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Everything posted by organon

  1. Were there a consciousness capable of hearing present, the vibrations would be heard, and thus 'sound' would have occurred. In the absence of a consciousness, since the words 'sound' and 'sight' are properly grasped in the context of a consciousness, there is no sound. Again -- in the absence of one who hears, there is no sound; in the absence of one who sees, there is no sight.
  2. I discovered this song through iTunes ($0.99 there). It is a tightly written piece (2:25), uplifting and -- good god, is it beautiful. It has become one of my favorites, and I do not easily grant admission to that elite. Check out the sample on iTunes, should you have it. John
  3. I write to ask: Is it as nonsensical to speak of negative time, as it would be to speak of negative length?
  4. Today I pulled up the thesaurus results for “solitary.” In the context of the description of a man's character, these were the results: aloof, antisocial, companionless, desolate, distant, eremetic, forsaken, friendless, hermitical, introverted, isolated, lonely, lonesome, lorn, misanthropic, offish, reclusive, remote, reserved, standoffish, unapproachable, uncompanionable, unsocial, withdrawn Virtually all negative (but for “introverted”). The grasp of reality is a solitary endeavor, and there is no higher virtue than to undertake the solitary, autonomous grasp of what is true. So why is aloneness viewed with such a lack of goodwill? Why is the man who knows the value and joy of being alone – and every man, like it or not, is alone within his mind – viewed with the resentment such as these words imply?
  5. Thesaurus results for 'solitary' - an inquiry

    (See above, Brian.)
  6. The choice to live

    I would very much appreciate if anyone might be able to summarize, or to point me to a source regarding, the Objectivist perspective in relation to why one chooses to live, if indeed that question is held in Objectivism to be valid -- and if it is not, then summaries or references in relation to why it is not. I thank you in advance for your time. John
  7. Three Mile Island was the worst nuclear accident to ever occur in the United States. What you may not know is that the average additional radiation exposure for the surrounding population was 1.2 millirems, and the maximum exposure at the plant itself was below 100 millirems. "Extensive research has established it takes exposures well in excess of 100,000 millirems for a detectable effect." [1] "The average American receives radiation exposure of about 360 millirems annually from all sources, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements." [2] "The entire nuclear industry, including all nuclear power plants, contributes less than one percent of all radiation in the environment. No ill effect has ever been experienced from these minute amounts of radioactivity." (italics added) [3] Making a round-trip cross country airline flight will expose you to an additional 5 millirems of radiation [4], more than four times the exposure to the surrounding population from the worst nuclear accident in the history of the United States. -- [1] Trashing the Planet, Dixy Lee Ray with Lou Guzzo, HarperPerennial, p. 99. [2] [3] Ray, p. 126. [4] See footnote 2.

    The identification of Identity. "Evidently then it belongs to the philosopher, i.e. to him who is studying the nature of all substance, to inquire also into the principles of syllogism. But he who knows best about each genus must be able to state the most certain principles of his subject, so that he whose subject is existing things qua existing must be able to state the most certain principles of all things. This is the philosopher, and the most certain principle of all is that regarding which it is impossible to be mistaken; for such a principle must be both the best known … and non-hypothetical. For a principle which every one must have who understands anything that is, is not a hypothesis; and that which every one must know who knows anything, he must already have when he comes to a special study. Evidently then such a principle is the most certain of all; which principle this is, let us proceed to say. It is, that the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject and in the same respect.... This, then, is the most certain of all principles.... It is for this reason that all who are carrying out a demonstration reduce it to this as an ultimate belief; for this is naturally the starting-point even for all the other axioms." - Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book IV, Chapter 3.
  9. Saw a bumper sticker when I was out earlier today that read "Let Go Let God". That is: "Life not going well? Having problems? Very well, I have the answer: abandon the wheel completely and leave it to a postulated nonexistent deity to correct whatever is wrong in your life." Sure, that'll work.
  10. In relation to 'time travel'

    Although mathematics is grasped only by a (reasoning) consciousness, it nevertheless exists in a metaphysical context. When we calculate that, if Susan has six apples, and gives four to Adam, she then has two apples (i.e., 6 - 4 = 2), this is a metaphysical determination.
  11. Thesaurus results for 'solitary' - an inquiry

