Carlos

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Everything posted by Carlos

  1. I support a few tea-party organizations, and this has not been my experience at all.
  2. Funny Videos

    Bone-dry humor!
  3. Introspecting

    And beyond this, how does he know that the blotches of color on an electronic display correspond to the spatial arrangement of types of tissue within his own head? Shouldn't he say that he sees only colors? I doubt he's ever literally sawed open a living man's head, so he's never actually detected a brain within his definition. He's only seen schematics that must be symbolically interpreted by a conceptual mind to relate to the brain that he assures to us exists. Based on this discussion, I don't believe brains exist. There are only colors on a display; red, blue, and green.
  4. Daniel Dennett on Consciousness

    Most "demonstrations" of our brains supposed capacity for deception and illusion are based on clever arrangements of colors and shapes so as to exploit our brain's incredible ability for pattern recognition and confound it, thereby making us so trends and patterns that aren't really there. This is not a testament to how our brain deludes us or hides reality behind some veil of illusion, but is a simple statement of the fact that we are not infallible and that given a suitable arrangement of stimuli our sensory faculties can be momentarily tricked. Notice though that no one mentions that our mistakes in perception are self-correcting through alternate means (we can touch something to reveal an illusion where our eyes had tricked us), and in the long-run we can always use our senses to construct machines that enhance our perception, thereby eliminating said illusions.
  5. Well said and exactly. You cannot discuss this with someone who would view said discussion as an opportunity for political exploitation. There is no negotiation with these people.
  6. I'm not sure why specifically you mentioned the AR-15, but just in case you are falling for some of the popular misconceptions pertaining to this firearm, this is worth mentioning: http://www.nssf.org/msr/facts.cfm AR-15-style rifles are no more powerful than other hunting rifles of the same caliber and in most cases are chambered in calibers less powerful than common big-game hunting cartridges like the 30-06 Springfield and .300 Win. Mag. AR-15's are no more deadly than any traditional wood stock semi-auto deer rifle. AR-15's just look "dangerous" to people because they superficially resemble the guns used by the military in movies.
  7. The problem is that yielding any ground on gun-control will be aggressively exploited by the leftists as one more step in the creeping direction of gun bans. I think it's similar to how while marginally raising taxes on everyone might help in balancing the budget, still raising taxes should be resisted on principle because we should never yield anything to leftists who would view it as another successful little step towards statism.
  8. http://www.nature.com/news/quantum-gas-goes-below-absolute-zero-1.12146
  9. With Gun Control, Cost Benefit Analysis Is Amoral

    While enacting laws based only on "cost benefit analysis" would be collective utilitarianism, this hardly means we should ignore the mountains of studies which have obliterated the practicality of gun control. Regarding them as "endlessly battling statistical studies" as Binswanger does gives far too much ground, and almost makes it sound as if neither side in the gun-control debate can be empirically proven right. These kinds of "top-down" approaches to issues, where one starts with abstractions and deduces what laws we should have in some concrete situation, are probably totally useless with the average Americans who are not philosophically inclined.
  10. The Narcissist in Chief

    The story speaks for itself http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-uses-funeral-service-talk-about-himself_690960.html It's amazing to compare Obama's speeches to Bush's. With as much as the world flamed Bush for his supposed lack of eloquence, at least when he talked about something he talked about something. With Obama though, everything is merely another opportunity to revel in his eminence.
  11. Objectivist, But Not Democrat or Republican

    The GOP is obviously not the ideal political party, but it is obvious that they are drastically less destructive to America than the modern left. Observe that the most frustrating fault of the current GOP---which is that they frequently cave and compromise on principles with the left---only occurs so frequently because the left is so viciously aggressive in their long-term goal of socialism and statism, to the extent that the left is willing to play political games of "chicken" even when the stakes involve bankruptcy of the nation, destruction of the economy, and even compromising national security. These kinds of malicious, cynical games bulldoze the GOP, as the GOP neither has sufficient intellectual arms for retaliating, nor has an objective media to rely upon for dissecting what is really happening in Washington DC. This is all the more reason for us to throw our support behind the GOP, and advocate for better principles, a better understanding individual rights and the role of government in a rational society, and a stronger allegiance to these principles. At the end of the day it is a two party system, and if the GOP can't function effectively as a bulwark against the advances of the left, then this country is gone already.
  12. Once again, Rush has something to say...

