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About syrakusos

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    Rational Empiricist
  • Birthday 11/10/1949

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  • Full Name Michael E. Marotta
  • Description Senior technical writer for enterprise information systems serving complex organizations. Content strategist and knowledge presentationdesigner for projects serving electrical power, telecommunication, insurance, and manufacturing. .. Post and patrol for large crowd events, as well as for business, technology and retail customers. Responsible for greeting, clearing and directing visitors and employees. Inspection of premises and grounds via closed circuit television cameras.
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc. West Wing, Die Hard 1-4, Big Bang Theory
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  • Website URL http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com
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  • Gender Male
  • Location Austin, Texas
  • Interests Numismatics, Physical Security and Computer Security, Aviation

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  1. I have to point to Ayn Rand's essay, "The Monument Builders." Space travel was technically feasible in the steam age of Jules Verne. Willey Ley tells the story of the Germans around von Braun having called all their committee supporters to a roundtable because they needed a special pump to handle the booster stage. They thought that one would have to be specially created. A representative from some firm or other suggested that they contact the firm that makes fire engines, because those pumps are pretty good. Collectivism prevents space travel, and always had. Two world wars - the first, especially - drained the resources and the will of the world. Remove World War One and we would have had a Lunar colony by 1950. I am enthusiastic about space and always have been. Always. Before the loss of Challenger, I had applied for the "Journalist in Space" competition. I was facing Walter Cronkite and John Denver, so I was at the back of the line. Still, I learned to fly, and to write about aviation. And I have a soft spot in my heart for those old Bolsheviks, of which Ayn Rand was (romantically) one: big dreams, big ideas, women in engineering... But for all of that, the USSR threw human lives at every problem. We throw money. Which way of life do you prefer?
  2. Well, yes, him and the Wall Street Journal, which provided the basis of his report. In short, in the free market - which actually operatestoday (as the existence ofthis very report demonstrates) - would and does! provide a multiplicity of modes and methods. You would have to decide for yourself... which we all do... So, the Chimp is behind the power curve once again, shouting "Theater" in a crowded fire.
  3. This also came up on the Galt's Gulch Online discussion board, but with a different host site. It is apparently being picked up on. Here is the link to the discussion there. Within that was thishttp://musingsofanaspie.com/2013/01/10/what-is-neurotypical/offered by EAJewett a few comments down from the top. Note that it garnered four votes for a +5, so it had some approval from the audience. That link, "One Woman's Thoughts About Life on the Spectrum" had several more similar at the bottom of that page. =georgia> In LS's topic on RoR, I suggested that the popularity of the subject as well as television shows such as Bones and of course Big Bang Theory indicate that NA (neuro-atypical) people are becoming less statistically atypical. Like IQ - and, I submit, the continued success of the works of Ayn Rand - it suggests a shift in our fundamental sociology. On my blog, I have four posts under the rubric "Nerd Nation."
  4. Golden Rule

    I really wish that we could vote on this board.
  5. Golden Rule

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. The problem with the Golden Rule is expecting that others will have the same values, the same needs that you do. Broadly, that is true. However, in many specific circumstances, it surely is not. Statistically, it is likely that within your own body no two hemoglobin molecules are identical. Individual differences run deeper within us than iscommonly known. Aesop's fable of the Fox and the Stork demonstrated quite clearly that different people have different needs. Yours are not theirs.
  6. On the Galt's Gulch Online forum, Dale Halling pointed to this video as a refutation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vc-Uvp3vwg (Like Ed Hudgins, I am having trouble inserting a video.)
  7. You do the Presidential Press Conference Dance: side step, side step, side step, and never face the music. In my book on codes and ciphers, I gave an example of Goedelized codes taken from The Gold at Starbow's End by Frederick Pohl. You are ignoring the simple challenge to show how this applies to integers. If you cannot, then you must admit that it does not. And therefore may well not apply to Objectivist epistemology. Goedel's Theorem involves the highest abstractions of arithmetic. The paragraph above can be expressed as a single number. Each statement of my proof likewise can be expressed as a single number. Goedel's theorem only says that we have no a prior way to know if the entire set of those numbers is complete and non-contradictory. That is two different assertions. If the set is non-contradictory, then it is not complete. We know that. The body of knowledge is always expanding. You have asserted nothing substantial. ... unless, of course, you have something substantial to assert. (Take your time.)
  8. In the words of Davy Crockett: "Not perzactly." In other words, you skipped Step 2. First of all, this relates entirely and only to arithmetic. Another system can be consistent. Objectivist epistemology is not alone in resolving apparent contradictions with a wider abstraction that incorporates the essential consistent attributes of the elements. For example: "You say that the basic choice is to think or not to think, but in order to choose, do you not need to be thinking?" A very common question from Objectivist ethics (also consistent)is: "Isn't everyone selfish?" I have some questions of my own about ITOE because Rand does not credit value to meditation, for instance. She says that a child first identifies and then integrates objects by their shape. For me, some that was function or operation. Realize that we are talking about an infant here, but for me, althoughdogs and cats have the same shape, they behave differently. Dogs come when you call them; cats run away. So, if you want to read the essay and address something substantive, please do. However, the Goedel thing is just sophomoric. It is nice to quote an authority, Ba'al, but as you brought it up, would you care to give us an example of the problem from, say, the set of integer arithmetic?
  9. The Funniest Climate Change Propaganda So Far

