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About styg50

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  • Birthday 07/24/1978

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Alaska
  1. As an issue of individual rights (property specifically), no one, especially government, should be allowed to take your DNA since it is your property. I think that should be the baseline for law in these kinds of cases. However, I think the issue should be looked at more closely on the state level as it pertains to "emergency ethics" where apparently rational action in the face of an unsolved murder or abduction or disaster may run headlong into apparently effective action in preserving additional lives or property. And while I think states should reserve the right to take this closer look, I do not think they should be allowed to legislate the problem at the state level, except to determine at what level it will be legislated. Instead I think that guidelines for implementation of emergency rules and laws should be issued at the state level, and that the state should be supportive (perhaps with state resources) when those guidelines are followed. As to the granularity of the implementation, that could be county by county, or borough, or district, or city or whatever the state population agrees upon, and the best granularity would probably change for a particular state over the years. It would probably be a confusing and relatively useless effort if it was too granular (say on a school by school basis). I would also say that the nature of these emergency rules shouldn't be of a forced compliance variety, but rather a voluntary compliance. For example, in your case for the school murder, with the subsequent (illegal IMO) DNA testing, a state whose legislation specified that cities were to implement laws regarding emergency ethics could issue guidelines that say they support the authorities being able to quickly and decisively act to acquire relevant data (it would be MUCH more specific than that, but I hope you get the idea). At the city level, a town may implement laws along those guidelines, to specifically say that in the event of an emergency on a public campus, that a very limited DNA sampling could take place, for anyone present on the campus. The voluntary compliance means that long before there is any emergency situation, parents whose children attend that campus would sign a waiver saying they would allow that. In no way should they be REQUIRED to sign said waiver. It is the parents' responsibility, and the child's to assure that when an emergency does occur that they make it known they are exempt from compliance with the law. In the event that NO ONE signs the waiver, that is just an indication that the law was too overreaching for that community. Assuming that the legislation was adopted properly in the first place (with public representation) it would never get that far anyways... As to framing it as a take on conservative philosophy or psychology, I don't personally know anyone who would call themselves a conservative who would support either of the examples you illustrated, so I don't know how commonplace it is. I also don't know anyone who is very religious though, which may be closer to the phenomenon you are witnessing. Someone more tuned to a philosophy of self-sacrifice in the name of the greater good might be tickled pink at the opportunity to give up an essential right in the name of fighting evil. And of course, any liberals I know would love to implement those kinds of laws with forced compliance, as long as they felt it didn't apply to them. They are all for sacrifice in the name of the greater good..when they get to choose the victims.
  2. Happy Birthday to styg50

    Thank you, Betsy!
  3. I don't know anything about Popper except what you have described in your threads, so perhaps I am missing some context, but like Betsy, I am unsure how your statement indicates induction is invalid... It doesn't matter. In Betsy's inductive statement above, "Men are mortal," mortality is what has been observed, along with myriad other abstractions. That this specific abstraction has been isolated, reduced to sensory or axiomatic data and integrated into the full context of what we have already sensed about man is irrelevant to the process of doing so, and choosing to focus on it doesn't invalidate the process. Our certainty about the knowledge gained through this inductive process is always contextual: more context, more inductions, more integrations, more reductions to axioms equals more certainty, not less validity. If this isn't the inductive process being refuted by Popper, please clarify.
  4. Objectivity

    The "popular" usage of 'objective' tends toward a description of the metaphysical, in my experience. In other words, the general usage of it is used to describe existents and their degree of adherence to reality, or in the case of 'subjective,' adherence to consciousness. In a way this is a philosophical use of the term, though wrong. But Ayn Rand made it clear that 'objectivity' is actually a prime component of epistemology, not metaphysics. Existents aren't objective or subjective, they just are. It is our means and methodology of grasping them which could be objective or subjective. By reference to the requirement of logic above, if a concept has been determined objectively, than that is, indeed, 'the end of the story,' as far as being true is concerned. The method of logic rules out any contradictions, and thus the concept will be an accurate description of reality. It might not be utterly comprehensive, but it would still be true.
  5. Practicing math

    Can I suggest grabbing the Cliffnotes for each subject in math that will be covered? The books are cheap, quick, to the point, and 99% of the time convey just the fundamental information you need to solve problems, which makes you a better solver over time. I'm a mechanical engineer, and I keep a stack from algebra to calculus AB on my bookshelf. When I tutor in math, I use the BasicMath Cliffnotes to prime the pump (highschools students usually) and they are always surprised by how much math they "remember" after one half hour session. They are the most effective math 'texts' I have ever run across. They are available on the clifnotes website for free, though a quick comparison indicates that the book I am holding is slightly more detailed, and it may be easier to scan a book than a website, personal preference....
  6. Are Professional Athletes Economically Productive?

