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  2. The belief that one cannot be Christian and objectivist presupposes: that all gods require human sacrifice; that Jesus Christ was merely human; that anything else "under the sun" is practically closer to God than the individual human being; and that 'faith' and 'reason' are antonyms. Even as Jewish faith is based on what specific people experienced: a deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the Christian faith is based on the witness of specific people who walked up close and personal with Jesus Christ both before and after his death from crucifixion. Even if how to interpret this experience was revealed to them, the interpretation made more sense than any other attempt to explain the phenomena.
  3. Today
  4. The following article by Kurt Schlichter is for any Trump supporter schadenfreude junkie (and sporadic partaker of this pleasure) who has been taunted over and over by the never-Trumper geniuses. What Do The Never Trump Losers Do Now? A few gems from the article: Schlichter linked to the following video to characterize the Never Trumpers. He did that while saying something or other about Fredocon losers. Michael
  5. Objectivist metaphysics and epistemology are perfectly integrated axioms. From that the latter grows philosophically the former does not, except through real science, not the phony science Rand thought philosophy was. --Brant
  6. I once read a book that talked about the British ruling class (The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914 by Barbara Tuchman). I'm going on memory since I read it years ago, so I might be slightly off, but I don't think so. She said the problem with the British ruling class (and European ruling class in general) wasn't sex or any form of sexual depravity or perversion. All was permitted and understood. One thing was not forgiven, though. Ever. It was getting caught and letting the lower classes see it. There was no coming back from that. (Just ask Oscar Wilde. ) Although she was talking about a different time, I believe her observation holds today. It's different in form, but identical in essence. Michael
  7. Tony, I started listening, then ran right into a brick wall at 1:57. So sayeth The Peikoff: Hmmmmm... And here I thought, according to Rand (see here), philosophy was the study of the fundamental nature of the universe. Not what it ought to be, but what it is. "A is A," sayeth the wise lady. Not "A ought to be A." Michael
  8. Yesterday
  9. Michael, This could be useful to you and to any who hadn't heard or forgotten the lecture. The quest for "The one in the many". The "connectedness" of all things. An ultimate unity of all things in the universe: unity of metaphysics - AND - a corresponding unity of epistemology (conceptual abstractions) - which those Greeks from Thales on, were after. Breathtaking stuff. You only need about the first 30 mins., from what is a good lecture by Peikoff, at which point he concludes how epistemologies split and have remained split (apart from Objectivism) into those broadly who are Pro "the One" and those Pro "the Many": Rationalism/Mysticism/God -vs-. Empiricism/skepticism.
  10. Oh. Victor Hugo didn't have a typewriter. Ayn Rand didn't have a computer to edit on the fly. Both used pen and ink, which I think partly explains their style.
  11. Bartenders should not attempt to lecture anyone about oil. I've heard Sean Hannity shout it at least a hundred times, that America is energy independent! We have more oil and gas than any other country in the world! We can push Putin into bankruptcy by exporting U.S. oil and gas to our allies in Western Europe! Jeez. Item One. Domestic production of conventional crude has been in slow decline since 2005. Horizontal shale fracturing in North Dakota is not a profitable business at $50 a barrel. We do not have the world's largest oil reserves. Not second, third, fourth -- or even tenth largest. It would be nice to drill offshore California, but that's politically verboten. We import oil from Canada, Arabia, and (oops) Venezuela. America is not the world's largest producer. We're the largest consumer, over 20 million barrels a day, about 1/4 of all worldwide oil production. Item Two. Natural gas is not oil. Same situation. U.S. conventional production is in decline. Horizontal gas fracturing is upside down financially, roughly $100 billion in debt. Most of the sweet spots have been drilled and exhausted, with the exception of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. New York and California banned shale drilling. World class conventional gas reserves are in Siberia and offshore Persian Gulf (shared 50/50 by Qatar and Iran). Item Three. France, Germany, and Britain are not allies. They are beggars, no oil or gas in the ground. Britain drilled the North Sea to death, depends on Holland for natural gas, and was forced to import LNG from Qatar in frozen winter, when the Dutch pipeline failed. Norway is exploring their northern Arctic shelf for a reason. Europe is screwed, after exhausting all the low-hanging fruit. European oil leases in Africa have always have been difficult to produce. Corruption, crime, and tribal wars are constant threats. Drilling rigs have been attacked. Item Four. The price of oil is rising because Venezuela and Libya have been destroyed, plus U.S. sanctions against Iranian exports. When the price of oil goes up, demand goes down. We stop driving. No fancy dinners out. We make decisions like that as individual citizens in a free society. Others are less free. Japan and South Korea have no oil or gas, totally dependent on imports. 