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About BaalChatzaf

  • Rank
  • Birthday 08/24/1936

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Currently residing in New Jersey, the Bad-a-Bing State.
  • Interests
    mathematics, physics, alternative energy sources.

    I am also involved in preparing recorded books for blind and dyslexic folks.

Previous Fields

  • Full Name
    Robert J. Kolker
  • Description
    I am retired, but far from inactive. A day without a twenty mile bicycle ride is a day without joy.
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc.
    Music: Mozart, Bethoven. Movie: Casablanca. Favorite Philsopher: David Hume
  • Looking or Not Looking
    not looking

Recent Profile Visitors

26,722 profile views
  1. All Polls Are Wrong

    The Republicans were skunked yesterday in New Jersey. Given the Gov. Christie is a swine, that is hardly surprising.
  2. "Atheist Terrorism" in small-town Texas

    There is less in Atheism to promote violence than there is in some of the Abrahamic Religions. There is no "one size fits all" atheism. Atheists have very varied and individual reasons for not following the religious beliefs and practices of the people in the communities in which they grew up. Almost all the atheists I have met were very tolerant of people with variant, even idiosyncratic beliefs, and there is no doctrine of violence embedded in atheism as there is in, say Islam. Islam in its most extreme forms promotes war, murder and violence. Christianity prior to the Enlightenment was little better and Judaism in its earliest days could hardly be distinguished from ISIS or Boko Haram today. The only reason why Jews are currently less violent than Islam now, or Christianity during the days of the Crusades, is because Jews had the shit kicked out of them 2500 years ago. The Asiatic religions particularly Budhaism are considerably less violence prone at the level of doctrine than are the Abrahamic religions. Atheists have no common or central doctrine around which brotherhoods or bunds of excitable males are likely to form. There is no atheist jihad or struggle doctrine. There is little in atheism to promote an "us against the world" attitude. Just about the only time that atheists get "worked up" is when they are bullied by the religionists, primarily Muslims and Christians. This does not seem to be the case with regard to the Texas shooter. So atheists when they go bad, go bad for very individual and idiosyncratic reasons.
  3. Collectivism has a much longer history than individualism. Individualism as a prime political and ethical value only goes back a few hundred years, when it emerged from the European enlightenment. Individualism had no traction at all in the various Asian cultures. It originated in Europe. So if you are wondering why individualism is not the leading value cluster in the world you need look no further than its history and the history of other value systems. Humans are creatures of habit to a far greater extent than "Champions or Reason" such as the Objectivists would like to admit. Aristotle said Man is the Rational Animal. Close to fact is the assertion that Man is the sometimes but not always Rational Animal and the Man is a Creature of Habit.
  4. Guy Fawkes day

    Remember, remember! The fifth of November, The Gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason Why the Gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot! Guy Fawkes and his companions Did the scheme contrive, To blow the King and Parliament All up alive. Threescore barrels, laid below, To prove old England's overthrow. PS. I did not insert that vid at the top. Please ignore it. Maybe the next time around Guy Fawkes will succeed. We can always hope....
  5. Anybody Enjoying the Hillary Clinton Show?

    Hillary with her pants down??? Oh the Horror, the Horror!.
  6. Anybody Enjoying the Hillary Clinton Show?

    My version of that joke is this: Mickey files for divorce from Minnie. The judge tells Mickey he cannot grant a divorce on the grounds that Minnie is mentally unstable. Mickey says to the judge: "I never said that! What I said was that Minnie was fucking Goofy". I told that joke out loud when I visited Disney World in Florida. I was nearly ejected from the park.
  7. Most people I know say that being hungry is wanting to have something to eat.
  8. Anybody Enjoying the Hillary Clinton Show?

    Hillary become an Un-Person. That is very amusing.
  9. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    What you call "intrinsically valuable" I would call "exchangeable" in the sense that people are willing to trade things for the gold. This is somewhat subjective. Why isn't platinum "intrinsically valuable"? It has most of the other characteristics that gold does. No doubt about it. Gold is popular for cultural reasons more that physical reasons. That is probably why certain gemstones can function as money.
  10. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    What is it about gold, that causes people to assign a value to it far beyond its utility value? Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against gold. It has some very attractive and useful properties. It is conductive, durable, divisible, maliabel, rust-proof and subjectively speaking, it is quite pretty to look at. But there are other metals just as useful (some even more useful) and subjectively attractive. So once again, I ask, why gold? The members of the Lakotah Tribe used to remark that gold was the metal that seem to drive the white-eyes crazy. The Lakotah were driven off the land they occupied for ten thousand years, because gold was discovered on their territory (The Black Hills).
  11. Most people I have talked to say they get hungry when they fast.
  12. Science, then and now -- especially "climate science"

    That is a vexing ongoing problem right now. Some of the not so properly corroborated stuff might turn out to be right. Even so, there ought to be a move not to publish improperly vetted material. Unfortunately the availability of grant money is related to publication. The grants may be a perverse incentive to produce less than quality scientific results.
  13. Science, then and now -- especially "climate science"

    If the sun stopped shining, the earth would freeze and the atmosphere liquify. CO2 does not really stop or trap heat. It slows down rate at which energy in the IR ranges radiate into space. Space is cold and the atmosphere is warm. Energy will flow from the atmosphere into space by radiation. That is the second law of thermodynamics at work. Tyndall showed the CO2 absorbs energy in the IR bands. By the Stefan Boltzmann law it must also radiate that energy at a rate proportional to the 4 th power of the absolute temperature difference between the atmosphere and space. Heat cannot be "trapped". It can be inhibited from flowing by an adiabatic body, but that only slows things down. There are no perfect insulators.
  14. An Objectivist Riddle (ontology)

    I have no argument with you. We Materialists must stick together (primarily by electromagnetic molecular bonds).