    Based on the phrasing of the question, which lumps all professional athletes together, I would say yes, professional athletes can be economically productive, in an Objectivist sense, i.e. they could provide the material value of the spectacle of various types of athleticism (productive) in a manner that abides by the private property requirements of Capitalism (economically). But if you were to apply the question to a specific group of athletes, that won't necessarily be true, primarily the 'economically' part of the equation. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if it were universally not true, at least here in the US, as all the instances I can speak to are non-Capitalist (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA). It is worth noting that the professional sports I am unsure of also happen to be the ones that are more individualistic (tennis, Nascar, golf), so maybe there is hope... To look at one specific case, professional athletes in the NFL, the basic economy tends to the following pattern: At best an Objectivist fan (productive Capitalist, so as not to question where he got his money from) buys a ticket to see his favorite team, some stadium merchandise while he is there and maybe some overpriced stadium beers, and then in fit of fanatical inspiration after the game orders some embroidered team swag from the online NFL shop and signs up for the Sunday Ticket package on satellite so he won't miss a minute more of the athletic, strategic and tactical phenomenon he enjoys, oh, so much. That money then gets distributed to the teams themselves in different ways, based on a thoroughly non-Objectivist rules framework attained through collective bargaining. It should be noted that this CBA was possible due to an anti-trust 'exemption' which amounts to little more than expedient political favoritism to a select group of crony-capitalists, to protect them from other capitalists, crony- and otherwise. The fan's stadium expenses go straight to the owner of the team, via concession stand fees, minus a percentage of the 'gate' which goes to the owner of the visiting team. His online expenses go to a revenue sharing pool, along with a cut of the television programming bill he now pays. This revenue pool is designed to support the lowest earning franchises at the expense of the higher earning franchises, despite whatever management gambles and foibles the one might care to perpetrate against the others. From this revenue pool, a percentage of it has been earmarked to go to a compensation pool, and some has been earmarked to finance an illegal bubble-financing arm of the NFL New York office which has the innocuous duty of financing new stadium construction, but which actually engages in a tactical, strategic and dare I say athletic securing of publicly held debt (local stadium taxes) that rivals their on-field product. These publicly funded stadiums are built on Keynesian principles and function as corporate bailouts and handouts. The money that found its way around the groping hands of the team owners and into the compensation pool is then divided up according to tenure in the league, based on veteran minimum salaries, regardless of personal production levels. A lucky few have the talent and opportunity to command their own price once their arbitrarily pegged rookie contracts run out...contracts which payout based on where the player ended up slotted in the annual draft process which guarantees that the worst of the franchises get first dibs. Any rookie who disagrees with this process has very little leverage with which to protect their blossoming career, and more than one has been ruined, almost preemptively in the process. While not everyone of these factors is at play at all times (some stadiums have more or less public financing, for example) the principles behind them (crony-capitalism) are. Like I said, one can readily see that there is potential for some of the individual sports like golf or tennis to buck these trends, if one looked into it, but I would bet that in any case where large physical facilities (re. monuments) are in play, the dangers to a truly Capitalist economics are also present. Can a conscientious Objectivist honestly, then, value the product as it is presented to them (as a weekend stadium experience, a double-header at the park, a house party during the Super Bowl?) If they partake of it in a thoughtful manner, I would say that, yes, they can. But that is another subject, entirely.
  7. Happy Birthday to styg50

    thank you everyone! Wonderful words Brian! I appreciate them very much.
  8. Retributive justice and revenge

    I think a good conceptual help would be to think of justice as "preservation of the good." I have often found that when looking at revenge, it has helped to clarify its inappropriateness by addressing in what way it actually helps preserve the good, as opposed to punish the evil. IF the good isn't being preserved, justice isn't properly being carried out. That is its whole purpose. An example might be the main character in the novel "Eye for an Eye," by Erica Holzer. The character loses a daughter and the criminal responsible is released on a technicality. When the main cahracter turns to vigilantiism to avenge her daughter, she ends up placing her own life and freedom in jeapordy, highlighting the inappropriateness of revenge as a true means of exacting justice. More good down the tubes just to punish a bad guy? That can't be justice.
  9. My Standup Comedy Debut

    You're awesome Betsy!
  10. Taken (2008)

    Maybe you are thinking of 'stoic?'
  11. I agree with what the others have said here. This early in your education be willing to think quite broadly about your field. As an electrical engineering major, there is a very good chance that you will eventually pursue a highly specialized niche in that field. This summer internship sounds like a great source for personal growth, and there will also be opportunities to find out how your major intersects with the medical field. Think of it as integration.
  12. A Dissection of Mr. Obama's "Salute" to Islam

    From Cline's column:
  13. Inflation

    I am very impressed by the price of gas. I have had the privelege of seeing some of the work being done on the north slope, and there are certainly some productive men and women at work in the rank and file of the oil sites. The top personalities in Alaska oil ownership isn't impressive to me, but I see very little actual information about them, and am confident in even less when it comes to the popular opinion of them. I think there are a number of Dagnys in the field, and a significant number of James as well.
  14. Personal Activism

    I mentioned before that I am tutoring (on occassion) local highschool students in the Fountainhead contests. I had the most ever applicants this year, and I have taken Betsy's advice and hope to work with ARI to increase Ayn Rand's exposure here in Alaska. Working with young minds is utterly rewarding. I also posted the following article on a (american) football website that I am an editor on. Familiarity with the circumstances surrounding the tumultuous offseason of NFL's Denver Broncos helps to know the who's who and what's what of the post. From Whence Character The post deals with the ideas of "character," "focus," and "evasion" and isn't anything new to Objectivists. What is of interest is the response from the fan community. This is a beer and pretzels crowd, but their "sense of life" is still very strong, and the feedback was inspiring, with a record number of "rec's" for the site, and 130 positive responses, including a short discussion of Ayn Rand that led to someone purchasing her novels. Most if not all of them recognized the value of the ideas in their own lives, and some even commented that they felt the ideas would help make them better people. Unfortunately the attribution feature of the built in story editor (as well as the autotagger and other distribution goodies) have been unreliable, so two quotes in the story didn't get proper attribution. The attribution is in the code, but it won't show up on the page itself, and we haven't found a way to fix it yet. One attribution is Merriam-webster online, and the other is the Ayn Rand Lexicon. the latter was fixed in the commenting section, but would look more professional if it showed up within the quote itself. Since going up the article has been picked up by Yahoo! Sports news feed and has appeared in the feature section of, and both places' readership received it warmly. A football website might seem like the last place where Ayn Rand's ideas could have an impact, but it just goes to show that where there are Objectivists, there is hope.