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Everything posted by McGroarty

  1. Unfortunately, the Ayn Rand Bookstore no longer has "Ideas and revolution - Locke and America, Rousseau and France" from John Ridpath. I'm looking to buy a CD copy, or I'd gladly lease yours.
  2. I have just listed 22 lectures, mostly cassettes, some CDs and one DVD. You can browse my auctions here: http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/mcgroarty Four Giants of Philosophy; Andrew Bernstein Objectivism Law in Ancient Greece and Rome; John Lewis; Objectivism Ideas and the Fall of Rome; John Lewis; Objectivism Ayn Rand's Fictional Characters I - Andrew Bernstein How to be an Impassioned Valuer - Andrew Bernstein Heroism in Modern American Literature- Andrew Bernstein Achilles, the Tortoise and the Objectivity of Math Objectivism for Beginners: Refresher - Andrew Bernstein The Philosophy of Romantic Fiction - Andrew Bernstein Understanding Objectivism - Leonard Peikoff Advanced Seminars on Objectivism - I - Leonard Peikoff Advanced Seminars on Objectivism - II - Leonard Peikoff Friedrich Nietzsche: His Thought, Influence on Ayn Rand Induction in Physics and Philosophy - Leonard Peikoff Primacy of Consciousness vs the Objectivist Ethics Principles of Grammar - Leonard Peikoff Creationism Camouflage: "Intelligent Design" Deception Mind vs Collectivism in Ayn Rand's Novels - Bernstein Villainy: The Nature of Evil - Andrew Bernstein Kantianism vs Objectivism in The Fountainhead Philosophic Basis of a Woman's Right to Abortion How to Spread Objectivism
  3. Here are a few notes about how to use Phil Oliver's fantastic Objectivism Research CD-ROM under Mac and Linux. Firstly, the CD is here. If you're new to the forum and are thinking about asking to bum a copy here, consider reading the patents and copyrights essay in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal first: http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AR66M Carrying on, if you're using VMWare or Virtual PC for Windows compatibility already, you can use the CDless Windows instructions here. Ignore the rest of this message and pretend you're doing a traditional Windows install. If you have a PowerPC or Gx Mac, this is your only choice: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...ost&p=63170 If you have an Intel compatible machine running a UNIX, including Mac, Linux or *BSD, you can use Wine or Crossover Office. Wine is available from most UNIX distributions' package repositories, and instructions for obtaining the Mac version are here: http://wiki.winehq.org/MacOSX/Installing The nitty gritty: - I'm assuming WINE is configured. Run winecfg and visit the preferences there if it hasn't been. - Insert your Objectivism Research CD-ROM - wine /media/cdrom0/setup.exe (change to match your cdrom path) - Run the installer, let it finish, exit - cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Oliver\ Computing/The\ Objectivism\ Research\ CDROM/ - mkdir cdrom - cp -r /media/cdrom0/* cdrom/ - wine ui_mv32.exe - Ignore any errors and exit - wine regedit - Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTARE\OliverComputing\Obj_CDROM_100\password - Change the key to your CD serial number, all lowercase, with no spaces or punctuation - just the long string of numbers and letters - Create this script file: #!/bin/sh cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Oliver\ Computing/The\ Objectivism\ Research\ CDROM wine ui_mv32.exe 'C:\Program Files\Oliver Computing\The Objectivism Research CDROM\cdrom' You can now create an icon shortcut to this script file and launch the ORCD at any time under Mac and Linux. No CD needed. Congratulations! You've just reduced your reliance on a specific OS. Compelling OS vendors to compete on innovation instead of legacy is a wonderful thing. Of note - the above work just fine with a 64 bit Intel install as well, provided you have 32 bit compatibility libraries installed. With Ubuntu or Debian, these should be installed automatically as WINE dependencies. I'll assume other unices' packaging is similar.
  4. Fill the retirement community with retirees who have turned to Objectivist study in their newfound free time, and it sounds like quite a learning community indeed. Imagine a student having wise old neighbors with a lifetime of experience, all the free time in the world, and sincere interest in sharing his studies.
  5. I spent some time comparing half a dozen online rental services with a friend, who is developing a similar service for a different type of media. I last logged into Blockbuster about six months ago, so some of my observations may be outdated. Netflix has a few advantages over Blockbuster. Netflix has a larger and much more varied selection than Blockbuster. When adding or reviewing movies, Netflix offers better-tailored recommendations for similar movies. As best I can tell, Blockbuster makes recommendations based on other movies with the same actor or within the same genre and time period, while Netflix finds related movies enjoyed by other viewers with similar rental histories. Netflix also has faster turn around times, getting movies to me one or two days faster than Blockbuster, though both have shipping centers in my city. Netflix has been aggressive in adding new features, while Blockbuster hasn't changed significantly since its launch. For example, Netflix now allows users to add each other as friends and to compare movie ratings, rental histories, and to exchange one-line notes (mini reviews) about films. Netflix also provides RSS feeds for queues, top rentals in various genres, and tailored recommendations. These feeds have resulted in free advertising as users add those lists to their homepages, and for users with news aggregators the service remains more a part of daily life. Blockbuster's neighborhood stores might be an advantage if they were better-integrated with the online service. Right now however, you can't return your DVD at Blockbuster to speed up shipment of your next DVD, your store rental history isn't merged with the online rental history, you can't use spaces in your rental queue as credits for local rentals, and you can't even view your online queue or recommendations from within the store. Other than the easily recognized logo and some local store rental coupons offered to online members, there's no tie-in. There's a lot of potential there, but for whatever reason Blockbuster has been slow-moving. Perhaps they're worried about the online store cannibalizing the local stores and want to focus on new customers only?
