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Everything posted by Arnold

  1. Creation ex nihilo

    What bothers me about the whole concept of "size" of the universe, is the yard stick of measurement. What also bothers me is the yardstick of "time" (speed of light) under these circumstances. Just how long does it take for light to travel the width of a universe the size of a foot ball?
  2. Creation ex nihilo

    There is an underlying assumption in this question. That is, that there was a time that nothing existed. This implies that time exists independent of, and prior to existence. Time is the measurement of motion, and cannot exist outside of existence because it is IN existence and measured as a series of events, which depend on existents. Thus, there has never been a time without existence, and no need for it to spring from anywhere.
  3. The problem is not an unwillingness to engage in discussion. It is accepting requirements for discussion to take place. One must understand what is required for discussion to be productive, then one can proceed. At issue here is not the discussion of Ayn Rand's ideas, but the misunderstanding of them, and then presenting that misunderstanding as a criticism that 'Curi' has an answer for. One cannot engage in discussing ideas, when the two parties don't agree on the definitions or meanings of those ideas. My suggestion would be for him to define his terms first, and show how they are connected to reality rather than on a 'logic' not anchored to reality. Concepts not firmly grounded are known as floating abstracts, and Curi is immersed in them. If there was one overriding message from Ayn Rand, it was never to accept any ideas on faith (especially hers) but to be independent in your thinking, and let reality be the only judge of your ideas. Reading her ideas first hand is the best guide to achieve the independence of thought.
  4. "No conflicts among rational men"

    People even argue about science (climate change). This doesn't mean that science per se is is in dsipute - only it's interpretation. It doesn't mean science "is an unviable and failed utopian philosophy."
  5. Where is your definition of knowledge? The first thing you should do is define your terms. Ayn Rand defined it as "“Knowledge” is . . . a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation." How can you regard false ideas as knowledge, as "a grasp of reality"?? Additionally, do you not see that there are degrees of knowledge? One can know a little about cooking, or have more knowledge about it. As well, there are degrees of evidence all the way to certainty, it is not a case of 'either or'; ignorance or omniscience. Most of our lives are guided very limited knowledge. We make the best of what we know, but false ideas are not considered knowledge. You said "The idea that all B type blood is compatible is contextual knowledge. It was always false, as a matter of fact, and the mistake got some people killed. Yet it was still knowledge. How can that be?" How? It was limited knowledge, that is, limited to some B blood. The error, was not limiting the claims to what they knew, but extending them to what they assumed. They assumed only one type of blood. They had limited knowledge and failed to set the claims within those limits. For example the actual samples used.
  6. No, logic is a process of reasoning, but like any tool, it must be used appropriately. That means one must never lose sight of the reality it is grounded in. Unfortunately that happens, and we end up with rationalization rather than reason. Logic can be applied in unrealistic ways, by breaking the link to reality somewhere in the chain of reasoning. It's like mathematics, where an equation can end up with two logical results, but only one of them is realistic. The concept of negative numbers belongs to a system of reasoning, as does infinity, but the system is not the reality. A 'minus' entity is as irrational as an infinite entity. Truth lies in the identification of reality, not manipulating numbers that are out of context.
  7. Logic arises from the non contradictory concept; a thing cannot be and not be in the same instance. Logic derives from reality, but doesn't determine reality. One needs to be on guard about using the logic in an unrealistic way. For example, one can logically embrace the concept of infinity, but if you then try to look for infinity in reality, you are out of context. Neither can one look at equations on 'time' and run them backwards for time travel into the past in reality. Context is everything. To induce that all men are mortal is within the context of man's knowledge. Fountains of youth are not knowledge but arbitrary speculation. One induces what one observes by the nature of what one observes. Induction has nothing to do with the unknown and arbitrary imaginings.
  8. Critical Review of Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature

    Think of it this way; do you ever take the information from Jehovah witnesses and read what they have to say each time they present it in a different form? I doubt it, because an inquiring mind knows when it needs to shut out rubbish once it has checked the principles involved. Otherwise an "open" mind is indiscriminate.
  9. Hedonism and Objectivism

    The key is to distinguish between long term happiness which requires reasoned judgement, and hedonistic pleasure which depends on none. The purpose of life is to enjoy it. Without pleasure, life is not worth living. However, pleasure per-se is not a standard for decision making. It is one's long term happiness that makes life worth living, and that is the standard for making decisions. Life itself has no intrinsic value apart from the happiness attached to it. Some lives are miserable and so unhappy that they are not worth living. One can have a situation where pain and not pleasure is in one's long term interest (happiness). Take for example a choice of going to the dentist and getting a filling (painful - not pleasant) and going fishing or sailing (or any pleasurable alternative). Your long term happiness is not determined by pleasure in this case, but a concern for you health that will aid your enjoyment of life. The alternative of rotten teeth spell misery.
  10. "Thanks You, IRS"

    What really gets to me, is how these 'signers' of the world take their liberty for granted. They are oblivious to principle.
  11. "Thanks You, IRS"

    Can't say I followed the logic here.
  12. Bill Bucko is gone

    That seems very sudden, and quite a shock. My condolences on the loss of an earnest and principled man.
  13. A good restoration on the photo. What a historic capture.
  14. Objectivity

    Quote:"I have studied the scans carefully. It doesn't show up. So either my mind is immaterial/non-physical or it does not exist. " Is there information in your brain? Have you been able to see this non material information in your brain? No? Does this mean it doesn't exist? Perhaps it is hiding in your mind? If you find the information, you will have found your mind, because without a mind, you can have no information..
  15. Objectivity

    The way I look at it is that the "objective" is the state of reality. "Truth" is the conscious recognition of that state. Conceptual knowledge is the form of that recognition. The best way to obtain truth is via an objective epistemology; one based on reason.
  16. Rediscovering the Pencil

    Excellent. Well done, I love pencil. You may find the following interesting. Here is a poor copy of some pencil drawings I later framed together. These were done by a J Mead in about 1910. He studied at the London School of Arts.
  17. Top Five Most Beautiful Cars

    What is amazing is that many family sedans today would outperform this classic. Everyone can drive with yesterday's super car performance, but the blandness and commonness don't make it as much fun. Yesterday's cars were not built to throw away, and plastic was rare. I don't know why I feel plastic, despite it's advantages, has no appeal in aesthetics.
  18. Once again, Pat Condell tells the truth.

