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  1. 4 points
    He's a child or else a very young adult. The graphic is General Iroh from Avatar: the Last Airbender an anime series that ran from 2005-2008 and is still popular today. The hand gesture Iroh is making is likely part of a kata as he often imparted wisdom to his grandson while they trained together. My 15-year-old and I loved that series and quote from it on a semi-regular basis. The very next line after the graphic, our mystery poster says, "So here I am, trying to draw wisdom from a new source." I read him in the same way I would have read my teenage son - more mature and smarter than average, but an awkward communicator and not sure how to convey that he wants to learn something while maintaining that he knows everything. You know, like a kid would do. Your experience, MSK, led you to read him differently, and you'll get no judgment from me on that, neither in my response to the poster nor in this response to you. However, I was compelled to answer honestly his honest inquiry. No, I did not get the same impression of him as others did.
  2. 3 points
    And Gates. And WHO. And everyone else involved in the scheme. I'm very angry about the deaths from this "dastardly plot." I'm thinking of those who died as war casualties. Ellen
  3. 3 points
    The pandemics in 1957 and then again in 1968 killed roughly 100k Americans each, they were influenza viruses , I don't know of any societal wide reactions that match this one. Did we flatten a curve ? Or do curves just do what curves do? It doesn't seem like lockdowns did much other than economic damage. I mean pandemics suck , but yeah they suck. Hurricanes suck too . ? It's starting to really feel like we've been played , no ?
  4. 3 points
    Classic Objectivism absolutely opposes anti-trust. What wasn't addressed back then was State charted, created, sponsored corporations. There are 50 States. Where is there the room for public corporations in the ideologic rubric of libertarianism/Objectivism or in Randianism, if you will? Basically corporations are facets of economic fascism written large by today's social media. Hit them with anti-trust as a necessary stopgap. --Brant
  5. 3 points
    The single greatest advance in medicine was the germ theory of disease. It's precursor was smallpox vaccination. There is no handling flu with vaccine, just the pretense, but the pretense is a horse to ride into good doing the world. I'd never get a flu shot. The virus mutates too much too quickly. Money is a road to power. These money men, ironically, are being controlled and used by people who live in all ways high on the hogs. They aren't after a virus, but you and me through nation state destruction and globalization. Above all they must all belong to the same fraternity. If Bill Gates were a true hero he'd go after malaria with DDT advocacy. --Brant
  6. 3 points
    Michael, Ghate is not stupid, true. What's been irritating to me is that while ARI authors show their expertise when they mostly stick with pure Objectivist theories, and finding new ways to re-present them - they are singularly poor at applying theory to reality (or, as you say, applying reality to the ideas, rationalistically). And to top it off, prescribing their own judgments to other O'ists with Randian authority. Surely: Identify the entire situation as it is as a conceptual whole. While also keeping high standards in mind, not what it ~should be~ in an imagined, future perfect world. Where's context? What is the hierarchy of values here? Do actions and positive results matter less than airy words, style or sweet delivery? (Kant's - the noble intention, above all - comes to mind) What is the moral character emerging under pressure (and not the conventionally conformist 'character' - the public and media persona) of the actor(s)? This is after all, raw politics, and as it's been turning out, at its low-down dirtiest, anyone in and out of the US can see. One sees a sort of naivete when ARI Objectivists, going back to Peikoff, come down to the real world, so I'm not so certain there're other motives like financial gain/power involved. Maybe. But they do sound sincere. Perhaps it is all about making Objectivism "relevant". When you've ( I think it was Elan Journo, also generally a good thinker) predicted "a Trump dictatorship" - when hardly had he entered Office - and you now see you were wrong, damn, have the grace to admit your bad judgment and personal dislike in another article.
  7. 3 points
    There's an overwhelming over-abundance of more than enough information. And that's just in any single frame of the video. Consider all of the content of all of the frames, and there are multiple, layered, redundant means of determining whether or not any entity, attribute, action or effect seen in any frame conforms to reality. The space, the objects within it, and the motions are all precisely measurable. Then add all of the visual information from other cameras at other vantage points... Each participant on this thread who has commented on the visual evidence is right about some things, yet wrong about others. The issue is not that the visual evidence is insufficient, but that none of you has the technical knowledge to be making any conclusions, or to be dismissing anyone else's observations or concerns, or to be throwing accusations of kookiness or conspiracy theorizing at anyone who thinks that something in a photo looks a bit odd. J
  8. 3 points
    https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-milkyway-over-beaverhill-county-jestephotography-ltd.html Something a lil different than my Wildlife photography. Nikon Z7 mirrorless with a Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 Art series lens for Astrophotography.
  9. 3 points
    Ted (in) Lieu (of fill in the blank) pulled out his cell phone and on the Congressional record called Candace Owens a ****er lover. I saw it !
