Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by durentu

  1. are the ones performing social experiments essentially collectivists? because the information obtained pertains to society, not reality. Or is it just the fallacy of making these results appear as objective reality?

  2. "don't win arguments, convert people" - harry browne

  3. Well corporations don't exist just like forests don't exist. What does exist is a collection of individuals and trees. Corporations 'exist' because the sovereignty is in the individual. Corporations are an expression of individual activity. Having said that, it's impossible for corporations to shift responsibility because corporations don't exist. Individuals shift responsibility. If the management or owner of a business chooses to shift that responsibility, then it is an individual choice. The shareholders can threaten to remove their investments if they have no confidence in the management. And that's ok too. The real issue about corporation is really about taxing structure, financing and liability. If the corporation fails, share holders do not have the right to go after their personal property or impose debts extending into future generations. It's more of a technical thing, rather than a moral thing. The history of corporations goes way back to kings financing ship voyages, and dealing with loss of property and men. To what extent is the king liable for in damages? In modern times, Each freight or passenger airplane is its own corporation mainly for liability issues. IIRC, those plane or flight numbers are names of corporations.
  4. durentu

    "One's own money"

    the money is yours because you can choose to pay the loan back or not. eg, you can choose to skip a loan payment because of an emergency surgery or something.
  5. That definition of market failure has some major problems because government intervention is completely independent of market system performance. The government can intervene at random, regardless of failure OR success. So let's say that the government was all wise and knowing, and intervened about the plastic containers. Saying that plastic containers are harmful to the environment and cannot be used. For sake of argument, they say that glass or metal containers are suitable. Since glass and metals are far less efficient, and more costly, the companies will have to raise the price of all their products that used to use plastic. This would price the product outside of may people's budgets or hierarchy of values (marginal utility). Then the company ha to contract and forced to lay off thousands of jobs. And now these newly unemployed cannot afford the glass/metal drink anymore. Then a group will start to riot about the price of it, then it comes down to government price controls, which leads ever more into socialism. The point here is that it is incorrect for the government to impose the costs of 'good will' on its people. Just because it's better, doesn't mean it's free. Some one MUST pay for it, and it's usually the ones they are trying to help the most. And since the government is involved, this force is done before anything else. Next is the concept of government responsibility for the environment. At which level is this correct and who is responsible for your back yard? The federal government is not your landscaper. The responsibility of your environment is within the individual. If they don't like it, they can move or work with the plastic companies to solve the problem or start up their own company to compete against plastic containers. But you'll see that environmental issues are a special interest group. And a specific group cannot impose a cost on the others. Many people know that these things can cause problems, but they accept it and more on. Some don't care, but to impose gov intervention on a person's liberty is not what america is about. The only way to solve it is to provide a choice to the people through a business. Not via government laws. Plastic containers aren't perfect, but are the best solution as determined by the market forces. People are concerned about the environment, but you have to let them decide how best to go about it according to their own values. Of course it's not perfect and people will make errors in judgement or whatever, but you must let them make their own mistakes. And perhaps even open dialogue with them to change their perceptions by their own free will, and not by government compulsion. Refuse technology has changed a lot. Take a look into modern landfills, it's not just a pile of garbage you see on charity advertisements. Things are being done by the entrepreneur's free will in hopes to make a profit. If the people want more eco-friendly solutions, the business man will seek that opportunity and will work to make it