dan2100

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About dan2100

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  • Full Name
    Dan Ust
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    Beethoven, Brahms, Broken Social Scene, Chopin, Jens Lekman, The Shins, Stars, and Patrick Wolf
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  1. Why I vote democrat

    Dan, It's not the disagreement that is irritating to me. I welcome disagreement, as is proven all over the forum. It's the total lack of addressing the point I am making, then cherry-picking some detail and going off into tangents of all sorts with questions that often lead nowhere, all with the presumption that I am wrong. For example, I mention an idea, elaborate on it, and give you a bunch of examples. I just don't call them that. Then you make a question like, "Have you thought of... [something I already thought of and clearly addressed], and that it might be different?" and you ask if I can give you an example. Often you block quote my entire post as you do that. That's talking past me, it's affecting an unwarranted presumption, and it's irritating. It's not even trying to understand what I am getting at. All it does is fill the forum with one more post that goes nowhere. It's almost like you are talking on the phone to one person and I think I am talking to you on some other end. What you say in response doesn't really fit with what I say. And I don't know how to reach you so that you address my remarks in a coherent manner. But to answer your question, I don't think my irritation with this behavior of yours "poisons the discussion." In my understanding of what a discussion of ideas is, there is no discussion. There is only the pretense of a discussion. Form without content. Actually, although it is true that my irritation does not poison the discussion (as there is none), it possibly poisons the pretense of a discussion. And that's not good, even if it is only a pretense. I just have to stop taking your seriously idea-wise and I will probably lighten up. You show glimmers of intelligence and that makes me want to interact with you, but I have been incompetent at channeling those glimmers into any resemblance of a discussion of the ideas that I address. You are in your own little world and the communication-of-idea interlink with me is too sporadic, too often wrong in terms of representing what I said, with too many questions that have already been answered or are essentially rhetorical, and too presumptuous to be valuable to me. So I give up. I have only had this problem with Xray so far (but she is on an anti-Rand crusade, and with respect to misrepresenting what I write, barrages of useless questions, and misguided presumptions, she is in a class all by herself--to your credit, you do not even come close to her level). As with her, I'm just going to stop reading your posts. But do carry on. You are a nice polite person. I hope one day we can communicate. EDIT: No and no. SECOND EDIT JUST IN CASE YOU ARE INTERESTED: Here is a very good example of what I am talking about. My point in mentioning those works was not to change your mind, but instead to show where I am looking for the kinds of ideas I am engaged with. All you did was name-drop the works, dismiss them in a kind of snooty manner, and did not discuss the ideas. A secondary purpose I had (later in the thread) was to provide you with a list of experiments (in the bibliographies) that serve perfectly for the examples you asked for, and you have yet to acknowledge that or look even though you asked for this. I am not interested in the name-dropping game and I don't mind you disagree. I am going to think what I think, irrespective of what you are convinced of or not. Frankly, status-wise, I really don't care who is right or wrong. It means nothing. I am more interested in understanding these ideas and using them. That's my focus. The kind of comment you made above does nothing to further understanding. All it does is talk past any attempt at understanding. So it is useless to me. And it is irritating, since you presume weird things like I want to change your mind. Hell, I don't even know what is in your mind to begin with, much less what I would ever want to change. Anyway, over and out... Michael Will the farrago of condescension ever stop? I warn you now -- not out of politeless, but merely because these are the rules all of us must live by -- do not come within five meters of my person.
  2. Why I vote democrat

    Do you believe your interlocutors don't think for themselves? Do you believe you have a monopoly here on this?
  3. Why I vote democrat

    Climate science is a steaming pile of crap put over on the world by scam artists in lab coats. Heh-Heh One must remember phrenology and polywater as once considered by some fairly intelligent people to be scientific. Calling something science should never mean critical thinking about it stops.
  4. Why I vote democrat