    This is old and mainstream. It is theorized that the little webs that we do have between our fingers evolved when we lived near the ocean, or, perhaps, in some other very watery place. I point out that cats dislike baths, but eat fish. How did that come about? As I recall, the ears of terrestrial animals evolved from the gills of fish.
  10. Rand was cogent and correct in noting that when we make New Year's Resolutions, we celebrate our control over our destinies. This year, for Christmas, among the cards I sent out were some of Pygmalion sizing up his work: "May your plans for the new year come to fruition." Best wishes to all, Michael M.
  11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (movie review)

    We saw it last night. We were pretty sure that we had seen it before. Discussing it at work with another fan, the movie deviates from the post-Lucas story arc. Here in Austin, a few years ago, I attended a National November Writers Month (NaNoWriMo) with the now-late (sadly) Aaron Allston (Wikipedia here) and as a result of that, I read through several of his and others' Star Wars novels. Trying to avoid spoilage here, I just note that, like Atlas Shrugged or Pride and Prejudice, you have a core of fans who know the work inside and out. Beyond that, you have the masses who just want common enjoyment. The problem of the second-hander plagues the current Star Trek movies, which also are under the artistic control of J. J. Abrams. While splitting off an alternate universe gave the story writers a lot of freedom, it also violated several fundamentals. The love relationship between Uhura and Spock is just one. One of the rules of the Star Trek universe (as controlled by Paramount) was that no new romantic relationships could be introduced between existing characters. In part, that was to deflect the many Spock-Kirk love stories that fans were writing. With Star Wars, the relationship lived by Han Solo and Leia Organa after the Return of the Jedi had already been defined in professional fiction (not fan fic) under the license of Lucasfilms by Aaron Allston and several other writers. Just check your local bookstore or library. This is known. So what? In the worst case, it is Courtland Homes. In The Fountainhead, picnicking with Gale and Dominique, Roark explains to Wynand that we inherit the wheel and invent the automobile. But in another scene, Keating confesses that he has not brought so much as a new doorknob to architecture. The gang that took over Courtland made their own changes, but none of those was an inventive improvement. So, too, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  12. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - 2015-2016

    The Daily Kos created 21 Ayn Rand Christmas Cards, in bad humor, of course. However, I found half of them worth copying and sending out on my own. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/22/1353470/-21-Ayn-Rand-Christmas-Cards
  13. Marco Rubio...a Rand fan

    Thanks for your work, Mark. I appreciate your cogent essay and the subsequent comments.
  14. Nice catch, Merlin! I cited these works extensively in an undergraduate sociology paper on business ethics. I got an A on the paper and an A in the course, but I doubt that my professor actually read this, or the other papers. It was all halo effect. In addition to your citations. Locke, Edwin A., “Reviewed Work(s):A Review of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand,” The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 14, No. 1. (Jan., 1989), pp. 100-103. Weiss, Richard M. “Politics and Organizational Science,” The Academy of Management Review, Vol.. 23, No. 3 (Jul, 1998), pp 389-191. Locke, Edwin A., and Thomas E. Becker, “Locke and Becker's Reply to Weiss,” The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 23, No. 3. (Jul., 1998), pp. 391-392. Orlitzky, Marc and David Jacobs, “A Candid and Modest Proposal: The Brave New World of Objectivism,” The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 23, No. 4, Oct. 1989, pp. 656-658 Locke, Edwin A., and Thomas E. Becker, “Objectivism's Answer to the Sad, Old World of Subjectivism,” The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 23, No. 4. (Oct., 1998), pp. 658-659. Full paper on Google Docs (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1usbodrlpcimvthhKE_gA_0PeH60SOTTZcXDvzktYJz0/edit?hl=en) linked from my Washtenaw Justice archives here: https://sites.google.com/site/washtenawjustice/ethics/ethics-in-business
  15. Who Supports Political Violence?

    "Although most people opposed violence, a significant minority (ranging from 5-14 percent) agreed with each violent option, and 10-18 percent expressed indifference about violence in politics. This implies that millions of ordinary Americans endorse the general idea of violence in politics. "Interestingly, these violent attitudes did not depend on standard political and demographic characteristics. For example, Republicans and Democrats were indistinguishable in their support for political violence, and liberals and conservatives were too. "By far the strongest factor is an aggressive personality. People who behave more aggressively in everyday life are significantly more likely to support political violence." Article from the Washington Post here: ttps://http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mo... Text of research paper here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf... "The results from Table 8 suggest that Democrats might be more responsive to violent rhetoric." "The results in Table 10 show substantively- and statistically-strong treatment effects among low-knowledge subjects, consistent with the patterns observed above. In contrast, highknowledge subjects show virtually no responsiveness to the violent rhetoric."