better, cheaper, than the original plastic. Insofar as it is possible. God cannot give us anything better than plastics, we must do it ourselves. I'm in the front line of this eco-friendly stuff, because I'm a green dry cleaners. I seek out, research and test new stuff every day, and still able to be cheaper than my competitors. Eco friendly will only work if it meets the needs of the buyers. Otherwise, it won't work and intervention will only take away more liberties. We are doing the best we can, that is humanly possible with the available labor force and materials available. And I have to meet, federal, state, county, AND village regulations with paperwork all over the place. DO NOT goto the government for more regulations. Another license fee will put my shop and others like me out of business, despite the fact that my entire industry went through a near 40% reduction. DO NOT raise minimum wages, because I will be forced to close because my customers will not be willing to cover raised labor costs. DO NOT put taxes on foreign non-eco-friendly materials because it will raise my material costs in one way or another. I must be free to find a creative solution to the eco-friendly problems. And creativity and coercion NEVER mix. I try to bring green to the masses, not just for the elites who can afford it. Honestly, If there are more government regulations in regards to more eco-friendly stuff, I will most definitely 'Go Galt'. ok - that's enough from me. lol
  6. the general principle is that the government is a trust between people. Instead of the people using force against each other (eye for an eye), they created a government. This government has a monopoly on coercion as a trust between the people it governs with the understanding that it will not initiate coercion. Ie, it will never throw the first punch. As such, there are 3 basic valid branches of the government (as written by jefferson I forget when). 1. police - to deal with domestic threats 2. military - to deal with foreign threats 3. courts for people to work out their disputes. For pollution, if one citizen effects another directly via pollution, this is basically in the category of the courts. The other issue is about one affecting a third party. This is where the government comes in to do something about it. The basic principle is that pollution affecting a third party is coercion so the government has to step in. (if your factory imposes a higher cleaning bill, or more trips to the doctor, this concept) Once this principle is established, then it's the matter of degree and corrective action. Some cases, it's a tax like gas guzzler cars. In other cases it's a halt and desist, like in the case of soil contamination by old perc-based dry cleaners. They have to literally dig up the entire area and cannot reopen until the contamination is resolved. [[[---]]] In the case of market failures, milton friedman and ludwig von mises, menger and many others who are basically from the austrian school of economics, not the keynsian side, basically have shown that the inefficiencies in the market, from free-market capitalism, have come from government interventions. Entrepreneurs only exist in free societies. If you look into it, the government really only has the power to say 'no'. All this talk about creating jobs is nonsense, because how can one say 'no' in order to create jobs? The power of production, the power of 'yes' is with the entrepreneur. And the business only* has the power of production. A monopoly is impossible unless it gets help from the government. In short, market failures are caused by the government. But you also have to clarify what a failure really is. How does one define failure. In free market economics, there are successes and failures in the context of poorly managed businesses or making a bad call, or making mistakes for which the loss of property and money is the rightful consequence. But to define a market failure, to say that the system of trades between people has failed, or that monetary uses have failed, is simply not correct. Inflation and hyperinflation is nothing more than the government increasing the money supply. This is fact shown in countless countries going back 5000 years. The hedge for this government inflation or fiat money system has always been something objective, basically gold and silver. And to say that the market has failed because all the businesses are going closing up, is also not a market failure because when the policies suck, the trades happen on the black market. This is shown during the prohibition years and today with financials. Instead of people going to the banks for loans (which is near impossible), people are looking for money in their own communities. So, the banks are removed from the picture. Market failure? never happened.
  7. durentu