    It'd be nice if you aimed for the same level of civility I try to give to you here. It seems to me that everytime I disagree with you -- here on your views regarding marketing and human behavior; elsewhere regarding anarchism and whether Beck is a salvitic figure for libertarians -- you resort to condenscension and insults. Don't you think this only poisons the discussion? Or consider Matthew 7:3: "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (King James Version) Dan, I suggest you read Post 78. The answer to your question is there. Basically, the answer is that a vulnerability is not a total lack. If you don't understand that, I'll just leave it. I suggest you read my parenthetic comment again. If such predictability is vulnerable to error, and to the degree it is, one should at least have some doubts about it. Thus far, too, I know of know predictions in the fields of marketing or human behavior (at least, on the latter, in behaviors beyond things like blinking eyes or stuff that happens in highly controlled lab situations) that will give you the kinds of predictive cabilities you seem to think exist now. You could start with the bibliographies in the works I mentioned in Post 61. That's more than one source. I thought you noticed, seeing has how you even quoted that post, links and all, in your Post 63. Sorry, but this is just a little too much erudition and effort on your part for me. I bow to your superior intelligence and zeal... Michael I actually have read Predictably Irrational, though I believe it was the first edition. I put it, at the time, along with titles like The Tipping Point (overrated and a former friend of mine tried to put the ideas in it into practice; notably, he didn't suddenly experience an uptick in his wealth), Why We Buy (a bit dated, but that this stuff dates should give pause that the latest and greatest will soon join the ranks of the obsolete), Freakonomics (ho-hum, another overrated book), and Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind (a book I actually recommend, but that's not to say I don't recommend the other three I just mentioned). None of them made me change my mind on my basic view here. Why is that? You and Jeff can toss back accusations about who is more religious than thou here, but my basic view is skepticism here. Why? Let's leave aside the axioms for a moment -- which is not to deny their importance. Anyone familiar with the history of psychology and cognitive science or of the history of marketing and who also just has common sense should recognize that grand unified theories abound, especially on the popular level (it's often not the researchers in a field, but their popularizers, who overgeneralize and fail to see that history is generally a record of failed attempts here) and further that, as both Jeff and I have pointed out, marketing and political campaigns often fail. (Anyone familiar with such history should be partial to the saying, "This too shall pass" rather than "We now have the final theory in sight and whoever doubts this is so much less well read than me!") Also, let me adopt your tactics. This is akin to arguing with a technician about buying stocks. The fan of that brand of numerology known as technical analysis will point to the raft of titles and studies on the subject. But the fact is, if the market really worked that way, why would there be any technicians who lost money? Yes, one might point to successes, but this is what's known as survivorship bias. Let me borrow from a witty writer in the field -- Nicolas Nassim Taleb. If we were to look at lottery winners only and try to divine how they won, we might come up with a list of traits they all have, such as, most likely, that they bought tickets. But by not looking at the losers -- who also share this and many other traits -- we'd end up with a theory of predicting the lottery that would really be hokum. And, wouldn't you expect, were someone to come up with some truly workable predictive theory in this area, he or she wouldn't be trying to sell books and seminars about it. He or she would be filthy rich and trying, as adept poker players do, pass off the success as due to luck rather than letting the rubes in on the secret?
  5. http://mises.org/daily/4577 For those who haven't read any Peake and want to start with something a bit shorter, I recommend Boy in Darkness and Other Stories.
  6. The Insanity Defense

    Thanks! I've gotten it and am now enjoying it, though I need to get back to other projects...
  7. Why I vote democrat

    Dan, Gimme a break. You're faking it and you know it. Read the damn stuff--or not, I don't care... Obviously, you care enough to bring it up. But if you can't have a reasonable discussion on this matter, fine. I noticed you left out my parenthetic comment: "(Don't you think, too, were these sorts of things correct, no company or political that invested in and used such methods diligently would ever fail?)" Why? Again, if these methods work so well, I'd expect we'd all believe everything the political and corporate ruling class tells us. Ad campaigns, politically and otherwise, would never or rarely fail. How come this has not come to pass? Tell me, how well do banner ads, product placement, upselling, etc. work on you? All the time. In Internet marketing it is called "split testing." There are oodles of programs and scripts to help you. Hell, even Google provides split testing resources in Adwords. That's how you improve your results. Given your unwillingness to look at some very basic material, I see no reason to go into any further details. Michael Again, what basic material? Surely, you could lower yourself to cite one source here that adds credence to your case.
  8. The Insanity Defense

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/books/review/1st-chapter-insanity-defense.html
  9. http://mises.org/store/Nullification-How-to-Resist-Federal-Tyranny-in-the-21st-Century-P10393.aspx I raised this topic here once before. Now there's a book length treatment of it. It's not bad and I recommend it both for the person currently unaware of the topic and those who while well read lack George H. Smith's erudition.
  10. Why I vote democrat

    This is akin to saying the DEA (or the IRS or the BML or BATF or pick a government agency) is not in and of itself coercive. It merely can be used coercively. The military is both an arm of government coercion -- that's its reason for being in the first place, no? -- and is funded coercive -- i.e., it wouldn't really exist were it not for taxation. Saying that it's coercive doesn't mean that the military does whatever it pleases or is not subordinate to the state. But your argument here is kind of like saying a policeman is not coercive when he's enforcing laws that clearly are coercive merely because he has to answer to his chief who answers to his mayor or some other civilian official. Dan, Brant, and Mike... Point taken The military is used as a coercive tool when diplomacy fails. Seems we're used an awful lot since I've enlisted. ~ Shane Whatever rationalizations or pretexts those who command, man, or willingly support the military provide aren't really germane to whether it's coercive. And while many are forced to pay for it, at present, to my knowledge, no one is forced to join the US military. Why join if you're afraid you might be part of operations you won't approve of?
  11. Why I vote democrat

    Dan, If you are truly interested in this, please consult the bibliographies of the works I cited. Lots and lots and lots of peer-reviewed experiments all over the world by scientists. And yes, the results in many of them are measurable and repeatable. Why not look at them? Michael Which ones? Have you looked at them? (Don't you think, too, were these sorts of things correct, no company or political that invested in and used such methods diligently would ever fail?) And you didn't answer my question... Let me ask it again: Have you tested the "measurable, repeatable results" against other hypotheses?
  12. Why I vote democrat

