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Everything posted by sjw

  1. Patent Laws to be Revised

    This is based on the premise that the government dispenses rights rather than secures them. I don't care if some inventor has a government form declaring his "right" to legally bash another's teeth in for using his own work, it doesn't mean he has a legitimate right to do so.
  2. Patent Laws to be Revised

    The fact is--I can validate my premises. I can answer why patents as they exist now are immoral. What no Objectivist has ever done is answer: By what right does one inventor dictate that another may not use the product of his own mind? I have seen some try, and they always collapse into pragmatism. Either that or what you have done: merely declare that I am wrong. For the same reason that you can't square a circle. A is A. Rights are rights.
  3. Patent Laws to be Revised

    On the contrary, I suggest you check yours.
  4. Manners and Argument

    First of all, I never said to use an angry tone. Second, asking why someone didn't answer is not an expression of anger. Third, what I am proposing is to keep it simple: just say what you mean. Saying what you mean is not expressing anger. You haven't addressed the essence of what I've been talking about. Why not? PS: I'm not angry
  5. Patent Laws to be Revised

    No, I understand the distinction quite well. What I was actually doing is saying that copyrights have a valid basis, and patents if they are to validly exist their basis should run parallel to copyright, they should be based on the same principles that copyright can be. E.g., I can't copyright small useful phrases that someone else might happen to come up with independent of me.
  6. Patent Laws to be Revised

    It's a horrible idea. It would add even more motivation to focus on filing patents rather than making useful products. Objectivists need to revisit Ayn Rand's thoughts on patents. With copyrights, what's being protected is objective: it's one persons work and only that person's work. With patents, it's non-objective: two people might have invented the same thing independently, and that happens all the time. Objectivists should ask: by what right does one person in a given geographic region have the right to stop another person from using the products of their own mind? The only logical answer is: there is no such right. Patents as implemented nowadays are immoral. Patents could be made moral by making them objective: only permit patents on designs that are provably the work of one man. No one else could accidentally write "The Fountainhead". It's certain that Ayn Rand and only Ayn Rand came up with it. It's also easy to tell if someone keeps the same story and changes the wording--it's still Ayn Rand's even if mutilated. The same standard should be used for patents. If you can't prove that only you created a given item of intellectual property, then you have no right to it, because having that "right" is nothing but the right to steal another man's property. Don't object that with my strict standards no one would be motivated to do R&D and progress would stop. That response is based on Pragmatism not Objectivism. And it's not true anyway. People improve things because they are in the pursuit of values, not mere money. Just because some of the dollar incentive goes away does not mean that the value incentive does.
  7. Manners and Argument

    The issue is: it's knowable whether he answered or not. It's in black and white. Either he did or didn't. If I read carefully, then I can know he didn't and point it out. If he's honest he'll recognize it and correct it. If I didn't read carefully and claim he didn't answer, then by me telling him my mental state--that I think he didn't answer--he can immediately know what I missed and point me to my error. But with your method there's going to be ongoing confusion between us.
  8. Manners and Argument

    Betsy has asked a simple question of me and Brian to clarify what we mean by various statements. There is absolutely no reason not to answer her. Nor is there a reason to go into a meta-meta-meta discussion about why not. For my part: I was being asked to state what I thought about others beliefs here, and rather than answering I was questioning the relevance of that to this thread. I do not know why what I believe about others beliefs is relevant. Is that clear?
  9. Manners and Argument

    Because it is obfuscating the real issue. The issue that must be addressed if *communication* is the goal is: Joe didn't answer. Only Joe knows why. Maybe he *thinks* he answered. In which case telling him he didn't will alert him. If you declare "in the absence of evidence to the contrary..." he's not going to know that you don't think he answered, because your statement is ambiguous. It *might* mean you think he didn't answer; it *might* mean you thought he made an illogical statement. He can't know, and that's because you're not objectively communicating, and you're not objectively communicating because objectivity in this case *requires* "getting personal." On the other hand, maybe he did answer but you didn't grasp that he did. If you don't say he didn't answer, he won't know you missed the answer, and he won't know to underscore the answer for you. Now you could in this case say: "You didn't answer me." You could make this more wishy-washy, expressing that you might be wrong even if you think you aren't (which is misleading even if more polite): "I don't see how you answered me." You could make it more indirect to be even more "polite", and even more misleading about your own mental state: "I don't see how this answers me." It still mean the appproximately same thing, though the more "polite" you get, the more obfuscated you get. Why bother with the obfuscation. Just say Joe didn't answer you and get on with life.
  10. Manners and Argument

