Thursday, April 28, 2011

A simple connection

Of course *palm-forehead-smack*! I just realised - leftists look at the world of business and think it is a larger version of their tiresomely cliche` view of the schoolyard as seen in movies: brainless jocks at the top of the pecking order hoarding all the resources for their own interests, always bashing down the weaker but smarter kids, teachers/politicians dealing with insufficient funding unless they work in relation to the jocks' interests, etc etc etc. Heck, there's even at least one whiny song I know of explicitly about it - Simple Plan's "High School never ends".

Update: second *palm-forehead-smack*... the Comprachicos. Simple Plan don't know the half of it.

These movies and song etc are of course of the creations of other leftists, working from previous incarnations of the same mentality that set their premisses, and they so experience an echo-chamber that acts as psychological and psychepistemological reinforcement. That's the same lunatic mentality seen when they prattled on about how that the fake military letter about Bush at the heart of Rathergate was something that "bespeaks a truth" or whatever that commentary was even after the fakeness was demonstrated.

Question: is there any connection of the above to the hateful reaction to the Atlas Shrugged movie (which I haven't seen) that is more than just about the sociopolitical content? Specifically, I am wondering if they instinctively realise that the Altas Shrugged movie - however poor it may or may not be as a stand-alone piece of art - could hinder that echo-chamber mechanism at the unspoken psychoepistemological level. I am not in any position to find out, at present. This question must therefore one more thing for others, more immersed in concretes than I, to follow up on if they judge fit.


Objectivism Round-up 198

Welcome to the 28th April 2011 edition of the Objectivism Round-up, number 198!

It was ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand on Monday, and so I had occasion to review Miss Rand's words to the cadets at West Point in March 1974, reprinted as the title essay in "Philosophy: who needs it" :
The army of a free country has a great responsibility: the right to use force, but not as an instrument of compulsion and brute conquest - as the armies of other countries have done in their histories - only as an instrument of a free nation's self-defense, which means: the defense of man's individual rights. The principle of using force only in retaliation against those who initiate its use, is the principle of subordinating might to right. The highest integrity and sense of honor are required for such a task.

All those in armed service who have lived up to that, thank you. What you helped make possible was a world in which we could write and publish as we have done - but, as some of these entries show, what was won is steadily being lost. The philosophic fight is still being waged. And with that, on to the Roundup (and thanks to C August for pointing out the lack of submitters' additional commentary):

Roderick Fitts presents Induction and Reduction of “Values as Objective” posted at Inductive Quest, saying, "A reduction and induction of (most) of the steps Rand used to reach her theory that values are not intrinsic or subjective, but objective."

Roderick Fitts presents Induction of "The Arbitrary as Neither True Nor False" posted at Inductive Quest, saying, "My essay on inducing the principle that the arbitrary is not true or false, but noise that can't be processed cognitively. I also discuss how one should treat the arbitrary, and what to do with cases of "arbitrary claims with possible evidence.""

Jared Rhoads presents Twead #11: Reforming America's Healthcare System posted at The Lucidicus Project, saying, "This book is a nice collection of nine brief chapters by nine different health policy experts. Here are some notes and quotes."

Opus Dei presents Anti-social indeed! posted at Ayn and Self..., saying, "Batman is the perfect allegorical character of the 'anti-social' - the banned phantom of the Dark. And I always had him in mind whenever I turned the pages of 'The Fountainhead'. Howard Roark, the man who made possible the Enright House, the Stoggard Temple, the Cortland Homes, the Gail Wynand Building, the man who was one among the greats who contributed the most to society - that man was 'anti-social' indeed (pun intended)!"

Burgess Laughlin presents "Koran Reading Group" begins May 10 posted at The Main Event, saying, "The upcoming Koran Reading Group is a rare opportunity for serious students of history and dedicated pro-reason activists to study one of the most influential mystical texts of our time."

Ron Pisaturo presents Read Atlas Shrugged posted at Ron Pisaturo's Blog, saying, "Here is my way of describing the novel, while withholding spoilers, to those who have not yet read it.

[I neglected to submit this post last week. I hope it's okay to submit it now.]"

John Drake presents How to do Abstract Integrative Reading posted at Try Reason!, saying, "In this post, I summarize a chapter from Ed Locke's Study Methods & Motivation. I also develop a technique for application in my reading and in my teaching."

John McVey presents Lest We Forget posted at John J McVey, saying, "To the men and women in all branches of legitimate armed service, uniformed and not, who have taken an oath such that I may sleep soundly at night: thank you."

Edward Cline presents Off With Their Heads: Islamic “Lawfare” posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "Lewis Carroll, for all his imagination, could not have imagined that he would make some relevant points in Alice in Wonderland about speaking up against those who would silence criticisms."

Rational Jenn presents Silent Auction Fundraiser for ATLOS posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "Help us spread the word about our silent auction! Online bidding has already started and it ends Saturday, April 30. Support a good cause (the Atlanta Objectivist Society) and win some awesome stuff at the same time!"

Rachel Miner presents Reposting: The Idiom Dictionary posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, "For those who didn't see my original post, this is a fun book that I've been building every week for years. I share the idea and some updates from the past year of entries."

Gene Palmisano presents Misnomer of the Week posted at The Metaphysical Lunch, saying, "By all means; read the misnomer of the week and click on the podcast (confessions of a neophyte objectivist, Part One) These contents are evolving rapidly, so stay tuned!"