  10. 2 points
    From "the particular" (this trade, today's sunrise, this water, etc.etc). to "the general" (all trades, all sunrises, all oceans) IS induction. And it requires cognitive effort to avoid drawing false propositions. You don't conclude that Capitalism is moral, initially: (for the moment let's assume this individual has no idea of "capitalism") - you observed that THIS deal was good and proper and moral - and this one, and the next - and then generalized. You have seen the philosophical definition of induction, do you not accept it? The reason people think that Capitalism "has failed" is from FAULTY induction. They see and hear of a single amoral/immoral aspect in this compromised "mixed economy" and generalize that the whole "Capitalist system" is rotten. Usually evasively. Always a straw man. Socialism only appears good and "sounds better" to those pampered dreamers who have and have implicitly enjoyed the benefits of Capitalism (or a large modicum of it). (The Stolen Concept fallacy, right?) If they were transported to a country to live under the real thing they'd run home in a jiffy.
  11. 2 points
    Ed, Jon is why We can’t have nice things, like..members that talk more than they do. Nice to see you!
  12. 2 points
    Verified is a funny word , nowadays, perhaps always, but definitely nowadays.
  13. 2 points
    2,000 scumbags shitting their pants as their criminal careers in government catch up to them.
  14. 2 points
    The VICE statement gives strong (inverse) grounds for hope. Ellen
  15. 2 points
    Yes! Ayn Rand would have approved. I'm not channeling her. She talked and wrote often about the US leaving the UN. Michael
  16. 2 points
    There's something else I want to add. Countries are not shut down because of grassroots. They are shut down by the elites. From what I see, since so many countries in the world shut down in the same manner, it's reasonable to assume the elites are talking to each other. I could spin this in so many ways, it's not funny. How does this one sound? Two people from the European ruling class meet in August, 2019. European Elitist: My dear sir, those open borders are screwing us left and right. EU Dude: Trust us. We have discussed this ad nauseam. This migration will only go on a little longer. It is useful for the greater good. (winking) Of us, that is... European Elitist: Yes, but all of those poor people from Muslim countries are pissing off our citizens. Really pissing them off. It's bad. EU Dude: Well, sir. Control them. That's what you are paid to do. European Elite: I can't. We can't. They won't listen. EU Dude: Make them. European Elitist: Really? Do you think I haven't considered that, Mr. High-and-Mighty? They are not only not listening, they are now coming after me! And if I fall, they will come for you. Wait until you meet Mr. Commoner Beastie. He's as strong as an ox, only has three teeth in his head and loves to brawl. He puts his enemies in the hospital. The peasantry love him. (shuddering) He eats boiled beef because he likes it, for God's sake. Then he drinks the damn broth right there... right out of the pan. EU Dude: Ghastly!... So what do you want to do about it? European Elitist: I think my country should leave the EU. Yes. That's the answer. Leave. Just like Great Britain did. EU Dude: Now wait a minute. It's not that easy. You simply must stay. European Elitist: Then fix the goddam flood of immigrants. EU Dude: But the humanitarian... European Elitist: (yelling) I don't care! Either those uncultured pigs stop stampeding in or we leave the EU. Period. Enough! EU Dude: (long pause) Hmmmm... And if we fix it? European Elitist: (surprised) Well, then. There's no reason to leave. I get to stay in power in my country and Mr. Commoner Beastie gets to go back to his dirt hut after his political ambitions fail. EU Dude: And what about our... uh... er... ummm... special arrangements? European Elitist: When the people clamor to make the intolerable stop... when filthy hoards are moving in next door and raping their daughters in broad daylight... when the calmest among them are ready for violent revolt... My dear fellow... when bold solutions are suddenly implemented in times of such ire-laden flux... when said solutions work--or look like they are successful... I can see our arrangements getting sweeter. The relief will make the people, that is the lower ranks, momentarily numb and give us a window of opportunity where anything could happen. EU Dude: (thinking and preening) Really? European Elitist: No doubt about it. EU Dude: Well, of course something effective can be done. It must be done. Does the idea of stronger borders appeal to you? Would that appeal to your citizens? European Elitist: Absolutely. But now that people are used to loose borders and wandering about like nomads, how would we do that? EU Dude: Have you ever heard of something called COVID-19? They talk long into the night. Stronger borders it became. And no one of importance among the populations of the different EU countries complained about the change in border policies. That's just one off the top of my head. Michael
  17. 2 points