600 million people in Europe and the Far East are supplied by a fleet of supertankers from Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Our 4th, 5th, and 7th Fleets usher Middle East supertankers through the threats and guns of adversaries and pirates. The world's grisliest conflicts including both World Wars were fought over oil. Item Five. The one and only U.S. energy resource worth talking about is coal. If our future is firetrap electric cars, then coal-fired power plants are the only hope of affordable electricity generation. Wind and solar are subsidized show pieces that require costly maintenance and replacement of unreliable parts made in China. However, abundant coal power is not a full solution to our energy needs. We have a huge fleet of diesel tractors, harvesters, bulldozers, dump trucks, and big rigs that are NOT going to work with batteries. Commercial passenger aircraft need jet fuel, and our military is the largest consumer of refined products on Earth. Bunker fuel powers oceangoing container trade, tankers, tug boats and barges. Every pump, engine, elevator, and axle needs lubricants. Poor Hannity, a big oaf who can't dance and needs a radio script and staff to function at all. Sean could be right about oil -- we could ship supplies to Europe -- if we suffer severe global warming, no need for winter heat, and a ban on all air travel, mining, beef cattle, road traffic, and industrial production. That's not going to happen. Solar Cycle 24 has been quiescent and the trend is tilting toward global cooling again, just like the 1970s, when Royal Dutch Shell funded East Anglia's Climate Centre to study the dire threat of everybody freezing to death, because global oil and gas reserves were small. They still are. We've already consumed half of the world's proved oil endowment. Cars are more fuel efficient today, particularly hybrids. Governments wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on "renewables" and mass transport, especially in oil-starved Western Europe and Japan. Adequate U.S. electricity in the future can be generated by cheap, abundant coal. It's not rocket science to scrub emissions squeaky clean and make inert construction materials from ash. We'll need it to deal with mountains of nuclear and biohazard waste. Poland has big coal reserves to keep shivering Brits and Krauts warm in winter. The only thing goofier than Sean Hannity posing as an oil analyst is the BBC. Last night, they broadcast a program on "Saving The World" by refilling empty shampoo bottles, plastic water bottles, fizzy drink bottles, etc. Screwballs in England are carrying empty plastic bottles to a guru with 25-liter tubs of generic shampoo and dishwashing liquid. Evangelists are pitching UK retail chains to install nonexistent vending machines that would dispense name brand products to refill empty plastic bottles. Messy aisles in the grocery store. Consumer product companies would have to cooperate to supply uniformly shaped bulk competitive brands for a monster vending machine, to be designed, built, and serviced by somebody (?) as a public service. Shredding and recycling plastic bottles isn't good enough for BBC. Meanwhile, little Greta from Norway told cheering crowds in London that the world will end unless governments shut down oil production. She's leading a global boycott of education. I grieve for the folly of true believers in climate change. It's an article of faith at BBC that we have to abandon internal combustion engines, kill coal and liquid fuels, walk to work or use an electric scooter in winter, in a thunderstorm, or on a blazing hot summer day, no way to carry groceries and jugs of milk home to feed a family of five. Silly me. Plastic bags and jugs will be outlawed, no refrigeration at home or in the store, no air conditioning, no big rigs to stock a dimly-lit WalMart, no dairy or meat, no mechanized agriculture. Childbirth will be dangerous, medical care filthy, and surgery a rigged dice roll without one-time-use plastics. No utility pumps to push water over the mountains in the California Aqueduct. No sewage treatment or garbage trucks. No fire engines, buses, or digital server farms. That's what solar power implies. A couple of LED lamps at night while you charge your electric scooter. Mistakes of this size are not made innocently, as Miss Rand used to say. The only difference between an industrial society and savages squatting in mud huts is a portfolio of high voltage power distribution, heavy equipment, and widely available refined petroleum products. Whether it's Sean Hannity or Greta Thunberg or the IPCC climate change fakirs, none of them know what it takes to successfully explore for, discover, engineer, lift, separate, transport, refine, and deliver a gallon of diesel, gasoline, engine oil, or cubic foot of natural gas. The "Oil Patch" is a vast pyramid with academic centers of excellence like Texas A&M, Colorado School of Mines, and UT, tens of thousands of geophysicists, geologists, reservoir engineers, seismic processors, software developers, oilfield tool designers, rig manufacturers, semi-submersible deepwater platforms with GPS positioning thrusters and service boats, highly skilled "toolpushers" and drillers, welders, helicopter pilots, safety managers, executives, and lawyers to deal with an infinity of permits, state and Federal reports, and SEC filings. And worse, 80% of all proved oil and gas reserves are owned and operated by Third World "national oil companies" -- hissing snakepits of hereditary princes, bureaucrats, and thieves. They hire contractors and oil service companies to