  6. I'll agree with the above. Objectivism has helped in in other ways, too. One way is understanding much more of the world around me, and in finding ways to anticipate and work around others' irrational behavior. Another is in learning to prioritize what's really important to me, and to appreciate my successes based on the pursuit of my own values, not others' recognition or expectations. Through the above, for the last couple of years I've been almost continuously happy and satisfied. For most of my life prior to this, I'd been a fairly unhappy person.
  7. I make video games, and have seen a number of different methods for games using mouse or stylus gestures. The way many most games work is to normalize the path so it perfectly fits a 3x3 grid, like a Tic-Tac-Toe board. Then, look at the order that the path visits an inner portion of each division (the whole division isn't used so that diagonals don't have to cross exactly on corners). There are also some restriction as to how much the path will be scaled, so strict vertical or horizontal lines would just cover the center column or row. Taking the above, if the divisions are numbered like this... 123 456 789 ...then 456 would be a left-to-right stroke, 14789 would be an L, 2684 a clockwise O, and so on. If it's assumed that every input is a valid gesture (for example if there's a click and relese or a pen down and pen up surrounding the gesture), some extra code can be added to allow for slop, such as the O starting somewhere other than at the top, corners being visited when going from top to side, or the L being drawn from the lower-right instead of the top-left. The above method is good because it requires very little math, and can be executed in a frame even on a processor as slow as what's in the Nintendo DS. Handwriting systems are much more complex, and usually work with a combination of systems. The above is often used, as is a system breaking strokes down into splines and comparing them against a database of common strokes, or perhaps something like Ifat and softwareNerd found.
  8. Ha! Replying to my own year-old comment. A bit more help for anyone having problems. If you get an error about a missing license file, run with the original link and the CD in the drive and do any search. On the first search, the program builds a database from the CD. Once this is done, you're set for good. If you've already been using the program off CD for a while, you'll never have this problem. I can't say enough about the value of this CD. Even having all of these materials in printed form, the program is so convenient that I've looked up dozens of things that I'd never have otherwise pursued, and I've learned so much as a result. I promise that your experience will be the same! I'm selfishly pushing this program on friends (and you!) because I'm desperately eager for a new version covering even more Objectivist resources. The best way I know to make that happen is to get folks to keep tossing money at Phil Oliver and anyone stocking the disc.
  9. The essential difference between GPUs and CPUs is that GPUs are massively parallel. They derive their benefit from being able to take a set of instructions and replicate them over large tables of data: take all the vectors from this table, perform a calculation against another common vector, multiply the result by the data in a second table, and deposit the result in a third. This is implemented cheaply by having an array of inexpensive and inflexible computation units working in parallel under a single control unit. When computation unit 1 is operating on the 1st element in each of the above tables, unit 2 is working on the second, and so on through 8, 16, 32, or more parallel units. The units can only operate in tandem, performing the same operation on sequential data. Normal computer programs spend little time moving large amounts of data around. Most time is spent making decisions affecting program flow, where mass parallelism doesn't offer any advantage. Further, the result of each step in a general purpose program usually relies on the result of a very recent previous step, again thwarting parallelism: unit 1 can't operate in parallel with unit 2 if unit 2 can't start until it has the output from unit 1. That said, most modern CPUs do have a small selection of GPU-like instructions. These are called SIMD extensions (Single Instruction, Multiple Data), and are usually known by the name of their specific implementations. MMX on Pentiums, Altivec on PowerPC processors. But these extensions remain unusued for virtually all of a computer's everyday tasks. Programmers only employ them for things like Photoshop filters and graphics tasks ini games if a GPU isn't present.
  10. Phil Hendrie is still on the air. If your station dumped him, you can subscribe to listen via his website. Listening to the callers' reactions is generally priceless and tells you a lot about how some folks think. I won't spoil it for others with more detail. Sean Hannity is frustrating. Now and then he pulls out something really instructive or insightful, and living in the best damned country there is, I appreciate the strong patriotism. It's refreshing to hear someone who isn't criticizing the country non-stop. But the problem is that whenever he gets a guest with opposing views he pretty much just acts like a bully, letting them state their views without contest, instead attacking character and odd details while letting glaringly bad points stand. It's no wonder he gets so many big name guests on the show. As a guest, you either get your boots licked, or you get to be a hero for standing up to a big name conservative without having to do the work of standing up for your ideas.