    Peter, People don't do conspiracies out in the open (except in America where certain conspirators have a complicit press and this still leaves me with jaw dropping ). One characteristic of a conspiracy is that it is meant to be hidden until the right moment. That's by definition. So how can one demand observed fact about something hidden? One has to dig and expose. The idea that a suspicion is loopy just because you can't see who is doing the bad stuff is a very dangerous one. You can't see a cancer cell inside you with your eyes alone. Not even doctors can. And if you ignore it, it will kill you. I don't know if you ever read some posts I made about a professor in Florida--I forget his name right now. He's a leftie. He tracked down where the term "conspiracy theory" came from. And he holds conferences at the university level where "peer reviewed" material is presented about the different conspiracies that have turned out to be true. The term "conspiracy theory" came from the CIA to quell the unrest that happened, both in America and abroad, after Kennedy got shot and the Warren commission issued it's lame report. People were having a fit in public--the press, radio, TV, speeches, and so on. There are copies of a memo by the CIA at the time. It is available to anyone who wants to see it. The CIA circulated it to the press offices and the Embassies explaining how to discredit public doubters of the Warren Report or the public version of the Kennedy assassination by smearing them as loopy conspiracy nuts. Before that time, "conspiracy theory" was a phrase used to describe serious musings on events. I can't think of an example from that time off the top of my head, but the later economic term "trickle down theory" has the kind of emotional load "conspiracy theory" used to have. Nobody today thinks a person espousing the "trickle down theory" is a flaming kook. Instead, they think the person is serious even when they disagree. Before the CIA did that little masterpiece of persuasion engineering to shut down discussion of speculations, people going overboard on a conspiracy were generally linked to the theory they espoused. For example, "red baiters" or "McCarthyites." Not even the John Birch Society people back then were called "conspiracy theorists." Lance deHaven-Smith Here... I just looked and found where I wrote about my man. The professor's name is Lance deHaven-Smith, Professor Emeritus at Florida State University. Here's a great start of a reading list if you ever get interested in historical conspiracies that were not believed at the time, but ended up being true: Also, here is a little more on Lance deHaven-Smith. First a post by William (with the snark against those who think differently than him, mostly meaning Trump supporters, removed). He posted a very good video of Lance deHaven-Smith in a 2013 talk. Then a response by me that gives some more nutshell information on Lance deHaven-Smith: I know I can dig up a lot more if I get going. But that's enough to make my point--that taking seriously a potential conspiracy is not the same thing as being batshit crazy. (Besides, this is getting so long, I'm not sure you will read it all. ) Asymmetrical Warfare Now that the military has openly embraced what it calls asymmetrical warfare, you can find paper after paper published by the military on conspiracy theories in the original meaning of the term. QAnon is a phenomenon that has all the marks of such asymmetrical warfare. It is intentionally designed to attract the fringe and nonfringe alike, that is, the way this project has unfolded, it is a way to inject narratives into the mainstream that are different than the ones offered but the fake news media, narratives that discredit the elitist mainstream culture. It's been a resounding success in that regard. Just think of how this has led to Epstein's fall--before, nobody believed he was trafficking in pedophilia among the superpowerful, but now everyone says he was. And he got dead and croaked and suicided as part of the show. Not even a fifty million dollar special counsel investigation into the idea that Russians elected Donald Trump through covert means worked. Nor an impeachment. Don't forget, the mainstream press deployed everything they had to support the narratives behind that investigation and impeachment, both during the leading up phase and after both fizzled. The fake news mainstream culture did this for over three years, day in and day out. Part of the reason these efforts didn't take is that the narratives pushed by the mainstream culture were not accepted by the general population. One of the reasons this happened was QAnon's skillful injection of counternarratives and doubt into the general population at places the mainstream fake news culture did not control. Back when you and I were young, this would not have been possible since there were only three nationwide TV stations, radio was mostly pop tunes and religion, and the printed press carried the day. The Internet ended that monopoly on controlling the narrative by the few. One day, after all this blows over, it will be very interesting to look at and study all the different techniques deployed on both sides. I have already identified a few, but it's still too early to write anything definitive about it. (That goes for me and others.) I'm still--we're still--observing--still gathering conceptual referents so to speak--since important history is unfolding right in front of us and hasn't wound up. Michael
  18. 2 points
    Something else: go to Google Earth, and look up the Administrative and Court Facility at Guantanamo Bay. I tried it..."the results are will shock you..."
  19. 2 points
    Jon, What accounts for the appearance of the COVID-19 virus just now in your narrative? Are you claiming that Xi had the virus bioengineered or some other way managed to get it unleashed on the world and that Donald Trump is such an inhumane bastard that he doesn't care about the deaths and misery and financial dislocation so long as he has a cover for declaring martial law and arresting his enemies list? Ellen
  20. 2 points
    Polly's terrific. She at least asks the right questions as Michael says; and if a tenth of what she interconnects is valid, it's enough. It's your minds they want. AR Never let a good crisis go to waste. R. Emanuel If you can keep your head when all about you...RK When all the cattle are stampeding in one direction, look for the men on horses. AJG There's something very strange going on, things which didn't transpire with the last serious virus.
