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Everything posted by Red

  1. A personal ethical dilemma

    You could try demonstrating to her, more concretely, why lying is bad - even the smallest lies. She probably looks at it morally as a floating abstraction, separated from reality. Most people do. Probably because the morality of lying is usually inherited from religion, where lying is wrong "because God says so". If, on the other hand, you can show her why lying is damaging to herself and people around her, then she may understand your position better and hopefully stop it.
  2. Yes, but my point was that the law does not really limit the freedom of speech for rational ideas. It's still a very bad law, and i'm not denying it has negative consequences, but it's rather toothless - though it should of course never have existed in the first place.
  3. I think you are both wrong here, thankfully. The law of agitation against an ethnic group can, at most, yield 2 years in jail. If it's considered negligible you can only get fined. In practice swedish courts never rule the full penalty of the law(their reasoning is that it should be reserved for the very worst crimes, and all crimes can always be made worse). As an example of what you actually can "get away" with, Pastor Åke Green called "sexual abnormities" like homosexuality a cancerous tumor on society in a cermon, and in court the judges ruled in his favor. I don't in any way agree with the law, but in practice I think it would take quite a lot to run into any trouble with it.
  4. More "Monopoly" Madness

    That's like moving to China because things are messed up in the US. Though i'm very disappointed to read about Microsoft's practices here, surely Ballmer must seem like a saint compared to some of the raving lunatics of the OSS world. Just take Richard Stallman as an example, the man who thinks proprietary software is like feeding crack to your children. Though he doesn't represent the whole community he certainly represents alot of the ideology behind open-source software. To put it frankly, alot of the developers are a bunch of left-wing pinko's who think all software should be "free", i.e. free from patents, copyrights and corporate interests. So the GNU/Linux "camp" is not a better place to be. Even if you're not giving them your money, more users on their platform(s) will help fuel their cause. As for the software itself there's alot to be said. Mostly negative from my part, but what it really boils down to is what you're going to use your computer for and what aspects you value most.
  5. The esthetics of modern motor vehicles.

    rtg24, aren't you comparing apples to oranges here? Take fashion and style for example: Karl Lagerfeldt(bleh!) and sloppily dressed actors(?), compared to pre-40's style and elegance? I would rather compare to this: (a little busy for my taste, but a wonderfull play with colors and patterns) Or this: Or this: As for watches, Patek Philipe certainly has some exquisite new models too. That Hublot watch is just a completely different style.
  6. Beautiful guns

    I know practically nothing about guns, but if I ever get one it would be one of these: If i'm gonna shoot bad guys, better do it with style.
  7. I found it real easy to learn. On the other hand, we start to learn English very early on here and the language is all around you. I mean, if you play with computers or watch TV alot of it is going to be in English, and all that exposure makes it much easier. German was harder, and the little I learned i've probably forgotten. I always found it dull, boring and ugly. Our teacher also had this fascination with german folk songs which helped reinforce my aversion for it. But everything is hard to learn when you don't like it. So far I speak Swedish, English and Finnish fluently. My Finnish is getting pretty rusty though, as I only use it when I talk to my mother. Switching between them is much like flipping a switch. Sometimes I may need a little warm-up before switching modes completely, for example if a stranger suddenly starts talking to me in English or Finnish. I've tried learning a little Japanese, but never really stuck to it(I may pick it up again though, it was pretty fun). It seemed fairly easy to learn. Alot of the pronunciation actually reminded me of Finnish, only with a different rhytm. There are even jokes about "speaking Japenese" with some Finnish nonsense where you have chopped off the words. Grammar and vocabulary are very different though.
  8. Try exposing yourself to all kinds of different situations. You can start with smaller tasks and challenges. For example; asking people about the time or directions, giving random compliments, starting a small conversation in the line at the grocery store... baby steps at first, then more difficult and challenging.
  9. Sounds like you had a pretty good time and that it was an interesting experience. You had the courage to go outside your comfort-zone into a difficult situation and not knowing exactly what to expect. Maybe summoning more courage would have helped in this situation, but I don't think that's the main problem. I'm only speculating here and relating from my own experiences, but it seems more like you later lost objective and did not know what to do. When presented with the situation with the girl in front of you it was pretty simple; just say something and start learning about her. Later you are in a situation where you need to take more initiative, other people are maybe percieved as obstacles, and you have already had that initial interaction so you need something to follow up with. Would you have acted the same if, say, one of the girls proved really interesting but the time ran out before you had the chance to ask her some really important question. Later you find her standing alone and smiling at you. All you'd have to do is walk up to her and say; "Hey, I never got the chance to ask you...". Is it fair to assume that in such a situation it would have been much easier? Maybe a little nervous, but not so bad that you couldn't give yourself a kick in the butt and do it? I could be wrong of course but looking at my own experiences this has always been the biggest problem. When the situation changes, or when presented with an unfamiliar situation, my mind shifts focus(getting caught in my head). The good thing is that it's a lot easier fixed than summoning all your courage and force yourself to do it. Either you come up with a question or subject you like to talk about or you can try simple routine questions, like; "did you guys have a good time?", "what did you think of blablabla?" or "have you ever tried something like this before?". If you see groups forming(which often happens around pretty ladies), just dive in with a friendly smile and a "hi!"(and also take the chance to chat with the other guys). Courage is important, especially to push through those difficult and awkward situations - which are inevitable - but a good aproach and mindset makes things sooo much easier. And regarding feelin awkward... stop feeling awkward and be awesome instead. If you don't have anything to say it's perfectly fine to just shut up, so don't worry about it. If you are comfortable in your own skin it could even make you stand out in a positive way and spark some interest.
  10. AVATAR