do the actual work of production, field development, reservoir management, secondary recovery (water injection) and processing. Major international oil companies like Exxon, Chevron, BP, and Shell compete against each other to exploit 20% of global reserves. Russian oil companies offered joint ventures and raped all four of the aforementioned majors. The same thing happened historically in Iran, Mexico, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia. US-UK brains discovered oil. It got expropriated. All this financial pain and toil and risk is so you can have a car, a fleet of 18-wheelers, bumper crops in farmers' fields, oceangoing trade, tens of thousands of scheduled passenger flights, and stupid shit on TV, backed by a million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines equipped to defend you with missiles, carrier battle groups, stealth fighters, bombers, and artillery. To hell with the Green New Deal or whatever else the politicians cook up. Vote for rational self-interest and a prosperous industrial society that the men and women of "Big Oil" make possible. They are your neighbors and benefactors, many of whom work for small companies called "independents," over 18,000 of them operating in 32 U.S. states, drilling 94% of U.S. oil and gas wells, responsible for direct and indirect employment of four million workers. Another six million Americans work for international majors and the oil service companies operating offshore in deep water, in overseas deserts and jungles, U.S. ports and refineries, storage facilities, pipelines, specialist steel tube producers, and dependable distribution of diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, natural gas and LPG delivered to every city and village, every factory, farm, shop, and construction site, every school and university from coast to coast. You open the refrigerator door, adjust your thermostat for comfort, eat well, drive to work, board an airplane, check into a hospital when necessary, confident that you, your wife and children will survive and thrive, because American oil companies fuel prosperity and highly mobile emergency first responders. Forget about Europe, Sean, unless you plan to move there, which you won't. .
  12. Wolf, I'm not tracking. I don't know what you mean here. Even seeing it as sarcasm or a quip, I don't grok what you mean. I fully agree. That is one of my main points in analyzing her writing style. Michael
  13. I think the early church was mystical, until it came to Aquinas. I read his two volume restatement of Aritotle's logic and thought about his defense of transubstantiation, that God could switch the "essence" of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, leaving the "accidents" of visible bread and visible wine unchanged, which echoed Aristotle's epistemology. I concluded that we all make tiny little mistakes. Rand fixed the problem with her Conceptual Common Denominator, etc. Always nice to chat with you, my friend. What I really think is that Miss Rand was primarily a dramatist.
  14. Oh. Theme controls what I do. Not uncomfortable with any topic. Hard to imagine Hugo (and Rand) using pen and ink.
  15. No sex, please, we're British. --Brant
  16. I've thought for some time that the "tone" problem seems like "British ruling class snootiness" and the ruling class Brit's sense of what just isn't done. Ellen
  17. Michael, There's stuff relevant to your wonderings in the section captioned "Properties of the Ultimate Constituents" which starts on pg. 290 of the Expanded ITOE. Sorry, I don't have time for doing quoting. Ellen
  18. LOL... President Trump and Cher: Michael
  19. I did not expect President Trump to sign on to the theory of British manipulation of American elections this early. "Muh Russian!" was joke. "Muh Brits!" not so much. (Steele of the Steele Dossier is a Brit, but that's just the surface.) The theory goes that Britain (specifically, the elitist British ruling class) is at the core of the globalization effort (being the main center of the world's financial universe). Just like in the US, the British ruling class has polluted its intelligence community with toadies. Those Brits are the folks who kicked in with the US establishment ruling class (including Obama & Co.) to spy on Trump. Also, tone as an issue came from the Brits. British ruling class snootiness cannot abide by someone like President Trump. It's just not done, old man. That snootiness infected the American ruling class (who bend over backwards to be accepted by anyone smelling like royal class) and it's one of the core reasons for the unending hatred of Trump by crony elitists. As an aside, snooty behavior is like turkey feathers. It is a marker that designates the species and is a form of mating call. I see a lot of plausibility in this theory. It's not the whole shebang, but, from where I sit, damned if it isn't a good portion. I'm glad to see President Trump alluding to it. I bet his adherence will help Nigel Farage's new party and help the BREXIT policy finally get finished as voted on by the English people. Throw the bums out. They're easy to identify. Just follow the irritation from the snoot detector in your subconscious. Michael
