Bert

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Posts posted by Bert


  1. The book does a decent job describing what the bill is on paper and if continued to be implemented as is, who it will benefit, who will suffer, and what issues could possibly arise. It does cover how much has already been revised which is interesting considering its not even half-way through the role-out period (the final pieces are suppose to go into effect January 2018). The book acknowledges its a changing law but tries to predict where the friction will arise forcing these revisions.


  2. This book gives a great overview of the major aspects of Obamacare. It is easy to read, full of good facts, and works as a good introduction to ObamaCare. It seems to be written with the goal of being very easy to understand as it is overly repetitive at times but it does help drive the point home. It focuses on what ObamaCare is and how the pieces of it that have been implemented have changed the health industry, not necessarily the consequences or morality of it. However, it does make some reasonable predictions (e.g., it doubted that Americans would be able to keep their current insurance plan :lol: ). I highly recommend it as an introduction to ObamaCare.



  3. The attitude of criticizing someone else for doing something in their interest which does not harm themselves is so frustrating to encounter. Some people sincerely don't want others to succeed but I suspect others just get parts of this attitude by osmosis - especially in regards to the profit motive.


  4. Going to the 'cognitive gym' can't replace understanding and isn't necessary. Proper education is.

    But there are certain mental operations that, although useful can become somewhat atrophied due to new technological options. The example in the article is the usage of one's memory - being able to look up facts so easily can make one lazy in this sense diminishing one's ability to remember. Wouldn't specific mental exercises geared towards strengthening these now sometimes optional mental skills be useful?


  5. Finding the right person is important to a good relationship but at the same time, making it work doesn't necessarily come natural. Some people seem to really understand how to build and sustain a relationship whether a romantic one or a friendship. They find special ways of interacting, showing their affection, and keeping the bond going strong. I've had a problem with this but have met someone who is extremely good at it. As I spend more time with her, I feel I am depending on her to support the relationship. That's why I'm looking to better understand the different aspects of a successful relationship - does anyone have any good recommendations? I know there are countless relationship books but I'm looking for something that really gets to the heart of what is required for intimacy and sustaining an enjoyable, healthy relationship - ideally romantic. I've started to read "The Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love with Passion and Reason" by Edwin Locke and Ellen Kenner and it seems to be in line with what I'm looking for but gathering as much material as I can find - any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


  6. Transportation and other technology has made it possible to be much more physically inactive. Now it is becoming easier to be more cognitively inactive with information just a search away. Perhaps people will have to adjust to cognitive aids as they are having to do with physical aids by doing specific cognitive exercises analogous to going to the gym.


  7. If I could change one thing, it would be to increase the quality of education. (Like you say RayK, a lack of interest begins with reason and logic. Without an ability to validate and defend chosen values through reasoning, one is hopeless in today's culture.) I try to imagine the brilliant, constant stream of innovation seen in some industries such as tech applied to the seemingly stagnating area of education and wonder about the possibilities. (Has Montissori really been the latest major innovator in education?)

    Check out the Winter 2012 issue of The Objective Standard. They have an article on "Interviews with Innovators in Private Education." You can read the beginning of the article here.

    That was refreshing - especially the LePort School systems.


  8. Perhaps it's the schools fault. For some people thinking seems to have become a terrible burden. It's like they have never experienced the joy of learning, understanding and solving difficult problems. Instead they regard it as useless and cumbersome, and make every effort to supress their conciousness.

    If I could change one thing, it would be to increase the quality of education. (Like you say RayK, a lack of interest begins with reason and logic. Without an ability to validate and defend chosen values through reasoning, one is hopeless in today's culture.) I try to imagine the brilliant, constant stream of innovation seen in some industries such as tech applied to the seemingly stagnating area of education and wonder about the possibilities. (Has Montissori really been the latest major innovator in education?) Both the teachers and what they teach could use an upgrade to say the least. I recently watched a documentary that claimed 1/3 of teachers need second jobs to get by. The teachers interviewed had an exhausted, defeated demeanor - hardly a motivating, inspiring role model to guide kids. Combine this with the poor teaching philosophies and the mentioned trend seems logical.


  9. I would say some causes for people coming off as unintelligent would be mental lethargy from a lack of interest, bad thinking methods, or just plain dumbness. I think the first two would most explain a rise in unintelligent people. A lack of interest can relate to the overall valueless culture we have. As for bad thinking methods, rarely throughout schooling was material presented in a clearly logical, conceptual way and I have almost never, outside of Objectivism, been exposed to explicit methods for dealing with concepts - I'm sure this is very surprising <_<

    But where I work, in software development, I'm generally around people who seem smarter then me so I can't relate. But what sticks out as a mark of intelligence when working with them, relating to what you said Abaco, is an ability to deal with concepts - they can easily learn and use the new concepts presented with little explanation. Everything they learn and know seems very organized and clear.

    I don't' know what to draw from the 16,000K is equal to 16M instance though. If one cannot grasp, after being explained what 'K' and 'M' mean, that they are equivalent, then that seems like a sign of a lack of intelligence. However, just knowing or not knowing this notation isn't necessarily a sign of being dumb. Especially if the person doesn't need the knowledge or see any value in knowing it.


  10. Hey everyone,

    Though I've been reading and lightly posting in this forum for a while, my interest in developing and discussing ideas has ramped up and I thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself.

    I'm a college student currently on the verge of graduating in computer engineering. My background with Objectivism and Ayn Rand began when I read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in high school. The ideas were a bit above my head but struck an emotional chord with me (to say the least). This lead me to begin studying Objectivism in some of my college spare time to actually understand the ideas behind these stories. I began by reading and being fascinated with 'Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.' Since then I've read most of her non-fiction and listened to some of the major lectures. However, its been a difficult process integrating these ideas and is a work in progress.

    But anyways, I've always been able to find some interesting, serious discussions of ideas on this forum and I hope this continues and that I can contribute something.


  11. Some puns from a gal in my writers' group:

    > I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.

    >

    > When chemists die, they barium.

    >

    > Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

    >

    > I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.

    >

    > How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

    >

    > I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

    >

    .

    .

    .

    .

    These are some of the funnier puns I've seen :lol:


  12. I was thinking the user base would be more general like Facebook or Google+ instead of being based on a specific interest as sites such as The Forum are. It's hard to say what it would be like - I guess I just liked the emphasis on making connections based on interest over, say, going to the same school.


  13. This is a video of Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, briefly touching on an interesting idea. I see one of the values of Facebook is being able to connect to people with similar interests. However, connections on Facebook are suggested and created primarily based on who you know and who you've met. Mayer suggests moving towards something where the connections are based more on similar interests -

    http://www.bloomberg.com/video/mayer-social-graph-will-give-way-to-interest-graph-2e8xLDn8TBm9AastfGtvgg.html

    I'm not sure exactly what Mayer has in mind but I like the idea of creating a platform that would be able to connect people who should connect because they have so much in common but just have not had a chance encounter yet.