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#221 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 06:06 AM

Hello all,

I'm so excited to have finally found a forum made up of intelligent people! Over the past few years, I've realized how incredibly rare such a grouping is. As for background, I'm 23 and a newly minted survivor of the progressive, logic-stifling higher education system. I am lucky enough to have grown up with parents encouraging me to read Atlas, which I did for the first time at 17. I entered an essay in the ARI Atlas contest right after I read it. This summer, I picked it up again and was astounded, again. I would love to get others' viewpoints on how to apply objectivist philosophies to life. And what I would give to see an Objectivist change politics!


So would I. But I won't hold my breath until it happens.

If Objectivists end up in charge, both Socialism and Quantum Mechanics will be repealed.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf, 27 October 2010 - 07:47 AM.

אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#222 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 06:17 AM

Welcome to OL, Kyla.

Michael

Know thyself...


#223 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:35 AM

.

Thomas has been missing at OL since 14 October. Is he all right?

#224 Aristocrates

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:48 AM

Well, I don't believe I've formally introduced myself yet. My name is Bobby Simpson. I am 23 and I grew up in rural middle Tennessee, the son of a cattleman, a twin, and 7 of 9 children. I currently attend Tennessee Technological University. Formerly I was studying mechanical engineering but decided to change my major to accounting during my junior year. I often wonder if this was the right decision. Anyways, I joined about two weeks ago and must say I am addicted. There is always an intriguing topic to find her at OL. To Selene, the one who first welcomed me to OL, I must apologize for my tone in the Jesse Ventura forum. I hope you won't weigh that or my opinion on the topic against me in the future. Already I have found at OL a source for enlightenment and motivation. I look forward to discovering new ideas and meeting many more highly intelligent peole here at OL.

Edited by Aristocrates, 11 March 2011 - 12:48 AM.


#225 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:11 AM

Bobby,

I'm glad you like it here.

More than that, I'm glad you find OL a prompt to think things through for yourself.

That's the one of the main themes of this site.

I have a feeling you're going to be just fine and even do great things in life.

Michael

Know thyself...


#226 Gulcher

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 11:43 AM

Welcome to Objectivist Living. Come on in and say hello.

Hello Kat,

I just met Michael on a "Rant" thread I started regarding the "Objectivist" Party (political) and thought it would be good to check in as a new member of the MB. I am the same age as Michael and have tried to live the Objectivist life for the last 40 years. I have absorbed almost everything Ayn Rand has written as well as the biographies that have been published. As I told Michael, I don't adhere to any "school" of Objectivism. The in-fighting both before and after Ms. Rand's death have done nothing to further her epistemology and, frankly, I ignore that distraction. My focus in on Objectivism and how I run my own life.

You all have a good message board here and I will try to contribute when I have something helpful to say.

Cyrus

#227 Kat

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 08:26 PM

Hi Cyrus,

Welcome to Objectivist Living. I hope you enjoy your time here. Most of us tend to be "Open Objectivists" or Objectivish, but we welcome all kinds as long as they don't come charging in hating on us.

I like your avatar... got some of those too, along with the coppers.

I dunno about the Objectivist Party and looking at their website, they seem to be a small fringe group that could never really win an election...and really don't want to. They may be able to draw some attention to important issues if they get on the ballot or they may just makes us all look like fools if they are total nutters (which is my suspicion). Since their facebook group is closed, I tend to think they are a secret society and don't want popular appeal or to actually grow and win elections. If they run someone good in my community maybe I'll vote for them just because I live in an extremely liberal college town and my guys never seems to win anyway. There are some good tea parties out there and that is probably where we belong, alongside the independents, libertarians and republicans. Don't let the social conservatives crowd us out. As long as the tea party doesn't get hijacked, we'll be fine.

Kat

#228 acespenlaub

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:18 AM

Hello everyone!

