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About AdamM

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  • Birthday 07/06/1985

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  1. Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011)

    I liked it too! I was particularly taken with the acting of the men playing Wyatt and Rearden, and I fell for Dagny all over again . I even cried a little bit at one point, which is a great compliment to the picture. In terms of exposing audiences to a different kind of universe and to a new and interesting way of approaching life, I think it's quite well done. On the down side, I thought some of the interactions were too crammed with dialogue -- as though they were trying to put too much into too short a time. Also, there is a little bit of CGI which took me out of a moment, regrettably. These are small issues, though, compared to what it got right -- this movie is a wonderful introduction to Ayn Rand and I'm relieved and happy that it was made .
  2. Atlas Shrugged Movie trailer

    A very nice scene! He's so matter of fact when he declares that he doesn't care about helping the poor -- it's perfect!
  3. Wow! Thanks everybody for the advice, and I reposted the approach to LA video on facebook to make everyone jealous . I plan on checking out the coastline, going to at least one of these restaurants you all have acclaimed, and I'll gladly check out the beach bikeride if the weather is nice! And especially thanks to Alann for the detailed guide -- I'll print it out! I don't know if that was a suggestion, but it worked -- I did in fact laugh out loud.One last thing: I will have a fair amount of free time while I'm there this Wednesday through next Monday, so if any of you locals would like to have a cup of coffee or (dare I hope) play some tennis while I'm out there, send me a PM -- if my course takes near you, I'd love to put some faces to the names I've seen for so long here on THE FORUM!
  4. I am venturing to Southern California for six days, leaving a week from now. Since I know some of you are familiar with the area, I thought you might be able to give me some suggestions on what to see during my time there. I'll have a rental car with unlimited mileage . I have very broad interests, so anything from lectures to natural sights to museums is in my wheelhouse -- and, of course, anything that involves being in the sun! Thanks in advance!!
  5. Excellent post, ewv -- I'm glad you didn't let Mr. Harriman get away with that kind of sleight of hand. And it's an especially odd tactic, because Mr. Newton is one of the greatest scientists in history. If he was belittled, he certainly would deserve more than a one paragraph "defense", including direct quotations and identification of his alleged attackers, and with a complete, point-by-point rebuttal of the belittler's charges, by reference to the best sources available. The response, as it is, would be paltry defense indeed (if it were needed), even for a layperson -- let alone from an author whose book topic relies on an intimate knowledge of the history of science.
  6. Lies Contribute Nothing To Educational Agenda

    Very true! A politician will always get applause if he declares that women, blacks, or teachers are underpaid. I'm a little confused as to how we pick these groups, though -- why is it that I never hear that social workers are underpaid? Why all the hubub about teachers? Whatever the reason, I'm glad you're keeping an eye on these con artists!
  7. Lies Contribute Nothing To Educational Agenda

    I don't understand the last section of the last sentence -- particularly, "granting the existence of a problem that is enough to singlehandedly guarantee that a very slender chance of America eventually becoming rational instead becomes exactly zero." I read it four times and it's not sinking in -- would you reword it? You're right, though -- the fundamental arguments must be made -- and heard -- to make a difference in the long run. But arguing against particularly virulent government actions is still valuable -- be it affirmative action in state schools or the progressive income tax -- since battling these things back gives us time to convince more people, or, if it can be impaired enough, to live our lives. And I do not agree that arguing against these two issues supports the idea that the state should run schools or that it has the power to tax to begin with -- it simply says that while it does run schools and tax, it should do so in a way that is as benign as possible -- until these institutions can be done away with. I only hope that short-term tactics will buy us enough time to popularize the proper philosophy.
  8. Lies Contribute Nothing To Educational Agenda

    Of course this is true. Good teachers should (and would) make hundreds of thousands and bad teachers shouldn't have jobs. I agree completely.In the meantime, I think it is absolutely proper to fight egregious irrationality, such as siphoning off good minds to toil in bureacracy with wages higher than private companies can afford to pay, since the ever-increasing taxes required to pay for those wages have prevented them from hiring. Would you object if all postal workers were paid $100,000 a year? A million? Or would you say that there is nothing new to say, except they've always been overpaid, since it's an improper function of government? Are the members of our military overpaid, since they use funding extorted by force? While government does do perform these functions, it is rational to support them being done as well as possible, with as little waste and intrusion as possible.
  9. Lies Contribute Nothing To Educational Agenda

