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Posts posted by Nxixcxk

  1. In the last couple of years or so, I have noticed the price of eggs to jump by about 300%. Other edible commodities seem to be following similar suit, yet when I checked the CPI (http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?ap) for eggs 2006/07, eggs have only increased by about 128%. Obviously prices vary geographically and what not, but there is a huge difference b/t 128 and 300%.

    Can someone explain why this might be so?

    Also, if you check the inflation calculator on this site (http://www.bls.gov/cpi/), you'll see that $1 in 2000 was worth $1.23 in 2008. That can't be right. Is that calculator solely taking into account inflation alone (maybe then I could believe the comparison)? Does that mean that $1 in 2000 had the same buying power as $1.23 does now?

    One more question out of pure curiousity, do those of you who have jobs demand an increase in salary every year proportional to the decrease in the buying power of the dollar?

  2. I should have clarified, but when I said "memorized" I was thinking more along the lines of an extemporaneous speech--a speech where the speaker either has a note card or a piece of paper left on the podium showing the speaker's general skeletal outline.

    And with "encourage a feeling of interaction," I meant that the speaker would cater and mend his delivery based on the audience's responses. . .so if the audience seemed bored or non-responsive, he might throw in a joke or something.

    With the speakers at AynRand.org, I usually find the delivery monotonous (the Q&As are always a treat though). The content is great and logically organized, but the delivery isn't very stimulating. If any of you have watched Tara Smith's recent lecture on "Justice," you may know what I mean. Her speech was informative, but from a speaker's perspective, if what a speaker wants to do is inform her audience of Justice, she must first have their attention.

    Professional motivational speakers I've seen have an upbeat delivery while conveying an important message through extemporaneous speaking, and it just seems to me that even an informative speech on Justice would be better presented by that method.

  3. My public speaking professor suggests that all speakers memorize their speech to encourage a feeling of interaction b/t speaker and audience. I agree with her, and am wondering why the speakers from AynRand.org don't memorize their speeches (I've viewed around seven total). Although philosophy and politics is highly abstract, I don't think that precludes the speakers from memorizing their speech. Thoughts?

  4. Why would morality demand that a man be free to voice his opinion, especially in regards to irrationality? This question was prompted after hearing a speech given by Dr. Yaron Brook--he said that "you cannot enforce and should not enforce moral standards (because then it becomes an issue of who's moral standard)." But if we have the correct moral standard, why not enforce it?

  5. What is a statue?
    Ahh. . .so that's why, that extra "t" can mean a whole lot. I kept wondering, "Why would they have so many laws involving action where action is not possible!?" :P
  6. What is the meaning of this sentence? Do you mean, "if you're alive, you can be evil, or you can be good"? That's a truism, a tautology; it doesn't really require a response. It's a little obvious: this is why men NEED a code to guide their actions.


    Aids would be a value IF you act to gain or keep it. If it is something you attempt to get for yourself and not get rid of, then it is a value to you.

    And that doens't seem odd to you? I usually associate the word "value" with something that truly has a benefit to my life. So to me, saying there are "good values" is just redundant. And saying there are "bad values" is contradictory.

    And yes, David, good point about the definition of morality. The reason I asked my question was because I was discussing ethics with a Christian, who then asked, "but what if I don't accept your definition of morality. What if I think morality is whatever God chooses it to be?" Which made me wonder if the truthfulness of a moral code was based on its definition. But of course, if someone says morality is merely right and wrong--then fine, but by what standard?

  7. The only sure thing in life is death, and when you die you lose any capacity for anything, so staying alive becomes the ultimate goal.

    What if someone argues that life also allows for evil, just like it allows for good. How would you respond?

    Taking that a step further, what keeps you alive becomes the standard of value since without life you can have no other values.

    I don't think this is correct. What keeps me alive is my ability to recognize my biological needs, and then my ability to fulfil them. So what keeps me alive is thought(choice)+action. Those abilities, however, are not the standard of value--they aren't that which all my actions and choices are measured by.

    Life itself is not the standard but the goal. The means of survival, or what keeps you alive, is the standard, which in man's case is reason.

    I don't see how reason is the standard of value. But I do see how life could be the standard of value and at the same time the existential goal.

    Morality is identified as a "code to guide man's actions" because that is what it is. Even if it comes from God it is still a "code to guide man's actions, delivered from God."