Just posted in a thread about the philosophy of quantum mechanics and figured I should introduce myself before I post anywhere else since this seems to be a "first-name basis community." My name is Andrew Espenlaub, I'm 21, a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying physics. I am taking my fourth graduate course now and three more next term and have three-and-a-half years of experience working in a research lab as lab manager/experimenter (that's for potential employers :smile:). I have been a life-long Objectivist though for most of it I didn't know that was what you call it. I just sort of decided that religion and duty and such things weren't rational and discounted them. Imagine my joy when reading OPAR for the first time! It made explicit many of the implicit beliefs I had held and gave me more solid ground to stand on when making decisions. I have a broad range of interests across the humanities and sciences, but focusing on work and school leaves me little time to devote to serious study of anything else.

Recently I have met several other objectivists at UPItt and they have become instant friends. Discovering a whole forum of people who share my dedication to rationality and familiarity with Ayn Rand's philosophy is sure to lead to many many many interesting discussions and I can't wait!!!!

--Andrew

#229 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:17 AM

Welcome to OL, Andrew.

Thank you for the informed cogent post.

Stephen

This discussion could benefit from another person who is familiar with the mathematics of quantum theory I think.

First, physicists should not relegate metaphysics to the "domain of the irrelevant!" It is a necessary tool for developing the correct conceptual interpretation of a theory. However, as quantum mechanics shows, it is possible to construct a marvelously precise and accurate theory using mostly physical facts and mathematics. What the implications of this are to the ultimate nature of the universe lies in the metaphysics however! Everyone needs every branch of philosophy, even physicists. If you don't agree with that, why are you posting on an Objectivist forum?

Second, to explain how quantum mechanics can be so successful but still have absolutely no metaphysically acceptable interpretation as of yet, I need to talk a little about the mathematics. Nothing obtuse, just the broad concepts:

There is an amazing theorem called the "von Neumann Spectral Theorem" which is at the very heart of the success of quantum theory. In essence it states that any set of real numbers can be associated with a mathematical object called an "Hermitian operator on a Hilbert space." The mathematics of such objects and the objects upon which they operate in the "Hilbert space" is well developed, largely as a consequence of quantum theory. The power of this (proven) theorem is that any observable quantity, any measurable property, has a set of possible (real, not complex) values and so simple enumeration of these values allows us to immediately apply the mathematics of "Hermitian operators." This is would give us the same result as classical dynamics gives us if the measurable values were continuous -- that is for any two measurable values, there is always another one in between them on the number line. However, experiment shows that for some phenomena, some observable quantities have a discrete set of allowable values such as {1,2,3,...} and not the numbers in between. This discreteness leads to ALL of the distinctly quantum stuff in quantum theory.

In addition to discrete sets of measurable values, we observe that physical entities at small scales are actually impossible to localize to a specific point in space. That is, every "particle" metaphysically can be said to be everywhere at once. The usual analogy is that of a water wave -- it is something which exists across the whole surface of the lake/pond/pool/etc.... Like the water wave, "particles" are not uniform across space but have a property which varies spatially. The interpretation due to Max Born takes this property and associates it with the probability of an interaction with another particle. This probabilistic behavior CAN BE OBSERVED in experiments involving the diffraction of very low intensity particle beams. If you shine even moderately intense light (which is as much a particle as an electron or neutrino) through a narrow slit, it will produce a pattern of light and dark on photographic film placed opposite the slit. However, at low intensities the pattern is slowly built up over time on the film by individual light particles hitting the screen. Where they hit (and where spots appear on the film) can be described by the Born probabilities. This is the same slowly emerging pattern that appears when you plot the results of rolling a die. Though you may roll a lot of 6's initially, eventually, each side will be rolled an equal number of times -- but the pattern takes time to appear.

The question is then, not one of the metaphysical status of fundamental probabilistic behavior, non-locality or discreteness of measurable values, but what these experimentally observable FACTS mean metaphysically. What is the true nature of existents which gives rise to these non-common sense properties?

What seem to be the two main points of contention in this discussion are therefore resolved:
1. Yes, philosophy is important in interpreting physics, but you must be wary that the things which you give the status of metaphysically fundamental are not in contradiction with experimental fact. And do not throw out philosophy altogether because someone else's philosophy (or the bulk of humanity's philosophical thought) is at odds with experimental fact. It just means that most philosophers are flat out wrong, not that proper philosophy isn't useful.
2. The central question concerning quantum mechanics is not whether fundamental probabilistic behavior or non-locality are metaphysically possible, because they are in fact experimentally verifiable, but rather, it is what do those observations imply about reality outside the realm of common experience.