    Going Galt

    http://www.davidmcelroy.org/?p=1586 http://www.theblaze.com/stories/right-out-of-atlas-shrugged-hear-an-exasperated-alabama-businessman-tell-the-feds-im-just-quitting/ Coal mine operator quits after listening to 2 hours of people's complaints about environmental concerns. “But you can’t get to them,” he said, adding that while there are concerns over dwindling wildlife populations, “people are becoming the endangered species.” [[[---]]] I'd like to request a 'Small Business' forum. Since it seems to me that's where the front lines is.
  8. I'm wondering if the clarification of unalienable and inalienable affects this position. briefly, both words means that which cannot be transferred or assigned. (cannot be given away, cannot be taken away) However, UNalienable has a sense that it cannot be transferred or assigned by rules of nature and reality. (as if it was impossible or meaningless to transfer/assign) INalienable has a sense that it cannot be transferred or assigned by the will of persons. (as if one shouldn't do it, but it is possible.) The declaration of independence did flip flop between these words and I think ended up with unalienable. Does it make a difference here?
  9. I had the same question, but I think I found an answer. The thing with the virtues , rationality, productivity, pride, independence, integrity, honesty, justice are all things that describe how to get from A to B. They are vehicles to the values of reason, purpose, self esteem and ultimately life. The the problem is that these words are timeless. This meaning that it's not firmly set in the past, present or future. So then I thought about the branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, aesthetics. Then I remembered about aesthetics. Something that continually gets looked over. The romantic realism. That thing which describes what could be or should be. The area where one can use their imagination and draw a line into the future. Namely hope. Life is a process and therefore a dynamic thing. But we must have purpose to help us get going. This is basically goal setting and with my relationships, I do put down goals that we both strive for. It can be stupid things like projects or lowering the grocery bill, but at least there is something to work for. These days, it's to how we engage in self destructive behavior and how to become financially independent. It's a worthy goal and certainly possible. With that project, the relationship has a purpose, a goal, but it was volitional. We chose to have that for our relationship and so, we're on the same boat with different oars.
  10. The husband is a moron. The wife (in her mind) must agree with the husband due to 'wifely' obligations. Between food and poison, only death wins. But also, it's interesting to understand why one allows to be a part of something like that for a long time. Indeed, why does one invites destruction into our lives? To put it simply, it is fear. The category of fear here is the fear of scarcity or the fear of loss. The idea that if you turn your back on something good (or perhaps anything) you will not get that thing again. Most of the problems I come across life isn't always a failure in knowledge or being willfully ignorant. The root cause is almost always fear. The fear of death might tempt one to eat the poison fruit. I've looked at my life and discovered how so much of the problems I have today, is indeed the result of fear in some way or another. I do know what is right and wrong, but also need the courage to do it. To overcome the fear and deal with the consequences. To be ruled by fear is indeed a choice towards death. And rooting out all the bad influences in my life was rather difficult, but at least now, I can breath.
  11. I noticed this about my behavior long ago. I know I'm a rather intense person and I probably wont change. But in my relationships I tell them exactly this. "I'm an intense person so if you have a headache from talking/thinking or need a break or whatever, then say so. I'm no a mind reader, so you have to let me know. The conversations can wait" I didn't want to be a bully. That if my gf is having difficulty and takes a break, and then I come after her saying "your premises is incorrect because....." That's just simple coercion that isn't part of my belief system. Also, The priorities have to be kept in check. Which is more important? The debates or the relationship? If the debates win over the relationship every time, then guess what. The relationship is going to tap out. It's the actual living of the values and virtues that makes the relationship work. No so much as in the choosing and debating of them. The debates are great, but makes for a poor hugging partner. Need a human for that.
  12. I really don't see a problem. The differences is not in your values. The differences are in your conclusions. If there are contradictions, then one must check their premises. The common value I see here is the want for a better life and the use of one's mind to arrive at a solution. Talk things about, challenge concepts and premises and go from there. Suppose that the goal is to make a million dollars. After independent analysis and study, one finds that theft with a perfect escape is the best way. Another says that the use of compound interest is the best way. Does that really make one the thief and the other an investor? Not necessarily. The goals are the same, but they way to get there needs examination. And that's a good conversation starter. But so long as the conversation is founded on common things, the rest is like working a math problem. If it gets heated, then a referee might be needed
  13. It's the fallacy of context dropping. The quote of black and white refers to moral judgment and actions, not genetics. The proper context is as follows: "If you believe that murder is wrong, but then you are paid to kill someone from time to time, do you still have integrity or are now a hypocrite?" or "If a court judge is to adjudicate fairly, but takes the occasional bribe, can one really say that being a judge is a grey area ?" "In the compromise between food and poison, only death wins" Can't be an anti-drug activist and do drugs occasionally and claim that it doesn't count. hehe, in the quote, she write "moral bankruptcy", but the reply was about genetics. It's interesting how people just drop important items...
  14. what if you replace volition with instincts? and then replaced instincts with design? When I think about concept formation, I really do think about pattern recognition. Sometimes, venn diagrams, bayesian networks, stochastics. Sometimes genetic/evolutionary algorithms. How does a computer form a concept? Perhaps like in voice recognition? From the phone of the cell phone, there are millions of ways to say "call wife". The common elements are recognized to perhaps, speed dial #1, the other stuff is discarded. is this what you are talking about?
  15. I'd like to clarify that the part of the venus project I love is the architecture and engineering aspects of it. When I first came across the venus project, I didn't understand politics at that time.