  21. 2 points
    Ellen, LOL... You definitely are not the target audience for this TAS project. But think about presenting Rand to social justice snowflakes. Like it or not, these people vote and will soon be the ones in power. The hardass no nonsense battle ax figure is not going to get a hearing with snowflakes. It's not that they will disagree. They will not even get near that. Would you prefer to see the world ruled by them after they had some positive contact with Rand to prompt their curiosity, or with them believing the caricature sold by the progressives? That caricature is their starting point, not ours. So I, for one, don't mind an image of Rand that will draw them near enough to get curious about her rather than comfortable with the default stereotype in their minds. And just to be a pain in the ass, here is something for your viewing pleasure. I even followed a like by William just now to be reminded of this. Michael
  22. 2 points
    Not at all dramatic. I really didn't know my Dad until I went to live with him and my step mother when I was 16. I was born in Tucson in 1944 and he had already decamped back to NYC by the time of my first retained memories age two. A newspaper reporter with a genius IQ (189) he became, I learned, a bad alcoholic in 1943. Arrested for a DUI and after a short time in jail he attempted to attack a city cop with his cane on the street and the powers that be told my Mom he had better get out of town, so he did. He was almost put on trial for his pre-WWII activities and was summoned to Washington to testify before a Federal Grand Jury. He flew, which was hard to do in the middle of the war. There was a trial that lasted for over a year with 12 defendants. The judge died and it never went to a jury. (See "A Trial On Trial"--I think that's the title.) You can read about John Gaede pre war in "Under Cover." Dad told me the author got a lot wrong about the people on it including him but was good depicting the various personalities. He was anti-war, pro German--but not a German-American Bund. He wrote two subscription newsletters and had a couple of hundred subscribers and spoke at Madison Square Garden. There a cop grabbed his cane and tried to force it open to reveal a sword, but there wasn't a sword. These were America First anti-war rallies. I know what the old Garden looked like as I went there in 1962 for an anti-communist Christian rally. If Buckley was right Rand was probably there merely because of her anti-communism, but then I didn't know her from a hole in the ground. I was only 18 and helped collect the money.We piled it on a table in a back room. That Swartz (sp?) guy who ran it really knew how to take it in. (to be continued)
  23. 2 points
    Sorry, I guess I'm not understanding the issue in regards to falsifiability. Once again, falsifiable hypothesis and their approx date: And their conclusions:
  24. 2 points
    Do you have a source?
  25. 2 points
    The Real Roots of the Internet and Social Media The following video from Corbett is quite an education. You can get the transcript and sources here: Episode 359 – The Secrets of Silicon Valley: What Big Tech Doesn’t Want You to Know If you want to know why the claim is bogus that big tech companies are private companies, therefore they should be able to freely censor whoever they please over political preference, take a look at this video. Would one ever make political preference a condition for civil service or joining the armed forces? Of course not. There is a fact that is becoming clearer and clearer to the public as time goes on. Big Tech is Big Government in the guise of private companies. But the big tech companies were and still are funded in great part by the government. And they never strayed from their real purpose, covert surveillance and influence of people in foreign lands--and ditto for American citizens. From that lens, a hell of a lot of mysterious happenings start making sense. Michael
  26. 2 points
    I’m road tripping today and passing my time as a passenger surfing the internet. I rarely have more than a few minutes these days for this kind of activity, so I tend to be quite selfish with how I spend those minutes. Hence, my much reduced activity here in general and my hesitance to devote a lot of energy on this thread. But I see there are others attempting to speak on my behalf and perhaps being offended for me, so .... Regarding a Socratic circle, I have no idea if there is a correct way to do one, and I’ve never participated in one. I only know what the young people in my life have told me about their experience. It’s typically done in ELA classes when discussing literature, but I assume it can be done in other settings. There’s an inner circle of participants who are meant to discuss and an outer circle of participants who are meant to observe. After a time, they switch places. There is some general topic, but other than that the discussion is meant to be a sharing of ideas and wherever that goes, it goes. Now, my understanding is that it can be quite boring when participants repeat by rote. Therefore, kids like my son will open with some purposely provocative statement. Playing devil’s advocate if you will. Pot stirring if you prefer. It’s common for him to begin dinner discussions this way. We’re both entertained. I’ve seen this be not so entertaining. One of the young people on my team at work is accustomed to being the most brilliant person in the room. And she is brilliant. But what worked for her in the classroom doesn’t always work in the real world. When she comes to me with a purposely provocative idea, it’s my job to coach her through communicating that in a way that won’t get her laughed out of the room. Or called condescending. Regarding the phantom, I don’t know him. I’ve said already that I drew conclusions about him based on what I gleaned from his original post and my own experiences. I don’t have any attachment to the rightness or wrongness of those conclusions. Michael, I simply don’t know what else I could contribute that would be enlightening for you, but I freely admit that I didn’t go very far backwards to see what other questions you may have asked that I didn’t address. Unless you expected a response to “aw, c’mon” in which case I’ll close with “Jane, you ignorant slut!” That’s a joke, of course. Everyone be well.