Both sides of this discussion were right on one of these points and wrong on the other. This was partly due to the ineptitude of most physicists at grappling with quantum mechanics AND metaphysics (thus a lack of available, useful information to non-specialists), and partly due to needing to check one's premises. If I have misstated any facts or am ambiguous, please comment to that effect -- this is important to get right because quantum mechanics is unfortunately the source of much of the new "philosophical word salads and b.s." and having the right answer is the easiest way to discredit the wrong ones.

P.S. -- Richard Feynman was a brilliant physicist but tartness does not imply correctness. He didn't have the right answer and was tired of hearing wrong ones so he told people to give up trying to provide an answer. At least then no one would be wrong.... :sad:



#230 john42t

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 04:10 PM

Recently I have met several other objectivists at UPItt and they have become instant friends. Discovering a whole forum of people who share my dedication to rationality and familiarity with Ayn Rand's philosophy is sure to lead to many many many interesting discussions and I can't wait!!!!


So that means you

a) call yourself an Objectivist and have
b) meet others who call themselves Objectivists and
c) it turned out that they actually believed the same as you do regarding Objectivism?

That's amazing! :smile:

When did you read OPAR?

#231 perfectly_human

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:59 PM

Good evening good people. I have been looking for a good place to hang out with like minded souls. This place looks most promising. I'll post more on myself and eventually I look forward to sharing thoughts and hopefully a bit of fun as well. I'm off to get some sleep at the moment but I'll be back ASAP. Be well!

#232 FullColor

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 08:53 AM

Hello all that might read, new guy on the block here across the Atlantic. I presently don't know how much time I'll have to spare around here, but I hope I'll find some in the not so distant future in oder for me to talk with objective smart and intelligent people that might not only be a joy to be with but....I'll tell you: "I secretly plan for maybe being able to learn a few things in the process" ^^.

 

I'm a relatively young guy (or at least I was, less so now than a couple of years ago...But time has flied fast) who have already some experience with ppl's nonsense giving the distinct and unpleasent sensation of needing to vomit. I've been looking, or rather dreaming that one day I would find some place, and some people at least that would be able to think in a straight line for lack of a better word. And not simply spew out subjective garbage and things like..."well, logic isn't always true/right, emotions and feelings are true too" Makes me go all 'Achmed the Dead Terrorist' on your ass proclaiming "I'll kill you !!!" (in a high pitched voice ofc for those who haven't heard it before)  

 

In short, what seems to me as objective, intelligent and critical thinking is what drew me here, and made my encounter with Objectivism. As well as a personal suspicion that ppl's kverulating and manipulating arguments is not simply the sum of bad thinking alone, but quite simply caused by a more pre-existing condition, dishonesty. 



#233 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:31 AM

FullColor,

 

Welcome to OL.

 

Mandal?

 

It looks beautiful there.

 

Glad to have you aboard.

 

Relax and get to know folks.

 

There are some great intelligent people who hang out here.

 

Michael


Know thyself...


#234 FullColor

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:08 AM

Thanks Michael. I honestly still don't know yet how much time I'll have available to be very active or not, but as the saying goes, "he who only looks at the skies, never plants his seeds" So at least I took a step in this direction in order to facilitate it.

 

Mandal, not exactly, but you speak familiar terms, still remember the wasabi I once ate at a restaurant there many years ago. It's very idealic I guess for those who have a penchant for eating out at the coast in the sun with sounds of seagulls. It's seems to go hand in hand with shrimps and beer for the most part.

 

I'll admit it does have it's charms.



#235 Selene

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 11:26 AM

Mandal, not exactly, but you speak familiar terms, still remember the wasabi I once ate at a restaurant there many years ago. It's very idealic I guess for those who have a penchant for eating out at the coast in the sun with sounds of seagulls. It's seems to go hand in hand with shrimps and beer for the most part.