    That's a redundant explanation. Why is morality defined as such? My first thought is that first we discover that we need values, then from there, we say, "Ok, now that we know we need values, which values should we accept?" Once we figure out the answer to that question, we've come up with a noncontradictory code of values. Thoughts?

    I'd say the first question would be: What is a value? Because until you understand what a value is, you can't understand if anything is of value to anyone.

    And how do you discover what a value is? Miss Rand defined value as "that which one acts to gain or keep." I'm not entirely sure how she came about that definition, as it seems subjective to me. I can act to gain or keep AIDS, but I don't see how that would perforce make AIDS a value. If value is only possible where life exists, then only "things" upholding or further life seem to be of value.

    I await your further responses ;)

  8. I know my topic has been somewhat touched on before, but here it is anyway.

    Morality, as defined by Ayn Rand (I don't have my VOS with me, but I think this is verbatim), is "A code of values used to guide man's choices and actions."

    Why is morality defined as such? Some people might say, "Morality is whatever God has willed," or "Morality is right and wrong."

    I don't understand why morality is defined as she defines it. Obviously, to the non-Objectivist definitions of morality, one is apt to ask, "By what standard?" If we ask that same question of the Objectivist Ethics, I know the answer is, "Life." So Ayn Rand goes on to show that life is the only proper standard of morality. Yet for some reason I have a hard time grasping why this is so. . .


    Please check my logic on the following:

    If morality is a code of values used to guide man's choices and actions, the first question that must be asked is, "Do humans need values at all?" The reason this is the first question to ask is because if humans don't need values, then they don't need morality--morality wouldn't exist.

    We quickly find out that humans do need values in order to survive--we have to pursue values in order to live (does this make life 'good'? it seems like the concept "good" is inapplicable to life--since life is a precondition of good). Because we are constantly faced with the alternative of life and death, the concept value arises. If we weren't faced with this alternative, values would be inapplicable to our existence.

    So, why is life the standard of morality--why is life that which all choices and actions should seek to uphold? Because without life, value is not possible.

    Is my understanding correct? If it is. . .then it seems like we are making life the standard of value for the sake of allowing values to exist. (which seems weird and at first-glance counterintuitive)

    Also, it's obvious we need values in order to survive, but is striving for the sustaining and furthering of one's life outside the realm of morality? In other words, is it logical to ask the question, "Is life good?"

  9. I wasn't suggesting that a good intention had any merit on determining the correctness of an idea. . .but I do prefer a bad idea with a good intention than I do a bad idea with a bad intention ;)

    And yes, I've read that article many times by Rand. The difficult part of finding out whether I should voice my opinion is if I think my voice is being implicitly solicited or not.

    For instance: pretend you are on a public train and there are two people sitting next to you having a conversation. One of them says, "I tell you (to his conversational buddy), what we need to do is raise taxes on the rich. They've got plenty of money while I'm sitting here working my butt off and getting taxed more."

    Should I voice my opinion? Usually, with a welcoming smile, I would interrupt and sarcastically say, "Yeah, not a bad idea, who needs intelligence and freedom anyway?"

    Although my opinion isn't being explicitly solicted by this man, I figure that since we are on a public train and I could easily hear his comment, there's nothing wrong with me voicing it. ( I remember in Rand's article she said something like: "voice your opinion if you think your silence grants weight to evil.")


  10. But, I'll admit from time to time I do take discussions in a kind of philosophical direction when probably I shouldn't with people I probably shouldn't. Failing to take your audience's context into consideration is a bad flaw for any communicator. Note to self: something to work on!

    My same problem. I'm working on a system of self-monitoring--it seems to be helping lol. . .it's just so hard not to speak up when I hear someone in public make a comment that is communistic in nature. I usually look at them incredulously, and sometimes with a tint of indignation (which probably isn't good). So now, before I speak, I try and remind myself, "OK, this person's intentions are probably good; it's just her perspective that is a little off. . ."

  11. I read some of Nijushi's remarks. Just because a man cannot help committing a crime, does not mean he won't be put in prison. If the act of bestiality is somehow infringing on others' rights, then the actor must be detained.

    Nijushi talks about cases where animals are raped. But I don't see how the concept "rape" is applicable to an animal. Animals don't have choice, and to rape 'something' is to have sex with 'something' that hasn't consented.

    He also claims that certain sexual orientations should be accepted because people cannot help their orientation. Obviously if some people are "irreversibly" attracted to children, we shouldn't allow them to indulge in their sexual fantasies.