    Dan, If you are truly interested in this, please consult the bibliographies of the works I cited. Lots and lots and lots of peer-reviewed experiments all over the world by scientists. And yes, the results in many of them are measurable and repeatable. Why not look at them? Michael What a pity so many Objectivists seem unable to grasp the elementary truth that, since human beings possess freedom of will and are not interchangeable units, statistical information about what particular individuals and particular groups of individuals have done under particular circumstances can prove nothing about what will happen when other, different individuals are placed in similar circumstances - even if the individuals trying to prove such propositions call themselves "scientists" and maintain a straight face while doing so. JR I wonder if there's a study that focuses on how some segment of the population seems to unthinkingly accept studies.
  13. Why I vote democrat

    This is akin to saying the DEA (or the IRS or the BML or BATF or pick a government agency) is not in and of itself coercive. It merely can be used coercively. The military is both an arm of government coercion -- that's its reason for being in the first place, no? -- and is funded coercive -- i.e., it wouldn't really exist were it not for taxation. Saying that it's coercive doesn't mean that the military does whatever it pleases or is not subordinate to the state. But your argument here is kind of like saying a policeman is not coercive when he's enforcing laws that clearly are coercive merely because he has to answer to his chief who answers to his mayor or some other civilian official.
  14. Why I vote democrat

    I figured that you were throwing out the soviet union reference just to attach my idea to the soviet union and all that weight that that comes with, as it's something I've witnessed from objectivist in the past. My intention here was, thinking you might see the similarity between your view and central economic planning -- the Soviet Union being the chief example of that in history, though it abounds today (think of what the Fed in the US does: overall central planning of the banking and credit systems) -- that you might either alter your view or show why the analogy didn't apply. So far, it seems to me you've only cried foul over the analogy. Right. Someone else is almost always calling the shots, and unless it's your school, your probably not calling the shots. I figure we're talking about a choice that's not much of a choice. My point was to dismantle the current system so that individual could make choices -- in education and elsewhere. Thus, others wouldn't be calling the shots -- at least, not in any meaningful way. You might disagree, but imagine you have a school and you can't fund it coercive and you can't force people to attend. You might decide on the curriculum and decor, but if you don't attract funding and students, none of this will matter, no? Another analogy -- hopefully, one that won't meet with your disapproval. Imagine a local restaurateur tells me he calls the shots in his eatery. Certainly, in some sense he does, but he can't force me to eat there. I, ultimately, call the shots on where and what I'll eat. Why not the same for education? Or put another way: why should freedom of choice be the rule in eating -- surely, one of the most important things in life -- and not in education? Children should all learn when the American revolution occurred, or The Civil war was fought between the North and the South? or that in math 2+2=4? If these are true things, then yes I hope that they are forcibly and coercively taught to those who, by choice, choose to go to public schooling institutions. Then you admit your contradiction and ammend your statement: you do want to forcibly teach the truth? Again, how does this make you different than the Soviets or any other group of coercers? Didn't they believe they knew the truth. And, furthermore, didn't they believe it was right to compell people? The educational system and the federal takeover of education is not something that just happened for no reason. I'm not sure where you think I maintain it just happened. The trend has been, for a long time, for there to be ever more regulation of life. This trend is uneven and, happily, freedom has expanded in some areas (think of, e.g., how laws against homosexuality are mostly dead today), but there's still a growing trend elsewhere -- especially in many areas of so called economic activities and in education. The last is not a good sign since people who are educated by the state or via state mandated curricula and standards are likely to be educated for the state. This means, educated if not to be obedient servants at least educated to be ignorant of any tools to use against the state. The trend is usually reversed either via state avoidance (as in black markets) or when states fall. A recent example combining both seems to be the collapse of the Soviet Empire. State avoidance increased and the imperial state actually collapsed. History is not just a linear progression of statism from less to more. Your basic assumption appears to be that it's okay to initiate force. Am I wrong here? My view on standards remains: as long as they're not coerced, they're okay. If people can freely adopt or disregard them, I have no problem. I also believe this would work best in the long run -- as people who have a chance to adopt those standards they felt worked for them. I see no reason why this wouldn't work in education and see the current focus on national standards as a panacea (for education, for the asset markets, and for a host of other areas) as merely another example of how many people prefer coercive fixes to problems. I also find it laughable when I think of the federal government being involved in this. Look at Amtrak, the Post Office, the FRS, and the federally-backed mortgage corporations. These are examples of how the federal government operates and yet well meaning people (or so it seems; maybe they really don't mean well, which would explain much) appear to believe that the federal government will somehow behave otherwise when it comes to education. Ho-hum.
  15. Is the illiteracy part of your act as "Herb Sewell"? Of do you actually not know how to spell "there"? Just curious. JR Wouldn't this be a usage and not a spelling error? Their isn't any their their. Their! --Brant actually THEIR is Know, they're isn't.