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About Tom

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  • Birthday 05/20/1908

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Sioux Falls, SD
  1. Thanks! That's what I thought she meant. And no, I cannot think of any non-measurable relationship.
  2. In Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Ayn Rand writes (32-33) Measurement is an identification of a quantitive relationships. Does this mean that of relationships that can be measured, they are always quantitative? Are there relationships that cannot be measured?
  3. How would I think about my choices? Are emergencies not amoral situations?
  4. So, as this is an emergency situation which I've brought up, normal ethics do not apply?
  5. The hypothetical does seem vacuous. I am thinking of the movie Saw, for example. Let's say they are in this situation because of a sociopath and it is a senseless crime against two people who are locked in a room and poisoned with one antidote available. Can you expand on how death is not an alternative? The alternative is die from the poison (die), die from the other person (die), make no attempts at all (die), try to persuade the other person (maybe live), or kill the other person (live). I suppose in all situations it leads to death, is this what you mean? Can you explain that more? What if it is the other person who dies and oneself lives, is that still a death-only set of alternatives? How so?
  6. Yes, this does make sense. I am curious though, in that there does appear to be an alternative available: Kill or die or try to persuade the other person. As an emergency, with hours to make a decision, and with alternatives available, how does this fail to be a moral situation?
  7. Business Ethics

    I did consider that essay, but I'm not sure what to make of the types of businessmen and politicians who qualify as "pull peddlers." Is there a line one should cross to be parasitic?
  8. Force is a political subject, but I am thinking about it in a more moral context (if that is possible.) I understand that humans must use reason to pursue and achieve and keep values, and that force is the opposite of reason. Force is permissible in situations of self-defense when force has been initiated against oneself. And ideally, the state will handle retaliatory use of force. However, are there situations when initiation of force is possible? If we take, as a hypothetical, a situation in which two people are poisoned and locked into a room with an antidote dose large enough for only one person, and both people wish to continue existing, is it moral to initiate force to obtain the antidote? I have been thinking of this situation, among others, and considered a few things: These kinds of hypotheticals are vacuous or impossible in some way, but how? What role does conscience play in moral decisions? Surely most people might feel guilt enough to ruin quality of life after, but if conscience is not a major factor, does this mean it would be moral to initiate force to attain a value? I'm usually able to think through these, but I got stuck on this one and can't quite see what premises I'm depending on here.
  9. This may be a neurotic question, or a fairly simple question to solve, but it is something that has been on my mind. My business sells services to other businesses--business-to-business. When I started my business, I tried to compete with local competitors trying to win local clients. One of the things I noticed was that my competitors who were most successful tended to have a few things in common: They were not experts (at least not anymore, they still knew more than clients) in the services they sold, but were very skilled at networking and building relationships. I was able to have conversations with them, in which they described how to established themselves in local markets--which amounted to targeting a niche and networking within it to gather sales. Still early in my business, I looked into various industries-as-niches; and typically found that each niche already had an embedded competitor. Further, just due to geography and political-economic circumstances, the biggest industries (there are about 5 major ones in my area: health care, energy, agriculture, construction/building, and real estate [each has a majorly profitable competitor dominating the industry]) happen to be highly government subsidized or guaranteed in some way. For example, one of my competitors has a huge office and many employees and makes more than half of his income from a clean energy company which itself makes few actual sales and instead relies on several millions of dollars in Department of Energy grants each year. I likened these major competitors, some of which were aware, as being derived "pull peddlers"--though they and their employees lacked proficiency and expertise, they were either related to politicians or old friends with major leaders in the industry they worked in and simply had the social influence to get the business. I was able to secure plenty of work to do outside of local niches and hook into a more global desire for service quality (because we are good, not because I am somebody's nephew)--this shift in strategy was simply out of necessity. Over the years, some local competitors and competitor employees started to spend time around me; I had a sense of moral superiority. Is that appropriate? I haven't really questioned it. However, I have started a partnership on another project in which one key partner has connections to one of these niches (daughter to an industry leader) and will use them to secure customers; I am not likely to give up on the project, because it has an uncommon challenge to confront and other customers really do need the service, and it represents an actual value and improvement over competitors, but I am very much aware of this distraction of niche customers flowing in. Is this a valid ethical dilemma?
  10. Business Growth