  27. 2 points
    Jon, And of course being bullied, right? That's the subtext everyone is responding to. And that's rich coming from you. Since when do you stand up for social justice warriors, anyway? Talk about weird and bizarre. You wanna do tough-guy talk, tough guy? Here's some tough talk. Tone it down. I mean it. My patience is wearing thin. Michael
  28. 2 points
    We read the online Chicago papers for news and obits. Did a building collapse? We cried. We kept clicking on the OL link. We even looked for other sites. What happened we said. Sigh. Welcome back!
  29. 2 points
    Jonathan, I looked. Nothing but retweets. Lot's of 'em. (burp...) Michael
  30. 2 points
    By Ron Unz, the latest in his American Pravda series: John McCain, Jeffrey Epstein, and Pizzagate “Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings” It’s long but the lucid style makes it easy to read.
  31. 2 points
    My recommendation is to start with AR's fiction--and not ATLAS SHRUGGED, but THE FOUNTAINHEAD or even WE THE LIVING. Thus you can see where it all germinates. It is, after all, in her intention "a philosophy for living on Earth." The novels show a working-out of her ideas in life itself, and the terms in which she is conceiving it.
  32. 2 points
    Billy has closed further comments on his "Placeholder for GW/CC 'How I got here’” climate doom thread, and just when I thought that he might finally be interested in actual discussion. So, I’m starting this thread to answer some of the responses that he gave in his last post — and thanks, Billy, for those responses, instead of your typical non-responsiveness. Billy replied to me: My understanding is that Tyndall's testing of his hypotheses were well-defined and carefully controlled, and his results were and are repeatable. I’ve been asking you to provide the same in regard to hypotheses of man-made climate change. Do you understand that Tyndall’s work does not answer my questions? Billy: You reap what you sow, Billy. Heh. Don’t like being accused and psychoanalyzed? Hmmm. Maybe consider not doing it to others. Let’s have a conversation. I’ve been asking for one for years. I’ve been asking the same questions, and you’ve been ignoring them, dodging them, and serving “tasty steamed octopus” (in other words, posting everything but answers to my questions while acting as if you’re answering the questions). I’ve also asked if you have a problem with my requests for you to show me the science, and, if so, to explain why you think that my questions are invalid, improper, not applicable, or whatever. No response. No explanation. Instead of having a discussion, you decide to ignore questions, and then devise ways of testing what I know about Tyndall or Weart, or whomever else. You don’t need to know how much I know. Science isn’t about establishing authority. He who knows the most doesn’t become right just by having the most knowledge. All that matters is repeatable results of successfully tested predictions of hypotheses. That’s what I’ve been asking you -- over and over and over again -- to provide. That’s the question that I’ve been asking you to provide the answers to. Show me the science. I’ve displayed the patience of a saint. I’ve asked countless times in regard to the hypothesis of anthropogenic climate change: "Show me the repeatable, successful predictions. Identify specifically what was the hypothesis, precisely what predictions were made, when were they made, what potential results were identified ahead of time as falsifying or invalidating the hypothesis, what the start and finish dates of the experiment were, provide the unmolested data, the untainted control, and the unmanipulated historical record." My belief and understanding is that you have not answered my questions. Nor did Brad when he was here, nor the second meatball. I’m not interested in suspecting what will happen in regard to "predictions of global warming to come.” Predictions are not the end of science. For the billionth fucking time, I’m interested in the predictions of the past having come true in reality after having been precisely defined. I'm interested in climatology following the requirements of the scientific method. As I’ve asked ad nauseam: "I'm asking to see 'the science' which puts the hypothesis to the test, and succeeds reliably and repeatedly. I'm asking for open access to all of the information. What was the hypothesis, precisely what predictions were made, when were they made, what potential results were identified ahead of time as falsifying or invalidating the hypothesis, what were the start and finish dates of the experiment, what are the unmolested data, the untainted control, and the unmanipulated historical record?” "How long of a time period must we observe temperatures rising, without leveling off or falling, in order to conclude not only that temperatures are indeed rising enough so as to be considered climactic change, but also primarily caused by human activities? Which models/experiments have identified this timeframe prior to the models' predictions being made, and prior to reality then being observed? Where may I find the details of these types of ground rules? We already know that some scientists are asserting that a 12 to 15 year "pause/hiatus," or even a 15 to 18 year one, is not sufficient to falsify their favorite models. With such assertions, determining exactly when the ground rules were established becomes very important. Without these details, it can seem that people are just making it up as they go along." "What are the specific conditions of falsifiability? What results in reality would invalidate the hypothesis? And why? "Which single model is the settled science model? I've seen a range of models with a range of predictions. Some have fallen by the wayside over the decades, and we don't hear about them anymore, but, anyway, which of the