  11. I'm holding out for Condi/Bolton '08. If only so I can see moveon.org go: :dough:
  12. A few people have messaged me, saying they'd had problems with the above instructions. The missing step is that you need to run the program once with the regular link to register and agree to the license. After that, you can run without the CD.
  13. Why? "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" -- Hillary Clinton, 2004
  14. Giuliani is an active gun control proponent. This tells me there's something fundamentally wrong with his view of the individual. I'm staying home if I'm choosing between Hillary and Rudolph in '08.
  15. Somewhere out there, I'm told there's a photo of Miss Rand looking on approvingly as Greenspan and Nixon are shaking hands. Myself, I'd love to find that for my wallpaper!
  16. I wonder how many people missed the chance to chat with Miss Rand owing to a bias against smokers.
  17. I recently enjoyed Samurai Champloo, created by at least two of the Cowboy Bebop writers. When Japan is no longer in civil war, there are few masters worth serving and so one samurai sets off to live only for himself. He meets up with a thuggish character with a similar philosophy and the two are arrested for dueling each other, wrecking a business, and injuring a government official's corrupt son in the process. A young girl saves the two from execution in exchange for a promise to put off their duel and help her find her father -- "a samurai who smells like sunflowers." Although the story is set in Japan of long ago, it borrows some artistic styling and lots of musical styling from hip hop culture. Described, that's a bit of a turn off for me, but in execution it works just as well as Bebop's Sci-Fi/Jazz fusion. There are 26 episodes, and only two were wasted on actual hip hop story themes. The remaining 24 are fun and touching. There's nothing intellectually challenging here, but there is some depth to the story that unfolds as the characters make their journey. The characters are better developed than in most anime, and you'll become attached to all three of the main characters as well as many of the side characters who share their world.
  18. I hereby give up on talk radio.
  19. You may have capitalized the acronyms. The forum software tries to be too helpful at times and will tweak what the programmer thought would be ALL-CAPS SHOUTING. Your question's been discussed a few times, often at great length. I think this was the most recent. Searching for Kelly (head of TOC) will turn up many more threads.
  20. Bush appointed John Bolton as ambassador to the UN. Criticism has been fast and fierce, proclaiming him as a bully and a lousy diplomat. The hubbub is amusing for sure, but I'm not clear on whether or not Bolton is a good choice. For me, the criticisms of his appointment raise the questions of whether Bolton is intended to be a diplomat, and what purpose a US diplomat serves in the UN. I understand only two roles for political diplomats. The first is to negotiate a favorable deal where one would is unlikely by default. The second is to help market a deal being made. Are there more roles? The first role is important when one has the weak bargaining position. The weak party needs diplomacy to get its way, but it doesn't take much charisma or manipulation for the US to say "no" loudly and repeatedly. If the US holds the upper hand militarily and economically, is there still an important role for US diplomatic bargaining in the UN? The second role is important on the losing end of an undesireable deal. I don't anticipate the US making new uranium deals with North Korea or Iran under the current administration. I'm not sure what else would be a hard sell internally. When a smaller country has to swallow a deal it didn't want, having the US ambassador cozy up and congratulate the small country and its ambassador for random things might smooth things politically. It might make a loss easier to swallow, but is this really the only role people are worried about Bolton failing?
  21. Here in Chicago, there are fast food positions available that pay $9/hr, and which generally include some or all of: child care, health insurance, and a retirement plan. These positions remain open despite a large welfare population, as trading welfare for a job means giving up $12-15k/year in benefits for an $18k/year job. Welfare creates a large opportunity cost. Meanwhile, the city does all it can to shelter illegal immigrants who are not eligible for welfare and who snap up every undocumented job offered. With the money they earn, the illegals manage to rent houses and apartments while still sending extra money back home to Mexico. In my neighborhood, they look to be enjoying a better quality of life than the people in the public aid housing projects. The jobs are there, and there's enough competition for the workers that these guys not only earn an attractive wage, but do all they can to smuggle in more and more friends and family. Would eliminating welfare result in more homelessness? Around here, the only ones suffering would be the ones who don't snap up the opportunities already being dumped before them every block or two.
  22. The movie was written to reinforce existing bias against fast food/McDonald's. On camera, the star force-fed himself to the point where he vomited early on. Mid-film, he announced that whenever he was offered a super sized portion, he'd accept and make himself eat it despite his small stature. This isn't the outcome of a McDonald's diet. At best, it's a study of pathological overeating.
  23. The movie index is definitely something you could build within the Wiki. The Wiki will let you create lists of links back to the forum. As far as finding all the movie threads goes, I would bet searches on "movie" and "film" would turn up most everything relevant in the forum's history.
  24. The image bullet links are broken. They don't have a / between the host name and the path.
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