Scott Connery presents Obama Launches Gas Price Investigation. We do the Legwork for him posted at Rational Public Radio, saying, "President Obama has launched a disingenuous investigation into gas prices in the hope that he can blame "speculators" and "big business". I do the homework to figure out who is really to blame."

Diana Hsieh presents NoodleCast #72: Live Rationally Selfish Webcast posted at NoodleFood, saying, "In Sunday's Rationally Selfish Webcast, I answered questions on the basis of manners, brutal honesty, right to legal counsel, government medical insurance, promoting objectivism, and the morality of sadism and masochism. Go listen... and join us on Sunday morning for another episode!"

Jason Stotts presents Compersion? posted at Erosophia, saying, "Here I analyze the idea of "compersion," finding one's partner's pleasure pleasant, and whether it is a legitimate phenomenon."

Shrikant Rangnekar presents Atlas Shrugged Movie Polls (Over 350+ answers and counting?) posted at Shrikant Rangnekar, saying, "See (over 3500+ answers) in 9 polls on Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged and participate in them all."

Roberto Sarrionandia presents Pomp and Cowardice posted at Roberto Sarrionandia, saying, "Altruism and moral cowardice dominate British foreign policy"

Benjamin Skipper presents Why Does Evasion Cause Pain? posted at Musing Aloud, saying, "For anyone who seen someone get an evasion exposed, it can be plainly witnessed the discomfort that it causes. Why is there such discomfort?"

Benjamin Skipper presents Loneliness and the Necessity of Friendship posted at Musing Aloud, saying, "I've always understood how great friendship is, but it wasn't until recently that I realized that my rejection of its necessity was due to false philosophical conceptions, namely that being physically alone is "bad" and that it can be cured with haphazard relationships."

C. August presents The Specific and the General posted at Titanic Deck Chairs, saying, "A brief discussion of two blog posts, the connection between them, and the state of American society."

Ari Armstrong presents No One Lives Forever posted at Free Colorado, saying, "Medical science might eventually enable to live a very long time, but not forever."

Jim Woods presents Federal Drinking Age is Irrational posted at Words by Woods, saying, "This law fosters disrespect for law and undermines honest communication."

Shrikant Rangnekar presents Atlas Shrugged Movie Report: Aglialoro Shrugged? posted at Shrikant Rangnekar.

Thank you all for your efforts this week. Next week, your hosts are Santiago and Kelly at Mother of Exiles. Submit your blog article to the next edition of objectivist round up using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seen on the internet

Michael Moore hates guns because he is fearful of being mistaken for a rampaging, brain-damaged, feral hog and shot for public safety reasons.
- commenter deguello, here.

(Hat-tip: Dr Paul Hsieh on facebook).


Monday, April 25, 2011

Lest We Forget

Today, 25th April, it is ANZAC Day.

The day was initially instituted to remember those who died in the Gallipoli campaign, which was a horrendous affair marked also by great heroism on both sides. It has since grown to remember all the theatres in which Australian and New Zealander solders have fallen, to reflect on the cost of war and what it takes to defend our freedoms.

The word "sacrifice" is mentioned a lot. It is times like these one really feels the loss of not having a good solid and active verb for being willing to bear immense costs in order to secure and promote something of even greater value. When the servicemen and women mention this word the honest listener knows what they mean, and approve of that meaning and its spirit. And on the day, that's what is important - the battle for epistemology can be put aside until tomorrow.

In the meantime, this day is not over. I have not personally lost anyone in war, and I will not be a mere recreational griever cheapening the pain of those who have. But I do say this: for those who fell so that I may remain free, I am forever grateful, and to the men and women in still living and armed service, who have taken an oath such that I may sleep safely tonight,

thank you.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thorium reactors?

I saw a cool comment about wind turbines recently, wanted to post it with proper attributions, forgot where I saw it, so I googled it and found it:
wind turbines are nothing but prayer wheels for suburbanite Buddhists.
Down in the comments I saw one from Billy Beck, who gave a youtube link. I looked at it. Whoah! It is highly edited to be extremely fast-paced, and most of it will just fly right past you like a fighter jet on full afterburners if you're not already pretty much up to speed on chemistry and basic nuclear physics. But it is worth looking at if you are, or are willing to stop frequently and keep on going back to re-listen.

Btw, piece of trivia: that is an Australian 20c coin shown top left at the 15 min mark.

Speaking of money, there is a disclosure I should make: I own shares in Arafura Resources, whose interests includes thorium from rare earths processing.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rockwell Turbo Encabulator

I'll have to let my boss know about this. We've been having trouble with our own drives, particularly the wingle sprockets on our Type-42 Astatinic Dibromovitors. We use Rockwell Systems communications throughout, so they should be plug-n-play, so to speak. However, hypersaline environments are a challenge for most steels, so we'll probably have to get the hygrocontact parts custom made for us if being in 316SS is not available as a standard option. Could be pricy - 316 is a bitch to machine.


OTI post #5 - validation and importance

Okay, so I comprehend what each means, but what of their validation? And why all the song and dance anyway?

Monday, April 4, 2011

OTI post #4 - The Law of Identity

In previous OTI work I had covered the basic context, existence, and consciousness. Now it is time to pay attention to the Law of Identity.