differing and competing current models settled it once and for all, and what date was it officially determined by the consensus scientists that that single model nailed it?" It isn’t a card game. Science isn’t about seeing the other guys' cards. It’s about identifying reality via a specific process. You seem to want to believe that I have beliefs that you need to counter. I don’t. I’m asking to see the science. No other method will work. I don’t accept substitutes, and all you’ve been focusing on is substitutes. Focus on the science. Focus on answering my questions rather than trying to guess my beliefs so that you can formulate a strategy to counter them. I haven’t read it. I’ve come across references to it, and quotes from it. I’m neither excited about reading it, nor opposed. Does it answer my questions? If so, please just cut to the chase and say so. Cite the relevant passages. There’s Billy doing exactly what he complains about when the Others™ do it right back to him. Anyway, to answer your question, no, your recommendation isn’t the kiss of death. Why are you so passionate about getting me to read it? Does it address the questions that I’ve been asking for years? If not, why would I find it worth reading? Are you hoping that, since it convinced you, it will do the same for me, and make me forget all about the questions that I’ve asked that you can’t answer? You poor darling. Victims who can’t take what they dish out are the most victimized of all victims. It's do damned unfair that people treat you almost as poorly as you treat them. Yes, please do come back if you learn that new material, especially if it answers my questions. We really don't need any more of your new material that doesn't answer the questions, or doesn't explain why you won't answer the questions. J
  33. 2 points
    It's true that the strategy isn't going to work, but "dealing with climate change" isn't what it's aimed at. Ruling the world is. Ellen
  34. 2 points
    I'm not here to defend the morality of most self-proclaimed secularists (I should add, secularism is merely one political position, not a whole ideology in and of itself. Objectivism is a secular philosophy that promotes secularism, after all). I think you're going off topic. The reality is that "being good without god" is a significant question that many theists ponder. Natural Law provided an answer to that question. And Christians/Evangelicals never appealed to the state to enshrine their values? Evangelical Christianity in particular has been resolutely illiberal. They only defend classical liberalism when convenient for them, or when they're losing a culture war. When they're in power, they have shown a consistent tendency towards using the state to enforce their beliefs on others. Not that most members of the secular left are any better. But again, that isn't the point.
  35. 2 points
    Get Woke, Go Broke - Selling Authoritarianism This could also be called "The Virtue of Slavery." Different companies have flirted with selling social justice because they believe the millennial demographic is mostly made up of social justice warriors. Sjw's are the loudest, but not the majority. And some major corporations are learning this the hard way. Remember those gawdawful Gillette ads about how men were nasty to women, but could "do better"? How does an eight billion dollar loss sound? Gillette is 'shifting the spotlight from social issues' after series of woke ads — and losses Gillette ‘Shifting Spotlight from Social Issues’ After Anti-Masculinity Ad Disaster Gillette learned one cannot guilt customers into buying razor blades. That's a mistake for newbies, not companies the size of Gillette. But here we are. The real problem is not selling a product with an underdog story, not even a social class underdog story, i.e., social justice story, so long as the customer feels empowered, not demeaned. Ads that do this tend to work. The problem comes from selling authoritarianism. Power in the message must go to the individual, not to the tribe. Individuals buy retail products. Tribes rarely do. When power goes to the tribe in an ad message, that's propaganda. That's selling authoritarianism. And propaganda doesn't sell razor blades. This is pretty simple, but the dorks in some major companies seem to have difficulty understanding it. I could mention not using their own customers as the villains in the ad stories, too, but one thing at a time. These people need one to go sloooooooooooww... This problem has become so pervasive these days, there is now a popular saying: Get woke, go broke. It's almost like the free market is telling them: Social justice authoritarianism is poison and if you sell it, you deserve to lose your money. But a corrective is happening and another popular saying illustrates it well: Money talks, bullshit walks. Michael
  36. 2 points
    Just like in Communist China. Tell me again that Google is a decent, rights-bearing private company, Statist. Google, FBI, bomb squad airing anti-Red Flag laws advertisement ... https://truepundit.com/video-police-bomb-squad-there-were-snipers-on-the-rooftops/ “San Francisco Police, its bomb squad and the FBI surrounded the residence of Google whistleblower Zach Vorhies, just hours before he was scheduled to provide evidence to the Justice Department detailing how the tech giant has been manipulating its algorithms to promote an anti-Trump agenda and censor Conservatives on Google and YouTube.”
  37. 2 points
    LOL. Look at the amount of verbiage you produced when I didn't even cite a passage. What would I be in for if I did? Ellen btw, I haven't read any further than the sentence I quoted, just taken a quick glance. I truly don't have time for this stuff, much as literature interests me. I was merely letting Jon know that there are people who don't find Rand's calling the book "a poem" (loosely speaking) odd.