    Then he sites a study showing that homosexual fruit flies are gay b/c of their genetic makeup--did the researches expect something different, other than genetics? :D

    Assuming the essential question is, should bestiality be legal?, I don't see why not. Although I find it particularly disgusting, especially when the human is on the receiving end and the elephant is on the giving, I can't find how that would violate the rights of others.

    Happy Hunting :)

  12. “But grades should not be absolute. That is to say, one should not be graded strictly on performance but rather on performance in relation to other students in the class.”

    In making this assertion, Ostrovsky ignores one key function of grades, that is, to measure a student’s mastery of the material. When grades are assigned merely as a measure of comparison among students, then how does one measure mastery of the material?

    So Olex I'm assuming you believe grades cannot measure the mastery of the material when they are graded by a curve.

    The article makes me wonder how we do judge "mastery" of anything. Am I a master at something because I am better than everyone else, or am I am master at something because whatever that something is, I perform it with near perfection? I guess the answer to those questions is, "It depends what you want to abstract and for what purpose."

    I still think curving grades has its merits. Isn't our market (the professor), generally speaking, that which rewards (grades) based on performance in relation to other businesses (students) within the same market?


  13. Reversi/Othello--extremely simplistic yet involves a lot of strategy. Games.yahoo.com/rv is where you can find play it online; you'd probably have to order off a special site if you wanted the boards/pieces.

    ps. . .if anyone plays reversi, either 5mins or 1min with 0 increment, I'd love to play you sometime :)

  14. My favorite card game to play is War (just kidding). I like to play spoons, where there's only 4 spoons in the middle and five players, and once two cards come up of the same value, everyone tries to grab a spoon. It's not intellectually challenging, but man it can be a great adrenaline rush.

    There's also a another card game where you move these pegs around a board after you've scroed. . .and when you score you count out "fifteen-two, fifteen-four, fifteen-eight, etc.". . .it's really fun I just can't remember the name of it :)

  15. I (and a lot of others) understand where you're coming from, both on motivating oneself and on school sucking. I hated HS by its end, and expected college to be intellectual ninja school shuriken.gif filled with people who want to push their minds to the furthest, a greenhouse where I'd meet d'Anconias and fall asleep discussing philosophical and scientific minutiae with men who were (or at the least wanted to be) of the highest mind.

    LOL!! hahah "intellectual ninja school" that was awesome. Hunter, you're my idol :D (I too shared your vision of college)

    Olex, I'm curious how "curving grades" amounts to judging them by some "predetermined standard." Unless the predetermined standard is that which sets the highest student score as 100%, I'm confused at what curving grades is.

    Nor do I see what's so bad about curving grades, assuming the class doesn't conspire before the test. It's my understanding that to curve the grades means to base them off of what the highest student scored. If no one is scoring well, then there is reason to suspect the teacher isn't doing her job. (p.s. I do consider it in the teacher's job to motivate her students. I have this loving philosophy teacher, who, at the start of the first class of the semester, gives a lecture for why one ought to take the class he's teaching)

    I got a 3.8 this semester, a whole point up from last semester :) ! I took fifteen credits, but man did I work my ass off--and even though some of my classes probably won't have direct relevance to my eventual job, I enjoyed finding correlations between the "useless" stuff I was studying and various philosophical principles.

  16. Yes David, the toxic waste example you gave was much more appropriate. That was just the illustration I was hoping to create. I thought using a "child" was better because the child had absolutely no way of rationally understanding what he was doing, but obviously it just made things more muddled.

    Its the same with vietnam. They strapped explosives to vets and had them walk toward our troops. Where is the value? The troops? The boy that will die anyway? No question here. Shoot the kid. It may be sad, but it saves lives.

    I remember hearing a talk given by Yaron Brook some years back about how it was necessary to shoot children during war-like situations simply because there was no better alternative. A man attending the lecture would not accept this, and kept rationalizing his position by trying to appeal to the emotions of Dr. Brook. "But how can you shoot a child!?" He would ask in a sympathetic and passionate voice.

    When he said that, I laughed. I pictured Bin Laden surrounding himself with babies while taking out America singlehandedly with an ozzi. --!We cannot kill Bin Laden, for he is surrounded by babies!-- as thousands upon thousands of Americans die.

    That man's response, however, was a great example of the pervasive altruistic mentality. I know that I, for one, will not die for the sake of ten babies :lol:

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