    Sorry, I just realized this is very unclear -- I meant to say that the salary a teacher would earn, if she earned at the same RATE as a year-round worker of comparable skill, would be MUCH less. This is what I believe the author is calling "comparable salary." That is, if you had two identical workers, one working as a teacher and the other as a year-round worker, and the latter made $12 a year, the "comparable salary" of the former would be $10, since the average private worker works 12/10ths as much as the teacher in per year.Your ~$59,000 figure was from a table in the study, but that table used something called "comparable wage," which I think is the wage earned by a comparable worker. In other words, the average teacher actually makes around $57,000 at her job, while the average year around worker with a similar education makes around $59,000. This shows us that non-teaching workers are only making $2,000 for their extra two months of work on average, since teachers work about 65 days less per year. Then there is a third column in the study, which just prorates the wages of these workers for the time school teachers actually work (e.g. $50,000 - 2/12 * 50,000). This column shows us that only in two smallish counties do teachers make less than their private enterprise counterparts when accounting for time actually worked, although I don't believe that this takes into account health and other benefits. Sorry if I was unclear before!
  10. Lies Contribute Nothing To Educational Agenda

    Are you sure that you're interpreting Dr. Taylor's study properly? Rather than indicating what teachers would make if they worked the whole year, I think she is reporting the average 12-month salary for comparable non-teachers (comparable in education, I guess -- I couldn't find it in her paper). She wrote in that study, $57,424 divided by $59,149 is 97%. In other words, based on the time they actually work, there are only two districts where teachers would make better money in a private job (on average). And in most districts, they make more than comparable workers in the private sector. Indeed, I think the real situation is even more ridiculous than you wrote (believe it or not!).Teachers are GROSSLY overpaid in your state -- and if you extend their salary to a full year and factor in benefits, I would imagine your average teacher would have to make something roughly equivalent to $70,000 to be earning the same amount per time worked. Teachers in Wyoming make more than chemists, architects, and accountants when their salaries are prorated -- and it's close without!! I'm stupified that anyone could say that teachers are underpaid in Wyoming of all places.
  11. Huh? Youth and prettiness solely determine what men want? Speak for yourself!! For the swimsuit edition, yes. As a partner, that won't even get halfway there.Wealth from where? What kind of power? And "women want the nearest alpha male"?? Without any kind of context, this is offensive. However, you didn't portray what men want any better, so at least it's even-handed misrepresentation Being a man who has spent time observing the women of the world, I believe I can shed some light on the topic of what men want. Men want many of the same things women want. We want competence (the more, the better!), playfulness, integrity, courage, etc. But we also want a woman who enjoys being a woman. That is, we like femininity. So things like makeup, posture, hair style, etc., are important to emphasize a woman’s feminine traits. I get a lot of enjoyment out of the differences between the sexes, and most men I know want a woman who embraces those differences, too. For more practical details, though, there are a couple of pieces of advice to becoming much more attractive to most men: if you’re overweight, lose weight. If you smoke, stop. We’re visual (and olfactor…ial?) creatures! Also, just as with men, confidence in women is an excellent aphrodisiac .
  12. What a lovely example... They should really make an appearance in a grammar book; "Yes, Sally. 'Is' is the helping verb in the sentence, 'Congressman Frank is deplorable.' Good job!"
  13. Abandon the Earth!!!!

    Why does anyone care about the plight of potential humans a thousand or million years from now? I'm sure they'll figure out any real threats to humanity and deal with them -- but if they don't, I'm still unworried. And why is the indefinite propogation of the species valuable? If we went to another planet and colonized to decrease the chances of extinction from, say, a meteor, we're also increasing the chances that half of the population dies by two, all other things being equal. Somehow, it seems that these people lose sight of the individual nature of experiencing life and instead place it on the whole, like some giant organism which will be fine if it loses a part of itself, so long as some of it survives. But people are individuals, and nothing can be valuable completely outside the context of his own life. I respect their contributions to science hugely, but you'd think they could sneak a good philosophy book or two into their summer reading list.
  14. I think it's morally justified if you've payed in more than you're taking out in social services. It's still the case of the double-whammy if you've payed in 100,000 dollars into unemployment, food stamps, or social security and take none back. My favorite example of this would be if someone up the street stole your sofa and recliner. You know he's out of the house and you can get them back. Is it moral to do so, even if you assume that taking your property back will mean he'll take someone else's? I would say yes -- there's no selfish justification for accepting an injustice done to yourself in order to save strangers of said injustice. And, also, provided that you're taking what practical options you can to end the sofa stealing altogether (in the case of social services -- speaking out against them, like John Stossel did with his subsidized house insurance).
  15. Samson

    I agree -- this song is very pretty; I think mostly due to her vocals and melody, while lyrically I am less impressed. What bits of her other music I've listened to seem too whimsical and sporadic for me to enjoy, but this one definitely gets a thumbs up! 9/10