    The above is from "Anthem" by Rush. Overall I think Rush did what Terry Goodkind did with books---only in reverse. Goodkind began an artistic construction, appeared to have discovered Rand, then awkwardly sewed Objectivism explicitly into his novel series. With Rush, ideas of Rand were sprinkled heavily in their beginning works, only to slowly phase out. I'm not sure Peart ever was an Objectivists. I think he's just a very intelligent, well-read man, who went through a brief phase of really being interested in Rand and her ideas. Regardless, he's lead an immensely productive and admirable life.
  13. Once again, Rush has something to say...

    Maybe another song where they have something to say. Red Barchetta: a benevolent song about an unusual future dystopia where apparently traditional motor cars have been banned. The protagonist drives through the highways of the countryside in an old muscle car, eluding authorities in an exhilarating race. http://youtu.be/FAvQSkK8Z8U
  14. Once again, Rush has something to say...

    Rush's music epitomized, like no other, the innocent youthful excitement and seemingly limitless energy and growth of the 1980's.
  15. Once again, Rush has something to say...

    I think my favorite Rush song is still The Camera Eye It's such an unusual, genuinely benevolent, and energetic description of a city http://youtu.be/2LmIOg33oPo
  16. Once again, Rush has something to say...

    I prefer something more positive by Rush http://youtu.be/u7W0Nm8iHwk
  17. The last battle?

    I don't remember hearing that in "Black Water"
  18. The 1900 hurricane isn't really fair to include though because that was before RADAR or any kind of weather forecasting or alert system, so that huge hurricane completely caught the town unawares in the middle of the night; something which will never happen again in our modern world. That's why I would think myself more likely to die from a Tornado: hurricanes are relatively easy to track, tornadoes are virtually completely random!
  19. Isn't that a little pessimistic and paranoid though? Should we all evacuate the American Northwest because an earthquake might happen in the next 400 years? I think it is equally as possible for the home I grew up in (in Tornado Alley) to be destroyed by an F5 by then. And aren’t we also due for another magnetic-pole reversal as well as a catastrophic meteor impact in the future? If we want to go far enough, Andromeda Galaxy is going to collide with us in 3 billion years, should we worry about that too? I know that sounds ridiculous, but, don’t you think there are people living in the American Northwest who accept the risk but stay because they love living there, and taking the risk to live where they want is more important than cringing over natural disasters that might happen?
  20. The Narcissist in Chief

    Narcissism is not rational egoism.
  21. 476 Rome, 2008 Washington D.C.

    A single molehill of faults does not invalidate a mountain of merits about our Founders and the USA. We were and still are an exceptional nation. We don't need to wait for 10,000 years before an absolutely literally flawless hypothetical nation appears before we can appreciate, admire, and support good nations that exist now.
  22. The Source Of Violence In Islam

    Notice the utter subjectivity of this law, on two fronts. "Disrespect" is in the eye of the receiver of the alleged disrespect, and there's no principled manner in which to rigorously define "disrespect" for law purposes. It will be a thoroughly malleable law, allowing almost anything to fall under the header of "express disrespect", especially for Islamic fanatics, who will claim that everything from how non-Muslims in Western countries dress to the food served at restaurants is offensive to their faith. What qualifies for an "ethnic group". White people who live in America but whose blood line came from Spain are considered "Hispanic", and receive all the associated benefits of being an ethnic group or a minority. White people from Germany or Italy do not get to bubble in on these forms that they are "Germanic" or "Italic". Who decides which group gets to receive the blessing of "minority"? Almost everyone is a minority in some sense. And this all goes without saying that you have no right to not be offended. Being offended is an emotional state of mind, and you have no right to dictate how others affect your emotions.
  23. The Source Of Violence In Islam

    Ridiculous stories from the UK about people being fined for merely being "offensive" are becoming routine.
  24. The Source Of Violence In Islam

    And worse yet, because our enemy is Islamofascism, which is an ideology and an unofficial organization of thugs and soldiers and terrorists and brigands delocalized all across the Middle East, Asia, and now parts of Europe and even North America, our military and government lack a clear concrete target on which to focus their efforts. Instead we seem to be fighting half-restrained wars all over the place, killing a lot of random bad guys without ever dealing a decisive stroke to end this war.
  25. How do you explain this?

    It's only confounding and in need of explanation if you buy into the popular creation myth that is The Big Bang.