    I'm not *feeling* picked on... You raised the issue of the conversation being floating. I believe in cause-effect explanation. In this case, to name the cause is to make a personal remark. If you ban naming of causes just because there happens to be a person there then I think that's going to make for even more confusing posts.
  11. Manners and Argument

    I've asked him several yes/no questions which he has not answered. This started with my very first question to him: "Are you saying that my pointing out the contextual nature of manners is off-topic? If not then I don't see your point." He didn't answer my question. I see this as the root of the communication problem here. If he won't answer simple yes/no questions then he's refusing to communicate, making all this a pseudo-conversation not a real one.
  12. Manners and Argument

    How is what I believe about others' beliefs relevant?
  13. Manners and Argument

    In effect, you asked me to make public judgments about whether I think some members of this forum might think it's good to hide behind manners. Do you really think I should do that? Because I think it's a bad idea: first, my point stands on its own and it is perfectly objective to bring up in this context; second, it's off-topic to be judging the people here. Also, I think given some other things you have said, it's ironic that you ask me to make these public judgements.
  14. Manners and Argument

    I'm stopped at post 4. I don't see that it covers my point. And even supposing that all of 4, 5, and 8 make that identification, then why do you object when I make it again? How is saying the same things 3 times OK, but 4 times is so over the line it warrants you and I having this little side thread about whether my post is redundant?
  15. Manners and Argument

  16. Manners and Argument

    Are you saying that my pointing out the contextual nature of manners is off-topic? If not then I don't see your point.
  17. Manners and Argument

    There are three possible positions here: intrinsicism, subjectivism, and Objectivism. Intrinsicism declares that manners are intrinsically good and always appropriate; subjectivism is the false alternative you have focussed on. We all know what the third option is.
  18. Manners and Argument

    Justice trumps manners.
  19. I think that probably the main or even only valid purpose of anecdotes is to simply alert someone to something they either need to integrate or may need to integrate. They may have had similar experiences but failed to draw similar conclusions from them. In which case the purpose is to elicit their own experiences and argue that they should view those experiences in a certain way. Or it may be to alert them of something to look out for in the future; the anecdote serves an advance notice along with an argument for why they ought to view this future occurance in one way or another. I.e., I would say that an anecdote is not primarily a type of evidence, but a primarily reminder of past evidence or notice to look at future evidence. That's not to say that it does not constitute some form of evidence (whose strength depends on what you know about the person providing it). Just that that's not the primary function of an anecdote. So to answer your question: the anecdotes are perfectly legitimate to *illustrate* the broader point; they by themselves are nearly useless to prove the point and that is not their point, their point is to get you to prove the broader point yourself, in your own life, with your own examples, examples that are akin to that given in the anecdote.
  20. Response To Charges Against THE FORUM

    I agree with most of what you said but not this. There is an intellectual war going on. The winning solution is not to fragment into groups as tiny as individuals and "lead by example". I mean, this is Ghandi's approach to war. The enemy is just going to laugh their heads off while they keep trampling your rights. What's needed is the kind of bold, visionary leadership America had at its founding. Think of how different history would be if our Founding Fathers took your approach. We'd probably not even know who they were. Maybe somebody would know their great-great-great grandpa was a really nice guy who pursued his own values. Objectivists should entertain the idea that perhaps it's not the culture at large that's the biggest problem right now, that perhaps it's the Objectivist movement. There was more energy and fervor and working for common cause at the founding of America than we have. Why is that? Sure, you can say that the culture is worse now. And that makes it easy because there's not much you can do about it except "pursue your own values". But again, why not entertain the notion that the problem is actually closer to home, and if identified, actually possible to solve?
  21. Viros Make Breathing Expensive

    I wish I was surprised.
  22. I didn't see an accusation, so you'll have to be more specific.
  23. In my opinion your comments here are a contradiction to Objectivism on a deep level. An Objectivist approach would not have a dichotomy between the long-term and short-term, any "constraint" applied would apply to both equally and for the same reasons. Your method sounds to me more like empiricism and hedonism (as it would apply to business) than Objectivism.
  24. I have many years of experience leading software projects. I think your notions of division of labor would be very destructive to productivity on them. I also think your notions don't apply well to the other areas you list. In fact the only area it might apply (and only sometimes) is to the most mindless kind of work: assembly-line work. And it's true that in assembly-line work, if someone upstream disrupts the stuff later, then that may be bad, depending on how well the assembly-line was designed to handle variable productivity in different stages.
  25. I took him to be partially supporting the notion that it can be a good thing for business when individuals perform below their potential in order to keep some sort of "harmony" within the group. I totally disagree with that: except in lifeboat (or row boat) scenarios, there are no conflicts between maximizing individual productivity and maximizing business results.