RobC

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Everything posted by RobC

  1. Reading all that put a smile on my face, and gave me a happy reminisce about the time when I first read Ayn Rand. Isn't the world a wonderful place!?!
  2. "some" racist notions? Well, as long as you are critical. That's the main thing.
  3. Strategy for Changing the Culture

    Betsy, just out of curiosity, why exactly do you call it the "Rearden" strategy?
  4. Test your Autism Spectrum Quotient

    Just scrolling through old parts of the forum... I picked myself up a 41 No surprises there... My psychiatrists have been telling me I have Autism for years. And you won't see me at the Library of Congress... unless it's an animated argument with the curator (?) about giving back the original covers of The Fountainhead.
  5. I have been imminently delighted recently after finding Atlas Shrugged made it to number 96 in "Angus & Robertson's" (a local bookstore chain here in Aus) top 100 books of all time. Translation: Every "Angus & Robertson" now carries multiple copies, and it's displayed in a prominent location in their bookstores. It may not seem like much, but before all this the only reliable and practical way to get any Ayn Rand books was to order it from US. (I used amazon before I found Ayn Rand bookstore. Now I have a CD as well [thanks PhilO] )
  6. Then why don't you render the same judgment call you make with insurance: "At the cost of my insurance and in the proper context, where I live along with other factors, it is worth it to me to pay. But, in another context I might have a different answer for you."
  7. I'm NOT actually disagreeing with you about the point that you are not likely to ever be attacked. I think it is a rationally sound endeavour for someone to pursue skills that would allow them to end a violent attack, even if it is unlikely that such an event will happen to that person. (remembering that such can be learned in as little as three hours [or as many hours as one would like]) Each individual must make a judgment, therefore. To discount the pursuit of formal Self-Defense training because it is unlikely to be needed. Or to pursue formal Self-Defense training because they wish to gain skills to better defend themselves IF they were attacked. The choice to partake or not to partake in the gaining of Self-Defense skills is therefore left to the hierarchy of values, and experiences, possessed by the individual decision maker. And I think that such a decision can be made without ever having been in a violent confrontation. And THAT is why I disagree with your request for knowledge if I (or anyone else) have been in a fight.
  8. Self defense is about ending a violent attack, not having a fight. Courses that I know of (no net links unfortunately) tend to run for a few hours (typically 10) and are usually spread over a few weeks. Betsy Speicher has already stated in a previous post in this thread that her course lasted 3 hours. The accomplishment of the highest rank of a Martial-Art merely for the purpose of Self-Defense is a waste of time. One would need other reasons for the pursuit of such a goal. I disagree with the need to mention anything about whether anyone has been in a fight or not, however. To address Paul's Here's question (I missed it in my previous post)... I don't believe anyone here is saying that the pursuit of Self-Defense training is a bad thing. Just bad that it be forced by the government into the school curriculum. Ask a question involving the government initiation of force in an Objectivist forum, one can only expect a negative response. I haven't been following the thread concerning the massacre that closely so I can not comment further. I also agree that Self-Defense training is a good idea, if voluntarily chosen. I can see the rational validity of the pursuit of that particular goal. However it is not our responsibility if others can not.
  9. Well, not there is anything wrong with being 6'5" and slightly overweight Not all of us are psychopaths. That said my high school featured self-defense for the female students. As to the original question. I do not believe that it is the governments place to say whether I or anyone else should take martial arts for any purpose whatsoever. It is outside their jurisdiction so to speak. That of course leaves out discussion about the current climate of government interference already in the curriculum. As for discussion about particular styles of martial arts, even if your policy was implemented I don't believe a school environment would be the place to teach a "style of martial arts". As far as purely self-defense is concerned it would be a lot easier to learn a few techniques for a variety of different attacks. For instance teaching students a basic punch and a kick. And how to deliver it with power and accuracy to vulnerable target areas such as groin, hands (fingers), nose, eyes etc.. as well as a few basic grapples and throws. To learn a martial arts style takes a lot of dedication which isn't guaranteed in a forced environment. If you keep it basic and to bare essentials even the most bored and uninterested student may pick up enough knowledge to break an attack and run for the lives. Fighting back isn't always an option, and not usually a recommended one. As has already been mentioned, you can never know how far the assailant wishes to go. Better to break and run than to find out in my opinion. That way you can deliver a timely and effective report to the police. ------------------------ In response to the apparent violent appraisal of martial artists I must reply that martial arts can be a very rewarding experience. Leaving out the combative side of things (including self-defense) it is a very good method of developing speed, strength, and flexibility. It also aids co-ordination and cardiovascular fitness. So as a purely physical pursuit it has major benefits for heath and wellbeing. Of course there are many physical pursuits that aid in those areas, not just martial arts. (you just have to discard many of the mystic eastern philosophies they bombard you with while you are learning [though that is really only a problem in traditional eastern styles])
  10. The right not to look or listen