  38. 2 points
    I could, abundant passages, like approximately the whole book. But I don't have the time, and if I did have the time, I wouldn't want to spend it on so frustrating a proceeding - way worse than trying to explain a joke Ellen
  39. 2 points
    "Please, never use the word Objectivist associated with yourself, because you cannot be..." Directed at "the apologists for Donald Trump". The "sell-outs". First, he draws an equivalence between the Conservatives and the Left; the "nuttiness" of each. (Which is like comparing apples to - I don't know what). Then, he slams anyone who supports Trump over the Left. In other words: Brook is "an apologist" for the Left. And does not see his own self-contradiction. This is an unwarranted and heavy-handed interference in others' choices. Besides, he's wrong.
  40. 2 points
    She knows shit about predators. --Brant been there, done that, smack, smack, smack if humans weren't predators, we'd have eyes on the sides of our heads
  41. 2 points
    Well, I think you deserve a lot more than a pork chop. Just to let you know: I might not be able to be responding to anything further for a couple days. I have a dental operation scheduled for early tomorrow. Oh, such fun. Ellen
  42. 2 points
    Jon, tks, tsk. You are a naughty child. Might be? You said, "Might Be?" So you don't know. But you are just fine saying things without any proof. How do you know Richard Branson? How do you Richard knew NXIVM? People lie all the time, and they can EVEN lie under oath or they can fool a lie detector. You lack credibility.
  43. 2 points
    Many of them sincerely believe, it’s just that they want you to die, first. They want your home burned down and turned back to prairie. Then they can enjoy earth with a smaller, sustainable population. How many who oppose pipelines have turned off their pipeline? None. That would be suicide.
  44. 2 points
    Brant. It is exactly the contrary. There is a lot under the hood and I think you don't believe much in it because it's new and you aren't familiar with the extents and proofs. Look at it this way for just one angle. The NYT is constantly struggling to stay alive financially. And without Bezos, WaPo would have folded. The amount of money these companies generate and need to operate is very small compared to the financial world of the social media giants. It's the elephant and mouse thing. What's worse, but more of an indication of the influence of these giant Internet companies, they made their billions and billions in the last ten years or so from practically nothing. That's not much time at all. Besides, neither NYT nor WaPo convince anyone of anything these days. They don't change hearts and minds. They sing to a small diminishing (but loyal) choir while resting on their reputations from years past. The social media giants are based on behavioral science at the root. Once you learn what they do, how they do it, and see the results according to split testing, you really get creeped out. (Look up growth hacking sometime if you are curious.) The only reason traditional media is still relevant financially is because of old connections with old advertising models. Once the ad world wakes up, they will leave traditional media and chase bigger payoffs for their clients elsewhere. This is already starting to happen. I could go into a lot of detail, but I don't have time. I believe Obama started the deep corruption of the tech giants. He (and his COBS people) helped them engineer the Arab Spring and they began to believe they could partner with political power to topple dictatorships and remold the world. These are nerds and that kind of power went to their heads. Once tasted, that kind of power is more addictive to nerds than their algorithms. Obama also put lots of his folks into Google while putting lots of Google folks into the government. I could go on and on about all this. Michael
  45. 2 points
    Brant, Nah... Ignoring the problem--and what caused it--is the back door to fascism. Principles operate in contexts. For example, the principle of private property was practically useless when the Titanic was sinking. As were all the principles of good seamanship. And those are great principles. The problem was the ship was going down. Once there are no people and no ship, principles mean what? Nothing, that's what. Would you have fought the different Communist takeovers of the different countries last century with syllogisms and principles? Many people did and look what it got them. What about that big pile of bodies, millions and millions of them, from Communist purges? Do dead people use syllogisms? In today's world, allowing government protected communication cartels to skew the next election toward an authoritarian elite because of a principle that doesn't work with government protected cartels is playing with that kind of fire and, frankly, it is a foolish way to enforce individual rights against a hightech cartel (one that is protected by the government) that is starting to run amok. Go on and let fascists win by cheating, then see how they act. Hell, just look what they did when they didn't win by cheating. For over two years they tried to ram a big fat lie down the public's throat that could have started WWIII had it worked and grown in the wrong direction, and they misused the intelligence forces and legal system to do it. (Not to mention all that blackmail due to pedophilia and other misbehavior of powerful insiders). In other words, we will not drift into fascism by recognizing a commons where private Internet companies can operate, but includes the protection of individual rights on that commons. The current social media giants are already practicing fascism there. Most people don't realize how much money and resources they received from the government and the extent of the secret contracts they have with the government, including massive surveillance contracts, facial recognition contracts, and so on. There is another issue. These Internet companies want to have the legal protections of private platforms, but want to act like publishers in operating their platforms. You see, publishers can choose the slant of their content. They can choose who they publish or not. But they are also legally liable for what they publish. Platforms are not legally liable for what is published on them. They want the powers of publishers, but the legal situation of platforms. This is a question of the law not catching up to technology while mixing in a lot of government money and legal cartel-oriented protections. Note: these companies are not de facto private companies. They have the shells of private companies, but they have the substance of something more like the Federal Reserve. They are intertwined with the government on many, many different levels. And now they are going fascistic. This problem of fascism is not something in the future to avoid. It is something in the present and we have to deal with it now, especially since it is still at a size we can deal with it. After it grows to a tipping point, we will no longer be able to deal with it through peace and law. Look at what they are doing--what they are doing right now and right here--and see if growth of that to a dictatorship by technocrats that will have no use for individual rights can be ignored. I, for one, have no intention to ignore it while cautioning about virtual back doors. I mean, who needs to worry about a back door when the fascists have already come in through the front door? Michael
  46. 2 points
    I’m not knowledgeable or passionate about art but I have followed many of your conversations with interest. When you point out the inconsistency that music doesn’t fit her criteria but she called it art anyway, they break into gibberish or avoid the issue, it’s comical, I’m always entertained by it. I also don’t get the either–or rigidity regarding whether this or that discipline is art, say, architecture. Keeping water out is utility not art, but a textured roof that looks like waves of wind over tall grass and costs three times a traditional roof and raises the cost of the home by 8% is art because it was done for contemplation and aesthetic consideration, the essential characteristic of art. Insisting on the absence of utility strikes me as definition by exclusion. We can make distinctions, we can call it fine art or pure art when there is no utility at all. But if someone’s favorite sculpture turns out, unbeknownst to them, to be a personal aircraft — you press this button here and wings fold out and you can fly away in the thing — then now they have to pick a new favorite sculpture because this one isn’t art anymore? Seems like definition by non–essentials to me.