  20. Here's just a thought. Rand constantly called her view of metaphysics "objective reality." She said this on her "standing on one foot" description of Objectivism and she said it often after that. Another way of saying "objective reality" is reality that can be understood (or "grasped" to use a word she liked to use a lot for cognitive processes) by a rational mind. That means any state that cannot be grasped by a rational mind is not reality to her. And, to her, a rational mind is founded on sensory perception. A different way of saying this is: if something doesn't exist in a form that humans can be aware of it and trace that awareness back to human sensation, it doesn't exist. Or this: objective reality is said to be independent of human beings, but can only be accepted to exist if the limitations of human awareness is the standard. In other words, human rationality is baked into Rand's metaphysics (or Objectivist metaphysics or whatever one prefers to call it). And that, strictly speaking, is more epistemology than metaphysics. My idea that human beings could be evolving a new sensory organ or awareness faculty is foreign to Rand's view as stated. I don't know if she would have found it compatible, though. It would probably depend on whether this new potential awareness faculty could be called "rational" or "objective." If it could be called rational or objective, I believe she would have gone for the possibility (like NB said about her acceptance of the possibility of an "underlying reality," which implies that, by being able to be named by a rational mind as a potential, it could eventually be grasped by one). If it had to be called anything else, or at least if that faculty worked in a mental state incompatible with the current evolution of how rationality works, I suspect, if she were presented with this possibility, she would have rejected it outright as nonsense. Maybe even called it evil. I, myself, don't know. No matter how much I contemplate this issue, I keep slamming up against the awareness limitations of human beings as a species, thus my own limitations (being that I am a human being, although some may disagree ). I can't get around the idea that it's impossible for an evolving creature to judge the outcome of its unknown future evolution. I can accept the fact that there is a hell of a lot that I don't know and, at this stage of evolution, can't know. That gives me an urge to stretch, so to speak, to see what else is out there. Shutting down the question of what else is out there, just like the other big questions in philosophy (why we have to die, etc.) doesn't do it for me. I can't not ask them. They come unbidden. Michael
  21. Pedo Education Watch the video and you will see kids being taught the historical importance of anal sex between a man and a boy. This kind of corruption of the education system exists. Another word is indoctrination. Why pedophilia? As an educational program, I believe it is the typical leftist bullshit of denigrating family life, thus replacing the family with Big Brother. Still, this is a nasty disgusting form of it. Michael
  22. Rand was well on record in her mature years as holding the viewpoint on philosophy being mostly epistemology which is expressed in the Journals passage Michael quoted. Ellen
  23. Last week
  24. What was published by Rand in her lifetime is primary for referencing her. What she wrote but didn't publish is secondary IF it's in the original form. Work edited to publication after her death is third tier at best and possibly much worse. I wouldn't trust ITOE unless it was the original printing. Esthetically speaking Leonard Peikoff putting his introduction into AS was an obscenity. Morally speaking, not so much. But they're integrated so the fish stinks regardless. --Brant
  25. I made an offline communication that I liked so much, I'm posting it here. A person mentioned that the Dems will size up President Trump's manipulation of social media (presumably with Russian aid ) much better this next time around and will presumably trounce him in 2020. Part of the reason will be no wall, no Obamacare repeal and replace, no Hillary Clinton in jail and he will be crying about how the Dems did it. I wrote the following: But I'm not posting this to be cute (although I am ). I'm posting this because it led me to thinking about... well... I want to say how futile reason is when people hate, but I wasn't really thinking about that. I was thinking about how cute I am. Michael
  26. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in the news today: "Canada politician Jagmeet Singh reveals childhood sexual abuse"
  27. And take that, anti-Trumpers: President Trump is going to have a city named after him on the Golan Heights. Let the hating begin... Michael
  28. Brant, My point was that I was not discussing Rand right or wrong. In fact, no matter what gets discussed when the name Rand comes up, no matter what the nuance or insight or even folly is on the table, someone always takes the issue back to whether Rand was right or wrong, then people start discussing that instead of the issue. Then they start fighting over whether she was right or wrong. The issue becomes secondary when not forgotten. In AA when I was going to meetings way back when, it was a common occurrence to see a person punctuate his personal tragedies and attempts to figure out how to stop drinking and destroying his life with a call for everyone to obey the program (the 12 steps). Then he would emphasize that, start preaching and that would become his point, no longer his own witnessing about his experiences or his successes and failures to stay sober. In other words, AA is right and those who question it are playing with fire. Those who say it is wrong are damned. And if you don't believe it, he will talk about it until you get it. (Many of the people like that I knew had Homeric relapses. Sporadic relapses with few and far in between, but Homeric when they hit... ) Michael
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