    My understanding of the right "not to look or listen" is that anything appropriately private (or not suitable for minors) like sex and violence [list not exhaustive] should be kept so. And that should such activities that should be deemed appropriately private occur for the benefit of consenting adults (i.e. Pornography theater, brothel, sex shop, R+ rated movie sessions, fighting events [boxing, UFC, etc...]) then appropriate forewarning should be provided so that people not wishing to view such material can properly avoid it (or those too young to view such can properly be barred.) I don't think things like loud noises and noxious odours comes under that particular umbrella however.
  11. Index of Economic Freedom

    From the Hong Kong sub-page: I imagine it's because of that. I do not know enough about the regulations or intricacies involving its autonomy from the central Chinese government to comment further however.
  12. Index of Economic Freedom

    Good to see Australia up to 3rd! Still a long way to go for all and sundry though.
  13. Justice: "that one must never seek or grant the unearned and undeserved, neither in matter nor in spirit" (Objectivist Ethics, Virtue of Selfishness, PP. 28) Pity: "Sympathy and sorrow aroused by the misfortune or suffering of another." -The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved April 18, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pity -------- Relevant quote from Atlas Shrugged: "Do you wish to give any outsider any relief from the consequences of remaining outside?" -Galt to Fransisco. The only question that brings up for me is: Why did Dagny get a note? It caused both joy and despair for her, and some releif from the consequences of remaining outside. (for Reference it's Page: 917. -Centennial Edition & 35th Anniversary Edition).
  14. 300 (2007)

    I saw this over the weekend. Took me a little longer to go through the thread than Scott though. Likewise i'll say that I loved it. While agreeing with 'Go 4 TLI' that the representation of evil really bugged me. I thought facing a million mystic slaves is enough that they don't have to include trolls and weird lookin' samurai immortals into the mix. That said, I can understand their place in the movie because of how it was done and the artistic style of the movie; and by what it was based on, being a graphic novel. Even though the Comic was based on actual events it took a certain license because of the nature of the medium. So conversely it might not have had the same feel (cinematography, not philosophic content) if those "creatures" were missing. On a side note, I'm glad Quasimodo got another role. While still typecast he put in another good performance.
  15. Any action taken outside the hierarchy of one's values goes against Objectivist ethics. So largely it all depends on your value hierarchy. If one knows an action, in this instance smoking, is detrimental to one's health, and one's health is higher in the hierarchy than the physical enjoyment one gets from smoking a cigarette (the physical sensation gained by absorbing certain chemicals in cigarettes can be very enjoyable,) then one mustn't smoke cigarettes (or any other smoking product.)
  16. Stephen's Health

    The world is better for having had Stephen in it. My sympathies and condolences to his friends and family. Respectfully, Robert.
  17. Saving the earth

    I am currently dwelling in Perth, Western Australia. Like Sydney the local environmental groups pushed a "voluntary black out day". While I didn't go around switching all my lights off (or on, in protest) I just continued along as usual. While not as grand as many cities, Perth has an absolutely stunning cityscape, and it saddens me to think it plunged into darkness. I haven't seen any coverage of the night as yet, but hope that not many buildings and companies took part. Interestingly enough, this voluntary blackout coincided with the opening game of our domestic football league (Aussie Rules). And as it was the grand final replay (The two teams that met in last seasons equiv of the Super Bowl) most of my street were lit up like Christmas trees with people all converging to have BBQ's and get togethers to celebrate the start of Footy Season. At least there's always apathy to put a spanner in the works of environmental groups.
  18. I am currently considering forking out some money to attend either this years or next years Objectivist Conference. I live in Australia, so it is a pretty big financial commitment to attend. I have read the site, and seen it half discussed here on the forums. What I want to really ask is, what exactly goes on at these things? The lectures and "optional courses"... what actually happens in them... what sort of participation is there, etc... I'm in the process of writing to OCON to get some more literature, and I know some of the members of this board have actually attended so I would like an "attendees" perspective if that is all possible. Thanks for your time, and any responses you post in. RobC.
  19. Stephen's Health

    as a non-poster (but long time reader) I wish Mr. Speicher all the best in his recovery, and my best wishes to you, Mrs Speicher, as you await your husbands recovery.
  20. Worth waiting for the quad-core systems?

    I am not sure of your definition of "off the shelf"; however, I'll attempt a response. I have no idea when places like gateway, or dell, or HP, or whoever happens to be your favoured brand will become available in quad core. Here in Australia, quad core systems are already available quite readily from the local computer re-sellers. You'll most likely have to go for a "plain box" (i.e. Custom Built, unbadged) system. Australia tends to lag a little in retail availability of new technology, so I can only imagine it's already available in the USA. In response to your other questions; Joss, PhilO, and sjw have already covered any advice I could give you. Cheers, RobC