  16. This is something I'm recently considering. If I speak my mind, they will get angry. If I speak the truth, they will attack me (verbally mostly). but WHY??.... There's something I realized about human nature and the nature of truth. Human nature is built upon abstractions. There's simply enough not time to evaluate everything nor does everyone have the capacity to question everything (mental capacity, too busy etc). Ignorance is unavoidable. The truth is therefore an inconvenience, a frustration if it contradicts their established set of abstractions (which are probably copied from others via socialization/indoctrination, not critically evaluated). But in the nature of truth, it forces people to change or at least consider change. But what is most offensive about telling the truth is that it shines a bright light upon their own ignorance, evasions, and other things that they are guilty of. It has a certain coercive nature to it. Therefore, telling someone the truth is a cruel thing to do, regardless of the outcomes. Telling the truth by way of a cartoon or a story makes the medicine go down much easier. Storytellers and fables. After telling people the bare naked truth for years, I'm tired of being punched in the face. It's just so very tiring and inefficient. Therefore, I will focus my energies on story telling. Same content, different vehicle. Speaking in stories will at least provide an escape to the listener; they can choose to think that the story is not really about them. An easy way for them to choose to accept the truth or not.
  17. for the past few years, I've been trying to help people who have been depressed, or mentally ill from abuse and all sorts of mental/personality disorders. And I think it's because it about how it's nearly impossible to completely fail in this country. From the pov of survival, one must be diligent in order to survive. To eat and protect one self. But in a country with so much welfare, it's nearly impossible to fail. If you fail in business, there are bail outs. If you fail in life, there are government programs and unemployment insurance. If you have no food, there are food stamps etc. If you need a doctor, hospitals can't turn you away and there are free clinics. But what happens in a world without failure? The answer is essentially stagnation. Leads to boredom, disillusionment, indifference. Why achieve if you know you cannot fail? if you cannot starve? And within welfare, if you achieve anything, it'll be taken from you and given to the ones who are less fortunate than you? Personally, I've been very successful in my youth. I've achieved everything I ever wanted before I was 25. traveling the world, earning national and international honors, worked on super computer projects and other goals. But when I started to work as an employee, my best work was squashed. My best ideas were trivialized and my hard work has out casted me because I made others look bad to management, who don't really care to evaluate correctly. If my prize of achievement is denied to me, why should I achieve? Any psychologist will tell you that this is the road to major depression and people working in poverty, will agree. To road to self esteem, the road to freedom is at the tipping point now. In my neck of the woods (ny), people are being caught for armed robbery of pharmacies for legal psychotropics like oxycodone. because they feel it, they feel that something is terribly wrong, but unlike me, they don't understand why other than the fact that paying bills is almost a pointless endeavor, gradually slipping into serfdom (hayek). The occupy wallstreet folks definitely feel it, though they may not understand it. What does objectivism say about pulling someone out of this mess? Objectivism is almost 2 generations behind and needs to apply the principles to today's world. What's the point of choosing the ultimate value of life, if one thinks that life isn't worth living anymore? After poking around, I was saddened to discover that albert ellis and branden had a bad debate once. But I still think that REBT and objectivism has a great potential to learn from each other. As objectivism states that our emotions flow from our rational thinking, our values. REBT says that we cannot change reality, but we can always change our beliefs or interpretations about that reality that can lead to different consequences. (I think that ellis' 'must-erbation' and rand's 'food vs poison' are at odds.) So, the question becomes - how can we motivate someone to choose life? How can the teachings of objectivism inspire someone to live life fully through reason, purpose and self-esteem? The answer is objectivist aesthetics. The romantic realism. To have objectivist art inspire what the world can be, what the world should be based in reality. One of my favorite examples is star trek. We all have those communicators, it's called cell phones. And currently, there is an x-prize available for the first functional non-invasive handheld medical diagnostic device - the medical tricorder. Another example I love is the venus project. To engineer a world that is quite possible, bring innovation to our lives and radically changing it for the better. But also to meet the challenge of life, not to diminish from it. To see the world degrade into a welfare state, and yet take courage and meet the challenge of one's own life. The keep moving forwards by setting goals, going day by day, small steps if necessary. To say to oneself "for better or worse, it's my life, and I'll die the knowledge that I lived it my way" and to believe it ! Most people I meet haven't really made a choice between life or death. They just flow along with everyone else. But so long as that choice is up in the air, I feel as though I can help. To show them the possibilities for their own life. One of the great things I love about teaching financial stuff is that it bring brightness to their lives. What they thought was a drudgery, now gives them hope for the future. To set goals, meet goals and continue from there. Opening up opportunities that were not possible before, or even dreamed of before. Some just need some encouragement, but essentially, they must make the choice of life or death. Even therapists cannot help them make that choice because it relies on their own will to live. Others are just too far gone and will need to be left alone. And then there are the parasites that will make you dance for them, because they are only looking for attention. Personally, I wished that there was much more star trek stuff. The things that could be, a hope for the future instead of the crap vampire stuff or the bag of dystopia movies that keeps coming out. One thing that does gives me hope is that the current paradigm is dying. But it will lead to a major collapse of financial markets. I feel the dark ages coming on because there isn't a lick of innovation in any of the super bowl commercials (and these are supposed to be the cream of the top). But since life is faster, and with instant information, the dark ages will be much shorter, and the it'll give rise to a new american renaissance. It would be such a dream to live during the golden ages and I hope that I can survive long enough to be a part of that. "You see Maximus, there was a dream that was Rome. you can only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper, it would vanish. It's so fragile, and I fear it may not survive the winter" - Aurelius, gladiator Hope, we do need hope and I believe that objectivism's aesthetics will provide it. To aspire to the opportunities and possibilities. Where are the objectivist arts ? Without something to aspire to, we are only left with the darkness that will fill our minds. anyways, that's my take on it
  • Create New...