sjw

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Everything posted by sjw

  1. No, the example you gave was an individual working on the wrong things. I said that in the real world individuals can work to their full potential. What else is there to do on the boat but row? Nothing. In the real world, there's tons of valid things to choose from. As a manager, it's your job to identify those things and keep individuals working to their own individual capacity. It's not valid to compare rowing a boat too fast to picking the wrong things to work on.
  2. There's not an argument if you put it in terms of integrating your work with everyone else's, but the oarsman metaphor implies more than that. When the oarsman individually strives to work to his potential, then its inherently in conflict with everyone else, but in a real-world business situation that is absolutely not the case. E.g., in software development, you can work as fast as you want, you just move on to a different task if you get done sooner than expected.
  3. In listening to music, what do you experience?

    Here's my thought: The normal use of hearing is to perceive entities. When you hear birds, water, a squeaky door--these are all learned associations of the sound the entity makes with the entity, when we hear the characteristic sound, we mentally grasp the entity in much the same way as when we see it visually, the entity is virtually perceived, almost as if we were seeing it with our eyes. It is important to underscore the fact that unlike sight where the perception is direct, with sound the association is indirect and learned; we actually don't perceive the entity, it's only as if we did, because we learned that that entity makes a certain sound. A "characteristic sound" *means* to us what we have associated it with, it is akin to a concept. I think music exploits this mechanism: A "characteristic sound" is a certain sequence of pitches delivered in a certain rhythm; to be able to identify the "song" of a bird is to be able to grasp music. The way we know that a bird is singing is that we have seen one sing before and remembered the association. We also make causal connections between the nature of the sound and the nature of the entity. A deeper sound might be associated with a larger entity; a bird singing in a different manner might imply that it's wounded; a door squeaking at a different pitch might indicate that it is being opened slow or fast. So it's not merely an association of a sound with an entity (like a word is associated with a concept); once we have learned how it varies and why, the specific nature of the sound indicates the specific nature of the entity's attributes. Music is a human creation, but to qualify as such it must conform to our natural ability to associate entities and their attributes with characteristic sounds: in all music the patterns of the piece repeat themselves throughout with certain variations and embelishments; it would not be music if it did not. Just as a bird would not be a bird if there was not a certain similarity between all the times the bird sang. Hearing a bird and grasping its existence and identity is the same process as hearing music and grasping its meaning.
  4. Regarding boats being compared to business, Gary Hull has a great lecture called: "Metaphor: The Mirage of Reason."
  5. Strategy for Changing the Culture

    Exactly.
  6. Strategy for Changing the Culture

    The Founders got organized against the power lusters. The problem isn't lack of skills, it's lack of vision, motivation, and leadership.
  7. Strategy for Changing the Culture

    I may comment more later when I have more time, but just to be clear, I am absolutely not saying that Objectivists should organize qua Objectivists; I'm saying that those who value individual rights should organize qua men and for delimited, specific, purely political purposes, just as the Founders did not organize around their religions and philosophies, but organized around specific political agendas, to secure their rights and future against oppressors. It is a huge mistake to think that it's a good goal to try to convert the culture to Objectivism.
  8. Strategy for Changing the Culture

    I think the important thing is to create a rallying point so that it isn't merely a bunch of individuals doing random different things, but people working together for common cause. There are many reasons why that's crucial, not the least of which is that congress won't pay attention to you if you're just a bunch of disorganized individuals.
  9. OpenSource Software

    I won't pretend to know all the minutiae. I don't think most of what you have brought up is relevant. But given that you are so familiar with the detailed history, refering to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Source_history , how do you explain the fact that UNIX was created in the late 1960's, but AT&T was still charging for it in 1987, and that's when the Open Software Foundation was formed? I mean two things seem to blatantly contradict your position: 1) AT&T charged for UNIX, even academics had to pay; 2) The OSF wasn't even formed until about 20 years after UNIX was created. How do you reconcile these facts with what you have been arguing about with me?
  10. What is the DIM Hypothesis?

    That is a very interesting thought to me, because I've explicitly observed that kind of mistake in a different domain: engineering. I've found that even though I explicitly know about it, it is easy to slip on. Namely, confusing attributes with things. In engineering one might look at a requirement, and then create a component to meet that requirement. Then look at another, and make yet another component. When really the two should be an integrated, different, and more elegant component that meets both requirements. Your take on DIM definitely looks to me to be making the same kind of error, the error of confusing attributes with things, which interestingly would itself be a form of misintegration--and at the same time, disintegration!
  11. OpenSource Software

    Did I call it a clone? Why do you keep citing detailed history that makes no difference to the point you're responding to?
  12. OpenSource Software

    evw: My point was that UNIX is a commercial creation not that of Open Source. If someone cloned Windows and made it Open Source, then I wouldn't call Windows Open Source. Likewise I don't call UNIX Open Source. Free Capitalist: I totally disagree with you. There is so much wrong in what you say I don't know where to start. For one thing, to regard all the differen't flavors of UNIX as if they were a single product and then claiming they've spent 30 years and done little is patently absurd. And it's patently absurd to point to the total man-hours spent on all UNIX implementations and compare that to Windows. And by what standard are you claiming that Windows is better than UNIX? And claiming Apple couldn't build anything better? What in the heck! They came out with "Windows" before Microsoft did! And by what standard do you claim that OSX is worse than Windows? It's good enough to run a full range of apps, and it's good enough to run on the new iPhone. Microsoft couldn't touch that with their behemoth operating systems, they have to write an entirely new OS (WindowsCE) to make it work embedded.
  13. OpenSource Software