    I think the plot in this movie was very cliché and unengaging. My impression was that the plot and theme was made to attract a large audience, and what the movie really "sold" was the stunning visuals. For that reason I also find it hard to criticize it philosophically, beacause it's simplistic and there's not much that's actually made exlpicit(though there certainly was a fair share of mysticism and other things that, at times, was a bit hard to stomach). As a visual experience though I think it was absolutley amazing. The trailers and screencaps i've seen did not make it any justice at all, and I thought they looked pretty good. I'm probably going to buy the DVD just to study it, that's how good it was.
  11. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!
  12. When it comes to old rear-engined Porsche's though, I don't know... Sure they are great cars, it's just that puting the engine behind the rear axle sort of makes the car want to kill you. It's fun if you can handle it(I can't, so maybe that's the problem), but these cars mean buisness. Newer 911's just seem a little nicer.
  13. Happy Birthday to Red

    Thank you! O dear, my birthday again... feels like it was only a year ago last time. Can't complain though. And that Corvette... I think i'm developing feelings for those cars that are seriously inappropriate for any car. The rational thing to do would probably be to take a cold shower, but when I have a little more time over I think i'll have to start a new thread celebrating this... more hedonistic side of my nature.
  14. It certainly was! Thanks! The 968 seems like a very interesting, and potent, car. Looks like a pretty big improvement over the 944, which is a rather popular track-day car around here. I'll have to make sure to try one. It's also interesting to note how very different the american market is compared to the swedish. Browsing through some used cars ads the most expensive 968's I could find cost $28K, and the cheapest ones less than half of that. The more expensive ones were Clubsport versions with $20K worth of tuning. A well kept stadard version would perhaps cost a little less than $20K. So, I guess that's about the same as in the US. However, a Cayman S would be alteast $60K. Then the insurance would probably be something like $5K per year, while I suspect that one could get an enthusiast insurance through the Porsche Club for an older car which would be less than $200. And yes, in case you wonder, i'm trying to convince myself that getting a Porsche would be a perfectly rational thing to do once i'm finished with my studies and have a job(soon, soooon i'll finally have a real car again! ).
  15. That's a great list. I'll need a big garage when I get rich... I would have liked to see the Nissan 350z replaced by the 180sx. Not because the 350z is bad car. It's a very good car, but also a bit... well, boring. While not as fast the 180sx is pure fun(especially sideways), it's easy to tune and it's a bit of a classic. I may be a bit partial here though. The Alfasud is also a really fund car. I've owned a couple of it's sucessor, the 33. Worthless build quality aside, the engine is amazingly responsive and the chassis is very well balanced making the car easy to control with the throttle - which is rare for a fwd car. As number one i'm hoping to see my favorite car, which is the Corvette ZR1. How does the 968 compare to the 944? I've driven a couple of those with slighly adjusted suspension, and that's some great handling for a very affordable price(around here it's almost half the price of a 968).
  16. An hypothesis about intelligence

    Perhaps they get defensive when they think that their ideas and values are being attacked, and that they are being - unjustly - attacked when you pronounce moral judgments. I don't see what you expect to accomplish here. All you get is some momentary psychological satisfaction by alienating your workmates. It seems like a waste of time and energy to me.
  17. An hypothesis about intelligence

    Yes, if they think that Objectivism is irrational they're probably judging it by some irrational standard. We're talking people here who have been fed irrational ideas all their lives, of course they have made mistakes in their thinking. However, they might also have rational standards which they apply to your presentation and not necessarily the ideas themselves. The point with my examples is was to show that you will be viewed very differently depending on how you communicate. I can't say if this means they think you're part of some crazy sect, or if you're pushy, argumentative, confrontational, "hard-selling" it or anything else; since I don't know you and don't know how you approach these subjects I can't judge that. What I do know for a fact however is that your approach here has a great impact on the results you will get. I'm also polite to religous people btw. I give them a friendly smile and say; "Oh, religon? I'm not interested. Have a good day!". I'm not open to their ideas and see no reason to hear them out and engage in any discusions. To have "defenses" is both rational and important. If you don't have any sort of filter you'd soon have to consider every idea that's ever thought of. You would waste alot of valuable time that you could spend on more productive things. Also, ideas are very important and accepting the wrong ones can have serious consequences - especially when we're talking ideas that can fundamentally change a persons world view. Being open-minded is not a good thing. Active-minded, yes, but not open to anything. A persons "defenses" can of course be based on misconceptions and false ideas, which is not a good thing either, but unless you're preaching to the choir that's just going to be the reality of the situation. On top of that, as mentioned earlier, you may encounter problems just by bringing these things up at work.
  18. An hypothesis about intelligence