    Progress to totalitarianism is the actual meaning of the political 'progressive', like a progressive disease. Use of the word 'progress,' says nothing of the end goal being good.
  19. Quote:"Just a response of some basic points, I have not even re-read." It's not clear what you are saying here, but what is clear is that you need to read what others have said - assuming you care. You keep confusing race with ideas and culture.
  20. Related to this subject, I previously wrote: On Race and Culture. It is always frustrating to me when I encounter those who argue from a view that culture and race are so connected that to criticize one, is to criticize the other. In this way, any questioning of cultural practices or values is effectively silenced for fear of being labelled a racist. To be clear, I will make this claim: there is no necessary connection between a person's genetic makeup, and the ideas they hold. Clearly, one has no say in one's genetic heritage, but just as clearly, every human has the choice of which ideas / values he will embrace. A culture is the result of the dominant ideas held in that society, and since ideas can be rejected or accepted regardless of racial factors, they can also be evaluated without making a racial connection with such appraisal. Unfortunately, it is now almost impossible to venture an opinion on the ideas someone holds, without the inference that it is also an opinion on race. Cultural ideas are open to choice, and that necessitates that they be open to evaluation as well. A free society must always hold the door open to challenge prevailing attitudes. Too many times times the door is slammed shut when cultural values are challenged, along with accusations of racism. The irony for many professed 'non racists,' is that open racists agree with them, that is, their idea of a racial connection to culture, and, likewise see issues in terms of racial groupings rather than a colourblind individualism, or as Martin Luther said “the content of their character.” Once again; since ideas are open to choice, they must be open to question. This has nothing to do with genetics. Those who would stifle inquiring minds with blind political dogma reflect a middle ages ignorance, not the enlightenment.
  21. I think it's all just waiting for a new generation or technology battery. Right now they are too heavy, expensive and limited in energy supply.
  22. Do Unions Play a Role in Economic Development?

    Freedom of association is the criteria, both for the union and the employer. An unreasonable employer is more likely to pay market wages if his entire workforce is prepared to walk out. This implies that every replacement workforce would do the same, if the employer tried to replace them. If not, then the action still brings market forces to bear with a whole new workforce setting the standard. As a group, the bargaining power is greater because the cost of replacement of all employees is costly. In the end, market forces will apply, but a union can bring these forces to bear more quickly than a lone employee can. In a free market, production increases when all parties are content, and a free market voluntary union can help achieve that.
  23. Interest Rates and Inflation

    High interest rates pull money out of the market because companies start to suffer from borrowing debt cost, and profits sink. Home owners can barely pay their mortgage, and reduce spending where they can. Business suffers further losses. Those with cash find far better returns in bonds and term deposits. Bubbles always burst because they are artificially created in the first place. For example; if the government decided to subsidize solar panels, many more people would install them than normal. This would cause a demand that would cause a boom in solar panel production since they would be below market price. New companies would hire new employees. All would go well until either the subsidy ended, or the demand fell. Since the uptake would have been far more rapid than in a free market, once the demand eases, the fall is huge in comparison. There are far too many solar factories for sustained demand. They close and lay off employees. It's not so much that people realize goods are over valued, so much as demand falling. Take the housing bubble we had. Many who should never have, bought when they could not afford it because interest was so low. When they find the interest rate has doubled from say, one, to two percent, their payments double, and they are forced to sell into a market others are also selling into. This causes a cascading drop in price of houses since more sell than buy. Those holding mortgages end up with houses worth less then the money they lent. The rest is history. Gold has actually maintained a pretty steady buying power for centuries. It would buy so much bread, or a cow, or a suit, or rent with far less volatility than paper money. Looking at historical records, my opinion is that there is no bubble in gold.
  24. Interest Rates and Inflation

    Look at it this way. Inflation is the decrease in buying power of your dollar. If you lend $100 now and are repaid the $100 two years later, that later repayment just won't buy as much. It may have lost 5% or even more of it's purchasing value. You would need 5% more repaid to you to make it up. In this case, over two years that would be about $110 If you had invested (lent) that at a low interest rate of 1%, you would be loosing out, and reluctant to invest in cash. You would instead put money into tangible assets like houses, which is what people did, including those who could now afford it with the artificially low rates. In the end one has a bubble of over investment, and the first person to sell triggers an avalanche of selling, made worse by an increase in interest rates. The low interest has created a distortion than reality eventually corrects to the normal range of equilibrium.
  25. How much faster are F1 cars?

    And heaven help you if your suction cup unsticks. Because of the unnatural behaviour of the cars (unnatural from a car without down-force), one cannot estimate the actions of speed based on momentum and one-G weight. I prefer to see the cars go sideways under observable parameters. You cannot estimate suction, but you can estimate the behaviour of a car without it. While understanding that suction helps 'stick', that doesn't make it a pleasure to watch for me.