 

Welcome aboard...my lady who is half Japanese sent this to me this morning...

Hot Like Wasabi
Wasabi.jpg

Wasabi is a plant native to Japan, and in the same biological family as mustard, cabbage, and unsurprisingly, horseradish. In a culinary context, it's most commonly known as the green, spicy stuff that comes with sushi, next to the ginger (although if you're eating it in the United States, there's a good chance you're actually eating horseradish and mustard, dyed green). Wasabi is known for the distinctive, spicy flavor one experiences when eating it, and that experience, it turns out, is mostly detected by our noses. While the oils from wasabi will set off our taste buds, they're easily washed away by any subsequent food (including sushi or rice). The aroma, on the other hand, sticks with the nasal receptors much longer, and is often more intense than the taste.

Which is why it makes for a good fire alarm.

The problem with fire alarms is that, usually, they involve a loud bell and occasionally, a flashing or strobe light. That's great for most of us, but for the hearing impaired and for elderly whose hearing wasn't what it once was, the bell doesn't do much. A flashing light is helpful but only if you're awake or otherwise able to notice it. The best alternative, right now, is likely an alarm which can vibrate your bed, but who knows how reliable those are. So a team of Japanese researchers turned to wasabi, rigging an alarm (as seen above) to spray the stuff in case of emergency.

The alarm sprays out allyl isothiocyanate, the oil responsible for the pungent smell of wasabi, horseradish, mustard, and the like, according to CNET. When the alarm detects smoke, it creates a mist-like spray from the oil, with the hopes of tingling the noses of those nearby, alerting them to danger. The device works, too; during one experiment, the alarm worked for thirteen of the fourteen subjects (including the four deaf people in the group) within two to three minutes. (The exception had a stuffy nose, according to Reuters.) The now-patented product hasn't hit the mass consumer market yet, and the current version costs over $500.

It has, however, received praise. In 2011, it was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize -- given to "achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think" -- in Chemistry. And perhaps someday soon, it will save lives, as well.


Bonus fact: Another potential target of the wasabi-powered fire alarm? Children. According to a study conducted at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia (as retold by TIME), "78% of school-aged children slept through a smoke alarm blaring for 30 seconds." Younger children tend to sleep deeper, and the alarm simply didn't do its job. Whether wasabi would be a better option is unknown, and either way, in case of emergency, be sure to wake your children.

 

You have to love the  creativity of the Japanese!

 

I know I do hmmm, well, you know what I mean.

 

A...


"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#236 daunce lynam

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 12:32 PM

Good lord Adam, this is a Respectable forum!

Keep you unsavoury savoury devices in the privacy of your bedroom, please.

#237 Derek McGowan

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:20 PM

Hello friends

I'm Derek.

Artist - derekofbaltimore.com, First time Author (just last month). Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead fan.  I have them on audio book and listened to them while I painted.  Also it was Atlas Shrugged that inspired me to write my book.  Agnostic when concerning a (general) creator, atheist when concerning the specific Christian faith that is taught today.  Brimming with questions and curiosity as too how Mrs Rand's system would hold up in the real world.  Trekkie and general sci-fi fan.  Reader before watcher.  Lastly (and I think this is most important as it will color my topics or responses on this forum) not a supporter of capitalism but a supporter of Freedom.


As a cyclist, the one thing you hate is the climbs.  Unfortunately the only treatment for that hatred is more climbs!

 

All I wanna do is BANG BANG BANG!

And take your money

 

 


#238 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:33 PM

Derek,

 

Welcome to OL.

 

I looked at your portraits and I like them.

 

As to your ideas, jump on in.

 

From your intro, there's a lot to discuss. And there are some really smart people around here to discuss them with.

 

Don't worry about full agreement with anybody. Working out ideas is messy and that's what we do here.

 

Michael


Know thyself...


#239 Selene

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:51 PM

My NY City dream, a black man interested in Ayn's ideas.

 

Welcome aboard ...

 

A...


"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#240 Stephen Boydstun

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 08:49 AM

.

Welcome to OL, Derek. Your good-thinking and informative posts here are a delight.

 

Stephen*






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