    From http://www.faqs.org/docs/artu/ch02s01.html: "Unix was born in 1969 out of the mind of a computer scientist at Bell Laboratories, Ken Thompson. "
  14. A new perspective on mathematics

    How can I miss my own point?
  15. A new perspective on mathematics

    This misses the point. Unless you're talking about making it illegal, anything and everything is available on the internet, from Amazon, etc. Nothing you do will make these things unavailable. I wasn't talking about requiring ARI to carry garbage--obviously they should not.
  16. A new perspective on mathematics

    I'm not following you here. Barring printing errors or bad editing of unpublished works, nothing anyone can say or do will change the meaning and content of what Rand presented. Really the only people who can possibly implement your fears are Leonard Peikoff or ARI--and that's not a criticism of them, just an observation of fact. And I don't see what naming Objectivism has to do with this; Rand asserted that by Objectivism she meant what she wrote and only what she wrote, but the fact that she meant that does not in and of itself imply an obligation on other men to mean that if they have reason to respectfully disagree with her on that point.
  17. A new perspective on mathematics

    It is an important moral issue when people spread garbage and call it "Objectivism". It is certainly bad when they do this and they should be identified and condemned for it. It's unfortunate if a well-meaning person does it on accident. On the other hand, these will happen regardless of anything you do. If it's publicity you're worried about, the public would be better off with pointing out how these misrepresentations are wrong and telling them "read the source", rather than seeing schisms, excommunications, and extreme concerns over doctrinal purity. I think a good approach would be to just treat people as adults, responsible for accepting whatever ideas they accept. If they get the wrong idea, then it's their own fault, and you should not try to take responsibility for them, you should only try to point out their error. So I stand by the Feynman quote.
  18. OpenSource Software

    I started out trying to use wxWidgets to abstract the two platforms but ended up having to hack a lot, so I ended up using raw OpenGL to abstract between platforms and writing my own widgets from scratch instead.
  19. A new perspective on mathematics

    Paraphrasing Feynman: What do you care what sloppy-minded people think?
  20. OpenSource Software

    First, I think that's a gross oversimplification. Second, UNIX is not "open source"--*Linux* is an open-source clone of the commercially-developed UNIX. Third, the Mac is based on UNIX, and for a damn good reason: it's a technically superior OS. Fourth, modern Windows OS's have evolved to become more and more like UNIX--what UNIX did in the 70's Windows added to Windows in the 90's. Fifth, I program on both platforms, and just as an anecdotal point, really hate it when I'm stuck programming in Windows. Usually I write it in Linux first, then I get it to run on Windows. None of these points are intended to be in favor of Open Source which in terms of its intellectual roots, I abhor.
  21. A new perspective on mathematics

    No, all you've pointed out was that I didn't write out the full title. You haven't demonstrated why that makes any difference to my argument. From my perspective it just looks like you're quibbling over nothing.
  22. A new perspective on mathematics

    I don't think about it in terms of Objectivism being "open" or "closed"; I think about it in terms of me having my own first-handed grasp of philosophy that expands and is refined over time versus accepting someone else's thoughts as the final word and being stagnant once I grasp them. It's my mind that I care about, not Objectivism qua "open" or "closed" system. But if we must talk about it, it's obvious that Ayn Rand wrote what she wrote, and in that respect it's a "closed" system. If one other person can add to it then anyone can and it becomes mush. On the other hand, it's also obvious that each man must integrate and apply the philosophy for himself, and if he sees a contradiction in Objectivism he must reject it; if he sees something new and philosophical he must integrate it to his own grasp of the philosophy, and if he had called his own grasp of philosophy "Objectivism" before then it would be rather silly to not call himself that if the changes he made were not fundamental. I do not see why such a big issue is made over this.
  23. A new perspective on mathematics

    I did, in my second sentence: I thought your analogy to copyright was way off base since copyrights have nothing to do with single words.
  24. A new perspective on mathematics

    I disagree and find the allegation and your rationale for it bizarre on its face. For one thing, there's a vast difference between using a word (Objectivism) and copying/editing Atlas Shrugged.
  25. A new perspective on mathematics

    Repeating myself: I agree that calling something an addendum to IOE when it is not is inappropriate. That is not the topic I raised. The topic I raised was about the qualms with the original title. Regarding having caution, I think you have it exactly backwards. The fact that Peikoff is qualified and has talked about being an "intellectual heir" puts an even greater burden on him to differentiate between his thoughts and Rand's. Someone like Rodney is not going to be confused with Rand, and so there is far less of a burden to add qualifications.