incredible ignorance to claim that that Tea Party protests are more uncivil than the anti-free-trade protests in Seattle. Finally, here is a piece an article by Ron Rosenbaum published on Slate last week with an uncanny resemblance to Chomsky's article: http://www.slate.com/id/2251669
  17. I understand that you're discussing things as they are currently. The point I am trying to get at is; What is the key difference between my hypothetical situation and the current state of America that constitutes an explicit contractual agreement? If it is immoral for one person to assert this type of claim over the property of anybody who moves into a certain geographical area, then at what point does it become moral for a group of people organized into a government to do so? I suspect that your response to this may be that it is not moral for the government to take taxes by force, but it is still condition of living in this country. I agree. But the discussion here is whether or not Americans actively agree to give up their right to property simply by owning it in a certain geographical area. The fact that the government will take taxes from you whether you consent or not does not imply an agreement to have those taxes taken.
  18. I couldn't tell you- I'm the one rejecting that idea.
  19. I know this was asked awhile ago and already responded to, but I'd like to clarify and expand on the answer. Non-objective visual art is art that makes no attempt to recreate anything that exists in reality. Its entire focus is on colors, shapes, brush strokes, etc. Abstract art is art that recreates at least one recognizable object from reality, but does so in an abstracted form; exaggerated shapes, warped outlines, visible brush strokes, etc. Non-objective art is often referred to as "abstract art," but this is a mistake in terms. There must be the representation of a real object in order that object to be abstracted from its real form. This is an example of non-objective art, this is an example of abstract art, and this is an example of good art.
  20. How would you respond to this hypothetical situation: There is an empty house up for sell in a neighborhood. All the neighbors living around the house get together and decide they should be entitled to 50% of the income of whoever purchases the property. If a person moves into the house knowing of the situation, is he obligated to accept their taxation since he knew of the expectation and moved in anyway? Or is it the case that, by geography alone, they never had a right to any of his property in the first place? This example isn't meant to mirror the exact details involved with taxation in America as it is today, but the ethics involved in both cases are the same. I don't think that- as it is today- moving to (or not moving out of) America constitutes an implicit social contract to have taxes taken.
  21. These types of objections to capitalism all stem from the same statist misconception that anything being funded by the government would necessarily cease to exist if privatized. Here are some questions to consider: If there were significant demand for a product or service that was not yet being supplied, wouldn't there also be significant profit incentive for entrepreneurs to start supplying this product or service? If your answer is yes; why wouldn't the free market be capable of supplying the demand for scientific research just as well as it supplies the demand for clothes, cars, and skyscrapers? Wouldn't you agree that there is enough potential profit in the cure for cancer to motivate spending on its research?
  22. I second this. I first read it in high school and it had a huge impact on how I understand economics and government, and ultimately lead to me discovering Ayn Rand. It should be required reading for everybody in government, since it provides a such concise rejection of the popular idea that government is capable of creating jobs.
  23. KendallJ, it is true that consciousness is not limited to the conceptual. Consciousness is the faculty of perceiving that which exists. A newborn child is able to perceive existence without conceptualizing anything, i.e; he can perceive three apples before he can understand the concept of "three". Conceptualization is not necessary to consciousness.
  24. Steve-n, I think this is a worthwhile discussion and I would like to be a part of it. With all due respect, it seems to have gotten a little muddled on both sides of the conversation and I've had a tough time following it. I am hoping that you can clarify your premises for me, so that I may better understand your point. When you say that nature has primacy over reason, in what regard do you mean "primacy"? Do you mean that nature exists independently of reason, but reason does not exist independent of nature? Does "primacy" in this sense mean that knowledge is discovered by applying reason outwardly towards nature, as opposed to applying reason inwardly towards itself? If this is what you mean, then I agree- and so does Objectivism. This is not what is being put forward in the article you originally quoted though. If this is not what you are saying, then what is the relationship that you are using "primacy" to describe, and what specifically does it describe about this relationship?
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