  47. 2 points
    Ellen, I see some. The Notre Dame Cathedral is definitely a human species thing. It was not built by one man or woman. It was a group effort over generations--the best of mankind--from the 1100's (with history continuing to be added over the centuries). The ancient building was in a form--a concrete, not abstract, form--anyone could walk into today. Walking into it (before the fire) was not like looking at artifacts from an archaeological dig, but was walking into a fully functional building in use in today's society. When you do that, all you can do is marvel about the human species (and about God for the religious) that it was built about 900 years or so ago. Knowing that things like that exist gives most people comfort on a deep "I came from that" level. That's what I feel. I think that is a species-related emotion although I don't recall Bloom talking about this particular emotion. But, to me, seeing that building go up in flames left me feeling like my great grandfather, who was in perfect health yesterday, just died. (That's a hypothetical to demonstrate the emotion.) The comfort of belonging to a historical lineage is something so much a part of me and underground in my mind, I never verbalized it properly. And hanging around Rand-world drove it further underground except as banter about coming from hillbillies and things like that. Now, one physical proof of my inner certainty of belonging to a long line of humans who strive for greatness has gone away. No wonder it's bothersome. It makes me sad and melancholy and really pissed off when I think it may have been arson. As an aside, Bloom says people who wither away and die of depression are suffering from a species emotion (my paraphrase since I'm going by memory--I think his words were different, but the concept is the same). Super-depressed people don't feel like they are worth anything to the species, to anyone else, or even to themselves anymore. Bloom says this self-destructive shutting-down emotion is built into all of us, meaning it can manifest under the right conditions in anyone, so the species can be culled of useless members like cells of a body organ die. The dead get replaced by the new. I find this thought fascinating and--for now at least--it sure seems like this mental mechanism (including for other emotions as well) is one of the core components of human values. For a fiction writer, this opens up a whole world of compelling nuance in big picture events and character motivations--nuance that will resonate universally in others as it does in me. Like I said, I don't believe this species thinking is either-or with individualism. Humans are both individuals and members of the human species. Good and evil exist for both the individual and the species. Ditto for illness and health. If some of Rand's scope excesses can be reduced to a size where their validation can be checked by observation of anyone, and room made for the stuff pertaining to individual human nature she left out, I think this kind of species thinking aligns perfectly with her kind of thinking. At least, I intend to pursue this path until it leads somewhere good or bad (or both ) in my writing and my own thinking. Michael
  48. 2 points
    Her white nationalism is settled consensus.
  49. 2 points
    I love "on the sidelines" of #TrumpKimSummit. He's negotiating peace with a nuclear—armed country, ending a state of war that has existed between us for the last 70 years. While doing that he scores a deal for $12.7 billion of planes, then goes out for a smoke break with Phu Trong and a few of the Bamboo guys and returns with an additional $2.9 billion dollars. Best President ever.
  50. 2 points
    A mere three years? When government secrecy classifications routinely last ten, twenty, even fifty years, if indeed they're ever lifted at all? That's entirely unrealistic. Ye gads, Lyndon Johnson put an entire category of background sources for the Warren Commission under embargo until 2063. Disgorging such records can take generations. Many such exposés thus become timely whenever they're released. Fortunately, the Net and electronic infiltration tools are opening up more such archives, formal and informal, than ever before. Julian Assange of Wikileaks — now openly stalked for assassination by U.S. "Defense" Department operatives — is one of the true heroes of our time.