    The point, Brian, is that 'aloneness' -- which you claimed had a 'key distinction' from solitary, solitary "perhaps implying greater removal from, or lack of, companionship or association" (italics added) -- is viewed essentially the same way. The political context is not relevant here; people do not worry for the solitary individual, fearing he is vulnerable. He is viewed with a lack of goodwill.
  12. Thesaurus results for 'solitary' - an inquiry

    Very well, thesaurus results for 'alone', in the context of traits of character or that imply traits of character: abandoned, companionless, deserted, desolate, forlorn, forsaken, friendless, hermit, isolated, lonely, lonesome, solitary
  13. Thesaurus results for 'solitary' - an inquiry

    The dictionary definition relevant here is "alone" (this is the first definition of 'solitary' given at
  14. I saw an ad on the internet with an honest looking fellow, marketing a trial of a teeth whitening product. The ad line read, "8 shades lighter in minutes!" Pretty good, I thought. And it was only $4.99, a free trial where you pay for shipping only. No worries. Take the plunge. I receive it, and discover: Yes, 8 shades lighter in minutes. That is, fifteen to thirty minutes a day, for weeks or longer. Called up the toll-free number to cancel, and was connected to India. "Cancel it." "Special deal for you today. Today only $78.93 for a month." "Just cancel it." "Very special deal today for you. Another $20 off. $58.93 for a month if you continue." "Look... no." "Ok, I see. I can offer you another $20. $38.93." "Look, I want to cancel." "$20 off. $18.93."
  15. In relation to 'time travel'

    Hi ewv, Thanks for your post. Defining a time (e.g.) +1 hour from now within one's mind as point 0, and saying currently we are situated at -1 hour from that point, is an epistemological construct unrelated to metaphysics. In reality, metaphysically, an object cannot have negative dimensions of length, width, or height -- similarly, as I think you would agree, it is impossible to even consider negative time -- it would be like trying to conceive of an entity with a length of -5 centimeters. John
  16. Thesaurus results for 'solitary' - an inquiry

    'Independent' has a different definition and context, i.e., the quality of being autonomous. Solitary relates to the condition of being isolated from other men -- and again, thought is a solitary endeavor, even should you be surrounded by them. If it has negative connotations, the point is, Why?
  17. Thesaurus results for 'solitary' - an inquiry

    Social interaction can without question be a value, even an immense value, but he is first a rational being, and rationality -- which relates to the management of one's mind, and as I wrote above within our minds we are all alone -- is a solitary endeavor.
  18. The choice to live

    And can we say that, though not an ethical choice, it is a rational choice.
  19. The choice to live

    Although there is no prior, antecedent, more fundamental value in the context of which one makes the choice to live -- the choice to live is the prerequisite and foundation of ethics -- can we say that there is a reason to choose to live? Not involving a more fundamental value, but because it makes sense to choose to do so, given the nature of the universe and of man, i.e., a universe in which identification, understanding, value-achievement, and happiness are possible.
  20. A photo of the earth and sky

    Hi Paul, I think all photos in the album were taken without my tripod. My camera is an older one, but I love it and have no plans to upgrade -- a Sony Cyber-shot Smart Zoom DSC-P72 (3.2 megapixels). Be well. John
  21. The Poetry Of Brian Faulkner

    Thank you, Brian. A question: what is meant by "Yet not for others does the word go round"?
  22. Cosette's "Catharine"

    [from Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, translation by Charles Wilbour.] The door opened again, and the man reappeared, holding in his hands the fabulous doll of which we have spoken, and which had been the admiratrion of all the youngsters of the village since morning; he stood it up before Cosette, saying: "Here, this is for you." ... Cosette looked upon the wonderful doll with a sort of terror. Her face was still flooded with tears, but her eyes began to fill, like the sky in the breaking of the dawn, with strange radiations of joy. What she experienced at that moment was almost like what she would have felt if some one had said to her suddenly: Little girl, you are queen of France.... "I will call her Catharine," said she. It was a strange moment when Cosette's rags met and pressed against the ribbons and the fresh pink muslins of the doll.... (This doll belongs to a collection of an acquaintance -- no explicit relation to Les Mis, but the scene came immediately to mind.)
  23. The nature of evil

    Without question, this is true. One must have the context of where he is -- what he is -- and what he wants. Yet given this context, I would argue that action is initiated by the mind, either as an end in itself or in pursuit of some further end.
  24. The nature of evil

    Paul, are you claiming it is incorrect to say that action originates in consciousness?