    The problem here might be that you are talking alot about your ideas but what you're communicating could be something entierly different. Most people don't understand these ideas at all. It is so completely out of their frame of reference that they probably don't know what to make of it, and even if they tried they may not always have the proper tools. Simply put, you are trying to make people listen to ideas that, to them, are pretty far out there. To put yourself in their position imagine what it would be like if you were working with a Jehovas Vitness or Scientologist who wants to enlighten you on their beliefs. Maybe he means well - it's about the salvation of your soul after all - and maybe he's not even preaching, but how much attention would you devote to that persons ideas? Sure, in this case you actually got reason and logic on your side, but unless you communicate well chances are it goes all over their heads. And, communication is about alot more than just words. Now, I don't know what you are actually communicating, it can be many different things, but if it's a common problem that people don't listen and take you seriously it's a good idea to take a carefull look at it and make necessary adjustments(without compromising your integrity, of course). Let me make a little analogy here to illustrate this further. I worked a little bit with sales a few years ago where my job was to convince people to change mobile phone operators. At this time we were the only ones on the market offering the kind of service that we had, which was a flat rate on phone calls. Our closest competitor had a similar service but with limitations. We offered this to companies that made alot of phone calls and often they could make a significant cut in costs. So, I set out thinking this could not be too hard to sell. People like saving money and do more fun things with them than pay phone bills, right? Of course I wasn't completely naive, but this was truly a golden oppurtunity to make loads of money because of how the market looked like then. The problem however is that you can have a great product, a perfect pitch and many rational reasons for people to buy the product and your sales figures are not even going to look mediocre. Why is that? The problem is that people don't hear what a great product it is and all the rational reasons to value it. It's like if you're buying a sports car, the first question in your mind is probably not going to be what the spec. sheet looks like but rather how it is to drive and what it's like to own that car. So what's in fact communicated here is; "Good day sir/ma'm, i'm an obnoxious salesman trying to part you from your hard earned money and waste your valuable time trying to pitch a product that won't do half of the things I claim". Just like any other salesman they've met. Is it fair to brush me off like that and assume that i'm going to rip them off without any supporting evidence? Without giving them any reason, a reason they can understand, I think that's perfectly fair. I think it's only rational to have some sort of defenses and filters to what you listen to and take under rational consideration. Take a different approach instead. Get to know the person and what he values, find out a little bit about his needs and on top of that, if you get the chance, try building a little rapport. Then show how the product matches his values and meets his needs and you'll have a fair chance of closing the deal and have a happy customer. Now you are more likely to communicate the concern for a happy customer, that you understand him and what you're selling to him is actually what he wants. There are alot of similarities here to "selling" ideas. Of course there are differences but the same principles apply. If I were to do that i'd first look at establishing some common ground in terms of fundamental values, i'd do my best to understand the persons concerns and try to build some form of friendship. Then i'd present the ideas so as to show how it applies to that persons values. Atleast that would be a very simplified and condensed version of it. To me it seems like you are trying to shoot down peoples defenses and think they are stubborn and irrational when you can't break through. My suggestion is to look at what you are communicating and see how that matches what you actually want to communicate, then make adjustments if necessary. Hopefully that will give much better responses.
  19. An hypothesis about intelligence

    Those are the reasons why people would get entierly different responses from me if they bring these subjects up at work or privately. At work I usually respond with something vague enough to make it clear that I don't agree but don't want to start an argument, or if asked a direct question I answer but make it clear that it's my final word on the subject. When someone tells you they are not interested it can mean a number of different things. For example; "not interested... in discussing this with you, the way you present your arguments, right now, at this place, when I haven't first had the chance to present my views properly, because my cat is sick...". Even if you find people who just can't be reasoned with you're not justified to make claims about most of humanity. It doesn't matter wether it's one, ten or one hundred people. In my own experience though the responses you get often has a lot to do with your own approach. So, if most people don't want to listen to you I think it would be wise to take a good look on how you communicate with them.
  20. "The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Atleast he's in good company with the likes of Al Gore, Yasser Arafat, Alva Myrdal
  21. Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

    On the other hand, I think 'talk' is how leftists define peace.

    Happy Birthday!
  23. Jokes

    Why Men don't write advice colums... Dear Walter, I hope you can help me here. The other day, I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't driven more than a mile down the road when the engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbours daughter. I am 32, my husband is 34, and the neighbours daughter is 22. We have been married for ten years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for the past six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him. He was sacked from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. He won't go to counselling and I'm afraid I can't get through to him anymore. Can you please help? Sincerely, Sheila ------------------------------ - Dear Sheila: A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no dirt in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors. I hope this helps. Walter.
  24. Is it this one? Varning: may induce projectile vomiting:
  25. How bad is soft drink?

    Sugar and acid from the drinks softens the enamel. Brushing the teeth immediately after drinking will wear down the enamel. It's better to rinse with water and have a xylitol gum after drinking and eating. Wait atleast 30-45 minutes before brushing your teeth.