Friday, January 15, 2010

Roundup #131

C.August has Objectivist Roundup #131 up at Titanic Deck Chairs. My own contribution wasn't all that flash, but it broke my silence.


My Constitution, Section 31

Section 31 - Classification of nationality

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quick thoughts on subjective value

... I am beginning to think that I had been seriously over-analysing the issue with the theory value, and that my initial inclinations were in fact correct:

- firstly, that, although subjectivism in epistemology strongly tends to trumpet the use of emotion to ascertain truth or value, going so far as to equate subjectivism in epistemology with the use of emotions to that end is a mistake because, a), ulimately intrinsicism does exactly the same thing, and b), that the decision to make a final choice between equally valid objective options by emotion does NOT make such a choice subjective in the philosophical sense of the word (and that saying that this method does make them subjective makes ALL values whatsoever subjective at root, Kantian/Misesean style, because the potential for options is always open at the consumer-good level - and note that it is from these goods that all producer-goods get their own value in turn, hence Mises' Kantian method and disastrous conclusions)

- secondly, that intrinsicism is at heart just as arbitrary and dependent upon personal and social history and people's psychologies as subjectivism is, to the point of being almost indistinguishable from group-oriented subjectivism but for intrinsicism's group being everyone while group-subjectivism allows for a plurality of groups; when people default on reason what they come up with in its stead always comes back to personal psychology and psychoepistemology: remember, emotions are the products of ideas, and do not pop up inexplicably out of nowhere

- and thirdly, because intrinsicism and subjectivism are merely two different methods of arriving at the same core emotion-driven methodology and same rejection of and action in defiance of reason's fullest and proper use, the equation of the primacy-of-emotion with the subjective also has the effect of glossing over the differences in how exactly the emotions are improperly used in any case.

I asked myself the obvious question: if it is being posited that, contrary to my own statements, there are such things as subjective values (in the philosophical sense of the word), would there also be any such thing as intrinsic values? I realised that there were phenomena just as superficially plausible on the intrinsicist side as there were on the subjectivist side. When pushed further they both fell in a heap for the same reason - that consciousness is aware of existence, it has to process the content of that existence, and that there's no getting away from this. I'll explain it better later, but I thus came to the firmer conclusion of a NO on both accounts.

As a result of all this, I am going back to my original conclusion: that really, the primary alternative for values to a being operating on the conceptual level is between objective values on the one hand (including emotion-based choices between options that reason finds to be equally valid) and irrational values on the other. It is then later, after this, that those so inclined may divide irrational values into those arrived at an intrinsicist methodology versus those arrived at by a subjectivist methodology, without implying that the results were actually intrinsic values or subjective values respectively.

The other charge levied against me (and really, the main one) was of denying a role for volition in the creation of values. This too, I reject, mostly because it is claiming too much for what volition does, but again, more later.

I apologise for this being as rough as buggery. I will try to address it better this weekend.


What I have been doing lately

I've been busy at work. We stopped for three days over NY, and then back at work 7am last Monday morning for 12 hour shifts. It's been enjoyable, though.

One of the things I enjoyed doing the most was doing some repairs on a heavy sluice gate. I actually like welding, when I can get the legitimate opportunity to do it. A coworker and I spent a lovely 2 hours reattaching a 3mmx50mmx50mmx2m strip of 316SS angle to the top of the gate, plus some other work. Even though it was hot there was a nice breeze (necessitating the use of sticks rather than tigging it). As well as the sheer fun of the work, the way the sun reflected off the light ripples in the pink water (it's full of red algae) was very pleasing. Even the way that this messed with the autodark function in the welding helmet was amusing, and despite initial missgivings there was no problem with the function when the arc was on so I was at ease all the way through. I wont be posting any photos, though, partly because a secrecy agreement includes a NO PHOTOS stipulation, but also because the sheer ugliness of the weld is too embarrassing - I am not a professional welder and wont be invited to make certified pressure-vessels any time soon. Still, the bash-plate made from the angle ain't going nowhere, I had fun putting it in place, and was dissappointed that there wasn't more welding to do that day.

Another thing I was doing was getting inside the guts of some large machinery to remove the rust with an angle-grinder and flapper discs, prior to it being epoxy-painted. And yes, I had fun doing that, too. I had a choice between doing that and standing outside performing the oh-so-hard task of standing idly by a button while waiting for a truckie to say "that'll do" while pumping materials out and in of an ISO tanker. I opted for the power tools and the opportunity to make the sparks fly for half a day. Yup, I'm male.

Today was kinda mundane, just getting kitted out in food-grade clothing to do a final no-rinse sanitation and putting a spray-drier oven back together. The only powertool I got to play with was a 20-inch drum fan, and that just consisted of plugging the sucker in and turning it on. It did make a lovely din, though.

All that aside, I have had some time to think about more intellectual matters - I'll continue this in the next post...


Am I a teenager?

Here's a site that has that 'mosquito' sound that supposedly only under 25's can hear. (HT: Gus van Horn).
The Teenager Audio Test - Can you hear this sound?

Created by Oatmeal

I am 38 this year and I can hear that sound perfectly well - it's as annoying as all hell, actually. This sound is supposedly used in some shopping centres to keep unwanted youths away. I can tell you that if THAT was being piped to all the centre's PA speakers then they wont be getting a red cent from me as I probably wouldn't make it in the door.

I've long known that my hearing is excellent, and is probably notably above average, given the surprised looks I get from the sound-room clincial techs whenever I get my hearing tested for work purposes. I also recall, from about 1999 or so (ie age 26), going to an interactive science museum place in Brisbane. On one of the floors there was a soundmaker with a frequency dial. For my own edification I pushed it to see how high a pitch I could hear, and I managed to crank it up to a little over 17kHz. Even to this day I can hear the squeal of a CRT (eg TVs, monitors et al, that use old fashioned vacuum technology) - and when people scrape cuttlery over their dinner plates it gets on my nerves something shocking. If I were to hazard a guess, I could probably still hear reasonably well up to the vicinity of 12-15kHz today and without jacking the decibels to ridiculous levels to do so.

Of course, I also look after my hearing - I regularly wear ear muffs or use ear plugs and the like even when others don't bother, and I generally prefer silence (mostly because what's on the radio is absolute CRAP, but also because the sound interferes with my musing in my head). That being said, although 95% of the time I like my silence I am not averse to cranking up the volume on the work CD stacker once in a blue moon (ie when I have the place to myself and I wont disturb anyone else) to a level beyond what other people thinks is sane. Hell, sometimes the only thing that stops me from cranking it louder is that the window panes rattle a bit too much for comfort. Well, hey, there you have it - I am indeed a kid...


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Constitution, Section 25

Section 25 - Issue and execution of warrants

Note: I added in a new clause 1.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Roundup #129

I've been remiss in not posting the anouncements of the roundups being on. I wont miss them again.

The latest is over at Rational Jenn's place, where the theme is the best of 2009 (I had nothing to offer before Wednesday, so I am not in this round). Go enjoy!



I saw it (in 2D) last Tuesday, and I've now got the time to do a quick response.