    Thanks all! ewv thanks for your insight. Pricing change, for the reasons you listed, is not a safe choice at this time--I don't think I'm under priced given how little time (compared to competitors) I've been in the market, in another year a moderate increase would be fine. As for delegation, outsourcing accounting work isn't quite necessary, since I spend less than 10% of my time on it--it fluctuates a lot, but generally just enough to be a pain but not enough to cause me problems. Project planning and management, however, is a much more taxing and takes a lot of time away from the most important tasks...that task isn't something that can be feasibly (as far as I know) done by an outside source. I could concentrate on that, as it isn't a full-time job, if perhaps I had an employee working on secondary tasks like writing. It might be a higher priority, as far as outsourcing/staffing goes, to have somebody handling those tasks--it would be easy enough, since they don't require as much skill and an entry-level person can handle those things. Could be a good first step. And I know nothing of human resources or employment laws, so that will be a fun summer project, I'm sure.
  11. I've been running my business for about 2 and 1/2 years. For the first 2 years, it has been difficult to maintain steady sales. I am in a service industry that is half marketing consulting--so it was tough to get clients. However, after putting in the effort I was able to generate enough impressive real world results, the last 1/2 has been chaotic. I have not made any effort for advertising or marketing of any kind--and I get emails and calls nearly daily with willing potential clients. Which is great, especially after the last two years of getting turned down and responding to RFPs all the time. However, I'm starting to disappoint potential clients with my limited productive capacities (I can only handle about 4 projects at a time before I hit physical and mental limits) and thus some clients are on a wait list or simply turned down. Since my knowledge and abilities are on sale, that's what I'd like to concentrate on. Time spent on bookkeeping, project management, tasks secondary in importance (drafting copywriting, agreement writing, and so on), etc--are inflicting damage. Not to mention that the last two years didn't help me any with developing the skills necessary to efficiently plan multiple large projects or the number of invoices I have to send out and other management tasks. I don't have the time, either, to develop and execute my own marketing strategy--I haven't updated my portfolio...which is ok for now, it would only attract more buyers. So, while I'm working on stabilizing this workload and on my management skills, I also need to learn about how to manage growth. If I had a second employee to help me with primary and secondary tasks, a project manager, and an accountant--so much more could be accomplished. The financial aspect of getting a full time staff is feasible, either from my own sales or from external investors, but I just don't know how to go about manging growth in general. Would anyone here happen to have any advice, guidance, or literature recommendations? I would appreciate it
  12. Red, I am grateful for your insight. It helped me make some things click in my mind when I read some of your points. Honestly, there is a conflict between my fixation on her past, and my admiration for her as she is today. And you are correct, I believe she had the virtue young in life (the events that set off her depression and poor judgment was actually due to something she did that was good) and these were exceptional events compared with the rest of her life. I think I have the connections made in my mind I can look at this more objectively to see what good can come from a relationship with her. Thanks!
  13. These failed relationships occurred over a significant span of time, other than her teenage years--and the circumstances for the failures of her greatest attempts to date were, and I am being completely honest, far beyond her control. You are right, I need to be more clear on her standards in a partner and understand what it is she sees possible. From what I've gathered, however, is that she wants a positive and fully loving relationship--nothing that is less is what she wants in sharing her life with another person. She does have high standards for who she loves, but she has a few mistakes in (explicit) thinking that I've noticed--but it might be due to just fuzzy thinking on her part and not reflective of her underlying personal philosophy. But I will need to investigate that more closely. It would seem that I am completely comfortable and love who she is right is just the nightmares of her past that keep returning to my mind and distressing me. I am unsure how to break that fixation on the past once I know I'm sure she is who I think she is in the present.
  14. That is possible, I have gathered an estimation about women I become attracted to given some basic concrete facts about them (number of previous partners) and built from the disappointments a view that is not entirely accurate. I don't ask for more details about her past other than the number--the quality of those relationships doesn't matter to me. It is the number I am fixated on. How I managed to build this up over the years I do not understand--and I don't want it to be detrimental to my attempts at a relationship with a woman who has been nearly a perfect fit, other than her past I cannot fully overcome.
  15. rtg24, I don't really know any objective third parties to evaluate this woman and give me their evaluation of her character. The closest I would have, to eliminate the possibility of this type of projection, is what I have already done--I've looked at her friends and mutual friends we both have. She spends time with people who, before I knew her through friends, are rational and do have a good sense of life and have maintained friendships with individuals of similar philosophy. Perhaps it is possible to figure out something from that. It was a fear that I didn't really know her that prompted me to want to learn more about her history--it is still a fear I have, though it isn't as strong as it was before I asked more about her past (since I know a lot about who she is in the present.) Otherwise, what clues might I have in an overly optimistic appraisal of her? (I am reminded of Dagny Taggart's over-optimism in the ability of humanity to change for the better--how could she have been able to tell she was doing this without having to be shown how it played out in reality?) And for the actions and behaviors I've witnessed in the year I've known her, and of her own telling of her history, there has been a change for the better, and it has been consistent for her entire adult life after about age 21. She had a higher than average number of partners for a few years while she was a teenager, all were attempts at starting romantic, loving relationships which she thought sex would lead to. That, of course, wasn't the case and she realized it and decided it wasn't the way to get love. She then became engaged for a few years and left that relationship as it was not progressing how she wanted and then married another. She was married for a long time and then her spouse changed (for the worse) and the relationship ended. She was single for a few years, started another relationship, but it failed due to personal circumstances beyond her control. It has been half a decade since that had ended and we became close--she had told me of some men she had been attracted to and had only carefully pursued before she realized they weren't right for her and she moved on before it became a relationship. Either she has had terrible luck (things beyond her control) or bad premises. She started with bad premises and fixed them and then went through terrible luck thereafter. That's what I think it has been. My trouble is that, after such bad luck and bad premises and indiscretions is it possible that an intimate romantic relationship can never be as valuable?